1 & 2: Yes. What others won’t tell you is that the expansion’s story has driven a lot of peoples’ motivations into the ground. Orgrimmar’s prime hub for role-play is for mostly trolls now. No, not the hoodoo type, but toys, offensive profiles, active debates and OOC discussions in /say sprinkled in among the crowds, and well, a lot of other things I’m not bothering to mention. Don’t take that as a “you can’t find role-play there”. You definitely can. Most of it is good, and like with the nature of DnD, you never know what type of story you’re going to develop with the person next to you. A year from now you may look back and think geeze, that’s where we first started?
Unfortunately, it’s used for guild recruitment and bar role-play. Contrary to popular belief, I am not glued constantly to my guild, and I do not try to recruit my heart out; I like my organic role-play. Plenty of my guildmates do too. It’s almost nonexistent. That is to say, unless you enjoy bar role-play that has a lower quality than the Pig and Whistle, then it’s nonexistent, yes.
Quality is an intangible that cannot be accurately measured in a commonly set form, so it’s entirely up to the individual on what they want.
Touching on the first half, the problems that Horde-side WrA is suffering is not something that can just “be fixed”, and like Kass said in another thread, nobody is going around policing, screaming at others, or wanting to make a big movement of any sort. BfA has just left far more people sour than it has left people happy and encouraged. We’re currently facing down another rebellion plot-line that, on the surface looks nice, but once you digest it more it’s plain upsetting. Regardless of who you like IC/OOC, who is to say that whatever happens to Horde leadership at the end of this expansion, won’t be rebelled against in just a few expansion cycles?
This has left a lot of people, who still feel a big drive to role-play, with a wandering feeling. Not exactly hopelessness, but if I could dumb it down, the easiest way to explain Horde role-play is a soda flavor. “Diet Depression”, because that nasty, zero-calories, zero-sugar taste fits it aptly.
Otherwise, as one can gleam from the other threads, people have gotten far more vocal OOC than IC. This is both good and bad, as people are forgetting the fundamental IC =/= OOC rule.
At the beginning of Legion, I often shook my head at people who hurled stones about those who liked Sylvanas or stood by Blizzard’s side, yet in BfA, that’s sort’ve the go-to. People aren’t getting violent, but, just plain aggressive and mean. I’ve seen people just be called [I can’t say this word but it rhymes with Yahtzee], compared to “those who drank the Kool-Aid” and other plain unfair assumptions from people who are anti-Sylvanas. Progressively as in, over the months, it’s just becoming anti-Horde.
Burning Teldrassil was one shocking thing, but now people are going on crusades about controversy in writing as a whole in an almost scorched-earth pattern. The Dalaran Purge? Island of Thunder? The Wrathgate? Twilight Highlands? All scrutinized, forgetting that you can’t judge someone’s morality from works of fiction or even simpler: a video game. “Horde Bad” is thrown at you to the point of almost caving. It’s not fun. It’s hard to ignore it this time around, too. I don’t bother with discussing lore or debating the wind anymore. I get bitter merely thinking about it, so do a lot of people.
Am I getting off topic? Maybe. Others will have to decide, yet I firmly believe this is all relevant to your first two questions. This is genuine personal advice I’d give to anyone looking to come to Horde-side in it’s current state. You may not be buffeted with this immediately, but you will encounter everything I’ve said above if you don’t find yourself leaning towards Sylvanas or Saurfang as the forefront of your character.
On that note:
3: There is a lot of neutral hubs that are cropping up. A guild mate of mine recently informed me about some gatherings in Hearthglen that happen nightly. I haven’t poked my nose in there yet. Whatever is going on, it’s gaining traction. I see my friend’s list filled with people in the Western Plaguelands whenever I’m doing my “15$ a month” laps around Dazar’Alor’s harbor.
If you’re not neutral, and you don’t imagine yourself hanging in the Valley of Honor for long periods of time, then the community has you covered. The old veterans of this server are still doing their things. The various cartels, as well as Wonderporium constantly have something in the works, or are looking for people for their contracted adventures.
The many tauren tribes are never in short supply of adventure, either. I can’t speak for the vast majority of them, but I can say that Wolfmane are remaining firm. Their roots are deep and they don’t lean with or against the wind. Their story circles still routinely get 80+ attendees. (I have missed quite a few and was late this week. I imagine Blackwolf might kill me.) Others I would tip my hat to are the Whitehorn, Stronghorn, Featherspear, and Cloudsong.
4: I think they’re underrated and I wish there were more of you. I only get to see the herds of tauren (meese and cow versions both) in the wild and usually they run away when I approach.
Sorry if this post was long-winded. I hope I helped!