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Posts with tag Races

I'm so bored with the Horde

This isn't a rant about how the Horde is bad, or how you should feel bad for playing them, or anything. If you like playing Horde, I'm not arguing that you're wrong to do so. I know that's a subjective thing, and some folks just plain like specific Horde races better. This is more about how, after Mists of Pandaria, I'm completely exhausted as a player with Horde stories and the Horde/Alliance conflict. I'm not inherently opposed to Horde/Alliance conflict. In fact, I think it made Mists of Pandaria a very strong expansion, with a strong and interesting story. I especially liked patch 5.1, and played both the Horde and Alliance storylines.

And frankly, that was the last time any of my Horde characters got any serious play.

Since 5.1 I've felt myself shifting away from the Horde. Part of that was going back to raiding on my draenei warrior, of course. But a bigger part of it was simple ennui, and a general culture shift in the Horde that left me feeling totally unable to connect to it. When I rolled my first Horde characters (an orc shaman and tauren warrior back in vanilla days) there was a real, concrete tone shift when I played them vs, when I played my Alliance characters. A sense of desperate odds, of outcasts banding together to stand against a hostile world, facing off against a monolithic power.

That's gone. It's probably gone forever. Even after the events of Mists of Pandaria, it's impossible to view the faction that banded together from the events of Warcraft III as the same entity anymore - over the course of two expansions, the Horde went from underdogs to aggressors. And while I've heard many players say things like "the orcs are not the whole Horde" to attempt to distance ourselves, fact is, my tauren did the quests in Twilight Highlands. My blood elf led the charge onto Pandaria's shores, and he stole the Divine Bell so that Garrosh could make use of it. Up until patch 5.3, if you played Horde, there was no real way to not aid Garrosh's cause - you were complicit in everything that helped make the Warchief's plan work. The orcs may not be the whole Horde, but what excuse does that give your pandaren or forsaken, when they're the ones who delivered the keys to the kingdom into Garrosh's hands?

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

No new class, no new race, no problem

This is one of those title says it all posts, but I'll elaborate: the fact that there is neither a new class nor a new race in Warlords of Draenor isn't a problem. First up, there's the obvious fact that we're getting redesigns for the eight original races plus draenei and blood elves. In terms of art design, that's an incredible amount of work, far more than designing one or even two new races. Racial abilities for each race are also being redesigned, meaning each will play differently. Moreover, by not introducing a new race or class, we don't need to have a starter zone designed for them, meaning that content design can focus on content for the 90 to 100 player, especially since thanks to the level 90 boost, it can be assumed that anyone who picks up Warlords and wants to play it can.

As has been said elsewhere, new races and classes are not content in and of themselves. They consume time and development resources to create them, and often they have content associated with them, and that content is usually only playable when you create one of them (although the monk did not actually get that treatment - save for one location in Pandaria that offered monk only quests, as a kind of home base, monks didn't see the death knight starter zone style experience) but by themselves a new race or class is just a different way to experience content. This is not to say they are not important. New classes offer new gameplay options, new abilities and spells, and sometimes new roles for players who did not enjoy, say, tanking or healing on previous classes.

But I think it's fair to say that World of Warcraft doesn't need the added complexity of three new specializations to balance right now. There's going to be a lot of work needed to balance out new spells and abilities, adjust item levels, change the way healing works while ensuring it does still work, implement entirely new gameplay like garrisons without also figuring out how to keep another class in the mix with the other 34 specializations we already have. Similarly, while I mourn for my alliance ogre paladin and horde arakkoa druid, do we need two more groups of racials to balance out?

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

Five features I really want from the next expansion

So everyone's handily speculating on just what the next expansion will be, and what it will have and not have. That's pretty awesome. I love speculating. So in the spirit of things, I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and natter on about what I'd love to see from the next expansion, whatever it ends up being.

Let's just jump right into it. What stuff do I think would be awesome?

An overhaul of the leveling/alt process

I definitely think we need to reconsider how we deal with alts. I'd love to see a system that reduced the time you had to spend getting them leveled once you got the first one to max - heirlooms work for that, but that long-rumored heirloom tab would make it a lot easier. Another thing which would definitely help are more heirlooms like Hellscream's Decapitator - our current heirlooms don't take us all the way to max level the way it will, and it's also useful now as a raid-level item an alt can make use of. It's an experiment I hope they continue.

I've seen some arguments that we should be able to start a high-level alt to skip over a lot of the leveling process, especially as we get closer and closer to the likely new level cap of 100. If that was implemented, it would need to be done carefully, but I'd definitely support some way to preview a class at or near max level so you could figure out if you'll like it or cut down on having to do the full 1 to 100 (or whatever it ends up being) march again.

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

Breakfast Topic: Which playable race would you like to see come to WoW?

Those players who dreamed of a future in which they could be naga had their dreams realized and crushed in less than a day because of foreign language interviews with Ghostcrawler. But instead of being disappointed in what we won't have let's talk about what races we want to see made playable in the next expansion and beyond.

Personally, I'm holding out for murlocs. Perhaps that MRGRGL sound we've been terrified of hearing for so long was actually a friendly greeting, a request for a hug or even just a handshake. Perhaps making them a playable race would be the first step towards reaching out in friendship to our semi-aquatic neighbors. Come on, Ghostcrawler, if you can't give us naga, surely you can make murlocs happen, right?

But that's probably a long shot. What do you think, readers? Which playable race is going to be headed to WoW next?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Least favorite playable race

Breakfast Topic Least favorite playable race
In a recent Community Blog Topic, we asked what your favorite playable race is. Many people in the comments would have preferred to answer least favorite. So here you go.

My least favorite race is human. It's not from any lore standpoint, unlike my favorite playable race (the Forsaken). It's just that I play a human in real life and I've never liked playing humans in my fantasy games. I try every once in a while, but I always get bored and go for something else. Also, delivering love letters just isn't my thing.

Granted I'm Horde biased, but I do find most of the other Alliance races fun to play when I'm taking a walk on the blue and yellow side. Humans are just so bland to me.

What is your least favorite playable race and why? Do you still play the race on the bottom of your list. If so, why?

The poll is after the break.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Community Blog Topic Results: Favorite playable race

Community Blog Topic Results Favorite playable race
Last week's Community Blog Topic asked, "What is your favorite playable race?" Mine is the Forsaken, even though I have no high level characters that are undead. Many people agreed with me, but the race that came out on top was not my favorite decomposing race.


The race most people liked out of all choices was the Tauren. As AdmiringAzeroth said on her blog,
I like their massive bulk and their cute faces (even if there's only a choice of 4). I also like their druid forms.

And jdpatrick.gamer's Horde choice is Tauren as well.
My decision was based SOLELY on a comment Matthew Rossi made on the podcast some months ago. I am paraphrasing, but he made a statement to the effect of, "... when you see a Tauren warrior in plate mail running straight for you, you poop a little."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

We are all humans

We are all humans
Someone just asked me on Twitter if I thought humans in World of Warcraft are boring. I don't think that at all. I have several reasons for not thinking humans are boring, which I'll lay out for you now:
  1. Humans had/have the most elaborate and interesting political backstory in the game. The conflict between the House of Nobles, the stonemasons and craftsmen, and the House of Wrynn over Stormwind's rebuilding has led to the existence of the Defias Brotherhood, the machinations of the Black Dragonflight and the collapse of Stormwind's outlying territories. Westfall, Darkshire and Redridge are all cut off and fractured, and the aftermath of the war with the Lich King and the Cataclysm only kept the pressure on. Stormwind, as the last remaining human kingdom now that Theramore and Gilneas are effectively gone and Kul Tiras is missing, totters on the edge.
  2. Humans have a great tradition of loss and perseverance. The orcs lost a world, but they're the ones who destroyed it, so it's hard to sympathize with them. The humans rose from scattered refugees on an alien shore to seven mighty kingdoms that ruled much of the Eastern continent, and the loss of those kingdoms after the coming of the Burning Legion and the Scourge is a story of loss piled on loss, heartbreak piled on heartbreak. The refugees from Lordaeron that survived came to Stormwind, and it is that nation which has the lion's share of the burden of rebuilding from this staggering loss.
  3. Every other race in World of Warcraft is just a metaphor for humanity.
I'll expand on point three now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

All races will be playable by everyone in patch 5.0.4

All races will be playable in patch 504
In a stunning move, Blizzard has decided to make all races playable --including pandaren-- in the pre-expansion patch, while the pandaren will be available to all after launch. Even if you only have vanilla WoW or The Burning Crusade and even if you don't plan on getting Mists of Pandaria, you will be able to roll a character from any race.

With the release of patch 5.0.4, we're making all the races of Azeroth playable by anyone, no matter which version or expansion of World of Warcraft they own. This includes the enigmatic pandaren, who will become available for play when Mists of Pandaria is released on Tuesday, September 25. We want the entire World of Warcraft community to be able to embrace their inner goblin, blood elf, worgen, draenei, or pandaren from the moment they step foot into the world of Azeroth.

Now, the only hard part will be choosing a name. Who will you be next?

The upper levels and their accompanying lands will still only be available to those with the appropriate expansions, of course. I think this will be especially good for new players, as well as those you bring in with the Scroll of Resurrection or Recruit-A-Friend.

Update: Pandaren won't be available until after Mists of Pandaria is released but will still be playable by anyone, regardless of latest expansion owned. Full clarification by Zarhym is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Of monks, mains, and the ability to change

I've changed my main exactly once in all of my years playing World of Warcraft. It wasn't out of need or necessity for a guild -- in fact, I was guildless at the point I decided to switch. And I wasn't really planning on switching so much as I really wanted to play a rogue. I wasn't tied down to a guild, and I figured I could simply have fun with the experience. Over the course of leveling that rogue, I met a group of friends in a raiding guild, and once I hit level 70, they encouraged me to apply.

Going from a healing class to a pure melee DPS class wasn't as much of a stretch as you'd think. In fact, I think I almost fared better than most because as a former healer, I keenly understood the importance of staying alive. More importantly, I understood that as a pure melee DPS player who was not a tank or a healer, my priority on most heal lists was fairly low. So it was up to me to keep myself alive and happily stab things.

I don't think, however, that I could ever make that switch again -- although honestly, I've thought about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The most wicked creatures in WoW

Warcraft is a game that seems fairly straightforward in faction division. Alliance is good; Horde is bad. But once you delve into it, that straightforwardness becomes muddled and marred. The Alliance may seem like good guys, but they have their bad moments, and the Horde may seem evil, but even they've got their shining examples of goodness buried within. And when you examine the story and lore closely, you begin to realize that there is no black-and-white division between good and evil; all characters are loosely scattered and somewhere in shades of gray.

Sure, you can argue that the orcs are evil -- and they absolutely were, back in the day. But when you start looking at the justifications for the orcs' actions, that label of pure evil comes into question. As for the Alliance, you can argue that the human race is a bastion of goodness and light -- but then you look at things like the Scarlet Crusade, at Benedictus' betrayal, and you begin to wonder whether the human race is inherently good or just as scattered as the rest of the world.

... Unless, of course, you look at the one place where evil characters always hang out: instances.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Which race has the best lore?

Tyrande Whisperwind
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Every race has its own unique storyline, many of which have been played out in books, comics, and endless fanfics. Who have you enjoyed reading and acting out the most?

I'm torn. I love the orc lore -- it's so richly detailed, especially in so many of the books, that when I play an orc or head into orc territory, I really feel like I get them. I know most of the NPCs by name, and I know their backstories and their motivations. Landing on Nagrand for the first time in The Burning Crusade with an orc character was a game-changing experience.

The night elves probably have the most complete lore -- quite a feat when you consider how long their race goes back. Night elf lore imbues the game with an aura of mystery and grace that I have yet to find anywhere else. It's hard to play a night elf and not feel inclined to roleplay, at least a little bit. Playing through the quests involving Malfurion Stormrage always provides a sense of urgency, like the world actually depends on what you are doing.

Now it's your turn. Whose lore gets you really involved? Have you acted out stories involving the lore? Do you read up to get the background on your characters?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: How do you decide which race to roll?

Want a race change?
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Each time you create a new character, you are faced with a few crucial decisions. Which class? Which race? And perhaps most importantly, which hairstyle? When I started my most recent alt, I debated with myself over the best choice of race for quite some time. Here are some of the factors that crossed my mind:

  • Class considerations Before Cataclysm, if you wanted to play a druid on the Alliance, rolling a Night Elf was the only option; likewise, Blood Elves were the only ones who could be paladins on the Horde side. Selecting a class first often makes the race decision easier -- unless, of course, you select the warrior class, in which case you won't get any help.
  • Pure aesthetics Who wants to look at cow butt for hours on end? 'Nuff said.
  • Affinity Perhaps the backstory of a particular race captivates you, reminding you of your own journey or struggles. Perhaps it's easier to put yourself in the shoes of a character who howls at the full moon or eats the corpses of the dead for a quick pick-me-up.
  • Racials If you plan to min-max with your character, you may want to select a race with a bonus to stats that actually matter for the character's class. Likewise, it could be helpful to go with a race that has bonus skill points in the profession you hope to learn. Some advantages are just a matter of convenience (e.g., instant flight form). And let's not forget cool effects like Rocket Jump!
  • Resemblance When you still can't decide, I suggest rolling a character of a race that looks more like you do. Got lots of back hair? So do Worgen and Tauren. Long ears? You must be an Elf or Troll.

Which factors did you consider when choosing race? Which of them is most important and why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Do you have a favorite race?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

The majority of the people who play chose their main character's race because it appealed to them for one reason or another. Some people play a certain race because of the racial traits and the benefits they provide in a raid. The extra crit or intellect can be the defining choice when a raider is picking his or her race. A serious PvP player may choose his race based on the offensive or defensive racial traits for that race. For the average player, though, we choose our race because something appealed to us: the look of that race, the lore, or maybe it was the thought of how playing a certain race and class combination would play out.

My very first toon in WoW was a gnome rogue. The thought of something so small jumping out from the shadows and stabbing you in the kneecaps before vanishing made me laugh. I moved onto a dwarf hunter a few weeks later and never looked back. The dwarven race has always been my favorite because of their lore, the way they carry themselves, their attitude. When I think of dwarves, I think of Scotland and bagpipe music. In Wrath of the Lich King, I spent more time in the Howling Fjord than any other zone. If I could have taken the music from the Fjord and put it in Ironforge, my dwarf would have been drunk on ale and in heaven. Every character I have, save for my first rogue and my priest, is a dwarf.

What is your favorite race? Why does that race appeal to you? Are there any races that you can't stand to play or dislike in general?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Blood Sport: Alliance racials

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in's arena column.

Listening Music: Sting with some of my favorite folk, "The Snow, It Melts the Soonest." Although this version isn't my favorite, it's one of the only videos with decent quality I could find -- and it's by Sting, gotta love Sting.

Last Week: We talked about season eight compositions and trends, particularly in 3v3. Not much has changed since then. Check it out if you have the time, it's still very relevant.

This Week: We'll be discussing the wonderful imbalances we call "racials" for arena. The alliance have historically had worse PvP racials than their horde counterparts, but this might have changed in WotLK.

Remember back to a time when race changes didn't exist. In vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade, players had to reroll or deal with the racials that they originally chose, even if those racials got nerfed or buffed. These racials were also far more imbalanced than they are today, which added insult to injury for certain race / class combinations.


: Activate to remove poison, disease, and bleed effects; +10% Armor; Lasts 8 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

This racial is a shadow of what it once was. Pre-WotLK, this racial would give a 8 second immunity to poison, disease, and bleed effects. The difference is enormous -- removing a 50% healing debuff in Wound Poison for an 8 second window allowed the dwarf to receive some massive heals. The racial was also on a three minute cooldown, but most PvPers will tell you that the shortened cooldown does not make up for the 8 second immunity. Dwarf priests and hunters had a much easier time surviving against rogues in The Burning Crusade, which is probably the reason the racial was nerfed for WotLK.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

All the World's a Stage: The voices of every race and class speak in RP

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

All the World's a Stage has been a voice for roleplaying in WoW for over two years now. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but the article entitled "So you want to be a bad guy" was just about at the 2 year mark for this column! To celebrate belatedly, today we'll review some of the other websites about roleplaying in WoW out there. If you like All the World's a Stage, you'll probably enjoy these as well.

In addition, you will find that some of these websites have similar, but unique pages with information about roleplaying the various races and classes of Azeroth. So for those of you who would like to have a reference to all these articles in a single place, I've collected them all together in one list at the end of the article. This list includes my own articles, as well as those of all the other websites I'm about to mention which follow on the same theme.

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

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