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Posts with tag magatha

Know Your Lore: Tauren at the end of Mists

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 are an awful lot of loose threads around the tauren right now. The Grimtotem are scattered, making temporary pacts with the Alliance in Stonetalon, besieging the night elves in Feralas, and their greatest leader was last seen claiming an artifact of elemental power. In the wake of Cairne's death, Baine Bloodhoof chose to allow Garrosh to rule uncontested - but that position clearly changed over time, and Baine led tauren troops to the support of Vol'jin's rebellion against the Warchief, rather than simply challenging him as his father did. Ironically, this choice shows a certain political maturity - recognizing that trial by personal combat might not be the best means to effect regime change in the Horde - while it also shows a bit of a break with the old ways of both the Horde, and the tauren people.

Baine's father Cairne chose to live, and die, by the older ways of ritual and honor. Betrayed by Magatha, he died from poison on Garrosh Hellscream's axe and with him seems to have died the last vestiges of the tauren ways of the past. Baine led an expulsion of those Grimtotem that would not swear allegiance to him over Magatha that culminated in a battle against their last leaders in Mulgore, and at the end of that battle, Baine ruled the shu'halo as undisputed chieftain of all. But in doing so, he also led his people into their last break with the past, and following the defeat of Garrosh and the ascension of Vol'jin to the seat of power as Warchief, one must ask - what role do the tauren fill in the Horde to come, and where will Baine's current choices lead them in the future?

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

Know Your Lore: Lost Lore Legends

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.

This week, while I was doing the WoW Insider podcast, we got a question about Rexxar. Now, if you know me, you know I love Rexxar. The question was, essentially, where is Rexxar and while there's a simple answer to it (he's in Blade's Edge) it's a bigger question than that. With Vol'jin getting the band back together, so to speak, with Chen and even Thrall and Baine taking part in the Darkspear Rebellion, why didn't he call in Rexxar? This is, in fact, the perfect time for Rexxar to show up and save the day in that gigantic brooding Mok'Nathal way he has of doing that.

Heck, Rexxar would be the perfect choice for a field commander of the rebellion, because as I pointed out before, Rexxar is the one guy who always believed in Thrall and Thrall's vision for the Horde even when Thrall didn't.

The orcs changed because one person said so. That person stands before you now as Warchief. Do you doubt him?

So where is Rexxar? Why is he still in Blade's Edge? If he could return to Orgrimmar to protect it from the Elemental Invasion, why isn't he in Razor Hill now, saving the Horde from bad leadership and bad intentions? Am I the only one who wants to see Garrosh throw down with Rexxar? And the Champion of the Horde isn't the only lore figure who has been conspicuously absent as the Alliance/Horde conflict heats up.

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

Know Your Lore: Top 10 magnificent bastards of Warcraft, 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.

Last week, we talked about some magnificent bastards. At least one of those choices (Garithos) is, for me, kind of a controversial one, and I'm going to suggest a replacement for him in this post, because I think many readers made a valid point regarding him.

Garithos is absolutely the second part of the equation, but there's no magnificence to him. He's a bumbler, a cretin, and his great impact on the world was entirely due to his utter inability to succeed at anything. MBs are more like Doctor Doom or David Xanatos; they have a kind of epic quality to them and a real feeling of threat. So there you go, readers -- you've already convinced me that one of my choices from last week was not the right choice.

Therefore, this post will begin at #6 and count down to #1. Just take Garithos off of last week's list, and let Wrathion sit at #10. This moves Nathanos down to #7 and makes room for this week. You convinced me, guys. Garithos is out.

Can you pull it off again this week? This week, we look at my top Magnificent Bastards in World of Warcraft. I will tell you right now, certain characters will not be appearing on this list because they're either not magnificent enough or not bastards enough. I'm looking at both the King of Stormwind and the current Warchief of the Horde here.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

My own private faction bias

There's a lot of talk about faction bias in the game among the designers and even in terms of the playerbase. Some realms have heavy faction representation issues; some players would never, ever play a member of the opposite faction; and so on.

Around this time last year, I transferred my main (a character who had been Alliance since his creation) to the Horde to raid with a guild that ended up being an excellent home for me and a great place to raid. I stayed with that guild up until we'd completed heroic Dragon Soul, but recently I transferred to a new guild. And one of the biggest reasons I moved back had nothing to do with either guild (both are fine guilds) or the people in them. My Horde guild was full of people I enjoyed raiding with, cracking wise, doing old content, even making occasional forays into PvP. No, in addition to feeling burned out and needing to raid less, the main reason I transferred back was related to the faction concept in WoW.

Frankly, I wish WoW didn't have factions -- at least, not the big Horde/Alliance split. Because it's made my game playing experience less fun over the years.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Baine, son of Cairne, chief of the Bloodhoof 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 son is not the father, but the son does not try to be. Baine, son of Cairne, now leads the tauren of Mulgore from Thunder Bluff. While we take no praise away from the old bull, now is the time to acknowledge the new, to celebrate the spirit and strength of Baine. Growing to adulthood in the shadow of so great a figure, Baine has grown from a callow youth to a steady leader and finally to the shu'halo who planned and executed the deliverance of his people from Magatha and her Grimtotem.

It was Baine who defeated the rebel tribe of Grimtotems and yet showed mercy when his father's ultimate murderer came under his judgment. It was Baine who chose to forgo revenge for Garrosh Hellscream's role in his people's loss, in his own bereavement. He could have challenged Garrosh, and without any elder crones to poison the orc warchief's weapon, he most likely could have crushed Hellscream under his furious hooves. He chose not to. He chose his people's benefit, and the benefit of the Horde they are the heart and soul of, over the vengeance he could have sought. He chose others over himself.

Baine Bloodhoof learned his lessons at his father's side, yes. But do not take away from him his stepping out from such a great shadow. It was Baine who in the hour of greatest need stepped forth into An'she's light, saved his people, saved his father's dream, and preserved bonds of fellowship that would not have been hard to tear asunder.

Let us celebrate the life of Baine of the Bloodhoof tauren.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

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

Breakfast Topic: Missed Dungeon Opportunities

So we've talked about the WoW that wasn't in terms of what was planned for Wrath that never got implemented, but that brings to mind another question: What about the WoW that could have been? Namely, where could the game have used another instance or raid, even if Blizzard didn't make any plans for one?

Reader Elstor, who sent us this question the other day, had some ideas himself, such as Oshu'Gun, the giant diamond mountain in the middle of Nagrand. It's honestly a good idea. Unfortunately, the Horde is the only faction who gets quests to head into the middle of the mountain and find out its true secret, as well as gain a valuable insight into the nature of the Naaru. Fleshing out Oshu'Gun as an instance would have provided some great lore insight into the Naaru (and maybe even the Horde) that the Alliance is sadly missing, and would even be an opportunity to further develop the split between the Kurenai and the Mag'har.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Lore

Patch 3.3 PTR: New Tauren skins found

Handclaw of the Scrolls of Lore Forums has uncovered something very intriguing in the Patch 3.3 PTR data files: New Tauren skins. Specifically, it looks like tribal war paint covering the face, arms, and chest, taking the form of bleeding wings on the chest. There's red, white, and blue color versions for both males and females.

There's quite a few Tauren fans on the WoW.com staff, and we've been having quite a few conversations about the new Tauren lore and their place in Cataclysm, so you can bet this new discovery has us all atwitter. What could it mean though? There's a few possibilities.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Rumors, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: New 5-man dungeon plotlines

So the rumors of a new 5-man dungeon to come sometime before Icecrown, maybe in 3.2 or 3.3, continue to persist. Assuming they're true, I wonder: What would you like to see? I have a few ideas of my own.

How about a Grimtotem dungeon? Let's unmask Magatha once and for all as a Scourge agent. Some quest lines point to the possibility, and it's an excuse to implement a nice Great Masquerade type quest line complete with confrontation in Thunder Bluff. It's topical to Wrath, and it shakes Tauren lore up a bit. It's a perfect idea all around, as far as I'm concerned.

If that idea doesn't tickle your fancy, I have a few more after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Know Your Lore: The Grimtotems

This has been one of the most-requested Know Your Lore subjects over the months we've had this feature, but I've held off because until recently there just wasn't that much information about the Grimtotems. With the new Dustwallow Marsh content in 2.4 and the revelations in the WoW comic book, it's finally time to explore one of the most mysterious factions in the game -- Magatha Grimtotem and her tribe of tauren outcasts.

Who: The Grimtotem Clan.

What: 1,430 members of a powerful Tauren clan.

History: Way, way back before Cairne Bloodhoof met Thrall and created a new tauren homeland in Mulgore, the tauren were organized into clans, each with their own leader. The Grimtotem were NOT one of these clans. Instead, the Grimtotem name passed down through generations of survival in other clans, until the Tauren were unified under Cairne. Then the Grimtotem banded together as, basically, an opposition party, defined by their distrust of Cairne's alliance with the orcs and trolls.

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Filed under: Tauren, Know your Lore

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