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Posts with tag dragonmaw-orcs

Faction short story The Strength of Steel now available

Faction short story The Strength of Steel now available
The Order of the Cloud Serpent is one of those factions that while pretty long, is a satisfying grind in its own way -- the promise of a mount at the end of the quests and dailies is pretty compelling. But the one thing that really made the faction worth it to me, was the resemblance to the Netherwing quests of old. With the Netherwing, you were helping a beleaguered race of subjugated dragons regain their freedom. With the Order of the Cloud Serpent, you were raising a hatchling of your own, caring for it, watching it grow larger, and waiting for the day when at last it was strong enough to carry you into the skies.

It was touching because there was a distinct sense of heart surrounding the faction -- and the latest faction short story, The Strength of Steel by Raphael Ahad, illustrates that journey in a completely different way. One of the new allies of Garrosh Hellscream's Horde are the Dragonmaw -- a clan of orcs bent on subjugating dragonkind, forcing the beasts to obey and act as steeds of war. So what happens when a Dragonmaw, living with the ideals of the Dragonmaw firmly ingrained in his mind, comes across a cloud serpent hatchling of his own?

It's an oddly touching, beautiful little story that highlights the difference between pandaren and orc, between trust and control. As Koak struggles to raise his hatchling, there's also that internal struggle between what it means to be a Dragonmaw, what it means to be Horde, and where Koak stands in between it all. I have to admit, I didn't expect much out of a story surrounding the Order of the Cloud Serpent, but Raphael Ahad really hit a home run with this one, penning a heartfelt tale that in the end, was well worth the read. You can read The Strength of Steel over on the official site, and while you're there, be sure to check out the other fine tales in the Destination: Pandaria section.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Art of War(craft): Twin Peaks

I was writing about something else completely, but now that the NDA has been lifted and closed beta has begun for Cataclysm, I think it's just proper that we turn our attention to the Twin Peaks, the new capture-the-flag type battleground debuting in the next expansion. The floodgates have been (officially) opened, so us battleground freaks can join in on the fun ... You can soak in all the screenshot goodness over at MMO Champion. The coolest thing about Twin Peaks is that it's a fresh take on a familiar concept. Any player who has ventured into battleground PvP understands Warsong Gulch, as it's the first and most basic battleground, virtually eliminating any learning curve of the game's mechanics. The new, asymmetrical map rejuvenates the CTF concept and necessitates a new approach to the game.

Because of the geographical asymmetry, the Horde will have different strategies from the Alliance. The deep river adds a new dimension to the map in a way that hasn't been fully utilized in any other battleground except for Arathi Basin -- and even then only to a minor degree. That the river essentially cuts the map in half makes it a critical element in gameplay. Because there's a sewage-pipe-style opening on the Western side of the Horde base leading into the water, it isn't merely decorative; it's strategic, too. On the Northern end of the map, the Alliance stronghold utilizes multiple levels, making abilities that minimize or eliminate falling damage a nice bonus. Three ways in and out for each of the nearly identically laid out bases, two graveyards per faction, and a bothersome intersecting river make for an exciting new twist on an old premise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

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