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Posts with tag orcs

Humans and orcs are just the pillars upon which the Alliance and Horde were built

Zarhym hit the forums to clarify an important point that is being lost in recent lore discussions around the internet. Chris Metzen was quoted in a PC Gamer interview:

...the pillars of the franchise are orcs and humans; it really is the Alliance and Horde by extension, and it really is those two groups beating the brains out of each other for an extended period of time. That's always gotta be what Warcraft is about...

And as Zarhym entirely correctly points out, it's not just the orcs and humans that are all that matters now, but the entire Alliance and Horde factions that have developed over the course of the franchise's life. Warcraft started with them but has expanded unto everything else.

This is also a good opportunity to place front and center the fact that the Warcraft universe is an evolving story. It's not like Lord of the Rings, where everything that is has and (likely/hopefully) ever will be in the universe is already written in stone. Gandalf isn't suddenly going to join forces with the factions of darkness beyond the great sea while Frodo becomes the next Gollum -- but Thrall? Maybe he'll defect to the Alliance some day.* No one knows; it's evolving and ever changing.

Zarhym's full statements, after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

Know Your Lore: The orcs, 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.

It's less important to go over the history of the orcs in terms of the wars of Azeroth. We've done it, many times. What's interesting to discuss is the orcish acclimation to Azeroth, and furthermore, Azeroth's acclimation to the orcs.

The orcs have changed during their time on Azeroth from a nation of blood-drunk servants of evil to a people leading a faction that seeks global dominance in the name of a legacy they've invented for themselves. Orcs today have a warrior culture that comprises elements from Blackhand's Horde, their past on Draenor, and a great deal derived from Thrall's efforts to create unity and give his people a culture again. While the modern orcish nation is led by Garrosh Hellscream, a brown Mag'har orc, it cannot be said that most orcs of the Horde really understand Draenor. The Second War ended more than 20 years ago, and many of the orcs of today are the children of those who fought in it.

This must be understood: Many orcs alive today on Azeroth have never even seen Draenor. Those who did last saw it 20 years ago. Azeroth is their home as far as they're concerned, either the only home they've ever known or the one they've known for decades. From the perspective of most orcs, Draenor is effectively gone. Oh, many of them are aware that Outland exists, and there are those orcs who have been there in recent years, but most orcs living today have never seen it at worst and saw it decades ago at best. To them, Draenor is nearly a myth, and Garrosh Hellscream becomes a mythic figure as a actual brown orc, an uncorrupted Mag'har who lived most of his life on that long-lost homeworld. It is this, as much as his lineage as the son of Hellscream, that has made him a legend among the orcs of the Horde today.

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

Know Your Lore: The orcs, 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.

One of the problems in covering the history of the orcs is that after the Rise of the Horde period, we've done it already quite a few times. The history of the orcs is the history of the Horde. Just in covering Orgrim Doomhammer's life, we've covered the formation of the Horde to a great extent.

What's interesting when considering the orcs as a people is how they were betrayed by their own virtues. The orc tendency to revere the spirits, their genius at preserving clan individuality yet coming together in times of crisis, their willingness to respect their elders and heed their wisdom -- all of these traits were twisted under first Ner'zhul and then Gul'dan. While Ner'zhul was proud, even arrogant, his initial actions in kindling the war against the draenei were sincere. He believed that the spirit of his dead wife Rulkan had returned to warn him of the draenei threat, accompanied by a "great one" who would teach Ner'zhul new magics to use to protect his people.

No matter Ner'zhul's flaws, it cannot be denied he was sincere. Yes, he hungered for power and respect (even though he was in fact powerful and respected) and yes, he prosecuted the war with the draenei when he really only had the word of Kil'jaeden that the draenei were evil and plotting against the orcs. And yes, Ner'zhul ignored for a time that he was losing the respect of the ancestor spirits and that the elements grew distant from him. He put himself ahead of his role as elder shaman. It cannot and should not be denied. But even in his most aggressive moments, Ner'zhul was neither blind nor a fool. He began to realize that his spiritual advisor, Kil'jaeden, resemble a draenei and hated Velen with a fervor the orc could barely comprehend. He began to wonder why the spirts would not speak to him.

And so he made his way to Oshu'gun.

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

First chapter of new Wolfheart novel free to read

Varian Wrynn
The Sept. 13 publication date of Wolfheart, the newest WoW novel written by Richard Knaak, draws ever closer. We know surprisingly little about it at the moment. We know that it will take place on Kalimdor but will focus on King Varian Wrynn and his relationship with the wolf spirit Goldrinn and the new members of the Alliance, the Worgen. If you're eager for more information though, you're in luck. Shelfari, a book wiki run by, has the first chapter of the book available to read.

Click here for your free sample chapter and choose the Read First Chapter Free button below the picture of the book cover on the left side of the page. You'll be able to read the first chapter, as well as the chapter titles for the book (by pushing the back arrow on the pages). There are going to be a lot of spoilers in both the chapter names and the chapter itself, of course, so read at your own risk. For a quick (spoiler-filled) summary and a discussion of the possibilities, check after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Lore, Worgen

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 5.0

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Oh my, look at the time. Mailbag-o'clock already? That means we have questions to answer! If you'd like to send me a question for The Lawbringer, point a message from your email client of choice to with something having to do with Lawbringer in the title and ask away. This week, we've got some fun questions to go through.

Our first email comes from Lee, who wants to know if the Diablo 3 currency trading on the real-money Auction House could ever be big enough for a foreign currency exchange-type of marketplace for Diablo gold.

Lee asked:

You've talked at length about gold farming and the repercussion of gold farming in mmos. Much of it is related to currency trading. You've pointed out that Diablo's new model of selling cash on the auction house will eliminate gold farming and selling as we know it by creating gold to blizzard dollar currency exchange. Do you think we'll see the development of Forex style black box trading, using a Trading API add-on most likely?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Know Your Lore TFH Edition: Cataclysm Horde politics

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.

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Players who wish to play the new expansion spoiler-free should veer away from this post.

All right, we've seen over the past five weeks the current political activity in all of the Horde races; orcs, trolls, tauren, Forsaken and blood elves. Needless to say, there is a lot of conflict just beginning to rear its head -- not just from one race to the next, but internally within those races as well. What does all this mean in regards to the Horde, when Cataclysm comes into play? Today we'll be looking at what (given all the information we've been presented previously), if anything, will happen when Cataclysm finally launches and the world gets thrown into chaos.

Please note I've put a spoiler warning on this post. This is because the following content, while mostly sheer speculation, may or may not end up being correct and will also directly address several rumors regarding Cataclysm that have not yet been confirmed. If you see a "TFH" demarcation on any future Know Your Lore posts, these are "Tin Foil Hat" predictions based on current lore and are in no way actually indicative of anything officially from Blizzard in regards to the game or where it's going to go. If anything presented here does end up being correct, these will actually become Cataclysm spoilers; if not, we've still had plenty of fun trying to predict how things are going to go down! Potential spoilers start immediately after the break.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics - the Orcs

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.

Now that we're done with the dragonflights coverage, it's time to move on to other, more... explosive topics of conversation. Yes, that was a thinly veiled attempt at a Cataclysm reference. With the events of Cataclysm, both the Alliance and the Horde are due for some shake-ups, but it's the Horde that stands in a particularly shaky position, politically speaking. Cataclysm promises to shake up not just the physical world, but the political world of the Horde as we currently know it -- so I'll be taking a look at each of the Horde races, what they've been up to in the World of Warcraft, and why Cataclysm may do much more than simply set the Alliance and the Horde at odds.

Today's topic, the orcs -- the green-skinned Draenor natives that have established a foothold and a home on Azeroth, for better or for worse, and founded the current Horde as we know it today. While rumors are just that, rumors for now, they're well founded in current events and lore regarding the orcs and quite frankly, the rumors do not surprise me in the least. To begin, let's go back to the beginning of the current Horde and talk a little bit about their leader, their savior, the orc behind all the current stress the Horde is experiencing -- Thrall.

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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

WoW Moviewatch: Maw Trailer

This is the trailer for Grubthar's upcoming feature-length movie, Maw. The premise of the movie centers around a small group of orcs who are chased out of Khaz Modan by the Alliance. With nowhere to go, the war party sets sail to the west. A similar group of Alliance soldiers gives chase to the horde. When both arrive on a distant shore, events take place which will "test their honor and seal their fates."

The basic kernel of Maw's story sounds decent, but something about the trailer didn't really click for me. I think I felt like the trailer was focused on the dragons more than the orcs. And while I would love a dragon movie, and am reminded of the White Drake because of it, I don't think that's what Maw's going to be about. On the other hand, I could be overthinking this.

Ultimately, though, I'm a fan of story-based machinima, and I look forward to seeing what Grubthar delivers. Click here to check out the trailer.

[Via Myndflame]

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

Ask a Lore Nerd: Of Nerubians, Dwarves and Titans

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

I'm going to get this out of the way right off the bat since I know I'll get a dozen people asking again this week: Yes, Know Your Lore will be coming back, it is not gone forever. I promise. I will pinkie swear on it, even. Come on, who wants to pinkie swear? Anybody? Anybody?

Aler asked...

"On the topic of the Nerubians and the Qiraji, is there any relation in the lore between the two? Or are two insect civilizations coincidental?"

There's absolutely a relation between the two. They hold a common ancestry. Both the Qiraji and the Nerubians are offshoots of an even more ancient race, the Aqir. Way back when Azeroth was still very primal, and Trolls were the top dogs. There were three major players in the world: The Amani Trolls, the Gurubashi Trolls, and the Aqir. They warred for thousands of years. Thousands. It was a war of attrition on the grandest scale possible, and all involved more or less broke under the weight of their losses.

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: It's the end of the world as we know it

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Good morning, everyone! My apologies for missing last week's Ask a Lore Nerd, I am apparently very, very bad at time management and I lost track of things while trying to finish furnishing my apartment. We're back in action this week though, so it's all good!

Before we get started, I also wanted to remind people that Tokyopop is letting us read Warcraft: Legends for free until the 17th. I know Daniel mentioned it already this morning, but seeing as this is the lore column of the day, I just wanted to mention it again. Just imagine me as the hammer trying to drive this nail into your head. You can read it for free. And now we get the show on the road!

naixdra asked...

Why do the Orcs call Draenor, Draenor? Didn't the Draenei show up out of nowhere and call it that, so why would the native Orcs adopt the name given to it by outsiders (and still refer to it after their attempted annihilation of said outsiders)?

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

The Queue: Extreme Edition

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Welcome back to an extreme late night edition of The Queue. What's so extreme about it? Read on after the break. Why is it coming out so late at night? Well, I've been busy today. I've finished up leveling my last two characters while two of my accounts are linked via the recruit-a-friend program. Now my Paladin and Warlock are level 60, and my set is complete. WTB account wide achievements now, please. "K. Thx. Bai," as the kids like to say.

Dan Asked...

"Does anyone know who the three characters in all the BlizzCon announcement graphics are (see posting earlier this week)? One looks just like Thrall, but the other two seem pretty vague... a paladin and some sort of demonic rogue looking thing (maybe an Orc)?"

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Filed under: The Queue

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

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-third 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.

Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.

Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
  • She's incredibly cool.
  • She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
  • She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
  • There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
  • She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
  • Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
  • She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Ask a Lore Nerd: More Scourge love

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

We seem to be plagued with Scourge and Lich King sorts of questions lately, but that's to be expected. We're all playing Wrath of the Lich King, so it's far more likely we'll get Scourge questions than, say... Naga questions. I welcome your love of undeath with open arms.

Nic asked...

What do the tally marks on Highlord Bolvar's shield represent? Battles? Years in exile? One night stands? Or are they there to just look cool?

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

Back to the Horde

Six months ago I wrote this post, detailing why I prefered the Alliance to the Horde.

Now I'm here writing about how I've gone back to the Horde.

While I do still find the lore of certain Horde races perplexing and confusing, and I do still maintain that much of the Horde/Alliance hostility is due to the legacy of the Old Horde that the New Horde simply hasn't dealt with (Varian Wrynn being a standout example of a guy who hates the New Horde almost entirely because of things the Old Horde did, like burn his city and kill his father) I also can't deny that given the opportunity to go back, I took it with very little hesitation. A solid 50% of that is the excellent folks I know who play Horde side, but the other 50% is the inherent coolness factor of the Horde. And I'm not just talking about blood and glory histrionics here, either.

Although yeah, that's fun too. But for me, it's the constant struggle to make the future out of the horror of the past that defines what I admire and enjoy about playing Horde.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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