Was Tauren Druid a balance or lore decision?

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Do you think Taurens would have been druids if it were not for WoW and its increasing need of giving all races all clases and schools?

Or do you like that this is a lore that tauren and night elves share?
I feel like picking up druidism is a natural progression of their nature worship. It may have had a little to do with ensuring both sides had access to the druid class, but it isn't lore that I've ever found questionable.
I think if the Night Elves had been made a part of the Horde then some other Alliance race would have had access to Druidism, possibly the hypothetical 'High Elves'. At the same time, if the Tauren could not have been Druids at launch then they would have only had three possible class combinations; Warrior, Hunter, and Shaman, giving them only one healing and one tanking option. Warlocks, Mages, and Rogue were obviously out for cultural reasons and at the time Paladins were Alliance exclusive and neither Mojnks nor DK's would be playable for years. Short of giving them Priests (which they would later do but at the time was something only Trolls and Forsaken could be, and Forsaken only because of their alignment to Shadow) Druids were the only other possible class that made sense.

So yeah, from a balancing position I think that was definitely a factor.

Having said all that, if we had gotten Warcraft 4 instead of WoW, who knows how different things might have been. The tauren may have been completely sidelined as a race to make way for some new addition to the Horde. It's impossible to say if they would have been druids or not at that point.
It was probably a balance decision, but ultimately it is fitting.

In an ideal world (of warcraft) for me there would have been stricter class-race/faction restrictions to maintain race/class identity. But then again a lot of people wouldn’t find that as fun as I would
Dreadful.

They already had Shamans - that should have been their natural connection. It works fine for Orcs.

There was no need to build such a strong bridge between the Tauren and the Nelves in a game that would only ever put them in constant war with eachother.
11/12/2018 07:14 PMPosted by Sigmar
It was probably a balance decision, but ultimately it is fitting.

In an ideal world (of warcraft) for me there would have been stricter class-race/faction restrictions to maintain race/class identity. But then again a lot of people wouldn’t find that as fun as I would


I think that if the game hadn't begun with the silly two faction system, stricter race/class combos would have generally been more tolerated. Although, as the story progressed, I believe those restrictions would have slowly been lifted in response to new lore.
11/12/2018 06:40 PMPosted by Alfredd
Do you think Taurens would have been druids if it were not for WoW and its increasing need of giving all races all clases and schools?

The trend toward giving (almost) all classes to all races is pretty recent. Tauren have been able to be druids at least since BC. So no, I don't think that was what drove the decision.
I actually have no doubt tauren would've gotten druids regardless even if there were no factions.

Mostly cause I doubt Blizz intended to ship tauren with only two classes, considering how late hunters got added.
It's also worth noting that WC3 in general was extremely limited in it's ability to give the many races "classes" and that the tauren of WoW, as well as many others, can't even play some of their iconic classes/units from WC3. In fact a good chunk of the classes are Alliance-centric concepts that were painted onto Horde so Blizzard wouldn't need to give the Horde their own iconic classes.

The Horde were given priests, druids, and later paladins.

The Horde were not allowed to play witch doctors, shadow hunters, or spirit walkers. Instead these were removed and replaced with the Alliance themed class priest.

Night elves also suffer from this to a lesser extent as they can't play a Priestess of Elune properly and instead were given a generic Alliance priest class to replace it.

So ultimately tauren needed druid to be added to their roster because Blizzard made shamans the only Horde themed class in the game.
11/12/2018 09:19 PMPosted by Kisin
It's also worth noting that WC3 in general was extremely limited in it's ability to give the many races "classes" and that the tauren of WoW, as well as many others, can't even play some of their iconic classes/units from WC3. In fact a good chunk of the classes are Alliance-centric concepts that were painted onto Horde so Blizzard wouldn't need to give the Horde their own iconic classes.

The Horde were given priests, druids, and later paladins.

The Horde were not allowed to play witch doctors, shadow hunters, or spirit walkers. Instead these were removed and replaced with the Alliance themed class priest.

Night elves also suffer from this to a lesser extent as they can't play a Priestess of Elune properly and instead were given a generic Alliance priest class to replace it.

So ultimately tauren needed druid to be added to their roster because Blizzard made shamans the only Horde themed class in the game.


I think you nailed.
I think blizzard if wanted to go to "all races class" model they should have made classes way more universal and then give talent trees and specializations based on races, so for instance there is the shaman class and taurens get spirit walking talent tree and so on
11/12/2018 06:55 PMPosted by Mustakraken
I think if the Night Elves had been made a part of the Horde then some other Alliance race would have had access to Druidism, possibly the hypothetical 'High Elves'. At the same time, if the Tauren could not have been Druids at launch then they would have only had three possible class combinations; Warrior, Hunter, and Shaman, giving them only one healing and one tanking option. Warlocks, Mages, and Rogue were obviously out for cultural reasons and at the time Paladins were Alliance exclusive and neither Mojnks nor DK's would be playable for years. Short of giving them Priests (which they would later do but at the time was something only Trolls and Forsaken could be, and Forsaken only because of their alignment to Shadow) Druids were the only other possible class that made sense.

So yeah, from a balancing position I think that was definitely a factor.

Having said all that, if we had gotten Warcraft 4 instead of WoW, who knows how different things might have been. The tauren may have been completely sidelined as a race to make way for some new addition to the Horde. It's impossible to say if they would have been druids or not at that point.


I really wish the NEs went Horde, they could have easily made Druid Horde only and Priest Alliance only as well.

It would make sense as well seeing as Druid would mirror Paladin while the Shaman would be also mirror Priest in a way.
11/12/2018 10:46 PMPosted by Arazlok
I really wish the NEs went Horde, they could have easily made Druid Horde only and Priest Alliance only as well.

It would make sense as well seeing as Druid would mirror Paladin while the Shaman would be also mirror Priest in a way


I don't agree that priests would've made sense as the second Alliance class, since trolls and nelves have priests galore. Priests probably should've just been more vague with their spells and not tied them to any particular faith.

I think mages would, in your scenario, make more sense as the second Alliance class. Since if you switched nelves and undead in vanilla, the only Horde race with access to the mage class would be trolls... who frankly never really had a reason to have mages.
11/12/2018 11:02 PMPosted by Ximothy

I don't agree that priests would've made sense as the second Alliance class, since trolls and nelves have priests galore. Priests probably should've just been more vague with their spells and not tied them to any particular faith.

I think mages would, in your scenario, make more sense as the second Alliance class. Since if you switched nelves and undead in vanilla, the only Horde race with access to the mage class would be trolls... who frankly never really had a reason to have mages.


I'd argue troll priests make very little sense outside the Shadow spec, and the Shadow spec was pretty much entirely invented to cater to Forsaken priests since at the time they couldn't be holy. Neither spec really meshed well with the troll religion at all.

Personally what I'd do is make priests unique to the Alliance and add a Witch Doctor class to the Horde.

Witch doctors are a primarily troll thing, but just as shamanism spread from the tauren to the orcs and trolls so too can voodoo spread the other way.

Witch doctor would be a DPS/Healing class focusing on DoTs, with a lot of control elements.

In my scenario Witch Doctor would be available to trolls, orcs, and Forsaken.

Why Forsaken? Because trolls and Forsaken are the darkest side of the Horde, and the Forsaken strike me as being willing to learn darker magic that might frighten a tauren. Throwing curses, turning their enemies into frogs, brewing potions, and consorting with dark spirits all sound like things the Forsaken would be more than glad to learn.

The Forsaken Witch Doctor aesthetic would revolve more around European witch folklore than the tribal voodoo aesthetic of the trolls, but the actual skills and spell animations would work fine for both.
I think what would have worked best for gameplay balance and racial/faction identity would be if WoW went the SWTOR route.

The Imperial and Republic classes are mirrors of each other, with abilities that perform the same gameplay function but have different names, animations and lore/descriptions attached.

For example if you are a Sith Inquisitor you're throwing lightning at people, but a Jedi Consular is using telekinesis to throw pebbles. Different visuals, same damage/cooldowns/cast time etc.

It gives them each a unique flavor, but doesn't cause any balancing headaches or make certain skills exclusive to one faction.
It was a balance decision.

The only druids in Warcraft 3 were Night Elves
I really encourage you all to watch the whole thing. But the time I have it at is the druid discussion. The short answer is: They were conflicted but chose to compromise lore for gameplay's sake.

Extra: About 18 minutes in I especially love how they basically outline how they experimented with endless grinding for power gain and decided it was not fun. 2005 Blizz talking about how bad artifact power is just tickles me.

https://youtu.be/ioQWkWj5_ss?t=837
Probably both - Tauren druids make sense lorewise, and you couldn't give one faction a class and denying it to another, not without balancing it out like they did in Vanilla with paladins and shamans.

11/12/2018 11:47 PMPosted by Jazia
I think what would have worked best for gameplay balance and racial/faction identity would be if WoW went the SWTOR route.

The Imperial and Republic classes are mirrors of each other, with abilities that perform the same gameplay function but have different names, animations and lore/descriptions attached.

For example if you are a Sith Inquisitor you're throwing lightning at people, but a Jedi Consular is using telekinesis to throw pebbles. Different visuals, same damage/cooldowns/cast time etc.

It gives them each a unique flavor, but doesn't cause any balancing headaches or make certain skills exclusive to one faction.


I played SWTOR - that's what i did during half of WoD and all of Legion - and you are somewhat correct. They did it well - JKs and SWs, or Troopers/BHs were essentially the same class in game mechanics, but you could feel the diffrence lorewise.

An example where this sort of mechanic failed was WAR...balancing Order and Destro classes was dreadful. Damn unkillable Warrior Priests...
With Blizzard's track record of balancing PvP, that's just asking for trouble.
WC3 was a single player command and conquer whereas this game is a roleplaying MMO... with vastly different needs and expectations.
How does it make any sense lorewise? Druidism is an art specifically tied to the Night Elves. Before WoW, the Tauren had ZERO meaningful interactions with the Night Elves. There was nothing there to build a relationship off of.

Now, given what we know about the world now, it would not be impossible for the Tauren to simply learn from some other Wild Gods about Druidism themselves, but them being included in the Cenarion Circle? Them lodging in Nighthaven, Hyjal, and all the Groves of the Circle? Completely ridiculous. The Night Elves regarded them as a simple beastrace slightly above quillboar or gnolls. They were given a faction capital and numerous settlements out of thin air, for 'balance'.

The Tauren are the biggest asspulls and lore retcons in WoW. At least Eredar had showings before wow, and were merely welded together from the Lost Ones, who had a mysterious background anyways. Tauren grew into a 2nd rate power from extinction in trivially small amount of time, yet given hardly any depth that wasn't stolen from other races.
11/14/2018 06:40 AMPosted by Valuelle
How does it make any sense lorewise? Druidism is an art specifically tied to the Night Elves. Before WoW, the Tauren had ZERO meaningful interactions with the Night Elves. There was nothing there to build a relationship off of.

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It was Cenarian's direct teaching that was specifically tied to the Night Elves. Now we know that the Tauren discovered druidism without a demigod to lead them to the way, lost it for a bit, and then got it back with the help of Malfurion's frienship with Runetotem (who should be noted has been staying out of the faction war, opting to spend his time with Magni Bronzebeard)

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