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Posts with tag Well-of-eternity

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

WoW Moviewatch: War of the Ancients - The Well of Eternity

I am pretty sure that War of the Ancients - The Well of Eternity is going to forever hold the record for the longest machinima we've ever featured on the site. I'm also pretty sure it's going to hold the record for one of the most extraordinary projects we've seen. Youtube user and machinima wizard Bloodlord001 is responsible for this epic saga, a retelling of the first novel in Richard Knaak's War of the Ancients trilogy. Clocking in at a little under two hours of story, this is definitely one of those films you want to sit down and watch -- but it's worth every moment, if you want to see Knaak's novel come to life.

And really, while this is an adaptation of Knaak's story and a good summary of how the first book played out, it's the machinima work that shines above everything else. Zin'Azshari is brought to life in stunning detail, each piece of kaldorei armor and weapons utterly astonishing in their complexity. Every demon, every character from the book is uniquely presented, with plenty of models that look as though they were built from scratch. The list of voice actors for the film should be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in machinima, and they do a wonderful job here.

The only minor complaint -- and it's really minor -- is that the subtitles could have used a pass from an editor. Still, it does very little to detract from what is obviously far more than a project, more like a four year labor of love. I do hope we see a continuation of the story, and the other two novels adapted as well -- hopefully with one monstrous production under his belt, Bloodlord can get the second one out a little faster. Grab some popcorn for this one.

Editor's note: Embedding appears to be malfunctioning at the moment -- click the header image to watch the video in full.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Twists in time

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Twists in time
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.

Two weeks ago, we looked briefly at the Timewalkers and the strange goings-on on the Timeless Isle. Since then, players that have been dutifully completing Kairoz's weekly quests have reached the end of the mysterious visions Kairoz has been trying to pinpoint -- with some disturbing results and implications. In fact, the whole mad journey has been a steady trickle of unanswered questions and dizzying scenarios that might or might not be true. Or perhaps they're all true, just in different versions of reality.

And that's the bronze dragonflight in a nutshell. It's a headache-inducing puzzle of events that might have been, have been, never been, and may have meant to be but hadn't, that can't quite be untangled. Led by Nozdormu, the bronze dragonflight's missive has always been to protect and observe the pathways of time. The Titans gifted Nozdormu with the knowledge of when and how he would die as a warning, a lesson -- that no matter how powerful Nozdormu might think he was, he, just like any mortal, would have to answer to time eventually. This was meant to keep the Timeless One in check, an effective plan.

But did it really work?

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 how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for events on the Timeless Isle.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The peculiar puzzle of Sunwalker Dezco

Know Your Lore The peculiar puzzle of Sunwalker Dezco 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.

As a follower of An'she, Sunwalker Dezco represents the first really major tauren paladin lore figure we've had -- while Aponi Brightmane had a minor role in the creation of the Sunwalkers, she never really had any story beyond the snippets we saw at the end of Wrath. Sunwalker Dezco is the leader of the Dawnchaser tribe, which is an apt name, given the peculiar journey that has brought him to Pandaria.

The tale Dezco tells is a simple one. The tauren received strange dreams of a valley that was golden with blossoms and filled with the hope of peace. At the behest of Baine Bloodhoof, Dezco, his wife Leza and the rest of the Dawnchaser tribe set sail in uncharted waters to search for the source of these mysterious dreams. Although all had had the dreams, it was Leza alone who had visions strong enough to guide them all. And that's really where Dezco's story begins -- on the open seas, sailing into unknown territory, his beloved wife at his side along with his friends and his family.

Please note: There is some speculation in this post, as well as spoilers for patch 5.4 content. Reader beware!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The best of Tin-Foil Hats

Know Your Lore The best of TinFoil Hats
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.

A funny thing happened this week. For the past two weeks, I've been working on Tinfoil Hat Editions of KYL -- fun, speculative posts that attempt to predict just what the heck is going on with the Warcraft universe. I was, in fact, working up to a super big reveal of an a-ha moment I'd had a couple of weeks ago regarding the nature of the mists surrounding Pandaria and what exactly happened to Emperor Shaohao.

Except that I was preempted, for want of a better word. The PTR hit for patch 5.3, and in all of the datamining of the sound files, that pet theory I'd been working with was addressed directly. On the one hand, it was nice to see that I'd been dead on and correct with what I was assuming. On the other, it meant I had half of an article written that I couldn't really publish. ... oops?

So Adam Holisky suggested in his infinite wisdom that this week, I look back on some old TFH editions of Know Your Lore -- a best-of recap of some of the wilder things I've pointed out. It seems as good a time as any!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Everything is connected

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Everything is connected
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.

Last week, we looked at the true origins of the mogu as revealed in patch 5.2. Let's face it -- Pandaria is full of mysteries. It's been feeding us answers to questions very, very slowly, but each answer raises another score of questions as a result. And despite getting answers to the unique origins of the mogu, it still leaves us wondering who Ra-den really was. More importantly, it raises the question of Titan Keepers, and how those Keepers are assigned.

By all rights, Pandaria should have more than Ra-den to watch over it. The mysterious continent is chock-full of Titan technology, and due to the death of Y'shaarj, it presents far more problems than even Ulduar had to offer up in Northrend. With all that said, where are the other Keepers of Pandaria? Do any still exist? Are they in stasis, or guarding something in an area still unexplored? More importantly -- all of Pandaria is connected, but how? And how does Emperor Shaohao fit into all of this?

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

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Wrathion's Gambit

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Wrathion's GambitSUN
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.

Enigmatic and sly, the black dragon Wrathion has been observing the progress of Pandaria even before our arrival on the continent. He has a plan for this mysterious new place, one that is just as shrouded in mystery as his intentions. And we, the adventurers of Azeroth, are at his beck and call -- performing favors and jumping through hoops in exchange for powerful upgrades to our weapons and gear, happy to assist Wrathion in whatever grand plan he's trying to pull off.

Yet at the same time, it has become increasingly obvious that Wrathion's reach is far larger than we'd thought. As players level through Pandaria, more and more often they'll see Blacktalon Agents, casually strolling down city streets or having a drink in a local inn. When asked what they are up to, the agents give gruff, non-committal responses that raise far more questions than they answer. If you have concerns, they say, you should take it up with the Black Prince.

Of course, telling a black dragon you have a problem with his plans is likely one of the worst, not to mention last, decisions you'll ever make.

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

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: In the beginning

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition In the beginning 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.

In the beginning, the Titans created Azeroth. They set the world in motion, and then left to continue on whatever path it was that the mysterious beings followed. Yet something happened to the planet, something bad enough that it warranted the return of the Titans. Upon their return, they discovered the Old Gods, a malignant group of entities that were intent upon sowing chaos. Perturbed, the Titans tried to kill an Old God -- and they discovered to their horror that killing the Old Gods would kill the very planet itself.

And yet, instead of simply rebooting and starting over anew, they kept Azeroth. They imprisoned the Old Gods beneath the surface of the world, and planted various fail-safes to make sure the creatures were never freed. And just in case an Old God managed to escape, Algalon the Observer would visit and determine the status of the world. If it was deemed too far gone, he would activate a signal that would re-originate the world -- Azeroth would be destroyed and rebooted.

Why did they leave Azeroth alone? Why didn't they simply re-originate the world at the first sign of trouble? Why put in a failsafe to do so, instead of taking care of the problem immediately? But perhaps most importantly ...

What is Azeroth?

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 how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This edition of KYL also contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: When is a well not a well?

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition When is a well not a well 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.

When is a well not a well?

The Well of Eternity is one of the most important objects in Azeroth's history. A font of magical water with incredible properties, it has been the subject of at least two wars. First, there was the War of the Ancients, in which kaldorei fought Highborne while the Burning Legion threatened to invade. Next, the Third War, in which Archimonde sought to dominate Hyjal and the powers of the Well beneath it's roots.

But the Well has also changed Azeroth in a significant way. The kaldorei wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the waters of the Well. Neither would the sin'dorei or their curious state of magical addiction. And if rumors are to be believed, there are several races on Pandaria whose roots tie into the mysterious waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms -- also speculated to be a remnant of that original Well of Eternity.

The origins of the Well are shrouded in mystery. It's simply something the Titans created countless centuries ago. Or ... is it? When is a well not a well at all?

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

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: The fly on the wall

Breakfast Topic The fly on the wall ANYTIME
Every so often, you find yourself in a PUG where a line in party chat makes you think that something pretty serious is going on behind the scenes. Not long before Mists hit, I was tanking an otherwise routine run in Well of Eternity with a guild group from another server. They were distracted during the run and were obviously paying more attention to what one of them mentioned was a lot of unhappy drama in guild chat. I felt it would be rude to pry, so when the run ended and they all vanished back to their own server, I was left there wondering what was going on and if everything was okay with a guild I had known nothing about 30 minutes previously.

That's not the first time that's happened, either: I had another memorable run with a warlock/paladin duo, with the former consoling the latter over a recent break-up with his girlfriend. It was a vivid reminder that the players you meet in a PUG are all real people, that most of the time you're nothing more than a fleeting participant in their lives, and that you may wander in at some personally meaningful or even painful moments.

Allowing for the fact that you can't trust everything you read in party chat, have you ever found yourself the proverbial fly on the wall in WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Pandaria and the Sundering

Know Your Lore Pandaria and the Sundering SUN 930
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.

The earliest days of Azeroth's recorded history of wars and conflicts detail the events of the War of the Ancients, which culminated in the destruction of the Well of Eternity and the Sundering of the great continent of Kalimdor. While we have vague remnants of history before that time -- wars between troll empires and aqir, the Titanic creation of our world; it is becoming increasingly clear that our scope of knowledge of these early days of Azeroth is quite small.

Pandaria was once part of the main Kalimdor continent before it vanished into the mists, forgotten. But even before the Sundering, Pandaria had a vast, rich history that was far more complex than the snippets of tales and legends from troll or tauren. And while we don't know if the pandaren are native to Azeroth, or Titan creation like the dwarves and gnomes, one thing is imminently clear -- the pandaren are a far more advanced civilization than any other native Azerothian race.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The whispers of Azeroth

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition The fascination of Sargeras 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.

Sargeras: Fallen Titan, founder of the Burning Legion and destroyer of worlds. Since his fall from his place as the premier champion of the Titans, Sargeras has enjoyed utmost success in his mission of destruction, bringing down endless worlds and wreaking havoc across the universe. Yet one world has eluded his grasp, time and time again -- Azeroth. Though the Burning Legion has visited Azeroth countless times, it has yet to sink its claws into the world and wrench it apart.

Despite this, the Legion continues to try. There may be hundreds, thousands, possibly even millions of distinct worlds out there ripe for annihilation, but the Burning Legion and Sargeras himself have focused with certainty on our little world. Is it a matter of revenge? Is it a matter of stubborn persistence? Or is there some other reason we're the focus of the universe's heralds of hatred? What is Sargeras' fascination with our tiny planet, anyway?

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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Well of Eternity

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.

Long, long before the rise of human and orc, the world of Azeroth was far different than it appears today. Instead of the multitude of continents we know of, there was simply one: Kalimdor. It was essentially Azeroth's version of Pangaea -- a supercontinent that covered the world. Places that we travel to today, Northrend, the Eastern Kingdoms, even the islands off the coasts of the world were all part of the massive continent. This was Azeroth, back in the day -- one world, one continent, and a lot of Old Gods.

Theories seem to be mixed on which came first, the Titans or the Old Gods. The latest theory came from the Tribunal of Ages, which implies that the Titans ordered the world and left, then the Old Gods arrived, and then the Titans returned to deal with the problem. After imprisoning the Old Gods, the Titans created safeguards to protect the world, safeguards that would prevent the rise of the Old Gods -- and in the event that the Old Gods returned, safeguards that would go so far as destroying Azeroth itself. Watchers and Aspects were both created and charged with protecting the fragile world.

And, according to various pieces of history, the Titans created the Well of Eternity.

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

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Archimonde the Defiler

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 this scar signify the first blow against the mortal world. From this seal shall arise the doom of men, who, in their arrogance, sought to wield our fire as their own. Blindly they build their kingdoms upon stolen knowledge and conceit. Now they shall be consumed by the very flame they sought to control. Let the echoes of doom resound across this wretched world, that all who live may hear them and despair.

He came to destroy the world, and he nearly did. If not for the combined efforts of the orcs of the Horde and their allies under Warchief Thrall, the human refugees led by Jaina Proudmoore, and the night elves under Tyrande Whisperwind, Archimonde the Defiler would have walked up to Nordrassil, the World Tree that sits atop Mount Hyjal, and he would have consumed it utterly. With it, he would have gained all the power of the Well of Eternity that has seeped up the tree's massive roots over tens of thousands of years, making him quite possibly the most powerful entity Azeroth has ever seen, even including beings like Deathwing, the Old Gods, and potentially even Sargeras himself.

In the end, however, the mortal races banded together in a desperate alliance and held Archimonde and his Burning Legion away from the tree long enough for Malfurion Stormrage to play a final, desperate plan that Archimonde couldn't anticipate, because it involved self-sacrifice, the loss of the night elven immortality. For Archimonde, who had lived for more than 25,000 years constantly coveting power, the idea of giving it up was unthinkable. Combined with his ego and arrogance, he was effectively blind to the danger, and so he died.

We hope. Make no mistake -- Archimonde, of all the Burning Legion, came the closest to actually destroying Azeroth. Neither Sargeras nor Kil'jaeden ever walked Azeroth bodily. Archimonde did. Neither Sargeras nor Kil'jaeden ever set eyes on the Well of Eternity. Archimonde stood mere yards from it, drawing the power from Nordrassil. The Defiler very nearly did exactly that to all of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The Azeroth Ethicist: Cheating (or not cheating) the roll system

Image
I was healing a Well of Eternity PUG a few days ago when I got a whisper from the group's warrior tank.

Warrior: Could you help me out with something?

Me: Sure, what do you need?

Warrior: If Varo'then's Brooch drops at the end, would you roll on it for me?

Me: Um ...

I'd been off in my own little world watching health bars and thinking about next week's Shifting Perspectives column and hadn't paid any attention to the group's composition. It turns out the DPSers were a mage, a hunter, and -- oh, there we go -- a frost death knight. So in the event that the strength trinket dropped, the warrior tank wanted me to roll on it and, if I won, give it to him over the DK. He probably asked the mage and the priest to do the same thing, but the group was quiet in party chat, so I have no way of knowing.

We had a small and, to his credit, civil conversation over it, and there are a few issues here on which I'd like to get readers' opinions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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