Grab your Cheetos and Red Bull, it’s time to get nerdy.
When I heard that Blizzard’s ‘World of Warcraft’ was going to be introduced to the ‘World of Cinema’ under the direction of Duncan Jones, I screamed like a level-one paladin running away from a swarm of angry Murlocs.
Expletives and excessive mouse-clicking included.
I was worried this movie would completely kill the slowly dying World of Warcraft franchise once and for all by opening our once sacred servers to noob orc and human warriors who would flood our comms with the ever-annoying “random duel request.” What use will WoW have if my mage is afloat in a sea of Medivh and Anduin Lothar wannabes? What happens when they find out they don’t actually have to have their armor equipped during the game?
Surely, I will stop playing.
After closer examination, I think my initial assessment of the movie’s uselessness is wrong. If anything, the characters’ screen incarnations will serve to flesh-out the World of Warcraft, or WoW, faction creation story and help newcomers choose their favorite class for their toon. The on-screen interpretations of a warrior class might strike a chord with younger gamers looking for valor, or experienced techies like me, who want to breathe some life into their gaming.
Before creating a new toon, every World of Warcraft player is obligated to pick a “class,” or job, within the World of Warcraft universe. It is arguably the most important choice a World of Warcraft player will ever make. The success of a player within a class depends on their personality and tech prowess. Pick the wrong class and you’re a goner… or, at best, a horrible WoW player.
So, which class bests aligns with your tech job?
Let’s find out.
Since the movie is entitled “Warcraft: The Beginning,” let’s go back to the beginning of WoW: A time when classes were simple, a time when I still had Cheetos stuck in my hair at 4AM and no intention of going to my 8AM microeconomics lecture, a time with no pandas…
I call that time 2004.
In 2004, there were only eight classes split into three overarching roles which you could choose for your character. Those were simpler times. I will attempt to draw comparisons between the most well-known classes and techie-types in the workforce.
Consider a real-life tank’s purpose in war and you will know the function of a tank in World of Warcraft. As a tank, your character draws all of the attention of the enemy and inevitably takes most of the damage. It takes a stalwart and brave personality to be a tank, as they mostly don’t deal out much damage, but take a bunch of hits.
Here is WoWwiki’s apt description of a tank: “Tanks have humongous health pools and high damage mitigation to be able to withstand the boss’s attacks.”
Let’s look at the individual tank classes for our tech job comparisons:
In World of Warcraft, a warrior’s effectiveness is determined by his ability to maintain “rage” and the armor they wear. The best warriors move quickly from fight to fight and have two or more full suits of armor they can equip in their bags.
Who is the most common tech warrior?
Your quintessential IT Support guy. You get hit over and over again with the same dull blade of “my computer’s not working” requests and you never falter. Usually warriors are users of software like ServiceWise, SysAid and other ITSM or help desk solutions. Their job in the real world is to be strong fight back against the IT drudgery and ask “is it plugged in” until their soul is crushed. Hats off to the noble tank and vital IT dude.
I like to think of IT Managers as paladins.
They attract most of the CIO’s attention and are first in line to be held responsible if something goes wrong on the tech team or if an asset is missing.
Particularly helpful in fighting the undead, otherwise known as CEOs and CFOs, paladins can also resurrect a dead player… or save the job of a wayward tech team member.
I know I said I would refer to a time without Pandas in WoW, but then I wouldn’t get to mention Asset Panda as a great tool for all paladins looking to wield the sword of asset management justice.
*While Paladins can serve as healers, I group them with tanks simply because of their defense ability.
Who doesn’t love a good healer? Their job is to keep every player alive during a fight, which can take some serious multitasking. Ever have a problem with your software design war and just wish it would magically be better?
Call a tech healer aka programmer.
I’m convinced that druids are SQL programmers. Agile and versatile, druids rule amongst the healer classes. According to Katie Bouqkamp in the Coding Dojo Blog, “Database technologies such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft SQL Server power big businesses, small businesses, hospitals, banks, universities.” Programmers who specialize in SQL are adaptable much like druids who shapeshift to fulfill different roles in a fight. But, just like most SQL programming jobs require a plethora of certifications and training, being a druid involves time, money and bag space.
As a dedicated healing class, priests are the Java programmers of the WoW-o-sphere. They’ve been around forever, are highly desired, and can do just about anything to do with healing or fighting… errr, I mean application building or GUI creation.
If you have a priest on your team, or a Java programmer, there’s a good chance you’re going to win the fight.
This is where I get judgmental.
Once upon a time, there was a Horde-only class known as “the shaman.”
The robust shaman’s purpose was to resurrect himself after dying as often as he could… which meant every thirty minutes. Usually he used this during a fight after he and his compatriots had already died. Like a phoenix, a shaman can rise from the ashes and then pull other players back to the realm of the living. He had no other purpose in the World of Warcraft.
In the tech world, I like to think of shamans as the C++ programmer. They always end up coming back into the programming job market because C++ is too hard for new programmers to learn. And… sometimes they’re the only way to resurrect a dying project after all the other programmers have bailed. You can’t live without them.
The most-popular roles on WoW are the damage-dealing classes which allow a player to attack their foe from a distance or in secret. Is this far-away-play a sign of cowardice or intelligence? You decide.
In the tech world, damage dealers are the ‘remote sometimes-probably-not-authorized users of technology,’ otherwise known as hackers.
These bad boys are my favorite for two reasons: First, I am the proud driver of a huntress toon, so I’m partial. Second, they get to have a pet that protects them while they fight. Without their pet, they are (usually) toast within a few clicks of the mouse. Hunters can use their pet as their eyes and ears in situations where they don’t want to get too close.
In the tech world, hunters are white-hat hackers. You can send them to break into a network but then recall them when you’re finished, just like a pet.
Every WoW player has walked down the road to Orgrimmar and had their throat slit seemingly out of nowhere at least once. Right? Rogues are the “shadows in the night” that bring death to those who are AFK.
As they work in the darkness, the rogues of the tech industry are gray-hat hackers. The steal from the rich, don’t give back to the poor (even though they could) and stay under the media radar. In both worlds, we hate you.
Typically the most fragile class in WoW, mages are, in my opinion, the best ranged damage dealers. Commonly referred to as “nukers,” they are extremely good at casting high-damage spells that easily eliminate targets from a distance.
If a mage were a techie, they would be a Red-Hat hacker. According to Cybrary, “They’re like White Hats in that they halt Black Hats, but these folks are downright SCARY to those who have ever tried so much as PenTest. Instead of reporting the malicious hacker, they shut him/her down by uploading viruses, DoSing and accessing his/her computer to destroy it from the inside out. They leverage multiple aggressive methods that might force a cracker [black hat] to need a new computer.”
It brings new meaning to the phrase ‘boom goes the dynamite.’
Described as “masters of demonic arts” by some, warlocks are able to summon demons and send them to do their evil bidding in fights. Their spells can cause huge amounts of damage, even after the warlock is dead and gone. For that reason alone, I like to think of warlocks as black hat hackers. Black hat hackers who gain access to an unsecure network can wreak havoc and can drop viruses and code that could harm a company for weeks after they’ve grown tired with your network.
And there you have it. My breakdown of the World of Warcraft classes as tech jobs. Don’t like how I described the WoW classes? Think I missed something? I probably did. Tell me about it in the comments below after signing up for our monthly IT Management newsletter!
*All class images are from artists who posted their work on battle.net
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