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Posts with tag andorhal

Lichborne: Divining the direction of death knight lore in Pandaria

Forsaken Death Knight in Ebon Hold
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Let's face it: We had it pretty good in Wrath. Since that expansion was our grand debut, we were everywhere. We had an opening experience where we connected with our origin and found out that our own factions, for obvious reasons, barely trusted us. We were instrumental to the battle in Northrend, doing things other factions wouldn't do, with a clear goal of destroying those who wronged us. We were perfect tragic figures with some robust story and great characters in the form of Thassarian, Crok Scourgebane, and Darion Mograine, among others.

In Cataclysm, things have been, to say the least, a little bit sparser. With Arthas dead, do death knights have a purpose in lore anymore, or are we just around because it'd be sort of silly to remove the class and have everyone reroll? I tend to think death knights are still a pretty interesting and dynamic class, story-wise, and this week, we'll look at where we are at the end of Cataclysm and where our story might go in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 2

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 development of lore in WoW has ramped up over the years. While vanilla saw a few lore developments, players could still wander the lands of Azeroth with nary a clue as to why they were there, skipping quest text altogether in favor of simply getting the job done. The Burning Crusade saw more of these lore-related quests introduced, and Wrath pushed the concept even further. But Cataclysm's taken lore and gameplay to a new level of interactivity.

Last week, in segments #10 through #8, we talked about a few of those innovations in lore development, include the emphasis on focused, directed storytelling over the aimless wandering days of vanilla WoW and the trend of releasing free-to-read short stories on the official website. Both of these have their ups and downs, but the short stories weren't the only focus of Blizzard's writing department.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.4

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Onwards we go through the tomes of World of Warcraft history. Today we come to patch 1.4, released May 2005, a short two months after patch 1.3. Patch 1.4 was the sort of patch we would be shocked to see nowadays: it contained no raid zones and no instances. It wasn't bare of content, though. Some highlights from this patch are:
  • The implementation of the earliest iteration of the honor system
  • Sweeping itemization changes in high end 5-man dungeons and raid zones
  • The outdoor area of Andorhal was revamped from, quite literally, the ground up
  • And the most controversial classic WoW change of them all: the succubus model was updated
Let's dig in. Just like our patch 1.3 discussion, our first page will be the patch notes (which are always massive) and the second page will be our in-depth look at the highlights.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, part 1


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.

It can be reasonably argued that of all the faction leaders currently featured in Cataclysm, none are quite as questionable in both motive and actions as Sylvanas Windrunner. The history of Sylvanas and her role in Wrath of the Lich King has already been discussed in the Forsaken politics article from earlier this year; at the point it was written, we had no real idea what exactly she was going to be doing in Cataclysm. Now we have answers, and those answers do nothing but raise even more incredibly disturbing questions.

Where do the Banshee Queen's loyalties lie? To the Horde, to her people, or to some other power entirely? Sylvanas' past was fraught with grief and horror; her future seems to be teetering on the brink of something even worse. With the introduction of the worgen, Sylvanas has something to focus on -- but what exactly are her motives, and who is it that she's ultimately fighting for?

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore


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.

Duty first. Grief second. Self-pity? Never.

Daughter of a Grand Admiral, once intended of a prince, and one of the greatest mages in the history of Azeroth -- it's a hell of a reputation to live up to, but Jaina Proudmoore is nothing if not conscious of the example she sets to others. While other leaders have suffered greatly and bear the scars of their past as a badge of honor to further their pursuits, Jaina has had her own share of grief. Yet unlike the other leaders of her time, she bears her sorrow quietly, burying it under responsibility and an unwavering dedication to the greater good of the world.

Jaina Proudmoore was the youngest of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore's children. The only girl born to the family, Jaina had a lot to live up to -- and she was determined not to spend her life as one of other ladies of the noble court. From a young age, Jaina showed a remarkable aptitude for the magical arts. Around age 11, she was sent to Dalaran to study among the mages of the Kirin Tor -- something that may have been a daunting task for other children her age, but not Jaina. She'd spent her childhood reading tales of Aegwynn, one of the greatest Guardians the world had known. The tales of how Aegwynn had overcome the stigma of being a female wizard and achieved far greater success with her position than any man in the Guardian line only served to fuel Jaina's ambitions, even though she was but a child at the time.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

One Boss Leaves: Chrono-Lord Epoch stops Prince Taldaram


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to Round Two of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Prince Taldaram claimed he would drink no blood before his time – and thus, he ran dry in last week's Thunderdome matchup with Chrono-Lord Epoch. The Chrono-Lord held off the Prince by a margin of nearly 10% of the popular vote, and pulling out a victory that could truly be characterized as "just in time."

Clydtsdk-Rivendare called the fight: Five words to stop you: Can't do that while stunned.

In all seriousness, it depends. If this were in game, Taldaram would have a massive edge, what with the life drain. However, in theory, CLE is able to travel in time; thus, if he makes a mistake in combat, he could correct it.

Lemme give a short roundup.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

That woman is a man, man

Chromie, the little champion of the Bronze Dragonflight, is quite possibly one of the most polarizing figures in World of Warcraft. You love her or you hate her. She's either adorably awesome, or irritatingly stupid. I, for one, hate her because I had to do her quests in Andorhal before they completely redesigned that part of the zone to suck less. My girlfriend thinks Chromie is the greatest thing since sliced bread. There's something you should know, though. Chromie is a man. Well, probably.

How can I make such outlandish accusations? Well, have you run Caverns of Time: The Culling of Stratholme? At the very end, you'll see that Chromie's Dragon form sports a pretty thick beard. More importantly than that, Chromie's Draconic name is Chronormu. Following the naming scheme of the Bronze Dragonflight, names ending with -ormu are male, and -ormi are female. The exceptions being those ending with -os (male) and -a (female) which are general dragon naming schemes. Were Chromie indeed a female, her name would be Chronormi and not Chronormu.

Chromie is a man. A man, or a woman who had very cruel parents.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Lore

[1:Local]: Perspectives on WoW past, present and future

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

We don't miss that at all
This Breakfast Topic, which looked back at the little annoyances we're not sorry have gone the way of the dodo, included plenty of nostalgia for the epic-length Alterac Valleys of old. Players claimed to have hated them back then – but they seem to miss them now that they're a thing of the past.

A number of readers pegged a different annoyance that early WoW players remember with chagrin. "One of the things I remember with the least amount of fondness is unconnected flight paths," noted lightningjynx. "There wasn't the clicking a destination halfway across the world and going to do something productive while you waited. No, you had to stare at your character flying to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, unless you had all the flight path times memorized and played that way." "Wow, yeah, I had forgotten about that," agreed MadScientist17. "Had to try to remember which flight points went where."

We agree, too – but ultimately, we think Veil has the pointiest point: "Definitely don't miss old Andorhal. That place was an f'ing death trap."

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Filed under: Fan stuff, [1.Local]

The funny, morbid, and sad coins of the Dalaran fountain


Level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain.

I'm serious. This completely nonsensible and illogical statement is brought to you by the 53 tiny lore moments you'll get if you'll just sit yourself down somewhere and level up fishing. Yes, it's boring having to fish up dozens of useless fish to get to the good stuff in Outland and Northrend. Yes, you could be farming up gold or materials that will help you level in Wrath. I don't care. Go fish.

You see, while you'll be fishing up a lot of equally useless fish in the Dalaran fountain, you'll also get coins. No, not in the sense that you'll be fishing up ingame money, but you'll fish up coins tossed into the fountain of this very old city by 53 people, many of whom will be known to you if you've played the game for any length of time. Some of them, perhaps most of them, are funny. Some are serious. Some are heartbreaking. I admit to a touch of being a lore geek, and it was wonderful being allowed a peek into the irreverent or hopeful or sad heads of Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall, or Stalvan Mistmantle. It is idiosyncratic little touches like this that make WoW hopelessly fun to play, and it is my fondest wish that whatever person at Blizzard who thought this up is pulled off whatever they're doing right now and chained to a desk until they come up with more stuff like this.

So, if you don't do anything else with your time between patch 3.02 hitting and Wrath going live...level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain. But don't read any further if you're not interested in Wrath spoilers, because there are a few here...

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Lore, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Death Knight Gameplay Movies: Unholy and Blood trees


Jadefury, also known as Leiah, writer of the World of Feedback blog, has fast become one of the most recognizable names in Deathknighting of those following the Wrath Beta. Among his contributions have been 2 videos that showcase the leveling playstyle of Unholy and Blood trees. They're definitely worth a watch for anyone who's seriously thinking of playing a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King.

The Unholy video, shown above, uses this spec. It actually relies quite heavily on two Blood talents: Butchery and Vendetta. Those 2 talents provide the Death Knight with health and runic power after every mob death, which helps power Corpse Explosions and allows the Death Knight to stand up to lots of monsters at once. Jadefury also shows the power of Death and Decay, Lichborne, and Bone Armor, and even throws in an exploding Ghoul or two, following it all up with a showcase of the awesome Death Gate animation.

I have to admit that I have some concern that this style of AE farming won't be viable for Death Knights everywhere, since in this video, he relied extensively on getting Runic Power via Vendetta due to quick kills on the low HP slimes in the Pools of Aggonar. On the other hand, it looks like a lot of fun, and solidifies my personal resolve to try an Unholy build first.

After the break, we'll watch the Blood video.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Expansions, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Urgent Realm Maintenance

Several realms (Andorhal, Anetheron, Archimonde, Dalaran, Dentarg, Duskwood, Executus, Haomarush, Khadgar, Mal'Ganis, Scilla, Steamwheedle Cartel, Turalyon, Ysera, Ysondre, and Zuluhed) were brought down tonight for urgent maintenance around 5:15 PST with a note that expected downtime was to be minimal.  The servers seemed to pop up online again not so long after but the uptime doesn't seem to have last - around 6:30 PST most (all?) are offline again.  Oddly, all of these servers appear to be those running on new hardware...

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Server Downtime Thursday

Gone
fishin'Blizzard is rolling out new hardware for several US realms this Thursday, and the process of transferring the realms means - you guessed it, extensive downtime.  The migration will begin on Thursday at 12:01 AM PST and may last as long as 24 hours.  Those of you on effected realms will receive an extra day's credit to your account, which is, I suppose, better than nothing.  Following the migration, Blizzard plans to open character transfers from existing realms to new realms (yet to be opened) to further help with performance and overcrowding issues.

Realms transferring to new hardware are Archimonde, Dalaran, Khadgar, and Mal'Ganis.

Other affected realms include Aggramar, Andorhal, Anetheron, Burning Blade, Burning Legion, Dentarg, Duskwood, Earthen Ring, Eonar, Eredar, Executus, Gilneas, Gorefiend, Haomarush, Kargath, Laughing Skull, Lightning's Blade, Llane, Malygos, Scilla, Shadow Moon, Steamwheedle Cartel, Thunderhorn, Thunderlord, Turalyon, Ysera, Ysondre, and Zuluhed.  While these realms are not receiving a hardware upgrade, Tseric explains that current equipment configuration requires this.

Update: The schedule has been pushed back to Thursday.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Four More New Realms!

You read that right.  At 12:00 PM PST there will be four more new realms opening for those of you interested in making a new start in the world.  So let's all give Ysera (PVE), Dentarg (PVP), Andorhal (PVP), and Executus (PVP) a warm welcome to the server list.

Also worth noting that these, and all of the other recently opened realms, are running on gleaming new hardware.  Hopefully this means improved performance and reduced lag.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

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