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The most wicked creatures in WoW

Anne Stickney

Warcraft is a game that seems fairly straightforward in faction division. Alliance is good; Horde is bad. But once you delve into it, that straightforwardness becomes muddled and marred. The Alliance may seem like good guys, but they have their bad moments, and the Horde may seem evil, but even they've got their shining examples of goodness buried within. And when you examine the story and lore closely, you begin to realize that there is no black-and-white division between good and evil; all characters are loosely scattered and somewhere in shades of gray.

Sure, you can argue that the orcs are evil -- and they absolutely were, back in the day. But when you start looking at the justifications for the orcs' actions, that label of pure evil comes into question. As for the Alliance, you can argue that the human race is a bastion of goodness and light -- but then you look at things like the Scarlet Crusade, at Benedictus' betrayal, and you begin to wonder whether the human race is inherently good or just as scattered as the rest of the world.

... Unless, of course, you look at the one place where evil characters always hang out: instances.

Stubborn over at Sheep the Diamond is in the middle of an absolutely fascinating look into the bosses of WoW, both in dungeons and in raids. Part one of the study took a look at raid bosses, and part two delves into classic dungeons. With each post, Stubborn is taking a simple approach, tallying all the bosses and sorting them by race. Surprisingly enough, trolls aren't at the top of the list, despite the jokes about being inundated with them every expansion.

Instead, undead have so far dominated the category. Now Stubborn hasn't finished the study just yet -- next is an examination of Burning Crusade dungeons, then I imagine Wrath and Cataclysm dungeons will follow. And there's a fine line between undead and Forsaken -- while a lot of these bosses are indisputably undead, they don't fall under the classification of Forsaken, with some exceptions of course for bosses like Lord Godfrey over in Shadowfang Keep, among others.

As far as raid bosses are concerned, trolls come in handily in second place. But with classic dungeons, trolls are shoved down to fourth place, and in second place behind undead are ... humans. The more I think about it, the more I remember fighting mostly human bosses in vanilla WoW, particularly when leveling in the vicinity of Stormwind. Over on the Horde side, your first dungeon features orc cultists, demons, elementals and troggs, so at least there are some orc enemies to be found. But as you leveled through Horde territory, your next stop was invariably Wailing Caverns, which featured night elves.

It strikes me as odd and extremely interesting that the majority of bosses that leveling Alliance players fight are humans or Alliance members -- especially given the fact that there is such an emphasis on the enmity between Alliance and Horde. During leveling, the Horde experience focused primarily on the world around them and corruption from outside sources in the form of the Burning Blade and the Burning Legion and later, the Druids of the Fang and the Emerald Nightmare. But the Alliance dealt with the Defias and had to think about the fact that the kingdom didn't pay these people for services rendered, leading to their lives as outlaws. So who is in the right here, the kingdom or the unpaid citizens? It's much meatier topic altogether.

All wondering aside, I'm really interested in seeing where the rest of Stubborn's calculations go, particularly after Outland dungeons, as the draenei right now are pretty much destined for sainthood in the Warcraft universe, if the trend of the totals we've seen so far continues. It does seem, however, that we can safely agree on one thing. Being undead? It means you're pretty bad.

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