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Archive for the ‘Orc’ Category

Every time I go to Draenor’s Shadowmoon Valley and see the talbuk herds galloping in what I’m sure was intended to be majestic splendor, I chuckle at the silliness of their flipping, flapping (not flowing) tails and think to myself that this should be a thing:

(Someone somewhere else on the internet — probably on DeviantArt — has almost certainly already done this with much more skill — but I haven’t gone looking for it.)

I can just imagine Dornaa or Salandria begging their Childrens’ Week patron, Oh please, please will you get one of those for me, please!

When I thought about drawing little girls playing with ponies, though, the two great pairs of sisters that Warlords introduced to us immediately came to mind.


Draka and her more reckless sister, Lokra, make a subtle foil to Durotan and his more reckless brother, Ga’nar, in the Frostfire Ridge storyline. Like Ga’nar, Lokra is headstrong and bloodthirsty, but she is also able to be reasonable and temperate. Where Durotan frowns at his brother, Draka is proud of her sister.


The way Yrel describes her older sister, Samaraa, it sounds to me like Samaraa was much older — perhaps even enough older to have been born on a previous world where the Draenei temporarily sheltered — and that their parents may have perished while Yrel was still a child.
I am a child of the ’80s, and I have fond memories of my mother teaching me to braid hair using the tails of my G1 My Little Ponies.

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When I made myself a list of all the possible Tauren followers so that I could keep track of which ones I’d gotten and know when I’d recruited them all, I discovered that Horde characters can recruit Tholo Whitehoof as a follower from the Inn. Though there are a handful of Human, two Draenei, and one Gnome followers available to Horde characters, there are no Night Elves. Even worse, Anren Shadowseeker isn’t even available to Alliance characters as a possible Night Elf follower. Poor Tholo! What happened to Anren?

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I haven’t heard anything about the progress of the Blizzard Watch Patreon coloring book, but in the meantime, From Draenor With Love has been providing its Patreons with occasional coloring pages to enjoy! Thank you, Stacey!❤


Rather than just coloring the characters as they are in the comic, I decided to do a palette swap. Wrathion turned into a red dragon… perhaps even Rhea’s last egg.

My printer was not printing black correctly when I first tried to print this coloring page. It just printed outlines of all the lines. After cleaning the print heads a few times, I got a better print. I kind of liked the look of the one that was just outlines, though, and I’d been having trouble deciding whether to color in marker or in crayon anyway…

The lineart for these pictures is by Stacey Landry. I just did the colors.

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picking cactus apples


A quiet domestic scene featuring my Orc Shaman and her mother — or my Orc Mage and her daughter. Although I kept my Orc Shaman around for a very long time for sentimental reasons, she didn’t survive my most recent fit of roster pruning.
The cactus apples quest in the Valley of Trials and the related prickly pears cooking quest in Orgrimmar inspire me to think of Durotar as being rather like southern Utah and Arizona.

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The semester having ended, I took a break from work during the first week of May to catch up on WoW. Specifically, I wanted to get my Tauren “one of each class” characters not just into their level 2 Garrisons, but also all the way through Frostfire Ridge. By the time I got to the last of those characters, I went into the system sound menu and turned the dialog slider all the way down to 0 so that I didn’t have to hear it anymore. I’d gotten so, so, so tired of Orcs. What is it that Taran Zhu says in the last of the Isle of Thunder scenarios? Ah, yes: “Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal.” That describes the escalation of the war between the Frostwolf clan and the Thunderlord clan pretty neatly, and after having played through Frostfire Ridge nine times*, I was utterly exhausted by Orcs and their bloodlust.

When I told BTH that I was so, so, so tired of Orcs, he responded, “Why are you still playing that game?”

BTH quit playing WoW himself several weeks ago; the raid time that had worked relatively well when we were in Atlantic Canada was not working very well now that we are in the Mountain West, and he wasn’t really enjoying Warlords raiding enough to want to look for another guild (possibly requiring a server transfer). He has always played WoW primarily to raid, so if he wasn’t going to be raiding, why play at all?

I… am not sure that I have a good answer to that question. Do I keep playing WoW just because I’ve gotten into the habit of using it to fill my idle time, and I don’t want to expend the effort to find something else, something better, to do with that time? That’s not a very satisfactory answer, even if it is an uncomfortably large fraction of it.

Being thus discomfited, I didn’t play much WoW for the next week. Instead, I read webcomics — catching up on ones I hadn’t read regularly for a few months and reading through the archives of a few ones I hadn’t read before — and reread the classic early detective novel The Moonstone (by Wilkie Collins).

Why are you still playing that game?

Syrco has been looking for a reason to log in.

BBB, in his characteristic way, answers with the things that keep him going.

The Godmother asks her audience, “if you’re tired of/angry at the game, why are you still playing it?”, in various forms, constantly. She is also continually asking herself “why am I still playing this game?” and exploring the various forms that answer takes.

When I think about the things I have enjoyed about WoW in the past, and why I’m not doing those things now, I inevitably get tangled up in either the Garrison or the Faction Divide… or both.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed exploring the stories of the World of Warcraft. Now, I’m tired of Orc-centric Horde stories… but I still prefer to play as a Tauren or a Sin’dorei. I’ve played mostly Horde for long enough that when I do play Alliance, the anti-Horde prejudices in the Alliance-side stories alienate me. I enjoyed the Legendary storyline in Mists, but when I found out what was involved with getting Garona for my Garrison, I decided that maybe I’d rather not continue following the Warlords Legendary storyline. When I think about going out with a low-level alt or perhaps back with a high-level alt to play through past-expansion storylines that I haven’t yet seen, I get tripped up by wanting to run through all my Draenor-level alts’ Garrison chores first… and then by the time I’m done with that, my limited playtime is gone.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Transmogrification, but with the LFR gear being uninspiring and the normal/heroic mode gear being out-of-reach** because I don’t want to PuG with the Group Finder, I’ve been lacking in Transmogrification inspiration for this expansion. Some of the crafted gear looks really nice — though the upgraded appearances are, of course, nicer than the Stage 1 appearance. When I’m looking at making crafted gear for Transmogrification instead of just equipping, though, I start thinking about making whole sets, and then the upgrade costs — 150 of the daily CD material, plus 30 of Sorcerous whatever, plus 15 Savage Blood just to upgrade one piece once — start becoming overwhelming. Even with — especially with! — Work Orders, I feel like I’d be spending all of my playtime doing nothing but Gathering. I also can’t bring myself to go farm old raids just on speculation or to make money; my inventory space is crowded enough already that I have to have a specific item or items from a specific raid that I want, for a specific planned Transmogrification kit, that I’m farming for. Even when I do want a specific item for specific set that I’m thinking about, again, tending all my Garrisons usually takes up all my limited playtime.

Time to take a few pages from The Godmother’s playbook, I think.

Taking a bit of a break from the game and thinking through my current feelings about it (in the form of this Bearwall) has been a good start.

Next, I need to find my own motivation to do something other than just routinely tending my Garrisons. I should also find a reason to be doing the daily profession CDs that’s better than “just in case I want this stuff later”.

So — I should design some Transmogrification kits that use Warlords crafted items — but not full Warlords crafted sets — so that I have specific items that I want to craft. I should prioritize leveling my two Alchemists to 100 and getting their Garrisons to Level 3 so that they can get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader***. I should also prioritize Follower missions that reward Primal Spirits so that I can trade those for Savage Blood. The upcoming Patch 6.2 changes to increase the amount of materials, including Sorcerous whatevers, generated by the daily profession CDs will definitely help this plan!

I should shake off the OCD tendencies that have been shackling me to my Garrisons. When I know that what I really want to do on a given evening is farm an old raid for a Transmogrification item, or go Fishing, or do Archaeology, or do Pet Battles, or quest in Draenor with one of my high-level alts, or quest elsewhere with one of my low-level alts, I should allow myself to just leave my Garrisons untended for that evening.

And then maybe I’ll get back to playing this game because it’s fun instead of just because it’s habit.

~*~*~

*Eight Tauren characters plus the Blood Elf Warlock

**Yes, my Followers do bring me normal mode raid gear, but because it is randomly generated and not from the loot table of any specific boss (unless there is a correlation between the various Follower raid missions and the loot tables of specific bosses that I haven’t been paying attention to), it isn’t really a reliable way to collect pieces for Transmogrification. Plus, more often than not (in my experience) it turns out to be a non-visible item such as a ring, necklace, or trinket.

***Or, perhaps, get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader when he’s in the Garrison of one of my battlenet friends?

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click on the images to see the full-size versions of these pictures

I began this project last summer, as a follow-up to my rather crudely-assembled racial height and build comparison.

At the time, however, the sexism-in-WoW discussion was going around again, and I felt that it would be rather gauche to post what is undeniably an objectified image: I have reduced my models to shapes to be studied.

I’d been meaning to complete it anyway, but somehow BTH always seemed to already be using the tablet to work on his comic whenever I wanted to work on it😛

With all the wonderful new model previews being released, I figured I’d better finish this up quick, even though some of the subtleties of the stances and the shapes will soon be out-of-date.

I had been thinking I’d do a further follow-up of close-up studies of the front and profile shapes of the faces, because I feel like I still don’t have a really good grasp on how to make some of the races different from my standard way of drawing human people. I’d like to do a companion set of “beach bums of Azeroth”, too, because I feel that I understand the male shapes even less than the female shapes. Maybe I should wait on that until all the new models come out in 6.0, though.

Speaking of the new models, I’ve liked all the ones we’ve seen glimpses of so far, and I look forward to seeing the Night Elf, the Troll, and especially the Tauren. The new female Orc makes me wish I hadn’t deleted my level 35 Orc Enhancement Shaman. I do hope the shaved head texturing makes it into the final model.

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I’ve often wondered what Outland looked like when it was a whole world — what the Black Temple looked like before it was Black, what Farahlon was like before it became Netherstorm, what Hellfire Peninsula and Shadowmoon Valley were like before they were blasted. The screenshots of a lush, vibrant Shadowmoon Valley and the glowing, jewel-like Temple of Karabor do not disappoint! The geography of Old Draenor aligns suitably well with Outland as we know it, though I’m still a little skeptical about Zangarmarsh having been a Mediterranean-like sea. It is a reasonable ecological transformation… only on a geologic timescale, rather than the human timescale there is between one Warcraft game and the next. If those massive mushrooms were originally underwater, they would have evolved to be supported by the water pressure, and thus they should have utterly collapsed when the water drained. Were the sporeloks really originally an underwater species? If so, how did they evade extinction following the ecological catastrophe? I suppose it all must have been a consequence of the same fel energy that transformed Draenei into Broken.

I wonder how the time-travel thing is going to work out for Draenei characters. Even the youngest of Draenei player characters will have been born on Draenor, for the Draenei have simply not been on Azeroth long enough for children born there grow up enough to leave home and go adventuring. A Draenei traveling to Draenor-of-the-Past could very well encounter her or himself. What would you do, when confronted with your doppelganger, someone who both is and is not you?

From a lore/story perspective, I initially had a quite a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around the concept of Warlords of Draenor. I struggled to understand how an expansion focused on preventing the history of Draenor from changing could possibly conclude with any sort of heroic, triumphant, positive outcome. As Effraeti plaintively asked,

If we go back, are we just supposed to watch Draenor work through its intended history? Do we have to see Shattrath fall? Do we have to watch the genocide of the Draenei? Do we have to witness the creation of the Broken Ones? Do we have to stand aside as the Orcs destroy Draenor all over again?

I’ve been reading a lot of Diana Wynne Jones lately. One of her favourite themes is parallel worlds. Warlords of Draenor made more sense to me if I thought of it as side-slipping into a parallel timeline, a parallel version of Old Draenor. Such a side-slip convolution has happened more than once already in Azeroth’s timeline, after all — when Krasus sent Rhonin, et al., back to the War of the Ancients, and when Nozdormu brought a small group of adventurers into the End Time of another Azeroth sacrificed to save ours.

And, indeed, now that we know a little more about the expansion, that seems to be exactly what is going on. Garrosh goes back in time with the help of an as-yet-unidentified accomplice and unites the orc clans into the Iron Horde, thus splitting off a parallel version of Old Draenor that will now continue down a divergent pantleg of the trousers of time (to borrow a metaphor from Terry Pratchett). Our goal is to help that Draenor achieve a better, brighter future than that of the Draenor of our own timeline.

Time to put on our tinfoil hats crinkle crinkle and consider what else this twisting of timelines might mean.

I haven’t seen any of the Visions of Time myself yet, but apparently they hint that Kairoz or even Nozdormu himself might be involved in something shady having to do with Garrosh’s fate at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. Suppose that Nozdormu is Garrosh’s accomplice, and goes off into that parallel timeline. Why might he do that?

Because knows how his life will end. As I already mentioned, at the end of Cataclysm, Nozdormu brought a group of adventurers forward in time to the achingly bleak and desolate End Time to defeat Murozond and release the binding that was preventing him from going backward in time to retrieve the Dragon Soul. By obtaining the Dragon Soul and using its power to defeat Deathwing, the Aspects and the mortal races of Azeroth together prevented Azeroth from falling to that awful fate. But if Azeroth was saved from the End Time, how were we able to visit it?

Because it wasn’t our Azeroth that died. It was/is/will be the Azeroth of the parallel timeline in which Garrosh redirects the orcish clans of Draenor and is thwarted from using them to invade Azeroth by our actions. (From what I’ve read, the Iron Horde isn’t intended to invade the Azeroth of that timeline, anyway — it is intended to come forward in time to crush and conquer the Azeroth that Garrosh just came from, our Azeroth.) The Bronze Dragonflight knows that an Azeroth never invaded by the orcs would not be strengthened by the orcs-versus-humans conflicts.

The Burning Legion could still attack that Azeroth using the Scourge as a tool, with some other being from some other unfortunate world as the first Lich King instead of Ner’zhul. When Deathwing rises from Deepholm in that timeline, the Aspects and mortal races could be too beleagured by the Scourge to effectively stop him from wasting the world. On that Azeroth, in the timeline where Draenor remains a whole and living world, the Aspects will fail in their charge and the Old Gods will succeed in bringing to pass their End Time.

Nozdormu knows that he must fall into shadow, become Murozond, create the Infinte Dragonflight. He knows that an Azeroth must die for our Azeroth to live. And so he chooses to aid Garrosh, because it is only by splitting the timelines that his future and what is now our past (the defeat of Deathwing) can come to pass.

The Draenor of “our” timeline must die so that “our” Azeroth can live. The Draenor of the parallel timeline must live so that the Azeroth of the parallel timeline can die… and “our” Azeroth can live.

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