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Posts with tag jaina-proudmoore

Siege of Orgrimmar and the world of the idea

Siege of Orgrimmar and the ideas we experience in World of Warcraft
Last night while raiding Orgrimmar, specifically while coming into the gates of the city past the Iron Juggernaut, I had this intense feeling of recognition layered with the discontinuity changes bring. It's a similar feeling to when you go back to the city or town you grew up in after a few years. Things have changed, but you still recognize most of it - tiny flashes of memory jump out, saying (in this case) "Hey, remember hovering over Grommash Hold in your flying mount waiting for raid" and then "This was always my favorite Auction House, I wonder if I left anything up before I switched factions" but at the same time the cages and wandering Kor'kron mobs lent a surreal air to the whole experience.

I'd spent the whole night distracted anyway by the little touches of the raid so far - the fight with the Fallen Protectors started a chain of thought that stayed with me. These people were dead because, in part, of actions I'd taken while I was playing as Horde. After all, I stood next to Garrosh in the Shrine of Two Moons as he said that he would learn from the mogu. I helped him steal the Divine Bell from Darnassus. I watched him use it on Ichi, discarding a loyal servant like a broken toy when it didn't work. And more of course - I served Hellscream in breaching the Jade Forest, bringing the war that my faction was waging to foreign shores, and disrupted the cycle of rebirth for the Jade Serpent, loosing the Sha upon the forest. I snuck into Theramore and freed the Horde agent who helped keep Alliance civilians in the city for the bomb to destroy.

Now of course, I didn't actually do any of those things because it is a game. Garrosh Hellscream is a voice actor's craft and a mass of pixels reading lines written by Blizzard's team of writers. What I find interesting, and overlooked at times by players like myself, is the opportunity to muse on the ideas presented to us by the game. What would it be like to return to Orgrimmar as a soldier invading it? What would it feel like to bear a certain responsibility for the ruin of a peaceful valley, the destruction of people who had only sought to protect their home? To see a beautiful land scarred by a monstrous act, and know that the act couldn't have happened without your assistance, however small, and however deeply you regretted it? For me, part of the fun of playing the game is in thinking differently than I usually do, to explore the ideas presented by the story as I move through it. I mean, at one point we actually have to kill pride. That's the subtext leaping forth from the head of the text, that is.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Dear Jaina Proudmoore

Dear Jaina
Dear Jaina,

I'm not in the habit of writing letters to fictional characters, but in the face of what we've all seen yesterday, it seemed like as good a time as any to start. Look, I realize this is going to be hard to accept, but your fate isn't exactly in your hands. What you want, and what you'll get, are two entirely different things -- and it might not be fair. It might not be particularly right. It certainly isn't going to feel very good, but the influence you hold only goes so far. And in this case, you can't exactly order around a king.

But let's look beyond that for a second, all right? Because honestly, you seem to be more than a little irritated, justified or not. And I remember who you used to be, a long time ago. I remember a lady who was a bastion of rational thinking, one who looked before she leapt, made sound judgments, and realized that in this big, wide, crazy world of Azeroth, things aren't always black and white, good and evil. Sometimes, most of the time in fact, they lay somewhere in between.

So I'm wondering, Lady Proudmoore -- who are you?

This post contains huge spoilers for patch 5.4, including the end cinematic for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Reader beware!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: The mysterious disappearance of Varian Wrynn

Know Your Lore The mysterious disappearance of Varian Wrynn
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.

As a leader of the kingdom of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn's track record leaves much to be desired. Swayed by tragedy and the sneaky, manipulative claws of a particularly clever black dragon, Varian was completely out of the picture in vanilla, at which point the surrounding human territories began a decline from which they have yet to fully recover. Varian returned in Wrath, and promptly began the campaign to wipe out the Lich King, sending his best soldiers north.

While the campaign in Northrend was successful, we also saw the beginnings of the clashes between Varian and the Horde -- clashes that would continue in Cataclysm, and ramp up with alarming speed in Mists of Pandaria. Or ... that's what we thought we'd see. In truth, Varian's spent much more of this expansion absent than he has being a driving force for the Alliance. Where has Varian been, and what has he been doing?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: A Precarious Position Part 3

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.

There will be spoilers for patch 5.4 in this post

Part one covered the Horde, and part two covered the humans, dwarves, night elves and worgen of the Alliance. But what about the gnomes, draenei, and neutral factions? What about the pandaren, so new to both Horde and Alliance? How could these figures react to the new status quo (whatever it will be) and will they be a force to stabilize relations between the Alliance and the Horde, or will they make the situation more volatile?

Both the draenei and the gnomes have an outsider's perspective in their own way - the gnomes missed the entirety of the Third War due to problems at home (problems they are still attempting to fix) and while the draenei have experienced much suffering at the hands of the orcish Horde they are dedicated to the Prophet Velen's vision of the mortal races coming together to oppose the Burning Legion. Although both races sent observers to Pandaria during Varian Wrynn's Operation: Shieldwall, their leadership has not been very involved in this latest struggle with the other faction. Individual members of these races have, but not the groups as a whole.

So what, then, is their perspective after the siege of Orgrimmar?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Presidential material

The Queue Presidential material
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.

Saints Row IV's Inauguration Station (standalone character creator) released yesterday. That game's content isn't exactly safe for a site that attempts to be family friendly, but I vibrate with excitement nonetheless.

Magruun asked:

What is the difference between this Connected realm thing that was announced this week and the Virtual realms from a while back? to me they sound like the same thing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Know Your Lore: The future of the Alliance

Know Your Lore The future of the Alliance
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 Siege of Orgrimmar is almost upon us, and the Alliance stands strong, ready to dive in and put an end to Warchief Hellscream's reign. Along the way, they've picked up some entirely unconventional allies in Vol'jin's group of rebels, who are also insistent upon getting Garrosh out. But when the dust settles and all is said and done, if and when the Alliance prove their military superiority, take out Hellscream, and are declared the ultimate victor of what has been a very messy, bloody war, what happens next?

Does the Alliance simply go home and wait for the world to rise up with yet another threat? Do they at last attempt some kind of tentative peace treaty with Vol'jin and his group of rebels? Will Varian Wrynn take a moment of clear victory and use it to crush what remains of the Horde? Will the Alliance leave a military presence in Orgrimmar, to carefully watch and make certain events like this don't come to pass again?

What does the future for the Alliance hold, once Orgrimmar has been taken down?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Christie Golden's Tides of War on sale for $1.99 on Amazon

Christie Golden's Tides of War on sale for $199 on Amazon
If you're looking for reading material, you're in luck -- Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War is on sale today in Amazon's Kindle store for a mere $1.99. The latest offering by Christie Golden, Tides of War takes place just prior to the events of Mists of Pandaria, including the fateful attack on Theramore that decimated the city. I can't really stress how much I recommend this book, particularly for those wanting to know more about the Theramore scenario -- the book explains it in detail, along with the first glimmers of the internal Horde conflict that have since risen to a head in Mists.

Beyond that, it's just a really good, heart-wrenching read. Golden really outdid herself with the book, and at $1.99, it is absolutely worth picking up. Don't have a Kindle? No problem -- you can read the Kindle version of the book on the web, on your computer, or even on your phone using one of Amazon's Kindle apps. But if you're interested, jump on this deal fast -- it's a daily deal, so it'll be gone tomorrow!

Filed under: News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: The point of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The point of Pandaria
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 just possible that the curious race we're going to meet in this mystic land, may just teach us a thing or two about who we are, and why we fight." -- Chris Metzen, BlizzCon 2011
When Mists of Pandaria was introduced, there were plenty of people that were skeptical about the expansion -- many questioned the introduction of the pandaren as a playable race, questioning whether or not an expansion featuring fuzzy talking pandas could ever be taken seriously. Yet although the pandaren can be quite friendly and agreeable, the overall theme of Mists has been remarkably dark. I'd almost consider it darker than any prior, if only for one reason: the message in this expansion hits far closer to home than any other.

While Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm all highlighted major enemies that sought to end the world, each through their own means, Mists took a step back from the grand bellowing villains and their evil schemes. And instead, it chose to shift the focus to us -- Alliance and Horde, players and NPCs alike. Yet on the brink of patch 5.4, presumably the last raid of this expansion, what lessons can we take away from Pandaria? What has it taught us, that couldn't be taught by fighting another world-threatening NPC? What was the point of Pandaria?

Please note that today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.4 content. If you're avoiding spoilers, turning away now would be advised!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Hands-on with Hearthstone

I possess no background in card games, whether it be TCG or CCG. I intentionally avoided scouring databases and watching the Fireside Duels specifically so I could go into my first Hearthstone play session with that perspective. There's value in that perspective: most people who play the game for the first time will have the same experience. My lack of knowledge did make me quite nervous when I sat down to play Hearthstone, though. Would I waste my entire playtest session (on-site at Blizzard Entertainment) blundering through, simply trying to learn the rules? As it turns out, yes. That's exactly what happened.

We were only able to play for about an hour, so don't take my confusion for the duration as a condemnation of the game. Rare is the strategy-based game that can teach you all of its intricacies in an hour. By the end of that hour, however, I had a grasp of the basics and understood most of the terminology. It didn't click fast enough for me to attempt much experimentation with my deck or playstyle, but simply playing put me on the right track. I felt truly lost when I first sat down, but grew more comfortable with every turn. I'm told Hearthstone does have a tutorial to guide you through that initial learning phase, but it wasn't included in our playtest. With an estimated 45 minute duration, the tutorial would have consumed nearly our entire hour. Blundering through turned out to be just as effective.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Breakfast Topic: What did you get done?

Breakfast Topic What did you get done
While everyone commemorates Memorial Day in their own way, more than a few of us find ourselves with a few extra hours during long weekends to clock some WoW time. You might prefer the battlegrounds or you might prefer to get a little extra LFR raiding done. If you're especially studious, you might spend some time with our video content, boning up the important parts of patch 5.3.

If you managed to snag some bonus Azeroth time, what did you accomplish? I actually curled up with a few of the books, finally getting around to reading first-hand about Jaina's troubles and travails. I know, I'm a horrible blogger for taking this long, but I really enjoy reading when I take time off. I save the good stuff for then. But what about you? What did you do?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: I'm back

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.

Phew, today's my first day back after my vacation last week. I didn't miss anything important, right?

... Right?

@crikit310 asked:

Any guesses on when we'll have a shot at buying BlizzCon tickets?

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Filed under: The Queue

War is All Hell: The use of moral ambiguity in Warcraft

There's a long-standing rumor that Winston Churchill allowed the bombing of Coventry, even though he could have prevented it via intelligence gathered by cracking German war codes, in order to preserve the advantage of having cracked those codes. Is it true? I have no idea. More important for our discussion, however, is the idea of that decision. Imagine a leader having to decide to sacrifice civilians in order to preserve an advantage that might well win the entire conflict. It's often called the brutal algebra of warfare - you lose 10 million here, so that 20 million will live over there. You send a company off to die so that a regiment can survive and accomplish its mission. One of the great horrors of war is not just that people die, but that other people have to countenance their deaths.

One of my biggest problems with the Alliance/Horde conflict is that so far, it hasn't really demonstrated this idea. We've gotten to see the consequences of war - the survivors crying out for vengeance, settlements and towns destroyed, cities bombed, even the ruthless pragmatism of a leader willing to find and use any weapon he can to destroy his enemies. But while Garrosh Hellscream has played the role of relentless aggressor to the hilt, his opposite number hasn't shown how far he's willing to go. Varian Wrynn's participation in the 'A Little Patience' scenario shows that he's a more measured and contemplative leader than he once was, but we've yet to see just how extreme the measures he's willing to countenance are. So far, the only time the Alliance was willing to make morally questionable choices to win was in Dalaran, actions that were clearly the work of Jaina Proudmoore and Vereesa Windrunner. However you personally found those actions, it can't be denied that they not only advanced the story but showed a new side to Alliance leadership.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Vereesa Windrunner

Know Your Lore Vereesa Windrunner
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.

Vereesa Windrunner has lost everything several times now.

She lost her oldest sister Alleria to the same Horde invasion that killed most of their family, as Alleria went off to seek vengeance against the orcs and ended up lost somewhere beyond the Dark Portal, never to be seen or heard from again. Her other sister, Sylvanas, was killed by the Lich King's servant Arthas Menethil, and the death knight chose to prevent Sylvanas from even attaining the peace of death, trapping her in undeath.

Worse, when Vereesa lost Sylvanas, she lost her homeland and her people. The high elves of Quel'thalas became blood elves, following Prince Kael'thas on the path to ruin, addiction, and madness and she could not, did not follow. Along with a few remnants of her people, she attempted to preserve what had been thrown away, to keep high elven culture alive even as Silvermoon resided in the hands of those that had abandoned it. Its not surprising that she found love in someone who shared her loyalty to the Alliance, nor perhaps is it surprising that she found it in human arms, as both Alleria and Sylvanas showed a predisposition to humans.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Tor

Know Your Lore Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Tor SUN
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.

For most players, the Kirin Tor are simply one of many factions available during Wrath of the Lich King. They ran the city of Dalaran, once located just north of the Hillsbrad Foothills, then later relocated to Northrend. In Wrath, players both Alliance and Horde could earn reputation with the Kirin Tor -- the Kirin Tor didn't have a faction bias. They were quite happily a neutral organization, far more interested in matters of magic and learning than any political matters.

But there is far more to the story of the Kirin Tor, and to the city-state of Dalaran. And now that the Kirin Tor has a new leader, it's taking those first few steps away from neutrality and into alignment. Because of this, the Kirin Tor has stepped into a dangerous new light, one with some ethical questions that are far, far more political than one would expect from a collection of mages and intellectuals united under one banner.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak

Patch 52 and beyond with Dave Kosak
Hot on the heels of the official patch 5.2 trailer, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with one of the developers behind it all. While chatting with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about patch 5.2 and its development, one thing became incredibly clear -- 5.2 is definitely not just a raid and a few dailies. There is far, far more to be seen and experienced in the new patch.

Read on for some of the details behind the trailer released earlier today, the story in the new patch, daily quest development, scenarios, and even a few hints at what's in store for patch 5.3.

Please note: There are a couple of minor spoilers for 5.2 content in the interview. Nothing huge, we promise!

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

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