If I learned nothing else in my Latin college course– aside from “cogito ergo sum”– it was the idea of mediam uiam. It literally means “the middle road.”
This past Sunday’s “Breakfast Topic” on WoW Insider had me thinking of how I wished for the option of a middle road. Coupled with the fact that I’m supposed to vote at some point today, I realized I’m just as unhappy about fictional politics as I am about real-world politics.
When I heard Garrosh was assuming the leadership of the Horde in Thrall’s stead for Cataclysm, I was sorely disappointed. Anyone who’s followed my comments on relevant WoW Insider articles know I’m no fan of Garrosh. Sure, he has a few redeeming moments. But like I said in my comment on Sunday, I don’t save the world just so it can be threatened and dominated by someone else– even if that someone else is supposed to be my “ally” and “friend.”
I’m not keen on becoming that which I’ve fought against for years, even if I’m just a small part of it. I’m not going to trade one megalomaniac, power-hungry tyrant for another.
No, I’ve always been a fan of balance. I never understood the need for “dominance.”
I was secretly hoping for a third faction option when Cata released. It would be an epic quest chain akin to the entrance into Twilight Highlands and, probably, what the Pandaren will undergo when they choose Horde or Alliance. You do a bunch of tasks “for the Horde” and, eventually, you’ll make a choice based on what you see on your quest chain. Do you stay with the Horde (or Alliance)? Or do you defect and become an independent mercenary, where you’ll eventually join with a small contingent of like-minded people from all races?
It’ll throw a wrench into PvP mechanics, sure, but that’s aside the point! This would, effectively, be the desired “middle road.,” neither one extreme nor the other. Heck, rather than having the Pandaren join Horde or Alliance, I’d like an option to join the Pandaren instead in all their calm, balanced glory.
Whenever I think of the “balanced” portion of the Pandaren ideals, I’m reminded of an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. King Oomeii (I think that’s how that’s spelled) tells Aang there are three types of jin: positive when you’re attacking, negative when you’re retreating, and a third neutral one where you seem to be doing nothing. But even when you’re doing nothing, you’re still doing something: biding your time, watching the battlefield, studying your threat. You may not be attacking or retreating, but you’re still in the fight.
All of this is wishful thinking, of course, and it’s likely to be logistically impossible in the game. And, really, I think I’m just rambling and thinking out loud. Wires are getting crossed because time is short and there’s much to do today.
In time, I hope I’ll be able to teach my daughter the merits of maintaining the mediam uiam, despite how difficult it may be. And it’s not even about refraining from taking sides altogether. It’s careful consideration of all the possibilities before staking a claim or seeking out a solution.