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Posts with tag caverns of time

Raid Rx: 5 Heroics to help toughen your healers

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week we look at which heroic encounters will help strengthen your new healers and why!

A question I get asked from healers is how can I prepare myself for raiding? On the other side of the spectrum, guild leaders ask me how can they judge or measure a healer in other areas other than healing output. Let's knock out two birds with one well timed stone.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Mass Murder 101: How to be a hero

It's a fact that the majority of what we do in World of Warcraft is kill things. Nearly all the supplementary activities we engage in, from shopping to crafting, are all basically to help us improve the effectiveness of our violent capabilities. Many players have noted that if WoW were at all real, then nearly every one of our characters would be considered a genocidal maniac for all the people and creatures we have killed, and yet we view ourselves as heroes.

The idea is, of course, that most of the lives we take are really evil anyway, so we're actually doing the real good guys a favor. We kill tons of demons, ghosts, zombies, dragonkin, giants, and rabid beasts -- even most of the humanoids we kill are bandits or wicked cultists of one sort or another. This way we do lots of killing, but still feel as though we are heroes.

There are some situations in the game, however, that turn things around for us, in which our character is not the hero. While there are some higher-level instances such as the Black Morass, or the new Caverns of Time: Stratholme, in which one could argue either way whether what we're doing is good or evil, most of situations in which you are clearly the bad guy, as far as I am aware, have to do with the undead, and to a lesser extent the blood elves as well. Of course, you can argue that in general, undead are just misunderstood, and the blood elves are just tragically misled, but as in the case of quests in Hillsbrad that ask you to go slaughter human farmers, or help develop a new plague, there's really no denying that your character is doing something "morally wrong."

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Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, RP

Around Azeroth: Just inside the Caverns of Time


An elaborate sand clock, a brilliantly colored sky (is that lightning?), dragon overhead... yep, this couldn't be anywhere but the Caverns of Time! Thorion of Hydraxis sends in this iconic shot taken of the sand clock just inside the Caverns of Time in Tanaris -- an excellent addition to the collection of anyone playing the "gotta catch 'em all" game with our Azeroth screenshots.

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! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Slaughtering? No, it's just burning down houses (with people inside?)

When I first heard about the new Caverns of Time instance coming up in Wrath of the Lich King, where we go about helping the pre-lich king Arthas as he tries to "purify" the city of Stratholme, I heard other people jumping for joy, while I was feeling a bit of dread. When I played through that stage of Warcraft III, I remember that Arthas was already going down the proverbial moral hill, being ruthlessly indiscriminate as to whether the citizens had actually become undead or not. He didn't have much interest in helping them -- even if help was impossible, he didn't have any sympathy or hesitation in his slaughter.

I understood that part in the game to show how he was already beginning to fall even before he went to Northrend and picked up Frostmourne. I was pressing the buttons that killed those digital Stratholmians, but I also knew that I was just advancing the plot of a story, even if I didn't approve of the action. If the same scene appears in the Caverns of Time however, then this is not, in my mind, merely advancing the plot. This is my character taking part in activities that I myself would never condone. Slaughtering almost-but-not-yet-undead families feels a little too close to home to me. "They're doomed anyway so might as well slash them to ribbons?" That inhuman attitude is sometimes used in real life to do horrible things, and it's quite chilling.

Well, Blizzard CM Bornakk would disagree with me: "Slaughtering is a strong word," he says, "maybe it would be better to say that you are aiding the pround Prince Arthas in Straholme [sic] as he uses his divine Paladin powers to purify the streets of vile evil undead creatures ... and burns down houses." Well, I'm glad not to be hacking defenseless mothers, fathers and children apart myself, but burning down their homes is a serious thing, particularly if the houses to be burned are supposed to have these not-yet-undead families inside of them. For Arthas to do that in the story of his corruption is one thing, but for my character to help him is totally different.

Now, admittedly you could argue that one of the existing CoT instances has us helping Medivh open a portal for orcs to come and rampage lots and lots of people, and yes technically that's an evil thing to do. But there's a big step between opening fantasy portals and burning down houses that are supposed to have families inside them. Does anyone else see a problem here?

[Also, as a side note, the thread in which Bornakk tells us that slaughtering is a strong word actually begins with a really funny idea for another CoT instance, "Back to the Future," which is worth checking out.]

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

Killing your grandfather: What happens if you wipe in the Caverns of Time?

The Caverns of Time are a pretty neat place. With the recent announcement of Old Stratholme, we'll get to go back and preserve the timeline through four different events: Medivh's opening of the Dark Portal, Thrall's escape from Durnholde Keep, Arthas's purging of the city of Stratholme, and Azeroth's victory at the Battle for Mount Hyjal. The mysterious Infinite Dragonflight is trying to disrupt the timelines for unknown reasons, and we have to keep things the way they were.

But why? Yes, any change in the past will have a ripple effect on the future, bla bla bla, but there are people who would definitely prefer that events went down differently in three of the four CoT instances. Blizzard doesn't show us what happens when we wipe, fail or simply choose not to preserve things in CoT ... so we've had to fill in the blanks ourselves.

The Battle for Mount Hyjal: Okay, no one really wants to see history changed for this one. Heck, it even looks like the Infinite Dragonflight may not want to change it, since we see none of their members in the battle. If history was changed ... actually, I'm not sure what the Burning Legion really would do if they won the war. Destroy all the mortal races in their quest to bring chaos to the universe? Enslave all the playable characters and force them to become an invading force for another world? Man, that would be awesome. For the Legion. Not so much for Azeroth. The Burning Legion winning at Hyjal is like a big Game Over sign for the Warcraft universe.

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Filed under: Instances, Lore

Where would you put a new instance?



I was thinking about Zul'Aman the other day, the incoming 10 man dungeon, if for no other reason than it will probably be the next place my guild goes after Kara: we don't really have enough people to do more than the occasional Gruul or Magtheridon PuG's. (I've actually done more SSC PuG's than either of those, amazingly enough. And I died a lot.) Now, I remembered that some folks are unhappy with Zul'Aman being located in a Horde zone, especially on PvP servers. That then got me to thinking about the announcement from Blizzcon that there would be at least one more five man dungeon before the expansion. I'm not sure if that's been changed by the announcement of an 'Old Stratholme' CoT for level 80 or not, but it all combined in my head and I started wondering where, exactly, they should put a new 5 man dungeon?

Obviously you'd want to avoid the issues around Zul'Aman by not sticking it in a Horde or Alliance controlled zone, so Stormwind Vault is probably out unless the Horde gets some kind of teleport or back door. That still leaves a lot of zones available to us, though. With the advent of Caverns of Time instances that look like open, outdoor zones why not open up Azshara Crater? It would be nice to have a reason to go there now that Azuregos isn't really a draw anymore, and we haven't had a Night Elf/Naga instance since Blackfathom Deeps.

Heck, maybe the entire zone behind the Greymane Wall could be a giant instance. What's up in Gilneas? There's rumors of Worgen infestations, Naga on their shores, undead in the hills... I'd personally love to get a chance to ride into the place and check it out. Maybe Genn Greymane's insane, a puppet of the Naga, or even a giant Worgen sitting on a pile of bones that used to be his own people? Well, okay, probably not. Still, there's plenty of room for a new instance in either Azeroth or Outland... Winterspring, Felwood, Blade's Edge and Nagrand all lack one, and both Winterspring (with the demons of Darkwhisper Gorge) and Nagrand (with Oshu'gun) even have likely places to put one.

So where would you want to go adventuring next? Where would you put a new instance, and what would it be?

Edited to add: I'm reminded that Gruul's lair is in Blade's Edge. I meant more five man content, but with a raid in there already, maybe Blade's Edge has enough on its plate. Especially with the Ogri'la quests. Still, an ancient Apexis Ruin could always surface.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Lore

Archimonde Hotfixes

Daelo, Lead Encounter Designer, has announced on the forums that the Archimonde encounter in the Battle of Mount Hyjal (Caverns of Time) has been hotfixed in preparation for Patch 2.2. Daelo says:

In an effort to apply some of our upcoming 2.2 changes in a more expedited manner, we're hotfixing some elements of the Archimonde encounter. Not every planned change to Archimonde could be hotfixed, the other announced changes will occur with the release of patch 2.2.

The following hotfix changes are now live:
- Archimonde now casts fear in a bit more consistent manner, roughly every 40 seconds.
- Fear's cast time is now 1.5 seconds.
- Grip of the Legion now has only a 60 yard range.
- Red Soul Charge now only silences players for 4 seconds.

The planned changes for Mother Shahraz could not be hotfixed, but we are working to resolve via hotfix the timing issue with Essence of Desire's Rune Shield and Spirit Shock. Working on that fix, we discovered that Rune Shield wasn't actually absorbing any damage. We're also working to fix that error. Since the Rune Shield is normally removed quickly, Essence of Desire still won't get much benefit out of the effect. Mages who Spell Steal the effect will be quite a bit happier, however.


I wonder if this means that Patch 2.2 will be coming out in the next couple of weeks. Since VOIP just got implemented on the PTR, I doubt it will be released any sooner.

Are you happy with these changes?

Filed under: Patches, News items, Bosses

WoW Moviewatch: Soloing Durnholde Heroic


In this video, Dysph shows us that anything is possible -- including soloing Heroic Outland content. In this video, Dysph takes out Lt. Drake from Durnholde Keep in the Caverns of Time. And while it takes an hour and a half, I've got to say it's still a huge accomplishment for a single player! But if seeing people tackle content like this single-handedly doesn't interest you, there's also an entertaining little backstory to the movie.

Previously on Moviewatch...

[Thanks, Mastari!]

Filed under: Hunter, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Around Azeroth: Me and Medivh


Silverfury of Hyjal sends in this shot of, as he describes it, "me and Med." He continues, " that's how we call each other nowadays." I'm impressed -- I wish I were on a first-name (nickname, even!) basis with Medivh!

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! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Child of the Elements

I finally finished the children's week quests on the alliance side, after being quite busy for most of the last week. It's interesting to note how different the draenei girl is from the blood elf that Elizabeth covered earlier. Far from a girl seeming fated to grow up to be a evil-doer of some kind, young Dornaa seems to be a child destined to be a kind and powerful shaman, deeply in touch with the elements.

The Exodar's resident Naaru, named O'ros, seems very impressed with her and asks you to have her visit Farseer Nobundo, leader of draenei shamanism, upstairs. She and the Farseer have already met in a dream, apparently! Nobundo is astounded that the child should have such a natural connection to the elements, and says he will petition for her to stay in the Exodar and train under him after you return her to the orphanage. At the Caverns of Time, she is approached by the Wardens of Time (and saved by the great dragon Zaladormu) just like the blood elf orphan, but the feeling of this is quite different in her context, especially since she wants to befriend a dragon someday, not own one like the blood elf. It seems to me as if a great responsibility rests on her at some time in the future, not some great and evil destiny.

Does the difference between the Horde and Alliance orphans reinforce the thinking that the Horde really is generally evil (with a few who are good) while the Alliance is generally good (with a few who are evil)? Is that the balance we like? Does Blizzard need to provide more kind hordies and wicked allies?

(By the way, if you haven't yet done the Children's Week quests, today [the 29th] is the last day already too late. It seems that Blizzard has once again posted one time on the calendar but gone ahead and cut it off early. Personally, it irks me when this sort of thing happens for no reason -- product delays I can understand, but cutting off a fun event before you promised you would? Grrrr!)

Filed under: Patches, Events, Draenei

WoW Moviewatch: Archimonde Encounter by Curse

At last, we see a teaser of the final encounter of Mount Hyjal! Curse from Vek'Nilash has gone up against Archimonde to give us a preview of this epic, world-changing battle. They bring attention to a few of his abilities, and particularly how incredibly difficult he is. I can't wait to see what kinds of items he has in store for us!

[Thanks, WarcraftMovies.com]

Filed under: Machinima, The Burning Crusade, WoW Moviewatch, Lore, Bosses

Mysterious Mysteries: the Exodar

While questing in Azeroth the other day, a guildy and I got into a discussion on The Exodar. He mentioned that it looked to him that it was a ship and that someone should be able to fly it. That led to my geeking out a bit over the lore, and explaining that it was indeed a ship, a nethership, and the fourth part of Tempest Keep.

I've often speculated about this strange city. As I fly around Netherstorm, I try to imagine what it was like to have that last piece of the armada floating with the others, and where it might have been placed. But the true mystery is what might have been within the Exodar. We know it had a boss, but who was flying that great ship when the Draenei broke in? What exactly was it used for? I think of it in terms of the Caverns of Time. If we were able to step back to that moment when the ship was hijacked, what would we see? I bet the battle was immense. Okay, here's where I'd like to here from you. What do you think the Exodar originally was? Are there clues within the existing structure that can hint at it's original purpose?

[image courtesy of WorldofWar.net]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, The Burning Crusade

Confessions of a casual gamer

I admit it, I am never going to raid Naxxramas. C'Thun? Broodlord? These are fights I doubt I will ever see. That's not to say that I don't play a lot, I do. I have 10 characters, ranging from 70 to 1, and I admit an addiction to character creation. But I am not a raider. My mage has average gear. When she stepped through the portal in January she had 4 pieces of Arcanist, all of which I have replaced with green or blue items. My entire goal with the expansion hasn't been to defeat Illidan, and I've had no burning desire to send Vashj back into that hole created by the destruction of the Well of Eternity. I just wanted to go to the Caverns of Time. It was a simple wish, but I somehow feel less of a gamer because I don't have the opportunity or the drive to push through to the raid content.

I have the desire, I do, I just live in a small world, with a small guild of friends. I would love to experience all the game has to offer, that's why I've created as many characters as I have. If there were 20 character slots, I would still have them all filled. In addition to my desire, though, I also have a lot of unease. Am I too a gamer if I don't get the "uberest" of gear sets? Is it enough to play for the love of the game, or do I need to have 6 characters at 70 by the time the next expansion comes out? A lot of the content in the game requires 25-man or 40-man raids, and I don't know how likely it is I will be able to get into Kharazan, despite finishing the key. I am grateful for the 5-man content in Outland, but I wonder, is there room in Blizzard's heart for the casual gamer?

Filed under: Instances, Raiding

Know Your Lore Special: The Caverns of Time Southshore Easter egg hunt

In a video game, Easter eggs are hidden features or areas that are meant to please the game's serious players. So it's only appropriate that on Easter we explore the biggest Easter egg in WoW.

The point of the Caverns of Time: Durnholde instance is to go into Durnholde Keep, free Thrall, and fight off some dragons. You can get some pretty nice mid-60s items there. But for those of a more explorative mindset, the real gem of this instance is Old Southshore. If you wander off the beaten path, you'll discover the Alliance stronghold hasn't changed too much in seven years ... and you may just meet some familiar faces.

Read onward for a guide to the Easter eggs of Old Southshore.

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Filed under: Instances, Features, Screenshots, Lore, Know your Lore

Durnholde Keep hotfixed


Eyonix reports that a hotfix has been applied to the Escape from Durnholde Keep portion of the Caverns of Time. This should prevent Thrall from occasionally giving incorrect text and halting the progress of the instance. If you've done this instance a time or two, you know just how irritating it is to see Thrall halt in his tracks and refuse to move any further. Says Eyonix:

I really do think we should've just given players the Foreman's Blackjack when they entered the instance, instead of pushing the hotfix. I think a good smack could've gotten Thrall back to work!

I have to agree: that solution would have been a heck of a lot more fun.

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