Friday, May 21, 2010

We hunger for flesh! : Rot Hide Bruiser

Gnolls are another of those minor sentient races of the Warcraft setting that just never seem to get their own storyline or a big feature. When the biggest claim to fame for your entire race is a rather vicious level 11 quest mob who is famous for killing newbies... you just don't have too much to brag about. Gnolls are almost entirely lifted from Dungeons & Dragons, being hyena-like savage scavenger humanoids and that is about it. With no real history and no large context to place them in, gnolls are just kind of "there", monsters to menace the more peaceful races and harass new adventurers.

Today's entry is about one such low-level opponent, the Rot Hide Bruiser.

Undead gnolls in the woods

The Rot Hide Bruiser is a rare mob undead gnoll found on Fenris Isle in Silverpine Forest, in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Found inside Fenris Keep, the Bruiser dwells with a large number of other rot hide gnolls, and can be quite tricky to track down. He can spawn in a number of different locations, seemingly always indoors. However, given the huge number of possible nooks and crannies within the buildings inside the keep, finding him can be a chore. Using /target or some sort of tracking is almost required.

Annoyingly, several times when I located him he was parked facing a wall inside the ruined smithy inside the keep, with a number of other gnolls around him. Since he does not wander, it turned out to be impossible to turn him around for good shots. Fortunately persistence won in the end, and I found him standing in a much better spot inside one of the other buildings. Returning to hunt down a rarespawn twice or even more times just to get good pictures to post is actually something I do a lot, which is why you will sometimes see both night and day pictures within the same post.

The Bruiser's tale

Now, most rarespawns in World of Warcraft have a name. They are almost always named mobs, whether it is a given name or a title. Some unfortunate rare mobs don't have names, though, only being referred to by a rough description.

As such, the Bruiser is just that. An undead gnoll bruiser. The rot hide gnolls succumbed to the plague when the Scourge swept through Lordaeron during the Third War. Afterwards, the sorcerer Thule Ravenclaw, who had sworn his soul to the Lich King, became their ruler in undeath. Betraying all former bonds of friendship and loyalty, this hateful magus now rules Fenris Isle from the keep, guarded by a large number of rot hide guards. In all likelyhood, the Bruiser was just an unusually brawny gnoll who was thus reanimated as a warrior thrall of Ravenclaw.

While a rather unremarkable rare mob, the Bruiser does have a few things that make it stand out. First off, it is about six levels stronger than the rest of the mobs on the island. While not an elite, this makes him a rather frightening prospect for characters around level 16 visiting the island for quests. Secondly, he has not one but two unique BoE drops, a club and a belt. The club is not the same model as the bruiser wields (he goes with the more traditional board with a nail in it) but it is at least close enough.

Finally, as there is not much to say about the mob itself, a few words of opinion. The gnoll model is, quite frankly, terrible. While it looks very much like the Warcraft III rendition of gnolls, compared to the smoother and more detailed graphics of WoW it looks angular, undetailed and unappealing. The blocky feet and legs, the lack of detail on arms and hands... I believe this is the reason that gnolls have never been featured much except in starter zones and as odd NPC's. If any race desperately needs a model overhaul, gnolls would be my first pick.

Until next time, don't let the undead gnolls bite.

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