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Posts with tag yaungol

Know Your Lore: Tauren at the end of Mists

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.

There are an awful lot of loose threads around the tauren right now. The Grimtotem are scattered, making temporary pacts with the Alliance in Stonetalon, besieging the night elves in Feralas, and their greatest leader was last seen claiming an artifact of elemental power. In the wake of Cairne's death, Baine Bloodhoof chose to allow Garrosh to rule uncontested - but that position clearly changed over time, and Baine led tauren troops to the support of Vol'jin's rebellion against the Warchief, rather than simply challenging him as his father did. Ironically, this choice shows a certain political maturity - recognizing that trial by personal combat might not be the best means to effect regime change in the Horde - while it also shows a bit of a break with the old ways of both the Horde, and the tauren people.

Baine's father Cairne chose to live, and die, by the older ways of ritual and honor. Betrayed by Magatha, he died from poison on Garrosh Hellscream's axe and with him seems to have died the last vestiges of the tauren ways of the past. Baine led an expulsion of those Grimtotem that would not swear allegiance to him over Magatha that culminated in a battle against their last leaders in Mulgore, and at the end of that battle, Baine ruled the shu'halo as undisputed chieftain of all. But in doing so, he also led his people into their last break with the past, and following the defeat of Garrosh and the ascension of Vol'jin to the seat of power as Warchief, one must ask - what role do the tauren fill in the Horde to come, and where will Baine's current choices lead them in the future?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The tauren peoples of Azeroth

Know Your Lore The tauren peoples of Azeroth
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 of right now, there are three known sub-families of tauren humanoids on Azeroth:
  • The shu'halo of Kalimdor, who believe in the provenance of the Earthmother and the sun and moon, An'she and Mu'sha.
  • The taunka of Northrend, who have grown to seek dominance over the elements via extortion and compulsion of the elemental spirits.
  • The yaungol of Pandaria, who are even more extreme in their dominant approach, viewing fire as both the weapon by which they will conquer the land and a source of mystical strength.
What's interesting to me about all three of these known offshoots of the tauren people is their diversity of beliefs as well as their physical differences from one another. Both yaungol and taunka have marked physical differences from the tauren of Kalimdor. Are any of these people similar to their pre-Sundering ancestors, or have all three groups diverged? More interestingly, despite there being no current record of the Titans having anything to do with the origin of the tauren, there are definitely tauren represented in the visual art of the Ulduar complex. Why?

At present we have no reason not to believe that the tauren are not native to Azeroth. Therefore, we have questions to ask. This particular KYL is dedicated to asking those questions, and speculating on what the answers might be.

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

Patch 5.4 PTR: A glimpse of the Timeless Isle

Patch 54 PTR A glimpse of the Timeless Isle
Patch 5.4 has plenty of new features to offer, but at the present time many of those features haven't quite been released yet on the PTR, including the Timeless Isle. What's the Timeless Isle? It seems to be home to the new pet battle tournament that was discovered, as well as some sort of temporary hiding place or home for the August Celestials as well.

You can't access the Timeless Isle on the PTR currently, but Adriacraft has managed to put together some footage of the Isle in detail. The video is after the break.

Please note: This post contains possible spoilers for patch 5.4.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The Yaungol

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.

This week we're shifting gears. The last week, both Anne and myself covered different related KYL possibilities, so for myself I want to talk about the lore of Pandaria's yaungol, an offshoot of the tauren and taunka peoples. Not every race brought along when Shaohao, the last pandaren emperor, created the mists and sealed Pandaria away for 10,000 years was ready for the Sundering. No one bothered to tell the ancient ancestors of the modern yaungol what was transpiring when the flames fell from the sky and the demonic invasion began. No one told the yaungol what to expect when the world was torn apart and the mists descended to hide them forever apart from their people. So stranded, the yaungol endured.

The culture of the yaungol is shaped by that struggle to survive. Cut off from the world, they have found a way to survive in the Townlong Steppes, a harsh land where they could no longer rely upon the cycles of the seasons and the old faith in the Earthmother. Instead, the yaungol learned to harness fire and burning oil as both fuel and weapon, and in so doing held off even the mantid swarm for thousands of years. Only recently, with the machinations of Grand Empress Shek'zeer, have the yangol been forced from their fire camps throughout the steppes and driven into the lowlands of the Kun-Lai region.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Where does he get those wonderful toys? Pandaren rares and loot

Where does he get those wonderful toys Pandaren rares and loot
If there is one thing I have perfected in eight years of playing this game, it is filling my bags with useless stuff. I'm not talking about armor bits and pieces for transmog, or weapons with pretty glows, or bags full of crafting material like cloth or leather. No, I'm talking random baubles that will make you look like your neighbor. Or fling you in the air, without worry of what happens when you eventually hit the ground.

You know, stuff. Everybody likes stuff. And who has the best stuff in Pandaria? Rare mobs, of course! But which rares have the good stuff? Which ones will let you summon a fleet of angered puppies in party hats to fight at your side? Or inexplicably get you ready for a day at the beach in the middle of a raid? Or turn you into a statue with no apparent purpose other than sitting there pretending to be a statue?

You want useless stuff? Oh we've got all kinds of useless stuff for you, sorted by category.

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Filed under: News items, 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

How to defeat the yaungol rare spawns

Could We Find More Like That Defeating the yaungol rare spawns
I'm not a huge lore nerd but I still find some of the backstories in WoW pretty interesting. Take the yaungol, for instance: they originally were a tribe of tauren that got separated from their brothers and sisters in Kalimdor when the Sundering ripped Azeroth's Pangaea-esque supercontinent apart.

The yaungol originally settled in Townlong Steppes until the encroaching mantid threat forced them to breach the Serpent's Spine and resettle their people in Kun-Lai Summit. Unfortunately for them, Blizzard says they're not "good" tauren, so we get the privilege of dispatching with their champions.

Like the rest of the rare spawns, the yaungol rares all share the same set of abilities.
  • Yaungol Stomp– A particularly deadly ability, the yaungol puts his foot down on your shenanigans and deals massive AoE damage if you happen to get caught within its radius, in addition to a lovely little 2-second stun.
  • Bellowing Rage – Occasionally the rare spawn will put up a buff called Bellowing Rage that will almost double its damage but reduce its movement speed by 20%.
  • Rushing Charge– Much like the pandaren rares' Chi Burst, Rushing Charge is another mechanic designed to prevent players from merely kiting the rare around and avoid the melee-based stomp mechanic. The yaungol will charge you if you stray more than 20 yards away from them.
What you're going to want to do to take down these furry foes is pretty simple – stay out of the AoE, watch out for Bellowing Rage, and keeping yourself close enough to not get charged. I've found that the easiest way to avoid Yaungol Stomp is to just run through the guy, because the ground effect of the stomp is always in front of him.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria rare spawns offer unique challenges

Mists of Pandaria rares offer unique challenges
Mists of Pandaria asks the ambiguous question, "What are we fighting for?" In the case of most players, it's loot and gold. There's a lot of fighting to be found in Mists, but in the case of Pandaria's rares, they offer something along with the gold and loot, something far more valuable -- experience. Not experience points, although you'll get it if you're in the process of leveling. No, the rares of Pandaria offer experience playing your individual class, and playing it well.

There are several different types of rare champions scattered all over Pandaria -- hozen, jinyu, mantid, mogu, saurok, yaungol and pandaren. But these champions aren't like any rares you've seen on Azeroth. Rather than allowing players to simply stand there and beat the stuffing out of them, these rares have unique abilities that require tactics and skill to counter. Are they impossible to beat? Absolutely not, once you've figured out how to counter their bag of tricks.

But you cannot simply stand and beat them up anymore. Movement is absolutely key, and so are stuns, interrupts, and other abilities that define a class. Rather than allowing you to just spam your main attack, you're forced to practice moving out of the way of attacks, which are clearly defined on the ground. You can't let them cast every spell, or you'll certainly die. And kiting is definitely helpful in most cases as well.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Townlong Steppes

Mists of Pandaria Beta Townlong Steppes
The Townlong Steppes to the southwest of Kun Lai Summit and the west of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms is the next stop while leveling through Pandaria. The problems of the pandaren grow far more dire in Townlong Steppes, where the displaced yaungol's struggle becomes even clearer. Along with the yaungol, players catch their first very real glimpse of the mantid threat that encroaches from the Dread Wastes to the south.

Townlong Steppes also features the efforts of the Shado Pan, one of several groups available for reputation gain in Mists of Pandaria. The Shado Pan are beset from all fronts by the yaungol, the mantid, and the mogu. Townlong Steppes is formed by the western side of Pandaria and a series of small islands off the western edge of the continent. Twisted trees and strange constructions eerily reminiscent of Ahn'Qiraj litter the gorgeous landscape, making this one of the first zones to feel truly alien.

Townlong Steppes is a level 88 to 89 zone for leveling players; however, after hitting level 90, you'll want to pay the place another visit, as the Shado Pan offer a series of dailies for reputation gaining purposes. Take a look at the full gallery for a preview of this peculiarly beautiful zone.



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

Know Your Lore: As new lore emerges

Know Your Lore As new lore emerges
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.

There will be spoilers for Mists of Pandaria in this post.

So there's no other way to say this: I am enjoying the heck out of the stories I am being presented with in the Mists of Pandaria beta. I'm actually reading quest text. (To be fair, I do that a lot anyway -- lore nerd and all.) Frankly, as Anne pointed out this weekend, one of the things that's best about this expansion is that everything we experience is new to us. Mists of Pandaria isn't just the story of the pandaren. In fact, while the pandaren are very cool, I find myself absolutely drawn to explore everything else up on the buffet table. The Mogu and their astonishing ruins, the mantid threat in the Dread Wastes, the entirely foreign threat of the Sha -- these are all compelling and fascinating to me. Better still, I'm being presented all new ways to explore these story options.

More so than any expansion in the history of World of Warcraft, the Mists of Pandaria are parting to show us an entirely new world, one we know very little about. If you're an old codger like me, that in and of itself is an interesting departure. But it's being backed up by all the innovations and discoveries of the past seven years of quest and zone design. Frankly, this first post-Cataclysm expansion owes a lot to the teachable moments of the massive zone redesign effort made in the previous expansion. The fruits planted then are being harvested now, and the results are in places stunning.

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

Wowhead previews Townlong Steppes

Image
Townlong Steppes opened up in one of the recent builds of the Mists of Pandaria beta. Normally, the Great Wall of Pandaria separates this zone from the rest of the continent, but the pandaren are investigating what's on the other side due to the attacks from the Mantids. The opposition in Townlong Steppes consists of mobs and quests for players who are 88+.

Adventurers won't find any shortage of activities in this zone.
  • Assist the Shado-Pan, who are checking out strange, jeweled camps near their garrison.
  • Fend off the mogu, who are commandeering cloud serpents in the islands north of the Temple of Niuzao.
  • Engage the yaungol and mantid alongside your pandaren allies in the Shallowstep Pass.
Head on over to Wowhead to preview the screenshots and backstory of all the different areas.

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

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