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Reader Comments (48)

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 10:23AM Budukahn said

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Only in a roleplaying context: My characters tend to represent "typical" members of the faction in their beliefs and prejudices, so for example my former WoW Alliance humans hate orcs and their allies for the events represented in the first three Warcraft games and my RIFT Guardians are frothing at the mouth zealots obsessed with carrying out their gods will.

Beyond that though, it seems largely pointless, beyond a bit of good natured rib tickling on forums or amongst friends and colleagues who aren't on the same side in game. If factions in more games were player run however, and the game was basically played out between these factions I might take more pride in it. As it is, your typical themepark MMO's faction "choices" see to really only differ in what flag colour you have and what races you can pick.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 11:07AM Alboreo said

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I usually pick the faction whose lore interests me the most: for example, I played on the Horde in WoW because, lore-wise, I could never stand the Alliance (particularly Varian Wrynn).

Same thing goes with Rift. I really wasn't fond of the Guardians, so I played the Defiance.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 11:12AM Barrikade said

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My first constraint is which side are my friends playing, my second is the class or race that looks like the most fun. I don't really think of myself as an orc rogue or an undead priest, but it (used to be) fun to play them.

In the end, I have much more fun playing when I'm playing with friends, so if my friends need to be a certain faction to enjoy a game, I let them have their cake.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 11:53AM Matix said

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I do tend to give my loyalty to one faction over another, if that applies, in an MMO.

Unlike some whackos, however, I go into the lore for the faction and examine them based on principles and look at the facts honestly. And then I try to find a place in that faction for a character I want to play. WAAAAAY too many people act like the faction is some real life choice and get too serious.

How serious do these people take it?

EXAMPLE: I play Horde, because I like to RP morally and emotionally complex characters. And I LOVE the lore and richness of the Horde--Blizzard's bias towards them shows in the detail and lore lavished upon these former villains.

While I'm pro-Horde, enjoy playing Horde, and prefer them, I recognize that this is a faction that is FAAAR from good. Yes, the Alliance isn't exactly the bastion of Politically Correct Tree-Hugging Hippie virtue. And some of the actions of Alliance generals and officers warrant discipline, up to and including some serious time in the dungeon.

But, while I love the Horde, by the Holy Light the Horde is a cesspool!

1. slavery (Horde as a faction, with examples in game and lore of everyone but the now Grimtotem-less Tauren doing it),

2. sentient rights (human rights) violations (Forsaken illegal experiments being the worst; rampant torture by everyone),

3. ecological scorched earth devastation (Goblins, Orcish invasion into Ashenvale, Tauren hunting endangered animals),

4. AND EVEN GENOCIDE (Forsaken against Gilnaes; Blood Elves against the Dranaei; Tauren against the Centaur [albeit payback is a son of a harpy] and Grimtotem atrocities [Grimtotem has since split but the Tauren would be legally responsible], Goblins... kark, whenever it's profitable; Orcs extermination-ist-expasnionist onslaught against Night Elves). Even if you disagree with one of the above being included, keep in mind footsoldiers from Horde races are involved in many of these campaigns, and as a united faction NOT ONE TRIBE'S hands are clean.

And that's not including things we would see as wrong (land grabbing, abuse of citizens, revenge killings without benefit of trial) but are part of the Horde's culture.

Now, MOST PEOPLE are honest and say: "Hey, the Horde's races have gone through some serous crap and are slowly finding their way back to reason and decency. While the action of Horde leaders is wrong, and the wrongdoers should be held accountable, we must acknowledge that the general thrust of the Horde's citizens is to honor and conscience."

But what do the whackos do? I have actually sat and listened to people--

1. rationalize Horde actions,

2. demonize the Alliance (the worst was the whole "Varian is a racist" nonsense even after the King made REPEATED peace overtures and offered a trade treaty),

3. use self-serving, shifting standards--Example: attacking the Alliance for an individual NPC's actions while excusing the Horde when it collectively pulled the same dang thing--

4. try to morally equivocate grossly unequal actions (ACTUAL EXAMPLE: Yeah, the Forsaken enslave and massacre Gilnaes citizens... but... well... Gilnaes built that wall! And walls are [somehow] xenophobic, so even though Gilnaes never hurt anyone they deserve slavery and death for building a [defensive] wall!)

5. And the ever popular, if mundane, Making a RP character back story where the Alliance troops act TOTALLY out of character and do something so evil and have the RP back story so slanted that no one with a heart could argue with hating the Alliance... I mean, sure, a little thing like the fact that even Horde NPCs acknowledge that the Alliance generally behave honorably and don't tolerate its troops committing war crimes makes that kind of self-serving RP back story laughable, but try telling a whacko that!


Now, I don't make judgments on you as a person based on what faction you play. But when you're so petty to try to make a fictitious political entity look clean and pure through rampant intellectual and literal dishonesty, you are a scumbag.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 11:54AM Jeromai said

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Sure, I usually gravitate more to one faction over another. Usually the uglier, supposedly evil, side has the races I like the look of the most - the monstery races. Lore-wise, I find the bad guys more interesting, there's usually more depth or complexity - be it some kind of misunderstanding or an individual driven to do societally unacceptable things from some strong basis of motivation.

It won't stop me from making alt characters to explore the other faction, of course. But I usually end up staying on one side of the fence more often than not.

And I would never mix up the -players- behind the characters with the faction lore. More often than not, the characters are just tools or vehicles for the player's ego, so I would just treat them like any other person, regardless of what faction they profess to be.

So basically in my own head, my characters and I are part of the PvE-lore faction/side, but there is no corresponding player society I regard myself as belonging to. Except in RvR or PvP centered servers... then Horde/Alliance, Asmodian/Elyos, Chaos/Order simply become convenient Red/Blue flag markers for running towards or away from.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 1:02PM Elikal said

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In the words of Treebeard: "Side? I am on nobodies side, because nobody really ever is on my side."

So no, I do not identify with sides.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 1:21PM Spacegrass said

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I definitely identified with the Defiants, because the Guardians just seemed completely irrational and dumb. I didn't get to vote for the gods, why should I take orders from them?

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 2:21PM jimr9999us said

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I've always identified with my race and faction, with the exception of LotRO...PvP is an important part of any successful mmorpg imho. Not just for the entertainment but for the depth it adds to the lore.

After WoW and W:AoR (and not counting LotRO) I'm actually loving the Defiant lore/experience in Rift. Rift requires a lvl 50 and an active guild to get the most from it...but the game is actually much deeper than 1-49 would have you think.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 2:30PM NeverDeath said

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I believe the writer meant "one of the first 5,000 games to create two groups in direct opposition to one another.". Nothing original about the idea of two opposing factions whatsoever. So misinformative and naive it borders on comedy, if it weren't also so tragic.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 3:31PM Ordegar said

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@NeverDeath

True that. I was thinking... wait a minute, EQ had evil vs good (the only mmo I know that the factions are actually really evil or good, not just grumpy or misunderstood) way before WoW was even though up; Anarchy Online has Omni-Tek (heartless megacorporation/bastion of technology and progress depending on your point of view) and the Clans (freedom fighters/terrorists depending on your point of view) again way before WoW. Then of course there is Dark Age of Camelot, which not only had factions, but restricted you to one faction per server.

All of those games are still going by the way.
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Posted: Oct 31st 2011 12:46AM Jeromai said

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@Ordegar

Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken, as I've not really touched the Everquest games beyond a trial month of EQ2.

But I thought Everquest borrowed more from MUD roots and had -three- alignments and thus three sides - good, neutral, and evil. I also had the vague impression that characters could switch alignments freely between them, so you could be a good dark elf (cue epidemic of Drizzits), etc.

That's way more flexible a system than the two side dichotomy most modern MMOs give us.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2011 2:34PM Space Cobra said

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Yes and no.

There are certainly stories and characters that appeal to me when I read the background detail and I tend to gravitate to them first. Things like Thral''s story and even how the Taurens were presented in Warcraft 3 make me identify with them.

But at some point, I either try out the other side because I am curious about the, "how it is" and mechanics. Even if these sides/classes may seem distasteful to me at first, by then, I come up with my own personal story/vision that makes it more easy-going. Of course, chat and RP can vary from time to time and game to game.

So basically, I can shroud my own character story no matter which side I pick, ignoring bits of the mega-story and viewpoints/prejudices that may be presented, but I tend to initially play my first (and favorite) factions more often.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 2:34PM SnarlingWolf said

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"It was one of the first to create two groups in direct opposition"

Seriously? Do people who write articles not play more than 1 or 2 games in their lives or did they simply start playing games with WoW and haven't played anything else? WoW was far from one of the first to do this. WoW was far from being one of the first to do anything at all.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 3:00PM Mystal said

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@SnarlingWolf You forget to mention all of the examples of MMOs that pitted two sides against each other before World of Warcraft.

Go ahead and do that right now. The author of the article is stupid for even suggesting such a thing, so go ahead and prove him wrong. Name at least 3 MMOs that did it before WoW.

I've an MMO vet, and the only one that I can think of before WoW is Star Wars Galaxies. Everquest PvP servers were either 3 way or free for all. Age of Camelot was 3 way. Ultima Online and Asheron's call were free for all. City of Heroes didn't have PvP at all until they released City of Villains.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to your answers.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2011 3:12PM Mcsniper said

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I prefer Alliance on wow but have played horde a lot too. TBH I enjoy both sides.

However I must admit to getting annoyed with Blizzcon, most blizzard employees seem to be on the horde side, and this gives the impression that the horde are favored in the actual game itself.

Coupled with the video that they apologized for, Blizzcon seemed to be pro Horde more than ever.



Posted: Oct 29th 2011 4:00PM Seldra said

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@Mcsniper

It's not so much an impression as it is a fact. Blizzard employees have always been pro-Horde on their personal lives, but I'm thankful that it never translates to actual imbalancing in the game.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2011 6:40PM Mcsniper said

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@Seldra

Yeah I agree

It would not go down well if it carried into the balance of the game.



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Posted: Oct 29th 2011 3:58PM Seldra said

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I try not to get bogged down by playing favorites with factions. It's really all about where my friends are all playing and whatever race I think looks cool. But I'll be the first to admit I do tend to join the faction that's the most dominant, just because it'll be easier to find groups for stuff.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 4:19PM Jorev said

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I always try and roleplay my character.
In classic EQ we had good races and evil races and I made it a point not to hunt good race NPCs for experience even if they were easier to kill and dropped better loot.

Posted: Oct 29th 2011 6:39PM Corso said

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It can be cool for MMO's with a good population. I however have been playing DC Universe Online, and while it makes sense for superhero MMo's to have heros and villans, it splits the community in half.

I used to play FFXI and while there was an underlying tension between the different nations in the storyline, the idea was that we all put aside our differences against common enemies. Never have to worry about not being able to team up.

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