Story Only Being Shown to One Faction

Beware, this post contains spoilers from the story of the 9.2.5 PTR.

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.)


I don’t really agree with this, because it’s always been like this with races - this did not start out with the allied races and has been a staple every time there’s been a new race added. When the blood elves joined the Horde, the Alliance didn’t get any quests that told them that story - it just happened. When the goblins joined the Horde, there’s a big storyline about the Alliance taking Thrall prisoner, and we never see that as an Alliance player.

Factions have their unique stories, and that’s a good thing in my opinion. They’re going to see narratives from their own perspectives and experience things in their own corners of the world, and that gives the factions more of their own personal appeal. There are limits to this, of course. Some story beats should and need to be experienced by everyone in order for it to make sense. A lot of these stories work perfectly well entirely through subtext.

I don’t think the story where you’re helping Kiro help the Horde out with the Vulpera’s tricksy ways is that relevant to the grand narrative of the Alliance, and I don’t really think the Horde needs to be privy to all the details of how the Dark Irons officially became part of the Alliance. But I do think that if, say, Kel’thuzad shows up in the Shadowlands to become a major boss fight, and you only learn that he’s around if you do the Venthyr and Necrolord campaigns, that’s not great.

There should definitely be clarifications on the Scourge, that’s one of the few big bads we have left in the world and we should all be aware of what exactly is going on there.

But I have to disagree about Salandria. First off, the children’s week interaction is only a few lines of dialogue, and if that becomes required reading for Salandria’s story in Dragonflight, the entire script should be thrown out the window already. If Salandria is going to play a role and have her own story, that story is going to stand on its own legs. If she is indeed going to be Chromie’s killer, as is speculated, then I imagine we’re all going to get to know her a bit better, be they Horde or Alliance. I think it’s perfectly okay, and only natural, that the Horde gets to know her better than the Alliance.

Major story points should be available for everyone and the story needs to be coherent enough for everyone, but everyone does not need to see absolutely everything.


I don’t mind things like Vulpera joining. Because they weren’t a neutral race. Alliance don’t need an explanation of why a race they weren’t affiliated with joined the Horde, and vice versa.

But when it’s, as I used as an example, Nightborne, Highmountain, Lightforged, Mechagnome, where both factions aided them, and they were a neutral race, both sides should see how and why they joined one of the factions. Even if it’s just a passing “Stay a while and listen.”

As for old new races - those are different as the stories were advertised in trailers of the expansions. (For instance, we see the goblins stranded on an island and the horde helping them, or we see the night elves arriving to help the gilneans) So we had a brief idea of why they joined a faction. Yes, this isn’t in-game, but I tend to believe that official videos like that should be included in witnessing things. (and again, alliance dont encounter the bilgewater goblins and horde dont encounter the gilneans as neutral races, so it didn’t need to be explained to both sides)

Whereas Allied Races we only saw they were joining the faction in the pop up when you first logged in. But nothing past that. We didn’t get a single idea of why the NIghtborne joined the Horde, for instance.

As I said, if she is indeed important to the story, then Alliance need access to the questlines involving her. Dragonflight is not a faction-separate expansion, they’ve made that clear. So if only one faction gets info on an NPC that gets used, that’d be a problem.

It’d be like if T’paartos randomly showed up in Dragon Isles as a major player. Horde players would be “Who the hell is that?”

Faction specific storylines aren’t a problem in the overall game, and I didn’t mean to imply they were - they’re only a problem when those storylines are used as part of the overall storyline of the game. For example as I said, the fact we learn the Scourge are growing and rampaging in the Blood Elf quest. But instead of giving Alliance some dialogue to explain that as well, we just don’t learn it at all.

Examples of faction-specific storylines that are okay are things like Borean Tundra or Hellfire Peninsula - they have radically different stories, but they don’t affect the overall story of the expansion, they simply expand the faction’s story. The other side doesn’t need to see this.

But when it affects more than just that faction - such as a neutral race joining a faction, or important story like an update on the scourge - this stuff should be seen by everyone.