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Posts with tag azshara

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: Heroes of the Storm

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition Heroes of the Storm
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.

Since The Dark Below was unveiled as a hoax -- or at the very least, a trademark that hasn't actually been filed -- players are still curious about the question of the next expansion. And now we have a new trademark supposedly filed, titled Heroes of the Storm. Let's face it -- we still don't know if this is real. We don't know if it's Warcraft, or if it's tied to some other franchise. We don't know if it's an expansion title, or perhaps some new thing that simply hasn't been announced yet.

But let's put all that aside for a moment and take a look at the title and what it means in relation to Warcraft. If this is, somehow, the title for the next expansion, what exactly would that expansion entail? The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria -- all of these titles seemed to straightforwardly suggest what the expansion itself was going to be about. So what does Heroes of the Storm imply?

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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Dark Below

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition The Dark Below
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.
I see them! A million worlds glittering in their perfection! One above all others! We have fallen, we must rebuild the final Titan! Do not forget.
Wrathion may have just finished chowing down on the heart of the Thunder King when he rattled off that strange speech about this bizarre "final Titan," but what he said seemed to indicate there is far more going on in Pandaria than we'd thought. Or, on the other hand, there is far more going on in Azeroth than we thought. Things that must be taken care of, things so urgent that Wrathion is attempting to set the war between Alliance and Horde on fast-forward so that we can skip that part and simply jump to what he thinks is the important stuff.

Earlier this week, Blizzard appeared to be trademarking something called The Dark Below, and many have speculated that it's the name of the next WoW expansion, largely because of the existence of Ozumat and his title, Fiend of the Dark Below. The trademark was later revealed as a possible hoax -- and later still, revealed to be a trademark in Europe. So is it WoW? If it is a WoW trademark, what could possibly be in an expansion with that title?

I have absolutely no idea. But that makes for some excellent Tinfoil Hat speculation, so why don't we look at what could potentially be lurking in The Dark Below?

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

Breakfast Topic: What will the next WoW expansion be?

Mists of Pandaria is our Emerald Dream expansion
What will the next WoW expansion be? With only one major content patch left in Mists of Pandaria, and BlizzCon 2013 around the corner, it won't be long before we know what's next. But what do you think is coming? Will we be venturing into the Emerald Dream alongside Malfurion, or was Anne Stickney onto something when she speculated that the Mists of Pandaria might be our Emerald Dream expansion?

What about the ongoing legendary questline with Wrathion? Wrathion has been referencing the return of the Burning Legion in much of his quest text. Does that mean demons will be descending upon Azeroth in the next expansion? Will we finally get to see Sargeras?

Also, you wouldn't want to forget Queen Azshara. You would think we'd have seen her and the city Nazjatar in the Cataclysm expansion, but so far she's only made minor or indirect appearances. Azshara is the perfect accompaniment to some recent fan speculation about the naga being the next possible playable race. Unfortunately, Ghostcrawler pretty much shot that down by pointing out the naga's lack of legs would make it difficult to design armor for them.

And, of course, there's always ... Trolls? Wait, really? More trolls? You wouldn't think it, but in the same interview where Ghostcrawler killed our naga dreams, he said that trolls were an option the game lore could still explore in future content. Huh ... Go figure.

So, what do you think the next WoW expansion will be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

http://www.blogcdn.com/wow.joystiq.com/media/2013/03/map-header.jpg
World of Warcraft sometimes gets panned for its graphics, which have never been on the bleeding edge of virtual reality. This, however, was a deliberate choice on Blizzard's part, and I think it's a good one. It allows for people who are behind the hardware curve (such as myself) to enjoy the game, and the graphics' intentional cartoonishness holds up better over time than hyper-realistic renderings, which often seem horribly dated within months. More importantly, WoW's beauty hasn't suffered for it. Azeroth is stunning.

I've compiled a list of the ten spots I personally find to be most beautiful, and by spots, I truly mean spots, not entire zones. I expect many of you will have wildly differing opinions, and I look forward to reading about them. The ten locations are listed in alphabetical order by zone; there's no way I could actually order them - I would never be able to decide!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Well of Eternity

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.

Long, long before the rise of human and orc, the world of Azeroth was far different than it appears today. Instead of the multitude of continents we know of, there was simply one: Kalimdor. It was essentially Azeroth's version of Pangaea -- a supercontinent that covered the world. Places that we travel to today, Northrend, the Eastern Kingdoms, even the islands off the coasts of the world were all part of the massive continent. This was Azeroth, back in the day -- one world, one continent, and a lot of Old Gods.

Theories seem to be mixed on which came first, the Titans or the Old Gods. The latest theory came from the Tribunal of Ages, which implies that the Titans ordered the world and left, then the Old Gods arrived, and then the Titans returned to deal with the problem. After imprisoning the Old Gods, the Titans created safeguards to protect the world, safeguards that would prevent the rise of the Old Gods -- and in the event that the Old Gods returned, safeguards that would go so far as destroying Azeroth itself. Watchers and Aspects were both created and charged with protecting the fragile world.

And, according to various pieces of history, the Titans created the Well of Eternity.

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: The tangled web of future 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.

Spoiler warning: There are spoilers for the novel Wolfheart in this post, as well as brief spoilers for Mists of Pandaria.

Lore and story writing can be an incredibly tricky thing. The trickiness is only amplified when you're dealing with a story as large as that of Warcraft. This is a universe that spans four original games and six expansions from 1994 until now. In other words, if Warcraft were a baby when it was born, it'd be a legal adult this year -- pretty crazy to think about. What's even crazier is trying to keep track of the myriad convoluted storylines that have come to pass since Orcs and Humans was released.

As of right now, we know that Cataclysm introduced a lot of different lore threads that have not and will not be resolved by Cataclysm's end. And we also know that there is plenty of new lore coming up in Mists of Pandaria. But as new lore, Mists doesn't really address those threads left behind in Cataclysm, at least not in the first iteration of the new expansion. This may change as patches are added later on down the road -- or we may be on our way to setting up for a shift in story that Mists needs to bridge.

So why don't we take a little peek at those stories left unaddressed and try to sort out what is yet to come?

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: Top 10 magnificent bastards of Warcraft, 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.

What's a magnificent bastard, you may ask? Well, sure, it's usually (but not always) someone evil -- but more than that, it's someone who combines ruthlessness with style. Someone who can lie, cheat, steal and kill but who does it with a certain flair. Someone whose sins are grandiose, whose betrayals are notable. Anyone can be a thug, but your magnificent bastard doesn't settle for that.

In the end, though, the term is definitely subjective, kind of a "we know it when we see it" situation. Still, that's one of the reasons I wanted to do this post, because I knew some of the choices I made would not be the ones you'd make. And that's good, because it means you'll get right down into the comments to tell me why I'm insane for leaving out your favorites.

Not all of these choices will be what you'd call villains, at least not to everyone. Some of them will even be revered on some fronts. The point is, were they willing to do things that could get them on this list? If they were, then here they are. Some of these characters are horrible, foul, contemptible garbage; others are far more complex.

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

Two Bosses Enter: Mannoroth vs. Lord Godfrey

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, bosses, leaders, and powerful figures of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Oh ho ho ho, this promises to be quite the matchup, ladies and gentlemen. Can the pit lord general and his wacky elf sidekick take down gunslinger extraordinaire Lord Godfrey in a duel to the presumable death? I'm excited. Get excited! I've got Mannoroth taking this one in an early and decisive victory. Sorry, Godfrey fans -- I call 'em like I sees 'em.

Last week's matchup was a doozy that took me by surprise. I did not expect a win for Murozond because I thought that Azshara would have a more loyal following. Much like her misguided and tainted Highborne, her followers were not strong or numerous enough to cinch the win. Sorry, lady, you're out.

Now it is time to vote. You heard me -- vote! Who will advance to the next round? Choose! I can't push to any more than I already have.

Who wins? Mannoroth vs. Lord Godfrey
Mannoroth (Well of Eternity)2382 (58.1%)
Lord Godfrey (Shadowfang Keep)1720 (41.9%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Murozond vs. Queen Azshara

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, bosses, leaders, and powerful figures of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Another exciting episode of Two Bosses Enter hits you in the face right now with an exciting matchup between the infinite master of time, Murozond, and Queen Azshara, one of the most revered night elves in Azeroth's history. You will get to decide who moves on to the next round by voting for your favorite combatant and discussing the fight in the comments. You're going to have a blast.

The fight last week was a real doozy, wasn't it? The Echo of Sylvanas pulled out a decisive victory over the hordes of Old God fanboys, eager to watch their champion move forward into the tournament as the world goes mad watching. Too bad, since Zon'ozz is out. Better find a new servant of the Old Gods to flip out over.

Who wins? Murozond vs. Queen Azshara
Murozond (End Time)2344 (61.5%)
Queen Azshara (Well of Eternity)1466 (38.5%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Know Your Lore: 5 must-do Horde zones to complete before Mists

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.

Cataclysm wasn't just about Deathwing, the Aspects and the Dragon Soul. It also contained a huge chunk of new lore information in the 1-to-60 zones that were revamped with the expansion's launch. Some of these areas have a lot to do with Deathwing's story, but some of them contain little stories of their own, stories that haven't been fully completed, plot elements that we may see pop up again in Mists. The revamp set out to breathe some new life into these 1-to-60 leveling zones, and it accomplished that in a major, major way.

I keep repeating myself in Know Your Lore posts and suggesting that people go play through those level 1-to-60 zones that were added in Cataclysm. But it occurred to me that while there are some really amazing zones out there, most people have no idea where to start or which ones they should really be playing through. Which zones are the best in terms of lore? Which ones are the most fun? Which ones may contain elements we may see addressed again in the upcoming expansion? Which ones absolutely should not be missed?

Let's make it a little easier for you.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The top 10 lore reveals of Cataclysm, 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.

Spoilers for every single Cataclysm raid and zone to be found here.

On the whole, Cataclysm has revealed a great deal of lore for the Warcraft universe. We've been to all four of the elemental planes and destabilized two of them by destroying the elemental lords who were effectively the dictatorial forces of their respective elementals. As of this writing, only Therazane remains as undisputed master of her elemental plane. (Indeed, with the destruction of Deathwing, she's actually in a stronger place than she was.) We've seen the Twilight's Hammer cult rise to world-shaking prominence and played a role in setting them back by destroying Cho'gall. We've finally managed to balk them on the eve of their Old God masters' final triumph by destroying Deathwing just as he was about to unleash an even more destructive assault on Azeroth than his first.

The Dragon Aspects lost their immortality just after we discovered that there were actually safeguards in place to appoint new ones. We discovered the secret land of Uldum and its Titanic ruins, and we prevented the activation of the Halls of Origination at Deathwing's behest and discovered the connection between the Qiraji and Uldum. We also saw the war between the Alliance and Horde begin lurching toward a new phase. We discovered the fate of Gilneas and the Gilneans, saw tantalizing hints as to the development of the goblin people and their mysterious kajamite, and even more. It's been an eventful expansion in terms of what it established. For the next couple of weeks, I'm going to talk about where Cataclysm took us and what we discovered.

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

Know Your Lore, Infinite Paths: The golden-eyed

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, I talked about Murozond and the End Time. Some astute readers noted that upon confronting the players and Nozdormu, Murozond claims, "I have witnessed the true End Time. This? This is a blessing you simply cannot comprehend." What does this mean, exactly? Granted, we could simply dismiss this as insanity brought on by the Old Gods. But what if the issue isn't insanity? What if the Old Gods didn't drive Murozond mad at all?

Aman'Thul, the Highfather of the Titanic Pantheon, granted Nozdormu a vision of his own death. It is said to be this very fate that Murozond is attempting to avoid by fracturing time. What, however, if that's not the case at all? What if in his case, much madness was and is divine sense?

Murozond's End - End Time
Murozond: You know not what you have done. Aman'Thul... What I... have... seen...
Nozdormu: At last it has come to pass. The moment of my demise. The loop is closed. My future self will cause no more harm from this day on.
Nozdormu: Still, in the future, I will... fall to madness. And you, heroes... will vanquish me. The cycle will repeat. So it goes.
Nozdormu: What matters is that Azeroth did not fall; that humanity survived to live another day.
Nozdormu: All that matters... is this moment.


Why does Murozond call out to Aman'Thul in his moment of death? Beyond his own death, what has Murozond seen? Did the Infinite Dragonflight seek to break this clockwork universe, and if so, has it already done so? This week's KYL continues based on last week's Tinfoil Hat Edition and presents an entire alternate time line based on the question What if Murozond was the hero all along?

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

Know Your Lore: Queen Azshara, Light of Lights

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.

In all of Kaldorei history, stretching back to days unknown, no monarch has ever been as beloved as Queen Azshara. Though she spends her time these days idling deep under the ocean, in patch 4.3 we finally see through the window of the Caverns of Time the leader that was once the crowning glory of Kaldorei civilization. She was born with golden eyes, a rarity at the time and so uncommon among the Kaldorei that they were heralded as a sign of future greatness.

But the greatness for which Azshara was destined would have caused her followers a moment of pause had they realized it had nothing to do with them at all. After all, when one is born into a world that demands greatness, one has to walk the fine line between greatness and humility. Though Azshara excelled at many, many things, humility was nowhere to be found on that list. Proud, arrogant, and incredibly powerful, Azshara let the devotion of her people go to her head and nearly brought Kaldorei civilization as we know it to an end because of it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Illidan Stormrage, The Betrayer

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're plKnow Youaying 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 story of Illidan Stormrage, born well over 10,000 years ago in the ancient city of Suramar alongside his brother Malfurion and their childhood friend Tyrande, would change the entire world now known as Azeroth. Without them, the Burning Legion might well have succeeded. The machinations of demons, the corrupt Highborne, even Queen Azshara were balked by this trio. But Illidan himself was often his own worst enemy.

He is one of the greatest manipulators of arcane power ever to live, the first to ever seek to stalk and kill demons, a prodigy and a madman. He betrayed his own people in order to save them and the entire world, but he always served himself first. Selfish, mercurial, brilliant, resentful and tormented by himself, Illidan Stormrage helped make Azeroth everything it is today.

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Filed under: Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: NPC evolution from Wrath to Cataclysm and beyond

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.

Wrath of the Lich King saw the introduction of several elements that furthered the incorporation of lore into the game. Phased quest chains allowed players to actually see their effect on the zones. Cinematic cutscenes made it feel like you were playing through a movie. The faction leaders of the world were suddenly far more active than they'd ever been before. But those were the major, blowout moments that made the storytelling work. What most didn't quite recognize were the subtle efforts of the lowly NPC.

In classic WoW, players literally had to walk up to NPCs and speak to them to engage them in conversation. In The Burning Crusade, that changed slightly -- NPCs now recognized players as they walked by, according to their reputation. In Wrath, suddenly NPCs were not only recognizing players, but they were whispering players, recognizing players. Prior efforts by a player were acknowledged, even if it was just a simple "I remember you."

What Wrath of the Lich King began was a revolution in WoW gameplay that would spin into full-out overdrive with the launch of Cataclysm. The lowly NPC was no longer an unimportant figure; he was a comrade in arms, a fellow hero, or a taskmaster -- and he made certain to let you know it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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