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Posts with tag blackrock

Know Your Lore: The mysteries of Draenor

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.

It's funny how much we don't know about Draenor yet, considering we've not only had it as part of the setting since Warcraft II, but we've seen it in WCIII, the novel Rise of the Horde, and we even traveled to its shattered remnants for an entire expansion in Burning Crusade. Despite all that, the living world - the place that produced the orcish people, was home to a mighty ogre empire, gave birth to titanic beings like the gronn and sheltered the draenei for hundreds of years is still somewhat unknown to us.

We've seen bits and pieces of the unknown world drip out since Blizzcon, but it's all still so tantalizingly vague. Some of these lands are entirely new to us, as they were lost when Draenor became Outland, torn apart by Ner'zhul's use of the Legion's portal magics - lands like the Spires of Arak, home to the Arakkoa and the Frostfire Ridge, home to the Frostwolves and a land of glaciers and volcanoes - a land that typifies the nature of Draenor itself. The planet, or at least the one continent we have any details on, seems to be a land of violent extremes which breeds a harsh, survivalist mindset in its native children.

Make no mistake - the orcs are not the only race native to these harsh (some might even say savage) lands. The ogres sail north from another land to lay claim to Nagrand's coasts, make their presence and that of a tottering empire known even in the Frostfire Ridge, and behind them lurks the menace of the gronn. In the Spires of Arak, the proud Arakkoa burn those they capture alive in tribute to the sun. This is not a world where any live in peace - to live in harmony with nature on Draenor is to live a life of constant struggle, in a kill or be killed fight red in the shed blood of predator and prey.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: The Blackrock Legacy

Know Your Lore The Blackrock Legacy
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 claimed to be the true Horde. They may yet prove it.

The Blackrock orcs seem, on the surface, to be a relic of a bygone age. A tribe of orcs holding on to a past swept aside by Turalyon's hand clutching Lothar's broken sword, a defeated remnant of Gul'dan's legacy. Once led by Blackhand the Destroyer, the Blackrock clan rose to prominence when Blackhand became Gul'dan's proxy as Warchief of the newborn Horde. And it remained central when Orgrim Doomhammer, Blackhand's second in command, slew Blackhand and seized power, for Doomhammer too was a member of the Blackrock clan. After the final defeat of the Horde atop Blackrock Spire, it seemed certain that the Blackrocks would trouble Azeroth no more.

Yet Blackhand's sons Rend and Maim, who had served Doomhammer even after he killed their father as leaders of the splinter clan the Black Tooth Grin, led the Blackrocks into the mountain that bore the same name and set about rebuilding them. When Teron Gorefiend came to Blackrock Spire, the brothers Blackhand refused his call to join Ner'zhul's Horde, seeing themselves as the true inheritors of Blackhand's legacy. In time, the Black Dragonflight came to the mountain, attracted by the reds still held in bondage there, and Nefarian brought the Blackrocks into his service. Maim Blackhand died in the war with the Dark Iron Dwarves to determine which force would rule the mountain, while Rend died when Thrall sent members of the Horde to kill him for his claim to the title of Warchief that Doomhammer had bestowed upon the shaman.

And yet, the Blackrocks were not done. Ironically, it may have been one of Thrall's most loyal supporters who brought one of Garrosh Hellscream's most dangerous enforcers into the fold.

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

WoW Archivist: Blackrock Depths, WoW's ultimate dungeon

Plugger Spazzring is ready for your drink order
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?

You don't trust this bar. First of all, you had to fight your way through a legion of Dark Iron dwarves and their constructs just to get here. Secondly, it's run by a shady leper gnome who has one grumpy-looking golem for a bouncer. Third, there's an awful lot of laughter, yet no one here looks amused.

You are right to be nervous. This is the Grim Guzzler. This is not a nice place.

Welcome to Blackrock Depths

For someone who began playing WoW post-vanilla, it's hard to explain just how amazing Blackrock Depths was back in early 2005. It's true that people often got lost there, but it was also a fantastic place to simply lose yourself. No area of the game has ever been as convincingly comprehensive or offered more to discover. There always seemed to be another boss, event, or area to explore, another secret to unlock. It's no secret, however, that BRD remains a favorite dungeon of many WoW Insider bloggers.

BRD wasn't just a dungeon. It was a civilization, and you were there to bring it to its knees.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The Colosseum: Bandler, priest of Blackrock

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the gladiator to interview some of the top arena fighters on the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player. If you'd like to be interviewed for The Colosseum, please feel free to contact us -- be sure to include your armory as a link!

This week, The Colosseum had the pleasure of interviewing Bandler, priest of Blackrock. Bandler is on one of the highest rated 5v5s in the world, as well as having exceptionally good "high scores" for arena statistics. Read on to find out what he has to say about priests, arena strategy, and practical advice.

The Colosseum: Why do you play priest? What is it about the class's toolbox that appeals to you for competitive arena?

Bandler
: For me, priests are one of the most versatile classes. We're able to do steady healing, yet we can put out a lot of damage at the same time.

What's the coolest thing you've ever done in arena? Don't be modest.

I guess Shadow: Word Deathing a Blind is cool.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Interviews, The Colosseum

The Colosseum: Rheek of Blackrock

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

Blackrock is currently the most electronically famous server for arena PvP in the World of Warcraft. We were very excited to have the opportunity to interview one of <sup fresh our turn baby>'s own druids. Rheek of Blackrock was kind enough to discuss a myriad of arena related topics and personal history.

At the time of this interview, Rheek is on a very respectable 2357 rated 3v3, Team Fanatic. A somewhat unorthodox wizard cleave team, his 3v3 composition is a resto druid / frost mage / destruction warlock combination.

Take a look at what Rheek had to say after the break!

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Filed under: Undead, Druid, Mage, Warlock, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, The Colosseum

Things left undone


I've been farming a lot of ghost mushrooms and gromsblood lately in order to make Demonslaying Elixirs. My guild's farming trash in Sunwell Plateau at the moment and has taken a few half-hearted swings at Kalecgos, all of which ended in much hollering and arguing and waving of hands in the air. But despite the fact that Big Blue is likely to ride our collective ass for weeks, I like to think of myself as a long-term planner with a gimlet eye on Brutallus. So, a-farming I go.

The materials for the elixir are fairly irritating to farm in quantity, and I find myself in a lot of areas I never even leveled extensively in when I was raising my Druid main. Desolace? Paid it a visit to get some fishing done. Blasted Lands? Uh...passed through it on my way to Outland. Maraudon? Did I do that? I want to say I did, but was brought up short at learning of the existence of a scepter that allows you to bypass two-thirds of the instance. I know for sure I've never set foot in Dire Maul North, much less a Tribute Run, I'd never seen the live side of Stratholme, and I hadn't so much as clapped eyes on the Emperor in Blackrock Depths.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Lore, Bosses, Leveling

Jump from Netherstorm to Hellfire Peninsula

I don't know why this is so fascinating, but it really is. Tulvar posted this on the forums-- it's him using the Rocket Boots Xtreme (and the Filled Festive Mug from New Year's Eve, which grants multi-use slowfall) to fly from the top of Netherstorm all the way across the abyss to the tip of Hellfire Peninsula. And he survives, which is what surprised me most of all-- I would have thought that a fall like that would kill a man (err, a troll), but I guess he nabbed a Mug just in time.

Xtreme sports, Outland style. Which makes me wonder: what's the highest point in Azeroth and Outland? Surely it's Blackrock Mountain, right? The top of Ironforge Mountain? Or Mount Hyjal? If it didn't exist officially only the Caverns of Time at this point, that is. And surely Molten Core is the lowest point in the land, but what's the lowest non-instanced point? Un'goro?

[Thanks, Jacckk!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, Buffs

Breakfast Topic: Karma comes around

Elizabeth talked about karma in that fun little guild drama story last week, but karma is even better when it comes not from other players, but from the game itself. Case in point: the_pr0letariat on WoW LJ got laughed at by a Hordie while almost dying to a Hellfire boar, so it made things doubly sweet when a Fel Reaver stomped by a few minutes later and sent the Horde on a corpse run.

Likewise, I was almost ganked a long while back while grinding on my rogue in front of Blackrock Mountain-- a gnome rogue tried to take me out while I was fighting with a Lava Spider, but I'd recently pickpocketed a few potions, so I kept the fight going for a little while, long enough to swing the gnome around near the Dark Iron mobs there. Just as he was about to finish me off, three Dark Iron mobs latched onto him, I vanished, and I got to /laugh at him as they beat him down.

Have you seen karma come around in the game? Or maybe it's come around on you...

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Around Azeroth: Into Blackrock Mountain


Reader Zhun of Defias Brotherhood sends in this shot showing us the interior of Blackrock Mountain, home of some of Azeroth's favorite dungeons: Blackrock Depths, Blackrock Spire, and Blackwing Lair. And you can't say that you weren't at least a little impressed when you walked into this area for the first time -- with the pool of lava below and the dragon circling ominously overhead, the impression isn't really one of safety...

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: Features, Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Realm cultures

Realms in World of Warcraft are supposed to be like different, although identical, worlds. You choose one and live under its rules, and if you want to live in a different world, you have to put in a lot of work to get there. But quick glance at the WoW Realm Forums shows that each server might better be described as its own little high school.

Realms have nicknames, whether they be good ("TichOWNdrius") or bad ("Argent Down," "Lagging Skull.") They have celebrities both famous for their exploits (Death and Taxes on Korgath, Sebudai on Doomhammer) or infamous for screwing up (Overrated on Black Dragonflight, Avatar on many servers but originally Warsong.) They have private dramas and screrenshots that will be funny only to residents of that realm.

Servers are known for different things: Argent Dawn has good roleplaying (and entertaining Goldshire cyber stories), Mal'Ganis has innovative world PvP, and Black Dragonflight and Korgath have some top raiding guilds. Some servers have rivalries -- Arthas and Mal'Ganis have been sniping at each other about server population since transfers opened up, denizens of Blackrock regularly invade RP servers when Blackrock itself goes down, and informal competitions develop within battlegroups. And a couple servers even have official mottoes. The two I can remember right now is "Tichondrius is not for you" and "Mal'Ganis KICKS!"

My server, Magtheridon, was released shortly after launch. Our only celebrity is Xzin, we don't have any earth-shattering guilds, and we're not the best at PvP. People talk a lot about the "Magtheridon way," which as far as I can tell involves Alliance outnumbering Horde and liberal use of the server's unofficial motto, which is three words long, begins with "go" and ends with "yourself." Still, it's a nice place in spite of the lag, and I wouldn't want to transfer anywhere else.

What's the culture of your server? Is it populated or quiet, dramalicious or kind, vicious to outsiders or welcoming to new players?

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP

On the topic of farmers...


My priest has been, for some time now, looking for a pattern for the Truefaith Vestments - the epic crafted priest robes. While I would occasionally see a Robe of the Archmage or a Robe of the Void pattern, I've not seen any of my own. However, over the past couple of weeks, I've seen more and more Robe of the Archmage patterns - as seen above. The cost has dropped dramatically, as well - what once sold for a hundred gold and up is now, as you see, more often selling for 30 to 40, when they sell at all.

This has started to puzzle me, as the pattern drops off of Pyromancers in lower Blackrock Spire, of which there are few, and difficult to get to. I've gone with a number of groups that refuses to attempt the pull with the Pyromancers, simply because it's large and difficult. So where then, do these patterns come from? Several commenters on Thottbot claim that you can solo your way to the right area with the use of stealth or invisibility potions, and one poster goes into some detail about two rogues taking the group down with timely use of sap, vanish, and evasion.

But even if the pattern can be acquired with the efforts of one or two players, this doesn't explain the sudden appearance of so many in the marketplace. It's possible that the drop rate has been increased, but it seems unlikely that the drop rate of one of the epic robe patterns would go up while the other two remain the same. In my past experience with the game, a sudden flood of rare items on the market has been an indication of a new farming technique or hack, allowing farmers to now easily acquire something that was usually difficult. (For an example of similar circumstances in the past, see this old Dire Maul hack.) However, at present, there's no evidence one way or the other - so this remains simply an oddity...

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Economy

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