Reading WoW blogs, it’s inevitable that you will have come across several posts lately regarding some Northrend quests. Gnomeageddon, Bigbearbutt, Critical QQ, and more have remarked on the quests in Northrend that are rather questionable in morality. The biggest one however, seems to be the Quest in Borean Tundra that has you torture information out of a prisoner.
First, I want to say that torture is of course wrong. Next, I want to completely contradict myself. If a person has information that is deemed either vital to the survival of another being or is necessary to prevent harm from falling upon others, it is my honest opinion that that information has to be extracted. By any means necessary (god, I’ve always wanted to say that).
This piece of garbage that’s been captured by the Kirin Tor is being held because his kind kidnapped and may also be torturing a leader of their’s. I wonder if there’s a Kalimdor Convention outlining the treatment of prisoners of war… Anyways, you have 2 choices in this case: Get the information from the prisoner quickly, or allow the captured leader to possibly die a horrible death (that’s not really said here but I doubt the mage hunters are going to say “Okay we’re done here. On your way,” pat her on the butt and send her home). Basically, you’re just doing that wuss of a Kirin Tor mage’s dirty work. He doesn’t have the stomach to do what needs to be done, so he asks you. Are you revolted? Are you disgusted? Does the quest go against your or your character’s moral code? If you answered no to the above questions, congrats and enjoy yourself. If you answered yes then I ask you one more question; Would you be willing to allow another being to die for your morals, for your own desire to keep your hands clean, for your revulsion at having to do what needs to be done? Kinda like a Catch 22 isn’t it (google it kiddies, I ain’t explaining it).
Big Bear Butt brings up another good point though. Add a choice. There are plenty of games out there that do this and each have consequences. In Fable 2, your behavior affects your purity and good/evilness and this affects your image but also, the choices you make affect the world around you. In the beginning of the game, if you choose to hand over some warrants you collected to a criminal, the part of the city you come back to later is a ghetto filled with thugs and hookers. If you hand the warrants to the guard that asked you to collect them, the city you come back to is a prosperous merchant quarter, and the guard (now sheriff) tells you that you’ll get a discount. It also unlocks the Bounty Hunter jobs. Adding these types of mechanics to the game gives it a more in-depth feeling and really hooks you into the game. For example: If you chose not to torture the guy, blizz could start another quest line where you actually find out the magister died due to the delay and, though you gain more experience due to a lengthier and more in-depth questline, you consequently lose rep with the Kirin Tor. Something like that would still feel good, even taking the rep penalty.
Unfortunately, I too was taken aback when this quest was given to me. I didn’t want to do it because it seemed…. out of place. WoW was never this dark before. It was always a tad more humorous and family friendly. Then I thought about it and decided I didn’t care (comes with not having a conscience) and tortured away. Of course, one look at the torture instrument decided me. He basically gives you a pointy stick. WTF am I gonna get from a pointy stick? Give me pliers and a dull serrated knife. Give me a chair and a length of rope with a weight at the end (thank you Casino Royale). Give me a car battery equipped with testicle clamps. Fuck! Giving me a pointy stick to torture someone with is like giving me a toothbrush and telling me to paint Warsong Hold. Bastard. So I pictured that it was like a cattle prod pointy stick instead. Zap zap zap. And there ya go.
Hey, it could have been worse. The mage could have said “I want you to use these pliers to take his fingernails off till he talks.”
(Btw, any bloggers that came here from the above linked posts, please feel free to delete the inevitable comment on your page. I just want to give examples and don’t know any other way to do so besides linking them.)