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Dec 24, 2005



"The earliest known trolls belonged to the Zandalar tribe, from which all other trolls are descended. On the whole, the Zandalari valued knowledge above all else, but a significant portion of the tribe hungered for conquest instead. These disaffected trolls eventually departed to form tribes of their own. As time went on, what remained of the Zandalar tribe came to be regarded as an overarching priest caste for all trolls. The Zandalari preserved troll history, and they worked to further the goals of troll society as a whole."

Just found this on the WOW encylapedia site. Just wanted to post this to show not all trolls are agressive, everyone who has done zul'gurub knows the Zandalar tribe is welling to work with any race. I believe it is really superficial to think any race is evil, people have made comments about how night elves are evil and arrogent for bringing the legion into the world. How is that any different than the orc's corruption, they were both done by a few corrupt individuals and not the entire race. Don't hate horde because they are ugly and don't hate elves because they are hot, both ways of thinking are superficial. It apears this thread is dead because no one is responding but these are my thoughts.
P.S. I'm sure the orcs, trolls and tauren see themselves as the hot ones


Ok this is going to be the last post I make, I need to stop thinking about this. The author has a very valid point about ethics when it comes to playing as something. Vikings and pirates are considered cool, so are Bony and Clide, but by 21st century standards they would be war criminals, murderurs and sociopaths, if you researched them. But kids who play as pirates tend to make a romantic version of them, concentrating on adventure and not really focousing on killing. Kids do play kill each other but I don't think anyone thinks that is bad as long as they don't do it for real. In the end symbols only matter to the individual. Vikings don't seem bad because it was along time ago. Why should it be bad playing an undead if you are just having fun, and its in a glamorized fantasy world where death isn't so bad since you just go back to the grave yard. I hate to think that 500 years from now kids will be playing as nazi's, it dosn't seem so bad since it was back durring 20th century America. But if the actor dosn't feel any real homocidal feelings, just having fun its, its just as ok as a kids playing vikings I suppose. Mabye they'll be outside playing Russian communists vs. German nazis. I admit that sounds apalling but how do native Americans feel about cowboys and indians. Mabye nazi's was a bad example but who knows what is going to be glamorized a century from now that would be apalling today, its all in how you interpret the symbols and how deep you go.


Instead of adding to the discourse with more perceptions, Jonas Luster at mogland did his own research and, after a year of collecting data, has come out with a counterpoint that's hard to dispute. Care to comment?



Actually the Horde isn't that evil. Research on Azeroth. The Horde is a noble,and honorary faction. Really, before you post something like this you should research it a bit.


You are simply choosing to deny, that evil and good are all based on who you are and not objective rules as to what is evil and what is not. I as an undead player, play no differently than on my human player. I don't relate better to either one of them, because I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that it is a game. Maybe if you sat your son in front of the computer long enough and made him play horde, and he got killed by the alliance enough times he would easily come to think of the humans as evil. This doesn't mean the humans are evil, but thats how quickly he would understand that anyone who hurts your or portrayed as the enemy is evil. It has nothing to do with underlying evil motives, but simply the fact you believe they mean to do you harm.

Choosing a character on the side you consider evil may say more about your ability to view a conflict objectively. Which it does not appear through your post here that you can do because of the preconceived notions of evil or the stereotypes you assigned to "evil" which is a common psychological response simply to help you realize danger before its actually on top of you. If in real life there were horde creatures acting as portrayed in so popular cultural references as zombie flicks where they are all just out to eat little boys brains... then yes, your objectification of them as evil would have standing, but still only from your point of view as dinner, not because their intentions are evil. They obviously just want a meal.


Ok, so by the same thinking, does choosing to play a game which illustrates violence also show a tendency towards violence, as much as choosing an avatar of varying moral guidlines would show a tendency towards good or evil?

I don't get it, seems like someone is picking issues out of the air, and the air is pretty thin there too...

I play Alliance, I did not have a need to choose good over evil, in fact I chose alliance over Horde ONLY because it was my first character and I had heard the game's population was unbalanced towards the Alliance and I thought it would be easier to function on a pvp server that way. But I guess that wasn't taken into account with this generalization you've made.


I'm glad there is a thing called freedom of mind.

Over-analyzing things is actually a bad trait, but I find it rather amusing in this particular case.

No matter which way you put it, the basis you use to describe the "Avatars" is initially not based upon the concept laid out by the creators of the game (which people even say they are playing God ... please, explain why), but upon stories of old lore which makes you biased rather than objective, maybe even a racist *if* the given races were real.

Basically what you are saying is: "You're playing Horde side, thus you are inherently Evil". While I find that statement rather amusing, I personally disagree with you. If you were to break down every game into it's base elements, you'd find Evil almost everywhere. WoW's Horde are bad because they reflect abnormality (based upon opinion), thus people playing First Person Shooters are Evil as well. They shoot people for fun.

Take Super Mario Brothers. A dinosaur kidnaps a princess and it's up to a plumber to save her. On his way to defeat the Lizard, he runs into numerous characters we'll refer to as enemies. Mario doesn't *need* to stomp on top of the enemies, they actually pose no threat whatsoever, they can easily be avoided. But they are still being killed by players. Why? Because they can... Does that make Mario *or* the player Evil? I think not.

Personally, I had my share of laughs over this blog, but think (read: opinion) that you should really play a less brutal game, if this so easily offends you. May I suggest Tetris, or does destroying the blocks classify the player as being a vandal as well?

At any rate, I'm going back to play WoW, and if playing Horde side makes me Evil, then it sure feels good.


I play a Horde Tauren Hunter. I am part of a guild with players that are all over the age of 18. One evening I was running from point A to point B in Horde territory. Assuming readers know what contested, horde and alliance territory means...I had run from a contested area(PvP) into a Horde Territory area. When leaving contested areas you are flagged for player vs player for a short cooldown. Even though i was in Horde territory and if i had only been in horde territory then i would not be flagged for pvp. I passed 4 alliance characters running through the horde territory. As alliance in horde territory, they cannot attack horde characters uless horde attacks first. Vice versa if i were to go to alliance territory, I could not attack alliance players unless first attacked by them. I turned around and followed the four characters to an instance entrance and summoning stone. I simply stood on the hill and waved as they summoned more alliance to go in the instance. without provocation (however i was flagged pvp) they all charged up and proceded to attack me. 4 vs 1. I didn't fight back and simply let them kill me. The point of all this is...I did not feel it necessary to kill each of them because they were in horde territory and because i could. One at a time i coudl have easily taken them in a fair fight...however they ganged up on me. How does that make horde evil??? I then later discussed this event and many others with my guildmates. And perhaps some people say it's just a game and some people say...you're attacking my character not me- I beg to differ. My guildmates mocked and teased me because i disapproved of killing every alliance that i see in game and further killing an alliance character because they are lower level and that's what alliance did to them when they were leveling.


My girlfriend who is not three years old, is scared of blood. Is blood evil? I couldn't say, but she certainly doesn't like it. Makes her quite uncomfortable.

My adopted brother is Mexican... do you believe simply by the stereotypes presented that perhaps he is lazy and that just because he's on the Dean's list and holds down an internship and another job on top of that it doesn't dispell the socially generated stereotype?

Sounds like the Nazi's in your version of our virtual world still have a chance to take over. The supreme races coming to wipe out the stereotypical horde races simply because you don't find the stereotypes unbreakable by years of typecasting. Congrats on being closed minded enough to kindle a genocide.

Or maybe you can just say you were wrong...


I truly hope you are teaching your three old something different than what you appear to believe. You have stated preconceptions that you say cannot be broken. Passing those stereotypes on to a three year old instead of teaching them to judge others on their merits and intentions instead of just to fear everyone who is different.

And as far as blizzard not being able to dismiss these preconceptions... have you ever heard of "house rules?" They say what goes, not you. You don't walk into someone else's house and believe 2's and joker's are wild just because thats how you play, you take what is layed down before and you make your plays based on that. That is how I believe people make choices.
The notion the horde is evil is not passed on by Blizzard anywhere... so its up to the players to decide who they play and how they play. Your judgements that you make public should be from what you yourself witness around you.

Secondary to the above and a bit more important... you already contradicted yourself by making a detached decision to play horde without having taken into account past stereotypes. You say its because your friends played... its not because deep down inside you want to be evil? What? You say you don't want to be evil... then why did you play the horde since they are unquestionably evil to your three year old?

Apprently you can detach evil from the horde, you just don't for the sake of writing this post.


And my arguments regarding another unmentioned subject of recent debate are dismissed as "so obviously wrong they are hardly worth discussing"? Firstly, I also have a three year old son and I cannot fathom how anyone of even moderate mental capacity could honestly tease support for this argument (or most arguments imaginable for that matter) based upon "what he's scared of". My guy only recently started watching television; he's scared by some episodes of Dora, which no matter how annoying I find the show, is determinedly not evil.

Perhaps evil is not wrapped up so much in the avatar one chooses within a game, but rather in the selective analysis one applies to it. Or perhaps, if you're correct, we should just surrender "video games" altogether as the vast majority of normative society still views them as either explicitly evil, implicitly evil, or indirectly evil insofar as they distract from meaningful endeavors. But that's so clearly wrong it's hardly worth discussing.


Is necroposting evil?


Horde aren't evil. Waaaay back when I was playing, the Horde was actually the better side, with a higher standard of ethics, more faction cohesion, etc. This was on a roleplaying server, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I definitely didn't choose to play a Tauren to be "evil", merely to play as the underdog (races were way imbalanced back then), so it was almost the noble thing to do to be Horde.


Uh... I find this very strange... I find it strange that this topic was started off with a very long essay that was written as if it were a college paper... and then glaring things like the word "Symbology"... 'Symbolism'... I believe the word you were looking for was 'Symbolism'...

At any rate... Your child was scared of an undead character cuz it looks like a skeleton. And while your child may not have any idea what an undead character in the WoW game does, and therefor cannot be scared of it... He's seen cartoons, he's seen TV... At three years old I knew what a skeleton was (albeit not in the obvious way that it was necessarily the inner workings of the human body, but I'd seen it... I'd experienced Halloween. The look of an undead character is very different than normal looking people... It WOULD be an alien image for a child.

The Undercity, as well, is a very alien envioronment. It looks very much like Tim Burton exploded all over the game for a bit... But it doesn't look inherently evil... It looks twisted, cartooney, and distorted. Once again, not anything evil about these qualities, yet a very alien environment...

Do you want to know why I play the Horde? Because I find it fun. I play the Alliance, too, for the same reason. But I will admit I find myself liking the Horde more...

Why? Quite frankly, I find that aspect of the game fascinating. Let's face it... For ages in gaming history... What roles have we played? We've slain the evil wizard, we've rescued the damsel in distress. We've saved the world or the universe so many times over the course of gaming history that it became inevitable for us to eventually want to wreak some havoc. The Horde is simply another avenue of gaming, allowing a player to get a whole new game! You could get yourself to level 70 now, on one faction, and start from scratch on another, and your game will be an entirely new experience.

Play each side. They have different technology, different items, and different architecture. They have different ways of behavior and cultural histories.

Someone earlier mentioned that the only Horde race that was truly EVIL was undead, and even then there were some things to be said about it... fact is this: No race or faction is evil, over another one... If you look at game history the only thing that made the Orcs and such from earlier games in the saga actually EVIL was the fact that they were under the subjugation of the Burning Legion... WHICH, in World of Warcraft, has had its influence over the Horde races severed.

At this point in the game's history, you're left with one and only one situation: Freed Orcs, trolls, Tauren and Undead have settled on a continent. Thrall and Proudemoore had negotiated a peace in W3, and in WoW no official war is actually declared by the two sides, although they are certainly not at peace with eachother... The lack of formal war leaves players responsible for PvP action (and not an army of NPC's generated to march on stormwind)... Alliance and Horde alike quest, exist, and kill eachother... There are no inherant differences.

Quite frankly, the whole good vs evil argument has been had and had about gaming... and quite frankly, I have only this to say: When it comes to gaming... "Good" and "Evil" are only words used to describe what you are currently fighting against. Try to keep this in mind before we get all preachy.


Is necroposting evil?

So now after 7 days it's considered "necroposting", even though the thread has been re-emphasized by the fact it was linked into a fresh article?

Perhaps the evil is incorrect l33t jargon usage.


Can you corpse camp a blog post?

@randolfe_: I agree with you on the "What scares kids isn't necessarily what is evil" thing. My best friend in kindergarten was deeply scared of American Indians because of the feathered head-dresses. Don't ask; it's a very weird, long tale. The feathers just totally freaked him out.

Personally, I don't much care for purple dinosaurs.


What I don't understand is why people feel a need to continue arguing against the OP even though he already withdrew his argument.

Wait, no: I understand it. People didn't read that comment.

Here, people. Read it:


Or the author could have made the retraction in an honest manner rather than buried deep within the comments, itself wrapped in an obscure narrative form. Silly me, when I retract things on my OPs I use the /strike tag and or [] insertions within the original post.


I would love to hear what he thinks about the book "Lord of the clans", "cycle of hatred", or "rise of the horde"

I know he retracted his original argument, I just want to know what he'd think about those books now if he read them :0


P.S. Those are all warcraft books btw


Fascinating. If Horde are inherently evil then you must believe in original sin? As some other responders have pointed out, it is difficult to unambiguously label any action as evil or good since we really cannot foresee all of the consequences of our actions. At the core of this issue are intentions and the associated actions. Of what relevance is the label "orc" if orcs behave honorably? Blizzard gives us some interesting moral dilemmas. I play a Tauren healer, ostensibly a good character. However, as an alchemist I have hung out in the undercity and have noted the "experiments" there on prisoners. I have in fact tested out a poison on prisoners myself in one quest and justified it by "it's just a game." Perhaps life is "just a game" too so when do our intentions cease to matter? It is important to consider our intentions even in a game and do nothing there that is incongruent with our own values. Perhaps the undead are "evil" as portrayed by Blizzard but I think that to apply that term to the entire Horde is silly.


About what the guy above me just said the forsaken are not inherently evil. Their are random forsaken around the world that are friendly. The forsaken are basicly just humans with rotting skin, its just that the most evil of them have taken control. Their is an undead member of the argent darn and some work for the darkmoon faire, morality is not dictated by individual race

After all, was the German race inherently evil in WWII?

Also take into account the forsaken are hunted down and killed by paladins, I believe their "evilness" is more from enviroment then something innate inside them.

Any thoughts on this?


Oops made a typo, meant to say the guy above me things the forsaken are evil.

and I said darn instead of dawn... WOW

To conclude I don't think blizzard sees any of the races as evil, just struggling to make their place in the world


I think this article is horribly simplistic. So cultures that value war over love are "evil"? You just lumped together the Spartans, feudal Japan, and the Vikings. No educated person of the present would call these cultures "evil" - they're just different, idiosyncratic, unique to their times and possessing their own value systems and beliefs.

This is a classic case of ascribing negative traits to "the other" just because they don't conform to your blinkered, narrow, and shallow conception of the world based on some Judeo-Christian Anglo-Saxon perspective. So the orcs look scary therefore they're bad? I suppose you want to jail Arabs because they look suspicious, too.

I'm not even going to touch the meticulous backstory Blizzard put into the game (dating from Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, which other posters have already tackled) which clearly shows that the races of the Horde, while menacing, are not evil. The truce between the Alliance and the Horde can even be construed as Blizzard's attempt to show that just because the Orcs seem "evil" doesn't mean that peace is not a possibility. In the end good or evil is about choices, both in the way people choose how to act and the way we look at people. Seeing evil where there is none is an interesting mindfuck but this is ultimately a vacuous theory bereft of any intellectual significance.


Good Lord - have you never just wanted to pretend to kill puppies for Satan? You know, just to blow off some steam for a bit? The degree of horror at one's own darker impulses that "The Horde is Evil" evinces is staggering. People who haven't worked out a truce with their own inner fiends have a well-deserved reputation for going to extremes of RL nastiness that often exceed the strictly-imaginary excesses they are horrified at.

And let's not forget the all-important reality vs. symbol distinction. If someone online cut off my arm and beat me over the head with it in order to draw my attention, or perhaps to get me to shut up for a bit, I'd be much more inclined to admire their sense of style and their impressive command of rhetoric than I would if this were to happen in RL, for the very important reason that symbols are not real.

Goodbye for now - I've got to go kill and eat my Grandmother. (F*in' paladins....)

No real puppies were harmed in making this post.


I think you may be putting too much emphasis on the WoW-"Good vs. Evil"-backstory.

I used to play an undead warlock on a PvE-Server.

Why Undead?
I liked the "racial" traits: Immunity to fear, gaining hp by cannibalizing, etc.

Why Warlock?
I liked the idead of having pets (demons) I can summon.

Both choices suited my playing style: hit relatively hard and support other players, while staying in the background. Don't like downtime (eating, drinking, bandaging). Don't like to be caught off guards (without a pet out).

Why PvE and not PvP?
Didn't want to to be bothered by 12-year-old-"Good vs. Evil"-crusaders.

I couldn't have cared less about the WoW-lore and backstory. Hell, I didn't even read the damn quest descriptions. All I needed to know was "bring x items of y to NPC z". Some of the most memorable mob quests happened while taking turns (and supporting) alliance players and vice-versa.


What does and does not scare three year olds is hardly a basis for morality. Beyond that interactions between characters online is very limited. In essence being evil in WoW has no more implications than being evil in Fable. Choosing an evil doesn't force you or give you more opportunities to negatively affect other playes.

On a side note if you're going to say that trolls are inherently evil then maybe you should say something about WoW's trolls talking in Jamaican accents.


i play undead because (a) it is the smallest horde avatar, blocking as little of the screen as possible making gameplay easyer, and (b) the ability to cannibalize corpses speeds up gameplay by not having to worry about finding ways to heal oneself. i play horde because all my friends do and being part of a guild is a lot of fun.

reading into alignment/race for anyone other than complete and utter noobs is pointless. if someone thinks their avatar choice should be based on who they are in RL, they completely miss the point of roll-playing and should probably stick to something simple and benign like Parcheesi or Yahtzee! (oh wait, dice are evil, right?)


I see the author's point about his son being scared of an undead character. The point the author perhaps had in mind is not comparing races to each other but comparing various traits and cultural "flavors" to our, present "civilized" concepts. While it may be ok and perfectly normal for undead to eat humanoid flesh, and for orcs to decorate everything with the bones of their enemies, it is not ok to do so for people, in RL.
Obviously, players choose the respective characters and play them because "its just a game" and are not physically performing any of their character feats.
Its no big deal to take out 15-20 "scarlet footmen" because someone asked you for it and you'll get some "experience". It would have been a bad thing to do in RL.

But then the question itself transforms to not being about someone choosing undead over human, thus exposing his pink side to "evil", but role-playing someone who excels in a world through killing, pillaging and looting, raising above else by slaying countless creatures etc. should already be inherently "evil".
The whole game is based on a kill to prosper scenario, which overwrites any other argument like "chosing a human paladin over undead warlock" being an act of manifistation of "evil behavior".


I have to say after reading most of these responses, that Wanderer's responses were the most cognicent of what really takes place in the Wow community during character selection ans afterwards.

As for my thoughts, the OP is projecting way too many of his own beliefs into a social construct that he knows virtually nothing about, and therefore makes a meaningless argument.

To put a finer point on it, The Horde are not evil. Players who chose Horde are not evil. Moral judgments in this context are way overblown and out of place. It is almost as absurd to ask if it's a moral flaw to pick the black pieces in chess. It's simply a dumb question.

As for the others who have genuinely, and deeply, triad to make a point of all of this. I commend you, but again, it's too much analysis for something that doesn't deserve it, and this is unfortunately too common in many academic type circles. Clearly, here, is no exception.

I'd also like to point out that the OP's arrogance and judgmental nature have really repulsed me. I didn't notice it so much in the original post, but in the responses that follow I have found the combination of arrogance, lack of knowledge, and freedom to judge those he doesn't even know to be much more solid indicators of evil than any behavior in WoW that I've seen - faction choice notwithstanding.

Having said all this I'd like to point out a couple of things, just to point out how the discussion is fun, but again, deeply flawed from the start.

My main in WoW is a Night-Elf Hunter. Why did I chose this avatar? Did I analyze the deep moral responsibility I had in accepting the burden of the long culture that I would be embracing? Nope - I wanted to have the racial ability - Shadowmeld - and I was tired of playing characters with limited mobility so I chose a class that had some ranged capability and a nice flow of movement. In other words, just as Wanderer has correctly elucidated, I'm an optimizer, as are the bulk of players at least on my server a PvP server. Also, I have as many as 20 players, some of which are Horde and some are alliance. It's my behavior that counts - just like the real world. No PhD level analysis needed.


I'd like to point out another point to the OP.

Your concept of Good vs Evil has clouded your view here to the point of absurdity. When you watch a baseball game on television, do you wonder which team is the evil one?

This is a closer analogy to what's going on in WoW than any comparison to real role playing, acting, or real life experiences.

If a player on that baseball team punches an opponent because he's upset, well that might merit a judgment of some "evil". On the other hand no team is evil. This is your grand mmistake with WoW.

As far as words having immutable God-given meanings, well, that's just fallacy and you should get over that too. Language only has so many words. So Blizzard chose to use the word "Orc" as is consistent with their previous fictional works. Fine. It is you who need to get over your pre-conceptions, and this entire list of responses should be evidence to you to look inward, and discover and work on your own flaws, because it is you who has way missed the mark here, not the responses you don't agree with.


Actually, I think Ed's questions haven't been fully explored. I don't think he is directly suggesting the Horde is evil, but questioning whether there is or should be a reflection by players before they take on characters with traditionally negative connotation.
For example, what if the Horde wore pointed white hats and robes? Or Swastikas? Now I could point to some obscure druidic ceremony and not the KKK, or to Cretan, Jewish or Indian symbol usage for the latter, but the connotation is still there.
I am sure there is a paper somewhere on Tolken's use of Middle Eastern places for the evil Sauron side, and Western European names and place labels for the good side--these all have geopolitical connotations, i.e., Uruk-hai, and Nazgul. Castle Wolfenstein exists for a reason.


I should rephrase the above, "the Horde is evil" may be his point or troll, but I think a more interesting question would be: why does a member of the British royal family get publically ridiculed for attending a fancy dress party in what appeared to be Rommel’s German Afrika Korps uniform, but this sort of avatar choice in a virtual world carries no stigma? Aren't both play acting?


Comparing a Nazi costume worn by a public figure to a party and the selection of a Horde character on WoW is completely and utterly idiotic. All of us (and especially Prince Harry) are aware of what the implications of Nazism are. Not all of us believe, like the author do, that the Horde are "evil" simply because they scare his three year-old. The implications, the context and the intentions behind wearing a Nazi uniform and choosing an Undead/Orc/Troll in WoW are worlds apart.


The fundamental difference is that some see games as competition like sports, others see games as experiences and storytelling.

I often heard americans say theý "beat the game", where europeans often use the description "I completed the game".

So for some, good and evil are interesting, for others, it's interesting if you lose or win.


the examples I conjured up were trite and unwarranted. And I don't have a bone against the Horde or think they are evil. But my point is that the line "it is only a game" is not clear when adopting an avatar with historical and cultural connotations, especially one that is undead.

To what extent should morally ambiguous or even socially reprehensible characters be adopted and role played is a current social issue and worthy of discussion. To say there is a clear distinction between multi-player computer game role playing to physical role playing which renders this question moot raises requires consistent and rational substantiation.


After my initial knee-jerk "Noooo the Horde isn't EVILLL they're just misunderstood" post, I've managed to read through a lot of the comments (although still not done, there's just so much) and I agree this has certainly been a thought-provoking, entertaining and educational discussion. I do tend to agree more with the "it's just a game analysis" though.


'But my point is that the line "it is only a game" is not clear when adopting an avatar with historical and cultural connotations, especially one that is undead.'

I grew up in a non-Western environment in Asia where your historical and cultural connotations don't apply. While I'm certainly a fantasy fan who's read enough novels where orcs and trolls are considered evil, I refuse to accept that these categories are as culturally loaded as Nazis. The real-world evil of genocide committed by regime can't possibly be compared to my dim memories of the Silmarillion. That's why comparisons between wearing a Ku Klux Klan or Nazi uniform to a party, versus playing an undead warlock on WoW, are completely facetious. I think people can discern the difference between real world crimes against humanity and the literary artifice of pure evil, and equating one with the other to my mind trivializes things like the choice to murder Jews wholesale by comparing it to the choice to pick an Orc on a computer game.

Again - I believe it's just a game. If we're really judging evil, then the wholesale slaughter of particular races within the game (like the Murlocs for example) would constitute as genocidal intent, and are committed by both races. Surely that constitutes a more willfully "evil" action than the choice of your racial avatar. Yet most players (including me) don't give it a second thought. It's part of the requirements of the game - I want to get ahead, I need to bang up a few fishmen. Story says their bad so I have no choice. So really, I question how far the issue of good or evil in terms of racial affiliation can be pursued in WoW when there are so many other ambiguous things within the game that have nothing to do with race.


I think that this article adds a broard look at evil to a game where it's strictly limited. To add in a simple example, the difference between real life evil, and playing an evil race in WoW, is about the same between riding a rollercoaster and skydiving. One is a very controlled enviroment, and the other is wide open.

I put forth that it might be possible that people may want to play an evil race because it's limited and controlled. Much like a rollercoaster ride where you get the daredevil feeling and the adrenalin rush, but the risk is very minimal.

There may be a part of a person that leans toward the evil side, and that's why they choose that race. However even as an evil character in the game, there are strict rules, and very little real consiquences. You can really only be "evil" up to a certain point because there are limits.

I think it would make more sense that the people that choose an "evil" race, are comfortable with the amount of evil that they can really do. In these games, that's incredably small, and therefore the evil bit of it is mostly cosmetic, and implied.

To push your logic onto other games, in World War II Online, do those that choose to play on the German side concider themselves Nazis? Do they have those same ideals hidden in their personality? That would be a much more serious look at this, as Orcs and Undead don't really exist. The horrors of the Nazis were real events.

I don't feel that those that choose to play on the German side feel any connection to the real world Nazis, as I don't feel that someone who chooses to play an Orc is automatically somewhat evil.

I concider it no different than someone dressing up as a monster for Halloween, or watching horrible things happen to nice people in a horror movie. Halloween is over the next day and the mask comes off. The lights come up and the movie is over. It's time for dinner, and the game is turned off.


The OP was "retracted" by the author, but not in a way which is readily apparent. The equivalent of a newsprint retraction: buried in the back, many days later.

It's possible to inject profound philosophy into any supposition, no matter how flawed. The premise for this entire discussion was, and still is, bordering on silly. I say that because the author, along with many other TN authors, are trigger happy quick to pounce on any argument or article with which they disagree, leveling charges of "sloppy", "inconsistent", "not rigorous enough", "not adding value", "not demonstrating or supporting his/her conclusion", usw. Yet when one of their own makes this mistake, whether over a year ago or just last week, we suddenly are implored to explore the deeper questions at hand. I'm thinking something about geese and ganders.

Anyway, I like chess. I am not worried about harboring latent regicidal fears.

Over 50 years ago, well before anyone was imagining mmogs, a silly scifi movie exposed this topic pretty well.


Your commentary would be more credible if you had a higher degree of knowledge about the game.

As a matter of fact, the humans are not the only race with children--many races have children avatars now and there has been an orcish orphanage in the game for a very long time.

If you read the lore and questlines, you'll find that the races of the "Alliance" have committed as many or more "evil" actions as the horde, if not more so...

Quick examples:
-Stormwind's builders were never paid and now have bounties on their heads for wanting thier wages.
-Illidan, and the sinister actions of the leaders of the Night Elf Druidic circle.

I challenge you to find anything evil about the Tauren race, and the Orcs obviously have less evil than humans. Your article is less about the game than about the shallow judgements people make about it based on cultural prejudices.


About the guy above me, its not a good thing to go from one extreme to another.

Orcs and humans both have plenty of evil

The defias brotherhood kills innocent farmers who had nothing to do with paying wages, and there is a tauren that is aiding them.

There are also tauren that are members of several evil cults, although these cults have members of all the races as there members.

I almost forgot the grimtotem clan, a group of tauren who seek to eradicate the "lesser" races from kalimdor.

The truth is in the complex middle, and we even see a few good seeds amongst the most "evil" race, the forsaken. Perhaps not even the forsaken are beyond redemption


P.S. Damn I can't edit

This says it all, it applies to all the races

"Race does not dictate honor, tauren. While you remain on my farmstead, I ask that you remember and respect this credo.

I have known orcs who have been as honorable as the most noble of knights and humans who have been as vile as the most ruthless of Scourge."

-Tiron Fording, human at Thondroril River in eastern plaguelands.


P.S. again, I hate the no edit thing

The point is a tauren or even a dranei isn't born being good

Any argument that there are more evil orcs than humans or there are more evil humans than orcs is false


Simply saying Orc is evil in the game despite what Blizzards lore describes of the is simply ignorant... Therefore our image of the human race in the game can only be taken from our own perceptions of humans in our world... Polluters of the planet, greedy, power hungry, racist, mass murderers and warmongers, no matter wat you think of the do-gooders of our pathetic race we still slaughter each others on mass every day, we leave thousands to die of poverty... the list of our own inhumanity (a simply stupid term)is endless throughout the ages and shows zero sign of stopping... so me making the choice of a god damn orc does not make me the evil one in the game... savages maybe... but a game where we all kill anyone not alligned with us makes us all pretty darn evil....

but simply put the OP's ignorance of the actual game is astounding for someone who actually bothers to argue a point about it... Dont be so Anti-Orcist lol




Orcs are people too. From news.com.au.

"As well as working on the series (like almost everyone here), Jeff's claim to fame is that he lives next door to the so-called "Gay Orc". Apparently this neighbour was hired as an extra to be an Orc. However, his difficulty seeing out of his mask meant that his battle-attack run down a hill was a little less co-ordinated and a lot more effeminate than the directors had hoped. He was eventually cut out of the final version but he has cult status in NZ as the Gay Orc. After initial embarrassment he has embraced his fame and is running Gay Orc tours."


I'd just like to say that i play Horde and we deffinatley are not evil. I can understand how, to the uninitiated, the Horde might be seen as evil. But, if you actually play as Horde you will see thats not true at all.

Also I have never ganked an alliance character, its a pointless endevor and makes me look like a jerk. I have fought alliance that where the same lvl as me or close to it. Sometimes i win, sometimes i lose. No big deal. Then there's when I get ganked by high lvl Alliance. They do it for no reason, as I am to far below them in lvl for them to gain any honor points. So which one of us is "evil"?

I remember when i was lvl 25 I was attacked by a lvl 19 night elf hunter. I didn't want to fight her, I tried to get her to stop using the /no and /beg command, but she didn't. So, out of self-defence, I killed her. Thats the only thing I've ever done that even remotely resembles ganking.

And as for your remarks about the Undead, youre basing your decision over whether or not they're evil solely on that they are, in fact, undead. The Undead fought tooth and nail to free them selves from the control of the Litch King. When they finally did the alliance refused to take back their cursed brothers and maybe even help them return to what they once where. You'd be a little pissed off too. That was deffinately a douchebag move on the Alliances part.

Also, the Undead can be found in Tranquillen helping the Blood Elves take back the Ghostlands from The Scourge. Is coming to the aid of an ally considered evil?

If any race can be concidered evil, its the Night Elves. They're the ones that blew up the Sunwell (unless im mistaken, my history is a little shakey).


edit: I have just been told that it wasn't the Night elves, it was the Scourge that blew up the Sunwell. my bad.


You are thinking of war of the ancients Jay

That happened over 10,000 years ago, warcraft time


Jonus Luster has a good analysis here: http://blog.mogland.com/2007/1/15/is-the-horde-evil


Hate to break it to ya, Ted, but evil is in the act, not the appearance. Your arguments are noted in the idea that the lore and the setting would depict undead, orcs, trolls, etc as "evil" but I believe you are stretching it further than what it is: a setting, a plot device, a reason for 'conflict' which drives the games base mechanics.

The fault in your logic is that an avatar can be "inhabited" by any kind of person. There is no pre-questionaire which forces people to go one way or another, thus leaving the system wide open.

Consider the "evil hearted" player who simply wants to play the game for the PVP aspects.. they care little for the content they just wish to "gank" players left and right. Now, hop on your mount and head on over to open pvp areas (eg Taurn Mill/Southshore) and realize that many of them play on Alliance as well as Horde.

Some of the most moraly questionable people pick alliance avatars for trival or game related reasons. Some pick them just because they "look better" than horde characters. Some pick alliance simply for the better racial aspects (dwarf priests get fear ward, gnome warriors have escape artist, etc). And finally, a *large* portion of people pick Alliance simply because they tend to outnumber Horde on most servers.

Outnumbering the competition means advantage in a confrontational situation. On our server, for instance, the alliance guilds outnumber the horde to the tune of 3:1. From a progression standpoint many guilds are working on the new content and new "raiding" areas, such as Karazahn. On our same server, the Alliance, in their volume, can afford to run Karazahn and keep a good 20 people sitting outside with no task other than to kill any Horde that try to enter for their own raids.

We're talking about 20 individuals, human beings, that are willing to devote 4 hours of their time each night, every week, to doing nothing more than trying to keep 10-20 other people from playing the same game they are. And they all embody the avatars of gnomes, humans, night elves and dwarves.

So who's evil?

Oh, that's right. Here's the part where you defend their manifest destiny in that they are allowed to slaughter everyone else because it justifies their existance as "good".

I believe you'll find that many people, especially in a confrontational sense (PVP) choose horde simply for the competition aspects of playing the "underdogs".


P.S. - Some young children are also terrified by Santa Claus, Doctors, and Mickey Mouse. I guess those people should have thought more about picking their avatars, too.


Its interesting how some regard the Horde as simply being 'evil' and the alliance simply being 'good' like the simple rules put forward by any lord of the rings fan.

Digest this for a moment please. One, you said the humans are the only race with children. If you actully played the Horde you might discover that their are in fact orc children running around on farms and camps, suggesting one of the older orcs at the camp might be their mother or father.

Another thing, making the assumption that the alliance are overall 'good' is ludicrous, if you look at the lore, you would see many times humans have done things to other races without just cause or reason. Take an example of the scarlet monastery, the humans there are absolutely insane and claim everyone is undead if not wearing their banner. Also, humans continue to attack Orcs despite Grom Hellscream having given his life to free the Orcs from corruption, and give them a chance to live a better life. Humans who continue to go to war with a race trying to set itself right, how does that add up as being 'good'.

Also, the night elves are, perhaps, the race with the highest egos. Their meddling into magic and such powers is what made the world split asunder. Also, the night elves want Grom Hellscream to be labelled a murderer for killing Centerus when he was under the legions control, but he gave his life for his people and Thrall refuses to let him be labelled that way, so the night elves continue to be at war with Orcs over that reason.

The alliance hide behind big white buildings and tall glowing trees and but stone mountains and that, but to assume they are overly 'good' and the horde overly 'bad' is what anyone who delving into the plot would think.

The Horde does have some unsavoury elements in it. The undead come off as being cruel and malcontent, but they are also trying to establish a sense of freedom from being paws of the Lich King. The blood elves are, like the night elves, part of the reason why so much bad has happened in Azaroth, but their magical addiction and held belief in their prince kal’thas will lead them to a better tomorrow makes them more down to earth then the night elves.

What people need to understand is that looking at the horde, they represent more of a basic humanity in the real world we know then what the alliance do, cause can if be said anyone can be a clean and pure as they make out to be? Honestly?

And let it be said, out of all the characters in Warcraft, Thrall is probably the most honest and justifiable of them, a leader who wants to lead his people to freedom.


Another way of looking at it is who is evil between Blacks, Gays, Jewish and other 'minority' groups, or the christian, political and celebrity groups. Those with a moral sense would obviously acknowledge minorities like blacks and gays as being normal people like anyone else, but perhaps see christian fundamentalists and extreme political figures as the bad guys. On a reverse, those raised with strong religious views and strong political views are going to see people of minorities who are not white and, perhaps, american to be the odd ones out and thus a threat, well seeing their own white buildings and humble lifestyles as the norm.

But of course that wouldn’t be fair because it tilts one side. Not all christians and political types are so strongly held they can't see a moral conscience, some even go on the up and up and use that power for some good, some even as benefit to other minorities their not a part of.

If Warcraft teaches anything its the difference between those that work together, and those that see only through tinted shades.

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