Nov 17th 2011 2:16PM To address the point that people think Cataclysm didn't have enough Alliance lore, I think they've been alternating with each release. There's no official evidence of that that I'm aware of, but consider:
1. In vanilla, Allies had all these epic quest lines. Horde mostly just collected 6 of this and killed 10 of that. Allies had a very personal reason to fight Onyxia, Horde just wanted some loot. And the final raid boss was Kel'thuzad, a traitor to the Alliance, though most people didn't really get to fight him. Pretty Alliance-centric.
2. BC swung back the other way a little, with a big redemption arc for the Blood Elves and the orcs meeting the Mag'har (And, unfortunately, Garrosh). Kael'thas and Illidan still meant more to the Alliance, and there was an arc for the draenai (But it felt a little undercooked to me), but the Horde got some spotlight.
3. Wrath is a very Alliance expansion. With the exception of Sylvanas' grudge against Arthas and the Horde meeting the taunka, all the major plot twists and motivators are more Alliance-centric, even the Wrathgate. The gnomes, dwarves and humans all learn more about their origins. The Alliance has much more interesting storlines in Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills. The neutral leader guiding both sides is a human paladin. The villain is a traitor to the Alliance. It's the Alliance's show.
4. Cataclysm gives you an orc for your neutral leader (Although Malfurion is pretty important, too), but I'd say it's the most balanced one to date, myself. There's a whole lot of night elf lore for the Alliance, while the Horde is learning how to live under Garrosh. I think the Horde has a stronger storyline, but not necessarily a more important role.
If anything, I'd say it's simply the Alliance's turn in MoP. But, again, that's just my observations, nothing official or anything.
Jul 21st 2011 3:37PM The thing about Knaak is his books all run around in a circle until they end lately. "Night of the Dragon" was almost the most disappointing book they've published (Still not quite edging out the pointless and crazy-short "Cycle of Hatred"). Some people go into Grim Batol, then come out. Other people go into Grim Batol, then come out. The groups mingle and go into and out of Grim Batol. Some one else shows up and goes into Grim Batol and then comes out. It's the same action over and over until everyone goes home. "Stormrage" wasn't as ridiculous, but it got close. "We have to go into the Dream! We have to get out of the Dream! We have to get back into the Dream! We got knocked out of The Dream!" etc. Sheesh. At least in Golden's books, things actually happen. Knaak's books feel like a few plot points from Blizzard and hundreds of pages of filler from Knaak. I'm really hoping he gets right for "Wolfheart." Varian needs to be made more sympathetic, especially after his behavior in "The Shattering." "I hate problems, I'm just gonna kill dwarves 'til they go away!" "Dad, you can't do that." "I guess you're right..."
One of my favorite things about this book was watching Thrall experience things the players have already seen firsthand. His reactions to the flooding of Thousand Needles, to Coldarra, to the Caverns of Time, it was fun. Even in "The Shattering," he was mostly just standing around being told what to do or arguing with people. Here he finally gets to go on another adventure. It was cool to finally see him out in the world doing things instead of sitting on a chair or staring into a hole.
Also, I never liked Kalecgos. All I knew him for was abandoning his betrothed to chase around a human girl and later being all whiny in "Night of the Dragon." But Golden made me change my mind in this. He's presented as a much more complex and noble character here.
Sep 29th 2010 5:10PM The thing is, Matthew, you always present it as if the fact the orcs were duped into these terrible acts doesn't matter. They did it and they're awful and that's that. The fact that they were duped by Kil'jaeden isn't a mitigating factor. The fact that their home planet was a dying husk when they came to Azeroth and it was either carve out a life there or die isn't sometime to consider. Did they handle those situations the best possible way? Almost certainly not. Did they just wake up one day and decide to create those situations without any external forces at work? Nope.
To put it another way: after you, as a player, did the quest chain that restored Teron Gorefiend to life, or any number of similar quests where Blizzard dupes the player into doing something terrible, like helping Drakuru, is your character now a villain, the end, or is there more to what happened? If your articles that mention orcs are any indication, I have to assume you'd pick the former, and I think that's unfair. That's the difference in presentation I'm getting at. I'd never argue the orcs are blameless. But their crimes are more complex than "They walked in and killed everybody and high fived."
Sep 29th 2010 4:37PM Varian could have maintained the peace between Horde & Alliance. He could have been a diplomat, or at least a reasonable person, for the greater good of his own people and his allies, in the face of a common enemy. He didn't. Without even consulting the other 4 faction leaders whose people would be faced with the consequences, he intentionally chose to reignite the war. All blood on either side in that conflict post-Wrathgate is on his hands. Muradin should've whupped him like he stole something once the threat of the Lich King ended. Magni is the only Alliance leader who's stood strong during the last 6 years; He should have taken the reins. (Tho' maybe that wouldn't have worked out so well eventually, ahem, ahem)
Of course, unlike some people, I can see that having bloodthirsty maniacs like Varian and Garrosh in charge is necessary to put the "war" back in "Warcraft," so I can deal with all this. But if you're going to be so worked up, you're going to have to deal with the facts that don't support your chosen narrative.
Sep 29th 2010 3:52PM Reading any article that mentions orcs by Matthew Rossi is like watching FOX News.
Aug 5th 2010 3:32PM @Rossi
You actually just said Thrall "chooses to ignore" something he allegedly wrote down in the history himself... You're killing me with this stuff.
Hey, you know who else had slaves? George Washington. But I guess remembering the good qualities in a leader while acknowledging their faults is just too much to ask. Well, when they're orcs, at least. Your precious Varian has plenty of blood on his hands, speaking of "choosing to ignore" things. Your anti-Horde bias is without a doubt the most frustrating thing about this site. It's called Wow.com, not Alliance.com. If you can't manage at least the pretense of objectivity, you should probably abstain from writing altogether.
Oct 6th 2009 4:32PM Saurfang is there to avenge his son. Varian has known Arthas since they were kids and of course loved Bolvar like a brother. Muradin was left for dead by Arthas years ago. They all have a reason to get into this personally. Thrall's only reason to go is because people want him to go (including me, for the record). I can see why he's not involved, but it does seem odd that the Allies go in with 2 heroes and the Horde only 1... even if it is the most heroice hero of all. :)
Oct 6th 2009 4:23PM The Warcraft 2 death knights (like Teron Gorefiend) were orc souls in dead human bodies. The Lich King has Saurfang's spirit, Bolvar's corpse, and Ner'zhul's memories. And there you have it.
Sep 21st 2009 5:05PM @bob
But an MMO doesn't really allow for big dramatic moments unless it's in a cinematic like the Wrathgate. The last dramatic moment for Varian or Garrosh was in the trailer for patch 3.1, of all places. I don't think name recognition is the only reason all expansion villains have been from previous games. Developing a new villain into a true threat in the confines of WoW would be almost impossible. I think it's fine that they give you the bare bones of the story in the game and flesh it out elsewhere.
Sep 21st 2009 4:31PM Garrosh did not win the duel with Thrall. If the in-game results were too murky for you, read the WoW comic from DC, which recently showed the duel, including Thrall zapping Garrosh away like the nuisance he is when the Scourge attacked.
You say he's "out there doing things," but so far all he's done is lose Garrosh's Landing, appoint a bunch of maniacs to run various Horde camps (people so bad Saurfang has you secretly following more intelligent orders on the side) and tried to kill Varian in the middle of an important meeting. Not a very good track record.