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Posts with tag Gilneas

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Alternate Azeroth

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.

Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate, splinter reality in which Garrosh Hellscream has gone back in time and prevented the leaders of the old orc clans from drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. In this version of reality, several events have changed dramatically -- leading players to ask many, many questions about alternate Azeroth, how its history has been altered, and how that changes the Azeroth we know and love today. The answer is very simple: it doesn't. Not in the slightest. That alternate Azeroth, and whatever future it may hold, has no bearing on Warlords of Draenor at all. We won't be exploring that world, and our Azeroth remains unchanged.

However, people still continue to ask. So we're going to take a little trip into that alternate reality and explore what that version of Azeroth would theoretically look like without the Dark Portal. We're going to explore this alternate world, take a look at what likely never came to pass, and what happened as a result. And then we're going to quietly put all of that away, because this is all information and events that we are not going to see in Warlords of Draenor. But it'll be nice to get it out of our systems, won't it?

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

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: Heroes of the Storm

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition Heroes of the Storm
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 The Dark Below was unveiled as a hoax -- or at the very least, a trademark that hasn't actually been filed -- players are still curious about the question of the next expansion. And now we have a new trademark supposedly filed, titled Heroes of the Storm. Let's face it -- we still don't know if this is real. We don't know if it's Warcraft, or if it's tied to some other franchise. We don't know if it's an expansion title, or perhaps some new thing that simply hasn't been announced yet.

But let's put all that aside for a moment and take a look at the title and what it means in relation to Warcraft. If this is, somehow, the title for the next expansion, what exactly would that expansion entail? The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria -- all of these titles seemed to straightforwardly suggest what the expansion itself was going to be about. So what does Heroes of the Storm imply?

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 how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Worlds Yet to Conquer: Ideas for new content in old places

There is a ton of lore in the Warcraft setting, from the first RTS game to the current MMO, four expansions down and counting. And one of the things I love about the setting is just how much we haven't seen yet, for all that we've been to Outland and fought the Scourge in Northrend and are now battling the effects of the Sha while dealing with old Titan repositories and mogu armies in Pandaria.

When Cataclysm came out, one of the better revamped quest areas was in Winterspring, where the remnants of the Blue Dragonflight after the death of Malygos were trying to combat an incursion by forces from outside Azeroth. I was thrilled to see satyrs from Xoroth and new etherals, because it got me excited about all the places in the Warcraft setting I haven't been yet. So I started thinking about places in that setting, both on Azeroth and beyond, where I would love to see a dungeon or a raid to get us to go back and explore them, or even to introduce those places to the game for the first time. And because this just happens to be a website that talks about WoW, I have a ready-made place to discuss these things with you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Noble houses and nobility in roleplay

Noble houses and nobility in roleplay SAT
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Nobility is an interesting concept, particularly in roleplay. Being a noble doesn't necessarily mean you are a ruler, but it does mean that your name tends to hold weight in society. In WoW, you generally won't see much in the way of class structure like this with two exceptions -- both the human race and the sin'dorei seem to have defaulted to a structure that involves upper and lower classes, with noble houses residing somewhere in that social ladder.

This week, I received an interesting email regarding nobility from a player who wished to remain anonymous.
Basically: Blood elf Nobility. Does it exist in the current timeline/expansion's lore, etc? Many, many, many of the Blood elves in our community role play as Nobility. Everyone and his/her mother is a Noble, and yet, none of them act like it. None of them have been able to provide any sort of evidence or credentials to their dowry or fiefdom. None of them. I have to ask, why would this be?

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Know Your Lore: King Varian Wrynn, or: How I learned to love the jerk

Know Your Lore King Varian Wrynn, or how I learned to love the jerk 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.

King Varian Wrynn is a jerk. He's angry, he's rude, he's deliberately inflammatory. Despite the moments of kindness we've seen from Varian, they're just small moments. Yes, he let Saurfang retrieve the body of his son for Alliance players in Icecrown Citadel to witness. But he still holds a deep and unmitigated hatred for the Horde and everyone in it, including Thrall. He will quite happily talk about scouring the Undercity and purging it of all Forsaken, and he seems to be of the opinion that the only good orc for the most part is a dead one.

But his attitude issues aren't limited to the Horde. He is endlessly frustrated and angry with Jaina Proudmoore and her insistence on diplomatic attempts. He was brusque, rude, and outright against letting the worgen join the Alliance when they were desperate for help. His anger even extends to his son Anduin Wrynn, who has done nothing to outright offend his father other than following the path of a priest rather than a warrior. Varian has even gone so far as to hurt his son, nearly breaking Anduin's arm in an attempt to force him to stay put and keep him from leaving to study with the Prophet Velen.

And yet, there is something so inherently fascinating about Varian Wrynn that I cannot tear my eyes away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Why Garrosh Hellscream shouldn't die

Know Your Lore Why Garrosh Hellscream should not die 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.

Garrosh Hellscream is one of the most polarizing figures in Warcraft lore at the moment. You either hate him or love him, and there are very few players who stand somewhere in the middle. Ever since his introduction in The Burning Crusade, Garrosh's journey has been a series of ups and downs, starting with the moment that then-Warchief Thrall showed Hellscream how his father died. It was as a hero to the orcish race, and Garrosh has spent the majority of his time on Azeroth trying to live up to that heroic image.

It's a tough role to fill. And in the press event for Mists of Pandaria, it was revealed that Garrosh would be taken down, his role as warchief ended. Given all of the chaos Garrosh has sown in his short reign as warchief, it's no wonder that it's not just the Alliance gunning for the warchief's downfall -- the Horde isn't particularly happy with him, either. So it seems entirely likely that Garrosh will fall, his reign will end, and the world will move on.

And frankly, Garrosh's death is the worst possible thing that could happen.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: State of the Alliance, 2012

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.

It has never been harder to be Alliance. Throughout the years of war brought about by the orcish invasion of Azeroth, the Alliance has seen its ups and downs. During that first assault, Stormwind was destroyed, its king assassinated. However, the direct result of this was an Alliance of kingdoms that paved the way for the Alliance as we know it today -- a smart, level-headed group of races focused on survival. The survival of each race individually, and the survival of the world as we know it. A noble cause, and the Alliance is well-known for its nobility.

Yet despite bouncing back from that original, horrific assault, the Alliance seems to be in a downward spiral in the days of Cataclysm, one which is spinning horrifically out of control. And despite the best efforts of Alliance leaders, trying to staunch the flow of death and despair is becoming increasingly more difficult. This has much to do with the effects of the Shattering, and even more to do with those enemies of old; the orcs and their united allies in the Horde. Even though the Alliance has come back before, the question of whether or not they can do it again is a heavy one that weighs on the minds of all. It has never been so hard to be Alliance, it has never been this dark.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: 5 must-do Horde zones to complete before Mists

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 wasn't just about Deathwing, the Aspects and the Dragon Soul. It also contained a huge chunk of new lore information in the 1-to-60 zones that were revamped with the expansion's launch. Some of these areas have a lot to do with Deathwing's story, but some of them contain little stories of their own, stories that haven't been fully completed, plot elements that we may see pop up again in Mists. The revamp set out to breathe some new life into these 1-to-60 leveling zones, and it accomplished that in a major, major way.

I keep repeating myself in Know Your Lore posts and suggesting that people go play through those level 1-to-60 zones that were added in Cataclysm. But it occurred to me that while there are some really amazing zones out there, most people have no idea where to start or which ones they should really be playing through. Which zones are the best in terms of lore? Which ones are the most fun? Which ones may contain elements we may see addressed again in the upcoming expansion? Which ones absolutely should not be missed?

Let's make it a little easier for you.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

New Hallow's End content for 2011

Hallow's End is nearly upon us, and this year looks like it's going to have a whole bunch of fun new things to keep us occupied, from new pets to new loot to new quests.

To start with, the famous wickerman of Undercity will now have a Stormwind equivalent, maintained by the Gilneans. Alliance and Horde will have a chance to honor their own wickerman or douse the one that belongs to the opposing faction. In addition, you'll be able to go on a stink bomb run over Stormwind or Undercity, or clean up after the other sides' bombing. You can read up on all of these quests, which are dailies, in Allison's Hallow's End Achievement Guide.

The Headless Horseman will once again lurk in the Scarlet Monastery graveyard, with his usual outlay of rings, his helm (perfect for transmogrification), and his sword, all of which will now be ilevel 365. His Reins will also be a possible reward from the first kill each day, of course. Again, you can find a complete list of his loot in our Hallow's End Achievement Guide.

Tricky Treats, those annoying things that you couldn't destroy fast enough in years past, will now buy you stuff. Vendors this year will sell every single Halloween mask for two Tricky Treats each, and two different pets, the Feline Familiar and the Little Wickerman, for 150 Tricky Treats each. Tricky Treats will be awarded from various quests or Hands of Treats from trick-or-treat buckets in inns around the world.

The holiday officially starts Oct. 18, so get ready! There's lots of new stuff to do this year, and not much time to do it in, especially if you're not about to tear yourself away from BlizzCon, even for a flying horse.

Filed under: Events

Breakfast Topic: What about Gilneas?

Gilneas street
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I love Gilneas. I love the look of the zone, the ambiance, the music. I've leveled a number of Worgen alts (that I never plan on playing again) through the zone just to experience the storyline again. I've even run an Undead alt through early levels just to see the other side of the ending events.

What bothers me (and many others, I'm sure) is the fact that this fantastic zone is now phased out and empty. Presumably, the story of the zone isn't finished and may even see some closure by the time the current expansion's life cycle is over ... but what then? The most apparent answer is to make Gilneas City another Alliance capital city, but does the game really need a new dead urban center like Darnassus? Throughout the lifespan of World of Warcraft, players have asked for the ability to buy housing for their characters. Could an empty zone like Gilneas be good starting location for this kind of feature? Instead of a creating new world PVP location like Wintergrasp or Baradin Hold in the next expansion, could the ongoing struggle for the walled peninsula become the new focus of the war between factions (with all the associated rewards and daily quests)?

Now that Cataclysm has been out for a while, what can be done to make this zone a viable place to visit?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Faction leader short stories continue with Sylvanas Windrunner

The leader short stories continue with Sylvanas' own tale of vengeance, loss, and coming to terms with the death of Arthas in Edge of Night. Finally, we get to see Sylvanas ascend the Frozen Throne and come face to face with the broken and empty armor of the former Lich King, her pact with the Val'kyr, and the war front in Gilneas. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns, especially involving Sylvanas' pact with the Val'kyr, that may not be exactly how we imagined things had actually commenced between the former allies of the Lich King and the leader of the Forsaken.

Personally, I think this is one of the strongest leader short stories, delving into answerable questions and giving us real, solid lore to fill in the holes in the story. Seeing Sylvanas' grief and lack of focus after Arthas' death was something I had hoped would be addressed, as well as the Val'kyr, both of which were discussed and explained. Check out the story, written by non other than Dave "Fargo" Kosak, and marvel at a new chapter in the Dark Lady's story.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The humans, 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.

Imagine for a moment that you are, right now, a human of the same age that you are, but living in Azeroth. Depending how old you are, you either lived through or were born into the aftermath of three of the most devastating wars your world has ever seen. Keeping in mind the trouble with timelines, every human alive in the Warcraft setting has endured loss and hardship on a scale almost unimaginable; many were driven from their homes by invading monsters or demons from other worlds, or were forced to flee in advance of legions of walking corpses that relentlessly tried to kill them and dogged their steps all the way to safety.

The humans who congregate today in centers like Stormwind and Theramore have survived when vast numbers of their people died. Only the former high elves have lost more of their kind. The fact that humanity manages to remain a force to be reckoned with despite the loss of almost all of its former northern domains in the Eastern Kingdoms, the deaths of uncounted numbers of their people and the usurpation of their inheritance is a testament to their origin as a seed race of the Titan's first arrival on Azeroth. Indeed, much like their dwarven cousins (for now humans and dwarves truly know they share a common origin, as do their gnomish relations), humans harbor a stony resolve in the face of adversity that could crush or corrupt another people.

Let us look at humanity's most recent travails.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Arts and Crafts

Know Your Lore: The humans, 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.

We've talked about their politics and their ancestors, but humanity itself has not really been described in detail -- and it deserves to be. The humans of Azeroth derive from the ancient servitors of the Titans, and their origins lie in the frozen continent of Northrend (indeed, before it was a continent of its own), but they've developed over time into a brash, persevering people of their own who rose to master the Eastern Kingdoms and who had endured two hideous wars with alien invaders, the plague of undeath that shattered their strongest kingdom, and times of chaos and uncertainty. It is humanity that holds the Alliance together today, serving to unite disparate peoples in a collective that grows more cohesive in the face of growing Horde expansionism.

The ultimate drive to exist that has kept humanity going past world-shaking calamities must be respected. When war and strife come, humans have risen to the challenge. Although one of the shortest-lived of Azeroth's native races and possessed of one of the youngest cultures, human have risen on the strength of their determination.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Bashiok comments on Fire Festival; new Hallow's End surprises

Blizzard has been getting hit with a few complaints since the Midsummer Fire Festival began -- that the holiday was just a stat-bump for the items and was relatively the same event as last year. Even the highlight item, the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune, was part of the controversy. Bashiok took to the forums to discuss the changes that had to happen for the Midsummer Fire Festival to even happen and gave players a clue to confirm the widely held belief that Hallow's End this year will play into the larger story between the Forsaken and the worgen.

The Midsummer Fire Festival remained largely the same due to the amount of work that had to go into rearranging fire locations due to the cataclysm, changing around all of the decorations, and generally spending a lot of time switching over from the old world. Bashiok does cop to the fact that the event is more or less the same as last year's, but reminds us that the Midsummer Fire Festival has already had its major overhaul back a few years ago.

The more interesting news, however, is that Bashiok says we've got some surprises coming our way with respect to Hallow's End, WoW's take on Halloween. We've been long speculating, based on data-mined items and story cues, that Hallow's End will deal with the continuing story of Sylvanas' march into the kingdom of Gilneas and the worgen's fight to take back their homeland. Plus, who doesn't love the classic Halloween monster movie tropes of zombies and werewolves?

Bashiok confirmed that there are changes in store for Hallow's End. To what extent, we do not know. However, I will be looking forward to surprises because, really, I love surprises. I'm a giant sucker for surprises. Bring on the surprises!

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Update on current Horde politics

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.

Around this time last year, Know Your Lore did a series on the politics surrounding both Horde and Alliance, along with some predictions as to what was going to come to pass. Some theories were right, some were wrong -- but as far as the Horde is concerned, there has never been as tumultuous a time as right now in Cataclysm. While some of the conflict is out in the open, other signs of discontent are found in hidden away or in discreet areas, out of sight unless you're directly looking for them.

Garrosh Hellscream's reign as Warchief kicked off with a bang. The first few weeks of his rule as Warchief saw the destruction of Orgrimmar and its subsequent rebuilding as a result of the Shattering's devastation. In addition, the Horde found a new set of allies in the quirky, greedy, and often bizarre goblins, something that could be construed as either good or bad, depending on which way you look. On top of all of this, the duel with and subsequent death of Cairne Bloodhoof affected Garrosh deeply and caused him to create a closer alliance with the tauren race, giving them a special section of Orgrimmar in contrition for what happened.

Garrosh seems to have a somewhat level head on his shoulders and the best of intentions at heart, but a closer look reveals that the Horde is no longer as united a front as it was in the days of vanilla ... and some of that blame can be placed squarely on Hellscream's shoulders.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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