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Posts with tag darkportal

Around Azeroth: Through the Dark Portal


Calenia of Bronze Dragonflight (EU) sends in this shot of the Dark Portal taken from a unique angle -- behind the portal! Now that gives a real feel of rushing into a new world, doesn't it? Sadly, actually entering Outland for the first time through the same portal doesn't give the same cool graphical effect.

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

The portals among us


Many of us have stepped through the Dark Portal into Outland, and in that time dozens of players have mastered the content available there. Now that we have BlizzCon in our sites, all eyes seem to be on what our next expansion will be. As Chris Metzen mentioned at the last BlizzCon, Outland is peppered with portals, each with the potential to open another world for us to explore.

I personally know of two such dead portals, empty and devoid of life. The first is in Zangarmarsh, at the appropriately named Portal Clearing, and the second is in Nagrand. Have you found any other portals in your time in Outland? If so, do you think that the locations of the portals could be a clue to what lies behind them? Going with this theory, we might postulate that the Zangarmarsh portal might lead to the Maelstrom, since that zone is riddled with naga. What do you think?

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

How do YOU think the Dark Portal opened?

Today's forum watch has started a new humor thread about the origins of the reopening of the Dark Portal. Many debated if it was Kazzak or some other power, or if it had always been open. Quite a few people had their own opinions about how it opened:

Chuck Norris may have roundhouse kicked it open.

Rick Astley might have "rickroll'd" it open.

Kazzak reopened it because Pokemon Silver came out 3 months earlier in Outlands.

A Blizzard comic submission seems to have their own theories as to how the Dark Portal opened.

A fairly blunt opinion stated that, "Blizzard wanted more money."

I personally like the idea that someone finally discovered what the "unused light switch in their garage" did.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor

The living, breathing world of Azeroth - shrouded by the Dark Portal

I turned around suddenly to the clang of the gates behind me, viewing the span of a burning city before me. Undead horrors and abominations stared blankly and stumbled in sporadic groups. The city of Stratholme lay in ruins, overrun by the legions of the Lich King. I was alone; a still green adventurer that only two days prior was wandering the halls of the Scarlet Monastery. "I thought that the Scarlet Crusade was stationed here somewhere," I thought to myself. Knowing I could make no difference to the fate of this doomed city, I dug through my pack for my hearthstone, and touched it. The city view blurred and vanished before me.

My first adventure into Stratholme was far less poetic than the excerpt of my fan-fic above. Instead, it was filled with far more obscenities and questions as to why I can't get out, and statements of how no group could ever possibly take on 10 mobs, be them elite or not. They should have stuck a warning sign out front! I think back on that day, a year and a half ago, where I realized that the game did not end at 60. In fact, it had barely begun for me. And I've recently realized that the same can be said for 70.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Quests, Lore

Hellfire at level 55

A week or so ago, a friendly lock in our guild summoned me out to Honor Hold to train in Enchanting. It appears to be bothering people that this is possible, that we are somehow abusing the system. I don't feel that I am, and in fact I was able to summon an entire group ranging from 51-55 for some Outland fun. We killed boars, a lot of them, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. It's interesting to note that although I cannot pass through into Outland, I am able to go through the Dark Portal into Azeroth. To me this is the sign that what I am doing is not against the design of the game. It's more like that shortcut to UBRS, built into the game for those resourceful enough to find it.

I have yet to be able to get a quest, but I get plenty of looks from other players. Most are supportive, and many have helped me survive those times when I managed to attract too much attention from the wandering wildlife. Some have watched me die and laughed at my corpse. It matters not. What matters is that I can level my Tailoring and Enchanting again, I can use all that Netherweave I have been gathering, and I am having the time of my life. I have rediscovered the joys of grinding. I find it a better use of my time grinding the levels until 58 in an environment where the exp gain is so high. It sure beats Silithus and those darn Dredge Crushers.

Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Leveling

Level restrictions on the Dark Portal

Here's an interesting tidbit that may or may not mean much at all. A player asks on the forums how to report someone under level 58 in Outlands, since there is a level restriction on the Dark Portal that means you have to be level 58 before you pass through it. Of course, other players respond (correctly) that it's not against the ToS to be in Outlands before level 58-- you are free to be summoned there whenever you want.

Drysc then shows up in the thread and affirms that Blizzard isn't worried about lower levels being in Outland, and then says the reason for this was to keep lowbies from rushing the new content during the Burning Crusade launch (as happened on many servers during the AQ gate opening. A player then asks the kicker: since the launch is long over, and any lowbies are welcome to explore their curiosity at any time (for the price of a simple summon), when will the level restriction on the Dark Portal be lifted? Drysc, caught speechless (at least, in my imagination he is), says simply, "I'm not sure."

So it's conceivable that Blizzard could, at some point, lift the level 58 restriction on going to Outland. The only problem is: who cares? While there are a few level 58-60 mobs in Hellfire Peninsula, anyone lower than that is going to get mauled everywhere else. I suppose that with an escort, lowbies might want to go out there to work on their profession skills, but for most skills, 300-375 require at least level 50. I'm not sure if First Aid has the same restrictions-- I guess that players might be able to go to Outland, get the First Aid books, and then go into sub-58 battlegrounds with better bandages than others at that level. And setting your hearth to Shat early doesn't hurt-- it gives you access to every big city in the game. Are there any reasons at all lowbies might want to get into Outland early?

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

How to fix the old instances

Before the expansion came out, we wondered and wondered what would happen to the old level 60 instances when the Dark Portal opened. And now that it's here, we know: no one's running them. Oh, there's a few quest groups here and there of people working their way up to 58 (the bare minimum to come through to Outland), but there's almost zero reason to run AQ or ZG 20-mans, considering the loot is just so much better, even just in Hellfire Peninsula. And MC, on my server at least, is a barren wasteland-- why take four hours with 40 people just for a few good pieces when you can get much better loot in 15 minutes of questing in Outland?

So what to do? We're sure Blizzard will come up with a way to make these instances relevant again-- in fact, I'd be surprised if, despite what they said earlier, they weren't already working on it now. But just to help them, here's a few suggestions of how to fix the old instances.

-First, and most obvious, is enabling Heroic mode. We already have dungeons in Outland that will be able to be tuned to Heroic mode, which means bosses and mobs are harder, but give much better drops. In the same way, Blizzard is likely going to let us optionally turn up the difficulty in UBRS or Stratholme, offering better loot for a bigger challenge.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Around Azeroth Extra: Chaos at the Dark Portal


So you've probably heard there was this patch today, and with it some sort of world event involving the Dark Portal. But perhaps you're stuck at work, school, or somewhere else where you're forbidden to log on to check out the excitement. Well, Around Azeroth is here to help! This shot, courtesy of Flyv of the guild We Know on Eitrigg, shows you exactly what you're missing right now. And I only imagine the crowds will get worse as we hit into prime US playing time...

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! You can attach a picture file or send us a link to one -- and don't worry about formatting, we'll take care of that part.

See more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Expansions, Features, Screenshots, The Burning Crusade

Dark Portal opening event!

Blizzard's main page has been updated, so while you're waiting for the patch to download, read what they have to say:

Azeroth is under attack! Horrific creatures are swarming from a suddenly active Dark Portal and have rampaged into the Blasted Lands. Defenders from Nethergarde Keep have scrambled to meet the enemy head-on. However, even with the assistance of reinforcements from the ever-vigilant Argent Dawn, the forces of Azeroth need your help!

Not much is known of the invasion at this early stage, but early reports from the battlefront describe wave after wave of demonic attackers charging from the Dark Portal. It is also reported that Lord Kazzak was seen departing through the Dark Portal. In his stead he has left his minion, Highlord Kruul, to sow fear and confusion among the defenders.

Accompanied by a host of infernals, Kruul has been seen near a number of major cities in Azeroth, along with the following outdoor areas:

* Hinterlands
* Eastern Plaguelands
* Winterspring
* Stranglethorn Vale
* Azshara
* Silithus
* Searing Gorge

Not even the elite forces of the Argent Dawn have dared attack Kruul directly. Only a large and well-coordinated group of adventurers might stand a chance of defeating him.

[Thanks to "rogue" for the submission!]

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, The Burning Crusade

The Burning Crusade: Dark Portal opening event?

There has been a lot of speculation that there will be an opening event but no one has any real evidence of what it will be. The only thing we do know is that there will be one. Discussion on the official forums has sparked a little interest and discussion on the matter, gathering a blue response:

Drysc says,

"Everything in life is a learning process, and we have learned a lot from every in-game event we have done as to how they can be improved. I'm not going to give anything away, but the player 'clumping' that you have concerns with is something we're specifically attempting to avoid. The re-opening of the dark portal is an event that will change Azeroth as we currently know it, and it's only fitting that the tremble of such an event is felt throughout the world. It's still likely that players will group up at the portal, but the event we're planning won't encourage it as the AQ event did."

So what kind of event could it be that wouldn't encourage all of us to mob the portal? There's not been any hint of what the event might be while I've been online in the beta, so I'm left being really curious. Will it be something like the Scourge invasion? Will there be mini-portals?

What do you think they will do for the portal opening?

[Thanks to Chris McDonnald for the submission!]

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

The Burning Crusade: A long path to Mount Hyjal

Without getting too much into the lore, you may recall Mount Hyjal as being a pretty pivotal place in the history of Azeroth. It was there that the Battle of Mount Hyjal was fought at the end of Warcraft III, and the destiny of the night elves was forever changed.

We've known for awhile now that the Burning Crusade will let us access some moments in Azeroth's past, including Hillsbrad, the Dark Portal, and Hyjal. What we weren't really aware of until now, is the apparent gargantuan effort it's going to take individuals to get ready for and attuned to the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

Blizzplanet has a rundown on what you'll need to do in order to be admitted to the Caverns of Time for this epic event. Keep in mind that there will be some spoilers in there, but I believe it's worth the read just to get a grip on what Blizzard has in mind for us to get ready.

This is not like getting attuned for Onyxia or BWL. In fact, this seems like it's a bigger deal than the AQ40 event was, on top of which every single person in your 25-man raid group has to have completed all the steps.

Personally, I think this is pretty cool. Instead of slugging through raid after raid, you get a big build-up to that raid. No more walking into a giant event without some idea of what lead up to it. I think this shows that the Blizzard developers are thinking about the world they're creating, and the lore behind it. This can only be good for the continued success of the game, and I'm sure it works as a nice timesink for the beancounters, too.

What do you think of lengthy prerequisites and jaunts around the world before being let in to a big raid event? Does this encourage you or discourage you from pursuing quest chains and following the lore?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Walkthroughs, Quests, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Breakfast Topic: Unfinished business

We've talked about your goals for the expansion before, but what are you goals for before the expansion? I'd imagine that with the changes, lots of people have their sights set on getting some (or lots) of the PVP gear before Burning Crusade gets installed (and it all becomes outdated-- HA!). Personally, I'm still aiming to get my Rogue to 60-- currently, he's stuck at 49 because I really love that 40-49 PVP bracket, but I think he'll make it the last ten levels before January. And my guild is about to start BWL, so I wouldn't mind seeing us down Nef with all that new PVP gear before the Dark Portal opens up.

So what are you racing to finish? Theantipoet has some pretty good goals over on LJ, including soloing the Princess in Mara, and 8/8 Tier 2 (I'd like to get 8/8 of a set on my Shammy, but considering my luck, I'm not holding my breath). Let's hear what you're aiming to complete before you put the BC disk in.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Expansions

Opening the Dark Portal might not be a lagfest

Blizzard learning from their mistakes? Drysc says they most certainly did and are taking measures to ensure that the opening of the Dark Portal is not a lagfest like the Ahn'Qiraj event was.

For those that can't access the WoW forums, Drysc hints that the Dark Portal event will not require being anywhere near the portal to enjoy, and the event won't encourage people to gather there. In a nutshell, they are trying their best to avoid the player clumping that everyone experienced at Ahn'Qiraj. I remember the AQ opening on Bloodhoof, and it was a mess. I imagine most servers were the same.

Good news if this works out. The Dark Portal opening will be a massive event, and everyone deserves a chance to experience it.

Filed under: Events, Expansions

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