So Tuesday’s post was a load of bollocks right? I was having a shitty day and it gave me something else to think about, also I guess it can be a handy reference for a real post 🙂
I said in the post, in a rather off-hand way, that male/female model, spec and even weapon choice are all factors over and above the race – in fact I would go so far as to say they would be exclusionary details for me, and rule that race out of the class fantasy.
Hunters! They are the new warriors I believe that every race can be one but for class fantasy not every race should … or should they?
Let’s take the Forsaken whom I said shouldn’t be hunters as their prey would smell them coming. Turn that on it’s head, and concentrate on the rage a lot of Forsaken have, ‘hunting’ down their targets suddenly makes more sense.
I also said that I felt female Mag’har Orcs could be rogues BUT this was based entirely on the picture on the allied race website because I can’t unlock them and have never seen them in game, it is based entirely on an image in my head. In my head.
Basically we’re crafting a narrative. That is the word fantasy after all, a fantasy, a story – a headcanon.
So for all my list-making, I reckon probably anything could be reasonably headcanoned. It’s just about what feels right – about the narrative that is crafted, the fantasy that is made for the character in your head.
My paladin is a woman and all the big paladins are men but she follows in the footsteps of Uther and Tiron, she wields Ashbringer, so I headcanon that she is mentioned in the same breath as her heroes – she made it essentially 🙂 I have played with all specs and they all work because my paladin is a guardian, a protector – a healer, basically she serves and does so with honour and great pride. She throws herself into the fight to save others and wields the light – she is the light!
My Druid is called Romalus because it was the closest spelling I could get to the myth (worgen and the moon, not subtle at all heh). I mostly play kitty and yes that’s because I enjoy it but I also think about how dark Gilneas was and so this black cat sneaking around, it feels natural. I have also played bear which was a fun spec (at the time, no idea now) but it doesn’t suit the character as well. Gilneas withdrew so being the bulwark isn’t a good fit. Attacking from the shadows is much more appropriate.
To leave my characters for a second, I want to add another criteria to the factors that affect class fantasy. I said: male/female, spec, weapon-choice and now naming. The name the character has needs to suit the race, it has to be (for me) a ‘real’ name, something that could belong to an NPC – they need to fit into the world basically.
Another factor is animation! I suppose this is covered a little under model but it’s important because animation is movement – it’s how the character moves which to my head says whether they are suited to that action. Rogues need to be lithe, monks need to be flexible etc. When I’m playing them, I need to believe in them.
My original mage (my first character actually) was a Human Male and it’s not a surprise I abandoned that character really. The physique isn’t suited to wearing robes, much more warrior-like (far too beefy) and forgive me, the facial expressions don’t exactly scream ‘smart’. It was just not a good fit. My new mage is a bouncy excitable female gnome who throws fireballs about as big as themselves and cackles with glee. I actually want to play a mage now, whereas I hadn’t touched it in years before I used my BfA free boost to boost the new alt.
To take a side-step I’m going to mention the now defunct Marvel Heroes now. Hawkeye was one of the starter characters and I really didn’t like playing him. His default costume was the ‘purple pyjamas’. I always got killed, I felt he was underpowered, didn’t have enough HP or armor points to stay alive. Anyway, I actually spent a bit of money to buy his Avengers movie costume. Suddenly my entire mentality shifted. I was ducking and rolling and firing arrows and boom – I was having a ton of fun! It was crazy because it was the same abilities, nothing had changed except the visual. However, for my head, what I was seeing was now just cool and so I liked it a lot more.
Appearances matter. In Warcraft the racial choice actually goes beyond just visuals because each race has lore – a narrative, and we are essentially adding our own characters to that world.
I do the same ‘feeling test’ when I create characters in Star Wars. My Bounty Hunter is a cyborg (basically enhanced human) because I figured for his character that he would want the upgrades – why turn down an advantage?
So anyway this is basically what I wanted to say last Tuesday. That it’s about narrative and that there are loads of factors which go into building this class fantasy. Like my Demon Hunter always has to wield Warglaives so when I get a new weapon I immediately transmog (same with my ret pally, I go back to Ashbringer). These little visual details matter. The name matters, the animation matters – the model, the facial expression and hair choice, basically everything that goes into building the character CAN and DOES affect the enjoyment (for me anyway) when playing.