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Posts with tag pandaren

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The dark secrets of the mogu

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition The dark secrets of the mogu 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.

They were once rulers of an empire that rivaled the Zandalar in size and scope, but they possessed powers far greater than the trolls could ever dream of. They used their power to shape the grummels and saurok from the lesser races of Pandaria. They enslaved the pandaren race as a whole, using them to build structures and gather supplies all under threat of their iron fists. Their great empires trace back to thousands of years ago, before even the War of the Ancients, and possibly before the rise of the kaldorei race.

The mogu are one of the clear villains of this expansion, and our arrival denotes the sudden uprising of this strange, curious, violent race. While the mogu may have been relatively quiet for centuries, they are certainly far from it now. And as we make our way through Pandaria we see more and more evidence that these violent beings are on the move -- something that disturbs the gentle pandaren greatly. The mogu hide secrets, and over the course of raiding, we uncover a few.

But their greatest secret may just be something so unfathomable, so bizarre, that it shakes the roots of everything we currently know and believe.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on why and what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains some content spoilers from Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

People live in Pandaria; or, our house in the middle of the sea

"And that night, her mom said that the two of them and the now-dead guy were the only 3 people who ever lived in Las Vegas. Everybody else just arrived, ate their complimentary shrimp cocktails, and left."

Blizzard's focus is, as they've repeatedly professed, "to create the most epic gaming experiences ever." But for all the world-ending threats we've encountered in the last few WoW expansions, Azeroth just isn't that big. The entire Eastern Kingdoms are about the size of the island of Manhattan. We're made to believe that hundreds of thousands to millions of people of various races inhabit the planet, but examining the amount of residential space in each zone shows us room for far, far fewer.

Now, yes, the Azeroth we see could simply be an abstraction of some other, larger, "real" Azeroth that doesn't tangibly exist. But this one is the one we get, and it seems sillier and sillier each time when you ponder things like where exactly King Wrynn managed to find a hundred thousand troops to send to Northrend, or where night elves have lived for the past ten thousand years. The same goes for Azeroth's endless supply of doomsday villains and the cultists they inevitably find to do their bidding. They had to come from somewhere. And they definitely don't live in Stormwind.

But the problem isn't even really where they live. It's how they live. It's where they come from. Outland presented a unique opportunity to show us the how and why of the many strange alien races on an entirely new planet, but we learned more about how they died than how they lived -- the fate of most non-player races in World of Warcraft. Their homelands were a theme park, a casino, and we run through pulling levers, grabbing drinks, buying t-shirts. Nobody lived there.

Pandaria, though? People live there. The continent feels more like a brand new planet than even Outland ever did.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

How to defeat the pandaren rare spawns

Could We Find More Like That Defeating the pandaren rare spawns
One thing I noticed while leveling was how much of my inventory was being filled with zany flavor items and mountains of random stat food. Between that and the pandaren racial bonus, Epicurean, I formed this preconception that all panda-shaped people loved to eat food and do kooky things, so imagine my surprise when NPCScan informed me that a pandaren rare was within my scanning range just waiting to go toe-to-toe.

I like to believe that maybe these particular pandaren are just looking for A Worthy Opponent (see what I did there?), and that I just get so caught up in the exchange of punches and blows that I forget not to kill them.

Like the jinyu, and the rest of the rare spawns, the pandaren rares all share the same set of abilities:
  • Spinning Crane Kick - A whirlwind of feet and pain, the 3-second cat for this attack can't be interrupted, but the target can be stunned or crowd-controlled during the animation. Just to be safe, make sure that you don't engage the pandaren in an enclosed area.
  • Chi Burst - The pandaren will only use this ability if you are more than 15 yards away from them, a mechanic surely designed to force you to deal with Spinning Crane Kick in some fashion. And at over 200,000 damage per cast, I would say it's pretty effective.
  • Healing Mists - The one ability you will want to save your interrupt for, Healing Mists heals the pandaren for 30% of their maximum health. Stuns and crowd control should also work if you find your spellbook lacking a reliable interrupt.
The main strategy here is to stay close to the target for the most part, only moving away from it during Spinning Crane Kick. Also, interrupting Healing Mists will prevent you from dulling your blades against the bears' furry backside while you race to outpace the healing.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

A quick guide to archaeology on the Pandarian continent

A quick guide to archaeology on the Pandarian continent
Archaeology on Pandaria starts out much like you'd expect. At around 525 archaeology, you'll start seeing dig sites appear on Pandaria, 4 of them spread out over the continent. You'll head to each one, start surveying, and get some archaeology fragments. Sometimes, you will get a Pandaren Pottery Shard or Mogu Statue Piece, which serve as the keystone for those race's projects and can be used to solve a piece faster.

Things change a little bit when your digging digs up an Ancient Haunt. This is a Sha mob that sometimes spawns when you successfully dig up some fragments. If you kill it, you'll be able to loot more fragments.

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Filed under: Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

Pandaren roleplay from 1-85

Pandaren roleplay from 185 SAT
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Roleplay can be tricky in a game like WoW, particularly when new races or classes are introduced. In Cataclysm, we had the conundrum of worgen and goblin death knights to contend with -- how did they become death knights, if they weren't fighting with the Alliance and Horde until after Wrath was launched? This was explained in a relatively tidy fashion, leaving those roleplayers with reasonable options for a plausible backstory.

With the pandaren of Mists, the story is slightly more complex. Not only are the pandaren that we play significantly different than the pandaren we encounter in Pandaria, they're also available to both Alliance and Horde. This makes that clear line between factions slightly muddled, and it's a challenge for a roleplayer to find a plausible reason for choosing one side over another. But there are a myriad of other unique challenges that face pandaren roleplayers during the course of their travels.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Mists of Pandaria rare spawns offer unique challenges

Mists of Pandaria rares offer unique challenges
Mists of Pandaria asks the ambiguous question, "What are we fighting for?" In the case of most players, it's loot and gold. There's a lot of fighting to be found in Mists, but in the case of Pandaria's rares, they offer something along with the gold and loot, something far more valuable -- experience. Not experience points, although you'll get it if you're in the process of leveling. No, the rares of Pandaria offer experience playing your individual class, and playing it well.

There are several different types of rare champions scattered all over Pandaria -- hozen, jinyu, mantid, mogu, saurok, yaungol and pandaren. But these champions aren't like any rares you've seen on Azeroth. Rather than allowing players to simply stand there and beat the stuffing out of them, these rares have unique abilities that require tactics and skill to counter. Are they impossible to beat? Absolutely not, once you've figured out how to counter their bag of tricks.

But you cannot simply stand and beat them up anymore. Movement is absolutely key, and so are stuns, interrupts, and other abilities that define a class. Rather than allowing you to just spam your main attack, you're forced to practice moving out of the way of attacks, which are clearly defined on the ground. You can't let them cast every spell, or you'll certainly die. And kiting is definitely helpful in most cases as well.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

FAQ for new pandaren

Pandaren FAQ
Are you tired of hearing the same questions repeated while starting a new pandaren? Or are you one of those asking the questions? WoW Insider is here to help.

You begin your pandaren on the Wandering Isle. Its location -- and even its existence -- is unknown to the rest of Azeroth when you begin. This added to the fact that pandaren start out as neutral means you will encounter differences from your previous new character experiences. Here is a list of some of those differences as well as answers to other pandaren questions you may have:
  • The Wandering Isle has no mailboxes. You cannot receive or send mail until you choose your faction and leave. So no, you can't send heirlooms to your baby pandaren.
  • You cannot speak to anyone who is not on the Wandering Isle. No whispers. No global chat channels. There is one exception: Battletag and Real ID friends are still accessible for whispers.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Roleplaying in Pandaria: The basics

Roleplay in Pandaria SAT 929
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Welcome to Pandaria, roleplayers! With the launch of Mists, players suddenly have a lot of leveling to do, and countless things to keep them occupied at level 90. However, that doesn't mean that roleplay should come to a halt. Because Pandaria is a land we've never before seen, there's a ton of information to be absorbed, stories to be heard, and lessons to be learned along the way. The things your character will see and hear in Pandaria will affect them throughout the course of the new expansion, every step of the way.

But what if you leveled in a frenzy, or you missed some important points? There's so much to see in Pandaria that frankly, it can be overwhelming to even the most seasoned roleplayers. Today we've got a primer of basic plot points for you to consider for your character as they travel the Pandarian wilds and make that trek to level 90 -- or a refresher course if you've already hit max level.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Officers' Quarters: 4 radical ways to help your guild stand out in Mists

Fireworks over Pandaria
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Today we stand at the precipice of a new era. In less than 24 hours, Mists of Pandaria will usher in what could be called the Fifth Age of WoW. The long wait through 2012 has been hard on guilds, but that time is now over.

If your guild has made it this far, you should be proud of that, but this is not a time to rest. This is a time to ensure that your guild will thrive. In this new era, the best method to recruit players will not change: finding ways to set your guild apart from the dozens of others on your server. Here are four ways to do just that -- but be warned! These are not for the faint of heart.

1. Offer tutorial runs of the new dungeons. Blizzard's new guild mentoring program is a great idea, but just because your guild wasn't selected doesn't mean you can't be a force for good on your server. This strategy requires patient guild members who have run the dungeons in beta or who get a lot of practice in the early weeks of the expansion.

Start an initiative on your server in which, one night a week, you offer to run players through dungeons while teaching them the boss mechanics. Players will very much appreciate the chance to learn the runs in a low-stress and constructive environment rather than the merciless meat-grinder boot camp of the dungeon finder.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Celebrate the launch of Mists of Pandaria with SpiritHoods

Celebrate the launch of Mists of Pandaria with SpiritHoods
With Mists of Pandaria right around the corner, we're giving away a panda hood courtesy of SpiritHoods. To enter for a chance to win, all that you need to do is leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, Sept. 27. To be eligible to win, you must be 18 years old or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). See the complete official rules for details.

In just a few short days, we'll all be in-game questing hard for the pandaren of Azeroth. If you're looking to help the pandas in the real world (and get a swanky hood at the same time), check out SpiritHoods' ProBlue label -- when you purchase a hood with the ProBlue label, 10% of net profits from your purchase goes towards a charity aimed at the conservation of that particular animal. Buy a hood, save a panda! Or a tiger, polar bear, snow leopard, or wolf, all depending on your tastes.

Be sure to follow SpiritHoods on Facebook and Twitter, and check out a video of their Fall/Winter lineup behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Contests, Mists of Pandaria

Pandaren and Monk Trainers appear in starting zones

Pandaren and Monk Trainers appear in Start Zones
You may think I took the above screenshot on the beta, but if the rumors are true and you really can gather my account information from secret codes embedded in every picture, you'll be able to tell that this is actually taken in the troll start zone on a live realm!

As the lifting of the Mists of Pandaria draws ever closer, changes are already starting to take place, and out of nowhere, what must currently be exceedingly enigmatic pandaren are coming out of the woodwork into our game world.

Tsu the Wanderer has made it to the troll island, where he can be found sparring with Zabrax, the newly arrived monk trainer, and the only trainer who is not a pandaren. In the orc start zone, Gato is standing in a group with some other trainers, enjoying what appears to be rather an awkward silence, while in the Undead zone, the amusingly named Ting, strong of Stomach, is offered various delights by Archibald Kava. Shoyu (d'you see what they did there?) seems to fit right in with the Tauren, but Pao, the lonely pandaren among the blood elves, seems a tad more incongruous.

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Filed under: Monk, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider interviews Micky Neilson and Sean "Cheeks" Galloway

WoW Insider interviews Micky Neilson and Sean 'Cheeks' Galloway
Pearl of Pandaria, the latest comics offering from Blizzard and DC, releases September 25. The tale of Li Li Stormstout and her journey to find her Uncle Chen was written by Senior Writer and Voice Director Micky Neilson, whose other works include Unbroken, Ashbringer, and Curse of the Worgen. Bringing the book to life is Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, whose other works include character design for Hellboy Animated and Spectacular Spider-Man.

That's an impressive bunch of credits for an equally impressive book. Sean and Micky were kind enough to sit down with us and discuss the art and history behind Pearl of Pandaria. In addition, we talked short stories and comics as well as some exciting upcoming print projects and the answer to the pesky question of why pandaren eyes are gold instead of green.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Will you be making a pandaren in Mists of Pandaria?

Breakfast Topic Will you be making a pandaren in Mists of Pandaria
Will there be a pandaren on your character select screen come Sept. 25? Until recently, I'd assumed that would be the case for most players. Sure, some folks prefer to hold off and let the first wave (or three) or new players flood through the starting area, and others simply aren't into the pandaren at all. But come on, it's a new race! Among my friends and coworkers, even players who had no intention of playing a worgen or a goblin in Cataclysm eventually made one of each to visit the new areas and see what their stories were all about.

This time around, though, most of the devoted WoW players I know seem to already have worn out their little pandaren footpads in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Has everyone and their mother already played this expansion? Yes, I hold the dubious honor of digging into new content details every single day here at WoW Insider yet clinging desperately to a desire to discover as much of new lands and a new race as possible spoiler-free at my own pace after release. On top of that, I prefer to wait until the starting area isn't jammed full anymore. I know. Just kill me now.

Maybe you've been away from WoW for a while and see a pandaren as a fun way to roll your way back into the game. Or perhaps you've got plans to push your pandaren onto the front lines of your guild's raids in just a few weeks. (Gulp.) If you haven't already slipped through the mists of the beta to see what this new race is all about, are you planning to try a pandaren? A new main? One of many alts? What'll it be?

I plan to roll a new pandaren ...
as a new main1045 (11.5%)
as an alt4365 (47.9%)
later2455 (26.9%)
already done in beta358 (3.9%)
never898 (9.8%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson & Sean Galloway

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson
I have to admit it. When I first heard word of Pearl of Pandaria at BlizzCon, I was not expecting it to be anything extraordinary. The artwork was awesome, the panel previews looked top-notch, and I've been a Galloway fan for years. The news that Micky Neilson was writing the title was definitely good news. But I didn't expect the graphic novel to really hold much weight, particularly since it was mentioned that the novel takes place before Cataclysm. It actually takes place somewhere at the beginning of the war in Northrend.

Because of this, I figured it would simply be a standalone piece. It'd be a well-written, fun little tale that would explain where the heck Chen was has been all these years. But when I started playing the Mists beta, I fell in love with Li Li, Chen's precocious niece with a penchant for acrid sarcasm. After meeting Li Li, I was a bit more excited to read the book, because I figured more Li Li would be a good thing. And then I got Pearl of Pandaria and sat down to give it a read, fully expecting a simple lighthearted and fun little piece of work.

I don't think I've ever been quite so delighted to be utterly wrong.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Wrathion's War

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Wrathion's War 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.

Clever, vicious and sometimes cruel, the black dragon Wrathion is not just the son of Deathwing, he's the only black dragon currently in existence that is free of the corruption of the Old Gods. In Cataclysm, he arrived with quiet fanfare, and just as quietly plotted to take out every single other black dragon on Azeroth. And with the help of an unnamed rogue, he succeeded, even bringing down the corrupted, infested mess of his father, with said rogue's assistance.

Patch 5.0.4 brought plenty of class and system changes, but it also brought a ton of new achievements as well. And while some are easily defined, others remain an intriguing mystery. Wrathion's part in Azeroth's history is far from done, and there's a series of achievements in the Quests section that clearly point that out. However, we've little to no indication what these achievements actually mean.

Which means it's the perfect time for some rampant speculation about everyone's favorite not-quite-evil young mastermind, Wrathion the Purified.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on why and what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains some content spoilers from Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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