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Posts with tag kaelthas

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the Blood Elves

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.

Before I begin, I'd like to thank all of the people that commented on the last post I made that covered orc politics. Apparently orcs are a hot topic of conversation, and while I didn't respond to everyone, I did read through everything said. I do have a couple of points to address, however. First, yes, I am aware that orcs are not all brute-minded savages. There's a lot more to orcs than simple savagery; however, that savagery is something that is a basic part of what makes an orc ... orcish. It's an innate part of being an orc. Thrall seems to lack that savagery for the most part and almost seems to want to cull it from orc society in favor of a more gentle and diplomatic disposition. Garrosh, on the other hand, embraces that savagery to an alarming degree. That's where the conflict between the two of them rests. One has what the other does not. Both are extreme cases in either direction.

Second, evoking the name Garrosh Hellscream sets people off. I'm not quite sure what to make of this, but I'd have to say it's a telling statement to the storytelling department that Garrosh, regardless of how much or how little he's been developed, is provoking this kind of reaction from players. Given that most writers like to evoke some sort of emotion in their readers, I can only imagine they are secretly pleased with the outrage. Right, moving on!

The blood elves, or sin'dorei as they've taken to calling themselves, have been a largely quiet presence in Wrath of the Lich King. Given this, they may seem like an odd choice to cover. Why bother talking about a race that hasn't done much to speak of since the days of Burning Crusade? Well... that's sort of the point. While the orcs, trolls, and tauren were natural additions, and the forsaken a little different but accepted at large, the blood elves were a very odd choice for an ally to many Horde players, and through the course of Burning Crusade, there was very little light shed on what made these creatures a valuable ally to the Horde because a large amount of blood elf history stemmed from events that happened prior to World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Suffer mortals, as your pathetic eardrums betray you

I hate Sindragosa. It's not the fight -- sure, the stacks of Permeating Chill are annoying as a mutilate rogue, but you can cloak them away. The Ice Tombs are even kind of fun, especially if you can /dance with her before getting frozen -- see what kind of crazy contortionist positions you can get stuck in! The Blistering Cold isn't that hard to book it out of if you keep your camera facing whatever direction you have to run, just hold down both mouse buttons when she pulls you in and you're out like lightning.

No, it's none of the above. It's her voice. It's that awful, rasping, screeching bellow. It's the way she draws out the word 'betray' that wasn't so bad the first time I heard it but let me tell you three wipes in and I was ready to turn off the sound effects entirely. I want to kill her every week not because there is loot to be had, but so that I do not have to listen to her anymore.

On the other hand, back in the days of Blackwing Lair I begged my raid leader to let me trigger the Nefarian event, just because I really wanted to hear him talk. I forget the exact number of times we wiped on Nefarian before finally killing him for the first time, but the silky way in which he said "Let the games begin" made it a little easier to take. There are other bosses and encounter voices I love -- nobody can forget Millhouse Manastorm, he of the infamous "I'm gonna light you up, sweet cheeks!" I always loved the voice of C'thun. The first time I stepped foot into AQ40 and heard that eerie, low voice from out of nowhere, politely informing me that my friends would abandon me and that I would die, I nearly yelped aloud.

But Sindragosa. Ah, Sindragosa, you have reached a level of irritation with me that rivals even Jaina Proudmoore's incessant sobbing or Kael'thas' never ending bantering in Magister's Terrace -- which now takes longer to listen to than it takes to kill him. So how about you guys -- who's tops on the voice acting in your opinion? Who do you love to hear every time you kill them? Whose voice makes you reach for the mute button?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Lore of Patch 3.3

In many ways Wrath of the Lich King can be considered the logical conclusion of one of WarCraft's major story lines. Arthas, the evil sovereign of the scourge, will meet his doom in Icecrown Citadel. Each Wrath patch up until now has lead to this defining moment -- the face off between Arthas and the players representing the next generation of heroes of Azeroth. Who will win? What happens after Arthas is defeated? Is Arthas defeated?

These questions lend themselves to a spectacular conclusion to a great tale. In The Lore of Patch 3.3, Michael Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and I will take a look at all the various plots, characters, and environments that lead up to this grand confrontation with the Lich King.

You'll want to know this story. You'll want to know this lore.

For when you finally face off against the wielder of the Frostmourne, you'll know why you're going toe-to-toe against him, and why your fate can make or break the very face of Azeroth.

This article, while containing essential lore, also contains heavy spoilers. Do not proceed if that bothers you.

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Filed under: Patches, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: Azerothian Super Villains - Episode 7


This is a movie that will bring screams of joy to many of you. Ian Beckman has released Azerothian Super Villains - Episode 7. Kael'thas continues to be the mainstay of the series, with his trademark voice and childish antics. Little shivers of glee still shoot up and down my spine at Beckman's masterful portrayal of the Dark Belf Lord.

My favorite part of this episode is the Team Rocket parody. Something about Arthas leading his team in a cute little poem just feels right. While I'm not foolish enough to believe Blizzard would include such a thing in Icecrown Citadel, you better believe that poem's going to be in my head every time I show down against him.

The story progresses fairly well, with the old gang reunited by the end. I don't know. I love all of the characters, but Kael'thas steals the show to such an amazing degree that I sometimes feel like Illidan is hogging the Dark Belf Lord's limelight. The final teaser does seem to promise more in the future for Kael'thas, so here's hoping the next installment isn't too far off.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: Awesome animations



There have been some truly spectacular visual moments in Azeroth; scenes that make you gasp and glee. I'm thinking of occasions like the Scourge Invasion of Stormwind and Orgrimar or Kael'thas blowing up his room in Tempest Keep. Who can deny Wrathgate was incredible. However, there are also some awesome little animations that really add so much to the game. It's these little things that we can take for granted but sometimes jump out at us as something wonderful.

Even on a hard night of raid wiping in our guild, if someone chugs a stack of Pygmy Oil and /cower's it's bound to bring a laugh. Many a machinima has featured a /dance, from one race or many, with variously spectacular and humorous results.

Who's /flex is better, Draenei or Blood Elf? Have you ever left one of your characters alone for a while and then had their idle-animation surprise you? Are there any actions or animations you wish were in the game? What animations bring a smile to your face?

Filed under: Gnomes, Machinima, Breakfast Topics, Draenei, Blood Elves

WoW Moviewatch: Azeroth Super Villains Episode 7 teaser


Today's WoW Moviewatch is just a brief trailer. But it's a trailer than I know many, many people are going to be pretty excited about. Ian Beckman is returning to the beloved Azeroth Super Villains. In fact, this is the trailer for Azeroth Super Villains 7.

In the trailer, Ian's chilling out at home and eating some chips. That's when he notices an odd, blonde figure running up to him from the distance. Within moments, it turns out the blonde figure is Kael'Thas, who's here to remind Ian the same things many fans have been saying: it's time for another episode!

The new episode is due out in November. (Ian had originally been thinking December, but Kael'Thas warned him that he shouldn't wait that long.) This teaser is pretty early in that regard, but I thnk the brief appearance of Kael'Thas lets us know that Ian hasn't lost "his touch" at the series.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: Most emotional boss encounter?

After compiling a list of what I felt were the most difficult raid bosses to heal, it got me wondering. Many of the encounters we've faced, be it in 5 mans or raids, have players feeling varying levels of emotion after they bring them down. One of my guild officers refers to it as "chasing a high". It's a feeling you experience after taking down a particularly tough boss.

I'll give you an example.

In vanilla WoW, Vael was a challenge in his own right. It took a long time for my guild to bring him down before the expansion came out. But to me, the greatest rush and "high" I experienced was after taking down Illidan for the first time. Kil'Jaeden was a close second. Sartharion with 3 drakes alive was the closest encounter in Wrath of the Lich King to even compare to the euphoric feelings I felt before during Burning Crusade.

Then there's the other kind of emotional where you've felt invested in a particular character and experience a sense of dread after realizing you're the executioner. After my guild took down Kael'thas, I felt a pang of regret. I was heavily into Warcraft III in the years before World of Warcraft. Kael was one of my favourite expansion heroes to play with. No one truly enjoys killing their favourite heroes. Of course, little did I know that Kael wasn't quite finished yet. So in a sense, even though I was overjoyed that we killed Kael after 6 or so weeks, I was disappointed that we had to kill Kael. I know I'm not the only one on the staff who feels a connection to raid bosses. For Alex, killing Vaelstrasz bought a slight tear to his eye. Just one. He's still a dragon with loot after all.

Maybe the next boss that will give me the exhilarating thrill will be when we drop Arthas himself.

Which boss made the most impact to you as a player and what about it made it so special?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: A second look at Maiev Shadowsong


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? Leave a comment below!

As I mentioned previously, Maiev Shadowsong is one of my favorite characters in all of Warcraft lore. When I said that, the statement was quickly met with the cries of people calling her all sorts of unpleasant names. And you know what? That's the beauty of the character. Sometimes, not all good characters are people you would sit down and have a beer with. In fact, some of them are downright nasty people. I wouldn't go that far with Maiev, but I think it's okay that she's not a peaches and sunshine sort of character, especially considering what's been done to her.

Yes, Know Your Lore has covered Maiev before, but now it's my turn. Elizabeth and I have pretty substantial differences of opinion on the Warden, so I don't think you'll mind too much.

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

First WoW Minis expansion: Spoils of War


Upper Deck has released the first expansion to the WoW minis game, called Spoils of War. The new set of figures introduces legendary lore figures like Jaina and Kael'thas into the mix, and they can now jump onto the gameboard with player characters and duke it out in the streamlined Arena-style turn-based battles. The new set also contains Action Bar cards, which can modify your characters and party's abilities before a battle (like casting a Wrath of Air totem to modify all of your team's die rolls). And finally, the new expansion also brings items into the mix, so there's one more medium in which you can wield Sulfuras, the Hand of Ragnaros. (And no, unfortunately, real life isn't one... yet.)

The new set is available in booster packs at a hobby and collectible store near you -- the MSRP is about $14.99, but they'll probably be around for cheaper than that eventually, if they're not already. If you're a regular player of the minis game, it sounds like it'll be a must-have addition, and if you've never picked it up before, maybe the prospect of playing some of the more famous lore figures will get you interested.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Expansions, WoW TCG, Arena

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Raid Rx: Healing Ulduar and what to expect


Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Ulduar is almost here! Are you prepared?

The patch for Ulduar is imminent. There's no release date yet. Personally I believe it will land sometime this month. Healing assignments has just gotten more complicated. Incoming damage is more than what's currently in the game. To cap it all off, mana regen's been slightly nerfed.

So here's a quick summary of what to expect and how to counteract for it. I've participated in some of the normal mode Ulduar raids and a few heroic mode Ulduar raids. It's tough. The level of complexity and effort required is somewhere along the pre-nerf Hyjal and Black Temple days.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Golden's Arthas delivers the lore goodness

A note from Alex Ziebart: When Simon and Schuster sent Daniel and I a pair of free, early review copies of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, we immediately went about planning how we were going to handle a 2-man review. We've been good friends for years, and one of our favorite past times is debating things like this back and forth. We rarely agree on books, and we can argue our sides until we're blue in the face. We were going to write an Alex vs Daniel knock down, drag out argument about Arthas and it was going to rule. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way.

When we finished reading the book, we got together to talk about it. It was... unsettling. We completely agreed with each other on almost every point that was raised. The high points and the low points, we were completely on the same spectrum. That's just not right. We decided that, rather than write two reviews parroting each other, we would just go with the one. Daniel's review says everything I want to say better than I could have said it, so once you read what he says, just pretend you can hear me say "Ditto" at the end. Take it away, Danny!

As WoW Insider's self-proclaimed junior lieutenant Lore Nerd, when Simon & Schuster so generously offered to send us a couple of free advanced copies of Arthas, the new World of Warcraft book by Christie Golden, I was all over that. As soon as the book showed up on my doorstep, I turned on the answering machine, grabbed a soda, popped some popcorn, curled up in my favorite chair, and pretty much read the whole thing straight through. The only breaks I took were to discuss various scenes and their ramifications for lore with Alex. And by discuss, I mean "fanboy out."

But I am being completely serious when I say, of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters. It's not a perfect book, but it's a very worthwhile read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the why and how of that big armored dude up on the Frozen Throne.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum Post of the Day: Chatroom of the Scourge


I don't know exactly what's so funny about this long chatlog between some of the more popular undead and evil NPCs of the game (maybe just how similar this crowd ends up being to us), but it is hilarious. Basically a sequel to the old boss chat, this one has "theLichKing" chatting with "Killzone'jaeden" and "An00barak" about everything from how cold it is in Icecrown to just where Sargeras is from. Very well done, Warraven of Ravenholdt. He even gets some nice lore in there even between all of the pony jokes.

And this little chatlog reminded me of all the funny stuff over at Wowbash. If you've never looked through the archives over there, definitely check them out, but be careful. Browsing all of those funny quotes is almost more addictive than actually playing the game.

Filed under: Undead, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Lore, NPCs, Fan art

Ask a Lore Nerd: Speculative speculation

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Today's edition of Ask a Lore Nerd is a bit heavy on the speculation side, so be warned before you start reading. We've had a lot of questions recently that we don't yet have answers to, but are asked frequently enough that I suppose I should see what I can say!

vyx asked...

"Okay, so speaking of life and death, this has bugged me for a while -- how do we explain the fact that some characters (Horde and Alliance legends for example) have died, but yet every Priest, Pally, Shammy and Druid can rez people anytime they want?

I realize it's a game and it wouldn't be so much fun if you died and then had to reroll a level 1, but there needs to be some type of lore explanation as to why people can be rezzed, but also can 'really die.' Are we supposed to just not worry about this or is there an explanation?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

BlizzPlanet reviews upcoming Arthas novel

One of the Warcraft novels I've actively been looking forward to is Arthas, Rise of the Lich King. It's set to be released to the world on April 21, 2009 but BlizzPlanet.com has gotten its hands on a few bound galleys of the book early. Some of them are being given away, but he's also reading one on his own and has gifted us with a quick review.

The review makes the book sound incredible, though perhaps a bit too cluttered. The novel is roughly 300 pages in length (I believe) and the first 100 pages covers his childhood from the arrival of the Stormwind refugees in Lordaeron to the beginning of Warcraft III. That covers about fourteen years, and that's potentially a lot of territory to cover!

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

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