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Know Your Lore: Resurgence of the Infinite Dragonflight

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.

Long ago, the Titans empowered five dragons with unique abilities and powers, entrusting to them the protection of Azeroth itself. While each had their own specialization with its own odd foibles, none were as strange as the task set to Nozdormu. Aman'Thul, Highfather of the Pantheon, entrusted Nozdormu with the task of watching over time -- to guard the myriad paths of time and keep them pure. A strange task, to be certain, and one with a heck of a lot of power involved. To keep Nozdormu from abusing that power or thinking that he answered to no one, he was given the knowledge of the exact moment of his demise.

Yet somewhere in one of those myriad timelines, this apparently wasn't enough. Somewhere, somewhen, Deathwing prevailed and brought about the Hour of Twilight, leaving Nozdormu a haunted, twisted version of his former self -- a version that cared little for the restrictions or rules bestowed by the Titans, and cared much more for preserving his own skin and preventing his own death. The twisted version called himself Murozond, first of the Infinite Dragonflight, intent on bending time and changing events solely for the purpose of evading his inevitable demise. We defeated Murozond in End Time, and prevented the Hour of Twilight from taking place. But have we actually saved Nozdormu? Have we secured time itself?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Every day I'm shoveling

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

The above image is absolutely relevant, I swear. Let's just get on with the questions, shall we?

CatrionaShadowleaf asked:

Qt4Q: Where is our poop quest in beta? Someone had to have found one.

I have yet to find one to play through, but I have yet to finish Frostfire Ridge. The only thing I've seen along those lines is one of Thrall's relatives on a very special poop quest of his very own.

... he's about as happy about it as can be expected.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Fireworks

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Some guy flew a drone with a camera attached into a fireworks display. The results are really, really cool and very pretty and sparkly. Thankfully, neither drone nor camera were damaged. I hope everyone enjoyed fireworks and food or just the fact that it was Friday yesterday. Let's get on with the questions!

convoyb asked:

So why is there such an obsession with Corgis anyway? I never really understood it.

I believe it started with a windup corgi showing up under the Greench's tree one Winter Veil. We only have one proper "dog" model Battle Pet, and that's the Perky Pug. Corgis are cute, and it's another dog model! I think that's pretty much the extent of it.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: What is even happening I don't even know

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.

Seriously.

I have no idea. I don't... I can't... what is happening? It's a corgi made of lava. They're actually calling it a Molten Corgi I can't even. Look at that. Am I to believe that this is Ragnaros' pet corgi? That after I killed him, his sweet little pet corgi was left an orphan? What is going on?

Let's just do some questions because I just don't know. This throws my entire concept of reality into question. Is the volcano dog somehow related to July 4th?

electresserin asks:
I haven't gotten into the beta yet, but it looks like the opening quests function as a "MEET THE CAST!" type experience. Do they bring in all of the major Draenor players?

All of them, no. You meet Vindicator Maraad (he steps through from our universe and is there from the start), Yrel and Exarch Maladaar. Once you get to Shadowmoon Valley you start meeting the rest of them, introduced by the three you met in Tanaan. Similarly, the Horde sees some significant classic orc figures (Drek'Thar, for example) and a lot of the Iron Horde make an appearance.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Fun with textures

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.

So Ner'zhul's looking kinda pasty there, huh? The trials and tribulations of a beta test, folks.

Anyone else excited/interested in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition? I'm thinking I'll pick it up soon. From what I saw of the playtest, it preserves some elements of 4th edition I liked while bringing back elements of 3rd edition I liked, but it's been a while since I looked at it. I'm thinking either fighter or barbarian (if they retained that class).

ErinKinsella asks:
Q4tQ so ive always wanted to try tanking on my druid but its seems the current state of the game and its player base has little time for new or learning players which seems odd seeing as tanks are in high demand so how do i overcome the negative attitude of the players to LEARN to play that role

The absolutely easiest way is to get four friends to come with you and do the dungeons as a group. That way, you'll have people you know to help you. There's a lot to learn about tanking - survival mechanics and even threat mechanics, yes, but also how to pull properly (a skill which has many applications), how to lead a group, how to gauge your healer and watch their mana, how to deal with DPS pulling threat through jumping the gun - a group of friends can make this much less of an ordeal.

Failing that, you may have to endure a lot of bad groups. The LFD feature of the dungeon finder is a positive boon for letting players get groups, but it does nothing to ensure that the composition of said groups isn't toxic. However, you can (and I often have) gotten some good people through dungeon finder. And if nothing else, running LFD can really help you develop a thicker skin. Ultimately, the players who act up or act out are flotsam. In my experience telling groups up front "I'm new to this role" can get some good results - usually at least one player will step in with advice.

Also, we're about to head into a new expansion, where everyone will be relearning their classes to some extent. It's an excellent time to work on tanking, because there will be dungeons people will want to run.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: All your auction houses are belong to us


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.

This Queue is not just about the auction house changes. But I couldn't resist using that title.

Now, turn to your neighbor and let us Queue.

Ralos asked:

Any predictions on release date?

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: The time-travel fallacy of Warlords

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.

Ever since the announcement of Warlords of Draenor, most players -- including myself, to a degree -- have been under the assumption that this is an expansion involving time-travel of some sort. Sure, supposedly we as players aren't traveling in time, but Garrosh Hellscream did so, to an alternate version of Draenor whose history he presumably changed. Now instead of invading Azeroth as we're accustomed to, this altered version of Draenor and its Iron Horde are attempting to invade the here and now.

Only there's one key thing we've been missing -- this isn't time travel. Not in the slightest. After playing on beta for a mere few hours, what Blizzard is doing is something entirely different. While we've been focusing on time travel and how this would affect our future, Blizzard has been quietly putting together a story with some far-reaching, drastic implications that may very well take everything we know about World of Warcraft, stand it on end, and knock it over with one well-placed blow.

Spoiler Alert: The following column contains a couple of fairly large spoilers for Warlords of Draenor. If you are avoiding expansion information and discussion, do not continue.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Ghost wolves

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

I completely forgot about the new ghost wolf form until I used it on the beta last night. It's a major improvement from the old form -- there's more weight to it. It looks fluffy and cuddly until you get to the bits with the giant fangs.

Fizzl asked:

Qs4TQ: 1.) How far after the Draenei come to Draenor is Warlords? Playing through SMV, it seems fairly recent, but it's hard to judge if it's like.. A few years kind of recent, or lots and lots of years, but still "recent" in Draenei terms.

2.) Who all comes with each side from Azeroth? I'm not too savvy on Draenei lore, so it's sometimes hard to tell who knows stuff from our timeline and who's clueless to the actual, alternate-future of the Draenei. (It doesn't really help that Draenei old and new both seem to think of Draenor as a strange land...)

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Shadowmoon Valley is really, really pretty

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

I don't think I can really express, nor can I get over, just how gorgeous this zone is. I got the same feeling running around Shadowmoon as I did running around Nagrand, Grizzly Hills and the Jade Forest for the first time. They really knocked this one out of the park.

PurityKnights asked:

For those that got into beta, did it just show up on your Bnet launcher or did you have to check your account page?

If you have the new Battle.net launcher, it should theoretically just show up. But honestly if you're curious about whether or not you have access, the quickest, easiest way to find out is still just to log into your account on the official website and see if you've been flagged for it.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Shadowmoon Valley, Talking to Demons, Paired Content

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.

Shadowmoon Valley on the Alpha is ridiculously awesome, guys. Even with the usual 'it's Alpha' connectivity problems that you can't really be surprised by, I've enjoyed the quest flow, the scenery is gorgeous, and the lore bombs are dropping fast and furious. The one that's been spoilered all over the internet? That one's nothing compared to some of the things that happen in SMV.

Frankly, as good as Frostfire Ridge is (and it's good) I think the Alliance definitely got the richer, more interesting, just plain better zone this time around. It's still the Alpha - Frostfire is by no means a bad zone, and frankly, it might just be my love for all things draenei showing here (but check it out you can see both moons in the Shadowmoon Valley sky) but I have to doff my cap to SMV so far. Totally awesome.

gazaa07 asks:
At the Start of the Green Fire questline, we have to talk to our Demons to identify what the tome is and what it's used for

Q4tQ: can we have a system where we can talk to our demon about whatever's going on in that patch? the Demons are Sentient beings so why can't we talk to them? DKs could do it with their Ghoul as well (provided they are unholy)

From a pure game design perspective that's a lot of coding for your demon. I mean, you want to be able to talk to it about anything that's happening - that could mean, well, anything. From a lore perspective, your demons aren't your friends -- they are at best your slaves, and at worst here to corrupt you and damn your soul to be consumed in the Twisted Nether. So either way, not all that interested in chatting with you about that new quest in patch 6.3.

Having just recently watched Hellboy again, I figure a DK talking to his ghouls wouldn't get anything terribly helpful. Mostly they'd just berate him for disturbing their eternal rest.


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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Three Mages of Azeroth

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.

Last week, we talked about mages. This week, we talk about specific mages. Because for better or worse, mages have changed the very face of Azeroth and much of its history has been in reaction to them and their eternal quest for knowledge and power. And certainly, not always for the better.

After all, it was the Highborne, specifically the cadre of Highborne mages under Xavius who served Queen Azshara who tapped into the power of the Well of Eternity in a mad effort to bring forth Sargeras into Azeroth. They weren't warlocks or priests or druids - they were mages, the rulers of a mage-ruled society (Azshara herself was terrifyingly adept with the art of the mage) and their desire to understand had warped into an obsession with control. They wanted total mastery over the Well of Eternity and the potent arcane power it loosed into Azeroth -- understanding it was no longer enough when dominance seemed within their reach, and it drove them mad.

The path of the mage is, in its way, the most demanding of any because it requires the discipline of a skilled warrior and the flexibility of mind of the greatest sage. You must dominate the self, control your own inherent desires rather than be controlled by them. Even mages as great and powerful as Aegwynn failed because they lost the battle between the personal and the universal.

Today we'll look at mages throughout Azeroth's history and discuss their role in events.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: The Three Draeneimigos, I'm a mutant, Leyara was right

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.

I very very much want to see the new draenei male in action. Human male, I get that's next, but as soon as possible please. Still, Vindicator Maraad's rocking that hammer. If transmog is working properly the next time the Alpha's up, I may match up with him.

gazaa07 asks:
Rossi posted on twitter this little gem, which implies (to me at least) he's been playing a Warrior for so long that he's started picking up warrior talents IRL.

My Q4tQ: if you could pick from WoW (as of 5.4.8) any spell, ability, talent, glyph or shapeshift and have it as your singular Super-Power, what would you have and why?

Titan's Grip. Or do I not get one because we've decided I have Second Wind already? Well, if I could pick, I'd pick Titan's Grip. Carrying around two gigantic buster swords would be awesome.



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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

What Blizzard needs to keep casuals playing in Warlords

Being called a casual in World of Warcraft is sometimes -- okay, often -- tossed out as an insult, but let's face it: a lot of the gamers fall under the casual banner. They have jobs, they have families, they have kids, and they can't necessarily afford to spend countless hours a week focused on a single game. It's not that casuals want free epics or need to learn to play, it's that MMOs can demand a lot more time than the average adult has available for gaming. No matter how much we love Warcraft, spending time with family and working enough to pay the bills has to come first. (After all, if we can't pay the bills, we can't play in the first place.)

This is especially true in World of Warcraft which is approaching its 10-year anniversary. Players who started playing in their early teens are now college graduates working for a living, while players who started playing during college may be starting (or growing) their own families. Demands like that just don't leave a lot of time to game -- and they definitely don't leave time for a game that forces you to sink a lot of hours in before you can start having fun. Even those of us who enjoyed doing 40-man raids back in the vanilla days -- complete with the grinding for repair money, resist gear, potions, flasks, and everything else you were expected to do to be part of a raiding guild -- might have trouble making the time these days.

World of Warcraft is more casual-friendly than it used to be, and by necessity: many of the playerbase are more casual than they used to be. But while it's more friendly to casual players, there are still plenty of things the game could do to keep the casuals around from level 90 and beyond -- so let's talk about what Warlords of Draenor needs to keep new and casual players in the game.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: The Watchers of the kaldorei

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.

Kaldorei society and rank has always been complex. Queen Azshara had her court, the Highborne represented the upper reaches of society, and those chosen Highborne were magic users of particular skill and prowess. On the other end of the spectrum were the Sisters of Elune, kaldorei priestesses who were dedicated to the worship of the moon goddess Elune. And somewhere in between were the druids, primarily male kaldorei who followed Malfurion Stormrage after the War of the Ancients and Sundering were over, eventually founding the Cenarion Circle.

In between them all were the Watchers, a group established after the War of the Ancients that survives to this day. Not only has it survived, it's apparently thriving enough that some of these Watchers will be making an appearance in Warlords of Draenor. While the depth of their appearance and how much they will be contributing to the new expansion's story remains to be seen, it's worth it to take a look at this organization, how it came to be, and perhaps the most notorious Watcher of them all -- Maiev Shadowsong.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Many questions, handle them

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

We had a lot of questions today, so let's just get right to them!

gazaa07 asked:

Q4tQ: Which model do you predict we will see after the male human one?

I'd kind of like to see either the female troll, or the male night elf. Preferably female troll, because I'd like to see them finally, at long last, blink. We'll have to wait and see what they decide to show us after the human male, though.

jabrone77 asked:

QfortheQ: Why on earth would Thrall leave the trade prince in control of the goblins? He enslaved his own people TWICE. I understand the gameplay aspect of it, you can't have a player in charge, but the lore "why" escapes me. Wouldn't Thrall out of everyone on Azeroth be against that?

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Filed under: The Queue

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