"Everything is about honor when it comes to the Horde."

Argent Dawn
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Forget high elves, when are we getting honor elves?
*Jumps off the train before it becomes a wreck* See ya.
Dishonor to you soldier.

Or whatever that running gag was years ago.
07/11/2018 22:53Posted by Chíeun
07/11/2018 22:31Posted by Renothar
I mean, Saurfang doesn't feel bad about sacking Stormwind in the First War. Or slaughtering Draenei even before that.


Actually doesn't he feel awful about that?

See his Conquest Hold conversation with Garrosh.



High Overlord Saurfang says: I drank of the same blood your father did, Garrosh. Mannoroth's cursed venom pumped through my veins as well.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I drove my weapons into the bodies and minds of my enemies.
High Overlord Saurfang says: And while Grom died a glorious death - freeing us all from the blood curse - he could not wipe away the terrible memory of our past.
High Overlord Saurfang says: His act could not erase the horrors we committed.
High Overlord Saurfang pauses.
High Overlord Saurfang says: The winter after the curse was lifted, hundreds of veteran orcs like me were lost to despair.
High Overlord Saurfang says: Our minds were finally free, yes... Free to relive all of the unthinkable acts that we had performed under the Legion's influence.
High Overlord Saurfang nods.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I think it was the sounds of the draenei children that unnerved most of them... You never forget...
High Overlord Saurfang says: Have you ever been to Jaggedswine Farm? When the swine are of age for the slaughter... It's that sound. The sound of the swine being killed... It resonates the loudest. Those are hard times for us older veterans.
Garrosh Hellscream says: But surely you cannot think that those children were born into innocence? They would have grown up and taken arms against us!
High Overlord Saurfang shakes his head.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I am not speaking solely of the children of our enemies...
High Overlord Saurfang pauses.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I won't let you take us down that dark path again, young Hellscream. I'll kill you myself before that day comes...
Saurfang turns away and looks at the map instead.
Garrosh Hellscream says: How have you managed to survive for so long, Saurfang? Not fallen victim to your own memories?
Saurfang turns around for a moment to answer.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I don't eat pork...
High Overlord Saurfang spits.


About sums it up. Most veteran Orcs, I think, feel some remorse.

However, he seems to of fallen into bit of a dark spot due to the death of his son. He says he'd kill Hellscream himself before he took the horde down a dark path, yet Sylvanas is doing it now as Garrosh did. But Saurfang has been lost to depsair.

I think that's the key thing in all matters Saurfang of late, how the death of his son, and the fact he essentially had to help re-kill him, has driven him into doubt and mourning.

So while before the wrath gate, he would of been decisive, even brutally so. when it came to honor, the events of Ice crown have muddled his mind.

Still...

"Honor, young heroes... no matter how dire the battle... Never forsake it!."
This nonsense about honor is just sad, like someone in this thread mentioned before this is what a few thick americans think honor is all about, the Horde was never this literal about "honor". I can't even hear the word honor anymore since everyone and his dog in the Horde questing experience just keeps vomitting out the word at every opportunity. As if we are in constant need of being affirmed that we are not horrendous bad guys /again/.

Orgrim Doomhammer, the Horde's greatest warchief ( fight me) and a man who's leant his name to their capital city, several camps and a flying warship and Thrall's weapon. He has a record of many "dishonorable" tactics if they'd be held to Saurfang the Alliance shill's standards.

The people who write the story for this game are just too stupid to realise there is much, much more to the Alliance and Horde than "Justice" and "Honor" for both respectively.
As an American (Well, a Canadian, but that's close enough, eh?), we do -get- the traditional Eastern notion of Honour. To treat all fairly and equally, to extend courtesy's you would expect and never pick on those beneath them.

My problem with Saurfang is the one reason I can kind of see Sylvanas in a better light; he is focused entirely in the past. Despite Sylvanas having arguably a more tragic story (ie. slain during her own people's actual unprovoked genocide, raised as a weapon of mass destruction and destroying everything she ever loved only to be rejected by both of her sisters in the future, people she cared enough to "gift" the "blessing" of undeath to vs. Old Warrior Who Has Lived Far Too Long and has lost everything but his army), Saurfang still continues to live in the past. And while I admire that as his main character flaw, its also head-scratchingly obtuse to a point of fault.

He wants to fight for the Horde, but when the Horde makes a military move of conquest (to take vital strategic resources and secure their homeland), he decides to abandon the plan for personal feelings and gets upset that the plan MUST be changed to become more effective. He then, still heartbroken over a life ill-lived, hopes that Anduin will either kill him or stop his own Warchief in a siege upon their only major powerhouse in the Eastern Kingdoms, similar to the war they just fought for Ashenvale, abandoning his vows and honour in hopes someone he doesn't like will be bested by a Boy King and his entourage.

Meanwhile Sylvanas works with Saurfang (someone we know she's not too much of a fan of) to come up with brilliant military strategy, empowers him to become a Broxigar-level hero among the Horde in killing Malfurion (someone even the Orcs fear in the forests of Ashenvale), and makes the tough decisions a Warchief (someone chosen for their strength to lead a mighty warband to conquest) should without putting her own interests first; we know she wants to unleash undeath across the world but Ashenvale was far more political and sound a decision than to just go, "Lel, Blight!" Sylvanas as we've seen in-game and elsewhere is focused on the future of the Horde under her care, as crass and brutal as her regime might seem to humanity.

For all intents and purposes, she actually has a greater sense of honour in her intentions to keep her promise to Vol'jin; no matter the cost, she will guide the Horde to a better world. One without the systematic bigotry and racism the Alliance has seemingly produced to the Horde (ie. Undead v. Humans, Night Elves v. Nightborne, Blood Elves needing to be 'Redeemed,' etc.). And to that end, she's a morally grey character in the same way even Thrall was morally grey; abandoning Orcish lands and waging war on the internment camps to save his people before heading towards Kalimdor, or Doomhammer did in murdering his own Warchief to take command of the first Horde to save it. There was MURDER involved there, that doesn't make them 'morally righteous.' It's still grey, just not, 'let's burn an unconsecrated tree with people in it,' grey (though Thrall has burned houses before...).

To me, as much as I love Saurfang... Dude's kind've going full hypocrite here. And that's just brain-foggingly stundering to me, for a man so attached to his honour. He's too focused on what the Horde WAS than to what it is and could be. As long as there are people like Tyrande among the Alliance (who continuously trounces the Nightborne for their magical potency and lifestyle) or members like Lor'themar amongst the Horde (who shun the Void Elves over one minor mishap with a Void God invading the Sunwell), then there won't be any peace.

But until some scrappy young Gnomish Ambassador stands up to rain sunshine upon the world, War's gonna be the first option for most everyone. Cause that's all they know after over 3 generations of constant warfare.
07/11/2018 22:53Posted by Chíeun
07/11/2018 22:31Posted by Renothar
I mean, Saurfang doesn't feel bad about sacking Stormwind in the First War. Or slaughtering Draenei even before that.


Actually doesn't he feel awful about that?

See his Conquest Hold conversation with Garrosh.


08/11/2018 01:22Posted by Okiba
High Overlord Saurfang says: I don't eat pork...


I didn't know about it, but it changes little since Garrosh caused a Siege of Orgrimmar (and a second one seems to be on its way) and Sylvanas killed a lot of night elf children, so a man to man talk about mourning draenei children does not make me go awwh.

So he can turn vegan and give us a solemn speech about how sorry he is, but if you are not actively trying to stop what you find inherently wrong, you are helping it. He surrendered to Anduin only after night elves in Ashenvale and Darkshore are slaughtered, Darnassus is burned to the ground and Lordaeron has fallen.

If Sylvanas managed to kill Anduin and friends, what would he do? Probably just continue following her half-heartedly.

But sure, you can still be passively complicit even though you are feeling regret and sorrow. In that case all the sympathy a reasonable leader would be willing to provide a man who participated in the slaughter of his people and his allies is a swift and painless execution.

The only reason for keeping him alive could be planting him as a puppet leader to Horde.
08/11/2018 03:33Posted by Alryette
For all intents and purposes, she actually has a greater sense of honour in her intentions to keep her promise to Vol'jin; no matter the cost, she will guide the Horde to a better world.

This is what I agree with, and what I felt was her goal from the start. The problem I see with the writing in the story is that honour in this is black and white. I always felt that Sylvanas did what she did for the Horde, she wanted to stop azerite from going to the Alliance who she said will create a war machine to wipe out the Horde so she wants to put a stop to it and wants Malfurion dead to crush the hopes of the Night Elves. It seems that the sense of honour in WoW is pretty much what follows with the Geneva Conventions rather than the own character's sense of moral code.

I do want to add that with the Eastern sense of honour especially among the idea of samurai being an honourable warrior, they had the concepts of kiri-sute gomen which is pretty much granting the samurai the right to strike and kill someone, usually of a lower class, who committed an offence to them as a sense of self-defense. Not to mention the term tsujigiri which is when a samurai received a new katana and tested the sharpness by striking at a commoner at night, granted that the Edo period when bushido was implemented did ban the practice.

I brought those examples because there's the idea of samurai being honorable to contrast with the two things I mentioned it can clash with our idea of honour and our image of what an honourable being should be. Is it honourable for an orc to test his new greataxe on a peon because a samurai did it, or were samurai honourable in their own view while outsiders saw their honour as misguided?

That's my rant, I suppose. I don't like how honour in this is black and white as opposed to each culture having their own view of what is and isn't honour. I could be completely wrong wih my knowledge of samurai though so take it as you will and always do your own research, if I'm wrong then feel free to call me out on it and correct me.

Edit: Oh, one I forgot to mention in this whole discussion of "muh honour". Being a thief can be seen as dishonourable in the broadest sense of the word, you're a scoundrel who steals from people. But then we have Robin Hood who steals from the rich and gives to the poor and that can be seen as honourable in being charitable but what about thieves who steal for themselves? They can have honour amongst themselves to not compromise the activity of other thieves or do not seek to steal from other thieves. I don't think I have any more to add to this point, it's just another example I wished to add.
08/11/2018 03:33Posted by Alryette
As an American (Well, a Canadian, but that's close enough, eh?), we do -get- the traditional Eastern notion of Honour. To treat all fairly and equally, to extend courtesy's you would expect and never pick on those beneath them.


This, I believe, is part of the problem.
You simply can't define honour with concrete actions, because not only is the concept of honour too vague for that, what honour means and how it is put into action differs from culture to culture - and from social class to social class.

For instance, look at cultures whose families practice honour killings. When the wife marries someone she the family doesn't want her to or, God forbid, is raped, the family might decide to off her because she has tarnished the family's honour in the eyes of both themselves and the entire community. Sounds completely barbaric to us, yet in those cultures that is what being honourable amounts to.

You can also look at religion. Samurai were often expected to commit ritual suicide when they had in some way dishonored themselves (usually by failing their master and/or losing a deciding battle that would have them be captured). This was considered a way to restore one's and was pretty ingrained in the culture of the samurai. But what of the few samurai who had converted to Christianity? Suddenly they were part of a religion where suicide was considered a grave sin - a way to spit in the face of the Lord who gave you life. When faced with such a decision, what's right? What's honourable? Were they still honourable to begin with by converting to what the Japanese considered a "barbaric" religion? Hadn't they already betrayed themselves and their descendants by converting to a foreign religion which was pretty much the antithesis of both Shintoism and Buddhism?

Furthermore, what about the Japanese that didn't have the privilege of being part of the samurai class, the peasants? I can assure that honour meant nothing to them. As prevalent as it was among the samurai, the peasant class couldn't care less. After all, what was a philosophical luxury like honour to people who struggled intensely to survive, who spent entire days farming crops and hoping they wouldn't be terrorized by bandits or have their taxes raised by a greedy daimyo (something akin to a governor or a vassal)? In fact, sometime after Japan was united, the new Japanese government would forbid peasants from carrying weapons, forever closing the traditional way to achieve a honorable existence to them. In this long period of peace, the merchant class, traditionally shunned in Confucianist societies as the least respectable of professions, would become wealthier and more powerful than more - I doubt they cared much about whether the samurai considered them a honourable people or not. At the same time, as surely many other merchants around the world, I bet there was a significant portion that would describe themselves as "honourable" for offering fair prices and honoring business deals.

My point is, you can't describe honour in concrete actions, especially not in such simplistic ones, because it means different things to different people. Wife-killing, suicide, forcing others to commit suicide, those were all honorable things to some people. In the case of the samurai, those same people who made honor such an integral part of their lifestyle would exclude 90% of the population from living such an "honorable" life. In some cases, taxes were raised (levied in rice, by the way) until the common people were starving, and when they saw no other way but to rebel, the samurai would gladly rise up to the challenge and cut the poor folks down. The honour! So much for "treating all fairly and equally" and "not picking on those beneath them", eh? In the end, honour is simply what one feels is right, not what is """actually""" right.

Long story short:
Honour is absolutely too vague and abstract of a concept to have an entire faction storyline revolve around. It works fine when pursuing or maintaining a honorable life is a character trait, as it is for Saurfang, since defining one's sense of honour is a very personal thing. But you simply can't shoehorn it in as a shared value for a faction consisting of so many different races, all with different people who all have different social, political and religious backgrounds.

imo.
We were sold a lie. RIP Horde.


I suspect you’re going to owe me that ten gold after all.
Honor wasn't ever the thing that defined the Horde for me. It's about making it, instead. Survival against all odds, banding together with culturally different outcasts and being free to be whatever you want to be. There's bound to be in-fighting and cultural disagreements - but when it really matters, you'll still lay your life down for those who are part of your banner, hate them or love them.

You're together - not for the struggle, but because of it. It's all the classic underdog beats and then some, and that's how I've always interpreted the Horde. Although that's an interpretation that is constantly being challenged lately.
The writers don't have an understanding of 'honour' and thus Saurfangs 'honour' swishes around like a flag in the wind.
I don't think that the Horde can be defined by one word or another. It's a clash of cultures and beliefs, all come together for mutual defense against a world whom wouldn't mind them gone. Garrosh became single-minded about conquering the world for the Horde; committing numerous atrocities along the way.

Sylvanas has fundamentally changed since she first became the Banshee Queen. She has always been morally ambiguous one way or another. She just became more bold after becoming Warchief and took things too far.

What enabled her to reach this point is Azerite. Its discovery presented new possibilities and dangers. It's no secret that war can bring out the worst in people and we do start to see that more prominently with the Horde and the Alliance.

That being said, Saurfang and Sylvanas does paint the circumstances in a distinct contrast of black and white. Both which represent different spectrums of the Horde.
08/11/2018 11:42Posted by Razlow
Honor wasn't ever the thing that defined the Horde for me. It's about making it, instead. Survival against all odds, banding together with culturally different outcasts and being free to be whatever you want to be. There's bound to be in-fighting and cultural disagreements - but when it really matters, you'll still lay your life down for those who are part of your banner, hate them or love them.

You're together - not for the struggle, but because of it. It's all the classic underdog beats and then some, and that's how I've always interpreted the Horde. Although that's an interpretation that is constantly being challenged lately.


That's what I thought too.

But then BfA comes around and shows us we're wrong and that it's all about honor.

So you can come to three possible conclusions.

1. Blizzard's writing team is so incredibly incapable that it took them 14 years and seven expansions to show us what the Horde is about,
2. Blizzard's writing team is so incredibly incapable that it took them 14 years and seven expansions to make up their minds on what the Horde is about,
3. Blizzard's writing team is so incredibly incapable that they think the Horde is all about honor when it's been shown to be far more.

Whatever way you look at it, Blizzard's writing team sucks balls.
What I was really looking forward to in this expansion was the Alliance showing a darker side of themselves. To try and achieve the 'good' with so much force that they become the villain themselves.

I was hoping for Anduin trying to fill the big shoes his father left behind and turn into some sort of Lich King of the light to try, under a delusion of peace, to make his father proud by killing everyone who opposes his rule.

For one time, I was hoping that there lurks just as much determination in the Alliance as the Horde to create that grey area again. That everything comes down to "Peace is achieved by the guy wielding the bigger stick."
Dreaming time!
My take on BfA would have been thus;

Sylvanas could still have taken the first strike approach. That fits with her brand of brutal pragmatism just fine. The Nelves as a target still also makes sense; they're the primary mainland power for the Alliance on Kalimdor, and the most direct threat to Orgrimmar which, like it or not, is still pretty much the Horde Capital.

Be a bit more cunning about it in her execution, though; it's easier to justify to the Orcs and Trolls when Genn is still making not-so-covert moves against the Horde (mostly the Forsaken, but details, details...) they they need to strike while the iron is hot, backed up by the Goblins new tech (they don't need an excuse, if there's gold and SCIENCE! involved.)
Baine and the Tauren would be harder, but Mulgore is a bit more isolated and, if Sylvanas has to split the Horde forces, well... wouldn't it be a tragedy if something happened to all those peaceful people? It's not perfect, but it would likely be enough of an arm twist for the Chieftain.
Blood Elves? Drawing the Alliance forces away to Kalimdor takes any potential pressure of Quel'Thelas and Undercity (for now) so, hey oh. Besides, they've never particularly liked the Night Elves, have they? Nightborne kind of fit into this bracket too, given their (IMO so-so) reason for joining the Horde.

On the Alliance side, Anduin is finding out how hard being King actually is; Velen is quite happy to push for peace with the fall of the Legion (maybe his visions aren't working so well nowadays?) and the Humans, Dwarves and Gnomes are quite happy to have a break from all the conflict... while Genn is more than happy to keep aiming that dagger at Sylvanas' back, aided in no small way by Tyrande who would still like the Horde to be pushed as far from Night Elf lands as possible, i.e. get in the sea...

Pushing the cracks in the Alliance more in-game would really help even the field, in terms of story telling; Anduin can be hotly denying any Alliance atrocities, knowing full well he has ordered no such thing, while Genn says nothing and quietly slips Shaw and others like Rogers notes under the table, intent on rooting out those Horde filth wherever they are found. If you want something doing, etc.

---

That leads us neatly into BfA proper; Sylvanas orders the attack on Darkshore, the War of Thorns proceeds as it has, up to the point where she orders Saurfang to kill Malfurion. She has her confrontation on the beach... only this time Saurfang actually comes along and, when asked where Malfurion is, he admits that he is gone. When Sylvanas rounds on him and asks what the hell he means, he simply says that Tyrande intervened and took him away; not technically a lie, although omitting some of the truth. Syvalnas is again taunted about hope, only this time the flashback drives her into a rage and she orders the burning while Saurfang looks on in shock.

Afterwards, and after Saurfangs outburst, Sylv realises that the burning may not have been the best idea.... why did she lose it so badly? It's not like she's had that same flashback over and over many times in her undeath... maybe actually hint at the Old Gods being involved more with some foreshadowing? Rather than the eventual belly flop I'm sure we're going to get...
Sylvanas being Sylvanas won't show any weakness and owns the moment, using it to fuel the more pragmatic or vengeful elements of the Horde and show they're not going to be pushed around anymore.

---

Of course, this then gives Genn a perfect excuse to press Anduin for a response, namely on Lordaeron and Undercity. Horrified by the loss of life and what he views as uncalled for agression, Anduin gives in and orders the assault. Even Velen can't sit this one out, so the full might of the Alliance is aimed like a hammer at Undercity. Sylvanas digs in, but fully realises that this is never going to go her way, so digs in hard with Goblin boobytraps and blighting. While the Alliance have some preparation for this, they underestimate just how All In she's going to go with this, rather than a straight fight like Saurfang or Baine would give them, and still suffer badly (Just make the Alliance not look so utterly incompetent against a well known enemy, for heaven sakes...)
Saurfang, seeing that he's become Overlord in name only, still goes the same way as currently. Maybe clear up this mess about 'honour' by him outright saying that he's given up on the concept while someone like Sylvanas is in charge/controlling the Horde.

With the Alliance forces taking over, Genn quietly gives the order to not let a single Forsaken out in one piece. The other Horde races get to see Alliance brutality and go "This is what we're up against! Sylvanas was right!" which just fuels the whole spiral of finger pointing and blame. Making, technically, both sides justified in their perception of this war.

---

TL;DR
More subtle hints at the Old Gods influence and people acting out in anger or despair or negative ways
Sylvanas is brutally pragmatic and cold/calculating, excepting any instances triggered by the above
Genn is cunning, experienced and consumed by the Gilneans vendetta against the Forsaken, making possible gains at the cost of Horde perception and Alliance Unity
Anduin is well-meaning and liked by his people, but still not experienced enough to not rely on others tactically, as well as being too kind-hearted to get cloak and dagger and vendetta stuff
The Horde perception is that they are justified in their actions, safeguarding their homes and their lives, especially once they see Alliance viciousness on the field
The Alliance perception is that they are justified in their actions, reclaiming land that was taken from them in an unjustified offensive and defending against Horde aggression. Besides, the Forsaken (and others, depending who you ask) are clearly monsters, they've been given enough chances!

And there you have it. Probably not perfect, but less of a mess than some of what we have right now...

Oh, and no Undead Night Elves! Get out of here with that BS...
08/11/2018 03:33Posted by Alryette
For all intents and purposes, she actually has a greater sense of honour in her intentions to keep her promise to Vol'jin; no matter the cost, she will guide the Horde to a better world.


You're not at all understanding Sylvanas' character. The Horde, and to a lesser extent even the Forsaken, are just a means to an end. When she says she'll "guide the Horde to a better world", what she really means is that she has an end-game in mind that involves escaping her ultimate fate of ending up worse than dead.

That is all Sylvanas cares about. She wants to "live" forever so that she won't end up in a place of void and nothingness.
08/11/2018 14:02Posted by Kaytlinne
And there you have it. Probably not perfect, but less of a mess than some of what we have right now...


Thank you for providing perspective on how things could always be worse
08/11/2018 14:21Posted by Terajo
You're not at all understanding Sylvanas' character.


Bold.

08/11/2018 14:21Posted by Terajo
The Horde, and to a lesser extent even the Forsaken, are just a means to an end. When she says she'll "guide the Horde to a better world", what she really means is that she has an end-game in mind that involves escaping her ultimate fate of ending up worse than dead.


Do you have anything in the recent lore backing this up? Because if I remember correctly it's been said in Before the Storm that she actually cares a lot about the Forsaken, althought in her own specific way.
08/11/2018 15:16Posted by Moody
08/11/2018 14:02Posted by Kaytlinne
And there you have it. Probably not perfect, but less of a mess than some of what we have right now...


Thank you for providing perspective on how things could always be worse


Alright then, enlightened one, what would your brilliant vision be? Since yours would clearly be so much better?

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