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Posts with tag Undermine

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Mists 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.

I never thought in a million years that I'd be revisiting the topic of the pandaren, but it looks like it's now something worth discussing. Earlier this week, it was discovered that Blizzard filed a new trademark for something called "Mists of Pandaria." Blizzard's done this before, filing the Cataclysm trademark back in 2009 before the expansion was announced. This has led to the assumption that the mysteriously named "Mists of Pandaria" is lined up to be the next expansion. Needless to say, this information was so far out of left field that it appeared to be coming in from the right.

But let's think about this from a lore standpoint. All expansions need a storyline behind them -- now moreso than ever, given the extremely story-driven vehicle that is Cataclysm. For a race that was originally an April Fool's joke, the popularity of the pandaren, as well as what little written word we have on the race, makes this a pretty interesting prospect. Believe it or not, there are actually potential reasons behind all of this, given what's happened so far in Azeroth to date. So let's take a tinfoil hat look at what this expansion could theoretically look like, from a story standpoint.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a speculative look into what has gone before and what's to come. The events presented are just theories at this point and should not be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Undermine Journal reboots with AH sales profiles

I reported when it went offline, and it looks like The Undermine Journal is back. It's added a bunch of realms, to boot. Additionally, the development blog post linked above has a few tidbits about some features coming down the pipes, including Twitter direct messages as a potential vehicle for market notifications. Also exciting is the possibility of a raw auction house feed being made available (for free), so other sites could make AH mashups of their own without having to redesign the armory crawler.

This site is an amazing tool for stalking the auction house efficiently when you can't be directly in front of an AH. Combined with the Remote Auction House, this allows people to keep a semi-persistent presence on the market without needing to be in game all day. It's also invaluable for researching new markets and strategizing against your serious competitors. In fact, the only feature people have really voiced a lot of concern about is the seller activity page. The heat map can tell people when it's worth logging in to undercut, which can lead to people feeling like they're being unfairly targeted. The current items section tells interested players what other markets they could target someone in.

The standard response to concerns is that this is all just data, and what people do with it is not the fault of site that makes the data accessible. There is no privacy in an open market, and just like you can hardly be upset if someone puts a photo of a sale sign in your storefront window on the internet, you can't get upset if a site like the UJ makes everything you have for sale available through a public interface.

Personally, I like being able to stalk my competition more than I'm afraid of what they might do by stalking me. After all, there's only one of me and at least 50 of them. Additionally, I like to practice what I preach about market agility, and I like to think that every time a competitor closes a door on me, I can find a new door.

Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped, plus the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is taking your questions at basil@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Economy, Time Is Money

Know Your Lore: Goblins and the Bilgewater Cartel


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.

Crafty, cunning, ambitious and sometimes completely insane, the goblin race was first introduced to Warcraft players back in Warcraft II as an ally for the Horde. Sometime between Warcraft II and World of Warcraft, the goblins made an about-face and declared themselves completely neutral, siding with neither side in the ongoing Alliance/Horde conflict. With the announcement of Cataclysm's release and the inclusion of goblins as the new Horde race, one of the questions that has consistently popped up time and time again is why a supposedly neutral race would choose to break that stance and ally with one side over another?

It's a good question. Why would a race suddenly rescind on an agreement that by all appearances seems to be profitable? For that matter, why are the goblins so obsessed with profit, anyway? The goblins of Warcraft have a history that goes back much farther than any player simply paying a visit to Booty Bay realizes, and that history has a lot to say about why the goblins are the way they are -- ruthless little mercenaries constantly on the lookout for an easy way to make some gold.

Please note: The following post contains all kinds of spoilers for the Kezan and Lost Isles portions of the Cataclysm expansion, as well as The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you wish to remain unspoiled, turn back, before it's too late!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Gold Capped: The Undermine Journal may have to close down


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house, and Insider Trader, which is all about professions. For Gold Capped's inside line on crafting for disenchanting, transmutation, cross-faction arbitrage and more, check in here every Thursday, and email Basil with your comments, questions or hate mail!

The Undermine Journal is an invaluable site that a lot of auctioneers have been making great use of. I wrote about it when it was in alpha, as well as how to use its market alert to watch for cheap deals. Unfortunately, the days of having a convenient graph showing you the price history for your realm are numbered. There's a very real possibility that this service will be killed by Blizzard's new auction house interface, and we'd be back to each keeping our own spreadsheets.

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Filed under: Economy, Cataclysm, Gold Capped

Insider Trader: Market alerts from The Undermine Journal

Insider Trader is a column about professions, written by Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, who also writes Gold Capped. This week, we're discussing something near and dear to every trade skill user's heart: prices -- specifically, how to get better prices.

You remember The Undermine Journal, right? Here's what I wrote when I discovered the alpha. The creators have been busy managing the growth of the site, adding servers and realms, as well as periodically adding new functionality. It's in beta now, and they just added the most interesting feature: market alerts.

You can now set up the site to email you every time stuff you're looking for hits a certain price. For example, if you are buying Saronite Ore to prospect so you can take advantage of the removal of the epic gem transmute cooldown removal in patch 4.0, you can go to your realm on The Undermine Journal and set it up so it will email you whenever the price goes down to your target.

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Filed under: Economy, Insider Trader (Professions)

Gold Capped: The Undermine Journal


So you want to make gold in WoW? Basil "Euripides" Berntsen is here to help! Auction house PvP is the only true PvP: There are no relevant racials, all classes are equally balanced, and the only differentiators are knowledge and guts. Gold Capped can help with the first one, and if you can make it through a whole article's worth of my typos, bad puns and feral druid jokes every Wednesday, you're guaranteed to have the second one.

There's a new tool in my kit. The Undermine Journal, whose alpha was just recently launched, is a site that lets you see data from your auction house live from the internet. My realm was recently added, and when I searched for Eternal Belt Buckles, it showed me a convenient Google Finance-style graph of the price and availability, as well as the mats needed for it, and a list of my competition!

Words fail me, so hop past the break for a screengrab.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Free realm transfers announced

Blizzard poster Turrit announced yesterday that free realm transfers are being made available to address faction imbalance and overpopulation issues on the following PvE realms:
  • Aggramar (Alliance only)
  • Area 52 (Horde only)
  • Blackhand
  • Hellscream
  • Stormrage (Alliance only)
  • Thrall (Horde only)
  • Undermine
Destination realm:
  • Drak'thul
The free transfer period will run from Tuesday, May 25 (today) to Tuesday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. PDT. However, Turrit did make a point of mentioning that Blizzard has a transfer goal in mind, and if it's reached, they may shut the free transfers down early. If you're on any of the affected realms and have been considering a transfer, this might be a good chance to save yourself $25.

To my surprise, it turns out Drak'thul was actually a PvP realm until very recently, and after a quick look at WoW Progress's list of U.S. realms, I have to agree it looks like the server needs some love. While it's possible the page hasn't been updated, it's apparent that the Drak'thul's raiders are struggling -- and there's some rather illuminating commentary in this thread (I'll grant I can't verify the accuracy) on how some of the server's troubles may have gotten their start. Two things come to mind: Blizzard's observations a year ago concerning only PvP realms being low-pop, and: what's happening on Cho'gall. Interesting.

The full announcement is past the cut.

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

BlizzCon 2009: Goblin backstory and zone info


The DirecTV stream cut out for me after the opening ceremony, so it's possible there are a few things I'm missing; drop a comment if it looks like I've omitted anything. Anyway, here's what we know about the Goblins (the new Horde race) so far:

BACKSTORY


The playable race is a group of Goblins based on the Isle of Kezan, a new zone between the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. While Goblins and the neutral Goblin trade organizations as a whole originate here, the official site and trailer both hint that the playable group has had (or is that, will have?) a recent and deeply unpleasant encounter with the Alliance that makes the Horde a logical choice when the time comes to pick sides. From the trailer, it would appear that much of the Goblins' starting zone is taken up by the eponymous cataclysm, the need to get away from the destruction, and their induction into the Horde, but we don't have too many details on it yet.

The playable Goblins won't be formally associated with any of the neutral Goblin trading organizations we already know and love (figuratively speaking, of course; the Steamwheedle Cartel's been bilking us for years). There's also no mention so far of the other Goblins going anywhere, so I'm assuming that the game's preexisting Goblins will remain in the game in whatever capacity they can post-cataclysm, and the Horde Goblins are a faction unto themselves named the Bilgewater Cartel.

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Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, Expansions, Factions, Classes, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Goblin

All the World's a Stage: Possibilities for worgen and goblins


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one man in his time plays many roles.

Ever since word broke about the possibility of playing either a worgen or a goblin, I've been thinking a lot about how it would be to roleplay them. In terms of lore, each one fits in very nicely -- the goblins have the neutral city of Undermine not far from the great Maelstrom at the center of the world, and the worgen have lots of connections to other dimensions, possibly the Emerald Dream. Assuming the expansion is in fact going to be a combination of the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, each race could have a lot to do with why the Horde and the Alliance are eager to go and continue the adventure after Northrend.

Some others are talking about how and why these races would join either faction. The goblins seem a shoo-in for the Horde, since they've already got so many connections with one another above and beyond the ostensible neutrality the goblins maintain between the Horde and the Alliance. The worgen connection to the Alliance is a bit tougher to figure out, but there are two apparent possibilities: either the humans of Gilneas have become worgen and wish to rejoin their former brethren, or the original worgen from their own dimension somehow join up with the Alliance in order to fight off a shared enemy such as the Burning Legion or the "Nightmare" of the Emerald Dream.

Today we'll discuss both of these possibilities and stake my claim on which I think is more likely, and look at a number of the story hooks that worgen and goblins could create for roleplayers if and when we get the chance to play them.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Rumors, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Would you play a Worgen or a Goblin?


So it might just be some fanciful speculation, the product of rampant imaginings after digging through some game files. It could mean something, it could mean nothing. But yesterday's bombshell discovery of Halloween masks, traditionally reserved for playable races, threw a whole bunch of us into a tizzy. Goblins as playable races? That wouldn't be too surprising considering they've had models in the game that could wear player armor, anyway. But Worgen? I mean, wow.

It's not that far-fetched, either. The Undermine, the home of the Goblins, is situated near the Maelstrom. Remember how Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm, which in Azerothian terms actually refers to the events around the Maelstrom? That means we just might see The Undermine in the next expansion. So Goblins aren't such a wild idea.

But what about the Worgen?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Rumors, Cataclysm

WoW Insider's predictions for 2009

Another year has come and gone, and we're on the verge of WoW's fifth year of existence. So it's time once again to look into the crystal ball, and pull out some predictions. Some of these are surefire (we're definitely going to hear more about the content patches for Wrath this year), some are tossups depending on who you ask (will we see another expansion in the works?), and some are just random guesses. But we're guaranteed one thing: 2009 is going to be a wild year, so if you want our very first insight on what might happen, here you go.

These are compiled from the WoW Insider staff -- we differed in a few places, and where we did, I've pointed out who thought what. Keep in mind that no one can predict the future, of course, so these are predictions, and that's all. By now we should all know that Blizzard will do all they can to keep us guessing. And feel free to put your own predictions (or just respond to ours in the comments below. Happy New Year -- here's to a great 2009!

Update: Also be sure to check out Big Download's PC predictions for 2009 -- they've got something to say about Blizzard's next expansion, too.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Classes, BlizzCon, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

New Year's Eve in Azeroth tonight


Yes it's the end of another year, and it's time to celebrate! Just in case you're not out and about partying this evening, Azeroth is enjoying New Year's Eve as well, and the good news is that you can drink all you want with no hangover at all! This evening in the capital cities, there'll be kegs and holiday food to eat, and fireworks will light up the sky every hour (starting around 6pm server time, if this year is the same as years past). Plus, all the guards in Booty Bay are taking their annual night off, so there'll be PvP aplenty down there. And there are two quests in the game, one for each faction.

Enjoy the holiday and stay safe, whether you're in the World of Warcraft or elsewhere tonight. From all of us at WoW Insider to all of you, thanks for making 2008 great, and here's to an even better 2009.

Filed under: Events, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, NPCs

Mystery continent spotted


Sharp-eyed tipster Fontane sent us this very interesting screenshot today. This is a picture of a book open on the table by the Argent Dawn emmisaries currently set up in Shattrath. What does that look like in the circled area? To me, it looks like a map of Azeroth: Northrend at the top, Kalimdor at left, Eastern Kingdoms at right, and the Maelstrom in the middle. But what's that at the bottom? Could it be a new continent?

Sure, it might be a bit early to speculate about the third expansion, given that the second isn't even out yet (five days!). But I'm going to do it anyway; we do know they've got more planned.

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Filed under: Expansions, Rumors

Ask a Lore Nerd: The Eye of the Tiger and the Warglaives of Azzinoth

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Last week on Ask a Lore Nerd, Offsprnge (one of your fellow readers) asked me to write this week's edition with some Eye of the Tiger playing. I guess I came across a little tired last week, so I'm going to do just that. To fit the groove, I ask all of you guys one favor: Read the questions and answers in the voice of Rocky Balboa. If it will help you get in the mood, go ahead and read it out loud in that voice.

And since we're already talking about it, Offsprnge asked...

Right, I think I got a good one by the way, perhaps it is so obvious I should slap myself, but the whole battle for Mount Hyjal features the Burning Legion invading with it's commander Archimonde, however, why are there hordes of ghouls, liches, necromancers, frost wyrms and "all that kind of thing!" (find the reference).

Again, like another reader mentioned, at the time the Lich King was still feigning allegiance to the Burning Legion. It doesn't pay to make the Legion suspicious too early. At the same time, the Lich King played a role in weakening Archimonde's forces: He used Illidan to destroy Tichondrius and his forces, which were to play support for Archimonde. The Scourge that were at the Battle of Mount Hyjal were sacrifices, pawns to keep Archimonde overconfident.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

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

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