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Posts with tag outland

Cataclysm Beta: New loading screen gallery

A new build of the Cataclysm beta just dropped, and with the update came a makeover for the loading screens for all four continents. They now feature the faction leaders for Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, Maiev and Akama for Outland, and the most recent Lich King in Northrend.

Check out the gallery below.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the Blood Elves

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.

Before I begin, I'd like to thank all of the people that commented on the last post I made that covered orc politics. Apparently orcs are a hot topic of conversation, and while I didn't respond to everyone, I did read through everything said. I do have a couple of points to address, however. First, yes, I am aware that orcs are not all brute-minded savages. There's a lot more to orcs than simple savagery; however, that savagery is something that is a basic part of what makes an orc ... orcish. It's an innate part of being an orc. Thrall seems to lack that savagery for the most part and almost seems to want to cull it from orc society in favor of a more gentle and diplomatic disposition. Garrosh, on the other hand, embraces that savagery to an alarming degree. That's where the conflict between the two of them rests. One has what the other does not. Both are extreme cases in either direction.

Second, evoking the name Garrosh Hellscream sets people off. I'm not quite sure what to make of this, but I'd have to say it's a telling statement to the storytelling department that Garrosh, regardless of how much or how little he's been developed, is provoking this kind of reaction from players. Given that most writers like to evoke some sort of emotion in their readers, I can only imagine they are secretly pleased with the outrage. Right, moving on!

The blood elves, or sin'dorei as they've taken to calling themselves, have been a largely quiet presence in Wrath of the Lich King. Given this, they may seem like an odd choice to cover. Why bother talking about a race that hasn't done much to speak of since the days of Burning Crusade? Well... that's sort of the point. While the orcs, trolls, and tauren were natural additions, and the forsaken a little different but accepted at large, the blood elves were a very odd choice for an ally to many Horde players, and through the course of Burning Crusade, there was very little light shed on what made these creatures a valuable ally to the Horde because a large amount of blood elf history stemmed from events that happened prior to World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Draenei

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 love the draenei. Ever since their incorporation into World of Warcraft I've been fond of our indigo skinned (well, colors range from a light whitish-blue to an almost black), tentacle bearded, cloven hooved dimension exile friends. Yes, I'm aware that Chris Metzen had to take some heat for having contradicted his own backstory (and isn't it fascinating how the guy who wrote the original story can still be lambasted for having 'gotten it wrong'? Truly, fandom is wondrous strange.) but to my eyes, having a chance to play one of the draenei is worth all the handwaving. Their history as it has been incorporated into the game is one that I find equal parts tragic, epic and inspiring. Not many races in the universe can be said to have survived the personal attentions of Kil'jaeden the Deceiver for tens of thousands of years. Even now, after the near total genocide of the orcish Horde, the draenei endure.

They have a slight problem with steering Naaru dimensional ships, though. They've crashed two, by my current count, one becoming the mountain Oshu'gun (ironically one of the orcs most sacred sites before they fell to darkness and corruption is a crashed Naaru vessel) and the most recent being the Exodar section of the Naaru fortress seized by Kael'Thas Sunstrider and renamed Tempest Keep.

So who are the draenei? Well, for that we need to go back more than 25,000 years. Luckily, this talking dog and small child happen to have a wayback machine and no means to prevent me from stealing it from them. Hopefully Nozdormu doesn't find out.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Intermezzo Part Two - The Alliance Strikes Back


Welcome once again my friends to the lore that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside Know Your Lore.

Last week, we covered the events after the end of the Second War, when Ner'zhul and Teron Gorefiend led an attack on the Azerothian nations which held artifacts the former elder shaman believed he could use to open new portals on Draenor. These portals would be the salvation of the orcs who were doomed to a slow death as fel corruption slowly consumed the land.

In response to the Horde of Draenor's attacks (led by Gorefiend, Kilrogg Deadeye and Kargath Bladefist) and their theft of artifacts like the Book of Medivh and Eye of Dalaran, King Terenas Menethil ordered Turalyon and Khadgar to lead an expedition beyond the Dark Portal itself to determine what the Horde had planned.

This week, the Alliance Expedition takes the fight to the Horde, and we once again remind you that if you played through these events in WCII, things may have changed in the lore since. Please bear with us as we reconstruct the events surrounding the Alliance Expedition to Draenor. The Sons of Lothar against the Horde of Draenor.

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Filed under: Know your Lore

The Queue: Going to a party party


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. Michael Sacco will be your host today.

It's my little brother's birthday today -- fourteen years old, what the heck -- so today's Queue is quick and dirty so I can get the caking and presenting done.

Lochlorien asked...

Will we be able to wield Frostmourne after we defeat Arthas?

Nope, the developers opted not to make Frostmourne an equippable weapon, replacing it as the Icecrown legendary weapon with Shadowmourne.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue, Cataclysm

Arthas on the air this weekend

Our friend Medievaldragon let us know that actor Michael McConnohie will be live on the Internet this weekend -- he's going on air over at Blogtalkradio Sunday at 7pm PDT, and apparently he'll also be talking to fans. McConnohie has done film and television voicework and acting for a while, but for our purposes, he's probably best known as quite a few of the characters wandering around Northrend and Outland: King Ymiron, Commander Kolurg, Uther the Lightbringer, the Epoc Hunter, and Kel'thuzad. Oh, and he does one more voice in the game: The Lich King (remember that guy?).

I don't know how much this guy wants to talk about Warcraft, but then again, the group hosting him seems to be pretty geeky (they've had folks from Star Trek and Stargate on before), so maybe it'll be all about McConnohie's work for Blizzard (and not, say, his stint on General Hospital). If you want to talk to the Lich King himself, you can call in Sunday night at (914) 338-0314. I bet it'll be quite an experience.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Still wishing for weather


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.

Please, everyone. We're begging you. Stop asking us Cataclysm questions that we'll need a time machine to answer. We're not in any betas, and if some of us were magically in an alpha, we probably couldn't tell you. We don't know what will happen to your favorite NPC when the world explodes. We don't know how much Loremaster will change. We don't know if Ragnaros procreates with Maiev Shadowsong. We don't know if Deathwing has enslaved a herd of unicorns.

Mr Shinra asked...

"Where are all battlegrounds supposedly located on the world map? I figure if come cataclysm we have the entire (old) world available for flight then perhaps we might by able to see the (empty/placeholder) battleground locations by flying over? I know the BGs are seperate instances much like a dungeon is, but it would still be kind of cool to be flying from, say Mount Hyjal to Orgimmar and passing over Warsong Gulch."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, 59-68

It's time once again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to thank its readers profusely for the deluge of screenshots it received last week. Arcane Brilliance sent out the call, and you guys responded in droves. There were so many, in fact, that it was an impossible task to select just one for the column. Arcane Brilliance finally went with this one, apparently of an undead pimp of some type, simply because it made Arcane Brilliance chuckle. Also, the column this week is about leveling through Outland, and this is a pretty good representation of how your mage will look throughout that leg of the journey: like the mutant love-child of the entire cast of Saved by the Bell.

Seriously... you guys are awesome. Sooooooo many good pictures to use. I may have to start writing like 12 of these a week, just to have an excuse to use all of them. Thanks again, and keep them coming. Even if I don't get to use them, I just enjoy browsing through them. So many mages, so little time.

Last week, our mage leveling guide hit level 58 and fled vanilla WoW for the alien landscapes of Outland. This week, we'll tackle the 10 levels your mage will be spending there, amongst the hellboars, sporebats, and ravagers.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

The problem of Outland in Cataclysm


Borex brings up a question I've heard ever since Blizzard first announced they were going to tear up Old Azeroth in Cataclysm: what's the deal with Outland? Up until now, continuity throughout the game has worked more or less the way it should: new content gets added on to the end of the game, so anyone leveling up sees the story as they're supposed to (more or less -- there have been a few elements that have had to be "dealt with" for sure, but for the most part Blizzard has just wiped those clean). But obviously, if Deathwing returns and starts messing with players right away at level 1, the whole continuity will get shaken up. Hence Borex's question: why will level 60s be bothering to go out to Outland and deal with the Burning Legion when, in the world Deathwing invades, the Burning Legion is no longer considered the most pressing threat? Is it logical for level 60s to leave the world, head to a distant planet, and then come back to Azeroth at level 70? Shouldn't they stay and fight?

Bornakk's reply hints that Blizzard will probably just gloss over it as best they can -- they're not going to build a whole new 1-85 experience involving Deathwing. When you constantly update a five-year-old persistent world game like this with new stories and content, something's got to give somewhere. My guess is that Blizzard, being the perfectionists they are, will probably come up with a quest or two that gives a lore reason to go out there ("Hmm, you're too green to face the power of Deathwing, but our companions in Outland need help holding what's left of the Burning Legion at bay!"), and leave it at that. They may increase the XP and get you out of there even quicker, but going to Outland at 58 is still a gameplay necessity (Northrend shares the problem at 70, but of course we don't actually know what's going to happen with the Lich King quite yet). It's likely the lore will just have to deal.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgen to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Alts, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Raid bosses that brought healers to their knees - Part 3 & 4


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 new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Ever wondered what were the hardest fights to heal in the game? Based solely on my opinion and experience, here's a list counting down from number 5 to number 1, along with everyone's favourite "Honorable Mentions" list to follow!

Before continuing with reading the list, I'd strongly suggest you check out part 1 and part 2. Healers have a unique role they play. Almost none of their time is spent with bosses in their crosshairs or target frames. Us healers are busy making sure everyone is alive so they can kill the boss while the rest of us hold down the fort.

Enough with the preamble. Let's find out what the biggest pain in the ass bosses were from number 5 to number 1 are.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

The Queue: The Twitcave

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.

Today I did something a little different for our questions and I went to Twitter. My first day really back on the job since BlizzCon, I was in the mood for some quick and easy questions. On a completely related note, yes, I did have Hawaiian Pizza at BlizzCon. How could I not?

LOLNAIDERS asked...

"Do you think Worgen racials are as stupidly overpowered as everyone's complaining about?"


I'm going to argue semantics a little bit. Yes, I think the racials are very cool and exciting, probably more fun than any of the other racials currently in game. I don't think they're overpowered. Well, the various speed boosts might be pretty wild in the arena, but we already have some crazy PvP racials in the game. I'm quite fond of Every Man.

They did mention at BlizzCon that they want racials to be a little more fun, so I think most races will end up with things on par with what the Worgen/Goblins have in the end. That's my hope, anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, The Queue, Cataclysm

The making of the World of Warcraft

Eurogamer has a nice long look at the early days of World of Warcraft, way before Northrend and Outland and even Molten Core, back when the question wasn't just how big the game would get, but whether Blizzard, a company known for their polish rather than their size, could pull off an entry in this new MMO genre. They've interviewed some of Blizzard's luminaries, and the piece offers a really good look at what it was like at Blizzard even before WoW's release, when they were hashing out some of the ideas and mechanics that have now set the bar with World of Warcraft: the stylistic Warcraft look, and questing as storytelling (originally, they thought they'd only do quests through the starting levels, and then have the game move to a grinding, monster-killing stage towards the end, but players said the game was boring without quests).

There are all kinds of great little tidbits in here: originally, Warcraft III was planned with the over-the-shoulder look that WoW now has, and that's one of the reasons they wanted to create a more straightforward RPG game. Tom Chilton showed up on the team about a year before WoW's release, and to his surprise, the game was almost completely unfinished -- the level cap was only 15, the talent system wasn't implemented, the AH or mail systems weren't in, PvP wasn't in at all (of course, even at release it was pretty barebones), and endgame raiding was nonexistent. Most of the things we think of as intrinsic to the World of Warcraft -- even things like the Horde and Alliance not speaking to each other -- were debated and almost not in at all as they moved towards release.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Interviews

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mounts Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

Patch 3.2 is here, and there is a whole herd of mount changes stampeding into your stables. Here's a quick rundown of just what's changed about all the things you ride in patch 3.2, from updates to when you can buy mounts and for how much, new tweaks to old mounts like the Ulduar Proto-drakes and the TCG items, and brand new mounts like the hippogryphs from the Argent Tournament and the long-awaited Ravasaur.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Leveling, NPCs, Mounts

Breakfast Topic: On alts and patch planning


Patch 3.2 is looking more and more solid. There are still some bugs with the bosses in the Argent Coliseum, but those are being worked out and appear to be more of a technical thing than a design flaw. This leads us to think that patch 3.2 will be dropping relatively soon.

So with that said, I've been wondering lately about my alts. In particular the four left between 60 and 70 who are sitting in Outland not doing anything in particular. I know that if I drop the gold on them and let them fly around I'll have much more incentive to play them through to 80, and perhaps even find a new class that I love (truth be told, I'm finding my 63 rogue quite a bit of fun to play lately).

As I'm thinking of finishing my army of level 80 alts, I have to plan a little bit. Why should I level right now if within the next couple weeks I'm going to be able to fly around and do it all much faster? Wouldn't my time be better spent playing Fallout 3 working on WoW.com projects?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: A second look at Maiev Shadowsong


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? Leave a comment below!

As I mentioned previously, Maiev Shadowsong is one of my favorite characters in all of Warcraft lore. When I said that, the statement was quickly met with the cries of people calling her all sorts of unpleasant names. And you know what? That's the beauty of the character. Sometimes, not all good characters are people you would sit down and have a beer with. In fact, some of them are downright nasty people. I wouldn't go that far with Maiev, but I think it's okay that she's not a peaches and sunshine sort of character, especially considering what's been done to her.

Yes, Know Your Lore has covered Maiev before, but now it's my turn. Elizabeth and I have pretty substantial differences of opinion on the Warden, so I don't think you'll mind too much.

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

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