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Old 06-15-2007, 05:42 PM
Inquisitor Inquisitor is offline

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Default When are WarCraft characters at their best?

All of us know that the characters in WarCraft aren't the most original lot around--- and that's not a bad thing, necessarily. After all, every story relies on archetypes and convention to some degree, so we shouldn't bemoan the fact that Blizzard in turn utilizes them as well. As is often the case, balance is in order. Of course there are going to virtuous knights riding around and cloaked, enigmatic stangers appearing at critical times, but the question becomes: what distinguishes them from all the other knights and strangers that came before them?

At first I thought that the above was the question that mattered the most, especially since cliche characters aren't very interesting. Garithos is a bigot through and through, and his lack of relatable qualities makes him a one-dimensional character and thus a bland one. So it would appear that a character needs some complexity to be of interest. However, that doesn't put a stake through the heart of convention. For it seems to me that we are often attracted to characters when they fulfill their archetypical roles.

Uther, for example, is a pure, virtuous paladin. He does show various emotions (anger, sadness, etc.), but he isn't all that complex, as far as I can tell. He remains fixed in his role, fights the good fight, and so on. And for those reasons he is admired. Or to take a different route, someone like Grom Hellscream (who certainly goes through more development than Uther) is heroic because he does what a hero ought to do. He eventually overcomes his flaws and sacrifices himself. And even when he did evil (the attack on Cenarius for example) he still remained admirable by retaining heroic (and one must admit, conventional) traits-- he was the rough, master warrior bravely charging into battle.

I'm left with the question that is the title of this thread. When are the characters in WarCraft at their best? There probably isn't an absolute answer, but that doesn't mean the question shouldn't be asked.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:08 PM
Aldrius Aldrius is offline

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I think a lot of them seem very cliche at face value. Garithos is one-dimensional because he's always a jerk. But there are other aspects to his character. Though most of them are about as interesting.

He's opportunistic, he lets Kael and Sylvanas work with him as far as it suits his purposes, but once they run their usefulness he is content to simply give them the finger and execute them for treachery or banish them forever. He's also shown compassion for his troops, or at least it can be assumed he has, as the humans who work for him speak to him with respect and follow his orders unquestioningly. We can assume that he was a good leader at least, accomplishing things that must have seemed impossible against the Scourge.

I think that WarCraft characters work best when what they are is being challenged, when we watch Grom attack Mannoroth. When we see Jaina and Thrall join forces. When Arthas calls Kel'thuzad his friend, or when he is tactful with Kael. When they behave in a way we didn't expect, but isn't exactly a stretch of the imagination.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:13 PM
Kenzuki Kenzuki is offline

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Sometimes, archtypes can be a good thing though. As without them the more radicle characters aren't that special in retrospect. Without Uther and the other paladins as a background, Arthas' methods suddenly don't seem that radical.

I think Anduin Lothar represents one of the best qualities of Warcraft. It shows that we humans can indeed be true heroes and fight the good fight inspite of the impossible odds we face.
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