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Know Your Lore: Warlords, timelines, and the Bronze Dragonflight

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.

Many of the questions that have had players mystified since Warlords of Draenor was introduced last year at BlizzCon surrounded Draenor itself. How did it appear? Why is it different? Why don't the events that occur on Draenor have any kind of bearing on what's going on with Azeroth? If Draenor is an alternate Draenor, is there an alternate Azeroth as well? Does this mean there are duplicate lore characters? Will we see two Thralls, two Velens, two versions of Garrosh? And as the year has slowly marched on, that question has been answered in bits and pieces, but never with enough clarity to really set people's minds at ease.

When the Warlords of Draenor beta was released, it became immediately clear to anyone that knew the history of Warcraft that this Draenor, the one on which we are going to be building garrisons, amassing armies, and defeating the Iron Horde, is not and never was the Draenor we were already familiar with. It's an entirely different planet. We've been using the term "alternate universe" in reference to Draenor because seems the best term to encompass the concept of this strange world. With the release of the short story Hellscream, it has finally been made clear just what is going on with Draenor -- and it has nothing to do with Garrosh's trip, and everything to do with the Bronze Dragonflight.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor as well as the short story Hellscream.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: A little out of place

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Keeshan looks like he has absolutely no idea how he's gotten where he's at. Since he's in my Horde garrison, I feel a little bad about it -- if there's one place he probably doesn't want to be, it's in a tavern with a bunch of orcs. But since he's offering a relatively fashionable -- if kind of gruesome -- Bloody Bandana as a quest reward, I'm not going to complain about it.

BlazeNor asked:

Q4tQ: Think we will ever get birthdays for our characters (date of creation) by Blizzard?

I had actually never considered that as a possibility for anything until you mentioned it just now. But that's actually a really neat idea, and now I'm kind of hoping we'll see something like that some day. Maybe have Lorewalker Cho send your character a little something, some nice dream brew or something like that on their "birthday", since he's already tracking everyone's stories and history anyway? Heck, I'd love to see that. Doesn't have to be anything complicated reward-wise, just a nice letter with a little acknowledgement of the day -- it'd be a cool little touch!

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Night elf dudes

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Night elf males look surprisingly not disturbing or lumpy or weird at all, now. I'm just as impressed with them as I was with the human male models -- both were vast, vast improvements.

Fizzl asked:

So, The Legion can access Outland because it's exposed to the Twisting Nether, right? As opposed to Azeroth which is just... in space or something? So then how would Mannoroth, Kil'jaeden, etc. get to Draenor if it hasn't been exposed to the Twisting Nether yet? And more importantly, if they can just come and go between Outland as they please, why wouldn't Kil'jaeden have just appeared on Outland and taken the Dark Portal to Azeroth? Does he need more power to come to Azeroth no matter what sort of portal he's taking? Or is it just an oversight?

How the Legion accesses worlds has nothing to do with being exposed to the Twisting Nether, really. In Rise of the Horde, Mannoroth arrived on Draenor via what Gul'dan described as swirling clouds and the sky breaking open -- implying a portal of some sort. He wasn't summoned by any rituals, it's just sort of assumed that the Legion sent him there via portal, possibly because the world was already fairly contaminated and corrupted with fel magic at that point. In the War of the Ancients, the demons were allowed entrance through a portal powered by the Well of Eternity.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Mannoroth's dead. Dead like Zed.

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

Questions. We answer questions.

MichaelEKirby asks:
Q4TQ (or maybe more a PSA?): Saw this on MMOChamp:
"Kil'jaeden and Archimonde are back, but not as bosses."
So that pretty much kills the "all world, all dimensions are open" / only one Burning Legion across multiple planes of reality idea?


Considering we see Grommash kill Mannoroth in the cinematic for Warlords of Draenor which is set 35 years in the past, if there was only one Burning Legion across all planes of reality, that would mean that our Grom couldn't kill Mannorth ten years ago, since he would already be dead.

But no, since it's 35 years ago, both Kil'jaeden and Archimonde could make appearances, since Kil'jaeden isn't dead (he gets banished during his fight at the Sunwell) and Archimonde only died ten years ago. It's the double-death of Mannoroth that proves there's more than one Legion.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Which Horde is Which?

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.

There will be spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in this post

So you may be confused right now. With the soon to come introduction of the Iron Horde, we've entered a situation where we've got several different Hordes. There's the Old Horde, the original Horde that invaded Azeroth from Draenor. There's the New Horde, or Horde 2 if you prefer, the Horde put together by Thrall after he liberated the orc survivors from the Second War, leading them out of the internment camps and to the shores of Kalimdor. Along the way they picked up the tauren and Darkspear trolls as allies, and eventually the Forsaken, blood elves and Bilgewater goblins joined their ranks. This Horde is the Horde most players are still a part of. Meanwhile, at the same time, there was the Dark Horde, consisting of Blackrock orcs under the command of Rend Blackhand and his ultimate master, Nefarian.

During his reign as Warchief of the Horde (the New Horde, to be specific) Garrosh Hellscream recruited both the Blackrock and Dragonmaw orcs to join the Horde. But at the same time, he grew disenchanted with the other races of the Horde - goblins were too greedy, blood elves too mercurial, undead too loyal to Sylvanas and distasteful to his sensibilities, the Darkspear too loyal to their Vol'jin, and the tauren ultimately too bound to their own code of honor. It didn't help that he'd killed Cairne Bloodhoof and further alienated the tauren clan leader Baine, Cairne's son, with his actions. Soon, Garrosh found himself leading a Horde he didn't much trust or care for.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: In Name Only

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

Questions will be answered! Misconceptions shall be splintered! A Queue day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

JodySchaeffer asks:
Since this is a different timeline with no impact on our own history, I'm wondering why our characters should even care, story-wise, about these people who are historical characters in name only. That isn't Grom, that isn't Gul'dan, it isn't even really Draenor.

The only redeeming thing I can think of is a Legion invasion at the end of WoD that destroys the fragmented timeline and sets up the next expansion. Have it so we can visit our Garrisons through the Timewalkers so they weren't for nothing.

But yeah. Since they're so big on stressing these AREN'T famous characters from lore, why does it matter who they are at all?

Well, there's several reasons. The first is pragmatic. The Iron Horde is coming through into our world, blowing up our settlements, and making war on us. So we should care about these people because these people are literally trying to murder us. I don't know about you, but I tend to be concerned when people want to kill me.

From another perspective, it's like this - yes, that Grom isn't the Grom who died fighting Mannoroth to lift the blood curse. But he is Grom. He shares many life experiences in common with the Grom we know - he has as much right to be called Grom Hellscream as the other one did. Saying that's not really Gul'dan is foolishness. It is Gul'dan. It's not the Gul'dan whose skull ended up in Felwood, allowing Illidan to consume its power and become a demon. But it is Gul'dan. And the reason we shouldn't just ignore that fact is simple - even though his life has taken a different path than our Gul'dan did, he's still the same evil power hungry maniac, just as the Grom we'll meet in Draenor is still the bloodthirst orc whose howl drove fear into the hearts of others. They're not identical to the people we know, but they are similar, and that's a source of knowledge about them. We'd be fools to not use that knowledge to our own advantage.

Up to you if your character is a fool, of course.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison basics

If you're venturing into Draenor for the first time, there's no avoiding the new garrison feature: it's at the heart of all of your adventuring into this new world. But before it can become a hub for questing, professions, and missions (more on that later), you'll have to build it.

Fortunately, it's not very hard: as soon as you make your way through Tanaan Jungle, your first task will be establishing a garrison in Shadowmoon Valley (alliance) or Frostfire Ridge (horde).

If you want to know more, we're about to cover the basics of Warlords of Draenor's garrison system. Though no story spoilers follow, if you want to head to Draenor without knowing what comes next, you'll probably want to skip this post.

Now, onward, to Draenor!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Know Your Lore: Warlord Grommash Hellscream

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.

Strength personified. That might be the best way to describe Grommash Hellscream, leader of the Warsong clan, trusted friend of Thrall, father of Garrosh Hellscream, and the orc who killed Mannoroth and released the orcish race from their servitude to the Burning Legion. Certainly all of those accomplishments under his belt might make Grommash sound like a shining example of exemplary heroism to some ... but in truth, that's only part of the story.

Still, the tales of his father's heroic death were more than enough to spur Garrosh Hellscream from listless would-be leader of Garadar to Azeroth. They were enough to light a fire that fueled his leadership of the campaign against the Lich King in Northrend. They were more than enough to fill Garrosh's heart with pride at the thought of a Horde war machine, one that he led with steadfast dedication as Warchief. But Garrosh's heart is the heart of a Hellscream, and another look at Grommash Hellscream's past shows that Hellscream's son is very much cut from the same cloth as his father.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Gnomelords of Draenor

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

You guys can blame ScottLeyes for this one. It's all his fault.

Bruin asked:

Does Garrosh's Jaw look a little like Deathwing's jaw in the Cinematic? I assume that's the remnants of Y'shaarj?

Nope! The tattoos are a Warsong thing -- his father had them as well. Garrosh had his done in the novel The Shattering, after Thrall appointed him Warchief and left Orgrimmar, just before Cairne confronted him and challenged him to the mak'gora that ended his life. Fun fact: When Cairne threw down and demanded the duel, he punctuated it with a full-out backhand across Garrosh's freshly-tattooed face. Ouch.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Garrison stables are no joke

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Sometimes I think about how weird it must be to have hooves and ride around on an animal that also has hooves. Imagine if horses had feet like us, only four of them. Wouldn't that weird you out just a little?

Welcome to Saturday. Let's get to the questions.

Jalamenos asked:

If you could choose one minor character currently in WoW to be used in a future patch or expansion and be fully voice cast, who would it be and who would you like to voice him/her?

Lorna Crowley. Bring in Billie Piper and make her a sass monster.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: But we will be conquerors

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

I really like that line. That being said I think Grommash looks like Sean Bean with an overbite in this cinematic, so he's doomed.

Also, let me be up front - I predicted October as the latest for this expansion, and I was wrong. It's worth admitting when you're wrong.

DiavoJinx asked:
Question!
Has there been any evidence in Warcraft so far that mages can specifically manipulate magnetism (like Magneto)?
I'm thinking if it's the "Iron Horde", then lots of iron in their weapons & armor along with wood, so we just need some fire mages and some magnetism mages to port in and take care of the whole situation. Shortest expansion yet! ;-)


As far as I can tell, no, we've seen no such mages. Quite frankly, everybody uses weapons and armor made out of magnetic materials, like iron and steel. It's not like it would just be good against the Iron Horde. As to why mages can't do that... maybe they just haven't thought to try yet. Ooh, new level 110 spells!

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Beta testing, tanking, and fries


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

I dig the questions today, let's get down to it.

Zapwidget lamented:

When will people realize that the beta is beta and that the purpose of beta is to test not just for bugs but also player reaction? Why do they assume that things in beta will change if nobody expresses negative opinions? Blizzard is not a psychic entity and is not capable of interpreting silence very well. If they don't hear that people are dissatisfied then they are very unlikely to expend further resources iterating and improving. Beta is not just early access. It's not just a preview of unfinished programming. It's called beta testing, not beta previewing.

And then to complain about people offering opinions about the beta? That goes to show that people will complain about anything.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Garrosh, Gul'dan, and Warlords of Draenor

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.

Who is Garrosh Hellscream? And what, exactly, is his game? In the end, what is Garrosh ultimately looking for ... and what will he sacrifice to get it? It's one of those lingering questions from Mists of Pandaria that remains as of yet unanswered, but we're beginning to see the bits and pieces of the story, and we'll see more as Warlords is released and the new expansion's story unfolds. For now though, that question still plagues players -- what is Garrosh after? Why did he spurn the idea of warlocks in Siege of Orgrimmar, going so far as to have them strung up in the streets, yet embrace the methods of the dark shaman?

Garrosh isn't a character that can be easily understood. His motives -- and his morals -- seem to be all over the place, switching from merciful to merciless in an instant. And yet he's not the only piece to this puzzle -- in Warlords of Draenor, Gul'dan is already showing his face as a pretty prominent figure. Obviously Garrosh Hellscream knew of the Legion's evil when he traveled to this alternate Draenor -- he knew of his father's downfall. So why is Gul'dan still alive? Why wouldn't Hellscream, upon traveling to this alternate Draenor so similar to his own, flat out murder Gul'dan on sight and be done with it?

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: It's the little things

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Some of the most impressive stuff in Warlords so far, to me anyway, are the little things that are likely going to be overlooked by a lot of players. Carefully placed boots next to an unmade bed. A couple of books stacked up, light reading for whoever is staying in the inn. The leg of chicken, or turkey, or ... well, whatever Draenor's animal equivalent happens to be -- and it's got a bite taken out of it. Let's take a bite out of some Warcraft questions.

Bruin asked:

I have a question about avoiding spoilers. I'd like to play the game and be surprised. I ALSO really like the books, and sometimes comics. Should I avoid the Comic that got released until I play WoD?

It depends. The comic itself takes place before the events of Warlords begin, but it involves characters that are seen in Warlords, and why they are the way they are. I wouldn't call it spoiler material, as it isn't giving away anything that we haven't already seen in promotional art or heard about at BlizzCon, but if you're doing your best to avoid absolutely everything related to Warlords, I'd skip the comic for now. I would also avoid Know Your Lore this evening, because I'm going to be talking about the comic in detail.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: We're MC Raiders

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

The announcement of 40-man LFR Molten Core has me both excited and a little terrified. It also gave me flashbacks to Illegal Danish and the song that ran over the end credits. If you haven't seen the gloriousness that is Illegal Danish, you should probably go watch that now. While you're doing that, we'll just get to answering some questions.

cromhar asked:

"our final act in fighting the Warlords will be to defeat the Iron Horde utterly" I might be totally wrong here, but didnt Blizz say that the IH would be the "problem" in WoD only for a certain time before the story shifts to something else, like another villain/enemy? I thought I had read this a while ago, but maybe I am wrong?

I don't recall anyone saying that exactly. I do know that I'm of the opinion that the Iron Horde isn't going to be the only big bad we fight on Draenor, and it might not even be the expansion-ending boss, either. There's too much other stuff on Draenor, and we've barely scratched the surface of it all, but we spend this first ramp up in the expansion systematically going through and getting rid of some of the worst of what the Iron Horde has to offer. I don't think we're going to dedicate all of our time to the Iron Horde. But again, that's my opinion, it hasn't been stated anywhere officially.

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Filed under: The Queue

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