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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: What Storms May Come

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.

This one isn't your usual Tinfoil Hat edition - it is going to be one of the weirder ones. Why, you may ask? Well, it's because of Heroes of the Storm, the upcoming Blizzard DOTA style game. And specifically, how that game interacts with Warlords of Draenor. You see, I'm starting to believe that our travel to Draenor is only the beginning of a much longer, much stranger trip that will have us dealing with the consequences of actions we undertook long before - a travel through a crisis point of unimaginable, unfathomable extent.

The defeat of Deathwing in our world, the breaking of the future we saw in the End Time instance may have had further reaching consequences than we could have guessed. Our choices were simple - allow ourselves to die at the Destroyer's talons, or fight - but we still saw Nozdormu, the Aspect of Time, charged with maintaining time make choices that seem almost unfathomable. He chose to send us back to ultimately steal the Dragon Soul, to help us use it against Deathwing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore, TFH: The Aspects 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.

Y'all know the drill here - this is a speculative jam. Nothing in this is to be taken as what Blizzard is actually saying.

In the distant past, Azeroth was formed by the hands of beings potent even beyond gods. These beings, known to us as Titans, have left the evidence of their presence in many ways - huge, magnificent complexes of astonishing construction, races shaped by their will, the prisons that held Yogg-Saron and Y'Shaarj's heart, and much more besides. From the Mogu'shan Vaults to Uldaman, from the fantastic jungles of Un'Goro to the Sholozar Basin, including the magnificent Vale of Eternal Blossoms the Titans left their mark in the very structure of Azeroth.

Recently the black dragon Wrathion consumed the heart of Lei Shen the Thunder King, a mogu warlord empowered by the stolen power and knowledge of Master Ra (known as Ra-Den to them), a Titan Watcher similar to those left behind in Ulduar. When he did that, he spoke the following words: "We have fallen. We must rebuild the Final Titan. Do not forget." I've wondered long and hard what that could mean. But it wasn't until I considered the powers the Titans bestowed upon the five Dragon Aspects so long ago. Their control of life, magic, dreams, the very land beneath our feet and time's ebb and flow was so absolute that it beggars the imagination, and it also asks us a question - could they bestow this power, if they did not have it themselves, and more besides?

We casually discuss the vast oceans of time that separate us from the Titans. Untold tens of thousands of years, perhaps more - indeed, none can say exactly how far in the past the Titans began their ordering of the universe, much less arrived to create Azeroth. Sargeras had already fallen to be the Dark Titan over 25,000 years ago, but how far before that is unknown to us. But it brings a question to mind - how could such powerful entities seemingly vanish? Why have they left their creations to their own devices? Why are emissaries such as Algalon watching over their creation, rather than the Titans themselves? Is it merely that they are so distant from mundane mortal concerns, living on a scale vastly beyond our comprehension?

I submit it is something else entirely. To determine what, we must look at their actions, and the servants they've chosen to enact their will.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore, TFH edition: Sargeras was right

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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.

Imagine if you will a perfectly nice little wooded area, teeming with wildlife. Here, there's a bird's nest; there, a small group of deer peacefully grazing on the grass. Over the hill lives a small pack of coyotes that will eventually hunt the deer, but it helps keep the deer population down. Circle of life and all that. Some years, the wildlife flourishes; other years, water is scarce and so is food. Those are the lean times, but somehow the little wooded area continues to thrive on its own, waxing and waning its way through the years.

Now imagine that little wooded grove gets targeted for development. All woodland creatures are systematically driven out of the area or killed. The lovely trees are ripped from the ground one by one. The grass is torn up, dirt and earth moved and leveled out. And one by one, houses pop up where the wooded area used to be. Clean and tidy paved roads, white picket fences all in a row, pretty if bland houses plunked into symmetric lots carefully designed for the maximum use of space. Those who live in the houses may occasionally see a deer out the window, a remnant of the wood that no longer exists.

Which is better?

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

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat: Destroying this clockwork universe

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.

If you've ever run the Black Morass in the Caverns of Time, you may recall Aeonus' memorable line upon entering the fray: "The time has come to shatter this clockwork universe forever!" A clockwork, as we know, is a precision instrument, an engineered and designed mechanism that proceeds along a rigidly programmed path. A clockwork does exactly what it was designed to do -- it ticks off the seconds in a preordained fashion.

I bring this up because of the revelation that the Titans, when they created the dragon aspects, seemingly knew that one of them would go mad and align himself with the Old Gods. The four aspects who remained seemed convinced that this moment, this Hour of Twilight, is what they were created to avert. The question then becomes, why would the Titans empower Neltharion in the first place if they knew what he would do? Why would they create a powerful entity like an aspect if they knew he would become corrupted?

The answer may be as simple as this: They didn't know it -- they simply anticipated it. The mechanism was designed to accommodate a great many options.

Algalon the Observer
Your actions are illogical. All possible results for this encounter have been calculated. The Pantheon will receive the Observer's message regardless of outcome.

This is a Tinfoil Hat edition of Know Your Lore. It takes established game lore and speculates on what it could, might, or does mean. It contains spoilers and, furthermore, is not to be taken for actual in-game or tie-in story.

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

Know Your Lore: Nozdormu the Timeless


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? E-mail us! Or, if you have a question for our sister column Ask a Lore Nerd, e-mail us those, too!

Nozdormu is the fifth and final dragon aspect, since the filthy Netherwing aspect doesn't count! Silly mutant spawn of Deathwing, thinking they're special or something. Anyhow, Nozdormu the Timeless is the aspect of the Bronze Dragonflight, and was given his power by the titan lord Aman'Thul. Nozdormu has power over time and can, technically, alter it to his whims. Though he's capable of doing such, he is meant to watch over the timeline and prevent it from being altered by outside forces.

Nozdormu, more or less, oversees the Caverns of Time. Or rather, he has in the past. Currently Nozdormu is preoccupied with some uberpowerful anomaly in the timeline, and has left his prime consort Soridormi in charge. You would think the Timeless One would have all the time in the world to get things done, but his history in Warcraft thus far says otherwise.

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

Oceanic Alliance characters to get free PvE to PvP transfers

If you're a regular reader of our Guildwatch feature, you may remember hearing about the woes of the Oceanic PvP realm Thaurissan on the last Guildwatch. The server is incredibly Horde heavy, with an estimated 14 to 1 imbalance, and the server denizens say it is genuinely near impossible to get 25 people together to do raid content on the Alliance side. Unfortunately , we also know that Blizzard is still firmly against PvE to PvP realm transfers, which may be preventing Thaurissan from getting the influx of new blood they need.

However, for the sake of Thaurissan's Alliance, they have suspended this restriction. Starting today, June 12th, and ending no later than June 19th, Alliance characters (and only Alliance characters) from the Oceanic PvE realms Nagrand, Aman'thul, and Khaz'goroth will be eligible for free transfers to the Thaurissan realm. Blizzard reserves the right to close transfers early if they meet their goals, so if you're eligible and you want to go, you'd better get that request in now.

This is not the first time they've done this type of thing. Over two years ago, a large cluster of PvE realms were given the opportunity to transfer to the Black Dragonflight and Dalvengyr PvP servers. Thus, it seems that they can be convinced to waive their restrictions on transfers, but that a chance to do so may only come up once every 2 years. Good luck to everyone transferring to Thaurissan, and hopefully this gives the Thaurissan Alliance the shot in the arm they need to get their end game going.

Filed under: Alliance, Realm News, Realm Status, News items

The most powerful character in Azeroth

Killah sent us a interesting question: who is the most powerful character in all of Azeroth? We've talked about this one before, but it's been a while, and considering that we've learned a lot since last December about Azeroth and what's happening in it, I'd say it's worth another look.

So who's on top? Last time around, we said Sargeras or Elune, but let's refine things a bit-- those two may both be very powerful, but Sargeras is currently "ceased to be," and Elune, who supposedly created the world, doesn't actually use that power much, does she? If she was so peaceful and in charge, why's the world called Warcraft?

Still, looking down the list, Elune does seem to top it-- if you're talking about potential power, she's it. Aman'thul and the Pantheon are up there-- they toppled Sargeras and have even killed the Old Gods. But the most powerful character that we know for certain is actually in Azeroth right now? Besides the winner of the our One Boss Leaves tournament, I'm not sure. Nozdormu? The Lich King?

Unless by "most powerful character," Killah actually means player character. In that case, I have no idea. Awake? One of the guys from Team Pandemic?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

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