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  1. #1

    Is the word "honor" an empty sound in the lore of Warcraft?

    We frequently hear the word "honor" in Warcraft - heck,almost on every turn. Saurfang is all about the honor,Anduin can't say a single sentence without mentioning the honor. All of the orcs have saying "strength and honor". Baine is all about the honor. What the honor actually is?

    Is the honor about the waging war in a fair melee combat? Does that mean,that an orc warrior,who has a strength of three Stormwind humans,should charge into battle only when there're 3 or more opponents otherwise it would be honorless to fight against those,who are weaker? Does that mean,that all spellcasters and hunters are honorless cowards,because they don't engage in a melee combat? Are the rogues honorless scum,because they attack somebody,when they least expect it? Is the honor about sending thousands of troops to certain death only because the fight would be fair,instead of using siege vehicles or catapults?Is the honor about attacking unexpecting kingdoms and burning them to the ground when they least expect it?

    War is war. It's ugly, it's horrible, it's a nightmare,but damn,war is not about the honor. Sylvanas at least never said,that she cares about the honor,all she cared about were her goals. Saurfang,on the other hand,a veteran of all wars,who taught Garrosh about honor,was all for the war against the night elves up until the moment he threw an axe in Malfurions back. Like when he attacked the night elf lands and slaughtered a bunch of them was about the honor. The only thing he regretted was that he didn't charge Malfurion when he saw him. Heck,Saurfang was up for the whole faction war,even if it would lead to another destruction of Stormwind to ensure Horde's future.

    World of Warcraft is all about the war and that's it. Honor is just a nice thing to mention from time to time to paint yourself whiter than your enemy.

  2. #2
    Bloodsail Admiral Sfidt's Avatar
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    Honor applies only to your inner circle. Any try to apply honor to outsiders and applying universalism to it will fail. Even in the old times in real world only some people were members of a certain honor circle and held liable to its norms.
    S.H.

  3. #3
    Blizzard have unintentionally shown a pretty good picture of honor. I.e, that it depends on the racial and cultural background involved and like the guy above me says, it only makes sense when contained to an in-group.

    Back in Mists, both Garrosh and Thrall accused each other of being dishonorable. The latter on the basis of his cosmopolitan morals, influenced partly by the Frostwolves and partly by human chivalry. The former on the basis of the classic Warsong style, which has victory in battle, fearlessness and accepting your own death as the highest virtues. Ditto with Nazgrim, who while he personally found that loyalty was the highest form of honor, by adhering to the blood oath, recognized other values in what the rebels were doing. The non-Frostwolf clans found it honorable to kill weak children, because to let them live would both condemn said kids to an honorless existence and harm the clan by forcing them to care for those who can't carry their own weight.

    And this is all within one race. Honor is extremely varied. It's why honor is such an inane uniting characteristic to have and why their current route for the Horde belongs in the trash. This is even before you start engaging with how Blizzard wants us to see it. I.e the absurdities of how it's honorable to feign Mak'gora, honorable to hire hundreds of assassins to kill your enemy, but dishonorable to save your leader by attacking an opponent in the back.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2019-04-02 at 10:49 AM.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

  4. #4
    The Insane FelPlague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felixon View Post
    We frequently hear the word "honor" in Warcraft - heck,almost on every turn. Saurfang is all about the honor,Anduin can't say a single sentence without mentioning the honor. All of the orcs have saying "strength and honor". Baine is all about the honor. What the honor actually is?

    Is the honor about the waging war in a fair melee combat? Does that mean,that an orc warrior,who has a strength of three Stormwind humans,should charge into battle only when there're 3 or more opponents otherwise it would be honorless to fight against those,who are weaker? Does that mean,that all spellcasters and hunters are honorless cowards,because they don't engage in a melee combat? Are the rogues honorless scum,because they attack somebody,when they least expect it? Is the honor about sending thousands of troops to certain death only because the fight would be fair,instead of using siege vehicles or catapults?Is the honor about attacking unexpecting kingdoms and burning them to the ground when they least expect it?

    War is war. It's ugly, it's horrible, it's a nightmare,but damn,war is not about the honor. Sylvanas at least never said,that she cares about the honor,all she cared about were her goals. Saurfang,on the other hand,a veteran of all wars,who taught Garrosh about honor,was all for the war against the night elves up until the moment he threw an axe in Malfurions back. Like when he attacked the night elf lands and slaughtered a bunch of them was about the honor. The only thing he regretted was that he didn't charge Malfurion when he saw him. Heck,Saurfang was up for the whole faction war,even if it would lead to another destruction of Stormwind to ensure Horde's future.

    World of Warcraft is all about the war and that's it. Honor is just a nice thing to mention from time to time to paint yourself whiter than your enemy.
    https://youtu.be/M4XqrRyrUQU
    This video goes really well into it, about why honor atleast for the horde has never really been concrete and how honor really is just in the eyes of the beholder and can change at a whim, of course going far more indepth then i could here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    Azerite is absolutely RNG you are right. You have no idea what traits will be on that piece you got from a random source until you roll it. I've literally had a Warfront piece that had the "opposite faction" passive and no passive/proc for my spec but it did for the other 2.

  5. #5
    Honour seems mostly pointless in a War where your Enemy wants you Dead. Since your honour will likely end in your own death.

  6. #6
    The Insane Aeula's Avatar
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    It's a meaningless buzzword that Blizzard think means something universal.

    Having Honor be the focus of so many Horde characters was a stupid idea. The Horde isn't and never has been 'honorable'.

  7. #7
    For a wounded man will shall say to his assailant
    "If I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven"
    Such is the rule of honor
    - - - always get a this in my head when I hear honor.

    As a more serious reply I think honor is depending on your values and being upfront about them. Put said values before your own person, which is why honor is often synonymous with accepting once death. Probably the simplest way to put it.

  8. #8
    It means honouring a code, how else can you keep all those volatile horde elements from killing eachother, if not through honouring a common code?

    It's either that or everyone goes back to their own thing, belves being drug addicts, orcs being a target-agnostic war machine, goblins being crooks, trolls being ruthless jungle savages and so on.

  9. #9
    Pandaren Monk Lupinemancer's Avatar
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    "Is the word "honor" an empty sound in the lore of Warcraft?"
    For the Horde it is, but for the Alliance it is the only thing that matters.

  10. #10
    Honor means different things to different people. You can't measure honor, so only a person knows it they are being honorable.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Pentai View Post
    It's either that or everyone goes back to their own thing, belves being drug addicts, orcs being a target-agnostic war machine, goblins being crooks, trolls being ruthless jungle savages and so on.
    You mean something interesting?

  12. #12
    Stood in the Fire
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    Honor means different things to different people. In most cases its really hard to tell whats honorable because everyone has their own moral compass. When Saurfang for example struck Malfurion from behind, he saw it as dishonorable. Saurfang is an honorable warrior with a high moral code. The way he rationalized this is that this was a one on one duel with Sylvanas, which he interrupted. Some people may argue that it was war, and all is fair in war, but not to Saurfang.

    These values are often held in high regard by the orcs, tauren and some of the trolls, and it also differs by their background. However not all members of the horde are as honorable. Lorash for example, the blood elf from the war of thorns, is quite happy to kill civilians even though they aren't even an objective. Although rogues are seen as underhanded or despicable by some members of the horde, they are tolerated in the name of the greater good.

    On the other hand, some actions are very clear cut, especially when done by a leader which represents a faction as a whole, such as killing and raising your own troops, burning a city after conquering it out of spite, raising enemies into undeath when even you think its a curse, etc.
    "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted" ~Einstein
    Wish more people would take that to heart.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Verdugo View Post
    You mean something interesting?
    So an expansion where the horde implodes due to cultural differences, breaks-up, and we as alliance must choose between A) help them reunite because it's destiny or something prophetic B) try to build relationships with those willing and maybe letting some join the alliance C) exterminate them in their weakened state, for justice D) enslave them as zoo exhibits E) fuck all that, join the void. Hey sign me up.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Pentai View Post
    So an expansion where the horde implodes due to cultural differences, breaks-up, and we as alliance must choose between A) help them reunite because it's destiny or something prophetic B) try to build relationships with those willing and maybe letting some join the alliance C) exterminate them in their weakened state, for justice D) enslave them as zoo exhibits E) fuck all that, join the void. Hey sign me up.
    So something we have currently.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pentai View Post
    So an expansion where the horde implodes due to cultural differences, breaks-up, and we as alliance must choose between A) help them reunite because it's destiny or something prophetic B) try to build relationships with those willing and maybe letting some join the alliance C) exterminate them in their weakened state, for justice D) enslave them as zoo exhibits E) fuck all that, join the void. Hey sign me up.
    We already played that one once. We're doing it again at the moment. If you like I can even tell you how it'll end.

    @dekal

    Saurfang is such a believer in the sanctity of duels that earlier he issued a fake challenge of Mak'gora to Malfurion just to distract him enough for his people to run away. An actually heroic action, mind, but not one of a man who would later go catatonic and throw the entire invasion in the bin because he hit one guy his leader was struggling with in the back.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

  16. #16
    Moderator Aucald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    Saurfang is such a believer in the sanctity of duels that earlier he issued a fake challenge of Mak'gora to Malfurion just to distract him enough for his people to run away. An actually heroic action, mind, but not one of a man who would later go catatonic and throw the entire invasion in the bin because he hit one guy his leader was struggling with in the back.
    Declaring Mak'gora itself isn't protected by sanctity, only the combat itself and its strictures - Mak'gora has a history of being called for completely selfish reasons by other Orcs as well, so it is not as if the ritual is so sacrosanct it can't be invoked for personal reasons. Saurfang knew Malfurion was likely to have no real respect for the rite, being a Night Elf, and Saurfang made the calculus that saving the life of his soldiers was worth manifestly more than making light of an Orcish tradition one way or the other. If Malfurion had accepted the challenge Saurfang was more than ready to fight and likely die in the duel to come - he considered his own death worth it if it saved his soldiers and the mission itself.

    Interfering with Malfurion and Sylvanas' duel was a different matter, though; one with a more personal resonance for Saurfang himself. Even if a Mak'gora was declared for selfish or petulant reasons Saurfang would observe the rules of the rite - he wouldn't interfere and he wouldn't back down, lest he dishonor himself and his people. I think Saurfang was also still conflicted about the war Sylvanas was executing, even though he had agreed with her logic. There was an element of "rightness of cause" for him in the duel between Malfurion and Sylvanas in hindsight, he interfered in something that he felt should've been allowed to play out to determine who truly had the right of things.
    "We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see." - The Player, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

  17. #17
    I think honor is a translation of deontological ethics. You assume the burden of certain duties or obligations, as culturally prescribed, and you follow them. Some cultures may be entirely honorless because they do not present their people with much of a burden or even repudiate such a burden existing (e.g. the gnomes).
    The one who has followed this interpretation the best so far was Nazgrim in that he followed the moral code of the Horde tradition as per the blood oath but recognized that other people may find honor in a different way.

    If I was writing Saurfang, I'd show him abandoning the concept of honor as virtuous. He is an old warrior scarred psychologically by war. The advent of many ethical philosophies that did the same in our world was only after two world wars (and indeed several of the philosophers involved fought in those wars or suffered directly because of them). In that you'd see in Saurfang someone trying to cling to his own philosophy up to the events of Undercity which is why he is spamming "Honor" like a child with Tourette's playing CoD spams swear words; the very concept is in its death throes and is trying to maintain prominence. After that point Saurfang would be slowly approaching a post-modernist epiphany and understand that Honor is a meaningless concept of fascist cultures and has no inherent moral right ascribed to it. But that's me and I demonstrably think very differently from our writing team in WoW.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    And Saurfang made the calculus that saving the life of his soldiers was worth manifestly more than making light of an Orcish tradition one way or the other.
    Too bad that he didnt consider it later. Certain orc that was burried alive would definitely want his opinion on the matter, if he wasnt turned into plant food.

  19. #19
    Moderator Aucald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdugo View Post
    Too bad that he didnt consider it later. Certain orc that was burried alive would definitely want his opinion on the matter, if he wasnt turned into plant food.
    Direct vs. indirect consequence, I would say. Saving his people in Astranaar was more a direct consequence that was hanging on his actions then and there - the deaths of Horde soldiers later on due to allowing Malfurion to live were more an indirect and long-term consequence. Not to say that Saurfang was right, either; but the calculus there is somewhat different. Obviously he felt it worth it, wrongly or rightly.
    "We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see." - The Player, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    Direct vs. indirect consequence, I would say. Saving his people in Astranaar was more a direct consequence that was hanging on his actions then and there - the deaths of Horde soldiers later on due to allowing Malfurion to live were more an indirect and long-term consequence. Not to say that Saurfang was right, either; but the calculus there is somewhat different. Obviously he felt it worth it, wrongly or rightly.
    He was definitely thinking about "indirect consequences" later, and he thought it was worth it because he felt better about himself.

    This is the character that Blizzard wants us to sympathise with. This is the character they made two expensive CGI cinematics about to show us "you are supposed to like this swell guy!". Are Blizzard writers that much disconnected from workings of average human mind?

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