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Posts with tag races

Patch 3.3 PTR: New totems for trolls


Now this is neat: brand-new totem artwork has been spotted on the patch 3.3 PTR for troll shamans by extremely excited tipster Zjin. Previously, all Horde shamans shared a totem design, and draenei got their own space-themed totems when they were added. The new troll ones look appropriately voodoo, I think.

There are now at least three designs for the four different horde races; I wouldn't be surprised if orcs turned out to have their own as well. The current Horde totems fit tauren best of all the races. Once we here at WoW.com start making our way onto the PTRs, we'll bring you any more information we can find on possible new totems for the various races. In the mean time, I'll be in my bunk, doing designs for dwarf totems in my head.

Update: yep, there are new Dwarf and Orc totems too.

Filed under: Trolls, Shaman, Patches

Survey: Figuring out the faction transfer numbers


I've been thinking about this ever since the faction changes went live: obviously, Blizzard will never actually release the numbers on how many server transfers or faction changes they do, just because they are notoriously guarded about the information they release, not least because riots are pretty easy to incite on the forums (imagine the reaction if Blizzard officially said that Alliance was the more popular faction). But I wonder nevertheless: how many players have transferred their characters over from one faction to another already? And lots of people seem to think that the vast majority of transfers are Alliance to Horde (not to mention I've heard many anecdotal stories of people flooding back to the Horde), but is that true?

Obviously, we don't have access to all of Blizzard's audience, and our polls are definitely much less scientific than the data Blizzard gets to look at (you better believe they're tracking transfers and faction and race choices with a close eye, just as they're tracking server populations 24/7), but just for the heck of it, we'll ask. After the break, we've got a few polls designed to give us a very general look at how transfers are playing out so far. There's a lot of anecdotal experiences flying around since transfers went live, but I'd like to know, a little more objectively, just how things are panning out.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard, Factions, Cataclysm

Why your (race) can't be a (class)

Kisirani is tearing it up on the forums recently -- ever since she dropped that Tauren Paladins would be called Sunwalkers, she has kicked off a round of speculation and excitement about all of the new race/class combinations soon to be available to us in Cataclysm. But the number one question on everyone's lips seems to be: "If (race) can be a (class), why can't my (race) be a (class)?"

For that, Kisirani has an answer: because Blizzard doesn't want it to be. I have to say, I'm impressed so far with how Blizzard has tied these new class and race combinations into the lore of the world. We've only seen a little bit of how they'll do it, but while these new class/race combos could have easily just fallen into fan service (and that's definitely what I thought they were when Blizzard introduced them -- they'd abandoned all semblance of lore just to give players more options to play), it definitely doesn't seem that's the case. According to Kisirani, Blizzard is still thinking seriously about what races and classes fit together, and presumably all of the new combinations (yes, even Human Hunters, can't wait to see that one) will be explained in the end.

Good to hear. Of course, the reason they're including these combinations is partly fan service, and it's likely also meant to help folks rerolling to see all the new Cataclysm content. But knowing that there'll be lore behind all of the new combos is pretty darn exciting.


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: Human, Gnomes, Tauren, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Classes, 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

Tamed Worgen have become Winterskorn Worgs

And here lies the final chapter in the Taming of the Worgen saga: Mania reports that, just a little while after the troublesome Worgen Garwal was hotfixed to be untameable, Blizzard has magically changed all of the already-tamed Worgen to level 68 (or Hunter's level minus five) wolves. Why level 68? Because, Mania says, they've all been turned into Winterskorn Worgs, a level 63-69 NPC that wanders around the Howling Fah-jord.

So that's the end of that. Obviously, no one really expected to keep those pets as their own, and especially with all of the Worgen-as-playable-race speculation flying around, it wouldn't do for Hunters to have one of those humanoids at their beck and call. Some Hunters who went to the trouble of taming probably won't be too happy. But the good news is that the new white wolf in your stable is completely fixed -- it has all of the normal talent trees and abilities that wolves are supposed to have. Guess you and your pet Garwal were just never meant to be.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs, Cataclysm

The limits and possibilities of Bind to Account

Aeuis brings up an interesting point over on the forums: even though some of the items we get are called "Bind on Account" (or, more properly, Bind to Account, even though most people use BoA as shorthand) they're really not that, because you can't actually send them across factions or realms. Of course, that's pretty obvious to people who've been playing the game for a while -- Blizzard has never really encouraged cross-faction interaction at all (you can "send" items through the neutral AH, though even that is a bit of a hack, not really the intended purpose). So BoA items are actually bound to account, server, and faction.

But Wyrxian is surprisingly open about "future possibility:" he does say that while Blizzard could allow us to send items between factions if they wanted us to, they also wanted to leave things open just in case the functionality came into view in the future. That doesn't mean we can expect a change in the next patch, but it does seem to mean that Blizzard is still open to the "possibility." You'd think it be tough technically (character inventories are all over the place, especially cross-server), but considering that we can now have cross-server battlegrounds, all it would probably take is a tweak to the in-game mail system. One character sends an item, another character receives it.

And really, the only possibility that might come open is just ease-of-use -- that's why BoA and Heirloom items are in the game already, and if Blizzard determines that it would be easier to have you share items between your characters' factions and servers (perhaps if they upgrade the character re-customization feature to include a faction change?), then it will likely happen sooner or later.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

RP guide to Azeroth races


Blogatelle, a multi-author blog on WoW roleplay and commentary, has just finished an exhaustive series of play guides on the 10 playable races of Azeroth and how each perceives and interacts with the world, their allies, and their enemies. Regular readers of WoW Insider and particularly All the World's a Stage may also recognize the primary author, Sean, as one of our commenters here on the site.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, the guides are fascinating. They're well-written, thoroughly researched, and a supremely entertaining (and sometimes funny) guide to the mindset of each race. The guides also give some background into how each race arrived at the perspective that it did, and points out that there are several race combinations (notably Tauren/Gnome and Troll/Draenei) who really know very little about each other, and must rely on the often-biased opinions of their faction colleagues. And even beyond that, it keeps digging into the shifting nature of politics within each faction: why are the Forsaken and the Blood Elves on shakier ideological territory with each other now? Why are the Night Elves so standoffish with the Alliance as a whole, and why do the Humans in particular react badly?

I honestly can't say enough good things about these guides. No, they're not official lore, and there's necessarily some conjecture based on game mechanics and vague ingame hints concerning what's going on, but they seem pretty damn accurate to me. If you're in any way interested in Warcraft's lore, or in understanding why certain things in the game work the way they do, the full list of guides is here.

If you're interested in roleplaying your race and class in-game, check out our own series of guides, All The World's A Stage.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, RP, Classes

Blood Elves and Draenei can run the Harvest Festival


As a few of our readers have noticed, Blizzard has fixed the old problems with the Harvest Festival this year -- the new races of Blood Elves and Draenei can now do the quests that start outside of Orgrimmar and Ironforge. Last year was the first time the races had a chance to run them, and Blizzard hadn't implemented the quests for them yet. But this year, things are A-OK.

Unfortunately, there's no acknowledgement that they're new to the game -- while the quests do mention the character's class, they just see BEs and Draenei as just other members of their faction. It was a little weird running to honor Grom Hellscream with my Blood Elf, but if you want to be a good member of the Horde or Alliance (and pick up that nice food dispenser in the mail), have at it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Expansions

Ask a Lore Nerd: Things that aren't Deathwing

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment

Cowbane asked...

Is there a Heaven or Hell in any Warcraft lore? Or is the swirly clouds when you die about it.

That's a good question, and my answer isn't going to be very clear, because Warcraft itself isn't clear on it. Warcraft used to be based much more heavily on Christian concepts. There was a Heaven and there was a Hell, there was God and Angels and all that jazz. It's much more vague and nebulous now. It seems that the Twisting Nether is the current concept of Hell, but that might just mean it's a really bad place and not somewhere that sinful dead people automatically go. I have no idea if there is still a Heaven, but the Priest quest for Benediction/Anathema has you escorting souls of Stratholme's dead to the afterlife. So do they exist? Probably, yes. It is suggested that they definitely do exist. What are they like, exactly? We don't know.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

[UPDATED] New titles for Wrath


Blizzard promised us more titles and boy, it looks like they're going to deliver. WotLK Information Wiki and MMO Champion have dug up some information on what appears to be a plethora of new titles. Unfortunately, most of the them are Feats of Strength that can only be obtained by one person ever per server. Daunting? Most certainly. But what are titles if they aren't special?

First off, though, there are a handful of titles available to more than just one person. 'Arena Master' is obtained by everyone who completes the Arena Achievements. It's not quite a Feat of Strength, but there aren't too many players who will obtain a Rating of 2200 in all three brackets. Of all the Achievements required to unlock the title, those three are about the toughest ones and if you're capable of hitting 2200 in all three brackets, the rest should be cake.

One title that sounds pretty cool is 'The Hallowed', which is obtained by completing all 18 Hallow's End Achievements, the hardest of which might just be obtaining the rare Sinister Squashling. Then there's 'The Diplomat', which many players will already receive at the launch of Beta -- it simply requires getting to Exalted with Timbermaw Hold, Sporeggar, and the Kurenai or Mag'har. Obsessive questers will eventually achieve 'The Seeker' after completing a whopping 3000 quests.

Finally, there's the odd and quirky 'Salty' which can be obtained by completing all the Fishing Achievements. This is a pretty tough one that has some difficult feats like getting Mr. Pinchy, fishing up Gah'zranka in Zul'Gurub and The Lurker Below in Serpenshrine Cavern, and winning the Fishing extravaganza in Stranglethorn Vale. Pretty tough feats just to be called Salty! After the jump, we'll take a look at all the titles that only one person can get.

[UPDATE] Tigole supposedly confirms the existence of an Ambassador <Name> title for players who achieve Exalted reputation with all 5 racial factions of the Horde and Alliance. It's a nice little nod to old school players out there.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Not so much for the Horde


Okay, it's time to come clean. One of the writers here at WoW Insider biased. He prefers one of the factions in World of Warcraft over the other. He's tried both factions... has 70's in both... and has played out most of the quest content and raided most of the 60 and 70 raids both Horde and Alliance side, and in the end, he's come to one conclusion.

I've no doubt fooled all of you with my cunning use of the second person pronoun here (note: it was third person, genius), and... I didn't? You all knew I was talking about myself? Dang. Well, on with it: while I love my tauren warrior and have a blast playing my orc shaman, I really prefer Alliance over Horde. I personally have no difficulty leveling on one side or the other of the factional wall, but in general, I find the Horde quests can veer into unpleasant, even outright evil extremes that I don't like participating in. What's funny about this is, aside from a few quests I really don't like, I can't find any functional reason for my preference. I have met and played with good people on both factions, which is why I leveled two toons to 70 and another into his 60's over there (Consummate Vees, woo hoo!) and I really can't say that I prefer one faction's cities over the other. My two favorite races in the game are Tauren and Draenei, with Orcs and Humans as my second choices partially out of tradition and partially for stature reasons since I play warriors a lot.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Lore, Factions

Death Knights and racial bonuses


Death Knights are in the unique position of being open to every race (Warriors can choose any race but Blood Elf). This means you will have a lot of options for trying to pick the best racial bonuses for your new DK; complicating the matter is the fact that DKs can both tank and DPS. Milkgas, of Anvilmar (US), recently wrote in with the opinion that Dwarves would be optimal for a tanking DK, due to their frost resistance (speculating that frost will be prevalent in Wrath). But let's go over the options (listing only the racials that seem relevant to DKs):

  • Horde:
    • Orc: Blood Fury would be handy for DPS, not so good for tanks; Hardiness, on the other hand, would be nice, if not essential, for a tank to have; and Axe Specialization is helpful, given that axes will be available for DKs to use as rune weapons (as well as swords and maces)
    • Tauren: War Stomp is great for PvP. Endurance is probably the best overall tanking racial out of all the races. And Nature Resistance will probably be handy somewhere, though it's not a huge deal.
    • Troll: Berserking is a useful, if occasional, boost.
    • Forsaken: I still contend that Will of the Forsaken is overpowered. May certainly come in handy while tanking, and of course in PvP. Shadow Resistance, like Nature Resistance, is a marginal benefit.
    • Blood Elf: It remains to be seen how the Mana Tap/Arcane Torrent system will work with DKs' Runic Power, but this has the potential to be very useful. Magic Resistance is, numerically, stronger than any other race's inherent resistance - you wind up with 25 points of resistance overall.

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Filed under: Polls, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Giving players some more race variants

I have to agree with Michael on WoW LJ: it would be nice to have a little more variance in the types of races that we choose at character creation. Of course, due to lore reasons, all the trolls we create are Darkspear Trolls, and likewise, all of our Taurens are of the Bloodhoof variety. But it would be nice to have a few more options, especially since we now know that some of the "foreign" tribes and clans might have a member or two interested in joining the Horde.

None of Michael's suggestions would really work -- the Taunka are almost a completely different race, the Forest Trolls can't be very happy that we've killed their leader, and neither the Dark Iron Dwarves or the Iron Dwarves are very friendly to either Horde or Alliance. But there are possible variants out there -- the Zanadalar tribe might have some members interested in joining the Horde, and certainly the Mag'har Orcs are friendly to players. Alliance doesn't have as many options come to mind, though all players are Bronzebeards, I believe, and surely the Stormpikes are Friendly by now.

We've got new hairstyles coming in the next expansion, of course, but it would be nice to vary up the races a little bit, and have even different backgrounds within the race choices. RPers would love it for sure, and even for other players, it would give a little more meaning and power to playing through the various racial areas in the game.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Expansions, Lore, Factions

GameSpy speaks with Jeff Kaplan about Wrath of the Lich King

In addition to all the other info dropping today (apparently Blizzard held an event this last week at their HQ to show off some new Wrath information), GameSpy got to chat with Jeff Kaplan, WoW's Lead Designer, about Death Knights and what they're going to be for in the next expansion.
  • Apparently Kaplan says Blizzard has designed "zero" raid bosses for the next expansion yet, so he isn't sure where they'll fit among Pallies, Druids, and Warriors as tanks.
  • DKs will have a disease-based DoT, as well as the creature and ghoul summons we've posted about previously
  • As we heard before, Death Knights will serve as a "Fury Warrior" type of tank -- damage based rather than protection based.
  • Blizzard hasn't determined exactly whether there will be faction differences in the epic class quests, but they won't be too different for races or factions, just because the stories, he says, should be the same
  • Finally, Kaplan clarifies again that Death Knights will be available to all races, and that Arthas himself became not Undead, but Scourge
In case, maybe, Arthas wants to come back? We'll let you read the rest into what Kaplan said -- he unfortunately didn't tell us too much new information, but he did clarify a few points we already knew about Death Knights. And the news about Blizzard's nonaction on raid bosses so far is interesting -- has Blizzard really not made any raid bosses yet, or are they just not ready to tell us about them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Interviews, Death Knight

Tuskarr Animation movie

While 2.4 has been mostly concerned with the Sunwell and Kil'jaedan, there's still WoTLK to look for in the future, and still a few preliminary tidbits hidden away in the patch files. We've already showed you some shots of the Tuskarr that made it in, as well as the preview page for the race over on the official WoTLK site, and now it looks like someone's dug a bit deeper into the files and found the Tuskarr Animations. The animations are pretty straightfoward, mostly just running, fighting, and casting, but there is an animation in which the Tuskarr jumps up and slams his behind on the ground - perhaps a high powered War "Stomp" to make even Taurens envious? Enjoy this closer look at the gentle giants of the Borean Tundra!

Filed under: Patches, News items, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

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