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Posts with tag ZG

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 1 - Classic WoW

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 while back I did a history of the Pandaren Campaign that just gave a bare bones overview of what exactly happened between patch 5.0 and 5.4 in terms of the story. I understand that nine years of World of Warcraft can't be easily summed up. I don't expect I'll be able to do more than a cursory retelling of the major events, and I'll probably miss and leave out quite a few. So why do it at all?

I have a few reasons. The first is that some of this stuff is gone in game - it happened, but you can't go back and experience it any more. That makes it a part of the game that needs reminders from time to time, in my opinion. The second reason is because all of this lore shapes the game as it evolves - everything that has happened - it helps place things into context. And the third reason is because this stuff is all pretty awesome. It deserves to be retold.

We're going to try and do the game at launch this week, and come back to it on a regular basis.

So let us retell it.

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

Corrupted Blood's seventh anniversary

Corrupted Blood A Seven Year Anniversary
You guys remember the Corrupted Blood plague, right? It's a story from when World of Warcraft was young, one that's had an affect on the game ever since. The Zombie Invasion that led off Wrath of the Lich King? That was inspired by the Corrupted Blood plague. To make a long story short, Corrupted Blood was n debuff used by players to help them defeat Hakkar, the end boss of the 20 man Zul'Gurub raid.

As Alex explained in the WoW Archivist on the plague, Corrupted Blood was actually a debuff cast on the players, and it spread because hunter and warlock pets could get the debuff, be dismissed, and when summoned again would still have the debuff on them. This allowed those players to release the Corrupted Blood debuff into heavily populated areas where it wiped out hundreds in short order, especially lower level characters who didn't have anywhere near the health pools to endure the disease. The debuff didn't have a very long duration otherwise, and so it usually ran its course or killed people before they could leave Zul'Gurub with it. But creative players found a way to use their pets to become architects of destruction on a wide scale.

I personally remember a friend back in these days, when I raided on Azjol-Nerub, who managed to kill Orgrimmar with his pet and Eyes of the Beast. (Hey, Tyr. Still miss you, dude.) He ran that thing into a crowd of Horde players outside the old AH and from there, it was pandaemonium. It actually ended up being so bad that the entire server ended up shut down from multiple pets with the debuff turning Ironforge (back then the only place with an AH) into something from a Romero film. So let's all take a moment and remember the Corrupted Blood plague of September 13th, 2005 on this, its seventh anniversary.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

The OverAchiever: 3 things that should be achievements but aren't

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we wonder how to make more work for ourselves.

Not everything in the game is destined to be an achievement, but every so often you find yourself doing something and thinking, "Yes, I deserve 10 useless points for this." This feeling is most likely to occur while playing after a few beers and having one's sense of artificial outrage over the state of the world heightened for a bit, but sometimes you really find yourself wondering why demonstrable accomplishments in the game aren't actually achievements.

When I started writing this article, I toyed with the idea of including a list of (largely snarky) possibilities like the following:
  • Pugging an Outland dungeon that doesn't have a death knight in it. (Don't tell me that luck doesn't play a role in any achievements, because we all know it does.)
  • Successfully skipping Baine trash without anyone butt-pulling a mob pack and dying.
  • Participating in two hours of trade chat without the word anal appearing once.
  • Leading a raiding guild for one month or more without suffering a psychotic breakdown.
But these aren't achievements. They're myths, like unicorns and balanced budgets. Let us try to examine more reasonable suggestions.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Two Bosses Enter: The final matchup, Lord Godfrey vs. Zanzil

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Welcome to the grand season finale of Two Bosses Enter. This is the final matchup for the season, pitting Shadowfang Keep resident badass Lord Godfrey against Zul'Gurub resident badass Zanzil. Poisons versus pistols. Fire versus fashion. Ghouls versus zombies. This is the big one, people. Get ready to vote for who takes it all home on Two Bosses Enter Cataclysm Season 2.

I'll be honest -- I never thought that I would be writing down these words in this competition. Zanzil has won out over Vanessa VanCleef by a mere 13 votes. Thirteen votes. Almost 5,000 votes were tallied, and Zanzil won by only 13 votes. The legions of Vanessa VanCleef fans failed to stop the Troll juggernaut. We live in end times, friends.

Who wins? Lord Godfrey vs. Zanzil?
Lord Godfrey2950 (51.3%)
Zanzil2803 (48.7%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Patch 4.3 PTR: Streamlining changes for Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

The latest patch 4.3 PTR notes have a significant change in them for those of us running heroics for valor points (that is to say, everyone running them). When patch 4.3 drops and the Zandalari heroics are dropped down into the common pool of heroics, it'll be easier to complete the dungeons. Why is that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

Patch 4.3.0 PTR Notes
Zul'Gurub
  • Players now only have to kill two of the four initial dungeon bosses (High Priest Venoxis, Broodlord Mandokir, High Priestess Kilnara, and Zanzil) to face Jin'do the Godbreaker.

Zul'Aman
  • Players now only have to kill two of the four Troll avatars before they may face Hex Lord Malacrass.

This means you'll only need to kill two of the bosses to get to the end in the case of ZG, and two plus Hex Lord to get to the end of ZA. The good news is, this will make these dungeons go a lot faster. The bad news is, good luck convincing a group to kill Dragonhawk or Kilnara. This is a fairly big sign that Blizz expects us to be saying goodbye to these instances as soon as we can get into the new Twilight 5-mans.

I'm all for it, myself. I hate running ZG now; it takes forever. But I can definitely see people objecting to the way this will force them to miss out on mount changes or loot from bosses no one wants to do.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Zul'Gurub, a historical survey

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 Gurubashi trolls were once the greatest empire of jungle trolls in the world, rivals to the great forest troll empire of Zul'Aman to the north and a power to be reckoned with. Their tens of thousands of years of history have seen wave after wave of humiliation, defeat and loss, and they are without a doubt responsible for much of that defeat. They have consorted with powers not to be trifled with and driven their neighboring troll tribes into slavery or exile.

The empire of the Gurubashi, centered in their great city of Zul'Gurub, was founded after the great war with the Aqir that forever divided the insect state into the distant northern Nerubians and the southern Qiraji. While this defeat was near-total for the arthropod empire, it also fractured troll society forever. Before the war, the Zandalar tribe had stood preeminent, although it was the Amani and Gurubashi who led the charge against the Aqir. Theirs was the hereditary rulership of all troll tribes, theirs was the way of scholarship and it was to them that the hereditary priesthood of the trolls derived its furthest development.

Yet none of these facts could prevent the division of the trolls. After the war, a weakened and shaken Zandalar tribe found itself no longer the center of troll society. It still ruled the ancient birthplace of all trolls, it was still respected ... but the power had forever shifted to the Amani and Gurubashi, and it was not to shift back for tens of thousands of years.

(Spoilers for the Zul'Gurub 5-man are in this post.)

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

Ol' Grumpy's first week with Patch 4.1

Hi, kids. It's me, Ol' Grumpy. You may remember me from my guide to Cataclysm instance protocols or perhaps from when I explained that you'd have to relearn some old bad habits from the previous expansion.

This time, I'm here to explain how to adjust to the new realities of patch 4.1, our two new heroic instances Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, and our Call to Arms feature in the dungeon finder. I've noticed some weeping, some wailing, and some gnashing of teeth over these new introductions with the passing of our first week with patch 4.1, and I'm here to help.

First off, calm down already. The Call to Arms feature didn't trap you in a deserted old house outside of town and murder everyone from the camp but you and that cute guy you've always liked from the other camp. It didn't steal your dog, kick your car, or write nasty things about your ma and pa on the back of the barn, either. And while both ZA and ZG provide more challenge than the previous tier of heroics, they didn't steal your cattle or set your grave on fire, either. In short, the level of consternation and yes, even whining about this has been entirely over the top. These instances are puggable with a little luck and some work, and CTA has shortened queue times, which was its only real goal.

So what should you do? Well, being an irascible old curmudgeon, I will happily tell you what to do. Especially if it keeps you off of my lawn. My wife just planted roses! Stay off!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, Cataclysm

Patch 4.1: Guide to the new Zul'Gurub

Of the two "new" troll-themed 5-mans going live in patch 4.1, Zul'Gurub seemed by far the easier with the groups I had on the public test realm (PTR), though both it and Zul'Aman require an average ilevel of 346 in order to queue through the dungeon finder. However, if you're going to pug this content, be advised that there are a number of different mechanics that can wipe groups quickly.

Shifting Perspectives readers will be familiar with elements of this article, as I wrote a guide to Zul'Gurub for druid tanks and healers in late March. I've expanded that here and have also tried to include a sense of the instance from a less class-specific viewpoint. Because the instance's mini-bosses have fairly simple mechanics (and regrettably, I never landed a group that did all of them), I've ignored them here in favor of the instance's five "real" bosses.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Guides

Extended maintenance announced for Tuesday, April 26

Barring force majeure, it looks like patch 4.1 lands tomorrow, folks. Not only is the 4.1 trailer out, Blizzard has also announced extended maintenance for all realms for Tuesday, April 26, beginning at 3 a.m. PST and ending at 11 a.m. PST. Expect it to last longer, as patch day maintenance usually does.

While servers are down, check out our Guide to Patch 4.1, including class analysis, dungeon previews, UI additions, and more. Stop the machinations of the Zandalari!

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Realm Status

Shifting Perspectives: Druid tanking and healing the new Zul'Gurub

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison suffers humiliating wipes in new 5-man content so you don't have to.

I got a little more experience in the revamped Zul'Gurub this week on the patch 4.1 PTR and have returned in triumph (and toting many a repair bill) with a comprehensive guide to surviving one of two new Rise of the Zandalari heroics. This guide should help you avoid the dungeon's knottiest problems as either a bear or a tree, although I've had to be less specific than I would have liked. Turns out that most boss abilities aren't up on the PTR version of Wowhead yet, and while tanking or healing, most groups frown on my tabbing out to record exactly how much damage stuff like Breath of Hethiss does ("Would you say that 26,000 damage per second is too much, not enough, or just right?").

(Cats and moonkin, I'm very sorry, but I'm not sure what DPS does. It's been my experience that bosses drop dead for inexplicable reasons, whether it's congestive heart failure, bad oysters, or old Sicilian curses. DPS is involved in some hazy manner here, but damn if I know how.)

Keep in mind that I've pugged all of my groups on the PTR, so any estimates of the content's difficulty will necessarily be colored by that. If you're going to do the new ZG with guild groups on the live servers (particularly if your guild's outfitted in tier 11), you probably won't be as worried about some of the issues I encountered.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari preview now online

For those of us waiting with bated breath (yes, it's bated, not baited -- look it up) for the release of patch 4.1, one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the patch would be the new heroic 5-man dungeons Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. Now, at last, we have Blizzard's patch 4.1 content preview, Rise of the Zandalari, to tell us how ZG and ZA came back to life after we defeated the horrors within both dungeons.

If you want to see how the same Zandalar tribe that once assisted us against the Hakkari in Zul'Gurub and the Drakkari in Zul'Drak is now working at cross purposes, how Vol'jin has stepped out of the shadows to stake his own claim to troll affairs, and who replaced Zul'jin as warchief of the Amani (and how the Zandalar are behind it all), this preview is for you. You can view it directly on the official Battle.net blog, or read it behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Dispatch from the patch 4.1 PTR

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we nose around the patch 4.1 PTR.

As promised, I hit the patch 4.1 PTR to get a feel for the changes we talked about last week. Naturally, the first change I ran to confirm was Prowl's new icon, which I'm pleased to report is totally kickass and addresses all our icon-related needs for the forseeable future.

This patch isn't going live with new raid content, so the premade toons on offer are kitted in heroic blues (ilevel 346). This gear is all easily obtainable with a little elbow grease on the live servers, so the numbers you'll see in this column should be representative of what a pre-raid druid will look like. Just for kicks, I also copied my main over, and she's in slightly better gear feral-wise and slightly worse gear resto-wise.

As an aside, when did we get that cool little swooping animation upon changing into flight form? Is this totally new, or did it happen in patch 4.0.6 and I missed it while buried under a mountain of snow and subsequent flooding in my winter-ridden hell? Or -- scary thought -- am I so used to shifting to flight form in midair that I've failed to notice it for months? God, that's terrifying.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Queue: It's a moose, all right?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mat McCurley will be your host today.

Hey, it's Mat here, filling in for Mike Sacco. I love filling in for Mike Sacco! He's so dreamy...

Also, that's a moose. Quit bugging me.

Sky asked:

Question for the Queue:

If the 140 VP reward for 'tier 2' heroics went live, players would be able to reach the weekly valor point cap without having to raid. Do you think this is good or bad for the game?

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Zul'Again

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Lots of troll questions today, and I mean that literally. Questions about troll stuff. Getcher troll answers here! Free troll answers! Pledge your troll and get a free Zul'Jin tote bag!

Oldboy asked:

Since ZG/ZA will be "heroic-only", is there any word on whether it will be possible to intentionally queue for them more than once in a day? It almost sounds like they'll be on a separate heroic "tier", so it's not clear whether they'll be in the same pool when choosing random.

Queueing restrictions are the same for ZA and ZG as they are for any other heroic dungeon. You can queue for them once a day, or run them multiple times via the random option for Cataclysm heroic tier 2.

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