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Filed under: Draenei

Breakfast Topic: Awesome animations



There have been some truly spectacular visual moments in Azeroth; scenes that make you gasp and glee. I'm thinking of occasions like the Scourge Invasion of Stormwind and Orgrimar or Kael'thas blowing up his room in Tempest Keep. Who can deny Wrathgate was incredible. However, there are also some awesome little animations that really add so much to the game. It's these little things that we can take for granted but sometimes jump out at us as something wonderful.

Even on a hard night of raid wiping in our guild, if someone chugs a stack of Pygmy Oil and /cower's it's bound to bring a laugh. Many a machinima has featured a /dance, from one race or many, with variously spectacular and humorous results.

Who's /flex is better, Draenei or Blood Elf? Have you ever left one of your characters alone for a while and then had their idle-animation surprise you? Are there any actions or animations you wish were in the game? What animations bring a smile to your face?

Filed under: Gnomes, Machinima, Breakfast Topics, Draenei, Blood Elves

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

New Shaman totems in the expansion


Good news from Kisirani for those who like a little variety in their Shaman classes -- she confirms that Dwarf Shaman will indeed get brand new totems to throw down rather than the Draenei or Tauren models in Cataclysm, and hints that all of the Shaman races, past and future, will get a little differentiation in the sticks they stab into the ground. Unfortunately, she also confirms that Dwarven totems aren't kegs (that right there would have gotten me to reroll as a Dwarven Shammy first thing), but whatever they end up being -- my guess is something rock and/or hammer-esque -- I'm sure Blizzard's artists will make them look cool.

For Trolls, you have to think they're going to go voodoo (they'll probably use the Troll totems already in the game). Orcs, it would have to be something primitive -- maybe leather strung across a bone stand or something like that. And of course Draenei already have their own custom totems, and we don't really have enough of a hold on what the Goblins are like yet (trust me, we don't -- the race I played at BlizzCon was very different from the neutral race we know right now) to think what they'll have.
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.

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Filed under: Dwarves, Orcs, Shaman, Items, Fan stuff, Expansions, Draenei, Lore, Classes, NPCs, Cataclysm, Goblin

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of new race and class combos?

One of the big things announced at BlizzCon were the new class and race combinations. These were originally datamined from patch 3.2.2 and include everything from Gnome Priests and Goblin Rogues to Worgen Druids. I'm especially excited about the last one.

For years, the race you played has been indelibly linked with the class and defined how you play the game. Say, for example, you like playing Night Elves, you're limited class-wise to rolling Druid, Priests, Hunters, Rogues and Warriors. On the other hand, if it's a specific class then you are sometimes limited to a particular race. So Draenei are the only Alliance race which can current become Shamans while the same is true, Horde-side, for Blood Elves becoming Paladins.

From a lore perspective, there is little preventing any of these combos. This is especially true as Azeroth expands and the game evolves. But readers, this is new territory for us, as WoW becomes more open. What do you think of the possibility of lore-centric or even playable class and race combinations?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Class panel #2, the good parts version

The second and final class, item, and profession panel has concluded. Disappointingly, the presentation part of the panel was mainly a re-run of yesterday's, but the Q&A, of course, was all-new. There were even a few new tidbits in the presentation. Here are some parts of the presentation that are not repeats from yesterday:

  • They didn't give any new classes to Draenei because there are too many of the space goats already.
  • There's a chance that Hunter Aspects will go away entirely.
  • New tidbit on Archaeology: putting pieces of artifacts together sends you to "face some sort of challenge" out in the world.
  • They like the way fishing works in Animal Crossing, and might look to that for inspiration on how to rework the process.

And here are the good parts from the Q&A:

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Filed under: Fishing, Draenei, Classes, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Archaeology

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

Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap



Each week Arcane Brilliance chats a bit about Mages and all things Mage-related. You may wonder what Arcane Brilliance likes to discuss the rest of the week. Even if you don't wonder that, Arcane Brilliance is going to tell you: It's still Mages. Yes, Arcane Brilliance pretty much talks about Mages constantly, even when it is wildly inappropriate to do so: at the dinner table...during business meetings...in church...at funerals...off-topic on completely unrelated message boards...Arcane Brilliance doesn't get invited to very many parties, in case you were curious.

When people see me in public, they often ask me, "Christian, how can I get my Mage hit capped?" It's probably the most common question I get, right up there with "Why are you so awesome?" and "Where are your pants?"

Okay, that's a lie. Nobody ever approaches me in public, and nobody asks me any of those questions, except for maybe the one about the location of my pants. That's a whole other story, and my attorney has advised me not to speak of it. Still, reaching the hit cap is something every Mage should be striving toward, but far too many of us either don't realize how important it is, or don't know enough about how to get there effectively. Fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to explain the mysteries of the hit cap to you. The good news? It isn't nearly as complicated as you may think.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Draenei, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-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 (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

When I was getting ready for my wedding last month, one of the obvious things we had to do to get ready was to pick out wedding rings. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I put a lot of thought into this choice, and in the end, I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about the jewelry profession and how it works. It struck me as a profession for people who really love making beautiful things and who love interacting with people at some of the most significant moments of their lives (such as ... weddings) -- but above all, real life jewelcrafters struck me as people who love details.

Of course, a number of professions in Azeroth have to pay attention to details in their various gaming aspects. Deciding which items to make for oneself, which to sell at the auction house, and how to use your chosen profession in itself requires lots of details. But when you think about roleplaying, there's a definite difference between blacksmithing on the one side, with its broad strokes of a hammer on metal, and jewelcrafting on the other, focused on the smallest of cuts and adjustments that the naked eye can't even perceive. Jewelcrafting is the profession on Azeroth that requires the keenest eye, the steadiest hand, and the most attention to detail.

In some ways, jewelcrafting in the real world seemed like sub-world of its own, where jewelers knew special secrets no one else knew. They used these secrets to draw forth items that were at once dazzling and magical, artistic and personal for each individual that wore them. Jewelcrafters in the World of Warcraft have no reason to be less devoted to their profession, or any less proud of their ability to craft the most delicate of magical items with the most powerful magical effects, using the secret knowledge only they can understand.

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Filed under: Jewelcrafting, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Fan-made Draenei Barbie

Reader Amanda S sent us this picture of a Draenei Barbie (that is a Draenei, right? Not a Night Elf? Oh yeah -- check the hooves) she says she and a friend made when they were bored. It's not the most involved craft we've ever seen, but it looks pretty good and it's an interesting idea: make Warcraft characters out of existing dolls, rather than completely from scratch. GI Joe would probably be perfect for putting together a figure of the new King Wrynn.

But we do like the dress and the shoulders -- nice job. Whenever Blizzard figures out how to do player housing, we can put her in a dream house as well.

Got a WoW-related craft that you'd like to share? We'd love to see it -- send us a tip through the tipline and we'll check it out.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Draenei, Fan art

Custom WoW plushies look adorable


Debbie sent us a note about these plushies that she made, and as you can see, they look pretty awesome. The funny part, however, is that she doesn't know anything about World of Warcraft -- her mom's friend asked her to make a Troll Priestess, and since she makes these dolls on commission (prices start at $60 plus shipping and handling), people have asked her to do a Troll Shaman as well, and she's currently working on a Draenei Paladin. Very cool.

You'd probably have to negotiate with her if you wanted something custom made, since these are definitely not coming off of a factory line. But even if you're willing to pay the money for a doll like this, they do look cool. We don't know what it is about Shamans and their little totems that seems to make them perfect for plushie form, but there must be something there. Somehow, we're not sure a plushie Warrior would cause the same fascination. But hey -- be sure to prove us wrong. If you catch any great WoW crafts around the net that we haven't seen yet, drop us a tip.

Filed under: Trolls, Paladin, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Draenei, Classes

Blood Elf vs. Draenei diorama giveaway


Doesn't that picture take you back? It's a piece of concept art Blizzard did for The Burning Crusade expansion, and if you think it's impressive in 2d, we're here to tell you that it's equally impressive in 3d. Sideshow Collectibles has re-created this image as a 3d diorama, hand-painted and measuring 18" tall.

And though we at WoW Insider have enjoyed having this impressive work of art adorning the office, in the spirit of this holiday season (if you hadn't heard, love is in the air) we'd like to celebrate by giving it away to one lucky reader! After all, what better way to celebrate your love for your fellow players than with the Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin diorama showing two mortal enemies locked in deadly combat? (We can only think of one better way to celebrate this festive season, and it involves PvP. Or maybe achievements. It's hard to keep track.) However, unlike other in-game entertainment, this diorama may be enjoyed without the need for an active internet connection -- and it can be yours all for the trouble of leaving a comment on this post! And in case Blood Elves and Draenei aren't your thing, this Sideshow Exclusive version of the diorama comes with a tiny Netherwhelp figurine.



Here's the details: to enter, leave a comment on this post before Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 6PM EST. One winner will be chosen randomly and will receive a Sideshow Exclusive Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin Polystone Diorama (valued at $299.99). You must be at least 18 to enter and a legal resident of the United States or non-Quebec resident of Canada. You may enter as often as once per day for the duration of the contest. Click here for complete Official Rules.

Update: I'm not sure how something so completely adorable could have slipped our minds, but when we first posted this, we forgot to mention the Netherwhelp that's included in the package. Everyone loves Netherwhelps, right?

Filed under: Draenei, Blood Elves, Contests, The Burning Crusade

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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