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Posts with tag horde

Know Your Lore: The dawn of the 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.

The Horde as a factional entity has without question seen the most push in terms of story development -- but that's not necessarily something that could be considered an advantage when it comes to World of Warcraft. Sure, story is all well and good, and the advancement of plot is something that's always fun to see. But in the case of the Horde, that plot and story has had some of the most tumultuous conflicts we've seen, including full out inter-factional warfare in Mists of Pandaria.

And now we stand at the cusp of new expansion, one that is turning away from the factional conflicts of Azeroth, and instead setting its sights on the distant world of Draenor and the evil schemes of the Iron Horde. Again, the advancement of story is all well and good, here. And given what happened in Mists of Pandaria, perhaps it's for the best that we depart the stormy shores of Durotar and turn our focus elsewhere ... because right now, the Horde is at its weakest. What is the future of the Horde? That's a pretty good question -- one that likely began to plague Warchief Vol'jin the moment we stepped out of Siege.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Warlords, timelines, and the Bronze Dragonflight

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.

Many of the questions that have had players mystified since Warlords of Draenor was introduced last year at BlizzCon surrounded Draenor itself. How did it appear? Why is it different? Why don't the events that occur on Draenor have any kind of bearing on what's going on with Azeroth? If Draenor is an alternate Draenor, is there an alternate Azeroth as well? Does this mean there are duplicate lore characters? Will we see two Thralls, two Velens, two versions of Garrosh? And as the year has slowly marched on, that question has been answered in bits and pieces, but never with enough clarity to really set people's minds at ease.

When the Warlords of Draenor beta was released, it became immediately clear to anyone that knew the history of Warcraft that this Draenor, the one on which we are going to be building garrisons, amassing armies, and defeating the Iron Horde, is not and never was the Draenor we were already familiar with. It's an entirely different planet. We've been using the term "alternate universe" in reference to Draenor because seems the best term to encompass the concept of this strange world. With the release of the short story Hellscream, it has finally been made clear just what is going on with Draenor -- and it has nothing to do with Garrosh's trip, and everything to do with the Bronze Dragonflight.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor as well as the short story Hellscream.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Which Horde is Which?

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.

There will be spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in this post

So you may be confused right now. With the soon to come introduction of the Iron Horde, we've entered a situation where we've got several different Hordes. There's the Old Horde, the original Horde that invaded Azeroth from Draenor. There's the New Horde, or Horde 2 if you prefer, the Horde put together by Thrall after he liberated the orc survivors from the Second War, leading them out of the internment camps and to the shores of Kalimdor. Along the way they picked up the tauren and Darkspear trolls as allies, and eventually the Forsaken, blood elves and Bilgewater goblins joined their ranks. This Horde is the Horde most players are still a part of. Meanwhile, at the same time, there was the Dark Horde, consisting of Blackrock orcs under the command of Rend Blackhand and his ultimate master, Nefarian.

During his reign as Warchief of the Horde (the New Horde, to be specific) Garrosh Hellscream recruited both the Blackrock and Dragonmaw orcs to join the Horde. But at the same time, he grew disenchanted with the other races of the Horde - goblins were too greedy, blood elves too mercurial, undead too loyal to Sylvanas and distasteful to his sensibilities, the Darkspear too loyal to their Vol'jin, and the tauren ultimately too bound to their own code of honor. It didn't help that he'd killed Cairne Bloodhoof and further alienated the tauren clan leader Baine, Cairne's son, with his actions. Soon, Garrosh found himself leading a Horde he didn't much trust or care for.

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

Warlords of Draenor: The Kor'kron are officially out

Denizens of the Undercity can breathe a sigh of relief in Warlords of Draenor, as abominations have once more taken their rightful place as guards of the Forsaken capital. Ever since the disastrous events of the Wrathgate and subsequent Battle for the Undercity in Wrath of the Lich King, the Undercity's halls have been dutifully patrolled by Kor'kron -- the elite personal bodyguards and fighting force of the Horde's Warchief. Yet although the Kor'kron were originally sent to simply keep an eye on the Forsaken -- particularly the Royal Apothecary Society -- as expansions went on, the guard became more and more hostile.

This, of course, led up to the events in Mists of Pandaria, where the Kor'kron crossed the line from loyal bodyguards to full-out fanatics working almost as secret police for Garrosh Hellscream. Led by Malkorok, the Kor'kron's ranks expanded considerably when Garrosh granted the Blackrock Clan amnesty and welcomed them into his new vision of the Horde. In the Siege of Orgrimmar, the Kor'kron fought against both rebel forces led by Vol'jin, and the Alliance army -- and found themselves systematically dismantled from both sides.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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

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