What traits, aspects, mind-sets, and themes would you like to see fleshed out in their lore?
Pragmatism, Risk-taking, and Cooperation.
Gnome pragmatism is probably their greatest aspect at the moment. More than being bubbly engineers, it makes them more realistic as a race. It also means they are willing to do things that other races are not because they don’t put as much stock in ‘honor’, ‘humility’, ‘humanity’ etc.
They will do whatever gets the job done, and they are willing to take HUGE risks to do it. Risk-taking is a trait they share with goblins. To compare gnomes to goblins, gnomes are cooperative and goblins are competitive. It’s probably the biggest difference between the two races. You can see it in goblin profiteering, and in ‘the token gnome’
I see gnomes all over, in almost every Alliance settlement, but it is almost always just ONE gnome. I would like to see more large groups of gnomes working together and accomplishing something.
How would you write gnomes as being a -distinct race- apart from humans, and not relegated to jokes and ‘zany gadgets’?
I think gnomes biggest challenge is to set themselves apart from dwarves. To that end, they need to move out of the hole in the ground and in to the open air. Architecture does a lot to make a race feel distinct, and without a true capital city, gnomes are missing out on a lot of that.
I said yesterday that I would make Sand Gnomes a real thing and add them to the forces of Gnomeregan. I stand by that. It would add more variety to the race.
Culture is a big one, other races pull their culture from well understood real world reference points. Humans have European castles, tauren have a Native American flavor, night elves have heavy Greek influence, trolls have Aztec, but gnomes lack one of these real world analogies that makes them easy to understand. It would create a foundation that makes feel like you understand gnomes from jump instead of trying to develop ever single aspect of their personality in game. “Gnomes are like Soviet Russia” would add a ton of favor with very little work.
Imagine you are new to WoW lore, saw gnomes and wanted to learn more. What do you wish was in their history/culture?
I would mostly like to hear about Gnome Heroes that were active during the First and Second War. Gnomes ‘sat out’ the third war, but they were definitely a part of the second, I would like to learn the story of at least one Gnome Flying Machine Pilot and Submarine Duo from WCII. A case could be made for a gnome mage in the First war because of the Tower of Azora seems to be mostly Gnomes.
To be clear, I want these gnomes to be active in World of Warcraft today so they can share their unique gnomish insights on current events with first hand accounts of the gnome perspective on history.
I want to know what Mekkatorque and Thermaplugg were up to during the 1st and 2nd wars. Mekkatorque especially jumps at the chance to be helpful whenever he can, so certainly he was doing something.