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Filed under: Tauren

Taiwanese player earns all of the achievements

Yes, that's right, all of them. You've probably heard about this already (we're a little late to the party, just because it seemed a little fishy to us at first), but a player in Taiwan has an Armory profile that claims he (or she, though the character is a male tauren druid) has achieved all 986 achievements available in the current version of World of Warcraft. That's everything, from Loremaster, to all the ToGC Tributes, to the Pilgrim's Bounty holiday rewards, even Insane in the Membrane. If there's something you can do in WoW, this guy seems to have done it. He hasn't finished this year's Winter's Veil achievement yet (it's not actually possible until the 15th), but he has done a PvP achievement twice, apparently, so he's still 986/986.

I'm still a little doubtful: as you can see above, the Feats of Strength bar looks like it's empty, but this guy actually has lots of Feats done as well, including all of the realm first feats (including First Aid, and Leatherworking, all within days of each other). It just doesn't seem possible that one character could do all of that. But it all seems to check out, so we'll give him his due: Congratulations, "Littlegray" of Wrathbringer. And just in case you hadn't heard: there are other games to play.

Update: I thought Insane in the Membrane was an achievement, but it is actually a Feat, and he does not have it. Thanks commenters for the clarification.

Filed under: Tauren, Druid, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Achievements

Patch 3.3 PTR: New Tauren skins found

Handclaw of the Scrolls of Lore Forums has uncovered something very intriguing in the Patch 3.3 PTR data files: New Tauren skins. Specifically, it looks like tribal war paint covering the face, arms, and chest, taking the form of bleeding wings on the chest. There's red, white, and blue color versions for both males and females.

There's quite a few Tauren fans on the WoW.com staff, and we've been having quite a few conversations about the new Tauren lore and their place in Cataclysm, so you can bet this new discovery has us all atwitter. What could it mean though? There's a few possibilities.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Rumors, 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

All the World's a Stage: Cataclysm's new race/class combinations


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.

As you know, the new race and class combinations coming up in the Cataclysm will open a whole new set of doors to people who want an alternative character choice that goes against the grain of their typical racial customs, to one degree or another. With the exception of a couple combinations that feel as though they should have been there from the beginning (such as blood elf warriors, which need no discussion here), each new possibility presents roleplayers with an opportunity to play an outcast of sorts, a character who has made a significant break from the traditions his or her race usually represent.

The lore behind each combination is not yet fully clear. We know tauren paladins will probably worship the sun and call themselves "Sunwalkers" for instance, but not much more than that. Some things are clear, though, and there's a lot to get the imagination going for those roleplayers who yearn to play something a little different.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, RP, Classes, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: What the future holds for Priests


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. What will Cataclysm hold for Priests?

I'm back from Blizzcon! There's been a ton of big announcements which will mean future impacts for Priests whether you heal or dish out damage. Let's take a quick look at what we know.

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Filed under: Gnomes, Tauren, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, 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: 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

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a Hunter - Part 1 Racials

Good day folks and welcome to Scattered Shots. The column that takes a good look at what it takes to be a Hunter in the World of Warcraft. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from the Hunting Lodge. This week we'll be starting our "So you want to be a Hunter" class guide series.

I have to admit something, I'm a chronic leveler. I do it over and over. Yes, I know it's not the typical play style. Yes, I also know it's highly unorthodox. By now you are probably thinking, "Who in their right mind would want to be a chronic leveler?" That someone would be me.

See when I get bored, and the game starts to become a bit of a drag I can't help myself. It only becomes a matter of time till I feel the need to scratch an itch to start over. Yes, I know it's crazy. But you can look at it this way, at least I know how the game works for the beginning Hunter just as well as the raiding one.

Having done this a few times now, I thought it would idea to put this experience to some practical purpose. It seems to be a waste and not at least write up a Hunter guide for new Hunters. So I thought I'd create a new series of posts entitled, "So you want to be a Hunter."

Before we get started, I need to make sure we're all on the same page by setting some ground rules.
  1. This series is intended for the new player and/or a new Hunter.
  2. Since most new player won't have a rich uncle in game, nor does everyone use Recruit-A-Friend, I'll just focus on leveling up the old fashioned way.
  3. When discussing zone and levels, I'll only highlight some key quests along the way.
  4. Except for when we reach the "getting ready to raid" guide, all guides will focus on using a solo-leveling/grinding build.
So there, with some ground rules set. Let's get started on making you the best Hunter possible.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Night Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Draenei, Blood Elves, Leveling, Factions, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Patch 3.2 PTR: Tauren Druid conversation may reveal lore and expansion secrets

Reader Chad forwarded us this screen shot of a conversation that takes place over on Elder rise in Thunder Bluff between two Tauren on the patch 3.2 PTR. Apparently it actually begins with a new quest by the Dalaran Portals, as pointed out in this thread at Scrolls of Lore, and while the quest leads nowhere, you do get to hear the linked dialogue.

In it, Aponi Brightmane, a wounded warrior who wishes to return the front lines in Northrend, and Tahu Sagewind, a Druid, speak together about the history of Druidism, the moon, and the sun. They speak of Elune, whom they know as Mu'sha, one of the eyes of the the Earth Mother. They mention that it seems strange that if Tauren were the first Druids as their legends claim, that all Hamuul Runetotem teaches is the moon power of the Night Elves. Tahu wonders if Druids themselves, because of this, are out of balance. The idea segues back into the idea of the world out of balance due to the influence of the Scourge, wondering if sitting idle in Thunder Bluff is really a good idea when the Northern front is so bleak, wondering if balance must needs to be returned by action.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Rumors

Laguna Art Museum hosts WoW art exhibit


Chris Caesar of the Orange County Register got to check out Blizzard's newest exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA, and as you can see above, is niiiiiice. The exhibition centers around the art of World of Warcraft, and is called "WoW: An Emerging Media Phenomenon," offering up fourteen different artists' takes on the wide world of Azeroth. And it comes with swag, apparently: you pay for a certain package to come visit the show, and all the packages, starting at "Lvl 30" for $15 all the way up to "Lvl 80" for $125, come with free stuff, from an illustrated "exhibition manual" to free t-shirts and a copy of "The Art of the Trading Card Game."

The event runs through October 4th, so if you're planning to spend some extra time wandering around southern California for BlizzCon, we're sure they'd love to see you (in fact, we wouldn't put it past them to have scheduled this event specifically around BlizzCon -- sneaky art museum types). And finally, they're also hosting a series of panels from different artists in the exhibit, all discussing how a digital game like World of Warcraft has affected their art. You can check out some of the art in the show over in the Register's gallery -- with art from the TCG, the official game art, and even some student work, it looks like they've got a whole bunch of great work on display.

Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, NPCs, BlizzCon, Fan art

Zeppelin on its way to Thunderbluff?


That's right, when a player suggests that maybe a zeppelin should be flying around the Tauren city of Thunderbluff, Kisirani says only, "Okay." So, a zeppelin is coming to Thunderbluff? Certainly seems that way.

Makes a lot of sense -- Tauren originally had Plainsrunning, and if you've ever made that jaunt through their starting area, you'll know just how many plains you have to run across (of course, they didn't actually get it until level 40, so it wouldn't have helped them much there anyway, but still -- it's a run). And while you can pretty quickly fly into TB from Orgrimmar, it wouldn't hurt to have another point of departure. Kisirani doesn't say where the zepp will go, but maybe a flght up to Northrend wouldn't be out of the question either.

Wow, we got all that from "Okay." Behold the power of Kisirani! Maybe it doesn't mean there's a zepp on the way, but if that's the case we'd be happy with just a cow-tapult.

Filed under: Horde, Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-third 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.

Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.

Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
  • She's incredibly cool.
  • She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
  • She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
  • There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
  • She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
  • Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
  • She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Back to the Horde


Six months ago I wrote this post, detailing why I prefered the Alliance to the Horde.

Now I'm here writing about how I've gone back to the Horde.

While I do still find the lore of certain Horde races perplexing and confusing, and I do still maintain that much of the Horde/Alliance hostility is due to the legacy of the Old Horde that the New Horde simply hasn't dealt with (Varian Wrynn being a standout example of a guy who hates the New Horde almost entirely because of things the Old Horde did, like burn his city and kill his father) I also can't deny that given the opportunity to go back, I took it with very little hesitation. A solid 50% of that is the excellent folks I know who play Horde side, but the other 50% is the inherent coolness factor of the Horde. And I'm not just talking about blood and glory histrionics here, either.

Although yeah, that's fun too. But for me, it's the constant struggle to make the future out of the horror of the past that defines what I admire and enjoy about playing Horde.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-first 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.

There's something about shamans that gets us thinking and talking. Whether it's something as simple as the proper pronunciation of "shamanism," or something as profound as a shaman's humility in relation to the source of his or her power, the lore and ideology of the shaman class often resonates with players more than many others in the World of Warcraft.

One reason for this is that shamans have been such a pivotal force in the lore, possibly more than any other class in the game (depending on your point of view). Other classes, such as warriors, or paladins, come as a sort of pre-defined archetype in fantasy games that don't seem all that different from their original forms in other fantasy settings. The actual beliefs of a priest, for instance, don't seem to matter so much to many players, so long as the class can heal like we expect them to. Even the druids, with their central place in night elf society, sometimes seem more like nature-based magic users rather than true philosophers in their own right.

Shamans, however, have a major burden to bear in one of the central plot shifts of the Warcraft storyline -- namely that the orcs, who entered the Warcraft stage in the Warcraft 1: Orcs and Humans computer game as rampaging demonic evildoers bent on destruction, and actually turned out to be a peaceful race that just got tricked into being evil. Shamanism had to be much much more than just an archetype with some special powers -- it had to be a way of thinking, a system of belief that could be taken over by demonic corruption and yet at the same time act as a beacon of truth and goodness once that the demonic taint had been defeated. Shamanism has got to be complex and profound, or else the story wouldn't make sense.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Shaman, Draenei, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twentieth 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.

Long long ago, human beings all around the world (of Earth, not Warcraft) investigated different ways of describing how the world around them worked. Many different cultures found that the materials they encountered seemed divided into four or five separate elements, each with its own properties: earth, fire, water, and air. Space, "void," or "aether" was often noted as the fifth element, or, as in the case of China, the understanding of these elements looked a lot different but in the end produced a similar sort of system.

In Azeroth, however, these ideas about the elements never got swallowed up by modern science and the periodic table of elements. They turned out to be real forces in the world, each with its own set of elemental spirits, which people could communicate and cooperate with.

Shamans are the masters of this magical task, charged with helping to maintain the balance of nature in a very different way from druids. While druids are focused more on nature as a system of energy, life, and growth, shamans focus more on the spirits of the land, flames, waters and skies as they all interact with one another. They gain great wisdom by learning of the different characteristics of these elements, and in turn bring this wisdom to the people they serve.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Shaman, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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