Polygon BFA Interview - The Future of the Alliance and Horde
interviewed Narrative Producer Steve Danuser and Lead Artist Ely Cannon on the Alliance and Horde in Battle for Azeroth, asking the important question--will there be a version of Azeroth without the Alliance and Horde?
Click here for the full interview on Polygon
A World Without Alliance and Horde?
Here is Steve Danuser's answer to
on a possible world without the concept of Alliance and Horde:
“Well, what I would say is that there is definitely room for what those factions represent to evolve and change and for their relationship to change,” said Danuser. “Those factions are so tied into player identity, when you see those banners, you know what they stand for — they’re personal to you as a player. You did things for that faction, you fought that enemy, you held the line for them, defended your capital. All those things. That wouldn’t be something we would take away lightly. That’s part of the Warcraft DNA. But shaping what those factions mean in the world and how they interact with one another? That’s something this expansion really allows us to focus on and resolve in a way that will be satisfying for players on both sides.”
We've often speculated, leading up to Battle for Azeroth, if the concept of factions would be reconsidered. Sylvanas, for example, hints at an ulterior motive for taking Teldrassil in
A Good War
. one that has nothing to do with helping the Horde. The pre-patch laid out the conflict some Horde players face, embodying that struggle in Saurfang--a character who defies Sylvanas at the Battle for Lordaeron, and chooses to remain captured in Stormwind instead of escaping to rejoin the Horde:
High Overlord Saurfang You think you are here to take me back to Orgrimmar. Back to the Warchief. You are mistaken.
High Overlord Saurfang I have stopped counting the days I have sat in this cell. But it matters not in the end.
High Overlord Saurfang After all she has done, I will never return to the Horde.
High Overlord Saurfang Make sure you know the difference between loyalty and honor.
High Overlord Saurfang And pray you never have to choose.
Blizzard's answer to
answer is interesting in the context of Blizzard's answer to
on the Horde storyline having strong parallels to Garrosh in Mists of Pandaria:
We can absolutely trick you. If you think that we're doing something that's blatantly obvious and repeating itself, just stay tuned because we're probably setting you up for a surprise.
Wouldn't shaking the factions up be a way to avoid Siege of Orgrimmar version 2.0? Sylvanas has an increasing amount of
parallels to Arthas
, which could spell interesting times ahead for the Horde if she keeps acting in shocking ways that go against the concept of honor...but keeps winning.
Elune had intervened. Perhaps she had even stayed Saurfang’s killing blow. And she wouldn’t be the only force beyond the Alliance to oppose Sylvanas’ true objective.
Sylvanas’s anger grew cold.
She had known this would happen. It had simply come sooner than expected. That was all.
What's Next for the Factions?
Much of the pre-patch discussion has focused on the split in Horde leadership values, represented in Sylvanas vs Saurfang.The Alliance point of view has felt a bit abandoned in all this, both in interviews and the in-game story, which omitted much of Tyrande's character development described in the collector's edition novella
. In the build-up to Battle for Azeroth, we saw the burning of Teldrassil framed as a narrative point in Sylvanas' cinematic, and then saw another cinematic dedicated to Saurfang's reaction--while there was nothing from the perspective of the Alliance.
In the Polygon interview however, we do get to hear a little bit of what's in store for the Alliance, not just the Horde:
“There has always been some question as to what the Horde stood for,” said Danuser. “And that has changed and evolved over time. Is it this disparate collection of outcasts that nobody will align themselves with? And that’s why they’re together, out of necessity? Or is it this group that’s driven by honor and courage? Players have been able to identify and pull out parts of the storyline that they favor and maybe turn a blind eye to some of the other things, but all of those things have been part of the Horde’s history.
While we’ve had conflicts like the Siege of Orgrimmar, none of those really resolved what the Horde is. Battle for Azeroth is absolutely an opportunity to look at both sides that have made up the Horde storylines throughout the years and pull them together.
“The Alliance is going to have to realign itself. Especially the Night Elves who lose their home. How are they going to react to this? There’s going to be a real self-examination of what the Alliance is about, and how they want to behave. Do they want to get revenge on the Horde, or do they want to build a better world? That’s a question they need to answer.”
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