Some mornings the inspiration for a blog post takes longer than others. This morning I have been faffing about on the web and on twitter desperately searching for inspiration. Then a brief interaction with the amazing @HeyHeatherBee spawned a topic that started spinning in my head. She was talking about taking the Horde decal off of her car because she had switched over to Alliance and I simply chimed in with the fact that I largely play Alliance because they have Dwarves. However I have always secretly had a desire for the Horde to get Dark Iron Dwarves as a playable race so that I would finally have a race that I enjoyed playing on that side of the fence. This was just enough to plant the seed of an idea for a post. I have long secretly wished that the “enemy” faction that each race has throughout their storyline, would actually be aligned with the opposite player faction.
What I mean by this is that in each racial story there are a number of “enemy” factions that get set up as sock puppet bad guys, but for the most part carry over through the entire main story. This to some extent breaks apart when you get out of the original races. Draenei and Blood Elves are set up as foils for each other, and Goblins are set up as their own worst enemy, and the Undead as the antagonist for the Worgen. These expansions aside there is a nice clean “racial enemy” for each other race in the game. Here is just a quick rundown of what we have to work with.
More Player Races
So the idea is what if all of these third party enemy factions were somehow swayed by their hatred of the group they oppose the most… to join the opposite faction. What if the Grimtotems decided that the best way to kill the Taurens is to join the Alliance, and similarly if the Leper Gnomes and Dark Iron and Defias cut deals with the Horde. That would allow for the creation of characters of essentially any race on either side of the Red/Blue boundary. The biggest problem I have with the horde in all honesty is that I don’t really like playing “monstrous humanoids” to borrow the term from Dungeons and Dragons. Worgen are probably the one exception to that rule… but that only exists because I have a love of all things Werewolf. Had they made them cat people… I probably wouldn’t have had the same attraction to them.
There are a lot of problems however with this idea. First with the Trolls, when I say all other trolls are their enemies… I mean all of the other troll tribes other than the three that I mentioned. The problem there is that ALL of those tribes hate everyone else on the face of Azeroth that is not also a Troll. I cannot see them aligning with anyone. Similar the “Dark Horde” pretty much hates anyone that is not Blackrock Clan, and have been doing their best to exterminate anyone that gets within their vicinity for a decade. Same goes for the undead as far as the Scourge goes, then the Scarlet Crusade has already been aligned with the Alliance in a few examples, but their batshit crazy zealotry makes them pretty much the enemy of everyone. So that already whittles down the list to a point where it just isn’t realizing to introduce all races to both Horde and Alliance.
Faction of Last Resort
So in a conversation with Jaedia she planted another seed in my head… what if instead of joining the Horde or Alliance, that these enemy groups became a third faction. Alternative Chat has long championed the cause of a neutral faction, but I think this would end up being a literal third group to act as a foil to both the Horde and Alliance. When you rule out the groupings that simply do not work you end up with a list that looks a little something like this.
- Defias Brotherhood
- Dark Iron Clan
- Leper Gnomes
There are currently six unique races in a faction, with Pandaren making up the seventh race that can choose their own side. This list that I whittled down to fits that pattern, and looks like a pretty damned fun faction to play. You might ask about the Satyr and the Naga, but in theory they are both races that player characters have reasoned with in the past during quests. Both of them are essentially two different variants of “corrupted night elves”. Finally having both in a faction gives players a really unique reason to decide to go for that third faction. Players have been begging for both as playable races for years.
The combination makes no less sense than the original Horde does. I still cannot figure out how the Tauren ended up throwing in with the rest of the races that make up the Horde. Similarly the Undead seem to be thrown in there “by default” and have no real connection back to the group as a whole, and are lead by Sylvanas who is always off doing her own thing anyways. My theory is these races decided to join together because they were consistently losing their battle with whatever force they happened to be engaged in. This ends up being the “Faction of Last Resort” as it were, and of course there would be natural tensions between the members. Mostly I feel like it is time to revive some of these classic themes that they let die in the expansions. The Defias Brotherhood for example was one of the best quest sequences that we have seen in game, and it is a shame that it essentially dies at the Deadmines. I doubt Blizzard would ever do something like this, but wouldn’t it be cool if they did. Would also finally give them three faction combat in player versus player.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
Faction of Last Resort