Shamus Plays: WoW #12: Hogger!

By Shamus
on Jan 12, 2011
Filed under:
Column

splash_worgen.jpg

I was going to skip this quest, but the people demanded it.

People have pointed out in the comments at the Escapist that Gnolls are hyena-men, not pig-men. I had no idea. Quillboars are pig-men. Murlocs are fish-men. What are kobolds? Rat-men? Then there are those serpent / mermaid guys that hang out along the coast. Are they snake-men? Or snake-mermen? Are centaurs considered horse-men, or does something have to be bipedal before it can be considered a *-man hybrid? Tauren are clearly cow-men, but unlike other hybrids they are “human” sized. (Although, I guess it’s because cows are already pretty big.) Certainly Worgen are wolf-men, but they’re not a proper species, being the result of a curse. (Can worgen have babies? With humans? Or each other? And would the babies be humans or “pure” worgen? Actually, let’s not answer this, I don’t want to encourage the roleplayers in Goldshire.)

I’ll note that WoW doesn’t seem to have cat-people or fox-people yet, which seems like an obvious omission for a playable race. Maybe a few more spaceships will crash on Azeroth and we’ll get the full lineup of popular furry breeds.

I recently said:

Playing as Worgen Druid in #WoW. I’m a human that turns into a dog that rides a tiger and turns into a bear.

Not actually true, I haven’t scored the tiger mount yet. John Funk pointed out that it was a shame you couldn’t use Horde-side mounts, because then you could roll a roll a worgen hunter and be a wolf that rides a wolf and has a wolf companion.

They’ve recently added the archeologist profession to the game. I think they should add zoologist to the next expansion. That should keep people busy for a while.

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From the Archives:

  1. Sydney says:

    I’m an archaeologist, archaeologist!
    I know more about combat than an ethnomusicologist.
    Archaeologist. Archaeologist!
    Just ’til I see a thick-skinned monster.
    Then it’s miss, miss, miss.

    >_>
    <_<

  2. Ben says:

    There are cat-men!
    http://www.wowpedia.org/Tol%27vir

    I’m not aware of any fox-people… foxes themselves have only been in the game since cataclysm, and are now tamable by hunters.

    • lazlo says:

      I was going to say the same thing. Though I note that *some* Tol’Vir have wings, and some wear masks of what I *think* are dogs. So according to the lore as I understand it, one tribe of these cat bird dog men has allied with DeathWing in order to be cured of the curse of flesh and returned to their *stone* cat bird dog man form. My guess is that they’re hoping that, being stone, when they get thrown into the WoW designers’ species blender next time, maybe they’ll break it.

    • General Ghoul says:

      But there are not cat-girls because too many people tried to bring real physics into fantasy games, and God killed them all.

  3. tremor3258 says:

    Serpent-mermen are technically transfigured amphibious night elves called Naga.

    Basically, night elf genes contain a fifth base called ‘wild card’.

    • TheAngryMongoose says:

      They Nightelves were also the original Worgen.

      • Will says:

        There are actually two sources of Worgen: A specific Night Elf unleashed extraplanar Worgen from a dark, evil nasty dimension place with the Scythe of Elune, while that crazy warlock guy in that castle cursed a bunch of people in Gilneas and turned them into Worgen. So far i don’t think there has been any connection between the two different kinds, although i could be wrong there.

        • Jarenth says:

          Nerd Alert:

          I honestly can’t remember where I read this (sifting through a load of lore colums now), but the basic gist is that these two types of Worgen are one and the same.

          The whole thing started with a bunch of Night Elf druids who learned to shapeshift into what they call ‘pack form’, which is basically what Worgen look like. However, it turns out that the pack form is both addictive and hard to control, and the Night Elves who took on this form would stay in it for extended periods of time, and lose themselves to primal instincts and bloodlust. Eventually, the other druids banished these pack-form Elves to secluded places in the Emerald Dream, where they were sentenced to sleep until such a time that a cure for their conditions could be found. Then they sort of forgot, because there was a whole series of wars going on.

          It’s been hinted (again, mind the weasel words) that both the Scythe of Elune and the Book of Ur (the book used by Archmage Arugal) had the power to break into those sections of the Emerald Dream and call forth those sleeping pack-form Elves / Worgen.

          Also, the whole reason you can play a Worgen now is because the Night Elves finally re-figured out what the hell was going on, and devised a way to break the pack form’s hold over the shapeshiftees. This happens in the Worgen starting area, in fact: you learn the ability to freely shift between human and Worgen forms after talking to some visiting Night Elves.

          Nerd Alert Cancelled

          • kmc says:

            I’ve heard most of that before, too. I know you can do a questline in Ashenvale that tells you part of the story, and then it finishes up in Duskwood because the Scythe of Elune makes it in to the hands of the local Duskwood Defias when they take over that mine that’s just south outside of town. Somewhere in there, they all start becoming worgen, which is why Duskwood is so infested with the worgen but no where else is nearby. I always just figured that, somehow, Arugal investigated and got the Scythe of Elune for himself. (I try to do as many lore quest chains as I can, but I never did that much around Shadowfang Keep, so I missed out on the whole Book of Ur thing.)

            • Jeff #3 says:

              IIRC, the Scythe of Elune is not an acutal physcial scythe, but a term for the ‘Fang of Goldrin’ (Goldrin being the mythical wolf spirit that returns in Hyjal) It’s mentioned in a few journal entries on a quest, and it’s what’s in the bag on retrieving in Gilneas in the quest that gives you the two forms ability.

            • Bill says:

              The Worgen origin story was basically retconned by Blizzard in Cataclysm.

              The origin story that Will presents (with two origins and extra-dimensional proto-worgens) is the story that Bliz had in game before the most recent expansion. The origin story that Jarenth presents (feral elf druids in the Emerald Dream) is what Blizzard changed it to recently.

              Blizzard tried to make it so that the new story didn’t contradict the old story too much. But in the end, it’s a straight up retcon and if the stories don’t match we’re meant treat the old story as wrong and the new one is canon now.

    • Falco Rusticula says:

      No, Night Elves just have an allergic reaction to staying in one shape. O so it seems, given the number that go off to turn into every other shape imaginable…

  4. Klay F. says:

    I know I’ve said this before, Shamus, but I can’t help but to keep thinking its a good idea.

    There needs to be a Twenty-Sided WoW Guild. Its amazing to me that after the Twenty-Sided L4D and TF2 and Micecraft servers, there still isn’t a Guild you can call your own. I would happily re-roll on whatever server you chose, Horde or Alliance, it doesn’t matter to me. I realize running a Guild is a lot of work, but with as many players that are regulars to your blog, there has to be a few people who would be willing to put the time in.

    • Jarenth says:

      Well, there should be two, really, considering Shamus has following in both the States and the Europes.

      • Someone says:

        Yeah, just like there are two TF2 servers.

        • RejjeN says:

          There’s a difference there, Europeans like me can still join a US TF2 server even if we’re likely to have high latency. This is not the case for WoW however as we’d need to get a US copy of the game (and it’s expansions) to play there. I may be mistaken but I don’t think there is a way to change “realm”

          • Klay F. says:

            You actually can move your characters to another realm, provided the realm you move them to is in the same region as your old realm. BUT, you have to pay a fee (as in real world money) to do this. Its the same with faction and race changes. I think the fee is US$25 .

            EDIT: Forgot to mention this. a realm,faction, or race change can take as long as a week to happen, depending on whenever Blizzard stops sitting on their hands and gets around to it. It can vary anywhere from 1 hour to a whole week, so yeah…

      • Klay F. says:

        I would totally put up with the latency no matter WHERE it was. I have a feeling others wouldn’t though so yeah.

  5. Someone says:

    Shamus plays is great as usual.

    Disappointingly short description of Hogger though. “He’s a handful” and that’s it?
    I was kind of expecting more about the most memorable enemy of the game. I mean it’s THE enemy, Hogger the Spawncamping Bastard, Devourer of a Thousand Noobs, Bane of the Solo Players, the milestone capable of making or breaking a blossoming WoW addiction and separating the face rolling noobs from the leet pro nolifers.

    Interesting to see what they’ve done with his quest. Apparently the whole “Team Awesome Teleporting In” was added as an ironic throwback to the olden days, when “group” quests were marked by a “you may need some help to do this” line in the end of the quest description, after the obligatory fluff (and nobody ever reads that far), and absolutely everyone who was questing in the area picked up his quest, thinking it’s piece of cake. And then got slaughtered over and over again, but continued to try nonetheless, because his quest was the first to reward “green” items with stat bonuses.

    • Shamus says:

      You know, I wasn’t really aware of his reputation until I wrote this. I found the stuff on the wiki about how he was a running joke, and about the 40-man raids that took him down.

      I do think he killed one of my characters pre-Cataclysm, though.

      • Someone says:

        Oh yeah, the guy is legendary. I once heard that every starting area has it’s own “Hogger”, a monster whose quest you get close to the character’s “teens” and who requires several players to beat. I know for sure there is a yeti in the dwarven mountains that fits the description, don’t know about the other areas though.

        I wonder if it was a (hilariously mishandled) group tutorial?

        • Klay F. says:

          Bloodwatch Isle has an entire section that is nothing but elite lvl-20s. It was obviously meant to be the very last quest in the draenei area, be stupid me with my desire to finish a quest chain before moving on to the next one, I tried it at like lvl-19. I got stomped so hard, it was pretty embarrassing.

          • Someone says:

            And in an expansion too. You’d think they would learn not to do this sort of thing by then.

            • Klay F. says:

              To be fair, those quests were meant to teach new players the basics of grouping. But before Cata, it was so completely obvious that the starting areas were ghost towns, there was no reason Blizzard couldn’t have made them easier. Now that Cata is out, every single one of those quests have been rendered obsolete by the Dungeon Finder, yet the quests are STILL THERE.

              *head-desk*

              • Trix says:

                There used to be a heck of a lot more elites like those around, as well as more group quests…and they didn’t used to be marked as such in the description.

                Nowadays, they are much fewer in number…and the quests will say “Group” in your log while also listing recommended number of players in the description.

            • Danel says:

              I think it was actually something they tried to add in the first expansion – both of the Burning Crusade races starting experience ends with a pseudo-dungeon – a quest through a area filled with elites to kill a boss, and they actually give Blue rewards, which are incredibly nice. There’s a nice reward in the Lore, as well – the Blood Elf boss was the villain from one of the mangas, I think, and after killing him you got sent to officially serve as the Blood Elf emissary to the Horde, swearing your loyalty to the Warchief; Draenai got a tabard (back when that was a major reward) and a nice event where Prophet Velen declared them to be a true hero.

              At the time of Burning Crusade, these were incredible, part of the reasons why the Belf and Draenai starter experiences were the best there were. But now everyone’s starting experience has been upgraded EXCEPT them, and since there’s fewer people in the zones getting a team for the concluding quests can be pretty hard.

      • Steve C says:

        Well if you were killed by Hogger that’s easy to check! “Killed by Hoggger” is it’s own separately tracked statistic in your statistic page under deaths. He’s that infamous that he get’s his own tracking entry.

    • Galad says:

      [quote]I mean it’s THE enemy, Hogger the Spawncamping Bastard, Devourer of a Thousand Noobs, Bane of the Solo Players, the milestone capable of making or breaking a blossoming WoW addiction and separating the face rolling noobs from the leet pro nolifers.[/quote]

      I hope you won’t mind me quoting this at some point somewhere, it’s too awesome a description ^^

  6. krellen says:

    Hogger has really changed in the past five years. It’s also nice to see something actually lead you to the Stockades, instead of it just being a dungeon with no purpose.

    • Someone says:

      There was a quest to kill Dexter Ward (or whatever his name was), but I think it came in the end of some Redridge quest chain.

      It would be really hilarious if Norman decided to check out the view of the canals and saw that Stormwind Stockades have been breached before he went on the hogger quest.

      • krellen says:

        Redridge was stupid and red. I never went there.

        • Veloxyll says:

          Mr Ward’s quest came from Duskwood :P

          • Hitch says:

            Targorr the Dread, the Orc in the old Stockade, came from Redridge.

            • Someone says:

              There was also a quest to kill the dwarf boss, from wetlands, but it also came at the end of a chain (with a very tough group quest for killing crowds of iron dwarves before that), and, usually, 3-5 levels too late. Not to mention that the dwarf was one of those “rare” bosses with a chance to spawn, and more often than not he wasn’t even there.

              • rofltehcat says:

                Oh yeah, that was so annoying. If you actually had a group that could clear the stockades back then, they’d probably get only very little exp from the first mobs and the end would be orange. Not to mention that the quests for the instance came from all over the eastern kingdoms, were impossible to share and sometimes couldn’t even be completed in a single run because some guy way missing.
                The ‘the boss you are looking for is in another castle’ stuff can be extremely annoying. While it could be interesting in level cap heroics, it is just stupid in low level dungeons that you only visit once, tops.

                Also old stockades always seemed to require raid-style attention and discipline because it was so easy to aggro the whole damn thing at once -.-

                • Trix says:

                  The old style stockades had billions of mobs, gave horrible exp, had few drops at all (and no guaranteed boss drops either), and was pretty boring on top of that.

                  It was my first dungeon experience ever, and we ran WITHOUT A HEALER. …Needless to say, I was soured on dungeons for the next 10 levels.

        • Hitch says:

          Redridge has become quite popular since the Cataclysm now that questing there is mostly one long quest chain which is a Rambo homage/spoof. You run around getting JOHN J. KEESHAN (yes, always all caps) back in action and save the town of Lakeshire from the latest Orc incursion, while making sure JOHN J. KEESHAN gets all the credit.

          Which is amusing to long-time players because Keeshan has been in the game for 6 years, but most of that he was just the subject of one of the most annoying escort quests ever. Totally useless in a fight, refused to do anything but walk slowly, and aggroed every enemy in sight in an effort to get you killed.

          • Moriarty says:

            oh man, the horde has it’s pendant to that.

            Gamon, a level 3 tauren in orgrimmar. Before cata, players could attack him inside the city, because he was part of a low level rogue quest where they had to pickpocket something from him. Most people killed him out of boredom everytime he respawned.

            But NOW, he’s lv 85, elite and hits for 50-75k hp. Some people don’t notice the change and still try to attack him alone.

              • Ian says:

                After the initial pull the only targets that Gamon had were level 85s that were kiting him around the city. So yeah, the level 1s definitely did not kill him (the miss percentage would be astronomical with that much of a difference).

                Even so, that was an impressive display. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much green in Durotar before.

            • Ian says:

              Gamon was level 12, actually. Even so, he was very weak.

              I usually didn’t usually kill him outright. I generally mind controlled him with my priest for laughs.

              As for the pickpocketing quest, I was amazed how lucky I got with that. Both times that I did that on my rogues pre-Cataclysm I actually found him alive and well in the inn. Considering I usually saw him face down in the dirt, I was pretty amazed.

        • Someone says:

          And neither did a number of other people. I liked Redridge and finished many quests there, but for people who didn’t, Stockades were just a random loot hole.

          It’s the same story with Scarlet Monastery. There is a quest to kill Herod, Arcanist Doan, Whitemane and Mograine, which rewards some nice “blue” weapons, but most people don’t know about it because it’s only given at the end of an amazingly long and uninspired quest chain: go to Southshore, go to Desolace, kill 40(!) skeletons in a graveyard located on the opposite side of the Alliance town, and all that for some spare change.

          There is absolutely no point in traveling across the entire planet just to finish a simple “Kill X of Y” quest, so nobody ever did it unless they already knew about the final quest in the chain (I found out about it from a magazine), so everyone just ran The Monastery for lewtz, wondering if there was an “official” reason for invading it.

  7. Jarenth says:

    Regarding your lineup of men: don’t forget that Dranei are clearly goat-men.

    From space.

  8. lazlo says:

    Can worgen have babies? With humans? Or each other? And would the babies be humans or “pure” worgen?

    There’s a (non-WoW-related) story I always liked from Larry Niven’s “The Magic Goes Away” universe. In it, at the end, the protagonist’s werewolf companion learns, much to his chagrin, that instead of werewolves being humans with the magical ability to turn into wolves, they are instead wolves who magically become human. Once all magic is depleted (the whole premise of the universe is about a warlock who discovers that mana is a non-renewable natural resource), he’ll revert to just being a wolf. And he starts to get *really* depressed when he realizes that all the kids he’s had with his (human) wife will end up being dogs forever.

  9. Heron says:

    Completely off-topic: the banner-ad I was served on this page is for “Cheap WoW Gold, 100% security, refund guarantee”. That’s probably not the sort of thing you want to be advertising here… but I don’t know how good Google’s tools are for blocking particular types of ads.

    • David W says:

      Of course Shamus can’t suggest this, but I tend to click on objectionable ads (and then close the site it takes me to) on the theory that it’s a mini-fine for the advertiser which goes to Twenty Sided.

      Which means ironically enough that I only ever click on ads that I hate, or that I am actually interested in, never the middle ground.

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      Shamus already kind of talked about this on a previous post. Basically, he doesn’t get really fine control over the adverts presented, and he’s fairly busy getting rid of the really objectionable ones. But some of the gold-farmers sneak in through the categories of adverts that are otherwise more or less nerd-compatible. Mostly, we just have to look at the occasional GF ad as being the lesser evil that’d otherwise be for diet pills, box sets of Friends DVDs, or “Punch the monkey to win a free iPad!”

  10. MisteR says:

    I very much enjoy reading how Norman is growing more evil every update.

  11. Johan says:

    I’ve noticed in both this Let’s Play and LOTRO just how quickly characters are willing to forgo their beliefs in the face of adversity. This is not a quibble, just an observation. Lulzy started out disliking killing… until she realized she would get PAID for it. Dethbringerr began as an innocent little boy with a love and a care for all of natures sons and daughters, and now he’s willing to murder to keep his own ass safe (well that was last episode)

    • Nidokoenig says:

      For harm and thus a moral reason not to commit crime to exist, it requires the presence of believable and sane actors whose well-being has value. Once this notion has been debunked(it’s a race between this and the first appearance of a crate), the only reasons not to kill and steal are that you might get caught and you might act out of character. The first is usually easy to circumvent, and nobody cares about the second. So the story becomes about how the player gradually stops caring about the brainless idiots that inhabit the world and starts looking out for number one.

      • Someone says:

        It should also be noted that the “player” in the story has basically no suspension of disbelief. A fact which is, essentially, the main source of hilarity.

        • Kian says:

          I’d say it’s the other way around. It’s the people who accept quests without reading them and just going ‘kill this, bring 10 livers back’ without worries that have no suspension of disbelief. They are well aware that they are playing a game, and thus aren’t concerned about the game not making sense. Because it is a game. They’re not immersed in the experience, just focused on it.

          It’s because Shamus does his best to stay in character that hilarity ensues. It’s because he refuses to suspend his disbelief in the face of events so ridiculous that any sane person would have given up.

  12. Danel says:

    The snake-people are Naga, who are actually somewhat different; they’re more an out-and-out ‘Evil’ race rather than primitive and aggressive like most of the beast races are. They’re actually former Night Elf aristocracy who teamed up first with the Burning Legion, then when that didn’t work out, with the Old Gods, at which point they went all snakey.

    Ahh. There’s also the harpies, who may count as bird-women.

    • Michael says:

      Oh, sure, don’t explain HOW they went all snakey – the Well of Eternity imploded on them.

      I wouldn’t call them “evil,” though. I would call them “vengeful.”

      • Will says:

        Actually they went all snakey because they joined forces with the Old Gods. The Old Gods are big fans of bioengineering (see the Qiraji and the Curse of Flesh.)

  13. David V.S. says:

    WoW Headquarters is in Irvine, CA. Westfall is not so much “eternal autumn” as the undeveloped land near the designers’ office building.

    A lot of those dry, brown hills are extra-lacking in trees because of an enormous fire that happened there about 30 years ago that started when a bird somehow touched two power lines at once.

    Then there was the day when a rhinoceros from Lion Country Safari escaped and wandered along the 405 freeway for a few hours.

    Or the big trucks that used to blow off the bridge where the 405 branches off from the 5, often breaking open when landing. The bridge has been redesigned. But 20-30 years ago there would be a humorously tragic news story every few months about a freeway covered with pallets, pigs, etc.

  14. Josh says:

    Small nitpick: the name of the place they take Hogger is “The Stockade”. I know the NPC did say “Stockades” in game, but that’s the only place they write it that way to my knowledge, and it’s probably a typo.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well hyenas are technically cats,so there you have it.

  16. One update. Norman should eventually get an exalted reputation with Stormwind. That will let him pick up the cape of Stormwind and when he gets to Dalaran, the cape will let him teleport back to Stormwind for daily quests. His hearthstone will let him teleport back to Northend. As a result, he won’t need the missing gates in Dalaran to make it back and forth.

    I’ve been enjoying this.

    As to the new zone, the Defias storyline gives you a number of quests that end up in the Stockades as well. Wonder if you can kill Hogger before the cut scene?

    The volume of cut scenes they’ve added to the game was a real surprise. But the way you lose control of the camera angles is disconcerting.

    Alchemy potions are modest, but not quite so modest as Norm makes them out to be ;) He could be jewelcrafting. Where for most of your career you take valuable gems and cut them into gems with a quarter of the value.

  17. Blackbird71 says:

    Don’t forget the badger-men and walrus-men in Northrend!

  18. Shawn says:

    How on earth is it that you played D&D and didn’t know that Gnolls were hyena men?

    For shame.

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