Author Archive

Lugia

French Editor working for the World of Warcraft section of Blizzplanet since March 2014.

Level 90 Crash Course Videos

Knowing the basics of each of the 11 classes of World of Warcraft might be a little difficult, to help this Blizzard just released some videos that would help you once you reach the level 90.

Want to leap into action with a new class at level 90 but not sure how to begin? In our new videos—one for each of WoW’s 11 classes—we’ll give you a crash course on how to play your new level-90 character. To help you get started, these videos focus on one damage-dealing (DPS) specialization for each class.

Click your class of choice below to begin your training!

 

Death Knight
Death Knight
Druid
Druid
Hunter
Hunter
Mage
Mage
Monk
Monk
Paladin
Paladin
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Priest
CrashCourse-Rogue_Embed-188x109.png
Rogue
CrashCourse-Shaman_Embed-188x109.png
Shaman
Warlock

Warlock

Warrior

Warrior

 

For more advanced guides or to learn more about other class roles, check-out the Boosting 101- New to 90 Guide and Wowhead’s Boosted 90s Essentials Guide.

 

Azeroth Choppers — Episode 5

On this episode of Azeroth Choppers, both of Blizzard’s Alliance and Horde team are heading toward Paul’s JR Designs to have a look on the choppers !

Azeroth Choppers Episode 5 – Watch Now!

The time has come! This week on Azeroth Choppers, the Blizzard teams brave the cold and journey out to New York for a first look at the Horde and Alliance bikes.

Keep up to date on all of the latest episodes at www.AzerothChoppers.com, and let your faction’s war cry be heard with #AzerothChoppers.

 

[Artcraft] : Huntress of Teldrassil

In an older build of the Alpha of Warlords of Draenor, the new model of the female Night Elf was datamined before being said to be just a draft. Today Chris R. published a new Artcraft of the second version of the Night Elf.

 

fangsUPDATE : Chris Robinson posted on his twitter account during the night that female Night Elf will have fangs in theirs final version.

 

 

 

Artcraft—Huntress of Teldrassil

Hello, and welcome to Artcraft! I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director on World of Warcraft, and in today’s edition we’re going to give you a first look at the new female Night Elf model. As you probably know, we’re in the process of updating all of the original character models, along with the Draenei and Blood Elf, to improve their texture, polygon, and animation fidelity. Let’s get this going with some comments from Tyson Murphy, our lead character artist.

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Hi all—I’m Tyson, and on behalf of everyone on the art team, we’re excited to be able to give you a first look at our in-progress female Night Elf model.

This is a good opportunity to talk about the iterative process we go through with all of the art we create, especially with the updated player models. We don’t call anything truly “complete” until it’s in the game and fulfilling all of our (and your!) expectations. This means that when it comes to concept art, modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation, everything is always up for debate and change, and we’re rethinking and revising continuously. Creating these updated models is a huge team effort, and we’re constantly considering feedback and suggestions on what we can do better. We’ve committed ourselves to this process, and the female Night Elf provided a unique opportunity to put it into practice.

The female Night Elf was actually one of the first models we started, but as we began to develop our other character models, we also wound up refining the overall look we were going for with the models and our processes for creating them. Ultimately, we felt that in order to do the female Night Elf justice, we needed to revisit her model with fresh eyes and continue iterating based on what we’d learned from working on the other models. The Night Elves have such a distinct but subtle character, and we spent a lot of effort in trying to help that come through.

As with all of the updated character models, our goal is to keep everything the original model accomplished intact, while using the additional fidelity to realize characteristics that we weren’t able to fully represent with the lower polygon counts and texture resolutions. Overall, we’ve made her new model a little more defined, made some of her proportions a bit more realistic, and added a bit more muscle tone. We wanted to visually communicate that she is a fully capable warrior huntress, and small details like muscle definition help highlight that. We also put additional focus on her hands and fingernails, giving a very slight point to her nails to provide just a hint of a more feral nature.

Last but not least, the all-important Night Elf ears. In the original model, these were quite literally separate pieces of geometry effectively tacked onto the head of the Night Elf. In the new models, we’ve taken care to fully integrate the ears into the geometry, which leads to a far more natural and high-quality look.

I’ve asked Tamara Bakhlycheva, who also worked on the female Night Elf model, to add a few closing thoughts.

NightElfArtcraft03.jpg

Hi all, I’m Tamara from the World of Warcraft art team. Being able to work on the female Night Elf has been a great experience, and the team has put a lot of effort into preserving the iconic Night Elf look—beautiful, wild, and dangerous. I hope you’ll enjoy playing your new Night Elf as much as we’ve enjoyed creating her.

NightElfArtcraft02.jpg

Chris here again; thanks for reading, and we look forward to sharing more about the ongoing process of bringing the art of Warlords of Draenor—and beyond—to life. Thanks!

 

Azeroth Choppers Episode 4

Like every Thursday now, the new episode of Azeroth Choppers has been released !

Aze4

 

Time is against Paul JR’s crew and what better way to make it efficient ? By playing World of Warcraft of course ! With the help of the mighty Terran Gregory’s gnome healer, both team are heading to Stormstout Brewery and a little of Arena, can they complete the choppers in 4 weeks?

This week on Azeroth Choppers, we find Paul Jr.’s crew stressed over an upcoming visit with Team Horde and Team Alliance to go over their bikes so far. Luckily, a surprise from Blizzard HQ may provide the inspiration the teams need to get things rolling again.  

Keep up to date on all of the latest episodes at www.AzerothChoppers.com, and let your faction’s war cry be heard with #AzerothChoppers.

 

[Artcraft] The Spires of Arak

After quite some time, the new Artcraft with subject the Spires of Arak, one of the new zones of Warlords of Draenor has been published today.

Artcraft—The Spires of Arak

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Artcraft. I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director on World of Warcraft, and today our environment team is going to give you a look at one of the zones we’re creating for Warlords of Draenor, as well as share some insight into how we approach creating environment art. Take it away Gary!

Arrak_Landscape_Thumb.jpg

Hey, I’m Gary Platner, lead environment artist on World of Warcraft. I direct a team of artists who help create the world . . . of Warcraft. We shape the land; texture it; place the trees, rocks, and buildings; and design the “sets” where our quest team will later place the “actors.” Today we’re going to be showing you some of what’s going into the creation of the Spires of Arak. This location that would later become known as Terokkar Forest, but in Draenor-terms, this zone is the home of the regal, sinister, and flighted arakkoa.

One of the best parts about working on WoW for me is when we first start a new exterior zone. Creativity reigns, and almost anything goes—it’s real blue sky stuff. When we started working on Spires of Arak, we only had some basic ideas: tall rocky spires jutting out of a dense forest. So we got together to talk about what that might look like, and soon afterward, artist Jimmy Lo started making concepts.

Based on these concepts, we could tell right away that this zone was going to present some unique challenges. The biggest one was how we were going to build the large spiky rocks that would give the zone its distinctive look. We had two basic methods in mind to create those spires. Some of us thought that the best way would be to make most of the rocks as 3D props instead of using our terrain editor to sculpt the landscape into tall spires. 3D props have some distinct advantages, since building a prop allows for the creation of fully 3D objects of any shape, which gives us a lot of design freedom. The downside is they tend to be difficult to blend into the landscape in a natural-looking way (see the original Blade’s Edge Mountains in Outland). They’re also much more difficult to iterate on as design needs change. If instead we used our terrain editor to create the spires, that would allow us a lot of freedom to iterate on zone layout and design without needing to fidget with large pieces of premade geometry, with the potential downside of not being able to do the concept justice.

 

Our design team wanted to at least give the terrain editor option a chance, so they embarked on creating a proof of concept to see how well it could work. A lot of us contributed to the Spires of Arak, but ultimately Matt Sanders (exterior level designer) and Kelli Hoover (environment artist) were tasked with creating the zone. Kelli gathered resource material and started to do some paint-overs of our concepts in order to unify a distinctive new color palette. Meanwhile, Matt created the proof of concept in our editing tools in order to test ideas for creating large spiky rocks with the exterior terrain editor.

Kelli gathered a lot of reference pictures, paying special attention to color and mood. She then slightly recolored Jimmy’s concepts to model different times of day.

Spires_of_Arak_JimmyConcept1_Thumb.jpg Spires_of_Arak_JimmyConcept_edit_Thumb.jpg

Then Kelli moved on to testing texture ideas by creating rough and quick block-out textures, which aren’t intended to look final but help give us an idea of color and detail. We can paint these rough textures over the landscape and do various tests to help us see how they interact. We can also see how the textures change and distort as they are painted on steep mountain terrain.

Spires_of_Arak_Texture_test1_Large.jpgSpires_of_Arak_Texture_test2_Large.jpgSpires_of_Arak_Texture_test3_Large.jpg

As you can see here, Matt and Kelli experimented with different textures and geometry in an attempt to duplicate the concepts from Jimmy.

Kelli and Matt discovered that using a striated rock texture would actually work better than a simpler rock pattern, and the striations give the impression of upward movement. These linear texture shapes would also bend and stretch well over the exterior terrain creating a really unique look for the zone.

Once Matt and Kelli finalized their demo zone and we agreed that everything was heading in the right direction, the real work could begin. Now the whole zone could be completed using the style and techniques that worked in the small demo zone. They’d still have to work out the look for some of the smaller subzones, though, like dense forests, beaches, and a massive thorny bramble where the Shattered Hand orcs dwell.

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Last but not least, we’ve prepared a short video for you to demonstrate the various steps involved in creating the Spires of Arak. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to sharing more with you in the future!

[WoW Source ] Episode 3 : Warlords of Draenor PvP and Class Changes

Today, a new episode of WoW Source starring with  Ion Hazzikostas,  Kris Zierhut and  Brian Holinka has been uploaded, giving a lot of informations about the changes for Warlords of Draenor.

In the latest episode of WoW Source, Morgan Webb sits down with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut, and Senior Game Designer Brian Holinka to discuss the PvP and class updates coming in Warlords of Draenor. Viewers will also get a sneak peek at the new PvP zone Ashran and learn more about the return of Skirmishes.

 

New pictures from Warlords of Draenor on the Screenshot of the Day

Seems it’s time for another update for the World of Warcraft community website. From now on, the Screenshot of the Day will be updated with pictures from Warlords of Draenor, so keep an eye on it every days !

With development on World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor well underway, the Screenshot of the Day section on the World of Warcraft community site will now feature unique Warlords of Draenor images every day, showcasing a variety of new creatures, characters, and environments from the upcoming expansion. Be sure to stop by daily for the latest look at what’s waiting within Draenor.

 

[Artcraft] The Daughter of Argus

Lugìa: A few moments ago, Blizzard published another Artcraft about the revamp of the character models, and this time it is about the female Draenei (not a April Fool this time!), enjoy that space-goat !

Medievaldragon: I wish to point out to our visitors that this ArtCraft is only a sneak peek. The developer assigned to the development of the female draenei model hasn’t finished. Once the model is finished, it will be sent to the animators where the model will be tweaked for some time to add facial and body animations. Blizzard might have something more juicy to show at a later time.

female-draenei-warlords-of-draenor-1-thumb

Hello again! I’m Senior Art Director Chris Robinson, and today we wanted to give you a super quick look at our current progress with the new female Draenei.

After the April Fools’ joke we wanted to ensure you weren’t waiting too long to see where we’re at with her actual character model update. Keep in mind that she’s still in-progress, and doesn’t have any animation to pose her body or face.

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Animation is a big factor for the female Draenei specifically, so it’s important to keep it in mind when comparing the two. The original female Draenei has some fairly extreme posing that happens when she’s animated. If you were to see the static model of the original without any posing you’d see that it looks very similar to the new one. With her pose applied her shoulders stretch backward, her pelvis rotates forward, and her chin lowers—causing her head to angle downwards. The curvature in her lower back, and why the head shape looks slightly different, are also due to the new model not having the same posing applied yet. She also looks a lot taller! Ultimately all of those things will be addressed when we animate the new model, they just don’t take place until she’s rigged and sent on to the animation team.

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We hope you enjoyed this super quick look at where we’re at right now, and we’ll continuing sharing more in-progress art as we go forward. The next article in the Artcraft series we’re planning is a look at the creation of the Spires of Arak, a new zone coming in Warlords of Draenor. Thanks for stopping by!

Senior Character Artist Joe Keller did the majority of the work on this revamp, with direction from our Lead Character Artist Tyson Murphy (@tysmurph), and myself (@artofcgrobinson).

 

[Artcraft] New character model : The Male Tauren

This morning, a new Artcraft has been published on the official World of Warcraft community website, unlike the previous one that was a little April’s Fool, this one is legit and is about the creation of the male Tauren, with more details than previous Artcraft this one contain videos of the animation of the new model.

Artcraft—Running of the Bulls

Hey there everyone, I’m Steve Aguilar, lead animator for the World of Warcraft animation team. Today we’re showing off the male Tauren, and with some help from the rest of the animation team, we’re going to give you a look at the animation processes we use to bring this big guy to life.

Before we even started animating him, we already knew the Tauren was going to be a blast to work on based on all of the detail the character art team added.

As we begin applying animations, we’re extra careful not to stray too far from the original. It’s important to us to retain the essence of the original animations, because how a characters walk, move, and carry themselves help to define their personality. We use all of the original animations as a starting point, and then go through the process of cleaning them up and adding additional articulation. Let’s delve into what that process looks like.

 

The Re-Animator

Steve Aguilar


The normal “stand” animation is one of the most important animations because this is what you, the player, see the majority of the time. When you stop moving or walk up to an NPC, the stand is the key pose that is being used. A huge chunk of animations also rely on this pose so they can easily transition into and out of it.

When we import the original stand animation onto the new model, we then look to see if there are any weight shifts, odd rotations, or hitches that we need to fix. After we’ve cleaned up the pose, it goes through another sanity check to see if other animations will still be able to transition into and out of this new stand pose. If we happen to change the pose too much, it can cause a domino effect and possibly harm all the existing animations.Broken_Tauren.png

After touching up the pose, we move on to re-animating the standard idle motion. Slight changes on how muscles move, limbs are carried, or feet hit the ground can get across a better sense of weight for whatever creature it is we’re animating. Tweaking the male Tauren was a lot of fun because we were able to add a lot more weight than the previous model had and make the Tauren feel bigger and beefier. Another thing that stood out was the lack of motion on the nose ring, braids, and especially the face. With the addition of a facialrig, we were able to get his brows, nostrils, ears, and cheeks to react with his breathing motion. Getting these subtle motions to work added so much to the simple standing pose, I imagined the Tauren looking up at me and saying “thank you.”

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the old and new models.

Next up is Kevin to talk about the face rig and what that process entails.

Face Off

Kevin “Snap ‘n’ Point” Rucker


Since the facial animation system worked so well with the Pandaren in Mists of Pandaria, with the updated models we wanted to add the same life and emotion they deserved. In the past the character models only had a jaw bone that could be animated, but now we’re able to add movement to the brows, eyes, cheeks and mouth. We’re able to properly make them smile, look angry, and talk.

We start with a base mesh and add joints to specific spots that will allow us to mold the face. We then addinfluence, or “skin” the mesh to those joints and shape them into poses: jaw open, eyebrows down or furrowed, for example. We hook up those poses to main controls to make the process of animating the face faster and more cohesive between several animators. For instance, instead of having to move 9 individual joints to shape the eyebrows, we just need to touch 2 controls which include a sub-set of attributes for more detailed shaping. After that if we still need to tweak the poses, we can always go back to the original sub controls for additive fine tuning. 

Rig-Closeup.jpg

We also create a “face file” with several preset expressions the animators can use while working. It’s a lot faster than creating a new pose from scratch. If they need a sad or angry face, they can start from the preset ones, and then adjust from there to make it more unique.

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We also create several mouth shapes, or phonemes, for use in talking animations. Again, posing the face is time consuming, so having a jump start is extremely helpful. It also makes the character feel like it was animated by one person, when there’s actually a big group of us working on them at one time.

Mouth_shape_thumb.png

Body Movin’

Jeremy “Goonies never say die” Collins


On a certain level, how you move in the game is one of the most important things you experience as a player. It’s your main interaction with the world around you. For Warlords of Draenor, we wanted to improve the locomotion of WoW’s player characters with brand new rigs. These new rigs are capable of doing so much more in terms of fidelity of motion for our characters, and we wanted to showcase that as much as possible.DwarfMale_Run.jpg

Everyone who plays WoW is familiar with their character’s idle and run animations—those are the two you see the most. We wanted to really take a look at what made the old player model animations successful, and what made them so iconic. Our job was to then retain the spirit of the old animations, but clean them up so they would look epic on the new rigs. That proved to be a really fun task. Part of the joy of cleaning up an animation like the Dwarf male’s run is going back and seeing what the original animators were thinking about when they first worked on these characters. Some of these runs and walks were animated over 10 years ago!

The first thing we did when we cleaned up an animation was ask ourselves a series of questions. What are some of the areas that could use touching up? Does the center of gravity on the character feel skewed? Is the character leaning appropriately when moving in a direction? How can we shift the timing to give this animation a greater sense of weight?

All of our rigs are manipulated with the use of controllers. Controllers are curves that drive the joints the tech artists have placed that ultimately deform deform the model you see. When we open an older animation, we’re manipulating what is called “baked data.” Baked animations have keys on every attribute on every frame. In some cases, it’s necessary for us to delete some keys to make the animation curves easier to manipulate. Here’s what we see inside of Maya. Every one of those colored curves represents rotation or translation of that foot controller. 

Once we had identified what needed polishing we went straight into Maya and got to work. A popular method of cleaning up locomotion animations would be saving the contact poses, major breakdowns, deleting the in-betweens, and smoothing out the motion from there.

Emotes were also super fun to work on. We would often times shoot video footage of ourselves acting out emote animations for reference—and no you don’t get to see them. We’d then use that reference as a jumping off point for setting key frames in Maya.

 

Glass Case of Emotion: Part I

Carman“Boba Muscles” Cheung


For the majority of the character cleanup phase, the team focuses on three main things: cloth, hair and the face. Cloth includes a front and back tabard and a cape. Hair can be anything from a back ponytail, a front ponytail, pig tails, beards of varying sizes and shapes, or a combination of all of these. We also add facial animation, which adds a lot of character and life to the model. Occasionally, we will also fix minor posing issues or any errors, like jittering. 

All of our character animations are hand keyed, and not dynamically simulated within the game engine or created through motion capture. This allows us to have complete control in shaping the movement and style for each character, and it adds a unique life to the characters you can’t really get any other way.

 

Glass Case of Emotion: Part II

David “Coffee Corn” Edwards


My favorite part of the entire process is adding the facial expressions, or fixing up the timing or posing of a character. It is astounding how adding a simple facial expression can instantly bring a character to life. It’s always incredibly rewarding to take an old animation and see what even small changes can do to vastly improve it.

As a contrast, the most difficult part of the process, at least for me, is having to hold myself back from wanting to fix or adjust every little thing for every single animation. Due to the sheer volume of animations that exist for player characters, our goal of having updated models in time for Warlords of Draenor, and the need to animate all the new creatures and objects going into the expansion, we have to prioritize our time. We’ve broken the cleanup passes on character revamp animations up into phases. Phase 1 has all of the locomotion animations (walk, run, etc.) as well as all the emotes and spell casts. Phase 2 deals with the combat animations (attacks, stuns, etc.), and phase 3 is a catch-all for the remaining animations (swimming, fishing, etc.). Regardless of the phase, every animation is touched in some form or fashion, but phase 1 gets the most love since those are the animations are seen the most.

At the start of each animation we always focus on cleaning up the body first, since this motion drives all of the secondary animation. Below is a video showing the finished product after it has gone through the cleanup process. 

 

That’s All For Now

Steve Aguilar


Thanks for reading and letting the animation team share this part of their process with you. I hope we’re doing justice to one of your beloved characters, and that you can see the amount of love we’re applying to not only the male Tauren, but the animations for all of the characters in the game. Have a great day, and you stay classy WoW players!

Ask Creative Development—Round IV Answers

The one that is nicknamed as The Blue Shirt Guy, Loreology (my secret lover, but keep it as a secret, ok?), published the fourth round of the Ask Creative Development, questions for the one who don’t know are about story of the World of Warcraft franchise.

Lore

Salutations! The name’s Loreology, one part of the historian trifecta here at Blizzard Entertainment.

Even though I’ve met many of you amazing community members via Twitter
@Loreology I wanted to take a second to welcome all newcomers that I haven’t had the privilege to meet yet. Ish-ne-alo por-ah, friends!

Now then, let’s get down to brass tacks. Over the past few months, I’ve managed to pose a handful of your questions to our titans of Blizzard lore, and they have graciously taken time out of their action-packed schedules to answer them.

Please keep in mind that the for the most part, Twitter questions seen here are presented as they were submitted, with minimal corrections to address spelling, punctuation, and so on, except for readability.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy this round of “Ask CDev,” and please continue firing off your interesting inquiries my way. I’ll do what I can to ensure they’re answered via Twitter or recorded for future interrogation on the infamous list. I shall leave no question unrecorded!

So, without further ado, here’s what the CDev folks had to say regarding your questions.

For the lore!

—Loreology (a.k.a. Sean Copeland, “The Blue Shirt Guy”)

Questions & Answers

Adrián Šuchta @Mordenay: Back in WotLK, Trag Highmountain claimed he will attack ICC when the time comes. When the attack occurred he was not there. Reason?

CDev Response: Trag kept his word during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and joined the assault on Icecrown Citadel. However, this epic battle was fought on many fronts. While we heroes assaulted the citadel directly, Trag and a handful of death knights took the fight to Arthas on another battleground. These warriors were victorious, but rumors tell of how this fearless tauren took an arrow to the knee.

Bobby Vandenberg @Purpadude: Void creatures (Dimensius, particularly Voidwalkers, Darkened Naaru) are different than Demons. True or false?

CDev Response: True!

Emilio Martinetti @CEMOTucu: Was Harbinger Vurenn, in Valiance Keep, a member of the Hand of Argus?

CDev Response: Harbinger Vurenn is not affiliated with the Hand of Argus. In fact, having “official” ties to the order would be a hindrance for his area of expertise. Vurenn remains an extremely well-connected draenei whose contacts include vindicators (such as Yaala) of that very organization.

loopnotdefined @loopnotdefined: Can you ask if the “Five Suns” (Lorewalker Stonestep) encounter in Jade Temple dungeon is legit history or just myth?

CDev Response: Lorewalker Stonestep’s story of the “Five Suns” originated from a tragic tale of hardship. Legends tell of a horrific drought that ravaged Pandaria and its denizens. While the land has since recovered from that natural disaster, the facts gave way to a more fanciful tale that proved to be more interesting for the Lorewalkers to tell (and was better at grabbing the attention of bored cubs).

Jesse O’Connor @MisterJ_O: All Horde members make Blood Oath to Warchief. Why is Vol’jin’s blood oath more important than Garrosh’s with the player?

CDev Response: The oath that the Darkspear chieftain implores the heroes to make to him is a personal one. The Blood Oath of the Horde binds its warriors to the warchief, but more importantly, the oath binds them all together to the Horde. That is the Horde Vol’jin swore to follow. That is the Horde Vol’jin would have died to protect.

Those ideals perished when the assassin’s dagger was plunged into his neck. Vol’jin no longer recognized the legitimacy of Garrosh as warchief, and at the end of the “Dagger in the Dark” Scenario, he asks the players to do the same. Justice—both for himself and for his people—now demands action, and by the loa, his retribution will not be denied.

Nick Rainier Santos @Ujimasa_Hojo: Has Trade Prince Donais joined the Horde as well or is he just a guest of Trade Prince Gallywix?

CDev Response: Trade Prince Donais is the poster child of goblin enterprise. While his cartel adheres to strict neutrality policies in order to maximize profitability, this goblin isn’t above associating with anyone who can increase the volume of gold that rests in his personal coffers.

Nick Rainier Santos @Ujimasa_Hojo: What is the current allegiance of Shadowforge City?

CDev Response: The home of the Dark Iron dwarves is currently in flux. Their leader, Moira Thaurissan, is preoccupied with maintaining the alliance with her former enemies. She hasn’t had the chance to ensure the security of her son’s future kingdom, as her “allies” on the Council of Three Hammers relentlessly seek out any signs of treachery.

It’s highly likely that Shadowforge City will rise again and reclaim its former glory . . . when Moira has a single moment to spare.

Nazja @Trike_Stealer: @Loreology Goblins already existed pre-Sundering, are there no archeology objects for them since they destroy everything, leaving no traces?

CDev Response: Goblin settlements and the devices within are notoriously unstable, and goblins aren’t really known to preserve their obsolete (read: nonfunctional) machines. Most of their archaeological remains are blackened craters filled with shredded scrap, not of interest to modern explorers.

In fact, goblins are quite fond of pawning off their “historical devices” to any sucker—ahem, person—willing to sign a contract and part with some gold coins to obtain their very own technological marvel. For this reason, if a goblin offers to sell you a “historical artifact,” you’d better pass. They’ve been scamming unsuspecting archaeologists with scrap metal and banana slicers for years.

Zazuli of Sen’jin @Akharr: What’s Azuregos been up to since he and Kalec left Azshara?

CDev Response: As the blue dragon said himself, “Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the throes of love and lose sight of things, even as a dragon.”

Because the star-crossed lover was unable to prevent Kalecgos from becoming the next Aspect of the blue dragonflight, we suspect we’ll find Azuregos deep in the throes of yet another impossible romance. Sorry, Anara. It’s not you; it’s him.

Jay H @Mutterscrawl: Can you put an end to the debate about the Shatterspear troll tribe, are there any left after Darkshore or not?

CDev Response: The death of their chieftain was the final chapter in Shatterspear tribal history. As their former leader fell to the might of the Alliance heroes, the remnants of the tribe escaped retribution and went their separate ways. Some of these refugees found shelter within the Horde, while others joined various organizations.

Adrián Šuchta @Mordenay: Hi, some questions here: Will we ever learn what happened with Raac (Sunwell) and Castillian (Ashbringer)?

CDev Response: We certainly have not seen the last of Castillian. However, the same does not hold true for Raac. This little one always desired to stay with Anveena, but fate deemed otherwise. After Anveena sacrificed herself to aid in the downfall of Kil’jaeden, Raac vanished without a trace. One can hope that the two friends have been reunited, wherever they may be.

Emilio Martinetti @CEMOTucu: What is the original Naaru name of the ship the orcs named Oshu’gun?

CDev Response: The name of this ancient vessel was once spoken only in hushed whispers amongst the draenei. It was a bitter reminder of the near genocide their race endured from orcish hands.

Now that time has begun to heal these grievous wounds, the draenei speak of the Genedar more openly amongst their allies.

Marcus Alice @MarcusAlice: So… Terenas Tomb in Lordaeron. Who built that? Was it the Forsaken, or the Silver Hand? :3

CDev Response: The tomb of King Terenas Menethil II was not built by Lordaeron’s current residents or the Silver Hand; the tomb was crafted by the ruined city’s former citizens. Great were the deeds of Lordaeron’s last true king, and his people risked everything to ensure that his memory would not be forgotten.

Mels @PurpleArrows: @Loreology Can I ask what the general opinion of DKs and Highborne are in night elf society? Is xenophobia still part of their culture?

CDev Response: We cannot speak for every night elf on this topic, but it is safe to assume that the night elves abhor the death knights. Their very existence is unnatural, which goes against everything kaldorei culture stands for.

As for the Highborne, these elves now must reap the consequences of their actions. Their crimes—during the War of the Ancients and their subsequent refusal to cease using arcane magic—cannot be atoned for overnight. Despite the fact that official talks to accept them back into the fold are under way, the co-leaders of the kaldorei expect many years to pass before the Highborne are truly assimilated into society.

R west @mrnerdzesq: Does Tyrande still hold enough authority over Malfurion to revert to being sole leader?

CDev Response: I’m afraid not. (Imagine that dinner conversation!) Darnassus is officially co-ruled by Malfurion and Tyrande, united with each other and with their people. A key thing to keep in mind is how their union allows them to work in tandem. These two leaders are focused on different aspects of governing their people, and this new method of governance truly suits them and the kaldorei nation as a whole.

Nathaniel Woods @Azekiel: Do half-dwarves (i.e. human and dwarven parentage) exist?

CDev Response: There are currently no half-dwarves in the lore, but anything is possible with magic!

Rui Martins @Ashendant: Is Nymph in Frost Nymph and Forest Nymph an interchangeable term with Dryad in Frost Dryad and Forest Dryad? (Does Nymph=Dryad?)

CDev Response: The term nymph is indeed interchangeable with dryad. However, there are unique characteristics affiliated with each term. To be specific, the term dryad refers to the forest entities that are a formal part of the “Cenarion family.” Nymphs, on the other hand, are considered to be a wilder variation.

SparkysShocker @SparkysShocker: In lore do Warriors have an organization/guild that they group under. Like the Argent Crusade or Ravenholdt?

CDev Response: The warriors of Warcraft lore are typically associated with the armies they have pledged their weapons to, while our warrior heroes (read: the players) are “lone wolves.” Someday these fearless combatants might unite under a single banner and form the world’s first warrior union, but that remains to be seen.

The Chadster @killermonkey78: Can worgen reproduce naturally or only through a bite or blood? Would their child be a worgen or normal?

CDev Response: The worgen curse is exactly that: a curse. Its origins are rooted in the druidic “pack form” that was later altered by the Scythe of Elune. The end result is the worgen we see today, beings that can transmit their affliction to others via a single bite.

In theory, if two worgen were to mate and produce an offspring, that offspring would not be a worgen. The child would merely possess the genetic material of his or her parents, like any other child sans the curse.

Verroak Krasha @Arakkoa: Here’s a good one: is “Kvaldir” the name for all sea vrykul, or just one of their clans besides Skadir?

CDev Response: Long ago, tribes of vrykul were scattered across ancient northern Kalimdor. One tribe in particular struggled against a terrible malaise that ravaged its people.

Combatting this affliction, this “curse of flesh,” all but consumed the tribe. After exhausting all natural attempts, the tribe sought the aid of its priestesses. These women plumbed the world of spirits for answers, but they found only a malevolent entity lying in wait.

Their ritual went horribly wrong, as the entity further corrupted those that sought freedom from their curse. These eternally vengeful beings would later be called the Kvaldir.

Micky Neilson @MickyNeilson: Can you describe the difference between teleportation and portal creation?

CDev Response: Good question, Mr. New York Times Bestselling Author! In the Warcraft universe, there is an instability, and those skilled in arcane magic have learned how to exploit that instability. A comical example of this can be seen via the polymorph spell, which allows magi to turn the most bloodthirsty of foes into harmless creatures, when the spellcasters put their minds to the task.

In the case of teleportation and portal creation, magi apply their knowledge of the arcane to bend the very fabric of reality so that the distance between two points is nonexistent. I could dedicate entire tomes to explaining the process in detail, but I’ll just put it this way: portal creation is an external effort to eliminate the distance between two points, whereas teleportation is an internal effort that transforms the mage into the portal itself.

It is important to note that fledgling magi are routinely cautioned against teleporting and creating portals in rapid succession. The destruction of Draenor (now known as Outland) stands as the most effective cautionary tale for these new students.

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