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Posts with tag Uldum

What If: Cult of the Mechanical

You guys remember the What If game, right, where Anne Stickney and I go back and forth on concocting a scenario for an expansion built around specific lore figures? Last time, Anne gave us Garona Halforcen, and ended up lobbing me Gelbin Mekkatorque. On the surface, Gelbin Mekkatorque is perhaps the most absurd choice for an expansion-defining villain yet. People like Velen, Shandris Feathermoon, or Alexstrasza may be unlikely, but they're at least active. Gelbin hasn't taken any significant action since the abortive reclamation of Gnomeregan. It's easy to forget just how astonishingly brilliant Gelbin actually is. This is the mind that invented the mechanostrider, that designed the Deeprun Tram, that built the first prototype of the now-infamous Dwarven Siege Engine.

Yet, despite his intelligence and the love the gnomes bear him (for his is an elected position, and the fact that Gelbin has held it despite his people's exile from their home city is evidence of their regard for him) Gelbin suffers greatly from his failures. His failure to protect Gnomeregan from the troggs, his failure to understand what his friend Sicco Thermaplugg was really up to and thus prevent the loss of his people's great city, and his failure to reclaim the city from Thermaplug over the past years since the Third War have all weighed heavily upon him.

Let us look now upon the slow transformation of gnomish society and consider that it might be too slow for the gnome who invented the fastest tram in the world.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

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: The history and origins of the mogu

Know Your Lore The history and origins of the mogu
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.

Of all the creatures in Pandaria, none have been quite so mysterious as the mogu. From day one they were presented as one of the villains in the saga of Pandarian history -- and although the days of the mogu empires were long over, their legacy lived on. Mogu architecture, mogu statues, mogu ruins, they all littered the landscapes of where we leveled. To the pandaren, the mogu were a threat, but one that had long since died out, leaving the race as little more than scary tales to tell the children at night.

Until Mists of Pandaria, and the arrival of the Alliance and Horde. With the sudden uprising of the mantid, the release of the sha, and the frightened movement of the yaungol, the pandaren had more than enough to contend with. The sudden explosion of mogu activity was just another addition to the pile -- and the appearance of the Zandalari as allies made the reappearance of this ancient threat even more dire.

But who are the mogu? Until patch 5.2, that mystery hadn't been fully defined. And it still may not be fully defined, but at least we have a slightly clearer picture.

Please note that today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 Lorewalkers content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Oh no, look what you've done

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.

There's a bit of a rant at the end of today's Queue. Enjoy?

SkarnWoW asked:

Are there new crafting patterns in 5.2? If so, what materials do they use? Will Blood Spirits still be useful for progression or only for catching up alts and new/returning players?

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Filed under: The Queue

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available
You know, of all the things I mourned about Cataclysm, I think highest on the list would have to be the fate of the tol'vir. Despite being a fascinating race in their own right, one that was absolutely ripe for potential, their story was overshadowed by yet another jaunt with Harrison Jones. It was disappointing, particularly because the end of the tol'vir story arc was so open-ended. What happened after the war was completed? What of the tol'vir now?

Quest for Pandaria attempts to answer a few of those questions in its latest installment as Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li continue their search for the lost continent. Upon heading to the sandy deserts of Uldum, both Chen and Li Li come face to face with the aftermath of the tol'vir war -- and deal with the consequences of the fallout in their own way. It's another small glimpse of the elusive tol'vir race, this time illustrated through the eyes of complete strangers to tol'vir society.

And it's also another well placed step towards rounding out Chen's character. I love Chen Stormstout, and I love the direction they're taking him. This is the third chapter to the four-part story written by Sarah Pine, and I think it's my favorite so far. You can take a look at the chapter in its entirety in the Expanded Universe section of Blizzard's official website.


Filed under: Lore, 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

'Tomb of the Forgotten' TCG set bursts forth for your purchase

Tomb of the Forgotten TCG set bursts forth for your purchase
If you like the towering dunes and monumental art of Uldum (or if you just like smacking down your enemies playing the WoW Trading Card Game), you'll like Tomb of the Forgotten. Now on sale, it also offers loot cards like the Sand Scarab, the Spurious Sarcophagus (so now you can trap yourself inside and recreate the Imhotep-gets-eaten-by-scarabs scene from The Mummy) or the White Camel, for you mount collectors.

Players of the TCG will take note of the new Sentinel mechanic introduced in this set, which "lets you double up on attack or defense." You'll also want to pick up the complete Monster line-up, which includes rogue, priest and paladin heroes. There are also dual-class monster heroes and murlocs. You had me at murlocs.

Head over to either the WoW TCG page or Blizzard for details.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Blizzard, WoW TCG, Cataclysm

The OverAchiever: Achievements to do before it's too late

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Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, time is of the essence. Where have we heard that before?

I recently talked to a player who managed to solo most, though not all, of the Glory of the Hero achievements from Wrath. He mentioned ones like Share the Love that been impossible to complete without putting a group together, and as you can imagine, getting four more players for heroic Wrath achievements isn't the easiest thing in the world at 85. People who want the achievement for their alts are rarely interested in doing a meta piecemeal, and this is probably going to get worse, rather than better, once account-wide achievements go active. Once someone's got a red proto-drake on one character, they almost certainly won't repeat the process on one of their alts.

The vast majority of achievements get easier as you level up, but the canny achievement hunter will pay attention to the ones that don't. As the game changes, players' priorities and interests change, and older content has a tendency to fall by the wayside. It's best to strike while the iron is hot.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Uldum

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape.

On the southern end of Kalimdor, a forgotten civilization hides behind otherworldly technology, forged by the Titans to protect the great machinery of Reorigination. The tol'vir, great protectors of the ancient machinery, stand stalwart against the corruption and fighting. Some tol'vir have succumbed to the aqir long ago, but the civilization remained unknown to the whole of Azeroth. After Deathwing's violent breach from the Maelstrom changed the world forever, the resulting chaos broke the shield that hid Uldum and revealed its sands. Now, Deathwing and his allies fight to corrupt the tol'vir and bring chaos to Uldum and beyond.

Uldum continued the Cataclysm zone progression by moving you from the rocky, subterranean world of Deepholm into an open-air desert, a welcome change for the claustrophobic adventurer. Giant pyramids, monumental statues, and an Egyptian motif made Uldum one of the most beautiful and well-realized zones in Cataclysm. As players embarked on two very distinct quest lines, the story of Uldum unfolded as the forces of the wind broke the Skywall through the desert sky and into Azeroth's realm. On the other side of the zone, players were sent on a sprawling adventure with fan favorite Harrison Jones on a bumbling expedition to figure out the purpose of the Obelisks of Uldum and get into some wacky trouble.

This is going to be the most controversial of the Cataclysm post-mortems. I can feel it. Uldum was a zone that people either loved or hated during the content push to 85. We are going to try to keep it civil.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Does Cataclysm have too much potential content?

I was running around Uldum recently, doing the Ramkahen quests on yet another new 85, when it occurred to me that Uldum itself feels like the story has barely been told. Sure, we run around doing odd jobs for Harrison Jones, then we infiltrate the Halls of Origination and turn off the big doomsday device Algalon was going to use on us. And sure, we eventually crash into the Vortex Pinnacle and Throne of the Four Winds to stop Al'Akir and his minions. But what about the connection between Silithus and Uldum?

We know that Ahn'Qiraj was a lost titan city and that the Tol'vir were assigned to it, that entities like Ossirian were once watchers like Setesh. (Setesh's model is nearly identical to the Anubisath that patrol AQ today.) It just feels like, with C'thun obviously driving Cho'gall around even after his "death," that there's room for a whole raid just dealing with the lost connections between AQ and Uldum. The lost passages of the titan research facility that the Qiraji took over? (We know from Uldaman and Ulduar that titan constructions tend to go on for miles and miles.)

And that's hardly even the top of the list of raid instances we could see. A lot of us hoped for and expected an Abyssal Maw raid of some kind. There's a lot of talk about another Caverns of Time instance or raid with Nozdorumu's return. And I can't be the only one who keeps thinking that Grim Batol has entire layers we haven't seen yet. Heck, there are whole terraces in Deepholm we visit once and never go back to, and that whole zone is massive and cries out for more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

The OverAchiever: The curious case of the Grey Riding Camel

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we begin an epic search for transportation across the Uldum sands.

The developers' strangest and most eccentric additions to the game often wind up numbering among the things that make World of Warcraft truly great, and -- fortunately for this column -- many of them are achievements as well. Today, I'd like to talk about something that, strictly speaking, is not yet an achievement. As of the most recent PTR build (13750), we know that it's going to be one in patch 4.1, and I am highly delighted that the Grey Riding Camel is now fair game for OverAchiever.

If you've followed Cataclysm zone or reputation news at all since the beta hit, you've probably known about the two camel mounts available at exalted with the Ramkahen faction. Getting them is a pretty straightforward process: Quest in Uldum, meet the kitty people, buy the kitty tabard, get the kitty people to fall in love with you -- and sooner or later, a Brown or Tan Riding Camel will result. Actually, that makes the process sound a lot more salacious than it really is, but I digress.

The Grey Riding Camel has always been different, and in order you get one, you'll engage in a little quest worthy of the zone's Indiana Jones feel. As with all Indiana Jones stories, it all starts when you find a valuable artifact after an agonizing search ...

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Silence 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.

Once upon a time, godlike creatures of order called Titans landed on a small, unassuming planet named Azeroth and proceeded to reorganize it. After they left, the planet was invaded by malevolent creatures called Old Gods -- creatures of chaos and destruction. The Titans returned to the little planet, horrified at what had happened, and rose up against the Old Gods and their elemental lieutenants in what was the most horrific war the planet had ever seen. But instead of destroying the Old Gods, the Titans were forced to imprison them deep within the planet.

They set safeguards over the fragile world -- draconic aspects to watch over the various domains of life, the earth, magic, time, and nature. They created new guardians to watch over the prisons of the Old Gods. They created a magical font of energy, tied to the Twisting Nether -- the Well of Eternity. And satisfied with their work, the Titans left. No one on the fragile planet has seen them since; they are spoken of in history and in legend, but they've never returned.

Why? Of all the questions in Azeroth, this is the biggest by far. Why did the Titans imprison the Old Gods, instead of starting over from scratch? Common theory suggests they liked the planet too much to re-originate it, yet they left behind safeguards that would do exactly that, if the Old Gods escaped again. So why not simply do so to begin with? Why leave the world as it stood? More importantly -- why are we here?

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 it happened. The events presented are events that happened in Azeroth's history, but the conclusion is simply a theory and shouldn't be taken as fact.

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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

Cataclysm Daily Quests, Part 5: Uldum, Twilight Highlands and daily priorities

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Welcome to part 5 of the epic guide to Cataclysm daily quests! Previously, we discussed profession dailies, Therazane dailies, Tol Barad permanent dailies, and Tol Barad dailies received by the faction in control of Tol Barad. Today, we'll wrap up the last few dailies in Uldum and Twilight Highlands and then discuss getting the most out of your Cataclysm daily limit.

Uldum dailies There are only two dailies in Uldum, one infinitely preferable to the other. The first is a short, sweet, entertaining quest called Thieving Little Pluckers. It's fast, fun to do, located near the center of Uldum where you port in, and awards 150 reputation with Ramkahen, otherwise known as the guys who'll sell you a camel when you hit exalted.

The other, Fire From the Sky, is the daily version of the quest by the same name that is part of the Harrison Jones quest line. This was hands down the most broken, miserable quest I had to do on my way to 85. It involves using a cannon vehicle to shoot slow-moving bombs at tiny, moving soldiers on a large map. Initially, all players shared the available mobs; grouped players' kills did not count for other group members; and worst, you couldn't see any bombs except your own. The group you'd been oh so carefully targeting would blow up seconds before your bomb hit, leading to massive nerd rage.

Luckily, this has been hotfixed. Mobs are still shared, but group kills count for everyone, and all players' bomb targets are visible on the map. I still advise skipping it as soon as you get the associated achievement.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

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