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Know Your Lore: Shattrath City and the Lost

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.

Standing in Outland as a sanctuary capital shared by both Alliance and Horde, Shattrath City isn't exactly much to look at. The city is divided into several different sections, housing a variety of occupants from draenei to arakkoa to everything in between -- refugees, for the most part. In Warlords of Draenor, we'll finally see Shattrath as it was in its glory days. A coastal city, a museum metropolis, described as an architectural marvel. Unfortunately, the city will also be occupied by the Iron Horde.

The events that turned Shattrath from shining capital of the draenei to the ruins we're familiar with today are steeped in tragedy that still affects the draenei race to this day. Certainly there was sorrow to be found in the fall of the city -- but its fall, and the fall of the other draenei cities scattered around Draenor, were also directly responsible for the evolution of the draenei race as we know it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The best mistake ever

Mistakes happen, of course. One of the biggest to ever happen in the history of World of Warcraft led to the creation of the draenei as we know them today, and I think it's safe to say that the game and the lore of the Warcraft setting is the better for it. Going into Warlords of Draenor it's worth looking back at that moment. What mistake am I talking about? I'm talking about the time Chris Metzen forgot the work of a major lore writer on Warcraft III and changed things. What writer did Chris forget about? None other than the Senior Vice President of creative development himself, Chris Metzen.

The obvious lore contradiction with Sargeras and his encounter with the eredar was clearly documented in the Warcraft III manual. I wrote those bits about four years ago, and to be totally honest, I simply forgot.
-- Chris Metzen, Metzen on Lore

What happened is fairly simple. In Warcraft III, we're told that the eredar were a race of sorcerers and warlocks whose corrupt magics date back to the dawn of time, devourers and corrupters who ran afoul of Sargeras before the titan went mad. In fact, in the original story, it was his encounter with the eredar that started Sargeras down the road that would lead him to go mad. At this time, no mention was made of the eredar being in any way related to the draenei, nor were the draenei depicted as anything beyond the deformed model used by Akama. Even when World of Warcraft debuted, the few draenei in game were known as lost ones, such as Magtoor or Kum'isha the Collector, and they were nothing like the draenei we have today.

And then the mistake happened. Mr. Metzen, in preparation for The Burning Crusade, came up with a way to link the draenei of Outland to the eredar and in so doing, completely contradicted what he himself had written in the Warcraft III manual. And in so doing, he made the game as a whole much stronger.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore

WRUP: In which there are elves and broken

WRUP In which there are elves and broken
The delicate subject of new classes was discussed this week by various members of our staff, and while we seem to be split on the matter, there's another option to consider. In this week's bonus question, we look at the possibility of new races and what everyone would like to see -- along with a glimpse at what the staff is playing this weekend. But enough of that -- what are you playing this weekend? Leave your comments, and while you're at it, maybe you want to answer this week's bonus question of what new races you'd like to see yourselves!

Daniel Whitcomb (@danielwhitcomb) I'll be farming battle pets and working on my last few rares on Timeless Isle for the Timeless Champion achievement. I keep barely missing Chelon and Osu. As far as a new race goes, I am still a High Elf fan. As someone who's loved them since Elven Archers in WCII, I think we should have them from the start. Plus, with the extra development the Silver Covenant got in Patch 5.1 and 5.2, it's a perfect time to bring them in to the Alliance. Yes, I know they're "too similar to Blood Elves." I figure we can just give the Horde some "reformed" Eredar that look like red-skinned Draenei, and we'll be even.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Retribution paladin DPS broken after realm restarts [Updated]

ret dps
According to several reports, including the official forums, World of Logs, and several of our own staff, retribution paladins are experiencing a bug after tonight's rolling realm restarts. The bug has retribution paladins dealing several times their normal damage, with new records on World of Logs easily exceeding 100,000 DPS on any given Dragon Soul encounter.

The bug appears to be related to Seal of Truth, as it's dealing over 60% of the affected ret paladins' damage, vastly dwarfing all other sources. The bug seems to be affecting PvP and PvE, as there are many reports of retribution paladins being nigh unstoppable in Battlegrounds tonight. One group of retribution paladins toppled Lord Rhyolith in under 15 seconds.

There has been no official word from Blizzard just yet on these developments, although we can be sure that there will be a change deployed to fix this bug as early as possible.

Reminder from the editors: Do keep in mind that abusing things like this is considered exploitation. Blizzard does have the right to ban you for abusing this if you're using it to bypass content à la our old friend Karatechop. Don't make Blizzard's job harder, and don't risk your account.

Update 10:00 a.m. EST Blizzard is aware of the problem and is looking for a way to solve it. They also issue the same warning we did -- don't exploit this.

Zarhym -- Ret Paladin DPS Bug
We're aware of this issue and looking into it right now. It's likely we won't have further updates for you until we're back in the office in the morning PST.

Just as a reminder from the Terms of Use:

C. Rules Related to Game Play.
(i) Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players.




Filed under: Paladin, Bugs

Breakfast Topic: Has the time come for Outland story updates?

After Chris Metzen's seeming joke at BlizzCon concerning the possible reappearance of Illidan in future WoW storylines, it occurred to me that we really haven't seen much of Outland or its storylines lately. Well, maybe that's not fair -- if you're leveling a character between 58 and 68, I imagine you've seen all too much of Outland and are heartily sick of the whole continent and its dungeons by now. Still, The Burning Crusade featured some great stories, and if Illidan ever does come back, there are a few people I hope he'll (metaphorically) drag alongside him.

The two that come immediately to mind are the Netherwing Dragonflight and the Ashtongue Deathsworn. What's up with the Netherwing since Deathwing's demise? Do they even know about it or what's happened with the Aspects? And what's going on with Akama now? I'd argue that he, more than Kael or Vashj or Illidan, was the greatest and most compelling character of WoW's first expansion, and he had one hell of a unique model. The brains behind the Ashtongue's high-stakes Batman Gambit (warning: TV Tropes link) has got to be up to something these days, and if Blizzard ever revamps Outland questing, I hope it gives players a peek.

Then again, that's assuming that yanking Illidan back from the dead is even a good idea to begin with (is it?) or that Outland stories can be made relevant to their modern counterparts. Thoughts, readers?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

Addon Spotlight: 4.2 champions and troublemakers

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Patch day for 4.2, Rage of the Firelands, has come and gone. The world, surprisingly, did not end -- well, end again, I guess, since the cataclysm and all. Patch 4.2 went surprisingly well, with only a few issues with a couple addons, highlighting the fact that the changes made to the WoW interface did not catch most addon authors off guard and many addons didn't even need an update to stay solid.

So today, we're going to look at the champions and troublemakers from patch 4.2, Rage of the Firelands. Most addons stood the test of patch day, easily being integrated back into our UIs with the simple click of the "load out of date addons" button. We had a few troublemakers, but nothing that prevented the fall of raiding civilization like the patch 4.1 changes to scrolling combat text and damage parsers ... although there were a few snafus.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Issues with Mobile Authenticator get it pulled from the App Store


Blizzard's mobile authenticator updated recently, and as soon as it did, we started getting tips on the tipline saying there was a major issue. Apparently the update reset the code associated with your authenticator, which meant that if you applied the authenticator update (and had the authenticator connected to your account), there was no way to actually get a code to login to your account. In short, if you apply the mobile authenticator update, you won't be able to log in to your account until you take the authenticator off completely (I'd assume you can then reinstall and reuse the authenticator, though people will probably be a little more trigger-shy about that one). There are instructions for how to do all of this over on the forums.

Of course it's a major issue, and in response, Blizzard has acknowledged the problem and apparently pulled the Authenticator from the App Store. So if (like me) you haven't updated yet, you won't need to worry about it, and hopefully the next version will fix the issue. But yes, if you have updated, you'll need to go through the steps above to remove the app from your iPhone and account, or just call Blizzard customer service at 1-949-955-1382 and they should be able to help you with the issue.

Update: So far we've only heard about problems with the iPhone version, and of course the issue is when you go from the old to the new version. If you use another phone, or have only used the new version, you shouldn't have any issues.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Hardware, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: Losing stuff in World of Warcraft

I won't mention the actual story so as to avoid spoiling fellow current or future fans, but in a certain non-Warcraft related story I am reading, a character seems to have died in the latest chapter I've read. It happens, but this character was easily my favorite in the series, so I'm sort of bummed more than usual at seeing a fictional character die. I've queued up my melancholy song playlist on Winamp and everything.

Now in World of Warcraft, loss is a pretty apparent them as well. The loss suffered by nearly every sentient race to the scourge, the fall of the High Elves, the fall of the Broken, it seems like every PC race on WoW has experienced some loss or seen some great hero fall. In addition, sometimes there's the smaller losses as well. Like, say, giving up Archeus for a weapon with an inferior backstory and proc.

So what losses in World of Warcraft have left a mark on you? Is there a certain story of loss in the lore that especially resonates with you, or do you still mourn the loss of a certain item or NPC as you've leveled up, or even some NPC or Quest that's been removed?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Lore, NPCs

WoW Moviewatch: Unbroken trailer


I've been looking forward to this one for quite some time. Firebolt Productions has released the promotional trailer for their upcoming film, Unbroken. It is a movie about a group of Draenei refugees hiding from the barbarous Orc invaders. While I know the Orcs were the original inhabitants of Draenor, I can't wait to see how the rich tapestry of lore is going to play out in the movie.

It's nothing short of legendary to see the cast of folks involved in "Unbroken." Selserene, the Hackleman brothers, and Matt Greenberg, just to name a few. With this kind of talent all operating under one roof, I have to expect greatness from the movie.

The preview trailer is gorgeous. The opening lines in the voiceover promise a heartrending story. The animation is just beautiful. The landscapes of Outland reveal an alien but thriving world. The brief character shots and profiles all look like Firebolt spent an immense effort to choose the best models possible for their actors.

It's a trailer, so it's hard to say how compelling the final dialogue will be. But everything about this trailer tells me Unbroken is going to be awesome.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Forums go up; forums go down...


The official forums have been quite fickly over the past few days. Sometimes you'll be lucky and you'll be greeted by what you're trying to look at, other times you'll get an "error500" message, and still other times you'll see a message like the one pictured above.

The plight of the official forums seems to mirror the activity on the servers. Queue (har har har) the Homer Simpson-esq: Forums go up; forums go down... Forums go up; forums go down...

The past few days of hellish lag, unstable forums, and broken parts of the game have been like the song that never ends. (Note to self: Eat some lamb chops tonight.) After four days of the patch, we're still getting a constant stream of tips detailing bugs and other errors.

I wish I could say that we'll report to you when this is all fixed, but honestly I don't think that is going to come anytime soon. Perhaps next Tuesday they'll roll out another patch to fix some of this, or change something in the datacenters, etc... It's really nearly impossible for us to know exactly what's wrong.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, Forums

All the World's a Stage: So you still want to be a Shaman

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-first in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

There's something about shamans that gets us thinking and talking. Whether it's something as simple as the proper pronunciation of "shamanism," or something as profound as a shaman's humility in relation to the source of his or her power, the lore and ideology of the shaman class often resonates with players more than many others in the World of Warcraft.

One reason for this is that shamans have been such a pivotal force in the lore, possibly more than any other class in the game (depending on your point of view). Other classes, such as warriors, or paladins, come as a sort of pre-defined archetype in fantasy games that don't seem all that different from their original forms in other fantasy settings. The actual beliefs of a priest, for instance, don't seem to matter so much to many players, so long as the class can heal like we expect them to. Even the druids, with their central place in night elf society, sometimes seem more like nature-based magic users rather than true philosophers in their own right.

Shamans, however, have a major burden to bear in one of the central plot shifts of the Warcraft storyline -- namely that the orcs, who entered the Warcraft stage in the Warcraft 1: Orcs and Humans computer game as rampaging demonic evildoers bent on destruction, and actually turned out to be a peaceful race that just got tricked into being evil. Shamanism had to be much much more than just an archetype with some special powers -- it had to be a way of thinking, a system of belief that could be taken over by demonic corruption and yet at the same time act as a beacon of truth and goodness once that the demonic taint had been defeated. Shamanism has got to be complex and profound, or else the story wouldn't make sense.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Shaman, Draenei, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Looking for the ladies in Outland

Reader Thiago asked a good question today: Why do so many NPC races not have female models? I admit, it's something I and a lot of other fellow lore nerds in my guild have noticed and discussed before. Why have all the females gone?

I figured it might be fun to do a little bit of an analysis, and see what might have happened to all these ladies. This is by no means a complete list of the femaleless races in game, of course, or I'd have to spend a couple days on this article. But here's a few select ones to discuss.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, RP, NPCs

Ask a Lore Nerd: Only a little broken


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

skoll
asks...

Whats your speculation about the Burning Legion in the new expansion, since Kil'jaeden has been killed/defeated? IF he is dead.. will it that be the end of Burning Legion? If not, what you think their role will be?

Answer: Well, Kil'jaeden isn't dead. Not at all. In the Sunwell Plateau, Kil'jaeden is being summoned but never fully makes it through the portal. We bop him on the head and he just falls back in. What presence will they have in Wrath? Well, it will probably be minimal. I am sure they'll have some presence, the Legion doesn't really have any love for the Scourge, but it won't be anything like what we've seen in The Burning Crusade. Kil'jaeden is alive and well, but I think they'll scale way back on demons just because we've seen so many lately. They will probably want to step away from thrusting the same thing on us for another entire expansion.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

Forum post of the day: The future is not what it used to be

With the Wrath Beta Opt-in available, we're one step closer to the expansion. We're all anxiously awaiting the time when the expansion is ready. I'm still having fun with the existing World of Warcraft, but I'm a bit antsy. There is a lot of frustration over existing conditions, especially when it comes to PvP.

Chloroform of EU-Magtheridon isn't interested in waiting. He listed his grievances in the EU-PVP Forum, "Balance issues, queue times, destroying premades, AFK problems, uneven teams, world pvp screwed by 9000yd aggro range ultra guards." Like many others, Jasse of EU-Bronzebeard blames the arena for the death of PvP.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Forum Post of the Day

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