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Posts with tag azuregos

Worlds Yet to Conquer: Ideas for new content in old places

There is a ton of lore in the Warcraft setting, from the first RTS game to the current MMO, four expansions down and counting. And one of the things I love about the setting is just how much we haven't seen yet, for all that we've been to Outland and fought the Scourge in Northrend and are now battling the effects of the Sha while dealing with old Titan repositories and mogu armies in Pandaria.

When Cataclysm came out, one of the better revamped quest areas was in Winterspring, where the remnants of the Blue Dragonflight after the death of Malygos were trying to combat an incursion by forces from outside Azeroth. I was thrilled to see satyrs from Xoroth and new etherals, because it got me excited about all the places in the Warcraft setting I haven't been yet. So I started thinking about places in that setting, both on Azeroth and beyond, where I would love to see a dungeon or a raid to get us to go back and explore them, or even to introduce those places to the game for the first time. And because this just happens to be a website that talks about WoW, I have a ready-made place to discuss these things with you.

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

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: Azshara and the Blue Dragonflight


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.

Of all the zones to get face lifts in Cataclysm, none deserved it so much as Azshara, the formerly level 50 zone that had a scant 32 quests available during vanilla. Azshara was just a small part of the former home of Queen Azshara and the Highborne, and one would think a zone with that kind of potential would have more to offer. In Cataclysm, the zone has become a level 10-20 area for Horde, and some of the zone's lore offerings have been expanded upon. Others raise more questions than they answer.

In between all the goblin advancements, one place directly addressed was Lake Mennar, former home to a ton of blue dragons for no discernible reason whatsoever. Lurking nearby was Azuregos, the batty blue dragon who was an outdoor boss and the key to the blue scepter shard for opening the gates of Ahn'Qiraj. Lake Mennar proper served as little more than a farming area for the Azure Whelpling. Why was the Blue Dragonflight so fascinated with Lake Mennar? There's a story behind that, and it goes all the way back to the War of the Ancients.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Guest Post: Azshara revamp ushers in new level range, epic stories

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

I would hazard a guess that a vast majority of WoW players have never even been to Azshara. Honestly, since Molten Core is no longer a major raid zone and the Runes of Fire Lords just put themselves out, there really isn't much reason to. Those of us who raided in vanilla made weekly trips there to pick up our Aqual Quintessence, and I was also an herbalist, so I would spend another hour or so out there looking for Dreamfoil because of needing a bag full of mana pots to raid in those pre-potion sickness days.

Clearly, the zone was unfinished. There was one quest hub, if you could call it that, because there were only a very small number of quests there. Blizzard tried to bring people to the unused zone later on by adding in the level 50 class quests that led up to Sunken Temple -- but really, in the process of leveling, you could basically ignore Azshara and move on.

I hated the original Azshara because it was out in the middle of nowhere and fairly poorly designed. It was hard to get to places because of all the rocky cliffs, and passages up and down from the beach to the cliffs were too few and far between. It could even be dangerous at level 60 before The Burning Crusade's stamina inflation; lots of mobs feared and or put debuffs on you, and there were elites wandering around over huge portions of the zone.

Sadly the few fond memories I have of old Azshara are gone, as well. When Azuregos was up in vanilla, the entire zone would become a raiding guild, PvP fight zone as the top Horde and Alliance raiding guilds fought over who could tag him, killing flagged members of the group who got him, hoping to wipe them and inflict them all with the debuff. It could get fun and entertaining -- and one time, it even caused our server to be shut down.

Well, that has all changed come Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Azshara: Changes and what will be missed

The Cataclysm beta is at times a little off putting. Flying over zones is an alien experience that is still somewhat strangely familiar. There aren't really words to describe the disconnect you feel -- it's got something to do with the newness of the old zones. Suddenly that place that had been a lake for the past five, six years is gone. Suddenly entire rock faces have vanished. And in the case of Azshara, suddenly large parts of the landscape have taken a dive into the ocean.

For Alliance players, Azshara wasn't really much of a zone to begin with -- there are a few quests at Talrendis Point in Azshara, a few more neutral quests here and there, and of course the level 50 class quests and the quests for the Hydraxian Waterlords -- other than these however, Azshara was simply a mystery. At Talrendis Point both Alliance and Horde players can find an NPC named Loh'atu, a tauren who will give quests to either faction. He'll also tell you a little bit about the history of the area, but doesn't really go into great detail.

And that's always been the major problem with Azshara -- there wasn't really anything of significance to be found there, generally speaking. Unlike Felwood, Feralas, Tanaris, Un'goro or any of the other Kalimdor zones in vanilla WoW, Azshara seemed to be a zone that consisted of large amounts of land that you had to run over and mobs you had to dodge to get to the one place that had the one item for the one quest you needed to complete. Everything else? It could be ignored. And so it was -- most players tended to skip the zone entirely after Burning Crusade's launch. There are, however, small bits and pieces of lore and quest lines that shouldn't be missed, quests that will be disappearing entirely when Cataclysm hits.

Check out the gallery below for a look at Azshara as it stands today -- the list of quests, and the reasons why you should do these quests now, start after the break.

Gallery: Azshara

Azshara map (pre-Cataclysm)Talrendis PointShadowsong ShrineHaldarr EncampmentValormokSouthfury River Falls

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The Blue Dragonflight


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 past few KYL's have been focusing on dragonflights, and this one's no different. This week, we cover the Blue Dragonflight, Azeroth's masters of magic. Before we do, though, we should go back and link my Red Dragonflight post and Anne's Black Dragonflight one, because a lot of the same ground is about to be covered.

In some ways, the blue dragons are the ones players may be most familiar with. From Azuregos wandering about Azshara to Sapphiron in Naxxramas and Sindragosa in Icecrown Citadel, with appearances by Kalecgos in the Sunwell, Arygos in Ahn'Qiraj, and of course two 5 man instances and a raid in Coldarra, players have plenty of opportunity to run into a member of the Blue Dragonflight.

The Blue Dragonflight has been involved in many of the important events of Azeroth's history despite suffering unimaginably from those events. From the War of the Ancients and the Sundering to the Third War and to the present with the Nexus War, blue dragons have attempted to hold to their ancient charge to shepherd the world's magics no matter what it costs them. And it has cost them very, very dearly. For thousands of years, the blue dragons were almost extinct, nearly wiped out by Deathwing and the Dragon Soul. Their leader and father, Malygos the Aspect of Magic, was driven mad by the loss of so many of his children and the betrayal of his best friend and most trusted confidant, Neltharion.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Who could be a new world boss in Cataclysm?

One thing that was missing from the Wrath expansion, conspicuously or not, was a world boss on par with those such as Kazzak and the Emerald Dragons. For better or for worse, Blizzard completely removed them from the game, reserving the massive figures towering over the landscape for instanced quests or dungeons.

Blizzard touched a bit on why they've not used world bosses in Wrath in the recent Twitter developer chat. They observed that there are issues with the bosses that have prevented them from feeling comfortable making more world bosses, such as issues with groups racing to bosses, or the ability of people outside raid groups to deliberately mess up boss attempts. On the other side of the coin, though, they did imply that they like world bosses, and will probably implement more in Cataclysm if and when they can find a satisfactory work-around for the problems.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Should Cataclysm bring back the world boss?

Robin's post about fun with kiting yesterday immediately reminded me about the old days of 40 man raiding. Don't worry, this isn't a nostalgia trip per se... in many ways raiding is better now than it's ever been... but one of the things I enjoyed back in classic WoW were the world bosses. Bosses like Azuregos, the Emerald Dragons and Kazzak (as well as summoned bosses like Maws and Eranikus) added a feeling of competition that simply couldn't be had by being the first to clear a raid. If Blizzard wants to bring the antagonism between Alliance and Horde back to the forefront, well, even on a PvE server back in the day one could watch Horde and Alliance guilds jostle over Azuregos. Heck, we were griefed pretty hard doing the green dragons, especially Emeriss, as Horde players would come running up to die under our tank and become mushrooms.

Burning Crusade
had a couple of world raid bosses (a recycled Kazzak and Doomwalker) but for the most part they weren't terribly compelling: the gear they dropped was comparable with Karazhan (eventually it was made BoE to try and drive raiders towards it to harvest them for sales, which happened to some degree but is hardly what you'd call a sign of an exciting time, scavenging bosses for BoE's) and it seems like the practice has fallen out of favor since those days. While there are wandering big elites in Howling Fjord and Zul'Drak, they're either just there with no real rhyme or reason, or they're involved in quests.

So I ask you: would you like to see big world bosses return in Cataclysm? Or do you think they're an artifact of an older time, and we're better off without them?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Wrath's Violet Hold takes us down memory lane

I'll admit it: I liked Arcatraz. I know, I know! It's supposed to be awful, how could I like it!? Well, while I didn 't necessarily like the layout of the dungeon and some of the trash (ethereal room, I'm looking at you), I like how it brought a lot of nostalgia from WoW Classic with it. A few of the trash mobs were pulled straight out of level 60 raids, though toned down a bit, and the last boss was like the "Best of Level 60 Raiding." Flamewakers? Qiraji? Awesome!

This is why I love the upcoming Violet Hold, too. Dalaran's Violet Hold in Wrath of the Lich King is a throwback to everything we've done so far. To the people who have been raiding since the beginning, this dungeon is going to prompt a great big, "Man, do you remember when..." moment. For the people who haven't been raiding since the beginning, this dungeon will show off a lot of fun mechanics they've never seen before.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: Azuregos vs. Orgrimmar


Ah, the innocent days when outdoor bosses weren't leashed -- and could be kited anywhere on the continent. I'm sure you've seen Kazzak stomp Stormwind (this is the pre-BC Kazzak we're talking about), so now you can take a look at Azuregos against Orgrimmar. So how does Orgrimmar succeed where Stormwind failed? Well, Kazzak heals whenever he kills someone -- a great advantage for an unexpected boss encounter in a major city (full of delicious newbies).

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Best RP quest chains pre-Outlands

So you leveled your main into the late 50s and are ready to jump into the time-sucking goodness that is the Outlands. But before you head in, you want to experience any good pre-BC quest chains you may have missed. One player on the official forums is in this exact situation and wants to know: what quest chain should she do that has good XP and an interesting storyline before heading into the Burning Crusade content?

Many players have chimed in so far with their fondly remembered misadventures. Tirion Fordring's Redemption chain out of the Eastern Plaguelands gets many recommendations. As does the Marauders of Darrowshire chain in which you have to find a little girl ghost's missing dolly and along the way relive a critical moment in the history of the lands.

You can also summon a helicopter out of Azshara, get killed on purpose out of Un'goro and learn the history of the Moonkin which takes you to the same area where you can quest for a mechanical yeti. But there is one quest that is getting the most enthusiastic recommendations.

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Filed under: Quests, RP

WoW Moviewatch: Huntard vs. Goliath


Paladinsucks points us to this fascinating video of a level 70 hunter soloing Azuregos. Yes, you read that right -- a single level 70 hunter soloing Azuregos. And before you say it can't be done, the hunter does say he spent 87 minutes working on this -- and if you can hold out for that long, I'm tempted to believe almost anything's possible.

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Hunter, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Around Azeroth: Go go dragon spirit!


Reader Hospes of Mannoroth sends in this nice wide-screen shot of the ghost of Azuregos strolling around Azshara. Whenever Azuregos himself isn't around to chat, his ghost can be found wandering through the same territory his living self might. If, of course, he were living...

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! 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: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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