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Hyperspace Beacon: More nuna bites {Massively}

Aug 31st 2011 12:51AM Wait, what? No same-sex romance arc in SWTOR? When was that announced? . . .

Generally people don't mind things that 'dont affect them.' This is nothing new. But imagine playing game after game that pretends you don't exist, that your way of life is simply ... non-existant. Okay, so maybe you can deal with that (and be annoyed in the background), but they DEFINATELY had the option in the Single Player installments of the series, and to take it out of the MMO (or leave it out, whatever) ... yeah, that annoys the crud out of me. I might actually skip the game now, simply so that I can NOT contribute to the continued heteronorm-ism of gaming culture.

The Queue: Wherein we are aghast {WoW}

Dec 22nd 2009 6:35PM Well the humans are a single race, and they hunted the Forsaken in Lordaeron. They are her enemies. I'm sure she wants to wipe the Alliance out - she's not a GOOD GUY. But she wouldn't turn on her allies unless she had a good reason to.

The Queue: Wherein we are aghast {WoW}

Dec 22nd 2009 6:30PM Um, wow, there's actually a couple inaccuracies in this article. Big ones.

~"What is the horned beast that Arthas is so fond of keeping the skulls of? They are all over ICC, doors, torches, even on Frostmourne. Is the reason they are not in the wild because Arthas has killed them all for decorative skulls?"

It's all based off of Frostmourne's design, which wasn't forged on Azeroth. It was forged by demons, and thus the design was most likely based off of them or something from their world. Scourge holdings are based on two different aesthetics: One, Nerubian architecture. Two, the Lich King's armor and blade. The various Frostmourne-esque skulls laying around are most likely not found in nature at all, but based on Frostmourne. ~

It's a Ram Skull.

No, seriously, it's a Ram Skull. Or as Buffy the Vampire Slayer would put it "Everybody loves a good goat's head."

Just do a Bing Search for Goat Skull or Ram Skull. The Ram Skull search brings up results that look exactly like Frostmourne's decal.

Now, there are other horned beasts in Northrend who have their curved-horn-skulls lying around. Remember the big giants that roam all over Howling Fjord? They have curly horns on their heads. They could be decorative, but in that case the Lich King certainly didnt invent them, because the giants have been around a LOT longer. In fact, most of the giants of Northrend have horns. They must either A) Be decorative, from some great beast, OR, B)they are a species characteristic of the giants. To be fair, the big skulled giants in the Marrowgar Trash rooms could be wearing decorative horns as well. They are clearly undead giants, however.

But in any event, Frostmourne's wearing a Ram Skull/Goat Skull.

~"What do you think will happen with the Undead after the Lich King is defeated? I realize for gameplay purposes they won't suddenly disappear from the Horde, but from a lore view Sylvanas' entire grudge against Arthas was most of the reason for using the Horde as a means to her end.

Plus after all the Wrath Gate drama... it just seems as though the Forsaken should almost be their own faction or something."

Sylvanas will stick with the Horde as a means to an end. They'll support and protect her militarily for as long as she pleases because they're under the impression they need her, too. She will most likely play nice long enough to get the Kor'kron out of her city, then as soon as they stop watching her she'll go back to developing her plague. Remember, Sylvanas doesn't just want the Lich King and the Scourge dead. She wants every living thing to die as well, and in case you've forgotten, the Horde counts as living.

Again, the plague Putress used at Wrath Gate was created under Sylvanas's watchful eye. She had a direct hand in it, and it was created under orders by her. The only problem was that Varimathras and Putress used it without her, and that was their undoing. Sylvanas fully intended to use it eventually though, which should probably scare you Horde players out there. That ranger chick you worship is probably going to kill you one day, unless you kill her first.~

Okay, lemme answer this in two parts, because they asked a question you didn't actually answer.

SO! What will happen to all the undead?

Okay, first off, Undead occur somewhat organically in Azeroth, from thousands of years before the Lich King. Most particularly - there seem to be no limit to the number of Highborne and Night Elf spirits and ghosts that wander the world. These undead have all been reanimated by a myriad of different forces ranging from their own spiritual unrest to dark necromantic energies. Those necromantic energies did not ORIGINATE with the Lich King, so they would not simply dissapear upon the Lich King's destruction. The undead which walk the world seperate from those belonging to the Scourge will be there long after we've slain Arthas, no matter the outcome.

Why is that relevant? Well, because the Forsaken have become like all those other free-ranging Azerothian undead. Although the Lich King's power raised them, Sylvanas' mystical power as a Banshee/Dark Ranger undead general under Athas was great enough that when the Lich King was weakened following Illidan's attack upon the Frozen Throne that she was able to pull herself free of the Lich King's control. She was still undead, but she was no longer mentally bound to the Lich King. Nor were her followers.

There's clearly two seperate forces at work there - the Lich King cannot simply be a font of necromantic energy raising the dead, because the Scourge needs to act as a cohesive unit. So buried within the undeath that he bestows upon his slaves must be a seperate psychic compulsion. We've seen it before - the Kel'Thuzad story viginette shows a young woman who, though she's with her husband before her death, is robbed of her concious mind by the Lich King shortly after her reanimation. She devolves into a ghoul, little different from the Forsaken.What Sylvanas did for the Forsaken was to break that mental control and restore their free will. She's not a necromancer. The Will of the Forsaken is simply what Sylvanas gave them to resist the Lich King's mental control. Their own undeath is not sustained by the Lich King, they are simply undead. So if the Lich King were to vanish tomorrow, the Forsaken would just plod along until their bodies were destroyed. (Which begs the question -- how long is the 'life span' of a Forsaken? When flesh doesn't grow back...)

As for what would happen to the Rest of the Undead upon the Lich King's destruction, the roleplay storyline in the Halls of Reflection answers that for us. As Uther's ghost tells Sylvanas in the Horde Side quest, 'there must always be a Lich King,' why? To prevent the Scourge from sweeping over the world in a flood of undeath that would consume everything.

Wait, what?

This is not completely clear, but we can only infer one of two things from what Uther says. Which of the two is true is up for debate. Either A) Uther is referring to the Lich King as the merged being resulting from Ner'zhul and Arthas becoming 'one' or B) Uther is referring to the Lich King as a position which can be transferred from one host to the other by bonding with Ner'zhul's undead essence by means of the Lich King's crown, as has already been hinted upon. In the second scenario, Arthas is not to be confused with the Lich King, but to be viewed as the Lich King's current host body.

Now, if we take A to be true, then this means that without the psychic control of the Lich King, the Scourge would suddenly go mad, attacking every living thing within its path and cannibalizing it, raising it from the dead, and moving on.

But, isn't that what the Lich King (before merging with Arthas) intended in the first place? Why should the destruction of the Lich King suddenly turn the Scourge into an unstoppable force? No, I think it is more likely that B is true.

B suggests that the magical essence of the Lich King is no longer something which can be destroyed. I mean, that might be subjective, but Uther believes it. Nerz'hul-as-Lich King is no longer confined to the Frozen Throne -- he is now either bound intrinsically to the Helm which Arthas wears or he has been freed into non-corporeal form that interacts with its chosen host through the helm Arthas wears. If he is bound to the helm, it is possible that the Helm would be considered an 'Artifact' level item, indestructible unless some extreme force were applied to it -- could Ragnaros destroy the Lich King's helm? Perhaps. Maybe Deathwing's fire could destroy it. I'm willing to bet that Sargeras or the Titans could do it, although perhaps it has grown beyond Kil'Jaeden. Like the Scythe of Elune, it is possible that the Helm of the Lich King is something that the world will never be able to rid itself of, and so must be worn by a willing host in order to prevent Ner'zhul from washing over the world. Or maybe the Helm is just an object which must be preserved because it allows a willing soul to merge with Ner'zhul and contain the Scourge. In either event - as Uther pointed out, there must always BE a Lich King. So we'll never know the actual answer to your question. My guess is that if the Lich King were ever truly destroyed it would mean that the Scourge would become a lot like the lost, wandering souls of the dead that otherwise populate Azeroth. Mindless, souless, directionless monsters that just amble around without purpose or direction. Possibly some other powerful Necromancer within the Scourge could round them up and turn them into an army again, but it would not be the Lich King, and it would be much more straightforwardly easy to defeat a former pawn.

Now, on the subject of Sylvanas's Eventual Betrayal of her allies -- I take issue with this. Characters in the World of Warcraft evolve, and I have little doubt that Sylvanas has been among the most profoundly changed among the leaders of Azeroth. When she first created the Forsaken, I am willing to agree that she would probably have killed ANYTHING, friend or foe, out of bitter anger that they were alive, and she was not. Quite possibly this would have held true all throughout the first three years of the game.

But I no longer believe this is the case. Sylvanas is ruthless, vicious, and getting in her way is an offense punishable by death, but I no longer believe she is without feeling for her allies. For one thing, she is quite obviously fond of her former people, the Blood Elves. She's gone way above the call of an alliance of neccessity to help them rebuild their lands. She's given them military aid, she's helped protect the Sunwell's living vessel, she's established an outpost in the midst of their lands not for the purpose of conquest or influence but to help the Blood Elves defend and rebuild. She even went to bat for them with Orgrimmar and the rest of the Horde, arguing in their favor when it came to bringing them into the Horde as an equal player, and not just a pawn of her own ambitions. She's displayed that, despite her attempt to maintain the projection that she feels nothing, she is quite capable of acting compassionately to friends who are in need, and of feeling things like love, loss, regret, sorrow... She still loves her sisters, and misses them, or she would not have reacted so harshly after her moment of weakness. And she clearly continues to care for her former people. I don't believe she could bring herself to destroy Silvermoon a second time. I also think she genuinely respects Thrall now, as a leader and an ally.

My guess is that Putress would not have been able to pull off his stunt if she were still closely involved in the plague's development. When the game first came out there were hints that she was closely involved in trying on it everything, living or dead, but my feeling is that as time passed she came to regard much of the Horde as an ALLY, as someone she would defend and assist, beyond the call of duty - as she did in Silvermoon's case.

My guess is that while she still intended to use her plague upon the Scourge and the Cult of the Damned (undead and living both), she was less than aware that it was being brewed into a weapon that they would turn upon their own Allies. I don't believe that the current Sylvanas would have advocated using the Blight on the Horde. She might have less scruples about the Alliance, but Putress would not have acted alone or with Varimanthras if he could have acted with Sylvanas' blessing. If she were really on board with the whole 'wipe out all life' idea, she would have convinced Putress to wait a little while longer, for the right time. My guess is that Putress decided she wasn't going to act, wasn't going to turn his vengeance upon the living if their allies might get hurt, and agreed to act with Varimanthras instead. I mean he doesnt seem to have had any ambitions of power, he just wanted to kill EVERYTHING. If Sylvanas had still been onboard with the 'let's kill everything' plan, he probably would have waited for her say so.

Most recently, I think Sylvanas' actions in the three new ICC heroics speak louder than my words. A Sylvanas who wanted to destroy all life would not have protected our character-heroes from Rimefang, or from the Lich King. As demonstrated by her actions in the Halls of Reflection she intended to take on Arthas alone all along, so she wasn't bringing us along as HELP. She could have let us die with the loudmouthed orc, but she used her magic to protect and shield us from Rimefang's power, she protected us from Arthas as long as she could in the Halls of Reflection. You can argue that she only did that so that we would help her break into the halls of reflection, but she has army of dark rangers and a city full of devoted undead minions to do that for her. She didn't need us.

Sylvanas has grown. Changed. Evolved. Softened. She'll probably never GET OVER The whole being dead thing, but I see clues and hints all around us that she's not hardly the blood thirsty monster her critics think her to be.

Joystiq talks to Frank Pearce about the past and future of Warcraft {WoW}

Dec 10th 2009 6:46PM ELIZA DUSHKU

She's gorgeous. She's got a great smile. She's been a guest on two long running shows, headlined two of her own (even if both only lasted two seasons) and had supporting roles in movies.

AND (if you follow her twitter) she plays WoW. Most recently she tweeted in regards to wanting to take down the Lich King.

Blizzard could only be so lucky.

Patch 3.3 PTR: Quel'delar weapons revealed [Updated] {WoW}

Nov 11th 2009 8:51PM Agreed. The lack of a tanking version of Quel'Delar makes me sad. I'm tempted to just use the DPS version -- I want an epic questline tanking SWORD too.