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Posts with tag ebon-blade

The surreal concept of neutrality in Warcraft

Remember the Argent Crusade? It was a result of merging two factions -- the Argent Dawn, which spent its time in the Eastern Plaguelands trying to eradicate the Scourge, and the reformed Order of the Silver Hand, an Alliance order of paladins formed by Uther the Lightbringer and Alonsus Faol. The Argent Crusade accepted members of both Alliance and Horde who wanted to fight toward the Crusade's ultimate goal: the defeat of the Lich King. Today, the Argent Crusade sits in Hearthglen, working to restore the Western Plaguelands to their former beauty.

The Argent Crusade is just one of the neutral factions in WoW, along with the Cenarion Circle, the Shattered Sun Offensive, the Earthen Ring and many others. Chris Metzen spoke about the Argent Crusade and the concept of neutral factions in our Mists of Pandaria press event interview, citing the Argent Crusade as one of the neutral factions that just rang true, whereas the Shattered Sun Offensive simply didn't feel quite as emotional.

But here's the thing -- the Argent Crusade, while being very active in Wrath, is hardly doing anything at all in the Western Plaguelands. There's a fight for Andorhal going on on the Crusade's doorstep, but they aren't stepping in. The Forsaken -- members of the Horde -- are actively seeking out activities that look suspiciously like Scourge activity, even going so far as to recruit the val'kyr, former servants of Arthas.

So ... what gives?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Roleplaying plot points for the death knights of the Ebon Blade

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Death knights saw their introduction in Wrath of the Lich King, which was the only appropriate point for them to be introduced. Former servants of the Lich King, the death knight class as we see it in World of Warcraft has now broken free of his hold. The death knights that have broken free rejoined with their former comrades, either Alliance or Horde, but not without a struggle. As a class, the death knights are masters of undeath, using unholy, frost and blood powers against any who would stand against them.

But for roleplayers, the death knight offers a unique challenge. Here is a character who once had a life filled with hopes, dreams, aspirations and goals just like any other. But that character had his life taken from him abruptly and then found himself brutally ripped back to a mockery of his former self. It creates an interesting space in which one can play with the notion of what might have been, had you not been relegated to an unfortunate fate.

The playable death knights of WoW have their own organization, the Knights of the Ebon Blade. It was formed primarily to retaliate against the Lich King, which was taken care of in Wrath. So what are these knights up to today?

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 ret paladin

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons.

As I said last week, I'm looking for action screenshots of retribution and protection paladins. I've gotten a lot of good shots thus far and am always looking for more (especially you retribution paladins out there, as I got a ton of protection ones). They can be any level between 1 and 80. I'll be using these for header graphics like the one above. Please send those as well as any other comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

If you've been following the column recently, you've seen the three-part series we did on gearing up a brand new level 80 protection paladin. We're going to take the same approach now to the retribution tree and work our way through the different types of items. First up, we've got craftables and reputation items. We'll be taking a look at stuff you'll be able to grab in dungeons next week and finish up the week after with a run-through of what all you can buy with the badges you got from all of that time in the random dungeon finder.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Lore of Patch 3.3

In many ways Wrath of the Lich King can be considered the logical conclusion of one of WarCraft's major story lines. Arthas, the evil sovereign of the scourge, will meet his doom in Icecrown Citadel. Each Wrath patch up until now has lead to this defining moment -- the face off between Arthas and the players representing the next generation of heroes of Azeroth. Who will win? What happens after Arthas is defeated? Is Arthas defeated?

These questions lend themselves to a spectacular conclusion to a great tale. In The Lore of Patch 3.3, Michael Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and I will take a look at all the various plots, characters, and environments that lead up to this grand confrontation with the Lich King.

You'll want to know this story. You'll want to know this lore.

For when you finally face off against the wielder of the Frostmourne, you'll know why you're going toe-to-toe against him, and why your fate can make or break the very face of Azeroth.

This article, while containing essential lore, also contains heavy spoilers. Do not proceed if that bothers you.

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Filed under: Patches, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: How phasing could be used in-game

Phasing seems to be Blizzard's new favorite toy. It's being used be more and more as we progress through Wrath. From the Wrathgate to those annoying out of body/spirit quests in Zul'Drak, phasing is changing how we see Azeroth itself. But it strikes me there's once area where phasing should sometimes be used and isn't: bosses. Specifically I mean the big guys ... Kil'Jaeden, Illidan, Loken, Yoggy, Algalon and, of course, Arthas himself.

The logic here is simple, these are bosses key to game lore and killing them not only takes an enormous amount of effort (or in the case of Kil'Jaeden, banishing him back to where ever he came from) but it also has an effect on the world itself. Think of the impacts the events of the Sunwell had - phasing was never implemented there, and definitely should have been once Wrath was released.

Now I know you will be thinking: "Why should we only kill a boss once?" I'm not suggesting that once you kill the Lich King, for example, you are locked out of killing him again. Rather that his death triggers a change in Azeroth - which is where the phasing comes in. Icecrown Citadel could collapse or be recycled by other NPCs, such as the Ebon Blade. Once this happens, you could then walk in, click on an NPC and 'relive' the fight in the form of a new raid. The same thing could be done with the Sunwell, for example, and it could open up a new quest chain and further the game's lore in new and fantastic ways.

We've already seen how phasing can change Northrend, just look at how it's used post-Wrathgate. How do you think it could be used (particularly considering that the new expansion is called Cataclysm) to change how we play, the bosses we kill, and how we raid?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, NPCs, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

The Queue: Exploits and dirty cheats


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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

The video embedded in today's edition of The Queue isn't a silly music video this time around, I'm afraid. No funny business today. Today is for game faces. Today is for serious business. Today is for italic letters.

Sashay asked...

"I have found a glitch that has caused many people to have their hearts broken.

This glitch is the "underground" mining technique that people use so they will not be attacked by enemies. Does this happen because they found a "Under Stormwind" glitch somewhere in Northrend? Maybe they put their toon in the tourney castle before it was built and now they are under everything?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, The Queue

The Queue: There is a Cow Level


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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

There is no cow level.

Repeat that three times.

But if I was designing WoW I'd make sure there'd be some kind of cow level. After all who doesn't want to slaughter some bovines from hell?

Osul asked...

"What's a good reputation to grind for a newly 80 Ret Paladin?"

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Lore, Leveling, Inscription, The Queue

What If We Lost: An argument for losing a major lore-based battle

Warning: This article does contain spoilers for the Argent Coliseum Raid. If you want to be surprised, skip this article!

There's a pretty long thread going on in the General Forums right now that makes an interesting request of the dev team: Let us lose. The argument goes that we've been sort of steamrolling our way through massive challenges and insurmountable odds pretty much the whole raid game, and it's just getting boring. Nothing feels like a threat anymore. We know we're going to defeat it and move on. We need to shake things up.

The more I think about it, the more I like it. Why not let us be on the losing side, at least for a few patches? The Lich King himself could use a bit of help in that vein, for sure. The early leveling game did manage to conjure up a few heart-stopping moments where Arthas "let us win," but when it was time to take that to the next level, it seems like Blizzard's sort of backed off and gone stale. Now, we're holding a Ren Faire on his front lawn while his scourge mostly mills around aimlessly and doesn't make more than a token attempt to do anything threatening.

There would be no quicker way to get him to burst back on the scene by having him or one of his lieutenants deal us a devastating blow, one which we will find it hard to recover from.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, RP

Bolfang and the future of the Horde and the Alliance


Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Wrathgate in-game event.


So Callouse of Vashj posted a theory on the General Forums that is so elegant that I'm sort of ashamed I didn't think of it myself. At the Wrathgate, we know that Arthas absorbed the soul of Saurfang the Younger into his sword. Evidence also points to the idea that he stole Bolvar Fordragon's body. This has lead to rampant speculation that we will eventually fight one or both as thralls of the Lich King.

But Callouse posits that we may end up seeing one and both at once. That is, we'll see Saurfang the Younger's soul in Bolvar's body.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Bosses, RP, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Ask a Lore Nerd: Trollin'


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Hello, hello! In this week's edition of Ask a Lore Nerd, some of our questions are followups to our Fallout edition. If you find yourself confused by the premise of any of these questions, you might want to go back and read that one so you understand what caused these questions to come up.

Sweet Sweet SoulShards asked...


"Why is the undead all over Northrend glowing orange? Is there more of an answer than the lame 'It's a new plague?' "

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Filed under: Gnomes, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Ask a Lore Nerd: Yeah, I've been working out

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Last week I answered a question about the Kor'kron and I messed it up a wee bit, which I don't mind admitting. I said that the Kor'kron were all Orcs, but I didn't notice that in Wrath of the Lich King it actually includes a number of Trolls. The Kor'kron were originally only really seen in Thrall's throne room originally, they were his personal guard at the time and 100% Orcs. In Wrath, they've apparently spread out and include a couple of the other races as well.

So who makes up the Kor'kron? The Orcs primarily. Trolls secondary, and there are also a few Tauren and Taunka thrown in as well. I haven't seen any Undead or Blood Elves among the Kor'kron yet, they seem to keep to their own little militaries for now.

frostymage asked...

Why aren't the Knights of the Ebon Blade flying the Acherus to Northrend? It said in one of the DK starter quests that it could destroy Naxxramas.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Death Knight, Ask a Lore Nerd

Ask a Lore Nerd: The 7th Legion is cooler than you

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Another day with a load of Northrend questions! I like those sorts of questions, because they're relevant right now, but don't be afraid to ask about older stuff, too! We're going to jump right in today, though.

gearwhizz
asked...

The Scarlets have a new class of Raven Priests who carry Terrok's Shadowstaff, cast shadowy magic and are accompanied by flocks of birds; is there any other connections between them and the Skettis, is it a red herring or should I wait and see?

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Filed under: Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

The Queue: Legendaries are for suckers


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.

What? Me lace a post title with jealousy? I would never do that! Never ever! Okay, okay, maybe there's some jealousy there. Can you blame me? Screw purps, I want me some orange. Orange is where it's at, cat.

erogroth
asked...

I have a question about legendary items. Do we know what Legendary items are planned for WotLK? Are there currently any in the game? If not what are planned for the future or can we speculate? It sounds like Ashbringer will not be a item that a player will be able to get. Is that true? Also, what about upgrade quest for old world legendary items. It seems like so much work went into getting them (Thunderfury anyone?) that it seems a shame that they are worthless.

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Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Ask a Lore Nerd: More Scourge love


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

We seem to be plagued with Scourge and Lich King sorts of questions lately, but that's to be expected. We're all playing Wrath of the Lich King, so it's far more likely we'll get Scourge questions than, say... Naga questions. I welcome your love of undeath with open arms.

Nic asked...

What do the tally marks on Highlord Bolvar's shield represent? Battles? Years in exile? One night stands? Or are they there to just look cool?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Ask a Lore Nerd: Hail to the king


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Welcome back! This week we're mostly tilted toward Scourge questions, whereas just a few of weeks ago we were all dragons, all the time. Things just happen that way, I don't plan it! Really! Anyway, let's get this party started.

Promethus asked...

Does anyone actually know that Arthas merged with Ner'zhul? Any NPCs that is. Because there was no one besides those of the Legion like the Dreadlords and Kil'jadean who knew that the original Lich King was armor on a pedestal, everyone else like Thrall, Jaina, Rhonin, Bolvar, Wrynn, just know that Arthas was the one who marched to Icecrown and came back only to spread the plague and kill his father. No one but the player actually saw him walk up Icecrown Citadel and shatter Ner'zhul's prison.

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

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