While getting sucked into a fantasy world isn’t exactly a new plot device, it did cause Ashley to ask me a question – a question I then in turn posed to other people we knew: If you were to find yourself in the world of World of Warcraft, what race/class/profession would you want to be? with the caveat that you can dual class.
While most people answered almost instantaneously (and almost always as some sort of elf healer and/or fighter), I found the question to be one that I needed to ruminate on for an extended period of time. In fact, Ashley initially asked this question about a week or two ago, and I have just gotten around to having a mostly firmly answer.
If the laws of in-game reality don’t reflect in-game lore (see below), the answer would be simple: Troll Death Knight Warlock. Trolls, Death Knights, and Warlocks all have kick-ass style. Trolls have been my favorite Warcraft race/species since Warcraft II and I’ve loved Dark Knights since Final Fantasy II/IV. Further, Trolls have amazing powers of regeneration (no limb – no problem!); and the Death Knight-Warlock combo allows you to heal others, wield the elements of ice and fire, and summon/raise armies of demon and undead minions.
But, if you take a look at the realities of each of those inside the lore of Warcraft, the outlook is not good. Trolls seem to have the shortest lifespan of any playable race, abet only a few years shorter than humans. Death Knights are, well, undead (and potentially susceptible to rot) and Warlocks are quite literally and figuratively playing with fire. The fel magic in which they practice is both addictive and corrosive, to the body, mind, and soul…
To tackle the question of what race/species I would want to be if the world’s (meta)physics would be true to lore, I created a giant matrix to evaluate the pros and cons of each race/class choice. I was easily able to eliminate a few race/species and classes right off the bat. If I’m going to have to spent my life in a fantasy world, I don’t want to end up super short or not take advantage of all the cool magic permeating the world around me. That said, I also don’t want to spend the rest of my life as a crack magic addict, or live forever if it means inhabiting a rotting corpse.
Unlike seemingly everyone I posed this scenario to, one of my primary concerns was how long and well will I live? If I’m going to end up being something else, somewhere else; I’m going to want to take advantage of that to live as long and well as I can. To that end, there are basically two extremely long-lived races/species in World of Warcraft (minus the Blood Elves and Undead ruled out above): the Night Elves and the Draenei.
While the Night Elves may still be long lived, they lost their immortality during the events of Warcraft III and now appear to be have a top age of between 500 and 2000 years, depending on the source. On the other hand, we know that some Draenei currently active were alive over 25,000 years ago – and are still in youthful form. While there are hints that Night Elves may eventually regain their immortality and we don’t have any firm figures on Draenei life spans, outside of a few examples; I’d place my longevity bet on the Draenei. Plus, they have the innate ability to heal others, regardless of class; and seem to have lots of cool magitek.
As for class, I don’t quite think I’d be able to live with knowing I chose a class an that didn’t allow me to heal others (Hunter). As such, I looked for what classes I thought best matched my personality. I dislike the relying on, or being beholden to, external forces and prefer to avoid possible temptations (Shaman and, due to Shadow, Priest).
If I stick the the classes available to Draenei (nixing my favorite class, Druid), that would leave me with Monk and Paladin – two classes capable of healing, and with powers that come from discipline and enlightened (self) awareness. It is worth noting that in Warcraft, Paladins don’t worship a god, but gain power from following a philosophy (the Holy Light); basically the Golden Rule + Karma (project positive energy outward in thought and action, and it will Pay it Forward). I can live with that.
Note: If not for Daenei class restrictions, I would have selected Druid/Monk.
Professions are relatively easy. Though I’d like to take Enchantment and Jewelcrafting, I’d chose Engineering and Alchemy. Why Engineering? Because without it, I’d lack the ability to understand, and use, lots of things built with Engineering. Why Alchemy? Because it allows me to time and location shift my ability to help others (such as through health/mana potions), and there will always be a need for it. As potions are consumables, even years down the line – once everyone has all the socketed gear and enchantments they would want; they will still need a steady supply of potions.
If you took the time to read this far, and you feel so inclined; I’d love to hear what you would want to be and why – even if you would choose to be a Blood Elf Paladin.
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