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Below is a list of Article headlines from WOW Insider. This are used on our main page and updated daily. Each article contains links back to WOWinsider, which allow you to view the whole article


No new character slots for Wrath of the Lich King, says Bornakk - Mon, 19 May 2008 20:00:00 EST

If you're planning to make a Death Knight on your favorite server, and you're an altoholic (I myself am guilty on both counts), you've probably already thought about your delimma, and Bornakk drove home the point today: There are still no plans to make extra character slot for WoTLK. Just like the problem you may have had deciding what characters to delete to make your Draenei or Blood Elf, you'll have to make the same decision again.

I suppose it's understandable. I'm sure it would be a rather large jump in server storage space needed to give everyone a massive amount of extra characters. Still, It's going to be tough for a lot of people to delete or transfer a character so they can play their new Death Knight with their friends, I imagine.

Bornakk does point out that at least, with the level 55 creation level, you can start the Death Knight on a seperate server and get a feel for it before deciding if you want to delete or transfer a character on your main server. Still, I know that half the fun for me is getting a good name reserved for my character, so I've personally already deleted a lowbie Draenei Paladin from my main server in order to create a placeholder character with my chosen name.

[Thanks for the forward, Kevin!]

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WoW Rookie: Mount up! - Mon, 19 May 2008 19:00:00 EST

WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know

In the World of Warcraft, 40 is a magic number. Once you hit this level you get access to a 31 point talent, which usually does some pretty nifty things for your class. You really start specializing into your role as a healer, tank or DPS character. The best part about 40 is getting your fancy new mount. Once you get used to traveling the world on you pony (wolf, nightsaber, raptor, ram, etc) it can be really hard to go back to hoofing it on foot.

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Bornakk on arena ratings changes - Mon, 19 May 2008 18:00:00 EST

Apparently there's been some confusion over the exact way that the new arena ratings changes work. Bornakk tried to clarify that a bit today.

As he tells it, The adjustment to a team rating will always be based on the other team's team rating, but the adjustment to the personal rating of everyone in the match will be based on the average person rating for the other team. He used the following example:

Continue reading Bornakk on arena ratings changes

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Mourning for China - Mon, 19 May 2008 17:00:00 EST

Apparently it's natural disaster season in Asia. The massive cyclone that hit Burma () on May 3 has taken an estimated 78,000 lives with an additional 56,000 missing. Last week (May 12) an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale shook parts of china. The death toll for that quake has reached 34,000 with the body count expected to rise. Many of the quake victims have been children, as least 6 schools collapsed while classes were in session. It will take weeks, months, or even years to sort out the amount of damage caused by these events.

The Chinese government has declared a mourning period for three days for those injured, missing, and passed. This includes the closing of movie theaters, web portals and television stations. The9, who services World of Warcraft in is participating in the blackout as is Shanda Interactive Entertainment, host of the World of Legend game.

If you are helping out, there are a number of charitable organizations taking donations to assist in providing relief to victims in Asia. Studies show that making donations to such organizations actually help to boost your own mood in addition to helping those who are in need.

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Gamers on the Street: How heroic do you gotta be to do a heroic? - Mon, 19 May 2008 16:00:00 EST

Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.

When I popped onto the Thrall realm recently to visit with players for Gamers on the Street, I had intended to talk to players about how the Wrath of the Lich King will offer the same instances in both 10-man and 25-man sizes. But as message after message from players seeking heroic groups or group members scrolled through my chat window - none of them stating "no blues" up front, which players list right up in your face on the realms where I play - I knew I needed to follow up. Do players on Thrall simply assume heroic players possess a certain level of gear? Do they plan to carry weaker players? Does the heroic community only group with others they know? I flipped back to WoW Insider for recent insights and found tips for beginners to heroics and pointers toward the easiest heroics, but nothing that offers players ideas on how to actually get into a heroic group.

So Gamers on the Street hit the street to investigate.

Continue reading Gamers on the Street: How heroic do you gotta be to do a heroic?

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Azeroth Security Advisor: WoW is watching you, part 2 - Mon, 19 May 2008 15:00:00 EST

Every week, computer security expert Jon Eldridge is your Azeroth Security Advisor. He will delve into the darkest reaches of computer security rumor and bring the facts back home even if they're wriggling at the end of a pike. His goal is to provide useful information to gamers who don't think about security much and flame fodder for those self appointed experts who need to rationalize the cost of their expensive certifications. Like any good security force he's a mercenary at heart and is happy to take subject requests from the user community that he serves. So feel free to leave a comment below or just sit back and enjoy the show.

Welcome back to the Azeroth Security Advisor. Last week I discussed two of the three ways Blizzard keeps an eye on your computer. This week I'll cover the controversial Warden program whose discovery in Oct 2005 by Greg Hoglund caused a great deal of outrage and confusion not unlike accidentally joining a pickup group full of rogues. Reactions have been so strong that some trolls dwelling in their parents basements are still alternately posting "OMFG BLIZ HACKZ CALL COPS!!!" or "U SIGNED EULA SO STFU N00B!!!!!" depending on which of their medications are kicking in at the time. Most people forgot to care one way or the other within a few weeks and went back to life as usual. Lucky for Blizzard apathy is the universal solvent for organized resistance otherwise they might be facing a class action lawsuit by now.

The Warden's core mission is to continuously audit your PC for suspicious activity while you play. First it reads all the DLL's loaded into the WoW process space, which is a perfectly legitimate activity any way you slice it. After that, the Warden ditches its friendly park ranger hat for a ski mask and takes a look around the rest of your PC. It reads the text in the title bar of every window you have open including that really embarrassing Furry fan site you don't want your friends to know about. Yes Nekudotayim, Bliz knows about your pr0nz.! The Warden then creates a hash code (think fingerprint) of each window title and compares the results to a list of "banning hashes" for potential matches and subsequent divine retribution.

Continue reading Azeroth Security Advisor: WoW is watching you, part 2

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"Maximizing" reputation gains - Mon, 19 May 2008 13:45:00 EST

My Blood Elf Paladin is level 63 now, and I'm currently after Sporeggar reputation, in hot pursuit of that greatest of Protadin prizes, the Petrified Lichen Guard. Of course, when I started, the first thing I did was go buy a few Bog Lord Tendrils, planning to turn them in until I jumped out of unfriendly. It was the most efficient way to get that faction jump, so I considered the silver money well spent. With friendly under my belt, I can safe turn in a load of Mature Spore Sacs and Glowcaps (I took the quests before I turned in the Tendrils, so I can still turn them in despite being friendly).

Continue reading "Maximizing" reputation gains

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WoW Moviewatch: Beach Party 2 - Mon, 19 May 2008 12:10:00 EST

Before Snacky's Journal, there was Beach Party 2. When an orc moves to a new town, he never thinks he'll have fun -- until he ends up on the beach. Soon he's making friends, surfing, partying, and even finding romance.

Dating back to November 2006, it's a throwback to the silly beach-themed films of the 60s, typically starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Jun Falkenstein, of Stone Falcon Productions, did an amazing job of capturing the essence of those movies. In fact, Blizzard and Xfire awarded her 2nd prize in the Short Feature category of the 2006 Summer movie contest!


If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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Officers' Quarters: Jerk message of the day - Mon, 19 May 2008 11:00:00 EST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I've spent the past six weeks talking about raiding, so I think it's time to get away from the topic and talk about something less drama-ridden, like the guild message of the day feature. What could be more straightforward and less controversial, right? Well, as this week's e-mail reminds us, no part of leading a guild is completely free of incident.

Would rather not name the guild but it's on Bronzebeard EU. Only the Guildmasters (of which there are 10) can set the message of the day. Despite this security, an offensive homophobic message of the day appeared one day. I'm afraid I didn't see it as I wasn't online while it was up, but when another Guildmaster saw it, it was immediately removed. No one owned up to it and no one could think who would do it, so one Guildmaster (a friend of mine in real life) logged a complaint with Blizzard to try and find out who set this message.

Continue reading Officers' Quarters: Jerk message of the day

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Around Azeroth: Rules lawyer, rules - Mon, 19 May 2008 10:00:00 EST

Okay, I'll level with you -- this is not an Around Azeroth. This is a picture I made for someone special.

You see, today's my dad's sixtieth birthday. He didn't want us to get him anything. But I wanted to do something for him, even though he's a thousand miles away. So I made him into a tauren. He's all dressed up to defend a client in court, but is also ready to go fishing afterwards. The club with a nail in it represents the fact that you can't get a fishing pole until level 5, so I figured he could use a more primitive form of fly-fishing until then.

My dad was born in a small town in eastern Wisconsin, and was the first person in his family to go to college. He served in the military before going to law school. He's spent most of his life defending people, rich, poor, guilty or innocent. Even if they were guilty, he would say, his job was important, because even guilty people need a good lawyer to keep the system fair and honest. He's been married for over thirty years, raised two daughters, and has traveled everywhere from Argentina to Italy. He also owns a bottle opener with the pope's head on top, which he refers to as the Popener and never fails to bring out at family gatherings.

But what does this have to do with WoW? Well, my dad is the whole reason I'm writing here today. When I was seven, he bought an original Nintendo, ostensibly for the kids but really for him. We used to play Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy together, with him doing the controller and me "advising" him on where to go next. We even played that horrible game Shadowgate that always ended with a description of your gory death. My dad got me into gaming, and thus is responsible for every article I've written here for the past year and a half. Considering that, one paragraph of reading about his life isn't too much to ask.

Happy birthday, Dad.

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Ask WoW Insider: Making friends on a new server - Mon, 19 May 2008 09:00:00 EST

Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Matt writes in:

Good afternoon to all the staff at Wow Insider. My name is Matt, early 20's, and am having a problem making new friends on a new server.

I recently Paid Character Transfer'd to Xavius EU from Balnazzar EU, and as they were looking for a hunter for Black Temple I was recruited to a guild without an application. Although this goes against popular opinion from a few of the people on my old server, I believe that creating an application provides a formal introduction of both yourself as a character and a person. I went from raid leading and being an important member of a T5 clearing guild to a new recruit and trial member in a T6 almost-cleared guild. The step down has been difficult for me to take, and the feeling of not being able to make decisions has shell-shocked me a little bit.

My issue is, how does one go about creating new friendships and relationships on a completely new server and with a guild that contains no-one you know? Balnazzar had a thriving IRC channel, shared in-game chat channel between members of varying guilds, and a fantastic Wow Europe realm forum - Xavius doesn't seem to have any of these: the IRC channel is unfriendly and quiet, no shared channel and the realm forum is full of useless troll posts. The guild seem to forget that I've pretty much got no-one to speak to on the new server, and I've spent more time on my other two 70's on Balnazzar than my hunter. Raids are fantastic, and I know that if I was accepted into the more social aspect of the guild I'd enjoy it a lot more than I currently am, but if the situation doesn't change I will probably look elsewhere, which is a shame because the new guild is a really solid, well structured and mostly friendly place to be.

70 Draenei Hunter
<Destiny Awaits>

70 Draenei Paladin
70 Gnome Mage
<International Chaos>

Continue reading Ask WoW Insider: Making friends on a new server

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Breakfast Topic: Your first step toward Azeroth - Mon, 19 May 2008 08:00:00 EST
Matthew Rossi wrote this weeks RP column as David Bower takes a short break. I'm not an roleplayer myself, but the first paragraph caught my eye. To establish his RP credentials, Matthew linked to the old Erol Otus art of the original Dungeons and Dragons printed rule books.

Looking at those reminded me of when I was but a wee lad playing the game with my friends. It was my introduction to the world of tabletop roleplaying games. But even before all that, my first true introduction to fantastic world was (big surprise), a copy of 'The Hobbit' my uncle gave me for my 11th birthday. It opened my eyes to fantasy novels which led to my interest in D&D and eventually computer games and World of Warcraft.

What was the first spark in your life that led you to playing WoW today?

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The brilliance of Brilliant Glass - Sun, 18 May 2008 20:00:00 EST
Patch 2.4.2 just threw the gem market in for a loop. Because Brilliant Glass now has a chance of giving an epic gem, the reagents required for the Jewelcrafting ability became scarce and prices shot through the roof. Uncommon gems which used to rot in players' banks or languish on the Auction Houses started disappearing into the hands of Jewelcrafters and cunning businessmen (sometimes both). Blood Garnets, as nice as they are, never sold for more than 1 Gold apiece, even after Brilliant Glass was introduced. Nowadays, on our server, they're about 10 Gold a pop.

And why not? It's almost impossible to catch it on the Auction Houses now since it's pretty much an instant sale. Even prospecting has gotten some love because even destroying Fel Iron Ore has become useful for a chance to get some uncommon (and sometimes rare) gems. The chain reaction of profit continues as Jewelcrafters prospect, get uncommon gems, create Brilliant Glass, and sometimes luck out on an epic gem. The irony is, with most servers now having the alchemy lab on the Isle of Quel'danas now open for business, epic gems are starting to find their way into the market, driving prices down.

Crimson Spinels, which many guilds rarely put on sale, used to run as high as 800 to 1,000 Gold on our server. Now they have become among the most commonly bought (for badges) and sold (on the AH) gems, averaging about 300 to 400 Gold. Uncommon gems are now bought as a reagent for Brilliant Glass and almost never cut, driving prices up; while epic gems are becoming more and more available, driving prices down. If you're a Jewelcrafter, don't pass up on the chance to Brilliant Glass every 20 hours! It's a crazy time for Jewelcrafting, but it's never been more fun... or profitable.

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Deep Breath Syndrome and related ailments - Sun, 18 May 2008 19:00:00 EST

Since time began, chants of "Onyxia Deep Breaths more" have been heard throughout the land announcing the arrival of new WoW patches. Sure, bugs have come and gone, but Onyxia's Deep Breath has never Deep Breathed more. Really. Deep Breath is fine. I promise.

Burning Crusade has spread this phenomenon to other bosses, too. In Karazhan alone, the Prince, the Maiden of Virtue, and Nielas Aran seemingly cast whatever it is they cast more frequently. Infernals, Holy Fire, Flame Wreath, the whole shebang. In general, this crops up for encounters that have an element of randomness. Malchezar's infernals can drop wherever they'd like. Safe spots are only safe until the randomness of the encounter decides to be random. In the case of Deep Breath, it simply occurs for your raid more often because you didn't take the proper steps to prevent it.

I actually think it's sort of fun to see so many people complain about these things with every patch because it's a good sign of the encounters actually working as intended. I just wonder how many encounters this has applied to over the years. Onyxia is most famous for it, but how far does Deep Breath Syndrome reach?

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Peacekeepers who don't keep the peace - Sun, 18 May 2008 18:00:00 EST

A couple of people have posted about the Shattered Sun Peacekeepers slacking off on their jobs lately, quite possibly thanks to something Blizzard fed them in Patch 2.4.2. In their reports, they complain about Peacekeepers attacking them for no reason, sometimes not even in retaliation for attacking (or defending yourself against) a member of the opposing faction. I can actually empathize with this as I encountered the ill-placed wrath of the Peacekeepers myself when I rezzed my wife's toon in front of the Staging Area. Without having done anything other than rezz, the Peacekeepers promptly charged and made short work of me.

In my experience, I have found that the Peacekeepers around the Shattered Sun Staging Area have been slacking off. In fact, my wife's toon was ganked right in front of the building and the so-called Peacekeepers did absolutely nothing. Sensing a bug, my wife wrote a ticket and got a somewhat rude e-mail response saying that -- you guessed it -- it was working as intended. An Alliance guild on my server seemed to be aware of the fact and exploited it to full effect, killing solo players who could seek no refuge under the apathetic -- or even hostile -- Peacekeepers.

According to reports, it's a known bug -- one player even made a video to document it -- but so far Blizzard has turned a blind eye to it. I got a more sympathetic response from my GM who at least mentioned he'd look into the situation. An in-game GM even reset the Peacekeepers in order to see if it would change anything (it didn't). I don't mind gankage... it's part of being on a PvP server. But when an area is supposedly a sanctuary, you don't expect to go through the hassle of a fight. Even worse, you shouldn't have the Peacekeepers tossing your butt around when you're being peaceful yourself. If things keep going the way they are, The Shattered Sun Offensive should probably downsize or hire some more useful temps.

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WoW as a bargaining chip - Sun, 18 May 2008 17:00:00 EST

My wife is a shrewd little fox. She knows just how much I love the fact that she plays the game with me so sometimes, when we have our little domestic arguments, she makes sure to cancel her WoW account just to drive home a point. Of course, it doesn't mean much since we're both paid up for the next few months, but the message is clear -- "we make up (or you see things my way) or I'm quitting the game!" Of course, we don't reconcile merely because I'll be losing my favorite playing partner, but I have to confess that it doesn't make me happy one bit.

For parents, World of Warcraft can be a useful bargaining chip for their kids with the parental controls feature. It's easy enough to control WoW time if kids aren't doing their homework, floundering in school, or simply not doing their chores. Conversely, a friend of mine gave his son a WoW subscription when he did well in school. World of Warcraft can be so much fun and addicting that it's often used as a social tool, and it's often upsetting when our friends quit playing the game. How many of us have had friends whose significant others have "allowed" them to play the game after, say, a wonderful date?

I'm not sure if it only applies to me, but because I play the game with many of my RL friends and my family, I use the lure of WoW to full effect. I once had my brother do a specific task for the promise of an upgrade to The Burning Crusade. A little before he finished what I asked him to do, I secretly upgraded his account so he could finally make his Blood Elf Priest. Kind of manipulative, I know, but we did end up having a lot of fun leveling our alts together. How about you? How much a part of your life is WoW and has it ever been used as a bargaining chip in your social life?

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Is Karazhan no longer for entry level raiders? - Sun, 18 May 2008 16:00:00 EST

We ran Karazhan the other day and for the first time in a long time we didn't clear it in one run and took almost four hours only to call it at Prince. Only about half of our regular group could make it that day and we were forced to PuG the rest, even filling the last spot with a player who had never done Karazhan before. Our raid leader and tank grumbled throughout the entire run, sending me tells of wanting to kick people from the group. In the end, we conspired to end our misery by acceding to a couple of attempts at Prince but no more.

For the past weeks, we had been doing 2 1/2 hour Karazhan for badges, and for the most part we made sure that our raid members were equipped in Tier 4-5 or better. We'd turbo pull to bosses with a Paladin tank and Disenchanted nearly every drop because, really, no one needed anything from there. We ran it for badges and wanted to breeze through the instance as quickly as possible. We would wince if we brought someone who wasn't familiar with the strats or had more than a few blues.

Continue reading Is Karazhan no longer for entry level raiders?

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All The World's A Stage: RP on a non-RP server - Sun, 18 May 2008 15:00:00 EST

No David this week, I'm sorry to report. No, you're stuck with me. Before we get rolling, I'll establish my 'cred', so to speak. I started playing Dungeons and Dragons in 1981, when I was ten years old. You can scroll down the page at the Acaeum till you hit the eight edition: that's the set my mom bought for me at a local department store. To this day I still remember the Erol Otus cover. From there, it's been a long, rambling flirtation with the genre, from AD&D to the Hero System (Champions mostly) to Steve Jackson's GURPS to the various FASA offerings (mostly Mechwarrior and Shadowrun, I liked Earthdawn but no one else wanted to play it) to Chaosium's Pendragon and Call of Cthulhu lines (and Stormbringer, the Elric RPG) to the present day, with d20 system games like Mutants and Masterminds and Arcana Evolved ans well asWhite Wolf's Exalted setting being in my current pile.

As a result, when I first got into World of Warcraft, I was under the impression that you were expected to role play your character. My poor human paladin (who I had decided had been sent to the order as a child because his parents didn't particularly care to feed yet another mouth after the war, and who was frankly too slow to grasp book learning to make a good priest) quickly learned that any attempt to discuss epic adventure, make comments about how boring life at the Abbey had been, or even treat kobolds as anything other than copper shedding piñatas to be beaten until the glittering candy came out would be treated with extreme derision. I didn't know about things like roleplaying servers back then.

Continue reading All The World's A Stage: RP on a non-RP server

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The Art of War(craft): Choosing PvP targets part I - Sun, 18 May 2008 14:00:00 EST

My wife's Holy Priest got ganked on the Throne of Kil'jaeden the other day by a full Season 3 MS Warrior. She grouped with a Shadow Priest who was questing in the area and had also fallen victim to the bloodthirsty Human. They got ganked a couple more times while I took my Shaman over to lend them a hand. We managed to take down the ganker several times but not before he almost killed the poorly-geared Shadow Priest. Every time that the Warrior would rezz, he would immediately Charge the Shadow Priest and proceed to Mortal Strike him to within an inch of his life, despite getting heals from my wife's Holy Priest and my Restoration Shaman.

After several more tries, the Warrior mounted up and proceeded to taunt me away from the group, the only one he hadn't yet ganked, but I simply brushed him off with a /bored emote. My wife wondered why the Warrior kept on going for the Shadow Priest instead of herself. It only made sense, I replied, pointing out that the Shadow Priest was the most logical target considering he was undergeared. My wife countered that she wasn't equipped in PvP gear, either, but I reasoned that since he'd killed her once, he knows she's not specced Discipline because he's seen Spirit of Redemption pop up. That meant no Pain Suppression, and that there's no way she could heal through his damage.

One of the most crucial skills in PvP is choosing the right target, and encounters, matches, are won and lost through choosing the right target. This necessitates a full understanding of the limitations of one's own class, a moderate knowledge of other classes, a familiarity with gear, and an awareness of one's surroundings. It's rapid threat assessment and measured response. Almost every encounter will be different, even with the same players involved. Even with a lot of experience, choosing targets in PvP can still so often go wrong.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Choosing PvP targets part I

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Answers from a Lore Nerd part 1 - Sun, 18 May 2008 13:00:00 EST
Yesterday I posted Ask a Lore Nerd, in which I asked you, the readers, to ask me any lore questions you'd like. Your questions came, and I'm doing my best to answer! There were quite a lot of questions, many of them multi-part questions, so I haven't been able to get at all of your questions today. I picked ten comments, answered their questions, and I'll get to the rest of them as soon as possible! Don't be afraid to ask further questions. Keep them coming!

Milkingit asks:
Where do murlocs come from?

Answer: We don't know for sure, but there are many theories. Their appearance on land is supposedly a rather recent event, but it's likely that murlocs have been living on the ocean floor for many thousands of years, walking Azeroth even longer than Trolls. The Trolls have been believed to be the oldest sentient race on Azeroth, so if the murlocs came first, they're a very old race and we may never know their exact origin.

There are also a few theories on what has inspired murlocs to move inland. The naga taking over the ocean depths may have driven the murlocs inland. The murlocs may be in cahoots with the naga, and the infestation of the mainlands is a tactical move. The murlocs may also be being controlled by Neptulon or some other force, and are doing his/their bidding. We may learn more in Wrath of the Lich King, as the murlocs make a comeback there.

Continue reading Answers from a Lore Nerd part 1

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