The Good Guy(s)
I recently heard someone (I’ve forgotten who – sorry!) on The Instance mention the Draenei in the context of the other Alliance races – what is their deep, dark secret? Every other Alliance race has a tarnish, from the gnomes’ senseless forays into uncontrollable technology to the elves’ storied flirtations with dark forces. But the Draenei seem to lack a shadow; they come across as big, blue, hammer-wielding teddy bears.
As a kind of answer to that question, I offer two narrative points: that the Draenei don’t need a dark history and that they probably shouldn’t have one.
Shortly into your first quests as a Draenei, you are faced with your first encounter with the other races of the Alliance, a Night Elf. She, and the others you meet on Azuremyst, are instantly suspicious. See, your people are also known as a race of evil, marauding demons. Sure, your specific faction of eredar fled your homeworld specifically to avoid becoming demons, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. The Draenei are going to have to spend a lot of time proving themselves to the Alliance, not because they have a dark history but because their relatives have done some questionable things. Thus, I submit that the Draenei require no tarnish (as the other races do), because everybody expects them to.
Secondly, I proffer the idea that it’s about time for an Alliance race to actually possess the purity and goodness that the rest of the “good” races aspire to. Just as the Forsaken are pretty much as evil as a race can be, the Draenei are about as good as a race can be. They equal the spirtual balance between the two factions, with the other eight races occupying the tenuous middle hump of a morality-measuring bell curve.
Sometimes, the good guys have to be good and the bad guys have to be bad. Why should Blizzard’s little corner of American fantasy mythology be any different?