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Posts with tag horde

Know Your Lore: The Shadow Council

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 others may have quailed from the looming threat of darkness, they embraced it. Where others reviled the blatant corruption of the Burning Legion, they not only accepted it, they went looking for more. And where others may have listened to common sense and turned from the face of evil, they saw evil for what it was, took its measure and took what it had to give, gladly. It wasn't about corruption, it was never about corruption -- it was about power.

And for the Shadow Council, power was everything.

Formed long before the creation of the Dark Portal and the first invasion of Azeroth, the Shadow Council managed to survive the death of its leader. In fact, it thrived in his absence, and despite the supposed extermination of this dark society, it still thrives today, albeit in lesser numbers than before. But though its direction and leaders may have altered, its purpose has never really changed -- devotion to the Legion, at whatever costs that may entail.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Azeroth Choppers: Series recap, voting closes tonight

In case you somehow missed the series run of Azeroth Choppers, Blizzard has put together a brief recap of the show in its entirety. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect with this particular foray into web entertainment, but the prospect of getting a new mount is always good news -- and we've never had a mount introduced in quite this fashion before, nor have we seen Azeroth's various pieces of engineering construction built in real life. Although personally, I think the show missed the mark on highlighting all the details of the construction process, it was still a pretty fun, lighthearted series.

However, voting for the winning chopper ends tonight at 12pm PDT -- and episode 8, coming later this week, will supposedly announce the winning vehicle. We know we're getting a free mount either way, so why not have a hand in the decision making process? Cast your vote for the chopper you'd like to see added to your mount collection on the official site -- and stay tuned for the announcement of the winning team.

Ed. correction: Voting for the chopper has closed.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Azeroth Choppers: Horde behind the scenes footage

As expected, Blizzard has released more behind the scenes footage from Azeroth Choppers -- this time, it's the Horde's turn. While I really liked the Alliance footage we were shown yesterday, I have to confess I'm not nearly as impressed with what the Horde team has to show -- I was hoping for a look at how they created material we hadn't already seen. But it's still cool seeing how they took one image of an orc with some massive plate shoulders and re-created that in bike form. It's big, bulky, and has just the right touch of unbridled menace. I do wish we'd seen footage of all that emblem-cutting, though -- I can't imagine carving the Horde symbol into metal is a particularly easy task.

There's still time left to cast your vote for either Team Alliance or Team Horde at the official site. But you better hurry -- voting ends at 12pm PDT tomorrow night. Make sure you get your vote counted, and may the best chopper win!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Azeroth Choppers: Alliance behind the scenes footage

Now this is my kind of footage. Azeroth Choppers has released a behind the scenes look at the construction of the Alliance chopper, including construction and positioning of the "swords" that make up the handlebars of the bike. I was hoping we'd see more of this in the actual show, but I'll settle for behind the scenes, too! While I like the above footage, I have to admit that after seeing the final chopper and that gorgeous leather saddle, I was hoping we'd see the designs for that, and maybe a mention of who did all that leatherworking -- there were plenty of tiny details on both choppers that were complete surprises.

Hopefully we'll see some more behind the scenes glimpses over the next couple of days -- I'd like to see more on the Horde chopper construction as well. Voting is still open to pick your favorite bike to be re-created in game, so make sure you cast your vote for Team Alliance or Team Horde while you still can.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Azeroth Choppers Episode 7, voting opens today

With the arrival of Azeroth Choppers episode 7, we'll finally have the chance to do the thing that the entire webseries was leading up to, namely to vote on a new mount favoring either the Horde or the Alliance. Which will you choose, that monstrosity with tank treads the other faction got, or the awesome bike with tank treads your faction got? Well, whichever you pick, the time to do so is now.

Are you excited for any of the bikes? Or just swept away by faction pride? Or are you like Anne, and you're literally insane to watch people build stuff? Personally I find the building aspect of the show to be absolutely riveting. Hah. Riveting. I made a joke.

Personally I'm hoping that the next webseries that Blizzard does is with the awesome Man at Arms people. Seriously, how cool would that be? Blizz can break up into teams again and design badass new Horde and Alliance specific weapons and have a real life version forged by Tony Swatton and his team. They've made the Buster Sword, they could probably handle Ashkandi. Ooh. Forget the competition. Just make Ashkandi. And then deliver it to my house.

Get ready to go vote for your favorite bike over on the official site.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

Faction, race, and World of Warcraft

Would it be World of Warcraft without the Horde and Alliance? Even if they don't need to be in direct conflict, do they need to be for it to be the Warcraft setting? It's certainly been argued in the past, both that the factions are absolutely necessary and that they are not. I've personally argued in the past that, whether or not the game has factions, it shouldn't prevent people from playing with their friends, but the counter argument must be considered - if I can play with my friends on the Horde side, and vice versa, what purpose do factions serve?

So let's actually ask that question, then - what purpose do factions serve in World of Warcraft?

We can break down the purpose of the faction divide as follows, at least in terms of intent.
  • Factions exist in World of Warcraft because at its heart, the setting was born in the original RTS. The factions help keep this flavor alive.
  • Factions allow for PvP content to be more channeled and to have team-building potential built right in. Horde players fight Alliance players, and vice versa. In the Warcraft setting, you always know who the enemy is.
  • Factions allow for more variety of experience. The quests differ - sometimes vastly so - and there can be elements at every point of the game that make use of the distinction between the factions.
There could be more arguments for factional divide - for instance, it's very hard to imagine a WoW where orcs and draenei were on the same faction - but let's discuss how these three work, or if they work.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Know Your Lore: The trial of Garrosh Hellscream

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.

War Crimes, the latest novel from Christie Golden, released earlier this week. In the book we finally see the trial of Garrosh Hellscream -- former Warchief of the Horde, apprehended during the final moments of the Siege of Orgrimmar. We aren't going to be talking too in-depth about plot points and book spoilers in this column. We'll save that for next week. But we are going to talk about Garrosh Hellscream, the Alliance, the Horde, and the trial itself -- the need for a trial at all.

Because let's face it: Garrosh Hellscream is a murderer. He slew countless victims, both Alliance and Horde. He decimated Theramore. He decided to ally with those that Warchief Thrall had blatantly turned away, and even directed the Horde to attack, during his reign. He didn't so much try and redesign the Horde as he did give it a gut job, tear it down from the inside out, and try to rebuild it even stronger. He's guilty. He's beyond guilty. There isn't really any need to prove what he's done, the evidence is permanently etched into Azeroth -- the crater left where Theramore once stood.

Why on earth would a confirmed killer need a trial?

Please note: The following column has a few minor spoilers for War Crimes. If you're mid-book, or have yet to read it, you might want to come back when you're finished with it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

About the Bloggers: Scott Andrews

Blessing from the village elder
About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.
What do you do for WoW Insider?

I contribute the WoW Archivist features and other articles. Recently I interviewed several Blizzard developers at PAX East 2014. For seven years, I also wrote Officers' Quarters, an advice column for officers and guild leaders.

If you have an idea for an Archivist feature that you'd like to see, please let me know! Keep in mind that the topic has to be meaty enough for 2000 words. That's almost double the length of this post.

How did you get started at WoW Insider?

When WoW Insider put out a call for contributors in 2007, I pitched the Officers' Quarters column. Since almost no one was writing about guild leadership back then, the editors loved the idea. I'm sure the master's degree in writing didn't hurt, either.

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

Enter to win a signed copy of War Crimes by Christie Golden

Are you dying to learn the fate of Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde? War Crimes, the newest Warcraft novel by Christie Golden, sets the stage with Hellscream's trial and elegantly weaves together the stories and testimonies of Azeroth's major faces in a tale that is much, much more than a courtroom drama.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got not one, but two copies of War Crimes to give away, and each has been signed by Christie Golden! If you'd like a little more information on the book before entering the giveaway, feel free to take a look at our spoiler-free review.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Two winners will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Azeroth Choppers premieres first episode of new webseries

Episode 1 of Azeroth Choppers, the new webseries featuring Paul Jr. of American Chopper is now officially available. As the premiere epiosde in the series, it's a pretty good introduction to what we're going to see -- two unique bikes being built, one Alliance themed, one Horde themed. At some point, players will get to vote on which design they'd like to see officially placed in World of Warcraft. While the initial reaction from myself was a resounding "What," I have to say I'm pretty excited to see where the series is going to go. I like shows that highlight building things, or even restoring old antiques back to their original beauty.

That said, I wasn't expecting much from the premiere episode, and I got pretty much what I expected. First episodes are usually just an introduction to what we're going to see down the line -- and that's exactly what this is, an introduction. However, the episode did manage to surprise me with some shots of frames that had already been built. Honestly, I'm just wanting to see the actual production and construction itself -- which isn't something you can really just jump into point-blank in one short web episode. But hey, at least I'm looking forward to next week, right? Take a look at the full episode above, and hit the official website if you're wondering exactly what we're going to see out of Azeroth Choppers in the future.

Filed under: News items

Know Your Lore: Look back in Draenei

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 draenei have a lot of unresolved issues.

For starters, they're stranded on a strange planet called Azeroth, after having just barely escaped Outland. They lived on Outland (back when it was called Draenor) for a few hundred years, time enough to start thinking of the place as home. Then it was taken from them, and their people nearly totally exterminated. Their escape to Azeroth was an accident, crashing here because their ship was sabotaged by blood elf servants of Kael'thas Sunstrider.

So let's look over things. In the past few decades the draenei have seen formerly amicable neighbors turn bloodthirsty, demon-addicted monsters. They endured the near-total extinction of their people, hiding in swamps and bedraggled refugee settlements, seeing many of the survivors mutate and lose their connection with the Holy Light. They saw roads made out of the bones of their people. They only escaped by stealing back a dimensional ship from people they'd never really seen or heard of who still helped try and kill them. And as soon as they arrived on this new planet they found out that the Burning Legion (the very same force that is trying to exterminate them) has already been here.

This is a condensed list, of course.

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

I'm so bored with the Horde

This isn't a rant about how the Horde is bad, or how you should feel bad for playing them, or anything. If you like playing Horde, I'm not arguing that you're wrong to do so. I know that's a subjective thing, and some folks just plain like specific Horde races better. This is more about how, after Mists of Pandaria, I'm completely exhausted as a player with Horde stories and the Horde/Alliance conflict. I'm not inherently opposed to Horde/Alliance conflict. In fact, I think it made Mists of Pandaria a very strong expansion, with a strong and interesting story. I especially liked patch 5.1, and played both the Horde and Alliance storylines.

And frankly, that was the last time any of my Horde characters got any serious play.

Since 5.1 I've felt myself shifting away from the Horde. Part of that was going back to raiding on my draenei warrior, of course. But a bigger part of it was simple ennui, and a general culture shift in the Horde that left me feeling totally unable to connect to it. When I rolled my first Horde characters (an orc shaman and tauren warrior back in vanilla days) there was a real, concrete tone shift when I played them vs, when I played my Alliance characters. A sense of desperate odds, of outcasts banding together to stand against a hostile world, facing off against a monolithic power.

That's gone. It's probably gone forever. Even after the events of Mists of Pandaria, it's impossible to view the faction that banded together from the events of Warcraft III as the same entity anymore - over the course of two expansions, the Horde went from underdogs to aggressors. And while I've heard many players say things like "the orcs are not the whole Horde" to attempt to distance ourselves, fact is, my tauren did the quests in Twilight Highlands. My blood elf led the charge onto Pandaria's shores, and he stole the Divine Bell so that Garrosh could make use of it. Up until patch 5.3, if you played Horde, there was no real way to not aid Garrosh's cause - you were complicit in everything that helped make the Warchief's plan work. The orcs may not be the whole Horde, but what excuse does that give your pandaren or forsaken, when they're the ones who delivered the keys to the kingdom into Garrosh's hands?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Alternate Azeroth

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.

Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate, splinter reality in which Garrosh Hellscream has gone back in time and prevented the leaders of the old orc clans from drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. In this version of reality, several events have changed dramatically -- leading players to ask many, many questions about alternate Azeroth, how its history has been altered, and how that changes the Azeroth we know and love today. The answer is very simple: it doesn't. Not in the slightest. That alternate Azeroth, and whatever future it may hold, has no bearing on Warlords of Draenor at all. We won't be exploring that world, and our Azeroth remains unchanged.

However, people still continue to ask. So we're going to take a little trip into that alternate reality and explore what that version of Azeroth would theoretically look like without the Dark Portal. We're going to explore this alternate world, take a look at what likely never came to pass, and what happened as a result. And then we're going to quietly put all of that away, because this is all information and events that we are not going to see in Warlords of Draenor. But it'll be nice to get it out of our systems, won't it?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. 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: 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

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