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Posts with tag Worgen

WoW Archivist: More beta surprises

Sylvanas models through the years
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

As the Warlords of Draenor beta rolls onward, Blizzard keeps managing to surprise us. Recently we've learned about a huge overhaul to guild systems, random upgrades for quest rewards, and an extra-awesome core hound mount.

In the last WoW Archivist column, we looked at the surprises from the original beta and the betas of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. This time, we continue with Wrath and also look at the surprises during the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria betas.

(As before, I won't go into storyline surprises here. And I won't cover surprises announced at BlizzCon outside of a beta. BlizzCon already has its own feature for controversial surprises.)

Beta of the Lich King (continued)

Goodbye, night elf Sylvanas. Through vanilla and TBC, the Sylvanas model looked like a night elf rather than an undead high elf. With Sylvanas poised to play a big role in Northrend, Blizzard clearly needed to revamp her model. Players worried that they would have to look at the old night elf model through all her lore moments in Wrath.

A build in August 2008 gave her an initial makeover (middle image above) and lore-focused players breathed a sigh of relief. Clearly she still needed some work, but at least she wasn't a night elf anymore.

A later build in September gave her the fantastic model we see today. The same build also updated the models for Varian Wrynn and Alexstraza.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore: The Watchers of the kaldorei

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.

Kaldorei society and rank has always been complex. Queen Azshara had her court, the Highborne represented the upper reaches of society, and those chosen Highborne were magic users of particular skill and prowess. On the other end of the spectrum were the Sisters of Elune, kaldorei priestesses who were dedicated to the worship of the moon goddess Elune. And somewhere in between were the druids, primarily male kaldorei who followed Malfurion Stormrage after the War of the Ancients and Sundering were over, eventually founding the Cenarion Circle.

In between them all were the Watchers, a group established after the War of the Ancients that survives to this day. Not only has it survived, it's apparently thriving enough that some of these Watchers will be making an appearance in Warlords of Draenor. While the depth of their appearance and how much they will be contributing to the new expansion's story remains to be seen, it's worth it to take a look at this organization, how it came to be, and perhaps the most notorious Watcher of them all -- Maiev Shadowsong.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The future of the Alliance

Know Your Lore The future of the Alliance
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.

The Siege of Orgrimmar is almost upon us, and the Alliance stands strong, ready to dive in and put an end to Warchief Hellscream's reign. Along the way, they've picked up some entirely unconventional allies in Vol'jin's group of rebels, who are also insistent upon getting Garrosh out. But when the dust settles and all is said and done, if and when the Alliance prove their military superiority, take out Hellscream, and are declared the ultimate victor of what has been a very messy, bloody war, what happens next?

Does the Alliance simply go home and wait for the world to rise up with yet another threat? Do they at last attempt some kind of tentative peace treaty with Vol'jin and his group of rebels? Will Varian Wrynn take a moment of clear victory and use it to crush what remains of the Horde? Will the Alliance leave a military presence in Orgrimmar, to carefully watch and make certain events like this don't come to pass again?

What does the future for the Alliance hold, once Orgrimmar has been taken down?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

This crochet worgen will growl its way into your heart

This crochet worgen will growl its way into your heart
World of Warcraft's worgen aren't always friendly, but in the case of this crochet worgen we can confirm cuddliness. WoW player Venuz created this little guy for a WoW craft swap and we've got to say he looks true to in-game worgen, if on a more diminutive scale. Venuz has been crocheting for about 20 years now -- it's her favorite hobby outside of WoW -- and created the pattern for this worgen from scratch. So what's next on the crafting agenda? Venuz says she'd like to make an attempt at a crochet orc.

We have a full-sized image of this crafty creation after the break or you can check out Venuz's gallery on Imgur.

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Filed under: World of WarCrafts, Arts and Crafts

The Queue: Fury Oh Fury

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

Last night I discovered Nico Vega. What does that have to do with World of Warcraft? Absolutely nothing, but it's good music!

Nurpholomew asked:

Any chance we will see factions once again emoting their love for us at exalted as in BC? I absolutely love walking around having NPCs laud my awesomeness. Narcissistic? Maybe but for me it helps the immersion factor by quite a bit.

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Filed under: The Queue

All-worgen guild runs wild across Azeroth

Among the ruins of Gilneas, we found the worgen. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that for some time now, I've been searching WoW's nooks and crannies for players in class- and race-specific guilds. Frustratingly, what seems like one of the most natural race-specific groups, the worgen, has eluded me. But now, from the shadows of Emerald Dream (US-Alliance), I present The Päck, a guild composed entirely of Gilnean worgen. Primarily a roleplaying guild, The Päck takes an active part in the realm's RP and world PvP events and raids solo and with the friendly assistance of the realm's all-dwarf guild.

We talked with GM Nymaway to sniff out what keeps a pack of feral shapechangers thriving in an active roleplaying community.

WoW Insider: I think even non-roleplaying WoW players can recognize the immediate roleplaying potential of a worgen character, especially if they've run a new worgen through the atmospheric Gilneas starting experience. What drew you to the worgen concept?

Nymaway: The thought of roleplaying a character that once lived a normal human life, to have it all taken away by a single bite, intrigued me. There is so much you can do with your character in regards to emotions. One moment your character seems perfectly fine. She is in her human form, but something has set her off. She loses her temper, and the next thing you know she has turned into a werewolf-type creature throwing a table across a room of a tavern.

Also, what could be more intimidating than seeing some one coming at you as a human, then shifting into a giant beast on the battlefield?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Know Your Lore: Why Garrosh Hellscream shouldn't die

Know Your Lore Why Garrosh Hellscream should not die SUN
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.

Garrosh Hellscream is one of the most polarizing figures in Warcraft lore at the moment. You either hate him or love him, and there are very few players who stand somewhere in the middle. Ever since his introduction in The Burning Crusade, Garrosh's journey has been a series of ups and downs, starting with the moment that then-Warchief Thrall showed Hellscream how his father died. It was as a hero to the orcish race, and Garrosh has spent the majority of his time on Azeroth trying to live up to that heroic image.

It's a tough role to fill. And in the press event for Mists of Pandaria, it was revealed that Garrosh would be taken down, his role as warchief ended. Given all of the chaos Garrosh has sown in his short reign as warchief, it's no wonder that it's not just the Alliance gunning for the warchief's downfall -- the Horde isn't particularly happy with him, either. So it seems entirely likely that Garrosh will fall, his reign will end, and the world will move on.

And frankly, Garrosh's death is the worst possible thing that could happen.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

What do you think deserves an update?

What do you think deserves an update ANY
The story is always the same: I find a particularly intriguing piece of transmogrification gear, one that will totally make that midnight blue set I've been working on piecing together. And the piece is pretty easy to get, relatively speaking; it's a drop off of a boss in one of those old Burning Crusade-era heroics. Easy enough to solo at level 85, so it should be a snap to get, right?

Well ... not quite. Because for some reason, all of these old heroics still have their old lockouts in place. Despite the fact that you really don't get anything of consequence from these dungeons and you haven't been able to for years, you still can't repeatedly head into these dungeons. Now I realize there is a five-dungeon-per-hour limit to keep people from excessively farming, and I get that. I really do. But when you introduce a game feature that encourages farming old content, it seems silly that you not only have to cross your fingers that the item drops, but you can only attempt to get it once a day.

And really? That's not the only thing that could use an update in today's World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: State of the Alliance, 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 has never been harder to be Alliance. Throughout the years of war brought about by the orcish invasion of Azeroth, the Alliance has seen its ups and downs. During that first assault, Stormwind was destroyed, its king assassinated. However, the direct result of this was an Alliance of kingdoms that paved the way for the Alliance as we know it today -- a smart, level-headed group of races focused on survival. The survival of each race individually, and the survival of the world as we know it. A noble cause, and the Alliance is well-known for its nobility.

Yet despite bouncing back from that original, horrific assault, the Alliance seems to be in a downward spiral in the days of Cataclysm, one which is spinning horrifically out of control. And despite the best efforts of Alliance leaders, trying to staunch the flow of death and despair is becoming increasingly more difficult. This has much to do with the effects of the Shattering, and even more to do with those enemies of old; the orcs and their united allies in the Horde. Even though the Alliance has come back before, the question of whether or not they can do it again is a heavy one that weighs on the minds of all. It has never been so hard to be Alliance, it has never been this dark.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

Winners and losers of Cataclysm

Forum poster Breccia put a lot of thought into his list of the top 10 winners and top 10 losers of Cataclysm. I don't agree with all of his choices, but I definitely agree with what he has to say about Neptulon being one of the losers -- we need a resolution of that storyline and soon. It got me thinking about who I'd consider the winners and losers of this expansion. The status quo got a pretty serious shake-up in Cataclysm, and a lot of fortunes were changed for good or ill.

Personally, I really think the worgen took it on the chin this expansion. Not only is the female model lacking (in my opinion) compared to the original preview (that semi-permanent snarly and atrophied muzzle needs to be redesigned badly), but worgen players got to see their cool storyline concluded Horde-side while they were traipsing around in the night elf starting zones. Even today, most of Gilneas is a ghost zone. I love the worgen, and I really hope we get to see them get more involved in Mists.

As for winners, I'd definitely put Velen up there as a stealth winner. While the draenei still haven't been as active as I'd like, the quest in the Swamp of Sorrows where Velen appears is a huge lore goldmine for the future. Not only does Velen spell out the true nature of the conflict at hand, he sets the stage for a war so vast and terrible it makes all previous struggles on Azeroth pale to insignificance. He also flat out corrects the idea that the Light hates the broken, showing that it's the draenei themselves who have a touch of bigotry in their souls to conquer.

I could go on all day, but it's more interesting to see what you think. Winners and losers of this expansion? What are your choices?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

WoW Moviewatch: Worgen of Stormwind

Baka Savant and Wicked Wood created Worgen of Stormwind long before the Gilneans all went fuzzy. It's an older video, but it still retains its charm. Even though the video uses the old mob model for worgen, it's still a whole lot of fun.

I like the music, love the vocals, and I'm still enamored with this video. I wouldn't hate seeing an update to it, since we now have worgen as a playable race. That probably wouldn't be worth the effort, though, considering how pitch-perfect the rest of the video is. We can just use our mind's eye to sub in the player models for werewolves instead.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, 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.

The development of lore in WoW has ramped up over the years. While vanilla saw a few lore developments, players could still wander the lands of Azeroth with nary a clue as to why they were there, skipping quest text altogether in favor of simply getting the job done. The Burning Crusade saw more of these lore-related quests introduced, and Wrath pushed the concept even further. But Cataclysm's taken lore and gameplay to a new level of interactivity.

Last week, in segments #10 through #8, we talked about a few of those innovations in lore development, include the emphasis on focused, directed storytelling over the aimless wandering days of vanilla WoW and the trend of releasing free-to-read short stories on the official website. Both of these have their ups and downs, but the short stories weren't the only focus of Blizzard's writing department.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Review of Wolfheart, by Richard A. Knaak

Let's face it: The Alliance has kind of gotten the shaft this expansion, from a story perspective. Oh sure, you can talk about the Dwarves of Ironforge and the assorted conflicts in Ashenvale and even the druids up in Hyjal with Nordrassil. But when you simply look at Cataclysm and everything that's come out of it, the Horde has seen more development and story than the Alliance, to the point of having the upper hand in the continual conflict between Alliance and Horde. The Alliance simply hasn't had much given to it in the way of novels, beyond the tales of the Worgen race and the leader short stories on the Warcraft website.

That pretty much ends with Wolfheart, the newest Warcraft novel by Richard A. Knaak. For those who were tired of hearing of Thrall's exploits or the exploits of the Horde in general, Wolfheart is very much the book for you. Though we haven't witnessed any particularly huge conflicts with the Alliance in game -- instead being treated to the somewhat chilly reception of Garrosh Hellscream and his plans for the Horde -- it doesn't mean that there hasn't been any to speak of. In fact, there's far more going on behind the scenes with the Alliance than anyone could have guessed.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: When I was your age ...

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Every so often, I'm hit with this brilliant idea that I should level another priest. It always sounds like a lot of fun at first, especially when I'm just toying around in the character creation screen making my new baby all pretty. Do I want brown hair or blond hair? The sexy eyes or the vapid ones? Hmm ... now what do I name her? The fun ends a few minutes later when after skipping the opening cinematic (which I've already seen), I pick up my first quest and realize I've done this before. Sure, maybe this time I'm picking up Salvaged Supplies instead of Cactus Apples -- but really, it's always the same. That's why after about 5 minutes of killing eight boars or eight bandits or eight worgen, I bask in the glory of level 2 and log out.

Except for today. Today, I was determined to get my new darling Elyria up to level 12 so I could see all of the new Worgen content and the new Forsaken quests in Silverpine Forest after that. I was really determined this time, and as a result, I made it through something like 42 Smite casts without logging out and got to learn Flash Heal as a result That's when I realized that damn, priests these days have it easy. Flash Heal at level 3? Really? Let me tell you how it used to be.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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