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Know Your Lore TFH: First the ripples, then the stone

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.

For my last KYL, a hat made of tinfoil. You know the drill - for the farewell of this column, Anne and I are going to go out speculating. This one's mine. You might want to read this old KYL to get a handle on the concepts I'm going to be throwing around. The idea is simple enough to start with, however. We know that at some point in the distant past, over twenty five thousand years ago, the fallen Titan Sargeras sought out a world whose inhabitants were powerful, with great potential for magic. Their culture was ancient - so very ancient that it had already risen and fallen and risen again, creating not one, but two golden ages. They were the eredar. Sargeras's offer was accepted, and the majority of the race along with two of the three triumvirs that ruled Argus entire became man'ari, corrupted.

Barely a tenth of the race resisted and escaped, led by Velen and aided by the naaru, who sent the mighty Genedar, a dimension ship, to rescue them from this corruption. Velen first contacted the naaru using the Ata'mal Crystal, an ancient artifact of their people which was said to be a relic of their distant past. This has always interested me - the Ata'mal Crystal is said to be an eredar relic, yet it summons the naaru and their dimension ship, and when it is used in this fashion it shatters into seven fragments, each of which manifest strange new powers when used properly.

Where am I going with this? Well, Sargeras was a Titan. Like all Titans, he has strange and almost unfathomable powers, and he seeks to undo the works of his fellow Titans, his former friends and allies in the Pantheon. He sought out the eredar - he went looking for them. This has always struck me as interesting, because the eredar resemble a race created by the Titans here on Azeroth, namely the mogu.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: The Lament of Captain Placeholder

If we're going out, we're going out singing sea shanties, just like The Lament of Captain Placeholder. Sure, it's sad that our friend Captain Placeholder has gone, but a new and more vibrant world has risen in his place. At least we hope it has.

Farewell, fellow placeholders! We'll just sing ourselves out.

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.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Patch 6.1: Twitter integration live on the PTR

The functionality for posting on Twitter within World of Warcraft is now up and running on the PTR servers. For those that have been wondering, this is a completely optional feature -- if you don't have Twitter, or don't care for Twitter at all, you don't have to use the service. It's just a fun side perk that was thrown in for World of Warcraft -- one that is curiously, strangely addicting. Using it is fairly simple, all you need is a Twitter account and you're good to go. In the Interface/Social menu, there is an option to begin using the Twitter access. It's not a default feature, so you have to checkmark the box in order to get started.

Once you've done that, a button in the UI will open a window that allows you to log in to your Twitter account and authorize World of Warcraft as an application -- it's the same screen that you'll see if you try and log into our comment system using your Twitter account. Click allow access, and you'll be logged in and ready to go! To post to Twitter, type /share into the chat window, and it'll bring up the Twitter interface. Once you've created your tweet, you can submit it and it will post to your Twitter feed in a minute or two.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: This should be somber and dignified

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) really wishes she could keep answering questions forever.

Honestly though the thing I loved best about Fraggle Rock was that it was really, really weird.

Red asked:

Q for Loremaster Anne: can you sum up the entire Warcraft story in a single paragraph?

I think I'll borrow a perfectly applicable quote from one of my favorite authors:
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

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Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Gold stars

Gnomeregan Forever
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Farmer Ted. An impressive rock. A bad wake up. Umbrella. Plus: Grief and mayhem!

In comic news, Trigonometry Comics is out for one week, and Gnomeregan Forever takes a one-week break from its 2014 review to explain why. However, we do have a new Sara & Kleeyo, plus an indication that it will be updating a bit more often in the future. Plus, we have a new extra from Gratz, so be sure to check that out!

If you missed us last week, you will have missed some more great tips from Trig and Lackinganame for anyone considering purchasing a tablet for their digital art.

I've also been wondering how everyone is faring with Trig's challenge for 2015. We are a month into a new year, and it's been a month since we said goodbye to 2014. How are you carrying that seasonal burst of light and love, intended to help us through the dark days, forward in your life?

Me, I'm starting with gratitude. I want to say something to the content creators that probably can never be said enough: Thank you. You bring light and laughter and intrigue to every Sunday morning. You put yourselves out there, you work hard, and you do it for us. And to the readers: Thank you. You rock.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: Do you take a lot of screenshots?

Once upon a time in vanilla on my very first character, I made the mistake of wandering too close to a door guarded by a very angry dragon. Said angry dragon made quick work of my character, and in running back to my corpse, I inadvertently discovered I could run right through that door and resurrect on the other side. The other side of that door was one of the single weirdest places I have ever seen in World of Warcraft -- it was later shaped and molded into the Caverns of Time for the Burning Crusade expansion. But in that moment, I had no idea what it was -- just that the world had suddenly gotten very strange, and very, very screenshot-worthy, which is when I took the screenshot above. I have a lot of screenshots, guys. Each expansion, I snap screenshots of every cool location, cool armor set, neat people, fun events -- you name it, I'm probably sitting there happily snapping away. And I keep them all. Why?

In vanilla, I just liked taking pictures of things -- pretty things, weird things, strange armor I'd purchased and immediately regretted. In Burning Crusade, it was because Outland was so new, and different, and unlike anything on Azeroth. Somewhere in Wrath, after getting my job here, it grew from a hobby into something I did for cataloging purposes. If I needed a screenshot of a particular quest or a particular NPC saying a particular line, then I was going to make sure I had it handy before I even knew I needed it. Betas are great for testing, but they're also great for getting tons of advance screenshots that I will more than likely use later. And beyond that ... well, it's kind of interesting to have a record of all the places I've gone and all the people I've met over the years. It's like flipping through a scrapbook. A really, really nerdy scrapbook.

Do you guys take a lot of screenshots? Do you save the alt-z for important stuff like boss kills and achievements, or do you snap away whenever you see a pretty piece of scenery? Do you save your screenshots from expansion to expansion, or just get rid of them as time goes on? What's the earliest screenshot you've still got?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WRUP: It's the end of the world as we know it edition

So what is team WoW Insider playing this weekend? Since this is the last time we'll be asking (and answering) this question, we went in search of long-lost team members we haven't had the pleasure of seeing around the virtual water cooler lately. That means this last edition of WRUP is super-sized, with answers from WoW Insider staff both current and past. And since we are nearing the end of our time together, we also asked everyone what's kept them playing WoW over the years -- after all, a decade is a long time to spend in any game.

So join us, won't you, for a nostalgia-fueled trip through our favorite game. And if you're playing WoW this weekend, jump into the comments to tell us what you're up to -- and why you've stuck around the game for so long.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Moviewatch: How World of Warcraft Should Have Ended

We're hoping our favorite game isn't coming to an end for a while yet, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy this classic animation that speculates on how Wrath of the Lich King should have come to a close. After all, if you're an end boss and your daily grind is being killed over and over, you'd get tired of it eventually and want a break.

Unfortunately, for both Azeroth and Arthas' vacation plans, Deathwing ruins everything.
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.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Hail and Farewell

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Eleven months ago I wrote this farewell. It says everything I wanted to say about this column - I'm not going to repeat it.But with WoW Insider as a whole in its last days, it felt right to bring back the longest running continuous class column to say something else - to take a look back at the class over the years, to say goodbye to the past and take a look forward into the future.

First off, let me say that for the most part, the redesign of warriors in Warlords of Draenor seems to be working out. Arms and fury DPS? Too low.l Arms in general doesn't feel good to play, and any arms warriors saying so are correct - the spec didn't get the overhaul it needed. Or more accurately, it got an overhaul, but it didn't need one, and now it feels like a once grand 1969 Shelby Mustang with half the options yanked off. Fury plays fine, if somewhat boring depending on your talent choices, but it's clear that it still lacks the bite it needs to be a competitive DPS spec. The buffs it received recently have helped, but in my opinion they haven't helped enough. What I'd like to see for DPS in the future is an arms spec that recaptures some of the fun and feeling of the Mists arms warrior, and simply put, more damage in a less spammy format for fury. A big, big hit instead of having to get off three Wild Strikes when they're free.

As for Gladiator Stance, it's the hit of the expansion. Everyone loves it. People are raiding as DPS using it, because for quite a while it was head and shoulders above any other DPS spec warriors had. Even after the fury buffs and the change to the talent, Gladiator specced prot warriors are a force to be reckoned with, and it's a huge proof of concept success for designing a tanking spec that can also perform as a DPS spec. So kudos to Blizzard there.

Okay, with that out of the way, let's talk about warriors one last time.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Scattered Shots: Let's just pretend Scatter Shot is still a thing


Every Thursday 11 months, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be leaving you with one final column dedicated to the best class in WoW.

The beloved ability that this column was once named after, Scatter Shot, has been lost to time. It didn't feel right to change things up at this point. Scattered Shots will always be Scattered Shots. Besides, I wouldn't want to risk upsetting Grandpappy Frostheim. I hear he has a contingent of level 1 dwarven hunters who follow him around and do whatever he commands. Hogger didn't survive, and neither would I.

Quite a bit has happened for hunters since I was last able to write this column 11 months ago. The Warlords beta and first few weeks of release was somewhat of a roller coaster, but things are settling down. Outside of high-end raiding progression, all 3 hunter specs are competitive with each other. Our major talents are getting buffed and re-balanced in the upcoming patch 6.1. Overall, I think hunters are in a pretty good place.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots