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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The ordering of Draenor and 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.

According to various accounts, the Titans have had their hands on almost every inhabitable world in the universe. Certainly Algalon had to keep an eye on more than one planet in his impossibly-long life -- he says as much when we stop him from sending the signal that would re-originate our world. This fact alone is enough to indicate that in the Warcraft universe, worlds aren't quite as unique as we'd expect them to be. If the Titans had a hand in their ordering, they're likely going to have at least some similarities.

But it doesn't mean that every world we come across is going to be just like Azeroth. We've been presented with the idea, time and time again, that Azeroth is unique in the universe. It's special. There's something about it that sets it apart from every other world. And yet, when you hold Azeroth and Draenor next to each other and take a good long look at what they are, you can see the bare bones of what was once upon a time, a blueprint shared between the two. Unfortunately, the comparison raises more questions that it seems to answer -- but those questions are pretty important.

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Anne's Story Hour

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!

It's Sunday, the day of rest and apparently of rambling on about stories in my head, and as such I'll go ahead and indulge the few people that asked the question below. Don't worry, I've also got plenty of other far more pertinent questions to answer as well!

Ligkvaern asked:

I made an account just to ask this, damn you! ...What happens in Kharazhan, in your head?

robertjamesftw also commented:

Anne. ANNE. You may NOT tease us with hints about your head-canon and/or the stories you create in there and not share them! C'mon! Give!!

I can take a hint. Please note -- none of this is actually what's going to happen in the next expansion. I have no idea what's coming in the next expansion. This is just stuff I made up in my head that seemed to make sense given what we already know. Okay? Moving on, and continuing from where I left off on Wednesday:

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: I still miss Karazhan

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!

I'm glad so many people liked the fill in job I did with Wednesday's Queue. Fun fact: I've actually given way more thought to the whole tie-in idea than absolutely necessary over the past couple of months. For those that thought the answer was interesting, it's what happens next in Karazhan that is really interesting.

Or would be. If it were, you know, real and not made up in my head.

I miss Karazhan.

adidast05 asked:

Did I read that follower upgrades will no longer drop from salvage ?

Follower armor set pieces will no longer drop from salvage crates -- the items that equip your follower with an ilvl 615/630 weapon or armor. Weapon Enhancements (the items that simply upgrade your weapon or armor ilvl by a certain number), are still dropping from Big Crates of Salvage as it stands on the PTR.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Awesome Werewolf Superpowers

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.

Guys, I love you all as if you were my children. My children who leave a lot of comments in the comment section. So many comments. 737 comments as of this moment. That is a lot of questions, statements, pictures, videos, non sequitur, all sorts of things.

I have to admit, on nights when I can't sleep (that's all of them) going through the Queue is like a portal into another dimension. Luckily, they still play WoW over there.

Chrth asks:
Q4TQ: If you were one of the humans on Fenris Isle, would you have chosen to become a Worgen or to be raised as one of the Forsaken? Consider this from a real life perspective, not game-wise (e.g. "Worgen because I love the Alliance" is not what I'm looking for).

Would I rather be trapped in a rotting corpse that's slowly deteriorating, forced to consume the flesh of the living and unable to feel, or would I rather have awesome werewolf superpowers? Yeah, that's a toughie. I guess I'd have to go with awesome werewolf superpowers.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: I see only darkness before me

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!

The first time my raid guild killed Arthas and this cinematic popped up is also one of the few times in memory that everyone in the guild, including the raid leader, shushed anyone who dared speak up in vent. Someone tried to say something and was immediately silenced. It was pretty cool, actually, given that most of them weren't really anywhere near into the lore as myself. Arthas was just that iconic, I think. Speaking of Arthas, time to answer some questions!

Drindaar_Lightkeeper asked:

Q4tQ: Do you think Blizzard will ever return to the scourge and Lich King storyline? I know Arthas is dead, but there are still plenty of scourge out there and a new Lich King is sitting on the throne. I feel like there is still a major threat there.

We're done with that particular chapter of the story, for now. Bolvar's holding everything in check presumably -- he was the only one with the will to resist the Lich King, even in his deep-fried state. It takes a powerful kind of hero to do that successfully. If, at some point, Bolvar should falter, then we'd have a problem. But I don't think that's really going to be explored anytime soon, there are too many other directions to explore first.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Breakers and Primals

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.

What is Draenor, exactly? It's a world beset by war on many different levels -- there's the threat of the Iron Horde, of course, and battling clans among the orcs, fighting with the ogres, skirmishes between orc and draenei. But beyond that, there's another layer of conflict on the world, one that seems like a much larger struggle, one far more ancient and primal than anything the orcs, ogres, draenei, or even the arakkoa could conjure up.

In the wilds of Gorgrond, a struggle is taking place that almost seems to serve as a backdrop to the main Iron Horde-centered story we're concerned with. While we struggle with the Iron Horde and their plans, massive creatures both plant and rock are embroiled in a constant battle with each other, either unaware of our presence, or so intent on their purpose that we are simply being ignored. Or, to turn that around, we are so insignificant in the face of this conflict that to these giants of the world, we don't even register as being anything of importance at all.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Murmur of appreciation

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!

Murmur is still one of my favorite bosses from any dungeon ever, solely for the fact that his sound files are so unique, so weird, and strangely satisfying. Plus, he's essentially an elemental lord of sound, which is a really strange concept -- in a land of demons and dragons and giants and other assorted things that can kill you, a creature that can do so with the sheer force of sound is just a really neat idea. The video above isn't exactly the best video of the fight, but you can hear the strange sounds he makes really clearly.

MartinLongpre asked:

What is the big lore question that we don't have an answer to yet that bugs you the most?

What are the naaru? Where exactly did they come from? But honestly if that question were ever answered, I think it would be revealing too much. The mystery is half the fun, after all -- and it does make for some interesting tinfoil-hat lore articles.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Rise, mountains

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!

It's been a long time since we've seen anything from MrVoletron, but man I would love to see some kind of something done with Tectus and the continual drone of Rise, Mountains. Wouldn't you?

Puntable1 asked:

How do you guys handle Seal of Tempered Fate missions? I always grab my 3 weekly allotted Seals on Tuesday, then if I get a mission for a Seal, it goes to waste unless I can time it to complete on the next Tuesday before it expires.

The Seal you get from the follower mission does not count towards your 3 per week cap. It's essentially a bonus. So if you see that mission pop up, feel free to complete it whenever you want -- it's not going to go to waste unless you happen to already be at the cap of 10 total Seals for your character.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Excellent, excellent, excellent, FIGHT

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.

That's right. Ten hours of the Mortal Kombat theme. Why? Because Mortal Kombat. Let's do this.

valencemagi asks:
Q4tQ: is there any way to rename Lt. Thorn to something else? Like, I dunno, Lt Harshwhinny? Asking for a friend.

No, and I think your friend is mean. Lt. Thorn's a lovely person once you get to know her.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Level 90 boost, follower iLevel, world bosses


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.

Jpec asked:

Does anyone else still have a level 90 boost lying around? I haven't been able to figure out what to do with the one I got through my Warlords purchase, so it's just been sitting there. Right now I'm torn between using it on my Monk (the only tanking class I don't have at least a 90 of) and my Shaman (one of the only DPS classes that has intrigued me enough to get past level 20 that I don't have maxed yet - I'm also considering healing). Any thots?

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Filed under: The Queue

Our must-have Warlords of Draenor addons

There are some addons that we all know, love, and use -- and have for numerous patches and expansions now. I'm talking about mainstays like Deadly Boss Mods or Recount. But with the new features in Warlords of Draenor (not to mention new addon development), it's worth taking stock of your current addon collection to see if there's something new that might make your gameplay a little easier.

This collection of addons is the WoW Insider team's favorites -- and must-haves -- for tackling Warlords of Draenor content. It doesn't list every addon we use, just our personal favorites and the mods we find particularly useful this expansion. Have your own necessary addons? Let us know about them in the comments!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, WoW Rookie

Know Your Lore: Breakout Characters of 2014, Part Two


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.

When last I was writing about this, we covered some characters that got their chance at the spotlight in 2014. Real life then conspired to interrupt me, but I'm finally back, almost a month into 2015, to talk some more about 2014. Timely!

Anyway, I don't think my choices are going to be groundbreaking or shocking for anyone. We all know my biases, but you may be surprised by some choices anyway, because sometimes, I actually try and ignore my biases and be fair. Sometimes.

Ga'nar

Straight up - I expected to hate Ga'nar. When you first meet him, he's your typical blustering orc, going on about murdering Iron Horde with his shovel (granted, they had him digging out latrines, I'd be pretty upset too) and posturing at Hellscream as you retreat from Tanaan. But something happened on the way through Frostfire Ridge. He started to grow on me. He was arrogant and hotheaded, yes, but also brave and well, such an orc about everything. And when he challenged Durotan, he showed a quality I hadn't expected in him - as Durotan refused to even fight him, declaring that he would stand and let Ga'nar kill him if necessary, Ga'nar backed down.

The final confrontation with Fenris Wolfbrother (and the revelation that Fenris was the eldest son of Garad and Geyah) ultimately revealed Ga'nar's true self to the player. I'm a sucker for heroic sacrifices. Always have been. And this was a heck of a heroic sacrifice, all told - after dispatching their wicked elder brother, Ga'nar refuses to allow Durotan to die, instead hurling himself, a lone orc (say it in Muradin Bronzebeard's voice) against the forces of the Iron Horde, and his death buys victory for his people. I'm sorry, but as much as I often bag on orcs, this was an excellent heroes' death for Ga'nar, and it won my affection.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: A heirloom full of rubles


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.

Hello Queue peeps! Let's answer some WoW questions today.

Kvanje asked:

Q4tQ: Has there been any word on Garrison Campaigns? I received quests the first two weeks after level 100 (the mole machine and the Sargerai), but haven't seen any in the month since. Judging by the forums, I'm not alone.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Highmaul and the Gorian Empire

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.

"Why Highmaul?" is one of the most frequently asked questions I get these days. It does seem a little strange that we are raiding the capital of ogre civilization when one would think we should be facing down the leaders of all of the Iron Horde we've been fighting against throughout the leveling process. But there's method and reasoning as to why we're invading the ogre stronghold, and it absolutely ties back into the Iron Horde.

When one thinks of ogres, one hardly thinks of things like intelligence or cunning -- it's usually the complete opposite. But the ogres of Azeroth are a far, far cry from what they once were, not so long before the events that opened the Dark Portal and began the First War. The Draenor we're currently visiting may be a slightly altered universe, but the history remains by and large the same. And in both instances, there was a point in time where the ogre race ruled supreme.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Deadmines serenade

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!

I liked Westfall's new storyline and the Heroic Deadmines revamp, but man, sometimes I wonder what it would have looked like if it were in fact turned into a musical extravaganza. But having the boss sing at you while you were fighting would be admittedly distracting. It'd probably feel like raiding the Small World attraction at Disneyland.

Jorsha asked:

Q4tQ: with the notice yesterday of the patch 6.1 build heading to the PTR, I have to ask, what is the difference between a PTR and a Beta?

A PTR is usually the term used for a patch. A beta is a term used for something larger, like an expansion or a new game. They both mean the same thing -- it's a realm created for the specific purpose of testing new content/features/mechanics, but a beta is usually much larger scale. In addition, PTR realms are open to everyone from day one, while beta realms usually require an invitation or code to get in, at least in the earliest stages.

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Filed under: The Queue

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