With two-thirds of my World of Warcraft character rotation residing on Alliance, it figures that my Horde character — an Undead Warlock named Lilaca — feels like the odd corpse out. Every third night I abandon the Alliance zones and head over to Jurassic Theme Park, where I quest for a Horde that I don’t feel particularly connected to.
This has always been a problem with the Horde and I in WoW, dating all the way back to 2004. I’ve struggled to connect to this faction and find any sort of attraction or interest in it. There are plenty of reasons, including:
- Ugly and off-putting races and models
- The whole “barbarian” and “savage” angle that dominates
- Hunched over models
- In the case of the Undead, broken armor pieces
- Bland early zones (circa old Barrens)
I don’t abjectly hate the Horde, and I do understand how there’s a counter-cultural appeal to it. But apart from the Forsaken with their dark Tim Burton world, so little of it called to me. Oh, I’ve played a Hordie from time to time, most of them being either Undead or Tauren, but the spirit and ethos of the faction doesn’t speak to me.
In Battle for Azeroth, we kind of see this in how the initial cities and zones are designed. Both are gorgeous in their own way, don’t get me wrong. But the Alliance has this sharp-looking naval theme with cool characters and fantasy tech and a city that I’d want to actually visit. The Horde? It’s the Mexican pavilion at Epcot, complete with boat ride. Jungles, savages, dinos… it’s not terrible, but it doesn’t have me drooling for those play sessions the way the Alliance zones do.
That said, I’m glad I do get to romp around Horde zones every third night. The questing in particular has offered several bizarrely entertaining moments, such as raising up a little triceratops and helping two endangered dinos fall in love.
While I’m doing all of this, I’m trying to get a handle on the Warlock changes. At least Demo got a major overhaul with 8.0, and it was this build that I spent a lot of time trying out over the past month. I can definitely attest that it has improved significantly over the Legion-era Demo build, with better pets and a more clear rotation. But the rotation itself seems shaky and had me looking down too often to see what skills were off cooldown and what weren’t. Plus, there was a lot of long cast times for each fight, and that got old even with all of the pets running around.
So more recently I’ve switched back to Affliction and found a much better experience there. After trying out different talents, I think I’ve settled on a build that lets me insta-DoT to my heart’s content while Big Blue there tanks for me. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it is comfortable, familiar, and lets me progress through questing without struggling with the combat system. I like feeling nimble as a spellcaster, and I think that this build is the best I’ll be able to do here.