Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Draenei. I loves them.

At one time or another, I have played every race Warcraft has to offer. Though, I only played a dwarf once to follow my guild mate around and annoy him with cries of "I needs meats! Boar ribs plz!?!?!?' She was a sort of two dimensional character... >_>

But I have to confess that my favorite are the Draenei. I really think a lot of roleplayers (and players in general) don't give these space squids the credit or richness of history they deserve. The common consensus seems to be that Draenei are like those crazy televangelists: all hot and bothered for the Naaru's Light and not much else. Furthermore, female Draenei really get the short end of the stick. Having become the 'sexy race du jour' these days, every wannabe sex kitten is dressing their Draenei in mageweave and strutting them around Stormwind and Goldshire.

Though I'll not deny the sexyness that is Draenei, I feel like players have taken a smart, independent, and driven college graduate, slapped a mini skirt on her, stuffed her brassiere with Kleenex, and slipped a few roofies into her drink before sending her off to a frat party. Of course there are lots of Draenei players who reflect the long-suffering and dignity of the their race well, but there are so many more who degrade their Draenei characters.

I guess this is to be expected, because I don't think a lot of roleplayers look deep into Draenei history. Even in the starting zone, you don't learn much beyond 'Yeah, we crashed this ship into this island. Some blood elves want to kill us. We have russian accents, and we hang out with floating stained glass windows.'

Draenei are the eternal underdogs, and that is why I love them. Without being tacky, they evoke the same thoughts as when I consider the Jewish nation. A people pursued for generations, their numbers slowly dwindling. Every time they think they find a safe haven, they are driven out of it.

Now that I think about it, there are lots of things about the Draenei culture to talk about. Too much for one post. So! I present to you:

DID YOU KNOW? Draenei.
  • Oshu'gun (you know, that chunk of crystal-ish stuff in Nagrand) was the ship the Draenei arrived on Draenor in. The Exodar was like the car they traded up for, except it turned out to be a lemon.
  • Shamans are a new addition into the Draenei culture, and not very accepted. All you have to do is hang around the shaman trainer at Azure Watch and you can witness this for yourself.
  • Velen was once pals with the infamous Archimonde and Kil'jaeden. All three were the triumverate leaders of Argus. He and 'Jaeden were so close that it is said "Kil'jaeden had loved Velen as a brother, closer than that, loved him almost as another aspect of himself."
  • Telredor is not just that giant mushroom settlement in Zangarmarsh. It was the last bastion of Velen and many of the surviving Draenei, hiding them while the corrupted orcs swept through the world. The draenei hid for decades, even during the shattering of Draenor. The quest givers there give the impression of shortages of food and supplies. It is easy to imagine that life there must have been very lean.
  • Through the manipulation of Gul'dan, the corrupted orcs were able to slaughter 80% of the draenei race over a period of about eight years. To put that in perspective, if you are a family of five on Draenor during this time, on average you have lost four of your relatives by the time the aggression faded. If you are a mother, this means your husband and three children.
  • Though the Draenei are sworn to aid the Naaru and fight the Legion, they are not ruled by piousness. They pursue their own interests like any other race.
It's easy to like the Draenei. Just remember that they are more than a funny accent and a race of a religious zealots. They have a deep, tragic history full of human drama, and a tendancy to pull themselves out of the ashes every time.


  1. I love my Draenei - a lot considering I have 5 of them each with very different personalities, histories and I think aspects of the race itself. Jadira's my escapist - embracing the human world. Oboro's my hopeful youth - wanting to try and carry his people forward. Kahlith is my bridge - a shaman who's embraced her differences and is trying to bring her people together. Chaaran is my emo kid - one loss or tragedy after another has worn his spirit down to nothing. Meloraan my priest who's faith in people and the light lets him continue even when hes looking down Armageddon.
    Each has a piece of Draenei history tied to them, some embrace it while others deny or run from it. While some of them have 'you cant do that' almost backgrounds i honestly saw too much of the ye-typical draenei tales and chose to go for the paths unchosen but still believable to some extent. I love them all a lot.

  2. I love my Draenai, too! Sevikaya, my paladin, has very much been shaped by her past and by the terrible things her race has been through. She is willing to do whatever it takes, even things that might be seen as "evil", for the greater good of her people and her service to the Light.

    Hence why she's a Ret pally. :-p