Not sure I’m looking forward to it

WotLK, that is.  Oh, some things are fascinating.  And Blizzard does good art, and decent story, and has done a fair job of keeping the same old same old (grinding) disguised.  (And before there’s any “well, go to this game”, that same old same old is present in most of the games.)

It’s the hero class they’ve created that has me hesitant.  Yay, everybody gets to be Undead.

See, I don’t like undead.  I don’t really mind playing the race, and they’ve some neat talents and racial bonuses.  But the story line…

No, I need to get more specific.  Pardon while I ramble a bit.

I sympathize with and honor the idea of these undead who have broken from the Lich King.  Who have become that being’s mortal enemy, and seek to destroy it and its slaves (the scourge).  But when you get to digging…  There is a large part of that realm which isn’t doing so for “good”, but merely to seize that power.  Now, my personal definition of evil is “love of power above all else”.  MAKE them do this, it’s for their own good, is the essence of evil.  So these members of the Undead race are, quite simply, evil.  And it shows in several of the quests.  They wish to unleash their own plague upon the living.  Oh, the humans, and the dwarves and the gnomes and the elves and the tentacled ones for now.  But reread the quests.  The living is their antithesis, and they’re only testing it upon those in the alliance.  Eventually… death comes to us all, so why not just join while you’ve the opportunity?  They are a betrayal awaiting opportunity.

The flashes of remembrance of living – of love and life – are written to underscore this antipathy.  Be it Until Death do us Part or Journey to the Undercity, the message is plain.  We have lost what we were, we miss it, but DAMN you if you make us openly remember.  And in consequence, “You shall join us.”

Tragedy pending.  With a large helping of evil.

Now the thing that makes this seem a bit hypocritical is that every race – with the possible exception of the gnomes – has this element of evil within it.  What makes the difference, I think, is that in all the other cases (excepting, possibly, the Blood Elves), the leadership objects and attempts to restrain it.  Lady Sylvanas, however… go do that Journey quest.  She’s part and parcel of the plan.  And as a consequence many – perhaps most – of the quests of the undead not dealing with destroying the scourge are little steps toward releasing the New Scourge upon the living.

An oddity – something I’ve noticed and mused upon – is that there are undead humans and elves, but no undead gnomes, dwarves, orcs or tauren.  I recognize why, of course – the scourge didn’t make it to those lands thanks to the efforts of the elves and humans.  Still, it causes me to wonder.

Anyway, there we are with a race that bothers me – that is headed by evil regardless of individual tendencies.  And the very first heroic class is… of that same evil.  The Death Knight.  Black Paladins.  Undead warriors of renown, who as players will have as their first step the escape from servitude to the Lich King – the same path already trod by the Forsaken.

I may roll a death knight, but I doubt it.  And if the game becomes dominated by this class, it may spell the end.  It’s a personal idiosyncrasy, but it’s strong nonetheless.  My characters resist working with the undead – whether alliance or horde.  shrug.

We’ll see.  In the meantime, have fun.


~ by Kirk on May 21, 2008.

6 Responses to “Not sure I’m looking forward to it”

  1. I totally agree. One of my biggest peeves with the Undead is that all of them seem to have the attitude of a 16 year old. I don’t like getting it in RL, why would I want to hear it in the game!

  2. “with the possible exception of gnomes…”


    They nuked their home city in what amounts to PEST CONTROL gone awry. If they are not evil, they are mad and have no impulse control or concept of ‘what I do affects others’ — if the undead are teen-agers, gnomes are two-year-olds with 360 IQs.

    Every playable race in WoW is reprehensible or shameful in some way (either currently or in their past), with the possible exception of the too-good-to-really-be-believable spacegoats, and the Tauren.

    Again, that’s only my opinion — the fact that neither side is really good appeals to me, for this setting.

  3. Grezzk, ah, no. I don’t mind that there are reprehensible members of a race – it makes them more… human. And yes, both the Tauren and the Draenai have their flawed members.

    That (censored) ArchDruid of the Night Elves is evil too, but he’s NOT in charge and in fact there’s an active aim among both the Druids and the Night Elves to keep him checked. That’s the closest second to the problem of the Undead.

    Who are, again, the only race where the LEADER HERSELF is part of the aim to do ill to everyone else.

    As to gnomes, note again my definition of evil. Mad, I grant you, but not evil.

  4. I think there are only human forsaken because the plague was tailor made specifically for humans. I can’t remember if there was a plague or just unholy magic used on the nerubians.

    Elves (most notably Sylvanis) and Dwarves etc… can be made undead in the lore (supposedly the plague is or has been modified to encompass more races), but it was all through specific, targeted necromancy. Not simply the plague. (I may be wrong, but the lore I know supports that)

    I don’t understand about the death knights though. I really have always thought of them as fallen Paladins. Arthas, the Four horsemen, etc… soon they’ll be coming out of the woodwork… TAUREN DKs?!? Knight Elf DKs? how does that work? So much WoW lore has been tossed to the wayside. I don’t know why the didn’t just release a hero class (or two) for EACH class and keep the same racial balance they have now… they could balance it over time.

    On Gnomes: they were tricked into nuking their own city by one (or many) who were trying to seize power. It was more a tragic necessity than an evil action. By sacrificing themselves and their city to contain the Trogg threat (that they in fact instigated) during the war with the Demons and Undead, they may have saved Azeroth.

    It’s like in ID4… you know when the USA decides to nuke the crap out of the aliens even though they’re on US soil (that may still have survivors)… it’s like if that had worked. The movie would have ended, the aliens wiped out with humanity surviving at the expense of relatively little life and locale. Instead, the aliens were wiped out because their computers caught a virus from a Mac… Which ending do you prefer? 😉

    The only races that have overtly evil overtones from top to bottom as are the Forsaken and Blood Elves (though the Blood Elves are supposedly repentant now that they finally managed to finally ‘kill’ the Naaru they were torturing to death – so they’re just incompetent jerks instead of being evil… I GUESS that’s better). Both the Orcs and BE have been genocidal towards other peaceful races in the past… though the BE are the only ones I know who still endorse genocide…

  5. Redemption is not offered to the righteous.

  6. I play an undead priest, and I have the same problem with the storyline and I’m always bringing it up in groups. I flat out refused to help somebody complete the quest to defile the tomb of Uther Lightbringer because it made no sense as something I would want to do. It also seems to me you are kind of glossing over the leadership of the alliance as a whole being pretty naughty towards the orcs to kickoff Reign of Chaos.

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