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Posts with tag pandaren

Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available

Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available
A new short story is available on the official Blizzard website for lore fans. Bleeding Sun, written by Matt Burns, sheds some light on the Golden Lotus and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Although there have been small bits of story about the Vale and its guardians, there wasn't a lot of clarification on the process itself. We knew that the Vale had guardians, that those guardians had been there before the August Celestials chose to open the gate, but how those guardians were chosen, or what that choice entailed was still a mystery.

Matt Burns, also the author of Charge of the Aspects from last year, tackles this subject with flair -- but it's a dark flair, one that was entirely unexpected. I'd mentioned before that Trial of the Red Blossoms, Blizzard's first foray into Pandaria's many factions, was a little dark. Bleeding Sun beats it, hands down -- and all by using a character who is entirely devoted to the Light of An'she's sun. Sunwalker Dezco makes a unexpected return in Bleeding Sun, along with his twin sons, now named Redhorn and Cloudhoof. Dezco has been trying to to come to terms with the death of his wife Leza and the result of their grand journey across Pandaria. He and his followers found the Vale ... but what now?

And that's where it gets really grim.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The history and origins of the mogu

Know Your Lore The history and origins of the mogu
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.

Of all the creatures in Pandaria, none have been quite so mysterious as the mogu. From day one they were presented as one of the villains in the saga of Pandarian history -- and although the days of the mogu empires were long over, their legacy lived on. Mogu architecture, mogu statues, mogu ruins, they all littered the landscapes of where we leveled. To the pandaren, the mogu were a threat, but one that had long since died out, leaving the race as little more than scary tales to tell the children at night.

Until Mists of Pandaria, and the arrival of the Alliance and Horde. With the sudden uprising of the mantid, the release of the sha, and the frightened movement of the yaungol, the pandaren had more than enough to contend with. The sudden explosion of mogu activity was just another addition to the pile -- and the appearance of the Zandalari as allies made the reappearance of this ancient threat even more dire.

But who are the mogu? Until patch 5.2, that mystery hadn't been fully defined. And it still may not be fully defined, but at least we have a slightly clearer picture.

Please note that today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 Lorewalkers content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Are You a Rare: Reader requests edition

Are You a Rare Reader requests edition
WoW Insider posted recently about rare race-class combinations, and received several reader requests for further data manipulation, so like the Korune Spellweavers of Kun-Lai Summit, we have returned to RealmPop, and recommenced decanting their data into lists for your delectation.

The top request, from several commenters, but also the Editor-in-Chief of WoW Insider, was to lose the monks. He, and several readers, commented that they were skewing the list thanks to their newness, and while the original list was interesting to me, thanks to how it highlighted the dominance of pandaren and human monks, I rather agree. So, first up, the top ten most underplayed class-race combinations, excluding monks, but including pandaren. I've also added male and female character stats, thanks to the requests of commenters.

The run-down is after the break, but first, a few other observations that might pique your interest. Please do note, as before, that this is based on RealmPop's data, which, while good, is never going to be perfect! One thing I noticed on comparing the EU data and US data is the differing overall class numbers. Hunters are the most numerous on both sides of the Atlantic, followed by paladins, then druids. On the NA side, the rest went, in descending order, DK, warrior, mage, priest, rogue, warlock, shaman, monk; while on the EU side we have warrior, mage, DK, priest, rogue, shaman, warlock, monk. Now, the difference is not huge between these classes, so small variations could move the positions around, but both data sets noted a large drop-off for warlock and shaman, while the other classes hovered around similar numbers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Are you a rare?

Are you a rare
Inspired by a thread we found on the EU forums, which in turn is inspired by a thread on the US forums, WoW Insider began thinking about rare class-race combinations. It's interesting, really, in a world where you can be anything, how many people all choose to be the same thing. Doubtless, there are reasons behind it, more than just preference. Racial skills, for example, are likely a huge influence, but maybe others surface, as, with a little investigation, excluding Pandaren as they're very new, it seems that the three least popular races are also the ones that don't show off transmogs so well, and are perhaps less conventionally "pretty": gnomes, goblins and dwarves.

We headed over to RealmPop to check out their statistics and see what was the most popular and what was the least. Of course, no resource is completely perfect, and a few sites exist, but alas, the other well-known resource, WarcraftRealms, was offline. Looking at the US statistics, the least popular race, including pandaren, but by a narrow margin is the dwarf. The EU stats tell a very similar story, with dwarves outpaced by everyone, even pandaren. Why is that?

So, it makes sense that dwarves make up the race element of some of the rarest race-class combinations. Notably, however, although their total numbers are higher overall, the huge proportion of pandaren monks (64-65%) means that they're among the very rarest of combinations when playing anything but a monk.

Hit the break for the top 15 underplayed class-race combinations! Or should that be the bottom 15?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The lore so far -- leading into patch 5.2

Know Your Lore The lore so far  leading into patch 52 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.

Patch 5.2 is almost here, bringing new stories and development to Mists of Pandaria. The story presentation in Mists so far has been a vast, vast improvement on the convoluted storylines in Cataclysm. While Cataclysm left many players wondering what, exactly, was going on, Mists has been by and large a seamless storytelling experience integrated into questing, raids, dungeons, scenarios and daily quests.

But not everyone participates in everything. Sometimes all you want to do is raid or PvP -- but you want to know the story, too. If you've been looking for details on lore you may have missed, lore that is important as we move to patch 5.2, we've got you covered. Don't worry, there are no patch 5.2 spoilers in here. But there are plenty for everything that's happened in 5.0 and 5.1, so reader beware.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

New short story, The Trial of the Red Blossoms, now available

New short story, The Trial of the Red Blossoms, now available
It appears that Blizzard is far from done with short stories on the official website -- and that seems to be a pretty good thing. The Trial of the Red Blossoms, written by Cameron Dayton, is the latest offering to hit the official website. And for those wondering, there isn't a Li Li in sight in this tale. Instead, we get a tale highlighting just what it takes to become one of the Shado-pan, woven through the eyes of a young, scrawny pandaren thief simply named Ten.

If you thought that Pandaria and its residents were all about good cheer, food and drink, it's time to think again. The Shado-pan are among the least sociable of the pandaren, and are quite vividly illustrated as a group of warriors that you really, really don't want to mess with. It's a dark, grim tale about some of Pandaria's darkest, grimmest citizens -- and it absolutely shines. Ten is nothing like the sometimes too-precocious to handle Li Li, and his past and future hang in the balance of the Shado-pan. Whether or not he can rise to the occasion is entirely up to him.

The Trial of the Red Blossoms appears to be the first of what may be the next collection of short stories. Cataclysm saw the Leader Short Story series, and Trial is filed under Faction Stories on the Expanded Universe page, suggesting there are more tales of other factions to come. If they are even half as good as Trial, I suspect we're in for a treat this expansion. And frankly, I can't wait to see if we're finally going to get some dirt on the August Celestials.

You can read The Trial of the Red Blossoms on the official website, in the Destination: Pandaria section of the Expanded Universe guide. And as an added bonus this time around, the story is available for download in multiple formats -- choose from PDF format, ePUB format for the smartphone, tablet or Nook, or mobi format for the Amazon Kindle.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Brewmaster: Dumping Ziebart into a glass bottle

WoW Brewmaster Dumping Ziebart into a glass bottle
Work Warning: No cursing or nudity or sex or anything like that. But this is a column about beer and brewing, so that's somewhat an adult theme.

When last we left our noble brew, I'd just talked a bit off the top about how I was making Ziebart Stout. Long story made short: I was brewing a relatively basic oatmeal stout but putting some Scotch in it.

The Basics
Let's talk first to the totally new folks. The ones who know WoW Insider is writing about brewing beer, and wants to get involved in their own Pandaren hijinks. After all, if we can do it... so can you! (I'm not being snarky. Seriously, trusting me around open flame is a little like trusting your lasagna to Garfield.) How tough is extract brewing?

It's not. If you can navigate a canned soup recipe, you can handle extract brewing. Assuming you arm up with the basic supplies, all of which can be had relatively inexpensively, the entire process is mostly about thoroughly cleaning and watching a timer. The step-by-step works something like this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Where does he get those wonderful toys? Pandaren rares and loot

Where does he get those wonderful toys Pandaren rares and loot
If there is one thing I have perfected in eight years of playing this game, it is filling my bags with useless stuff. I'm not talking about armor bits and pieces for transmog, or weapons with pretty glows, or bags full of crafting material like cloth or leather. No, I'm talking random baubles that will make you look like your neighbor. Or fling you in the air, without worry of what happens when you eventually hit the ground.

You know, stuff. Everybody likes stuff. And who has the best stuff in Pandaria? Rare mobs, of course! But which rares have the good stuff? Which ones will let you summon a fleet of angered puppies in party hats to fight at your side? Or inexplicably get you ready for a day at the beach in the middle of a raid? Or turn you into a statue with no apparent purpose other than sitting there pretending to be a statue?

You want useless stuff? Oh we've got all kinds of useless stuff for you, sorted by category.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium snapshots

It came from the Blog Pandamonium snapshots
Once upon a time, there were many, many pandaren. They loved to play and kill and put wild creatures in cages. Then one night, they had an idea. It wasn't an original idea. Everyone has it at one point or another. But it was an important idea that was to shape their destiny forever. And that idea was "Party!"

Now, you know what happens when you get a bunch of pandas together to party: you get Pandamonium! First thing they did was get nekkid. Oh did I mention these pandaren were from the It came from the Blog family of guilds? That's an important detail, as those are a rowdy, drunken bunch who like to take their clothes off and/or run into dangerous territory and/or jump off of things. Spoilers.

The story continues ...

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Filed under: Events, It Came from the Blog

It Came From the Blog: Join us for Pandamonium

It came from the Blog Join us for Pandamonium
Pandaren. Many pandaren. Many pandaren running. Many pandaren dying. Many pandaren corpses. Pandaren.
  • When: Thursday, Nov 29 at 10:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. PST, 8:30 p.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet in front of Garrosh's room in Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any Horde pandaren who is off the island and has already been yelled at by Garrosh
  • How: Ask Crikkit or any It came from the Blog member for an invite
  • What: Pandamonium
I (Crikkit) am not saying what exactly we're doing because we know some of you are Alliance spies. Of course, if you were to make a pandaren to infiltrate us, we probably wouldn't notice. You might even have fun. I'm sure your allies will forgive you some enjoyment while you spy on us evil Horde pandas.

If you don't already have a pandaren on Zangarmarsh, you should have plenty of time to make one before Thursday. Then you'll have a level 10+ character to join any future events, as they all require the ability to join a raid.

So bring your pandas and get ready for some Pandamonium.

Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) in It came from the Blog. Any guild rank can invite, so /whisper Crikkit or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

Filed under: Events, It Came from the Blog

Know Your Lore TFH: The origins of the pandaren

Know Your Lore TFH The origin of the pandaren
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.

Last week, I mentioned how little we know about the pandaren. This week, we're going to speculate on what that could mean. Like all speculation, this is not meant to be taken as established game lore. This is just us playing around with some what if's based on the few things we do know. We all know how the Tinfoil Hat works by now, yes? So let's put it on and start speculating.

We're told that the pandaren (along with the jinyu and the hozen) revolted against their mogu masters and overthrew them in a long, protracted series of horrific battles that cost many lives on both sides. Eventually, despite the mogu having access to ancient and terrible magic and fearsome weapons, their society (dedicated to slavery and domination) was simply too rigid and dependent on others to perform the tasks the mogu did not wish to and it could not adapt to the new reality of all of its slave races attacking it. As we saw when the mogu created the saurok, their arrogance led them to be unable to perceive how other people thought. Instead, they assumed all peoples thought as they did. Cooperation in a mutual goal instead of dominance baffled them. In the end the mogu lost, and were cast down from their seats of power.

But for two thousand years after that, the pandaren held control over the architecture of dominance that the mogu created. It was not until the reign of Shaohao, the last pandaren emperor, that the true nature of the sha was understood and Pandaria was sealed behind its mists for 10,000 years. What were the pandaren before that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Moviewatch: Pandaren Style

We've seen a couple of Gangnam Style parodies on WoW Moviewatch at this point. They all had their charms but personally, I'm still holding out for a Gangnam Style parody which combines a perfect execution of lyrics, music, and machinima .... One parody to rule them all, you could say. (23 days left, by the way!) For now though, we must wait.

But in the interim, we have today's machinima, which I think is a step in the right direction. The music from the original song has gone mostly untouched, but the accompanying animation is astonishingly well-done. Who knew a pandaren could show so much expression when screaming at a girl's butt? I'm no 3D animation expert, but I'd guess this is the work of all those extra "bones" the pandaren models have. Amazing stuff.

It may also be of some interest to know that the creator of today's machinima, Animpinabox, also made the old video World of Warcraft: Dancing. If you've never seen it, World of Warcraft: Dancing features the dances of several character races and NPCs alongside the footage that may have originally inspired Blizzard developers. It's a classic machinima, so be sure to check it out if you've never seen it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dig out my old Alizée albums.


Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Know Your Lore: The mysteries of the pandaren

Know Your Lore The mysteries of the pandaren
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.

What do we actually know about the pandaren? We simultaneously know a great deal and very little about them. Even now that we've passed through the mists that once veiled their homeland from the rest of Azeroth and explored these lands, we are far from knowing everything about them. We know they helped overthrow the mogu who once ruled their continent, but while we know the origins of the saurok, the grummles, and the jinyu (and to a degree even the origins of the mogu) we do not know if the pandaren are a natively evolved race or one uplifted by the waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, or even one forced to change by the mogu. We know they existed in other parts of Azeroth - there were feral pandaren in Northrend, after all - but how closely related the pandaren are to other similar races like the furbolg of Northrend and Kalimdor is also unknown.

We know of how the last Emperor, Shaohao defeated the Sha and his own emotions to prepare to defend all of Pandaria against the Sundering, but we know little of what the Pandaren Empire itself was like before Shaohao vanished into the same mists that have but recently parted. The pandaren of today, both the ones of the Wandering Isle and the ones on Pandaria itself, seem to exist in a stasis, neither stagnating nor changing very much for thousands of years. We know them, and yet we do not know them. Furthermore, their very land seems to force the pandaren to be somewhat inscrutable - a continent infested by the Sha causes its people to behave in a specific way, thus skewing our impressions of them.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Why do we fight?

Know Your Lore Why do we fight 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.

Azeroth is a volatile land fraught with conflict. In recent years of history, this conflict has been highlighted by the battle between Alliance and Horde, a seemingly never-ending struggle that began the moment the orcs made their way through the Dark Portal and began attacks on the Eastern Kingdoms in earnest. But prior to the orcs, there were still wars to contend with. In early days, pandaren rose up against mogu, troll against aqir. Kaldorei against Burning Legion, and against each other in the process.

It almost seems as though Azeroth's destiny is one that is irrevocably tied to war -- we're destined to fight, regardless of who we are, or what we happen to be fighting. But why do the Alliance and Horde continue to fight? They've worked together in the past, and yet it seems that every time they are close to some sort of peaceful resolution, they are drawn once more to war. What's making the Alliance and Horde so aggressive this time around?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: 5 frequently asked Mists lore questions

Know Your Lore Mists lore and you 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.

Mists of Pandaria contains an utter truckload of new lore. Pandaria has been hidden behind mists for ten thousand years and the elusive pandaren were little more than a myth to most, a rare sighting to others. Because of this, there was little to no record of anything related to the lost continent of Pandaria or its history. And because of that, Pandaria is packed with tons of new stories and information regarding the continent and the races that live upon it.

Even to someone familiar with lore, that overload of information can be a little overwhelming. We're all starting out at the same point in Pandaria, a point where we know nothing at all. So I find myself frequently getting asked questions about what's going on in this strange new world, and why we're doing what we're doing. As I answered the questions to various friends and guildmates, I thought perhaps I should share the answers to the most frequently asked of these questions with you all.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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