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Filed under: Dwarves

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)

Spiritual Guidance: Reacting to the Circle of Nerfing


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 PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Today Matticus will examine the Circle of Healing nerf.

In case you've missed the news, it's been announced that Circle of Healing would be getting a 6 second cooldown. I had a feeling the nerf would be happening and I can't say I'm surprised. It does make me cry a little bit on the inside. Is it justified? How can we adapt? Read on!

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Filed under: Dwarves, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

BigRedKitty: It's Thanksgiving, so we're stirring the pot

Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

If we were to ever re-roll Horde, we'd be a female Troll hunter. Yes, the Trolls got their kiesters kicked by rampaging murlocs -- murlocs! -- but the ladies can be hunters, and have just enough 'oomph' in both looks and performance to make them our first choice should the Alliance ever be eliminated. What about our other options?

Orcs are just too steel-plate-in-the-skull dumb for our liking. Nobody does nude better than Orcs, but who hunts in the buff?

...

Wait, these are Orcs we're talking about... OK, who seriously hunts in the buff?

Taurens should either be warriors or druids, period, not hunters. Tauren warriors rock our socks, but Tauren hunters? Excluding Rhino-pets, the size difference between a Tauren and his pet is just silly. If you're a Tauren hunter and don't have a Rhino, you're not bringing it like you should. A Survivalist Tauren hunter is about as wrong an idea as there can possibly be. Survivalist? How are you going to 'survive' when every member of the Alliance has targeted you, just because you take up one quarter of their screen!

Nobody likes Blood Elves, not even other Horde. Are we right? Of course we are.

And the Forsaken can't even be hunters; they deserve our pity more than anything else.

But we're not going to re-roll, for we are a member of the best race in the game. The race that Warcraft made its cover picture, the race that introduced WoW to millions, the race that oozes -- both literally and figuratively -- charisma, competence, and warm ale: The Dwarves.

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Filed under: Dwarves, Humor, (Hunter) Big Red Kitty

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 an Alliance Warrior

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

From the way that warriors are available to nearly every race in the game as a sort of default fighter person, you'd think that they would be the fallback choice for any number of different sort of characters you might imagine. Any sort of regular shmuck could be a warrior right? You just gotta pick up some sort of weapon and start swinging it around at an enemy, yes?

No. Even though the Warrior class is available to almost every race in the game, every race has its own tradition of what it means to be a warrior -- it's not just a farmer with a pitchfork running around and trying to kill things. Warriors go through extensive training, learn to wield a wide variety of weapons, and train themselves in staying upright and charging about even while wearing all kinds of heavy metal on their bodies.

So today we'll look into some of the ways that the races of the Alliance understand what it means to be a warrior, and see which heroes your character might look up to, as well as the archetypes these heroes represent.

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

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

Barrens Chat: Spoiled Rotten


So, this is somewhat of a spoiler strip. It is something that has been mentioned and posted in previous articles, but just in case you skipped those for obvious reasons, you probably should skip this, also.

That being said, I noticed while drawing this out and looking at a screen shot of Thrall that he looks like a green, balding version of the Geico cavemen. With big teeth, of course. Maybe it's just me.

I know I've started doing them on the computer entirely again, but I uh... misplaced my drawing paper. When I get paid this Friday maybe I'll go pick up more, but that's a really long drive to the nearest art store.

Possible alternate text for a couple of the panels after the jump!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

Spiritual Guidance: Level 5 to 20

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. For the next few weeks (unless it's something game breaking), Matt will do his best to guide you through the Priest leveling process!

Wrath is almost upon us. As a result, you may have decided that you have nothing better to do then to roll a Priest! A quick glance at the WI leveling guides shows completed class guides for every almost every other class but Priests!

This must be changed. The countdown has begun.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, How-tos, Draenei, Leveling, Talents, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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

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

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

Imagine if you were raised in a culture who took playing in the mud very very seriously. As a young lad or lassie, your parents advised you that it would be wise of you to learn digging as your profession, and they hoped that one day you would marry a forger. Your people loved the earth so much that they built their homes and cities underground, and reached as deep as they could into the ground to see what they could find there.

Then... imagine if, just a few years ago, someone discovered evidence that your people had once been made by giant Titans out of the very stone and earth you now craft with such care. Wouldn't you be pretty psyched?

There's so much more to dwarves than just a Scottish accent and short stature, you see. Dwarves are the Indiana-Joneses of World of Warcraft. After eons of digging into and sculpting the earth of Azeroth, they suddenly have a clue as to where they came from and how everything came to be the way it is for them. They are now spread across distant places of the world, digging and plumbing ancient ruins in order to unravel the mystery of their existence, and discover the ultimate reason for being.

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

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

Know Your Lore: Living Relics of the Barrens


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? E-mail us! Or, if you have a question for our sister column Ask a Lore Nerd, e-mail us those, too!

Most of us probably know the Barrens as the far, far too big and empty zone that we all spent too long running through. I know I do. You whippersnappers these days and your three flight paths. In my day, we had one and we ran to Ratchet on foot every single time. You kids nowadays have it easy. All of that aside, though, did you know it was originally a lush forest, some of which was part of the ancient Kaldorei territory?

It used to be a much more peaceful (and tolerable) place than it is now. Of course, we're talking ten thousand years ago. That place totally sucks now. Don't get all sentimental on me and pretend it's deep and meaningful and spiritual to quest there or something. It's horrible. Let's learn about it anyway, because learning is fun! ...Right?

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Filed under: Horde, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Barrens Chat: Fuzzy Wuzzy was


Welcome back for another Barrens Chat comic. I would up front like to say that I am very excited about exotic pets. So excited, I had to poke fun at fellow blogger Daniel Howell for his post last week on the topic of exotic pets. Although I think I might have been a little misleading when I first ran the idea of what I wanted to do past him.

Either way, I'm still playing with a few drawing and coloring changes here and there. I didn't darken the outlines this time around, but I think it makes it a bit harder to see in places.

Thank you, Daniel, for pointing me towards your banner for a reference, even if I didn't specify what it was I was referencing exactly.

See you next week!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck


Barrens Chat is a weekly comic installment created on caffeine and pixy sticks. Although we've yet again decided to abuse Hunters in any way we can find, sometimes we go after the tankier players, too. Stop by every week to see a new comic, and hope that the sugar stash has run out by then.

Filed under: Horde, Dwarves, Tauren, Hunter, Blood Elves, Comics, Barrens Chat

Strange things are afoot at the Grim Guzzler

A lot of us pre-Burning Crusade players hold a warm place in our hearts for the Grim Guzzler, the bar in the middle of Blackrock Depths. It's a hangout for desperadoes and shady figures run by a leper gnome with a demonic bar wench and a metallic bouncer. Most of the patrons would usually kill you as soon as look at you, but as long as they're drunk and you don't bother them too much, they'll generally leave you alone. Of course, sometimes it's worth bothering them, since a few of the patrons and staff drop some pretty cool loot.

Despite this charming atmosphere, the Grim Guzzler is in the middle of a sprawling dungeon of hostile Dark Iron Dwarves, so ever since the Burning Crusade, people don't seem to go down there too often. That said, you might want to check it out in the next few days. There's a few new faces down at the bar since patch 2.4.3 went live, including an Arena gear vendor named Griz Gutshank, a Dark Iron Brewer who can't hold his brew, and a couple of goblin roadies setting up for a Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain concert.

Check out the gallery for a complete illustrated guide to the new faces and surprises at the Grim Guzzler, and maybe I'll see you there tonight for the Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain concert. Oh, and try the Sulfuron Slammer -- It's Plugger's newest specialty!

Filed under: Dwarves, Patches, Items, News items, Instances, NPCs, Galleries

Gnomes or Dwarves: Which would be better to attach to a bottle rocket?

I don't know if it's just the kid in me that likes to blow things up, but I always find myself aiming to make a few explosions happen around this time of year. As I've grown older and understood more about physics, chemistry, etc., I've come to make the explosions even larger. For instance, putting a bunch of fireworks in a barrel, lightening them all on fire at the same time, and then funneling the explosion towards the ground usually has a humorous result.

Humorous might be a few missing fingers, but they can be reattached. And really, who needs their middle finger for anything good?

This year I'm going to try to attach things to bottle rockets, perhaps 10 to 20 all tied together in a bundle. My goal is to see how high I can make things go up in the air. It's going to be a grand ol' time. And after all, what better way to celebrate the birth of America than to blow your own little part of it up?

All this talk about blowing things up has got me thinking though, which race would fit better on a rocket, and which would fly farther? Gnomes or Dwarves? Let's look at the strengths and weaknesses of both.

Who would you attach to a bundle of bottle rockets?
A Gnome1929 (41.8%)
A Dwarf214 (4.6%)
My raid leader539 (11.7%)
The person that gets a beta key before me1373 (29.8%)
You're insensitive! I don't celebrate the 4th of July!555 (12.0%)

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Filed under: Dwarves, Gnomes, Humor

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