Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag Orcs

Who we will and won't see in Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor, the next WoW expansion, comes complete with a storyline that has players asking plenty of questions. Featuring an all-star cast of previous RTS characters, Warlords delves into an alternate version of reality, a version in which the orc chieftains never drank the Blood of Mannoroth, instead choosing to band together in the Iron Horde. In this version of reality -- a splinter of reality that shouldn't really exist -- the orcs and draenei are still at war, and that entire splinter of reality is being connected to our own via the Dark Portal.

This has been raising all kinds of questions regarding who exactly we'll see on the other side of that portal. What about Azeroth, in that version of reality? What about Deathwing and his kin? What about the Velen leading the draenei at that point in time, what about younger Garrosh? Will there be duplicates of orcs who have since made their homes on Azeroth, after traveling through the Dark Portal? Will the Alliance Expedition be stranded on this version of Draenor? Just who are we going to see over there, and who won't be making an appearance?

While we don't have all the answers, we have more than enough to start filling in the blanks.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Why more diversity will be better for the expansion

One of the things we've only seen so far with Warlords of Draenor are the heads of the largest and most important orcish clans, clans like the Frostwolves, the Warsong, the Blackrock, the Bleeding Hollow and Shadowmoon Clan which were led by the most famous orc historical figures. It makes sense that we've seen them, of course - they're the big names, after all. Grom Hellscream, Durotan, Blackhand, Ner'zhul, Kargath Bladefist, Kilrogg Deadeye and Gul'dan are extremely famous, and it makes sense that they be featured.

But they're not the only orc clans, nor the only clan leaders, and if we just focus on them we're missing out on the potential of the lesser known clans. Clans like the Thunderlord, the Bladewind, the Rageroar and others, which were wiped out or otherwise not as important but which can rise to prominence in this new Iron Horde. Why should they concern us? Well, several reasons.
  • They give us a chance to see a less monolithic side to the Iron Horde. Orc society was based entirely around the clan - it's about time we get to see this. Show us some clans. Give us a chance to observe how one goes about welding a nation out of them without the use of demonic magic and coercion.
  • There's been a lot of discussion about the lack of representation of female characters in Warlords of Draenor. Since we can't just gender flip established lore figures, these lesser known clans provide a perfect opportunity to establish new characters and have them rise to prominence through their actions in the story. The Rageroar, for instance, are barely known - their only real appearance was in Cataclysm. We have no idea who their leader was back on Draenor - therefore, there's no good reason for it not to be a woman.
  • Some of these clans defied the Old Horde of Ner'zhul and then Gul'dan. They could well defy this new Iron Horde as well, and it's simply better and more believable if we get to see some orcs preferring to keep to their older clan based way of life and rejecting new siege technology and all that the Iron Horde brings as being simply not orcish enough.
Let's talk about it in more detail. How do we make use of the clans?

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor and the absence of Aggra

Let me tell you a little about my sister. My sister is married, in her thirties, and has four children -- all boys -- ranging from four to sixteen. Her house is a wild cacophony of boys being boys and the calls of various animals that she's acquired. It's a mini-farm, if you will, full of chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, a couple of snakes, and possibly a species or two that I've missed. In addition to raising four boys with her husband, she also owns her own business. She runs her own grooming company here in town, and is both the sole employee and owner, successful enough that she's usually booked for at least a month out, if not more.

In addition to that, she runs two Renaissance festivals a year, hauls her family to regular camp-outs with the faire crew, regularly plays D&D with the gang, and knows how to shoot a longbow and a black powder rifle (and is a pretty good shot with both of them), along with cannons and trebuchets. She's a dab hand at cooking at home and over a campfire out in the wild, knows how to kill, gut and butcher just about anything, and how to tan and stretch a hide. On top of all that, I've heard she's a marvel at breaking up fights, reading bedtime stories, wiping tears from faces, kissing boo-boo's away, and snuggling in the mornings when little ones are sleepy and grumpy about getting up for school.

And god help anyone that comes between her and her family.

I'm telling you this story not to brag about my sister, although I love her very dearly, but to make a point that seems to have been sorely missed somewhere in the story of Warcraft. My sister isn't just a wife and mother. She's a warrior. She's a fighter. She's a spark of ferocity that will not be quenched. Where is her counterpart in Warcraft? That's a really good question.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

Know Your Lore: The History of Draenor

Adam's project
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.

It may not be Azeroth, but it's got a history just as rich and just as convoluted. In the Warcraft universe, the planet Draenor plays a secondary role to Azeroth in terms of storyline -- consider it something like a sister planet, one whose history is irrevocably entwined with Azeroth's. Although these days Draenor exists as a mere shell of what it once was, Draenor, its inhabitants, and its fate are all one of the most significant pieces of Warcraft lore out there. After all, if there were no Draenor, there would be no First or Second wars. There would be no Horde.

Why is this planet so important? It certainly didn't have very much to do with the original inhabitants. In fact, Draenor would have likely lived on in obscurity were it not for the strange, peaceful settlers from another world. Peaceful they may have been, but they had a history they could not escape -- a past that forever linked them with the Burning Legion ... and the Burning Legion knows little of forgiveness or mercy for those that incur its wrath.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

How the Draenei make WoW a better place

How the Draenei make WoW a better place

The light wishes suffering on none, my child. But it does not reign unopposed in our realm
- The Prophet Velen


It's no secret that I dig the draenei. They're my favorite race in the game (my second favorite are tauren, with worgen in third) and in all honesty for a long time, I never really knew why aside from my having really loved the draenei starting zone when I first played through it during the Burning Crusade beta. I really enjoyed the feeling of camaraderie I got from the various surviving crew members, all pulling together to survive, and as the history of the long displaced race unfolded and linked up to their appearance in Warcraft III and the broken ones I'd already met back in my vanilla days running through Swamp of Sorrows, I was hooked.

I liked that they were in turns noble yet murderous - I've never forgotten that it was Velen, supposedly kindly and peace loving Prophet, who ordered my draenei to go find the blood elves and their eredar allies on Bloodmyst and eradicate them. Kill them all, Velen said to me, and I did it. They even threw a party for me afterwards. I liked that for all our obvious compassion, we still were deeply flawed - there was clear racism and disquiet aimed at the Broken, whose mutated condition filled some of our people with disgust - you could see it in how we shoved them into the darkest corners of the crashed Exodar and forced them to toil out of sight. The draenei were many things - linked to the man'ari eredar through a common origin, forever exiled from their home, hunted by their former kin - but their long relationship with the Naaru and the Holy Light hadn't made plaster saints out of the draenei. I liked their having survived the orc genocide on Draenor has hardened, but not warped them.

And to be honest, I just really liked playing in one. I like how they move, how they run, how they look in plate or mail (most of my draenei are warriors or shaman, with one paladin who doesn't get out much), how their racial Gift of the Naaru makes a sigil float over their heads, their combat animations (especially how they use staves or polearms) - but it wasn't until recently that I really thought for a while about why, exactly, I still hold such a fondness for the draenei.

Read more →

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

Know Your Lore: A Precarious Position Part 1 - Horde

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.

Things are about to get much worse.

- Deathbringer Saurfang

On the surface of things, it seems like we may be about to turn the corner. Garrosh Hellscream's True Horde is about to face its enemies and the Warchief has alienated so many of his former allies that the Horde itself has erupted in civil war. But once we start thinking about the aftermath, it all starts to seem a little murkier.

After all, even though we know that there will apparently be a new warchief appointed after the fall of Hellscream, that won't immediately fix the tensions that led to the Horde making war on itself. Hellscream's former supporters won't just vanish - with the vast majority of orcs behind him, Hellscream's legacy is bound to continue and any new warchief is going to have to face those orcs who took up arms for the True Horde and come up with a way to re-integrate them into the Horde as a whole. Meanwhile, it's likely that those who supported the Darkspear Rebellion are going to want to see substantial changes made to the way the Horde functions - the orcish ideals of Lok'tar Ogar, of unquestioning loyalty to the warchief are by necessity broken now. The Horde of the future is a Horde that has survived a mutiny, has seen a leader deposed - it cannot be bound by tight-knit expectations of loyalty and honor. The blood elves and forsaken, tauren and goblins and trolls who had a hand in making the new warchief possible will have demands, and they're not all going to be possible to meet.

Meanwhile, the Alliance will have found itself in the position of kingmaker for its enemy. What does the future hold for Alliance/Horde relations? Will the Alliance forget the past several years of Horde aggression or will it demand concessions from its weakened enemy? And if Varian Wrynn doesn't take advantage of this moment to reclaim Azshara and Ashenvale, or Gilneas, what backlash will he have to face from within his own faction? Thanks in no small part to the threat of the Horde, Wrynn has found himself rising to the position of war-leader for the Alliance as a whole. But can he maintain that position with a much less threatening Horde, especially if he doesn't move to take advantage of its weakness?

Let's look at potential threats to any return to stability. This week, we'll discuss the forces at play within the Horde.

Read more →

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

Hellscream is not my Warchief

Hellscream is not my warchief ANY
Sometimes, it's not just about the race you choose to play -- it's about how the story behind it is handled. Matthew Rossi wrote an interesting piece about how the race one plays has a direct effect on how one approaches the story in the game. Playing an orc and keeping in mind what it is to be an orc makes Garrosh and his plans look infinitely more appealing than one would consider straight off the bat.

But on the other end of the equation, there are lots of Horde players who don't play an orc. Take me, for example -- while I started out as a Forsaken priest, I've now played a blood elf rogue for far longer. To me, Hellscream's actions are questionable at best, horrific beyond imagining at worst. Yet here I am, still playing Horde and carrying out the orders of Hellscream. The why of it all is the part that is an incredibly clever design move on the part of the story development team.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Hellscream is my warchief

Hellscream is my warchief
The choice of what race you play in the game can be more significant than I'd understood. Usually, whenever I roll a Horde toon, I play a tauren. As a result, my point of view has always skewed towards that of the tauren NPC's like Baine and Cairne. I found certain Horde quests distasteful and couldn't get into how the Horde seemed to be getting more bellicose as Cataclysm developed, much less the full on 'war were declared' mindset of Mists of Pandaria. Doing the Horde side quests on my tauren, I always felt mindlessly violent and that I was simply making things worse everywhere I went.

Cut to a few months down the road, and I'm playing as an orc. Suddenly, I have absolutely no problem with what I'm doing. The entire Dominance Offensive has been incredibly refreshing because trying to get into the mindset of an orc has made it all very simple. It's not fair to call orcs simple exactly, but you could call them elemental, in a way -- going all the way back to their tribal roots on Draenor, when survival was paramount and life was a struggle. There's a pure Darwinism to it all, the strong take what they need or they aren't strong at all.

In many ways, I see the Horde through new eyes. While Matthew Rossi, the human being writing this article likes them even less now in a lot of ways -- seeing the Horde constantly taking aggressive action then complain and whine when they get hit back always annoys me, for instance -- I'm enjoying playing Horde a lot more now, because I can finally understand how someone could follow Hellscream willingly. If anything, Garrosh Hellscream isn't perverting the Horde or the orcish character at all. He's the ultimate fulfillment of it.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard working on new models of humans and orcs

We heard back at BlizzCon 2011 and shortly after that Blizzard was working on new models, particularly the dwarves. But we haven't heard much more beyond that, just the occasional drop that it's something they'd like to do but need to do it right, since so many people are attached to their characters.

Today in an interview with Buffed.de, Ghostcrawler had the following to say:

Ghostcrawler and Buffed.de
buffed: I think the last time we talked about it you said the designers were working on the Dwarves. Is it still Dwarves or are other races already being worked on as well?

Street: They've been working on the Dwarves and then the Humans and Orcs. We feel that if we can do the Humans and Orcs we can probably do all the races. It may not be the kind of thing where we turn them all on at once -- it may be a gradual rollout. It just depends on how long it takes.

buffed: Then we will hope that we get to see them during the Mists of Pandaria era.

Street: We'll just have to see.


So it looks like humans and orcs are being actively worked on now, and we may see a gradual rollout of the models. And if Blizzard does go with that gradual rollout, in my opinion, the chances of a new model or two coming out in MoP is quite high.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items

Know Your Lore: State of the Horde, 2012

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.

It's good to be Horde. All over the world of Azeroth, the Horde is conquering new territory, claiming new land and expanding far, far beyond the few holdings it had in vanilla World of Warcraft. Back then, the Horde merely eked out an existence, defending small outposts where it could. Sylvanas and her Forsaken stayed by and large in Tirisfal Glades, with a tiny outpost in Silverpine and a slightly larger one in Hillsbrad Foothills. The tauren stayed largely confined to Mulgore, with a few settlements to the south and southeast. The trolls took refuge in Orgrimmar, with no real land to call their own save one tiny village on the coast and another small outpost in Stranglethorn Vale.

Now, the Horde is branching out in a major way. Sylvanas has dominated the forests of Silverpine and the rolling farmlands of Hillsbrad and is working her way east through the Western Plaguelands. The trolls have taken back the Echo Isles, and the orcs of Orgimmar are claiming new land to the north and the east, moving in a tidal wave of barbaric conquering. The Horde is flush with the glorious victories in Northrend, eagerly seeking more territory. In Cataclysm, it's very, very good to be Horde.

Or so popular opinion states.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Pass down these bona fide orcish proverbs to your young Hordelings

Image
When Mike Sacco passed down the orcish proverb "Every orc is worth a dozen," my world changed. Never had life been so simple, so distilled down to the real truth. If I wasn't strong enough as one person, I should just be as strong as more people. It was so simple that it just might work -- well, according to an orc.

Orcish proverbs straddle the fine line between clever and stupid. Not the bad kind of stupid, mind you; the forehead slap, the solemn head shake, a disappointed sigh are our connotations. Eventually, orcish proverbs began to flow, and the community took part in our Breakfast Topic dedicated to the subject. Here are some pearls of orcish wisdom that you can bring home to your loved ones to teach them a thing or two about hardiness, resolve, and fear.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore

Breakfast Topic: Old orcish proverb says "every orc is worth a dozen"

Image
Orcish proverbs -- profound, enlightening, deep. Also, incredibly dumb, when you think about it. Blame Mike Sacco for "Every orc is worth a dozen." That's his brilliance. Can you imagine, a young Thrall being coached by his shamanistic mentors and warriors in camp, a sore loss in the sparing ring. Calm, cool, collected, he hears his teacher speak: "Thrall, remember. Every orc is worth a dozen. Act it!"

My personal favorite original orcish proverb is "The axe is the sharpest fist you've got." It's unexpected, absolutely deep, and just dumb enough that Garrosh would say it, like a picture off-center but barely noticeable. I think I really like the imagery. "Luckily, puny human, the axe that I carry is the sharpest fist that I've got!"

"What, wha--"

Splorch. Slice.

What do you guys got for me? Let's hear your orcish proverbs. When you stand in front of Garrosh Hellscream as he instructs you to head to the uncharted island of Pandaria, what will his words of wisdom be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Humans and orcs are just the pillars upon which the Alliance and Horde were built

Image
Zarhym hit the forums to clarify an important point that is being lost in recent lore discussions around the internet. Chris Metzen was quoted in a PC Gamer interview:

...the pillars of the franchise are orcs and humans; it really is the Alliance and Horde by extension, and it really is those two groups beating the brains out of each other for an extended period of time. That's always gotta be what Warcraft is about...

And as Zarhym entirely correctly points out, it's not just the orcs and humans that are all that matters now, but the entire Alliance and Horde factions that have developed over the course of the franchise's life. Warcraft started with them but has expanded unto everything else.

This is also a good opportunity to place front and center the fact that the Warcraft universe is an evolving story. It's not like Lord of the Rings, where everything that is has and (likely/hopefully) ever will be in the universe is already written in stone. Gandalf isn't suddenly going to join forces with the factions of darkness beyond the great sea while Frodo becomes the next Gollum -- but Thrall? Maybe he'll defect to the Alliance some day.* No one knows; it's evolving and ever changing.

Zarhym's full statements, after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

Know Your Lore: The orcs, part 3

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.

It's less important to go over the history of the orcs in terms of the wars of Azeroth. We've done it, many times. What's interesting to discuss is the orcish acclimation to Azeroth, and furthermore, Azeroth's acclimation to the orcs.

The orcs have changed during their time on Azeroth from a nation of blood-drunk servants of evil to a people leading a faction that seeks global dominance in the name of a legacy they've invented for themselves. Orcs today have a warrior culture that comprises elements from Blackhand's Horde, their past on Draenor, and a great deal derived from Thrall's efforts to create unity and give his people a culture again. While the modern orcish nation is led by Garrosh Hellscream, a brown Mag'har orc, it cannot be said that most orcs of the Horde really understand Draenor. The Second War ended more than 20 years ago, and many of the orcs of today are the children of those who fought in it.

This must be understood: Many orcs alive today on Azeroth have never even seen Draenor. Those who did last saw it 20 years ago. Azeroth is their home as far as they're concerned, either the only home they've ever known or the one they've known for decades. From the perspective of most orcs, Draenor is effectively gone. Oh, many of them are aware that Outland exists, and there are those orcs who have been there in recent years, but most orcs living today have never seen it at worst and saw it decades ago at best. To them, Draenor is nearly a myth, and Garrosh Hellscream becomes a mythic figure as a actual brown orc, an uncorrupted Mag'har who lived most of his life on that long-lost homeworld. It is this, as much as his lineage as the son of Hellscream, that has made him a legend among the orcs of the Horde today.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The orcs, 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.

One of the problems in covering the history of the orcs is that after the Rise of the Horde period, we've done it already quite a few times. The history of the orcs is the history of the Horde. Just in covering Orgrim Doomhammer's life, we've covered the formation of the Horde to a great extent.

What's interesting when considering the orcs as a people is how they were betrayed by their own virtues. The orc tendency to revere the spirits, their genius at preserving clan individuality yet coming together in times of crisis, their willingness to respect their elders and heed their wisdom -- all of these traits were twisted under first Ner'zhul and then Gul'dan. While Ner'zhul was proud, even arrogant, his initial actions in kindling the war against the draenei were sincere. He believed that the spirit of his dead wife Rulkan had returned to warn him of the draenei threat, accompanied by a "great one" who would teach Ner'zhul new magics to use to protect his people.

No matter Ner'zhul's flaws, it cannot be denied he was sincere. Yes, he hungered for power and respect (even though he was in fact powerful and respected) and yes, he prosecuted the war with the draenei when he really only had the word of Kil'jaeden that the draenei were evil and plotting against the orcs. And yes, Ner'zhul ignored for a time that he was losing the respect of the ancestor spirits and that the elements grew distant from him. He put himself ahead of his role as elder shaman. It cannot and should not be denied. But even in his most aggressive moments, Ner'zhul was neither blind nor a fool. He began to realize that his spiritual advisor, Kil'jaeden, resemble a draenei and hated Velen with a fervor the orc could barely comprehend. He began to wonder why the spirts would not speak to him.

And so he made his way to Oshu'gun.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories