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Anne Stickney

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Light of the naaru

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.

First featured in the Burning Crusade expansion, the enigmatic naaru have been a constant, benevolent life-force in World of Warcraft -- strange creatures with some sort of eternal crusade against the darkness of the Legion. It was the naaru that saved Prophet Velen and his people when they were on the cusp of being claimed by the dark promises of Sargeras, the naaru that helped them flee, the naaru that taught them the Light. And it was the naaru who seemed to be playing a much, much longer game than anyone else, when Burning Crusade reached its end and the full scope of M'uru's plan was revealed.

Burning Crusade marked the second known occasion that the naaru willingly stepped into the lives of mortal races to pull them away from darkness and reach salvation -- although it's entirely possible they have done this before with other races, on other worlds we've never seen. This has always been presented as the noblest of causes. Yet despite all these altruistic actions, we really know very little about the naaru, where they came from, or ultimately why it is that they feel they must fulfill this task. Yet while Warlords of Draenor largely concerns the orcs and the Iron Horde, there are still a few clues -- just enough to expand that perception of the naaru a little more and raise a few more questions in the process.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Sylvanas' Legacy

It's always fun to see different interpretations and visualizations of well-known events in lore. Today's Moviewatch is the story of Sylvanas' fall, put together by Youtuber Jaley Muffinz. The story is pretty straightforward, and one that we've seen told before in a variety of different books, short stories and novels: Sylvanas Windrunner defends the forests of Quel'thelas from Arthas as long as she can, and isn't allowed the mercy of death, instead transformed into the banshee who eventually reclaimed her body and became leader of the Forsaken. Sylvanas' Legacy isn't really covering new content here, it's simply retelling one of Warcraft's classic tales.

This seems to be the first large-scale project for Jaley Muffinz, and it's a pretty ambitious hunk of history to tackle, but Jaley does a good job for a fledgling effort. The models are awkward at times, but the film does use the older models, and there's a limit to what those models are capable of doing. Jaley also rounded up a variety of voice actors for the various roles in the film, and they do a decent enough job for people that don't do this on any kind of professional level. It's a little rough around the edges, but for a first effort on something of this scale, it works well enough, and shows plenty of potential for future projects down the road. I'm hoping we'll see more of Jaley Muffinz as time goes on here -- it's going to be fun to watch those skills develop and progress.


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

Free Character Migrations for select EU realms

Players on EU realms looking for a change of pace or simply a new place to call home should take note -- Blizzard has opened up free Character Migrations for select EU realms. These Character Migrations are a one-time move from a predetermined list of source realms to a choice of a few destination realms. It's a one-time, one-way move, but it's absolutely free of charge for those that want to take advantage of the process while it's available. At the moment, these Character Migrations will be available until October 23. However, they can be closed down at any time, if enough people have taken advantage of the offer.

Players may also want to note that this is on an individual character basis only. Any guild leaders looking to move their guilds may do so through the Guild Master Realm Transfer service, which they'll still need to pay for. However, guild members that want to follow to the new realm can do so for free with the Character Migration offer. Please note -- this service is only available to EU realms, and at this time, there are no free Character Migrations available for US players. Read on for the official announcement, as well as the full list of available realms for the Free Character Migration offer.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Queue: Stuck on dancing

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.

On the discussion of dancing in WoW, Nocjin and jonmynard reminded me of the existence of the above video, which is still pretty awesome, even with the old models implemented. I'm just wondering what it would look like if it used the newer models. Far less flipper hand, for one thing!

ISO1600 asked:

QftQ: Why oh why do old, easily-soloable raids still have weekly lock-outs? They obviously want us to farm them for transmog, and I REALLY want a Hammer of the Naaru, but only being able to run the Lair once a week sucks.

Because all that stuff is still content to be completed. We are powerful, yes, but our characters are not gods, and should not be able to just mow over all prior content with no limitations in place. If you were able to just run in for a four hour stretch and smack bosses around until you got your hammer, that would pretty much eliminate any reason for you to go back and continue to do that content. Transmog managed to create new uses for old content that didn't exist before -- they aren't going to remove that aspect of the feature, not when it's so wildly popular.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Collection frenzy

There was a really interesting post over on Alternative Chat the other day that got me thinking -- it talked about the Toy Box and a little bit about a curious phenomenon called completion and how it affects players. I have to say I'm one of those players it affects, particularly in the waning days of an expansion cycle when there's little else to do. If you give me a list of things, and I only have part of those things, and there are more of those things to get, I will inevitably go out and try to get them all. Why? I don't know. But if I did, I'd doubtless have the secrets of the universe in my grasp.

The same applies not just to collections, but to things like reputation bars -- if they are not completely filled, I have a curious compulsion to fill them. If I have some kind of progress counter, I need to fill up in the same way. What makes this interesting, as Alternative Chat pointed out, is that it creates a different kind of content, one that maybe isn't for everyone, but it's viable all the same. The Toy Box was created in part as a space saver, to get all those delightful little items out of people's bags and allow Blizzard to freely add more of these kinds of items at their leisure. But hey -- throw a few achievements in the mix, make a pretty UI interface for the thing, and suddenly you have another game of gotta-catch-them-all that will keep people busy for months, maybe even years.

I know I'm not unique in my collecting obsession -- and I know I'm not the only one staring at my Toy Box and mentally checking off items and where to go to get the things to fill the darkened spaces. But I'm curious just how many of us there are out there. Do you like the collecting game? Are you using the Toy Box? Are you finding yourself going out of the way to track down those elusive toys you didn't realize you didn't have? Or are collections, achievement points, reputation bars, and all the rest simply things you don't really pay attention to or care about?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

BlizzCon 2014 Online Merchandise sale begins

BlizzCon's online merchandise sale is now open for business and selling a variety of cool new products. If you have purchased tickets for this year's BlizzCon, or a Virtual Ticket for the show, you may now check out and purchase several of the items that will be available at the convention this year through Blizzard's Gear Shop. The sale has a ton of new items from all of Blizzard's titles -- it's not everything we'll be seeing at BlizzCon, but there's still a wide selection of items to choose from, both brand-new items, and familiar favorites from BlizzCons past as well.

This year's items include several new t-shirts from Blizzard's titles, some new hats, and a special World of Warcraft 10 year anniversary messenger bag, which you can see in the image above. The new faerie dragon plush has also been made available, as well as two new posters -- one featuring art from Heroes of the Storm, the other a stunning image of Grommash Hellscream from the recently released animated series Lords of War.

To check out the items and order, you must have either purchased a Virtual Ticket for BlizzCon 2014, or tickets for the event in Anaheim. If you have purchased a Virtual Ticket, your account should already be flagged for the sale. If you have purchased physical tickets, you'll need to use the redemption code included in your ticket email in order to flag your account. Supplies are limited, so take a look at what's available and place your orders quickly.


Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

WoW Moviewatch: This is Halloween

It's that time of year again! With Hallow's End starting today, it only seemed appropriate to pay homage to the holiday with a machinima that was actually a joint effort between two creators -- Drascier and KillerCookie. This is Halloween was actually put together last year, but it still has all the charm and flavor of the holiday, and features an instantly-familiar soundtrack. The visual effects are appealing, the costumes and characters are cool, and it's difficult to see where the two artists switched off in production -- Drascier and KillerCookie work really well together as a team here.

I have to admit, though, after a week of looking at all the pretty new models, it's almost jarring to see the old ones again. I kind of want to see an updated version of this now!


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 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 17

A fresh and lengthy round of hotfixes for patch 6.0.2 have been released and posted to the official blog. Included in this round of updates are a massive amount of class adjustments and tweaks, as well as adjustments to a variety of raids both old and new, bug fixes, quest fixes, and much, much more.
  • Many, many classes have had the damage of various spells and abilities increased.
  • The Undelete Character feature is now in place, and players are now able to undelete their characters.
  • A bug causing Raid Finder, Heroic, and Mythic items from the Siege of Orgrimmar to become Normal mode versions has been corrected.
  • An issue affecting boosted players and their ability to learn talents has been resolved.
Read on for the full list of hotfixes.

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Filed under: Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Okay so now can we have a Dance Studio?

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.

You guys, I couldn't be happier with how the new models look. There are a few weird anomalies here and there, but overall the effect is a vast improvement to the game. It looks way, way better than it did only a week ago. Of course the blood elf models still need a touch up, but that's on the way after the expansion launches. So how about we dream big -- I mean really, really big -- and consider the thought of maybe, just maybe seeing a Dance Studio in the game? I mean, the models are all fresh and new. And if the old blood elf model looks this good doing the pandaren female dance as-is, things can only go uphill from here, right? Right?

Devin asked:

So what's your favorite change that you didn't discover until live? I just realized that changing my active talents will automatically update my key-bind. I previously had a macro for this that was accomplishing this but only passably.

I was pretty delighted to discover that dialogue has its own volume slider in the game options now. I'd completely forgotten that that was a thing that was going in. I'm also pleased that the grass physics from Draenor seem to have made their way into Azeroth, too. Go try walking through some tall grass and see what it does.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: We meet again, Headless Horseman

Today marks the start of Hallow's End 2014 -- and the start of yet another year of doing the holiday boss in the hopes of finally, at last, getting my hands on those Horseman's Reins. I've been doing this diligently every year since the boss was introduced, although the amount of time I spent farming him went down considerably when they changed it to the satchel system of loot. However, BlizzCon doesn't fall in the middle of the festive proceedings this year, so I'll have an extra day or three to farm. Maybe this will be the year, who knows?

There are very few holidays I actively take part in anymore, but Hallow's End is one of them, just because the quests are fun -- and this year has the added bonus of adding a few toys to the Toybox, holiday items I tossed out in favor of saving bag space. Given everything else that's going on in patch 6.0.2, is Hallow's End something you guys will be doing? Did you get lucky and get the Horseman's mount already, or are you still trying to get it after all these years? Are you going to start your holiday Toybox collecting this year, and squirrel away all the cool holiday items you can get?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics