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Posts with tag forsaken

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

The Legion of Vengeance: Forsaken having the time of their unlives

The Hand of Vengeance Forsaken having the time of their unlives
Of all the cities in Azeroth, the one that seems to me most like a living, breathing city is coincidentally the one that's undead. The Undercity huddles beneath the ruins of Lordaeron, drenched in atmospheric detail: its hidden underground tunnel, an oft-confusing pinwheel layout and dangerous elevators that confound new visitors, the eerie ruins above with their invisible ghosts, the throne room with all its power struggles and heart-wrenching beauty -- and the Royal Apothecary Society. Who hasn't spent time cautiously exploring the Apothecarium, with its cages of groaning test subjects and burbling vats of green plague?

Many players haven't given much thought to the cadre of Forsaken apothecaries in an expansion or more, but you'd be a fool if you assumed they hadn't been busy. Their story has captured the imaginations of a group of players on Moon Guard (US), the all-Forsaken guild The Legion of Vengeance (formerly Hand of Vengeance). Named for the Forsaken forces sent to Northrend by Sylvanas Windrunner to wreak plague and vengeance upon the Lich King, this roleplaying group functions within the context of the Royal Apothecary Society itself, continuing its evil work in a fascinating adventure that's captivated its all-undead player roster.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Queue: Throne of Thunder ilevel, the undead, and going pantsless

The Queue Throne of Thunder ilevel, the undead, and going pantsless
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.

Oh, Mondays. Why must you follow Sundays? Can't you be more like Thursdays, coming before Fridays?

Now that I've made myself sound like a twisted hybrid of Garfield and a certain song that shan't be named, we're going to move onto the Q&A and pretend it never happened.

Sainthubbins asked:

Has the required ilevel for the 5.2 LFR been officially announced yet?

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Filed under: The Queue

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

WoW for Dummies, Act III: The end of vanilla

WoW for Dummies, Act III The end of vanilla 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.

Vanilla WoW may not have seemed full of story to most, but it was jam-packed with plot elements, although they were hidden from all but those who paid the closest attention to what was going on around them. Most lore in the game was simply introduced with quest text -- there were no cut scenes, there was no phasing, there were none of the innovations we currently have today in regards to the implementation of lore in gameplay.

If you missed them, I recommend going back and reading through the summaries of early days of vanilla lore. There are two versions of Act I, one for Alliance and one for Horde. Act II applies to both sides of the faction fence as the story began to merge for both sides. Please note that these are summaries of the lore that existed in game -- later novels, comics, and other material adjusted what actually happened in the scope of the game universe, and some of those novels and comics are now the official canon version of these events. I've pointed out where these changes occurred.

The end of vanilla was marked with the return of foes long thought dead and gone, and the ominous stirrings of a portal to another world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The tangled web of future lore

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.

Spoiler warning: There are spoilers for the novel Wolfheart in this post, as well as brief spoilers for Mists of Pandaria.

Lore and story writing can be an incredibly tricky thing. The trickiness is only amplified when you're dealing with a story as large as that of Warcraft. This is a universe that spans four original games and six expansions from 1994 until now. In other words, if Warcraft were a baby when it was born, it'd be a legal adult this year -- pretty crazy to think about. What's even crazier is trying to keep track of the myriad convoluted storylines that have come to pass since Orcs and Humans was released.

As of right now, we know that Cataclysm introduced a lot of different lore threads that have not and will not be resolved by Cataclysm's end. And we also know that there is plenty of new lore coming up in Mists of Pandaria. But as new lore, Mists doesn't really address those threads left behind in Cataclysm, at least not in the first iteration of the new expansion. This may change as patches are added later on down the road -- or we may be on our way to setting up for a shift in story that Mists needs to bridge.

So why don't we take a little peek at those stories left unaddressed and try to sort out what is yet to come?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: King Varian Wrynn, or: How I learned to love the jerk

Know Your Lore King Varian Wrynn, or how I learned to love the jerk 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.

King Varian Wrynn is a jerk. He's angry, he's rude, he's deliberately inflammatory. Despite the moments of kindness we've seen from Varian, they're just small moments. Yes, he let Saurfang retrieve the body of his son for Alliance players in Icecrown Citadel to witness. But he still holds a deep and unmitigated hatred for the Horde and everyone in it, including Thrall. He will quite happily talk about scouring the Undercity and purging it of all Forsaken, and he seems to be of the opinion that the only good orc for the most part is a dead one.

But his attitude issues aren't limited to the Horde. He is endlessly frustrated and angry with Jaina Proudmoore and her insistence on diplomatic attempts. He was brusque, rude, and outright against letting the worgen join the Alliance when they were desperate for help. His anger even extends to his son Anduin Wrynn, who has done nothing to outright offend his father other than following the path of a priest rather than a warrior. Varian has even gone so far as to hurt his son, nearly breaking Anduin's arm in an attempt to force him to stay put and keep him from leaving to study with the Prophet Velen.

And yet, there is something so inherently fascinating about Varian Wrynn that I cannot tear my eyes away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Mists of Pandaria: Forsaken receive new racial ability

The latest Mists of Pandaria beta patch appears to be killing off Underwater Breathing racial for undead/Forsaken players. This has been a necessary change for quite some time, as Underwater Breathing has grown progressively more impotent as each expansion passes, either because the ability itself receives a nerf or every player's baseline water breathing duration is buffed to make water questing less of a nuisance. The Underwater Breathing racial simply didn't serve a purpose anymore.

It's being replaced with Touch of the Grave, an ability that appears to be an on-hit proc that leeches health from your enemy. The spell description is as follows: "Your attacks and damaging spells have a chance to drain the target, dealing 12654 to 14706 Shadow damage and healing you for the same amount."

We imagine the damage done by this passive will scale by level, a level 10 undead rogue won't be draining 14,000 health from their enemies in Warsong Gulch. Still, it's pretty awesome, right? We think so.

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: Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: State of the Horde, 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's good to be Horde. All over the world of Azeroth, the Horde is conquering new territory, claiming new land and expanding far, far beyond the few holdings it had in vanilla World of Warcraft. Back then, the Horde merely eked out an existence, defending small outposts where it could. Sylvanas and her Forsaken stayed by and large in Tirisfal Glades, with a tiny outpost in Silverpine and a slightly larger one in Hillsbrad Foothills. The tauren stayed largely confined to Mulgore, with a few settlements to the south and southeast. The trolls took refuge in Orgrimmar, with no real land to call their own save one tiny village on the coast and another small outpost in Stranglethorn Vale.

Now, the Horde is branching out in a major way. Sylvanas has dominated the forests of Silverpine and the rolling farmlands of Hillsbrad and is working her way east through the Western Plaguelands. The trolls have taken back the Echo Isles, and the orcs of Orgimmar are claiming new land to the north and the east, moving in a tidal wave of barbaric conquering. The Horde is flush with the glorious victories in Northrend, eagerly seeking more territory. In Cataclysm, it's very, very good to be Horde.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The surreal concept of neutrality in Warcraft

Remember the Argent Crusade? It was a result of merging two factions -- the Argent Dawn, which spent its time in the Eastern Plaguelands trying to eradicate the Scourge, and the reformed Order of the Silver Hand, an Alliance order of paladins formed by Uther the Lightbringer and Alonsus Faol. The Argent Crusade accepted members of both Alliance and Horde who wanted to fight toward the Crusade's ultimate goal: the defeat of the Lich King. Today, the Argent Crusade sits in Hearthglen, working to restore the Western Plaguelands to their former beauty.

The Argent Crusade is just one of the neutral factions in WoW, along with the Cenarion Circle, the Shattered Sun Offensive, the Earthen Ring and many others. Chris Metzen spoke about the Argent Crusade and the concept of neutral factions in our Mists of Pandaria press event interview, citing the Argent Crusade as one of the neutral factions that just rang true, whereas the Shattered Sun Offensive simply didn't feel quite as emotional.

But here's the thing -- the Argent Crusade, while being very active in Wrath, is hardly doing anything at all in the Western Plaguelands. There's a fight for Andorhal going on on the Crusade's doorstep, but they aren't stepping in. The Forsaken -- members of the Horde -- are actively seeking out activities that look suspiciously like Scourge activity, even going so far as to recruit the val'kyr, former servants of Arthas.

So ... what gives?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, 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

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

WoW Moviewatch: Forever Forsaken

We just had a video last week about Alliance pride, so let's take a look at the other side of the fence today. Forever Forsaken is a tribute video featuring dozens of undead characters. You'll probably recognize some of the names featured in Quixotica's film, and you'll definitely meet a few new Forsaken.

Forever Forsaken is a beautiful, moody video, although it's hard to follow any kind of plot through it all. I'm not sure that matters. Forever Forsaken is so gorgeous to watch that you really focus on images and animation, without much thought for narration. The music does a good job of underscoring the introspective themes while still highlighting little moments of humor.

Ultimately, Forever Forsaken is an impressive piece. Congratulations to Quixotica on another hit.
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

Faction leader short stories continue with Sylvanas Windrunner

The leader short stories continue with Sylvanas' own tale of vengeance, loss, and coming to terms with the death of Arthas in Edge of Night. Finally, we get to see Sylvanas ascend the Frozen Throne and come face to face with the broken and empty armor of the former Lich King, her pact with the Val'kyr, and the war front in Gilneas. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns, especially involving Sylvanas' pact with the Val'kyr, that may not be exactly how we imagined things had actually commenced between the former allies of the Lich King and the leader of the Forsaken.

Personally, I think this is one of the strongest leader short stories, delving into answerable questions and giving us real, solid lore to fill in the holes in the story. Seeing Sylvanas' grief and lack of focus after Arthas' death was something I had hoped would be addressed, as well as the Val'kyr, both of which were discussed and explained. Check out the story, written by non other than Dave "Fargo" Kosak, and marvel at a new chapter in the Dark Lady's story.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

What's happening in the Whispering Forest?

Every now and then, an Easter Egg is found in game. Blizzard loves its pop culture references, secret nooks and crannies, and everything in between. Recently, this popped up: a secret grove, hidden in the Whispering Forest of Western Tirisfal.

While it's unknown when they spawn (I've heard every six hours or so, but I'm not sure), a troupe of faerie dragons slowly flies to this mushroom ring and begins to sing.

Tendrils of golden light flow and meet in the center of the circle, while ethereal music notes float all around. A beautiful little piece of music accompanies all of this, lasting about two and a half minutes. The infected animals of the Whispering Forest even come around to witness the performance. After they're done, the dragons leave and despawn.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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