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Posts with tag kiljaeden

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Silence of the Titans


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.

Once upon a time, godlike creatures of order called Titans landed on a small, unassuming planet named Azeroth and proceeded to reorganize it. After they left, the planet was invaded by malevolent creatures called Old Gods -- creatures of chaos and destruction. The Titans returned to the little planet, horrified at what had happened, and rose up against the Old Gods and their elemental lieutenants in what was the most horrific war the planet had ever seen. But instead of destroying the Old Gods, the Titans were forced to imprison them deep within the planet.

They set safeguards over the fragile world -- draconic aspects to watch over the various domains of life, the earth, magic, time, and nature. They created new guardians to watch over the prisons of the Old Gods. They created a magical font of energy, tied to the Twisting Nether -- the Well of Eternity. And satisfied with their work, the Titans left. No one on the fragile planet has seen them since; they are spoken of in history and in legend, but they've never returned.

Why? Of all the questions in Azeroth, this is the biggest by far. Why did the Titans imprison the Old Gods, instead of starting over from scratch? Common theory suggests they liked the planet too much to re-originate it, yet they left behind safeguards that would do exactly that, if the Old Gods escaped again. So why not simply do so to begin with? Why leave the world as it stood? More importantly -- why are we here?

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 it happened. The events presented are events that happened in Azeroth's history, but the conclusion is simply a theory and shouldn't be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Third War, 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.

A few months back, I started on an overview of the Third War. As you can see from reading it, the following week, I did not in fact talk about the Third War at all. If you're familiar with my Thrall piece for KYL, you understand this is something that happens to me from time to time. I fully intended to go into more details about the war, but I got sidetracked by something shiny or a colorful ball of twine or what have you.

But with Wrath of the Lich King a month from its exit from center stage, it's time to look back again at the war that made it all possible.

After the Culling of Stratholme, Arthas Menethil had taken his first steps into obsession. The Culling itself is often treated as an indefensible act that proves Arthas was already evil, but I personally see it as the first tipping point, when a young and idealistic man who wanted to do right by his people was presented with an untenable choice and let his own impulsive nature decide. Waiting outside the city for the residents to turn into undead and destroying them as they attempted to escape was, after all, neither a more merciful nor a more prudent option. In the end, Arthas made the choice he did, and in so doing alienated both Uther, his direct superior as a paladin (and one who has his father's ear, to boot) and Jaina, his on-again, off-again romance. This left him free to pursue Mal'Ganis to Northrend.

His actions would change the face of Azeroth and her nations forever.

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

Know Your Lore: The Prophet Velen, the light and the darkness


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 Cataclysm in this post.

The Prophet Velen plays a long game. He thinks ahead and considers not only the past and the present but the future, which befits one who has lived for over 25,000 years and can see into the future (however malleable that future might become). To the Prophet, racial grudges, territorial acquisition, even revenge for injuries done to his people -- none of it matters. Even the great Cataclysm is unimportant. Because Velen has seen that all the battles we've fought are merely harbingers and the greatest conflict in the universe is approaching. And every son and daughter of the Light, no matter how tenuous his or her connection, no matter what forces he or she has chosen to consort with (be they divine, elemental, arcane or even fel), will have to make a choice and pick a side.

The final battle approaches. The world of Azeroth has been chosen. Good versus evil, light against darkness, life opposing death. What side will you choose?

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

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

Know Your Lore: 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.

I love the draenei. Ever since their incorporation into World of Warcraft I've been fond of our indigo skinned (well, colors range from a light whitish-blue to an almost black), tentacle bearded, cloven hooved dimension exile friends. Yes, I'm aware that Chris Metzen had to take some heat for having contradicted his own backstory (and isn't it fascinating how the guy who wrote the original story can still be lambasted for having 'gotten it wrong'? Truly, fandom is wondrous strange.) but to my eyes, having a chance to play one of the draenei is worth all the handwaving. Their history as it has been incorporated into the game is one that I find equal parts tragic, epic and inspiring. Not many races in the universe can be said to have survived the personal attentions of Kil'jaeden the Deceiver for tens of thousands of years. Even now, after the near total genocide of the orcish Horde, the draenei endure.

They have a slight problem with steering Naaru dimensional ships, though. They've crashed two, by my current count, one becoming the mountain Oshu'gun (ironically one of the orcs most sacred sites before they fell to darkness and corruption is a crashed Naaru vessel) and the most recent being the Exodar section of the Naaru fortress seized by Kael'Thas Sunstrider and renamed Tempest Keep.

So who are the draenei? Well, for that we need to go back more than 25,000 years. Luckily, this talking dog and small child happen to have a wayback machine and no means to prevent me from stealing it from them. Hopefully Nozdormu doesn't find out.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The OverAchiever: 5 of the best lore-related achievements

Let's be honest; the best lore-related achievement is without question Loremaster, which requires you to do the vast majority of the game's quests. But that's pretty self-evident -- "To get the best lore experience in-game, do the quests, which contain virtually all of the actual lore!" -- and thus kind of a cop-out from my perspective. So what I'm going to do with this edition of OverAchiever is pointedly ignore the fact that Loremaster is the most important thing you should do as a dedicated lore junkie, and turn to some other options that tend to be overlooked.

As with our article on Twenty-Five Tabards, this is not an exhaustive guide on how to do each achievement, but simply a starting point if you're either interested in Azeroth's history, or interested in your character becoming more deeply involved in the developing story. As an early warning, 1 of the following 5 achievements is no longer doable, but I've decided to include it as I think the inability to do it at this point in time could be considered part of Azerothian history.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Lore, The Overachiever

Know Your Lore: The Old Horde


Welcome to Know Your Lore, WoW.com's weekly column about the story behind the game we play.

Last week we discussed the formation of the Alliance in response to the Horde invasion of and destruction of the Kingdom of Azeroth via the Black Portal, and the Alliance's eventual triumph over the Horde, expedition to Draenor, and the events of Warcraft III that saw the destruction of Lordaeron and creation of a new order. This week, we talk about the events that caused those events.

Yes, this week we're discussing the origins of the Horde, that organization that began as the manipulated, deceived and then ultimately demonic blood addicted orcs of Draenor. It's not a simple tale: we've already told parts if it before when we discussed Gul'dan, Ner'zhul, Teron Gorefiend, Grom Hellscream and many others. It all really began untold thousands of years ago on the planet Argus, home world of the Eredar and their Draenei, or exiled, cousins. Thus, ironically, while the existence of the Horde caused the creation of the Alliance, it was an Alliance race that helped start the events that led to the creation of the Horde. Symmetry in origin.

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Filed under: Shaman, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Lore, Know your Lore, NPCs

The Queue: Literally


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Michael Sacco will be your host today.

Editor's Note: The above image has now been fixed to include its original participants.

What a great week for dungeon running. Got my shaman his full tier 9 set, my rogue her 2-piece, and a myriad of other badges and loot for my other alts. Soon I'll start pawning off my alt's Emblems of Frost for Primordial Saronite and finance some epic flying. Plus I've gathered enough mats to get my rogue berserking on both of her weapons. Not bad, Patch 3.3. Not bad indeed.

But wait! The Queue is about you. Let's get some you in here.

Squirr3llywrath9 asked...

What's the deal with the Scarlet Crusade? I thought they were against anything that is against the teachings of the Light, particularly the scourge. But in Dragonblight there are shadow priests and death knights in the various bases the crusade has in Northrend. Was wondering if I missed anything that explains their change in ideals.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, The Queue

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

Know Your Lore: Ner'zhul


Welcome back to Know Your Lore, WoW.com's column about the story behind the game we all play.

We talked last week about Quel'Delar, a sword of emerging lore, and the week before that we covered Darion Mograine, a pivotal figure to Death Knights and part of the reason we're fighting in Northrend. This week, however, we're kicking our look at the lore of Wrath of the Lich King in the caboose with a look at possibly the most reviled orc to ever live. Sure, he probably wasn't the most evil orc ever (Gul'dan wins that one in a walk, boy howdy) but for sheer staying power and for having a role in the genocide of the orcs against the draenei, the sundering of Draenor into Outland, and for being the first Lich King, you really have to hand it to Ner'zhul. Here's an orc who manages to pop up a lot in the lore.

If you did the Howling Fjord quests for the Alliance and made the mistake of walking too close to a certain King of the Liches (and other undead things) he delivers a line of dialog that perfectly explains why we're talking about Ner'zhul today. Before Arthas, there was Ner'zhul. Like Arthas, Ner'zhul wanted to save his people, to be a hero, to be respected and powerful. Like Arthas, Ner'zhul lost sight of the truth as he sought to achieve his goals. Unlike Arthas, however, Ner'zhul turned his face away from ultimate evil once he recognized it for what it was... but too late, far too late, and found himself damned for his hubris, forced to watch his apprentice do every evil thing he himself had refused to do.

It was the first prison for Ner'zhul, but it would not be the last.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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

Breakfast Topic: How phasing could be used in-game

Phasing seems to be Blizzard's new favorite toy. It's being used be more and more as we progress through Wrath. From the Wrathgate to those annoying out of body/spirit quests in Zul'Drak, phasing is changing how we see Azeroth itself. But it strikes me there's once area where phasing should sometimes be used and isn't: bosses. Specifically I mean the big guys ... Kil'Jaeden, Illidan, Loken, Yoggy, Algalon and, of course, Arthas himself.

The logic here is simple, these are bosses key to game lore and killing them not only takes an enormous amount of effort (or in the case of Kil'Jaeden, banishing him back to where ever he came from) but it also has an effect on the world itself. Think of the impacts the events of the Sunwell had - phasing was never implemented there, and definitely should have been once Wrath was released.

Now I know you will be thinking: "Why should we only kill a boss once?" I'm not suggesting that once you kill the Lich King, for example, you are locked out of killing him again. Rather that his death triggers a change in Azeroth - which is where the phasing comes in. Icecrown Citadel could collapse or be recycled by other NPCs, such as the Ebon Blade. Once this happens, you could then walk in, click on an NPC and 'relive' the fight in the form of a new raid. The same thing could be done with the Sunwell, for example, and it could open up a new quest chain and further the game's lore in new and fantastic ways.

We've already seen how phasing can change Northrend, just look at how it's used post-Wrathgate. How do you think it could be used (particularly considering that the new expansion is called Cataclysm) to change how we play, the bosses we kill, and how we raid?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, NPCs, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: Life and Death


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 we're fielding a lot of questions on the Light and the Shadow, and Life and Death. I don't know why, really, that's just how things happened! Trends like that are always fun, like the week or two where we had nothing but dragon questions. It makes picking out themes really easy!

Emorich asked...

I was under the impression that C'Thun wasn't dead. I thought we simply stopped him. After all, we were attacking one of his eyeballs, hardly a vital organ. Is Kil'Jaeden dead too? I thought we basically just pushed him back through the portal and now he's really pissed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

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