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Posts with tag kiljaeden

Know Your Lore: Garrosh Hellscream and the nature of villany

Know Your Lore Garrosh Hellscream and the nature of villany
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.

Garrosh Hellscream has been a controversial figure ever since he took the reins of Warchief in Cataclysm, but never quite as contentious as he is now. Presented as the final boss of this expansion, Garrosh's actions have spun wildly out of control, his thirst for and abuse of power quickly turning him from a potentially good Warchief to a monster whose iron grip over the Horde has only served to splinter and fracture the individual races that compose it, rather than bringing them together.

Although ... technically, Garrosh has brought the Horde together. The disparate races are working together with a sort of fierce, single-minded unity that we haven't exactly seen before. Rather than each race working individually on their own tasks, with their own motives for doing so, they have banded together with one purpose in mind, a goal that they all share: Getting Garrosh out. In a way, Garrosh has been just as good for the Horde as he has bad. But does Garrosh Hellscream work as an end game villain? Yes and no.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Alliance and Horde

Know Your Lore The Alliance and Horde
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.

To ask why we fight, is to ask why the leaves fall -- it is in their nature.

The Alliance and Horde have been notoriously at each other's throats since the two factions began in the days of the First and Second Wars. And although I have come up with some crazy theories regarding the innate reasons behind that latent aggression between the two factions, they're simply theories. They may make sense, in a bizarre and meta fashion, but they are in no way true. So here we are, left with a simple question: What makes the Alliance and Horde so prone to aggression? Why do they continue to battle, and turn their noses at the thought of making peace?

While I do enjoy coming up with fanciful reasons for all of this, there is one blatant, simple reason that stands on its own: Misunderstanding. Sheer, unadulterated ignorance and a stubborn unwillingness to try and understand. Both sides possess a single-minded obsession with violence and retribution that has never faded, nearly thirty years after the events of the First War. And when you step back and take a look at the conflict between the two factions with a neutral eye, the whole of the aggression turns into a delightful, tragic, almost laughable comedy of errors and escalation.

Let's take a look at where some of the common misconceptions surrounding both Horde and Alliance have gotten us.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, Doomhammer, and the nature of the Horde

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.

Garrosh Hellscream is many things. He's brash, headstrong, arrogant, concerned for his people, determined to deliver the whole of Azeroth into their dominion no matter what anyone thinks about it, but one thing is clear. He's not Gul'dan. For all the grief I like to give Horde players (mainly because it's easy to rile Horde players up, I know, I raided as Horde for all of Cataclysm and a good chunk of Mists) It's true that on the surface, the Horde of today has changed greatly from the Horde Gul'dan created.

The Horde as it exists today is the spiritual successor of the Horde that Orgrim Doomhammer created when he seized power. Was Doomhammer a kindly, soft spoken orc who loved kittens and rainbows? No. No he was not. He was an orc who had come to power as the right hand of Blackhand the Destroyer, a hunter and a warrior who had spent his entire life in combat. He was strong, devoted to his people, and absolutely committed to an orc victory no matter the odds. In a way, minus Garrosh's bluster and bravado, the orc he most resembles from the history of the old Horde is Orgrim Doomhammer.

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

Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell

Know Your Lore Anveena Teague and the Sunwell
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.

Those who travel to Sunwell Plateau may have seen her -- the inexplicable human girl trapped in a bubble above the Sunwell itself, even as demons channel dark energies below. Her story is a sad one, one of the more poignant tales in Warcraft's history, but it's by and large unknown to many who play. Which is kind of a pity, when you think about it -- Anveena Teague is one of those clear in-game representations of when written material and game content collide with little success. Despite her story being told in the manga series The Sunwell Trilogy, that story never really made it into the game in any capacity.

It also means that every time myself, one of my guildmates, or simply random people that follow me over on Twitter head into Sunwell Plateau, I'm asked who that girl the bubble is, where she came from, and why she's there. And since we have yet to address Anveena's full story in Know Your Lore, I thought it was high time she was featured in a column of her own. So we're taking a break from Pandaria this week, and instead turning our attention back in time to the days of Lordaeron's fall, the days when draconic intervention was a far more common occurrence, the days when the Scourge marched en masse over the land, to a quiet little hamlet known as Tarren Mill.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blood Pact: To summon or not to summon, that's the question

Blood Pact To summon or not to summon, that's the question
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill scraps another attempt at Kanrethad to discuss being a pet class instead.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pet bugs in encounter design like jumping down into Nefarian's pit in Blackwing Descent so your pet then did nothing but stand in the middle, or to take up Doomguards against a despawning abyssal phase 3 in Throne of the Four Winds -- and by opposing end them: to die, to sacrifice.

To sacrifice, perchance to DPS; Aye, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death, what meter-topping dreams of 5.0 may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil (no, not that one!), must give our developers pause.

My terrible warlock Shakespeare adaptation aside, we've had the ponderings about how tied to pets warlocks should or shouldn't be. As I continue to throw myself at Kanrethad's own demonic stampede, I've had some thoughts about the subject.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The whispers of Azeroth

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition The fascination of Sargeras 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.

Sargeras: Fallen Titan, founder of the Burning Legion and destroyer of worlds. Since his fall from his place as the premier champion of the Titans, Sargeras has enjoyed utmost success in his mission of destruction, bringing down endless worlds and wreaking havoc across the universe. Yet one world has eluded his grasp, time and time again -- Azeroth. Though the Burning Legion has visited Azeroth countless times, it has yet to sink its claws into the world and wrench it apart.

Despite this, the Legion continues to try. There may be hundreds, thousands, possibly even millions of distinct worlds out there ripe for annihilation, but the Burning Legion and Sargeras himself have focused with certainty on our little world. Is it a matter of revenge? Is it a matter of stubborn persistence? Or is there some other reason we're the focus of the universe's heralds of hatred? What is Sargeras' fascination with our tiny planet, anyway?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on why and what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 magnificent bastards of Warcraft, part 2

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 some magnificent bastards. At least one of those choices (Garithos) is, for me, kind of a controversial one, and I'm going to suggest a replacement for him in this post, because I think many readers made a valid point regarding him.

Garithos is absolutely the second part of the equation, but there's no magnificence to him. He's a bumbler, a cretin, and his great impact on the world was entirely due to his utter inability to succeed at anything. MBs are more like Doctor Doom or David Xanatos; they have a kind of epic quality to them and a real feeling of threat. So there you go, readers -- you've already convinced me that one of my choices from last week was not the right choice.

Therefore, this post will begin at #6 and count down to #1. Just take Garithos off of last week's list, and let Wrathion sit at #10. This moves Nathanos down to #7 and makes room for this week. You convinced me, guys. Garithos is out.

Can you pull it off again this week? This week, we look at my top Magnificent Bastards in World of Warcraft. I will tell you right now, certain characters will not be appearing on this list because they're either not magnificent enough or not bastards enough. I'm looking at both the King of Stormwind and the current Warchief of the Horde here.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Archimonde the Defiler

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.

Let this scar signify the first blow against the mortal world. From this seal shall arise the doom of men, who, in their arrogance, sought to wield our fire as their own. Blindly they build their kingdoms upon stolen knowledge and conceit. Now they shall be consumed by the very flame they sought to control. Let the echoes of doom resound across this wretched world, that all who live may hear them and despair.

He came to destroy the world, and he nearly did. If not for the combined efforts of the orcs of the Horde and their allies under Warchief Thrall, the human refugees led by Jaina Proudmoore, and the night elves under Tyrande Whisperwind, Archimonde the Defiler would have walked up to Nordrassil, the World Tree that sits atop Mount Hyjal, and he would have consumed it utterly. With it, he would have gained all the power of the Well of Eternity that has seeped up the tree's massive roots over tens of thousands of years, making him quite possibly the most powerful entity Azeroth has ever seen, even including beings like Deathwing, the Old Gods, and potentially even Sargeras himself.

In the end, however, the mortal races banded together in a desperate alliance and held Archimonde and his Burning Legion away from the tree long enough for Malfurion Stormrage to play a final, desperate plan that Archimonde couldn't anticipate, because it involved self-sacrifice, the loss of the night elven immortality. For Archimonde, who had lived for more than 25,000 years constantly coveting power, the idea of giving it up was unthinkable. Combined with his ego and arrogance, he was effectively blind to the danger, and so he died.

We hope. Make no mistake -- Archimonde, of all the Burning Legion, came the closest to actually destroying Azeroth. Neither Sargeras nor Kil'jaeden ever walked Azeroth bodily. Archimonde did. Neither Sargeras nor Kil'jaeden ever set eyes on the Well of Eternity. Archimonde stood mere yards from it, drawing the power from Nordrassil. The Defiler very nearly did exactly that to all of Azeroth.

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

Know Your Lore: The Burning Legion

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.

They burn worlds to ash. They render the verdant uninhabitable. Theirs is not the evil of mad chaos, leaping to corrupt for amusement or decadence. They are the means by which the mad Titan seeks to unmake everything. They are the Burning Legion, and it is their purpose to end existence. Nothing less will satisfy Sargeras.

Yet even within the seemingly monolithic forces of the Legion, there's room for political intrigue of a sort. While Sargeras has seemingly caused his own exile from the seat of power, his former lieutenant Kil'Jaeden now leads the Legion, a position he seemingly aspires to hold indefinitely. And Azeroth is directly in his crosshairs.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Velen, the Prophet

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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.

"I failed long ago to turn my brothers from their course. And creation has paid the price."

How must it feel to be ageless? To watch as millennia tick by, each century the span of a breath and gone in an instant? To the draenei, the lives of humans must seem incredibly short-lived. To the Prophet Velen, who is at least 25,000 years old, we must seem like motes of dust, winking in and out of existence so quickly that we can scarcely be recognized as entities before we cease to exist. Velen has led the draenei through terror and triumph, from world to world, always gently spreading the benevolent message of the Light to any who wish to hear.

Yet for a being of such grace, purity and peace, Velen is also a creature of unfathomable sorrow. For Velen has been granted the gift of Sight, and with the gift he can see the infinite paths of futures that may not be, of worlds born and fallen in the blink of an eye. And despite that gift, Velen cannot prevent what is yet to pass. He cannot prevent that which has gone before, and will come again. And he could not prevent the path his friends chose, nor could he persuade them their new ally was in fact a monster so horrific that his hellish grasp would wreak havoc on immeasurable worlds.

For one that treasures life in the way only the Light can teach, it is a heavy burden to bear.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Do you mind being the unsung hero?

Without a doubt, the characters we play in World of Warcraft are great heroes. We were there when the gates of Ahn'Qiraj were opened. We were there to fight off the Burning Legion at the Sunwell. We were there to see Arthas fall. We were there to down Deathwing -- twice. Hell, we have even traveled through time to be instrumental in events that happened before we were born.

Of course, we're never the real hero. The real hero of the fight against Deathwing was Thrall. Anveena vanquished Kil'jaeden. It was Tirion Fordring who saved the world -- and you -- from complete destruction at the hands of the Lich King. It's like we're the Secret Service agent who saved Ronald Reagan from being assassinated. But if we were also the agent who saved Gerry Ford twice -- and then traveled back in time to save JFK and Lincoln, too. And then found Saddam Hussein and killed Hitler. And also maybe you caused the Big Bang too. It's an inevitable fact of MMORPGs. You're always there, but you never get the credit.

Does that bother you at all? Do you wish that it was your character with the statue along the entrance to Stormwind? Or are you OK with your character's role, serving as the bridesmaid in every wedding to ever occur throughout history?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Illidan Stormrage, The Betrayer

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're plKnow Youaying 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 story of Illidan Stormrage, born well over 10,000 years ago in the ancient city of Suramar alongside his brother Malfurion and their childhood friend Tyrande, would change the entire world now known as Azeroth. Without them, the Burning Legion might well have succeeded. The machinations of demons, the corrupt Highborne, even Queen Azshara were balked by this trio. But Illidan himself was often his own worst enemy.

He is one of the greatest manipulators of arcane power ever to live, the first to ever seek to stalk and kill demons, a prodigy and a madman. He betrayed his own people in order to save them and the entire world, but he always served himself first. Selfish, mercurial, brilliant, resentful and tormented by himself, Illidan Stormrage helped make Azeroth everything it is today.

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Filed under: Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Sargeras and speculation on the next expansion

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.

Planes and planets, demons and mortals -- we've covered the gamut of the Warcraft universe in the past few weeks, including rampant speculation. With BlizzCon 2011 not too far away, people are already talking about what may or may not be announced, including whether or not we'll see news about the next Warcraft expansion and what that expansion could be.

Beyond all of that, however, we have the matter of identifying who exactly the real bad guy of this expansion is. Is it Deathwing? Is it the Old Gods? We don't know, and we won't know until we're closer to the expansion's end and dealing with Deathwing personally -- but whether Deathwing will be the final boss of this expansion is something that's still up in the air. Matthew Rossi wrote an interesting article last week questioning whether Cataclysm has too much potential content, and it's an excellent question. Given all we've seen of the expansion so far and the sheer amount of plot threads that have yet to be addressed, it makes one wonder exactly what else will be revealed in the months to come.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The sources of magic, part 2

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.

What are the kinds of magic we see in the Warcraft setting?

Well, for starters, there's the magic performed by practitioners of the Holy Light, most priests and paladins. This magic comes from the same source as the power the naaru draw from and seems inherent in all living things. Then there's the somehow related shadow magics of shadow priests, which the naaru also tap into during their life cycle. Warlocks also seem capable of touching upon this shadowy magical energy, as do necromancers to varying degrees. This magic seems to derive from a clash of cosmic forces of light and darkness.

However, these are hardly the only forces of magic in the cosmos of the Warcraft setting. Mages tap into the magic that suffuses the material plane, which is generally known as arcane magic and which is the power the original Well of Eternity drew from the Great Dark Beyond. Arcane magic is the closest we get to morally neutral in the setting, but it does pretty much whatever the person using it can figure out a spell to make it do. This makes it incredibly seductive, and those who learn it often become obsessed with it. Its lure is so strong, in fact, that it even draws the attention of the demons of the Burning Legion. And the Legion is hardly without magic of its own.

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

Know Your Lore: Interbellum Part 3 - To rule a world

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.

So now the stage has been set. The exiles have all arrived on the blasted remnants of Draenor, once the home of the orcs and last refuge of the draenei. Following the events of Ner'zhul's attempt to lead the orcs away from their dying world, the planet was shattered and torn asunder, pulled violently into the Twisting Nether that Ner'zhul's portals linked to its surface. Now Outland, a world drifting in the nether, is the remains of that destroyed place. A world where natural laws are often suspended, it hung overripe waiting for a clawed hand to pluck it.

That hand belonged to Magtheridon. Second among the pit lords only to his master Mannoroth, Magtheridon was the one the Legion chose to conquer this world, unique among all the planets formerly taken and crushed by this army of demons. For Ner'zhul's portals still worked, making Outland a kind of nexus wherein the Legion could pull entire armies through at will and easily stage them for new conquests. Holding Outland therefore gave the Legion a strategic foothold, one they were loath to give up.

However, circumstances were unfolding that would lead to exactly that.

Part 1: Forcing Fate's Hand
Part 2: Into the Outland

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore

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