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Know Your Lore: 5 influential moments in Warcraft lore

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.

The lore of Warcraft isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to follow. It's not a straight line of cause and effect that you can simply trace from beginning to end. It's an endless chain of events intertwined with each other in a ball that is so tightly wound together, it's almost impossible to untangle and pick apart. This is a large part of the reason why it's so hard to answer a seemingly simple question, "I want to try and get into Warcraft lore, so where do I start?"

That said, there are several standout moments in lore, moments that have influenced far more than one character's development or one chain of story progression. While the following list isn't every moment, it contains some of the most influential, those events in history that have shaped the world of Warcraft and will continue to shape it for years to come.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Azathoth Choppers

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

Vote for which motorcycle you want in the game: the cosmic horror bike, or the seething nuclear chaos bike! Also, despair!

BrianLuzovich asked:

do you think we will eventually see hearthstone for cell phones? and would there an offline play mode?

There are definitely Android and iPhone versions of Hearthstone coming; Blizzard announced it not too long ago. As for offline mode, I highly doubt it. It appears to be an online-only game and all of its systems tie into that.

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The Queue: Tonari no Garrosh

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

Do you think Garrosh would've been better adjusted if he had a big magical friend as a kid?

bcf_80 asked:

Here's a newbie question, but how do you get to the Isle of Giants? Is this the same thing as the Isle of Thunder (and how do you get to that if they're different)? I've been away for too long :)

It's north of Kun-Lai. You can fly or swim there, but be careful if you're flying -- the island is a no-fly zone and you'll get dismounted when you get close. Once there, you can grab a flight path and you won't need to manually fly there again. Unless you want to, of course.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: I really have no idea what this means

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

Look, blame Scott Leyes. All I know is, with Azeroth Choppers debuting yesterday, I couldn't in good conscience not feature this today. Samwise Didier absolutely is so fluffy, we just have to accept it. He is the fluffiest. His beard is a thing of wonder.

Okay, let's get started on the over 800 comments in yesterday's Queue. That sound? The one that sounds like me sobbing? That's me sobbing.

Kameron Hoffs asks:

What changes are needed for Warriors in WoD?

I'm not quite arrogant enough to think I am in possession of all the answers in terms of warrior design for Warlords. I know what I would like to see, but I'm hardly unbiased - I identify with warriors to closely to even pretend that I'm not invested in the outcome here. That said, there are a few things I think we haven't heard much about yet, and which I think need to be absolutely there in the future.
  1. Headlong Rush needs to actually work and make warriors like haste at least a little bit. Especially when it comes to protection, a spec that currently gets absolutely nothing from haste.
  2. If not Titan's Grip for protection (letting us use 2h weapons and shields) then it's long past time for Blizzard to design 1h spears. Yes, this isn't just a warrior deal, but it's important.
  3. Warriors have lost a lot of flavor. We're losing two of our three banners (the only really unique thing we got in Mists of Pandaria) and a host of other abilities. I get that we needed to lose them for ability purge sake, but we're losing things like Sunder Armor, Cleave, Berserker Stance and in general we're suffering from a lack of coolness factor. It's time for something iconic and viscerally awesome to be added to the warrior toolbox.
  4. We need to hear some details about how rage is going to work. I can't really speculate more on this one until we hear some details, but we just lost any way to get rage from damage taken, a way to generate rage on demand, and a way to get enraged on demand. Are we just expected to Charge and use our rage generation attacks and that's it for rage? Is haste expected to fill the gap? It's time for this design to be explained to us.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: WoD being late, undead, fun with portals, ignore

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Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

You know one of the things that bug me about WoW? Is how low resolution the grass, flowers, and trees are. I don't know why it bugs me so much, but it does.

Smartz asked:

Will Blizzard ever come out and say why WoD came out so late? I definitely don't think they'd talk about it before WoD launches, but I could see them talking about it afterwards.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Look back in Draenei

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.

The draenei have a lot of unresolved issues.

For starters, they're stranded on a strange planet called Azeroth, after having just barely escaped Outland. They lived on Outland (back when it was called Draenor) for a few hundred years, time enough to start thinking of the place as home. Then it was taken from them, and their people nearly totally exterminated. Their escape to Azeroth was an accident, crashing here because their ship was sabotaged by blood elf servants of Kael'thas Sunstrider.

So let's look over things. In the past few decades the draenei have seen formerly amicable neighbors turn bloodthirsty, demon-addicted monsters. They endured the near-total extinction of their people, hiding in swamps and bedraggled refugee settlements, seeing many of the survivors mutate and lose their connection with the Holy Light. They saw roads made out of the bones of their people. They only escaped by stealing back a dimensional ship from people they'd never really seen or heard of who still helped try and kill them. And as soon as they arrived on this new planet they found out that the Burning Legion (the very same force that is trying to exterminate them) has already been here.

This is a condensed list, of course.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Sometimes I use music to wake up


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

Sometimes you wake up and you need to get your brain moving immediately. This has been one of those days.

This is the Queue. I'm filling in. Let's answer some questions.

rovingbandit211 said:

So everything the Blizz Devs have been saying about the Garrisons being an integral and mandatory part of questing and game play is actually wrong? This will be interesting. I bet you another hat you are wrong here Holisky.

Well, I'm no Holisky, but I have these tweets from Jeremy Feasel (@Muffinus) to back up that you can entirely skip the Garrisons while leveling if you want to and still go back and get the rewards. Without actually seeing how they will be integrated, we just have to wait and see. But there's evidence that, while they're certainly more integrated than the farm was, they're not 'mandatory'. I'm aware that saying this doesn't mean they're not mandatory or integrated for questing - Scott Andrews went to PAX East and got a lot of insight about them, and it seems like they will certainly be involved in how we quest. We'll find out. Since I have never made any promises to eat anything for you, I come out ahead either way.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Rookie guide updated with upcoming content info

There's a lot of new content for World of Warcraft on the horizon, but if you're a new or more casual player it can be dizzying to keep up all of the announcements, blue posts, and data mined info. That's why we've just added a section about new content to our Rookie Guide, so that those of you who don't keep up with the day to day news can still know what's important about the next expansion. So why wait? Head over to the Rookie Guide and get caught up on Warlords of Draenor now.

Have new player questions we haven't answered yet? Or maybe you're looking for something you can't find in the rookie guide? Drop us a note and we'll look into covering it for a future WoW Rookie!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie

Know Your Lore: The immeasurable sorrow of Jaina Proudmoore

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.

What do you do when you've lost everything -- your friends, your family, your home, even the essence of what made you ... well, you? Jaina Proudmoore has undergone this transformation in Mists of Pandaria, and come out the other side a drastically changed woman as a result. After the successful defeat of Deathwing in Cataclysm, Jaina and her coastal city were the unfortunate target of the very faction she's spent years of her life trying to unsuccessfully champion. In the end, Jaina lost everything.

But where does that leave a leader, a diplomat, an advisor, a friend? It's an arguably dark place, but it's also arguable that this was just the character development Jaina needed. As a character, Jaina hadn't really had a lot of progression in her personality since she was introduced all the way back in Warcraft III. Wrath of the Lich King saw the beginnings of what would ultimately be a push into a dark place from which no one, not even a Proudmoore, could emerge unscathed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Pick up the pieces

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

I spent many hours today cutting, gluing, and assembling pieces for my board game prototype (again).

Amarettosourz asked:

Is there such thing as an allotted RNG luck for drops? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of RNG itself?

Well, "true random" means you could possibly go forever without seeing a single drop you could use. That's not very fun. It certainly brings high highs, but also very, very low lows. There are safeguards for many types of loot, from bonus loot coins to Garrosh heirlooms, to make sure that you do get something given enough time. Diablo 3 has a similar system in place now if it detects that you've gone quite a while without seeing a legendary drop. I'd rather my chances get a nudge in the right direction than rely on "true randomness".

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: The questions we share

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

Hello WoW Insider. How are you? I am fine. Please enjoy these questions, as well as their answers.

waitwut asked:

I keep hearing how "savage" being used when talking about WoD. Where did this come from?

The devs used the word a lot when describing Draenor and WoD in general at BlizzCon. It's sort of the expansion's keyword. And a running joke, now.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Torvosaurus, the offical dinosaur of Warlords of Draenor

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

It's been a hideous month for me so far. So much bad crap happened, you don't know. Anyway, to take my mind off of all of that, I tanked heroic Siege of Orgrimmar last night up to Malkorok, and then sat down to find a perfect subject for today's Queue header. Something that would scream "Rossi wrote today's Queue". Something perfect. And I found it in Torvosaurus.

Why is Torvosaurus the perfect dinosaur to be in today's Queue? Why did I so boldly declare Torvosaurus to be the official dinosaur of Warlords of Draenor? Because, my friends, the name Torvosaurus means 'Savage Lizard' and that's all we need. Sure, he was an impressive ten meter long carnivore, a megalosaurid, among the largest predatory dinosaurs ever found in Europe, and that's all great. But really, he had me at savage lizard. I demand that Torvosaurus get brought into World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor and I demand that it happen as soon as possible, because a savage expansion without this savage lizard simply isn't savage enough.

I know that's not a particularly savage picture of Torvosaurus, above. Hey, it's still a ten meter long carnivore with teeth like steak knives. Even if it is snuggling with its babies.

Benjamin Seeburger asks:

What do you think is the chance Blizzard will release a fourth spec (like for druids) for every class in the game (eventually)? If you could have a fourth spec for your class, what would it be and why?

I'd pick a hunter melee spec, that had all of my basic ranged attacks replaced by melee attacks that do roughly the same damage with the same focus usage (except being melee), but with an upped percentage to my armor.

What about you?

I think the chances are very, very slim. Druids got the fourth spec because, essentially, they'd always had it - feral was a confusing hodgepodge talent tree before Cataclysm, and it just made sense in Mists to break it apart into Feral and Guardian. So no, I don't expect it to happen.

However, I do love speculating. So if warriors got a fourth spec and I was the one in charge of it, I would basically break Fury up into two specs, one a fast spec that uses two 1h weapons and another being a spec using two 2h weapons. They would get different mechanics, the 1h spec (I'd call them Berserkers) being all about weapon speed and fast, rapid attacks of attrition while the 2h spec (Destroyers) would be about crushing through enemy defenses and bringing raw power to bear.

Either that, or I'd finally make that warrior healing spec where you yell at people until they stop being dead.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

What is data mining and why is everyone talking about it?

The recent release of the alpha client for Warlords of Draenor means that there's a lot of talk about data mining that's going around the community. But if you aren't up on your tech jargon, this might not mean much to you -- and Googling the term will send you to a Wikipedia page that tells you data mining aims "to extract information from a data set and transform it into an understandable structure for further use." Even if you are up on your tech jargon, you might not grasp what that means, especially in the context of World of Warcraft.

So let's start with a straightforward definition: data mining is the process of digging through WoW's data files and looking for information like maps, graphics, models, or sounds. It's not hacking or exploiting the game, just looking at the game files -- often, but not always, files that are publicly available -- to see what's there. These files can be from the current game client or come from a PTR or beta build, any of which could have new content that players can't access in the game world. Similar to looking up filming photos from a favorite TV show or movie, data mining gives you a sneak peek at game content that hasn't been publicly released, which can range from hints at the next patch to hints to the next expansion. Hungry for information, plenty of players turn to data mining for answers -- but because Blizzard can change, remove, or expand on unreleased content without any warning, anything data mined needs to be taken with a pretty big grain of salt.

So should you be paying attention to data mined info? In the end, the choice is up to you -- but we'll give you some background on just what WoW data mining might tell you.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The Queue: Squish, models, warlocks, and datamining


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Let's hop into the Queue talking about our favorite subject: the item squish.

Pvpscrub asked:

Come WoD's stat squish, how close are our weapons going to be, to be more specific is it worth getting 550 iLvl weapons for a lesser played alt or just stick with 522? If they're going to be within 1 level of each other come WOD then maybe its better to just pass.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Warriors of Azeroth and beyond, Part 2

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.

Second verse, same as the first - we're talking warriors of lore and story in the Warcraft universe. What does it take to get on either of these lists?
  1. Don't obviously be a member of another class. I skirted the edge of this one for last week's list, but not this week - these are the warriors. No Bolvars, no Turalyons, no Rexxars or the like. If you cast spells or skulk in the shadows or are a death knight, you're not on this list. Sorry, Highlord Alexandros Mograine, but you were a paladin, and you don't count. Maiev Shadowsong definitely uses stealth, she's out.
  2. You have to be somehow more iconic than the badasses on last week's list. That means, in my opinion, you're more important in terms of lore than Muradin Bronzebeard, Baine Bloodhoof, and Broxigar the Red. That's not an easy bar to jump over.
  3. Those are my criteria. I just think lists with less than three points on them look weird.
Let's get started on the list.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

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