Because of my rampant altoholism, I’ve played through every starting area for every race (some more recently than others) and became pretty familiar with the general personality of each race and their views on things.
However, also because of my rampant altoholism, I’ve not reached very high levels for the large majority of my alts. While I have fond memories of certain higher level zones, really the only character I remember playing through them on is Anea1. I’ve played a handful of shaman through Outlands (or nearly though Outlands) but haven’t done it on an Alliance character in entirely too long.
After much struggling to get her to the proper level and find the breadcrumb quest to get anyone at Telaar to talk to my Dwarf hunter (#12023948) I happily skipped up to Nesingwary’s camp to get the kill quests. Usually for the kill quests, I just take them and go, since I know I’ll have to do subsequent kills of the same types of animals, and who needs to read quest text, right?
Well, I do, apparently. I’ve always wanted to have a Loremaster (for years) but because again, of my lack of resolve in regards to alts, that’s fallen by the wayside. And been stomped on. Repeatedly. By kodo mounts and bear pets and shaman totems. However, I suppose I was just in the right mood one night in Nagrand and I slowed down and I read the quest text.
Shado “Fitz” Farstrider gave me this quest:
Do you live for the hunt as I do, hunter? Do you seek the quietude that comes as you stalk your prey? Would you know what it is to honor the last heartbeats of your fallen quarry? I will help you to achieve this.
Nagrand is a lush land, full of life in the midst of this broken world. Bring down a handful of the windrocs and then we will speak more.
You can find them in many places nearby in all directions around our camp.
For some reason that really struck home. While that may seem like something that appeals to every hunter (and some non-hunters), it didn’t seem to match the Dwarvish attitudes that I had felt so far in the game. While all hunters have an affinity for animals and hunting, it seemed to fall far short of actually making a connection with your prey, and honoring the last heartbeats of your fallen quarry. It was very Tauren, I thought.
So naturally, I logged out of my Dwarf hunter (after being scolded mightily by Naithin for doing so) and rolled a Tauren hunter to truly be one with nature and animals and learning The Hunt.
Today I felt like playing my Dwarf and thought, “No, I can’t, I have to play the Tauren. She is a True Hunter” and I was unhappy about it – I wanted to play with my bear pet. And only my Dwarf has a bear pet2. After much back and forth, I finally wondered why it is that I went directly to rolling a race whose philosophies and characteristics I wanted to embody, rather than giving my Dwarf a chance to learn them. (Most likely ingrained habit and lack of RP mindset, respectively).
Of course our characters can learn and adapt. That’s how they are able to level and encounter tougher monsters and even go into dungeons and fight bosses many levels above them. That’s how they learn to group with others and, in the case of hunters, fight with different pets. We already learn and adapt, but we (or at least I) only give certain races certain characteristics and personalities based on their race – and that’s it. If I had a Gnome, I would feel like she needed to have a squeaky voice and be perky and adorable and most likely live for engineering. As one example, and I could go on, but you already know the stereotypes for each race.
Do any of your characters break the racial mold and embrace the philosophies and ways of life of other races? Or do you, like me, have your Dwarf always use a gun when hunting and Tauren always use bows? I am extremely interested to see how many of you have been able to make that connection that, just like us, our characters can learn from others and become who they want to be, that their people are isn’t all they can be.