I… didn’t know how to phrase the title, or how to post it. But with 9.2.5’s release closing in on us, I’ve been patiently waiting to see if the inequality is addressed, but it doesn’t seem like it will be.
So, similar to the Unreliable Narrator Thread (where I also touched on Split Narratives a touch in my reply), I feel the bigger split narrative picture warrants its own thread.
Before Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard was relatively good at making sure both factions received a similar amount of story, and received story that would be important to know. Either in a book or through the quests in game. (And as I’m sure is common knowledge, people don’t like important stuff being exclusive to books).
However, starting with BFA, specifically the final Legion pre-patch where they added Allied Races - suddenly factions were getting exclusive story. The Nightborne and Highmountain, who both factions helped, joined the Horde. But if you only play Alliance - you have no idea why. Likewise, the Lightforged, who both factions helped, joined the Alliance. As Horde, you don’t know why. Then Void Elves randomly exist and Horde never get an explanation.
This became exacerbated in BFA with more Allied Races. But it unfortunately didn’t stop with Allied Races.
Alliance were given zero backstory on the Vulpera. There were quests in Vol’dun that easily could have been made neutral to introduce the Alliance to the Vulpera, but they didn’t. (Like the one releasing Vulpera from Ashvane’s cages)
Alliance got zero story for Uldir. Like, literally zero. We never found out why we were there or how we knew about it.
Alliance helped the Sethrak, but… we didn’t get to finish the questline. So we just… stopped randomly halfway through the line.
Horde do not see the fact the Horde bombed an innocent neutral farming town in Stormsong, then slaughtered civilians.
Horde do not see any context for what’s going on in Drustvar at all, even though they do Waycrest Manor as well - I had to explain Drustvar for a lot of my Horde friends as the NPCs would say things but they had no idea what they meant.
The Horde don’t know Lady Ashvane is an enemy of the Alliance. They know there’s pirates who are, but not Ashvane - then she randomly shows up later and the Horde have to rescue her from prison, with no context.
None of this had any way to view as the opposite faction. In an expansion that was billed as the Faction Pride expansion, to try to make people choose a side, at that. To this day, I still have friends who know nothing about the Alliance side of BFA.
Luckily, in Shadowlands, this was changed and the story was not faction specific anymore.
However, the reason I made this thread - 9.2.5.
For those who aren’t keeping track, there’s 2 new heritage questlines on the PTR, one for Dark Iron Dwarves and one for Blood Elves:
This is the Dark Iron questline. It takes 3 minutes. You talk to 2 npcs, gather some stuff around the town, then voila, get the reward. No story whatsoever other than “This hound needs armor, go get me my stuff.”
Then, we get to Blood Elf:
Not only does this show how Azeroth has fared during our time in the Shadowlands (the scourge are running rampant), it shows other things, like the San’layn are back and thriving. This storyline goes into Bastion and Maldraxxus, exploring a little bit of Liadrin’s backstory.
That’s not all, it’s not just faction exclusive, but also class. Blood Elf paladins get unique transmog for doing this. I assume the quest is like other heritage quests and can only be done once - meaning if you don’t do it on a paladin originally, you miss out on them. (NOTE: I do not know 100% if the reward is only for Paladins, I just know wowhead lists Paladins as having a different end quest and reward, so I’m assuming.)
But, that’s not all either. There’s speculation from wowhead that the storyline hints to a major part of Dragonflight -
The Blood Elf Orphan from Children’s Week returns as an adult in this questline. This is the child that the Bronze Wardens try to kill when you bring her, because of something she’ll do in the future - she’s been speculated as the one that kills Chromie since the Chromie Scenario was added, due to the fact we recognize the killers handwriting (and she sends us a letter).
And yet, if you play Alliance? You won’t see a single part of this. We won’t learn that the Scourge are running rampant on Azeroth and they’re pushing through barriers. We won’t know the San’layn are back. We don’t know anything about Salandria.
As for Salandria - if she is indeed a story point in dragonflight, the blood elf heritage questline needs to be visible to Alliance in some regard. Even if it’s just letting us talk to an NPC in Telogrus Rift, where they recount what happened in the questline.
And if she isn’t important, at the least, why not do something like add a “Stay a While and Listen” to Moira when you talk to her, where they can use her to explain what’s been going on in azeroth for the Alliance? Or Turalyon, or someone?
I just ask that when making story like this, please keep in mind not everyone plays both factions - so if there’s important story, it needs to be visible to both in some regard. It was a big issue in BFA, and I’m sad to see it popping back up.
(On a lesser note, important story like this should be visible by everyone, not just a single race. Tying it to the Blood Elf Only quest seems like a very odd decision.)