The real problem is that you can't enforce lore without alienating the people with whom you play.
I play a Grimtotem tauren, and so my bloodthirst for the death of the elves and my desire to take back all of Kalimdor for the tauren is real and valid, I'd hope. But those who play bloodthirsty Tauren are just as entitled to their playstyle as you are to yours, Rowne--for the most part, the Tauren in my (evil) guild are playing characters with lore as their background who all have reasons to be bloodthirsty, just like the orc warlocks and warriors and trolls and etc. who want to kill all the Alliance. (There are certainly those who are not following the lore, and while I think that's not so great, eh, who am I to say so.) The problem with saying that one of the races is one way or the other is that they're just like all people: every race has its bad folks and its good folks, and those who walk the line. My character wouldn't WANT the war to be over, because he wants all of the pink-skins and long-ears dead.
I'd probably stop playing if there were committees to enforce lore on this game's RP servers. My creativity flourishes when I have the constraints of the lore imposed on me, I think and hope, but others' creativity gets stifled, and I'd hate to see that.
Very true, Rowne. Actually, many times when I'm RP'ing intensely and am talking in public to other player about WoW politics, I, being an human priest, keep the Alliance preconception against Orcs and Forsaken, act neutral toward the Trolls mentioning the Zandalar ones as an example of good ones, so there must be others, and say that I don't understand why the Tauren are in the Horde since them, being good people, should "obviously" be with in the Alliance. :)
On the other hand, I've seen things that are horrendously absurd in game lore terms. The other day, for example, I've seen a lvl 60 Tauren druid trying to kill the supreme leader of the Cenarion Circle (sorry, I don't remember his name) in Darnassus! I tought: "OMGWTF!1!??/", and just stayed there watching...
Now, an off-topic reply to this comment of yours:
It reminds me of the 60's in comic books when "evil" was Russian or Poor and "good" was Capitalist or Rich.
Note: below I talk a little about politics and related themes. So, to those who don't like this subject I suggest you please ignore it and jump to the next post. Also, I don't intend to write about this subject again in this forum, for I know it IS off topic. If anyone wanna talk about it in pvt feel free to send me an e-mail: alexgieg ~AT~ gmail ~DOT~ com.
The situation wasn't exactly as you describe. One of the big villains of the all time was and still is Lex Luthor, whose villany comes entirely from his money, while one of the most famous heroes was and still is the Green Archer, a very radical anti-capitalist. On the other hand, today's climate in American comics if far from equilibrated: I purchase lots of it and found it very difficult to find any story where big corporations, republicans, conservatives, christians, pro-life, Bush and the like, with few exceptions, aren't compared to or actually taken as villains, while NGOs, democrats, liberals, atheists, pro-choice, the UN etc. are seen as the good and heroic guys. Typical examples are Marvel's "Supreme Power" and "The Ultimates", and DC's "Lex Luthor President". In other words, today's manichaeism is as strong as in the past, with the only difference being that now it works in the opposite direction.
Regarding Russia in the 60's, there were pretty solid reasons for it to be seen as a great villain at the time, even more than common politics. They were all exposed in the soviet premier Krushev's report about Stalin's era, made known to the world around the end of the 50's. It showed in practice, and above any doubt, what each and every student of ancient philosophy already took for granted: that an ideological system that says that the world will become a better place when this or that group of people is destroyed (no matter what each individual of that group say or do) cannot become anything other than genocydal when obtaining real power.
An example that everyone knows are the nazis. They preached that by eliminating the Jews the world would become a paradise, so, once with absolute power they did just that, taking that belief to their logical consequences. Another example well known is the French Revolution, to whom the world would become an excelent place when each and every noble were dead, what took definitive form in Robespierre's Terror. And a third example, very similar to both but which many people still try not to acknowledge, is socialism. Socialists also preached (and still preach) that when the rich are eliminated the world would/will become a better place, so, once with absolute power they did just that, resulting in Stalin's 20 million civilian murders, Mao's 60 million, Pol Pot's 2 million, Hussein's 300 thousand, Castros' 20 thousand, and so on.
Capitalism and capitalists, on the other hand, don't usually believe that a group should be genocided for the world to become a better place, so no capitalist regime, even the most dictatorial ones (who are evil, no doubt about that) has ever reached the same level of evil created by those. Capitalists can be a very egotist group, but this egotism takes a personal shape that gets satiated once a limited, concrete goal is reached. Such limits don't exist nor take any role among those who believe that History is theirs to rework and reshape no matter what, for they believe that anything they do, here and now, is justified by the glorious future they envision, and for which they most of the time work selflessly.
BTW, it's interesting to see how WoW's lore reflect all these things. Altough the Horde and the Alliance fight, both fight for concrete and usually egotistic things: more natural resources for their people (Orcs), their ancestor's land (Night Elves), their lives (almost everyone). As a result, their wars are never all encompassing, "take no survivors" ones. On the other hand, the Burning Legion's objectives are purely ideological ones: the world is an error, life is an error, true peace and true good will only exist when all that's wrong is erradicated, so let's fight ceaselessly to bring our universal utopy to fruition. There's no possible doubt about who are the villains and who're the heroes, even when the heroes sometime also fight among themselves.
Perhaps it was a little overzealous of me to say that, I can get a little eager sometimes but that's only because of the absolute idiocy I see on servers. Thanks to the joys of gestalts, I both understand where you're coming from ATC and at the same time, I disagree. Allow me to explain that.
I agree that you should be allowed to play the character that you desire to play, yet I disagree that you should bear any allegiance to the Taurens of Thunder Bluff. In fact, it would be reasonable for you to disavow any Brotherhood with them and live in Thou Nee. That's how I'd see it from a lore standpoint. To say that one should be a Grimtotem who's a warmonger and that Cairne would happily accept this is ... a little ludicrous.
Especially since the Grimtotem have an uneasy alliance with the Centaurs (it would seem) and the Centaurs are the most hated enemy of the Taurens (far more so than the Alliance).
On the other hand, I agree you should be able to forge your own lore and destiny. So wouldn't the correct solution be to offer both sides of the fence? After all, they're putting new servers up every day and it'd be nice if just one server would be a true RP server where lore would be enforced and anyone breaking with lore would be punished for it. Action and reaction and all that, if you commit a crime andsoforth, much as I've said everywhere else. I'm all for anarchy but I don't like it when people can freely play some kind of diety, who's apparently better than everyone else. I hate that mindset. Anarchy and equality through action and reaction, is a good thing.
Action without reaction? The Universe collapses into one big mess.
All I'm saying is that I'd like to see one server where, if a Tauren were to commit war crimes and crimes against the nature of their own people, they could be held accountable for it. At least on one server. I don't think that's so unreasonable and I'd love to see it. In fact, this is one of the problems I have with games today. They're so damned lawless and in an environment where there're supposed to be laws, this in my mind just doesn't work. I'm all for people being anarchist and batshit crazy but I believe they should have to pay for their crime in equation to the type of crime it was.
I guess I'm too absorbed in honour and justice.
Anyway, I don't see why they couldn't put up a server where people could be judged as War criminals. I'd have such a lauugh if I saw someone with lots of dishonour points getting chased out of Thunder Bluff (as a Tauren) by the Bluff Watchers and not permitted in. I think it'd be nifty if the dishonour system actually affected reputation and could put you at war with your own faction. Then I think it would be even niftier if on just one server, there was a committee (as I'd said) which would dole out dishonour points to anyone deserving of them.
Just once I'd like to see the kind of idiot that alex pointed out get his ass kicked severely by Cairne. It would be very satisfying.
Okay alex, point taken. Though my point wasn't meant to be as strong as that, I merely wished to point out that they were ... how can I say it? It was iconic. I know it exists today too but it was far more iconic in the past. Just to sidetrack a little further, I wholly adore Freedom Force because it merrily takes the piss out of the whole affair. I collect comics and I have a lot from the Golden Age and they were very blunt and heavy-handed about how they dealt with different affairs, lacking some of the subtlety of today's media and this was entirely my point.
My point was that although there were exceptions to the rule and even though they might've felt that at the time, it was justified, there was still a lot of typecasting of peoples and beliefs in comics and that was iconized to a great degree.
My point was that I feel this is carrying over to Warcraft to a degree and I've noticed that even the general media will often consider the Alliance as "good" and the Horde as "evil" due to that iconization. I've read your post and I agree with what you've said in the final paragraph. Hell, I agree with everything you've said but what I speak of is the public perception and how it tends to lean to this ideal.
For example, I recently read an article on the Blood Elves and how, simply because they're a part of the Horde, they must have machiavellian machinations (I love saying that) in place and that their home is "somehow elegant yet carrying a dark and ominous essence to it." and yes, that was a quoting, it might've been paraphrased a bit but it was near enough. So we have this kind of typecasting. Now it might not be implied at all that one is evil and one is good but because there are two sides, it is usually implied by the communality and their psyche that one must be evil and one must be good.
Hell, I even see this is City of Villains. Sure, they're anarchists and they have some level of criminal intent but I'll be damned if that makes them "evil" ... but I'm straying here.
I just wanted to stress my point, not that I disagree with you in any way, shape or form but with two sides presented and typecasted, it can mean that people will perceive them as good and evil. Now the average person, not so open to something ugly being good (this is a growing phenomenon I find, in the past we had literature and even television that taught us that things that were somewhat ugly could be good people but today, in the media I find an ever growing representation of very beautiful and very primped people being presented as heroes, whilst anything that's unseemly, old, ugly or whatever is, opposedly, the villain) and they opt for their more common grounds, their more beautiful to be their good.
This means that we have a good versus evil rift where there isn't supposed to be one because neither side is really evil.
So I'll wrap it up with that, I didn't mean to come over the wrong way with that, I was talking more about iconization and the public perception rather than the actuality of the affair, if you get my meaning.
Playing on a roleplaying (PVP-RP) server just adds one more dimension to my playing experience. One thing I love about the new pvp-rp servertype is that Roleplaying can be enchanced a LOT when you can actually be attacked by the other faction.
Being able to make the decision to attack or not AND be the subject of such an decision from other players is way more exitng than being safe all the time if one wants to be. The pvp aspect brings morality and the character's values to play frequently. When you are in a group and you spot a lone pinkskin exploring, what do you do? Is your character honourable or bloodthirsty? These decisions make for exellent party interaction and roleplay. And of course it's much more exiting to help and cooperate with the opposite faction when you both have the option to attack at any moment: you get to see real (sometimes even moral) choises by the opposite faction.
I play a Grimtotem Tauren druidess too, tough her tribe does'nt appreciate her too much anymore. The grimtotem in the stonetalon mountains attack her on sight, but that's her original home. Vesta is not a warmongerer, but she belongs to a merc group wich has many warloving Tauren who have not gotten used to the peaceful life in mulgore after the the great wars. Many tauren found they did not fit into the peaceful life on the plains after years of soldier lifestyle. Nontheless, I never attack the alliance first, it's much more fun to see their reaction and do some interaction.
But I have to say, I've found an amazing server, where world pvp is alive, people are exited and active and proud of their server! Both the alliance and the horde view the server the best server in europe when it comes to RP and world pvp. Lots of guilds with funny, weird or more serious roleplaying base (: The mistrunner tirbe is a peaceful tauren guild. The Starseeker sentinels are night elves who patrol ashenvale regulary to keep out intruders Then there's the second gurubashi empire: trolls who claim stranglehorn to themselves and have hosted huge gatherings of guilds in the Grurubashi arena. And not to be forgotten are the dimday tribe of xenophobic "red neck" trolls who have their own language. etc: too many to mention. The Burning Dawn horde warmachine and the Alliance Watch made to counter it are an whole story to themselves ) A shameless ad for our server: Defias brotherhood.
Regarding WC lore and stereotypical views of the factions and on good and evil, we get to make up our own lore to some extent when we make our characters.
Some characters can be wildly different from the canonical WOW lore, others make their characters according to the lore. Wich is better? The RP- elitists who whine about non-realistic character desing ruining their immersion have a way too narrow view of rp.
Wow is non-realistic in itself, plenty of plagiatrism, real life references and oc humour in the world itslef. That's one thing I like about the world.
Roleplaying imo is about creativity and interaction, not ?ber immersion. Plus having something more to talk about than epix or how you owned somebody.