Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Voices?

In the wake of patch 3.2, I heard a report from a guildmate, Adaret, that Sylvanas' voice was different. Needless to say, I was puzzled so I went to go check it out for myself. Sadly, she wasn't kidding. While not awful, it is definitely different than the voice she had before. This version was a bit higher in timbre and, from what I can hear, a trace of an english accent in it. Rather than dark and growly, like it was previously, she sounds...well...a little more frippy. Not like "AW MAH GAWD! I LOVE THOSE SHOES!" kind of frippy, but definitely a less...menacing sounding Sylvanas--Almost kind of haughty.

Update: Heard it with my own two ears, Alexstrasza has her own voice now (of course Krasus is left out in the cold) and it seems to be by the same voice actress that did Sylvanas' remake. Still don't know why they decided to redo ol' Sylvy's voice (it's not like it was Brann's old voice or something *shudder*), but it's nice that the Queen of the Dragons has her own greetings. Continue reading 'New Voices?'

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's All About Location: Beggar's Haunt

As anyone knows, scenery and location helps make any scene, whether it be in a movie, book, or roleplay event, all the more memorable. It is in this installment of It's All About Location that I will feature an area for both Alliance and Horde that help set the mood and make a profound impact during character interactions. I'll start off with one of my favorites...

Beggar's Haunt: An Overview

Ahhh, one of World of Warcraft's best kept secrets (at least when zones are involved). I've known many a person, some of which have been playing for years, that didn't know Beggar's Haunt existed or just recently stumbled upon it.

Tucked away in the northeastern corners of Duskwood, this charmingly eerie area is better suited for Alliance, but it is so remote and out of the way of any major settlements that Horde players can visit it with relative ease. Why, there's even a Forsaken outpost tower near the border of Deadwind Pass.

How to Get There

As previously mentioned, Beggar's Haunt is in Duskwood, which means that is in Alliance territory. However, the Apothecary Outpost near the road is Horde-alligned and is home to two level 40 PvP-flagged NPCs. So...caution for lower levels is advised around the tower.

For Allies: You can either enter from the west, from Westfall, and make your way to the east towards Darkshire via the main road. Or you can go east through Elwynn to Redridge Mountains and head south from the Three Corners into Duskwood. Or if you are feeling daring, you can brave taking a more...rustic shortcut through the woods (I'd advise against this if you're low level. The local worgen will find you to be very tasty).

Once in Darkshire, you head east towards Deadwind Pass and hang a left in a secluded pathway with a forgotten stone arch nestled into the hills. You just follow this winding dirt path up closer to the mountains and you're there.

For Horde: There is a little more footwork involved for Horde players since there are no major cities for this faction in the southern parts of the Eastern Kingdoms. The best way to get there is to take a zeppelin, either from Undercity or Orgrimmar, to Grom'gol Base Camp in Stranglethorn Vale. From there, you follow the dirt, torch-lined, path to the east until you hit the main road. From there, you head north and take a right at the fork (going left will take you to the Alliance camp, and that will be painful to stumble into) and head over the bridge into southern Duskwood.

From here, you would want to follow the path to the main road and take a right. Be mindful of the Human outpost on the right corner. Human watchers patrol the roads as well, so be mindful of your surroundings. If you are on a PvP/RP-PvP server, and you are of a decent level, I'd recommend cutting through the woods to remain out of sight. Head east towards Deadwind Pass and stop when you get to the borders of Darkshire. Skirt around the town by going right, hugging the hills, until you end up back on paved road east of it.

From that point, the point of entry into the secluded area of Beggar's Haunt is the same as it is for Alliance. If you pass the Forsaken Outpost, you've gone too far.

Addendum: The closest flightpoint, aside from Grom'gol, is in Stonard in the Swamp of Sorrows. To get there, follow the road into Deadwind Pass (And for the love of pete, don't go south. Thar be hungry vultures.) and go east into the Swamp. Keep on the road until you reach the orc encampment.

WARNING: To those who would come, both Alliance and Horde, via the main road from Westfall or from Stranglethorn Vale would find it wise to keep their eyes open for Stitches. This hulking mass of meat and entrails is a very fast, angry, and vicious elite for any lower level character that gets in his way. Generally you will hear the Darkshire town crier shout out if he is approaching. So if you see that red text in your chat window, be careful.

He generally approaches through the woods from northeastern Raven Hill and then follows the road to Darkshire. If you are not a high level and he aggros on you, you will probably not survive.

Basic Description

Upon your arrival, you should see a secluded pond and waterfall. If you look to your left, following the water, you will see a fallen tree lying over another waterfall that empties out into the main river separating Duskwood from Elwynn Forest and Redridge. If you look to your right, you will see a much more ominous site--An unmarked grave surrounded by benches, trellises, and two very tall statues with glowing eyes.

Why Is It Here?

No one really knows... There is no mention in the lore about the grave area of Beggar's Haunt, but whoever it was...they were certainly important enough to warrant those giant glowing-eyed statues. More than likely it was an area that did not get fleshed out, but many speculate that it was based off of Knight's Hollow.

How Safe Is It?

There are no mobs, hostile or otherwise, in that area whatsoever. So you will be safe from random beasties aggroing onto you during roleplay. In terms of PvP, it is far out of the way and it is not frequented by people very often unless they are going for the exploration achievement. Possibilities of gankage is low.

Moonbiter's Closing Words

Beggar's Haunt has been a favorite location of mine for years. It is a great place for shady dealings between rogues, cutthroats, and mercenaries. Or a place to engage in quiet meditation as you try to unlock the mystery behind the unmarked grave. For Horde, I know of a Forsaken couple that was married there. The possibilities are endless!

Location Overall Grades

Accessability (Alliance): 9 out of 10. Easy travel due to Ally friendly zones, roads, and flight points. Though it is still a haul if you are going on foot.
Accessability (Horde): 5 out of 10. Lots of travel time. No real convenient flight points.
On-Site Safety (PvE - Alliance): 9 out of 10. There are no mobs in Beggar's Haunt, but don't go introducing yourself to the Apothecaries over at the outpost...
On-Site Safety (PvP - Alliance): 10 out of 10. Ultra safe... Most Horde gankers go to Raven Hill or Darkshire, bypassing the Haunt without much thought.
On-Site Safety (PvE - Horde): 10 out of 10. No mobs with a Horde friendly outpost nearby.
On-Site Safety (PvP - Horde): 9 out of 10. Lower than the Ally's grade for the sole fact of being in an Alliance-favored territory. However, the remoteness of the location and no quest objectives in the area doesn't attract much attention from Allies.
Continue reading 'It's All About Location: Beggar's Haunt'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cross Playing Revisited: A Public Questionaire

Ever since I posted one of my more recent articles on playing a character of the opposite gender, I got to thinking about how most people feel about it currently. I've had little issue with people giving me guff about playing a male character as of late, all that namely came from Latu's server, and I've really only had curious questions from other girl gamers as to why I rolled a male avatar.

It is in this that I wanted to do a general consensus as to what people think about others playing characters not only of an opposite sex, but of a sexual orientation that is different than their own.

Here are the places I have questioned:

Blog Azeroth, the Thorium Brotherhood Downtime Forums, World of Warcraft @ LJ, and WoW_Ladies @ LJ.

(Feel free to peruse each of the links above for all the wonderful comments that were offered to me in light of this follow-up post. Thanks again, everyone!)

I stayed away from the official forums because I'm...certain you all could guess how well that would have went. However, after a day passed, I received many comments on this subject and all of them gave me great insight into what a handful of the WoW population feels about this matter. Granted this is a small polling in the grand scheme of things and not very anonymous, but thankfully most readers who answered appeared to be quite genuine on the matter.

Here are the results...

- - - - - - -

Generally, most people responded that they do not care what gender a person plays as long as:

a) That their characters do not embrace and portray negative stereotypes (or stereotypes in general, really).
b) That their characters are not created for the sole purpose of cyber sex.
c) That the person behind the characters does not claim that they are actually a guy/girl in real life when they are not.

Here are some quotes on the matter:

"i think it's a liberating experience. you can choose not to tell the other party your real gender and that gives the RPer in question a sense of peace. men who play female characters are as welcome to me as women who play men. i, myself, like to RP men; it gives me a chance to peek into the male brain and lifestyle. it might be the same for men." - From WoW_Ladies @ LJ

"There should at all times exist a firm divide between OOC and IC. To that end, your character's gender and orientation ICly (if you RP) are only relevant as they relate to canon - and Blizz has remained fairly mum on the subject of orientation in canon. I've got a visual hang-up on the male characters, so I don't enjoy playing them, but as an RPer, I think I should be allowed to play whatever I damn well please (as long as it remains plausible within the setting)." - From Worldofwarcraft @ LJ

However, there were a few people that did mention that they were bothered by the thought of some types of gender swapping.

"The most common reason I hear for guys playing the other sex is "if I'm going to stare at an ass for hours on end I want it to be an ass I enjoy looking at." They subsequently make their characters as hot as they possibly can and frequently dress them up in scanty outfits whenever possible. This leads me to the conclusion that, at some point, there is a faint possibility that they have fapped while looking at their character. THESE ARE THINGS I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. I understand that, statistically speaking, one of my characters has been in the vicinity of another character who was being controlled by a player that was only playing with one hand but I do whatever I can to keep myself in the 'fap free bubble'." - From Worldofwarcraft @ LJ

"I don't like it. A) Because I still find it creepy (had some bad experience as a kid with a guy pretending to be a girl in a chat) and B) Because I have yet to seen it done well. Seriously, normally you can tell after a minute of RP what gender is behind the screen and often the character is so full of stereotypes that it squashes any attempt at real roleplay. If someone does it for a laugh, that is a different matter, but I find that often the novelty value runs out really fast and you're left with a character you can't roleplay seriously with. I should also point out that I don't mind it at all, if it is a transsexual who is playing whatever gender her would like to become physically." - From WoW_Ladies @ LJ

Out of the given responses, very few people voiced their distaste for the idea of gender swapping unless they had a bad personal experience regarding it. Which is, of course, not surprising... I myself have dealt with a person who had everyone believe he was a girl for about a year (staying off of Ventrilo and everything) until finally admitting he was not. It wasn't very fun to deal with, let me tell you...

When the subject of playing characters of a sexual orientation that is different than your own was mentioned, the general consensus of most of the commentators was much of the criteria listed a few paragraphs above this one.

"Whatever floats your boat. I'm bi IRL myself, and my RP characters run the gamut from absolutely completely straight (Rayen, Amria), absolutely lesbian (Mirembe), to Everything That Moves And Isn't Dead (Meadhbh), and everything in between. What I do have a problem with is a man pretending to be a lesbian woman just for the singular purpose of getting lesbian cybersex and don't plan to actually roleplay with them or do anything other than...well...use them as masturbatory objects. But then, I have a problem with anyone who thinks cybersex is the sole element of good RP and don't try to develop their characters otherwise." - From TBDF

"I've met plenty of men who can roleplay women very well - and they are invariably roleplaying a person who is also female. Not someone who is a freakish and strange alien who they could never hope to understand. I've met plenty of men who roleplay women shockingly badly because they absolutely must signify femaleness with stereotypes at every opportunity (giggling, pretending incompetence and so forth). When the latter intersects with someone trying to get sexual thrills ('Yes, I'm a lesbian, and oh no, my halter top broke and I'm NAKED who wants to lick off the icecream?') it's not even weird to me any more. I just roll my eyes and understand they've never had a date.

Same is vice versa, for women roleplaying men. I feel similarly about straight people roleplaying queer folk, and vice versa. None of it hits my 'you are disturbed/stupid/annoying' button until I run across some gigantic stereotype ten feet tall. No one wants their whole life to be reduced to a stereotype that often demeans them." - From WoW_Ladies @ LJ

- - - - - - -

Overall, at least in forums and blogs that are not swimming with trolls (IE: the WoW Official Forums), people seem to be more than accepting for anyone's choice of character provided it is played in a believable manner.

Also, on a sidenote, there is an interesting link (Thanks for the site reminder, Illynilly) for further reading: The Daedalus Project. While it is a little old, it still has many articles relevant to this topic, complete with charts and graphs.

Once again, to all the awesome people that helped contribute to this, I thank you!
Continue reading 'Cross Playing Revisited: A Public Questionaire'

The Cardinal Sins of Roleplaying: Erotic Roleplay

Ah... the topic every roleplay blogger dreads to discuss (myself included). This has been sitting on the virtual backburner for me for about a year now... Erotic Roleplay, or ERP, is generally very commonplace within the roleplaying scene, however it is quite often ridiculed by other RPers or many try to pretend that it doesn't happen. Because of this three-letter acronym, roleplayers have been given an extremely bad reputation in the the World of Warcraft (and beyond) because the non-RPers tends to paint us all as a bunch of horny, mouth-breathing, cheetoh powder-encrusted lowlifes. This is, of course, vastly untrue (though there are always the extreme exceptions) and it is over-hyped thanks to incidents like Abhorrent Taboo and the Deeprun Tram (The latter was proven to be staged, but it didn't really matter much since the impression was made. The picture to the right is from the aforementioned tram "encounter", by the way).

Though I do understand why ERP happens. Just like in any story, whether it be in a novel, video game, movie, and what not... Love scenes happen. Plus, sex is a part of the natural way of things in real life, so we naturally do what we know in stories of various kinds. I am far from telling people to never engage in ERP if that is their wish... However, I WILL say this:

Have respect for your fellow WoW players and keep it private.

• THOU SHALT NOT publicly emote your sex-capades in /say or /emote. No one wants to be forced to see your kink. Ever. And you will likely be griefed and ridiculed by others around you. You can also be reported for abusing the channels.
• THOU SHALT keep any sensual interludes within private channels, whispers, party chat, or even raid chat. This also includes foreplay and other actions beyond a PG-13 setting.
• THOU SHALT NOT get it on in the middle of the AH/Bank/Main Square or any other obviously public area while buck naked.
• THOU SHALT try to maintain the integrity of the roleplay server and its inhabitants.

And here's two rather big ones from a IC-standpoint.

• THOU SHALT keep in-character feelings separate from out-of-character ones. Just because someone else's character loves yours does not mean that their player loves you.
• THOU SHALT NOT let ERP be the constant focal point of any character interaction with another.

There is no faster way to make an amazing story of love against all odds go sour than the two "commandments" above... Doubly so for the last one. Just think about it from the perspective of reading a brand-new novel, fresh from the bookstore...

Your two characters go on amazing adventures together. There is action, drama, humor, occasional awkward moments of budding romance, and so much more. This book is great! Then it comes to the moment of when your characters' relationship goes past the point of no return... Eyes lock, trembling lips meet, and the two consummate their love oh-so-passionately.

Then, out of the blue, this amazing novel you were reading moments ago, becomes some stale and emotionless porn fest that would even make the most poorly-written Harlequin romance novel weep tears of blood. That will be what will happen to your characters and their story if you do not put a leash on their libido.

If your characters must get it on like rabbits, fade to black or space those times out. Keep things interesting and do something else, ya know? Having your characters' only interactions be sexually based will get absolutely boring and it will most likely ruin all the character plot you have worked for. There is more to relationships, fictitious or not, than sex.
Continue reading 'The Cardinal Sins of Roleplaying: Erotic Roleplay'

Cross Playing: The Tribulations of RPing the Opposite Gender

Hello. My name is Moonbiter and I am a girl gamer. Ever since I was a wee lil' Moonnibbler and I was introduced to the Nintendo Entertainment System, I've been hooked on gaming. World of Warcraft is my first MMORPG and while I still consider myself to be very much a console gamer, I have been playing WoW since January 2005. My very first foray into WoW RP was somewhere back in Summer of 2006 when I rolled a character on Argent Dawn. The rest is history...

I am also the player of not only one, but five, male WoW characters. This might seem odd to some readers because why oh why would a girl ever want to ever play as a guy? Well... why not?

Being I like to roleplay (or at the very least I create backstories for my characters), the story I come up with dictates what race, gender, and class I feel suits the character. Take my death knight, and current main, Kiryl, for example... He is kind of an "old country" guy at heart, despite his current role as a Forsaken interrogator, and I honestly have a hard time ever picturing him as a female. Kiryl is, no matter what, a male character. My muse has spoken and she isn't all that keen on changing her mind.

A Space Goat Was Born

My first seriously played male toon was Latu, a Draenei shaman that was created the moment I installed the Burning Crusade. First of all, when TBC was nearing its release date, everyone I knew was going to make a female Draenei. In a combination of daring to be different and my love for the male Draenei model (I love their /dance and /silly), I vowed to make my shaman a guy. Secondly, I never really had a main character that was a guy. Sure I had a level 20-something Forsaken rogue and a level 30 Troll shaman that were men... But I never stuck with them. Latu, on the other hand, I leveled to up to cap--twice.

The guild I was with, at the time, was a rather free-spirited one, so the idea of a girl playing a guy character wasn't a big deal to them at all. However, when they eventually jumped ship and went to WAR during a hiatus of mine, I found myself in need of a new guild... So I transferred Latu over to another realm and joined up with friend's RP guild.

I remember having to explain myself many times to people (namely guild mates who have obviously heard me over Ventrilo) on why Latu is not a female. Even though there is a pretty good amount of females that play WoW around, many of which I have known to have at least ONE male toon in their character list, it is still treated as such an anomaly by most I encounter. The reactions varied from a guildmate joking that I was "denying the world more breasts" by playing a guy to having my sexuality questioned. Why, I even had fellow female guildmates who were boggled by the idea and I got a lot of half-joking flak for playing a guy--And it only increased when my secondary character was a male Human warlock (again, the character concept I had in mind did not seem like it would be suitable to a female).

There also was a time when a guildmate invited me to an instance run and the initial convo went like this (writing styles preserved)...

Warrior: hey guys, this is my guildy, Latu. hes a girl irl. lol
Party Member #2: Cool
Party Member #3: sup
Me: Um... Haha. Hi?

It just sorta boggled my mind that this guy felt the need to instantly announce (I wish I was kidding. It really was the first thing said when I joined group.) the fact that I am indeed a female player. Though I will admit... when certain people did find out that I was indeed a girl in real life, it was pretty funny to see their reactions. Even so, I still find it odd that it's strange to begin with.

Why Is Playing the Opposite Gender Such a Big Deal?

There seems to be a double standard of playing a character that isn't your gender in real life. It's perfectly normal for guys to play as female avatars, but girls playing as male toons generally brings up a lot of confusion. There are many reasons as to why men play as females, the two most popular that I've seen are "I don't want to stare at a dude's ass all the time" and "I like the attention and special treatment I get". Plus, as the popular internet meme goes, "There are no girls on the internet".

The last statement above is, of course, not true at all. However, in the gaming world, it is still traditionally "a man's domain" in the eyes of many. Though with new generations, the girl gamer isn't at all the oddity it used to be when I was back in high school. I've been on various RP realms and the reception of being a female who plays a guy character ranges from it being commonplace to others finding it incredibly strange. I remember one former guildmate used to joke with me by suggesting that I make Latu into a girl shortly after character re-customization was unveiled. I didn't mind it at first...until he started mentioning it nearly every time I saw him in-game. The same person also told me that he couldn't take women who roleplayed male characters seriously... He found it "too weird" and he apparently had difficulty reconciling the fact that "this dude was really a chick".

Virtual Life Lessons

It's not always hard for women roleplaying a man, though... I've had many guys tell me their horror stories of playing a female toon. Sure, they liked being treated a little nicer, given stuff, and what not (That's another post for another day, I'd imagine). Then the stalkers start showing up... Those sorts of people that won't take a hint despite the other saying "Dude, I'm a guy, IRL" and simply found that they were "playing hard to get". Though I heard more of those recounts in the earlier days of WoW, not so much anymore (But on the flipside, I've heard plenty of girls harassing guys to have their RP characters get in each other's pants as of late...). However, I'm rather certain that these sorts of goings-on still take place.

Other girl gamers who played a male toon, namely for a "social experiment", were rather shocked at how differently they were treated. Cussed out for small mistakes, talking to them impersonally, general aloofness, etc... Not all that surprising since most people assume the character played is the person's gender IRL. Though I honestly just assume everyone's a guy until proven otherwise...

In Summation

It's just a game and we are simply players out to have fun... People shouldn't be given grief for their character's gender, no matter if they are man or woman, if that is what they want to roleplay (or not).

Though roleplaying is just that--It's acting out a story. While some people do live vicariously through their characters, most simply want to tell a tale and see what unfolds for them. If a man wants to roleplay a demure and meek woman, then more power to him. If a woman wants to play as some muscular orcish guy? Go right ahead. Roleplay servers are our canvas and other people shouldn't tell you what paint to use.
Continue reading 'Cross Playing: The Tribulations of RPing the Opposite Gender'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Again with the Gobbos and the Wolf-Men...Oy.

After reading many articles, and responses, on various blogs (Too Many Annas and Lorecrafted, just to name a few), I got to thinking a little more on the political and social ramifications of the theorized Worgen and Goblin races joining the fray.

First up, Goblins. As mentioned time and time again, on Two Wolf Moon and countless other sources debating this topic, Goblins are vastly a neutral race. They are driven by greed, so it's bad business skills to deny potential customers. Thusly, many are quite certain about the Goblins being unable to take sides. I can definitely see why people would think that and, for the most part, I agree with many of their points. However, if a splinter faction of goblins were to officially join the Horde, I'd imagine a similar scenario would take place...

These goblins and their trade prince would probably be quite the black sheep within Goblin society for some form or another. All cultures have their exceptions (The Stormwind Humans have the Defias, the Tauren have the Grimtotem, the Ethereals have the Etherium, and so on...) so I feel that
saying that all Goblins are the exact same would probably be doing them a great injustice. Take a look at the Venture Company--Now there's a goblin organization that is friends with neither Alliance or Horde. If there are untouched lands with promises of natural resources or forgotten treasures, they will be there tearing things up and killing/enslaving all who get in their way. So if the Goblins can have an organization that is the equivalent of Hoggish Greedly, that is hostile to both sides, then I find it possible for the existence of a Horde-friendly Goblin group. Not to mention that the goblins, in general, have been on pretty good terms with them despite their neutrality.

But as I mentioned before in one of my previous ramblings, they'd have to be in some serious hot water first. Whatever the cause may be (Their "base" under siege by Naga, economic desperation, and so on...), these hypothetical Goblin allies would need to be in so much trouble that they would have little option but to crawl up to Thrall's boots and kiss them.

On the other hand, why would Thrall take them in? First up, Thrall is not a stranger to helping,
at the time, would-be allies out of a sticky situation (IE: Tauren and Darkspear Trolls). Even though these new goblins would initially be more trouble than they're worth, having a technologically driven race that would be honor-bound to develop weapons and vehicles only for the Horde and not sell them to outside parties is a pretty tempting deal...

LONG STORY SHORT: Would Goblins make the best probable addition to the Horde? In my opinion, there are better ones, but if this expansion is indeed involving the Maelstrom, then it gives the Horde yet another reason to go out towards the Rift since Kezan would be under attack. Not to mention that whole Darkspear Islands incident a decade or so back... I'm pretty sure the Trolls are mighty keen on exacting revenge on the powers that drove them out of their home.

On a technical note, as previously mentioned, the addition of Goblins to the Horde would give them a shorter, possibly healer-less, race that is technologically driven--Just like the Alliance with the Gnomes. And Blizzard is all about the whole equality schtick.


Now for the Worgen... I will say, off the bat, that this race is a hard one to pin down in comparison to the possible addition of the Goblin race. My previous entries regarding playable Worgen are, of course, purely speculation combined with a generous helping of not-so-silent wishing that this rumor is indeed true. This much I realize, however I still do honestly believe that if the Worgen are indeed slated to join the Alliance, it's not impossible--Just difficult.

First off, if the worgen are to be a playable race in this coming expansion, then I sincerely doubt it'll be the "space wolves from another dimension" variety that was brought to Azeroth via the Scythe of Elune. They are savage beasts who'd much rather kill you than befriend you, so unless something tremendous happens to magically change all this, I don't see them changing their stripes anytime soon.

No, the type of Worgen I'm banking on are the cursed variety... Namely those seen in Pyrewood Village and Grizzly Hills. Though I will say that I see a problem with this theory, right from the get-go. Pyrewood's residents only turn into werewolves at night and the Wolfcult variety appear to have the ability to shift at will. If Gilneas is indeed added in the next installment of WoW, and its citizens turned into wolfish monsters, I would imagine they would have to be fully turned and completely feral. So this is where good ol' Alphus comes in, providing he is indeed a known figure within the game, and helps change that with his Alliance-funded venture to help the Gilnean's regain their sense of self. But even then... Would they join?

Theoretically being turned into worgen-like creatures aside, the Alliance and Gilneas hasn't always seen eye to eye on things... Genn Greymane and his people are notoriously stubborn and prideful. Even though their once-powerful nation would be in shambles, would they admit that they were wrong and that they need help? Would King Fighty McChin actually let a bestial race in with the Alliance that has had a rather bad history with them (IE: Essentially Greymane saying "Screw you guys, we don't need no stinkin' Alliance to help make us awesome. We're already there!")?

I think it'd definitely make a very interesting addition, at least story-wise, if that were to happen. Heck, I'd think Varian would find Genn's possible new form to be appropriate to his attitude. Besides, if the Allies didn't pick them up, they'd probably (begrudgingly) join the Horde and add to their numbers. That's a big no-no to them right there...

LONG STORY SHORT: Given the right explaination, I'd think the possibility of Gilnean "worgen" is a strong one. It would give the Alliance a wild card race, much like the Horde's Forsaken, and help stir things up a bit. However, I cannot see much reason for them, at the time, to join the fight aside from just being desperate for help. That is unless there has been reports of the Scythe somehow slipping out of the Wolfcult's grasp (that is where it is presumed to be currently) and ended up somewhere in the Maelstrom. I honestly do not know... Regardless, I'm sure all our theories will be cleared up come Blizzcon.
Continue reading 'Again with the Gobbos and the Wolf-Men...Oy.'

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Smell a Red Herring!

Boubouille at MMO Champion strikes again with his datamining-fu. With today's maintenance, four sets of masks were added to join the Worgen and Goblin ones. Upon hearing this news, I was somewhat despondent that all the theories I, and others of like mind, cooked up might have been dashed...until I took a closer look at the new masks.

Compared to the Worgen and Goblin masks, all the new masks, save the Vrykul, are shoddy coffee break renderings. Just look at the resolution quality and the overall shape of the graphics used in the masks. Sure, the Vrykul at least look respectable being they are a recently added race and one of the "shiniest" looking at the moment... But the color swapped murlocs? The old naga models that have been in file since vanilla WoW?

"But Moonbiter, you said that Blizzard doesn't tend to make in-game items that will never be used!" Yeah... Figures that'd come back to haunt me, however I wouldn't call these newer masks superfluous. I'm not exactly sure on Blizzard's goal regarding the addition of them, but I can say this for certain... The newer masks are fake.

If you compare the newly added masks with the original Worgen and Goblin ones, you'll see there is no comparison. The two original "new masks" are beautifully rendered, there's a female model for a creature race that did not exist up until now, and even the Goblins themselves got quite the graphical overhaul. While the Vrykul masks do look respectable, they don't hold a candle to how detailed the Worgen and Goblin masks appear. Plus the mask edges do not match those of the initially released two, being they are thinner in fold. Also, as mentioned on

"However, astute readers point out that the female ogre is actually a "direct copy-paste of an old drawing from one of the RPG books." Closer inspection of the female ogre mask will reveal some rendering inconsistencies compared to the other skins, which were lifted from in-game models."

But now we are all faced with three possibilities...

1) The newly added masks were a panic-rushed attempt to cover up a possible accident of putting those new Hallow's End masks into the game files.
2) The newly added masks were purposefully put in later to appear as if they were trying to squelch theorycrafting over what will be released in the expansion. However, the new masks were intentionally bad and "half-assed" to silently confirm that the previous Worgen and Goblin masks are the real-deal.
3) That these masks are, what many people have been saying in multiple forum and blog responses, just that... Masks.

While I wouldn't be surprised at #1 being the reason, I'm pretty certain that #2 is their reasoning behind this. Again, Blizzcon is only a month away and they want to have people talking and getting excited over their products. They have been dropping hints about the Greymane Wall, the Scythe of Elune, goings on in the Maelstrom, and more within their forums and various interviews with outside Warcraft-based blogs and news columns. Their treatment of those who tamed a Worgen pet not long ago, in comparison to how rare tames were dealt with before (IE: Spirit wolf and the crocoslime, just to name a few). There's even a logical explanation as to why the cursed Worgen in Silverpine (and presumably Gilneas) could be a player race in a tabletop RPG source book that has been around for years!

While the addition of the new masks have dissuaded many from thinking the originals were the real deal, their shoddy nature should prove otherwise. New masks or no, I still remain resolute in my thinking that the next two player races will be Worgen and Goblin.
Continue reading 'I Smell a Red Herring!'

Monday, July 20, 2009

Story: Never Going Home

"Neverov," a gravelly old voice barked. Kiryl looked up from the folder he'd had open on the table in front of him, reaching absently for the stained gloves set off to one side. He'd seen a definite increase in the practical application of his apprenticeship lately, and already anticipated the old man's request.

His mentor, Silas Witherbloom, was a rather crotchety husk of a man with a hunched back, wispy and thinning short gray hair, and disposition that matched the surliest and most stubborn of mules. He snorted through his nose lightly as his apprentice approached, working his jaw idly as he watched Kiryl tug on his gloves. "Always quick ta jump, aren't ya, pissant?" He grumbled as he shoved a new manila folder at his chest. "Yes sir," Kiryl replied evenly as he carefully took the dossier in one hand--An action which earned a slight roll of the eyes and a grumble from his superior.

"This is yer case taday, kid. Don't fuck it up," he grunted as made his way to the door, leaving a somewhat confused deathguard in his wake. Kiryl cocked his jaw lightly to one side as he furrowed his brow. "...'My case', sir?" He replied tentatively.

Silas partially turned around as he tugged open a metal door, his spindly hand still on the handle as he levels Kiryl a withering gaze. "Ye deaf alluv a sudden? Yes. Yer case! Yer flyin' solo tanight, Neverov. Problem wit' that?" Kiryl's semi-perplexed expression did not budge an inch as he remained motionless, the dossier still held aloft in front of him. "Ah... No sir," he murmured eventually as his gloved hand slowly fell to his side.

"Good," Silas grunted as two guards toted in a struggling human man, cuffed in iron shackles. "Don't sweat it too much, kid..." He grumbled in a semi-begrudging tone as he began to shuffle outside of the room. "This pup'll be a soft one."

When Silas eventually left Kiryl to his own devices, the would-be-interrogator promptly began reading the envelope's contents, pausing only to give a few cursory glances towards the prisoner as he was being secured in a large metal chair. Pup, indeed... This one didn't look much older than seventeen. Hell...He's only a few years older than what my son would be now... That thought did not sit too well with him, but he forced himself to remain on the matter at hand.

His name was William Riverdale, a courier for an Alliance platoon simply referred to as the "23rd Lion Brigade"--A group that frequently ran attacks on the southern Forsaken territories, such as Tarren Mill and the Sepulcher. Young Riverdale was a runner of important missives between his commander and Southshore. Unfortunately for him, the location of said commander was the information that needed to be imparted.

Tossing the dossier onto his work table, which glistened with multitudes of sharpened instruments of surgical terror, he then picked up a weighted meat cleaver. No...this is war. And he is a soon-to-be unfortunate casualty of it... Kiryl mused silently as he inspected the blade's sharpness. He could hear the courier begin to blubber like a babe once he caught a glimpse of Kiryl's selected tool of torture. "No... N-no... Lemme go," he whimpered as his shackles were locked down to a blade and hammer-worn iron table in front of him. "I...I did nothing wrong...!" Tears started to stream down his terror-stricken freckled face as one of the guards pinned down his left hand so that it remained flush against the table. "...I...I...just...let me go... P-Please, I want to go home...! Please...!"

It was that last comment that made the interrogator slowly look over his shoulder, despite his best effort not to, and solemnly arch his brow while regarding the frightened young man. "No, William," he murmured joylessly as he turned to face him, his cleaver brandished in his right hand. Slowly, the sorrow bled out of Kiryl's expression until only a stony impassive mask remained. "I am afraid you will never be returning home..." The courier recoiled in horror while his face contorted in anguish, choking on his sobs.

"...Hold him."
Continue reading 'Story: Never Going Home'

Meet the Crew: Kiryl Neverov

Name: Kiryl Neverov
Age: 31, at death (Existed for 39 years total)
Gender: Male
Race: Forsaken Undead
Class: Death Knight (Unholy)
Main Profession: Interrogator
Secondary (In-Game): Engineering/Mining
Primary Language: Gutterspeak
Other Languages: Orcish, Common, and a very small bit of Thalassian and Nerubian (It's good to know what they're chittering about, after all).
Height: 6'4" (5'11" when slouched)
Weight: 125 lbs. (158 lbs. with armor and weapon, not counting packs and other gear)
Hair Color: Light blond

FlagRSP Description: An ominous figure even in undeath, Kiryl is still quite tall despite the visible signs of tissue decomposition and decompression of bone that is commonplace for his kind. The visible part of his face seen above an ever-present mask is a ruined one...

Pockmarks of decay and parasitical damage dapple his putrescent flesh, doubly so around his sunken-in eye sockets. The stench of chemicals and other acrid smelling fluids overpower any possible scent of decay that might otherwise accompany his person.

Kiryl is usually found wearing something blue, which is the color of Lordaeron's banner, regardless of it being casual wear or armor.

D&D Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Element: Earth

Birthplace: Darrowshire
Current Home: Undercity

Brief History: In life, Kiryl started out as a sheriff in the southern regions of what is now known the Eastern Plaguelands. He was born to a long line of law keepers, many of his ancestors being paladins, marshals, and patrolmen.
Currently: Kiryl is a faithful servant of the Banshee Queen, resuming his position as one of her many interrogators after breaking free of the Lich King's grasp once again. He also serves as a Lector to the Scourgebane Outriders, a cadre of death knights and their supporters that recently pledged themselves to aid the Dark Lady and the Horde in an effort to bolster their already tenuous relationship with the races of Azeroth.

Random Factoid: Originally, Kiryl wanted to be a clock maker when he was young.

Additional Note: Throughout Kiryl's interactions with players, many have wondered how he manages to speak so well without possessing a lower jaw... This is because he utilizes two voices; an ethereal and corporeal. The ethereal one is the one you generally hear when you interact with him in person or over the runic communication 'spike'. It is nebulous and echo-y, without the burden of his otherwise decrepit and worn vocal chords, and sounds like he is speaking in an otherwise human voice. I suppose I would call it a telepathic skill, but it gives the impression that you are hearing him with your ears. As for his 'corporeal' voice, that is, obviously, his real one. Being he has no lower jaw, he is basically condemned to gutteral snarls, frothing, and hisses. He generally does not use this unless he is extremely upset, hurt, or surprised (or if he is deliberately trying to unnerve someone).

Moonbiter's Comments: "Kiryl is my current main over on Thorium Brotherhood and, quite possibly, one of my most favorite characters I've roleplayed to date. I have always had a love for the Forsaken storyline being they are so incredibly tragic and can be played many different ways."
Continue reading 'Meet the Crew: Kiryl Neverov'

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies (Part Trois)

This will, hopefully, be the last thing I have to say on the steadily approaching expansion for a while (However short it may be... *chuckle*). However, the last bits I want to go over are the possible classes for both Goblins and Worgen, my stance on general sentiments towards the two races, my pending plans, and other theorizing. Speculations! Hooooooo~! (Possible spoilers ahead.)


It's something that needs to be considered, of course. Since we appear to have two new races joining the fold in the future, it's good to have a gameplan.

Goblin Classes:

Very Possible: Warrior, Rogue, Warlock, and Mage.
Possible: Priest and Hunter.
Not Even Possible: Druid, Paladin, and Shaman.
Uncertain: Death Knight

I'd imagine there being a distinct lack of healing classes, if any at all, for the Goblins. Much like the Gnomes, they do not have a faith in unearthly powers and are self-made men/women that forge ahead under their own steam and quick-thinking. Though unlike their fellow short-statured brethren, they are driven by the all-mighty gold piece. Being a pious religious person usually means living a very humble life, so that would naturally go against the grain for them.

However, I do remember someone bringing up a very good point on a forum somewhere (I wish I remembered which it was...). As anyone can say after watching a televangelist on TV, religion can be profitable too. The weak-hearted and those seeking salvation would gladly pony up the dough if it means saving their soul. So, because of this, a Goblin priest might very well be possible. However, from a game mechanic standpoint, every Horde race has a healing-capable class. The Alliance's Gnomes have no healers, so the Goblins might lack one as well in an effort to keep things balanced.

Worgen Classes:

Very Possible: Warrior, Rogue, Hunter, Warlock, and Mage.
Possible: Priest, Paladin, and Shaman.
Not Possible: Druid.
Uncertain: Death Knight.

I can see the Worgen having almost every class a human would, save the hunter class. Being Worgen are more feral, they would feel more of a kinship with the wild than they did when they were still human. This might be another healerless race, but I'd think, in an attempt to balance both sides, I'd think they'd have at least one.

Druid wouldn't work since, thus far, Blizzard wants to keep it solely made up of Night Elves and Tauren. Plus I do not think that the Cenarion Circle would welcome an "abomination" of those of the Scythe into their fold. Their healing class will be solely dependent on what will keep things in balance and what fits the race. Priests, in my opinion, are the most innocuous of the bunch. I have a hard time seeing Worgen paladins, but I do not want to discount it entirely because none of us know how far from the Light they have fallen.

Honestly, I can see them as shaman very easily. With their new bestial appearance, and nature, I'd assume, I can see the Worgen being very attuned to the natural world and the elements. However, giving the Alliance another shamanistic race when the Horde only has one race with a paladin class would be unfair. That is unless they give an already existing race the ability to be one--And the only race that could even have it be possible is the Forsaken (but that's a topic for another post). However, that is a problem being that the Forsaken are an already class-heavy race as is...

Hero Classes

Well, this one is definitely up in the air for me... Blizzard initially mentioned they wanted all races to have access to hero classes, but I am not certain if that sentiment extends to future races introduced after the hero class in question. To play it safe, and also for the sake of continuity in lore, I will say that goblins and worgen cannot be death knights. It would make little to no sense to have wolfish and tiny greenskinned DKs running around when they, more than likely, would have never even set foot near New Avalon.

However, Blizzard mentioned that they planned to release at least one new hero class each expansion. Whether or not this applies to expansions that plan to have new races added as well, I am not sure... On one hand, the next hero class would likely be a healer-caster hybrid in order to help fill the supposed lack of healers at end game. On the other, if they did introduce a hero class that is available for a new race, there will be a glut of hero worgen and goblins running around from the get-go instead of encouraging a brand new race to grow from the ground up. Not to mention that Blizzard still has their hands full balancing death knights.

I know Blizz wouldn't want to cancel out their own new starting zones, so if they did add a hero class along with a new race, I would hope that they wouldn't have them available for play right away. Like...give the new races a couple months of being unable to access the class before allowing them to roll one. Don't know if that'd work, but that's the only thing I can come up with.

My Stance on the Reception of the New Races

Much like the Burning Crusade, there has been an outcry of dismayed people who are aghast by the possibility of there being playable worgen and goblins in the expansion. Old news, new faces... I will go down the list of the most frequent comments I've seen.

1) Worgen?! Dammit, here come the furries.

First of all... All the rampant furry hate on the 'net, and in the real world, sickens me. Sure, just like with any group of people, there are going to be extremists. So while crotchless fur-suiters are out there, a majority of the furry community is very normal and sane. To outright assume that the Worgen will be populated with nothing but perverted furry ERPers is really insulting. Will they be there? Some, yes. No matter what the race, there're ERPers in all of them. They just so happen to frequent the "pretty races", but I have seen ones that were dwarves, tauren, gnomes...

2) Worgen just don't work! They're vicious and mindless beasts from another dimension!

Uh, do you work on Blizzard's creative staff? No? Well, then who are you to say for certain? True, many consider the addition of the Draenei to be a botched job, but not everyone thinks that. And our perception of the Worgen in WoW has changed over the years... Sure, we knew them only as two varieties in Vanilla; The bestial kind summoned via the Scythe and the cursed humans in Shadowfang Keep and Pyrewood Village.

Though in WotLK, we have been exposed to the Wolfcult. While they do seem more primal and feral, they do appear to keep a great deal of their sense of self even in their lupine forms. Being the Worgen in the expansion would be those most likely from Gilneas, they would be exposed to Arugal's worgen curse rather than the Scythe. Therefore, it is entirely possible, especially after all this time of being under nationwide isolation, for the Gilneas Worgen to still maintain their humanity.

3) Goblins can't go with the Horde! They're neutral!

This is true--Goblins are neutral. Denying one side of the war is denying thousands upon thousands of customers. That means less money for them! But even then, the Goblins have a long-standing history of being on close terms with the Horde despite their neutrality. Though there are exceptions to every rule... Thrall and his Horde might happen upon a troubled trade prince and his people and bail them out of a sticky situation, thus earning their loyalty (for the time being).

4) Worgen can't be Alliance! It just isn't possible!

Who says? It's true that Gilneas has a long-running history of neutrality and overall not-giving-a-damn, but even mighty kingdoms fall one day... For all his stubbornness and pride, Genn Greymane might finally see that his people need help and, begrudgingly, admit to the aid that is given to them.

Honestly, even though I do wish they'd be Horde, the Alliance needs a wild-looking tall race and the Horde needs a short one. Plus the Horde got a race based out of the Eastern Kingdoms in Burning Crusade, so I'd say it's just not in the cards this time around.

5) The masks prove nothing! They're just masks!

That may be... But Blizzard generally doesn't make a habit of making things in-game that will never be used or if it is deemed a waste of time. This is why we never see female models of NPC races (save the current Goblins and High Elves), because it was deemed superfluous and a "waste of time". So, following that line of thinking, why would Blizz go through all that trouble to make some high-rendered masks and actually bother to make a female Worgen mask if there was no intention of adding the race in? Not to mention that the Hallow's End masks are only made up of playable races. 'Nuff said.

6) You're all wrong! Worgen and Goblins are going to be neutral races! You can pick your sides!

While this would make sense from a lore perspective, being both Goblins and Gilneans have a history of being neutral in conflicts, it wouldn't make sense from a gameplay perspective. Blizzard has already made it clear that they want each side to be distinguishable--down to the races, the mounts, and the tier armor. Having a Horde worgen or an Alliance goblin would cause too much confusion. Plus, Blizzard has already made it clear that they want there to only be two playable factions. Save the neutral factions for the NPC races, IMO.

7) Pandaren! I want Panda person!

Probably not gonna happen. Ever. And if it does, it won't be for a LONG time. However, I can see them being present in the expansion, even if they're a NPC race like the Taunka or Tuskar. Pandaria is allegedly out in the Great Sea, after all.

My Plans

I know that the expansion is way off, but I still like to have an idea of what to expect when that day eventually does come. However, Blizzard is becoming faster at cranking out new content for WoW, so while the expansion could very well come out in winter of next year, it could also just as well hit the shelves in late spring or early summer.

So, the big question is; Worgen or Goblin? While I do intend to roll at least one of both races, I think you can probable guess which I'm going to go for just from my handle and the name of this blog. So, yes, I'd roll a Worgen the moment I install the expansion. However, would it sway me entirely from the Horde? Not certain at this point, being I don't know where I'll be then (In real life and in-game). I've always been a Horde player by heart, but I've been stuck as Alliance for a very long time. Needless to say, I'm not entirely eager to go back to the "boys in blue" right away, but... I have been holding out for playable worgen for years and that just might be the race to keep me Alliance side (where, apparently, this game thinks I belong ¬_¬).

And being there is also a lot of groaning about Worgen coming from the RPers (which is justified, of course, I don't consider myself that insensitive), I do want to strive to be one of the exceptions that will hopefully help break the stereotype that's already being placed upon them. In fearing that I will carry on with this too long, this too will be discussed in a separate future post.

In Summation

I am extraordinarily excited to start theorizing about the expansion (Couldn't ya tell?) and I can't wait to hear more about it come Blizzcon in August. Believe it or not, I am trying to not theorize too much because it would kind of suck to be proven wrong over something after being so keen on it. However, the masks do kind of make it clear on what races will be added, at least.

As for when the expansion is coming out, like I said... Blizzard is getting faster at releasing content. TBC took about a year and a half (closer to two years, almost). WotLK took a little more than a year. While the safe assumption would be that it's released in late fall/early winter of 2010, I'm betting on it being released in late spring/summer of that year. Providing that the Icecrown Citadel raid comes out in fall or early winter of this year, I'd say that's more than enough time to let people experience it before moving on to "bigger and better things".
Continue reading 'The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies (Part Trois)'

The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies (Part Deux)

As covered in a previous installment, I have been talking about my personal observations, quandaries, and predictions for the upcoming expansion that is looming over the horizon. Bets are on that the expansion will be predominantly set in the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, with Worgen and Goblins as the World of Warcraft's newest playable races. Which will be the grand finale for this installment? A show down with Queen Azshara or with the source of the Emerald Dream's corruption? It is still anyone's guess...

That being said, let me continue with my rambling... Once again, this is all fun and speculation. Some things might turn out to be true, some won't, or, who knows, maybe it'll ALL be wrong. *chuckle* (Possible spoilers ahead.)

Possible Starting Areas: Worgen

For the Worgen, I find it to be a rather no-brainer... In the last expansion to introduce new races, the Burning Crusade, Alliance got a new race in Kalimdor and the Horde got one in the Eastern Kingdoms. So that means it'll be the reverse this time around. So Worgen, naturally, will start off in Gilneas. Finally... FINALLY, we will all see what is behind that accursed Greymane Wall and it will be awesome.

Much like the addition of Eversong Woods, Ghostlands, Azuremyst, and Bloodmyst Isle, both new starting zones will need two main questing hubs and a way to connect it back to the "old world". Many theorize that, aside from Gilneas, the secondary Worgen quest hub will be Zul'Dare. Being that it is technically Gilnean land, it'd make sense to have this place be the next area of focus for any up-and-coming werewolf. Its fate is uncertain, but, popular theory and the wiki entry linked suggest, it is supposedly suffering much the same fate as Kul Tiras (ie: Boat loads of naga and murlocs).

Not to mention this area has a prime location for new wolves to be ferried to upon completion of the starter zones--Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands. From there, freshly minted level 20 werewolves can continue questing there or hop on another boat to Stormwind. Works beautifully, if I must say so myself!

Possible Starting Areas: Goblins

Though this is the difficult part... There is no known area in Kalimdor that remains unused and of good reason to be inhabited by the little greenskins. Sure, there's...Hyjal. But I sincerely doubt that they'd start out there. *chuckle* No, I think, much like with the addition of Azuremyst and Bloodmyst, there will need to be a few islands tacked on off the east coast of Kalimdor. Could be an established island, only moved in location, or a "brand new" one.

What would happen there that'd have the otherwise neutral gobbos align with the Horde still remains uncertain, but I'd assume they'd have to be in some super deep shit (a la Darkspear Trolls). Whatever the case might be, a brand new island or two will be added so that they can have access to either the docks at the Barrens or, perhaps, a zeppelin tower that leads them to Durotar/Orgrimmar.

A lot of people like to think that the starting area will be Kezan, but the Undermine is home to many trade princes, all with their own methodology and views on how to run things (
My money's on Tel'Abim, if anything). The Goblins that will officially align with the Horde would probably be a splinter group (a powerful one, perhaps, but a splinter group none the less) and shouldn't be lumped in with the rest of the Goblin race (that's like saying all Trolls are the same--which they're not).


Everyone loves mounts. I know I do. Even though the knowledge of Worgen and Goblins possibly being in the works is still rather new (two days and counting), there have been many theorized suggestions at what their racial mounts might be.

Let's go with what we know (or like to think that we do):

• Worgen = Former Humans, much like the Forsaken, so they would have historical ties with the Horse, more than likely. One suggestion for a mount, that I have seen, is some sort of...wolf-horse hybrid. While it might work, I think they would most likely switch to something more accustomed to holding their weight and probably wouldn't mind a giant man-wolf riding on them.

So, in order to keep mounts unique for each race, I think just saying "another type of horse!" isn't in the cards. My suggestion? Some sort of giant bull/ox or a bison. It's big, tough, powerful, and can hold the weight of a rather large worgen.

Many people seem to want to have Plainsrunning make a comeback, but I can safely say that it'll never be a primary mode of transport. Every playable race will have a mount to insure equality and I sincerely doubt they'll change that way of thinking anytime soon. However, perhaps the ability to run on all fours will show up as a sprint animation or some watered down sprint-like racial.

• Goblins = The rivals of tinkering Gnomes everywhere, the Goblins generally make a living by selling their weapons, gadgets, and transport vehicles to the highest bidder. Therefore, their mount, much like the Gnomes, will most likely be mechanical as well. Just that it would appear to have a much higher chance of exploding. What it'll be? I'm not certain... I know it needs to jump, if anything. Though I can safely say that the often-suggested Goblin Shredder is right-out. That's a weapon/tool, not a vehicle. A Goblin rocket car with jumper boosts, maybe...? *shrug*

Or, I might be surprised and they actually have a living mount. I'd say turtles, but that seems like it'd be a general aquatic mount. So, I don't know...

Worgen and Goblins: WHY?

If the expansion is, indeed, introducing the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream to World of Warcraft in playable form, then both of those races have a huge reason for being involved.

The Goblins are simple; Kezan is in the Great Sea and is a stone's throw away from Nazjatar and the Great Rift. I'd assume that they'd be under heavy attack by Queen Azshara's forces by now. Kezan, and by proxy, the Undermine, would likely be a neutral haven much like Shattrath City and Dalaran. Another guess would be Zandalar, the Troll capitol, but I'm not sure which it would be at this point. Both could work.

The Worgen, I'd admit, wouldn't have much to do in the Maelstrom aside from that the Naga are accosting their shores and they would, ideally, like to put a stop to it. Though, much like their unlucky neighbors, the Forsaken, the Worgen would probably be seeking a cure to their affliction. The Scythe of Elune has been a hot topic of debate and theory for many years... We did the quests for it in Ashenvale, in Duskwood, and possibly suffered an unknowing loss of it in Grizzly Hills just recently.

So NO one knows where it is now... Aside from it probably being in the hands of the Wolfcult. Which is unfortunate for the Worgen due to the fact that it was one of the causes that started the whole worgen 'plague' as we know it. The Scythe and Archmage Arugal's work (via Ur's research) are intertwined and since Arugal is dead (again), the former is the only real way to help them. To find the Scythe is to find the key to unlocking their curse.

Well... I still have more to cover, but for the sake of people's eyes, I'm going to pause now and resume my theorizing in a third part! I think it is becoming a little obvious that I am excited over all this... *cough*
Continue reading 'The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies (Part Deux)'

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies

Many people in the Warcraft communities (myself included) are starting to foam at the mouth over the possibilities of playable Worgen and Goblins. There are many hints being dropped that this will likely be the case, being both of them have loot and walking backward animations (which normally only playable characters have) and what not. Not to mention that Blizzcon is right around the corner and we will probably have the grand announcement of what WoW's future will be there.

Again, there is no official word on what the expansion will be and if there even be new playable races. But, as many people on the MMO Champion website can attest to, if its owner, Boubouille, makes an announcement over upcoming content, he's always right. Something that I personally agree with as well, being I've been following Boub's posts on MMO Champion for a couple years now and I've yet to see him be wrong on upcoming content. He also informs us that the Emerald Dream files that have been in WoW's database for -years- have been recently updated...

So! Exciting times are upon us once again... (Possible spoilers ahead.)

Musings on the Future Expansion

Pretty much every thing I've seen on the net, whether it be fan-based speculation or bread crumbs dropped from Blizzard's staff, points squarely at the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream. Now wait-- BOTH the Dream and the Maelstrom? I don't see why not... Personally, I think that would be the best route considering the possible implication of additional races. There has been a great deal of talk in recent game events about the tainting of the Dream--The quest "Hope Within the Emerald Nightmare" being one of the most recent occurrences.

In the 3.2 PTR, there is a quest that sends you to Thunder Bluff (I haven't tried the Alliance counterpart yet, if there is one, but I'd assume that it's the same?) and you overhear two druids talking about the imbalance of magic within the Cenarion Circle itself. Whether this is a pre-cursor for something in Patch 3.3, Icecrown Citadel, or in the expansion is currently unknown. Though, if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say it's a sign of what is to come in the new X-Pac.

Rumblings in-game regarding the Emerald Dream/Nightmare has been around since the vanilla days of WoW, seen in Wailing Caverns and the eventual redemption of Eranikus, and more recently the the infestation of the Stormrage Barrow Dens in Moonglade and the defeat of Anzu. Now, while the Dream is, essentially, a version of Azeroth untainted by those of the mortal races, I can't see it being a main zone. It's just too big--and probably needless to see all of Azeroth when you can concentrate on one singular area of focus.

For years, shortly before the time of the Burning Crusade, to be exact, I have felt that if we were to go to the Dream, we'd go to the last vestiges that have not been tainted. Which would be, in my mind, the Eye of Ysera, the area where She of the Dreaming herself slumbers. There we would see the Dream as it should be, but when we venture outwards, we would bear witness to the encroaching corruption. How large would this area be...? I'm not certain. Big enough to not seem too minuscule, so I'd wager it'd be around the combined size of Icecrown and Storm Peaks.

As for the Maelstrom, I am not certain as to what will be done there. I would love to have there be an emphasis on underwater zones and travel, but that might be too much work for Blizzard... So, I think it is safe to say that most of our interactions in the Maelstrom will be on the many islands that surround the Rift. Places like Tel'Abim, Kezan, Zandalar, the Broken Isles, the Darkspear Strand, and so on... However, I am not certain about Nazjatar's fate. Will it rise from the watery depths, as it was done with the Tomb of Sargeras? Or will we go down to it to have a nice spear-to-heart chat with Queen Azshara?

Putting design plans aside for a moment, it's pretty obvious that the next mount choices will be aquatic ones. We already have one, the Sea Turtle (which I honestly thought signaled that the Maelstrom would be the next main quest hub in the next expansion), so I'd assume that they'd give us fast aquatic mounts (possibly with some form of re-breather or underwater breathing enchant) that are bound to the Maelstrom area.

There is one location I'm rather uncertain about; the island nation of Kul Tiras, which was once home to Jaina Proudmoore, much of Theramore, and one of the best naval fleets of the Human race. Being that Kul'Tiras is a HUGE part of the Warcraft storyline, I think it'd be rather moronic to not include it in a predominantly naval themed expansion (Especially since, to this day, Kul Tiras is being constantly attacked by Murlocs and Naga). I'm just not certain where it'll fit... It could be a port of call/questing area for the Eastern Kingdom-side of the world, transport to it being located in good ol' Menethil Harbor (and Stormwind Harbor, I'd imagine. There is an unused dock there, after all).

However, being that Kul'Tiras has a rather long standing grudge against Orcs and those associated with them, I'm not certain how hospitable it'd be for those of the Horde. However, since Jaina has been trying very hard to keep relations between the Horde and Alliance at least slightly amicable, she might convince her brother, Admiral Tandred Proudmoore, for the Kul Tirans to stay their blades.

Well, that's all I'll prattle on about for the time being. Next installment will be focusing more on what might become of the Worgen and Goblin races and their involvement with the World of Warcraft.
Continue reading 'The Coming Storm: The Maelstrom, the Dream, and Two Possible New Allies'

Friday, July 17, 2009

Twitterings About the Third Expansion

I will say that the wolfish revamp to this site and the news of datamined image you see above is no coincidence. I saw this image very early in the morning when it was flitting around on MMO Champion's forums--when it was still on page one. Just recently, it hit and now everyone knows about it.

When I first heard this rumor (which, in my eyes, is pretty much a fact at this point), I was absolutely thrilled. Ever since I laid eyes on the Worgen, I've always wanted to have them as a playable race. If these masks are legit and not just a well rendered hoax (I'm looking at you, evil penguin...), then popular debate is that the Alliance will soon have Worgens as their playable race, while the Horde has a subfaction of Goblins. While both races make sense, I can't help but groan a little... Apparently this game wants me to play Alliance and nothing but, being it is attempting to lure me away from the Horde with the promise of playing werewolves (one of my favorite mythological races aside from zombies and vampires). However, the idea of playing a Goblin warrior amuses me greatly... Or a rogue, for that matter.

However, much like the whole Draenei and Blood Elf whining of the Burning Crusade, this is no different--Well, at least where the Worgen are involved. Being this is the internet and people are free to spew tactless and hateful vitriol as they please, furry bashing and the like are running rampant in any WoW article that features the image posted at the head of this entry. While I am certain that some Furs will make a worgen, just as many "normal" (it is a relative term, after all) people will make one too. I don't see why wanting to play a werewolf automatically makes you into a degenerate. I mean... It's a freaking werewolf! How cool is that? If someone said that they didn't want to play a werewolf, I'm pretty damned sure they're lying.

Though that being said, if this image is true... I'm pretty certain we're going to see the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream. Blizzard has already been dropping crumbs for us in their interviews and forum posts--putting drops of blood in the water to start a feeding frenzy, if you will--with mention of the mystery of the Scythe of Elune, "what lies beyond the Graymane wall", and so on... And I know I definately want to see what's beyond that wall! Ever since I came across it back in 2005, I've longed to see what is over there. *crosses fingers* And I hope it is Worgen.
Continue reading 'Twitterings About the Third Expansion'

New Beginnings!

Hello! Once upon a time, back in late spring/early summer of 2008, I started a blog called Ebon Plaguebringer. It never really got off the ground...though some of you might (and I stress "might") remember it. Anyhoo, long story short--I ran out of steam. I really wanted to make a very analytical blog about Death Knights, the class I've been dying (no pun intended) to play for so very long. But~ it didn't quite work out as intended. Heh.

So, about after a half year of letting my Blogger account collect dust, I came across a funny post on Blizzard's forums about advising people not to wear their three wolf moon t-shirts for it would bring doom upon us all! DOOM! So, yes... Two Wolf Moon; It's not quite as epic as a Three Wolf Moon, but it tries.

Anyway, I don't know why it tickled me the way it did, but it compelled me to do a revamp on this place and start from scratch. I saved a few of the posts I did way back then, just because I liked them, but other than that... Fresh start! Woo hoo!

My goal, this time around, with Two Wolf Moon is to partially do what I intended to with Ebon Plaguebringer. I do have a level 80 Death Knight, who is my main, so rants about him and his class are inevitable. However, I do also want to talk about many other topics in Warcraft that isn't just limited to DKs and nothing but. Oh-- And roleplay, of course. Did I mention I'm a huge RP nerd? *chuckle*

So! To any potential new readers, I bid you welcome! And to any readers who might remember my writing back from my short lived Ebon Plaguebringer days, hello again. Now to find some images to spruce up the place... *mutters*

Moonbiter Continue reading 'New Beginnings!'