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Filed under: Undead

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the seventeenth 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.

Priests in the World of Warcraft are a single class that incorporates a wide variety of characters. They are best known for casting spells that call forth the power of the Holy Light, but the priest using these spells in the game mechanics doesn't necessarily have much connection to the Light as such -- rather they have a connection with their own religion which grants them similar effects to those of the Light.

When WoW was being developed, Blizzard realized that night elves and trolls, for instance, would not follow the Light in the same way humans and dwarves do, so they tried to represent a bit of this diversity through race-specific spells. It didn't work out, though -- some were too powerful, while others weren't worth reading about, much less putting on one's action bar. The end result was that they made some of these spells universally available to all priests, and completely removed the rest. Here the lore had to surrender to the game mechanics in order to provide the best game balance.

In roleplaying, however, there is a lot of room for players of different races to behave differently, and draw their powers from totally different sources. Greater Heal, for instance, could come either from the Light or the power of Elune. A Shadowfiend could either be a spawn of the Forgotten Shadow, or a dark trollish voodoo spirit. If you are roleplaying a priest, the only thing that really matters is that your character have some sort of faith or profound belief, which could serve as the source of their divine magical power. A priest's magic revolves around his or her strong beliefs and ideas -- but what those beliefs are is entirely up to you.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixteenth 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. It's also the first installment with a title that rhymes!

The Mage is the foremost master of magic in the Warcraft universe. Although all the other classes excluding the Warrior and the Rogue use magic of one sort or another with equally wonderful effects, the Mage is the class that's named after the stuff.

But what is magic? What does it feel like to harness it? Does the mage have to do a strange ritual or utter incomprehensible words in an ancient language in order to cast her spells? Other fantasy settings often have one or more of these elements together, but as far as I can tell, Warcraft lacks them.

Arcane magic in the World of Warcraft is an ever-present energy field surrounding the whole world. Mages access it by concentrating in the magic energy within themselves, feeling it rush through their body, and directing it as they please. Those spells that require reagents need an extra focusing item with magical properties of its own in order to bring about the desired effect, but for the most part, fireballs, frostbolts and arcane explosions can be created through the mere act of will on the part of a properly educated mind.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Will of the Forsaken nerf is a reason for quitting


Reader Dave M. sent this little gag to us from Blizzard's "Account Cancel" page. He was leaving the game (and frankly, we're sorry to see him go), and he noticed that if you choose "other" as the reason for leaving your account behind, you get another list of more wacky options. And among them (right between "All of my friends quit playing" and "Offline play not available") is that constant point of QQ: "Will of the Forsaken nerf."

Pretty funny that in terms of game mechanics, that's really the only listed reason for quitting ("it takes too long to move between regions" is in there as well, though it seems like a strange complaint that the game is too big). You'd think that the Ret Pally nerfs or Shaman QQ would at least be listed in there somewhere. But no, apparently for all the players that are saying "That's it, I quit" in response to nerfs, only the ones angry about the WotF nerf are actually doing it.

Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the fifteenth 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.

The Warlock is the ideological counterpart to the Paladin. Where paladins strive to wipe out evil wherever they see it, warlocks enslave those evils and use them for their own purposes. Being a warlock is all about harnessing the most wicked, corrupting, and evil forces in the universe.

Why are these forces evil, you ask? Aren't magical powers neutral in themselves depending on how you use them? Isn't killing with one weapon more or less the same as killing with another? Well, if you consider that a warrior basically cuts or bashes things, and a paladin cuts or bashes and brings down the righteous energy of justice. But a warlock uses curses and spells, which, like horrifying biological weapons of modern days, destroy his enemies' minds and eat away their bodies from the inside; wreaks massive havoc with great explosions and persisting fire; and sucks the souls out of people and creatures and uses them to power even more horrifying abilities, such as summoning demonic creatures who would just as soon pluck out your eyeballs as look at you.

To suffer at the hands of a warlock is significantly more excruciating than the attacks of any other class -- a slow, painful, torturous, agonizing death. If warlocks existed in modern earth, their abilities would be against all international agreements on human rights and rules of warfare; they would be squarely in the evil company of terrorism, drug-trafficking, slavery, and biological germ warfare development.

And yet if your warlock works for the Alliance or the Horde, he or she claims to do all of these things all for the greater good.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Gnomes, Orcs, Undead, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirteenth 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.

The Warrior is not merely a well-trained fighter who loves his weapons and armor and takes great care to wield them well -- inside each one is a boiling cauldron of rage and passion. By and large, warriors feel at home on the battlefield because it is the one place where they can express themselves, where they can finally let go of all the restraint society imposes on them and unleash all their emotions. Without his raging passion, a person would be much better suited to some calmer form of work -- it is this unquenchable fire which sustains a warrior, driving him into action in the midst of mortal peril.

Alliance warriors tend to focus more on training and weapon mastery, sometimes downplaying their rage so much that you hardly even see it. Some warriors like this (even in the Horde sometimes) may be so stoic that even they do not believe that they have any emotions whatsoever, although I doubt anyone who watched them fight could really agree. Something's got to make you willing to put on all that armor and risk death every day.

But Horde warriors are more likely to display their rage, bloodlust, and other aggressive emotions much more freely. Of course, it's possible that a Horde warrior could have a collection of stuffed animals, write poetry, and even play hopscotch with children, but their rage lurks deep within, and the essence of their profession is to let it loose.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Warrior, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the ninth 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.

There are those who like to buy Hello Kitty paraphernalia, decorate their bedroom with stuffed animals, or perhaps just smile at anyone they pass on the street. The Forsaken would eat those people for breakfast.

I see, dear readers, that I have caused some of you to recoil in horror at the very thought of such depravity. But to the Forsaken it is not uncommon to view other people as potential lunch -- the reason being that the Forsaken are not really "people" as such. They used to be people, they remember being people, and yet now they are not. Their bodies are decayed and some of their flesh is missing -- and yet they are doomed to walk this world under the curse of undeath, animated by evil magic rather than natural life energy, denied all those things that living people enjoy.

Consider for a moment the pleasures of the flesh: the rich taste of food in your mouth, the soft touch of the breeze in your hair, or the embrace of your dearest loved one. Consider also the feeling in your body when you rise to heights of anger or fear, joy or sadness. Now imagine if all those were taken away -- you may still eat, but your meals no longer taste good or bad; the breeze simply disturbs the stiff remains of hair on your head; and the embrace of your loved one would feel like the touch of wax upon wax, if anyone could love you enough to touch you anymore. You don't even feel that love in your heart anymore -- no feeling, no matter how passionate, can make it beat even once more. The feelings you used to live with every day are merely ideas now, reminders of a time when you lived in the body that now traps you in its cold and dark materials.

If you were thus afflicted, could you maintain any sense of compassion?

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Filed under: Horde, Undead, Lore, RP, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Barrens Chat: Spoiled Rotten


So, this is somewhat of a spoiler strip. It is something that has been mentioned and posted in previous articles, but just in case you skipped those for obvious reasons, you probably should skip this, also.

That being said, I noticed while drawing this out and looking at a screen shot of Thrall that he looks like a green, balding version of the Geico cavemen. With big teeth, of course. Maybe it's just me.

I know I've started doing them on the computer entirely again, but I uh... misplaced my drawing paper. When I get paid this Friday maybe I'll go pick up more, but that's a really long drive to the nearest art store.

Possible alternate text for a couple of the panels after the jump!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

Spiritual Guidance: Level 5 to 20

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. For the next few weeks (unless it's something game breaking), Matt will do his best to guide you through the Priest leveling process!

Wrath is almost upon us. As a result, you may have decided that you have nothing better to do then to roll a Priest! A quick glance at the WI leveling guides shows completed class guides for every almost every other class but Priests!

This must be changed. The countdown has begun.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, How-tos, Draenei, Leveling, Talents, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Breakfast Topic: If you could choose your racials

If you haven't already checked out the list of updated racial abilities, you should. Some have been nerfed, others were buffed, and new ones, like the "Voodoo Shuffle" were added.

While racials are a nice bonus, they can weigh heavily on your racial decision when rolling a given class. For example, many Horde warriors roll Tauren because of the 5% health increase. This conflicts with rolling the race that you'd prefer combined with the class you desire.

There has been much speculation about what it would be like to be able to choose your own racials, and reader Mike even came up with a talent tree method for doing just that.

If you were given the power to choose, which three or four would you choose, and why? Keep in mind the overall balance which generally includes a passive ability, an active one, and one or two minor buffs to stats such as resistances, health, or professions.

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

New racial abilities for Wrath


It looks like Blizzard isn't done tinkering with everything for Wrath of the Lich King. This time, they've turned their attention to racial abilities, which many have pointed out to be imbalanced. Kalgan dropped by the forums to answer a good question regarding the Orc racial Hardiness, which grants a passive 15% resistance to stuns. It's been nerfed a long way from its original 25% resistance, but the poster made a good point about the game's direction towards reduced durations instead of resistances.

Kalgan responds by saying that Hardiness was being changed into exactly that -- an effect duration reduction of 15%. He also goes over all the other racials, some of which were changed, others of which were buffed, and yet a few others of which were inevitably nerfed. The changes should make it into the next Beta push. Check after the break to see the complete list. [CLARIFICATION: This isn't the complete list of racial abilities. Abilities not listed here are unchanged or, if they will be changed, will be mentioned in the future.]

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Draenei, Blood Elves, Wrath of the Lich King

Sylvanas finally gets her makeover

It has finally happened, ladies and gentlemen. Sylvanas has finally received her true High Elf model in the latest beta push. It's about time! The lighting of Undercity does her a bit of an injustice when she doesn't have a Night Elf's skin, but things are as they should be now. Don't worry, this isn't another fake or 'fan interpretation' or anything like that. It's the real deal, seen in Undercity with my own two eyes.

We haven't seen her in Northrend yet, my personal guess is that she'll be in Icecrown once that has opened up, and she'll probably look much cooler out there. This beta patch brought us the Storm Peaks, so I would guess Icecrown isn't too far off. If you want a close-up of the shiny new Sylvanas, just click the link below.

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Filed under: Undead, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Traces of the Wrath cinematic found ingame


Just in case, like me, you were wondering just what happened in the cinematic for Wrath of the Lich King yesterday (wait -- Arthas puts Frostmourne in the ground and a dragon comes out?), it looks like we're likely to get some answers. We didn't exactly see any familiar player characters or races in the trailer, but apparently the location of Arthas' little dragon summon can be seen in Northrend, as per the shot above. We still don't know what spell it is that summons a frost wyrm, but you can clearly see the hole in the ground the thing left.

And while most players assumed the wyrm was Sapphiron (the frost wyrm boss of Naxxramas), MMO Champion doesn't think so -- there's a model in the beta called Sindragosa (labeled "The Frost Queen"), and there's a place called "Sindragosa's Fall" -- we're not sure where it is in the game, or if that's it above, as Icecrown Citadel has barely been explored.

So maybe further questing and lore in the expansion will give us a little bit of a clue as to what exactly Arthas was doing in that trailer. Odds are that dragon we saw is ingame somewhere, and we players are probably just the dragonslayers to slay it.

Update: Yep, the area is Sindragosa's Fall, which makes the dragon almost definitely Sindragosa. So it looks like the summoning we saw in the cinematic might be more story significant than we thought.

Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Bosses, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Increased lung capacity in Wrath Beta

While there's no definite word from a blue on whether it's working as intended or not, there's an interesting buff on the Beta servers at the moment: Everyone seems to have a much longer breath timer when swimming underwater. Whereas it took about 1 minute for breath to run out, now it seems to last for approximately 3 minutes.

In effect then, it's like everyone has gained the Underwater Breathing racial of the Forsaken. If it's a permanent buff and not just some crossed wires, it should make underwater questing (and there is some in Wrath) a bit easier!

Of course, I'm not giving up my Hydrocane just yet, either. It seems like a strange change to make out of the blue, and it does negate one of the Forsaken's racials, more or less.

Filed under: Undead, Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King's magical city of Dalaran

Dalaran, which is more or less the Shattrath of Wrath, has been getting a lot of love in the last couple of beta patches. It seems development on that particular bit of Northrend is going at full steam. It's still far from complete, with a whole legion of NPCs missing, the inside of some buildings still lack textures, and entire parts of the city still walled off. It really is coming together little by little though, and the city is more or less presentable now, not to mention beautiful -- it's like cotton candy for your eyeballs.

We've put together a little gallery of Dalaran for you to sift through if you're interested, and as the beta patches go by we'll probably update it with more of the finished product. Not yet pictured is the Dalaran Sewers, but I hope to fix that soon. What are the Dalaran sewers, you might be wondering? It's a small hidden town beneath Dalaran, within the pipelines that were torn up when the relocation took place. It's full of all sorts of unsavory stuff. Awesome? Yes. Yes it is.

Filed under: Undead, Expansions, Lore, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Lore Nerd: Now now, there's enough Light for everybody


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

Aydinn of Cenarion Circle
wrote in to ask...

My question is (which may seem obvious to some), who is the goblin statue at Booty Bay? Why does he deserve a statue?

Answer: Thanks for writing in! Good to hear from people from my home server. That statue on Janeiro Isle might be of Baron Revilgaz, the overseer and top dog of Booty Bay. He deserves a statue because... he wanted a statue, and he's freaking Baron Revilgaz. He runs the show. Really, though, it's kind of a generic Goblinoid figure so it could be nobody at all.

At one time, it was a statue of a Human Priest. It's a nod to a really cool landmark here in the real world. It's based on Christ the Redeemer, a statue found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You may recognize it from an episode of Lupin III. Eh? No? ...oh. Oh well. It's a pretty awesome sight to see in real life regardless of whether you put faith in what it represents or not. The in-game model was likely changed from a Human to a Goblin to back away from the religious overtones while keeping the reference, and Goblins fit the area better anyway.

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Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

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