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Behold Placeholder, Blessed Holder of Places

Admiral Placeholder
A new Warlords of Draenor alpha build went live yesterday. Along with the usual assortment of new creature models, maps, icons, and class changes, datamining revealed perhaps the single greatest sword in Azeroth's history: Placeholder, Blessed Holder of Places.

The Placeholder name has a storied place in WoW's history. Long ago in the original beta, an NPC named Captain Placeholder teleported players from Menethil Harbor to Auberdine before the transport ships had been created. He triumphantly returned to live realms for a time after a bug broke the ships. Years later, he showed up in the Cataclysm beta as Cap'n Placeholder, though he served no purpose and never appeared in the release version of the expansion. An NPC conversation in Menethil harbor spoke of him as an Alliance hero, stating "Nobody could hold a place like him. Nobody."

In the Mists beta, a newly promoted Adm'rl Placeholder once again saved the day. He transported players from Orgrimmar and Stormwind to the Valley of the Four Winds while the Jade Forest zone was closed for remodeling.

Is Placeholder the famous captain's sword? What item will it become? Why is it marked as junk? Why does it stack to 20, and what "reward not yet complete" will eventually find its way into our backpacks? A future patch will reveal all! Until then, hold a place in your heart for this amazing sword.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Captain Placeholder gets a promotion

Mists of Pandaria Beta The Return of The Man Called Placeholder
As you may already know, Jade Forest is disabled in the current Mists of Pandaria beta build. If you, like me, left several level 85s standing around the place while you leveled to 90 on one, you'll be teleported out (in my case, I was ported to the nearby Valley of the Four Winds), and you'll need to find a way back to Orgrimmar or Stormwind. Once there, you'll need to find Adm'rl Placeholder, the Most Interesting Questgiver in the World. He doesn't often give quests, but when he does, they're memorable. Some of you may remember him from his days as a Captain.

The Adm'rl offers a quest which, when accepted, teleports you back to the Valley of the Four Winds, this time to speak to Private Tim P. O'Rary, who will upon completion of the conversation quest (you may have to wait a few minutes for him to recognize you) will immediately boost you to level 86. Enjoy questing in the Valley, the Krasarang Wilds and of course the new leveling dungeons.

I'm so glad that Placeholder got a promotion, I cannot even tell you. He's found in the trade district next to the AH in Stormwind and just outside Garrosh's playhouse for the Horde.

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: News items, Humor, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The end of Naxxramas


I was just chatting with my colleagues here at WoW Insider about Blizzard's apparent neglect of their old content (since the expansion zones actually start at 68, Netherstorm and Shadowmoon are basically useless once Wrath comes around), and now here's another sign that Blizzard wants out with the old and in with the new. We had rumored this a while ago, but now it's been confirmed by the CMs: Old school Naxxramas is going to disappear forever when the dungeon moves up north to become a raid in Wrath of the Lich King.

Which means if you want to see Naxx in its 40 man version, do it now -- I believe, as I said way back when we first heard about this, that this is the first time Blizzard has removed major content from the game completely (though it's certainly not the first time they've removed something, poor Captain Placeholder). This, of course, also leaves up in the air what's going to happen to all the items around Naxx -- what about Atiesh? Not to mention lore -- we hear that the fact that a group of players beat KT and took his phylactery and returned it to the Argent Dawn is mentioned in the expansion already -- but how did that happen if the dungeon won't be there any more?

Blizzard will probably clean it all up, and I'm sure that out of game, it'll make enough sense. But it's a shame to officially hear that 40 man Naxxaramas as we know it, the jewel of patch 1.11, will soon be gone forever.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

What really happened to the boat crews

The boats that ferry us across Azeroth are near and dear to everyone. It could be our inner pirate, eager to plunder the lubbers and scallywag some seaports. Certainly, everyone knows the tale of Captain Placeholder. The Azeroth Triangle has stolen other victims, though -- the ship's crews have been missing, hinted at returning, and then still missing.

In a series of pithy moments last week, Nethaera and Eyonix revealed the sad fate of the fearless crews. It wasn't, as Neth originally claimed, workplace safety hazards that caused the vendors to go AWOL. According to Eyonix, the sight of so many poledancing Blood Elves harrowed the seamen such that they were forced to plunge to icy depths and ultimately drown. Captain Placeholder, Eyonix jokes, is the human form of Deathwing.

I don't care if Eyonix disclaims two or three times that it was a joke -- for me, this is now lore and canon. Captain Placeholder is Deathwing, and I don't care what anyone else has to say about it. Clearly, he killed the boat crews to protect that secret. I fear for the fate of Eyonix for letting this spoiler into the public eye.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor, Forums

Getting nostalgic about old player favorites

Minkyminky kicks it off on the forums: there's a lot of things that have disappeared from the game that players really loved, and it's pretty nostalgic to think about what we used to have, and have since lost.
  • Plainsrunning was a Tauren racial ability that was in the game before Blizzard implemented Kodos. After a quest, the cows got an aura (canceled with combat, underwater, or indoors, just like a normal mount) that let them move faster and faster up to a certain speed.
  • Swirly ball was what the Rogue's Detect traps ability used to be-- a castable 3 minute buff that showed an annoying swirly ball that could be used to detect lag or just make noise.
  • The old Hunter's Mark (as you all should know, this one wasn't long ago) was just an arrow, not the fancy schmancy (garish, if you ask me) deal we've got now.
  • Baron Geddon's Living Bomb debuff used to be able to hit pets. Hunters would then dismiss their pets-- and resummon them in the Auction House to create carnage.
  • The Hakkar virus was another debuff, this one from Hakkar, that did damage to anyone standing around the player. The debuff hit everyone in an AoE based on the target for a few hundred damage every few seconds for a few minutes, and passed on the plague. So players beat Hakkar, ported back to IF, and spread the disease around the world. This one actually made it to the media, and was used as a study for how disease spreads in a virtual environment.
  • Captain Placeholder (my personal favorite) was a placeholder who went up while the ships between the continents were bugged. Don't miss the Lament of Captain Placeholder.
  • Trolls used to have a "keel two dwarves in the mornin'" emote that got removed from the game, either for violence or drug references, depending on who you ask.
Unfortunately, as cool as all of these things are, there's not much chance we'll ever seen any of them in the game again-- most of them are graphics that got updated to something Blizzard thought was cooler, or just simply bugs or placeholders that got "fixed" for good.

But the other interesting thing is that almost all of them are clear examples of emergent gameplay-- the devs didn't plan for this stuff to be popular, it just became so. If nothing else, they can learn from what happened with these, and (as with world events) bring them back in other forms. And that's a really interesting thought-- a game designed by the players themselves.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Buffs

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