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Posts with tag orc-clans

Warlords of Draenor: Frostfire Ridge preview

Frostfire Ridge
So far we've had official previews of Shadowmoon Valley and the Tanaan Jungle, and today Frostfire Ridge joins that cohort. Game Designer Ryan Shwayder and Associate Game Designer Zachariah Owens are the interviewees leading us through this glimpse of the zone and giving us an idea of what we can expect when we arrive there. If you had access to the Warlords alpha, you're likely already somewhat familiar with Frostfire Ridge--it's the Horde's starting zone, the zone where Horde players will build their garrisons, and was the first zone available for alpha testing. In Frostfire Ridge, the Frostwolf clan stages the defense of their ancestral homeland against the other orc clans who have thrown their lot in with the Iron Horde. The overarching story of the zone, as summarized by Zachariah Owens, is thus: survive.

The choice to put pieces of zone music at the beginning of these previews is one of my favorite things about them, and Frostfire Ridge is no exception. The zone music, titled "Magnificent Desolation," is haunting and, well, magnificent. It really does capture the scale and harshness of the zone--cold, snowy mountain peaks, frozen lakes, and constant struggle. In Frostfire Ridge, players will find the Thunderlord clan, Iron Horde loyalists who seek to prove themselves by wiping the Frostwolf off the face of the planet. In addition, two groups of ogres: the Bloodmaul and the Bladespire, cling to the remnants of power that the ogres once possessed in Draenor by any means necessary. In the eastern part of the zone, the masters of the gronn, the magnaron, plot and scheme to their own ends.

I didn't expect to be all that interested in Frostfire Ridge--I play Alliance-side, after all--but this preview, plus the music, kind of has me sold! Head on over to the official site to see what Zachariah Owens and Ryan Shwayder have to say about this hostile, fascinating zone.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: A guide to the orc clans of Draenor

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.

It occurred to me while writing last week's Know Your Lore about Zaela and the Dragonmaw Clan that there are a lot of orcish clans out there, many of which we'll be encountering in Warlords of Draenor. There are well over twenty different clans, each with different histories, and there may be just as many smaller, minor clans that we don't know about, or more. Players familiar with Warcraft lore likely recognize the names of these clans, even if they aren't exactly certain who's who.

But for players new to Warcraft lore, or players that haven't played any game other than WoW, the giant list of various clans and the little notes we heard of clan history from BlizzCon may be pretty confusing, to say the least. Just who are all these orcish clans, which ones are we likely to see in Warlords, and which ones likely won't make an appearance?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Why more diversity will be better for the expansion

One of the things we've only seen so far with Warlords of Draenor are the heads of the largest and most important orcish clans, clans like the Frostwolves, the Warsong, the Blackrock, the Bleeding Hollow and Shadowmoon Clan which were led by the most famous orc historical figures. It makes sense that we've seen them, of course - they're the big names, after all. Grom Hellscream, Durotan, Blackhand, Ner'zhul, Kargath Bladefist, Kilrogg Deadeye and Gul'dan are extremely famous, and it makes sense that they be featured.

But they're not the only orc clans, nor the only clan leaders, and if we just focus on them we're missing out on the potential of the lesser known clans. Clans like the Thunderlord, the Bladewind, the Rageroar and others, which were wiped out or otherwise not as important but which can rise to prominence in this new Iron Horde. Why should they concern us? Well, several reasons.
  • They give us a chance to see a less monolithic side to the Iron Horde. Orc society was based entirely around the clan - it's about time we get to see this. Show us some clans. Give us a chance to observe how one goes about welding a nation out of them without the use of demonic magic and coercion.
  • There's been a lot of discussion about the lack of representation of female characters in Warlords of Draenor. Since we can't just gender flip established lore figures, these lesser known clans provide a perfect opportunity to establish new characters and have them rise to prominence through their actions in the story. The Rageroar, for instance, are barely known - their only real appearance was in Cataclysm. We have no idea who their leader was back on Draenor - therefore, there's no good reason for it not to be a woman.
  • Some of these clans defied the Old Horde of Ner'zhul and then Gul'dan. They could well defy this new Iron Horde as well, and it's simply better and more believable if we get to see some orcs preferring to keep to their older clan based way of life and rejecting new siege technology and all that the Iron Horde brings as being simply not orcish enough.
Let's talk about it in more detail. How do we make use of the clans?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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