Ask CDev 2 - Answers

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The moon recently sent some irate emails to our Creative Development team, threatening to vacate Earth's orbit if we didn't divulge the answers to the "Ask CDev #2" thread soon. Rather than calling the moon's bluff, the CDev team stepped up its timetable and is now ready to present the answers to your questions!

In an effort to efficiently disseminate as much information as possible, many of these questions are amalgamations of several slight variations asked by the US, EU, Korean, and Chinese player bases. In addition, a few unanswered questions from "Ask CDev #1" are included as well. Enjoy!

Q: Are the Warcraft and World of Warcraft RPG books considered canon?

A: No. The RPG books were created to provide an engaging table-top role-playing experience, which sometimes required diverging from the established video game canon. Blizzard helped generate a great deal of the content within the RPG books, so there will be times when ideas from the RPG will make their way into the game and official lore, but you are much better off considering the RPG books non-canonical unless otherwise stated.

Q: Where is X? (X = Calia Menethil, Turalyon, Alleria Windrunner, Med'an, Gallywix, etc.)

A: There are several "missing" characters in the Warcraft universe, but they are not forgotten! While we'd love to talk about these characters, doing so would spoil a number of the plots we have for Cataclysm and beyond. Believe us when we say that you will definitely hear about these characters when we're ready to talk about them!

Q: Why isn't there a(n) X Archaeology branch? (X = Tauren, Aqir, Faceless One, Furbolg, Murloc, etc.)

A: This is more of a game design question than a CDev one, but it was asked enough that we wanted to at least point out the following: just because a race doesn't have an Archaeology branch now doesn't mean there aren't artifacts for that race, nor does it mean that the race isn't a candidate for possible future additions to the profession.

Q: Have we seen a true titan yet in World of Warcraft?

A: No, only their creations.

Q: Are night elves related to trolls in some way?

A: See issue #5 of the World of Warcraft Official Magazine!

Q: What is the relationship between the Ancients of the Emerald Dream and the loa?

A: Troll druids visiting the Moonglade have been overheard calling the wisps who reside there loa, just as they refer to Goldrinn, Aviana, and the other returned Ancients as loa. Night elves and tauren have tried to counsel these trolls on "correct" druidic nomenclature, but the trolls thus far have been stuck in their ways.

Q: If trolls are able to regenerate their limbs, why didn't Zul'jin's arm grow back?

A: For the most part, it is the speed at which trolls regenerate that makes them formidable foes. When in balance with the loa of their tribe, they are also able to regrow digits (fingers and toes). Tales abound in troll culture, however, of those blessed by the loa with extraordinary regenerative abilities, such as the ability to regrow limbs and even vital organs lost in battle. The tale of Vula'jin the Void speaks of how he regrew almost his entire body after standing in a pool of shadowflame. But just as the loa can bless, they can also curse; troll children are taught legends of those cursed by the loa, unable to heal even flesh wounds, to instill the proper respect for their patron spirits.

Q: What races were on Azeroth before the coming of the titans?

A: Besides the elementals, the only known sentient races on Azeroth when the titans' forces arrived to subdue the Old Gods were the trolls, the race known as "faceless ones," and the aqir. Due to the Old Gods' war against the titans, as well as the extensive terraforming that followed the war's conclusion, records of what races existed before even the Old Gods' arrival have likely been lost forever.

Q: What contact, if any, have the tol'vir in Uldum had with the rest of Azeroth over the course of their existence?

A: Although the systems keeping Uldum hidden from the rest of the world worked flawlessly from the ordering of Azeroth up until the Cataclysm, the tol'vir inside did have some knowledge of what was going on outside their home: many of the titans' security devices in Uldum were in communication with the other titanic cities (Ulduar, Uldaman, etc.). The Halls of Origination were actually the system that Algalon the Observer intended to activate upon his arrival in Ulduar… which the players prevented from automatically triggering when they sent the "Reply-Code Alpha" signal from Dalaran.
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Q: The "There must always be a Lich King" mantra seemed awfully suspicious, coming from ghosts trapped in Frostmourne. Was there something else going on there?

A: To save people from generating elaborate conspiracy theories, we'll be serious for a moment and say, definitively, no. The ghosts of Uther and Terenas understood that the Scourge would run rampant without someone to keep them in check. Yes, that does also mean that Arthas and Ner'zhul were not unleashing the full force of the Scourge during their respective reigns: you are welcome to speculate on the reasons for that.

Q: What is the Argent Crusade's relationship with the Forsaken, in light of Sylvanas's recent actions?

A: Although the members of the Argent Crusade still stand by the Forsaken heroes who joined them in the battle against the Scourge, Sylvanas's actions since the slaying of Arthas have deeply concerned the crusaders. They, along with certain members of the Ebon Blade, are now watching Sylvanas and the Forsaken very closely, as similarities between her and the Lich King are increasing in number by the day.

Q: The Forsaken don't have a harbor or any dry docks: how do they create their ships?

A: The Forsaken navy is composed of ships dredged up from the bottom of the ocean. Most of them were once among Lordaeron's fleets.

Q: When undead use or are healed by the Holy Light, does it cause them any actual damage or harm, or does it only cause them pain (in addition to the intended effects of the spell)?

A: Channeling the Light in any way, or receiving healing from the Light, only causes pain. Forsaken priests do not disintegrate or explode from channeling the Light for an extended period of time… though they may wish they would.

Q: Are there long-term effects on an undead who is in regular contact with the Holy Light in a positive way?

A: It is difficult to say, as there are no known records of undead wielding the Holy Light before the Third War. There are reports, however, that some Forsaken have slowly experienced a sharpening of their dulled senses of touch, smell, etc., as well as an increase in the flashes of positive emotions that have otherwise become so rare since their fall into undeath. Unfortunately, this may be the cause of the Forsaken priesthood's increased attempts at self-destruction; regaining these senses would force the priests to smell their own rotting flesh, taste the decay in their mouths and throats, and even feel the maggots burrowing within their bodies.

Q: Why are humans who drink the blood of worgen unable to be raised as Forsaken?

A: Not only are the Val'kyr less powerful than the Lich King when it comes to raising the undead, but the worgen curse also makes raising them into undeath far more difficult than it is for normal humans. The worgen curse has roots in both the Emerald Dream (through the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn) and the holy power of the goddess Elune. In addition, those worgen who imbibe the waters of Tal'doren—through the ritual they undergo to maintain balance between the worgen curse and their humanity—have a further resistance to the corruption of undeath.

Q: Are blood elf death knights still afflicted by their racial addiction to magic?

A: No, though their new addiction, the one all Ebon Blade death knights possess, is arguably worse: the need to inflict pain. If death knights do not regularly inflict agony upon another creature, they begin to suffer wracking pains that could drive them into a mindless, blood-seeking hysteria—a far worse fate than that of those who suffer from arcane withdrawal.

Q: What has become of the blood elf Spellbreakers?

A: While they were already few in number to begin with, the ranks of this formidable fighting force were thinned drastically when their headquarters on the Isle of Quel'Danas was overwhelmed by Kael'thas and his Burning Legion forces. The lone squad that remains now exists as a relic of a bygone era, as the Spellbreakers have refrained from training any new recruits since Kael'thas's betrayal.

Q: How have the blood elves reacted to the Highborne's return to night elf society, heralding the return of kaldorei magi?

A: Because their expulsion from night elf society after the War of the Ancients was due to their use of arcane magic, the blood elves were outraged to hear that the kaldorei had welcomed the Highborne back and were tolerating the practice of arcane magic again. After witnessing the "rookie" mistakes made by the new kaldorei magi, however, the blood elves are anxiously awaiting whatever mess the kaldorei are going to put themselves in. What's more, some sin'dorei have been able to exploit the kaldorei's inexperience in order to rout Alliance forces, as seen in the "Amberwind's Journal" quest series in Azshara.
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Q: Why do blood elves still have green eyes?

A: Corruption from fel energies takes a long time to wear off. It's why most orcs are still green even though Mannoroth is dead.

Q: How did Sinestra survive the events of Night of the Dragon?

A: For all intents and purposes, she didn't; when players encounter Sinestra in the Bastion of Twilight raid, she is a husk of her former self, pieced together and reanimated by the powers of Deathwing's Old God master.

Q: What are the origins of stone and storm drakes?

A: Brann Bronzebeard recently uncovered evidence, corroborated by reports from adventurers in Deepholm, that proto-dragons and dragons may have origins in these—and other—elemental drakes. The inhabitants of Deepholm, the Skywall, the Firelands, and the Abyssal Maw are less than talkative on these matters, however, and most of them were not around when the elemental prisons were created.

Q: Were there ever different elemental lords before the current four?

A: Ragnaros, Al'Akir, Therazane, and Neptulon are the only elemental rulers Azeroth has had in its existence. What this will mean for the elements of fire and air with the deaths of their elemental lords is unknown, but it most certainly is not good.

Q: Why do Kvaldir disintegrate into seaweed when they die?

A: The Kvaldir typically reside deep in the ocean, where their corporeal forms would be crushed if their mistweaving magics didn't hold off the ravages of the depths. Although they remain flesh and blood in life, their deaths result in a backlash of mistweaving energies, dissolving the Kvaldir into mist over time. All that remains are patches of sea growth that had accumulated on their bodies and, of course, any loot they were carrying.

Q: Why are gnomes suddenly interested in the Light?

A: The gnomes have had an interest in the Light since they joined the Alliance, but they were so focused on technology and, later, the retaking of Gnomeregan that studying the Light didn't feel necessary to them; the dwarven priests and paladins of Ironforge served as the only connection to the Light they needed. Now that the gnomes have reclaimed a foothold in Gnomeregan and begun rebuilding their culture outside of Ironforge, however, they've recognized the importance of having followers of the Light in their own ranks. In addition, researching new methods of purifying irradiated gnomes has led to radical advances in Light-based technology!

Q: Does the Wildhammer area that was called Northeron appear in WoW?

A: Prior to the Cataclysm, the northernmost part of the Twilight Highlands was called Northeron. The rapid melting of its famed icy cliffs due to the catastrophic climate shift from the Cataclysm, the incursion of Twilight's Hammer forces, and the appearance of the creature known as Iso'rath all served to put an end to Northeron and many of the independent dwarves who lived there. Some of the wreckage is still visible along the northern coast. Fortunately, the nearby spiritual center of Kirthaven remains intact.

Q: Is Elune a naaru?

A: During a recent visit to Darnassus by Velen, he explained that the kaldorei's description of Elune, as well as the demonstrated powers of the goddess, matched his experiences with powerful naaru. He began to offer advice regarding how to commune with powerful naaru, but Tyrande thanked him for his opinion, then cordially requested that he refrain from making such outlandish claims when in Darnassus or in the presence of Elune's priesthood.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
8950
23/06/2011 17:34Posted by Slorkuz
Vula'jin


Hello? Not the Vulajin? Nice shout out to the rogue community if it is(insert pve grumblings)

A: To save people from generating elaborate conspiracy theories, we'll be serious for a moment and say, definitively, no. The ghosts of Uther and Terenas understood that the Scourge would run rampant without someone to keep them in check. Yes, that does also mean that Arthas and Ner'zhul were not unleashing the full force of the Scourge during their respective reigns: you are welcome to speculate on the reasons for that.


Damn, That's either about to cause a ton of speculation, or it's just a dissapointment from the lore department, I was hoping for something more complex than just a stupid ball :(

23/06/2011 17:35Posted by Slorkuz
Q: Is Elune a naaru?


Nice. I liked it.


What took so long anyway? And When's the next one out?
Edited by Maievs on 26/06/2011 17:26 BST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8935
Cheers, some interesting tidbits here.
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85 Troll Druid
8145
always interesting to read! thx
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90 Human Warrior
18635
I hope I can get to the next topic in time before it gets locked.
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MVP
85 Gnome Priest
13245
Q: Is Elune a naaru?

A: During a recent visit to Darnassus by Velen, he explained that the kaldorei's description of Elune, as well as the demonstrated powers of the goddess, matched his experiences with powerful naaru. He began to offer advice regarding how to commune with powerful naaru, but Tyrande thanked him for his opinion, then cordially requested that he refrain from making such outlandish claims when in Darnassus or in the presence of Elune's priesthood.

Best answer I think, and quite...interesting :P

I wonder what Velen thinks about the Night Elves now...
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90 Draenei Shaman
12165
23/06/2011 17:34Posted by Slorkuz
A: No. The RPG books were created to provide an engaging table-top role-playing experience, which sometimes required diverging from the established video game canon. Blizzard helped generate a great deal of the content within the RPG books, so there will be times when ideas from the RPG will make their way into the game and official lore, but you are much better off considering the RPG books non-canonical unless otherwise stated.

Sounds like WoWpedia and WoWwiki will have some interesting weeks coming.

(...)the blood elves were outraged to hear that the kaldorei had welcomed the Highborne back and were tolerating the practice of arcane magic again.

I also like this part.

Then there's the Holy light part for gnomes; will this mean that Gnome Paladins actually can become a reality or does it mean the gnomes only "took" what the "only just" needed?
Futhermore: will Forsaken/Undeads be able to regenerate into semi-human forms if they overextend the use of the Holy Light?

Just thinking out loud here...
Edited by Skoddraei on 23/06/2011 19:56 BST
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90 Human Warrior
18635
I'd be surprised if gnomes *didn't* take at least a passing interest in the Light, if for no other reason than wondering "What is that?"
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90 Night Elf Rogue
8950
23/06/2011 19:54Posted by Skoddraei
Sounds like WoWpedia and WoWwiki will have some interesting weeks coming.


Yeah, looking at it, it was answered badly.

The problem is that so much lore information has been broken, just looking at that answer. It either has to be further qualified, such as "Things like population numbers are non canon, but most cultural and character areas are true (unless retconned)", have a lot of information converted into a non RPG source, or a helluva lot of lore has just been demolished.

Then there's also the issue of people getting the books, to find it's all worthless.

And damn, I'm going to Oxford in a couple of weeks, was hoping to look up the RPGs at the Uni library there for minor snippets of info, that are now useless :(
Edited by Maievs on 23/06/2011 20:10 BST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8935
Denouncing all of the RPG books as non-canon is a bit of a harsh move in my opinion. There's a LOT of stuff in there, and while things like bunk population numbers being confirmed as such is nice, there's also a large amount of backstory given to quite a few non-tangible aspects of WoW that serve only to spice the wider universe up a little. Brann Bronzebeard's opinions on the various factions in Dark Factions, for example, and that in particular could've easily been put down to "Brann got it wrong" if the need to change or tweak something became apparent.
Edited by Zaelsino on 23/06/2011 20:14 BST
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90 Undead Rogue
11750
Prior to the Cataclysm, the northernmost part of the Twilight Highlands was called Northeron


But i thought Northeron was the land next to the Ghostlands and above the Eastern Plaguelands, atleast all sources say so
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90 Night Elf Rogue
8950
Even worse on the RPG point:(

They were designed with the perfect get out clause- They were written from an in game PoV. It would be a lot easier to retcon individual points out just by going along normally, as instead it'll just be the opposite- RPG being proven right as we go along, instead of points being proven wrong.

Wow, that first answer's definitely caused a stir.
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90 Draenei Warrior
0
Q: Are the Warcraft and World of Warcraft RPG books considered canon?

A: No. The RPG books were created to provide an engaging table-top role-playing experience, which sometimes required diverging from the established video game canon. Blizzard helped generate a great deal of the content within the RPG books, so there will be times when ideas from the RPG will make their way into the game and official lore, but you are much better off considering the RPG books non-canonical unless otherwise stated.


Ahh...ghk..tst.

There EJL I resisted telling you I told you so.... barely.

Needles to say I approve of this decision, so much of that info was heavily outdated, just remember those silly pop. numbers. Now all we need is a new, and cannon, source for such factual info about the warcraft universe.

Q: The "There must always be a Lich King" mantra seemed awfully suspicious, coming from ghosts trapped in Frostmourne. Was there something else going on there?

A: To save people from generating elaborate conspiracy theories, we'll be serious for a moment and say, definitively, no. The ghosts of Uther and Terenas understood that the Scourge would run rampant without someone to keep them in check. Yes, that does also mean that Arthas and Ner'zhul were not unleashing the full force of the Scourge during their respective reigns: you are welcome to speculate on the reasons for that.


Well that sucks.

I guess Arthas was a moron, that is his reason for holding back. Ner'zhul... maybe he cared for the orcs more then he showed, that's the only reason I got. Kinda makes sense if one reads Rise of the Horde and Beyond the Dark Portal where his entire motivation was the salvation of the orcish people, while he went haywire later on such powerful feelings don't just evaporate.


Q: What is the Argent Crusade's relationship with the Forsaken, in light of Sylvanas's recent actions?

A: Although the members of the Argent Crusade still stand by the Forsaken heroes who joined them in the battle against the Scourge, Sylvanas's actions since the slaying of Arthas have deeply concerned the crusaders. They, along with certain members of the Ebon Blade, are now watching Sylvanas and the Forsaken very closely, as similarities between her and the Lich King are increasing in number by the day.


Damn! The evidence that they want to turn Sylvanas into a raid pinata is growing, considering she is one of the few remaining big names in the Horde as well as the only interesting thing remaining in the lore I really think we need a "Save Sylvanas" thread right about now.


All in all this Q/A left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Nemanja
Edited by Zloó on 23/06/2011 21:41 BST
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MVP
85 Gnome Priest
13245
23/06/2011 21:08Posted by Zloó
Needles to say I approve of this decision, so much of that info was heavily outdated, just remember those silly pop. numbers. Now all we need is a new, and cannon, source for such factual info about the warcraft universe.

I agree. It felt silly to clinge on to the description of the races in those books, as well as the population numbers as you point out, when in many cases it clearly didn't reflect the impression you got in the game.
But it would be nice if Blizzard would then provide the actual information. Because by all intents and purposes, the RPG books losing (some) of their validity does leave a little hole in terms of the lore information we have avaliable as of now.

Edit: Spelling.
Edited by Jito on 23/06/2011 22:38 BST
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85 Dwarf Paladin
11700
23/06/2011 17:34Posted by Slorkuz
They, along with certain members of the Ebon Blade, are now watching Sylvanas and the Forsaken very closely, as similarities between her and the Lich King are increasing in number by the day.


Possible connection with Sylvanas's rebirth after being shot by Godfrey, where the Val'kyr "ressurected" her....or did they combine with her?


23/06/2011 17:34Posted by Slorkuz
A: Besides the elementals, the only known sentient races on Azeroth when the titans' forces arrived to subdue the Old Gods were the trolls, the race known as "faceless ones," and the aqir.


I'm still interested in where the Tauren come from; I mean, we've seen Pantheon images of Tauren, meaning they must've been Titan designed, but we haven't seen any evidence of them having ancestors made of Stone/Iron that suffered from the Curse of Flesh.


23/06/2011 17:35Posted by Slorkuz
A: During a recent visit to Darnassus by Velen, he explained that the kaldorei's description of Elune, as well as the demonstrated powers of the goddess, matched his experiences with powerful naaru. He began to offer advice regarding how to commune with powerful naaru, but Tyrande thanked him for his opinion, then cordially requested that he refrain from making such outlandish claims when in Darnassus or in the presence of Elune's priesthood.


My favourite answer by far; this could be a result of Stubbornness on Tyrande/The Night Elves part, or it could be Tyrande trying to cover up a secret she has learned over the thousands of years of being High Priestess of Elune and was backed up when the Draenei came with the Naaru on the Exodar.
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23/06/2011 21:08Posted by Zloó
There EJL I resisted telling you I told you so.... barely.


What? They said its not canon unless they say so.

Thats not any different from "It is canon until they officially decanonise it"...which they now have.

Needles to say I approve of this decision


It was an expected decision that unfortunately removes a lot of the existing lore and background of the game. Blizzard, however, has never been that interested in sticking to anything but the bare bones of the story and can, will and have changed details to suit their current needs. Northeron, for example, moved from Lordaeron to the Twilight Highlands. Some details which contradicted their newest version of the Forsaken priests have been retconned away as well. And so on. It frees their hand to develop new lore and change details and not worry about contradictions.

As I said, it was the expected answer if they ever got around to answering the question. But it still a pity to lose such a large source of lore, even if it was flawed.

I guess Arthas was a moron, that is his reason for holding back.


We've been informed that the good that was remaining in Arthas was what was holding him back.

Damn! The evidence that they want to turn Sylvanas into a raid pinata is growing, considering she is one of the few remaining big names in the Horde as well as the only interesting thing remaining in the lore I really think we need a "Save Sylvanas" thread right about now.


I don't think so.

Sylvanas as a tragic figure, trying to survive in a world that hated her and her kind and so driven to acts she didn't want to take would have been interesting and worth keeping.

But shes now a badly written caricature. She is TOO extreme, just as Thrall is too extreme for "good". There was a time when her plotline, her story could have been saved from the mess its become, but that time has long passed. Now, they simply hold the Horde back in some ways; you can't really have the Horde as honourable, decent, normal - the noble savage as it were - AND have them protect and excuse what the Forsaken have done and are doing.

It'll be sad, in a way to see her go, if thats what happens (unlikely)....but given what she and the Forsaken have become, it'd be acceptable. Probably more so in some ways than a forced redemption scenario.

EJL
Edited by Talen on 23/06/2011 23:02 BST
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23/06/2011 22:48Posted by Tulene
Possible connection with Sylvanas's rebirth after being shot by Godfrey, where the Val'kyr "ressurected" her....or did they combine with her?


No....I think its more they're following the same line of reasoning Garrosh did. If HE can see the similarities between the Forsaken and the Scourge, then the AC can as well.

I'm still interested in where the Tauren come from; I mean, we've seen Pantheon images of Tauren, meaning they must've been Titan designed, but we haven't seen any evidence of them having ancestors made of Stone/Iron that suffered from the Curse of Flesh.


I don't think the Pantheon images you speak of show Titan designed races. We see the NElfs, Tauren and Trolls. The humans, worgen, forsaken, dwarves and gnomes are of titanic descent via the Curse of Flesh. BElfs came from the NElfs. The Draenei and Orcs come from a different world. We don't know where the Goblins come from - just that a Faceless One remembers their creation.

Though I do like the theory Goblins are corrupted Gnomes...;) just like troggs are corrupted Dwarves. They are so similar in very many ways.

NElfs, Tauren and trolls are probably races that originated on Azeroth. There may have been some Titan intervention.

My favourite answer by far; this could be a result of Stubbornness on Tyrande/The Night Elves part, or it could be Tyrande trying to cover up a secret she has learned over the thousands of years of being High Priestess of Elune and was backed up when the Draenei came with the Naaru on the Exodar.


Or it could just be...Elune is a Goddess and not a Naaru.

EJL
Edited by Talen on 23/06/2011 23:00 BST
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15 Blood Elf Paladin
12070
How disappointing. It truly does seem like the lore team is intent on eroding away what few aspects remain to lead the various races in WoW to actually feel somewhat unique.
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