Why should Blizzard add Gorgonopsids to World of Warcraft?
Because giant lizard-cats four meters long with saber teeth are awesome, that’s why. Inostrancevia was the largest of the gorgonopsids, a suborder of the theriodonts — the order that included our own direct ancestors and thus, ultimately, us, and one that really deserves a lot more attention in video games. A 12-foot-long, 700-pound saber-toothed predator with all sorts of mammalian traits like the ability to breath while its mouth was occupied killing prey, I’ve wanted gorgonopsids in the game forever and ever. Dinosaurs are great and they get all the press, but frankly one of the ways World of Warcraft has always upset me is in how it lacks real prehistoric diversity.
I mean, even the dinosaurs the game has are kind of predictable. T-Rex? It’s taken until Battle for Azeroth for the game to move much past raptors and big therapods, and while I’m glad they introduced ceratopsians and even sauropods, there’s so much room for expansion. And don’t even get me started on how the Diemetradon in WoW is way, way too lizardy. Dimetrodon was a synapsid, a stem-mammal with several mammalian traits like heterodont tooth structure. They had some superficially reptilian traits, yes, but they were more closely related to us than to reptiles.
Why is this important in a game like World of Warcraft? Why am I so bothered by scaly raptors in a game where a giant stabbed the planet and his giant sword is still sticking out of the desert? Two reasons — one is that accuracy on real animals matters. We wouldn’t accept a bear with scales and an alligator tail, unless it was a Bearagator, and that would be awesome. Getting the real details right gives us more cool stuff, and I’m always down for more cool stuff. Secondly, there are so many weird and wonderful animals in our fossil record that seeing the same four or five dinosaurs over and over again gets a little depressing.
Synapsids abound that could be turned into cool WoW monsters. Throw in a Thrinaxodon or maybe even Anteosaurus. When have you ever seen a dinocephalian in a video game? Or Anteosaurus‘ incredibly well named relative Titanophoneus, whose name means “titanic murderer” — remember I jokingly suggested bear-alligator monsters? Well, both Anteosaurus and Titanophoneus were similar, enormous predatory animals with massive, fang filled skulls that likely hunted near or in the water. And the best part is, we have absolutely no idea when fur became part of the synapsid linerage, so you can totally reconstruct them with fur or without and it’s not as inaccurate as having featherless raptors!
Which, seriously, Blizzard.
So yeah, I think we need a World of Warcraft expansion that goes to some lost island full of synapsids, including gorgonopsids and other theriodonts, lots of dinocephalians, and updated pelycosaurs that look more like the stem-mammals they are, just to spice things up. And our in-game dinosaurs need more variety, too. But since this is a Breakfast Topic, I leave the comments to you to tell me I’ve gone too far.
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