Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth was a webcomic posted sporadically on GameSpy and had been published from December 9, 2004 to April 12, 2007. It was created using mainly the graphics of the MMORPG World of Warcraft (taking place within World of Warcraft's fictional world of Azeroth) with embellishments. The comics themselves are themed mostly around parodies and references of the game itself. It originally started as a PlanetFargo column written by Dave "Fargo" Kosak in the form of a fictitious interview between Fargo and Flintlocke, a self-styled master hunter who took Fargo along for a bear hunt with disastrous results. He then lowered his objectives, instead taking Fargo along to hunt "a monstrous beast" that was no more than a tiny squirrel, with an equally tragic end.
The first few installments of Flintlocke's adventures followed the PlanetFargo style, namely a written column with a few photoshopped pictures to go along. It eventually took the form of a webcomic starting from January 10th 2005 . The comic is done with humor relying heavily on meta-reference, the characters all being perfectly aware of being players of the MMORPG World of Warcraft, interacting in a virtual environment.
Series One ended its run on January 12th, 2007. Series Two featured a added new artist, Rhys Yorke, and a new format using drawn artwork rather than posed game models. The new series only ran for two strips before the comic ceased to be updated. It was announced on April 12th, 2007, in the "Daily Warrior" feature that the strip would be canceled due to a "lack of an artist and a move to FilePlanet." The main page now lists the comic's archives, along with a message saying "Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth has ended its run after more than two years on GameSpy.com". The couple of comics that had been published in the new art style have been removed from the archive listing, but can still be found via direct links and by going through the archives manually.
On August 26, 2008, Flintlocke returned in Flintlocke vs. The Horde. The story was told from the point of view of a role playing Orc Hunter. This comic strip ended on July 17, 2009.
The main character of the comic, a dwarf Warrior who- bizarrely- sees himself as a powerful Hunter instead. Flintlocke takes this to its fullest extent by using guns for most of his more powerful attacks. He also has a propensity to use hammers, maces, and other blunt weapons; he has also wielded a question mark (taken from a goblin NPC's head) as his main weapon, and possibly took the dual exclamation points a second goblin was wielding as a prize after defeating him. He wears goggles because he shot his eye out when he got his first gun and his uncle taught him the "chuck shot"
Flintlocke is also a brilliantly insane- or insanely brilliant- engineer. His deranged creations are right on par with goblin engineering, and usually involve some sort of dead (or soon to be) rodent propelled out of a cannon by ridiculous amounts of blasting powder, or whatever else is available. He has a surprising success rate with these tactics, generally killing his target outright. In fact, all of Flintlocke's bizarre "shot" techniques have turned out to be 100% successful so far (with the exception of the Goblin Bazooka), even leading Kathrena to quip "That's the deadest corpse I've ever seen" upon witnessing a victim of his "Chuck-Shot".
Flintlocke also has a rather unusual problem: despite being a dwarf, his reputation among Ironforge is less than stellar, due to his experimentation with an "exploding chicken" weapon against a group of orcs having severely damaged his standing with the dwarves (as well as most of Ironforge's Hall of Heroes). He has an incredible obsession with powerful weapons, having once added an aiming scope to a mace  and purchased six copies of an experimental spinning head mace created by a less than reputable gnome engineer, simply because he thought they were powerful. He also attempted to create a "silenced" hammer by adding a sponge to one end of it, for "stealth" hits.
He is also one of the worst shoppers in the game, never coming out ahead when he tries to buy or sell; yet is the first among them to suggest "going to the auction house".  He is constantly gaining ridiculous and useless items, like an incredibly ugly but powerful helm, various brands of new armor or even 6 1 handed maces because a gnome was telling all the details about it.
He has a dead ram as his mount, resurrected by Schweitzer. Flintlocke has a recurring problem with trying to convince others that his ram isn't dead (claiming that "he's got a cold"), and his excuses generally don't work out too well for him.
Flintlocke always talks in what seems to be a Scottish accent (an accent that is normally used by Dwarves), never using normal prose if he can help it, though at times when he is talking to himself (such as in "Six Stages") he reverts to a more normal style of prose.
Night Elf hunter, and the unofficial girlfriend of Flintlocke. Their relationship is a tumultuous one at best, considering her high respect of nature versus his propensity to use small furry mammals as ammunition.
Kathrena once killed Flintlocke after he gave her an empty chocolate box for Valentine's day, claiming he needed to throw those to distract a charging boar, and that besides she was "a wee bit thick inna bum." (This prompted the Spirit Healer itself to call him a "dumbass".) She's never actually stopped going out with him, however, despite him twice sending her into comas (once when demonstrating how to "plant" a tree, and once when he was wielding a pair of "beaverchucks").
She is a highly skilled archer who can take down most opponents with a single arrow to the throat or chest, leading her to admit that maybe hunters need to be nerfed. She used to have a pet spider named Ittsy Bittsy who tried eating Flintlocke's face on their first meeting. The spider only showed up in that comic (though it was referenced once more, when Bloodrose was talking strategy). It appears that Kathrena has since ditched Ittsy Bittsy and gotten an enormous purple pet raptor, named "Parappa the Raptor".
In keeping with the nonsensical tone of the strip, Kathrena may be pregnant with a tree, due to the happenings during the party's split in Ashenvale.  She denies this, prompting Flintlocke to claim " Tha's not wot Wikipedia sez!" . (This hotlinked directly to this page.) She later tells a friend "So I says to him, "No, I don't want full custody. I just think the baby tree should go to Night Elf schools"."
Despite her possible "relationship" with the tree, it is nonetheless hinted that Flintlocke and Kathrena have a romantic, steady relationship- the fact that they are total opposites notwithstanding.
The priest of the group, though his position as a healer is highly debatable. "Doc" never attacks, instead favoring a tactic of hiding behind trees and columns or running away, only coming out of hiding when there is something for him to loot. When no other option is available, he has been known to pee his pants as a direct response.  While it may seem like cowardice to the untrained eye, Doc has come to rationalize this behavior with a complicated explanation. He has cast spells only three times in the entire comic so far. Once he cast Inner Fire (an armor class buff) while he was all alone and thought himself discovered by a tauren scout (it's not known exactly what the spell did, if anything at all). The second time he, again, cast Inner Fire on himself.And the last time, he resurrected Flinlocke's dead Ram, rendering it undead. He doesn't even draw his weapon, claiming he needs "both hands free for looting." He will stop pilfering the trail of dead bodies just long enough to make love to pretty females he meets along the way, true to the vow of unpiety he swore in a desperate plea to save his own cowardly life (just before casting the aforementioned useless spell). He joined a Horde guild while in the middle of a drug high  in the streets of Gadgetzan, and has an anarchy emblem permanently spray painted to his tabard.. In the end of the series, Schweitzer manages to survive the detonation of the Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon due to a parachute cloak, which he declares as "awesome".
While captured by the Horde group, Schweitzer mistakenly thinks that Cheri wants have a relationship with him, and shows her "his thing". She later asks him if he wants to see some "risqué" pictures of her modeling in real life, and if they should meet out-of-game. He doesn't understand, and kills her with the "Murder" macro described below.
After being specced by The Wuuf, the "Doc" realises that he has a "Murder" macro, which he uses to a devastating effect. [The results of said spell on Dr. Bubbles]
She is the consummate powergamer who "plays this game to win". Flintlocke often calls her a "munchkin". She is such a powergamer that she once gained a level just by talking at length about battle strategy .
Her focus is best demonstrated by how she obtained level 60: when the group split up for a short time, she took advantage of this break to gain enough experience to reach level 60 in just under 4 hours . She has obtained enough power and resources to actually discard an epic mace rather than sell it at the auction house.
Much like "Doc" and Flintlocke himself, she is not above looting dead bodies herself, having no shame in going through the pockets of corpses long buried at the Scarlet Monastery. She has a problem with those who would actually read anything - books, letters, the like - in game, once telling Flintlocke "this is why you're not level 60 yet."
Despite this, there is some heart to Bloodrose. Upon meeting Lowping's real player, an intellectual and gentleman, she promptly fell in love; his use of complete sentences and large words - "rigid superstructure" in particular - was a "turn-on".  She does, however, utterly hate and despise the macro "script-kiddy" Lowping, whom she despises for both stealing the Hat of the Archmage from her - twice - and for being a Rogue, a class she detests (mostly because she thinks they are overpowered).
Bloodrose also hates the Winter Veil (in-game Christmas) holiday, mostly because it brings back bad memories. She told the story to Flintlocke and crew at their second Winter's Veil together. She goes on to explain that she was the actual reason Gnomergan is irradiated, as it resulted from her attempting to get an edge over her siblings during the family's Winter Veil game. 
A gnome rogue. He is played by a man who had not been at his keyboard in over a year before returning, leaving his character to be handled by scripts and macros  that have Flintlocke set on /follow and /assist. The macros were downloaded from a Chinese fileserver. He has several bizarre automatic commands built into his scripts, such as molesting barmaids, requesting cybersex from female players, climbing into Flintlocke's dead ram  and automatically running to the Stockades to loot the first chest he finds whenever entering Stormwind.
His scripts will always have him attacking dangerous opponents at the worst possible times, though his backstabs have been known to take down incredibly powerful enemies in just seconds. Bizarrely, despite being run entirely on macro, he is easily one of the deadliest members the party has, often killing enemies before even Bloodrose can get to them.  He also has a quirky love of hats, which is always the first thing he will loot on fallen mobs. His speech is limited to short lines such as the leetspeak "I lewt teh hat" and "Ebay! Ebay!". He was thought to be an Asian gold farmer, however it was revealed that he is actually an affluent English-speaking patent attorney/world traveler, and used Chinese scripts to make money in his absence from his keys.. He is incredibly skilled at making off-the-cuff calculations for weaponry, and this is not his first time on the quest to steal the Ultimate Goblin-Engineered Weapon; it is actually his fifth, though he has ominously remarked that, while not able to see what happened due to his absence from the keyboard, his macro logs indicate that a short time after finding it each time, all his party members died horribly.
Bloodrose, who utterly hates Lowping both for being a macro script-kiddy and for looting - twice - the Hat of the Archmage that she wants so very badly, once after outrolling her by one point, has been charmed almost instantly by the "real" Lowping, who wrongly deduced that the Hat of the Archmage he was wearing was a gift from Bloodrose - complimenting her on denying the trend of powergaming and letting a comrade, one who was run by scripts to boot, acquire such a valuable article. Due to this, Lowping incorrectly believes the munchkin Bloodrose to be a very honorable player, and she has fallen in love with his ability to speak in complete sentences. They even performed a mimicry of a scene from the Titanic movie together. Just before Bloodrose could tell Lowping her feelings for him, he told her he had to take a conference call and would be going AFK "for a bit." Lowping then reverted to his previous scripted behaviour at the same moment she shouted "I love you!", prompting him to become excessively amorous with her on the spot, much to her vexation. The last time he logged in, "real" Lowping found himself riding a the Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon, like a pony... again, before the weapon detonated and destroyed most of Stormwind.
One of Lowping's alts is "the richest mage on the server", an undead mage. He later helps the Horde characters in "Flintlocke vs The Horde" get better gear, in order to overpower his own team. While he is logged out, Flintlocke drops him into a toilet.
PSI Investigators: A duo of detectives, who are part of the PSI "pween scene investigation" group. In their debut episode, the subordinate detective is referred to as "McKenzie", while the head detective remains unnamed throughout the series (although is named "Inspektor" by the author). They are both undead and follow the trail of dead cameo characters left behind by Flintlocke and his crew. While McKenzie always seems to pin down the exact cause of death and deduce Flintlocke's unorthodox methods, his leader will inevitably dismiss his conclusion offhand and instead claim that the victim instead died by some bizarre suicide ritual or other farfetched method. As time goes by and Flintlocke's gang leaves more and more corpses, their theories get stranger and stranger.  For all their unusual working methods, they are quite devoted to their duties and will run in-depth tests to arrive at their ultimate conclusions.
Bayne: The ordnance officer who holds the secret to the Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon which Flintlocke seeks ever since he found an "ancient map drawn in ancient crayon."  He has been dead for quite some time, resting in the Scarlet Monastery graveyard until he was dug up and his body looted by Flintlocke and Bloodrose (Flintlocke vandalized his grave afterwards). This prompted him to return as an undead for revenge, though this was not such a bright idea as he came back to life surrounded by Scarlet Crusaders, who proceeded to kill him 12 more times before he could crawl back out of the monastery with a renewed hatred of all living things. He later joined the Horde raiding party and now plans to use the ultimate weapon to achieve his goal. He began telling his story to the Horde people but they got bored before he could finish and cut him off to go and raid Stormwind.
The Tauren Scout: A Tauren who was tracking Schweitzer in Ashenvale and then gained a level by going to the toilet. After being killed by Flintlocke and his party, he caused Orgrimmar to believe Flintlocke was gong to Raid Ashenvale through a little Spreading-of-the-word misunderstanding.He is the Guildmaster of Desk Chair Lamp (based on a now defunct guild on the Bloodscalp server) which apparently sounds very intimidating in Common. He later shows up laying siege to Gadgetzan trying to find Flintlocke and even later massing a Raid to Stormwind
Schweitzer's father: A drunken man, legally blind from syphilis, whose only bright spot in life is thinking that his son is upstanding, honorable, devout and pious. Clearly, the syphilis has affected a lot more than just his eyesight. Has an unusually deep outlook on life and seems to be the only character seen so far to be able to grasp the concept that the world is not black and white, but multiple shades of grey. Cannot feel his own crotch, but can feel other peoples' .
The Wuuf: The most renowned player there is, his skill is legendary, even Bloodrose considers that he is hardcore and that he makes her look like Doc. He terrorizes game designers who fear what he may post negatively on their forums about their new games, and has been a level 60 priest since the very first day that the World of Warcraft servers went up. His reputation is such that he always shows up saying "BEHOLD!" and gets away with making up new words that everyone else start using right away. He only made a four word comment during the beta test: "too easy, nerf everything." The Wuuf helped Schweitzer re-allocate his priest talents following the 1.10 patch as a favour in return for an undisclosed service Bloodrose did for him, though he hinted it somehow involved his love of gnome feet. Oddly enough, The Wuuf ended up having fear flash in his eyes, crapping his pants and running off when he learned that Flintlocke's guild is seeking the Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon.
Moomoo, the Random Tell Guy: His sole purpose in life seems to be to send whispers (messages) to other players filled with acronyms, abbreviations, non-sequiturs and general nonsense, all the while performing unrelated animated emotes like /dance and /wave. Examples of this include "wii? wtf!?" and "roast beef tag?1" He also makes an allusion to the DCFX mod for Battlefield 1942 with the statement "roflcopter." No one can understand anything he says, not even Bloodrose.
The Unnamed Apprentice: This tauren character was only seen for a few episodes, in which he helped formulate the horde's plan to surround Gadgetzan. His appearance was short, for after having watched Lowping being "born" from a ram , he concluded that there were some sickass pervert gnomes around, and subsequently quit the game  upon seeing the ram speak as Flintlocke saved his gnomish pal by dragging him into its backside.
"The Pweenhammer 360 Mace" is (according to its less than reputable gnome creator/seller) the most powerful, state-of-the-art single-handed weapon ever forged by mortal hands. It is a mace, a product of both Gnomish Engineering and Dwarven metallurgy, and it is the only weapon that "Offers a full 360-Degree damage circumference ensured by stainless mithril-plated flanges anchored to a solid truesilver head in a distributed pattern ensuring even wind resistance for a more accurate swing." Also noted is "The solid Darnassian Oak shaft with woven Crocolisk-hide leather grips for added comfort and support, ensuring a hand-hold that will never grow slick with blood." But most unusual of all is "Our circumdynamic weight distribution module built into the tungsten-alloy collar at the end of the shaft. A greased truesilver bearing will shift weight toward the head at the conclusion of every swing, increasing the velocity and striking power by as much as 20% before snapping back to allow an easy follow-through." Flintlocke is so impressed by this endless rambling that he buys 6 of the maces, eliminating any possibility of getting a mount, but the relatively cheap price (7 gold), and the fact that the mace has never been actually used in the series and does not seem to be unique or powerful in any visual or verifiable way implies that the mace is actually not so great at all, and hardly worth it.
"Tha Chuck-shot" which made its first appearance upon the party finding a furbolg camp, and consisted of two charges of heavy blasting powder (pushed in with a ramrod), one juvenile woodchuck (angry) (also pushed in with a ramrod), and plenty of dwarven genius. Flintlocke claims his Great-Great-Uncle Triggerfinger Ironstone created tha chuck-shot . His nickname, Triggerfinger, came from the fact that he only had the one finger left... after masterin' tha chuck-shot!
"Tha Remote Backstab" which appeared when the party attempted to pass to the Great Lift (in Thousand Needles) when they came across a tauren . Flintlocke himself invented this manouvere in a bar bet, by using six charges of heavy blasting powder, and then attaching a gnomish rogue (Lowping) to a plunger. The outcome of such an attack was surprising to the group as a whole, especially effecting the Doc, as it bored a hole clean through the unfortunate tauren. (One of the Pween Scene Investigators mentions that bits of the tauren's ribcage were found in Un'goro Crater, three zones away.)
"Gnomish Bazooker" consists of a one-ton bomb stuffed in a hollow log and a grenade as a projectile. It is the only weapon Flintlocke used that did not work.
"Beaverstick" and "Beaverchucks" are animal-based weapons. The Beaverstick  is basically a dead Beaver stuck to the end of a pike, while the Beaverchucks  are a pair of beavers tied together at the tails and swung around like a nunchaku. The Beaverstick was used to fell one of the Everblooming, a tree of mythical proportions.
"Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon", though not technically a weapon of Flintlocke himself, is a contraption sought by the party and eventually acquired. It is, in reality, a bunch of guns (and some landmines) strapped to a bomb.
The opportunity to use it has come up twice. Against the Everblooming, Flintlocke argued against using it, claiming it'd be a waste of time to use it on one tree, as opposed to the whole forest. It was finally used - with Lowping riding on it - to assault the Horde raid attacking Stormwind. Given the bomb's range, however, it is just as likely to destroy Stormwind along with the Horde raid.
Though the comics originally began as a series of plotless, non-interconnected sketches which detailed random adventures of Flintlocke the Dwarf, over the years an actual plot has steadily formed. Though it is impossible to outline everything that has happened here, the overall gist is of Flintlocke, Kathrena, Schweitzer, Bloodrose and Lowping searching for the "Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon", a mysterious device the existence of which is (debatably) verified by a note scrawled in crayon which the five companions found on the body of the ogre Chok'sul. During the endless trek to find the weapon, Flintlocke has ended up angering the Horde due to the killing of several members of it in the Ashenvale forest, and they have since declared full war upon the Alliance. By the time the friends actually find the weapon, buried in the Arathi Basin, the Horde is attacking Stormwind city. The weapon, when finally discovered, isn't what anybody expected. The series seemed to be coming to an actual plot ending, in which the group hijacks a "diridgerdablerable," flies to Stormwind, and drops the weapon on the city, with Lowping riding it in parody of Dr. Strangelove. The man who controls Lowping returns from being AFK at this moment, having just enough time before impact to note that he's riding a falling bomb "again."
The series was thought to have ended with the weapon detonating and a giant explosion consuming Stormwind, as the comic was not updated for several weeks after this point. However, on February 6th an update was released showing a drawn comic of Flintlocke standing in a flooded and destroyed Stormwind asking about what the The Burning Crusade is with a message that the comic would continue with the new art style February 27th. On February 27th, the preview comic was replaced with what seems to be the first strip of a new series of Flintlocke's Guide showing the aftermath of the detonation with Sweitzer falling from the sky safely thanks to a Parachute Cloak.
On April 12th 2007, Gamespy posted a notice on the comic's page stating that the series has been ended. This was apparently due to a lack of an artist for the new art style the comic was trying to move to instead of using World of Warcraft's in-game models.
In popular culture Edit
- With the addition of the Burning Crusade expansion in World of Warcraft, upon which the comic is based, a pair of plate pants have been added, entitled, "Flintlocke's Piloting Pants", a possible reference to Flintlocke's escapade with a dirigible.
- In Cataclysm, Flintlocke is an NPC in the Twilight Highlands.
- Lowping rides the "Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon" in homage to Doctor Strangelove
- The (coventional) explosion animation is taken from Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
- Flintlocke's more spectacular detonations are depicted as mushroom clouds at the horizon
- Flintlocke's user put him on autorun when he went to make a sandwich. He ran all the way around Azeroth.
- Flintlocke's hearthstone is inexplicably set to Thunder Bluff, something normally impossible for an alliance character.
- The screenshot at the end of episode 16 'Fast Times in Arathi Basin' is of the roguelike game NetHack.
- GameSpy mocked up a WoW TCG card for him (notice the card number is 398 / 361, but 361 is the total number of cards available in the set).