Recently I went back to get my DK class mount from Legion. I had finished the order hall campaign and figured it couldn’t be too much work to get the mount. At one time you had to finish the Legionfall campaign, but it seems that’s no longer the case. I doubt it took me longer than an hour or two to get the mount. Spoilers for the quest series follow.
The quests involve finding the remains for a powerful red dragon and raising it in undeath. One quest has you enter the Ruby Sanctum. Originally, there was a feat of strength you could earn for slaying all the red dragons in the sanctum, but Blizzard removed it because they decided it wasn’t fair to give a reward like that for something you could miss. Since it was removed by the time I tried to do the quest, I took the opposite approach; I got in and out without killing anything.
Here’s a video I edited together of the lore parts of the quest series. Starting at 9:26 you can see the three forms of the mount. I mostly play unholy, but I think it’s the worst variation. I like the frost one!
Tuesday night was achievement night for my raid group. This was my last Tuesday raid for a while because the group is moving on to mythic, and I’m not on their server. We still have a couple Saturday raid nights left though, which is good because I wasn’t there for the Sylvanas kill to get Ahead of the Curve.
The Glory of the Dominant Raider meta achievement was easier than I expected. I didn’t really think they were easy enough to finish in one night, but my raid group didn’t question it so maybe they always do it like this. Some achievements made me nervous; Tormentor’s Tango requires you to /taunt Garrosh, which gives you a slow debuff, and then not get hit by any Torments. And if anyone messes it up in the raid, no one gets the achievement. I thought for sure it would be hard, but we did it in one attempt.
The Kel’thuzad fight has one of the cutest achievements – Together Forever. As a reminder, Kel’thuzad had a pet cat back in Naxxramas, Mr. Bigglesworth. If you killed it, he would yell and curse you. I think it’s cute that he had a pet he loved even as a lich. Well, it turns out Mr. Bigglesworth also ended up in the Shadowlands. For this achievement, someone in the raid has to find and pet Mr. Bigglesworth, now a slime-ghost-cat, near the Tarragrue’s platform and then again near Painsmith. This will cause him to spawn in Kel’thuzad,s room, where a player can click him once more. Mr. Bigglesworth will hop on that player’s head. During the Kel’thuzad fight, that player must enter Kel’thuzad’s phylactery and deliver the cat, thawing Kel’thuzad’s head (and causing him to take increased damage). How cute is that?
Here I had some nice tea with Keridwen and Mooglegem while we waited for others to find Mr. Bigglesworth. It was our Finer Things Club.
Look, there he is riding on someone’s head!
I Used to Bullseye Deeprun Rats Back Home was an interesting achievement. There’s a vertical hoop on a stick next to Remnant of Ner’zhul’s platform (like a quidditch goal) with a second hoop swinging. Three “goals” must be scored by throwing the bomb off the platform and through the hoops. None of us had ever noticed the goal posts before.
Whack-A-Soul seemed like one of the most appropriate achievements. On top of everything else Painsmith throws at you, there are Burning Gibbets that appear on the sides. More continue to spawn throughout the fight, and they case a raid-wide four second fear. Basically, you just have to keep killing and interrupting them. This would have likely been very hard earlier when we were less geared.
This World is a Prism, on Sylvanas, was another neat achievement. One prism from each covenant spawns in phase two. Four players must each pick up a prism. In the last phase, each platform has a sigil corresponding to a covenant. The players with the prisms must stand on the sigils to channel on to Anduin. Lore-wise that does… something? But every good WoW fight needs to beams or magic lasers.
And after a little over two hours of raiding, we finished Glory of the Dominant Raider. Now we can all ride our Hand of Hrestimorak mounts! I’m not in love with the hand recolor, but it is a cool model. I have the Hand of Bahmethra from Tormentors of Torghast already. I still need the Hand of Salaranga from Breaking the Chains as well as Hand of Nilganihmaht, the gold hand and one I want the most!
We decided to clear normal Sanctum of Domination before heading into heroic. We defeated normal Sylvanas on our fourth raid night, which was in the second week of the raid. In heroic, we’re now three bosses into the raid with The Nine falling this week. As mentioned in the title, there will be some spoilers in this post.
I got the Sanctum Gloomcharger’s Reins on my second defeat of The Nine, which was actually in LFR. I’m not sure of the drop rate, but it doesn’t seem too high. It’s a pretty cool mount!
We’re struggling against Soulrender Dormazain in heroic for now, but at least we’re making progress and getting better. This is a pretty cool fight, and I really enjoy seeing Garrosh again.
Here’s the cutscene at the end of the fight courtesy of wowhead. I think this is a pretty good end to Garrosh’s arc. No redemption. He is who he is, and he does feel remorse for his actions. He goes out fighting and even screaming “for the Horde!”
And then I guess he becomes a pile of ash. Oh well.
And this is how I feel after wiping repeatedly to Soulrender Dormazain in heroic! Okay, actually things have been going well, but I thought I’d end the post there. Happy raiding!
The night fae campaign, which I finished back in May, was entertaining but a bit disjointed. However, I really enjoyed it and the feel of the covenant sanctum. I went night fae with my druid, who I play as balance and resto. In my mind, I thought of my Zandalari as a tough guy – brutish, angry, quick to fight. After joining the night fae and really loving the Queen’s Conservatory, now I think of him much more as someone who cares about others.
While I didn’t absolutely love the story of going after Tyrande, I did enjoy learning about the previous Night Warriors. Thiernax, a previous Night Warrior, and his husband Qadarin were cool characters, and I like the lore about splitting the power of the Night Warrior.
I also liked meeting Huln Highmountain!
Saving the night elf souls from the Maw is a pretty cool story beat. Right now it seems like not enough, but I’m sure the Night Warrior plot will continue and should hopefully bring more closure to that part of the story.
The best part of the campaign was obviously dealing with Bwonsamdi again! He was one of the best parts of BfA, and I’m glad they worked him into this campaign. I hope he pops up more in the future.
And Bwonsamdi leads into Vol’jin! Vol’jin’s story threads from Legion and BfA were so intriguing, and I’m glad we got to see more of him. Now there are more questions. Why was his spirit still so strongly tethered to Azeroth? Is he now the Loa of Kings? Will he become Loa of the Horde? Or will his story be something different? By far, seeing Vol’jin was the greatest callback yet in this expansion.
Compared to all of that in the covenant campaign, the plot with the Drust and Gorak Zhar was underwhelming. I couldn’t even remember Gorak Zhar’s name to write this post, and while playing I had her confused Gorak Tul. I guess the Drust just didn’t captivate me. That’s unfortunate because I like their art style, and I suspect we’ll see more of them.
I finished the Venthyr Campaign last week. As you could guess, spoilers in this post.
The first part of the campaign involves trying to get the Harvesters to join Prince Renathal. We’re also trying to retrieve all the Medallions of the Harvesters. Mikanikos in Bastion crafts a Crown of the Harvester to house the medallions so that the Prince can harness all their power.
When I first saw Kael’thas chained in Sinfall, I was excited and hopeful that he’d play a part in the campaign. Obviously I ended up being right. I wasn’t sure at first, but this takes place the Sun King’s Salvation encounter in Castle Nathria. Through the Venthyr Campaign, we try to help him atone for his sins and we cleanse him of the sins piled upon him that were not his own.
Is that a dead version of the Swift White Hawkstrider? How cool!
Look at all that anima!
Remember to walk your Sun King twice a day.
While helping Kael’thas atone, we discover the the Tithelord in Revendreth has been siphoning anima to allies in Maldraxxus. We discover that he’s working with Kel’Thuzad, which doesn’t go over well with Kael’thas. (Arthas resurrected Kel’Thuzad using the Sunwell after invading Quel’Thalas during the Third War.) Kel’Thuzad even has the Medallion of Dominion, the final medallion.
Working with Baroness Draka and the necrolords, we defeat him and retrieve his medallion. That’s all the medallions besides the Medallion of Wrath, which belongs to the Stonewright, the Harvester of Wrath. She remains neutral between Prince Renathal’s rebellion and Sire Denathrius.
In the end, Prince Renathal decides that Revendreth will be lead by a court and not a Sire or Master. I wonder what this means, because he certainly seems like the leader – and it’s not like there wasn’t a Court of Harvesters under Sire Denathrius.
The Venthyr Campaign got me a lot more excited than the Kyrian Campaign, although I still enjoyed both. I’m looking forward to finding out more about Revendreth’s future. I suppose it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of action here given that the raid revolves around Revendreth as well. Also, I love those glasses on my DK!
Let’s talk about the kyrian covenant campaign! Spoilers, of course. I finished it the week that the end was unlocked and enjoyed it. While I didn’t have a problem with any of it, it really started to pick up part way through.
So, a brief summary. After helping Kleia with her final trial, she becomes Ascended. During her ascension, Uther leads the Forsworn in an attack on Elysian Hold and damages the Crest of Ascension. We defeat Devos, the Forsworn leader, in the Spires of Ascension, leaving Lysonia in charge. Mikanikos rebuilds the Crest of Ascension and we empower it with three items.
Alexandros Mograine of Maldraxxus requests kyrian aid in defeating Margrave Gharmal. The kyrian travel to Maldraxxus and kill the fleshshaper. Xandria cuts out his heart, and we use this to empower the Crest of Ascension.
We travel to Revendreth and talk to the Curator about finding something to empower the Crest of Ascension. She tells us about the Seal of Contrition. We eventually track it to Duke Vielle, who we kill so we can acquire the Seal.
Finally, we talk to the Winter Queen in Ardenweald, who tells us that she can give us power but it needs to be contained. Willowblossom volunteers to help. We save a worm, Grubby, from spriggan at Willowblossom’s request and then acquire items for a ritual. During the ritual, we learn the Willowblossom herself must become the vessel to contain her power. She gives her life so we can empower the Crest of Ascension.
We track down Lysonia to the Temple of Humility where the Forsworn are fighting the kyrian. On the verge of being defeated, Lysonia and Uther escape to the Maw using a portal opened by Helya. After going to the Maw, we witness Lysonia going through a ritual with Helya to create a manifestation of her pride, which we defeat.
Uther is disgusted at the lengths to which Lysonia would go. He seems to agree with some of the Forsworn’s ideals but not their methods. We escort Uther out of the Maw. This really isn’t that big of a surprise. I totally understand Uther’s thinking. The Archon’s way seems pretty brutal, but aligning with Helya and the Jailer is obviously terrible too. And as a player, I didn’t think Blizzard would keep Uther an antagonist.
Glad you could make it, Uther… to Oribos.
We lead a big final push against the Forsworn at the Temple of Loyalty. It was at this point that I knew Uther was going to step in sometime soon. He had to save the day, right? The fight goes in our favor until Lysonia reveals that it was a ploy to leave the Archon undefended. The kyrian forces return to Elysian Hold where Lysonia is using her new powers.
And then Uther shows up to defend the Archon and fight Lysonia. Because of course. Even though it wasn’t a surprise, I’m a simple man who likes simple, cliche stories.
Right after this screenshot, Uther flies away with Thenios to the Temple of Wisdom to find out what’s wrong with his soul.
I’m hoping that later in the expansion this involves more information about Arthas and Frostmourne. How could we not? While a bit less likely, I’d like to see some change within the kyrian. Is it really okay that they give up all their memories? With so many Ascended joining the Forsworn, perhaps the Archon needs to rethink her ways. I’m sure we’ll see continuations of all the covenant campaigns in future patches!
Death Rising, the Shadowlands pre-patch, had some interesting story points, lots of gear for catching up alts and unlocking transmog, and a small but fun plague event. I enjoyed the bits of story and character development, and I farmed rares like crazy.
Calia Menethil is in the screenshot above; she’s an interesting character given her important bloodline and rather unique status of Light-infused undead. Plus, her character model! That outfit is sick!
Watching Taelia find out about her father, the former Lich King, Bolvar, was pretty cool too. It’s no surprise she wasn’t happy to have been kept in the dark, and I look forward to seeing what Blizzard does with her and Bolvar. I suspect I’ll find out relatively soon, but I’m not sure since I’m staying in the dark about Shadowlands.
The rare farming for drops was kind of crazy, especially around Bronjahm, the Godfather of Souls and holder of bags! I managed to get one Papa’s Mint Condition Bag for Devee, my main. (Edit: I also just got one on Sotiros!) And I may have helped gem get some… including 1 duplicate by mistake. Oops. But 7 of her characters ended up with the bag, which is insane.
I also loved how for some reason, tons of people transforming into Gamon became a thing for Bronjahm! Apparently I didn’t take a screenshot, but I did take a photo of my phone once when I was the one to kick it off.
I also managed to get two Accursed Keepsakes!
I killed as many rares as I could. All 12 of my max-level toons managed to purchase all possible upgrades from the Argent Crusade and get everything for transmog. I also swapped characters per rare depending on what dropped and got a lot of drops even if I know a few ilvl doesn’t make a big difference.
I guess I got obsessive, but it was a bit of fun! It’s the little moments, like lining up on the Headless Horseman’s mount.
I posted about Nathanos previously, but he was a fun world boss that hit hard!
I think a lot of people underestimated him… look at all those skeletons!
The zombie event wasn’t very disruptive at all. In fact, I kind of wish it was more disruptive. It was hard to get infected and find battles between the living and dead. gem and I spent time claiming the Stormwind portal room for the Scourge!
Here’s a clip of me infecting and killing gem in Stormwind!
I think the weirdest thing about the event was the random dailies. I kept track of which ones I did and compared to lists online, and there were two dailies that I never saw pop up at all. Oh well, but I like to do everything I can.
All in all, it was nice little event. It gave the community something new to come together and do, helped gear up alts, and had some pretty cool little moments.
So we finally get to go fight Nathanos! You know, I didn’t like him much during Battle for Azeroth, but this fight made him grow on me immensely. I think the arrogant attitude seems cooler when I get to fight him. I enjoyed the little callbacks to vanilla. And I especially enjoyed how he doesn’t hide from us. I should have seen it coming, but why would he care if he knows he’ll just get killed and be sent straight to the Shadowlands?
And Tyrande! I’m looking forward to her character. She certainly kicked ass in the cutscene. Did you see that little smirk as she killed him? It was amazing. I usually avoid story spoilers, so I don’t know if she has more character progression in the next expansion. I hope so.
Last week I finally finished the war campaign as a Sylvanas loyalist. Since my warlock, Voidgazer, is Forsaken and keeps the Gift of N’zoth, he felt like the perfect candidate to be a Sylvanas loyalist. I know it doesn’t offer much that’s different from the war campaign when siding when Saurfang, but it was still fun to see.
I stitched together the campaign in the above video. The cutscene at the end is the most interesting part with some dialogue between Sylvanas and Nathanos. It’s easy to look it up on YouTube, but it couldn’t hurt to record myself as well!
After completing the war campaign while siding with Saurfang, completing it on an Alliance character, and completing the loyalist war campaign, I can say that I don’t think I’ll play through the war campaign ever again!
I’ve been leveling Voidgazer, my Forsaken warlock, recently in an effort to earn the Gift of N’zoth. The Gift of N’zoth is a buff that gives you an eyeball on your forehead at the end of a quest series about finding Xal’atath (the shadow priest artifact that was discarded in lore). Having the buff allows you to see other people who also have it; those who don’t have the buff won’t see it on you either. There’s a quest to remove it, but it seems appropriate that Voidgazer keeps it.
Voidgazer thought he’d get to spend more time with this babe he just me, but she took off right away.
I love his expression as he receives the gift.
Now Voidgazer can truly gaze into the void! Leveling him to 120 also earned me Dynamic Duo, the achievement for reaching maximum level with two different classes. I’m not sure how much I’ll play him, but it’s fun to have a second max level character!
World of Warcraft: Legion, the next WoW expansion, was announced last week at Gamescom. After having a few days to think about the information, I wanted to talk about my initial thoughts. I’ll admit, I might not have anything completely novel to say, but I think it’s important for the community to be vocal. Plus, I enjoy the writing too!
Here’s a brief recap of what Legion’s offering:
The Broken Isles
Honor system 3.0
Class Order Halls
The Emerald Dream and Emerald Nightmare
The invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion
And we can’t forget this teaser:
The tomb of Sargeras is opened, and Azeroth is faced with the largest invasion of the Burning Legion ever. Okay, that’s cool. I don’t really have a strong reaction either way to the Broken Isles themselves, and while I would have preferred to fight the Burning Legion on a different world, this works too. Throwing Queen Azshara and the Emerald Nightmare into the mix seems like overkill a bit, but I assume it’ll be integrated nicely. I’m honestly a little surprised, but Blizzard has been getting better at running concurrent stories. In Warlords, I felt like we had separate stories that pieced together for a single narrative, and I predict (and hope) Blizzard’ll be even better at it in Legion.
Honor system 3.0
The new honor system is kind of strange. You gain honor to move from rank 1 to 50, unlocking PVP abilities. This allows PVP to be tuned separately from PVE. That’s cool I suppose, but does that mean that I’ll have abilities on my bars that only work in PVP? That kind of sucks. The ones I’ve seen have all replaced current abilities or are passives. If that’s the case, I’m good with it! It also introduced prestiging. Once you reach rank 50, you can prestige, earning cosmetic rewards while resetting your rank to 1. I like that system in general, but I wonder how that’ll change competitive PVP players. If you do arenas, you can’t really prestige back to being weak, right? That doesn’t matter to me, but I’m sure it matters to a lot of people.
Artifact weapons are special, lore-heavy weapons that every player will get. There’s one for each spec, and there will be no other weapon drops. You can increase their power through the expansion through something that looks reminiscent to the Path of the Titans (and to Final Fantasy X’s sphere grid). This actually sounds fairly exciting to me, but it has some interesting ramifications. In Warlords, I was the commander and eventually called a general by Vol’jin. In Legion, I’ll wield some powerful lore weapon. What happens next? Does this keep getting upped? Some examples they gave were frost DKs using the shards of Frostmourne to build two swords, ret paladins getting the Ashbringer, and enhancement shaman using the Doomhammer. Um, why isn’t Thrall carrying the Doomhammer? Why doesn’t Tirion have the Ashbringer? Are these characters going to die? Also, I have to add that Matticus on World of Matticus brought up the idea of priests getting Fearbreaker. Yes, please, please, please! That’d be pretty awesome.
I’m not all that excited to be a Demon Hunter, but I’m pretty excited to see their story. Of course, that means playing through their intro, so yes, I’m excited to play them in that sense at least! I think the Demon Hunter lore is pretty interesting, and Illidan has always been a fan favorite. This should be really awesome, I think.
Class Order Halls
Class Orders are the most exciting part of the expansion so far. Each class will get a class order hall, sort of like Acherus: The Ebon Hold was for Death Knights. It’ll be shared, but in the story, the player character will be the leader of the Class Order. This sounds incredibly neat and will really give flavor to each class. I love being a priest, and I never really felt like I had Horde priest lore figured that my character would respect and strive to emulate. I guess now that figure is me. While garrisons had way too many followers and only a few that seemed cool, Class Orders will have far fewer and much more important followers. Each class will have a different name for their “followers,” with champions being the paladins’ followers for example.
This seems like the progression of garrisons, although maybe more accurately the progression of Vol’mar and Lion’s Watch. Vol’mar is a shared location, but inside, the NPCs treat me as their leader. Regardless of how you see the evolution or whether you see them as related, Class Order Halls are what they are, and they sound fascinating.
Class identity is supposed to play a much bigger role in Legion, and I’m all for it. Even spec individuality is going to be explored. I think this is a fantastic idea, but one small thing seems odd to me. During the discussion of the new PVP system, Blizzard said that when you think disc priests, you think dispels – or something along those lines. If that’s the the most iconic part of being a disc priest, I wonder in what direction they will take discipline. To be fair, if many specs are getting overhauls, I’m not against the idea of switching to holy. We’ll see!
It really sounds like they’re giving us a lot. They’ve already dumped a lot of other interesting information that I didn’t even mention – Dalaran run by Khadgar and now floating over the Broken Isles? I’m really hopeful and expectant that the story is going to come together better than ever, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.
Today’s Mooglegem’s last day with an active account. In fact, by this time the subscription has already lapsed. She just doesn’t have the time to play. She raided during Highmaul, but never even had a chance to finish questing let alone enter Blackrock Foundry. Last night she wanted to make the final push toward the Nagrand finale.
There were a few quest lines she hadn’t completed in Nagrand, but most importantly, Thrall was offering her “And Justice for Thrall.” She was so close this whole time. I was happy I got to witness her witnessing such an amazing moment.
I made her do this emote, heh.
She also went through her bags a little. There were a lot of old memories. One included a letter from my bank alt.
Thank you for the stuff. How are you? I heard you were far away, south of here. How is it there? I’ve never left Mulgore. I live at Thunder Bluff.
I guess I liked RPing in letters.
Or how about this one I sent to her hunter?
The fight against the Lich King is slow but progresses well! I look forward to the day when we put him down for good!
Congratulations on reaching Outland! I hope you’re enjoying Nagrand; it really is quite beautiful. I’m surprised [Nesingwary] remembered me! Someday you’ll surpass him as a hunter, I’m sure.
Chompsky and Sumo are both very cute. Give them my love! Mooglegem says hello too.
Hope to see you in Northrend soon!
It’s been a while since we’ve really played together, but it’s weird to have her account inactive. On the plus side, she got to see the Nagrand finale. Afterward, I summarized the events of Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry, and the legendary quest, and then I showed her the finale of the Garrison Campaign and the 6.1 legendary cutscene. At least she’s caught up on the lore!
Hurry and come back, Mooglegem, so I can take you on a tour through Ashran and we can slay Alliance like old times.
I recently finished Stonetalon Mountains on my paladin, Illuminnae. This post contains spoilers for a really good zone, so keep it in mind if you want to keep reading.
In the above selfie (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), Overlord Krom’gar is yelling at his troops. He’s a pretty brutal commander and will stop at nothing to drive the Alliance from Stonetalon Mountains. Throughout the quest chain in the zone, he’s planning on dropping a bomb on the Alliance forces.
General Grebo is his second in command, stationed at Cliffwalker Post. He believes that Thal’darah Grove is home to a powerful Night Elf weapon and wants to use the bomb on it. High Chieftain Cliffwalker knows that there’s no such weapon there. He knows it’s been a meeting place for druids, both Alliance and Horde. After asking to be allowed to present proof, he sends his son there to obtain said proof. I’m not sure what this proof was actually.
His son never returns, but the player discovers his body clutching a Krom’gar General’s Insignia in his hand that belonged to General Grebo. When High Chieftain Cliffwalker accuses General Grebo of murdering his son, the General and his soldiers attack High Chieftain Cliffwalker. With the help of the player, General Grebo and his men are killed.
High Chieftain Cliffwalker’s wife, Masha, is quite distraught. I like seeing this level of emotion in the game. People die, and it’s tragic when they do.
They urge you to return to Krom’gar to let him know that they only acted in self defense. Krom’gar basically ignores all that information, considering the High Chieftain to be traitorous. He and his soldiers set fire to Cliffwalker post and murder Masha. Finally he forces High Chieftain Cliffwalker to watch as he drops the bomb on Thal’darah Grove.
Moments after the bomb is detonated, a portal from Orgrimmar opens. Garrosh steps through to confront Overlord Krom’gar while Garrosh’s guards slay Krom’gar’s men.
Warchief Hellscream demands to know what Overlord Krom’gar has done. Krom’gar claims to have been following orders. Hellscream, furious, asks if his command was to murder innocents. Garrosh says he sent Krom’gar into Stonetalon Mountains to secure the land for the Horde with his army, but instead, Krom’gar “laid waste to the land. Murdered innocents. Children even…” He goes on to quote Saurfang, saying, “Honor… no matter how dire the battle… never forsake it.” He relieves Overlord Krom’gar of duty, lifting him by the throat and dropping over the cliff of Cliffwalker Post.
When he turns angrily toward the player’s character, High Chieftain Cliffwalker stops him, explaining that he or she was the person who found out about the corruption and tried to stop Krom’gar. He asks for mercy. Garrosh notes that after his wife and child were murdered, kin were killed, and home burned to the ground, he still requests mercy, saying “Mercy… Chieftain, on this day I learn from you.”
What a fantastic finale to the zone even though I roughly knew what was coming. This builds on the original Garrosh we saw earlier, one who was growing and learning. Clearly, Blizzard decided to take Garrosh’s character in another direction. It seems ironic that the very thing Garrosh was so mad about is exactly what he does later when he drops a manabomb on Theramore.
The first time I tried to record the finale I made a bit of a mistake. It’s short, so check it out to see my blooper.
Here’s the actual finale, which is about six minutes long.
After all that death and drama, it seemed like the most inappropriate time for one more selfie, this time with High Chieftain Cliffwalker and Warchief Garrosh Hellscream.
I finished Ashenvale on my feral druid, Tyrse, recently just about as he hit level 30. I enjoyed the zone, and it never really felt like a grind. However, it was definitely nothing compared to the early Forsaken zones. I think I enjoyed seeing the Horde on the offensive. I suppose the zone made us look like the bad guys if I didn’t have other information, but I like the topics of gray areas and foggy morality. I can understand, regardless of my agreement, the feeling that the Horde needed to do what it had to do to survive and thrive.
I’m really looking forward to pushing into Stonetalon Mountains. Because that zone is 25-30 and Tyrse is already 30, I plan on switching to my paladin, Illuminnae. She’s 23 now, so I’ll run dungeons until she’s 25 and then hit Stonetalon Mountains.
The Garrison Campaign was a pretty fun way of prolonging the game after reaching the level-cap. I enjoy the staggered release of solo content like this. It allows me to stay current without putting in more time that I’d like. It’s not for everyone, but it was perfect for me.
I finished a week or two ago (I forget exactly), but I’ve been working through uploading old videos. The events here were obviously building on the idea that we were in charge of raising an army. Here we are with that army, bring the fight to the Iron Horde.
I’m very interested to see what happens next with the continuation of the Garrison Campaign!
This post contains spoilers. If you don’t know anything about this, then don’t watch unless you’re cool with spoilers!
I enjoyed this quest although you can tell just by the length of the video that I struggled. Once I realized where to go hide to avoid that ability, things got a lot better.
Before doing the quest, I already knew generally what happened, but I particularly liked bits of the dialogue.
“Sorry for all the times you’re about to get killed,” says Chromie before beginning the fight. “If it’s any consolation, you won’t remember any of them.” Not true little Bronze friend, not true. While I did die a number of times, I totally remember them.
During the fight, Khadgar addresses Kairoz. “Kairoz! What did you want? Why did you need an army?”
He responds, “Not just one… An infinite number of armies, across an infinite number of worlds… I WOULD BE INFINITE!” I love it! The Bronze and Infinite dragonflights are the most interesting hooks in the game currently, and I’m glad to see a bit more about it.
This post contains spoilers for Nagrand in Warlords of Draenor. I know most people have likely finished it, but I know not everybody has. My guildmates should specifically take note that Mooglegem has not finished Nagrand. Please don’t spoil it for her.
I really enjoyed that the leveling experience felt like it’s own complete story arc. Obviously, Blizzard has been getting better and better at storytelling, but I was particularly impressed with how it went in Warlords of Draenor. Even if you don’t raid at all, you still get a exhilarating conclusion to the story by questing through the zones (and later the Garrison Campaign, but that’s a post for later).
The video embedded above is the end of the final quest chain. I didn’t include the cutscene that plays after that part because it’s easy to find (and you can replay it in your own garrison). Now I know that if you’re avoiding spoilers, you shouldn’t be reading this far, but I’ll still avoid saying exactly what happens. What I will say is that I’m happy that it happened in the quests and not in a raid. Leave the rest of the threats for raiding; close this chapter through quests, allowing us to move on as well as giving non-raiders the closure they deserve with this plot. Plus, that frickin’ cutscene. Wow.
Patch 6.0.2, The Iron Tide, brought a number of changes and a bit of new content.
Iron Horde Invasion
The Dark Portal turns red, and the Iron Horde begins to attack. The Horde and Alliance settlements in the Blasted Lands fall, and we’re tasked with cleaning up. It was interesting, but it seemed to lack zest. It was just a bit anti-climatic. I never really got the feeling that we were in much danger. The questline did more to introduce mechanic changes than anything else. For example, quest objectives are clearly marked on the map and are outlined differently in the world. This includes locations that are targets for items; instead of going to where you think you need to plant a flag and clicking it, you right-click the outline of a flag. I like it. Still, I would have liked the event to feel more important. I think what I liked most was Thrall’s new model. He’s finally integrating the aspects of being a shaman and a warrior. Awesome.
Updated character models
I didn’t care previously, and I still don’t think this is a big deal. I’m looking at numbers. I’m watching health and mana, looking at buffs and debuffs, and tracking adds. I’m not looking at my cloak. At first, I certainly did. My troll runs stupidly. Honestly it seems normal now though.
Upper Blackrock Spire
It’s much more straight-forward, but it didn’t seem like it was anything special either. I suppose that could make sense because it’s only the first half, but why show us the first half if the first half isn’t awesome?
Flexible raids are great. Losing Renew and Void Shift sucks. Having to choose between Spirit Shell and Power Infusion sucks. Losing Heal wasn’t a big deal.
Now we’re even more OP in earlier content. That’s cool.
Void Storage and Toy Box
Oh, goodness. This was awesome. With a whole new Void Storage tab and the nifty Toy Box, I actually have free bag space again, allowing me to go do past raids for transmog. It’s wonderful. I don’t understand why they didn’t try to patch this in a couple months ago so we could actually do something in WoW. I can’t say enough good about this, although I know I’m going to fill it up soon. Mmmm old tier sets.
What have I done in the patch? I did the questline and UBRS of course. Besides that, I’ve mainly been going after old tier sets. That’s what I was doing months and months ago before I filled up all my bags, so it’s nice to be able to continue it again. I also got my heroic Siege of Orgrimmar heirloom – the staff. Unfortunately, I was hoping for the mace or offhand. The mace is shaped like a Horde symbol, and the offhand is a book with the Horde symbol on the cover. Maybe I’ll get one of them in normal mode!
When the servers went down early Tuesday morning, it was effectively the end of Mists of Pandaria. When they come back online, we’ll be starting Warlords of Draenor even if the expansion hasn’t actually released.
I enjoyed this expansion. Unlike some people, I had no problem with the setting. It was beautiful, the story of the sha was original, and I liked both the Alliance and the Horde’s character development. Yeah, it would have been better if we didn’t know Garrosh was going to be the end boss, and the expansion had a couple problems such as too many dailies and the feeling that LFR and flex were both requires for normal mode raiders.
As a healer, I found scenarios boring. However, I discovered Proving Grounds and Challenge Mode dungeons too late in the expansion. Of course I knew they existed, but I wish I cared about them earlier. I didn’t even touch the Brawler’s Guild unfortunately.
I’m obviously excited for Warlords of Draenor, but I’ll admit, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I keep busy, and as much as I do love raiding, I’m not looking forward to the time sink.
On Sunday, I finished earning silvers in the Challenge Mode dungeons. Monday night I spent my currencies, and then Mooglegem and I said our goodbyes to the Kor’kron. I know they were the bad guys this expansion, but they weren’t always that way. They were once the elite soldiers and guards, and this blog is named after them. I’m kind of sad to see them go entirely.
Here we are with a couple more Kor’kron.
And finally, a ton of Kor’kron! Woo! I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this spot immediately.
Next I decided to visit the Dark Portal while it was still green.
Obviously I was not alone in this endeavor. Lots of other Horde were here along with a few Alliance as well. Why the one or two Alliance members that came decided to try to engage in PVP, I’ll never know.
What’s that? A line of Sea Turtles, jumping into their shells? Count me in! I know it seems silly, but this type of thing is one of the best aspects of MMOs. This isn’t part of the planned content. Visiting the Dark Portal after the patch might be, and coming here to quest is, sure. But everyone coming together to chat, emote, use fun items, and celebrate might be expected but it was not planned content. It was just a bunch of players having fun. I love it.
When the server’s come back online, these same players will be ready to stop the Iron Horde!
The last time I wrote about Voidgazer’s questing, I had just finished Silverpine Forest. That was months ago, and I got a lot further now. Note that I’ll be talking about my opinion of the zones in this post, so there will be spoilers for many Cataclysm low-level zones in Eastern Kingdoms.
In Hillsbrad Foothills, I particularly liked the quest to be a quest giver myself. I sent Dumass napping because he wouldn’t be able to do much else.
I sent the mighty Kingslayer Orkus to Southshore. He’s a great character. It’s too bad I didn’t do this quest at the beginning of Cataclysm instead of the end of Mists of Pandaria.
Lastly, I sent Johnny Awesome, decked out in full heirlooms, to the Sludge Fields. These three characters really to represent three major cliches of character types. There’s the newbie, the high-level character who’s overly proud, and the alt who is really awesome (on his other toon).
We also get to see Drek’Thar. I don’t remember seeing him in declining health in the game, but I might have missed his presence somewhere. I knew he was getting older and his health was slipping from the novels, but it’s always cool to see these things reflected in the game.
I didn’t really feel like the Arathi Highlands were memorable. Similarly, I remember what happens in the Hinterlands but only because it’s annoying. It feels like you’re done with the enemy troll hub like five or six times. “Good job. You really cleared them all out of there! They’re all defeated! …Okay, now go back in there and…” The zone moved at a snail’s pace. Looking back on them now, the problem with these two zones might simply be that they come right after the excellent storytelling of the Forsaken-centered zones.
I happily got back to the great zones when I was sent to Western Plaguelands. Koltira is a fascinating character with his interactions with Thassarian, his Alliance counterpart. Too bad Sylvanas doesn’t seem to like him as much as I do. I look forward to hearing his story unfold more in the future.
In the Eastern Plaguelands, you join a caravan that slowly moves through the zones as you progress in the quests. It’s actually similar to Vashj’ir, only fun. As you progress, more people join the caravan. While none of them made an impression in my mind deep enough to cause me to remember their names or specific details, it was fun to watch their interactions through the zone.
There was a drop in quality when traveling to the Badlands although I still enjoyed it. In this zone, players deal with attempts by the red dragonflight to save the black dragonflight. Deathwing doesn’t seem too happy.
We also get to learn all about the day that Deathwing came and what really happened as a small group of friends tell stories and argues about who got it right. Martek the Exiled told me all about his flying motorcycle and the hot babe who rode with him.
The Searing Gorge wasn’t as compelling as the Forsaken zones, but it had its moments. Lunk, the pacifist ogre, makes for some good comic-relief. It turns out you can be quite effective without killing – if you’re huge.
The zone also contained the fun quests about stealing the pillows from the Dark Iron that I wrote about previously.
By the time I reached the Burning Steppes, I was getting anxious to finish the content. The zone deals with stopping the Blackrock Clan’s impending invasion of Redridge Mountains. I’m glad I did some questing on my Alliance character before reaching this zone because it gave me a bit of understanding of the Alliance’s struggle against the Blackrock orcs. It was nice to see Eitrigg and his son, Ariok, working to stop them.
Screwing with the leaders of the orc clan was fun as well.
The Swamp of Sorrows was a short zone that didn’t seem very eventful. However, this reference to Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple brought a quick smile to my face.
Finally, I reached the Blasted Lands where I spent time completing quests of questionable ethics against the Alliance as well as fighting some demons. With everything concluded nicely, it’s time for Voidgazer to step through the Dark Portal to Outland!
Or, it would be if I intended to play him more. For now, his story is finished.
A group of my friends have started playing WoW together casually on Friday nights. They invited me to join. It’s been years since I’d done anything group content like that – dungeons and the like. It’s a different feeling to play as a group while leveling compared to endgame where the goal is to plow through content for valor points. They had already started, so I decided to catch up. They play Alliance, and I’ve never spent much time on that side of the game. I was looking forward to seeing the Alliance story.
I decided to roll a pandaren monk. His name is Sleepypaw. You can see him sleeping with his bear cub watching him.
The starting experience on the Wandering Isle was pretty fun, but nothing too amazing really. I enjoyed it, but the worgen starting experience was so much better. I did like getting the chance to talk to Shen-zin Su, the turtle known as the Wandering Isle. I also particularly liked Ji Firepaw, a Huojin follower, Aysa Cloudsinger, a Tushui follower, and their relationship. It was interesting to see them get close and then see that relationship strained. Of course, I chose to follow Aysa into the Alliance.
After fighting Varian at his request, I became a full member of the Alliance! Stormwind itself is a beautiful city, and I enjoyed running around it. While Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff have natural beauty, and I do particularly like the view of Orgrimmar from above mostly because I think of it as my city, Stormwind and Ironforge have a really heroic and powerful feel. I spent a couple hours one evening just running around Stormwind. I ignored the map so I could try to learn the city, looking around and using Stormwind Keep as a point of reference.
After questing through Elwynn Forest, I headed into Westfall, which had a really interesting story. It did a good job of showing me how different the Alliance is. First, I helped a detective who was looking for clues to solve a murder. He even had little alarmbots circling the crime scene. I can’t imagine the Horde taking such a modern approach to murder. Yet on the other hand, I can’t fathom the idea of homeless members of the Horde – orcs unable to afford to live in Orgrimmar, starving and begging for food. That’s what we see in Westfall though. Well, homeless humans, not orcs. We learn that while the Alliance spent time and money winning the war in Northrend, they neglected things at home. Guards are posted to keep them out of cities, with signs warning transients to stay out of the area.
This is probably one of my favorite screenshots now. It wasn’t a rare angle or anything like that, but it was a powerful moment in the story.
After Westfall, I moved into the Redridge Mountains, where I joined Bravo Company and defended Lakeshire against Blackrock orcs. The most important thing that happened was meeting this girl who loves rabbits. I love rabbits too!
The zone was quite idyllic when there wasn’t killing or war. Here’s a nice screenshot. I suppose the skeleton undermines my position on the zone though.
The Bravo Company storyline was fun mostly because they tag along with you and say funny things. There’s a paladin who complains about the Light, saying that one day he feels like all his abilities are weaker.
Also, yes, Rambo references.
I’ve now made it to Duskwood and am level 30. I have full heirlooms for all three spec, so if my friends need me to tank or heal, I’ll have the gear for it (even if I don’t know how to play those specs). They might be a little higher than 30 now, but I think I’ve matched them approximately! I’ve had a lot of fun experiencing the Alliance side of things and am looking forward to more.
Warlords of Draenor sounds very cool and seems to be bringing a lot of great things. I don’t intend for this post to rehash all the news released at BlizzCon, but I still want to talk about my reaction.
I love the direction of the story; Garrosh escapes and, with the help of the Timewalker Kairoz, travels back in time to Draenor. He stops the orcs from becoming corrupted by the Burning Legion and forms the Iron Horde. He then builds his own Dark Portal connecting that Draenor to our Azeroth. I know that anything relating to time travel can be confusing to people, but I kind of like that Blizzard basically told us not to worry about it and that there wouldn’t be any time paradoxes or consequences. I like it. It’s just an excuse for us to visit Draenor and interact with all the old orcs. Of course, this gives us a lot of potential. Seeing ruthless, old-fashioned orcs should be fun, and of course, experiencing Draenor will be great.
It could also be a vehicle for some interesting character development. What if Garrosh finds his father’s not what he expected? What if Grom thinks Garrosh is a failure? It’ll be fascinating. I also think Blizzard has a chance to do something great with Thrall. Thrall never had the chance to know his parents. We know Durotan is going to side with our Horde, but what if he’s different than Thrall imagined? Even if he’s a good guy, what if he’s still ruthless? What if he thinks the Horde is too soft? In addition, some characters could stick around after the end of the expansion. For example, Durotan could come through the Dark Portal to live on Azeroth.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of circumstance shaping a person, and I hope Warlords of Draenor examines this. I’d like to see some characters act very differently than they did in the original timeline due to the changed events in their lives.
Stats and itemization
Hit was always a boring stat to me. There was no strategy or choice. You just had to get hit-capped. I’m glad to see it and its fellow not-fun stats removed. Movement speed could be a fun stat on gear as well. Plus, being able to move quickly and get back to DPSing or healing means a DPS/HPS boost.
Having gear change to match the wearer’s current spec is very interesting. It means you can use more gear but that there’s more competition. Ultimately, I think it’ll make the game much more offspec-friendly.
Reforging seemed more needless than useful. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to change from a haste build to a crit build without changing gear. I almost feel like it would work better like changing specs. When you’re out of combat, you can could change builds. Oh well. We’ll have to see what it’s like for gems and enchants to be less common as well.
Garrisons are effectively the Sunsong Ranch farm crossed with the companion mission system of TOR (or other games) with a dash of Warcraft RTS. Sounds intriguing. I liked the farm even though it felt like a grind at times, so I’m optimistic about this. Honestly, it’s more of an evolution of the idea of keeps and followers from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It could be pretty fun.
Updated character models
Honestly, I don’t really care about this. I don’t understand it. My character is a pretty portion of my screen. When I play D&D, my representation is, at most, a small metal figure that isn’t even using an accurate weapon half the time. However, a lot of people do care, so I’m glad Blizzard’s doing it.
Boost to 90
I completely understand how some people are bothered by this, but I’m not at all. I’ve never had two characters at the level cap. With the character boost, I’m more likely to get a second to level 100. It’d be nice to check out some other styles of play, because I’ve only ever had my priest at endgame. In addition, being able to boost to 90 combined with updated character models mean that people who haven’t played WoW before can immediately begin playing what is effectively a new, modern game. That’s great.
Collections and quest items
These might be my favorite changes. Currently, mounts and pets are in collections rather than items. In Warlords of Draenor, toys, heirlooms, and possibly tabards will be in collections as well. That’s so much bag space I’ll be regaining. In addition, quest items won’t take up bag space. Finally. I’m pretty excited. The only downside is that I lost all those toys I earned previously. Maybe Blizzard could check that I did those quests and award me the toys. Please, Blizzard?
LFR is still LFR. Flex will be called Normal. Normal will be called Heroic. Heroic will be called Mythic. LFR, Normal, and Heroic will all be flexible (1o to 25 people) and cross-realm. Mythic will not be cross-realm and will be 20 people. As a normal-mode raider currently (so a heroic-mode raider next expansion) in a guild that struggles with attendance, this is great news. We recruit so we have 15-20 people, and then we take everyone every week. Awesome! I do feel bad for current 10-man heroic guilds, but it won’t be my problem at least.
Dailies and dynamic events
Dailies will not be widely used. Great. Dynamic events like those from the Timeless Isle will exist in the world. Also great if not overdone. In addition, they talked about wanting to combine the ideas behind the Isle of Thunder and the Timeless Isle. I think Blizzard is on to something, and I like to see them iterating on the way content is delivered. A combination of these two is exactly what I want.
The map will tell you where the next story quest is, and it also indicates how many story chapters you’ve completed. This is awesome news. In Mists of Pandaria, I finished all the zones before I started raiding, and I only did a dungeon once I got to it in the story. It made for a nice, cohesive experience, but it also meant I took longer to get raid-ready. In Warlords of Draenor, I’ll skip all the non-story quests and come back to them. This should speed up the process significantly.
PVP interface updates
I don’t know how anyone could have a problem with being able to see capping progress on the map and on the flags themselves. This is a welcome change.
Warlords of Draenor
I’m pretty excited about all the aspects of the expansion. I’ll admit, things could go wrong. The quests could be boring, or the new content delivery mechanisms could be boring. I won’t know until I see the content. But I’m feeling hyped to experience it. Of course, I’d like to defeat Garrosh in normal-mode first!
Last week, I earned my legendary cloak, Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji. If you follow my blog and know that I play a discipline priest, you won’t be surprised that Jina-Kang is the healer legendary. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to earn this before my raid nights, but this week I should be set!
I’m sure you can find hundreds of videos showing the cutscene, but I recorded mine as well. It starts with some quest text and dialog before Wrathion sends me to the Seat of Knowledge above Mogu’shan Palace in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Around 2:00 into the video is when the good part starts. Do you remember how Lorewalker Cho has shown you scenes from stories? Now he, with Wrathion’s help, tells my story. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in World of Warcraft. We’ve all done great things, and the cutscene that plays will show each player his legendary accomplishments. To someone who loves the lore and story as well as building a character, it was incredible.
After earning it, the player is displayed with his or her appropriate legendary proc outside the Seat of Knowledge. I’m sad that I didn’t wait for Mooglegem so we could be displayed together. Oh well. Now to complete this chapter of the legendary, I just need to stop Garrosh Hellscream!
I love this. The Alliance story was the story of their paladins. What if paladins had stayed Alliance-only and shaman had stayed Horde-only? What if Death Knights had been given to the Horde, and monks to the Alliance? It’s an interesting article.
Why do the orcs want to kill Garrosh? Why do players hate Garrosh but like Sylvanas? Rohan thinks that in lore, the orcs in general aren’t turning on Garrosh. As players, we like Sylvanas because she’s “all cool and calculating” while Garrosh “is a thug.” Players are more likely to identify with Sylvanas.
Rohan’s wish list includes paladins, necromancers (or maybe druids), a no-trade, no-AH mode, and the ability for hardcore characters to become normal characters upon death. I think the no-trade, no-AH mode would be nice, although Blizzard would never do it, and the hardcore change would be great.
Wow. I’m impressed with most patch trailers, but I loved this one. By talking about it, I’m spoiling it, so please watch the trailer before reading.
Taran Zhu’s back-and-forth with Hellscream was great. They seemed to take turns having the upper-hand. I liked when Taran Zhu brought up Grom Hellscream, although I’m not sure when he learned of Grom. I didn’t catch that he got impaled on Hellscream’s axe on my first watch. I also found it interesting that the trailer opened with butterflies and when the sha energies spread out from the heart of Y’shaarj, it corrupts a butterfly.
I’ve been wondering about something Hellscream said. Taran Zhu says “I have fought besides the tauren, trolls, and others. You are nothing like them.” Hellscream responds, “they are no longer part of my Horde!” Is Hellscream referring to those who are rebelling against him or to all tauren? Up to this point, it seemed like he was still accepting of tauren. He thought of them under orcs, but still felt they contributed. He seemed to consider them much higher than the other races of the horde. Hellscream tolerated the Blood Elves and goblins and largely ignored the pandaren and Forsaken. As far as I can tell, the Darkspear were no longer considered part of his Horde. By the release of patch 5.4, are we to assume that his Horde consists solely of orcs? It seems very plausible that he would have heard that Baine was working with the Darkspear Rebellion, so it wouldn’t be surprising.
The scene in which the navies arrive is also great. When was the last time we saw Horde (well, former Horde at this point) and Alliance forces so intermingled? I found the sails interesting. I see Horde sails, red with the black Horde symbol. The Forsaken are present with their purple sails. I assume both the blue and white sails belong to the Alliance, but I’m actually not positive. (Anyone who plays Alliance care to comment?) I wasn’t sure on black and red striped sails, but YouTube commenters pointed out that those ships belong to the Bloodsail Buccaneers. What are they doing attacking Orgrimmar too? Very interesting!
Blizzard does an amazing job with the story, and it’s in such an odd way as well. There’s really not that much story, and it’s usually not a huge deal in game. They’re excellent at creating background lore to hype people for playing. Escalation’s lore was also great in my opinion. There was a formal declaration of a Darkspear Rebellion led by my own racial leader – much deserved after Garrosh Hellscream declared martial law in the Echo Isles and rounded up the Darkspear in the Valley of Spirits. But in game, it just meant that I farmed Kor’kron in the Northern Barrens. That doesn’t change the fact that I was incredibly excited to be joining the Darkspear Rebellion just as I’m excited to come together with the other armies of Azeroth to bring judgement upon Hellscream.
I finally completed the fourth chapter of Wrathion’s legendary quest line. I’m glad this one was short while still having a bit of challenge. The quest tasks you with receiving the blessings of the four Celestials. They give wisdom to Wrathion as well; Wrathion, in comparison to the Celestials, is actually pretty stupid, but he is just a child.
I completed Chi-Ji’s healer challenge. Unfortunately it took me a few tries, but I still got it, and now I have my nice, new cloak. I’m looking forward to putting it to use!
After collecting all those darn Titan Runestones, I’ve finally completed Wrathion’s Chapter III: Two Princes. Later this week, hopefully Monday night, I’ll complete Celestial Blessings and earn my delicious new cloak. I’m looking forward to it. The Wrathion questline has been one of the best in the game, and I love how it’s unlocking over the course of the patches. And boy, I love what happened when I turned in this quest. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t done it!
The Darkspear Rebellion was very exciting. Yes, it was pretty short, but I like that. You can see all the content in the day, but you can grind some more if you’d like. You can watch me experience it in the video below. Of course, the video and this post contain huge spoilers. I’ve also cut a lot of the repetition from the video. Below I first explain the lore and story involved before giving my opinion and feedback. Click here to jump straight to my feedback.
After completing this task, I returned to talk with Vol’jin, Thrall, and Chen. The Warchief, or at least his Kor’kron, figured out what was happening and led an attack on Sen’jin Village. Unfortunately for them, we were able to defeat them. As they fled, Vol’jin suggested we let them run because they’d be executed by Hellscream for doing so.
Vol’jin’s next move was to plan on attack on Razor Hill, using it as a staging ground before laying siege to Orgrimmar. Thrall parted ways with the rest of the rebellion at this point, believing that some of his previous advisers, such as Eitrigg and Saurfang, must not support Hellscream. Vol’jin told him that he’d be killed upon setting foot in Orgrimmar, but Thrall felt he had to try anyways. He told Vol’jin to watch over Aggra and his boy if he’s killed. gem watches from her direhorn, propped up cutely on the stairs.
After taking Razor Hill, the rebellion sets up camp at a watchtower just north of the city. Baine Bloodhoof arrives, happy to see Vol’jin alive. He offers to join the rebellion. I was tasked with two new objectives – to steal many more supplies from the Kor’kron and to speak with the Old Seer currently climbing Mount Neverest in the footsteps of the last emperor.
First, I went to the Northern Barrens to collect materials from the Kor’kron and to kill the Kor’kron commanders. Once that was done, I headed to Kun’Lai Summit.
I helped the Old Seer, Seer Hao Pham Roo, climb the mountain, during which he explained how when he was young he would have had trouble performing the climb. For example, he says, “My, you are strong! When I was young, I might have doubted that we could do this. But now, I have no doubts at all.” In fact, he mentions overcoming anger, violence, doubt, despair, hate, and fear.
Upon reaching the summit, he explains. “You see, when I was young… when I was young… when I was young… I was EMPEROR.” He transforms in the spirit of the last emperor, describing his remaining vice – his pride. He explains that his pride cloaked Pandaria in the mists. He thought they could solve their problems without outside help. Now he believes that old enemies must work together, and that proud races must admit that they need help. He then disappears.
Upon completing all the tasks of the Darkspear Rebellion, I became Darkspear Revolutionary Devee. (If I was a member of the Alliance, I would gained “Hordebreaker!”)
My opinion and reaction
I’m incredibly happy with the Battlefield Barrens event. The lore was fantastic, and experiencing it was a ton of fun. The only grind is collecting supplies for the weekly, but that really only took an hour or so. Of course, if I choose not to do it again, it wouldn’t even be that big of a deal. The conflict rose at a great pacing as well. First, we attacked the Kor’kron haphazardly. Next, they attacked Sen’jin Village, and we defended. Finally, we led a full assault with a marching army upon Razor Hill. Very cool!
All three leaders of the primary Western Horde were there – Vol’jin, Thrall, and Baine. They even mentioned that Lor’themar agreed with the rebellion but was still busy and that Sylvanas agreed but was too far away. It was nice to see Baine show up despite there still being tauren within Orgrimmar. The dialogue between Thrall and Vol’jin was also touching. I know I’m a sap for lore and story, but I really enjoyed it. I hope Blizzard wasn’t foreshadowing Thrall’s death, but in all honesty, I was expecting his death at the end of Cataclysm already. Many people love Thrall, and many people are sick of seeing him. Killing him could be a fitting solution. The people who are sick of him won’t need to see him anymore. The people who love him will have him go out at a high point in his life and can remember him as a great hero.
The quest with the Old Seer was simply amazing. I didn’t even realize he was talking about defeating the sha as we climbed until I went back to watch my own video. And when he transformed into the Emperor, I was at a loss of words. I know that sounds silly, but I have a low tolerance for “awesome,” and this was super awesome. A lot of people were expecting a final Sha of Pride, but it’s nice to see it confirmed. And it’s definitely true that Garrosh has been acting more prideful and much less honorable than previously. When did the mists part, anyways? Could the Sha of Pride have left Pandaria, parting the mists, near the end of Cataclysm – right around the time Garrosh Hellscream began planning the destruction of Theramore? It could explain his change of behavior!
Patch 5.3 Escalation brought four new scenarios with it, two of which are required to progress into the Darkspear Rebellion quests. None of them involves the actual player characters; they’re stories told about others on Azeroth through Lorewalker Cho and his dream brew. This is a very cool way of telling stories about other characters while still allowing all players to see them.
Please note that this post will contain spoilers!
The first scenario, Blood in the Snow, is about the Alliance. The Zandalari have instigated the Frostmane trolls in Dun Morogh to lead an attack on Ironforge. When Varian asks the dwarves to send troops to help him fight off the trolls, the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer both refuse. The two clans are scared to turn their backs on the Dark Iron. Meanwhile Moira Thaurissan, Queen-Regent of the Dark Iron clan, shows that she’s willing to contribute to the Alliance and defend Ironforge by leading her troops into battle alongside Varian Wrynn. (Why does Varian have to lead the effort? Why aren’t the dwarves taking the initiative to defend their own city?)
Mechanically there was nothing special about Blood in the Snow. However, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I think it might have been my favorite scenario. Now, do consider that I only played each scenario once. It’s fairly likely that I won’t play any of them again for a long time. While some of the other scenarios had awesome things happen, it’s not every day that I get to see character progression of Alliance faction leaders. Moira’s a cool character, and it’s exciting to see her step up. I hope they three clans don’t unite any time soon. I’d like to see Moira turn into the more honorable one while the other two bicker.
The Dark Heart of Pandaria puts you in the shoes of goblin engineers excavating the Vale of Eternal Blossoms under orders of Garrosh Hellscream who hopes to find an ancient power. The goblins find a large chest, but when they open it, Norushen, a Titan construct of a Mogu yells, “Containment failure. Active defense matrix enabled.” A goblin is transformed by sha energy into the Echo of Y’Shaarj, and the other goblins defeat him.
Grizzle Gearslip, Malkorok, and Kor’kron enter the room, claiming this is exactly what they wanted to find. Malkorok pays Grizzle Gearslip, but Grizzle Gearslip replies that it wasn’t the full amount. Malkorok says that Grizzle Gearslip is only paid for the workers present, not the ones who died. He grabs him by the neck and proceeds with a racist tirade about the weakness of the lesser races before leaving.
This is another very fascinating scenario. Of course, we get some nice progression about the Old God Y’Shaarj. Not only did we discover this presence, but we find that Garrosh not only knew of it but also wanted it. I think everyone on Azeroth who isn’t part of Garrosh’s ideal Horde thinks harnessing the power of an Old God is a bad idea. Lastly, this scenario seems to act as a tipping point for the goblins. It’s obvious what the orcs think of the goblins as well.
I actually ran through Battle on the High Seas last, but as it was my least favorite scenario of the four, I didn’t want to end this post with it. Horde and Alliance ships meet in the ocean en route to Pandaria and open fire on each other. You’re tasked with boarding the other ships both by swinging over with ropes and by shooting yourself with a cannon. Besides killing enemy sailors, you also place explosives to destroy the ships.
I thought this scenario was rather boring although it did have its moments. Swinging from the ropes and using the cannons was fun, but the instructions weren’t always clear. The third person in my group at one point jumped overboard and swam to the other ship, not realizing we needed to do something on the previous ship before being able to swing to the next. We also got caught on an enemy ship when the explosives went off, killing us. It told us to get off the ship, but we weren’t sure exactly what we were supposed to do.
The biggest problem with the scenario is that it doesn’t progress the story. Yes, yes, I realize the Horde and Alliance are at war. I guess they just wanted some scenario, any scenario, to show that conflict. What we get here is some random sailors dying. Was there anyone important on either side? No. Did we learn anything new (like we do in all three of the other scenarios)? No! I’m sure Blizzard could have reinforced the Horde-Alliance conflict while actually using some characters that mattered.
Lastly we have the Secrets of Ragefire. Citizens in Durotar have been disappearing, and the Gob Squad believes it has something to do with Ragefire Chasm. You’re placed in the roles of the Gob Squad, who previously had adventures in Azshara and the Twilight Highlands, to learn what’s happening. The Gob Squad works to create a bomb to blow open a door. The Dark Shaman Xorenth tries to stop them, but the Gob Squad defeats them. They find a large number of proto-drake eggs as well as Kor’kron supply crates, making them think Garrosh plans an invasion, including orcs mounted on proto-drakes. They also find discarded Pandaria artifacts. These are likely discarded because they’re not the source of power of Y’shaarj for which Garrosh was searching. The Gob Squad creates another bomb to blow open the next door.
Yes, that’s the bomb in the upper-left of that picture. Why yes, that is a pool pony, and no, we don’t know why it’s needed. The bomb detonates early, hurting some members of the Gob Squad. Soon after, Overseer Elaglo enters, claiming “The true horde, the pure horde, cannot be stopped!” While Grit sets up a teleporter, the other goblins defend him and defeat the racist Overseer Elaglo before escaping through the teleporter.
This is another great scenario. It’s a ton of fun to explore an area that Horde players explored for the first time so long ago. In true goblin fashion, the Gob Squad is a bit silly but still manage to kick butt! The scenario shows the pride and arrogance of Garrosh Hellscream’s Horde. I love the line about the true Horde. I also like the usage of Dark Shaman. An expansion ago, I hadn’t heard of the idea of Dark Shaman. I believe the first I heard of them was in Tides of War. With the release of Mists of Pandaria, Ragefire Chasm was updated. Gone was the concept of warlocks; in its place were the Dark Shaman, and the Secrets of Ragefire brings the problem to a head. It’s time we do something about the Old God harnessing, shamanic arts-abusing, “true Horde” led by Garrosh Hellscream! Maybe it’s time for a rebellion, and maybe I’ll be posting about the Darkspear Rebellion next time!
Warning: This post contains some spoilers for patch 5.3.
I’m super excited about what we’ll be doing in 5.3! The Darkspear will be rebelling against Garrosh Hellscream. Horde heroes will be helping the Darkspear against an assault by the Kor’kron and advancing on Orgrimmar. Meanwhile Alliance heroes will be performing espionage against Hellscream on the outskirts of Orgrimmar. We’ll also be disrupting Kor’kron supply lines in the Northern Barrens and killing Kor’kron leaders.
While I like Blizzard to take their time with patches, I’m eager to see the plot unfold. I love all the plot development we’re seeing this expansion, and I suspect the Darkspear’s rebellion will be particularly entertaining. I’m sure I have a bit of a soft spot for the Darkspear because I play a troll.
With Vol’jin declaring war against Garrosh Hellscream, does this point towards Vol’jin as future Warchief? Blizzard has stated before that it’ll be unexpected, but they’ve also said things that don’t always turn out true. While I want Vol’jin to become the Warchief, I could get behind Lor’themar Theron as well. He was an empty character to me until 5.1, but I’ve really come to enjoy his character. If the Horde was a democracy, however, I’d be voting for Vol’jin!
Earlier this week, the Horde completed phase one of the Isle of Thunder. I enjoyed what I saw of phase one, but the Horde needed a base on the island itself! When I showed up for my dailies that day, there was a single quest instead of dailies. This quest queued me for a solo scenario that tasked me with flying to the island, locating a Zanadalari outpost protected by a magic barrier, slaying the Zandalari inside, and taking down the barrier. It was a great of telling a story! You can watch me go through it in the video above.
With the Zandalari threat removed, Lor’themar was able to set up an outpost in the northwest section of the Isle of Thunder called the Dawnseeker Promontory. My favorite part? Well, my good friend Uda the Beast!
Uda the Beast was the Sunreaver innkeeper in Dalaran. I spent a lot of time with her during the War in Northrend because I loved her two wolves! I helped her evacuate with many other Sunreavers during the purging of Dalaran, and luckily she escaped with her wolves! Now she’s the innkeeper in Dawnseeker Promontory on the Isle of Thunder! You can see Mooglegem and me spending some quality time with her and her lovely wolves!
Mooglegem and I have been doing pretty well with our faction reputations recently. Last week we hit exalted with the Lorewalkers. As most people probably know, this really just takes a couple hours of work. As you travel around Pandaria, you can click lore objects to read about them. When you read every lore object on a given subject, you’re sent mail by Lorewalker Cho inviting you to come learn more. This additional learning is done through watching a small play, basically. It’s very cool! I hope they include more things like this in the future.
Wrathion is an interesting character, and I’ve been dying to see more of his legendary quest line. Unfortunately, I’ve been stuck for a few weeks now. Sure, I have a ton of Sigils of Power, but that last Sigil of Wisdom just didn’t want to drop.
This weekend my final Sigil of Wisdom dropped for me at the end of Terrace of Endless Spring. Wrathion sent me right back into the raid again to defeat the Sha of Fear for a second time in a row, but it was worth it. While I had already seen Wrathion’s actions and dialogue when he creates the gem, it was great seeing him do it for me. I think it felt powerful, and I love the line, “Make no mistake: the Black Dragonflight lives on!”
Wrathion proceeded with a dialogue about what it means to be in the Horde. “Is it an instrument of vengeance, hellbent to carve out a future for its people? Is it a refuge for those who need shelter, a commonwealth of the downtroddon, built for mutual support? Or is it an alliance of convenience, a confederacy of unlikely partners free to pursue their own agendas?” He brings up great questions. Of course, the answer is simple. Yes. Yes, it is all those things. He then spoke of valor before tasking me to grind reputation with him off Alliance forces in Krasarang Wilds and to earn 6000 valor points. Well, the end of February should be fun!
Mooglegem and I finished the Dominance Offensive recently. Getting a new storyline, non-repeatable quest every two days of dailies is a whole lot better than the faction reputations that launched with Mists of Pandaria. As I worked on my Klaxxi reputation, I only got a break from the monotony when my reputation level changed. With the Dominance Offensive, I looked forward to the dailies because I wanted to see where the story went. I hope that dailies in the future follow the Dominance Offensive model.
I took a lot of screenshots along the way, so I thought I’d go through them. Landfall starts with Garrosh landing in the Krasarang Wilds and leading the Dominance Offensive in an attempt to conquer take control of Pandaria. He doesn’t seem to want to forcibly take it from the pandaren, but he definitely wants to keep it away from the Alliance. He brings tauren, Blood elf, and goblin with him and his orcs but distrusts the Forsaken and Darkspear. When Vol’jin follows after being ordered not to come to Pandaria, Garrosh sends him on a mission with the Kor’kron. This is really a secret mission for the Kor’kron to slay Vol’jin. Ultimately they fail as Vol’jin clings to life while the player heroes return, pretending that the deed was done.
Vol’jin gives players his hearthstone, which players then take to Thrall. Learning something is wrong, Thrall escorts the heroes to the Echo Isles where they discover that Garrosh has ordered martial law and is treating the Darkspear as prisoners under the watch of Kor’kron. When the Kor’kron explain that they will not stop at Thrall’s request, Thrall and the heroes slay the Kor’kron, and Thrall stays in the Echo Isles to protect the remaining Darkspear.
Garrosh travels across Pandaria with Malkorok, former Blackrock member, and Ishi. He’s intrigued by the mogu’s power, especially their ability to create warriors. Garrosh orders Lor’themar Theron, leader of the Blood elves, to find out more about the mogu’s powers. After Garrosh orders Blood elves to an area without warning them about the mogu present in the area, Lor’themar Theron further questions Garrosh’s rule. He remarks that with the Horde not valuing Blood elf life (just as the Alliance treated his people at the end of presence in the Alliance), perhaps it’s time to rethink their stay in the Horde and to consider old alliance. Baine Bloodhoof arrives on Pandaria as well and appears to help Garrosh. He doesn’t really agree. In fact, he’s in communication with Vol’jin but chooses to stay close to Garrosh.
A Sha-related artifact is found, and Garrosh uses it to empower his soldiers. The warriors can’t control is and end up driven mad. In this picture, a Sha-touched mindbender battles a Sha-corrupted Horde soldier. After more pushing by Garrosh, Fanlyr Silverthorn, of the Reliquary (and likely the Sunreavers) discovered information about the Divine Bell, an artifact capable of empowering warriors. Its location was eventually discovered, but the Alliance beat the Horde to it and teleported it to Darnassus.
Fanlyr teleports Horde heroes to Darnassus and magically cloaks them. He urges them to remain hidden, telling the heroes that should Jaina Proudmoore discover the Sunreavers’ actions there could be dire consequences. The Divine Bell is found and teleported to Silvermoon.
Unfortunately, Jaina does discover the actions of the Sunreavers and exiles them from Dalaran. Any Sunreavers she discovers are attacked and imprisoned. Horde heroes are sent to Dalaran and meet with Grand Magister Rommath. They evacuate as many Sunreavers as they can, slay Alliance soldiers stationed in Dalaran, and free the Sunreaver Dragonhawks so that escape will be possible.
Heroes search the city for Aethas Sunreaver, leader of the Sunreavers. He’s discovered imprisoned in the Violet Citadel. After freeing him, he makes an escape with the heroes.
Grand Magister Rommath, Aethas Sunreaver, and the Horde heroes escape through the sewers of Dalaran and jump out of a pipe, landing on the Sunreaver Dragonhawks below. In this picture, you can see Mooglegem still falling. (Don’t worry; She lands on a Dragonhawk just fine.)
In Silvermoon, Lor’themar Theron learns of the happenings in Dalaran. After angrily throwing a bench, he welcomes the Sunreavers to Silvermoon, and the Sunreavers join the ranks of the Magisters. Lor’themar Theron remarks that the Alliance’s actions have only pushed the Blood elves back further into Garrosh’s Horde.
Back in Pandaria, Garrosh prepares to use the Divine Bell. While clearly wielding the power of the Sha, Garrosh doesn’t care. He rings the bell, his Kor’kron and Ishi are corrupted by Sha.
Anduin attempts to stop Garrosh from using the bell, but it’s too late. As the corruption spreads, Anduin helps the Horde heroes defeat the corrupted soldiers who are not able to control their power. Garrosh seems to believe that if a person is strong enough, they can control the power.
Anduin uses the Harmonic Mallet to stop the effects of the Divine Bell. Garrosh, furious, strikes the Divine Bell, shattering it and burying Anduin, presumed dead by the Horde.
And then Horde heroes are given mounts. I’m sure Anduin lives, but I don’t actually know the Operation: Shieldwall story. I’m considering watching it on YouTube, but it’d be nice to stay in the dark like I should in character. Regardless, the Dominance Offensive was some of the best story-telling Blizzard’s done with WoW. I look forward to further content like this and can’t wait to see what plays out with the faction leaders. Lor’themar Theron finally took action, and I loved learning more about the Blood elves. I’m sure I’ll learn more in the next patch!
With the presidential election behind us in the United States, I thought it’d be a good time to discuss the future of the Horde. We still don’t know have confirmation of what Garrosh does to make Horde and Alliance decide to unseat him, but we’ve been told that he “has become corrupted and has been doing some really nasty things beneath Orgrimmar.” I suspect this is sha corruption, and my guess is that he’s trying to control and use sha underneath Orgrimmar. At this point though, who knows? What I’m anxious to find out is who his successor will be.
J. Allen Brack, lead producer, claimed that Thrall would be reinstated, although Blizzard later backpedaled. I really loved Thrall, but lately I’ve been disappointed in him. More and more I think that his legacy will be founding the Horde, but that he doesn’t really have the ability to lead. I don’t think Blizzard should go this route.
Baine has been thrust into a leadership position after his father fell in battle to Garrosh. It’d be fitting if Baine took Garrosh’s position after taking his own father’s as well. He’s strong and willing to fight, and he loves the Horde. He’s also willing to talk to the Alliance and very much wants peace. My character would love for him to become Warchief, but would the Horde be too friendly with the Alliance?
Vol’jin promised Garrosh he’d be the one to kill him. I’m very confident that that will come true. I see Varian acting honorably and pulling back from landing the killing blow before Vol’jin shoots an arrow through Garrosh’s heart. Vol’jin is aggressive and has been more and more willing to get his hands dirty lately. He’s willing to work with the Alliance, which is great. While I could see Baine wanting to unite with the Alliance practically, I don’t see Vol’jin going that far. Vol’jin would make a good leader, but he’s also one people expect.
Then there’s Sylvanas. If Blizzard wants to keep tensions high between the Horde and Alliance, Sylvanas should be the next Warchief. Garrosh is bad, and most people dislike him. Sylvanas is bad, and many people like her. She’s a much more interesting character in that she doesn’t have personality shifts (Garrosh demands people act honorably and then uses the mana bomb) and is simply who she is. You may not agree with her actions, but you’re not surprised by them. This would also give the story an interesting twist. Imagine the Alliance’s response when they find that Varian led a fight to unseat Garrosh only to have Sylvanas fill that seat. If they did this, I’d suggest they make the Undercity the capital with portals to the new zones in the next expansion, but leave old portals set up the way they are. This would keep Orgrimmar an important hub for some content but spread most of the population into the Undercity. (However, this wouldn’t be mirrored to the Alliance unless a new reason is introduced to make Ironforge the primary city.) Is this likely? I don’t know. But it would be very interesting!
After running through the Theramore’s Fall scenario last night, I can say that I was pretty disappointed. I like the concept, but Theramore’s Fall was not very interesting. I hope it isn’t indicative of the other scenarios. Obviously, I’ll be spoiling the scenario in this post. At the end, in a separate section, I’m going to be spoiling the novel. It’s worth noting that without being familiar with the novel, the scenario makes no sense at all.
My first complaint is about how the scenario is integrated. What are we doing? Why are we here? How would I even know about this scenario if I didn’t read blogs? There’s nothing in the actual world. There should have been something on the Warchief’s Command Board along with guards barking out instructions. “All able-bodied members of the Horde are to report for war immediately!” Of course, you’re not going off to the main battle for Theramore. When you talk to the guard, he could say something like, “Warchief Hellscream has requested the best of the best for the special mission. You look like you have what it takes. Report to him at once.” Garrosh could have some dialogue before queuing you for the scenario. But no. There was nothing.
Instructions are displayed on the screen. I actually like this because it makes it clear. However, there was no explanation for why we were doing these tasks. I would have liked an NPC to tell us the instructions. I started on a Horde ship docked at Theramore and was tasked with rigging explosives on six Alliance ships. Why were there explosives on those ships? I don’t know. Who’s telling us to do this? I don’t know. Stage two tasked me with informing a goblin that the explosives were set, allowing him to blow the ships. There are Horde NPCs along the docks but not much real fighting. In Stage three I had to defeat some guards and the flightmaster. He was a simple boss. It was time to defeat a siege engine in stage four. Fun little enemy. It was nothing compared to actual bosses, but when you think of scenarios more as quests (possibly without tanks or healers), it seemed decent. It’s worth noting that there don’t seem to be armies anywhere. Where’s the Horde? Where’s the Alliance? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
In the final stage, I had to slay the Captain of the Guard and rescue someone named Thalen Songweaver. No explanation was given as to who he was or why I had to save him.
At that point a cutscene is played showing an airship stationed by goblins dropping a huge mana bomb on Theramore. Where did they get the mana bomb? Was there an actual battle or just the bomb? Without the novel, this isn’t answered.
I received a bag at the end of the scenario that contained five Horde symbol fireworks. You can kind of see the symbol in my screenshot. It didn’t actually look much better in the game. I suppose this is kind of realistic. Fireworks usually look almost how they’re supposed to look.
Thalen Songweaver also mailed me a Mini Mana Bomb. It’s an item on a three-minute cooldown that gives you an AOE target and causes a small arcane explosion. It’s pretty cool.
Returning to Theramore, I find nothing but the ruins of a city along with a large, magically-charged crater. Once you do the scenario, Theramore will be phased, leaving you to see the destruction.
Zidormi, the NPC that usually stands in front of the portal to the Caverns of Time in the Violet Citadel, now stands near the western bridge leading to Theramore. She’ll temporarily phase you back if you want to see Theramore in its previous glory. I don’t know if she’ll be here permanently, but I really hope so. I like being able to see the old content.
Here’s a quick bullet-pointed summary of the novel that helps explain the scenario.
The blue dragonflight is slowly disbanding.
The Focusing Iris is stolen from the blues as they move it. They were hiding it because the mortals know about the Eye of Eternity.
Kalecgos sees if Jaina might have some insight.
Kalecgos and Jaina slowly fall in love.
Jaina gets an apprentice named Kinndy Sparkshine, daughter of Windle Sparkshine, the Dalaran gnome who lights the street lights.
Garrosh declares that Kalimdor should belong only to the Horde and orders all Horde races to amass an army.
Malkorok is a former Blackrock orc and is now Garrosh’s right-hand man and personal bodyguard.
The Kor’kron Guard are now acting like enforcers and secret police, led by Malkorok.
People who speak out against Garrosh are either never seen again or return from visits from the Kor’kron severely hurt.
The Horde destroys Northwatch Hold and plans to march on Theramore.
Garrosh is using dark shaman to create elemental giants to use in war.
Baine and Vol’jin vocally oppose Garrosh.
Baine sends a messenger to Theramore warning Jaina that an attack is coming. He feels bad that he must be part of it but says that it would be bad for the tauren to openly oppose Garrosh.
Baine also returns Fearbreaker to Jaina, instructing her to return it to Anduin. He doesn’t feel like it’s right to keep it.
Garrosh holds army for a long time rather than marching on Theramore.
Jaina convinces the Kirin Tor to help her.
Almost all high-ranking generals of the Alliance along with the Kirin Tor come to Theramore to defend it.
Garrosh waits until the Alliance’s forces are all gathered in one spot before leading an attack.
There is an all out war between the armies of the Alliance and the Horde. Yes, there are many people involved although it’s not shown in the scenario.
The Kirin Tor mages are magically reinforcing the walls. One Sunreaver mage, Thalen Songweaver, actually weakens the walls to allow the Horde into the city. He’s caught by Jaina and jailed.
The Alliance and Horde both lose a number of soldiers before the Horde is pushed out of the city.
A small number of Horde rescue Thalen Songweaver from Theramore. This is what the scenario is about.
Garrosh reveals that he had the Focusing Iris stolen from the Blue Dragonflight. He used it to create the largest mana bomb ever built and then orders it dropped on Theramore.
This explains why Garrosh waited until Theramore was reinforced. The reason why he battled on the ground at all was simply for the glory of war.
Rhonin claims that Jaina should be the future of the Kirin Tor and teleports her to safety as he attempts to suck the mana bomb explosion to him and contain it as much as possible.
Most Alliance generals are killed as was her apprentice, Kinndy. Rhonin is, of course, dead.
Jaina returns to Theramore physically altered by the arcane exposure. She steals the Focusing Iris herself.
The Horde naval fleet creates a blockade around Kalimdor.
Jaina decides that the time for peace has ended. She vows to flatten Orgrimmar, including all children, herself.
Varian and Anduin are appalled at the change in Jaina and do not like the idea of destroying an entire Horde city.
Varian believes they must come up with an intelligent plan. He rebuilds the Alliance fleet and decides to make a feint for Darkshore, hoping the Horde navy responds. The bulk of his ships will sail for Orgrimmar so that Alliance forces can enter and kill Garrosh Hellscream.
Varian tells Anduin how a true king must be responsible for both the good and the bad. He tells Anduin he’s proud of him and knows that Anduin will make a good king if he (Varian) doesn’t return.
Anduin gives a speech to the people of the Alliance, blessing them and causing them to glow with the holy Light.
Thrall returns to Kalimdor after the elements’ new unrest at the elemental giants being used by the Horde.
Thrall confronts Jaina who is no longer willing to call him a friend. She attempts to kill him.
Kalecgos talks Jaina down from using water elementals as a giant tidal wave against Orgrimmar, and Thrall leaves.
Garrosh somehow summons krakens to use against the Alliance navy.
Jaina uses the elementals to defeat the kraken.
Garrosh pulls his forces in to defend Orgrimmar, the Alliance navy sail to release the Alliance’s other ports from Horde control.
Jaina, not knowing what to do with herself, goes to Dalaran. She requests to formally join the Kirin Tor.
Kalecgos, no longer an Aspect after the battle against Deathwing and with no blue dragons left following him, decides to join the Kirin Tor as well.
Jaina returns the Focusing Iris to Kalecgos.
The Kirin Tor, following a prophecy written by Antonidas, not only accept Jaina but also put her in charge of the Kirin Tor.
The Kirin Tor also accept Kalecgos.
Kalecgos declares that mortals are very capable and hands the Focusing Iris over to the Kirin Tor.
Pretty much none of this is explained in the scenario. Some of the details are likely not needed, but the scenario needed a lot more lore than what was in it (none). The book, while excellent, is missing a couple things as well. Most notably, I’d like to know more about Malkorok and how the Horde obtained the Focusing Iris.
Character development was excellent for the most part. I can see how Jaina would snap even if it seemed a little extreme. Garrosh has gone all out war-crazy. It seems odd that he was against the Forsaken’s use of the blight but is okay with the huge mana bomb. I suppose you could assume that he’s decided that enough is enough and is now willing to go to more extreme tactics; However, we don’t really get in his head enough. It’s just not explained.
Varian is becoming a wonderful character. He’s war-crazy side seems fully integrated with his logical side. I love that he’s proud and accepting of Anduin now. Varian seems like the kind of noble king that the Alliance deserve. I’m starting to wish my character could look up to him.
I actually want to highlight this blog more than this entry (although hearing about everything’s the fault of the Old Gods is pretty funny too). This blog is almost entirely written from the perspective of Garrosh Hellscream. It’s really great.
I would have linked this in my Shared Topic post had I been reading his blog. (Sorry, Chris!) Now that I know how great his writing and thoughts on WoW are, I wanted to share this one. Chris beta tests extensively as part of his job, so he doesn’t want to beta test in his personal time. He also wants to be surprised by the finished product. He sums up my thoughts pretty well!
Every week, Blog Azeroth proposes a Shared Topic for World of Warcraft bloggers to discuss. Here’s this week’s topic, proposed by frinka.
Knowing what you know now about the game, what name other than World of Warcraft would you give it? Why?
To think of an alternative name, I started by paraphrasing the name World of Warcraft. What is the world of Warcraft? Azeroth. At first, I was thinking Azeroth would make a good alternative name. Then I started thinking about what role Azeroth plays. The series is about defeating the Burning Legion. It’s the Titans, the Light, the Naaru, Azeroth versus the Burning Legion. It’s about Azeroth being an anomaly among the planets in the Universe. Azeroth is different. Azeroth has withstood multiple invasions. Azeroth has struck back.
Rohan examines the idea catering to women, whether or not it’s what women actually want, usually brings about changes to make game easier and to include things like pet battles over PVP. As a consequence, Rohan thinks some companies objectify women or put them in provocative clothing to prove they’re not catering to women and therefore won’t make it easy and will continue to support things like PVP.
Rossi believes we need an evil that lasts longer than a patch or two. He also discusses how the Horde went from evil in RTS games to morally ambiguous in the MMO, forcing the Alliance to become ambiguous as well.
If Blizzard added your main as an NPC in WoW, where would they be located and what would be their function? Give us a shot illustrating the fact.
I play a troll discipline priest named Devee. If Blizzard added me as an NPC, I’d hopefully be in the Valley of Spirits in Orgrimmar. As weird as it sounds, I’d like to offer quests only to troll priests. I know that’s limiting, so sure, we can open it to all Horde priests if you really insist. It would make sense to place me in the hut to the right in the background of the one pictures in my screenshot because that’s where the caster trainers are; however, I find it ugly. It either needs some more trees, or I’m planting my NPC right here! However, I definitely want to be in Orgimmar and not on the Echo Isles. Despite my disagreement with the politics of Garrosh, Orgrimmar is the center of the Horde.
Priests of different playable races use varying lore for their class mechanics. Some use the Holy Light. The Forsaken have twisted the Light into their new religion, the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow. The Darkspear use loa and spirits. I’d like my NPC to reconcile the traditional troll views with the Holy Light.
It could begin with a quest to put to rest the spirits of trolls who died during the Liberation of the Echo Isles from Zalazane. Unlike quests that usually urge players to kill undead spirits, the quest would task you with healing aggressive spirits, putting them at ease and finally letting them rest. The spirits would be hostile but immune to damage. Only healing can stop them. Bwonsamdi, the loa representing the spirits of the dead, could walk slowly through the area during the quest.
The next quest would send the troll priests to Stranglethorn Vale. This was the ancestral home of the Darkspear tribe. The quest would have players seek knowledge about the loa and honor their ancestors. Rather than being about combat, it would send players to locations in the zone, causing the spirits of ancestors and loa to appear and talk to them. Players will discover that the strength of benevolent loa spirits as well as the love, honor, and respect of and for the spirits of their ancestors empower troll priests.
The final quest would send players to Shattrath to talk to A’dal and Grand Anchorite Almonen. Currently in the game, Almonen gives a speech that includes the following:
It has been made known to me that inside each of us, the Light resides… that it is a gift, given freely to all naturally born beings. It manifests itself as a feeling, small at first and easily ignored, that confirms truths and subtly prods one to do good. Simple kindnesses, charitable deeds, service to those in need. These are all fruits of the Light. It rewards those who heed its promptings with blessings, both seen and unseen. Personal reservoirs of hope and faith are strengthened, and one’s capacity for greater light increases. Over the course of time, through obedience to the Light’s guidance, one becomes more sensitive to its voice, and its power. Great is the healing and blessing power of the Light’s most diligent followers.
I’d like Almonen to expand on this to the players on the quest. He’ll note that the Light doesn’t require worship, and that the Light doesn’t necessarily refuse people who gain power from other means.
The lore implications would be that the teachings regarding the Light don’t conflict with Darkspear teachings. Troll priests will end the questline knowing that there’s great power in the Light, but that they can continue their racial traditions as well. It’ll be implied that through interactions with the spirits and even the discipline flavor of overpowering minds, they could still be following the Light.
I don’t understand how the Spine of Deathwing isn’t on this list. That’s a very cool fight that’s different than most others. I’d probably throw Chimaeron on the list too. Hmmm… this might deserve its own post.
Rossi reports that WoW Head has datamined that Mists will feature a legendary questline that spans multiple patches and will reward different forms of the legendary so every spec can have one. He also goes into some speculation on what this could mean.
This wasn’t the original topic I was planning on discussing today, but then I noticed something. I had 99 published articles on Kor’kron 501st. I think the 100th post should be a little more reflective.
World of Warcraft is a great game, and I love it and the universe in which it takes place. Of course, it’s not without its flaws, but I keep coming back to it. I’m also a Star Wars fan. I’ve played a lot of the games, I’ve read a lot of the novels, and The Old Republic seems fantastic; but TOR just doesn’t suck me in like WoW does.
It might the idea of becoming a powerful, heroic character. I want to overcome great evil, wield the legendary weapon such-and-such (I suppose it would be Val’anyr.) When I first started, I wanted to imagine myself jumping into a group of enemies, swinging my two blades. Now, I want to imagine myself a guiding light, helping my friends and faction overcome adversary.
I love the number of interesting characters. I love Thrall, and I love that they removed him from his position as War Chief when he became too loved. I love Garorsh Hellscream’s rise to power and am excited to see his story unfold in Mists of Pandaria. I might not love noble Cairne’s tragic death, but it does give me an emotional investment in the story seeing his death and Baine’s rise as the young High Chieftain of the Tauren. The interaction between him and Anduin Wrynn is a happy bit of piece in a story of turmoil. Anduin (as well as Jaina) also make excellent juxtapositions to Varian.
The world feels large and alive, at least at first. Over time one learns that the world isn’t really quite so large (especially with the more linear zones introduced in Cataclysm), but I still love the overwhelming feeling I had when I first began to play. When I first saw Ironforge on my Alliance character, my jaw dropped. When my Horde character first left Durotar for the Barrens, it felt like I was actually helping the Horde army. (I had no idea how bad life was going to get once I had to play through the Barrens.) How about the Wrathgate cinematic and the Battle for the Undercity? It felt so epic, and I watched that video over and over the few days after first reaching it (and I still do sometimes).
This doesn’t even discuss the major gameplay aspects. Seeing dungeons for the first time is always an amazing feeling for me, which is why I avoid doing it in a rush. I loved first exploring the Frozen Halls dungeons introduced in 3.3 with Icecrown Citadel. The feeling of improving and overcoming new raid bosses in a team feels wonderful. Clean kills? Those are boring. The first kills during which I feel like I did everything in my power and skill set to succeed, the ones in which only a handful of raid members are left standing, are the good ones. Likewise, battlegrounds can be so much fun. Nothing in gaming (uh, besides Portal) can compete with Moogle and me surviving and winning an outnumbered fight in a battleground! Of course, raiding (and sometimes battlegrounds) add another part – socializing. I’ve met a lot of really amazing people in WoW.
I suppose it all comes down to investment. There’s time and money, but mostly it’s the emotional investment. I’ve learned so much about the universe. I love many of the characters and factions in Warcraft. I’m excited by the dramatic tension between individuals and groups, even if one I like comes out worse. I understand how my character thinks. He’s an extension of myself. Most of all, I just love exploring and experiencing this wonderful universe with Mooglegem. It would take a lot to break the emotional attachment. In fact, I doubt it could break. Sometimes I begin to play less. Yes, I’m sure I’ll quit someday. But even when I step back, I still care about what’s happening. Just like how I’ve always had a soft spot for Mario and Sonic, I don’t think my attachment to Warcraft will ever fully go away. And hopefully my investment continues to pay off for a long time.
Anne believes storytelling can be much better in Mists than in previous expansions due to the use of cinematics, keeping story developments secret, and making lore accessible. Of note, she points out that BC’s boss, Illidan, was never seen by non-raiders. To make sure non-raiders got to see Arthas, he showed up all the time in Wrath. In Cataclysm, the story was such that Deathwing showed up randomly, not for story purposes, to burn the countryside, giving non-raiders a way to see him. Mists is different. The raid finder will be present for the entire expansion, allowing Blizzard to keep certain things a secret knowing that any max level character should be able to see the raids.
This article briefly discusses the various “Ways” (like specializations) of cooking in Pandaria before talking about Nomi! Nomi is the cook’s apprentice you get after you max your cooking. You gain friendship with her as you train her to be a master chef! Cute!
User Medievaldragon on Youtube updated the in-game cutscene featuring the introduction to Pandaria for the Horde.
Not only do we see Garrosh physically abusing his men (because they lost some sort of precious cargo), but we see him beginning to crack down on the debt of the other races of the Horde. This is pretty interesting. The Alliance was always, well, an alliance of multiple nations. They weren’t as unified as the Horde. The Horde was not just an alliance of nations. They were a single, unified nation led by the Warchief. However, he says “The realms will carry their weight or crumble beneath mine!” Obviously he’s been divisive, but this is much worse. Since when are Thunderbluff, Undercity, and Silvermoon different realms? They are as much members of the Horde as Orgrimmar… or at least they were.
The cutscene is very informative and interesting.
Then there’s the Alliance introduction. It’s a lot less interesting until after the cutscene, when we find out more about the Alliance’s missing cargo, The White Pawn – Prince Anduin Wrynn. I’d love to see more of him, because he’s a fantastic character. Anduin is the hero the Alliance needs because I can’t see how Horde players could dislike him!
This was by far the most exciting news. In Mists’ final patch, we will lay siege to Orgrimmar to remove Garrosh Hellscream as Warchief. What an awesome move! I’m really curious to find out how he falls that far out of favor with the entire Horde. Some of this was planned for a while. Chris Metzen said “We always knew we would make him Warchief, but that would be a short reign. It’s not his Horde.” It would have been nice to see Hellscream hand over the leadership and take up a military position or something of that sort, but this solution works well too. The development of Varian also sounds fantastic. In the same interview, Metzen says that Varian will say something along the lines of “Protect the kids. We’re not here to conquer these people; we’re here to bring down a guy that needs bringin’ down.”
Two new battlegrounds – also great news! Temple of Power is set in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. In it, the Horde and Alliance battle for a powerful artifact. The artifact sits in the middle of the battleground with the two factions’ graveyards on either end. When someone picks up the artifact, they start earning points for their team. However, holding the artifact also causes damage to the holder; the longer they hold it, the more damage they start taking. In addition, the farther from the center the holder runs, the less points they’ll earn for their team. This keeps them engaged. It sounds like a fun new battleground gets its inspiration from a FPS match type just like most of the other battlegrounds.
On a similar note, have you heard of payload maps in TF2? Well, tha’s what you’re getting in Silvershard Mine. The Silvershard Mine is an abandoned Venture Co. mine in Stranglethorn Vale, and the Horde and Alliance are fighting over it for resources. Standing near the mine cart moves it forward; get it to the end, and you win. In addition, enemies can flip switches to make it take a longer path. This also sounds like a lot of fun.
This is particularly interesting I think. Instead of rolling against other players, you simply have a chance to win a random piece of loot usable by your spec. Quite the departure from normal loot mechanics, but a good one for the Raid Finder.
“Mere whelps, experiments, a means to a greater end. You will see what the research of my clutch has yielded. Nefarian, Onyxia, Sinestra… they were nothing. Now you face my ultimate creation. The Hour of Twilight is nigh; the sun sets on your pitiful mortal existence.” – Deathwing, Ultraxion encounter in Dragon Soul
This quote always makes me a bit sad. Deathwing sums up much of the story of the Black Dragonflight, and by the end of Dragon Soul, we seem to bring it to a close. Allow me to explain what I mean.
Many of the bosses we fight can be grouped together. For example, we have Old Gods, Scourge, trolls, and Titan constructs. We also have the Black Dragonflight. Unlike some of the other that are grouped together by race or purpose, Nefarian, Onyxia, Sinestra, and Deathwing are family. In Vanilla, we kill Deathwing’s son and daughter, Nefarian and Onyxia. In the Burning Crusade, we see Sinestra, Deathwing’s prime consort and mother of Nefarian and Onyxia. Wrath of the Lich King brings us Onyxia again. During Cataclysm, we kill Nefarian and Onyxia for good, we slay Sinestra, and we go on to kill Deathwing himself.
It’s interesting having an entire family as bosses – a lineage of enemies for us to battle. It seems like that’s done now. On top of this, Deathwing himself doesn’t even seem to care that they were family (not that I’d expect him to care at this point). In fact, I think his mentioning of them in his monologue before the Ultraxion fight exemplifies this and is a nice detail reinforcing the fact that he’s insane and cares only about destruction. Deathwing calls Nefarian, Onyxia, and Sinestra nothing compared to his ultimate creation, Ultraxion. Never mind that they were his children and lover.
Will we see more of the Black Dragonflight as enemies in the future? I suppose we could, but I doubt they’d serve any real link to Deathwing. New black dragons could become evil all on their own. (Update: I understand that there are uncorrupted black dragons. However, if they become bosses in the future, they will most likely be bosses for some other reason. The on-going problem of the Black Dragonflight has still been solved.) Then we have three new dragonflights that were created, either directly or indirectly, by the Black Dragonflight.
First, there was the Chromatic Dragonflight – dragons that possessed the powers of all five flights. As far as I know, and I might be wrong because I didn’t play endgame in Vanilla, there’s only one known adult Chromatic Dragon. Chromatus has five heads, each a different color. While he was defeated, he’s not exactly dead. He planned on mating with a Blue Dragon to create natural Chromatic Dragons, and I believe Blizzard will definitely return to this in the future.
Next, there’s the Netherwing Dragonflight, dragons that were exposed directly to the Twisting Nether and were, well, twisted by it. So far, they haven’t stirred up much trouble. They wanted to be left alone, and they eventually were able to do as they pleased thanks to player involvement in the Burning Crusade. We could definitely see more of them.
And then there’s the Twilight Dragonflight, Netherwing eggs further twisted by the Black Dragonflight. We see them a bit in Wrath of the Lich King, first as drakes in the Obsidian Sanctum and then as Halion in the Ruby Sanctum. In Cataclysm we see them quite a bit more, culminating in the slaying of Ultraxion.
Really, Blizzard could throw anything at us. There’s always a way for them to bring back anything they want – Black, Chromatic, Netherwing, or Twilight. In my opinion, we won’t see any trouble from the Black Dragonflight for a while. They’ve effectively been wiped out, although new Black Dragons could be born or less important ones could decide they’re mad and decide to fight us. The Netherwing have been rather neutral. Sure, they could get mad or turn evil if Blizzard decides to do that, but there isn’t any reason for it. Without a powerful Black Dragonflight, I don’t see a high chance of more Twilight or Chromatic Dragons being created. Of course, there’s still Chromatus. It’s very likely we’ll see him again.
With the end of Cataclysm, we see the end of the line of Deathwing. It’s been fun.
With the last content patch of Cataclysm landing soon, I’ve spent some time pondering the next expansion. Unlike a lot of others, I’m not predicting what it will be. I don’t think there’s enough evidence at all to accurately predict anything. That doesn’t stop me from imagining what I’d like to do or where I’d like to visit though!
First off, can I just say that I do not want to visit Panderia or see any damn Pandaren. No thank you, Blizzard. Please continue to keep your joke race a joke. I think it’d be interesting to make contact with Kul Tiras though! I suppose it wouldn’t be very interesting for me exactly as a Horde player, but an entire faction of humans has been missing in World of Warcraft that should be there according to lore. Let’s see them!
I think it would be fun to leave Azeroth again. We could go back to Outlands in a couple different ways. First, Blizzard could revamp Outland like they did Azeroth. They could revise some zones to be “low level zones” designed for players between 60 and 70 while revamping the remaining and adding additional zones for players who are over level 85. Even without revamping any of the previous zones, Draenor was likely much larger than Outland, so I’m sure there are more places for us to play there.
We could also travel to new planet altogether. Maybe there were more portals still operational in Outland somewhere. Perhaps we’ll make our own portals to new locations. The naaru might direct us somewhere to help another race or planet. Wouldn’t that be cool? We also know that the draenei have settled on many planets before Draenor. There could be a reason to return to one of those planets. Velen seems very open to helping and working with the Horde, so it would seem plausible that if there was somewhere the draenei has been that needed our help, Velen would direct the Horde there as well.
There’s another race that isn’t native to Azeroth or Outland yet is friendly with us – the consortium’s ethereals. Because they travel to many different worlds in search of profits, it’s conceivable that they could get involved somewhere and want help. Their homeworld of K’aresh is now under control of void lord Dimensius. Time to liberate it?
While most of these topics have regarded leaving Azeroth, I’d also love to deal with the Infinite Dragonflight. What the expansion only features one new zone? No, wait, hear me out! Right now we have portals to all of the level 80-85 zones. What if the portals we used weren’t just jumps through space but through time also? The expansion features one physical location, but in terms of game mechanics there could be five zones, each a different time period of the exact same physical location. Maybe you don’t even complete one of these zones in whole before moving on to the next. You could jump around as the quests dictate. What bosses could we fight? Anything we’ve already fought could be fair game!
Chances are the next expansion will have nothing to do with anything I’ve mentioned. I’m sure I’ll be excited about whatever Blizzard reveals!