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Posts with tag Mists-of-pandaria

WoW Archivist: More beta surprises

Sylvanas models through the years
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

As the Warlords of Draenor beta rolls onward, Blizzard keeps managing to surprise us. Recently we've learned about a huge overhaul to guild systems, random upgrades for quest rewards, and an extra-awesome core hound mount.

In the last WoW Archivist column, we looked at the surprises from the original beta and the betas of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. This time, we continue with Wrath and also look at the surprises during the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria betas.

(As before, I won't go into storyline surprises here. And I won't cover surprises announced at BlizzCon outside of a beta. BlizzCon already has its own feature for controversial surprises.)

Beta of the Lich King (continued)

Goodbye, night elf Sylvanas. Through vanilla and TBC, the Sylvanas model looked like a night elf rather than an undead high elf. With Sylvanas poised to play a big role in Northrend, Blizzard clearly needed to revamp her model. Players worried that they would have to look at the old night elf model through all her lore moments in Wrath.

A build in August 2008 gave her an initial makeover (middle image above) and lore-focused players breathed a sigh of relief. Clearly she still needed some work, but at least she wasn't a night elf anymore.

A later build in September gave her the fantastic model we see today. The same build also updated the models for Varian Wrynn and Alexstraza.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Bottom's Up for the continued tale of the Mists cinematic

Blizzard decided to post the above video, titled Bottom's Up, to their official Youtube account yesterday, stating that they found some extra footage shot just moments after the Mists of Pandaria cinematic had come to an end. The video features the return of the human and orc featured duking it out in the original cinematic -- only slightly less keen on tearing out each other's throats.

Personally, I could watch these two all day. I kind of want to see a series of cinematic shorts about their adventures, now. My only minor complaint is that they didn't use the kazoo music from Pandaria's inns for the backing track. I mean, I understand why, it would have been far too distracting, but man I love that music, and I'm going to miss it when we leave Pandaria's shores for good.

Filed under: Blizzard, Humor, Mists of Pandaria

New faction short story: The Jade Hunters

While the August Celestials weren't my favorite reputation grind in Pandaria -- not by a long shot -- I spent most of the expansion fascinated by the Celestials themselves. Where did they come from? What was their purpose in Pandaria? What was up with that statue of the Jade Serpent in the Jade Forest, why was Yu'lon's life bound to it, and were the other Celestials similarly bound?

Blizzard's latest and last offering in the faction short story releases we've seen all expansion is the one I was looking forward to most of all, because of those questions. The Jade Hunters by Matt Burns touches on the story of the August Celestials -- not the creatures themselves, but the organization, and how it came to be. But that's all a backdrop to the far larger story being told, one that finally highlights and talks about the three dwarf clans brought together in Cataclysm.

Oh, and it also talks about that statue that we completely destroyed in the Jade Forest.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Expansion gaps

Gap in the bridge on the Timeless Isle
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Expansion gaps are the most reviled of all content gaps. It's not just because they are the longest -- it's because at the other end of the gap lies so much to look forward to. Expansions change WoW from top to bottom. They usher in brand new worlds to explore and bring us new ways to play the game. That's part of why it takes Blizzard so long to release them.

In the meantime, we wait, mired in the old, but excited about the new.

We are experiencing what is likely to be the longest expansion gap so far in WoW's 10-year history. But what about the expansion gaps of the past? How do they stack up? What did Blizzard offer and what were players' reactions to them? Read on to find out!

Classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

Dates: August 22, 2006 to January 16, 2007
Duration: 4 months, 25 days
Subscriptions: Rising
Mood: Excited

The first expansion gap was also the shortest. It felt like a long time to players back then, since classic WoW offered patches and content at a blistering pace for the first two years of the game. Players were impatient, yes. That never changes. But we knew WoW was a hit and we were thrilled that the success of the game had made an expansion possible. We couldn't wait to roll a blood elf or a draenei, or take to the skies and fly for the first time. Plus, most raiding guilds hadn't conquered every boss (or even close), so they had plenty to keep them busy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Censer of Eternal Agony and Bloody Coin hotfix and changes

A very brief list of hotfixes for patch 5.4.8 were introduced on Friday, brief enough that they likely escaped the attention of most players. However, if you are one of the players currently farming Bloody Coins on the Timeless Isle via the Censer of Eternal Agony, you may have noticed a few changes in the way the Censer works, and in the manner that Bloody Coins are farmed. The cooldown for the Censer of Eternal Agony has been increased from ten minutes to one hour.

In addition, Fire-Watcher's Oath now has a cooldown of ten minutes, down from the one hour mark it was set at previously. Its cost is now 100 Timeless Coins, rather than 50 Bloody Coins, and the transformation now allows both mount usage and druid shape-shifting. In addition to that, the internal cooldown on earning Bloody Coins has been significantly reduced.

Community Manager Lore hopped on the official forums to discuss the changes in detail.

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Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Flight

Sparkle Pony
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Flying is second nature to WoW players. We've been doing it for almost eight years now. Sure, we've adventured in a few flightless places, like the Isle of Thunder, the Isle of Giants, and the Timeless Isle. Even The Burning Crusade, where flying originated, had a no-fly zone on the Isle of Quel'Danas. (What is it with these isles anyway?) But almost always, since 2006, we've flown. And we always expected to, for the vast majority of our in-game time.

Now, because of Blizzard's impassioned arguments against flight on Draenor, flying is suddenly controversial. If you look back, you can see why: flying has changed the game like no other feature before or since. Let's start where it all began, however, with classic WoW's humble flight paths.

They used to be cool

I'm about to express something that you may not believe. Once upon a time, flight paths were cool. Yep, I said it. Before flying mounts, when you couldn't even get a ground mount until level 40 and epic ground mounts were just a dream for most due to the steep cost, in that early version of the game where you spent most of your travel time walking or riding at the pace of a Throne of Thunder gastropod, flight paths were cool.

Not only did they get you around the continent at the fastest possible speed, they gave you a cinematic view of Azeroth from the skies. It was the only time you could get that view from above. The first time most classic WoW players rode a gryphon or wyvern from A to B, we loved it.

No other MMO at the time had anything like it. We felt like masters of the world -- at least, when we could afford to take the trip. Most players were broke in the early days, and using flight paths too liberally often meant forgoing buying a new skill when you leveled. Taking a flight path was an indulgence, a treat, instead of the annoying hassle we see them as today.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Heart of the Valorous now live

So, in case you were wondering where that Heart of the Valorous buff was, here it is.

From today (May 30th) till Tuesday, June 10th at 9:00 AM PDT, the Heart of the Valorous buff will be active. It increases all valor points gained by 100%, meaning that (as an example) a daily quest that grants five valor points will now grant ten - it's essentially double your normal valor point acquisition.

All you have to do to earn valor at this rate is log on and do what you would normally do to gain it - there's no special item or requirement. So if you're trying to gear up a series of alts, now's basically the time to get on and play them. You have until June 10th, so get started.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: What we know of Warlords of Draenor

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.

There's been a lot of discussion about Warlords of Draenor ever since the expansion was announced at BlizzCon last year. The new content focuses around the world of Draenor -- an alternate version of the world we explored in Burning Crusade, one in which the Burning Legion never sank its claws into the orcish race and instead, the Iron Horde rose to take the world by force, then move in on Azeroth. It's a different kind of concept, one that might seem a little far-fetched even, until you realize we're playing in a universe where dragons, goblins, and the even the walking dead exist -- not to mention the giant humanoid talking cows.

But what seems to be concerning people the most is that the story of Warlords, despite being described as "the Alliance's finest hour," seems to be focused almost entirely on orcs. Orc warlords, orc clans, orc attacks, with little left to interest the player other than the potential of Garrisons, which aren't a story element so much as an active part of gameplay. So what gives? Are we jumping the gun on judging the expansion's lore? What do we really know about what's coming in Warlords, story-wise?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.8 Patch notes

The official patch notes for patch 5.4.8 have now been released and posted to the official blog. While the latest patch is a small one, it contains some pretty important updates to the gear upgrade system, and valor point acquisition. In addition, a few changes have been made to the Siege of Orgrimmar on Raid Finder difficulty.
  • Mistweaver Ai on the Timeless Isle now sells the Deeds of Valor token for 3000 Timeless Coins. Using the token will grant the player 100 valor points, up to the 1000 valor weekly limit.
  • Heirloom weapons awarded by Garrosh Hellscream have been increased by 8 item levels.
  • All upgradeable epic quality items from patch 5.4 are now eligible to be upgraded an additional two times with valor.
It appears that two of the datamined items, Heart of the Valorous and Gaze of the Black Prince, will not actually be introduced with this patch, according to a tweet by Rygarius.


Read on for the full patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The trial of Garrosh Hellscream

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.

War Crimes, the latest novel from Christie Golden, released earlier this week. In the book we finally see the trial of Garrosh Hellscream -- former Warchief of the Horde, apprehended during the final moments of the Siege of Orgrimmar. We aren't going to be talking too in-depth about plot points and book spoilers in this column. We'll save that for next week. But we are going to talk about Garrosh Hellscream, the Alliance, the Horde, and the trial itself -- the need for a trial at all.

Because let's face it: Garrosh Hellscream is a murderer. He slew countless victims, both Alliance and Horde. He decimated Theramore. He decided to ally with those that Warchief Thrall had blatantly turned away, and even directed the Horde to attack, during his reign. He didn't so much try and redesign the Horde as he did give it a gut job, tear it down from the inside out, and try to rebuild it even stronger. He's guilty. He's beyond guilty. There isn't really any need to prove what he's done, the evidence is permanently etched into Azeroth -- the crater left where Theramore once stood.

Why on earth would a confirmed killer need a trial?

Please note: The following column has a few minor spoilers for War Crimes. If you're mid-book, or have yet to read it, you might want to come back when you're finished with it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Legendary quest boosts on the way?

Wowhead dug up some interesting new information this past week, largely in regards to the legendary quest chain offered by Wrathion. These changes are not for patch 6.0 -- they are for patch 5.4.8, which should be coming to the PTR soon. Two new spells of note have been added to the PTR -- one, called Gaze of the Black Prince, increases your reputation earned with the Black Prince by 100%, which might sound a little like the Grand Commendations for other Pandaria reputations that unlock bonus reputation for all characters on your account.

But that doesn't seem to be the case with this particular spell. In fact, Gaze of the Black Prince also increases the chances of getting a Secrets of the Empire, Sigil of Power, Sigil of Wisdom, or Titan Runestone from enemies. How much of a chance isn't directly stated, but frankly, gathering the needed drops is far more time-consuming than simply earning the required reputation with Wrathion, so that's fantastic, right? Well ... there's more.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Enter to win a signed copy of War Crimes by Christie Golden

Are you dying to learn the fate of Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde? War Crimes, the newest Warcraft novel by Christie Golden, sets the stage with Hellscream's trial and elegantly weaves together the stories and testimonies of Azeroth's major faces in a tale that is much, much more than a courtroom drama.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got not one, but two copies of War Crimes to give away, and each has been signed by Christie Golden! If you'd like a little more information on the book before entering the giveaway, feel free to take a look at our spoiler-free review.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Two winners will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Siege of Orgrimmar changes in patch 6.0

So if you're raiding Siege of Orgrimmar, there's some news to be had - namely, some things are going away, and other things are becoming a lot easier to get.
  • First off, if you haven't gotten the Kor'kron War Wolf for the 'Ahead of the Curve" achievement, it will cease to be attainable once the patch drops.
  • Garrosh Hellscream will no longer have a 100% chance to drop the Kor'kron Annihilator mount on the new Mythic difficulty, once you can level past level 90.
  • If you have not already gotten an heirloom off of Garrosh Hellscream, you will have a 100% chance to get a specialization appropriate heirloom, and your chances to get an additional heirloom will be increased. But once you can level past 90, you will not be able to get heirlooms from Garrosh anymore.
  • Group finder will be available.
For all this news and more, check out this post on the official site.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: The panic sets in

I can't do the Timeless Isle anymore. Not on my main, not on any of my alts, not even the ones that could use the gear. I simply can't do it. I mean that - even attempting to go there makes me decide to do something else. Anything else. I'd rather spend four hours farming away on the Isle of Giants gathering dinosaur bones (or letting my wife collect all of them) than go to the Timeless Isle.

There are other things I can't bring myself to do in game. I can't run Sunken Temple. Every time I go in there it's like my brain forces me to come up with a reason to leave. And I'm beyond terrible at playing a paladin - every time I try I end up getting myself stuck at some random level, and often, I end up deleting the character. I recently started playing a paladin I'd left at level 50 since vanilla - he's since been deleted. I have friends who simply cannot play Horde, or Alliance.

So, let's ask the question - what can't you make yourself do anymore? What couldn't you ever do?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard should rethink their content release model

Sleeping druids
Blizzard changes many things for each new expansion: raid structures, class spells and talents, game systems, UI elements -- few aspects of WoW survive an X.0 patch untouched.

It's time for Blizzard to change the one thing that has stayed the same since The Burning Crusade: the "event patch" release cycle. In WoW today, every patch is a big deal. We get previews. We get a trailer. We get fancy artwork with the X.X numbers. The patch release is an event.

Every patch has tons of content for nearly every aspect of the game. It's exciting -- there's almost too much to do. When a new patch releases, we're in WoW heaven.

Then months go by and that content grows stale. Blizzard doesn't give us new content at that point, but peeks at future content. We're starving for a delicious content meal, but we can only look at pictures of the food.

It's a feast and famine cycle that has to end. It creates this massive gap between the final content patch of one expansion and the release of the next. We must cross it once again in 2014. Players put up with it because we know Blizzard will deliver, eventually, a tremendously fun experience. But should we have to endure this, still, after the game has been around for almost ten years?

It's time for Blizzard to rethink the way they release content.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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