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Posts with tag Uldaman

Depths of Uldaman: Why we should go back

Depths of Uldaman Why we should go back
I wrote a KYL this week talking about Uldaman, and one thing became clear to me very quickly - there's a ton of things we haven't done in Uldaman yet. We barely explore the place at all, really - the Map Room we find during the dungeon clearly shows many, many more buildings than the few we actually explore, and it's telling that the Reliquary dig and the Explorer's League digsite are half the length of the Badlands away from each other. Furthermore, the long Wrathion quest chain makes it clear that there was a lot going on in Uldaman - the Eye of the Watchers used to purify Wrathion's egg comes from Uldaman.

Uldaman is often referred to as one of three Titan cities along with Uldum and Ulduar, but unlike those two it has barely been explored due to its position buried beneath the Badlands. It's possible that the original Uldaman complex reaches as far as Khaz Modan (both Gnomeregan and Ironforge are settled by beings that would have traced their descent to Uldaman, and the troggs flooding into Gnomeregan are escaping from Titan vaults that are part of the Uldaman complex) which would mean that its size rivals the Storm Peaks Titan complexes that were part of the Forge of Wills inside Ulduar or the vast Uldum ruins.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Titan facilities of Azeroth

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.

Let's just be up front about this now -- the Titans left stuff everywhere. It would be hard to disbelieve in them, frankly. They left bases, research stations, fortresses, labs and more. We don't even know what everything they left behind originally did or why it was there in many cases. Some places have somewhat clear reasons for existing (Ulduar, for instance, was tasked with holding the Old God Yogg Saron prisoner, but the Halls of Stone and Lightning point to other goals for the complex) but others, such as the ruined complex now known as Ahn'Qiraj was simply a 'research facility', and we have no idea what it was researching or why such a complex was needed so close to Uldum.

At any rate, there are a lot of Titan complexes currently known of on Azeroth.

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

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The dark secrets of the mogu

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition The dark secrets of the mogu 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 were once rulers of an empire that rivaled the Zandalar in size and scope, but they possessed powers far greater than the trolls could ever dream of. They used their power to shape the grummels and saurok from the lesser races of Pandaria. They enslaved the pandaren race as a whole, using them to build structures and gather supplies all under threat of their iron fists. Their great empires trace back to thousands of years ago, before even the War of the Ancients, and possibly before the rise of the kaldorei race.

The mogu are one of the clear villains of this expansion, and our arrival denotes the sudden uprising of this strange, curious, violent race. While the mogu may have been relatively quiet for centuries, they are certainly far from it now. And as we make our way through Pandaria we see more and more evidence that these violent beings are on the move -- something that disturbs the gentle pandaren greatly. The mogu hide secrets, and over the course of raiding, we uncover a few.

But their greatest secret may just be something so unfathomable, so bizarre, that it shakes the roots of everything we currently know and believe.

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 and what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains some content spoilers from Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Algalon the Observer

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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.
I have seen worlds bathed in the Makers' flames. Their denizens fading without so much as a whimper. Entire planetary systems born and razed in the time that it takes your mortal hearts to beat once.
The Titans are creatures of myth and mystery to the mortals of Azeroth. While some Azerothians (most notably Brann Bronzebeard) seek to unravel their secrets, most remain blissfully unaware and uncaring of the origins of the world. But the mysteries Brann works so hard to uncover more often than not raise far more questions than they answer, and in some cases, create havoc that could reduce our world to ashes in the blink of an eye.

In Ulduar, Brann sought to uncover the further secrets of the origin of the dwarves, something that the Explorer's League has been working on since the early days of WoW and the first player steps into the Titan stronghold of Uldaman. But what Brann uncovered was a massive facility that wasn't just for the storage of information from times long past. The facility of Ulduar and its corrupt Titans weren't anywhere near as much of a threat to the world as what came after Loken's defeat in the Halls of Lightning. For it was the moment of his defeat that the failsafe was tripped and the signal was sent.

And it was Loken's death that heralded the arrival of Algalon the Observer and the end of the world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Uldaman, Ulduar, and Uldum, strongholds of the Titans

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.

In the beginning, Azeroth existed as a simple planet floating in the midst of space (or the great dark beyond, as it's sometimes called). There is very little out there in terms of the history of Azeroth's creation, but what little we do know is this: Azeroth attracted the attention of creatures called Titans, godlike beings that traveled from world to world, creating order from chaos and leaving planets teeming with life. The Titans did to Azeroth as they did to countless other worlds before: They created seed races to inhabit the little planet, encouraging life to grow. Along with the seed races, they created the earthen -- stone beings that were meant to maintain the order the Titans had cultivated. Satisfied with their work, the Titans left.

It was some time after the Titan's departure that disaster struck. The little planet caught the eye of malevolent creatures known as Old Gods. The Old Gods strive for chaos and destruction, the exact opposite of everything the Titans create. Azeroth, still new to the universe, crumpled under the assault. However, the Titan-created earthen presented a problem that required a creative solution. The Old Gods, seeing that these creatures were made of rock and stone, released a disease called the Curse of Flesh -- the originator of many of the species that roam Azeroth today.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Lore of Ulduar


One of the things I really love about Ulduar is how interconnected it is to the lore of older Azerothian instances and new Wrath content like the Storm Peaks. (I have no idea who that mermaid is, though.) If you ran Uldaman back in the day, or even as you leveled characters more recently, you got to see a smashed, ruined installation of the Titans with lore characters like Ironaya and Archaedas (both of whom even have nice little shout outs in the Ulduar-10 loot table) and got a nice dose of the backstory for the creation of Azeroth. I think it was my lovely and talented wife who pointed out that Ulduar references lore from Ashenvale (the Master's Glaive), the Badlands (Uldaman itself), even Ahn'Qiraj and all of that lore is not just evident in the massive construction of Ulduar (you could even call it titanic, if you wanted a lot of people to groan at you) but in the sheer scale of bosses available. Only Naxxramas has more, and Ulduar has the edge in that several of its boss encounters have hard modes as well.

Ulduar also does a really excellent job of making you part of the lore of the place. If you leveled through the Storm Peaks, you most likely took part in the extended and rewarding quest chains that allowed you to interact with the Sons of Hodir, took part in the Hyldsmeet, and eventually raided the Halls of Lightning themselves to slay the Prime Designate himself. I'm trying really hard not to spoil anything, so suffice it to say that if you played through all of that content, you are directly responsible not only for the presence of one of the watchers within Ulduar itself, but for the potential upcoming end of the world. I find that to be rather motivating for going into the place, and they did a really excellent job of tying it all together.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Blizzard opens up old instances to soloers, changes quest items

Blue poster Daelo has good news for people aiming to solo old instances -- Blizzard has made a few changes to the way keys and unlocks work in the old dungeons, so that you no longer need keys or multiple people to get to the good stuff. The rituals in Blackrock Spire and Uldaman only require one click now, and quintessence (in Molten Core to summon Executus before the Ragnaros fight), the Scepter of Celebras (in Maraudon), and the Mallet of Zul'Farrak (in the ZF, obviously) are no longer needed to do their jobs. Additionally, Nightbane will be accessible in Karazhan without the Blackened Urn.

Some may be disappointed that items we worked so hard for are now pretty much useless, but as you probably know by now, that's the way of things when an expansion hits. The good news, obviously, is that people running through instances solo or with just a few people will be able to hit all the content they couldn't get to before. And if you happen to be running the content, you won't need to worry about whether you left the Mallet in the bank or forgot the Scepter on a Princess run.

And unfortunately, collectors will be left out as well -- most of the items will actually change form into weapons or other useless objects, so even if you have the old items, they won't be usable in the same way. Sure, the Mallet was a pain to get, but it'll be a little sad to see it disappear in the way we know it forever.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW's new wave of new gamers

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

When I received a news tip from from Rainnajax of US Uldaman-H about being an "older female gamer," I admit that I rolled my eyes. Please, not another one who thinks having two X chromosomes makes her the most special snowflake ... Not another one who thinks being over 30 years old qualifies her as one of the Ancients ... When I read her entire email, though, I realized Rainnajax's experience was actually intriguing – but not for the reasons she thought.

While Rainnajax may perceive herself as something still a little unusual among WoW players, I see her as the type of player who's becoming the new norm. She's less remarkable for being female or "older" – or even for belonging to a well known gay and bi-friendly guild -- than she is for being among the new wave of players who'd never imagined themselves playing a video game ... until they tried WoW. MMORPGs are no longer the province of a single type of player anymore. Rainnajax is here as an example of today's new-to-gaming, non-gender- or age-specific player.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Maintenance for June 17th will be short

Here's a heads-up to all our North American night owls early risers and Oceanic readers: It's Tuesday morning, and that means maintenance. Luckily, it's a short one today. Bornakk has said that they expect most servers to only be down a half hour, starting at 5AM PDT and ending a 5:30AM PDT. There are some extra servers that will be down slightly longer, until 6:30AM PDT. Those servers will be listed after the break. Aussies can rejoice as well, as any Oceanic servers not on this list won't be taken down until 5AM AEST (Which is noon over here on the American west coast).

For the list of servers that will have a longer downtime, read on:

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

WotLK Bestiary Update: Iron Dwarves

The WoTLK Bestiary has been updated today with the next monster in the series: the Iron Dwarf. These fearsome creatures, uncovered by the Dwarven Explorer's League in the Howling Fjord, are apparently a missing link between the Earthen and the Dwarves, an Iron-skinned race with runes of power etched on their skin. Unfortunately, they appear to be nearly as surly and destructive as the Troggs, not only fighting against the Explorer's League, but outright destroying any artifacts that the Explorer's League could find useful.

There's not too much info on them yet, only a few paragraphs and a sketch, but it's certainly exciting to see a new chapter in the storyline of the Dwarves. The Iron Dwarves look like they may be the next step in the storyline that began at Uldaman, another piece of the puzzle of the Titans, so that could have reprecussions for all races, and give us more insight into the origin of Azeroth itself. Perhaps we'll encounter more of them at Ulduar, or at the ancient Dwarven citadel of Thor Modan, or find out that they have their own copy of the Plates of Uldum or other such historical artifacts.

Filed under: Dwarves, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Select realms to undergo maintenance (updated!)


Drysc reports that a number of realms are under investigation for performance issues and will be undergoing a scheduled maintenance at 5:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, March 12 with a foreseeable downtime of 1 hour (update: Zorayn notes that downtime will be extended to 2 hours as opposed to one). As Drysc edits the thread, realms are added (or removed) regularly. From a quick perusal of the realms, it seems as though it is the Nightfall Battlegroup that is affected. Blizzard currently lists the affected realms as follows:

Aerie Peak
Altar of Storms
Alterac Mountains
Anvilmar
Arygos
Blackwing Lair
Deathwing
Demon Soul
Doomhammer
Gnomeregan
Icecrown
Jaedenar
Kel'Thuzad
Lethon
Onyxia
Sentinels
Tanaris
The Venture Co
Uldaman
Undermine

Drysc further notes that other Battlegroups are under close observation and will be taken down for maintenance should any issues arise that might require it.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, Forums

Drysc weighs in on the mysterious lost Titan city of Uldum

The Lorekeeper of Norgannon, in Uldaman.It seems like the possibilities of Uldum, in Southern Tanaris, have sparked the imagination of lore fans and adventurers ever since the first person turned in the Discs of Norgannon out of Uldaman. The wealth of Information we recieve from the quest about the intentions of the Titans (those whom the disc calls "The Creators") and the origin of not only the Dwarves, but possibly every sentient race on Azeroth, is tremendous, and Uldum only promises to bring more of it, revealing incredible secrets about the origin of life on this and perhaps other worlds.

Unfortunately, since we apparently need the Plates of Uldum to access it, it remains closed for now, and we're stuck with speculation about what could lurk in its halls. However, today, Drysc commented on the possibilities himself in a forum thread. While all he really confirmed is that they DO plan to open it at some point, it's still more than enough of a bone to get the old speculation machine turning.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Filed under: Dwarves, Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Lore, RP, NPCs, Forums, Rumors

Phat Loot Phriday: Galgann's Fireblaster


As you may have heard, I've been playing my old Hunter quite a bit lately, and she's got this baby still sitting in her bank. And while this is definitely not an endgame item, it still stands up as a great midgame ranged weapon (and one of the few good reasons to go into Uldaman).

Name: Galgann's Fireblaster (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowdigger)
Type: Rare Gun
Damage/Speed: 56-106 / 2.60 (31.2 DPS)
Abilities:
  • Chance to strike your ranged target with a fire blast for 12-18 damage. This procs fairly often-- players have it at around 20% of the time. It's not a huge add, but at a point where most ranged weapons are just ranged weapons, it's pretty nice.
  • And this gun, to me, is what Warcraft firearms should be all about-- a huge musket with a little steampunk feeling, and lots of explosions. This could be my favorite standard, workhorse gun in the game.
How to Get It: Straight off of Galgann Firehammer himself. He's a dwarf in one of the digs of Uldaman, the instance everybody loves to hate. The good news is that he's right near the side entrance to the instance, so it's pretty easy to duck in (you'll have to have someone sneak in and open the door for you, or just clear to the side), kill him enough to get this gun (droprate is about 15-20%, and it seems to me to be even higher than that), and then get out, bypassing all those annoying troggs at the end of the instance.

And it's an excellent gun for the level once you get it, too-- unless you can find the old Boomstick lying around, this gun will easily last you for up to 10 levels, from the early forties till level 50.

Getting Rid of It: Sells to vendors for 1g 66s 81c, and disenchants into a Large Radiant Shard.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday

Insider Trader: A disenchanted profession

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Back in the early days of the Azerothian economy, enchanters performed enchants with their own mats. You didn't sell anything you didn't have all the mats for, with the exception of special items such as Righteous Orbs for exclusive, high-end enchants like Crusader. When you were out of mats, you closed up shop for the day. Players laughed in your face if you asked them to provide their own mats, and anything for sale on the Auction House was overpriced to the nth degree. Enchanters developed relationships with crafters in other professions to create items that disenchanted into useful components. Players who leveled enchanting purely to disenchant items and sell the resulting reagents were frowned upon and hid their identities behind banker alts and mules.

Today, it's a disenchanter's market. Disenchanting has become a profitable "gathering" profession in and of itself. Groups expect enchanters to "shard" items on the spot during instance runs so that members can choose a more valuable shard instead of an undesirable BoP drop. Disenchanting is a whole new "profession"! Read on for Insider Trader's look at disenchanting as a money-making venture in its own right.

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Filed under: Enchanting, How-tos, Guides, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions)

Level tweaking on instances 1-60 in patch 2.3

Hopefully you were just as excited as I was yesterday to see that specifics about leveling improvements have been announced, as well as about 60 brand new midlevel quests (!) in Dustwallow Marsh. And as we heard, low level dungeons are getting tweaked, too, though not in any way I would have imagined. Blizzard, it sounds like, is going to be streamlining them, changing them from (for example with Shadowfang Keep) a 18-25 level dungeon, to an 18-21.

But waitaminute-- we've already got dungeons from 18-21. Wailing Caverns and Deadmines, specifically, and moving SFK up to 21 leaves a hole before Stockades and Blackfathom Deeps. What gives?

What gives, says Bornakk, is that Blizzard is streamlining the whole experience, which means all the instances are going to be given this same tweaking. BFD, Stockades, RFK, Gnomer (ooh, interesting) are all going to be streamlined to be finished before 30, where, Bornakk says, Scarlet Monastery, RFD, and Uldaman will await characters. In essence it sounds like the clumps of leveling 1-60 are getting evened out, and that big hole around the mid 30s (where STV is your only choice) is getting filled in.

Sounds great to me. I'm especially excited about Dustwallow Marsh-- I have three or four characters languishing in their mid 30s, so new quests there will be much appreciated. And Blizzard is always watching how we play-- if new content in the 30s is as popular as I suspect it will be, maybe they can consider adding in even more midlevel content for alts and newbies.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling

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