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Posts with tag wrathgate

Warlords of Draenor: The Kor'kron are officially out

Denizens of the Undercity can breathe a sigh of relief in Warlords of Draenor, as abominations have once more taken their rightful place as guards of the Forsaken capital. Ever since the disastrous events of the Wrathgate and subsequent Battle for the Undercity in Wrath of the Lich King, the Undercity's halls have been dutifully patrolled by Kor'kron -- the elite personal bodyguards and fighting force of the Horde's Warchief. Yet although the Kor'kron were originally sent to simply keep an eye on the Forsaken -- particularly the Royal Apothecary Society -- as expansions went on, the guard became more and more hostile.

This, of course, led up to the events in Mists of Pandaria, where the Kor'kron crossed the line from loyal bodyguards to full-out fanatics working almost as secret police for Garrosh Hellscream. Led by Malkorok, the Kor'kron's ranks expanded considerably when Garrosh granted the Blackrock Clan amnesty and welcomed them into his new vision of the Horde. In the Siege of Orgrimmar, the Kor'kron fought against both rebel forces led by Vol'jin, and the Alliance army -- and found themselves systematically dismantled from both sides.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: 5 influential moments in Warcraft lore

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.

The lore of Warcraft isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to follow. It's not a straight line of cause and effect that you can simply trace from beginning to end. It's an endless chain of events intertwined with each other in a ball that is so tightly wound together, it's almost impossible to untangle and pick apart. This is a large part of the reason why it's so hard to answer a seemingly simple question, "I want to try and get into Warcraft lore, so where do I start?"

That said, there are several standout moments in lore, moments that have influenced far more than one character's development or one chain of story progression. While the following list isn't every moment, it contains some of the most influential, those events in history that have shaped the world of Warcraft and will continue to shape it for years to come.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Alliance and Horde

Know Your Lore The Alliance and 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.

To ask why we fight, is to ask why the leaves fall -- it is in their nature.

The Alliance and Horde have been notoriously at each other's throats since the two factions began in the days of the First and Second Wars. And although I have come up with some crazy theories regarding the innate reasons behind that latent aggression between the two factions, they're simply theories. They may make sense, in a bizarre and meta fashion, but they are in no way true. So here we are, left with a simple question: What makes the Alliance and Horde so prone to aggression? Why do they continue to battle, and turn their noses at the thought of making peace?

While I do enjoy coming up with fanciful reasons for all of this, there is one blatant, simple reason that stands on its own: Misunderstanding. Sheer, unadulterated ignorance and a stubborn unwillingness to try and understand. Both sides possess a single-minded obsession with violence and retribution that has never faded, nearly thirty years after the events of the First War. And when you step back and take a look at the conflict between the two factions with a neutral eye, the whole of the aggression turns into a delightful, tragic, almost laughable comedy of errors and escalation.

Let's take a look at where some of the common misconceptions surrounding both Horde and Alliance have gotten us.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Scenarios and you

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.

Who's ready for another Monday edition of The Queue? Today's hot topic: scenarios.

MTA asked:

With the implementations of scenarios since MoP (and maybe Theramore before) does this mean we can finally say R.I.P to a Wrathgate style questline for ever?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

What content would you like to see in scenarios?

Recently I was perusing the forums as I am wont to do (I am also wont to use the archaic phrase "wont to do") when I saw a forum thread about bringing back the Wrathgate as a scenario. My first thought was "Eww, no" -- and it's not because I didn't like the Wrathgate or the Battle for Undercity that followed. I did. I greatly enjoyed both the Horde and Alliance versions.

No, my reaction was based on the extreme negativity of a vocal minority of the playerbase any time anything gets revamped or reused. After listening to a litany of complaints about the return of ZG and ZA, and the complaining about the return of Wyrmrest Temple and the Eye of Eternity in Dragon Soul, and some of the complaints I've already heard about the changes to Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance, I kind of hope they never revamp old content again.

But Vaneras made some good points in his response to the thread. Blizzard is pretty forward-focused right now, but they're not entirely unaware of the idea of returning old content this way.

Vaneras - The Wrathgate Scenario
We are aware and do acknowledge that there are people would like us to focus some more on renewing old content, but we do indeed want the game to progress and evolve with new content. :-)

It has previously been said that adding new content is something we feel is generally more exciting than renewing old content, and this is still true today. Renewing existing content can be great in some situations, especially if it is content that is very popular or if it is content that hasn't been experienced by a large portion of the player-base, but in generally we feel it is better to spend our resources on creating new content that is fresh for everyone.

Existing content has been renewed before though, and it is most likely going to happen again in the future in some form. Even though there are no immediate plans for it, perhaps we will one day get to see the Wrathgate and the fight for the Undercity converted into scenarios :-)


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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite Blizzard cinematic or cutscene?

In a recent installment of The Queue, reader Victor commented about a thread in the Brazilian forums that debated best WoW cinematic. I think it is difficult to decide the absolute best, so I started to consider which one was my favorite.

But the first Warcraft cinematic that came to mind -- the one that moved me more than any I've seen -- is not actually from World of Warcraft. Arthas killing his father in Warcraft III blew me away. The betrayal. The graphics. The story that instantly fascinated me. I can still remember the feeling I had when I first watched it over the shoulder of someone who had the collector's edition. I wanted to run out and buy the game, but I am terrible at real-time strategy titles.

My second favorite is from Diablo III, but I won't spoil it. The cinematic that occurs between Acts I and II is wonderful. And the scene I love most from WoW is actually a cutscene: Wrathgate. So. Awesome.

What is your favorite cutscene or cinematic from Blizzard?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: 3 developmental changes needed for storytelling in Mists

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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.

One of the major things that vanilla World of Warcraft struggled with was a compelling story. Yes, we had a particularly epic tale spun with the release of Ahn'Qiraj and an even greater tale with Naxxramas. But while Onyxia, Molten Core and Blackwing Lair had stories that were interesting enough, it was difficult for players to pick up on those stories and follow them in a coherent fashion. Ragnaros in particular had a story that was entrenched in several different leveling zones as well as a few instances.

Meanwhile, the zones that you encountered from level 1 to 60 by and large didn't have a coherent story to tell. Each zone had little tidbits of story here and there, but nothing seemed really dire or important beyond a few epic, sweeping quests. As for faction leaders -- well, they did very little beyond sit in their capital cities and occasionally send players on errands. This is something that has continually changed and improved with every expansion that has been released. The story in WoW has never been as accessible as it is now.

But Mists of Pandaria has the potential to completely blow everything before it away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: State of the Alliance, 2012

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 has never been harder to be Alliance. Throughout the years of war brought about by the orcish invasion of Azeroth, the Alliance has seen its ups and downs. During that first assault, Stormwind was destroyed, its king assassinated. However, the direct result of this was an Alliance of kingdoms that paved the way for the Alliance as we know it today -- a smart, level-headed group of races focused on survival. The survival of each race individually, and the survival of the world as we know it. A noble cause, and the Alliance is well-known for its nobility.

Yet despite bouncing back from that original, horrific assault, the Alliance seems to be in a downward spiral in the days of Cataclysm, one which is spinning horrifically out of control. And despite the best efforts of Alliance leaders, trying to staunch the flow of death and despair is becoming increasingly more difficult. This has much to do with the effects of the Shattering, and even more to do with those enemies of old; the orcs and their united allies in the Horde. Even though the Alliance has come back before, the question of whether or not they can do it again is a heavy one that weighs on the minds of all. It has never been so hard to be Alliance, it has never been this dark.

Or so popular opinion states.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Poll: Which is your favorite in-game cinematic?

After Blizzard's machinima team stretched its wings with the inclusion of WoW's first in-game cutscene, The Wrathgate, players have expressed their praise and hope that more cinematics would be included in Warcraft in coming expansions. With the success of The Wrathgate, Blizzard included Arthas' end in cinematic form after his defeat on Icecrown. When Cataclysm released, both the goblins and worgen were treated to cinematics that transitioned the player from starting zone to a larger world with an epic cutscene and story. Now, the Dragon Soul raid and the ending of Cataclysm are marked with story cutscenes showing off Deathwing's anger, Thrall blasting Deathwing out of the sky and parachuting onto Deathwing's back. Even Cataclysm's twist ending got a cinematic.

Which cinematic was your favorite? The betrayal of the Forsaken at the Wrathgate still holds a very special place in my heart since it was the first time cinematics were done in WoW. It was a home run from the start. Watching Sky Captain Swayze and Ka'anu jump out of the Skyfire, along with my raid, also ranks high on the list of cutscenes for me, even if it's only a few seconds long.

What do you guys think? Vote!

Which World of Warcraft in-game cinematic was your favorite?
The Wrathgate5436 (61.1%)
The Lich King's Demise1453 (16.3%)
Goblins leave Kezan as slave, sail into an Alliance vs. Horde naval battle403 (4.5%)
Worgen transformation and capture527 (5.9%)
Thrall and the Dragon Soul versus Deathwing195 (2.2%)
Parachuting onto Deathwing's back557 (6.3%)
The Twilight of the Aspects, Deathwing's defeat320 (3.6%)



Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Machinima

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, part 2


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.

Sylvanas Windrunner had a very important question to answer both for herself and her people at the end of Wrath of the Lich King: "What now?" Since their emergence as an ally of the Horde, the Forsaken have sought ultimate vengeance against the being responsible for their unfortunate fate. At the end of Wrath, the Forsaken and Sylvanas attained that goal; the Lich King was dead, and the Forsaken were left with ... well, nothing really.

Sylvanas had a lot to think about as a leader, her people were looking to her for guidance and a new goal to singlemindedly march toward. What Sylvanas discovered in her pondering was that she'd forgotten about one simple fact regarding the Forsaken -- they were undead. Ever since the beginning of World of Warcraft, new Forsaken were introduced as being former soldiers of the Scourge who had broken free of the Lich King's control. With no Lich King, there was no Scourge, and with no Scourge, there was no way to bolster the Forsaken's numbers. Without new Forsaken, Sylvanas' people would quickly die out.

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Sylvanas Windrunner, part 1


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 can be reasonably argued that of all the faction leaders currently featured in Cataclysm, none are quite as questionable in both motive and actions as Sylvanas Windrunner. The history of Sylvanas and her role in Wrath of the Lich King has already been discussed in the Forsaken politics article from earlier this year; at the point it was written, we had no real idea what exactly she was going to be doing in Cataclysm. Now we have answers, and those answers do nothing but raise even more incredibly disturbing questions.

Where do the Banshee Queen's loyalties lie? To the Horde, to her people, or to some other power entirely? Sylvanas' past was fraught with grief and horror; her future seems to be teetering on the brink of something even worse. With the introduction of the worgen, Sylvanas has something to focus on -- but what exactly are her motives, and who is it that she's ultimately fighting for?

Please note: The following post contains spoilers for the Forsaken storylines featured in Cataclysm content. If you have not played through Silverpine, Hillsbrad Foothills or the Western Plaguelands, turn away! And go play through those zones, because they are amazing.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard: Expect more in-game cinematics in the future


World of Warcraft is, first and foremost, a roleplaying game. It's not just a game; not just a story, but a blessed nexus of both that totally immerses you in another world. The quests you undergo set up and advance the story, and -- at least in Wrath -- major storylines are wrapped up with in-game cinematics. Arthas' death, the Wrathgate -- both are epic events in Wrath of the Lich King lore, and both are comprised entirely of in-game assets.

But are we being cheated? After all, the trailer to Cataclysm, in which Deathwing emerges to tear Azeroth asunder, is an epic piece of pre-rendered majesty. Shouldn't Blizzard offer us more pre-rendered video moments instead of what amounts to a well-produced piece of machinima?

On the official Blizzard forums today, in response to a complaint about the extended use of in-game cinematics (like the worgen in-game cinematic above), blue poster Zarhym talked about -- and defended -- Blizzard's approach to cinematics:

Blizzard - Better cinematics, please.
With the advent of in-game cinematics, in the case of Starcraft II, we were able to over triple the amount of cinematic storytelling compared to any previous Blizzard release. As mentioned by another poster, these moments, without in-game assets, would have been character portraits plus voice-over. Instead, they were able to be brought to life with a much more vivid realization by using in-game cinematics to help tell the story.

The full text of Zarhym's post is available just after the cut.

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Filed under: Machinima, Cataclysm

Wrathgate TCG set overviews on official site

If you're curious about the Wrathgate expansion for the WoW Trading Card Game, you can get up to three overviews of it from the official site. These overviews, written by winners of the Wrathgate contest this April, give you a sense of the place this expansion to the TCG has both in terms of the card game and the larger WoW universe. William Brinkman covers both the Argent Crusade and Flying Mounts, while David Lyons discusses how the in-game Wrathgate experience is translated to the card game. If you're a player of the TCG or are just curious about how WoW makes the transition to a different format, go give them a read.

Filed under: WoW TCG

The OverAchiever: Pure win

Every so often I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here, and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

The following is an entirely arbitrary set of five achievements that I personally believe are a hoot. Eventually, I'd like to expand this in the same fashion as the evil achievements series, and I'd welcome any comments or suggestions on your own favorites. Namely, what makes certain achievements fun? Is there any achievement you've made a point of getting on each of your characters?

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Cryptozoic posts Wrathgate visual spoilers

If you're interested in the upcoming Wrathgate expansion for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, then Cryptozoic has a treat for you: spoilers for the May 25 expansion. If you're dying to see what cards will be entering the game, to look at some new art or just to see if you recognize anyone on the hero cards, get thee hence and check out the images. Then you can spend the next two weeks feverishly anticipating the release of the expansion. Not that I would know anything about feverishly anticipating an expansion. Not me. No, sir. Nothing doing.

Cryptozoic's also been doing detailed previews of certain cards, discussing their impact on competitive play and their place in certain decks, so you can check that out while you're on their blog anyway.

Side note: I really dig the draenei figure on this card. I know, I know, blueberry LOL whatever, man. He looks badass and you know it.

Filed under: News items, WoW TCG

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