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Posts with tag ragnaros

Hearthstone: The Rock, a paladin deck


The meta has changed! Among the classes, the gap between best and worst has narrowed significantly. Today we'll examine a couple of emerging paladin decks. Their hero power is called Reinforce which generates a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. The one we're looking at today is aptly titled The Rock. You'll find out why in a few moments.

Read on for the full deck list!

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 6 - Cataclysm Ends

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.

Let's be up front about this. The Cataclysm was Deathwing himself. The events were the result of Deathwing's assault on the world of Azeroth - his eruption from Deepholm, his rampage through the Twilight Highlands, his summoning of Ragnaros into Mount Hyjal, the machinations of his minions. Deathwing, in all his rampaging insanity, was exactly what he claimed he was. He was the end of the world, and had he not been stopped, Azeroth would be no more. From the Twilight Highlands to the depths of Vashj'ir, the events Deathwing set in motion unraveled the world.

Let's look over the world, cast our eyes from the jagged peaks of Hyjal to the submerged depths of Vashj'ir, descend into Deepholm and then comb the deserts of Uldum for answers to the question - what did the mad dragon want? Why did his Twilight's Hammer erect their bastion in the Twilight Highlands, where the Maw of Iso'rath erupted from the very soil? The old gods seemed on the verge of their ancient goal, thanks to Deathwing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO

I was perusing the forums (like you do) when I came across this forum thread from poster Xewie, and I found it an interesting place to start thinking from. Xewie's points aren't entirely ones I agree with - I frankly found Mists of Pandaria one of the richest expansions in terms of lore and story and feel that anyone who dismisses it simply because there are pandaren in it is deliberately and willfully blinding themselves to an excellent ride with some astonishing highs and lows - but there's a certain truth in the points about the RTS vs. WoW itself. As others (including our own Michael Sacco) have pointed out, Garrosh Hellscream is really one of the first big lore characters we've had in World of Warcraft who was born in the MMO, evolved over its course and became a faction leader and finally an end villain.

I think part of the problem is that the RTS features these characters, so even when it kills a few (like Terenas Menethil) it offers up a few more. But the MMO features us, ultimately, so when we put down Lady Vashj or Arthas, there's no immediate replacement. To be sure, there have in fact been tons of new faces over the course of World of Warcraft - Ragnaros, C'thun, Nefarian were all first introduced in classic WoW, not the RTS. The problem is, we introduce these characters and then, well, we dispatch them. Sometimes, like Ragnaros, our first encounter with them isn't a final one, but even if we know they'll eventually be back, it's not like their luck will hold out forever. I called this the "Joker problem" once, and to a degree I think it is an issue for the MMO.

However, does it follow that we need an RTS to create stories? Since I think Mists of Pandaria did an amazing job of building up the story, and in fact I'm really much more of a Cataclysm booster than most, I don't agree with that idea. In fact, in many ways, WoW has done more to broaden and expand the Warcraft setting than the RTS ever did.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: WoW's first legendary quest line

Thunderfury falls from the sky
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Not every amazing weapon is legendary. WoW has seen plenty of great weapons come and go without a single orange letter in their tooltip. But let's face it: legendaries are the most interesting and coveted items in the game.

In patch 5.4, many players who have never before been able to equip a legendary item will have their first opportunity, thanks to Wrathion's schemes. The quest line for our legendary cloaks has been the longest and most elaborate legendary quest line to date, spanning over multiple tiers of raiding.

But how did it all begin? What was WoW's first legendary quest line? Let's take a look back to remember the legend of Thunderfury.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore: The rise of the Dark Shaman

Know Your Lore The rise of the dark shaman
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.

We had warning that this was coming. When Ragefire Chasm was given an overhaul in Mists of Pandaria, the changes didn't escape the notice of players -- but nobody really knew the extent of what was going on. Remnants of the Twilight Cult from Cataclysm could be found in the depths of Ragefire, carrying insignias that noted they were part of a new order -- not Twilight Cult, but something quite possibly far darker, called the Dark Shaman.

These shaman were highlighted briefly in the novel Tides of War, as part of Garrosh's assault forces on Northwatch Hold. While the question of how they came to be seems to be fairly self-explanatory, there's a little more to the story than previously thought. It stretches all the way back to the days of Wrath of the Lich King, and the discovery of a different, new, hardy race of warriors and shaman that were far more used to doing what was necessary to survive, than what may or may not have been right.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The beauty of classic WoW's Molten Core

Ragnaros
Back in the days of WoW's original release, Molten Core was, in many ways, the raid. It wasn't the only raid, and it certainly wasn't the only raid that left a lasting impression on the consciousness of WoW players. Nonetheless, if you were raiding in classic WoW, you started with Molten Core, and that experience inevitably shaped the way raiding has been perceived ever since. What was it exactly about Molten Core? Was it the sprawling, maze-like dungeon (which didn't have a map at the time)? Was it the memorable boss fights and quotes? Was it the iconic gear drops? Was it dealing with the reality of trying to organize 40 players into their different roles and individual responsibilities?

I'd say all of the above, to an extent. The first time you do anything new, be it visiting a city or raiding in a video game, there is a certain significance to the occasion that can never truly be replicated. As the first big raid most classic WoW players experienced, Molten Core has had a special place in our collective hearts for a long time now. Let's take a trip down memory lane with a look at some of the unique and fun aspects of Molten Core, many of which I miss but honestly would not want to have to deal with again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Know Your Lore: WoW for Dummies, Act I: Horde

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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.

Once upon a time in vanilla WoW, there was a very different view regarding the ongoing Alliance vs. Horde debate. To Horde players, the Alliance storylines were interesting, complex, and contained epic moments that had to be seen to be believed, like the original reveal of Katrana Prestor's true identity in Stormwind. The Horde had no equivalent to this, and thus it was assumed that there was undue Alliance favoritism going on.

It sounds weird given today's somewhat more balanced treatment of both Alliance and Horde stories, but there it was. And when you look back at the original release of WoW and the story behind it, you'll see where that viewpoint came from. Even though the Horde had their own storylines, those stories were basically branching off from the far more epic (in the opinion of some players) Alliance versions.

What was the Horde all about in vanilla WoW? ... oddly enough, the Alliance.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: WoW for Dummies, Act I: Alliance

Know Your Lore WoW for Dummies, the vanilla years Act I
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.

World of Warcraft was originally released in the US on November 23, 2004. That is eight years of our lives that we've been playing this game ... for some players. For many players however, their experience with WoW began in Burning Crusade, or Wrath, or Cataclysm -- or even right now with Mists of Pandaria. And because of this, it means these players have missed out eight years worth of lore and story from before they began to play.

One of the questions and suggestions I see pop up most frequently, be it on Reddit, Twitter or even WoW Insider, is what happened during all of that time? What was the story behind these expansions? Sure, there are novels and comics aplenty available for reading, but these are side aspects to the original games that didn't really tie into the game so much. The game itself had its own story going, particularly in those first couple of expansions.

So let's step back in time and take a look at WoW and the basic ongoing story that has kept it going all these years -- not the novels, but the game itself. Get ready for WoW for Dummies: the vanilla years.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Mists of Pandaria lowers heroic raid mount drop rate

Mists of Pandaria lowers heroic raid mount drop rate
If you're a rare mount collector and haven't gotten your hands on the mounts dropped by heroic Ragnaros or Deathwing, you might want to hurry. On the release of Mists of Pandaria, the drop rate for these mounts will be reduced. The same thing happened at the release of Cataclysm to the rare mounts that dropped from Yogg-Saron on his highest difficulty setting and the heroic version of the Lich King encounter, if you'll recall.

This means you have a month and a half to get a group together and kill these encounters on heroic for a guaranteed drop. Please note that, according to Draztal, this change will occur on the release of Mists itself, Sept. 25, and not with the pre-release patch 5.0.4 that comes out this month. So even after the talent systems change, you'll still have some time to farm for your mount. Get cracking.

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, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: A requiem for Staghelm

Know Your Lore Archdruid Fandral Staghelm 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.

He was in fact a leader, though his influence refused to extend beyond the kaldorei. And in some eyes, he was a madman bent on destroying kaldorei civilization. A would-be murderer. A man riddled with a lust for power that took him so far over the edge that he quite literally burned any and all bridges with the rest of kaldorei society. An angry, hollow shell of a man bent on revenge for a crime that was the fault of no one.

To others, he was a father, one who cherished his son over everything in the world. His radical ideas often clashed with those of higher rank, yet none could argue the depths of his power. And still more could argue that Archdruid Fandral Staghelm wanted nothing more than the ideal kaldorei society, free of entanglement from the affairs of others and led with strong, almost military precision.

He wanted what was best for his people and his family, but there always seemed to be something in his way.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The mystery of Morgan's Militia

Know Your Lore The mystery of Morgan's Militia
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.

Who are these guys? Is Morgan a first or last name? If it's Morgan's Vigil, how come she was never seen there? Where did she raise this Militia of hers?

On the surface, Morgan's Militia seems fairly straightforward. They've been in the Burning Steppes for years now. Those of us who played Alliance back in classic can remember them and their camp at Morgan's Vigil, where they could gather various quests to penetrate Blackrock Depths and Blackrock Mountain. When Cataclysm revamped the old world, we finally were introduced to Morgan herself. Morgan's purpose in invading Blackrock Depths is to start the process of reclaiming the Steppes, formerly the Redridge Mountains before the destruction caused by the summoning of Ragnaros to Azeroth.

Morgan tells those she's willing to work with (Alliance players) that she is a survivor of the creation of the Steppes and that she intends to wage war against the Dark Irons and Ragnaros until she finally has defeated them utterly and can turn her attention toward building a new kingdom in the Steppes, one dedicated to justice and peace. As she herself says, she's there to fight for what's rightfully hers.

The only problem is, what exactly is that? What's going on with Morgan's Militia? What right do they have to start their own kingdom in the Burning Steppes, especially while flying Stormwind's colors and seeking assistance from the Alliance in general? And it's not like they're hiding that they plan to build an entirely new nation right in the middle of the Redridge Mountains, either. They're quite up front about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm
Remember this guy?

As we prepare for Mists of Pandaria, it's beneficial to look back and capture the good memories of raids past. After some hard thinking, I've compiled a list of the five Cataclysm raid encounters that were, in my opinion, the best and most memorable of the expansion. While it's difficult to get the same experience today, due to gear scaling and difficulty nerfs, these encounters represent examples of things that Blizzard got right and we'd like to see more of.

5. Halfus Wyrmbreaker, Bastion of Twilight

OK, so the trash clear wasn't the most entertaining experience ever, but this opening boss in Bastion of Twilight hit all the right notes. His companions rotated on a weekly basis, forcing your raid to adapt just a little bit every time, but not so much to significantly alter the encounter. The intense healing requirement at the beginning of the fight provided a good challenge for healers, the add swaps kept the tanks busy, and the enrage timer was well-tuned for DPS.

Most importantly, though, all of that stuff happened at an unusual time in the fight -- the beginning. Most typical raid encounters increase in difficulty late in the fight, leading to a tedious learning process where bored raiders sleepwalk through the learned early minutes before reaching a point where they can challenge themselves and learn. Not this encounter; the majority of the time, you were heading for a win or a wipe within the first minute.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Weapons of Lore: Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker

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We spend an extraordinary amount of time in World of Warcraft collecting loot of various shapes and sizes. Whether it's tier sets, trinkets or other best in slot items, a lot of players devote themselves to getting the best of what there is to offer. Enter the legendary weapons of the world -- weapons so powerful, so rare, that they are viewed as the best of their kind ... well, at least until another expansion drops with better stuff.

But these weapons aren't just thrown into the world with no explanation. The legendary items of the world are legendary because they are the stuff of legend -- the subject of tales told through time, whether old or new. Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, is arguably one of the oldest of these weapons. Its story begins at the dawn of creation, when the elements of the world waged war at the behest of the Old Gods.

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Filed under: Lore

Know Your Lore: Cataclysm for Dummies, Act II

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.

So, Act I of our Cataclysm for Dummies guide went over the basics of Cataclysm -- how it came to be, just who that Deathwing guy is, anyway, and why he's so annoyed with the world in general. We also found out why we're going to all those new level 80 to 85 zones and, more importantly, why we're wandering around in three different raids in three completely different locations around the world. If you made it through the basics, congratulations! You're caught up through patch 4.0.

But we're in patch 4.3, aren't we? And you've probably still got questions. Questions like: What's up with the troll dungeons -- didn't we kill those guys already? And why did we have to go fight Ragnaros again? Why is Thrall friendly as all get-out with the Dragon Aspects? Why do we have to do all this silly time travel? The good news is, by the time you're done reading this guide, you'll totally understand what Cataclysm is all about.

Please note: There are spoilers here for the novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects. If you're still planning on reading it, you may want to do so before you hit this recap.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Cataclysm lore for Dummies, Act I

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.

Are you super familiar with Warcraft lore? Can you name all the dragon aspects, what they were created for, where they got their powers? Do you have a working definition of the Dragon Soul, what it is, what its other name is, and why it's important? Do you know who Sinestra was before she was a torn-up, reanimated corpse in the bottom of the Bastion of Twilight? Are you related to the Red Shirt Guy? Are you the Red Shirt Guy? Then this post is likely not for you.

But if you've been running the Raid Finder like a fiend, killing dragons and elementals and minions left and right, and suddenly found yourself wondering why, exactly, you were fighting in Wyrmrest Temple, this is for you. If you're wondering why Thrall is suddenly pals with the Dragon Aspects, this is for you. If you're wondering why exactly Deathwing is such a huge major threat and what's with all this running around you have to do, this one is for you.

Let's take a quick sweep through the entirety of Cataclysm and recap what's happened. Better yet, let's sum up.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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