Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The battle for Gilneas vs. fun in the Dark Age of Camelot b.gs.

Remember when choosing a game to play was easy? I remember when I would play pac-man, or a game I was fond of as a youth: an isometric 3d combat RPG named Realms of Arkania.

Back in those days, I had to qualms grabbing a game and playing through it without making many choices at any conscious level, it was a visceral private experience and there didn't have to be any association with the dot chomping pacman. I felt no ties to him, nor did I wonder why he had to race around a maze chomping down the ghosts, that was just the way things were. Not so with a game like World of Warcraft. In wow, you have to choose a side, there's a raging conflict between the two factions in the game, the horde and alliance. I think if you read this blog fairly regularly, you know which side I tend to group with.

Recently, a friend presented me with a resurrection scroll for wow, and I started playing my neglected fire mage once again. However, the scroll allowed me a free upgrade to cataclysm, an expansion I never played before, so I had the chance to play the two races I had never played before, the goblins of kezan on the horde side, and the Worgen on Alliance. When I first heard about Cata back in 2010, (or was it 2009? I can't remember) I thought the horde got robbed. The Goblin are a joke race, they are mostly there for comic relief, who would not want to play a werewolf in a fantasy game? But why did the Alliance get the cool race? The more I tried to reconcile it, with being OK with the Goblin in the horde, the more I resented Blizzard for giving them to us. Then I heard about MOP and the stupid monk pandas, but that's a whole other story....

I learned to hate the Worgen as I mowed them down with my mage. I found it easy to hate them as they camped around Alliance zones and sprung out at the most inopportune times in instanced dungeons. Then something weird happened, I started to get the urge to roll Alliance, so that I could play one! I think it was after seeing the intro video with the Gilneans. The Gilneans were members of the Alliance once, until their wall cut them off from the horde, but now in the Cataclysm reality, they had to defend their land against the foresaken, while concurrently trying to deal with the Worgen curse. Suddenly they weren't the twits of the Alliance anymore, but they were a people resisting being conquered, and I always side with the underdogs. Like the Liliputians they have an irresistible allure Why does Garrash Hellscream want to take over Gilneas in the first place? Because it's a strategic foothold in the war against the Alliance? Because he is a power hungry bastard? Maybe both?

The Gilneans don't shout "For the Alliance" like those humans do in Stormwind, at least in the early part of their campaign, and at least they have a valid reason for joining, but still I shudder to play one and watch that horrid Alliance flag fly. I am horde, how can I turn against my own virtual faction? So I played DAoC instead and had a blast leveling up my berskerer in the Molvik b.g.s.

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