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Posts with tag Zul-Aman

Know Your Lore: The Zandalari

Know Your Lore The Zandalari 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 are the first of the troll Empires, the first of the troll tribes, and in fact, the first of trolls as a cohesive race. The Zandalari have seen it all, from the very dawn of civilization to the evolution of the night elves to the Sundering to countless wars to present day. They have been watching both the culture and the assorted tribes of trolls splinter further and further, into smaller and smaller tribes. They have been watching as their race continues down the slow path towards eventual extinction, with little choice in the matter.

The Zandalari are tired of watching. As some of the first known intelligent races on Azeroth, they have seen it all, from vast troll Empires to splintered sub-groups. They are not about to walk that path to extinction quietly. After all, there's another, far more ingenious option available. And although their first plan may have failed, their second plan is far more likely to succeed, given the strength of their allies of old. In patch 5.2, we're about to face off with the Zandalari for the second time -- the first being the revamp of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman in Cataclysm.

But who are the Zandalari? Why should we care about this random group of trolls over any other?

Please note: This post contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Scarlet Monastery revisited

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.

Number three on the list of Top 10 Lore Developments of 2011 was the subject of progressive instance lore -- the idea that an instance could change over time. We've had a few different examples of this over the past year; Cataclysm launched with heroic versions of both Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, each with different, new bosses and a full-out story for why these new bosses were present. This was a surprise to those who were simply expecting level 85 versions of the old bosses -- but the new bosses and mechanics were well received.

In addition, 2011 saw the introduction of patch 4.1, in which both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman were treated to makeovers and presented as 5-man heroics instead of the raids they used to be. Again, these changes were made along with story developments that explained them fully, with a new quest line and a patch cinematic thrown in, to boot. Though the dungeons themselves were incredibly difficult, the story of the rise of the Zandalar Empire and the conflicts with Vol'jin is gripping and still isn't finished being told. But all of this leads to one simple question.

What exactly will we see in heroic Scarlet Monastery?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 3

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.

We're at the final four of our Top 10 countdown of lore development. I had to think very carefully about the top four spots and what should take them, largely because there were so many things introduced in 2011 that it was difficult to say which had the biggest impact. Our #1 spot, however, is one that I don't think anyone can really argue with -- so let's get to it!

Read: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 1 & Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 2

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: NPC evolution from classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

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.

We always hear about the big-name characters in Warcraft lore. Whether it's the heroic exploits of Varian Wrynn or the continuing saga of Thrall, big-name NPCs have been a constant in Warcraft novels and stories and in the game itself. But what about those lesser-known NPCs, the ones who aren't great heroes -- the bread vendors or the ones who send us to the ends of the earth for zhevra hooves? Do they just sit around all day, waiting for our inevitable return?

Yes and no. World of Warcraft isn't simply a game; it's a micro-world of characters who have their own day-to-day lives. The game itself has made considerable strides in incorporating lore and storylines through quests and in game cutscenes. But what few realize is how many strides those lesser characters have taken right along with everything else. Today we're going to take a look at some of this NPC evolution -- the steps taken to give World of Warcraft the feel of a living, breathing world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Two Bosses Enter: Jan'alai vs. Corborus

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.

Temple Guardian Anhuur's sweet, dulcet tones could not stand up to the might of Daakara, Zul'Aman's new leader sitting atop the Amani throne, once reserved for the one-armed Zul'jin. I guess Anhuur just wasn't ready for the bear/eagle combination that just annoys PUGs as much as it does the might of the Two Bosses Enter arena competitors.

This week, Zul'Aman favorite Jan'alai, avatar of the dragonhawk, goes up against PUG-stomper Corborus, the colossal gyreworm. Who will come out on top this week?

Who wins?
Jan'alai1672 (50.1%)
Corborus1668 (49.9%)


Follow along for the details of this week's matchup, as well as discussion on last week's match.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Temple Guardian Anhuur vs. Daakara

zuldarak
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.

Another Troll boss bit the dust last week when Hex Lord Malacrass fell to Vanessa VanCleef. This week, the Troll who inherited Zu'Aman in Cataclysm is up to bat: Daakara. Can Daakara pull out a win against Titan construct Anhuur?

Who wins?
Temple Guardian Anhuur1143 (32.6%)
Daakara2362 (67.4%)


Follow along for the details of this week's matchup, as well as discussion on last week's match.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

The OverAchiever: New achievements in patch 4.2

Every Thursday, The OverAchiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, pet biscuits make us happy ... for a little while, at least.

We're going to take another break from our Mountain O' Mounts series to examine upcoming achievements in patch 4.2. We got an avalanche of news on these last Friday via MMO-Champion's datamining efforts on PTR build 14117, and they all look pretty nifty.

There are 16 achievements associated with the new Firelands/Mount Hyjal daily quest area, on which I have very little information right now, so we're going to examine those later. However, that still leaves us with new pet, legendary, dungeon, and anniversary achievements.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Encrypted Text: Stabbing your way through the Zandalari heroics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns, or column ideas.

Have you heard about the new Call to Arms mechanic that rewards the lesser-played roles with bonus loot? I've come to peace with the fact that my rogue is never, ever going to earn a Satchel of Exotic Mysteries for himself. DPS classes simply aren't in demand. The good news is that the CtA mechanic has shortened my queue times by quite a bit; let me know if you're seeing the same results. While the quality of tanks and healers in the system has gone down slightly, we're usually able to knock out whatever heroic dungeon we're faced with.

Lately, that heroic dungeon is either Zul'Gurub or Zul'Aman, the two new Zandalari heroics. As an aside, I refer to them as The Zuls, while I imagine a sitcom starring a bunch of 20-something trolls trying to find their identities in the big city. While they're dungeons that you may have seen before, the new Zandalari heroics have received some significant changes during their Cataclysm remodeling. In addition to the generous valor point reward, there are quite a few new rogue weapons and armor pieces available. You'll be running these dungeons for a while, so learning them is in your best interest.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladin patch 4.1 roundup

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, or catch me weekly on the Matticast.

The section of the patch 4.1 notes dedicated to holy paladins was particularly sparse this cycle. The only significant change was the buff to our Illuminated Healing mastery, as the Aura Mastery / Crusader Aura interaction was supposed to be changed some time ago. Some holy paladins may have been concerned with the note about Word of Glory receiving a 20-second cooldown, but luckily that's neutralized by an addition to Walk in the Light, one of our passive mastery bonuses.

The bulk of new content in patch 4.1 comes from the revamped troll instances of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. New dungeons means new gear, and that includes several new epic items that are of interest to holy paladins. Guild challenges also introduce sizeable rewards for running dungeons in a guild group, and so you'll be dragged into healing these new 5-mans in no time. There's also the possibility that the new Call to Arms feature could yield bonus loot for healers volunteering to pug a heroic, but I haven't seen the little bag icon move from the tank icon since the patch's release.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Arcane Brilliance: Assorted patch 4.1 thoughts

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a break from slaughtering trolls and digging up ancient relics long enough to discuss our early impressions of patch 4.1. My first impression: Cobraaaaaa!

The days and weeks following a major content patch are always an adventure. Suddenly Azeroth becomes the Wild West, with unexplored frontiers awaiting over every mountain, untamed vistas as far as the eye can see, and far, far too many people wandering around who haven't bathed in months.

Patch 4.1 has been no exception. Logging in on patch day is a bit like going to sleep in one world and waking up in another, one where up is down, left is right, Olivia has brown hair and wears tight shirts, and Walter Bishop has an intact brain and is sleeping with some Asian chick. You never know when you're going to discover some random new nugget of craziness that wasn't in the patch notes. You also never know when you'll be disconnected in the middle of a boss fight, but hey, patch days are patchy.

It's only been a few days, but undoubtedly you've noticed some good, some bad, and some weird new things lurking about the fringes of this digital world we spend time in. Let's take a look at some of the more mage-specific tidbits, shall we?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WRUP: Those damnable hats

Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW Insider staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" -- otherwise known as: WRUP. Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game, and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

Hats! Fun, frilly hats! What a great week for colorful, whimsical, frilly hats! Not since the show Blossom went off the air have I seen so many hats in so many various shapes and sizes!

If you've been following the news this week, well then ... you know all about fun, frilly hats. You know who was wearing them and when. You have well-formed opinions on whose hat was the frilliest. And, of course, you're all too aware of what a terrible show of disrespect it is to not wear a fun, frilly hat. Hats!

What's that you say? Hats are boring and uninteresting? Well, I guess there was other news this week. Like Patch 4.1, some major content release for that World of Warcraft game. Something about trolls and a re-release of Zul'Aman and a Zul'Gurub as 5-man heroics.

In honor of the occasion, I thought it appropriate to tack on a bonus question to this week's WRUP: "What are your thoughts on the new five-mans, Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman?"

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Patch 4.1: Guide to the new Zul'Aman

Of the two "new" troll dungeons introduced in patch 4.1, Zul'Aman was the more difficult on the PTR, to the point that it actually felt a little overtuned for folks trying to do it solely in heroic blues. I'd compare it to heroic Magisters' Terrace of The Burning Crusade or heroic Halls of Reflection in Wrath of the Lich King, at least in the sense that it can be a pretty unforgiving place if you're not sitting on any raid-quality gear. I only ever pugged ZA while on the PTR, so estimates of the content's difficulty are necessarily colored by that. If you're going to do this place with a competent set of guildies, you probably won't need to worry as much.

If you're familiar with ZA's pre-4.1 incarnation, you'll recognize a lot of the same mechanics, mobs, and bosses at 85. I used to organize "bear runs" for my guild back in BC and would go so far as to say that, in marked contrast to Zul'Gurub, about 90% of the dungeon's raid mechanics have survived in one form or another.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Guides

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

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

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