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Posts with tag garrosh-hellscream

Know Your Lore: Requiem for innocence lost

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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.
Two households, both alike in dignity (In fair Verona, where we lay our scene), From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
I have to admit it -- Siege of Orgrimmar is one hell of a raid. Not only is it full of epic encounters, but there are little moments of lore sprinkled throughout the raid, for those that pay attention. In this, the final raid of Mists of Pandaria, we see our fair share of loose ends wrapped up, and learn the fates of many of the cast of characters that we've helped throughout our journeys in Pandaria.

Of course we have Lorewalker Cho, there for the last raid just as he was there by our sides in the first. And we find out what happened to Taran Zhu after the Siege of Orgrimmar cinematic, in which he confronted Garrosh Hellscream. Yet there are other pandaren involved in Alliance and Horde affairs -- pandaren played by people like you and I, who came from a Wandering Isle, not so long ago. And that story, too, reaches an end of sorts ... and not the kind ending we might have hoped for.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for events that take place within the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The future of the Horde

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.

It's been an interesting couple of expansions for the Horde. Cataclysm saw Warchief Thrall step down from the leadership role that players were accustomed to, and appoint Garrosh Hellscream as Warchief in his stead. Mists of Pandaria saw Hellscream take that leadership role to an extreme that resulted in all-out war between Alliance and Horde, with the pandaren and the continent of Pandaria unceremoniously chucked into the middle of it all. Hellscream's reign has been brought to an end in patch 5.4 -- but where does this leave the Horde?

Warchief Hellscream's notorious visions of a new future ended up dividing the Horde, and his caustic treatment of the non-orc races drove a wedge into the faction that ultimately culminated in the events of 5.4. The end of his stint as Warchief brought about a new leader ... but what comes after the dust has settled? Will the Horde recover from the damage done by Hellscream? And what does the future of the Horde hold, now that Hellscream's reign is over?

Please note: There are spoilers for patch 5.4 immediately following the break. If you are avoiding spoiler content for the Siege of Orgrimmar, run away!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Siege of Orgrimmar and the world of the idea

Siege of Orgrimmar and the ideas we experience in World of Warcraft
Last night while raiding Orgrimmar, specifically while coming into the gates of the city past the Iron Juggernaut, I had this intense feeling of recognition layered with the discontinuity changes bring. It's a similar feeling to when you go back to the city or town you grew up in after a few years. Things have changed, but you still recognize most of it - tiny flashes of memory jump out, saying (in this case) "Hey, remember hovering over Grommash Hold in your flying mount waiting for raid" and then "This was always my favorite Auction House, I wonder if I left anything up before I switched factions" but at the same time the cages and wandering Kor'kron mobs lent a surreal air to the whole experience.

I'd spent the whole night distracted anyway by the little touches of the raid so far - the fight with the Fallen Protectors started a chain of thought that stayed with me. These people were dead because, in part, of actions I'd taken while I was playing as Horde. After all, I stood next to Garrosh in the Shrine of Two Moons as he said that he would learn from the mogu. I helped him steal the Divine Bell from Darnassus. I watched him use it on Ichi, discarding a loyal servant like a broken toy when it didn't work. And more of course - I served Hellscream in breaching the Jade Forest, bringing the war that my faction was waging to foreign shores, and disrupted the cycle of rebirth for the Jade Serpent, loosing the Sha upon the forest. I snuck into Theramore and freed the Horde agent who helped keep Alliance civilians in the city for the bomb to destroy.

Now of course, I didn't actually do any of those things because it is a game. Garrosh Hellscream is a voice actor's craft and a mass of pixels reading lines written by Blizzard's team of writers. What I find interesting, and overlooked at times by players like myself, is the opportunity to muse on the ideas presented to us by the game. What would it be like to return to Orgrimmar as a soldier invading it? What would it feel like to bear a certain responsibility for the ruin of a peaceful valley, the destruction of people who had only sought to protect their home? To see a beautiful land scarred by a monstrous act, and know that the act couldn't have happened without your assistance, however small, and however deeply you regretted it? For me, part of the fun of playing the game is in thinking differently than I usually do, to explore the ideas presented by the story as I move through it. I mean, at one point we actually have to kill pride. That's the subtext leaping forth from the head of the text, that is.

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

Know Your Lore: The History of the Warchief

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.

This post exists because of the massive spoilers in this link, but the post itself will be spoiler free. As long as you don't click on that spoiler-heavy link, you will not see any spoilers in this post. (Edit - actually, there's one spoiler at the very end of the post - it's clearly marked as such, and it is a minor spoiler at best, but it is there. Let that guide your actions.) Instead, we're going to talk about the position of Warchief - how it came to be, how it evolved and then devolved, and how Garrosh Hellscream's reign as Warchief set the stage for what could be a completely new direction for his successor (whose identity I will not discuss).

The position of Warchief actually began as a complete figurehead, and the first orc to hold that position, Blackhand the Destroyer, was placed in that position due to his combination of physical fearsomeness and egocentric self-aggrandizement - so easily was he misled and directed by Gul'dan, head of the Shadow Council and architect of the Horde, that he never once proved himself a threat sufficient for Gul'dan to ever consider replacing him. It's not that Blackhand was either a fool or an idiot, he was in fact a canny tactician and a respected warrior. He simply believed his own hype - so convinced was he in his own superiority that when Gul'dan presented to him that he would be a respected equal and his position as Warchief would be one of real power, he believed it, because he believed in himself. Throughout the war with the draenei and later, the invasion of Azeroth, Blackhand ruled as Warchief and allowed himself to listen to Gul'dan's words - allowed himself to listen because they were telling him what he wanted to hear.

Even as the humans balked the orcs, and Blackhand's series of victories became defeats, he continued to listen to Gul'dan. This would be his downfall.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Dear Jaina Proudmoore

Dear Jaina
Dear Jaina,

I'm not in the habit of writing letters to fictional characters, but in the face of what we've all seen yesterday, it seemed like as good a time as any to start. Look, I realize this is going to be hard to accept, but your fate isn't exactly in your hands. What you want, and what you'll get, are two entirely different things -- and it might not be fair. It might not be particularly right. It certainly isn't going to feel very good, but the influence you hold only goes so far. And in this case, you can't exactly order around a king.

But let's look beyond that for a second, all right? Because honestly, you seem to be more than a little irritated, justified or not. And I remember who you used to be, a long time ago. I remember a lady who was a bastion of rational thinking, one who looked before she leapt, made sound judgments, and realized that in this big, wide, crazy world of Azeroth, things aren't always black and white, good and evil. Sometimes, most of the time in fact, they lay somewhere in between.

So I'm wondering, Lady Proudmoore -- who are you?

This post contains huge spoilers for patch 5.4, including the end cinematic for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Reader beware!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

WoW Insider talks 5.4 with 3D artist Fanny Vergne-Vicente

WoW Insider talks 54 with 3D artist Fanny VergneVicente
Patch 5.4 is here, and those that aren't gallivanting around the Timeless Isle have likely already taken their first steps into the Siege of Orgrimmar. The boss fights are exciting enough on their own, not to mention the awesome loot waiting to be found in the depths of the newest raid. But what many players don't think so much about is the raid itself. I'm not talking about the bosses or the mechanics of the encounter, but the actual bits and pieces that make up the space in which we're destroying all those new bad guys.

We've had plenty of developer interviews leading up to patch 5.4, but Blizzard was kind enough to give us an interview of a different sort. 3D artist Fanny Vergne-Vicente is one of the many artists at Blizzard that helped put together the Siege of Orgrimmar raid from the ground up, designing textures for everything you'll see while you're merrily murdering Garrosh -- the walls, floors, spikes, and everything else that makes the encounter come to life. We had a brief chat with Fanny about just what a 3D artist at Blizzard does, and what it was like bringing the Siege of Orgrimmar to life.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews

Enter to win World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

Enter to win World of Warcraft Bloodsworn
Patch days full of new content to play are always good, but why don't we make this patch day just a little bit better? We've got not one, but two copies of World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn to give away, and today seems like the best day to do it! This brand-new graphic novel from DC Comics follows the adventures of a motley group of individuals brought together under the banner of the Horde. Written by Doug Wagner and featuring artwork by Jheremy Raapack, the book clocks in at a solid 152 pages jammed full of action.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got a couple of these graphic novels to give away. Take a look at our spoiler-free review if you'd like more information on the graphic novel -- while the events in the story take place shortly after Cataclysm, the book is very much worth the read and an even better addition to your bookshelf.

Interested? To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, September 17, 2013. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Two winners will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.


Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Blizzard presents Siege of Orgrimmar raid preview with Ion Hazzikostas


If you've managed to avoid spoilers, then don't read this post over at Blizzard's official site, because it goes into great detail on what the big patch 5.4 raid is all about, complete with commentary with Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas. If, however, you're like me and you just can't get enough detail on this kind of thing, then here are a few details from the long overview I found particularly interesting. Each and every one of them is a spoiler, so be warned.
  • The first encounter, Immerseus, is one that us old players "may find the fight structure somewhat reminiscent of Viscidus in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj."
  • The Galakras encounter is rooted in the lore of the Twilight Highlands quests Horde side, and also has that storming the beaches feel to it, with multiple waves of enemies to deal with before the boss himself.
  • When talking about the Dark Shaman encounter, Ion says "The attire for these two wolfriders was inspired by the traditional Warcraft III Shaman unit, and we're excited to be able to give lucky Shaman players a chance to earn that look for themselves by defeating this encounter." He's specifically talking about these.
  • The Spoils of Pandaria encounter isn't a fight with a traditional 'boss' as such, but rather your raid trying to shut down a 'security system' before it overwhelms you.
  • The Garrosh Hellscream encounter is definitely going to hearken back to Pandaria itself - "As Garrosh wields the power of Y'Shaarj-origin of all the sha-players must battle through some of the most memorable locations where the sha manifested in Pandaria"
There's a lot of detail to sift through, so again, if you're the curious type definitely take a look at the post. I'll be scouring it over and over again over the next few days.

Filed under: Blizzard, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

I won't cry for you, Garrosh Hellscream

Garrosh Hellscream
We stand on the edge of patch 5.4 -- Orgrimmar is about to be invaded, and Garrosh Hellscream is about to be dethroned and likely killed. The decision to make a playable faction's leader the end boss of an expansion is a pretty surprising one, and as is to be expected, has been met with mixed feelings from many among the player base, myself included. I admit, Garrosh holds a very special place in my heart. Back at the end of 2009, Blizzard called me up and asked if I would be willing to write his leader story, to hopefully give some more depth to a character who was at the time much maligned. The prospect was incredibly daunting, and I was terrified, but keen for a challenge, I agreed.

As often happens when you spend enough time getting into the head of a character or two (or more), that fictional person begins to grow on you. When I started Heart of War I will admit I had little love for the younger Hellscream. I thought him brash, full of himself, and woefully ignorant of Azeroth. But I went into the story production armed with the following philosophy: everyone is the protagonist of their own story. As such, I was determined to give Garrosh, as my Australian husband sometimes quips, a fair shake of the sauce bottle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The mysterious disappearance of Varian Wrynn

Know Your Lore The mysterious disappearance of Varian Wrynn
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.

As a leader of the kingdom of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn's track record leaves much to be desired. Swayed by tragedy and the sneaky, manipulative claws of a particularly clever black dragon, Varian was completely out of the picture in vanilla, at which point the surrounding human territories began a decline from which they have yet to fully recover. Varian returned in Wrath, and promptly began the campaign to wipe out the Lich King, sending his best soldiers north.

While the campaign in Northrend was successful, we also saw the beginnings of the clashes between Varian and the Horde -- clashes that would continue in Cataclysm, and ramp up with alarming speed in Mists of Pandaria. Or ... that's what we thought we'd see. In truth, Varian's spent much more of this expansion absent than he has being a driving force for the Alliance. Where has Varian been, and what has he been doing?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Bloodsworn graphic novel now available

Bloodsworn
Lore fans will likely be happy to hear that Bloodsworn, the companion graphic novel to Dark Riders, is now available. While Dark Riders, released earlier this year, told the story of the eponymous Dark Riders we met through quests in Darkshire, Bloodsworn is the tale of a small band of disparate Horde warriors determined to prove their worth to their new warchief: Garrosh Hellscream.

Yes, the graphic novel requires going back in time just a tad; it's set shortly after the start of Cataclysm, and as our own Anne Stickney pointed out in her review it invites a bit of wistful nostalgia as a result. Depending on your perspective you may or may not enjoy that aspect of it. Nonetheless, if you're a fan of Blizzard's ancillary products, it's certainly worth checking out. You can grab it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Blizzard Store.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Review of World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

Review of World of Warcraft Bloodsworn
Much like its counterpart Dark Riders, World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn is long, long overdue. Luckily, those that have been waiting for the new graphic novel from writer Doug Wagner don't have long to wait -- Bloodsworn will be released next Tuesday, August 27. While Dark Riders tackled some of the Alliance characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the Warcraft comic series, Bloodsworn tackles the Horde characters introduced in the final edition.

Although Dark Riders dove headfirst into familiar waters for those that follow Warcraft lore, Bloodsworn takes a different road entirely, giving us a behind the scenes glimpse of Garrosh's Horde. Taking place shortly after Cataclysm, Bloodsworn follows the tale of several different Horde characters, brought together and united to investigate and uncover the motives and actions of a seemingly new breed of centaur that are intent on wiping the Horde from the face of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Stormwind Harbor just fine in patch 5.4

Stormwind Harbor will be just fine in patch 54
Players may recall datamined spoiler images and videos from earlier this month, indicating a particularly disturbing fate was in store for the Stormwind Harbor in patch 5.4. The datamined information suggested that the Harbor and possibly more of Stormwind would be under direct attack from Horde forces and possibly ruined -- a low blow to the Alliance that are still diligently working on repairing the damage from Deathwing's attack in Cataclysm. But it's okay. You can breath a sigh of relief courtesy of Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, who clarified this information on Twitter earlier today.


Don't worry, citizens of Stormwind -- your city appears to be safe and sound. You're just looking at the optimistic visions of an overly enthusiastic megalomanical warlord bent on global domination and the onset of racial supremacy. That's ... comforting, right? Either way, you can look forward to punching Garrosh in the face in patch 5.4, ruining any and all plans, or dream boards, that Warchief Hellscream was constructing.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: A Precarious Position Part 1 - Horde

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.

Things are about to get much worse.

- Deathbringer Saurfang

On the surface of things, it seems like we may be about to turn the corner. Garrosh Hellscream's True Horde is about to face its enemies and the Warchief has alienated so many of his former allies that the Horde itself has erupted in civil war. But once we start thinking about the aftermath, it all starts to seem a little murkier.

After all, even though we know that there will apparently be a new warchief appointed after the fall of Hellscream, that won't immediately fix the tensions that led to the Horde making war on itself. Hellscream's former supporters won't just vanish - with the vast majority of orcs behind him, Hellscream's legacy is bound to continue and any new warchief is going to have to face those orcs who took up arms for the True Horde and come up with a way to re-integrate them into the Horde as a whole. Meanwhile, it's likely that those who supported the Darkspear Rebellion are going to want to see substantial changes made to the way the Horde functions - the orcish ideals of Lok'tar Ogar, of unquestioning loyalty to the warchief are by necessity broken now. The Horde of the future is a Horde that has survived a mutiny, has seen a leader deposed - it cannot be bound by tight-knit expectations of loyalty and honor. The blood elves and forsaken, tauren and goblins and trolls who had a hand in making the new warchief possible will have demands, and they're not all going to be possible to meet.

Meanwhile, the Alliance will have found itself in the position of kingmaker for its enemy. What does the future hold for Alliance/Horde relations? Will the Alliance forget the past several years of Horde aggression or will it demand concessions from its weakened enemy? And if Varian Wrynn doesn't take advantage of this moment to reclaim Azshara and Ashenvale, or Gilneas, what backlash will he have to face from within his own faction? Thanks in no small part to the threat of the Horde, Wrynn has found himself rising to the position of war-leader for the Alliance as a whole. But can he maintain that position with a much less threatening Horde, especially if he doesn't move to take advantage of its weakness?

Let's look at potential threats to any return to stability. This week, we'll discuss the forces at play within the Horde.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

Panser of TradeChat fame is back once more with the WoW Insider weekly news recap, and this week is all excitement as she speculates about the upcoming Siege of Orgrimmar raid complete with BoA heirloom drops from Garrosh and dreams of a level cap set to three digits. These weeks topics are heavily focused on patch 5.4 and include: If you like the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave comments, and tune in next week for a new episode!

Filed under: News items

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