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Filed under: Worgen

Know Your Lore: The hour of the king

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.

The King of Stormwind wears the crown on a troubled brow. He inherited the mantle as a child, not through a peaceful succession but through bloody violence and the destruction of his home. He wore it in exile and only came home with the death of the man who saved him and carried him away from the sight of his entire world burned to the ground. His entire life has been shaped by violent loss, by tragedy and death -- his mother dead before he even knew her, his father murdered and butchered in front of him, his replacement fathers cut down, his wife taken from him in a moment's passing by an errant rock thrown from a mob.

His early rule was most notable by his lack of desire to actually do much rulership, busying himself by riding the land in search of his father's killer or drifting though a haze of loss after his wife's death, a haze seized upon and manipulated by someone who was supposed to be a close advisor. The circumstances of his disappearance from the throne and his return have been discussed in detail. For now, all we need to do is accept that they did little to encourage him to view the throne as anything but a responsibility to be maintained in the face of constant peril.

Following the Northrend campaign and its heavy cost both to King Varian and the kingdom as a whole (Bolvar's death, as well as the many deaths at the Wrathgate; the invasion of Undercity and the destruction of Putress; Horde troops ambushing Alliance forces engaged with the Scourge; the astonishing cost in lives and resources), it would have been difficult for either the King or the kingdom to quickly recover. The eruption of Deathwing and the Cataclysm he caused did not allow the luxury of time. Reeling from one blow, they suffered another and another.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Worgen, Mists of Pandaria

First chapter of new Wolfheart novel free to read

Varian Wrynn
The Sept. 13 publication date of Wolfheart, the newest WoW novel written by Richard Knaak, draws ever closer. We know surprisingly little about it at the moment. We know that it will take place on Kalimdor but will focus on King Varian Wrynn and his relationship with the wolf spirit Goldrinn and the new members of the Alliance, the Worgen. If you're eager for more information though, you're in luck. Shelfari, a book wiki run by Amazon.com, has the first chapter of the book available to read.

Click here for your free sample chapter and choose the Read First Chapter Free button below the picture of the book cover on the left side of the page. You'll be able to read the first chapter, as well as the chapter titles for the book (by pushing the back arrow on the pages). There are going to be a lot of spoilers in both the chapter names and the chapter itself, of course, so read at your own risk. For a quick (spoiler-filled) summary and a discussion of the possibilities, check after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Lore, Worgen

Sexual dimorphism in Cataclysm

Three years ago, I read this article by Annalee Newitz on sexual dimorphism in WoW, promptly filing it away in my head as one of those interesting quirks about the game and games in general. What really struck me at the time were the alpha pictures of trolls and tauren. While I like the current tauren female model, I'm not terribly enamored of troll ladies, if only because 95 percent of them (not an actual statistic) seem to choose the same blandly "pretty" face. Alpha troll women seemed to share a lot more of the troll male's features, with more pronounced tusks, sharper profiles and more of a hunch like the men. In general, I found these alpha models fascinating.

Also interesting to note was that this trend goes both ways: when blood elves debuted, the males were much closer to the females and were beefed up in The Burning Crusade beta. As Annalee Newitz pointed out, the other race that debuted in BC, the draenei, are extremely dimorphic; males are bigger and more massively muscular than orcs, while their females are far less mesomorphic. What interested me, at least so far as the tauren and troll model changes went, is that players complained that the tauren and troll women weren't to their liking, which most likely had an influence on the design of draenei and blood elves.

Now, with Cataclysm, we have two new races to consider. How do the worgen and goblins stack up on the dimorphism scale?

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Countdown to Cataclysm: Why go worgen?

This article is part of our Countdown to Cataclysm series, helping you prepare for Cataclysm launch one day at a time.

As Deathwing makes his escape from Deepholm, the Greymane Wall finally collapses, revealing the kingdom of Gilneas. For years, the kingdom had locked itself away behind the wall, shutting out the troubles of the rest of the world. King Genn Greymane, leader of Gilneas, has been dealing with his own problems behind the wall, however, including the spreading of the worgen curse, which is turning his people into ferocious creatures.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Cryptozoic previews new goblin and worgen allies for WoW TCG Worldbreaker set

Cryptozoics' posterous blog has been nothing short of an amazing wealth of information about Worldbreaker, the newest expansion for the WoW Trading Card Game. Loads of new abilities, cards, allies, heroes and more are being shown off, and for TCG fans, all of this new stuff looks to be pretty dang fun.

In addition, worgen and goblin allies have been introduced! Each new race has a cool new ability associated with it: worgen allies with the Aberration keyword cannot be dealt non-combat damage, and goblins allies with the Time is Money keyword can use exhaust abilities as soon as they enter play. These new allies, as well as all of the revealed information, are bringing some fascinating new play mechanics to the trading card game.

Check out the new worgen ally Rolan Phoenix, along with a new version of Magni Bronzebeard, here. The new goblin ally Exxi the Windshaper, along with orc mage Ceraka and Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen, can be previewed here.

Filed under: WoW TCG, Worgen, Goblin

Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a worgen druid


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, you might want to get that bite looked at.

Today, we're going to tackle the subject of worgen druids, whose lore is an even bigger rat's nest than the contentious subject we discussed last week. As a note on that, I feel obligated to stick to the official line, which is that night elves were the first druids. Read Xarantaur's flavor text again. Not only does he skirt the issue, but his own story is an oblique confirmation that he probably wasn't among the first druids if the Warcraft RPG's information on racial lifespans is still canon.

Malfurion Stormrage is a young adult by the War of the Ancients. Xarantaur references the War, the Sundering, and a lengthy period spent traveling Kalimdor in search of stories. He was about to die when he was gifted with immortality by Nozdormu, so it's probable that he, too, was a young adult when the War began. By night elf reckoning, a "young adult" (even before the immortality granted by the World Tree) is between 100 and 300 years old; a tauren with a vastly shorter natural lifespan would be between 30 and 50. Even allowing for the smallest natural age gap, Malfurion predates Xarantaur by at least 50 years, and probably a lot more, given that he and a host of other night elf druids enter Ysera's service in the Emerald Dream after the Sundering. While it's likely that the tauren weren't taught druidism long after the night elves, Blizzard's official line is that night elves were the first druids. They may retcon this in the future or at the very least clarify (and I hope they do), but Xarantaur's existence doesn't conflict with the idea of night elves being first.

The full series is available here:
  1. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a night elf druid
  2. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a tauren druid
  3. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a worgen druid
  4. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a troll druid

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Worgen

Recruit-a-Friend benefits will apply to goblins and worgen

Yet another frabjous day for those of you who are planning to get your goblin or worgen to level 85 as fast as a bullet train with a rocket strapped to the back and a wormhole generator up front. "That's very fast," you might be saying. Well, so will your goblin or worgen, once he gets hold of all that sweet, sweet Recruit-A-Friend candy. Calloo and callay both, man.

Lylirra - Will RAF work with worgen/goblins?
New goblin and worgen characters will indeed be eligible for Recruit-A-Friend benefits including increased experience gain and grantable levels. As we've no current plans to modify the Recruit-A-Friend program at this time or increase the level range for which the benefits apply, goblin and worgen characters (as with all other characters) will only be able to receive the in-game bonuses up to level 60.

This excites me because I'm trying to lure back a few old friends for Cataclysm, and I'm pretty sure some RAF action could smooth that process along. Lylirra points out that this is all contingent on said goblins or worgen qualifying for the process, that there's no plan to advance the benefits past level 60, and that there will be no realm-first goblin or worgen (or indeed any race) to 85 achievements any longer. So level your worgen friends with alacrity, as fast as Running Wild after a sugar rush.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Race changes to worgen and goblins will be available on launch night

Short and sweet here, folks: Blizzard has announced that race changes to goblins and worgen will be available immediately upon Cataclysm launch. That's 12:01 a.m. PST Dec. 7. Additionally, there will no longer be any achievements for being the first of your race to hit level 85; the achievements are now class-only.

Great news for people who want to switch from their terrible male night elf druid into a dashing (literally) male worgen druid, or basically anyone who's tired of playing a troll of either gender.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Worgen druid flight form video from Wowhead


Well, what do you know! We figured that worgen and troll druids would just get recolors of existing druid flight forms, but it looks like we were wrong. The latest Cataclysm beta patch added a brand new Swift Flight Form model for worgen druids, so it's safe to assume that trolls will have one soon as well.

I'm liking the Gilnean flag on the back of the form, as well as the serrated beak and big feathery mane. Wonder what kinds of touches the troll form will get? Guess we'll have to wait and see! And hey, maybe this means we'll see new moonkin forms too. A dog can dream.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Female worgen now available on the beta

Female worgen are now available as of the beta build (13221) that just hit tonight. I haven't checked yet to see whether you can just make a new female worgen, but I was lucky to get a character redesign option on a male worgen I've played previously for a Shifting Perspectives column. Many of the animations and emotes were glimpsed in May on untextured models, but some are new. Running Wild currently appears to be a bit bugged (that's the extra limb or two you'll see). Their Two Forms animation also differs from the male worgen version.

Above, you'll see a video of the Two Forms and Running Wild animations. Past the cut you'll find a much longer video of all the model's current animated emotes, casting and channeling animations.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Cataclysm Beta: Female worgen dance video

The female worgen dance appears to have finally been finished and put into the latest beta build. She is going to be doing Lady Gaga's Poker Face. Wowhead has datamined the dance out of the latest patch files and has a few animated .gifs up on its site showing the dance moves. You can also see it in the video above.

For those of you keeping score at home, the female worgen model has been delayed, put in, pulled out and generally not finished for most of the beta. It appears Blizzard is starting to get things ready for Cataclysm's ship date. Now, if only it would fix the really strange way her jaws sit.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Cataclysm Beta: Worgen Running Wild animation


The latest build of the Cataclysm beta has finally added the animation for the worgen racial ability Running Wild, the mount replacement skill that lets them drop to all fours and run at increased speed. You can see it in the video above. Note that beta servers are still down, so we can't get a good video of it in the wild quite yet.

So far, I'm impressed -- can you imagine 20 or 30 of these guys running at you in a battleground?
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Know Your Lore: The Tinfoil Hat worgen edition


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.

While we certainly have heard quite a lot about the worgen lately, one thing we haven't really outlined in any detail is who and what they were and are, especially in light of the new revelations about them in the Gilneas starting zone. Our 2009 post was working with the information we had at that time. Since then, there's been a lot more revealed in the beta, and it's time to take a look at what we've discovered. Note: there will be so many spoilers for Cataclysm starting as soon as this sentence ends that you could eat them with a fork.

If you're not familiar with the Tinfoil Hat concept (as created by our own Anne Stickney), this week's KYL is going to take in-game lore as it currently exists and then jump around with it, making unfounded leaps of speculation as to what it might all mean.

First off, let's cover what we have found to not be entirely true: The worgen do not come from another world or dimension -- at least not originally.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Worgen

Cataclysm Beta: Worgen emotes and back flip video


Worgen have recently gotten a little bit of an upgrade in the Cataclysm beta. All of their voice emotes now have appropriate sounds to go along with them, and some of their emotes have new animations. Also, like the night elves, worgen now do a flip randomly while jumping. This is, however, a back flip -- and it looks pretty cool. The video above contains a complete catalog of all the available emotes and audio and shows off the new worgen back flip. You also get a chance to see the male worgen dance in action if you've missed it before -- and it is all done with a spiffy top hat to add that little touch of class.

Female worgen have yet to be fully implemented in the beta, so we will just have to wait to see if they get any special emotes or animations to go along with them.

Be sure to have your speakers turned up a bit, the sound came out a little soft.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Cataclysm Beta: Worgen are their own mounts? [Update: Confirmed!]

Update: Zarhym has confirmed Running Wild as the worgen "mount" in Cataclysm.

There have been a lot of people anxiously awaiting the arrival of worgen mounts on the beta. Goblins have had their mounts for a little while now, and most people are still curious what the worgen mounts will even look like. With some of the information mined out of the most recent beta build, it looks like a worgen mount will end up being the worgen themselves.

A new racial ability called Running Wild has been added for worgen, with a 1.5-second cast time that adds the "mounted" aura to the player. The description says, "Drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal." However, worgen already have their own version of Sprint called Darkflight, which gives them a temporary speed boost, but this new racial implies mounted speeds.

If this is true, then it will mean different things for different groups. For worgen druids, you never have a reason to buy a mount of any type now. For those Alliance players out there, this might mean a lack of worgen racial mounts, which will probably be compensated elsewhere to keep the number of mounts equal between Horde and Alliance. For tauren players, yes, someone else appears to be getting Plainsrunning before you.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Druid, Cataclysm, Worgen

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