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Posts with tag DrekThar

Voice acting in Warlords of Draenor

There was a moment in the Warlords of Draenor beta when I realized that I was getting a quest from Frank Welker. Aka Megatron. Aka Nibbler from Futurama. Aka a million other voices. The man has 728 credits as an actor on IMDB, and here he is, doing a voice in the Warlords beta. Specifically, Reshad the storekeeper. See, they recently added a ton of voice acting to the beta - pretty much every character you interact with has significant voice work put into it, and for the most part it's frankly stunning. I'm not trying to exaggerate here, but the difference between this expansion and, as an example, Lady Sindragosa's Betraaaaaaaaays you dialogue is night and day.

Heck, just pop over to Frostfire Ridge at level 90, or run through the Tanaan Jungle opening, and you'll hear a variety of voice actors, more so than World of Warcraft has ever boasted.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Reddit user wins AV like a real champion

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Alterac Valley has been a brutal contest between the Alliance and the Horde since the beginning of World of Warcraft. The Battleground has gone through radical redesigns over the years, but one thing has remained the same -- Alterac Valley has always held a powerful, destructive secret for the brave to exploit when there was otherwise no hope for victory.

Reddit user frodwith posted a tale of an epic AV battle, an Alliance team on the ropes, and a force awakened in the snowy chasm that has not seen the light of day in long, long time. When a full team of Horde multiboxers (players who use multiple characters simultaneously) garrisoned themselves into Drek'thar's keep to farm honor, the Alliance had to take drastic measures.

Some people do not even know of the existence of Ivus the Forest Lord or Lokholar the Ice Lord, two nasty NPCs that are spawnable by turning in the faction's respective items. After a summoning ritual, the faction's NPC will spawn and set upon a path of destruction all the way to the enemy leader's keep.

I think you can see where this story might go. With Drek'thar heavily guarded and an expert team of computer-assisted players between the Alliance and victory, everyone worked together to begin the summoning rituals. Read the full story on Reddit for a fun, nostalgic time of triumph and PvP adversity.

Filed under: PvP, Humor

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 1

The Shattering cover
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

On Nov. 22, 2010, millions of players logged in to World of Warcraft to view the old world one final time. Whether venturing to out-of-the-way spots, running around the park in Stormwind, or saying goodbye to Magni Bronzebeard and Cairne Bloodhoof, every player was well aware that the next day, these locations and people would no longer exist. As for me, my guild leader took those of us who wished to go on a romp around the hidden places in Azeroth that many had never before seen and would never see again.

On Nov. 23, players logged on to find an entirely different, harsher world waiting for them. Orgrimmar was transformed into a bristling fortress of iron and steel. Stormwind's façade was forever marred by the charred claw marks of Deathwing, and the lovely park nestled in the corner of the mighty city had been torched and fallen away into the sea below. In Ironforge, the city was now ruled by a council of three; in Orgrimmar, a new Warchief sat on the throne. In Thunder Bluff, Baine Bloodhoof now stood in the place of honor once reserved for his father Cairne.

For those who read the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden, all these events made perfect sense. For those who hadn't picked up the book, the resounding question asked was a simple "What happened?"

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you've been putting off picking up the book and giving it a read and would like to remain unspoiled, I would highly suggest turning away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Orgrim Doomhammer, part 2


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

See last week's Know Your Lore: Orgrim Doomhammer, part 1.

When talking about the second Warchief of the Horde, a few salient facts must always be discussed.

Orgrim Doomhammer did not drink the demon blood. Frankly, as purely subjective and biased as it may be, I don't find the idea that, "Oh, well, they were addicted to the demon blood," is anything like an excuse for what the Horde did in the First and Second Wars. Objectively, the Horde burst through the Dark Portal, murdered everyone in their way (people who had never done anything to them), sacked whole cities, and in general were akin to a plague of gigantic green locusts. It's not forgivable simply because they willingly choose to slurp down on the ichor of Mannoroth first. Nor is Doomhammer any more laudable for having engaged in those selfsame actions without having drunk. Doomhammer never made even a token effort to parley with the humans. He saw them as vermin to be exterminated so that his people could have their fertile lands for their own, and had the Horde won the war Doomhammer waged across the Eastern Kingdoms, there is no doubt that he would have gleefully put the entire human race and its allies to the sword -- and entirely without the "curse" to in any way explain his actions.

Whatever else he may have been -- quick to anger, reluctant to challenge his people's direction as his old friend Durotan did, overly eager to display his own prowess (even if doing so meant becoming as battle-hungry as any blood-drinker) -- Doomhammer proved himself to be a superbly able tactician and relentless force both on the battlefield and off it. It must be said that the Horde came within a few hours of totally destroying Lordaeron as it had Stormwind. Pretty much every Forsaken active today would have lost someone to the orcish Horde of the time, and it was only the betrayal of and defection of Gul'dan that ultimately ended the Horde's chance for final victory.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners' guide to Alterac Valley


Zach is a huge fan of the Battlegrounds. He loves those instanced mini-games where you bash other players' faces in almost as much as he loves Pringles Screamin' Dill Pickle. That's a lot of love right there. So much love, in fact, that he writes these weekly Battleground and world PvP columns just for you (and also because he greatly fears the lolcat hell controlled by his bosses).

Alright, newbies, it's time for today's Battlegrounds primer -- Alterac Valley. This huge, 40-player-per-side Battleground was an ambitious project by Blizzard intended to give players a sense of epic battles. In it's original iteration, Alterac Valley had more NPCs roaming the battlefield, including a massive troll in the Field of Strife who has since packed his bags "for greener pastures". Those greener pastures turned out to be Zul'drak in Northrend, as Korrak the Bloodrager shows up in the Ampitheater of Anguish as the penultimate boss. It's a sweet nod to old school players, and his yells never fail to tickle my old, nostalgic bones.

The old Alterac Valley didn't have the resource mechanic, which I'll explain shortly. Instead, the only way to end it was to kill the enemy General, which sometimes took quite a while. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to have Alterac Valley, or AV, games that lasted for hours and hours or even more than a day. There were numerous quests which included turning in race-specific enemy player drops which could be turned in for reputation with a particular Horde or Alliance faction.

It was also one of the game's highlights to summon elemental lords into the battle -- an Ice Elemental named Rokholar for the Horde and a Forest Elemental named Ivus for the Alliance. Those elementals can still be summoned in the current version of Alterac Valley, but rarely make an appearance in today's fast and furious environment. The game has changed quite a lot since its inception, so we'll go through the AV basics right after the jump but make sure to read the Battlegrounds primer along with beginners' looks at Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

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

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

Long long ago, human beings all around the world (of Earth, not Warcraft) investigated different ways of describing how the world around them worked. Many different cultures found that the materials they encountered seemed divided into four or five separate elements, each with its own properties: earth, fire, water, and air. Space, "void," or "aether" was often noted as the fifth element, or, as in the case of China, the understanding of these elements looked a lot different but in the end produced a similar sort of system.

In Azeroth, however, these ideas about the elements never got swallowed up by modern science and the periodic table of elements. They turned out to be real forces in the world, each with its own set of elemental spirits, which people could communicate and cooperate with.

Shamans are the masters of this magical task, charged with helping to maintain the balance of nature in a very different way from druids. While druids are focused more on nature as a system of energy, life, and growth, shamans focus more on the spirits of the land, flames, waters and skies as they all interact with one another. They gain great wisdom by learning of the different characteristics of these elements, and in turn bring this wisdom to the people they serve.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Shaman, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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

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

If you've seen Lord of the Rings, or read any other fantasy story in which orcs are portrayed, you probably think orcs are hideous humanoid monsters charging mindlessly forward to slaughter helpless innocents. Azerothian orcs are significantly different, however, with a shamanistic culture that prides honor above all other virtues.

But unless you've played World of Warcraft or Warcraft 3, you probably wouldn't know that. The orcs of Warcraft 1 and 2 were pretty squarely in "bad guy" territory, and it is only with the story of Thrall's rise to power and return to shamanism that we find out what the orcs' true history is.

Ironically, the story of the orcs is a bit like that of the horrors of modern Nazis and the lore of the ancient Jews mixed together. Imagine that the vast majority of your species came under the sway of a terrible and evil leader, utterly determined to commit genocide against your peaceful neighbors. After carrying out this deplorable task, your people sought a new enemy, and found a new world to destroy. In the midst of this conquest, however, your people's political leadership failed, the way back home was cut off, and you all ended up as slaves in exile, lethargic and utterly without hope. Suddenly, a hero appeared to unite your people, overcome your former masters, restore your ancient faith, reclaim your dignity, and establish a new homeland.

What follows is a brief account of the events most orcs know about or lived through, and a glimpse of the effects they would have had on your character.

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

Around Azeroth: Alterac Valley revisited

A reader that we will just refer to as Mark sent us this amazing screenshot from Wrath of the Lich King's revamp of Alterac Valley. No, no. These three aren't on defense, nor are they AFKing. No sir. In fact, they're the offense. It turns out in Wrath, you don't even need to leave home base to win. Drek'thar and Vanndar come to you. It's a little unbalanced though, Drek'thar isn't very good at crossing bridges.

Seriously though, Mark says him and a few buddies were taking a little break (and drinking a little ale) after defending Stonehearth from a few waves of Hordies and he decided to snap this picture. If you have any pictures our readers might like, sharing it is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And, please, no more sunsets! Unless it's a sunset full of delicious candy that I may eat to sate my undying hunger for flesh. I mean sugar.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

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