On Improving WoW's Races (Very TLDR)

90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
Please note this is my opinion and my opinion only. Others may agree with me but I am not speaking for them here.

Yes, I'm citing TVTropes. It is a simple, direct source with examples of each flaw listed.

At the moment there seems to be a problem with the lore, in my opinion. Now, I'm fully aware not everyone plays for the story or is familiar with the lore. Just like PVP isn't for everyone and PVE isn't for everyone, lore and RP isn't for everyone.

We've seen characters live, die, become corrupt and every race's story take twists and turns. However, a number of people, from what I've seen, aren't exactly happy. Before I get into this, I'll list off a couple of definitions:

Flanderization:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Flanderization
Flanderization is when a characteristic of a person(s) becomes all consuming. The term comes from The Simpsons, specifically Ned Flanders, where he was originally a mildly pious fellow but had a ton of other characteristics as well. But over the years Ned became more and more devote and pious until it became his major, overshadowing theme.

The Worf Effect
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfEffect
The Worf Effect is basically when you want to show somebody as awesome the best way to do it is to show them crush or defeat handily a single individual. Often implied that this individual is powerful. Takes its name from when Worf, of Star Trek, would constantly be the butt of many single hit knock outs.

Overshadowed by Awesome

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OvershadowedByAwesome
Exactly what you think it means. Where characters that are interesting or have a lot of potential has it quashed by somebody else, usually by an ally that frequently is shown to be powerful or amazing.

Plucky Comic Relief
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PluckyComicRelief
A character entirely devoted to being either the butt of all jokes, being funny and introducing levity into a scene.

Now that that is done.

I believe that racial lore and culture is an important part of any story. It adds to the feel of a world, a race, even helps differentiate between two very close allies. It helps people understand that some characters have different mindsets and why they may have those ideologies. However, as time has gone on a lot of WoW's races have shifted a bit. I know a fair few aren't happy with the current status of their favorite races so I decided to write my personal opinion on the matter.

It is my belief that what makes WoW special, at least in terms of lore and story, not mechanics and gameplay, is found in the past. The world and lore that WoW's roots lay in, Warcraft 1, 2 and 3. These were a fertile ground for lore and allowed Blizzard to easily craft an MMO out of it. It had established stories, characters, events and lands. It had races and peoples who had an established fanbase. As time went on a number of races deviated from that beginning, others delved headlong into it, others had retcons and changes happen.

To me what makes a race interesting is their culture and, in particular, their 'core'. If every race has a defined core that sets them firmly apart from other races, a culture and history that, generally, every one of that race believes and follows, it can create a unique people and a unique identity for them. In WC3 this was done; the Night Elves were different from the Humans, who were different from the Orcs, who were different from the Scourge, on a fundamental, gameplay, lore and flavor level. Personally, I think that we need to go back to the start, the core of these races, and distill it. Once we have this core, build upon it.

So, without further bluster, I offer to you my idea for each race and how to improve them, by focusing on their genesis and their core, as well as what I, personally, think is wrong with them at the current
Edited by Melyria on 9/12/2012 5:25 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
Orcs
The Flaw: Little. The focus on the Orcs has led to “Overshadowed by Awesome” for almost every other race.

The Orcs have, surprisingly, not changed a whole lot since their new genesis in WC3. WC1 and 2 was a different Horde, with WC3 bringing about Thrall's Horde. Now, currently, under Garrosh there has been a lot of 'old horde' mentality going on. People are accusing the Orcs of being the villains, of doing monstrous things and I can't blame them. However, we know that Garrosh is going to be taken care of. The Orcs have, since WC3, had the core of 'struggling for their soul' and at the moment the corruption seems to be pumping strong.

The problem is that the Orcs have become the focus of the Horde. They overshadow everything around them and, ultimately, smother the other races around them to the point where they just fall into the background and blend into the Orc mentality.

What can we do to 'fix' this? Once Garrosh is done, introduce a Warchief who is either a non-Orc or one that openly values diversity within the Horde. The Orcs have always struggled with the fine line between corruption and honor, walking the line without going too far over it. Hopefully the new Warchief will pull the Orcs closer to the 'honor' side of things. Saurfang, Etrigg and Zeala and Gorganna all would be decent ideas for Warchief under this philosophy, Orc exclusive of course.

Tauren
The Flaw: Little. A bit of underexposure.

The Tauren, recently, have been put into a great light. Baine's character is certainly good and his actions, beliefs and ideals are very close to what the Tauren have always been about. We see him at odds with Garrosh, wanting peace and calm for his people, to be treated fairly but also honoring the Horde and Orcs.

Grimtotem not withstanding (every race needs some radicals/evils), the Tauren have always been a more neutral leaning race. They strive for peace, respecting the land and nature, with a heavy First Nation's influence but they also swear allegiance to the Horde, both for the similarities the Horde races share and for the debt they still may yet to pay for their survival. The Tauren have always been fierce, strong, honorable warriors, without the bloodlust of the Orcs but with a big heart and kind soul behind that powerful muscle.

There is little to fix with the Tauren. Currently, they are one of the best depicted races and the only thing that needs to happen is we need to see more of them. Maybe cut them some slack and see them in battle a bit more.

Trolls
Flaw: Overshadowed by Awesome.

The Trolls have a big problem. They recently got a lot of their 'feel' back, the loa and the Troll civil war. The issue is that the Orcs basically overshadow everything to do with them. Trolls are almost always under the Orc's heel and have assimilated into them a great deal. Where you have Trolls, you likely have Orcs, and the Orcs overshadow them greatly.

The Trolls, at their core, have always been that 'dark' side of shamanism. They are survivors, they are primal, they are cunning. They don't walk quite as close to the moral event horizon as the Forsaken, but at their core they walk it more than the Orcs. The Orcs (at least when they started out as the 'New Horde') didn't embrace their dark side as much as they did their bloodlust and honor. To Trolls, to have honor is to embrace that dark side, the voodoo and loa.

So how do we get them back to their core? Split them from the Orcs firmly. Allow the Trolls to flourish in their newly renewed roots. Play the voodoo, the witch doctors, that cunning and power to the hilt, free of any Orc involvement. Show them being devastating warriors and casters in their own right. Voodoo figurines and golems, tiki masks and fetishes, bring back the Darkspear shadow hunters and make the race feared again.
Edited by Melyria on 9/12/2012 5:20 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
Blood Elves
Flaw: Lack of attention

Don't get me wrong, Blood Elves have gotten a bit of lore. We have the reliquary and the leader story and the Zul'Aman stuff. But that is just very sparse in comparison to the other lore other races are getting.

At their core, what is a Blood Elf? A survivor. A noble lineage. Blood Elves are the closest thing to 'human' the Horde has. They don't value honor like how Orcs and Tauren do, they aren't tribal and they are 'civilized'. But with recent changes they're also something else. Reclaimers. The Blood Elves have gotten the Sunwell back.

So what do we do with them? We show the Blood Elves returning to some of their past glory. They strike out into the world, make conquests and earn a reputation on their own and not just for their magical talent. The Blood Elves have the Farstriders, the Blood Knights, not just magisters. Make use of them. Show they have a prideful, strong heritage but also that dark streak that hasn't yet fallen away since Quel'Thalas' destruction. The Blood Elves have bled and in turn they should demand blood as well. They should be able to put up a fight on the eastern front alongside the Forsaken with ease.

Ultimately, their core needs to be about glory, survival and reclamation. They've got a spot in the Horde, they don't have to justify it anymore with words or magic. Make them truly show that they belong to the Horde and are well beyond the point of having to prove themselves.

The Forsaken
Flaw: Flanderization.

That's the major flaw of the Forsaken. Originally their core was that they were the darkest and most evil of the playable races, yet they still had a degree of merit to them. To start, back in Vanilla, the Forsaken were fighting against the Scourge and Scarlet Crusade, two groups that were committing war crimes upon them and they reacted in turn. Yes, they had a dark side, they were vengeful and used dishonorable tactics. But they still had lines that stopped them from being perceived and full on evil.

The characterization of the Forsaken crept. In Wrath we had Putress and the wholesale slaughter of the Crusade. Then in Cataclysm we see the Forsaken committing genocide and outright destroying anything in their path. What we see is a flanderization of their ability to do terrible things, brought to the unfortunate extreme.

So what can be done to 'fix' the Forsaken? Dial them down. At their core the Forsaken were pragmatic. They were clinical, cold, willing to do what it took. Again, yes, there were some who were complete monsters but that wasn't an indication of their entire race. A Forsaken will use plague when it will serve to end a conflict simply and easily, they will do what it takes regardless of honor, but they still had a degree of morality to them. Now they're basically a second Scourge.

So what can we do? Turn back the genocide and make the Forsaken use those methods on those who legitimately deserve it. Stop the Scourge-like methodology and bring back some of the dark, gothic tragedy that the Forsaken originally had. The feelings of loss, of grief, of rage and frustration, alongside with the terror and horror they can commit. Make them cunning, slather their words in honey, make them clinical, make them pragmatists.

What about Sylvannas? Unsure. We know that Blizzard has some plan for her but we'll need to wait and see. I just hope that the above solution, the return to their core and beginnings, happens after whatever happens to her happens.

Goblins
Flaw: Plucky Comic Relief

With Cataclysm's introduction also came the Goblins and from the start we knew what they were about. They were crazy, funny and generally a match for the Gnome's comic relief. However, to me, a race isn't entirely interesting if they're -just- comic relief. As you'll see below, I think these races should actually have their core altered slightly (in defiance of my original statement).

Is their core, that of humor, wrong? No. People like playing a race for humor, at least some do. But there's a difference between humor and overboard humor. This is why I like the goblin commando squads. You see a serious side to their mania. Really, what's more frightening than a guy crazy enough to build a gun, never test it and, when pushed, will gladly aim it at you without a second thought that it might blow up him, you and a good chunk of the landscape?

I think interjecting a little bit of fear into the goblin's actions won't draw away from their comedy. Having them swing between humor and terror might do well. Being kooky is great, being kooky and then throwing on a manic grin and doing something horrifying? Even better. Think “The Joker”, who could do the more terrible things but still make you laugh while doing them, just out of sheer absurdity.
Edited by Melyria on 9/12/2012 5:20 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
Humans
Flaws: Like the Orcs they tend to overshadow others.

Now, don't get me wrong, the humans have been on the ropes a bit. Cataclysm hit the Alliance hard, Theramore's destruction too. But we also have to remember that just because they're losing doesn't mean their culture and core isn't intact. It just means that the story is having them lose or take losses.

Humans, to me, have always been the stoic first and last line. They're valorous, brave, willing to sacrifice and make brilliant last stands for what they belief in. They may not be as strong as an Orc but their heart and passion is comparable, if not outdoing an Orc's. But humans aren't just about their souls and hearts, humans have always had tactics on their side. Humans are, at their core to me, brave, valiant and brilliant.

And I think that a lot of that is still there. The humans still are brave, still are tactically sound and still are full of honor and passion. I just think that what we need is to see those ideals pull them through to some major, hard hitting victories. That's all.

But humans have a second problem. With Varian's introduction the Alliance has become more and more human centric. Its to the point where humans overshadow anyone in any operation they take part in. Now, it is less so than the Orcs, that's for sure, but in an Alliance there shouldn't be any overshadowing. Everyone, should get their fair say and their own sovereign nation, their army and the humans need to back off. Not as the face of the Alliance, but as such a major, overwhelming presence in the Alliance.

Dwarves
Flaw: Flanderization

Ah, Dwarves. Who doesn't like them? They started off with a rich history and a lot of great lore but... recently they've started to show signs of flanderization. Not as much as the Forsaken mind you but still some. We got to see some aspects of the Dwarf core in the Highlands but still there was a concept that kept springing up: Beer.

Dwarves need to stop referencing alcohol so much. Yes, I know, heresy. But we need to see so much more other than that. Dwarves have always been explorers, been curious and stoic. They dig in the mountain not for greed but for knowledge. They're pensive, they're brash, they're crafty. They're like an old man who'll smack you upside the head with his cane after blindsiding you because you thought you could take him.

We need to ultimately see the Dwarves push more for their non-liquor flavored lore. What are they like in battle? They're stubborn as stone and hit twice as hard as a falling boulder. What are they like outside of battle? They're fun, yet wise, up for a fun time but never forgetting that curiosity that makes them dig. It makes them invent steam tech, it makes them explore, it makes them crave knowledge.

We need it to be felt in almost everything we see of them. This is what needs to make them special, their culture and personality, not their love of beer.

Gnomes
Flaw: Plucky Comic Relief

Now, like above, pretty much the same problem but different solution.

Gnomes are humor oriented. That's okay. But it can't be all that we see of them. We need to have them have merit on the front line, merit in war. And not just being pilots or inventors.

What do we need to make Gnomes 'serious' on the battlefield? Make them organized. We see this in the starter zones for Dwarves/Gnomes. They're brilliant in organized combat. They use formation, they use tactics and non-linear thinking. But there's one other thing that makes them great. Their heart. A Gnome, any Gnome, will do what it takes. Look at the reclamation of Gnomeregan. Look at all the volunteers, all the bodies they took in, all the work they got done. Gnomes elect their leaders, they volunteer, they are fair they are bold and brave down to the last.

Make that what we see of Gnomes, aside from the humor. That they are, above all else, brave and stoic, with hearts and determination to put an Orc to shame.

Worgen
Flaw: Underexposure

Now, I like Worgen for what little we see of them. But we barely see them and when we do, its so short we rarely get any feel for what they are.

Lets see Worgen fight with their feral side. Lets see them embrace that new lifestyle but also try and master it. Lets see them on their own, in a great length of time, and see exactly what they're made of. Lets see that Gilnean pride, that wit, that stubbornness, mix it with their refugee's humility, their wolf's heart, their thirst for vengeance.
Edited by Melyria on 9/12/2012 5:21 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
Draenei
Flaw: Underexposure

Once again, Draenei are underexposed. They've gotten pretty much the least lore updates since TBC.

But what do we know about them? Well, we know they're wise and patient and worship the Light. But their short story seemed to open up new avenues. Draenei are devoted. They are calm and almost cold at times, otherworldly. But their patience has a limit.

We need to see the Draenei more but more importantly we need to see their patience pushed. We don't need to just see their devotion to duty, their desire to see the Legion destroyed. We know that, we got that. What we need to see if the Draenei from the cinematic, one who can look calm but with a hint of fury beneath that cold look, as he butchers Orcs with his hammer. We need the Draenei tested, pushed beyond their limit and to see that fury suddenly unleashed, even if for just a split second.

Woe to you should you push a Draenei past their patience, for the action taken will be swift, direct and powerful to punish you. A riot is about to happen and what do the Draenei do once their patience is done? They, without hesitation, kill a few rioters to quell the rest.

That is what we should see. The Draenei taking charge and showing that, for once, you don't mess with them.

The Night Elves
Flaw: Flanderizaation, The Worf Effect, Derailment from their Core

Yes, anyone who knows me knew this was coming. It is my personal belief that the Night Elves have moved further than any other race from their core and genesis than any other race... and not for the better.

What we've seen is the Worf Effect in action. We see the Worgen and Humans aid the Night Elves a number of times, the Twilight Cult, Naga and Horde devastate them to prove a point. As a result the Night Elves needed to be weakened, various factions needed to be removed (Allies of nature) or made neutral (Ancients). What was once a race that could, in theory, fight the combined might of the Trolls, Tauren and Orcs are now suddenly struggling to fight them on any level.

But we also see a flanderization too. This is the 'tolerance' viewpoint. In WC3 the Night Elves were isolationist, xenophobic and hostile. They allied out of need and even then there was some grumbling about it. Flash forward and 'tolerance' is pretty much a defining characteristic of the Night Elves, in a sense. We're told they're slow to change, yet Tyrande and Malfurion go to Thrall's wedding, they allow the Worgen into their city and recall the Highborne. And any who dares say ill of those is killed or made insane by the narrative.

But then we also have various things, derailments from their genesis. The Amazonian, fierce, feral, almost savage Elunite culture we see is dead, in place of the druidic themes. The Night Elf pride, isolationism and seclusion is not played upon at all. The hatred of the Arcane is not given any attention and is somewhat reversed with the Highborne's return, ignoring almost all tension it would cause. Their immortality is gone.

So what do we do to fix the Night Elves? We bring them back to their genesis. We make them more isolationist. We take Malfurion out of the leadership and make it neutral, as he belongs. We put Tyrande back into the battle and make the Night Elves aggressive (and potent). We show open hostility against the arcane. We put powerful, traditional female Kaldorei into positions of power again. Have Shandris do something, have Tyrande stand up for her people, heck, bring back Maiev and find a way to make her not insane (Suggestion: Shadow Orb was corrupting her).

What we need from the Night Elves is for them to be strong on their own, though not without need for the Alliance, and to go back to the depiction of their society we saw in WC3.
Edited by Melyria on 9/12/2012 5:22 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
The Factions
But what about the Horde and the Alliance as a whole? Each has a theme. The Horde should be struggling between man and monster, between what is easy (fel magic, genocide) and what is honorable (fighting a fair war). They can still be aggressive but also not be complete monsters int he process.

Likewise, the Alliance should struggle with internal problems. They're an Alliance. They should struggle a bit against the united Horde but they should -still- hold their own. Every race should have a say and every race should face their own trials to a degree.

What's more we have themes of the races within their factions.

The Orcs and Night Elves should be the races quickest to go for the kill, the ones who are the aggressors, the instigators, the 'savages'.

The Trolls and Worgen should be the cunning dark stalkers, the ones split between good and dark, voodoo and light, man and beast. They are the “I owe you my life” crowd, the ones who fight for another race out of loyalty for being saved.

The Humans and Dwarves, Blood Elves and Forsaken are the 'high men', the jack of all trades. Those who keep a cool, civilized head, who use varied tactics and troops, magic and sword.

The Goblins and Gnomes are the 'first to act', those who offer the solution and act upon it, consequences be damned because it fixes the problem -right now-.

The Draenei and Tauren should be the warrior advisers. The peaceful, the wise. Those who fight, who have strength but also a mind for peace and a wise word to their allies.
Edited by Melyria on 9/12/2012 5:22 AM PDT
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85 Undead Warlock
5600
I don't remember hearing of anything other than Humans Orcs Trolls Nelfs Belfs Dwarfs and Scourge in WC
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85 Worgen Mage
1895
That was the longest op I've ever read. Interesting points and an overall interesting read.
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I'm glad you brought this thread to storyboard-- if only we can bring frostytrolls responses too.

But I agree on most of what you say, except for maybe a few things on the forsaken
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
60 views, 3 comments. Maybe I shouldn't have made such a massive OP...
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Draenei
Flaw: Underexposure

Once again, Draenei are underexposed. They've gotten pretty much the least lore updates since TBC.

But what do we know about them? Well, we know they're wise and patient and worship the Light. But their short story seemed to open up new avenues. Draenei are devoted. They are calm and almost cold at times, otherworldly. But their patience has a limit.

We need to see the Draenei more but more importantly we need to see their patience pushed. We don't need to just see their devotion to duty, their desire to see the Legion destroyed. We know that, we got that. What we need to see if the Draenei from the cinematic, one who can look calm but with a hint of fury beneath that cold look, as he butchers Orcs with his hammer. We need the Draenei tested, pushed beyond their limit and to see that fury suddenly unleashed, even if for just a split second.

Woe to you should you push a Draenei past their patience, for the action taken will be swift, direct and powerful to punish you. A riot is about to happen and what do the Draenei do once their patience is done? They, without hesitation, kill a few rioters to quell the rest.

That is what we should see. The Draenei taking charge and showing that, for once, you don't mess with them.


In other words - Change our Spec from Holy to Retribution. Please.

Also, Draenei are supposed to be uber-mages so uber-magic that we got Sargeras attention. And among uber-mages, Velen was one of the uberest-mages. So make him uber-magic too. I mean, I love the Light lore, I play a Paladin... But it gets tiring when this is the only thing that defines the race.

So yeah. Lots of Retribution. Lots of Magic.

Also, we have been exploring the known and unknown recesses of the universe for... 25,000 years. We are also the most knowledgeable beings about the Legion short of the Legion itself. Play this up. You know, like the holographic displays in the Vault of Lights. Only, grander.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
To be fair, magic is not about how long you've been practicing it. Blood Elves have surpassed the Highborne in magic skill because Blood Elves evolved their magic skills through a lot of trial and error because their society was and is literally built upon the foundations of magic. This is also why humans are considered to be exceptionally potent spell casters.

As of now we don't entirely know the Draenei's capabilities for magic. For all we know it could have atrophied or be heavily specialized. Either way, more attention should be given to it instead of purely on their faith.
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The Orcs have, surprisingly, not changed a whole lot since their new genesis in WC3. WC1 and 2 was a different Horde, with WC3 bringing about Thrall's Horde.


You keep using this word for the horde, I don't think it means what you think it means for the context.

Essentially, its the same horde, under new (less experienced) management and that management has a "really don't care" attitude.

Don't believe me? Just think of all the times he could have shoed in his horde, and didn't, or was requested of to weed out murderers and theives, and exonerated them.

It's all still the same Green Skinned Abberations that came through the dark portal and their age altered children, and those age altered children's children that may just now be coming of age.

And who is the leader of the horde in this day and age? The son of the father that was one of the major catalysts of the dark hordes creation, and he's pretty much playing from daddy's book, just without the assistance of demons blood.

The horde has always been more orc centric, they are the most numerous of the each faction, and have been ruled by orcs since the dawn of its inception. It is unlikely at this point that they would get someone other than Thrall to come back and retake the mantle, which unfortunately is going to happen, it is inevitable for Metzen's avatar to take centerstage once more.

Trolls
Flaw: Overshadowed by Awesome.


I'm not sure this is actually as big a deal as you tink it is, mon.

In all seriousness, Vol'jin just spent an entire patch mark (4.1) as being the main character to both sides of the story. It was in and of itself a major blow to my faith in good story telling. In the midst of a brand new war that is coming at the hands of the horde and alliance, we have Vol'jin helping out both sides in a troll war that is going on. If Garrosh had known that he was giving/allowing money and armaments to go to the alliance, he would have quite literally split Vol'jin in two with Gorehowl for treason, and he would have been in his right to do so as warchief of the horde.

But hey, did the entirety of the Darkspear get overshadowed by the orc element? Of course they did, but Vol'jin blotted out the sun as well for the alliance heroes to take stage in troll matters.

Don't you cringe when you hear Bwemba say, "He's always tryin' ta save da world" As if he was always mindful of it?

Ultimately, their core needs to be about glory, survival and reclamation. They've got a spot in the Horde, they don't have to justify it anymore with words or magic. Make them truly show that they belong to the Horde and are well beyond the point of having to prove themselves.


Basically, Garrosh doesn't directly deal with the Elves, remember? He kicked all weaker members of the horde out of orgrimmar, and so now they get second reports from Sylvannas, who has them dangling from a thread that she could let drop at a moments notice simply if they don't indulge her. They need her help more than she needs theirs, and as their neighbor, can have them crushed simply be removing her forsaken soldiers from their area and let the risen take them all out.

So what can be done to 'fix' the Forsaken? Dial them down.


And in order to dial them down you have to be able to the following:

Kill the Royal Apothecary Society
Kill the Valkyr
Kill Sylvanas

You don't have to do all 3, but out of those 3, you must enevitably do at least the top 2 or the bottom 2.

Killing RAS and the Valkyr now makes Sylvanas vulnerable to death herself, prevents reanimation of corpses, and prevents the production of future blight-based technology, or at least set them back a few decades. Decimate the Lab, burn all traces of how to make the plague, and even if Sylvanas knows how, what can she do without her supreme blight makers? She can allow a newer RAS to trial and error the exact creation method, but that will take more time that would stop her from immorally plague bombing everything behind Garrosh's back.

Killing the Valkyr and finally killing the Lich Queen now leaves the forsaken leaderless, without purpose. Perhaps now the RAS takes up the mantle, using the dark ladies name for the sake of martyrdom, and finally dialing down her wanton destruction because now they can't afford to lose soldiers like they used to, since they can't simply reanimate new ones, and the new leadership could take time to see the forsaken rise as a major power. The blight is stored away for another time.

Goblins
Flaw: Plucky Comic Relief


Goblins really just need to have a main stay leader show up and give the business. Gallywix needs to make a major power move and finally give the goblins what they need - a voice. Something that will get them out of just being the running gag (usually with a bomb on their back) and more into the fight as tacticians and saboteurs.

But humans have a second problem. With Varian's introduction the Alliance has become more and more human centric. Its to the point where humans overshadow anyone in any operation they take part in.


This is true for cataclysm and wrath, not so much for MoP. We start off doing things for Wrynn, but as you progress, you see that the elves have a standing army out in Pandaria, while the "Humans" have an airship and are training pandas in the mountains and jinyu in the forests.

That said, it has always been my opinion that the leaders of the alliance should always have had some sort of way to communicate with each other via a combination of magic and tech. A room set to the side of the throne rooms of each where scrying devices are used to have council meetings and updates. Just as well, with the Shrine of the Seven Stars, each set of leaders should be interchanged on a regular basis as sort of a tour of alliance holdings.

All members of the Alliance should have an equal say in the war effort. Varian Wrynn, as much as I find him to be one of the Alliances shining hopes, doesn't need to be the High King.
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90 Troll Shaman
5420
Holy derail Seebach!

Back on topic though, I feel that while the idea behind this thread is a good one, it's got a couple problems standing in the way of proper conversation.

It presents some nice ideas, but the monologue format doesn't exactly leave room for discussion.

I'd recommend you stick to one race at a time and leave your post(s) more open-ended so as to encourage people to join in on the conversation of what they think.
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90 Troll Rogue
11815
Holy derail Seebach!

Back on topic though, I feel that while the idea behind this thread is a good one, it's got a couple problems standing in the way of proper conversation.

It presents some nice ideas, but the monologue format doesn't exactly leave room for discussion.

I'd recommend you stick to one race at a time and leave your post(s) more open-ended so as to encourage people to join in on the conversation of what they think.


Probably why ou are getting lots of views and not much commenting.
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90 Tauren Druid
8985
Yeah, was a good read but I feel kind of overwhelmed and don't know where to begin...
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90 Undead Priest
0


The Forsaken
Flaw: Flanderization.

That's the major flaw of the Forsaken. Originally their core was that they were the darkest and most evil of the playable races, yet they still had a degree of merit to them. To start, back in Vanilla, the Forsaken were fighting against the Scourge and Scarlet Crusade, two groups that were committing war crimes upon them and they reacted in turn. Yes, they had a dark side, they were vengeful and used dishonorable tactics. But they still had lines that stopped them from being perceived and full on evil.

The characterization of the Forsaken crept. In Wrath we had Putress and the wholesale slaughter of the Crusade. Then in Cataclysm we see the Forsaken committing genocide and outright destroying anything in their path. What we see is a flanderization of their ability to do terrible things, brought to the unfortunate extreme.

So what can be done to 'fix' the Forsaken? Dial them down. At their core the Forsaken were pragmatic. They were clinical, cold, willing to do what it took. Again, yes, there were some who were complete monsters but that wasn't an indication of their entire race. A Forsaken will use plague when it will serve to end a conflict simply and easily, they will do what it takes regardless of honor, but they still had a degree of morality to them. Now they're basically a second Scourge.

So what can we do? Turn back the genocide and make the Forsaken use those methods on those who legitimately deserve it. Stop the Scourge-like methodology and bring back some of the dark, gothic tragedy that the Forsaken originally had. The feelings of loss, of grief, of rage and frustration, alongside with the terror and horror they can commit. Make them cunning, slather their words in honey, make them clinical, make them pragmatists.

What about Sylvannas? Unsure. We know that Blizzard has some plan for her but we'll need to wait and see. I just hope that the above solution, the return to their core and beginnings, happens after whatever happens to her happens.


This is really wrong. I see a lot of rose-colored glasses about the Forsaken's beginnings. They were ALWAYS evil and cruel and dark. The lines that stopped people from viewing them as evil were lines that were always portrayed as ruses from the onset. Their direction in Cataclysm is not Flanderization, it's just a continuation of the characterization established at the start. They were open about the fact, at least in Forsaken zones, that they wanted to wipe out humanity with a new plague.

The fact that they fought mutual enemies is not something that ever made them good. The dreadlords hated Arthas and the Scourge too after they lost control of them, but no one would think of them as good. And the Scarlet Crusade was viewed as evil because they were killing any LIVING person not associated with their order (the random chat bubbles they give and quests to kill them made it apparent that they thought anyone living who wasn't among their numbers was infected with the undead plague and would eventually turn).

Flanderization is really not an appropriate word. A primary trait that was emphasized from the start merely continuing the logical course of the race falls well outside the way people view the term "flanderization." The Forsaken role in the story has really only improved. They could be building up to a storyline where the Tauren or someone else finds a way to start curing them of their soul corruption, and that would be interesting and fun and all that (I'd especially like it if such a story had the Tauren recognize that they were misled by the Forsaken early on when they tricked the tauren into thinking their primary desire was a cure for undeath). But the Forsaken have definitely not been Flanderized as they are now.

I'd also say that Dwarves have not been flanderized either. The beer thing has just been a quirky trait, and sometimes you get a quest or two that plays on that quirky trait, but overall the dwarves have remained one of the best developed of the races. They've got internal divisions, a lot of massive pay-offs in their archaeological focus, and a solid presence throughout general alliance military areas.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
11905
The issue with the Forsaken isn't that they weren't always evil, they did terrible things. The issue is that they did those terrible things to, normally, people who were 'acceptable argets', such as the Scarlet Crusade and the Scourge.

Furthermore, their evil became an overpowering aspect of their race, to the point where the Forsaken have nothing else but that. In Vanilla you had a multitude of quests while going from all the way to Hillsbrad with Forsaken showing various other mindsets and emotions. Some showed comradery, some showed regret, sorrow, frustration. Many, especially a large number of the 'average Joe' NPCs were able to be pitied or related to. NPCs like Iceshard reunited with his old friend, Yorik worrying about her partner, etc.

When you had other elements, elements like sorrow, tragedy, loss and frustration, yet the 'evil empire' overpowers them all, that's flanderization.

Before the Forsaken normally had an agenda and were fairly precise with what they did. Carpet bombing Southshore was a waste of resource and was done purely for the value of 'lets make them as evil as possible'.

Am I saying make the Forsaken hugs and kisses? No. I'm saying show other elements of their racial personality. I'm saying don't just make them do things to show they're evil. They could've marched on Southshore.

I'm also asking to see more Forsaken in non-combat, more diplomatic situations, so we can actually see Forsaken talking normally, passively without "Plague and conquest on the brain".

09/14/2012 11:12 AMPosted by Torvald
I'd also say that Dwarves have not been flanderized either. The beer thing has just been a quirky trait, and sometimes you get a quest or two that plays on that quirky trait, but overall the dwarves have remained one of the best developed of the races.


If you go to the Highlands almost every step of the Dwarf questchain references or includes alcohol. To the point where you end up fetching kegs of ale no fewer than 5 times. To the point where Orc dailies involve destroying their beer because it demoralizes the Dwarves more than anything else.

And this is not even including the questing in Dun Mogh or Loch Modan.

09/14/2012 10:20 AMPosted by Bullcowsby
Yeah, was a good read but I feel kind of overwhelmed and don't know where to begin...


Well, pick a race or give a general overview of which you agree with and which you don't.
Edited by Melyria on 9/14/2012 11:28 AM PDT
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90 Orc Shaman
9340
It is too late now but i think limiting the classes to fewer races would have made for much better lore and exposure of the races. This would have created a much larger gap between the races and in turn given them the ability to create a better story.
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To be fair, magic is not about how long you've been practicing it. Blood Elves have surpassed the Highborne in magic skill because Blood Elves evolved their magic skills through a lot of trial and error because their society was and is literally built upon the foundations of magic. This is also why humans are considered to be exceptionally potent spell casters.

As of now we don't entirely know the Draenei's capabilities for magic. For all we know it could have atrophied or be heavily specialized. Either way, more attention should be given to it instead of purely on their faith.


Blood/High Elves "surpassed" - I wouldn't choose this particular words, but eh - their Highborne cousins because they pushed boundaries. They experimented with magic, they analyzed it, they challenged it's limits. That's also the reason the humans are so good with magic - smaller lifes makes for more decisiveness when acting, more imagination.

The whole thing is about pushing boundaries and experimenting, and the Draenei did this. Probably, they still do this.

I doubt Velen, for example, has forgotten all he knew about Magic. He may simply have chosen not to wield it, for the same reasons Kaldorei swore off the use of magic - it was the direct cause of their fall. Still, this is a guy who could probably give Medivh a run for his money. Heck, probably teach him a lot of things.

The endless backlash against the Draenei's Eredar origins may have discouraged Blizzard to develop this point, but it is a point. We're mages, scientists, explorers. If it's about knowledge, there we are.
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