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Posts with tag dragons

Dawn of the Aspects paperback coming in November

Dawn of the Aspects
Lorehounds and story fans might remember the Dawn of the Aspects e-book that Blizzard released in five parts earlier this year. Well, if you're a Luddite like me and don't have an e-reader, in a few short months you'll have the ability to purchase the story in print. As the article title implies, the complete Dawn of the Aspects will be available for purchase in paperback this coming November. You'll be able to find it at all the usual haunts: Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and likely the Blizzard store, as well.

You can check out Blizzard's blog post for an overview of the story, as well as sneak peaks of all the different parts. If you're unfamiliar with the idea, it centers around Kalecgos gaining insight into the origins of the five dragonflights themselves, and the violence and upheaval that lead to their creation. If you're still on the fence, you can check out Anne Stickney's review of the story right here on WoW Insider.

Filed under: News items, Lore

The Queue: In short

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Most of yesterday's questions and comments were about monks, due to Adam dedicating yesterday's edition of the Queue to ... monks! Unfortunately, I don't play one, so maybe Adam can get back to those tomorrow. Maybe. In the meantime, today's Queue is pretty short.

ScottLeyes asked:

Are you having DNS problems?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Dawn of the Aspects Part IV preview

Aspects
For all you lore fans out there, Dawn of the Aspects Part IV will be available in five days, on May 20th. To tide us over, community manager Bashiok has posted a preview on the story forum, featuring our fearless dragon quintet facing an undead menace. I don't want to spoil too much for those who are waiting to read the whole thing once it's all finished, but as the penultimate addition to the story, there's some name dropping that might come as a surprise if you haven't been following along. The excerpt hints at some tense situations for the soon-to-be Aspects, and Ysera, in particular, plays an important part in this scene. There are even a few hints that she might have some kind of hidden, unexpected power, but we all know that's because Ysera is the best Aspect anyway. The position of my druid as my perpetual main has in no way influenced my opinion on this matter.

Make sure to check out WoW Insiders' reviews of the previous parts of Dawn of the Aspects. The full part four preview is the break, and keep your eyes peeled for Dawn of the Aspects Part IV.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

New generation comes of age in record-holding long-time guild

New generation comes of age in recordholding longtime guild
You know your adults-only guild has built up a serious steamhead of history when you begin seeing an entirely new generation of applicants from within your own ranks. That's right, WoW players, you really are that old. This month marks the 17th anniversary of The Syndicate, the current Guinness world record holders for the longest continuously operating online gaming community.

"As our move into our 18th year as a community, internally we are starting to see the children of our members applying to join," writes Sean "Dragons" Stalzer, president and CEO of The Syndicate. "Said a different way, that means people who have only known MMORPGs similar to WoW or EQ or UO or Rift are heading off to college."

When we interviewed Dragons three years ago, we examined the group's massive size across multiple games, its unrivaled retention rate (an average loss of one to two people per year, for a 99.92% retention rate), and its own studio that turns out strategy guides for casual players and handles game and hardware consulting and testing for various game companies. That's a heady bouquet of achievements for a hardworking guild. Still, the group's anniversary this month makes waves in a much larger context -- a new era for MMO designers and fans alike.

"It matters because the MMOs of the past 17 years were created, in large part, by a community of developers who knew the world of BBS gaming via a modem... who played MUDs and MOOs... who, in the more senior levels, knew gaming before there were computers," Dragons writes. "We are just now reaching the point where the future programmers, designers, producers etc.. are heading off to college having never known a world without MMORPGS. Some of the core mechanics and concepts that shaped what 'success' is in the MMORPG world are things they have never experienced, and that isn't a bad thing. It means there is change coming to the MMO space."

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Filed under: Guilds, News items

Weapons of Lore: Quel'Serrar

Image
Thousands of years ago, even before the War of the Ancients came to pass, there were weapons of legend, weapons created not by mere mortal hands but by those who soared above. The secrets of the mighty blade Quel'Serrar were not lost to time; they were merely hidden away from prying eyes. Players in vanilla World of Warcraft searched the deserted halls of Dire Maul high and low for record of this story, contained in Foror's Compendium of Dragon Slaying, for once they had the book, they began the path to wield the blade of legend themselves.

Quel'Serrar was not a legendary weapon like Thunderfury or Sulfuras, but it was almost as rare. Unlike the Bindings of the Windseeker or the Eye of Sulfuras, the item required to begin the chain was BoE. This meant that very, very rarely you could find the item on the Auction House -- but if you did happen to be so lucky, you'd pay an arm and a leg for it. Only warriors and paladins could accept the quest for the blade, but the book would drop for anyone who was lucky enough to find it in the corridors of Dire Maul.

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Filed under: Lore

What's happening in the Whispering Forest?

Every now and then, an Easter Egg is found in game. Blizzard loves its pop culture references, secret nooks and crannies, and everything in between. Recently, this popped up: a secret grove, hidden in the Whispering Forest of Western Tirisfal.

While it's unknown when they spawn (I've heard every six hours or so, but I'm not sure), a troupe of faerie dragons slowly flies to this mushroom ring and begins to sing.

Tendrils of golden light flow and meet in the center of the circle, while ethereal music notes float all around. A beautiful little piece of music accompanies all of this, lasting about two and a half minutes. The infected animals of the Whispering Forest even come around to witness the performance. After they're done, the dragons leave and despawn.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Cryptozoic announces WoW TCG Twilight of the Dragons expansion

WoW Trading Card Game fans are about to get really excited, as Cryptozoic has just released details on the third installment of the Worldbreaker set, Twilight of the Dragons. From the details released, this set will be Deathwing's break into Azeroth, releasing the Twilight dragonflight upon us all. Hit the jump for all the details and an awesome artwork gallery.

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Filed under: WoW TCG

Know Your Lore: Grim Batol


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.

Grim Batol was founded by Wildhammer dwarves seeking to escape the legacy of the war that tore dwarf society apart. Led by Khadros, their thane, they marched north from Ironforge (originally the home of all dwarves, from Dark Irons to Bronzebeards to Wildhammers) after the death of King Anvilmar and the civil war that pitted the three main clans of their people against one another. Having lost the war, the Wildhammers chose to build a new, grand home for themselves in the mountains between the Wetlands and the Highlands. And it was grand indeed, for a time. In terms of pure architectural splendor, Grim Batol threatens both Ironforge and the massive constructions of the Dark Irons inside the Blackrock Mountain.

The Wildhammers did not dwell on their loss to the Bronzebeards. If making a new life for themselves in Grim Batol and the Highlands was hard, it was also exciting and a new challenge to be overcome, a new way of life to meet head on and overcome. Sadly, from these auspicious beginnings disaster would pile upon disaster. Armies would invade, fell sorceries would be unleashed, and in the end, the Wildhammers would abandon their once-great home.

It did not rest quietly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

WoW Magazine issue 2 preview now online

The preview for issue 2 of the World of Warcraft Official Magazine is up for browsing. It is 46 pages and highlights four subjects covered in the 148-page publication:
  • Dragons All of the dragonflights are described in detail along with a glossary of all dragon terms.
  • 40-man raids Tackling 40-man raids with level 80s
  • Warsong Gulch Strategies for WSG
  • Community Columns Members of the community contribute columns
The WoW Magazine is quarterly, by subscription only and has no ads. It's subscription price starts at $39.95 for a year. I haven't ordered it yet, but dragons are cool. Really cool.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Roto-scoping is not animation

For those who don't know, I'm an animator in my IRL career. I've studied it, I've gone to school for it, I do it myself. I scrutinize it, critique it and think about it every moment I get. It should go without saying that I am fairly picky when it comes to animations.

Enter the drakonid.

What's a drakonid? See the header image. They're the bipedal draconic warriors that are native to each main Dragonflight. Now, if you aggro them, you'll notice that they run at you, lances swirling away. I. Hate. That. Animation. It drives me crazy. My guild leader affectionately calls it my Kryptonite, as I freak out whenever I see them do it. It's just so terrible! It looks like some horrific motion capture session gone wrong; then a blind chimpanzee with a tablet in its mouth added some keyframes. Yes, I realize that it's supposed to spoof the 'Star Wars Kid' animation, but I don't care.

Now, I'm not so critical that I can't like things. I love the animation that was added for ToC, where we saw poor Jarod Sunsworn get choked to death by the Black Knight. The animation for Anzu is great to watch, as they take care of the physics for his feathers. I could think of many others, but those are just a few that stand out.

What animations tickle your fancy? What do you love or hate, and why? What could they improve? Discuss amongst yourselves!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Isthmus-time is here

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Michael Sacco will be your host today.

It's officially Winter Veil, and you know what that means! Azerothians donning their yuletide apparel and decking the halls with the blood of their enemies. Is there anything more demoralizing than getting decapitated by someone dressed like a holiday centerfold? And just think, without achievements, this activity would be naught but a holiday novelty. Technology is a wondrous thing.

Daniel asked...

I have noticed that dark ranger hanging around in Dalaran, and decided to look them up, and noticed that they were neutral hero unit in Warcraft 3:The Frozen Throne. I was wondering, could, it be even remotely possible, that in the future we have that class introduced into the game that will be neutral?

Extremely unlikely. There are also some dark rangers wandering around the Undercity post-3.3, and it appears that they're there as a buildup to playable forsaken hunters in Cataclysm. Sylvanas herself is classified as a dark ranger. We'll probably see quests just like the ones introducing night elf mages and tauren priests and paladins for these NPCs.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue, Cataclysm

How to: Five Amber drakes in The Oculus

After yet another Cracked Egg with nothing but a Cobra Hatchling in it, and the bigtime raiding proto-drakes constantly getting dropped out of the game, there's really only one other option: the Red Proto-drake, a reward for the Glory of the Hero meta-achievement. It's not easy: you've got to not only beat all of the heroics in the game, but all of the hard mode achievements for each of them. Guides like our OverAchievers can help, and a really great group to go along with helps more, but some of the achievements are so tough they need extra attention.

The Oculus' achievement, however, is one that needs an even closer look. And 4 Haelz kindly provides exactly that, with an in-depth guide to toppling two achievements in one, both the Emerald and Ruby Void, by doing the boss with five Amber drakes. The Amber drakes are usually meant as DPS, which makes this fight extra tough: you can't take much damage at all, because you can't get any damage back without healers. So what it requires, instead, is communication and coordination. Basically, you use the drakes' Time Stop ability to slow the fight down, and then try to do some coordinated kiting while DPSing like mad, all the time hoping that you can bring him down before he takes one of you out.

As Bell says, once you get the idea (and have wiped a few times -- you should probably be riding the drakes naked, since not only does your gear not affect their performance, but it'll save you repair costs), the fight's not actually that hard to pull off, but it's the learning that's going to hurt.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Instances, Bosses, Achievements

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

WoW Moviewatch: Forrest GumpDK


I didn't originally think I'd feature Forrest GumpDK. Mojorising created the video to help celebrate the four year anniversary of his guild, The Enigma Order. While I like seeing these videos, it's usually not the kind of thing that appeals to an audience-at-large. After watching it through, however, the warm-hearted nostalgia grew on me. I actually found "Forrest GumpDK" to not only be a "happy anniversary!" card, but also a fond retrospective of raiding since Vanilla WoW.

The video is based off a certain Robert Zemeckis film from the mid-90s. At the end of GumpDK, the main actor is credited as "Tom Tanks." Hey, it's the little jokes that make things work. Basically, the movie starts off following a feather as it drifts down to a tuxedo-wearing Death Knight, sitting on a bench in Stormwind. The DK then begins telling the tale (in subtitles) of how The Enigma Order has been raiding over the past years.

While Forrest GumpDK is talking about his Guild, I think we all remember the days of fighting that big guy who's made of fire, then a dragon, then another dragon. And then, shooting off into "space!" That sense of wonder might have worn thin for some of us veterans, but Mojorising's Forrest gave me a gentle, rosy-glass view of the old times. For that, I thank Forrest GumpDK for a job well done.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Warden of Eternity



I'm not sure whether to call Warden of Eternity by Karash "high concept." It certainly fits some of the hallmarks of that idea, but I feel like the pacing might slightly miss the mark. However, in the very least, his epic machinima is firmly rooted in some of the most noble and recognizable lore offered by World of Warcraft. You should recognize Illidan and the dragon Aspects, in the very last. The movie was first created in Karash's native German, and it took him about a year to get subtitles created in English.

In my opinion, the "Warden of Eternity" is pretty dang well made. Its panning shots, use of characters, and chosen models are all strong. The voice actors did a good job. I actually really enjoyed the fact that it was in German, because that language really sounds right coming from dragons and epic characters. (Maybe it's the old Rammstein fan in me.)

I do, however, wish the pacing were a little faster. It drags on a tad. This gives you plenty of time to soak in the happenings and the scenery, but I don't need quite that much time. Overall, a very solid movie, and I hope Karash continues to make more.


[Via Warcraft Movies]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

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