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Posts with tag dragons-of-nightmare

Mists of Pandaria is our Emerald Dream expansion

Back in the days of vanilla, life was very much about exploration. Even though the world of Azeroth was admittedly massive, there were still areas players couldn't get to -- tantalizing areas that were made inaccessible either by steep mountain faces, or simply being someplace under the world map where no one could get to. One of these areas was the Emerald Dream, shown above. Despite not being in the game as playable content, the zones still existed.

This led to all kinds of speculation about an upcoming Emerald Dream expansion. Players assumed that these files meant that we were eventually headed for the lush green lands of Ysera and her amazing druid friends. Yet despite the presence of the maps, it never happened. Ysera is now devoid of her powers as of the end of Cataclysm, whatever that implies towards her relationship with the Emerald Dream. By Cataclysm, it became apparent that whatever mysteries those old maps held, the Emerald Dream was just an idea lost in time.

Or was it? Maybe we're playing through the Emerald Dream right now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

WoW for Dummies, Act II: Evils of old

WoW for Dummies, Act II Evils of old SUN
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.

For both Alliance and Horde, the first part of vanilla WoW was all about putting an end to Ragnaros, and uncovering and subsequently lopping off Onyxia's head for a delightful city decoration that was not at all likely to scare the pants off of any of Stormwind or Orgrimmar's children. Seriously, who thought dragon remains on a stake was a wise design choice? Regardless, while there were definitely giant foes to be beaten, if one dug a little deeper, there was some underlying story going on in vanilla, too.

The Alliance was busy getting back on its feet, and Warchief Thrall was busy trying to make nice with the Alliance. But even though Onyxia had been defeated, the king of Stormwind was still missing. And even though Ragnaros had been sent back to where he belonged, he was far from the only menace in Blackrock Mountain. And even though these problems were leaping up in the Eastern Kingdoms, there was something lurking in Kalimdor -- something far, far worse than problems with dragons and firelords.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Fandral, Feralas, and the struggle of the Green Dragonflight

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.
In the sunken city, he lays dreaming ...
The drowned god's heart is black ice ...
At the bottom of the ocean even light must die ...
Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?

-- The Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
We've discussed the Green Dragonflight before, from the history and background of the flight itself to the events that occurred during the Nightmare War. But the activities of the green flight continue in Cataclysm, both in the northern reaches of Hyjal and elsewhere around the world. Despite the victory at the end of Stormrage, the troubles of the Green Dragonflight are far from over, and the threat of the Emerald Nightmare still looms.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Green Dragonflight

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.

Each flight of dragons is vouchsafed with an aspect of creation itself to supervise. The five Dragon Aspects were granted their powers and dominion over Azeroth's life, magic, earth, time and more by the Titans who created them from the massive proto-dragon Galakrond in long vanished times past. In the past few KYL's we've covered Alexstrasza's Red Dragonflight, Deathwing's Black Dragonflight and its offshoot the Netherwing, and deceased Malygos' Blue Dragonflight.

This time we look at what might be the strangest dragons of them all. The servants of Ysera, the dragons of the Emerald Dream, the Green Dragonflight. In order to truly understand the green dragons, one would have to be able to understand the dream they all dream, but who can do that? How can one tell the dreamers from the dream?

Easy. The dreamers are great honking green dragons that will kill you. It's relatively simple. If you doubt their power or their resolve, go to the Temple of Atal'Hakkar and ask the Atali, trapped in a complex smashed into the water by the fury and might of Ysera herself. Even when they themselves fall victim to corruption, the green dragons are fearsome opponents. While Alexstrasza and her brood concern themselves with life and living things, Ysera is effectively the shepherd of what Dylan Thomas called 'the force that through the green fuse drives the flower' - effectively, that which makes life itself possible.

This is also what often gets them in trouble with old gods, blasphemous troll deities of bloodlust, and the loathsome Scourge and its malefic master. (I have been waiting to use 'malefic' in a sentence for so long now.)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Should Cataclysm bring back the world boss?

Robin's post about fun with kiting yesterday immediately reminded me about the old days of 40 man raiding. Don't worry, this isn't a nostalgia trip per se... in many ways raiding is better now than it's ever been... but one of the things I enjoyed back in classic WoW were the world bosses. Bosses like Azuregos, the Emerald Dragons and Kazzak (as well as summoned bosses like Maws and Eranikus) added a feeling of competition that simply couldn't be had by being the first to clear a raid. If Blizzard wants to bring the antagonism between Alliance and Horde back to the forefront, well, even on a PvE server back in the day one could watch Horde and Alliance guilds jostle over Azuregos. Heck, we were griefed pretty hard doing the green dragons, especially Emeriss, as Horde players would come running up to die under our tank and become mushrooms.

Burning Crusade
had a couple of world raid bosses (a recycled Kazzak and Doomwalker) but for the most part they weren't terribly compelling: the gear they dropped was comparable with Karazhan (eventually it was made BoE to try and drive raiders towards it to harvest them for sales, which happened to some degree but is hardly what you'd call a sign of an exciting time, scavenging bosses for BoE's) and it seems like the practice has fallen out of favor since those days. While there are wandering big elites in Howling Fjord and Zul'Drak, they're either just there with no real rhyme or reason, or they're involved in quests.

So I ask you: would you like to see big world bosses return in Cataclysm? Or do you think they're an artifact of an older time, and we're better off without them?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Which boss would you revamp for level 80?

With news that the Broodmother herself is returning for WoW's fifth anniversary and patch 3.2.2, it got me thinking about other old world bosses which could be revamped. Now don't get me wrong, I totally get that Onyxia is a one-time thing this expansion. All fun and no lore, to paraphrase one of our commentators, Maxim. But the concept is ripe for a Breakfast Topic, after all Onyxia is a classic raid but she wasn't the only one. Granted, she remains the most popular and the most legendary, the raid itself was almost a reward for completing what has to be the game's most epic quest chain. And then there was the loot, the lovely legendary (if not in colour) loot. Excuse me while I drool.

So lets say, hypothetically, you could bring back any lower level boss for a short time period aimed at level 80s. Which would you choose? Personally I'd love to see the Dragons of Nightmare, simply because they were so epic. Indeed, they are still a challenge to down today, especially with that annoying debuff. I also live in hope of seeing something of the Emerald Dream soon but that's for another day. So, constant readers, if you could have one boss return revamped for a hardcore level 80 raid, which would it be?

Filed under: Patches, Events, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

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

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