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Posts with tag onyxia

Attunements and why they must never return

I loathe attunements. When you mention how fun old attunement chains were, I hiss and flee into the night like a werewolf from a cross. That is werewolves, right? No? It's vampires? Oh. Well, whichever. The point is, no. No, they were not fun. No. My lord, how much nostalgia must you be inhaling to argue that the Onyxia chain was fun? The Alliance version had a cool payoff, yes, but my word that thing was a slog -- and the Horde one? Pure, concentrated boring slop. I included the Wowcrendor video above because it's not an exaggeration. I did that quest chain. Twice. At the end, I hated all that lived, and you are all very fortunate that I don't have a death ray because just thinking about that quest makes me want to wipe out whole cities.

All of Draztal's points about attunements are valid. I salute you, brave EU CM, for your willingness to say what so many people seem to have forgotten about them. They're content barriers. That's all that they are. The people remembering them so fondly are, so far as I can tell, drunk out of their minds on the sweet and heady wine of nostalgia or just really invested in creating artificial ways to keep other players from seeing the content. I don't understand the mindset that demands extra hoops outside of the content and its actual difficulty be added to arrest progress.

I like a challenge. I do hard content in my raids. That's fun for me. What I don't like or want is a barrier to entry that has nothing to do with skill, just time and the ability to get other people to help me get through a series of stages that serve no other purpose but to delay me, especially when we're already delayed by other aspects of the game anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: King Varian Wrynn, or: How I learned to love the jerk

Know Your Lore King Varian Wrynn, or how I learned to love the jerk 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.

King Varian Wrynn is a jerk. He's angry, he's rude, he's deliberately inflammatory. Despite the moments of kindness we've seen from Varian, they're just small moments. Yes, he let Saurfang retrieve the body of his son for Alliance players in Icecrown Citadel to witness. But he still holds a deep and unmitigated hatred for the Horde and everyone in it, including Thrall. He will quite happily talk about scouring the Undercity and purging it of all Forsaken, and he seems to be of the opinion that the only good orc for the most part is a dead one.

But his attitude issues aren't limited to the Horde. He is endlessly frustrated and angry with Jaina Proudmoore and her insistence on diplomatic attempts. He was brusque, rude, and outright against letting the worgen join the Alliance when they were desperate for help. His anger even extends to his son Anduin Wrynn, who has done nothing to outright offend his father other than following the path of a priest rather than a warrior. Varian has even gone so far as to hurt his son, nearly breaking Anduin's arm in an attempt to force him to stay put and keep him from leaving to study with the Prophet Velen.

And yet, there is something so inherently fascinating about Varian Wrynn that I cannot tear my eyes away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Anduin Llane Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind

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.

He is quiet, kind, and likely more keenly aware of the troubles of the world than most. He is drawn to the Light in a profound way, much as his father would like to dismiss it. Unlike his father, he isn't interested in the rigors of war and the brutal realities of fighting. He's already been a leader, though his reign was as a figurehead. He's suffered far more in his young life than most. His mother died when he was merely a baby, and his father disappeared and returned a man who was utterly changed by circumstances beyond his control.

He is the heir to Stormwind's throne, to a kingdom that is tattered at the edges and trying desperately to hold itself together. While the rest of the world seems to revel in the chaos brought about by Deathwing's return, eager for the battle between Alliance and Horde to rear its head, he quietly follows the path of peace, looking to the future. It's a future that Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn may very well have to put back together again, perhaps sooner rather than later.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: NPC evolution from classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

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.

We always hear about the big-name characters in Warcraft lore. Whether it's the heroic exploits of Varian Wrynn or the continuing saga of Thrall, big-name NPCs have been a constant in Warcraft novels and stories and in the game itself. But what about those lesser-known NPCs, the ones who aren't great heroes -- the bread vendors or the ones who send us to the ends of the earth for zhevra hooves? Do they just sit around all day, waiting for our inevitable return?

Yes and no. World of Warcraft isn't simply a game; it's a micro-world of characters who have their own day-to-day lives. The game itself has made considerable strides in incorporating lore and storylines through quests and in game cutscenes. But what few realize is how many strides those lesser characters have taken right along with everything else. Today we're going to take a look at some of this NPC evolution -- the steps taken to give World of Warcraft the feel of a living, breathing world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in raids

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we return to flogging the guts out of bosses that might puke up a horse.

Today we're going to look at mounts that drop in (or, in one case, as part of a quest within) raids. I'd initially expected to include mounts like the Ulduar proto-drakes and Icecrown frostwyrms, but they're really more the result of a series of achievements rather than encounters themselves. Otherwise, there are more than enough pure drops to keep us occupied today; Blizzard's always been fond of making unique mounts the potential reward of difficult raid encounters, and you'll get a few extra feats of strength if you nab some of these beauties.

Also read:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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

Know Your Lore: The VanCleefs, the rise of the Defias, and Westfall

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.
Hope? Is that what I was supposed to feel when I saw my father decapitated by your henchmen? Hope is a cruel joke, played upon us by a harsh and uncaring world. There is no Hope, there is only Vanessa. Vanessa VanCleef.
A little girl watches her father's demise, manages to escape, survives, and then dedicates her life to rebuilding everything her father stood for. It sounds like the sort of story heroes are made of, doesn't it? Ordinarily it would be, but the villains in this particular story are the nobility of Stormwind, including its king, Varian Wrynn -- and heroes just like you.

The story of the Defias Brotherhood begins during the First War, when the orcish Horde first burst forth from the Dark Portal into Azeroth with the help of Medivh. From there, they launched an assault on the kingdom of Stormwind. With the help of a cleverly mind-controlled assassin, the Horde took out King Llane Wrynn, and with his death, the city crumbled. Lord Anduin Lothar, forced to make a decision, led the people of Stormwind and young prince Varian Wrynn north, retreating to the kingdom of Lordaeron to recoup and grieve.

The once mighty city of Stormwind lay in pieces.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Blackwing Descent and the Prestor legacy

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.

Dragons in World of Warcraft have long been reclusive creatures of mystery; they didn't generally interact with other creatures of the world, with few exceptions. Until the launch of WoW, few chose to speak to the mortal races. The red dragon Korialstrasz was a notable exception who interacted with humans and others quite frequently, even holding a place on several councils in organizations like the Kirin Tor and Silvermoon. However, Korialstrasz took mortal form and the name Krasus when doing so and was careful not to reveal his identity.

The same applies for other dragons prior to World of Warcraft, and even in WoW itself. Chronormu, or Chromie as she's more typically called, often interacts with mortals on behalf of the Bronze Dragonflight. As time has passed in game, however, more and more dragon are interacting with mortals in dragon form, no longer feeling the need to disguise themselves or keep their identities a secret. But once upon a time, this ability to disguise and take another form wreaked havoc among the human kingdoms. It all started with a man named Daval Prestor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

15 Minutes of Fame: Film follows fantasy of fighting Onyxia


Work Warning: Brief profanity in the video.

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made
World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Just as Azeroth prepares to explode in all its cataclysmic glory, films on gaming seem to be exploding onto the scene. There's the documentary from LFG Productions (many of you may have seen them filming at BlizzCon and our reader meetup last month) that will be following leading raiding guild <Blood Legion> in a full-court press into Cataclysm. There's The Raid, another take on raiding life that we also saw at BlizzCon, and the "zanier" take on gaming culture of Gamers.

In contrast to all those documentaries comes the short narrative film /afk. This live-action film, featuring extensive in-game footage produced by a whole host of well known machinimators -- Gigi, Teagen the Rogue, Baron Soosdon, the list goes on -- tells the tale of a WoW gamer whose psychiatrist informs him that he is gaming-addicted and should delete his character. Game over? Not quite. "The problem is that he always had this dream to solo Onyxia," explains creator Benjamin Dressler, "and he doesn't intend to leave without reaching that goal."

/afk debuts on YouTube later this week with a unique, in-game event that literally "unlocks" the premiere. On Nov. 19, Aventhor, the night elf character from the movie, will appear on Alleria (EU-A) at 7 p.m. GMT and Drenden (US-A) at 5 p.m. CST. Find him and unlock "/afk"! Players must find Aventhor on each server and perform his quests to unlock the movie on YouTube. For more details on the premiere event, see the video at the end of the article -- and join us after the break for a peek behind the scenes with creator Benjamin Dressler.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The OverAchiever: Pimp thy ride

As you've probably already read, players will be able to purchase 310 percent flying speed from trainers in Cataclysm. While this is good news for people who hate raiding, think arena was shat into existence by the most sociopathic among the development team, or spent School of Hard Knocks trying to drown themselves in the nearest body of water, the bad news is that buying your way to super-fast flying will run you a cool 5,000 gold.

Outrageous, says this dyed-in-the-wool cheapskate. For anyone else who'd rather die than part with a centavo of hard-earned gold, the good news is that having even a single 310 percent flyer in your stable is enough to get you the skill free. Fortunately, there's plenty of time to snag yourself one of these coveted mounts before Cataclysm hits, and just as fortunately, each mount is the reward (or subject) of an achievement.

Strategy guides for obtaining each of the remaining 310 percent mounts is definitely beyond the scope of this article (although I'll probably devote an edition of OverAchiever to nabbing the Rusted Proto-Drake, above) but we can take a visual tour of the fast flyers that any hard-working player can still get in Wrath of the Lich King.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Know Your Lore: The Black Dragonflight

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.

The history of Azeroth, as well as its origins, is often confusing and lacking in solid information. However, there are a few facts that are well known – once upon a time somewhere in the universe, there were great creatures known as the Titans. The Titans were an odd race of beings that were obsessed with creating order out of chaos. They traveled from world to world, setting things up so that life would progress in an orderly, structured fashion. Sort of like those people you can hire to organize your kitchens and closets.

Enter Azeroth. The Titans came to Azeroth and muddled with it, creating order out of the races that existed on it and tidying everything up, but there was a larger problem that took some intensive cleaning. Ancient creatures known as the Old Gods decided they'd really like to take over the nice chunk of rock -- and where the Titans were concerned with creating order and structure, the Old Gods wanted just the opposite. The Old Gods wanted chaos and destruction where the Titans wanted order and structure, and there was a great war between the two. In the end the Titans prevailed, but they discovered something that was more than a little disturbing – they couldn't simply kill the Old Gods. The Old Gods had integrated themselves too deeply into Azeroth, and destroying the Old Gods meant destroying Azeroth itself.

This presented a problem, but the Titans had a solution that they decided would work – they imprisoned the Old Gods deep beneath the earth, leaving them there to rot. After all of this, the Titans decided to put in some safeguards to make sure the planet would remain running smoothly, orderly, and without any grabby tentacled interference from below.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: An unrelated Q


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

I'm in charge of the Queue train today, which means for the first time this week, this is a Star Trek free zone. Admittedly, I can't shake the obsession with the letter Q, so we're just taking things a different route today. Behold: Q.

Darasen asked...

"Perhaps this is better answered by the Priest community but thought I''d ask here. I have been leveling a healing priest through the dungeon finder and was curious about the proper use of "Power Word Shield". I use the spell constantly as it is very mana efficient. I have had some players tell me I should not use it though. A warrior told me he thought the shield kept him from gaining rage (he was unsure) and a Paladin told me that he couldn't get mana back when shielded. So should it be used regularly or not?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Queue: Oh no, not again

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

This is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. Some people started writing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue writing it forever just because this is The Queue that doesn't end.*

dpoyesac asked...

"Every time I kill his son I forget to ask High Overlord Saurfang when the doors to the next wing will be down. Soon?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

WoW Moviewatch: Interactive Horde Onyxia Attunement Chain



Maybe it speaks to the nostalgic Horde members more than the rest of us, but I think the Interactive Horde Onyxia Attunement Chain is probably Wowcrendor's best work yet. It has the same subtle sense of humor shown in his previous work, but then takes it up a notch by speaking to one of the single most prominent, painful moments in any Horde member's life.

Like so much of Wowcrendor's work, it's not only the in-game references that make his work relay so much truth. It's also the subtle nod to universal experiences. (For example, my favorite part is when you choose to not do the quest. If you go down that path, your guild leader yells at you to get your act together. C'mon, haven't we all been there at one point or another?)

As a note, make sure you do not simply play this video. The experience is best if you visit Wowcrendor's start page for this adventure.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Moviewatch

The World of Warcraft in numbers

Business Management has a really interesting graphic up (that they say came partly from Eurogamer.net, but I didn't see it over there) that breaks down WoW "by the numbers." It features an interesting series of stats about the game, in what I call an Oatmeal-style format, everything from number of players and items (30,000) to number of locations (1400) and the most commonly looted item every day (Frostweave). I think these stats all came from a few different places -- from a talk given at Austin GDC last year, to the toplist over on the official WoW site (of course, that chart is constantly updated, so Onyxia wasn't always the deadliest mob, and Frostweave wasn't always the most looted.

But it is cool to see all of the numbers stacked up in a row in such a stylish way. And 3.6 million pieces of Saronite Ore turned into 3 million Saronite bars? If that's true, why am I paying so much for it at the AH? 192 quests completed per second is pretty wild, too. That's like three entire Oracles reputation grinds (give or take a few dailies), all completed in this second. And this one. And this one.

Filed under: Items, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Bosses

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