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Posts with tag arthas

Know Your Lore: Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas

Know Your Lore Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas SUN
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.

Who?

Generally speaking, that's the reaction you'll get when you mention Lor'themar. Though he's been leader of the blood elves since The Burning Crusade launched in 2006, barely a word has been heard from him, and few know his history. Indeed, the sindorei themselves have done little since the events involving the Sunwell's restoration. They hardly seem like strong supporters of the Horde at all. Given this, it's almost easy to see where Garrosh's viewpoint regarding the blood elves comes from.

But the very fact that few know of Lor'themar's exploits, that few know of any tales spun from the lands of Quel'Thalas, is a subtle indication of something far deeper that is actually going on in the forests. The blood elves have had to deal with the most crippling blow their society has ever faced, the destruction of the Sunwell, and the decision of how to proceed after the damage was done is something that plagues the Regent Lord to this day.

It's not easy being a leader. It's even more difficult to be a leader in the face of constant adversity and to do so while still retaining what parts of a decent creature you are while you're at it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite Blizzard cinematic or cutscene?

In a recent installment of The Queue, reader Victor commented about a thread in the Brazilian forums that debated best WoW cinematic. I think it is difficult to decide the absolute best, so I started to consider which one was my favorite.

But the first Warcraft cinematic that came to mind -- the one that moved me more than any I've seen -- is not actually from World of Warcraft. Arthas killing his father in Warcraft III blew me away. The betrayal. The graphics. The story that instantly fascinated me. I can still remember the feeling I had when I first watched it over the shoulder of someone who had the collector's edition. I wanted to run out and buy the game, but I am terrible at real-time strategy titles.

My second favorite is from Diablo III, but I won't spoil it. The cinematic that occurs between Acts I and II is wonderful. And the scene I love most from WoW is actually a cutscene: Wrathgate. So. Awesome.

What is your favorite cutscene or cinematic from Blizzard?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: The role of characters in WoW lore

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.

One of the interesting aspects of the Warcraft setting is which characters have achieved a kind of iconic status. The lore of the game is the unfolding story, and the story is ultimately shaped and defined by its characters. The story is what happened to, and because of, these people be they orc, human, troll, night elf, gnome, tauren or pandaren.

Take Rexxar, for instance. He's one of my favorite characters in Warcraft. Why? Why do I love Rexxar? Well, in part I enjoy that his mixed heritage makes him an outcast in a faction of outcasts, that he was one of the few to see how twisted and warped the old Horde was in time to step away from it before it began its campaign of atrocity across Azeroth. I like his simple faith in the ideals Thrall represented for the Horde in Durotar, his willingness to fight to preserve them, and the lengths he went while at the same time knowing exactly when to finally stop. Rexxar knew that defeating Theramore and Admiral Proudmoore was enough; he didn't have to destroy it.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Weapons of Lore: Benediction

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For a priest, it represented the ultimate in weapons, a staff designed to assist with the greatest of healers or the darkest of shadowy specters. For others, the staff was a signal that the healer they'd just run into was one of the few and highly skilled, capable of keeping them alive in the darkest of situations. Though epic in quality, the staff Benediction was akin to a legendary in stats and appearance. Clicking on Benediction wouldn't give you wings or turn you into a mount; instead, the staff transformed into Anathema, a completely different staff with a completely different set of stats.

There has never been another weapon released with Benediction's glimmering golden model or with Anathema's dangerous silver spines. Benediction is no longer obtainable in game; it was removed when Cataclysm was introduced. But for players in vanilla WoW lucky enough to get the appropriate quest drops, Benediction represented the best of the best in healing staves for the majority of the original iteration of the game. Others looked at the weapon with awe, but the lucky priest who wielded it knew there was more to the staff than a set of killer stats.

Benediction may have been a brilliant weapon, but its origins were stained with the blood of thousands of innocents.

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Filed under: Lore

Know Your Lore: Never to rise again

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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.

There will be spoilers for the revamped Scholomance Mists of Pandaria heroic in this post.

Arthas Menethil is dead.

He's not just dead; he's really, most sincerely dead. He is no more. He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, yes, but as Sylvanas Windrunner saw during her own recent experience in Northrend, he does not rest in peace. The Lich King lives on in the form of Bolvar Fordragon, but Arthas? Arthas is dead. No king rules forever.

And yet Arthas' hand reached far across the world before he died. Even before he became a Lich King, Arthas forever warped the world of Azeroth. Even before his soul was blasted and rent asunder by Frostmourne and he became a servant of the then-Lich King, the former Ner'zhul, Arthas destroyed a city by his own hand and his own will. What Arthas did can never be truly undone. As much as they hate him, the Forsaken of Undercity owe their freedom from the Burning Legion to Arthas' move against the Dreadlords following the Battle for Mount Hyjal. As much as she hates him, Sylvanas owes not only her current existence but the val'kyr that have twice raised her from death to Arthas.

Unlike Tinfoil Hat KYLs, this particular post is speculation and rumination without a theory to support or prove. It's musing on the nature of undeath, the role of the Lich King, the discordant notes and unreliable narrators of this particular part of the story. It asks several questions and does not have any answers to them.

Does Bolvar Fordragon sit alone atop the Frozen Throne? Does Sylvanas Windrunner rule herself? Can we trust the val'kyr's word? And if Arthas Menethil still existed within the Lich King, holding the Scourge in check, then what did Tirion Fordring destroy in the Cathedral of Darkness? What of Matthias Lenher?

I have no answers but many questions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Limited edition Arthas statue available for preorder from Sideshow Collectibles

His expansion may be over, but we are far from done with Arthas. Now available for preorder from Sideshow Collectibles, this absolutely gorgeous statue featuring the Lich King himself can be in your greedy hands by the holidays for $349.99. And as a bonus for the Warcraft community, Sideshow has also created an exclusive desktop wallpaper free for download.

Arthas stands at 19 inches tall atop an icy, glacier-blue base, hand-painted and frosted. Since this statue is crafted from polystone and weighs in at approximately 20 pounds, you can be certain of one thing -- this is a statue and definitely not an action figure in any way, shape or form. While preorders are open now, the statue is not estimated to ship until October 2012. If you're looking for a stunning, eye-catching holiday present for your favorite Warcraft-playing friend --or simply want a conversation piece for yourself -- this will easily fit the bill.

Visit Sideshow's official website to see a full gallery of Arthas in all his glory, place a preorder, or get your hands on the exclusive desktop wallpaper.

Filed under: News items

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The naaru are a menace that must be destroyed

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 soothing light fills you as you approach the naaru. Slow musical chimes echo within your mind and though a word is not uttered, you feel an assurance of safety.

They glimmer with the purity of the Light, and their very presence fills one with a warm, calm feeling of inner peace. They also teach the ways of the Light -- the draenei would not be paladins were it not for these mysterious creature's intervention. In fact, the benevolent naaru came to Velen in a vision when his world was at its darkest hour, offering him hope, salvation, escape ... and the knowledge that there was a far larger battle out there, one that had yet to come to pass.

Kil'jaeden and Archimonde eagerly agreed to follow and serve Sargeras, becoming the highest-ranked members of the Burning Legion. As for Velen, he took the worried, the lost, the concerned draenei with him and fled, pledging his servitude to the naaru and their righteous cause. Two causes, one outwardly and easily identifiable as evil -- and the other, far more sinister and wicked than anything the Burning Legion could ever hope to achieve.

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 what is to come. These speculations are merely theories and should not be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Limited edition WoW cups coming to ampm stores

Upset over the cancellation of BlizzCon 2012 and looking to drown your sorrows in a massive cup adorned with one of your favorite Warcraft characters? Blizzard is teaming up with ampm to promote World of Warcraft cups featuring Arthas, Kil'jaedan, Illidan, and Deathwing. We don't have a release date for the cups just yet, but look for more information as the promotion gets closer to beginning.

World of Warcraft is entering over seven years of operation and still going strong, enough so that regional advertising campaigns at widespread retailers are an attractive move. WoW has definitely eclipsed the video game market and is instead focusing on attracting new players because, for the most part, a lot of the home team market is dried up. By putting WoW in places where less typical gamers might encounter it, Blizzard has a great chance of attracting new people.

Can we please get the dataminers on this and tell us what size cups these are, as well as the materials used to make them? I love those study plastic cups. I'm waiting patiently.

Filed under: News items

Why you might like Blizzard DOTA

Fans of Defense of the Ancients, the immensely popular Warcraft III mod that spawned an entirely new genre of gaming, are already conditioned to love Blizzard DOTA. I got to play it this week at BlizzCon 2011 and had a great time getting into the very familiar world. However, many Blizzard fans are not DOTA enthusiasts or even privy to the genre itself. WoW players may not really understand what this Blizzard offering is about or even why they should be interested. Warcraft fan-favorite characters Thrall and Arthas are making appearance in Blizzard DOTA, which means gamers who have ever wanted to pit these monolithic figures against other Blizzard staple characters will get the chance. Here's what you need to know about Blizzard DOTA and why you just might like playing as one of your favorite WoW personalities.

Defense of the Ancients was originally a Warcraft III mod that became so incredibly popular that it spawned the genre know known as MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) or ARTS (action real-time strategy), depending on who you ask. The game consists of three paths that connect two bases with destructible buildings and towers along the path routes. Waves of minions or creeps, NPC characters that spawn endlessly from both bases, meet in the middle of these lanes to do battle. You control a powerful hero who levels up, gains skills and abilities, and can purchase items from a shop. Your goal is to fight these minions and enemy players, destroy the enemy towers and buildings, and win the game.

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Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

Know Your Lore: The Story of Us -- Quests in WoW, part 3

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 full questing experience in Wrath of the Lich King was vast. Levels 70 to 80, with quests for every zone, instance, and even raid instance, was quite possibly the most complicated total questing experience ever designed for World of Warcraft. Add in the death knight starting experience and the patches that each brought in new content, and you're looking at a real achievement in quest design. Wrath of the Lich King was indisputably the crucible in which Cataclysm's 1-to-60 quest redesign was forged, and it absolutely gave the lie to the misguided idea that the quest design team was somehow coasting on the achievements of the game's original launch.

We talked last week about how questing in Wrath worked up to the "first act" of the Wrathgate and Battle for Undercity, and then we looked at Ulduar and how it managed to integrate a very divergent lore element into the expansion. This week, we'll discuss the Lich King in more detail and how he functioned as a device to get the players involved.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: Lore Q&A-palooza

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.

Warcraft has a huge story behind it that stretches back over three expansions and an original MMO, three RTS games, and expansions to those RTS games. It covers novels, comics, manga, short stories, and even books, quests, and items currently found in World of Warcraft. The sheer amount of information out there can be a dizzying, massive pile of stuff to keep track of for the average player. Though Cataclysm's done pretty well with incorporating story and lore into gameplay, there are still tons of question out there left to be answered. Cataclysm doesn't cover everything.

That said, this week I decided to mix it up a bit and answer some lore questions from previous posts. To mix it up even more, I also put a call out on Twitter for everyone's burning lore questions. I won't be doing these too terribly often, but if you've got a question that isn't answered in this post, feel free to leave a comment and I'll come back here next time I decide to do a Q&A. Let's get started, shall we?

@ericisgame from Twitter asked:

How many Old Gods are there currently and how many do you think will be eventually revealed?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Lore 101 -- How to fold a Tinfoil Hat

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.

Out of all of the lore articles I've written so far for WoW Insider, none seem to garner quite as much commentary as the tinfoil hat series. Whether I'm babbling on about Elune being a naaru, the Lich King being a walking plane of existence, or the possibility that Azeroth is just a giant trap for Sargeras, coming up with theories and tossing them at you guys is an exercise in creative thinking.

Rather than go on with another crazy theory, this week I decided to go a different direction entirely. There are a few tricks to trying to predict what's going to happen with a book or an ongoing story like Warcraft. It's not just about coming up with wild ideas; they have to actually be plausible ideas. And it's not about what you think should happen; it's about trying to define what may come to pass. Today, we're going to take a look at the nuts and bolts of what defines a story, what makes up a tinfoil hat theory, and how to apply it not just to Warcraft but to anything you happen to be reading.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Warcraft cosmos, Tinfoil Hat edition

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.

Last week, we wrapped up the second half of the Warcraft cosmos series and covered the additional planes of existence within the Warcraft universe. These layers of planes and the way they interlock is a tricky topic that, quite frankly, gives most people a headache when they think about it too long -- myself included. However, now that we've got the basic layers and interaction between all these planes of existence, there is an incredible amount of speculation to be done.

That's right; today's a Tinfoil Hat edition of Know Your Lore. If you are unfamiliar with the Tinfoil Hat concept, these are columns in which we take existing known lore and place our own spin on it to try and speculate on future events. None of the Tinfoil Hat columns should be taken as actual lore by any stretch of the imagination. However, there is a great deal of fun to be had in picking things apart and trying to predict, so let's see what we can come up with, shall we? But first, let's clear up the matter of demonic death.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in raids

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we return to flogging the guts out of bosses that might puke up a horse.

Today we're going to look at mounts that drop in (or, in one case, as part of a quest within) raids. I'd initially expected to include mounts like the Ulduar proto-drakes and Icecrown frostwyrms, but they're really more the result of a series of achievements rather than encounters themselves. Otherwise, there are more than enough pure drops to keep us occupied today; Blizzard's always been fond of making unique mounts the potential reward of difficult raid encounters, and you'll get a few extra feats of strength if you nab some of these beauties.

Also read:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WoW TCG Assault on Icecrown Citadel 4-player game now available

Grab three friends and roll the dice to see who gets to be the Lich King -- Cryptozoic Entertainment just released the Assault on Icecrown Citadel four-player game! The game is built on the WoW Trading Card Game, but rather than having to build and use your own deck, you take control of decks themed around Icecrown's biggest heroes: Tirion Fordring, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Jaina Proudmoore. Each hero plays differently, and you'll need all of their unique abilities and weapons to defeat the Lich King, also controlled by a player. To top it off, it's packaged with a special Treasure Pack containing cards unique to the set and Worldbreaker loot cards.

I was lucky enough to get to play the game before its release, and I can vouch for its fun factor. Being able to play as a lore hero instead of an average Joe gives the game a really epic feeling.

The Assault on Icecrown Citadel game retails for $39.99 and is available at retailers now.

Filed under: WoW TCG

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