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Posts with tag Thunder-Bluff

WoW Archivist: Two weeks as a noob in 2004

A tauren in Mulgore
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?

When I took on the WoW Archivist mantle last year, I wanted to tell some personal stories as well as provide in-depth looks into the game's past. My first column talked about an early but extraordinary world PvP experience. Today I'd like to tell you about my first weeks of WoW in 2004, in a very different Azeroth than our modern version, with a very different incarnation of the hunter class.

A hunter will rise

In December 2004, a hunter stepped forward in Red Cloud Mesa. He was new to the ways of Azeroth, but eager to learn. What followed would be painful. But when the narrator shut up and the hunter proudly accepted his first quest from the Navajo minotaur guy with giant punctuation over his head, this new hunter set forth. He had nothing but a bow and a hope that his trials would forge him into a hero.

He would become a hero, many months and scars later. His first two weeks, however, were marked with terror, failure, and shame in roughly equal parts.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

Breakfast Topic: What you hope survives the cataclysm

It's no secret that certain things (and even whole zones, in their current state) are going to go the way of the dodo when Cataclysm arrives, and both players and developers have talked a lot about the changes in Azeroth and environs beyond. By contrast, today I'm interested in hearing about what you don't want to see eighty-sixed -- the quests you'd miss, the factions or NPC's you hope will cling to life, the dungeons or raids you don't want to see go gentle into that good night.

Personally, as dumb as I know this will probably sound, when I think about old Azeroth my mind immediately returns to a tiny quest called Until Death Do Us Part. It's started by a bitter Forsaken who wants you take a pendant to her husband's grave at the Sepulcher. If you only wanted to look at it in terms of game mechanics, then it's a Fed-Ex quest designed to get you across the ocean and questing in Silverpine, but even with all the improvements to questing today, it stands apart. It's a very long journey for a young character, and when you finally arrive at the Sepulcher and find the husband's grave, you realize you've come all this way to deliver a worthless trinket to someone who threw his life away on a hopeless cause. You turn it in and...that's it. There is no follow-up. There is no happy ending. There is, however, the feeling that there's more to the savagery of the Forsaken than meets the eye.

Blizzard is actually trying to move away from quests that emphasize text over cool visuals, and it makes me a little sad just because Until Death Do Us Part was, from a writing standpoint, a masterpiece of effective writing and quick exposition. I'm hoping that, out of all the quests that stand to get axed in Cataclysm, this little gem survives.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

Ask a Faction Leader: Cairne Bloodhoof


WoW.com's prestige in the community has afforded us the opportunity to speak to major Azerothian leadership figures on any subject, and we're letting you, the reader, Ask A Faction Leader!

We recently spoke to Prophet Velen, leader of the draenei, and he shed light on several key issues, including city construction, elven ingrates, natural history, and compromising positions. In this installment of Ask A Faction Leader, we'll be sitting with esteemed tauren chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof.

Our first reader question:

Dear Cairne,

Yesterday I was distressed to see a Tauren riding a Hawkstrider. Although I'm not much of a D.E.H.T.A. sympathizer, I think It's a bit cruel to be asking a poor beast like that to be heaving a 2 ton Minotaur up and around Azeroth. What really disturbed me though, is that later in the day, as I was walking through Dalaran, I saw the same Tauren sitting on his mount (hawkstrider) for about 30 minutes. Anyway, just thought I should bring it to your attention.

Jabijin,
Troll Rogue,
Mannoroth


Cairne responds:

Your concern for the native wildlife of Azeroth is heartening, young rogue. I, too, was worried for the health and safety of the hawkstriders when our blood elf allies originally began instructing us on how to ride them.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Ask a Faction Leader

Patch 3.2 PTR: Tauren Druid conversation may reveal lore and expansion secrets

Reader Chad forwarded us this screen shot of a conversation that takes place over on Elder rise in Thunder Bluff between two Tauren on the patch 3.2 PTR. Apparently it actually begins with a new quest by the Dalaran Portals, as pointed out in this thread at Scrolls of Lore, and while the quest leads nowhere, you do get to hear the linked dialogue.

In it, Aponi Brightmane, a wounded warrior who wishes to return the front lines in Northrend, and Tahu Sagewind, a Druid, speak together about the history of Druidism, the moon, and the sun. They speak of Elune, whom they know as Mu'sha, one of the eyes of the the Earth Mother. They mention that it seems strange that if Tauren were the first Druids as their legends claim, that all Hamuul Runetotem teaches is the moon power of the Night Elves. Tahu wonders if Druids themselves, because of this, are out of balance. The idea segues back into the idea of the world out of balance due to the influence of the Scourge, wondering if sitting idle in Thunder Bluff is really a good idea when the Northern front is so bleak, wondering if balance must needs to be returned by action.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Rumors

New zeppelin and portals coming in Patch 3.2


Another patch 3.2 announcement today, this time from Zaryhm concerning a few travel options in Azeroth.

First, there will be a new zeppelin route between Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar. We heard about this before, but now we know in what patch / context it will be released in.

Secondly, there will be portal in Stormwind and Orgrimmar leading directly to the Stair of Destiny at the Dark Portal. No more need to haul yourself out there at level 58. Just take a portal instead!

The portal in particular should help people level in Outland much easier. It should also help to significantly decrease the use of Hearthstones for traveling back and forth between Outland and Azeroth. Now you can fly to Shat in your 150% flying mount at 60, take a portal to Stormwind to train, and then portal right back to the entrance to Outland where you can hop on your flying mount again and return to grinding levels. Very quick, very easy, very smooth.

Filed under: News items

Zeppelin on its way to Thunderbluff?


That's right, when a player suggests that maybe a zeppelin should be flying around the Tauren city of Thunderbluff, Kisirani says only, "Okay." So, a zeppelin is coming to Thunderbluff? Certainly seems that way.

Makes a lot of sense -- Tauren originally had Plainsrunning, and if you've ever made that jaunt through their starting area, you'll know just how many plains you have to run across (of course, they didn't actually get it until level 40, so it wouldn't have helped them much there anyway, but still -- it's a run). And while you can pretty quickly fly into TB from Orgrimmar, it wouldn't hurt to have another point of departure. Kisirani doesn't say where the zepp will go, but maybe a flght up to Northrend wouldn't be out of the question either.

Wow, we got all that from "Okay." Behold the power of Kisirani! Maybe it doesn't mean there's a zepp on the way, but if that's the case we'd be happy with just a cow-tapult.

Filed under: Horde, Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

10 things I learned from a destitute alt on an RP realm

I have a few alts on an RP realm that I visit from time to time, and I remember thinking to myself at one point: "These characters are a bunch of deadbeats." I'd gotten too used to the alts on my main realm being a bunch of pampered brats, spoiled rotten by the presence of a hardworking main, so financial discipline had grown to be a thing of the past.

Not so on another realm where you don't have a main, and I realized that unless I went back to a few monetary basics, my alts would wind up dancing naked on mailboxes in pursuit of gold. This is a fine tactic with a long and storied history, but when your most promising alt is a level 16 Undead Mage, you're up the proverbial creek. No one wants to see a rotting, naked corpse.

So I started not being a deadbeat, and it was with surprise and delight that I logged on to find the little tyke sitting on a pretty respectable pile of gold by level 21 -- as in, he can afford to pay for his level 30 mount and training several times over, and still have enough left over to train himself all the way to 45 even if he doesn't make another penny.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Cooking, How-tos, Economy, Humor, Making money, Mounts, Alts

Breakfast Topic: What you call home

One of the more amusing things that polarizes WoW players is the various capital cities. Everyone has a favorite, very few people are ever neutral. Some of my friends like Ironforge for its simplicity, it's all laid out in a circle. Some like Stormwind for the truly city-like appearance. Some even like Darnassus because they have a thing for purple. Some of my friends wish we played Horde so we could have Orgrimmar, because I guess they need more spikes in their life or something. Me? I'm a Stormwind (and Silvermoon City) kind of guy, but Dalaran has stole my heart. Plenty of people hate Dalaran too, though.

Everyone just wants different things out of their cities. I like cities with tons of flavor, with a very city feel. Stormwind feels like people really live there, despite how small it is. Dalaran most definitely feels like a city of mages, and there's a ton of flavor and neat stuff to look at there. The fact that every single person who gives you directions in Dalaran has a name is crazy neat. The little daily event at 9 PM where you get to help turn on the lights is amazingly cool for how simple it is.

How about all of you, what's your favorite? What do you like about it, or dislike about the others? What would your ideal capital have, if you're not very fond of any of them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The Thunderstorm of Thunder Bluff


We've been hating on knockbacks a little bit, but after seeing the video above (from Hellfire-EU if I'm not mistaken) I have to admit they can cause some hilarious situations. This video has certainly been making the rounds- quite a few people wrote in about it, and it appeared in the comments section of our Breakfast Topic the other day.

There's plenty of cries of "nerf please!" when people see what happens here, but how often are you going to run across a situation like this? Fifty Alliance tightly packed in a little elevator unable to see what's above them? I think there are three locations like this in all of WoW. Assaulting Thunder Bluff may suck when the Horde knows you're there, but it's not that big of a deal overall. Hilarious when it happens, but it won't happen often. In smaller scale situations like a one on one or a one on two... well, don't get between the Shaman/Mage and the cliff, and you'll be fine, eh?

Filed under: Mage, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a tauren

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the sixth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The first cultural influence you'll probably think of when you see the tauren and walk around in their villages is "Native American." That's fine as far as it goes, but you should remember that they're mainly based on the stereotypical image of what Native Americans are rather than their actual reality. I'm hardly an expert on Native Americans, however, so rather than try and speak for these differences, I'm just going to put the whole issue aside and take tauren as tauren rather than parallels to any human culture. Besides, aside from certain aspects of architecture, music, clothing, and mythology, the tauren are really their own species. They are quite general enough to remind us of all kinds of different cultures around the world, many of whom cherish the earth, revere their ancestors, and try to live in harmony with the world.

Some people say that the tauren are the noblest and most peaceful of the races in World of Warcraft, but for most of their history, they have been at war with the vicious centaur -- though not by choice. The centaur have always been very hostile towards tauren, driving them out of their ancestral homelands, slaughtering them and even cannibalizing them whenever possible. In a way, the centaur seem like four-legged versions of the nastier trolls who never joined the Horde. When Thrall came to Kalimdor and encountered the tauren in the midst of their struggle against the centaur, it marked the beginning of one of the greatest changes in tauren history.

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Filed under: Horde, Tauren, Virtual selves, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Midsummer Fun: Where to begin

The Midsummer Fire Festival is represented relatively equally in all capital cities, so you don't need to worry about the entire Azerothian population being packed into Ironforge and Orgrimmar. Below is a list of where, exactly, the festivities are in each of the capital cities.

Alliance
  • Stormwind - Just north of the Mage District, west of the Trade District. Next to The Stockade.
  • Ironforge - At the far back of the city, in the Hall of Explorers.
  • Darnassus - Outside of the city proper, in Rut'theran Village, right by the dock to Auberdine.
  • Exodar - In the center of the Crystal Hall, the northmost wing of the city.
Horde
  • Undercity - Above ground in the courtyard, right by the city gates.
  • Silvermoon City - In the Court of the Sun, just outside of Murder Row.
  • Orgrimmar - In the Valley of Wisdom, just outside of Thrall's chambers.
  • Thunder Bluff - On the Spirit Rise, near the northwestern edge of the bluff.
Shattrath also has some of the activities these places have, but not everything. If all you're looking for is the Maypole or the daily quest Striking Back, Shattrath will do you fine. Otherwise, head to one of the locations listed above.

Filed under: Events, Walkthroughs, Guides

Midsummer Fun: A Thief's Reward

While not the fastest way to earn Burning Blossoms, stealing the opposing faction's flames is the most fun way to do it, I think. How do you steal the enemy's flame, you ask? Easy! Run into the heart of their capital city and click on their bonfire. Okay, maybe that isn't very easy, but knowing where you should be going makes it less difficult, at least.

To acquire to flames, simply run up to the bonfire and click on it like you would a chest or similar item. Once the casting bar has completed, the fire will be placed in your inventory automatically. Right click on that item to begin a quest, one quest for each fire. Unfortunately, these quests require level 50 to begin.

Alliance Flames
  • Exodar - The Exodar Flame is one of the more hidden simply due to the town's layout, but you'll run into the least amount of player resistance here. You'll find the Flame of Exodar in the back of The Crystal Hall, the northmost wing of the city's three wings.
  • Darnassus - You will run into a little more Alliance opposition here than in Exodar, since Alliance players generally pass through here to begin the Unusual Activity chain. Luckily, you don't even need to enter Darnassus itself to reach the flame. It is in Rut'Theran Village, a few steps away from the dock to/from Auberdine.
  • Ironforge - This is where you'll see the most Alliance interference, most likely. The flame is in the Hall of Explorers, far in the back of the city. If you want to avoid going through the front door and getting slammed by all of the players auctioning and banking at the front of the city, I recommend doing the Stormwind flame first and using the Deeprun Tram since it will take you pretty close to the Hall of Explorers. If Stormwind is highly populated on your server, you may want to do it the other way around.
  • Stormwind - This city has become fairly popular since The Burning Crusade, so this might challenge you more than Ironforge depending on your server. The Stormwind flame is just next to the Stockade. If you don't know where the Stockade is, go west from the Trade District and across the first bridge you see. If you look north along the Canals, you'll see the Stockade Meeting Stone. Run towards that, and the flame will be on your left. If you need to make a quick getaway or drop some heat from guard aggro, pop in there for a minute or two and people will forget all about you.
Horde Flames
  • Silvermoon City - If you play on an RP server, you'll probably run into a fair amount of opposition in this city. If you play on a PvP server, you'll probably skirt by without much issue. The Silvermoon flame is right on the edge of the Court of the Sun, just after you exit Murder Row. Murder Row has a distinct lack of guards, so if you need to drop some aggro, flailing wildly in this section is a good way to make the guards give up and go away. Oh, and if you play a gnome, you can hide from players under the lilypads in the fountain. I'm serious. It works.
  • Undercity - This is one of the more populated cities, but that's balanced out by the fact that it has the most exposed flame of them all. Ride straight in the front door, enter the courtyard, and it's on your left. Easy enough.
  • Orgrimmar - The flame is pretty close to Thrall's chambers in the Vallery of Wisdom, just a few steps away from the corpse of Mannoroth. There will be a lot of player interference in this area, but you can dodge and/or leash most of the guards if you enter the city from the side entrance and sneak along the back of the city. If you need to make a quick escape, dip down into the Cleft of Shadow and spend a few minutes inside Ragefire Chasm, just as Horde players can do with the Stockade.
  • Thunder Bluff - Your mileage may vary as far as the opposition you run into. I got in and out pretty clean, but this city's population varies wildly per server. The flame can be found on The Spirit Rise. The easiest route is to simply take the elevator up, ride straight to the bridge across, and then go straight for the flame. The guards from the main area of the city will leash on the bridge, and you likely won't pull more than one or two guards on your way to the flame.
What does stealing these flames get you? Well, each of them gives a guaranteed 25 Burning Blossoms, for a total of 100 if you gather all four flames. In addition, each of them allows you to pick one of the following: 5 Elderberry Pies, 5 Midsummer Sausages, 5 Fire-toasted Buns, 5 Toasted Smorcs, 10 Fiery Festival Brew, or 10 Handfuls of Summer Petals. Level 70s also receive 9 gold, 10 silver per quest. If all you want from the festival are those minor goodies, completing these can actually save you a fair amount of Blossoms. If you're after things like the dress or the vanity pet, it's not as good of a deal on the currency front.

So, what happens if you turn in all four of the flames? Well, I'm glad you asked! That is where the quest A Thief's Reward comes in. You turn the flames in at any of your own capital cities, and those same people will over this to you when they've gotten all four. 5 gold, 10 silver, and the Crown of the Fire Festival is your prize for all of your hard work. Blizzard really enjoys making hats hard to get, don't they?

Filed under: Events, Walkthroughs, Blizzard, Quests, Guides

Why have a bank alt?

So Zach posted one of my favorite recent articles about making sure your bank toon looks stylish while it's taking care of your business, and I was amazed when I read the comments to see that a few people were wondering what the whole point of a bank alt was at all.

I have to admit that I was once like them. Why should I give up one of my precious character spaces for some dude who will just sit around Thunder Bluff or Ironforge and do nothing but store stuff that I should just be using or auctioning anyway? Of course, now that I have a bank alt, I'm pretty happy with the concept. If you're someone who hasn't made one yet, I'll tell you why I think you'd be happy with one too after the break.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Making money, Alts

Breakfast Topic: Major city vibes


This morning, Damian Olson writes in with a concern that not all of the major WoW cities are created equal. In fact, he goes as far as to suggest that perhaps the Horde "got the short end of the stick" in comparison to their Alliance counterparts.

For example, he points out that Ironforge has an impressive entrance and heroic theme-music, while Undercity is a broken, sad place. What do you guys think? Does the lore behind each major city justify the design, or should some of the cities have been given a little more development love?

Personally, Undercity is my favorite city in the entire game, and I find parts of the Alliance capitols to be a bit overly patriotic and proud. How do you feel about the major cities, and what would you change if you could? Where do you feel most at home, and why (the racial capitol of your main or first character, etc)?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Lore

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