rcs have forever been the mistempered race which has payed dearly for its mistakes, had the greatest consequences and in my opinion, has suffered the most anguish and agony of all the races in WoW. The Orcs went through many stages in their history, most of those stages were shrouded in a fog of blindness, a fog of rage which drove them insane with lust to fight, lust to kill and most of all, lust to die for, which too many of them ended up doing. Has the Blood Haze created a permanent effect on the Orcs that will keep them as agressive against the humans as they always have been, or has that ferocity come from the heart and soul of every Orc brave enough to step out onto the battlefield?
"Warriors are the melee-centered class. These characters are tough as nails and masters of weaponry and tactics. The special abilities of the warrior are naturally combat-oriented"
From this Blizzard exceprt above, we can draw that their definition of Warrior is the orientation of the Orcs up until the late ages when the Warlocks began gaining real knowledge, and opened up the Dark Portal. The warrior class should be able to gain a benefit of some sort - Orcs have fought in many wars, have been through so much and are masters of melee combat and are the most adept warriors. I expect to see Orcs as the #1 warriors but depending on servers, dwarven warriors may also recieve popularity. I think the Warrior Class is the racial identity for the Orc race.
We can only draw currently that the warrior class will have three stances: Offensive, Neutral and Defensive. We have known grunts to be more of damage soakers than direct damgers. They have a huge hitpoint to damage ratio. WoW lets us play as either a tank, damage dealer or a neutral state where both defense and offense is treated equally in value buffs. Orc warriors have never played a defensive style (blocking and parrying and waiting for an open spot to hit), they play a rough and offenisve style where they hack and slash until they eventually beat out their opponent. Because of their bodies and build, they have many hitpoints and therefore serve as tanks as well. This would be overpowered - an offensive style with a lot of hitpoints, it would be like turning on 2 stances at once. This is why the 'neutral' stance will probably suit old fashioned Orc warriors best - they can have defensive standpoints while keeping with their fighting style.
"Warlocks were mages that delved too deeply into the roots of demonic power. Consumed by a lust for darkknowledge, they've tapped into chaotic magics from beyond the world. The Burning Legion now feeds them theirpowers, allowing them to channel destructive energies and call upon the powerful emissaries of their demon masters"
Blizzard describes Warlocks as mages who looked into the roots of dark magic and were overwhelmed with knowledge of these dark arts, and decided to conduct their studies in greater power over these dark arts. I believe this view is distorted, but certain views are correct. For example, the Orcish Horde never had arcane magic to study with, it was not even any energies from Azeroth that had led them to the ancient homeland of the humans. It was the Blood Haze that drove them insane, that drove them to such a desire to fight that they found a world to travel to, and immediately did - in search of a new foe.
I believe the Orcish Warlocks were more of either:
With Orcs, we cannot take Blizzard's definition or description of Warlock into account as the description pertaining to the Orcs. The Orcs have never taken into account Arcane or Elemental magic to an extent of use that would allow them to become arcane casters; Mages. Bilzzard describes Warlocks as Mages who looked into the root of magic and found the dark arts of Warlock magic, "delved deeply" into them and found a new magic to assert themselves with. These new powers proved deadly, lethal and chaotic - raising infernals, fel hounds and other beasts at the beckon of their master.
I think Warlock is still a very appropriate class for the Orcish race. The Fel Orc Warlocks are a possibility, so are the generations passed of the Warlocks from Draenor (lesser possibility than the first). We also remeber that Warlocks are not automatically evil now in World of Warcraft, because we see races like Humans having access to them, and Humans have never really had a purely evil class, because it is not in their nature. This way, I can draw out that Warlocks are just going to be beings with Dark Powers to summon demons. They can use these darker powers for their own 'good' but there is no action without consequence - no change in class history can be for the entire better. What am I talking about? The Warlock class is now going to be percieved as the 'kick-arse summoner' who will fight for good by summoning evil demons and pets. This takes away from the history of the evil Warlock, the 'bad-arse' who would usually travel solo and walk around with his army of pets. I used to see a warlock and go - okay he's evil lets kill him, but in WoW that perspective is now distorted to a more neutral stance, with the same powers. It allows more flexibility for those who want Warlock characters but don't want to be evil, but severly cuts in the Roleplaying area of the character - you can no longer be an authentically evil Warlock, but then again the Orcs are free - why would they want to be evil?
"Shamans are the spiritual leaders of their tribes and clans. They communicate with spirits, have visions of the future, and guide their people through the darkest of times. Many mistake their wisdom and serenity for a pacifist nature. When challenged, though, shamans have a range of powers available for dealing with threats to the natural order"
I think Blizzard's description of the Shaman is great. They outline what the Shaman excels at, what their purpose is and their traits. It's true - Shaman ARE mistaken for having pacifist natures. They are also spiritual healers, leaders and devastating spell casters. Shaman have been the icon of the Orcs, the mighty blood-lusting casters who are one of the best spell casters in Warcraft III. This may lead to a populated crowd of Orc Shamans who want to be copies of the Shaman of Warcraft III.
It was hard making the decision, which shows greater racial identiy - Shaman or Warrior? I thought about it, and first said Shaman because the Orcs now believed in Shamanism and followed it as their path to freedom and honor,but I also remembered much of the Orcs' history is a red fog of bloodlust. I remembered that it was the grunt warriors who took over Blackrock Spire and stood supreme over Azeroth for many years - and not the Shamans. I still believe Shamans are an excellent Horde class, fitting directly in with their Racial Identity and continuing their Shamanistic ways. Blizzard has shifted this class beautifully, without consequence of lack of historical value or withdrawls from the Orc's racial identity.
"Azeroth is home to a wide variety of beasts. From the new world of Lordaeron to the old world of Kalimdor, all manner of creatures can be found. Some are friendly, some are ferocious and aggressive - yet they all have one thing in common. Each creature shares a special connection with Hunters. Hunters track, tame and slay all manner of animals and beasts found in the wilds. Whether they rely on bows or firearms, Hunters consider their weapons and pets to be their only true friends"
The Hunter Class is an interesting addition to the Orcs' class lineup. I never really saw this kind of unit in either of the previous Warcraft games and was a bit confused as to how Blizzard was going to justify their reasoning on why the class was available to the Orcs. There is a multitude of possibilities.
I think that Blizzard just did not have much to work with for Orc, and needed to have five classes available to the race, and threw in Hunter because they believed it would fit in time. Many people don't consider the value of a class towards the Race's racial identity, nature and overall culture. This is the main reasoning behind my article, I want to dig into the reasoning of everything about the Orc race in World of Warcraft and to put into perspective certain things.
Seeing as the Warlock class can summon nightmare mounts, perhaps Hunters should be able to capture wolves from the wilds and utilize them as mounts. This would incorporate a more Orc-ish feel to the class, and actually show how mounts are captured by merchants or whoever sells them and tames them. Hunters could certainly tame the animals so they could be good mounts, both calm and trusting of their master. Hunter is a great class over-all, although I don't think Blizzard has justified their place in the Orc Race. Some validity would be nice, but then again Blizzard does not balance their information sequence, they release things as they come, not saying "oh we have 3 paragraphs on Warlock, we also need 3 on the Hunter".
A final opinion on this class would need to be held off until beta, or most probably even until release, to find the true nature of this class in the Orc race, and how it will fit in future years to come.
"At home in the shadows and skilled at disappearing from sight, the Rogues of Azeroth are most comfortable when acting in the background. Twisting events to their favor, striking only when advantage is greatest: this is where a Rogue excels. With their cunning tricks, physical abilities, and mastery of concealment and disguise, Rogues have no trouble finding employment as thieves, cutthroats, spies, and assassins"
The Rogue class is a popular class in WoW. I know many players are going to play as Rogues, and it seems like a fun class, sneaking and stealth and covert missions, but when we look at Rogues as an Orc class, do we see them fitting in? I would say, definetly yes.
The earliest of assasin-type rogues would have to be Garona the Half-Orc. She murdered Prince Llane, and was a personal assistant to Gul'Dan. She was a rogue type, dating back to the first conflicts between Orcs and Humans. We see a more modern-type warrior-rogue hybrid in Warcraft III, with the Blademaster hero. He has skills like Windwalk, which allow him to run around faster while invisible, which is a rogue talent no doubt. As well he is an agility based hero with high damage output, and low hitpoints - all traits of a rogue.
In WoW, I see Orcish rogues developing quite nicely, although we must rid the common picture of a beefy grunt-type warrior out of our heads, and think more along the lines of a slim and agile blademaster-type of Orc, who could slip around, is quick and fits the look and description of a rogue. I think the Orcs could very well evolve to have great Rogue characters, and that the addition of Rogues could be more of an added trait than something going against racial identity.
In turn the Rogue Class could be very promising for eager Orcs looking to become assasins, mercenaries for hire or simply adventurers lurking in the shadows and always hiding, and striking when guard is down.
More to come in Part III - Racial Identity...
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