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Around Azeroth: Nice work if you can get it

"I was trying to decide what to demolish to make way for my new Dwarven Bunker," writes submitter Marconin of Convert to Raid Mobus on Aerie Peak (US-A). "Stables or the Barracks? I'd apparently been mulling it over for too long because Mr. Alexston looks to either be asleep or quite cross with me. I've only been discussing it aloud for a few hours. Decisions like this can't be rushed, after all!"

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Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: World firsts and you

With the world first race for Mythic Highmaul done with, it occurred to me that there was a time that I was on tenterhooks for this kind of news. Over the years I've gone from keeps careful track of every world first kill to is aware of it, but wasn't keeping score - I still know who wins, but I no longer watch the race. Some of my friends are still hugely into who will be world first, while others never cared at all.

That got me wondering where you, the reader at home, falls on this spectrum. Do you watch the race and pay close attention, watch all the videos, marvel at the down to thew wire raiding? Or do you simply only care about a boss kill when you're there for it?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: 2014 Lore in review

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.

I like to do year end reviews of lore we've seen in the past year, but this year's review is going to be a little odd. A little different. This is largely because we didn't actually see a lot of lore introduced until November of this year, when Warlords of Draenor was finally released. Patch 5.4, the last content patch for Mists of Pandaria, was released in 2013. So we had the majority of a year with little to speak of in terms of lore and story development, and then a massive avalanche of new lore and story delivered just last month.

That makes reviewing kind of difficult. But at the same time, we do have plenty to talk about, particularly since we're dealing with a brand new expansion and a brand new world -- a world full of new mechanics, storytelling and characters that are just as vibrant and vivid as anything we've seen in Pandaria. So what did 2014 offer for the Warcraft lore fan, exactly -- and where did it falter?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Moviewatch: Rent-An-Orc

I didn't really think I needed an orc in my life, but I may have just changed my mind thanks to today's machinima offering. Rent-An-Orc is a pretty short little film, and I think this may be the first piece I've seen from Youtuber wthMerhaba. It's a simple premise -- Ragnar the Bloodthirsty has come under some financial strain, and is now offering his services via informative infomercial to assist would-be customers with their lives in a variety of colorful and suitably orcish ways.

Sounds simple enough, and the film itself is pretty simple too, but the subject material is funny, the voiceovers work really well, and the added bonus to the offer had me in stitches. Sometimes things don't have to be incredibly fancy to be perfect -- a good joke and a good delivery will get you everywhere. If you like what you see, check out wthMerhaba's Youtube channel for more. Here's hoping we'll see a lot more from him in the future.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Paragon scores world first mythic Highmaul clear

Paragon scored the world first clear of mythic Highmaul this weekend. Method, the first to slay 6 out of 7 Highmaul bosses, was anticipated to finish first, but Paragon came from behind to win the day. Congratulations to Paragon!

Hopefully this means their raid team will be able to take a break for the holidays -- assuming the pursuit of mythic gear doesn't override their celebrations. Blackrock Foundry isn't slated to open until early 2015.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: You shall not pass

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.

Today's Queue has absolutely nothing to do with Gandalf, I swear.

Whiteout asked:

Question for the Eminent Queue: Have you discovered anything odd in World of Warcraft, not a bug or error produced by lag, but something intentionally placed in the world, whether it be in Outland, Azeroth, or Draenor?

Once upon a time back in vanilla WoW, there used to be places you could get to through ... creative use of game mechanics. I may or may not have been pretty good at getting into said places due to my overwhelming affection for punching the space bar and making my character jump every where I went. Back then, Hyjal wasn't a zone. It wasn't even an instance, it was a completely blocked off section of the map.

There was very little in it save canyons, paths, a few houses, and a layout that looked kind of similar to what we got with the Hyjal zone in Cataclysm. That big crater that Goldrinn's shrine is in? It was there back then. There were also a few instance portals that looked like they could go to a raid or a dungeon at some point in the future. And if you happened to follow the trail all the way to the top, you were treated to an amazing view of Archimonde's skeleton impaled upon the World Tree. And at the very, very end of that trail were the construction signs shown above, marked "Blizzard Construction Company." It was weird.

Maybe not quite as weird as the crypts beneath Karazhan, but it was pretty weird.

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Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: The panda thing

Daily Quests
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Wee snacks. Holiday wishes. A trap. A dark wind. Plus: You might need a new tank.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Daily Quests is back! And if you somehow missed this gem the last time around, you should check it out from the beginning.

There is also a brand new comic to add to the list, thanks to a tip from solidus, called Questing Comics. There are fourteen pages so far, and I have linked to the first page this week. You can also read plenty about the comic and its creator, Emily, on its about page. Questing Comics will update Mondays.

In other news, Russell of Experience Boost is... still sick. However, his medicine has allowed him to resume his three-post-a-week schedule, so there are several updates to enjoy this week. In fact, there are four, so we even get a bonus. Plus, apparently, this week marked the end of what Russell "would call the first book ... were there to be books." Congratulations, Russell, and I hope things continue to look up from here for you.

Contested Territory also has an update this week, which I know has been eagerly anticipated. Maiu is still pretty busy, but she isn't going anywhere, and we've even been promised a holiday treat for the end of the month!

Finally, GU Comics has several WoW-related comics on the list this week, so don't miss them!

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

Breakfast Topic: Do you watch the cutscenes?

I finally got around to heading to the Highmaul LFR the other night. The fights were fun, if ridiculously easy, but more importantly there were cutscenes. I'm a sucker for cutscenes and cinematics. I love the ones that appeared in the leveling zones, and the ones in the dungeons are pretty cool too. I think they're a fun way to keep the story moving while you're in a dungeon, a useful tool for introducing a little lore. However, I've noticed that not everyone feels the same way -- some people have little to no patience in dungeons and raids, and just want to keep moving.

This was actually a problem back when my guild was raiding in Cataclysm, particularly during the Spine of Deathwing encounter. My raid leader at the time didn't want anyone watching the cutscene, as brief as it was, because he wanted people on the dragon's back killing things the second they became killable. This meant that new recruits we brought in never really got to see those cutscenes, they were always told to press escape and skip them. If they didn't, then we had a problem.

So I'm wondering, just out of idle curiosity, how many of you watch the cutscenes in a dungeon or a raid? Do you watch it once and then skip it from then on, or do you find yourself continually charmed by the idea of your group pulling off a really cool train heist in the middle of Gorgrond? Are you okay with other people in your group watching cutscenes, even if you skipped them yourself? Do you think the dungeon and raid cutscenes are too short, too long, or just right? Is there somewhere else you'd like to see them?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Recruit garrison kitty Goldmane as a follower

He may not be the best-dressed or most literate garrison follower you'll ever have, but Goldmane has one thing going for him, and it's right in his name. Goldmane the Skinner is a level 100 follower with the Skinning trait, allowing him to work at your garrison Barn and increase work order production. Available to both Alliance and Horde, Goldmane is pretty easy to pick up -- he just requires a short trip out to the southern coast of Nagrand.

Head to Ironfist Harbor on the southwest shores of Nagrand and you'll come across a base for the Iron Horde that also includes a bonus mission, if you feel up to the challenge of killing a lot of orcs. If not, look around for the tallest tower in the base -- your objective is at the top. Fight your way up the tower, and you'll see two things of note: One very angry kitty locked away in a cage, and an orc by the name of Bolkar the Cruel, who is gloating over his latest captive.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Starcraft Evacuation

Okay, obviously this isn't Warcraft -- heck, I'm not even sure we can classify it as machinima. But this is the second place winner from the 2014 BlizzCon movie contest, so I thought you guys might like to see it. Starcraft: Evacuation is a short film by Youtuber Peter Stroll about a small Terran mining settlement that is under attack -- the story is relatively straightforward.

What's pretty cool about this particular movie is that sure, there's live action, but there's also some visual effects included that are surprisingly well done for an amateur effort. My only lament is that the film cuts off just when I wanted to see what was going to happen next. Maybe we'll see a sequel in time for the next BlizzCon? Let's hope so.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

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Around Azeroth

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