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.