There's no reason a faction war expansion couldn't have been executed well

Have something between the factions that cannot be shared. Make it especially important to certain groups, ie to Forsaken to keep surviving as a race or to Night Elves to maintain Teldrassil’s blessing. Old grudges already exist and can be played off of. Both factions have sympathetic leaders and characters. At the end point, territory is lost and gained in exciting ways, ie Alliance gaining and healing Lordaeron, Horde gaining a full foothold in Kalimdor with all the resources they need - without necessarily pushing out NE. Losses for each faction should be significant but not comically evil like Taurajo on a larger scale. Unconditional surrender never needed to be in the cards beyond lip service.

That’s it. That’s all the foundation you need. Everything else is important but not entirely vital, for instance exploring the nature of each faction - the Horde’s relationship with honor despite its darker inclinations, the Alliance’s relationship with justice and its tolerance of the Horde’s evils under a gentler ruler.

A faction war expansion could be good. I was excited when I first heard about it. But it wasn’t about a faction war. It was about Sylvanas’ heinous, unspoken machinations and how she must be stopped, but one half of her opposition was ineffective and toothless while the other half sat twiddling their thumbs being directed at a far lesser evil that had no intention of wiping them out. Until patch 8.2.5 over a year later. And now a true faction war expansion will never happen.

I just peeked and my sub runs out in 42 minutes so I felt I just had to get this off my chest. :stuck_out_tongue:


You know, a better solution is to gouge the human population in WoW so that the Alliance races unite to aid the humans for once. Rather than having humans oversaturate the story for the Alliance.

I think if Stormwind burned and we all returned to the vastly superior Ironforge. Everything would be wonderful.


If you want. It’s absolutely not vital to a basic faction war story.

Having it be a goal the Night Elves strive for rather than just aggression that they’re biting back would probably be better than what we actually got, anyway.

This idea should never be entertained, or even conceived in anyone’s mind again. I don’t know what “healing” lordaeron even means, but it sounds disgusting.

The rest of the post, I agree with. I think everyone knows that they could write a good faction war expansion, but that there is no will to do so.

There are a million and one ways they could have made the story better. Even if they simply put the burning of Teldrassil later on in the expansion, it would have been way better than starting the expansion out that way.

Right now, I don’t even consider BFA to be a faction war expansion. It’s more like a really, really, really, really, long pre-event for Shadowlands.


Deus Vult stans get out. Go play WC2 again or something. Lorderon belongs to its rightful inhabitants, the Forsaken.

That’s a funny joke you have there. Almost as funny as Calia being a part of the Forsaken. There’s also nothing exciting about strip-mining.

I’m sold. IF is factually the best Alliance city


It’d be interesting to see what they do with it. shrug

No, but actually having enough resources and presence to become, for the first time in their existence, stable on what is now their home planet, would be pretty hype.

Alliance gets to whack the Horde where it hurts while the Horde gets to win a safe place in the world to belong. Night Elves could permanently ward off their own significant section of northern Kalimdor with wild god shenanigans and no longer have to worry about going extinct. With or without Teldrassil.

But that’s all ancillary. What’s important is the foundation, and the foundation was never made. Like Strages said, this wasn’t really a faction war expansion. Old gods aside, it was an Alliance vs Sylvanas expansion until eventually it became an Everyone vs Sylvanas expansion. Except Sylvanas got everything she wanted and left without us even knowing what she was up to in the first place.

I don’t think anyone wanted any of that. The Alliance should have been allowed to focus on the Horde at large rather than remove Sylvanas and wipe their hands of it and the Horde should have been given an actual, substantial motivation to focus on the Alliance rather than Sylvanas.

Also I don’t know how I’m still posting, my sub has expired. :smiley:

Its kind of obvious what they’d do with it. The MHP mindset isn’t very original.

So they can make more war weapons like they’ve always done when they’ve have more wood than they can eat? We’ve already seen what they did with the parts of Ashenvale that they’ve conquered.

The forum code is just as poorly thought out as BfA. Enjoy it until a janitor gets annoyed

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A faction war can’t be executed well because people can’t view characters objectively when they’re ‘against’ you. It poisons the writing and prevents any of those characters from actually gaining ground because the moment one of them has an antagonistic air towards the other faction, the people who identify with that faction dislike them. It doesn’t matter how well written, how justified, or how storied in the franchise they are, and this goes for players on both ‘sides’, Red and Blue.

Even if they’d managed to execute it over the course of, say, two expansions as I believe their original plan was, guess what? They did that already, same issue. Moreover, the writers themselves carry bias, some for a faction and others for specific characters, and this makes for poor story beats and thus more infighting.

A faction war doesn’t even make sense and and it didn’t in BfA. The Horde’s resource problem was solved at the end of MoP, and even if it wasn’t, it sure as hell is solved now given the allied races. There’s nothing to be fought over, beyond that, Azerite barely made sense as a coveted resource, it made a bigger boom and that was pretty much it, we literally forgot about it as an issue halfway through the expansion, and for good reason.

At this point in time, the only way to have a faction war and make it even marginally believable, would be to have a timeskip where most major lore characters are dead, their great grandkids are the ones in charge, and some major catastrophe makes resources an issue again. And even then, it would still be contrived.


Azerite could have been that thing. I really thought it was going to be that thing.


You’re getting into the weeds a bit, Anyaceltica, and perhaps forgetting that the Horde isn’t real, for instance. For a writer, it’s very easy to get them to stop immediately using resources for a war machine: You…have them stop immediatley using resources for a war machine. After MoP that should have been the obvious step.

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The faction war should have been history after MoP, but here we are with MoP 2.0.

The simple fact is that the faction war cannot be good in a game where status quo is God, and the writers aren’t good enough to write a conflict that doesn’t bother everyone. The best case is to just pretend BfA never happened.


A faction war had the potential to be meaningful. The Alliance perceived the Horde’s retreat as betrayal, the Horde got randomly attacked at Stormheim with the intent to kill the Warchief.

Saurfang even used this in one of his reasons as to why he would wage the war.

But, uh, they didn’t.

Yippie skippie, let’s start the war off with abominable war crimes and many re-hashed, exhausting civil war arcs.

BFA was, on every front, bad.

Unabashedly, without defense, bad.

And anyone that makes the claim that BFA isn’t MOP 2.0 is full of it.

Shy away from this sort of storytelling in the future, Blizzard, and I mean this not to be rude, but as a genuine critic in that I want you to do well with your future projects. Continue on the adventure focus. With what we have on the table right now, WoW cannot do an appropriate war narrative as a primary theme.


A faction war IS possible. We had ourselves a lovely faction Cold War back in vanilla. It is possible, you just have to take care to treat both factions as being justified in their fight, keep the exact reason why the two are fighting as vague as possible, and NOT have it be the main focal point of the narrative.


It won’t work well cause you have to return to the status quo.

That makes the entire faction war a shaggy dog story from the beginning and everyone knows it.


Hey don’t drag me in to this. :upside_down_face:

Yes it can. Other games can do it as well, like Star Wars the Old Republic. There isn’t any reason why Blizzard should be worse. Well… sure their writers.

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Blizzard has never written a good faction war and so I have no reason to believe that they can.

As others have said, the game world cannot change. Status quo is god. With that limitation plus trying to keep things tit-for-tat because they don’t want to piss off one side and lose subscribers, it simply cannot be done.


That sounds pretty awful. Knew day one when they showed the “Blue Eastern Kingdoms” and “Red Kalimdor” thing it would be utterly bad, especially considering that entire thing inherently screws both the Forsaken and Night Elves.


I don’t. The problem of an MMO is that there
has to be a conclusion to the expansion and its center theme (on this case, daction war) and by the nature of a faction war a true conclusion would be that one side gets a clear win, possibly even knocks the other out of the game entirely.

Of course we can’t have that. Killing off one faction entirely would kill the game from the backlash. And having one side get a clear on the other would demoralize the loser. Doing a faction war is basically impossible in my opinion because of the nature of an MMO.


It’s a restriction to be sure, but one that could be dealt with pretty well. While MoP’s war campaign never appealed to me aside from Darkspear doing something, I do think it was a pretty alright compromise for the time.That’s just an example we played out in-game, but I understand not everyone likes it.

Defeat doesn’t have to mean mass-execution of a faction or race, it can simply just mean that: A defeat. The overall point of course would have to still shift away from the War-narrative somehow, it’s just in how said function is done and how well it’s written, as everything.

The key to any of the expansions however is ultimately solving an issue in the new area; Wrath was Solving the undead and Arthas in Northrend, WoD was solving alternate Draenor of the Orcs and Garry. Solving the issue in BfA would mean just that; doing what had been done to those older enemies that needed solving.

Defeat doesn’t have to mean execution, true, but in the spirit of an MMO it has to be a defeat that makes the winners feel like winners and the losers not feel like total losers. When its us against NPC armies, theres no issue (largely); the NPC army won’t just mass unsub. We would.