What are Gnomes in Hearthstone?

There are a lot of gnome minions in Hearthstone, 51 as of Frozen Throne.  In the 6 expansions that have released some patterns have emerged.  Gnomes primarily put cards in your hand, either directly like the Gnomish Inventor, or indirectly like Wilford Fizzlebang.

GnomishInventorWilfredFizzlebang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This seems to be the niche gnomes fill in Hearthstone as a whole.  I’m kinda sad that Northshire Cleric is not a gnome card since it is probably the most common Draw card used.  13 of the 51 Gnomes in the game put or, facilitate putting, cards in your hand.  In fact the “Spare Parts” mechanic added in the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion is NOT found on any of the goblin cards in that set.  This reinforces the gnome roll in gaining cards. I am most impressed with new Gnomeferatu card, which basically has you draw a card from your opponent’s deck and then discard it.  It’s exactly what you would expect from a gnome parasite.

ClockworkGnomeGnomeferatuGnomishExperimenterJeevesLootHoarderNetherspiteHistorianNoviceEngineerPolluted HoarderShallowGravediggerTinkertownTechnicianToshley

 

Heroes of the Storm – Hero Announcements

Disclaimer:  This is not about Mekkatorque*.

Garrosh is imminent!  Back when he was announced, there were grumblings on Twitter from people saying “Oh no, not another orc.  Enough orcs already!”  It is something that I myself was guilty of.  There were also other voices, people who had been waiting on Garrosh for a LONG time.

The list below is from a video that was put up in 2011.  Now, if you are a player that is really excited about any of the names circled in red, you’ve been waiting for 6 years for the hero they teased to be released.  That sucks.  It would have been far better if none of these heroes had been teased.  Each one being a complete surprise.

Every hero announcement, no matter how cool it is, is immediately deflated by the fact that it’s not the one hero you wanted.  And while that’s a natural part of the cycle for Heroes of the Storm.  It extra sucks when they’ve teased the hero you want and they never seem to come.

It’s weird because when a hero from a franchise I don’t play get’s announced I’m indifferent, but when a hero from ‘my’ game gets released, that is when I get disappointed.  I know it’s a game, and more heroes are always coming.  I love HotS and enjoy playing it with the characters that are there, (Leper Chromie FTW).

Oh well, the genie is out of the bottle now.  I need to go update the list now.  Put a Check mark on Garrosh and I guess on Ghost Kerrigan as well?

HotS2011

*Mekkatorque is in the category of heroes I am discussing, but the reasoning applies to all of them.

Journal Entry, AUGizmo 1st, 2017

Everyone enjoyed the Dance Studio!  We gnomes have been hard at work for YEARS creating lights strong enough for all the races of Azeroth to dance on.  It was NOT easy! But nobody thanked me!  I mean, I didn’t build them personally, but they were built by gnomes, and as their King I should get a Thanks, uh, tithe?

Anyway.  Everyone was supposed to be face down pass out drunk in Dalaran right now but it got canceled.  Oh man… I invested all that money in the hangover remedies.  I’m ruined!

passedout

 

 

What Gnomes Want

I put up this poll the other day.  I am afraid I phrased it very poorly due to the limitations of Twitter.

History of the race was clear enough.  We have deep history stories about elves and dwarves, but not much about gnomes.

When I say Gnomeregan’s Status, I feel like that was a lot more narrow than what it could have been.  What gnomes really want to see is a normal functioning gnome society.  All the gnome outposts, including New Tinkertown are places that have been throw together in a hurry by refugees.  We want to see what gnomes look like at their best, when they’ve had time to apply themselves and build a stable society.

Gnome adventures means gnome heroes.  We need more gnomes that gnome player can comfortably emulate.  An example of what a paragon of gnomish-ness looks like when filter through the lens of class, spec, or any profession OTHER THAN engineering.  Gnomes that remind us that even though we don’t have a city, we do still fit in on Azeroth.

Jastor Gallywix for Heroes of the Storm*

Goblin Alchemist in Warcraft 2Goblin Alchemy in Warcraft is somewhat underdeveloped.  This is strange because from the very beginning goblins were alchemist.  In Warcraft 2 when goblins were introduced, their units were produced at, or dependant on, the Goblin Alchemist building.  This tradition was continued in Warcraft 3 with the Goblin Alchemist hero. Goblins even get a bonus to alchemy in World of Warcraft from their racial trait, Better Living Through Chemistry.  So where are the goblin alchemist characters and heroes?

alchemist

Gallywix could offer an opportunity to take goblins back to these roots. There are many firmly established goblin engineers, most notably Gazlowe. Having a strong goblin alchemist hero would diversify the gobin kit and differentiate them from gnomes more. Putting the Bildgewater Cartel and Undercitry in competition could create some interesting tension in the Horde as the two faction both try to corner the market. Expanding into this industry would even be the natural next step and goblins. They already hold a strong monopoly on engineering, but that market is split between Bildgewater and Steamweedle.  Gallywix knows enough to diversify his portfolio of investments.

GallywixGoblinAlchemist2First things first, Gallywix needs to ditch the gnome spidertank.  If he is going to be cast as an alchemist, he should have a mount created through alchemy, such as a hobgoblin.  The entire hobgoblin race is created by chemical alteration and would be a good first step in taking his character that direction.  Seeing Jastor being carried around in a sedan chair by a hobgoblin would really set him apart visually and emphasize the tone for his character. There is also a goblin that rides a hobgoblin in World of Warcraft, Helix Gearbreaker.  Helix would be a great source of inspiration for Gallywix’s move set, especially the jumping on heads bit.  He would be like a reverse Abathur, jump onto enemies from head to head leaving debuffs and explosives in his wake.  It’s mentioned that Jastor used to be a street fighter when he was younger, and he’s even seen doing the head jumping move in the short story, “The Blank Scroll“.

I there is a lot of room in the alchemist kit for healing, buffs, debuffs, splash damage and more.  having Trade Prince Gallywix come to the Nexus in the form of a goblin alchemist would be a welcome addition.

*As soon as he gets his s#!+ together in World of Warcraft.

 

Gnome Beliefs

Gnomes are not superstitious.  In a world with arcane magic, divine power, and interdimensional beings, these things are as natural as gravity, magnets, and electricity.  Gnomeregan lacks the mythological origin stories that other cultures use to inform themselves who they are.  For gnomes <unknown> is a valid answer until some mechanism that explains a phenomenon is demonstrated.

Gnome Philosophy struggles with different questions than other cultures.  This is primarily due to the fact gnomes want to understand how things work so that those properties can be harnessed to some effect.  Do origins matter?  Dwarves are very concerned with their origins, but gnomes are not, because that information does not provide much insight about how things currently function.  This peels back a layer and lets us see deeper into gnome philosophy.  “How” is a much more important question to gnomes than “Why” is.

Physics, medicine, and chemistry and the very common and well developed schools of thought in Gnomeregan.  They are things things that can be measured and applied in the physical world.  The tricky things that gnomes grapple with are morality, aesthetics, and the nature of existence.  Things that are innately abstract and don’t have obvious immediate application languish on the margins of gnomish disciplines.  Their philosophy is less about acquiring wisdom for understanding and more about attaining knowledge to achieve goals.

MekkatorqueandSuit2There is a Micro and Macro aspect to gnome individualism.  On the micro level is an individual gnome, made of of all of his or her physical parts, education, experiences, and expertise.  All these parts come together to form a complex being that can accomplish amazing feats.  Alone a gnome can create amazing things.  These creations are then seen as an extension of the self though intellect and craftsmanship.

Every individual gnome is expected to bring their best to any situation.  Any job that is necessary is important. This leads into their macro views.  Just like each gnome is made of smaller parts themselves, on the macro scale, each gnome is a small piece of a larger community.  This is one of the reasons gnomes don’t make many demands of the Alliance.  In their expandable views of the self, any success of the Alliance is a success for gnomes as a part of the Alliance.

Gnomish thought-leaders come in all types.  Gnomes that take on the roles of priest are not leading fields outside their role, however, they are important sounding boards for all gnomes no matter what the disciple.  If a gnome gets too involved in their own personal goals, it’s the job of a gnome philosopher to remind them that they have responsibilities and that their actions have impacts beyond themselves.  On the same note, they also guide gnomes that have lost focus and overextend themselves.

When soliciting feedback on ideas it’s also important to get multiple perspectives.  There are gnomes that specialize in positive encouragement.  Acting as a confidants, these optimists believe that there is a good idea at the core of any concept, and that it must be nurtured to realize it’s maximum potential.  Other gnomes are skeptical, asking many questions about how the idea is going to be brought to fruition.  It’s not that they are trying to discourage new ideas.  Instead they want to make sure that the idea has been considered in depth before resources are spent trying to make it happen.  Finally there are nay-saying cynics.  Gnomes that offer this kind of feedback tend to focus more on the applications of ideas and the motivations for implementing them more than the feasibility of the idea itself.

Gnomeregan credits a lot of it’s strength to the fact that all citizens have a door that is always open, a gnome to talk to about any idea and work through and explore the merits and drawbacks of all potential ideas.

How Evil Should Thermaplugg Be?

In many ways Mekkatorque and Thermaplugg are defined by their relationship with each other.  It’s difficult to talk about Thermaplugg without talking about Mekkatorque.  They have a very clear cut and close relationship as antagonists.  Gelbin is the hero and Sicco is the villain.

GVG_116_premium

There have been some hints recently that Thermaplugg is attempting to clean up Gnomeregan and cure the leprosy himself.  I think that giving Thermaplugg more depth and development is great.  Thermaplugg’s actions inform us, as players, first hand of the notorious flaws of the gnomish race, in the same way that that Mekkatorque shows us their greatest strengths.  Seeing these two characters in active conflict is exponentially more effective at defining ‘gnome-ness’ than any out of character write up could ever be.

In order for this style of storytelling to work we need both sides to be developed.  Both characters to be interesting, engaging and little bit relatable.  Thermaplugg being undeveloped undermines Mekkatorque’s development.  Warcraft primarily tells it’s story though villains.  We spend as much, if not more, time interacting with enemies than we do allied heroes.  Confronting evil is how our characters interact with the world and it is how we as players learn to understand life on Azeroth.

I have joked that I would like to see Sicco get redeemed, saved, or even, turn out to have been the good guy all along.  It would be fun for me, but it would be bad for gnomes in general.  We need him to show us what the moral, ideological, and conceptual failings of gnomes.  I feel like currently Thermaplugg is perceived by a lot of people as Stupid Evil.  I hope that these new lore hints are leading to something that put an end to that perception.