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Posts with tag darkshore

The most obscure Alliance Achievement in WoW

While most achievements in game are available to both factions, there are a few here and there that are limited to one faction only. Of these few, one is so obscure, so out of the way that most Alliance players don't even know of its existence, unless of course they've spent a lot of time carefully looking through their Achievements tab. But even then, there's no real direction or quest to discover this particular achievement. It's just there, hidden out of sight in the northern reaches of Darkshore.

It's not often I tell people to go jump in a lake. But you're going to want to go jump in a lake for this one. Specifically, the Maw of the Void -- a swirling vortex of water unearthed with the Cataclysm. Upon discarding all sense of self-preservation and leaping forthwith into the water, you'll be treated to a short cutscene as your character is abruptly sucked under the water, the screen doing dark.

And that's when things get really weird.

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Filed under: Achievements

Know Your Lore: The curious dissonance of Alliance leveling

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.

Back when I was writing up the five must-do Horde zones and five must-do Alliance zones articles, I decided to play through those zones again just for experience's sake. In beta and the early days of Cataclysm, I spent a lot of time going through the Alliance 1-to-60 leveling zones and experiencing the content. I remember being really pleased with how well the zones were laid out and how nice it was to see actual story instead of just, "I'd like six pig heads; go get them from the field next door." After that experience, I played through them on Horde side and was terribly pleased to see they were just as well done on the other side of the faction fence.

I didn't really think about it afterwards, and it wasn't until I decided to do these two articles that I took it upon myself to level through these zones again. And this time ... something had changed, a little. Perhaps it was because it had been so long since I'd played through the Alliance zones. Perhaps it was because I had just finished experiencing the Horde zones when I went back to Alliance. But there was something very, very different about the experience.

While leveling as Horde, I was having all kinds of lighthearted fun mixed with bits of serious story. While leveling as Alliance, I felt like there was an oppressive weight bearing down on me at all times, and that weight was never really removed. Odd, that.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Cataclysm for Dummies, epilogue

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.

If you've read Act I and Act II of Cataclysm for Dummies, you should have a pretty basic understanding of what happened during Cataclysm, why Deathwing was a threat that needed to be addressed, and what we've been doing in all of those zones, 5-man dungeons, and raids. There was a purpose to every raid that came out with Cataclysm, but that purpose isn't blatantly clear unless you're paying really close attention as you're leveling through the zones. People who love following the lore do that automatically, which is why these guides aren't for them.

However, you might want to know what all of this means or have some questions about the stuff that wasn't really resolved in Cataclysm. Or you may want to know what's in store in Mists of Pandaria and why you should be interested in what's coming next. This epilogue is going to go over a few simple end-of-Cataclysm points that should be of interest to those wanting to know what's next or still have some questions about Cataclysm's story.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: What NPC do you miss the most?

While I was writing last Sunday's Know Your Lore, I started thinking about the world of Azeroth and how much it's changed with Cataclysm. I think one of the most poignant moments of the new expansion for me was playing through the new Darkshore, honestly. Darkshore was one of the zones I leveled in with my very first character way back in vanilla -- and to be perfectly honest, the zone totally stank. I hated almost every minute of it. The running back and forth was ridiculous, and please don't get me started about the Tower of Althalaxx or The Sleeper Has Awakened.

Yet despite the pains of leveling up in the area, despite the soul-crushing annoyance of Deep Ocean, Vast Sea and other quests, I was sort of attached to these NPCs that were sending me on all these wretched missions. And when I played through Darkshore in Cataclysm and saw so many of those old faces dying or gone, it was almost heartbreaking in a way. Which I'm sure is exactly as intended, but there's a part of me that wistfully wishes I could see those old faces again.

I think the NPC I miss the most is Mr. Smite from The Deadmines, pictured above. I mentioned it briefly in Know Your Lore, too. The Deadmines was the first instance I ever ran, and the moment I blew open the doors and first set eyes on a pirate ship in the middle of a mountain was one I really won't ever forget. Part of that moment was Smite's bellow of alarm and the subsequent rush of pirates. Plus Smite's encounter, in which he Warstomped and stunned players long enough to go dig up a bigger, better weapon for smushing, was one of the more memorable encounters from the vanilla instances.

Is this something you've thought about? Are there any NPCs you were particularly attached to? In an expansion where so many are long gone and will never been seen again, which NPCs do you miss the most?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Insider's first World of Warcraft memories

World of Warcraft's seventh anniversary took place earlier this week. Rather than the dry, impersonal WoW retrospectives you can find almost anywhere this time of year, the crew here at WoW Insider decided to hold our own retrospective instead, looking back on what pulled us so deeply into the game to begin with. Today, we're sharing our very first World of Warcraft memories, whether that was seven years ago, long before the Shattering, or just last year. I'll get things started, then the staff will join in afterwards.

My first WoW memory is in Stranglethorn Vale. There are other events prior to STV that exist in some strange nebulous place in my mind, but Stranglethorn is the first event that I can really pin down. I was playing my very first character, my undead rogue on the Silver Hand server, trying to kill an elite alligator for the Excelsior quest. This was in December of '04, maybe January of '05. I was absolutely terrible at the game. I simply could not kill that alligator. Everyone I knew did it with no difficulty whatsoever, but I couldn't manage it at all.

The reason I couldn't kill it? I was spamming Sinister Strike while dual wielding white vendor-bought daggers. That was the day I decided I should learn how to play the game rather than hope my friends take pity on me and fly across Azeroth to kill elites for me. Now I'm here, on this site, doing this. That's one heck of a step up.

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

Breakfast Topic: Which Cataclysm zone are you most excited about?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

All of us are anxiously awaiting Cataclysm's going live. Wrath is winding down and people are anxiously anticipating the new content. Some want new raids, some want new dungeons, some want new quests, some want to make goblins or worgen. Some of us are just really excited to see the changes to the old zones, and some just want to get right into the level 80 to 85 content.

I myself am in the beta. I have played it as it has evolved since the friends and family alpha, and I have watched some of the zones go from buggy and near unplayable, with quests not yet implemented, to being far more fleshed-out and nearly ready to go live. I love Hyjal. It has an epic feel; you are right in there battling to reclaim the zone from the Twilight Cultists and the elementals. Deepholm is equally amazing. In the revamped zones, I thoroughly enjoyed the CSI-inspired murder quest chain in Westfall. I have made both a goblin and a worgen and must say, the goblin starting area and Azshara should not be missed. Everyone should make a Horde character and complete the Azuregos and Kalecgos quests in Azshara. On the other hand, I feel Gilneas is a little overscripted and Darkshore is still a little odd.

There is a lot of the world I want to see when Cataclysm launches, but there are places I want to see more than others. Where are you most interested in exploring when Cataclysm comes out? What do you absolutely have to see, and what quests do you want to do? What particular zone excites you the most? Or are you just in it for new dungeons, raids and new shiny epics?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm Preview: Darkshore

Wryxian (European community manager) just released a question-and-answer session done with Blizzard game designers Luis Barriga and Craig Amai about the changes Darkshore has in store in Cataclysm, as well as complications that come with redesigning an existing zone.

While the full quote is behind the break, I figured I'd give you a few highlights:
  • Darkshore is designed for Alliance players, primarily night elves and worgen, from level 11 through 20.
  • Lor'danel is a new night elven town just to the north of current Auberdine.
  • This was one of the first zones Blizzard tackled that centered on the effects of the Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

Lowered Expectations sits down with Ghostcrawler


There are two great articles over at the Lowered Expectations blog about him meeting Ghostcrawler during an event at his university. The posts are quite an interesting read and I highly recommend everyone heads over and checks them out.

There's some interesting tidbits that came out of his time with the Ghost:
  • Sindragosa will be playing a part in Patch 3.3
  • We shouldn't expect a hero class in every expansion
  • Ghostcrawler was split down the middle on the Death Knight starting at level 55
  • Blizzard is interested in buffing up the old world levels to make them more interesting. He listed off (the top of his head): Darkshore, Stonetalon Mountains, and The Barrens.
  • Ghostcrawler is responsible for the many varieties of fish in the game. This makes sense.
  • Expect an expansion every 18 to 24 months
Again, I highly recommend you head over to Lowered Expectations and check it the full articles. They're well written and quite informative.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Around Azeroth: Red sky at night...


Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Okay -- perhaps this rhyme doesn't quite apply here, as reader Anea of Exodar pointed out when she sent us this lovely shot of the Auberdine docks, it's more of a red sun than a red sky. Anea optimistically points out, "But whatever sailors are on the boat are happy anyway, I'm sure."

Do you have a screenshot that captures a moment in Azerothinan (or Outlandian) history? We'd like to see it on Around Azeroth! All you have to do is e-mail aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your screenshot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could find your pictures and story featured next!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth: Star-gazing


While I imagine most of us run around our little parts of the world (of Warcraft) without paying much attention to the details of our environment, this shot from reader Mikhall reminds us that sometimes all we have to do is look up to appreciate the beauty of Azeroth. The night sky over Auberdine (above) is black and vast, but the sky in Arathi Highlands is a brilliant blue, the sky in the Draenei starting zones around the Exodar turn pale purple in the evening, and the sky over Shattrath City is grey (or grey-green), In fact, every sky across Azeroth is a bit different -- but have you ever bothered looking?

Taken a screenshot that highlights the ordinary in an extraordinary way? We'd like to see it on Around Azeroth! All you have to do is e-mail aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your screenshot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could find your pictures and story featured next!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Get your own Ghost Saber


Petopia has posted a Ghost Saber gallery, featuring pictures of, as far as I know, the only translucent pet in the game. It looks like it's stealthed, but to everyone, all the time (of course, when it's stealthed to other players, it's invisible to them, but you know what I mean). The gallery has some fun shots of this very unique pet.

Petopia promises a "how to" on where to get your own soon, but if you don't want to wait, apparently it spawns at level 19 or 20 from "Glowing Cat Figurines" in the northernmost Naga area in Darkshore. Find cat figurines on the ground (Dwarven treasure tracking will find them, apparently), open them up, and there's a chance that the Ghost Saber will spawn. Tame him and he's yours. He may die soon afterwards (since the spawn has a usual despawn time), but even if he does, you can simple ressurrect him as long as you've tamed him as your pet.

The low level of the pet, unfortunately, doesn't really make it easy for hunters who are already high level (since to get this guy up to 70 from 20 would just take way too long). But if you find one that's 19, it's perfect for battleground twinks or up and coming Hunters who want a cool, different pet.

Filed under: Hunter, Tips, How-tos, Odds and ends, Classes

Around Azeroth: Sailing to Azuremyst


Reader Ywain of Eonar (EU) sends in this shot off the coast of Darkshore, highlighting what we now now to be the boat that takes you to the Azuremyst Isles where draenei players start. But when the boat was first added to the game -- prior to the release of the Burning Crusade -- it was a bit more mysterious, as it had a tendency to kill players who tried to ride it. (I'm fairly certain that now, even if you don't own the expansion, it will only tell you that you must have the expansion installed in order to travel here, and dump you right back on Darkshore's docks.)

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! 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: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth: Darkshore sunset


Reader Gamerz22 sends in this shot of a rainy day sunset in Darkshore. (Yes, that would be Darkshore in Kalimdor as opposed to Darkshire in the Eastern Kingdoms. I think I got it right this time, though.) While it is out of the way, and travel time back and forth across the zone is annoying as anything, I still enjoy the looks of the place. If only other parts of Azeroth could manage to be so cheerfully grey, even during the glorious sunset.

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. If yours isn't posted immediately, don't fret! Shots are posted (more or less) in the order received, and yours will come up eventually.

Filed under: Odds and ends

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