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Ask a Lore Nerd: The heads and tails of the Horde

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.

This week on Ask a Lore Nerd, we're only answering a small number of questions, because they're really good ones and I want to dork out over them a little. Let's get started, shall we?

Mornash
asked...

Speaking of Garrosh Hellscream, what do you think Blizzard has in store for us with his story. They're portraying him like his father was, a bloodthirsty, arrogant, loose cannon. Are they going to have him repeat past mistakes? Maybe bring about another downfall? Or will Saurfang and Thrall get through to him and have him ultimately become a hero?

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

The funny, morbid, and sad coins of the Dalaran fountain


Level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain.

I'm serious. This completely nonsensible and illogical statement is brought to you by the 53 tiny lore moments you'll get if you'll just sit yourself down somewhere and level up fishing. Yes, it's boring having to fish up dozens of useless fish to get to the good stuff in Outland and Northrend. Yes, you could be farming up gold or materials that will help you level in Wrath. I don't care. Go fish.

You see, while you'll be fishing up a lot of equally useless fish in the Dalaran fountain, you'll also get coins. No, not in the sense that you'll be fishing up ingame money, but you'll fish up coins tossed into the fountain of this very old city by 53 people, many of whom will be known to you if you've played the game for any length of time. Some of them, perhaps most of them, are funny. Some are serious. Some are heartbreaking. I admit to a touch of being a lore geek, and it was wonderful being allowed a peek into the irreverent or hopeful or sad heads of Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall, or Stalvan Mistmantle. It is idiosyncratic little touches like this that make WoW hopelessly fun to play, and it is my fondest wish that whatever person at Blizzard who thought this up is pulled off whatever they're doing right now and chained to a desk until they come up with more stuff like this.

So, if you don't do anything else with your time between patch 3.02 hitting and Wrath going live...level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain. But don't read any further if you're not interested in Wrath spoilers, because there are a few here...

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Lore, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Death Knights at the Dawn

Okay, this is so massively spoiler ridden for Death Knights, their role in the lore, and how you will be experiencing their gameplay that I cannot in good conscience post it without first warning you, and more than once. This is pretty darn epic, and thanks to the folks at DeathKnight.info, I can finally say I now actually want to play a Death Knight. (If you follow that link you may well see spoilers, so be warned.)

No, I'm completely serious here. This is levels upon levels of spoilers that deal with years of Warcraft lore. If you want to see this fresh when you first roll your new Death Knight, then you don't want to read any further. It involves factions and characters we've all come to know. I personally love this kind of thing, but if you're someone who just can't stand finding out before you get to experience it yourself, then you shouldn't read any further.

You still here?

Okay. I'm not going to post the link or explain what I'm talking about here on the front page. I don't think that would be cool. So we're going to take this into the dark, shadowy places Death Knights are pretty at home in anyway. Follow me, if you will... after the jump.

(Cue diabolical laughter.)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Expansions, Lore, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight starting cinematic unveiled

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With Death Knights getting their own starting zone and their own heroic storyline, it was often wondered whether they'd share the same opening cinematic as their individual races. We have the answer now: They do get their own unique cinematic, shown above.

There's two major things I took away from the cinematic. First, it gives a solid origin story for Death Knights: You were apparently slain in combat with the Scourge, but raised to become a Death Knight. So the ideal of the PC Death Knight seems to be a hero who was made an unwilling victim, which makes the fact that he or she is welcomed back by the Horde or Alliance possibly much more believable. As you awaken as a fresh level 55, you are also apparently still under the thrall of the Lich King, which should make for an epic newbie zone experience as you struggle to regain your freedom.

Secondly, the opening cinematic has a wonderfully ominous picture of Acherus, the Ebon Hold, home of the Death Knights, looming above Light's Hope Chapel -- a perfect setup for the coming war with the Scourge, that drives home how immediate the threat is.

Oh, and do be cautious, this cinematic has a high chance of getting you way too fired up to play a Death Knight.

[via Deathknight.info]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: General Impressions


We learned at the Q&A panel on Saturday that Death Knights will be starting at a new area just off Eastern Plaguelands called Ebon Hold, but for now, it remains unimplemented. Thus, these demo Death Knights start at Tirion Fordring's house in the west of Eastern Plaguelands.

On Death Knight Gear and Gear Mechanics:

They start with a complete outlay of green gear with DPS Warrior type stats: strength, agility, critical strike rating, and stamina. Their sword itself is blue quality 2 hander named the Massacre Sword. It does 127-191 damage at at a speed of 3.1 seconds, giving it 51.3 DPS. It also provides 22 strength and 23 hit rating.

It should be noted that the gear did not have spellpower, and it doesn't look like Death Knights will need it at all. Almost every spell that did magic damage specifically stated that the damage was modified by attack power. This is perfectly in line with Blizzard's recent trend to simplify and consolidate gear, which they discussed in relation to Retribution Paladins at Saturday's class panel. Perhaps we'll even see this mechanic show up on other magical melee hybrids in the future.

The Death Knight came loaded with 6 runes on their rune weapon bar: 2 Blood Runes, 2 Unholy Runes, and 2 Frost Runes. Talents points were unavailable with this demo, although we could see the talent descriptions themselves.

Death Knight Starting Spells and Playstyle:

The Death Knights started with a few basic skills:

Blood presence:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Description: Strengthens the Death Knight with the presence of blood, increasing damage done by 15% and healing the Death Knight by 4% of damage dealt. Only one presence may be active at a time.

Blood Strike:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Melee range
Description: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 60% weapon damage plus 55 for each disease effect on the target.

Icy Touch:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Instant cast, 6 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Deals 217 to 235 Frost damage modified by attack power and reduces the target's ranged, melee attack, and casting speed by 15% for 20 seconds.

Death Coil
Requires Level 55
Requires Runic Power
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description:Unleashes all available runic power, causing up to 460 shadow damage modified by attack power to an enemy target or healing up to 460 damage from a friendly undead target.

Death Gate
Requires Level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
10 second cast, 15 minute cooldown
Description: Returns you to Ebon Hold (Note: Since Ebon Hold is not yet implemented, in the demo it returned you to Tirion Fordring).

Death Grip
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 35 second cooldown.
30 yard range
Description: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 seconds.

Plague Strike
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune and 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
Melee range
Description: A vicious strike that deals weapon damage plus 37 and plagues the target, dealing 350 shadow damage over 12 seconds.

Casting these spells uses up the listed runes, which have a cooldown of 10 seconds. Our (lucky) play tester reported that the system felt a bit like having 3 seperate mana pools with their own spells, but that the pacing seemed to work well, and that she was now interested in actually trying one out in when beta rolls around where she hadn't been before.

Introducing the Knights of the Ebon Hand

After roaming about a bit and killing stuff, Elizabeth stumbled upon Light's Hope Chapel. This venerated base of the Argent Dawn had some new guests known as the Knights of the Ebon Hand, lead by a night elf named Siouxsie the Banshee, a Death Knight trainer. It's likely, of course, that these NPCs will be gone and moved to Ebon Hold once it's implemented, but for now, they gave us a sneak peek at the new Death Knight faction and some of the spells Death Knights will get post-55.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Expansions, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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