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Posts with tag night-elf-mage

Arcane Brilliance: Things I'm thankful for

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, Arcane Brilliance is feeling especially festive. Pyroblasting a turkey will do that.

So apparently it's the holiday season. I'm still burping up cranberries and stuffing, my wife has started forcing Christmas music upon me (and frankly, if it's not Mannheim Steamroller, I don't want to hear it), and I've reached the point in the year when -- for my own mental well-being -- I refuse to look at a bank statement until February. To those of you who survived yesterday's annual gladiatorial bloodletting and emerged victorious from the front doors of Walmart or Old Navy, hoisting your hard-won set of hand towels above your head like a trophy: I salute you. To those of you who, like me, stayed home and bought stuff on Steam and Xbox Live: I also salute you, only I do so from my chair, by typing in an emote. Because, really, we're all pretty lazy. But damned if I don't feel well rested.

In deference to the spirit of the season, we here at Arcane Brilliance thought it might be nice to spend a column thinking about the things we're grateful right now. You'll find the mage-related stuff behind the jump, but here's my non-mage-related short list of awesome things:
  1. flatbread chicken sandwiches
  2. getting randomly tagged on Dragon Quest IX while walking through the airport Tuesday night
  3. troll druid cat form
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. Mumford and Sons
  6. discovering the brilliance of Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights on Netflix
Taco Bell, Netflix, Square Enix, etc. ... feel free to make any and all endorsement checks out to Christian Belt, care of WoW Insider. Also, screw you, AMC, for canceling Rubicon. I was just starting to enjoy that one. And screw you double, FOX, for putting Fringe on Fridays, where all good FOX shows go to die.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Know Your Lore: Story analysis and the misconception of "lolore"

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.

Today's post was supposed to be an introduction to the Wildhammer, a dwarven faction that will be responsible for bringing the shaman class to the forefront of dwarven society; however, plans have changed. As I was writing the article, I kept going back to the comments on last week's post and addressing issues and concerns brought up by readers, as well as thinking about the people out there who believe that the storytelling is "shoddy" or "unbelievable." So I'm putting the dwarves aside this week -- don't worry, they'll be back next week, I promise!

Some of Blizzard's decisions regarding new class and race combinations make more sense than others -- as stated last week, hunters aren't a big stretch for the imaginations of most players. Some take advantage of expanding upon existing lore, like the development regarding the forgotten eye of the Earthmother, An'she. There was a lot of commentary and discussion on the tauren paladin article regarding whether or not these decisions make sense, but what people seem to be overlooking is it's not a matter of whether or not these changes make sense.

What it is about is storytelling -- the construction of a believable story that progresses in a fashion that isn't too out of bounds. While the draenei race was a stretch in many player's minds, the basic fundamentals behind their introduction and integration into the Alliance during The Burning Crusade wasn't as far-fetched as people first thought. Yes, the original story of the draenei involved one of the biggest "whoops" moments in Warcraft's history -- but even the misstep with lore could be explained in a logical fashion when looked at in the correct light.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: History of the Shen'dralar

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's been plenty of chatter regarding the upcoming expansion, and both Rossi and myself have been doing our best to fill in the background on lore figures and races that will play some kind of part in it. One of the questions I find myself asked a lot in regards to Cataclysm is how the new race/class combinations will fall into play lore-wise once the expansion launches.

The answer to that question is easier than you'd think -- most lore for these new race and class combinations already exists in one form or another in game. Over the next few weeks I'll be giving you some background and history into each class and race, and how these combinations make sense in the face of existing lore, as well as speculation on possible conflicts we might see in the future with regards to these choices. Please note, the following post may contain spoilers for the Cataclysm expansion -- if you'd rather avoid all discussion or speculation regarding Cataclysm, it'd be advised to steer away now.

Today we'll be discussing one of the most baffling of the new announcements -- night elf mages. Although the original announcement left some (including myself) horribly confused, later revelations made the choice perfectly logical. While they've been addressed briefly in the post regarding elven evolution, we're going to take a closer look at the Shen'dralar -- the Highborne that make their home in Dire Maul.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Mike Sacco and the Saccos


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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

What happens when you put WoW.com staffers in a room with a karaoke machine and alcohol? The video embedded above is what happens. And there were only two of them, Mike and Fox! BlizzCon is going to be... interesting.

scraggerly asked...

"I was just visiting Dominic's warlock column, mainly because I love the lock-mage feuds and comments. Is there a particular origin (maybe lore) to the feud, like the montagues and capulets, or is it mainly player generated?

Also, can we start more feuds?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

New race/class combos will not be live before Cataclysm

In a very short answer, the devs confirmed in the recent Twitter developer chat that the new race and class combinations will not go live until Cataclysm itself goes live. In a way, this isn't too much a surprise. Despite some rumors to the contrary, we didn't get death knights until the first day of Wrath, and we had to wait for Burning Crusade to play draenei and blood elves. So with that in mind, it makes sense that we have to wait until the last possible moment for yet another new breed of player characters.

That said, it is probably true that the new race/class combinations are a bit different from the examples above. After all, they simply take existing races and existing classes and put them together, so it might seem that it wouldn't be too hard to just turn them on.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: The Mage of 2009

The internet's magiest weekly mage column, Arcane Brilliance would like to wish you and yours a very magetastic holiday season. Unless you and yours are warlocks. In which case Arcane Brilliance hopes the holiday season comes to your Christmas party and punches you in the face.

Every year, as the end of that twelve-month block draws near, Arcane Brilliance likes to take an unbiased look back at the events that captured our collective imagination. Heh. Get it? "I-MAGE-ination?" Holy crap Arcane Brilliance is clever. And indefensibly fond of bad puns.

So what did the year of our lord 2009 hold for those of us who prefer the scent of barbecued sheep to pretty much any odor ever and think strudel is a perfectly acceptable meal choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a meal I like to call the "Evocation's-on-cooldown-snack?"

Join me after the break for all the highlights, presented in vaguely chronological order.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The Queue: Apology denied

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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I thought about starting today off by apologizing for the abomination that was yesterday's image... but what did Mike Sacco think would happen when he asked me to add a picture to the post for him? That's a dangerous thing to ask someone. He brought it on himself, and has nobody else to blame. If the image scarred you for life, it's his fault.

Krsnik asked...

"What level of gear is recommended to have before attempting to raid ICC 10man? Can I just go from 10 man ToC to 10man ICC or must I first get gear from 10man ToGC? I would really hate to replace my tier gear and since the guild I'm in is just starting 10man ToGC, I know it'll be a while before I can get Tier 9.5 gear."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Flavor names for new race/class combos

Unsurprisingly, the hottest forum topic upon the announcement of new race/class combinations in Cataclysm isn't an analytical discussion of their racial strengths and weaknesses -- it's pun names for Tauren Paladins. Well, Kisirani, illustrious World Event Designer and Mistress of Flavor, popped into one such thread to give the actual name that Tauren Paladins will be given, a la Blood Knights -- "Sunwalkers."

A great name, and somehow less menacing than "Blood Knights." One has to wonder if this sets a precedent for the other new combinations, too. Could we be seeing Forsaken Hunters phased in via quests as Dark Rangers? Dwarf Shamans as Wildhammers? Blood Elf Warriors as Sunreavers? Dwarf Mages as Runeweavers?

Kisirani indicated that the new combos would be phased in gradually and with ample explanation for each one via new quests and NPCs, and we've already seen the start of those with the An Injured Colleague and A Cautious Return quests added on the PTRs. There are lots of great flavor opportunities here, and I hope that Blizzard takes the time to introduce each and every new combo in their own unique way. Then again, with Kisirani at the helm of the whole thing, I doubt we have much to worry about.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of new race and class combos?

One of the big things announced at BlizzCon were the new class and race combinations. These were originally datamined from patch 3.2.2 and include everything from Gnome Priests and Goblin Rogues to Worgen Druids. I'm especially excited about the last one.

For years, the race you played has been indelibly linked with the class and defined how you play the game. Say, for example, you like playing Night Elves, you're limited class-wise to rolling Druid, Priests, Hunters, Rogues and Warriors. On the other hand, if it's a specific class then you are sometimes limited to a particular race. So Draenei are the only Alliance race which can current become Shamans while the same is true, Horde-side, for Blood Elves becoming Paladins.

From a lore perspective, there is little preventing any of these combos. This is especially true as Azeroth expands and the game evolves. But readers, this is new territory for us, as WoW becomes more open. What do you think of the possibility of lore-centric or even playable class and race combinations?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: What Cataclysm will mean to Mages, part 1

Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that serves up piping hot Mage content, with a steaming side of inappropriate humor, a light sprinkling of random 80's pop culture references, and just a dash of incompetent attempts at math. Speaking of math, last week was awesome, guys. I was apparently so wrong it took 111 comments for you to decide exactly why and how stupid I am. The effort and the display of raw number-mastery you guys displayed made me proud to be one of you. You guys make me feel like the dumbest kid in class, being forced to do math problems at the chalkboard in front of everybody, and I couldn't be happier about it.

So, like many of you, I've been stuck here at home for the duration of BlizzCon. My day-job (what I like to refer to as my "what I do when I'm not being a Mage") has kept me here in sunny Las Vegas instead of in sunny Anaheim, and so I find myself at my computer, dividing my time between writing this column and furiously hitting the refresh button on my browser, hanging on every word my co-bloggers serve up from the convention floor. I wish I'd been able to make the reader meet-up this year, but that was not meant to be. I wanted to meet all of you, stammer like a dork while trying to say hello to Felica Day, and possibly get jumped by a gang of angry Warlocks while I screamed "Ice Block! Ice Block! Iiiiiice Bllloooccckkk!" at the top of my lungs. I will be there next year, with my level 85 Goblin Mage in tow, even if it kills me.

I'm really having difficulty processing all of the information out there, and the vast, universal, and sweeping impact it will have on everything about this virtual world we play in, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Guild leveling? Mastery system? Southshore... taken by the Horde? My mind is leaking from my ears. I'm not even kidding; it's gross. But the purposes of today's column will be to try and make some preliminary sense of this massive glut of newness, and apply it to the only class I care about: Mages. What will the new (old?) content mean for those of us who wander the current, relatively un-sundered Azeroth, conjuring portals and pastries? Read on for my initial impressions.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

A discussion in defense of new race/class combinations

There's been a lot of news about possible new features arriving with the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. I covered one of those recently, that being the possibility of new race/class combinations, ones that were previously unavailable to player characters.

Now, this feature would actually make a ton of sense, especially taking the following into consideration:

- We've had the same 9 classes available for going on 5 years now.
- With new races being added in Cataclysm, there's almost certainly no hero class.
- It's quite likely that the new races will be unable to be Death Knights, at least at first.
- The leaked information from MMO-Champion suggests that Azeroth is getting a makeover, graphically and design-wise.
- The Paid Faction Switch service is coming soon, and adding these new combinations would bring almost 100% parity between factions in terms of classes available.
- Blizzard has been tossing quests that hint at these new combinations into the past few patches and onto the PTR.

But of course, the WoW community is a fickle beast, and what they seem to be focusing on here tends not to be the gameplay benefits of adding new race/class combinations, but the "lore-breaking" aspects of said combinations.

Well, I don't think any of these are unreasonable, and in fact many of them have precedents in lore. To make the discussion more interesting, I've brought in my lore-hound colleague Daniel Whitcomb, and we'll expound on each new possible option to give you clear reasons why they're not only plausible, but likely. On top of that, I'm bringing in our class columnists to give their insight on the new choices and explain their pros and cons in terms of gameplay!

Let's start, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Expansions, Lore, Cataclysm

Possible new race/class combinations datamined

Here's another whopper from Handclaw at Scrolls of Lore, who first uncovered the goblin and worgen masks a month ago.

You may remember the quest added to Thunder Bluff recently, where two druids talk about the merits of following the Sun instead of the Moon. Well, on the 3.2.2 PTR, another new quest has been added, this time to Darnassus, where a Highborne mage asks for an audience with Tyrande to offer his services as a mage.

While many speculated that the Thunder Bluff quest indicated a new class, they may be more correct than they think.

In the Patch 3.2.2 PTR files, a number of new race/class combination NPCs were discovered. The data mined from MMO-Champion seems to indicate that several races will have the ability to roll classes previously unavailable to them. Unlike our confirmed addition of the new races, it is only speculation that these combinations will be playable, but with the addition of the class-related quests with each additional patch, it seems quite likely.

The current list of these combinations is after the jump. Several races should prepare to jump for joy.

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Filed under: News items, Expansions, Cataclysm

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