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Posts with tag shattered-sun-offensive

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.4 -- Fury of the Sunwell

Fury of the Sunwell logo
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?

On March 4, 2008, Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dungeons, passed away. A few weeks later, Blizzard dedicated the final and meatiest patch of the Burning Crusade expansion to Gary's memory.

Unlike the raid- and druid-centric patch 2.1, the big nothing of 2.2, or the old world revamp (and another raid) of patch 2.3, Fury of the Sunwell had boatloads of new endgame content for everyone. Blizzard also provided a trailer for the patch that showed the history of the Sunwell and revealed Kael'thas' diabolical plan.

Redefining realm-wide events

Kael'thas had to be stopped. The naaru convinced the Scryers and the Aldor to work together, forming a new faction to retake the Sunwell at the Isle of Que'Danas. The Shattered Sun Offensive represented a massive evolution of the realm-wide event concept after the very popular Gates of Ahn'qiraj event ushered in the idea. Daily quests, introduced in The Burning Crusade, were the key.

The Gates event required players to gather and turn in crafting supplies. Though you certainly felt like a contributor by forking over dozens of stacks of cloth, the gameplay aspect was lacking. Only one guild per realm could participate in the complete quest line.

On Quel'Danas, everyone could experience the story as it played out. Instead of turning in items, your realm earned credit toward the next phase of the event when players completed dailies. Rather than a one-time event, the phases changed and unlocked different parts of the island to show the Offensive's progress. Eventually the united Scryers and Aldor built a town, complete with a blacksmith for repairs, alchemy lab, portal, and statues to honor the fallen. Each new phase also brought new dailies and new rewards that could be purchased with gold and "badges" (TBC's equivalent of valor points). All of these changes were permanent, so you didn't have to log in on a specific day in order to enjoy them.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 5.2 PTR: The return of the unlockable Isle

Patch 52 PTR The return of the unlockable Isle
For a brief moment in time, it looked as though the Krasarang Wilds in patch 5.1 were going to be a return, albeit a slightly tweaked one, to the days of Halaa in Burning Crusade. This ended up very much not being the case, but the area still acted somewhat like a fond reminder of the days of open-world PvP. However, patch 5.2 seems to be bringing back yet more of that Burning Crusade nostalgia with the Isle of Thunder -- an island that contains elements that will be unlocked over time.

Sounds suspiciously like the Isle of Quel'Danas, doesn't it? Well, there are a few notable changes to the dynamic. Because the Horde and Alliance are working separately this time, instead of united under the banner of the Shattered Sun Offensive, each faction gets their own progress bar towards unlocking goals. You can see a glimpse of the progress bar above. As players complete daily quests and objectives, the bar will fill up. Once it's full, another section of the Isle will unlock for players to explore.

Blizzard recently released an Under Development guide to patch 5.2 that clarifies this concept a little further.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

WoW Archivist: 5 years of daily quests

the Isle of Quel'Danas daily quest hub
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?

Just like Officers' Quarters, another WoW staple has recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Daily quests were added to the game a little over five years ago, on May 22, 2007, in patch 2.1.

One of Blizzard's big selling points for Mists seems to be its huge amount of daily quest content. Dailies are undoubtedly going to be a big deal at level 90. Blizzard has even lifted the daily quest cap that has stood at 25 for several years, so players will be free to do whatever dailies they like across the entire history of the game.

Dailies seem like such an obvious and critical element of WoW, but they weren't part of the vanilla game. In this week's Archivist, we'll explore how daily quests began, how they have changed over the years, and how Blizzard is trying to recreate the glory days of daily quests in Mists.

WTH is this blue exclamation point?

Has a single piece of designed punctuation ever been as famous as WoW's chubby yellow exclamation point? It even has its own merchandise.

Believe it or not, the exclamation point was one of Blizzard's biggest innovations when they created the game. No longer did you have to chat with every single NPC in town to figure out which one of them needed a favor -- a staple of RPG games for decades. Now you could tell at a glance which NPCs were willing to pay for a bit of random mercenary work.

I remember how odd that first blue exclamation point looked. They had been yellow, after all, for two and a half years. Changing its color seemed like sacrilege. After accepting the quest, it had the word "(Daily)" next to it in my log -- it felt like both a promise and a warning. Daily quests were an exciting new element, but they were not without their critics.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

How I learned to stop worrying and love level 70

It all started on a lark. Some friends wanted to run BWL, but for whatever reason I said, "Hey, why not do Black Temple instead?" In my opinion, BT is one of the best instances in the game, with some fantastic architecture and art and really excellent boss design, both visually and in terms of what the designers did mechanically at the time. The Reliquary of Souls encounter is still fascinating to watch, and I'm kind of a fanboy for Teron Gorefiend. To be honest, I still find myself wondering if Illidan was being controlled by Gul'dan, considering that Gorefiend, Gul'dan's first death knight, ended up gravitating to the Temple.

On our way to the Black Temple, as a lark, I asked if I could bring my level 70 warrior I'd started the week before Cataclysm dropped in order to test the new talent spec and leveling changes. Oh, and because I have a problem. I figured what the heck, I could maybe snag a couple of pieces of gear that would last into the mid-70s if I ever played her again.

Six drops later, I'd locked her XP gain and run Hyjal, Karazhan, ZA and Sunwell on her, and I am probably going to do so again.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade

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

Hi Arthas! Want some help slaughtering the innocent?


A guildmate of mine was healing a Culling of Stratholme run last night and finally broached a question that seems to have occurred to everyone who's helped Arthas take his utilitarian moral perspective on the road: "Why are we helping this guy?"

It's a question that people used to ask about Black Morass a lot too (indeed, the first boss, Chrono Lord Deja, will ask you that himself), but Black Morass was a little more cut-and-dried. Medivh unquestionably cost many lives in bringing the first Horde through his portal, but if the orcs never set foot in Azeroth, then the world would have fallen to the Legion. The Bronze Dragonflight is unusually blunt about the cause-and-effect; war breaks out among the human kingdoms, the Alliance never occurs, the new Horde is not present at Hyjal to defend against Archimonde's forces -- indeed, the Legion may very well have swept the world without Hyjal ever occurring. So, despite the destruction wrought by the first Horde's entry into Azeroth (and you could argue, because of it), Medivh must succeed in opening the portal.

I'm not sure it's quite that straightforward with "Old Strat" -- and questions about whether it is prompt some thought-provoking questions concerning Azeroth's past, present, and future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask A Beta Tester: So long, and thanks for all the fish

Yes, folks, the proverbial fat lady has sung, and this is the last "real" Ask A Beta Tester. Tomorrow we're going to run an AABT that showcases the best, funniest, and most prescient questions we received, and after that -- bowing to popular demand -- the column's going to change gears somewhat and become Ask A Guy (or Girl) Something, or...I dunno, whatever we decide to call it. AAGoGS is cumbersome but oddly endearing, I admit.

Deri (among others) asks...

At 77, approximately how much money will I have made levelling up through quests?


At 77 you'll be eligible to train Cold Weather Flying for 1,000g, which I assume is what this is about. Will you have made that much questing? I'd made...I want to say somewhere in the region of 800g leveling between 70 and 77, but I also tanked and healed a LOT of instance runs, so my quest income was on the low side. So I'd say it's probably going to be very easy to finance Cold Weather Flying just from Northrend quests. If you're occupied with a lot of instance runs, just keep in mind that you'll be leveling proportionately faster than you're making money, though.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Leveling, Factions, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Insider Trader: Faction recipes for enchanters

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

Last week we took a look at some of the more popular and requested enchants and how to get them for yourself. I also promised that I'd continue the faction recipe series by taking a look at enchanting for this week.

So far, I've talked about the following professions and which factions hold appropriate recipes:
Here is a complete list of the factions to which any enchanter should "suck up" and how far you'll need to take it:
  • Shattered Sun Offensive, honored.
  • Consortium, revered.
  • Cenarion Expedition, exalted.
  • Thrallmar/Honor Hold, exalted.
  • Keepers of Time, exalted.
  • Lower City, exalted.
  • Sha'tar, exalted.
  • Violet Eye, exalted.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Features, Factions, Guides, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Insider Trader: Faction recipes for jewelcrafters, part two

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

For the past several weeks, Insider Trader has been examining the recipes that craftsmen can acquire from factions by earning reputation with them.

So far, we've covered:
Last week, we covered several factions that offer jewelcrafting recipes, but because of the sheer number available, are continuing with the last five factions this week.

The first five factions listed here can be viewed by checking out last week's edition of Insider Trader, while the last five factions, in bold text, will be covered today.
  • Violet Eye, honored. (Karazhan)
  • Thrallmar or Honor Hold, revered.
  • Lower City, revered.
  • Aldor or Scryers, revered.
  • Sha'tar, revered.
  • Keepers of Time, revered.
  • Scale of the Sands, revered. (Mount Hyjal)
  • Cenarion Expedition, exalted.
  • Consortium, exalted.
  • Shattered Sun Offensive, exalted.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Features, Factions, Insider Trader (Professions)

Breakfast Topic: Does the levity mess up the lore?

Warning: Wrath spoilers ahead!

Blizzard's pretty good at Lore when they want to be, with the whole 2.4 storyline, the Battle of Ahn'Qiraj, and many epic storylines promising to come out of Northrend. At the same time, they also have their own offbeat brand of humor that is never far gone from their design philosophy, and it shows up in their stories too.

Sometimes it serves them well and adds a bit of levity, but other time, it seems to take on a life of its own, a life that can strangle what could have otherwise been something compelling and interesting. Zul'Aman is perhaps the most pertinent example. What could have been the last attempt of the Farstriders to shut down the troll menace threatening their people, what could have been a revival of the Troll killing tradition of the Arathi, or an examination of the High Elves who stayed loyal to the Alliance but still hate the Amani, instead turned into a cheap redneck treasure hunt. It killed much of the allure of the zone and turned what could have been a epic struggle against a former hero of the Horde into a run of the mill bunny bashing session.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, Lore, RP, Wrath of the Lich King

Insider Trader: Faction recipes for alchemists


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

Last week, Insider Trader examined the factions that a new tailor in Outland will need to buddy up to, including what recipes they had to offer, and how far you'd need to go.

Today, we will continue through the series with the following guide to faction recipes for alchemists in Outland. Here is the quick breakdown of what you will need to grind:
  1. Honored with Honor Hold or Thrallmar.
  2. Honored with the Violet Eye (Kara).
  3. Revered with Kurenai or Mag'har. *This one may not be worth it.
  4. Revered with Scryers. Aldor has nothing for alchemists.
  5. Exalted with the Cenarion Expedition.
  6. Exalted with Sporeggar.
  7. Exalted with Lower City.
  8. Exalted with Shattered Sun.
  9. Exalted with the Sha'tar.
  10. Exalted with the Keepers of Time.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, The Burning Crusade, Factions, Guides, Making money, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions)

Official SSO quest guide


The official US website came back up an hour or two ago, and with it came a "reputation tips" guide for the Shattered Sun Offensive. Now I asked myself when I saw this, of all the factions, why SSO? They're one of the easiest, not to mention most profitable, factions out there; surely people can just do a bunch of dailies and get to Exalted in a week or so.

However, it turns out that although this presents itself as a faction guide, what it really is is a quest guide. It covers all the Isle of Quel'Danas daily quest as well as the SSO-associated Outland dailies. While you won't find anything new in there if you've done the quests a few times, newcomers to the Isle may find some useful tips, such as:
I must confess, I've stopped doing the dailies altogether now, as I'm Exalted on both my 70s and have faster ways to get gold when I need it. But it is certainly one of the more enjoyable reputation grinds.

Filed under: Quests, Factions, Guides

Peacekeepers who don't keep the peace


A couple of people have posted about the Shattered Sun Peacekeepers slacking off on their jobs lately, quite possibly thanks to something Blizzard fed them in Patch 2.4.2. In their reports, they complain about Peacekeepers attacking them for no reason, sometimes not even in retaliation for attacking (or defending yourself against) a member of the opposing faction. I can actually empathize with this as I encountered the ill-placed wrath of the Peacekeepers myself when I rezzed my wife's toon in front of the Staging Area. Without having done anything other than rezz, the Peacekeepers promptly charged and made short work of me.

In my experience, I have found that the Peacekeepers around the Shattered Sun Staging Area have been slacking off. In fact, my wife's toon was ganked right in front of the building and the so-called Peacekeepers did absolutely nothing. Sensing a bug, my wife wrote a ticket and got a somewhat rude e-mail response saying that -- you guessed it -- it was working as intended. An Alliance guild on my server seemed to be aware of the fact and exploited it to full effect, killing solo players who could seek no refuge under the apathetic -- or even hostile -- Peacekeepers.

According to reports, it's a known bug -- one player even made a video to document it -- but so far Blizzard has turned a blind eye to it. I got a more sympathetic response from my GM who at least mentioned he'd look into the situation. An in-game GM even reset the Peacekeepers in order to see if it would change anything (it didn't). I don't mind gankage... it's part of being on a PvP server. But when an area is supposedly a sanctuary, you don't expect to go through the hassle of a fight. Even worse, you shouldn't have the Peacekeepers tossing your butt around when you're being peaceful yourself. If things keep going the way they are, The Shattered Sun Offensive should probably downsize or hire some more useful temps.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, PvP, NPCs

Disenchanting for friends and the Sunwell

So Leafshine has a problem: She's got way too much stuff to disenchant. Her friends have been sending her things to disenchant for quite some time, letting her keep the ingredients. But now there's two things different: They're sending her droves of level 70 items, and they want the materials back.

If you've played the level 70 game and done the Shattered Sun Offensive dailies, you probably know where this is going. On a good day, doing the complete Outland daily circle, I can come out with somewhere around 10 disenchant-worthy items between regular drops and Shattered Sun Supplies. Leafshine says she can sometimes spend up to 10 minutes working on Disenchanting, and I can believe it. Every time I process a batch of greens on my disenchanter, not only does it take some time to get through with them, then I have to process multiple piles of reagents, and figure if I'm going to store them, sell them, or use them to make a tailoring blue which I will then disenchant into a shard.

If added disenchanting for friends in there, I could spend all the day disenchanting. I have to commend Leafshine for putting up with it, and I don't think it would be a bad idea to start charging a disenchant fee - even if it's as simple as taking a cut of the materials. It's one thing to expect a disenchanter to be ready to disenchant dungeon blues that no-one needs, but it seems like another to mail your stuff to them and expect them to take their time to disenchant it free of charge. I know that friends should help each other out with tradeskill stuff, but there's a limit. Yeah, we're friends, we've raided together, but if I expect you to take 10 minutes out of your play time to help me out, throwing you some gold for your time seems like nothing more than common courtesy.

Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Making money

All the World's a Stage: Free your mind

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Some people don't want to worry about staying in character; they just want to come home, play a game and chill out. That's fine, they have the choice to be a regular player and do what they enjoy. But for those of us who seek the path of the roleplayer, we ought not to stop there.

We spend a lot of time in WoW doing all the same things other non-roleplayers are doing, whether it's questing, instances, or PvP. In the process, it can be easy to let one's character slowly drift away from a genuine personality, and into a mere avatar for your own personality as a gamer in a computer game. After all, your character must do a lot of things in order to progress, many of which are game-oriented goals rather than story-oriented goals. You need boss loot, Badges of Justice, Arena points and a bunch of other things that don't always translate well into very interesting character motivations.

It's easy to rely on old standby motivations so much that they become excuses. We might say, for example, "I'm trying to help the Shattered Sun Offensive to prevent Kil'Jaeden from entering Azeroth!" or "I'm hoping to attack Pathaleon the Calculator and take from him his prized sword: The Sun Eater!" And these are fine reasons for characters to do things, but we must remember, there's nothing really new or interesting about them. Every one wants to prevent disaster, or acquire new weapons -- but what about such a desire reveals who your character really is? How can you make normal gaming goals and activities into an opportunity for interesting performance and immersion in a fantasy world?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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