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Posts with tag night-elves

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the Night Elves, Part 1

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.

While I had plenty of fun with Horde politics, I couldn't really cover the Horde side of the game without giving equal time to the Alliance half as well, so the next few weeks will be catching up on Alliance politics. Admittedly the Alliance hasn't had quite as tumultuous a time as the Horde, but there are still several factors coming into play that haven't previously been addressed. Varian Wrynn may make an ... exciting and explosive new leader, but the rest of the Alliance we see today is still fairly new as well. Today we'll be looking at the Alliance race with the largest impact on both the Alliance, and Azeroth both past and present day -- the night elves.

While the events of the War of the Ancients and the Sundering are well known, the events surrounding the night elves' allegiance to the Alliance are still a little cloudy. Was it simply gratitude to the Alliance for their help during the Third War and the events at Hyjal that caused them to join? If so, why did they turn away from the Horde, when they were present at Hyjal as well? For the night elves, the answer boils down to this: It's all about the trees.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Elven evolution

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.

I love reading the comments on KYL. Sometimes you guys have some really great ideas, and sometimes you guys know just where to poke a hole in whatever fanciful theory I've got out for discussion -- but by and large, it's just nice to see people asking questions and thinking. The bonus to having comments, however, is that I can see where people are confused and put together something to straighten it all out. The subject today is elven evolution -- the difference between the night elves, blood elves, high elves, Highborne, Shen'dralar, quel'dorei, sin'dorei and all those other terms thrown out there that make the simple process of figuring out where all those elves originated incredibly confusing. Elven evolution is fairly straightforward; it's just the extra terminology that throws people.

All elven ancestry starts with the kaldorei, which means "children of the stars" in their native tongue. These guys are night elves, and they are the first elves that ever existed and the elves from which all elven ancestry on Azeroth originates. Don't think of them exactly the same as the night elves we can play in Warcraft today, but as a slightly older version, though they looked virtually the same. Malfurion, Illidan, Tyrande, Azshara ... All of these elves were descendants of the original kaldorei.

Where the kaldorei came from is up in the air, though there are multiple theories. The night elves believe that the kaldorei were originally their own race, a primitive group of nomadic, nocturnal creatures who settled by the Well of Eternity and were blessed by Elune, transformed and subsequently adopting the name kaldorei. Ancient troll legends suggest that those nomads who settled by the Well of Eternity were actually trolls that were turned into the first kaldorei. This is where the crux of that argument about the elves' origins stems from. The elves believe that the primitive group of nomads were simply early elves who hadn't evolved into "proper" elves yet, and the trolls believe that the primitive group of nomads were actually primitive trolls who split off from the Amani Empire.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Ask a Faction Leader: Fandral Staghelm


WoW.com's prestige in the community has afforded us the opportunity to speak to major Azerothian leadership figures on any subject, and we're letting you, the reader, Ask A Faction Leader!

We recently spoke to Nexus-Prince Haramad, leader of the ethereal Consortium, and he shed light on several key issues, including goblin rearrangement, investment opportunities, bad business practices, proprietary bandage technology, and static cling. In this installment of Ask a Faction Leader, we'll be sitting with Archdruid Fandral Staghelm of the Cenarion Circle.

Our first reader question:

Dear Fandral Staghelm,

Over the years, I have many times assisted your morrowgrain research. I have found many weird plants in my quest for that elusive herb. I have been awarded many (useless but, I am sure, heartfelt) scrolls and pieces of food by your research team. My question is: Where is all this effort ending up? What end does all this morrowgrain research lead to?

Sincerely,
Bowjób-Lightbringer EU


Staghelm responds:

Look, pal, when I send you on an errand, you say "how high." You don't ask "what exactly do you need all of this eldritch herb for." I need it, you need to get it for me. You know the saying? Yours is not to question why, etc?

Oh, wonderful. See her, over there? My handler is signaling me. I guess that means "answer the poorly-named hunter's (yes, I know you're a hunter) question, you magnificent king among kaldorei." I guess it's just as well, I got a dozen emails about what I was doing with morrowgrain.

Fine. The big reveal. What am I doing with morrowgrain?



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Filed under: Night Elves, Trolls, Druid, Lore, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Worgen, Ask a Faction Leader

Night Elf in Guitar Hero 5


This is one of the many reasons why I really enjoy this job: one day, you're talking turkey with a psychologist who's dealing with serious addiction issues, and the next, you're writing about Night Elves in Guitar Hero 5. Personally, I prefer Harmonix's new Beatles game, but there's no denying that the character customization system in our very own Activision-Blizzard's Guitar Hero 5 is extremely complex. So much so that Artair on Doomhammer was actually able to make a pretty respectable-looking Night Elf male with the system.

Which really just makes it much more ridiculous that this thing could be playing onstage with none other than Kurt Cobain. But we'll let that one go -- if you've found a way to get any other Warcraft characters jamming in Guitar Hero (or any other game with an in-depth character creator), be sure to send us a tip and some pics.

Filed under: Night Elves, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, Screenshots, NPCs, Fan art

All the World's a Stage: Cataclysm's new race/class combinations


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

As you know, the new race and class combinations coming up in the Cataclysm will open a whole new set of doors to people who want an alternative character choice that goes against the grain of their typical racial customs, to one degree or another. With the exception of a couple combinations that feel as though they should have been there from the beginning (such as blood elf warriors, which need no discussion here), each new possibility presents roleplayers with an opportunity to play an outcast of sorts, a character who has made a significant break from the traditions his or her race usually represent.

The lore behind each combination is not yet fully clear. We know tauren paladins will probably worship the sun and call themselves "Sunwalkers" for instance, but not much more than that. Some things are clear, though, and there's a lot to get the imagination going for those roleplayers who yearn to play something a little different.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, RP, Classes, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Cataclysm

Night Elves and Worgen: Druid allies of the Moon

For some, the Worgen seem unlikely members of the Alliance. These lupine creatures have a long history within Azeroth, even if no one is quite sure where or - to quote Chris Metzen, "when" - they come from. The choice to include the isolationist zone of Gilneas is logical. After all Arugal's infamous Shadowfang Keep is located just north of the Greymane Wall, right up the road. Added to this the fact a Gilnean hasn't been seen in a decade, well that makes them ripe for a lorefest. Blizzard have all but confirmed it was their isolationist attitude which led to the people of Gilneas becoming Worgen but if that is the case then it's kind of ironic. They hid to escape the undead plague and instead succumbed to another infection entirely.

Formally humans and now Worgen, the trailer hints that it will be the efforts of the Night Elves which will see the Worgen joining the Alliance. Now this in interesting because the Night Elves have their own history with the Worgen, Velinde Starsong and the Scythe of Elune. But given that the Gilnean Worgen are the only other Alliance race who can become Druids, there's an even deeper link between the two races. Also, given that Druids are skilled shapeshifters, the Night Elves could hold the key to helping the people of Gilneas deal with their curse.

Now the werewolves on which the Worgen are based are lunar creatures. In the most popular mythology they are forced to transform when the moon is full but this is not always the case. Part of this can be seen in the Wolfcult of Northrend's Grizzly Hills who remain in human form until forced into combat. For the Night Elves, who revere the larger silvery orb known as the White Lady as their supreme Goddess, Elune, the Worgen are a part of their mytholgy. While in the past, the Scythe of Elune storyline has been a big part of Worgen lore, how much of it and the pull of the Moon - which is found in traditional werewolf lore - will make it into Cataclysm remains to be seen.

This is part of the excitement of a new expansion, the promise of the unknown is just that, so promising! For a short time, our imaginations can wander without the constraints of fact and detail. We can dream of what we want the Worgen and, specifically, the Druid class to be within the lore of Azeroth. Regardless of what this might be in the end, there is definitely going to be a close bond between the Kaldorei and the people of Gilneas which will shape how World of Warcraft moves into a post-Cataclysm age.

Filed under: Alliance, Druid, Expansions, Lore, Cataclysm, Worgen

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

Shifting Perspectives: A brief history of time

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we plagiarize from Stephen Hawking, jack a WABAC Machine, and begin a joyride through the evolution of the Druid class.

Dear Blizzard,

There are too many bosses to write about in Ulduar. I find this vexing. Please eliminate 5.

Sincerely,

Sleepless in Silithus


Salutations, Druids. As is probably obvious, we're going to take a detour out of Ulduar class strategy this week, because I'm going to shoot myself if I have to write about another boss I haven't been able to smack around since the PTR. We'll be back for Freya, Thorim, and assorted vaguely Norse-sounding entitites wishing to destroy the world for some unspecified reason but they drop phat lewtz so who cares next week.

Anyway, one of the things that's fascinated me about the Druid class since Burning Crusade is the growth in its popularity. Historically we have never been among the more commonly-played classes, and for a wide swathe of classic WoW and BC, were actually the least-played class or within the bottom 3. While there are various reasons for this (and I could devote a column to how this probably happened), Druids became more popular as time went on, and an increasing number of people began to play the class without knowing just how far it's come.

A little time spent reading through Wowwiki's list of the game's patches makes for interesting reading. A little more than 5 years ago, Druids could Feign Death, the Feral 31-point talent was Improved Pounce, and Moonkin form wasn't even in a gleam in a designer's eye.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Humor, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alliance Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Many of the most famous rogues outside of the Warcraft setting have been nuanced and exciting characters. Bilbo Baggins, the Prince of Persia, and James Bond, could all be reimagined as rogues if they had existed in Azeroth instead of their own settings.

As an Alliance rogue, you have a certain amount of freedom to borrow from other settings, or from the real world, since the Alliance races tend to be more similar to heroes of other stories we've heard before. To a certain extent, Blizzard has already based its Alliance rogue guilds on stories from other settings, and left some aspects of these institutions rather vague. There is certainly enough room for roleplayers to fill in a bit of the blanks with their own creative inspiration. The only danger is that it could be easy to overdo it and descending into Mary-Sueism: one ought to feel free to reach for a bit of the flavor of James Bond, for instance, without ever believing your character is the single best secret agent Stormwind could ever have.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Rogue, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Priest

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the seventeenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Priests in the World of Warcraft are a single class that incorporates a wide variety of characters. They are best known for casting spells that call forth the power of the Holy Light, but the priest using these spells in the game mechanics doesn't necessarily have much connection to the Light as such -- rather they have a connection with their own religion which grants them similar effects to those of the Light.

When WoW was being developed, Blizzard realized that night elves and trolls, for instance, would not follow the Light in the same way humans and dwarves do, so they tried to represent a bit of this diversity through race-specific spells. It didn't work out, though -- some were too powerful, while others weren't worth reading about, much less putting on one's action bar. The end result was that they made some of these spells universally available to all priests, and completely removed the rest. Here the lore had to surrender to the game mechanics in order to provide the best game balance.

In roleplaying, however, there is a lot of room for players of different races to behave differently, and draw their powers from totally different sources. Greater Heal, for instance, could come either from the Light or the power of Elune. A Shadowfiend could either be a spawn of the Forgotten Shadow, or a dark trollish voodoo spirit. If you are roleplaying a priest, the only thing that really matters is that your character have some sort of faith or profound belief, which could serve as the source of their divine magical power. A priest's magic revolves around his or her strong beliefs and ideas -- but what those beliefs are is entirely up to you.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Mage

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself. It's also the first installment with a title that rhymes!

The Mage is the foremost master of magic in the Warcraft universe. Although all the other classes excluding the Warrior and the Rogue use magic of one sort or another with equally wonderful effects, the Mage is the class that's named after the stuff.

But what is magic? What does it feel like to harness it? Does the mage have to do a strange ritual or utter incomprehensible words in an ancient language in order to cast her spells? Other fantasy settings often have one or more of these elements together, but as far as I can tell, Warcraft lacks them.

Arcane magic in the World of Warcraft is an ever-present energy field surrounding the whole world. Mages access it by concentrating in the magic energy within themselves, feeling it rush through their body, and directing it as they please. Those spells that require reagents need an extra focusing item with magical properties of its own in order to bring about the desired effect, but for the most part, fireballs, frostbolts and arcane explosions can be created through the mere act of will on the part of a properly educated mind.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Gnomes, Undead, Trolls, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Draenei, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Shifting Perspectives: Faction gear for Druids, part I


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some day that ends in -y, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at faction rewards available to Druids in "Wrath of the Lich King" and wonder if that Mysterious Egg of ours -- the only faction reward we could truly be said to care about -- is ever going to hatch.

Like most of you, I'm still running a lot of dungeons and getting acquainted with the array of drops available on both normal and heroic mode, and I'm not anywhere near as familiar with the Northrend 5-man drops as I am with Outland's after tanking them all eleventy-billion times. For the moment, my ability to compare all of the reputation gear available from Wrath factions with potential dungeon drops is fairly small and mostly confined to feral equipment, so I apologize. What I can say is that I've noticed a fairly clear trend favoring Balance if you're planning on getting a lot of your gear at 80 from faction reputations (although if you go that route there's a sizable pitfall in the form of a serious lack of +hit on most pieces). Feral is a little more hit-or-miss. Restoration seems to have the hardest time getting its best pre-raid or heroic pieces from rep grinds, and I'm not going to lie; get used to most of your best pieces being cloth.

With what are essentially four different specs to cover for all the new factions available in Wrath, this got a bit long. So this week we'll discuss the rep grinds that become accessible a little earlier in the trek to 80 -- namely, the Tuskarr, the Alliance Vanguard/Horde Expedition, Wyrmrest Accord, Kirin Tor, and Oracles/Frenzyheart. Next week we'll cover the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Argent Crusade, and Sons of Hodir, as you're not likely to see these guys as early as you'll see the others. Indeed, before a quest line that phases the lady into existence, you won't see the Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster at all.

EDIT: Now that the faction guides are finished, here's a set of quick links in case you're looking for information on one faction in particular:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Let my kitties go!


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some sort of day occurring midweek, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert yanks John Patricelli's column again, hoping to make good on a threat previously made concerning her "dissatisfaction" with Tauren cat form. And by dissatisfaction she might mean something else.

I'll level with you; we have a huge Druid post in the pipeline that's going to round up the changes to the class in Wrath, new talents, new skills, new everything, and frankly I'm sick to death about reading or writing anything having to do with the expansion. So, just to buck the overwhelming trend that threatens to drive us all to the nuthouse, I'm going to turn to a topic that's plagued Druids for a while.

By this I mean the perennial form issue, something that my Druid colleagues on the blog have previously termed the Same Old Animal Posterior, or SOAP. But it's one that we've been given reason to believe will change in...Wrath. Well, that didn't last long. You'll note that David's article was written in October 2007, more than a year ago, but the same thing could have been posted in 2006 as well. Druid forms haven't changed since launch*, and while they were never really at the cutting edge of Blizzard's art direction as a result**, they look more and more shabby in relation to the higher-polygon models and landscapes. As everything around you gets better and better -- more evocative lighting, more intricate details, fantastic animation -- it's hard not to feel a strange sense of displacement as you shift into a 2004 form within a 2008 game.

But at long last we may see Druid form customization, an overhaul to the default forms themselves, or possibly (hopefully?) both.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alliance Warrior

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twelfth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

From the way that warriors are available to nearly every race in the game as a sort of default fighter person, you'd think that they would be the fallback choice for any number of different sort of characters you might imagine. Any sort of regular shmuck could be a warrior right? You just gotta pick up some sort of weapon and start swinging it around at an enemy, yes?

No. Even though the Warrior class is available to almost every race in the game, every race has its own tradition of what it means to be a warrior -- it's not just a farmer with a pitchfork running around and trying to kill things. Warriors go through extensive training, learn to wield a wide variety of weapons, and train themselves in staying upright and charging about even while wearing all kinds of heavy metal on their bodies.

So today we'll look into some of the ways that the races of the Alliance understand what it means to be a warrior, and see which heroes your character might look up to, as well as the archetypes these heroes represent.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Warrior, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Ask a Lore Nerd: The Burning Legion and equal opportunity corruption


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

After a brief BlizzCon-inspired hiatus, Ask a Lore Nerd is back! Let's get started with Grimgore's question...

I was wondering if there was anything in the lore that implies that demonic blood could empower any races other than orcs? And if not, what is it about orcs that makes them so susceptible to demonic taint? Does that imply some sort of common ancestry?

Right in World of Warcraft we see other races being empowered with demonic energy/blood. It's not just Orcs. Satyrs were once Night Elves (or Highborne, or Kaldorei), and I'm sure you've seen what happens to Blood Elves when they drink in the demon juice. The horned, winged elves you see in Magisters' Terrace, Sunwell Plateau, and the Throne of Kil'jaeden. They're not all specifically caused by drinking demon blood, but it's the same idea, really.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

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