hey're HUGE. They're POWERFUL. They're COWS? Undoubtedly, with the creation of the Tauren for Warcraft III, Blizzard has developed a new and unique race unlike most you'll see in today's games. No mere cow, the Tauren are a proud, peaceful race devoted to nature and all things wild. Their culture is tribal and for the most part nomadic. But they're a member of the Horde? At first glance that doesn't seem to fit. However, if you look at their first appearance in Warcraft III their place in the Horde makes perfect sense. In a time when the Tauren lands and people were being attacked by marauding centaurs, the Orcs (led by young Thrall) helped them to defeat their invading foes. The Tauren's loyalty to their new friends has not wavered since. While they have no direct conflict with the humans or dwarves, they see the potential threat the newcomers can be to their land. The high elves they distrust, sensing the 'taint of their magic addiction'. The Night Elves, on the other hand, they respect and fear for their history of triumph and tragedy. The great Tauren Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof identified with the Orcs' desire to return to their shamanistic roots and has pledged his people's support in that cause. Ultimately, they seek to protect and maintain their own quiet culture as well.
Their greatest physical attribute is of course their strength. At an average of 7 1/2 feet for males and only slightly smaller for females, they tower over all the other races even their sizable allies the orcs. They're so large in fact that no normal beast of burden will bear them. At first, instead of a mount, the Tauren were given the Plains Running skill. This allowed them to move as fast as all the other races that had mounts. This changed however and now the Taurens ride the strange looking behemoths known as Kodo.
The classes available to a Tauren character reflect the their character and attributes. A Tauren as a Warrior is an obvious choice. They are by far the most powerful melee character and would not hesitate to crush their opponent 'neath a mighty hoof. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a Tauren's Shield Bash! At 350lbs that's a lot of beef to be slinging about! Another class open to Tauren is the Hunter class. Their love of nature extends to wildlife and a Hunter's abilities center around his pets. At this point we don't know which animals will be available as pets for Tauren Hunters, but they're bound to make a daunting impression as they approach their opponents on the field. All WoW races will have at least one class rooted in magic. For the Taurens it will the Shaman, the spiritual leader of the tribe or clan. Tauren Shamans will excel because of their rich spiritual background and their inherent wisdom and serenity. And last but not least, the Tauren can be Druids. This class fits perfectly into their protective and loyal nature. Druids are guardians of the world and of nature. No role seems better fitted for the benevolent Tauren.
Their ability to adapt to all these classes shows that physical prowess and size is not the total picture of a Tauren. Some would say their heart is just as big as they are. Their loyalty to each other and their allies is legendary. Their devotion to their roots is apparent in everything they do. Recently they have established the great city of Thunder Bluff nestled in the foothills of Mulgore:
...a center for trade caravans, traveling craftsmen and artisans of every kind. The proud city also stands as a refuge for the brave Hunters who stalk their dangerous prey through the plains of Mulgore and its surrounding areas. Long bridges of rope and wood span the chasms between the mesas, topped with tents, longhouses, colorfully painted totems, and spirit lodges.
The city echoes their reverence of nature in the way they built it with their use of the resources at hand. You won't find brick or stone buildings in a Tauren settlement. Much of their architecture is conceived around their nomadic past. Nothing is ever too permanent. Their architecture, like their culture, is rich with history and tradition. As a nomadic people they carry that history and tradition with them everywhere they go. They prefer oral histories for passing on lessons and stories to the written word. When they do write, they rely on pictoforms in lieu of an alphabet. Generally this is done by the tribe shaman. Instead of books or tomes, they write on the sides of huts, clothing, tools, rocks, and other natural formations. If you know where to look, you can see evidence of the Tauren all over Kalimdor.
Tradtion is evident in every part of the Tauren life. They worship an archaic goddess whom they call "The Earth Mother". She is the embodiment of nature and it's inherent harmony. Their names are earned throughout their life time. They start with one name and as they grow and mature they earn a second name that is usually descriptive of an accomplishment or trait: Darkhide, Clovenhoof, Foestomper, Loremaster, etc. A tauren oft times also adopts a third name for dealings with folk outside his tribe.
With all of these aspects and traits, it is easy to see why Taurens are popular and why we can expect to see a lot of them adventuring in the World of Warcraft. Their uniqueness alone makes them worth a try. Couple that with impressive size, unmatched power, and noble heritage and you have an irresistible character. But one type of Tauren we don't expect to see too many of is the females. More so than any of the other races, Blizzard seems to have had some difficulty in portraying the Tauren female. Bottom line... they're butt ugly! Even the Tauren love of jewelry and gems doesn't seem to help. You can't entirely blame Blizzard though. I challenge ANYONE to make over-sized fur-lined bodies with bovine heads look good in a bikini. Never mind, forget I said that. The potential response would be too scary.
But either way, this writer hopes to see all shapes, sizes, and genders of Tauren roaming the Blizzard servers. Diversity is at the core of all these available races in general and of this MMORPG in particular. Seeing what different players can do with the creation of their characters within the guidelines that are set is a large part of the fun in online games. And Blizzard has provided us with a unique opportunity with the noble Tauren.
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