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So, I’ve been visiting the general forums and have been quite alarmed at what I have been seeing. The Alliance are saying we have been attempting to take over everywhere, those treacherous, tongue twisting trollops are trying to have me believe that we .. the Horde .. are the bad guys, I mean this, so many feel that the Horde is evil and that we are in the wrong,really! To such a peaceful Tauren as myself this was indeed upsetting, I mean as far as I knew things were going along swimmingly, but apparently not.

But I have been to see the office of public information in Orgrimmar and have had much confusion cleared up. Low and behold, I am told of the true goings on and now I am here to debunk a lot of the propaganda that the Alliance is feeding to us. They would have us believe they are struggling for their very survival against uncountable legions intent on their very obliteration when the truth is as far from this as it could possibly be.

OK I will bow to the fact that we did invade Gilneas, a country who so loved the Alliance that they told the alliance to piss off and not bother them .. EVER AGAIN, a nation who let its own seedy disease spread north of their so called wall and allow the infection to spread amongst the peaceful people of the Forsaken. What other choice did we have but to invade Gilneas and attempt to stamp out the Worgen Disease.

I mean if the Forsaken were really bad we would be invading other nations territory, Dalaran boundaries remain secure despite border skirmishes, Alterac is still too far out of the way for us to bother with and the ogres seem comfortable, Aerie peak is beyond our consideration. So far we only claim Lorderon, and if that means we need to crush rebels in out of the way holdings like Southshore then so be it, or if we need to force the invading armies of Stormwind out of strongholds such as Andorhal .. so be it, I make no apologies for defending sovereign territory!

Furthermore we will do everything to uphold dead right, just because you no longer breathe doesn’t mean you have no rights to your property. In fact being dead has its advantages .. you won’t need to tax the living for supplies as much for one! As such we support the Forsaken moves to ensure that the rightful prince of Stromgarde is placed in control of Arathi over the obnoxious upstart Danath.

If the Forsaken were not such a friendly bunch they would never have helped our Blood Elf Brethren re-pacify the lands of Eversong and around Tranquilen regaining it from the Scourge. While the Bloof Elf feuding with our former Ammani colleagues may not look the best to outsiders we are sure it will be resolved when the real Zul’jin shows up.

Its also been accused that the Orcs and Trolls have been pushing for more land in the Eastern Kingdoms, this is patently unjust. In the Hinterlands the orcs have only been active helping their Reventusk Allies secure themselves against their Troll Cousins, and against the ravaging raids of berserk wildhammer dwarves who have no self-control at all.

The Orcs in Alterac were originally exiled there because no-one was there and they would be nicely out of everyones way during the first and second wars. Then as they regained their place in Orc society Dwarves come marching in to cause trouble. I think I am seeing a reoccurring pattern here. I think you can see why they won’t give up a place that has been their home for over twenty years!

Talking of having their homes invaded, Stonard is now under attack by humans who for over twenty years have wanted NOTHING to do with the Swamp of Sorrows, but now all of a sudden whamo, its to good a place to let those orcs live .. we can’t have them continuing to use up our fetid oxygen! admittedly we did take the nearby fort from the Dreadmaul Ogres, but that was an internal affair after they tried to rebel shortly after the second war and should not in any way of form be seen as a horde attempt to gain dominance over the only passageway leading to the Dark Portal!

I have also heard claims that we are trying to gain footholds in Strangethorn as a prepetory move to take Stormwind. Again I must disabuse the Alliance of this notion. Strangethorn is the Ancestral home of the Darkspear and we are simply trying to make sure that their bretheren don’t succumb to the fallout of the death of Hakkar. While at the same time protecting their holy sites from pirates and now from Alliance Invaders who have no claim at all on the territory!

In regards to our new fortress in the badlands this has been built to protect ourselves from Dark Iron Dwarves who are now openly allied with the Dwarves of Ironforge .. go on tell me one of them doesn’t sit on the ruling council .. while we deal with the Black Dragonflight and the Blackrock Orcs who are muddying the political waters because humans (unlike orcs) can’t tell the difference between one faction and another! Once again I must remind you that Blackrock Orcs are in no way involved with the Horde, they are as much part of the Horde as Southsea Pirates are part of the Alliance.

To the dwarf in the back asking me why the Dragonmaw are still fighting in the Wetlands when their clan has recently re-joined the Horde. I ask you why should we bother removing them from their homes of so many years when you still refuse to cease digging in Tauren Holy Grounds!

But that is for tomorrows session when I will talk about Kalimdor .. the Issue here today is the Eastern Kingdoms, and as you can see at every front the Horde is beset by ruthless Alliance aggression! For years the Alliance sent mercenaries to help the rebels in lorderon, now that’s not enough and they are invading directly, in Arathi they are attempting to tell us we don’t have a legitimate claim to the throne, in the Hinterlands, Alterac, Badlands, Blasted Lands and Swamp Of Sorrows they are attempting to drive us out entirely by direct force , and in Stranglethorn they now attempt to push us out of hereditary lands while making it look like we are in the wrong and preparing for war!

So no, the Horde are not ‘getting everything’ as so many complain. In the eastern Kingdoms at least we are struggling at every turn to maintain our sovereignty and independence from the Alliance War machine led by the Imperialist Rulers of Stormwind and Ironforge. Yes, these are tears rolling down my cheeks as I think of how hard we need to fight against the Alliance as well as varied rogue factions just to maintain a basic quality of living .. and here the Alliance dare to say we are in the wrong! It makes me wonder how their society can thrive with them all being such black hearted thieves and liars.

If this isn’t proof enough that the Horde have been entirely too relaxed in defending themselves against the incursions of the so-called peace-loving alliance then come back later and I will tell you what they are doing in Kalimdor, and the my friend you will truly know their treachery!

To the Horde out there I implore you, do as we do and begin your recruitment drives to fend off this impending threat to our way of life!

After having this argument with a guildy the other day I thought I may as well pen it down here. Let me start by saying I am an avid in game mini-pet collector and have over a hundred and thirty now .. so if Blizzard say they are releasing a new pet like the baby moonkin on the pet store hell yes I am going to buy it, whether it means giving blizzard extra cash or not .. I’d rather spend a simple $10 and get an e-pet then fork out a fortune for those from the TCG.

At any rate it got to the point where we were arguing why people should buy pets that give Blizzard extra money, in the end its all personal choice and there is not much more you can say about it. Except when it comes to the Charity Pets and what is involved with them. When the Pandaren Monk was released, for a limited sale duration 50% of sales profits (I think thats what it said when I bought it) went to a Blizzard nominated charity. Personally I don’t care about the specifics of the charity for this argument but the fact remains that they willingly donated 50% of their profit on the monk to charity.

Why should this make you reconsider buying a charity pet then , 2 reasons (well at least for Australians). First off the money isn’t all going to Blizzard, claiming they are doing it to line their own pockets is not the full truth and by purchasing it you are sendng at least some of the money you spend to a good cause. Secondly, and here is the winner, because it is a charity item the cost of the amount spent on it is fully claimable as a taxable deduction on your annual tax returns here in Australia .. which means that you can get a good portion of what you paid for it back from the government, or especially for the lower income earners probably all of it.

So you are getting something you like, promoting a good cause and then the government will reimburse some or all of the cost .. from my point of view if you are looking at a charity pet its a win/win situation.

Ok I’ve had roughly three weeks of playing the beta between trying to raid on live and other commitments, and after spending a decent chunk of Saturday on Beta I think I can say I am looking forward to the expansion based on what I am seeing. There are some gripes but overall it looks good.

Changed Zones: For those of us who are currently level capped and don’t spend a great deal of time levelling alts the old world changes will be particularly jarring, more so then for the new characters or those currently levelling. Why? because we don’t see it, we don’t experience it and we are not part of it – unless you go back and do all the new quests later but its still not a smooth transition. As a level capped character you retirn to Orgrimmar from Northrend and a quest pops up that send you to Hyjal or optionally to Vashjir, in the meantime you are wandering around a newly designed city wondering what is going on, and as the game progresses and you fly over the world wondering why certain things are happening it all feels sort of out of place that you are flying up to help druids in Hyjal while Alliance are attacking the Horde on all fronts that you fly over. Granted you know that the changes are coming but at 80 you feel really distanced from it all when you start levelling again.

New Zones: When your next questgiver hasn’t run off to slay some beast a mile away .. these are great. The breadcrumb quests to each zone are really well delivered and the storyline progression well integrated. They may not make you like or hate certain characters more then you do now but it does build storyline to each zone in a way that even the into quests to head to Northrend didn’t. With in-game sequences, heavy phasing and story driven questing these zones appear and progress smoothly. Having said that when the way to progress past a certain point is a quest from 1 single NPC who has run off and you don’t know she/he was supposed to give you next quest is a PIA.

Goblin, Worgen and other Start Zones: So far these are great. The Goblins are unrepentantly amoral in virtually all their quests which suit their nature and the quests themselves are in general, fun. The Worgens storyline is very good, and the zone dark and foreboding which suits the mood, but there is the sheer ‘fun’ element that is missing when compared to te Goblin zone which is I suppose a good reflection on the racial stereotypes. I haven’t had a chance to test out other start zones barring the first five levels of being a troll, but so far .. they look good. My only gripe here especially over the new areas (Goblin/Worgen) is that there is so much phasing and changes going on that the feel of exploration and discovery that many new players (and old) go through when starting a character in a new zone is totally gone. Basically if you don’t stop to look you won’t get the chance, and the quests are usually all in such close proximity to the giver that there is no real feel for exploration.

New Dungeons: I think the entire population is in for a shock here. Starting with dps who will need to learn to CC all over again, Tanks who will need to learn how to los pull or not to tank amongst cc’d mobs (yes running n and tanking on top of cc’d mobs is bad) and healers will have to get ready to be blamed for everything while others adjust ad as you try to figure where you may need to concentrate on one or multiple targets to the exclusion of others. Eventually you will get through it and become comfortable, and then heroics will hit you like a ton of bricks and you will need to start over!

There is sooo much in Cataclysm to see and do. Having had some experience on Beta I won’t be running round like a headless chicken when it launches on live trying to figure out what marvel I want to see first (I hope) and I will be ready to commit to levelling my main. But to those who havn’t had the opportunity to boggle their minds over the changes or looks at the new races I say do what you want when you want when live launches ..its a whole new world and you don’t rush to 85, the raids are not going away anytime soon!

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