Another Reason to Like Gnomes

I know it’s an unpopular opinion at the moment, but I like Sylvanas Windrunner in Battle for Azeroth. She has done horrible terrible things that I will always condemn out of character, which has made me wonder why I still like her in spite of these atrocities. I think the answer is Motivation. Sylvanas clearly has goals and is actively flexing her agency to accomplish those goals. This is why a lot of villains are popular.

While reminiscing about Vanilla Warcraft I came to the conclusion that gnomes are the most Motivated race. Their city is in a shambles, but they are actively working towards retaking it. You run in to gnomes all over Azeroth (not many, but still widely scattered) and plenty of them explicitly state that they are where they are doing research on how to fix Gnomeregan.

No other group in Vanilla WoW had such a clear and driving goal at such a high level. The trolls were not as dedicated to reclaiming the Echo Isles (which they managed to 100% do anyway.)

I’ve lamented in the past that Gnomes had very little identity outside of Engineering. It’s an idea that I feel like doesn’t give gnomes enough credit and is a bias I myself had to take a hard look at to get around. Yes, engineering is important to them, and yes it’s one of the main things that attracted me to the race, but being a one trick pony always gets boring, no matter how good the one trick is.

I don’t see reclaiming Gnomeregan the same way I did in the past. It was not something I wanted in the background of my lighthearted, carefree race. Now instead of seeing a tragedy that drove gnomes from there home, I see the rally to conquer a common foe, to return to homes that had been stolen, and I know that, to some extent, anytime I see another gnome our characters have that in common.

That unifying goal give gnomes as a whole a personality that is hard to match. Worgen find themselves in this situation more than anyone right now. Goblins, Night elves and Undead are displaced, but their homes are essentially gone, and now they will have to find a new one. They will all set out in different directions for new homes. While the opposite is true for gnomes they have all set their course together with a common destination.

“For Gnomeregan” is different than “For the Horde” the horde rally cry is basically “Go Team!”. The Horde has the Horde, but we don’t have Gnomeregan, it’s something we are striving for.

I’m really happy Mechagon exists. It adds new gnome content without removing this large driving factor. The gnomes having a capital city is something I would love to see, and I do genuinely enjoy the peeks we are offered in to the current state of Gnomeregan by the pet battle dungeon and Heritage armor quests, and I think there is room for a raid in there someday, but I don’t think I want to see gnomes lose their white whale. Gnomeregan will always be a dungeon and that’s good, because it gives us purpose.

168775-operation-gnomeregan

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.

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.

Running Mate Announcement

My campaign has been quietly working behind the scenes for a couple months now, and we are ready for a big announcement!  After careful consideration of many fine and talented gnomes, I have come to a final decision about my running mate.

Gearmaster_Mechazod_HSI am proud to welcome Gearmaster Mechazod to the ticket!  Mechazod brings tens of thousands of years of experience to the team, both dealing with everything from mundane maintenance matters and incredibly important cosmic scale matters that are beyond mortal comprehension.  We are very lucky to have him here with us*.

I’m sure you will all agree that he is the perfect complement to what we have going, and our vision for Gnomeregan’s future!

*Mechazod is currently working remotely from Northrend.

 

 

Gnomeregan/PokemonGo

((Because: Pokemon Go))GnomeDruid

I wanna be the High Tinker,
Like no gnome ever was.
To get elected is my real test,
To rule them is my cause!

I will travel when elected,
Preaching far and wide
How Gnomeregan been neglected
And will not be cast aside!

Gnomeregan (gotta rule it all) It’s up to me
I know I’m the best you see
Gnomeregan, betrayed by my best friend
And now I need a plan

Gnomregan (Gotta rule it all) jealously will stew
Do you know what I’ll do to you?
You burned me, now I’ll burn you!
Gnome-re-gon

Gotta rule it all

GNOMEREGAN!

An Inconvenient Truce

Every gnome and goblin knows it.  But no one talks about it.  When I was the right hand of the High Tinker, I oversaw Gnomeregan’s ambassadors to Kezan.  Don’t act so shocked.  OF COURSE Gnomeregan kept open channels with the Trade Princes.  We need the free flow of ideas and resources between our nations. Yes, some member of the envoys did get a Kaja’Cola addictions, but they were rotated out so that wouldn’t happen again.

I’m one of the few gnomes in a unique position.  I taught mechanical engineering to goblins in exchange for them teaching demolitions to me.  We never shared the most cutting edge information with them, and I’m certain they never shared their most cutting edge information with us.

You’ll never find a goblin that will admit it.  But it’s still happening.  They don’t talk to me anymore, but that’s fine.  I get the same information second hand from the Forsaken.

DEAL WITH IT.

WorldMap-TheMaelstromContinent

What are Gnome Virtues?

I was brought a philosophy book on Gnomish Virtues.  One of my minions dug it out the pneumatic restocking tubes that used to keep the Gnomeregan Library organized.  The books in there did not get damaged like their counterparts setting out on the shelves.

According to Art Pressparch (the books author) the three primary virtues of the gnomes race are, quote:

Co-operation: Gnomes work together.  Each gnome serves a function that facilitates the operation of gnomish society as a whole.  All gnomes share increases in utility; all gnomes share in

Elaboration: Gnomes do not like simple answers.  The world is a complicated place, and gnomes want to make sure that all contingencies are accounted for.  Gnomes want fail safes and redundancies put in to place.  Gnome solutions need to have built in options so that changes can be made on the fly.

Pragmatism: Gnome solutions need to work. When a Gnome applies themselves, the do so full force.

I don’t think I agree.  Philosophy isn’t my strong suit, but I think there are more than three good things about gnomes!

What do you think?  What are the great virtues of gnome-kind?

library2

Gnomes with Class: The Mission

Enter, Gelbin Mekkatorque

Mekkatorque: “Greetings everyone!  I’ve called you all hear today to apply gnomish ingenuity to a problem.  I’ve received information regarding an invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion.  We need to approach this problem from every possible angle.  I’ve called you all here today because you are unique among gnomes.  Each of you has been studying an area that gnomes traditionally eschew.  We need to get gnomes in to these areas of study.  We will be better off as a people with more diversification and specialization, AND we can offer our services and perspectives to those that already practice these arts bringing them new innovations.

Comic1.2.1

Your task, should you chose to accept it. Firstly, train a group of recruits in the techniques you’ve mastered.  Secondly, develop a new technique or modus operandi to bring back to the communities you have been studying and demonstrate to those communities the benefit that only gnomes can bring.

Comic2.2.1

((Considering doing a comic about 3 gnomes, each assigned to bring a new class in to the skill set of gnomes, and their comedic set-backs.))

Endgineer Omegaplugg #LegionSpoilers #OOC

*UPDATE* The Mystery has been solved!  In order to Summon MY TRUE FORM, you must find and press a tiny button hidden behind one of the columns in Tinkers Court, Gnomeregan.

If SOMEHOW you manage to be victorious the the Vial or Green Goo is yours.  take it and go out in to the world my leprous disciple!

—–

I put #LegionSpoilers up there for anyone concerned with spoiling the fates of minor low level dungeon bosses.  We good?

Ok.

So on WoWhead about 5 days ago, this guy popped up “Endgineer Omegaplugg”

http://legion.wowhead.com/npc=113621/endgineer-omegaplugg

Endgineer2He uses the same Gnome Pounder model that Thermaplugg and other gnome mekgineers use.  It is green instead of red, the green of the battle suit could either be fel corruption or from decades of radiation.  It could mean nothing, because you can paint a robot any color you want, but usually the color is chosen to indicate something.  In Gnomeregan spider tanks that do fire damage are red, ones that do frost damage are blue etc. Perhaps this character will have a poisonous irradiation attack.

The gnome pilot appears to be solid black some kind of shadow/void gnome, or possibly with a texture issue because it is still in beta.  I thought it could be a new character or (as the name seems to suggest) a transformation of Thermaplugg.

Then there is this item, “Vial of Green Goo”

http://legion.wowhead.com/search?q=Vial+of+Green+Goo

If is dropped by Endgineer Omegaplugg, but the flavor text refers to Thermaplugg, suggesting that Omegaplugg is Thermaplugg.

“It’s reversible. Perhaps Thermaplugg was working on a cure after all…”

First I would like to note that it indicates Thermaplugg WAS working on a cure.  I’ve always had to find some shred of good in Thermaplugg in order to role-play him.

Second (and more importantly), this means Omegaplugg is almost certainly Thermaplugg in a new form.

At first I thought that this meant that Gnomeregan was going to get an update this expansion, but then there was one more string that referenced this ‘new’ NPC.

http://legion.wowhead.com/spell=226171/omegaplugg-spawn

There is a spell to spawn Omegaplugg.  I don’t know what that means, because it could mean anything.  It could be for a heroic version of Gnomeregan where Thermaplugg transforms at the end, or it could mean he is encountered somewhere (anywhere) else in the world.

Perhaps this is the first hint of adding in gnome Demon Hunters (unlikely).

My biggest hope is that it will be for a “Reclaiming Gnomeregan” Scenario where at the end, Gnomeregan will be an actual functioning city, or a crater with a shiny new city built on top.

No matter what it turns out to be, I am just really excited that we are seeing gnome lore moving forward!

For Gnomeregan!