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Posts with tag varok-saurfang

Know Your Lore: Warriors of Azeroth and beyond, 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.

Second verse, same as the first - we're talking warriors of lore and story in the Warcraft universe. What does it take to get on either of these lists?
  1. Don't obviously be a member of another class. I skirted the edge of this one for last week's list, but not this week - these are the warriors. No Bolvars, no Turalyons, no Rexxars or the like. If you cast spells or skulk in the shadows or are a death knight, you're not on this list. Sorry, Highlord Alexandros Mograine, but you were a paladin, and you don't count. Maiev Shadowsong definitely uses stealth, she's out.
  2. You have to be somehow more iconic than the badasses on last week's list. That means, in my opinion, you're more important in terms of lore than Muradin Bronzebeard, Baine Bloodhoof, and Broxigar the Red. That's not an easy bar to jump over.
  3. Those are my criteria. I just think lists with less than three points on them look weird.
Let's get started on the list.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO

I was perusing the forums (like you do) when I came across this forum thread from poster Xewie, and I found it an interesting place to start thinking from. Xewie's points aren't entirely ones I agree with - I frankly found Mists of Pandaria one of the richest expansions in terms of lore and story and feel that anyone who dismisses it simply because there are pandaren in it is deliberately and willfully blinding themselves to an excellent ride with some astonishing highs and lows - but there's a certain truth in the points about the RTS vs. WoW itself. As others (including our own Michael Sacco) have pointed out, Garrosh Hellscream is really one of the first big lore characters we've had in World of Warcraft who was born in the MMO, evolved over its course and became a faction leader and finally an end villain.

I think part of the problem is that the RTS features these characters, so even when it kills a few (like Terenas Menethil) it offers up a few more. But the MMO features us, ultimately, so when we put down Lady Vashj or Arthas, there's no immediate replacement. To be sure, there have in fact been tons of new faces over the course of World of Warcraft - Ragnaros, C'thun, Nefarian were all first introduced in classic WoW, not the RTS. The problem is, we introduce these characters and then, well, we dispatch them. Sometimes, like Ragnaros, our first encounter with them isn't a final one, but even if we know they'll eventually be back, it's not like their luck will hold out forever. I called this the "Joker problem" once, and to a degree I think it is an issue for the MMO.

However, does it follow that we need an RTS to create stories? Since I think Mists of Pandaria did an amazing job of building up the story, and in fact I'm really much more of a Cataclysm booster than most, I don't agree with that idea. In fact, in many ways, WoW has done more to broaden and expand the Warcraft setting than the RTS ever did.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The case of the next Warchief, revisited

Saurfang
My first post on this topic garnered a lot of really interesting comments, and a lot of puzzled folks scratching their heads over why certain other candidates weren't considered. My intention with the last post was to examine the other Horde racial leaders (and Thrall, who was formerly the racial leader of the orcs), but I recognize that I didn't clearly state that. Furthermore, I love character analysis, so I'm always looking for an excuse to do more of it. This follow-up is in the spirit of continuing speculation.

I do want to say right off the bat that I personally don't think any of the folks discussed in this post really have a chance, but more unexpected things have happened in the course of WoW's plot development!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

WoW for Dummies, Act II: Evils of old

WoW for Dummies, Act II Evils of old SUN
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.

For both Alliance and Horde, the first part of vanilla WoW was all about putting an end to Ragnaros, and uncovering and subsequently lopping off Onyxia's head for a delightful city decoration that was not at all likely to scare the pants off of any of Stormwind or Orgrimmar's children. Seriously, who thought dragon remains on a stake was a wise design choice? Regardless, while there were definitely giant foes to be beaten, if one dug a little deeper, there was some underlying story going on in vanilla, too.

The Alliance was busy getting back on its feet, and Warchief Thrall was busy trying to make nice with the Alliance. But even though Onyxia had been defeated, the king of Stormwind was still missing. And even though Ragnaros had been sent back to where he belonged, he was far from the only menace in Blackrock Mountain. And even though these problems were leaping up in the Eastern Kingdoms, there was something lurking in Kalimdor -- something far, far worse than problems with dragons and firelords.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Why Garrosh Hellscream shouldn't die

Know Your Lore Why Garrosh Hellscream should not die SUN
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.

Garrosh Hellscream is one of the most polarizing figures in Warcraft lore at the moment. You either hate him or love him, and there are very few players who stand somewhere in the middle. Ever since his introduction in The Burning Crusade, Garrosh's journey has been a series of ups and downs, starting with the moment that then-Warchief Thrall showed Hellscream how his father died. It was as a hero to the orcish race, and Garrosh has spent the majority of his time on Azeroth trying to live up to that heroic image.

It's a tough role to fill. And in the press event for Mists of Pandaria, it was revealed that Garrosh would be taken down, his role as warchief ended. Given all of the chaos Garrosh has sown in his short reign as warchief, it's no wonder that it's not just the Alliance gunning for the warchief's downfall -- the Horde isn't particularly happy with him, either. So it seems entirely likely that Garrosh will fall, his reign will end, and the world will move on.

And frankly, Garrosh's death is the worst possible thing that could happen.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: 5 potential new warchiefs for Mists of Pandaria

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.

Warcraft lore is a continually fluctuating beast of a thing that can change at a moment's notice. This is particularly true for stories and plot developments that we hear over the course of beta testing, prior to an expansion's actual release. Nothing announced for Mists of Pandaria in the way of plot development is really set in stone and slapped into lore until the day you can purchase the game for yourselves and play it to your heart's content.

Even then, things might not be what they appear to be. Early this week, we had a fairly eye-opening announcement from Community Manager Zarhym in which he stated that perhaps Thrall wasn't slated to make a return to warchief once Garrosh had been removed, unlike all previous assumptions had suggested. Given the fact that Thrall's just saved the world, not to mention the fact that he's about to be a father, it's hard to picture him gladly taking his place as warchief again. There are more reasons than just those, of course.

But then that leaves the major question: Who the heck is going to be warchief? We don't have answers, but we've got five interesting possibilities for you to consider.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Broxigar the Red

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 time for me to give the Horde some love in KYL -- if not for its future (an uncertain one), then for its past and for the family that comes closest to personifying its tragic history, current state and potential future. The Hellscream line has produced great warriors, the line of Durotan a world shaman, but only the Saurfangs can boast those who succumbed to the blood curse and those that strove to defy it. Ten thousand years before he was born, a Saurfang stood against a Titan and defied it, knowing he would die to save a world he didn't really know and had no reason to care about. A Saurfang stood at the Wrathgate, side by side with a human in opposition to evil, possibly the last time man and orc could look past their recent enmity. A niece even struck the blow that freed Malfurion Stormrage from being trapped forever in the Emerald Dream.

The Saurfangs have fought in every incarnation of the Horde.The eldest, Broxigar, fought in all three of the recent wars with distinction, becoming known as a hero to his people. His younger brother Varok also fought with the Horde from the time of the drinking of the Blood of Mannoroth, even serving as second-in-command of the Blackrock Clan under Orgrim Doomhammer. Varok Saurfang led Horde forces right up until the defeat at Blackrock Mountain and was one of the few orcs not entirely crippled by their aftermath.

Both brothers were the Horde made manifest, in both their triumphs and their defeats. Both struggled with what they had done and what they had failed to do. Varok felt himself forever tainted by the innocents he had killed while under the effects of the Blood Curse, while Broxigar lamented his own life continuing when so many of his friends and fellows had died.

Each would find his own way forward. For Broxigar, the path would lead backward.

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

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 1

The Shattering cover
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.

On Nov. 22, 2010, millions of players logged in to World of Warcraft to view the old world one final time. Whether venturing to out-of-the-way spots, running around the park in Stormwind, or saying goodbye to Magni Bronzebeard and Cairne Bloodhoof, every player was well aware that the next day, these locations and people would no longer exist. As for me, my guild leader took those of us who wished to go on a romp around the hidden places in Azeroth that many had never before seen and would never see again.

On Nov. 23, players logged on to find an entirely different, harsher world waiting for them. Orgrimmar was transformed into a bristling fortress of iron and steel. Stormwind's façade was forever marred by the charred claw marks of Deathwing, and the lovely park nestled in the corner of the mighty city had been torched and fallen away into the sea below. In Ironforge, the city was now ruled by a council of three; in Orgrimmar, a new Warchief sat on the throne. In Thunder Bluff, Baine Bloodhoof now stood in the place of honor once reserved for his father Cairne.

For those who read the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden, all these events made perfect sense. For those who hadn't picked up the book, the resounding question asked was a simple "What happened?"

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you've been putting off picking up the book and giving it a read and would like to remain unspoiled, I would highly suggest turning away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Garrosh Hellscream, 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.

Garrosh Hellscream, son of the mighty Grom, came to Azeroth at the bidding of Warchief Thrall. Garrosh knew very, very little of Azeroth -- he knew that the Horde of Azeroth was not only made up of orcs, but other races as well. He knew that the Alliance were the enemies of the Horde. He'd heard of the internment camps and what the humans had done to the orcish race. He didn't know much, but he knew that the Horde were his allies and the Alliance his enemies -- and any enemy, as far as Hellscream was concerned, was only there to be eliminated.

But where did this drive to eliminate the Alliance actually originate? Garrosh was not present during the Second War. He was not present for the battles at the Black Temple. He was sick, in Garadar, with the rest of those stricken with the red pox. For someone who had spent so long living a life in which he was certain he would never be a competent leader, Garrosh certainly had a lot of nerve in the Warcraft comics, the events leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, and during Wrath itself. When, exactly, did this hothead emerge -- and why did Thrall choose Garrosh to lead in his absence?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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