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Posts with tag uther-lightbringer

Hearthstone heroes ranked not by power, but by lore

Hearthstone news site Liquidhearth posted a pretty interesting rank list yesterday. The site primarily focuses on the game-related side of Hearthstone -- arenas, deck builds, card abilities and the like -- however, this particular article looks at not the individual cards, but the heroes featured on Hearthstone's nine available decks. The list is laid out and ranked not by the relative power of the class deck, but by the place they stand in Warcraft lore.

Each hero is given a brief descriptive summary detailing their place in Warcraft's history, and each rank is justified by one of three panelists quizzed for the column. What makes it interesting is that from a Hearthstone standpoint, the order isn't really quite where I think it should be. Mage decks, for example, are absolutely devastating if they get the right cards -- and I've had my cards thrown right back at me by more than one incredibly clever set of combos from a priest deck. The rogue deck is particularly devastating when used correctly as well.

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Filed under: Lore, Hearthstone Insider

Hands-on with Hearthstone

I possess no background in card games, whether it be TCG or CCG. I intentionally avoided scouring databases and watching the Fireside Duels specifically so I could go into my first Hearthstone play session with that perspective. There's value in that perspective: most people who play the game for the first time will have the same experience. My lack of knowledge did make me quite nervous when I sat down to play Hearthstone, though. Would I waste my entire playtest session (on-site at Blizzard Entertainment) blundering through, simply trying to learn the rules? As it turns out, yes. That's exactly what happened.

We were only able to play for about an hour, so don't take my confusion for the duration as a condemnation of the game. Rare is the strategy-based game that can teach you all of its intricacies in an hour. By the end of that hour, however, I had a grasp of the basics and understood most of the terminology. It didn't click fast enough for me to attempt much experimentation with my deck or playstyle, but simply playing put me on the right track. I felt truly lost when I first sat down, but grew more comfortable with every turn. I'm told Hearthstone does have a tutorial to guide you through that initial learning phase, but it wasn't included in our playtest. With an estimated 45 minute duration, the tutorial would have consumed nearly our entire hour. Blundering through turned out to be just as effective.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore


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.

Duty first. Grief second. Self-pity? Never.

Daughter of a Grand Admiral, once intended of a prince, and one of the greatest mages in the history of Azeroth -- it's a hell of a reputation to live up to, but Jaina Proudmoore is nothing if not conscious of the example she sets to others. While other leaders have suffered greatly and bear the scars of their past as a badge of honor to further their pursuits, Jaina has had her own share of grief. Yet unlike the other leaders of her time, she bears her sorrow quietly, burying it under responsibility and an unwavering dedication to the greater good of the world.

Jaina Proudmoore was the youngest of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore's children. The only girl born to the family, Jaina had a lot to live up to -- and she was determined not to spend her life as one of other ladies of the noble court. From a young age, Jaina showed a remarkable aptitude for the magical arts. Around age 11, she was sent to Dalaran to study among the mages of the Kirin Tor -- something that may have been a daunting task for other children her age, but not Jaina. She'd spent her childhood reading tales of Aegwynn, one of the greatest Guardians the world had known. The tales of how Aegwynn had overcome the stigma of being a female wizard and achieved far greater success with her position than any man in the Guardian line only served to fuel Jaina's ambitions, even though she was but a child at the time.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The peculiar tale of the Headless Horseman


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.

Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled!
Shelter your weak, your young and your old!
Each of you shall pay the final sum -- CRY for mercy!
The reckoning has come!
He was introduced with Patch 2.2.2 in 2007, his gruesome shade sending players frantically scurrying for water buckets to put out buildings he'd set on fire. The Headless Horseman has been around ever since, providing a fun holiday break from the usual Warcraft grind -- but few people knew the origins of the new boss. Other than a brief note by the orphan matron who begs players to put out the fires, the character of the Headless Horseman seemed to have little story behind him.

The Warcraft Legends manga series introduced a story about the fearsome rhyming foe in issue number 5 released in September of 2009. Though the Horseman's story had been fairly short until that point, the manga told the whole tale of the Horseman's origins, why he haunts the streets setting buildings ablaze -- and why he prefers to speak in those peculiar poems rather than simply saying what's on his mind. It's a sad story, taking place before the fall of Lordaeron, and it begins with a paladin named Sir Thomas Thomson.

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for Warcraft Legends Vol. 5. If you wish to remain unspoiled, run away little girl! Run away ...

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: Looking to the future


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

This week I have a special request: I want any questions you might have about potential future expansions. Any questions at all are welcome, but I'm on a speculation kick recently, so next week's column will probably focus on the future and then we'lll be back to our regular deal after that. So no matter whether you think the Maelstrom could be next or something else entirely, ask!

Mark asked...


"Any chance that the Vrykul will be a playable race in a future expansion?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Paladin


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the fourteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

You might say that paladins are the guardians at the gates of hell -- they fight evil wherever it penetrates into their world and they take the fight to the evil's source in the hope of quenching it forever. Although they focus on guarding their people from undead and demonic forces on the rise, paladins actually stand against evil everywhere, including the evil in their own hearts.

Being a paladin means that you have a relationship of some sort with the Holy Light, that mysterious force of goodness and faith that flows to some degree within all living beings with positive intentions. Most paladins (and many priests) believe that when you do something that you believe to be good, the power of the Light increases in you and your connection to the rest of creation is strengthened, whereas doing something evil (such as acts of greed, despair, or vengeance) will darken the universe and weaken your connection to it. Whether this belief system is a religion or a philosophy is open to interpretation, and seems to depend in some part upon which race you are.

There are three sorts of paladins in World of Warcraft, aligned with the humans, the draenei, and the blood elves. All of these share certain similarities, but each has its own differences as well.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Dwarves, Paladin, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

The funny, morbid, and sad coins of the Dalaran fountain


Level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain.

I'm serious. This completely nonsensible and illogical statement is brought to you by the 53 tiny lore moments you'll get if you'll just sit yourself down somewhere and level up fishing. Yes, it's boring having to fish up dozens of useless fish to get to the good stuff in Outland and Northrend. Yes, you could be farming up gold or materials that will help you level in Wrath. I don't care. Go fish.

You see, while you'll be fishing up a lot of equally useless fish in the Dalaran fountain, you'll also get coins. No, not in the sense that you'll be fishing up ingame money, but you'll fish up coins tossed into the fountain of this very old city by 53 people, many of whom will be known to you if you've played the game for any length of time. Some of them, perhaps most of them, are funny. Some are serious. Some are heartbreaking. I admit to a touch of being a lore geek, and it was wonderful being allowed a peek into the irreverent or hopeful or sad heads of Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall, or Stalvan Mistmantle. It is idiosyncratic little touches like this that make WoW hopelessly fun to play, and it is my fondest wish that whatever person at Blizzard who thought this up is pulled off whatever they're doing right now and chained to a desk until they come up with more stuff like this.

So, if you don't do anything else with your time between patch 3.02 hitting and Wrath going live...level up fishing so you can fish in the Dalaran fountain. But don't read any further if you're not interested in Wrath spoilers, because there are a few here...

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Lore, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Know Your Lore: The Silver Hand


As we continue down the road to Wrath of the Lich King, we get more and more information about what factions we'll be coming across. The Taunka, the Tuskarr, the Scarlet Onslaught, things like that. The one that seems to have gotten the most people excited is our beloved Silver Hand. The inclusion of the Silver Hand has even sparked a great amount of debate on the official Wrath forums, yammering for or against the Horde being welcome in the Order. Because of all of this, I've decided we'll take a little look at the Silver Hand this week!

Contrary to what most people believe/know, the Order of the Silver Hand was not founded exclusively by Uther the Lightbringer. At the time, Uther was actually still an apprentice. His teacher, Archbishop Alonsus Faol, was the true founder of the Order, though Uther was at his side, naturally.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Factions, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

RP Spotlight: Impermanent death

Mystic Chicanery's Nibuca says she isn't really a roleplayer, but nonetheless has made an interesting observation with big implications for roleplayers. "If Azeroth were real," she asks, "what would be the cultural implications of an impermanent death?"

We all know that death is a one-way journey in reality: death's permanence affects everything we do in this world -- all our laws, customs, and moral values. Yet in Azeroth it is not so: the main consequence of dying is a tedious and expensive "corpse run" for your ghost to retrieve your body. If this sort of impermanent death were a reality on Earth as it is in Azeroth, then everything about our world would be changed. As Nibuca points out, people would take risks with their lives much more lightly, execution would no longer be the ultimate punishment, and doctors might sometimes find it easier to let their patients die and then resurrect them, rather than deal with the mess of curing their sicknesses.

Roleplayers have to be somewhat careful not to let impermanent death and other such necessities of computer gaming become realities from their characters' point of view. After all, if the rules of Azerothian reality were the same as the rules we have in the game -- where death never lasts and good gear is the ultimate goal -- then there is really nothing of importance at stake for any of the characters in the Warcraft stories, least of all yours. That kind of world would effectively be just a game, whether it was real for its inhabitants or not.

Can you imagine how real life would be different if death were impermanent like it is in the game? Would such game-world realities enhance our own real world, or reduce it to trivial meaninglessness?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Lore, RP

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