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Posts with tag King-Varian-Wrynn

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: 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: The hour of the king

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.

The King of Stormwind wears the crown on a troubled brow. He inherited the mantle as a child, not through a peaceful succession but through bloody violence and the destruction of his home. He wore it in exile and only came home with the death of the man who saved him and carried him away from the sight of his entire world burned to the ground. His entire life has been shaped by violent loss, by tragedy and death -- his mother dead before he even knew her, his father murdered and butchered in front of him, his replacement fathers cut down, his wife taken from him in a moment's passing by an errant rock thrown from a mob.

His early rule was most notable by his lack of desire to actually do much rulership, busying himself by riding the land in search of his father's killer or drifting though a haze of loss after his wife's death, a haze seized upon and manipulated by someone who was supposed to be a close advisor. The circumstances of his disappearance from the throne and his return have been discussed in detail. For now, all we need to do is accept that they did little to encourage him to view the throne as anything but a responsibility to be maintained in the face of constant peril.

Following the Northrend campaign and its heavy cost both to King Varian and the kingdom as a whole (Bolvar's death, as well as the many deaths at the Wrathgate; the invasion of Undercity and the destruction of Putress; Horde troops ambushing Alliance forces engaged with the Scourge; the astonishing cost in lives and resources), it would have been difficult for either the King or the kingdom to quickly recover. The eruption of Deathwing and the Cataclysm he caused did not allow the luxury of time. Reeling from one blow, they suffered another and another.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Worgen, Mists of Pandaria

Leader short stories continue with Varian Wrynn: Blood of Our Fathers

The latest of the leader short stories is now live on the official site. Varian Wrynn: Blood of Our Fathers continues the story of Wrynn where Wolfheart left off. It is Remembrance Day in Stormwind, and King Wrynn is expected to deliver a speech while still embroiled in the struggles of rebuilding the city after Deathwing's devastating attack. In between, Varian can't help but remember his father and the circumstances surrounding his death -- and his continuing struggle to balance himself along with his relationship with his son.

Anduin features pretty heavily in this story, which continues to explore the somewhat tumultuous relationship between father and son. Anduin's been spending his time learning the arts of the priesthood. When Anduin returns to Stormwind just in time for Remembrance Day, will he be able to reconcile with his father and prove himself a capable son? Will Varian accept his son for who he is, not some version of what Varian would like him to be? Check out the full story by E. Daniel Arey on the official site.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: King Varian Wrynn


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.

The King of Stormwind, ruler of the last remaining human kingdom of the original ones founded by the Arathi people. He became king as a child, his father killed right before his eyes by a trusted advisor who betrayed him. Before long, he saw his nation in ruins as he was forced to flee, taken to safety by Anduin Lothar, possibly the greatest warrior humanity had ever produced.

His childhood was spent in a foreign court, raised alongside the children of King Terenas Menethil of Lordaeron, and it wasn't until after the orcs and their Horde were defeated and Stormwind was finally rebuilt that he could return home. The cost was losing Lothar, his second father. His closest friend as he grew up became a monster. His wife died in a riot over the cost of rebuilding his city, a riot manipulated by someone he believed a close ally. He was kidnapped, tortured with magic, and torn into two people who lived two different lives, then forcibly rejoined.

Since the death of King Llane Wrynn, he has not known many moments of peace -- and it seems unlikely that the future intends to allow him any for quite some time to come. Who, then, is the King of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn, and what is likely to be his response to the challenges that are coming?

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

WoW Insider reviews The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden

The Warcraft universe has incredibly rich lore supporting it, and it's natural that, like many IPs, it would expand outside of the game world. Warcraft novels have historically been hit or miss, largely due to the strengths and weaknesses of the various commissioned authors who write them. Some novels feature out-of-place characters invented by the author specifically for those particular stories; some struggle with the characterization of beloved characters. But there have been some bright spots: Rise of the Horde was a fantastic look into the birth of the Horde on Draenor, and Arthas: Rise of the Lich King provided insight into the man who would become the Lich King.

These books have something in common besides their IP: Christie Golden wrote them. In Arthas, she gave Blizzard its first The New York Times-bestselling novel. Now, her latest offering is the Warcraft universe's newest novel, a tie-in to the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. We present to you our review of The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Ask A Beta Tester: Kalecgos, Wintergrasp, and how much is this going to cost me?


We're going to get right down to business this evening, folks. I was kind of heartened to see Willferal (our first questioner) ask about something that's bugged me for a while.

EDIT: several commenters have taken issue with the lack of a spoiler warning on this post when it went live at 9:00 pm EST. I genuinely apologize; it should have occurred to me to write one, and it's entirely my fault that one wasn't present. So consider this fair -- if belated -- warning that there's a significant, if general, spoiler in this AABT concerning an important quest chain in Wrath, and if you're trying to avoid spoilers completely, please do NOT read AABT. This column is nothing but a pile of spoilers compressed into a spoiled package and tied with a spoilery bow.

Willferal asks...

I know that in Wotlk, the players are fighting Malygos. But in TBC, Kalec/Tyri are blue dragons that help us, and Kalec is especially vital in his help to kill Kiljaeden. What's their role in Wrath?

I wish I knew. I never found any mention of Kalecgos while leveling, and Tyrygosa only got a brief mention at last year's BlizzCon. Tyrygosa's role in BC wasn't that extensive, but Kalecgos was all that and a box of crackers in Sunwell, so this is a little...mystifying. They both seem on passable (Tyrygosa) to good (Kalecgos) relations with the mortal races, so the involvement of their entire flight in Malygos' war would -- I hope -- concern them somewhat. I really hope Blizzard goes somewhere with this, but as of now I don't think you can expect to find anything in Northrend.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Leveling, Enchants, Wrath of the Lich King

Model changes for Varimathras and Alexstrasza


We certainly enjoyed the model changes to Varian Wrynn and Sylvanas Windrunner, and now Blizzard's finished the unique models for Alexstrasza (human form, that is; you can see her dragon model update here) and Varimathras, as befits their key roles in the storyline for Wrath. I'm a tiny bit disappointed with Alexstrasza's model; her armor is mostly a red copy of Sylvanas' new threads, which are admittedly all sorts of awesome but makes me wonder if there's some kind of Armor Barn in Azeroth for hipster bosses. Alexstrasza does, however, show even more skin than Sylvanas does, so from some peoples' perspectives this might be a feature rather than a bug.

Varimathras is a nice update although he retains his old animations and emotes (you can't really see it from the perspective of the screenshot above, but I think his legs and hooves are a significant improvement on the shaky anatomy of the current dreadlord model). Both he and Alexstrasza's changes are somewhat less shocking than the complete overhaul to Wrynn and Sylvanas, but we're still pleased to see Blizzard taking an interest in the visual badassery of major faction leaders and NPC's. I would tend to agree with Zach Yonzon's contention that it would be amazing to see an update to all the faction leaders if Blizzard could swing it at some point, although I have the sneaking suspicion, judging from what CM's have said about the difficulty of programming in new Druid forms, that this is a fairly lengthy process. However, after seeing the model changes in the beta, I don't think anyone's going to argue it's not worth it, and a number of people have argued for player model changes as well. The extraordinary design work in Northrend will probably add fuel to that fire.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Bosses, Factions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Boss models updated in Wrath Beta


A nice surprise awaited the citizens of Stormwind and the Undercity when the new Beta build went live earlier. New, unique models for King Varian Wrynn and Lady Sylvanas Windrunner debuted in their respective cities, looking every bit as awesome as faction leaders should be. Although Lady Sylvanas received a makeover over a month ago -- changed from the erroneous Night Elf model into the proper High or Blood Elf model -- this newest iteration is more regal, more intimidating, and just more badass. Taking a screenshot proved difficult as throngs of admirers threw all sorts of emotes at the new Dark Lady from /cowers to /kisses.

King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind also received a graphic overhaul, upgrading from pre-TBC PvP Honor gear to a unique armor set with an eagle and lion motif. He also no longer dual-wields Jade Serpentblades but more appropriately what looks like Quel'serrar. So Wrynn has apparently taken care of the Onyxia problem. Twice. Alex Ziebart points out that he also seems to be wearing Anduin Lothar's belt (always thank your lore nerds!). It's a cool model except that he always seems to be scowling and occasionally yawns. But the details matter -- Varian's face is also battle-scarred -- and I want to seriously give props to the Blizzard artists behind these new models. They're just completely fantastic.

[EDIT: I probably should have mentioned this, too, since I'd already checked it out but reader RogueJedi86 called me on it -- they also updated the dragon model for Alexstraza, and can be viewed on World of Raids. She really likes her trinkets and baubles like the sophisticated lady that she is...]

In other news, this Beta build also saw the traitorious Varimathras converted into a duotone Rubik's Cube. Maybe a placeholder for better graphics or punishment for being such an arrogant lackey? If anything, however, with all these unique models coming out, perhaps it's a good time to update the other boss models in the game. Thrall, the baddest of all badasses, still looks like he's in Level 40 greens [NOTE: Reader Skeeran correctly reminds me that Thrall's armor is Orgrim Doomhammer's armor as seen in Warcraft III... but it still looks like Level 40 greens.]. Even worse off is Cairne Bloodhoof, who looks like he got all his gear from the Wailing Caverns. Since these bosses are soon going receive a lot of visitors, it's probably a good time to dress them up properly to receive them. I mean, Tyrande Whisperwind is still wearing a nightdress...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Flying in the snow, etc


FoSho asked....

Maybe I'm in the dark here, but how does one get to Dalaran since its floating in mid air. Is there a portal in a town, or do you have to be 67 to get there? I keep on hearing its "dangerous" to get to Dalaran, how so?

I wouldn't call it dangerous, but you aren't going to be able to get there at level 70 without the help of a Mage or Warlock. Because Dalaran is floating high above Northrend, you need a flying mounto reach it, and when you first arrive in Northrend, your flying mount simply doesn't know how to handle the cold weather. You'll need to complete a level 77 quest chain to obtain Cold Weather Flying and reach Dalaran on your own. Alternatively, there's a quest at level 74 you can seek out in certain inns that will take you there.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

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