Posted by: Sean | May 12, 2009

Generational Differences, and your character’s political beliefs

OK, it’s time for some real world politics to kick this off. Don’t worry, we’ll be swinging right back into World of Warcraft very soon. But did you know that the performance of the president that you first got the chance to vote for has a really strong chance of setting your political affiliation for life? Seriously, it’s true. I read it on the internet. It’s pretty clear that our political beliefs do get fixed by our first time being involved with the process. So, this leads to the question: What about in Azeroth?

For example, Thrall is considered to be an exceptional leader of the orcish people. It stands to reason, therefore, that if you play a young orc, he’s likely to be very pro-Thrall, and more loosely will be more inclined to reconciliation, diplomacy, and a more defensive, less aggressive Horde. Those orcs who are a little older are the most likely to disapprove of Thrall – Orgrim Doomhammer was a very popular leader, but his philosophy was a 180° flip on Thrall’s. But old orcs (the few who’ve survived) are likely to be quite pro-Thrall as well; they came of age during the time of Ner’zul, who isn’t as well liked on reflection. (Those who remember him as the deeply spiritual, charismatic leader of the Shadowmoon Clan may be less pro-Thrall.)

Or how about the humans? Bolvar Fordragon was very well liked, and his death was a tragedy for the Alliance. Young humans who came of age while he held the stewardship of Stormwind may well be actually quite opposed to Varian Wrynn, whose anger and hostility grossly opposed the stoic Fordragon’s approach. And it’s likely that they’ll find quite a bit of agreement with those who came of age during his first reign, which ended in rioting in the streets of Stormwind. But depending on how Varian does in the end (and he has his defenders) it could be that the youngest of humans (Like, say, your new character?) may instead find him a heroic figure, heralding a strong young crop of humans with a belief in militancy, strength, and warrior culture.

I could go on for all the races (I’m particularly intrigued by the gnomes and their democratic society, and how that works out) but really, what I’m more intrigued by is the basic political dynamics of the races. Warcraft hasn’t gone into this much at all – It’s far more interested in international politics than internal politics, but what of it?

Without wanting to steal her thunder, perhaps this is a Friday Five the lovely Ms. Anna could develop. Do you approve of your current leader? If not, who would you want instead? Who was a good leader you used to have?

But in the end, I leave such things to her. She’s much better at that than me.


  1. Wish Granted! I’d actually been thinking about this a bit (as it ties into the Argent Tourney in some ways).

    Check back on Friday!

  2. I’ve heard of several RP guilds on my server that are counter-(your race leader here). It’s one of the things I’m loving about RP servers, and I’ve always thought it a shame that Blizzard didn’t build such division into the open game play. Just because a nation is united doesn’t mean it’s people are mental clones!

  3. As far as Blood Elves are concern, I doubt that they are satisfied with their current “leaders” because they have been a monarchy since basically way back when they were exiled by the Night Elves. Their only heir to the throne, Kael’thas, turned out to be a wacko lunatic who is now dead (debatable by some). Because of this the Sin’dorei are in a political vacuum with no clear leader. There are about 6 possible leaders of the Sin’dorei at this point, the 3 in Silvermoon, then the 3 leaders of the Blood Knight, Scryer, and Sunreaver sub-factions. None of which have a royal claim to the throne.

    Until Kael’thas their government worked for them. Many elves would probably wish to re-establish a King and the Convocation of Silvermoon and carry on with tradition. Many others would be probably loath the idea of re-establishing the throne because it could lead to Kael’thas 2.0.

    On Ravenholdt (US) my guild and several other Blood Elf guilds are playing out the scenario of wanting to re-establish the throne and place a King back in charge. We aren’t ignoring the 6 Blood Elf NPC leaders, because in such a political vacuum, it is likely for many groups to form, ours just happens to be the group of traditionalists that want their monarchy and Convocation back.

    • Dude, a conspiracy may just be one of the coolest guild concepts ever. Big props. Love it.

  4. […] week’s five questions are inspired by Blogatelle, who talked a little about generational differences and how our characters might react to different […]

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