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Posts with tag medivh

Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, the soul of evil

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.

Every villain in the Warcraft universe has a story behind why exactly they're a villain. For some, it was the corruption of the Old Gods that slowly drove them mad. For others, it was the promise of great power by agents of the Burning Legion. But it's rare that we see a villain that is simply a villain without any kind of outside influence. Garrosh Hellscream is one of the better villains in Warcraft solely because he does evil things, but doesn't believe that they are evil -- instead, he believes that they are simply the right thing to do.

But before Garrosh Hellscream was an orc who pretty much represented pure, unmitigated evil in its most concentrated form. He knew the corruption of his entire race was at stake, and he went ahead and traded it for the one thing he craved above all else -- power. Gul'dan may not have come from bloodlines that boasted glory, but he was ridiculously intelligent, cunning, and cruel. To Gul'dan, it wasn't about performing evil deeds. It was about amassing as much power and prestige as he could -- and the rest of the world could burn, for all he cared.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Khadgar, Archmage of the Kirin Tor

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.

What do you do when your life is stripped away? Khadgar is an Archmage of the Kirin Tor -- one of the members of the Council of Six, and a powerful mage in his own right. Ancient and wizened, in his lifetime Khadgar has confronted the shadow of Sargeras, faced the orc legions that poured through the Dark Portal, seen Draenor shattered into a wasteland, and even confronted Deathwing himself and survived. And after all that was said and done, he was the first human to reach out and connect with the enigmatic naaru, bringing A'dal and his forces to Outland.

And he's done all of this by age forty-four.

Forty-four? Yes. There's much more to Khadgar than his appearance might suggest. Although his body may be ancient and wizened, there is nothing stopping what is still a fairly young and incredibly intelligent mind. But Khadgar may not be where he expected to be when, at age 17, he was asked to apprentice to the most unlikely tutor in the Eastern Kingdoms. His name was Medivh.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Archivist: The curse of Karazhan

Karazhan Tower
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?

Something has been afoot in Karazhan of late. First, dataminers noticed that Karazhan had been renamed Medivh's Big Birthday Bash on the PTR. In the rechristened raid, objects such as cobwebs and skeletons had disappeared. Then a later build renamed it Karazhan 2: Eclectic Boogaloo. Senior game designer Jonathan Craft tweeted that fellow designer Dave Maldonado was responsible. Maldonado later said that nothing is happening. It turned out to be a test to see if a phased quest could be set there, but sadly it didn't work.

Many players would be excited to return to Karazhan, and it would make sense to do this in Warlords of Draenor. After all, Karazhan is from the same expansion that took us to the shattered remnants of Draenor back in 2007. Hopefully Blizzard will find a way to feature some Karazhan-based content during the next expansion.

Karazhan remains one of Blizzard's most popular raid zones, and for good reason. But did it succeed too well for WoW's own good? Let's look back at what Karazhan offered us in its prime and how it impacted raid design in future expansions.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Alternate Azeroth

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.

Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate, splinter reality in which Garrosh Hellscream has gone back in time and prevented the leaders of the old orc clans from drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. In this version of reality, several events have changed dramatically -- leading players to ask many, many questions about alternate Azeroth, how its history has been altered, and how that changes the Azeroth we know and love today. The answer is very simple: it doesn't. Not in the slightest. That alternate Azeroth, and whatever future it may hold, has no bearing on Warlords of Draenor at all. We won't be exploring that world, and our Azeroth remains unchanged.

However, people still continue to ask. So we're going to take a little trip into that alternate reality and explore what that version of Azeroth would theoretically look like without the Dark Portal. We're going to explore this alternate world, take a look at what likely never came to pass, and what happened as a result. And then we're going to quietly put all of that away, because this is all information and events that we are not going to see in Warlords of Draenor. But it'll be nice to get it out of our systems, won't it?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Who we will and won't see in Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor, the next WoW expansion, comes complete with a storyline that has players asking plenty of questions. Featuring an all-star cast of previous RTS characters, Warlords delves into an alternate version of reality, a version in which the orc chieftains never drank the Blood of Mannoroth, instead choosing to band together in the Iron Horde. In this version of reality -- a splinter of reality that shouldn't really exist -- the orcs and draenei are still at war, and that entire splinter of reality is being connected to our own via the Dark Portal.

This has been raising all kinds of questions regarding who exactly we'll see on the other side of that portal. What about Azeroth, in that version of reality? What about Deathwing and his kin? What about the Velen leading the draenei at that point in time, what about younger Garrosh? Will there be duplicates of orcs who have since made their homes on Azeroth, after traveling through the Dark Portal? Will the Alliance Expedition be stranded on this version of Draenor? Just who are we going to see over there, and who won't be making an appearance?

While we don't have all the answers, we have more than enough to start filling in the blanks.

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Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

What's going on with Karazhan?

It's no secret that I love Karazhan. Making its debut in Burning Crusade, Karazhan was and still is, to me, the perfect raid. The sheer scope of the instance and the variety of bosses within it were more than enough to keep my raid guild at the time happily occupied. But for myself, it wasn't just the raid, it was the story behind it. I spent most of vanilla plaintively wondering when we'd see Medivh's tower open for visitors ... and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest with what we eventually saw inside.

On the 5.4.2 PTR, Karazhan is in the middle of what seems to be not a revamp, but a restoration. Mobs aren't changing, neither are bosses. But the cobwebs, the overturned chairs, the randomly placed skeletons of the dead are all being quietly swept away. One has to wonder ... what's up with that? What's going on with the tower of Karazhan, and why the sudden makeover now? Rather than indulge in yet another speculative edition of Know Your Lore, let's just take a quick look at the possibilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Timelines, timeways, and Karazhan

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.

What is time, in Warcraft? Is it a straightforward line, or a tapestry of events that can be changed or altered with a simple pluck of a thread? While the bronze dragonflight may be masters of the various pathways of time, we mortal players are most definitely not. We've been sent through the pathways of the Caverns of Time on more than one occasion, but always at the behest of the bronze flight, to complete the tasks they have set and keep the timelines pristine.

But this mysterious maze of time wasn't left unexplored prior to our travels through Tanaris. Obviously the bronze dragonflight has been up to a great deal over the thousands of years that it has existed -- Nozdormu's long absence predated even our first journeys through the Caverns of Time. And for one player in the next expansion, time had absolutely nothing to do with the dragonflights, and much more to do with the mysterious home of his enigmatic master, Medivh. So how does it all weave together?

More importantly, when is time travel not really time travel at all, as the developers seemed to be so insistent on saying at BlizzCon?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains a small amount of speculation on datamined material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The History of Draenor

Adam's project
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.

It may not be Azeroth, but it's got a history just as rich and just as convoluted. In the Warcraft universe, the planet Draenor plays a secondary role to Azeroth in terms of storyline -- consider it something like a sister planet, one whose history is irrevocably entwined with Azeroth's. Although these days Draenor exists as a mere shell of what it once was, Draenor, its inhabitants, and its fate are all one of the most significant pieces of Warcraft lore out there. After all, if there were no Draenor, there would be no First or Second wars. There would be no Horde.

Why is this planet so important? It certainly didn't have very much to do with the original inhabitants. In fact, Draenor would have likely lived on in obscurity were it not for the strange, peaceful settlers from another world. Peaceful they may have been, but they had a history they could not escape -- a past that forever linked them with the Burning Legion ... and the Burning Legion knows little of forgiveness or mercy for those that incur its wrath.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Dear Jaina Proudmoore

Dear Jaina
Dear Jaina,

I'm not in the habit of writing letters to fictional characters, but in the face of what we've all seen yesterday, it seemed like as good a time as any to start. Look, I realize this is going to be hard to accept, but your fate isn't exactly in your hands. What you want, and what you'll get, are two entirely different things -- and it might not be fair. It might not be particularly right. It certainly isn't going to feel very good, but the influence you hold only goes so far. And in this case, you can't exactly order around a king.

But let's look beyond that for a second, all right? Because honestly, you seem to be more than a little irritated, justified or not. And I remember who you used to be, a long time ago. I remember a lady who was a bastion of rational thinking, one who looked before she leapt, made sound judgments, and realized that in this big, wide, crazy world of Azeroth, things aren't always black and white, good and evil. Sometimes, most of the time in fact, they lay somewhere in between.

So I'm wondering, Lady Proudmoore -- who are you?

This post contains huge spoilers for patch 5.4, including the end cinematic for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Reader beware!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

What If: Shadows of the Assassin

What If Shadows of the Assassin
When we last left off with the what-if challenges, Rossi wrote up a perfectly delightful idea for the premise of Shandris Feathermoon being a main antagonist for an expansion, then left me with the notorious half-orc assassin Garona Halforcen for my next challenge. One would think it'd be easy enough to build an expansion around someone who makes a habit of stabbing people, but Garona has essentially been a non-entity since we last saw her, briefly, in the Twilight Highlands.

Her absence from the final fight with Cho'gall was noticeable. One would think that she'd be more than happy to pitch in and help defeat the creature that had been controlling her the majority of her life, forcing her to do things that colored her fate in such a way that she's been forced into hiding. Yet ... Garona wasn't there. In fact, she's all but disappeared. Which makes one wonder ... how much of Garona is, in fact, Garona -- and what would she do if given the unique opportunity to change her fate?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Warcraft Movie Rumors: Khadgar and Medivh?

Warcraft movie rumors Khadgar and Medivh
According to website Bleeding Cool, there are some new rumors about the upcoming Warcraft film -- specifically, what the story of the film will be about. Many people have been speculating as to the content of the movie, which is titled Warcraft -- not World of Warcraft -- and therefore could involve ... well, just about anything in the Warcraft canon, or an entirely new story we'd never before seen. Once thing was certain -- the story, whatever it is, is going to be something suitably epic.

But according to Bleeding Cool, that story may be far more familiar than we'd previously thought. Rumor has it that the main character will be none other than Khadgar, and the story itself will revolve around his experiences with Medivh. Also supposedly set to appear in the film are Anduin Lothar, along with mention of "the King and his Lady." I'm assuming, judging from the other characters, that we're speaking of King Llane here.

Keep in mind that this is all firmly rumor, and none of this has been confirmed by anyone actually working on the film. However, I don't know about you guys but I'd be perfectly happy with a film that went back to the high-fantasy days of Medivh and the First War -- seeing Lothar on the big screen sounds like a wonderful time to me. Check out Bleeding Cool for the full synopsis, as well as rumored actors for the film -- Johnny Depp, anyone?

Filed under: Blizzard, Rumors

Know Your Lore: A discussion of Med'an

Know Your Lore A discussion of Med'an Wed
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.

Med'an is a controversial character.

Well, maybe not. If Med'an were controversial, that would mean that some people like him and some people hate him, but so far, if Med'an has fans they're being awfully quiet about it. Now, that doesn't mean they don't exist, but until I see evidence for them existing I'm going to assume that they don't. So Med'an isn't controversial because there's no controversy. People either hate him, or they don't care about him at all. But there's the rub. By nature, I tend to dislike just going along with the common opinion without examining it for myself. So now, I find myself forced to ask: is Med'an that bad?

Med'an is as far as I know the only character to get dismissed from existence by the Ask CDev responses. There's a vague response at the end of Ask CDev 3 that implies that he left Azeroth entirely, and that's the last word we've gotten on the character. And I kind of understand why - taking a look at Med'an's backstory, it kind of sounds like something you'd see in someone's FlagRP profile that got out of hand.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Why do we fight?

Know Your Lore Why do we fight SUN
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.

Azeroth is a volatile land fraught with conflict. In recent years of history, this conflict has been highlighted by the battle between Alliance and Horde, a seemingly never-ending struggle that began the moment the orcs made their way through the Dark Portal and began attacks on the Eastern Kingdoms in earnest. But prior to the orcs, there were still wars to contend with. In early days, pandaren rose up against mogu, troll against aqir. Kaldorei against Burning Legion, and against each other in the process.

It almost seems as though Azeroth's destiny is one that is irrevocably tied to war -- we're destined to fight, regardless of who we are, or what we happen to be fighting. But why do the Alliance and Horde continue to fight? They've worked together in the past, and yet it seems that every time they are close to some sort of peaceful resolution, they are drawn once more to war. What's making the Alliance and Horde so aggressive this time around?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: What if Stormwind had won the First War?

Image
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.

What if ...?

It's one of the most dangerous two-word phrases in the English language, my friends. What if leads us down roads strewn with nevers, could have and didn't after didn't.

This week, we're going to look at what would have happened if a few decisions had been made differently. What if Stormwind had never fallen? What if the Horde had lost the First War? On the surface, it seems like an easy question to answer. Stormwind never falls and Varian Wrynn's dad Llane gets to stay king with his heart inside his chest. Everyone's happy, right? (Well, everyone but the orcs.)

But the world would be vastly different without the rise of the Horde to prominence on Azeroth. Without the disastrous defeat of one of humanity's nations, there would be no Alliance of Lordaeron, no Thrall, no Second War, no death of Gul'dan at the Tomb of Sargeras, no Alliance Expedition, no destruction of Draenor by Ner'zhul's reckless sorcery -- the closer one gets to the present-day World of Warcraft, the more unrecognizable it becomes.

We can't answer for every possibility. We can't establish an absolutely canonical scenario for what would have happened, and we'd be fools to try. But we can look at the ramifications of the First War and consider their immediate implications and what would have come from them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Are there some things you wish weren't canon?

Image
I liked the Warcraft comics, for the most part. Keep in mind that I say this as someone with 18 boxes of various DC and independently published comics in my closet. That said, I like comic books -- superheroes are pretty awesome. Superhero comics generally have an in-your-face quality to them, the characters are larger than life, and the stories are ridiculously complicated. In a way, it's kinda like a soap opera, only on paper with less weeping and more kicking butt. So the Warcraft comics fit quite nicely into that niche of superhero comic, in my opinion. The stories were pretty epic, there was always something going on, and the characters were larger than life.

But oh, how I wish Med'an did not exist in official canon. It's one thing to have an overpowered character in a comic book introduced for some sort of overarching epic tale; it's another thing altogether to try and shoehorn that character into a franchise full of characters that have a small spark of reality to them. Don't get me wrong -- there were plenty of things I loved about the comics series that were taken into canon. The split-personality Varian was a really intriguing element that has been pushed into what ultimately I see as a really unique way of developing his character beyond random king #3 or #4.

Med'an, on the other hand, has no redeeming emotional aspect; he's just a flat-out superhero. He doesn't appear to have any weaknesses whatsoever, and his introduction threw a wrench into Garona's character that I didn't particularly care for, not to mention Medivh's. His arrival seemed like it was solely for the purpose of telling a good superhero comic story, with no real root in Warcraft. And the fact that he's the hybrid of three races all from different planets is just a little too over the top from the standpoint of simple biology.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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