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Posts with tag Thunder-King

Know Your Lore: The lost tales of Pandaria

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.

Mists of Pandaria was packed with a lot of story, each of its 'acts' dovetailing into the next. It wasn't quite as expansive as the myriad plot points that were introduced with Cataclysm, but Cataclysm also included a revamp of almost every level 1-60 zone in the game, with both quests and the stories of the zones themselves getting a shot of new story content. When Cataclysm was winding down to its inevitable end, I reviewed several of the plot points left in the expansion -- story hooks that we might or might not see addressed later. There are still many out there left untouched.

It only seemed appropriate, in the waning weeks of Mists, to do the same. Although Mists didn't have quite the variety as Cataclysm, there were still moments of potential story that were left unanswered -- tales without an ending, problems or puzzles we still don't have an answer to. And as we move forward into Warlords of Draenor, we can only wonder if, or when, we'll see these elements pop up again.

Please note: The following post contains some spoilers for the novel War Crimes.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The life and legacy of Lei Shen

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.

Once upon a time, somewhere in the dawn of Azeroth's history, before the Sundering split the world in two, there was a race of warlords called the mogu. Violent and cruel, the mogu fought relentlessly against everything -- including each other. That is, until one day when one mogu sought out the history and secrets of his people's past, discovering that they were creatures of far more potential, far more purpose than any had realized. It was a secret long forgotten, and the mighty Lei Shen not only uncovered it, but brought that secret back to his people.

For untold years after Lei Shen emerged from the depths of the Isle of Thunder, the mogu reigned supreme on Pandaria. They captured and enslaved the weaker races, forcing them into servitude. It was not until after the death of Lei Shen that the pandaren race finally rose up with the hozen, the jinyu, and even the grummles to disrupt and reduce the armies of the mogu to rubble, taking the continent of Pandaria back as their own and ruling in peace.

In the waning hours of Lei Shen's inevitable downfall at the hands of Azeroth's heroes, we'll soon be leaving these relics of ages past behind, and instead focusing on the future of our world. But the history of the mogu, the history of Lei Shen is not a tale we should soon forget.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available for purchase next week, on July 2. We've already published a spoiler-free review of the novel, which features the Darkspear leader Vol'jin as he recuperates from his near-assassination in the Dagger in the Dark scenario. The novel is something a little different for Blizzard, featuring a story that not only stands apart from the gameplay of Mists of Pandaria, but features a new author as well -- Michael Stackpole, whose writing spans both fantasy and sci-fi, with notable works in both the Battletech and Star Wars universe.

Blizzard was kind enough to let us have a chat with both Mike Stackpole and Micky Neilson, Lead Story Developer at Blizzard, regarding Shadows of the Horde, its development, and the intricacies of writing that oh-so-troublesome troll accent.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Review of Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole

Review of Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole
I've been dying for a good troll novel. Despite their longevity in Warcraft's timeline, we really haven't seen much of anything regarding the troll race, their traditions, their customs, the loa -- none of the rich history that has been cultivated and told over the years. Needless to say, I was very excited when Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde was announced at the New York Comic Con last year -- and even more so when Michael Stackpole was revealed as the author of the book.

A prolific author, Stackpole has written a ton of books set in the Star Wars universe as well as BattleTech and a variety of original works as well. Familiar with both fantasy and sci-fi, Stackpole is an impressive author in his own right -- and his realm of expertise with both guaranteed he'd be a good fit for the Warcraft universe and its unique approach to fantasy. So how did Shadows of the Horde hold up?

This is quite possibly one of the darkest novels in the Warcraft stable. And it's brilliant.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Lore updates for the official World of Warcraft site

Lore updates for the official World of Warcraft site
Making sure to keep things up to date as we rush towards patch 5.4, the official site has not remained idle. If you're interested in the lore of the game and what's been going on, there's now three new features to take a look at. There's this synopsis of Patch 5.2's Thunder King storyline, which gives players an outline of why the Horde and Alliance forces are taking part in the operation. Then there's a round up of patch 5.3, explaining the Darkspear Rebellion and the Alliance's intelligence operations in Durotar.

Finally, if you're interested in the lore, there's this new character page which gives you a brief rundown of the various figures of import. Especially nice is that each individual's page has links to related characters and content that can tell you more about them. So head on over to the official site and take a look.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, 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

Patch 5.2: The Thunder King official trailer

We may not have gotten a trailer for patch 5.1, but we've certainly got a good one for patch 5.2! In a departure from earlier trailers, the trailer for 5.2 skips the narration and instead features some eloquent poetry courtesy of Lorewalker Cho. The trailer comes hot on the heels of the release candidate on the 5.2 PTR, suggesting that perhaps we should be expecting that patch next week. Pull on your troll-killing boots and prepare for a raid the likes of which we haven't seen since Ulduar. The Thunder King comes!

I'm awfully excited for this patch, and even more excited to see a new trailer from Blizzard. We haven't had a proper patch trailer since patch 4.3 -- and this particular trailer is a vast, vast improvement from the Hour of Twilight trailer in Cataclysm. What do you guys think? Are you ready for patch 5.2?


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Heroic 25-player raid testing announced

We're almost there! I'm not sure if this is the last batch of testing to occur but over the next few days, a flurry of 25-player heroic raid testing will be available for players on the PTR. The current build on the PTR has reached release candidate status which certainly means we're getting closer and closer to the patch 5.2 being deployed on to the live servers. Be sure to grab yourself a full suit of tier 15 gear before storming these heroic bosses though. Expect your gear to scale up to help you in your efforts.

WoW Insider Throne of Thunder boss impressions

Today's blue post with full details can be found behind the cut below.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Killing Throne of Thunder's Ji-Kun

Patch 52 PTR JiKun
Rejoining Lore from TankSpot and his guild Months Behind, Ji-Kun was our next target. Hers is an interesting fight, which somewhat split the group's opinions, leaving us undecided on whether it was genius or gimmick.

Rather like Alysrazor in Firelands, Ji-Kun has a mechanic involving feathers. Actually, she has several mechanics involving feathers, if you include Quills, but the main one I'm thinking of here, indeed the main mechanic of the fight as it is intended, is Daedalian Wings. The tooltip isn't enormously useful here, but this is the buff received by players when they loot feathers from killing off the Hatchlings in one of the nests. Ji-Kun is positioned on a very elevated platform in the center of a circular room, with five other platforms positioned around the edge, below her level, and four more platforms positioned above her.

These platforms are the key to this fight, which, apart from their mechanic, is, frankly, rather dull. Some of your party will be traveling to and from the lower platforms, while most will likely remain on the upper.

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Filed under: Raiding

Know Your Lore: The Zandalari

Know Your Lore The Zandalari 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.

They are the first of the troll Empires, the first of the troll tribes, and in fact, the first of trolls as a cohesive race. The Zandalari have seen it all, from the very dawn of civilization to the evolution of the night elves to the Sundering to countless wars to present day. They have been watching both the culture and the assorted tribes of trolls splinter further and further, into smaller and smaller tribes. They have been watching as their race continues down the slow path towards eventual extinction, with little choice in the matter.

The Zandalari are tired of watching. As some of the first known intelligent races on Azeroth, they have seen it all, from vast troll Empires to splintered sub-groups. They are not about to walk that path to extinction quietly. After all, there's another, far more ingenious option available. And although their first plan may have failed, their second plan is far more likely to succeed, given the strength of their allies of old. In patch 5.2, we're about to face off with the Zandalari for the second time -- the first being the revamp of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman in Cataclysm.

But who are the Zandalari? Why should we care about this random group of trolls over any other?

Please note: This post contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.2 PTR: Ji-Kun, Durumu, and Primordius raid testing announced

Patch 52 PTR JiKun, Durumu, and Primordius raid testing announced
Three bosses will be available for Throne of Thunder testing today, all on the 10-man difficulty. If this is your first time testing, your gear will automatically be scaled up to meet the ilevel required in this raid zone. Tier 15 gear should also now be available from the Flaskataur NPC in front of the faction shrines so consider picking up a set and testing those out in addition to the encounters! Not sure how to find the raid zone? Here's how you can get into the Throne of Thunder.

WoW Insider Throne of Thunder boss impressions
The blue post announcing today's testing can be found behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Introduction to Thunder Isle

Patch 52 PTR Introduction to Thunder Isle
With patch 5.2 slowly getting closer to a release on live servers, a minor quest has been added for both factions to help send players to the Isle of the Thunder King. You'll see a quest discovery on the side where you'll be summoned.

Your help is needed.

Warning: Spoilers for patch 5.2 content incoming! Don't hit the link if you don't want to know what happens or why the Alliance and Horde are here!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Additional Wrathion quest sound files

Spoilers Additional Wrathion quest sound files
Spoiler Alert: Adriacraft has been back with more of their datamined audio files, and wow, these ones have some spoilers in them. If you don't want to have spoilers about Wrathion's questline, or anything else for that matter, definitely don't watch the video, or hit the break to read any more of this post.

Final Warning: Spoilers after the break. Really big spoilers. Do not hit the link below if you don't want to know.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Tier 15 set bonuses unveiled in latest PTR patch

Tier 15 set bonuses unveiled in latest PTR patch
The latest build in development for the patch 5.2 PTR has brought us a first glimpse at the tentative set bonuses for tier 15. Wowhead released the datamined information yesterday evening and some of the set bonuses are mighty interesting. Take for example, the rogue two-piece bonus, which increases the duration of finishing moves as though the rogue had an additional combo point ... Up to a maximum of six points. The DPS death knight two-piece also sounds a bit interesting; check it out below.

Death knight
  • Blood two-piece Reduces the cooldown of your Rune Tap ability by 10 sec and removes its Rune cost.
  • Blood four-piece Your Bone Shield ability grants you 15 Runic Power each time one of its charges is consumed.
  • DPS two-piece Your attacks have a chance to raise the spirit of a fallen Zandalari as your Death Knight minion for 15 sec.
  • DPS four-piece Increases the duration of Army of the Dead by 15 sec.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR now live; character copies available

When Blizzard said that the PTR for patch 5.2 would be available early January, they really meant early January! The PTR is now available, with character copies and level 90 premades ready to go. Patch 5.2 will bring the Thunder King raid and a number of other additions, including:
  • A new daily quest hub: The Isle of the Thunder King -- the Kirin-Tor Offensive and the Sunreaver Onslaught face off to lay claim to Emperor Lei Shen's island stronghold and the treasures contained therein.
  • Two new world bosses, Nalak the Storm Lord and Oondasta
  • An option to purchase Sunsong Ranch to make it a resting point like an inn. Work orders will come in from various factions, and completing the work orders will grant you reputation with the issuing faction.
  • All world bosses are now Tap to Faction. This new system offers every eligible player of the same faction that engages a boss the chance to earn loot.
  • And more!
Check out all of our patch 5.2 coverage right here.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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