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Filed under: Human

Barrens Chat: Warlocks are, too!


The comic this week was inspired by an email received from fellow blogger, Robin about something Krystalle says in response to a (sadly) common misspelling over chats. So dual credit for nudging me in that direction, ladies. I had to run with it once I had the starting idea in my head.

The truth is, I am very grateful to both of my fellow bloggers in sparking this idea in my head. I hope they find the result of Robin's email fun, and I look forward to warping more ideas from them in the future.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Human, Rogue, Comics, Barrens Chat

Changes to old Azeroth coming in the next expansion


In the last expansion, all we did was walk through a portal and find a new world -- the old one was left pretty much unchanged overall. But in this coming expansion, Blizzard has made it pretty clear that almost nothing is off limits -- Northrend is getting added to Azeroth, and we're not traveling across space to get there. And considering that Arthas' story echoes throughout almost all of the old world (and that the whole thing is named after him), things are definitely going to change once Northrend appears on the world map.

So we've put together a gallery of just what will be different about the old world after the Wrath of the Lich King comes upon us. To be fair, some are set in stone (we know for sure that Naxxaramas is exiting stage left for a bigger part later), and some are little more than speculation (Uther played a huge part in Arthas' life, so his tomb seems like a good stage for an event at some point), but odds are that by the time we've all reached level 80, all of these places in Old Azeroth will look very different.



Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Screenshots, Raiding, Lore, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Barrens Chat: On the bandwagon, and off the rocker


I would like to begin by pointing out that this comic was not actually thought of by me. Interpreted, drawn, and displayed by me, yes; but the real mind behind this comic is the same on that brought you the deep and insightful explanation on Engineering (which he also had me draw), Brian Karasek.

Brian has been a friend of mine, and my S.O., for well over five years now. We've stalked followed him through three different games, and ended up following him into World of Warcraft after the two of us were convinced we'd never be seeing him again. Luckily, we were wrong. Brian is a truly wonderful friend, and I am grateful to have him. Now that the obligatory brown-nosing is out of the way, I would like my birthday present now, please!

For those of you who don't know (likely 99.8% of you I'd assume) my birthday is tomorrow, June 6th. I expect lots of lovely supportive comments for this comic, as well as large, unsolicited donations of money from you all, thank you (Just kidding... no really).

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Paladin, Humor, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Comics, Barrens Chat

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 1-20



Every Saturday, Arcane Brilliance freezes you in place, then Blinks behind a pillar and turns Invisible. You can look for Arcane Brilliance if you want to, but I can tell you that's a bad idea. You see, while you're looking, Arcane Brilliance is positioning itself behind you, cooking up a giant Pyroblast and aiming it up your tailpipe. You really only have a few options here. You can a.) cry, b.) curl into the fetal position and wait for the sweet embrace of death, or c.) distract Arcane Brilliance by quickly yelling "Spell damage is more important that spell hit rating, discuss!" and then log out while Arcane Brilliance is busy posting on the forums about what you just said. I'd go with c.), personally. Works every time.


Recently, I discovered that there seem to be leveling guides on this site for just about every class but Mages, so it's time I stepped up to the plate. The problem is, Mage was my very first class, on my very first character, on my very first foray into the World of Warcraft, which took place approximately forever ago. Ok, so it's only been about two-and-a-half years, but in WoW years, that's the rough equivalent of a million kajillion years ago. My memories of those first few levels are fuzzy at best, and I can condense what I remember learning into two statements: "Murlocs are evil," and "The only way out of Undercity is to use my Hearthstone." One of those statements eventually stopped being true for me, and the other one is "Murlocs are evil." Needless to say, I didn't feel entirely qualified to write a leveling guide for the first few levels of Magecraft.

To rectify the situation, I decided to roll a brand new Mage, so that I could experience those first few levels all over again. To ensure that the experience was as pure as I could make it, I created my Mage on a new server--the newest actually--Cairne. I knew nobody on that server, and had no alts there, so this Mage, a Human female I named Niwt, would be an entirely virgin Mage. I had never played an Alliance Mage before, and never leveled any character in the Human starting area, so the quests would be new to me, and the landscape foreign. I disabled all of my mods and dove in.

It was horrible.

I learned a lot though, or remembered learning a lot, depending on how you look at it. After the break, more text!

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Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Mining, Tips, How-tos, Draenei, Blood Elves, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Making money, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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

Barrens Chat: Dibs


Hello again! This week's strip has been done in memory of Children's Week. That wonderful and joyous celebration that gets you a cute little tag along to play with, all in exchange for running everywhere in the entire world.

I have somehow managed to miss out on Children's Week every year, but knowing my luck, it's for the better! It would likely lead to a catastrophe not unlike what is featured in this comic.

Want to know what kind of catastrophe I'm talking about? Check out the Barrens Chat gallery for this and other comics!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck




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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Hunter, Events, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

Know Your Lore: The Wrynn dynasty

Generally speaking, the human race on Azeroth is in a sorry state. Led by a corrupt aristocracy ... manipulated by a dragon ... cheating contractors out of their pay for rebuilding the city ... and the only truly respected human leader is practically in exile due to her friendship with Thrall. How did the noble humans get where they are? What happened to the line of the kings of Stormwind?

Who: Llane Wrynn, Varian Wrynn and Anduin Wrynn.

What: The past three kings of Stormwind.

History: The first known member of the Wrynn dynasty is Landen Wrynn, who ruled the then-kingdom of Azeroth. We know he's a historical footnote simply because his court conjuror -- Nieles Aran, who is not some simple jester -- is a lot more famous than he is. Wrynn was succeeded by Adamant Wrynn III, which shows that the line of Wrynns probably goes back a heck of a lot longer than Landen. Under Adamant's rule, Azeroth was peaceful and wealthy, until the day when it suddenly wasn't. The culprit wasn't a recession, but the invasion of a rather large number of orcs from the Dark Portal. Adamant died of natural causes shortly after the First War began, and his only son, the twenty-year-old Llane Wrynn, inherited the throne.

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Filed under: Human, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard announces Tauren Marines as the latest Starcraft 2 unit

The Tauren Marines are coming!

That's right, for all of you lore enthusiasts who like to speculate as to whether Azeroth is in the same universe as Aiur, here's your proof. The Terran confederacy, on the lookout for new recruits for the meat grinder, has stumbled upon a planet known to its inhabitants as Azeroth, and has taken a special interest in a group of anthropomorphic bovines with bizarrely well developed horticultural skills. They've managed to recruit a group of the younger, wilder bulls, creating a new corps of soldiers that have taken on the nickname of "Mad Cows."

We're incredibly excited to see what repercussions this could have not only for Starcraft, but for the World of Warcraft itself! It is likely that we'll see an in-game event or patch soon in which the Terrans land on Azeroth in order to recruit the Tauren. How will the Tauren accept a group of space-faring aliens who look suspiciously like the Humans who are usually regarded as their enemies? How will the Terrans react to the Humans themselves? Will there be any technology sharing? I'm sure many Engineers will be dying to get their hands on the schematics for their very own Vulture land mount, and the Cenarion Circle may want to compare notes with the Terrans on fighting giant bug-like creatures. Of course, those of you with the Zergling pet may want to consider hiding them for a while, lest a Firebat mistake you for an Infected Terran.

Filed under: Human, Tauren, Engineering, News items, Lore, NPCs

Does my human female look psycho to you?

Apparently Blizzard spent some time rebuilding all the player models for Patch 2.4 in order to increase performance. What exactly does this mean to us players who loves the way our characters look? Absolutely nothing. You won't notice any differences in the models at all -- except, that is, if you happen to play a human female. Then you might look deep into your characters eyes and notice a certain "Stepford-wife" look, like a "2000-yard stare," as if her "irises are popping out of her head."

Asariah noticed this and posted his concerns in the Bug Report Forum (did you know there was a Bug Report Forum? neat huh?). Hortus spotted this report and informed us that the human female was the only one of the multiple races to receive a minor alteration from this, and that "it was decided that this was an acceptable change." Apparently someone up there at Blizzard is a big fan of 2000-yard, iris-popping, stepford-wife eyes in women!

For my part, though, I have to get up really close to my human female character to notice the difference -- and then when I do it makes me giggle uncontrollably. It's really no worse, in my opinion, than all those glowy reflections you see in anime girls' eyes. And to be honest, human women have always been a bit vacant-looking in WoW; they're better than human men, of course, but still don't usually look like paragons of profound intelligence. At least they don't bounce up and down like night-elf girls do.

[Via World of Raids]

Filed under: Human, Patches, Humor

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

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

Why is Kael a bad guy?


Lore-wise, I can't say I understand the direction they've taken with a number of characters from classic Warcraft games in BC, but I suppose that's the reason that the term "lorelol" was coined in the first place. Mike Schramm's pointed out that the canon can probably take the abuse, but there's one character in particular whose upcoming story arc kind of appalls me.

If you're trying to stay unspoiled for patch 2.4 -- why are you reading WoW Insider anyway? -- I'll slap the rest behind a cut.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Draenei, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, NPCs

A strange little house in Ashenvale

The Edune household and visitors.
Some older players might remember when all those empty huts and farms in The Barrens received a new infusion of life, with orc families inhabiting them and acting out stories both humorous (That poor kid being chased by a swarm of bees) and heartfelt (That poor kid waiting for his dad to come home from Warsong Gulch). A forum post by player Lalluna of the Darkspear server pointed out that, quite a few patches later, that liveliness may be spreading to other zones in Kalimdor!

Ever since patch 2.3, over in the far west of Ashenvale, just northwest of the Shrine of Aesinna, you'll find a rather lovely looking Night Elf abode, complete with a garden. Inhabiting it is the night elven Edune family: Benjari, Becanna, Elenna, and Aleanna. They seem to have visitors in the form of two humans, William and Sulan Dunadaire, a brother and sister. It's not just a silent tableau either, there's definitely stuff going on, as I'll show you after the break.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Druid, Hunter, Warlock, Humor, RP, NPCs

An entire day spent tanking

My wife works in retail, which means that the Christmas season is a bleak, wintry hell of surly, desperate customers for her, people who come to her department (electronics and home appliances, basically) and ask her where the yarn is. As a result, she doesn't have a lot of time to play the game, and I'm forced to PuG without her, which is a special kind of torture for me as I enjoy having the DPS in the same room with me so I can yell at her when she pulls aggro.

I never said I was particularly smart.

Anyway, the other day was unusual in that my human warrior tanked Heroic Sethekk, Heroic Underbog (not swamp or vale or forest of logs, it's your old friend, Underbog), Heroic Mechanar (and no, of course the sword didn't drop, why would the sword drop?) and Heroic Ramparts, followed up by Shattered Halls, in it's vanilla variety. This was unusual because I didn't know anyone in any of the groups, and also, it was more unusual because it was essentially the same group all the way through all of these instances.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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