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Posts with tag Blackrock-Mountain

Know Your Lore: The Molten Core

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.

In the deepest parts of Blackrock Mountain, the Dark Iron toil relentlessly, slaving away at the whim of an ancient, terrifying master of flame. The Molten Core, as it is called by the denizens of Azeroth, is not this creature's home. Instead, it is the home of a dark ritual gone terribly wrong, a ritual that not only backfired, but subsequently resulted in the enslavement of an entire dwarven clan.

The 10th anniversary of World of Warcraft has some extra special goodies this year, including an updated, 40man LFR version of the Molten Core. Although many players lurked in its depths in the original iteration of the raid, the story of the area and how it came to be was scattered all over Azeroth -- because the tale begins long before there were dwarves, clans, or anyone to call Blackrock Mountain by name.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Blackrock Legacy

Know Your Lore The Blackrock Legacy
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.

They claimed to be the true Horde. They may yet prove it.

The Blackrock orcs seem, on the surface, to be a relic of a bygone age. A tribe of orcs holding on to a past swept aside by Turalyon's hand clutching Lothar's broken sword, a defeated remnant of Gul'dan's legacy. Once led by Blackhand the Destroyer, the Blackrock clan rose to prominence when Blackhand became Gul'dan's proxy as Warchief of the newborn Horde. And it remained central when Orgrim Doomhammer, Blackhand's second in command, slew Blackhand and seized power, for Doomhammer too was a member of the Blackrock clan. After the final defeat of the Horde atop Blackrock Spire, it seemed certain that the Blackrocks would trouble Azeroth no more.

Yet Blackhand's sons Rend and Maim, who had served Doomhammer even after he killed their father as leaders of the splinter clan the Black Tooth Grin, led the Blackrocks into the mountain that bore the same name and set about rebuilding them. When Teron Gorefiend came to Blackrock Spire, the brothers Blackhand refused his call to join Ner'zhul's Horde, seeing themselves as the true inheritors of Blackhand's legacy. In time, the Black Dragonflight came to the mountain, attracted by the reds still held in bondage there, and Nefarian brought the Blackrocks into his service. Maim Blackhand died in the war with the Dark Iron Dwarves to determine which force would rule the mountain, while Rend died when Thrall sent members of the Horde to kill him for his claim to the title of Warchief that Doomhammer had bestowed upon the shaman.

And yet, the Blackrocks were not done. Ironically, it may have been one of Thrall's most loyal supporters who brought one of Garrosh Hellscream's most dangerous enforcers into the fold.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: WoW for Dummies, Act I: Alliance

Know Your Lore WoW for Dummies, the vanilla years Act I
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.

World of Warcraft was originally released in the US on November 23, 2004. That is eight years of our lives that we've been playing this game ... for some players. For many players however, their experience with WoW began in Burning Crusade, or Wrath, or Cataclysm -- or even right now with Mists of Pandaria. And because of this, it means these players have missed out eight years worth of lore and story from before they began to play.

One of the questions and suggestions I see pop up most frequently, be it on Reddit, Twitter or even WoW Insider, is what happened during all of that time? What was the story behind these expansions? Sure, there are novels and comics aplenty available for reading, but these are side aspects to the original games that didn't really tie into the game so much. The game itself had its own story going, particularly in those first couple of expansions.

So let's step back in time and take a look at WoW and the basic ongoing story that has kept it going all these years -- not the novels, but the game itself. Get ready for WoW for Dummies: the vanilla years.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

And the dungeons keep on shrinking

I've run the new Scarlet Monastery dungeons on the beta several times now. They're fun, well-designed, interesting dungeons. They are a bit jarring if you're familiar with the current Scarlet Monastery, however. The current four dungeons have been cut down to two, and it's been achieved by removing a lot of the long hallways full of trash pulls we're familiar with now. The Armory section of the new dungeon almost feels abrupt if you (like me) ran SM over and over again in the olden days of WoW.

It's not that the new dungeons are bad. They're objectively good, even great at places, with a good sense of the history of the place and call-backs to the classic dungeon.

They just feel kind of short to me. Smaller. Actually smaller, not in terms of the size of the hallways or anything but in terms of how much real estate they cover. And while I often rail against nostalgia, lately that sense of scale has been driving me to run older content not even to gather loot for transmog but just to see it, to look around at the scope and scale of the older dungeons.

Now, I don't want to pretend that these dungeons weren't often hideously irritating to run at the time. Getting a 5-man group all the way through Stratholme back when it was all one big, interconnected burning city full of undead and no one ever wanted to clear both sides wasn't anything but an exercise in learning colorful new metaphors as they spewed from your own mouth. You'd end up amazed you even knew the Basque term for that particular deviancy.

Still, there is something to be said for the epic scale of some of the older 5-man dungeons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Blackrock Depths, WoW's ultimate dungeon

Plugger Spazzring is ready for your drink order
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?

You don't trust this bar. First of all, you had to fight your way through a legion of Dark Iron dwarves and their constructs just to get here. Secondly, it's run by a shady leper gnome who has one grumpy-looking golem for a bouncer. Third, there's an awful lot of laughter, yet no one here looks amused.

You are right to be nervous. This is the Grim Guzzler. This is not a nice place.

Welcome to Blackrock Depths

For someone who began playing WoW post-vanilla, it's hard to explain just how amazing Blackrock Depths was back in early 2005. It's true that people often got lost there, but it was also a fantastic place to simply lose yourself. No area of the game has ever been as convincingly comprehensive or offered more to discover. There always seemed to be another boss, event, or area to explore, another secret to unlock. It's no secret, however, that BRD remains a favorite dungeon of many WoW Insider bloggers.

BRD wasn't just a dungeon. It was a civilization, and you were there to bring it to its knees.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Tom Chilton on Cataclysm additions and the upcoming world event

Our friends over at WorldofWar.de (who were listening live to the podcast this past weekend) recently got an interview done with Lead Designer Tom Chilton, and you can read it over on their site right now. There's not a lot of news in there (though Chilton does gush over the Dungeon Finder, just as players have for the past week or so), but aside from the usual player housing deny and the old "we don't know what the future holds" back and forth, but there is one fun thing he reminds us of in the second half of the interview: Blizzard is adding on to the old Blackwing Lair instance in Cataclysm. It sounds like kind of what they've done with VoA: Blackrock Caverns, which we heard about at BlizzCon, will be a new area (supposedly level 85 5-man, though Chilton says "lots of bosses") inside Blackrock Mountain that's connected to all of the Black Dragonflight bosses in Blackwing Lair.

Finally, Chilton sorta-kinda re-confirms that there will be a new content patch before the expansion -- he says it probably won't be a numbered patch like 3.4 or 3.5, but he says there may be some more class balances in there, new Battle.net features, and possibly even a new raid boss. But mostly it'll just be the patch that brings us all of the world events previous to the Cataclysm shakedown that we'll all go through. Sounds like fun.



World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Lore, Interviews, Cataclysm

Father's Day in Azeroth: A salute to the fathers of Warcraft lore

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1019543So it's Father's Day, the time when we all pay homage to the fathers or father figures in our lives, and thank them for all that they do. While we can't say for sure if they celebrate Father's Day in Azeroth, too, there's a lot of people in Azeroth and Outland who have reason to think back on their dads today. Many dads of Azeroth have affected their children's lives or been affected by them. The ramifications of the interactions of these fathers and children have then in turn affected the lore and story of Warcraft in ways great and small.

Therefore, in honor of the holiday, let's look at 10 famous and not-so-famous dads of Warcraft lore (listed in no particular order).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP

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