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Posts with tag Sylvanas-Windrunner

Five must craft neutral Hearthstone cards

There are a lot of cards in Hearthstone. It can be difficult to know which ones to craft with your hard earned dust, especially in the beginning. Do you save up for a legendary or try and craft more accessible cards in order to build up decent library? I mentioned it before, but I think the best option is grabbing up the basics, specifically cards that hold value across multiple decks.

There's no ranking behind these cards, so grab them up in whatever order you see fit. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, which we'll discuss below.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Christie Golden, Micky Neilson discuss newest novel, War Crimes

War Crimes, Christie Golden's latest Warcraft novel, officially hit the shelves today. The novel details the trial of Garrosh Hellscream for his crimes against Alliance, Horde, and Pandaria alike. We were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down and chat with Christie Golden, as well as Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson, about the novel, the feedback, and even some upcoming projects that are on the way.

War Crimes is a different kind of book -- it features a gigantic cast. Can you tell us a little about the challenges involved in writing and keeping track of so many familiar faces?

Christie: It definitely is. I had kind of done a run at something like this with The Shattering, that was my first experiencing writing for both Horde and Alliance, trying to weave in various characters and their story lines and still make it fast paced and entertaining. This really was a chance for me to, with the Vision of Time at my disposal, to kind of go through and not just address Garrosh, but sneak in some of the history of Azeroth. What made these factions who they are, how they thought of each other, and a lot of old hurts, as well as new things. I actually just posted on Twitter a picture of the colorful index cards that I laid out on my dining room table at work at one point just to keep track of it!

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Review of Christie Golden's novel, War Crimes

It's time for Hellscream to pay.

Or at least that's what everyone in War Crimes would enjoy seeing, to varying degrees. Christie Golden's latest novel, War Crimes, is due out next week on May 6. It tells the tale of Garrosh Hellscream's trial, an event many players have been waiting to hear about -- and it also serves as a bridge novel, of sorts, between Mists of Pandaria and the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor. If you'd like to know how Garrosh wriggled out of his presumably inevitable death and got to Draenor, this is the book you want to read.

But it's so much more than that. In War Crimes, the focus is much less on Garrosh, and much more on the people around him -- those called to the witness stand, and those simply observing the trial in progress. It's a sweep of almost every major face in the Alliance and Horde, and their unique individual reactions to what happened during Hellscream's reign. In that, it's a very different kind of novel -- and I think it was just the novel needed to bring this expansion fully to a close.

Please note: Because War Crimes has yet to be released, this will be a spoiler-free review. Please refrain from talking about spoilers in the comments -- any spoiler information posted will be deleted.

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

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 5 - Cataclysm Begins

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've covered the original game's story, gone to Outland to recap the Burning Crusade, and spent two weeks recapping the events of the Lich King's contumely. Now, we find ourselves facing the dragon that broke the world.

Deathwing's power came in equal measure from the Titans themselves and the Old Gods who opposed them. From the Titan Khaz'goroth Deathwing was granted the role of Aspect of Earth, lord over the land and all beneath it. From the Old Gods imprisoned within the deep earth, Deathwing gained the strength of a kind of madness, a mania with destroying that which he had been set to guard. Rejecting his nature as Aspect of Earth, he would in time dedicate himself to the death of all things living on the surface of Azeroth.

Even before the Lich King's return, Deathwing was taking steps. His prime consort, Sinestra, used the madness of Illidan to cover her own actions, convincing the Dragonmaw chieftain Mor'ghor to give into her keeping a clutch of Netherwing dragon eggs - essentially the eggs of her own descendents, as the Netherwing were born from black dragon eggs Deathwing left behind on Draenor before it was destroyed, exposing the eggs to the raw chaotic magic of the Twisting Nether. In turn, after Sinestra's experiments on the eggs in Grim Batol failed, Deathwing transported a clutch to the Obsidian Sanctim - these dragons were destroyed by the same adventurers who would ultimately kill Malygos. Yet these were hardly the only such eggs warped by Deathwing - a raid on the Ruby Sanctum would reveal that Twilight Dragons now served Deathwing, born from his experiments on the Nether eggs.

All of this was merely preamble. While the situation in Northrend died down following Arthas' death and the secret elevation of the new Lich King, the world had no time to rest. Deathwing had rested in Deepholm since his defeat by the other aspects. Now, he would rest no longer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 3 - Wrath of the Lich King


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.

Part one covered the original launch game, and part two covered the Burning Crusade expansion. Part three is about Corgis Unleashed.

No, no, I kid. Part three is of course about Wrath of the Lich King, when our titular king of the liches gets upset. Miffed. Irate. Angry, even. This one is going to be long - even longer than the BC recap, so long that I see no choice but to split it into two parts. The Lich King was a long time in coming - players were clamoring for him from the moment World of Warcraft launched, and when the expansion bearing his name finally hit, it changed everything.

Like The Burning Crusade, WotLK started with an event. But unlike TBC, this particular event, the Scourge Invasion, was leaps and bounds more dramatic than expected. This time, the monsters were the players, so to speak.

It began with mysterious boxes appearing in Booty Bay and other cities and towns, spreading across Azeroth slowly. The boxes appeared in capital cities, shipped from unknown locales... and slowly, all over the world, the curse of undeath began taking root. At first members of the Argent Dawn could keep ahead of the tide of plague, but as it continued, more and more of Azeroth's heroes succumbed. Soon an irresistible tide of undead threatened Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Ironforge, Undercity (yes, even the forsaken were not immune) and other locations. Some ran and hid in the countryside, avoiding major cities, because these undead seemed to possess a sadistic enjoyment and sought to infect as many as possible.

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

Hearthstone Highlight: Sylvanas Windrunner

Hearthstone Highlight Sylvanas Windrunner
Sylvanas Windrunner is a legendary rarity card. She can be crafted for 1600 arcane dust straight up (or alternatively by being really lucky in booster pack draws). Only costing the player 5 mana and coming out as a 5/5, her bang for the mana buck is pretty darned good. The fact that she's a neutral legendary means she can fit into any deck you're piloting. In my case, I like to utilize her in my shaman control deck. While Sylvanas doesn't have any combat abilities like taunt or charge, she does possess a rather special ability:

Deathrattle: Take control of a random enemy minion.

When she dies, take control of an enemy minion. Not many cards in the game will allow you to do that. Mind Control is the obvious one with Mind Control Tech being another. The funny thing about this card is that it's pretty amazing to watch players squirm and make weird plays to ensure that Sylvanas doesn't take over a random minion of theirs. I've seen players intentionally kill their own big guns by throwing them against my taunt minions. Sometimes they'll even kill 3 of their own minions and wipe out their side of the board just to explicitly make sure I don't gain control.

Think about that for a moment. Players are willing to trade 3 of their own minions for 1 to ensure that I don't steal their stuff. She really can mess with your mind.

Playing with Sylvanas Windrunner

At her core, Sylvanas is a card that punished your opponent for killing her. Your opponent can kill the 5/5 but only if they're willing to trade it for a random minion they have at their disposal. I would happily let Sylvanas die in exchange for a shaman's Al'Akir or a hunter's Savannah Highmane. Opponent has a juicy legendary in play? Try to use your spells or minions to pick apart the rest of theirs. As a mage, you can use the mage hero power to sort of "ping". I generally don't do this unless the opponent's legendary is something really awesome. In most cases, Sylvanas is an excellent threat just by herself.

Playing against Sylvanas Windrunner

Silence effects, guys! Anything you can use to silence Sylvanas to prevent her from stealing your Ragnaros or your King Krush! Do it! Alternatively, take a stock of your hand and the board. Is there anything worthwhile for Sylvanas to steal? If all you have is a Searing Totem (from Totemic Call) out, killing Sylvanas in favor of your opponent taking a Searing Totem isn't a bad idea. On the other hand, if you have a valuable minion on the board, you might not have a choice. Paladins and shamans can generate random minions with their hero power to hopefully get Sylvanas to take control of one of those.

Suppose the worst case scenario happens. You lose your bomb creature to Sylvanas. Analyze your hand or your deck and see what other removal spells you might have at your disposal. Obviously if you can Polymorph it or Hex it, you should. But if all you have is damage spells, you might have to save it and execute your own minion to prevent your opponent from taking command and benefiting from it.

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: Heroes of the Storm

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition Heroes of the Storm
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.

Since The Dark Below was unveiled as a hoax -- or at the very least, a trademark that hasn't actually been filed -- players are still curious about the question of the next expansion. And now we have a new trademark supposedly filed, titled Heroes of the Storm. Let's face it -- we still don't know if this is real. We don't know if it's Warcraft, or if it's tied to some other franchise. We don't know if it's an expansion title, or perhaps some new thing that simply hasn't been announced yet.

But let's put all that aside for a moment and take a look at the title and what it means in relation to Warcraft. If this is, somehow, the title for the next expansion, what exactly would that expansion entail? The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria -- all of these titles seemed to straightforwardly suggest what the expansion itself was going to be about. So what does Heroes of the Storm imply?

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: A Precarious Position Part 1 - Horde

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.

Things are about to get much worse.

- Deathbringer Saurfang

On the surface of things, it seems like we may be about to turn the corner. Garrosh Hellscream's True Horde is about to face its enemies and the Warchief has alienated so many of his former allies that the Horde itself has erupted in civil war. But once we start thinking about the aftermath, it all starts to seem a little murkier.

After all, even though we know that there will apparently be a new warchief appointed after the fall of Hellscream, that won't immediately fix the tensions that led to the Horde making war on itself. Hellscream's former supporters won't just vanish - with the vast majority of orcs behind him, Hellscream's legacy is bound to continue and any new warchief is going to have to face those orcs who took up arms for the True Horde and come up with a way to re-integrate them into the Horde as a whole. Meanwhile, it's likely that those who supported the Darkspear Rebellion are going to want to see substantial changes made to the way the Horde functions - the orcish ideals of Lok'tar Ogar, of unquestioning loyalty to the warchief are by necessity broken now. The Horde of the future is a Horde that has survived a mutiny, has seen a leader deposed - it cannot be bound by tight-knit expectations of loyalty and honor. The blood elves and forsaken, tauren and goblins and trolls who had a hand in making the new warchief possible will have demands, and they're not all going to be possible to meet.

Meanwhile, the Alliance will have found itself in the position of kingmaker for its enemy. What does the future hold for Alliance/Horde relations? Will the Alliance forget the past several years of Horde aggression or will it demand concessions from its weakened enemy? And if Varian Wrynn doesn't take advantage of this moment to reclaim Azshara and Ashenvale, or Gilneas, what backlash will he have to face from within his own faction? Thanks in no small part to the threat of the Horde, Wrynn has found himself rising to the position of war-leader for the Alliance as a whole. But can he maintain that position with a much less threatening Horde, especially if he doesn't move to take advantage of its weakness?

Let's look at potential threats to any return to stability. This week, we'll discuss the forces at play within the Horde.

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

Patch 5.4 PTR: More spoiler-ridden sound files

Patch 54 PTR More Spoilerridden sound files!
Stiven from Adriacraft has returned, literally minutes after the latest PTR build was launched, with a bundle of exciting new sound files. These are seriously spoiler-laden, as ever, so if you don't want patch 5.4 spoilers, for any element of the new content, we heartily suggest not looking at the content after the cut. Also, don't read the rest of the article, don't listen to the sound files, and don't read the comments! Instead, look at this picture of the Ring of Valor, and bemoan (or not) its departure from the game.

If you don't mind, or indeed, actively want spoilers, read on!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The case of the next Warchief

The case of the next Warchief
Patch 5.3 is a-coming, and the Siege of Orgrimmar is drawing nearer and nearer every day. One question that I know is on everyone's mind is, who will be the next warchief? We know Garrosh is getting deposed - we don't yet know if he's going to die - and someone will have to take his place.

So who should it be? The obvious choice is one of the racial leaders, though exactly which one is up for debate. I thought it would be fun to analyze some of the potential candidates and tease out what might make them a reasonable choice of warchief both inside and outside the story. Let's start with some of the easily dismissible, for brevity's sake.

This post contains some minor spoilers for patch 5.3, so be warned!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: Vereesa Windrunner

Know Your Lore Vereesa Windrunner
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.

Vereesa Windrunner has lost everything several times now.

She lost her oldest sister Alleria to the same Horde invasion that killed most of their family, as Alleria went off to seek vengeance against the orcs and ended up lost somewhere beyond the Dark Portal, never to be seen or heard from again. Her other sister, Sylvanas, was killed by the Lich King's servant Arthas Menethil, and the death knight chose to prevent Sylvanas from even attaining the peace of death, trapping her in undeath.

Worse, when Vereesa lost Sylvanas, she lost her homeland and her people. The high elves of Quel'thalas became blood elves, following Prince Kael'thas on the path to ruin, addiction, and madness and she could not, did not follow. Along with a few remnants of her people, she attempted to preserve what had been thrown away, to keep high elven culture alive even as Silvermoon resided in the hands of those that had abandoned it. Its not surprising that she found love in someone who shared her loyalty to the Alliance, nor perhaps is it surprising that she found it in human arms, as both Alleria and Sylvanas showed a predisposition to humans.

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

Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak

Patch 52 and beyond with Dave Kosak
Hot on the heels of the official patch 5.2 trailer, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with one of the developers behind it all. While chatting with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about patch 5.2 and its development, one thing became incredibly clear -- 5.2 is definitely not just a raid and a few dailies. There is far, far more to be seen and experienced in the new patch.

Read on for some of the details behind the trailer released earlier today, the story in the new patch, daily quest development, scenarios, and even a few hints at what's in store for patch 5.3.

Please note: There are a couple of minor spoilers for 5.2 content in the interview. Nothing huge, we promise!

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard features Sylvanas Windrunner cosplay

Blizzard features Community Cosplayers Sylvanas Windrunner

Sylvanas Windrunner's long and storied past is fraught with heartbreak and sorrow. Whether she's loved, feared, or despised for her actions, the Dark Lady makes for captivating cosplay as seen in Blizzard's community cosplay spotlight.

This is quite a stunning photo, captured by Kira Hokuten, of quite a stunning cosplay. Sylvanas Windrunner, an eternal favorite of cosplayers, is emulated fantastically by Vea Novenario. While the skin tone may leave a little to be desired in this particular photo, the detail in the armor and the bow is remarkable. It can be seen with even more clarity on Vea's deviantart page and worldcosplay page. The amount of care put into rendering every detail of Sylvanas' bow is astounding, and the same applies for the armor. Every plate, every decoration, everything is faithfully reproduced.

When such huge amounts of work go into these costumes, it's really great to see Blizzard giving the community cosplayers the recognition they deserve for all their effort. Cosplay competitions are always one of our favorite parts of any convention, just to see the skill and devotion of the cosplayers in person. Here's looking forward to future installations of community cosplay spotlight!


Filed under: News items

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: The final boss of Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The final boss of Mists of Pandaria 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.

We've heard various and sundry conflicting tales about Mists of Pandaria, tales of various pandaren groups, tales of faction warfare, tales of a warchief's downfall. But in and among all of the tales, one theme pervades, one thing stands out as something people point to in dismay. This thing is the lack of a final boss that is a powerhouse in Warcraft lore, something that we've had with every prior expansion. Illidan, Kil'jaeden, the Lich King, and Deathwing were all prominent figures in Warcraft lore before we rose up to defeat them. They were terrible threats to our world, threats that had to be dealt with.

But in Mists of Pandaria, we don't have the reassuring face of a villain to charge after. We don't have a major lore figure to take care of. We have no idea what we're facing other than some rumblings about the warchief's downfall -- and even then, we're not sure if those rumblings are correct. For the first time in World of Warcraft's history, we don't have an easily recognizable, high-profile figure to contend with.

Or perhaps we do. We have to deal with one of the greatest threats we've ever seen. We just aren't looking closely enough.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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