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Posts with tag scryer

Know Your Lore: NPC evolution from classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

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 always hear about the big-name characters in Warcraft lore. Whether it's the heroic exploits of Varian Wrynn or the continuing saga of Thrall, big-name NPCs have been a constant in Warcraft novels and stories and in the game itself. But what about those lesser-known NPCs, the ones who aren't great heroes -- the bread vendors or the ones who send us to the ends of the earth for zhevra hooves? Do they just sit around all day, waiting for our inevitable return?

Yes and no. World of Warcraft isn't simply a game; it's a micro-world of characters who have their own day-to-day lives. The game itself has made considerable strides in incorporating lore and storylines through quests and in game cutscenes. But what few realize is how many strides those lesser characters have taken right along with everything else. Today we're going to take a look at some of this NPC evolution -- the steps taken to give World of Warcraft the feel of a living, breathing world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the Draenei

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.

Well, after last weeks extensive look into dwarven politics we're closing in on finishing off the Alliance. So far we've seen the night elves, the gnomes, and the dwarves – today we'll take a brief look at the Alliance race that hasn't had much to say since Burning Crusade: the Draenei.

Luckily Matthew Rossi has already written up an excellent post on the history of the draenei and their otherworldly origins. This post explains the corruption of the eredar at the hands of Sargeras, and the lone faction of eredar that escaped to become what we know as the draenei today. It's only been a couple of years at best from a timeline standpoint since the blue-skinned aliens made a smashing debut on Azeroth, yet they've been largely absent from the war efforts in Northrend -- what's left for the draenei, and what does their future with the Alliance hold?

The draenei race is quite possibly the most peaceful race the Alliance has on their side. While the other races of the Alliance are prone to conflicts and struggles over petty disagreements, the draenei only seem to strike out in defense. Their arrival on Azeroth wasn't pretty -- they ended up tearing up the landscape over on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst isles. While they were of course concerned about their fellow survivors, they were just as concerned with what they'd done to the land and the creatures on it -- as a society concerned with not only the Light of the naaru, but the elements of shamanism, the last thing they wanted to do was wreak havoc on a new world, especially since they'd just left a dying world behind.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Hoping for more titles, from both achievements and rep

Reader Bo sent us an interesting idea. Like many players, has done the Bloodsail grind -- he's killed many, many goblins in Booty Bay, and ascended to the highest ranks of the Bloodsail pirates, letting him have a Bloodsail Admiral's Hat, and the parrot that comes with it. And now, as of Wrath of the Lich King, there's even an achievement for doing the quest for the hat. But that's not enough for Bo and his fellow pirates -- they're lobbying hard on the forums for Blizzard to grant a title as well.

As cool as a title like "The Dread Pirate" would be, we're not sure whether Blizzard really needs to pass out any more rewards for the Bloodsails (you want something besides a hat and an achievement?). But it will be interesting to see just how titles and other little rewards come into play with achievements. We know that more titles are coming into the game, and since it's super easy to change those titles, you'd think Blizzard was going to give out plenty. "The Dread Pirate" or "Admiral" is not beyond the realm of possibility, to be sure.

I'm still rooting for something like "Boar-killer" or something even sillier -- special titles for folks who have completed all the quests in BRD once upon a time, or a special note for people who have made the switch from Aldor to Scryer. Bloodsail reputation might not be the right place to start putting rewards, but considering all this stuff Blizzard has us tracking, here's hoping we'll see a few obscure titles find their way above players' heads.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Achievements

WoW Insider Show Episode 33 now available

Yes, episode number 33 of our podcast is now up for download over at WoW Radio, and if you're a big fan of the show, it's a doozy. Since we haven't done our "normal" show in a few weeks (because of the interview with Xzin last time around), we decided to go all fan service, and caught up on all the shout-outs, fan email, and other fan shenanigans we usually do (there's even some Turpster love poetry). But even if you're not down with the silliness, there's lots of good WoW news in this week's episode, including:
  • Some good discussion about the Wrath alpha news and what it means
  • A look at what's going down on Sunwell Plateau, including the Aldor and Scyer neckpieces
  • And a little bit about the Gurubashi Arena in STV
  • Plus we answer all kinds of email questions, including rested XP in expansions, what's wrong with Blackout in a shadow priest spec, and whether we should call the new five man MrT or MgT
Lots of good stuff with John P, Turpster and myself. As always, if you have questions or comments for us, feel free to drop an email: send it to

And of course, you can always listen live -- we go live on the air every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio. Tune in next Saturday and every Saturday for the WoW Insider Show -- it's just like this very site, except in audio form.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Shattered Sun Offensive exalted reputation pendants make some regret their faction choice

While Blizzard has made some steps to homogenize the playstyle of the Horde and Alliance a bit with the whole Paladin/Shaman swap, they've also done a bit of experimenting in the Burning Crusade with allowing people to make choices about certain paths, namely the Aldor and Scryer factions.

While patch 2.4 has bought as an "end" to the Aldor/Scryer rivalry lore-wise, the mechanics remain the same: You cannot enter the other side's tier without being attacked, you can't use the other side's bank, and the item and shoulder enchant vendors will still only sell to those with proper faction. In addition, there's a new twist to the sides from this patch: At exalted reputation with the Shattered Sun Offensive, you can purchase 4 different neckpieces that have seperate bonus that depending on whether you're Scryer or Aldor.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Factions

Upper Deck previews MotL (and more loot card speculation)

Upper Deck has dropped three nice previews of their upcoming card set for the WoW TCG, entitled March of the Legion, set to hit store shelves in late November. The first preview is a look at how they're finally going to use those damage attributes on each card-- playing certain damage types will help open up new abilities on some card. The second preview looks at staff and dagger weapons for casters, and how UDE is bringing more of the online game abilities into the card game. And finally, the last preview looks at the addition of the Aldor and Scryer factions to the card game, as well as how Demons will enter into play. If you're a TCG player, are a must-read to find out how the new set is going to change the game.

And Boubouille at MMO Champion has even more word on the three loot cards that will be released with the set. UD hasn't officially announced what they are (though not for lacking of trying on our part-- WoW Insider is doing our best to get an official announcement on what loot cards will be available), but it looks like, according to code in the game client, that those items we originally thought were more toys for engineers are actually the loot items-- a dragon kite, a robot chicken, and a paper gyrocopter. Bou even discovered a spell for the dragon kite that says "Upper Deck" right there on it, so this is about as sure a confirmation as they come. March of the Legion, and the new loot cards, all drop on November 17th.

Update: Well there you go. Upper Deck apparently didn't like the leaks, and went ahead and confirmed all three loot cards. Look for a dragon kite, a paper airplane card, and a robotic homing chicken in a new deck near you.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Contests, WoW TCG

PTR Notes: New reputation ammo

MMO Champion has reported that new "Specialty Ammunition Vendors" have been discovered on the PTR in patch 2.3. These vendors, Archer Delvinar and Marksman Bova, can be found in once empty structures in the Scryer and Aldor areas, respectively, in Shattrath City. Not only do they sell the best types of normal vendor ammunition outside of Halaa, but they also stock ammunition that has reputation requirements. Instead of running over to the Cenarion Refuge in Zangarmarsh every time you need to stock up on Warden's Arrows, you can now buy the same ammo in Shattrath.

The same vendors also carry ammunition that is currently only available from vendors in Honor Hold/Thrallmar and the Caverns of Time. Currently the cost of all the ammunition sold by these vendors appears to be tied to Aldor/Scryer reputation level, but still requires the specified faction requirement to actually purchase and use.

Of course, the best news is that these vendors also carry a new type of ammunition. The Mysterious Arrows and Mysterious Shells require revered reputation with the Violet Eye and provide 46.5 additional damage per second. A stack of 200 costs 1 gold without any price reductions from reputation.

Clearly these new items are meant to fill the gap between Adamantite and Timeless ammunition and help hunters that are tackling Magtheridon, Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep increase their damage output. With the new Adamantite Stingers also being added 2.3, hunters will have more options than ever before when choosing a type of ammunition.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Items

Freshening up the battleground with new ideas

This idea has been floating around ever since we all realized there were two new opposing reputations in the Burning Crusade-- an Aldor vs. Scryer battleground. It would definitely be a fresh change of pace to line up alongside the opposing faction and have a chance to face off against your own friends and guildies. Of course, there's lots of coding work that would have to be done (as well as a little lore work-- Aldor and Scryer aren't exactly in open war at this point), but it would be a cool addition to the current battleground options.

And the forum thread that mentions the idea is actually full of great BG ideas-- a Team Deathmatch BG, multi-team CTF, and even an escort battleground. There's already that kind of thing in AV (you can run the quests that summon an NPC for you to follow around more than escort), but it would be neat to have a BG where you had to get an actual player from one place to another. Or maybe they could do it with an NPC-- run it in the Caverns of Time, and have the player escort someone in the history of Warcraft. Like Durnholde, but with players instead of an instance.

The other neat tidbit from this thread is that Ommra winkingly mentions siege engines as something she'd (he'd?) like to see in the BGs. So whatever news comes out about what's new in the battlegrounds, it's a pretty good bet that siege engines are almost upon us.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP

Insider Trader: Uldaman or bust!

Insider Trader is your weekly inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

It's a brave new world for young enchanters training in the mysterious ways of their craft. Enchanting's infamous artisan-level training roadblock used to demand that enchanters fight their way to a trainer located inside the Uldaman instance in order to train new skills, formula by formula. Nowadays, many players who own The Burning Crusade expansion can avoid this dastardly errand by porting across the Dark Portal to Outlands enchanter trainers. (No, you can't physically step through the portal until level 58 -- but you CAN accept a mage portal or warlock summons at any level -- and what a great place to be hearthstoned!)

As you'd expect, there are a couple of caveats to this solution. All but one of the enchanter trainers in the Outlands (including those in Shattrath City, Honor Hold, Thrallmar and The Stormspire in Netherstorm) are Grand Master Enchanters who train enchanters from a minimum skill level of 300. The lone Outlands trainer handling lower-level training is Enchantress Volali. Unfortunately, her persnickety choice of residence in the Scryer's Tier in Shattrath City puts her squarely off-limits to anyone who's chosen to ally with the Aldor and to all young Draenei, who are automatically friendlier with the Draenei Aldor. (Young Blood Elf enchanters, who are naturally on better terms with their kinsmen the Scryers, can visit Enchantress Volali without issue.)

If you're any race but Draenei and haven't yet chosen sides in the Aldor/Scryer faction tussle, you can train with Enchantress Volali in Shattrath City at the artisan level or below and with the Grand Master Enchanters above 300. But if you're a Draenei or less than neutral faction with the Scryers, you'll need to stick to the old-world trainers until you reach 300 -- and for artisan-level training, it's back to Uldaman for j00!

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Filed under: Enchanting, Tips, How-tos, Draenei, Insider Trader (Professions)

Ask WoW Insider: BC loot etiquette

Gather 'round for another Friday edition of Ask WoW Insider, where we publish reader questions for community feedback. Last week we looked at where the best class loot lists live, and this week we have a few questions regarding loot etiquette in instances involving a couple of popular BC drops. Jeffrey writes:
I've recently come across a few situations where I'm not sure of the proper etiquette, even though I've been playing for a couple years. This is mainly because new items have appeared that have blurred the lines in my mind.

1) In an instance, we find a locked chest but have no rogue. I however have a blacksmith key/seaforium charge that can open it. Should I open the chest (spending the mats i used for the key/charge) for myself or for a group roll?

2) A primal nether drops. I can use it to make a BoE item which I plan to sell for a large profit, but someone else in the group can use it for a BoP item for themself. How should I roll?

3) An arcane tome/fel armament drops and the group says need if you're scryer/aldor. I belong to this faction but am already exalted with them. How should I roll?

I'd appreciate feedback on what is the right thing to do in these situations, or if not necessarily right what is considered acceptable to do.
Do you or your guild have any set rules regarding the above scenarios? If you've encountered these situations on past runs, how did your group handle them? Is there an optimal solution to any or all three questions?

More Ask WoW Insider awaits you next week, but it needs your questions! Send us your burning conundrums to ask AT wowinsider DOT com.

Filed under: Items, Instances, Ask WoW Insider

Showin' that Aldor pride

This thread by Tenaciousp offers my sentiments exactly: Aldor rule, Scryers drool! Aldor assemble!

Ok, well, actually it's a cut-and-paste of an identical Scryer thread, but still, I'm all for a little faction pride. Besides the rewards and the turn-ins, I haven't heard a peep out of the big dueling factions in Shattrath City. Sure, there have been the occasional skirmishes (I can't believe you all did that to our soup!), and I make it a point to shout "Death to Scryers!" whenever I see an Arcane Tome drop, but there's not much else to speak of. Sure, there's different areas in Shattrath and in Shadowmoon Valley, and a few diffferent quests, but where's the faction-on-faction PvP or really any player-involved opposition between the two factions at all?

Now, hopefully more is coming in 2.1 and beyond-- I'd love to see those daily quests involve targets that the Aldor and Scryer have to fight over. And there are ways to pit the two factions against each other without actually pitting players against their own side. What about a repeatable quest that brought reinforcements to a periodic battle? As in, I bring armor scraps to Aldor Rise and every day at 3pm, the two factions have it out, with the winning faction making a special vendor available? Or it doesn't even have to be that complicated-- say whatever side brings the most turn-ins in a day gets an increased rep rate for the next 24 hours. Something to let us compete together and show a little Aldor/Scryer pride.

Whether you think the Aldorks are losers or the Scrybabies are whiners, it's clear that there's animosity between the red and blue in Shattrath. It's just a shame there aren't more ways for players to mix it up in game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Lore, Factions

WoW Moviewatch: Jimmy: A World of Warcraft story

This is what you call a tour-de-force of a WoW movie. It's a heartbreaking tale of two friends, two factions, and the funniest portrayal of what it's like to play WoW I've ever seen. Watch it and love it. (There are a few curse words, so it might be NSFW if you work in a monastery).

I laughed, I cried, I charged my fireball. And then I shoved it right in that guy's face! Great stuff. By the light of the moon-- *POOF*

[ Thanks, Salad! ]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Moviewatch

From Scryer to Aldor (and back again)

When we first heard that there would be two mutually exclusive factions in Outland, I knew it would happen, but here's the first time I've seen it in the wild: Coraline on LJ decided that Scryer wasn't the right decision for her warlock, and decided to grind her way back to the Aldor.

It can't be an easy process. As you know if you've done the Shattrath tour, doing quests for Aldor lowers your reputation with the Scryers, and vice versa. And there are three levels of hate for each faction-- you start at Unfriendly (depending on which faction you first chose to join), and then slowly fall down to Hostile, and then Hated. You can't actually get the normal rep quests for the other side until you reach Neutral, so if you want to switch sides, you have to go to Shattrath and get a special quest (for Scryer rep, it's Voren'thal's Visions, and for Aldor, it's Strained Supplies). That quest consists of a simple animal drop (basilisk eyes and spider venom sacs, both from Terrokar), and can be repeated all the way back up to Neutral.

Coraline says it's not actually that bad-- she went from Hostile to Unfriendly within about an hour of farming (which means she still has to fight to Neutral to start doing the normal quests). People working back towards Aldor are able to get silk from the spiders (that sells well on the AH), but unfortunately for repentant Scryers, the basilisks don't drop anything really good. They do drop Chunk O'Basilisk if you're a cook, and they can be skinned if you're a leatherworker, so there's that.

Anyone else made the tredge back between the Aldor and Scryer factions? Coraline doesn't say she did this, but I would: if you're leaving your faction, make sure to grab all the goodies you can. I would be completely impressed to see someone dual-wielding both the Vindicator's Brand and the Retainer's Blade at the same time (you don't actually need the rep to wield them, do you? Just to own them, I'd assume).

Update: We've got confirmation-- commenter shooter's guildie shows it is possible to wear both Aldor and Scryer gear at the same time. Could be a bug, but if you want to grind both factions for all the rewards, it seems you can do it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Economy, Quests, Factions

WoW Moviewatch: How I learned to AoE and make the Scryers love me

Although this video has probably the single worst song I've heard on a WoW vid, it does manage to impress me with a mage's AoE capabilities. (Not to mention the mere fact that he manages to play pretty well on what looks like 800x600 with no mods running.) I wonder how much +damage gear I'd need for Holy Nova to perfom like that. Oh, by the way, don't bother with the last minute of the video -- it's just the song finishing its torpid existence over a black screen.

Filed under: Mage, Features, WoW Moviewatch, Factions

Suggestions on implementing faction-neutral battlegrounds

Now that players are starting to grind up some real rep in Outland, we're definitely seeing more and more Aldor vs. Scryer sentiments-- Death to Scryers, by the way, because I'm Aldor to the Core(TM). And at least a few players have already suggested that the Aldor/Scryer rivalry might eventually lead to something new in PvP: an Aldor vs. Scryer battleground that finally mixes up the factions on either side, and lets Alliance play alongside Horde and vice versa.

Paladinsucks, in fact, says why wait? Aldor and Scryer battlegrounds would be cool, but there's a lot of benefit in making the old battlegrounds "faction-neutral" as well. All you'd have to do, PS postulates, is employ the Old Hillsbrad trick of costuming (when you enter Old Hillsbrad in the Caverns of Time, your character temporarily becomes Human), and boom, you've got a whole new world of PvP. If you were Horde, you'd sometimes be defending Warsong, and sometimes Silverwing. In AB, some Alliance players, playing as Horde, would guard the Farm. Strategies would be more complex, and, in perhaps the most intriguing benefit, queue times would cut in half.

There are drawbacks, though, too-- the fun of playing Horde is hating the Alliance, and vice versa, and if you had the enemy on your side, things just wouldn't be the same. PS doesn't offer any suggestions as to how you decide who plays what side, too-- is it random, or do people get to choose their "faction"? (Because if they chose, who would choose to play as Alliance in AV?) I would love to see some faction-neutral PvP in the game (besides the Arenas, which are every man for himself), but getting a new Aldor/Scryer battleground, in which I can play for my faction on my own character, seems a much better solution than completely revamping the old ones.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Factions

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