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Posts with tag vale-of-eternal-blossoms

Know Your Lore: The lost tales of Pandaria

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.

Mists of Pandaria was packed with a lot of story, each of its 'acts' dovetailing into the next. It wasn't quite as expansive as the myriad plot points that were introduced with Cataclysm, but Cataclysm also included a revamp of almost every level 1-60 zone in the game, with both quests and the stories of the zones themselves getting a shot of new story content. When Cataclysm was winding down to its inevitable end, I reviewed several of the plot points left in the expansion -- story hooks that we might or might not see addressed later. There are still many out there left untouched.

It only seemed appropriate, in the waning weeks of Mists, to do the same. Although Mists didn't have quite the variety as Cataclysm, there were still moments of potential story that were left unanswered -- tales without an ending, problems or puzzles we still don't have an answer to. And as we move forward into Warlords of Draenor, we can only wonder if, or when, we'll see these elements pop up again.

Please note: The following post contains some spoilers for the novel War Crimes.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

5 ways to get rich off an agonizing grind

Skyshards are a bit like leprechauns: Some people never see them, and some -- usually the heavily inebriated souls awake at 2 am -- see them all the time. You need 10 for a Sky Crystal which brings Alani crashing out of her route around the Vale. Because that's the only way to get the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent, and because some of us are working on Mount Parade and will barf the next time we see the Argent Tournament, sometimes you just have to resign yourself to a long and boring grind. However, if you've got to kill thousands of mobs anyway, you might as well make the most out of it and improve your hourly genocidal "wages" with a few things:
  • Helpful Wikky's Whistle A rare drop off Major Nanners. While definitely the least helpful item on this list, the Whistle isn't expensive to use and doesn't use a trinket slot. Blow it, and a tiny hozen will appear. Talk to him, and he'll run off to forage for you while you kill mobs. Once you get to around 50, Wikky will reappear with a Bag of Helpful Things. Warning: He vanishes fairly quickly if you don't talk to him, so keep an eye on the emotes in your chat screen. He'll always announce his presence.
More past the cut!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy

What to do in a raid while waiting to raid

My guild is moving right along through heroic 25-player content -- we're 10/14 currently, and happily working on Thok. Part of the reason I enjoy the guild is the progression, but the other part is that no matter how bad things get, nobody ever takes things too seriously. To us, raid nights contain endless games within games to be played while groups are being set up and in between wipes. If there is something weird to be done in the Siege of Orgrimmar, something that has nothing to do with the actual killing of bosses at all, we've either done it, or we'll discover it soon.

But before you get started raiding, why not get some fishing time in? The other day we discovered that the small pool of water right in front of the instance portal is just deep enough to allow fishing -- something we thought removed with the destruction of the Vale. To our knowledge, you aren't going to find any fishing pools in the little puddle of water, but you can still fish. Not only can you fish, but there are Jewel Danio still lurking in the water.

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Filed under: Humor, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Black Prince

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.

Wrathion, the last black dragon -- to his knowledge -- on the entirety of Azeroth has been a puzzle from the moment his egg was created. His immediate response upon hatching was a vicious, calculated attack on his own flight via the use of assassins, which resulted in the nigh-extinction of the black dragonflight. And after completing that mission, he curiously chose, instead of going somewhere to be left alone as he stated he wanted, to go to Pandaria -- where he began an even curiouser journey that players were quickly swept into upon reaching level 90.

Wrathion's travels in Pandaria, his sudden gaining of a multitude of Blacktalon Agents, even the spot in which he chose to make his temporary home are all increasingly questionable, especially given what little we know about Wrathion himself. He gives us a grand, magnanimous story about how he's looking out for the world because he's seen visions of the Burning Legion coming to call, and of our world's destruction.

But he also said he was firmly on the side of the Horde, or the side of the Alliance, then swapped sides as efficiently as possible when it was convenient. In other words, Wrathion lies. He lies all the time. So the question we should be asking here is whether Wrathion has been giving us the real truth at all -- and what is the truth behind Wrathion's puzzling journey?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign

Know Your Lore A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign
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.

There will be spoilers for every patch of Mists of Pandaria, including 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, in this post

Leaving aside blame for a moment, let's just look at the results of the past year or so in terms of what actually happened. To heavily summarize events:

Horde and Alliance forces discovered Pandaria, landing in the Jade Forest.

Both factions mobilized local allies (the Horde made pacts with the Hozen, the Alliance joined forces with the Pearlfin Jinyu) and waged a proxy battle through these cat's paws. The result was the desrtuction of the Jade Serpent's next incarnation and the release of the Sha of Doubt, leading to the Sha infestation of the Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Both factions pushed onward into Kun-Lai Summit, where they fought the yaungol and set up base camps, converting local pandaren to their cause. They did not actually join in battle at this time.

Scouts and agents of the Horde and Alliance penetrated deeper into the continent, in time exploring the Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes. In time these advance forces even managed to convince the August Celestials to allow both the Horde and Alliance to set up bases within the sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Both the Horde and Alliance made large-scale military bases in the Krasarang Wilds and began using these to wage resource war against one another, fighting over territory and raw materials as well as ancient mogu artifacts buried below the surface of the wilds.

This period of hostilities led to a culmination wherein Warchief Garrosh Hellscream attempted to use a mogu artifact, the Divine Bell, to infuse his own soldiers with the power of the Sha. The fallout from this action caused the neutral Kirin Tor to eject the Sunreaver pro-Horde faction from Dalaran and declare themselves for the Alliance under their leader, Lady Jaina Proudmoore. Prince Anduin Wrynn nearly died in the attempt to destroy the Divine Bell, which succeeded. Garrosh Hellscream, however, was not balked from his goal of finding a new weapon.

There's more, of course. Things had only begun to heat up at this point.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: The Vale, columnists, and more character model chat

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

Farewell, beauty of the Vale. You were gorgeous, but your quests drove many a player to madness. Is your fate deserved? Maybe.

MichaelBarrs asked:

for reasons out of my control I've been absent from Mists since not long after launch. If I continue to quest to level 90 will I get to see the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in its pristine state, before Garrosh went and ripped it a new one or is that something I will have missed out on permanently?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Siege of Orgrimmar and the world of the idea

Siege of Orgrimmar and the ideas we experience in World of Warcraft
Last night while raiding Orgrimmar, specifically while coming into the gates of the city past the Iron Juggernaut, I had this intense feeling of recognition layered with the discontinuity changes bring. It's a similar feeling to when you go back to the city or town you grew up in after a few years. Things have changed, but you still recognize most of it - tiny flashes of memory jump out, saying (in this case) "Hey, remember hovering over Grommash Hold in your flying mount waiting for raid" and then "This was always my favorite Auction House, I wonder if I left anything up before I switched factions" but at the same time the cages and wandering Kor'kron mobs lent a surreal air to the whole experience.

I'd spent the whole night distracted anyway by the little touches of the raid so far - the fight with the Fallen Protectors started a chain of thought that stayed with me. These people were dead because, in part, of actions I'd taken while I was playing as Horde. After all, I stood next to Garrosh in the Shrine of Two Moons as he said that he would learn from the mogu. I helped him steal the Divine Bell from Darnassus. I watched him use it on Ichi, discarding a loyal servant like a broken toy when it didn't work. And more of course - I served Hellscream in breaching the Jade Forest, bringing the war that my faction was waging to foreign shores, and disrupted the cycle of rebirth for the Jade Serpent, loosing the Sha upon the forest. I snuck into Theramore and freed the Horde agent who helped keep Alliance civilians in the city for the bomb to destroy.

Now of course, I didn't actually do any of those things because it is a game. Garrosh Hellscream is a voice actor's craft and a mass of pixels reading lines written by Blizzard's team of writers. What I find interesting, and overlooked at times by players like myself, is the opportunity to muse on the ideas presented to us by the game. What would it be like to return to Orgrimmar as a soldier invading it? What would it feel like to bear a certain responsibility for the ruin of a peaceful valley, the destruction of people who had only sought to protect their home? To see a beautiful land scarred by a monstrous act, and know that the act couldn't have happened without your assistance, however small, and however deeply you regretted it? For me, part of the fun of playing the game is in thinking differently than I usually do, to explore the ideas presented by the story as I move through it. I mean, at one point we actually have to kill pride. That's the subtext leaping forth from the head of the text, that is.

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

Patch 5.4, flexible raids, dailies and more with Tom Chilton

Patch 5.4 is nearing completion, and soon we'll see the Siege of Orgrimmar and the fate of Garrosh Hellscream on live servers. But 5.4 has much more to offer than the raid itself -- we'll have plenty of other content to play through as well. Featuring new pets, new mounts, a new raid difficulty and much, much more, patch 5.4 is shaping up to be a substantial addition to an already massive expansion.

We had the opportunity to chat with Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton regarding all of the above, as well as plenty of other topics of contention in regards to both patch 5.4 and Mists of Pandaria as an expansion. Read on to hear what he had to say about Flexible raiding, the upcoming Connected Realms feature, the future of daily quests and the challenges of creating a raid out of a capital city.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

The destruction of the Vale

vale destruction
The latest WoW blog post by Community Manager Nethaera might be just a tad overshadowed by the release of the (very engaging!) patch 5.4 trailer, but there are some tidbits in it that you don't want to miss! If you haven't been keeping up with the lore, the post provides a good overview of the Vale of Eternal Blossom's story and significance to the expansion. There are also some big changes coming its way--not just lore wise, but gameplay-side, as well.

The Vale's intro quests through Kun-Lai Summit are going to be modified to reflect the state of devastation that new adventurers will find; in other words, the new Vale will not be phased. All the pools will be drained, but never fear, fisherfolk of WoW, the Jewel Danio fish will be relocated to the Timeless Isle so you'll still be able to get your hands on them. New enemies, reflections of the never-defeated Sha of Pride, will be found roaming the once-golden hills of the Vale. As a result of all this destruction, the Golden Lotus have been forced to retreat from their grand pagoda. Though characters can continue to earn Golden Lotus reputation by killing enemies in the Vale, their quests will no longer be available, and the achievement "Eternally in the Vale" will be removed from the game. Now's the time to get it if you want it.

The permanence of of the changes in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms reflects the looming changes to World of Warcraft itself. What is the future of the Alliance and Horde? What will be the fallout of the Siege of Orgrimmar? Only the release of patch 5.4 will tell...

Filed under: News items, Lore

Possible hint to the next patch?

Possible hint to the next patch
Mists of Pandaria has brought about a ton of visual changes, and not just to Pandaria -- Orgrimmar has seen a lot of evolution over the course of the expansion, what with the abrupt shut down of the Valley of Spirits and the wild Gamon chase all throughout the city. However, it looks like the Siege of Orgrimmar might not be the last patch we'll see in Mists of Pandaria after all -- Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak made an interesting comment on Twitter regarding the future of Orgrimmar.


Whether this is pointing to the usual lead-in patch for the next expansion, or a patch 5.5 in the works is, of course, completely up in the air. But it's nice to see that Orgrimmar won't be in a state of perpetual lockdown for good. It would be even nicer, however, to see the Vale restored at least a little bit in some sort of resolution -- after all, its appearance in 5.4 is kind of a shock. And if we're dead set on cleaning up Pandaria, wouldn't it be lovely to see some kind of evidence that we're serious about it? For that matter, seeing the Jade Forest cleaned up would be nice, too. Sure, it might take another hundred years to build another statue for the Jade Serpent, but I miss the orange trees.


Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: New recipes for 300 stat food and more

Patch 54 PTR New recipes for 300 stat food and more
The Vale of Eternal Blossoms may see some rough times in patch 5.4, but that doesn't mean that all the secrets it holds have been discovered ... yet. Perculia over at Wowhead has dug up a variety of new recipes from the PTR server that grant 300 of a particular stat. The excellent part of this? The recipes take a bare handful of ingredients compared to the 300 stat food that exists right now. And the peculiar twist to this is that all recipes use ingredients found in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Lest you think this is a walk in the park, it should be noted that all ingredients for these new recipes currently have a freshness timer of two hours. In other words, no stockpiling these ingredients. Along with the fresh ingredients that can simply be gathered, there are three different types of aged ingredients as well. While the aged ingredients don't spoil -- they are aged, after all -- at present time it seems as though they drop from rares in the Vale, specifically the rares once required for the One Many Army achievement.

The origins of these recipes don't appear to have been uncovered at this point, although they all appear to be drops rather than a recipe learned at a trainer. As far as the Noodle Carts discovered quite some time ago, it appears they are tied to a new quest chain for aspiring chefs. I don't know about you, but having more than one method of creating 300 stat food sounds like a wonderful idea to me -- and it's nice to see that the Vale and its rares will continue to be useful as the expansion moves on. For more information about the recipes, check out Wowhead's excellent roundup of what they've found so far.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: How to get Golden Lotus reputation in 5.4

Patch 54 PTR How to get Golden Lotus Reputation
In patch 5.4, several fairly dramatic changes are taking place, but none quite so dramatic as the state of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. So severe, in fact, that it seems that the achievement Eternally In the Vale is being turned into a Feat of Strength with the next patch. Why? Well ... let's just say that the quests required for completing the achievement are no longer possible to complete, when patch 5.4 hits -- we'll leave it at that.

This has many players wondering, however, what happens to Golden Lotus reputation when the new patch arrives. Will it go away? Where will all the daily quests go? How do you get reputation with the Golden Lotus, when many of the quest objectives and NPCs have been altered in a significant fashion? We poked around a bit on the PTR and while we may not have solid answers, we do have a general idea of where things are going -- and don't worry, your reputation will still be obtainable.

Needless to say, patch 5.4 spoilers abound within this post.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The lore leading into patch 5.4

Know Your Lore The lore leading into patch 54
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.

Patch 5.4 is now live on the PTR servers for testing, and it has several ... dramatic changes, both to the world and to the characters in it. While patch 5.3 may seem small on story, there's actually plenty going on -- more than enough to serve as a catalyst heading into the new patch. In fact, plenty of the events in 5.3 directly effect what's going on in patch 5.4. Although we don't know the whole story just yet, considering the PTR is a test realm that may undergo changes as time goes on, we do have enough to tie 5.3 and 5.4 together in a significant way.

If you've been following the lore, you may have seen the signs already and know what to expect. But if you haven't been paying much attention to the story, or you're wondering what's going on with those images people have been posting from the patch 5.4 PTR, we'll do our best to get you all caught up. Mists of Pandaria has been an expansion chock full of new story, and patch 5.3 has certainly been no exception to this -- but 5.4 is shaping up to be the biggest hit we've seen so far in Mists.

Please note that today's Know Your Lore contains some spoilers for patch 5.4 content. If you're avoiding spoilers, turning away now would be advised!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Video: A first look at patch 5.4's environmental changes and raid

WoW Insider was able to get into the patch 5.4 late last night, through a slew of disconnects and other server issues, and we managed to capture some footage for you of the environmental changes to one of the areas.

Now, this is spoiler-heavy, so if you don't want spoilers for patch 5.4 content, of any kind because while the video doesn't contain that much it could spoil something I never even thought of, please don't click the video. Also, don't click the break and read more of the post, and don't read the comments! Spoilers lurk within.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available

Faction short story Bleeding Sun now available
A new short story is available on the official Blizzard website for lore fans. Bleeding Sun, written by Matt Burns, sheds some light on the Golden Lotus and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Although there have been small bits of story about the Vale and its guardians, there wasn't a lot of clarification on the process itself. We knew that the Vale had guardians, that those guardians had been there before the August Celestials chose to open the gate, but how those guardians were chosen, or what that choice entailed was still a mystery.

Matt Burns, also the author of Charge of the Aspects from last year, tackles this subject with flair -- but it's a dark flair, one that was entirely unexpected. I'd mentioned before that Trial of the Red Blossoms, Blizzard's first foray into Pandaria's many factions, was a little dark. Bleeding Sun beats it, hands down -- and all by using a character who is entirely devoted to the Light of An'she's sun. Sunwalker Dezco makes a unexpected return in Bleeding Sun, along with his twin sons, now named Redhorn and Cloudhoof. Dezco has been trying to to come to terms with the death of his wife Leza and the result of their grand journey across Pandaria. He and his followers found the Vale ... but what now?

And that's where it gets really grim.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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