Friday, October 20, 2006

Caverns of Time - Hillsbrad Foothills

If there’s one thing I never wanted to do in World of Warcraft again,
it was returning to Hillsbrad. So many memories of the Hillsbrad to Southshore PvP zerg have tainted the zone for me forever, but a fellow guild priest Tivoli enticed me into heading there again. This time however, we would be entering the Hillsbrad Foothills not from Silverpine Forest or Arathi Highlands, not even from the Western Plaguelands. Tivoli tipped me off saying that the Caverns of Time were finally open, and we were to take a group into the first instance. I was quickly summoned to the front of the Caverns of Time where Anachronous dwells, using the brand new Meeting Stone summoning portals. This new tool should make creating and gathering groups a lot faster than before.

The stone that was previously sealing the entrance of the Caverns of Time is gone, and a bronze dragon was waiting for me inside. After a quick dialog with the dragon, I became mounted on a drake and flown deep inside the caverns. The flight was rather short, but I got to see a lot of rather odd sights inside including a gigantic hourglass. This is where the hub of the cavern is, including the first tedious quest I had to complete before zoning in. A custodian of time is summoned, and they tell the story of the cavern. After this quest was completed, I was given a quest to head into the instance, and my group zoned in.

First thing that I noticed after zoning in is that I was suddenly ugly. Not only that, but a human! I know that I’m bald and everything, but human? That’s just an insult to my character. Everyone in the group becomes afflicted by a buff that switches their race to a more appropriate one to the instance. The quest that I was previously given is handed in right at the entrance, and a follow-up quest is given involving the next section of the zone, Durnholde Keep. For those of you who leveled in Hillsbrad, you will remember this area, there was a handful of Horde quests involving it.

The quest’s objectives are to locate barrels and set explosives inside them. This will cause a distraction so Thrall can be rescued, which is the main objective of the instance. The barrels are located inside of houses in the area below the bridge, where the rest of the orcs are being held captive. At the entrance of each house, there are 3-4 pulls of varying human guards.

Once the barrels have been located inside each of the houses, and explosives places inside, they are all set on fire. This causes a loud commotion, and the first boss of the zone, Lieutenant Drake comes rushing down. The fight is not that complicated, well suited for the first named mob of the zone. He did not place any debuffs on any of the party members, so it is a straight tank/heal/dps fight. Lieutenant Drake’s loot was Cloak of Impulsiveness dropped, a rare 18stam 18agi 40ap cloak.

The next part of the zone involves fighting through the keep in the center of the area, and down to the basement where Thrall is. Clearing the mob towards the keep involved 3-4 pulls of humans with melee and caster combos. None of the pulls are too complicated, but they do tend to hit a warrior in dps gear with a two-hander out rather hard. Other than one close call during a 4 pull, there were no healing problems during these pulls. The pulls are setup with one in each room inside the keep, same setup as before with the 4 humans. The quest indicator in your map shows that Thrall is held in the basement, not on the roof where our group first checked. This quest is bugged currently and only allows one person in the group to accept it, instead of showing the group accept prompt that most escort quests show.

This is where the zone gets tricky. Our group setup was lucky to
contain two priests, because Thrall is quite the runner. Like all escort quests, the npc really doesn’t know when to slow down or stop and this is where the two healers can help. Tivoli and I alternated when we drank in between pulls to conserve mana, just incase Thrall got a little ahead of himself and pulled two pulls. This only happened once because of a running mob. The mages in these pulls do polymorph so be ready to dispel at all times.

When Thrall reaches the outside gates of the keep, the next boss, Captain Skarloc spawns at the road in front of the keep and rides towards the group mounted. This is another simple boss fight, with the only twist being two adds that come with the boss. The warrior in the group pulled him away from the adds and Thrall added just enough dps to make this fight trivial. Captain Skarloc dropped a weapon a lot like Noth’s axe, the Amani Venom Axe.

With the second boss dead, Thrall commandeers the late captain’s horse and instructs the group to ride to Tarren Mill. Mount up and follow, because he moves quickly through this part of the zone. Thrall is headed to attempt to located Taretha who he believes is being held inside the town. He leads the group across the center river in Hillsbrad and north along it to sneak behind the barn in the town. Thrall instructs the group to move into the barn. He makes the mistake of spooking a horse which alerts a patrol of guards outside. Remember that line of sight can be tough for healers in this area, so if you aren’t a healer, be nice to the healers in the group and stay where they can heal you. Thrall heads towards the final area of the zone, the center of Tarren Mill, and inside the cathedral. Taretha isn’t located inside the cathedral, but the guards outside see an opportunity and strike while you are inside. This is a five pull, but isn’t that tough since you can line of sight the caster npcs using the entrance of the cathedral to slow down their dps.

Thrall next heads to the inn, the last place where she could be. Two pulls later, Thrall finds Taretha inside the upstairs bedroom under a spell. A booming voice from outside can be heard after a short dialog between the two. The Epoch Hunter does not sound happy that the group is interfering with the two. Thrall rushes outside and the final fight of the zone begins. Three sets of dragonkins spawn before the Epoch Hunter can be engaged. These pulls can be tough if you do not have a decurser, because they cast a -50% healing and -50% damage debuff on your group members. Since these are dragonkins, if you do have a druid in the group, remind them that they can put these to sleep, which makes the fight trivial.

The Epoch Hunter shouts and engages the group. Even though this is the final fight of the zone, his adds before him were more challenging, and this is a straightforward fight as usual. The hunter dropped a decent healing cloth shoulder, comparable (after socketing) to the Ternary Mantle from the bug trio in AQ.

Erozion appears after the boss dies and explains quickly that he needs to remove the memories from Taretha and Thrall. After a quick spell, Thrall forgets the group’s presence and leaves. The person who did complete the earlier quest with locating and starting the escort of Thrall can now turn in the quest and receive one of the rewards.

Overall this was an enjoyable instance, mostly because this was a rehash of a place that most people are familiar with. The highlight of the zone has to be seeing Thrall knock out the armory guard and suit up in leather. The loot is right on par with the zone’s intended level, a group of 68’s. Since there is a lot of mobs in the zone, this has been designed to generate a lot of experience while completing the quest of the instance. Caverns of Time is designed so that you do have to progress through the zones in order, so currently this patch you'd need to do the instance once per player in your 5 man group to progress to the next instance.

Source :

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Running WoW on Ubuntu

Warning: this is only to be contemplated if you're really, really sick of Windows. It took me about ten hours of working on it to get it to work right. Hopefully it'll take you less time, but no guarantees. For reasons why you should consider this, and Blizzard should consider making WoW run natively under Linux, do some google searches for "keylogger", "virus", "windows crash", "windows losing focus", etc etc.

1. Back up everything you care about from your Windows system. This includes your WoW Addons and Interface folder, your bookmarks, etc etc. Better to back up the whole drive if you can, or install Ubuntu on a second hard drive. It will set up the dual-booting automatically.

2. Especially get your WoW patches. The retail to 1.12.0 patch is 465MB. Downloading this should be avoided if possible. The name of this file is WoW-1.12.0-enUS-patch.exe, if you need to look for it on faster download sites.

3. Read the install guide at I plan not to repeat much information that's in there.

4. Get the Ubuntu ISO from, burn it, boot it, install it, etc. Let it run its updates.

5. Get and install your video card's driver. If you have an NVidia card, do not use nvidia-glx or nvidia-legacy or the driver Automatix2 optionally installs. Use the one at and follow these instructions from

Q u o t e:

Debian GNU/Linux or Ubuntu with Xorg 7.x

If you wish to install the NVIDIA Linux graphics driver on a Debian GNU/Linux or Ubuntu system that ships with Xorg 7.x, please ensure that your system meets the following requirements:

* development tools like make and gcc are installed
* the linux-headers package matching the installed Linux kernel is installed
* the pkg-config and xserver-xorg-dev packages are installed
* the nvidia-glx package has been uninstalled with the --purge option and the file /etc/init.d/nvidia-glx does not exist.

If you use Ubuntu, please also ensure that the linux-restricted-modules packages have been uninstalled. Alternatively, you can edit the /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules configuration file and disable the NVIDIA linux-restricted kernel modules (nvidia, nvidia_legacy) via:


Easiest way to get make and gcc is through System -> Administration -> Synaptic.

6. Make sure your video card works - open a terminal window and run "glxgears". Run "glxinfo | grep vendor" and check that all three entries are the same, and are correct.

7. Next get and run Automatix2 using the instructions at Note that if you have an NVidia card, do not install Automatix's driver. This will set your system up to a more broadly useful state.

8. Run "sudo dpkg-configure xserver-xorg" to allow you to adjust your screen resolution, unless you prefer to play at 1024x768 for some reason.

9. Now to install wine. If you have an NVidia card you will need to download the wine source, patch it with the .diff file, and compile it. Runthe ./configure and "make depend" checks first, you may need to get a few more packages such as bison to compile it successfully.

9. Once wine is installed, run winecfg to set it up. Check the sound setup too. When you're done put mfc42.dll in the system32 folder, which is under the hidden folder ".wine/drive_c".

10. Now it's time for the fun part - installing WoW. Note that CDs may not be ejectable with the standard button on the front. Pull down Places -> Computer then right-click the CD and find the Eject option. Once WoW is installed, it will try to update itself. Cancel this and copy the patches into its directory, then run WoW.exe. Wine should automatically be associated with .exe files. It will check the patches and then apply them. If it has a final patch to go, it will download this patch.

11. Now copy your Addons and Interface folders back, and you should be good to go!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mail Order Bride

I know, I know. I've been slacking on my posts, but it was for a good reason! A lot of stuff has changed in the past couple of weeks. Despite my better judgment and lack of sobriety at the exact time of my final decision, I left Remorseless. One of the best guilds I had ever been a part of. Maybe not in terms of progression but in pure unadulterated fun and camaraderie.

I think that the decision was justifiable. In the same night I joined a newly forming guild with many of my long time friends, most of which are from the days of the burning legion. This guild is Mail Order Brides. When the guild is running BWL and AQ I can proudly say that I was there from the beginning. You know being an officer and the official website bitch.

As far as progression goes with MOB, we are on Domo, we can one shot Onyxia, and clear ZG with ease. In my opinion that not bad for a guild that is barely 2 weeks old. I think we will be in BWL by months end.

So far I'm very happy with my choice. Besides I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. More about that in my next post.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More amazing hunter changes

Below is a copy of a forum post made by game designer Kalgan regarding Hunter mechanics in the Burning Crusade:

1. Attack Power and Crit related changes:
  • Hunters now get 1 AP per Agility rather than 2. This change helps us provide more interesting stat distributions on hunter items. Previously, Hunters valued Agi significantly above any other stat, such that it was extremely difficult for us to create variety among Hunter items. For example, before this change, we could have spent 1 stat point on an item to give you either 2 AP or 1 Agi (which gave 2 AP along with a small bonus to crit and a small bonus to dodge... clearly the better choice). However, several changes have been made along with this change in order to offset the AP loss.

  • Hunters now get significantly more crit per point of Agility than before (about 33agi/crit at level 60).

  • Hunters now get more dodge per point of Agility than before (about 20agi/dodge at lvl 60)

  • Ranged weapons have had their damage values significantly increased (and consequently the weapon's dps)... this also helps make weapon upgrades feel more meaningful for Hunters than it did previously (along with the other changes, this change is retroactive)

  • Most Hunter equipment has been updated to have a better distribution between +Attack Power bonuses and Agility

2. Traps are now on a 30 sec cooldown, but can be used in combat (you no longer need to feign/trap).

3. When feign death is resisted, you are still reduced to 0 threat for any targets that did not resist feign death (although if any creature resists the feign, you won't be taken completely out of combat, you'll still be on the creature group's target list).

4. Aimed Shot related changes:
  • Aimed Shot now resets the Hunter's shot timer. This talent was always intended to be an "opening" shot, and not something that would be woven between shots. However, since Aimed Shot became such a core element for Hunter DPS, we didn't want to make this change until we were prepared to make several other changes to increase hunter DPS to offset it. Fortunately, this means that some of the odd side effects of the old Aimed Shot are no longer relevant, such as requiring hunters to use extremely slow weapons to maximize their DPS (weapons slow enough to be able to use Aimed Shot in between auto shots)

  • Arcane Shot now does substantially more damage than it did before, and scales with AP.

  • Steady Shot has been introduced as a core ability in the expansion, and provides much the same kind of gameplay as Aimed Shot did in the past (a shot you weave in between your normal shots), but to a much more managable degree (since it's a 1.5 sec shot, it doesn't require as slow of a weapon to take advantage of, and doesn't require to stand still for as long).

5. Other note: Wyvern Sting may now be used in combat.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hunter talents: Unofficial

Beast Mastery
Tier 6 - Animal Handler - Increases your speed while mounted by 4% and your pet's chance to hit by 2%. The mounted movement speed increase does not stack with other effects. (8/4%)
Tier 7 - Ferocious Inspiration - When your pet scores a critical hit, all party members have all damage increased by 1% for 10 sec. (2/3%)
Tier 7 - Catlike Reflexes - Increases your chance to dodge and your pet's chance to dodge by an additional 2%. (4/6%)
Tier 8 - Serpent's Swiftness - Increases ranged combat attack speed by 4% and your pet's melee attack speed by 4%. (8+8/12+12/16+16/20+20%)
Tier 9 - The Beast Within - When your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 30% additional damage for 18 sec. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed.

Tier 4 - Resourcefulness - Reduces the mana cost of all traps and melee abilities by 20% and reduces the cooldown of all traps by 2 sec. ( 40%+4sec/60%+6sec)
Tier 6 - Survival Instincts - Reduces all damage taken by 2%. (4%)
Tier 7 - Thrill of the Hunt - Gives you a 33% chance to regain 50% of the mana cost of any shot when it critically hits. (66/100%)
Tier 7 - Expose Weakness - Your ranged criticals have a 10% chance to apply an Expose Weakness effect to the target. Expose Weakness increases the attack power of all attackers against that target by 25% of your Agility for 7 sec. (20/30%)
Tier 8 - Master Tactician - Your successful ranged attacks have a 25% chance to increase your critical strike chance with all attacks by 1% for 8 sec. (2/3/4/5%)
Tier 9 - Readiness - When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on your other Hunter abilities.

Tier 5 - Silent Hunter - Reduces threat from all attacks by 7%. (12/17%)
Tier 6 - Combat Experience - Increases your total Agility, Stamina and Intellect by 3%. (6%)
Tier 7 - Displacement - Reduces your chance to be hit by all attacks by 1%. (2/3%)
Tier 7 - Zen Marksmanship - Increases your ranged attack power by an amount equal to 8% of your total Intellect. (16/25%)
Tier 8 - Master Marksman - Increases your ranged attack power by 2%. (4/6/8/10%)
Tier 9 - Silencing Shot - A shot that deals 50% weapon damage and Silences the target for 3 sec.

Kill Command - Level
Give the command to kill, causing your pet to instantly attack for an additional 127 damage. Can only be used after the Hunter lands a critical strike on the target.

Aspect of the Viper - Level 62
The hunter takes on the aspects of a viper, regenerating mana equal to 25% of his Intellect every 5 sec. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

Steady Shot - Level 64
A steady shot that causes RAP*0.3+100 damage. Causes an additional 175 against Dazed targets.

Snake Trap - Level 68
Place a trap that will release several venomous snakes to attack the first enemy to approach. The snakes will die after 15 sec. Trap will exist for 60 sec. Only one trap can be active at a time.

All Talents seems up to speed now, just a couple of Base Skills

New pet abilities!

I got all excited in my pants when I read these on Curse and WoWexposed's forums. It's legit and has been confirmed by some alpha players. So get ready to tame your new pets!

Teaches your tamed bear the Enraging Bite ability. Enraging Bite reduces an enemy's resistance to physical attacks as well as drawing its attention.
Angers a target, drawing its attention and lowering its armor value by 40.(Probably is a % armor reduction)(This is also a taunt effect)

Teaches your tamed bear the Growl of Fortitude ability. Growl of Fortitude increases the maximum health of the bear.
Grants the user 252+12.5/level(852 at level 70) additional hitpoints for 5 minutes, 7 minutes cooldown. Starts at level 22.

Teaches your tamed bear the Roar of Fortitude ability. Roar of Fortitude increases the maximum health of everyone in your party.
Increases max hitpoints of allies in your party by 200+10/level for 2 minutes(540 at level 70), 3 minutes cooldown. starts at level 36.

Teaches your tamed bird the Eye Peck ability. Eye Peck causes an enemy to miss more often in combat.
5% Chance to Eye Peck, which lowers a target's chance to hit by 47%(it has -1 duration so i belive that it only works for 1 hit)

Teaches your tamed bird the Flight of the Peregrine ability. Flight of the Peregrine increase the movement speed of the bird.
Increases movement speed by 100% for 15 seconds, 5 min cooldown.

Teaches your tamed bird the Pester ability. Pester greatly increases the attack speed of the bird at the cost of dealing less damage. Every successful attack while in this mode renders the target unable to cast spells for a short time.
Decreases damage done while granting a chance to silence on hit, lasts 15 seconds, 30 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed boar the Gore ability. Gore deals physical damage over time to an enemy.
Deals 15+5.5/level(205 damage at level 48) damage to a target over 15 seconds. Starts at level 13, stops at level 48. 30 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed boar the Toughen Hide ability. Toughen Hide increases resistance to physical attacks.
Increases armor value by 118+5.2/level(367 at level 70) for 10 seconds, 45 seconds cooldown. Starts at level 22. Probably is a % armor increase.

Teaches your tamed boar the Vital Wound ability. Vital Wound slows the attack speed of an enemy.
Adds a 5% chance to do extra damage and slow attack rate of a target on a successful hit.

Teaches your tamed cat the Ferocity ability. Ferocity increases attack speed of the cat at the cost of receiving more damage when hit by phsical attacks.
Cat goes into a ferocious rage granting 50% haste but takes 60 more damage from attacks for 8 secons. 1 minute cooldown.

Teaches your tamed cat the Open Wound ability. Open Wound deals physical damage over time to an enemy as well as increasing damage received by physical attacks for a short time.
Adds a 5% chance to open a wound on a target causing damage over time and increased damage taken by 10%.

Teaches your tamed cat the Survival Instinct ability. Survival Instinct stuns an enemy and attempts to run away causing the enemy to lose interest in attacking the cat.
Stuns an enemy and attempts to run away causing the enemy to lose interest in attacking the cat. 2 second stun, 10 second cooldown.

Teaches your tamed crab the Clenched Pinchers ability. Clenched Pinchers holds an enemy in place while dealing physical damage over time to it. While holding the enemy, the crab will be unable to attack or perform any other actions.
Grabs a target, holding them in place for 15 seconds while doing 150+5/level(270 at max level) damage in that time. 60 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed crab the Tight Pinch ability. Tight Pinch deals additional damage on the crab's next hit as well as stunning the enemy.
Pinches down hard causing 18+1/level(64 at max level) damage and stunning a target for 5 seconds. 30 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed crab the Tough Shell ability. Tough Shell gives your crab a chance to increase it's armor value when hit.
Adds a 8% chance to temporarily increase armor when successfully hit. Adds 196 armor.(Probably is a % value)

Teaches your tamed crocilisk the Consume Flesh ability. Consume Flesh gives your crocilisk a chance to steal health from an enemy when attacking.
Adds a 5% chance to drain 50 life from a target during combat.

Teaches your tamed crocilisk the Pierce Ankle ability. Pierce Ankle knocks down an enemy and reduces it's movement speed.
Knocks down an enemy and reduces it's movement speed by 35% for 6 sec. 30 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed crocilisk the Quick Snap ability. Quick Snap gives your crocilisk a chance to counterattack when hit.
Adds 20% chance to counter attack when hit.

Teaches your tamed gorilla the Quickness ability. Quickness is an attack that can hit multiple enemies.
Adds 41-45 damage and hits one additional target, 1 minute cooldown.

Teaches your tamed gorilla the Throw Rock ability. Throw Rock is a ranged attack.
Throws a rock for 40-46 damage. 1.5 sec casting time.

Teaches your tamed gorilla the Bruise ability. Bruise gives your gorilla a chance to reduce the armor value of an enemy when attacking.
Adds 11% chance to Bruise a target, which lowers the targets armor value by 176.

Tall Strider
Teaches your tamed tall strider the Distracting Spit ability. Distracting Spit increases physical damage dealt to an enemy.
Adds 5+0.2/level(15 at level 70) damage taken on a target. 15 sec duration, 3 min cooldown.

Teaches your tamed tall strider the Strider Presence ability. Strider Presence helps regenerate health and mana.
Increases health regeneration by 5+0.5/level(17 at max level) and mana regeneration by 10+0.5/level(22 at max level) of all allies in the party.

Teaches your tamed tall strider the Healing Tongue ability. Healing Tongue heals friendly targets from a short range.
Heals a friendly target for 62-72+7.7/level(431-441 at max level). 1 sec cast time, 15 sec cooldown.

Teaches your tamed spider the Poisonous Spit ability. Poisonous Spit ranged attack that deals damage over time to an enemy.
Spits out poison at target which causes 150+5/level(320 at max level) damage over 15 seconds. 2 sec cast 2 min cooldown.

Teaches your tamed spider the Spider Poison ability. Spider Poison deals damage over time to an enemy.
Adds a 5% chance to poison on a successful hit. Poison deals 390 damage over 30 seconds at max level.

Teaches your tamed spider the Web ability. Web renders an enemy unable to move.
Casts a web over an enemy, immobilizing it for 12 seconds. I think that you cant net the same target again for 20 seconds.

Teaches your tamed turtle the Hand Snap ability. Hand Snap disarms an enemy as well as causing damage over time.
Disarms a target for 8 seconds as well as dealing 36 damage over 8 seconds. 5% chance on hit.

Teaches your tamed turtle the Thick Skin ability. Thick Skin gives your turtle a chance to increase it's armor value when hit.
Adds a 15% chance to temporarily increase armor by 63 for 20 seconds when successfully hit.

Teaches your tamed wolf the Enraged Howl ability. Enraged Howl increases your party's strength and agility.
Adds 12 strength and 12 agility to party members in a $a1 yard radius for 30 seconds. 1 min cooldown.

Teaches your tamed wolf the Intimidating Growl ability. Intimidating Growl causes an enemy to run away in fear at an increased movement speed.
Target creature becomes frightened and runs away at an increased speed for 5 seconds.

Teaches your tamed wolf the Rabid Maw ability. Rabid Maw decreases an enemy's strength and agility.
Reduces strength by 23 and agility by 23 for 30 seconds, 5% chance on hit.

Teaches your tamed raptor the Feast of Prey ability. Feast of Prey allows your raptor to recover health every time it kills an enemy.
Steals 3 life/ level from a target after delivering a fatal blow.

Teaches your tamed raptor the Tendon Slice ability. Tendon Slice deals damage over time as well as slowing the enemies movement speed.
Adds a 5% chance to slow a targets movement by 33% as well as do 60 damage over 8 seconds on a successful hit.

Teaches your tamed raptor the Vulnerable ability. Vulnerable increases all physical damage done to an enemy for a short time.
Finds a weak spot which causes the target to take 65(At highest level) more damage from physical hits for 3 seconds, 30 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed scorpion the Claw Cover ability. Claw Cover increases your scorpion's chance to parry.
Increase chance to parry by 60% for 20 seconds, 1.5 minutes cooldown.

Teaches your tamed scorpion the Dig Trap ability. Dig Trap allows the pet to enter stealth mode but will be rendered unable to move. If the scorpion attacks from this position it will deal additional damage.
Allows your scorpion to go into stealth, but it cannot move and it's sight range will be reduced. If it attacks from this position it will deal 169 additional damage. 90 seconds cooldown.

Teaches your tamed scorpion the Minor Scorpion Venom ability. Minor Scorpion Venom deals damage over time to an enemy.
Adds a 5% chance to poison on a successful hit. Poison deals 580 damage over 60 seconds.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Unofficial Teir 4 sets spotted.


Beyond the crusade, part 3 - Northrend

Deep within Northrend sets the Ice Fortress of Arthas Menethil the Lich King, and by his side Frostmourne. This will undoubtedly be THE toughest encounter in the game. Or so many believe.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Arthas Menethil, Play through Warcraft 3 and it's expansion. You'll learn more then you could possibly imagine about the events that lead up to the current day Azeroth

I personally hold the opinion that the future expansion of Northrend will not be the last and that one day in the hollowed planets besieged by the Burning Crusade adventures will encounter Sargeras, Destroyer of worlds. The one who is responsible for the corruption of countless civilizations.

Here's some information about Northrend as seen on, the greatest place on earth.

Often called "the roof of the world", Northrend is a frozen wasteland that lies far to the north of the world. As with the other continents, it was once part of the original Kalimdor landmass that was broken apart during the War of the Ancients.The land that became Northrend drifted far from Azeroth's temperate zone, which killed off a large portion of the remaining wildlife.

A particularly hardy breed of insectoid-humanoids, the Aqir, had survived the destruction. After thousands of years of evolution, the Aqir became the Nerubians: a sinister, shadowy race of spider-men. While a few humans and trolls eked out survival in small encampments, their presence was no match for the Nerubian


Northrend also contains The Dragonblight: an enormous ice plain covered with the bones of thousands of Dragons. As they near death, the great beasts fly to Northrend so that they may die with their ancestors. The Blue Dragonflight, led by the enigmatic Malygos. Malygos watches over the Dragonblight to ensure that the remains are undisturbed. The blue dragons were successful in their task for many thousands of years, until the coming of the Lich King...

Northrend - WoWWiki

Monday, September 11, 2006

Beyond the crusade, part 2 - The Emerald Dream

Another possible expansion could be the Emerald Dream. Blizzard has been working on this area for some time now and an unfinished version is currently in game. Though the means to see the area is known only by the most skilled of explorers. This leads me to believe that the Emerald Dream would be the expansion pack that will come directly after the Burning Crusade. Think Q4 2007.

Of course part of me is pulling toward the fact that the Emerald Dream could just be an instance much like the Caverns of Time. If that is the case it would be massive. the land mass according to lore is the size of Kalimdor before the great implosion of the well of eternity.

The waking Dream of Creation and verdant realm of the Dragon Aspect Ysera. The Emerald Dream, as the realm of the wild, appears to those who travel within it as Azeroth would have appeared without the development of the sentient races. It is what Azeroth would have been if not for humans, elves and other intelligent creatures. This plane shows travelers what their world would be if intelligent races had not cut forests, farmed prairies,diverted rivers and built cities. It is a vision of the world as averdant natural paradise. Verdant forests stretch away in every direction, and rolling hills and majestic mountains mimic Azeroth’s landscape.

Indeed, Azeroth and the Emerald Dream are quasi-duplicates of each other. The Emerald Dream is Azeroth as seen through a magic lens, untouched by the hands of mortals. Indeed, the Emerald Dream is the Azeroth that would not have been split by magic into the two land masses of today - within it is the original greater landmass of Kalimdor,covered in the hazy emerald green forests of aeons past.

Nature is in a perfect balance in the Emerald Dream. Animals of all types inhabit the world, including some that are extinct on Azeroth and subspecies that never got the chance to evolve. Many fey creatures, such as sprites and faerie dragons, also roam the forests. However, it is not only the inhabitant creatures that roam the Dream. Creatures from Azeroth constantly visit, though they may or may not know it. Dreaming creatures arrive in the Emerald Dream and often have prophetic and helpful visions.

Druids enter the plane through their connection with nature. While within the dream, the traveler can, through exercise of will,view the waking world and to a limited extent interact with it (aspresumably all aspects of the world have some connection to the EmeraldDream). Accessing the Emerald Dream via more conventional magic is possible, but the plane’s natives do not look kindly on intruders.

The entire plane is the dominion of Ysera, the mighty green dragon Aspect, and she and her brood ensure that none despoil this paradise. For all its wonder, the Emerald Dream is not without its dangers. Those who visit via their dreams are welcomed and enfolded within the natural balance, but those who bring their physical selves face suspicion and hostility.

The Druid Malfurion Stormrage made use of the Emerald Dream to enter into the palace of Queen Azshara and thwart the plans of Lord Xavius.Ysera herself and a great number of the green dragonflight reside inthe dream either permanently or occassionally, as do the vast majorityof the Night Elf Druids. As part of an ancient pact made between Ysera and Malfurion Stormrage,the druids are required to spend long periods of time sleeping in the Emerald Dream in exchange for their powers over the forces of nature, presumably so that they will better appreciate that which they have pledged themselves to preserve. Recently, strange events have been transpiring within the Emerald Dream and it appears that Malfurion himself may be trapped within its confines.

A darker force has found its way into the Emerald Dream as well. Called The Nightmare,this mobile area of corruption stems from the twisted thoughts and fears of sleeping beings’ subconscious minds. The Nightmare travels slowly through the Emerald Dream, leaving corrupted, vicious animals and Unwaking travelers in its path. None, not even Ysera, knows why the Nightmare exists — nor why its boundaries grow.

Emerald Dream - WoWWiki

Currently in the game is 4 gateways, each of which lead to the Emerald Dream. They are located in Twilight Grove - Duskwood, Seranade - Hinterlands, Dream Bough - Feralas, and Bough Shadow - Ashenvale. View map.

These gateways are guarded by massive green dragons that take a 40 man raid group to defeat. So if it is an instance behind those gates you can expect it to be tuff, If it's another land mass you can bet you'll have to be 60 or above.

The biggest clue that it will be a later expansion is a quote by the Blizzard community manager Nethaera.

Nethaera: "As for the Emerald Dream, there are no plans for anything as of yet but it is a consideration for the future. The Emerald Dream opens up a lot of different opportunities and the Burning Crusade is definitely not going to be the last of the expansion packs. There are many different places and storylines that can be pursued. The story is going to keep growing and as it does so, people will get to experience it." 2006-09-06 08:19:20