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WoW Archivist: Patch 3.0 -- Echoes of Doom

Patch 3.0.2 official poster
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?

Patch 6.0 is finally upon us. Like all pre-expansion patches, it has been both invigorating and chaotic. Almost exactly six years ago, a similar patch went live to begin a new era in WoW. Blizzard called Wrath of the Lich King's pre-expansion patch "Echoes of Doom." On October 14, 2008, this third version of the game gave us the brand-new achievement system, inscription and glyphs, 51-point talent trees, the zombie plague event, and TO THE GROUND, BABY. Read on to see what WoW was like for those turbulent few weeks before Wrath of the Lich King's launch.

Dalaran, where art thou?

Through all of classic and The Burning Crusade, Dalaran sat in northern Hillsbrad, but players couldn't see it. An opaque purple dome walled off the Kirin Tor from the world at large. At the time, the enormous structure was one of the most striking landmarks in Azeroth. Although a few quests hinted at what lay beneath it, players new to the WoW universe had no idea what was there.

And then it was gone.

All that remained was a city-sized crater. I remember making a pilgrimage to this site during the 3.0 prepatch just to see it for myself. We couldn't go to Northrend yet to see the city first-hand. We had to wait for the launch of Wrath to do that. But looking at that crater certainly fired the imagination. I couldn't wait to find out what had been lurking under that dome for the first four years of the game.

I have to say, the city lived up to my high expectations.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The Queue: Nerfing legendary, reagent tab, mounts, and Meechum


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

I'm a little late on the Queue today, so let's jump into it head first.

Jpec asked:

So why are they nerfing legendaries again? Isn't a legendary weapon supposed to be sort of, I dunno, legendary? Meaning you want to hold onto and use it forever, if not for a really long time? In Diablo, I was holding onto legendaries 10-15 levels after I got them, because the stats were that good. Since the squish, using a legendary has become somewhat viable again - at least at 90. So why the nerfs? It's not like they're suddenly BiS, and they're still a pain in the tuchus to get, so why not let them be used? When will Blizzard let us have our cake and eat it, too?

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: But I heard they were giving out full-size Snickers bars!

Submitter Diethelm of Tichondius had heard a rumor from his guildmates that Theramore was the place to be this Hallow's End. Possessed of a somewhat short memory for lore-related occurrences, Diethelm headed to Dustwallow Marsh to find only a ghost town ... that had still somehow been decorated in pumpkins, cauldrons, apple-bobbing tubs and a skeleton that is either decoration or a former inhabitant. Shouldn't they be rebuilding the city, rather than emphasizing holiday decor?

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Is RNG good?

I spent several years trying to get the Brewfest Kodo, and I never did until this year. One of my friends has been running Siege of Orgrimmar nonstop since it debuted over a year ago and he still doesn't have his Dark Shaman transmog set. I'm sure we all similar stories of RNG, whether it be Warglaives, parts of the Bindings of the Windseeker, or a mount off of a specific boss. It comes down to whether or not you can get it to drop, and sometimes, you just plain can't. Similarly, there's BiS pieces that you may actually need to perform adequately, or tier pieces, or that one weapon to get you out of the last raid's gear. We've all been at the mercy of RNG? But is it a necessary evil, or perhaps even outright good for the game to put us through these moments?

I've heard the argument about how the feeling of relief when it finally does drop helps keep us playing. I don't know how valid I think it is, but it's worth keeping in mind. Do you think it's right? Do we need that crushing stick of not getting that thing we want to keep us reaching after the carrot of finally getting it? I know one thing - now that I have the Brewfest Kodo, I never want to see Coren Direbrew again.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Swimming kitties

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 address the real issues. Issues like kitties on broomsticks.

aldristavan asked:

I'm very upset. My feline familiar isn't riding on a broom. Kitty's just floating in air! >:( Is this a bug?

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: I never get to go to BlizzCon


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

Have never been, not going to get to go this year either. Ah well. Hopefully it'll still be a fun time for everybody that does get to go. Me, I'll be at home. My prediction is that there won't be any news about a new WoW expansion, but rather other Blizzard games instead.

ScottLeyes asks:
Soooo...

Argent Tournament Dailies? Frustrating or FRAKKING Frustrating?

I swear there are more players in Icecrown than there were on the ENTIRE server pre-patch.

"Get Kraken" quest took me NINE times to count eight spear tosses.

On the podcast Anne Stickney said much the same thing. It seems that the quest damage is scaling with iLevel much as the Gunship in ICC is, and the Kraken dies with one or two harpoons, exacerbated by the sheer number of people doing those dailies for pets and heirlooms. I agree it sounds very frustrating and I'm sorry you're not having a pleasant time.

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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Light 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.

First featured in the Burning Crusade expansion, the enigmatic naaru have been a constant, benevolent life-force in World of Warcraft -- strange creatures with some sort of eternal crusade against the darkness of the Legion. It was the naaru that saved Prophet Velen and his people when they were on the cusp of being claimed by the dark promises of Sargeras, the naaru that helped them flee, the naaru that taught them the Light. And it was the naaru who seemed to be playing a much, much longer game than anyone else, when Burning Crusade reached its end and the full scope of M'uru's plan was revealed.

Burning Crusade marked the second known occasion that the naaru willingly stepped into the lives of mortal races to pull them away from darkness and reach salvation -- although it's entirely possible they have done this before with other races, on other worlds we've never seen. This has always been presented as the noblest of causes. Yet despite all these altruistic actions, we really know very little about the naaru, where they came from, or ultimately why it is that they feel they must fulfill this task. Yet while Warlords of Draenor largely concerns the orcs and the Iron Horde, there are still a few clues -- just enough to expand that perception of the naaru a little more and raise a few more questions in the process.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Sylvanas' Legacy

It's always fun to see different interpretations and visualizations of well-known events in lore. Today's Moviewatch is the story of Sylvanas' fall, put together by Youtuber Jaley Muffinz. The story is pretty straightforward, and one that we've seen told before in a variety of different books, short stories and novels: Sylvanas Windrunner defends the forests of Quel'thelas from Arthas as long as she can, and isn't allowed the mercy of death, instead transformed into the banshee who eventually reclaimed her body and became leader of the Forsaken. Sylvanas' Legacy isn't really covering new content here, it's simply retelling one of Warcraft's classic tales.

This seems to be the first large-scale project for Jaley Muffinz, and it's a pretty ambitious hunk of history to tackle, but Jaley does a good job for a fledgling effort. The models are awkward at times, but the film does use the older models, and there's a limit to what those models are capable of doing. Jaley also rounded up a variety of voice actors for the various roles in the film, and they do a decent enough job for people that don't do this on any kind of professional level. It's a little rough around the edges, but for a first effort on something of this scale, it works well enough, and shows plenty of potential for future projects down the road. I'm hoping we'll see more of Jaley Muffinz as time goes on here -- it's going to be fun to watch those skills develop and progress.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: Stuck on dancing

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

On the discussion of dancing in WoW, Nocjin and jonmynard reminded me of the existence of the above video, which is still pretty awesome, even with the old models implemented. I'm just wondering what it would look like if it used the newer models. Far less flipper hand, for one thing!

ISO1600 asked:

QftQ: Why oh why do old, easily-soloable raids still have weekly lock-outs? They obviously want us to farm them for transmog, and I REALLY want a Hammer of the Naaru, but only being able to run the Lair once a week sucks.

Because all that stuff is still content to be completed. We are powerful, yes, but our characters are not gods, and should not be able to just mow over all prior content with no limitations in place. If you were able to just run in for a four hour stretch and smack bosses around until you got your hammer, that would pretty much eliminate any reason for you to go back and continue to do that content. Transmog managed to create new uses for old content that didn't exist before -- they aren't going to remove that aspect of the feature, not when it's so wildly popular.

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Filed under: The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Acts of pillagery

Guilded Age
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Dancing! Punting! And snacks! Plus: We're even trying salad!

On the list this week, From Draenor With Love finally unveils the first page of Chapter 4, which absolutely starts to deliver on the anticipation set up in the final page of Chapter 3. Dark Legacy Comics has a speaking-in-rhymes comic up, in which the characters explain how they have been languishing for lack of new content. Plus, NPC is starting up a new storyline, which looks to be both D&D and WoW-related, and maybe Halloween-themed too.

Of the comics that have been missing recently or don't update every week, you'll want to note that Sara & Kleeyo and The Warchief's Command Board both posted new content. Unfortunately, we are short a couple of updates from Experience Boost this week because Russell has been laid up with a stomach bug. Hopefully your recovery is already well underway, Russell!

We are also still missing Contested Territory, but a recent comment suggests that Maiu is doing well but working long hours at her day job right now. We can expect updates to return, for sure, although on a once-per-week schedule.

And if you missed us last week, you'll want to note that we have a new comic on the list. Be sure to check out Guardians of the Garrison, which has posted its 9th comic this week.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: Collection frenzy

There was a really interesting post over on Alternative Chat the other day that got me thinking -- it talked about the Toy Box and a little bit about a curious phenomenon called completion and how it affects players. I have to say I'm one of those players it affects, particularly in the waning days of an expansion cycle when there's little else to do. If you give me a list of things, and I only have part of those things, and there are more of those things to get, I will inevitably go out and try to get them all. Why? I don't know. But if I did, I'd doubtless have the secrets of the universe in my grasp.

The same applies not just to collections, but to things like reputation bars -- if they are not completely filled, I have a curious compulsion to fill them. If I have some kind of progress counter, I need to fill up in the same way. What makes this interesting, as Alternative Chat pointed out, is that it creates a different kind of content, one that maybe isn't for everyone, but it's viable all the same. The Toy Box was created in part as a space saver, to get all those delightful little items out of people's bags and allow Blizzard to freely add more of these kinds of items at their leisure. But hey -- throw a few achievements in the mix, make a pretty UI interface for the thing, and suddenly you have another game of gotta-catch-them-all that will keep people busy for months, maybe even years.

I know I'm not unique in my collecting obsession -- and I know I'm not the only one staring at my Toy Box and mentally checking off items and where to go to get the things to fill the darkened spaces. But I'm curious just how many of us there are out there. Do you like the collecting game? Are you using the Toy Box? Are you finding yourself going out of the way to track down those elusive toys you didn't realize you didn't have? Or are collections, achievement points, reputation bars, and all the rest simply things you don't really pay attention to or care about?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: This is Halloween

It's that time of year again! With Hallow's End starting today, it only seemed appropriate to pay homage to the holiday with a machinima that was actually a joint effort between two creators -- Drascier and KillerCookie. This is Halloween was actually put together last year, but it still has all the charm and flavor of the holiday, and features an instantly-familiar soundtrack. The visual effects are appealing, the costumes and characters are cool, and it's difficult to see where the two artists switched off in production -- Drascier and KillerCookie work really well together as a team here.

I have to admit, though, after a week of looking at all the pretty new models, it's almost jarring to see the old ones again. I kind of want to see an updated version of this now!


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

The Queue: Okay so now can we have a Dance Studio?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

You guys, I couldn't be happier with how the new models look. There are a few weird anomalies here and there, but overall the effect is a vast improvement to the game. It looks way, way better than it did only a week ago. Of course the blood elf models still need a touch up, but that's on the way after the expansion launches. So how about we dream big -- I mean really, really big -- and consider the thought of maybe, just maybe seeing a Dance Studio in the game? I mean, the models are all fresh and new. And if the old blood elf model looks this good doing the pandaren female dance as-is, things can only go uphill from here, right? Right?

Devin asked:

So what's your favorite change that you didn't discover until live? I just realized that changing my active talents will automatically update my key-bind. I previously had a macro for this that was accomplishing this but only passably.

I was pretty delighted to discover that dialogue has its own volume slider in the game options now. I'd completely forgotten that that was a thing that was going in. I'm also pleased that the grass physics from Draenor seem to have made their way into Azeroth, too. Go try walking through some tall grass and see what it does.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: We meet again, Headless Horseman

Today marks the start of Hallow's End 2014 -- and the start of yet another year of doing the holiday boss in the hopes of finally, at last, getting my hands on those Horseman's Reins. I've been doing this diligently every year since the boss was introduced, although the amount of time I spent farming him went down considerably when they changed it to the satchel system of loot. However, BlizzCon doesn't fall in the middle of the festive proceedings this year, so I'll have an extra day or three to farm. Maybe this will be the year, who knows?

There are very few holidays I actively take part in anymore, but Hallow's End is one of them, just because the quests are fun -- and this year has the added bonus of adding a few toys to the Toybox, holiday items I tossed out in favor of saving bag space. Given everything else that's going on in patch 6.0.2, is Hallow's End something you guys will be doing? Did you get lucky and get the Horseman's mount already, or are you still trying to get it after all these years? Are you going to start your holiday Toybox collecting this year, and squirrel away all the cool holiday items you can get?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: PvP Power, More subs, Transmog by color

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

Patch 6.0.2 allows you to basically kill Nefarian, Onyxia, Sinestra and Deathwing solo. You can basically wipe out the entire ruling lineage of the Black Dragonflight save for Sabellian and Wrathion in one evening, if you're so inclined.

Ineptone asks:
Is pvp power and resilience still left on pvp gear effective? I'm not sure if its just omitted from the character screen just in preperation to display level 100 stats or if its plain turned off.

Let's ask Brian Holinka.

So the answer is yes, those stats are still on the PvP gear, and they still work, but they won't be on PvP gear in Warlords and aren't on the character pane.

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Filed under: The Queue

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