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Posts with tag voljin

Breakfast Topic: Has lore prevented you from enjoying content?

Breakfast Topic Has lore prevented you from enjoying content
From a purely game mechanics point of view, I should love Battlefield Barrens. One of my favorite things to do in Vanilla WoW was head out to the plaguelands and mindlessly grind scourgestones while I read guild chat or watched TV. Sometimes, you don't really want the dedicated direction of dailies or quests, you just wanted to get some progress done on your terms, when you feel like it. Battlefield Barrens, with the ability to grind resources to use for a single weekly quest or for currency for some decent gear and vanity items, would seem to be perfect for that.

But I can't go back to the Barrens, because I'm Alliance. When I go to the Barrens, I've heard from outside sources and little story snippets that I'm supposedly infiltrating the Horde to sew chaos and dissension. Despite that, the actual quest dialogue and gameplay tells a different story. From the moment I hit Durotar, I have to put up with trolls taunting me about the loss of Theramore and trolls threatening to kill me. Even Vol'jin makes me "earn his trust," and threatens to feed me to Sylvanas if I question him. To top it all off, it's not clear that I'm getting anything in return but the vague hope that Vol'jin's Trolls might kill an extra orc or two before the Alliance starts their main offensive.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: The Alliance and the Darkspear Rebellion

Know Your Lore The Alliance and the Darkspear Rebellion
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.

Sometimes, the storytelling in World of Warcraft sets people on edge -- which may very well be the understatement of the year. So far, nothing in Mists of Pandaria has been quite as contentious as the idea of Alliance vs. Horde story development. We've delved into the seemingly lopsided nature of Alliance development in WoW before, and taken some guesses and speculation on what the Alliance seems to be missing from a development standpoint.

But patch 5.3 has introduced a new element -- the Darkspear Rebellion -- and with that element comes a new wave of discontent. Having played through both sides of the event, I can definitely see where the Alliance are coming from. While the Horde has a really great triumphant moment of smacking down Garrosh's forces, the Alliance doesn't really have an equivalent. Which leads people to ask, once again, when the Alliance are going to get a moment of glory?

It's a good question, and the answer to that question warrants a look into the story behind the expansion, as well as a look at the nuts and bolts of story development.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.3: Battlefield Barrens Preview

Patch 53 Battlefield Barrens Preview
Warning: this post may contain spoilers for patch 5.3, particularly content relating to the Battlefield: Barrens quests! If you don't want to read spoilers, don't read the section of this post that happens after the break!

Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera has posted a blog providing both back-up information and useful clues about the events taking place in the areas surrounding Orgrimmar, giving players the heads up on the various new elements being introduced to those zones, how they are used and the stories behind them. As the devs commented in the recent live Q&A, this is a new angle on maximum level questing for WoW, and it's pretty fun. Again, beware spoilers, but you can also check out WoW Insider's initial look at the goings on in the area.

Final spoiler warning! They lurk ominously after the break. Watching. Waiting.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The case of the next Warchief

The case of the next Warchief
Patch 5.3 is a-coming, and the Siege of Orgrimmar is drawing nearer and nearer every day. One question that I know is on everyone's mind is, who will be the next warchief? We know Garrosh is getting deposed - we don't yet know if he's going to die - and someone will have to take his place.

So who should it be? The obvious choice is one of the racial leaders, though exactly which one is up for debate. I thought it would be fun to analyze some of the potential candidates and tease out what might make them a reasonable choice of warchief both inside and outside the story. Let's start with some of the easily dismissible, for brevity's sake.

This post contains some minor spoilers for patch 5.3, so be warned!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: Is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt?

Know Your Lore Is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt
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.

As the expansion rolls on, we are lurching towards something that we've known was coming since the beta for Mists of Pandaria -- Garrosh Hellscream's downfall and the Siege of Orgrimmar. Yet what we didn't know that day that were were informed of the expansions focus, is just how the new Warchief's reign would end. And as the patches have continued to roll out, we have more of an idea and a solid picture of both the Alliance and the Horde's place in this conflict. Make no mistake, Hellscream has made far too many enemies in his short reign, both within and without.

Yet there are those who point out Garrosh's actions and the possibility that his actions may not be under his control. That perhaps he's been corrupted by the Sha while searching for power in Pandaria. Or perhaps the bones of Mannoroth that Garrosh uses as his throne still have some vestige of darkness that lingers within. Or that perhaps the Old Gods have been slowly leeching their influence into Garrosh. Regardless of the methods behind it, there are plenty of people all wondering the same thing -- is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt? Are we going to fight the Warchief, only to discover a far greater horror waiting for us?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Horde vs. the Horde

Know Your Lore The Horde vs the Horde
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.

Spoilers for patch 5.3 to follow

Back in the day, and be not mistaken the day was well before The Burning Crusade was even a glimmer in our eyes, I rolled a tauren warrior. His name was Vorn. Vorn went on many quests, because questing was my favorite way to level. Vorn went all over the world, exploring the Horde and the lands under its control, and he found a lot he liked about his allies. He could respect the orcish ferocity and skill in war, the trollish craft, guile, and restrained sense of humor (the Darkspears are sardonic in their way), and even the forsaken seemed to have a wide disparity of personality types. I met forsaken in Thunder Bluff who sent me across the world to return a locket to a tombstone, and that quest moved me to explore the forests of Silverpine, and in time to go to Undercity itself. To be sure, I found there to be aspects of their unlives that disturbed me, but they displayed a strength in adversity that I found admirable.

And then they ruined it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.3 PTR: Vol'jin and the Darkspear Rebellion

Patch 53 PTR Vol'jin and the Darkspear Rebellion
When I began playing Horde sometime in 2005, I vividly remember running through the barren hills of Durotar and completing the quests. According to the quests, I was just a new character that may or may not have the potential to be a hero someday -- and I felt suitably lowly, yet willing to help out. But I tell you what, I never, ever in a million years expected to be at Vol'jin's side, leading a fleet of angry Darkspear on a charge through the shallow canyons to Razor Hill, and eventually Orgrimmar itself.

It may just be on the PTR for now, but it is seriously one of the most sweeping, awesome, coolest moments I can remember in all the years I've been playing this game.

Vol'jin's back in Kalimdor, and he's ticked. But then, being the target of an assassination attempt ordered by the Warchief of the Horde is probably more than enough to make anyone cranky. If there's anything we're learning in patch 5.3, it's that while the Darkspear may be small, they are far from helpless -- and kicking that bees' nest is an action that will ultimately be sorely regretted. Both Horde and Alliance are on the prowl in patch 5.3, but the stories on each side of the faction fence look very, very different in patch 5.3, although the goal at hand is ultimately the same.

Please note: This post discusses patch 5.3 content. If you're avoiding spoilers, turn away now.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.3 PTR: Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster items

Patch 53 PTR Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster items
The Darkspear Rebellion has begun on the patch 5.3 PTR -- Vol'jin and his forces are attempting to lay siege to Orgrimmar itself. The content spans the breadth of Northern Barrens at this point, with quests and story for both Alliance and Horde players along the way. But what's a new set of quests without a new selection of goodies to be had? Sure, Vol'jin, we'll help you out ... but give us some cool stuff for the effort, okay?

And it appears at the moment that there are quite a few new items to grab. There are plenty of new toys, a new pet, and a host of gear to be gathered from the Darkspear Rebellion quartermaster -- and we've compiled a list of screenshots for all of it. As of right now, there doesn't appear to be a reputation requirement for any of the new items. Simply gather a truckload of Kor'kron Supplies and turn them in for the rewards at hand. There are two exceptions to this -- the new battle pet Gahz'rooki requires a Radical Mojo to purchase, which is currently a reward for a weekly supplies-gathering quest. In addition, the Raptorhide Boxing Gloves require a Radical Mojo to purchase, as well as Brawler's Guild membership to start the quest that they offer.

Whether or not these items will remain available without a reputation requirement is unknown, but the rewards aren't tied to Valor points, and they don't appear to be powerful armor or weapon upgrades. What they are, however, is a whole lot of promising fun. Take a look at the gallery for the full list of Darkspear Rebellion items coming your way in patch 5.3.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft: Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde cover reveal

World of Warcraft Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde cover reveal
Blizzard Entertainment was kind enough to send us the never-before-seen cover art of upcoming novel Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael A. Stackpole. It appears that not only will this novel focus on Vol'jin, but Chen Stormstout will play an integral role, too. The book's back cover reads:

Warchief Garrosh's assassins strike at Vol'jin, leaving him at death's door. But fate smiles on the wounded Darkspear leader when renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout transports him to the safety of an isolated mountain monastery. There, Vol'jin wrestles with old hatreds smoldering between the Alliance and the Horde as he struggles to recover alongside a mysterious human soldier.

Yet this is only the beginning of Vol'jin's worries. Soon, he becomes embroiled in an invasion of Pandaria launched by the Zandalari, revered trolls driven by dreams of conquest and power. This ancient tribe offers Vol'jin a chance to seize the glory that is the birthright of all trolls... an offer made even more tempting after Garrosh's brazen treachery.

Amid these troubling events, Vol'jin is rocked by intense visions depicting his race's grand history. As he questions where his loyalties lie, he knows he must make a choice about his own destiny that could save his people or damn them to languish under Garrosh's heel.

Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde is currently slated for release July 2, 2013.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Vol'jin and conflicted loyalties

Know Your Lore Vol'jin and conflicted loyalties
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.
"Why?" a voice asked. Vol'jin felt the voice in his bones; it rumbled inside him. "Why you lead our people to subjugation? Surely it be better to fight alone an' proud, to die alone an' proud." "No," Vol'jin said, thinking it through. "De Darkspears should always be free an' proud. But we got to be alive to be free. If we dead, we lost. Better to bide our time, to endure. We be an ancient race, mon, and we endure."
Vol'jin may have been abruptly thrown into the role of leader for the Darkspear tribe, but that doesn't mean he wasn't prepared for it. The leader of the Darkspear is far more clever than one would think. And although he readily agreed to think over what Thrall had said regarding Garrosh Hellscream, it seems in Mists of Pandaria that the conclusion he's come to is that while Thrall's intentions may have been good, the placement of Garrosh as Warchief of the Horde was an error ... one that needs to be corrected.

All around Azeroth, the Horde is crumbling to pieces, and the blame lies on the actions of Garrosh Hellscream. Yet how can Vol'jin justify turning his back on the Horde, leading the Darkspear into the unknown? How can Vol'jin justify his actions in Cataclysm, Mists, and the upcoming release of patch 5.3?

Please note: Today's Know Your Lore contains some brief spoilers for patch 5.3 content. If you're trying to avoid spoilers, you may want to turn away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Horde rebellion, loyalty, and leadership

imposting garrosh
Loyalty, and its limits, are pretty big underlying themes in WoW's current story arc. As of patch 5.1, the WoW poster child for complex loyalties and their consequences is Aethas Sunreaver. Aethas has a divided heart. He is a blood elf (and was, once upon a time, a high elf) and as such, he is loyal to Quel'Thalas. But he is also a citizen of Dalaran, it's his adopted homeland, and he also wishes to be loyal to Dalaran. These are loyalties he has tried to juggle for three expansions now, and they finally, inevitably, came to a head. Aethas' failure in patch 5.1 lies in either his own arrogance or naivete, that he couldn't see the truth: in this day and age, in Azeroth, those loyalties were irreconcilable. Once Quel'Thalas had decided to ally with the Horde, a longtime enemy of Dalaran, it was only a matter of time before that political division bore consequences for individuals. Aethas' own refusal to choose is ultimately what led to his choice being forced.

I feel for Aethas, in this sense. I sympathize with his impulse toward reconciliation. Why shouldn't he have tried? History was on his side. Quel'Thalas and Dalaran have, in fact, been traditional allies for quite a long time, much longer than they have been enemies. I don't think his hope was unreasonable, but it did turn out to be impossible. There is just too much bad blood - on many sides - for any sort of truce to exist at this point, and it will likely be a very long time before those wounds are healed enough for bridges to be rebuilt. Sometimes compromise just isn't an option.

Fair warning: there are minor spoilers for patch 5.3 below the cut.

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

Updated! Spoiler Alert: Patch 5.3 Datamined sound files

Spoiler Alert Patch 53 Datamined sound files
Spoiler Alert! Beyond the break are several YouTube video embeds which contain considerable spoilers for the latter half of this expansion, as well as, potentially, for the next one.

Our friends over at Adriacraft have been at it again, digging around in the latest patch 5.3 PTR files. There's audio from several key characters in the game (including a great deal of Wrathion), revealing what could well be coming our way. Of course, take this with a hefty pinch of salt. This is datamined information and should be treated as such, so don't take it as confirmation of anything.

As ever, spoilers lurk after the break. Do not hit the break unless you are happy to hear spoilers for upcoming content. Do not read the comments unless you are happy to read people talking about spoilers. Fair warning.

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Filed under: News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The lore so far -- leading into patch 5.2

Know Your Lore The lore so far  leading into patch 52 SUN
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 5.2 is almost here, bringing new stories and development to Mists of Pandaria. The story presentation in Mists so far has been a vast, vast improvement on the convoluted storylines in Cataclysm. While Cataclysm left many players wondering what, exactly, was going on, Mists has been by and large a seamless storytelling experience integrated into questing, raids, dungeons, scenarios and daily quests.

But not everyone participates in everything. Sometimes all you want to do is raid or PvP -- but you want to know the story, too. If you've been looking for details on lore you may have missed, lore that is important as we move to patch 5.2, we've got you covered. Don't worry, there are no patch 5.2 spoilers in here. But there are plenty for everything that's happened in 5.0 and 5.1, so reader beware.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Reputation in review: The Dominance Offensive

It took until patch 5.1, but we got it. The most perfect reputation grind in the game to date. I don't say these words lightly, because let's face it, I have pretty high standards for what I like and what I don't like with daily quests. But the Dominance Offensive appears to have taken the best out of all previous reputation grinds and wrapped it all together in a delightful ball of compelling story and quests that barely feels like a grind at all.

Please note that this is a review for the Dominance Offensive, which is the Horde side of the 5.1 reputation. At this point in time, I don't have an Alliance character at level 90, so I'm unable to play through the Operation Shieldwall quests. However, I have been assured that not only are the Operation Shieldwall quests just as good, in some ways they are even better than the Dominance Offensive material. I'm not even sure how this is possible, because these dailies are just that good.

But enough gushing. Let's get into the nuts and bolts of what makes this reputation grind so different from everything before it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.1: Vol'jin, Wrathion, and other sound files

Not to be outdone in terms of massive massive spoilers, patch 5.1 has a whole host of them for the Horde as well, and Wowhead has them for us. These new sound files not only include details on the Assault on Zan'vess scenario, they also reveal what Vol'jin and Wrathion are up to, covering a great deal of the patch 5.1 storyline. What's the Divine Bell? How do the mogu shape flesh? Clues and details only when the appetite for more, and these sound files will cause you to ask as many questions as they'll answer anything.

These files are loaded with spoilers, but they're well worth listening to. Will you be swearing the blood oath?


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: News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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