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  1. #1
    Bloodsail Admiral Master Jinora's Avatar
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    Post Faction Bias Rant

    I think it is time we got to the root of the topic, why it exists, where it comes from, why it is still happening, and where it can be seen. But before we can do that, I think we need to define what the words really mean, so we can better understand it.

    Faction bias, it is a word tossed around quite a bit. But what is faction bias? Faction bias is when one faction is portrayed as more powerful, claiming more victories, territories, having more of a spotlight, and even lore quality. When the Alliance and Horde face one threat as a single entity, there is no faction bias, there is no whining about the topic, nor is it even present in discussion. However, when you toss them toe-to-toe, someone needs to come out on top. Right?

    When it comes to faction competition, blizzard puts in a tonne of effort and thought into how to satisfy everyone, for an example, when the Sunreavers were exiled from Dalaran, it could be considered a victory for both factions, though a larger one for the alliance, and a political defeat for the horde, with the silver lining of the Horde gaining the military power of the Sunreavers.

    Now, where did faction bias begin, exactly? Faction bias has existed since, ironically, Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness, when it was introduced that units would have different stats, Orcish Grunts would be more expensive, and more powerful then its human counterpart, while human Footmen would cost less but do less damage, and have a little bit more armor. This could be seen in every Warcraft release until the Burning Crusade came out. Then, it came to lore. Even if you don't care much for Warcraft Lore, you still care about how your faction is doing in the world, it is a psychological thing, heck, I don't even play World of Warcraft anymore and I still care about the Alliance and their military efforts, and how things are going over in Orgrimmar.

    Now, where do you see faction bias? Faction bias exists everywhere. Quest Text, NPC Diologue, everything down to the structure of your factions base in Twin Peaks. Faction Bias wasn't as big of a topic was it was until the Cataclysm beta, when blizzard made the effort to redo world questing, that meant re-dividing zones up. Naturally, the Alliance had to lose ground. Blizzard didn't expect faction bias to be such a topic, however, when their quest developers and level-designers were re tuning Azeroth. It made alliance players upset that at every angle, it seemed the Alliance lost, and lost, and lost, even when they weren't facing the Horde, examples being the flooded Wetlands, and Sentinel Hill being burnt to the ground. This is simply a show of quest designing motives, in game design, specifically with MMOs, you give your quest writers settings and feels to go on. I imagine blizzard gave the directive to give the feel of destruction, of cataclysmic, apocolyptic events unfolding before you as azeroth was shaken. while the horde had that feeling of being 'Warborn' needing to be shown, as their new warchief happened to be more aggressive then the last. They saw Orgrimmar militarized, and their borders expanded from soldiers rushing across to claim more land for their people, while the Forsaken recently acquired the Val'kyr as of Cataclysm.

    Don't stop reading yet, I'm not saying Cataclysm wasn't a bias expansion, infact, it was largely bias. Though some things were unintended to be bias, some things were simply the fault of writers not cooperating, Mists of Pandaria was an effort to get away from that, but the taste of faction bias was left in the air, thats why it is so heavy now. Theramore was the final nail in the coffin for that. Now, it is all that is on peoples minds when they read patch lore, or the books, they look to see how their faction is doing, the alliance specifically picks it apart, and makes a worst case scenario, its stuck in our heads.

    The Horde has now been beaten to a bloody pulp, the theory in the previous paragraph can be seen through this, Alliance are still complaining, and Pandaria is making the Horde into the same thing, scrutinizing every word blizzard types, I don't see it much from them, but its been becoming more popular.

    I will provide you an example of when faction-lore-bias came around, look at the burning crusade, if that had just come out today, the alliance players would say, "We got a broken space ship and pacifists, while you got a nation!" Sure, people did it a little back then too, but it was mostly jokingly, nobody cared, nor made arguments like you see these days. Now! Wrath of the Lich King, Sure there was the occasional, "Warsong Hold is bigger!" But it wasn't a huge problem, again, nobody really paid any heed to it. Next, take a look at Cataclysm, Southshore destroyed, any lasting hold in Lordaeron lost, Wetlands made uninhabitable, atleast Menethil Harbor. It was a flurry of losses, and clear superior quality in horde questing. It was funnier, more informative, the Twilight Highlands intro was slick and fun, giving you a show of your badass warchief crushing his enemies, and starting an uprising, then replacing a government, while bringing a new clan of orcs into the Horde. The Alliance felt cheated, we felt like while we fought off an invasion of our half-built fort, you completely rebuilt a city, gained an ally, and to top it off, got some awesome lore with it. Next, look at Pandaria, within the first five minutes, you can see what blizzard was trying to do simply by watching the two introduction cinematics. Garrosh is much more savage and angry, while Varian is righteous and a true leader. Next, you see them exchange blows, with the Horde Airship going down, and the Alliance Gunship remaining Airborn, clearly a thumbs up to the Alliance, a pat on the back saying, "We've got your back this expansion, bro." And it was nice, it made us smile, but alot of us were still scarred by our defeats in Cataclysm, mainly the loss of Theramore. Some people, some how, still believe that theramore was better then Dalaran.

    I hope this shed some light on faction bias, The 'whining' is psychological, people don't like feeling defeated.

    Now I need some sleep, Good morning!
    "Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind."
    — Zaheer

  2. #2
    Very nice read. Thanks

  3. #3
    so faction bias is the new LFR or something?
    oh wait no, people have been whining about it since before LFR was made, oh well.

  4. #4
    Dude he only explained why there are so many posts about it recently and it makes sense. He is not saying anyone whines...

  5. #5
    You neglected to mention the imbalance on the racials. Horde currently has the advantage in that regard.

  6. #6
    I agree with this. I'm pure Horde, and I remember watching the MoP intro that was very pro-Alliance and just being like wtf?!? haha

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by devilswim13 View Post
    I agree with this. I'm pure Horde, and I remember watching the MoP intro that was very pro-Alliance and just being like wtf?!? haha
    Not on PvP, the 1/3 of the top arena teams are composed by humans, this is more than the 2nd most used race (undead) and the 3rd (orc) together.

  8. #8
    Proof that Alliance players need to shut up and stop ruining things for everyone about MoP's storyline.

  9. #9
    The Insane
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    Quick thing - Grunts and Footmen (all units really) were identical stat and cost wise in Wc2 - well besides looks, spells and voicing of course. It was in wc3 that this changed.
    *broken link*
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  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans serenka's Avatar
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    i never really understand all the whining about faction bias in lore, i understand in terms of gameplay when it comes to horde racials vs alliance racials. but in lore it would be boring if its always a 1 for 1 victory, horde wins something, so alliance have to win something to balance it, would be boring and the story would get no where.
    horde are a more aggressive faction by nature, they are more likely to make gains in war, due to them mostly being the invading faction, but that doesn't mean they are winning, i think the fact we are raiding Orgrimmar next patch shows that.

    really i like and play both factions, but horde is just cooler, the alliance races apart from Worgen are pretty boring, humans, short humans, shorter humans, elves, elves with tails. is how i see them

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Venziir View Post
    Quick thing - Grunts and Footmen (all units really) were identical stat and cost wise in Wc2 - well besides looks, spells and voicing of course. It was in wc3 that this changed.
    but that made sense, the orc Grunts didn't really have any armor or a shield, just a big axe, where as the footman had more armor and a shield, with a sword, so weaker than the grunts. the footman were cheaper and quicker to make, but not quite as strong.
    dragonmaw - EU

  11. #11
    This subject bleeds over into a lot of areas, (racials, who gets the best cities, etc etc,) and i feel the same way about it in all areas:

    Having everything be equal between the horde and the alliance with equal amounts of wins and losses would be incredibly predictable and boring. I played alliance for 6 years and I never felt cheated. I just wanted to get those horde bastards back for what they did to us.

    I wish they could take out either take out all the racials that give a mathematical advantage, or take some time to come up with unique ones for every race that are semi-balanced to stop people from complaining. (please don't make them all the same thing, that would be incredibly boring)

    Blizzard needs to understand they're never going to satisfy everyone. They need to stop designing the game around feedback and make some decisions that are bold and might alienate a few people, but work better in the long run.

    Even if blizzard does have a horde bias, why does it matter? No one ever said the horde and the alliance had to be stuck in a perpetual stalemate. Aside from that, even when things are at their most dire, with 10 seconds of text, it can turn around. That's the magic of writing.


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  12. #12
    On reflection for I'd say it's not so much a case of faction bias but poor story telling ability in general. The horde do seem to currently have the more interesting characters but honestly those they have don't exactly shine. For poor story telling consider the entire Garrosh story line, since the start it's always been fairly clear that the forsaken leaders where dodgy to sy the least but when it comes time to kill a faction leader in law they go for Garrosh. To me it seemed a bit odd to make a villain out of a guy when they already had one. Now add in that sooner or later the bad guy is always in some way corrupted, honestly can't people just be evil because there flat out evil. Now take a look at characters such as Valen or Gallywix who basically at present have no story. Then consider Deathwing, who in lore was meant to be a highly intelligent ruthless enemy, yet in game he was severely unimpressive. I think it would be very nice to see blizzard put some real focus on plot, I honestly think this would resolve the entire faction bias argument.

  13. #13
    Titan apepi's Avatar
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    Eh, I disagree with Twilight Highlands opening for horde, it takes like 30 minutes to even be able to get on that zeppelin. It is a total pain in the ass. Also every time I step on a warship/boat/zeppelin it seems to always get destroyed/attacked. And I end up surviving them, once I would at least like to die in the crash of them.

    How many have crashed may you ask for the horde?
    Zeppelins:
    Beezil's Wreck
    "Screaming" Screed Luckheed's Zeppelin Crash in the Hellfire Peninsula.
    Hell Westguard Keep even captured of of out zeppelins.
    Two crashed near Warsong Hold
    Grom'arsh Crash-Site
    One near Dun Modr
    A number of destroyed Zeppelins in the end of time
    Now here are our Gunships that have been destroyed:
    Hellscream's Fist
    Orgrim's Hammer
    Storm's Fury Wreckage Deepholm
    Unnamed Gunship Invasion of Gilneas destroyed by Lorna Crowley
    Unnamed Gunship Destroyed by Deathwing In Dragon Soul
    Ships:
    Dawn Runner: Dustwallow Marsh Wrecked
    Draka's Fury: Lost Isles Wrecked
    Horde Bladefist Reaper: Jade Forest Sunken ship
    Horde Stygian Scar: Jade Forest Sunken ship
    The Queen's Reprisal: Howling Fjord Wrecked

    I Fucking swear, If I have to get on a ship to go to some foreign land I am just go to swim there.
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

  14. #14
    Moderator aiko-chan's Avatar
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    Lore-wise I don't really care. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. But come on Blizz, fix the racials!
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  15. #15
    I never really got why Alliance players were so naffed off with Escalation to begin with or the stuff in Cata for that matter. I rolled Horde in Vanilla when Horde were the good guys, Stormwind was being ruled by a Dragon at the time and the rest of the Alliance was finding it's feet in a new world. The Horde was a rag tag group of exiles struggling to establish itself and putting the old Horde to bed (BRM). We were a force for good, whilst the Alliance was still piecing itself together.

    Not many Horde players like Garrosh or where the Horde has gone since Cata, that's why we are killing him. To me I've never wanted to be the bad guy and with the exception of Jade Forest I really didn't even know I was. All I ever did when questing in MoP was run around helping people but it turns out somewhere along the way I've accidentally invaded Pandaria.

    Is the Alliance questing a completely different universe? From what I read on these forums it sounds like I've been raping and pillaging my way round the island.

    Beyond my confusion though, whilst Escalation and Siege might feel like Horde lore it's just as alien to anyone who liked what the Horde used to be. Watching your faction leader take your faction's identity away from you wasn't a good feeling for me, killing NPC's you had liked isn't all that great either. The Alliance are a united front ready to crush Garrosh's True Horde, the Horde itself is back to being refugees fighting for an uncertain future. I play an Orc for god's sake! I used to be cool! Now it turns out all my npc brethren have been closet fascists this entire time.....

    So why on Earth Alliance players are so jealous that I got to wake up one day and suddenly be told I'm the bad guy I honestly have no clue.

  16. #16
    Herald of the Titans serenka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apepi View Post
    Eh, I disagree with Twilight Highlands opening for horde, it takes like 30 minutes to even be able to get on that zeppelin. It is a total pain in the ass. Also every time I step on a warship/boat/zeppelin it seems to always get destroyed/attacked. And I end up surviving them, once I would at least like to die in the crash of them.

    How many have crashed may you ask for the horde?
    Zeppelins:
    Beezil's Wreck
    "Screaming" Screed Luckheed's Zeppelin Crash in the Hellfire Peninsula.
    Hell Westguard Keep even captured of of out zeppelins.
    Two crashed near Warsong Hold
    Grom'arsh Crash-Site
    One near Dun Modr
    A number of destroyed Zeppelins in the end of time
    Now here are our Gunships that have been destroyed:
    Hellscream's Fist
    Orgrim's Hammer
    Storm's Fury Wreckage Deepholm
    Unnamed Gunship Invasion of Gilneas destroyed by Lorna Crowley
    Unnamed Gunship Destroyed by Deathwing In Dragon Soul
    Ships:
    Dawn Runner: Dustwallow Marsh Wrecked
    Draka's Fury: Lost Isles Wrecked
    Horde Bladefist Reaper: Jade Forest Sunken ship
    Horde Stygian Scar: Jade Forest Sunken ship
    The Queen's Reprisal: Howling Fjord Wrecked

    I Fucking swear, If I have to get on a ship to go to some foreign land I am just go to swim there.


    the horde just need to stop employing Goblins because of cheap labour.

    you pay cheap, you get cheap.
    dragonmaw - EU

  17. #17
    Thrall vs. Bolvar. How they doin these days? Both were the main faction leaders before the current faction leaders.

    What statue exists in front of blizz HQ?

    Who got called (an alternative lifestyle) at Blizzcon?

    Which is more popular with players and the "media" (web comics and artists, reviewers, basically who has better press?)

    I played alliance from Day one of vanilla to last day of Cata. Since MOP I've played horde. I hate the horde, but it's where the raid slot is. And damn it's nice being in the favored faction.

  18. #18
    I have a feeling Arthas, Illidan, and Turalyon would disagree with you. The stories of these three put the Horde's lore to shame.

    Edit: or at least Turalyon would disagree with you if he could be found... next expansion... hint hint...
    Last edited by Phasma; 2013-07-02 at 06:13 PM.

  19. #19
    Titan apepi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by serenka View Post
    the horde just need to stop employing Goblins because of cheap labour.

    you pay cheap, you get cheap.
    At least us Horde pays it's workers.
    Time...line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round. ~ Caboose

  20. #20
    There's just some details that bothers me when I play Alliance. I'm not talking about the big thing like, who owns the most territory. It's things like the introduction to the Twilight Highlands, where the Horde got something extremely cool and the Alliance got a poor joke. Or the Siege of Orgrimmar, the Alliance feels like an after-thought, why not simply keep almost all the same quests, but add a tiny spot on the border of Ashenvale with Tyrande there to play Vol'jin's role.

    That's the kind of thing that annoys me about one of the Faction, the impression that Blizz writes the Horde storyline, then remembers it has to give something to the Alliance.

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