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Posts with tag human

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

Know Your Lore: The humans, part 3

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.

Imagine for a moment that you are, right now, a human of the same age that you are, but living in Azeroth. Depending how old you are, you either lived through or were born into the aftermath of three of the most devastating wars your world has ever seen. Keeping in mind the trouble with timelines, every human alive in the Warcraft setting has endured loss and hardship on a scale almost unimaginable; many were driven from their homes by invading monsters or demons from other worlds, or were forced to flee in advance of legions of walking corpses that relentlessly tried to kill them and dogged their steps all the way to safety.

The humans who congregate today in centers like Stormwind and Theramore have survived when vast numbers of their people died. Only the former high elves have lost more of their kind. The fact that humanity manages to remain a force to be reckoned with despite the loss of almost all of its former northern domains in the Eastern Kingdoms, the deaths of uncounted numbers of their people and the usurpation of their inheritance is a testament to their origin as a seed race of the Titan's first arrival on Azeroth. Indeed, much like their dwarven cousins (for now humans and dwarves truly know they share a common origin, as do their gnomish relations), humans harbor a stony resolve in the face of adversity that could crush or corrupt another people.

Let us look at humanity's most recent travails.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Arts and Crafts

Spiritual Guidance: What Alliance race is the best for shadow priests?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen regularly insults normal people, so you should never take his writing seriously. Fox encourages you to follow him on Twitter.

Rejoice, brethren! Since the Cataclysm, the shadow priesthood is more accepted than ever before. A full 11 of the 12 races can now be priests. (Orcs are the holdout, which is a shame -- they have a terrific plus-spellpower racial.) We have a wealth of options when starting a new shadow priest or when dropping some coin on a faction or race change.

I was thinking about starting this particular column with some kind of bold statement such as "Fox Van Allen is a racist," but that could hurt my future political career. (Van Allen for Vice President! Call me, Mitt.) Still, there's no escaping the fact that in WoW, some races are just plain better than others. And some -- gnomes -- are clearly inferior.

Eventually, our analysis will take a look at all the Horde and Alliance races. For now, though, we'll focus on Team Blue. Which Alliance race is best? Which gnome recipe is the tastiest? Can I manufacture a reason to reuse that picture of Taylor Lautner staring with lust at John McCain? All questions will be answered ... after the jump.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Lichborne: Racial abilities for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With all the upheaval regarding death knight abilities and DPS happening right now, it's sometimes a good idea to go back to the basics and figure out some of the stuff that underlies a good, solid death knight.

One of the most basic cornerstones of choosing a death knight is choosing your race. Since every single race can be a death knight, you have your pick, and since there's a race change service, you don't even have to stay the same race forever. Personally, I tend to say that you choose whatever race feels right for you -- but for those who want to pick a race (or change your current race) based on what racials are "best," this guide is for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

WoW Insider's Weekly Webcomic: Safe Passage


Welcome to another edition of the WoW Insider's Weekly Comic, Safe Passage. This comic takes place post-Cataclysm, so there will be minor spoilers.

Our groups' unwanted -- and so far unseen -- visitor has made herself known. The tension in the air is palpable.

On a more technical note, I'm trying something new with textures. It's not very noticeable, but I think it gives the page a little something. What do you guys think? Keep or toss?

Check out the full comic right here, and tune in next Tuesday morning for a new page. You can also see all the previous pages in the gallery below.

Gallery: Safe Passage

Filed under: WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

WoW Insider's Weekly Webcomic: Safe Passage


Welcome to another edition of the WoW Insider's Weekly Comic, Safe Passage. This comic takes place post-Cataclysm, so there will be minor spoilers.

As our unlikely heroes stop for the night, a cunning predator begins to dog their every move ...

Also, enjoy Safe Passage the way it is now, as my bosses have already approved the hip, new version of this comic. Enjoy Mig'u Hatsune, everyone.

Check out the full comic right here, and tune in next Tuesday morning for a new page. You can also see all the previous pages in the gallery below.

Gallery: Safe Passage

Filed under: WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

Cataclysm Beta: Racial changes in build 12984

A new build for the Cataclysm beta is pending and should be hitting servers fairly soon. In build 12984, we're going to see several races getting a few updates.

Racial changes
Human Undead
  • Cannibalize now also regenerates mana. (7% of total health and mana every 2 sec for 10 sec)
Tauren
  • Cultivation still increases your Herbalism skill by 15, but also lets you gather herbs faster than normal herbalists.
Gnomes

Human Perception is gone? My poor dwarf will have extra reason to be Cannibalized? Gnomes becoming experts with daggers and one-handed swords? And the change no one could have seen coming, taurens can pick flowers faster? Anyway, enough with the amazement. What do you guys think of these changes to racials so far?

[via MMO-Champion]

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the humans, part two


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.

So far, we've talked about human politics and the first Alliance -- the Alliance of Lordaeron, formed by King Terenas and Anduin Lothar after the fall of Stormwind and King Llane. When we left off, King Varian Wrynn had blissfully taken both the throne and a new wife who had given him a fine, healthy son. He was a staunch supporter of the Alliance of Lordaeron, having had King Terenas to look up to as a father figure and a mentor after the death of King Llane. Stormwind had been rebuilt through the efforts of the people of the kingdom, notably the Stonemasons, led by Edwin VanCleef. Varian was in love, the kingdom was happy, and prosperity blessed the land.

Of course this means that all hell was about to break loose. This is Warcraft, after all. Varian wasn't the only one that held power within Stormwind's walls -- there was also the House of Nobles, the governing body of Stormwind under the King. It was the House of Nobles that originally contracted the Stonemasons and agreed upon a sum of gold to be paid after their work had been completed. Ordinarily this arrangement would've gone well, but there was a wrench that had been thrown in the works back when Varian was crowned king. Her name was Katrana Prestor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the humans, part one


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.

Over the past several weeks we've looked at the political situation of the Alliance races: night elves, gnomes, dwarves and draenei. This leaves just one race to take a look at, and while it's been around and active for the shortest amount of time in history, it's easily got the largest amount of conflict of any of the Alliance races in game. Without it, the Alliance wouldn't exist in the first place. That's right, this week we're covering the backbone of the Alliance, the human race -- and there is a lot of ground to cover.

Wrath of the Lich King contained several reveals in regard to the history of the Alliance races, but perhaps the most surprising was a neat and tidy explanation for the existence of the humans of Azeroth. While other races have either been around since the dawn of Azeroth or were constructed by the titans, the humans have a unique explanation for their presence that was briefly explained in a quest line in Howling Fjord.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

In-game models I would change if I could

In the transition to Cataclysm, an increasing amount of the game looks pretty dated, and we've already see Blizzard take a wrench to a number of models like druid forms and major lore figures. I've been hoping for a while that they'll do the same with the game's earliest and most dated models -- the ones that haven't changed a whit since the classic game hit beta -- and particularly the following. All of them are a jarring difference from the graphical quality of Northrend creations, and only stand to get more so in Cataclysm:

1. The wyvern


The wyvern is the model from which Blizzard cribbed the horrifying older version of Tauren cat form, but it was already awful in its own right. Compared to gryphons, wyverns look...well...terrible. They have a host of much less impressive and realistic animations and just seem like they're a lower-resolution model overall. The run animation on the player mount version makes it obvious that the thing was never meant to run, and the top of its head looks like somebody took an experimental swing at it with a frying pan. I have yet to see a Horde player fly one of these monstrosities longer than they absolutely have to.

Dear God, someone please put this affront to nature out of its misery.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Chinese Warcraft casemod is awesome


A few things about this Warcraft-flavored PC casemod, seen over on this Chinese website. First: it's awesome. Warcraft art is faithfully recreated, and as you can see, there's a nice Horde montage on one side, Alliance on the other, and the Dark Portal sitting right there in front. Second: it's probably pretty old -- most of that art is from the game's original release four years ago.

So it's probably not exactly the latest and greatest in Warcraft PC designs (though it might be a little later than the ghost train pirate art). But still, it looks great. And I definitely wouldn't mind wandering around Azeroth on that rather than my current gigantic black tower of a PC.

Update: Turns out the case is for sale. That is, if you want to spend $299 on a case.

[via Technabob]

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Orcs, Mage, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, NPCs, Galleries

The Queue: Dragon Slave!


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert, erroneously described by Alex Ziebart as "universally adored" on this site (whisper the phrase "I hate Tauren cat form" in Turtlehead's direction and run) is your hostess today.

Mmmm...my favorite kind of Queue, the kind with a tank question. Actually, there were two good tank questions from the previous Queue, but the one asked by Gatorforest is something I'd like to address in a separate article. Additionally, two of the questions you'll see here wound up requiring fairly involved answers, so there are a few more questions I'd like to take a crack at sometime later this weekend if I get the time.

And because it's Friday:

Charlie asks...

How many Queue columns does it take for one to finally reach the front of the line?


The readers or the writers? I don't know about the former, but for us, it depends on the outcome of the previous day's in-staff gladiatorial match. Much like Mary Sues in the now-classic Pirate Monkey comic, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. Actually, I'm just using this as an excuse to quote the following:

Professor Flitwick: Wait, she said she's both Dumbledore's and Snape's daughter. How is that possible?

Dumbledore: Ehh, remember that Christmas party where we all got really drunk?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Guides, The Queue

WoW Moviewatch: The Rumpus Machine


One of the mainstays at BlizzCon is the machinima contest – talented artists submit their movie ahead of the convention in hopes of winning fame and prizes. This year's BlizzCon is no different, and we're sure to see some great videos during the largest gathering of WoW players outside of Azeroth. Over the next few days let's take a look back at some of the winners and runner ups of last year's movie competition.

We'll begin with the winner in last year's comedy category, The Rumpus Machine by Oblivious Films.

The short film is about a Gnomish box that can do whatever it wants, thanks to some handy quantum manipulation. (Note: This movie and its acknowledgement by Blizzard proves WoW has a Heisenberg compensator built into the game. Be afraid. Be very afraid.) The box can summon dancing Blood Elves, teleport the group to Old Ironforge, and even make some Braaaains.

The movie runs a little long for my tastes, but I'm sure some of you are okay with that. It has a certain Adult Swim feel to it; not terribly "lol" funny, but more humor that makes you chuckle and has a few moments of intelligent absurdity.

The voice acting is good for the most part. The main Gnome character is done wonderfully, and the Dwarf fills his role. I wasn't very fond of the Human, however. He seemed bland and lacked inflection compared to the others. Regular people don't talk in a flat voice most of the time.

Of course the real positive with the voice acting comes in a special appearance by Deckard Cain of Diablo fame, voiced by the original actor. That adds a lot to the film, and the dialog and plot involving him works wonders for the movie. I can see why it was selected as the winner in the comedy category for this reasons alone.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Choose my adventure with WoW.com profiles

We're all still slaving away on WoW.com, finding bugs and filing feedback. To help that process along, we're going to try a little experiment. I'm going to level a character from level 1 to level 80, and all of it will be documented on my WoW.com profile. The hook is that you guys are going to decide most aspects of this character, such as race, class, and talent spec.

Such things will be determined largely via polls right here on the front page of WoW.com, where I'll be giving weekly updates on my progress along with what I've learned about the class and the world and any other observations I might have. If you want a little more detail on the process such as where I'm going, what I've done, and any other little notes I make via the Adventurer's Note feature, you can follow that on my profile. If you don't dig our profiles portion of the site, hey, no problem. You'll still get weekly updates right here on the blog until I'm level 80.

There are two polls: Race and Class. I will play whichever choices are the most popular. If the chosen race can't actually be the chosen class, I'm going to go with whatever is the most popular class that I can actually play as that race. The polls are below, and there's a little more information behind the cut underneath them.

Update: Polls will remain open so those who voted can still see the results, but as of May 22nd, Gnome Warlock won the polls and the adventures have begun.
What race should I play?
Orc1525 (8.7%)
Tauren1955 (11.1%)
Troll1804 (10.3%)
Forsaken1963 (11.2%)
Blood Elf1880 (10.7%)
Draenei1903 (10.8%)
Human1435 (8.2%)
Dwarf1255 (7.1%)
Gnome2373 (13.5%)
Night Elf1485 (8.4%)

What class should I play?
Warlock2326 (13.3%)
Mage1730 (9.9%)
Priest1771 (10.1%)
Druid1735 (9.9%)
Shaman2526 (14.4%)
Rogue1874 (10.7%)
Warrior1993 (11.4%)
Paladin2064 (11.8%)
Hunter1508 (8.6%)

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Filed under: Polls, Features, Leveling, Classes

This is your brain on PvP

Ars Technica has news of a new study that isn't directly World of Warcraft-related, but that does have some pretty obvious applications in Azeroth. By studying the way we play when we believe we're competing against a human and a computer opponent (PvP vs. PvE, in WoW terms), scientists have determined that different parts of the brain are more active when we think we're playing against a human opponent. They call this extra activity "mind-reading," but it's not that supernatural: when we think we're playing a human, we try to put ourselves in their place, and think what they're thinking.

It gets deeper: they even throw gender into the mix, and discovered that male brains seem to be working harder to do this kind of "mind-reading" of the other side. Their conclusion says that that's because women are naturally more empathetic, and thus don't have to work as hard to figure out what another person is thinking. That seems a little general -- it could also mean that the males care more about competition, and thus are working harder to "mind-read," or it could even just be a wrinkle of the way this data was gathered. More research is probably needed on that one -- if women are so great at figuring out their opponents, why aren't we seeing all-female teams winning Arena tournaments?

It would be interesting to know, too, whether there's increased activity in other areas, say pattern recognition or cause-effect centers of the brain, when we're playing against opponents that we know are computers. But this does tell us that there are definitely different skillsets at work when playing PvP or PvE, and why some people might very clearly enjoy one over the other.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, PvP, Raiding, Arena

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