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Filed under: Undead

The Colosseum: Rheek of Blackrock

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

Blackrock is currently the most electronically famous server for arena PvP in the World of Warcraft. We were very excited to have the opportunity to interview one of <sup fresh our turn baby>'s own druids. Rheek of Blackrock was kind enough to discuss a myriad of arena related topics and personal history.

At the time of this interview, Rheek is on a very respectable 2357 rated 3v3, Team Fanatic. A somewhat unorthodox wizard cleave team, his 3v3 composition is a resto druid / frost mage / destruction warlock combination.

Take a look at what Rheek had to say after the break!

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Filed under: Undead, Druid, Mage, Warlock, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, The Colosseum

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part I

Ahh, lovely Radiohead. The entirety of Scotch Mist (which is In Rainbows played live) will be our listening music, as I expect today's article to be somewhat...lengthy. Starting out with "Weird Fishes" is a nice touch -- you gotta love Radiohead's set order diversity. By the way, I'm going to continue supporting the Blood Sport column with listening music, due to overwhelming positive response. If you have any suggestions for songs, please let me know in the comments below!

Instead of talking about minor changes, I'm going to try to only hit the major ones here, as this is a giant patch. If you think I skipped something important, please let me know via the comments below and I'll reply.

Today, we'll be covering pet resilience, the Will of the Forsaken nerf, death knight, and druid changes, and what they hold for arena combatants. Expect the other classes and item/glyph changes soon! You can find all about Patch 3.3 here.

Check out what the last major patch of WotLK has for gladiators and challengers alike after the break!

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Filed under: Undead, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Varimathras' replacement: "B"


Earlier this year, we wondered just what would happen now that my favorite dreadlord, Varimathras, was vanquished in the Battle for the Undercity, and now Kisirani has provided us with a hint: someone whose name includes a "B." When someone repeats the question on the forums, she posts a note delivered by a bronze whelp hinting that someone will be back in Varimathras' place as of patch 3.3. The note is signed only with a "B," and (as Kisirani probably intended), it's anyone's guess just who that is.

And if by "anyone," you mean the denizens of the Blizzard forums, they all seem to think it's Nathanos Blightcaller, a Forsaken who has been sitting in the Eastern Plaguelands since the game began. He's recently been mentioned again in the game, as Varian Wrynn has sent Alliance players after him in Bolvar's place, and so it makes sense that he may rejoin the Banshee Queen and take his place at her side. Balnazzar, Varimathras' demon brother, is another guess, though he's currently serving secretly with the Scarlet Crusade, so who knows how he'd come to that position. And of course, besides Bornakk, anytime you hear B you have to think of our friend Bolvar, whose fate we'll probably learn in patch 3.3 no matter what. As for who it really is, we won't know for sure until we see them in the Undercity.

Filed under: Horde, Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

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

Pacifist Priest dings 80 on Friday

Reinisch is the pacifist Undead Priest who's aiming to make it to level 80 without killing anything at all (he's the same player as Noor, who we interviewed way back when and followed up with a while ago), and apparently this Friday, he's going to do it. He's inviting everybody out to a party on Friday afternoon, September 4th, at 6pm server over on The Venture Company. He's going to turn in a Dalaran fishing quest to do it, and he's got quick and easy directions posted on how to get to Dalaran as a level 1.

Though there might not be as much going on as other big server parties, it's probably worth going just to see him ding level 80 and the level 1 chaos in Dalaran that will ensue, but it's quite an achievement for sure, especially considering that this Priest was actually created before Noor -- he's named after a German priest who stood up to Hitler in the name of peace and was executed for it. It might be nice just to stop by and give the guy a grats as he dings -- pretty impressive to take a goal that most people would say was impossible, and do it in the game not once but twice on two different classes and factions.

Filed under: Undead, Engineering, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Fan art

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

DC Series 6 figures feature Sylvanas and Bronzebeard


We only just posted about the DC Unlimited Premium series 2 figures, and here comes another set that's getting announced way earlier than it's getting released. The series 6 set isn't actually due out until March of next year (seriously, what's with all of the early announce dates on these things?), but it does have some of the most-wanted lore figures in the game depicted in action figure form. Magni Bronzebeard, Sylvanas Windrunner, and goblin tinker Gibzz Sparklighter are all making appearances, as you can see over on DC's page.

I think they look pretty darn good, though I'm still not sold on actually buying one. We'll likely see them on the floor at BlizzCon, so if you want to get a closer look, be sure to poke around the DC booth there. And even if you're not going, we'll be sure to take pics for you.

Filed under: Alliance, Dwarves, Undead, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs

Forum Post of the Day: Chatroom of the Scourge


I don't know exactly what's so funny about this long chatlog between some of the more popular undead and evil NPCs of the game (maybe just how similar this crowd ends up being to us), but it is hilarious. Basically a sequel to the old boss chat, this one has "theLichKing" chatting with "Killzone'jaeden" and "An00barak" about everything from how cold it is in Icecrown to just where Sargeras is from. Very well done, Warraven of Ravenholdt. He even gets some nice lore in there even between all of the pony jokes.

And this little chatlog reminded me of all the funny stuff over at Wowbash. If you've never looked through the archives over there, definitely check them out, but be careful. Browsing all of those funny quotes is almost more addictive than actually playing the game.

Filed under: Undead, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Lore, NPCs, Fan art

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


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirtieth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

I should say at the outset of this article that I am a vegetarian, and I generally think of animals as cute and fuzzy friends of the human race. I have no moral objection against hunting animals and using their bodies for food or clothing, however. Logically, it makes sense that people have needed this to survive, but emotionally speaking, I find skinning and eating animals rather distasteful. Things would have been different for me if I had been raised on a farm or in a hunting community instead of a city thoroughly saturated with the culture of Disney movies about cute animals singing songs and having adventures, but... anyways, you are what you are. Hunting enthusiasts should feel free to write their own articles on the topic if they have different points of view.

So, anyway, as my vegetarian brain started churning around this idea of how skinning can be roleplayed in World of Warcraft, I couldn't help but admit to myself that I don't have so much real life experience of the topic. In fact, my first google search of "Skinning" turned up none other than WoWwiki's page on skinning in WoW, and I realized most people living in cities probably haven't got the first clue of what skinning animals is really like.

So I searched again for "skinning animals," and this time I found various articles about how to skin an animal for people who are interested in surviving in the wilderness, or just into hunting in general. One site even had simple hand-drawn animations of the proper way to kill and skin a rabbit, and I was struck by how very different this was from my experience of skinning in WoW. In the animation, we see the head and feet get cut off, a slice go down the middle of the animal's body, and the skin slowly peeling away to reveal all the flesh underneath... while in WoW we just right-click on a dead animal, loot its hide, and poof -- it disappears before our eyes.

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Filed under: Undead, Trolls, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Skinning, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Death Knight, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-sixth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Too many people roleplay alchemy as a glorified fast food restaurant, with typical phrases such as, "Would you like some healing potions to go with your strength elixir?" or "If you give me just one more herb I could throw in a mana potion too..." Of course, the game mechanics often put us in the salesman position. Limited supply and demand force us to compete with other alchemists for herbs and customers, so to some extent we may have to deal with the capitalist food chain to matter what we do.

But there's so much more to an alchemist than just magical boosts and bonuses! An alchemist has the potential to be the other mad scientist! Why should they let engineers have all the fun? Just because engineers can craft their own vehicles and whatnot doesn't mean that alchemists don't have something (or someone) of their own to experiment on.

Today we shall take a closer look at the depths of madness which alchemists are capable of reaching, if only they dig a bit into the unlimited supply and demand of the imagination.

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Filed under: Undead, Alchemy, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

DC shows off Series 5 figures


DC has officially announced their latest series of World of Warcraft action figures, and while there are only four figures shown off so far, they look awesome. These are the same figures we saw in the coverage of the New York Comic Con -- there's Lo'gosh (better known as Varian Wrynn, the new King of Stormwind), Hunter Alathea Moonbreeze and her pet Sorna, a demon form Illidan (hot!), and Rottingham, a Ghoul. We've got pictures of all the new figures in our gallery below.

Unfortunately, we aren't going to see this for sale for a long, long time -- DC has the date of release set as October 28, 2009. That doesn't really seem right to us (they only want to release four figures this year?), but that's what they say, so we'll go with it. Still, that Illidan figure looks awesome. The Hunter would be cute, and Lo'gosh would be nice to have if you're a fan of the comic book series, but Illidan is definitely the standout so far. Also check out all of our other DC figure galleries after the break.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Undead, Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, Classes, NPCs, Comics

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Horde Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-third in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.

Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
  • She's incredibly cool.
  • She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
  • She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
  • There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
  • She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
  • Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
  • She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Back to the Horde


Six months ago I wrote this post, detailing why I prefered the Alliance to the Horde.

Now I'm here writing about how I've gone back to the Horde.

While I do still find the lore of certain Horde races perplexing and confusing, and I do still maintain that much of the Horde/Alliance hostility is due to the legacy of the Old Horde that the New Horde simply hasn't dealt with (Varian Wrynn being a standout example of a guy who hates the New Horde almost entirely because of things the Old Horde did, like burn his city and kill his father) I also can't deny that given the opportunity to go back, I took it with very little hesitation. A solid 50% of that is the excellent folks I know who play Horde side, but the other 50% is the inherent coolness factor of the Horde. And I'm not just talking about blood and glory histrionics here, either.

Although yeah, that's fun too. But for me, it's the constant struggle to make the future out of the horror of the past that defines what I admire and enjoy about playing Horde.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Priests: 2008 the year of change

That year flew by really quick, didn't it? Last year, I remember I was working my way through Tempest Keep (Kael'Thas even). 2008 brought in a complete set of additions and changes for the Priest class across all 3 specs.

So, shall we get down to Priest class changes? Ranked in no particular order, we'll go over a few of the changes and the impact they had on the current game.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Draenei, Blood Elves

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