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Posts with tag mists-of-pandaria

What to do in a raid while waiting to raid

My guild is moving right along through heroic 25-player content -- we're 10/14 currently, and happily working on Thok. Part of the reason I enjoy the guild is the progression, but the other part is that no matter how bad things get, nobody ever takes things too seriously. To us, raid nights contain endless games within games to be played while groups are being set up and in between wipes. If there is something weird to be done in the Siege of Orgrimmar, something that has nothing to do with the actual killing of bosses at all, we've either done it, or we'll discover it soon.

But before you get started raiding, why not get some fishing time in? The other day we discovered that the small pool of water right in front of the instance portal is just deep enough to allow fishing -- something we thought removed with the destruction of the Vale. To our knowledge, you aren't going to find any fishing pools in the little puddle of water, but you can still fish. Not only can you fish, but there are Jewel Danio still lurking in the water.

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Filed under: Humor, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.7 official patch notes

Blizzard Community Manager Rygarius has posted the patch 5.4.7 official notes on battle.net. This is in anticipation of the patch's arrival on February 18, as Blizzard Customer Support tweeted on Monday.

The key points are summed up in our patch 5.4.7 roundup post, and Timeless Isle weapons are being upgraded, but other than that it's really mostly PvP related news with a new season arriving and the changes to Alterac Valley and Dampening. The Krasarang rares have also had a nerf, now dropping honor just once per day. What's more, the PvP vendor guards have had a buff to their health and damage dealt.

There are also several class changes, which are laid out in full after the break in the Official Patch Notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.7 roundup

Patch 5.4.7 is upon us, barring catastrophe we are expecting its arrival tomorrow, February 18. But what's actually coming with the patch? Is it really just a PvP season? Well, not quite. The key changes in patch 5.4.7 are as follows:
We're also tentatively expecting to see the pre-orders for Warlords of Draenor sometime after the patch's release, and the much-discussed buy-a-90 feature, although this has not been officially confirmed by Blizzard. Boosted level 90s will get 483 gear, and if you're boosting a level 60+ character they'll also get maxed professions.

What does this all mean if you're not really into your PvP? Why should you care about the patch? Well, if you're a PvE-er leveling a brand new level 90 character, or maybe boosting one, the best way to gear it straight to 522 is now to grind out honor gear. But don't worry, the best way to do that is still via PvE. Same applies if you've still got slots below that ilvl.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Black Prince

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.

Wrathion, the last black dragon -- to his knowledge -- on the entirety of Azeroth has been a puzzle from the moment his egg was created. His immediate response upon hatching was a vicious, calculated attack on his own flight via the use of assassins, which resulted in the nigh-extinction of the black dragonflight. And after completing that mission, he curiously chose, instead of going somewhere to be left alone as he stated he wanted, to go to Pandaria -- where he began an even curiouser journey that players were quickly swept into upon reaching level 90.

Wrathion's travels in Pandaria, his sudden gaining of a multitude of Blacktalon Agents, even the spot in which he chose to make his temporary home are all increasingly questionable, especially given what little we know about Wrathion himself. He gives us a grand, magnanimous story about how he's looking out for the world because he's seen visions of the Burning Legion coming to call, and of our world's destruction.

But he also said he was firmly on the side of the Horde, or the side of the Alliance, then swapped sides as efficiently as possible when it was convenient. In other words, Wrathion lies. He lies all the time. So the question we should be asking here is whether Wrathion has been giving us the real truth at all -- and what is the truth behind Wrathion's puzzling journey?

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

Characters of Warcraft updates with Mists, Hearthstone heroes

A new selection of characters have been added to Blizzard's Characters of Warcraft page on the official website. For those unfamiliar with the page, it's a collection of brief profiles on various figures in Warcraft lore, featuring a little background information, artwork, screenshots, and links to related characters and pertinent short stories or fiction that involves the featured character. In other words, it's a pretty handy little quick reference guide for those wondering who's who in lore.

The new additions include heroes from Mists of Pandaria such as Shaohao, Sunwalker Dezco, Taran Zhu and more. In addition, players can now find profiles for heroes that have been featured in Hearthstone's class decks. It's a pretty good addition, particularly for characters like Valeera Sanguinar, who plays a prominent role as the representative rogue deck in Hearthstone, but doesn't really feature all that much in World of Warcraft itself. I was also happy to see both Uther and Rexxar have been added as well.

Although the Characters of Warcraft page is by no means complete just yet, the new batch of updates is pretty reassuring to see. Hopefully it's an indicator that this feature won't be left in the dust, and will continue to be updated and filled out with characters that are both pertinent to the expansions we're currently playing, and those that have were important in expansions past as well. Check out the page for the new additions, and while you're there, don't forget to look for short stories you may have missed along the way.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.7 arrival imminent as season 14 end is announced

We discussed in the past that a new PvP season was announced before the arrival of Warlords of Draenor, and at the time waxed lyrical on the historic durations of PvP seasons, and the impact that a new season might have on the release of the expansion. And now the season is here, and with it, patch 5.4.7, which has been tested on the PTR, including character upgrades and more.

And now the two-week warning is here. This says the usual stuff, season 14 conquest items will be converted to honor cost, with the exception of those with rating requirements, which will not be available for purchase. They aim to hand out the awards, mounts and the like, within one week, but it could well take two. There is now a minimum rating of 1,000 for players to count in the title calculation. Personal rating will be reset with the season end, but as we've become accustomed to, there is no talk of an MMR reset.

What does this mean for patch 5.4.7? Well, in recent history, the end of the season has coincided with the launch of the patch. While the blog is clearly saying "as early as two weeks from now", they generally stick to the two week period advertised. What will 5.4.7 bring, and how long will season 15 last? Both of these questions could be key for determining a realistic release date for Warlords. And what's more, could pre-orders begin around 5.4.7? There has not been direct confirmation, but the presence of the upgrades on the PTR suggests they are not far out.


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

Siege of Orgrimmar updating to Warlords-mode raiding in 6.0

Mythic mode raiding will be coming into play a little sooner than previously thought. A tweet by Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas yesterday confirmed that we will be seeing Warlords-style raiding implemented into the Siege of Orgrimmar raid with patch 6.0. The raid structure in Warlords includes Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty all available in Flex-scaling formats. Raid Finder mode as it stands today will still be called Raid Finder mode, however Flexible difficulty will now be called Normal, our version of Normal raiding will be Heroic, and Mythic raiding, a 20-man only format, replaces our Heroic mode as it stands today.


While we knew these changes would be coming in 6.0 via screens shown at BlizzCon 2013, what we didn't know is that this format will be applied to Siege of Orgrimmar, as well as all raids going forward into the new expansion. A later tweet by Hazzikostas pointed out that there will be plenty of advance notice before the change goes live, and there will also be more information on the topic at a later date. Considering we're just now seeing patch 5.4.7 on the PTR, we shouldn't expect Mythic modes to be dropped on us immediately.

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

Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch Notes update for February 3

Blizzard Community Manager Rygarius has cooked up the latest batch of Patch 5.4.7 PTR notes. There's a few changes in there, including the reversion of the change to Charge and the cooldown changes for Pummel and Disrupting Shout that replace it. We covered this in more detail with a post from Lore, so let's take a look at the other alterations:
  • PvP gear has been updated to the relevant season, so the season 14 Grievous gear is now purchaseable for honor, while the season 15 Prideful gear is live
  • The Flaskataurs return! Both shrines now feature a Flaskataur for all your needs.
    • Flaskataurs sell PvP gear in the shrine
    • Tier 15 Normal gear at Niuzao
    • Glyphs in the Shrine
  • Charge's stun is now a stun again rather than a root
  • Warbringer's root is, again, a root
  • Disrupting Shout and Pummel now both share a 15-second cooldown when either ability is used. Disrupting Shout's 40-second cooldown remains unchanged but the ability will be unavailable for 15 seconds after using Pummel.
Hit the break for the full patch notes!

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Warlord Zaela and the Dragonmaw Clan

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.

They are Dragonmaw -- a clan that seems a little out of place in the name department, having existed long before dragons ever arrived on Draenor. However out of place that name may have been at the time, the clan lived up to it with brutal efficiency upon traveling through the Dark Portal and arriving on Azeroth. Yet for all its bravado, all its strength, and all its extremely powerful artifacts of questionable origin on its side, the Dragonmaw didn't really flourish. In fact, it found itself ironically subject to the manipulations of those it tried to subjugate, over and over again.

One orc woman saw the path her clan was destined to travel, the seed of corruption that was quickly threatening to tear the Dragonmaw apart, and feared for the fate of her clan. But when given a chance to make a difference, she seized the opportunity, killed her own Warchief and was rewarded with the chance to lead the Dragonmaw at the side of the Horde. Zaela may not have a lot of story behind her just yet, but make no mistake -- she will do whatever it takes to guarantee the safety and survival of her clan.

It's a pity that her methods involve allying with the most hated orc on Azeroth.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Archivist: WoW in China, an uncensored history -- part 2

Joyland statues
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?

In China, few Western games have been more embraced than World of Warcraft. But few games have endured more scrutiny from the government and more interruptions. As WoW Archivist covered two weeks ago, Chinese players have put up with censorship, endless waits for expansions, and intense bureaucratic meddling that shut the servers down for months. But their enthusiasm for the game remains.

Today, we will look at the more recent years of WoW in China, the raiding scene there, and the game's impact on popular culture, including a certain infamous theme park...

Too soon, Executus

After sorting out issues with the Ministry of Culture and GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publications), WoW operator NetEase was on a roll. Though Cataclysm also faced delays, it launched in China on July 12, 2011 -- just half a year after the Western release. By the standards of prior expansions in China, this release was practically instantaneous.

In a bitter irony, however, the expansion actually arrived too soon.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 5.4.7 PTR patch notes update for January 28

There have been just a few changes to the Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch notes. You can see the full, updated version after the break, but let's spell out the changes for you here.
  • First, in all PvP, the increase in Battle Fatigue -- the debuff that affects healing done to players -- has been dropped from 10% to 5%. Instead of going from 55% to 65%, Battle Fatigue will now be at 60%.
  • Next up, in the Arena, there have been a couple of shifts from the previous version.
    • Dampening will start at 5 minutes for 2v2 arenas only.
    • For 3v3 and 5v5, Dampening will remain at 10 minutes.
  • Finally, in Alterac Valley, the increases in health have been applied to all Marshals, on the Alliance side, and to all Warmasters on the Horde side.
Hit the break for the full, unadulterated notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The problem with story progression in WoW

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.

I've been working on an alt these past few weeks, leveling through content at my leisure and re-visiting storylines I haven't seen since the early days of Cataclysm. I started out in Azuremyst Isle, hopping over to Darkshore once I reached the appropriate level -- basically, once I'd gotten out of Ammen Vale -- and completed the entirety of Darkshore not because the XP was good, but because I wanted to see the entire thing again.

From there, I hopped to the Eastern Kingdoms, where I did part of Duskwood, most of Northern Stranglethorn Vale, and then up to the Plaguelands -- Western, then Eastern -- before hopping down to the Badlands. After the Badlands, I did a small portion of Searing Gorge, then hopped down to the Swamp of Sorrows and the Blasted Lands, where I hit level 60 and promptly went through the Dark Portal to Outland. Which is when I realized something -- if I were a new player, someone who had never picked up World of Warcraft, I would have absolutely no idea what the heck was going on. At all.

There's something really wrong with that.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch notes

Patch notes have now been released for the patch 5.4.7 PTR and posted to the official blog. It's a small list so far, and this doesn't appear to be a major content patch in any way. However, most of the changes listed so far all involve various aspects of PvP. Keep in mind that there is no mention being made of the mount or pet that were datamined yesterday, nor the level 90 boost feature -- from what we know so far, those are all features being introduced with Warlords of Draenor pre-orders.
  • Many of the items being sold by Misterweaver Ai on the Timeless Isle have had their item level cap raised to 489, up from 476. This change is retroactive to any of these items that have already been purchased -- no worries!
  • In arenas, Dampening is now being applied at the 5-minute mark instead of the 10-minute mark.
  • In Alterac Valley, Stormpike, Balinda, Galvangar and Drek'thar are all now immune to disarm, daze, and Death Grip.
Read on for the full list of patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Why Mists of Pandaria needs one more patch

We're at that time in World of Warcraft where I'm not quite done with the expansion we have - there's still a few things I'd like to do like kill Heroic Garrosh - but at the same time, we've been playing long enough that I'm starting to really, really feel the urge to move on to a new place. At the least, I'd really like to feel finished with Pandaria.

It's not that I didn't or don't like the expansion. Nothing could be further from the truth. In many ways, I still feel like this was the best expansion, in terms of pure storytelling - an incredible amount of story unfolded over the past year and four months, if you get right down to it. The voyage we undertook to a distant shore ended up teaching us almost as much about the world we left behind, ultimately taking us to a confrontation at the very gates of Orgrimmar. Garrosh Hellscream's journey from Warchief to reviled enemy of almost the world entire, even his own faction, was surprising and at times maddening and I played through it on both factions. There were some deeply troubling twists - to this day, I look back on the Dalaran purge on my worgen and shudder at stalking and killing an elf for the crime of wearing the wrong color and trying to take his money with him when he fled, while my tauren felt responsible for it all, having stolen the Divine Bell in the first place.

After all of it - after having marched from the Jade Forest and those first arrivals to here, after having seen the destruction we left in our wake and done what I could to ameliorate it only to see it eventually bring even the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to the brink, after having finally waged war all the way back to that chamber deep beneath Orgrimmar I feel conflicted. I feel like there's more to do - the sha need to be cleaned out of the Vale, for instance, and the final fate of the mogu and mantid would be nice to discover - but at the same time, there's the urge that got me to Pandaria in the first place. The urge to go somewhere new. And that's likely still a way's away at this point.

It's times like this, I actually miss Halion.

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

What is World of Warcraft?

On December 23, 2004, I rolled my first character in World of Warcraft. It seems almost impossible to imagine that this was a little over nine years ago, but I still remember the day clear as a bell. A friend told me where to make a character and what faction to use, and offered me a guild invite the moment I logged in -- an Alliance guild that, to my knowledge, no longer exists. That began a journey that was a long, impossible at times, climb to level 60. Along the way, I made a ton of friends both in the guild and out, and when I hit level 60 it seemed like an incredible accomplishment. But as I shook off the haze of congratulations and cheers, I realized I had little to no idea what came after you hit level 60 -- and frankly, neither did anyone else.

Ironforge was the place to be. If you were Alliance it was the only place with an Auction House. Players spent hours upon hours outside the front gates dueling each other. There was no PvP as we know it today -- Battlegrounds didn't exist, so PvP was relegated to long, drawn out battles between Tarren Mill and Southshore. The options seemed to be as follows: Run Stratholme, Scholomance, and UBRS to collect your blue dungeon set. Go raid either Molten Core or Onyxia's Lair. And ... that was it. Needless to say, my next option was to roll an alt and find a raid guild. What other choice did I have, at the time?

As the game has progressed over the last nine years, those choices have expanded into a flurry of content that dwarfs everything that has come before it. And that makes me wonder -- just what is World of Warcraft, now?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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