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Filed under: Horde

Know Your Lore: The Second War

Welcome once again my friends to the lore that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside Know Your Lore.

When last we got together over the nonexistent campfire to share stories of Azeroth and Draenor and the peoples of both, our heroes were either fleeing the destruction of Stormwind or destroying Stormwind, depending on who you think of as the heroes. Once again, the 'canonical' nature of these events has shifted somewhat from the time they were first presented to now, so bear with me if you see any inconsistencies as I attempt to work several disparate accounts together. Also, wow, did a lot happen in the Second War, so please forgive anything I miss or merely allude to from the Alliance and Old Horde KYL's.

We know that following the loss of Stormwind (and by following I mean that they could probably see the buildings burning as they sailed away) the survivors, led by Anduin Lothar, sailed north for Lordaeron and the court of King Terenas Menethil. It was this journey and Lothar's arrival that led Terenas and Lothar to begin the diplomatic work that created the Alliance of Lordaeron. It's important to keep in mind that, at the time, not many people actually knew much about the orcs aside from the survivors of Stormwind. King Llane Wrynn had an adviser who knew a lot about the orcs but that ultimately ended in Stormwind's destruction as we covered last week. Still, Lothar was the one person both connected enough through his descent from the ancient Arathi bloodline and knowledgeable enough about the enemy to command the military of this new Alliance.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

The Daily Quest: "Looking for Waldo"


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Odds and ends, Instances, The Daily Quest

A lack of Alliance pride

Larisa makes an interesting observation about the Battlecry mosaic that's being assembled over on Blizzard's website. There certainly are a lot of Horde symbols there, and not quite so many Alliance symbols. The best information we have access to actually says that Alliance outnumber the Horde, and ancedotally, we know that's probably true. So why aren't the Alliance representing?

Now, it could just be specific to this outlet -- perhaps Horde players spend more time online, or have more free time in general, and thus have the knowhow and chance to submit their pictures. But this issue has come up before (on our podcast as well): while many Horde players are ready to jump in and shout "For the Horde!" at a moment's notice, not so many Alliance players are as open about their allegiances. As Larisa asks: where's the faction pride?

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP

IgroMir 2009: Goblin gameplay footage


More Cataclysm footage is trickling onto the internet from IgroMir 2009, Russia's huge gaming convention, and there was a beautifully clear (well, compared to what we usually see) video of early Goblin gameplay that merited some attention here. I have to confess; I wasn't initially enthusiastic about Blizzard's choice for a new Horde race, even if Goblins do make sense from a lore perspective. But after trawling through so many videos of their early questing experience in the Lost Isles, I'm sold. Female Goblins still aren't playable yet, but their male counterparts have some awesome casting animations and an incredibly endearing sort of waddly run. They just look so interesting and dynamic doing anything that now I'm torn over which class to roll, although I can't really take their 2H special attack seriously, so it'll probably be a caster-class of some sort. I enjoyed Necrolord_Bob's answer to our poll on which Goblin class to roll: "Priest! Priest of the Holy Temple of BOOM!"

We didn't think that Blizzard would tolerate any Cataclysm footage floating around YouTube for long, but it looks like the earlier Worgen video we posted is still up. That said, don't bank on these (or the related videos) being around for long.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Social Conventions, Expansions, Goblin

All the World's a Stage: The voices of every race and class speak in RP

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

All the World's a Stage has been a voice for roleplaying in WoW for over two years now. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but the article entitled "So you want to be a bad guy" was just about at the 2 year mark for this column! To celebrate belatedly, today we'll review some of the other websites about roleplaying in WoW out there. If you like All the World's a Stage, you'll probably enjoy these as well.

In addition, you will find that some of these websites have similar, but unique pages with information about roleplaying the various races and classes of Azeroth. So for those of you who would like to have a reference to all these articles in a single place, I've collected them all together in one list at the end of the article. This list includes my own articles, as well as those of all the other websites I'm about to mention which follow on the same theme.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Lore, Factions, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Breakfast Topic: The future of the Horde

One of the things that's continually surprised me since news broke on the likely changes to the Horde's leadership is how many otherwise die-hard Horde players have considered going Alliance. Yeah, yeah, most of it's probably idle threats anyway, but the real issue is one that's simmered for the length of Wrath's storyline. Lots of traditional Horde players are happy to fight under Thrall. Lots of traditional Horde players are...not so happy to fight under someone else.

The issue seems to be the growing rift between players and Horde leadership in Northrend, and the degree to which many of us can't identify with the sub-faction that eventually hijacks the Horde storyline. I burned Saurfang's letter as he asked. I nodded alongside Golluk Rockfist as he told Horde players, "You are leaving to the Ruby Dragonshrine. This is not a request." I sat with Thrall in his darkest moments in the Undercity throne room, when he realized that everything was lost.

By contrast, I /facepalmed my way through Icecrown.

Spoiler material past the break.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, Factions

Garrosh, a raid boss?


I don't necessarily agree with everything we highlight here on WoW.com, but just because a post seems wrong doesn't mean it isn't interesting to talk about. Such is the case with Loregy's latest post -- they suggest that after all is said and done, the much beloved (whoops, not) Garrosh Hellscream will end up at the wrong end of our weapons. They say that the big fight between Garrosh and Thrall (rudely interrupted by the Wrath of the Lich King) means that Garrosh is in for a whooping at some future point. Matt basically said as much in his post a while back -- Garrosh is a flawed hero, to say the least, and it's likely that sometime here, those flaws are going to catch up with him, possibly in the form of us players.

Now of course whether that's true or not is an entirely different question from whether that's what you want or not. Kisirani has already said that there are sides of Garrosh we haven't seen yet, and Blizzard could go either way with him -- either put him through some troubles and teach him to learn some lessons (right now the guy is pretty dumb), or do what Loregy is suggesting and turn him into a raid boss (wouldn't be the first faction leader with such a fate, to be honest). Personally, I think Garrosh is headed for a little redemption -- all he really needs, to my mind, is a little experience and humility, and, as I understand it, war can teach those pretty well.

Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

Kisirani on the world post-Icecrown


Obviously, if you've been paying attention to what players are saying about Garrosh Hellscream, confidence isn't high in the guy. Especially if, as rumored, he's going to be getting a promotion very soon. But lest your fears about the guy are overtaking your Horde pride, just wait -- Kisirani says that we haven't learned all there is to know about the son of Grom. He may yet show a more palatable side, as we're told that we "haven't seen the entirety of who Garrosh is."

And what better place to do that, she continues, than in the run up to Cataclysm. We already know there's going to be a world event, but Kisirani hints yet again that it's going to be quite sizable -- considering that she mentions it between Icecrown and the expansion release itself, we could just be talking about a whole content patch on its own. However it all plays out, it's quite clear that Icecrown is definitely not the end of this round of content, and the world we'll be playing in when Cataclysm actually releases will be very different than the one we know today.

Filed under: Horde, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, NPCs

Cataclysm starting zone lore and other new details revealed


PC Gamer UK was lucky enough to get the chance to grill Blizzard about the upcoming Cataclsym expansion, and they came away with quite a bit of new information, which is available in their latest issue, as well as as in the PC Gamer Podcast.

If you don't want to be spoiled, do not follow the break, I'm warning you now. There's a couple major story spoilers, especially regarding the origins of the goblins and worgen.

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Filed under: Horde, Events, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, NPCs, Battlegrounds, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Varimathras' replacement: "B"


Earlier this year, we wondered just what would happen now that my favorite dreadlord, Varimathras, was vanquished in the Battle for the Undercity, and now Kisirani has provided us with a hint: someone whose name includes a "B." When someone repeats the question on the forums, she posts a note delivered by a bronze whelp hinting that someone will be back in Varimathras' place as of patch 3.3. The note is signed only with a "B," and (as Kisirani probably intended), it's anyone's guess just who that is.

And if by "anyone," you mean the denizens of the Blizzard forums, they all seem to think it's Nathanos Blightcaller, a Forsaken who has been sitting in the Eastern Plaguelands since the game began. He's recently been mentioned again in the game, as Varian Wrynn has sent Alliance players after him in Bolvar's place, and so it makes sense that he may rejoin the Banshee Queen and take his place at her side. Balnazzar, Varimathras' demon brother, is another guess, though he's currently serving secretly with the Scarlet Crusade, so who knows how he'd come to that position. And of course, besides Bornakk, anytime you hear B you have to think of our friend Bolvar, whose fate we'll probably learn in patch 3.3 no matter what. As for who it really is, we won't know for sure until we see them in the Undercity.

Filed under: Horde, Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Argent Tournament gains will not transfer between factions


Just a heads up for you faction transfers, though you've probably already realized this if you have made a transfer: many of your faction reputations will transfer over just fine, but not so for any Argent Tournament progress you've made. Argent Tournament reputation and gains will not transfer over if you change factions. Kisirani says that Blizzard couldn't think of a way to do it technically, and so (as we understand it), anyone who transfers factions will lose all of their current Argent Tournament standing, and have to make their way back up through the ranks to Champion. Many other reputations have changed just fine, and you can find a list of all the changes as you cross over from one faction to another on the faction change FAQ. You will bring items over with you -- any seals earned on one side are still valid on the other. But if you want to grind out more, you'll have to go through the ranks again.

Seems like a bummer for faction changers (especially those who didn't know about the problem before they did the transfer), but on the other hand, I don't believe Blizzard would have let this go if they had any way to fix it. Short of just granting ranks to all players who transfer, assuming they have no way to track where players were at in terms of which cities they'd champion-ed for, I don't know what other solution there would be.

Update: A little more information: you also lose all of your Silver Covenant or Sunreavers rep as well, so you'll have to re-earn that from the beginning, too. As players have said in the thread below, it's not a huge loss, but it's an annoyance for sure.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Factions

Conclusions from the WoW.com faction transfer survey


Last week I posted a poll to try and figure out some of the numbers behind the newly implemented faction transfers, and now that we've got quite a few votes in there, it's probably a time to look at what we got and see if we can make any sense of it. The most conclusive data there is the answer above: about 18.6% of our reader polled said that yes, they had made a faction transfer already. That sounds high to me -- maybe it's because WoW.com readers know about the faction transfer service that more of them may have taken advantage of it. But if it's true that 19% of players did take advantage of the transfer service, then 570,000 of the around 3 million US players have switched factions, making Blizzard $17.1 million in gross revenue alone, just in the last week since it's opened.

The other questions were a little hairier -- I tried to ask people not to answer if they didn't fit the criteria for each question, and there's no way to tell for sure that's what happened. Also, lots of people wanted to see the answers without voting, and unfortunately, our voting system doesn't allow a clear way to do that (I have since checked with our tech guys, who say that the solution we came up with, voting without choosing an answer, did not affect the poll). But after the break, we can try to suss some conclusions out of the data anyway.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: The Future Soon


Totem Talk resumes our discussion of Shamans in the upcoming expansion as Matthew Rossi puts on his wizard hat and immediately gets Earth Shocked for wearing the wrong hat. Also, I lobe the Machinima I stole the title of this post from, although that's not germane to the discussion.

We were interrupted by BlizzCon announcements last week when discussing starting a new Shaman (or resuming an old one). Frankly, the list of changes incoming in Cataclysm makes me leery of discussing the current leveling experience too much, because it's going to be radically altered. Two new shaman races! A complete reworking of gear and statistics! A new profession we'll all have access to in Archaeology, entirely reworked talent trees, a new max level progression option in Path of the Titans, and last but not least (to me) new totem skins!

Seriously, you have no idea how long I've wanted this. I expect the current 'default Horde' totems will remain the Orc totems of choice, but I'm very hopeful for Tauren and Trolls and Goblins and Dwarves to all get their own unique totem skins. Frankly, I want Tauren totems to resemble the giant beating pole Cairne Bloodhoof carries around.

Despite what I posted about my warrior, I plan on faction transferring my Draenei Shaman to Tauren fairly soon and moving him to my Horde server. I may or may not race change him to Goblin when they become available for race change (might be more fun just to level one, we'll see) but the idea of finally getting totems that match other races just fills me with glee. Trolls with weird voodoo looking sticks! Goblins with... I have no idea!

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Tauren, Trolls, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Expansions, Draenei, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Goblin

Breakfast Topic: The You that you can't leave behind


I have been playing a human warrior for almost five years now. So I'm looking at the new faction (and upcoming race) change feature with a different eye than some.

I've played other characters, of course... I have three Shamans now, a DK, a Paladin, a Warlock I occasionally log onto and stare forlornly at, and of course several other warriors scattered around various servers, two of which even hit max level... but in one capacity or another, I have logged onto that Human Warrior for the past five years and run five mans, done quests, raided, crafted, even occasionally fished on him. I've done every single instance in the game on him at this point. I even did Naxx 40 on him.

He's been a tank, he's been DPS. He was even just a "Hey, guys, what's everyone up to?" toon for a few months when I tried my level best to switch to Horde. (I'm sorry, guys, but as much as I love Tauren I can't really like playing Horde when I keep running into quests that have me poisoning prisoners of war, or even my own people. I'm the kind of guy who ends up with butterflies and halo's over my head in Fable, even when I start out determined to ravage the land as a force of pure destruction.)

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Alts

Garrosh is not well-liked


There are some possible lore spoilers in this one, so we're pushing it after the break. If you're not worried about hearing some crazy future lore and enjoy a good laugh at the son of Grom Hellscream, read on.

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Filed under: Horde, Fan stuff, Humor, Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

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