Against my better judgment, I rolled a blood elf paladin on the US Aggramar server. I named her Leyola. The very same Leyola that tosses HoT’s around as a Night Elf Druid on US Winterhoof. I even wrote a backstory for her, claiming alternate histories and whatnot. Apparently, the stats show that you don’t really care. But that’s beside the point. With Recruit-A-Friend, I quested the living bejeezus out of a single zone without having to move to another zone of equal level to get the necessary experience to move on.
The lore is remarkably good. The immersion is unreal. I even /spat on a gnome.
It’s Good to Be Bad
I apologize to all Horde enthusiasts, since the connotations involved with this section title imply that Horde are the antagonists to the Alliance. When you read the lore, that is hardly the case. Numerous books have been released that highlight the history of Azeroth from the perspective of the Orcs (why there aren’t any stories involving anything besides Humans and Orcs is another animal that I’d like to tackle in another post).
And the way they’re beautifully written, particularly Christie Golden’s Rise of the Horde, there is appeal to the human condition that they have. Even more appealing is the twist to the Epic Battle Between Absolute Good vs. Evil fantasy trope. Here we have a group of individuals that were originally in essence good, but were tainted by the countless evil that is the Burning Legion. The perspective of Durotan escaping from the grasp of looming evil is something of a joy to read.
But let’s stray away from the Orcs for a second. I rolled a Blood Elf, and while the lore explanations given to justify their inclusion in the Horde are shaky at best, their story in a vacuum is one that I can identify with, having similar reactions to the plight of the gnomes.
Here the Gnomes High Elves came to the Eastern Kingdoms to find and establish their own unique place to call home, complete with their own fascinating culture and customs. They build a fantastic city named Gnomeregan Silvermoon, filled to the brim with anything and everything mechanical magical.
But due to the extreme underground depth magical aura of the city, it attracts a massive threat known as the Troggs Scourge, who show up suddenly and slaughter everything and everyone in their sight. As valiant as their last stand is, those that choose to stay are either killed or turned into Lepper Gnomes Scourge themselves.
Am I to say that the blood elven story is a carbon copy from the gnomes? Hardly. There are huge differences between the two. For instance, the gnomes are still trying to recapture their homeland, and the blood elves have recovered the undestroyed half of their former city. One race is addicted to magic, the other is ridiculously eccentric. Nonetheless, what appeals to me about the blood elves is not the similarities, but the variation of those similarities resulting in two wholly unique races.
At the late thirties, I’m far removed from the starter zone quests, but I’m looking forward to progressing the storylines pressed on by other horde factions, particularly the forsaken.
Give me more reasons to go into Scarlet Monastery, and I’ll be more than happy to storm in to kick ass and take some names.
I Love AoE
In between questing and instancing, I am falling in love all over again with AoE-based grinding. I did it with Bashertin when he levelled up, and I’m doing so likewise on Leyola as a Protection-specced paladin. Paired up with a recruit-a-friend buddy to gain triple experience and contribute to AoE dps with his own paladin, we are absolutely unstoppable against large packs of mobs.
I want to link lassira’s AoE grinding guide here, as reading it in preparation for my own Paladin has inspired me to actually do a frost mage AoE grinding guide, but apparently it’s blocked off at work. So expect that link to come up when I get home, and expect a 3.2 grinding guide sometime in the future, hopefully before I leave for Japan.
Until then, see you on the other side of the internether!