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Posts with tag horde-politics

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

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

Garrosh Hellscream: Then and now

Blizzard has begun what seems to be a series of lore articles spotlighting key characters in the Warcraft universe that have gone through radical transformations before and after the cataclysm. The first character to get the write-up treatment is the orc you love to hate, new warchief of the Horde Garrosh Hellscream.

The full blue post after the break.

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Filed under: 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 TFH Edition: Cataclysm 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.

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Players who wish to play the new expansion spoiler-free should veer away from this post.

All right, we've seen over the past five weeks the current political activity in all of the Horde races; orcs, trolls, tauren, Forsaken and blood elves. Needless to say, there is a lot of conflict just beginning to rear its head -- not just from one race to the next, but internally within those races as well. What does all this mean in regards to the Horde, when Cataclysm comes into play? Today we'll be looking at what (given all the information we've been presented previously), if anything, will happen when Cataclysm finally launches and the world gets thrown into chaos.

Please note I've put a spoiler warning on this post. This is because the following content, while mostly sheer speculation, may or may not end up being correct and will also directly address several rumors regarding Cataclysm that have not yet been confirmed. If you see a "TFH" demarcation on any future Know Your Lore posts, these are "Tin Foil Hat" predictions based on current lore and are in no way actually indicative of anything officially from Blizzard in regards to the game or where it's going to go. If anything presented here does end up being correct, these will actually become Cataclysm spoilers; if not, we've still had plenty of fun trying to predict how things are going to go down! Potential spoilers start immediately after the break.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics, the Trolls

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 trolls of Warcraft have a history that spans back further than any other playable race currently in the game, with the exception of the draenei. This makes it difficult to trace the entirety of their history, but fortunately the Darkspear of the Horde are one small fraction of what is a gigantic race as a whole. While the orcs, blood elves, Forsaken and tauren are all dealing with their own issues, the trolls of the Darkspear tribe are working quietly and largely by themselves to deal with a few major problems of their own.

The troll races of Warcraft were originally largely part of two major empires -- the Gurubashi of southeastern Kalimdor, and the Amani in the middle regions of the continent. There were other tribes scattered here and there, notably the trolls of Gundrak to the north, but by and large, all troll tribes fell under either the Gurubashi or the Amani empires. Prior to the Sundering, the trolls comprised a gigantic portion of the world's population, and while the Gurubashi and Amani didn't really like each other, they rarely warred, instead choosing to fight against a third empire, that of the Aqir. The two races fought relentlessly for thousands of years, and eventually the Aqir Empire split into two city-states, Azjol-Nerub to the north, and Ahn'Qiraj to the south. With the Aqir driven into exile, the trolls returned to their normal lives, though neither empire expanded much further than their original boundaries.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the tauren

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 tauren have often been viewed as the "good" guys of the Horde. While the orcs, blood elves, forsaken and trolls have all had various unsavory qualities, the tauren race stands out as a genuinely peaceful, altruistic race of spiritual people that want nothing but what's best for the earth and the spirits it contains. Despite their seemingly good intentions, this does not leave the tauren without conflicts of their own, and when a closer look is taken at their current activities, some questions still beg to be answered. The history of the tauren is arguably just as lengthy as that of the orcs or the blood elves, the major difference being that the history of the tauren race isn't really documented anywhere to be seen save for a small set of scrolls on Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff. Given that the Horde in general seems to lean more towards using violence to solve their conflicts, where do the tauren fit in, and why did they choose to sign up with the Horde in the first place?

The answer stretches all the way back to Warcraft III, when Warchief Thrall traveled to Kalimdor on the advice of the Prophet, a mysterious figure who would later be revealed as Medivh. After landing in Kalimdor, Thrall and his people found themselves in a much harsher land than the one they'd left, with new enemies like the centaur, a tribal race of primitive, bloodthirsty creatures, half-humanoid and half-horse in appearance. But Durotar was not without allies, as Thrall discovered when he happened across the tauren.

The tauren were originally nomads with no real "home" to speak of -- they simply traveled from place to place, living off the land in large groups or tribes. It is unknown as to how many of these different tribes actually exist, because of this nomadic nature. As they never really settled in any one particular place, the tauren were literally scattered all over the world, though the majority of them were concentrated in Kalimdor. Thrall came across a tauren who was under attack by the centaur and saved him, a tauren from the Bloodhoof tribe led by Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof. Chieftain Cairne was both grateful for the rescue of his tribesman and intrigued by the nobility and savagery of the orcish race. He explained to the warchief why the Bloodhoof were traveling; while his people had been nomads for centuries, Chieftain Cairne wished to return to the verdant lands of Mulgore, the ancestral homeland of his people. Thrall spoke of the orcs and their flight to Kalimdor to find their destiny, and Cairne told him of an oracle to the north, offering to give him the location of the oracle in exchange for protection from the savage centaur on their journey to Mulgore. Thrall agreed, doubtless feeling no small connection to the chieftain and his wish to find a stable place in which his people could settle and thrive.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the Forsaken

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.

While the politics of Horde races such as the orcs, blood elves, tauren and trolls span literally thousands of years, and feelings and current beliefs held by both races are deep-seated within that history, not all of the Horde races have such an extensive past. In the case of the Forsaken, the history goes back not thousands of years but approximately six or seven by Blizzard's timeline. A relatively new race, the Forsaken were introduced in World of Warcraft as playable members of the Horde faction, a move which confused some of the player base as the Forsaken were most definitely up to no good. Why would Thrall, who has been presented as a good character, agree to ally with a group that were presented as primarily evil?

This was never directly addressed other than being waved off as an alliance of convenience, but most of the Horde seemed to either distrust or share outright loathing for the Forsaken. While other races started out on good terms with the rest of their Horde brethren, players rolling Forsaken found themselves at neutral standing with all three of the other Horde races available. There are exceptions, however. The Tauren -- particularly Magatha Grimtotem -- seem interested in working with the Forsaken and possibly developing a "cure" for their undead state and aren't quite as unforgiving when it comes to dealing with their undead comrades.

While the relative time of the Forsaken on Azeroth has been short, in the few years of their existence they've managed to accomplish much -- largely due to the efforts of their leader, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner. Sylvanas had quite a history of her own prior to becoming the banshee queen, and it is doubtful that the race would have accomplished anything, much less banded together, without her leadership. I've covered some of the history of the high elves in last week's post, but this week I'm going to look at Sylvanas in a little more detail as the leader and the driving force behind the Forsaken.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the Blood Elves

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.

Before I begin, I'd like to thank all of the people that commented on the last post I made that covered orc politics. Apparently orcs are a hot topic of conversation, and while I didn't respond to everyone, I did read through everything said. I do have a couple of points to address, however. First, yes, I am aware that orcs are not all brute-minded savages. There's a lot more to orcs than simple savagery; however, that savagery is something that is a basic part of what makes an orc ... orcish. It's an innate part of being an orc. Thrall seems to lack that savagery for the most part and almost seems to want to cull it from orc society in favor of a more gentle and diplomatic disposition. Garrosh, on the other hand, embraces that savagery to an alarming degree. That's where the conflict between the two of them rests. One has what the other does not. Both are extreme cases in either direction.

Second, evoking the name Garrosh Hellscream sets people off. I'm not quite sure what to make of this, but I'd have to say it's a telling statement to the storytelling department that Garrosh, regardless of how much or how little he's been developed, is provoking this kind of reaction from players. Given that most writers like to evoke some sort of emotion in their readers, I can only imagine they are secretly pleased with the outrage. Right, moving on!

The blood elves, or sin'dorei as they've taken to calling themselves, have been a largely quiet presence in Wrath of the Lich King. Given this, they may seem like an odd choice to cover. Why bother talking about a race that hasn't done much to speak of since the days of Burning Crusade? Well... that's sort of the point. While the orcs, trolls, and tauren were natural additions, and the forsaken a little different but accepted at large, the blood elves were a very odd choice for an ally to many Horde players, and through the course of Burning Crusade, there was very little light shed on what made these creatures a valuable ally to the Horde because a large amount of blood elf history stemmed from events that happened prior to World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics - the Orcs

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.

Now that we're done with the dragonflights coverage, it's time to move on to other, more... explosive topics of conversation. Yes, that was a thinly veiled attempt at a Cataclysm reference. With the events of Cataclysm, both the Alliance and the Horde are due for some shake-ups, but it's the Horde that stands in a particularly shaky position, politically speaking. Cataclysm promises to shake up not just the physical world, but the political world of the Horde as we currently know it -- so I'll be taking a look at each of the Horde races, what they've been up to in the World of Warcraft, and why Cataclysm may do much more than simply set the Alliance and the Horde at odds.

Today's topic, the orcs -- the green-skinned Draenor natives that have established a foothold and a home on Azeroth, for better or for worse, and founded the current Horde as we know it today. While rumors are just that, rumors for now, they're well founded in current events and lore regarding the orcs and quite frankly, the rumors do not surprise me in the least. To begin, let's go back to the beginning of the current Horde and talk a little bit about their leader, their savior, the orc behind all the current stress the Horde is experiencing -- Thrall.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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