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Posts with tag tirisfal-glades

The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW

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World of Warcraft sometimes gets panned for its graphics, which have never been on the bleeding edge of virtual reality. This, however, was a deliberate choice on Blizzard's part, and I think it's a good one. It allows for people who are behind the hardware curve (such as myself) to enjoy the game, and the graphics' intentional cartoonishness holds up better over time than hyper-realistic renderings, which often seem horribly dated within months. More importantly, WoW's beauty hasn't suffered for it. Azeroth is stunning.

I've compiled a list of the ten spots I personally find to be most beautiful, and by spots, I truly mean spots, not entire zones. I expect many of you will have wildly differing opinions, and I look forward to reading about them. The ten locations are listed in alphabetical order by zone; there's no way I could actually order them - I would never be able to decide!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: Scarlet Monastery revisited

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.

Number three on the list of Top 10 Lore Developments of 2011 was the subject of progressive instance lore -- the idea that an instance could change over time. We've had a few different examples of this over the past year; Cataclysm launched with heroic versions of both Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, each with different, new bosses and a full-out story for why these new bosses were present. This was a surprise to those who were simply expecting level 85 versions of the old bosses -- but the new bosses and mechanics were well received.

In addition, 2011 saw the introduction of patch 4.1, in which both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman were treated to makeovers and presented as 5-man heroics instead of the raids they used to be. Again, these changes were made along with story developments that explained them fully, with a new quest line and a patch cinematic thrown in, to boot. Though the dungeons themselves were incredibly difficult, the story of the rise of the Zandalar Empire and the conflicts with Vol'jin is gripping and still isn't finished being told. But all of this leads to one simple question.

What exactly will we see in heroic Scarlet Monastery?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The curious whispers of Tirisfal Glades

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.

Long ago, before Human civilization had progressed into kingdoms and civilized society, the Kaldorei of Kalimdor participated in a war that ultimately split the world apart. The war was about power, as all wars ultimately are in Azeroth -- this time, the powers of a mysterious font of energy known as the Well of Eternity. Suffused with arcane magics, the Well commanded the attentions of countless Highborne who grew dependent on its powers. So too, did the Well draw the attention of the dark forces of the Burning Legion and its leader, Sargeras.

Though the War of the Ancients ended in a victory for the Night Elves, it wasn't the last they'd see of the Well of Eternity. In an act of desperation to keep the arcane font alive one way or another, Illidan Stormrage used a vial of water from the original Well to create a new one, high atop the peaks of Hyjal. Horrified by his actions, his brother Malfurion had him imprisoned, and the Aspects created the World Tree and charged the Kaldorei with guarding the new Well. The practice of arcane magic was forbidden from use in Kaldorei society, punishable by death.

But the Kaldorei underestimated the depths of the Highborne's addiction. And both Highborne and Kaldorei alike didn't realize there were far worse, darker powers to worry about ...

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 why it happened. The events presented are events that happened in Azeroth's history, but the conclusions are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Breakfast Topic: What starting zone do you love?

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

Lure me in with a beautiful location and great storyline, and I'm yours. I've been sucked in by the Blood Elf and Draenei starting zones and was loathe to leave. I also loved my time in the Goblin and Worgen starting zones, although being plopped out into the world with no real skills was a tad frustrating. I've also enjoyed starting Night Elves and Tauren. Despite this, my favorite zone is the Undead zone. That's right, Tirisfal Glades. Although it doesn't meet my "beautiful" requirement, the story more than makes up for it. And actually, on second thought, it is beautiful, in its own special way.

There's just something about Tirisfal Glades that feels so ... good. Maybe it's the slightly gothic feel. Maybe it's the tragedy that permeates the zone, the loss that is evidenced everywhere. And Sylvanas is one of my favorite characters, so having the opportunity to play next to her feels like an honor. I liked the undead starting zone from the beginning, but the changes in Cataclysm really added to the atmosphere. Being evil is so fun.

What about you? What starting zone really gets your juices flowing? Do you find yourself constantly making the same race over and over again just so you can watch the cinematics or do the same quest? What is it about that zone that makes it so very awesome for you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

What's happening in the Whispering Forest?

Every now and then, an Easter Egg is found in game. Blizzard loves its pop culture references, secret nooks and crannies, and everything in between. Recently, this popped up: a secret grove, hidden in the Whispering Forest of Western Tirisfal.

While it's unknown when they spawn (I've heard every six hours or so, but I'm not sure), a troupe of faerie dragons slowly flies to this mushroom ring and begins to sing.

Tendrils of golden light flow and meet in the center of the circle, while ethereal music notes float all around. A beautiful little piece of music accompanies all of this, lasting about two and a half minutes. The infected animals of the Whispering Forest even come around to witness the performance. After they're done, the dragons leave and despawn.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: The unfortunate tale of Lilian Voss

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.

Every zone in the old world was touched by Deathwing's emergence, and with the changes came new lore and storylines. One of the more poignant tales of new Azeroth comes from Tirisfal Glades, where newly raised Forsaken soldiers struggle to come to terms with their fate. Before the fall of the Lich King, every "newborn" Forsaken was raised from former members of the Scourge that had broken free from the control of the Lich King.

However, after the fall of the Lich King, the Forsaken were left without a way to create new Forsaken. Having lost countless Forsaken soldiers in the Northrend war, Sylvanas Windrunner sought out the val'kyr, former servants of the Lich King. The val'kyr had a very special talent -- they could raise the dead to life. Thus, Sylvanas had a way to create new Forsaken soldiers out of any corpses that happened to be handy.

The only drawback to this process was that one never knew how the awakened corpses would react. While some eagerly joined the ranks of the Forsaken, others were far too tied to their former lives to accept their fate. One of these newly minted undead was a woman named Lilian Voss, whose former life was unique to say the least. Lilian was a member of the Scarlet Crusade.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Is the Alliance aiming to retake lost lands in Cataclysm?

Derthelz on the official forums asked a good question -- why is the Alliance prepared to kill Arthas but not to try to retake their lost city of Lordaeron? After all, the upper half of the Eastern Kingdoms is almost completely lost to the Alliance, despite the area being the former home of some of Azeroth's most powerful nations. Why doesn't the Alliance try to take them back?

Crygil says that, actually, they just might:
"Who said that the Alliance wouldn't attempt to reclaim these lands? That is a very dangerous assumption to make, especially if you're of the forsaken persuasion.
The Lich King is a threat to all the inhabitants of Azeroth and, as such, he needs to be put down before territorial disputes can be resolved. Leaving those claims for the future only makes sense; far easier to fight one war at a time. For now, it's better to focus on the task at hand."

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Around Azeroth: Braaiiiinnnnnnss


I admit -- the zombie jokes are probably overdone at this point. But you can't deny that this excellent screenshot of Tirisfal Glades sent in by reader Oaty of Hearts Blood defines all things Scourge in World of Warcraft. (Including, no doubt, their hunger for delicious brains.) And the best part -- the full-sized version (click on the image above) is wallpaper sized for continued enjoyment on your desktop.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Filed under: Undead, Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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