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Posts with tag dustwallow-marsh

Know Your Lore: The struggle for Southern Barrens

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.

All they needed was a supply route. With the abdication of Warchief Thrall and the rise of the new Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, suddenly the Alliance discovered what it meant to have a true orc at the helm of the Horde -- a merciless killer who held no particular love or wish for understanding and peace. Suddenly, the days of mild skirmishes were over, and the attacks in Ashenvale and Stonetalon had begun in earnest as the Horde moved from quietly settling the land and using its resources to taking it by force.

The night elves struggled to fight back, but the remote location, so far away from the human settlements of Northwatch Hold and Theramore, left only one route for the Theramore forces to take in order to get those supplies delivered. It was one that took them straight through the heart of Horde territory -- the harsh, expansive desert of The Barrens. And so the Alliance came up with a plan: A road was to be constructed. With a road, the Alliance could easily transport caravans and troops to defend those caravans and help their allies defend against the crippling attacks.

It was just a simple road.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the tauren

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.

The tauren have often been viewed as the "good" guys of the Horde. While the orcs, blood elves, forsaken and trolls have all had various unsavory qualities, the tauren race stands out as a genuinely peaceful, altruistic race of spiritual people that want nothing but what's best for the earth and the spirits it contains. Despite their seemingly good intentions, this does not leave the tauren without conflicts of their own, and when a closer look is taken at their current activities, some questions still beg to be answered. The history of the tauren is arguably just as lengthy as that of the orcs or the blood elves, the major difference being that the history of the tauren race isn't really documented anywhere to be seen save for a small set of scrolls on Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff. Given that the Horde in general seems to lean more towards using violence to solve their conflicts, where do the tauren fit in, and why did they choose to sign up with the Horde in the first place?

The answer stretches all the way back to Warcraft III, when Warchief Thrall traveled to Kalimdor on the advice of the Prophet, a mysterious figure who would later be revealed as Medivh. After landing in Kalimdor, Thrall and his people found themselves in a much harsher land than the one they'd left, with new enemies like the centaur, a tribal race of primitive, bloodthirsty creatures, half-humanoid and half-horse in appearance. But Durotar was not without allies, as Thrall discovered when he happened across the tauren.

The tauren were originally nomads with no real "home" to speak of -- they simply traveled from place to place, living off the land in large groups or tribes. It is unknown as to how many of these different tribes actually exist, because of this nomadic nature. As they never really settled in any one particular place, the tauren were literally scattered all over the world, though the majority of them were concentrated in Kalimdor. Thrall came across a tauren who was under attack by the centaur and saved him, a tauren from the Bloodhoof tribe led by Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof. Chieftain Cairne was both grateful for the rescue of his tribesman and intrigued by the nobility and savagery of the orcish race. He explained to the warchief why the Bloodhoof were traveling; while his people had been nomads for centuries, Chieftain Cairne wished to return to the verdant lands of Mulgore, the ancestral homeland of his people. Thrall spoke of the orcs and their flight to Kalimdor to find their destiny, and Cairne told him of an oracle to the north, offering to give him the location of the oracle in exchange for protection from the savage centaur on their journey to Mulgore. Thrall agreed, doubtless feeling no small connection to the chieftain and his wish to find a stable place in which his people could settle and thrive.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: The bird is most certainly not the word

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

Normally I'm all right with birds, but this one kept murdering me in cold blood last night on my priest, even though I was several levels higher than him. I mean, there are elite magnataur out there in the same zone with one-fourth the HP of this damn bird. What do you want from me, Alystros? I pay my taxes, I vote, I volunteer at the local museum. The least you could do is cut your HP and damage by about 75% so I can convert your corpse into gold and experience.

And what does that have to do with The Queue? Nothing, dear readers. Absolutely nothing.

Brysterside asked via Twitter:

What is the best way to start a WoW blog?

Simply put? Start writing! If you want to blog, you have to write. Find something you're passionate about in the game and write write write, because two things will keep readers coming: good content, and regular content. Make sure that you can provide both.

It's not easy getting the discipline to be a regular blogger -- just ask me -- but the payoff can be big in many ways. has a series of articles on starting your own WoW blog, which you can start here. Hope that helps!

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Filed under: The Queue, Worgen

Choose My Adventure: Turpen dings 45 readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and make him your own! Well, not literally. He belongs to Alex, but you know what we mean.

Well, it took longer than I had hoped, but Turpen has finally dinged level 45 and he did it in the wet, muddy wastes of Dustwallow Marsh. It wasn't particularly hard, but between all of the patch 3.2 preparation I've been doing, it was sort of a scatterbrained trip. Do a few quests here, a few quests there... all in all, it wasn't particularly memorable!

Throwing fuel on the 'not very memorable' fire was the completely anticlimactic ding of level 40. I remember that level being something of a landmark, but for Turpen the level came and went without much celebration. Mounts are at level 30 now, and the level 40 talent for Affliction Warlocks is pretty useful, but not much to get excited about. Oh boy, Dark Pact! Mana regen is so exciting! Don't get me wrong, I love me some mana, but could there be anything less exciting to someone who's leveling, questing and exploring? I want toys! I want explosions! I want excitement! This was none of those things. Maybe I would've been more excited if I run around with my Imp or Succubus out, but I've been getting pretty good mileage out of my Voidwalker still. I didn't have mana problems before Dark Pact, so I rarely use it now that I have it.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling

Phat Loot Phriday: Jaina's Signet Ring

As promised, we're going husky this week (which means we're choosing a midlevel item that has some significance to gameplay, rather than a high-end epic item to drool over).

Name: Jaina's Signet Ring (Wowhead, Thottbot, Wowwiki)
Type: Uncommon Ring
Damage/Speed: N/A
  • +3 Strength, +7 Stamina
  • This ring is actually more notable for what it isn't than what it is. It's more or less the final reward in the Missing Diplomat questline, which spans ten Alliance levels from 28 to 38. And yet, after traversing half the world and uncovering a gigantic mystery, all you get is some XP, a nice chunk of reputation, and this little ring. Unfortunately, most players are of the opinion (with good reason, if you ask me), that a piddly little ring like this probably isn't worth all of the trouble. This is probably one of the quests Jeff Kaplan would probably say wasn't quite done correctly.

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Filed under: Alliance, Mage, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore, NPCs

WoW Insider interviews Tom Chilton

A couple of days ago at the midnight release of Wrath of the Lich King in Anaheim, CA, our very own Dan O'Halloran had an opportunity speak with Tom Chilton (also known as Kalgan), Lead Game Designer of World of Warcraft. They spoke on a wide variety of topics, from raid philosophy to the growth of the game in North America and many things in between. Read on to see what Kalgan had to say!

WoW Insider:
What did Blizzard think was the most surprising class development of The Burning Crusade? Did you think Paladin tanks would be as popular as they were, did you anticipate the Druid supremacy in the arena?

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

More calls for midlevel content, the return

Back before patch 2.3, one of the most repeated calls from players was not for new raiding instances or a particular class balance change, but for new midlevel content. As we've said on the WoW Insider Show, a large percentage of the population of Azeroth is perfectly content hanging around the 30s and 40s and not bothering with endgame PvP or raiding, and previous to patch 2.3, they wanted new content to roll through.

Then patch 2.3 came, and with it, a whole new series of quests, and even a new hub in Dustwallow Marsh. Midlevel players finally got what they wanted, and for a while, the requests for new things for midlevel players to do were quelled.

Until now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Quests

Breakfast Topic: The leveling curve (and bending it)

This forum thread talks about a person who dinged 70 while still back in Nagrand, and while I didn't finish off the run to 70 that early (he probably did lots and lots of instances), it is possible to bend the leveling curve a little bit, especially in Outland, where there are so many quests to go around.

So how far have you bent the leveling curve? Early on, it's pretty clear where to go to level up -- there are only a few areas you can go into at each level, and while there are definitely more quests than you need to do (especially in the newer Dustwallow Marsh content), things are pretty laid out for you. In Outland, though, things get a little squished -- Blizzard really went overboard with quests, and so it's possible now to hit the last level without ever seeing one or two of the zones.

Fortunately, any XP that you would have gotten at 70 is translated back into gold on a quest reward, so even if you've finished early, there's still lots of reason to go back and see what's out there (and there is some must-see stuff later in the game). But how off has your leveling been? Anyone hit 70 even before Nagrand?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Leveling

Grimtotem Spirit Guide, I hardly knew ye

Gentlemen, start your whining: Hunters can no longer tame Grimtotem Spirit Guides, the ghostly looking wolves from Dustwallow Marsh. Drysc announced earlier today that this is an intentional change that was recently hot-fixed into the game. If you've already gone through the arduous process of obtaining the pet for yourself, you'll get to keep it, but they will be unavailable for taming from this point forward.

Of course this all comes as a big surprise since a Blizzard rep had previously said that this very change would not take place. While Drysc hints at some of the reasons for this change and mentions that it was a difficult decision to make, it's difficult for me to comprehend why these wolves will no longer be available. The process of taming them and then leveling them up to seventy was already difficult enough to make them a rare appearance on the servers I call home. Why would a difficult-to-obtain graphic novelty be removed from the game? It's not like they have any special traits or abilities that make the more powerful than other hunter pets.

I was sad to hear about this change, since I've been procrastinating on taming one of these wolves for my hunter alt. Maybe I'll go and tame that Ghost Saber I've been thinking about, just to be safe in case Blizzard decides to wipe out that other unique pet. What do you think about this? Does anyone think this is a good change?

Filed under: Hunter, NPCs

Ghost Wolf graphic goodness

When Patch 2.3 hit and Dustwallow Marsh got a make-over, Hunters were delighted to learn that the Ghost Wolves in that area were tamable. This was not Blizzard's intention, but they saw nothing wrong with letting it happen.

Many Hunter's flocked to the Marsh to get one of the coolest looking pets in the game. And now we learn, they look even cooler in combat. And hotter. And greener.

Mania's Arcania reports that the Ghost Wolf pet turns different colors while under different combat effects. In addition to the ones in the picture, the pet can also turn purple while under a Curse.

My guess is this is an unintentional side effect of the animal not having a solid texture skin over the 3-D model frame. All pets probably turn different colors while under various effects as part of the particle effects, but the solid skin over the model prevents us from seeing it like we do on the Ghost Wolf.

If Blizzard is really on the ball, they will create other semi-transparent mobs, pets and maybe a temporary shapeshifted form for players that takes advantage of this. They already do it with the Spectral Tiger Mount and the Shadow Priest form, why not on other models that would be affected by colorizing of buffs/debuffs? How fun would that be?

EDIT: Added in examples of current in-game semi-transparent models.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Odds and ends

Ghost Wolf: The newest, rarest pet

"Ghost wolf" is usually a term you associate with shamans, but now it might just become the keyword for the newest, rarest, most difficult to tame, and most visually unique hunter pet in the game. As the Mistress of Pets Mania's Arcania reports, some of the new Dustwallow Marsh content in Patch 2.3 involves some Grimtotem shamans who summon tamable ghost wolves. For most hunters, however, these ghost wolves will be impossible to tame, because a few seconds after they appear, they just die, regardless of how much damage they take. The only way to tame them involves using various items or abilities which can shorten the casting time of your "Tame Beast" spell down to a fraction of its original 20 seconds. Here's a list of what you might find useful, listed in approximate order of how important they are to your success:

  • [Mystical Skyfire Diamond] -- This metagem can cut the time it takes to cast Tame Beast in half, and you can't tame this beast without it. You have to repeatedly cast various aspects until its special proc goes off.
  • Heroism or Bloodlust -- The same ability with different names for Alliance and Horde shamans; having a friend in your party use this will further reduce your taming time by 30%. If your latency is good, this should make your taming just barely fast enough to succeed.
  • Mind Control -- Bring a priest friend along too, and he or she willl be able to take control of one of the Grimtotem NPCs to summon the ghost wolf whenever you're ready.
  • A handy macro -- To save time in getting your casting going, just type "/target grimtotem spirit guide;" on the first line of a macro, and "/cast tame beast" on the second. Then drag it to your action bar so you can hit it repeatedly just as you ask your priest friend to summon the wolf. [Thanks Grunde!]
  • [Drums of Battle] -- It's also very helpful to either be a Leatherworker, or have one in your party who will use this for you just before you start your taming, in order to shave a few more moments off your taming time.
  • Be a troll -- Trolls get a Berserking ability, which might just be the final little bit you need in order to cut down the taming time enough to snatch this ghostly wolf pet. A lot of non-trolls have succeeded in taming this pet, too, of course; but if you happen to be a troll, feel free to use this ability to make it a bit easier.

After all that, you need a macro or something to immediately target the wolf and start taming the very moment it appears. Then, you can pray for a few seconds and hope everything works. It may be very hard, but it has been done before -- though one person on Mania's site said that her new ghost pet died a second after she tamed it, possibly as a residual effect of its otherwise very limited lifespan. So if you want to try it, be patient, and don't get your hopes too high don't worry -- even if your pet dies, once it's tamed, it's yours. Just revive pet, and proceed. Oh, and get ready for an extremely long leveling grind to get it up from 30 to 70 (though it's soon to get a bit faster). Hunter alts passing through Dustwallow as you level up: Don't even dream about it.

[Update]: I've edited this post to include some of the other helpful information from commenters and other sources that came out after we originally published it. Be sure to check out our other resources on the Ghost Wolf pet, including a video showing the taming in action, a story about how Matthew Rossi helped his wife get one, and proof that the Grimtotem Sririt Guide will remain tamable in the future.

Filed under: Trolls, Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Leatherworking, Patches

WoW Insider Show Episode 11: Shaman silliness and other outrages

Episode 11 of the WoW Insider Show is now live for your listening pleasure-- Amanda Rivera, Duncor of WoW Radio and I all sat down last Saturday and talked about all things from the last week of WoW Insider, including, but not limited to:
And for those of you who have been concerned about the background music, this week we turned it down so low you can barely hear it (I asked Duncor to flip it off, but it sounds like he decided it should still be in there to fill in the blanks). So give it a listen (either over on WoW Radio's site, or in iTunes-- it's not in there yet but it should be soon), and tell us what you think.

And as usual, we'll be back on the air again this Saturday. Enjoy the show!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Odds and ends, Blizzard, WoW Insider Show

Patch 2.3 on WoW Insider

Happy patch day! Yes, it's time for patch 2.3 today, and boy do we at WoW Insider have a lot of information for you about today's patch.
And this is just scratching the surface -- use the search box at the top to find anything else you'd like to know about 2.3 -- we covered it all, from the season 1 arena item prices to how Elemental Shamans got buffed to what casuals can do for fun in 2.3 to the changes to Aimed Shot. There is just a ton of stuff changing in our favorite game today, and if you're wondering about it, odds are we wrote a post about it. 2.3 is here!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Tips, Tricks, WoW Insider Business, News items, Guides

Breakfast Topic: Dustwallow, the new STV

Dvons of WoW Ladies brought up an interesting point the other day. For those who play on PvP servers, Dustwallow Marsh is looking to be the new gank-a-palooza zone after Patch 2.3. Players in their 30s will now have a second quest hub to work through, although I don't know how much different a swamp really is from a jungle in terms of terrain. Less trolls perhaps, but still a lot of water, a lot of trees, and a lot of crocolisks.

When I got a chance to hop on in to the PTR and try the new marsh on for size, I was delighted. Once again, I feel like I have been given a zone back. Not only will we finally get a chance to continue quest lines that have dropped by the wayside, there are entire new ones that absolutely rock. I won't tell you much, but there's a certain large fish, and some cannons, and suddenly Nat Pagle is asking you to do completely wrong things with fish bait.

Dustwallow is no longer "that zone I travel through on my way to the Barrens." It only makes sense that the place will be flooded with people trying to get their quests done. I personally don't play on a PvP server, unless you count that belf mage I made on a whim, but I imagine that the craziness in the next couple of weeks will eventually die down as people speed through the levels toward 60. Or perhaps the marsh will become everyone's favorite contested zone. Either way, bring extra socks. That's what they always say when you're preparing for battle in the swamps.

Filed under: Patches, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Quests

My day in Dustwallow Marsh on the PTR

I finally managed to do some poking around on the PTR today after two days of trying to get my characters transfered over, and so far it's been a pleasant surprise. My alliance shaman hasn't made it over yet, but my horde paladin, shaman and warrior all did, and so I spent some time exploring the new quest content in Dustwallow Marsh. The Shady Rest Inn quest chain is finally completed!

So far, any fears that there aren't quests for the Horde in the marsh are overstated. I've found plenty on my Belfadin, between quests to blow up oozes with electricity, quests to wrangle raptor feathers, escort smelly people on flowerpicking expeditions, and kill Grimtotem Tribe who are acting suspiciously. There are suspicious hijinks afoot, let me tell you. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers here.) The quest drops are about dead-on for the level, decent greens that seem to plug up some itemization holes (including a nice mail chestplate, featured in the screenshot, that a newly 40 enhancement shaman would like as well as a nifty pally sword for up and coming paladin tanks) and while they're not crazy or overpowered, they're about just right for their level all told. Starter greens, yes, but solid ones.

Hopefully I'll get my alliance on soon, I want to follow up the Missing Diplomat quest chain. (Note, don't follow that link if you don't want to be spoiled.) So far, Dustwallow seems to be shaping up nicely for those of us looking for new mid level content.

Update: As my draenei has just popped into existence on the PTR, I have an awesome change to report: the boat from Menethil to Theramore now has a crew, complete with a vendor who even sells reagents. This, my friends, is really awesome.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Lore

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