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Posts with tag nefarian

WoW for Dummies, Act II: Evils of old

WoW for Dummies, Act II Evils of old 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.

For both Alliance and Horde, the first part of vanilla WoW was all about putting an end to Ragnaros, and uncovering and subsequently lopping off Onyxia's head for a delightful city decoration that was not at all likely to scare the pants off of any of Stormwind or Orgrimmar's children. Seriously, who thought dragon remains on a stake was a wise design choice? Regardless, while there were definitely giant foes to be beaten, if one dug a little deeper, there was some underlying story going on in vanilla, too.

The Alliance was busy getting back on its feet, and Warchief Thrall was busy trying to make nice with the Alliance. But even though Onyxia had been defeated, the king of Stormwind was still missing. And even though Ragnaros had been sent back to where he belonged, he was far from the only menace in Blackrock Mountain. And even though these problems were leaping up in the Eastern Kingdoms, there was something lurking in Kalimdor -- something far, far worse than problems with dragons and firelords.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The top 10 lore reveals of Cataclysm, part 1

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.

Spoilers for every single Cataclysm raid and zone to be found here.

On the whole, Cataclysm has revealed a great deal of lore for the Warcraft universe. We've been to all four of the elemental planes and destabilized two of them by destroying the elemental lords who were effectively the dictatorial forces of their respective elementals. As of this writing, only Therazane remains as undisputed master of her elemental plane. (Indeed, with the destruction of Deathwing, she's actually in a stronger place than she was.) We've seen the Twilight's Hammer cult rise to world-shaking prominence and played a role in setting them back by destroying Cho'gall. We've finally managed to balk them on the eve of their Old God masters' final triumph by destroying Deathwing just as he was about to unleash an even more destructive assault on Azeroth than his first.

The Dragon Aspects lost their immortality just after we discovered that there were actually safeguards in place to appoint new ones. We discovered the secret land of Uldum and its Titanic ruins, and we prevented the activation of the Halls of Origination at Deathwing's behest and discovered the connection between the Qiraji and Uldum. We also saw the war between the Alliance and Horde begin lurching toward a new phase. We discovered the fate of Gilneas and the Gilneans, saw tantalizing hints as to the development of the goblin people and their mysterious kajamite, and even more. It's been an eventful expansion in terms of what it established. For the next couple of weeks, I'm going to talk about where Cataclysm took us and what we discovered.

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

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.7, Rise of the Blood God

The 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?

As we go through the patches of classic World of Warcraft, you've seen all along that Cataclysm is essentially a sequel to the original game. Everything in Cataclysm ties into things that began all those years ago. The Twilight's Hammer, Ragnaros and the other elemental lords, Nefarian and Onyxia ... all of those things hearken back to the Azeroth of 2004 and 2005. It isn't just the main plot of this expansion that ties back into the original game either -- oh, no. The little side stories we experience and investigate tie back into the original game, too.

Today, we're looking at patch 1.7 from September 2005. It is the patch that introduced us to Zul'Gurub and the Blood God Hakkar, both of which made their return just months ago.

In addition, patch 1.7 includes:
  • Arathi Basin
  • Stranglethorn Vale's fishing event
  • Implementation of the dressing room
  • Debuff limit raised from eight to 16
Let's explore, hm?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Insider reviews Christie Golden's Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects

Just under 10 years ago, on Oct. 1, 2001, a novel was released as a new addition to the Warcraft universe that would change the history and lore of the games forever. Lord of the Clans outlined the history and childhood of a young orc named Thrall. Son of Durotan and Draka, the former slave would break free from his imprisonment at the hands of Aedelas Blackmoore, step forward to unite the shattered and lethargic clans of the orcs, and lead the Horde in a manner that none that had played the original Warcraft games could possibly comprehend at that point in time.

Almost a year later, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released, and that orc's journey from the beleaguered, Scourge-ridden lands of the Eastern Kingdoms to the dusty and barren shores of Kalimdor was told in a tale that captured the hearts of players. No longer simply a character in a novel, Thrall's travels and ultimate triumph, united with the night elves and humans at the peaks of Mount Hyjal and working as one to defeat Archimonde, would forever seal his place as true Warchief of the Horde.

It is only appropriate then that the latest novel written for the Warcraft franchise, detailing the further journeys of Thrall, be undertaken by the woman who started it all -- Christie Golden. Not just an author with a host of Warcraft novels under her belt, Golden is the voice of the former Warchief, the author who gave him a life of his own. Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects continues the journey that Thrall began nearly 10 years ago -- and what a journey it is.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.6

The 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?

Patch 1.6 has probably one of the worst patch trailers in the entirety of World of Warcraft's history. It's not just that there are no fancy custom animations in the trailer; such things came way later -- machinima was in its infancy, so Blizzard itself saw no reason utilize those techniques or perhaps didn't have the resources. No, it's not just that. It's that there is a token effort somewhere in the video to build drama and epic suspense, but it is all shattered by the image of a member of the QA team leaping about like a spaz in the background while a Judgement-donning paladin tries to set a serious tone. It just isn't happening. How good or bad the trailer was didn't matter back in 2005, though. Back then, it was the most exciting thing in the world.

Interestingly, the trailer is surprisingly difficult to find at all in places like YouTube or other video hosts nowadays, seemingly moreso than other patch trailers from around the same time period. Patch 1.5 and patch 1.7 have sources aplenty floating around, but patch 1.6? It just seems lost and forgotten.

In addition to Blackwing Lair, patch 1.6 also delivered:
  • The Darkmoon Faire
  • Battlemasters to ease battleground queues
  • The implementation (and complete disuse) of a Silvermoon Remnant faction, high elves loyal to the Alliance, aggressive to the Horde -- and never used for anything of note.
Join me on a magical journey through the Warcraft library!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Previous tier of raid content is meant to be pugged, says Bashiok

After patch 4.2 released, the previous tier of raiding content was hit with a huge swathe of nerfs and changes designed to make the content that much easier for raiders now just able to experience it. With tier 11 valor point gear now purchasable with justice points, Blizzard fully intends for the previous tier of content to be pugged by server populations. Blizzard's Bashiok took to the forums to discuss just that intention.

Bashiok does say that servers will take a bit to gain the momentum and general fluency with the encounters, but that it is entirely able to be pugged. Further, he says that from here on out, Blizzard has adopted the mantra of one cutting-edge tier, with the previous raids nerfed to allow players an easier time to complete them.

Personally, I am a huge fan of this type of content shift, and I think we've reached a pretty good compromise with regards to content accessibility and raid design. Raiders get their challenge while the content is relevant, hard modes are still skill-based encounters that do not get the nerf bat, and the previous tier of normal mode content is much more accessible to more casual raiders. Much as Ulduar drakes still presented a challenge in execution during Wrath even though we outgeared them, hard modes in Cataclysm are the execution challenges that will still prove to be tricky for meta achievements. Count me in.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

The Queue: Image related

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

The image above is most certainly related to a question in The Queue today. The question is ... which one!? You'll just have to read and find out! Mwahaha!

... that guy's kinda cute for a disgusting slime creature, isn't he?

Mal asked:

Is it just me or are many guilds dying lately?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite in-game model

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

WoW has a very unique art style. Recently, models of NPCs, armor, and such have been incredibly detailed -- and, for the most part, amazing looking. Firelands in particular has some amazing looking fire models, and I can't wait to see the "Fiery Anzu" that Blizzard mentioned might drop off of Ragnaros. (In case you don't know, Anzu is the Raven Lord boss in Sethekk Halls, and is one of the coolest looking ground mounts in the game.) Honestly though, I cannot decide what my favorite NPC model is ... though I have always been fond of the Faceless Ones.

So I leave it up to you, Dear Reader, what in-game model is your favorite? And please, do share why you like it so much and what makes it unique. You don't have to pick just one! Maybe let us know your favorite weapon, piece of armor, and favorite NPC.

When it comes to weapon models, one thing I am dissapointed in with Cataclysm is the so called "Reclaimed Ashkandi" from Nefarian in Blackwing Descent. When you compare it side-by-side with the old Ashkandi from Blackwing Lair, it seems to have ... shrunk. Quite a bit. One thing I liked about Ashkandi so much back in the day was that it was one of the biggest weapons in the game, and this new one is just ... puny.

But I digress, Blizzard has amazing modellers and animators, so please, give them a shout out in the comments and let everyone know your love for your favorite model!

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW Insider? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions, and be sure to sign up for Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider. The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Rediscovering the discovery factor

One of the aspects of the game that has to some degree been lost is the willingness to spend weeks upon weeks learning a boss fight, especially a boss who ends a dungeon. One of the memories I have of vanilla WoW is the pop in TeamSpeak when we killed Nefarian after nearly a month of working on him. People who didn't even make it into the raid got up and screamed.

One of the reasons it took us so long to do it was because there wasn't really any other way to discover what bosses did besides going in there and dying to him repeatedly. Boss kill vids were in their infancy, and there weren't many places to go to get ideas on how other guilds got past X or Y. Our big stumbling block was the stream of adds before Nefarian landed; we kept trying to tank them, before someone got the bright idea of using warlocks and mages to AOE them in place.

Over the years, the playerbase has built up an impressive array of options for boss fight information. Soon, the Encounter Journal will go one step beyond and incorporate loot drop and boss ability information into the game. It won't tell you how to fight a boss, but it will tell you what the boss can do to you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing tips for tier 11 heroic mode raids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen is busy looking in the mirror instead of playing a proper spec. Dawn also writes for, produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

In previous weeks, Spiritual Guidance has tackled how to heal the various raid encounters in tier 11. This week, we're going to revisit each boss on heroic difficulty. Once more, I'll be examining which spec is better equipped to handle the fight while also examining the differences in the new encounter and how to deal with them. We have a lot to talk about, so let's get started.

First, I want to point out that a major difference between any heroic and normal mode encounter is that abilities in heroic do an increased amount of damage. In order to avoid being redundant, please keep in mind that when I point out the differences between modes that the need for more healing will be assumed. If the increased damage significantly impacts the strategy of the fight, however, I will explain how.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Patch 4.2: Normal mode tier 11 encounters nerfed

Patch 4.2 PTR testing is in full swing, and we've got another round of patch notes, courtesy of Zarhym and the official Warcraft blog. Today's notes are primarily a metric ton of nerfs to normal mode encounters in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the Four Winds. The nerfs were explained by Nethaera as follows:

With the upcoming content patch, 10- and 25-person Normal mode raid encounters will be receiving a comprehensive set of tuning adjustments to decrease their difficulty.

These changes will allow players, groups, and guilds who have yet to experience the content in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the the Four Winds an opportunity to do so.

With the addition of a new tier of armor and weapons, we want to make the previous tier more accessible in ways other than just a shift of currency type, so we are making item level 359 gear purchasable for Justice points in the upcoming content patch.

Follow us after the break for the full list of patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking Blackwing Descent for paladins, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

This is it, the twilight of Nefarian's rule. You've come a long way, bursting through the front gate, smashing to bits the doormen, foiling an attempted annelid home invasion, trashing Maloriak's lab, and kicking the... let's call it the dog.

All that remains between you and the main event is Nef's blind progeny and a short leap into a fiery pit. To help you prepare for the challenge of facing down the son of Deathwing, I'll give you a slew of tips to maximize your survivability against the big guy, as he throws vicious electrical attacks, bursts of shadowflame, or a small army of risen corpses your way.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Raid Rx: Pick the best moments for Rallying Cry

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

4.1's out! I've been busy killing trolls in Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, grabbing healing loot for my alts. I wasn't able to get a chance to explore the new healing synergies with all the new healer abilities and Rallying Cry. Warriors have that new ability which temporarily grants 20% maximum health to members in your party or raid for 10 seconds before the health fades away.

Like it or not, warriors are now a part of the arsenal that healing leaders have.

Also, a nifty trick includes combining both Rallying Cry and Last Stand that leads to mega-health for your tank. Doing this requires two warriors. From what I can see, Rallying Cry needs to be used first, before Last Stand, to maximize benefits. Get your tanking warrior to use Enraged Regeneration, and that'll just about outheal anything most healers can do.

Get used to adding Rallying Cry to your skills. Warriors, please remind your leaders that you have it available. Now, on what fights would your warriors be doing their whole yelling thing? I've got several in mind.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat druid raiding strategies, part 4

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In our previous installments (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), we've covered every fight in this tier of raiding except for two. Now it's time for the toughies: Al'Akir and Nefarian. Get your snack of choice ready, as it'll take your raid team several nights to get these bad boys down.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Guest Posts

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladin secrets for defeating Nefarian

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

The true final boss of Cataclysm's first tier is a hotly debated topic. With three different raid instances available at launch, the end boss in each raid zone could be eligible for the top spot. While most people will agree that Al'Akir is only a secondary opponent, Nefarian and Cho'gall are both old and powerful enemies. Cho'gall has been covered in the WoW comic books with great detail, while Nefarian is so common in WoW that we've already killed him once. Sinestra could even make her claim for the throne, as she is a difficult, heroic-only boss.

In my opinion, Nefarian is the final boss of tier 11. He's Deathwing's son, which makes him public enemy #2. During the encounter, we're faced with not one but two dragons, plus all the doomfire and adds that we can handle. The Nefarian encounter is the type of fight that I would've hated before Cataclysm. Now, we have AoE abilities to handle the incredible raid damage and the mana management tools to keep ourselves from running dry.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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