Tomb of Sargeras Maps: Legion Raid and Warcraft 3 The Frozen Throne Parallels

This exploration/lore project is presented by Micromantica, the honored member of Ironforge Explorer League.

Maiev pursued Illidan into the Sargeras’s Tomb hoping to stop Illidan before he claimed the terrible demon’s powers. Inside, Maiev and her forces battled Illidan’s Naga as well as the demonic guardians of the tomb. Maiev was confronted by the Naga sea witch Lady Vashj, who told Maiev of the true nature of the Naga.

The Watchers also discovered runes written by Gul’dan himself as he searched for the Eye of Sargeras, as well as his terrible death. Eventually they discovered the central chamber of the tomb, only to find that Illidan had already claimed the Eye.

Taunting Maiev, Illidan used the artifact’s demonic powers to bring the tomb crashing down around the Watchers, hoping to imprison the Warden in much the same way she had him. Maiev managed to use her magic to escape, however Naisha and her remaining troops were not so lucky, and were buried alive.

That’s history. Now, let’s take the map of Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne mission and place the Tomb of Sargeras raid bosses on it.

This is Maiev’s way through the Tomb. She enters the center on the left side, and goes through the whole Tomb to reach Illidan. Obviously the ending point is the Avatar Chamber, because Illidan grabbed this powerful artifact, Eye of Sargeras there – that is why the Avatar is one-eyed in the raid. With this artifact Illidan tried to destroy the Lich King (just Ner’zhul then), but Malfurion, Tyrande and Kael’Thas managed to stop him later.

The_Tomb_of_Sargeras_Map-Warcraft-3-Maiev

And this is where the bosses in the raid are:

The_Tomb_of_Sargeras_Map-Legion

Goroth is here, because it’s the first big chamber after we enter the Tomb.

Then there is a rise to Demonic Inquisition – their location is arguable, but my guess it is just up the stairs.

The southern part held some mad elven guards as far as I remember, so the first big room should hold Sisters of the Moon boss. And The Desolate Host is most likely that next big and sinister chamber.

Blizzard accurately copied the flooded pipe where Maiev fought Naga. Har’jatan is at the place where there were many hydras, and Mistress Sassz’ine is by no doubts located at the chamber where we encounter Lady Vashj who told Maiev of the true nature of the Naga. There’s that big elven statue with the cup we meet on our way.

And the hall with Maiden of Vigilance/Avatar of Sargeras is the same spot. This is where Illidan ripped an eye from the Avatar, confronted Maiev and she had to flee all the way back and fast.

Enjoy your flashbacks and new picture of the old spots :)

Lore & Motivation Development in Legion

I’ve listened to the intro music on loading screen in the morning, and there played this hero piece – taken from theme “Anduin”. That very tune which makes you grab your sword, bow or staff and fight. Here I caught myself thinking: do I really care for what’s happening now and what is expected next on Argus?

Surprisingly I’m not.

What moves the story and your dedication onward is not just the plot, but also your emotions – specifically, why you want to kill the big bad. This is what making you fight, endure this or that grind (reputations, world quests, AP, dailies – name it) – to become stronger and kill the big bad with your own hands.

Legion started with the heaviest impact on both factions: both leaders were killed in action.

Varian

Voljin

Never before each of the factions was so united and ready for the revenge. The desire to prove yourself, to kill everything responsible, to rally with the new leader was strongest we ever experienced.

And… Blizzard blew it.

The whole faction glory subsided in the very first scenario upon entering Stormheim – this was the last we saw even a glimpse of faction pride. Leaders are nowhere to be seen. Anduin mourned his father throughout the expansion, and only in Broken Shore he visited Varian’s grave. But he’s not seen even in Argus previews – this is not his war, and this not his responsibility. Thus neither of this is concerning Alliance.

Sylvanas became the new leader of the Horde. Her very first act as a new leader was plotting to enhance the ranks of Undead, treacherous and dangerous. Nothing addressing the war against Legion. This is not her war, and this is not her responsibility. Thus neither of this is concerning Horde.

Do you see how this faction pride all went in a dumpster and got absolutely no development?

The only faction presence was in The Nighthold, led by Liadrin, Tyrande and Vereesa who were busy messing each others’ hair more than dealing with Legion. Gul’dan was a true climax of the expansion – although we dealt with absolutely new pompous elves during the whole raid. Still, we avenged what happened in Broken Shore.

What we see now is class order halls, filled with renowned heroes and champions of Azeroth.

All the host is guided by Khadgar, who’s the world’s Guardian, but at the same time having fun. Guided by Illidan who’s having LOTS of fun because this it what he does. Guided by Maiev, who’s more of a hen mother, supervising her Broken Isles jailbreaks and following Illidan. Guided by Velen, for whom the whole war is more of a personal business considering Draenei history, his issues with Kil’Jaeden, his revenge for his homeworld, his vengeance for his son.

I don’t feel involved – I’m not motivated to help them with their personal business. Blizzard ultimately failed to develop Kil’Jaeden, to make him the guy you want to fight with. He’s not present in Broken Shore and in raid. He’s absent until the very encounter.

On Argus we will deal with the ruins of Draenei homeworld which could be immersing for Draenei players and explorers/historians, but not for everyone else. It’s all the same black rocks and fel green puddles. It’s a raid where we don’t even see Sargeras himself. We’ll just get the directions to fight and kill more fel bosses. We can do that – but for loot only.

Remember the great villains of the past – Illidan who challenged us since the very starting cinematic in BC, Arthas who we wanted to end ever since W3 RTS, Deathwing who ruined the world with our favorite places, fucking nazi Garrosh, Mannoroth and Archimonde – hated villains since the very same RTS. In Legion, the climax big bad is Gul’dan, and we’ve already dealt with him.

What we are left with today is JOB to be done. We need to do the job, but are we motivated to do it? We’re not. And not a slightest glimpse of spirit and/or faction pride. Nothing personal is involved.

Legion: My First Impressions

I will be quick today, just mentioning the general highlights of the first launch days. There’s so much stuff in Legion that I will need separate posts for most aspects. Besides, I have many yet to discover and explore.

TL;DR – the new expansion looks and feels like work on the mistakes, and a successful one. Legion is awesome.

Launch Days: Getting Started

Night 1: Well, the launch itself was the main issue, especially in Draenor. This time it was… perfect. There was not a single, no, not a single delay or unexpected logout. There were no clogs in quests as far as I’ve noticed.

Legion started for me with my goblin shaman Schlitzchen – because she’s new to Elemental, and I wanted to explore this playing style. I got my quest 4 minutes before launch time – people got them during a 15 minute range, which was also a clever plan I guess. I transported into Dalaran, went for 15 minutes more while exploring the city to let the players wash away from the zone starting quests.

I did an artifact quest chain and got into my Class Order Hall. Beside the common stuff like artifact upgrade and mission table, there was a totem game played on the floor, and I played one round. It was fun :) Then I picked up a quest to Highmountain and went there. Did the first leg of questline there. Again, questing was totally possible. Mob tagging makes it easier, and there were no queues, delays, logouts etc.

Then it was three o’clock in the morning, and I decided to  do a pair of other artifact chains for other toons. By 5 a.m. I acquired two more artifacts, and went to bed.

Day 1

…was dedicated to acquiring artifacts for my Ultimate Team. I’ve acquired 12 artifacts in whole, and my head nearly exploded. Lore overdose. Oh my. There was so much information to process that I literally felt dizzy. Now I know there can be too much lore pressed into too little time.

After acquiring all artifacts I went for questing with Micromantica, the Ice Mage, my achievement toon. Not until she sets herself into daily level cap routine I’m touching any other toons. I need to experience all the lore and explore every corner.

On Day 1 I’ve completed the lion’s share of Aszuna questing and went to bed.

Day 2

…was dedicated to proper leveling. As I planned, I am not in a hurry. I’m doing every main quest line – obviously. I’m doing the corresponding fill-the-bar quests and also the extra quest hubs in the world corners. Finally, I’m not forgetting to return to Dalaran profession quarters and pick up quests for my professions (btw, they are awesome, but I’ll talk about it later).

So far I made it through Aszuna (loremaster and explorer), Valsharah (loremaster and explorer), Highmountain (loremaster). Micromantica got herself to level 107 (almost 108), and she has yet many things to do in the said zones. As for dungeons, I am doing them only after the zone leads me there. It’s just plain amazing how a questline leads you right to the dungeon entrance! So, I did only two dungeons so far, and I have Neltharion’s Lair saved for tonight to acquire my third Pillar of Creation.

I got used to the new Garrison things. It’s basically a Garrison, but improved ten times fold. Very easy to grasp, and yes, I admire the few follower thing. They must be few. They must matter. I must remember their names. Missions are rare which is also a good thing.

Good Things in Legion:

  • Questlines
  • Zones are beautiful
  • Lore overdose is awesome – you even have to take a break to process all that
  • Many little things to do even while leveling
  • Professions and profession missions
  • Revamped garrisons
  • Scaling, choices
  • Treasures and elite mobs

Questionable Things in Legion:

  • As a frost mage, I don’t feel powerful anymore. I need an effort to kill a plain mob on my own. I miss the times when my strongest spell could take off half a mob’s health – now I can’t do that. Every fight is – well, a fight, and it’s a bit tiresome. Yes, it’s a nod to vanilla – mobs do pose a challenge again. Yet I finish a quest hub covered in sweat and hands shaking.
  • Terrain is complex. I’m getting lost. I’m dying. But it may be for the first time. You must know, that if you have to climb some cliffs or swim the rivers to your next quest hub, you’re doing it wrong. There is always a convenient path – a road to get there safe and sound.
  • Nights. They are really dark, and it’s harder to do quests. With my playing time scheduled around 10 p.m.- 1 a.m. it could be a problem.

Bad Things in Legion:

There’s one certainly big drawback. Yes, I understand the artifacts are all the same in Legion, and they are the only weapon. But there’s no variety in questing gear looks among the zones.

Through leveling you get only one look – recolored from zone to zone, and that’s discouraging. My mage got this set from Azsuna questing – it was oh wow! Mage-y, and answering the zone style: magic cloths and fish scales.

Coming to Val’sharah, I’ve expected something new… Twigs, leaves. At Highmountain – hides and furs. Suck it. When you replace you gear in Val’sharah, you just recolor Azsuna set from white to greenish. Val’sharah to Highmountain – from greenish to goldenish. And the models are all the same.

Meh.

Many more specific posts are coming in a few days about professions, artifacts, classes, class order halls, leveling etc. I’m so excited about my starting experience! And more things are to discover yet. 

Harbringers, Comics, Audio Drama

During the last few weeks Blizzard was feeding us with chunks of intro lore for the upcoming Legion expansion.

Notable thing is: I cannot remember the lore attack on the players this big and important before the upcoming expansion. All the things we get are vital for the plot.

As they are all here now, let’s try to review them (in no particular order).

Harbringers

  1. Gul’Dan. His story was a nice revelation. It showed us that he’s a true bastard, and has always been this way. Rough background forges character, but it forges character in a different way – eventually it all depends on the personality. We could remember Thrall – who was a thrall, yes. His story was not a candyland, and yet he became a cool guy. And we have Gul’dan, who didn’t spare the only orc who was kind to him. It’s always been easy to hate him, and the video adds up to that, while also revealing more about his origins. Well done.
  2. Khadgar – the story shares themes with Anduin comic. There’s a disguised Nathrezim who cannot fulfil his goals because Anduin and Khadgar are clever enough, and they also can pew pew the shit out of demons. I liked how it reveals the danger and cunning of Dreadlords – and we will turn into them next week through pre-expansion events. These coming city events just got a perfect background.
  3. Illidan – all my fears since I’ve first heard of his returning at Legion preview came true. They’ve exploited this old, lame catch phrase about “PREPARED” like… three times in 5 minutes? Fan service of this sort reminds me of a very, very bad product placement in the movies. And the story itself started well, but very quickly it turned into a traditional hero shite. We are good, we are awesome, we are Team Fabulous. NO. Blizzard completely failed to deliver the background of Illidari Demon Hunters. When you read a book, you shiver from all the atrocities they went through their training. You learn that they are barely sane – and for a reason; they’re clients of madhouse. Nothing of this is clear from the video. Normal elves, but now with cool tattoos and cool eye cloths. Did I mention cool blades? Them too. Blizzard failed to deliver the horrific background and essence of the class. So I hated the second half of the video. If you want to roll a DH, William King’s ‘Illidan’ is a must-read.

Comics

  1. Highmountain: A Mountain Divided – moose tauren are a cool story. It’s an acquaintance with this zone, and it sets many things for us to track during the game. They’ve explained why we will be fighting a new race of drog’bar who also have some purpose, they have wits, and they are not just savage pillaging tribes like troggs or gnolls – that’s what I thought first.
  2. Magni: Fault Lines – I would approve this return of the dwarven king. It’s not as lame fan service as Illidan’s return. Magni became completely another dwarf, and yet will serve as a supporting character, he won’t try to claim the screentime all for himself. He would reject the dwarf throne – the council of three hammers is a nice thing, and there won’t be time for ‘Magni king – Magni not king’ stuff with all the Legion invasion. A prophetic figure now, he fits best for the job of delivering secret knowledge to the world. He’s far beyond any kingdoms and thrones now.
  3. Nightborne: Twilight of Suramar – seemed a bit messy to me. I guess it sets the background to the raid, but all the night elves stayed no-names for me. I think I shall return to the comic before I enter the raid and while questing in Suramar itself at level cap.

Audio Drama

This is one of the most important chunks of plot. Everything that will happen in pre-expansion events (invasions, city events, Broken Shore scenario) is happening after the Tomb of Sargeras actually opens. The audio drama shows us: how was it opened. It shows us how Gul’dan got to the Broken Isles after Archimonde launched him to the portal as his very last act and effort, how Khadgar chased the warlock, and why he could not stop the orc.

The bitch Maiev, one of my most hated lore characters, is also there. And she behaves like always.

The most interesting part for me was the motives of Gul’dan and his silent dialogues with Kil’jaeden. It’s really amazing, and it adds much depth into even ‘pure evil’, would-be plain evil character. Awesome.

So, with all the parts of the Draenor -> Legion puzzle in our hands, we are ready for the invasions, scenarios and Legion itself. At least we are armed with lore now.

Alleria and Turalyon

I’ll be short: NO ONE CARES FOR ALLERIA AND TURALYON AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.

I know the lore and I even played Warcraft 2 when it was CURRENT content. But Alleria and Turalyon are as dull and dusty legends of the past as possible now. To make them shine, they need a badass story, competing the badass stories of Chen Stormstout, Yrel or Khadgar. Preferably with cutscenes and throughout expansion.

Otherwise, don’t even bring these moldy skeletons out of closet.

*drops mic*