On the Horrors of Uldum’s Cursed Tombs

So, the gnome quests in Uldum. Finally got to them today. Interesting stuff there.

First; your character is immune to the effects of the tomb’s curse because of… brain damage. You’ve taken one too many hits from the snake, so the curse won’t affect you.

That’s… well, it kinda removes any sense of danger, to be sure, but… you’re immune to a curse because of repeated head trauma?

I laughed at first until I thought about it. Then I scratched my head a little at the reasoning.

I guess it explains some things about what our PCs do, though?

Second: the holographic projectors that show the dinosaur riding a shark with laser etc., designed to appeal to the adolescent brain of the affected gnomes. SHINY THINGS WORK.

Subtle dig from Blizzard at its playerbase, or a straight joke at the awesomeness of sharks with lasers? Especially interesting considering the third point.

Third: Gnomebliteration. From a RP standpoint, this quest is absolutely horrific. You take the word of a machine you just met that there’s no cure for this curse (aside from head trauma, whoops) and it’s going to enable you to slaughter thousands of them. You might feel a little guilt, but really, there’s no saving them.

Part of me was like… okay, HAL-9000, sure, I’ll take your word for that. Not like you aren’t a murderous little thing, I’m sure you’re completely trustworthy. Except, of course, you’re not.

Part of me was like… in character, I’m pretty sure that this is something even Cynwise wouldn’t do. She’d find another way, or at least explore some fucking options first before slaughtering thousands. “Trust me, there’s no other way?” Please.

Part of me was like, okay, this is like a lot of scary Egyptian archeology stories I read growing up, I get it, when does the mummy come out?

And the other part of me was like, SHINY BALL ROLL OVER GNOMES.

I stopped and thought about that holoprojector for a little bit before accepting the quest. It’s interesting placement – a quest whose message is that being distracted by over the top, ludicrous things appeals only to the adolescent part of ourselves, followed by a quest which is so over the top, so ludicrious, that it transcends practically every other quest in the game for sheer carnage and joy.

From a RP standpoint, I was sitting there going, there’s no way she would do this. Cynwise is vicious, but not cruel. At the very least, she’d be asking “what’s in it for me?” and “let me get some independent verification on this ‘uncurable’ bit, okay?”

I did the quest. It’s huge visceral fun, rolling a big ball of fire over dozens of gnomes. I enjoyed it. Possibly the most fun quest in Cataclysm. I didn’t even turn it in, so that I can do it later if I want. It’s for me, not for Cynwise, that I did it.

But all the while, I couldn’t shake off the thought of that holoprojector.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “On the Horrors of Uldum’s Cursed Tombs

  1. Grimmtooth

    Blizz do seem to have the habit of at least one morally ambiguous quest per expansion. In Wrath it was that stupid Kirin Tor torture device. That really annoyed a lot of people.(My warlock wanted to use it again, on the KT that gave her the quest. Jerk took it back before she could.)

  2. adgamorix

    Favorite quest, by far. Leveled an alt just so I could do it again and again. Smashing gnomes with fire? Why wouldn’t you do that as often as possible? Should have been a daily imo.

  3. Druidis4fite

    Nah naaaaah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah.Katamari Gnomeagedon!I don’t think I even realized there was quest text for that quest.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgrnIBlxZCk

  4. Lycanthrope

    My main is a gnome fire mage. I did the quest without question.Thousands of gnomes. Sitting around out in the middle of the burning desert.Doing no tinkering.And being transfixed by a holoshark on a crappy mechanostrider.Of course there was no hope for them….Besides they killed me once….

  5. Cynwise of Stormwind

    I laughed a lot at this. THEY DESERVED IT FOR BEING BAD GNOMES.Excellent. :-)(I too think this should be a daily.)

  6. nostranoodle

    Heres some backstory about the epic laser shark:http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/07/30/the-maelstrom-is-probably-epic-enough-for-y…I laughed the most at the “maintenance axe”; wish I had one at work…

  7. Kamalia

    The thing about the Gnomebliteration quest that really bothers me is where in the hex did Gnomeregan find 1000+ citizens to send on this ill-fated mission to Uldum? Didn’t they lose 80% of their population in the irradiation disaster already? This seems like another terrible tragedy for the gnomish gene pool.

  8. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @nostranoodle: I remember when that came out. I loled a lot at the time, and it’s still funny – but it also makes the whole holoprojector quest that much more meaningful.@kamilia: I thought that, too. In game, I’m pretty sure that the gnomes don’t have thousands of people to lose. We’re not quite up to the BSG Whiteboard of Life, but it’s probably getting close.

  9. Lycanthrope

    Trust me, the majority of the gnome population has never been seen by Azeroth. They are too busy underground inventing and fixing things.What? Every see a tan gnome? I rest my case.