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Behind the Curtain: Save our bosses

Craig Withers

Without lore, MMOs as we know them wouldn't exist. Lore means different things to different people. Some of us embrace it, some of us let it define who we are and what we do in-game, and some of us ignore it as best we can.

Lore plays an important, central part to any MMO. Central to that lore is the creation of solid, entertaining bad guys – evil, despicable, wicked bad guys that we all take for granted, call out as 'on notice', and sweat blood to chalk up world-first kills for. But you've all been so busy running around taking down bosses left, right and center that it probably never occurred to you that if you're not careful, there's every chance we could run out of bosses to kill.

There's a reason that Blizzard aren't removing old world content from WoW, and it's not because they feel bad that the old bosses don't have anything to do with their time it's because they're scared. Scared of what might happen if there were no more bad guys for us to kill. New content only lasts so long when we've got guilds like Nihilum burning through new content in a matter of days (attracting controversy as they go), and as good as the Blizzard developers are, it's not like they're churning out patch-worthy content every week, is it?

Someone once told me that alliances between evil creatures are fragile at best. Without bosses to lead them, the evil minions of the World of Warcraft would simply disappear, falling out with each other over the slightest of insults. Imagine – an Azeroth where you could walk through the Plaguelands unmolested because the Scourge were too busy arguing over whose rotting entrails look worse; Orgrimmar without the unfortunately named Cleft of Shadows because there's no Burning Crusade left for the Warlocks to plot and scheme with; a Silverpine Forest where noobs can run around without keeping one eye open for a Son of Arugal; a world where ravenous insectile hordes are no longer poised to raze everything before them, a world where no Old Gods wait with sleepless malice to lay waste to civilization.

But what in the Twisting Nether would we be left with? Would we all end up rolling RP characters and try to become master craftsmen? Are Hero Classes going to start including Butchers and Bakers? Will we see a Swords to Plowshares talent?

And what about the children? The children of Azeroth could grow up not knowing the threat of insane half-Night Elf-half-demon warlords or power crazed elven mages who seem to be permanently poised on the brink of unleashing their unstoppable army/weapon/plan on an unprepared world out of some ill-defined thirst for vengeance.

Is that the kind of world you want the children of Azeroth to grow up in? No more questionable quests where you somehow stuff an orphan into your backpack and then drag him/her to some of the most perilous areas ever seen. No, families will stay united, parents can live to see their children grow up and pursue exciting careers in the newly formed Sha'tar Bureaucracy Corps. (A rep grind based mainly on rubber-stamping stationery requests.)
Dear God, I can see it now – Orc children growing up tall and healthy, with smooth, unscarred emerald hides, Tauren Braves finally able to get rid of those pesky Harpies, public transport running promptly, fields plowed regularly, crops gathered on time, animals well cared for, Dogs and cats living together...

So please, the next time your guild starts gearing up to take down another lore-heavy bad guy whose only crimes are (probably) mass murder, slavery and general evil hijinks, take a minute and think about what you're doing – take a minute and think about the children.

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