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Posts with tag mists-of-pandaria

Reminder: Get your Garrosh heirlooms while you still can

When Garrosh Hellscream's loot list for Siege of Orgrimmar was first revealed, the list included a ton of heirloom weapons for every spec and class under the sun. However, unlike every other heirloom currently present in the game, the weapons are intended for use from level 90 through level 100 -- to be used while leveling through Warlords of Draenor. It's a pretty cool idea, one that will likely help, at least a little, with leveling both mains and alts through Warlords content.

However, if you want to get your hands on these heirlooms, you better act quickly. Once Warlords is here, the heirlooms will be removed from Garrosh's loot table.

Currently, there are no intentions at all to add the heirloom weapons to Garrosh's loot table in LFR -- as Watcher mentioned, they were meant as a reward for those doing Flex and above difficulty. And once Warlords is out and Draenor is unlocked, the rewards will be going away, so that players can't simply farm Hellscream for more heirloom items when they outgear the former Warchief. If you've been meaning to get your hands on these heirlooms, be aware that there is a finite limit as to how long they'll be available -- and get them while you still can.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The mistakes of the World of Warcraft

It's been a long time, hasn't it? World of Warcraft has lasted ten years, and in that time things are bound to go wrong. It's inevitable. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, I make references to William Butler Yeats and then talk about video games. No game lasts as long as World of Warcraft without making some bad steps along the way. Like Indiana Jones stepping on the wrong tile, all we can do is clamber back up.

Some of these were completely unforeseen, others in retrospect were pretty obvious, but at the time not so much, and others you have to wonder how they managed to make it live in the first place. We're going to talk about them now.

Vanilla WoW: The PvP ladder

Before the ladder, there was mainly world PvP. Spots like the Crossroads in the Barrens (close to a convenient neutral port so Alliance could get there easily) and Tarren Mill/Southshore were hotly contended for almost no good reason at all besides simple factional hatred and a desire from players to kill players. All of that changed with the introduction of battleground and honor rewards, the best of which required a player to achieve a certain rank to attain. What happened next was simple - some players hit upon a means to achieve that high PvP rank, namely, play in shifts.

The ladder was abused from the moment of its introduction. People formed groups who hit the BGs together, sure, but that wasn't the abuse part. The abuse came in the form of people sharing their account information and playing a specific character in shifts, literally keeping said character in the BGs for days at a time. If you were trying to play your character fairly, you simply couldn't compete with the five people who were playing that one warlock nonstop until it had all the high ranking PvP gear, and then shifting to the next player's warrior or paladin. I knew people who tried to stay awake for two solid days doing nothing but hitting up Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch. It was painful to watch. The ladder ended up being removed before the end of vanilla, and it was the best change they could have made.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The immeasurable sorrow of Jaina Proudmoore

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 you've lost everything -- your friends, your family, your home, even the essence of what made you ... well, you? Jaina Proudmoore has undergone this transformation in Mists of Pandaria, and come out the other side a drastically changed woman as a result. After the successful defeat of Deathwing in Cataclysm, Jaina and her coastal city were the unfortunate target of the very faction she's spent years of her life trying to unsuccessfully champion. In the end, Jaina lost everything.

But where does that leave a leader, a diplomat, an advisor, a friend? It's an arguably dark place, but it's also arguable that this was just the character development Jaina needed. As a character, Jaina hadn't really had a lot of progression in her personality since she was introduced all the way back in Warcraft III. Wrath of the Lich King saw the beginnings of what would ultimately be a push into a dark place from which no one, not even a Proudmoore, could emerge unscathed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

How to get a legendary cloak on your boosted 90

I just finished getting my legendary cloak on a second level 90 this week. It wasn't really necessary -- after all, I've got the cloak on my main character and I don't really need it on a second -- but I wanted to complete the chain again. The first time I went through this extraordinary, expansion-long chain was as the expansion itself played out, waiting between patches for the next leg of the chain to be introduced.

This time around, there was no waiting in between stages. I could simply barrel through the chain as quickly as possible, a fresh level 90 against whatever Wrathion chose to throw at me. And let's face it -- the chain has changed in parts along the way. It still takes some time to complete, so you're not going to have your cloak tomorrow if you start today. But the rewards are well worth the effort, and it's quite a bit easier than it used to be. So if you have a recently boosted level 90 and you're interested in getting a legendary of your own, here's how to get that cloak with minimal stress.

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Filed under: Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Talents have come full circle

Circle of Healing
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?

The Warlords of Draenor patch 6.0 notes have revealed the latest changes to WoW's ever-evolving talent system. Talents have remained a core system in WoW since its earliest days, the primary method that allows players to make their characters distinct.

In the beta for WoW and throughout vanilla, talent trees were a bit of a mess, as Archivist covered. Today, we'll examine how those early trees came to be expanded, refined, and then scrapped for a very different system. We'll also look at how Warlords is bringing back the earliest version of talent trees in a brand new way.

The golden age of hybrids

Talent possibilities exploded during The Burning Crusade. Ten more levels granted players ten more points to assign. Players could now combine abilities in ways that vanilla's trees had never allowed, opening up exciting new gameplay paths.

Players didn't choose a specialization like they do today. Instead, they assigned points to three different "trees." Each tree represented a spec, but each also had talents that helped the other two specs as well. So players could pick and choose just how far down they wanted to go in a given tree, and thus how much to commit their character to one spec. "Hybrid" builds were not ideal from a min/max perspective, but they were popular. And TBC was the golden age of such builds.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Spirits of Harmony may become BoE after all

Spirits of Harmony, the Mists of Pandaria currency used by many professions both for supplies and for crafting, have been BoP since the expansions launch. The last we'd heard, there were no plans to make the items BoE by the end of expansion, as with Cataclym's Chaos Orbs and Wrath's Frozen Orbs. However, a tweet exchange last week between Professions Designer @hwoome and a player suggests that the resource might not stay BoP after all ... and might even make the switch to a BoE item sooner than we'd thought.


While it's not a confirmation by any means, the tweet came from a game designer, which suggests at the very least that the issue is not off the table for discussion as previously thought. Whether or not we'll see Spirits lose their BoP status is still up in the air, though -- so I wouldn't worry about stockpiling the items for now.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Loose Ends of Mists of Pandaria

Since the expansion is now locked in its final patch, with no future storylines to come to change the status quo until Warlords of Draenor, we're free to look over the past year and a half and say Did that actually happen to some of the stranger moments in the story. Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of the story in this expansion, I think it had some really good twists and some nice back and forth between various NPC's (for instance, I love the Jaina/Vereesa team, I think Jaina's interaction with Lor'themar is fantastically catty, and the Baine/Vol'jin bromance is a lot more relatable than previous Horde leaders) but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some head-scratchingly weird moments in it.

These moments often take the form of unexplored consequences or loose ends to the plot. Let's look at a few of them now.

The Mogu Woman conspiracy

This one got really strange because the in-game lore for the presence of mogu women got really convoluted. The way I have it worked out, there used to be mogu women, but at some point after Lei Shen became emperor, something happened. We know there was at least one mogu queen, who died by Lei Shen's hand. It seems that after Lei Shen used the power and knowledge he stole from Ra-Den to 'reverse engineer' the Curse of Flesh, he seemingly eliminated women from his society since his people wouldn't need to reproduce any longer in the conventional sense. The only two women left were in fact the Twin Consorts, and they were literally just constructs carved into the shape of women, possibly as a last dig at Monara. This leaves a whole host of questions about Monara and her relationship to Lei Shen - were they related in some way? Was she his last queen, or perhaps even his mother, or just a rival he killed to cement his power over the mogu?

I found this aspect of mogu culture - their rejection of an entire gender as part and parcel of their rejection of being flesh, being alive at all, to be one of the strangest aspects of their culture. It's got some real world resonance, as well. The mogu end up not being just cruel and callous, they're also really creepy in ways we don't see often.

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

War Crimes audiobook version confirmed

Some people like the feel of paper in their hands, some like e-readers for ease of storage, and some people really like to listen to the books they love. One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding any Warcraft novel's release is whether or not an audiobook version of the novel will be available to those that like to listen to their reading material. In most cases, that information isn't readily available before the book is published in print and e-reader formats.

However, it appears that War Crimes, the newest novel from Christie Golden, already has an audiobook version of the novel planned -- an entry for the audiobook edition has been found on Amazon. Scott Brick, the voice behind the audiobook renditions of Wolfheart, Dawn of the Aspects, and Shadows of the Horde will be lending his voice to War Crimes as well. Although there is no release date nor price currently listed for the audiobook, those interested can sign up to be notified when the audiobook release is available for purchase.

For more on War Crimes, the tale of Garrosh Hellscream's trial, check out our exclusive interview with author Christie Golden from last year's BlizzCon -- and while you're at it, there are not one but two excerpts from the novel now available for reading.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

New faction short story: The Untamed Valley

I have a soft spot for the Tillers. I think they're one of my favorite factions from Pandaria. It wasn't just the fact that I got my own farm, it was the fact that each character involved in the Tillers' quests was so fleshed out, so well written, and so engaging that you really couldn't help but be enchanted by Halfhill and the surrounding farms. Of all the pandaren we've met in Mists, I think I'm going to miss the gang in Halfhill the most.

That said, the absolute last person I ever expected to show up in a short story surrounding the Tillers was Vindicator Maraad. Yet there he is, accompanied by Sentinel Commander Lyalia, another Alliance face we haven't seen for quite some time. The thought of a towering blue-skinned alien from another world interacting with the jovial and decidedly down-to-earth farmers of Halfhill seems like a really strange idea for a story. And yet in Blizzard's latest short story offering, The Untamed Valley, it works. It really, really works, in the most unexpected way.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Watcher: Mythic raiding in Siege of Orgrimmar "for a few weeks" before Draenor

So, if you're wondering how raiding is going to look in the future, one thing's for sure - you'll get a preview of the Warlords of Draenor changes when patch 6.0 drops, because when it does, Siege of Orgrimmar will be converting fully to the new flex normal/heroic and 20 player mythic difficulties.

What this means is that we'll get a completely redesigned SoO with the class changes and other new systems in mind, but that older raids won't be changed, since they're considered trivial in comparison thanks to gear. It also means we know the 6.0 patch will be relatively shortly followed by Warlords of Draenor, and not well in advance of it, as some have speculated. So if you're wondering how your guild will fare with the change, patch 6.0 will be your test drive.

Filed under: Machinima, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Cross-realm raiding now enabled on all servers

Raiders, rejoice -- a new cross-realm raiding feature has now been implemented. In a blue post by Rygarius, it was announced that cross-realm raiding via BattleTag and RealID has been enabled not just for Flex mode, but for Normal and Heroic mode raiding on all servers. These cross-realm raids will be allowed to get the Reins of the Kor'kron War Wolf and all titles associated with the Siege of Orgrimmar, none of which were previously allowed on Flex or LFR difficulty.

Rygarius
We've recently implemented an often requested feature to enable cross-realm raiding for Siege of Orgrimmar. Cross-realm BattleTag™ and Real ID friends can now raid together and take the fight to Garrosh on Normal or Heroic difficulty. Players will be able to earn greater rewards such as Reins of the Kor'kron War Wolf or the title of Conqueror/Liberator of Orgrimmar; both of which aren't available to be earned within Flexible or Raid Finder difficulty.

This change is currently live.


If your cross-realm Flex group has been doing well and defeating Garrosh, now might just be the time to step into Normal mode, test the waters against the forces of Hellscream on a higher difficulty, and reap all the rewards for doing so. Good luck!

Edit: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has stepped into the thread in question to clarify a few points. Read on after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

The puzzling problem of professions in endgame

I have a confession to make: There are five jewelcrafting mounts and one engineering mount that were introduced with Mists of Pandaria, and I have yet to make any of them. I have a tailor at max level tailoring, but she hasn't made a single Royal Satchel. I have a leatherworker who hasn't even touched any of the patterns introduced this expansion. In fact, the only things I seem to be making with any kind of regularity are cut gems, and glyphs for my alts.

Why? Because the return on investment for any one of the mounts introduced is too low. I don't have the gold to randomly fling at things like mounts that will be used once or twice and then forgotten about. As for the tailor, the pattern for the Royal Satchel is locked behind the absolute, hands down, worst reputation grind in the new expansion -- and there's no way to get around that. I either have to log on every single day to grind out dailies that give an absolute pittance of reputation, or try to solo Warbringers, which is next-to-impossible for several classes.

In short, none of these things are worth my time or gold. As a result, the majority of my professions have been completely unused for the majority of the expansion. And I have a sneaking suspicion I am far from the only one, here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Why did we have to squish stats?

The item squish is a hotly debated topic on the forums. That's not really surprising. It's a pretty big change. Any time you're talking about any sort of reduction to character power (which, it must be restated, the item squish isn't, but it can appear to be) people get nervous. Part of the problem is calling it an item squish at all. It's not merely that, however - the squish is taking place across the board, to monsters and NPC's and encounters as well as our gear. And it's happening in a broad way, relative to the expansion endgame spikes of level's 60, 70, 80, 85 and 90. It's not a surprise that endgame play tends to introduce gear of escalating power, nor is it a surprise that as the next expansion comes out, we tend to see a gradual increase in mob health and damage and gear so that by the max level cap of said expansion, everyone's essentially shed most if not all of their endgame gear from the last expansion only to see a new cycle of gear escalation.

This isn't really in dispute. However, looking at the chart above, you can see that the steepness of the player power gain was getting ever sharper, and the projected 90 to 100 jump magnified the already high 80 to 85 and 85 to 90 curves. Why did gear start expanding in power so much more dramatically after level 80? Why were both the level 85 and level 90 endgames such steep climbs in power at endgame?

Let's take a look all the way back to Wrath of the Lich King to answer that question.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

The real reason I hate the Timeless Isle

I hate the Timeless Isle.

I hate the lack of clear objectives. I hate the pseudo-platformer elements. I hate the pouncing tigers, stomping rock monsters, and the shield bearing Ordon yaungol (all of which have abilities I'd be perfectly happy to deal with in a dungeon but am inconvenienced by when I just want 50 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune for the week). There's also the unconventional grummle mailbox that requires two clicks instead of one, and the apocalyptic typhoon of random consumable items wrecking my bag space. But above all of those there is one thing I hate more than anything about the Timeless Isle ... The yaks.

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Filed under: Humor

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Titans, Azeroth, and Wrathion

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.

Last week, we explored the legendary quests offered by Wrathion in detail, and managed to come up with some interesting theories regarding his purpose in Pandaria. No matter which way you look at it, what Wrathion says and what he actually does are two fairly different things. There's a story lying there, waiting to be discovered -- and while we've all been paying attention to what Pandaria has to offer, and the war between Alliance and Horde, Wrathion's clearly been working his own agenda.

But he's only two years old at this point. He's far from a fully grown dragon, yet he seems to be pulling together complicated strategies and plans like they're nothing at all. Certainly he may be a dragon, but is a dragon that young out of the shell really going to be that advanced? Wrathion would certainly like us to believe it. The problem is that we simply don't have any evidence to back up the story he's told us -- nor do we have any evidence of how he should be acting. He may be two, he may say he's a black dragon, but this "dragon" might in fact be something far more important than he claims -- more important than even he knows.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation 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

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