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Filed under: Orcs

Barrens Chat: Encore

I don't get to play World of Warcraft very often anymore. Real life comes up and gets in the way all the time, and then you have to sit back and listen to your friends talk about how much fun they've had in the past few weeks you've been away. So you sit, and you wait, and eventually you get time to log on again, run around, and have a jolly old time. Especially when you get to hang out with good people.

I've never had Ventrilo or any other sort of microphone attachment that would broadcast my voice across the Internet. For one point, I'd have to break down and buy a headset of some sort. Knowing me I'd likely break it within a week, so I'd actually need to buy two, but that's alright. The other reason is, I'm not entirely sure I want the ability to hear other absent minded people like me babbling to themselves, forgetting the rest of the world can hear them.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Trolls, Blood Elves, Comics, Barrens Chat

Barrens Chat: Eat your heart out, Rogers

I hope everyone who celebrated this weekend had a save and fun filled holiday.

This comic strip was actually brought about by a comment I saw made by a Blue, which one I can't recall as I read the thread it was made in two weeks ago and bookmarked the wrong one. The comment was more or less along the lines of if you want a good thing, don't rush it, and was made in response to people demanding new BGs.

The comic is a result of my being laid up with some sort of crazy bug all last week, and certain medications making me hallucinate. Fun, really, if it weren't for the fact I kept waking up thinking my scanner was talking to me.

See you next week!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck
Barrens Chat is a weekly installment of comic insanity from around Azeroth. Barrens Chat is not edible, and swallowing may cause delirium in small children and the elderly. Barrens Chat is not intended to be used as a flotation device, so please use caution around water. If you are feeling like licking your Draenei friend might be a good idea, I'd suggest against it. Instead, come back next week for another comic.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Night Elves, Orcs, Comics, Barrens Chat

Warcraft III's Orc appears on fireworks

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July today than to sit outside with some good beer, some tasty BBQ, and a whole lot of cheaply made fireworks? Brom and Seku on the Llane server were kind enough to send us this picture they took of a firework they found at a store in Pittsburg, Kansas -- apparently the "Behemoth," made by the Consumer Fireworks company in China, not only "emits showers of sparks," it also blows copyright law completely out of the water. Very nice.

One more gigantic pic of the Behemoth and its Warcraft III orc cover art after the jump. If you do use fireworks (or break copyright law) today, do it safely, and have a great holiday!

Gallery: Orc Fireworks

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Filed under: Orcs, Items, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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

Barrens Chat: You're pulling my fin

I have these questions about some of the random things I find in World of Warcraft. One the one hand, I'm intensely curious as to the answer to these questions. On the other hand, I'm really not sure I want to know.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of playing the game sometimes is imagining what it is that is really going on behind the scenes. With an imagination like mine, this can sometimes lead to really interesting ideas as to just how things work.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Fishing, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

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

"Employee only" bronze Orc and wolf statue finds its way onto eBay

Here's an eBay auction that might be worth watching: A rather spiffy looking bronze statue of an Orcish Wolf Rider. While the statue looks pretty awesome on its own, what's intriguing is the source: the seller claims that this is the statue created exclusively for Blizzard by WETA employed sculptors Eden Small and Daniel Cockersell. You may recall this article in the OC Register (Alex Ziebart reported on it for WoW Insider here), which mentions the commission of a 12 foot high version of this statue for the courtyard of their new headquarters, to be installed this summer.

Certainly, the statue looks pretty good, and it has an impressive pedigree. Daniel Cockersell himself has also created some pretty good looking Warhammer sculptures, and Small and Cockersell have also worked together on official merchandise for the upcoming Prince Caspian Movie and Doctor Who, among other things.

I'm not sure I'll have the money to get in on this auction, since I imagine it'll get pretty high, but I do sort of want to head down to Irvine this summer just to drool over the larger version. I'm sure it'll look pretty sweet if this smaller statue is any indication.

I have to admit to being curious as to which Blizzard employee decided they'd rather have a bit of extra pocket money instead of the statue, though, or if there's another reason that this statue has appeared on eBay, and from a seller in Ireland, at that.

[Thanks for the tip, Lim!]

Filed under: Orcs, Blizzard, News items

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: Electing a leader for the Horde (Poll)

Yesterday we began the primary election to name a leader for the Alliance . So far it's a close race between Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, King Magni Bronzebeard, and High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind. Lady Jaina Proudmoore stands out as a highly regarded write-in candidate, and may well win her way to an independent nomination of the final ballot.

Today we stand ready to select a leader over the entire Horde faction. Many have already begun campaigning for Thrall, possibly mistaking him for a member of the Alliance.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Polls, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Blood Elves, NPCs

WoW Moviewatch: Gort'agash trailer

Shagatrog has put together a short trailer of an upcoming WoW based movie he is making. For his very first try at editing I was impressed with his story telling, music selection and use of the Model Viewer. He needs voice actors for his production so take a look at the trailer and if you're interested in helping him out, check out a forum thread he started about his movie.

[via WarcraftMovies]

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Orcs, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

About the Bloggers: Amanda Miller

About the Bloggers is a new series on WoW Insider. Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better.

What's your main right now?
Lately I've been switching between my level 70 Beast Mastery orc hunter (male), and my 50-something blood elf Holy paladin (female).

For the Horde, or Glory to the Alliance?
I'm definitely a Horde girl, although in the future I would like to level my Alliance characters.

Favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
I used to be heavily into fishing, but lately I've been spending most of my time in battlegrounds.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Hunter, Paladin, WoW Insider Business, Blood Elves, About the Bloggers

Totem Talk: Personally

Totem Talk is the column for Shamans. Matthew Rossi plays two shamans, a level 70 horde resto shaman and a level 70 alliance enhancement shaman. Actually, he specced his orc enhancement last night, but he'll be resto again by tonight's raid, it's just a lark.

Yes, that's my healing shaman in the back there, wearing enhancement gear. I went and respecced him to enhancement after the raid was over, knowing full well that I'd be resto again by tonight, because by the end of the raid I was literally vibrating with suppressed tension. Not because it had gone poorly, not at all, we one shot everything we saw. (Go Vees!) But on several occasions we lost one or two players on a boss, or even on a trash pull, and I realized something about myself as a healer last night.

I take it personally when anyone dies.

I really hate when I let the DPS die. Especially when it's melee DPS, because those guys are usually right next to the tank, which means it feels like it's my fault for not getting my chain heals off in time, or not targeting the right people fast enough. I get worked up when I see people drop, especially when I was casting a heal and then it fails because they died before I finished casting. This is one of the worst feelings in the world to me.

So I specced enhancement, picked up a couple of decent green fist weapons with 2.6 speed, and went out to beat on some things. I got lucky and picked up a set of Beastmaw Pauldrons last night (no other mail in the raid) so while my punchers weren't very good, the rest of my gear is fairly nice, with a couple of purples and solid blues otherwise. And I went out and I beat on things until I felt better about it. Yes, I realize this was a ridiculous thing to do. Yes, I went out in the game and did something to relieve the stress I'd accumulated playing the game. But hey, it worked, and tonight I'll be back on the healing log.

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Filed under: Orcs, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: You are the panic button

Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi has, between his orc and his draenei, logged no less than sixteen Tempest Keep runs over the holidays. He got some loot (yay new 2.6 speed main hand fist weapon yay), which he assumes means that Blizzard doesn't think he was a bad boy this year. EIther that, or their naughty/nice algorithm isn't as sophisticated as we were all led to believe.

Howdy again and welcome to Totem Talk. I promise I haven't forgotten about the leveling guide again. But like I said in the header, I've been running a lot of instances on my shammies lately and I thought some of the experinces I've had over the week were worth a column.

First off, I'm still sad to report that enhancement shamans only get invited along on a PuG if the group is desperate for a fourth or fifth man or if someone you know is putting the run together. Someone you know could be you yourself, I'm not super-fast to judge, but I did find that once I did a few runs with people they would start asking me back, which is nice. Since enhancement is such a good spec for soloing, it's been hard to jog myself into the instance mode with the squiddie.

Meanwhile, resto shamans still get deluged in requests to heal runs. So that hasn't changed. The orc wasn't even logged on when I got asked to switch faces and heal Botanica and Arcatraz. One thing I've decided, based on all these runs, is that as a shaman you basically have a plethora of abilities to help restore a run that's about to hit the skids.

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Filed under: Orcs, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Draenei, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Know Your Lore: Thrall (part one)

Thrall has an action figure. It even comes with a Doomhammer.You knew we'd get to him sooner or later. Brace yourselves for a two parter: this one's going to be huge. There's so much to say about Thrall.

Thrall, son of Durotan. Rightful Chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan. Warchief of the Horde. Single most badass orc out there. He's a shaman, but he can wear plate. He's that awesome. Since last time I wrote about the most evil orc ever, I figured this time out we should talk about the savior of the orcish people, the guy who brought pure shamanism back to the Horde, the guy who threw a freaking hammer at a pit lord (okay, so he got owned, but we all know he was just giving Grom his big hero moment) and who was the only one to just listen to Medivh instead of doing something stupid like going to Northrend.

Even when I played Alliance... heck, even when my main was an Alliance Paladin, way back in the dim misty recesses of the past.... there was no question but that you had to respect Thrall. So how did this paragon of Orcishness (no, it's not a word) come into being? How did he rise from being a heck of a pain to escort in Durnholde Keep to eventually being a heck of a pain to keep away from the fighting at Mount Hyjal?

Like most people, Thrall started life as a baby, in his case a baby orc. His father Durotan and mother Draka were among the few orcs that didn't buy into Gul'dan's new Horde and refused to drink the Blood of Mannoroth. Not drinking the blood was smart. Letting Gul'dan know they didn't like him wasn't as smart. (Durotan's childhood friend, Orgrim Doomhammer, also didn't drink the blood, but he managed to make it look like he was deferring out of reverence for his warchief, Blackhand the Destroyer, whereas Durotan outright refused to do it.) Since the Frostwolves had been warned by Gul'dan's former mentor, Ner'zhul, they ended up exiled for their refusal and found themselves forced to eke a difficult life out of the frozen Alterac Valley.

However, as we learned last time, Gul'dan was not exactly the forgiving sort. So he decided that exile to Alterac Valley wasn't enough punishment for Durotan and his people. Being Gul'dan, he decided that having the defiant chieftain of the Frostwolves treacherously murdered was a better idea.

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Filed under: Orcs, Shaman, Warrior, Lore, Know your Lore

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