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Posts with tag Ironforge

The OverAchiever: In which Alliance has it much worse than Horde

The OverAchiever Sorry, Alliance
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are grateful to play Horde.

This past week, I was tabbed out of the game writing an OverAchiever on Bloody Rare as a follow-up to our guide on Northern Exposure when something interesting started happening in the background. In the sliver of laptop screen dedicated to WoW, the chat channels exploded with warnings that the Alliance was attacking Orgrimmar. Given that the Midsummer Fire Festival is still going on with lots of players busy stealing enemy fires, this isn't particularly unusual. I shrugged and went back to work.

And yet, the warnings just kept coming. Curious, I tabbed back into the game to discover that a full 40-man Alliance raid was fighting its way to Garrosh Hellscream. Other players said that none of the other Horde leaders had been attacked, so I can only assume the raid was starting For the Alliance! with the toughest foe among them.

Now, Garrosh is by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near as popular as Thrall was, but lots of Horde players are still willing to defend him from attack because, well, he's got his moments. Orgrimmar's central district quickly became a lagfest of epic proportions as dozens of players who'd been gossiping in trade or loitering around the Auction House rushed to defend Garrosh. The Alliance raid was ultimately defeated, but they rallied and tried again -- unsuccessfully -- an hour later.

This was the first of three days that I saw the same Alliance raid desperately trying to kill Garrosh, and something started to niggle at me by day two. Namely, For the Alliance! and For the Horde! are among the very few achievements that are significantly tougher if you play one faction over the other.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WoW Insider's first World of Warcraft memories

World of Warcraft's seventh anniversary took place earlier this week. Rather than the dry, impersonal WoW retrospectives you can find almost anywhere this time of year, the crew here at WoW Insider decided to hold our own retrospective instead, looking back on what pulled us so deeply into the game to begin with. Today, we're sharing our very first World of Warcraft memories, whether that was seven years ago, long before the Shattering, or just last year. I'll get things started, then the staff will join in afterwards.

My first WoW memory is in Stranglethorn Vale. There are other events prior to STV that exist in some strange nebulous place in my mind, but Stranglethorn is the first event that I can really pin down. I was playing my very first character, my undead rogue on the Silver Hand server, trying to kill an elite alligator for the Excelsior quest. This was in December of '04, maybe January of '05. I was absolutely terrible at the game. I simply could not kill that alligator. Everyone I knew did it with no difficulty whatsoever, but I couldn't manage it at all.

The reason I couldn't kill it? I was spamming Sinister Strike while dual wielding white vendor-bought daggers. That was the day I decided I should learn how to play the game rather than hope my friends take pity on me and fly across Azeroth to kill elites for me. Now I'm here, on this site, doing this. That's one heck of a step up.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 1

The Shattering cover
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.

On Nov. 22, 2010, millions of players logged in to World of Warcraft to view the old world one final time. Whether venturing to out-of-the-way spots, running around the park in Stormwind, or saying goodbye to Magni Bronzebeard and Cairne Bloodhoof, every player was well aware that the next day, these locations and people would no longer exist. As for me, my guild leader took those of us who wished to go on a romp around the hidden places in Azeroth that many had never before seen and would never see again.

On Nov. 23, players logged on to find an entirely different, harsher world waiting for them. Orgrimmar was transformed into a bristling fortress of iron and steel. Stormwind's façade was forever marred by the charred claw marks of Deathwing, and the lovely park nestled in the corner of the mighty city had been torched and fallen away into the sea below. In Ironforge, the city was now ruled by a council of three; in Orgrimmar, a new Warchief sat on the throne. In Thunder Bluff, Baine Bloodhoof now stood in the place of honor once reserved for his father Cairne.

For those who read the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden, all these events made perfect sense. For those who hadn't picked up the book, the resounding question asked was a simple "What happened?"

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you've been putting off picking up the book and giving it a read and would like to remain unspoiled, I would highly suggest turning away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

New Ironforge and Undercity mugs available from Taverncraft

Last month saw the release of some new designs from Taverncraft in the form of stoneware mugs, Stormwind for the Alliance and Orgrimmar for the Horde. It looks like these were just the beginning, as Taverncraft has just released two new city-based mugs. Both designs feature the artwork of James Zhang, known for his work with the WoW TCG game, and each mug is microwavable, dishwasher-safe and holds 18 ounces of liquid.

While the Ironforge mug is available for immediate shipment, fans of Sylvanas will have to wait a little while; the Undercity mugs will be available for shipment in March. Here's hoping this is a sign we'll see all of the Horde and Alliance capitals featured throughout the year! You can order the mugs through Taverncraft's website for $19.99 each.

Filed under: News items

Cataclysm Zone Review: Dun Morogh

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Read at your own risk!

The upheaval in the snowy lands of Dun Morogh has been more political than geological, but there's quite a fair amount of new material for those rolling a brand new dwarf or gnome in Cataclysm.

Starting Zones Coldridge Valley and New Tinkertown

The dwarven starting zone hasn't changed much physically, but the troggs are more aggressive now, so there's no time for placid mail delivery quests. But there's always time for beer! Eventually, you kill a troublemaking fire elemental that seems to quell the threat here, but an untimely cave-in forces you to forego the tunnel and take an airlift to Kharanos instead. (Alas, this detour bodes ill for the popularity of the famous Dwarven Demolition Team.)

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Pre-Cataclysm world events live on the PTR

As we speak, fires rage in Orgrimmar, the Alliance leaders have called an emergency meeting, and new enemies have been revealed all across Azeroth. The cataclysm is on our very doorsteps! The pre-expansion events are now live on the public test realms.

So far, here are some cool things we are hearing about:
  • New bosses are in some 5-man dungeons, including quests for Grand Ambassador Flamelash in Blackrock Depths, Crown Prince Theradras in Maraudon, Prince Sarasun in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, and Kai'ju Gahz'rilla in Zul'Farrak.
  • These instances are much like the holiday bosses -- queueing for them takes you to a special version of the instance, where you fight alongside a faction leader. These instance bosses are dropping ilevel 251 necks and rings for brave adventurers.
  • Horde and Alliance towns are being attacked by waves and waves of elemental adversaries.
  • The Twilight Cultist quest lines are active.
  • Orgrimmar is on fire. Like, all of it.
  • Magni Bronzebeard has called for an emergency meeting of the Alliance leaders to discuss what he believes is a horrible event that's about to occur -- in his words, dwarves are "close to the ground" and can feel that something's going to happen. But what can they do? Maybe these tablets Brann found in Ulduar could help ...
  • And much, much more!
We will continue to update the site with more information as it becomes available. Also, check out our write-up of the Tablets of Fire quest line, and the Twilight Cultist event gallery below. Get excited, folks. The reckoning is almost upon us.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

WoW.com's Weekly Comic: Byron, the Tauren Rogue


Welcome to another edition of the WoW.com Weekly Comic, Byron the Tauren Rogue!

I apologize for the lateness, everyone! It won't happen again.

This is the beginning of the end of Byron. I won't spoil anything, but the story of our brave tauren rogue will be wrapping up in the next few weeks. There's lots more in store, though, so don't go far!

Also, I know that Ironforge guards are all male in game, but hey -- I'm progressive like that.

Check out the full version right here, and tune in next Tuesday morning for a new page. You can also see all the previous pages in the gallery below.

Filed under: WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

WoW.com's Weekly Comic: Byron, the Tauren Rogue

Welcome to another edition of the WoW.com Weekly Comic, Byron the Tauren Rogue!

Well, they've made it out into the Deeprun Tram. It doesn't bother anyone else that it's eerily quiet? No? Ah, I suppose it's just me, then ...

Also, please pardon any "artistic licensing" I've taken with the tram. I originally had the train several cars long, but was then informed that it's only three cars. It's been a little while since I escaped out of Stormwind. Doesn't the tram look more interesting as a London-style train station, anyway?

Check out the full version right here, and tune in next Tuesday morning for a new page. You can also see all the previous pages in the gallery below.

Filed under: WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

Breakfast Topic: I believe I can fly

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Many things are eagerly anticipated with the release of Cataclysm: guild achievements, level 85, Deathwing. Little has been discussed about flying mounts in all of Azeroth. It is just a snippet in the trailer, but I do remember its getting a huge cheer. Gone will be the days of flying into Southshore and then riding (I mean, really -- once we can fly, who is going to ride?) north to battle the Abominable Greench. You'll fly -- and yes, I know, Alliance won't be using Southshore, but that's a different topic. We will be flying up and out of Stormwind, heading south into Searing Gorge to Blackrock Mountain and a new instance with Nefarian, and we will be using our own mounts. Can't get that one piece of ore on the side of a hill? Fly up and get it. Need to help a low-level guild member outside Jintha'Alor? Fly there from Aerie Peak or Revantusk Village. You'll be able to scout where those nasty Devilsaurs are in Un'Goro without getting stomped on (not that it matters to a level 85).

So once you can fly anywhere in Azeroth, where are you going first? If you are Alliance, I would wager 85% of you are going to the airport above Ironforge. There is a gryphon master at the north end of that area. He always waves when you fly over on your way to Menethil. I'm thinking that will become an active flight point, but I suspect most of you will fly up there on your own, simply because now you can. A few of you will probably go to the fishing hut above Stormwind.

Me? That's not the first place I'm going. I have long wanted to get to one particular spot on the map. I've tried getting there a few times, particularly during the Lunar Festival because there's an elder near this spot. The gryphon flies over it and I so desperately want to get off, right there. No, I'm not telling.

Where are you going to go first? Anyplace in particular, or do you think you will just hop on your flying mount and savor the wind in your face as you fly anywhere?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the gnomes


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 small spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King. Players who are still playing through the expansion and wish to avoid spoilers may want to avoid this post. In addition, theories behind the new Cataclysm race/class combinations will be discussed.

Last time on Alliance politics we looked at the night elves, who have had arguably the largest impact on Azeroth of any race currently living, and a lengthy history, as their current leader has been in power for approximately 10,000 years. The night elves have an extensive amount of history to back up their current political stance, but today we're going to look at a race that doesn't really have a lot of history to speak of (or at least they didn't until the launch of Wrath of the Lich King): the gnomes.

The gnomish race has been relatively low profile in World of Warcraft and in the Alliance in general. Friendly to everyone, regardless of faction, the gnomes are quite happy to teach engineering to anyone who will listen. They generally avoid conflict where they can and honestly the main reason they joined the Alliance wasn't due to their beliefs or any strong feelings, it was due to circumstances at the time. Let's take a quick look at the background of the gnomes and how the events in Wrath could potentially affect future political entanglements.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Moviewatch: Stormwind and Ironforge Alpha



In celebration of today ushering in five years of WoW, let's take a step away from traditional Moviewatch material and look at some early alpha and beta footage from Stormwind and Ironforge.

The footage is quite astounding when you watch it. You'll notice that there are entire sections of both cities which have changed dramatically, and indeed Ironforge itself was nearly entirely revamped to remove the "second level" from it. You can see remnants of the second level of Ironforge today in that there are some oddly placed balconies and doors -- it all looks normal to us now, but when you watch the video you can see that it looks much more natural the way it was.

The "internet consensus" is that alpha Ironforge was changed because people were getting themselves lost all the time in it -- something which isn't very good for a starting city. However as far as I can tell that never came out of published comments from a WoW designer, so take it with a grain of salt.

And yes, before some you inevitably ask, Patches of Yesteryear will be returning this week -- although we'll only be running it once every other week due to time constraints.


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 e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: The best city for shopping


This discussion site we linked the other day, Epic Advice, is humming with activity, and full of interesting queries and answers about the World of Warcraft. Like this one: which city is the best for running to and from the bank and the AH (the question-asker also wants to get the mage portal in that circuit, but for the purposes of our discussion, we'll assume you're on a bank alt, so no portal necessary)? In terms of speed and ease, which is the best capital city to set up shop in?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The Holy Grail


Today's question is possibly a strange one: what's this game's Holy Grail? You know, the Holy Grail is that Arthurian object that you continually quest for -- if ever you actually reach the Holy Grail, you know that your quest, whatever it is, is finally at an end. So what's the Holy Grail for World of Warcraft, the thing that, if we ever actually reached it in the game, would change things forever?

When we posted the rumor that Gnomeregan would finally be retaken, I thought of this -- Gnomeregan has been, since the beginning of the game, a place that's generally off-limits to lore and change. The Gnomes are pretty much defined by not having a city, and if they were actually to take back and reclaim their home city, Ironforge wouldn't be the same, and once you've messed with Ironforge, then WoW, to me, is fundamentally changed. Same thing if they ever include cross-faction communication -- this game is so defined from the core as a game with two factions separate from each other that if they ever did allow us to speak across factions, it'd be a different game. Not necessarily a bad game, not that I'd quit, but the game's so defined by that, in my mind, that if it ever actually happened, we'd end up on a whole other quest. So what do you think: what's WoW's Holy Grail?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Factions

Neutral Auction houses (and putting them in Northrend)

You've probably heard, by now, the reason why there are no auction houses (or class trainers) in Dalaran or Shattrath. Blizzard doesn't want the old world towns (like Ironforge and Orgrimmar) to become ghost towns. Ghost towns like, for example, Shattrath -- have you been there lately? But as Gnomeaggedon pointed out last week, there's another option: neutral Auction houses.

We haven't talked about the Neutral Auction houses in the game for a long time -- they exist only in Winterspring, Booty Bay, and Tanaris, and pretty much have only served the purpose of trading items back and forth between the two factions (or scamming between them). But Gnomeaggedon has a new idea: why not reintroduce them to the newer cities, and create another option for people rather than having to go all the way back to the old world (and waste a hearthstone cooldown)? Not only would you bring people back to the Neutral Auction houses (they really are empty right now), but you'd bring the auction house back to the people, at a slightly higher cost.

I like it, and so does Mend Pet, though she sees a few issues: even with the higher cost, you might still get people forgetting about the normal Auction houses and then you've just switched where the problem is (not to mention that people leveling wouldn't see anyone in the big cities when they went). And Dalaran is laggy and crowded as it is -- creating another mess of characters won't help. And finally, this is a solution without a real problem: we're getting the Hearthstone cooldown lowered anyway, so it's not that big deal to go back home occasionally (or just use a bank alt). Still, the Neutral houses are just sort of sitting there. Giving us more access to them might be worth it.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alliance Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Many of the most famous rogues outside of the Warcraft setting have been nuanced and exciting characters. Bilbo Baggins, the Prince of Persia, and James Bond, could all be reimagined as rogues if they had existed in Azeroth instead of their own settings.

As an Alliance rogue, you have a certain amount of freedom to borrow from other settings, or from the real world, since the Alliance races tend to be more similar to heroes of other stories we've heard before. To a certain extent, Blizzard has already based its Alliance rogue guilds on stories from other settings, and left some aspects of these institutions rather vague. There is certainly enough room for roleplayers to fill in a bit of the blanks with their own creative inspiration. The only danger is that it could be easy to overdo it and descending into Mary-Sueism: one ought to feel free to reach for a bit of the flavor of James Bond, for instance, without ever believing your character is the single best secret agent Stormwind could ever have.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Rogue, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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