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Filed under: Blood Elves

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)

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

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

The Warlock is the ideological counterpart to the Paladin. Where paladins strive to wipe out evil wherever they see it, warlocks enslave those evils and use them for their own purposes. Being a warlock is all about harnessing the most wicked, corrupting, and evil forces in the universe.

Why are these forces evil, you ask? Aren't magical powers neutral in themselves depending on how you use them? Isn't killing with one weapon more or less the same as killing with another? Well, if you consider that a warrior basically cuts or bashes things, and a paladin cuts or bashes and brings down the righteous energy of justice. But a warlock uses curses and spells, which, like horrifying biological weapons of modern days, destroy his enemies' minds and eat away their bodies from the inside; wreaks massive havoc with great explosions and persisting fire; and sucks the souls out of people and creatures and uses them to power even more horrifying abilities, such as summoning demonic creatures who would just as soon pluck out your eyeballs as look at you.

To suffer at the hands of a warlock is significantly more excruciating than the attacks of any other class -- a slow, painful, torturous, agonizing death. If warlocks existed in modern earth, their abilities would be against all international agreements on human rights and rules of warfare; they would be squarely in the evil company of terrorism, drug-trafficking, slavery, and biological germ warfare development.

And yet if your warlock works for the Alliance or the Horde, he or she claims to do all of these things all for the greater good.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Gnomes, Orcs, Undead, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, 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 Paladin


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

You might say that paladins are the guardians at the gates of hell -- they fight evil wherever it penetrates into their world and they take the fight to the evil's source in the hope of quenching it forever. Although they focus on guarding their people from undead and demonic forces on the rise, paladins actually stand against evil everywhere, including the evil in their own hearts.

Being a paladin means that you have a relationship of some sort with the Holy Light, that mysterious force of goodness and faith that flows to some degree within all living beings with positive intentions. Most paladins (and many priests) believe that when you do something that you believe to be good, the power of the Light increases in you and your connection to the rest of creation is strengthened, whereas doing something evil (such as acts of greed, despair, or vengeance) will darken the universe and weaken your connection to it. Whether this belief system is a religion or a philosophy is open to interpretation, and seems to depend in some part upon which race you are.

There are three sorts of paladins in World of Warcraft, aligned with the humans, the draenei, and the blood elves. All of these share certain similarities, but each has its own differences as well.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Dwarves, Paladin, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

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

The Warrior is not merely a well-trained fighter who loves his weapons and armor and takes great care to wield them well -- inside each one is a boiling cauldron of rage and passion. By and large, warriors feel at home on the battlefield because it is the one place where they can express themselves, where they can finally let go of all the restraint society imposes on them and unleash all their emotions. Without his raging passion, a person would be much better suited to some calmer form of work -- it is this unquenchable fire which sustains a warrior, driving him into action in the midst of mortal peril.

Alliance warriors tend to focus more on training and weapon mastery, sometimes downplaying their rage so much that you hardly even see it. Some warriors like this (even in the Horde sometimes) may be so stoic that even they do not believe that they have any emotions whatsoever, although I doubt anyone who watched them fight could really agree. Something's got to make you willing to put on all that armor and risk death every day.

But Horde warriors are more likely to display their rage, bloodlust, and other aggressive emotions much more freely. Of course, it's possible that a Horde warrior could have a collection of stuffed animals, write poetry, and even play hopscotch with children, but their rage lurks deep within, and the essence of their profession is to let it loose.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Warrior, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the eleventh 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. This article is largely a continuation of last week's article, which has been updated for accuracy.

There has been a great deal of change and evolution of the world of World of Warcraft, and to a certain extent, all the available player races have gone through changes because of the events that have taken place. The original release content had lots of dungeons and quests and things going on, but each one seemed to tell the story of a place rather than the story of a people. Like each place, the stories told there seemed static, as the players grew and moved on, the places all remained the same.

The Burning Crusade, however, began to change all that. Instead of just adding new content with each patch, some aspects of the old content were changed as well, with certain characters and peoples coming to the foreground as major antagonists. Players were no longer merely vague adventurers tasked with saving the world from one giant evil monster or another, their characters had vested interests in bringing about some change in their circumstances.

For no group of player-aligned characters was this as true as it was with the blood elves. From the time The Burning Crusade was released, up to now, when the next chapter of the Warcraft story (Wrath of the Lich King) is starting to unfold, the blood elves are the only player faction whose leader has turned into a major boss in a dungeon (not once but twice!), whose capital city has been deprived of one of its most significant residents (who also ended up turned into a major dungeon boss), and whose culture has undergone a complete turnaround over the course of this expansion's expanding storyline.

The draenei, of course, played a huge role in the story of The Burning Crusade, but in the end, they were mostly just very strong supporting characters. The blood elves were the stars of the show.

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Filed under: Horde, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you still want to be a blood elf, part 3



The Sunwell Redemption

The final tie between Kael'thas and Quel'thalas was broken when Kael'thas' minions returned to take back by force the naaru, M'uru, which he had once given to his kindred so freely. Lady Liadrin and her Blood Knights would have been left without any of their powers had the naaru A'dal not reached out a hand to save her and her people. Lady Liadrin was deeply regretful of what she and her Blood Knights had done to M'uru, but A'dal forgave them, saying that M'uru had known all along what his role would be in this unfolding drama. The naaru extended his own Light energies to Liadrin and her Blood Knights, and encouraged them to assist him to stop the terrible threat that Kael'thas now represented to all the people of Azeroth and Outland.

The former "Lord of the Blood Elves," now quite insane, had brought the remaining strength of his forces back to Azeroth and taken over the Sunwell Island, just across the channel from Silvermoon City, and planned to use the hidden energies of the Sunwell's magic to try and summon Kil'jaeden into the world. The blood elves and draenei of Shattrath united to overcome this threat, and as their forces ventured deeper and deeper into the Sunwell fortifications Kael'thas had set up, they found that M'uru himself was enslaved as a guard the site where Kil'jaeden would be summoned. The heroes were forced to destroy his weakened body and stop the entropic energies which now began to vacuum up all life around it as the last of his Light energies seemed to drain away.

At last, of course, the heroes faced Kil'jaeden himself at the site of the Sunwell (perhaps your own character was among them), and, with the help of some dragons, they drove him back into the Sunwell Portal, away from Azeroth. The draenei prophet Velen arrived, along with Lady Liadrin, and spoke to the heroes, as he placed the last remaining fragment of M'uru's body into the Sunwell. The result is one of the best scenes in Warcraft lore, which you too can look on, as the last spark of M'uru's life reignites the Sunwell with the energy of the Holy Light, restoring once and for all, that magical life energy the blood elves need, as well as something far greater, something with the power to rebirth the entire civilization of the blood elves: Faith.

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Filed under: Horde, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you still want to be a blood elf, part 2

Stealing the Light

At this point it is important to draw a distinction between the blood elves who followed Kael'thas and the naga through the portal into Outland, and the blood elves who stayed behind in Quel'thalas and Silvermoon City. They were still one faction at this point, but a number of differences were starting to appear. For one, although the blood elves in Quel'thalas were drawing on fel energies just like their brethren in Outland, they certainly weren't surrounded by demons like Illidan and all his minions all the time, not to mention the vast energies of the evil Twisting Nether, which surrounded all of Outland. Thus, the blood elves in Outland were saturated to overflowing in magic and power, while the blood elves in Quel'thalas were still rather hungry for it.

Therefore, Kael'thas thought it wise to send the gift of this captured naaru, named M'uru, back to Silvermoon City, so that his people there could have more energy to help quench their magical thirst. Soon, however, the blood elves of Quel'thalas found a way to start using this power of the Light rather than merely feeding on it, casting spells and blessings in the same way that human, dwarven, and draenei paladins could -- while the other races drew on the Light through the power of their faith, the blood elves learned to control it as it flowed through M'uru.

The first blood elf to take up this path of corrupted paladinhood was Lady Liadrin, who then founded the order of Blood Knights that became infamous throughout Azeroth and Outland alike. Thrall and the other leaders of the Horde disagreed with the methods the Blood Knights had employed, but could not deny their strategic value on the battlefield.

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Filed under: Horde, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

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

One look at the blood elves and you might think "arrogant pop star," but their story entails much more suffering and tragedy than is at first evident. Like so many in the World of Warcraft, they have very nearly lost everything that was important to them, and more than once their entire way of life has been upset, turned around, and set in an entirely new direction. They are at once brilliant and desperate, beautiful and woefully flawed, addicted to evil magic and yet not yet beyond hope of redemption.

The blood elves are the descendants of the original "Highborne" of the night elves 10,000 years before the setting of World of Warcraft, who used to follow Queen Azshara and studied the arcane magical energies flowing through the Well of Eternity. Following the "War of the Ancients," (discussed in the article on night elves), most of their peers at the time observed that arcane energies tended to attract evil demons from the darkest dimensions in the universe, and thought the world would be better off without it. The Highborne who survived that war had gotten very used to the power of arcane magic coursing through their bodies, however, and they suffered from serious magical withdrawal when those energies were no longer available to them. From their point of view, it was cowardly not to try again, to simply conceal themselves from the demons rather than to give up arcane magic entirely. Their addiction and powerlessness made them desperate enough to turn to violence, though they were no match for the new rulers of the night elf people.

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Filed under: Horde, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Tenris Mirkblood will only be around for "approximately 10 days," says Tigole

So by now, you've probably heard of Tenris Mirkblood, the Blood Elven vampire boss in Karazhan who is surprisingly generous with his loot, dropping a Vampire Batling for everyone in the raid as well as a very sweet axe by both the musical and weaponry related terms -- Although only one of those, unfortunately.

Tigole answered a few questions about this boss in a recent post on the forums. Tenris will only be around for about 10 days, which is why he's so generous with the bat pets, and the axe is the only other item on his loot table, if you don't count the Badges of Justice.

So what this means, first of all, is that if you haven't managed to get a group to go beat him down, you'll want to do it soon or lose your chance at a pretty cool pet and a pretty cool -- if rather weak -- novelty trinket. In addition, if you weren't lucky enough to win the roll on the Arcanite Ripper on your first try, it looks like you'll only have one more chance at it. Sacrifices to the gods of dice and/or the Gods of Metal, whichever you subscribe to, are recommended.

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Filed under: Items, Events, News items, Blood Elves, Bosses, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Bartle, gender, and the demographics of WoW's classes

A little while back the gamerDNA blog did a nice breakdown of how WAR classes correlate with how gamers do on the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology, a widely used test that can break down exactly what type of player you are (Achiever, Explorer, Socializer, or Killer). It was such an interesting writeup that I hoped they'd do it with WoW classes, and apparently I wasn't the only one -- they've got a new post up now examining which classes in Azeroth align with which types of players.

They throw gender into the mix as well -- turns out that while the classes have generally the same percentage of players (not surprising, given that gameplay dictates the classes should be fairly balanced), things start to break up when you add gender to the mix. Priests and Warriors seem to have the biggest separation: according to their data (obtained via the profiles on their site), most Priests are played by females, and most Warriors are played by men. Paladins as well tend to be male, though not as much as Warriors, and Druids tend to be female, though not as much as Priests. Women also tend to prefer the elven races (Blood and Night), while guys apparently prefer Orcs and Dwarves (which helps my -- sexist, I admit -- theory from way back on the WoW Insider Show that the Dwarven starting area appeals to guys more than women).

The Bartle breakdown is interesting, too -- Killers prefer Rogues (duh), Warriors tend to be Achievers, and Hunters have the slight Explorer edge, but in general, the classes have a fairly even distribution across the board. All of the different roles can be filled by all the classes, which speaks to the way Blizzard has built the classes -- you can really solo, PvP, or group up with any of them. WAR's differences were distinct, but in WoW, Blizzard has done their best to make it so that whatever Bartle type you are, you can log in with any class and do what you want. gamerDNA promises more research here (including a Horde and Alliance breakdown), and we can't wait to see it.

Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, Classes

Breakfast Topic: If you could choose your racials

If you haven't already checked out the list of updated racial abilities, you should. Some have been nerfed, others were buffed, and new ones, like the "Voodoo Shuffle" were added.

While racials are a nice bonus, they can weigh heavily on your racial decision when rolling a given class. For example, many Horde warriors roll Tauren because of the 5% health increase. This conflicts with rolling the race that you'd prefer combined with the class you desire.

There has been much speculation about what it would be like to be able to choose your own racials, and reader Mike even came up with a talent tree method for doing just that.

If you were given the power to choose, which three or four would you choose, and why? Keep in mind the overall balance which generally includes a passive ability, an active one, and one or two minor buffs to stats such as resistances, health, or professions.

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

New racial abilities for Wrath


It looks like Blizzard isn't done tinkering with everything for Wrath of the Lich King. This time, they've turned their attention to racial abilities, which many have pointed out to be imbalanced. Kalgan dropped by the forums to answer a good question regarding the Orc racial Hardiness, which grants a passive 15% resistance to stuns. It's been nerfed a long way from its original 25% resistance, but the poster made a good point about the game's direction towards reduced durations instead of resistances.

Kalgan responds by saying that Hardiness was being changed into exactly that -- an effect duration reduction of 15%. He also goes over all the other racials, some of which were changed, others of which were buffed, and yet a few others of which were inevitably nerfed. The changes should make it into the next Beta push. Check after the break to see the complete list. [CLARIFICATION: This isn't the complete list of racial abilities. Abilities not listed here are unchanged or, if they will be changed, will be mentioned in the future.]

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Draenei, Blood Elves, Wrath of the Lich King

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