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Posts with tag gruul

The Queue: Back in my day

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Time for an almost completely irrelevant history lesson, kids!
EWOKinLA asked:

I wonder how long it will take the playerbase to realize that without dalies, a significant source of gold making is gone from the game?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore: The meddling of the Mogu Part 1 - Saurok

Know Your Lore The meddling of the Mogu
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.

Our arrival on Pandaria is the first time we've encountered a race like the mogu. Not only have they displayed an alien and sinister form of magic that can warp flesh and impart life to inanimate objects (twisting and recombining souls in the process) but they've created at least two races to serve them. While we still don't know the origins of the pandaren (were they always there, were they created or twisted by the mogu, did their ancestors also stumble into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms) or how they ended up as slaves to the mogu, the grummle and saurok peoples and their origins are known to the Lorewalkers and can be found on shrines and in books throughout Pandaria.

What's fascinating to me is how the origins of these races demonstrate not only their own natures, but those of their creators. The mogu made the saurok as a caste of slave soldiers, yet failed to conceive of the notion that making a race of bellicose reptiles and arming them could possibly backfire on them. When the saurok eventually rebelled, the mogu were forced to destroy them by the scores, wiping out every saurok stationed in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, but in the end the saurok survived and their war against their creators weakened the mogu.

Even more interestingly, the mogu created the grummles as a wide ranging servitor race, demanding that they toil as conveyors of goods and serve as observant spies for their masters, yet never bothered to explain to the grummles exactly what spying entailed and who they should be watchful for, believing these things to be self evident. The creation of the grummles reveals that the mogu are incapable of understanding outlooks that are not their own, and automatically assume that their way of looking at the world is the only way of doing so.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Rexxar, Champion of the Horde

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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.

It's been a few years since we caught up with Rexxar, hasn't it? Despite the fact that he hasn't gotten any new screen time since he showed up to save Orgrimmar from the elemental invasion, Rexxar is on my mind of late. In truth, I pretty much covered Rexxar's life in broad strokes during the interbellum pieces The coming of Rexxar and Rexxar saves the Horde. This won't be a post rehashing all of that. We will discuss it, but in terms of what it means for the Horde right now and the Horde in the future.

With what we know about what's coming, the office of Warchief of the Horde will be contested. It's likely that Thrall may return to assume the mantle of Warchief again. But frankly, his time as World Shaman means that he has assumed a far greater and more demanding responsibility, that Thrall has Azeroth as his responsibility and his charge. Can he truly be both? And more importantly, should he? Whether or not you believe Thrall is the ultimate choice for Warchief of the Horde, I posit that he never would have endured in the role without the help of others, those who could be the mailed fist he could never truly be.

Before Varok Saurfang and Garrosh Hellscream led Horde forces to Northrend, one figure strode across the face of Kalimdor and beyond it, and through his actions defeated Theramore and saved the Horde. That one figure was Rexxar, born to the Mok'Nathal clan, a beastmaster of half-ogre descent. For his actions, he was named Champion of the Horde.

And the Horde sorely needs its champion again.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The missed opportunity of 20-man raiding

With the release of the Raid Finder and the recent changes to valor points, the debate about 10- vs. 25-man raiding, which is harder to run, and which is harder to balance rages on. I have friends on both sides of the 10/25 debate. I understand both points of view, and I think both are utterly wrong. Completely, absolutely wrong. The issue to me is when we went from 40-man raids down to the current raid sizes, the decision to offer 25-man raids didn't really work. I think we should have gone to 10- and 20-man raiding at the dawn of The Burning Crusade, and I still think we should.

We had 20-man raids back in classic WoW -- two of them, in fact, Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj. Neither exists as a 20-man raid any more, so this may seem odd to players who didn't raid then, but these were considered the small raids. People who had just spent hours raiding in Molten Core, Blackwing Lair or AQ40 would put together these runs on the fly to gear their alts or get a shot at off-spec loot, while other guilds that didn't have the numbers for 40-man raids would spend their time raiding these while trying to build up their numbers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What would the ultimate raid be?

I should probably asked "What would your ultimate raid be" instead but let's just run with it. For some people, Icecrown Citadel is the raid and the Lich King is the encounter they've been waiting for since WoW shipped. Arthas/The Lich King is on a lot of players' lists of favorite bad guy. For me, personally, there are a few contenders for 'Ultimate' raid status, as defined as both super-epic in lore and scope and the older definition of ultimate as the end. For me, if I ever get my ultimate raid, I may stop playing WoW.
  1. Deathwing. Frankly, if they do this fight the justice the character deserves, the fight will be so awesome that it may destroy my WoW installation upon finishing it. Deathwing is a character I've wanted to see more done with since our old days raiding BWL. I want cinematics, unique models, unique music, new mechanics, the works. I'm actually somewhat nervous about this character and hope his entrance in Cataclysm feels as portentous as it should.
  2. Sargeras. We've yet to actually see Sargeras himself in the game. His spirit is supposedly drifting in the Twisting Nether, unable to access his original form, so will we eventually end up fighting him twice? Will we have to try and stop him from reclaiming his original titanic form and power, and then fight him later once he does? And will we even be on Azeroth when the confrontation takes place, since for him to enter our world bodily seems to take a massive amount of power (see the original Well of Eternity)?
  3. Azshara. I really dig the Naga and I want to see more done with them. I know we'll have underwater cities and such in Cataclysm, but I'm eager to get to see the main event, so to speak. And Azshara ties well into the whole Sundering/Well of Eternity legacy which would make for all sorts of story hooks. I'm eager to see this character make an onscreen appearance in WoW.
  4. Someone new entirely. Old gods and established lore characters are great, but one of the things that Vanilla WoW did was provide us with new or expanded enemies to fight and I'd like to see more of that. Nefarian and Onyxia, Ragnaros, even C'Thun were all new to World of Warcraft itself (although the Black Dragonflight and Old Gods weren't.) There's no reason something else from the Twisted Nether or Great Dark Beyond couldn't menace Azeroth, or some mortal wizard or warrior couldn't acquire vast power and become a threat. The Lich King had ties to the previous two Warcraft games but was new at the same time. Let's see something like that happen again and an entirely new menace confront us.
  5. The Gronn. I kind of feel like the Gronn got short shrift in Burning Crusade. Here are these gigantic, semi-immortal beings of immense size and power, strong enough to go toe to toe with potent dragons and led by Gruul, who mysteriously has seven 'sons' (I can't tell Gronn genders, man, for all I know they use parthenogenesis to reproduce) each nearly as massive and vicious as he is. In Beyond the Dark Portal, Gruul is supposedly smart enough to know how to use the Alliance to help him defeat Deathwing, but in the game he's just kind of a drooling idiot. I'd enjoy a raid that dealt with the true origins of the ogres, their relation to the Gronn, and where the Gronn lords and Gruul actually came from.
So now we turn to you. What do you really want to raid? What raid would be your ultimate WoW experience?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Oh no, not again

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.

This is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end.*

dpoyesac asked...

"Every time I kill his son I forget to ask High Overlord Saurfang when the doors to the next wing will be down. Soon?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Mysterious twink rends worlds [UPDATED]

Our inbox has been absolutely flooded with reports of this mysterious twink, Aigni of Ner'zhul, that appeared on the official forums in the last 24 hours. If you look closely at his Armory, you'll notice some pretty big oddities. For one, the character is wielding a weapon he really shouldn't be able to have. Two, the character has some other items equipped that are normally far out of the reach of a level 10, such as the Violet Badge. Three, he has the achievement for downing Gruul the Dragonslayer.

A lot of people have called 'hax' on it, but how it went down was probably more innocent than that. Not completely, entirely innocent, but more innocent than hacking Blizzard's Gibson. Our first instinct when looking at the items is that he must have simply completed a few bugged quests that had no minimum level requirement. Looking at his achievements killed that theory pretty quickly, though. The sword he's wielding, the Combatant Greatsword, is from a quest in the Borean Tundra. According to his achievements, he's never been to the Borean Tundra.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Humor

Why "easy raids" are a good thing (for now)


I really didn't expect to be writing this. Like others, I was left a bit nonplussed at the seeming ease of early raiding content in Wrath, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like an interesting intersection of prudence, circumstances, and quite possibly some residual discomfort on Blizzard's part over how awful early BC raiding was. I don't think that the current "ease" of first-tier raid content in Wrath is a bad thing -- and I also don't expect future content to stay that way.

My guild cleared all of the 25-man raid content in Wrath within two weeks of the expansion's release. Naxxramas was easily the biggest non-surprise. Doing Naxx-25 in the company of people who know the place inside and out is a pretty straightforward and -- dare I say it -- easy process. This is even more true with players who learned the original Naxx at 70, with a much greater margin for error than they would have had at 60. Honestly? Most of the fights haven't changed to the point where you'd have to toss out your previous strategy and start all over again. A raid that saw Naxx at any point between 60 and 70 is effectively an old dog that doesn't have to learn a new trick.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Ready Check: A look back on Burning Crusade raiding



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we sing a swansong to TBC raiding in all its glory.

With less than a week to go before we all start frantically levelling and leaving Outland behind for good, let's not forget the ups and downs raiding during The Burning Crusade has brought us. From Attumen to Kil'jaeden, we've run the gamut of raiding, killing anything from pit lords to corrupted naaru with nary a blink.

We've shed blood and tears over rare drops, wiped countless times until the small hours, decked our alts out in epics and moved servers to find a better guild. We've rerolled, watched ourselves and our raid instances get nerfed, hung out in Shattrath showing off our gear, and gotten to grips with major class changes in the last two weeks. So let's look back...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Voidwalker tanks Illidan, for real this time


The other day, in response to a Hunter pet tanking Gruul, I posted a video of a Voidwalker tanking Illidan... almost. The Voidwalker survived most of phase one, which is quite nearly identical to all of the 'humanoid' phases, so to me that was good enough. It wasn't good enough for everyone though, so they're back with a video of the entire fight.

The Voidwalker tanks all of the phases except for the fire elemental phase, because that requires far more finesse than what you can do with a pet, or they can do on their own. The Voidwalker also didn't tank the demon phase, because there wasn't one. Their gear levels combined with the new talents of patch 3.0.2 and the added raid nerf let them beat the encounter without ever seeing an entire phase of it. That's like opening a bag of Runts to find out someone took all of the bananas. The bananas are the best part, you jerks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bosses

Hunter pet tanks Gruul the Dragonkiller


Be warned that the video above contains a few instances of profanity, so you may not want to watch it right now if you're at work or something like that. If you'd prefer to not hear their Ventrillo chatter, you could always mute the video, pop open Winamp and play some trance or techno. It'll be just like every other raiding video, then!

Durante of Hydraxis-US did what many Hunters have been dying to do since the changes for Wrath of the Lich King were announced: He tanked a raid boss. Or more specifically, his pet tanked a raid boss. His Gorilladin (dubbed thusly by BRK) Bubbles smacked Gruul around for a raid made up of members of the guilds Snuggles, Redemption, Gone Casual and Unemployed.

I'm not sure if this video displays how powerful Hunter pets are after patch 3.0.2, or just how much raids were nerfed. A little from column A, a little from column B? In the thread on the official forums, Durante mentions that the raid's DPSers didn't really need to hold back on threat much at all, nor did they need to stand around forever as you can see in the video above. A few seconds was more than enough time for Bubbles to hold aggro, and the raid only had four healers. I'm willing to bet things would have gotten a little more dicey if Gruul lived long enough to stack more Growths, but he didn't, so it's kind of moot. If you're interested, Durante has also posted his 'tanking' spec as well as his pet's spec.

I'm willing to bet we'll see a lot more Hunter pet tanks in level 70 content, but it'll drop off dramatically (perhaps completely) at level 80. Time will tell!

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: Still dropping bosses


That's Cooldown of Darkspear, above, basking in the glory of a boss kill. While it seemed like raiding came to a standstill before BC, that's not really the case before Wrath -- while it's certainly slower, there's lots of people out there still killing bad guys.

And Guildwatch reports on as many of them as we hear about -- if you'd like to see your guild here (or have a good time on some wacky forum drama, either on the offficial forums or somewhere else), drop us a line at wowguildwatch@gmail.com. And click the link below to see this week's drama, downed, and recruiting news from all the guilds around the realms.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

The marathon raid day?

A friend and I were idly wondering about the possibility of tackling all Burning Crusade raid content the way you'd watch the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy on a rainy weekend: doing it all without stopping, intent on a glorious finish. Nobody's arguing that the point of such a marathon is to have fun every second while you're doing it; I'd say this is the classic undertaking where it really is about the destination and not so much the journey. But let's say you had an enterprising bunch of raiders sitting around bored on a weekend and your choices were either raiding Tarren Mill again or trying something adventurous. Or if you had Wrath coming up the next week and you wanted to conduct a triumphal tour of the content your guild had conquered, stopping only to relish the wholesale slaughter of bosses who'd given you so much trouble (here's looking at you, Gurtogg). Would it be possible to cut a swathe of destruction across the BC raiding landscape all within the space of a day?

Assuming a bunch of experienced raiders, we came up with the following figures:

Karazhan: 2-3 hours
Gruul's Lair: 1 hour
Magtheridon: 45 minutes
Serpentshrine Cavern: 3-4 hours
Tempest Keep: 3 hours
Zul'Aman: 1 1/2 hours
Mount Hyjal: 2 1/2 hours
Black Temple: 3-4 hours
Sunwell Plateau: 4-5 hours

On the low end, that's 20 hours and 45 minutes. On the high end, it's 25 hours (and I have to pause here for a moment's respect over just how much raid content Blizzard programmed for BC). If you lopped Kara and ZA off the marathon in the interest of doing only 25-man content, an experienced (albeit insane) raid that stomped each site and methodically proceeded to the next with no wipes along the way (probably not likely in Sunwell) could probably wreck BC raid content in maybe 18 hours start to finish (giving them a little extra time for travel and bathroom breaks). Has anyone been crazy enough to try this? Should anyone be crazy enough to try this?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

Ask a Lore Nerd: Skeletons, slavery, and the shadows


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment!

Be warned, ladies and gentlemen: There are a couple of minor spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King in this week's Ask a Lore Nerd. I don't think they're very substantial ones personally, but the choice is yours whether you want to continue reading or not.

Soirgriffe asks...

What tribe, if any, did the dire trolls come from and if not a tribe, where in general?

Just how dire trolls come to be is largely an unknown, but they don't seem to be an independent race. They're just bigger, stronger versions of a troll. All of the tribes seem to have dire trolls.

There are a couple of quests in Wrath of the Lich King that might suggest dire trolls are regular trolls who have been 'empowered' but to avoid spoiling too much, what goes on in those quests is pretty different from seeing Jin'rokh the Breaker hanging out with the Zandalari. So all that we really know is there is no racial distinction between Dire Trolls and Regular Trolls of the same tribe. One is just much, much bigger and stronger for some reason.

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

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