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.
Plus, I hear the Forsaken really like to get down, which makes the Draenei a perfect match! After all, I hear the Exodar is a great disco…
Vid says, “I don’t remember signing a release form for this image. THIS DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN!”
Sounds like something an ex-President would say: “I didn’t hang out with that Forsaken… Ms. Face-falls-off…”
Muradin isn’t exactly what I’d call “understanding” of the elder Saurfang’s wishes after that fight. He’s there ready to pitch another fight. It’s not till Varian Wrynn, of all people, tells him to stand down, that he moves aside for Saurfang to take his son’s body. Varian bloody Wrynn. The worst thing ever to happen to the Alliance, apart maybe from the Lich King himself.
That said, I do think you’re basically right about the kinship of mood between the dwarves and orcs. I have to admit, the Forsaken/Draenei connection is not one I’d really made before. I think everyone might be a bit more willing to see the Forsaken’s viewpoint if they’d rise up and crush their own internal nemesis, the Royal Apothecary Society. Without that, too much of what the Forsaken do as a whole is represented by the RAS’s twisted, evil, scheming, destructive ways.
After Patch 3.3, the abominations in the Undercity got replaced by Orcs. If you talk to them while they wander the city, one of the things they’ll say is that if they’d have been watching the Apothecaries more closely, that stunt they pulled at the Wrathgate would never have happened. There’s also an Orc who takes the place of Varimathras in Sylvanas’ court, who basically says that he’s here to clean up all of this mess. Yay him. Most importantly, there’s an Orc down in the bowels of the Royal Apothecary Society, threatening mass extinction if he so much catches a whiff of something out of the ordinary.
So I’d desperately love to see the Apothecaries try to pull something so that the Ko’kron Guard can put the smackdown on them.
Amusingly, there are still a couple of abomination guards in the sewer tunnels that apparently got missed.
I never go that way, so I wouldn’t know.
In fact, I don’t know anyone who would…
Ah… Black War Bear.
That, and I have several Horde alts, including two at level 80, with whom I used to occasionally go exploring. 😉
Actually Lara I’ve gotta disagree, I just watched this again and Muradin wants anything BUT a fight with Saurfang. When Saurfang disembarks, Muradin tells him that he can’t pass, but (in my opinion) Muradin is honestly regretful that he can’t accommodate Saurfang’s desire to get his son. Furthermore, when Saurfang says that he WILL get him, Muradin says “I…I can’t do it. Get back on yer ship and we’ll spare yer life.” To me, this sounds like either he can’t bring himself to attack Saurfang, because he knows Saurfang’s intentions are noble, OR that he’s under orders not to give the Horde any favor. In either case, I think if Muradin really did want to fight him it would have happened instead of the tense stalemate that gets broken up by Varian/Jaina.
There’s an interesting side to Varian that never occurred to me until reading your comment, too – that Varian’s ONE redeeming quality is that he is a loving father. This mercy towards Saurfang suddenly makes much more sense. My mind is spiraling in a few different directions here, but off the top of my head, this could lead to interesting interactions with Magni, Moira, Carine and Baine.
I don’t think Muradin wanted (in an active way) to fight the elder Saurfang, but I always felt if he’d really understood, he’d have let him pass and had it out with anyone from his own side who disagreed after the fact. That would have been consistent with his own previous behavior, remember how he kind of took things into his own hands in Storm Peaks?
Still, your interpretation is certainly reasonable, and I can’t say for sure which Blizzard may have intended. I never really liked that he wouldn’t stand aside for Saurfang till Wrynn made him, however.
That said, Wrynn giving way there is the one thing he’s done right this whole expansion, so I guess we should take what we can get.
Oooh, an RP between a vengeful Forsaken and a justice-wanting (justiceful? yechk!) Draenei would be rather cool if someone could pull it off. Vengeance and justice are pretty similar to play; it’d be not far off to get a Forsaken Apothecary to pull one over the ole’ Draenei’s eyes, but maybe somewhere in the process actually make a friend and then get stopped from totally annihilating everything.
Too cliche? Maybe, but I’d read that…
” 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.”
While leveling I teamed up a couple of times with Troll hunters to go into Slithid Hives and a Belf hunter to go into a den of demons in Felwood. Apparently some sort of unspoken “Hunters truce” exists in many players minds.
Gnomes and goblins have a FRIENDLY rivalry? Don’t make me laugh. If the gnomes hadn’t blown up Gnomeregan, the goblins would have. The only reason they haven’t exterminated each other is that sometimes their devices DON’T explode.