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Posts with tag Cairne-bloodhoof

Previewing Curse of Naxxramas' neutral minions


Sometime this month, Blizzard is expected to release Hearthstone's first adventure pack Curse of Naxxramas. The pack will come with single player adventures, along with 30 new cards that should shake up the metagame and breathe some fresh air into the ladder scene. Pricing details were announced yesterday, and now seems an apt time to begin looking over the cards we'll be seeing in Naxxramas. Thus far, five neutral cards have officially been announced.


Dancing Swords

Dancing Swords is an intriguing minion at three mana. The magical blades boast a highly coveted 4/4 body, able to ignore specific priest removal while still having a thick enough hide to endure most popular area of effect spells. In exchange for the amazing statline, Dancing Swords awards opponents a card upon expiring. In a perfect world, Dancing Swords is used to quickly mow down a foe before the deathrattle ever becomes an issue. It seems like we won't be seeing this minion in anything other than fast paced aggression setups.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Five must craft neutral Hearthstone cards

There are a lot of cards in Hearthstone. It can be difficult to know which ones to craft with your hard earned dust, especially in the beginning. Do you save up for a legendary or try and craft more accessible cards in order to build up decent library? I mentioned it before, but I think the best option is grabbing up the basics, specifically cards that hold value across multiple decks.

There's no ranking behind these cards, so grab them up in whatever order you see fit. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, which we'll discuss below.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore: Warriors of Azeroth and beyond, Part 2

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.

Second verse, same as the first - we're talking warriors of lore and story in the Warcraft universe. What does it take to get on either of these lists?
  1. Don't obviously be a member of another class. I skirted the edge of this one for last week's list, but not this week - these are the warriors. No Bolvars, no Turalyons, no Rexxars or the like. If you cast spells or skulk in the shadows or are a death knight, you're not on this list. Sorry, Highlord Alexandros Mograine, but you were a paladin, and you don't count. Maiev Shadowsong definitely uses stealth, she's out.
  2. You have to be somehow more iconic than the badasses on last week's list. That means, in my opinion, you're more important in terms of lore than Muradin Bronzebeard, Baine Bloodhoof, and Broxigar the Red. That's not an easy bar to jump over.
  3. Those are my criteria. I just think lists with less than three points on them look weird.
Let's get started on the list.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Hearthstone: The Rock, a paladin deck


The meta has changed! Among the classes, the gap between best and worst has narrowed significantly. Today we'll examine a couple of emerging paladin decks. Their hero power is called Reinforce which generates a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. The one we're looking at today is aptly titled The Rock. You'll find out why in a few moments.

Read on for the full deck list!

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore: 5 potential new warchiefs for Mists of Pandaria

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.

Warcraft lore is a continually fluctuating beast of a thing that can change at a moment's notice. This is particularly true for stories and plot developments that we hear over the course of beta testing, prior to an expansion's actual release. Nothing announced for Mists of Pandaria in the way of plot development is really set in stone and slapped into lore until the day you can purchase the game for yourselves and play it to your heart's content.

Even then, things might not be what they appear to be. Early this week, we had a fairly eye-opening announcement from Community Manager Zarhym in which he stated that perhaps Thrall wasn't slated to make a return to warchief once Garrosh had been removed, unlike all previous assumptions had suggested. Given the fact that Thrall's just saved the world, not to mention the fact that he's about to be a father, it's hard to picture him gladly taking his place as warchief again. There are more reasons than just those, of course.

But then that leaves the major question: Who the heck is going to be warchief? We don't have answers, but we've got five interesting possibilities for you to consider.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 1

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.

Since Rossi is taking a look at the top lore reveals of Cataclysm, I decided to jump in hand-in-hand with that. A little over a year and a half ago, I addressed some of the storytelling methods of Wrath -- what worked, what didn't work. It wasn't a look at specific lore moments as much as a look at how Blizzard was handling lore as a whole. Compared to the early days of WoW, Wrath made some giant strides forward in how we as players interacted and mingled with the various storylines of the expansion.

Much like Wrath, Cataclysm observed all that had come before, took a good look at all of it, and promptly made some giant strides of its own. What we've gotten in the past year has been nothing short of astonishing in terms of creating a meld of gameplay and lore that draws the player in and keeps them there ... to a point. After all, nothing's perfect in this world, and there are always things that could be tweaked and improved upon. Let's take a look at the top 10 lore developments of 2011 -- not the story we've seen in the foreground, but all those wonderful mechanics behind it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 3

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.

Garrosh Hellscream is probably one of the most contentious additions to the Cataclysm expansion. Oh sure, he existed all the way back in The Burning Crusade, but he wasn't Warchief at that point in time. Nobody thought for a moment that the depressed Orc in Garadar would one day be leading their characters into battle against the Lich King. And nobody dreamed that Garrosh would one day be sitting on the Horde's throne.

It wasn't so much the surprise of the situation that people took issue with, however. Instead, it had much to do with Garrosh's attitude throughout Wrath of the Lich King. Headstrong, ruthless and downright bloodthirsty, Garrosh's decisions in Wrath didn't ring right or true with the playerbase. Even more jostling to players was the notion that despite the player dislike of the character, the NPCs of the world loved the guy. It may very well be the first time that a large chunk of a faction's players have blatantly disagreed with a fictional NPC faction -- and the NPC faction won out.

The Shattering makes it clear that Garrosh's position is only temporary, but in Cataclysm, he's certainly attacking the job with gusto.

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you're avoiding spoilers, run away! Run away!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 2

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 biggest questions people have in regards to the Shattering patch that took place at the end of Wrath of the Lich King is just how much time passed in game during those events. Unfortunately, there aren't any concrete answers to that question, which makes trying to muddle out time lines a little more difficult than usual. The official time line on the original World of Warcraft website was removed when the site underwent its major facelift, and a new time line was never implemented.

However, taking a look at the old time line over on Wowpedia seems to indicate that Blizzard likes patches to last approximately one year in the Warcraft time line. So classic World of Warcraft and all the events we encountered, from Molten Core to the original incarnation of Naxxramas, took place over the span of one year in the time line. The Burning Crusade and all events associated with it also took one year to complete. It stands to reason that Wrath of the Lich King would follow the same trend. But again, without concrete confirmation, we've got no way of really knowing for certain.

That said, the novel The Shattering seems to take place over the course of at least a few months or so, if not more, so there was a bit of a time jump between old-world Azeroth and the Azeroth that was implemented in patch 4.0.3a. And now, let's continue on with what went down in that novel, shall we?

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you're avoiding spoilers, turn away now!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 1

The Shattering cover
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.

On Nov. 22, 2010, millions of players logged in to World of Warcraft to view the old world one final time. Whether venturing to out-of-the-way spots, running around the park in Stormwind, or saying goodbye to Magni Bronzebeard and Cairne Bloodhoof, every player was well aware that the next day, these locations and people would no longer exist. As for me, my guild leader took those of us who wished to go on a romp around the hidden places in Azeroth that many had never before seen and would never see again.

On Nov. 23, players logged on to find an entirely different, harsher world waiting for them. Orgrimmar was transformed into a bristling fortress of iron and steel. Stormwind's façade was forever marred by the charred claw marks of Deathwing, and the lovely park nestled in the corner of the mighty city had been torched and fallen away into the sea below. In Ironforge, the city was now ruled by a council of three; in Orgrimmar, a new Warchief sat on the throne. In Thunder Bluff, Baine Bloodhoof now stood in the place of honor once reserved for his father Cairne.

For those who read the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden, all these events made perfect sense. For those who hadn't picked up the book, the resounding question asked was a simple "What happened?"

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you've been putting off picking up the book and giving it a read and would like to remain unspoiled, I would highly suggest turning away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The sorrow of Southern Barrens

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.

Cataclysm brought with it a lot of changes -- the face of Azeroth was forever changed as the landscape altered when Deathwing burst forth onto the scene. But along with the physical changes, there were plenty of political changes as well. For the Horde, Cataclysm saw the rise of a new Warchief in Garrosh Hellscream, as Thrall took his place beside the Earthen Ring and tried to repair the tattered land. The Alliance saw the rise of the Council of Three Hammers in Ironforge, as Magni Bronzebeard's sudden demise left a hole in the heart of the Bronzebeard dwarves.

It was the shattering of the land that saw both Alliance and Horde forces immediately move to reconfigure their borders and take whatever land and resources they could possibly get. Though the war rages on, some places are no longer war-torn and filled with the sounds of combat. Instead, these once-populated areas are filled with the silence of lives lost, of the cautious footsteps of looters looking to take whatever spoils of war they can carry.

Perhaps the most saddening of these is the once-peaceful settlement of Camp Taurajo -- now a charred version of its former self, left to wither back into the harsh lands of the Southern Barrens.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Honor, Krom'gar. Never forsake it.


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.
I spent a very long time in Northrend, Krom'gar. I learned much about the Horde in that time. While there, a wise old war hero told me something that I would carry with me forever...

"Honor," Krom'gar, "No matter how dire the battle... never forsake it."
The shattering of Azeroth wreaked havoc across the world and destroyed many outposts and important areas to both Alliance and Horde. This destruction prompted an all-out war between the two factions, centered mainly on grabbing as much land as possible -- with the devestation of the shattering, both sides felt the pressure of losing precious resources.

The Stonetalon Mountains, nestled in the heart of western Kalimdor, are one such location that's come under heavy fire from both sides. Formerly home to the Venture Company, the Stonetalon Mountains are now under contention by both sides, in an effort to grab what resources and land are immediately available. For the Alliance, it's a harder fight than previously thought. Not only is the Alliance dealing with Horde forces, they're also dealing with an ancient evil lurking beneath Stonetalon Peak.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Garrosh Hellscream, part 2


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.

Garrosh Hellscream, son of the mighty Grom, came to Azeroth at the bidding of Warchief Thrall. Garrosh knew very, very little of Azeroth -- he knew that the Horde of Azeroth was not only made up of orcs, but other races as well. He knew that the Alliance were the enemies of the Horde. He'd heard of the internment camps and what the humans had done to the orcish race. He didn't know much, but he knew that the Horde were his allies and the Alliance his enemies -- and any enemy, as far as Hellscream was concerned, was only there to be eliminated.

But where did this drive to eliminate the Alliance actually originate? Garrosh was not present during the Second War. He was not present for the battles at the Black Temple. He was sick, in Garadar, with the rest of those stricken with the red pox. For someone who had spent so long living a life in which he was certain he would never be a competent leader, Garrosh certainly had a lot of nerve in the Warcraft comics, the events leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, and during Wrath itself. When, exactly, did this hothead emerge -- and why did Thrall choose Garrosh to lead in his absence?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Cairne Bloodhoof


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.

All hail the father of the tauren nation: Cairne of the Bloodhoof, who brought his people from The Barrens to Mulgore, whose alliance with the young orc shaman Thrall led his people into the Horde, wise guide and visionary who saw the way for his people to live free of constant war with the centaur. Powerful in war, wise in his restraint, at one with the spirits of the land and the ancestors of the shu'halo. Beloved chieftain. Today, one of your many sons and daughters salutes you.

We have indeed spoken of you before. But it moots us to revisit you, brave and wizened as you are, for the future comes and those of us who have seen it already know what mourning is. Great have you been in war and in peace. Were it not for you, we would never have found our home in Thunder Bluff, would never have joined the Horde, would never have fought beside the mortal races against Archimonde and his defiling army of demons. When we were on the edge of destruction, and the centaurs hurled waves of bodies against us, you fought for us.

Brave one, we will always remember you, first among us, best among us. Ish-ne-alo por-ah -- may the Earthmother smile upon you. Let us tell tales of the life of Cairne.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

BlizzCon 2010: WoW Insider interviews author Christie Golden


Today, in between the panels and the announcements at BlizzCon 2010, we had the distinct pleasure of meeting Christie Golden, author of the latest World of Warcraft novel The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm. Christie was kind enough to give us a few minutes and talk about her writing, her latest work and some glimpses at the behind-the-scenes work of novel writing.

WoW Insider: Christie, thank you so much for joining us. The WoW Insider readers are big fans of your books, especially The Shattering. Can you tell us a little bit about the challenges about writing within the Warcraft universe?

Christie Golden
: One of the biggest challenges is that it's constantly growing and changing; with every new patch there's something new that comes along -- it's almost a living entity. Books take about a year from start to finish, so we're a little bit more locked in to our schedules. So there's a lot of back and forth. Things will change sometimes from one draft to another, so there'll be something new -- it's like, "Oh by the way, this character blahblahblah, can you update." Unfortunately, a book can't be tinkered with right up to the release date like a game can.

You can't hotfix a book, then?

I'm sure a lot of authors would love that! That's probably the biggest challenge, though. But the creativity and the appreciation I get from working with Blizzard certainly makes up for the inconveniences.

WARNING: This interview does contain some spoilers for The Shattering. Caution is advised!

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

The Shattering plot summary: Garrosh and Cairne

Christie Golden's The Shattering, followup to The New York Times-bestselling Arthas, is thankfully just as good, if not better, than its predecessor. We've given you a spoiler-free review, and now it's time to dive into the meat and potatoes, the spoilery goodness contained within the crunchy hardcover shell.

We've covered Thrall's exploits in The Shattering; today's summary is for Garrosh Hellscream and Cairne Bloodhoof.

Remember, this summary is full of spoilers, so don't read it if you don't want the book spoiled!

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