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Posts with tag Sylvanas

WoW Archivist: More beta surprises

Sylvanas models through the years
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?

As the Warlords of Draenor beta rolls onward, Blizzard keeps managing to surprise us. Recently we've learned about a huge overhaul to guild systems, random upgrades for quest rewards, and an extra-awesome core hound mount.

In the last WoW Archivist column, we looked at the surprises from the original beta and the betas of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. This time, we continue with Wrath and also look at the surprises during the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria betas.

(As before, I won't go into storyline surprises here. And I won't cover surprises announced at BlizzCon outside of a beta. BlizzCon already has its own feature for controversial surprises.)

Beta of the Lich King (continued)

Goodbye, night elf Sylvanas. Through vanilla and TBC, the Sylvanas model looked like a night elf rather than an undead high elf. With Sylvanas poised to play a big role in Northrend, Blizzard clearly needed to revamp her model. Players worried that they would have to look at the old night elf model through all her lore moments in Wrath.

A build in August 2008 gave her an initial makeover (middle image above) and lore-focused players breathed a sigh of relief. Clearly she still needed some work, but at least she wasn't a night elf anymore.

A later build in September gave her the fantastic model we see today. The same build also updated the models for Varian Wrynn and Alexstraza.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

Exclusive first look at Christie Golden's new novel, War Crimes

Christie Golden, author of a substantial amount of Warcraft novels including The Shattering, Tides of War, Lord of the Clans and Rise of the Horde, recently announced a new novel to add to the list, and we have all the details. Titled War Crimes, the new novel features an all-star cast of nearly every important figure from both the Alliance and Horde, and tells an interesting, new kind of story the likes of which we haven't seen from Blizzard before.

The brutal siege of Orgrimmar is over. Garrosh Hellscream, the most infamous orc on Azeroth, now sits in chains. His tyrannical leadership of the Horde has been ended by his many enemies, and he must answer for his crimes.

Renowned leaders from across the world gather in Pandaria to witness Garrosh's trial. Visions of his past atrocities are presented in vivid detail for all to see. But as history is revisited, old grievances and bitter memories come back into the light, and those in attendance begin to wonder if anyone among them is truly innocent. Mounting tensions and rising enmity steer the court to the brink of chaos... as the world waits with bated breath for the verdict on the war crimes of Garrosh Hellscream.

If you think a novel about a courtroom trial is going to be a dull affair, think again -- War Crimes isn't just a story about a trial, nor is it just another story about Garrosh Hellscream. In fact, it's anything but another Garrosh Hellscream novel. We were thrilled to get an exclusive interview with Christie at BlizzCon 2013 about her new title, a gigantic cast that includes some unexpected faces in the spotlight, and what we can expect to see -- as well as information on the book's release.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Après Hellscream, le déluge: A Lore Projection

Spoilers for Patch 5.4 lurk within this post, like a hideous phalanx of grue.

I can't shake this feeling of dread lately. Thinking about the Siege of Orgrimmar, about Garrosh Hellscream, about the Horde and what's to become of it, and of the Alliance. Thanks to the most recent sound files, we know a few things, but what we don't learn from those files is as interesting as what we do learn. And yet, I can't shake this feeling of dread.

What am I dreading? The villain will be defeated, right? The heroes will be triumphant, the rebels and the Alliance will storm Orgrimmar and the 'True Horde' will be toppled from the fortresses it has made of a formerly vibrant, brawling town. All will be right with the world, yes?

Maybe yes, but maybe no. I keep looking at Garrosh Hellscream -- the orc who successfully led a disorganized Horde rabble to Northrend and welded an army out of it -- and thinking about what comes after the siege. What happens when the son of Grom is defeated? What happens to the Horde? What happens to the Alliance? What happens to Azeroth? What happens to us?

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

The Queue: The Frenzy of Patch 5.3

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi has upgraded his gear and is now waiting for the first night of raiding in 5.3 to discover what got broke.

I have this weird thing where, if I see a lot of people doing something (like heroic scenarios or the new Battlefront: Barrens stuff) I tend to say "Eh, I'll wait until the furor has died down a bit" before I take part as well. So yesterday, I did a fun interview, logged on to upgrade all my gear with the 3000 valor I had saved up, then ran Black Temple for a bit before logging off. I don't know if it's simple obstinacy or simply the knowledge that all of this stuff will be here for at least a couple of months and there's no hurry to see it all right now.

Anyway, on to your questions.

Thieren said:
Also, since we're not quoting the Beastie Boys tomorrow's Queue should feature the Sabotage video.

I went with Intergalactic instead.

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Filed under: The Queue, 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

The Queue: Throne of Thunder ilevel, the undead, and going pantsless

The Queue Throne of Thunder ilevel, the undead, and going pantsless
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.

Oh, Mondays. Why must you follow Sundays? Can't you be more like Thursdays, coming before Fridays?

Now that I've made myself sound like a twisted hybrid of Garfield and a certain song that shan't be named, we're going to move onto the Q&A and pretend it never happened.

Sainthubbins asked:

Has the required ilevel for the 5.2 LFR been officially announced yet?

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Filed under: The Queue

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

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever named a pet after a WoW NPC?

Breakfast Topic Have you ever named your pet after a WoW NPC
Sometimes you come across a character in a game, be it an NPC or another player character, that you just absolutely love. You identify with the character in such a way that they become a sort of ideal for you of some type or another. Every now and then, you try to incorporate that character into your real life in some manner or another.

For us, it took the form of naming our puppy after a great and terrible NPC, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner. When we first got our dog, she was born on Halloween and since she was a beagle, she liked to howl, so we figured that naming her after the Banshee Queen was a suitable name. Unlike the leader of the undead, though, she's a small furnace and wails surprisingly little, but we love her just the same. She's also become my World of Warcraft buddy and will whine at the screen if she sees me getting particularly frustrated with a boss fight until the boss is killed. She also has this super-awesome little dance she does whenever I cheer or get really excited.

So how about you? Have you ever named a pet after a World of Warcraft NPC that you particularly loved? What type of pet is it, and what type of adventures have you had?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Top 10 magnificent bastards of Warcraft, part 2

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 talked about some magnificent bastards. At least one of those choices (Garithos) is, for me, kind of a controversial one, and I'm going to suggest a replacement for him in this post, because I think many readers made a valid point regarding him.

Garithos is absolutely the second part of the equation, but there's no magnificence to him. He's a bumbler, a cretin, and his great impact on the world was entirely due to his utter inability to succeed at anything. MBs are more like Doctor Doom or David Xanatos; they have a kind of epic quality to them and a real feeling of threat. So there you go, readers -- you've already convinced me that one of my choices from last week was not the right choice.

Therefore, this post will begin at #6 and count down to #1. Just take Garithos off of last week's list, and let Wrathion sit at #10. This moves Nathanos down to #7 and makes room for this week. You convinced me, guys. Garithos is out.

Can you pull it off again this week? This week, we look at my top Magnificent Bastards in World of Warcraft. I will tell you right now, certain characters will not be appearing on this list because they're either not magnificent enough or not bastards enough. I'm looking at both the King of Stormwind and the current Warchief of the Horde here.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

WoW Moviewatch: Vote Sylvanas 2014

I'll admit that I've sometimes been a little critical of Slightly Impressive's work. He's got good ideas and seems to be moving in the right direction, but the relatively flat delivery tends to leave me feeling a bit hollow. With Vote Sylvanas 2014, though, Slightly Impressive delivered a hilarious movie.

The big laugh for me came during the introduction of Sylvanas herself. I won't give away the joke, since it'd blow the video, but take the couple of minutes to watch Vote Sylvanas 2014. It's Slightly Impressive's best work, and it deserves the attention. Let him know what you think in the comments!

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Know Your Lore: The role of characters in WoW lore

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.

One of the interesting aspects of the Warcraft setting is which characters have achieved a kind of iconic status. The lore of the game is the unfolding story, and the story is ultimately shaped and defined by its characters. The story is what happened to, and because of, these people be they orc, human, troll, night elf, gnome, tauren or pandaren.

Take Rexxar, for instance. He's one of my favorite characters in Warcraft. Why? Why do I love Rexxar? Well, in part I enjoy that his mixed heritage makes him an outcast in a faction of outcasts, that he was one of the few to see how twisted and warped the old Horde was in time to step away from it before it began its campaign of atrocity across Azeroth. I like his simple faith in the ideals Thrall represented for the Horde in Durotar, his willingness to fight to preserve them, and the lengths he went while at the same time knowing exactly when to finally stop. Rexxar knew that defeating Theramore and Admiral Proudmoore was enough; he didn't have to destroy it.

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

Thrall may not be the next warchief after all

Image
Zarhym has thrown a spanner in our preconceptions with the following post to the forums, reproduced in its entirety here.

Zarhym - Anduin goes Neutral - Really?
Posted by Levinthar

Erm...He's going back to being warchief of the horde. Which apparently isn't supposed to bother all the alliance that have been working with him for the last few years.

I know what was said during the press tour, but don't be so sure yet that you know who the next warchief will be. The information provided during the press tour was... not entirely accurate.


This is very interesting because it creates an entirely new future direction for the Horde. We saw tensions rise between the various factions in Cataclysm, and with Garrosh's ultimate fate not terribly rosy, this leaves us with a potential power vacuum and several individuals who might seek to fill it. Will Sylvanas make a power play? Will Baine, who is seen stretching his muscles in Mists sending missions to Pandaria, repeat his father's course and challenge Garrosh for the throne? Will Vol'jin seek to rule? Will everyone show wisdom and beg Rexxar to become warchief?

Time will tell. But for now, get your best crazy speculating hat on.

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: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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