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Posts with tag arathi

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

Know Your Lore: The humans, 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.

We've talked about their politics and their ancestors, but humanity itself has not really been described in detail -- and it deserves to be. The humans of Azeroth derive from the ancient servitors of the Titans, and their origins lie in the frozen continent of Northrend (indeed, before it was a continent of its own), but they've developed over time into a brash, persevering people of their own who rose to master the Eastern Kingdoms and who had endured two hideous wars with alien invaders, the plague of undeath that shattered their strongest kingdom, and times of chaos and uncertainty. It is humanity that holds the Alliance together today, serving to unite disparate peoples in a collective that grows more cohesive in the face of growing Horde expansionism.

The ultimate drive to exist that has kept humanity going past world-shaking calamities must be respected. When war and strife come, humans have risen to the challenge. Although one of the shortest-lived of Azeroth's native races and possessed of one of the youngest cultures, human have risen on the strength of their determination.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

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 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

The Art of War(craft): Idyllic Arathi Basin

All political leaders love resources. In fact, most wars are waged because of them. Most of them must've read Sun Tzu, who once wrote, "a wise General makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own store." The leaders of the Forsaken Defilers and the League of Arathor must've had The Art of War in their battle chests, too, since they've been at odds for some time now over the resource-rich Arathi Basin. Unlike Alterac Valley, where one of the goals is to destroy enemy resources, Arathi Basin is all about taking them.

Arathi Basin is the third Battleground to be introduced in World of Warcraft, a few patches after Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley. Situated in Arathi Highlands, the basin is the cause of conflict between the Horde-aligned Defilers and the League, who are loyal to the Alliance. The Battleground is a 15-player map consisting of five nodes that can be captured to acquire resources -- the Blacksmith, Farm, Gold Mine, Lumber Mill, and Stables. Each node has a clickable flag that allows your team to capture it; it takes 10 seconds to tag a flag, and tagged flags will convert to your side in one minute. The objective of the game is to be the first team to reach 2000 resources -- If you control a node, your team will accumulate resources. The more nodes you control, the more resources you get at a faster rate. Players can enter Arathi Basin as early as level 20, but the real fun starts at levels 40 and 60 -- when players get apprentice and journeyman Riding skills, respectively. Any sooner and Arathi Basin usually ends up being a lot of running and a little fighting. If you're in the mood to play WoW's version of king of the hill, head over to your nearest Battlemaster and enlist. And don't forget to pack your Riding Crop. You'll need it.

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

Around Azeroth: Moonrise over Arathi

Reader Blackopszero of Whisperwind sends in this look at the moon over the Arathi Highlands. Is that a rogue I see hiding in the grass up there? Maybe, maybe not...

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing! You can attach a picture file or send us a link to one -- and don't worry about formatting, we'll take care of that part.

See more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Features, Screenshots

New EU Servers This Week!

CM Thundgot brings news that we should expect seven new EU servers some time this week, though not before maintenance on Wednesday.  These will all be open character creation (no transfers), so start planning your new guild now!

Update:  The servers below are expected to open on Wednesday, April the 5th in the afternoon or evening.

Eonar (PvE)
Vek'nilash (PvP)
Ravenholdt (RP PvP)

Arathi (PvP)

Die Nachtwache (RP)
Vek'lor (PvP)
Der abyssische Rat (RP PvP)

Good deeds

Issue 28 of The Escapist has two pieces that look at the good deeds players do, and both are interesting to read. Mark Wallace's "One Night in Arathi" is a tale of cross-faction co-operation, and John Walker's "Sick of Healing" talks about the problems healers can face as a support class.

I've encountered cross-faction friendliness a number of times, occasionally instigating it. My PvE server characters shy away from unnecessary combat, and although my PvP toons are much more battle-hungry, some bad ganking experiences make me steer clear of any rogue Alliance players. Sure, it's the carebear way to play, but one of the great things about WoW is that you can have moments like Mark Wallace's Arathi adventure as well as some terrific in-the-field PvP.

As for the healing, I wholeheartedly agree that healers tend to get a raw deal. One slip up--one!--and it can all be over in a heartbeat, with the healer getting the blame for everything. Fortunately, the death penalty in WoW isn't as severe as in some other games--John Walker's article talks about City of Heroes, which uses an "XP debt" system to make death a real pain. I enjoy playing a healer most of the time, but John is spot on about many players' attitudes to us.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends

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