Topic Hero or Mercenary?
Greetings Sha'tar based forum dwellers.
This is a question that's been on my mind for awhile that I thought might be fun to discuss, it's explanation is slightly long winded:
Do you prefer your character being portrayed through quests as a Hero, or a Mercenary?
You might be slightly confused by the difference or my definition of either of these, let me explain what I mean!
In World of Warcraft, the vanilla version, no matter which race, gender, or faction, all had a certain freelancer feel to them. In our starting zones we were greeted as a youngling who had only recently come of age or finished training (or been raised as a Forsaken). As such we had no reputation to speak of. I remember in Elwynn you were treated as a a recently of age new comer and asked to aid in fighting off Kobalds. In Durotar, you were likewise, treated as a youngling, hoping to make it as a soldier in the Horde!
Even as you progressed through the game, slaying armies of Kobalds or murlocs, lifting old curses and repairing, scavenging and restoring, you were simply greeted as a wandering sell-sword in the next zone. The locals would give you jobs and you'd run out and do them. It was only if you managed to do some raiding that you were ever recognised as something more or higher than your average merc.
The 'Hero Trend' seemed to begin during Wrath of the Lich King. When you first arrive in Northrend, many NPCs will claim to have heard of you or your deeds. In the Borean Tundra for example, Alliance players can skip the recruitment line and are quickly re-directed to the base Commander for more important jobs than the other enlisting civilians.
Shortly after, and all through out Northrend, our characters find themselves the key factor in a string of battles, campaigns and construction. As opposed to simply trimming down numbers of enemies, we're quickly climbing into Siege tanks and flying machines. We're bombing Scourge forces to pieces and are hailed as Heroes and Champions all through out the expansion.
This trend continues in Cataclysm, where our characters egos are stroked! We receive a personal summons from Thrall early on in the expansion. We are granted an audience with King Varion, Garrosh Hellscream, Alexstraza and Malfurion to name a few.
Which are you?I know I personally prefer the Mercenary idea, while often seen as less exciting, it feels more realistic to me. Trying to imagine Vashnu killing 200 Blackrock Orcs from a siege tank feels rather off. I'm not saying I don't enjoy the more dramatic quests from time to time, it just feels more like Vashnu to simply enjoy life as a sell-sword and not a "Champion" of the cause.
Mercenary for all of my characters. It makes picking which quests to do more interesting. As an example most of my goblins have done the quests to do with exploiting the locals in Thousand Needles for their oil, whereas my druid emphatically did not! Instead of a simple moral choice it becomes "Can I survive (level) if I avoid this quest chain?" "How much inconvenience will I accept to uphold my morals?". Some characters have strong ties to factions and will help or hinder them (my goblin warrior hates working for goblins, most of my characters hate working for the forsaken, for example) no matter what
I'll add that while I do the quests IC in my head I do not then go tell people about them. They are just examples of the sort of actions my characters would take.