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Matthew Rossi

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Matthew Rossi is not a figment of your imagination. Matthew Rossi does not live in Edmonton, AB, in the cold and storied northlands of Canada. Matthew Rossi is not a large silithid. It's possible that this bio is not entirely accurate.

Know Your Lore: The Dark Portal

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.

The Dark Portal is the symbol of the Warcraft universe. It was the loading screen for the original game, for the Burning Crusade expansion, and it will be again for the new Warlords of Draenor expansion as well. When we think of the orcish Horde pouring into Azeroth to murder and plunder, it's the Dark Portal they used to get there - when the Alliance Expedition returned the favor and took the fight to Draenor, it was the Dark Portal that allowed them to do so. The Dark Portal nearly destroyed Azeroth when Ner'zhul ripped Draenor apart into Outland, and we used it to travel to that same Outland to do battle with Illidan Stormrage.

Yet for all we know about it, there's much we don't - was it Medivh or his dark corrupter Sargeras who actually instructed Gul'dan on how to build it? How does it function, what magics sustain it, and how does Warlords tease us with the possibility that there could be many methods to power such a doorway between worlds? Why did Ner'zhul's attempt to open more portals like it destroy his Draenor, and could the same fate befall the one we're traveling to - or worse, our own Azeroth? How dangerous is it to tamper with space and, now, time in this way?

Let us pursue the history of the Dark Portal for some answers. There will be spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in the post to follow.

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

Blizzard presents Behind the Scenes on Lords of War

If you were wondering how they came up with the idea to do the Lords of War series, Blizzard has a pretty awesome video for you to watch, up on IGN now. This behind the scenes look into the development process of the Lords of War series is interesting for what you find out you didn't get as much as for what you did. I also loved finding out that Maraad is voiced by Crispin Freeman, aka Red Arrow from Young Justice. It's very cool to get to see him explaining what he's up to in the story, and in general I liked getting to see what went into the making of this video series.

You should definitely check it out. It's up on IGN right now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Release the Kraken!

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

Surprise! It's me! Writing the Queue the way I do sometimes. I decided to release a kraken today, I haven't done that in a while and I got to missing it. Besides, all these krakens piling up around the house, it's crazy, I can't get anything done.

Snitch76 asks:
Is there likely to be any more beta patches before 6.0, or any changes between the last patch and 6.0? I'm really hoping for a few last minute changes to my class(es) of choice!

They did one last night. They'll keep doing beta patches until they're satisfied with balance, so you really can't be sure they're done until they outright say they're done.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: It should have been a raid

Every single time I go through the Well of Eternity dungeon, I keep thinking to myself that they really missed an opportunity. It was such a huge, sprawling dungeon with plenty of space for more than the three boss fights it contained - it could easily have been a five or six boss raid with minimal adjustment. Seeing the familiar night elf architecture but with painted, colored walls and the sweeping glass ramp to Azshara's platform always made me wish we'd gotten more of it.

But there are quite a few dungeons in the game that could have made excellent raids. Wrath of the Lich King had Utgarde Pinnacle, which was originally designed as a raid, and Mists of Pandaria had Mogu'shan Palace, which feels to this day to be unexplored due to the sheer scope of the place. We've had old raids come back as dungeons before - Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman come to mind - but if you ask me, I'd like to see some of these dungeons come back as full fledged raids.

So I'll ask you - what five player dunegon do you think would work as a raid?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Yes, Molten Core LFR will grant Hydraxian Waterlords reputation

I'm pretty excited about the upcoming 10th Anniversary Molten Core LFR, but I have to admit, of all the reasons I have to be excited about that, the idea that it would be a way to gather Hydraxian Waterlords reputation would have been absolutely on the bottom of the list. However, some of you apparently care about this, and now it's official - Crithto has confirmed that yes, Virginia, there is a Hydraxian Waterlords Reputation Santa Claus. So there you have it.

Now, when I ran Molten Core, back in the day, you needed that rep to get the Aqual Quintessence you needed to douse the runes. And you needed one Quintessence per rune, so several people in your raid had to be gathering rep with them in order to get enough to complete the raid! You kids today, you don't even need to march 40 people through Blackrock Depths to get them to the Raid entrance inside the very base of the dungeon! Now (well, soon) you just queue up in LFR and get all the sweet Hydraxian Waterlords reputation you want, and you don't even need it for anything!

I'll be over here in my rocking chair.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0: Treasure room keys removed

If you're trying to get the achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, get working on it not, because as soon as Patch 6.0 drops the achievement becomes a Feat of Strength, and the key will no longer drop. That's the word from Kaivax on the forums.

Kaivax - Treasure Room Achievement -> Feat of Strength
n WoW Patch 6.0.2, we will be retiring the Achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, as the treasure room will no longer be accessible. That achievement will become a Feat of Strength, and Elder Charm of Good Fortune will drop in place of the key to the room.


I admit I don't understand the reasoning behind this. First the legendary cloak, then the Brawler's Guild, and now the Treasure Room, all effectively removed in a few weeks. Seems strange to see so much content going inaccessible like this. But you've been warned, so if you're working on this, get a move on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Down To The Wire

With the announcement of the upcoming end of Season 15, we're likely looking at the date for Patch 6.0 and thus, the last month of Mists of Pandaria, which means if there's anything you've been procrastinating on, it's time to get a move on. For me, it means running through Blackrock Mountain on several of my alts to make sure I have the Blackhand Doomsaw on anyone who wants it. (It's the same model as Lantresor's Warblade, but it sheaths differently.) For friends of mine, it's the Brawler's Guild, or getting their PvP rating up, or finishing a Legendary Cloak.

So what're you working on? Anything you need to get done before 6.0, or are you already ready?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: New Mythic Tiers will not be cross-realm

With the patch 6.0 pre-expansion period almost upon us (certainly within the month) we know that we'll get to see the debut of Mythic difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar. However, that difficulty will be cross-realm, just as heroic SoO has been up to now. Watcher answered a recent question on twitter about how Warlords of Draenor mythic raids will work in this regard.


What this means is that the newest Mythic raid will always be realm only, keeping the prestige of realm first chases alive, but as another tier is launched, that previous Mythic tier will hopefully become cross-realm, allowing you and your friends (or even just willing strangers, ala today's SoO pugs) to run the older content. Seems fairly reasonable to me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

PvP Season 15 to end "in a couple of weeks"

For those of us waiting with bated breath (look it up, that's how it's spelled) for any idea of when Patch 6.0 will be dropping, the answer is soon. Blizzard has done a warning post for the end of the season, and in their own words, it's not far off.

After many grueling bouts in the Arenas and Battlegrounds, the time has nearly come to see who will reign supreme in this action-packed PvP season. Prepare to fight your last battles, and remember-to the victors go the spoils!

Arena and Rated Battleground Season 15 will be coming to an end in a couple of weeks. Once the season wraps, we'll begin an approximately two week process to determine end-of-season reward eligibility.

So, since today was a rolling restart maintenance day, it's fair to speculate that it'll be two weeks into October, most likely October 14th, when Patch 6.0 drops. That falls into line with the usual month between the pre-expansion patch and the actual expansion that we saw in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Please remember, if you're an Arena/Rated BG player waiting for your end of the season rewards, to not transfer your character to another realm until after the PvP season has ended if you want to remain eligible.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: A kodo at last

Sometimes I don't have anything particularly deep or interesting to say. Sometimes, I just have a story. A story about a kodo that I didn't get.

Several years back, when Coren Direbrew worked differently (he dropped mounts, you didn't get them in a keg after you killed him) a group of friends got together to run Direbrew over and over again to maximize people's chances to pick up the mount. With people rotating in alts, we managed a grand total of sixteen Direbrew kills. On the last kill of the night, I offered to rotate in my Death Knight - he was a new character, just recently arrived at level 80 and not particularly geared. But I really wanted the kodo, even if it would be on an alt and not my main. (This was before mounts were account bound.)

I switched to said DK, we did the fight, and sure enough the kodo dropped. And then I realized my wife was in the group. She didn't have the kodo. She wanted the kodo. And she was a mount collector. So I did the only thing I could and passed - after all, I was on my alt, not my main.

As soon as they made mounts account wide a tiny piece of my soul withered and died. I've watched friends get the mount over the years, but I never did. It just seemed to be out of my reach. Until tonight, when after years, after Wrath and Cataclysm and two years of Mists of Pandaria the bloody thing finally dropped. For my alt.

So yes, my wife's finally off the hook. My draenei can finally ride around on a kodo, the one thing I desperately missed from playing Horde. Life is good. Now you tell your stories of long-awaited victory, I suppose. Or don't. I'll be busy tooling around on my kodo.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics