Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Semi-Sensical Explanation of Warsong Gulch

There have been countless jokes about the dichotomy between the premise and implementation of the Warsong Gulch battleground since it was first introduced to World of Warcraft back in the 1.5.0 patch of June, 2005. For those of you who are not in the know—or have just plain forgotten—the premise of Warsong Gulch revolves around two factions vying for control over the southern portions of Ashenvale forest. On the Horde side, the Warsong Outriders seek to obtain valuable resources by making lumber out of the forest's trees. On the Alliance side, the Silverwing Sentinels seek to keep the land pristine by halting the Warsong Outriders' lumber operation. So, how was this premise actually implemented into World of Warcraft?

As a game of capture the flag, of course!

I'll let that sink in for a moment, shall I? For those of you who have known about this for a long time, feel free to take this moment to let the headache from slamming your forehead into the desk subside.

Feeling better? Good. Now I'll bet you're wondering how a game of capture the flag can possibly make sense in the above context. Well, the truth is that no explanation that makes sense in terms of game lore can actually explain Warsong Gulch completely without requiring some degree of creative interpretation (hence the "Semi-Sensical" in this post's title). Back when the debates about how the implementation of Warsong Gulch makes sense lore-wise were still common, one of the rationales was that the flags were symbolic of actual trees. Thus, by capturing flags, you were, in effect, raiding the enemy's lumber reserves.

Personally, I disagree. Why? Because I think I've come to a conclusion that I feel better explains the relationship between the premise of Warsong Gulch and its capture-the-flag implementation—capturing the flag is not a symbolic gesture that represents capturing the enemy's lumber supplies...it's a literal one! We're not really after the enemy's flag so much as we're all trying to capture the enemy's flagPOLE. After all, those flagpoles are the only movable lumber in the entire battleground. Suddenly, it all makes sense! =P

Wait, why are you all looking at me like I'm crazy?

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