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Posts with tag lorewalker-cho

Know Your Lore: Pandaria's mark on Warcraft lore

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 little over two years ago, Mists of Pandaria was officially announced as the next expansion at BlizzCon to the puzzlement of many players. The idea of an expansion built around the pandaren race was a polarizing one -- some people loved the idea, and some were less than enthused. Although the pandaren were included in game lore as early as Warcraft III, there were those that scoffed at the idea of an expansion built around a race of giant talking bears, saying that they had no place in Warcraft at all. A year later, Mists was officially launched, and a little over a year after that, the events of Mists of Pandaria are wrapping up in a suitably dramatic conclusion.

And to the delight of many, myself included, this expansion has been anything but lighthearted and silly. Mists of Pandaria wasn't just a random expansion about giant talking bears, it was a revolution in the way that story and gameplay intertwine. While it may have had its faltering moments -- the inclusion of enough daily quests to make players dizzy among them -- the story took a life of its own, and the tale it told has definitely left its mark on future lore to come. Let's be clear, here: For a continent left cloaked in Mists for thousands of years, Pandaria has managed to work its way into the face of Warcraft lore in a manner that won't be forgotten, and has given us enough material to spur the story of the game for quite some time.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Mists of Pandaria that never was

The Mists of Pandaria that never was
It wasn't until after a few weeks of raiding Siege of Orgrimmar that it really hit me: Mists of Pandaria is winding down. Unless Blizzard has a fast one up its sleeve, this is the last tier of raiding before the new expansion, whatever that happens to be. It seems almost too fast, seeing as how we've just hit the one-year anniversary for Mists, but at the same time the faster pace has left me very little time to be bored. Between patches with raid content and patches with quest content, there has always been something to do -- and in patch 5.4, we get not only a new raid, but a delightful island on which to while away the hours.

And I was flying to the Timeless Isle to go farm a rare mob or two when I started thinking about the expansion as it comes to its end. More specifically, the Jade Forest. A lush, tropical paradise the likes of which we hadn't really seen in such scale, the gorgeous scenery and introductory quests ushered players through what ended up being an emotional, gripping, and overall entertaining roller coaster of an expansion. But there's a catch to that. Once upon a time, the Jade Forest wore a very different face -- and had it gone live, Pandaria itself may have looked very, very different to players.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The legacy you will leave behind

Know Your Lore The legacy you will leave behind
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.

Mists of Pandaria is the story of an outsider, washed upon foreign shores, who changed the course of destiny for herself (or himself) and the world entire. Pandaria and the rest of Azeroth shifted on the fulcrum he (or possibly she) provided - the mogu, the mantid, the sha all fell before her (him) and even the Thunder King himself lies dead at his feet... or hooves, perhaps. Also, it hay have been her feet. Because in the end, Mists of Pandaria is the closest any MMO has ever come to being a single-player campaign and an multi-player experience at the same time. Mists of Pandaria is about you, your choices, the impact you have had and will have on the world.

There have been tragedies. This isn't about those tragedies or what they might mean in the larger picture. Gods and dragons and celestials can worry themselves about what may be and what might happen - heroes live and act in the now. Given a bad situation, they take action to make it better. It can hurt, absolutely, but finding that balance between contemplation and action, to know what to do and then to do it, is all the difference. Let's tell that story, of one figure who landed a vagabond on a new shore.

There will be spoilers for Patch 5.4 and the legendary quest chain in this post.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao
The Burdens of Shaohao, a six-part series released earlier this month, was met with resounding praise across the board from players and devoted lore fans alike. The sweeping tale of the last Emperor of Pandaria was unlike anything we'd ever seen before from Blizzard -- a stunning, gorgeous piece of animated, narrative storytelling featuring artwork by Laurel Austin. While we've seen narrative tales in the form of cinematic-style storytelling, this is the first time we've seen anything of this nature.

We sat down with Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson and the director of Shaohao, Doug Gregory to discuss the piece and how exactly it all came to be. While we were originally supposed to have lead editor Lucas Merino on board as well, he was unable to attend the interview as he and his wife received a special gift shortly after the release of Shaohao -- a healthy baby boy! Despite Lucas' absence, we had a delightful time discussing the film, its development, and the possibility of future projects in the unique style of Shaohao.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

The Burdens of Shaohao: The Sundering

The Burdens of Shaohao: The Sundering is now available on Blizzard's Youtube channel. In the final installment, Emperor Shaohao travels to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to comfort and protect his people from the devastating Sundering that is nearly upon them all -- yet as it turns out, there are still lessons for the Emperor to learn, and lessons for all of Pandaria as well. We all know how this story ends, having witnessed various accounts of the tale throughout Pandaria. But this interpretation puts a little more perspective behind the Emperor's final decision.

Now that the series is over, I'm wondering what you guys thought of the tale. Pandaria's stories certainly set themselves up wonderfully for interpretation in this fashion -- but I'm wondering if we'll see more tales of Azeroth in the future. I'd love to see the story of Andorhal told in this fashion, or the story of Tirion Fordring and Eitrigg. Or heck, any number of myriad tales from troll or kaldorei history, as they're both apt to have plenty of stories worth retelling. Or how about the stories of the draenei? We haven't heard much from them, it would be interesting to see the flight from Argus as told by a draenei storyteller, or even Velen himself. What do you guys think? What kind of stories would you like to see come out of this experiment?


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Burdens of Shaohao Part Four: Anger

The Burdens of Shaohao Part Four: Anger takes young Emperor Shaohao in a new direction. Having found his trusted friend the Monkey King, Shaohao seeks to find an army -- at the heights of Kun Lai, in the Temple of the White Tiger. While there is certainly an army there waiting for him, there is also Xuen, the White Tiger to deal with. Will Shaohao get his army to fight the forces of the Burning Legion?

I've heard some say that this particular tale points to a return of the Burning Legion next expansion. As a reminder, The Burdens of Shaohao takes place on the cusp of the Sundering during the War of the Ancients. What we're viewing here are events from over 10,000 years ago -- this isn't current-day material, this is the story of how Pandaria came to be floating in the middle of nowhere, cloaked by mists.

Therefore, while the tale is certainly entertaining, the inclusion of the Burning Legion isn't really relevant to the story today. However, Wrathion's visions certainly have indicated something similar coming in the future, so who knows? Watch the video above, and don't forget to like it on Youtube and leave your comments if you like the content and you'd like to see more!

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Burdens of Shaohao Part Three: Fear

The Burdens of Shaohao Part Three: Fear has debuted on Blizzard's official Youtube channel. In this installment, Shaohao faces the insidious Sha of Fear, and confronts an enemy that frightened both pandaren and mogu alike -- the mantid. Artist Laurel Austin's stunning visuals of the Dread Wastes and the mantid are incredibly dark and creepy, and really capture the off-putting feeling of the zone and its residents. I also absolutely love the illustrations of Niuzao. While I love the August Celestials, I always felt like Niuzao really didn't have the same depth of character as the other Celestials, so seeing him in this tale was a welcome addition.

Some of you have noted the differences between this tale and the scrolls we've read -- how there seems to be an absence of the mask portion of the tale told in game. While this is true, keep in mind that this is all ancient history that took place over 10,000 years ago. There are always bound to be several differing versions of the same tale, just due to the nature of the story being passed down for generations. Which version is the true one? For that, I suppose you'd have to ask Shaohao himself! Watch the video above, and don't forget to like it on Youtube and leave your comments if you like the content -- it's the best way to insure we'll see more of it.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Burdens of Shaohao Part Two: Despair

The Burdens of Shaohao Part Two: Despair is now available on Blizzard's official Youtube channel. Picking up where the last episode left off, Emperor Shaohao continues his search for the Monkey King, this time traveling to Krasarang Wilds. Once again, Shaohao is faced with the Sha, and once again he looks to Pandaria for answers -- but will he find the Monkey King?

Blizzard really wasn't kidding with how fast these shorts would be released! And, according to Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson on Twitter, this isn't the last we'll see of animated shorts in this fashion. Honestly, whether it's more Pandaria tales, or tales of other major impact in Azeroth, I don't really care -- the way these are being presented is something new, unique, and incredibly beautiful. Watch the video above, and don't forget to like it on Youtube and leave your comments if you want to see more.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Burdens of Shaohao Part One: Doubt

Hot on the heels of the prelude released this weekend, Blizzard has just released the next official installment in The Burdens of Shaohao. Part one of the tale follows chapters three and five of the in-game book, The Emperor's Burden. Reading the complete text gives you a nice bit of lore, and the quest The Seven Burdens of Shaohao. However, there's a distinct difference between reading an in-game book and watching an animated version of it -- the gorgeous artwork and animation really brings the tale to life.

What I really like about these animated shorts is that they expand on what we've already been told -- rather than a simple seven days of fighting, we get to see exactly how Shaohao defeated the Sha of Doubt. I'm hoping that as the tale goes on, we'll get more of these little details to help fill the story in. It'd be great to see exactly what happened when Shaohao pulled Pandaria away from the rest of the world in detail. As it turns out, we won't have long to wait -- according to Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson on Twitter, we should see the rest of the story released over the course of this week.

This is a pretty new direction for the Blizzard lore department -- we've never seen animated works like this before. If you like the tale and the methods used, I'd suggest letting Blizzard know by liking the video on Youtube and leaving a comment. Who knows, it may get us more of these delightful little pieces in the future!

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard introduces The Burdens of Shaohao Prelude: The Vision

Do you guys remember that really great video series featuring Wrathion at the end of Cataclysm, the one that explained the legendary quest chain and served to introduce the errant son of Deathwing? It seems that Blizzard has decided to produce another short series for Mists of Pandaria along the same lines, starting with the video above, The Burdens of Shaohao Prelude: The Vision. The dramatic tale is told by none other than Lorewalker Cho and accompanied by beautifully animated illustrations by Laurel Austin that tell the tale of Shaohao's remarkable journey as the last Emperor of Pandaria.

According to Blizzard, this is the first of a six-part series that will tell the tale from beginning to end. And unlike the Wrathion montage from Cataclysm, this features original art rather than in-game footage, which only adds to the whole flavor of the tale. It may not be World of Warcraft: The Animated Series, but it's a really lovely, vibrant way to introduce some of the most important lore in Mists of Pandaria. Take a look at the video above to watch the beginnings of the tale, and stay tuned for the rest of the series as it's released.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: More sound file spoilers

Patch 54 PTR More spoilery sound files
Another day, another PTR build, another speedy set of spoileriffic sound files from our friends over at Adriacraft! Now, these are spoiler-heavy, as ever, so the usual warnings apply. If you don't want spoilers for patch 5.4, or beyond, then you would be best advised to leave the "read more" button the heck alone. You also shouldn't read the comments on the article, you shouldn't watch the video, and you certainly shouldn't head over to Adriacraft's YouTube channel for all the latest sound file updates!

Instead, enjoy this lovely picture of the Alliance shrine. I think the Alliance blue fits in to this color scheme far better than the Horde red, don't you?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.3: Known issues

Patch 53 Known issues
It's often the case that more patches means more problems, and while the majority of Patch 5.3: Escalation is running like clockwork, there are a few hiccups popping up along the way. WoW Insider reported on one late last night: the issues with the Tyrannical Conquest achievement. This achievement, awarded when a player has earned 25,000 conquest points in a season, also allows players to purchase conquest gear for honor. It was being awarded far too early, and allowing players who weren't entitled to do so to buy that Tyrannical gear for honor. A hotfix was swiftly implemented, blocking purchases from the vendor selling Tyrannical gear for honor, and a fix to the achievement is in the works.

The devs are also working hard on a fix that allows players to resurrect inside Lorewalker Cho's Seat of Knowledge room above Mogushan -- this contested territory is the base for the first run of new scenarios, so was seeing heavy traffic from both factions, and is out of reach from the normal resurrection run.

And what's more, Deepwind Gorge, the new battleground in patch 5.3, has been temporarily pulled from the rated battleground rotation, thanks to problems with base captures. Lastly, there are also reported problems with sound-generating addons such as Deadly Boss Mods, but WoW Insider has only been able to replicate this in certain situations. For the rest of the issues, hit the break!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Hotfix incoming to fix Seat of Knowledge death issues

If you're on a PvP realm, you may have noticed that with the release of Patch 5.3 that things have gotten kind of hectic at the Seat of Knowledge, where Lorewalker Cho hangs out when he's not pushing buttons randomly in MSV. Apparently the guards at the Seat simply cannot cope with the increased volume of Horde/Alliance aggression, and players who die in the fracas are finding out that they can't easily get back to their bodies.

Rygarius, ever the helpful hippogryph, informs us that there's a hotfix on the way to smooth out these issues and allow players to get back to their bodies if they die ignominiously at Cho's feet. Or in the vicinity of his feet. His feet will be close, is what I'm saying. We're told that the hotfix may require a realm restart to take affect, so be on the watch for that.

Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.3 PTR: New scenarios and Lorewalker Cho

Patch 53 PTR New scenarios and Lorewalker Cho
Patch 5.3 has some changes coming for scenario content. In addition to the new heroic versions of all existing scenarios, several new scenarios have been added. Unlike patch 5.1's Dagger in the Dark and A Little Patience, all scenarios will apparently be available to both sides upon patch 5.3's release. Much like what we're seeing with these faction-specific scenarios in patch 5.2, players of either faction will be given a disguise so that they may play through the other faction's content without fear of being murdered.

But there are a few other developments with scenarios as well. Upon logging into the PTR, both Alliance and Horde players will receive a letter from Lorewalker Cho, asking them to come to the Lorewalkers area in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Once there, Lorewalker Cho offers a quest that triggers a story scene briefly explaining the story behind the Blood in the Snow scenario, complete with visions of Varian Wrynn and Moira Bronzebeard, and asking players to complete the scenario so he can know the rest of the story.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak

Patch 52 and beyond with Dave Kosak
Hot on the heels of the official patch 5.2 trailer, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with one of the developers behind it all. While chatting with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about patch 5.2 and its development, one thing became incredibly clear -- 5.2 is definitely not just a raid and a few dailies. There is far, far more to be seen and experienced in the new patch.

Read on for some of the details behind the trailer released earlier today, the story in the new patch, daily quest development, scenarios, and even a few hints at what's in store for patch 5.3.

Please note: There are a couple of minor spoilers for 5.2 content in the interview. Nothing huge, we promise!

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

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