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Posts with tag Sha

WoW Archivist: WoW's most terrifying monsters

WoW Archivist WoW's most terrifying monsters FRIDAY
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?

Hallow's End is once more upon us. Last year, the Archivist uncovered WoW's most terrifying secrets. But much of what's terrifying in WoW is right in your face, trying to eat you, or stomp you, or shatter your mind with madness. Let's take a look at the scariest bad guys from every era.

Mrrglrlrlrmgrrr: Monsters of classic WoW

Murlocs

To some, they're adorable, misunderstood frog people. To others, they are the amphibious stuff of nightmares. In vanilla WoW, it was nearly impossible to fight a lone murloc. Their tight-knit societies and tendency to flee meant fighting one murloc often evolved into fighting two -- or twenty. A good many early players found themselves torn to pieces by slobbering murloc hordes. Some still shudder when they hear that distinctive battle-cry.

Sons of Arugal

I'm not sure how Arugal managed to father so many sons while tucked away in the tower of Shadowfang Keep, but the guy certainly got around. Horde players questing in Silverpine Forest lived in dread of these elite worgen, who always seemed to aggro at the worst possible time.

That damn Lurker in the water leading up to the Wailing Caverns entrance

For me, this one is personal. In vanilla, fighting your way to the Wailing Caverns entrance was like a mini dungeon run all by itself. One of the caves had a small but deceptively deep pool of water. During my first trip there, I decided the water was a safe place to fire from while our tank scooped up the locals. (It was a habit I picked up.) Then something large and unknown rose up from the darkness and bit me. I've never gone for a swim there since.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore: Do Not Despair

Know Your Lore Do Not Be
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.

Often, the most important things are lost in the crash of events. The tumultuous overthrow of the Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, obscures events that occur elsewhere and the implications of those events. This is natural - Orgrimmar's siege was a pivotal moment in the history of Azeroth and its resolution changed the political landscape of the Horde and established the Alliance's willingness to come together. An untested Warchief now must contend with a Horde full of fractious leaders and the roar of the Lion is once again heard over Azeroth. These events, the culmination of a year spent exploring a new land, are not surprisingly dominant in our minds.

But in the end it is in Pandaria that the truth is revealed. The world has changed. A profound alteration to a land locked away for ten thousand years, imprisoned by pride. Events were set in motion by our discovery of the land behind the mists, but their final denouement was not on the floor of Garrosh Hellscream's bastion beneath the streets of Orgrimmar, but rather in the Vale he casually destroyed to fuel his ambitions.

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

Know Your Lore: The fate 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.

In a recent edition of The Queue, one of our readers asked a question regarding the fate of Garrosh Hellscream in patch 5.4. It was a question that many players have actually been asking ever since Garrosh's fate was revealed. In the interests of avoiding spoilers, I won't mention that fate here, but be forewarned that this edition of Know Your Lore is chock full of spoilers for patch 5.4 that discuss the situation in full.

Garrosh Hellscream's journey began as leader-in-training for a remote, tiny village in Outland. Clouded with shame over his father's misdeeds, Garrosh was listless, depressed, and convinced that he was destined to lead his people down the same dark path that his father had. In the years following his introduction, Garrosh has discovered his father's heroic sacrifice, strove to live up to his name, eagerly sought to strengthen the Horde, and then promptly fulfilled his own sad vision of the future, leading his "True Horde" down a path of darkness that eerily echoed the familiar refrain of the Old Horde from so long ago.

Please note: There are spoilers for patch 5.4 immediately following the break. If you are avoiding spoiler content for the Siege of Orgrimmar, run away!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Siege of Orgrimmar and the world of the idea

Siege of Orgrimmar and the ideas we experience in World of Warcraft
Last night while raiding Orgrimmar, specifically while coming into the gates of the city past the Iron Juggernaut, I had this intense feeling of recognition layered with the discontinuity changes bring. It's a similar feeling to when you go back to the city or town you grew up in after a few years. Things have changed, but you still recognize most of it - tiny flashes of memory jump out, saying (in this case) "Hey, remember hovering over Grommash Hold in your flying mount waiting for raid" and then "This was always my favorite Auction House, I wonder if I left anything up before I switched factions" but at the same time the cages and wandering Kor'kron mobs lent a surreal air to the whole experience.

I'd spent the whole night distracted anyway by the little touches of the raid so far - the fight with the Fallen Protectors started a chain of thought that stayed with me. These people were dead because, in part, of actions I'd taken while I was playing as Horde. After all, I stood next to Garrosh in the Shrine of Two Moons as he said that he would learn from the mogu. I helped him steal the Divine Bell from Darnassus. I watched him use it on Ichi, discarding a loyal servant like a broken toy when it didn't work. And more of course - I served Hellscream in breaching the Jade Forest, bringing the war that my faction was waging to foreign shores, and disrupted the cycle of rebirth for the Jade Serpent, loosing the Sha upon the forest. I snuck into Theramore and freed the Horde agent who helped keep Alliance civilians in the city for the bomb to destroy.

Now of course, I didn't actually do any of those things because it is a game. Garrosh Hellscream is a voice actor's craft and a mass of pixels reading lines written by Blizzard's team of writers. What I find interesting, and overlooked at times by players like myself, is the opportunity to muse on the ideas presented to us by the game. What would it be like to return to Orgrimmar as a soldier invading it? What would it feel like to bear a certain responsibility for the ruin of a peaceful valley, the destruction of people who had only sought to protect their home? To see a beautiful land scarred by a monstrous act, and know that the act couldn't have happened without your assistance, however small, and however deeply you regretted it? For me, part of the fun of playing the game is in thinking differently than I usually do, to explore the ideas presented by the story as I move through it. I mean, at one point we actually have to kill pride. That's the subtext leaping forth from the head of the text, that is.

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

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The haunting refrain of the Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The haunting refrain of the Mists of Pandaria
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.

This column had a different subject earlier today. I was going to talk about the Warchief situation leading into patch 5.4, as we'll be playing through that content on Tuesday. But as I was gathering screenshots of relevant questlines and information on my Alliance alt, I flew absently into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and happened upon the above scene, coming to a full stop and simply sitting there as I took it all in. Refugees. Hundreds of them, happily filing into the Vale just after the gates were opened and talking excitedly about the golden valley that was certain to be a verdant new homeland for those that had suffered at the hands of the yaungol and Zandalari in Kun-Lai.

And it hit me like a particularly vicious kick to the gut. It's been so long since I unlocked the Vale and leveled through that content last year that I'd forgotten this idyllic little scene, before all the chaos erupts. You, the player, are the hero of all of these pandaren -- you are the one who fought back the yaungol, the Zandalari, and offered these people a glimmer of hope. You're the person that single-handedly convinced the August Celestials to open the gates of the Vale and offer refuge to those that had lost their homes in Kun-Lai.

And you're the one that allowed what's going to happen in patch 5.4.

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 how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore. Please note: There are some spoilers for patch 5.4 content in this post.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao
The Burdens of Shaohao, a six-part series released earlier this month, was met with resounding praise across the board from players and devoted lore fans alike. The sweeping tale of the last Emperor of Pandaria was unlike anything we'd ever seen before from Blizzard -- a stunning, gorgeous piece of animated, narrative storytelling featuring artwork by Laurel Austin. While we've seen narrative tales in the form of cinematic-style storytelling, this is the first time we've seen anything of this nature.

We sat down with Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson and the director of Shaohao, Doug Gregory to discuss the piece and how exactly it all came to be. While we were originally supposed to have lead editor Lucas Merino on board as well, he was unable to attend the interview as he and his wife received a special gift shortly after the release of Shaohao -- a healthy baby boy! Despite Lucas' absence, we had a delightful time discussing the film, its development, and the possibility of future projects in the unique style of Shaohao.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Possible hint to the next patch?

Possible hint to the next patch
Mists of Pandaria has brought about a ton of visual changes, and not just to Pandaria -- Orgrimmar has seen a lot of evolution over the course of the expansion, what with the abrupt shut down of the Valley of Spirits and the wild Gamon chase all throughout the city. However, it looks like the Siege of Orgrimmar might not be the last patch we'll see in Mists of Pandaria after all -- Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak made an interesting comment on Twitter regarding the future of Orgrimmar.


Whether this is pointing to the usual lead-in patch for the next expansion, or a patch 5.5 in the works is, of course, completely up in the air. But it's nice to see that Orgrimmar won't be in a state of perpetual lockdown for good. It would be even nicer, however, to see the Vale restored at least a little bit in some sort of resolution -- after all, its appearance in 5.4 is kind of a shock. And if we're dead set on cleaning up Pandaria, wouldn't it be lovely to see some kind of evidence that we're serious about it? For that matter, seeing the Jade Forest cleaned up would be nice, too. Sure, it might take another hundred years to build another statue for the Jade Serpent, but I miss the orange trees.


Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Taran Zhu and the Shado-Pan

Know Your Lore Taran Zhu and the ShadoPan
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.

They are the Watchers on the Wall, the Sword in the Shadows. They are the Shado-Pan, Pandaria's fiercest warriors and arguably its darkest residents. Charged with restraining and controlling the sha -- vile creatures born of negative emotion -- the Shado-Pan have protected Pandaria from destruction for centuries. And although their numbers may be small in comparison to the rest of Pandaria's population, the Shado-Pan have succeeded in that mission ... until now.

Taran Zhu, leader of the Shado-Pan, holds the distinction of having what is likely the most tumultuous run as leader of the Shado-Pan -- and a great deal of the troubles he has had to deal with directly involve us. Oddly, Taran Zhu is one of the more contentious of Pandaria's new lore figures -- yet his actions are no different than one would expect, from his place in pandaren society.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Patch 5.4 and the legacy of Y'Shaarj

Know Your Lore Patch 54 and the legacy of Y'Shaarj
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.

So I was going to write about Med'an again this week, but with patch 5.4 on the horizon it felt like now was the time to talk about Y'Shaarj, the single most active dead god we've ever seen. In case it needs to be said, yes, there's going to be spoilers and lots of spoilers too. We will be talking about the patch 5.4 storyline, and pretty much everything other patch since Mists of Pandaria debuted.

It has been a presence in Pandaria since before it was Pandaria. The mantid served it - indeed, they still revere its memory. The Sha are a result of it. The Titans destroyed it, yet it will not be destroyed. Ancient and terrible, its seven heads proved immortal, its dread essence exhaled out across the very land, bringing the darkest emotions of the mortal heart into stark existence. It is Y'Shaarj. It is dead. And being dead has proved no hindrance. One of the Old Gods, Y'Shaarj has shaped the land in death, and even now, it threatens to return to life.

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

Patch 5.4 PTR: How to get Golden Lotus reputation in 5.4

Patch 54 PTR How to get Golden Lotus Reputation
In patch 5.4, several fairly dramatic changes are taking place, but none quite so dramatic as the state of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. So severe, in fact, that it seems that the achievement Eternally In the Vale is being turned into a Feat of Strength with the next patch. Why? Well ... let's just say that the quests required for completing the achievement are no longer possible to complete, when patch 5.4 hits -- we'll leave it at that.

This has many players wondering, however, what happens to Golden Lotus reputation when the new patch arrives. Will it go away? Where will all the daily quests go? How do you get reputation with the Golden Lotus, when many of the quest objectives and NPCs have been altered in a significant fashion? We poked around a bit on the PTR and while we may not have solid answers, we do have a general idea of where things are going -- and don't worry, your reputation will still be obtainable.

Needless to say, patch 5.4 spoilers abound within this post.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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

Video: A first look at patch 5.4's environmental changes and raid

WoW Insider was able to get into the patch 5.4 late last night, through a slew of disconnects and other server issues, and we managed to capture some footage for you of the environmental changes to one of the areas.

Now, this is spoiler-heavy, so if you don't want spoilers for patch 5.4 content, of any kind because while the video doesn't contain that much it could spoil something I never even thought of, please don't click the video. Also, don't click the break and read more of the post, and don't read the comments! Spoilers lurk within.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Datamined NPC, mount, and pet models

Datamined models for 54
Along with the recently released patch 5.4 patch notes, our friends at MMO-Champion have data-mined some new models including armor for tier 16 and season 14 gear. Garrosh Hellscream gets a new look and we get a sneak peek at the latest sha! Everything behind the cut contains spoilers for the upcoming patch 5.4. Click through and view at your own risk!

Please note: This post contains spoilers for patch 5.4.

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Filed under: News items

The Queue: Subscriptions, corruption, and vampire

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

"I am nowhere. I am everywhere. I am the watcher, unseen."

Don't kill me if the elf in the picture above doesn't match the quote. You elf-vampires all look the same to me.

ATreck1937 asked:

Why doesn't Blizzard pick a different venue for Blizzcon? One that could accommodate a lot more people. It's more than obvious that they have the fan base to support it, given how quickly all the Blizzcon tickets sell out every time.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Carved by similar hands

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.

Spoilers for patch 5.3 to follow.

Well, if you like spoilers, this is going to be the post for you. Because it is based heavily in the spoilers revealed in Olivia's post about datamined patch 5.3 sound files, and my own musings about what certain things revealed in those files really mean. We find out that yes, as we've already suspected, the seventh Sha did in fact remain free from bondage for the past ten thousand years, that its sinister hand can be felt in everything that's befallen Pandaria, and that the mists parting did in fact have to happen for the good of all. We also hear hints that Y'shaarj may not be as dead as we all hope he is. The fact that digging in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms has something to do with his return is even more portentous. What does this all mean?

This week, I'm going to speculate wildly on one possible thing it could all mean. The Prophecy of C'thun has always fascinated me.

In the time before time, when the world was still in its infancy, a battle between a Titan and a being of unimaginable evil and power raged on this very soil. The prophecy is unclear about whether or not the Titan was vanquished in this battle but it illustrates that a Titan fell. An Old God had also fallen - or so it was thought.

The interesting thing is in the lines "The prophecy is unclear about whether or not the Titan was vanquished in this battle but it illustrates that a Titan fell." Falling doesn't have to mean death. There are many different ways to fall, after all.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria

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