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WoW Archivist: Patch 3.0 -- Echoes of Doom

Patch 3.0.2 official poster
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?

Patch 6.0 is finally upon us. Like all pre-expansion patches, it has been both invigorating and chaotic. Almost exactly six years ago, a similar patch went live to begin a new era in WoW. Blizzard called Wrath of the Lich King's pre-expansion patch "Echoes of Doom." On October 14, 2008, this third version of the game gave us the brand-new achievement system, inscription and glyphs, 51-point talent trees, the zombie plague event, and TO THE GROUND, BABY. Read on to see what WoW was like for those turbulent few weeks before Wrath of the Lich King's launch.

Dalaran, where art thou?

Through all of classic and The Burning Crusade, Dalaran sat in northern Hillsbrad, but players couldn't see it. An opaque purple dome walled off the Kirin Tor from the world at large. At the time, the enormous structure was one of the most striking landmarks in Azeroth. Although a few quests hinted at what lay beneath it, players new to the WoW universe had no idea what was there.

And then it was gone.

All that remained was a city-sized crater. I remember making a pilgrimage to this site during the 3.0 prepatch just to see it for myself. We couldn't go to Northrend yet to see the city first-hand. We had to wait for the launch of Wrath to do that. But looking at that crater certainly fired the imagination. I couldn't wait to find out what had been lurking under that dome for the first four years of the game.

I have to say, the city lived up to my high expectations.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 6.0.2 adds new pets for collecting

A few new pets have been added with patch 6.0.2 -- some far, far easier to come across than others. Completing all quests in the Blasted Lands will reward players with a title as well as the Iron Starlette, a miniature Iron Star of your very own. In addition, orc mobs in the Blasted Lands have a chance to drop the Time-Locked Box, which contains the often coveted but never before seen bronze whelpling. A couple of other pets are available, but whether or not they are obtainable is a good question. Those with a passion for collecting can now begin work on the achievement So. Many. Pets. -- it requires players to collect a whopping 600 unique pets, and rewards the beautiful blue Stormwing upon completion. And according to Warcraft Pets, the Sky-bo pet seems to have made its way into the Blingtron 4000 gift package -- whether or not this was intended isn't certain.

Speaking of Warcraft Pets, Breanni's got some other useful information for pet collectors and Battle Pet enthusiasts. Patch 6.0.2 brought about some changes to hit and critical strike in regards to pet battles, and Breanni's got all the details on what's been changed, and how it affects pet brawling. For more about pets in 6.0.2, Warlords of Draenor, and beyond, be sure to check out Warcraft Pets, which also has a database detailing all new pets coming to the game with the expansion's release in November.

Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Last minute ideas for your justice points


Justice points are going away forever, perhaps as soon as next Tuesday. You can hold onto them and get the gold conversion if you want. They'll net you 47 silver per point, or 1880 gold for a full cap of 4000. It's a decent chunk of change, but there may be a few things you want to purchase with them while you still can.

The most obvious one is heirlooms. PvE heirlooms will be unavailable from the justice point vendors in 6.0, and your only option to get those will be to spend Darkmoon Prize Tickets at the Darkmoon Faire or Champion's Seals at the Argent Tournament. These heirlooms will return in another form sometime in the future, just not for 6.0.

The one you may have missed is the Reins of the Wooly Mammoth mount sold in Dalaran. If you're trying to pad your mount collection for the collection achievements and you still don't have this one, it's a good way to spend your points. It costs 2175 justice points, or a little over 1,000 gold after the conversion. Once 6.0 hits, this mount is going to cost 8,000 gold instead of justice points. Now is the time to get it.

The last thing is useful if you didn't play much at level cap during Wrath of the Lich King. The commendation badges for the various Wrath reputations are being removed completely. They only cost a mere 16 justice points for 520 reputation points and are also sold in Dalaran. There's badges available for Wyrmrest Accord, Sons of Hodir, Kirin Tor, Argent Crusade, and Knights of the Ebon Blade. It's a quick way to get exalted with these factions. Again, there are some mounts you may be interested in from both Wyrmrest Accord and Sons of Hodir which require revered or exalted reputation. It's certainly quicker than grinding out those reputations the old fashioned way.

All other items which currently cost justice points should cost gold in 6.0, so you don't have to worry about missing out on any potential transmog opportunities.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Guide to new mounts in Warlords of Draenor

As expected with the exclusion of flying in Draenor, the vast majority of new mounts being added in Warlords of Draenor are ground-only mounts. There are over 40 new mounts being added which should help you with tackling the new 250-mount achievement, Mountacular.

Rare Spawns

There are several rare spawns in Draenor which have a 100% chance to drop a mount. I know what you're thinking, but don't worry! Farming these mounts is much more forgiving than trying to farm something like Time-Lost Proto-Drake or Aeonaxx.


Everyone who participates in the kill receives a mount, even if they aren't partied or on the same faction. I have to say I'm looking forward to camping for some of these with other players. It's always nice to have company, especially when we don't have to fight over the tag. The one exception is the Garn Nightowl which drops from Nok-Karosh in Frostfire Ridge. That mount must be rolled for.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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?: 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

Warlords of Draenor: Highmaul Coliseum offers free-for-all PvP

Warlords of Draenor certainly seems to be mixing it up on the PvP front, offering a lot of new options for players that enjoy PvP. Oddly enough, one of the coolest opportunities for PvP I've seen so far comes not in a battleground or even on the fairly addictive isle of Ashran, but from your garrison. While leveling through Gorgrond, players can choose to make one of two outposts, that will unlock the plans for one of two medium buildings -- the Lumber Mill, or the Gladiator's Sanctum. If you choose the Gladiator's Sanctum, you get a few nice perks for Gorgrond -- and you also get to build the Sanctum itself.

Level 3 of the Gladiator's Sanctum unlocks the Highmaul Coliseum, shown in the video above. A solo scenario, the Coliseum places you in a pit with other players. Once the event starts, it's a free-for-all brawl, and the last person standing wins the spoils. What kind of spoils? PvP gear, of course! To unlock the level 3 blueprint for the Gladiator's Sanctum, players must first complete The Bone Collector, an achievement that requires players to collect 4,000 Broken Bones from PvP combat in Draenor -- any kill that awards honor also awards 3-6 bones. Once you've built the level 3 Sanctum, you gain access to Highmaul Coliseum, as well as a buff that reduces all damage in outdoor Draenor zones by 50% if you fall below 35% health.

Take a look at the video for more of the Coliseum in action -- I particularly like how dead players are teleported up into the stands to watch the rest of the brawl play out, spectator style.


Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: An evening as a treessassin

I really wasn't planning on doing anything in particular when I logged on the beta the other night -- just some exploring and some garrison work as well as hunting down fishing gear for a needy troll death knight. But while wandering around Nagrand, I happened upon an unfortunate scene -- a Petrified Ancient standing on top of what appeared to be a handful of orc peon and human lumberjack corpses. Upon further investigation, this wasn't a mob I could just attack and kill. It was, however, a mob I could ask my Lumber Mill crew to cut down.

Maybe this was a bad decision. But hey, I'm the commander of this Alliance force on Draenor and they have to do what I say, so why not? I found out why immediately after the poor sap I asked to chop the tree tried to complete my order and was promptly confronted by a very angry and not-quite-as-petrified-as-you'd-think Ancient. It wasn't until I'd killed the incredibly angry tree that I discovered not only was this Ancient more than he appeared to be, but I was about to embark on what just might be the weirdest quest I've ever done in WoW.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Forget looting the hounds, we can ride them

The latest beta build of Warlords brought with it several new Battle Pets as well as the mount pictured above. Yes, that is a Core Hound, and yes, you will be able to ride it by obtaining the Core Hound Chain. Although it's not directly stated where this mount will be obtained on the mount tab, it's safe to say we'll likely see it dropping in the newly-revamped Upper Blackrock Spire. After all, what's Blackrock Spire without The Beast?

In addition to the Core Hound mount, several Ravager Wasp battle pets were added, along with a Runtish Gronnling, and a pet named Sky-bo that appears to be a miniature version of the Sky Golem mount. At the moment, there's no indication whether Sky-bo is an engineer crafted pet. To check out 3D models of the new Core Hound mount, as well as other new items added to the beta, head over to Wowhead.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison achievements

Moonfang
The latest Warlords of Draenor build, meticulously datamined as always by the fine folks at Wowhead, reveals a ton in the way of Garrison achievements. Seriously, there are oodles of points to be earned in and around your Garrison. You can get achievements for Garrison buildings, Garrison Followers, Garrison levels, Garrison missions, and Garrison invasions. The glut of ways to earn achievement points should have dedicated achievement hunters licking their chops in anticipation.

The 700 skill point profession achievements are also listed with Garrison achievements, which doesn't come as much of a surprise. The majority of the achievements focus on Followers, missions, and invasions, but there are also plenty associated with constructing and upgrading the buildings themselves. The complete list of datamined Garrison achievements is after the break.

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Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New Ashran achievements

Wowhead has datamined a whole bunch of new achievements, and the ones for Ashran interested me greatly - since I did some level 100 PvP recently (I didn't do very well at it, but I think at least part of that is my sheer unfamiliarity with it at this point) I'm definitely interested in how Ashran turns out.

I assume one of those two Take Them Out achievements will eventually be switched to Alliance, and hopefully captain will be spelled correctly. (The achievements have different ID's.) It seems the Alliance gets to summon something called Fangraal (presumably this fellow), and there's something called The Everbloom where Kirin-Tor Battle Mages can die while fighting something called Yalnu (since there's an achievement for them not dying, I assume it's fairly easy for that to happen) - these are pretty tantalizing hints for what we're going to see once we get in there. I'm wondering if there's a Horde equivalent to Fangraal - possibly this Lifeless Ancient Protector, or this Ancient Protector (both are relatively close in ID and come up on a search for 'Horde Guardian')? Time will tell.
  • Ashran Victory: Kill the opposing faction Commander while controlling all points on the Road of Glory.
  • Bounty Hunter: Loot all the following off Alliance player corpses:
  • Bounty Hunter: Loot all the following off Horde player corpses:
  • Tour Of Duty: Complete each Event at the following areas listed below.
  • Just For Me: Activate a Class Specific Book Epic Item found within Ashran.
  • High-value Targets: Defeat all of the creatures within Ashran listed below.
  • Opperation Counterattack: Defeat Fangraal within 5 minutes of it being summoned by the Alliance.
  • Grand Theft, 1st Degree: Loot 100 Artifact Fragments from an enemy Player, and turn them in
  • Grand Theft, 2nd Degree: Loot 500 Artifact Fragments from an enemy Player, and turn them in
  • Grand Theft, 3rd Degree: Loot 1000 Artifact Fragments from an enemy Player, and turn them in
  • Divide And Conquer: Kill 5000 enemy Players anywhere outside the Road of Glory within Ashran.
  • Weed Wacker: Defeat Yalnu without any Kirin Tor Battle-Mages dying in The Everbloom on Heroic Difficulty.
  • Take Them Out: Defeat all of the Horde Captians within The Road of Glory listed below.
  • Take Them Out: Defeat all of the Horde Captians within The Road of Glory listed below.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: What achievements have you finished?

Twilight prosletyzer
The one positive thing about an ongoing lack of new content is the opportunity it provides to finish up any old projects that you might have lying around gathering virtual dust. At least, this is what I tell myself as my guild dwindles and I sigh longingly at screenshots of Shadowmoon Valley. The truth is, I've got a swath of old, half-finished achievements that I now have all the time in the world to tackle, so I've been using all my free time in WoW to do just that. So far I've knocked off 60 exalted reputations for my "the Beloved" title, and I've been running Magister's Terrace daily in the hope of finally snagging Kael'thas's white chocobo. I'm three mobs away from "Glorious!" and I'm finally settling into the hard part of "Insane in the Membrane." We'll see how far I actually get in that.

In addition, I've been working with a few guildmates to round out some guild-level achievements we've been lacking. Nobody had done a guild run of Dire Maul, Maraudon, Sunken Temple, or Stratholme, so we blitzed through those the other day for a guild achievement. I'm also leveling a pandaren priest because we're missing that race/class combo. It's a good way to keep myself occupied while new content seems forever just over the horizon. How about you all? What accomplishments have you checked off your list while you wait?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Guide to the Midsummer Fire Festival 2014

The Midsummer Fire Festival will run from Saturday, June 21 to Saturday, July 5 this year. As always, check your ingame calendar to determine the exact start and stop times for your server. While there aren't actually a lot of achievements associated with the Festival (the meta consists of only six), three of them require serious travel time, and one also requires a set of dangerous trips to enemy capitals. For the trouble, Alliance players are awarded the Flame Warden title, and Horde players Flame Keeper.

If you're starting from scratch, this is definitely one of the more work-intensive holidays necessary for the completion of What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. However, even a fresh character can afford to get all the rewards from holiday vendors if you're diligent about hitting all the holiday's fires, quests, and dailies.

The basics of the holiday involve "honoring" or "desecrating" a series of fires across Azeroth and Outland. For convenience, we've listed all of the fires on each continent in a specific direction so you can reach them as efficiently as possible.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Get started collecting titles in WoW

In World of Warcraft's current content lull, you may find yourself wondering what to do once you finally hit level 90. You can, of course, quest, raid, or PvP to your heart's content, but what do you do when you get tired of running the same dungeons and battlegrounds? While you could -- and many do -- wander off to explore other games, a common answer to slow content times in WoW is to pick up collecting.

While collecting isn't a primary game element, the game is full of things to collect -- and some of them even have achievements to be earned or special in-game collection interfaces. Sound like an interesting use of your WoW downtime? We're going to start off with some of our favorite time-consuming achievements -- all with cool titles to adorn your character -- that will definitely help you fill up the hours while waiting for Warlords of Draenor. And, of course, you get to customize your character with some awesome titles to boot.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Guide to Children's Week 2014

In the aggregate, Children's Week is one of the most entertaining annual holidays. Dragging a small child with you around Azeroth's grand vistas and dangerous places is surprisingly fun ("I want to go to the Dark Portal." "Sure, why not?"), and it's a fairly immersive reminder that the planet's constant wars have almost certainly left a large population of orphans for each faction to rear. Also, getting a pet or the aptly-named Curmudgeon's Payoff is pretty cool too.

But.

(You knew the "but" was coming.)

Unfortunately for all of you poor sods who still don't have School of Hard Knocks, that achievement still exists. I hated it so much that it was the sole remaining achievement between me and What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been for a year. With account-wide achievements, you no longer have to do it on multiple characters (and the whole system was worth it if for no other reason than that), but you'll still need it on one. Sorry, folks.

Anyway, Children's Week 2014 runs from April 28 to May 4, and, as always, the achievements and the meta For The Children are part of the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been.

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Filed under: Achievements

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