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Posts with tag Stormwind

NPC pathing and the living virtual world

In the early days of vanilla WoW, I played Alliance. It wasn't until after hitting 60 that I began playing Horde in earnest. Although I appreciated the bare, rough-and-tumble primitive nature of Orgrimmar, I always felt there was something missing -- namely, the NPCs that happily wandered Stormwind all day long. Orgrimmar didn't really have much of that sort of thing, back then. And of all the NPCs that wandered the human capital, none captured my attention so much as Ol' Emma.

Emma was at the time part of a quest chain that took place in the Western Plaguelands -- a ghost in the upper level of a house in Felstone Field asked players to deliver a package to her. But Emma's charms weren't just wrapped into that quest. Ol' Emma spent her days -- and still spends her days -- walking the streets of Stormwind. I first found her walking to the well near the flight path in Stormwind, griping about how nobody respects their elders. Laughing, I moved on, but months later on a whim I decided to follow Ol' Emma to see exactly where she takes all that water she's been supposedly hauling. To my surprise, Emma walking into a building near Cathedral Square, went up the stairs, and ... stopped, facing a wall, still talking to nobody in particular.

Unfortunately, this was kind of par for the course for NPCs back then.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Stormwind Harbor just fine in patch 5.4

Stormwind Harbor will be just fine in patch 54
Players may recall datamined spoiler images and videos from earlier this month, indicating a particularly disturbing fate was in store for the Stormwind Harbor in patch 5.4. The datamined information suggested that the Harbor and possibly more of Stormwind would be under direct attack from Horde forces and possibly ruined -- a low blow to the Alliance that are still diligently working on repairing the damage from Deathwing's attack in Cataclysm. But it's okay. You can breath a sigh of relief courtesy of Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, who clarified this information on Twitter earlier today.


Don't worry, citizens of Stormwind -- your city appears to be safe and sound. You're just looking at the optimistic visions of an overly enthusiastic megalomanical warlord bent on global domination and the onset of racial supremacy. That's ... comforting, right? Either way, you can look forward to punching Garrosh in the face in patch 5.4, ruining any and all plans, or dream boards, that Warchief Hellscream was constructing.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Violence is a debatable solution

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.

Once again, I hope you'll all forgive me for a slow Monday edition of The Queue.

Koboi_K asked:

On top of Bilgewater Harbour, there's a huge cannon. It's such an enormous cannon that it's probably able to shoot bombs and rockets very very far. If you're inside the top building and look into its target window, you can actually see Stormwind in the cross-hairs. With such a powerful weapon in his hands, why hasn't it been used by Garrosh?

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Filed under: The Queue

Patch 5.4 PTR: Siege of Orgrimmar story datamining -- major spoilers

Patch 54 Siege of Orgrimmar story spoilers
Thanks to our friends over at Adriacraft, we have been alerted to some very interesting new information about the Siege of Orgrimmar. However, this would definitely fall under the category of a spoiler. A fairly epic spoiler at that, so we are doing our best to be bland and uninteresting this side of the break at least. But you know the drill, guys. The juicy tidbits are after the break. And man, if you don't want to see some serious spoilers, you had better not click it.

You also shouldn't read the comments, or basically do anything else. Focus instead on how pretty Orgrimmar looks in this picture. Final warning: spoilers after the cut.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Grommash hold worth $3.2M

Grommash hold worth $32M
Light-hearted Real Estate bloggers Movoto have blogged in the past about assessing the value of Stormwind Keep, concluding that it was valued at approximately $10.2 million. Now, they're back with Grommash Hold, the Horde stronghold in the heart of Orgrimmar.

Like any good valuation, they've taken various aspects of the building into consideration, noting that it includes a training area as well as a throne room, and worked out the square footage, the location, and an appropriate price per square foot.

In order to assess the area of the hold, they estimated the shoulder width of a female orc, and based measurements off that, giving a total area of 10,261sqft. They then looked for a real-world equivalent of Grommash Hold, and decided upon Petra, in Jordan. Alas, being an ancient monastery, Petra lacks saleable homes, so they took an average value of $328psqft from nearby Amman, and applied that to Grommash Hold, giving a value of $3,265,608.

Now, as someone who worked in commercial Real Estate for 7 years, I feel Movoto might have missed some due diligence. There is a bit of additional information about the future of the area, and it seems likely that it will be subject to some major political upheaval in the coming months. This is likely to impact the $/sqft value, and, one would think, put it below that of Stormwind!

Filed under: Humor

Stormwind Keep valued at $10,293,472

View from Stormwind Keep
The blog Movoto (tagline: "The lighter side of real estate") has done evaluations of fictional properties before. This time, they've set their sites on Stormwind Keep, of our own beloved Stormwind, to try and determine the following:
  • How big is it, actually?
  • What's its real world equivalent location?
  • How much would it cost to purchase, based on the previous two factors?
The answers, in brief, to those three questions are: 47,219 square feet, Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales, and US$10,293,472 ($218 per square foot), respectively. Ten million dollars seems like a whole lot to me, but article author Randy Nelson asserts that it's actually rather a pittance for a castle. Then again, he also points out that as far as we can tell, Stormwind Keep only has one accessible floor, and the rest is all for show. Even the Ruins of Lordaeron are bigger than Stormwind Keep. See what you've done, game designers?! You've devalued your own non-existent property!

Back at the blog, Nelson gives an in-depth breakdown of how he came about all the numbers as well as how he determined that Caernarfon Castle was the best approximation of Stormwind Keep in the world. I highly recommend a read of the entire article--don't just stop at the infographic! The whole thing is interesting and fun. I'd love to see more analyses like this, if the blog authors have the time and inclination, if only so that we players could have yet another aspect of our chosen factions and races to argue about.

Filed under: Humor

Worlds Yet to Conquer: Ideas for new content in old places

There is a ton of lore in the Warcraft setting, from the first RTS game to the current MMO, four expansions down and counting. And one of the things I love about the setting is just how much we haven't seen yet, for all that we've been to Outland and fought the Scourge in Northrend and are now battling the effects of the Sha while dealing with old Titan repositories and mogu armies in Pandaria.

When Cataclysm came out, one of the better revamped quest areas was in Winterspring, where the remnants of the Blue Dragonflight after the death of Malygos were trying to combat an incursion by forces from outside Azeroth. I was thrilled to see satyrs from Xoroth and new etherals, because it got me excited about all the places in the Warcraft setting I haven't been yet. So I started thinking about places in that setting, both on Azeroth and beyond, where I would love to see a dungeon or a raid to get us to go back and explore them, or even to introduce those places to the game for the first time. And because this just happens to be a website that talks about WoW, I have a ready-made place to discuss these things with you.

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

My first week as Horde

My first week as Horde
I've been playing World of Warcraft for a very long time. Since it was closed beta, in fact. Back when the game was still brand new, I mean right when the servers first opened up, I played for team red. I was a Horde shaman, and proud to be so. My first shaman was not named Lodur, in fact it was what I thought at the time was the ever clever name of Rum. I played with one of my buddies who named his warrior Coke. We played with a bunch of coworkers and friends from college until partway through Classic WoW when they either got promoted at work, graduated or stopped playing. Some of our group though decided to move to another server and see how things were going on the Alliance side of things.

Off to Zul'jin we went, and with moving servers and factions in a time before server transfers or faction swaps were around, came a new toon. Abigail, the night elf hunter was born. She's traveled servers, and been race changed multiple times since she was born. I finished Classic WoW on her raiding with friends all the way through the original Naxxramas. I still gave a lot of love to Rum though, and even found time to run him through Ahn'Qiraj 40. When Burning Crusade released, though, Rum fell to the wayside as Lodur was born over with my Alliance family. I hadn't returned to horde except for a brief tour with the Choose My Adventure here on the site, that was until this past week when I server and faction changed my long time hunter over to play Horde side again with friends.

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Know Your Lore: The evolution of Varian Wrynn

Know Your Lore The evolution 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.

We can't really take a good look at Garrosh Hellscream without taking a look at his Alliance counterpart, King Varian Wrynn. Varian is an enigma in his own right, although for different reasons than Garrosh. Where Garrosh was a character that was introduced and shown in every aspect in the game itself, Varian is notable for being ... absent. He wasn't there for vanilla WoW. He wasn't there for Burning Crusade. Varian didn't make his first appearance in game until the launch event for Wrath of the Lich King, and exploded onto the scene with an attitude that threw a lot of players off.

Where Garrosh saw all of his development play out in-game, even the odd disconnected moments, Varian saw his play out through a series of comics and novels. Most of his history is a big question mark to many players. While not quite as big an unknown as Lor'themar Theron, people still wonder -- who is this guy? Where did he come from, and why was he so angry when he returned? And perhaps most importantly -- where did he turn from angry leader in the Ulduar cinematic to the far more patient leader we're seeing in Mists?

Oddly enough, his story and Garrosh's mirror each other far more than you'd think.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Stormwind and Orgrimmar get repaired, somewhat, on the patch 5.2 PTR

The builders in Stormwind and Orgrimmar have finally got their act together and fixed up the front gates of both cities, after Deathwing left his fiery marks throughout Azeroth. It's about time, given that Cataclysm launched back in December 2010, but it seems reasonable that the builders would be wary of starting any work while Deathwing still roamed the world, breathing fire on unsuspecting citizens.

Orgrimmar's front gates, as can be seen from the video above, have been completely repaired, as have the ones in Stormwind, along with a couple of previously scorched clock towers, but the Night Elf builders have obviously been struggling to keep up, as the Park area remains a crumbling ruin. In all fairness, they have a little more to contend with than a few slightly singed stones, the whole area was decimated, and the ground it was constructed on is now a smoldering cliff face.

Do you think the Night Elves will rebuild the Stormwind zone they used to inhabit? Or will it remain a wreck for years to come?

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: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Noble houses and nobility in roleplay

Noble houses and nobility in roleplay SAT
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Nobility is an interesting concept, particularly in roleplay. Being a noble doesn't necessarily mean you are a ruler, but it does mean that your name tends to hold weight in society. In WoW, you generally won't see much in the way of class structure like this with two exceptions -- both the human race and the sin'dorei seem to have defaulted to a structure that involves upper and lower classes, with noble houses residing somewhere in that social ladder.

This week, I received an interesting email regarding nobility from a player who wished to remain anonymous.
Basically: Blood elf Nobility. Does it exist in the current timeline/expansion's lore, etc? Many, many, many of the Blood elves in our community role play as Nobility. Everyone and his/her mother is a Noble, and yet, none of them act like it. None of them have been able to provide any sort of evidence or credentials to their dowry or fiefdom. None of them. I have to ask, why would this be?

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

What do you want in a city?

What do you want in a city
Nestled on the eastern half of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, players will find two nearly identical shrines, the Shrine of Two Moons and the Shrine of Seven Stars. In the next expansion, these two locations will serve Horde and Alliance players as miniature capital cities, conveniently located in the heart of Pandaria for easy access to the rest of the continent. Both shrines currently offer most of the usual commodities you'd find in a capital city: Auction House, bank, profession trainers, and arcane reforging. Unfortunately, the shrines also appear to lack other basic essentials, such as class trainers, portals, transmogrification, void storage, and the ability to mount up on a flying or ground mount.

The good news is the shrines still appear to be under significant development. City chat channels (such as trade chat) were only just added yesterday with the latest beta patch, and most of the vendor and trainer NPCs still can't be interacted with. Additionally, you're not currently considered at rest while within the confines of a shrine, meaning you have to sit through that annoying pop-up for 20 seconds before you can log out. It also looks like the mount issue will be handled by an NPC in the shrines who casts Cyclonic Inspiration on you, allowing you to move about the city at high speeds, but the buff doesn't always take and falls off before you can run simple errands between the bank and Auction House.

Since I didn't participate in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, this is the first city I've seen while it was in development, which got me wondering: What would the perfect city be? What would I want a new city in the game to have? Maybe a transmogrification ethereal right next to the bank so it's easier for me to swap outfits? I bet players who deal in lots of buying and trading on the Auction House would want the bank right next door, if not inside the Auction House itself. What kind of features do role players want? How about raiders and PvPers?

What do you want in a city, and why?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: In which Alliance has it much worse than Horde

The OverAchiever Sorry, Alliance
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are grateful to play Horde.

This past week, I was tabbed out of the game writing an OverAchiever on Bloody Rare as a follow-up to our guide on Northern Exposure when something interesting started happening in the background. In the sliver of laptop screen dedicated to WoW, the chat channels exploded with warnings that the Alliance was attacking Orgrimmar. Given that the Midsummer Fire Festival is still going on with lots of players busy stealing enemy fires, this isn't particularly unusual. I shrugged and went back to work.

And yet, the warnings just kept coming. Curious, I tabbed back into the game to discover that a full 40-man Alliance raid was fighting its way to Garrosh Hellscream. Other players said that none of the other Horde leaders had been attacked, so I can only assume the raid was starting For the Alliance! with the toughest foe among them.

Now, Garrosh is by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near as popular as Thrall was, but lots of Horde players are still willing to defend him from attack because, well, he's got his moments. Orgrimmar's central district quickly became a lagfest of epic proportions as dozens of players who'd been gossiping in trade or loitering around the Auction House rushed to defend Garrosh. The Alliance raid was ultimately defeated, but they rallied and tried again -- unsuccessfully -- an hour later.

This was the first of three days that I saw the same Alliance raid desperately trying to kill Garrosh, and something started to niggle at me by day two. Namely, For the Alliance! and For the Horde! are among the very few achievements that are significantly tougher if you play one faction over the other.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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

Remixing the Stormwind Guard for transmogrification

Remixing the Stormwind Guard for transmogrification
There are few NPCs in WoW more iconic than the Stormwind Guard. Even if you're Horde, it's hard not to like the striking contrast of blue and silver metals paired with the golden lion's head emblem. OK, so maybe not if you're Horde, but I digress. I've always loved the look of the Stormwind Guard, yet when it comes to transmogrification, I find the look is a bit outdated for my own character. The older armor models just don't hold a candle to the new ones in the game, and I like for my character to keep up with the latest stuff coming out.

So I thought to myself, "Why not mix it up and make an outfit inspired by the Stormwind Guard?" I imagine this is what it would look like if a member of the Stormwind Guard decided to become a PC instead of an NPC. Very breaking the fourth wall, right? OK, maybe no to that one too ...

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Filed under: Transmogrification

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