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Disclaimer: New customization in WoW Shadowlands and why Wrathion is cool is an opinion piece. You’re free to disagree with me in the comments section below.
Blizzard Entertainment is adding new customization in WoW Shadowlands. At BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard announced that players will be able to change their character’s skin tone. This is monumental news. Now everyone can play characters that look like them. Having more customization isn’t trying to be politically correct. Being a true hero in the game is important to everyone. Blizzard has realized that players from all over the world enjoy Warcraft. The alpha testing for Shadowlands began in April 2020 learn more here.
Players may find it easier to identify with a character who knows their struggles. Diversity is a hot-button issue. The golden age of Hollywood made it impossible for people of color to have important roles. Within the last twenty years, we’re beginning to see a shift. Movies like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians are giving people of color a spotlight. So it’s not a surprise that video games are getting in on the fun too.
Wrathion is the first major lore character with a darker skin tone. He refers to himself as the Black Prince. Azeroth is a fictional world so races aren’t defined by color. In the game world, your race is what you are. So a Night Elf and a Tauren are two separate races. Both races have members that are different shades, but in the game world, that’s not important.
New Customization In WoW Shadowlands And Why Wrathion Is Cool
During BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard announced Shadowlands as WoW’s eighth expansion. Humans will be able to alter their skin tones and features. For the past fifteen years, WoW fans could only choose pale-skinned characters.
People of color are usually represented by the non-human races in WoW. Tauren culture borrows heavily from Native American culture. Then you have the Trolls which have an African vibe. Orcs are similar to African culture and other tribal nations. If Blizzard came up with backstories for why all the humans looked diverse it would be awesome. They would truly be apart of WoW.
Having proper diversity in the game is important. New customization in WoW Shadowlands reflects our changing times. We’ve come a long way from pretending people of color didn’t exist in popular media. Everyone plays video games. So it’s wonderful to see everyone in their favorite games.
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Why Is Wrathion So Cool?
Wrathion is awesome. Everything about his character is unique. He’s not afraid to be himself. When Wrathion was first introduced into the game it was during Cataclysm. Player characters protected his stolen dragon egg. When he hatched it didn’t take long for him to get busy. He’s highly intelligent and sometimes we don’t know if we should trust him. Wrathion refers to himself as the Black Prince. He has his own sense of style and loves his bling and fancy clothing.
Fans love Wrathion’s appearance. He certainly received a glow-up from his old look. The Black Prince is into style. He also enjoys the finer things in life. His appearance has been discussed in depth by fans. Speculation has led fans to conclude that Wrathion appears to be of Middle Eastern descent and that he reminds them of Jafar. Blizzard hasn’t confirmed what inspired Wrathion’s appearance.
Most black dragons have pale-skin in human form. There are hints to their true nature. These hints include dark hair, charcoal eyes, and black clothing. Black dragons were corrupted by the Old Gods. Wrathion is determined not to share the same fate. He’s proven to be a valuable ally in the fight against N’Zoth.
New Customization In WoW Shadowlands Continued
Why Is Wrathion So Cool?
When Wrathion was first introduced I was intrigued. I began playing WoW during Wrath of the Lich King. My first character was a Night-Elf Druid. Human characters were boring and I didn’t connect to them. Wrathion is one of my favorite characters. He’s a popular character. Fans compliment Wrathion’s appearance and personality.
Many fans have been shipping Wrathion and Anduin for years. Their ship is called ‘Wranduin’ and players are shipping it hard. They’re not a confirmed couple. It’s possible that Blizzard is creating tension in scenes to fuel the shipping rumors. More diverse representation is always encouraged, but Wrathion and Anduin appear to just be friends. There’s been no indication of a romance between the two young men. In fact, Anduin is angry with Wrathion.
In the opening cinematic for patch 8.3, Anduin punches Wrathion. Anduin blames Wrathion for his father’s death. Wrathion betrayed Anduin by choosing to work with the Horde. The dragon helped Garrosh escape his trial. Garrosh then used the Sands of Time to travel to an alternate reality. He traveled to Draenor. We know Draenor today as Outland. When Garrosh traveled to Draenor he gave Gul’dan a way out. Gul’dan is the evil orc who killed Andun’s father Varian.
To learn more about the WoW storyline check out the World of Warcraft Ultimate Visual Guide on Amazon.com.
World of Warcraft is fine…So, Why Do We Need More Diversity?
New Customization In WoW Shadowlands was long overdue. Our world has changed and popular media must reflect that. There are WoW players who won’t see why this is a big deal. People who are used to seeing themselves in popular media are privileged. We all take things for granted. Some people will feel Blizzard is being politically correct or has an ‘agenda’. Those reasons sound like an excuse to purposefully misunderstand difficult experiences related to people of color. There’s no valid excuse for why diversity has to be a political issue. By placing characters like Wrathion in popular entertainment it sends a clear message that we exist.
A diverse character also needs an important role in the plot. When people of color are pasted into media then it cheapens the experience. The majority of people worldwide don’t have pale-skin and blue-eyes. About two-thirds of the world’s population lives in Asia. Also, the world’s largest ethnic group is Han Chinese, and they speak Mandarin. Everyone wants to see themselves as a hero. This means allowing a character of color to have a crucial role in the plot. Wrathion was just the beginning. Blizzard introducing new customization in WoW Shadowlands is great. I’m finally excited to play a human. Shadowlands is already shaping up to be an interesting expansion.
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Spyells is a published author and blogger. She’s played World of Warcraft since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Geeking out over Warcraft, Disney, Kingdom Hearts, and Harry Potter is her favorite thing. She enjoys traveling and loves to cook. On most days you can find Spyells in Azeroth exploring it’s many wonders and protecting its ancient lands.
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