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Posts with tag wrath-of-the-lich-king

What makes a "good" reputation grind?

Reputation is one of those double-edged swords in World of Warcraft. Speaking as someone who played classic WoW, I find it sometimes odd to see the amount of focus put on gaining reputation with various factions. This is largely because I remember the days when grinding out reputation really didn't get you anything at all in the long run. It wasn't until later in the game that Blizzard introduced the concept of gaining reputation with other races for mounts, and the only way to get that reputation was to turn in ridiculous amounts of cloth.

Factions like the Hydraxian Waterlords, the Zandalar, and the Argent Dawn all had their reputations firmly locked hand-in-hand with raiding. But reputations like the Shen'dralar, the Bloodsail ... they had no real purpose at all. When The Burning Crusade was introduced, the idea of factions was reworked. Suddenly you really wanted to gain reputation, because doing so meant you could unlock heroic dungeons or get neat incentives like armor, pets, and tabards.

Reputation design has changed drastically since then. Where once you got a tabard as a reward, now you slap one on and grind dungeons to earn reputation as quickly as you can. Different factions have different rewards, and rewards like shoulder and helm enchants are absolutely required if you want to perform optimally. So ... what was the best of the best?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

A spoiler-free look at the Mists of Pandaria beta

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Are you in the beta for Mists of Pandaria yet? Are you fastidiously avoiding spoilers about all beta-related content? As a site that covers Warcraft news, you'll find more often than not that we have a lot of content up on the site that could be considered spoilers. And if you're someone who's avoiding all that spoiler content, it can get a little frustrating to have to keep scrolling past all that information -- or even more frustrating, dealing with the temptation that all of the spoiler information you could ever want to indulge, just behind that click.

Well, that's not what this article is about. It's about the beta, but it's a spoiler-free look at the beta. You'll see some screenshots, but mostly what you'll be reading is what the beta is like. No spoilers of cool story information or anything of that nature here -- just information on Mists, how it looks, how it's shaping up, and what to expect in the event that you do get a beta invite and would like to indulge.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The haunting legacy of Grom Hellscream

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.

I chose Garrosh because he has the strength to lead our people through these trying times. For all my supposed wisdom, there have been moments that I've barely been able to hold the Horde together. The Wrath Gate and Undercity displayed that clearly.

The Horde cries for a hero of old. An orc of true blood that will bow to no human and bear no betrayal. A warrior that will make our people proud again. Garrosh can be that hero. I did not make this decision lightly, Vol'jin.

I know our alliances will suffer for it. I know the Horde will be irreversibly changed. But I made this choice with confidence that Garrosh is exactly what the Horde needs. I'm trusting you and the other leaders to not let this divide our people. You are stronger than that.

Let's just cut to the chase here: It was revealed in the press event information that Garrosh Hellscream, current Warchief of the Horde, will have his reign abruptly ended in Mists of Pandaria. The son of the great Grom Hellscream will no longer be Warchief, and it's not only the Alliance that will be participating in his dethroning -- it's the Horde as well. Though it may seem like a rash course of action, in all honesty, this has been coming for a very, very long time.

After all, he is the son of Hellscream.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Does Garrosh Hellscream deserve to die?

Likely one of the most contentious things to come out of the Mists of Pandaria press event was the news that we do indeed have a final boss for the expansion -- and it's the current leader of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream. Garrosh has been a figure in lore since The Burning Crusade led Horde players to Nagrand and introduced the younger Hellscream, an orc who had been raised thinking his father was the reason the orc race had been through so much suffering. This depressed him to the point that we players actually stepped up and took care of many of the problems surrounding the Mag'har village in an attempt to cheer him up.

But his true salvation came in the form of Warchief Thrall, who was not only gratified to find his grandmother alive and the name his mother and father intended for him, but happy to find the living descendant of one of his closest friends as well. It was Thrall's words that finally broke the stupor of shame and depression that Garrosh had been living with for his entire life. And it was Thrall who took Hellscream under his wing, away from Garadar and to a land he'd never before set eyes upon: Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Transmogrification, the hottest new game of dress-up

If you're anywhere near as addicted to transmogrification as I am, you've likely been collecting gear and creating multiple sets ever since the feature was introduced. Likely, your bank is full of sets, and your void storage may very well be full of sets too. In the last post of the Cataclysm post-mortem series, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer Greg Street) talked about what worked with the expansion as well as what didn't -- and transmogrification was firmly on the amazing feature list. According to Ghostcrawler, it opened an entirely new avenue of gameplay, and more and more players are jumping into old dungeons and raids looking for the perfect look for their characters.

But what transmogrification has really accomplished is that it's given us a way to customize our characters in a unique and profound way. Let's face it -- the character creation screen in WoW doesn't exactly have a ton of options to choose from. No matter how unique you think your character looks, in a game with millions of people playing, there are likely millions of players out there with exactly the same hairstyle and face choices. And with tier sets becoming so prevalent, particularly in Cataclysm, all the characters had started looking like carbon copies of each other.

Transmogrification allows players to get that thing that they've been after since the early days of WoW -- a distinct and unique look for their characters.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Transmogrification

Are pure DPS classes really just another form of hybrid in disguise?

Once upon a time, my guild was trying its hardest to down 25-man heroic mode Lich King. It was the very end of Wrath, and we were running out of time to put an end to the boss before the inevitable launch of Cataclysm. I had been playing an assassination spec since some point between Ulduar and ToC, having given up on ever obtaining a really good combat weapon (I was partial to fist weapons; something about punching people in the face with knives appealed to me), and I was really good at it. I spent forever poring over stat caps and best-in-slot items and had just gotten the perfect set of items that capped every stat that needed to be capped.

And then it happened -- the prep patch for Cataclysm. Do you know what the best stat is for an assassination rogue in Cataclysm (other than hit, of course)? Mastery. Do you know what wasn't present on any Wrath gear? Mastery. My DPS went down, and due to sup-par burst DPS, I was sat for the realm-first 25-man heroic mode Lich King kill. I watched all my guildies ding the achievement and get the one title I was really excited about. And later, one of the officers, a druid, asked me flat out -- why didn't I have a backup combat spec?

Oh ... if only he knew.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The last gasp of 25-man raiding

Imagine you have been placed in front of two hedge mazes, both leading to the same wonderful prize at the end. It could be a car, money, a trip to an exotic location -- whatever you really want, for the purpose of this imaginary exercise, OK? So there are two mazes, each leading to the awesome prize, but as you look at those mazes, you realize one of them is twistier, longer, and has potentially more hazards in it. The other is difficult, to be sure -- but side by side, it's slightly less hazardous than the other. And they both lead to the exact same thing.

So which maze do you take?

Most people would much rather take that shorter, slightly less hazardous maze. I mean, if you've got two choices that get you to the same fabulous prize, you'd be out of your mind to take the difficult path, wouldn't you? Welcome to the debate of 10-man vs. 25-man raiding -- and the main reason why 25-man raids are slowly dying out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Lor'themar Theron: In the Shadow of the Sun chronicles blood elven leader's troubles

While it's not a brand new leader short story, Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'thalas, gets the new-to-you treatment with Sarah Pine's wonderful story, In the Shadow of the Sun. In the Shadow of the Sun was the 2008 winner in the Blizzard Global Creative Writing Contest and chronicles the leadership of Lor'themar after The Burning Crusade, the rejuvenation of the Sunwell, and the preparations for war against Arthas in Northrend. After fighting a devastating battle at the Sunwell Plateau, Lor'themar must meet the challenges of peace time and war, leading his people immediately after their great leader has been corrupted and lost.

Check out the full story over at the Blizzard community website. If you haven't yet read this one, it's definitely one of the best.

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World of Warcraft holiday sale is crazy

If you thought $50 for the entirety of World of Warcraft during GameStop's Black Friday sale was good, Blizzard is about to do you one better. From now until Dec. 19, the entirety of World of Warcraft is on sale for a grand total of $35 on the Blizzard store. In addition, the Celestial Steed (aka Sparkle Pony aka Glitter Stallion) and the Pandaren Monk pet are on sale, too. This is how the prices break down:
  • WoW: Battle Chest for $5 (reg. $19.99)
  • Wrath of the Lich King for $10 (reg. $39.99)
  • Cataclysm for $20 (reg. $39.99)
  • Celestial Steed for $10 (reg. $25)
  • Pandaren Monk for $5 (reg. $10)
If you planned on pulling any friends into Azeroth this holiday season, there really is no better time to do it. If you don't want to go all-in, you can introduce friends and family to the base game for just $5 -- and if you want to dangle a carrot on the end of that stick, buy them a Celestial Steed to work toward. A $15 dollar investment, all told. Also? You should totally tell them about WoW Insider. A little birdie told me that due to popular demand, we're currently revamping our leveling guides. Talk about timing.

Filed under: News items

5 reasons you should love Cataclysm

Oh, Cataclysm. You've gotten such a bad rap. Despite popular opinion, what we got from the Cataclysm expansion was nothing short of a miracle -- one that was desperately needed after the prior two expansions' worth of content. But it's undeniably difficult to look at the current expansion with anything other than an overly critical eye, considering the fact that we're playing through all that content right now.

In hindsight, it's likely the current expansion will grow on us, and some time in the distant future we'll be looking back on it with rose-colored glasses just like we do the others before it. Don't get me wrong -- while classic, The Burning Crusade, and Wrath all had absolutely fantastic reasons to love them, things didn't seem so rosy and wonderful when we were all playing through that content, and there was just as much grumbling in each of those expansions as there is about Cataclysm now. But hey -- there's still plenty of reasons to love Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

World of Warcraft profits on the rise in China

Sister site Massively reported earlier today that World of Warcraft isn't just doing fine in China, it's doing extremely well. According to Gamasutra, the Chinese WoW operator NetEase just posted its Q3 revenue for the year, and the profits are doing nothing but rising. This is a little surprising given the information from the Activision Blizzard investor call earlier this month, which reported a loss of subscribers, mainly in the east.

Regardless, NetEase posted revenues of 2.0 billion Chinese yuan, up 39.8% -- a substantial number. In China, it seems that World of Warcraft is still a force to be reckoned with, dropping subscriber numbers or not.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

5 reasons you should love Wrath of the Lich King

The Burning Crusade was just the first expansion in WoW's history, and though it brought many things to love, as always, there were tweaks to be made. So how do you follow up a well-put-together expansion featuring a host of memorable villains from Warcraft III? Oh, that's easy enough. To top Illidan's appearance, you bring in the villain he couldn't defeat -- you bring in the Lich King.

Ever since the final scene of The Frozen Throne, Warcraft fans wondered just what happened to Arthas after he placed the Lich King's helm on his head and took an icy seat. In Wrath of the Lich King, they were about to find out. Featuring an all-new continent with new zones to play through, Wrath also introduced the first new hero class to the game, the death knight. In the wake of The Burning Crusade, Wrath had a lot to live up to. It did that and more, paving the way for more accessibility to raids, more endgame content and new lore, to boot. Many of the players in Cataclysm today got their start in Wrath of the Lich King, and there's plenty of things to love about it -- far too many points to list. But we'll give you five of them!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Archivist: How each WoW expansion set the tone, part 2

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold.

Previously on WoW Archivist, I discussed how the tone of Warcraft and its associated world changed drastically as time went on and the first expansion pack, The Burning Crusade, was released. Each time World of Warcraft changes its setting, the tone of the game (from the way the environments make the player feel to the actual mechanical development of the product) changes significantly. The tonal change makes WoW a unique specimen in the MMO sphere, allowing it to grow, adapt, and target a vast array of audiences opposed to growing stagnant over time. Incorporating each new tone and focus with each new expansion lets World of Warcraft move forward despite its age.

For a long time, we jokingly referred to Wrath of the Lich King as "The Frozen Crusade" because Blizzard took the best parts of The Burning Crusade and began to build the next expansion. It was hard to understand the tone of the newest expansion before you actually played it. In the beginning all we saw was two new ores, 75 more profession skill points, and greens that were going to replace our purples again. For me, the tone looked like it was going to be "here we go again" -- that is, until I first stepped into Northrend.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

GameStop offering Black Friday deal on WoW Battle Chest and expansions

Retail gaming store GameStop is offering a huge deal on Black Friday for those who want to pick up World of Warcraft. The WoW Battle Chest, which includes both WoW and The Burning Crusade expansion, can be snapped up for $9.99, and both Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm will be available for $19.99 each. This means that players looking to get started with WoW can pick up the whole collection for $50 total, which is a great deal no matter how you look at it.

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and falls on Friday, Nov. 25 this year. So if you're looking to pick up the game for a friend (can we say Recruit-A-Friend, anyone?) or to open a second account for yourself, this would be an ideal time to do it for an ideal price.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

5 reasons you should love Mists of Pandaria

BlizzCon's over, so let's recap. We get playable Pandaren, neutral characters that can choose either Alliance or Horde at the end of the starting experience. On top of that, we get the monk class that plenty of people have been excited about seeing implemented in game. And then we get entirely revamped talent trees that aren't trees at all -- they are a completely gutted and entirely new system for people to play with. Plus, we get something to do with all those pets we've collected over the last several years.

Yet a lot of what I've been reading here and there has been a general reaction of "That's it?" rather than excitement, and it seems a little odd to me. After trying to puzzle out why exactly it was odd to me that people would feel this way, I decided it really didn't have anything to do with them; it had plenty to do with me. Out of all the posts I write, you guys seem to love the tinfoil hat theories the best -- and the way I create those posts is due to the way that I look at stories and situations.

That said, there is a reason you guys should be excited about this expansion. Actually, there are several of them, but I'm only going to hit five of them. And I'm going to blow your mind with what is the biggest reason you should absolutely love what's coming up in World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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