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Filed under: Human

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

Patch 3.3 PTR: The fate of Bolvar Fordragon


Before we go any further, I want to warn you now that there are massive spoilers behind this cut for the Icecrown raid dungeon, including the fight with the Lich King himself. Seriously, they are massive. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't click through to the rest of this article. I am warning you now. Just don't.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, RP, NPCs, Rumors

Updating player graphics


Well, Jaina got her upgrade already, and we've heard that other NPCs may be looking a little better very soon. But what about us players? Don't we get a cool, slick new look too? Vaneras has the answer: erm, maybe. As you may have noticed, our armor has been getting updated as we've gone along -- the Tier 10 armor is much clearer and more stylish (well, depending on who you talk to) than the original tier gear that dropped way back when. But as for the actual player models, Vaneras says it's something that Blizzard would like to do, but it's all a matter of time and priority. They'll get around to it, sure, but only when it makes sense for them to spend the time on it.

Which is what we've heard before, really -- J. Allen Brack told us way back that things would be updated bit by bit rather than having a major patch be focused on updating everything you can see on screen. Still, Cataclysm, the expansion that redoes the old world and all of its old models, might be a good time to do exactly this and revamp players' looks as well. We can tell you for sure that the worgen and goblins are going to look very nice (not to mention the draenei and the blood elves, both with more detailed models than the launch races), so maybe it is time that the original races got smoother look of their own.

Filed under: Human, Orcs, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Expansions, Hardware, Cataclysm

Why your (race) can't be a (class)

Kisirani is tearing it up on the forums recently -- ever since she dropped that Tauren Paladins would be called Sunwalkers, she has kicked off a round of speculation and excitement about all of the new race/class combinations soon to be available to us in Cataclysm. But the number one question on everyone's lips seems to be: "If (race) can be a (class), why can't my (race) be a (class)?"

For that, Kisirani has an answer: because Blizzard doesn't want it to be. I have to say, I'm impressed so far with how Blizzard has tied these new class and race combinations into the lore of the world. We've only seen a little bit of how they'll do it, but while these new class/race combos could have easily just fallen into fan service (and that's definitely what I thought they were when Blizzard introduced them -- they'd abandoned all semblance of lore just to give players more options to play), it definitely doesn't seem that's the case. According to Kisirani, Blizzard is still thinking seriously about what races and classes fit together, and presumably all of the new combinations (yes, even Human Hunters, can't wait to see that one) will be explained in the end.

Good to hear. Of course, the reason they're including these combinations is partly fan service, and it's likely also meant to help folks rerolling to see all the new Cataclysm content. But knowing that there'll be lore behind all of the new combos is pretty darn exciting.


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: Human, Gnomes, Tauren, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Classes, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Initial thoughts on the Hunter changes

We have only experienced the first day of BlizzCon and my mind has already been blown. We have heard so many amazing details about Cataclysm and they're promising more for today.

The changes are not just to our old favorite instances or to the zones around Azeroth. Implementing terrain phasing is going to change everything we know about leveling and running around our favorite zones. Also, who doesn't love the idea of Gnomes finally get to be Priests and as Ghostcrawler put it, "Be self-sufficient." (Well, they still don't have Hunters but that's okay.)

We got confirmation from Chilton that it in fact Goblins and Worgens will be added to the game in Cataclysm. We also learned that Goblins and Worgens will both get to play Hunters. But they're not the only new races added to the Hunter ranks. We also got confirmation that Humans and Undead will both be able to play Hunters. So all in all we got some really good additions to the Hunter community.

What about those awesome changes to the Hunter class? Well, how about the removal of Armor Penetration for one? We aren't going to have to worry how Armor Penetration works or when should stack for it...

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Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Undead, Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm race-class combo matrix online

With official word that there will be new race-class combinations in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Blizzard has posted the official matrix of what races will have what classes available to them. Big surprises so far include Worgen Druid and Goblin Shaman!

The full matrix is above, and the text list below. All of our previous speculation was correct, so this should give rerollers plenty of opportunity to experience the new, shattered realm of Azeroth!

  • Human Hunter
  • Orc Mage
  • Night Elf Mage
  • Blood Elf Warrior
  • Dwarf Shaman
  • Dwarf Mage
  • Undead Hunter
  • Tauren Paladin
  • Tauren Priest
  • Gnome Priest
  • Troll Druid

BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Draenei, Blood Elves, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Chinese Warcraft casemod is awesome


A few things about this Warcraft-flavored PC casemod, seen over on this Chinese website. First: it's awesome. Warcraft art is faithfully recreated, and as you can see, there's a nice Horde montage on one side, Alliance on the other, and the Dark Portal sitting right there in front. Second: it's probably pretty old -- most of that art is from the game's original release four years ago.

So it's probably not exactly the latest and greatest in Warcraft PC designs (though it might be a little later than the ghost train pirate art). But still, it looks great. And I definitely wouldn't mind wandering around Azeroth on that rather than my current gigantic black tower of a PC.

Update: Turns out the case is for sale. That is, if you want to spend $299 on a case.

[via Technabob]

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Orcs, Mage, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, NPCs, Galleries

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite Alliance male dance?

So blue poster Ancilorn asked a question over on the EU official forums that was just offbeat enough that I thought I'd ask it here: What's your favorite Alliance Male Dance?

I guess I never thought about it too much before, but really, Alliance male dances are just sort of... there. We have a bunch of old standbys. The Saturday Night Fever disco, the vaguely Cossack Dwarven dance, the old Michael Jackson Night Elf dance and that weird... thing Gnomes do.

My favorite though, is the newest one, the Draenei dance. Tunak Tun was an old nerd favorite of mine, and was actually pretty popular on the Tarew Marr server community back when I played Everquest. It's dynamic and joyful without being as unsettling as the Gnome dance or nerdy as the human dance. In fact, when we finally get dance studios, I may switch some of my non-Draenei guys to it, if possible.

What about you? What's your favorite?

What's your favorite Alliance male dance?
Human1913 (18.6%)
Dwarf985 (9.6%)
Gnome2813 (27.4%)
Night Elf1947 (18.9%)
Draenei2624 (25.5%)

Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Draenei

Death Knight Manga to be released December 2009

Via Blizzplanet, we have news of yet another Warcraft graphic novel coming to us from Tokyopop in December 2009. This time, the story will focus on Thassarian, a Human Death Knight NPC in World of Warcraft.

If you've played a Death Knight or an Alliance character in Northrend, chances are you know of Thassarian. He first shows up in game as a thrall of the Lich King, but even as he assists in the slaughter of the Scarlet Crusade, he shows a noble spirit that even the Lich King's control can't completely suppress.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Comics

Breakfast Topic: Choosing the best mob noise in game

There's a fun little discussion on the forums right now about the best noise out of a mob in the game, and people have all kinds of different opinions. Among the many brilliant things Blizzard has done with World of Warcraft is the way their sound design makes each and every encounter with a mob very memorable, so that even if you're not paying close attention, you know a) when you've aggroed something, and b) what you've aggroed. We all know what a wolf growl sounds like, we know what it sounds like when the caster you're trying to sneak past starts casting (and many of us can probably tell what spell, just from the sound), and of course, probably most memorably, we all know what that gurgly murloc sound means, especially when you hear it in numbers.

Lots of the best audio clips are actually from bosses (all of Molten Core's bosses were memorable, for some reason, and "Too soon!" has even reappeared in the game since). My personal favorite lately is the quote from Elder Nadox, the first boss in Ahn'Katet's Old Kingdom. He shouts an otherworldly phrase (apparently in Nerubian) and it ends with a "k-k-k-k-k" sound that must have been edited together -- it definitely doesn't sound human. Every time I hear that (and he says it a few times throughout the fight), I get the feeling that we are fighting something that is very, very old and very, very evil.

But of course lots of the audio cues help pull you into the game like that. What are some of your favorite mob noises in the game?

Filed under: Human, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Lore, Classes, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alliance Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Many of the most famous rogues outside of the Warcraft setting have been nuanced and exciting characters. Bilbo Baggins, the Prince of Persia, and James Bond, could all be reimagined as rogues if they had existed in Azeroth instead of their own settings.

As an Alliance rogue, you have a certain amount of freedom to borrow from other settings, or from the real world, since the Alliance races tend to be more similar to heroes of other stories we've heard before. To a certain extent, Blizzard has already based its Alliance rogue guilds on stories from other settings, and left some aspects of these institutions rather vague. There is certainly enough room for roleplayers to fill in a bit of the blanks with their own creative inspiration. The only danger is that it could be easy to overdo it and descending into Mary-Sueism: one ought to feel free to reach for a bit of the flavor of James Bond, for instance, without ever believing your character is the single best secret agent Stormwind could ever have.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Rogue, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

GamerDNA and Massively explore Death Knight demographics


Our friends at Massively and GamerDNA are at it again -- they're digging into their database of players, this time to determine some Death Knight demographics. They want to know what kinds of players are picking up the new Hero class. Unfortunately, their sample size is super small -- only 500, according to Sanya Weathers, which seems way too tiny to determine anything about the Death Knight class at large. But we'll go with it anyway, and see what we can get.

As you can see above, Blood Elves and Humans dominate the race choice in our little group, which seems about right, considering that those are the two most popular races overall. Death Knight players in this study generally tend to have reported themselves as male in real life. And GamerDNA also lays their Death Knights up against the Bartle test and while WoW players trend pretty well to the norm, Death Knights go way more towards the "Killer" and to a lesser extent the "Explorer" end of the scales.

So according to this little survey (and we'll remind you that this is 500 people, so there are plenty of exceptions out there), the average Death Knight is male, chooses whatever race is most familiar to them, and wants to go kill and do damage rather than worry about socializing or achieving. In other words, lots and lots of former Ret Paladins. It'll be interesting to see how this changes over time -- lots of these players are interested in the newest thing, obviously, since they've switched their mains to a new class at the first chance, but as things settle down and more people head back to get new alts, maybe we'll see a different crowd coming out of Acherus.

Filed under: Human, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, Classes, Death Knight

Priests: 2008 the year of change

That year flew by really quick, didn't it? Last year, I remember I was working my way through Tempest Keep (Kael'Thas even). 2008 brought in a complete set of additions and changes for the Priest class across all 3 specs.

So, shall we get down to Priest class changes? Ranked in no particular order, we'll go over a few of the changes and the impact they had on the current game.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Draenei, Blood Elves

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Priest

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the seventeenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Priests in the World of Warcraft are a single class that incorporates a wide variety of characters. They are best known for casting spells that call forth the power of the Holy Light, but the priest using these spells in the game mechanics doesn't necessarily have much connection to the Light as such -- rather they have a connection with their own religion which grants them similar effects to those of the Light.

When WoW was being developed, Blizzard realized that night elves and trolls, for instance, would not follow the Light in the same way humans and dwarves do, so they tried to represent a bit of this diversity through race-specific spells. It didn't work out, though -- some were too powerful, while others weren't worth reading about, much less putting on one's action bar. The end result was that they made some of these spells universally available to all priests, and completely removed the rest. Here the lore had to surrender to the game mechanics in order to provide the best game balance.

In roleplaying, however, there is a lot of room for players of different races to behave differently, and draw their powers from totally different sources. Greater Heal, for instance, could come either from the Light or the power of Elune. A Shadowfiend could either be a spawn of the Forgotten Shadow, or a dark trollish voodoo spirit. If you are roleplaying a priest, the only thing that really matters is that your character have some sort of faith or profound belief, which could serve as the source of their divine magical power. A priest's magic revolves around his or her strong beliefs and ideas -- but what those beliefs are is entirely up to you.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Mage

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself. It's also the first installment with a title that rhymes!

The Mage is the foremost master of magic in the Warcraft universe. Although all the other classes excluding the Warrior and the Rogue use magic of one sort or another with equally wonderful effects, the Mage is the class that's named after the stuff.

But what is magic? What does it feel like to harness it? Does the mage have to do a strange ritual or utter incomprehensible words in an ancient language in order to cast her spells? Other fantasy settings often have one or more of these elements together, but as far as I can tell, Warcraft lacks them.

Arcane magic in the World of Warcraft is an ever-present energy field surrounding the whole world. Mages access it by concentrating in the magic energy within themselves, feeling it rush through their body, and directing it as they please. Those spells that require reagents need an extra focusing item with magical properties of its own in order to bring about the desired effect, but for the most part, fireballs, frostbolts and arcane explosions can be created through the mere act of will on the part of a properly educated mind.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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