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Posts with tag Maraad

WRUP: It's all about Maraad

Another week leads into another weekend, and this weekend's buzz around the virtual office is all about Vindicator Maraad, who wrapped up Blizzard's Lords of War series by telling his own story. A draenei jumping into the thus far all-orcs tale of the Warlords of Draenor? How odd!

Long-time followers of WoW Insider can probably already guess at our response to Maraad's appearence, but read on to find out what we're up to this weekend -- and let us know what you're playing in the comments!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: Through The Dark Portal Again

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.

Okay. Up front and with no fanfare - we're going to spoiler country. Huge, gigantic, terrifying spoilers for Warlords of Draenor and its Tanaan Jungle opening experience aplenty. I'm not going to waste time being coy or making cryptic statements about which guy is doing what. I'm going to drop spoilers, lots of them, like a rockslide so if that's soething you don't want to read, this is not the post for you. I've now burned an entire opening paragraph warning you about these spoilers, so you have absolutely no excuse for not avoiding them if you're of a mind to. '

Warlords of Draenor opens with a crisis at the Dark Portal. A new threat, a massive armed force of maniacal orcs have stormed the Portal and poured out into Azeroth, destroying both the Horde and Alliance bases in the area and making alliances with the local ogres. Once this threat is dealt with, it becomes clear that as long as the Portal remains open on the other end, the threat will continue. And so, once again, Azeroth must send forces through the Portal and onto an alien world. All of this is very familiar, and yet, once they set foot on the other side, these heroes of Azeroth find not the blasted and surreal Hellfire Peninsula, but rather the Tanaan Jungle, as terrifyingly lush as it was in distant memories of the time before the Rise of Gul'Dan's Horde.

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

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

Who I want to see in Warlords of Draenor: Restalaan

Yep, another one there's no art for. Enjoy this picture of some random draenei instead.

Who was Restalaan and why should you care? I'm glad you asked. Restalaan was the closest thing Velen had to a buddy - a close friend and confidant, a right hand who led the defense of the draenei city of Telmor. Having been with the prophet since the exodus from Argus, Restalaan was technically an ancient eredar, born during the time when Velen, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde were the triumvirate and led all eredar before the coming of Sargeras.

Restalaan was always there, serving as Velen's sounding board and anchor. In the history outlined in Rise of the Horde it was Restalaan who led the patrol that saved Durotan and Orgrim Doomhammer when they were children - an event that should still have happened in the Warlords of Draenor timeline, since both Durotan and Doomhammer are confirmed to be alive. In the original timeline, Restalaan would come to have reason to regret this decision, since in the process of saving the two young orcs and leading them to Telmor to meet with the prophet he exposed Durotan to the use of the Ata'mal fragment Leafshadow. This enabled Durotan to later expose Telmor to the Horde, which destroyed the city - Durotan killed Restalaan during the battle. So died Restalaan, captain of the guard of Telmore, Velen's best friend, survivor of the exodus from Argus - killed by the boy who's life he saved.

But that fate is not set on the Draenor of Warlords.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Draenei are not pacifists

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.

Are you ready to spill some blood in the name of the Light? For Velen? For Argus?
-- Vindicator Boros, What Argus Means To Me

It's funny how misconceptions get started.

We know that the orcish Horde led by Blackhand, corrupted by the blood of Mannoroth and manipulated by Gul'dan for his master Kil'Jaeden was a force of unrelenting bloodlust and cruelty, and that they waged a genocidal war on their draenei neighbors that came close to wiping them out. Not a very numerous race in the first place, the draenei were ultimately overwhelmed by the orcs.

Many seem to combine this with the fact that Velen led the first draenei from their homeworld of Argus to prevent them from being corrupted by the offer Sargeras made to Archimonde, Kil'Jaeden and Velen to accept his gifts and become his servants to assume that the draenei are pacifists. That they're a culture that eschews war and flees from conflict. They note that the draenei have numerous times fled before the advance of the Burning Legion, moving from world to world before the dimension ship they were aboard crashed on what would become known as Draenor.

When combined with their mastery of and reverence for The Holy Light and their association with the naaru, who themselves are beings that exude said Holy Light, it's easy to see why people make this mistake. They look at Velen, who prophecizes that one day the mortal races will unite against the Legion, and see this as a desire for peace. But it isn't, exactly. Velen isn't preaching peace - he's arguing that we're fighting the wrong war.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor and the draenei

Okay, let's just put our cards on the table. The only thing I want to do with orcs in Warlords of Draenor is kill them. Bring on the Iron Horde for me to stomp on. I will eventually level my Horde characters, sure. But I'm not particularly interested in the Frostwolves and how the Horde is going to relate to them and the Horde's search for an identity somewhere between murderous lunatics and Thrall's happy fun-time frolic friends - it's certainly not a bad hook for a Horde storyline. But I don't care about it. We've had a lot of the Horde and their civil war and their struggle to stay united under Hellscream. It was often very interesting stuff - I very much liked the Dominance Offensive quests - and I'm glad we got to see it. Mists of Pandaria ended up being a very dark expansion in a lot of ways, with themes of personal responsibility and how good intentions can go bad, missed opportunities and the fog of war, and I thought that the Siege of Orgrimmar made a lot of sense.

I wasn't one of the Alliance players who was upset about the Horde rebels having a role in SoO. I don't feel like it diminished the Alliance story any to show us working alongside them, I wasn't bothered by seeing Varian's actions at the end of the raid. I thought it was all good and proper.

But frankly, I'm done with the Horde's problems. I play Alliance. I want to see Alliance stories. Horde players should have their stories, too, I'm not saying they shouldn't -- more power to y'all solving that whole issue of inheriting a legacy of murderous psychopathic lunacy from the Old Horde, that's gotta be rough for you -- but I am done. Because Warlords of Draenor has promised me the one thing I've wanted to see since Burning Crusade itself failed to deliver it, and that's draenei. Draenei cities, as they appeared at their height. Draenei culture, not the ruined remnants of it. The draenei we saw in BC were the ragged remnants cast adrift on Azeroth, survivors of a near total extermination. They were the embattled refugees desperately seeking a place to rebuild. I fell in love with them in no small part due to their tenacity and willingness to keep going, but I've always wondered what they were really like before the horrors Ner'zhul and later Gul'dan unleashed upon them at Kil'jaeden's behest. And at last, I'm going to get to find out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, BlizzCon, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: A discussion of Med'an

Know Your Lore A discussion of Med'an Wed
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.

Med'an is a controversial character.

Well, maybe not. If Med'an were controversial, that would mean that some people like him and some people hate him, but so far, if Med'an has fans they're being awfully quiet about it. Now, that doesn't mean they don't exist, but until I see evidence for them existing I'm going to assume that they don't. So Med'an isn't controversial because there's no controversy. People either hate him, or they don't care about him at all. But there's the rub. By nature, I tend to dislike just going along with the common opinion without examining it for myself. So now, I find myself forced to ask: is Med'an that bad?

Med'an is as far as I know the only character to get dismissed from existence by the Ask CDev responses. There's a vague response at the end of Ask CDev 3 that implies that he left Azeroth entirely, and that's the last word we've gotten on the character. And I kind of understand why - taking a look at Med'an's backstory, it kind of sounds like something you'd see in someone's FlagRP profile that got out of hand.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

WoW comic #22 preview

Blizzard and DC/Wildstorm released the preview for the 22nd issue of the official World of Warcraft comic last night. The official soliciation says:

The new Council of Tirisfal is formed. Med'an keeps Meryl's possession a secret. Maraad acts on his vision, but what does it have to do with Valeera? The latest issue of the World of Warcraft comic is on sale August 19. Check out the preview pages now!

The excerpt is about normal fare for the comic, but includes some tasty plot bits that lend plenty of credence to certain leaked information about WoW: Cataclysm ... if you're looking for it. Half-blood prince shamagaladin Med'an seems to be training heavily to learn all the different schools of magic, which calls Jaina to suggest that they... well, I guess you'll have to read it.

Check it out on newsstands (do those still exist?) today!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

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