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Posts with tag darnassus

WoW Archivist: One night of payback in 2006

Theramore
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?

An interesting aspect of the ongoing Ashran faction hub debate is the fear people express that their hubs will be raided by enemy players, since the new hubs are adjacent to a PvP zone. Blizzard pointed out that the hubs will be better defended by NPCs than the Shrines are now -- and the Shrines currently see few serious attacks on live realms, despite their close proximity.

On most realms today, little large-scale world PvP occurs, and even fewer faction raids. Faction raids were once a huge part of the game, even on PvE realms. You couldn't kill opposing players on PvE realms if they didn't want to be killed, but you could deny them their questgivers, flightmasters, and other crucial NPCs. And we did that, on both sides, throughout classic WoW.

Easy targets like the Crossroads, Astranaar, Grom'gol, and Refuge Pointe were raided almost daily. If your faction was heavily outnumbered, like mine was on Khadgar-US back then, it could be infuriating. We had our small victories at times, as I covered in my first Archivist column. But many days, all we could do was stand by and watch as the Alliance occupied our towns for hours at a time and took away our ability to level effectively.

On our first anniversary in 2006, my guild set out for some payback. Today I'd like to share that tale of classic world PvP, from the era when faction raids were serious business.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The OverAchiever: In which Alliance has it much worse than Horde

The OverAchiever Sorry, Alliance
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are grateful to play Horde.

This past week, I was tabbed out of the game writing an OverAchiever on Bloody Rare as a follow-up to our guide on Northern Exposure when something interesting started happening in the background. In the sliver of laptop screen dedicated to WoW, the chat channels exploded with warnings that the Alliance was attacking Orgrimmar. Given that the Midsummer Fire Festival is still going on with lots of players busy stealing enemy fires, this isn't particularly unusual. I shrugged and went back to work.

And yet, the warnings just kept coming. Curious, I tabbed back into the game to discover that a full 40-man Alliance raid was fighting its way to Garrosh Hellscream. Other players said that none of the other Horde leaders had been attacked, so I can only assume the raid was starting For the Alliance! with the toughest foe among them.

Now, Garrosh is by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near as popular as Thrall was, but lots of Horde players are still willing to defend him from attack because, well, he's got his moments. Orgrimmar's central district quickly became a lagfest of epic proportions as dozens of players who'd been gossiping in trade or loitering around the Auction House rushed to defend Garrosh. The Alliance raid was ultimately defeated, but they rallied and tried again -- unsuccessfully -- an hour later.

This was the first of three days that I saw the same Alliance raid desperately trying to kill Garrosh, and something started to niggle at me by day two. Namely, For the Alliance! and For the Horde! are among the very few achievements that are significantly tougher if you play one faction over the other.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Aiding the Alliance: Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage

Tyrande Whisperwind has been a central part of the Alliance since way back in vanilla WoW. She was one of the key figures in the events of Warcraft III, and she's had a substantial role in the course of Azeroth as a whole -- she was there at the Sundering, she was there at Mount Hyjal, and as far as we can tell, she'll be around much longer than that.

Truthfully, my issues with Tyrande are not as substantial as those I had with King Varian Wrynn. Even in vanilla WoW when nearly every other faction leader sat idle, she was called front and center to cleanse Eranikus in Moonglade. She's active. She's powerful. She's faithful. She's as close to perfect as Alliance faction leaders get. There's only one problem: Malfurion Stormrage.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

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

All the World's a Stage: Plot points for worgen roleplayers

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

The worgen are the newest race to hit Alliance side, and though they are humans affected by a curse, they aren't exactly the same as your run-of-the-mill humans we've been playing since vanilla. Worgen roleplayers have a ton of information thrown at them during the starting levels, but after the fight is over and everyone's moved on, it seems as though there's not much in the way of excitement or roleplay potential.

That isn't necessarily the case. The main issue I have with worgen -- and to a degree, their Horde counterparts the goblins -- lies in the fact that you are inundated with so much information in those first few levels. The story moves at a frenetic pace, and unless you're paying close attention, it can quickly become an overwhelming experience. Despite the relative lull after the starting experience is over, there is plenty for worgen roleplayers to use, even at level 85.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Ragnaros awakened in Minecraft

Last week in The Daily Quest, you may have seen a YouTube video of a recreation of Darnassus in Minecraft. If you thought that was cool, there's more where that came from. In addition to Darnassus, YouTuber kattooMC and his servermates resresres1 and nessy27 have also created a scale model of Deathwing (which has made the rounds once before) and, much more recently, Molten Core's version of Ragnaros.

These Minecraft builds do use game mods or third-party tools, and there are blocks incorporated into the designs that cannot be placed by players (such as the blocks of Coal in Deathwing) -- but cool is cool, regardless of how something is made. Many viewers of the Ragnaros video have commented that he looks a bit ... green. However, kattooMC assured everyone it was just a result of video encoding. As a Minecraft player myself, I'll back him up on that. I know what yellow wool blocks look like when I see 'em.

According to kattoo via Twitter, Stormwind is next on their Warcraft to-do list. I, for one, can't wait to see it.

WoW Rookie: Alliance newbie zone revamps in Cataclysm

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

Spoiler alert: Today's WoW Rookie is nothing but one big spoiler of the changes Cataclysm will bring to existing Alliance newbie zones. If you're aiming to hit the expansion spoiler-free with fresh, unsullied eyes, you'll want to re-join us two weeks from now (since next week's WoW Rookie will look at Cataclysm newbie zones Horde-side).

But for those of you who are itching for a glimpse into what's in store for newly created Alliance characters in the expansion, we've got brief highlights and screenshot gallery samplers of the gnome, dwarf, night elf and human starting experiences. There's not much new to report for draenei in the Exodar, save that their flight point has been moved inside the city. And as for the new Alliance race, the worgen, we've given them their own detailed gallery and write-up, and you can head over to our YouTube channel to watch video of several worgen gameplay segments. Come back next week for a similar look ahead at the newbie zone revamps for Horde races.

And now, screenshot galleries (one last spoiler alert for the road -- Cataclysm spoilers abound!) of each starting area plus written highlights, after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Your character's quest

I like quests. I like reading quests. Sure, every now and again it's a straightforward "Please go kill x animals for y body parts and I will give you z gold," but sometimes the stories involved with the quests or the quest NPCs themselves are tremendously entertaining. Take Ragged John, for example -- while the little weirdo no longer gets to tell his epic tale, listening to his story while working on the Onyxia chain was a ... rare treat. Or one of my personal favorites, Jenal over in Darnassus. There's not much to Jenal, but the tiny bit of character interaction when you speak with him always left me wondering what exactly Jenal's full story was. As for the Horde, I always loved Valormok out in Azshara and the story of the little band of Horde that had been sent out there, especially Jediga and her little, uh, side business of stealing artifacts for people. I have to admit while I'm looking forward to seeing the "new" Azshara come Cataclysm, there's part of me that is going to miss the little wayward band.

One of the other things I like are the realm forums. Sure, there's an unending supply of depressing drama and whining. But sometimes you end up with a little chunk of gold in the middle of it all, and those gold moments make it worth trawling -- well, to me, anyway. The gold for the day today is from Nozz over on US Sisters of Elune, who brought up an old topic from way back that ties my love for quests together nicely with my love for playing the game in general: If your character were a quest giver, what would his/her quest be? The thread already has some interesting answers, but I'd love to see some answers from you guys. Would it be a straightforward "Kill 20 zhevras and pray they have hooves?" A simple request to listen to a story? A long chain sending players all over the world? Or a simple "I'm hungry; go get me some bread"? What would you give as a reward, if anything? Have at it, readers!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Thank you for the music

The very first time I made a character in World of Warcraft was way back during the original beta -- I made a night elf. And then I logged in for the first time, and was immediately assaulted with visual eye-candy that has kept me entertained for over five years. But on top of the graphics, there was the music -- something about the soundtrack just gelled the whole thing into a game I really, really wanted to continue playing. The first time I entered Stormwind, the solemn choral accompaniment made the whole place seem... huge. Dramatic. This was a place where grand and interesting things happened.

After the game's launch, I made another night elf. But once I'd hit 60 and realized the only thing to do was run Scholo or Strat or UBRS if you could find someone with the key over and over until you had your blue set of amazing awesome that had just had the graphics updated... right. I got bored. I rolled Horde to see what that side of the game looked like, and once again, it wasn't just the visuals when I first walked into Orgrimmar, it was the music that really hit me.

Some time after that I started raiding, and some time after that, I'm not sure exactly when, the repetitive tracks that I'd heard play over and over again just stopped drawing me in. And so I turned them off, and enjoyed a mostly silent game in which I could play whatever happened to be on iTunes at the time. It wasn't until years later when stepping into Kara for the first time that I realized something was missing, and I went into the options and turned up the music slider. I'm glad I did, the tracks from Kara remain some of my favorite WoW music to date; they mesh with the zone so well that I can't go into the zone without listening to it.

Blizzard has really stepped up the music with Northrend. With the Invincible track that was released, and the datamined tracks from the Gnomeregan and Echo Isles events that have been posted here and there, I've fallen in love with it all over again -- although I still tend to turn it down in raids. So Breakfast Topic people -- do you leave the music on, or turn it off? What's your favorite WoW track?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Azeroth United and Raid for the Cure running charity giveaways

Halloween is over and we're headed towards Thanksgiving, which means it's the time of year that charities everywhere ask you to open up your hearts and wallets and support some good causes. Azeroth United, the recently-formed community for WoW players, just revealed the prizes in their "Hearts, Hands, and Voices" charity giveaway. They're officially supporting Child's Play (they got mentioned on the main website), and your donation there (of $10 or $20) will get you into two tiers of giveaways, featuring prizes of all kinds from all over the WoW community. Sounds like a great chance to both support a good cause and maybe even win some free stuff.

And from our old friend John "BigBearButt" Patricelli comes news of a "Raid for the Cure" -- on Saturday, November 14th, a group of players from both factions will walk in-game on the Kael'thas server from Darnassus to Ratchet (and on to Booty Bay) to raise awareness and funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity. Pink shirts will be handed out at the event, and making a donation of any kind over on the WoW page for the charity will enter you in a raffle to win a guest appearance on the Sidhe Devils Gone Wild podcast (a member of that guild has been dealing with breast cancer, and the in-game run is in support of her and her cause).

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, News items, Making money

Breakfast Topic: The best city for shopping


This discussion site we linked the other day, Epic Advice, is humming with activity, and full of interesting queries and answers about the World of Warcraft. Like this one: which city is the best for running to and from the bank and the AH (the question-asker also wants to get the mage portal in that circuit, but for the purposes of our discussion, we'll assume you're on a bank alt, so no portal necessary)? In terms of speed and ease, which is the best capital city to set up shop in?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Exploring the World of Warcraft


One of the things which kept me in Azeroth -- at least long enough for the addictive side of the game to set in -- was the promise of exploration. I originally rolled a human mage and still remember at level five, being taken all the way from Elwynn Forest to Darnassus. Bear in mind though, this was back before The Burning Crusade when being Alliance meant traveling from the Eastern Kingdoms to Kalimdor took a good forty minutes if you didn't have the flight paths or a mount. You had to get the tram to Ironforge then run the gauntlet of death to Menethil, catch the boat to Theramore, get another to Auberdine and then fly or get another boat to Teldrassil. The whole trip really showed me how big the world was, as well as teaching me all about threat and my ability to aggro everything in a three-zone radius.

So when I rolled my druid, the day before the expansion hit, I was determined to see as much as this beautifully crafted world as I could. Yes, I essentially had a death wish. I was exploring Outland with an honour guard of my guildies at level 10 (and hearthed in Shattrath), I ran through the Arathi Highlands at level thirty, swam through Un'Goro Crater in my forties and was pushing the boundaries of Shattrath by my fifties.

However along the way I found some amazing places: the crystal filled cave at Marshal's Refuge, the boughs where the Dragons of Nightmare can occasionally be found, the first time you run into Azuregos in Azshara, the Twin Colossals of Feralas -- well the eastern one at any rate. Then when I got my flying mount I really started exploring properly.Nagrand alone is full of nooks and crannies and I adore the beauty of Crystalsong Forest.

So come on, readers, I want to know if you've explored all the hidden places of Azeroth and Outland. Do you have any favourites? You do? Great, be sure to tell us about them in the comments box.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What you call home

One of the more amusing things that polarizes WoW players is the various capital cities. Everyone has a favorite, very few people are ever neutral. Some of my friends like Ironforge for its simplicity, it's all laid out in a circle. Some like Stormwind for the truly city-like appearance. Some even like Darnassus because they have a thing for purple. Some of my friends wish we played Horde so we could have Orgrimmar, because I guess they need more spikes in their life or something. Me? I'm a Stormwind (and Silvermoon City) kind of guy, but Dalaran has stole my heart. Plenty of people hate Dalaran too, though.

Everyone just wants different things out of their cities. I like cities with tons of flavor, with a very city feel. Stormwind feels like people really live there, despite how small it is. Dalaran most definitely feels like a city of mages, and there's a ton of flavor and neat stuff to look at there. The fact that every single person who gives you directions in Dalaran has a name is crazy neat. The little daily event at 9 PM where you get to help turn on the lights is amazingly cool for how simple it is.

How about all of you, what's your favorite? What do you like about it, or dislike about the others? What would your ideal capital have, if you're not very fond of any of them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Ask a Lore Nerd: Things that aren't Deathwing

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment

Cowbane asked...

Is there a Heaven or Hell in any Warcraft lore? Or is the swirly clouds when you die about it.

That's a good question, and my answer isn't going to be very clear, because Warcraft itself isn't clear on it. Warcraft used to be based much more heavily on Christian concepts. There was a Heaven and there was a Hell, there was God and Angels and all that jazz. It's much more vague and nebulous now. It seems that the Twisting Nether is the current concept of Hell, but that might just mean it's a really bad place and not somewhere that sinful dead people automatically go. I have no idea if there is still a Heaven, but the Priest quest for Benediction/Anathema has you escorting souls of Stratholme's dead to the afterlife. So do they exist? Probably, yes. It is suggested that they definitely do exist. What are they like, exactly? We don't know.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

Draenei on a tiger at level 30


I still really haven't wrapped my head around the fact that we can get mounts at level 30 yet -- for so long, it's just been a fact that you don't get to ride anything around until level 40 that I'm still surprised when I see someone under that riding around. But it's true, of course, and Truffled over on WoW LJ took full advantage of that fact, in addition to the recent changes to reputation at lower levels -- she ran her Draenei through both the Azuremyst and Teldrassil starting areas, and was able be riding around a Night Elf mount right at level 30, bought for the Exalted price.

Very impressive. She says she hit Exalted only two quests after 30, and that she basically just did every single quest there was to find, save for the Raene's Cleaning end quest (so she could keep the rod). She doesn't mention /played time (all of the traveling probably added a little bit of extra leveling time in there), but however long it took, it was worth it, as she's one of the lowest non-faction Exalted characters we've seen. Nice job.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Walkthroughs, Quests, Draenei, Mounts

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