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Posts with tag valley-of-the-four-winds

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: The point of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The point 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.
"It's just possible that the curious race we're going to meet in this mystic land, may just teach us a thing or two about who we are, and why we fight." -- Chris Metzen, BlizzCon 2011
When Mists of Pandaria was introduced, there were plenty of people that were skeptical about the expansion -- many questioned the introduction of the pandaren as a playable race, questioning whether or not an expansion featuring fuzzy talking pandas could ever be taken seriously. Yet although the pandaren can be quite friendly and agreeable, the overall theme of Mists has been remarkably dark. I'd almost consider it darker than any prior, if only for one reason: the message in this expansion hits far closer to home than any other.

While Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm all highlighted major enemies that sought to end the world, each through their own means, Mists took a step back from the grand bellowing villains and their evil schemes. And instead, it chose to shift the focus to us -- Alliance and Horde, players and NPCs alike. Yet on the brink of patch 5.4, presumably the last raid of this expansion, what lessons can we take away from Pandaria? What has it taught us, that couldn't be taught by fighting another world-threatening NPC? What was the point of Pandaria?

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

Where is my mahjong minigame in Mists of Pandaria?

Why doesn't Mists of Pandaria have a Mahjong mini game
During Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard gave us the Peggle and Bejeweled addons. In Cataclysm, we got an amazing in-game version of Plants vs. Zombies (which rewarded a Singing Sunflower pet that actually sang). Now in Mists of Pandaria, the latest addition to the growing collection of games within the game is the new pet battle system which is reminiscent of the beloved Pokémon series.

Well, beloved to everyone else anyway. See, Pokémon and I have a bitter past. It started when I was 12, and I told my mother the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a Gameboy and a copy of Pokémon Blue. It was an expensive gift to ask for from a single parent working two jobs, but I was desperate. In the months prior, all my friends at school had ceased socializing about comics and fantasy novels in favor of playing Pokémon. Every day at lunch they'd scarf down their meals then whip out their link cables and start dueling. Not having a Gameboy myself though, I was completely left out.

Sadly, when Christmas came there was no Gameboy. Instead I received a Pocket Pikachu, which was a weird toy pedometer crossed with a Tamagotchi. The idea was that you'd keep it in your pocket and as you took steps you'd earn currency to buy presents for Pikachu, who would then be your friend. The problem was the pedometer wasn't very sensitive to normal steps, so you were better off shaking it over and over. So for the next few months, while my friends continued to ignore me to play Pokémon, I shook a stupid, yellow pedometer up and down.

Anyway, long story short, I'm not too crazy about a pet battle system. And while I appreciate that Blizzard has made great efforts to integrate such an indepth feature into the game, I feel like they've missed out on the perfect opportunity to add a minigame to the game that would fit perfectly into Mists of Pandaria: mahjong.

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Filed under: Humor, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal updates with part 6

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 6
What happened to Li Li after the Valley of the Four Winds? For that matter, where exactly was she when her Uncle Chen was duking it out with that orc and human during the cinematic trailer for Mists? Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 6 of her adventures in Pandaria, and answers a few questions about Li Li's whereabouts during pivotal events, and where she's headed next.

In the latest installment, Li Li and Chen have made it to the Valley of Four Winds. In Li Li's eyes, the place looks remarkably like the Wandering Isle, only on a much larger scale. Mention is made of wandering heroes from Azeroth that helped the Stormstouts on their way across the Valley (that would be us!) as well as in the Stormstout Brewery.

The installment leaves off with Li Li headed for Krasarang Wilds without the accompaniment of her dear Uncle Chen, in search of the place where Liu Lang originally left Pandaria on the back of Shen-zin Su. Since we know at some point Chen headed west to the Dread Wastes, it should be interesting to see what Li Li is up to in his absence. You can find chapter six, as well as all previous installments of the story, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Reputation in review: The Shado-Pan

Reputation in review The Shado Pan
I gotta say, I really dig the Shado-Pan. I liked them from the first moment I saw them in the beta. I think a lot of it has to do with what kinds of characters make up the faction. While the rest of Pandaria is full of affable characters like the Tillers, who are free with food, drink, story and song, the Shado-Pan represent the other side of the pandaren race. They're the warriors, the fighters, the fierce, strong and sometimes dark side of pandaren culture.

They are not welcoming, they are not particularly friendly, and to be perfectly honest the majority of them are pretty angry that we've shown up on Pandaria. Now perhaps it says something about me, but that fact in and of itself made me want to grind out this reputation. I mean, here I am, hero of Azeroth, killed Deathwing and interrupted what was going to be the end of the world and these guys are treating me like a total scrub? Oh it's on, guys.

Not to mention the absolutely fantastic taste these guys have in hats. Have you seen the hats? I knew I needed one of those hats the moment I laid eyes on it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Level cooking from one to Zen with Sungshin Ironpaw

Level cooking from one to Zen with Sungshin Ironpaw
At first, I thought it was just a beta feature -- a way to get everyone's cooking up to the level where the new Ways could be tested. But as time went on and news appeared of updates to the leveling processes for inscription and cooking, I grew happy at the prospect of not having to wait until November to level every alt's cooking skill.

Sungshin Ironpaw stands at Halfhill Market, right across from the Halfhill flightpoint, in the Valley of the Four Winds on Pandaria's continent. A toon must be 85 or higher to start the quest for Zen Master cooking skill (525-600 skill).

Sungshin has a full set from 1 to 525 skill of pandaren dishes, most of which use ingredients sold by her. You will have to bring some fish and couple pieces of meat yourself, but by and large you can buy and cook your way to 525 without moving, since Sungshin is standing next to a cooking pot!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard's official Valley of the Four Winds zone preview

Blizzard's official Valley of the Four Winds zone preview
If you remember the Jade Forest zone preview, Blizzard's back with another zone preview. This time it's the Valley of the Four Winds. Quest designer Paul Kubit is your guide this time, giving you a head's up on what locations to explore, the major story questing experiences (highlighting the zone's smaller, more intimate feel) and those two pandaren up there in the header image, Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li. Who is the Hidden Master? What's up at the Stormstout Brewery? Who are the Tillers? Clues are given in this preview, so head over to the official site for more screenshots and tantalizing hints.



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

What is your favorite Mists of Pandaria beta zone?

What is your favorite Mists of Pandaria beta zone
Over on the US Mists of Pandaria beta forums, Crithto has posted a poll asking which new zone is users' favorite and why. As of this writing, Kun-Lai Summit has taken a narrow lead over Jade Forest and Valley of the Four Winds. That doesn't really surprise me; all of those zones have some really cool elements that I'm looking forward to playing through in the live game.

What's a little more interesting, though, is that very few people seem to like Krasarang Wilds or Townlong Steppes. Those have only reached 4% in the poll. I didn't find either of those zones too terrible, though I confess they didn't seem very memorable either (which might be the point).

The poll remains open until the 15th, if you'd like to vote! Full post below.

Crithto
You've tested, you've explored, and you've done a great job sharing feedback. Now let's sit back, take a breather for a moment, and chat about the beautiful zones in Pandaria. There are seven primary new locations to adventure in, and we want to know which one has been your favorite and why.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items

Mists of Pandaria beta: Wrathion quest chain now live in beta

Mists of Pandaria beta Wrathion quest chain now live in beta
Wrathion's appearance in Pandaria was originally a bit of a surprise to me. After I finished the rogue legendary chain, it seemed to be clear that Wrathion was going to go find someplace quiet and out of the way to brood. Pandaria certainly wouldn't have been my first choice for the one pure black dragon out there in the world -- but to Pandaria Wrathion went, and presented with his own quest chain to boot.

The voice files for the Wrathion chain were datamined several weeks ago, but it wasn't until this beta build that players got the opportunity to see Wrathion in action. Level 90 players can now make the trek to the Veiled Stair and find Wrathion sitting happily in the Tavern of the Mists with a quest marker over his head. Speaking to Wrathion will offer the option to share a drink while Wrathion shares some information that is dearly important to him -- and probably ought to be pretty important to the rest of us, too. We've captured video of the event, which you can view after the break.

Spoiler warning: The video shown may contain big spoilers for Mists of Pandaria. If you are avoiding spoiler content, turn away.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Krasarang Wilds

Mists of Pandaria Beta Krasarang Wilds
Krasarang Wilds is the sister zone of Valley of the Four Winds to the north. The two zones are interlinked, but the order in which you complete them really doesn't matter one way or another -- the subplots and stories littered all over both zones eventually come together in a really amazing finish. There are several quest hubs in Krasarang, and working your way into the zone is simple. All you have to do is look for either of the couple of intrepid explorers from Valley of the Four Winds, both of whom headed in a southern direction.

Horde and Alliance players may have crash landed headlong into the Jade Forest, but they are not the only visitors to hit Pandaria's shores. Contingents from both the Alliance and Horde have also made their way to the southern shores of Pandaria, and neither of the groups seems to be working with the best interests of their leaders in mind. No, they are there for a distinctly different purpose, making Krasarang Wilds and the zones that follow even more intriguing.

Take a look at the full gallery for a sneak peek at the gorgeous scenery and mysterious creatures that await you in Krasarang Wilds.



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Which race has the creepiest-looking children?

Which race has the creepiest looking children
In preparation for Friday night's raid testing, I started leveling a second character to 90 on the Mists of Pandaria beta yesterday evening. I had only progressed a couple of quests into Valley of the Four Winds when I noticed Chen Stormstout and his little niece Li Li were talking at me with recorded dialogue. When I had done these quests a few weeks earlier, neither NPC had made a peep, so the voices caught me off guard and quickly drew my attention and focus.

This was when I realized for the first time that Li Li has been given a new character model. Previously, Li Li had been nothing more than a shrunken version of an adult female pandaren; now, she's taken on the form of a glossy-eyed, ever-smiling child.

I immediately recoiled at the sight, shrank back in my chair, and clawed blindly at the keyboard in an effort to tab out of the game so I could console myself with pictures of kittens and Ryan Gosling's beard. I barely survived.

So maybe it's just me, but nothing haunts me more than the soulless, unblinking eyes of Azerothian children. Anyone else share my sentiment? If so, which of the kids do you think are the creepiest?

Which race has the creepiest looking children?
Humans.2706 (27.8%)
Orcs.299 (3.1%)
Draenei.1282 (13.2%)
Blood Elves.636 (6.5%)
Goblins.3084 (31.7%)
Pandaren.970 (10.0%)
You're crazy, they're all adorable!757 (7.8%)

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Valley of the Four Winds

Mists of Pandaria Beta Valley of the Four Winds ANY
Valley of the Four Winds is the second zone players will find themselves in when leveling through Mists of Pandaria. The quests in the Valley start at level 86, but the valley is a little different than most leveling zones we're used to. Instead of being restricted to the Valley of the Four Winds, the zone is tied into Krasarang Wilds to the south, and the two zones act like sister sub-zones, each with its own storyline that eventually unites at the end.

If this sounds a little confusing, it isn't as you're playing through it. At the beginning of the zone, players will encounter four characters all looking for the elusive Hidden Master. In an effort to find him more quickly, the four characters split and follow the paths of the four winds to the north, south, east and west. Players can choose to continue in the valley to find the two characters tucked away in the farmlands, or they can head south to Krasarang and find the other two characters.

Each character has their own sub-story arc, and each arc weaves together into a seamless story. Head whichever way you want -- the leveling is fun any way you go! In the meantime, take a look at our gallery for a selection of screenshots from the verdant farmlands, hills and forests of the Valley of the Four Winds.




It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Jade Forest going offline for extended period

Mists of Pandaria Beta Jade Forest going offline for extended period
If you've been postponing checking out the new zones in the Mists of Pandaria beta, you may want to start rolling. (Yes, that was a monk joke.) According to a recent post by Kaivax on the beta forums, the next patch will see the zone no longer accessible due to necessary "improvements." As a consolation, an NPC will be provided in Stormwind or Orgrimmar that will boost you to level 86 and teleport you to the next leveling area, Valley of the Four Winds. Hopefully, Jade Forest will reopen for testing of the new changes eventually, but the timeline is anyone's guess at this point.

The full blue post is below.

Kaivax
With the next patch to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta, we will be temporarily removing the Jade Forest zone. We're going to be making improvements to the zone, and want to put the focus of testing on other areas during this time.

As a result, starting with this next beta patch (which is coming soon™), you will find that you are no longer able to enter Jade Forest. If you have any characters that are hanging out in Jade Forest when the zone is disabled, they will be automatically ported out to the following locations:
  • Valley of the Four Winds (for Horde characters)
  • Krasarang Wilds (for Alliance characters)
Characters that need experience to continue testing can visit either Orgrimmar or Stormwind. In each faction city, there will be an NPC that provides a quest which will reward enough XP to boost your characters from 85 to 86, as well as send you to Valley of the Four Winds to continue questing from there.

We expect Jade Forest to be offline for an extended period of time; we'll provide further details as we progress with our updates to the zone. Thank you for testing Mists of Pandaria!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: New Wrathion voice files datamined

Image
So, have you been wondering why exactly Wrathion's made an appearance in Pandaria? Datamining over the course of the past month or so has revealed several legendary quality items, and the possible existence of a quest chain for more details on what those legendary items are for. And of course this all ties back to our dear friend Wrathion, who has apparently been quite pleased with what he's seen so far in Pandaria.

But Wrathion, while a black dragon, isn't necessarily a bad guy. A bit short-tempered, yes. A creature you certainly wouldn't want to cross, absolutely. A black dragon with an agenda that benefits something other than himself? ... well, that actually seems kind of likely. MMO-Champion dug up some voice files for Wrathion and the apparent quest chain for those legendary items. The implications are utterly fascinating, both for current events in Mists of Pandaria, and for future patches as well.

Spoiler Warning: These voice files may contain big spoilers for Mists of Pandaria. If you are avoiding spoiler content, turn away.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Sunwalker Dezco for Warchief

Image
Spoilers for Mists of Pandaria in this post.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoy Sunwalker Dezco. As a tauren, I love the idea that there's a tauren presence in Pandaria, and that unlike most of the Horde the leadership of said tauren, actually uses the quotes around the word Warchief when talking about Messere Hellscream.

I first met the Sunwalker in the Krasarang Wilds. He was leading an expedition to Pandaria inspired by the visions of his wife. After that, I ran into him again helping out against the mantid, then in Kun-Lai Summit at the Temple of the White Tiger, where he gives out a quest to meet with one of the August Celestials within the Temple of the White Tiger. After Xuen, the White Tiger, tests your mettle, he allows you and Dezco (if you're Horde) to go south. Pretty much everything Dezco says or does shows that he's loyal to the Horde, but clearly less than enamored with Garrosh and his particular way of leading it. Dezco is very involved with the quests leading to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms as well as Krasarang and Valley of the Four Winds, and he's at once a determined bringer of the light and a much more tolerant and reasonable Horde figure than we've seen in some time.

I'm just glad to see a new, no-nonsense tauren lore figure, and to see the tauren taking some initiative in Pandaria. And I admit, I love the idea of a sarcastic tauren paladin.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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