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Gnomes Technologically Superior Role Guide

Gnomes are tinkerers mostly. They’re got a high affinity with magic and engineering. Those two skills are what define them as a race, yet there isn’t much supporting evidence to why, outside of the new information we’ve gained in WotLK which we’ll get into a bit later.

So where did the Gnomes come from? Well, believe it or not, they were barely in any of the RTS games. They, along with most of the races, were absent from the first game. The second game featured two units by the Gnomes. The first was the weaponless “Gnomish Flying Machine” and the second was the “Gnomish Submarine” which was a sea unit that could stealth. They were absent from the third game, although WoW came up with an excuse for that. The flying machines in Warcraft III were manned entirely by Dwarves.

Their major lore begins about 200 years ago when the Dwarves discover a Gnomish village. The Gnomes have not only gunpowder, but tons of other technology while the Dwarves had just discovered how to make guns. They became friends and the Gnomes built Gnomeregan near Ironforge, with the Dwarves’ blessings.

During the Third War the Gnomes were unable to help because their city was under siege by Troggs at the time. The Alliance found this out after the Third War and the Dwarves volunteered space in Ironforge, Khaz Modan, and Bael Modan. Since then they have continued working on assisting the Alliance with their technology and magic.

Recent Events and Cataclysm

This plus the "Curse of Flesh" equals the Gnomes we all know and love.
The Gnomes in WoW have kind of been a non-factor through most of the story. They were quiet in the first two expansions with only Gnomeregan having a large presence of Gnomes. Their other appearances where usually involving some random gadget or for Gnomish Engineering. They did have Toshley’s Station, but that was pretty much another city.

In WotLK we find out their origin. They establish a forward base, known as Fizzcrank Airstrip, and from there they learn that they were originally something called a “mechagnome” that was affected by the “Curse of Flesh” from Yogg’saron. In English, that means that they were originally small robots used by the Titans who were then turned Human. Kind of sounds like a story from Star Trek.

With the story of their origin over we’re stuck with only two plot points for Cataclysm. The first is the retaking of Gnomeregan which will be a capital city in the expansion. We’re going to be dealing with that next patch though.

The second is their rivalry with the Goblins. The Goblins are joining the Horde proper so we’re going to be running into a big issue with Gnomes vs. the Goblins. After all, they’re natural rivals considering they are both engineers. I can see a lot of the storylines focusing on both races trying to sabotage one another.

Lore Theorycrafting
What race could Blizzard have picked to replace the Gnomes with WoW’s launch? Most of us suspect that the Gnomes were shoehorned in when they decided to have four races instead of three. After all, there is almost no lore about them before WoW came out, and even then what we’ve gotten so far is mostly retcons and “they were busy battling Troggs.”

We think we should have gotten the Draenei earlier. If not crazy space squid people, then we should have gotten something monster like, like the Worgen, except the Worgen race is something exclusive to WoW. It’s a tough one, really. They couldn’t have High Elves because they already have the Night Elves. That and everyone would have been a High Elf.

We think that Gnomes were a nice fit, only because I can’t think of any other race that could have joined up with them. Unless you want to think of Kobolds as a race, in which case I think you’re a bit loopy.