o far, I have addressed the Orcs in WoW, the Orcs classes and their relevance in WoW, but now we get down to the root of it all - the Racial Identity of the Orcs. In today's modern world, we cannot label a race with an identity that labels the majority of their kind. Of course, we are not in today's modern world. We are in the World of Warcraft.
According to Blizzard, the Orcs were once a peaceful and cultivated race on the red world of Draenor, shared by their inhabitants, the Draenei. Warcraft does not directly follow Orcs during the time period when they were this 'free' race. Interestingly enough, Blizzard makes it sound like Orcs were once peaceful, but I do not understand this theory. Originally, the Orcs battled all species until nothing was left on Draenor to fight, except for themselves. After certain clans began to battle each other, the Blood Pact was made. Then the Legion aided the Orcs in opening the Dark Portal, which led to them finding their new enemy. Orcs Racial Identity certainly is not peaceful or anything in the sense of non-war, they are very brutal. Even Thrall is war-oriented; he was fighting humans and demons in Warcraft III, and now is the Warchief of the Horde. I believe that the root of the Orcs Racial Identity lies in what they have succumbed to, rather than what they have not. The Blood Pact lasted so long it went through entire generations, young Orcs were born under the Bloodlust.
It is one thing to succumb to it, and be devoured by it but to be born under it basically changes your life forever, even if it was lifted, would you be the same person you were? If so, you would not even know yourself, let alone have other people know you. I do not think that the destruction of Manneroth completely cleansed the Orcs of the Bloodlust they suffered through. Too many generations were born under their parents who were under the Blood Pact and the effects were too disastrous.
I feel that Thrall is trying to break away from this culture, to bind the Orcs into more of a Tauren-like nature, of appreciating the wind, the Earth-Mother and continuing with shamanism and their beliefs. He is essentially trying to transform the Orcs entirely, something that is definitely not possible. I think that through their rough and turbulent history, the Orcs have been through so much that they in turn are probably among the wisest of races. Veterans of the two wars with the humans, and having fought wars in their home world of Draenor, the Orcs are masters of melee combat and are master strategists.
When it comes down to it, Orcs are 55% warriors, 10% warlocks and 35% shamans. This may be a biased and/or distorted view, but considering that the Orcs have been mostly warriors divided into clans, it is safe to say that the vast majority of them, in history and in lore, are warriors. We all know that Gul'Dan was the great Warlock that opened the Dark Portal, and among other things was very powerful. Gul'Dan essentially led the way for Orcish Warlocks. We also know that when Manneroth spilled his blood into the fountain of life in the Reign of Chaos, the Shamans of the Warsong Clan became Warlocks, and even after Cenarius had fallen, the Fel-Orc Warlocks were still alive. Thrall is now pushing the Horde to try and relieve itself of its violent, brutal and barbaric history, and trying to lead them towards a central concentration around Shamanism. I think that if indeed Thrall wants to tip the scales to shamanism, he is doing it for the wrong reasons.
It is wrong for anyone in the World of Warcraft, any Nation, Leader or Race to forget their past. A person's or a race's past is what makes them what they are today. What if the Demons never came down to make the Blood Pact? What if the Orcs never even met the humans? I think the course of action between the two races would have been quite different. I am sure that Thrall would have never grown to become the Warchief. Shamanism would probably have never prevailed over the overwhelming majority of warriors and fighters.
To deny the Orcs their history would be denying them their future, because there will be similarities. For instance, WoW will have raids, and I am sure the Orcs will use their warrior power to take over many neutral/alliance zones. I also know that one of the most popular races for warriors will be Orcs, because of their history and just because Orcs are the best warriors (I can feel the angry dwarves yelling already :P )
I believe that in the core of the Orcs, there lies a race that is war-torn, that is experience, and that is wise. Does this mean they abandon their warrior-oriented ways? Of course not, it is what makes the Orcs strong! I believe that it is the nature of the Orcs to be Warrior-oriented, and that they will continue this way of life for generations and generations of Warcraft to come, and that includes the World of Warcraft.
This final chapter to my three-part article has led everyone to believe that the other classes of the Orcs, such as the Rogue and Hunter are obsolete from the history of the Orcs. Hunter definately is, but Rogue isn't as much. This does not mean they will not be important classes for the Orcs in the time ahead, and it does not mean these classes do not fit with the Orcs, it means they will fit. As outlined in previous articles, I talked about the other classes, and because we are talking about racial identity, we are not talking about Rogues and Hunters. When someone mentions the Orcs, I know that most people do not really get the image of a hunter in their head.
A final question to all my readers, for I know that there are those who are sceptical about their own opinion of the Orcs' Racial Identity: when you think of an Orc, do you think of a Warrior, a Shaman, a Warlock or some other class? That should clear your perspective on the Orcish Racial Identity.
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