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Warlords of Draenor: Archmage Vargoth's Spare Staff

Players who have been around since Burning Crusade have fond memories of a fellow named Vargoth. We've given a rundown of the man's history in an earlier post about his newfound status as a garrison follower in Warlords of Draenor, but where Vargoth is concerned, Warlords keeps giving.

Players clung to Vargoth's staff back in Burning Crusade to retain the ability to summon the mage to their side at any time. In Warlords, an updated version of that staff can be acquired via the rare follower mission Finding Farahlon. Successfully completing Finding Farahlon awards you with the Mysterious Shining Lockbox which contains Archmage Vargoth's Spare Staff. The Warlords version of the staff, which fits into your toy box, appears to use the same spell effects as the Burning Crusade version. Vargoth continues to talk about betrayal at the hands of Kael'thas despite those events being in the distant past by now. Regardless, there's no longer a need to carry a quest item in your bags in perpetuity.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Pointless Top 10: Skies in World of Warcraft

Today we have another of Wowcrendor's Pointless Top 10 lists -- this time, doing some more looking up at skies, almost a companion piece of sorts to his earlier top 10 list of ceilings. I'm a big fan of looking up and taking in all the sights when I'm running around Azeroth, but Crendor's managed to point out a couple of skyboxes I really just hadn't taken note of before. For some reason, it appears as though I spent the majority of Wrath of the Lich King doing anything but checking out the sky.

While I don't necessarily agree with his number one choice, I've visited the location mentioned quite a few times and admired the sky. I am pretty happy that Winterspring made it on the list, though. Winterspring is one of those kind of underrated zones that people don't really spend a lot of time in, but the skies above all the snowy landscape are honestly some of the prettiest vistas in the game. What do you guys think? Any skies out there that you think should have made the list?

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: WoW Moviewatch

Know Your Lore: Blackhand the Destroyer

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.

There are no spoilers for Warlords of Draenor here, because we're not talking about that Blackhand. No, the Blackhand we're going to talk about today is the original, the first Warchief of the Horde, the leader of the Blackrock orcs. A raider of the Sythegore Arm and a feared wolf-rider, Blackhand was both tactically brilliant and overly fond of flattery - he rose to the position of Warchief because he possessed both the ruthless cunning necessary to lead the Horde and the ego and vanity that Gul'dan used to manipulate him. It was this strange mix in his personality, his bloodlust and desire for power yet gullibility and willingness to be misled that led him to the position of Warchief, led him onto an alien world, and ultimately led him to his death.

Blackhand was first in command of the Blackrock clan. He had three children with his mate Urukal, Griselda, Rend and Maim. Griselda's fate shows us that not all orc clans were as egalitarian as the Frostwolves. But before all of that, before he sold his children to warlock magic to make adults from them before their time, before he was Warchief, before he drank the demon blood after Grom Hellscream, Blackhand was an ambitious, cruel, and eager warrior who sought glory in battle, and his own aggrandizement.

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

The Queue: Fandral Ewing

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) is answering all kinds of questions today.

After reading all the comments on yesterday's Queue, only a scant few of you guys seemed to recognize the Dallas reference. So I figured Bobby Ewing would make yet another return from the dead in today's Queue. You're welcome.

As an aside, I vaguely, vaguely recall when this episode of Dallas aired, mostly because my mother was so incredibly ticked off that she almost chucked the remote control across the room. It was also the last episode of Dallas she ever watched.

lib.feathers asked:

And just where would Fandral Staghelm be taking said shower? You can't leave out important details like that!

The bathroom. ... where else?

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Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: I plasmified this one

From Draenor With Love
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: A hydra, a pot of coffee, being snide, a monster under the bed. Plus: Your candles suck!

On the top of the list this week, we have two new WoW-related comics, Gnomophobia and The Warchief's Command Board. I've linked the archive or index for each, and next week, will begin linking the newest. Thanks for the tips, Jim and SintraEdrien!

Speaking of new projects, if you missed us last week, you might have missed the announcement that Rug finally started her own comic! It's called The Brotherhood of Iron, and includes all of the guest comics from Gnomeregan Forever, plus a new one.

And speaking of Rug, she is also featured in this week's Gnomeregan Forever, which tells the story of why Trig's doctors ordered some bed rest. Despite the serious topic, she has a line that cracked me up. Plus, Trigonometry Comics is back with a new comic, so don't miss it.

Other comics that weren't on the list last week that updated this week include Experience Boost as well as Sara & Kleeyo. Father's Shield continues with two new chapter installments, and Guilded Age starts up Chapter 34. Plus, Gnomeregan Forever showcases a new line style, which got some pretty positive reader feedback. It's a subtle change, though, so you might find yourself flipping back and forth a bit to check it out. Finally, From Draenor With Love wraps up Chapter 3 this week, and celebrates one year since starting the current story. There will be a brief hiatus before Chapter 4 launches, however, which will be tough, considering the cliffhanger/teaser.

To the comics:

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

Breakfast Topic: Well-Known

By the time we get to max level it feels like we're fairly well known. I'm not saying we're celebrities in Azeroth. Potentialy the average person has no idea who we are. But if you've been playing for a while, you've probably accomplished some pretty impressive things. By now I've:
  • Killed two Old Gods
  • Defeated the Firelord Ragnaros twice, the Lich King, Deathwing himself
  • Liberated Westfall twice and defeated the Defias Brotherhood in both original and new flavors
  • Assaulted Orgrimmar and defeated Garrosh Hellscream
And quest text would seem to bear that out. Kings and Warchiefs know us on sight. We're routinely tasked with the most dangerous missions imaginable. So what I wonder is this - are we celebrities? Does the average person know who these people are when we come by town? When I land on a massive dragon in the middle of Redridge because I'm on my way to Blackrock Mountain and I'm getting a friend the flight point, do people just think oh, it's that guy on his dragon or is it a big deal?

I guess I'm just wondering how jaded the average person is about all this. What are your thoughts?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: Hearthstone toys

We're all excited for the toy box feature coming in Warlords of Draenor, but what's a toy box without new toys? Warlords also introduces traveling merchant Benjamin Brode, named for one of Hearthstone's real world designers. Brode peddles his Hearthstone wares in-game with enthusiasm, selling a Hearthstone Board, a Pack of Hearthstone Cards, and the Winning Hand. Brode can be found in your garrison and he's a human regardless of your faction. If you're Horde, however, he'll be sporting a very convincing orc mask.

These items don't mean you can actually play Hearthstone in-game, of course. Upon use, each of them plays an emote and a small animation. The Hearthstone Board, for example, has your character throw to game board down on the ground. If you then click on the game board, your character will flip it in a rage. The Winning Hand shoots off fireworks. When you open the Pack of Hearthstone Cards, your character emotes: [Character] opens up a new pack of Hearthstone cards. Mmm, love that new card smell.

Roleplaying a Hearthstone diehard in World of Warcraft might be a whole lot of fun using these items as props and inspiration.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Voice acting in Warlords of Draenor

There was a moment in the Warlords of Draenor beta when I realized that I was getting a quest from Frank Welker. Aka Megatron. Aka Nibbler from Futurama. Aka a million other voices. The man has 728 credits as an actor on IMDB, and here he is, doing a voice in the Warlords beta. Specifically, Reshad the storekeeper. See, they recently added a ton of voice acting to the beta - pretty much every character you interact with has significant voice work put into it, and for the most part it's frankly stunning. I'm not trying to exaggerate here, but the difference between this expansion and, as an example, Lady Sindragosa's Betraaaaaaaaays you dialogue is night and day.

Heck, just pop over to Frostfire Ridge at level 90, or run through the Tanaan Jungle opening, and you'll hear a variety of voice actors, more so than World of Warcraft has ever boasted.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2 preview highlights upcoming UI changes

Those bags in that header image may look like a disorganized wreck now, but they're about to get cleared out a little sooner than expected. Blizzard released a preview of upcoming UI changes for patch 6.0.2 yesterday -- that's patch 6.0.2, the pre-patch for Warlords of Draenor, not the expansion itself. Along with all the pre-expansion content quests, the new character models, and the preview of Upper Blackrock Spire, we also get all those lovely space-saving improvements ahead of time. That's on top of a host of other really cool UI improvements, including a new and improved Group Finder that includes the Premade Groups function.

In addition, the new map and quest log will make an appearance, the new Void Storage tab will be unlocked, you'll be able to check out your handy new reagent tab in your bank, and you'll be able to sort your bags more easily than ever before. I have to admit, while I'm excited about being able to sort my mounts and pick a few favorites, I'm far more excited to see rows and rows and rows of empty bag slots. For more of what to expect in patch 6.0.2 and how this will change the way you play, check out Blizzard's full preview on the official site.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Rogues and the return of Griftah

I love playing a rogue. I like the sneaky fun of being able to stealth past mobs that would otherwise happily eat my face, I love being able to stun, kick, and poison my way to certain victory. And I love the little quirks of the class. But rogues, for all their entertainment value, don't exactly have a lot to offer in the way of flashy fun factor -- which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face pop up in Warlords of Draenor in a rogue-only series of quests.

Griftah, the wily troll who sells items of questionable value to players, has been a fixture in the game since Burning Crusade, where he underwent his own strange little storyline of being caught, punished, and allowed back into Shattrath City. Since then, he's been seen here and there in game -- but never in the kind of entertaining scope and capacity he had back in Burning Crusade. So what do rogues, fun factor, and everyone's favorite con artist troll have in common? Plenty, in the upcoming expansion.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor