That looks like fun! It’s like an Argonian on steroids.
So aside from looking at real life lizards for inspiration, I’m also looking at fictional lizardman races. Since I’ve been in a Star Wars mood lately, I’m going to talk some about Trandoshans, their being a playable race in a previous Star Wars MMO game, and what aspects of them would fit for Saurok.
First some, some of their lore:
These guys may seem like angry Lizards, most of them tend to be mercenaries or bounty hunters with very little interest in things like friendship, but many of them actually function just fine in different planet societies and working with other species, with some even becoming Trandoshan jedi. They also lack tails of any sort.
Trandoshans worship the “Scorekeeper.” They awarded Trandoshans in their hunt with “Jagannath points,” which are used to determine a Trandoshan’s place in the afterlife. While primarily awarded in hunting creatures and sentient species, the first video I linked mentioned that this isn’t necessarily the only type of hunt. As long as you were achieving betterment of yourself in some way, you were awarded Jagannath points.
In terms of racial features, they have infravision and also a form of regeneration (both of which the Iksar of Everquest have). They also have a really good sense of smell.
Trandoshans are also notable for being despised by Wookies:
And the most notable Trandoshan is Bossk, who you might remember from The Empire Strikes Back:
Now that I’ve linked to and talked a bit about Trandoshans, let’s see what they were like in Star Wars Galaxies, where they were a playable race.
Star Wars Galaxies was previously the first Star Wars MMO game, which has some infamy for different changes to the game that were…less than favorable. Trandoshans received the following types of skills in the game:
Creature Harvesting +10
Gloves/Shoes not visible (at one point not equipable in those slots at all)
Sadly, they are not playable in the current Star Wars MMO, “The Old Republic.” They also don’t really fit the criteria the devs have for playable races in that game, so the chances of seeing them as a playable race there are quite low.
So what ideas can we get from Trandoshans to implement in the concept of playable Saurok in WoW?
Let’s start with personality. Saurok should maintain a form of savagery in their personality, but being savage does not mean being antagonistic or being a jerk. It’s similar to how Worgen can function just walking around in Stormwind and can be pleasant but are ferocious and bloodthirsty when in combat. Saurok could function similarly, assuming you don’t get between a Saurok and their drumstick to gnaw on for lunch, you could get along with them just fine without worrying about easily angering them.
On the subject of a deity, I’ve mentioned before the idea that a playable group of Saurok could worship a wild god that encourages hunting. This goes well with the idea of them eating meat, especially if they believe that eating the meat of your kills makes them stronger, and also would work well hunting Alliance should the Horde ever get into another war with them. Something like “The Great Hunt” would make for a fun micro-holiday, with the idea being a big feast for a deity-related celebration while there being a balance in not over-hunting.
In terms of racial ideas, we have the usual regeneration that most lizardman races have, and Saurok should also in my opinion, but the other aspects give some interesting ideas. Saurok having a sense of smell is an interesting idea, though other than innately having some forms of tracking, I don’t know how that could be implemented in game. Infravision is also a neat idea, sorta similar to how Demon Hunters sense demons, that could be used for beasts and humanoid race detection and also be a deterrent for stealthed enemies, like in PvP.
As for the creature harvesting skill, if we go with the idea that Saurok would have hunting in their society, they could loot extra meat or, if they skin, extra pelts and such from mobs or be able to loot specific types of items off mobs, like bones, for Saurok-specific crafting for things like bone armor or tools. Now, High Mountain Tauren do have a racial to look extra meat and fish, so there may be a way to make a Saurok version more unique.
Lastly, in terms of armor graphics, it is possible that playable Saurok would not have any shoe graphics. We see this with a few races, notably the recent Vulpera allied race does this, so it isn’t anything new. Although my preference is for there to have a foot graphic with armor, I can understand why it wouldn’t show up on Saurok player models or would just appear on their lower legs like with Tauren. On the bright side, it would make it easier when designing armor for them.
Trandoshans offer a few good inspiration ideas for playable Saurok. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas, please feel free to share it. I do plan to look at other lizardman races, in MMO’s and other types of media.
More Saurok research to continue in the future!