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Posts with tag cloud-serpents

WoW Archivist: More beta surprises

Sylvanas models through the years
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?

As the Warlords of Draenor beta rolls onward, Blizzard keeps managing to surprise us. Recently we've learned about a huge overhaul to guild systems, random upgrades for quest rewards, and an extra-awesome core hound mount.

In the last WoW Archivist column, we looked at the surprises from the original beta and the betas of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. This time, we continue with Wrath and also look at the surprises during the Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria betas.

(As before, I won't go into storyline surprises here. And I won't cover surprises announced at BlizzCon outside of a beta. BlizzCon already has its own feature for controversial surprises.)

Beta of the Lich King (continued)

Goodbye, night elf Sylvanas. Through vanilla and TBC, the Sylvanas model looked like a night elf rather than an undead high elf. With Sylvanas poised to play a big role in Northrend, Blizzard clearly needed to revamp her model. Players worried that they would have to look at the old night elf model through all her lore moments in Wrath.

A build in August 2008 gave her an initial makeover (middle image above) and lore-focused players breathed a sigh of relief. Clearly she still needed some work, but at least she wasn't a night elf anymore.

A later build in September gave her the fantastic model we see today. The same build also updated the models for Varian Wrynn and Alexstraza.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Flight

Sparkle Pony
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?

Flying is second nature to WoW players. We've been doing it for almost eight years now. Sure, we've adventured in a few flightless places, like the Isle of Thunder, the Isle of Giants, and the Timeless Isle. Even The Burning Crusade, where flying originated, had a no-fly zone on the Isle of Quel'Danas. (What is it with these isles anyway?) But almost always, since 2006, we've flown. And we always expected to, for the vast majority of our in-game time.

Now, because of Blizzard's impassioned arguments against flight on Draenor, flying is suddenly controversial. If you look back, you can see why: flying has changed the game like no other feature before or since. Let's start where it all began, however, with classic WoW's humble flight paths.

They used to be cool

I'm about to express something that you may not believe. Once upon a time, flight paths were cool. Yep, I said it. Before flying mounts, when you couldn't even get a ground mount until level 40 and epic ground mounts were just a dream for most due to the steep cost, in that early version of the game where you spent most of your travel time walking or riding at the pace of a Throne of Thunder gastropod, flight paths were cool.

Not only did they get you around the continent at the fastest possible speed, they gave you a cinematic view of Azeroth from the skies. It was the only time you could get that view from above. The first time most classic WoW players rode a gryphon or wyvern from A to B, we loved it.

No other MMO at the time had anything like it. We felt like masters of the world -- at least, when we could afford to take the trip. Most players were broke in the early days, and using flight paths too liberally often meant forgoing buying a new skill when you leveled. Taking a flight path was an indulgence, a treat, instead of the annoying hassle we see them as today.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Cloud serpent riding to remain per-character


A while back Ghostcrawler let drop on Twitter that Blizzard was considering moving the cloud serpent riding to an account-wide unlock, rather than on a per-character basis. Well, it seems like that idea has been shelved. Each character will need to get the achievement in order to use cloud serpents.

Ghostcrawler explains in his tweet:


This should also serve as a good example to folks of situations where Ghostcrawler talks about something as a possibility on Twitter, and then notes later that it doesn't become a reality. It's important to remember that Blizzard uses Twitter as an informal means of having a discussion about game mechanics -- rarely do they announce anything of importance over the medium (or at least announce it via a non-public relations/marketing channel).

In other words, it's okay to be disappointed that this change didn't make it through (I am) -- but don't say that you were promised it/the pony.

Filed under: News items

Faction short story The Strength of Steel now available

Faction short story The Strength of Steel now available
The Order of the Cloud Serpent is one of those factions that while pretty long, is a satisfying grind in its own way -- the promise of a mount at the end of the quests and dailies is pretty compelling. But the one thing that really made the faction worth it to me, was the resemblance to the Netherwing quests of old. With the Netherwing, you were helping a beleaguered race of subjugated dragons regain their freedom. With the Order of the Cloud Serpent, you were raising a hatchling of your own, caring for it, watching it grow larger, and waiting for the day when at last it was strong enough to carry you into the skies.

It was touching because there was a distinct sense of heart surrounding the faction -- and the latest faction short story, The Strength of Steel by Raphael Ahad, illustrates that journey in a completely different way. One of the new allies of Garrosh Hellscream's Horde are the Dragonmaw -- a clan of orcs bent on subjugating dragonkind, forcing the beasts to obey and act as steeds of war. So what happens when a Dragonmaw, living with the ideals of the Dragonmaw firmly ingrained in his mind, comes across a cloud serpent hatchling of his own?

It's an oddly touching, beautiful little story that highlights the difference between pandaren and orc, between trust and control. As Koak struggles to raise his hatchling, there's also that internal struggle between what it means to be a Dragonmaw, what it means to be Horde, and where Koak stands in between it all. I have to admit, I didn't expect much out of a story surrounding the Order of the Cloud Serpent, but Raphael Ahad really hit a home run with this one, penning a heartfelt tale that in the end, was well worth the read. You can read The Strength of Steel over on the official site, and while you're there, be sure to check out the other fine tales in the Destination: Pandaria section.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Rebellion

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

I finally beat DmC Devil May Cry last night. As a long-time fan of the Devil May Cry franchise, I was ambivalent on the reboot when I first heard about it. However, after playing it, I'm eager for more. Well done, Ninja Theory.

Ron2 asked:

Hypothetical Q: Patch 5.x introduces a type of Leatherworking item. It's not new gear or an armor kit. What is it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Rising to exalted with the Order of the Cloud Serpent

Boost your Order of the Cloud Serpent reputation
If you've hit level 90, it's likely you've already seen the sheer amount of dailies and other activities to do in Mists. Along with the grind for gear, there's a grind for the beautiful cloud serpent mounts that can be found flying all over the Jade Forest. If you love the cloud serpents, you'll need to learn how to ride them. And in order to ride them, you need to get exalted with the Order of the Cloud Serpent.

To begin, head to the Arboretum and speak to Elder Anli the Serpent Master, who will send you to Windward Isle to the northwest. Upon finishing the opening chain, you'll be roughly honored with the Order of the Cloud Serpent, and you'll have picked a cloud serpent of your very own to raise. A series of dailies will let you play and interact with your cloud serpent hatchling, and as time goes on, your reputation with the Order will rise.

If you're saying this sounds an awful lot like the Netherwing grind in Burning Crusade, you'd be absolutely right. But reputation and dailies aren't the only things shared between the two factions.

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Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: How to find the new cloud serpent mounts in Mists of Pandaria

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. Today, we experience the horrors of exploration.

One of the joys of getting into a new expansion is seeing a huge, lovely, empty map in front of you, containing a wealth of new experiences and items. One of the annoyances of getting into a new expansion is seeing a huge, horrible, empty map in front of you, containing a wealth of new experiences and items that you have absolutely no idea how to find. If you're me, you will eventually find yourself on a ledge somewhere in the Jade Forest, looking in silence over a cliff with a 2,000-foot drop with the knowledge that you can't fly off of it and that your hearthstone is down. This is bad.

I put this article together for that reason, because when I got into the Mists of Pandaria beta, I was desperate to find the new cloud serpent mounts but didn't actually know how to find them. (I did, however, "find" the bottom of the cliff. Good for me.) Hopefully, this will help you speed up the process a bit on your end, although we're still not 100% sure where all of these mounts will eventually be found.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Raising your very own cloud serpent

Mists of Pandaria Beta Raising your very own cloud serpent
With the reopening of the Jade Forest, several quests and dailies that were no longer accessible have been reopened, including the opportunity to get your very own cloud serpent. Unlike the cloud serpents you can purchase from the various reputation vendors around the world, this cloud serpent is yours -- raised by you from the moment it hatches until the moment you can slap a saddle on its back and fly away into the clouds.

Much like the Netherwing in The Burning Crusade or the Winterspring Frostsabers and Venomhide Ravasaurs for Alliance and Horde, respectively, your cloud serpent is obtained through a series of daily quests in which you take care of the little guy, keep him safe from certain doom, clean up after him, and keep him amused. You can start the chain by heading to the Arboretum in Jade Forest at level 90 to speak to Elder Ani the Serpent Master, who will take a good look at you and determine whether you've got the stuff to keep a cloud serpent. Don't worry, you do.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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