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Posts with tag aq

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.

Read more →

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

The mystery of the dragon in Ahn'Qiraj

The mystery of the dragon in Ahn'Qiraj
Some things were added to Patch 5.3 that we don't have an explanation for yet, and one of those things is Andrestrasz, a level 5 red dragon sleeping in a cave on the coast behind Ahn'Qiraj, the Fallen Kingdom on the edge of the Kalimdor continent. To reach him, simply fly over AQ to the coast and follow a copse of trees until you find his cave, wherein he sleeps... and does nothing at all as far as I could tell. There's already multiple pages of speculation about him, but as of yet, I've found absolutely nothing out about the guy.

Who is Andrestrasz? Why is he sleeping in a cave behind AQ? Why is he level five in a zone that's completely deserted and surrounded by zones (Silithus, Un'Goro, Tanaris, Uldum) that are all much higher level? I have no idea, but patch 5.3 brought him in, so maybe we'll see more of him in future content.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.1 hotfixes for January 22

It's time for those hotfixes again. This time around, we're looking at fixes mostly aimed at raid issues -- Sigils of Power and Wisdom will be dropping in separate raids, that Amber-Shaper Un'Sok will behave himself in Raid Finder, and at long last people who've been soloing the Twin Emperors in Ahn'Qiraj now have a fair chance to get that pet, as both emperors will be tagged and lootable by anyone.

Patch 5.1 Hotfixes - January 22nd
January 22

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Sigils of Power now only drop in Mogu'shan Vaults, and Sigils of Wisdom will only drop in Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring, with a very small chance to drop in LFR Mogu'shan Vaults. This should ensure that players who had access to Mogu'shan Vaults for a longer period of time are now seeing more Sigils of Wisdom.

Heart of Fear
  • Amber-Shaper Un'sok
  • Un'sok's Amber Scalpel will now always be awarded to the correct classes in the Raid Finder version of this encounter.
Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
  • Emperor Vek'lor and Emperor Vek'nilash in the Twin Emperors encounter will now always award loot properly when slain.
Bug Fixes
  • Progress towards the "Test of Valor" quest and achievement will now be saved when a character changes factions.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Bugs, Blizzard, Hotfixes

AQ gates to be open on new realms

In a discussion of new realm transfers opening up, we get this tidbit: from now on, new realms will be created with the AQ gates already open. What that means is, there will be no races on any newly created servers in the future to be the first to gain the Scarab Lord title, for one thing. Those servers will have no Scarab Lords until one transfers there, because it will be impossible to complete the quest chain necesssary for the title. It also means that if you missed the title on your original server but were going to try and transfer to pick it up, you can forget it. Unless you can find a server that's currently active that doesn't have the gates open, I suppose.

The way the statement is phrased is a little odd: By automatically opening the gates and allowing immediate access to the Ahn'Qiraj instances, we would like to promote the higher level content that is available as well as ensure a smooth overall experience for players on these new realms. I suppose they just mean the 20 and 40 man instances that are already there, but it seems odd to call level 60 raids higher level content at this point.

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

3.0 won't break everything

A lot of people (including some folks here at WoW Insider) are super concerned that when Blizzard does release a 3.0 patch early, it'll basically break everything we're doing now. Potion sickness on the live realms? Shield Block cooldown extended? With those changes, it seems bosses like Illidan would be basically unbeatable.

But Blizzard says, as they always do: don't worry. The latest word is that 3.0.2 is heading to the PTRs, and it's pretty clear that if 3.0 is going to break everything in the game, that's where Blizzard will find out. Don't forget that we've got months until the expansion comes out (and likely even a few months until the actual patch hits the live realms), which means there's tons of time to tweak and twist and get all of the new changes working with the old content.

This doesn't mean that things won't be broken -- we're curious to see, especially in even older instances like AQ and Molten Core, what things are like with all of the 3.0 updates. But it does mean that they'll likely be broken on the PTR -- in a few months from now, when this patch finally goes live, Blizzard should have most of the wrinkles evened out.

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Two Bosses Enter: Lady Vashj vs. Princess Huhuran

Two bosses may enter... but only one will get to leave in WoW Insider's fantasy deathmatch series. Every week we pit two of the World of Warcraft's raid bosses against one another in a battle that your votes get to decide. This week we have Lady Vashj from Serpentshrine Caverns in Outland matching up against Princess Huhuran from Ahn'Qiraj in old Azeroth. Though both of them are perfectly happy to wipe player raids, how would they fare against one another? Ultimately, that's for you to decide -- so read on!

Read more →

Filed under: Raiding, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

World events and how to run them

There's a discussion going down on the forums about what many consider to be the most exciting part of MMO games, including World of Warcraft-- world events. As many drawbacks as there were to the AQ events, no one can argue that they didn't affect everyone in the World-- everyone was able to step up and help the war effort, and even though everyone didn't fit in Silithus, everyone came across some of the invaders that spread across the world. While the Naxx event was that way as well, we haven't really seen anything else on that scale even in this, the largest MMO ever. And let's not forget that since Burning Crusade was released, we're dealing with a lot more people-- there are huge amounts of the population who have never seen a world event yet.

Which makes it all the more likely that we will see a big one for Wrath of the Lich King. Bornakk says that while Blizzard realizes that a lot needs to go into creating a big world event, they've also learned a lot from Brewfest and the Hallow's End events about how to both tune the scale and get players involved. But Blizzard still wants to do a big one, and from what we heard at BlizzCon, they're going to come up with a reason for Alliance and Horde to head up to Northrend after Arthas.

My guess? Arthas is going to become a threat again-- he'll invade Undercity, or bomb Darnassus, or somehow attack our world. And for the first time that I can think of since the game has started, we're going to actually lose something-- an NPC, a city (at the very least, Dalaran) or something else. For all of the fighting going on in the world of Warcraft, it hasn't yet changed that much. And I think that with the next expansion, Blizzard is looking to have Arthas shake things up a bit.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

40 men on a raid

Kavis wonders if he's the only person who wants 40 man raids back. I'm sure he's not the only person, but I'd bet he's in the minority. Forty man raids may sound super fun in theory, but in practice they are pretty miserable-- it's hell to coordinate the schedules of 40 people on a regular basis, and then it's even worse to actually get them to line up on time and do what needs to be done. I don't know if Kavis ever actually ran Molten Core or BWL or Naxx, but while 40 man raids were fun while they lasted, 10 and 25 man raids are much, much easier on raidleaders and guildies alike.

As Bornakk says, the devs love 25 man raids too-- since 40 man raids could be carried by about 25 good players anyway, it makes things much easier for everyone, in terms of individual contributions.

Now, if Kavis is asking to return to the 40 man content, I'm completely down with that. BWL, AQ, and Naxx were fun to go through when you had a good group rolling (as rare as that was), and the content there shouldn't be abandoned (Naxx, we already know, is likely being repurposed in WotLK). But as for a return to the days of trying to get 40 people together for five hours on a Sunday evening? No thanks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Phat Loot Phriday: Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal

They don't come much more rare than this baby-- you had 10 hours to get it, and the overwhelming odds are that you didn't anyway.

Name: Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal
Type: Legendary Ground Mount
Speed: 100%
  • Well technically, the crystal isn't the mount-- it just summons one. It's the bug looking thing you see above.
  • It's called a Silithid Scarab, or more formally, a Black Qiraji Battle Tank.
  • Can be ridden anywhere in the world. More on why that's so special in a second.
  • And while this may be a "bug" (get it?), players are reporting that there's something special about the way this mount is summoned-- while you do have to be out of combat and unmounted to actually summon it (like all mounts), you don't have to be either when you start summoning it (unlike other mounts). So you could be in combat (like, in a battleground), start to summon the mount, and as long as you've left combat by the time it finished, you'll be mounted.
How to Get It: You can't. At least, most of you can't. Lots of people can get non-black bug mounts-- they drop pretty regularly in Ahn'Qiraj 40, and can only be used in that instance (and not in combat-- apparently the bugs are very skittish).

But the black qiraji mounts are very, very rare, and the reason is this: they were given only to players who hit the gong outside of Ahn'Qiraj only during a 10-hour period after the opening of the gates.

So here's how to get one. First of all, if you're on a server where the gates have been open for more than 10 hours (which is most of them), you're out of luck. So you'll have to roll a toon on one of the newer servers-- yes, there are still quite a few servers out there who have not yet opened the AQ gates.

Then, of course, you'll have to get your character all the way up to 60, so you can start the questline that will give you the mallet you need to bang the gong to open the gates. In order to actually finish this questline, however, (which starts in Silithus, if you really want to try), you'll have to go all over Azeroth and do all kinds of super heroic stuff-- in short, you'll need to be backed by a guild full of people who know what they're doing. Oh, and then there's the whole "War Effort" thing. If you were playing back when AQ first came out, you'll remember that opening the gates requires the whole server-- Horde and Alliance-- to collect tons and tons of items for "the War Effort."

But after all that is finished (all in a day's work, right?), you can finally take your Scepter of Ahn'Qiraj down to the gates of AQ, hit the gong, and this black bug mount is yours. Oh, and if you're not the first to open the gates, you can still get the mount, you just have to hit the gong (which means you need to finish the quest also) sometime within 10 hours of when it is first hit. See why the mount is so rare?

Getting Rid of It:
You're joking, right? Vendors won't even accept this thing from you.

Filed under: Items, How-tos, Quests, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Mounts

How to fix the old instances

Before the expansion came out, we wondered and wondered what would happen to the old level 60 instances when the Dark Portal opened. And now that it's here, we know: no one's running them. Oh, there's a few quest groups here and there of people working their way up to 58 (the bare minimum to come through to Outland), but there's almost zero reason to run AQ or ZG 20-mans, considering the loot is just so much better, even just in Hellfire Peninsula. And MC, on my server at least, is a barren wasteland-- why take four hours with 40 people just for a few good pieces when you can get much better loot in 15 minutes of questing in Outland?

So what to do? We're sure Blizzard will come up with a way to make these instances relevant again-- in fact, I'd be surprised if, despite what they said earlier, they weren't already working on it now. But just to help them, here's a few suggestions of how to fix the old instances.

-First, and most obvious, is enabling Heroic mode. We already have dungeons in Outland that will be able to be tuned to Heroic mode, which means bosses and mobs are harder, but give much better drops. In the same way, Blizzard is likely going to let us optionally turn up the difficulty in UBRS or Stratholme, offering better loot for a bigger challenge.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Phat Loot Phriday: Doomulus Prime

Lots of players love getting this big red-and-black hammer as a quest reward when raiding for the first time. But not all of them know who it came from-- a WoW player who announced some sad news recently.

Name: Doomulus Prime
Type: Rare Two-Hand Mace
Damage / Speed: 158-265 / 3.80 (55.7 DPS)
  • It's not quite as good as the inset above: the real version gives you only +22 to both Strength and Stamina.
  • On equip: Increases your hit rating by 10.
  • Came from a newspaper comic! Yes, the Doomulous Prime was originally envisioned by Bill Amend, the cartoonist behind the comic strip Foxtrot. He's had a running joke in his series about "World of Warquest," a game that one of his characters plays that bears a striking resemblance to our favorite game. Allakhazam's got a lot of the strips, and even an interview (Amend plays a Night Elf, but we like him anyway).
  • Unfortunately, he's taking a break-- Amend announced this week that starting Sunday, his comic will only appear on Sundays. A darn shame. But our good friends at Joystiq have discovered what he's going to be doing with his time from now on: playing WoW, of course.
How to Get It: After the mace appeared in the paper, Blizzard included it with the Ahn'Qiraj patch, so you've got to go to Silithus to pick this quest up. It's called The Perfect Poison, and it'll send you to kill Kurinaxx in AQ20 and Venoxis in ZG. Both bosses are early on in the instance (and two of the easiest raid bosses in the game), so for the effort, this is one of the best quest rewards in the game. And it's just one choice of many, many good quest rewards-- if your guild is running raids at all, do this quest! Right now!

Getting Rid of It: BOP (because it's a quest reward, dur). Sells to vendors for 6g 41s 37c. Kudos to Amend for thinking up this great hunk of spiky red and black metal in the first place-- now that he's got more free time, maybe he'll be able to get his Druid up high enough to get it!

Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Instances, Quests, Features, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Forum Post of the Day: Please open the AQ gates...

US realm Gnomeregan is asking Blizzard to open the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj for them. Why? They're a 5 month old realm (meaning no realm transfers for another month) and, while the war effort was completed 2 months ago, no guild on the realm has downed Ragnaros yet -- and with the guild tensions caused by the coming expansion, no guild seems organized enough to get there, and the serious PvE players are transferring to greener pastures. And once the expansion hits, who is really going to be interested in doing the huge quest chain in order to open the gates? (For reference, the quest to open the gates requires a raid guild capable of clearing Blackwing Lair in fairly speedy fashion -- and no one's likely to jump from wiping on Ragnaros to clearing through Nefarian before the expansion comes out.) So will the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj simply never open on Gnomeregan?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Should current endgame content be scalable in BC?

Jayne from Mug'thol has an interesting thought over on the forums: he lodges a request to Blizzard to make the current endgame dungeons (BWL, AQ, and Naxx) scalable in the upcoming expansion. We already know a few of the new instances will be scalable-- when you take on the Hellfire Citadel level 60-62 wing at level 70, it'll be harder and have different rewards. So why not, says Jayne, make the current endgame instances scalable as well, so they just as much of a challenge to level 70 players in the expansion as they do to level 60s now. In one sense, Jayne has a good point. Especially in Naxx, an instance that has only been in the game for a relatively short time, scaling it to level 70 might give it a little longer shelf life. And since anyone who's 70 won't even get experience from level 60 mobs, there might not be much pull for players to go back and do the "old" instances.

But personally, I'd rather see the new content be for level 70s and let this current endgame become part of the middle game. Jayne says that having only a small percentage of players able to play this content would extend its life, but I disagree-- I can't wait to get into Naxx with my casual guild in level 65 gear and tear things up. And I'd be very surprised if there wasn't enough content in the expansion to keep players interested all the way until the next patch-- we're not just talking a new instance for level 70s, we're talking almost another half of the existing game. Leaving the current endgame at the level its at will just let more players experience all the hard work and lore the devs have put into it.

Of course, that does kind of invalidate all the hard work current endgame raiders have put into getting their way through Naxx. Thoughts?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions

C'Thun's Loot Table?

Eye of C'ThunNo, C'Thun has not been killed yet, but there are already rumors floating around as to what he might drop. Sure, there's no proof of any of this, but news of this nature seems to inevitably leak early - from Nefarian's loot tables to every set of patch notes. Casters will immediately be drawn to a new legendary item - a trinket dubbed The Piercing Eye of the Abyss. It gives an underwhelming bonus of 2% spell crit but also has the following interesting effect...

Upon death, you have a chance to be possessed by the spirit of the Old God for 20 seconds. While possessed you cannot be attacked or targeted by any spells or effects and your damage spells deal bonus Shadow damage. When the effect ends, you die.

While certainly interesting, I'm not entirely sure what to make of this item, or any other item that requires your death as a pre-requisite for usefulness.

Filed under: Items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

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