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Posts with tag stormwind

The OverAchiever: In which Alliance has it much worse than Horde

The OverAchiever Sorry, Alliance
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are grateful to play Horde.

This past week, I was tabbed out of the game writing an OverAchiever on Bloody Rare as a follow-up to our guide on Northern Exposure when something interesting started happening in the background. In the sliver of laptop screen dedicated to WoW, the chat channels exploded with warnings that the Alliance was attacking Orgrimmar. Given that the Midsummer Fire Festival is still going on with lots of players busy stealing enemy fires, this isn't particularly unusual. I shrugged and went back to work.

And yet, the warnings just kept coming. Curious, I tabbed back into the game to discover that a full 40-man Alliance raid was fighting its way to Garrosh Hellscream. Other players said that none of the other Horde leaders had been attacked, so I can only assume the raid was starting For the Alliance! with the toughest foe among them.

Now, Garrosh is by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near as popular as Thrall was, but lots of Horde players are still willing to defend him from attack because, well, he's got his moments. Orgrimmar's central district quickly became a lagfest of epic proportions as dozens of players who'd been gossiping in trade or loitering around the Auction House rushed to defend Garrosh. The Alliance raid was ultimately defeated, but they rallied and tried again -- unsuccessfully -- an hour later.

This was the first of three days that I saw the same Alliance raid desperately trying to kill Garrosh, and something started to niggle at me by day two. Namely, For the Alliance! and For the Horde! are among the very few achievements that are significantly tougher if you play one faction over the other.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Know Your Lore: King Varian Wrynn, or: How I learned to love the jerk

Know Your Lore King Varian Wrynn, or how I learned to love the jerk 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.

King Varian Wrynn is a jerk. He's angry, he's rude, he's deliberately inflammatory. Despite the moments of kindness we've seen from Varian, they're just small moments. Yes, he let Saurfang retrieve the body of his son for Alliance players in Icecrown Citadel to witness. But he still holds a deep and unmitigated hatred for the Horde and everyone in it, including Thrall. He will quite happily talk about scouring the Undercity and purging it of all Forsaken, and he seems to be of the opinion that the only good orc for the most part is a dead one.

But his attitude issues aren't limited to the Horde. He is endlessly frustrated and angry with Jaina Proudmoore and her insistence on diplomatic attempts. He was brusque, rude, and outright against letting the worgen join the Alliance when they were desperate for help. His anger even extends to his son Anduin Wrynn, who has done nothing to outright offend his father other than following the path of a priest rather than a warrior. Varian has even gone so far as to hurt his son, nearly breaking Anduin's arm in an attempt to force him to stay put and keep him from leaving to study with the Prophet Velen.

And yet, there is something so inherently fascinating about Varian Wrynn that I cannot tear my eyes away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Remixing the Stormwind Guard for transmogrification

Remixing the Stormwind Guard for transmogrification
There are few NPCs in WoW more iconic than the Stormwind Guard. Even if you're Horde, it's hard not to like the striking contrast of blue and silver metals paired with the golden lion's head emblem. OK, so maybe not if you're Horde, but I digress. I've always loved the look of the Stormwind Guard, yet when it comes to transmogrification, I find the look is a bit outdated for my own character. The older armor models just don't hold a candle to the new ones in the game, and I like for my character to keep up with the latest stuff coming out.

So I thought to myself, "Why not mix it up and make an outfit inspired by the Stormwind Guard?" I imagine this is what it would look like if a member of the Stormwind Guard decided to become a PC instead of an NPC. Very breaking the fourth wall, right? OK, maybe no to that one too ...

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Filed under: Transmogrification

What do you think deserves an update?

What do you think deserves an update ANY
The story is always the same: I find a particularly intriguing piece of transmogrification gear, one that will totally make that midnight blue set I've been working on piecing together. And the piece is pretty easy to get, relatively speaking; it's a drop off of a boss in one of those old Burning Crusade-era heroics. Easy enough to solo at level 85, so it should be a snap to get, right?

Well ... not quite. Because for some reason, all of these old heroics still have their old lockouts in place. Despite the fact that you really don't get anything of consequence from these dungeons and you haven't been able to for years, you still can't repeatedly head into these dungeons. Now I realize there is a five-dungeon-per-hour limit to keep people from excessively farming, and I get that. I really do. But when you introduce a game feature that encourages farming old content, it seems silly that you not only have to cross your fingers that the item drops, but you can only attempt to get it once a day.

And really? That's not the only thing that could use an update in today's World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: State of the Alliance, 2012

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.

It has never been harder to be Alliance. Throughout the years of war brought about by the orcish invasion of Azeroth, the Alliance has seen its ups and downs. During that first assault, Stormwind was destroyed, its king assassinated. However, the direct result of this was an Alliance of kingdoms that paved the way for the Alliance as we know it today -- a smart, level-headed group of races focused on survival. The survival of each race individually, and the survival of the world as we know it. A noble cause, and the Alliance is well-known for its nobility.

Yet despite bouncing back from that original, horrific assault, the Alliance seems to be in a downward spiral in the days of Cataclysm, one which is spinning horrifically out of control. And despite the best efforts of Alliance leaders, trying to staunch the flow of death and despair is becoming increasingly more difficult. This has much to do with the effects of the Shattering, and even more to do with those enemies of old; the orcs and their united allies in the Horde. Even though the Alliance has come back before, the question of whether or not they can do it again is a heavy one that weighs on the minds of all. It has never been so hard to be Alliance, it has never been this dark.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: What if Stormwind had won the First War?

Image
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.

What if ...?

It's one of the most dangerous two-word phrases in the English language, my friends. What if leads us down roads strewn with nevers, could have and didn't after didn't.

This week, we're going to look at what would have happened if a few decisions had been made differently. What if Stormwind had never fallen? What if the Horde had lost the First War? On the surface, it seems like an easy question to answer. Stormwind never falls and Varian Wrynn's dad Llane gets to stay king with his heart inside his chest. Everyone's happy, right? (Well, everyone but the orcs.)

But the world would be vastly different without the rise of the Horde to prominence on Azeroth. Without the disastrous defeat of one of humanity's nations, there would be no Alliance of Lordaeron, no Thrall, no Second War, no death of Gul'dan at the Tomb of Sargeras, no Alliance Expedition, no destruction of Draenor by Ner'zhul's reckless sorcery -- the closer one gets to the present-day World of Warcraft, the more unrecognizable it becomes.

We can't answer for every possibility. We can't establish an absolutely canonical scenario for what would have happened, and we'd be fools to try. But we can look at the ramifications of the First War and consider their immediate implications and what would have come from them.

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

Transmogrifying your way into the Stormwind Guard

If you've spent any time in Stormwind at all as an Alliance player, you're likely well familiar with the Stormwind guards that respond to emote commands. And if you're a Horde player who's stormed the walls of Stormwind, then you're definitely familiar with the Stormwind guards, although not in a friendly capacity. The uniform of the Stormwind guard is an iconic look that's been around since vanilla -- classic steel plate armor with blue accents, a shield emblazoned with the Stormwind lion, and the iconic plate helm all make up the look of the Stormwind guard.

With transmogrification, you can morph yourself into one of these classic uniforms as well. Even better than that, almost all the pieces of this particular outfit can be crafted via blacksmithing, without need for endless farming. Though donning this set as a Horde player won't make the guards any less hostile, if you've ever wanted to try and fool people into thinking you're an NPC, it's incredibly easy to do.

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Filed under: Transmogrification

Know Your Lore: Anduin Llane Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind

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 is quiet, kind, and likely more keenly aware of the troubles of the world than most. He is drawn to the Light in a profound way, much as his father would like to dismiss it. Unlike his father, he isn't interested in the rigors of war and the brutal realities of fighting. He's already been a leader, though his reign was as a figurehead. He's suffered far more in his young life than most. His mother died when he was merely a baby, and his father disappeared and returned a man who was utterly changed by circumstances beyond his control.

He is the heir to Stormwind's throne, to a kingdom that is tattered at the edges and trying desperately to hold itself together. While the rest of the world seems to revel in the chaos brought about by Deathwing's return, eager for the battle between Alliance and Horde to rear its head, he quietly follows the path of peace, looking to the future. It's a future that Prince Anduin Llane Wrynn may very well have to put back together again, perhaps sooner rather than later.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

New Hallow's End content for 2011

Hallow's End is nearly upon us, and this year looks like it's going to have a whole bunch of fun new things to keep us occupied, from new pets to new loot to new quests.

To start with, the famous wickerman of Undercity will now have a Stormwind equivalent, maintained by the Gilneans. Alliance and Horde will have a chance to honor their own wickerman or douse the one that belongs to the opposing faction. In addition, you'll be able to go on a stink bomb run over Stormwind or Undercity, or clean up after the other sides' bombing. You can read up on all of these quests, which are dailies, in Allison's Hallow's End Achievement Guide.

The Headless Horseman will once again lurk in the Scarlet Monastery graveyard, with his usual outlay of rings, his helm (perfect for transmogrification), and his sword, all of which will now be ilevel 365. His Reins will also be a possible reward from the first kill each day, of course. Again, you can find a complete list of his loot in our Hallow's End Achievement Guide.

Tricky Treats, those annoying things that you couldn't destroy fast enough in years past, will now buy you stuff. Vendors this year will sell every single Halloween mask for two Tricky Treats each, and two different pets, the Feline Familiar and the Little Wickerman, for 150 Tricky Treats each. Tricky Treats will be awarded from various quests or Hands of Treats from trick-or-treat buckets in inns around the world.

The holiday officially starts Oct. 18, so get ready! There's lots of new stuff to do this year, and not much time to do it in, especially if you're not about to tear yourself away from BlizzCon, even for a flying horse.

Filed under: Events

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 1

The Shattering cover
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.

On Nov. 22, 2010, millions of players logged in to World of Warcraft to view the old world one final time. Whether venturing to out-of-the-way spots, running around the park in Stormwind, or saying goodbye to Magni Bronzebeard and Cairne Bloodhoof, every player was well aware that the next day, these locations and people would no longer exist. As for me, my guild leader took those of us who wished to go on a romp around the hidden places in Azeroth that many had never before seen and would never see again.

On Nov. 23, players logged on to find an entirely different, harsher world waiting for them. Orgrimmar was transformed into a bristling fortress of iron and steel. Stormwind's façade was forever marred by the charred claw marks of Deathwing, and the lovely park nestled in the corner of the mighty city had been torched and fallen away into the sea below. In Ironforge, the city was now ruled by a council of three; in Orgrimmar, a new Warchief sat on the throne. In Thunder Bluff, Baine Bloodhoof now stood in the place of honor once reserved for his father Cairne.

For those who read the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden, all these events made perfect sense. For those who hadn't picked up the book, the resounding question asked was a simple "What happened?"

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you've been putting off picking up the book and giving it a read and would like to remain unspoiled, I would highly suggest turning away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 5.0

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Oh my, look at the time. Mailbag-o'clock already? That means we have questions to answer! If you'd like to send me a question for The Lawbringer, point a message from your email client of choice to mat@wowinsider.com with something having to do with Lawbringer in the title and ask away. This week, we've got some fun questions to go through.

Our first email comes from Lee, who wants to know if the Diablo 3 currency trading on the real-money Auction House could ever be big enough for a foreign currency exchange-type of marketplace for Diablo gold.

Lee asked:

You've talked at length about gold farming and the repercussion of gold farming in mmos. Much of it is related to currency trading. You've pointed out that Diablo's new model of selling cash on the auction house will eliminate gold farming and selling as we know it by creating gold to blizzard dollar currency exchange. Do you think we'll see the development of Forex style black box trading, using a Trading API add-on most likely?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

All the World's a Stage: Plot points for worgen roleplayers

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

The worgen are the newest race to hit Alliance side, and though they are humans affected by a curse, they aren't exactly the same as your run-of-the-mill humans we've been playing since vanilla. Worgen roleplayers have a ton of information thrown at them during the starting levels, but after the fight is over and everyone's moved on, it seems as though there's not much in the way of excitement or roleplay potential.

That isn't necessarily the case. The main issue I have with worgen -- and to a degree, their Horde counterparts the goblins -- lies in the fact that you are inundated with so much information in those first few levels. The story moves at a frenetic pace, and unless you're paying close attention, it can quickly become an overwhelming experience. Despite the relative lull after the starting experience is over, there is plenty for worgen roleplayers to use, even at level 85.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Know Your Lore: The humans, part 3

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.

Imagine for a moment that you are, right now, a human of the same age that you are, but living in Azeroth. Depending how old you are, you either lived through or were born into the aftermath of three of the most devastating wars your world has ever seen. Keeping in mind the trouble with timelines, every human alive in the Warcraft setting has endured loss and hardship on a scale almost unimaginable; many were driven from their homes by invading monsters or demons from other worlds, or were forced to flee in advance of legions of walking corpses that relentlessly tried to kill them and dogged their steps all the way to safety.

The humans who congregate today in centers like Stormwind and Theramore have survived when vast numbers of their people died. Only the former high elves have lost more of their kind. The fact that humanity manages to remain a force to be reckoned with despite the loss of almost all of its former northern domains in the Eastern Kingdoms, the deaths of uncounted numbers of their people and the usurpation of their inheritance is a testament to their origin as a seed race of the Titan's first arrival on Azeroth. Indeed, much like their dwarven cousins (for now humans and dwarves truly know they share a common origin, as do their gnomish relations), humans harbor a stony resolve in the face of adversity that could crush or corrupt another people.

Let us look at humanity's most recent travails.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Arts and Crafts

Know Your Lore: The humans, part 1

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've talked about their politics and their ancestors, but humanity itself has not really been described in detail -- and it deserves to be. The humans of Azeroth derive from the ancient servitors of the Titans, and their origins lie in the frozen continent of Northrend (indeed, before it was a continent of its own), but they've developed over time into a brash, persevering people of their own who rose to master the Eastern Kingdoms and who had endured two hideous wars with alien invaders, the plague of undeath that shattered their strongest kingdom, and times of chaos and uncertainty. It is humanity that holds the Alliance together today, serving to unite disparate peoples in a collective that grows more cohesive in the face of growing Horde expansionism.

The ultimate drive to exist that has kept humanity going past world-shaking calamities must be respected. When war and strife come, humans have risen to the challenge. Although one of the shortest-lived of Azeroth's native races and possessed of one of the youngest cultures, human have risen on the strength of their determination.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Anduin Wrynn: Then and Now

Blizzard made a lot of changes to World of Warcraft with Cataclysm, and has been exploring some of the bigger changes through its "Then and Now" series. Previously, Blizzard discussed how Garrosh has changed from The Burning Crusade through Cataclysm, as well as how Thrall changed since his debut in Warcraft III. Now, their eyes are on Stormwind and the boy prince, Anduin Wrynn.

Anduin's biggest changes actually happened outside of the game world, most notably in the World of Warcraft comic series and in Christie Golden's companion novel to Cataclysm, The Shattering. In The Shattering, Anduin comes into his own through a series of adventures with Jaina Proudmoore, and by participating in the burgeoning dwarven civil war between the clans at Ironforge. The prince finds his path with the Light, determined to become a priest instead of becoming a warrior like his father. His character has grown considerably since his inception, with Blizzard making a concerted effort to move his story forward against the backdrop of the cataclysm.

I was a fan of Anduin in The Shattering because he was written to be a spiritual opposite of his father. While Anduin retained his father's caution when dealing with the Horde, he seemed more open-minded, forgiving, and willing to compromise on things above and beyond him. There is definitely groundwork being laid for a strong, compassionate leader, something the humans have not truly had since Varian's kidnapping and King Terenas Menethil of Lordaeron.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

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