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Posts with tag howling-fjord

Ask a Beta Tester: Leveling, the Taunka, and mounts


All of us here at WoW Insider are staggering around somewhat zombie-like in the wake of BlizzCon with the patch (probably) coming tomorrow and the amount of information we're hoping to get out in the next 24 hours. So in all truth I don't know whether the answers to today's questions are completely factual or just stuff that started swimming in front of my eyes at 1:00 this morning. Arthas is actually a girl underneath all that armor, just like Samus Aran. The zone music to Icecrown is "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. The Hateful Gladiator cloth belt is a pink tutu. Flying bunnies will be available in the next expan-

(Sound of a short scuffle in the background, followed by a whip crack)

Thank you, Dan, a little perspective is always useful in these difficult times.

Jason asks...

Will Northrend be accessible at 68 like Outland was accessible at 58? Or do I need to be a solid 70 to quest and instance in Northrend?

Technically, Northrend will be accessible to anyone with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion installed; you can hop a boat or zeppelin on any character of any level. There's no "You must be THIS HIGH to cross through the portal to Outland" restriction, but you won't be able to pick up any of the quests available in Northrend until level 68. Could you grind your way to 68 in Northrend from the mid-60's? Maybe, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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Filed under: Expansions, Features, Humor, Lore, Leveling, Factions, NPCs, Alts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran coins, environment effects, and AoE tanking


I ran into two common questions last night on the Dalaran coin post, so I thought I'd start off by answering those here. I apologize if we haven't yet gotten to everyone's questions; most of them, like Gurluas' question concerning The Missing Diplomat and the high elves in Northrend, we're just not 100% sure of the answer to yet, but I'll keep trying.

Keyra asks...

Just curious...the gold coins all have "Use: Throw this coin back into the Dalaran fountain", yet I've seen people commenting (as well as the author) that they'll carry the coin in their packs. What happens when/if you throw the coin back in?

When you toss a gold coin back into the fountain, you gain the "Lucky" buff for 2 minutes, increasing your chance to fish up any and all coins from the fountain (rather than fishing hooks or goldfish). You don't have to toss them back in if you don't want to, in which case they'll just occupy a bag slot like anything else, or you can sell them to a vendor (not for much). But most people throw the coin/s back in because fishing the coin up is enough to give you the Achievement for getting it. Particular coins would be carried solely for personal or sentimental reasons, i.e. I can definitely appreciate the irony and RP value of grimly hunting Arthas down like a dog while carrying a symbol of Sylvanas' wasted hopes.

Rexigar asks...

Question though, do we have to keep the coins for the achievement or does it count when we throw it back in?

It counts as of the moment you've fished it up. No matter what you do with it afterwards, the Achievement's yours. The same mechanic is true of everything else; once the game "knows" you've done something and an Achievement's gained, nothing can take it away.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Fishing, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Where are you heading once Wrath hits?

In an earlier post I spent some time wondering if it might be a good idea to level a Shaman alongside the new fleet of Death Knights guaranteed to appear once Wrath hits. A lot of commenters were of the opinion (correct, I think) that the desire to avoid hugely crowded areas is probably better served by leveling an alt to 58-60 and sticking it in Outland. The alt can then await the surge of Death Knights who decide to continue leveling, and who should have some experience with its playstyle by then. While I'm still most likely to level my main to 80 once the expansion hits, having an alt in a less crowded area of the game is pretty appealing. For all I know, the Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord will be packed to the scuppers too. I play on a laptop with a wireless connection, so my gameplay tends to suffer badly when the area I'm in resembles Los Angeles during rush hour. Avoiding overcrowded areas is no small thing.

My realm's considered medium population, but we've still got enough people that, if even 10% of the population typically online at server high time decides to roll a Death Knight once Wrath is released, Eastern Plaguelands is going to be in total gridlock for a while. The same thought occurred to a few friends, who wondered if they might be better off spending a week or two on low-level alts in an empty Azeroth while waiting for the furor to die down. With that said, that's not an ideal option if your guild wants to start raiding as early as possible, or if you just don't want to be left behind by guildies leveling to 80.

I'm genuinely curious. Let's say you've bought the expansion, installed it, and you're at the character selection screen on your usual realm with the option to create a Death Knight, hit your main, or head to an alt. Given your own personal circumstances, which do you pick, and where are you going in those first few hours?

What do you plan to do once Wrath hits?
Head to the Eastern Plaguelands and level a Death Knight.2057 (17.7%)
Level my main to 80.8676 (74.8%)
Reroll.278 (2.4%)
Spend some quiet time leveling an alt in Azeroth.593 (5.1%)

Filed under: Shaman, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Alts, Death Knight

Wrath in pictures for your weekend

If you tend to be a strictly weekend-centric WoW Insider reader, you may have missed some of the best stuff to come out of the Wrath beta thus far: the eye candy! Class updates, mechanics changes, pfft, who needs that stuff? No no my friends, me, I'm all about the shinies. Okay, and I like all of that other stuff, too. Luckily, we have a little bit of everything, and in case you did miss our eye candy, let's take a look back at some of it, shall we? Be warned, however, that most of these galleries contain some minor spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled, be careful!

The Borean Tundra
The Borean Tundra, accessed from either the Orgrimmar zeppelin tower or the Stormwind Harbor, is one of two starter zones in Northrend. The Tundra houses Valiance Keep, Warsong Hold, D.E.H.T.A. the Coldarra (home of the Blue Dragonflight) and much more.
The Howling Fjord
The Howling Fjord is the second of the two Northrend starter zones, accessed via Menethil Harbor or the Tirisfal zeppelin towers. The Howling Fjord is home to Valgarde, the Forsaken's Vengeance Landing, the Vrykul fortress Utgarde, and the Ember Clutch.

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Expansions, Jewelcrafting, Screenshots, Galleries, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzcast Episode 4 reveals Warcraft information and insights

Blizzcast episode 4 is now live and available for listening, and with it, of course, has come a wealth of new World of Warcraft Information. Some of it is stuff we've gotten wind for before, but there's some interesting insights into the whole game. You can listen to it here and read the transcript here, or join us after the break for a breakdown of the juiciest information from the Interviews

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Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

WoW Moviewatch: Muffins WotLK Exploration Part 70-77

(Viewers be warned that this video contains spoilers for the Wrath of the Lich King beta.)

Muffins did a great job with her most recent exploration video. If you're looking for another artistic take on the new locations available in WotLK, this is the movie for you. The areas that she visits include Howling Fjord, Borelean Tundra, The Nexus (Instance), Utgarde Keep (Instance), Crystalsong Forest, Dragonblight, Stone Halls (Instance), Drak'tharon Keep (Instance), Zul'Drak, Dalaran, Sholazar Basin, and Grizzly Hills.

The other day, I mentioned that Razzik may have had his exploration video removed from Vimeo. While I have yet to confirm it with him, there is a comment on Muffins' WCM page saying that they removed hers. I'll be weighing in on this shortly with some additional news from other sites, as well as recommendations for where to keep your machinima safe.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

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

Zone level page updated with all the Northrend zones


As Blizzard's front page has noted, the realm levels page has been updated with all of the Northrend zones and the levels that we'll be going through them. There are ten Northrend zones in total, which you'd think would equate to one level per zone, but of course that's not the case -- as with Burning Crusade, there's a lot of overlap, so it looks like not only will many players be reaching 80 before seeing everything, but you may even have to run the zones twice to get the entire Northrend experience.

And it's interesting to see that Lake Wintergrasp is so [redacted!]. Wait, what? You don't want to know which levels match up with which zones in Wrath of the Lich King? Just in case you think this list is a spoiler, we've gone ahead and thrown it, uncensored, after the break. Read on for where you'll be when.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Quests, Expansions, Leveling

Exploring Wrath as a Druid: A Feral Cat in Borean Tundra

I've been poking around Northrend the last few days with my Alliance druid and wanted to share some of my discoveries with other Druids wanting to know what to expect in Wrath. I started in on the quest lines in Borean Tundra, one of Wrath's two entry zones, so today's observations are centered on Cat Druid solo experiences. In the future I'll be soloing Howling Fjord in Balance spec and running instances in all four Druid specs, so I will save those observations until then.

If you have specific questions about Druids in Wrath, leave a reply on this post and I'll see what I can do about answering them. Remember, I'm not level 80 and I won't be raiding in beta, so try to keep your questions to areas I can play in potentially. First impressions, after the jump!

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Filed under: Druid, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: The zones of Northrend


I know. I'm not in Beta, and yet I'm as giddy as a greedy little boy who just got hold of a cookie jar with every bit of Wrath of the Lich King information. We've seen the breathtaking Howling Fjord, bits of the Borean Tundra, and even glimpses into the lush forests of Sholazar Basin. I don't think I could be excited enough for Lake Wintergrasp, even though there's just so little information about it. Elizabeth Harper, who's playing around in the Beta, has said that Dragonblight is her favorite zone.

From what we've seen so far, it really looks like Wrath of the Lich King is going to be one hell of a game. Each of the zones -- as has been the trend throughout World of Warcraft -- has its own personality. Blizzard has said that it won't all be ice and snow, and the diversity that's been revealed up to this point seems to attest to that. What zone are you most excited to see and most eager to explore when you get to Northrend?
What zone are you most excited to explore in Northrend?
Borean Tundra128 (2.7%)
Dragonblight842 (17.6%)
Howling Fjord447 (9.3%)
Grizzly Hills289 (6.0%)
Icecrown1193 (24.9%)
Sholazar Basin326 (6.8%)
Storm Peaks378 (7.9%)
Wintergrasp497 (10.4%)
Zuldrak293 (6.1%)
None of them. I'm staying in Outlands!395 (8.2%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Howling Fjord image gallery is live

The beta has been going for awhile now, and I've been absolutely infatuated with it. It's about time I share the wealth, as I've teased about doing on our Twitter feed. The first zone I've put up an image gallery for is the Howling Fjord, my personal favorite zone so far with the Dragonblight coming in at a close second. I really tried to capture some hotspots of the Fjord for this gallery, but I honestly gotta say you can't quite capture the magic in a picture.

Don't worry too much about plot spoilers, I don't think I've included anything earth shattering. All in all, it's really, really good eye candy and a preview of what's to come. We have plenty of galleries coming your way soon, throughout today and the days to come. Enjoy!

Filed under: Expansions, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

WoTLK Friends and Family Alpha Patch Notes leaked

MMO-Champion has just posted what appears to be the patch notes for the WoTLK Friends and Family Alpha. This is an unconfirmed leak, but everything on them would appear to check out as legitimate. They're pretty barebones, but there's some intriguing information to be found:

  • Death Knights are playable, although the starting quests and talents are not complete.
  • Spells and Talents past 70 are available for the Druid, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Warlock, and Warrior classes
  • You can head to Northrend via Menethil Harbor and Theramore for the Alliance, or Undercity and Ogrimmar for the Horde
  • The Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, Grizzly Hills, and Dragonblight are the zones currently open for testing.
  • Utgarde Keep, Utgarde Pinnacle, The Nexus, and Drak'tharon Keep are currently available for testing.

If they already have talents for quite a few classes past 70, it would seem to suggest that they are further along on the expansion then we think. Hopefully, if these patch notes ring true, we'll hear about those talents soon. You can read the full Patch notes behind the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, News items, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

New WotLK videos via Gamespy


Gamespy has five new amazing videos everyone should check out. They include several sneak peaks of things we haven't seen before. They are the most detailed and rich in-game videos of WotLK to date. The videos cover the areas of Dragonblight, Zul'Drak, Sholazar Basin, Borean Tundra, and the Howling Fjord.

There are several first looks at the new cities, zones, and architecture of Wrath of the Lich King that we haven't seen from Blizzcon. This also includes several mobs that have not been seen before. Zul'Drak is reminiscent of Zul'Gurub, and looks quite new and refreshing. Sholazar Basin is a cross between Stranglethorn Vale and Ungoro Crater, heavily influenced by Troll architecture.

We are also presented with vehicle combat in the Sholazar Basin video. This is simply amazing. The video shows a gnome flying machine contraption shooting missiles at other flying mounts, and then a gnome ejecting and floating down to safety in a parachute. Grand Theft Azeroth.

In the Borean Tundra video we see a beautiful look at the new cities for both Horde and Alliance players. There are also images of Dragon kind, similar to what players experience during the last leg of the Onyxia quest chain from pre-BC. Also included is a gnome city, much like Area-52.

Check it out now, and watch for more detailed analysis of the video and all the other news as the day goes on.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Fake Howling Fjord map released [Updated]


(click on image for larger view)
WoW Insider has come across a potentially leaked image of a map of the new Howling Fjord zone. This information comes hot on the heels of our announcement yesterday of the closed alpha testing of Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to World of Warcraft. The image has been posted today at several spots around the internet.

Howling Fjord will be one of the two starting points for those entering into Northrend. The other starting zone will be the Borean Tundra. Wrath of the Lich King will raise the level cap to 80, introduce the Death Knight class, new PvP warfare, and new group and solo play.

WoWWiki has the image listed as a "player made" image. However, the image itself has been found around several other galleries on the internet, and there is no credit to the original author on the image. Additionally, the map itself closely resembles the terrain and layout of the zone that was playable at Blizzcon in 2007. We'll keep an eye on this, and other Wrath of the Lich King media that might be legit, and get you all the latest information when we know it. Stay tuned!

Update: The map is a fake, produced and propagated by user Kanaru on WoWWiki. Welcome to the World of Fakecraft.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Grounded in Northrend

The subject of flying mounts and their use in Northrend comes up fairly often on the official Wrath of the Lich King forums, as a result of Blizzard mentioning we may not be able to use them right away in Northrend.

Why can't we use them in Northrend? Well, the reasoning seems understandable. They want the progression through the Northrend content to feel natural, they want you to experience the setting they've put there. You have to admit, Outland became far less dangerous to you the moment you gained the ability to fly over every single threat there is in the world.

The most common theory on the forums is that you'll need to purchase wing defrosters or wing mittens at level 80 to regain your ability to use a flying mount. A silly, cynical concept, and I don't think that's their only option. Yesterday we discussed weather, so perhaps a blizzard in the Howling Fjord could force you to the ground, or a thunderstorm in the Borean Tundra. Alternatively, a swarm of gargoyles(and frost wyrms?) could be conveniently placed to throw you off of your mount and to your doom should you fly too high in these starting zones.

There are many different things that could be done, and I'm very interested to see which route Blizzard will go with it. You know, as long as I don't need to put mittens on my Nether Ray. Where would I even put them!?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

WotLK Bestiary Update: Taunka

Blizzard has updated the Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary this afternoon with the Tauren looking Taunka. These are large animals that have adapted to the cold of Northrend. Instead of being in harmony with nature like Taurens are, they are in contention to it.

We can't be exactly sure what the Taunka's role will be. The last paragraph in the update says that we'll soon recognize their "colossal hearts and unshakeable resolve." To me, this sounds like a possible faction we'll be grinding rep for. Perhaps something like the Orgri'la faction, where at first the Orges are hostile, and then they are friendly.

An interesting comment on WoWWiki suggest that Chieftain Ashtotem, known from a screenshot of the Howling Fjord in Northrend, might be a Taunka. What do you think? Personally, I think it's possible. The yellow name also lends credence to the theory that this might be a reputation faction.

We'll keep you updated on all the future Wrath of the Lich King news.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

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