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Posts with tag netherwing-drake

WoW Archivist: 5 years of daily quests

the Isle of Quel'Danas daily quest hub
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?

Just like Officers' Quarters, another WoW staple has recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Daily quests were added to the game a little over five years ago, on May 22, 2007, in patch 2.1.

One of Blizzard's big selling points for Mists seems to be its huge amount of daily quest content. Dailies are undoubtedly going to be a big deal at level 90. Blizzard has even lifted the daily quest cap that has stood at 25 for several years, so players will be free to do whatever dailies they like across the entire history of the game.

Dailies seem like such an obvious and critical element of WoW, but they weren't part of the vanilla game. In this week's Archivist, we'll explore how daily quests began, how they have changed over the years, and how Blizzard is trying to recreate the glory days of daily quests in Mists.

WTH is this blue exclamation point?

Has a single piece of designed punctuation ever been as famous as WoW's chubby yellow exclamation point? It even has its own merchandise.

Believe it or not, the exclamation point was one of Blizzard's biggest innovations when they created the game. No longer did you have to chat with every single NPC in town to figure out which one of them needed a favor -- a staple of RPG games for decades. Now you could tell at a glance which NPCs were willing to pay for a bit of random mercenary work.

I remember how odd that first blue exclamation point looked. They had been yellow, after all, for two and a half years. Changing its color seemed like sacrilege. After accepting the quest, it had the word "(Daily)" next to it in my log -- it felt like both a promise and a warning. Daily quests were an exciting new element, but they were not without their critics.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

What makes a "good" reputation grind?

Reputation is one of those double-edged swords in World of Warcraft. Speaking as someone who played classic WoW, I find it sometimes odd to see the amount of focus put on gaining reputation with various factions. This is largely because I remember the days when grinding out reputation really didn't get you anything at all in the long run. It wasn't until later in the game that Blizzard introduced the concept of gaining reputation with other races for mounts, and the only way to get that reputation was to turn in ridiculous amounts of cloth.

Factions like the Hydraxian Waterlords, the Zandalar, and the Argent Dawn all had their reputations firmly locked hand-in-hand with raiding. But reputations like the Shen'dralar, the Bloodsail ... they had no real purpose at all. When The Burning Crusade was introduced, the idea of factions was reworked. Suddenly you really wanted to gain reputation, because doing so meant you could unlock heroic dungeons or get neat incentives like armor, pets, and tabards.

Reputation design has changed drastically since then. Where once you got a tabard as a reward, now you slap one on and grind dungeons to earn reputation as quickly as you can. Different factions have different rewards, and rewards like shoulder and helm enchants are absolutely required if you want to perform optimally. So ... what was the best of the best?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Has the time come for Outland story updates?

After Chris Metzen's seeming joke at BlizzCon concerning the possible reappearance of Illidan in future WoW storylines, it occurred to me that we really haven't seen much of Outland or its storylines lately. Well, maybe that's not fair -- if you're leveling a character between 58 and 68, I imagine you've seen all too much of Outland and are heartily sick of the whole continent and its dungeons by now. Still, The Burning Crusade featured some great stories, and if Illidan ever does come back, there are a few people I hope he'll (metaphorically) drag alongside him.

The two that come immediately to mind are the Netherwing Dragonflight and the Ashtongue Deathsworn. What's up with the Netherwing since Deathwing's demise? Do they even know about it or what's happened with the Aspects? And what's going on with Akama now? I'd argue that he, more than Kael or Vashj or Illidan, was the greatest and most compelling character of WoW's first expansion, and he had one hell of a unique model. The brains behind the Ashtongue's high-stakes Batman Gambit (warning: TV Tropes link) has got to be up to something these days, and if Blizzard ever revamps Outland questing, I hope it gives players a peek.

Then again, that's assuming that yanking Illidan back from the dead is even a good idea to begin with (is it?) or that Outland stories can be made relevant to their modern counterparts. Thoughts, readers?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: That longing feeling

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

Once upon a time in a distant land called Azeroth, a Night Elf druid was born. This little Night Elf was running around being its level 4 self, exploring the world and its purpleness (Teldrassil being the whole world for a level 4.) A hop skip, and a boat ride away, she found herself in Stormwind, city of the humans. "It's not nearly as purple here as it is back home!"

Hardly two steps into the great city when all of a sudden the sky darkened and a deafening screech rose. At first startled and then in awe, the little druid looked up to see the silhouette of a great winged dragon. The best part about it ... it was purple! "I must own that dragon!" She thought. After a quick trip to the internet, the goal was set and the journey began, pushing through 80 levels of dungeons and deaths, beginning the rep grind, and finally obtaining the fruit of the efforts: a netherwing drake.

Although I don't play that Night Elf druid as much anymore, I still remember the wonder and awe I first felt when I began playing. Have you had similar experiences? Did you ever have a goal that you once thought was unobtainable? If so, did you prove yourself wrong, or does your goal still elude you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The OverAchiever: Mountain o' Mounts in Outland

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we continue the Mountain o' Mounts grind in Outland with a few notes on BC reputation.

If you're catching up with us after last week, we've finished off both The Ambassador and the first leg of Mountain o' Mounts. I have to confess that I approached both achievements from the perspective of a player who wasn't necessarily at the level cap (I've been leveling a goblin priest lately and greatly enjoying the benefits of faction tabards in dungeons), and I completely forgot that the Argent Tournament even existed. Whoops. (Either that, or I've got one hell of a mental block concerning jousting.)

This week, we're going to hit the dark portal in pursuit of more mount and reputation achievements. Outland is the single most fruitful continent for getting lots of mounts from a limited set of factions. If you've got the patience to make it to exalted with the three factions that sell transport around this shattered hellhole, you'll have an additional 19 mounts at your disposal. You can bump this up to 21 if you count the two PvP talbuks available from Halaa, but these days you'll probably have to arrange a battle royale in the zone in order to get the kills (and tokens) needed. More on this in a bit.

Otherwise, your three targets here are the Netherwing, the Sha'tari Skyguard, and the Kurenai/Mag'har. But first, a brief history lesson for all those of you who joined the game in Wrath of the Lich King and still need to work on your Outland reps ...

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Manga Review: Shadow Wing Vol. I -- Dragons of Outland

The Dragons of Outland is the first volume of the Shadow Wing series, a sequel of sorts to the tremendously popular Sunwell Trilogy. Written by Richard Knaak and illustrated by Jae-Hwan Kim, it follows the further adventures of the paladin Jorad Mace, and the blue dragon Tyrygosa, or "Tyri" in her elven form, as they travel through the Dark Portal and into Outland.

Jorad and Tyri were last seen at the end of the Sunwell Trilogy, saying goodbye to Anveena and Kalecgos as they parted and went their separate ways. Jorad was being given a ride back to confront Arthas by Tyrygosa, who intended to drop him off and then report back to Malygos with the events surrounding Anveena and the Sunwell. The beginning of Dragons of Outland tells a different story however; apparently Jorad was unable to defeat Arthas (no small surprise), and rejoined the paladins of the Silver Hand in an effort to redeem himself from previous transgressions. Tyrygosa ... well it's never really stated whether or not she made it back to Malygos. Instead, she joined the high elf contingent of the army and traveled through the Dark Portal with everyone else, intent on something strange she sensed on the other side.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: The Netherwing

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.

In Azeroth's history, there's a distinct path that dragon evolution follows. First, there are the proto-drakes of Northrend. From these drakes came the other drakes of lower Azeroth, and the five flights that were developed to watch over the world; red, blue, green, bronze and black. The more the game is played out and the longer the story runs, the more we learn about the dragons -- why they're around, what their purpose is on Azeroth. Today, we're going to focus on one of the new flights of dragons, one that didn't see its creation on Azeroth, and instead finds its origins on the planet of Draenor: The Netherwing.

The genesis of the Netherwing is an odd story, some of which was explained in the article covering the Black Dragonflight last week. Deathwing the Destroyer, the by-now insane leader of the black flight had made a deal with Teron Gorefiend shortly after the orcs were defeated in the Second War. Gorefiend had been ordered by Ner'zhul to go to Azeroth and retrieve several artifacts of power that Ner'zhul needed to open dimensional gateways to other worlds. By doing this, Ner'zhul hoped to escape Draenor, and the influence of the Burning Legion, for good -- and take his people to another land in which they could begin to rebuild after the staggering losses from the wars, and the orcs corruption.

The gist of Deathwing's deal was this -- Deathwing and his black drakes would help Gorefiend find the artifacts he was looking for. In exchange, Deathwing wanted access to the Dark Portal so that he, some of his drakes, and some cargo he had could be transported to Draenor. They would continue assisting the orcs on the other side of the portal as long as the orcs left the drakes, and the cargo, alone. While Gorefiend wasn't sure he trusted Deathwing's motives entirely, the addition of drakes to their fighting forces would make things much, much easier -- and so he agreed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: Feats of Strength

Allison's great post about all of the Feats of Strength still available in the game got me thinking: just what kind of value do players place on these "kinda" achievements? Personally, I never gave them much weight -- I have a few of them (I picked up the Vampiric Batling a while ago, and I've got the Competitor's Tabard, among a few other old-school and commemorative achievements), but the ones I've got I didn't really do anything to earn, and the Feats still available don't really mean that much to me. Unlike "real" achievements, Feats don't even give you meaningless points, and they can't be used to get you into any raids or runs that you couldn't do otherwise. They're boring to me.

I'm not that way about all achievements -- there have been a few that I've worked to get done, and there are even non-achievement items that I've pushed for in the past (I worked like crazy to finally get my Netherwing drake, and the only achievement I got for that was the Netherwing reputation). But Feats of Strength in particular seem passive to me, by Blizzard's design: if they happen, great, but there's not enough reward there for me to go out of my way to get them. What do you think?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Lore, Bosses, Mounts, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: To-do

I love the to-do list that Siha posted on Banana Shoulders the other day -- I don't know if it's just the kind of people we are or if it says something about our play styles, but I too usually have an ongoing list of things I plan to do in the game, and pretty much everything I end up doing in game (from running reputation grinds to leveling up alts) follows the list.

For instance, ever since Burning Crusade came out, the number one item on my to-do list was picking up a Netherwing Drake, and pretty much everything I did after that goal was set (switching over to my Hunter so I could solo the dailies more easily, doing only those quests in game every day, and leveling my professions up just to make the most out of doing them) was targeted at getting that Drake, which made it much sweeter when I finally did. In Northrend, my two main goals going in were to pick up the Kalu'ak fishing pole and to get the Green Proto-drake, and while the Oracles haven't been very giving with the Cracked Eggs so far, I have at least ground out the reps needed for those. My latest goals are to get the mounted Squire (I'm well on my way to the needed Seals) and to finally get a high-level Engineer (so I'm leveling up my Paladin, with the added bonus of having an endgame tank and/or healer whenever I want).

And though this gets a little hokey, I'll actually say that aiming at and meeting my goals in game has actually helped me think about goals in real life the same way. We don't have anything so obviously as questgivers in real life, but setting a goal in game and following it through to completion can help you envision a real life goal as well, and follow that out until you finally reach it. There's so much to do in this game that I think it's very helpful to determine exactly what you want to do as you play. So what's on your to-do list?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

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