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Posts with tag gilneas

Bashiok comments on Fire Festival; new Hallow's End surprises

Blizzard has been getting hit with a few complaints since the Midsummer Fire Festival began -- that the holiday was just a stat-bump for the items and was relatively the same event as last year. Even the highlight item, the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune, was part of the controversy. Bashiok took to the forums to discuss the changes that had to happen for the Midsummer Fire Festival to even happen and gave players a clue to confirm the widely held belief that Hallow's End this year will play into the larger story between the Forsaken and the worgen.

The Midsummer Fire Festival remained largely the same due to the amount of work that had to go into rearranging fire locations due to the cataclysm, changing around all of the decorations, and generally spending a lot of time switching over from the old world. Bashiok does cop to the fact that the event is more or less the same as last year's, but reminds us that the Midsummer Fire Festival has already had its major overhaul back a few years ago.

The more interesting news, however, is that Bashiok says we've got some surprises coming our way with respect to Hallow's End, WoW's take on Halloween. We've been long speculating, based on data-mined items and story cues, that Hallow's End will deal with the continuing story of Sylvanas' march into the kingdom of Gilneas and the worgen's fight to take back their homeland. Plus, who doesn't love the classic Halloween monster movie tropes of zombies and werewolves?

Bashiok confirmed that there are changes in store for Hallow's End. To what extent, we do not know. However, I will be looking forward to surprises because, really, I love surprises. I'm a giant sucker for surprises. Bring on the surprises!

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Update on current Horde politics

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.

Around this time last year, Know Your Lore did a series on the politics surrounding both Horde and Alliance, along with some predictions as to what was going to come to pass. Some theories were right, some were wrong -- but as far as the Horde is concerned, there has never been as tumultuous a time as right now in Cataclysm. While some of the conflict is out in the open, other signs of discontent are found in hidden away or in discreet areas, out of sight unless you're directly looking for them.

Garrosh Hellscream's reign as Warchief kicked off with a bang. The first few weeks of his rule as Warchief saw the destruction of Orgrimmar and its subsequent rebuilding as a result of the Shattering's devastation. In addition, the Horde found a new set of allies in the quirky, greedy, and often bizarre goblins, something that could be construed as either good or bad, depending on which way you look. On top of all of this, the duel with and subsequent death of Cairne Bloodhoof affected Garrosh deeply and caused him to create a closer alliance with the tauren race, giving them a special section of Orgrimmar in contrition for what happened.

Garrosh seems to have a somewhat level head on his shoulders and the best of intentions at heart, but a closer look reveals that the Horde is no longer as united a front as it was in the days of vanilla ... and some of that blame can be placed squarely on Hellscream's shoulders.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Curse of the Worgen #4 on sale now online and at comic stores

Gilneas City erupts into violence as the worgen attack! During the madness, Halford seeks understanding behind who is friend and who is foe, while also dealing with his own animalistic worgen urge to kill. In desperation, King Greymane forms an unlikely alliance...
The World of Warcraft comic miniseries Curse of the Worgen is nearly at the end of its five-issue run. Issue #4 is now available for purchase both online and at your favorite local comic shop. The five-part series, written by Micky Neilson and James Waugh with artwork by Ludo Lullabi and Tony Washington, details the origins of Gilneas and the worgen curse in a way that the worgen starting zone can't even begin to encompass.

If you have not picked up this series, I highly recommend it -- the artwork is stunning, and the story is one of the best put out by the Warcraft comics team to date. If you're a fan of the worgen in Warcraft, this series is a must-read.

Filed under: News items, Comics

Know Your Lore: King Genn Greymane of Gilneas


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 brought it on himself, ultimately. This is not to say that he deserved it, precisely. He was proud, perhaps arrogant, and entirely too willing to let the whole world be damned as long as he saw no danger to Gilneas in the damning. But he was not malicious. He did not wish ill on anyone so much as he only wished weal upon those people he saw as his, and he saw his duty to those within his borders first, last and always. If he did not see clearly enough how the situation outside those borders would affect the people of Gilneas, it cannot be said that his failing was an absence of love for his people.

Genn Greymane, King of Gilneas, never failed his people by an absence of care or dedication. Like many who love something totally and completely, Genn's love for Gilneas was so strong that there was nothing he would not countenance in its defense. And sadly, it may well have been that willingness to do anything for her and anything to protect her, and the desire always to think of her first, last, and always, that doomed her. Even as his people have been forced to flee their kingdom, driven out by invaders who come to defile and steal a land that was never theirs, Greymane remains devoted to his land and his people.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Lord of His Pack live at Blizzard's community site

Do you like worgen? Sure, we all do! Well, I do, anyway. And if you liked the Gilneas starting zone and wanted to get to know more about the origins of the place and its independent-minded king, Genn Greymane, Blizzard has you covered. James Waugh's Lord of His Pack is all about the king himself, his relationships with allies and adversaries like Darius Crowley, and how they made the trip across the ocean to Darnassus following their flight from their homeland. The past and the present are both explored, and a fuller picture of the Gilneas that was and the Greymane that is come to light. Go check it out now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, 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.

Sylvanas Windrunner had a very important question to answer both for herself and her people at the end of Wrath of the Lich King: "What now?" Since their emergence as an ally of the Horde, the Forsaken have sought ultimate vengeance against the being responsible for their unfortunate fate. At the end of Wrath, the Forsaken and Sylvanas attained that goal; the Lich King was dead, and the Forsaken were left with ... well, nothing really.

Sylvanas had a lot to think about as a leader, her people were looking to her for guidance and a new goal to singlemindedly march toward. What Sylvanas discovered in her pondering was that she'd forgotten about one simple fact regarding the Forsaken -- they were undead. Ever since the beginning of World of Warcraft, new Forsaken were introduced as being former soldiers of the Scourge who had broken free of the Lich King's control. With no Lich King, there was no Scourge, and with no Scourge, there was no way to bolster the Forsaken's numbers. Without new Forsaken, Sylvanas' people would quickly die out.

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, 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.

It can be reasonably argued that of all the faction leaders currently featured in Cataclysm, none are quite as questionable in both motive and actions as Sylvanas Windrunner. The history of Sylvanas and her role in Wrath of the Lich King has already been discussed in the Forsaken politics article from earlier this year; at the point it was written, we had no real idea what exactly she was going to be doing in Cataclysm. Now we have answers, and those answers do nothing but raise even more incredibly disturbing questions.

Where do the Banshee Queen's loyalties lie? To the Horde, to her people, or to some other power entirely? Sylvanas' past was fraught with grief and horror; her future seems to be teetering on the brink of something even worse. With the introduction of the worgen, Sylvanas has something to focus on -- but what exactly are her motives, and who is it that she's ultimately fighting for?

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Shadowfang Keep


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.

Since I talked about Gilneas last week, it only makes sense to continue the discussion with one of the most worgen-centric places in all of the World of Warcraft, namely storied Shadowfang Keep. It debuted in vanilla WoW as a brooding ruin infested with those dastardly worgen and the angry, unquiet ghosts of their victims. Now, some six years on, it's a brooding ruin infested with those dastardly undead, led by three traitors to both the Forsaken and Gilneas itself, also jam-packed with the ghosts of its former worgen masters and their victims.

In short, time hasn't done much to improve Shadowfang Keep's general disposition. Well, unless you like your keeps to be atmospheric, top-filled with raging monstrosities and jam-packed with the loots -- in which case, the former estate of Baron Silverlaine awaits you.

Yes, before it was a dungeon, Shadowfang Keep was the ancestral home of Baron Silverlaine, a noble who owed allegiance to Gilneas and whose ancestral lands lay just outside of where the Greymane Wall would be erected. Ruling over the settlers of neaby Pyrewood Village, the Baron seemed a relatively capable leader... until, of course, the coming of the Scourge.

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Filed under: Know your Lore

The design evolution of home life in the starting zones


The starting zones form a player's formative thoughts about how the denizens of Azeroth actually live their lives. These first glimpses of life-as-our-characters-know-it are key to defining what it would be like to "really" live as our characters do. When you're in a starting area, you get to see the "common dwarf" in his natural habitat. (Or human, orc, troll, and sundry other races.) Of course, there have certainly been technical limitations over the years that restrict the number of widgets and sprites available to designers. But it's interesting to see how the home life of Azeroth natives have been improved over the existence of WoW.

The above picture is from Elwynn Forest. It's the home of Donni Anthania, the Crazy Cat Lady. The domicile of Ms. Anthania includes a chair, table, a couple chests, and a wardrobe. It also has a small herd of cats wandering around the floor. Interestingly, Donni is wielding a cleaver. It's unlikely that the cleaver was intended to mean Donna is hostile; instead, it's probably because she's supposed to be cooking or something. But the Crazy Cat Lady has been in the game since before there were any expansions. Technical design was a little more limited then. Let's compare this to how the blood elves lived come Burning Crusade.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: A history of Gilneas


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.

Ironically, for a nation we will only get to see with the arrival of the Cataclysm expansion, Gilneas has a long and storied history both within the Warcraft setting and in the games that have comprised it. Colonized during the first flowering of the Arathor after the Troll Wars, Gilneas grew alongside the other colonized regions of the Arathi Empire even as the heart of that empire faltered. As proud Strom entered a period of decline, Gilneas joined other human settlements like Lordaeron and Stormwind in becoming fully independent, and a strong but insular culture developed here.

How then, did Gilneas go from one of the strongest of humanity's kingdoms to what it will be when you come to it as a player? It's said that pride goes before the fall, but for Gilneas, it could be said that pride both precipitated and delayed its fall, and that what kept it secure for decades is what ultimately brought about its current fate.

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

Countdown to Cataclysm: Why go worgen?

This article is part of our Countdown to Cataclysm series, helping you prepare for Cataclysm launch one day at a time.

As Deathwing makes his escape from Deepholm, the Greymane Wall finally collapses, revealing the kingdom of Gilneas. For years, the kingdom had locked itself away behind the wall, shutting out the troubles of the rest of the world. King Genn Greymane, leader of Gilneas, has been dealing with his own problems behind the wall, however, including the spreading of the worgen curse, which is turning his people into ferocious creatures.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a worgen druid


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, you might want to get that bite looked at.

Today, we're going to tackle the subject of worgen druids, whose lore is an even bigger rat's nest than the contentious subject we discussed last week. As a note on that, I feel obligated to stick to the official line, which is that night elves were the first druids. Read Xarantaur's flavor text again. Not only does he skirt the issue, but his own story is an oblique confirmation that he probably wasn't among the first druids if the Warcraft RPG's information on racial lifespans is still canon.

Malfurion Stormrage is a young adult by the War of the Ancients. Xarantaur references the War, the Sundering, and a lengthy period spent traveling Kalimdor in search of stories. He was about to die when he was gifted with immortality by Nozdormu, so it's probable that he, too, was a young adult when the War began. By night elf reckoning, a "young adult" (even before the immortality granted by the World Tree) is between 100 and 300 years old; a tauren with a vastly shorter natural lifespan would be between 30 and 50. Even allowing for the smallest natural age gap, Malfurion predates Xarantaur by at least 50 years, and probably a lot more, given that he and a host of other night elf druids enter Ysera's service in the Emerald Dream after the Sundering. While it's likely that the tauren weren't taught druidism long after the night elves, Blizzard's official line is that night elves were the first druids. They may retcon this in the future or at the very least clarify (and I hope they do), but Xarantaur's existence doesn't conflict with the idea of night elves being first.

The full series is available here:
  1. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a night elf druid
  2. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a tauren druid
  3. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a worgen druid
  4. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a troll druid

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Worgen

Cataclysm Beta Live Stream: Choose my worgen druid adventure

Choose the adventures of WoW Insider's Robin Torres as she levels multiple alts in the Cataclysm beta, live every Monday and Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST.

Note: The stream is of the Cataclysm beta. It and the chat below are full of spoilers. You have been warned.

Update: The stream is now over. Please click on the image above for the video replay.

Hello and welcome to the live version of Choose My Adventure (beta edition). Monday, Monday. So good to Robinella the druid worgen. Today we continue her adventures.

Join me after the break while I narrate, read quests and take requests from the chat room. The show will run for at least an hour and be viewable on video, if you weren't able to watch it live. Also after the break are some notes and polls.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

Breakfast Topic: Which Cataclysm zone are you most excited about?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

All of us are anxiously awaiting Cataclysm's going live. Wrath is winding down and people are anxiously anticipating the new content. Some want new raids, some want new dungeons, some want new quests, some want to make goblins or worgen. Some of us are just really excited to see the changes to the old zones, and some just want to get right into the level 80 to 85 content.

I myself am in the beta. I have played it as it has evolved since the friends and family alpha, and I have watched some of the zones go from buggy and near unplayable, with quests not yet implemented, to being far more fleshed-out and nearly ready to go live. I love Hyjal. It has an epic feel; you are right in there battling to reclaim the zone from the Twilight Cultists and the elementals. Deepholm is equally amazing. In the revamped zones, I thoroughly enjoyed the CSI-inspired murder quest chain in Westfall. I have made both a goblin and a worgen and must say, the goblin starting area and Azshara should not be missed. Everyone should make a Horde character and complete the Azuregos and Kalecgos quests in Azshara. On the other hand, I feel Gilneas is a little overscripted and Darkshore is still a little odd.

There is a lot of the world I want to see when Cataclysm launches, but there are places I want to see more than others. Where are you most interested in exploring when Cataclysm comes out? What do you absolutely have to see, and what quests do you want to do? What particular zone excites you the most? Or are you just in it for new dungeons, raids and new shiny epics?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Know Your Lore: The origin of goblin and worgen death knights

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.

Most of Cataclysm seems solid from a story standpoint, but a few plot holes continue to pop up here and there that cause people to wonder exactly how certain elements and creatures fit into lore. One question that seems to come up more often than anything else is the origin of goblin and worgen death knights. After all, these guys didn't even exist during Wrath of the Lich King -- the Greymane Wall isn't coming down until Cataclysm hits, and the Bilgewater Cartel goblins are still on Kezan, right?

Well, not quite. In order to understand where these guys come from -- and they do fit in lore, Blizzard managed to integrate them quite nicely -- we have to take a look at one of the continual banes of my existence: timelines. The timeline for World of Warcraft was pretty straightforward during vanilla and The Burning Crusade. However, with the introduction of the death knight class in Wrath, players were introduced to a much heavier use of phased content, including a phased version of the death knight starting zone that introduced the reason why these servants of Arthas suddenly turned on him and formed their own independent alliances with either the Alliance or the Horde.

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you wish to remain spoiler-free, do not continue.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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