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Posts with tag dark-portal

Know Your Lore: Khadgar, Archmage of the Kirin Tor

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.

What do you do when your life is stripped away? Khadgar is an Archmage of the Kirin Tor -- one of the members of the Council of Six, and a powerful mage in his own right. Ancient and wizened, in his lifetime Khadgar has confronted the shadow of Sargeras, faced the orc legions that poured through the Dark Portal, seen Draenor shattered into a wasteland, and even confronted Deathwing himself and survived. And after all that was said and done, he was the first human to reach out and connect with the enigmatic naaru, bringing A'dal and his forces to Outland.

And he's done all of this by age forty-four.

Forty-four? Yes. There's much more to Khadgar than his appearance might suggest. Although his body may be ancient and wizened, there is nothing stopping what is still a fairly young and incredibly intelligent mind. But Khadgar may not be where he expected to be when, at age 17, he was asked to apprentice to the most unlikely tutor in the Eastern Kingdoms. His name was Medivh.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Alternate Azeroth

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.

Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate, splinter reality in which Garrosh Hellscream has gone back in time and prevented the leaders of the old orc clans from drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. In this version of reality, several events have changed dramatically -- leading players to ask many, many questions about alternate Azeroth, how its history has been altered, and how that changes the Azeroth we know and love today. The answer is very simple: it doesn't. Not in the slightest. That alternate Azeroth, and whatever future it may hold, has no bearing on Warlords of Draenor at all. We won't be exploring that world, and our Azeroth remains unchanged.

However, people still continue to ask. So we're going to take a little trip into that alternate reality and explore what that version of Azeroth would theoretically look like without the Dark Portal. We're going to explore this alternate world, take a look at what likely never came to pass, and what happened as a result. And then we're going to quietly put all of that away, because this is all information and events that we are not going to see in Warlords of Draenor. But it'll be nice to get it out of our systems, won't it?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. 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: Draka, daughter of Kelkar

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.

Thrall named the ship Draka's Fury after his mother. It was the ship that should have taken him without trouble to the heart of the Maelstrom during Cataclysm, but the ship was intercepted by an Alliance fleet and destroyed. It's been stated here and there that Thrall named the ship as a tribute to his mother, and to the strong orc women in his life -- but there's a problem with that. Thrall didn't know his mother at all, really. When he was just an infant, both Draka and his father Durotan were killed, betrayed by their own kind, and Thrall left to die. He named the ship after the strength of a mother that he never really knew at all.

But Draka was far from weak, in her prime -- and to her mate Durotan, she was the epitome of everything an orc woman should be. Strong, wise, brave, unwilling to bend or break, Draka spent the entirety of her childhood defying everyone's expectations, and continued to do so until the day she died. In Warlords of Draenor, we'll finally get a chance to meet Thrall's mother and father in person. We know who Durotan is, but who was that orc woman standing at his side, and what made her so incredibly special?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Who we will and won't see in Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor, the next WoW expansion, comes complete with a storyline that has players asking plenty of questions. Featuring an all-star cast of previous RTS characters, Warlords delves into an alternate version of reality, a version in which the orc chieftains never drank the Blood of Mannoroth, instead choosing to band together in the Iron Horde. In this version of reality -- a splinter of reality that shouldn't really exist -- the orcs and draenei are still at war, and that entire splinter of reality is being connected to our own via the Dark Portal.

This has been raising all kinds of questions regarding who exactly we'll see on the other side of that portal. What about Azeroth, in that version of reality? What about Deathwing and his kin? What about the Velen leading the draenei at that point in time, what about younger Garrosh? Will there be duplicates of orcs who have since made their homes on Azeroth, after traveling through the Dark Portal? Will the Alliance Expedition be stranded on this version of Draenor? Just who are we going to see over there, and who won't be making an appearance?

While we don't have all the answers, we have more than enough to start filling in the blanks.

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Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Timelines, timeways, and Karazhan

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.

What is time, in Warcraft? Is it a straightforward line, or a tapestry of events that can be changed or altered with a simple pluck of a thread? While the bronze dragonflight may be masters of the various pathways of time, we mortal players are most definitely not. We've been sent through the pathways of the Caverns of Time on more than one occasion, but always at the behest of the bronze flight, to complete the tasks they have set and keep the timelines pristine.

But this mysterious maze of time wasn't left unexplored prior to our travels through Tanaris. Obviously the bronze dragonflight has been up to a great deal over the thousands of years that it has existed -- Nozdormu's long absence predated even our first journeys through the Caverns of Time. And for one player in the next expansion, time had absolutely nothing to do with the dragonflights, and much more to do with the mysterious home of his enigmatic master, Medivh. So how does it all weave together?

More importantly, when is time travel not really time travel at all, as the developers seemed to be so insistent on saying at BlizzCon?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains a small amount of speculation on datamined material. 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: The warlords 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.

Originally, Draenor was a planet with a nigh-uneventful history until a series of progressively more incredible and unusual events, brought to the world from outside sources, plunged it into chaos. According to what we knew -- which was admittedly very little -- the orc clans of Draenor had no issues with the rest of the world, or with each other. There may have been the occasional squabbles between clans, but there was nothing remotely resembling full out war ... at least nothing that's been recorded in history as we know it. However, the announcement of Warlords of Draenor seems to indicate a big history lesson is on the way.

Draenor's history, one distinct moment in time has been altered, creating a separate fork -- a bubble of time, if you will -- that has changed the fates of these old heroes. So who are the Warlords of Draenor? We have their names. What we don't have is the new history revealed in the expansion just yet. But even in the original timeline, these orc warlords each had different, unique histories that all tied in together, courtesy of the Burning Legion's meddling and influence.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor pre-launch event

Warlords of Draenor launch event
In the World of Warcraft: What's Next panel, Cory Stockton, Lead Content Designer, announced that Warlords of Draenor will have a substantial pre-launch event to introduce players to the story of Warlords of Draenor. Pre-launch events sort of fell by the wayside with Cataclysm and Mists. The last time we had a really involved one was with Wrath of the Lich King's scourge invasion and zombie plague. This event will be a very "guided" experience similar to the death knight class introduction. This will be more than a simple quest.

It will begin in the Blasted Lands when something strange happens with the Dark Portal, causing it to turn red. Players are sent on on a suicide mission through the Dark Portal (yes, before the expansion even launches) to help prepare for the real journey into Draenor when the expansion launches. Those of you who played before BC will remember when the demons started pouring through the portal in the days leading up to launch. It sounds like it will be like that, except we actually get to venture into the portal ahead of time.

I've always missed the pre-launch events and was extremely excited to hear this news. The question is will there be any "gameplay disrupting" events like the zombie plague, or will it be isolated to the events surrounding the portal itself?

Filed under: BlizzCon

Know Your Lore: The History of Draenor

Adam's project
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 may not be Azeroth, but it's got a history just as rich and just as convoluted. In the Warcraft universe, the planet Draenor plays a secondary role to Azeroth in terms of storyline -- consider it something like a sister planet, one whose history is irrevocably entwined with Azeroth's. Although these days Draenor exists as a mere shell of what it once was, Draenor, its inhabitants, and its fate are all one of the most significant pieces of Warcraft lore out there. After all, if there were no Draenor, there would be no First or Second wars. There would be no Horde.

Why is this planet so important? It certainly didn't have very much to do with the original inhabitants. In fact, Draenor would have likely lived on in obscurity were it not for the strange, peaceful settlers from another world. Peaceful they may have been, but they had a history they could not escape -- a past that forever linked them with the Burning Legion ... and the Burning Legion knows little of forgiveness or mercy for those that incur its wrath.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.2 PTR: New pets, mounts, potential TCG items

Patch 52 PTR New pets, mounts, potential TCG items
An early build of patch 5.2 is hitting the PTRs early tonight, though it isn't yet available for play. A small selection of new mounts, pets, and flavor items are among the datamined additions. The Gusting Grimoire, Living Sandling, and Red Panda are the three new companions. The new mounts are the Ghastly Charger, Armored Riding Pterodactyl, and the Spawn of Horridon. The latter of those we assume to be a drop from the new raid (or dungeons?) in patch 5.2.

Set 20 of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game was announced earlier today, entitled Betrayal of the Guardian. The set is themed around Medivh and Karazhan. Given that information, it seems very likely that the upcoming set of TCG loot has been included in this PTR patch. The Ghastly Charger is likely the rare mount of the set, while the Gusting Grimoire is likely to be the relatively common pet. As for the uncommon vanity item? There's a miniature Dark Portal amongst the datamined. Fitting, we think.

Filed under: News items, WoW TCG

WoW for Dummies, Act III: The end of vanilla

WoW for Dummies, Act III The end of vanilla SUN
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.

Vanilla WoW may not have seemed full of story to most, but it was jam-packed with plot elements, although they were hidden from all but those who paid the closest attention to what was going on around them. Most lore in the game was simply introduced with quest text -- there were no cut scenes, there was no phasing, there were none of the innovations we currently have today in regards to the implementation of lore in gameplay.

If you missed them, I recommend going back and reading through the summaries of early days of vanilla lore. There are two versions of Act I, one for Alliance and one for Horde. Act II applies to both sides of the faction fence as the story began to merge for both sides. Please note that these are summaries of the lore that existed in game -- later novels, comics, and other material adjusted what actually happened in the scope of the game universe, and some of those novels and comics are now the official canon version of these events. I've pointed out where these changes occurred.

The end of vanilla was marked with the return of foes long thought dead and gone, and the ominous stirrings of a portal to another world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Why do we fight?

Know Your Lore Why do we fight SUN
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.

Azeroth is a volatile land fraught with conflict. In recent years of history, this conflict has been highlighted by the battle between Alliance and Horde, a seemingly never-ending struggle that began the moment the orcs made their way through the Dark Portal and began attacks on the Eastern Kingdoms in earnest. But prior to the orcs, there were still wars to contend with. In early days, pandaren rose up against mogu, troll against aqir. Kaldorei against Burning Legion, and against each other in the process.

It almost seems as though Azeroth's destiny is one that is irrevocably tied to war -- we're destined to fight, regardless of who we are, or what we happen to be fighting. But why do the Alliance and Horde continue to fight? They've worked together in the past, and yet it seems that every time they are close to some sort of peaceful resolution, they are drawn once more to war. What's making the Alliance and Horde so aggressive this time around?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.0.3 -- The first pre-expansion event

Players zerg the Dark Portal
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?

Released on Jan. 7, 2007, patch 2.0.3 set the stage for WoW's very first expansion. One week later, The Burning Crusade officially went live. During that week, Blizzard unveiled the game's first pre-expansion event, known as The Dark Portal Opens (or Highlord Kruul Unleashed in Europe).

While perhaps not as ambitious as later in-game events, the Dark Portal offered some memorable moments -- and some valuable lessons for the game's developers. Let's take a look back!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Breakfast Topic: Let's make up our own WoW holidays

One of the biggest issues that I have with holidays in World of Warcraft is that they mirror our own holidays in the real world and give them the ol' World of Warcraft spin. I am of the opinion that Blizzard should create a truly unique in-game holiday that does not have its roots in our traditional celebrations. Two holidays would need to be created -- one for the Horde and one for the Alliance.

We already quasi-have this to a small degree with World of Warcraft's heroes. Some quests during the Harvest Festival over on the Horde side of things, for instance, have us visit Grom Hellscream's monument and pay tribute to his sacrifice in removing the orcish blood curse. I think we could have two faction-specific holidays that show off the Warcraft history without being spiritual dopplegangers to real life events.

For the Alliance, a holiday could be created to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who charged through the Dark Portal and destroyed the other side, leaving them stranded on Draenor for what appeared to be forever. Nethergarde Keep could be the site of the holiday, as Alliance players go to pay their respects at the site of one of the bravest acts of heroism the Alliance exhibited in the war against the Legion-dominated Horde.

For the Horde, players could partake in some sort of release from bondage day, since at some point all of the races that currently make up the Horde were enslaved either physically; through addiction, like the blood elves; or through conflict, like the tauren. Rather than be a holiday wishing for the destruction of slavers, this time would be of appreciating the relative freedom that the races of the Horde now enjoy.

What do you think some in-game holiday, unique to the game world and lore, be? Would you like to see Blizzard make up actual in-game holidays instead of following by our own cultural moments?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: The Warcraft cosmos, Tinfoil Hat edition

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.

Last week, we wrapped up the second half of the Warcraft cosmos series and covered the additional planes of existence within the Warcraft universe. These layers of planes and the way they interlock is a tricky topic that, quite frankly, gives most people a headache when they think about it too long -- myself included. However, now that we've got the basic layers and interaction between all these planes of existence, there is an incredible amount of speculation to be done.

That's right; today's a Tinfoil Hat edition of Know Your Lore. If you are unfamiliar with the Tinfoil Hat concept, these are columns in which we take existing known lore and place our own spin on it to try and speculate on future events. None of the Tinfoil Hat columns should be taken as actual lore by any stretch of the imagination. However, there is a great deal of fun to be had in picking things apart and trying to predict, so let's see what we can come up with, shall we? But first, let's clear up the matter of demonic death.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Orgrim Doomhammer, part 1


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 is the father of the modern Horde. His name became the name of the great city built by the orcs. He found in the son of his oldest friend a protegé who would lead his people, and he passed his family's greatest treasure down to ensure that prophecy was satisfied. To his people, he was one who never forsook them. No attempts to run away from the consequences of their actions, no dissembling -- simply forthright, pragmatic action. Alone of the Blackrock Clan, he refused the taint of the demon blood, yet found himself marked by it as it spread through his people. Called the Backstabber because he killed his direct superior, Blackhand the Destroyer, he ruled the Horde until its final defeat at Blackrock Mountain.

To his enemies, he was death. He beheaded his own chieftain and seized power in one brutal moment, crushing any opposition by the swift assassination of his enemies.He destroyed Stormwind and nearly brought down Lordaeron. He killed the majority of the warlocks of the Shadow Council and removed the position of Warchief from the role of a puppet ruler, leading the Horde in truth. He asked for no quarter and gave none. He countenanced the capture and forced breeding of the dragon queen Alexstrasza and her consort Tyranastrasz, using the juvenile dragons as mounts. He allowed Gul'dan to live, even though he suspected treachery, because the old warlock promised him a weapon that could counter the magics of the humans. He was never one to put his conscience ahead of what he saw as his duty; even as he suspected the orcs were being lied to and manipulated, he took part in the slaughter of the draenei. In the end, his own pragmatism cost him the victory in the Second War, as the treacherous Gul'dan proved that placing victory above all sometimes means giving someone too much rope -- Gul'dan's betrayal of the Horde in its moment of victory effectively destroyed all of the hard work of its Warchief.

Orgrim Doomhammer, last of the Doomhammer line, Warchief of the Horde, chief of the Blackrock, was an orc, give him all in all. You shall not look upon his like again.

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

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