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Posts with tag maelstrom

Breakfast Topic: The end of the World (of Warcraft)

Breakfast Topic The end of the World of Warcraft
Supposedly the world is ending today. If you're reading this, it means we've at least made it through the first eight hours OK. Just 16 to go! Granted, I'm not sure how this end of the world thing works with the international date line, since technically the Australians have already survived the end of the world.

Anyway, assuming the world doesn't end today, how do you think the World of Warcraft is going to end? Let's say we digest a few more expansions and there comes a day where it simply has to end. What will be the reason? Will it be to lead into the next Warcraft RTS game? Or maybe the Warcraft film? Will Blizzard simply decide they need to upgrade the infrastructure and segue seamlessly into a new version of the game with a World of Warcraft 2? Do you think Blizzard would ever end the franchise, and would it end with WoW?

One also has to wonder how it would end from a story standpoint. We already showed Deathwing what we do to major lore figures who try to destroy the world, so I sort of doubt Azeroth would ever be destroyed. But how else could Blizzard wrap the game up? Will it end once we've killed all the bad guys we haven't faced yet, like Sargeras or the other old gods? Or will it all resolve when the Horde and the Alliance finally find peace? Or who knows, maybe the game will end with the formation of a new, third faction?

What do you think?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Terror in the Mists: Clawing up the levels on a PvP realm

Alive and Kicking Clawing up the levels on a PvP realm
Playing on a PvP realm spins World of Warcraft in an entirely different direction. In this Azeroth, there's no such thing as "wait until I'm ready." Every single moment is rife with danger, even when you're merely trying to remain unnoticed long enough to race through a few dailies. Every player is ripe for the picking, whether you're fully healed and bristling with cooldowns or half-buried beneath an accidental overpull. Protest all you like -- if this isn't your cup of tea, you don't belong on a PvP realm.

Danger is palpable. At any given moment, someone's likely to be lurking in the shadows with the specific intent of blocking your progress. If you're an Alliance player on Maelstrom (US), that somebody is likely to be a member of Horde Strike Force.

"One of the first things you need to learn on a PvP realm is to expect the unexpected," explains Horde Strike Force GM Gug. "One of the second things you need to learn is to accept the fact that sometimes you're going to get attacked and killed by somebody or somebodies much more powerful or skilled than you are. The sooner you can absorb and roll with this, the faster you'll progress in level."

"PvP leveling is not for the faint of heart," he continues. "You've got to be tough and able to react positively to negative situations. 'OK, I died but I can rez and go quest somewhere else for awhile' is a good code to live by while leveling. Don't get stuck in a rut; there are a lot of quest options out there. All this being said, the game doesn't get any more fun or alive and breathing than on a PvP realm. Once you go PvP, you never truly go back."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW Insider reviews Christie Golden's Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects

Just under 10 years ago, on Oct. 1, 2001, a novel was released as a new addition to the Warcraft universe that would change the history and lore of the games forever. Lord of the Clans outlined the history and childhood of a young orc named Thrall. Son of Durotan and Draka, the former slave would break free from his imprisonment at the hands of Aedelas Blackmoore, step forward to unite the shattered and lethargic clans of the orcs, and lead the Horde in a manner that none that had played the original Warcraft games could possibly comprehend at that point in time.

Almost a year later, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released, and that orc's journey from the beleaguered, Scourge-ridden lands of the Eastern Kingdoms to the dusty and barren shores of Kalimdor was told in a tale that captured the hearts of players. No longer simply a character in a novel, Thrall's travels and ultimate triumph, united with the night elves and humans at the peaks of Mount Hyjal and working as one to defeat Archimonde, would forever seal his place as true Warchief of the Horde.

It is only appropriate then that the latest novel written for the Warcraft franchise, detailing the further journeys of Thrall, be undertaken by the woman who started it all -- Christie Golden. Not just an author with a host of Warcraft novels under her belt, Golden is the voice of the former Warchief, the author who gave him a life of his own. Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects continues the journey that Thrall began nearly 10 years ago -- and what a journey it is.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Gold Capped: Patch 4.1 and Maelstrom Crystals

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Is the sky falling? Will patch 4.1 herald the end of the high price for Maelstrom Crystals? The informal communication channels between auctioneers (sharing market analyses with each other in IRC and custom channels or tells in game and on gold blogs) have been abuzz with the frantic analysis that patch 4.1 will drive the price of Maelstroms down to ridiculously low amounts. Personally, I'm not sure I'd blindly buy that.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Razer unveils special edition Naga MMO gaming mice

How do you improve on awesome? That's a tough question, but the clever folks at Razer seem to have come up with an answer: Add some molten lava or a raging maelstrom. The gaming peripherals manufacturer announced today the Razer Naga Molten and Razer Naga Maelstrom special edition mice. Both mice sport the same specs as the original 17-button Razer Naga plus the addition of new, pulsating designs -- a swirling, cool blue maelstrom or glowing hot lava. If the themes seem familiar, it's probably no coincidence that these mice arrive just in time for Cataclysm, which is set to launch on Dec. 7.

The Razer Naga is designed specifically for MMO gaming, with a special addon for World of Warcraft, allowing players to bind their spells and abilities to the mouse's numerous buttons. The mouse also supports key mapping, the way most full-featured gaming mice can be configured, and also comes with drivers for the Mac. The new designs take the place of the current pulsating Razer logo on the palm end of the mouse, adding a different level of cool to the popular mouse. Either version of the special edition Razer Naga gaming mouse will retail for $79.99 -- about the same price as the regular version -- and will become available for pre-order on Oct. 12.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Know Your Lore, Tin Foil Hat Edition: The final boss of Cataclysm

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.

The image above was taken from a blog post I made back in January of this year, a post discussing possible links between the Old Gods, the dragonflights and Deathwing. Unfortunately, not more than a month or so after it originally aired, several points in the post were disproved, largely due to the release of the Stormrage novel and revelations contained therein. But with the release of Cataclysm and the events playing out on beta servers, I feel this deserves another look -- because what we are potentially looking at is a sequence of events that prove that Deathwing isn't really the one responsible for all this disaster we're going to see on Azeroth, nor is Deathwing the one we should really be worried about.

Please note that this post is a "Tin Foil Hat" edition. It is pure speculation based on events already presented in Warcraft lore and certain things I've seen lurking around the Cataclysm beta servers. There are potential spoilers for Cataclysm in this post -- but only if my mad, deranged theories are somehow correct. However, I am going to include several screenshots from the Cataclysm servers, so if you'd rather not be spoiled in any way by the upcoming expansion, I'd advise steering away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Maelstrom: Now with epic video turned to 11


A couple of weeks ago, Valnoth, lead world designer at Blizzard, reported that the Maelstrom is now "10 - 50x more epic." For some people, a giant whirlpool surrounded by lightning and crashing surf wasn't epic enough. What was clearly needed was a flying shark with a giant laser mounted on its head, being ridden by a dinosaur that was in turn being ridden by an undead wailing away on the guitar.

WoW.com has now exclusively learned that a video of a flying-laser-shark-dinosaur-guitar-wailing-mage is far more epic yet than that pitifully un-epic picture we posted last week, and we are happy to share this video with you.

Are you ready to rock?

Filed under: Cataclysm

The Maelstrom is probably epic enough for you now

A week or so ago, someone on the Cataclysm beta forums complained that the Maelstrom's appearance in the upcoming expansion just wasn't epic enough. It's a pretty silly thing to say. Valnoth, aka WoW Lead World Designer Alex Afrasiabi, apparently agreed and responded with the following:

Re: The Maelstrom?
Maybe I missed the memo on levels of "epicosity" or something, but I'm pretty sure the Maelstrom is a CLASS 10 epic zone. Though I guess it is missing sharks with laser beams patrolling the waters and Arthur Fonzarelli jumping across it with water skis. And dinosaurs.


And then, a bit later, posted:

Re: The Maelstrom?
After reading this post I called for a meeting with TOP TOP MEN (that's two tops) in order to figure out a solution to the problem at hand. Frankly, I think we hit a home run. The next 4.0 build (or the one after) should have a Maelstrom that's between 10 - 50x more epic than what currently exists.

Buckle yourselves into your computer chairs or face being blown away!


And sure enough, as promised, this latest beta build has turned the "Epic" dial up to 11 where the Maelstrom is concerned. Flying around it is Epicus Maximus <Paragon of Epicosity>, a level 90 elite shark, who is being ridden by an elite rare devilsaur named <And a Dinosaur> riding a rocket and manning (dinosauring?) a laser beam, being ridden by an undead mage playing guitar named <Rock On>.

That should suffice.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Entering Deepholm

The latest build of the Cataclysm beta opened Deepholm, Azeroth's elemental plane of earth, for questing and leveling. Understandably, the big question on everybody's mind was "how exactly do we get there?" It's underground, after all, in another dimension.

Well, as it turns out, it involves a certain orc shaman, a particularly large whirlpool, and a very brave flying mount. Check out the incredibly epic entry into Deepholm in our video after the break, and then try to imagine how anything else in the expansion can top that flight -- or that zone.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

How will the Stormrage novel tie into Cataclysm?

So the convention is over, Blizzard has shown all (or at least most -- there are still secrets, we're sure) of their cards, and the next expansion will involve the return of Deathwing and a completely remade Azeroth. Goblins will be in there as the Horde race, but as for the original speculation of the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, well... It remains to be seen exactly how those will tie in to what we heard about at BlizzCon.

The biggest hint I saw at the Emerald Dream in the last year was the fact that Blizzard is going to release a "Stormrage" novel -- that would hint that good old Malfurion Stormrage and his kin would be spotlighted in the near future. Richard Knaak says the novel is set in the present, so something is going on for sure. Even though Deathwing is going to be the big bad this time around, something's still cooking with Stormrage.

Which actually makes sense. If we're going to get looks at Deepholm (the elemental plane of Earth, where Deathwing has been lying dormant recently) and The Firelands, as well as Skywall and the Abyssal Maw (the Fire, Air, and Water planes, respectively), that could mean they're going to open up Azeroth's other planes as well, with the Emerald Dream among them. The return of Deathwing would undoubtedly bring the other Aspects to bear, and Ysera would definitely be among those. In the opening ceremony last weekend, Metzen dismissed the Emerald Dream as "rumors and speculation," but the upcoming Stormrage novel still hints we still might see the Emerald Dream sometime soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm?


They taunted, they teased, they insinuated and then, just as the ceremony was about to end, Chris Metzen finally dropped the bombshell and announced World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Yeah we knew it was coming, we were -- to misquote Illidan -- prepared. Now, in the aftermath, we've had time to ruminate and digest all the information: Deathwing, the raised level cap, the guild leveling, heroic versions of Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines, a new secondary profession in the form of Archeology, two new races and seven new zones, a new (and broken) Azeroth and the ability to fly in the old world. Phew, that's a lot to digest. Even more information seems to be dripping out in panels and post-opening ceremony interviews.

So readers, we want to know what you think of Cataclysm. Are you pleased? Which bit excited you the most? Is it the new races or the promise of facing another insane Dragon Aspect? Are you scared by the drastic and irreversible changes that will befall Azeroth? Were you hoping for the Emerald Dream or a fully Maelstrom-centric expansion and feel like the Lost Isles and Vashj'ir are half measures? Tell us in the usual manner by dropping your thoughts and meditations in the comment box below.

BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Creative posts World of Warcraft teaser


Computer audio manufacturer Creative Labs sent us a note that their Soundblaster page has a brand new teaser on it, which appears to be hinting at... something. Something World of Warcraft-related, apparently: the Lament of the Highborne song plays in the background while an image of the Maelstrom and some circular hardware gives way to a glowing Horde symbol and the message "to be continued..."

What is it? Given that Creative makes audio equipment, it's probably something audio-related, and given that BlizzCon is later this week, it's probably something released in partnership with Blizzard. But other than that, the guessing is up to you. A new WoW-branded sound card? Something music-related? It's anyone's guess. Stay tuned to WoW.com to find out more soon.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Hardware

Blizzard headed back to PAX this year

Can't make it to BlizzCon but still want to check out Blizzard's latest offerings? Blizzard has appeared on the list of sponsors for Penny Arcade's PAX convention, which takes place later this year on September 4-6, 2009 in Seattle, Washington. PAX is a great time and a ton of fun -- I went a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. In addition to a terrific lineup of geeky musicians and demo panels from game developers, they always have a nice open floor full of the latest games to check out and play. And since PAX will be going down after BlizzCon (which takes place in two weeks), if you go, you'll likely have a chance to check out whatever Blizzard wants to put on display, be that Starcraft II or Diablo 3, or, you know... anything else they might announce.

Plus, tickets to PAX are cheaper and even easier to get than BlizzCon tickets anyway, not to mention that you'll be seeing way more games and companies than just Blizzard. In fact, why am I going to BlizzCon again? I'd almost rather go to PAX this year. I'd love to see Freezepop!

Oh, right, I can't miss our legendary meetup (wait until you guys see the giveaways we have planned!). But even if you're going to Penny Arcade's show because you can't make it to Blizzard's convention, stay tuned here to WoW.com -- we'll make you feel like you're there anyway.

Filed under: Items, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

All the World's a Stage: Possibilities for worgen and goblins


All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one man in his time plays many roles.

Ever since word broke about the possibility of playing either a worgen or a goblin, I've been thinking a lot about how it would be to roleplay them. In terms of lore, each one fits in very nicely -- the goblins have the neutral city of Undermine not far from the great Maelstrom at the center of the world, and the worgen have lots of connections to other dimensions, possibly the Emerald Dream. Assuming the expansion is in fact going to be a combination of the Maelstrom and the Emerald Dream, each race could have a lot to do with why the Horde and the Alliance are eager to go and continue the adventure after Northrend.

Some others are talking about how and why these races would join either faction. The goblins seem a shoo-in for the Horde, since they've already got so many connections with one another above and beyond the ostensible neutrality the goblins maintain between the Horde and the Alliance. The worgen connection to the Alliance is a bit tougher to figure out, but there are two apparent possibilities: either the humans of Gilneas have become worgen and wish to rejoin their former brethren, or the original worgen from their own dimension somehow join up with the Alliance in order to fight off a shared enemy such as the Burning Legion or the "Nightmare" of the Emerald Dream.

Today we'll discuss both of these possibilities and stake my claim on which I think is more likely, and look at a number of the story hooks that worgen and goblins could create for roleplayers if and when we get the chance to play them.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Rumors, Cataclysm

Tamed Worgen have become Winterskorn Worgs

And here lies the final chapter in the Taming of the Worgen saga: Mania reports that, just a little while after the troublesome Worgen Garwal was hotfixed to be untameable, Blizzard has magically changed all of the already-tamed Worgen to level 68 (or Hunter's level minus five) wolves. Why level 68? Because, Mania says, they've all been turned into Winterskorn Worgs, a level 63-69 NPC that wanders around the Howling Fah-jord.

So that's the end of that. Obviously, no one really expected to keep those pets as their own, and especially with all of the Worgen-as-playable-race speculation flying around, it wouldn't do for Hunters to have one of those humanoids at their beck and call. Some Hunters who went to the trouble of taming probably won't be too happy. But the good news is that the new white wolf in your stable is completely fixed -- it has all of the normal talent trees and abilities that wolves are supposed to have. Guess you and your pet Garwal were just never meant to be.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs, Cataclysm

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