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Posts with tag august-celestials

New faction short story: The Jade Hunters

While the August Celestials weren't my favorite reputation grind in Pandaria -- not by a long shot -- I spent most of the expansion fascinated by the Celestials themselves. Where did they come from? What was their purpose in Pandaria? What was up with that statue of the Jade Serpent in the Jade Forest, why was Yu'lon's life bound to it, and were the other Celestials similarly bound?

Blizzard's latest and last offering in the faction short story releases we've seen all expansion is the one I was looking forward to most of all, because of those questions. The Jade Hunters by Matt Burns touches on the story of the August Celestials -- not the creatures themselves, but the organization, and how it came to be. But that's all a backdrop to the far larger story being told, one that finally highlights and talks about the three dwarf clans brought together in Cataclysm.

Oh, and it also talks about that statue that we completely destroyed in the Jade Forest.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Black Prince

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.

Wrathion, the last black dragon -- to his knowledge -- on the entirety of Azeroth has been a puzzle from the moment his egg was created. His immediate response upon hatching was a vicious, calculated attack on his own flight via the use of assassins, which resulted in the nigh-extinction of the black dragonflight. And after completing that mission, he curiously chose, instead of going somewhere to be left alone as he stated he wanted, to go to Pandaria -- where he began an even curiouser journey that players were quickly swept into upon reaching level 90.

Wrathion's travels in Pandaria, his sudden gaining of a multitude of Blacktalon Agents, even the spot in which he chose to make his temporary home are all increasingly questionable, especially given what little we know about Wrathion himself. He gives us a grand, magnanimous story about how he's looking out for the world because he's seen visions of the Burning Legion coming to call, and of our world's destruction.

But he also said he was firmly on the side of the Horde, or the side of the Alliance, then swapped sides as efficiently as possible when it was convenient. In other words, Wrathion lies. He lies all the time. So the question we should be asking here is whether Wrathion has been giving us the real truth at all -- and what is the truth behind Wrathion's puzzling journey?

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

August Celestials hotfixed to accomodate smaller groups

Just one hotfix was released last night, but it was a doozy for those looking to complete their legendary cloaks. All four Celestials on the Timeless Isle have had their health reduced to 25% of their original giant-raid-worthy health pool. If more than 10 players from the same faction engage with a Celestial, its health will scale up to compensate. The scaling will stop at 100% of their original health once 40 players are engaged in the encounter.

The last step of Wrathion's expansion-long chain to obtain legendary cloaks was easy enough when patch 5.4 went live, but these days fewer players are killing the Celestials each week. I know my server usually sees a lot of Celestial kills on Tuesday, but that number drops rapidly as the week wanes on, making it far more difficult for players that are trying to catch up and get their cloak. This change should hopefully make it a little more feasible for players to complete the quest.

While it's nice to see this change applied to the Celestials, I wish we'd see the same technology applied to the rest of Pandaria's world raid bosses as well. The Sha of Fear, Galleon, Oondasta, and Nalak all drop mounts, but it's difficult to find a raid group to take these bosses on so late in the expansion. As the expansion's end draws near, it would be nice to see that technology put in place for older content as well as the new. What do you guys think?

Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: What are the Old Gods?

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition What are the Old Gods
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.

They are malignant entities, forces of chaos and destruction that were locked beneath Azeroth long, long before most of the sentient races we know today came to be. The Old Gods, horrific creatures capable of warping mind and thought, bending "lesser creatures" to their whim, once reigned supreme on Azeroth until they fell to the Titans. Yet they persisted still, even from within their prisons deep beneath the soil. C'thun, Yogg-Saron, N'zoth, and even the haunted last breaths of the Old God Y'Shaarj have presented a persistent menace that simply will not go away.

And according to at least some accounts told in Titan records, it's because they can't go away. They can't be killed. Destroying the Old Gods would result in the destruction of Azeroth itself, which is why the Titans chose to merely imprison them instead of flat-out destroy. But one question lingers, in the midst of all the this muddled history. Who -- or perhaps more appropriately, what -- are the Old Gods? Where did they come from? Which version of their history is correct ... or is the truth simply sitting somewhere in between the two?

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 how it happened. 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

Reputation in review: Pandaria

Reputation in review Pandaria
Mists of Pandaria represents a dynamic change to how we look at reputation in World of Warcraft. While Cataclysm's reputations were all by and large flat dungeon grinds aided by the use of reputation tabards, reputation in Mists took a much different approach. In fact, it took many, many different approaches -- each reputation grind in Mists of Pandaria was slightly different from the next, with no two taking the exact same process to get to the end of the climb.

On the WoW Insider show, we've talked before about how this is likely a grand experiment on Blizzard's part -- one to see which aspects of grinding reputation players tend to take really well, and which could be happily left behind. I've reviewed quite a few of the reputation grinds in Pandaria myself over the course of the expansion, largely because I'm obsessed with filling all those green bars. But what about the big picture? What really worked with reputation grinding in Mists, and what deserves to be left in the dust?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The legacy you will leave behind

Know Your Lore The legacy you will leave behind
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.

Mists of Pandaria is the story of an outsider, washed upon foreign shores, who changed the course of destiny for herself (or himself) and the world entire. Pandaria and the rest of Azeroth shifted on the fulcrum he (or possibly she) provided - the mogu, the mantid, the sha all fell before her (him) and even the Thunder King himself lies dead at his feet... or hooves, perhaps. Also, it hay have been her feet. Because in the end, Mists of Pandaria is the closest any MMO has ever come to being a single-player campaign and an multi-player experience at the same time. Mists of Pandaria is about you, your choices, the impact you have had and will have on the world.

There have been tragedies. This isn't about those tragedies or what they might mean in the larger picture. Gods and dragons and celestials can worry themselves about what may be and what might happen - heroes live and act in the now. Given a bad situation, they take action to make it better. It can hurt, absolutely, but finding that balance between contemplation and action, to know what to do and then to do it, is all the difference. Let's tell that story, of one figure who landed a vagabond on a new shore.

There will be spoilers for Patch 5.4 and the legendary quest chain in this post.

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

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The haunting refrain of the Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The haunting refrain of the Mists of Pandaria
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.

This column had a different subject earlier today. I was going to talk about the Warchief situation leading into patch 5.4, as we'll be playing through that content on Tuesday. But as I was gathering screenshots of relevant questlines and information on my Alliance alt, I flew absently into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and happened upon the above scene, coming to a full stop and simply sitting there as I took it all in. Refugees. Hundreds of them, happily filing into the Vale just after the gates were opened and talking excitedly about the golden valley that was certain to be a verdant new homeland for those that had suffered at the hands of the yaungol and Zandalari in Kun-Lai.

And it hit me like a particularly vicious kick to the gut. It's been so long since I unlocked the Vale and leveled through that content last year that I'd forgotten this idyllic little scene, before all the chaos erupts. You, the player, are the hero of all of these pandaren -- you are the one who fought back the yaungol, the Zandalari, and offered these people a glimmer of hope. You're the person that single-handedly convinced the August Celestials to open the gates of the Vale and offer refuge to those that had lost their homes in Kun-Lai.

And you're the one that allowed what's going to happen in patch 5.4.

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 how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore. Please note: There are some spoilers for patch 5.4 content in this post.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard previews the Timeless Isle

There's something to be said for open-ended exploration in World of Warcraft. One of my favorite experiences so far has been bopping around the Isle of Giants, just sort of looking around at all the dinosaurs (cause, well, you know, dinosaurs) and it seems that in patch 5.4, we're going to get an even more involved place to check out with The Timeless Isle.

World bosses? Check, including one that requires a legendary cape to access (and who drops a pair of shoulders I'm invested in) as well as rare mobs that anyone, even Horde and Alliance, can work together to bring down and get some loot. If you want to make friends with Emperor Shaohao, run around attacking everything in sight, or just check out a new landscape the Timeless Isle has things for you to do. If you want, you can even click the Censer of Eternal Agony and flag for PvP even with people in your own faction.

By necessity I'm leaving out tons, so head on over to Blizzard and check it out for yourself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Legendary spell effects for all (druids included)

Legendary cloaks feature legendary spell effects for all druids included
In case you were thinking the legendary cloaks in patch 5.4 weren't really flashy, think again. MMO-Champion has discovered new spell effects for the legendary cloaks that are pretty gorgeous. The cloaks are not available on the PTR as of yet, but it appears that they are some kind of spell effect proc similar to the procs displayed by Challenge Mode armor sets, rather than being on and flashy all the time.

Although discussion about the fact that we're getting legendary cloaks rather than weapons has been pretty heated, a lot of the discussion boils down to the fact that cloak graphics are regularly turned off by many players, leaving them feeling a little uninspired by Wrathion's last offering. Are the ultra-flashy spell procs just the thing to change the minds of players? Good question -- but MMO-Champion has put together a video of all four spell procs, available after the break.

Please note that this is datamined material. Spell effects, visuals, and the procs themselves may change over time before patch 5.4 hits live servers.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: A glimpse of the Timeless Isle

Patch 54 PTR A glimpse of the Timeless Isle
Patch 5.4 has plenty of new features to offer, but at the present time many of those features haven't quite been released yet on the PTR, including the Timeless Isle. What's the Timeless Isle? It seems to be home to the new pet battle tournament that was discovered, as well as some sort of temporary hiding place or home for the August Celestials as well.

You can't access the Timeless Isle on the PTR currently, but Adriacraft has managed to put together some footage of the Isle in detail. The video is after the break.

Please note: This post contains possible spoilers for patch 5.4.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Celestials, Ancients and Aspects

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Celestials, Ancients and Aspects
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 took a tinfoil-hat look at the Curse of Flesh and why, exactly, that strange curse came to be. We also took a look at theories behind why the Titans didn't simply wipe the Old Gods out of existence -- and in what order Azeroth's creation took place. If you haven't read last week's offering, I'd suggest doing so now, because the theories I'm going to present today tie into that material. While the Old Gods have been pointed out time and again as being on Azeroth since the dawn of time, there are other creatures with just as lengthy a history.

The Ancients are, as their name suggests, ancient -- and the Celestials of Pandaria seem to be just as ancient and wise. These creatures are all there to supposedly help the mortals of Azeroth and protect the world from harm. In the War of the Ancients, many of these odd demigods helped the kaldorei fight off the Burning Legion, and with a great deal of success. In Pandaria, the Celestials have their own curious methods of helping out the world -- after all, it was the Jade Serpent who told Emperor Shaohao of the sha, albeit indirectly.

So who are the Celestials? Who are the Ancients? And how do they tie into that weird mystery that is Azeroth?

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 as a result. 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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Everything is connected

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Everything is connected
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 looked at the true origins of the mogu as revealed in patch 5.2. Let's face it -- Pandaria is full of mysteries. It's been feeding us answers to questions very, very slowly, but each answer raises another score of questions as a result. And despite getting answers to the unique origins of the mogu, it still leaves us wondering who Ra-den really was. More importantly, it raises the question of Titan Keepers, and how those Keepers are assigned.

By all rights, Pandaria should have more than Ra-den to watch over it. The mysterious continent is chock-full of Titan technology, and due to the death of Y'shaarj, it presents far more problems than even Ulduar had to offer up in Northrend. With all that said, where are the other Keepers of Pandaria? Do any still exist? Are they in stasis, or guarding something in an area still unexplored? More importantly -- all of Pandaria is connected, but how? And how does Emperor Shaohao fit into all of this?

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 as a result. 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 5.2: Zandalari Warbringers and where to find them

Patch 52 Zandalari Warbringers and where to find them
The new patch has plenty to offer with a new raid, a new zone, and tons of new quests and content. But don't forget the rest of Pandaria in your travels, because the Isle of Thunder isn't the only thing to discover in patch 5.2. The Isle of Giants located north of Kun-Lai Summit offers several different things to obtain through the mass slaughter of dinosaurs -- and scattered across Pandaria are a selection of new rares to plunder.

These rares, discovered early in the PTR cycle, aren't your typical rare mob. Unlike the other rare spawns scattered around Pandaria, these are gold elite mobs that require far more skill. There are three different mobs that spawn -- stealthed scouts, flying elites shown in the picture above, and Zandalari Warbringers. It's the Warbringers that offer the most difficult challenge, requiring a tank and healer at bare minimum to bring down.

So where do you find these wonderful mobs, and why do you want to kill them?

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

We don't need daily quests anymore

We don't need daily quests anymore
I think I've firmly established that I really love doing quests, and that I'm fine with daily quests as a whole. Sure, some of them may have had their moments of extreme frustration, but by and large the daily quest system in Mists of Pandaria is pretty entertaining. But while it's entertaining to me, and it's fine with some players, there are others who cannot stand the system. They hate daily quests. The sight of a blue exclamation point is a source of constant irritation.

And it doesn't really matter how you wrap up that package, it's still going to be annoying content that players feel they must complete in order to be competitive. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter what is tied to the system, or if it offers rewards of value, like Lesser Charms or valor points. Adding the value to the daily quest system doesn't make completing the quests any more compelling, it just makes them another chore that must be completed.

Which is why daily quests need to go away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The August Celestials

Know Your Lore The August Celestials
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 August Celestials are comparable to the Ancients of Kalimdor and Northrend. (Whether or not the Ancients reach into the Eastern Kingdoms is debatable - I haven't seen any there, but that doesn't mean they can't get there.) They serve as the four pillars of Pandaria, sustaining the lands under their protection from the four temples that bear their names. Xuen the White Tiger to the north in Kun-Lai Summit, the powerful Niuzao the Black Ox to the west in the Townlong Steppes, Chi-Ji the Red Crane from the Krasarang Wilds to the south, and Yu'lon the Jade Serpent from her temple in the Jade Forest. Since before the time of Shaohao the last Pandaren Emperor, these four have advised and aided the peoples of Pandaria, protecting the land from the malign influences of the Sha, the rapacious expansion of the mantid, and the cruel oppression of the mogu. It's fair to speculate on whether or not the pandaren, jinyu and hozen could have hoped to have freed themselves without the August Celestials.

Yet these four spirits and their temples, while powerful influences on the culture and life of the lands of Pandaria, are not omnipresent parental figures. They do not shepherd their followers, but encourage them. They won't stand idly by and allow them to be destroyed, but neither will they control their lives.

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

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