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I've always viewed the player as a more elite soldier. We are well above the peons and slightly below the generals, power-wise.
The Lich King thought we were a pretty nifty bunch. He threw away countless undead for us, to ensure that he had what he believed to be the greatest fighting force the world would ever know (though we'd have obviously been given a few Plaguelord augmentations here and there). We're often regarded by NPCs as being a kinda huge boon to whatever cause we're championing, and seem to have a fairly decent reputation for success and feats of strength. Since the Argent tournament, or maybe even the Ulduar trailer, the Adventurers have been being paid higher and higher compliments, and then the intro to Mists really cements things.
We're a fairly big deal, but a faceless one and definitely overshadowed by the named heroes.
This is why I don't give anything at all in game any credit on being canon. When I try I just start asking questions because it ultimately makes no sense.
Also. If the Lich king wanted us so bad why not just corrupt us? I get he wanted us to be his greatest champion, but when you consider that we are still crap compared to Sylvannas, why even bother? Just do us like he did her. Except make the control stronger this time. Maybe put a bomb in our chest cavity as insurance.
I like to think of it like this...
You've got various NPCs around that we can compare ourselves to.
At the top of the mortal category are characters like Jaina or Thrall. Most of them are heroes from the Warcraft series of games. Lore-wise, I'd say each of them is worth about 20-25 of us.
Below that are notable NPCs that we encounter. This group is pretty broad, but you have characters in here like minor Alliance/Horde faction leaders (ie. Moira Thaurissan, Gelbin Mekkatorque, Baine Bloodhoof, Lor'themar Theron) and leaders or important figures of other factions (Hamuul Runetotem, Taran Zhu, Aethas Sunreaver). I'd lump a few notable Alliance/Horde faction figures in here as well, characters like Grand Magister Rommath, Magatha Grimtotem, Muradin Bronzebeard, etc. Of these characters, I'd say five formidable player characters could (with a high level of difficulty) take these guys down, but for it to be a fair fight I'd want 10 player characters to one of them, in general.
Below that I'd put some feature characters or elite mobs that aren't really as powerful as the tier above, but are more powerful than the tier below. These are characters like Danath Trollbane, Vereesa Windrunner, Nazgrel, etc. As far as I'm concerned, lore-wise, we could take these characters on alone and win, with some effort and optimal conditions.
Below that we have important people you meet along the way - this is where we fit in. A great example here is the Jade Forest NPCs that your faction encounters, either Sergeant Gorrok, Shokia and Shademaster Kiryn for the Horde or Amber Kearnen, Rell Nightwind and Sully McLeary for the Alliance. We would be fairly evenly matched with any of these characters. Some we would have little trouble with, others might be a bit more of a handful, but they're the closest to our level.
Down below that are the majority of (sometimes named) characters at various outposts and quest hubs around the world.
Below that are the rank and file grunts of our respective factions.
In any event, our 'power level' isn't exactly the same as the mythology we've created around ourselves. We've travelled across Azeroth and Outland, being the extra numbers that made the difference between success and failure, taking on missions that others couldn't or wouldn't do because they needed everyone they had just to hold their positions. We might not be the most powerful characters in our universe, but the way we use that power is our strength, and playing to our strengths is how we win the day so often. It also helps to explain why, in the face of those vastly more powerful than us, we require the aid of similarly powerful NPC characters - we're not really combat specialists. We're all-rounders, while most of them (Arthas, Deathwing) are not so much.
Thinking about it now, all throughout Northrend we were referenced with increasing esteem, culminating in Icecrown where Tirion begins taking personal notice in the player, so it does seem a little odd to have to undergo further trials - the assault on Icecrown Citadel had quite a huge potential for failure though so who can really blame the Campaign leaders for wanting to double, triple and then quadruple check that they've got the right team together.
I don't think he knew specifically who he wanted to corrupt; I think with the Lich King it was a case of whittling down the forces of the Northrend Campaign so that whoever remained were perceived as being greatest; he wasn't entirely sure exactly who his champions were to be until the final assault, he just allowed some promising heroes to survive along the way. Tirion was always going to do the work for him, rallying and delivering the greatest heroes of Azeorth right up the top of Icecrown Citadel, so there really wasn't much need for the Lich King to do anything besides wait.
But you're right though yeah, we're not as powerful as the big heroes so in hindsight (and at the time) it seemed pretty redundant.
That whole arc was speckled with blunders on all sides. There's no way we would be more useful than Kel'thuzad, Razuvious, the Four Horsesmen, Lana'thel etc.
The Lich King yells: You trained them well, Fordring. You delivered the greatest fighting force this world has ever known... right into my hands - exactly as I intended! You shall be rewarded for your unwitting sacrifice.
I've always felt we were champions who excelled at what ever path we chose and may be as great as some of the Generals of the factions think Nazgrim, Fordragon ,but chose the lone wolf perspective, like "Well I normally don't like to assist you guys, but I guess since the world's imminent destruction is kind of a thing I can probably make an exception."
Definitely not on a Thrall or Malfurion Level though. We're vets and were good at what we do, but don't necessarily like to work with others.
Roughly 1/10th or 1/25th a main character, depending.
We're powerful, but we're never as powerful as the single heroes of Warcraft. Why do I say this?
We have taken down some of the greatest super-powers in Warcraft lore, but it has always been in a big group. Over time raid size has gone down to 10-man format, but that is the idea of where your basic power lies. Many of the big named bosses have also been combo fights involving Hero characters interjecting themselves during or after the fight. We had Tirion, Anveena, Thrall and the Dragonflights help us in some of the major boss fights.
So while our characters are still very powerful people, we simply aren't going to be comparable to a Thrall or Malfurion. Lore-wise, I would say we are on par with the non-named Heroes in Warcraft 3.
I would say as many already did that we are slightly beneath major characters like Thrall for instance, far more powerful than regular NPCs and far less than world wide threats like arthas, deathwing etc.
I think we could be mid raid bosses if our characters turned evil or if arthas killed and raised us as his minions.
Last edited by Voldur; 2014-06-04 at 04:04 AM.
Imagine if it was hardcore mode and when you die, make a new character... that would show that we are pretty useless.
I would like we're on par with either one of the better small units in warcraft 3. We're good but not hero units.
What does that mean in lore? It means we're a supporting soldier. But the world wouldn't stop if we died.