11 June 2008

Are murlocs misunderstood?

Once upon a time, as a young night elf druid, I set off to explore the darkshore coastline. The first humanoids I encountered were strange, greenish creatures loitering around the washed-up shell of a giant dead turtle. They looked scruffy and bored, like teenagers. I ambled up to one and gave it a sniff. It let out an ungodly scream and charged me. From out of nowhere, a second psychotic urchin careened toward me on its bandy legs, wailing and frothing at the mouth. I fought off the first attacker bravely, but it fled in panic and came stampeding back with reinforcements. There was an outcry of gurgling, like a dozen vampires gargling blood, before the colour faded and I found myself face to face with the spirit healer. I had discovered murlocs.

The murderous little bastards encroach all over Azeroth at various levels to prove themselves the most diabolical of all WoW's villains. The combination of wide, arcing patrols, close clustering, and a propensity to run at relatively high health is deadly. No wonder they are so frequently despised.

It therefore came as a great surprise to me several levels (and characters) later when I was asked by the shattered sun offensive to set them free of naga enslavement (via the quest, disrupt the greengill coast). What? Were they insane? Release murlocs into the wild?

Honestly, I won't even pretend to understand the lore here. Naga and murlocs have always been the same side of the evil-fish-monster coin to me. But possibly there's a bit more too it than that. Something to do with the Maelstrom? Who knows. But if they have been enslaved by mutated elves, might that explain their slight ambivalence toward unannounced company? Could it be that I had misjudged murlocs for all this time?

Well, we are about to find out. Wrath will introduce a murloc faction and we will finally get to interact with them at a level beyond mere combat. I dare say it will involve slaying some other faction of murloc, so there will be something for everyone in this relationship.

Which leads nicely to the latest misery poll — where do you stand on the murloc issue? Are you running scared or jumping with joy? Murlocs: good or bad? Go! Vote now!

1 comment:

Shastarian said...

I have had my fair share of dates with the Spirit Healer as a result of these beasts. I dislike them so much that I refuse to do the Isle quest that you speak of, although I do laugh when someone else sets them free and I see a crowd of murlocs attacking their Naga Overlords.
Having said that, I do have the murloc's signature battle-cry as my SMS ringtone on my mobile. Makes me jump when I get a message whilst playing ...