It came from the PUG: Don’t worry, dwarves are cool!

One of the interesting things that can happen when you use the random dungeon finder in WoW is that you get sent into a half completed instance. This always feels to me like being the investigator in the denoument of an old fashioned detective story. You know that five people must have originally zoned in, but one of them met with a mysterious accident …

“Thank you all for joining me here today. As you know, I have been studying the mystery of what happened to missing person X. They were here in this instance … and all of you are the suspects. Nobody else came in, nobody else went out.”

So you zone in, and if you are tanking, you are no doubt thinking, “I wonder what you bastards did to your last tank?” This is because of tank empathy, a mythical construct which only exists when dealing with non-tanks. (If another tank was actually in the instance, you’d be too busy trying to pull threat from them to waste time sharing war stories and sympathy.)

Maybe the group will enlighten you. ie. “lol, last tank was a nub,” or “Yay! A new tank! last guy was afk 10 mins,” or just “gogogo!!!”

I did have a great welcome though when I zoned into Hellfire Ramparts on my new alliance (dwarf) Death Knight, said Hi, and the entire group practically fell at my feet proclaiming things like, “It’s a human being!” Someone else said, “She’s a dwarf, she’s bound to be nice!”

From this I gathered:

  1. Their last tank had been really nasty and then left
  2. Everyone likes dwarves? when did this happen?

See, I remember playing Alliance during Vanilla WoW and if you ever ran into someone who was really rude or a dreadful griefer, odds were that they were a dwarf rogue or hunter. I don’t know why this was, but they really had a very bad reputation on the server. Dwarf priests were also notoriously spoiled and brattish, due to being the only purveyors of fear ward.  Some time between then and now, evidently dwarves have gotten over that difficult adolescent roguish phase and grown up into respectable (and respected) tanks and healers.

Still, I am intrigued. Do you trust dwarves more than other races? Any other in-game race related biases? Are some races more likely to be picked by griefers (undead rogues are another notorious griefing setup)? Or are some race/class combinations more likely to be decent players?

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21 thoughts on “It came from the PUG: Don’t worry, dwarves are cool!

  1. Dwarfs are the coolest most loveable race in all of azeroth.
    Took you long enough to figure out.

    And we where never ever “notoriously spoiled and brattish” healers back in vanilla (but there where a lot of hate comming from the lesser healers)

  2. Whenever I see a female dwarf specifically, I always feel like they’re played by someone who’s really excited about the game. Male dwarves, not so much.

    I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s a sense that most new players want to play a “pretty” race, and tend to choose the race/class combinations that feel more traditional. There’s a reason some combinations are more popular than others. Male dwarves fit very well into a warrior or hunter role traditionally, but female dwarves? They don’t tend to have a traditional role, so not a lot of new people play them.

    But maybe it’s just me, I like playing weird race/class combinations. If I saw a female dwarf in my group, I’d automatically assume that they’re an experienced player. It’s proven to be true in the past, I don’t think I’ve ever met a female dwarf who was a bad player.

  3. Don’t know about in WoW, but in EQ2 race is completely irrelevant. I occasionally get some comments that my high elf is an “evil” class in spite of being a “good” race, but that’s quite rare. Betrayal is rather easy and common anymore, after all.

  4. Certainly there was a certain feeling of ‘Dwarf Powa’ and racial solidarity alongside all those tall hoomans and nelfs in my old Ally guild. Really it was the closest thing to Rp that happened back then and still brings a smile to my face (In my fairly large guild there were only 3 end game raiding Dwarves, 2 Warriors and my Hunter).

  5. Female Dwarfs are just hard to find.
    Since you played classic, you still remember dwarfs had to be taken for fear ward, the premier choice was a male dwarf. I mean, their jokes tell everything “I need a fart pedicure”…
    In 5 Years WoW we only met 3 female dwarfs, 1 hunter played by the most honest and trustworthy person I have ever met (40 years old parcel deliverer, background dancer in his carnival club and with a deep love for Bollywood and fruit in rum). The other two where priests, one actress on a local theater somewhat around 30 years old and a mother with a BMW Motorbike, who looked after her “kids” in game. The boys were actually over 25 and left home for university.
    I leave the choice who could be your character match to you, but they all had been a lot of fun to be around with.

  6. I agree with you, whenever I join an “instance in progress” I wonder what happened to the previous person. However, the typical answer isn’t “we kicked that nub”, it’s usually “he left” or “he dced”, and I actually believe them, I see so many times people leaving randomly without any visible reason, or going offline, then what, wait few minutes and replace what else you have left?

    About Dwarves, especially female, it’s about rare races. I think everyone knows the stereotype of Blood Elf Death Knight and male Human Paladin with spiky “Dragon Ball Z” hairstyle or the anime-style ronin ponytail. Or Night Elf hunter (especially those with white hair and black cat pet, and names close to Drizzt; or on the other hand – Legolas). Maybe even Undead Rogue.

    But if you see Dwarf or Orc female… you’ll usually expect it’s not 12-year-old pokemon fan. Rather someone more mature to not roll a barbie-alike toon. It is a stereotype, you can meet nice Blood Elf players and rude Orc females… but still.

  7. Too bad you did not show up in my instance group yesterday (you couldn’t due to different server). I would give a simple but clear reason what happened to the previous tank: had less HP than the healer.

    • I’ve certainly found myself in a PuG where the entirely Holy specced Paladin had signed as Tank…failed to know the instance and had me /quit on him.

      • Don’t be to harsh to him. I mean he had a shield, tons of aggro, the idea to tank comes by naturally in this case … How should anyone notice the difference.

        Not to mention that I drove people into insanity at the beginning of TBC using holy for damage and aggro but not for healing.

  8. Female dwarves particularly take a lot of flack from the under 15 crowd. When my hunter zones in, it’s not uncommon for someone to say “Eww, female dwarf”. Because half the player base thinks you’re fat and gross, chances are the person behind a female dwarf has enough common sense to know that’s ridiculous. Common sense is a highly valued commodity in a tank. :)

    I love seeing ‘ugly’ female characters (orc, troll, tauren, dwarf) because it often means that the person driving them has enough maturity to not buy into that vision of what a hero should look like.

  9. My first character was a female dwarf hunter. Yeah… she never made it past 40. I play gnomes, night elves, and draeni now. Female dwarves just look wrong. Not so much ugly as somehow poorly proportioned.

  10. I love dwarves, and playing dwarves :) I have a female dwarf hunter and a female dwarf priest :) I love their shortness and stockyness! When I see undead rogues, especially in pvp, my first thought is “I’m dead, I may as well just head to the graveyard” because in my mind they always seem to be the best pvpers.

    Dorfs rock! :)

  11. The only thing I think when I get pulled in an instance in progress is “Yay, faster EoF!”. The most amazing thing was getting pulled into Oculus with only the last boss alive and one shooting him with a nice group. That’s 2 EoF, 3 EoT, some gems and a chance at a drake for something like 2 minutes work. :)

    On my server, dwarfs always had an excellent reputation. Unless they were hunters WITH A BEAR BECAUSE THEY ONLY HAD A BEAR BECAUSE OF THE INTRO. :)

  12. I always breathe a sigh of releaf when I get a human paladin tank. Paladins just seem to be very businesslike and serious at tanking. And since my GL is a human paladin, it just inspires respect in me. Love the shield on the back that makes them look like turtles.

    Jumpy dwarf tanks make me nervous. Just last night I zoned in to heal one last random with a jumping dwarf tank. DK I think. Pulled a pile of trash before I had buffed everyone or myself. Wipe. He was apologizing with poor writing skills and lots of lol’s. By the time I ran back to the instance, the battle had already begun again in earnest. I left group without a word.

    Sometimes you just have to do that.

  13. As you were saying how dwarves are nice I was thinking “sure, except if it’s a rogue, or a hunter!” And then you typed that and I thought: “thief.”

    People who play unusual races (not human, not the best racials for PvP), so dwarf, gnome, troll; they often seem to be those who actually care about their character and an image, so they might be more fun.

    @Gevlon: Was that less health than the instance needed? You’re sounding like a Gearscore moron.

  14. I played a female dwarf paladin from classic up to Wrath. Deliberately chose white hair and the wrinkly face, and although I left prior to LFD, I only got a few comments about female dwarf rarity.

    But then, my first alt was a female dwarf priest – and I’m with the commenter above on whirlying hair being great – and again, only a few comments on rarity.

    And if I ever come back, it’ll be for a female dwarven shaman.

    Couldn’t say why, but the only race that feels right for me is dwarves.

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