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Posts with tag Howling-Fjord

Breakfast Topic: Garrisons throughout the world

We know that in Warlords of Draenor, we'll only be able to establish our garrisons on Draenor itself. However, let's play pretend on this fine morning. If your character was given command of a defensive garrison in any zone in WoW to maintain the peace, where would you set up shop? Azeroth proper? Somewhere over in Kalimdor? The Outland we know and love? Remain in Pandaria, maybe?

Personally, I think I would look toward Northrend. Northrend isn't central to anything, so it wouldn't be the most convenient location ever, but I can't think of a cooler place than Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, or the Howling Fjord to have a command post. They aren't my favorite zones in the game, Zagarmarsh claims that title, but they have exactly the right vibe for that kind of thing. A dangerous, imposing frontier? A possible location for future, civilized settlement by the Horde and the Alliance? It would give a sense of having a purpose in the overall scheme of things beyond the current war effort on the latest front, which is pretty cool. What about you?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

http://www.blogcdn.com/wow.joystiq.com/media/2013/03/map-header.jpg
World of Warcraft sometimes gets panned for its graphics, which have never been on the bleeding edge of virtual reality. This, however, was a deliberate choice on Blizzard's part, and I think it's a good one. It allows for people who are behind the hardware curve (such as myself) to enjoy the game, and the graphics' intentional cartoonishness holds up better over time than hyper-realistic renderings, which often seem horribly dated within months. More importantly, WoW's beauty hasn't suffered for it. Azeroth is stunning.

I've compiled a list of the ten spots I personally find to be most beautiful, and by spots, I truly mean spots, not entire zones. I expect many of you will have wildly differing opinions, and I look forward to reading about them. The ten locations are listed in alphabetical order by zone; there's no way I could actually order them - I would never be able to decide!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

One year of Wrath

Rufus on Livejournal reminds us that one year ago as of November 13th, Wrath of the Lich King first came into our lives. That means it's been one full year since we had our launch events, since death knights first became free of the Lich King's control, and since we first stepped foot in Dalaran. It's the one year anniversary of our arrival at Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord, the addition of Inscription to the game, and the first fights in Strand of the Ancients and Wintergrasp. If you add in the pre-Wrath patch 3.0.2, you can add in achievements, barbershops, and a whole bunch of other changes.

It's almost unbelievable how much has been added to the game in just the last year, though of course, considering that most of these things were actually announced way back at BlizzCon 2007, we've been living with them a little longer than that. And of course it's not over yet: we're currently standing on the doorstep of Icecrown Citadel, about to finish the fight over Arthas' soul that was started way back in Warcraft III, and there are rumblings under the earth of a whole new threat. Who knows what the World of Warcraft will look like a year from now?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

The importance of the Wrathgate story in Icecrown Citadel

Zubon of Kill Ten Rats has been playing through Northrend lately, and it sounds like he's right around where my paladin is: working through the Wrathgate questline. The zombie invasion was the most important kickoff event for this expansion, but especially with what we've been seeing of Icecrown (spoilers there) lately, it looks like the events that went down at Angrathar might be the defining moments of Wrath of the Lich King. So much we're seeing in Icecrown and even beyond seems to be debris spinning off of the clash in that cinematic.

Zubon has mostly high praise for the storyline -- I agree that Borean Tundra and the Howling Fjord are preludes to the real anti-Scourge action you find in the Wrathgate questline. But then he goes one step further, and says that the end just shows how old Blizzard's game really is. Even while such an epic story is unfurling, graphical glitches and the realities of Blizzard's game (one of the phases is essentially an ongoing fight in which you personally have no effect) bring the experience back down. Wrathgate is certainly an epic event, and every indication is that we're going to be feeling its repercussions a lot in the next dungeon. But five years after launch, it's also a sign that Blizzard is pushing this old game as hard as they can.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Raiding, Leveling

Lichborne: Death knight leveling 68-80


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's column for all things deathly, knightly, and death knightly.
So, death knight. You're through with Outland. You just dinged 68 in Nagrand and want to move on to whiter, snow covered pastures. Maybe those pastures are in Northrend. Maybe those pastures are in Alterac Valley. Either way, let's discuss getting through those final levels and pushing you through to the end game.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Leveling, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Hunters discover "new" Worgen pet

As the holiday weekend rolled around, we started to get a number of tips that Hunters were successfully training themselves a...Worgen pet? Worgen?!? How was this level of cool allowed into the game without anyone knowing about it until now?

Well, it turns out that the Worgen pet is in fact a very clever use of game mechanics somewhat akin to those used by Hunters in order to tame the (now sadly vanished) Grimtotem Spirit Guide. Garwal, a warg NPC in northern Howling Fjord who can turn into a Worgen as part of a questline (the link is the Horde version, but it's the same for both Horde and Alliance) can actually be tamed and kept in Worgen form if the timing is right. Mania's Arcania has a look at the process used here, which involves a little math, a little guesswork, and the strategic use of Wyvern Sting.

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Filed under: Hunter, Cheats, News items, Humor

The best zone of Wrath


Spinksville, following up to an earlier post concerning a great lore moment in Vengeance Landing, concludes that as a Horde player, Howling Fjord has emerged as the single best overall zone in Wrath. The more I consider it, the more I'm inclined to agree with her. The Fjord has a mostly unified questline that slowly splits off into sub-plots concerning the Kalu'ak and Taunka, and the farther you get, the more you realize the impact your previous actions have had on that little slice of the world (and most of it's not good). As Spinks observes, it's a very immersive experience that does a great job of conveying both the moral ambiguity of the Forsaken's position, and the fact that Northrend's a continent without a lot of good options. "Forced to choose between the lesser evil and the greater evil," she writes, "... you had better hope that the greater evil is very bad indeed because it is the only way to justify the things you have had to do."

That said, I have to admit that Icecrown is also pretty tough to beat lore-wise (with the Matthias Lehner quests being a particularly good touch, and please don't click that link if you haven't run into him yet). I haven't yet played an Alliance toon through Northrend, and Spinks is also a Horde player, so I'd like to get some input from Alliance-side players too. Is the Fjord as good for Alliance as it is for Horde, or are your best questlines elsewhere? If you're Horde, do you agree that the Fjord was your best questing experience?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

PETA event: Seals got clubbed, pigs got eaten


On the podcast last Saturday, our friend NinthBatter (maker of the WI Song's machinima) gave us an on-scene report from the PETA event that took place earlier in the day. As you might expect, it was chaos -- while PETA's plan was to roll Alliance and attack a few Horde bad guys, lots of folks rolled Horde instead, and started up a guild called the "Seal Cub Clubbing Club." Many, many seals died, as you can see in the few pictures below.

And perhaps most hilariously, people brought plenty of Great Feasts to lay out for the crowd, which means that right in all of the (supposedly) animal-saving action, there was plenty of roast pig to eat. Not exactly the best day for PETA, but what did they expect? They did, however, get quite a few media mentions, so it was probably mission accomplished over there anyway.

Did you go to the event? If you've got more pictures of what happened, or even some video of what went down, let us know and we'll add them to the gallery below.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Cooking, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor

Breakfast Topic: Is 68 too low for Northrend?

My Shaman and I have been becoming best friends lately. I've been doing about a level every other day with her, and as I said in the WRUP last Friday, my goal was to get her into Northrend to have some fun. To do that I needed to bring her to 68 and head over to my preferred starting zone, the Howling Fjord.

But when I got there I was in for a bit of a shock.

Everything wasn't dying as fast as it was in Outlands. At 67 my Shaman was plowing through mobs left and right, outfitted in mainly greens and a few quest reward blues. With Shamanistic Rage, and my two ghost wolves I could pop out at a regular interval, I had nearly no downtime.

Enter Northrend, and enter the difference.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling

Things that don't annoy me

About half a year ago I wrote the article "Things that annoy me." However, I'm in a good mood tonight:

1. The music in Storm Peaks and Howling Fjord, particularly the choral portion of the former. Spooky and haunting and ethereally on edge, like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had just glimpsed a large angry dinosaur through the window.

2. The leather boots available at exalted with the Argent Crusade. Yes, the stats are great, but it's how they look on Tauren that really vaults them into the realm of unbridled win. For all I know, the graphic on female Tauren is a serious bug that programmers are working frantically to correct, but I think that boots on a cow look awesome.

3. Dalaran when it's not crawling with people.

4. Which is to say never.

5. Pretty much everything that High Overlord Saurfang says, does, thinks, or writes for the entirety of the Horde's Wrath storyline.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor

WoW Moviewatch: I Gave You

One of the things I think is most awesome about Northrend is the fact that it adds a whole continent of "real-world" scenes to the game. Outland was so out there that it was hard to use any of the in-game terrain for any stories other than those that took place on another planet, but Northrend is a very grounded place -- while zones like Zul'Drak and Crystalsong Forest can seem very otherworldly, there are zones like Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills that seem much more normal, if no less beautiful.

Today's Moviewatch definitely isn't a crafted masterpiece -- even the creator says it only took him about two hours to make, but it does show how haunting some of this Northrend landscape is. Just the cliffs of the Howling Fjord are enough to complement this stark little song and give it an extra dimension. I can't wait to see some more of the machinima that comes out of the new Northrend locations.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Odds and ends, Blizzard, WoW Moviewatch, Wrath of the Lich King, Fan art

Ask a Lore Nerd: Hail to the king


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Welcome back! This week we're mostly tilted toward Scourge questions, whereas just a few of weeks ago we were all dragons, all the time. Things just happen that way, I don't plan it! Really! Anyway, let's get this party started.

Promethus asked...

Does anyone actually know that Arthas merged with Ner'zhul? Any NPCs that is. Because there was no one besides those of the Legion like the Dreadlords and Kil'jadean who knew that the original Lich King was armor on a pedestal, everyone else like Thrall, Jaina, Rhonin, Bolvar, Wrynn, just know that Arthas was the one who marched to Icecrown and came back only to spread the plague and kill his father. No one but the player actually saw him walk up Icecrown Citadel and shatter Ner'zhul's prison.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

Winds of the North achievement getting fixed

When you log in the day after patch 3.0.8 goes live, odds are that if you've hit 80, you'll be picking up a relatively free achievement. Winds of the North is an achievement that's been more or less impossible to get since Wrath was released -- it requires you to get Exalted with all three of the "starter" reputations for your faction, depending on whether you're Horde or Alliance. But while it's relatively easy to get Exalted with the overall reputaiton for your faction (Horde Expedition or Alliance Vanguard), it's very tough to get Exalted with the reputations within that faction (Explorer's League, Valiance Expedition, Frostborn and the Silver Covenant for the Alliance, and Hand of Vengeance, Taunka, Warsong Offensive and the Sunreavers for the Horde -- whew). There are almost no daily quests for any of those factions, and even just doing all of the quests is designed to get you Exalted with the major faction, not the minor ones.

Patch 3.0.8 will fix this, and only require you to get Exalted with the overall faction. Which you probably already are, since if you don't wear a Champion tabard during the endgame instances, you'll instead earn rep with the starter reputation for your faction. (Not to mention that even before you get there, the mini-factions all add up to the major faction, so if you get Revered with two of the mini-factions, you'll be Exalted with the overall faction.) Got all that? In short, Blizzard built an achievement into the game without realizing how hard it really was to get. And in the next patch, they're going to change it so that even if you haven't been paying attentention, you've probably already gotten it. So enjoy the free points.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

The Overachiever: Completing I've Toured the Fjord


Every week The Overachiever gives advice, walkthroughs and guides on completing your latest Achievement obssession.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Overachiever. We're here to help you to finish off the Achievements on your list. And, apparently talk about ourselves in the third person. We're crazy like that.

Today's column covers the Howling Fjord quest achievement "I've Toured the Fjord" and will help you find those last missing quests to rack up the 130 (Alliance) or 105 (Horde) needed. This is one of the prerequisites for the Loremaster of Northrend Achievement (A/H) which itself is a prereq for uber-Achievement The Loremaster (A/H) which grants a title (you guessed it, "Loremaster") and a spiffy tabard with a quest exclamation on it.

You should know that there is no way to tell what quests you have completed in a zone and which one's you haven't. You can only open your Achievements window (Y key) and see how many you've done. Most likely you have hit all the quest hubs for your faction and are just a few shy of earning the Achievement. Or maybe you've completed all you can find, but are clearly missing some major cluster of quests. Here's what to do.

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Filed under: Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements, The Overachiever

Arcane Brilliance: Leveling your Mage, 70-80



Each week,
Arcane Brilliance invites Mages everywhere over for brunch. We serve muffins, sweet rolls, croissants, and enough mountain spring water to wash it all down. Then, for dessert, Arcane Brilliance conjures strudel for everyone, because who doesn't like strudel? If you raised your hand, you, sir or madame, are a dirty, dirty liar. Everybody likes strudel.

About a billion years ago, when Warlocks still ruled the world, back in those dark days before Arcane Barrage, spellpower, and elementalist specs--in that bygone era before Death Knights appeared in Azeroth, bringing with them their ridiculous magic resistances and eighty-seven different ways to silence or interrupt--Arcane Brilliance brought you a series of Mage leveling guides. In those days, we didn't have any of this crazy "rock music" you kids listen to now, and when we fought Illidan, we had to chain pot. We walked naked twelve miles to school through nineteen feet of snow while fending off wolves and dinosaurs with our bookbags, and we liked it.

Things are different now. Nowadays, when you hit level 70, your experience bar doesn't vanish, never to return. We have ten new levels and an entire new continent to adventure our way through, new talent points to spend, new gear to pick up, and several fresh and exciting ways to barbecue zombies. It's an exciting time to be a Mage, and Arcane Brilliance is here to open a portal to level 80 for you.

If your Mage is at some other point along the leveling continuum, you can find the previous leveling guides here, here, here, and here. You can find the new one by clicking the words "read more" directly following this period.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

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