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Anne Stickney

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Breakfast Topic: What's the one thing you wish you hadn't gotten rid of?

Once upon a time, many years ago, I took my priest through the introductory world event for Wrath of the Lich King. Somewhere along the way I got distracted by the whole zombie invasion process, and neglected to turn in the Dual-Plagued Brain that was a part of the quest process for the event. I didn't mind, really -- I liked the Brain. It talked to my priest, mumbling little encouraging words of wisdom like "Cling to your hope, mortal!"

Mind you, it promptly followed that up by adding that hope sweetened the soul and thus would make a really good dessert for the Lich King, but it was the thought that counted. Or maybe it wasn't the thought, since the thought was pretty horrible. Regardless, I kept the Brain in my bags, pleased that my priest had something to talk to, even if it made little sense to those around her. Unfortunately, at some point after the event was over, the Brain fell silent and spoke no more. I kept it anyway -- I mean, why not? Who in their right mind would keep a Dual-Plagued Brain in their bags?

Sadly, during Cataclysm I chose to take one for the guild team and race-changed to a tauren briefly, so we could get the Classy Tauren achievement. When I did so, the Dual-Plagued Brain vanished from my bags for good -- I didn't realize it would remove the item from my bags until it was too late to do anything about it. Out of all the things I've inadvertently deleted over the years, I miss the Dual-Plagued Brain the most -- largely because I can never get it back. What about you guys? What's the one thing you've gotten rid of that you wish you had back again? Is it a piece of armor? A weapon? A quest item, or a trinket? What's that one thing you really want back again?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Quests, story, and you in Warlords of Draenor

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.

A new expansion is certainly about delivering new content, but it's also a vehicle for story progression -- and the end of Mists of Pandaria left behind plenty of questions waiting to be answered. Unfortunately, any questions having to do with Pandaria or Azeroth will have to wait, as we have other, more pressing matters to think about. In Warlords of Draenor, the Iron Horde looms just over the horizon, a threat eerily reminiscent of the old Horde that began the First War so many years ago. Except the Iron Horde is stronger, more organized, and bolstered by the knowledge of just what's on the other side of that Dark Portal they are constructing, thanks to Garrosh Hellscream.

That story, the story of Warlords of Draenor, is taking us in a different kind of direction, the likes of which we haven't seen before. While Mists may have pushed the button on innovation as far as max-level content was concerned, its seemingly never-ending cycle of daily quests upon daily quests quickly grew from entertainment to frustration as players quickly grew tired of the cycle of daily gated content and rewards. Warlords has none of that -- but it does have a whole host of new ways to make the story feel important, without overpowering how the player approaches the game.

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

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

Warlords of Draenor: Beta raid testing schedule for Monday, July 28

Raid testing for Warlords of Draenor will continue on Monday with two new scheduled encounters, according to a post made by Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas. As with last week's testing, both encounters will be on Heroic difficulty, allowing players to bring a group of anywhere from 10-30 people in order to test the content. To get in the raid, speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade, who is now also located in Dalaran, Shattrath, and both factions Vale Shrines, as well as Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and your garrison.

Oregorger from Heroic Blackrock Foundry will begin at approximately 10:30AM PDT, and the Twin Ogron encounter from Heroic Highmaul will begin at approximately 4pm PDT. Characters that participate in testing will have their effective level scaled to 100 for the purposes of testing, so no need to worry about gear or level. Keep in mind that testing periods are subject to change at any time -- so if you're interested in testing, keep a eye on the official forum thread for any updates.

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Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

US Connected Realms update for July 25

The list of US realms scheduled for the Realm Connection service has been updated with new dates, and a new planned connection. Realm Connections take place on Thursdays, beginning at 5am PDT and ending at approximately 1pm PDT. If you're on a realm scheduled for connection, keep that in mind. The following list is for US realms only -- EU realms should take a look at the official forum thread for more information regarding the EU connection schedule.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, July 24.
  • Malfurion and Trollbane
  • Ravenholdt and Twisting Nether
  • The Venture Co and Maelstrom

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

The Queue: In which a retraction is made

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 know, I wasn't exactly pleased about the idea of "capital" city locations being on Ashran -- I was really, really looking forward to Karabor. But after seeing the town on beta last night, I hate to admit it, but ... well, it's pretty cool. The inn is awesome, I love the trading post, the place is just being built so I'm assuming it'll get bigger later, but ... it's really not that bad. Consider me pleasantly surprised, and apologetic for criticizing it. It's not Karabor, but it's cool, and I could see hanging out there every now and again. Much better than the Shrines in Mists.

CaptainCakewalk asked:

Q4tQ: A nice question (I think so anyway!). What would be the one thing you would love to see in the game lifted from unused Lore in WoW / Warcraft Universe as a whole? I personally would love to one day go to Kul'Tiras as it seems like it would be an amazing place to visit!

I would very much like to see Kul Tiras, provided they retcon Jaina's other brother Tandred back into the game and make him a swarthy burly crusty sailor dude a-la Captain Slam Beefchin from the Mists trailer. Then pair him up with guns-and-roses Lorna Crowley on a mission to get Gilneas back, because I'm guessing it would be tremendously entertaining to watch the two of them snipe at each other.

I may have thought about this before.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Do you follow the devs on Twitter?

In a world that is increasingly focused on the quick exchange of information, social media has become one of those seemingly obligatory things that are a part of our daily lives. If you have a computer, then surely you must have Facebook, or Twitter, or Tumblr, or Instagram, or Youtube, or any number of other social media platforms. Heck, you don't even need a computer anymore -- most mobile phones offer apps that will let you do pretty much anything you can do on your computer or tablet. But just because you have access to these things, it doesn't necessarily mean you use them.

Twitter is one of those things that I'm inordinately fond of, largely because it's an instant way of communicating with people that doesn't take forever and a day to accomplish. The 140 character limit keeps me brief -- although I have been known to spam several tweets in succession to get my point across, every now and again. With a growing number of Blizzard developers showing up on Twitter every day, Twitter has also become a useful tool for finding out tidbits of news as they're announced.

But not everyone has Twitter -- and even if you have Twitter, you might not be following the developers. Is social media a thing for you? Do you have a Twitter account? Do you follow the devs either via Twitter, or through a blue tracker, Facebook, or some other method of keeping track of it all? Do you like to know what the devs are up to with instant updates, or would you rather just check in with a news site for the important stuff?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: New login screen music

Adriacraft is at it again, digging up new models and music from the latest build of Warlords of Draenor. One of the more notable datamined pieces is a brand-new login screen track, labelled Siege of Worlds. While it bears resemblance and shares sections with the previous login track found on the beta, this version feels much more complete and includes several sweeping, intriguing themes right along with the now-familiar beat of the Iron Horde's war drums.

But perhaps the coolest part of the soundtrack starts at approximately 11 minutes into the piece. Long-time Warcraft fans should immediately recognize the familiar sounds of the human theme from Warcraft III, beautifully re-done with a triumphant flourish. It's a gorgeous new piece of music, but it's also a fantastic nod to one of Blizzard's beloved classics. Listen to the full theme above, and be sure to check out Adriacraft's channel for more from the Warlords beta.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Well Fed Buff: Dalaran "Apple" Pie

Ever since the first days of WoW, mages have been conjuring up food items out of thin air for the general public. One of the offhand questions I'm asked every now and again is what, exactly, all that conjured food tastes like? I never really had an answer, because I assumed that the answer was "whatever that food happened to be called." Mana strudel? It tastes like strudel. Mana biscuits? They taste like biscuits. The only difference between mana strudel and regular strudel was the ingredients -- the rest was pretty much the same.

Which is why, when I ran across this incredibly odd recipe, I was immediately reminded of Azeroth's mages. It was also why I immediately had to create it for myself, and test it out on my family. This apple pie passed with flying colors, and it's so easy to make, you'd swear it was magic. The ingredients list is relatively short for this particular concoction ... oh, and the apples? You can leave those out entirely, we won't be needing them. You heard me.

Let's head to the kitchen and conjure up some Dalaran "apple" pie, shall we?


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Filed under: World of WarCrafts, Arts and Crafts

The Queue: Bashiok, where is my loot?

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.

I found Bashiok. He's a very handsome tree person, but he didn't drop anything -- I'll have to re-visit him later.

Fizzl asked:

Lore Q4TQ (stolen from reddit): In WC3, what port did Arthas take to Northrend? There don't appear to be docks anywhere in Lordaeron so did he go all the way to Menethil? Or is it one of those things that just got overlooked and lost in translation?

It was never really defined, but I assume that Lordaeron had ports at one point in time, before the Scourge went and wiped everything out. Silverpine does have a northern coast, after all.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Should Draenor have new world holidays?

Much like the current expansion, we're headed to new territory in Warlords -- this time, an entirely different world. Sure, we've been to Outland, but we've never seen Draenor like this before, with all native civilizations intact and in one piece, if suffering from the relentless onslaught of the Iron Horde. Draenei villages and fortresses are intact along with orc settlements and even an entire zone full of arakkoa whose purpose in this expansion is still a mystery.

One of the things I've been vocal about is my disappointment that we never really saw any pandaren holidays with this expansion. Sure, Pandaria may have been thrown into chaos with our arrival, but you'd think a race like the Pandaren would have a few really cool cultural holidays of their own. The Wanderer's Festival was neat, but we really didn't see anything else in the way of in-game events ... and with world holidays growing more and more stale with each passing year, it would have been nice to see something new.

Draenor isn't just a new continent like Pandaria -- it's an entirely new world, one that highlights both orc and draenei culture, as well as arakkoa, ogre, and a multitude of other races. Wouldn't it be cool if we got a new holiday or two out of the deal? Do you think we could use some new world holidays? What kind of holidays and festivals do you think the orc and draenei races have? If you could add a new holiday to WoW, what would you put in?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics