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  #26  
Old 02-17-2014, 04:46 PM
Kellick Kellick is offline

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Originally Posted by ijffdrie View Post
A shaman, a druid and a mage walk into the barrens.

"And lo, see what I behold. Within this barren plains lies the strength of nature. The spirits shall aid us in survival within these lands. Rodents, I ask thee, where can we find water? Birds, I ask thee, hast thou seen enemies? Scorpids, I ask thee, may we borrow your poison for our mutual defence? Rain, I ask thee, can you bring us survival? Fire, I ask thee, can you bring us protection? I give you my promise, spirits of the world, that I shall not squander your gifts."

"And lo, see what I behold. Within this barren plains lies the strength of nature. Ancestral power yet untapped. These lands were once a lush forest, and we shall cleanse them of their corruption. Desert wastes begone, for I bring vibrancy and life! Rain and wind, tree and shrub, stag and owl, this I bring to you, land, to assuage your suffering. I give you my promise, oh land of old, that I shall restore you to your former glory."

"And lo, see what I behold. Within this barren plains lies the strength of nature. Energies cross the lands in patterns unimaginable. Magic bleeds in this world from many realms beyond. From locales of power, I shall weave civilization. From materials beneath your soil, I shall craft glory untouched. From essence beyond, I shall enhance you. I give you my promise, oh glorious nation, that I will make you the best you could ever be."
"And lo, the shaman did barely eke out a living, never advanced in any meaningful way, and later died in squalor, because the elements are a fickle mistress.

And lo, the druid did never get called out on destroying an entire ecosystem as the forest being pulled from his ass was somehow deemed good and created a prosperous civilization.

And lo, the mage did laugh at them both as his civilization grew, blossomed, and never stopped improving long after having surpassed its neighbours."
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:28 PM
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"And lo, the shaman did barely eke out a living, never advanced in any meaningful way, and later died in squalor, because the elements are a fickle mistress.

And lo, the druid did never get called out on destroying an entire ecosystem as the forest being pulled from his ass was somehow deemed good and created a prosperous civilization.

And lo, the mage did laugh at them both as his civilization grew, blossomed, and never stopped improving long after having surpassed its neighbours."
EXACTLY

This is my issue with shamanism.
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  #28  
Old 02-17-2014, 07:44 PM
Taintedmage Taintedmage is offline

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Huzzah a thread that I'm actually interested in.

I originally saw Shamans and Druids as this.

Druids were the masters of plant life "Nature" and animals. They could commune with the trees, the birds, and the spirits of the forest. They could make the forest come alive, strangle people with vines, and regrow entire forests (Cenarius) as well as turn into animals.

Shamans by contrast were masters of the Elements. They could cause thunderstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, and create volcanoes if they were strong enough. They were also the people's link to the spirits, specifically the spirits of the ancestors and vitally important to the community.

Overtime, the druid role has gradually expanded into the Shaman's territory. It became more noticeable. Druids could cause hurricanes, cause thunderstorms,(I think also tsunamis but not sure) and we had druids of the flame. They have this ONTOP of their ability to manipulate plant life (Nature) and turn into animals.

Then we get the additional limitations of the Shamans. Now Shamans can have their powers taken away from them, the Elements can deny them. Druids don't have this limitation so not only do they have control over plant life and Shaman stuff but they don't need to ask for it!

If Shamans do force them (Taunka and Dark Shaman) it's usually portrayed as possibly having a backlash or corrupting the Elements.

So, Shamans have an inherent disadvantage of always having to ask permission.
-----
It would be alot better if once the Shaman learned how to control the elements (or access their power) that they had their powers as their own. If they ever needed a supercharge of elemental power THEN they could ask the elements for permission but they shouldn't need it for an everyday thing.

Now, since I doubt that THIS is ever going to come around or that the Taunka way is going to be the default the best we can really do is try and play up the Shamans role more as being a mediator between the people and the spirits and less about elements so as to distinguish it between it and the Druid.

MINI-RANTISH THING OVER!
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  #29  
Old 02-17-2014, 07:58 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Originally Posted by Taintedmage View Post
Huzzah a thread that I'm actually interested in.

I originally saw Shamans and Druids as this.

Druids were the masters of plant life "Nature" and animals. They could commune with the trees, the birds, and the spirits of the forest. They could make the forest come alive, strangle people with vines, and regrow entire forests (Cenarius) as well as turn into animals.

Shamans by contrast were masters of the Elements. They could cause thunderstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, and create volcanoes if they were strong enough. They were also the people's link to the spirits, specifically the spirits of the ancestors and vitally important to the community.

Overtime, the druid role has gradually expanded into the Shaman's territory. It became more noticeable. Druids could cause hurricanes, cause thunderstorms,(I think also tsunamis but not sure) and we had druids of the flame. They have this ONTOP of their ability to manipulate plant life (Nature) and turn into animals.

Then we get the additional limitations of the Shamans. Now Shamans can have their powers taken away from them, the Elements can deny them. Druids don't have this limitation so not only do they have control over plant life and Shaman stuff but they don't need to ask for it!

If Shamans do force them (Taunka and Dark Shaman) it's usually portrayed as possibly having a backlash or corrupting the Elements.

So, Shamans have an inherent disadvantage of always having to ask permission.
-----
It would be alot better if once the Shaman learned how to control the elements (or access their power) that they had their powers as their own. If they ever needed a supercharge of elemental power THEN they could ask the elements for permission but they shouldn't need it for an everyday thing.

Now, since I doubt that THIS is ever going to come around or that the Taunka way is going to be the default the best we can really do is try and play up the Shamans role more as being a mediator between the people and the spirits and less about elements so as to distinguish it between it and the Druid.

MINI-RANTISH THING OVER!
That's how I always saw it as well. I also figured there'd be tension between the different shaman groups. The tauren shaman, who always politely ask permission, might be put off by how the taunka basically wrestle the spirits into submission.
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  #30  
Old 02-17-2014, 08:08 PM
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Alright so we pretty much agree the druids have expanded into what's usually the shaman's stuff, and to a lesser extent the mage's ability to boss elementals without repercussion is a problem too.

But where do we go from there?

How do we make the druids and shaman unique and interesting again?
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:00 PM
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That's how I always saw it as well. I also figured there'd be tension between the different shaman groups. The tauren shaman, who always politely ask permission, might be put off by how the taunka basically wrestle the spirits into submission.
Not only that, but the Taunka's method, which is the only one we've seen so far which might make shamanism a competitive choice of magics in terms of reliability, has nigh universally been portrayed as a bad thing by the story and its authors, to the point that it's been given the caveat of "Oh, and also it risks exploding the planet.".

Unfortunately, given that the source of shaman power is sentient, you can't really advocate its use seriously without running into the quagmire of what is effectively mass slavery, which runs contrary to the entire thing of shaman and their role in their respective societies in the Warcraft setting.

Without changing the system of shamanism (or rather the parts of it which deal in the elements) so that the power no longer relies on an external, sentient source, I don't see much which could be done to allow for its continued existence within the setting, save relegating it to purely ceremonial and traditional purposes, as in communing with the ancestors (which, given that other spellcasters can do it just as well, may well not be required there either).
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  #32  
Old 02-17-2014, 09:21 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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One wonders if the presence of arcane magic and industrial technology might actually give shamans leverage in dealing with the spirits.

"Listen, I respect you guys, but I have to look after my own. If you don't help us get food, I'm going to have to call those mages over there. It's your choice."

In seriousness, I can see shamanism still serving a useful niche function. Weather might be an example of it. By exerting arcane control in order to end a storm, a mage might end up causing all manner of meteorological concatenations. A shaman could do something similar, and while the shaman would have to perform an action in return (likely one that's very significant), such a massive event wouldn't result in serious weather problems elsewhere.
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  #33  
Old 02-17-2014, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by HlaaluStyle View Post
One wonders if the presence of arcane magic and industrial technology might actually give shamans leverage in dealing with the spirits.

"Listen, I respect you guys, but I have to look after my own. If you don't help us get food, I'm going to have to call those mages over there. It's your choice."

In seriousness, I can see shamanism still serving a useful niche function. Weather might be an example of it. By exerting arcane control in order to end a storm, a mage might end up causing all manner of meteorological concatenations. A shaman could do something similar, and while the shaman would have to perform an action in return (likely one that's very significant), such a massive event wouldn't result in serious weather problems elsewhere.
I dunno, having weather side effects seems like it'd be more characteristic of someone screwing up than an inevitability of arcane magic.

And leveraging tech would be 'bad' because it's mean to the elements


Although...

I wonder if we might be able to do something by blending the spiritual ancestor/animal portions of shamanism with the elemental bits.

Empowering ancestors and certain animal spirits with elemental energy through rituals might be neat but... that might stray too close to druidic demigod territory and we do want this to be the 'age of mortals'.
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  #34  
Old 02-18-2014, 05:26 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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We must believe that Thrall saved the world from Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm, and that Rhonin and Khadgar combined could not have done better.

. . .

Do you believe?
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:07 AM
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We must believe that Thrall saved the world from Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm, and that Rhonin and Khadgar combined could not have done better.

. . .

Do you believe?
They needed Earth to help power the Captain Planet beam.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:53 AM
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Somehow, they never do :I
Both Naralex and Fandral just went out of their way to make something they thought was a brilliant idea. Both backfired. Both got a blanket "well, there's a source of evil!" excuse.
Funnily, Fandral even told Naralex to abandon the idea because a desert there was fine.



I think the empowering part is still there (see the passive auras and the old totems, Bloodlust etc, it's just not applied to spirits the way you described), it just gets downplayed for the sake of geomancy.
And I honestly think a bit of force isn't that bad. Does anyone ever call the Taunka out? Does their practice ever backfire?
If I remember correctly, they primarily coerce the elements because the elements of Northrend are pretty harsh and unforgiving. Maybe move shamans away from only following the "everyone hold hands and inhale some of the ballin incense" Thrall way and add a bit of Taunka "yeah, well, some elements are outright dicks and then you just gotta show em who's boss".
Imho, this practice only gets troublesome when you don't even bother to commune with them and just contort them into weapons. If you look at the Wavebinder's and Earthbreaker's arsenal, you'll see they turned healing water into poisonous sludge or stabilizing earth into crushing iron, completely turning them around. I also always interpretered their use of ash as them killing off fire, to subdue its intensity and strength and turn into a complacent weapon.
I wonder if another option then might not be to have shaman actively seek to develop the elementals rather than just maintain balance.

Instead of crushing earth into iron -refine- it through harmonious cooperation of fire and earth elementals to make strong metal ones.

Mix water and air elementals to make storm ones.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:01 AM
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I wonder if another option then might not be to have shaman actively seek to develop the elementals rather than just maintain balance.

Instead of crushing earth into iron -refine- it through harmonious cooperation of fire and earth elementals to make strong metal ones.

Mix water and air elementals to make storm ones.
You mean adapt Shamanism to an industrious world? I approve of that. Besides, if there's any group of beings that's bad at grasping balance and harmony then it's the elementals themselves. Fire elementals, for example, only seek to burn everything else.
Shamanism need to reclaim their position as masters of the pure states of the material world from those hippie druids while enhancing their connection and empowerment from the ancestors and spirits.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:05 AM
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It is likely that the rise of arcane magic and technology in societies that were previously shamanistic will lead to the shaman becoming a nice role. This really isn't that much of an issue, as it happened rightly in the real world as well. Korean mudang, for instance, still exist, but their role has been greatly reduced. Still, it isn't uncommon for people to go to a mudang for good luck, or to remove a curse.

Japanese miko were originally a form of shaman as well, though now their role is much more institutionalised. They still perform kagura, though.

Inevitably, though, as people move away from agriculture, and towards a scientific-based lifestyle, whether arcane or technological, the shaman will become niche. This is no necessarily a bad development in terms of the history of Azeroth. In fact, it isn't that different from the transition from the "old ways" to the Light.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:11 AM
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It is likely that the rise of arcane magic and technology in societies that were previously shamanistic will lead to the shaman becoming a nice role. This really isn't that much of an issue, as it happened rightly in the real world as well. Korean mudang, for instance, still exist, but their role has been greatly reduced. Still, it isn't uncommon for people to go to a mudang for good luck, or to remove a curse.

Japanese miko were originally a form of shaman as well, though now their role is much more institutionalised. They still perform kagura, though.

Inevitably, though, as people move away from agriculture, and towards a scientific-based lifestyle, whether arcane or technological, the shaman will become niche. This is no necessarily a bad development in terms of the history of Azeroth. In fact, it isn't that different from the transition from the "old ways" to the Light.
Your comparison doesn't hold as irl all of that is superstition while magic and shamanism on Azeroth is real.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:15 AM
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I don't believe it to be superstition.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:20 AM
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I dunno, having weather side effects seems like it'd be more characteristic of someone screwing up than an inevitability of arcane magic.

And leveraging tech would be 'bad' because it's mean to the elements
Only if you're Horde.

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Quote:
Although...

I wonder if we might be able to do something by blending the spiritual ancestor/animal portions of shamanism with the elemental bits.

Empowering ancestors and certain animal spirits with elemental energy through rituals might be neat but... that might stray too close to druidic demigod territory and we do want this to be the 'age of mortals'.
Shamanism does have the whole "communing with the ancestors" shtick in its wheelhouse, though it's been shamefully underused in World of Warcraft.

Here we risk having shamanism encroach on the necromantic school of Arcane magic, but the shamanism's aspect of life/the wilds could justify the link with ancestral spirits being put to practical effect.

Since whatever afterlife these ancestors seem to be occupying is apparently adjacent to the material plane, it might be possible for shaman and their racial analogs to work with them just as they do with the elements. Ask these spirits to help keep the land safe by keeping an eye out for enemies. Harass their enemies by having them haunt them in the night. Heck, let them take arms against invaders as in the Zalazane's Fall event.

If the ancestors are still willing to help their people even beyond death, shaman should do their utmost to allow it to happen. We know the spirits of the dead can possess and control machines, why not build golems capable of allowing the host to do whatever it is they could do in life?

Imagine an apprenticing blacksmith learning by example as his mentor is a thousand year old Orc working alongside him, imparting him with the wisdom and techniques of a lifetime of practice.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:37 AM
Taintedmage Taintedmage is offline

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Although...

I wonder if we might be able to do something by blending the spiritual ancestor/animal portions of shamanism with the elemental bits.

Empowering ancestors and certain animal spirits with elemental energy through rituals might be neat but... that might stray too close to druidic demigod territory and we do want this to be the 'age of mortals'.
When you mentioned empowering my immediate thought was Ragefire Chasm, The twilight cultists, and the Druids of the flame not really giving it to certain animal and ancestor spirits.

In both of the former cases they were taking the power from the elementals and trying to become something greater (Lavaguard and Elemental Ascendants) while in the latter they were pretty much empowered by Ragnaros to burn the world.

There seems to be, to an extent, a notion that people can be given/take incredible power from the elements possibly in a type of blessing like way (Druids of the Flame?).

Also, a question (which may or may not be silly).

If Shamans have to rely on elemental spirits for their powers where do elementals get their powers?

Because there is supposedly some type of difference between the Elemental Lords and their minions and the "Elemental spirits" the former being able to use their powers for whatever purpose they want.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:45 PM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Elementals are spirits manifested by raw power in the physical world. They themselves are that power, they don't need to draw it from any one source.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:46 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Druidism is too vulnerable to, everything. Arcane is supposed to be corruptive, addictive, and there are too many counters for it. Fel is, fel. Shamans are the Jedi of Warcraft. They're smart enough to know their limits and not be dicks. Usually.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:09 PM
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Druidism is too vulnerable to, everything. Arcane is supposed to be corruptive, addictive, and there are too many counters for it. Fel is, fel. Shamans are the Jedi of Warcraft. They're smart enough to know their limits and not be dicks. Usually.
1. What is druidism vulnerable to that other magics aren't?

2. What ISN'T corruptive these days? Also, what counters arcane that doesn't counter... everything else?

3. *looks at Cataclysm, Pandaria, and WoD's shaman* You're kidding right?
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:10 PM
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We all know that the Light is the only true answer.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:16 PM
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We all know that the Light is the only true answer.
Hnnnnnnggggggghhh *twitch*
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:29 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
1. What is druidism vulnerable to that other magics aren't?

2. What ISN'T corruptive these days? Also, what counters arcane that doesn't counter... everything else?

3. *looks at Cataclysm, Pandaria, and WoD's shaman* You're kidding right?
The Nightmare, Wolf forms, hunters.

Idk how effective spellbreakers are on say, casters who can fight with weapons. Mana prisons may be useless on nature types.

Shamanism is the least corruptive in terms of going insane with power. Next to the Light. Worst case elementals become dicks, which usually depends on how you treat them.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:32 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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The Nightmare, Wolf forms, hunters.

Idk how effective spellbreakers are on say, casters who can fight with weapons. Mana prisons may be useless on nature types.

Shamanism is the least corruptive in terms of going insane with power. Next to the Light. Worst case elementals become dicks, which usually depends on how you treat them.
1. Old gods affect shaman too. Overindulging can kill shaman too. "Ha"

2. So spellbreakers can beat mages, but probably not druids, but being better than shamanism does not mean omnipotent. Plus Thrall was in a mana prison :|

3. Did you and I see the same Ragefire revamp and fight in siege of org?
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:41 PM
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What I'd really like to see from Shamanism is a more benevolent Necromancy. Less raising undead minions, more calling upon your ancestors for help and having them actually show up and help you.
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