Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Races and a Dynamic Game

I'm wandering a bit, but stay with me this does have to do with WoW.

Recently I stumbled across a couple of pics of the Iksar from Everquest.
The next one is a bit not safe for work so here is a link.  Jathiros did a more classical pose than porn of Sesska.  It got me wondering, why do we like the Iksar so much?  They worship the God of fear and the power it brings - their patron creator.  They are not overtly evil but instead quietly competently evil.

What is it about the Villain/Anti-hero Venom that had him getting his own his comic book?

At the time he got it he was threatening to kill pedestrians for jaywalking so you cant say its because of his sparkling personality.

Id have to say it had something to do with the need to have someone who lived by their own rules, different from your own.

He gives Spiderman conflict and a dark highlight to what he tries not to become.

Or how about the Spartians*?   They defied the cultures of their day and established their own society.  Their ways, their Gods, were their own.  They got into their own movie with a whitewashed version of their culture.  With the epic quote 'This is Sparta!"

So what does this have to do with Warcraft?

Who do we have as the 'bad nations/races'?  Warcraft has snuffed out any powerful factions that might oppose the nation-states of Azeroth individually and stand no chance at opposing the Alliance or Horde.  If its something that they unite against you have to come up with a villian who raises all of their dead against them to give him a chance.  The Rise of the Zandalari struck me as the final gasp for a nation that refuses to bow to the Horde or the Alliance.

So, in the factions of the Horde and the Alliance do we have any races that stand out as conflict causers?

Alliance side the Night Elves used to be xenophobic arrogant jerks who didnt like anyone who wasnt graced enough by Elune to be born a night elf.  Now?  They have strangers living in their city and the last really Big-Jerk(tm) is being offed as a raid boss next expansion.  Their all kinds of lovey hunky dory.

Worgen were the same way but they moved in with the elves and I guess their new love everyone ways rubbed off cause their all over the place now perfectly at home like they were humans.

Horde side we have...well Garrosh and his Warsong who arent well liked.  They do a good job of pushing the story along with their honor, strength, and belief in the old ways.  The rest of the orcs fit into Thrall's feel good mold.
Blood elves used to be racist and arrogant but for the most part that vanished like the Night Elves.  Their out working with the other races and getting along just fine.

That leaves the last self centered race, the Undead, Forsaken.  Ironically they should have lingering loyalties to the other races but the game makes it clear your loyalty is to the Forsaken.  Cause only they embrace the risen dead.  Except for all the Death Knights.  So ya know its probably possable for any other raised undead to join their former races in theory..
"You will welcome these former heroes of the Alliance and treat them with the respect that you would give to any to any ally of Stormwind!"

Forsaken Symbol
Anyway the Forsaken quests and NPCs are still vividly their own culture and ways unlike the rest of the races of the game.  They add a special flavor to any event involving them that is simply lacking without them.  The feel of the Anti-Hero.  The one who lives by her own rules and Gods.  Let any who stand against them be damned.

I think thats why the Forsaken have seen an upturn in interest in them, especally where role playing is concerned..  Their the last real holdout as a culture to this weird blending of races.

The thing is we need Iksar, Tier'Dal (the Dark Elves in EQ (Blueberries)), Forsaken, Night Elves and others to hate other races.  It adds a flavor that makes the world feel alive.  When you dont have other nations trying to fight for territory

Heck we cant even talk to a horde soldier t be spat upon because were kill on sight to them.  The opposing players?  Blizzard doesn't want us talking to them ether.

So, what would improve things?  Short of a full reworking of some of the races I'm not sure.  But one thing is certain - bastards have a staying power the game needs.

*=The Spartians would give their kids knives and have them roam the night to pull down and cut into little bits any slaves wandering around.  They had Homosexuality as brutally enforced ans any victorian heterosexuality and a cultural breeding program.  They had many vices to go with their virtues.

No comments:

Post a Comment