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Posts with tag Ashbringer

The Queue: Timeline confusion

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.

Today we attempt to tackle timelines and alternate dimensions. Attempt being the operative word.

Breadsammich asked:

Something's bothering me about the Warlords cinematic. We see a pitlord, presumably Mannoroth, angered over the orcs' refusal to drink the blood. However, if the legion exists outside time and dimensional boundaries, how could that be Mannoroth? A "new" one wouldn't have been created by the new timeline if he's separate from it to begin with, right? Is this just Blizzard waving it off a little for the sake of the cinematic?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

WoW for Dummies, Act III: The end of vanilla

WoW for Dummies, Act III The end of vanilla SUN
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.

Vanilla WoW may not have seemed full of story to most, but it was jam-packed with plot elements, although they were hidden from all but those who paid the closest attention to what was going on around them. Most lore in the game was simply introduced with quest text -- there were no cut scenes, there was no phasing, there were none of the innovations we currently have today in regards to the implementation of lore in gameplay.

If you missed them, I recommend going back and reading through the summaries of early days of vanilla lore. There are two versions of Act I, one for Alliance and one for Horde. Act II applies to both sides of the faction fence as the story began to merge for both sides. Please note that these are summaries of the lore that existed in game -- later novels, comics, and other material adjusted what actually happened in the scope of the game universe, and some of those novels and comics are now the official canon version of these events. I've pointed out where these changes occurred.

The end of vanilla was marked with the return of foes long thought dead and gone, and the ominous stirrings of a portal to another world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Insider interviews Micky Neilson and Sean "Cheeks" Galloway

WoW Insider interviews Micky Neilson and Sean 'Cheeks' Galloway
Pearl of Pandaria, the latest comics offering from Blizzard and DC, releases September 25. The tale of Li Li Stormstout and her journey to find her Uncle Chen was written by Senior Writer and Voice Director Micky Neilson, whose other works include Unbroken, Ashbringer, and Curse of the Worgen. Bringing the book to life is Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, whose other works include character design for Hellboy Animated and Spectacular Spider-Man.

That's an impressive bunch of credits for an equally impressive book. Sean and Micky were kind enough to sit down with us and discuss the art and history behind Pearl of Pandaria. In addition, we talked short stories and comics as well as some exciting upcoming print projects and the answer to the pesky question of why pandaren eyes are gold instead of green.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson & Sean Galloway

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson
I have to admit it. When I first heard word of Pearl of Pandaria at BlizzCon, I was not expecting it to be anything extraordinary. The artwork was awesome, the panel previews looked top-notch, and I've been a Galloway fan for years. The news that Micky Neilson was writing the title was definitely good news. But I didn't expect the graphic novel to really hold much weight, particularly since it was mentioned that the novel takes place before Cataclysm. It actually takes place somewhere at the beginning of the war in Northrend.

Because of this, I figured it would simply be a standalone piece. It'd be a well-written, fun little tale that would explain where the heck Chen was has been all these years. But when I started playing the Mists beta, I fell in love with Li Li, Chen's precocious niece with a penchant for acrid sarcasm. After meeting Li Li, I was a bit more excited to read the book, because I figured more Li Li would be a good thing. And then I got Pearl of Pandaria and sat down to give it a read, fully expecting a simple lighthearted and fun little piece of work.

I don't think I've ever been quite so delighted to be utterly wrong.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Paladins get Ashbringer with new talent

Paladins, Ashbringer is yours -- well, for a short duration, at least. The level 75 paladin talent Holy Avenger, which is a cooldown that allows the player to gain 3 holy power when using an ability that generates holy power, now turns the paladin's weapon into the mighty Ashbringer for the duration of the spell. Paladins have been asking for iconic imagery in their sets and weapons for some time, with many paladins feeling left out or in an odd place when tier sets are designed around aspects of paladins in the game rather than the Alliance paladins of the traditional days.

Ashbringer is about as traditionally paladin as you get. Paladins, congratulations on your badass graphics for Holy Avenger, especially with something so iconic as Ashbringer being part of your kit, so to speak. How cool is that?

Blizzard has already given shaman the ability to transform into powerful ascendants, and now we see this cool new flavor for the paladin and brand new demons for the warlock. What will surprise us come next beta patch?
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Paladin, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Memories of Dire Maul

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?

Last week I said we'd be visiting Dire Maul in-depth this week, and we're going to do exactly that. Dire Maul was added in World of Warcraft patch 1.3 all the way back in March 2005. As I pointed out last week, Dire Maul attempted a great number of things that Blizzard has never tried to do since. It was also one of the few instances that was given a lasting relevance throughout an entire expansion phase of the game's life -- from the day it was implemented in patch 1.3 to the final day prior to the launch of The Burning Crusade, players had a reason to venture into the three wings of Dire Maul that wasn't simply grinding for currency.

Dire Maul was one of the last bastions of adventure and discovery in our dungeons. That isn't to say all instances afterwards were bad, that's not true at all, but never again did we have a 5-man dungeon that you were free to explore and discover the secrets hidden away in its dark corners. It's a style of dungeon we haven't seen since, and with the prominence of the dungeon finder in World of Warcraft these days, it's one we're unlikely to see ever again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore Tinfoil Hat Edition: Mystery of the naaru


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.

Oh yes, we're going here again. Since the launch of The Burning Crusade, one of the most enigmatic mysteries of Warcraft lore has been the naaru, a race of creatures seemingly formed of pure energy that equates to what we in Azeroth know as the Light. We've discussed the naaru before in another Tinfoil Hat edition of Know Your Lore surrounding Elune and the history of the Light on Azeroth. However, there's been very little to suggest where these creatures come from or what their influence on the denizens of Azeroth ultimately means.

In last week's Know Your Lore, we theorized that Azeroth isn't just some simple planet that's been organized by the Titans. Instead, it may be that Azeroth is a weapon of some sort, quietly engineered by the Titans in the midst of their regular crusade of world organization in order to combat and perhaps, one day, defeat Sargeras. But where do the naaru, who led the draenei to Draenor and away from the influence of the Burning Legion, fit in? Why do the naaru seek to eliminate the Burning Legion? Are they in league with the Titans or simply working along the same lines as our creators?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on why it happened. The events presented are events that happened in Azeroth's history, but the conclusions are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Urban Legends of Warcraft: The key, the essence and the ship

Everyone seems to be talking about Cataclysm these days -- and that's not a bad thing, after all the expansion is completely overhauling everything we knew and were familiar with. A lot of the Cataclysm hype surrounds the thought of "finishing" the original game as completely as possible, because many of those beloved quest chains and moments from vanilla will be gone without a trace when the expansion launches. Yet even as these chains are recommended, players forget some of the earliest quests in the game -- mysteries that were never fully explained.

There has been a long-running idea since the days of vanilla that there are still quests out there in vanilla that have not been completed. Despite the addition of the Loremaster achievement, there still isn't a single player in this game who has finished "every quest," because some quests have never been completed or even discovered. The thought of undiscovered quests sets people on a flurry of activity, speculation and forum threads that often provided more entertainment than whatever quest they were seeking answers for. One of the biggest mysteries in vanilla WoW didn't involve dragons or legendary swords or epic moments at all -- instead, it all began with a simple, unassuming box located in a quiet glade.

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Filed under: Lore

The Urban Legends of Warcraft: Ashbringer

One of the more interesting facets of playing a game as extensive as World of Warcraft are the legends and mysteries surrounding the game, both inside and out. A lot of these legends, mysteries and unsolved puzzles have developed over time into urban legends -- stories that sound just true enough to be plausible, but usually end up being untrue, dead ends or simply unsolved mysteries that were never meant to be puzzled out. Today we'll be talking about a weapon whose origins were so mysterious and carried so many loose ends that it left players in a tizzy for years: Ashbringer.

The legend of Ashbringer started when World of Warcraft was originally released. The orange legendary weapon was discovered in the game files by data miners, and the stats and proc on the weapon were truly amazing. At the time, even epic weapons were extremely rare, so seeing something with an orange tag on it was more than a little unique and awe-inspiring. However, other than the datamined weapon, there was no indication of it appearing in game -- that is, until players slowly leveled from launch to their first steps into the Plaguelands.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

The Lore of Patch 3.3

In many ways Wrath of the Lich King can be considered the logical conclusion of one of WarCraft's major story lines. Arthas, the evil sovereign of the scourge, will meet his doom in Icecrown Citadel. Each Wrath patch up until now has lead to this defining moment -- the face off between Arthas and the players representing the next generation of heroes of Azeroth. Who will win? What happens after Arthas is defeated? Is Arthas defeated?

These questions lend themselves to a spectacular conclusion to a great tale. In The Lore of Patch 3.3, Michael Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and I will take a look at all the various plots, characters, and environments that lead up to this grand confrontation with the Lich King.

You'll want to know this story. You'll want to know this lore.

For when you finally face off against the wielder of the Frostmourne, you'll know why you're going toe-to-toe against him, and why your fate can make or break the very face of Azeroth.

This article, while containing essential lore, also contains heavy spoilers. Do not proceed if that bothers you.

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Filed under: Patches, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: Highlord Darion Mograine


Welcome back to Know Your Lore, WoW.com's column about the story behind the game we all play.

Put simply, the Knights of the Ebon Blade are traitors to the Scourge. Like the Forsaken, they've broken free of the grasp of the Lich King due to the intercession of an external source - Sylvanas and the Forsaken escaped the Lich King's grasp when he was weakened due to the crack in the Frozen Throne and had to recall Arthas to Northrend, while the Knights were more autonomous than the average Scourge and regained their freedom following the events at Light's Hope Chapel. At LHC, the Knights were freed due to the actions of their Highlord, Darion Mograine.

If you played through the events of the Death Knight starting area, you already have a basic idea of the origins of the order, especially if you ran around Acherus reading books like I did. Some are funny, some are meaningful, and from them we can glean certain information about the history of the order before the events leading up to its break from the Lich King. If you've read the Ashbringer comic series, you're of course informed of some of this anyway. But there's still devils in those details for us to discuss.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Lore, Know your Lore, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What would you like to see in a WoW comic?


I've been getting back into comics lately, thanks largely to the World of Warcraft. My most recent purchases were the trade paperbacks of Wildstorm's World of Warcraft series and Ashbringer, as well as Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga. Since I couldn't get my fix of Hong Kong manhua without actually going to Hong Kong (which makes it kind of hard to keep up with weekly titles like Amazing Weapons 4...), it was a bit easier to head over to our local shops and get some Western comics. What better subject than my favorite game, right?

While I enjoyed Ashbringer, I take a great liking to Warcraft Legends because it explores the other aspects or characters of Azeroth. The ongoing series can focus on well-known guys like Varian Wrynn, but Warcraft Legends are cool side-stories of the unknown guys. That opens up a world of potential. We could see stories about those NPCs we always see all over the place. Maybe we can get a comic about Cro Threadstrong and find out why he hates the fruit vendor so much. How about stories about the wandering "named" NPCs in Dalaran? Minigob Manabonk, maybe?

On the flip side, how about when the characters in the comic stories suddenly make their way into the game? We know Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar have their roots in toys and comics, and players can now meet them in WoW. This whole idea of comics as an extension of the game's story is really cool, and I hope Wildstorm and Tokyopop keep putting out great comics and characters. Is there anything in particular about the World of Warcraft that you'd like to see in comic form? A favorite character? A particular period or special event? Share your thoughts!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Comics

Ashbringer TPB is pretty legendary


It was with a mix of anticipation and apprehension that I wrote about the Ashbringer Trade Paperback by Wildstorm which collects all four issues of the limited series. After all, I wasn't entirely impressed with the regular series featuring Varian Wrynn but thoroughly enjoyed Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga, so while I was decided upon getting Ashbringer, I had moderately low expectations.

The good thing about having low expectations is that it's hard to get disappointed. It turns out, however, that I didn't have to set my expectations so low... the Ashbringer comics are a very good read from start to finish, particularly for readers who play World of Warcraft. In fact, that might be its one caveat -- the Ashbringer limited series is a decent read for the average reader but truly shines for players, who are familiar with the story and recognize the characters.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

Ashbringer TPB out now

I haven't been a big fan of the whole Alliance-centric direction of the Wildstorm World of Warcraft comics, and I picked up the whole Varian Wrynn saga mostly out of a completist impulse rather than actual concern for the story or its characters. I also thought Ludo Lullabi had better samples of art on his personal site than what he showed in the comic, so when I found out the next story arc was going to be pencilled by Jon Buran, I wasn't too concerned. Buran is doing tremendous work so far. Of course, we all soon learned why Lullabi left the book -- he was tasked with illustrating the Ashbringer story.

The good news is that the Ashbringer comics which follow the story of the legendary blade showcase some of Lullabi's best work yet (with assists from Tony Washington). This owes largely to the spectacular coloring, done Painter-style by either Lullabi himself or an uncredited colorist. The painted covers by Chris Robinson add a sense of awe and wonder to the series, and each issue of the four-parter is rich with lore because it was written by Blizzard's own Micky Neilson. Even better news is that DC Comics has collected the mini-series in a hardcover edition available at your friendly neighborhood comic shop for $19.99. So soon after picking up Warcraft Legends, I think I'll need to make a little more space on my shelves...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

Ask a Lore Nerd: Speculative speculation

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Today's edition of Ask a Lore Nerd is a bit heavy on the speculation side, so be warned before you start reading. We've had a lot of questions recently that we don't yet have answers to, but are asked frequently enough that I suppose I should see what I can say!

vyx asked...

"Okay, so speaking of life and death, this has bugged me for a while -- how do we explain the fact that some characters (Horde and Alliance legends for example) have died, but yet every Priest, Pally, Shammy and Druid can rez people anytime they want?

I realize it's a game and it wouldn't be so much fun if you died and then had to reroll a level 1, but there needs to be some type of lore explanation as to why people can be rezzed, but also can 'really die.' Are we supposed to just not worry about this or is there an explanation?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

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