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Posts with tag loremaster

Wowhead adds zone music, character quest tracking

Wowhead music player
Wowhead has rolled out some pretty exciting site features today. First up is their new music and sound player which allows you to play sound files from the game such as boss emotes, or listen to zone music as shown in the screenshot above. By visiting a zone's page, for example Storm Peaks, you can browse through all of the various music that plays in that zone.

Aspiring Loremasters take note! Also added is the ability to see what quests your character has completed anywhere in the game. You first need to use the Wowhead profiler to import your character, and then you will be able to view any quest on the site and see if that character has completed it or not. If you pull up a list of the quests in a single zone you will be able to see, at a glance, what you're missing. You can even track multiple characters at the same time. Head on over to Wowhead to see the full rundown of the new features.

Filed under: News items

The most reassuring title to see on a player

The most reassuring title to see on a player
Whether we like to admit it or not, we tend to give other players the once-over whenever we zone into a Raid Finder or dungeon PUG, particularly if you've had a run of bad experiences while getting valor-capped for the week. A recent thread on the Tanking forums about the best title for a tank to sport is both a sideways acknowledgment of this and a question as to which title best suits your role in the game. For healers, one could argue that Undying or Immortal means you probably had job security for the length of Wrath, but that kind of ignores everyone else's responsibility to not screw up in Naxx. Possibly Herald of the Titans/Conqueror of Ulduar would have been the equivalent for DPS players, although a raid had to fire on all cylinders for those achievements too.

Before achievements were account-wide, and leaving aside obvious ringers like Light of Dawn/Bane of the Fallen King before Mists, I would have nominated Loremaster or Seeker as the most reassuring titles to see on a player regardless of gear quality. I can't say exactly what link exists between the persistence needed to get these titles and overall competence, but I have yet to see a Loremaster or Seeker player do something screw-the-pooch crazy in a PUG. These days, it's tougher to guarantee that a player sporting a title is doing so on the character that originally got it, so maybe The Undaunted is probably the single best outward indicator of competence.

Having written all this, I've also had the pleasure of knowing a world-class hunter who never bothered using titles, and we have to acknowledge that a generic, funny (e.g., "Chef Boyardee"), or absent title means nothing at all. But if you had to pick one that said, "I will not get you killed in this PUG," which would it be?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

World map quest markers are good news for Loremasters in Mists of Pandaria

Completionists have lots of ways to obsess with the advent of achievements, especially those who simply must complete every quest -- the fastidious Loremasters of Azeroth. The really hardcore Loremasters have used mods to help them track what quests they have or haven't completed, but now Blizzard is giving them a new leg up when questing in Pandaria.

It was a little easier to keep track of your progress in Cataclysm's largely linear zones, but Pandaria's zones offer you more freedom in what you're completing and when. To that end, the world map now shows you nearby quests on the world map. It isn't zone-wide, but it does work in a fairly large radius around you, so if you're flying or riding around and check your map periodically, you can see any unclaimed and available quests.

It's worth noting that Pandaria's Loremaster achievements are based on quest lines completed, not an actual number of quests, but this should definitely help you track down each story to add that tick to your achievement.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: The best achievements for making gold

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, if you're not the 1% already, you will be soon.

By their very nature, most achievements either directly or indirectly cost you gold or are at least associated with some extremely unpleasant trips to the Auction House. We had a small discussion on just this point last week. But there are always exceptions, and there's a set of achievements in the game that will earn you a healthy nest egg if you care to go looking for them.

From my perspective, stuff like Got My Mind On My Money doesn't count, as it's just a reflection of how much gold you're looting in the game and not in itself a means of earning income. I'm after the stuff from which you almost can't help but make gold.

Concerning general achievements: Perhaps not surprisingly (given the overrepresentation of general achievements in last week's The OverAchiever: Got 100,000+ gold handy?), you're going to have a tough time finding a way to make money here. Most general achievements either cost you something (e.g., Into the Wild Blue Yonder) or are otherwise divorced from the game's financial side (e.g., Friend or Fowl?). I actually can't find a single achievement here that doesn't meet one of those two conditions. Look elsewhere, folks. You will not be making money from the general achievements slot.

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Filed under: The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: What are your resolutions for the expansion?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

In the final days of old Azeroth, before the Shattering, my friends were chomping at the bit. They were farming the elemental bosses for JP, taking screenshots of Darkshore and Stormwind Park, and discussing names for their forthcoming gnome priests. Where was I, while all this was going on? Far out in the Bay of Storms in Azshara, fighting a giant "minnow" named Maws. Yes, that's right: in the final hours of Wrath, I was finishing the Blue Shard portion of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest line. A little late? Yeah, you could say that. An eternal procrastinator, I started the entire chain with Only One May Rise exactly three days before the Shattering occurred.

As fellow Scepter-chasers will already realize, my efforts were truly epic -- and alas, all for naught. Though I was able to obtain the Blue and Green scepter shards after a mammoth three days of questing, farming, and running all over Azeroth, the Red scepter shard requires a second, fresh lockout of Blackwing Lair, and I did not have one. No Scepter for me. I don't regret doing the quest line, even if I didn't end up with the Feat of Strength; I'm a big quest nerd, and I loved experiencing the lore. I do, however, regret not starting earlier.

Therefore, in Cataclysm, I've made myself a promise: I will do every quest available to me, from Hillsbrad to Mount Hyjal, Darkshore to Deepholm. As I go through the lowbie zones on my Loremaster druid, I won't move on when I get the achievement; I'll complete everything available, just to see what happens.

Is there anything you were unable to finish before the Shattering? What are your resolutions for playing in a post-Cataclysm Azeroth?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Patch 4.0.3a, The Shattering, likely hitting live servers tomorrow

With the announcement of extended downtime for tomorrow already out, the buzz has begun in earnest. We know that The Shattering, the patch that will change Azeroth forever, is coming either this week or the next, and an extended downtime would be the perfect time to patch it in.

The Shattering patch will include all the old-world changes coming with Cataclysm, including changes to the Loremaster and Explorer achievements to match, the removal of Zul'Gurub, a reduction in the amount of experience required to level from 70 to 80, and the addition of all of the new race/class combinations. Worgen and goblins will still have to wait for Cataclysm itself, of course. If you don't plan to do any raiding or dailies in Northrend in the next couple weeks on any of your characters, you may also want to move your character to Stormwind or Orgrimmar before the servers go down, as rumor has it that the portals in Dalaran are going away with this patch.

If all this change is getting you confused and dismayed, never fear! We here at WoW Insider will be with you every step of the way. Just stay with us for all the latest news and handy guides you need to survive in the brave new world of Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items, Rumors, Cataclysm

Loremaster achievement changes coming with Cataclysm

With the old world changing so drastically come The Shattering, there's been some question of how the Loremaster achievement might change in the wake of Cataclysm. Community Manager Zarhym has clarified this for us in a recent blog post. As he puts it, if you already have either Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms or Loremaster of Kalimdor, those achievements will stay intact. However, if you're only partially through with those achievements, you may suffer a setback, as any quest that's being removed from the game will no longer count toward those achievements in progress. Therefore, it's a good idea to finish up the achievement if you can.

That said, it will be a little bit easier to get those Loremaster achievements come The Shattering. Instead of having one huge quest counter for each continent, patch 4.0.3a will introduce zone-specific quest achievements to the old world, similar to the ones that already exist for Outland and Northrend zones. Once you finish the zone-specific achievements for every zone on a given continent (minus the new Cataclysm zones, of course), you'll have the achievement. Even old-school Loremasters can get in on the action, as the zone quest achievements will still be available for them to complete.

While Zarhym didn't specifically outline it in his post, Loremaster of Cataclysm will be required for future Loremasters as well, although it's not clear whether that will start to be a requirement in patch 4.0.3a or at the launch of Cataclysm itself.

Filed under: News items, Achievements, Cataclysm

Addon Spotlight: Loremaster addons

Addon Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Happy Thursday, addon nerds. I hope your week is going as splendidly as mine is. Why is my week going splendidly, you ask? I decided to begin the Loremaster achievement process on my new warrior in preparation for Cataclysm. Potentially, only a few more months remain until the world goes kaboom, and I'd like to have that title ready to roll -- which, conveniently, brings me to the topic of this week's Addon Spotlight.

This week, Addon Spotlight brings you the core collection of addons that make Loremaster less of a giant pain in the butt. For a comprehensive Loremaster strategy, I recommend, nay, compel you, to read Lisa Poisso's excellent Loremaster rookie article. I am here to give you all the information on the addons that make this achievement a snap. Let's read some quest text together! Awww, yeah!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

WoW Rookie: Loremaster, a completist's dream

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

For those of us who are leveling up or even digging into a fresh 80, there's never been a better time to fold in The Loremaster to the ol' to-do list. Flying your Loremaster title proves you've been around the block; it's not like The Explorer, which you can hoof your way through even at level 1. Earning your Loremaster title means grinding out literally hundreds and hundreds of quests over every step of your journey through Azeroth, Outland and Northrend, from level 1 through level 80. It's the completist player's dream, a title that shows you've paid your dues in every zone at every level of the game.

We're not bringing this up now as just one more item to chuck into your pre-Cataclysm bucket list; indeed, The Loremaster won't be going anywhere in Cataclysm. While none of the numbers of quests required for completion have been adjusted yet to accommodate Cataclysm material, Blizzard has assured players not to worry about it. The Loremaster quest count has been updated before, so we should be confident that it will be adjusted again.

Still, if you're playing through the old content anyway, it simply makes sense to run through quests that will be disappearing when the expansion cracks Azeroth apart at the seams. Sure, there'll be plenty of new quests to do -- but you'll never get the chance to run all of these particular quests again.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Make yourself at home

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

My gryphon soared away from Ironforge as I headed to Loch Modan. Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms lay 200 quests away, and my journey would pick up in Thelsamar. My leather soles hit green earth and I quickly picked up the quests I had previously left behind. Mounting one of my swift sabers, I made a leap off a nearby embankment. I stopped momentarily to consider my next move. Should I use one of my few remaining Elixirs of Water Walking to ride across the lake, or should I shift into Aquatic Form and race under the water?

While considering my options, I glanced around, and I was surprised to find a small home nestled into the wall of earth behind me. In front of the house stood its owner, fishing trainer Warg Deepwater. His wife, Khara, stood on the porch. They welcomed me into their small but cozy home, complete with a round fireplace, a wooden table and pictures on the wall.

This house and its occupants got my attention. Here in this world of vicious animals, monsters, dragons, undead, evil kings and heroes lived a normal family, doing what they always did. It struck me as a token of warmth and familiarity nestled into a land of sometimes cataclysmic chaos. I felt welcome, like I could take a seat on those steps and discuss Ironforge politics or family gossip. Maybe we could pour a few mugs of ale and listen to a chorus of crickets while we watched the sun go down over the lake.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The OverAchiever: Endangered achievements

With Cataclysm news ramping up lately, one of the things I've been thinking about is the possibility of certain achievements going bye-bye. While achievements have only been in the game since patch 3.0.2, we've already seen a few of them (and/or their rewards) go to that big MMORPG in the sky. Blizzard's tended to do this when an achievement would simply have been too easy past a certain point, or -- as with Timear Foresees -- when game changes rendered them obsolete.

Below are four achievements that I think might be facing the firing squad as we ramp up to Cataclysm. (I'm sure there are more, but these were just the ones that occurred to me first.) I'll be revisiting this article later to see if I was correct about any of them.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The loose ends of Arko'narin

As the years have passed in the World of Warcraft, I find myself meeting more and more players who have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention some memorable quest or tiny hideaway in a level 50 zone. This is by no means unexpected in a game as old as WoW, but I find it quite tragic that those near and dear to me are missing out on things that once captivated me. So what do I do? Well, I grab my semi-interested guildmate and whisk him away on a field trip; I take on the role of an Azerothian tour guide. Sometimes I even wear a funny hat.

I really enjoy the concept behind achievements like The Loremaster and World Explorer. It has a very "go see and experience the world for yourself" feel to it that I can agree with. The problem is I think those achievements are a bit overwhelming for the average person, myself included. I really can't imagine actively going out and doing the hundreds of "gather 10 berries/feathers/saliva samples" quests for fun. What I'd really like to see is an achievement system that focuses more on quality than quantity: Loremaster Lite, for example, or World Explorer's Top 20 spots. Kind of like Blizzard's way of saying, "Hey, here is the stuff we are most proud of. Go see it."

Blizzard is busy, though. But hey! I'm here, and I even have a funny hat to wear in real life! It's not an explorer hat; it's a squid hat. (It looks like a squid is eating my head when I wear it.) As I sit here, allowing my brains to be munched on by this crocheted Cthulhu, I have to wonder: are all those things I love about the old world going to exist once Cataclysm comes out?

Suddenly I'm stricken with worry. What if I never get to see those things again? Worse, what if some people never see them at all?! So today I'm going to remedy this anxiety with one tiny step in the direction of furthering Azerothian awareness, and I'm going to start with the beautiful night elf warrior, Arko'narin.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Preparing for the storm

This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program! Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements!

When faced with warnings of imminent change, what do you do? Do you stockpile and organize, or do you let it just happen? Cataclysm is fast approaching and preparing for it in-game can be as much a part of the process as pre-ordering a copy of the game in real life. There's several new things coming in the expansion that certainly may go smoothly if you take the time to plan for it -- two new races (worgen and goblin), new level cap, and a lot more classes opening up for the existing races. In the past, people also stockpiled things like cloth for bandages or mats for new tradeskills that were being introduced. Some players have given up doing anything in general and stopped playing WoW until Cataclysm hits.

I myself tend to be more of the planning type, especially now on the horizon of my third expansion -- I am stockpiling a lot of gold in the event of some ridiculous new transportation cost. I also recently completed Loremaster on my main character as many of my favorite quests or zones in the old world might be changed or gone entirely by the time the expansion rolls around. I also might sink a little bit of money into buying a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth. Having a portable repair-bot and vendor will ease the burdens of leveling considerably. Some new character names might have also been reserved on my server in preparation for a cute little gnome priest or worgen rogue in the future.

So what have you been doing to brace yourself for another (possibly your first) expansion? Is it grinding out badges for BOA gear for a new toon? Perhaps you are sitting around Dalaran doing nothing!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The Queue: You know this because you are psychic


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. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Writing about World of Warcraft as a full-time job can be pretty mentally exhausting, believe it or not, and can affect your enjoyment of the game if you're not good at compartmentalizing. But even with that in mind, I'm excited for Cataclysm. Why? Because it's going to be awesome. I know this because I am psychic.

Lornicide asked...

"We know that the Vanilla areas will change completely when Cata comes out. This change will affect even players that only have the Vanilla version installed.

Let's say that Cata rolls out and I don't get the CD right away (blasphemy!), how will this affect my gameplay?"




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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: This is my quest


A little musical interlude for your morning, courtesy of Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. On with the topic: quests, of course! With the upcoming expansion, there are going to be a lot of changes happening all through Azeroth, both to the way the world looks, and to the quest givers and quests that we've all grown so familiar with. Some quests will stay, some will change, and some will simply go away, never to be completed again.

There are two quests I recommend that people do now, just in case they vanish into the nether when Cataclysm hits. One is Alliance, and one is Horde, in the interests of equality:

Alliance:
Sully Balloo's Letter: This one is entirely too easy for Alliance players to miss, as there's no indicator on the minimap that a quest even exists. If you go to the bridge over the Thandol Span and jump off into the water below, you'll find the skeletal corpse of a dwarf crushed by a boulder. In his hand is a note with a gear icon if you mouse over it -- clicking it gives you a Waterlogged Envelope that will start the quest. While the chain that starts is interesting enough, it's the letter itself that's noteworthy -- be sure to read it before you turn it in. For history buffs, yes, this is a reference to Sullivan Ballou, the Major from the Civil War.

Horde:
Test of Faith: This quest is pretty straightforward and simple, but players sometimes miss it both because it's in Thousand Needles, and because it's so far off the beaten path in Thousand Needles. You get it from Dorn Plainstrider, who's off in a little cave in the side of the cliffs just northwest of Freewind Post. Dorn gives you this quest, it's really quite simple: He teleports you to the top of one of Thousand Needles peaks. The quest objective? Jump off. I won't say what happens, but it's a long way down.

So here's my question for you Breakfast Topic types: If you were asked to recommend just one quest to someone, one that really stuck out in your mind, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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