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Did you miss in Pandaria?: The broken burner

Shrine of Fellowship incense burner
Not long ago, Blizzard unveiled the action-packed Warlords of Draenor cinematic, a worthy follow-up to the one for Mists of Pandaria. But did you know there's an achievement that ties in to the Mists trailer?

Restore Balance sounds like it's just for druids, but anyone can earn it. The achievement asks you to "Visit the Shrine of Fellowship in the Jade Forest and follow in the footsteps of Chen Stormstout." What these cryptic instructions really mean is to find the in-game location where the Mists trailer happened.

Head northeast from Grookin Hill toward the mountain on your map. When you see Shrine of Fellowship pop up on your screen, you're in the right place. It's a flat, misty plateau with a prominent jade bell (it was featured in the cinematic).

Look for the Broken Incense Burner. You'll notice it's a bit crooked, just like in the trailer before Chen straightens it. Click on it to "restore balance" and you'll earn the achievement. I wonder if there will be a similar achievement for the Warlords trailer...

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The latest season of Hearthstone ranked play ending soon

The latest season of ranked play in Hearthstone is coming to a close in just a few short days on August 31. This month's participation reward is the Chill of Icecrown card back seen above. You only need to hit rank 20 before the end of the month to earn the skin, which isn't a particularly difficult task. Losses prior to rank 20 don't cause you to lose ranking, so as long as you play enough to work your way up to that point, you have it in the bag.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Tom Chilton: Blizzard had hoped to have Warlords out a couple of months ago

In a recent interview with Icy Veins, Tom Chilton talked about Warlords of Draenor and one of the things he mentioned that struck me immediately was that Blizzard was hoping to have Warlords out by now. Specifically, a few months ago.
We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed.
This echoes what other developers have said in interviews and it interests me because one of the things we've bemoaned is the huge drought in content between the end of Siege of Orgrimmar and now - if they'd intended to have Warlords out in June, that would have been a fairly reasonable amount of time for a new expansion, really. (September to June is 10 months, long, but much more reasonable) and the idea that just throwing people at development doesn't immediately bring more content because they have to learn what they're doing makes sense.

I still feel like it's been a heck of a dry spell, all things considered. I really would like to see the alternate timeline where Warlords released in June.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Alliances

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Unlike the Horde (as we discussed last week) there have really only been two Alliances. There was the Alliance of Lordaeron, formed by the human kingdoms of the northern parts of the Eastern Kingdoms, the Wildhammer dwarves and the refugees of Stormwind (and later joined by the dwarves of Khaz Modan, gnomes of Gnomeregan and the high elves of Silvermoon) - this Alliance ultimately died many small deaths as members left. Gilneas over the establishment of internment camps for orcs rather than simply exterminating them and the expense of maintaining Nethergarde Keep, Stromgarde over Thoras Trollbane's argument with Terenas Menethil over Trollbane's wish to simply execute all orc prisoners outright. The high elves of Quel'thalas left as soon as they reasonably could after the death of Anduin Lothar, since they originally only joined the Alliance due to an ancient oath to the Arathor bloodline, of which Anduin Lothar as the sole survivor.

It was the rise and fall of this Alliance, which came together fitfully, was nearly destroyed by betrayal, and ultimately died not from defections or secession but by the hand of the man born to rule one of its kingdoms that created its successor. To understand the Alliance of Lordaeron, we must understand the First and Second Wars.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Tragedy

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

When you lose control and you got no soul
It's tragedy
When the morning cries and you don't know why
It's hard to bear

Anyway, let's answer some questions in this there Queue. What's that? There are no questions, just people talking about their favorite fantasy novels or movies or games?

Tragedy.

Bhuta asks:
QfQ: With the hybrid "gear tax" disappearing in WoD... what incentive is there to roll a pure dps class? I mean, I've mained a lock since BC... but considering I can do roughly the same work in WoD and be able to not only DPS, but also heal (with a priest)... it's hard for me to justify sticking with it. I mean, sure there's nostalgia... but beyond that... the optional utility is hard to pass up. What are you thoughts?

Do you want to heal?

Every single time I've been in a guild, I've always ended up tanking, even when I joined as pure DPS, because warriors can tank and DPS. Druids and monks can tank, DPS and heal - guess which roles are the most represented for them? (Hint - it's not their DPS specs.) If you want to tank or heal, then by all means, play a hybrid capable of filling those roles.

If you want to be sure that, when you join a guild, you won't ever be asked to tank and/or heal, roll a pure DPS. What you call optional I call eventually mandatory. The longer you play a class that can do a role other than DPS, the higher the likelihood that you will be asked to do it. If that's what you're looking for, by all means, play a hybrid. If you want to be a shadow priest and nothing but a shadow priest, you are in for a lot of cajoling.

And if you're just a solo player or a five man player of a PvPer, then I think warlock is a very attractive option.

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: Looking for love in all the wrong places

Submitter Azduke of Fluffy Unicorns on Thaurrisan (US-H) is getting a little desperate to find a date for her school's Homecoming dance. The blood elves always get asked first, then whichever undead women aren't missing too many important body parts, then the pretty-faced trolls. But what of the orcs, the tauren, the goblins, and the pandaren? Surely they deserve dates too. Or they could just do what I did for senior homecoming, which is what horrible tentacle anime in my friend's basement, play Airsoft, and watch my best friend burn off all his arm hair experimenting with chemistry. Still more fun than listening to Bryan Adams songs and pretending I knew how to slow dance.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Six expansions?

I mean, I like planning ahead as much as the next guy, but six expansions? I read that and I actually had to sit down and think about what that means. They're already working on zones for the expansion after Warlords. Does that mean we'll get an announcement at BlizzCon? Does that mean we'll see those zones? How long of an expansion will Warlords actually be - will it be a year and then on to the next one? And then the one after that? Will we level up 5, 10, more or less between expansions? That could put us at level 160 and the year 2020, if all six take a year between releases. What would we even be doing at level 160?

I can't be the only guy scratching his head at the idea of six expansions being in the conceptual pipeline, can I? It just blows my mind. What're your thoughts, gentle readers?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: WoD Cinematic Redubbed

Slightly Impressive took the incredibly orcish orc of the new WoD cinematic and attempted to redub it. While I'm sure plenty of folks will have opinions about the final quality of the piece, the redub is a famous and time-honored method of parody.

The Mountain Dew connect is especially amusing to me, especially because that's a drink that's been long associated with WoW. I suppose if we had to pick a soft drink to corrupt a tribe of orcs, then it probably would be the Dew.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience, part 2

A rune in Molten Core
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

In the last WoW Archivist, we covered the early parts of Molten Core: the "attunement," the grueling trash clear to Lucifron, and the weird hunter-focused mechanics of Magmadar. As we left off, the raid had just reached its first rune. To douse the rune and (eventually) summon Majordomo Executus, you had to make friends with an angry royal guy made of water.

The duke of douse

Duke Hydraxis, as a water elemental, wasn't very fond of other elemental types, particularly Ragnaros or his fiery kin. His Hydraxian Waterlords were the first raid-based reputation in WoW. You could rep up with them before setting foot in Molten Core by killing certain elementals out in the world, but only up to just shy of honored. After that, you had to run MC to get additional rep. Trash gave rep until revered, but only boss kills got you through the slow grind to exalted.

Meanwhile, you could complete a small quest chain for the Duke. He first sent you to kill elementals in Plaguelands and Silithus, and then to obtain an item from Pyroguard Emberseer in Blackrock Spire. Further quests involved killing specific trash mobs and bosses in Molten Core. Hands of the Enemy quite literally asked you to bring him the severed hands of Lucifron, Gehennas, Shazzrah, and Sulfuron. Once completed, you could loot the duke's coffer and choose one of two very valuable fire resistance rings. At this point, the duke also gave you an Aqual Quintessence, one of the most famous items from classic WoW.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Tom Chilton: "We are already in progress with our next expansion"

According to an interview with gameplanet.co.nz Blizzard isn't just working on Warlords of Draenor right now - they're in fact working hard on the next expansion, and have ideas for six or more future expansions they could do.

We are already in progress with our next expansion. We already have zones in production for it. Our next expansion after that, we have a couple of different options that we'll be choosing between over the next several months. Beyond that, there are about six or seven different ideas for expansions that we can take elements of and say, 'You know what? Let's take that and put it in this one for our next expansion after the next one.' Or we might shift the timelines around from what we originally envisioned. There's easily 10 years worth of stuff that we can draw from – more, really.

When I first heard that Warlords of Draenor will be coming out on November 13th, I wondered if that meant it would be all that Blizzard had to talk about at BlizzCon this year. Now that I've read this, I wonder if they'll have the fortitude to announce a new expansion before Warlords even comes out. As crazy as that sounds, if they're working six expansions deep, even if just conceptually, it's definitely a possibility.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor