Much has been made of these newfanged “morality” style quests. Rohan, for instance, railed long and hard against them, and more recently, little “death by fire” gnomey has had some… issues with the whole deal.
My question is this: where and how, precisely, does the whole idea of “morals” translate to the game?
The real me would probably think twice (or three or four times) before killing another person, would never intentionally torture someone, and most certainly wouldn’t mindlessly slaughter hundreds of annoying things (as much as the real me would like to).
The in game me, the Euripedes, the terrifying mage inside me, wouldn’t hesitate to do any of those things.
Sentence a tribe of Furbolg to death? Sure thing!
Extinguish the leaders of the Scarlet Monastery? Done and done!
Slaughter dozens of alliance children? FOR THE HORDE!
Kill fifty elves on a whim? It’ll be fun!
Is it because I’m a Horde player, and pretty much always have been? I haven’t really heard of any purist Horde players voicing any concerns over these torture quests.
Take the Kaloo… Kalwak… Kazoo… Walrus people. All those babies collected? By now, we all know they’re being cooked. Pike felt dirty and refused to ever do the quest again once she hit exalted.
By comparison, His Excellency Ratshag complains that they won’t share the recipe with him.
Come to think of it… every one of Ratter’s characters probably wouldn’t even bat an eye at killing puppies, except Kinnavavavoom or whatever her name is. I mean, I knew plate was revealing, but damn, that’s some mighty fine paladin bubbles, if ya catch my drift. You can Seal of Command me any day, baby.
Where was I?
Ahh yes. Rats wants to cook them, Dangermouse would bake them without a second though, Ellspeth would think the whole situation delightful, Alayda’s practically an outright cannibal, and Galertruby… well… Galertruby.
It could be the fact that Horde have… well… somewhat looser morals than the other races. C’mon, the entire faction wages war and kills as a freaking hobby. I don’t really think most of ’em would consider eating children and torture as odd, let alone a morally bankrupt option.
Daily Itinerary of a Horde Member
- Wake up
- Kill something
- Eat it
- Pick pretty flowers
- Slaughter alliance
- Blow something up
- Burn something down
Even if you don’t really roleplay that much, or ever, is it just “easier” to do questionable things on a Horde character? Even the Tauren really don’t have doubts about committing genocide.
Could it be a class thing instead? Druids, for instance, would probably have some difficulty needlessly slaying random animals, whereas warlocks would kill all the cute fuzzy creatures on the way as a point of pride.
Maybe it’s both?
Paladins probably have plenty moral obligations and a very clear sense of right and wrong. Most mages think the whole “moral” thing boring at best. What the crap does fire care about good and evil? It’s just fire. It burns stuff.
When the Dalaran mage said that he took an oath that prevents him from carrying out torture, my first thought was “Ha! More for me, then”. Upon further reflection, I realized that the Dalaran mage was basically a coward.
He was unwilling to do what needed to be done. When it was down to the wire, when we needed that information to win the day, he couldn’t do it. His pathetic moral codes prevented him from doing what was necessary.
Enter the troll mage, not only perfectly willing to do the job, but wholly enjoying the entire thing.
This is sort of way out there philosophical thinking, but what if… what if this is the entire purpose of the Horde?
It comes up every now and then in novels and some TV shows. A group of good guys, going about saving people and saving the day, always has that one guy… that one guy that “accidentally” kills prisoners. The one that, when given the order “shoot to stun” shoots to kill.
Without exception, this guy is always needed. The band of good guys capture a bad guy, and of course none of them can kill the prisoner. Maybe they just can’t, maybe they think he deserves to be tried in a court of law.
So they drag the bad guy around with him, keeping a guard posted to watch him, sharing their food, water, and even medical supplies with it, even if they really can’t afford to do any of that.
Enter that one guy, who says “Yeah, I’ll guard him tonight”, and accidentally stabs the prisoner in the head. Repeatedly. With bullets.
Of course, the rest of the good guys are royally pissed off. Except now, they’re so much better off because the prisoner is dead.
Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, this is the purpose of the Horde. To commit the dark acts that no one else is willing to go through with.
Present a member of the Alliance with a morally ambiguous task, and they fall to pieces.
Present a member of the Horde with a morally ambiguous task, and the task is done immediately, efficiently, and properly, with as much bloodshed as needed (and often more).
The Death Knights seem to be the only exception to this. Alliance DK’s are brutal and vicious, as ruthless killers should be.
What if Arthas attempts to redeem himself? What if, halfway through the fight, he breaks down, begs for mercy, saying over and over again “Jaina… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…”
What would you do?
If you answered “Put his sorry ass down while his concentration is broken”, congratulations, you’ve done what must be done.
Thankfully, most of the overall wars have been relatively light on morality. Demons? Undead? A hive mind under the control of an old god who’s only aim is to enslave everything? Not a whole lot of moral ambiguity there.
“Arise, C’thulhu, and emb – OH SWEET MOTHER OF ZEUS THE MOON!”
I don’t even remember what this post was initially about. Oh well.