Are Gnomes Heroes?

Are there any gnome heroes in World of Warcraft? I know there are a few notable gnome charaters, but do any of them qualify as true heroes? Do player gnomes even live up to the definition?

Let’s start with a solid definition of what it means to be a hero. I’m going to be using the Hero’s Journey as a template.

Heros-Journey

Let’s look at Mekkatorque and his progression through the Hero’s Journey.

1. Status Quo. Mekkatorque has been leader of gnomes for a long time.

2. Call to action. The Invation of Gnomeregan. The quite orderly city of Gnomeregan is invaded by troggs. Mekkatorque takes steps to defend it.

3. Refusal of the call. In most stories the hero doubts their own ability to rise to the challenge. Mekkatorque’s refusal is diffrent. He refuses to reach out to the Alliance for assistance.

4. The Mentor. The Fall of Gnomeregan. Gelbin’s ‘mentor’ is his advisor Sicco Thermaplugg. Thermaplugg takes action that forces Mekkatorque’s hand.

5. Crossing the threshold. Gnomeregan must be abandoned. The gnomes must leave their orderly society and forge a new existance on the foreign and wartorn surface.

6. Trials. War with the Horde flaires up, the Burnimg Crusade happens, and the war in Northrend. The players participate in these events, but Gelbin does not.

7: Approach. Operation: Gnomeregan. Moira takes the throne in Ironforge and evicts the gnomes. For the second time, Mekkatorque’s hand is forced.

8: Ordeal. Cut Short. Gelbin is trapped alone in his own office. He confronts his personal guilt for the tragedy, he must defeat 3 troggs unarmed, and finally look the gnome who betrayed him in the eyes. Gelbin’s ordeal here is primarily mental, finding the strength to accept and move past what has happened.

9: Reward: Gelbin founds New Tinker Town. His confrontation with Thermaplugg ended in a stalemate so Gnomeregan remains out of reach. Mekkatorque’s journey seems to have has stalled.

10: The road back. Gnomeregan is being cleansed. We know that some sectors have been reclaimed. The G-team and S.A.F.E. have agents all over the place restoring order and rebuilding.

11: Atonenment. Have the gnomes forgiven the High Tinker? No, and they can’t because they never blamed him. Perhaps if we see a gnome election in the future this stage could be satisfactorily resolved.

12: Return: This will be when Mekkatorque stands as High Tinker of Gnomeregan once again. A better, wiser ruler for the experiences he has had.

Clearly Mekkatorque has not finished this journey, but he acts like he has. His appearances in the Siege of Orgrimmar,  the Broken Shore, and at the Battle for Undercity are the actions of a transformed gnome. Clearly he has completed the journey. Unfortunatly for us it seems like much of his adventures happened off screen.

And what of player gnomes? Mekkatorque’s story is our story. The amount of that story that takes place off screen is a problem for us. A new gnome starts right at stage 5. We are immediately forced across the threshold in to our trials. Their is no status quo for gnomes. We never see who they are in the beginning so we have no idea how their adventures change them.

Idealy our starting zone would take us from steps 1-5. The worgen have an amazing starting zone that really informs the players who they are, who Genn is and what has called them out in to the wider world.

It is a shame that the gnome starting experiance doesn’t start before the invation of Gnomeregan. I hope that when gnomes get an allied race, their introduction will give them the background they need.

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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.

What CLASS is Mekkatorque

What class is Mekkatorque?

First I am going to assume he is a class that players can be (and therefore, not a Tinker).  Two things narrow down the class list right away. Clearly Mekkatorque wears plate, and his eyes do not glow blue, which leaves us with Warrior and Paladin.

Mekkatorque fights with a one handed mace, and shield.  That fact would seem to run counter to Arms and Fury Warriors, and Holy and Retribution Paladins.

So he must protection spec’ed, either as a Warrior or Paladin.

Player gnomes can not be paladins, but NPCs seem to be able to skirt class restrictions.  Lets call the fact that PC gnomes can’t be Paladins +1 for Warrior, and -1 for Paladin.

The Freethinker’s Plate Gelbin wears, and mace he wields give a bonus’ to intellect.  In fact most armor from engineering or with armors that features moving gears on it gives intellect, like the Timepiece of the Bronze Flight. That’s +1 for Paladin.  In addition to that maces are a part of the paladin kit.  Gnomeregan has an ‘official’ sword in the Gnomeregan Bone Chopper.  Many gnome NPC’s in New Tinkertown use it, but not Mekkatorque, +1/2 for paladin.

Mekkatorque also shoots lasers!  Mekkatorque Ray is a beam of light that he shoots at Crushcog.  The visual on Mekkatorque Missile is also a large flash of light.  His third non-melee attack is a Goblin Dragon Gun, which come from engineering and not a class. Light based attacks +1 paladin.

Mekkatorque is always jolly.  He laughs a lot! We never see any RAGE from him. -1 Warrior.

That brings the score to Warrior 0, Paladin 1.5

But math is boring and non-descriptiveness, so lets look at Mekkatorque’s story and see what we can find.  My theory is that Mekkatorque has been either a Warrior or Tinker since the launch of the game.  It fit with the gnome kit at the time, and there was not a lot of development for gnomes in Vanilla beyond The Grand Betrayal.

Then the Lich King invaded (Patch 3.0), and scourge zombies were roaming the streets of every major city on Azeroth.  And in our fight against them, gnomes get this quest: http://wow.gamepedia.com/Quest:Ironforge_(gnome)Mekkatorque_old_model

You receive an artifact of great power from a Naaru that you bring to Mekkatoque.  Mekkatorque takes the concentrated light from you to make an artifact to destroy the undead.  This is very similar to how the Ashbringer was made by Magni Bronzebeard.  Magni was not a paladin, but he also did not use the Ashbringer, he gave it to a Paladin.

But does Gelbin give what he has created to the player to wield? No. He KEEPS it. I think that Gelbin Mekkatorque when presented with the raw power of Light directly from a Naaru, took that power and he kept it, used it create the mace he now carries (Which has a light bulb on top) and began transitioning to be a Paladin.  It is at the END of the Lich King expansion (Patch 3.3) that Gelbin puts on his full set of Intellect plate and start wielding this new weapon.

My conclusion is that Gelbin Mekkatorque did not start as a Paladin, but that he is one now, and he is waiting until he is comfortable in his master of these powers before he begins to teach other gnomes this new discipline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tinker Prosthesis

Demon Hunters have brought a brought so many character customization options to elves that they are almost all new races.  Of all the classes that could be added next (If blizzard feels like there is any room for anymore classes at all.) Tinker seems like it would bring the most uniqueness and still fit well within the game.  I would love to see how the same principles of customization the Demon Hunter brought could be applied to Tinker, and by extension, gnomes and goblins.

Mekkatorque’s Battle Armor could be a hint of what a Tinker in the role of tank could look like.  If we have a large battle suit we are wearing all the time, some customization options would make sense, but it’s also possible that a tinkers equipped armor would apply to your battle mech rather than your character.

Something I would really like to see would be prosthesis.  Blizzard has some really cool looks that they have slipped in to other games and I see no reason to not keep that up in Warcraft.

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A Legion of Gnomes!

Mekkatorque has upgraded his battle suit.  I have upgraded MY battle suit.  Sentient mechanical animals have crosses a threshold. Gnomes have taken up firearms in record numbers.

The Legion seems to have brought out the MOST in the Gnomes of Azeroth.  Is this increase of activity a fluke, or the start of something even bigger?  How much longer can this arms race continue before we finally see a end to the Gnomish civil war?

meckupgrades

Gnomes with Class: Form Up!

Vicissivyld Windmeter: Alright everyone.  The key to transforming in to a bear is to imagine yourself Tenacious, Powerful and Ferocious!

FormUp2

Now I want you to follow suit.  Imagine yourself Tenacious, Powerful and Ferocious!  Let your inner strength flow over you and transform your outer form to match!

FormUp3

Alright lets see…

Very good #1!  The goggles are a nice touch!

A robo-bear #2?  Now you’re just showing off.

Good effort you are almost there #3, but we want full bear, not an biped.

#4 … I did not know that about you!

Gnomes With Class: For the LIGHT!

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Notes: Gnome Paladin Progress

The trainees don’t seem to understand they concept of sacrifice.  They have a strong since of community responsibility, but they view boons and burns as things to be shared equally.  The idea that one individual should do all the suffering alone is foreign to them.

The more I study the history and philosophy of the Paladin Orders, the more I see gnomish society through the lenses of the tall folk.  Our pragmatism is extreme compared to may other races.  Humans and dwarves have had priest and paladins as cornerstones of their civilizations for a long time.  Both those societies outlawed the practices of warlocks as well.  Gnomes on the other hand openly accept warlocks with little second thought, and our priests are new to the game. They are still feeling out how they fit in with the rest of gnome kind.

How did we get to this place?  Gnomes have gone from an ancient history as the custodians of the watchers to summoners of demons who have alienated themselves to the light. How do we go back?  Why don’t we seem to want to?

-Brizlin Fulgentbeam