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Filed under: Dwarves

PTR Brewfest includes summoned barmaid pets, rams and kodos segregated by faction

You may remember that we announced that a Brewfest Kodo was hidden in the WoTLK Alpha files some time ago. With patch 2.4.3, the Kodo did in fact get into this year's Brewfest. The Brewfest is currently open for testing on the PTR, and you can see the Kodos for yourselves - but only on the Horde side.

That's right. Blizzard has added the Kodo mount, but not in the way many of us had hoped. The Ram mount is now available for purchase only on the Alliance side, and the Kodo mount only on the Horde side. Kisirani has confirmed that this is intended. She says that they came to this decision only after much deliberation, but it's likely staying, although she'll listen to constructive criticism. As you can imagine, this has not been well received.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Realm News, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Bosses, Factions, Mounts

Giving players some more race variants

I have to agree with Michael on WoW LJ: it would be nice to have a little more variance in the types of races that we choose at character creation. Of course, due to lore reasons, all the trolls we create are Darkspear Trolls, and likewise, all of our Taurens are of the Bloodhoof variety. But it would be nice to have a few more options, especially since we now know that some of the "foreign" tribes and clans might have a member or two interested in joining the Horde.

None of Michael's suggestions would really work -- the Taunka are almost a completely different race, the Forest Trolls can't be very happy that we've killed their leader, and neither the Dark Iron Dwarves or the Iron Dwarves are very friendly to either Horde or Alliance. But there are possible variants out there -- the Zanadalar tribe might have some members interested in joining the Horde, and certainly the Mag'har Orcs are friendly to players. Alliance doesn't have as many options come to mind, though all players are Bronzebeards, I believe, and surely the Stormpikes are Friendly by now.

We've got new hairstyles coming in the next expansion, of course, but it would be nice to vary up the races a little bit, and have even different backgrounds within the race choices. RPers would love it for sure, and even for other players, it would give a little more meaning and power to playing through the various racial areas in the game.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Expansions, Lore, Factions

Know Your Lore: Brann Bronzebeard

Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Elizabeth Wachowski and Alex Ziebart bring you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Oh yeah, and it's late this week. Blame it on the severe dehydration. Or Alex, you can blame him too, if you want.

Continuing the Wrath preparation train, this week's Know Your Lore will take a look at one of the three Bronzebeard brothers. Not the King one or the dead one, but the eccentric, probably-should-be-dead one. The one and only Brann Bronzebeard, explorer extraordinaire.

Brann Bronzebeard is the very definition of a Jack of all Trades. He's an explorer, a linguist, a warrior, an archaeologist, et cetera, et cetera. He is the premier member of the Explorer's League, and while the guild was founded under an edict by Magni, Brann was one of its founding members.

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Filed under: Dwarves, Analysis / Opinion, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Spiritual Guidance: Discipline Yourself to Level 70

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. But since it's Memorial Day weekend and Canadians don't celebrate the holiday, I decided to keep you all entertained on Monday! Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus, and this week he's written different "If" statements to follow.

The launch date for the new expansion is coming ever closer, and soon the race will begin to get from 70 to 80. Looking forward to the grind? I know I'm interested in the new quest designs and mechanics! I'm one of the few crazy people in WoW who leveled Disc/Holy. There are a few good tips on leveling to 70 without having any points invested in Shadow. This week's piece discusses the reasons for leveling as Discipline, talents you should consider, and the spells in your arsenal. I'm happy to see the purpose of the Discipline tree being more focused. Here's why I did it, and why I plan on doing it again when Wrath of the Lich King is released.

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

Why all race Death Knights make sense from a lore standpoint

It seems like one of the biggest problems a lot of people have with Death Knights is the fact that they can be all races. Me, I say: Why not? The lore really isn't as bad as you might think. Sure, some of the retcons can get a little annoying, but despite the fact that non-Paladin races will get to be Death Knights, I don't think you really consider it a retcon, but rather an evolution in an ever-evolving story that opens up a lot of great story ideas and RP opportunities, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, RP, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Let us play Broken

One of my favorite quests of all time is Ruse of the Ashtongue, to the point where I won't even turn the quest in no matter how many times we kill Al'ar. The reason I love it? Because it lets me experience what it would be like to switch my main, only not to my ordinary draenei warrior, but rather to a super-awesomely deformed and cool broken. I've always been dreading turning it in and now that we don't have to do so to get keyed for BT, I'm debating waiting until we're done with Tempest Keep once and for all (I could have already completed An Artifact From the Past this past week but I don't want to) just so I can tank as a broken every week.

Frankly, I've always wanted the option to play as a broken from the moment they introduced the draenei as a playable race. If I could, I would switch race to broken in a country minute. I just think they're awesome. The only other race who piques my interest this much are the worgen, and I think they'd look kind of dumb in my gear, but the broken have this whole 'Hulk smash' vibe and I've always liked their voice emotes. "Must not give up... must....remember the light."

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei

WotLK Bestiary Update: Iron Dwarves

The WoTLK Bestiary has been updated today with the next monster in the series: the Iron Dwarf. These fearsome creatures, uncovered by the Dwarven Explorer's League in the Howling Fjord, are apparently a missing link between the Earthen and the Dwarves, an Iron-skinned race with runes of power etched on their skin. Unfortunately, they appear to be nearly as surly and destructive as the Troggs, not only fighting against the Explorer's League, but outright destroying any artifacts that the Explorer's League could find useful.

There's not too much info on them yet, only a few paragraphs and a sketch, but it's certainly exciting to see a new chapter in the storyline of the Dwarves. The Iron Dwarves look like they may be the next step in the storyline that began at Uldaman, another piece of the puzzle of the Titans, so that could have reprecussions for all races, and give us more insight into the origin of Azeroth itself. Perhaps we'll encounter more of them at Ulduar, or at the ancient Dwarven citadel of Thor Modan, or find out that they have their own copy of the Plates of Uldum or other such historical artifacts.

Filed under: Dwarves, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Best starting race

I've been leveling a few Draenei alts off and on and finally figured out just why it is that I keep rolling the damn things in addition to my beloved Tauren; their starting quests rock. You wake from stasis, meet the locals, save a princess, make early ties to the Alliance and find out why there's a good reason the some of 'em won't trust you right off the bat, discover nefarious deeds afoot, fight a dragon, and then save your people and get a cool tabard. "Find your way back to the Outland, Hero of Argus," Exarch Admetius tells you, in a nice preview of things to come, and Velen has a good lore moment with you shortly afterwards.

Having leveled a toon out of every starting area to at least 20, it's hard not to notice that some areas make it a lot easier than others. I don't mean the general ease of leveling per se, but just how fast the time seems to fly by. For all that a certain percentage of the playerbase frowns on RP on non-RP servers, most peoples' favorite quests do have an element of RP to them, or at least the RP sense of being fully engaged with the world. And in that respect the Draenei starting zones are, in my opinion, unparalleled. If I had to rank them --

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Leveling, Factions, RP, Alts

Drysc weighs in on the mysterious lost Titan city of Uldum

The Lorekeeper of Norgannon, in Uldaman.It seems like the possibilities of Uldum, in Southern Tanaris, have sparked the imagination of lore fans and adventurers ever since the first person turned in the Discs of Norgannon out of Uldaman. The wealth of Information we recieve from the quest about the intentions of the Titans (those whom the disc calls "The Creators") and the origin of not only the Dwarves, but possibly every sentient race on Azeroth, is tremendous, and Uldum only promises to bring more of it, revealing incredible secrets about the origin of life on this and perhaps other worlds.

Unfortunately, since we apparently need the Plates of Uldum to access it, it remains closed for now, and we're stuck with speculation about what could lurk in its halls. However, today, Drysc commented on the possibilities himself in a forum thread. While all he really confirmed is that they DO plan to open it at some point, it's still more than enough of a bone to get the old speculation machine turning.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Filed under: Dwarves, Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Forums, Rumors

Breakfast Topic: Who should be leader of the free world (of Azeroth)? (Poll)

Here in the States it's election season. Newspapers and websites are plastered with campaign information. Preliminary polling for both factions will close on March 20, 2008. Then the leaders will go head to head, vying for the leader of the World... of Warcraft. Feel free to campaign in the comments for your candidate of choice.

Who should serve as the leader of the Alliance?

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Polls, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Draenei

Well Fed Buff: Spicy Dwarven Cocoa

Every Thursday, Well Fed Buff will be serving up the tastiest dishes to boost your HP and stats, just in time for your weekend gaming.

Are you a great adventurer who has been feeling lackluster about your predictable endeavors? Do you find yourself thinking, "my tongue is bored" or "I could have sworn I already killed Moroes multiple times". Have you been feeling the need for adrenaline?

Well, move over Mana Energy Potion. All you need is an ancient dwarven recipe and you'll be up on your toes in no time!

Spicy Dwarven Cocoa combines the spicy and the sweet in this thick, hot beverage that'll grow hair on your tongue. With several different alarm levels, and two or three separate sets of buffs, you won't want to pass up this recipe. User beware: each choice you make with every step and measurement can turn this concoction into anything from an uplifting treat to a fire-breathing dragon with a cherry on top!

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Filed under: Dwarves, Cooking, How-tos, Humor, Buffs, Well Fed Buff

Forum post of the day: Do away with racials!

Whenever I look at one of my guild's first-kill screenshots, my character stands out like a sore thumb. A seven-foot-tall troll with an orange mohawk tends to look out of place among the legions of undead and blood elf rogues. People even ask me why I rolled a troll character in the first place. It's tempting to say that I picked it because giant tusked cannibals tend to get more loot than anorexic junkies or rotting zombies, but I understand what they mean. Troll racials suck, and that's why there aren't as many trolls out there as there might be otherwise.

Gunnarr, an orc warrior, has noticed this as well. He's sick of seeing undeadd player-characters everywhere, and has asked for Blizzard to normalize racial traits so that some races aren't dramatically better at certain classes than others. His idea doesn't get much support, but a side proposal from the warlock Turana -- no active racials in arenas -- receives more kudos,

On one hand, I can kind of understand where he's coming from. My recently-created undead warrior will always be an inferior tank when there are Taurens around, but I didn't want to have to spend 70 levels looking at a skipping cow just for more health. My troll rogue will always be a minority among the undead (WOTF!) and blood elf (Arcane Torrent!) PVPers. And let's not even get into the pain suffered by human and night elf priests before Fear Ward became trainable. But I also agree with the blue poster Bornakk, who notes that removing the racials would further homogenize the races. If it wasn't for WOTF, who would even play a non-caster undead? Where would the dwarven priests be?

Do you think that racials are overpowered in WoW? What about in an arena setting?

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, Forums

Know Your Lore: The Titans

The Sword of the Titans had to really, really hurt going in like that.Well, now that Elizabeth has given me her deceptively large shoes to fill, I must step up to the bat and deliver a KYL. The injunction against egg throwing is in full effect.

Since Elizabeth is working on the dragons, I decided to talk about everyone's favorite life-making, ruin-scattering, not-gods-but-capable-of-killing-them meddlers, the gals and guys who created the Dragon Aspects, gave the Old Gods a whupping, banished the rowdier elementals to the elemental plane where they could get their brawl on with each other and leave Azeroth alone and who kinda, sorta let Sargeras go nuts and wander the cosmos corrupting and destroying everything in his path. Oops. Yes, I'm talking about the Titans, who I'm sure would hasten to remind you that batting .750 is a damn fine average.

For folks who like to just show up on a planet and fix it up so that mortals, like every single person playing the game, can live on it, we don't know a heck of a lot about the Titans. Where are they from? Why do they travel the cosmos, straightening up the place? Are they stricken with a case of OCD or is there some purpose to their pursuit of order? The Titans themselves aren't telling and if anyone else knows, they haven't shared yet. But we do know that they are divided into two 'races', the Aesir and the Vanir. (Norse mythology alert #1, there will be more.) The Aesir are more into storms and oceans, think of them as your classic 'sky gods' while the Vanir are the more cthonic ones, with interest in and power over earth and stone. As a result, the Aesir are the ones who created the mountain and sea giants to take care of the mountaintops and sea floors while the Vanir are the ones who made the Earthen, and if you have ever run a group through Uldaman you know why that's important.

Basically, the Titans are the reason that your character has places to go and things to do on Azeroth instead of starting gameplay underneath the tentacles of a horrible elder monstrosity. Sure, some of you might enjoy that, but for those of us who like our tentacles safely battered and fried up calamari style, it's safe to say that we all owe the Titans a solid. So let's talk about when the big guys showed up on Azeroth and what they did from there.

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Filed under: Dwarves, Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Resemblance

Just a quick question this morning, from Indigo on Livejournal: if you compared the way you look in real life to a WoW race, what would you be? Indigo would be a Female Dwarf, and I'm sure lots of people would be human. Who would be a Tauren? Actually, now that I think about it, Samwise Didier, lead singer of Blizzard's L70ETC, would be a pretty good Tauren. But only because Pandaren aren't in the game yet.

No doubts here-- I'd be an Ogre. Just the one head, but considering my height and size, you can call me High King Mike. I can definitely break out the dance, though, at a moment's notice.

Filed under: Dwarves, Tauren, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics

AddOn Spotlight: Fizzwidget's Trackmenu

Do you suffer from buttonitus? (I'm amused that word didn't trip a spell-check alert.) Symptoms of this dreaded disease include having more spells and abilities than you have buttons, exploring assorted action bar add-ons that allow you to have more buttons than the default UI, and overall general frustration. Although this plague is not limited to a single class in World of Warcraft, hunters in particular have it worse than most.

In addition to the usual combat abilities, the shots, the traps, and whatever other profession-based buttons a hunter may have setup they have an added burden: tracking skills. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that nobody can track as many different kinds of things as hunters, especially if the hunter is a miner or herbalist as well, or even a dwarf.

So, listen to me hunters (and others). Look at your action bars and all the tracking skills you have hot-keyed there. Now describe to me in a hundred words or less (in the comments section if you wish) the happy dance you will launch into if you could reclaim each and every one of those buttons and use them for something else. Allow me to introduce you to Fizzwidget's Trackmenu.

Installation of the add-on could not be simpler. Simply open it in your archiver of choice and extract the folder into your \Addons folder as per usual. Then launch World of Warcraft and look where the tracking indicator used to be on your mini-map. In it's place is the Trackmenu button. Click this button, and a list of all your tracking skills will drop down allowing you to make a selection. Unless there are some you want to hot-key you can now safely remove all your tracking abilities from action bars.

Enjoy one of my absolute favourite add-ons. You can look forward to further reviews of other Fizzwidget products in the future. He's got what you need!

Filed under: Dwarves, Hunter, Herbalism, Mining, Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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