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WoW Moviewatch: The Hunt [NSFW]

Having exhausted all the newer machinima that I cared to post, I decided to go digging deep into the WoW Insider archives for something really ancient that hadn't seen the light of day in a while. Serendipitously, the first thing I found ended up leading me to something we've never actually posted on the site before. Convenient, huh? It would seem that back in 2008, we posted a trailer for a feature-length machinima called The Hunt, but when the final version was released in August 2011, it was off our radar and never got published. Three and a half years will do that, I suppose!

Before we get started, please note that the video has some cursing, graphic violence, and a very short sex scene (less than 2 seconds) that you may not want your small children or boss to see or hear. That said, the whole thing runs 60 minutes long, so you'll probably want to sit down to this like a movie when you're at home anyway.

So overall, I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised by The Hunt. It's very different from the other narrative story machinima I've seen, using modern storytelling techniques, music, and even modern dialogue. The result is a simultaneously epic and ridiculous movie that's a whole lot of fun to watch, provided you're able to let yourself go with it.

I say that last bit because I do expect some of you to hate this machinima. Some of you will hate it for its unpolished voice acting, while others will hate it for the liberties it takes with the Warcraft lore. Now, I can't really help you if you're a lore buff, but concerning the voice acting, I've got a thing or two to say. First, yes, I'll admit that it's not the best -- but personally, I do think it works. The whole movie is a sort of genre parody, mixing serious fantasy story elements with comedy (think The Princess Bride), and within that world, goofy, over-the-top voices aren't out of place. The real complaint to be had with the voice acting is simply that there are only three voice actors for all the characters, and at times, some of the characters just sound too similar.

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Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

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, TFH edition: Sargeras was right

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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.

Imagine if you will a perfectly nice little wooded area, teeming with wildlife. Here, there's a bird's nest; there, a small group of deer peacefully grazing on the grass. Over the hill lives a small pack of coyotes that will eventually hunt the deer, but it helps keep the deer population down. Circle of life and all that. Some years, the wildlife flourishes; other years, water is scarce and so is food. Those are the lean times, but somehow the little wooded area continues to thrive on its own, waxing and waning its way through the years.

Now imagine that little wooded grove gets targeted for development. All woodland creatures are systematically driven out of the area or killed. The lovely trees are ripped from the ground one by one. The grass is torn up, dirt and earth moved and leveled out. And one by one, houses pop up where the wooded area used to be. Clean and tidy paved roads, white picket fences all in a row, pretty if bland houses plunked into symmetric lots carefully designed for the maximum use of space. Those who live in the houses may occasionally see a deer out the window, a remnant of the wood that no longer exists.

Which is better?

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 and what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore. But they're interesting!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Velen, the Prophet

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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 failed long ago to turn my brothers from their course. And creation has paid the price."

How must it feel to be ageless? To watch as millennia tick by, each century the span of a breath and gone in an instant? To the draenei, the lives of humans must seem incredibly short-lived. To the Prophet Velen, who is at least 25,000 years old, we must seem like motes of dust, winking in and out of existence so quickly that we can scarcely be recognized as entities before we cease to exist. Velen has led the draenei through terror and triumph, from world to world, always gently spreading the benevolent message of the Light to any who wish to hear.

Yet for a being of such grace, purity and peace, Velen is also a creature of unfathomable sorrow. For Velen has been granted the gift of Sight, and with the gift he can see the infinite paths of futures that may not be, of worlds born and fallen in the blink of an eye. And despite that gift, Velen cannot prevent what is yet to pass. He cannot prevent that which has gone before, and will come again. And he could not prevent the path his friends chose, nor could he persuade them their new ally was in fact a monster so horrific that his hellish grasp would wreak havoc on immeasurable worlds.

For one that treasures life in the way only the Light can teach, it is a heavy burden to bear.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The naaru are a menace that must be destroyed

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.
A soothing light fills you as you approach the naaru. Slow musical chimes echo within your mind and though a word is not uttered, you feel an assurance of safety.

They glimmer with the purity of the Light, and their very presence fills one with a warm, calm feeling of inner peace. They also teach the ways of the Light -- the draenei would not be paladins were it not for these mysterious creature's intervention. In fact, the benevolent naaru came to Velen in a vision when his world was at its darkest hour, offering him hope, salvation, escape ... and the knowledge that there was a far larger battle out there, one that had yet to come to pass.

Kil'jaeden and Archimonde eagerly agreed to follow and serve Sargeras, becoming the highest-ranked members of the Burning Legion. As for Velen, he took the worried, the lost, the concerned draenei with him and fled, pledging his servitude to the naaru and their righteous cause. Two causes, one outwardly and easily identifiable as evil -- and the other, far more sinister and wicked than anything the Burning Legion could ever hope to achieve.

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. These speculations are merely theories and should not be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, TFH edition: The true battle between Light and Darkness

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.
Even now, the true battle between the forces of Light and Darkness approaches. We will all be called to join, and in the face of this conflict, all mortal suffering will be meaningless.
Cataclysm is an expansion about the struggle to stop the end of the world and the struggle between Horde and Alliance. But in the 1-to-60 zone revamps, there are fascinating little bits of lore to be discovered. Most of these involve the Alliance/Horde conflict, but every now and again, you'll find a quest chain that leaves more questions than answers, more mystery than resolution.

One of these chains begins for Alliance players in the Swamp of Sorrows, and it seems to be harmless enough. A Broken draenei named Magtoor is on his deathbed, and Anchorite Avuun is desperately looking for a cure. In Magtoor's final moments, Prophet Velen appears and returns Magtoor to the embrace of the Light with a little speech, including the quote above. The quest chain is fairly straightforward ... until we start picking at the potential meanings of that phrase.

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

New Eye of the Legion, Demon Hunter's Aspect are WoW TCG items

Thanks to @Proenix00 on Twitter, we now know that the new Eye of the Legion pet and cosmetic item Demon Hunter's Aspect are rewards from the WoW TCG. Datamined from the new patch 4.3.2 files, these new items have been fueling some talk as to whether Mists of Pandaria would include more Legion-inspired antics or if the launch events leading up to the new expansion would be demonic in nature. The Feldrake mount does not appear in the list of items in the screenshot we have, but it could be possible that the Feldrake mount will get subbed in.

We do not yet know which TCG expansion that these items will be available in and whether or not the Feldrake is the equivalent to the Timewalkers Mount that is labelled [DNT] in the screenshot above. Hopefully, it will all be revealed to us soon. The Timewalkers Mount sounds to me like it might be more akin to the new chromatic dragon mount models found in the previous patch. At this point, we do not have concrete details.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: WoW TCG, Cataclysm

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: The Warcraft cosmos, part one: The Material Plane

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.

Even now, the true battle between the forces of Light and Darkness approaches. We will all be called to join, and in the face of this conflict, all mortal suffering will be meaningless. -- Prophet Velen

Far beyond the tiny planet of Azeroth, beyond the shattered shores of Outland -- or Draenor, as it was once called -- there lies the Great Dark Beyond. This dark, empty void between worlds exists even beyond the Twisting Nether. It is the space between planets, existing in the same material plane as the planets themselves. While the Twisting Nether exists within it, it should not be confused with the Nether, because they are two distinctly different entities.

In the existing universe of Warcraft, only a small handful of planets have been defined, floating somewhere out there in the vast, empty space of the Great Dark Beyond. All of these planets are connected, which gives way to a larger, slightly more tinfoil hat theory regarding the greater Warcraft cosmos and what it all means, when it comes down to it. But before we indulge in any speculation, we should define what lies within that Great Dark Beyond and how it all plays together in the vastness of the universe.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Pre-Black Friday: Amazon offers The Burning Crusade free with WoW purchase

As part of its Prelude to Black Friday Deals Week, Amazon.com is offering The Burning Crusade for free to people who purchase World of Warcraft through the website. Right now, The Burning Crusade is retailing for $29.82 at Amazon, so if you're looking to get that for free, pick up a $19.75 copy of WoW. That's a pretty damn good deal, especially for people getting into the new Cataclysm leveling experience that will be free for all vanilla WoW players.

Check out Amazon's Prelude to Black Friday deal here.

Filed under: News items, The Burning Crusade

Breakfast Topic: Who else is ready to be a hero?

When the Dark Portal threatened to open and Highlord Kruul menaced Azeroth's cities, I was all over it. My guildmates and I raced from city to city trying to find and destroy him. We could not wait to walk the shattered soil of Outland. Similarly, when the zombie plague descended upon the cities of Azeroth, unleashing armies of walking dead upon our streets, I was once again to be found gleefully hacking down this new threat in out of the way places. Technically, that was the second time the undead had flooded the world, the first time being when Naxxramas-40 debuted, and I remember being excited about that, too.

Heck, I was even excited for the first elemental invasions. I farmed Avalanchion for quite some time for a shield I replaced the next day, as I recall.

So basically, as an adventuring sort in the World of Warcraft, I tend to be excited when there are doomsday cults preaching the end of the world. That's steady work for us hero types! I say bring on the chaos, the despair, the waves of elementals lurching out of rifts, the cults spreading fear and treachery. How about you?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

The Queue: Legendary heavy glow



Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the
World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I saw Gorillaz last night at Madison Square Garden. 'Nuff said.

Masalar asked:

Do the profession changes, such as multiple skill ups for making a blue item, come into play with 4.0.1? Because my hunter is waiting for that change to become an engineer ...
Yes, those count as system changes, so they should be in with 4.0.1.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: The Council of Tirisfal and the last Guardian

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.

He was the last Guardian and one of the most influential people in Azeroth -- but he never meant to be either one. Of all of the myriad and varied heroes in World of Warcraft, there is one man who is responsible for the majority of the events we see in Azeroth today. This man was solely responsible for the presence of orcs, responsible for the Horde, responsible for the ever-evolving conflict between Horde and Alliance. He was responsible for the original destruction of Stormwind, for the death of Anduin Lothar, King Llane Wrynn and many other heroes whose exploits didn't make it into the annals of history. He was responsible, indirectly, for the corruption of Arthas and the subsequent death of King Menethil, the razing of Stratholme and the rise of the Scourge. He arguably has more blood on his hands than any other being in Azeroth.

And yet he was also responsible for the first tenuous threads of peace stretched between Alliance and Horde. He was responsible for the rise of some of Azeroth's greatest heroes -- he was the man that made Varian Wrynn who he is today, he was the man who turned Thrall from an orc with dreams of peace for his people into a leader of action. He was responsible for saving Azeroth from being razed and torn asunder by the Burning Legion. He was a man of many talents, and a man of many regrets. His name is Medivh.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Prophet Velen, the light and the darkness


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.

There will be spoilers for Cataclysm in this post.

The Prophet Velen plays a long game. He thinks ahead and considers not only the past and the present but the future, which befits one who has lived for over 25,000 years and can see into the future (however malleable that future might become). To the Prophet, racial grudges, territorial acquisition, even revenge for injuries done to his people -- none of it matters. Even the great Cataclysm is unimportant. Because Velen has seen that all the battles we've fought are merely harbingers and the greatest conflict in the universe is approaching. And every son and daughter of the Light, no matter how tenuous his or her connection, no matter what forces he or she has chosen to consort with (be they divine, elemental, arcane or even fel), will have to make a choice and pick a side.

The final battle approaches. The world of Azeroth has been chosen. Good versus evil, light against darkness, life opposing death. What side will you choose?

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

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance Politics -- the Night Elves, Part 2


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.

WARNING:
The following post contains spoilers for the novel Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. Readers still in the middle of the novel may want to veer away from this post, as I'll be discussing events covered over the course of the book.

Now that we've established what happened to Tyrande and Malfurion (in the midst of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ... stuff), we can begin to pick apart what happened in between the Sundering, the Third War, and present day. Tyrande Whisperwind is currently leading the night elves along with Archdruid Fandral Staghelm -- and Staghelm has a history that also stretches back thousands of years, one that's led him to his current less-than-friendly leadership.

Fandral Staghelm was born about 1,000 years after the Sundering and studied the druidic arts under Malfurion Stormrage, soon rising in ranks and becoming one of Malfurion's top lieutenants as well as training many of the new Druids of the Wild. Where Malfurion was even-tempered and kind, Fandral was hotheaded and aggressive, frequently clashing with Malfurion, and nowadays Tyrande over how night elf society should be run. He holds many strong beliefs that echo the beliefs of ancient night elves, including the belief that night elves are the supreme race on the planet, all other races are inferior, and night elves are the only "true" druids. Charming, isn't he?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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