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Posts with tag voodoo

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 troll

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

Trolls are based on the "wild savages" you've seen in the movies or on TV, from King Kong to Discovery channel. If you've seen people hunting with spears, walking around in the forest without many clothes on, or dancing around in costumes and face paint in some kind of ritual you've never heard of, you've seen the apparent inspiration for trolls in World of Warcraft. The culture of Warcraft trolls are a mishmash of all the different myths and rumors that have grown up about some of the earth's indigenous peoples that live outside modern society: Strange voodoo beliefs and rituals? Check. Bloodthirsty headhunters with a taste for cannibalism? Check. Witch doctors, shrunken heads, human sacrifice, and rampant superstition? Check on all counts.

It's important to note here that troll culture is based on the myths about some indigenous people, not on their reality. Cannibalism, for instance, has been rare among human societies, nearly always viewed as anathema, but among the trolls of Azeroth, it appears to be the rule rather than the exception. Unbiased study of the world's primal religions has shown them to be far more sophisticated than early (and prejudiced) Western explorers ever imagined. Don't listen to the Jamaican accent trolls have in the game and assume that trolls are based on real life Jamaicans. There is nowhere near the correlation here that we might find with the dwarves and the Scots, or even the draenei and the eastern Europeans that they sound like. Indeed, one could argue that the choice of a Jamaican accent to represent the trolls and their culture reveals a great deal of ignorance we Americans have regarding Caribbean islanders -- but that's a discussion I'll not go into today.

Suffice it to say that as a member of the Darkspear tribe, the only tribe of trolls to join the Horde, your character living in a time of great change for your people. Your tribe is the first to embrace the more modern values promoted by Thrall, to take up the spiritual practices of shamanism, and to integrate itself with other races. Although the Darkspears have officially given up human sacrifice, cannibalism, and now tell you to "stay away from the voodoo," these practices are all elements of religion and superstition that your character would have grown up with, and may find it hard to let go of completely.

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Filed under: Horde, Trolls, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Ask a Lore Nerd: Faith and religion


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, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

Two weeks ago, when I was going through my queue of questions, one stuck out as especially complex. Sean Riley inquired about the beliefs and practices of the various Azerothian religions. This topic really excited me as I kind of have a thing for analyzing religion and faith. I would never claim to be an authority on theology, but it's stlil something that is very interesting to me. Warcraft lore combined with theology? Yes please! Obviously this isn't really the place to analyze and debate religion, but taking time out to research the gaps in my knowledge on this particular topic was incredibly fun for me.

Unforunately, I didn't have the space in that week's column to fit the answer to that question in, nor did I really have the time. It was a broad question and needed to invest a hefty amount of time into it. This one question has filled today's column, and while that may be disappointing to some that are waiting their turn, I hope it's an interesting read regardless.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

The Naaru's new fashion statement

World of Raids and MMO Champion both have lists of new gear on sale, come patch 2.3, in exchange for Badges of Justice from the heroic instances, and now Karazhan and Zul'Aman raid instances as well. That's exciting, of course, but let's stop and look at these pics of the new gear for a moment, shall we?

Now, naturally, this gear is designed to fit with the general trollish theme of the patch, which lots of people are understandably excited about. The armor looks pretty good as armor goes, and it definitely brings some new visual design elements to the game that haven't been represented in any previous armor sets. But, let's stop and consider for a moment just where this armor is coming from. It looks like trollish Zul'Aman armor, but do we find it in Zul'Aman? No, it's up for sale by the only known Naaru retailer, G'eras. Does its method of acquisition have anything to do with Zul'Aman whatsoever? Well... it might if your guild has finished raiding Karazhan and gathers the heroic badges in Zul'Aman soon, then yes; but if you still focus mostly on Karazhan or heroic instances, then you might very well acquire some of these armor pieces without ever visiting those Amani trolls even once.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is the appropriation of the Amani clothing design brand by the Shat'ari Naaru in Shattrath, copied illegally by G'eras, and put on sale with no proprietary settlement with trolls they are mimicking. Who knew that the Naaru could be capable of copyright infringement? If the trolls were down with that whole "I'll see you in court!" thing, their lawyers would be all over this right now.

Seriously, why is a being of pure holy light selling trollish armor with skulls and tusks and voodoo dolls on it? -- or does nobody care?

Filed under: Patches, Items, Humor, Raiding, Lore

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