I'd be favour of including orcs if they were intelligently done. I've no expectation that they be added to Eora, but you never know. The setting hopefully has a long future ahead of it, which means a lot of room to grow.
Elves and dwarves have been pretty well developed in fantasy. Just about every blend of fantasy has three or four varieties of elf, and possibly multiple varities of dwarf. That element of Tolien's legacy has been thoroughly tapped. Orcs haven't. In most settings, particularly D&D settings, they are just a monstruous race with a poorly-conceptualized barbaric culture. If you're already accepting Tolkien's legacy into your work - which Obsidian has done with elves and dwarves - you have the opportunity to do something new with a traditional high fantasy race that is left underdeveloped by most franchises.
Warcraft of course puts a fair amount of emphasis on them, but while Warcraft may have had some good ideas it is pretty terribly written and could easily be outclassed. Elder Scrolls also does an interesting take and makes orcs playable and gives them a culture that is significantly different from the stereotype, though it is a fairly under developed part of the franchise lore.
Obsidian is putting its own spin on elves and dwarves. And what I appreciate about Josh's world building is the emphasis he puts on history. If Obsidian were to decide to include orcs in the setting at a later date, I'd be excited to see what Obsidian would do with them. Orcs in fantasy have yet to receive an intelligent, well-considered civilization and an interesting, serious history. Warcraft is too childish and dudebro, and Elder Scrolls comes close but does orcish civilization in very small scale and with very little attention.
So far in Eora humans seem to cover germanic, latin, and mesoamerican cultures, elves have a strong celtic influence, and aumaua seem influenced by the Far East. That still leaves a fair amount of historical inspiration that could be used to put a new twist on other races. Orcs could be injected with Turkic flavour, to take inspiration from the likes of the cumans, pechenegs, or early turks. Or they could take on an Armenian/Persian element and embrace a Middle Eastern aesthetic, which I think would be immensely interesting. Or, heck, you could even look to Greece for inspiration.
My point is that just about any direction that Obsidian would pick for orcs if they chose to explore them would be dramatically new development for a race that has received precious little inteligent consideration in the high fantasy genre, and that would be a lot of fun. I see plenty of room in the current status quo for orcs to be included at a later date without stepping on the aumaua's conceptual toes.
Any semblance of creativity or respectability. Discussion over. Full stop.
Orcs, goblins and halflings can stay in their putrid, stagnant little plot in Tolkien-ripoff history. Obsidian can do better and they are
I might agree with this were elves and dwarves not present in the setting. The fact that they are renders the point absurd.
Taking a stand against Tolkien would be well and good, but including elves as an obligatory part of high fantasy robs that stand of any credibility. Do you think elves rob the setting of any creativity or respectability? If the answer is "no", then you are excercising an entirely arbitrary judgment of what is good Tolkien and what is bad Tolkien. Which is fine, but entirely subjective. Claiming an objective disparity between the "credibility" of elves and that of orcs is ridiculous.
Orcs are an invention of Tolkien.
Please actually learn something about what you're saying before saying it. I'm a kind person so I don't want you to have to experience the taste of your own foot. They have no place in any mythology.
Orcs as we understand them are an invention of Tolkien. Which is equally true of elves and dwarves. But they do have mythological credentials, just obscure ones. Older forms of the word were used in English to refer to evil spirits, undead corpses, and something which matches our concept of an ogre. The modern orc has come a long way from that, but so have modern elves grown distinct from their mythological origins.
Edited by Sarog, 03 August 2014 - 01:26 AM.