When we consider what constitutes the finer things in life in our world, exactly what we think of depends on who we are. Most people think of food and drink in some fashion, but I wouldn’t say there’s much overlap in what they consider. Music frequently makes a mention, and ‘opera’ is often on the list, but there’s so much variation even within this that it hardly constitutes a definitive answer. Within popular culture, we identify certain things as being finery – or, perhaps more commonly, as being pretentious, and interest in them is assigned to pompous, arrogant characters as a kind of quick short-hand for the kind of person they are. “Look, this man thinks he’s above the kind of things I like.”, and so on. This includes opera and classical music, vintage wine, and expensive food such as caviar or lobster.
On Azeroth, though, what would constitute this kind of finery? Certainly, an analogue to the food and wine exists within the game; a food item that requires over 300 cooking to create could fall into the expensive foods category, and Pinot Noir and Port can be found within the game. By making a point of limiting your character to such items, or professing your enjoyment of these items, you can go a long way towards making your character look somewhere on the high end of the appreciation/pretension scale. At the other end of the spectrum, if you want to appear more rough around the edges, cheap or unbothered by finery, you have a selection of cheap beer, ales and rum. Towards the middle of the scale lies a selection of eggnog and other such beverages.
This is, however, a very human way of looking at the world from the outside. In the real world, this is how we’d look at it – but the races of Azeroth are very different, and view the world in quite different ways.
Presumably both orcs and blood elves have some kind of equivalent of what constitutes ‘finery’ versus what is at the lower end of the same spectrum, but these won’t be the same things at all. While I’d hazard a guess that the blood elf spectrum would be reasonably close to the ‘real life’ spectrum I spoke of above, the orcs very likely have a vastly different idea of what constitutes ‘fine’ or ‘pretentious’. The dwarves seem to universally enjoy beer, so for them, is it a difference between cheap beer and Rhapsody Malt?
This post ended up being much shorter than anticipated, but I intend to revisit the topic soon to discuss the ‘finer things’ in life in more detail, and how to quickly show what kind of person your character is by what they eat and drink.