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Posts with tag zandalar

Know Your Lore: Cataclysm for Dummies, epilogue

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.

If you've read Act I and Act II of Cataclysm for Dummies, you should have a pretty basic understanding of what happened during Cataclysm, why Deathwing was a threat that needed to be addressed, and what we've been doing in all of those zones, 5-man dungeons, and raids. There was a purpose to every raid that came out with Cataclysm, but that purpose isn't blatantly clear unless you're paying really close attention as you're leveling through the zones. People who love following the lore do that automatically, which is why these guides aren't for them.

However, you might want to know what all of this means or have some questions about the stuff that wasn't really resolved in Cataclysm. Or you may want to know what's in store in Mists of Pandaria and why you should be interested in what's coming next. This epilogue is going to go over a few simple end-of-Cataclysm points that should be of interest to those wanting to know what's next or still have some questions about Cataclysm's story.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Cataclysm for Dummies, Act II

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.

So, Act I of our Cataclysm for Dummies guide went over the basics of Cataclysm -- how it came to be, just who that Deathwing guy is, anyway, and why he's so annoyed with the world in general. We also found out why we're going to all those new level 80 to 85 zones and, more importantly, why we're wandering around in three different raids in three completely different locations around the world. If you made it through the basics, congratulations! You're caught up through patch 4.0.

But we're in patch 4.3, aren't we? And you've probably still got questions. Questions like: What's up with the troll dungeons -- didn't we kill those guys already? And why did we have to go fight Ragnaros again? Why is Thrall friendly as all get-out with the Dragon Aspects? Why do we have to do all this silly time travel? The good news is, by the time you're done reading this guide, you'll totally understand what Cataclysm is all about.

Please note: There are spoilers here for the novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects. If you're still planning on reading it, you may want to do so before you hit this recap.

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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

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Mists of Pandaria

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 never thought in a million years that I'd be revisiting the topic of the pandaren, but it looks like it's now something worth discussing. Earlier this week, it was discovered that Blizzard filed a new trademark for something called "Mists of Pandaria." Blizzard's done this before, filing the Cataclysm trademark back in 2009 before the expansion was announced. This has led to the assumption that the mysteriously named "Mists of Pandaria" is lined up to be the next expansion. Needless to say, this information was so far out of left field that it appeared to be coming in from the right.

But let's think about this from a lore standpoint. All expansions need a storyline behind them -- now moreso than ever, given the extremely story-driven vehicle that is Cataclysm. For a race that was originally an April Fool's joke, the popularity of the pandaren, as well as what little written word we have on the race, makes this a pretty interesting prospect. Believe it or not, there are actually potential reasons behind all of this, given what's happened so far in Azeroth to date. So let's take a tinfoil hat look at what this expansion could theoretically look like, from a story standpoint.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a speculative look into what has gone before and what's to come. The events presented are just theories at this point and should not be taken as fact.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Vol'jin vs. the Zandalar

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 was going to do the Dark Trolls this week (seriously, whatever happened to these guys?), but then those darn Zandalari went and recruited the Gurubashi and Amani for a world-spanning plan to restore troll hegemony and bring back the empires of the past. Amazingly, the primary opponent of King Rastakhan's plan to unite all the troll tribes on Azeroth is, in fact, a troll himself.

Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear tribe and long-standing ally to Thrall, is no stranger to confronting the mighty. He flat out threatened to kill Garrosh Hellscream, the new warchief, right to his face. He took part in the military operations against Daelin Proudmoore, spearheaded the reclamation of the Echo Isles against his old friend Zalazane, and has worked tirelessly to unify and bolster the Darkspear ranks, going so far as to ultimately defeat and destroy the Sea Witch that killed his father Sen'jin.

Since his people have joined the Horde, Vol'jin has balanced on the knife's edge between ancient troll customs and the demands of the Horde. Despite those who mistook his caution for weakness, Vol'jin has in recent days proven that he simply acts exactly when he believes the time is right, with precisely calculated choices that give maximum effect for minimum cost. Vol'jin has mastered the economy of action. Why, therefore, would he refuse the Zandalari offer? Is it merely because of his loyalty to Thrall and the Horde he himself helped create? Or is there more?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: Rise of the Zandalari

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.

In the beginning, there was Azeroth. It existed as one continent called Kalimdor. Prior to the Sundering -- indeed, prior to the rise of the elven race at all -- there were the trolls. The troll race is one of the first sentient races on Azeroth, it's been suggested on more than one occasion that the troll race predates even the arrival of the Titans. Needless to say, Azeroth is full of trolls, from the Darkspear, Horde allies that joined during the orcs' trek to Kalimdor from the Eastern Kingdoms, to the various splinter tribes scattered across Azeroth.

But the troll races share a common point of interest -- once, long, long ago, these trolls were all part of one empire, one tribe of trolls from which all others originated. The Zandalari tribe isn't an unfamiliar name to those that have played through Northrend content. The Zandalari were assisting both Alliance and Horde against the maddened remnants of the Drakari ice trolls. However, players were first introduced to the Zandalari in vanilla, when the mysterious progenitors of the troll race appeared to ask for help from both Alliance and Horde against the combined might of the Atal'ai trolls to conquer Zul'Gurub -- once the capital of the Gurubashi Empire.

Please note: This edition of Know Your Lore spoils some elements of the upcoming 4.1 patch, Rise of the Zandalari. If you'd like to avoid spoilers for upcoming content, turn away now, before it's too late!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari preview now online

For those of us waiting with bated breath (yes, it's bated, not baited -- look it up) for the release of patch 4.1, one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the patch would be the new heroic 5-man dungeons Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. Now, at last, we have Blizzard's patch 4.1 content preview, Rise of the Zandalari, to tell us how ZG and ZA came back to life after we defeated the horrors within both dungeons.

If you want to see how the same Zandalar tribe that once assisted us against the Hakkari in Zul'Gurub and the Drakkari in Zul'Drak is now working at cross purposes, how Vol'jin has stepped out of the shadows to stake his own claim to troll affairs, and who replaced Zul'jin as warchief of the Amani (and how the Zandalar are behind it all), this preview is for you. You can view it directly on the official Battle.net blog, or read it behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Patch 4.1 PTR: Zul'Aman examined

After spending many hours and relying on the dungeon finder to pick up tanks on the 4.1 PTR, I managed to get a nice handle on the updated bosses in Zul'Aman. Unfortunately due to time constraints, the group was only able to challenge the first four animal bosses. We weren't able to progress past the Lynx or Dragonhawk bosses. While there were new mechanics introduced, after wiping over 10 times to the Dragonhawk boss, I can safely say that there need to be some slight numbers adjustments. WoW Insider rogue specialist Anne was able to join me as we continually wiped, figuring out new mechanics. Thank goodness for repair bots.

As an aside, perhaps someone can answer me this question: Why are raid groups looking for players for Icecrown Citadel on the test realm?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Ask a Beta Tester: Zul'Drak and more


Welcome to yet another edition of Ask a Beta Tester. We're coming to you a little later in the day than we usually do, but I think getting the site's redesign up was worth it! It's sparkly, isn't it? We only have a little under a week of Ask a Beta Tester left, so let's make the best of the time we have and get started!

Nick S asked...

Is there any lore for the Trolls? I've seen very, very little that's not negative. Where's the Troll lovin'?!?

Unfortunately, I'm primarily Alliance and didn't see much from the Horde beyond the first couple of zones, so I'm not really sure about the Darkspear. Zul'Drak has a whole load of Troll content, though. It's an entire Troll zone centered on the last Troll Empire, the Drakkari. There's also the return of the Zandalar Trolls, who are much more friendly. You might have met them back when Zul'Gurub was run frequently. They're there to document the fall of the Drakkari and prevent them from doing something really, really bad.

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Giving players some more race variants

I have to agree with Michael on WoW LJ: it would be nice to have a little more variance in the types of races that we choose at character creation. Of course, due to lore reasons, all the trolls we create are Darkspear Trolls, and likewise, all of our Taurens are of the Bloodhoof variety. But it would be nice to have a few more options, especially since we now know that some of the "foreign" tribes and clans might have a member or two interested in joining the Horde.

None of Michael's suggestions would really work -- the Taunka are almost a completely different race, the Forest Trolls can't be very happy that we've killed their leader, and neither the Dark Iron Dwarves or the Iron Dwarves are very friendly to either Horde or Alliance. But there are possible variants out there -- the Zanadalar tribe might have some members interested in joining the Horde, and certainly the Mag'har Orcs are friendly to players. Alliance doesn't have as many options come to mind, though all players are Bronzebeards, I believe, and surely the Stormpikes are Friendly by now.

We've got new hairstyles coming in the next expansion, of course, but it would be nice to vary up the races a little bit, and have even different backgrounds within the race choices. RPers would love it for sure, and even for other players, it would give a little more meaning and power to playing through the various racial areas in the game.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Expansions, Lore, Factions

Know Your Lore: Hakkar the Soulflayer


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm.

Today we're going to take a step back from out pre-emptive study of Wrath subjects and look at something a little more old school. We'll get back to catching up for Wrath of the Lich King soon enough, don't you worry about that. I'm far too excited about the expansion to not come back to it soon.

Today we're going to look at Hakkar the Soulflayer, not to be confused with Hakkar the Houndmaster which apparently came first in the lore, but I don't really care which of them came first because the Blood God (that one's the Soulflayer) is way cooler. What the Soulflayer actually is is largely a mystery. He's a god, certainly, but Azeroth has many flavors of gods and demigods. He is probably just a Loa god, but our buddy Brann Bronzebeard seems to think he's more than that. Specifically, Hakkar might be the son of an Old God.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Know your Lore

Well Fed Buff: Essence Mango

Well Fed Buff serves up tasty dishes to boost your HP, stats and appetite – with that special WoW twist, of course.

Those Trolls from Yojamba Isle were on to something. Before The Burning crusade, one of the cool foods that players could get were Essence Mangoes, a quest reward that could be obtained by handing in a Zandalar Honor Token. These weren't actually any better than Alterac Manna Biscuits, and back when Zul'gurub was still in vogue, the tokens weren't quite worth turning in for an average food that didn't give any buffs. But the quest describes mangoes as luscious fruits from the South Seas, and it couldn't be more true.

Mangoes are significant fruits in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. In the Philippines, where I live, mangoes are an everyday treat and I think we have the best mangoes in the world. Today on Well Fed Buff, we'll put a new spin on the Essence Mango (which is essentially just a fruit) by making a simple, healthy drink that is sure to restore your health and mana as well as tickle your taste buds.

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Filed under: Cooking, How-tos, Features, Well Fed Buff

Unobtainium: Rare, ridiculous, and remarkable reputation schematics

Or

"There's no such thing! Is there?"

Engineers have among the greatest freedom to choose our allegiances throughout Azeroth and Outland. While Jewelcrafters and leatherworkers spend hours and days making a name for themselves with the Furbolgs of the Timbermaw, or the druids of Cenarion, Engineers remain free. No such slaves to the grind of reputation, we. For what could we learn from the various factions of the lands? It's little they can teach us, and little we would gain from the work done. No, our main choice of faction has always been to join M.E.G.A. or to take our lives in our hands and join G.E.E.K.

With few exceptions. There are several factions we can seek out whose expertise in Engineering allows us to learn a thing or two (quite literally) from them. In this lecture we will discuss where an enterprising Engineer can go to learn some of the rarest schemata known: those derived from earned reputations.

The factions with which you'll need to work are the Zandalar Tribe of trolls in Stranglethorn Vale, the Cenarion Expedition, predominantly in Zangarmarsh, and the Consortium, predominantly in Netherstorm. Zandalar trolls will require you to join their battle against Hakkar, the Blood God, and his priests in Zul'Gurub. This will require a raid 20 strong, though if you've mastered the art of flying you'll likely find you need somewhat fewer than that to be effective. The Cenarion Expedition has agents posted in the western barrens of Hellfire Peninsula, but the main camp can be found further west in Zangarmarsh. They offer work mostly in and around Zangarmarsh itself, including, most prominently, reputation earned from delving into the Coilfang Reservoir: Underbog, Slave Pens, and Steam Vaults. Consortium reputation can be earned in Auchindoun, but only in the Mana Tombs, and that only until you've reached Honored. Beyond that you'll need to visit Nagrand for Ogre beads or, ultimately, Netherstorm for a variety of work.

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Filed under: Engineering, Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Factions, Guides, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

Around Azeroth: Welcome to Yojamba Isle


Reader Tiffa sends in this shot of Yojamba Isle, which looks like the ideal setting for a beach party, doesn't it? Blue sky overhead and palm trees below! However, the Zandalar tribe which resides here is a serious lot, dedicated to the fight against Hakkar, the Blood God, and his minions in Zul'Gurub. But if you fancy some good times in old Azeroth, pay the Zandalar a visit! The fights in Zul'Gurub remain some of my favorite in the game.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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