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Posts with tag pandaria

Know Your Lore: The point of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The point of Pandaria
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.
"It's just possible that the curious race we're going to meet in this mystic land, may just teach us a thing or two about who we are, and why we fight." -- Chris Metzen, BlizzCon 2011
When Mists of Pandaria was introduced, there were plenty of people that were skeptical about the expansion -- many questioned the introduction of the pandaren as a playable race, questioning whether or not an expansion featuring fuzzy talking pandas could ever be taken seriously. Yet although the pandaren can be quite friendly and agreeable, the overall theme of Mists has been remarkably dark. I'd almost consider it darker than any prior, if only for one reason: the message in this expansion hits far closer to home than any other.

While Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm all highlighted major enemies that sought to end the world, each through their own means, Mists took a step back from the grand bellowing villains and their evil schemes. And instead, it chose to shift the focus to us -- Alliance and Horde, players and NPCs alike. Yet on the brink of patch 5.4, presumably the last raid of this expansion, what lessons can we take away from Pandaria? What has it taught us, that couldn't be taught by fighting another world-threatening NPC? What was the point of Pandaria?

Please note that today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.4 content. If you're avoiding spoilers, turning away now would be advised!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: The cartoonening

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

Monday. Yep.

JeffLaBowski asked:

Is it me or has this expansion flew by? It feels like we are in the pre-expac lull even before 5.4 is out. Anyone else get that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Faction change? Travel back in time to experience the Pandaria starting quests

Faction change Travel back in time to experience the Pandaria starting quests
My main characters have been Horde for quite some time, but this week I decided to change things up on my priest. It's a bit disorienting to faction change after playing one faction for so long. So far I haven't flown into the wrong Shrine, but I know my day is coming.

While my faction change processed, I passed the time thinking about how much of a butthead Garrosh is. And what about the Alliance's arrival in Pandaria? I wanted to experience it. Well, Blizzard had me covered. As soon as I made my way to Stormwind, I received the quest to head out to Pandaria on the Skyfire. After zoning into Pandaria, I immediately fell to my death because the Skyfire disappeared from under me.

I assumed my quest had ended there because I'd already been introduced to Pandaria through the opposite faction. My slight OCD for quest completion pushed me to visit Wowhead, where I discovered that I could complete the Alliance-side starter quests after all. Woo!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The seventh Sha

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition The seventh Sha
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 Jade Serpent circled the Vale, and spoke to the beleaguered Emperor. "Pandaria is more than just the Pandaren Empire," she told Shaohao. "Your enemies to the west are as much a part of this land as your empire behind the wall." Seeing that all things were connected in an eternal whole, and that his beloved land was more than just the Pandaren Empire, Shaohao at least understood.
We know from the writings in The Emperor's Burdern that all of Pandaria is connected. But is it just Pandaria, or all of Azeroth? This week's Tinfoil Hat Edition leaps off of the theories presented by Matthew Rossi in Wednesday's Know Your Lore. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do so, because conspiracy theories abound in today's edition of Know Your Lore.

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 what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: When is a well not a well?

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition When is a well not a well 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.

When is a well not a well?

The Well of Eternity is one of the most important objects in Azeroth's history. A font of magical water with incredible properties, it has been the subject of at least two wars. First, there was the War of the Ancients, in which kaldorei fought Highborne while the Burning Legion threatened to invade. Next, the Third War, in which Archimonde sought to dominate Hyjal and the powers of the Well beneath it's roots.

But the Well has also changed Azeroth in a significant way. The kaldorei wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the waters of the Well. Neither would the sin'dorei or their curious state of magical addiction. And if rumors are to be believed, there are several races on Pandaria whose roots tie into the mysterious waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms -- also speculated to be a remnant of that original Well of Eternity.

The origins of the Well are shrouded in mystery. It's simply something the Titans created countless centuries ago. Or ... is it? When is a well not a well at all?

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 what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Quest for Pandaria concludes with part 4

Quest for Pandaria concludes with part 4
The fourth and final installment of Sarah Pine's novella Quest for Pandaria was released yesterday on the official site. Part four of Chen and Li Li's journey takes them to the open seas, where they encounter a massive storm, and a tense face off between two ships, one Alliance and one Horde. While this is Chen and Li Li's adventure, the fourth part of this tale does a lot to highlight the feelings and tensions between the two factions in a meaningful way.

And it also does a lot to clear up timelines. At the end of the tale, Chen and Li Li have witnessed the clearing of the mists surrounding the continent of Pandaria. This places the mist-clearing event somewhere just before the attack on Theramore Isle depicted in both scenario and the novel Tides of War. Unfortunately, the tale did little to clarify what exactly made the mists part in the first place ... which means this may be one of those important plot points we'll explore later in the expansion.

Quest for Pandaria served as a an excellent introduction to Mists of Pandaria, and a wonderful bridge between the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria and the new expansion. Part four is full of emotional moments and characters that you really don't want to miss. You can read part four, or the story in its entirety, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

How to keep world bosses away from the pesky Horde (or Alliance)

How to keep world bosses away from the pesky Horde  ANY
My server is a PvP server. It's one of the more balanced populations with a relatively healthy amount of players on both the Alliance and the Horde. Even before this expansion, you had to watch your back because you could be jumped at anytime by 3 Horde players (at least, that's how many it took to kill me). With the release of Mists of Pandaria, world bosses have made a return.

Back in the old days, there was generally an unspoken etiquette among competing raids looking to take down a world boss.

But this generation? Not a chance!

Now we have these filthy backstabbing Horde (or Alliance) players looking for every advantage they can get to wipe Alliance players and take over their efforts. Back in my day, they had the courtesy to simply let Ysondre, Emeriss or one of those other Emerald dragons wipe the raid for them!

My friends, if the Horde(or Alliance) want to fight dirty, then we can only respond in kind! Today I'm going to let you in on a few battle tactics to both defend yourselves and crush the Orcs and their allies!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Where to reel in Pandaria's delicious fish

Where to reel in Pandaria's delicious fish ANY
There are a few purposes for fish in Mists of Pandaria. You can cook them to eat for a Well Fed buff or to give to a Tillers NPC for personal reputation. There's a fish for alchemy oils and even the "vendor fish" this expansion is pretty useful. You can bag extra stacks of fish together for a currency.

The catch is (pun intended) that many raiders aren't used to fishing their own Well Fed buffs. This leads to many questions on where to find which fish. Jump behind the cut and I'll summarize for you the pools and catch rates of open water fishing in Pandaria.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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

Know Your Lore: The Sha

Know Your Lore The Sha 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.
Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
- The Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron
We did not bring them to this land, they were there all along. But we unleashed them from their prison, allowing them to run rampant over the verdant hills and fields of Pandaria. Our arrival on Pandaria's coast was nothing more than a catalyst that sparked a chain of disastrous events the likes of which Pandaria has never before seen ... at least, not in written history.

The Sha are a unique villain, the first in Azeroth's history that we alone are responsible for. We've dealt with the horrors of the Burning Legion, we've fought the armies of the Lich King, we've even brought down and vanquished the fallen Aspect Deathwing. But we've never before had to fight something that was spawned not from the evil of the universe, but the evil within ourselves.

Which makes the Sha utterly fascinating ... and their origins even more so.

Please note: The following post is chock-full of spoilers for Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

10 most common names for monks

And the most popular monk names are
It's another expansion with a new class, making it a perfect time to kick back and reflect on our auspicious naming conventions. After all, certainly the most popular monk names are steeped in lore and dignity, right?

Our good pals over at GuildOx have sorted through huge, mountainous stacks of data to find the most popular monk names. These are the same folks who told us about popular warrior names like Cleaveland and Sunderwear, as well as common paladin names like Layonhooves and Unstopbubble.

So, what are the most popular names for monks? Are they roleplaying names or original creations? Well, let's take a look and unveil the top 10 most popular monk names.

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Filed under: News items

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

Remember to watch for Lorewalker items while leveling!

Remember to watch for Lorewalker items while leveling! TUES 925
Are you in the midst of a leveling frenzy? Mists of Pandaria has arrived, and while you may be rushing the way to level 90, don't forget to slow down and take in the sights. In some cases, those sights can be lucrative indeed. One thing to watch for while taking in all that Pandaria has to offer are lore scrolls like the one pictured above. These items are part of the achievements for the Lorewalkers faction. If you have not read the scroll, it will be glowing a soft blue, just to make sure you notice that it's there.

Completing the various achievement stories about Pandaria's varied factions and history will net you achievements, but that's not all. You'll receive a quest item in the mail from Lorewalker Cho, asking you to come pay him a visit. This is not possible until you've hit level 90 and can fly, as the Lorewalker's area is perched high above the entrance to Mogu'shan Palace in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

However, once you arrive and drop off the quest item, you'll receive a substantial chunk of reputation with the Lorewalkers. Exalted reputation with the Lorewalkers will net you the option of purchasing the Disc of the Red Flying Cloud, among other goodies. And who doesn't want another flying mount to add to the collection? Keep your eyes peeled for these unique pieces of pandaren history!


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Lore, 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

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