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Anne Stickney

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Warlords of Draenor: The Kor'kron are officially out

Denizens of the Undercity can breathe a sigh of relief in Warlords of Draenor, as abominations have once more taken their rightful place as guards of the Forsaken capital. Ever since the disastrous events of the Wrathgate and subsequent Battle for the Undercity in Wrath of the Lich King, the Undercity's halls have been dutifully patrolled by Kor'kron -- the elite personal bodyguards and fighting force of the Horde's Warchief. Yet although the Kor'kron were originally sent to simply keep an eye on the Forsaken -- particularly the Royal Apothecary Society -- as expansions went on, the guard became more and more hostile.

This, of course, led up to the events in Mists of Pandaria, where the Kor'kron crossed the line from loyal bodyguards to full-out fanatics working almost as secret police for Garrosh Hellscream. Led by Malkorok, the Kor'kron's ranks expanded considerably when Garrosh granted the Blackrock Clan amnesty and welcomed them into his new vision of the Horde. In the Siege of Orgrimmar, the Kor'kron fought against both rebel forces led by Vol'jin, and the Alliance army -- and found themselves systematically dismantled from both sides.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: It's the little things

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.

Some of the most impressive stuff in Warlords so far, to me anyway, are the little things that are likely going to be overlooked by a lot of players. Carefully placed boots next to an unmade bed. A couple of books stacked up, light reading for whoever is staying in the inn. The leg of chicken, or turkey, or ... well, whatever Draenor's animal equivalent happens to be -- and it's got a bite taken out of it. Let's take a bite out of some Warcraft questions.

Bruin asked:

I have a question about avoiding spoilers. I'd like to play the game and be surprised. I ALSO really like the books, and sometimes comics. Should I avoid the Comic that got released until I play WoD?

It depends. The comic itself takes place before the events of Warlords begin, but it involves characters that are seen in Warlords, and why they are the way they are. I wouldn't call it spoiler material, as it isn't giving away anything that we haven't already seen in promotional art or heard about at BlizzCon, but if you're doing your best to avoid absolutely everything related to Warlords, I'd skip the comic for now. I would also avoid Know Your Lore this evening, because I'm going to be talking about the comic in detail.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: How much do you explore?

One of my favorite parts of playing on a beta is the exploration aspect of it all -- combing the world for hidden hideaways, cool places of particular visual interest, and of course, the bugged areas. Holes in the world aren't really a thing to be feared on the beta, they're a thing to be noted and submitted so that wayward travelers on live servers don't inadvertently fall under the map and die a horrible death in a sea of nowhere. But sometimes these areas do make it to live servers, which is why I don't just explore on the beta, I explore everywhere.

It's one of those things I've loved since vanilla. My first character was a druid, and I remember after finishing the agonizingly long chain to obtain aquatic form, I decided to put a hold on questing and instead swim around the entirety of Kalimdor, from Darkshore to Silithus and back around. I died a lot. But the journey was incredibly fun, and I got to see areas I never would have encountered in the normal span of questing, and familiarize myself with just how big the world actually was.

It's something I do every expansion -- swim, climb, crawl, jump, and poke around every nook and cranny of the map until I'm satisfied I've seen absolutely everything there is to see. After all, someone out there at Blizzard went to all the trouble of building these far-flung areas and caverns. Of course I'm going to give them a look. But what about you guys? Do you spend any time in the game just running around and exploring the world? Have you ever had a strange trip under the map? What was the coolest hidden away area you've ever seen? How much do you explore?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: Dog may be in our garrisons after all

It's no secret that I love Dog, the farm puppy I rescued from the fields of Halfhill in Mists of Pandaria. I've written about Dog on a couple of different occasions, because he was just a really cool and unique perk to leveling reputation with the Tillers. Does Dog do anything? No, not really -- he just hangs around on the farm, responds to a few different emotes, but he doesn't actively do anything to further the game. He's just Dog, defender of the farm house, digger of holes, and overall good boy.

It was with some concern that I wondered what Dog's fate would be when Warlords of Draenor hit -- I didn't like the idea of leaving the poor little guy behind. According to a recent tweet by Cory Stockton, that may not be a worry after all.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

US Connected Realm updates for August 8

The list of US realms scheduled for the Realm Connection service has been updated with a few new dates, the return of a few servers that have been on and off the list, and some updates on the future of the service. If you are on one of the servers listed below, please note that Realm Connections take place on Thursdays, beginning at 5am PDT and ending at approximately 1pm PDT. The list below is for US realms only -- EU realm schedules were updated earlier this week. For more information on Realm Connections, take a look at Blizzard's official blog post about the service and its features.

The following US realms are scheduled for connection on Thursday, August 14:
  • Burning Legion and Agamaggan, Archimonde, Jaedenar, and The Underbog

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

The Queue: We're MC Raiders

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.

The announcement of 40-man LFR Molten Core has me both excited and a little terrified. It also gave me flashbacks to Illegal Danish and the song that ran over the end credits. If you haven't seen the gloriousness that is Illegal Danish, you should probably go watch that now. While you're doing that, we'll just get to answering some questions.

cromhar asked:

"our final act in fighting the Warlords will be to defeat the Iron Horde utterly" I might be totally wrong here, but didnt Blizz say that the IH would be the "problem" in WoD only for a certain time before the story shifts to something else, like another villain/enemy? I thought I had read this a while ago, but maybe I am wrong?

I don't recall anyone saying that exactly. I do know that I'm of the opinion that the Iron Horde isn't going to be the only big bad we fight on Draenor, and it might not even be the expansion-ending boss, either. There's too much other stuff on Draenor, and we've barely scratched the surface of it all, but we spend this first ramp up in the expansion systematically going through and getting rid of some of the worst of what the Iron Horde has to offer. I don't think we're going to dedicate all of our time to the Iron Horde. But again, that's my opinion, it hasn't been stated anywhere officially.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever attended a server-wide event?

For several years now, I've played the game on a variety of roleplaying servers -- mostly because I like the roleplay, but also because the atmosphere in general is pretty cool. This week I got to attend a couple nights of a week-long server-wide event that had participants from several different servers, thanks to CRZ, called the Tournament of Ages. While I didn't sign up to participate in anything, several members of the guild I'm in decided to, so I showed up to cheer them on and see what the event was all about.

It was honestly pretty amazing. The last RP server I was on didn't exactly have a gigantic population to begin with, not to mention roleplaying community, so being on a server with a roleplaying event this large-scale was kind of mind-blowing. We're talking hundreds of people milling around both roleplaying and participating in dueling tournaments, contests, jousting -- just tons of people, tons of activity, and a chat screen that would not stop frantically scrolling from all of the chatter going on in every direction.

Plenty of servers do these kinds of large-scale events for a variety of different reasons -- holiday celebrations, PvP tournaments, mass raids on major cities. It's not something that's restricted solely to roleplaying servers at all. So I'm wondering -- have you ever attended a server-wide event? What kind of event was it, and how many people were around? Did you have fun with it? Was it something you actively participated in, or just observed from the sidelines? Is this the kind of thing you'd like to see on your server someday?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

EU Connected Realms update for July 6

The list of EU realms that are slated for the Realm Connections service has been updated with new dates and planned connections. Please note that if you are a player on an EU realm, your realm connections are typically completed on Wednesdays, and while these connections are being made, the affected realms will not be available for play. For more information on Realm Connections and what exactly they entail, be sure to check out Blizzard's official blog post about the service and its features.

The following EU realms are scheduled for connection on Wednesday, August 13.

English Realms
  • Azuremyst and Stormrage
German Realms
  • Nathrezim and Anetheron/Festung der Stürme/Rajaxx/Gul'dan

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Titans

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.

They are enigmatic overlords of the universe as we know it, creatures of order and perfection, bent on a seemingly never-ending task of remaking worlds and creating order from the inherent chaos of the Great Dark Beyond. Titans, marvels largely beyond our comprehension, yet intrinsically tied to the creation of our world, and the unique place that Azeroth holds in the universe. Of all the worlds in all of the Great Dark Beyond, Azeroth was spared. Of all the worlds in the Great Dark Beyond, Azeroth warranted a second chance, despite being riddled with the corruption of the Old Gods.

But the choice that the Titans made thousands upon thousands of years ago is something we know about. It's been covered again and again, we've found artifacts strewn all over Azeroth that attest to the planet's unique history. And certainly we've asked, time and time again, why Azeroth is so unique, what makes it so special in the universe. But maybe that's the wrong question to be asking, because there are plenty of worlds out there that have been touched by the hands of the Titans. Nearly all of them. We share things in common -- both draenei and natives of Azeroth practice working with the Light. Both Azeroth and Draenor have, at some point, been touched by the Old Gods.

So maybe we should be turning that line of questioning the other way. Maybe what we should be asking is a question that never, ever gets asked -- what are the Titans?

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Warlords of Draenor: Change your guards with exalted reputation

Ever since the means to actually grind reputations all the way to exalted was implemented in vanilla, I've always wished there was more to them. Certainly as later reputations were added with each additional expansion to the game, we got all kinds of amazing rewards. Yet our reputations within our own alliances netted us very little. I could be a human and exalted with Darnassus, but all that would do is unlock access to the mounts that the night elves rode around on. Other rewards were added later in the game, but nothing particularly striking.

A fascinating post over on Reddit pointed out something very interesting coming up in Warlords of Draenor, however -- it seems those old vanilla reputations are getting a little more use in the next expansion. Along with being able to choose what buildings you place in your garrision, you can also choose which guards you'd like to have patrol your Draenor fortress ... provided you have the reputation to do so. After seeing the post, I had to go check it out myself on beta and see how it worked.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor