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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Dark Below

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition The Dark Below
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 see them! A million worlds glittering in their perfection! One above all others! We have fallen, we must rebuild the final Titan! Do not forget.
Wrathion may have just finished chowing down on the heart of the Thunder King when he rattled off that strange speech about this bizarre "final Titan," but what he said seemed to indicate there is far more going on in Pandaria than we'd thought. Or, on the other hand, there is far more going on in Azeroth than we thought. Things that must be taken care of, things so urgent that Wrathion is attempting to set the war between Alliance and Horde on fast-forward so that we can skip that part and simply jump to what he thinks is the important stuff.

Earlier this week, Blizzard appeared to be trademarking something called The Dark Below, and many have speculated that it's the name of the next WoW expansion, largely because of the existence of Ozumat and his title, Fiend of the Dark Below. The trademark was later revealed as a possible hoax -- and later still, revealed to be a trademark in Europe. So is it WoW? If it is a WoW trademark, what could possibly be in an expansion with that title?

I have absolutely no idea. But that makes for some excellent Tinfoil Hat speculation, so why don't we look at what could potentially be lurking in The Dark Below?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on how it happened. 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

Val'anyr being scaled up in patch 3.2

In an unexpected turn of events, the latest patch 3.2 build on the PTR is giving Val'anyr a buff, and something of a nerf to accompany it. If you didn't see it in the official notes, here's the detail regarding Val'anyr before I dig into it:
  • Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings: This item's stats and level have been increased to match the power level of healer weapons coming from the Coliseum 25-person normal difficulty instance. In addition, each time Val'anyr is equipped, Blessing of Ancient Kings will be placed on a 45-second cooldown before it can occur.
Well, now! What is this? Blizzard scaling up a Legendary? Unheard of... until now! You could call it a pleasant surprise, but it's more pleasant than surprising. Val'anyr's raw stats were never very impressive. In fact, when the weapon stats were first revealed, a lot of people were rather underwhelmed! The proc is downright incredible, enough to give it more longevity than you'd ever expect, but the stats themselves were only a bit better than other weapons you found in Ulduar. Considering the weapon is a Legendary, that's more than a little bit odd. Legendaries are often (but not always) heads and tails above the competition in their tier of gear stat-wise. I could be completely off-base, but I'm pretty sure that's what they're trying to fix. A legendary weapon shouldn't last you forever (or even an entire expansion), but it should probably last you at least half a tier of raiding, shouldn't it?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion

The Maelstrom: Lore behind the possible next WoW expansion


Many of you have likely heard the theory floating around that the Emerald Dream might be the next expansion pack, but you may not have heard about the other popular theory: The Maelstrom.

How would you feel about an expansion where the naga are the villains, the murlocs do their bidding, a powerful queen emerges, and dormant gods awaken? We've braved alien lands and the cold, harsh climate of Northrend, so how would you fancy going out to sea, discovering new islands and diving down to sunken cities?

I have to admit, my first reaction to the concept was an inner groan of disappointment, but when I read into it further over at Lorecrafted, I became intrigued. After all, who hasn't dreamed of drifting off to explore the Great Sea? I've wanted to see a sunken city ever since my first character, a female Troll Shaman, discovered that she had no home city. Deep down, she was sure that there simply had to be some lost troll city, perhaps beneath the sea, or at the very least, a place to rebuild, reconnect and start anew.

What do you think, folks? If this were to be our next adventure, do you think you could get excited, or are you itching for the Emerald Dream or something else entirely?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Rumors

Restarts and maintenance for Tuesday, May 20th

It's a relatively painless Tuesday Morning this time around for those who play in what are the early morning hours at Blizzard HQ. This time, most US servers will just recieve a quick rolling restart at 5 AM PDT, about half an hour from now, which should result in no more than 15 minutes of downtime. However, there are some servers that will get 2 hours of downtime: Agamaggan, Azshara, Baelgun, Dark Iron, Detheroc, Emerald Dream, Greymane, Kalecgos, Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, Malfurion, Moonrunner, Nazjatar, Sargeras, Staghelm, Twisting Nether, Ursin, and Wildhammer.

Also, here's something that should please a lot of Australian players: Their realms won't get the rolling restarts until 5AM AEST -- which translates to noon PDT. That should translate to lots of time for night owls to finish their raids before the restarts kick them off.

So in that 15 minutes to 2 hours of down time you'll have to go through, or if you're stuck at school or work, here's a few WoW Insider articles from the last week that are worth checking out. First, last week's major news and views:

If these aren't enough for you, there's more after the break.

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Filed under: Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: Azshara

Queen Azshara might be one of the best-hidden characters in WoW lore. Her time of action came long before Warcraft I, she's never been seen in any of the games, and the only reference to her lies in the nearly abandoned wasteland that used to be her palace -- Azshara.

But she's still out there, and one of these days Blizzard's going to run out of ideas and make that underwater instance that everyone but warlocks is dreading, and we'll have to fight her. And her tentacles. So on that future day, between the endless chain pulls of level 92 elite murlocs, you can read this and know who you're getting ready to wipe to.

And by the way, the censored picture is from an official Warcraft RPG manual. Apparently octupi don't like wearing tops, even while posing for portraits. The pic links to the uncensored image.

Who: Queen Azshara of the Kal'dorei, Empress of Nazjatar, the Light of Lights, Vision of Perfection, Glory of Our People, Daughter of the Moon, Flower of Life ... and it goes on like this. As you might have guessed, Azshara was not lacking in the ego department.

What: Formerly a night elf, now a naga-like thing.

History: Thousands and thousands of years before Medivh opened the Dark Portal and let in hundreds of arguments about whether the Horde is really evil, the most advanced civilization on Azeroth was that of the Kal'dorei, or night elves. They were split into two social classes: the common Kal'dorei, and the elite, magic-using Highborne, or Quel'dorei. The Kal'dorei were deeply jealous of the Quel'dorei, envying their social status and magical powers. But the one uniting factor between the Kal'dorei and Quel'dorei was their love of their queen, Azshara.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Lore, Know your Lore

Adding to the Azeroth map


Currently our map of Azeroth has two continents, but anyone who's played the original RTS games knows more is out there. Blizzplanet has some interesting information that leads me to hazard a guess that we may be seeing more added to the cartography of Azeroth in the future.

They start with the information, lore and such that were added to the World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery tabletop rulebook. Should you own a copy (I, alas, do not) you will find it contains new info on Northrend and the South Seas. The maps that we saw on the WoW Collector's Edition behind the scenes DVD of Azeroth show that they have been planning such an expansion since 2004. On the map, it shows Northrend at the top of the world, with the Maelstrom and Nazajatar in the middle and the Isle of Kezen/Undermine at the bottom.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions

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