Hear me out!
Obviously, having different Races to choose from is great from a visual standpoint. We get a pretty nice variety of body-styles to choose from via all our race options.
But *to me*, the most exciting part of each new Race is the *culture* that comes along with it.
Having recently been playing TBC Classic, I’m reminded just how *interesting* the Draenei truly are. Over time, they slowly stagnated towards becoming the “peaceful, Light-worshiping race” (much as Night Elves gradually become “just a bunch of tree-huggers”), but culturally they’re actually *really* unique.
I mean, just look at all the crystals they use, their architecture feels more like it’s build from slabs of stone than anything truly “technological” — and yeah, especially early on, their take on “the Light” seems more *spiritual* than the much more rigid interpretation of the Silver Hand.
Yet ultimately, your class options let you touch on *aspects* present in their culture, but no one class truly feels like “oh yeah, this is the DRAENEI class”.
Or the Tauren are another great example; culturally, they clearly derive a lot of inspiration from Native American tribes. As such, while many classes touch on parts of their culture, nothing ever quite feels like it weaves together *everything* that make the Tauren so cool.
Now, there’s obviously the “D&D approach”, where a lot of players feel “everyone should be able to be everything”. And that’s a perfectly fine approach, too; not suggesting it isn’t.
But to me, when you bring in all these cool, interesting cultures, but in terms of *gameplay* they all feel completely interchangable, it kind of robs them of any real gravity or uniqueness.
The biggest example, to me, are actually the Zandalari. They’re a legit cool race, and again, *very* cool, interesting culture. But there’s really no class they *perfectly* captures that Mayan/Aztec “Dino-mancer” vibe. There are some cool glyphs for Shamans, and excellent Druid-forms, but nothing that quite extends to *gameplay* that feels like an all-encompassing representation of the Zandalari.
If *EVERY* Race was its own “Class”, then we might see Zandalari could can spec into “Dino-mancer” abilities, or perhaps throwing the Thunder King’s lightning around (Throne of Thunder’s Trolls had a *very* cool aesthetic), or alternatively tribal warriors wielding heavy, stone swords and perhaps using sacrificial blood magic.
Or Draenei that actively use stones and crystals to embrace the Light, perhaps constructing small “turrets” and the like, made from stone and come to life using crystals. Or Dark Irons that lean hard into industrial influences to their attacks (ie. slinging molten lava around, creating smog and soot to choke out enemies, etc). Maybe Worgen *truly* embracing their Werewolf side, able to see through walls as they hunt their prey.
Obviously, it’ll never happen, but I honestly think it’s a cool idea to think about.