It’ll never happen. I don’t expect it to go anywhere. But I had a fun thought, and wanted to put it down for our commingled amusement.
Inscription is a profession nominally concerned with writing, documenting, and scribing the written word onto lasting parchment. Scribes are indeed so good at this that they have developed magical writing that can bring into being Scrolls and Trinkets of incredible power.
Scribes then, to me, are individuals that have studied the power of language and the written word to such an extent that they can weave magic from the power of intellectual concepts made solid.
The power of language on the written page.
Blizzard went to a great deal of effort in having there be many distinct languages in the World of Warcraft. Each race has their own native tongue, and each faction has a common tongue. Sadly, in the case of Humans and Orcs, your native tongue and your faction language are the same. That’s all you get to know. You got a rock.
By default, you speak your factions’ common tongue in public, but you can choose to change that so that you are speaking only in your native tongue (at least in anything other than General and Whispers).
As an example, if you were a Draenei, you could change from the default Common tongue to your native Draenei tongue by going to the Chat Bubble Icon as shown in the picture, mousing over the “language” option, and selecting another known language, in this case Draenei.
Once you’ve done that, any time you talk, it will be displayed as Draenei language… and anyone not a Draenei will simply not understand you, if you are doing /say, /yell, /guild or /party (I ahve yet to try it in /raid). General and Whisper are unaffected.
I suggest that it would be awesome to take this incredible amount of language work that Blizzard has done, and allow the players to become true explorers into strange new societies and cultures.
Blizzard has Achievements for Exploring, and of course for Loremaster. There is already in place the idea that players can choose to go forth seeking knowledge of the land, or of esoteric information, and be rewarded for their efforts.
There is also a Profession that is all about the study and investigation of language, and promotes a mastery of language that can lead to creating works of lasting magic and power.
I think you can guess where I’m going with this.
I think that Scribes should be able to create a Tome that any player can use to start a massive Achievement style quest.
It would be a Tome of Language Discovery.
Much like the way the Darkmoon Card of Greatness can be any one of four different cards depending on what you choose, this Tome could be for any one Language that you choose. You would take the Tome, you would visit the Lexicon of Power (where else?), and you would select exactly which language you intended to research.
The Tome would be Unique, so you could not have more than one on your person or in your inventory. You are dedicating yourself to the study of just one new language.
And once you choose your language… you had your Tome set to that language, and had it on you… then just like Achievements, you would be tracked as to where you went with your Tome, and what little checkmarks towards discovering a new language you have accomplished.
Achievements can be done in any order, unlike quests. That is why I prefer the idea of a language discovery being tracked like an Achievement rather than a pre-determined quest chain. It gives the player ultimate creative control over how they do it.
I believe that you should have to make a pilgrimage to the capitol city of the race whose language you are trying to learn, or to a Loremaster of that race.
And much like a combination of the Elders seasonal event, and the Draenei starting zone quest Learning the Language, each one you visit will tell you a story, a story that you mostly will not understand, in the language you are trying to discover, and will also tell you where you can go to find two other wise people who are willing to tell you more.
The more people you speak with, the more the Tome helps guide you to understand their efforts to instruct you… and at the very end, the absolute 100% completion of all such Elders having been sought out and begged for wisdom, you will have learned that language. Permanently.
Like all other languages, you would always be able to understand it… and if you chose, you could select it as your display language and speak it.
I think that in terms of difficulty, there should be two levels, the Allied races, and the Opposing Faction races.
The Allied races should be pretty big tasks, but completely doable by someone that has a lot of patience and the ability to travel a lot. I think that lower level instances and common world locations are enough fun for wide trqaveleing and research.
I think that trying to learn the language of an Opposing Faction race, however, would be awesome… and should require some simply massive and epic exploring.
I think that in this case, understandably, finding members of the Opposing Faction that approve of your quest to learn more of them and their culture, and learn how to speak their tongue to better understand them and learn to work together, would take a LOT more effort. Incredibly massive effort.
Some of them of course would be in their Capitol City… and predictably those would be great places for ganking to take place.
The irony of massive faction raids taking place to try and reach an Elder who will help you learn their language is not lost on me.
Others would be in exile from their people, hiding away in remote and inaccessible areas not commonly visited. Think raids or heroic instances.
And still others, perhaps, no longer live, but could be reached by traveling through time to visit them… Black Morass, anyone?
I think it’s safe to say that, in my mind, being able to learn an Opposing Faction race’s language would be awesome… and the epic explring and work should reasonably take dedication and weeks if not a month of work.
Yes, I know that in PvP, people would spend a lot of time and effort for the unique opportunity to tell someone in /yell in a BG in the other guys’ language that they suck.
It’s PvP. Do you really think that being able to personally taunt the guy you just stomped would ruin the fun?
We already get all the asshats you could imagine in our own factions chat, so I fail to see how being able to see some Orc yelling in Dwarvish would be that much worse… and I can see lots of ways in which it would be amusing especially during an Orc invasion of Ironforge to kill the King.
And of course, the /ignore should still work just fine, so where is the downside?
Maybe have two Tomes, one for 500g for your own factions language and 1000g in mats for the Opposing Factions language. Make someone pay for it, spend tons of time on it, and once done, feel that they can use it and have fun… but not have it be unbalancing.
I love it. I think it’d be hilarious to be the Dwarf hunter that learned how to speak Orc to better understand the mind of their chosen enemy, the better to anticipate thier tactics and kill them.
For a long time US Marines, at least, were encouraged to study the Russian language, and to take up playing chess, among other methods of better understanding your enemy. This was back before we were all one big, happy peaceful world, of course. I think the idea is pretty consistent, whether you intend to hunt and kill them, or work with them to build a lasting peace.
What do you think? Would you enjoy annoying the hell out of your guildies by speaking Gnomish to them?
I can obviously see the new Title “Linguist” coming out of this, if you learn all your own factions languages.. but what Title would you give someone that learned ALL the various languages?
The Grand Communicator? Babelfish? Master translater?
There you go, my thought of the day. Now have fun, folks!