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Posts with tag Fandral-Staghelm

Mists of Pandaria is our Emerald Dream expansion

Back in the days of vanilla, life was very much about exploration. Even though the world of Azeroth was admittedly massive, there were still areas players couldn't get to -- tantalizing areas that were made inaccessible either by steep mountain faces, or simply being someplace under the world map where no one could get to. One of these areas was the Emerald Dream, shown above. Despite not being in the game as playable content, the zones still existed.

This led to all kinds of speculation about an upcoming Emerald Dream expansion. Players assumed that these files meant that we were eventually headed for the lush green lands of Ysera and her amazing druid friends. Yet despite the presence of the maps, it never happened. Ysera is now devoid of her powers as of the end of Cataclysm, whatever that implies towards her relationship with the Emerald Dream. By Cataclysm, it became apparent that whatever mysteries those old maps held, the Emerald Dream was just an idea lost in time.

Or was it? Maybe we're playing through the Emerald Dream right now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, 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

Know Your Lore: A requiem for Staghelm

Know Your Lore Archdruid Fandral Staghelm 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.

He was in fact a leader, though his influence refused to extend beyond the kaldorei. And in some eyes, he was a madman bent on destroying kaldorei civilization. A would-be murderer. A man riddled with a lust for power that took him so far over the edge that he quite literally burned any and all bridges with the rest of kaldorei society. An angry, hollow shell of a man bent on revenge for a crime that was the fault of no one.

To others, he was a father, one who cherished his son over everything in the world. His radical ideas often clashed with those of higher rank, yet none could argue the depths of his power. And still more could argue that Archdruid Fandral Staghelm wanted nothing more than the ideal kaldorei society, free of entanglement from the affairs of others and led with strong, almost military precision.

He wanted what was best for his people and his family, but there always seemed to be something in his way.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Aiding the Alliance: Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage

Tyrande Whisperwind has been a central part of the Alliance since way back in vanilla WoW. She was one of the key figures in the events of Warcraft III, and she's had a substantial role in the course of Azeroth as a whole -- she was there at the Sundering, she was there at Mount Hyjal, and as far as we can tell, she'll be around much longer than that.

Truthfully, my issues with Tyrande are not as substantial as those I had with King Varian Wrynn. Even in vanilla WoW when nearly every other faction leader sat idle, she was called front and center to cleanse Eranikus in Moonglade. She's active. She's powerful. She's faithful. She's as close to perfect as Alliance faction leaders get. There's only one problem: Malfurion Stormrage.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Majordomo Staghelm

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Greetings again, heroes. In previous forays into the heart of the elemental plain of fire, we've defeated Shannox, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith, Alysrazor, and Baleroc the Gatekeeper. With the first five of Ragnaros' champions defeated, the gates of the Sulfuron Spire itself are now open. Only one more obstacle stands between you and the Firelord himself: the new Majordomo, Staghelm. Previously one of Azeroth's greatest druids and the defacto leader of Cenarion Circle while Malfurion slept in the Emerald Dream, Staghelm has now sided with the destructive forces of fire, making himself the new leader of the Druids of the Flame.

Staghelm has already proven himself to be extremely powerful. He interrupted the ceremony at Nordrassil between the Cenarion Circle, the Earthen Ring, and the dragon aspects, wherein he split Thrall across all the elemental planes. He slaughtered a company of captured druids and summoned Alysrazor on the raid, and now he is to be your next challenge. Are you up to the task?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The "death" of the Old Gods

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.

Once upon a time, there was a little planet called Azeroth. A shining jewel of the universe, this little planet was chosen by the Titans, blessed by their presence and organized into a perfect representation of order and beauty. But that order and perfection wasn't to last. At some undefined point in the little planet's future, malevolent proponents of chaos, creatures simply called Old Gods, visited Azeroth's surface and quickly decided to ruin the harmonic vision of the Titans with their own brutal, corrupt, and chaotic one.

The Titans realized something had happened and returned to find the world they had so carefully balanced in a state of utter chaos. They immediately launched an assault on the Old Gods, but they discovered something strange. The Old Gods had fully integrated themselves with the matrix of the little planet, placing a strange malaise on the inhabitants. If the Old Gods died, so too would Azeroth -- and so the Titans imprisoned the Old Gods deep beneath the earth where they could do no further damage. They set to work repairing the planet, leaving various safeguards behind to watch over the world. Satisfied, they left -- and they haven't been seen on Azeroth since.

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

Patch 4.2: Fandral's Flamescythe turns feral cats fiery

Feral druids, rejoice! Majordomo Staghelm turns into a pretty cool-looking flame cat during his encounter in patch 4.2's raid, The Firelands. Druids have been clamoring for Blizzard to in some way or another give feral cat druids that awesome flaming cat form. Well, your hopes and prayers were answered -- Fandral's Flamescythe, a drop from Majordomo Staghelm, will shift you into flame cat form when in cat form as long as it is equipped.

This is wonderful news for druids, as more customization is always welcome. Blizzard's design philosophy of You went to the Firelands and came out looking like the Firelands is in full swing. Feral druids went to the Firelands, looked Fandral Staghelm in the eyes, and left with a tangible reward -- a sweet new form. This also paves the way for other items to also change players' forms, much like Deathbringer's Will from Icecrown Citadel in Wrath.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Cataclysm

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Hyjal

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine (in our own opinions and words) what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape. Join us for a discussion about Cataclysm's new level 80 to 85 content and what made the cut as the most compelling experiences.

Hyjal is home to the majestic world tree Nordrassil, once under siege by the Burning Legion and Archimonde, an eredar leader and lieutenant of Sargeras. In Warcraft III, we vanquished Archimonde at Nordrassil and subsequently went back and ended his campaign in Hyjal through the Caverns of Time. Now, Ragnaros the Firelord has returned to Azeroth with the help of Deathwing and has invaded the sacred mountain with one goal -- destroy the wardens of Hyjal and burn their tree to the ground.

Hyjal's story

Mathew: I had an odd experience with the story at Hyjal, mostly because at first, I couldn't have given a damn about the druids and the Emerald Dream and all of that. The first time I went through Hyjal, it was a sprint, and I never stopped to smell the roses, since we were racing to 85.

It was only after I did Hyjal a second or third time that I truly dug in and found the wonderful story of the zone. Now, I am 100% involved in the Hyjal story and am really excited to see where it's going. Now, the druids are my best friends, and there is nothing I want to do more than help ancients punch fire elementals in their fiery faces.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Archdruid Fandral Staghelm

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.

Fairly soon, World of Warcraft players will get the chance to raid the Firelands (and in case it needs to be said, clicking that link to patch 4.2 information will take you to spoilers). When that happens, the long, strange, painful trip of Fandral Staghelm will finally come to an end -- at least, presumably. He's been a fixture of the game for years, and his history with the kaldorei goes back generations. He learned druidic magic from Malfurion himself and rose through the ranks of the Cenarion Circle, eventually even replacing Shan'do Stormrage as Archdruid. His rise took thousands of years; his fall, a mere six.

When discussing Fandral, we're discussing a complex night elf. He led the defense of Kalimdor against the Silithid and the Qiraji servants of the Old God C'thun before the dragons deigned to take a hand, and it cost him dearly. It's time for a new look at Fandral and all he's done, for good and for ill.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Patch 4.2 Firelands and daily quests preview up now

If you've been waiting for Patch 4.2 preview videos, Blizzard has you covered. Yes, the official site has video trailers previewing not only the Firelands raid, but also what we're going to be doing for our daily quests to restore the former glory of Mount Hyjal after the eruption of the fire elementals and their lord Ragnaros onto its slopes. So far, I see a whole lot of magma- and fire-based things to kill, some chaotic-looking mechanics, and Fandral "I am so on fire" Staghelm seems to make an appearance near the end with fire scorpion and firecat forms.

After the break, you can watch the Daily Quest preview movie. It shows a bit of the natural world reclaimed but in general is mostly some kicking vistas. Looks like 4.2 is going to be a rather incendiary one for Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Fandral, Feralas, and the struggle of the Green Dragonflight

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 sunken city, he lays dreaming ...
The drowned god's heart is black ice ...
At the bottom of the ocean even light must die ...
Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?

-- The Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
We've discussed the Green Dragonflight before, from the history and background of the flight itself to the events that occurred during the Nightmare War. But the activities of the green flight continue in Cataclysm, both in the northern reaches of Hyjal and elsewhere around the world. Despite the victory at the end of Stormrage, the troubles of the Green Dragonflight are far from over, and the threat of the Emerald Nightmare still looms.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Stormrage and the Emerald Nightmare, 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.

The events of the novel Stormrage may not have happened in game, but they still have an effect on upcoming events. While the book was released much earlier this year, the events in the book hadn't really played out until now; they occur sometime after the defeat of the Lich King yet before Deathwing shatters the world in Cataclysm. Unfortunately, we will not directly see the events presented in Stormrage occur in World of Warcraft.

Despite the lack of events regarding the resolution to the Emerald Nightmare storyline in game, things have been resolved -- to a point. On top of all of this, not only does the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden make several references to Stormrage, but certain events we see in the upcoming expansion also reference key elements to the novel. Yesterday, we began to delve into what exactly happened between Malfurion's time in the Emerald Dream and present day; read on for the conclusion of the story and its effects on the Azeroth the characters we play know and love.

Please note: The following post is all about Stormrage and contains spoilers for the majority of the novel as well as the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you're planning on picking up the book, turn away now, lest ye be spoiled for eternity!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance Politics -- the Night Elves, 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.

WARNING:
The following post contains spoilers for the novel Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. Readers still in the middle of the novel may want to veer away from this post, as I'll be discussing events covered over the course of the book.

Now that we've established what happened to Tyrande and Malfurion (in the midst of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ... stuff), we can begin to pick apart what happened in between the Sundering, the Third War, and present day. Tyrande Whisperwind is currently leading the night elves along with Archdruid Fandral Staghelm -- and Staghelm has a history that also stretches back thousands of years, one that's led him to his current less-than-friendly leadership.

Fandral Staghelm was born about 1,000 years after the Sundering and studied the druidic arts under Malfurion Stormrage, soon rising in ranks and becoming one of Malfurion's top lieutenants as well as training many of the new Druids of the Wild. Where Malfurion was even-tempered and kind, Fandral was hotheaded and aggressive, frequently clashing with Malfurion, and nowadays Tyrande over how night elf society should be run. He holds many strong beliefs that echo the beliefs of ancient night elves, including the belief that night elves are the supreme race on the planet, all other races are inferior, and night elves are the only "true" druids. Charming, isn't he?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Mine, all mine

Today we're going to talk ... addons. Or rather, one specific addon, followed by a question. There's this nifty little addon out there that I've used a little bit called Gryphonheart Items. GHI allows you to actually make items in game that you can then trade with other players that have the GHI addon, and by "item" I mean anything from a book to a ring or trinket to a statue or an engineering trinket. If you can loot it in game and carry it in your bags, you can make it in GHI. The exceptions of course are items of clothing -- you can't design a shirt to wear or something along those lines.

The best example I saw of GHI in use was a friend of mine who made a present for a roleplayer's "baby shower" event. Instead of getting something tangible with gold or crafting something with their chosen profession, my friend decided to use GHI to make something completely unique. The item was labeled as a gnomish baby-rocker, with a description that indicated it was a self-rocking cradle that played a lullaby for the baby as it rocked. The best part was that when the player clicked the item, it would play the sound file for Lament of the Highborne, making it a fully interactive little trinket for the "pregnant" player.

As far as unique items go, the only thing in my regular bags that by all rights shouldn't be there is Taretha's Necklace -- the one mentioned in Lord of the Clans that is retrievable via a horde quest. The last leg of the quest has you obtain the necklace because Thrall would like it back. This is all well and good, but when I looked at it from the eyes of my rogue, all I could think was that it was shiny, and pretty, and she would probably enjoy keeping it. So I did -- I never turned in the quest, and it is one of a few that are left unfinished in my quest log. But with the introduction of GHI, I could make other odds and ends that suited my character, like the journals of Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm pictured above. In addition, I could make copies of every readable book in game and carry them around with me as my very own mini library!

I wondered though, what with the particular ingeniousness of this addon, what sort of items other people would make for their characters. What would represent them, what would they consider something that their character just "had to have" whether it be for looks or just a fun trinket to play with. Would it have a sound file linked to it, or would it just be something to read? With GHI, the possibilities are nearly limitless. So if you guys could make one thing for your character to carry around, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW.com reviews Richard A. Knaak's Stormrage


Before we begin, in the interest of full disclosure, we will make it clear that Simon and Schuster did forward us free copies of Stormrage for this review. They did not, however, dictate any of the opinions held in this review. In addition, our network has a policy against keeping 'giveaways' sent to us, so our copies of the novel will be given away on our site sometime in the future. With that out of the way, let's get to the review.

The last book we reviewed here on WoW.com was Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. It was written by Christie Golden and was a little over three hundred pages of Prince Arthas Menethil's personal history, from his childhood to his fall to the Scourge. If that's what you're expecting out of Richard A. Knaak's Stormrage, drop those expectations. All of that can be found in the War of the Ancients trilogy. Despite the similar naming scheme, Stormrage is a novel that takes place at the same time as the events going on in Wrath of the Lich King. It's specifically stated that the Wrath Gate incident has already happened by the time the events in this novel begin. This isn't backstory, this is buildup to Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

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