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Posts with tag duskwood

Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Review of World of Warcraft Dark Riders
Before I even begin, I'm going to state the one thing that's been on my mind, and likely the mind of anyone else waiting for this particular title: It's about time. World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is the offshoot of the World of Warcraft comic series, specifically, the characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the series written by Mike Costa. Yes, we have been waiting for this graphic novel for four years now. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.

Costa continues the tale started in that special issue and takes the reins of Dark Riders, skillfully weaving together one of those stories that isn't so much dependent on current game lore. In fact, it really doesn't address current game events at all. Instead, it takes the bold step of filling the gap between events that played out in WoW itself -- the disappearance of the Scythe of Elune from Duskwood and its sudden reappearance in Gilneas. And if that weren't enough, there's a wild trip through Karazhan and the questionable origin of the Dark Riders themselves, explained for the first time.

But that's really just the tip of the iceberg here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Dark Riders graphic novel hits virtual store shelves today

Dark Riders comic
If you're itching for a good World of Warcraft story and patch 5.3 is too long to wait for new story content, Blizzard is happy to oblige with the just-released World of Warcraft: Dark Riders graphic novel. Unfortunately, Blizzard's own description of the comic -- talking about an "enigmatic destiny" and "hidden dangers" -- is too vague and generic to grab our interest. But fortunately we've heard about Dark Riders before and expect good things from writer Mike Costa and artist Neil Googe. So what can you expect to find in this tome of lore? More about the mysterious Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, who have only been alluded to in the game, the secretive wolf cult, and the Scythe of Elune. But if you're not a lore hound, you'll just have to be tempted by the promise of a good World of Warcraft story in graphic novel form.

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is available today. You can take a sneak peak at the art or buy it directly form Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $16.01 -- though if you prefer digital, it's $12.99 for Kindle and $13.74 for Nook.

Filed under: News items, Lore

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders now available for preorder

World of Warcraft Dark Riders now available for preorder ANY
Once upon a time, there was a Warcraft comic series. It ended in 2009 with a special issue that featured an entirely new cast of characters, both Alliance and Horde. The premise was that the series would continue on with two individual comics, one Alliance-themed, and one Horde. This shifted over the years into two graphic novels -- World of Warcraft: Blood Sworn for the Horde and World of Warcraft: Dark Riders for the Alliance.

While we've heard nothing more about Blood Sworn other than it's in development, Blizzplanet has some new news for those waiting eagerly for Dark Riders. You can now preorder Dark Riders on Amazon.com for $21.04, and it has a release date set for May 7, 2013. This 144-page hardcover graphic novel from DC Comics features an all-new story by Michael Costa, better known for his work on Transformers, and artwork by the talented Neil Googe.

Dark Riders revolves around the story of the Scythe of Elune and, more importantly, the mysterious Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, who have been mentioned more than once in quests but never really delved into. The title characters for the book are not your usual Warcraft heroes. They're adventurers like us -- ordinary Azeroth folk who have been plunged into extraordinary situations. It's been a long time coming, but I'm looking forward to finally having this one in my hands.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: The curious dissonance of Alliance leveling

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.

Back when I was writing up the five must-do Horde zones and five must-do Alliance zones articles, I decided to play through those zones again just for experience's sake. In beta and the early days of Cataclysm, I spent a lot of time going through the Alliance 1-to-60 leveling zones and experiencing the content. I remember being really pleased with how well the zones were laid out and how nice it was to see actual story instead of just, "I'd like six pig heads; go get them from the field next door." After that experience, I played through them on Horde side and was terribly pleased to see they were just as well done on the other side of the faction fence.

I didn't really think about it afterwards, and it wasn't until I decided to do these two articles that I took it upon myself to level through these zones again. And this time ... something had changed, a little. Perhaps it was because it had been so long since I'd played through the Alliance zones. Perhaps it was because I had just finished experiencing the Horde zones when I went back to Alliance. But there was something very, very different about the experience.

While leveling as Horde, I was having all kinds of lighthearted fun mixed with bits of serious story. While leveling as Alliance, I felt like there was an oppressive weight bearing down on me at all times, and that weight was never really removed. Odd, that.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Karazhan and the Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass

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.

Sometimes it's the characters that make Warcraft interesting, and sometimes, every now and again, it's the locations themselves that intrigue. Nestled in the heart of the Eastern Kingdoms, in a forlorn stretch of land simply called Deadwind Pass, lies the tower of Karazhan. Once the former home of Medivh, now a demon-riddled raid instance, Karazhan's story has far more to it than simply being the home of one of the last Guardians of Azeroth.

Rumors also abound about Deadwind Pass and its inhabitants -- strange, mysterious riders cloaked in darkness. Their shrill, harsh voices echoed through the hills of Duskwood once upon a time, and the purpose of their journey was an artifact powerful enough to be the genesis for an entirely new playable race. Karazhan, Deadwind Pass, and the Dark Riders all have an enigmatic history that's never been fully explained. But we do have hints, here and there scattered across novels and in game, that clear up a small portion of the mystery.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Worgen



Welcome to Know your Lore, where we bring the story behind the people, places, and cultures of Azeroth.

The Worgen are coming. We now know for sure that, come Deathwing's Cataclysm, The Worgen of Gilneas will be answering the call of the Alliance. The Worgen, while they have quickly become a classic, iconic race in Warcraft lore, actually only came onto the scene in WoW itself, providing an enemy to Horde and Alliance alike in Silverpine Forest, Duskwood, and Ashenvale. But who are they, and what bought them to this place where they will become one of the next playable races of the World of Warcraft before other choices?

In the Beginning

To know how this all begins, the first place to look is The Book of Ur. This Book, written by Ur, a Mage of Dalaran, eventually found its way into the personal library of the Archmage Arugal. It describes the origin of the Worgen.

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Filed under: Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Worgen

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

The Queue: How do you make that weird U thing?

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.

Adam called yesterday's edition of The Queue 'the Extreme edition,' but I'm of the opinion he didn't quite follow through. So I'm posting something extreme to make up for it, which you can see in the video above. Extreme. If you don't feel it's extreme enough, feel free to post your extreme links in the comments below with your usual questions, as long as the links are safe for work (and sanity.)

Eternauta asked...


I have a question, too. I know it's pretty stupid and obvious, but here I go: Why is everybody DPS and why is it so hard to find healers or tanks?

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, The Queue

Stereoscopic screenshots of Azeroth


Here's some coolness for your Saturday afternoon: while most of us can't afford the hundred of dollars it takes to enjoy World of Warcraft in real 3D, Toth of Aman'thul is bringing faux 3D to the masses. There are a bunch of stereoscopic images over on the forums -- these are pictures that are taken at two slightly different angles, and then put next to each other, so that when you cross your eyes slightly to combine them (kind of like those Magic Eye pictures -- it's a sailboat), you get a 3D effect. If you really can't see it, he's also made one animated version that combines the angles into one shot.

Toth had all of the images saved over on Photobucket, but we've combined them all in the gallery below for easy browsing -- make sure to click "Hi Res" in the gallery so you can see the pics full size for the full effect. Unfortunately, Toth doesn't share any details on exactly how he made these (unless he did just take one picture, and then move slightly to take the second, which anyone could try). But the effect of the shots is pretty cool.



Thanks, Betton!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Screenshots, Galleries, Fan art

Know Your Lore: Stalvan Mistmantle

Welcome to this week's edition of Know Your Lore, bought to you today by assistant lore nerd Daniel Whitcomb.

Stalvan Mistmantle, an inhabitant of Duskwood, is one of those guys who just sort of sits there in lore, provoking admiration in some, malaise in others, and a lot of questions in others. Most Alliance have likely at least heard of him, but if you've leveled exclusively in the Horde, you may never have met him. His story is presented in a very sinister fashion, but as to the man behind the quest, and how exactly he came to surrounded by Necromancy and horror, that is a little less clear.

As an Alliance member, you first hear of Stalvan through a vision of Death received by Madame Eva. Specifically, she senses Death in the future for her granddaughter, and hears a name in her visions - Stalvan. Heading to Daltry, the town clerk, you begin your investigation. As you continue it, you find out more and more about Stalvan's life. Strangely enough, although it starts out benign, and in fact paints him to a pleasant fellow, an itinerant wanderer and country teacher, spirits appear and try to end your investigation violently. In addition, you often find yourself cursed simply from handling his old belongings.

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: Orc plus demon blood equals hero


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 you in a future installment!

Mizunie asks a couple of questions...

On the WotLK website, the designers talk about the "Scarlet Onslaught." Who are they and where did they come from?

The Scarlet Onslaught is the refounding of the Scarlet Crusade. Sometime after the events in Stratholme, Abbendis has taken complete command of the Crusade with a new band of lackies. She believes the Light has beckoned her to Northrend, so she rounds up every Crusader she has left and loads them on boats under the flag of the Scarlet Onslaught. There's other details to accompany this in Wrath, but they're way too cool for me to spoil this early.

Do we know anything on good ol' Deathwing?

Nope, not yet. I haven't seen much yet. It's possible we'll learn more in the Chamber of the Aspects raid zone coming in Wrath. It's been revealed that a Black Dragon is the boss inside there, though we don't know the details surrounding it yet.

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

Know Your Lore: The Scythe of Elune

In today's Know Your Lore, we're going to take a look at something that has been requested by a few readers(and a blogger). It's not a very well known topic, it comes from a quest line tucked away in the far corners of Ashenvale that sends you running all over the world as if you had absolutely nothing better to do with your time, much like any other quest line in Kalimdor. Regardless of the annoyance of the quest line, it is probably one of the more intriguing side stories in the Warcraft universe.

It begins shortly after the destruction of the World Tree. Archimonde was gone, but a great number of demons remained. Like the Scourge, the Legion doesn't simply stop when you tear the head from the beast. Priestess and Sentinel Velinde Starsong was the Night Elf in charge of leading the forces of the Kaldorei in these regions, assaulting the Legion and pushing them back as far as they could. This held up well for quite some time, pushing the demonic hordes as far back as the borders of Felwood. Unfortunately, the Night Elves were only level 20-something at that point, and the mobs in Felwood are like level 50, so things stopped going so well.

In all seriousness, the Kaldoreian advance was slowing more and more as they pressed into Felwood, their numbers being utterly decimated. Velinde grew desperate as so many of the Night Elves fell to the Legion, and called out to her final hope: The goddess Elune. She begged the goddess for strength and power, the ability to avenge her fallen comrades.

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

Around Azeroth: Jump!


Reader Treant of Kul'Tiras sends us this excellent shot taken in the Duskwood cemetery. (And if you can't see why it might be excellent, you ought to click it for a higher detail version.) Of the image, Treant says he saw the moon on the horizon and thought the view would be improved with the addition of a Dwarven silhouette, provided by his friend Gimlan.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing a copy to aroundazeroth@wow.com, with as much or as little detail as you'd like to share with the world!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

WoW Moviewatch: The Legend of Stalvan


If you have an Alliance toon, one of your early extensive quest chains was probably The Legend of Stalvan out of Duskwood. This series of quests had you running over much of the lands south of Stormwind as you learned of the bloody massacre of travelling nobles at the hand of Stalvan Mistmantle. The quest culminated in gathering a few random players and camping the spawn point for the undead Stalvan. And then trying to find a cure for that annoying curse he puts on you before you put him back in the ground.

An enterprising Machinimist has put together a movie that tells the tragic tale of what drove Stalvan to his unforgivable deed. The production value is excellent. The use of the WoW Modeler and WoW Map Viewer is put to exceptional use. There is also wonderful use of defocus to draw your eye to different parts of the screen. My only complaint is the heavy Scottish accent of the narrator. Remember a little dwarf goes a long way.

EDIT: The Filefront stream is down. I've replaced it with the YouTube version. Thanks for the link, KateJaneway! You can also click on the READ link below to go to the Warcraftmovies.Com page that has other download options.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch, Lore, RP, NPCs

Around Azeroth: Meet Emeriss


Serisa of the Gigaknights on Daggerspine (EU) was showing a newbie around Duskwood when they ran into Emeriss in the Twilight Grove. And they did what any sane World of Warcraft players would do -- called for help on the guild line and put up a fight. Of the attempt, Serisa explains that the level 60 paladin we see in this shot, Felain, managed to survive for 16 seconds. A later attempt by a level 70 warrior lasted all of 19 seconds. Perhaps by the next expanion, he'll be soloable, but for now it looks like Emeriss still needs a group!

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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