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Scott Andrews

Philadelphia, PA - http://www.wow.com/category/officers-quarters/

Scott has been playing WoW since 2004. He writes the WoW Archivist and Officers' Quarters columns.

Did you miss in Pandaria?: BFFs with Huggalon

Huggalon
Looking to build toward 150 toys for the Toymaster achievement? There's an easily obtainable toy in Townlong Steppes, but it's quite hidden, and also ... kind of disturbing.

In the caves beneath Niuzao Temple lurks an ancient watcher, apparently from the same Titan brand as Archavon. His name is Huggalon the Heart Watcher. He looks just like the Wrath-era raid boss, if you ignore the giant purple bow on his head. And you should.

To find him, enter the caves on the west side of the island. Take the first right and follow the right-hand walls. Just before you pass through an entrance lit by glowing beetles, you'll see a small passage up and to the right. At the end of this passage, Huggalon waits. You won't see a rare icon on your map because he is not a rare spawn.

He's easily soloable in Siege of Orgrimmar gear, but feel free to bring friends if you might need backup. He does hit hard against cloth and has a decent chunk of health. Or, you can give this lonely giant the hug he yearns for and walk away.

If you opt for murder, you'll be rewarded with the B.F.F. Necklace. You can place it in your toybox and then choose a player to be Friends Forever! with once per day. But honestly, who wants to be friends with a cold-blooded killer like you?

While you're in the cave, keep an eye out for Fragment of Dread, part of the Riches of Pandaria achievement.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Class protests and the Million Gnome March

Naked gnomes everywhere
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Betas make players nervous about their class. It happens every time. Blizzard makes changes, often drastically, and for better or worse some people hate the changes. I've been keeping my eye on the beta class forums since the Warlords beta began, and I've seen a lot of unhappiness this time around. The ability pruning that was one of Blizzard's major design goals for classes this year has removed depth from rotations, taken away both utility and cosmetic options, and in some cases radically altered or deleted abilities that players enjoyed. Beta testers have voiced strong opposition to many of the changes.

In ten years, I haven't seen players this up in arms about class issues since classic WoW -- an era when many specs and mechanics were simply broken in PvE, PvP, or both.

This past Friday, something happened that I believed would never again happen in WoW: an in-game class protest. With much more open lines of communication from developers to players in recent years, I thought the game had matured beyond the point where such things would ever be necessary. But here we are, almost ten years after the most famous class protest in WoW's history, and players once again felt the need to gather in Azeroth to voice their complaints.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Who is the Celestial Tournament for?

Wrathion's pet battle team
As we wait (and wait) for new content to arrive, I've been fiddling around in the game with all the things I never bothered to do before. I got my Sha'tari Skyguard rep to exalted for the creepy nether ray mounts. I hunted the treasures of Pandaria. I completed a full circuit of gold challenge mode runs. And most recently I've been doing pet battles. My goal was to start completing the Celestial Tournament every week so I could eventually earn all four celestial pets.

I took my first stab at it this week. The first time I tried to enter the scenario, I was disappointed to learn that you had to level 15 pets to 25, not just possess them. The two that I'd purchased on the auction house didn't help me get there. Extra level grinding was required. I came back with 17 max-level pets and thought I'd have more than enough to beat the tourney and start adopting baby immortal spirit animals. Boy was I wrong.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Did you miss in Pandaria?: Timeless vendors

Whizzig the snail rider
I've spent so many hours on the (now ironically named) Timeless Isle that I thought I knew everything about it. I was researching how I could help Golganarr to spawn to finally complete the Timeless Champion achievement, and I realized I'd missed something.

I never thought to look for anything interesting by the Celestial Court itself. I figured it was static, like every other quest hub in the game, more or less. I thought the two vendors standing next to the emperor were the only ones who sold anything of note.

Then I stumbled across Whizzig <Merchant of Time> in Wowhead's excellent Timeless Isle guide. I was sure I'd seen this snail-riding gentlemen before. But it never occurred to me that he was, in fact, a "rare vendor." He sells four different vanity items for your Perky Pug, such as Dread Pirate Costume. He also sells Magical Pet Biscuits and (for some reason) a glyph recipe. All of his items cost Timeless Coins. If you've got thousands of extra coins laying around, you might as well spoil your pup.

Once I made this discovery, I took a closer look around the court. There are so many NPCs and so many of them sell useless things that it's easy to overlook things you might actually care about. At this point I also found a pandaren boy named Ku-Mo <Hand-Made Kites>. He sells the Sky Lantern pet for 7500 coins and a consumable Golden Glider for 1000. The latter works just like the engineer's version, but it only works on the island -- if you're willing to risk your neck on a makeshift glider a little kid cobbled together.

You can't help Golganarr to spawn, by the way. You just have to get lucky. Fortunately he has a zone-wide announcement like the Dread Ship Vazuvius, and he takes much longer to kill than the average rare.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Bottlenecks

Gyrocopter jam
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Wherever thousands of players try to complete on-rails content, bottlenecks are inevitable. For Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is trying to be proactive about eliminating them. Back in July, CM Zorbrix posted a "targeted feedback request" about bottlenecks in the beta. Given that the introductory experience is completely on rails before the expansion unleashes players into its less structured zones, this is a real concern.

WoW hasn't had the best track record when it comes to bottlenecks. As we help Blizzard loosen the bottlenecks of the future, let's revisit those of the past.

The great gyrocopter jam of 2012

Blizzard's server tech has come a long way since the game's launch. Lag and crashes are no longer rampant during expansion launches. But sometimes, other problems can prohibit players from progressing on Day 1. If we're talking bottlenecks, we have to start with the most infamous one in all of WoW, which also happens to be one of the most recent.

This was a problem that people saw coming. I found a thread on MMO Champion from September 2012 where a poster writes, "On Beta - everyone had to funnel through a single vehicle quest to proceed on the Jade Forest quest line. I'm a touch concerned that this is going to be way worse than any other expansion..."

And this guy was totally right. OK, maybe Mists wasn't as bad as The Burning Crusade overall, but the ironically named Unleash Hell was still the biggest -- and most dramatic -- bottleneck ever caused by a single quest.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience, part 3

Ragnaros

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

If you missed part 1 and part 2, that means you were late for the raid and we're docking you 50 DKP. Next time get here early to help the warlocks farm soul shards.

OK, fellow archivists! We've cleared trash, we've decursed, we've pulled Geddon to Garr's room, we've brefriended the Duke, and we've doused every fiery rune. It's time to delve into the core of the Core to take on the Majordomo and Ragnaros himself, 2005 edition.

The invincible majordomo

Undefeated in battle, Executus rose through the ranks of Ragnaros's lieutenants to become the Firelord's majordomo. He did not appear until you doused all the runes, so the earliest raids on Molten Core had to stop after Golemagg and Sulfuron due to an Aqual Quintessence shortage.

After raiders repped up with the Hydraxian Waterlords and could finally summon the Majordomo, they were faced with an invincible warrior -- literally. Executus could not be killed. His Aegis of Ragnaros spell gave him a 30K damage absorb buff and healed him to full, so it was pointless to DPS him.

Instead, raids had to manage his eight adds: four Flamewaker Elites and four Flamewaker Healers. Mages were the key to this fight as they had the only reliable, long-term crowd control spell for humanoids. The fight required at least five tanks, one for the majordomo and one for each elite. All four healers were sheeped until all the elites were dead. Then the raid could kill the healers one at a time.

But it wasn't that simple. The fight had some interesting complications.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Did you miss in Pandaria?: Hopling hunt

Finding a golden hopling
Stormstout Brewery is all about the beer, but the coolest item from this dungeon actually involves tea. Specifically, you'll need Ling-Ting's Favorite Tea, which "may cause the user to see strange things." Who is Ling-Ting? What is she into? We don't know, but we can guess.

You can buy this tea from Auntie Stormstout at the beginning of the dungeon for 5 gold. I recommend buying more than one if you're going to try for this achievement during a run, since the buff only lasts 5 minutes. However, it's probably best to complete the dungeon first and go back so you aren't holding up the group.

With the buff active, you can see Golden Hoplings scattered around the dungeon. Turning on nameplates allows for easier hop-spotting. Track Humanoids abilities also reveal the hoplings on your minimap. Another way to find them is to target and mark them with a macro:

/target Golden Hopling
/script SetRaidTarget("target",4)

(Credit to Rakenaid on Wowhead.com)

You need to find 30 hoplings. The final one sits underneath the mask of the defeated Yan-Zhu the Uncasked, assuming you've cleared the place. Once you find them all, you'll earn the Ling-Ting's Herbal Journey achievement, which is required for the Glory of the Pandaria Hero meta.

You'll also receive the excellent Hopling pet in the mail. The only other way to get a virmen battle pet is to collect 250 pets for the Going to Need More Leashes achievement, which is much harder if you don't already have a large collection.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Did you miss in Pandaria? Gold from lost treasures

Swarmkeeper's Medallion in the marsh
Looking to increase your liquid assets before Warlords of Draenor launches? A little treasure hunting now can help you prepare for expansion expenses.

Mine smarter, not harder

The Ancient Pandaren Mining Pick grants more than just the basic +10 to mining bonus that any ordinary pick provides. It also gives you a chance to mine gems from ore nodes in Pandaria.

The pick is part of the Lost and Found achievement chain that eventually asks you to find 20 lost treasures. To find it, you'll need to travel to the Jade Forest and search the Greenstone Mine. It can spawn in several locations throughout the cave, either leaning against a wall or embedded in a vein of jade.

Even today, the pick is one of the more highly sought lost treasures. I recommend choosing a character you don't use very often and parking him or her in the mine to check for the pick every so often. Just note that you can't see any lost treasures unless your character is at least level 85. This ancient tool is bind on account, so you can mail it to your miner after you unearth it.

Swiftness of the swarm

While you're mining (or doing anything else) in the Dread Wastes, the Swarmkeeper's Medallion can help you get around the zone faster, increasing your income per hour. Look for a tiny necklace on a mound of dirt in a marshy area just north of Kypari Zar.

Unlike the pick, the medallion is bind on pickup. Make sure the character who loots it is the one who can use this speed boost to best effect.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Did you miss in Pandaria?: The (other) Butcher

Transformed into Krastinov
The Diablo series has a boss called The Butcher who's been more prominent lately with his appearance in Diablo III. But let's not forget that WoW has its own. Doctor Theolen "The Butcher" Krastinov was a boss in the original version of Scholomance. Upon engaging him, he would let you know that "The doctor is in!" You had to kill him to summon the optional boss Kirtonos. Like many other bosses, he was removed from Scholomance during its revamp.

Or was he?

Now, Krastinov is actually a rare spawn that has a small chance to replace one of the trash packs following Rattlegore. He only spawns in the level 90 heroic version of Scholomance. Krastinov has the same abilities as his first incarnation: a bleed, a stun, and a self-Bloodlust effect.

He only has one item on his loot table, with a 100% chance to drop. Krastinov's Bag of Horrors is a transformation item that lets you sport the doctor's fashion, including his trademark bloody cleavers, for 10 minutes. It's a tribute to the quest item of the same name from classic WoW's Ghosts of Caer Darrow chain. We never knew exactly what was in that bag, and we never wanted to.

For you collectors out there, the bag has already been flagged as a toy in Warlords of Draenor.


Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Did you miss in Pandaria?: The broken burner

Shrine of Fellowship incense burner
Not long ago, Blizzard unveiled the action-packed Warlords of Draenor cinematic, a worthy follow-up to the one for Mists of Pandaria. But did you know there's an achievement that ties in to the Mists trailer?

Restore Balance sounds like it's just for druids, but anyone can earn it. The achievement asks you to "Visit the Shrine of Fellowship in the Jade Forest and follow in the footsteps of Chen Stormstout." What these cryptic instructions really mean is to find the in-game location where the Mists trailer happened.

Head northeast from Grookin Hill toward the mountain on your map. When you see Shrine of Fellowship pop up on your screen, you're in the right place. It's a flat, misty plateau with a prominent jade bell (it was featured in the cinematic).

Look for the Broken Incense Burner. You'll notice it's a bit crooked, just like in the trailer before Chen straightens it. Click on it to "restore balance" and you'll earn the achievement. I wonder if there will be a similar achievement for the Warlords trailer...

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria