Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My opinion of WoW Races, in which I reference Pratchett, Tolkien, Star Trek, and Napolean Dynomite

  I'm playfully biased against what I consider the unnatural and alien races in World of Warcraft. I don't judge other player's choices at all, or even voice strong opinions, especially around players I don't know well. I just can't play certain races. I'd like to post my opinions for anyone who cares to read, or better yet, respond with your own.

The Titan Created Races

  I feel very strongly connected to the Dwarf culture on a personal, if not physical level. I'm actually 6' and slim, but according to Terry Pratchett, height is not what defines Dwarfness. They are the salt-of-the-earth, stoic, restrained in peace but violent of action in war. Loyalty is their highest value. Tradition is their foundation.

  Dwarves also display a natural curiosity that drives exploration and technological and industrial progression. Whereas Gnomes are known for being abstract and Goblins are more practical and/or destructive, Dwarves design and build with purpose. Consider the resolute intent that Magni hammered into Ashbringer. Dwarven motivations can be unexpectedly subtle, but they nearly always have unstoppable momentum.

   Dwarven culture is varied, especially after the reuniting of the three clans. They are a bit like Tolkien's Hobbits in the sense that "You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you."

  I have 5 Dwarf characters now, (Hunter, Shaman, DK, Rogue, Warlock) so it's definitely my favorite race. My choice of classes also represents a varied cross-section of the race.
  •   A dragon-killing/skinning/wearing Hunter Engineer, Gun For Hire, can cook, PST.
  •   A beautiful Wildhammer Shaman, devastating the enemies of nature with her two wind- and flame-powered tankards. 
  •   A fallen Holy Warrior, the death-seeker, the one who feels no pain so long as he inflicts it upon others, who despises what he has become: a Death Knight. 
  •   A young Rogue, finding her place, exploring the world, and learning more about herself than she could have imagined.
  •   A bitter, old Iron Dwarf Warlock, consorting with demons, but passing as a Mage for societies sake.
   I don't have much to say about Gnomes, really. I've never played one past the starter zone. My understanding of their culture is as it interacts with Dwarven culture. As a race, I see them as fickle, as reflected in their style of government and the type of technologies they advance. Their only steadfast loyalty has been to the Ironforge Dwarves, whom they complement, culturally. They look forward to tomorrow, while the Dwarves look back.

  I like them, but not enough to play them.

   I've called Humans bland and uninteresting as a whole, but when considering the history of the race, there are certain Heroes and Villains both that couldn't of not been Human, if that makes sense. They're the bulk of Alliance civilization, so to dismiss them all would be a gross error of judgement.

  That caveat aside, I feel mostly ambivalent about them. I have one Human, my lovely Priest.

  I love the Tauren race for much the same reasons as I love Dwarves. They're a grounded, peaceful, natural race. Their society is traditionally centered around the Great Hunt, and Hunter/Warriors form the core of it's fighting forces. Shamanism and a renewed Druidism also permeate their society, and a new element of the Holy Light, fused with their traditional creation story, has helped the Tauren gain a more global recognition.

  I have a Tauren Paladin, a class I've started-stopped a dozen times before, but it feels right playing a Holy Warrior Tauren. I've also started a Warrior Tauren, a female one at that, since it's my firm belief there should be more female non-Druid Tauren played by some one other than a middle-aged woman. No hate, just saying.

The Natural Races 

  Ya Mon silliness aside, the Trolls are the oldest and most indigenous race. For most of Azeroth's history, they were also the most dominant. It's very possible that they were not created at all, but evolved naturally, well before the Titan's involvement. The Darkspears seem fairly "civilized" compared to other Trolls, but to really embrace Troll culture and identity, you have to get over certain discomforting ideas, most prominently cannibalism. Also, you have to embrace the ugliness. Female Trolls just aren't pretty, and using that one face with the smallest tusks is, in essence, denying the ugliness. Embrace it I say!

  Though I find them much more interesting than most races, I don't have any real strong opinion for or against Trolls. If I had to say anything, It would be "Quit it with the ganja nonsense once in a while."

  During their starter zone questing, Goblins are stated as being created. The douchbag, low-level faceless one saying it might just be talking smack, though. Until it's verified, I'll consider them a natural race.

  What I appreciate about Goblins is their honesty. Greed is the most honest of emotions. Seriously, just about everything I like about Ferengi, I like about Goblins. I'm debating between a Goblin or a Troll Mage.

The Alien Races

  Orcs are an alien race that does not belong on Azeroth. They are also the aggressors in their conflict with the Humans. However, since they have nowhere else to go, there's no choice but to allow them to stay. That does not give them free run, though, and they have a lot to answer for.

  I don't really care for Orcs. They're like ugly(er) Humans.

  Blah blah, Holy Light, blah, blah, Holy Tails, blah, blah, Holy Crap Draenei Are Boring Space Goats.

The Unnatural Races

  The Worgen are really just Humans with an accent, werewolves by any other name. I don't full on hate them, since what happened to them wasn't really their fault.

  Their starter zone is one of the best quest sequences in the game. If you haven't played it yet, get on it! I have a Worgen Druid, though I sometimes consider rerolling Tauren instead.

  Well, of course the Forsaken are unnatural. They're undead. But my aversions aside, I do pity them, the way Tauren do. There's an empathetic practicality in that relationship. Also, Sylvanas is a Bad Bitch. I can respect that.

  I think they should be allowed to continue their existence, but their use of the plague needs to be punished severely. Allowing them to increase their numbers is evil.

  As for playing one? Meh, maybe the Mage slot instead of Troll or Goblin. Can't decide. Probably not.

Blood Elves
  Elves were created by twisting Trolls into a new creature infused with Arcane power and given immortality. Death is natural, and to deny it is unnatural. This fundamental disposition of the Elf races disinclines me to accept them.

  Blood elves in particular, though, are at least honest and open about their nature, and though I dislike it, I respect it. They also seem to have a cultural case of PTSD. I can empathize with that, unfortunately.

  Considered the prettiest race (even the males), Blood Elves are the OVERWHELMINGLY most popular. Not to be hipster about it, but I'm disinclined to favoring blatantly popular things. The male dance is pretty sweet, though.

Night Elves
  Night Elves I find to be supremely arrogant, especially when boasting of their oneness with nature. Growing Teldrassil and building a stone palace are not acts of natural cohabitation, but rather an attitude of dominance over nature. They lack respect. They are a supremely-privileged, selfish, xenophobic, and hypocritical race. They are responsible for most of Azeroth's troubles.

  I don't care for them.

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