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Posts with tag magisters-terrace

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.4 -- Fury of the Sunwell

Fury of the Sunwell logo
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

On March 4, 2008, Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dungeons, passed away. A few weeks later, Blizzard dedicated the final and meatiest patch of the Burning Crusade expansion to Gary's memory.

Unlike the raid- and druid-centric patch 2.1, the big nothing of 2.2, or the old world revamp (and another raid) of patch 2.3, Fury of the Sunwell had boatloads of new endgame content for everyone. Blizzard also provided a trailer for the patch that showed the history of the Sunwell and revealed Kael'thas' diabolical plan.

Redefining realm-wide events

Kael'thas had to be stopped. The naaru convinced the Scryers and the Aldor to work together, forming a new faction to retake the Sunwell at the Isle of Que'Danas. The Shattered Sun Offensive represented a massive evolution of the realm-wide event concept after the very popular Gates of Ahn'qiraj event ushered in the idea. Daily quests, introduced in The Burning Crusade, were the key.

The Gates event required players to gather and turn in crafting supplies. Though you certainly felt like a contributor by forking over dozens of stacks of cloth, the gameplay aspect was lacking. Only one guild per realm could participate in the complete quest line.

On Quel'Danas, everyone could experience the story as it played out. Instead of turning in items, your realm earned credit toward the next phase of the event when players completed dailies. Rather than a one-time event, the phases changed and unlocked different parts of the island to show the Offensive's progress. Eventually the united Scryers and Aldor built a town, complete with a blacksmith for repairs, alchemy lab, portal, and statues to honor the fallen. Each new phase also brought new dailies and new rewards that could be purchased with gold and "badges" (TBC's equivalent of valor points). All of these changes were permanent, so you didn't have to log in on a specific day in order to enjoy them.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore: Anveena Teague and the Sunwell

Know Your Lore Anveena Teague and the Sunwell
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.

Those who travel to Sunwell Plateau may have seen her -- the inexplicable human girl trapped in a bubble above the Sunwell itself, even as demons channel dark energies below. Her story is a sad one, one of the more poignant tales in Warcraft's history, but it's by and large unknown to many who play. Which is kind of a pity, when you think about it -- Anveena Teague is one of those clear in-game representations of when written material and game content collide with little success. Despite her story being told in the manga series The Sunwell Trilogy, that story never really made it into the game in any capacity.

It also means that every time myself, one of my guildmates, or simply random people that follow me over on Twitter head into Sunwell Plateau, I'm asked who that girl the bubble is, where she came from, and why she's there. And since we have yet to address Anveena's full story in Know Your Lore, I thought it was high time she was featured in a column of her own. So we're taking a break from Pandaria this week, and instead turning our attention back in time to the days of Lordaeron's fall, the days when draconic intervention was a far more common occurrence, the days when the Scourge marched en masse over the land, to a quiet little hamlet known as Tarren Mill.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

20 observations from a leveling tank

My main is a druid tank and healer, but on occasion, I've returned to two low-level warrior alts and braved leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Most leveling groups are a bit like the proverbial little girl with pigtails: When they're good, they're very, very good ... and when they're bad, they're horrid.

The following is a list of somewhat random observations I have collected after several expansions' worth of tanking for low-level groups.

1. Don't take shortcuts on trash packs. The time you save sneaking past one of them will be eliminated by the time you'll lose when someone blunders into them and dies.

2. Someone will almost always blunder into them and die.

3. Despite common complaints on the forums, the vast majority of players are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to tolerate mistakes and the learning curve. The actual occurrence of true, unforgivable jackasses seems to be about one per five groups, although this depends on when you're queuing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

About the Bloggers: Anne Stickney

About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more WI staffers in earlier About the Bloggers entries.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

Oh, man. I write Know Your Lore on Sundays, along with the roleplay column All the World's a Stage. On Mondays, you can catch the Weekly Podcast Roundup. On Thursdays, I write World of WarCrafts, and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I write up The Daily Quest. In addition, I sometimes fill in on The Queue, pop in on the WoW Insider Show when asked, and I do those little guide graphics on the side of the site, too.

In short, I write. A lot. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in 5-man dungeons

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we continue our Mountain o' Mounts grind by beating the crap out of various bosses in the hopes that they'll barf up some transportation.

This week's article addresses the mounts you can find in 5-man content, of which there are quite a few. However, please note that I haven't included special holiday mounts like the Headless Horseman's mount or the Big Love Rocket. Even though they technically drop from 5-man content, they're only available under special circumstances, so they'll pop up in a later guide.

As a note to anyone following the Mountain o' Mounts series, I'll be preempting it for two weeks to run full guides on the Noblegarden and Children's Week 2011 holidays, which begin on April 24 and May 1 respectively. We'll return to Mountain o' Mounts on May 5.

Also read: Combining The Ambassador and Mountain O' Mounts, Mountain O' Mounts in Outland, and Mountain O' Mounts in Northrend.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Spiritual Guidance: Soloing 5-man content the shadow priest way

Dawn Moore is at it again, running misleading, sleazy ads against Spiritual Guidance's Fox Van Allen. What's she trying to hide? We know that Fox Van Allen, self-appointed high priest of the shadows, favors lower hybrid taxes, a strong [3. Local Defense] and securing our borders with the timely use of Mind Flay and Shadowfiends. Maybe Dawn is trying to hide that she favors higher taxes on your DPS, that she voted repeatedly to give valuable Renews to those playing the game illegally and is flat-out soft on gnomes. Dawn Moore. Wrong for priests. Wrong for Azeroth. (Paid for by the Committee to Elect Fox Van Allen.)

End -of-expansion ennui. It's inevitable.

I'll admit, even though I've yet to see the Lich King downed on hard mode, a lot of the Wrath content is growing stale for me. I'm playing alts more often (Recruit-A-Friend really is a great way to experience the game). I'm spending more time at the auction house. Basically, I'm trying to find new and different ways to experience the game.

That's our general idea today: experiencing the game in a new way. A way that Blizzard didn't really intend, but a way that still holds a lot of entertainment value. A way that proves that shadow priests are, in fact, as awesome as five other players put together.

That's right, I'm suggesting you try soloing some old school 5-man content. Why would you want to?
  • You're bored as hell with all the Northrend stuff you've been running every day for the last one-and-a-half years.
  • It's a new challenge that requires you to approach World of Warcraft in an entirely different way than you're used to.
  • You probably don't have the all the 5-man BC achievements if you started your character after fall of 2008.
  • You can farm a lot of valuable enchanting materials, find some rare trade skills, items and pets, and walk away with a solid chunk of gold, besides.
  • Best of all, doing stuff alone means that you can tell the GearScore elitists where to shove it.
Interested? Rock. Follow me after the break, and let's figure a way to get this done.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Breakfast Topic: Suffer mortals, as your pathetic eardrums betray you

I hate Sindragosa. It's not the fight -- sure, the stacks of Permeating Chill are annoying as a mutilate rogue, but you can cloak them away. The Ice Tombs are even kind of fun, especially if you can /dance with her before getting frozen -- see what kind of crazy contortionist positions you can get stuck in! The Blistering Cold isn't that hard to book it out of if you keep your camera facing whatever direction you have to run, just hold down both mouse buttons when she pulls you in and you're out like lightning.

No, it's none of the above. It's her voice. It's that awful, rasping, screeching bellow. It's the way she draws out the word 'betray' that wasn't so bad the first time I heard it but let me tell you three wipes in and I was ready to turn off the sound effects entirely. I want to kill her every week not because there is loot to be had, but so that I do not have to listen to her anymore.

On the other hand, back in the days of Blackwing Lair I begged my raid leader to let me trigger the Nefarian event, just because I really wanted to hear him talk. I forget the exact number of times we wiped on Nefarian before finally killing him for the first time, but the silky way in which he said "Let the games begin" made it a little easier to take. There are other bosses and encounter voices I love -- nobody can forget Millhouse Manastorm, he of the infamous "I'm gonna light you up, sweet cheeks!" I always loved the voice of C'thun. The first time I stepped foot into AQ40 and heard that eerie, low voice from out of nowhere, politely informing me that my friends would abandon me and that I would die, I nearly yelped aloud.

But Sindragosa. Ah, Sindragosa, you have reached a level of irritation with me that rivals even Jaina Proudmoore's incessant sobbing or Kael'thas' never ending bantering in Magister's Terrace -- which now takes longer to listen to than it takes to kill him. So how about you guys -- who's tops on the voice acting in your opinion? Who do you love to hear every time you kill them? Whose voice makes you reach for the mute button?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

New 5-man instance confirmed for future patch

There is some much welcomed news on the five player dungeon front tonight. Zarhym has confirmed that there will be a new five player dungeon in an upcoming patch. That dungeon, according to Zarhym, will be comparable to Magister's Terrace.

No other information is provided on it, other than the promise for a preview when it's ready.

Magister's Terrace was released in Patch 2.4 and contained higher-than-normal item level equipment and weapons for players. Many people felt that Magsiter's Terrace was also the hardest 5-man dungeon introduced into the game at the time.

While there is no indication that this dungeon will be released with patch 3.2, I don't think it's a wild assumption to make. Blizzard has previously indicated a future patch will also contain a new battleground.

Filed under: News items, Instances

The Queue: Vanilla Coke edition

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hey, everybody! How's your Friday afternoon so far? Mine is full of rain and Vanilla Coke. Mmm. Delicious Vanilla Coke. You know, I'm definitely a Mountain Dew man, and Voltage is my lifeblood, but some days you just want something else. I couldn't drink Vanilla Coke every day, but cracking one open now and then? Caffeinated heaven.* Now, if I can just find my dentures, I'll start answering your questions...

Hellscreamy asked...

A few days ago I read in one of the posts that Noblegarden would be getting new achievements, items and events. Is there any indication at the moment (PTR or otherwise) that this will count towards the 'What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been' achievement?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Tips from the manual

Guynumber from Area 52 brings up a good point: why did Blizzard even bother putting game information in their original manual? Surely, they must have known that they'd be changing the game quickly, and while of course they'd have had no more idea than we had that some things so big would change (no ammunition, anyone?), they could have at least kept in mind that patches were coming.

Curious, I pulled out my old original manual. Here's some tips straight from the original release of World of Warcraft, when Magister's Terrace was a twinkle in a dev's eye, and Icecrown was just a level in Warcraft III, that aren't applicable any more:
  • Pallies are only available to Alliance races and Shamans are Horde only.
  • As Guymember points out, the manual says you will lose significant experience on death (but not so much as to lose a level).
  • Only the Priests, Shamans and Paladins have resurrection spells.
  • Attack Rating increases your chance of hitting a target with a weapon.
  • As a first level priest, your maximum skill level in holy magic is five. As you cast holy spells, your holy skill will max out until you level up and the cap increases.

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Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, The Burning Crusade, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Crowd Control to return in future instances

This opinion probably isn't shared by everyone, but I have to say: I miss crowd control in PvE. Nowadays, thanks to Death Knights or Blizzard or whoever you want to blame, instance runs are more or less zerg affairs -- everyone runs in on a cue, targets whatever the most dangerous mob is, and then lets the rest die off from the incidental damage thanks to their glyph-ed up, AoE abilities. But I long for a more civilized time when CC was used as a more elegant weapon, when a successful group was based on teamwork rather than gear, and when you needed a sheep, or a trap, or a banish, or all three, to make it through the instance.

Fortunately, crowd control isn't dead forever -- GC confirms that while Blizzard doesn't want every pull to take "months of planning" (and obviously they want you to bring the player, not the class, so requiring a Warlock or a Mage along isn't always the best policy), "there will be more CC in the future." Of course, whether that means raids only or future expansions, we have no idea. He does say that "Noxromulous" was made to be accessible, so you might think raids, but one instance players always mention in terms of 5-man difficulty is Magister's Terrace, and let's not forget that that one also came in a content patch.

Despite the bad rep that CC has gotten in PvP, it plays a significant role in the strategy of PvE, and lots of that interesting gameplay has really been lost lately. Hopefully in the future, we'll see Blizzard able to bring back sheep and traps in a way that will test groups without leaving anyone out.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses

A plea on behalf of frustrated tanks everywhere

Several classes and specs have gotten "knockback" abilities as part of patch 3.02 and the game's transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and I've had fun watching these skills be deployed in battlegrounds to extensive and quite possibly evil use. It's pretty funny watching an elemental Shaman defend AB's lumber mill now, and the AV bridge? Even funnier.

And yet...as I laughed, I started to cry inside, because I knew that these skills would also be deployed in 5-man groups and raids to much less amusing effect. And man, it's a real burden being right so often.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Instances, Humor, Classes, Battlegrounds

Ask a Lore Nerd: The Burning Legion and equal opportunity corruption


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

After a brief BlizzCon-inspired hiatus, Ask a Lore Nerd is back! Let's get started with Grimgore's question...

I was wondering if there was anything in the lore that implies that demonic blood could empower any races other than orcs? And if not, what is it about orcs that makes them so susceptible to demonic taint? Does that imply some sort of common ancestry?

Right in World of Warcraft we see other races being empowered with demonic energy/blood. It's not just Orcs. Satyrs were once Night Elves (or Highborne, or Kaldorei), and I'm sure you've seen what happens to Blood Elves when they drink in the demon juice. The horned, winged elves you see in Magisters' Terrace, Sunwell Plateau, and the Throne of Kil'jaeden. They're not all specifically caused by drinking demon blood, but it's the same idea, really.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Breakfast Topic: Steak on eggs

After posting two articles concerning mount-related issues yesterday (Engineering mounts in Wrath and the changes to the Brewfest ram/kodo), I went back to Blackrock Depths with a group to have another crack at everyone's newest best friend, Coren Direbrew. This time I was in the company of a half-crazed warlock determined to get both Brewfest mounts. He'd missed his chance at the ram last year and sworn up and down that it would never happen again, only to be aghast at Blizzard's decision to make both mounts a boss drop. To him, I imagine, it was time to knuckle down and show that ugly, yellow-bellied, boot-licking, random-number-generator just who was boss. However, as the day wore on, he realized that -- insulting the random number generator? Not a good idea.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Bosses, Mounts

Breakfast Topic: Are you achieving?

So, recently we learned that Blizzard would be doing everything they could to reward achievements retroactively. Besides the obvious rewards for exploring, they will also look at your quest logs and gear and give retroactive rewards out for dungeons and raids based on what they find.

Still have your Stormrage Legguards tucked in a corner of the bank? Congratulations, you'll get the Molten Core achievement. Turned in Hard to Kill 2 days after the dungeon went live? You'll automatically have the Magister's Terrace achievement come Wrath.

It's a pretty cool idea that'll help us old vets feel like we've accomplished something with these years in the game, and I'm all for it. It's also been sort of fun to look at my transferred characters on the Beta servers and see what I have and haven't run, or what I have run but am not credited for.

What's occurred to me though is that I could go back to the live servers, run a few dungeons, finish a few quests, tuck a few pieces of random loot away, and come out of the gate on Wrath release day with a whole bunch more shiny achievement points. You know, if I could actually tear myself away from the Beta servers.

But anyway, the idea is tempting, if only because it's a constructive thing to do with my characters before Wrath hits and the grind to 80 starts for real. After all, no matter how often they up the level cap and add new dungeons, they'll never take the Slave Pens achievement away from me.

Are any of you out there working at racking up what achievements you can preemptively? If not, are you considering it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

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