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Worgen starting zone preview from Scrolls of Lore

In lieu of providing any new information on Cataclysm in the wake of BlizzCon, Blizzard's been showing the goblin and worgen starting zones at a lot of major gaming conventions, which means a good handful of players have had the chance to try them out. Nostra from popular lorecrafting site Scrolls of Lore is one of those handfuls, and they've written up a fantastic walkthrough of the worgen starting zone, starting from your character's royal connections and subsequent infection and culminating in Deathwing's cataclysm.

What's not explained (so far, likely because no one's able to get that far yet) are how the night elves play into the whole worgen "thing" as shown in the Cataclysm trailer, but there's still a lot of new information on phasing, quests, and scenery in Gilneas besides what we've already covered, as well as accompanying photos. It's definitely worth a read.

Hopefully Blizzard will continue to fill in more blanks in the worgen storyline as we get closer to the expansion's release, or maybe even update the Cataclysm site more than once every four months. In the meantime we can rely on sites like Scrolls of Lore to give us exhaustive previews of public demos like this one.

Thanks, Nostra!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Expansions, Cataclysm, Worgen

The Eye of Sauron makes an appearance in Wrath of the Lich King


The ultimate evil in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is represented by a large eye sitting atop a gigantic tower in a desolate and war torn land. It is one of the most iconic images in not only fantasy literature, but also in recent cinematography. Just about anyone who has paid attention to movies in the past eight years would be able to pick the Eye of Sauron out immediately, and I would have to imagine just about everyone playing WoW would be able to as well.

The Eye of Sauron makes an appearance in Wrath of the Lich King in the Death Knight starting zone. It goes under the name of the Eye of Acherus. In the image at the top of the article you can see the two side-by-side – the Eye of Sauron on the left, and the Eye of Acherus on the right. Arthas himself directs you to control it and use it to gather data from New Avalon, a nearby Scarlet Crusade fortification.

Take a look at the gallery below for images of the quest, what you do during it, and how everything appears.

Filed under: Walkthroughs, Quests, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Sign My Charter, a new community build around charter signing

We've all done it. You're sitting there, grinding away, minding your own business. Or (more likely) you're in a city, leveling up a profession or selling some things at the AH. And then, over the world chat it comes: "Can anyone help me sign my charter?"

The guild charter is a game mechanic that's never really been questioned -- to start up a guild, you have to grab a charter from an NPC, and then get nine other people (not characters, people, as alts on the same account can only sign once) to sign it. But in many cases, a guild isn't even planning to have nine other people. And so, they come, the charter signers, asking and sometimes even paying to get nine signatures on their guild charter.

The mechanic is a good one -- it keeps people from starting guilds lightly (or exploiting the guild interface too much) without actually being a big barrier to entrance. Some people are happy to sign charters, others not so much. I like St. Andrews Girl's approach over on WoW LJ -- she's actually started up a community of people willing to sign on and sign charters to get guilds started. Do you happily sign charters or would you rather people leave you alone? Sign My Charter is pretty empty right now, but you never know -- maybe there's a whole world of people out there willing to help guilds get off the ground.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds

Best starting race


I've been leveling a few Draenei alts off and on and finally figured out just why it is that I keep rolling the damn things in addition to my beloved Tauren; their starting quests rock. You wake from stasis, meet the locals, save a princess, make early ties to the Alliance and find out why there's a good reason the some of 'em won't trust you right off the bat, discover nefarious deeds afoot, fight a dragon, and then save your people and get a cool tabard. "Find your way back to the Outland, Hero of Argus," Exarch Admetius tells you, in a nice preview of things to come, and Velen has a good lore moment with you shortly afterwards.

Having leveled a toon out of every starting area to at least 20, it's hard not to notice that some areas make it a lot easier than others. I don't mean the general ease of leveling per se, but just how fast the time seems to fly by. For all that a certain percentage of the playerbase frowns on RP on non-RP servers, most peoples' favorite quests do have an element of RP to them, or at least the RP sense of being fully engaged with the world. And in that respect the Draenei starting zones are, in my opinion, unparalleled. If I had to rank them --

Read more →

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Leveling, Factions, RP, Alts

Choosing your first pet

Another new service provided by Mania's Arcania is a series of in-depth articles about how to choose your first pet when you're just starting out leveling your hunter for the first time. She covers the starting zones for each race, and highlights the pros and cons of all the best pet choices in each zone. So far she's covered the orcish, night-elven, and tauren starting areas, and more are sure to come.

If anyone is starting out with a hunter character for the first time, her guide is the best I've seen on this topic, especially if you really care about the details. Most beginning hunters just choose what seems nice to them at the moment, of course, (or whatever their friends recommend to them), but it's nice to have a special recourse for those who like to do all the right research and make such choices wisely.

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Guides

Starting a guild from scratch

I don't think Scott has ever covered this topic in his Officers' Quarters column, but it might be a good one: how exactly do you start a brand new guild from scratch? Actually this is pretty close, but even that column doesn't get to the nitty gritty of bringing a guild from an idea in someone's head, to a group of 25 people raiding successfully every week. It seems such a tough job that it's a wonder guilds have succeeded at all.

I have only formed my own guild once, and it wasn't in World of Warcraft-- a group of people I grouped with in another online game thought "Silver Monkeys of Death" would be a good name for a guild, and so, strangers though we were, we paid the fee and grouped up. It lasted about a week. The only way I can see a guild really succeeding is if you have a few people who know each other in real-life to support it-- if you can get a chain of about 10 people who know each other really well (as in friends of friends), then you're on your way to getting a good guild rolling.

But other than that, I can't really see it happening. I'm not talking about guilds who move from game to game-- I'm talking about guilds that are supposedly formed by people who've met each other only in game. Is it really possible for a group of people who have only met each other in game to actually form a full-fledged raiding guild?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding

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