This happened a bit ago now, but I still want to share some screenshots. When The Force Awakens opened, guards in Orgrimmar Grunt and Stormwind Guards held some new, nifty weapons.
It seemed like a cool homage to the movie!
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.
Tuesday we cancelled our raid due to low attendance. We tried recruiting and taking trial members, but the couple that was planning on running with us restarted their computers and never returned. However, on Wednesday we breezed through Immerseus and the Fallen Protectors and finally completed the Norushen encounter! I got a belt, too. I think it was only on our second attempt of the night, although we wiped a total of 24 times.
Then we moved on to the Sha of Pride. If flex was any indicator, I expected this to be easier than the Norushen encounter, and I was right. We did wipe four times, but we defeated the Sha of Pride on the fifth attempt. Take that Sha of Pride! Who’s the best now? Us! Wait…
Hopefully next week we’ll be able to push into Orgrimmar itself!
We may be in debt, but the chips on our shoulders are chocolate, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 9/18/13.
When Greg Street and Brian Holinka traded tweets about exciting changes to PVP, Olivia Grace replied to them, saying that she’d bake them each 1,000,000 cookies if the changes were cross-realm arenas. Well, they’re in patch 5.4 now, and in the Alliance PVP room in the Valley of the Four Winds, there’s an IOU note for “1,000,000 Chocolate Chip Cookies” signed “- O.D.G.” She better get on that.
WoW Trivial Pursuit now available, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 9/25/13.
Know Your Lore: This Was All Necessary, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/25/13.
Pandaria grew stagnant under the Sha of Pride. Garrosh was right that “such power cannot be contained.”
Hearthstone account wipe is coming, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 9/26/13.
Good to know if you’re still playing Hearthstone. You’ll be reimbursed with gold for your purchases, and they don’t believe there will be any additional wipes.
Queue for all the LFRs at once in patch 5.4, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 9/24/13.
This is a welcome change.
WoW Archivist: A rolled-back history of realms, Scott Andrews, WoW Insider, 9/13/13.
I remember roll-backs. Dark days, they were.
Know Your Lore: The future of the Horde, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 9/15/13.
What will happen to the Horde after the Siege of Orgrimmar?
Know Your Lore: Delenda est Orgrimmar, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/18/13.
This is a satirical piece from the Alliance perspective on why Orgrimmar should be destroyed.
Escape from Orgrimmar, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/19/13.
And this is the follow-up Rossi wrote after realizing that people didn’t realize the first was satirical. It lists the reasons why Orgrimmar shouldn’t be destroyed.
When the big squish happens, you’ll still be able to kill the mobs, Adam Holisky, WoW Insider, 9/19/13.
Some clarification for people who are still confused.
We did it! Two weeks after first having killed the Twin Consorts, we attempted Lei Shen for the first time. After seventeen wipes, we managed to kill him! I’m very excited and extremely relieved. I still want to repeat it for the people who weren’t there, get more gear, and maybe push some heroic bosses for gear, but this was the big moment. Especially considering that there’s no way we’re going to finish heroic mode by the next patch, this was the big “end game” goal for us for this tier.
It’s also special for me. I’ve been raiding this tier with the guild, Carpe Flux Capacitor, since the beginning, and now it’s completed. During tier 14, we finished Mogu’shan Vaults, but we didn’t complete the other two raids. In tier 13, we raided Dragon Soul, but we stopped raiding long before the end. I did manage to complete the raid before Mists of Pandaria was released, but it wasn’t with the guild.
I was taking a break from WoW for much of tier 12. In my first time in the Firelands, I joined a PUG at the request of a guildie. They needed a healer for Ragnaros. I pointed out that not only had I never killed him, I had never entered the raid. They discussed it and let me join. I pulled him by accident before we were all ready. They didn’t kick me. We killed him, and I won loot. The next week, we finished Firelands as a guild. At the time, the guild hadn’t yet killed Ragnaros. When we killed the previous boss, my achievement suddenly popped for finishing the raid. While I completed the raid, I didn’t work for it all tier.
In tier 11 I was with a different guild, Playground Brigade, made of friends I knew from out of WoW just for that tier. We fell apart in the middle of the tier. We were 5/6 Blackwing Descent, 2/4 Bastion of Twilight, and 1/2 Throne of the Four Winds.
Tier 10 was my first current-tier raid. I had just hit level 80 and joined Carpe Flux Capacitor. I was an alternate, and my first boss was Deathbringer Saurfang. Maybe I wasn’t there from the absolute very beginning, but we pushed the entire tier, and yes, we finished the raid (as well as Ruby Sanctum).
I mention all this because it means this is only the second raid tier for which I worked the entire tier with my guild and still completed. Carpe, thanks for being a great guild (and taking me back after my one-tier stint with another guild). Here’s hoping next tier goes smoothly well. Let’s take back Orgrimmar!
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 witnessing events elsewhere on Azeroth with Lorewalker Cho and his dream brew, I was sent to Sen’jin Village. Vol’jin is there planning a rebellion against the Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. With him are Thrall and Chen Stormstout. You’re tasked with collecting some supplies from the new Kor’kron camps in the Northern Barrens.
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.
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!
I can’t wait to see the Siege of Orgrimmar!
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!
Source: Patch 5.3 PTR patch notes and datamined changes, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 4/2/13.