Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.
Today we're fielding a lot of questions on the Light and the Shadow, and Life and Death. I don't know why, really, that's just how things happened! Trends like that are always fun, like the week or two where we had nothing but dragon questions. It makes picking out themes really easy! Emorich asked... I was under the impression that C'Thun wasn't dead. I thought we simply stopped him. After all, we were attacking one of his eyeballs, hardly a vital organ. Is Kil'Jaeden dead too? I thought we basically just pushed him back through the portal and now he's really pissed.
The Harvest - Chapter 1 is the first, full-length machinima movie attempt by UltraViolet. She's the same author who created Buff My Warlock back in January, and I think you can see the growth of her skills over time. "The Harvest" is somewhere between a horror and mystery drama.
As the story goes, there's been a recent rash of deaths in Elwynn Forest. (Presumably, not Hogger's fault.) All the victims are young women, lacking any tell-tale signs of how their deaths may have occured. The story's focused on a young barmaid named Elane, whose greatest concern in life is dodging every bit of work that comes her way. Hijinks ensue, including the appearance of a mysterious figure.
The first thing I want to say about UltraViolet's work is that I'm strongly encouraged that the main character isn't a "Mary Sue." If you're not familiar with the term, a "Mary Sue" is an escapist character written by an author. The character is usually the most awesome, coolest thing ever. (This is a criticism often applied to Bella in the Twilight series.) By virtue of Elane's faults and characterization, I'm pretty sure Elane isn't serving as a prop for UltraViolet's fantasies, and that gives me a lot of hope for the continuing series.
The dialogue and action is a little awkward. The voice acting and scripting all seem in earnest, and the heart's in the right place, but there are a few too many tropes and cliches scattered through the character interaction. I chalk this up to this being UltraViolet's first piece. Her pacing, plot plan, and basic flow all seem pretty good. She just needs some more time working with her actors, and putting pen to paper, to get away from some of the easy-fallbacks for dialogue. I'm eager to see how the plot develops for Chapter 2, given the promise I see in this installment.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Good afternoon, ladies and gents! Before we get started today I just want to thank everyone for participating in my Hawaiian Pizza poll. It was a silly, spur of the moment sort of thing, and it really made my day to see it creep up to around 11,000 votes! Thank you all very much for humoring me.
Again, there are a few Ulduar spoilers in this post, but only minor. Be warned. Also, vote Alex.
Adrexani asked... This has always puzzled me, Arthas is a Death Knight, Death Knights are dead, yet no where in lore do I see that Arthas died, so did he die or is he still alive?
Oh, you poor unfortunate souls! Forced by the cruel silver hand of fate to roll a Death Knight only on realms on which you already have a level 55 character. You've cried out in pain as the lashes of this restriction struck you, and through the anguish you've yelled "Yo Blizz! Lemme roll my DK anywhere, aight?"
Starting with the launch of 3.0.8, you'll be able to roll a new Death Knight on any realm as long as you have a level 55 character somewhere. The normal restrictions for character creation are still in place, though--can't make an opposite-faction DK on a PVP server, can't roll a DK on a server closed to transfers unless you've got a 55 there already, etc. All fair!
Before you ask why this feature wasn't implemented from the get-go, remember that it wasn't even very long ago that the developers were deciding "how is dk formed?" (though they did say that the restriction would be lifted soon after Wrath launched).
So fret not, ye oppressed. Soon, your chains (of ice) will be broken.
There are those who like to buy Hello Kitty paraphernalia, decorate their bedroom with stuffed animals, or perhaps just smile at anyone they pass on the street. The Forsaken would eat those people for breakfast.
I see, dear readers, that I have caused some of you to recoil in horror at the very thought of such depravity. But to the Forsaken it is not uncommon to view other people as potential lunch -- the reason being that the Forsaken are not really "people" as such. They used to be people, they remember being people, and yet now they are not. Their bodies are decayed and some of their flesh is missing -- and yet they are doomed to walk this world under the curse of undeath, animated by evil magic rather than natural life energy, denied all those things that living people enjoy.
Consider for a moment the pleasures of the flesh: the rich taste of food in your mouth, the soft touch of the breeze in your hair, or the embrace of your dearest loved one. Consider also the feeling in your body when you rise to heights of anger or fear, joy or sadness. Now imagine if all those were taken away -- you may still eat, but your meals no longer taste good or bad; the breeze simply disturbs the stiff remains of hair on your head; and the embrace of your loved one would feel like the touch of wax upon wax, if anyone could love you enough to touch you anymore. You don't even feel that love in your heart anymore -- no feeling, no matter how passionate, can make it beat even once more. The feelings you used to live with every day are merely ideas now, reminders of a time when you lived in the body that now traps you in its cold and dark materials.
If you were thus afflicted, could you maintain any sense of compassion?
A pretty fun forum thread caught the attention of Bornakk and many, many regular posters as well. The player Course of Medivh-US asks a question: If your character said one last thing upon dying, what would it be? A majority of the responses were comedy answers, and only a handful leaned over to the serious side. The jokes were pretty hit or miss, but I got a few laughs out of it. Among my favorites...
"Haha, you fool! You fell for one of the classic blunders, the first of which is, "never get involved in a land war in Kalimdor." Only slightly less well-known is this; never go in against a Gnome when death is on the line! Hahahaha... *dies*"
"Pat? What pat?"
"Et tu, Brutallus?"
"With my dying breath, I curse Kalgan!"
Being an RP nerd, my characters would probably say something more serious. My Priest would lament her failures or regret she couldn't have done more before the end. My Paladin probably wouldn't say anything. She would just harden a defiant glare and pass on. If we were leaning to the silly side, my Shadow Priest would probably say something like, "Whoops, shouldn't have hit Shadow Word: Death there." Actually, I probably say that a lot already... but let's not talk about that. Let's extend this to you guys: What would your character say with their final breath? Heck, how do you envision your character taking the final spill? Old and grey on their deathbed, going peacefully? Being cut down in glorious battle? Blowing themselves up while skilling up Engineering?
Tank Talk is WoW Insider's tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column is rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.
This week's Tank Talk is a little bit of a public service. Recently huddled around the ticker-tapes of WoW Insider, we came to realize that your intrepid Insider lacked a particular resource: a basic guide to aggro.
Certainly, this most important of subjects is old hat to us meatshields ... but maybe not quite so much to everyone around us. And gosh, who better to talk about this subject than your devoted Tank Talk tanks!
And, really. If your team doesn't know aggro, then you're going to have a hell of a time as a tank. So, let's Tank Talk about aggro. What it is, where it comes from, why you want it, and why they don't want it.
It's been said that Death Knights are supposed to be a specifically recognizable class, part of their heroic bearing coming in that distinctness. We've already seen some of it with the inclusion of glowing eyes, and now there's more implemented with these beta builds.
All Death Knight Races have the option of taking on a selection of darker skins and gaunt, undead, or angry looking faces. In addition, the Death Knight's glowing eyes now look more more integrated and natural on almost every race, in my opinion. The changes look better on some races. Humans, especially, look very much changed, to the point where Human females can look a lot like Forsaken females without the hunchback or protuding bones.
You can see some of the new looks in the Gallery below, courtesy of tipster Damir.
Death Knights also got another small cosmetic change in the form of new runes. The new runes are a bit bigger and more distinct, and I personally find them easier to keep track of. I'm glad to see the change. You can see the runes here (thanks to tipster chaud and wotlkwiki for that picture).
EDIT:There are no Forsaken pictures in the gallery because there do not seem to be any new looks for Forsaken Death Knights. This is understandable -- They're already dead, after all. You can check our older Death Knight gallery for Forsaken shots, if you wish.
What smells like dead Orcs and flies?Goldseller spam in Orgrimmar.In the last few weeks it has been dead Gnomes in Ironforge.The dead bodies spell out the name of a gold selling website. This tactic has returned from about a year or so ago, but this is the first time I've heard of it in Orgrimmar. The body advertisements look sharper than the old versions. All in all it seems like an awful lot of workto get around spam filters.
I have played multiple Night Elves over the years I've been playing WoW (which is since open beta). So why did I just notice the face in the wisp a couple weeks ago? It's not like I don't die a lot. I do. I play on PvP servers but am not very good at defending myself, so I'm easy prey. I guess it could be new (doubt it), or it could be my recent graphics card upgrade (which isn't that recent), but I think it's just that I never really paid attention.
I also just noticed that the Timbermaw Hold cave entrances are furbolg heads. Of course, they've been like that since the beginning, but it's new to me.
What things that have been in the game a while are new to you? Or am I just particularly unobservant?
This is pretty ludicrous, but it's too funny to ignore: this YouTube posters swears he hears "World of Warcraft" and "give us your money" hidden in the whispers swirling around the Spirit Healer while dead (there is one NSFW word in the video, if that rubs you the wrong way). Personally, while I do hear it, it's a little too off to be taken seriously. And of course we all know that subliminal messages don't work anyway. But still, if you're the type to go for a good conspiracy theory, it is in there -- maybe the reason Blizzard has the top MMO ever made isn't because it's a great game, but because they're transmitting messages to your brain!
The question does remain: what's really being said in those death whispers? Whatever it is, odds are that it's not in English. My guess is maybe Titan, the language of the Titans -- but that assumes that whatever's speaking to you is from the world, and there are probably more deceased spirits floating around Azeroth by now than actual living creatures on it. For all we know, it could be the Others.
Apparently it's natural disaster season in Asia.The massive cyclone that hit Burma () on May 3 has taken an estimated 78,000 lives with an additional 56,000 missing.Last week (May 12) an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale shook parts of china.The death toll for that quake has reached 34,000 with the body count expected to rise.Many of the quake victims have been children, as least 6 schools collapsed while classes were in session. It will take weeks, months, or even years to sort out the amount of damage caused by these events.
If you are helping out, there are a number of charitable organizations taking donations to assist in providing relief to victims in Asia. Studies show that making donations to such organizations actually help to boost your own mood in addition to helping those who are in need.
With this expectation of the beta and eventual release building, a lot of people are getting excited about different things. So I want to know, what are you most excited about?
For me, I'm most excited about seeing the new end game raid content. I'm with a very dedicated group of raiders right now who do about 20 hours a week of raiding, and it's a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll all still be around in WotLK and get to push into the new content quickly and with a lot of zeal.
Then there is the Death Knight. Who isn't thrilled at the chance to play a new class? We haven't ever seen a new class in WoW, and it's bound to throw a wrench in the way a lot of folks play the game. Seeing the Death Knight get integrated into raiding will be a very interesting thing to watch.
Death Knights will start at a level less than 70, but Blizzard wants them to be able to get into Northrend "a little faster".
Converting a preexisting character to a Death Knight has been ruled out.
This is interesting in that it has been previously thought that the starting level for Death Knights might be as low as 50 or 55. However with Bornakk saying that they want Death Knights to get into Northrend quickly, I would take this to mean that the Death Knight's starting level will be somewhere in the 60s instead. There's still something for Blizzard to clarify here, but this news is interesting nonetheless.
Bornakk also waxes philosophical about the decision to not have a character convert into a Death Knight. He says that "Leveling a character just to throw it away doesn't really fit [fun game play] very well." He also expects that Death Knights will "find their way" into raid groups just as the Paladins and Shamans did on the Horde and Alliance with the release of Burning Crusade.
While this news on the Death Knight is really just clarification of some previously released information, it does provide a good insight into what Blizzard is thinking about the class. WoW Insider will have all the latest on the Death Knight and Wrath of the Lich King, so stay tuned!
Everyone loves the new daily quests. They're fantastic! Fast, easy, good rewards. Spread across the world so there's always somewhere else to go if a spot is crowded. Absolutely awesome.
The location of a couple of these daily quests has caused some inadvertent hilarity, though. The close proximity of the Throne of Ki'jaeden quests to Doom Lord Kazzak has sent the Hellfire Peninsula death toll skyrocketing. I was waiting for him to spawn for a few days, just to see how quickly he'd be taken down by people scrambling for gold, due to the changes to his loot. Specifically, making it all BOE.
I was lucky enough to be in the zone at just the right moment and was able to hear his very cool opening speech. Accompanying that speech, though? The dying screams of dozens of innocent questers. Music to my ears! I flew up to take a closer look at the carnage, and I stumbled across my favorite little detail of the entire thing. There was a Nightmare Vine spawn at the bottom of the ramp leading up to Kazzak. Just inches within his aggro radius. One by one, herbalists would deviate from their quests and run up to that Nightmare Vine, only to die horribly to the Doom Lord. Well played, Blizzard. Well played.