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Posts with tag proto-drake

Dawn of the Aspects paperback available for preorder

Dawn of the Aspects coming in paperback in November
Dawn of the Aspects, the five part ebook-only novel by Richard Knaak, is now slated to be released in paperback for book enthusiasts this November. The novel is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. But for those simply expecting a print version of Knaak's tale, you might be in for a surprise -- also included in the edition is a print version of the short story Charge of the Aspects, released on Blizzard's website at the tale end of Cataclysm.

Dawn of the Aspects tells two distinct tales -- the tale of Kalecgos and his struggle with the resolution to Cataclysm that saw all of the Aspects drained of their powers, and the dragonflights with out a purpose, and a much, much older tale of just how the Aspects and dragonflights came to be. It's a really good, if confusing at times, story in which Kalecgos desperately tries to find a new purpose for dragonkind, while simultaneously taking a journey to the past and seeing the story of Galakrond, supposed progenitor of all dragonkind.

As for Charge of the Aspects, the short story by Matt Burns takes place on the eve of Deathwing's downfall, and features the four Aspects, together with Thrall, trying to figure out just how to kill Deathwing once and for all. It's available for free on the official website, but this is the first time the story has been available in print -- and it honestly provides a pretty good framing point for Dawn of the Aspects as well. If you're interested in a physical copy of both of these tales, preorders are now open on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble. The book is $12.50, and is slated to be released November 19, according to both websites.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects

Review of Dawn of the Aspects
On Monday, the fifth and final installment of Dawn of the Aspects, by Richard Knaak, will be available for purchase. For those that have been waiting to download and nab the entire publication in one go, your wait is just about over. For those of us that have been reading since the beginning, it marks the end of what has been, honestly, one of the strangest tales to come out of the Warcraft stable in quite some time.

While I could simply review part five of the book, talk about my impressions and what the installment was like, to me it makes far more sense to talk about the book as a whole, now that I've finished the whole thing. After all, this was a different kind of experiment -- an entirely digital publication doled out in monthly installments for a small fee. Was the experiment worth it? Did the story hold water in the end? And perhaps most importantly -- was the story any good?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Dawn of the Aspects Part V excerpt now available

Dawn of the Aspects Part V excerpt now available
It's been a long journey, but it seems that the latest Warcraft fiction offering is now wrapping up and coming to an end. An excerpt from the fifth and final chapter of Dawn of the Aspects is now available for reading on the official website. Dawn of the Aspects, by Richard Knaak, details the origins of the Aspects and the five dragonflights. The five-part miniseries has been released in installments over the last several months, and the fifth chapter ought to wrap up the tale and establish exactly what Kalecgos has learned from the mysterious artifact he's found.

As for the blue dragon's mysterious dive into the past, it seems that the events of long ago are finally reaching their climax -- Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, Neltharion and Malygos are preparing for the final battle with Galakrond, a battle that will change the course of their race forever. Will Kalecgos discover the true purpose of the artifact? Will he break free of its mysterious hold, or will he remain stuck in Malygos' memories for eternity? And will Malygos and the not-quite-Aspects prevail, or will history itself unravel? Good question! While the excerpt doesn't provide any answers, it does offer a good glimpse at the final chapter. You can read the excerpt in full on the official website.

Dawn of the Aspects part five will be available for purchase in several different ebook formats for a wonderfully low $1.99 on June 17. Head to Simon & Schuster to purchase the installment in ebook format -- and if you're looking for a different format for your e-reader, the website has links to several different retailers on their listing page. Hopefully the release of the final chapter will encourage Blizzard to release a print edition of the novel in full, too -- I have an empty spot waiting on my bookshelf!

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part four

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part four
It is absolutely official, now -- I have no idea how the Aspects actually came to be Aspects. For that matter, Tyr's purpose seems to be just as mysteriously vague. However, there was far more light shed on both questions in part four of Dawn of the Aspects, now available for a variety of e-readers. Despite the muddied waters of draconic origins, it is apparent that more of these mysteries will be answered in full by the time the fifth and final installment rolls around.

What did we know, to date? We knew that the Aspects were empowered by various Titans and charged with watching over the world. But that's about it -- the process of how that empowering came about is by and large a giant unknown and has been for years. What surprises me is just how willing I was to let the origin of the dragonflights slide as something that wasn't terribly important, in the long run. But when one considers that their origin appears to be tied to the fate of Tyr, it suddenly bears far more interesting implications.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part three by Richard A. Knaak

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part three by Richard A Knaak
The action in Dawn of the Aspects heated up exponentially in part two of the series by Richard A. Knaak -- and part three only continues to both clarify and confuse in the most brain-bending, delightful way.

The third installment of Dawn of the Aspects, released Monday, continues to explore the purpose of the mysterious artifact Kalegos uncovered back in part one. It seems as though the visions Kalec has been experiencing are growing far more intense, enough to make the former Aspect question the reality of the future we're currently living in. More importantly, there are some important and thoroughly bizarre revelations that may actually shed some light on the Aspects as they turned out in present day.

Although the installments continue to be slightly confusing, we're beginning to get a grasp on just what this story is all about. And as mentioned in our last review, it's becoming far more clear that what happened in the past is apparently not only relevant, but incredibly important to the events of present day. Dawn of the Aspects is, so far, proving to be a delightful mystery of a book, not quite like anything we've seen come before.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part two by Richard A. Knaak

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part two by Richard A Knaak
Things have just gotten incredibly weird.

The second installment of Dawn of the Aspects has just been released to an assortment of retailers, ready to be downloaded to the e-reader of your choice. The novel, written by Richard Knaak, continues to explore the events at the dawn of time, before the Age of Dragons began. As Kalecgos continues his descent into the mad visions bestowed upon him by an ancient artifact, he begins to discover more and more unsettling facts about the formation of dragonkind. But will Kalecgos be able to divine what these visions are trying to teach, or will he be swallowed into the past for good?

In our review of part one, we touched on the somewhat convoluted nature of the story, with the hopes that part two would begin to make things slightly more clear. Yet that question of the purpose of dragons on Azeroth, their origin, and what they should do now that the Age of Mortals has begun is still left unanswered. And despite the novel's focus on events long past, it's beginning to become more clear that Kalecgos' visions, mad as they are, definitely have more than a little relevance to present-day.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part one by Richard A. Knaak

Review of Dawn of the Aspects, part one by Richard A Knaak
Everything we know about the formation of the Aspects is wrong. Well, not wrong -- but so far from what is truth that the reality of the situation is a dizzying puzzle that has only begun to be addressed. Dawn of the Aspects is a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle, and part one of the tale has only just begun to unravel these pieces into what will hopefully be a coherent whole by the end of the story.

While we've had hints and suggestions as to how the Aspects and the varying dragonflights came to be, it's never been truly defined. And when we made our trip to Northrend in Wrath of the Lich King, the proto-drakes found roaming the peaks and valleys of the continent were an intriguing puzzle. How did dragonkind make that leap from proto-drake to dragon? Who was Galakrond, and how did his existence tie into the existing dragonflights? Was he the father of all dragonkind in a literal sense, or in a far more figurative fashion?

Perhaps most importantly, at the dawn of the Age of Mortals, does any of this information really matter at all? If you're at all interested in the history of Azeroth, the answer is a resounding yes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

What should and shouldn't be on the Black Market Auction House?

What should and shouldn't be on the BMAH
Perculia of Wowhead recently posted an update about undocumented changes and vanity items, which included some new information on what was and wasn't on the Black Market Auction House, as far as mounts, pets and items. Perculia's update included the Sun-Lute of the Phoenix King, as used by Sig Nicious of the Elite Tauren Chieftains, but also the Reins of the Plagued Proto-Drake, which was a reward for completing Glory of the Raider back in Wrath of the Lich King. If you were wondering what else is sold on the Black Market Auction House, you can check out Wowhead's full list.

While the "axe" is a fun item, the one likely to cause more of a stir is the Reins of the Plagued Proto-Drake. As Wowhead notes, this reward was removed from the game after the arrival of tier 8, and has therefore long been unavailable to players who didn't get the achievement before that time. So, since the arrival of Ulduar, that drake has been completely unavailable to new players until now.

This raises a question which has been, and no doubt will continue to be, a hot topic of conversation surrounding the Black Market Auction House. Should old items such as these, which were a trophy for completing a fairly tricky achievement when it was relevant, now be available to players on the Black Market Auction House?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts from achievements

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, 10 little points are all that stand between us and a new ... something.

Many of the mounts this week be familiar to you if you've read The OverAchiever: Pimp Thy Ride, which I wrote before the Cataclysm content patch with an eye toward the number of people who wanted to slap a 310% mount on their toons before it had to be trained. Sadly, none of the mounts described in that article, barring one, will grant Master Riding for free now.

Also read:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Raid Rx: Heroic Halfus healing case study

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and Matticast, the new healing, raiding, and guild management podcast.

If there ever was an encounter in which Atonement-specced priests really stood out, this would be it. Aside from that, Halfus on heroic mode is a great test for healing leaders and raid leaders on the art of syncing defensive cooldowns.

Objective: Can your healing team help the raid survive the first minute of the encounter?

Once you get past that first minute, the hardest part is over, and your raid will get there. In this post, I'll show you a textbook case of cooldown planning from start to finish.

On the the matter of cooldowns, it looks like shaman will be getting their own fairly soon.

Spirit Link Totem: Reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such tha teach player end sup with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3 minute cooldown.

For restoration druids, Malfurion's Gift appears to reduce Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes. The actual effect of Tranquility has not changed. If I were to guess, I'd say it would get modified further for reduced incoming damage while the spell is being channeled. No confirmation yet either way.

So how does one survive Halfus in the 25-player raid?

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Raid Guides

The OverAchiever: Cataclysm achievements FAQ

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are pleased to discover that a certain noncombat pet's going to be a lot more fun to obtain.

Hey folks. This edition of OverAchiever was initially meant to cover archaeology achievements, but we've been getting so many questions on Insane in the Membrane and other problematic achievements that I decided to pre-empt the archaeology article. The Queue comments also tend to host a lot of achievement questions, so I want to answer as many of them as I can here. I apologize in advance to anyone who already knows some, most, or even all of the answers contained herein.

If you have a question concerning disappearing achievements, reappearing achievements, achievements that are being altered, or [insert issue du jour], hopefully you'll find the answer here. Additionally, there's some information on the Razzashi Hatchling that pet collectors might want to hear about (fair warning: It involves a Cataclysm spoiler related to Northern Stranglethorn content), in addition to notes on what's going on with the Shen'dralar, Dire Maul, Molten Core, and city reputation tabards. I ran both an Alliance and Horde character ragged on the beta to confirm everything in this article personally, and the information should be accurate as of the most recent beta patch.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The Queue: Again and again

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.

In this edition of The Queue, we answer a couple of new questions, and a couple of questions that we've answered approximately seventeen thousand times. Okay, not that many, but it certainly feels it. Hopefully between the new and the old there's something for everyone.

cactusham asked...

"Can Horde queue up for Stockades and Deadmines, and can Alliance queue up for Ragefire Chasm and Wailing Caverns?"

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Filed under: The Queue, Cataclysm

Ulduar drakes not being removed (yet)

Bornakk confirms something that a number of guilds still working on their Ulduar drakes have been wondering -- are they planning to eighty-six them as soon as patch 3.3 hits? Nope -- Blizzard hasn't changed anything from its previous policy concerning the drakes, and they'll still be warning us a month in advance if they do eventually decide to remove them. This started as a response to the removal of the Naxx-era drakes without much advance notice, which resulted in some very unhappy players being caught unawares.

What I always found interesting about the wording on Blizzard's policy is that they don't "currently" have any plans to remove the drakes at all, but they're keeping an eye on things. It makes me wonder if there's an ideal percentage of guilds or players they'd like to achieve the drakes each patch, and that numbers were short in Naxx and still short in Ulduar. The Naxx-era Glory of the Raider (heroic) was certainly uncommon and, for a competent guild, hinged almost entirely on their ability to get past the RNG-riddled and sometimes-buggy Immortal, then said to be the rarest raiding achievement in the game. For Ulduar, my guess is that achievements like Firefighter are probably the biggest stumbling block, although fortunately the achievements required for the meta are more dependent on skill and less dependent on RNG than Immortal. We'll keep an eye out for you, but for the moment, raiders, keep plugging away at those drakes.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mounts, Forums

Ulduar drakes not being removed anytime soon

Blizzard simply can't make up their minds about this, can they? The Rusted and Ironbound Proto-Drakes, which are rewarded for completing Glory of the Ulduar Raider on Normal and Heroic, were slated for removal at an unspecified time in the future after patch 3.2's launch. The reasoning was that it would be easier to acquire them with Coliseum gear, and they were meant for cutting-edge players only.

However, Eyonix has just announced that they are not planning on removing these proto-drake rewards from the achievement in patch 3.2, and furthermore, they don't plan to do it "in the foreseeable future." In the event that they do change their minds again, you are promised a one-month warning. So get back to those hard-modes!


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding, Mounts, Achievements

Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

This week I have a special request: I want any questions you might have about potential future expansions. Any questions at all are welcome, but I'm on a speculation kick recently, so next week's column will probably focus on the future and then we'lll be back to our regular deal after that. So no matter whether you think the Maelstrom could be next or something else entirely, ask!

Mark asked...


"Any chance that the Vrykul will be a playable race in a future expansion?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

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