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Posts with tag lich-king

What If: Clash of the Frozen Thrones

I love doing lore columns, and I really enjoy doing Tinfoil Hat Editions of Know Your Lore -- I like the process of finding all the loose threads from expansions past and pulling them together in a way that is just weird enough to feasibly work. Sometimes, however, I come up with ideas that are just a little too far out there for a Tinfoil Hat Edition. Certainly they're interesting enough, but feasible? Not in the slightest.

When it comes to Warlords of Draenor, there are a lot of questions that haven't been answered. This is to be expected. We haven't even seen the beta for the expansion yet. We have absolutely no idea where that story is going to lead, other than commentary at BlizzCon suggesting that it will directly feed into the expansion following. Yet that tiny little comment, along with some thinking about Warlords itself gave me a theory regarding the next expansion. No, not Warlords -- I'm talking about the expansion after that.

It's entirely implausible of course, which is why I'm not sticking it in the Know Your Lore column. But what the heck, let's take a moment and ask ourselves what if -- and consider the possibility of Azeroth's greatest villain reborn.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 4 - Wrath of the Lich King continued


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's coverage of the lore of Wrath of the Lich King got to the thematic middle point of the expansion - the Wrathgate event. It changed the nature of Horde/Alliance relations, breaking any possibility for faction cooperation. It also capped off the Dragonblight storyline - Horde players had to deal with the realization that the very plague used on Horde troops by Putress was created by their efforts questing in the zone, while Alliance players saw the loss of one of the more beloved lore figures on their side, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon. (The last name Fordragon means "He who cleaves on Dragons' in old Arathi. Okay, no it doesn't. But Bolvar absolutely did that.) Combined with the way Bolvar's previous encounters with players had been worked into the quests, it was a gut punch to lose him.

It was far from the end of the story, however. We had miles to go before we reached the foot of Icecrown Citadel. I mentioned, briefly, the Arugal storyline in the Grizzly Hills, but there was also the story of the Furbolg in the region - a story that touched upon earlier zones such as the Howling Fjord and the Whisper Gulch. These stories would be shown to be of vast importance, and connected to that of an entity named Loken, who was directing the plunder of ancient Titan sites across Northrend by a force of strange Iron Dwarves.

The story of Loken would, in a way, eclipse that of Arthas Menethil without displacing him - for while the Lich King was a clear and present danger and the reason the Alliance and Horde had come to Northend, Loken would prove to endanger Azeroth far more directly. If the Lich King succeeded, the Scourge would rule a world dominated by the undead. If Loken had his way, there would be no Azeroth at all.

The machinations of these two forces both involved a strange material called Saronite - the Scourge forces seemed determined to mine this unusual metal from specific dark corners of the land beneath Northrend's surface. Whisper Gulch, too, teemed with it. But what was Saronite, and why did the Scourge seemingly loathe and fear the name Yogg-Saron while still using the stuff?

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

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 3 - Wrath of the Lich King


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.

Part one covered the original launch game, and part two covered the Burning Crusade expansion. Part three is about Corgis Unleashed.

No, no, I kid. Part three is of course about Wrath of the Lich King, when our titular king of the liches gets upset. Miffed. Irate. Angry, even. This one is going to be long - even longer than the BC recap, so long that I see no choice but to split it into two parts. The Lich King was a long time in coming - players were clamoring for him from the moment World of Warcraft launched, and when the expansion bearing his name finally hit, it changed everything.

Like The Burning Crusade, WotLK started with an event. But unlike TBC, this particular event, the Scourge Invasion, was leaps and bounds more dramatic than expected. This time, the monsters were the players, so to speak.

It began with mysterious boxes appearing in Booty Bay and other cities and towns, spreading across Azeroth slowly. The boxes appeared in capital cities, shipped from unknown locales... and slowly, all over the world, the curse of undeath began taking root. At first members of the Argent Dawn could keep ahead of the tide of plague, but as it continued, more and more of Azeroth's heroes succumbed. Soon an irresistible tide of undead threatened Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Ironforge, Undercity (yes, even the forsaken were not immune) and other locations. Some ran and hid in the countryside, avoiding major cities, because these undead seemed to possess a sadistic enjoyment and sought to infect as many as possible.

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

The hardest boss of WoW

hogger
We've done analyses and retrospectives on various boss fights for years here at WoW Insider, and as a new raid looms large in patch 5.4, I started thinking about which boss might be considered the most difficult to ever grace World of Warcraft. It's not a simple question to answer, because of the diversity of fights we've seen in WoW over the years, as well as the way the game itself has evolved. I turned to the rest of the WoW Insider team for some opinions on this, and they quickly weighed in with typically interesting and thoughtful opinions. As can be expected with such a subjective topic and a good-sized group of people as the WoW Insider staff, opinions varied on which might be the hardest boss of all. Yet, four names in particular kept popping up.

1. C'Thun
Matt Rossi: If we're talking "hardest for people in the best gear available to do at the time", then C'thun. They HAD to nerf C'thun before anyone (and I mean anyone) could kill him without exploiting. For a group of level 60's in BWL/AQ gear, pre-Naxx, C'thun was the hardest fight. Not even Naxx fights compared. There has never been a fight tuned that high again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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 Lessons of the Lich King

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.

Thinking again about the Lich King, specifically when Arthas Menethil wore the Helm of Domination, always brings me to speculate on his seeming need to prove something. Everything we experienced in Wrath of the Lich King seemed calculated towards that end. From the encounter with him in Howling Fjord through the complicated Drak'tharon Keep and Zul'Drak storylines to the final showdown atop Icecrown Citadel, Arthas always had a plan, and that plan was in part simply to cause his own enemies to provide him with a cadre of such power that he could turn and use against the world, yes. But more than that, Arthas seemed obsessed with proving that he was right.

Again and again Arthas as the Lich King put mortal heroes through situations that served to illustrate his own fall - again and again, he sought not just to torment and inspire hatred and anger just as he had been tormented by Mal'Ganis and grew to be consumed by hatred, but to show by so doing how his own actions had been correct. That the only possible response to what he'd undergone was to become as he had. Even merged with Ner'zhul in the form of the Lich King, Arthas' mind and personality came to shape the entity, and when all roads converged atop Icecrown, it was Arthas' desire to show Azeroth how right he was that shone through.

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

Blood Pact: A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing

Blood Pact A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill muses about tanking, healing, and why she really does play a DPS.

I have a confession: I was once a tank. Technically I could have been half a tank, because I think I healed just as often, but once upon a time I rolled a druid with the intent of getting a melee DPS perspective.

One night in Wrath of the Lich King, my first guild had some trouble with kiting the adds on Gluth. So we upped the tank count to 3: the paladin tank moved to the back for holy tag with the undead while the former-bear warrior walked me through my feral spellbook as I sat in bear form on that pipe. I think it was the extra Mauls that hooked me. I became a bear tank with a branch-waving offspec.

I have fond memories of alt or PUG raids where I had cooldown-busting health pools and hero-bear resurrections between Gormok's death and the arena entrance of Acidmaw and Dreadscale. But as my guild tore apart in the beginnings of Icecrown Citadel, I've been back to pewpewing from the back as a warlock. My bear is merely an alt.

But my bear has made my warlock a little stronger.

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

Lich King easter egg discovered in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Lich King in SC2 Image Editor
"There must always be a Lich King," Bolvar reminded us, and he really, really meant it. Across all realities, in every Blizzard intellectual property, there must be a Lich King. That's right, take a look at that screenshot up there. Yup, that's the Lich King, buried in a sheet of ice somewhere in the Koprulu Sector. Redditor Aunvilgod laments, "I'm just making a map, and I see this..." I'm not sure it's really any major source of concern, though, considering we have recent confirmation that the Zerg would curbstomp the Scourge in a brawl. Then again, that's only good news if you're Zerg. Terrans and Protoss might have a slightly different perspective.

Unsurprisingly, the thread is immediately flooded with cries for a Warcraft 4. I really don't think WoW is going anywhere anytime soon, folks, though I suppose fans can dream.

Filed under: Humor, StarCraft 2

Ra-den encounter features a return of limited attempts

Raden encounter features a return of limited attempts
The Throne of Thunder has been compared to Ulduar in more ways than one -- the size and scope of the dungeon, the multitude of boss encounters, and even the thematic elements of the dungeon itself. But it looks like there is one more comparison to add to the pile. Ra-den, the bonus boss unlocked only upon defeating Lei-Shen on heroic mode, has a mechanic to limit the number of times he can be engaged in any given week.

Those that remember Algalon remember the one hour limit on attempting the boss. One careless pull, one wipe, one disconnect could potentially ruin a guild's chances for downing the boss in a lockout period. But Ra-den isn't limited by a time clock; instead, he's simply limited by the number of attempts a guild can make. Screenshots have shown that number to be 30, however keep in mind that the number of attempts, and even the limited nature of the encounter, can be changed at any time. Patch 5.2 is still on the PTR, after all.

Blue poster and Game Designer Watcher had some words of wisdom to share following the unplanned discovery of Ra-den's limited attempts on the PTR.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

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

Limited edition Arthas statue available for preorder from Sideshow Collectibles

His expansion may be over, but we are far from done with Arthas. Now available for preorder from Sideshow Collectibles, this absolutely gorgeous statue featuring the Lich King himself can be in your greedy hands by the holidays for $349.99. And as a bonus for the Warcraft community, Sideshow has also created an exclusive desktop wallpaper free for download.

Arthas stands at 19 inches tall atop an icy, glacier-blue base, hand-painted and frosted. Since this statue is crafted from polystone and weighs in at approximately 20 pounds, you can be certain of one thing -- this is a statue and definitely not an action figure in any way, shape or form. While preorders are open now, the statue is not estimated to ship until October 2012. If you're looking for a stunning, eye-catching holiday present for your favorite Warcraft-playing friend --or simply want a conversation piece for yourself -- this will easily fit the bill.

Visit Sideshow's official website to see a full gallery of Arthas in all his glory, place a preorder, or get your hands on the exclusive desktop wallpaper.

Filed under: News items

Lichborne: Divining the direction of death knight lore in Pandaria

Forsaken Death Knight in Ebon Hold
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Let's face it: We had it pretty good in Wrath. Since that expansion was our grand debut, we were everywhere. We had an opening experience where we connected with our origin and found out that our own factions, for obvious reasons, barely trusted us. We were instrumental to the battle in Northrend, doing things other factions wouldn't do, with a clear goal of destroying those who wronged us. We were perfect tragic figures with some robust story and great characters in the form of Thassarian, Crok Scourgebane, and Darion Mograine, among others.

In Cataclysm, things have been, to say the least, a little bit sparser. With Arthas dead, do death knights have a purpose in lore anymore, or are we just around because it'd be sort of silly to remove the class and have everyone reroll? I tend to think death knights are still a pretty interesting and dynamic class, story-wise, and this week, we'll look at where we are at the end of Cataclysm and where our story might go in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Know Your Lore: Scholomance revisited

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.

On a lone island located in the middle of Darrowmere Lake it sits, the remnants of the keep of Caer Darrow. The history of this isle dates all the way back to the high elves of Quel'Danas, who used the site as the location of one of many runestones the quel'dorei used. But the history of this isle has been lost in the face of far more recent history -- the history of the noble Barov family and their downfall, the history of a school dedicated to horrors the rest of Azeroth would rather forget.

During the Second War, the ancient site was invaded by the Horde, who took the runestone and broke it into pieces that were taken to create Altars of Storms. And some time after that, the Barov line came to own the property, as well as several others across Lordaeron. The Barovs, however, were not content with their mass amounts of land -- they wanted to make sure they held that land and their fortune for as long as possible. And so they struck a deal with a powerful mage, one who could easily give them all they asked and more ... for a price.

The mage's name was Kel'Thuzad.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Limited edition WoW cups coming to ampm stores

Upset over the cancellation of BlizzCon 2012 and looking to drown your sorrows in a massive cup adorned with one of your favorite Warcraft characters? Blizzard is teaming up with ampm to promote World of Warcraft cups featuring Arthas, Kil'jaedan, Illidan, and Deathwing. We don't have a release date for the cups just yet, but look for more information as the promotion gets closer to beginning.

World of Warcraft is entering over seven years of operation and still going strong, enough so that regional advertising campaigns at widespread retailers are an attractive move. WoW has definitely eclipsed the video game market and is instead focusing on attracting new players because, for the most part, a lot of the home team market is dried up. By putting WoW in places where less typical gamers might encounter it, Blizzard has a great chance of attracting new people.

Can we please get the dataminers on this and tell us what size cups these are, as well as the materials used to make them? I love those study plastic cups. I'm waiting patiently.

Filed under: News items

5 reasons you should love Cataclysm

Oh, Cataclysm. You've gotten such a bad rap. Despite popular opinion, what we got from the Cataclysm expansion was nothing short of a miracle -- one that was desperately needed after the prior two expansions' worth of content. But it's undeniably difficult to look at the current expansion with anything other than an overly critical eye, considering the fact that we're playing through all that content right now.

In hindsight, it's likely the current expansion will grow on us, and some time in the distant future we'll be looking back on it with rose-colored glasses just like we do the others before it. Don't get me wrong -- while classic, The Burning Crusade, and Wrath all had absolutely fantastic reasons to love them, things didn't seem so rosy and wonderful when we were all playing through that content, and there was just as much grumbling in each of those expansions as there is about Cataclysm now. But hey -- there's still plenty of reasons to love Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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