Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.
I fulfilled my dork quota in last week's Ask a Lore Nerd, so this week I'll ramble a bit less, and answer some more of the simpler questions we've seen recently. With that said, let's get started with Chris's question...
Why is Gorehowl just an epic weapon? It was claimed to be wielded by Grommosh Hellscream and if so shouldn't the weapon be legendary?
I've only got one of my toons at 80. I suspect it's going to take over a year to get them all up to max level again. Not complaining, I just don't have the stomach to power level all my alts up like that so quickly. After playing the game since release I managed to get nearly every class to 70 before the release of Wrath, but that took...well...years.
Gotta space it out and everything.
But in our completely non-scientific and totally truthiness-ey poll, let us know. Are you level 80 yet?
But what is magic? What does it feel like to harness it? Does the mage have to do a strange ritual or utter incomprehensible words in an ancient language in order to cast her spells? Other fantasy settings often have one or more of these elements together, but as far as I can tell, Warcraft lacks them.
Arcane magic in the World of Warcraft is an ever-present energy field surrounding the whole world. Mages access it by concentrating in the magic energy within themselves, feeling it rush through their body, and directing it as they please. Those spells that require reagents need an extra focusing item with magical properties of its own in order to bring about the desired effect, but for the most part, fireballs, frostbolts and arcane explosions can be created through the mere act of will on the part of a properly educated mind.
John Rogers résumé is long and varied. Physics graduate, television writer and avid online gamer. He's credited with writing an early draft of the "Transformers" movie and creating "The Jackie Chan Adventures" animated series. His latest endeavor is the new action series "Leverage," premiering tonight on TNT at 10/9c. Every week on the new show a group of professional cons takes down corrupt authority figures using their unique skills. And they're not above using World of Warcraft to get the job done.
Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
We've never been this lucky, so of course we had to share it with you. Once you watch the movie and want to learn more about the mounts we discuss, click on through and we'll spill the beans.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.
I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.
Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.
We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.
The gnomes might just be the most downtrodden race in all of Azeroth. Probably because they're always trodden on by the other races. In this shot, Zowina and Flowette of <Tre Lowen> on Hellfire-EU are /cowering in Black Temple. They're not scared of Illidan, Gorefiend, or even the possibility of another week of double Protector. Instead, they fear the giant (to them) hungry chicken next to them, also known as boomkin Lanni. Delicious gnome flanks. How could she resist?
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Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, "mounted mounts", or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Breakfast Topic: Five-man thoughts - Sun, 07 Dec 2008 08:00:00 EST We talked about this quickly during yesterday's podcast, but I think most of us have seen most of the instances in Wrath at this point, so we'll ask it here: what do you think of the 5-mans so far?
Actually, I should say that I can't quite pass judgment yet -- I haven't visited the Halls of Stone or Lightning yet, and I haven't yet seen The Oculus, which is the instance I was most excited about at launch. But so far, I have to say that Azjol-Nerub is a standout -- not only does it look great, but the fact that it's pretty much all bosses and no trash is a real plus. And having a well-known lore figure to fight at the end doesn't hurt, either.
And of course I remain a fan of Utgarde Keep, though I think it'll eventually be like Hellfire Ramparts, in that I'll just have done it so much eventually that it'll lose any charm I have now. What are your first impressions on playing through all the five mans so far?
Each week Arcane Brilliance mixes frost with fire and comes up with a column about Mages. It's a delicate recipe, requiring just enough frost, and exactly the right amount of fire, with a thick glaze of arcane spread across the entire concoction. If you add too much lightning, you end up with Shamans. If your recipe calls for shadow, you might end up with a Priest. Whatever you do, don't let any amount of suck get into your recipe. Everybody knows that's what Warlocks are made of.
Frostfire Bolt is an interesting little spell. When you first hit level 75, visit your Mage trainer and learn it, you may think to yourself, "So...it does frost and fire damage? It's like a Fireball and a Frostbolt combined! You take some ice, and you combine it with some fire, and you come up with...slush? I'm not sure how something like that is effective, but whatever. Now I don't have to respec to fight fire or ice-immune mobs, I guess? Let me see if I can find a place on my action bar for this. There we go. Right between Amplify Magic and my tea-bagging macro."
You would not be totally wrong in thinking this way. Well, maybe for having a tea-bagging macro, but that's wrong for a whole slew of other reasons. At level 75, when you first obtain the spell, that's really about all it is: a damage spell to use when running into a mob that's immune to your usual nuke. Frostfire Bolt doesn't really hit its stride until you've hit level 80, talented specifically to get the most of the spell, and started to get some of that sweet Naxxramas gear.
Once it does start to live up to its potential, though, Frostfire Bolt suddenly becomes the primary nuke in the single highest DPS raiding spec for Mages in the game. After the break, we'll talk about the why's and how's of this wonderful spell.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.
The above video is a video that has been posted very, very early in the Wrath beta, possibly even the alpha. So while the video labels the armor as Tier 7, it's actually the next tier up, Tier 8. Which you probably can see in the rantings of the video's creator. There are a few graphical glitches in the armor because it hadn't been fully implemented yet at the time the video was made. Your Hunter will not have big green squares sticking out of their head, I promise. I embedded it into today's post in response to Tanglebones's question:
Oh! I got a question. What the heck is Apothecary Putress wearing on his head, and where can i get one?
Watch the video and found out!
I hit 70 on my Mage shortly before Wrath came out, so I never graduated from normal dungeons to heroic dungeons and raids. Once I hit 80, where should I go? Do Heroic dungeons come first or 10/25 man raids? Also what type of stats would you recommend before running either of these types of end game content?
Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we continue exploring Naxxramas by venturing into the territory of plague beasties.
Continuing our journey through the halls of Naxxramas, which began last week with the Arachnid Quarter, this week's Ready Check takes a close-up view of the Plague Quarter. As with last week's guide, don't read any further if you want everything to be a surprise when you venture in.
We'll be looking at Noth the Plaguebringer, Heigan the Unclean and Loatheb. But first, let's talk about trash...
Today, December 6, is the third anniversary of our little site. We actually started posting a few weeks beforehand, to get up and running, but the official launch was over on our parent Joystiq on December 6th, 2005. Since then, we've posted over 12,000 posts, commenters have commented over half a million times, and people have visited the site over two hundred million times (millions more if you count all the RSS readers out there). Oh, and we've covered nine classes, 27 builds, nine major content patches (and hundreds if not thousands of class and content changes), and absorbed the angry yells, QQ tears, cheerful applause and apathetic mehs of all of you hundred of thousands of readers. What a ride it's been.
And so, to look back at our little piece of history today, we figured we'd check back over the records (all the records we have), and come up with a top ten list of our most popular stories of all time. Keep in mind that this is a list of our most popular stories -- while it does include our most popular posts of all time, we had to make a few tweaks and filters to make it all make sense (our most popular page of all time, other than the front page, surprise, is actually page 2). But this will offer you a good look at just what WoW Insider is all about -- from our great looks at some of the biggest stories in Warcraft, to an interesting view of just what you, our readers are really interested in.
Thanks for the memories -- the site has only gotten bigger almost every single month during the past three years, and that's because readers like you come and visit to see what we're posting. Click the first link below to see story number 10, and follow the links all the way up to number one.
In Burning Crusade, he was the hardcore, racing to level 70, eschewing sleep and sustenance to get those server firsts, eventually causing him to burn out and quit the game for a time. In Wrath of the Lich King, he's been a casual wanderer, enjoying leveling slowly, surrounded by the other hoi polloi and "journeyman adventurers" taking the game at a slower pace. In the end, though, what pleases him most is that the friendships.
The article is a nice little testimonial of the way this game has shaped our lives and forged and strengthened friendships, and it's certainly a nice read on a cold Saturday afternoon like today, whether you're casual or hardcore. After all, we're all just players.
This wouldn't seem to be an issue at first glance. After all, Multiple Curses of the Elements from multiple Warlocks don't stack, right? Here's the deal though. The Ebon Plague counts as a third disease for the purpose of Death Knight abilities that count diseases to deal damage, such as Scourge Strike and Blood Strike. When only one Death Knight can have Ebon Plague up, the other Unholy Knights are left out in the cold and have a part of their damage stripped away.
Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.
Many casual players have discovered the wonders of making a Death Knight since WotLK was released, but in case there are still some holdouts, here are some reasons why those of us with limited playtime should definitely give the class a try.
Seriously. Widdle gnome Death Knights with pigtails destroying multiple mobs 10 times their size are worth the price of admission. The spousal unit and I went back to our neglected Alliance server just to make a gnome DK duo. Our guild there has long since dispersed and our friends are all on different servers, but who cares? It's all about fun and tiny agents of death = fun. Awww, dks in love.
6 more serious reasons for a casual player to make a Death Knight are after the break.
Wrath of the Lich King has added some wonderful crafting changes, from new abilities to better, more efficient systems.
Blizzard's intention is to move us away from feeling that we have no real choice when selecting a profession. 'I am a cloth-wearer, therefore I must take up tailoring' is a thing of the past.
Each profession has bulked up its profession-only benefits, as well as fun items and marketable goods, to the point that your choice can be more properly swayed by what you would like to do.
While you are leveling your chosen fields, you will notice many interesting recipes popping up at fairly regular intervals, giving you small goals to look forward to and work towards.
This week, I will be showcasing the highlights of Leatherworking and Blacksmithing, including when you can train these recipes, which factions have what you need, and what it is that makes you unique and important.
Phat Loot Phriday: Staff of the Great Reptile - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 18:30:00 EST I tried to find some great caster/healing staves for you to work towards this weekend, but they're hard to come by, and strangely enough I couldn't find a single caster staff as a reputation reward -- Druids get all the good ones I found. This one's from an instance you can run this weekend, though, and it should hold you up until you hit 80 and head into the endgame.
Name: Staff of the Great Reptile (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger) Type: Rare Staff Damage/Speed: 148-269 / 2.10 (99.5 DPS) Abilities:
+81 Spirit, which has been becoming more and more useful lately. It's really still the domain of Warlocks and Shadow Priests, but depending on the talents and other gear you've got, Spirit, especially this much of it, can be more helpful than you'd think.
Improves haste rating by 66, which again, will depend on the other stats you've got to figure out just how much it'll help you. Haste gets more and more important as you head towards the endgame, but especially with the changes to Haste affecting global cooldowns, this could be really great for anybody casting instants as well.
And increases spell power by 271, which is a no brainer. You'll definitely be able to get more spell power by the time you hit 80, but for the level, this is a decent place to start.
And, I have to say, subjectively I admit, it's a badass-looking staff.
Blizzard legal targets private servers - Fri, 05 Dec 2008 17:30:00 EST Privately run WoW servers have been dropping like flies in the last day or so after receiving letters from Blizzard's lawyers under the DMCA. They've been shut down so quickly and rapidly that it's being heralded as "the end of private servers" by quite a few people. The biggest and most well known servers such as Toxic WoW and Ani-WoW are more or less all gone already, and it seems that it's only a matter of time before the smaller ones go down as well. Supposedly, this letter has a pretty long list of sites and servers that are to be taken down.
Some of these sites have just called it a day, shut down their servers and will move on with their lives, but a few others are already talking about starting them back up elsewhere, 'underground.' It's the internet, and at this point, that just seems silly. Blizzard is watching, and it seems this issue has moved up a notch on their priority list. My advice? Don't tempt fate.