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Posts with tag Ahn-Qiraj

The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

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World of Warcraft sometimes gets panned for its graphics, which have never been on the bleeding edge of virtual reality. This, however, was a deliberate choice on Blizzard's part, and I think it's a good one. It allows for people who are behind the hardware curve (such as myself) to enjoy the game, and the graphics' intentional cartoonishness holds up better over time than hyper-realistic renderings, which often seem horribly dated within months. More importantly, WoW's beauty hasn't suffered for it. Azeroth is stunning.

I've compiled a list of the ten spots I personally find to be most beautiful, and by spots, I truly mean spots, not entire zones. I expect many of you will have wildly differing opinions, and I look forward to reading about them. The ten locations are listed in alphabetical order by zone; there's no way I could actually order them - I would never be able to decide!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.1: Razorgore, other old world bosses made easier

Blackwing Lair has long been my one of my favorite raids of all time. Not only did it have some fun, interesting, and even emotional boss fights back in its day, the weapon and tier gear graphics are still some of the best to this day. Unfortunately, going back in there for transmogrification gear has been a bit of a pain. This is because Razorgore, the first boss, must be done by at least two players: One to mind control him, one to kill the adds.

Patch 5.1 ends that. Not only can Razorgore be soloed (in theory), but a couple of other older dungeon bosses have been tweaked just a little.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Transmogrification

Patch 5.1 PTR: Darkmoon hats, new pet models and more

Darkmoon hats, new pet models and more
Care for a fancy hat? Wowhead found some new models from the patch 5.1 PTR server, including a stunning array of fancy chapeaus courtesy of the Darkmoon Faire. Each has its own bizarre style, and some even include animations like flickering lights or bobbles that sway in the breeze. Wowhead has animated versions of all of the models so you can see the movements for yourself. How exactly one goes about obtaining these hats is unknown at this point, but you'll be able to find them at the Darkmoon Faire next patch.

In addition, MMO-Champion dug up some new pet models from the PTR, including clockwork bears, cats and dinosaurs as well as an adorable group of red panda models in an assortment of colors. There have been some changes to pets as well -- Mr. Bigglesworth is no longer a drop from Kel'Thuzad. Instead, he's a reward for completing the achievement Raiding With Leashes, which requires the collection of all the new pets that have been added to raids.

Since the new patch notes indicate players will no longer need to be in a raid group to enter pre-Mists of Pandaria raids, it should be even easier to get your hands on these new pets. Take a look at MMO-Champion for pet models, and head to Wowhead for the animated versions of all of the new hat models so you can see the movements for yourself.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 5.1

12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 51
Just in case you haven't had your fill of pets, Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton dropped some news on Twitter and let us know that there will be more to find in patch 5.1. 12 new pets have been added to all four vanilla raids -- Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and Naxxramas. These pets will drop from bosses in the zones, and according to Stockton, the drop rates aren't bad at all, either.

And for those of you perking up at the mention of Naxxramas, you have every right to be excited. One of the pets offered is none other than Mr. Bigglesworth, Kel'Thuzad's beloved cat. Wowhead dug up the information on the rest of the pets, which included a Stitched Pup, Chrominius, and an Anubisath Idol among many others.

Not only is this a cool way to get some more pets out there in the mix, it's also a great reason to go run those old vanilla raids. Although Naxxramas moved to Northrend with Wrath, it was one of the original 40-man raids available back in vanilla. And despite its new location, Naxxramas is still soloable by most classes at level 90, although you can take a few friends along to make the jaunt a little easier. For a full list of available pets, check out Wowhead's list -- and if you aren't following Cory Stockton on Twitter, you're missing out on cool updates!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: 3 developmental changes needed for storytelling in Mists

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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.

One of the major things that vanilla World of Warcraft struggled with was a compelling story. Yes, we had a particularly epic tale spun with the release of Ahn'Qiraj and an even greater tale with Naxxramas. But while Onyxia, Molten Core and Blackwing Lair had stories that were interesting enough, it was difficult for players to pick up on those stories and follow them in a coherent fashion. Ragnaros in particular had a story that was entrenched in several different leveling zones as well as a few instances.

Meanwhile, the zones that you encountered from level 1 to 60 by and large didn't have a coherent story to tell. Each zone had little tidbits of story here and there, but nothing seemed really dire or important beyond a few epic, sweeping quests. As for faction leaders -- well, they did very little beyond sit in their capital cities and occasionally send players on errands. This is something that has continually changed and improved with every expansion that has been released. The story in WoW has never been as accessible as it is now.

But Mists of Pandaria has the potential to completely blow everything before it away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Archivist: How each WoW expansion set the tone, part one

The 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?

Before we learned about Mists of Pandaria and where we stalwart adventurers would be exploring in the coming months, I wrote a post discussing how an expansion about Pandaria, specifically its title, would change the tone of World of Warcraft. Mists of Pandaria would be the first expansion that does not directly reference or reveal the main villain of the expansion's storyline. Blizzard and the WoW development team has been incredible stewards of tone, from the early days of Warcraft to Cataclysm's world-breaking motif. Tone is one of the most important aspects of the MMO because your game world needs to be compelling enough to call back players at any point. Good MMOs set good tone.

Tone has evolved in WoW after each expansion pack, changing considerably each time we swap settings and install the latest content. Alex asked me to write an article that spanned the history of World of Warcraft, and I could think of nothing more dynamic than the tone of the story and how masterfully Blizzard has handled it.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

World of Wardrobe: Shaking the bugs out of tier 2.5

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

Ahn'Qiraj was a dramatic change for vanilla raiders, largely because it didn't take place anywhere with a primarily red- and/or flame-based color scheme. Instead, raiders were treated to a sandy desert and a mysterious temple with unending underground tunnels and the oddest scenery in game at that point. Treated, that is, after an incredibly long quest line and a world event that required everyone, raiders and non-raiders alike, to band together and open the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj.

It's no wonder then that tier 2.5 is just as odd as the raid zone it originates from. Each set wasn't exactly a major upgrade from tier 2 but had a set name and set bonuses -- not enough of a difference to call it a full tier, but enough that it warranted the -.5 suffix to delineate it as something worth obtaining. These sets aren't iconic so much as ... odd. Rather than representing a class, they all carried the same spiny, insect theme that persevered throughout Ahn'Qiraj -- less "beautiful" and more "Power Rangers meets Mothra."

That said, if you're looking for the strangest getup you can possibly stick your character in, tier 2.5 ought to be right up your alley. There's also a host of other unique weapons and armor to be had as well, so let's get to the extermination, shall we?

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

WoW Archivist: Scepter of the Shifting Sands

The 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?

It is sad to me that it seems the only players who have access to truly epic quest lines these days are the ones on the receiving ends of legendaries -- Shadowmourne and now Dragonwrath. If we turn back the clock to vanilla, we'd come across perhaps the most epic quest line of them all. Monstrous in its time commitment, material needs, and far more random and diverse than the chain for Thunderfury, it was the mother of all quests. Not only did it require the participation of an entire realm in order to be able to complete it, but it took the effort of at least one raid team of 40 (if not more) to coordinate and organize the energy needed to get a very small handful of people very rare and very special rewards that have yet to be duplicated by Blizzard.

This quest chain is the Scepter of the Shifting Sands.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.9, The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj

The 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?

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, patch 1.8 did not include a brand new raid tier. Players thought nothing of it at the time. It was perfectly normal. What patch 1.8 did was lay the groundwork for the following patch. It revamped Silithus, and that revamp was utilized in patch 1.9 with the opening of Ahn'Qiraj and the massive world event surrounding the parting of the gates.

In addition to the opening of the Ahn'Qiraj gates, patch 1.9 also includes:
  • Linked auction houses
  • Raid lockout revamp
  • Paladin class review
Follow along, won't you?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

Readers have requested that the Archivist cover the opening of Ahn'Qiraj a number of times since the reboot of this feature. The original intent was to explore it when we reached that point in our journey through the patch notes of old, but I bow to the demands of the masses on this one.

The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj was one of World of Warcraft's first attempts at a massive, server-wide world event. Ahn'Qiraj didn't simply open when it was patched in, like every other raid zone in WoW. It had to be opened by the players, and how quickly or how slowly it opened depended purely on the population's participation. The event was plagued with chains of server crashes and other such performance problems, but ask any truly old-school WoW player and they will almost certainly list this event as one of their fondest WoW memories.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

New quests on the PTR point to legendary weapon's origin

More news, in the form of a few quests datamined from the PTR, has cropped up about the legendary staff that will be available this expansion. While we've talked about the possible links between the staff and the upcoming War of the Ancients raid, nothing had been confirmed. However, the quests seem to be pointing to something a little different.

In the quest A Legendary Engagement, players are sent to the Caverns of Time to speak to Anachronos. Anachronos is the acting "leader" of the Bronze Dragonflight in Nozdormu's absence; we first encountered him way back during the quest line to open the gates to Ahn'Qiraj. Oddly enough, it seems as though Anachronos requires your presence immediately -- something that's more than a little strange for a reclusive bronze dragon.

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Filed under: News items, Lore, Cataclysm

The Queue: Clearance

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.

I'm going to use the intro of The Queue to clear something up from Saturday's WRUP. I said that "Oblivion is Fallout in Fantasyland." I do know that Oblivion was released first, despite what some of you thought! I was saying that I played Fallout first but enjoyed Oblivion much more, despite their being basically the same game in two different settings. You dig?

Stormblade asked:

Does WoW Insider take applications? Can you email in example articles or ideas?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Daily Quest: Preparation


WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Final push time! Patch 4.0.1 is fast approaching, we have a release date for Cataclysm, and the world is about to change forever. Here are a few posts from around the blogosphere about preparation -- quests, mobs and guilds. Let's take a look!


Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

15 Minutes of Fame: Classic raiders keep a different pace

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

The old days are long gone, Gramps; take off the rose-colored glasses and play Wrath, where raiding is better than ever.

So goes conventional wisdom in the comments whenever anyone espouses a little nostalgia for the old days of vanilla WoW. Raiding was a far different animal back then. Players who raided were still considered hardcore -- "casual raiding" wasn't on the radar yet -- and devoted week after week of angling for a 40-man raid slot in hopes of earning the chance at a purple drop. Even though strategy sites for WoW raids blossomed sooner rather than later, videos and the trustworthy guides remained relatively sparse, and many early guilds developed their own tactics and jealously guarded alternative strategies. Standing at the mailbox in Ironforge with a massive, raid-sized weapon on your back meant wielding a badge of achievement that attracted a small crowd; bearers would be flooded with awed whispers asking where it was from.

A thoughtful look back at WoW's 40-man past yields both positives and negatives. It wasn't simply the size of the raids that made them feel so different than today's raids ; it was the interplay of raid size, the inexperience of the raiding player base, the scarcity and difficulty of rewards, the lack of universally accepted tactics and strategies ... A whole host of influences that simply can't be replicated today.

But while the era may long cold and dead, the content is still very much alive. Beyond the bored, pre-expansion players who are fending off burnout by sightseeing in vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade instances lies another layer of players who are attacking old content with level-appropriate characters. These classic raiders aren't fruitlessly attempting to recreate the past; rather, they're enjoying an entirely different pacing for the game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Are set bonuses outdated?

Well now, here's an interesting thought to consider this weekend: Zemeny on Barthilas suggests that maybe it's time to do away with a gear mechanic that Blizzard has used since Diablo. He thinks that set bonuses deserve to be put out to pasture. He doesn't go into his reasoning much, but we can probably fill that in; not only do set bonuses tend to either be overpowered or too weak (as in, you usually need to have a specific set bonus to make or break a class), but they make gear choices uneven, usually leaving you to choose between an upgrade or a set bonus. Zemeny suggests we do away with the whole thing -- create one set bonus per tier, leaving upgrades for the gear itself, or just turn the set bonus into an extra gem or inscription slot and give us more power that way.

Ghostcrawler shows up in the thread and says that the game would be pretty boring if set bonuses weren't included -- I presume he means that you'd just upgrade your gear according to iLvl, and that would be that. He even says that he wishes the tiers varied more, but players really want to see "unambiguous upgrades" to their items. People need rewarding when they move up, so GC can't mix things up with the various bonuses as much as he might like.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses

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