You don’t need to have been playing World of Warcraft since its launch in 2004 to know that the Horde and the Alliance are not that keen on one another. The reasons for their rivalry are long reaching, convoluted, and go back centuries – well, within the lore of the game. Despite that, it’s important to remember that, sometimes, people just don’t get on, and that’s ok.
On the other hand, there are at times very obvious reasons for a… disagreement. Take, for instance, the imprisonment of Sargeras – the creator and leader of the Burning Legion at the end of the previous expansion, Legion. Moments before he was locked away, however, WoW’s big bad plunged his sword into the surface of Azeroth letting forth the powerful energy source Azerite. Recognising the element’s power, both the Alliance and the Horde agreed to play nice and share.
Except, of course, they don’t. This extremely potent mineral lights the match that heats up this age-old cold war all over again, and you need to pick a side. The question of which faction to choose has long divided players, families, and an increasingly tense contingent of the PCGamesN office – a conflict we are now making available for you to read. Let the Battle for Azeroth commence.
Forwarding the Alliance cause is Harry, while Ali is stepping up to defend the reputation of the Horde. They’ll duke it out with words to see who will come out on top… if anybody. Look, we’re not saying we can permanently solve a conflict that has consumed the fantastical world of Azeroth for years, but, well, don’t rule it out.
Harry: Frankly, I’m concerned this is even a debate – the Alliance are the good guys. Supporting the Horde is like wanting the Lannisters to win in Game of Thrones. If you’re a Joffrey-liker, then you’ll probably be for the Horde too, and everybody despises that evil little squirt.
The Alliance are a band of the best of beings, united in their goal to effect a just and peaceful world. From the humans to the night elves and the draenei, nobility and justice are their raison d’etre. What’s more, we’re also known as the Grand Alliance; you wouldn’t get the Grand Horde, would you? It just doesn’t sound right.
Ali: First of all, the Lannisters aren’t all bad – look at Jaime, he’s not always terrible. Second, you don’t just get to claim to be the good guys as if that settles everything. The Horde stand for honour, respect, and family. The Horde are there for the races that your precious Alliance have shoved aside in the name of ‘nobility’ and ‘justice’.
Sure, the less said about that nasty business with Garrosh the better. And we might not be the prettiest bunch according to your fancy Alliance beauty standards, but horns and tusks can be beautiful too, Harry. And besides, we don’t all get to wander into battle bedecked in ridiculous golden armour.
Harry: The important difference is that the integrity of the Grand Alliance remains as strong as our golden armour – which, rather than ridiculous, I’m sure you actually meant to describe as both fashionable and resplendent. I don’t deny the Horde stand for the selfish notion of family rather than collective harmony, but honour? I’m afraid you marched blindly into that one.
I’ll let you ignore Garrosh Hellscream and his warmongering, but let’s address the gargantuan fiery tree in the room. Tantamount to a war crime, nay, genocide, the Burning of Teldrassil is an act only members of the Horde could carry out. On the orders of ‘The Banshee Queen’ Sylvanas Windrunner, Horde Warchief and Supreme Ruler of the Forsaken, you set alight the World Tree – home of the night elves – and claimed many innocent lives. For the Alliance no end could justify such hideous means and, as Captain Delaryn Summermoon uttered as she laying dying on the battlefield of the War of the Thorns, you cannot kill the hope that unites the Alliance.
Ali: I don’t think you’d find many members of the Horde who agree with what happened at Teldrassil. Like Varok Saurfang said, there was no honour in what Sylvanus ordered us to do, but hierarchy is key to the Horde, and the word of our Warchief is law.
Besides, don’t act as if the Alliance is completely pure. If you’d care to cast your mind back, you’d remember that it was those same night elves that summoned Legion, thanks to Malfurion, and that could very easily have wiped everyone out. Alliance soldiers murdered innocent Tauren during Cataclysm, and Jaina did the same to the Blood Elves in Mists of Pandaria. And let’s not forget that you stole Stormwind from the Stonemasons, and then murdered them all when they got mad about it. Teldrassil might not have been our finest hour, but it’s not like The Alliance is perfect either.
Harry: Ok, it’s not a competition. Well, it might be. Anyway, let’s move on – of the Alliance communities the Horde haven’t ruthlessly burned to the ground, our cities and capital are far nicer than yours. Stormwind City stands proud with gleaming statues and towering spires that pierce the sky of our kingdom. Plus, we actually clean our cities, perhaps you horrible lot should look into that.
Ali: You’re right, Lordaeron has been a pretty nice place to be since we took it off you. And as for your stolen city, we’ll see how smug you’re feeling when we tear it to the ground. For the Horde!
Harry: How rude, but should I have expected anything more from the likes of you? The Alliance will be ready and waiting for you, Horde scum.
Erm…ok, so we didn’t pull off the diplomatic feat of the century after all, and the Alliance and Horde apparently still have some differences to work through. If anything, we fear we might have actually made things worse. Oh well. Now that Ali has spontaneously grown tusks and stopped washing – and Harry is making endlessly pompous speeches about justice, and refusing to stop polishing his armour – we should probably quit while we’re ahead. The Battle for Azeroth is heating up. We’ll see you on the battlefield.