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Posts with tag westfall

Know Your Lore: WoW for Dummies, Act I: Alliance

Know Your Lore WoW for Dummies, the vanilla years Act I
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.

World of Warcraft was originally released in the US on November 23, 2004. That is eight years of our lives that we've been playing this game ... for some players. For many players however, their experience with WoW began in Burning Crusade, or Wrath, or Cataclysm -- or even right now with Mists of Pandaria. And because of this, it means these players have missed out eight years worth of lore and story from before they began to play.

One of the questions and suggestions I see pop up most frequently, be it on Reddit, Twitter or even WoW Insider, is what happened during all of that time? What was the story behind these expansions? Sure, there are novels and comics aplenty available for reading, but these are side aspects to the original games that didn't really tie into the game so much. The game itself had its own story going, particularly in those first couple of expansions.

So let's step back in time and take a look at WoW and the basic ongoing story that has kept it going all these years -- not the novels, but the game itself. Get ready for WoW for Dummies: the vanilla years.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The curious dissonance of Alliance leveling

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.

Back when I was writing up the five must-do Horde zones and five must-do Alliance zones articles, I decided to play through those zones again just for experience's sake. In beta and the early days of Cataclysm, I spent a lot of time going through the Alliance 1-to-60 leveling zones and experiencing the content. I remember being really pleased with how well the zones were laid out and how nice it was to see actual story instead of just, "I'd like six pig heads; go get them from the field next door." After that experience, I played through them on Horde side and was terribly pleased to see they were just as well done on the other side of the faction fence.

I didn't really think about it afterwards, and it wasn't until I decided to do these two articles that I took it upon myself to level through these zones again. And this time ... something had changed, a little. Perhaps it was because it had been so long since I'd played through the Alliance zones. Perhaps it was because I had just finished experiencing the Horde zones when I went back to Alliance. But there was something very, very different about the experience.

While leveling as Horde, I was having all kinds of lighthearted fun mixed with bits of serious story. While leveling as Alliance, I felt like there was an oppressive weight bearing down on me at all times, and that weight was never really removed. Odd, that.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 3

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.

We're at the final four of our Top 10 countdown of lore development. I had to think very carefully about the top four spots and what should take them, largely because there were so many things introduced in 2011 that it was difficult to say which had the biggest impact. Our #1 spot, however, is one that I don't think anyone can really argue with -- so let's get to it!

Read: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 1 & Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 2

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Chuck Norris plays a melee hunter in latest WoW commercial

Blizzard has just posted an official copy of the newest Warcraft commercial, in which Chuck Norris plays a human melee hunter with a cat pet. The commercial shows Chuck punching and kicking his way across Azeroth in a particularly monk-like style, fighting orcs and kodos in The Barrens and Westfall, and beating up gnomes in seedy bars.

Chuck Norris jokes have been a fixture of Warcraft Barrens and trade chat lore for years, so it was probably inevitable that we'd get something like this eventually. Personally, I'm still a bigger fan of Vin Diesel jokes (and Vin Diesel the human being, for that matter), but it's hard to deny that Chuck doesn't have his place in pop culture and in the WoW community. Now, with this commercial, it's official. And I won't lie, I'd probably give my humans that hairstyle and beard if they showed up in game.

Filed under: Blizzard

Know Your Lore: The VanCleefs, the rise of the Defias, and Westfall

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.
Hope? Is that what I was supposed to feel when I saw my father decapitated by your henchmen? Hope is a cruel joke, played upon us by a harsh and uncaring world. There is no Hope, there is only Vanessa. Vanessa VanCleef.
A little girl watches her father's demise, manages to escape, survives, and then dedicates her life to rebuilding everything her father stood for. It sounds like the sort of story heroes are made of, doesn't it? Ordinarily it would be, but the villains in this particular story are the nobility of Stormwind, including its king, Varian Wrynn -- and heroes just like you.

The story of the Defias Brotherhood begins during the First War, when the orcish Horde first burst forth from the Dark Portal into Azeroth with the help of Medivh. From there, they launched an assault on the kingdom of Stormwind. With the help of a cleverly mind-controlled assassin, the Horde took out King Llane Wrynn, and with his death, the city crumbled. Lord Anduin Lothar, forced to make a decision, led the people of Stormwind and young prince Varian Wrynn north, retreating to the kingdom of Lordaeron to recoup and grieve.

The once mighty city of Stormwind lay in pieces.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Cataclysm Beta: A walk-through of the all-new Westfall

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

Editor's Note: This article contains heavy plot spoilers for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. Read at your own risk!


In the heart of every player who has leveled a human character lies a special place for the gentle, rolling plains of Westfall. Despite the fallow fields and barren hills, the region has a sort of natural beauty to it that many players have found irresistible, making it a favorite for Alliance players. Given its high popularity and my own nostalgia for the zone, I was a bit worried when Cataclysm was announced. What would happen to the great zone? Would it be so radically changed that it no longer resembled what it once was? Would it go by mostly untouched, leaving it unused in the wake of more polished zones?

Fear not! The zone has retained its raw beauty and has received a number of much needed upgrades. The town of Sentinel Hill is now much more secure, with a large wall and greater defenses. The layout of the zone remains mostly the same, with the exception of the Raging Chasm. Once the Alexston Farmstead, this area is a swirling vortex of wind and dust, a remnant of the cataclysm. It adds a new feature to the skyline of Westfall, as it towers into the air at a distance that can be seen from any corner of the zone.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Which Cataclysm zone are you most excited about?

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

All of us are anxiously awaiting Cataclysm's going live. Wrath is winding down and people are anxiously anticipating the new content. Some want new raids, some want new dungeons, some want new quests, some want to make goblins or worgen. Some of us are just really excited to see the changes to the old zones, and some just want to get right into the level 80 to 85 content.

I myself am in the beta. I have played it as it has evolved since the friends and family alpha, and I have watched some of the zones go from buggy and near unplayable, with quests not yet implemented, to being far more fleshed-out and nearly ready to go live. I love Hyjal. It has an epic feel; you are right in there battling to reclaim the zone from the Twilight Cultists and the elementals. Deepholm is equally amazing. In the revamped zones, I thoroughly enjoyed the CSI-inspired murder quest chain in Westfall. I have made both a goblin and a worgen and must say, the goblin starting area and Azshara should not be missed. Everyone should make a Horde character and complete the Azuregos and Kalecgos quests in Azshara. On the other hand, I feel Gilneas is a little overscripted and Darkshore is still a little odd.

There is a lot of the world I want to see when Cataclysm launches, but there are places I want to see more than others. Where are you most interested in exploring when Cataclysm comes out? What do you absolutely have to see, and what quests do you want to do? What particular zone excites you the most? Or are you just in it for new dungeons, raids and new shiny epics?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Where do you go for spring break?


This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by WoW.com's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

It's ironic, but it happens: as we play the game we escape into to alleviate our boredom, we sometimes become, well, really, really bored. The same old dungeons into which to delve, the same conversations in guild chat, the same long wait after another week of bad loot rolls. Start here, fly there, knock down a dozen of those guys, pick up their stuff, and bring it back to the person whose orders we're blindly following to do all this to begin with. Oh, and do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and then for the next few weeks until him and his friends decide they really like you a whole bunch.

It all sounds almost too much like real life, like a real job. Even if our real-world daily commute involved riding a small, colorful dragon between a sweaty, humid jungle and a freezing arctic tundra, and our jobs involved slaying the animated corpses of former friends and allies, and our reward included rifling through their gross, dead pockets for quarters (and, if we're lucky, the occasional attractive pair of shoulder pads), all the novelty would soon wear off and we'd eventually be asking other members of the PUG we just joined, "Are you sure it's Wednesday? It feels like a Thursday. It's really only Wednesday?"

So as dedicated as I can be to gearing up and progression, I like to take a vacation now and then. A break, if you will, and with spring break upon us and summer break fast approaching, what better time to talk about where we like to wander off to when we're sick of standing around in Dalaran trolling trade and LFG? Personally, when I need a bit of time away from it all, I head back to where it all began -- and as a human, that means Elwynn Forest. Yes, I'm in Stormwind all the time, but when I'm on break, I'll head down to Goldshire to check in on the creepy kids, catch a glimpse of (and righteously throttle) Hogger, and then head over to Westfall and treat myself to a solo Deadmines run. It's refreshing, and best of all, I get to keep every piece of copper dropped. Ah, bliss.

So where do you head off to when you need a change of scenery? Where do you escape to when you need an escape in your escape?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The Queue: Deconstructed


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

For a brief moment, I considered embedding 10 Minutes of In The Mountains in place of the XT-002 remix, but come on. That joke is already dying a slow death, and I don't want to be the guy that puts the last nail in Thorim's coffin. I'll leave that to the guy that made the video. No, today is an XT-002 day. It helps that the Deconstructor remix is actually good.

eevul asked...

"Do you think the faction transfer will allow us to carry over heirloom items in order to help level our Worgen/Goblins?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

The WoW tourist's guide to important Cataclysm locations

It was a hectic two days at this year's BlizzCon with lots of revelations, some good, others awesome. Destruction is coming to Azeroth with the return of Deathwing, changing the face of the planet forever. While we won't see the game until 2010, the world will change entirely and cities will be revamped in order to enable them to be made flyable. However, there are several very important locations currently in-game (for the most part) which are going to be very important to the coming Cataclysm.

Check out our gallery below as we take you on a guided tour of some of the important places you should probably visit right now before they are changed forever.

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots, Lore, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

Sprite Darters and Westfall Chickens for the Horde

When it was mentioned that Dig Rat Stew is becoming available to the Alliance, our Horde readers quite nearly rebelled and marched to Irvine to kick over Blizzard's statue. Where was the Horde love? I can tell you where! It's coming in the form of pets. In patch 3.1, two of the Alliance exclusive non-combat pets are being opened up to the Horde: The Westfall Chicken and the Sprite Darter from Feralas.

The Chicken quest (CLUCK!) can now be picked up by Horde players as well, via spamming /chicken at chickens around the world. While Alliance players buy the Special Chicken Feed needed for the quest from Westfall, the Horde can now buy the feed from "Westfall" William Saldean in Brill. Technically the Horde had access to this pet before, but it was a real pain. You had to wait around for an Alliance player to do the quest, then steal their egg off of the ground before they could loot it. Harsh. Now you can do it on your own, in your own town.

The Sprite Darter quest is still exclusive to the Alliance, but there's another way for the Horde to get their hands on it now: Killing the Sprite Darters of Feralas. We don't know how low the drop rate is yet, but it's safe to say that the Horde is going to drive the Sprite Darters to extinction. Alliance players, note that you cannot kill these Darters. We still have to do the quest(s).

See? Blizzard loves you, too. They love all of us equally. ...Usually.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Achievements

Around Azeroth: A Westfall sunset


Telemora of Shadowsong offers this screenshot from the inn in Sentinel Hill, Westfall. You can just see the golden rays of sunset peeping through the hole in the roof. Though this begs the question... this inn has been in the same state of disrepair for years now -- what are those Sentinel Hill laborers doing? (Also available in wallpaper size.)

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: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth: In over her head


Noah sends us this screenshot from Westfall -- which might be a pastoral farm scene were it not for the Defias waving a knife in the foreground. Noah tells us that he snapped this shot while passing through Westfall on his level 70 Paladin, which leads us to believe that this poor Defias is in a bit over her head. (In case you want to be threatened by a knife at all hours, this lovely shot is also available in wallpaper size.)

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: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Forum Post of the Day: Westfall



This forum thread isn't particularly long, but it is actually useful, and prompts some additional thought and discussion. Imagine that! The original poster, Revelatia from Demon Soul, complains that he/she is ready for Westfall too soon after running out of quests in Elwynn. Level 9 questing in Westfall? Not much fun. To my surprise, instead of incredibly stupid responses and sarcastic "NOOB!" replies, Revelatia spurs a good conversation on Alliance-side low-level questing. Even Drysc gets in on the action. Some of the replies include...
  • Bouncing back and forth between other starting areas. I do this a lot myself. I do all the low-level quests in Loch Modan, roll into Westfall around level 13 and then quest and grind myself all the way up to level 17 or so before I start looking for new adventure.
  • Make sure you do ALL the quests in Elwynn. This includes the farm quests in the South and the logging camp quests in the East.
  • You could do some of the higher-level quests in Dun Morogh. I have to admit, I tend to avoid Dun Morogh. Too much running in my opinion.
It's always nice to get a forum thread that is constructive and not overrun with lame replies. And this one is useful as well! Win-win.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips

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