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Posts with tag zul-gurub

Know Your Lore: The Zandalari

Know Your Lore The Zandalari SUN
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.

They are the first of the troll Empires, the first of the troll tribes, and in fact, the first of trolls as a cohesive race. The Zandalari have seen it all, from the very dawn of civilization to the evolution of the night elves to the Sundering to countless wars to present day. They have been watching both the culture and the assorted tribes of trolls splinter further and further, into smaller and smaller tribes. They have been watching as their race continues down the slow path towards eventual extinction, with little choice in the matter.

The Zandalari are tired of watching. As some of the first known intelligent races on Azeroth, they have seen it all, from vast troll Empires to splintered sub-groups. They are not about to walk that path to extinction quietly. After all, there's another, far more ingenious option available. And although their first plan may have failed, their second plan is far more likely to succeed, given the strength of their allies of old. In patch 5.2, we're about to face off with the Zandalari for the second time -- the first being the revamp of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman in Cataclysm.

But who are the Zandalari? Why should we care about this random group of trolls over any other?

Please note: This post contains some spoilers for patch 5.2 content.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW for Dummies, Act II: Evils of old

WoW for Dummies, Act II Evils of old SUN
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.

For both Alliance and Horde, the first part of vanilla WoW was all about putting an end to Ragnaros, and uncovering and subsequently lopping off Onyxia's head for a delightful city decoration that was not at all likely to scare the pants off of any of Stormwind or Orgrimmar's children. Seriously, who thought dragon remains on a stake was a wise design choice? Regardless, while there were definitely giant foes to be beaten, if one dug a little deeper, there was some underlying story going on in vanilla, too.

The Alliance was busy getting back on its feet, and Warchief Thrall was busy trying to make nice with the Alliance. But even though Onyxia had been defeated, the king of Stormwind was still missing. And even though Ragnaros had been sent back to where he belonged, he was far from the only menace in Blackrock Mountain. And even though these problems were leaping up in the Eastern Kingdoms, there was something lurking in Kalimdor -- something far, far worse than problems with dragons and firelords.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The OverAchiever: 3 things that should be achievements but aren't

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we wonder how to make more work for ourselves.

Not everything in the game is destined to be an achievement, but every so often you find yourself doing something and thinking, "Yes, I deserve 10 useless points for this." This feeling is most likely to occur while playing after a few beers and having one's sense of artificial outrage over the state of the world heightened for a bit, but sometimes you really find yourself wondering why demonstrable accomplishments in the game aren't actually achievements.

When I started writing this article, I toyed with the idea of including a list of (largely snarky) possibilities like the following:
  • Pugging an Outland dungeon that doesn't have a death knight in it. (Don't tell me that luck doesn't play a role in any achievements, because we all know it does.)
  • Successfully skipping Baine trash without anyone butt-pulling a mob pack and dying.
  • Participating in two hours of trade chat without the word anal appearing once.
  • Leading a raiding guild for one month or more without suffering a psychotic breakdown.
But these aren't achievements. They're myths, like unicorns and balanced budgets. Let us try to examine more reasonable suggestions.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Know Your Lore: Scarlet Monastery revisited

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.

Number three on the list of Top 10 Lore Developments of 2011 was the subject of progressive instance lore -- the idea that an instance could change over time. We've had a few different examples of this over the past year; Cataclysm launched with heroic versions of both Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, each with different, new bosses and a full-out story for why these new bosses were present. This was a surprise to those who were simply expecting level 85 versions of the old bosses -- but the new bosses and mechanics were well received.

In addition, 2011 saw the introduction of patch 4.1, in which both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman were treated to makeovers and presented as 5-man heroics instead of the raids they used to be. Again, these changes were made along with story developments that explained them fully, with a new quest line and a patch cinematic thrown in, to boot. Though the dungeons themselves were incredibly difficult, the story of the rise of the Zandalar Empire and the conflicts with Vol'jin is gripping and still isn't finished being told. But all of this leads to one simple question.

What exactly will we see in heroic Scarlet Monastery?

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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

Two Bosses Enter: The final matchup, Lord Godfrey vs. Zanzil

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Welcome to the grand season finale of Two Bosses Enter. This is the final matchup for the season, pitting Shadowfang Keep resident badass Lord Godfrey against Zul'Gurub resident badass Zanzil. Poisons versus pistols. Fire versus fashion. Ghouls versus zombies. This is the big one, people. Get ready to vote for who takes it all home on Two Bosses Enter Cataclysm Season 2.

I'll be honest -- I never thought that I would be writing down these words in this competition. Zanzil has won out over Vanessa VanCleef by a mere 13 votes. Thirteen votes. Almost 5,000 votes were tallied, and Zanzil won by only 13 votes. The legions of Vanessa VanCleef fans failed to stop the Troll juggernaut. We live in end times, friends.

Who wins? Lord Godfrey vs. Zanzil?
Lord Godfrey2950 (51.3%)
Zanzil2803 (48.7%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Temple Guardian Anhuur vs. Daakara

zuldarak
In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Another Troll boss bit the dust last week when Hex Lord Malacrass fell to Vanessa VanCleef. This week, the Troll who inherited Zu'Aman in Cataclysm is up to bat: Daakara. Can Daakara pull out a win against Titan construct Anhuur?

Who wins?
Temple Guardian Anhuur1143 (32.6%)
Daakara2362 (67.4%)


Follow along for the details of this week's matchup, as well as discussion on last week's match.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Vanessa VanCleef vs. Hex Lord Malacrass

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

The bosses of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub have not been faring very well in this tournament. Godfrey knocked Venoxis out of the tournament two weeks ago, and last week, Setesh eliminated Halazzi. Setesh. Nobody even likes Setesh! Will Hex Lord Malacrass fare better? Considering he's up against dear Vanessa ... he might have a tough time with it.

Who wins?
Vanessa VanCleef2646 (58.6%)
Hex Lord Malacrass1868 (41.4%)


Follow along for the details of this week's matchup, as well as discussion on last week's match.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Setesh vs. Halazzi

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Another week, another round of Two Bosses Enter! This week we see another boss from tier 2 Cataclysm heroics in action: Halazzi of Zul'Aman. Halazzi will be pit against Halls of Origination's Setesh.

Who wins?
Setesh1788 (57.0%)
Halazzi1348 (43.0%)


Follow along for the rules of the matchup, a review of what these bosses can do, and a discussion of last week's winner.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Lord Godfrey vs. Venoxis

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

This week's edition of Two Bosses Enter marks the first competitor from tier 2 Cataclysm heroics: Venoxis of Zul'Gurub. He'll be up against an old favorite of this expansion, Lord Godfrey. Who'll come out on top?

Who wins?
Lord Godfrey2159 (51.6%)
Venoxis2022 (48.4%)


Follow along for the rules of the matchup, a review of what these bosses can do, and a discussion of last week's winner.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Encrypted Text: Stabbing your way through the Zandalari heroics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns, or column ideas.

Have you heard about the new Call to Arms mechanic that rewards the lesser-played roles with bonus loot? I've come to peace with the fact that my rogue is never, ever going to earn a Satchel of Exotic Mysteries for himself. DPS classes simply aren't in demand. The good news is that the CtA mechanic has shortened my queue times by quite a bit; let me know if you're seeing the same results. While the quality of tanks and healers in the system has gone down slightly, we're usually able to knock out whatever heroic dungeon we're faced with.

Lately, that heroic dungeon is either Zul'Gurub or Zul'Aman, the two new Zandalari heroics. As an aside, I refer to them as The Zuls, while I imagine a sitcom starring a bunch of 20-something trolls trying to find their identities in the big city. While they're dungeons that you may have seen before, the new Zandalari heroics have received some significant changes during their Cataclysm remodeling. In addition to the generous valor point reward, there are quite a few new rogue weapons and armor pieces available. You'll be running these dungeons for a while, so learning them is in your best interest.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Ol' Grumpy's first week with Patch 4.1

Hi, kids. It's me, Ol' Grumpy. You may remember me from my guide to Cataclysm instance protocols or perhaps from when I explained that you'd have to relearn some old bad habits from the previous expansion.

This time, I'm here to explain how to adjust to the new realities of patch 4.1, our two new heroic instances Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, and our Call to Arms feature in the dungeon finder. I've noticed some weeping, some wailing, and some gnashing of teeth over these new introductions with the passing of our first week with patch 4.1, and I'm here to help.

First off, calm down already. The Call to Arms feature didn't trap you in a deserted old house outside of town and murder everyone from the camp but you and that cute guy you've always liked from the other camp. It didn't steal your dog, kick your car, or write nasty things about your ma and pa on the back of the barn, either. And while both ZA and ZG provide more challenge than the previous tier of heroics, they didn't steal your cattle or set your grave on fire, either. In short, the level of consternation and yes, even whining about this has been entirely over the top. These instances are puggable with a little luck and some work, and CTA has shortened queue times, which was its only real goal.

So what should you do? Well, being an irascible old curmudgeon, I will happily tell you what to do. Especially if it keeps you off of my lawn. My wife just planted roses! Stay off!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: Assorted patch 4.1 thoughts

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we take a break from slaughtering trolls and digging up ancient relics long enough to discuss our early impressions of patch 4.1. My first impression: Cobraaaaaa!

The days and weeks following a major content patch are always an adventure. Suddenly Azeroth becomes the Wild West, with unexplored frontiers awaiting over every mountain, untamed vistas as far as the eye can see, and far, far too many people wandering around who haven't bathed in months.

Patch 4.1 has been no exception. Logging in on patch day is a bit like going to sleep in one world and waking up in another, one where up is down, left is right, Olivia has brown hair and wears tight shirts, and Walter Bishop has an intact brain and is sleeping with some Asian chick. You never know when you're going to discover some random new nugget of craziness that wasn't in the patch notes. You also never know when you'll be disconnected in the middle of a boss fight, but hey, patch days are patchy.

It's only been a few days, but undoubtedly you've noticed some good, some bad, and some weird new things lurking about the fringes of this digital world we spend time in. Let's take a look at some of the more mage-specific tidbits, shall we?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WRUP: Those damnable hats

Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW Insider staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" -- otherwise known as: WRUP. Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game, and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

Hats! Fun, frilly hats! What a great week for colorful, whimsical, frilly hats! Not since the show Blossom went off the air have I seen so many hats in so many various shapes and sizes!

If you've been following the news this week, well then ... you know all about fun, frilly hats. You know who was wearing them and when. You have well-formed opinions on whose hat was the frilliest. And, of course, you're all too aware of what a terrible show of disrespect it is to not wear a fun, frilly hat. Hats!

What's that you say? Hats are boring and uninteresting? Well, I guess there was other news this week. Like Patch 4.1, some major content release for that World of Warcraft game. Something about trolls and a re-release of Zul'Aman and a Zul'Gurub as 5-man heroics.

In honor of the occasion, I thought it appropriate to tack on a bonus question to this week's WRUP: "What are your thoughts on the new five-mans, Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman?"

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, Cataclysm

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