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Posts with tag story

Patch 4.2: Thrall's quest sound files reveal major spoilers

Major spoilers ahead, friends. On the other side of this jump is Thrall's dialogue from the epic quest coming in patch 4.2. What fate awaits the former warchief of the Horde? Is Thrall gone for good, or is there still a chance we can save him from his elemental fate? Click faster, time is of the essence!

Major spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What happens next?

The leader short stories Fire and Iron and The Judgment were great pieces of Cataclysm lore and recent history that shed some light on the motivations of Outland hero Kurdran Wildhammer and embattled troll leader Vol'jin of the Darkspear tribe. Each of the Cataclysm leaders is getting the short story treatment as time goes on.

We don't know many of the stories left to tell in Cataclysm. The future of the blood elves lies in the unpublished prose of Lor'themar Theron's short story. Sylvanas' potential madness and craziness can have explanations hidden in those words. While the Firelands will continue the story of the rejuvenation of Hyjal, we still have much to learn about Malfurion and Tyrande and the night elves in general. So what comes next?

Will these stories shed light on these leaders and their peoples' futures? Can we expect timely lore reveals through these stories that will do part of the story advancement? Personally, I'm really excited for the next story.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Patch 4.2 preview: Thrall's fate revealed in epic quest [SPOILERS!]

Well, this is certainly big lore news.

Blizzard has just released a preview of the patch 4.2 epic quest line that awaits players involving Thrall, former warchief of the Horde. After the events of Hyjal and the successful thwarting of Ragnaros' invasion, things were quiet for a short while. A meeting between the many heroes of Hyjal, the Earthen Ring, and the dragon aspects took place at Nordrassil, where Thrall's fate was severely changed.

We'll talk about it more after the break, which has some spoilers for those who are concerned about such things.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Blizzard's short story series continues with Vol'jin: The Judgment

Patch 4.1 is all trolls, trolls, trolls. You know what? I love the trolls. With the emergence of the Zandalari trolls as stewards of a new troll empire, the rearming of the Gurubashi and Amani tribes, and Vol'jin's staunch opposition to the direction of the troll peoples of Azeroth, we've got a lot on our plate in terms of lore.

Blizzard's leader short story series continues with "The Judgment," written by Brian Kindregan, which chronicles Vol'jin from his years as a young, would-be shadow hunter to his exodus with the orcs across the sea. The series has been a success with WoW lore buffs, adding to the various faction leaders' histories and canon. Hit the jump for a spoiler-filled summary, and be sure to read the whole ordeal.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: How often do you read quest text?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

If you have played WoW for more than five minutes, you have done a quest. It is nearly impossible to avoid doing them altogether. Since the option has been implemented to have instant quest text and the options tracked on the map by Blizzard's default UI now, most players see the exclamation mark, click on the NPC, accept the quest, and go get the items -- whether it be someone's head, 10 rocks, or going to kill a certain number of creatures -- without paying attention to the why. We want the gold, experience, achievement, or perhaps a quest reward, but we cannot be bothered with why we need to commit genocide on a population of wild animals. We would rather crit the mobs required for the quest than be crit by a wall of text.

I am as guilty of this as the next person: Oh, bring you murloc eyes ... Sure, why not? Kill a bunch of boars? Whatever. However, when I recently went back and finished off Loremaster, I found myself actually paying attention to some of the quests, and I realized there can be some great stories there. The Burning Crusade, Wrath, and soon Cataclysm have come a long way in terms of making the quests feel like they are leading somewhere, as opposed to killing these random mobs for no apparent reason. While working on Loremaster, I was like, "Wow, that was a neat little storyline in that quest chain!" It made me both impressed and a little sad, wondering about all the possible nuggets of story I had simply ignored just so I could level a couple of minutes sooner.

Do you actually read the quest text? Do you ever want to know why we have to kill the creatures we kill and why the NPCs want these seemingly inane items? Or do you just do it for the XP and money and could not care less?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Too powerful

I like Nibuca's little writeup recently from her blog asking what happens when we become just too powerful to care? Just like her, I've played a full, months-and-months, session of D&D before, and by the time your characters start to flirt with level 20 (the maximum level in that system), you're so powerful that the story barely makes sense any more -- you're crossing planes of existence, unweaving and re-weaving the fabric of reality, and taking down gods, more or less. Once you've vanquished evil from the earth four or five times, yet another threat doesn't bother you so much.

And to a certain extent, that's exactly what's happening with World of Warcraft -- when the game first started, the devs casually threw out there that it would take 40 level 80s to take Arthas down, which was of course a guess based on what raiding was at the time. But nowadays, we're all level 80, you only need five people to go after Arthas, and very soon, even someone like Deathwing will seem conquerable. In the next expansion, we already know that we're going to transverse some planes of existence, and when you're a being that can do that, why bother fighting frost wyrms? Just escape their reality and/or will them out of yours.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Leveling, Talents, NPCs

All the World's a Stage: We don't need no narration

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Throughout my career as a roleplaying columnist on, I've been talking about roleplaying as a way to tell stories, but last week a comment by Zombie, as well as those made by a few others on the same topic, caused me to think about roleplay stories in a new way. Perhaps what we roleplayers do isn't actually storytelling so much as it is character development through interesting and somewhat disjointed anecdotes.

There's really no beginning, middle, or end to a roleplayed character in WoW. Instead, what you get is a mishmash of events and experiences, which you may then string together into a story in your mind if you like. But even if you don't, you can see that most of us don't really expect for a narrative to develop from a clear beginning, through various plot developments, and finally lead into an exciting climax. There is something else roleplayers want to get out of their experience, even if many of us have trouble articulating exactly what it is.

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

Robert Rodat to write the Warcraft screenplay

Sam Raimi spoke with MTV News about his upcoming Warcraft movie, and while he didn't confirm (or deny, we guess) the whole subtitle thing, he did mention a new writer. Robert Rodat is apparently putting a screenplay together -- he's best known for writing Saving Private Ryan (and of course if we can get a Warcraft movie as good as that Spielbergian epic, we'll all be happy), and he's also penned Fly Away Home and The Patriot. Most recently, says his Wikipedia page, he did some work on 10,000 B.C., though if you saw that movie, you probably wouldn't be able to tell, anyway -- it was terrible.

Raimi says he wants to stay faithful "to the Horde and the Alliance and the mythology that takes place in the game," as well as "choose one or some of the lands that are portrayed in the game with as much accuracy and authenticity as possible." He calls Rodat a great character writer, and says a great character-based story within the world of Azeroth is his goal. Sounds good. The picture above is the only art we've ever seen of the movie (it was presented at BlizzCon a few years ago), but since then, it sounds like the movie has changed quite a bit, so we'll have to wait and see what Rodat and Raimi are coming up with.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Lore, NPCs, Fan art

Behind the scenes of the Dragon Queen costume

It's totally fun to browse through the costume gallery or the pictures of the costume contest we took last weekend and marvel at the different costumes that showed up at BlizzCon, but what you don't see in those shots is all of the hard work that went into making each outfit. Sure, there are probably some store-bought purchases in there, but for the most part, each costume was assembled with lots of hard work and care, most of the time by the person actually wearing it.

Mariecannabis is the woman wearing this Alexstrasza costume that we saw at the costume contest, and she has posted a gallery over on Flickr showing some of the behind-the-scenes work of making the molds and putting the costume together. The end costume looks great, but the process is all shapes and molds and paint and construction -- fascinating to see how it all comes together. And while this costume is terrific, it does make you wonder about the stories behind some of the even more complex costumes up there.

Stay tuned for more -- we'll be seeking out a few of the best costumes we saw at BlizzCon, and we'll show you some more of their stories in the future here on It's fun to see all of those on the show floor, but you sometimes don't realize just how much work and time is actually put into them.

Filed under: Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Contests, BlizzCon

The next level of questing

Elnia at the Pink Pigtail Inn has some excellent and interesting advice for Blizzard's quest designers (or whoever they hire for the current position). As big a component as quests are in the game, they haven't been innovated on much since the game's release. Blizzard has played around a little bit with allowing us to repeat certain quests, and they've streamlined the group questing mechanic, but other than that, quests are pretty much the same: pick up a task, do it, and bring it back for a reward.

So how can it be done differently? Elnia has some great ideas: she asks for quests that span a little farther, that push players through a storyline that might even follow them all the way up to 80 (of course, there are quests like that, though they're few and far between -- and not all players have the patience to finish them). Rewards could be mixed up, too -- instead of the old gold and XP, how about some profession skill, or a tradeoff of badges based on certain quests done. Finally, Elnia suggests that every quest in the game become repeatable. Questing is paced to keep us interested in from 1-60, but we all know how the game works now -- why not let us do some of our favorite quests over more than once?

I'd suggest we go even farther -- Warhammer Online offers Public Quests that are an interesting twist on the usual "go kill boars" mechanic. I'd like to see branching quests with more than one outcome -- maybe a moral choice to make that affects the storyline of the quest you're doing. And talking real pie-in-the-sky here, I'd like to see questgivers treat you different based on the way you look or maybe what title you've got equipped. If you've got "Jenkins," they might not expect you to do much, but with "Champion of Ulduar" over your head, they should probably be groveling at your feet.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Quests, Leveling

Twitter Time: 10 words or less con't



blizatrex @wowinsider dwarf warrior in trouble. shield wall!

kesoleil @wowinsider "I'm down." "Forgot you were a rogue again?" "Shut up."

str1fe @wowinsider "If it's pretty, don't stand in....oh, dammit"

Pnut060 @wowinsider 10 year old guildie literally crying over loot on vent.

kesoleil @wowinsider Famous Last Words: "I can Solo heal that." *raid wipes*

rikitikitik @wowinsider Fresh from Naxx 10 full clear, we faced Malygos. Splat!

Elad @wowinsider "Are you all hard for this ready-mode boss?"

rikitikitik @wowinsider "Guys, the debuff is up. Don't move!" Release?

Elad @wowinsider Whoops, forgot Righteous Fury.

anjldust @wowinsider "This," he said, "is where the epics come from."

puzzill @wowinsider Cylindra bubbled her warrior, now to hope and pray

ruairi @wowinsider multi-tasking tank causes wipe

Pnut060 @wowinsider I can spend all night doing this rofl

ruairi @wowinsider bored healer causes wipe

XandosFiretree @wowinsider Twenty-four strangers departed Shattrath, hunted Illidan. Two dozen friends returned.

DLMDixon @wowinsider Hunter leaves pet on aggressive preparing for Algalon. Dooms Azeroth.

cwharton @wowinsider The gaping maws of Yogg-Saron filled her nightmares every night.

wow_acia @wowinsider | Healer story - "Get out of the fire or I won't heal you!"

ClakyDruott @wowinsider Tonight I ran out of ammo, last boss in Naxx....

locktart @wowinsider run up stairs. Oh shi- "YOU FAIL!" killed by Kologarn.

Pnut060 @wowinsider My naxx raid laughing at friend stuck behind a box.

benquinney @wowinsider Guiding Star dropped - and I got it. Awesome!

Brightbeerd @wowinsider Pug was OK. The tank was bad. Stupid hunter pets.

Aeire @wowinsider I murder things for honor, glory, and really pretty clothes.

FeistTheRogue @wowinsider "Walk into Ulduar, kill monsters, collect loot, rinse and repeat."

Aoikari @wowinsider Me and some undead chicks entered a bar, got lucky.

eyuzwa @wowinsider "we'll be alright since everyone has their Onyxia cloaks...right?"

Night0wl @wowinsider Ragnaros so close, sons to go, oh no we wiped!

Umatar @wowinsider My proct pally gets turned on my being hit hard.

omgitsafox @wowinsider "Hey, where'd your pet go?" "...Oh shit. PASSIVE, DAMMIT."

Serneum @wowinsider Atkallen the hunter shot Archimonde in the face.

LouGagliardi @wowinsider Warrior fights boss, wins and promptly celebrates.


Stoopid512 @wowinsider I withheld water from Ringo, just to watch him die.

Aoikari @wowinsider never going to let you down! Thrall said to Jaina.

paulje00 @wowinsider "Orcs, the other green meat"

Aoikari @wowinsider Never going to the undercity zoo again... must wash eyes!

awlbiste @wowinsider Nelf Rogue killing the Tarren Mill fightmaster. Can't get out.

tselmorrah @wowinsider He sought trade but found only Chuck Norris jokes.

TragicDog @wowinsider guys, don't go up to the top... damn it! RUUUUUNNNN

Jaysen_N @wowinsider Materinty test proves that neither are the baby daddy, GASP!

spasticsnap @wowinsider Tauren leaves her fertile homelands to battle frozen dead.

Night0wl @wowinsider Hydraxian Waterlords, need daily quests, Ragnaros respawns to slow, Farmed/

knight816 @wowinsider rain fell silently on the windshield; it was actually ichor

kiffar @wowinsider Titanium Node! Mine, Paladin! His head stuck to my pick.. <_<

Bytorsnowdog @wowinsider female elf dancing naked, sigh deeprun tram all over again!

tashalee @wowinsider The priest said to her, "My holy nova prematurely crits."

Jaysen_N @wowinsider Thrall and Arthas battle it out on the Jerry Show.

Jaysen_N @wowinsider Jaina rumored to be pregnant, with Arthas as baby daddy.

Aoikari @wowinsider I wake up and i'm in undercity with no liver....

Metrophelean @wowinsider Arthas would be less angsty if Icecrown had restrooms.

rmoore08 @wowinsider I teabagged an enemy player. It was hot!

Jaysen_N @wowinsider Jaina and Thrall will marry, then live happily ever after.

Metrophelean @wowinsider DOWN DRUID! That is not what EPIC MOUNT MEANS!

Aoikari @wowinsider magtheridon took me back to his lair, hes dirty. ;]

professorbeej @wowinsider Body of an elf, a dwarf's face, orc's smell: love.

arkbites1 @wowinsider Thrall takes Stormwind. Starbuck's soon opens in the auction house.

brigwyn @wowinsider mike and turpster were caught in the game closet together

Ashayo @wowinsider So this one time, at (band) Camp Taurajo, I /shindig'ed.

chuckenorris @wowinsider a priest and a gnome walk into a bar

JoshJosa @wowinsider Walking in the Fjord, Carosh discovers three frost wyrms mating.

nickhuber @wowinsider When the candle factory closed, Kobolds all over Azeroth wept.

maziltov @wowinsider Low railings on Thunder Bluff bridges = long fall, possible lawsuit.

kryptongirl @wowinsider The druid turned into a dog tree. He barked.

profetacinque @wowinsider Arthas wanted to go see the zoo; Jaina said "no".

Matt_LRR @wowinsider Arthas looked on, coldly. "who left the air-conditioner running?"

Curtis_Hanna @wowinsider Baby Gnome shoes for sale. Never worn.

ravenette13 @wowinsider Sometimes, death knights just like to pick flowers. The end.

lttleknownceleb @wowinsider You know, I really thought that gnome was dead.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Humor

Twitter Time: 10 words or less

Reginald and Beartato (c) Nedroid.comI've been manning the official Twitter for the past few nights and having a great time of it. The three nights previous to last, I did some reader-participation art and ended up drawing a tauren rogue and two druids (undead and gnome!). Tonight I thought I'd go a little more literary and had the Twitterati, in the spirit of tweets, send me WoW-related stories of ten words or less. Here are some of my favorites, and the rest are after the jump.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter and YOU TOO MIGHT SEND ME BRIEF MESSAGES SOMETIME. I'll see you there!

Frito_KAL @wowinsider No matter what the humans say, gnomes are NOT piñatas.

@wowinsider "Thanks for the summoooooooooooooon...." the rogue yelled up the cliff.

kryptongirl @wowinsider The druid turned into a dog tree. He barked.

MsJenni @wowinsider We entered Deadmines nude, voting who came out best dressed.

TheCorruptOne @wowinsider Armor drops from a clear desert sky. Incoming gnomish engineer!

threeparts @wowinsider How many edge of winter's does this damn dryad -have?-

Read more →

Walter and Louise Simonson interviewed at NYCC

Blizzplanet has a video they've been saving from the New York Comic Con a little while back. This time, they chat with Walter and Louise Simonson, part of the team behind the World of Warcraft comic, which at the time, had just re-introduced Garona Halforcen, the half-orc assassin who is likely about to make a long-awaited appearance in the MMO world of Azeroth. The couple say that while they can't tell us much, Garona fans have some cool stuff to look forward to, as we're going to learn more about both her "past" and "future." There are some other little lore tidbits in the interview as well, including what's up with Varian Wrynn and his counterpart, Lo'gosh. And there's good news for fans of the Horde -- while the comic book has so far had an Alliance lead character, Blizzard is setting up new things for the Horde as well.

Clearly here are two people really ensconced in the World of Warcraft -- they both seem to have a really great and passionate grasp on the story behind WoW, and a real care for how the future of the story unfolds. We can't wait to see it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

Blizzcast episode 7 released

Episode 7 of Blizzcast, Blizzard's official podcast, came out this afternoon; it's been a couple of months since the last episode. This time, they did a little bit of a "WotLK Wrap-Up" with J. Allen Brack and Jeff Kaplan, as well as some chatting with Chris Metzen, the creative head, about what's been going on in various aspects of the story. Here are the parts I found most interesting:
  • When the development on the original WoW was getting wrapped up, Outland and Northrend were both in the running for the first expansion. They decided the timing was better to do Outland first.
  • There were three front runners for the hero class to appear in LK:
    • Necromancer, a ranged caster with corpse explode and such. Some of this ended up getting incorporated into Death Knight
    • Rune master: "think rogue or monk type character"
    • And, of course, Death Knight.
  • JAB thinks "the first month has really validated that decision" to go with 10- and 25-man raiding.

Read more →

Filed under: Podcasting, Blizzard

Kaplan to speak at the Game Developers Conference

Jeffrey Kaplan (also known as Tigole) is scheduled to speak at this years Game Developers Conference, which should prove to be really, really interesting for us WoW players. The conference is aimed at sharing knowledge among game developers, and Kaplan's panel is aimed at discussing World of Warcraft's questing system, as well as how gameplay has an effect on lore and story.

As someone who regularly geeks out about the lore of Warcraft, it disappoints me that I can't be there to listen to it in person. Gameplay always has a really large effect on how the lore of a video game world is allowed to play out (especially in MMOs) but a lot of those constraints have been overcome with the advances made in Wrath of the Lich King. The things they've done to overcome those issues largely come from Tigole's team of developers.

I very much hope that transcripts of GDC's panels find their way to the web shortly after the conference. One of my favorite parts of BlizzCon and BlizzCast is the somewhat behind the scenes look into the process, and the philosophy that goes into how and why Blizzard does what they do. This pretty much sounds right up my alley, and I know a lot of you have expressed the same sentiment each time a new BlizzCast has gone live. I'll definitely be watching for any transcripts that pop up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard

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