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Filed under: Gnomes

Know Your Lore: The Second War

Welcome once again my friends to the lore that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside Know Your Lore.

When last we got together over the nonexistent campfire to share stories of Azeroth and Draenor and the peoples of both, our heroes were either fleeing the destruction of Stormwind or destroying Stormwind, depending on who you think of as the heroes. Once again, the 'canonical' nature of these events has shifted somewhat from the time they were first presented to now, so bear with me if you see any inconsistencies as I attempt to work several disparate accounts together. Also, wow, did a lot happen in the Second War, so please forgive anything I miss or merely allude to from the Alliance and Old Horde KYL's.

We know that following the loss of Stormwind (and by following I mean that they could probably see the buildings burning as they sailed away) the survivors, led by Anduin Lothar, sailed north for Lordaeron and the court of King Terenas Menethil. It was this journey and Lothar's arrival that led Terenas and Lothar to begin the diplomatic work that created the Alliance of Lordaeron. It's important to keep in mind that, at the time, not many people actually knew much about the orcs aside from the survivors of Stormwind. King Llane Wrynn had an adviser who knew a lot about the orcs but that ultimately ended in Stormwind's destruction as we covered last week. Still, Lothar was the one person both connected enough through his descent from the ancient Arathi bloodline and knowledgeable enough about the enemy to command the military of this new Alliance.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: For Gnomeregan!


Our very own Michael Sacco actually got his hands on a copy of that PC Gamer full of Cataclysm details, and there was apparently one that we missed: Gnomes may be coming back to Gnomeregan. The little tidbit above is frustratingly vague, but it appears that as long rumored (and long hoped by the shorter denizens of Azeroth), Deathwing's return may break the whole war for the Gnomish capital wide open, and they might finally reclaim their mechanical homeland.

We say "might," because, according to this blurb, it could be anything at this point -- a questline that begins a takeover, a questline that represents a failed takeover, a new phased experience that leads to a takeover, or some kind of questline that brings Gnomeregan up to Heroic status (we know Shadowfang and Deadmines are already getting that treatment, so it wouldn't be too far off to expect other old instances to come around in future content patches).

Then again, let's not kill hope: maybe the Gnomes are finally heading back to Gnomeregan to have a capital city of their own, in all of its Gnomish engineering glory. We can dream, right?

Filed under: Gnomes, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

Gnomestock this weekend, Gutrot throwing a party next weekend


Two cool in-game events we've heard about recently:
  • First up, our friend Gutrot, the naked Troll Warrior, is finally hitting 80, and he's throwing another party over on EU Aerie Peak to celebrate. He had another party about two years ago at this time, and it went pretty well, so expect this one to be fun, too: he'll have some drinking and merriment (Brewfest will be going on, so that will be fun), lots of naked dueling, we're sure, and probably an Alliance capital raid as well. That all starts on EU Aerie Peak a week from Saturday, September 26, at 9:30pm UK time. If you're on the EU servers, roll a Troll and go say hi.
  • If you're more of the Gnomish persuasion, there's a party for you, too: Slice and Dice is throwing a Gnomestock party this Saturday, the 19th, and it sounds like a good time, too. There'll be Gnaked Gnome Racing, two mini-games going in Ironforge, a zonewide game of hide and seek, and since Saturday is Pirates' Day and the sponsoring guild is called Bucklers of Swash, there'll probably be some piratin' going on as well. That's this Saturday, 9/19, at 7pm Eastern (which is also 6pm server) on the US realm of Mug'thol.
As usual, if you go to either event, please do take pictures and send them along -- always fun to see big player-run events like these.

Filed under: Gnomes, Trolls, Events, Fan stuff, PvP, Humor

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

All the World's a Stage: Cataclysm's new race/class combinations


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

As you know, the new race and class combinations coming up in the Cataclysm will open a whole new set of doors to people who want an alternative character choice that goes against the grain of their typical racial customs, to one degree or another. With the exception of a couple combinations that feel as though they should have been there from the beginning (such as blood elf warriors, which need no discussion here), each new possibility presents roleplayers with an opportunity to play an outcast of sorts, a character who has made a significant break from the traditions his or her race usually represent.

The lore behind each combination is not yet fully clear. We know tauren paladins will probably worship the sun and call themselves "Sunwalkers" for instance, but not much more than that. Some things are clear, though, and there's a lot to get the imagination going for those roleplayers who yearn to play something a little different.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, RP, Classes, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: What the future holds for Priests


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 No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. What will Cataclysm hold for Priests?

I'm back from Blizzcon! There's been a ton of big announcements which will mean future impacts for Priests whether you heal or dish out damage. Let's take a quick look at what we know.

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Filed under: Gnomes, Tauren, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Why your (race) can't be a (class)

Kisirani is tearing it up on the forums recently -- ever since she dropped that Tauren Paladins would be called Sunwalkers, she has kicked off a round of speculation and excitement about all of the new race/class combinations soon to be available to us in Cataclysm. But the number one question on everyone's lips seems to be: "If (race) can be a (class), why can't my (race) be a (class)?"

For that, Kisirani has an answer: because Blizzard doesn't want it to be. I have to say, I'm impressed so far with how Blizzard has tied these new class and race combinations into the lore of the world. We've only seen a little bit of how they'll do it, but while these new class/race combos could have easily just fallen into fan service (and that's definitely what I thought they were when Blizzard introduced them -- they'd abandoned all semblance of lore just to give players more options to play), it definitely doesn't seem that's the case. According to Kisirani, Blizzard is still thinking seriously about what races and classes fit together, and presumably all of the new combinations (yes, even Human Hunters, can't wait to see that one) will be explained in the end.

Good to hear. Of course, the reason they're including these combinations is partly fan service, and it's likely also meant to help folks rerolling to see all the new Cataclysm content. But knowing that there'll be lore behind all of the new combos is pretty darn exciting.


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.

Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Tauren, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Classes, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Initial thoughts on the Hunter changes

We have only experienced the first day of BlizzCon and my mind has already been blown. We have heard so many amazing details about Cataclysm and they're promising more for today.

The changes are not just to our old favorite instances or to the zones around Azeroth. Implementing terrain phasing is going to change everything we know about leveling and running around our favorite zones. Also, who doesn't love the idea of Gnomes finally get to be Priests and as Ghostcrawler put it, "Be self-sufficient." (Well, they still don't have Hunters but that's okay.)

We got confirmation from Chilton that it in fact Goblins and Worgens will be added to the game in Cataclysm. We also learned that Goblins and Worgens will both get to play Hunters. But they're not the only new races added to the Hunter ranks. We also got confirmation that Humans and Undead will both be able to play Hunters. So all in all we got some really good additions to the Hunter community.

What about those awesome changes to the Hunter class? Well, how about the removal of Armor Penetration for one? We aren't going to have to worry how Armor Penetration works or when should stack for it...

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Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Undead, Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

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

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


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fifth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

Engineering has been my favorite profession in WoW, both in terms of its usefulness in the game, as well as its status as an awesome profession for roleplaying. Maybe it's just because I'm a huge fan of steampunk, but I find that those gadgets and funny things you can make with engineering have a certain style that goes beyond simple utility -- You just look at an engineer with his goggles, his mechanical mount, and maybe even some sort of robot or machine trailing along after him, and you immediately get the feeling that this is a character with character. No other profession can give you such a distinct characterization: you're not just a rogue, for example -- you're a scientist rogue!

In addition to that, most other professions feel like "crafting" jobs added on to the regular game, which they are -- they may give you better stats in one area or another but otherwise don't add many new abilities. Engineering, on the other hand, gives you a lot of special abilities and buttons to push, all of which can start to feel like a special sub-class for your character, underneath whatever class he or she already has.

In fact, as roleplayers, many of us play up our status as engineers as much or even more than our status as a hunter, warlock, rogue, or whatever. That engineering style is so persistent that it can define our characters more than anything else -- our own Palehoof practically defined this style in the column devoted to engineering that he used to write every week, before he lost his horns and his hooves in a bizzare scientific experiment (and decided thereafter to spend more time with his family). His commentaries on practical and theoretical engineering serve as excellent inspiration for all roleplayers who would call their characters engineers.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Gnomes, Hunter, Engineering, Virtual selves, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

[1.Local]: Making ourselves at home


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Welcome home to WoW.com. Moving into a new place can be hectic, but we think our new digs at WoW.com are pretty darn comfy. In addition to a fresh face and identity for WoW Insider, we've introduced the beta launch of WoW.com Profiles. Show off your characters with a profile on WoW.com. By downloading the WoW.com addon, you can also keep all of your friends up to date on what you're doing in game, and make blog posts and upload screenshots directly from your game client.

Not a big fan of the social media scene? You don't have to change a thing – WoW.com offers all the old content you know (and hopefully love) so well. "If I'm being honest, when I first saw that the site had changed, I didn't really 'feel it,'" commented reader Retropally. "After days of it sinking in, I'm loving it. The new theme is awesome -- and really, nothing has changed in the way of the posts that are written ..."

Join the [1.Local] gang and add your thoughts about our new look and social features -- and hop on across the fold to see what else readers were chatting about during the past week.

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Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Features, Raiding, Factions, [1.Local]

Sunday Morning Funnies: A murder of crows and a crew of dwarfs

Cru the DwarfHappy Mother's Day to all you WoW Moms, and for all you kids who might have forgotten, you'd better go say it now while you've just been reminded. Come back though, because I have a nice list of comics waiting, as well as a (mostly) friendly gnome controversy.

Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Blizzard cinematic team appears at Chapman University



Nick Markham is a student at Chapman University , and he recently dropped us a tip about something special that happened there. Chapman University is fairly close to Blizzard's Irvine headquarters, which could be why they were able to take the time to drop by. One of their film classes had a treat when six members of the Blizzard cinematic team came by to give a three hour presentation about what they do, how they do it, and other miscellaneous film-related issues. So what's the news?

The most crushing news is another confirmation that we shouldn't expect to ever see a gnome in an official World of Warcraft cinematic. The quote from Jeff Chamberlain, the director of the cinematic team, is "Not if I can help it!" Apparently, while gnomes are arguably one of the coolest races in WoW, the director doesn't feel that they're "epic" enough. I can see that viewpoint, I guess, but that just means we'll have to rely on Baron Soosdon to brings us the gnome love.

The Wrathgate animation, of course, was a significant topic. According to Nick's report, the cinematic team and Blizzard both consider Wrathgate to be a complete success. We should expect to see a new, similar animated event with each significant content patch, though it's going to take a little bit to get that going.

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Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima

Finally an answer on Gnomes in the cinematics

We've very closely covered the lack of Gnomes in any of Blizzard's major cinematic pieces so far. We had hoped to see them in the Wrath cinematic, but of course Blizzard went a completely new direction with that one (retelling the story of Arthas rather than showing players fighting), and so they weren't there either. In fact, the problem has gotten so bad that at least one person has remade the Burning Crusade cinematic, filling it with Gnomes just to see what it would be like. And while we've gotten some snide comments from the Blues before ("they're there, they're just too short to fit in frame"), Bornakk has finally given us an honest answer as to why the Gnomes haven't been show in cinematic form: they're just not awesome enough?

Wait, that's not what he really said? Well that's what we heard -- he says that the cinematic folks go for what seems most awesome, and Gnomes have just never been a part of that combination. He says Trolls have gotten nearly the same treatment, and while that's true, you can see a Troll for a split second in the Burning Crusade cinematic -- they haven't had the complete shutout that the shorter denizens of Azeroth have had so far.

In fact, Murlocs have gotten more screen time than Gnomes have. But the good news is that the more Blizzard leaves Gnomes out, the more awesome it'll be when they finally appear. The cinematic team can't leave them out of the game forever, right?

Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs

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