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Posts with tag arathi-highlands

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Alternate Azeroth

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.

Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate, splinter reality in which Garrosh Hellscream has gone back in time and prevented the leaders of the old orc clans from drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. In this version of reality, several events have changed dramatically -- leading players to ask many, many questions about alternate Azeroth, how its history has been altered, and how that changes the Azeroth we know and love today. The answer is very simple: it doesn't. Not in the slightest. That alternate Azeroth, and whatever future it may hold, has no bearing on Warlords of Draenor at all. We won't be exploring that world, and our Azeroth remains unchanged.

However, people still continue to ask. So we're going to take a little trip into that alternate reality and explore what that version of Azeroth would theoretically look like without the Dark Portal. We're going to explore this alternate world, take a look at what likely never came to pass, and what happened as a result. And then we're going to quietly put all of that away, because this is all information and events that we are not going to see in Warlords of Draenor. But it'll be nice to get it out of our systems, won't it?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.4 PTR: New scenario, Stromgarde Keep

Patch 54 PTR New scenario, Stromgarde Keep
Tucked in among all the other patch 5.4 files dug up by Wowhead is a new scenario with little to no information in terms of maps, bosses, or achievements. You might overlook this scenario in favor of other information, but Alliance players in particular may want to look again, because it looks as though we'll be paying a visit to Stromgarde Keep. Players may or may not remember the deserted ruins over in the Arathi Highlands, once home to the Trollbane line -- unfortunately, the zone didn't get much of a revamp during Cataclysm.

But the potential for this new scenario is huge, depending on what exactly we'll be doing while we're in there. There doesn't appear to be a faction requirement for the scenario, so it seems both Alliance and Horde players will be entering the zone -- whether or not we'll be able to keep our appearance, or be under another disguise effect, is currently a mystery. However, Stromgarde holds tremendous potential, because it represents a foothold steeped in a staggering amount of history for the Alliance, and the human race.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Creature Feature: The Tiny Twister, ruiner of the bench

Tiny Twister
Not all wild battle pets spawn by the same rules. Finding the pet you want may be more involved than making a cursory flyover of a zone while watching your minimap. Some wild pets only spawn during certain weather conditions. Some wild pets share spawns with full-fledged mobs. Today's pet, the Tiny Twister, is the latter sort ... maybe.

The Tiny Twister is an Elemental-type pet that can be found in the Arathi Highlands. The curious thing about this pet is that players aren't completely sure how its spawn works. There are three different common beliefs about its spawning:
  • It shares its spawn with the Thundering Exiles in the area, so you must kill them for a chance at a Tiny Twister spawn
  • It shares its spawn with any other type of wild pet in the area, so you must eliminate those for a chance at a Tiny Twister spawn
  • Only X number of Tiny Twisters can spawn in a given length of time, so all you can do is wait
There is more evidence for that second option than any other, but without the ability to see the coding behind its spawns, we can't be too sure in any direction. In any case, killing the Thundering Exiles and eliminating other wild pets in the area would be a good way to pass the time while waiting for a Tiny Twister to spawn, so it doesn't matter which theory is correct, in any case. Engaging in all of the above applies in one way or another. All of that being said, if you rush out to Arathi Highlands immediately after a server reset, you'll find the place absolutely littered with these little guys and will have no problem catching one whatsoever.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Vanilla WoW's most hidden quest line

Faldir's Cove
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?

The southern coast of Arathi Highlands is mountainous and all but impassable. Most players leveling through the zone in vanilla never bothered to explore beyond the steep ridges. Yet if you were curious, you might have discovered a tucked-away area known as Faldir's Cove. To find it, you either had to swim along the coast or discover a small cave tucked away in the hills southeast of Stromgarde. The area wasn't labeled on the map, and no NPC sent you there. Explorers were rewarded with perhaps the least-known quest chain in vanilla.

Other secret quests such as Message in a Bottle were "hidden" in plain sight in high-traffic areas. You were bound to notice The Matron Protectorate if you ran Blackrock Spire enough -- or someone would helpfully point it out to you while you were grouped. The only one that might be more obscure was Sully Balloo's Letter, but that wasn't really a line of quests, and you didn't do anything but talk to some NPCs. Therefore, I give the title of most hidden quest line to Faldir's Cove.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Cataclysm Zone Review: Wetlands


This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Read at your own risk!


Looks like the Wetlands just got a little wetter. (What the -- who took my sunglasses?!) The swamplands of Khaz Modan have gotten some updates -- some for the better, some for the worse, and some for the downright awesome.

Dun Algaz The familiar twisting tunnels leading from Loch Modan to the Wetlands have remained intact, including the halfway-point town of Dun Algaz, still overrun by the Dragonmaw. Like many areas that haven't changed a whole lot, the questing here has been changed up slightly but mostly made shorter. In this case, your objective is retrieving some precious cargo -- and if you didn't guess alcohol was involved, you've forgotten that you're in dwarf country.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners' guide to Arathi Basin

Zach loves the Battlegrounds. He could probably play World of Warcraft entirely though the Battlegrounds, because he's kind of lame like that. If he could have the word 'Battlegrounds' tattooed on his rump, he totally wouldn't... because dude, that's just wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up a basic look at the Battlegrounds for all the new players who don't know anything about it. From the looks of it, Blizzard expects an influx of new players, too, so newbies will always be on the lookout for 'For Dummies'-type information. Because we're such awesome folks over here at WoW.com, we're ready to oblige. Last week we answered some basic questions about the game's first Battleground, Warsong Gulch. This week, we'll answer some beginner's questions about Arathi Basin, the next Battleground leveling players are eligible to enter. Hit the Read More button to, you know, read more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Exploring the World of Warcraft


One of the things which kept me in Azeroth -- at least long enough for the addictive side of the game to set in -- was the promise of exploration. I originally rolled a human mage and still remember at level five, being taken all the way from Elwynn Forest to Darnassus. Bear in mind though, this was back before The Burning Crusade when being Alliance meant traveling from the Eastern Kingdoms to Kalimdor took a good forty minutes if you didn't have the flight paths or a mount. You had to get the tram to Ironforge then run the gauntlet of death to Menethil, catch the boat to Theramore, get another to Auberdine and then fly or get another boat to Teldrassil. The whole trip really showed me how big the world was, as well as teaching me all about threat and my ability to aggro everything in a three-zone radius.

So when I rolled my druid, the day before the expansion hit, I was determined to see as much as this beautifully crafted world as I could. Yes, I essentially had a death wish. I was exploring Outland with an honour guard of my guildies at level 10 (and hearthed in Shattrath), I ran through the Arathi Highlands at level thirty, swam through Un'Goro Crater in my forties and was pushing the boundaries of Shattrath by my fifties.

However along the way I found some amazing places: the crystal filled cave at Marshal's Refuge, the boughs where the Dragons of Nightmare can occasionally be found, the first time you run into Azuregos in Azshara, the Twin Colossals of Feralas -- well the eastern one at any rate. Then when I got my flying mount I really started exploring properly.Nagrand alone is full of nooks and crannies and I adore the beauty of Crystalsong Forest.

So come on, readers, I want to know if you've explored all the hidden places of Azeroth and Outland. Do you have any favourites? You do? Great, be sure to tell us about them in the comments box.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.0.2 graveyard

There's a lot of great stuff incoming with patch 3.0.2, but there's a lot of stuff leaving as well -- here's a rundown of what we'll be missing after today.
Mages, contrary to rumor, are actually not getting removed from the game. But it's bye-bye to bears, potions, and pet training -- it's going to be a very different game when you log in for the first time after patch 3.0.2 hits.

Update: We even missed some -- more after the break.

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Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Lore: Zul'aman vs. Sunwell Plateau


So... how is Blizzard doing on Lore?

Ever since the Burning Crusade came out, the battle cry of many a disgruntled fan has been "lollore," a cry which signifies a disgust with the direction the story has taken and a belief that many of the twists have betrayed the previous feel of the world or fallen short of some expected level of quality. Now honestly, There have been some lore twists I haven't really liked. Certainly, there were ways to give us the Draenei besides besides massively retconning the back story of the Burning Legion and making Sargeras corrupt them instead of the other way around. That said, I don't really mind that the Draenei came to us on a space ship. After all, the Orcs came to us through a Stargate!

I also appreciate that Blizzard has, in the lore arena, learned where they tripped up and tried to correct it. This is very apparent to me in the differences between the Lore behind Zul'Aman and the Lore behind the Sunwell Plateau. Where Zul'Aman's lore felt lackluster and weak, the lore behind patch 2.4 keeps getting better and better.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Trolls, Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, RP, NPCs

Chinese television reuses Azerothian maps


This is wild. According to Variety's Asian film blog, the above is reportedly a picture from China's military television channel, from a documentary about troop movements last year between Turkey, Iraq and Iran. See anything familiar?

They have reused the mountain textures and background from WoW's Arathi Highlands map. There's been a little bit of tweaking, but it's pretty clear that they overlaid the countries on the Highlands. Apparently Stromgarde got split between Turkey and Iraq, and Baghdad sits right near the Circle of Inner Binding, while Refuge Pointe (and the Alliance entrance to the Arathi Basin) is right on the Iraq-Iran border. Who knew there was so much oil guarded by Fozruk and those ogres?

What I'd like to know is how this connection was made in the first place. It's probably too good to be true, but I'd like to think that the graphic designer for this documentary was trying to figure out how to make this graphic, played a little WoW, and recognized some familiar shapes when he pulled up the map on his level 35 alt.

[Via GSW]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor

Around Azeroth: Waiting...


Reader Andy sends in this unique perspective of Arathi Basin, pre-battle. And though any of you who have run AB will know this view by heart as you autorun up against the gate, ready to spring forth as soon as possible, this particular moment of tension is rarely captured in screenshot form. Just look at the blacksmith in the distance, an undefended node, ripe for the capturing, as soon as these pesky gates open!

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Filed under: PvP, Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Battlegrounds

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