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Posts with tag Patch-5.1

Did you miss in Pandaria?: Carefully packaged rodents

Deployed rodent crate
As we approach the end of Mists, you may have characters with a vast pile of Lion's Landing/Domination Point Commissions from patch 5.1's Krasarang war clogging up your bags. Temporary world PvP boosts probably aren't of much interest these days, so here is a great way to spend them that will give you a more permanent reward.

The Rodent Crate costs 2000 commissions. But what does it actually do? The tooltip doesn't specify.

Using it will spawn Sumprush Rodents for one hour that can be battled and captured by anyone wandering by. Like other battle pets, they have a chance to be rare when you engage them.

The crate is the only way to get this particular pet. If you haven't heard of these beaver-like rats, that may be because they are not part of the Pandaria Safari achievement. They have different abilities and colors than the similar Bucktooth Flapper from Jade Forest.

Be sure to tell your friends when you're releasing the rodents so everyone can get one. The actual crate is so cute and weird when you place it down, I hope it becomes a Toybox item someday.


Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign

Know Your Lore A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign
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 will be spoilers for every patch of Mists of Pandaria, including 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, in this post

Leaving aside blame for a moment, let's just look at the results of the past year or so in terms of what actually happened. To heavily summarize events:

Horde and Alliance forces discovered Pandaria, landing in the Jade Forest.

Both factions mobilized local allies (the Horde made pacts with the Hozen, the Alliance joined forces with the Pearlfin Jinyu) and waged a proxy battle through these cat's paws. The result was the desrtuction of the Jade Serpent's next incarnation and the release of the Sha of Doubt, leading to the Sha infestation of the Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Both factions pushed onward into Kun-Lai Summit, where they fought the yaungol and set up base camps, converting local pandaren to their cause. They did not actually join in battle at this time.

Scouts and agents of the Horde and Alliance penetrated deeper into the continent, in time exploring the Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes. In time these advance forces even managed to convince the August Celestials to allow both the Horde and Alliance to set up bases within the sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Both the Horde and Alliance made large-scale military bases in the Krasarang Wilds and began using these to wage resource war against one another, fighting over territory and raw materials as well as ancient mogu artifacts buried below the surface of the wilds.

This period of hostilities led to a culmination wherein Warchief Garrosh Hellscream attempted to use a mogu artifact, the Divine Bell, to infuse his own soldiers with the power of the Sha. The fallout from this action caused the neutral Kirin Tor to eject the Sunreaver pro-Horde faction from Dalaran and declare themselves for the Alliance under their leader, Lady Jaina Proudmoore. Prince Anduin Wrynn nearly died in the attempt to destroy the Divine Bell, which succeeded. Garrosh Hellscream, however, was not balked from his goal of finding a new weapon.

There's more, of course. Things had only begun to heat up at this point.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The mysterious disappearance of Varian Wrynn

Know Your Lore The mysterious disappearance of 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.

As a leader of the kingdom of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn's track record leaves much to be desired. Swayed by tragedy and the sneaky, manipulative claws of a particularly clever black dragon, Varian was completely out of the picture in vanilla, at which point the surrounding human territories began a decline from which they have yet to fully recover. Varian returned in Wrath, and promptly began the campaign to wipe out the Lich King, sending his best soldiers north.

While the campaign in Northrend was successful, we also saw the beginnings of the clashes between Varian and the Horde -- clashes that would continue in Cataclysm, and ramp up with alarming speed in Mists of Pandaria. Or ... that's what we thought we'd see. In truth, Varian's spent much more of this expansion absent than he has being a driving force for the Alliance. Where has Varian been, and what has he been doing?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The lore leading into patch 5.4

Know Your Lore The lore leading into patch 54
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.

Patch 5.4 is now live on the PTR servers for testing, and it has several ... dramatic changes, both to the world and to the characters in it. While patch 5.3 may seem small on story, there's actually plenty going on -- more than enough to serve as a catalyst heading into the new patch. In fact, plenty of the events in 5.3 directly effect what's going on in patch 5.4. Although we don't know the whole story just yet, considering the PTR is a test realm that may undergo changes as time goes on, we do have enough to tie 5.3 and 5.4 together in a significant way.

If you've been following the lore, you may have seen the signs already and know what to expect. But if you haven't been paying much attention to the story, or you're wondering what's going on with those images people have been posting from the patch 5.4 PTR, we'll do our best to get you all caught up. Mists of Pandaria has been an expansion chock full of new story, and patch 5.3 has certainly been no exception to this -- but 5.4 is shaping up to be the biggest hit we've seen so far in Mists.

Please note that today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.4 content. If you're avoiding spoilers, turning away now would be advised!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious neutrality of Anduin Wrynn

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition The curious neutrality of Anduin 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.

Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn is the sole heir to Stormwind's throne. Named after Varian's father, the beloved King Llane, and the hero of all heroes, Anduin Lothar, he's got two major figures to live up to. Yet rather than turn down the path of Lothar's heroics, he seems to be gravitating towards the direction that King Llane ultimately followed: A beloved leader, one who treated all in his kingdom with kindness and respect, up to and including Garona -- a member of the Old Horde who by all rights, despite her background as a half-breed, was still the face of the enemy.

And in the end, that spelled King Llane's undoing. His trust was his weakness, and it resulted in his assassination. King Llane died in part because of the machinations of the Shadow Council, but in even larger part because he simply didn't exercise caution like he should. King Llane's death is a cautionary tale that his son Varian took to heart -- but Varian's son is a different story altogether. Anduin Wrynn presents a peculiar puzzle that has yet to be fully explained.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt?

Know Your Lore Is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt
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.

As the expansion rolls on, we are lurching towards something that we've known was coming since the beta for Mists of Pandaria -- Garrosh Hellscream's downfall and the Siege of Orgrimmar. Yet what we didn't know that day that were were informed of the expansions focus, is just how the new Warchief's reign would end. And as the patches have continued to roll out, we have more of an idea and a solid picture of both the Alliance and the Horde's place in this conflict. Make no mistake, Hellscream has made far too many enemies in his short reign, both within and without.

Yet there are those who point out Garrosh's actions and the possibility that his actions may not be under his control. That perhaps he's been corrupted by the Sha while searching for power in Pandaria. Or perhaps the bones of Mannoroth that Garrosh uses as his throne still have some vestige of darkness that lingers within. Or that perhaps the Old Gods have been slowly leeching their influence into Garrosh. Regardless of the methods behind it, there are plenty of people all wondering the same thing -- is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt? Are we going to fight the Warchief, only to discover a far greater horror waiting for us?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

What optional means in World of Warcraft

Livid with obsessions
There are a few things I do in World of Warcraft. I raid. I do dungeons and scenarios for valor points and also to test out specs and gear optimization for use later in raids. I run LFR for gear to use as a stopgap in later raids, or to supplement my bad luck (for instance, I really really need a trinket). And I do a lot of older content, because I am a transmogrification junkie and I always have a hankering for a new look. Every few months, I get the urge to PvP because I remember the six months I spent PvPing at the end of Vanilla and the on and off arena days of The Burning Crusade with equal parts fondness and loathing, and when fondness overwhelms loathing I go give it another shot.

These are the things I do in World of Warcraft. Everything else, I either don't do, or I do haphazardly. I don't do cooking anymore at all -- I used to, but one look at the current state of cooking and how intertwined it seems to be with the Tillers completely soured me on it. I don't do the Tillers. I only do dailies until I no longer need the rep to buy something and then I never do them again. I have two professions that I like to keep maxed, but I rarely do anything with them for profit, I just have them for the raiding benefits. In short, I play World of Warcraft to kill things and to look good while I do it. And that's enough for me.

But I know it's not enough for everyone. Mists of Pandaria will be six months old this April 21st, and for a lot of people, it's the expansion that increased choices -- the expansion that expanded their options. And in fact, it did so for me, as well. Because one of the great things about options is that they are optional, and you can choose not to do them. So for me some of the greatest aspects of Mists of Pandaria have been all the things I haven't bothered to do.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

The Horde rebellion, loyalty, and leadership

imposting garrosh
Loyalty, and its limits, are pretty big underlying themes in WoW's current story arc. As of patch 5.1, the WoW poster child for complex loyalties and their consequences is Aethas Sunreaver. Aethas has a divided heart. He is a blood elf (and was, once upon a time, a high elf) and as such, he is loyal to Quel'Thalas. But he is also a citizen of Dalaran, it's his adopted homeland, and he also wishes to be loyal to Dalaran. These are loyalties he has tried to juggle for three expansions now, and they finally, inevitably, came to a head. Aethas' failure in patch 5.1 lies in either his own arrogance or naivete, that he couldn't see the truth: in this day and age, in Azeroth, those loyalties were irreconcilable. Once Quel'Thalas had decided to ally with the Horde, a longtime enemy of Dalaran, it was only a matter of time before that political division bore consequences for individuals. Aethas' own refusal to choose is ultimately what led to his choice being forced.

I feel for Aethas, in this sense. I sympathize with his impulse toward reconciliation. Why shouldn't he have tried? History was on his side. Quel'Thalas and Dalaran have, in fact, been traditional allies for quite a long time, much longer than they have been enemies. I don't think his hope was unreasonable, but it did turn out to be impossible. There is just too much bad blood - on many sides - for any sort of truce to exist at this point, and it will likely be a very long time before those wounds are healed enough for bridges to be rebuilt. Sometimes compromise just isn't an option.

Fair warning: there are minor spoilers for patch 5.3 below the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Are patches coming too fast?

throne of thunder
So the Patch 5.3 PTR was announced earlier this week, and I am currently downloading the files for it as I write this. Patch 5.2 only went live a couple of weeks ago, and its PTR began in January, a mere few weeks after 5.1 was released. Oh, and Mists of Pandaria itself has only been available since October! Whew! Ladies and Gentlemen, content in WoW's fourth expansion has been coming at a breakneck pace, and I'm not entirely sure I like it.

I'm a slow player, in all honesty. I like to take my time and explore, do lots of quests, level professions, and generally just take my sweet time. I play WoW largely to relax, and for me, racing through everything as quickly as possible is not relaxing. I also have a pretty hard limit to the amount of time I can spend playing before I start to go stir crazy and really need to get up and do something else. That isn't conducive to rapidly completing things like daily-based rep grinds. So for me, I'm a little disappointed by the short spaces between new content being released. It kind of stresses me out, makes me feel like I need to play more, and harder, to keep up. I realize that feeling is all in my own head, but it doesn't stop me from wishing I had, oh, maybe two extra weeks before the 5.3 PTR was announced!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

War is All Hell: The use of moral ambiguity in Warcraft

There's a long-standing rumor that Winston Churchill allowed the bombing of Coventry, even though he could have prevented it via intelligence gathered by cracking German war codes, in order to preserve the advantage of having cracked those codes. Is it true? I have no idea. More important for our discussion, however, is the idea of that decision. Imagine a leader having to decide to sacrifice civilians in order to preserve an advantage that might well win the entire conflict. It's often called the brutal algebra of warfare - you lose 10 million here, so that 20 million will live over there. You send a company off to die so that a regiment can survive and accomplish its mission. One of the great horrors of war is not just that people die, but that other people have to countenance their deaths.

One of my biggest problems with the Alliance/Horde conflict is that so far, it hasn't really demonstrated this idea. We've gotten to see the consequences of war - the survivors crying out for vengeance, settlements and towns destroyed, cities bombed, even the ruthless pragmatism of a leader willing to find and use any weapon he can to destroy his enemies. But while Garrosh Hellscream has played the role of relentless aggressor to the hilt, his opposite number hasn't shown how far he's willing to go. Varian Wrynn's participation in the 'A Little Patience' scenario shows that he's a more measured and contemplative leader than he once was, but we've yet to see just how extreme the measures he's willing to countenance are. So far, the only time the Alliance was willing to make morally questionable choices to win was in Dalaran, actions that were clearly the work of Jaina Proudmoore and Vereesa Windrunner. However you personally found those actions, it can't be denied that they not only advanced the story but showed a new side to Alliance leadership.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The lore so far -- leading into patch 5.2

Know Your Lore The lore so far  leading into patch 52 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.

Patch 5.2 is almost here, bringing new stories and development to Mists of Pandaria. The story presentation in Mists so far has been a vast, vast improvement on the convoluted storylines in Cataclysm. While Cataclysm left many players wondering what, exactly, was going on, Mists has been by and large a seamless storytelling experience integrated into questing, raids, dungeons, scenarios and daily quests.

But not everyone participates in everything. Sometimes all you want to do is raid or PvP -- but you want to know the story, too. If you've been looking for details on lore you may have missed, lore that is important as we move to patch 5.2, we've got you covered. Don't worry, there are no patch 5.2 spoilers in here. But there are plenty for everything that's happened in 5.0 and 5.1, so reader beware.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Will Patch 5.2 kill PvP twinking?

Will Patch 52 kill PvP twinking

If you weren't paying close attention to the most recent addition to the patch 5.2 PTR notes, you may have missed this little tidbit that was slipped in at the very end, under "Battlegrounds."

Blizzard
Players in low-level Battlegrounds will have their effective level raised to the maximum level allowed in that Battleground bracket. Players' base stats and spells are scaled accordingly, and are treated as the same level when determining hits, misses, and critical effect chance.


More clarity from Blizzard is definitely needed surrounding this change, and I for one am surprised this didn't make it into their recent PvP blog. It's a huge change, and blithely alters the scene of one small but much-loved section of the PvP game forever.

PvP twinking is essentially participating in the lower level brackets of battlegrounds and arenas, often with an XP-locked character, and gearing that character to the highest achievable standard for its level.

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Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.1 hotfixes for January 22

It's time for those hotfixes again. This time around, we're looking at fixes mostly aimed at raid issues -- Sigils of Power and Wisdom will be dropping in separate raids, that Amber-Shaper Un'Sok will behave himself in Raid Finder, and at long last people who've been soloing the Twin Emperors in Ahn'Qiraj now have a fair chance to get that pet, as both emperors will be tagged and lootable by anyone.

Patch 5.1 Hotfixes - January 22nd
January 22

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Sigils of Power now only drop in Mogu'shan Vaults, and Sigils of Wisdom will only drop in Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring, with a very small chance to drop in LFR Mogu'shan Vaults. This should ensure that players who had access to Mogu'shan Vaults for a longer period of time are now seeing more Sigils of Wisdom.

Heart of Fear
  • Amber-Shaper Un'sok
  • Un'sok's Amber Scalpel will now always be awarded to the correct classes in the Raid Finder version of this encounter.
Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
  • Emperor Vek'lor and Emperor Vek'nilash in the Twin Emperors encounter will now always award loot properly when slain.
Bug Fixes
  • Progress towards the "Test of Valor" quest and achievement will now be saved when a character changes factions.




Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Bugs, Blizzard, Hotfixes

What I want in 5.2 that isn't there yet

What I want in 52 that isn't there yet
We all know that Patch 5.2 is coming, what with the PTR in full swing and raid encounters already being tested, and it's got new reputation factions, the warlock green fire quest, and the ability to murder dinosaurs for rewards. It also means the removal of the valor/justice upgrade process currently in game (possibly to return in patch 5.3) and some new scenarios. So far, this is all really great. So what could possibly be missing from it?

Considering Blizzard's more recent patch cycle, this is a fairly stuffed patch, with a big raid (so big that it splits into four LFRs on its own) and a solid amount of questing content. What more could I possibly want? Well, I'm glad you rhetorically asked.

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Patch 5.1 hotfixes for Jan. 14

Patch 51 hotfixes for Jan 14
Another round of hotfixes has been released according to the official site. The list this time around is pretty small, with just a few minor changes being addressed. However, the issue of hozen rares is a welcome resolution as far as I'm concerned. Especially if it means The Yowler will finally get out of that place he's managed to wedge himself into in the middle of his room on my realm.

Daxxarri
January 14
  • Creatures
    • Various Hozen rare spawns can now be slain appropriately.
    • Kor'kron Flak Cannons will now appropriately deal damage to Alliance players over Dominance Point. Attacking the cannon will no longer flag players for PvP.
  • Quests
    • Fixed an issue where some players were unable obtain the quest "The Bell Speaks" to progress in the Shieldwall quest chain. Achievement credit for "In Search of Harmony" will be corrected in a future patch.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Players will no longer sometimes become stuck in the Battle for Gilneas.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

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