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Posts with tag isle-of-queldanas

Patch 5.2 PTR: The return of the unlockable Isle

Patch 52 PTR The return of the unlockable Isle
For a brief moment in time, it looked as though the Krasarang Wilds in patch 5.1 were going to be a return, albeit a slightly tweaked one, to the days of Halaa in Burning Crusade. This ended up very much not being the case, but the area still acted somewhat like a fond reminder of the days of open-world PvP. However, patch 5.2 seems to be bringing back yet more of that Burning Crusade nostalgia with the Isle of Thunder -- an island that contains elements that will be unlocked over time.

Sounds suspiciously like the Isle of Quel'Danas, doesn't it? Well, there are a few notable changes to the dynamic. Because the Horde and Alliance are working separately this time, instead of united under the banner of the Shattered Sun Offensive, each faction gets their own progress bar towards unlocking goals. You can see a glimpse of the progress bar above. As players complete daily quests and objectives, the bar will fill up. Once it's full, another section of the Isle will unlock for players to explore.

Blizzard recently released an Under Development guide to patch 5.2 that clarifies this concept a little further.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Why the Burning Crusade didn't suck

Why the Burning Crusade didn't suck
Yesterday, Brian Wood explored his thoughts on why Burning Crusade sucked. He did it in-character, playing the role of Grandpappy Frostheim, laying out his thoughts in the persona of a grumpy, crusty old dwarf telling the young'uns how bad things were back in his day. You can't take a persona like that seriously -- and you're not supposed to -- but the piece made me think about why I love Burning Crusade so much. Even after all of this time, it remains my favorite expansion, though Mists of Pandaria is pretty darn good.

Yeah, Burning Crusade had its faults. It wasn't as well-balanced as most remember, it had more than its fair share of annoying gameplay mechanics, and the fact that the developers hadn't yet solidified the roles of 10- and 25-man raids was a real drag at times. If Burning Crusade were released this year, it would have a terrible reception. There have been so many quality-of-life improvements made since its release that players would never want to live as we did in Burning Crusade ever again. Despite that, it still had many elements that I loved, and still love. Many of these things are nebulous and completely up to personal tastes -- what I love, you may hate, and that's fine. That's how opinions work.

Stranger in a strange land

To me, Outland defined the Warcraft franchise's storytelling capabilities. Though Warcraft often utilizes the same fantasy tropes you see just about everywhere in the genre, it wasn't afraid to be different -- we went to a new, completely alien planet. The playable draenei were a race of people who traverse the stars. The ethereals were merchants from another plane of existence. Outland was not just a subcontinent of Azeroth, it was a new world entirely. While it has been done in fantasy, it isn't done very often.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade

Mists of Pandaria: 48 daily quests available on any given day

Vaneras on daily quests in Mists '48 quests available on any given day'
We all know that Mists of Pandaria is removing the daily quest limit, meaning that you can do as many dailies as you want. And now we have numbers, courtesy of Vaneras, explaining why that is -- specifically, because if you limit yourself purely to the new dailies coming in Mists of Pandaria, you still could barely do half of the ones available per day with the old limit.

Vaneras - Quests
As things are right now, it looks like there will be approximately 1300 quests in Mists of Pandaria. This is a very rough number though, and this is of course still subject to change.

There is some overlap between Alliance and Horde, but the majority of these quests are neutral and because of this we do not expect there to be more than 200 or so faction-specific quests.

Of these 1300 quests, roughly 300 of them are dailies.

Right this moment we don't have the numbers off-hand to show how that that compares exactly to the previous expansions, but the quest count seems to more closely mirror Wrath of the Lich King, however with a much greater emphasis on dailies. Mists of Pandaria is actually the expansion where we have emphasized dailies the most... ever!

The dailies are of course randomized, which means that you will never log in and find that you have 300 daily quests to do. We expect that if a player has progressed sufficiently with the neutral factions, and thus advanced to their maximum possible quest availability, you would have around 48 quests available on any given day.



While risking sounding like Matthew Broderick in Godzilla, that is a lot of quests. When you combine those 48 available dailies a day with older rep grinds some players are going to want to complete such as those at the Argent Tournament, the Molten Front and even Ogri'la or the Isle of Quel'danas, it seems that it was a very good call to remove that cap. It also sounds like I'm going to have a lot of questing to do.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the 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.

Well, after last weeks extensive look into dwarven politics we're closing in on finishing off the Alliance. So far we've seen the night elves, the gnomes, and the dwarves – today we'll take a brief look at the Alliance race that hasn't had much to say since Burning Crusade: the Draenei.

Luckily Matthew Rossi has already written up an excellent post on the history of the draenei and their otherworldly origins. This post explains the corruption of the eredar at the hands of Sargeras, and the lone faction of eredar that escaped to become what we know as the draenei today. It's only been a couple of years at best from a timeline standpoint since the blue-skinned aliens made a smashing debut on Azeroth, yet they've been largely absent from the war efforts in Northrend -- what's left for the draenei, and what does their future with the Alliance hold?

The draenei race is quite possibly the most peaceful race the Alliance has on their side. While the other races of the Alliance are prone to conflicts and struggles over petty disagreements, the draenei only seem to strike out in defense. Their arrival on Azeroth wasn't pretty -- they ended up tearing up the landscape over on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst isles. While they were of course concerned about their fellow survivors, they were just as concerned with what they'd done to the land and the creatures on it -- as a society concerned with not only the Light of the naaru, but the elements of shamanism, the last thing they wanted to do was wreak havoc on a new world, especially since they'd just left a dying world behind.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Disappointment with the patch 3.1 game world

The last few days I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not particularly enjoying Patch 3.1 when I'm doing something besides raiding Ulduar. I should be enjoying it! When I first checked it out on the PTR, I was extremely excited about it. The Argent Tournament especially. The whole jousting deal, the Arthurian themes, the potential for story progression, the whole thing. It looked great! Unfortunately... I'm finding it pretty boring.

The Argent Tournament feels lifeless. Completely and utterly lifeless. I say it all of the time, but patch 2.4 was my favorite patch of World of Warcraft thus far, no contest. Patch 2.4 brought me more joy than even the Wrath launch. Not only did it have content for absolutely every aspect of the game, but it also actually changed the world. Storylines progressed in an in-your-face way. Sure, patch 3.1 moved the Ulduar and Yogg-Saron story forward, but would you know it if you didn't read fansites or watch the patch 3.1 cinematic? What's different? What indicator is there that something new is happening in the Storm Peaks?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Lore

Buying your way through raid content

There's a new game in town, and Artirius of the Aerie Peak server has noticed it, and admittedly, so have I. With attunements gone, it is now possible for any level 70 to go in and see tier 5 and 6 content whenever they want. Of course, they don't generally have a prayer of actually downing bosses unless they have 20-24 well geared people to help them out.

That's where gold comes in. With a few thousand gold, you can buy your way into a tier 6 group that doesn't need the tier 6 armor and go along for the ride. A few hours later, you come out on the other end with Illidan dead and a few shiny new drops, even if you've never set foot in Karazhan.

It's not just people trying to buy these slots in the trade channel either. As Artirius observes, many raid groups are actively soliciting for buyers for their raid slots. On my own server, one Horde group is trading tier 6 runs for large quantities of certain herbs, promising that all but a few select drops will go to the people who buy their slots with stacks of Netherbloom and Ghost Mushrooms.

So what's causing this?

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Alchemy, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Making money

Around Azeroth: A poor choice of campground

One day, Bill was questing on the dismal shore of a place he would only refer to as "the Isle" when he was attacked by a hostile native. (It was probably this Isle, not this Island, although they do share some similarities.) After falling to the endless chain of respawns, one of Bill's killers decided to take a page from the Isle's massive PvP battles and sit down to camp him. However, he didn't /spit, /rofl, or sit up and down repeatedly on Bill's face, providing that even pre-programmed drug addicted murderers are nicer than some WoW players.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. And thanks for your guesses on the identity of the WANTED poster yesterday. Guesses include Duke Nukem, Dad, the Defias Bandit, Vanilla Ice, Mort from Bazooka Joe, Auron, and "an eight-legged white dog (expletive deleted) a chair with an overhang."

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries

Evade me no longer

For some reason, the first evade bug moment I remember happened in Zul'Farrak. We were clearing the basilisk pulls before attempting Antu'sul (why is it that the optional bosses always have a couple of sweet warrior drops?) and the mage in the group wanted to skip the whole thing. Impatient, he decided to start nuking away from atop one of the hills surrounding the area and managed to pull aggro, but the basilisk couldn't path up to him (and to be honest I'm not sure how he got up there) and promptly went evade. He wouldn't come down because he rightly knew the mob would hit him, and so it took us a solid ten minutes of arguing before he finally came into the monster's reach so that I could taunt it.

I'm thinking about this because of the Isle of Quel'Danas dailies, specifically the quest Crush the Dawnblade. For some reason whenever I do this quest I run into Dawnblade Summoners who are evading. This puzzles me because I can't understand why a ranged mob is evading: it doesn't have to path to anything to hit it, just get into range. Is there some way a hunter or some other ranged class can shoot them but stay out of their range?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Odds and ends, Instances

Peacekeepers who don't keep the peace


A couple of people have posted about the Shattered Sun Peacekeepers slacking off on their jobs lately, quite possibly thanks to something Blizzard fed them in Patch 2.4.2. In their reports, they complain about Peacekeepers attacking them for no reason, sometimes not even in retaliation for attacking (or defending yourself against) a member of the opposing faction. I can actually empathize with this as I encountered the ill-placed wrath of the Peacekeepers myself when I rezzed my wife's toon in front of the Staging Area. Without having done anything other than rezz, the Peacekeepers promptly charged and made short work of me.

In my experience, I have found that the Peacekeepers around the Shattered Sun Staging Area have been slacking off. In fact, my wife's toon was ganked right in front of the building and the so-called Peacekeepers did absolutely nothing. Sensing a bug, my wife wrote a ticket and got a somewhat rude e-mail response saying that -- you guessed it -- it was working as intended. An Alliance guild on my server seemed to be aware of the fact and exploited it to full effect, killing solo players who could seek no refuge under the apathetic -- or even hostile -- Peacekeepers.

According to reports, it's a known bug -- one player even made a video to document it -- but so far Blizzard has turned a blind eye to it. I got a more sympathetic response from my GM who at least mentioned he'd look into the situation. An in-game GM even reset the Peacekeepers in order to see if it would change anything (it didn't). I don't mind gankage... it's part of being on a PvP server. But when an area is supposedly a sanctuary, you don't expect to go through the hassle of a fight. Even worse, you shouldn't have the Peacekeepers tossing your butt around when you're being peaceful yourself. If things keep going the way they are, The Shattered Sun Offensive should probably downsize or hire some more useful temps.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, PvP, NPCs

WoW China gets all-access pass in Quel'danas


According to our tipster Gwwfps of the blog Potato Skin, World of Warcraft distributor The9 has manually set all the quests in the Isle of Quel'danas to be fully completed -- that is, all quests on the Isle are now open to all players as though Phase 4 had been opened. With the help of Babelfish, as far as I can make it out, this decision was arrived at to "make up several weeks the partial servers to appear returns to the files question for generally to play the loss which the family brings". If my Engrish serves me right, this means that the move was a drastic resolution to having massive downtime for numerous servers which resulted in realms-wide progression rollbacks. Some servers reportedly had their Isle of Quel'danas progress rolled back several times over the course of one day.

Gwwfps explains it better in his blog, noting that Patch 2.4 resulted in poor server performance across the board. Apparently, WoW China has been suffering from performance issues for quite some time and some have suggested that the servers upon which the game runs aren't quite up to par with Blizzard's standards. Others argue -- with good reason -- that the forced unlocking of the phases makes the game "less immersive." The sweeping measure also demonstrates an apparent lack of industriousness on the part of The9, who in theory could simply roll back individual servers to specific progress levels. On the other hand, players can probably get all ecstatic about getting their hands on epic gems so early (blast my slacker server!).

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, News items

Epic gems are 15 Badges after all

Remember a few weeks ago when it was discovered that the Armory was listing the new Badge of Justice-reward epic gems at 10 badges each? Yeah, turns out that was just an Armory bug (which we knew was a possibility). They're 15 Badges after all, as they were on the PTR. The way we know this now is that Proudmoore-US, first in all things Shattered Sun, has done Discovering Your Roots enough times to unlock Shaani, the vendor who sells you the gems. Thanks, Proudmoore! Grinding for knowledge. And everyone else, get on that quest. It's a fun one -- everyone gets a pet so they can pretend they're a hunter for a little while -- and you'll help your server along.

Assuming the epic gems sell for around 500 gold, which seems reasonable given the order-of-magnitude increase in price between uncommon and rare gems, this yields a 33 gold per Badge conversion rate (if you buy gems with your Badges and sell the gems; they're not bind-on-pickup). That's right on target in terms of gold per hour. I figure it takes about 20 minutes on average to earn a Badge, which means 100 gold per hour -- pretty much the same rate I make through dailies or grinding. And given that any activity that earns you Badges (i.e. raiding or heroics) gives you a chance at gear as well, it looks like the PvE endgame is fairly rewarding right now.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Economy, Jewelcrafting, NPCs

Report Card: Phase 4 daily quests

Phase 4 is now well underway, with about 50 servers having it unlocked according to us.gorgonnash.info at the time of this writing. There's still a few more things to unlock, but for the most part, the Sunwell Isle is complete, and what you see is what you get as far as resources and places to fight. So, once again, it is time to ask the question: How do these quests fit into your busy up-to-25-daily-quests-to-do lifestyle?

They fit pretty well, actually!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Making money

Gear transition between BC and WoTLK should be smoother, says Bornakk

We've known for a while that we've been getting a gear reset in WoTLK, and just this morning, we've discussed and speculated on how it will affect people as they transition into the 70-80 game, especially alt-o-holics. Here's some news that should strike a lot of people as good: Bornakk confirmed in a thread yesterday that we really won't be seeing quite as large a gear gap in the jump from Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King as we did in the past: No more doubling of stamina values this time, guys.

This should be good news for raiders who feel like their epics don't mean that much anymore (although to be honest, I was using a few of my BWL and AQ40 drops well into my late 60s, so I don't think the gear reset was that bad after all). If the gear jump isn't that bad, your shiny new epics should still work pretty well. Heck, same goes for badge runners. I've suspected for a while that the new Badge of Justice gear was meant to be a partial preliminary gear rest ahead of time, and I'd bet this more or less confirms it: If there's not going to be as much as a jump, these Tameless Breeches might last my druid longer than one might think.

I think it's definitely a good middle road to take. We'll get a gear reset so alt-o-holics and casuals can jump right into the Howling Fjord, but the gap won't be quite as great, meaning that raiders and badge gear savers won't need to feel like they're watching months of work go down the drain when that first level 71 green drops.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Proudmoore server hits Phase 4 first

Scant hours after the false alarms from the Burning Legion and Area 52 servers, it looks like we have a true winner in the race to Phase 4 of the Shattered Sun Offensive on the Isle of Queldanas. Continuing their streak, the Proudmoore Server activated phase 4 early this morning. Currently, it looks like they're the only ones legitimately at Phase 4, with Cenarius 2nd with 86% accord to us.gorgonnash.info.

Congratulations to Proudmoore on continuing your streak. Be sure to check out our Phase 4 daily guides for all the information you'll need to finish strong. The rest of you, check out our Phase 2 and Phase 3 daily guides to get the edge you need to power up to Phase 4 yourself.

Filed under: Realm News, Ranking, Events, News items, Quests, Factions

Breakfast Topic: What are you doing with all that gold?

So, now that the Daily quest limit is up to 25 and we have a whole ton of new quests to do courtesy of the Sunwell dailies, a lot of us are starting to build up quite a large bankroll. In addition to the monetary rewards, we're getting tons of green items (that disenchant into very lucrative things such as Greater Planar Essences and Large Prismatic Shards), a good selection of Sunfury Signets and tons of Arcane Tomes from all the Blood Elves we're fighting. All those green gems I've hoarded over the months are finally paying off for me, since my Jewelcrafting mule is able to turn them into Brilliant Glass, and I've even had a blue recipe or two drop that's sold for a pretty penny.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Factions, Making money, Mounts

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