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7-26-2011 @ 6:55AM
At the same time, though, I would think the reasoning behind it would be that Blizzard understands--or at least assumes--that their core audience are going to be, well, nerds. Nerds that are familiar with more than just Warcraft in terms of fantasy settings. While I don't doubt that within WoW's 11 million subscribers, there are those who've never picked up a work of Tolkien or never played a single tabletop roleplaying game (hell, I'M guilty of the latter), a major portion of the people who would even give a game like WoW a second glance are nerds who love fantasy stories. For those people, there are indeed preconceived notions of what an orc or a troll is supposed to be, as well as preconceived notions of what a dwarf or elf is supposed to be. The fact that Blizzard plays so much against those notions of the former and so much with those notions of the latter is something that I think they're conscious of, and knowing their core demographic, something that they try to stress in order to make sure that core demographic understands what they aim to do with their setting.While gaming has certainly become more mainstream in recent years, it's still a safe assumption on anyone's part that a major part of the audience for gaming--especially games in a fantasy setting, roleplaying games that rely heavily on stat-math, and games that require a considerable time investment--would be the exact sort of nerds who have at least a passing familiarity with standard fantasy tropes before ever setting foot in Azeroth.Ultimately, if there is a bias in Blizzard's creative development, I would suspect it to be more of a racial one than a factional one. When Blizzard does emphasize the Horde, they don't emphasize all of its races, just the orcs. When they focus on the Alliance, they don't focus on all of the Alliance races, just the humans and night elves. There are never novels written about great troll or gnome heroes. Hell, the most spotlight the Darkspear trolls EVER got prior to the Echo Isles event and the Zandalari patch in Cataclysm was the tapping of a keg at Brewfest (the bad guy trolls we raided got more lore than the Darkspear!). Dwarves and gnomes never got a nod until the dwarves' turn to archaeology in Wrath of the Lich King and the retaking of Gnomeregan. The draenei and blood elves have been completely left out in the cold ever since The Burning Crusade, and even there we spent more time on Karazhan, the Amani, and the mag'har (more orcs!) than on the storylines for those two races. The tauren and the Forsaken have fared somewhat better, but the tauren have spent most of their major lore moments riding orcish coattails, and the Forsaken mostly got a starring role in anything as a side effect of the last expansion's Big Bad being the guy that created them. And once Cataclysm's over, I highly doubt the goblins or worgen are going to get any attention whatsoever because, well, they're not orcs, they're not humans (anymore, in the case of worgen), and they're not night elves.What only makes it sting more is that much of the draenei and worgen's introduction into the Alliance and starting zones is focused on, wait for it, night elves!Things have gotten better since Wrath of the Lich King, to be sure. Other races have gotten...at least a little more attention. But humans, night elves, and orcs still run the show, and still get the most blatant glorification and forced idolization of any race in Warcraft. When novels are written, they always center around the Thralls and Malfurions and Rhonins and Arthases of Warcraft (the tauren and dwarves only got a big role in the Shattering by spending the entire time fawning & fretting over what certain orcs & humans were gonna do next). When expansions have a major lore figure as a central hero, it's always a Tirion or Maiev or Varian or Garrosh or Jaina or, yet again, a Thrall or Malfurion, save for maybe a handful of questlines or a patch. If there's a bias, it's there, not between the Horde and Alliance.
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