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Know Your Lore: Tauren origins and tinfoil hats

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.

Where, exactly, do tauren come from? Yes, there's the old standby about a mommy tauren and a daddy tauren -- but in a world where some beings trace their origins back to stone constructs and ancient curses while others are native and still others were altered by the Well of Eternity, the question of where a people originated can be an important and convoluted one.

The most recent Ask Creative Development thread from the official forums managed to cover a lot of subject matter, from Elune and her relationship with the Naaru to whether Forsaken priests could actually blow themselves up by channeling too much of the Holy Light. But the question and answer that most interested me was the following:

Q: What races were on Azeroth before the coming of the titans?

A: Besides the elementals, the only known sentient races on Azeroth when the titans' forces arrived to subdue the Old Gods were the trolls, the race known as "faceless ones," and the aqir. Due to the Old Gods' war against the titans, as well as the extensive terraforming that followed the war's conclusion, records of what races existed before even the Old Gods' arrival have likely been lost forever.

Anne already discussed this to a degree, but I wanted to take a longer look at the tauren, their history and mythology, what they seem to believe about their origins, and why it might matter to this question. Where did the tauren come from?

Please remember the rules. This is all speculation, and while I try and build it on the framework of the lore we're supplied in game, I'm going to end up somewhere that is absolutely not at all in game.

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

This week I have a special request: I want any questions you might have about potential future expansions. Any questions at all are welcome, but I'm on a speculation kick recently, so next week's column will probably focus on the future and then we'lll be back to our regular deal after that. So no matter whether you think the Maelstrom could be next or something else entirely, ask!

Mark asked...


"Any chance that the Vrykul will be a playable race in a future expansion?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

The Queue: Casual raiding and you


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hooray weekend! Boo Sunday! Let's jump right into things with Galipan's question...

Is casual raiding a possibility? Ive heard from many people that it isn't, however, I'm trying to get a guild started that does give it a shot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Queue

Scattered Shots: On Roleplaying a Hunter

Welcome to Scattered Shots, a weekly column on all things Hunter related, now written by Daniel Whitcomb.

I may have mentioned this before elsewhere, but often times it's hard to speak authoritatively on any class in Beta, because no matter what the changes and the new imba combos and whatnot are right now, they will likely change drastically the next time a new build comes into play. This isn't to say that it's impossible to write about them, but often times whatever words you write will be obsolete, or at least inaccurate, by the time you sit down to write next week's column.

For example, last week I wrote about traps. I mentioned that Freezing Traps no longer break immediately on damage. Well, now they do again. As Ghostcrawler tells it, they couldn't find a way to make pets automatically ignore a frozen target, so they called the whole thing off. Now, honestly, that seems a bit like chopping off your hand to take care of a mosquito bite on your pinky finger, but hey. On the plus side, she also said that they'll put it back in once they figure out how to reign in pets (I recommend using the passive button on the pet bar, myself). But who knows when that will be?

So I thought I'd take a trip down a path that's more solid this week, and speak a bit about roleplaying your Hunter. These are a few archetypes I looked at when roleplaying my various Hunters, with various tips on roleplaying them and reflections on how they fit in to various factions and alliances around the game. As always, of course, general roleplay rules apply: Don't be a jerk, don't godmode or Mary-sue it, and don't let roleplaying get in the way of your fun or your group's success.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixth 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.

The first cultural influence you'll probably think of when you see the tauren and walk around in their villages is "Native American." That's fine as far as it goes, but you should remember that they're mainly based on the stereotypical image of what Native Americans are rather than their actual reality. I'm hardly an expert on Native Americans, however, so rather than try and speak for these differences, I'm just going to put the whole issue aside and take tauren as tauren rather than parallels to any human culture. Besides, aside from certain aspects of architecture, music, clothing, and mythology, the tauren are really their own species. They are quite general enough to remind us of all kinds of different cultures around the world, many of whom cherish the earth, revere their ancestors, and try to live in harmony with the world.

Some people say that the tauren are the noblest and most peaceful of the races in World of Warcraft, but for most of their history, they have been at war with the vicious centaur -- though not by choice. The centaur have always been very hostile towards tauren, driving them out of their ancestral homelands, slaughtering them and even cannibalizing them whenever possible. In a way, the centaur seem like four-legged versions of the nastier trolls who never joined the Horde. When Thrall came to Kalimdor and encountered the tauren in the midst of their struggle against the centaur, it marked the beginning of one of the greatest changes in tauren history.

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: Faith and religion


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

Two weeks ago, when I was going through my queue of questions, one stuck out as especially complex. Sean Riley inquired about the beliefs and practices of the various Azerothian religions. This topic really excited me as I kind of have a thing for analyzing religion and faith. I would never claim to be an authority on theology, but it's stlil something that is very interesting to me. Warcraft lore combined with theology? Yes please! Obviously this isn't really the place to analyze and debate religion, but taking time out to research the gaps in my knowledge on this particular topic was incredibly fun for me.

Unforunately, I didn't have the space in that week's column to fit the answer to that question in, nor did I really have the time. It was a broad question and needed to invest a hefty amount of time into it. This one question has filled today's column, and while that may be disappointing to some that are waiting their turn, I hope it's an interesting read regardless.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

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