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Posts with tag exploration

CM Crithto sends players on an Easter egg hunt

CM Crithto Challenges you!
Blizzard CM Crithto has temporarily abandoned his laps of Stormwind Keep to lay down a challenge in the forums. A few days ago, player Carianate posted a great thread discussing all the Easter eggs and little surprises they'd found while out exploring Pandaria as they waited for their queues to pop.

CM Crithto then popped his head into the thread to lay down a challenge to its readers:
Any of you explorers find the in-game reference to something that happened in the Mists of Pandaria trailer?

WoW Insider is way ahead of the game on this little challenge, which even has an achievement associated with it, Restore Balance. Our very own Anne Stickney wrote a guide to completing the achievement, so huge detail here isn't necessary, and I don't want to completely spoil Crithto's challenge for those who haven't found this yet! Suffice it to say that it's well worth doing, it's a wonderful view, and it's really fun to head up there and see Pandaria just as it was in the trailer.

What cool little things have you found? What fun little easter eggs have surprised and delighted you? If you're looking for pop culture references, and aren't the sort to go exploring the world without a map, the lovely Panser put a video guide together for people just like you.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Where in Warcraft: The difficult balance edition

Where in Warcraft The difficult balance edition!
It is a difficult balance, you know, writing a guessing game like this. It's a bit like the difficult balance facing developers of computer games. You don't want to make a challenge so utterly impossible that the majority of people feel excluded, but neither do you want to make it so easy that everyone guesses it within a few seconds! But who am I kidding -- I'm not Blizzard!

I am, however, impressed with your speed and accuracy in guessing the last Where in Warcraft installment. DavidSikes, almost to my annoyance, had it within moments of posting! Good job, DavidSikes. You win a cave near Ahn'Qiraj and the respect of the girl who writes this feature. (The last one is a rather dubious reward, let me tell you.)

Anyhow, as the Foo Fighters sang in All My Life, on, on, on to the next one. The above screenshot was kindly submitted by Trakand of The Maelstrom (EU). Thanks very much, Trakand. And before you yell "faction bias," this scene is out in the world for anyone to find. And that's all I'm saying about it. Or it'll be guessed in all of three seconds again.

So you know the rules: I have to be able to find my way to this location with your instructions. I'm also adding a new rule to avoid situations like we had a while ago: Your guess has to be in a new post, not a reply to another post. Otherwise, it's impossible for me to know who guessed first! That leads to unfair decisions, and nobody likes those.

In other news, in England, Where's Waldo? is called Where's Wally?

There's so much in Azeroth (and Outland!) just waiting to be found. Tip us off. If you've found a fabulously quirky landmark, hidden treasure, or special hideaway somewhere in Warcraft, drop me a line at with your screenshot. You could be featured in a future edition of Where in Warcraft!

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

Mists of Pandaria beta: New achievements weave together exploration and lore

There seems to be something different about exploration achievement in Mists of Pandaria, and it's different in a really amazing way. To date, all exploration achievements in WoW have involved simply uncovering areas on your map. While that's fine for viewing scenery, it lacks a certain something, doesn't it? Well, the exploration achievements in Pandaria are taking a wholly different path. Hidden away in different areas of Pandaria are shrines like the one pictured above. Each tells a different piece of a story, and each piece that you find unlocks part of the overall achievement.

These don't quite seem to be a replacement for uncovering zone maps so much as an addition to them. The stories found in the different areas involve various parts of Pandaria's history. Considering the fact that Pandaria's been shrouded in mists for 10,000 years, we don't really know a lot of that history at all. These shrines and their associated achievements are a wonderful way for lore hounds out there to find out all they can about Pandaria's past.

What's more interesting is that there seems to be a new tracker for multi-objective achievements like this one. Each time you find a shrine, a faint window will pop up and notify you that you've completed a step in the achievement's objective. Once it's completed in full, you'll get the full-on burst of light that you usually see with an achievement's success.

This is a great way to integrate lore and exploration into something new and fun for players that really love the lore of the game. While these achievements are all marked as Not Yet Implemented, they seem to be tracking progress already. The one and only plaintive request I have is that completing these achievements give the player a specific reward -- a book that contains the full story that they've just completed discovering. What can I say? I like books!

Whether or not these achievements will actually be implemented is up in the air, but I hope that they are. Searching for hidden shrines has become just as much fun as questing through the zones themselves.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Did flying mounts ruin Azeroth?

The question of whether flying mounts may have ruined Azeroth is a hard question for me to even posit, because I love flying mounts. I love being able to fly right over things that annoy me, drop right in on quest objectives and soar right out again. I loved that we could finally fly in Azeroth when Cataclysm shipped, and I was absolutely in favor of being able to use my flying mount to skip over stuff I disliked when questing and leveling up.

But it's worth considering: Did that convenience that I so love come at too high a cost? Did being able to fly over obstacles keep me from appreciating how much detail went into the zones? Did it ruin world exploration, something that a lot of players got a lot of enjoyment out of for a great deal of vanilla WoW's run? Did incorporating flying mounts into Azeroth, in addition to forcing a complete redesign of the world, also end up stripping out interesting and cool places you had to really work at to find and visit? Let's discuss the pros and cons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

A spoiler-free look at the Mists of Pandaria beta

Are you in the beta for Mists of Pandaria yet? Are you fastidiously avoiding spoilers about all beta-related content? As a site that covers Warcraft news, you'll find more often than not that we have a lot of content up on the site that could be considered spoilers. And if you're someone who's avoiding all that spoiler content, it can get a little frustrating to have to keep scrolling past all that information -- or even more frustrating, dealing with the temptation that all of the spoiler information you could ever want to indulge, just behind that click.

Well, that's not what this article is about. It's about the beta, but it's a spoiler-free look at the beta. You'll see some screenshots, but mostly what you'll be reading is what the beta is like. No spoilers of cool story information or anything of that nature here -- just information on Mists, how it looks, how it's shaping up, and what to expect in the event that you do get a beta invite and would like to indulge.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

The Classifieds: She'll be coming 'round the mountain

The Classifieds brings you weekly news from around the WoW community, including your shout-outs to perpetrators of the famous Random Acts of Uberness.

Have you ever wondered what lies on the other side of the mountain? What's going on down there below your flight-path flyover? Wonder no more: The Glitch Hunters have arrived to show you the unspoiled areas of vanilla WoW in all their pre-expansion glory. Contrary to their name, The Glitch Hunters explore entirely on live servers with no exploits or trickery. They use simple tactics to gain access to difficult-to-reach areas, including Levitate, Slow Fall, vehicle mounts, Death Grip and the liberal use of pally bubbles. "We're traversing the continents and documenting all the weird and unique landscapes and borked terrain before the Cataclysm revision hammer destroys them for good," explains Glitch Hunter Alyssa of Dawnbringer (US). Explore the entire series -- now some six episodes deep -- on The Explorers League YouTube channel.

If the scenery of classic WoW leaves you feeling nostalgic, wander through our growing collection of galleries devoted to zones that will soon feel the sweeping hand of the approaching Cataclysm: Undercity, Scholomance, Eye of Eternity, Shattrath City, Sunwell Plateau, Azshara, Tirisfal, Redridge, Stranglethorn Vale, Western Plaguelands, Quel'danas, Trial of the Crusader, Deadwind Pass, Teldrassil, Tanaris, Blackrock Mountain, Thunder Bluff, Feralas, Mulgore, Moonglade, Ironforge, Westfall, Darnassus, Thousand Needles.

Vanilla WoW holds many charms -- but if it's more current news you're after, let's crack open The Classifieds!

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Filed under: Guilds, The Classifieds

Missing help for World Explorers

This post by homestar over on WoW Ladies LJ reminds me of an issue we'd let drop by the wayside: where exactly is that help that World Explorers were supposed to get? Right now, as you move around the world trying to pick up the World Explorer achievement (and title), there's no real way to tell exactly what places you've explored and which you haven't. Obviously, the map colors in as you wander around, but it's not so granular that you can tell exactly where you need to go, so if there's only one small location you have to visit, as with homestar, you end up wandering around desperately trying to find that one little place you haven't hit yet.

The good news is that Blizzard already mentioned we would get help for this. The bad news is that it was over a year ago. Bornakk said that we'd have a way to tell on the map just where locations had been discovered and where they hadn't been seen yet, but since then we haven't really heard anything more about it. Obviously, a few things have been added to the maps, including quest icons, and instance maps have been added as well, but where's the Explorer help?

At this point. you have to think that Blizzard has moved on -- maybe whatever update Bornakk was hinting at did make it into the game and we just didn't notice it. But more likely, they couldn't figure out a good way to do this, didn't have a lot of call for it, and decided to spend the time on something else. Especially with the upcoming revamp of old maps, maybe we'll see maps that are a little more helpful in terms of getting the full Explorer achievement.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Achievements

The Queue: Where's my bailout Blizzard?

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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Dear Blizzard,

I've spent the past year and a half writing about WoW. I need some gold. Can you bail me out?

I can provide you with a promise I'll restructure my daily questing and resource farming, providing a leaner and meaner gold flow for my raiding activities. But I'm going to need some start up help.



P/S: If I don't get my gold bailout, I'll Blame Canada and not you (which happens to be today's music selection).

Athinah asked...

"I'm so happy that signs of the new druid forms are coming out but...When exactly are they coming out? Is there a chance that they could come out sooner if Blizzard finishes them sooner? If not, what are the chances of the next patch coming out in a month or so?"

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Ziebart vs Sacco

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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Sometimes late at night when the sun is down and the moon is up, the writers at WoW Insider sit around the campfire and talk about things. Weird things. Like owning a pet snake and cat at the same time (Sacco), or how putting together a desk can be a pain (Alex). More and more often these days there has been a little friendly feud going on between Alex and Sacco. You can read their little quips at each other over a few posts. So today in the Queue I want to ask you: who would win in a writer cage match? Alex Ziebart or Mike Sacco?

Who wins the cage match: Ziebartis or Saccocis?
Alex "The Cheese Head" Ziebart1765 (46.9%)
Mike "The Talbuk" Sacco2000 (53.1%)

Also, I'd like to thank all of you who left questions not about the crazy delicious Hawaiian Pizza yesterday. You gave me something to work with!

Blinger asked...

"Will the emblems of Heroism be really useless now? If there is no more badge gear I need, have plenty of Frozen Orbs I can throw a stick at, is there going to be any point in me ever doing the current Wrath heroics again other than just to help out mates all of which are in the same boat anyway? Or will it be likely that there will be some form of Heroism to Valor exchange?"

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Filed under: The Queue

10 easy Northrend achievements

Northrend is finally available, and it seems like everyone is out in full force. There are so many new things to do and see that it might be pleasantly overwhelming at the moment.

In order to help you find some direction, I've put together a list of 10 easily attainable achievements that you can earn in the next few days while questing. These are along the way, so you won't have to break your stride. Many can even be achieved today.

1. Train one of your professions! A skill of 350 in any of your professions will open up the ability to train Grand Master, which will award you with the achievement, Professional Grand Master. Check out our guide to finding your profession trainers.

2. Most level 70s will have at least two professions with a minimum skill of 350 by this point, so why not train them both to Grand Master? This will give you the achievement, Working Day and Night.

3. If you have leveled Fishing, First Aid and Cooking to at least 350, and train their Grand Master ranks, you will earn the achievement, Skills to Pay the Bills.

If you haven't, but would like to, then check out our guide to leveling Fishing to 375 as well as Cooking to 375. First Aid should be a breeze, as all you need is cloth! Still, should you find yourself at a loss, check out our Guide to Farming Cloth.

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Filed under: Features, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

MapWoW maps Northrend

MapWoW is one of my favorite WoW resources online. I have to admit, I don't use it as much as some other helpers, but it's really well done -- someone put the Azeroth map inside the Google Maps interface, and added herbs, ores, flight paths and everything else you need to find on the map. If you've ever asked "where can I find..." in a chat channel, odds are that MapWoW had the answer already.

And now they've got Northrend in the mix, ready to go for your exploring needs. It's a little spoilery, actually -- a pretty detailed bird's-eye view of all the new content in the expansion. They do have flight paths included, but they don't quite have herbs and ores uploaded yet -- we're told they'll be in soon.

Don't get me wrong -- there's definitely something to be said for exploring: pretty soon, we'll have tagged and catalogued every single mob up there, so it is fun to just run around now while it's all still a new world. Don't depend on maps right away, because you never know what might be just around the corner in the land of the Lich King. But if you need it, there's your map.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Expansions, Guides, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: A glimpse of Wintergrasp

{Warning: This video contains WotLK spoilers.)

I'm a little hesitant to feature anything by Devlin. The last time I blogged one of his movies, Vimeo made the announcement that they were removing gameplay videos. Let's hope that he has better luck with Veoh!

Wintergrasp - First Glimpse is a Wrath of the Lich King beta exploration video from build 8770. Devlin checks out some of the vehicles and takes them for a spin. Whether you're into the catapult-like features of the Demolisher, or the circular saw-wielding robotic features of the Shredder, one thing is for certain -- there's something for everyone. While not the most polished production, it's nice to see some of the newest toys in Wintergrasp!


If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: The Black Temple and the Battle for Mount Hyjal

Fanatik, a Blizzard devotee (or, as rumor has it, something else beginning with dev at Blizzard), posts a seven-minute preview of his final Exploration movie, due out on the 16th. Since most of us have plans for the 16th that don't involve watching movies on Youtube, we'll have to be content with the preview for now. Luckily it's a good preview that shows both the interior of Illidan's Black Temple and Archimonde at the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Check out the somewhat amusing in-development sequence at the end!

Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade

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