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Posts with tag Sunwell

Know Your Lore: The Blood Knights

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.

Last week, we discussed the story behind the paladin's charger -- a unique mount that both dwarf and human paladins could obtain in vanilla WoW, and in Burning Crusade, the draenei. In addition to the draenei, Burning Crusade also introduced blood elves, and blood elf paladins. Unlike the noble paladins of the Alliance, these Blood Knights took the Light by force, siphoning it from the captured naaru M'uru and bending it to their whim.

Although the events of Burning Crusade and the restoration of the Sunwell dramatically changed the Blood Knights method of operation, we can't really forget where their origins began. It was a much darker place, a place born of Light lost, and the desperation of a downtrodden people to prove to the world that they were still a force to be reckoned with -- and perhaps prove the same to themselves, as well.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.4 -- Fury of the Sunwell

Fury of the Sunwell logo
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?

On March 4, 2008, Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dungeons, passed away. A few weeks later, Blizzard dedicated the final and meatiest patch of the Burning Crusade expansion to Gary's memory.

Unlike the raid- and druid-centric patch 2.1, the big nothing of 2.2, or the old world revamp (and another raid) of patch 2.3, Fury of the Sunwell had boatloads of new endgame content for everyone. Blizzard also provided a trailer for the patch that showed the history of the Sunwell and revealed Kael'thas' diabolical plan.

Redefining realm-wide events

Kael'thas had to be stopped. The naaru convinced the Scryers and the Aldor to work together, forming a new faction to retake the Sunwell at the Isle of Que'Danas. The Shattered Sun Offensive represented a massive evolution of the realm-wide event concept after the very popular Gates of Ahn'qiraj event ushered in the idea. Daily quests, introduced in The Burning Crusade, were the key.

The Gates event required players to gather and turn in crafting supplies. Though you certainly felt like a contributor by forking over dozens of stacks of cloth, the gameplay aspect was lacking. Only one guild per realm could participate in the complete quest line.

On Quel'Danas, everyone could experience the story as it played out. Instead of turning in items, your realm earned credit toward the next phase of the event when players completed dailies. Rather than a one-time event, the phases changed and unlocked different parts of the island to show the Offensive's progress. Eventually the united Scryers and Aldor built a town, complete with a blacksmith for repairs, alchemy lab, portal, and statues to honor the fallen. Each new phase also brought new dailies and new rewards that could be purchased with gold and "badges" (TBC's equivalent of valor points). All of these changes were permanent, so you didn't have to log in on a specific day in order to enjoy them.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Sunwell Soloing and I: How to skip Madrigosa's ice wall

Sunwell soloing and I  How to skip Madrigosa's ice wall
If you're a transmog junkie like I am, you may find yourself doing old content a lot. I've been running Sunwell lately for various pieces of the DPS plate set that dropped here, and one of the things I got really tired of was the big ice wall that Madrigosa puts up just before the Brutallus encounter. First off, it's not impossible to see through it, but it does kind of obscure the action. Secondly, I'm just cantankerous and contrary and I don't like it when some dragon from three expansions ago tells me where I can and can't go. Today, however, I discovered that I don't have to let her make that decision for me -- it's possible in fact to completely avoid the ice wall and drop down into the Brutallus area before she casts it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell

Know Your Lore Anveena Teague and the Sunwell
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.

Those who travel to Sunwell Plateau may have seen her -- the inexplicable human girl trapped in a bubble above the Sunwell itself, even as demons channel dark energies below. Her story is a sad one, one of the more poignant tales in Warcraft's history, but it's by and large unknown to many who play. Which is kind of a pity, when you think about it -- Anveena Teague is one of those clear in-game representations of when written material and game content collide with little success. Despite her story being told in the manga series The Sunwell Trilogy, that story never really made it into the game in any capacity.

It also means that every time myself, one of my guildmates, or simply random people that follow me over on Twitter head into Sunwell Plateau, I'm asked who that girl the bubble is, where she came from, and why she's there. And since we have yet to address Anveena's full story in Know Your Lore, I thought it was high time she was featured in a column of her own. So we're taking a break from Pandaria this week, and instead turning our attention back in time to the days of Lordaeron's fall, the days when draconic intervention was a far more common occurrence, the days when the Scourge marched en masse over the land, to a quiet little hamlet known as Tarren Mill.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Hands drenched in blood

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.

The Sin'dorei have been a presence in WoW since The Burning Crusade -- and surprisingly enough, as members of the Horde rather than members of the Alliance. This turnaround in events was largely due to the treatment of the blood elves by the Alliance during Warcraft III. Kael'thas Sunstrider watched as his people were slaughtered by the Scourge, and set out to lend a helping hand to his supposed allies, hoping that they would lend a hand in return. However, he was sent to help Garithos, a man who was -- let's face it -- incredibly racist.

And in the face of that not-quite-blatant racism, Kael'thas turned to the only people offering any sort of real alliance; the naga. While Vashj and company helped Kael'thas far more than any of his supposed Alliance allies, Garithos was happy to find an excuse to condemn the leader of the sin'dorei, and had him imprisoned in Dalaran for his supposed treasonous actions. It was this waterfall effect that eventually led to the sin'dorei's withdrawal from the Alliance, and into the arms of the Horde.

Which makes the events of patch 5.1 all the more ironically interesting ... because it's happening all over again, but wearing a slightly different face.

Please note: This Know Your Lore contains spoilers for Tides of War as well as patch 5.1 content from both Operation: Shieldwall and the Dominance Offensive. If you have yet to complete these stories, you may want to veer away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: What characterizes WoW's best raids?

Breakfast Topic What characterizes WoW's best raids
People disagree a lot as to what WoW's best raids have been, not least because it's tough to evaluate how "good" a raid was until after some time has passed. For example, an MMO Champion forum poll a few months ago selected Icecrown Citadel as the game's best "final raid," and yet, I remember lots of players complaining that it hadn't been anywhere near as good as Black Temple a the time. You also have to wonder about the extent to which accessibility plays a role. Most people who saw Sunwell at level 70 loved it, but that wasn't a lot of people.

Anyway, three of the most frequently cited "best raids" of WoW are Karazhan, Black Temple, and Ulduar. I thought it might be worthwhile to ask -- what made them so good?
  • Iconic drops or rewards Many of the drops from these places are instantly recognizable. Everybody wanted the "squid staff" off Illhoof and the Nightbane shield, and you can't swing a dead cat in trade chat without hitting another Black Temple transmog run. Even Ulduar, in the age of gear consolidation, had memorable drops.
  • Atmosphere Karazhan was essentially an overgrown haunted house. Black Temple was a fortress full of Broken that would be hostile until you set Akama's soul free, with the brooding Illidan perched on top. Ulduar was an exceptionally beautiful fortress concealing its true purpose as a prison.
  • At least one unexpected encounter You couldn't beat Kara without besting Medivh's ghost at chess, Illidan was one of WoW's most inventive fights, and, as nightmarishly difficult as it was, I still cherish my guild's first Yogg-0 kill.
What made something WoW's "best raid" for you? What mechanics or features would you most like to see repeated in a future raid?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Do we need an intermediate raid?

Anyone who raided back in late Wrath remembers the year we all spent in ICC. By the end of that time, it got pretty hairy. However, in the lead up to Cataclysm, we got a surprise raid, The Ruby Sanctum. It wasn't meant to replace ICC as the end raid of Wrath or the Lich King as the end boss of the expansion. No, the Ruby Sanctum and its boss, Halion the Twilight Destroyer, was intended to serve as an introduction of sorts to the Cataclysm that was coming.

At the time, I was fairly derisive of Halion. What was the point of another small raid when we already had ICC? I remember doing heroic Halion attempts in July and feeling like the whole thing was a complete waste of time and a sidetrack from ICC. But now that we've had the same experience in Cataclysm of a long time in our end raid, and this time no intermediate raiding to tide us over until Mists of Pandaria, I'm rethinking my position.

Halion served two purposes. First, he introduced us to new mechanics we'd bee seeing again in Cataclysm. Both Valiona and Theralion and later Ultraxion used elements of the Halion encounter's mechanics. But second and more importantly, he served as a bridge between the ICC fights, with their Scourge, undeath and plague motifs and the coming expansion's introduction of Deathwing and his Twilight's Hammer cult minions. A third but related purpose was to give us something to do that wasn't ICC after six months in the place.

So now I wonder: Did Mists of Pandaria need an intermediate raid? Was it a missed opportunity that we didn't get one? And would it have made sense if we had?

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

Know Your Lore: Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas

Know Your Lore Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas 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.

Who?

Generally speaking, that's the reaction you'll get when you mention Lor'themar. Though he's been leader of the blood elves since The Burning Crusade launched in 2006, barely a word has been heard from him, and few know his history. Indeed, the sindorei themselves have done little since the events involving the Sunwell's restoration. They hardly seem like strong supporters of the Horde at all. Given this, it's almost easy to see where Garrosh's viewpoint regarding the blood elves comes from.

But the very fact that few know of Lor'themar's exploits, that few know of any tales spun from the lands of Quel'Thalas, is a subtle indication of something far deeper that is actually going on in the forests. The blood elves have had to deal with the most crippling blow their society has ever faced, the destruction of the Sunwell, and the decision of how to proceed after the damage was done is something that plagues the Regent Lord to this day.

It's not easy being a leader. It's even more difficult to be a leader in the face of constant adversity and to do so while still retaining what parts of a decent creature you are while you're at it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Well of Eternity

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.

Long, long before the rise of human and orc, the world of Azeroth was far different than it appears today. Instead of the multitude of continents we know of, there was simply one: Kalimdor. It was essentially Azeroth's version of Pangaea -- a supercontinent that covered the world. Places that we travel to today, Northrend, the Eastern Kingdoms, even the islands off the coasts of the world were all part of the massive continent. This was Azeroth, back in the day -- one world, one continent, and a lot of Old Gods.

Theories seem to be mixed on which came first, the Titans or the Old Gods. The latest theory came from the Tribunal of Ages, which implies that the Titans ordered the world and left, then the Old Gods arrived, and then the Titans returned to deal with the problem. After imprisoning the Old Gods, the Titans created safeguards to protect the world, safeguards that would prevent the rise of the Old Gods -- and in the event that the Old Gods returned, safeguards that would go so far as destroying Azeroth itself. Watchers and Aspects were both created and charged with protecting the fragile world.

And, according to various pieces of history, the Titans created the Well of Eternity.

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, TFH Edition: The naaru are a menace that must be destroyed

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.
A soothing light fills you as you approach the naaru. Slow musical chimes echo within your mind and though a word is not uttered, you feel an assurance of safety.

They glimmer with the purity of the Light, and their very presence fills one with a warm, calm feeling of inner peace. They also teach the ways of the Light -- the draenei would not be paladins were it not for these mysterious creature's intervention. In fact, the benevolent naaru came to Velen in a vision when his world was at its darkest hour, offering him hope, salvation, escape ... and the knowledge that there was a far larger battle out there, one that had yet to come to pass.

Kil'jaeden and Archimonde eagerly agreed to follow and serve Sargeras, becoming the highest-ranked members of the Burning Legion. As for Velen, he took the worried, the lost, the concerned draenei with him and fled, pledging his servitude to the naaru and their righteous cause. Two causes, one outwardly and easily identifiable as evil -- and the other, far more sinister and wicked than anything the Burning Legion could ever hope to achieve.

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. These speculations are merely theories and should not be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Big stakes and the end of an expansion

Guys, I don't know if you know this, but we have just pried the elementium plates off of the back of a dragon so big 25 people can stand on him. After that, we killed the mutant kaiju version of him, who was so big his head alone was bigger than us and four other giant dragons.

I'm sorry, but you have to be 50 kinds of jaded to not enjoy this. One of the things I've really enjoyed about patch 4.3 and the Dragon Soul raid is how it unabashedly throws massive, crazy, world-ending doomsday events at you. Between fending off not one but two faceless ones from within bloated abominations, balking an ancient earth elemental giant at the base of Wyrmrest Temple, and defeating Ultraxion and then taking on Deathwing himself, the fights feel enormous. The stakes are huge, and while the supposed saviors of Azeroth spend a lot of time thinking really hard at a McGuffin, we step the heck up.

Whether you are hitting it via Raid Finder, attending your weekly 10-man hardcore raid, or participating as a member of a casual 25-man raid alliance (or anything in between), in terms of pure aesthetics, Dragon Soul is a very satisfying raid in terms of pure scope and sweep.

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

All the World's a Stage: Plot points for Blood Knights

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.

Many roleplay guilds run with a theme of some sort, whether it's a group of heroes all thrown together with a specific cause, a family or noble house, or even a rag-tag group of mercenaries. Those aren't the only themes available to play, however. World of Warcraft has several different organizations established in lore, and some players choose to place their characters in those organizations. It's a good way to root the character in the existing lore, but it's also an excellent way to help define the character you're playing. Due to popular request, over the next few weeks I'll be addressing some of Azeroth's major organizations and taking a closer look at each.

The Blood Knights of Silvermoon are a relatively new organization by Azeroth's standards, formed for one purpose and now practicing another. Though it could be stated that their story began and ended in The Burning Crusade, that's not exactly true. There are plenty of plot threads left hanging that Blood Knights can play with.

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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious whispers of Tirisfal Glades

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.

Long ago, before Human civilization had progressed into kingdoms and civilized society, the Kaldorei of Kalimdor participated in a war that ultimately split the world apart. The war was about power, as all wars ultimately are in Azeroth -- this time, the powers of a mysterious font of energy known as the Well of Eternity. Suffused with arcane magics, the Well commanded the attentions of countless Highborne who grew dependent on its powers. So too, did the Well draw the attention of the dark forces of the Burning Legion and its leader, Sargeras.

Though the War of the Ancients ended in a victory for the Night Elves, it wasn't the last they'd see of the Well of Eternity. In an act of desperation to keep the arcane font alive one way or another, Illidan Stormrage used a vial of water from the original Well to create a new one, high atop the peaks of Hyjal. Horrified by his actions, his brother Malfurion had him imprisoned, and the Aspects created the World Tree and charged the Kaldorei with guarding the new Well. The practice of arcane magic was forbidden from use in Kaldorei society, punishable by death.

But the Kaldorei underestimated the depths of the Highborne's addiction. And both Highborne and Kaldorei alike didn't realize there were far worse, darker powers to worry about ...

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 why it happened. The events presented are events that happened in Azeroth's history, but the conclusions are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Bubble bubble pop pop

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

Oh boy, The Queue! Have I told you guys how much I love writing The Queue? When I'm not YouTubing or twittering, some of my most wonderful memories are sitting at my computer and browsing through your questions and ...

Ooooh, looks like someone just put a link into Mumble ...

...

...

...

Bubble bubble bubble pop. Happy Monday, ya'll.

jamie9966 asked:

At the start of the Burning Crusade, blood elf paladins got their powers by bending the light to their will, through M'uru who they held captive at the time. Since they no longer have M'uru in captivity, where do they now get their power from?

In the beginning, M'uru was the source of the Blood Knights' powers. It was thought to have been stolen, being ripped from the naaru forcibly. I was always a fan of the ruthless, almost sadistic way the blood elves bent the very light to their will because, well, at the time, it fit the race. After it was revealed that the naaru sort of sent M'uru, who full well knew what he was doing by letting the blood elves take some of his power to create the Blood Knights, that sadism sort of fell to the wayside.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: The Sources of Magic, part 1

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.

Where does magic come from?

Specifically, in the Warcraft universe, where does it come from? That's actually a complex question, because there are many different kinds of magic practiced in the setting as a whole. We know of the nature magic of the druids and the elemental magic of the shaman (and that these two disparate types of magic often seem to relate to each other while remaining discrete; we know of the fel magic practiced by warlocks and the Burning Legion, and the pure arcane arts of mages. There's also the Holy Light as demonstrated by priests and paladins, the shadowy magics also tapped by some kinds of priests and warlocks as well, and even the raw necromantic power that seems unique to the Scourge, some Forsaken, and death knights. All of these different kinds of magic are magic, and yet each seems to draw from its own source.

Just on Azeroth, we have seen many kinds of magical power and many focusing points, or fonts, of various kinds of power. Several have descended from one another, while still others have intruded due to the interference of various entities. One thing is clear, that there are many paths to power beyond that inherent to the average denizen of the world.

What, therefore, are these sources of magic?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

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