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Posts with tag Netherstorm

The top ten most desolate spots in WoW

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A little while ago, we did a "Top ten most beautiful spots in WoW" post, and many commenters had an interesting request: a companion post of the ten most desolate places in WoW. We thought it was a great idea, so we're taking the suggestion to heart. This was an interesting topic to think about, because the desolate spots in WoW are the ones I tend to avoid. For the most part, I don't want to spend my fun WoW time in virtual wastelands! Then again, sometimes those deserted, eerie places have a haunting beauty all their own. Check out our list, and tell us your own favorite desolate places in World of Warcraft!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Why the Burning Crusade didn't suck

Why the Burning Crusade didn't suck
Yesterday, Brian Wood explored his thoughts on why Burning Crusade sucked. He did it in-character, playing the role of Grandpappy Frostheim, laying out his thoughts in the persona of a grumpy, crusty old dwarf telling the young'uns how bad things were back in his day. You can't take a persona like that seriously -- and you're not supposed to -- but the piece made me think about why I love Burning Crusade so much. Even after all of this time, it remains my favorite expansion, though Mists of Pandaria is pretty darn good.

Yeah, Burning Crusade had its faults. It wasn't as well-balanced as most remember, it had more than its fair share of annoying gameplay mechanics, and the fact that the developers hadn't yet solidified the roles of 10- and 25-man raids was a real drag at times. If Burning Crusade were released this year, it would have a terrible reception. There have been so many quality-of-life improvements made since its release that players would never want to live as we did in Burning Crusade ever again. Despite that, it still had many elements that I loved, and still love. Many of these things are nebulous and completely up to personal tastes -- what I love, you may hate, and that's fine. That's how opinions work.

Stranger in a strange land

To me, Outland defined the Warcraft franchise's storytelling capabilities. Though Warcraft often utilizes the same fantasy tropes you see just about everywhere in the genre, it wasn't afraid to be different -- we went to a new, completely alien planet. The playable draenei were a race of people who traverse the stars. The ethereals were merchants from another plane of existence. Outland was not just a subcontinent of Azeroth, it was a new world entirely. While it has been done in fantasy, it isn't done very often.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners' guide to Eye of the Storm

Every week, Zach takes you on a guided tour of the Battlegrounds, kind of like how those tour guides take you on a safari. Except that instead of boring old lions or lazy zebras on a savanna, you've got bloodthirsty, axe-wielding orcs and stubby gnomes pewpewing laser beams from their fingertips.

So you know a little bit about the Battlegrounds now. The PvP equivalent of dungeons and raids, Battlegrounds along with Arenas cater to those players who enjoy going head to head against enemy players aside from dragons, murlocs, or fires on the ground. In the past few weeks we'd gone through complete beginners' guides to Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley. Those were the first three Battlegrounds firmly set in Azeroth.

In the Burning Crusade, Blizzard introduced a fourth Battleground called Eye of the Storm. Set in the tempestuous environment of Netherstorm in Outland, the Battleground looks unlike anything that has come before or after in the game -- fighting on asteroids make it literally out of this world. Long after players have leveled past Outland content, the Eye of the Storm is the one lasting legacy of the Burning Crusade that players will continue to experience even after Cataclysm has come out and players level to 85. Hit the jump to find out what this Battleground is all about.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 59-68

It's time once again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to thank its readers profusely for the deluge of screenshots it received last week. Arcane Brilliance sent out the call, and you guys responded in droves. There were so many, in fact, that it was an impossible task to select just one for the column. Arcane Brilliance finally went with this one, apparently of an undead pimp of some type, simply because it made Arcane Brilliance chuckle. Also, the column this week is about leveling through Outland, and this is a pretty good representation of how your mage will look throughout that leg of the journey: like the mutant love-child of the entire cast of Saved by the Bell.

Seriously... you guys are awesome. Sooooooo many good pictures to use. I may have to start writing like 12 of these a week, just to have an excuse to use all of them. Thanks again, and keep them coming. Even if I don't get to use them, I just enjoy browsing through them. So many mages, so little time.

Last week, our mage leveling guide hit level 58 and fled vanilla WoW for the alien landscapes of Outland. This week, we'll tackle the 10 levels your mage will be spending there, amongst the hellboars, sporebats, and ravagers.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future


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.

This week I have a special request: I want any questions you might have about potential future expansions. Any questions at all are welcome, but I'm on a speculation kick recently, so next week's column will probably focus on the future and then we'lll be back to our regular deal after that. So no matter whether you think the Maelstrom could be next or something else entirely, ask!

Mark asked...


"Any chance that the Vrykul will be a playable race in a future expansion?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

The OverAchiever: Master of Eye of the Storm


It's time to head back into the Nether. This Eye of the Storm Call to Arms weekend, why don't you make your forays into that floating space rock a little more meaningful by completing the Achievements required for Master of Eye of the Storm? Out of all the Battleground masteries, this is considerably the easiest of them all, with only eight Achievements to finish. It should take a modest effort to complete, and is a good step towards the Battlemaster meta-Achievement.

Eye of the Storm Veteran
Win 100 times. You know the drill. This is easier than accumulating other victories because Eye of the Storm matches never last for very long because points tick for every second. The more towers a team controls, the more points per tick and the more each flag capture is worth. Even if you lose a game, it's never such an excruciating wait.
Difficulty: Easy

The Perfect Storm
Win 2000-0. Anybody who has played Eye of the Storm enough times will know that this happens rather often, more so than Arathi Basin, at least. This is because unlike Arathi Basin, towers are controlled through numbers and proximity, so overloading a tower will lead to its conversion. As long as a team starts strong or in greater numbers, it will usually result in control of the towers nearest the opponents, which sometimes results in a 4-0 game. It's easier from there. Play enough games to reach 100 wins, and you'll pick this up along the way.
Difficulty: Easy

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Filed under: PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds, Achievements, The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: Favorite Outland zone


Wrath is upon us, but who cares? Pssh. Expansions are silly anyhow. No, I don't mean that, but let's talk Burning Crusade for a minute. Everyone has favorite zones from WoW Classic, and I've already decided my favorite zones of Wrath of the Lich King. Not many people really talk about their favorites from The Burning Crusade.

I'll completely agree that a lot of the locations in The Burning Crusade don't match up to our favorites in WoW Classic, but there are places I enjoy. Zangarmarsh is by far my favorite zone. No contest. It's the only zone that really gives me the feeling of "I'm on an alien world." It's something I wouldn't see on Azeroth. The blue tones, the giant mushrooms, the strange marsh creatures. It blew me away my first time running through it. It really was a different world there.

Outland was a bit too heavy on the futuristic sci-fi, but I think Zangarmarsh hit the right tone. What did you all think of Outland? Do you have a favorite zone? We're all eager to move on to Northrend, but is there a zone you'll miss when we're all idling in the frozen north instead of on Draenor? What did you like about it?
Your favorite Outland zone
Hellfire Peninsula501 (6.4%)
Zangarmarsh1449 (18.5%)
Terokar Forest282 (3.6%)
Nagrand4145 (53.0%)
Blade's Edge Mountains177 (2.3%)
Shadowmoon Valley438 (5.6%)
Netherstorm822 (10.5%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, The Burning Crusade

Zone level page updated with all the Northrend zones


As Blizzard's front page has noted, the realm levels page has been updated with all of the Northrend zones and the levels that we'll be going through them. There are ten Northrend zones in total, which you'd think would equate to one level per zone, but of course that's not the case -- as with Burning Crusade, there's a lot of overlap, so it looks like not only will many players be reaching 80 before seeing everything, but you may even have to run the zones twice to get the entire Northrend experience.

And it's interesting to see that Lake Wintergrasp is so [redacted!]. Wait, what? You don't want to know which levels match up with which zones in Wrath of the Lich King? Just in case you think this list is a spoiler, we've gone ahead and thrown it, uncensored, after the break. Read on for where you'll be when.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Quests, Expansions, Leveling

An interview with J. Allen Brack

Here's one more tidbit of WoTLK information for you, courtesy of Gamespy. They sat down for an interview with co-lead design J. Allen Brack. Most of the information is stuff we've heard in the past or have already posted on in this morning's massive flurry, but it's always nice to get a peek into the brain of the folks who bring us this amazing game.

Among some of the things discussed by J. Allen Brack and Gamespy:

  • Flying Mounts are gone until level 77, at which point you will either complete a quest or a visit a trainer to be able to use them again. You will still not be able to use the mounts in the old world, so even though Naxxramas is on Azeroth, your flying mount will not be able to cross back over the sea to visit the old stomping grounds. The Old World was designed using too many graphical shortcuts in places people were not meant to access to allow flying mounts.
  • They have recieved massive positive feedback so far about the return to Azeroth and the old traditional fantasy as opposed to the sci-fi feel of the Burning Crusade. In that same vein, they are bringing back many familiar sights and storylines from Old Azeroth. Sholozar Basin will be Un'goro 2.0, complete with crystals and pylons. No word on whether it will also contain more Land of the Lost and Nintendo references. It will also contain some of the flavors of Stranglethorn and the old Netherstorm biodomes, says J. Allen.
  • In a similar vein, we can expect to see more of the ever-popular Scarlet Crusade, this time in the form of the Scarlet Onslaught. The Worgen are back in homage to the Sons of Arugal and Shadowfang Keep.
  • While the city of Dalaran will be headed up to WoTLK, don't expect to see nothing but a hole in the ground where it used to be in Alterac. J. Allen reveals that they do have plans for the spot, and the concept drawings they have for it look very cool.
  • The Dragonblight, J. Allen Brack said, is probably his favorite new piece of content for the expansion. It is where the Dragons were born, where they recieved sentience from the Titans, and where they come to die, and where the Lich King has been twisting Dragon corpses to serve him as Frost Wyrms, so there's a lot of great lore and history there. It will include a raid instance called the Chamber of the Aspects, and while no bosses have been designed for it yet, it will probably have bosses representing each of the Dragonflights.

It sounds like the developers are nearly as excited about WoTLK as we are, which is usually a good sign of things to come. We hope you've enjoyed all this awesome new information we've found for you tonight. There may be more to come, so stay tuned as we scour all the latest news.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Raiding, Lore, Mounts, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Wishing for weather in Outland

Prancing around Quel'Danas for my daily quests day in and day out has reminded me of something I've very dearly missed. Weather! It rains very frequently in Quel'Danas, and combined with all of the action going on around the island, it has a very strong feel of being alive.

Zangarmarsh has rain as well, but I can't think of any other zone in Outland that has weather effects that come and go. Sure, some zones have Infernal rains and such inside and outside of them, but that isn't really the same. It's a constant, it's static. When you go to that zone, it will be there 100% of the time. Azeroth's weather wasn't like that. After it was added, of course. It might be raining in Stranglethorn, it might be sunshine from horizon to horizon. When it was raining, the zone had an entirely different feel. You were doing the same things, but it just felt different.

I brought this up with some friends of mine a few times before, and we tried to think it through with logic at first. You know, the atmosphere is different, so maybe other zones in Outland can't rain. It's an alien world, so who knows? Even if you play the 'alien world = no rain' card, I think there are some awesome weather-related things you can do. Read on for my thoughts on the matter!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, The Burning Crusade

Patch 2.4: The unofficial patch notes

Yesterday, we sent out a call for unofficial changes, and you guys responded with plenty. The official patch notes were posted earlier this week, but here are the unofficial patch notes for patch 2.4 we've found so far.
  • Raid reset timers are showing the wrong times. (known bug)
  • Various weapons are showing up as the wrong sizes. (known bug)
  • A number of AV changes were made, some of them documented, some not.
  • We've confirmed that yes, the Chocobo squawk (press spacebar when standing still on the Blood Elf racial mount) is new to the game.
  • Sound effect for Power World: Shield has changed in volume (thanks, Matt), as have some other sounds in the game
  • Netherstorm mobs have had their health tuned down, and frostbolts seem to go faster (thanks, Nick)
  • Blizzard has adjusted things so that the walljumping exploit is no longer valid in many places (thanks, Jacob)
  • Motes of Water drop rate seems to be nerfed (thanks, Tancred)
More after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Raiding, Bosses, NPCs

25 Easter eggs of the Burning Crusade


We at WoW Insider felt that, in honor of Easter/Noblegarden, we'd go looking for some of the best Easter eggs in Burning Crusade. This is by no means an exhaustive gallery of all the little nods you can find in BC; it's really almost impossible to go anywhere without running into a programmer's sly joke. I had to limit my gallery to things that could be seen by toons who'd outleveled some of the really good quest-related ones ("How To Serve Goblins" was great) or who had ready access to the Blood Elf/Draenei starter areas.

Enjoy your trawl through a feast of cleverly-placed pop-culture references, and you can visit BlizzPlanet for an exhaustive list of Burning Crusade Easter eggs if these whet your appetite for more! Don't forget that with our new gallery functions, you can hit the "Hi Res" button at the top right of the page if you want to see a photo in more detail.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Humor, The Burning Crusade, Guides

Why is Kael a bad guy?


Lore-wise, I can't say I understand the direction they've taken with a number of characters from classic Warcraft games in BC, but I suppose that's the reason that the term "lorelol" was coined in the first place. Mike Schramm's pointed out that the canon can probably take the abuse, but there's one character in particular whose upcoming story arc kind of appalls me.

If you're trying to stay unspoiled for patch 2.4 -- why are you reading WoW Insider anyway? -- I'll slap the rest behind a cut.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Draenei, Blood Elves, The Burning Crusade, Lore, NPCs

Wealthy elves I have known

It's probably true that the best way to make money in the game is to farm primals, but sometimes you just can't stomach the idea of killing yet another elemental or -- given how busy most of the primal hot-spots are -- having to compete to kill them. It's in trying times like these that your thoughts turn to quieter pursuits like flower-picking, finishing some quests you left lying around, or at least taking your mindless slaughter act on the road.

For my money, nothing beats the manaforges in Netherstorm. The elves there are like hundreds of milling, unsuspecting piñatas, ripe for the clobbering. Over an hourlong grind session with not-terrible gear, and with occasional breaks to tell people that you will never set foot in Shattered Halls ever again even if it is the daily, you can get the following:

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Filed under: Tips, Economy, The Burning Crusade, Making money

Around Azeroth: Manaforge kaleidoscope


Last year we profiled what the inside of a manaforge in Netherstorm looked like. Reader Hellghast, Horde player of Kagarth, got higher up, right into the funnel of energies being collected by Manaforge Ara. And he brought back this shot that reminds us of the raw power of these strange structures currently under the control of the Blood Elves loyal to Kael'thas Sunstrider. Who knows what purpose they serve harvesting the Twisting Nether?

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next! Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. No, really. Ok, only if it's a sunrise in new Patch 2.4 lands. We'll take those anytime.

Filed under: Screenshots, The Burning Crusade, Around Azeroth

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