I wonder about this one fairly constantly, because I used to play both factions a lot more than I do now. I started a Tauren Warrior all the way back in Vanilla and played him for the last year of the original game, did all my PVP on him, actually had a full set of PVP gear even back when that was pretty hard to do — although to be completely fair it was after they changed the PVP system so it wasn’t the ridiculous grind it was at first. I played that character on and off for a long time, including making him my main in Cataclysm and raiding up to Heroic Dragon Soul on him, back when that was the highest difficulty raid setting. But Cataclysm also marked the end of my enjoyment of playing Horde, and not because of the players, who were uniformly cool and fun to play with on my server.

No, it was the story. It was taking my new Tauren Paladin to level up in Ashenvale and realizing the new quest hub was a former Night Elf town with dead Night Elves strewn about. Through Vanilla and BC and even Wrath, the Horde felt like a scrappy group of underdogs fighting a hostile world for survival, and the Horde/Alliance conflict felt like something with multiple perspectives. After Garrosh and Cataclysm, it never really felt that way to me again.

As players, we’re at the mercy of the story. In this game about a world at war, we’re the ones who end up fighting it, even if it isn’t a fight that makes a lot of sense to us. This is true to life, in a way — I’ve never had the Joint Chiefs of Staff call me up and ask me what I think about the various armed conflicts of the past 30 years. But the last time I played my Tauren was during the Horde attack on Darkshore. I just couldn’t, anymore. I logged off just after the quests to poison the Alliance in Ashenvale, remembering all the questgivers in that town I’ve seen so many times as Alliance… it wasn’t a story I wanted for my Tauren anymore. He wouldn’t attack civilians. He wouldn’t burn noncombatants. He’d die to stop that.

And so I’ve let him. It’s sad, because I miss him, and all the memories I have of playing him — logging him out in Thunder Bluff the day before the patch updated the game and Cairne died. Leapfrogging around Deathwing’s back to tank the flaming blood blobs so my guild could kill him. Riding around in a Blood Elf’s motorcycle’s sidecar and looking ridiculous. But the story’s made the Horde too hard for me to play, and I miss the days of scrappy underdogs banding together.

But that’s just my opinion. What about y’all? Maybe you feel the opposite, and love to play both factions because of the amped up conflict between them. Maybe you abandoned the Alliance because of the story? Share with us your perspective.

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