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Posts with tag blackhand

Warlords of Draenor: New mount and NPC models discovered

AdriaCraft are at it again, digging through the data and powering up the Model Viewer to bring us images of some of the new NPC and mount models in Warlords of Draenor's Alpha. There's a couple of mounts like the Raven Lord that we've seen already, but a few that are new, like the Clefthoof, who also comes in various different colors. There's also a Giant Boar mount, also in red, and a Draenor Wolf, who also comes in three other color schemes.

Apart from the mounts, there are various NPC models apart from Thrall, some of which have surfaced already, some of which haven't. Velen, Grommash, Durotan and Blackhand are all there. There's several varieties of Iron Horde machinery that have been found, as well as some pale orcs, new Talbuks and Sporebats which we heard about following the recent press event, and Elekk, Goren and Hippos. All of these come in a variety of colors, so do check out the original post for more info.

But my favorite new model by far is the Draenor Ancient. Like all the models, he's in a variety of colors, but look at his grumpy face! What has you excited from this recent datamine?

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, the soul of evil

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.

Every villain in the Warcraft universe has a story behind why exactly they're a villain. For some, it was the corruption of the Old Gods that slowly drove them mad. For others, it was the promise of great power by agents of the Burning Legion. But it's rare that we see a villain that is simply a villain without any kind of outside influence. Garrosh Hellscream is one of the better villains in Warcraft solely because he does evil things, but doesn't believe that they are evil -- instead, he believes that they are simply the right thing to do.

But before Garrosh Hellscream was an orc who pretty much represented pure, unmitigated evil in its most concentrated form. He knew the corruption of his entire race was at stake, and he went ahead and traded it for the one thing he craved above all else -- power. Gul'dan may not have come from bloodlines that boasted glory, but he was ridiculously intelligent, cunning, and cruel. To Gul'dan, it wasn't about performing evil deeds. It was about amassing as much power and prestige as he could -- and the rest of the world could burn, for all he cared.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: A guide to the orc clans of Draenor

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 occurred to me while writing last week's Know Your Lore about Zaela and the Dragonmaw Clan that there are a lot of orcish clans out there, many of which we'll be encountering in Warlords of Draenor. There are well over twenty different clans, each with different histories, and there may be just as many smaller, minor clans that we don't know about, or more. Players familiar with Warcraft lore likely recognize the names of these clans, even if they aren't exactly certain who's who.

But for players new to Warcraft lore, or players that haven't played any game other than WoW, the giant list of various clans and the little notes we heard of clan history from BlizzCon may be pretty confusing, to say the least. Just who are all these orcish clans, which ones are we likely to see in Warlords, and which ones likely won't make an appearance?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Draka, daughter of Kelkar

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.

Thrall named the ship Draka's Fury after his mother. It was the ship that should have taken him without trouble to the heart of the Maelstrom during Cataclysm, but the ship was intercepted by an Alliance fleet and destroyed. It's been stated here and there that Thrall named the ship as a tribute to his mother, and to the strong orc women in his life -- but there's a problem with that. Thrall didn't know his mother at all, really. When he was just an infant, both Draka and his father Durotan were killed, betrayed by their own kind, and Thrall left to die. He named the ship after the strength of a mother that he never really knew at all.

But Draka was far from weak, in her prime -- and to her mate Durotan, she was the epitome of everything an orc woman should be. Strong, wise, brave, unwilling to bend or break, Draka spent the entirety of her childhood defying everyone's expectations, and continued to do so until the day she died. In Warlords of Draenor, we'll finally get a chance to meet Thrall's mother and father in person. We know who Durotan is, but who was that orc woman standing at his side, and what made her so incredibly special?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

BlizzCon 2013: World of Warcraft Adventure Continues Q&A

The World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel during Friday's action-packed BlizzCon featured Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak giving a short presentation on the story behind the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with the history lesson, which was summed up by Matthew Rossi, the panel also featured a brief Q&A session that wasn't advertised in the program, but proved to be a pretty good list of questions and answers about the new expansion and what we can expect to see.

Along with some clarifications on whether or not this is a time travel expansion (it isn't), there are also a few new lore reveals regarding the next expansion, and some tasty tidbits of odds and ends that have yet to be addressed. Read on for the full list of questions -- some of the answers may surprise you.

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Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon

Know Your Lore: The warlords of Draenor

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.

Originally, Draenor was a planet with a nigh-uneventful history until a series of progressively more incredible and unusual events, brought to the world from outside sources, plunged it into chaos. According to what we knew -- which was admittedly very little -- the orc clans of Draenor had no issues with the rest of the world, or with each other. There may have been the occasional squabbles between clans, but there was nothing remotely resembling full out war ... at least nothing that's been recorded in history as we know it. However, the announcement of Warlords of Draenor seems to indicate a big history lesson is on the way.

Draenor's history, one distinct moment in time has been altered, creating a separate fork -- a bubble of time, if you will -- that has changed the fates of these old heroes. So who are the Warlords of Draenor? We have their names. What we don't have is the new history revealed in the expansion just yet. But even in the original timeline, these orc warlords each had different, unique histories that all tied in together, courtesy of the Burning Legion's meddling and influence.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The History of the Warchief

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 post exists because of the massive spoilers in this link, but the post itself will be spoiler free. As long as you don't click on that spoiler-heavy link, you will not see any spoilers in this post. (Edit - actually, there's one spoiler at the very end of the post - it's clearly marked as such, and it is a minor spoiler at best, but it is there. Let that guide your actions.) Instead, we're going to talk about the position of Warchief - how it came to be, how it evolved and then devolved, and how Garrosh Hellscream's reign as Warchief set the stage for what could be a completely new direction for his successor (whose identity I will not discuss).

The position of Warchief actually began as a complete figurehead, and the first orc to hold that position, Blackhand the Destroyer, was placed in that position due to his combination of physical fearsomeness and egocentric self-aggrandizement - so easily was he misled and directed by Gul'dan, head of the Shadow Council and architect of the Horde, that he never once proved himself a threat sufficient for Gul'dan to ever consider replacing him. It's not that Blackhand was either a fool or an idiot, he was in fact a canny tactician and a respected warrior. He simply believed his own hype - so convinced was he in his own superiority that when Gul'dan presented to him that he would be a respected equal and his position as Warchief would be one of real power, he believed it, because he believed in himself. Throughout the war with the draenei and later, the invasion of Azeroth, Blackhand ruled as Warchief and allowed himself to listen to Gul'dan's words - allowed himself to listen because they were telling him what he wanted to hear.

Even as the humans balked the orcs, and Blackhand's series of victories became defeats, he continued to listen to Gul'dan. This would be his downfall.

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

Know Your Lore: Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth (part 1)

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.

Anduin Lothar made the supreme sacrifice for his people. He lived for them, and he died for them, at the end of a long life dedicated to their welfare. He lived his entire life in the saddle, riding from adventure to duty, fighting first for himself and then for everyone he loved. Last of a bloodline that could claim to be the kings of all humanity, Lothar died not as a king but as a soldier fighting to save his world from those who had willingly sold their souls, their children's lives, and their world to the bloodlust of demons. In life, he had repeatedly balked their victory. In death, he secured his people's future.

There will never be a warrior as great as Lothar. No one, no man, no orc, no one can ever exceed his accomplishment. Uncompromising, he brought forth a compromise that welded together disparate races in a union to defend themselves and their world. Stern, he managed to nurture a band of heroes who would stride forth with his name on their lips and his example in their hearts to plant it as a standard on a foreign world. Aged and weary, he carried his best friend's nation and his best friend's treasured son to safety and brought both through the terrible storm to be returned to their rightful home.

Without Lothar, there would be no humanity left. Without Lothar, orc slaves to the Burning Legion would have destroyed all of the Eastern Kingdoms and, in thrall to their demon masters, laid waste to a second world. Without Lothar, everything changes. This is the life of the Lion of Azeroth.

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

Know Your Lore: Orgrim Doomhammer, part 1


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.

He is the father of the modern Horde. His name became the name of the great city built by the orcs. He found in the son of his oldest friend a protegé who would lead his people, and he passed his family's greatest treasure down to ensure that prophecy was satisfied. To his people, he was one who never forsook them. No attempts to run away from the consequences of their actions, no dissembling -- simply forthright, pragmatic action. Alone of the Blackrock Clan, he refused the taint of the demon blood, yet found himself marked by it as it spread through his people. Called the Backstabber because he killed his direct superior, Blackhand the Destroyer, he ruled the Horde until its final defeat at Blackrock Mountain.

To his enemies, he was death. He beheaded his own chieftain and seized power in one brutal moment, crushing any opposition by the swift assassination of his enemies.He destroyed Stormwind and nearly brought down Lordaeron. He killed the majority of the warlocks of the Shadow Council and removed the position of Warchief from the role of a puppet ruler, leading the Horde in truth. He asked for no quarter and gave none. He countenanced the capture and forced breeding of the dragon queen Alexstrasza and her consort Tyranastrasz, using the juvenile dragons as mounts. He allowed Gul'dan to live, even though he suspected treachery, because the old warlock promised him a weapon that could counter the magics of the humans. He was never one to put his conscience ahead of what he saw as his duty; even as he suspected the orcs were being lied to and manipulated, he took part in the slaughter of the draenei. In the end, his own pragmatism cost him the victory in the Second War, as the treacherous Gul'dan proved that placing victory above all sometimes means giving someone too much rope -- Gul'dan's betrayal of the Horde in its moment of victory effectively destroyed all of the hard work of its Warchief.

Orgrim Doomhammer, last of the Doomhammer line, Warchief of the Horde, chief of the Blackrock, was an orc, give him all in all. You shall not look upon his like again.

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

Free realm transfers announced

Blizzard poster Turrit announced yesterday that free realm transfers are being made available to address faction imbalance and overpopulation issues on the following PvE realms:
  • Aggramar (Alliance only)
  • Area 52 (Horde only)
  • Blackhand
  • Hellscream
  • Stormrage (Alliance only)
  • Thrall (Horde only)
  • Undermine
Destination realm:
  • Drak'thul
The free transfer period will run from Tuesday, May 25 (today) to Tuesday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. PDT. However, Turrit did make a point of mentioning that Blizzard has a transfer goal in mind, and if it's reached, they may shut the free transfers down early. If you're on any of the affected realms and have been considering a transfer, this might be a good chance to save yourself $25.

To my surprise, it turns out Drak'thul was actually a PvP realm until very recently, and after a quick look at WoW Progress's list of U.S. realms, I have to agree it looks like the server needs some love. While it's possible the page hasn't been updated, it's apparent that the Drak'thul's raiders are struggling -- and there's some rather illuminating commentary in this thread (I'll grant I can't verify the accuracy) on how some of the server's troubles may have gotten their start. Two things come to mind: Blizzard's observations a year ago concerning only PvP realms being low-pop, and: what's happening on Cho'gall. Interesting.

The full announcement is past the cut.

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Know Your Lore: The First War


Welcome once again my friends to the lore that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside Know Your Lore.

In the past two weeks we've talked about the formation of the Old Horde on Draenor, and the resulting rise of the Alliance of Lordaeron to oppose them. Unfortunately we were forced to give the actual events of the wars slightly short shrift in the interest of being done someday. So this week, we cover the First War. (Note: there are spoilers for the original Warcraft game and several books and comic books contained in this post. Be warned if you continue to read it.)

When last we discussed the Old Horde, we mentioned that Gul'dan and his Shadow Council were feeling the strain after having been abandoned on a slowly dying world by Kil'jaeden after having apparently slain the draenei. As the demonic corruption slowly poisoned the land and turned the orcs (even orcs who hadn't partaken of the Blood of Mannoroth) a livid green color, two events occurred to forever change the fate of two worlds. The first was seemingly small: a plague known as the Blood Pox started spreading, forcing the establishment of a quarantine zone in Nagrand in the lands formerly held by the Frostwolf Clan. That clan, however, was no longer able to hold those lands due to the second and more immediately portentous event. Gul'dan was contacted by Medivh, the Guardian of Tirisfal and host to the essence of Sargeras himself, and offered to the dark orc warlock the one thing he truly craved.

Power.

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an orc

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

If you've seen Lord of the Rings, or read any other fantasy story in which orcs are portrayed, you probably think orcs are hideous humanoid monsters charging mindlessly forward to slaughter helpless innocents. Azerothian orcs are significantly different, however, with a shamanistic culture that prides honor above all other virtues.

But unless you've played World of Warcraft or Warcraft 3, you probably wouldn't know that. The orcs of Warcraft 1 and 2 were pretty squarely in "bad guy" territory, and it is only with the story of Thrall's rise to power and return to shamanism that we find out what the orcs' true history is.

Ironically, the story of the orcs is a bit like that of the horrors of modern Nazis and the lore of the ancient Jews mixed together. Imagine that the vast majority of your species came under the sway of a terrible and evil leader, utterly determined to commit genocide against your peaceful neighbors. After carrying out this deplorable task, your people sought a new enemy, and found a new world to destroy. In the midst of this conquest, however, your people's political leadership failed, the way back home was cut off, and you all ended up as slaves in exile, lethargic and utterly without hope. Suddenly, a hero appeared to unite your people, overcome your former masters, restore your ancient faith, reclaim your dignity, and establish a new homeland.

What follows is a brief account of the events most orcs know about or lived through, and a glimpse of the effects they would have had on your character.

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

Father's Day in Azeroth: A salute to the fathers of Warcraft lore

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1019543So it's Father's Day, the time when we all pay homage to the fathers or father figures in our lives, and thank them for all that they do. While we can't say for sure if they celebrate Father's Day in Azeroth, too, there's a lot of people in Azeroth and Outland who have reason to think back on their dads today. Many dads of Azeroth have affected their children's lives or been affected by them. The ramifications of the interactions of these fathers and children have then in turn affected the lore and story of Warcraft in ways great and small.

Therefore, in honor of the holiday, let's look at 10 famous and not-so-famous dads of Warcraft lore (listed in no particular order).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP

WoW Moviewatch: Stormforge

Thorvall from the Stormforge guild on the Blackhand realm created this piece. Set to on unlisted hard rockin' song, it combines in-game raid footage, Blizzard cinematics and psychedelic guitar work. I'm not sure what the intent of the video is, but for me, it's a nice look at raid encounters I'll never see.

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Raiding, WoW Moviewatch

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