Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Gameplay Trumps Lore: Trying to Reconcile the Two

One would imagine that if you are in a constant state of war, you would not be trading with your sworn enemy. One might even imagine that if you were in constant state of war, you might aim for your enemy's economy instead of his capital. Because exhausting the economy is one sure way of how to weaken your enemy without moving a finger. The enemy will eat itself from withing. Riots, famine, civil unrest, terror aimed at the discontent among the mob. Sort of like how French Revolution started. Not because all of a sudden people had ideas about freedom and liberty, but because they were hungry.

I understand that the Horde and Alliance are currently not in war. But that can hardly be argued with the emergence of Ashran in Warlords of Draenor, where it seems both factions will clash against each other once more. Even when not in war, the Alliance and Horde are not at peace. They are in a constant state of cold war, if not that at war, never at peace. And this is what actually bothers me. The shortsightedness of the two factions wiling to grind each other to oblivion while there is always a greater threat just looming about.

It is weird to put in this way, but various Scourges and Burning Legions are the best thing that ever happened to Azeroth in recent years. Sure, many have died fighting those threats. But for the brief moment both factions actually focused on the real threat. For once. It bothers me greatly that both factions always find enough resources for prolonged war, even when their home is far from  being in great shape. Stormwind alone probably went through more revolts in recent years than Silvermoon ever could in all its long existence. And yet still they find enough time to wage war against the Horde.

I will agree that from the pure gameplay perspective the merge of the auction houses makes sense. It consolidates the economy, deals with the problem of faction imbalance, probably equalises the prices across the board, and creates new demand for various goods among the players. That is all well and fine. In normal circumstances, I would probably greet the solution as brilliant. But not in this case. It is a simple solution, and it surely is the best solution. But it is the one we could live without. Unless Blizzard changes something else as well.

It is the duality of Blizzard that really bothers me. On one side they promote faction rivalry, on other side we are trading and exchanging the goods. This once more proves the point that the Alliance and Horde do not need to be in war all the time. Ashran could in my mind be just a training ground for the Alliance and Horde, where we participate in wargames. Yes, it is paper-thin excuse, I will admit to that, but it is far better solution than we just ended an all out war, and now we are just going to duke it out once again on this new/old planet on a remote island.

Anyone who ever watched the Dirty Dozen will know what I mean. This also kills two birds with one stone. It resolves the question, why are we even fighting among ourselves on a remote island in middle of nowhere when we have iron Horde on our backs. By default it also makes a bit more sense why the staging for all operations should be Ashran and not the two fronts like Karabor and Bladespire. And what is more, it actually encourages the trade between two factions. Because we are not at war, and Ashran is only wargames, trying to train our troops to be able to fight the Iron Horde.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there, found my way here via MMO-c and I really like your blog! I just wanted to point out that in RIFT, the two factions are essentially meaningless for gameplay. They can talk to each other, send mail to each other, and even group with each other in dungeons. Given the crazy imbalances on some servers in WoW, I feel like this could be beneficial to the game -- there's been so many times I've wanted to invite someone on realID but they're on the "wrong" faction. But I think it'd be a really gutsy thing to undo all those years of H/A conflict and they probably would never do it. Maybe in WoW2!


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