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Know Your Lore: The undeniable failure of Thrall

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Thrall, former Warchief of the Horde, came from a line of leaders, destined by his parentage to eventually take leadership of the Frostwolf clan -- but he ended up doing far, far more than just that. Through Thrall's efforts, the Horde was rebuilt anew into a different organization, one built not on the concept of bloody battles and victorious conquest, but instead on the ideals of freedom, liberation, unity. Family. With that goal in mind, he allowed a multitude of races to join as allies with this new Horde, establishing a home in Kalimdor.

But that Horde was not the Horde that the orc race was familiar with. It wasn't the same Horde of united clans that drank the blood of Mannoroth, ripped through the Dark Portal and stormed into Azeroth with the intent of conquering the planet. It certainly was a far, far cry from the Horde of Draenor -- the Horde from days not so long before the orcs first arrived on Azeroth, the Horde that thrived prior to Thrall's birth.

And perhaps it was that curious dichotomy between the two that led Thrall astray. Or perhaps it was simply that his parents, Durotan and Draka, were killed while he was still an infant, and he was raised in as a slave in a camp of humans that taught him human ideals, human ideas. They taught him to read, they taught him to speak, they taught him how to be. What they did not teach him was one very important thing -- how to be an orc.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor, including the cinematics that were released last week. If you are avoiding spoilers, don't click!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: The Warlock: Episode 2 - LFG

I've always been one of those people that enjoys solo questing. Don't get me wrong, I also enjoy being in a guild and enjoy being social, but I just prefer to read quest text at my leisure, which isn't exactly conducive to group play. That, and I kind of like the challenge of trying to beat things solo -- sure, a quest might say it's intended for a group, but I like trying to figure out how to complete it on my own. Today's Moviewatch is the second episode in a series by Nixxiom simply called The Warlock, and it deals with one of the other sides of group questing -- a slightly more unpleasant one.

Generally speaking, if I'm out questing in the wilds of Azeroth, a random invite from a stranger isn't something I look forward to dealing with. I have to say though, after watching the second episode of this series, I'm kind of a fan of Antos, the new character and self professed best mage on Azeroth. I wasn't sure about him at first, but seven minutes in there was a moment in which I was completely, utterly sold. I don't know where this series is going to go from here, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. If you missed episode one, be sure to check that one out as well.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: Beard obsession

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

I don't know why exactly a good chunk of you were so completely obsessed with beards in yesterday's Queue, but okay, I'll indulge with a Cyanide & Happiness short that seems suitably appropriate for the topic at hand. Or chin, I guess.

Jorsha asked:

Q4tQ: is Coren Direbrew a whole long dungeon fight or is it just the boss fight like Headless Horseman at Hallow's End? I need Coren to finally finish off the Brewmaster achievement, but I really don't enjoy running dungeons so I've never done it. I love the H.H. fight because that's all it is.... just kill him, hope for the mount to drop (still waiting) and then move on. Cheers!

Coren is in fact just like the Headless Horseman. When you zone in, you do so right in Direbrew's room at the Grim Guzzler, and all you have to do is speak to him to start the fight. No trash, no dungeon, nothing but Direbrew and his cronies to take down. Easy enough! ... although be careful about pulling the rest of the bar while you're fighting him. It probably isn't that much of an issue these days, but I remember a few entertaining "oops" pulls when Coren was first introduced.

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Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: How delightful

Teh Gladiators
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Everything is so orange. Socializing is the worst. One partnership is broken up, and another is formed. Plus: Richard has a diary (and a purse).

Also, Fox Rain has hit 100 pages! Congratulations, Jenn!

Several of our sporadically updating comics did not post new content this week, so we're missing WoW, eh? and Sara & Kleeyo, as well as Kibble & Bit. And, if you missed the announcement last week, From Draenor With Love is on a brief hiatus to prepare for Chapter 4 (which I'm pretty sure has a dragon).

However, The Brotherhood of Iron, Rug's new comic, which will update sporadically as well, has new content up, which includes Keran from Experience Boost. Plus, Gnomeregan Forever has posted an extra featuring a Kibble & Bit crossover! We also have content from the two new comics that joined us last week, The Warchief's Command Board and Gnomophobia, so there's plenty to read. But, if you're finding the list a bit light, why not check out the Clickware storyline on NPC? It isn't WoW-related, but I mean, Chloe encounters the clickbaitiest of ads, and it's worth the read.

Also this week, Teh Gladiators concludes, although this won't be the last time it's featured here. Next week, there should be Hearthstone-related content, and if you're curious, the text below the final comic gives some more details.

Finally, I'd like to correct a minor error I made last week. Contested Territory (not Gnomeregan Forever) switched up its line style subtly, which is getting some great feedback from readers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: Did you watch the Warlords cinematics?

One of the bigger pieces of news to come out of last week was the release of several of Warlords of Draenor's key in-game cinematic pieces. Now, normally we kind of expect to see these things at some point during the beta's lifetime -- but usually it's one datamining website or another that manages to dig the cinematics up prior to the expansion's release. This time, in a completely different move, Blizzard released all of the cinematics on the official website, clearly labeled as spoiler content and requiring players to click through a very blatant spoiler warning before actually showing any content at all.

It's a new approach. I'm kind of a fan of this approach, because we all knew that material was going to surface at one point or another anyway -- this way, Blizzard has control of how it is released, and guarantees that it's labeled so as not to take anyone by surprise. You can't get much clearer about spoilers than Blizzard did in their official post, and although some might say they went overboard with the warnings, I think that was perfectly fine, given the nature of the material. And of course I watched them. I watched them all, because I like to write about these kinds of things on a weekly basis and I wanted to see what would happen, to give some context to what I'd already seen in the beta.

But I'm wondering how many of you watched the cinematics, as blatantly placed out and clearly labeled as they were. Did you appreciate all the spoiler warnings? If you're avoiding all spoilers, did the clear labels and official post make it easier to stick with your resolve, or did it just tempt you into really wanting to see? Obviously, since we're talking about the nature of spoilers, rather than the actual spoilers themselves, please keep the comments spoiler-free. Trust me, we'll have more than enough articles where you can talk about the spoiler content to your heart's content.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Guide to Brewfest 2014 achievements

Brewfest is back, as is Coren Direbrew, his cronies, and some of the easiest trinkets you'll ever farm for from the holiday boss. Now, you can get better gear for yourself and approximately 37,000 alts off the Timeless Isle if you've a mind to grind, but killing Coren can get you some quick and easy ilvl 470 trinkets without having to suffer endless "Is Huolon up?" spam in general chat.

That might be worth it. It's up to you.

Anyway, right now there's no indication that Blizzard has changed the holiday in any substantive manner, and although some new items have been found on the PTR and beta, they are not on live servers, which means the run of achievements is pretty much the same. This year, Brewfest runs from Saturday, Sept. 20 to Monday, Oct. 6. As always, check your in-game calendar for your server's exact start and end times, as they'll differ slightly by time zone. The Brewfest meta Brewmaster is required for the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you'll want to get this done if you're working toward a Violet Proto-Drake.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WRUP: How many legendary cloaks do you need?

It's the weekend once more, which means it's time to forget about the stresses of the work-week and dive into the delightful escapism of video games... which usually means playing some Warcraft. This week, we're all looking towards the end of Mist of Pandaria's legendary cloak quest chain, so in addition to what we're playing this weekend, we talk about where we are on our legendary goals.

So just what is the team up to this weekend? Read on to find out -- and let us know what you're playing in the comments.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

New Warcraft wallpaper, costumes, art and comic updates

Blizzard has put together another giant pile of updates to many of the fan content galleries on the official site this week. Included with this round of updates is a new wallpaper featuring Chen Stormstout, along with a new fan comic. But the highlight of the gallery updates this time around has to be the costume section, featuring a ton of the costumes and cosplay from Gamescom 2014. The attention to detail with all of that armor continually impresses me, and this round of updates features a ton of trolls!

I think what excited me the most, however, was the fact that we got a couple of new concept art pieces -- and this time, it's Warlords of Draenor art! Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the Mists of Pandaria concept art, but Draenor is so visually unique on the beta servers that I pretty much figured the concept art for the expansion had to be some amazing stuff. While we only got a couple of pieces this time around, I'm hoping we'll see more added as the weeks go on. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Patch 6.0.2: Ordos cloak requirement removed

One of the unique quirks of the Timeless Isle, introduced in patch 5.4, was the means in which players accessed Ordos, Fire-God of the Yaungol and the world boss located at the highest heights of the Isle. In order to even get to the temple in which Ordos was located, players needed to either fly very carefully on one of the Isle's many flying albatross taxis, or have a legendary cloak that would glide them right on over the broken bridge that led to the Ordon Sanctuary. And even if you took the albatross, fighting Ordos required the legendary cloak -- you could not engage the world boss without it. But according to developer Jeremy Feasel on Twitter, that's about to change in patch 6.0.2.


Later tweets clarified that the cloak wouldn't even be needed to get over the broken bridge -- the Celestials will send everyone flying to the other side, regardless of whether they have the legendary cloak or not. For those that don't really do any raiding, Ordos has quite the loot table of gear. Every item he drops is ilvl 559, and although we won't be able to upgrade gear with Valor when the patch hits, it's still some pretty good gear for getting a head-start on leveling in Warlords. If you don't have a legendary cloak, or don't plan to obtain one, you might just want to focus your attention on Ordos for a few last pre-Warlords upgrades once patch 6.0.2 goes live.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Who needs a title with that picture?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I'm glad I waited until the wee hours of the morning to write today's Queue. If I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to use that picture of Zarhym as today's header, courtesy of Ben Brode's Twitter.

Benjamin Seeberger asked:

with the introduction of Warlords of Draenor and the retirement of the legendary quest in its entirety, are new players going to have any clue who Wrathion is, unless they are rogues? Will his storyline make any sense in Mists when the legendary questline is taken out? Will the Timeless Isle make any sense? How will the departure of the questline impact Pandaria's storyline?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue