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Posts with tag Tauren

Warlords of Draenor Beta: New character models incoming

One of the things about the beta is, it can still surprise you. CM Zorbrix just posted to the forums about something we've all been wondering about - several of the new character models will be making their appearance in the beta. Both male and female trolls, human males, tauren females and night elf males will all be playable.

Zorbrix - Beta Realm Maintenance - 8/21/14
I just wanted to confirm that this build will have 5 new Player Character Models. Troll Male and Female, Human Male, Tauren Female, and Night Elf Male.

We've mentioned this before when models are first shown to you folks in beta, but I wanted to stress this point again: These models are a Work-In Progress. Things will not be perfect, and our QA testing of these models (and the subsequent bug fixes) are not yet complete.

I do hope you enjoy the models and give constructive feedback as appropriate, but please keep this is mind when looking at the models today.


It's important to note that the night elf male hasn't even had an Artcraft yet. This is definitely a work in progress, as was the case when the draenei male appeared on servers before it was previewed. But I find this amazingly exciting - finally we'll get to see how these models look in action.

We've added a slideshow of the new night elf male model below for players to look at.




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

Faction, race, and World of Warcraft

Would it be World of Warcraft without the Horde and Alliance? Even if they don't need to be in direct conflict, do they need to be for it to be the Warcraft setting? It's certainly been argued in the past, both that the factions are absolutely necessary and that they are not. I've personally argued in the past that, whether or not the game has factions, it shouldn't prevent people from playing with their friends, but the counter argument must be considered - if I can play with my friends on the Horde side, and vice versa, what purpose do factions serve?

So let's actually ask that question, then - what purpose do factions serve in World of Warcraft?

We can break down the purpose of the faction divide as follows, at least in terms of intent.
  • Factions exist in World of Warcraft because at its heart, the setting was born in the original RTS. The factions help keep this flavor alive.
  • Factions allow for PvP content to be more channeled and to have team-building potential built right in. Horde players fight Alliance players, and vice versa. In the Warcraft setting, you always know who the enemy is.
  • Factions allow for more variety of experience. The quests differ - sometimes vastly so - and there can be elements at every point of the game that make use of the distinction between the factions.
There could be more arguments for factional divide - for instance, it's very hard to imagine a WoW where orcs and draenei were on the same faction - but let's discuss how these three work, or if they work.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Warlords of Draenor: Artcraft reveals new male tauren model

We had a bit of a sneak peek of the tauren model this weekend thanks to Adriacraft, and now we get the official preview with an Artcraft at the official site. Now, I play tauren quite a bit - they're my favorite Horde race, in fact - so I'm happy to see them get an update. The current model looks good enough in plate, but the years haven't been kind to it as new races with upgraded polygon counts and more points of articulation were introduced. Going from a pandaren warrior to a tauren was an exercise in time travel - the older model looked every bit its age.

As for this model, I think it's already an established improvement just by virtue of not having the mane look like straw heaped onto the back. Clearly, great effort has been made to keep the model true to itself while still looking updated, and although I'm a little iffy on the eyes, I'm hopeful that we'll see some variation in that regard. The video is particularly helpful for getting to see it in action. It's a far, far more effective model for conveying emotions via expression - it's hard to imagine seeing a tauren look this expressive, frankly. Seeing the open mouthed belly laugh alone convinces me that this is a far, far improved model in all regards.

In general, I find it much improved - now I just want to see how they do with the female model.

Head on over to the official site and see the process detailed.


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

Warlords of Draenor: Adriacraft hunts down new male tauren model

Our friends over at Adriacraft have been busy mining away at data from the Warlords of Draenor alpha, and discovered something interesting -- the new tauren male model. While we saw a brief glimpse of the model at BlizzCon, it was just a flat model, lacking expression or animation. The images from Adriacraft look to be from the character selection screen, and the model has its familiar stance and expression.

Adriacraft has other shots from the character selection screen as well, including both male and female dwarves, male and female gnomes, and the male orc model. A tweet from Senior Art Director Chris Robinson indicated that the tauren male and his animations will be featured in an upcoming edition of Artcraft -- so players wondering what the model looks like with some emotion on its face may not have to wait too long to see it. For more screenshots and images of the new models, take a look at our gallery.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Tauren at the end of Mists

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 are an awful lot of loose threads around the tauren right now. The Grimtotem are scattered, making temporary pacts with the Alliance in Stonetalon, besieging the night elves in Feralas, and their greatest leader was last seen claiming an artifact of elemental power. In the wake of Cairne's death, Baine Bloodhoof chose to allow Garrosh to rule uncontested - but that position clearly changed over time, and Baine led tauren troops to the support of Vol'jin's rebellion against the Warchief, rather than simply challenging him as his father did. Ironically, this choice shows a certain political maturity - recognizing that trial by personal combat might not be the best means to effect regime change in the Horde - while it also shows a bit of a break with the old ways of both the Horde, and the tauren people.

Baine's father Cairne chose to live, and die, by the older ways of ritual and honor. Betrayed by Magatha, he died from poison on Garrosh Hellscream's axe and with him seems to have died the last vestiges of the tauren ways of the past. Baine led an expulsion of those Grimtotem that would not swear allegiance to him over Magatha that culminated in a battle against their last leaders in Mulgore, and at the end of that battle, Baine ruled the shu'halo as undisputed chieftain of all. But in doing so, he also led his people into their last break with the past, and following the defeat of Garrosh and the ascension of Vol'jin to the seat of power as Warchief, one must ask - what role do the tauren fill in the Horde to come, and where will Baine's current choices lead them in the future?

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

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

Know Your Lore: The tauren peoples of Azeroth

Know Your Lore The tauren peoples of Azeroth
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.

As of right now, there are three known sub-families of tauren humanoids on Azeroth:
  • The shu'halo of Kalimdor, who believe in the provenance of the Earthmother and the sun and moon, An'she and Mu'sha.
  • The taunka of Northrend, who have grown to seek dominance over the elements via extortion and compulsion of the elemental spirits.
  • The yaungol of Pandaria, who are even more extreme in their dominant approach, viewing fire as both the weapon by which they will conquer the land and a source of mystical strength.
What's interesting to me about all three of these known offshoots of the tauren people is their diversity of beliefs as well as their physical differences from one another. Both yaungol and taunka have marked physical differences from the tauren of Kalimdor. Are any of these people similar to their pre-Sundering ancestors, or have all three groups diverged? More interestingly, despite there being no current record of the Titans having anything to do with the origin of the tauren, there are definitely tauren represented in the visual art of the Ulduar complex. Why?

At present we have no reason not to believe that the tauren are not native to Azeroth. Therefore, we have questions to ask. This particular KYL is dedicated to asking those questions, and speculating on what the answers might be.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, 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.

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

Reputation in review: The Dominance Offensive

It took until patch 5.1, but we got it. The most perfect reputation grind in the game to date. I don't say these words lightly, because let's face it, I have pretty high standards for what I like and what I don't like with daily quests. But the Dominance Offensive appears to have taken the best out of all previous reputation grinds and wrapped it all together in a delightful ball of compelling story and quests that barely feels like a grind at all.

Please note that this is a review for the Dominance Offensive, which is the Horde side of the 5.1 reputation. At this point in time, I don't have an Alliance character at level 90, so I'm unable to play through the Operation Shieldwall quests. However, I have been assured that not only are the Operation Shieldwall quests just as good, in some ways they are even better than the Dominance Offensive material. I'm not even sure how this is possible, because these dailies are just that good.

But enough gushing. Let's get into the nuts and bolts of what makes this reputation grind so different from everything before it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The Yaungol

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.

This week we're shifting gears. The last week, both Anne and myself covered different related KYL possibilities, so for myself I want to talk about the lore of Pandaria's yaungol, an offshoot of the tauren and taunka peoples. Not every race brought along when Shaohao, the last pandaren emperor, created the mists and sealed Pandaria away for 10,000 years was ready for the Sundering. No one bothered to tell the ancient ancestors of the modern yaungol what was transpiring when the flames fell from the sky and the demonic invasion began. No one told the yaungol what to expect when the world was torn apart and the mists descended to hide them forever apart from their people. So stranded, the yaungol endured.

The culture of the yaungol is shaped by that struggle to survive. Cut off from the world, they have found a way to survive in the Townlong Steppes, a harsh land where they could no longer rely upon the cycles of the seasons and the old faith in the Earthmother. Instead, the yaungol learned to harness fire and burning oil as both fuel and weapon, and in so doing held off even the mantid swarm for thousands of years. Only recently, with the machinations of Grand Empress Shek'zeer, have the yangol been forced from their fire camps throughout the steppes and driven into the lowlands of the Kun-Lai region.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Baine Bloodhoof stomps his way into WoW TCG's War of the Ancients

Baine Bloodhoof stomps his way into WoW TCG's War of the Ancients
As one of the featured races in the upcoming WoW TCG Timewalkers block, the tauren received the powerful Tribe keyword, which lets them activate each others' powers when they come into play. But they can't protect the timeways alone -- they need a chieftain to lead the charge and protect them. Enter Baine, Son of Cairne, the epic tauren ally in the upcoming War of the Ancients set that Cryptozoic sent us to preview.

Baine comes packing the powerful War Stomp keyword, knocking out a hero or ally when he swings, and further damaging them when they exhaust. His high health pool and Protector keyword will let him protect your weaker allies to keep their Tribe powers rolling in the late game.

We previewed the ultra-rare extended art version of the Malorne the White Stag master hero card last week, and Cryptozoic has begun their own official previews of War of the Ancients, which features playable lore characters as heroes for the first time in a standard WoW TCG set. Play as Malfurion, Queen Azshara, Broxigar the Red, and more heroes from every era of Warcraft history as you protect the timeways of the Caverns of Time with the Timewalkers faction.

Timewalkers: War of the Ancients releases October 2nd.

Filed under: WoW TCG

Mists of Pandaria: Sunwalker Dezco for Warchief

Image
Spoilers for Mists of Pandaria in this post.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoy Sunwalker Dezco. As a tauren, I love the idea that there's a tauren presence in Pandaria, and that unlike most of the Horde the leadership of said tauren, actually uses the quotes around the word Warchief when talking about Messere Hellscream.

I first met the Sunwalker in the Krasarang Wilds. He was leading an expedition to Pandaria inspired by the visions of his wife. After that, I ran into him again helping out against the mantid, then in Kun-Lai Summit at the Temple of the White Tiger, where he gives out a quest to meet with one of the August Celestials within the Temple of the White Tiger. After Xuen, the White Tiger, tests your mettle, he allows you and Dezco (if you're Horde) to go south. Pretty much everything Dezco says or does shows that he's loyal to the Horde, but clearly less than enamored with Garrosh and his particular way of leading it. Dezco is very involved with the quests leading to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms as well as Krasarang and Valley of the Four Winds, and he's at once a determined bringer of the light and a much more tolerant and reasonable Horde figure than we've seen in some time.

I'm just glad to see a new, no-nonsense tauren lore figure, and to see the tauren taking some initiative in Pandaria. And I admit, I love the idea of a sarcastic tauren paladin.


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: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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

Third faction or logistical nightmare?

In the beginning, there was Azeroth and there was Draenor. The two worlds clashed together repeatedly over the course of three RTS games, each with expansions. But it didn't stay Azeroth vs. Draenor -- the orcs of Draenor had made Azeroth their new home, and the feud between the Alliance and Horde was forever etched in Warcraft history. And when World of Warcraft was released, players could choose either side" the native races of Azeroth, united as the Alliance, a group of good guys, or the orcs and other castaway races, thrown together as one motley group of bad guys, the Horde.

Each side has its own justifications for what they view as right, just, and honorable. Yet there are races on either side that seem more neutral than anything, whether it be the peaceful draenei, the equally peaceful tauren, or even the blood elves, who have spent time on both sides of the faction fence. These races participate in the battles and bloodshed as readily as any other, but their motives never seem quite in the right place.

And that's caused more than one person to wonder: Just what exactly would happen if World of Warcraft created a third faction?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Totem Talk: Horde races for elemental shaman

Tauren shaman on flying carpet
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

I really like Tauren. If I had my way, the Horde would be comprised of six different tribes of Tauren who spent most of their days participating in competitive flower picking and saying "Walk with the Earthmother." Unfortunately, the Herd is not a real faction, and most people aren't Tauren.

While some players make racial choices for game immersion or fun, there are players who choose their character's race for the best performance. A tank might choose Tauren for the 5% base health bonus, a PVPer might choose human for the extra trinket slot, and a healer might choose Blood Elf for the 2-minute cooldown mana return. For Horde elemental shaman, there's a reason to play any of the four available options, but the choice is largely up to your playstyle.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

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