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  1. #1

    Races and their real-life equivalents

    This is a continuation of a previous thread: https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads...-Ethnic-Dances

    Since everyone was baffled by my picks, i will explain, in this thread, the choices i made, regarding the races:

    Humans (Franks)

    The Humans of Stormwind are obviously based off of Middle-Ages Europeans. Most notably, the Franks.

    "The term Paladin, for example, comes from Old French, deriving from the Latin comes palatinus (count palatine), a title given to close retainers. The Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty (reigned 480–750) employed a high official, the comes palatinus, who at first assisted the king in his judicial duties and at a later date discharged many of these himself. Other counts palatine were employed on military and administrative work. The paladins (or Twelve Peers) are twelve fictional knights of legend, the foremost members of Charlemagne's court in the 8th century. They first appear in the mediaeval (12th century) chanson de geste cycle of the Matter of France, where they play a similar role to the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian romance". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paladin

    While other races have Paladins as well (most notably the Draenei, the Blood elves and the Tauren), they are often referred to as Vindicators, Blood Knights and Sunwalkers.

    The Humans' strong faith in the Light, mighty Churches, Chapels and Cathedrals mirror Christianity's hold over the state during Charlemagne's reign.

    "In the Admonitio generalis, Charlemagne pronounced that he was a "new Josiah", and responsible for the moral health and salvation of his subjects, highlighting Charlemagne's commitment to the Christianization of the Frankish kingdom. He sought to achieve this by reforming the church in pursuit of the moral reform and discipline of the clergy and other ecclesiastical members with the expectation they would lead their followers by example. He also pursued educational reform, requiring monasteries and cathedrals to establish schools to educate boys to read and write in order to make the Bible and other religious texts more accessible and in turn broadening and deepening the spread of Christianity. The schools would also teach religious music, singing and psalms to encourage the spread of the faith, as well as grammar so that religious texts could be revised and edited". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admonitio_generalis

    The similarity between the structures would be one example:



    Dwarves (Scottish)

    "Dwarves of all 4 types speak in a Scottish accent."

    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Dwarf#Notes_and_trivia

    "A popular staple in Ironforge is haggis, which consists of sheep innards, oatmeal and seasoned with [Mild Spices]."

    Haggis is a scottish dish:
    "Haggis is popularly assumed to be of Scottish origin, but many countries have produced similar dishes, albeit with different names. However, the recipes as known and standardised now are distinctly Scottish". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haggis

    Furthermore, their Archaeology artifact "Chalice of the Mountain Kings" describes a sword dance:
    "In addition to the many jewels adorning it, this chalice is virtually covered with runes celebrating an old ascension ceremony for dwarven kings. Drinking from this chalice was certainly a part of it, but the runes go on to describe a 'sword dance' done by female dwarven warriors. This performance, part ritual and part mock battle, apparently evolved from bloody duels fought during less sophisticated times in dwarven history". https://wow.gamepedia.com/Chalice_of_the_Mountain_Kings

    Sword dances are firmly associated with the Scots: "As a part of the traditional Scottish intangible heritage, the performance of the Sword Dance has been recorded as early as the 15th century. It is normally recognised as the war dance with some ceremonial sense in the Scottish Royal court during that period. The old kings and clan chiefs organised the Highland Games as a method to choose their best men at arms, and the discipline required to perform the Highland dances allowed men to demonstrate their strength, stamina, and agility." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_sword_dances




    Gnomes (Irish)

    Their feats in Engineering could make them either Swiss or German, as they are strongly associated with Engineering. But, their titles as Tinkers give an insight into their ethnic equivalents. I know Goblins use it as well, but it's not as profound as in Gnomish culture (with Gelbin, for example, being High Tinker).

    "Tinker or tinkerer is an archaic term for an itinerant tinsmith who mends household utensils. Tinker for metal-worker is attested from the 13th century as tyckner or tinkler. Some travelling groups and Romani people specialised in the trade, and the name was particularly associated with indigenous Irish Travellers and Scottish Highland Traveller. However, this use is considered offensive. The term "tinker", in British English, may refer to a mischievous child. Some modern-day nomads with an English, an Irish or a Scottish influence call themselves "techno-tinkers" or "technogypsies" and are found to possess a revival of sorts of the romantic view of the tinker's lifestyle". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinker

    As the Dwarves are already a Scottish race, i'm going to give the Gnomish race to the Irish.

    Night elves (Japanese)

    The Night elves are obviously compounded of different cultures. For example:

    "In folklore, a wisp is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps, or marshes. The phenomenon is known in English folk belief, English folklore, and much of European folklore". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will-o%27-the-wisp

    "Yggdrasil (from Old Norse Yggdrasill) is an immense mythical tree that plays a central role in Norse cosmology, where it connects the Nine Worlds". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil

    "In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a tribe of warrior women believed to live in Asia Minor". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazons

    "Enheduanna was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna (Sin). She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enheduanna

    Queen Azshara is most likely a reference to "Asherah", a Semitic mother goddess who was worshipped in the ancient middle east. She is in the Ba'al Epic, and her name translates to "She who treads on the sea".

    These clearly are reminiscent of things like the Wisps, the World Trees (Teldrassil, Nordrassil, Vordrassil and Shaladrassil), The Sentinels and Tyrande the Priestess of the moon.

    Yet, i feel like most of these are attributed to the fact that the Night elves are mostly based on the fantasy of Wood elves (nature-loving elves).

    The reason i picked Japanese is because of their buildings. "The architecture of the night elves, according to an interview with Chris Metzen, draws its influences from both Nordic and Japanese building style. This is most obviously apparent in the night elf city of Darnassus, which includes several tower buildings in the style of the Pagoda at Yakushi-ji (薬師寺)". https://wow.gamepedia.com/Night_elf#Notes_and_trivia




    Moreover, characters like Illidan and Malfurion Stormrage definitely give out a Japanese vibe:


    (His long smooth black hair)


    (His kilt)

    Draenei (Byzantine)

    "The draenei are inspired by different cultures. They speak in Eastern European accents, their musical theme has a Near-Eastern or Indian vibe, and their history resembles ancient Biblical Jews and their exploits, as their entire racial timespan revolves a nomadic search for a new home while being a target of a major genocidal campaign, and while having a strong, unshakable faith in their religion, and with the Exodar being a play on the Exodus."
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Draenei#Notes_and_trivia

    And yet, i feel that they are neither of these. For example, Exarch is a draenei title, apparently used for military leaders. In the Byzantine Empire, the title "Exarch" was used for military governors. https://wow.gamepedia.com/Exarch#Notes_and_trivia
    "In the civil administration of the Byzantine Empire the exarch was, as stated above, the imperial governor of a large and important region of the Empire." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exarch

    Anchorite is an honorific title the draenei use for their priests. https://wow.gamepedia.com/Anchorite
    "An anchorite or anchoret is someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic, or Eucharist-focused life. Whilst anchorites are frequently considered to be a type of religious hermit, unlike hermits they were required to take a vow of stability of place, opting for permanent enclosure in cells often attached to churches. Anchorites had a certain autonomy, as they did not answer to any ecclesiastical authority other than the bishop. The anchoritic life is one of the earliest forms of Christian monasticism." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchorite

    "In terms of prosperity and cultural life, the Byzantine Empire was one of the peaks in Christian history and Christian civilization, and Constantinople remained the leading city of the Christian world in size, wealth, and culture." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity

    Draenei are said to be "Empowered by the Holy Light and the undying strength of their convictions", "Dedicated to preserving life and upholding the tenets of the Holy Light", and "Armed with courage and their unshakable faith in the Light". https://wow.gamepedia.com/Draenei_(playable)#Background

    The Siege of Shattrath City could be compared to the Siege of Constantinopole:




    Worgen (English)

    "The Gilneans' clothing, weapons, architecture, and accents have great Regency Era connotations, which along with Gilneas' cold, gloomy, and rainy weather of the peninsula, seems to have been inspired by nineteenth-century London. There are also elements like the Blackwald from Germany. Some Gilnean buildings, such as Greymane Manor and in Gilneas City, have "onion domes" on them, possibly indicating a Russian influence in elements of their architecture." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Gilneas_(k...tes_and_trivia

    "Gilneas City, much like her people, is heavily inspired by Victorian era-London". https://wow.gamepedia.com/Gilneas_City#Notes_and_trivia

    "The harvest-witches seem to thematically be based on the real, historic druids of the ancient Celtic people, as opposed to the druids in the rest of the Warcraft franchise which, aside from the name, are actually rather different from the historic druids. This matches Gilneas being based on Victorian England, as the Celts lived in Britain long ago."

    "The fate of the old druidic religion of the harvest-witches being replaced by the worship of the Holy Light, and having been driven to the fringes of human society to near extinction, shares similarities with druidism in the real world and how it was eventually replaced and driven to near extinction by the growing power of Christianity."

    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Harvest-wi...tes_and_trivia

    Pandaren (Chinese)

    This one is pretty much self-explanatory. With the Pandas being the national symbol of China, Pandaria being based off of asian landscapes and cultures, and the Monk class drawing its inspiration from Kung-fu.

    "The name pandaren is derived from the words "panda" and rén (Chinese character: 人), the Mandarin Chinese word for "person". Literally translated, pandaren means "panda-people"."

    "Pandaren philosophy points indirectly at the Chinese martial Tai-Chi because of its soft gentle nature and powerful attacks. The style also shows the same philosophy as the pandaren religion. However, due to the drinking, it could lean towards the infamous style of Drunken Monkey Fist."

    "Some of their culture is much like the Chinese religion of Daoism."

    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Pandaren#Notes_and_trivia

    "Monk animations are heavily influenced by real-world martial arts styles, including a form of Wushu commonly known as Drunken Boxing, which was used in the development of the Brewmaster."
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Monk#Trivia

    "Shen-zin Su ( 神真子, Pinyin: Shénzhēn Zi ) is Chinese for "the true, godlike Sage"." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Shen-zin_Su#Notes_and_trivia

    "The Celestials are apparently based on the four symbols of Chinese mythology, with the Black Ox replacing the Black Tortoise and exchanging cardinal directions with the White Tiger." https://wow.gamepedia.com/August_Cel...tes_and_trivia

    "Sha (煞, shà) is Chinese for "evil spirit"." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Sha#Notes_and_Trivia

    "Mogu (魔古, mógǔ) is Chinese for, roughly, "occult ancient" or "devil ancient," and Mogu'shan (魔古山, Mógǔshān) is Chinese for "Mogu Mountain". Although Chinese World of Warcraft uses "魔古" as the official translation, mogu can also mean "mushroom"(蘑菇, mógu)"."

    "The mogu, like their quilen pets, bear a striking resemblance to the Chinese guardian lions (also known as Shishi lions or "Foo Dogs"). Indeed, early concept art for the race is labeled "Foo Dog Warrior."

    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Mogu#Notes

    "Jinyu (金魚, jīnyú) is Chinese for "goldfish"." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Jinyu#Notes_and_trivia

    "Hozu (猴族, hóuzú) is Chinese for "monkey clan"." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Hozen#Notes_and_trivia

    "In traditional Chinese culture, qi or ch'i is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity. Qi translates as "air" and figuratively as "material energy", "life force", or "energy flow". Qi is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and in Chinese martial arts. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi

    Orcs (Mongolian/Turkish)

    Horde may refer to:

    "An orda (also orda, ordu, ordo, or ordon) or horde was a historical sociopolitical and military structure found on the Eurasian Steppe, usually associated with the Turkic people and Mongols." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orda_(organization)

    "The Golden Horde was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Horde

    War chief may refer to:

    "Warlord, a leader able to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state due to their ability to mobilize loyal armed forces".

    "These warlords, such as Genghis Khan and his immediate successors, conquered nearly all of Asia and European Russia and sent armies as far as Central Europe and Southeast Asia."
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlord

    That would explain the Orcish Horde's warfare against the European Humans (and the Yaungols in Pandaria).

    "Genghis Khan was the founder and first Great Khan and Emperor of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed Genghis Khan (meaning "Universal, oceanic, and firm/strong ruler and lord"), he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia, reaching as far west as Poland and the Levant in the Middle East."
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan

    This is pretty much reminiscent of the different Orc clans uniting together under the banner of the Horde: "To consolidate his power, Gul'dan united the clans into the Old Horde under Blackhand as Warchief and formed the Shadow Council to pull the strings from the shadows." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Orc#History

    Furthermore, Mongolian clothing somewhat resembles that of the Orcs (in the old games):



    Notice the fur in their helmets (with the obvious fantasy aspect of horns).

    Troll (Central/South-American/Caribbean/Polynesian)

    "Trolls, in general, take inspiration from different cultures. Their accents are usually based on Afro-Caribbean dialects, their religion is based on West African Vodun, and their architectural style is reminiscent of Mesoamerican or Pre-Columbian civilizations." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Troll#Notes_and_trivia

    "Headhunters are spearmen specialized in tracking and hunting their opponents. Many headhunters are trolls, dexterous spearthrowers and experts at taking trophies on their fallen opponents." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Headhunter

    "Several tribes of the Jivaroan group, including the Shuar in Eastern Ecuador and Northern Peru, along the rivers Chinchipe, Bobonaza, Morona, Upano, and Pastaza, main tributaries of the Amazon, practised headhunting for trophies. The heads were shrunk, and were known locally as Tzan-Tzas. The people believed that the head housed the soul of the person killed." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headhunting

    "Headhunting has occurred in many regions of the world, but the practice of headshrinking has only been documented in the northwestern region of the Amazon rainforest. Jivaroan peoples which includes the Shuar, Achuar, Huambisa and Aguaruna tribes from Ecuador and Peru are known to have shrunken human heads." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrunken_head

    "After a battle, the troll priests often decapitate foes and shrink their heads, so that the spirit of the foe will not escape." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Priest_races#Horde

    "Witch doctors (or witchdoctors and witch-doctors) are spellcasters and alchemists. Troll witch doctors utilize voodoo, juju and the arcane." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Witch_doctor

    "In southern Africa, traditional healers are known as sangomas. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the first use of the term "witch doctor" to refer to African shamans (i.e. medicine men) was in 1836." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_doctor

    However, the Witch Doctor unit of Warcraft 3 is wearing a Poncho:


    "Ponchos have been used by the Native American peoples of the Andes since pre-Hispanic time, from places now under the territory of Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Peru and are now considered typical South American garments".
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poncho

    "Juju (or Ju-Ju) is an object that is derived from a life force, a spiritual power, called E'ko and houses an unknown power source." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Juju

    "Juju or ju-ju (French: joujou, lit. 'plaything') is a spiritual belief system incorporating objects, such as amulets, and spells used in religious practice, as part of witchcraft in West Africa especially the people of Nigeria and Cameroon. The term has been applied to traditional African religions." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juju

    "Voodoo (also known as black magic) is a dark and powerful form of magic, referred to as the "ancient power of the trolls" by Rokhan. It is practiced primarily by troll shadow hunters, hexxers, and witch doctors as well as others." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Voodoo

    "The concept for troll voodoo magic is derived from Louisiana Voodoo (aka New Orleans Voodoo), Haitian Vodou (or Vaudou), and West African Vodun (or Vudun)." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Voodoo#Notes_and_trivia

    "Mojo is a substance, usually seen in liquid form that trolls use in their voodoo rituals." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Mojo

    "Mojo /ˈmoʊdʒoʊ/, in the African-American folk belief called hoodoo, is an amulet consisting of a flannel bag containing one or more magical items. It is a "prayer in a bag", or a spell that can be carried with or on the host's body." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojo...rican_culture)

    "Hoodoo is a form of magic used by trolls. Zanza the Restless, a loa of the Zandalar tribe, was particularly skilled in enchanting items via hoodoo, with the right reagents." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Hoodoo

    "In real life, Voodoo and Hoodoo are two very different things. Real life Voodoo is a complex and well-developed religion while real life Hoodoo is closer to a folk religion. Hoodoo "Root Priests" typically are more focused on the magical aspects and rarely invoke the African loa, usually replacing them with catholic saints or other deities." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Hoodoo#Notes

    "Enchanted tikis are magically animated voodoo masks created by trolls to serve their masters." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Enchanted_tiki

    "By extension, a tiki is a large or small wooden or stone carving in humanoid form. Carvings similar to tikis and coming to represent deified ancestors are found in most Polynesian cultures." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiki


    (Sen'jin Fetish)

    "A fetish is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a human-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value, or powers, to an object. The use of the concept in the study of religion derives from studies of traditional West African religious beliefs, as well as from Voodoo, which in turn derives from those beliefs." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetishism

    "Loa is the name given by trolls to the beings they worship, such as the Wild Gods, beings such as Kith'ix or G'huun, or spirits like wisps." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Loa

    "The loa gods are inspired by the loa from Haitian Vodoo." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Loa#Notes_and_trivia

    Bwonsamdi (pronounced "BWAN-sam-dee") is a powerful loa that controls the souls of the dead, primarily of trolls.

    "Bwonsamdi is inspired by the real Haitian loa Baron Samedi. The Warcraft RPG and 'The Blessing of Samedi' mention another troll loa inspired by Baron Samedi known as Samedi."

    "Baron Samedi (English: Baron Saturday), also written Baron Samdi, Bawon Samedi or Bawon Sanmdi, is one of the loa of Haitian Vodou. Samedi is a loa of the dead, along with Baron's numerous other incarnations" https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi



    "Hakkar is physically inspired by the Mesoamerican deities Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan, both of which can be translated as "Feathered Serpent". However, personality-wise it seems to be the opposite since Quetzalcoatl was against human sacrifice and blood offerings." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Hakkar_the...tes_and_trivia

    "Quetz'lun is a Drakkari wind serpent loa." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Quetz%27lun

    "Quetz'lun name is a reference to Quetzalcoatl, a feathered serpent, the Aztec sky and the creator god." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Quetz%27lun#Notes_and_trivia



    Tauren (Native American)

    "The tauren culture is based on a conglomeration of Native American tribes from the Southwest, Northwest, and Great Plains regions of the United States and Canada." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Tauren#Notes_and_trivia

    They live in Tipi Huts, which are:
    "Historically, the tipi has been used by Indigenous peoples of the Plains in the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies of North America, notably the seven sub-tribes of the Dakota, among the Iowa people, the Otoe and Pawnee, and among the Blackfeet, Crow, Assiniboines, and Plains Cree. They are also traditional on the other side of the Rocky Mountains by tribes such as the Yakama and the Cayuse." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipi



    The Tauren are heavily associated with totems:
    "Tauren totems are both a weapon and a building used by the tauren.

    They are also called totem poles and represent a link to the tauren's past. The carvings provide a focus for shamanic arts or illustrate stories of famous events or heroic tales." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Tauren_totem

    "Totem poles of the Pacific Northwest of North America are monumental poles of heraldry. They feature many different designs (bears, birds, frogs, people, and various supernatural beings and aquatic creatures) that function as crests of families or chiefs. They recount stories owned by those families or chiefs or commemorate special occasions. These stories are known to be read from the bottom of the pole to the top." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totem




    They also usually wear Feathered headdresses:
    "War bonnets (also called warbonnets or headdresses) are feathered headgear traditionally worn by male leaders of the American Plains Indians Nations who have earned a place of great respect in their tribe." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_bonnet



    The tauren are led by Baine, high chieftain of the Bloodhoof tauren, taking the mantle of his deceased father, Cairne. They have the class of tauren chieftain. The taunka also have chieftains. Chiefs can also be seen in the tauren ranks. https://wow.gamepedia.com/Chieftain#Races

    A tribal chief or chieftain is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Most notably, the imagery of a native american chief.

    Forsaken (German)

    World War I Germans, to be precise. I know it sounds weird, as they live in medieval conditions, but let me explain.

    Their Blight very much resembles World War I chemical warfare:
    "The first killing agent was chlorine, used by the German military. Chlorine is a powerful irritant that can inflict damage to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. At high concentrations and prolonged exposure it can cause death by asphyxiation."

    "the liquid chlorine was siphoned from the tanks, producing gas which formed a grey-green cloud that drifted across positions held by French Colonial troops".

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chem...in_World_War_I


    (couldn't find a colored picture)

    Courtesy of National Geographic's Genius (2:13 - 3:19):
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NWOBUQ...&index=14&t=0s
    (sorry for the Hindi dub)


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3CGBLVNpoKo



    Gas masks were also used by the Germans:


    The Germans also used a skull symbol called Totenkopf:
    "Totenkopf (i.e. skull, literally 'dead's head') is the German word for the skull and crossbones (or "death's head") symbol. The "skull and crossbones" symbol is an old international symbol for death, the defiance of death, danger, or the dead, as well as piracy or toxicity. The term Totenkopf is commonly associated with 19th- and 20th-century German military use." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totenkopf



    That's probably why Blizzard decided on Forsaken Undead to symbolically represent them.

    Blood elves (Korean)

    Yes, yes, i know what you're going to say. They have hookahs and concubines, meaning they are arabic or something. Some even say that their architectural spires and domes resemble those of the muslim world.

    But, what really guides me is their Phoenix symbol:


    It reminds me of the fire nation's, from Avatar: the Last Airbender, symbol of the phoenix:


    "Phoenix King was a title created by Fire Lord Ozai, who intended it to signify his supreme rule over the entire world once the Fire Nation had won the Hundred Year War."

    Now, in real-life the term refers to:
    "The Phoenix King was the Western title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Great Joseon, the last royal dynasty of Korea. Traditionally, Korean kings and emperors saw the majesty and power of the phoenix as divine, and often favored this mythical animal as a symbol of their supreme right to rule."

    https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Phoenix_King

    His attire colors (red, black and gold) definitely match those of a Blood elf:


    (Golden Phoenix stylized helm and shoulders)

    The prominent colors of red and black:



    The colors of the phoenix in the new Mulan movie, for example, weirdly resemble those of Al'ar from the Warcraft universe - pointing to an asian origin:



    The 4 nations in the series are based off of real-life ethnicities. If the fire nation is korean, then the earth nation is chinese, the water nation is Inuit and the air nation is tibetan. The fire nation also has some Iron Horde-like technology.

    Furthemore, the Blood elves are not strangers to fire magic:
    "The main difference between a blood elf mage and their high elven cousins is in their preference of spells. While most high elves choose the frost school, blood elves prefer to practice fire magic." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Mage_races#Horde

    "Though still members of the Alliance, the Blood Elves have begun to turn to the darkest parts of magic, abandoning the water and frost spells of the Kirin Tor for the fire and heat of what some people fear to be Demonic magic". https://wow.gamepedia.com/Blood_mage

    Goblin (New-Yorker)

    "Goblins are commonly heard speaking with a Brooklyn or New Jersey-style accent."
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Goblin#Notes_and_trivia

    Now, i know that their love for explosives and money draws similarities from the Australian Junkrat of Overwatch, but i'm pretty sure they're not Australian.

    Their Cartel culture could hint at an ethnic direction:
    "The German Empire and Austria-Hungary were nicknamed the "lands of the cartels".Cartels were also widespread in the United States during the period of robber barons and industrial trusts."
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel

    ""Robber baron" is a derogatory metaphor of social criticism originally applied to certain late 19th-century American businessmen who were accused of using unscrupulous methods to get rich, or expand their wealth." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robb...industrialist)




    I don't know about you, guys, but i definitely get a U.S. Italian mafia vibes from Gallywix.

    Void elves (Latin)

    "Void elves speak in a thick British accent." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Void_elf#Notes_and_trivia

    But, since the Gilneans are already British, i gotta assign them another ethnicity.

    The only thing i could build my speculation on is Magister Umbric. Now, the word Magister is Latin for "master" or "teacher", but the Blood elves use that title as well. The name "Umbric" is derived from the Latin word umbra, meaning "shadow". In English, the umbra is the darkest and innermost part of a shadow. https://wow.gamepedia.com/Magister_U...tes_and_trivia

    So, they go to the latins:
    "The Latins (Latin: Latini), sometimes known as the Latians, were an Italic tribe which included the early inhabitants of the city of Rome." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latins_(Italic_tribe)

    Lightforged Draenei (Crusaders)

    The Lightforged Draenei are clearly based off of the Crusaders of the Middle-Ages:

    "The Lightforged draenei are a group of draenei part of the Army of the Light and the Alliance. For untold millennia, the Army of the Light waged war against the Burning Legion throughout the Twisting Nether. The draenei most committed to their long crusade would undergo a ritual to become Lightforged, infusing their bodies with the very essence of the Holy Light." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Lightforged_draenei

    "The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1096 and 1271 that had the objective of recovering the Holy Land from Islamic rule." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

    The only problem is that i cannot determine their ethnicity. However, since they are Draenei, i assume that they are Byzantine as well.

    Highmountain Tauren (Native American)

    As with the Bloodhoof Tauren, the Highmountain Tauren take their inspiration from the Native Americans:

    "Highmountain was mainly inspired by the Yosemite National Park, the Swiss Alps and Mount Everest." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Highmountain#Notes_and_trivia

    (Notice the giant totem pole, tipi huts and native american tapestry)

    To differentiate them from the Bloodhoof Tauren, they were given Moose antlers:

    "In North America, the moose range includes almost all of Canada (excluding the arctic and Vancouver Island), most of Alaska, northern New England and upstate New York, the upper Rocky Mountains, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and Isle Royale in Lake Superior." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose

    They give me a strong Brother Bear vibe:

    (notice the moose antlers as well)

    "The Rivermane totem animal is a bear." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Rivermane_tribe

    "The Skyhorn's totem animal is an eagle." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Skyhorn_tribe


    So, i guess they are more northern Native Americans than the Bloodhoof Tauren.

    Nightborne (French)

    "Many nightborne have French-sounding names, such as Arcanist Valtrois, Artificer Lothaire and Brigitte. Ly'leth Lunastre is an even more interesting example, considering her name is formed from "Lune" and "Astre" which respectively mean "Moon" and "Celestial body" in French." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Shalassian#Notes

    I can see parallels between the Nightfallen rebellion and the French Revolution:

    "The Nightfallen rebellion was a civil conflict between forces of the Nightfallen resistance led by First Arcanist Thalyssra and those loyal to the regime of Grand Magistrix Elisande, in the region of Suramar on the Broken Isles. The rebellion was formed in opposition to the Grand Magistrix's decision to allow the demonic Burning Legion access to Suramar City and the sacred Nightwell in exchange for sparing the lives of the city's denizens."

    "The French Revolution was a period of social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy; established a republic and catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas such as equality before the law, the Revolution influenced the decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution

    Dark Iron Dwarves (Celts)

    There's nothing i can really base my speculation off of, aside from the similarities of their black facial paintings to those of the Celts:


















    Courtesy of Barbarians Rising: Boudica, Warrior Queen | History https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9G01vm9MVa4

    Mag'har Orcs (Hun)

    Since the Orcs are made up of so many clans, i have to minimize it to one clan only. Hints towards their ethnic inspiration comes from the Mag'har Racial traits, Heritage Armor and mount.

    Their Racial traits depict them as having an ancestral connection, riding skills and pet affinity. The Ancestors racial could very well come from Oshu'gun:
    "Oshu'gun, true name the Genedar, is the crashed dimensional ship that brought the draenei to Draenor and is now the sacred mountain where the spirits of orc ancestors dwell." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Oshu%27gun...nate_universe)

    The riding skill could come from the Warsong Wolf riders:
    "The mounted raiders of the Warsong favor speed and maneuverability in battle—they move quickly, strike swiftly, and are away before their enemies know what hit them." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Warsong_cl...nate_universe)

    The pet affinity could also come from the Warsong Clan, as they are known to tame the wolves of Nagrand. That's why, for example, their hunter pet is not a white frostwolf, but more of a black wolf.

    Their Savage Blood trait comes from them being uncorrupted orcs (the Mag'har). If we follow TBC lore, then they are found in Nagrand.

    Now, Nagrand being home to the Warsong clan, the red Heritage Armor resembling that of a Warsong Orc (yes, there are alternatives, but the red one is the default), and the black wolf mount with its red armor - all conclude that the playable Mag'har is most likely from the Warsong Clan (even though the ancestors racial do not call upon a Warsong ancestor).

    Now, you could say that Thrall also rides a black wolf, and that he's a frostwolf. But, he also wears a Blackrock armor set (the Doomplate), so he's an exception.

    We know that according to Lords of War, Grommash was conducting raids on Ogre lands. The Ogres, as of Warlords of Draenor, are based off of ancient Roman Empire:
    "The Gorian Empire is based on the Roman Empire in its twilight years, when it was on its way to the collapse that would lead to the Middle Ages." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Gorian_Empire#Notes

    The Roman Empire had its fair share of barbarian invasions. Who among the different barbarian tribes i think fits the Mag'har the most? the Huns, led by Attila:

    "The Huns, especially under their King Attila, made frequent and devastating raids into the Eastern Roman Empire." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huns

    Kul'tiran (Spanish)

    Since the Zandalari are obviously based off of the Aztecs, the Kul Tirans war with them is reminiscent of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire:

    "The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, also known as the Conquest of Mexico (1519–21), was one of the primary events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Span...e_Aztec_Empire

    Even their armor somewhat resembles that of the spaniards:




    Names like Raoul indicate on a spanish or portuguese link:
    https://wow.gamepedia.com/Captain_Raoul

    Zandalari Troll (Mesoamerican/Caribbean)

    The Zandalari Trolls are obviously based off of the Aztecs. Of course, they worship Loas who are derived from african voodoo religion. And they do possess a jamaican accent. But, their architecture and dressing clearly draws inspiration from the Aztecs:

    "The World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 art for Zuldazar draws inspiration from the Inca citadel Machu Picchu and combines it with the architecture of the Aztec and the Maya." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Zuldazar#Notes_and_trivia



    Their city of gold is an obvious reference to El Dorado:
    "The legends surrounding El Dorado changed over time, as it went from being a man, to a city, to a kingdom, and then finally to an empire." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Dorado

    Their skeletal imageries are an obvious reference to the Aztecs in popular culture:



    Their headdresses and neck rings:






    And their connection to dinosaurs probably comes from Warhammer's Lizardmen:


    Mechagnomes (American)

    Their original Junker names might lead to believe that they are Australians, like Overwatch's Junkrat. I do not believe it is so.

    The only thing i could base my speculation off of is that their "subculture is inspired by the American greasers, complete with sweet pompadours." https://wow.gamepedia.com/Mechagon_mechagnome#Culture

    "Greasers are a youth subculture that was popularized in the 1950s to 1960s by predominantly working class and lower class teenagers and young adults in the United States. The subculture remained prominent into the mid-1960s and was particularly embraced by certain ethnic groups in urban areas, particularly Italian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. Rock and roll music, rockabilly and doo-wop were major parts of the culture."
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greaser_(subculture)

    Vulpera (Gypsy)

    This claim obviously comes from the fact that they use Caravans:


    "In Europe, the origins of travel trailers and caravanning can be traced back to the travelling Romani people, and showmen who spent most of their lives in horse-drawn caravans."

    "Caravans, particularly the vardo, have served both as a significant cultural icon and symbol of the nomadic Gypsies."

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravan_(towed_trailer)

    Now, which gypsy ethnicity do they belong to? i have no idea. They use Alpacas, which are originally from south america:
    "The alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a species of South American camelid mammal." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpaca

    It lines up with the Zandalari being South Americans as well. But, the Vulpera also use Hyenas as mounts, which are mainly from Africa and Asia.

    This thread runs very close to Forbidden Topics, but can remain open so long as real-world politics, racism, ethnic prejudices, and other such things are assiduously avoided. This is the only warning the thread will receive in this capacity.
    Last edited by username993720; 2020-09-20 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Added to Thread Warnings

  2. #2
    Interesting analysis, however, I always thought of Kul Tiras as Victorian England. Boralus just has that Victorian era aesthetic.

    I don't see Blood Elves as Korean. Their architecture and interiors are definitely inspired by the Arabic world. Even the new jewelry options for females has an arab vibe to it. I also didn't know concubines were common among Blood Elves? I thought it was just Illidan who had a lair with Blood Elf prostitutes.

  3. #3
    Old God HighlordJohnstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonrage View Post
    Interesting analysis, however, I always thought of Kul Tiras as Victorian England. Boralus just has that Victorian era aesthetic.

    I don't see Blood Elves as Korean. Their architecture and interiors are definitely inspired by the Arabic world. Even the new jewelry options for females has an arab vibe to it. I also didn't know concubines were common among Blood Elves? I thought it was just Illidan who had a lair with Blood Elf prostitutes.
    Seems the Venthyr are more in that Victorian style, apparently.

  4. #4
    Brewmaster Sfidt's Avatar
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    Goblins have obvious stereotypical Jewish traits tho, including noses.
    S.H.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sfidt View Post
    Goblins have obvious stereotypical Jewish traits tho, including noses.
    To be fair, goblins from folklore have always been described as grotesque, malicious and greedy.

    It's like people who want to cancel JK Rowling because of how Goblins were portrayed in her books. She just based them off Goblins from real life folklore.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlordJohnstone View Post
    Seems the Venthyr are more in that Victorian style, apparently.
    Venthyr is closer to gothic architecture I'd say.

  6. #6
    Old God Mirishka's Avatar
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    I have to say, this was a really interesting read. Glad I clicked on it.
    My greatest fear is that one day, my MMO-Champion ignore list will run out of space.

  7. #7
    Elemental Lord Kyphael's Avatar
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    Very interesting thread. Blizzard takes inspiration from real world cultures for their races' own cultures, so parallels can definitely be drawn in terms of accents, architectures, clothing, and even behavior. Draenei to me sound Russian, but have what appears to me like Indian dances, especially the females belly dancing. Great thread nonetheless.

  8. #8
    Epic! Bwonsamdi the Dead's Avatar
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    Trolls are obviously Jamaican, just listen to their accents lol


    Also, Bwonsamdi's voice actor's from Haiti(?) ( he said his parents were in a Blizzcon video) so they definatly are trying to make their voices more accurate lol
    Last edited by Bwonsamdi the Dead; 2020-09-17 at 05:45 PM.

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  9. #9
    Brewmaster Sfidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwonsamdi the Dead View Post
    Trolls are obviously Jamaican, just listen to their accents lol
    OP had it right though. I could say they are obviously Brazilian, just look at their dance. If that's not capoeira then I don't know what is.
    S.H.

  10. #10
    As someone who is Muslim, who ever thought Blood Elves are inspired by the Muslim world? They're nothing like us. They don't even have a distinct culture, they're just regal Elves.

    Kul Tirans being Spanish? Wut?

    Some of your analyses are questionable

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyphael View Post
    Very interesting thread. Blizzard takes inspiration from real world cultures for their races' own cultures, so parallels can definitely be drawn in terms of accents, architectures, clothing, and even behavior. Draenei to me sound Russian, but have what appears to me like Indian dances, especially the females belly dancing. Great thread nonetheless.
    Belly dancing is not Indian, it's Middle Eastern. The Male Draenei do use a dance inspired by YouTubers dancing to a PUNJABI song. Most Punjabis are Pakistani (120 million) and less are Indian (30 million). I think the song is called Tunak Tunak
    Night Elves NEED long hair to the ground and more elegant/regal beautiful options to show their Highbourne heritage

  11. #11
    Bloodsail Admiral MORGATH99's Avatar
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    orcs are close to mongolian in terms of esthetic but they are clearly the samurai type in terms of society they are literally samurai .

  12. #12
    Elemental Lord Kyphael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharnie786 View Post
    Belly dancing is not Indian, it's Middle Eastern. The Male Draenei do use a dance inspired by YouTubers dancing to a PUNJABI song. Most Punjabis are Pakistani (120 million) and less are Indian (30 million). I think the song is called Tunak Tunak
    Fair enough, I stand corrected on the belly dancing. I did want to say Middle-Eastern and I thought Indian women belly danced too. Pakistani culture I'm not very familiar with.

  13. #13
    @username993720 Brilliant analysis OP. I had guessed some of these, Tauren, Nightborne and Goblins were the most obvious. Night elves seem to have a dial Japanese/Hellenic vibe - pre sundering Hellenic, long vigil Japanese.

    but I think you nailed the main influence for each and I’m glad you drew the various elements they drew inspiration from.

    it is sad to me that despite such inspiration to create such diversity, the current developers seem to be abandoning this in favour of just 2 empires, the horde and alliance.

    if you ask me. The races is where the most interesting , wonder full and impactful stories and progress can happen.

    they are what Male Warcraft most like no other

    p.s
    go into settings And rename your avatar to what it was before they switched over.
    Valewalker Farodin:

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Moonrage View Post
    To be fair, goblins from folklore have always been described as grotesque, malicious and greedy.

    It's like people who want to cancel JK Rowling because of how Goblins were portrayed in her books. She just based them off Goblins from real life folklore.
    The accents, names and town portrayals for goblins in WoW don't really help.

  15. #15
    I thank you for this interesting post. I have always found it curious how Blizzard decided to use a latin-inspired name for Umbric, it doesn't sound very elvish. However there are some similarities between Silvermoon and Rome, so it's not that surprising. Both were the seats of an ancient powerful empire that eventually declined over time until its inevitable collapse.
    We each walk a line. Choose yours.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyphael View Post
    Very interesting thread. Blizzard takes inspiration from real world cultures for their races' own cultures, so parallels can definitely be drawn in terms of accents, architectures, clothing, and even behavior. Draenei to me sound Russian, but have what appears to me like Indian dances, especially the females belly dancing. Great thread nonetheless.
    The female dance was inspired by Shakira as far as I know, the male one is Indian.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharnie786 View Post
    As someone who is Muslim, who ever thought Blood Elves are inspired by the Muslim world? They're nothing like us. They don't even have a distinct culture, they're just regal Elves.
    I've always thought blood elf buildings bear some resemblance to Islamic architecture, combined with art nouveau. Interior as well. They even have hookahs.

    Of course they're nothing like muslims in the traditional sense, but their achitecture does seem like it's inspired by the muslim world.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Moose Fandango View Post
    The accents, names and town portrayals for goblins in WoW don't really help.
    I'm not familiar with jewish accents (as I live in Europe) but I always assumed they had a thick New Yorker accent.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Varodoc View Post
    I thank you for this interesting post. I have always found it curious how Blizzard decided to use a latin-inspired name for Umbric, it doesn't sound very elvish. However there are some similarities between Silvermoon and Rome, so it's not that surprising. Both were the seats of an ancient powerful empire that eventually declined over time until its inevitable collapse.
    Void elves, high elves and blood elves are all part of the same culture. Kind of weird they gave void elves British accents.

  17. #17
    The Lightbringer Maljinwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwonsamdi the Dead View Post
    Trolls are obviously Jamaican, just listen to their accents lol
    Trolls are an amalgamation of every latin american thing ever with a focus on Haitian religion and mesoamerican architecture
    This world don't give us nothing. It be our lot to suffer... and our duty to fight back.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Moonrage View Post
    Interesting analysis, however, I always thought of Kul Tiras as Victorian England. Boralus just has that Victorian era aesthetic.

    I don't see Blood Elves as Korean. Their architecture and interiors are definitely inspired by the Arabic world. Even the new jewelry options for females has an arab vibe to it. I also didn't know concubines were common among Blood Elves? I thought it was just Illidan who had a lair with Blood Elf prostitutes.
    But, the Gilnean Worgen are already established as Victorian England-era inspired:



    Boralus architecture has similarities with that of Kezan, does that mean they are the same?:



    same with Silvermoon and Dalaran:


    (pictures from above are hard to come by, as Silvermoon is a no-fly zone)

    Their middle-eastern influence probably comes from the term Magi:
    "Magi (/ˈmeɪdʒaɪ/; singular magus /ˈmeɪɡəs/; from Latin magus) were priests in Zoroastrianism and the earlier religions of the western Iranians. Pervasive throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asia until late antiquity and beyond, mágos was influenced by (and eventually displaced) Greek goēs (γόης), the older word for a practitioner of magic, to include astronomy/astrology, alchemy and other forms of esoteric knowledge. This association was in turn the product of the Hellenistic fascination for (Pseudo‑)Zoroaster, who was perceived by the Greeks to be the Chaldean founder of the Magi and inventor of both astrology and magic, a meaning that still survives in the modern-day words "magic" and "magician". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magi

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlordJohnstone View Post
    Seems the Venthyr are more in that Victorian style, apparently.
    Why? they are vampires. Why not romanian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sfidt View Post
    Goblins have obvious stereotypical Jewish traits tho, including noses.
    "They are almost always small and grotesque, mischievous or outright malicious, and greedy, especially for gold and jewelry." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin

    They are always depicted with big noses in popular culture:

    (Harry Potter)

    (Warhammer online)

    It does have similarities with antisemitic depictions of jews, during the Nazi regime, having big noses and a love for money:


    (couldn't find a good picture that works)
    The Goblin talk emote have them rubbing their hands together in greed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharnie786 View Post
    As someone who is Muslim, who ever thought Blood Elves are inspired by the Muslim world? They're nothing like us. They don't even have a distinct culture, they're just regal Elves.

    Kul Tirans being Spanish? Wut?

    Some of your analyses are questionable
    That's what people claim, not me. Their spires, domes, hookahs and curtains.

    I explained why Kul Tirans are spanish. if you believe my analyses are questionable, then by all means, please explain.

    Quote Originally Posted by MORGATH99 View Post
    orcs are close to mongolian in terms of esthetic but they are clearly the samurai type in terms of society they are literally samurai .
    Their emphasis on honor, yes. Their Blademaster unit is a Samurai, after all:
    "Blademasters draw clear inspiration from Japanese and Asian culture, particularly the samurai. Many blademasters have very Japanese-sounding names, some wield katana-like swords, many wear oversized mala beads around their necks (similar to the larger version of the prayer beads worn by Shaolin monks), and their distinctive banners are seemingly inspired by sashimono, small banners carried on the backs of soldiers in feudal Japan (the banners are even outright called "sashimono" in the non-canon RPG). Japanese influence can also be seen in the fact that blademasters, and the Burning Blade clan in general, are said to value honor above all else."


    But, they are just one unit. Personally, i'd give the Samurai label to the recently-added Ankoan race:
    "Anko (鮟鱇, ankō) is Japanese for "anglerfish"."
    Last edited by username993720; 2020-09-18 at 02:55 PM.

  19. #19
    I am Murloc! Chonar's Avatar
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    Interesting parallels. I have nothing to add, though I am a bit surprised you would mention the Romani people when talking about gnomes and Vulpera, but still use "Gypsy" to describe the Vulpera. Gypsy being a term nowadays considered unpreferable in comparison to just Romani.
    I did not hit that snowmound, it's not true! It's bullshit, I did not hit it. I did NAHT.
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  20. #20
    orcish culture is based on confederate america.

    slavery (still depicted in-game in multiple questing zones, so it is still a part of the horde to this day), endless warmongering and racism, love of war-criminal founding fathers, obsession with weapon ownership, culture entirely rooted in violence, i could go on but imo its pretty undeniable.

    a lot of early metzen stuff was like this, you see a ton of confederate america love in the design of starcraft for example. the orcs have a lot of that built into them.

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