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Last Week on Massively: Path of the Titan

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This post originally appeared on Massively from Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce. At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO story last week, you've come to the right post

This week, Blizzard made Titan's cancelation official, sending analysts scurrying to make bold statements of doom and/or apathy and leaving MMO fans to ponder what Titan's death really means to our genre.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

The Queue: Sentimental value, garrisons, and heavy metal

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

If you aren't reading this at work or school, I recommend playing this song in the background while you read today's Queue. Why? All will become clear in time.

Rahkarne asked:

I have noticed an awful lot of people talking about what ilevel they need in order to avoid replacing gear when we get into WoD. I'm just curious as to why people seem to consider replacing old gear often while leveling a bad thing? For me personally, it's an aspect of leveling through new content that I really enjoy. I enjoy both the sense of progression it gives, as well as the visual variety (I don't mind "clown suits" while leveling and don't xmog til max level). I'm not saying everyone who doesn't like replacing gear is wrong at all, just that I don't see the appeal. Does it have to do with replacing gear that took you so long to earn so quickly?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Around Azeroth: You've changed, Harold

You're not the squirrel I married all those years ago. I know, I know, we all get older and our bodies change. But really, Harold, you've let yourself go. What happened to your soft fur? Your smooth skin? Remember back when you used to spend time with me in the evenings, instead of retreating inside that man-cave you carry on your back? I'm afraid that we've grown too far apart, Harold. I'm leaving you. Don't try to catch up with me, either, because I know you can't run as fast as you used to. (Thanks to submitter Serulean of Misha [US-H] for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Raid revamps

Blizzard is revamping Molten Core as part of its ten year anniversary. Onyxia's Lair received similar treatment for prior celebrations. Today, we ask: what other raid is worthy of coming back into the spotlight? What other raid is iconic enough to be worthy of a max level revamp? Or, iconic status aside, what's a personal favorite of yours that you'd love to run again at max level?

Karazhan feels like the obvious answer to me. After Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair, few raids carry the same strength of nostalgia. Karazhan is one of the few. It had its flaws, what with the endless, tedious trash in the middle stretch, but it's beloved by most. Who doesn't love the Chess Event? To be fair, a lot of us probably didn't. But nostalgia is a powerful thing.

I anticipate we'll see some Ulduar answers, too. I admit, Ulduar wasn't my favorite raid ever, but I didn't hate it, either. I know a lot of players who did love it, however, and its life was sadly cut short by the release of the Argent Tournament.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: The vengeance of Vindicator Maraad

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.

We don't exactly know a lot about Vindicator Maraad, despite the fact that he is one of the first draenei we ever saw, one of the featured characters in the original trailer for Burning Crusade. What small pieces we've seen of the Vindicator have been largely isolated to comics and short stories, capped with a small appearance in game that was never really expanded upon. For a character with a background like Maraad, it's almost a pity that he hasn't been properly utilized until now.

Lords of War aired its final episode earlier this week, featuring Maraad and more of his story -- a tragic tale of an era we've only really read about, but never actually seen. The brutality of Shattrath's slaughter was hard to watch, but harder to watch was Maraad's struggle -- a struggle shared by the remainder of the draenei race on Azeroth. But if Maraad is seeking vengeance, retribution, or vindication on Draenor, he may be sorely disappointed.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison Followers and you

One of the largest and most highly-discussed features of Warlords of Draenor is the garrison -- a stronghold on Draenor that you get to construct and customize to your heart's content. Hand in hand with the garrison are a multitude of other things to look forward to -- missions, quests, blueprints, profession buildings, building bonuses, followers, and more. You aren't going to necessarily be spending a lot of time sitting around in your garrison, but you'll be ducking back to it periodically in between everything else there is to do on Draenor.

You can kind of think of your garrison as your own, personalized capital city in a way -- you can customize it with whatever buildings you want, and you can switch those buildings out if you decide you're better off with a different kind of building. As for your followers, they are the citizens of your garrison, the NPCs that wander around doing various tasks and spitting out conversations with passers-by. But followers are far more than just eye-candy for your garrison -- they are useful tools to help you get the most out of what the expansion has to offer.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Characters of Warcraft updates with Lords of War cast

The short animated series Lords of War reached its conclusion earlier this week, wrapping things up with a short tale featuring Vindicator Maraad. If you haven't had quite enough of the characters featured in the series, Blizzard has also updated the Characters of Warcraft section of the official site with pages featuring all of the players in Lords of War. Kargath, Grommash, Durotan, Kilroggm and Maraad all have new pages with character history expanded a little beyond what we've seen in Lords of War.

In addition to the background information and history, each page also includes a brand-new wallpaper with the featured character, and links to related content. Hopefully we'll see other entries added over time for the other orc warlords featured in the next expansion -- and more entries on the draenei residents of Draenor as well. I'd love to see pages for Akama, Nobundo, and Yrel, as well as this Draenor's version of Velen, and some of the other notable draenei we'll be adventuring alongside in the next expansion. If you liked Lords of War and you'd like to learn more, head to the official site and check out the new entries.


Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: I swear it's a screenshot


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 above is a small fountain/shrine/draenei structure along the path between the borders of Shadowmoon and Talador. I'm not exactly sure what purpose it serves, or what those pretty glowing lights are, exactly, but it's beautiful either way.

Jalamenos commented:

Seriously, that header image. I thought it was concept art at first because it's so beautiful.

It's absolutely a screenshot. The fun part is that Draenor is absolutely full of scenic vistas like that one, and the one above. Honestly, this is one of the other reason I don't mind that we don't have flying right now in Draenor -- if you could fly everywhere, you'd miss running into these scenic little areas, and that would be an absolute pity because they are gorgeous. The whole world is utterly gorgeous.

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Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Stand up straight

Experience Boost
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: A name exchange, anybody can fall down, a disrobing, new hooves. Plus: You can't escape your nemesis.

In comic news this week, Away From Reality and Father's Shield will be on a temporary, hopefully short, involuntary hiatus due to computer gremlins. Luckily, there's one new Away From Reality comic to enjoy this week, which will hopefully help ease the pain. Plus, as you may (not) recall, From Draenor With Love is also on a short hiatus, preparing the next chapter.

Fortunately, the rest of this week's news is positive. The Brotherhood of Iron has updated twice, with some mock BlizzCon posters. And there's a new storyline starting up on Gnomeregan Forever. Finally, On Teh Gladiators, the new Hearthstone-related content has already begun, which rocks; we didn't even have to miss the comic for one week!

I even have a surprise treat for you this week, courtesy of Jim from Gnomophobia (which has five new updates for you):

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: Do you have a pre-expansion to-do list?

I'm pretty obsessive about achievements. I don't go out of my way to complete them, but if I'm in an area questing or farming and there's an achievement to be had, I'll grab it while I'm there. But what I normally find myself doing at the end of an expansion, when the days are waning and there's little to do, is going out and finding all of the achievements I missed. I don't get them all -- after all, there are only so many hours I have available to play -- but having a tangible list of stuff to do keeps the end-of-expansion doldrums mostly at bay.

The latest round of things to do involved the Brawler's Guild, which I began when it first arrived, and then abandoned in a flurry of raiding and dailies and things that were nowhere near Orgrimmar or Stormwind. I think that's why I'd all but forgotten about the feature until recently. Most of my days were spend in either the Alliance or Horde shrines, and I never really traveled to either capital city if I could help it. But upon the announcement that the Brawler's Guild was being revamped for level 100, I figured I should go knock out as many of the bosses as I could.

It was slightly easier than I'd expected, but that was in large part due to all that raiding I'd been doing and the gear I'd acquired. Still, there were a few bosses that proved to be a challenge, and no amount of gear could get me around the mechanics and tricks required. But I'm rank 10 now, and working my way through the various challenge cards. I don't know if I'll finish them all before 6.0.2, but it's become a fun and somewhat relaxing diversion. What about you guys? Do you have a to-do list of things to complete before the expansion is over? Do you go after particular achievements? Do you go back and finish zone quests you might not have seen in your rush to level 90? Or are you just taking a break and relaxing while you wait?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics