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Posts with tag shendralar

Know Your Lore: The tangled web of future lore

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.

Spoiler warning: There are spoilers for the novel Wolfheart in this post, as well as brief spoilers for Mists of Pandaria.

Lore and story writing can be an incredibly tricky thing. The trickiness is only amplified when you're dealing with a story as large as that of Warcraft. This is a universe that spans four original games and six expansions from 1994 until now. In other words, if Warcraft were a baby when it was born, it'd be a legal adult this year -- pretty crazy to think about. What's even crazier is trying to keep track of the myriad convoluted storylines that have come to pass since Orcs and Humans was released.

As of right now, we know that Cataclysm introduced a lot of different lore threads that have not and will not be resolved by Cataclysm's end. And we also know that there is plenty of new lore coming up in Mists of Pandaria. But as new lore, Mists doesn't really address those threads left behind in Cataclysm, at least not in the first iteration of the new expansion. This may change as patches are added later on down the road -- or we may be on our way to setting up for a shift in story that Mists needs to bridge.

So why don't we take a little peek at those stories left unaddressed and try to sort out what is yet to come?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Weapons of Lore: Quel'Serrar

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Thousands of years ago, even before the War of the Ancients came to pass, there were weapons of legend, weapons created not by mere mortal hands but by those who soared above. The secrets of the mighty blade Quel'Serrar were not lost to time; they were merely hidden away from prying eyes. Players in vanilla World of Warcraft searched the deserted halls of Dire Maul high and low for record of this story, contained in Foror's Compendium of Dragon Slaying, for once they had the book, they began the path to wield the blade of legend themselves.

Quel'Serrar was not a legendary weapon like Thunderfury or Sulfuras, but it was almost as rare. Unlike the Bindings of the Windseeker or the Eye of Sulfuras, the item required to begin the chain was BoE. This meant that very, very rarely you could find the item on the Auction House -- but if you did happen to be so lucky, you'd pay an arm and a leg for it. Only warriors and paladins could accept the quest for the blade, but the book would drop for anyone who was lucky enough to find it in the corridors of Dire Maul.

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Filed under: Lore

Insane in the Membrane no longer requires Shen'dralar reputation in Cataclysm

Are you one of the true crazies trying to complete Insane in the Membrane before Cataclysm? Things just might have gotten a little easier for you, as Blizzard has officially clarified issues surrounding the achievement. According to this post on the new community site, Insane in the Membrane will still be in Cataclysm, as will the Bloodsail Buccaneer faction. The Shen'dralar, however, are disappearing once Deathwing returns, and as such, their faction has been removed as part of the feat of strength. Read the whole post after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Story analysis and the misconception of "lolore"

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.

Today's post was supposed to be an introduction to the Wildhammer, a dwarven faction that will be responsible for bringing the shaman class to the forefront of dwarven society; however, plans have changed. As I was writing the article, I kept going back to the comments on last week's post and addressing issues and concerns brought up by readers, as well as thinking about the people out there who believe that the storytelling is "shoddy" or "unbelievable." So I'm putting the dwarves aside this week -- don't worry, they'll be back next week, I promise!

Some of Blizzard's decisions regarding new class and race combinations make more sense than others -- as stated last week, hunters aren't a big stretch for the imaginations of most players. Some take advantage of expanding upon existing lore, like the development regarding the forgotten eye of the Earthmother, An'she. There was a lot of commentary and discussion on the tauren paladin article regarding whether or not these decisions make sense, but what people seem to be overlooking is it's not a matter of whether or not these changes make sense.

What it is about is storytelling -- the construction of a believable story that progresses in a fashion that isn't too out of bounds. While the draenei race was a stretch in many player's minds, the basic fundamentals behind their introduction and integration into the Alliance during The Burning Crusade wasn't as far-fetched as people first thought. Yes, the original story of the draenei involved one of the biggest "whoops" moments in Warcraft's history -- but even the misstep with lore could be explained in a logical fashion when looked at in the correct light.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: History of the Shen'dralar

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.

There's been plenty of chatter regarding the upcoming expansion, and both Rossi and myself have been doing our best to fill in the background on lore figures and races that will play some kind of part in it. One of the questions I find myself asked a lot in regards to Cataclysm is how the new race/class combinations will fall into play lore-wise once the expansion launches.

The answer to that question is easier than you'd think -- most lore for these new race and class combinations already exists in one form or another in game. Over the next few weeks I'll be giving you some background and history into each class and race, and how these combinations make sense in the face of existing lore, as well as speculation on possible conflicts we might see in the future with regards to these choices. Please note, the following post may contain spoilers for the Cataclysm expansion -- if you'd rather avoid all discussion or speculation regarding Cataclysm, it'd be advised to steer away now.

Today we'll be discussing one of the most baffling of the new announcements -- night elf mages. Although the original announcement left some (including myself) horribly confused, later revelations made the choice perfectly logical. While they've been addressed briefly in the post regarding elven evolution, we're going to take a closer look at the Shen'dralar -- the Highborne that make their home in Dire Maul.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Urban Legends of Warcraft: Ashbringer

One of the more interesting facets of playing a game as extensive as World of Warcraft are the legends and mysteries surrounding the game, both inside and out. A lot of these legends, mysteries and unsolved puzzles have developed over time into urban legends -- stories that sound just true enough to be plausible, but usually end up being untrue, dead ends or simply unsolved mysteries that were never meant to be puzzled out. Today we'll be talking about a weapon whose origins were so mysterious and carried so many loose ends that it left players in a tizzy for years: Ashbringer.

The legend of Ashbringer started when World of Warcraft was originally released. The orange legendary weapon was discovered in the game files by data miners, and the stats and proc on the weapon were truly amazing. At the time, even epic weapons were extremely rare, so seeing something with an orange tag on it was more than a little unique and awe-inspiring. However, other than the datamined weapon, there was no indication of it appearing in game -- that is, until players slowly leveled from launch to their first steps into the Plaguelands.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: Elven evolution

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.

I love reading the comments on KYL. Sometimes you guys have some really great ideas, and sometimes you guys know just where to poke a hole in whatever fanciful theory I've got out for discussion -- but by and large, it's just nice to see people asking questions and thinking. The bonus to having comments, however, is that I can see where people are confused and put together something to straighten it all out. The subject today is elven evolution -- the difference between the night elves, blood elves, high elves, Highborne, Shen'dralar, quel'dorei, sin'dorei and all those other terms thrown out there that make the simple process of figuring out where all those elves originated incredibly confusing. Elven evolution is fairly straightforward; it's just the extra terminology that throws people.

All elven ancestry starts with the kaldorei, which means "children of the stars" in their native tongue. These guys are night elves, and they are the first elves that ever existed and the elves from which all elven ancestry on Azeroth originates. Don't think of them exactly the same as the night elves we can play in Warcraft today, but as a slightly older version, though they looked virtually the same. Malfurion, Illidan, Tyrande, Azshara ... All of these elves were descendants of the original kaldorei.

Where the kaldorei came from is up in the air, though there are multiple theories. The night elves believe that the kaldorei were originally their own race, a primitive group of nomadic, nocturnal creatures who settled by the Well of Eternity and were blessed by Elune, transformed and subsequently adopting the name kaldorei. Ancient troll legends suggest that those nomads who settled by the Well of Eternity were actually trolls that were turned into the first kaldorei. This is where the crux of that argument about the elves' origins stems from. The elves believe that the primitive group of nomads were simply early elves who hadn't evolved into "proper" elves yet, and the trolls believe that the primitive group of nomads were actually primitive trolls who split off from the Amani Empire.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The OverAchiever: Insane in the Membrane

Most of you are excited for 3.1 so you can start raiding Ulduar, or take advantage of the new class changes. But I know what some of you are on pins and needles for. It's the new title The Insane.

Insane In The Membrane is exactly what it sounds like -- an achievement for people who are completely nuts. To earn this title you must be willing to spend a lot of time destroying and raising obscure factions in Azeroth. I mean a lot of time. It requires that attain the following:

Honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers
Exalted with Everlook
Exalted with Ratchet
Exalted with Booty Bay
Exalted with Gadgetzan
Exalted with Ravenholdt
Exalted with Darkmoon Faire
Exalted with Shen'dralar

Yep.

If you want to get started on this brain-breaking journey, just follow the jump.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements, The Overachiever

Death Knight goes insane (in the membrane)


A Gnome Death Knight appropriately named Nutshell from Mug'thol reported on the forums that he had completed the requirements for the upcoming Achievement Insane in the Membrane. The Achievement, to be implemented in Patch 3.1, requires a character to gain Exalted reputation with the Steamwheedle Cartel (Everlook, Booty Bay, Ratchet, and Gadgetzan), Darkmoon Faire, Ravenholdt, the Shen'dralar, and Honored with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Unlocking this Achievement also rewards the fitting title 'the Insane', arguably one of the cooler titles in the new patch.

Most of the faction reputations listed aren't easy to grind, particularly the little known Ravenholdt faction in Hillsbrad Foothills. Most players who have been playing for years are unlikely to have considerable reputation with them nor the come-and-go Darkmoon Faire and the Dire Maul-based Shen'dralar. It's an impressive feat for any character, and even more impressive for a Death Knight -- Nutshell might possibly be the first one to complete it. Considering Loremaster Nutshell has 5870 Achievement points to date, it's probably not that surprising the player made the grind. To all of this, Bornakk simply responded, "you're insane."

Filed under: Death Knight, Achievements

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