Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Remind me who the good guys are again...

Warning - the remainder of this post contains Cataclysm lore spoilers. Don't read any further if you want to keep the plot fresh.
One of the side effects of trying to avoid spoiling the Horde experience in Cataclysm is that I've been spending a lot of time playing Alliance characters. My gnome is locked out by some weird server-quirk, so I've been playing a human priest instead, which means I've been exposed to some of the new lore about Stormwind via the quests in Westfall.

The general theme of questing in this area is that whilst the war has been going on in Northrend, money has been diverted to the military ahead of the ordinary people. This means that there are a large number of homeless and destitute people who have been driven out of Stormwind and left to fend for themselves in Westfall.

Apparently their beloved king, who appears to have plenty of money available to spend on rebuilding Stormwind, maintaining a huge army and constructing giant statues of himself can't spare a single copper for trivial things like feeding the people, something that the other Alliance races manage just fine. Who does this remind me of ... ?

Oh yes, I remember!

As a player, you're throw into the middle of this, helping to defeat the new Defias leader. Before her identity is revealed, she has you embark on evil quests such as ... errr ... feeding the poor. The same poor homeless people that Wrynn's bully-buys won't even let into their sparkly new castle in Westfall. Yep, there's money for that too.

This makes me extremely uncomfortable as a roleplayer. The game effectively forces me to prop up a fascist dictator and side with him in oppressing the masses. Where's the choice here? Why can't I choose to help the victims of Wrynn's rampant egomania rise up against him?

It seems Orgrimmar isn't going to be the only place that needs a revolution.


  1. Don't forget that the whole EXISTENCE of the Defias Brotherhood is because of being completely shafted by the Stormwind government!

  2. I really wish they'd give the Defias a nice solution to their long struggle. After all Onyxia managed to get them shafted and since then they've been outlaws. Why can't they write some nice solution where we can integrate them back into the Alliance?

    I haven't liked Wrynn since the day he came back. I wish he'd go away again and maybe we could have Anduin turn into a semi-decent king before his daddy teaches him all the wrong values.

    Maybe it's because I originally played horde - but I've never been able to look at them as the "bad guys" and the alliance as the "good guys", no matter how much my alliance friends try.

  3. A fair point, Rades. I guess I had assumed that with the return of the "rightful king", Stormwind might clean up its act. Seems I was wrong!

  4. Ahh, but is it a question of the lesser evils? Are we suggesting that the people of Westfall would be better off with lots of money....but as Scourge with Arthas as their king?

  5. Vok

    I think you'd have a fair point if these problems occurred during WotLK, but this is post-Arthas, yet the resources are *still* going into vanity projects rather than helping the people.

    Westfall is hardly on the front line of the war against the scourge (or the Horde for that matter).

  6. Yeah but....but....but I LIKE the King!!!

    I got nothin'

  7. Vok, i don't think you're alone in liking Varian - he seems to have a huge fanbase. What interests me is why. It would be interesting to hear what your thoughts are on the positive aspects of him.

  8. A well-worn road in Elwynn Forest, passing over a stone bridge into Westfall. Two women riding in a rumbling motorcycle and trailing a pair of mechanical pets, are flagged down by a pair of stern-looking Stormwind Guards, their eyes peering suspiciously out from within their white-painted sallets, tall and dangerous-looking pikes held across the road.

    The younger woman, who was driving, eased the motorcycle to a stop against the verge.

    "Are these your bots?" said the taller of the two soldiers, gesturing to the pets.

    The younger woman looked around nervously, and nodded.

    "They're for sale, if you want them," said the older woman, leaning out from the sidecar. The guard ignored her.

    "We'll need to see some identification," he said to the driver. She twisted around in her seat, digging for something in the saddlebags strapped behind her.

    The older woman leaned forward and looked closely at the guard. "You don't need to see her identification," she said quietly. The guard cocked his helmet at her.

    "We don't need to see her identification," he said affably.

    "These aren't the bots you're looking for," she added.

    "These aren't the bots we're looking for," he agreed.

    "She can go about her business," she suggested.

    "You can go about your business," the guard told the younger woman, who was watching this exchange with a dumbfounded expression.

    "Move along," the older woman whispered.

    "Move along!" said the guard, and moved his pike aside, shooing the other guard back. "Move along!"

    The older woman smiled at the driver, and nodded. The driver revved up the engine and rode slowly up over the bridge and down into Westfall. Behind them, the two guards were standing around in a daze, too confused to notice the bumper sticker on the back of the side-car which said, in bright blue letters against a white background,


  9. So, I started to write an explanation on why a like Varian, but it got big so I blogged it instead. The short version:

    He has been through hell and back. His father assassinated (by an Orc), his city destroyed (by Orcs), his mentor slain (Orcs again), his best friend turned Lich King, his wife killed, captured and force to be a gladiator (Hi Orcs!), his new best bud killed at the wrath gate (Forsaken). And he’s a single Father.

    And yet, despite everything that has happened, Varian still stands aside for Saurfang after Gunship.

    A life time of war and loss, yet he is not, and has never been, the aggressor. He just wont be pushed anymore.

  10. Also, he has two swords.

  11. Kick-ass post! Seriously though I'm playing a Dk and I was disapointed that I couldn't get to be the new Lich king... anyway we need poor people as they are a cheap source of ghouls and disease. Just saying...