The Curious Incident of the Penguin in the Blog Post

This is a blog post that started out as a couple of rants and then turned into me negating one of my own rants.

See, it happened like this…

I was cooking up this whole blog post about how I rather dislike the fact that Blizzard really pushes the whole Horde vs. Alliance thing. Like, that Twitter “battlecry” contest or the current photo mosaic thing. I don’t like it, because I love both Horde and Alliance. Why do they want me to choose between my babies like that? And why won’t they just let me say “FOR THE EVERYONE” or hold up signs of both faction emblems? Why can’t we be friends?

Then, that rant segued into a sort of ponder about how I have a hard time understanding people who are really die-hard loyal to one faction. Both sides have such great storylines and great races and great locations, and both sides have good days and bad days and good people and not-so-good people. I mean, I can understand “well, all my friends are [insert faction here]”, I mean, I 100% understand that. But what about the people who won’t even roll an alt on the other side? They’re missing out! I simply didn’t understand.

So I was in the middle of this all and I felt something on my shoulder. I tapped at it, but it didn’t go away, and I turned and saw this:


sitting on my shoulder and giving me “the look”.

“Bwah?” I said, rather surprised (as you might expect). “Wh… who are you?”

“I’m Tux,” he replied. “And I’m the global collective conscience of Linux geeks everywhere. And you are being silly.”

“Me? Silly? Nonsense!” I replied in a rather miffed tone as I spun around in my computer chair.

“Look,” said Conscience-Tux. “You’re sitting here writing this blog post about how you don’t understand faction loyalty in World of Warcraft. And yet you whine and gripe anytime you have to use your Windows partition and you just LOVE coming up with excuses to show off screenshots of your Linux desktop and you get all defensive and noble and “patriotic” when people bash it, oh, and did I mention that your whole NaNoWriMo book is a freakin’ allegory for the Open Source Software movement? Hrmmm?”

“But, but, Tux! People just don’t understand!” I babbled. “They don’t understand the chills that go up my spine when somebody says ‘Free as in freedom’. They don’t understand the thrill of breaking and rebuilding your own operating system when you have to. They don’t understand the deep satisfaction that comes from solving a crazy computer problem. They don’t understand what it’s like to be the underdogs, tearing and clawing your way into using something as simple as a driver, and they don’t understand what it’s like to be a part of this great community and group effort…”

Tux held up a flipper to silence me. “Oh, and yet you don’t understand why some people have chills go up their spine when they hear ‘For the Horde’? And you don’t understand why people are loyal to their little virtual community? No, I think you understand perfectly well. Your heart has just already been taken. By a sexy flightless bird, no less.”

I sighed and then grumbled “Fiiiiiine, you win.”

“I always do. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be off. I’ve got an appointment with Richard Stallman in about five minutes.”

“Wait, you hang out with Richard Stallman too?”

“Oh, all the time. Why else do you think he’s so nuts?”

“Hrmm. Point taken.”

“Regardless, it’s been fun. And I hope you learned something from this little meeting of ours.” And with that, Conscience-Tux mounted up on his Gnu and disappeared into the air.

And so it came to pass that I was forced to adapt my blog post into saying, okay, die-hard Hordies (and Allies, though there aren’t as many of you running around), I getcha. It’s kind of a weird, roundabout way of getting you, but I do. …still wish I could say “FOR THE EVERYBODY!” though.

And that is how it went. True story. Even the part with the penguin conscience.

…what’s with the funny look…?

29 thoughts on “The Curious Incident of the Penguin in the Blog Post”

  1. In some ways, I can understand and relate with your slight frustration over the faction loyalties, but usually I like the faction loyalties.

    Wait, lemme ‘splain.

    To me, one of the more fun aspects of the game is the good-nature banter between the Alliance and Horde players (not those nerdragers who get out of hand with their border-obsessive faction loyalty). I play both Horde and Alliance, though I started playing in 2005 on Horde and never got far on an Alliance toon until about a year and half ago.

    Despite that, my Draenei is in a guild (she’s my only guilded Alliance toon, though, which may explain why none of my other toons are of a high level – what could I say? I’m a social butterfly… which is hilariously ironic because in real life, I’m extremely introvert. I could barely bear four hours with more than two people at a time). On my space goat, I have a running joke: every time I earn an achievement for exploring a region, I would quip, “Oh, I’m not exploring, I’m really mapping out the area to benefit my Horde toons for future raiding!”

    (Now, I don’t gank. Actually, I never did that, and my only PVP activities take place in BGs or whether a high-level Alliance toon was ganking the lowbies in Crossroads. Though one day I may raid the four faction leaders for my Black War Bear. Boy, will I feel guilty when killing Tyrande Whisperwind; I really liked her in Warcraft 3.)

    That being said, I think Blizzard’s Battlecry idea is brilliant, because it makes us see that the other faction players are, indeed, like us. Sometimes we get carried away and forget that behind another toon is a human being, too. Not to mention, it’s fun to see people declaring which faction they support – and I saw a few pictures where people held up both banners. So, yes, you can support both faction; I plan to do if I’m able to get hold of a camera.

    (Also, all the pictures with the pets and babies are amusing and adorable.)

    Truthfully, I play Horde much more than I do Alliance, but that’s due to the fact that I have a well-established character and my family and friends play Horde. I play Alliance whether I want to be alone.

    …Okay, okay, fine, I’ll tell the truth: Horde looks cooler. 😉

    (I like Night Elves – not the males, though. They’re ugly – and the Dwarves, Gnomes, and the Draenei – again, not the males. They look freaky – but the Horde has Orcs, Trolls, Undead, Blood Elves, and Tauren. Tauren.)

    Frankly, you can’t beat that.

  2. It’s not Horde, I just love the way Tauren look. I mean seriously, if my dad had horns he’d look like a Tauren too – well, except the legs and hooves maybe but it’s pretty damn close. If the Tauren were Alliance I’d be Alliance, it’s that simple. On the other hand, I did just roll a Draenei Hunter just to try something a little different . . .

  3. Speaking from experience, hanging out with Richard Stallman is nothing to be proud of. (In fact, the first time I passed him on the street — someone else I was with knew him and recognized him — I immediately wrote him off as a street bum.) He’s rude, interrupts, and can’t stand anyone whose point of view differs at all from his.

    In fact, I think he’d get along really well with most of the people in Trade.

  4. Pike, you are the best. ’nuff said.

    Also, I can’t imagine a better mount for Tux than a GNU. I imagine it looking something like an emu.

  5. Hahaha, that was great! I was nodding along with your horde and alliance sensibilities and then… yes 😀 I feel the same inexplicable pride in allying (heh) myself with certain things (I get a little bit of the “OS pride” when thinking about Macs, though they’re pretty mainstream now, so don’t really need the “pride group”).

    Go lil angel Tux! Does that mean there is a lil devil Tux on your other shoulder?

  6. On one hand, I will not subscribe to the faction ‘nerdragers’ (Horde is teh leet, etc) and feel that faction identity taken to the extreme is a bad thing. But one the other hand, there are times when something just stiffen in my spine when I hear the Horde battlecry – “For the Horde!” – and I got this irrational urge to wave my Silvermoon banner into battle.

    I guess it’s a matter of pride in your chosen faction – you’ll always favor one over the other =)

  7. I am in the same boat without a Conscience-Tux to scold me. But I suppose that’s because I find the Alliance to be idiotic and stubborn, and the Horde (especially the newer blood like Garrosh “The Bratticus” Hellscream) to be whiny and unable to let old blood die.

    Where’s my “FOR THE TIMELESS ONE!” option? 😐

  8. I would have to say “For The Alliance” But I really do like many many of the horde races and storys….perhaps its time to try again to level one…

  9. I personally would love to see “Carebear” as a server option, with both factions cooperating and able to talk. Lore? The last two expansions (and the one incoming) are all about our mutual enemies! What makes more sense than finally reconciling our differences?

  10. @ Christopher – Well of course, he’s got an invisible penguin following him around if the blog post is any indication! =O

    @ Mazil – Devil Tux may make an appearance at some point in the future, you never know…

    @ Commenters – I love you too! /huggle

  11. Your blog post ties in quite well with Arioch’s

    For me, I’m not a die-hard Hordie as such, I have and still do play Alliance characters and enjoy them as much as I enjoy my Horde, I just feel more comfortable in Orgrimmar, with my Blood Elves, surrounded by big fluffy cows, and riding around on doggies.

    Even though I openly admit that Alliance have more races I’d play, the best faction mounts, and Darnassus is just pretty.

  12. I used to be all “For the Horde”, but now I’m all “For the Pike”. Excellent article that’s helped pick me up on a crummy day.

  13. Alliance all the way! Get your icky evil horde out of my treehouse! Tauren can come too. =)

    Pike, for the record, you are wierd. I should know, i have experience in these things.

    Kudos for writing whatever quirky thing comes into your head, its not always as easy as it may seem.

  14. Tis funny: I hate the Alliance v. Horde storyline (can we rid the universe of the Burning Legion before turning on each other?), but I love slaughtering Horde in the name of the Alliance. Go figure 😀

  15. My main is a Dwarf hunter with a pathological hatred of rogues. He would shoot Alliance rogues if there was a way to target them ! I have tried “normal” servers but, to me the game loses it’s edge, unless I have to watch out for random attacks by members of the Horde. That being said, when I was grinding Sons or Hodir rep ( for days and days and days and days ) I used to see a horde hunter called Sneakyshot almost every day. He and I sometimes helped each other downing mobs and always bowed or waved. Maybe it was a “hunter thing”

    I have a few alts …all but one are Alliance. I have a Troll hunter…but somehow I just don’t “feel right” on the Horde side.


  16. It be good post Pike! /cheer 🙂 Myself I started playing Alliance, then rolled a shammie orc both for the class too see “the other side” of the game. Maybe it was different then, or maybe I was different but the horde side just seemed more friendly, more mature too. So the years passed, BC came and went, Wrath turned one and my poor nelf hunter was still sporting the vanilla wow gear. I did move him to Outland, but that’s how far I got. Meanwhile my orc hunter was just epic! All my alts were horde characters too! But then one day I got a bit tired of it all.. My epic hunter was spending his time kidnapping pups, and grinding rep for a fishing pole?
    So I decided to try an alliance dk (my other dk never took off) on a RP realm. Having never played Alliance since vanilla wow it felt almost like a new game. And I had never seen the alliance side of outland or northrend!
    So in short.. Alliance! Horde! Both!
    If u stick to ur faction I totally understand, makes the game feel more meaningful. You don’t go to a football game and cheer for both teams, or do you? =)
    But trying out both sides is well worth it if u haven’t already!

  17. First, I love this post.

    As far as faction loyalty, I have tried to play Alliance, I really have. One of my first toons was a human rogue, and I still kind of miss her even though I hate rogues in WoW. And I’m going to admit this for the first time here: I started playing the game AND bought Burning Crusade specifically because I wanted to play a draenei.

    But for some reason, I just can’t seem to play Alliance alts for very long. I had a draenei paladin that made it to 32, and a draenei shaman that got run through instances to 39 or 40 and then abandoned, both long before WotLK. The rest make it to the 20s, if that, before I log on, look through my quests, go “Meh,” and return to the Horde.

    I’m not sure if it’s just that I have trouble playing on other servers — I love my server and had filled 8 of my 10 slots with Horde alts before they allowed both factions on PVP servers — or if it’s the Alliance in general, but it just isn’t as fun for me. I’d love to have a draenei shammy at 80 someday, but I don’t know if it will ever happen. And even if it does, I love the Horde and will probably always love the Horde best. I even love Garrosh, though I want to punch him half the time.

    Plus I bought the T-shirt off J!nx, so I can’t back out now.

  18. @ KC – I think it may be a PvP server thing. I know I tried to make an alliance alt or two on VeCo when they announced the “both factions on a PvP server” change… ugh, I hated it. All I could think as I sat there in Ironforge was “THIS IS WRONG.”

    I am back to a proud 10 hordies on VeCo now… my Allies are all safe and sound on Silver Hand.


    I always, always get a tingle with that battlecry. It’s a similar feeling to when a shaman pops Bloodlust. All I can think is “TIME TO MURDER” and I push my keyboard buttons real extra hard.

  20. I’m torn on the faction thing. Most of my family guild plays horde, but my love is with the shorties. I’ve always loved the gnome and dwarfs of the games I play. Trolls would be next. As of lately though, I’ve been playing my gnome DK.

  21. Well I myself see it in an interesting way: all my friends are ally but I myself LOOOOOOOVE trolls- I would like totally get up and dance for like 20 minutes if I could change my characters factions if my guildies would come with me…… But after doing so with my pally after the black sheep of the guild convinced me to do so I came upon Garrosh and his lackeys who would rather have everyone overcome by the scourge then the Alliance be victorious. This makes me sick. I’m not saying all Horde npcs are scum but there are certain high ranking ones who I would consider to be psychopathic heartless murderers with no redeeming points whatsoever. So yeah I’m an Ally and I cheer for them….I just wish I could be a troll hunter and still be Ally 😛

  22. I’m totally For the Horde, even though I have a couple Alliance characters. I just feel more comfortable amongst the Horde.

    Your analogy was wonderful though. In MANY areas of life, we often cling closely to things we prefer and have a hard time seeing why others don’t see the good of it… we try to share it and take pride in it…and sometimes knock others for liking their whatevers instead. (You see this with music discussions a lot….)

    Like some others have said, getting too extreme can be bad – again with anything – but the playful banter can be loads of fun!

  23. Yeah, it could very well be a PVP server thing. I feel super-guilty PVPing as Alliance, I can’t seem to get as into PVE servers, and even though I have a gnome alt to annoy my VeCo Alliance friends with, I don’t even quest on her — I just sit in Trade whenever I log on with her, ranting about Gnomish civil rights and generally being a nuisance.

    Although I did find a quest in Dun Morogh (I couldn’t even remember the name for a second there and almost sent this comment with “Dwarf Mulgore” as a placeholder before it clicked, how sad) that wasn’t in Wowhead, which kind of made me all :-O

    It’s not that I don’t want to play Alliance. Heck, I’d love it, because most of my real-life friends play for the blue. But I can understand other people’s loyalty, and I kind of get people who play both. 😛

  24. Another great pike post!

    I’m about 80% ally, 20% horde.. my 80’s are ally.
    My horde are either tauren or as the bear says “need a sandwich”. I tried but couldn’t get into the troll/orc/undead racial storylines. (and absolutely hate undercity.) My highwater mark for a hordie is my belf DK at 62.. I just hit a mental wall in hfp.. kept dying from walking into the wrong major city…

    I do want to get that dk up to dragonblight so i can see the horde side of the wrathgate event.

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