Remember Theramore

theramore-before-explosion

Theramore, a city-state in Eastern Kalimdor, was founded after the Third War when humans, dwarfs, orcs, trolls, tauren and night elves defeated Archimonde at Mount Hyjal. The races then scattered across the continent, trying to set a peaceful life.

Orcs founded Orgrimmar, trolls inhabited the isles to the south. Tauren established their magnificent mesa capital in Mulgore, building the gates to protect their lands from nomadic centaurs. Night elves dissolved back in the forests, trying to heal the damage.

Humans and dwarfs who participated in the battle were Lordaeron survivors who believed Medivh’s prophecy and followed Jaina Proudmoore, managing to get away from the deadly blight and murderous Scourge hordes. They allied with Thrall and helped him cure Grommash Hellscream, which later allowed Thrall and Grommash to slay Mannoroth and free the orcs from their blood curse. They valiantly fought against the Scourge and the demons at Mount Hyjal, taking the first brutal attack waves of both demons and undead upon themselves, and stalling the Scourge long enough to let the orcs and night elves prepare their defenses.

After the war, Theramore was founded under wise guidance of Jaina. It has always been a peaceful state, until her father, Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, briefly took charge and tried to invoke a full scale war against the Horde who were busy with peaceful activities at the moment. Jaina, Thrall, Rexxar, Rokhan and other good people put an end to Admiral, and ever since the relations between the orc capital and the human/dwarf city state were friendly. Jaina and Anduin helped the Bloodhoof tribe to keep Thunder Bluff safe when Grimtotem tribe under guidance of Magatha Grimtotem initiated a treacherous mak’gora death of the previous chief, Cairne Bloodhoof, and then snatched the rule to herself. With Theramre gold, the tauren were able to hire goblin zeppelins and reclaim the Thunder Bluff throne. And Jaina was always friends with Thrall, arranging meetings from time to time.

Things went south under Garrosh rule. First, he saw Theramore as Alliance base – and only the Horde – more importantly, the Orcish Horde – may have ruled Kalimdor. Second, he was a murderous asshole.

A goblin zeppelin under Garrosh orders threw a powerful mana-bomb upon the very Jaina’s mage tower in the center. The city was evaporated.

theramore-after-explosion

Except Jaina, there were no survivors – she managed to magically shield herself in the last second. Vereesa Windrunner, also a citizen of Theramore, was out of town this time – so she survived as well. It’s because of this explosion Jaina’s hair became color white from stress and grief. Jaina, once a ruler of generous and valiant survivors and heroes of the Third War, lost everyone and everything in a second.

During the Pandaria campaign, blood elves used their admittance to Dalaran to sneak a powerful and dangerous artifact. This resulted in slaughter and exile of the Horde from Dalaran.

Do you really wanna call Jaina a bitch and a mad one now?

Jaina

In game, Theramore was my gate to Kalimdor. I remember well boarding my first ship and arriving at the peaceful Theramore harbor. Solving troubles with pirates and kraken, collecting turtle meat for cooking skills, doing first aid quests, my first meeting of Nat Pagle. And – on to exploring the continent!

I was also in awe with Jaina, grew to like her since Warcraft 3 campaigns as a clever, reasonable, kind and competent leader. Micromantica, my first character and my main, is Jaina’s friend and apprentice, skilled in frost magic like her mentor.

theramore-jaina

It’s my favorite Alliance city and my favorite Alliance leader of all. I’m always feeling for Jaina, and can’t wait her arrival on Alliance side in the next expansion – preferably in our brutal clash against the Horde. We would never forget the atrocities of the Horde under Garrosh rule. We would never forget the weapons of mass destruction. We would always remember.

Remember Theramore.

remember-theramore

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The Next Expansion After Legion – Expectations

So, Blizzcon is almost here, and by all means we will get insights about the new World of Warcraft expansion. Let’s discuss our expectations about it :)

Warcraft-ships

Setting

First and foremost, it’s most likely gonna be a sea expansion focused largely on Alliance/Horde clash – and with an ultimate enemy of N’Zoth/Void.

The clues are these:

  1. Jaina holds a super grudge against the Horde – and she was not idle, most probably returning to Kul Tiras kingdom and rallying the forces. Boom – here’s your Alliance faction and base of operations. Jaina’s always there, she’s not idle, she’ll play a significant role.
  2. The Horde has a mad, conquerous warchief now, who’s ready for anything to win herself some space. She’s most likely to make allies with Zandalari – after all, trolls don’t have a leader now, so this thread may be explored. Zandalar islands is the Horde’s base of operations.
  3. Anduin stopped whining, and took his father’s sword. His peaceful times are over, yet Legion was not his fight. What’s he preparing himself for, believing that the Horde abandoned Varian to death?
  4. We also have Genn Greymane who would rip the Horde’s throats as soon as he has a chance, and now he’s a father figure to Anduin.
  5. See the Blizzcon presents for virtual ticket: it’s Alliance/Horde air battleship mounts. Isn’t that a hint for ?
  6. Vindicaar vessel’s travel technology happens in space… but don’t you think it will perfectly fit the isles and traveling between them? Don’t you think we just need a different map – a sea map, and we’re good? So, Vindicaar is a preview of your new garrison – your admiral ship. Which could be leveled and geared I guess.
  7. Blizzard couldn’t help and throw in the Void forces even at Legion’s home planet. If we go to the seas, it’s gonna be N’Zoth in the end – because whenever else?

All in all it looks very much like Pandaria expansion, with brutal clashes between factions and an ultimate common enemy in the end.

Race Focus

Legion in whole was exploring four races in vast scales.

We’ve got overfed with vrykul – more than they actually deserve. We’ve got a look at a rich community of moose Tauren tribes at Highmountain.

Then there were elves, elves and elves of every kind possible: warden elves, demon hunter elves, ghost elves, corrupted ghost elves and corrupted Nightmare elves, druid elves, rebel elves and nazi elves – and there was also elves we brought with us who also got a spot in the highlight. The amount of elves and elf stories was really diverse and would be enough to please even the most demanding elf fan. And in Argus we plunged deep in draenei history.

What I would like of the next expansion is obviously returning back to the roots.

So, for the Alliance, I definitely need human (Anduin and Jaina) centered story. Alliance must also rely heavily on dwarf and gnome technology of ship/submarine building – in fact, all the process of construction, exploration and all should be supervised by Dun Morogh guys. Gnomes and dwarves got their spotlight in… WotLK last time. You know, their titan origins. They deserve much attention – finally.

For the Horde, I could think of Goblins working hard to match the Alliance tinkering. And of course the Undead – as Sylvanas was forgotten for good since the first week in Broken Isles. Now she would return. If Zandalar would become Horde’s allies and base of operations, we must expect heavy troll lore – as far as we know, trolls have not selected their chief after Vol’jin’s demise. It’s Zul-Again, yes, but trolls are always interesting.

Summary

My expectations are:

  • Setting: Azeroth’s unexplored islands in the seas
  • Garrison: Battleship, with Vindicaar’s travel-type between the isles
  • Storyline: Alliance/Horde clash over the seas and islands
  • Ultimate enemy: the Old Gods
  • Climax: N’Zoth raid
  • New factions: Kul Tiras (Alliance) / Zandalari (Horde)
  • Major lore characters: Anduin Wrynn, Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner, Genn Greymane, Gallywix, Gelbin Mekkatorque – for the clash. Alleria Windrunner, Magni Bronzebeard – for the Old Gods climax.

For me it would be the best expansion ever. Gnome/Dwarf/Goblin tinkering, discovering and exploring the new lands – beautiful lands and seashores, back to Azeroth from some other planets, and focus on Jaina – my favorite character.

What are your thoughts? :)

Jaina

Argus: Week 3

So… supposedly you’ve already played the campaign to the end and finished the dungeon :) If not yet, spoiler alert!

Alleria-Windrunner-Void-Cinematic

As with previous parts of the campaign, week 3 consists of 2 equal parts, almost unrelated to each other.

Part I: The Whining of a Geezer

The first part is the end of our trip to the past of draenei civilization and Velen’s issues. Although flashbacks were interesting enough – to see the events with our own eyes, I’ve got a bit tired of Velen’s whining throughout Argus campaign. Hopefully it’s gonna be the last we see of him for a long time.

The quests were boring: kill 12-15, visit three spots, and the worst thing is that it is repeated twice in a row. Then there is a satisfying encounter with Talgath, but it could touch the nerve more if we felt for Velen. By the time of encounter, I was so tired of the geezer’s whining that I was like: let’s get over with.

Strange thing: it seemed to me that they didn’t put an audio file in the scene of Talgath’s death. Velen makes a big silent pause before killing him – as if waiting for Talgath to speak, then after execution he tells us that Talgath unwillingly revealed the whereabouts of the Crest before death. But he didn’t! He was silent! Even stranger, Velen actually learned where the Crest is from flashback with Talgath and Kil’Jaeden a minute ago… That’s something really wrong happening. Grandpa needs a rest )

Thank gods, we go with Alleria further on.

Part II: The Void Adventures

Part 2 introduces us the threat of the Void. It’s definitely a preview of the new foe, as only lazy players don’t know yet that we’re done with the Legion once and for all next year.

Let’s say I liked the animation of the portals and corrupted Broken Draenei – it’s really awesome. All the pitch dark and stars, and tentacles. What is not awesome is the ethereals, wearing the same color palette as Suramar elves. Too bleak to my liking. If they’re gonna be soldiers of the Void, I’d prefer the Burning Crusade’s version of ethereals.

The story felt so out of place to me. Yes, the naaru in her dark period lures the void emissaries, it’s understandable. But surely not to Argus, the Legion’s homeworld! Let me remind you that Legion is still full in power, it still has endless armies of demons… and the Void are their ultimate enemies. Not Azeroth. The Void. In fact, they should have raided and burnt this area to the ground at the first hint of void emissaries. It’s Legion who should have been fighting them – not us. But no traces of the Legion.

Then there’s this blah-blah of duality of Light and Dark, Alleria finishes her learning with her mentor’s guidance, and becomes the Void Windrunner. Little is known of why she went to study void powers in the first place… Oh well.

Alleria-Windrunner-Void-Cinematic2

Anyways, we got the Crest, and Velen turns our vessel in a beautiful… well, it’s definitely worth more now in goblin black market. Still, it didn’t make its move after upgrade – it didn’t breach the Antorus gate! Velen just left it as that and went to sleep. For two weeks – suck it.

The dungeon was moderately nice and surprisingly easy. I pioneered with Baisa the Hunter – wiped once at the third boss, because we didn’t kill all the trash before pull. Well, in fact, we assumed the boss was also the trash! See? They need to do something with ethereals and their colors. And I tanked it today with Anibell the Paladin. No worries at all. Bosses just popped, we downed each of them in less than minute. Trash is annoying – but only by quantity, not trouble. Of course it’s gonna be a quest run for every toon, and I’m done with it.

So, Argus campaign is complete now. I moderately liked the plot, the best parts being all of the Quoram quest chain, and also a living colossus cannon in the beginning. Everything could be worse considering it’s damn Argus :)

This week I will finish it on the rest of my toons, and routines begin again :) Dailies, dailies, dailies…

 

Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge: Who do you cheat on WoW with?

Topic 25 for Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge is: Who do you cheat on WoW with?

Obviously we all love WoW or we wouldn’t be playing and writing about it, but do you spend all your time in Azeroth or do you occasionally (or more often) sneak away to play another game on the side.  Do you find there’s a specific point in each expansion that the urge to play another something else hits?  We’d love to know what other games you play and why?

Let’s say my favorite genres have always been:

  • TBS, or turn-based strategy (most notably Heroes of Might and Magic series) – to play with friends
  • RTS, or real time strategy – campaigns only, I cared about the plot
  • Finally, RPG and MMORPG – where I’ve always valued a cool story in a cool setting paired up with the development of my character.

For TBS, I would name Heroes III (always the best, never outdated!) and Heroes V (very cool campaign story), and Disciples for unique system of resources and combat. Very rarely, but I may have a desire to replay them.

For RTS, I liked the Warcraft series 2 and 3, Starcraft I and II, Age of Mythologies and Warhammer 40k Dark Crusade. Now it’s unlikely that I launch these games, because I don’t have time for them, and campaigns are learnt by heart :) Still, they are waiting for their hour – the same attitude as with re-watching the old favorite movies.

RPG – I’d name the post-apocalyptic Fallout 2 that brought me lots of exciting time spent… and very old games of Allods 1 and 2. Allods were stunningly awesome. You need an extreme tactic thinking to cope with it. It’s so exciting that it will make you forget about its graphics even now. You can’t rush forward killing things, because you’ll be buried too soon. It’s a mere pleasure to combine your quick thinking and reflexes with strategic scheming – and you feel your victories well earned. I can’t praise these 2 games hard enough, and strongly recommend playing them no matter how much time passed. And the gear system? The best I’ve ever seen!

A perfect single-target situation: your tanking warrior fights, four casters heal him. And yet it may not work without tactics! And yeah, this is loot – wanna grab them all, don’t you?

allods_2_1

You quickly learn that squirrels and turtles are effing dangerous, and dragons can cast spells:

allods_2_2

MMORPG – for now it’s WoW, and WoW only. But I’ve tried most of the games in MMORPG genre, and few may have been an option if WoW suddenly vanished.

Blade and Soul – is a Korean game with martial arts, blades and casting. Stunningly beautiful scenery, very fast combat, gear is… just upgrading you blade, because your garments are purely cosmetic (very sensible). The story’s epic, I didn’t move too far though. I’m not sure how grindy it will become later, but for beginners it’s quite fun.

Blade-and-Soul

Allods Online – well, there’s nothing left from original Allods games. Allods were a classic medieval fantasy setting (which I liked too much), now it’s something much more… it’s not bad, it’s just quite another thing which shares only name.

Allods is about shards of the worlds floating in nether. You could move only by portals or by astral ships between them. While obviously having much resemblance to WoW, it’s not a copy at all. Two factions are total puns on either Old Russia legends or Soviet Russia-type of totalitarian state. Humans, orcs, metallic undead, elves and these little rascals – gibberlings. Yes, when you play a gibberling, your character is three guys ) How cool is that? For example, if you play a warrior gibberling, one would hold a shield to protect his brothers/sisters, and the other would swing a sword :) And elves here have wings – finally, thank you. The style is rich, cartoonish – that’s what I like in my games.

gibberlings

Allods-Online-bars

SW:TOR – I tried it, and I didn’t like that you have to pay real money for transmog to hide helmet. I love the Star Wars setting, the story and scenery were amazing, so I’d likely may come back there.

swtor

Finally, Wildstar. In my WoW blog I’ve already had a pair of posts about the game. It’s super fun, only it’s a bit too much to digest, it’s a bit overwhelming for a random casual session, and now I’m not ready to devote myself in full to the game.

The coolest thing about Wildstar are its humor, extreme fantasy in inventing creatures and different things, outlandish, adventurous fun.

wildstar races

Now, I’ve got WoW to play :)

Fiery Screenshots

Yet again I don’t have any time now for anything else but leading my toons through Argus’ new storylines :)

During this week my goal for all toons is completing the talbuk forest part which opens WQ for Argussian Reach, and obviously completing the second chapter along with completing one of the invasions.

1

I’m having lots of fun observing the cinematic with different alts, making screenshots. Sad enough, Anibell as a human has the most convincing look yet, but not so cool for my Gnomes, although I like few of their shots:

2

I wanted to take a cool goblin pic of Schlitzchen, but she entered the area in shaman form, so… cinematic for her was ghost wolf, which is basically a mist at this angle. I still have Faerella for backup – I would take care to dismiss my demon just in case :) And now that I’m warned, my only chance to see Tauren is Helu the Druid, who would also drop her travel/feline form before cinematic.

I did invasions on several toons, and it’s not very cool. My mage kept dying whatever she does – she suffers lots of unavoidable damage. On the other hand, when I went with Paitsu as a Brewmaster – I had so much FUN there! I put an ox statue which aggroes everything from a large distance, and toss kegs into the fray, redirecting them to myself. Absolutely no worries! Even if no one healed me, I were indestructible. So, depending on your class, it either is major pain and cemetery runs or fun.

I’m not sure I will be able to get all my toons ready for Chapter 3 by Wednesday, but I’m feeling that I’m not in a hurry now. I just take my time – I’ll be there, so I’m totally relaxed. I quit working on paragon mounts for now – I’ll resume this in a while. Frankly I need a break from it – Argus feels like more fun to do now.

I got profession quests for most of my toons. It’s strange that Tailors gave me a recipe for some old pants, ilvl 359 or something. Way outdated, so I was like: whaaa? :) Again, I’m not in a hurry – my leatherworkers need this new cloth for their quest, and I don’t even bother to send it from my other toons which don’t need it themselves :)

A total relax, just digesting the new content, savoring, enjoying it in small portions.

Argus: Week 2

Anibell-Paladin-Aggramar

*Spoiler alert: the post is mostly dedicated to the second part of storyline. 

The second part is available now, and is roughly divided in two parts.

First, we storm the Legion’s fortress. We assemble an ultimate doom weapon during our first part, actually a tank, and then grind the Legion’s defenders to dust along with their commander.

The epic thing was Legion’s marine – a fallen titan Aggramar – who chased us away. There’s some stunning moment of glory during a small cinematic, and all Twitter is full of shots, because this angle fits for character portraits like nothing else. I’m glad I’m gonna see the event with 11 more classes :)

Speaking about classes, I went with my rogue as a storyline pioneer, and it appeared to be the best strategy if you’re leading multiple alts. Rogue is capable of exploring the unknown terrain and paths without attracting extra attention, so when other alts would follow its path it’s gonna be way easier. Works for druids in feline form too I guess :)

The most interesting moment in the first part was when we were sent to slay a couple of shivarras. One of them says a perfect phrase, like “Dudes, you don’t understand! We must fight the void, or it devours us all, it’s the only way”. It was like: wow. It sounded perfectly normal and sensible! Not your normal Legion talk like “You will all burn”. Could they just start with talking to us about their purpose rather than trying to scorch us like maniacs? :)

The second part is about collecting a crown of the three dudes: Archie, KJ and Velen. I just like the plots when something whole is assembled out of several parts, it’s my favorite thing in any game, movie, or anything else, so I enjoyed it very much. The introduction to Mac’Aree was pretty boring, as I know the draenei history and this is how I imagined it all to happen, so no revelations here. The next thing where we obtained a piece from Archimonde was awesome! I particularly enjoyed the riddles, fighting with eredar version of Archimonde, and the voice of the sentinel robot… sounded very-very familiar, who’s the voice actor? It couldn’t be Cumberbatch, but it was very alike him or Alan Rickman…

Then they sent me to Legion “invasions”. I landed at some elvish platforms, lit by moonlight. It appeared to be easy enough, in fact, it seems you may not even participate and just stand in the corner after entering the portal – but it’s boring. It’s a fun thing to do, I’m gonna run them when I have a chance. The only thing is: could they make invasion portals somewhere closer to the main roads?

And I finished the first part of Argus questline (of the last week) for all alts. As expected, for shaman it was pain incarnate. I don’t care about PvP balance, it should be NOT that squishy. Running with 10% health and eating after every fight is not fun at all. I died and died in Elemental, then I switched to Enhancement which fixed things a little, but not much.

Trivia: Argus, Gear and Stuff

Faerella-Argus

The weekend was quite productive.

IRL trivia: my apartment loan in August was affirmed, and we’ve made a deal and finally acquired our own place to live! Well, even if I got the keys and technically own our new place, I’m not moving there for at least a month – because, duh, it needs complete repairs, including changing floors and stuff. I’m telling all this here because all the repair business is quite new to me, and it appeared to be very interesting and consuming lots of my time and attention – taking it from the game of course.

Nevertheless, I’m all in Argus now in my gaming hours. I’ve led almost all my toons up to opening of Argus world quests, except shaman and rogue. They will catch up in a couple of days – they’re technically on Argus already, but didn’t do any quests yet.

I’ve added new reputation columns to my chart – it’s funny to see most of my toons being at 2850 Friendly with Army of Light and at 875 Neutral with Krokul – that’s what you get upon completing the first chapter. I’m probably heading to Exalted with them – depends on what rewards do they need from vendors, professions and all. By all means at least Micromantica needs Exalted, because mounts, tabards and other pleasant things.

I’ve managed to run few LFRs in the Tomb on weekend. This week Faerella the Warlock and Helu the Druid completed their gear collections, yay! A piece of luck for Micromantica – she got the last boss piece, but she still needs boots from trash. Anibell the Paladin and Melaris the Demon Hunter got no luck this time – they need three boss pieces together.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do with things that come from trash only. Technically they drop for every class of correspondent armor type. I need 1 cloth piece, 2 leather pieces and 2 plate pieces which come from trash only – but surely I’m not gonna run the raid with every toon to maximize my chances? I don’t want to burn out, so it’s gonna be occasional runs with a hope for luck – maybe 1 armor type toon in a week. Anyways, it’s a relaxing thing for spare time, not the obligatory runs now. Even if they don’t drop by the end of expansion, I’m ok with that.

Did Darkmoon Faire runs – it’s mostly Cooking and First Aid that I need to level there. I want this Blight Boar guitar mace from the metal gig, but it’s not that urgent, so I may skip it this month.

Didn’t try to get the new riddle horse yet :) Have you?

Acting cool.