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Filed under: Rumors

Breakfast Topic: Would you play a Worgen or a Goblin?


So it might just be some fanciful speculation, the product of rampant imaginings after digging through some game files. It could mean something, it could mean nothing. But yesterday's bombshell discovery of Halloween masks, traditionally reserved for playable races, threw a whole bunch of us into a tizzy. Goblins as playable races? That wouldn't be too surprising considering they've had models in the game that could wear player armor, anyway. But Worgen? I mean, wow.

It's not that far-fetched, either. The Undermine, the home of the Goblins, is situated near the Maelstrom. Remember how Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm, which in Azerothian terms actually refers to the events around the Maelstrom? That means we just might see The Undermine in the next expansion. So Goblins aren't such a wild idea.

But what about the Worgen?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Rumors, Cataclysm

New Halloween masks point to a new playable race?


Here's an interesting tidbit from Scrolls of Lore, where they've dug up some files that could possibly hint at future playable races for the World of Warcraft. Remember that tidbit about Kalgan saying how Blizzard plans to "pre-seed" future playable races in the game before they actually become available? It's a different approach from the way they retconned Draenei into game.

Well, the folks over at Scrolls of Lore dug up some Halloween masks that have male and female Goblins - nothing new there - but a pair of werewolf, or Worgen, masks, as well. What's the curious thing about this? Well, we've never actually seen any female Worgen in the game, have we? Right. Well, there it is. A nice, pretty, green-eyed Worgen female mask. It may or not mean anything, of course, as these are just graphic files, or skins, placed on top of in-game models. But still... remember that Greymane Wall? Ever wonder why so many Worgen are outside of it? Remember how Blizzard hinted it would open up soon? Yeah. Just sayin'.

Many thanks to Tori for the tip! Also, Omacron links us to a blog stitching the faces together for a better look at the, uh, masks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Rumors

Patch 3.2 PTR: Tauren Druid conversation may reveal lore and expansion secrets

Reader Chad forwarded us this screen shot of a conversation that takes place over on Elder rise in Thunder Bluff between two Tauren on the patch 3.2 PTR. Apparently it actually begins with a new quest by the Dalaran Portals, as pointed out in this thread at Scrolls of Lore, and while the quest leads nowhere, you do get to hear the linked dialogue.

In it, Aponi Brightmane, a wounded warrior who wishes to return the front lines in Northrend, and Tahu Sagewind, a Druid, speak together about the history of Druidism, the moon, and the sun. They speak of Elune, whom they know as Mu'sha, one of the eyes of the the Earth Mother. They mention that it seems strange that if Tauren were the first Druids as their legends claim, that all Hamuul Runetotem teaches is the moon power of the Night Elves. Tahu wonders if Druids themselves, because of this, are out of balance. The idea segues back into the idea of the world out of balance due to the influence of the Scourge, wondering if sitting idle in Thunder Bluff is really a good idea when the Northern front is so bleak, wondering if balance must needs to be returned by action.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Rumors

WoW Rookie: Talking with the enemy

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

You can't talk to the enemy in the World of Warcraft. Shouting "KEK" when you're on your Alliance character doesn't read as "LOL" to the Horde players, no matter how many times you've heard that rumor. You can't Mind Control the enemy and then babble away in your own tongue (although that did work for one amazing, once-upon-a-time period in a long-ago patch). The truth is, trying to leapfrog the Alliance/Horde language barrier is a bannable offense; you're just not supposed to talk to the enemy.

That said, there is a way you can make your intentions known to players of the opposite faction: standard, pre-set emotes. The only emotes that work between factions are the ones that are already in place in the game. Creating your own emote by typing "/e yourmessage" only works for players of your own faction; for others, it translates to "X makes some strange gestures" – pretty antagonistic, really, no matter what you're actually intending to convey.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie, Rumors

The Maelstrom: Lore behind the possible next WoW expansion


Many of you have likely heard the theory floating around that the Emerald Dream might be the next expansion pack, but you may not have heard about the other popular theory: The Maelstrom.

How would you feel about an expansion where the naga are the villains, the murlocs do their bidding, a powerful queen emerges, and dormant gods awaken? We've braved alien lands and the cold, harsh climate of Northrend, so how would you fancy going out to sea, discovering new islands and diving down to sunken cities?

I have to admit, my first reaction to the concept was an inner groan of disappointment, but when I read into it further over at Lorecrafted, I became intrigued. After all, who hasn't dreamed of drifting off to explore the Great Sea? I've wanted to see a sunken city ever since my first character, a female Troll Shaman, discovered that she had no home city. Deep down, she was sure that there simply had to be some lost troll city, perhaps beneath the sea, or at the very least, a place to rebuild, reconnect and start anew.

What do you think, folks? If this were to be our next adventure, do you think you could get excited, or are you itching for the Emerald Dream or something else entirely?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Rumors

Why Varian Wrynn is a fool (and why it may not matter)


For a while now I've been mulling over points raised by Daniel in his much-discussed article, "Why Varian Wrynn Is Right," and we've received a number of requests to address the issue from the Horde's point of view. Well...this article isn't going to do that. It started off that way, and then I realized that Varian's personal issues and the Horde's approach to the problem are really two entirely separate matters. At some point in the future, I'd like to examine the Horde's take on the newly-resurgent antagonism between the factions, because it's not something I can adequately address here without turning this into a 10,000-word tract.

Today, we're going to deal almost exclusively with Varian and his share of responsibility for the current mess. I'm a little ambivalent over Blizzard's decision to include most of the backstory and explanations for Varian's behavior in a comic series, because I think it's one of the factors that's resulted the character's being poorly received by most players. Choosing to include so much of his characterization out of the game in a product most players will never read necessarily impacts how Varian's motives are going to be evaluated. If all you've got to go on is what you see of the king from ingame events...he doesn't look so great. This isn't a defense of Varian so much as a commentary on the somewhat inconsistent approach to his character that's resulted. I haven't read each of the comics, but I'm familiar with the storyline, and this article doesn't assume that you need to have read the out-of-game books or comics in order to follow the argument.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Ghostcrawler hints at another patch before patch 3.2


With many of the major features of patch 3.2 having been announced, and a lot of people already somewhat bored with patch 3.1 content, and with the new dungeon/raid instance being a relatively simple "arena" format, many have been hoping that we'll see a 3.2 PTR soon. However, it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer than hoped. In a recent post regarding adjustments to Druid set bonuses, Ghostcrawler let slip that a change would be coming "long before 3.2."

While it's possible this could just be slipped in with other hotfixes, it does seem to imply that we can expect another bug fix and minor balance tweaking patch before 3.2 hits the servers. Of course, this is probably good news for those hoping for adjustments and fixes for their class or spec, but for those who just want more new stuff to do: Well, sorry, you may have to make those ulduar trips or Argent Tournament dailies last just a bit longer.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors

Bolfang and the future of the Horde and the Alliance


Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Wrathgate in-game event.


So Callouse of Vashj posted a theory on the General Forums that is so elegant that I'm sort of ashamed I didn't think of it myself. At the Wrathgate, we know that Arthas absorbed the soul of Saurfang the Younger into his sword. Evidence also points to the idea that he stole Bolvar Fordragon's body. This has lead to rampant speculation that we will eventually fight one or both as thralls of the Lich King.

But Callouse posits that we may end up seeing one and both at once. That is, we'll see Saurfang the Younger's soul in Bolvar's body.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Bosses, RP, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Video teases iPhone WoW client

I can honestly say that I would love to have WoW available on the go, for things ranging from checking my mail to browsing the auction house to leveling a death knight on long car trips. The iPhone seems like a great platform for something like that -- a pared-down but fully-functional WoW client.

And now we might be a little closer to that becoming a reality. Our sister site, Massively, just picked up a hot tip from Youtube, where someone has posted a video of a rumored Vollee port of World of Warcraft for the iPhone.

And it looks pretty darn cool, fake or not.

We've got the video and impressions after the jump.

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Filed under: News items, Rumors

Magic Eight Ball Says: Outlook good for Patch 3.1 tomorrow

The World of Warcraft is waiting with bated breath tonight for the official announcement of Patch 3.1 going live tomorrow, and it appears that announcement will be coming soon.

WoW Insider has a few sources that are all pointing towards tomorrow as the release date, save some major internal mess up at Blizzard HQ. MMO-Champion also has some (Are our sources the same? The world may never know.), and Bibi is running a similar announcement over there. While these are, by definition, just rumors, they are taken quite credibly by many of us.

What does this mean for you?

It means you'll want to become familiar quickly with all the patch 3.1 changes if you haven't already. The best place to find out everything is via WoW Insider's Guide to Patch 3.1. Be sure to check back on it throughout this evening as we get more information in and tomorrow as the floodgates open.

Should be a fun few days!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors

Are we being teased about the next expansion?

So there's been a feeling in the air lately that some of the blues have been in a bit of a teasing mood. Sure, that's not neccessarily new, but what is interesting is what exactly they may be teasing us about. For example, here's a recent post in which one Sulmus of Aerie Peak asks for the Greymane Wall to be opened. Zarhym soon jumps in to say that they would be "out of their mind" to open the wall... then follows up with random ellipses. To top it all off, Bornakk and Crygil jump in with silly punctuation of their own.

Now when Alex and I were discussing this the other day, Alex insisted that they were basically admitting that the Greymane wall would be opened, likely in conjunction with the next expansion. He says it's already in the planning stages, and the blues are just waving the knowledge tantalizingly out of sight because they're not allowed to officially announce it yet. Now, at first I wasn't really on board with it, but then I noticed another post Zarhym commented in.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Lore, Rumors

Breakfast Topic: New 5-man dungeon plotlines

So the rumors of a new 5-man dungeon to come sometime before Icecrown, maybe in 3.2 or 3.3, continue to persist. Assuming they're true, I wonder: What would you like to see? I have a few ideas of my own.

How about a Grimtotem dungeon? Let's unmask Magatha once and for all as a Scourge agent. Some quest lines point to the possibility, and it's an excuse to implement a nice Great Masquerade type quest line complete with confrontation in Thunder Bluff. It's topical to Wrath, and it shakes Tauren lore up a bit. It's a perfect idea all around, as far as I'm concerned.

If that idea doesn't tickle your fancy, I have a few more after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

No current plans to let you spend Achievement Points

Every now and then, I hear through the grapevine that in the future, we will be able to spend our Achievement Points on, most likely, novelty items. This rumor has been around since Achievements were announced, and has even been mentioned by a blue or two.

Unfortunately, it seems that implementing this is far from being in the works. Bornakk has confirmed that Achievement Points are "simply a marker of progression in the game" and that there are no current plans to work in a way to spend them.

How do you feel about this? Personally, I was hoping for the eventual vendor selling items like walking canes, pinwheel hats and walking-speed pogo sticks. Still, not being able to spend my points will not stop me from collecting them!

Filed under: RP, Rumors, Achievements

Aquatic mounts and the next expansion

A lot of you readers glommed right on to the first thing that I too noticed in the notes about the patch 3.1 pets and mounts yesterday. Ok, well, the first thing I noticed was the Gurloc and Wolvar orphans -- new Children's Week fun! -- but the second thing was the fact that we've got an "aquatic" mount going into the game for the first time ever. Not only are normal mounts going underwater, but we'll soon have access to an Aquatic Riding Ray that will presumably only work under water.

That's a big deal, and it pins just a little more credence onto the longtime rumors that the next expansion of the game will take us into the big watery swirly known as the Maelstrom. Lots of water activity was actually updated in this expansion already -- there are many more items designed to help us breathe underwater, and breathing itself was buffed quite a bit.

Of course, the Emerald Dream is also rumored to be included in the next big expansion, but of course we've also heard rumors that we'll actually see both at the same time. Whatever the truth turns out to be, you can probably put money on the fact that this is only the first Aquatic mount we'll see in the game, and that we'll be headed into the water even more soon.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Expansions, Mounts, Rumors

How to be useful on the PTR


Yep, another PTR post. For all we know, the recent frenzy surrounding the PTR has been manufactured by Blizzard as a practical joke while their programmers are out playing skee-ball. We don't have the foggiest idea of when it's going to hit, but back-channel discussion here at WoW Insider HQ currently has the smart money on "whenever Elizabeth Wachowski is away from her computer."

My real reason for writing this is that a lot of people in the beta seemed to treat the server as an extended vacation from the live realms, and this upset a lot of old PTR hands who assumed people knew they were supposed to submit feedback, and not just play with all the cool new toys. Yes, you should have fun, and you can contemplate the trippy philosophical notion of your character's existence in an alternate universe (duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!), but you can do a lot of things to help patch 3.1 launch without issues. The point of the test realms' existence is for Blizzard to test everything new with as large a population of players as possible. If you're uninterested in submitting polite, honest, and frequent feedback, you're making it harder for them to get an accurate sense of the patch's impact on live realms.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Features, Guides, Hardware, Rumors

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