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Environmental Colors and Races


382px-BYR_color_wheel.svg

According to the current  Warcraft Realms  Census  for players at level 80, Trolls are the least played class at %4, Then you have Dwarves and Gnomes at 5% and Orcs at 6% –

Races

Maybe this will even out with some with the Race/Class changes so I will assume that some of the racial choices are affected by class choices available, however in  the interim I pose the question  –

How much did the leveling environment colors affect the choice to continue leveling?

So I decided to have a look at some Color Psychology

We learnt all about Warm and Cool colors in Highschool Art class.  I remember doing two self portraits in warm colors that included the reds, oranges, and yellows, and the cool colors blues, purples, and greens, I’m pretty sure my paintings turned out horrible,  but we were encouraged to consider how each of the colors made us feel, and what we associated the colors with,

There are also studies which indicate that some colours have Physical effects on the body. Eg as per this Pychology site  says that Reds “Increase blood pressure and stimulate adrenal glands” , Orange is supposed to be beneficial to the digestive system, and the immune system. Yellow, stimulates the brain making you ” more alert and decisive.

Green “Is good for your heart”  “Relaxes muscles and helps us breath deeper and slower”  Blue “Lowers blood pressure, and has a “cooling and soothing effect” Purple suppresses hunger and balances the body’s metabolism

Another site “How Colors Affect Emotional & Physical Health  in an interview with Elizabeth Harper a Cromatherapist says that Edwin Babbit  stated “thermal or warm colors of red, orange and yellow are stimulating, raise blood pressure, strengthen, and tonify” and “Electrical or cool colors of blue, indigo and violet sedate, calm, ease inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Green in the center of the spectrum has a stabilizing effect on the human system as a whole” *

If you look at the Troll and Orc Starting Areas,  its all rock, a harsh environment red oranges and yellow tones aplenty,

In comparison the Night Elf, Human, Draeni, Bloodelf, Tauren are all greens, green grass, plenty of trees, blue and purple tones. 

Then at the Dwarven and Gnome starting areas  the Whites and greys can give us feelings of “Peace and comfort”  but too much white causes feelings of “cold and isolation” 

Even the undead starting area while has more grey buildings and muted tones,  there is still lots of green. ( though olive greens are supposed to remind us of Decay and death) They  with the Taurens are currently 10% of the races, as are the Draeni, but their races have  both have been around longer then the ‘squids’

So in theory – Leveling an Orc or a troll could make you constantly angry and anxious,  A Dwarf and a gnome,  cold and Isolated, an Undead  sick, and everyone else calm and balanced. ( or lazy )

 There is a point that people get tired of a character, and stop playing/leveling it.   ” I was so sick of leveling… ”  Leveling was too hard..” I thought that four of the oldest races in World of Warcraft were so under represented that I went looking for a reason why people didn’t level them, beyond the attractiveness of the race, and the classes available.

So thinking about it, could the desire to stop playing a character be caused because of not only the  colors of the environment that you started questing  in,  but any other environment you quest in later.  I love Stranglethorn vale.  I  also love Ungo’o,  Loch Modan, and the wetlands,  I hate the Blasted lands,  Tanaris, and Desolace, and the Barrens, I had never thought about it in terms of colors before,  but it make sense. You may not even be consciously aware of it,  but does your heart beat faster when your in the Blasted Lands?  Do you feel calm and lazy when traveling through Ashenvale?

You can also think about colors in a cultural  sence, Red is also life, apparently brides in China wear red wedding dresses, its also the colour symbolic of Love, and red roses,  so are Orcs and Trolls more romantic? If the theory about red making you hungry was right would I want to eat more while leveling in those areas? Does your culture affect your desire to play in a different place because of the color association?  Could this also be applied to other games?  Color is important in advertising,  so why not a virtual environment where you spend considerable time.

*Take with a grain of Salt.  Reputable sources on these sorts of studies are mainly text book based or cost money to read the Pych Journal online, and On the internet when an article says She said that he said.. really makes referencing hard.

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9 Responses to “Environmental Colors and Races”


  1. 1 Klepsacovic August 27, 2009 at 4:47 am

    I must have the extreme reaction: I feel so calm and balanced while in the Tauren and Nelf starting areas that I cannot bear to go through the violence of leveling and I usually quit.

  2. 2 Gevlon August 27, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Interesting idea, never thought of it. However the starting zones are just lvl 1-10, I doubt if many people would stop playing based on that.

    However the red starting zones, the cruel looks, the brutish talk, the quests altogether create an athmosphere that most people find “not fun”.

  3. 3 Cataclysmic August 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I think part of the reason certain races seem more common is due to class limits.

    Tauren and Night Elf – Anyone who wishes to play a Druid has to be either.

    Blood Elf – Any Horde player that wishes to be a Paladin.

    Draenai – Any Alliance player who wishes to play a Shaman.

    I think this has some effect to the recorded %’s.

    I would say Forsaken due to the PvP Racial (Rogues, Mages etc).

  4. 4 Isa August 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I haven’t thought about it in quite the terms you explored above, but I’ve definitely consciously attributed much of my lack of interest in leveling Horde toons with the appearance of their starting areas. I truly don’t like the earth-tone colors of the Barrens, or the general aspect of bleakness present in almost all Horde starting areas. I love questing in snow covered mountains or deep forest, and that’s what you get on the Alliance side.

  5. 5 Juzaba August 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I’m inclined to agree with Cataclysmic on this one – there are many more pertinent factors. Although the study is kinda interesting.

    However, isn’t the Belf starting area vary garish? Golds, red, green-yellows, oranges, followed by a transition to the gloomy Ghostlands? I have a tough time seeing that as equivalent to Elwynn Forest or Mulgore.

    Finally, I think that the starting area arguments only apply if people actually stay in their starting areas. These days, the rewards and quest experiences are so much better in the Draenei/Belf lands that I find most people head over there at the earliest opportunity.

  6. 6 Dave August 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Starting area for me has literally nothing to do with the race I pick, yet race means almost more to me than class. I love orcs and would be an orc ANYTHING if it would let me (yes including paladin. I HATE BLOOD ELVES. Though Tauren will help…)

    This has nothing to do with the starting area, though I do indeed like the harsh landscape of durotar, and the African Safari of the Barrens.

    However, I can certainly see how someone would take a starting area into account. I just wanted to pop in and say how much the RACES mean to me, and not starting area or even the class 🙂

  7. 7 James August 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    So, if I’m playing an orc and it makes me hungry and I eat pizza with lots of red sauce, does that mean i’ll eat MORE pizza than normal?

    Very interesting read, btw!

  8. 8 Elleiras August 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I can only speak for myself, obviously, but I abandoned my Night Elf at level 3 and rerolled Horde because I couldn’t stand the colors of the starting area. They hurt my brain.

  9. 9 Ziboo September 3, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Interesting theory.

    Those new to the game pick what seems interesting or fun. If you’ve leveled more than one toon, racials come into play along with the preference of Horde or Alliance or the social ‘my friends play’.

    Personally I can’t stand the look of trolls so won’t play them – but I do and have played every other race/class.


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