This is a guest post by Rades at Orcish Army Knife, where he records the observations of an orc beast mastery engineer hunter. Did I get that right? Anyway, he likes to blow things up and has tusks. It’s not technically about pugs but I relaxed the topic rules in his case because it’s still a very interesting read!
It’s always interesting to examine the cross-faction cultural bonds and alliances that exist in WoW, and see how and why they work. There’s many neutral parties that welcome both Horde & Alliance races into their fold, such as the Cenarion Circle/Expedition and the Argent Dawn/Crusade. And it’s always fun to find those oddball NPCs who are working for the wrong faction, like the great Mr. Smite (a Tauren), in the Alliance-centric Deadmines.
But what about between actual player races? Currently there are very few examples of cross-faction bonds, which is a shame – I think some races have such similar ambitions, motivations and character traits that they could strike up great friendships!
Druids have a unique kinship through their beliefs in nature, leading to a warm relationship between the Tauren and Night Elves, a unique bond amongst all Warcraft races. The fact that both races are very respectful of and attuned with nature certainly helps. The most fascinating thing about this friendship was that it even extended to players for a time – the unofficial “Druid Truce”, where opposing druids wouldn’t attack each other in battlegrounds and world PVP. Granted, some of this was because both druids were likely to be restoration (which would make for a thrilling battle, I’m sure) but there was definitely a degree of actual player camaraderie/respect involved, too.
I find this idea amazing, and really cool. I wasn’t playing yet when this was commonplace, but as a member of the much-maligned family of Beast Mastery hunters, I find I feel the same way towards other hunters who are also sporting a Devilsaur, Core Hound, or Spirit Beast. Instant love.
(However, I’ll still kill them in PVP. Love only goes so far.)
What other races have established cross-faction ties? Well, they’re not Horde yet, but the obvious rivalry/friendship between the Goblins and Gnomes comes to mind. Despite their ongoing competitions and efforts to outdo each other, you never get the sense that there’s any real malice or hatred behind it. It’s always good-natured and lighthearted. I can definitely imagine Goblins & Gnomes laughing and drinking side by side after a fun day out at the Mirace Raceway. Their rivalry is more like a sport than anything else – I’ve often said that a Goblins vs. Gnomes battleground (much like Warsong Gulch is Orcs vs. Night Elves, and Eye of the Storm is Blood Elves vs. Draenei) that focused on crazy engineering gadgets, vehicles and bombs would be the funnest thing ever. Both races probably don’t care at all about the so-called faction “war”, and only participate at all because of their friendships and allegiances to their more combative allies.
Speaking of more combative races, I believe Orcs and Dwarves could also be GREAT buddies, for a number of reasons. First things first – both races LOVE to fight. Nothing makes an Orc or Dwarf happier than a good old blood-pumping brawl. Not killing, mind you – just scrapping. Both races also dislike and distrust arcane magic (though this is changing in Cataclysm), deeply respect bravery and valor, and have strong familial clan hierarchies. The stiff-necked Bronzebeard Dwarves might cast a disapproving eye on prospective Orc allies, but I think the looser Wildhammers – with their more wild nature and deep respect for the shamanistic ways – would easily laugh, fight, and drink alongside Orcs with great gusto.
I also think the Dwarves would be willing to forgive the Orcs for the crimes and assaults committed by the Orcs of the past. Look at Muradin’s interaction with Varok Saurfang when Saurfang comes to collect the dead body of his son – Dwarves seem unblinded by petty things like grudges or racial hatred. They’re the most…down to earth, if you will. ;) Unfortunately, the Dwarves are so closely allied with the Humans that the idea of making peace with Orcs would never be acceptable to Varian, despite that one moment of compassion towards Saurfang displayed in Icecrown Citadel. Silly Humans.
For an idea really out of left field, what about the Forsaken and the Draenei? At first glance, there’s not a lot of commonality – they seem completely opposed. But the Forsaken hate everyone for…not falling victim to the Scourge’s plague as they did? Or not saving them? Or maybe because they are despised by their former kin simply for existing. In any case, the Draenei weren’t even <i>on Azeroth</i> when Arthas’ murderous rampage through the Eastern Kingdoms took place, so Sylvanas’ people can’t really hate them for any past history.
The Draenei, on the other hand, are very familiar with racial tragedy, and after being hunted & chased by the Burning Legion for hundreds of years, know well the pain and hardship of being threatened with genocide for the “crime” of living. They are also extremely accepting, forgiving and trusting – if any race could find it in their hearts to treat the unsettling Forsaken fairly and without suspicion, it would be the space goats.
Finally, there is one overwhelming, common bond the two races share – an complete and utter hatred of the Burning Legion/Scourge. No other races have suffered at the hands of the Legion/Scourge as much as the Forsaken and Draenei, and their deeply personal ambitions of vengeance (Forsaken) and justice (Draenei) would likely be strong enough to overcome mundane concerns like faction allegiances. Destroying the Legion would mean ending the driving power behind the Scourge, and destroying the Scourge would mean neutralizing one of the Legion’s strongest weapons. I could definitely picture Sylvanas and Velen working together wholeheartedly to end these threats and accomplish their mutual goals.