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Posts with tag sylvanas-windrunner

Is faction antagonism story-driven or player-driven?

Spoilers for Cataclysm in this post, me hearties.

One of the things I've noticed in my time back-and-forthing between Alliance and Horde toons is that each faction seems to have many, many vocal partisans who believe the opposite faction to be filled to the brim with churls, knaves and scalawags. Perhaps even hooligans and ne'er-do-wells. You see it all the time in general chat: "Those ally fellows are nothing but mountebanks!" Or perhaps: "Horde? Nothing but disreputable scoundrels, bounders and cads!"

What I find interesting is how much of this factional divide is created by the game itself ... how much comes from quest lines and zone design and world events ... and how much is purely based on the players. It's true that over the past several expansions, we've seen a shift in the game itself from the days of the AQ gate event and the opening of the Dark Portal, when Horde and Alliance stood shoulder-to-shoulder against threats to Azeroth, to the present Wrath/Cataclysm direction when even Old Gods, Lich Kings and insane dragon aspects can't get the Horde and Alliance to cooperate.

Still, until fairly recently, I'd never really felt much of the infamous Horde/Alliance hatred from the game itself. Even the Wrathgate /Battle for Undercity and the Broken Front quests didn't come close to matching the intensity of a forum flame war or a really acrimonious Wintergrasp battle. Playing Horde back in the day, you couldn't help but notice the perception of superiority Horde players (including myself, at the time) felt over Alliance. But the story didn't really have much to do with it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Nathanos Marris and the dark rangers of the Forsaken


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.

When looking at the new race and class combinations that are coming out with Cataclysm, some are far easier than others to digest, such as the addition of the hunter class to the human race. Of course the humans can be hunters, that's not a terribly far-fetched statement at all. But what about the other new race that, as of Cataclysm, gets to take up the bow and tame beasts as well? I'm speaking of the Forsaken, of course -- the thought of an undead creature holding a biscuit and coaxing a wolf to be his new best friend is just a little off-putting.

In Wrath, we've seen a sudden return of the dark rangers -- the forsaken remnants of what used to be Sylvanas' corps of elven rangers. As Ranger General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas led and commanded the Farstriders back before the Third War. After the events of the Third War, Sylvanas found herself turned into a banshee, and then after regaining her body, a dark ranger -- the first dark ranger of the Forsaken. But the Forsaken we play in game aren't really elven -- they're humans, the former residents of Lordaeron. How do they fit in? There's a few different and absolutely reasonable theories kicking around, but first we should take a look at the first and only human ranger lord -- Nathanos Marris.

WARNING: The following post may contain some spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you wish to remain unspoiled, stopping here would be advised!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Cataclysm Spoiler: Sylvanas' plans no one saw coming

With all of the awesome Cataclysm news coming out about skills and talents and spells, it might be easy to miss the immense lore moments and motivations of the faction leaders. We have Sylvanas news, and it's big and very much a spoiler.

Want to know what the Forsaken Queen is up to in Cataclysm, and why this expansion is going to rock the Horde and the Alliance even moreso?

Again, we are warning you: there are spoilers here that are quite huge in the world of lore. The big part of the spoiler is in red. After the break.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Current Horde politics -- the Forsaken

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.

While the politics of Horde races such as the orcs, blood elves, tauren and trolls span literally thousands of years, and feelings and current beliefs held by both races are deep-seated within that history, not all of the Horde races have such an extensive past. In the case of the Forsaken, the history goes back not thousands of years but approximately six or seven by Blizzard's timeline. A relatively new race, the Forsaken were introduced in World of Warcraft as playable members of the Horde faction, a move which confused some of the player base as the Forsaken were most definitely up to no good. Why would Thrall, who has been presented as a good character, agree to ally with a group that were presented as primarily evil?

This was never directly addressed other than being waved off as an alliance of convenience, but most of the Horde seemed to either distrust or share outright loathing for the Forsaken. While other races started out on good terms with the rest of their Horde brethren, players rolling Forsaken found themselves at neutral standing with all three of the other Horde races available. There are exceptions, however. The Tauren -- particularly Magatha Grimtotem -- seem interested in working with the Forsaken and possibly developing a "cure" for their undead state and aren't quite as unforgiving when it comes to dealing with their undead comrades.

While the relative time of the Forsaken on Azeroth has been short, in the few years of their existence they've managed to accomplish much -- largely due to the efforts of their leader, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner. Sylvanas had quite a history of her own prior to becoming the banshee queen, and it is doubtful that the race would have accomplished anything, much less banded together, without her leadership. I've covered some of the history of the high elves in last week's post, but this week I'm going to look at Sylvanas in a little more detail as the leader and the driving force behind the Forsaken.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary mosaic finally complete

It looks like the fans followed through, after all, and we finally get to see the Battlecry mosaic much sooner than I'd previously thought. The completed mosaic reveals a truly awesome piece of art by Wei Wang depicting all the current faction leaders. By awesome I mean truly mind-blowing, and Blizzard has high resolution versions of both the mosaic and the actual painting available for download in different versions. The full mosaic, for example, can be viewed in all its 14400 x 6150 pixel glory. Arguably the best version is the dual screen wallpaper which shows the most detail, although there are also much smaller versions for mobile phones.

The Battlecry mosaic is comprised of 20,000 player-submitted pictures called out by Blizzard as part of the World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary celebration. Each section of the multi-part mosaic unlocked various content over the past few months, which included sneak peeks at conceptual art and even a piece of the game's musical score. The final artwork is arguably the best and coolest rendition of all the faction leaders so far, including a dual-wielding Magni Bronzebeard in armor that's significantly different from what he's wearing in-game, which may or may not hint at a possible model change come Cataclysm. Congratulations to all the fans who contributed to the mosaic!

Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Ask a Faction Leader: Sylvanas Windrunner


WoW.com's prestige in the community has afforded us the opportunity to speak with major Azerothian leadership figures on any subject, and we're letting you, the reader, Ask a Faction Leader!

We recently spoke to Chromie, ambassador for the Bronze Dragonflight, and he shed light on several key issues, including gender identity, dwarven futures, Mary Sues, and going back to the future. In this installment of Ask a Faction Leader, we'll be sitting with Sylvanas Windrunner, Banshee Queen of the forsaken.

Our first reader question...


Dear Sylvanas,

There have been rumors that your elder sister Alleria had a son with the Alliance paladin Turaylon. How do you respond to this?

Sincerely,
Wylendrin of Blackwater Raiders

Sylvanas responds:

With the opportunity to ask me anything, of course the blood elf paladin asks me tabloid questions.

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Filed under: Ask a Faction Leader

The Lore of Patch 3.3

In many ways Wrath of the Lich King can be considered the logical conclusion of one of WarCraft's major story lines. Arthas, the evil sovereign of the scourge, will meet his doom in Icecrown Citadel. Each Wrath patch up until now has lead to this defining moment -- the face off between Arthas and the players representing the next generation of heroes of Azeroth. Who will win? What happens after Arthas is defeated? Is Arthas defeated?

These questions lend themselves to a spectacular conclusion to a great tale. In The Lore of Patch 3.3, Michael Sacco, Alex Ziebart, and I will take a look at all the various plots, characters, and environments that lead up to this grand confrontation with the Lich King.

You'll want to know this story. You'll want to know this lore.

For when you finally face off against the wielder of the Frostmourne, you'll know why you're going toe-to-toe against him, and why your fate can make or break the very face of Azeroth.

This article, while containing essential lore, also contains heavy spoilers. Do not proceed if that bothers you.

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Filed under: Patches, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.3 PTR: Sound files may reveal fate of the Lich King

Sound files in Patch 3.3 uncovered over at MMO Champion have got players all abuzz. In particular, lore-nerds who have listened to the sound files and put them together in the most reasonably coherent fashion are going nuts over the possibilities and implications. Tissue-sniffling, underpants-changing nuts. The kind of nuts that happen in Twilight Zone episodes. So understand that clicking on any of the links below are on a Need to Know basis. That means it's full of spoilers.

No, seriously. It has so many spoilers that unsuspecting players can explode just by clicking on the Read More link below. It's that dangerous. The sound files are so revealing, so incriminating, that every agent sent by SI:7 to safeguard them has been removed from active duty and sent to the loony bin. They're so volatile that even Ragnaros got burned when he read the rest of this post. So juicy that it cost Lady Vashj an arm and a leg -- or six arms and a tail -- just to listen to them.

The sound files in question are mined from the goings-on in Icecrown, which may (or may not) reveal the ultimate fate of the Lich King. It also includes previously unrevealed first names of only sons, emotional moments from hot mages, uncharacteristic coolness from leaders heretofore labeled as hate-mongering and racist, and unexpected appearances by heroes long dead (but not forgotten). Click on the link for madness-inducing spoilers. Otherwise that lady by your side will whisper something in your ear and you'll go crazy, anyway. Might as well have WoW.com do it for you.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Lore, Bosses

New official Jaina and Sylvanas character bios


Blizzard continues to leak out the official information about Icecrown (the raid, as you know, coming in patch 3.3), this time updating their Under Development site with official bios for Jaina Proudmoore and Sylvanas Windrunner, two ladies (one living, one not-so-much) that will likely have a large role in the fight against Arthas Menethil, better known as The Lich King.

Sylvanas, you'll remember, featured in the Lament of the Highborne video early on in BC, where the story of her death and resurrection at Arthas' hands made it clear she's got unfinished business with the onetime-paladin turned Lord of the Scourge. And Jaina... well, Jaina's had a front row seat to Arthas' undoing -- they were childhood friends who looked like they were headed towards being more than friends, until Arthas found a big bad sword that turned him into a big baddie. It's going to be awesome seeing all of these storylines start meeting up together in The Frozen Halls and the raid beyond -- we can't wait.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Quests, Raiding, Lore, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

BlizzCon 2009: What to expect in Icecrown


Oh hey guys -- remember the other World of Warcraft expansion, the one we're currently playing? Turns out this one has some cool stuff too. The most interesting thing (at least to me) that we heard from the Dungeons and Raids panel is that we're going to get some sort of cinematic or lore moment on Arthas' death (if he does in fact die). I remember being somewhat disappointed when Illidan finally croaked for my guild; for such an important lore figure, he really went out with a whimper and not a bang. Anyway, here's what we know so far about the Icecrown Citadel raid confirmed to be coming in patch 3.3:
  • There will be at least 4 floors' worth of content in Icecrown Citadel, which I would guess means it'll be reminiscent of how you worked your way up from the sewers of the Black Temple to the roof with Illidan. They plan to make more use of the warp/teleport mechanic currently used in Ulduar that makes it possible for players to see bigger dungeons without spending a lot of time just running from place to place.
  • Sindragosa (the same dragon you saw Arthas raising in the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic trailer) and the Lich King are two confirmed bosses. Based on the "Shadow Vault" scene glimpsed in Yogg-Saron's brain room, I'd wager you'll be seeing Saurfang the Younger and Bolvar as well.
Read on for more news on Icecrown Citadel!


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Filed under: Patches, Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Simple things

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today is a day of, apparently, quick questions and quick answers. Most of the questions asked were fairly straightforward and not particularly involved. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is really up to you, but it is what it is: simple. I planned to embed a cartoon at the top of this video, but the aspect ratio made it gigantic if I used our standard width, so there's a link instead.

whalt asked...

"Any idea if prior season PvP weapons will ever be available from honor/arena points and not require an arena rating like the old Glad weapons were back in BC?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

DC Series 6 figures feature Sylvanas and Bronzebeard


We only just posted about the DC Unlimited Premium series 2 figures, and here comes another set that's getting announced way earlier than it's getting released. The series 6 set isn't actually due out until March of next year (seriously, what's with all of the early announce dates on these things?), but it does have some of the most-wanted lore figures in the game depicted in action figure form. Magni Bronzebeard, Sylvanas Windrunner, and goblin tinker Gibzz Sparklighter are all making appearances, as you can see over on DC's page.

I think they look pretty darn good, though I'm still not sold on actually buying one. We'll likely see them on the floor at BlizzCon, so if you want to get a closer look, be sure to poke around the DC booth there. And even if you're not going, we'll be sure to take pics for you.

Filed under: Alliance, Dwarves, Undead, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 set names


Even though Blizzard already said that they'd be introducing a whole new set (or sets) of tier gear, it's still a little overwhelming to see information for Tier 9 gear considering that Tier 8-8.5 has only recently been unleashed with Patch 3.1 and Ulduar. Still, Patch 3.2 looks like some ways off and we can't get too excited about the Call of the Crusade just yet.

As soon as the PTR went live yesterday, Alex and Adam scrambled to put together a whopper gallery of Tier 9 gear which might've overwhelmed the whole lot of us who were all too eager to find out what goodies are in store with the new patch. While a lot of things can still change now until the patch goes live, we do know a few things. Check out the Tier 9 sets in the gallery below, which has been re-organized by class and spec (because we love you all that much), and let's take a look at the Tier 9 sets after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Lore

Twittering from the World of Warcraft

Just in case you needed any more Twitter in your life (I'm getting to the point where I really don't), enter the PlayXpert Twitter widget, part of the PlayXpert gaming toolset, a free Windows application that you can download to run alongside your PC games (very similar to Xfire and that type of application). It's a little bloaty if all you want to do is run Twitter alongside WoW, but unfortunately, that functionality will never be available in an addon, as addons can't interact with any other outside sites.

The poor man's solution here is to just run WoW in windowed mode and have your Twitter browser or client open right next to it -- you don't need a big application if you really need to be connected at all times. But if you want to livetweet your raid without sacrificing screen space to windowed mode, PlayXpert is one way to do it. It'll even do some autotwittering for you if you want.

And of course if you're on Twitter already, don't forget to follow our WoW Insider Twitter account. We've already hit our goal of over 9,000 followers (and yes, a video version of the podcast is coming soon), but we're constantly throwing out little pieces of news, discussion and even some giveaways over there, so follow us if you're interested.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran coins, environment effects, and AoE tanking


I ran into two common questions last night on the Dalaran coin post, so I thought I'd start off by answering those here. I apologize if we haven't yet gotten to everyone's questions; most of them, like Gurluas' question concerning The Missing Diplomat and the high elves in Northrend, we're just not 100% sure of the answer to yet, but I'll keep trying.

Keyra asks...

Just curious...the gold coins all have "Use: Throw this coin back into the Dalaran fountain", yet I've seen people commenting (as well as the author) that they'll carry the coin in their packs. What happens when/if you throw the coin back in?

When you toss a gold coin back into the fountain, you gain the "Lucky" buff for 2 minutes, increasing your chance to fish up any and all coins from the fountain (rather than fishing hooks or goldfish). You don't have to toss them back in if you don't want to, in which case they'll just occupy a bag slot like anything else, or you can sell them to a vendor (not for much). But most people throw the coin/s back in because fishing the coin up is enough to give you the Achievement for getting it. Particular coins would be carried solely for personal or sentimental reasons, i.e. I can definitely appreciate the irony and RP value of grimly hunting Arthas down like a dog while carrying a symbol of Sylvanas' wasted hopes.

Rexigar asks...

Question though, do we have to keep the coins for the achievement or does it count when we throw it back in?

It counts as of the moment you've fished it up. No matter what you do with it afterwards, the Achievement's yours. The same mechanic is true of everything else; once the game "knows" you've done something and an Achievement's gained, nothing can take it away.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Fishing, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

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