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Posts with tag eastern-plaguelands

The dilemma of Darrowshire and Warcraft's creep factor

I remember my first encounter with Pamela vividly. It was vanilla, years and years ago, and I discovered a quest in Winterspring offered by a woman named Jessica Redpath, who had very little else to say. In between all the usual round of Winterspring quests was this woman, who asked that I go check on the town she grew up in called Darrowshire. It was all the way in the Eastern Plaguelands, but I figured for a change of pace from all the snow and desolation I'd go check it out.

Not only were the Eastern Plaguelands exceptionally creepy and bizarre in terms of architecture, especially compared to anything on Kalimdor, but the sounds and music for the zone were incredibly eerie as well. And when I finally found Darrowshire, I found a deserted collection of dilapidated buildings, and one lone question mark off in a corner -- belonging to the ghost of a very dead little girl.

And every hair on the back of my neck simultaneously stood up.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Leveling a time capsule

Leveling a time capsule
I still remember the first day I played this game on live servers, even though it's been nearly nine years since I looked at the login screen and tried to muddle out what to pick. Friends of mine had already made an Alliance guild and encouraged me to join them. When I mentioned I wanted to play a rogue, I was told that they really needed healers, not rogues. However, my friend suggested I roll a druid, as they could not only heal, but they could turn into a cat and stealth around like a rogue does. That seemed suitable to me, so I rolled a night elf druid, logged in and began to play.

Several months and sixty levels later, that experience remains full of fond memories of endless frustration with the class and how it played. It absolutely did not help that giant improvements for that class were rolled out in a patch shortly after I hit 60. I rolled Horde, and the rest is history ... or it was, anyway. The druid remained at level 60, years after I hit 70, 80, 85 and 90, frozen in a distinct period of time. Several months ago, while idly looking at the login screen and pondering what to play, I decided to actually level the druid and get it caught up. Furthermore, I decided to make the trip without heirloom gear -- after all, it didn't exist when I originally played the character.

This is the story of a peculiar alt that used to be a main, and what happens when you crack open a time capsule from 2005.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion

The top ten most desolate spots in WoW

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A little while ago, we did a "Top ten most beautiful spots in WoW" post, and many commenters had an interesting request: a companion post of the ten most desolate places in WoW. We thought it was a great idea, so we're taking the suggestion to heart. This was an interesting topic to think about, because the desolate spots in WoW are the ones I tend to avoid. For the most part, I don't want to spend my fun WoW time in virtual wastelands! Then again, sometimes those deserted, eerie places have a haunting beauty all their own. Check out our list, and tell us your own favorite desolate places in World of Warcraft!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Weapons of Lore: Benediction

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For a priest, it represented the ultimate in weapons, a staff designed to assist with the greatest of healers or the darkest of shadowy specters. For others, the staff was a signal that the healer they'd just run into was one of the few and highly skilled, capable of keeping them alive in the darkest of situations. Though epic in quality, the staff Benediction was akin to a legendary in stats and appearance. Clicking on Benediction wouldn't give you wings or turn you into a mount; instead, the staff transformed into Anathema, a completely different staff with a completely different set of stats.

There has never been another weapon released with Benediction's glimmering golden model or with Anathema's dangerous silver spines. Benediction is no longer obtainable in game; it was removed when Cataclysm was introduced. But for players in vanilla WoW lucky enough to get the appropriate quest drops, Benediction represented the best of the best in healing staves for the majority of the original iteration of the game. Others looked at the weapon with awe, but the lucky priest who wielded it knew there was more to the staff than a set of killer stats.

Benediction may have been a brilliant weapon, but its origins were stained with the blood of thousands of innocents.

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Filed under: Lore

Reminder: Server Maintenance Party tonight

Don't forget, tonight we are hosting another Server Maintenance Party on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE). I will also be streaming the event on WoW.com's Justin.tv channel. Above is Robinella's message to all Alliance.

Here are the details:
  • When: Tuesday, Aug 17, 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. realm time) to meet and greet. 11 p.m. EDT for the actual event and stream.
  • Where: Meet at Light's Hope Chapel on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • How: Ask Robinella or any <It came from the Blog> guild member for an invite to the guild. Ranks of Blog Lurker or above can invite.
  • What: We will be attempting to complete Bolstering Our Defenses, following a plan to be discussed in guild chat at the time of the event (in case Alliance spies are reading this).
  • Who: Any level Horde character is invited to participate, but you will have more fun at level 58 or higher.
Please read the rules and tips for the event before you join us. All non-funsuckers are welcome.

For the Horde!


Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in <It came from the Blog>. Guild ranks of "Blog Lurker" or above can invite, so /whisper Robiness or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

Filed under: Events, It Came from the Blog

Server Maintenance Party: Battle for Eastern Plaguelands

More realms are undergoing 24-hour maintenance starting just after midnight tonight PDT, and therefore it is time for another server maintenance party. You voted for a PvP theme, so we will be defending the Eastern Plaguelands. I will also be streaming the event on our Justin.tv channel so that those who cannot participate can still watch. Here are the details:
  • When: Tuesday, Aug 17, 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. realm time) to meet and greet. 11 p.m. EDT for the actual event and stream.
  • Where: Meet at Light's Hope Chapel on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • How: Ask Robinella or any <It came from the Blog> guild member for an invite to the guild. Ranks of Blog Lurker or above can invite.
  • What: We will be attempting to complete Bolstering Our Defenses, following a plan to be discussed in guild chat at the time of the event (in case Alliance spies are reading this).
  • Who: Any level Horde character is invited to participate, but you will have more fun at level 58 or higher.
While any level who makes the trek to join us is welcome, I highly recommend making a death knight to participate if you don't have a high-level character already on Zangarmarsh. This is a PvP event, so there will be some Alliance resistance -- and that will be part of the fun. But even if we have awesomely diligent healers, they will not be able to save low-levels from being one-shot. The event starts late enough in the evening tomorrow so that most people will have enough time to make a DK.

More tips and rules are after the break.

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Filed under: Events, PvP, It Came from the Blog

The ghosts of Azeroth

I love ghost stories, and one of the nice things about WoW is that Azeroth is full of them. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that one of the nice things for us is that Azeroth's full of them, because lore-wise it's hard to argue that the existence of any ghost is a happy occurrence. While I could (and probably should) turn this into a giant feature cataloging all the ghosts in the game, I have my personal favorites:

Caer Darrow


The inhabitants of Caer Darrow are my favorite ghosts, not least because you can't see them at all until you've done a bit of work on their behalf. The island seems utterly deserted barring the Sarkhoff couple...until you realize that it's not, and that there's an entire town full of people trapped on its "happiest day," going about its business, oblivious to how the world's moved on. That there's a ghostly vendor you can't otherwise talk to without a Spectral Essence is even better.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Western Plaguelands not so plagued anymore in Cataclysm

We addressed the implication that the Alliance might be retaking some lost lands in Cataclysm thanks to some mutterings by blues on the official forums. Now we've got confirmation from the latest Twitter dev chat that while Eastern Plaguelands will still be a hellhole, Western Plaguelands will be free of the plague when the expansion hits.

Twitter developer chat
Q. With the Lich King defeated, in Cataclysm, will the Plaguelands be green and beautiful again?

A. Western Plaguelands will finally be free of the plague in Cataclysm. It's hard for the Scourge to survive without their beloved Lich King. I guess this means we need to rename the zone?


Just awesome. This is the kind of change I was hoping for in Cataclysm, to be honest -- not just earthquakes and floods, but actual passage of time and logical storyline progression post-defeat of Lordaeron's traitor prince. Wonder what this means for Scholomance or Andorhal!

But, also, what does it mean for the name? I guess Eastern Plaguelands will likely become just The Plaguelands, but what will WPL become? East Lordaeron? New Lordaeron? Or, given the zone's proximity to the zone that's basically Azeroth's armpit, they could just go with the one that makes the most sense: Pennsylvania.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Is the Alliance aiming to retake lost lands in Cataclysm?

Derthelz on the official forums asked a good question -- why is the Alliance prepared to kill Arthas but not to try to retake their lost city of Lordaeron? After all, the upper half of the Eastern Kingdoms is almost completely lost to the Alliance, despite the area being the former home of some of Azeroth's most powerful nations. Why doesn't the Alliance try to take them back?

Crygil says that, actually, they just might:
"Who said that the Alliance wouldn't attempt to reclaim these lands? That is a very dangerous assumption to make, especially if you're of the forsaken persuasion.
The Lich King is a threat to all the inhabitants of Azeroth and, as such, he needs to be put down before territorial disputes can be resolved. Leaving those claims for the future only makes sense; far easier to fight one war at a time. For now, it's better to focus on the task at hand."

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Varimathras' replacement: "B"


Earlier this year, we wondered just what would happen now that my favorite dreadlord, Varimathras, was vanquished in the Battle for the Undercity, and now Kisirani has provided us with a hint: someone whose name includes a "B." When someone repeats the question on the forums, she posts a note delivered by a bronze whelp hinting that someone will be back in Varimathras' place as of patch 3.3. The note is signed only with a "B," and (as Kisirani probably intended), it's anyone's guess just who that is.

And if by "anyone," you mean the denizens of the Blizzard forums, they all seem to think it's Nathanos Blightcaller, a Forsaken who has been sitting in the Eastern Plaguelands since the game began. He's recently been mentioned again in the game, as Varian Wrynn has sent Alliance players after him in Bolvar's place, and so it makes sense that he may rejoin the Banshee Queen and take his place at her side. Balnazzar, Varimathras' demon brother, is another guess, though he's currently serving secretly with the Scarlet Crusade, so who knows how he'd come to that position. And of course, besides Bornakk, anytime you hear B you have to think of our friend Bolvar, whose fate we'll probably learn in patch 3.3 no matter what. As for who it really is, we won't know for sure until we see them in the Undercity.

Filed under: Horde, Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Where are you heading once Wrath hits?

In an earlier post I spent some time wondering if it might be a good idea to level a Shaman alongside the new fleet of Death Knights guaranteed to appear once Wrath hits. A lot of commenters were of the opinion (correct, I think) that the desire to avoid hugely crowded areas is probably better served by leveling an alt to 58-60 and sticking it in Outland. The alt can then await the surge of Death Knights who decide to continue leveling, and who should have some experience with its playstyle by then. While I'm still most likely to level my main to 80 once the expansion hits, having an alt in a less crowded area of the game is pretty appealing. For all I know, the Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord will be packed to the scuppers too. I play on a laptop with a wireless connection, so my gameplay tends to suffer badly when the area I'm in resembles Los Angeles during rush hour. Avoiding overcrowded areas is no small thing.

My realm's considered medium population, but we've still got enough people that, if even 10% of the population typically online at server high time decides to roll a Death Knight once Wrath is released, Eastern Plaguelands is going to be in total gridlock for a while. The same thought occurred to a few friends, who wondered if they might be better off spending a week or two on low-level alts in an empty Azeroth while waiting for the furor to die down. With that said, that's not an ideal option if your guild wants to start raiding as early as possible, or if you just don't want to be left behind by guildies leveling to 80.

I'm genuinely curious. Let's say you've bought the expansion, installed it, and you're at the character selection screen on your usual realm with the option to create a Death Knight, hit your main, or head to an alt. Given your own personal circumstances, which do you pick, and where are you going in those first few hours?

What do you plan to do once Wrath hits?
Head to the Eastern Plaguelands and level a Death Knight.2057 (17.7%)
Level my main to 80.8676 (74.8%)
Reroll.278 (2.4%)
Spend some quiet time leveling an alt in Azeroth.593 (5.1%)

Filed under: Shaman, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Alts, Death Knight

Oh, the cleverness of me!


I'm not in the beta. I'm kind of uncomfortable with the notion of spoiling myself completely, and I'm a terrible leveler. I have the lurking feeling that leveling my main to 80 before Wrath actually went live would wreck a leveling pace that might otherwise have been driven by exploration and discovery. I want Wrath to be a fantastic new experience that will recapture the sense of wonder I felt leveling my first toon in a strange new world. Also I never got a key, but the other reasons are more important and influential.

Yeah, even I don't believe me.

While I'm certain I'll never make a Death Knight my main, I'm sure I'll enjoy leveling one. I'm sure I'm not going to enjoy trying to level one alongside 50,000 other people and their cousins and their friends and their friends' dogs and their friends' dogs' fleas leveling a Death Knight. So it's occurred to me that, OK as I am with the notion of waiting a few months to get started on my bouncing baby bundle of risen-corpsified merriment, I can capitalize on the coming rush of Death Knights in a completely different fashion simply by exercising a little foresight. All Death Knights are melee, right? None of them can really heal, right? People are already noticing un peu problem in the beta in this vein, right? And I can't level an alt worth beans, right right? Right. What's the one buff that makes all melee salivate, provided by an excellent healing class, during a time in which healers will never have to worry about finding a group or a tank?

Bingo. I'm getting a resto Shaman to 58 and parking him in Eastern Plaguelands to twiddle his thumbs in anticipation of the descent of the Death Knight legion come Wrath's release. See you there!

Filed under: Shaman, Tips, Expansions, Humor, Leveling, Classes, Alts, Death Knight

Breakfast Topic: Where will you level your Death Knight?

While Death Knights start at 55, by the time they get out of the Ebon Hold, which is the instanced newbie zone that delivers the epic story of how a Death Knight becomes a Death Knight, they should be level 57 with a few bubbles in. Level 57 is pretty cool, but it's far from the level 68 or so you'll need to get to Northrend, and it's not even the level 58 that most people consider the minimum for heading to Outland. So, what's a fresh Death Knight to do?

I'm taking my Beta Deathknight to Winterspring to start with. I figure that between Everlook, Starfall Village to the north, and Donova Snowden to the west, I should be able to get a good, solid mix of quests that'll allow me to hit 58 and decide if I'm ready for Outland -- Not to mention a Mechanical Yeti.

Of course, there's other options as well. Eastern Plaguelands offers the chance to use Rune of Lichbane and mess up a bunch of undead in the name of the Argent Dawn, plus you can have your 70 collect Savage Fronds, Bone Fragments, Cores of Elements, Dark Iron Scraps, and Crypt Fiend Parts for some quick experience as well.

With a good group, you could also hit up Scholomance and Stratholme for some revenge against the Scourge, maybe grabbing some Deathcharger's Reins or a Barov Peasant Caller along the way. Or you could trust in the power of the imba and try hitting Hellfire Peninsula straight up at 57.

Then again, this is Beta, so they could always just switch things up, add a few more levels gained in Ebon Hold, maybe. Still, it's likely we'll still have a while to go before we can hit all the new stuff, regardless. So if you're rolling a Death Knight, how are you planning to start the level grind?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Leveling, Alts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight starting cinematic unveiled

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With Death Knights getting their own starting zone and their own heroic storyline, it was often wondered whether they'd share the same opening cinematic as their individual races. We have the answer now: They do get their own unique cinematic, shown above.

There's two major things I took away from the cinematic. First, it gives a solid origin story for Death Knights: You were apparently slain in combat with the Scourge, but raised to become a Death Knight. So the ideal of the PC Death Knight seems to be a hero who was made an unwilling victim, which makes the fact that he or she is welcomed back by the Horde or Alliance possibly much more believable. As you awaken as a fresh level 55, you are also apparently still under the thrall of the Lich King, which should make for an epic newbie zone experience as you struggle to regain your freedom.

Secondly, the opening cinematic has a wonderfully ominous picture of Acherus, the Ebon Hold, home of the Death Knights, looming above Light's Hope Chapel -- a perfect setup for the coming war with the Scourge, that drives home how immediate the threat is.

Oh, and do be cautious, this cinematic has a high chance of getting you way too fired up to play a Death Knight.

[via Deathknight.info]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: General Impressions


We learned at the Q&A panel on Saturday that Death Knights will be starting at a new area just off Eastern Plaguelands called Ebon Hold, but for now, it remains unimplemented. Thus, these demo Death Knights start at Tirion Fordring's house in the west of Eastern Plaguelands.

On Death Knight Gear and Gear Mechanics:

They start with a complete outlay of green gear with DPS Warrior type stats: strength, agility, critical strike rating, and stamina. Their sword itself is blue quality 2 hander named the Massacre Sword. It does 127-191 damage at at a speed of 3.1 seconds, giving it 51.3 DPS. It also provides 22 strength and 23 hit rating.

It should be noted that the gear did not have spellpower, and it doesn't look like Death Knights will need it at all. Almost every spell that did magic damage specifically stated that the damage was modified by attack power. This is perfectly in line with Blizzard's recent trend to simplify and consolidate gear, which they discussed in relation to Retribution Paladins at Saturday's class panel. Perhaps we'll even see this mechanic show up on other magical melee hybrids in the future.

The Death Knight came loaded with 6 runes on their rune weapon bar: 2 Blood Runes, 2 Unholy Runes, and 2 Frost Runes. Talents points were unavailable with this demo, although we could see the talent descriptions themselves.

Death Knight Starting Spells and Playstyle:

The Death Knights started with a few basic skills:

Blood presence:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Description: Strengthens the Death Knight with the presence of blood, increasing damage done by 15% and healing the Death Knight by 4% of damage dealt. Only one presence may be active at a time.

Blood Strike:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Melee range
Description: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 60% weapon damage plus 55 for each disease effect on the target.

Icy Touch:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Instant cast, 6 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Deals 217 to 235 Frost damage modified by attack power and reduces the target's ranged, melee attack, and casting speed by 15% for 20 seconds.

Death Coil
Requires Level 55
Requires Runic Power
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description:Unleashes all available runic power, causing up to 460 shadow damage modified by attack power to an enemy target or healing up to 460 damage from a friendly undead target.

Death Gate
Requires Level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
10 second cast, 15 minute cooldown
Description: Returns you to Ebon Hold (Note: Since Ebon Hold is not yet implemented, in the demo it returned you to Tirion Fordring).

Death Grip
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 35 second cooldown.
30 yard range
Description: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 seconds.

Plague Strike
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune and 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
Melee range
Description: A vicious strike that deals weapon damage plus 37 and plagues the target, dealing 350 shadow damage over 12 seconds.

Casting these spells uses up the listed runes, which have a cooldown of 10 seconds. Our (lucky) play tester reported that the system felt a bit like having 3 seperate mana pools with their own spells, but that the pacing seemed to work well, and that she was now interested in actually trying one out in when beta rolls around where she hadn't been before.

Introducing the Knights of the Ebon Hand

After roaming about a bit and killing stuff, Elizabeth stumbled upon Light's Hope Chapel. This venerated base of the Argent Dawn had some new guests known as the Knights of the Ebon Hand, lead by a night elf named Siouxsie the Banshee, a Death Knight trainer. It's likely, of course, that these NPCs will be gone and moved to Ebon Hold once it's implemented, but for now, they gave us a sneak peek at the new Death Knight faction and some of the spells Death Knights will get post-55.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Expansions, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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