Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vis'kag the Bloodletter

Oh so long the Dark ages of Vanilla Wow there was a Raid called Onynia's Lair. To enter this hallowed hall took a LONG and laborious quest chain (the quickest I was EVER able to complete it took 3 1/2 hours) which required journeying all OVER Azeroth.  In those days it SUPPOSEDLY took 40 people working together to bring the brood mother down. (Personally I don't think I ever participated in a raid of more than 25).

Now Ony was the FIRST raid I ever did in WoW so she has ALWAYS held a special place in my heart. Not only that she always seemed to like me because EVERY time I fought her she would drop something I could use and usually I would walk out with it. But the FIRST time I EVER fought Ony she dropped and I won Vis'kag the Bloodletter. At the time I was Subtlety speced and did A LOT of PvP so the proc on that baby with Hemorrhage was TASTY. In addition to that I invested in the then top of the line Crusader enchant for it. I had that sword well into the Burning Crusade.

When I heard they were bringing back Ony AND the gear, one of the first things I asked was "Would Vis'kag return too with an upgrade?" Low and behold it did, in TWO versions, ten mans Singed and twenty-fives Tempered. Now compared to many of the weapons we see out of Ulduar or ToC 25 it really is not THAT wonderful in that it lacks stats, just a nice proc. But for someone who is still gearing up it is STILL a nice weapon in that it does a NICE amount of damage. If you don't have any of those others in your possession already it is a much more reasonable alternative to shoot for.

Last week the guild tackled Ony for the first time and downed her. I however was out of town so I missed it. So last night was my first chance to see her for myself. Really other than the addition of the guards in phase two the fight it self hasn't changed much. One review I read commented on her having a smaller hit box but I didn't notice that at all. In fact we actually were testing the range of her hit box and found we had more than enough room to get into trouble. We did both the 25 and the 10 man versions allowing me to walk out with three nice achievements. Two for downing her and She Deep Breaths More. (Surprise achievements are always the best in my opinion.)

Sure enough, Vis'kag dropped. Now  many of the guildies on the run have been together a LONG time so they all remember me with this weapon. So they were SURE I would want it. But (as happens a lot with me) there was one other rogue on that run who REALLY could use it. It made me SO happy to see my old friend go to a rogue who experienced that SAME feeling I did when I got that sword myself so long ago. The disbelief that it was MINE, the joy, the excitement. While I am sure you will not be using it NEARLY as long as I did, enjoy your new toy Cothan.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rep: Sha'tari Skyguard

Finishing up the Last of the Shattrah City Reputations this week we look at the Sha'tari Skyguard. Again like the Shattered Sun Offensive while the Skyguard is CONNECTED to Shattrah City their major base of operations is not located WITHIN the city. Some consider the Sha'tari Skyguard as the "Air Defense" of Shattrah City as they are really just the winged portion of the Sha'tar. However that is not entirely accurate in that the Skyguard really focuses on totally different threats to the city.

Their main base of operations is located in Blackwind Landing just north of Skettis, a mountain valley located in the south east of Terokkar Forrest just above the Alliance outpost of Allerian Stronghold. You will first be sent here via a quest located near the flight path in Shattrah City. One of the major requirements for this reputation is that your character MUST have both the 225 flying skill AND a mount, there is no other access to the quests otherwise.

Once you have completed the introduction quest and are sent to Blackwing landing a few repeatable daily quests will open up to you as well as some grinding repeatable quests and a limited number of lore based quests that will explain a little more of what is going on with the Arakkoa. In addition to this if you happen to have completed certain quests in Ogri'la (The Crystals and Our Boy Wants To Be A Skyguard Ranger) then you will also have access to additional daily quests in the Blade's Edge Mountains area.

This is what makes how quickly you can gain Skyguard reputation so tricky. What daily quests will be available to you will depend on what other reputations and quests you have also completed. So it will take a little research to get things done.

So why go to all this bother with these guys ANYWAY? Pet collectors are after the pet. Mount collectors are after the FIVE epic level flying mounts. And of course those who like reputations enjoy the fact that this is one that can be gained without having to enter a raid or dungeon. While it may take a little more time the cash pay outs over all are not bad.

In the end there are 4 daily quests, 2 that you can pick up at in Terokkar  Escape from Skettis and Fires over Skettis with the other 2 in Blades Edge Bomb them again and Wrangle More Aether Rays. If doing Daily quests just takes to long for you there is also the option of the repeatable More Shadow Dust and if you can get some friends to help you do some of the group quests. As a level 80 you may be able to solo many of them.

Happy Grinding!

Know Your Rogue Lore: Timothy Daniels

Today I am going to be doing something a little different. Rather than look at one of the "Major" lore figures for Rogues I want to focus on a "Minor" one. SO minor in fact he is not really a lore figure at all. Rather he is just one of those interesting little characters you stumble across from time to time that can just make you laugh.

His name is Timothy Daniels and he is located in Zangermarsh in the Outlands. More specifically near the flight path at the Orebor Harborage. No one knows exactly what he looks like because one of the most striking things about Tim when you meet him is his fashion sense...The fact that he is wearing a Dive helmet and his gear is the Madcap's set. Tim is a quest giver as well as regent and poison vendor for Alliance players and when many of us rogues first hit Outland there was much excitement over one of his quest rewards.

Crimson Steer Energy Drink. Like Thistle Tea before it is the ONLY way for rogues to INSTANTLY restore energy to themselves in one shot. (If you didn't catch the joke Crimson Steer = Red Bull.) Rogues were OH so hopeful that FINALLY we were going to have a way to PURCHASE an energy restorative rather than having to brew our own but it was not to be. Now of course with the changes to energy regeneration the stacks of  Thistle Tea that many of us use to carry with us for raids are but a memory.

So what all do we know about Tim? He actually tells us quite a bit about him self and we can defer even more. He tells us that he was trained by Master Rogue Lee Sparks (and Lee does indeed claim him as a student.) There is also speculation that he may be related to Barkeep Daniels from Redridge Mountains but since we really can't see him it is hard to say. (Though Daniels IS human.) We can also defer that Tim is extremely self confident, perhaps a tad lazy and also rather self involved, (not that this is TO surprising of a quest giver) if he can get someone else to do his work for him and take the credit, he has no problem with that at all.

Tim calls himself "The Specialist". There is speculation that this could be in reference to two things. A movie  about an Assassin called "The Specialist" or a Blizzard Employee by the name of Timothy Daniels who handled Burning Crusade QA in regard to Content. Most likely BOTH are correct.  In addition to this Timothy also makes the comment "There are some who call me Tim..." Which is a quote from the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie from Tim the Enchanter.

The Specialist was just one of those NPC quest givers that sparked my imagination as leveled through Outland and I never forgot him. One of the reasons for this part of his response at the completion of the quest he gives you. "Including ragveil in a poison is like a rogue wielding two maces. Sure, you can do it, but it isn't true to the essence of your calling!" That is EXACTLY how I feel about mace wielding rogues.

I hope you enjoyed hearing more about him.

Edit: Sorry guys, when I returned this morning after being away this past weekend it was to discover that for some reason this post didn't post last Thursday. So if you are wondering why you may have missed it that is it. Huge apologies for the delay.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rep: Shattered Sun Offensive

The Shattered Sun Offensive (or SSO) is a group that was added later in the Burning Crusade (patch 2.4.0) as the result of Prince Kael'thas resurrection after his defeat in The Eye. Specifically its is the combined forces of both the Scryers and the Aldor under the direction of the Naaru to deal with Kael's ministrations at the Sunwell Plateau. While this is considered a Shattrah City Reputation due to its forces make up the Offensive's Main base is not located in the city at all.

Instead, the SSO makes its home on the Isle of Quel'Danas, ground zero for its main objective, countering Prince Kael'thas. Getting to the Isle is easy, just take the one way portal from Shattrah located near all the other faction portals. When it was first introduced players had to assist in capturing the various sections of the Island, it is only by gaining complete control by a server that players will gain access to every reputation granting daily.

There are a total of 41 rep giving quests but you will want to concentrate on the 19 different daily ones. Reputation can also be gained by doing dungeon runs in Magisters Terrace, even now it is not difficult to find individuals willing to run the instance on both normal AND heroic modes because of the pet and mount drops. Unlike other factions which require you to reach honored in order to be able to do Heroic mode, Magister's Terrace is unique in that you only need to complete a QUEST chain first. Once that is done you are ATTUNED. No key or reputation level required.

Of all of the Outland reputations this is by far one of the easiest ones to gain quickly. There is even a title you can purchase once you reach exalted if you are truly so inclined. For someone who is leveling a Death Knight and wishing to make cash quickly before heading to Northrend, I would not pass this faction up. One of the nice things about them was they were the introduction of a new method of daily quest concept for Blizzard, the idea of a LARGE HUB of daily quests with a fairly good cash pay out. Not only that, their Tabard was one of the more attractive ones in the game.

Happy Grinding!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Know Your Rogue Lore: Ravenholdt

You can not call a Blog "Daughter of Ravenholdt Manor" and then do a series on Rogue Lore with out covering one of the most unique rogue organizations within the World of Warcraft universe Ravenholdt  also known as  The Assassin's League. What makes them so unique? They are TOTALLY faction neutral and class specific. Despite that, due to a seasonal quest just about everyone in the game has the opportunity to stumble across them at some point.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rep: The Sha'tar

One of the most IMPORTANT factions lore wise in Shattrah City is The Sha'tar which means "Born of Light". The Sha'tar are none other than the Naaru who assisted the Draenai from escaping the Burning legion and later the Orcs, now they have helped to rebuild the city and turn it into a place of refuge for many displaced peoples, most notably the Bloodelves who arrived with Voren'thal.

However building reputation with them is no easy feat, even now, both Alliance and Horde players will start out as Neutral with the Sha'tar and can easily get themselves to honored by doing nothing more than gaining reputation with either The Aldor or The Scryer factions via their repeatable signet and mark turn ins. Once you reach this point however your options become much more limited so be sure to pick up your heroic key.

There are only 41 quests total that will give you Sha'tar rep and of those 41, 4 are Horde only and 6 are daily dungeon/heroics. This means that the MAJORITY of your rep can only be gained within the dungeons of  Tempest Keep and Tempest Keep can only be reached via a flying mount. The nice thing is that you can gain reputation in both normal AND heroic modes so a well geared level 80 could conceivably solo an instance like Botanica or Mechanar with little difficulty. Arcatraz on the other hand DOES require a key to enter (or it can be lock picked) which comes at the end of a rather long and involved quest chain. The chain begins with the quest Consortium Crystal Collection and will require completing both Bot and Mec as part of the process.

Happy Grinding!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What I look for in a Tank

Last night rather unexpectedly I ended up leading our Ulduar 25 Man because the plate wearer in the family had to work late. Feeling rather out of my league since the majority of my research on Ulduar has been focused on the Dps aspects NOT the tanking or healing, we headed in with a good number of the group this being their first time setting foot into Ulduar 25. To make matters more complicated many of the individuals were performing roles they themselves were not use to. Main tanking rather than Co-tanking, Co-tanking rather than dpsing or Healing, Healing rather than dpsing. It was definitely a night for mixing it up.

As the night progressed several conversations started to creep up via whispers....(and I will just summarize the gist of all of them for you.)

"Why can't such and such tank do the job they always do? I know them, I like the work they do and it is difficult to adjust to a new tank doing this who is having to learn it as they go."

It got me to thinking...what is it that we LIKE in certain tanks? What makes us add them to our "friends list" or even in guild ask one particular tank over another to do runs with or preform certain roles? For myself it came down to three key things, Availability, Consistency, and Attitude.

Availability is pretty self explanatory. As much as I may enjoy running with a particular tank, if they are not on line or able to do things when I am it makes it difficult to do anything with them on a regular basis.

Consistency on the other hand encumbrances a much wider variety of variables.

1. Do they mark when appropriate and then FOLLOW their marks? In the WotLK world of AoE EVERYTHING there are times when focus fire and CC is still called for, knowing when to use it and HOW to use it is key.

2. Do they have a predictable movement pattern? Nothing is more frustrating than chasing a tank as they zigzag around a room while trying to remain behind a mob and dps as a melee.

3. Do they build aggro quickly? I know this is why some individuals prefer certain classes of tanks over others but don't let that deter you. While it may take a warrior or a Bear a little bit longer (say 3-5 seconds MAX) to build aggro than a Pally or DK there are other advantages to them so don't rule them out.

4. Do they have good pacing? For a well geared Pally on a heroic run, they may have to keep stopping because they are mana starved (or even start shedding gear) where a Warrior, Bear or Dk can keep it moving. On the other hand some tanks like to take breaks A LOT. A steady speed that allows Mana users to keep their blue bars at reasonable levels through out is a wonderful thing.

5. Are they aware of the other party members? We have all encountered the Tank with Tunnel vision. Having one that knows that healers and mana users are low BEFORE they scream "OOM!!!" That has their eye on the Rogue that is picking up adds with killing spree and taunting them off before they go splat, these are the friends you want to have.

Attitude covers several things in my mind as well.

1. Do they ENJOY being a meat shield? You can quickly distinguish those who ENJOY tanking from those who do it only because:
a. People always need a tank so it is easy to get groups.
b. They want the prestige of being a leader and tanks are often viewed as such.
c. They were forced to pick up the spec and gear by outside forces and have little to no internal motivation.

2. They know the needs and demands of their class (sometimes even other classes that tank) because they have PRIDE in what they and other tanks do. Watch out, if given a chance they will talk "tank shop" for HOURS.

3. They take responsibility for their mistakes and share the glory for their achievements. This includes being prepared with the basics like repairs and consumables rather than just expecting others to provide for them.

The thing you have to be careful of is NOT to take advantage of these individuals. Once you FIND a good tank it is easy to overwhelm them with invites and requests. SURE they may enjoy tanking but they have stuff they have to do as well (those dailies all the REST of us are doing?) In addition to that just because you had a BAD experience with a tank 3 months ago doesn't mean that they haven't managed to improve in that time. Try to build a wider list of "tank" friends, you may still have your "favorites" (hey I can't help it I'm married to him). But it is also good for YOUR OWN skills to work with a variety of players and tank types.

Personally I have several DK tanks, Warrior tanks, and Pally tanks on my "Friends" list. Bear tanks have been more difficult for me to locate, I only have one at the moment, wish I had more as I miss running with them. The challenge of working my play style to the style of the tank helps keep things fresh for me and points out things I need to work on. This is a good time to build those relationships as schedules are reworked with school starting. Many tanks will now find themselves constructing new networks. You want to do what you can to get plugged into those networks that will give YOU the successful runs you crave, even better if you can develop friendships out of the deal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Know Your Rogue Lore: Edwin VanCleef

The average player will first encounter Edwin VanCleef in Deadmines (at least if they are Alliance, Horde players may miss him all together.) His significance is easily lost as much of the detail of his lore is only touched on with in the game. What WOULD be known is that he is the leader of the Defias Brotherhood , a rag tag band of cut throats who are out to over throw Stromwind. It is his MOTIVATION for this that is frequently lost to players and it why VanCleef feels his cause is just that makes him SUCH an interesting figure.

Sources outside World of Warcraft the Video game will tell you that Edwin VanCleef started out his life the son of a Stonemason who learned every trick of the trade at this father's knee, but in addition to that Edwin had a gift with creating hidden rooms and mechanical devices as well as a childhood friendship with one Mathias Shaw. It was from Shaw that Edwin learned all there was to know about the rogue craft showing a natural aptitude for it. Deciding that a life of crime was more lucrative than a life of hard labor working for his father he used these gifts to become one of the most wanted Criminals in Stromwind. But then came the invasion of the Horde and the destruction of Stormwind.

When the call went out for Stonemasons and artisans after the Second War to help rebuild VanCleef was one of the FIRST to volunteer. He is credited with being the major architect behind the majority of the grander buildings in Stormwind, most notably Stormwind Cathedral.

Now while the rebuilding was taking place King Varian was away helping to round up the last of the Orcs from the Second War and place them in Interment camps. King Llane had been murdered during the war so Varian needed to meet with the other monarchs and strengthen ties, in addition to this he and his young wife had just had their first child, Anduin, named after the recently killed Sir Anduin Lothar another Father figure in Varian's life. (Now I know you are asking, what does Varian lore have to do with VanCleef? Bare with me, it had a BIG impact.)

With Varian off overseeing clean up efforts he left the rebuilding project in the hands of the Nobles of Stormwind. They were to make sure the project was handled in a speedy fashion but most importantly they were to see that the workers got PAID. Unfortunately through means both of the usual greedy kind as well as the more sinister work of a Lady Katrana Prestor while the work DID get done the PAYMENTS never materialized. Apparently while the King was away the Nobles decided to raise the taxes to "pay for the repairs" but then never bothered to pass the money along.

The King and his young family return to find Stormwind on the verge of a Riot. When he attempts to discover WHY the payments never took place and make things right, pandemonium breaks loose and in the confusion his young queen Tiffin is killed. Devastated at this final loss after so many Varian falls into a depression (fed by Lady Prestor) and basically is nothing more than a figure head for the next 10 years.

VanCleef and the REST of the Stonemasons, artisans and workers who the Nobles have cheated are tossed out, accused of killing the queen and disrupting the stability of the nation. With his means of making a legitimate living now removed, as well as being cheated out of what is rightfully his VanCleef swears revenge. Gathering up those others who will follow him he begins to lay a foundation of a completely different kind. The Defias Brotherhood is born.

VanCleef is an interesting character because he gets back to that idea of the "noble thief". He really feels he is "righting a wrong" a "Robin Hood" if you will. And it is really for this reason that I think he was chosen as the Alliance Rogue Armor set. The fact that his organization is all about "Over throwing the government" has lead a lot of people to really question this choice. But really he is all about "vengeance to settle the score" at least in his mind and in Lore. Even the quest givers who ultimately ask for his death are saddened that it has come to that point.

Couple of other interesting things of note with VanCleef. His Armor that he is wearing in Deadmines is the Madcap's set along with his classic Red Defias mask.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting Personal

I am going to do something COMPLETELY out of character for me but it is just such a neat thing I have to share.

Today is the Ninth day of the Ninth month of Two-Thousand Nine and my second born son is turning 9 years old. Now our family is not a huge "Birthday Party" kind of family. Particularly because we have so MANY birthdays in September it would just get to overwhelming. But something like this just calls for something special. So tonight we are having a party with all the grandparents. (When you already have a family of six adding four more makes for a good size get together.) It is a school night so we can't go TO late.There will be cake (cup cakes really since all my son really cares about is the frosting) and Pizza, which is one of his favorite meals.

Just a few years ago the very idea of doing something like this would have never accrued to me because my son has Moderate/Sever Autism and could not stand to be in the same room with anyone else while they ate. Ten people? Are you Crazy? He has worked SO hard and accomplished SO much these past years and I am SO proud of my bright boy. Now he sits at the table with us at meal times, trades plates with his brother's like you would expect from ANY boy. Sure he still has his particularities and routines which CAN NOT be changed, but over all I could not be more pleased to be facing this day. Even if it DOES mean that on only the second day of school I am deep cleaning the house in order to have company rather than sticking my feet up and playing WoW.

So Happy Birthday My Little Man! And for all of you wondering...yeah, don't expect to see me much today if at all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rep: Lower City

Last week I mentioned how Shattrah City is the home of the Refugees of Outlands...well Lower City is the REPUTATION of those refugees. Located in the lower most portion of Shattrah , Lower City is actually the outer band and it is here where players will locate the majority of the trainers, vendors, battlemasters, etc.

The largest population of these refugees visually in this area is made up by the Arakkoa or "Bird People". If you are serious about getting this reputation to exalted the best thing you can do before doing ANY other quests that give Lower City Rep is pick up The Outcast's Plight from Vekax. (He is one of the Bird men who that pats up and down the ramps in the Tree house located at the North End of Shattrah.) This will open up a repeatable quest for 30 Arakkoa Feathers which can be done until you reach Honored. These feathers are NOT soul bound so they CAN be purchased off the Auction house or easily farmed.

Once you have reached Honored pick up your heroic key from Nakodu because there are only two options available to you. Quests and Dungeons. While you will find quests for Lower City, there are not many (only 59) and some are seasonal. Others are only occasionally available, and some are faction specific. This means that the MAJORITY of your reputation will have to be obtained in dungeons. Specifically within the Auchenai Crypts, Sethekk Halls and Shadow Labyrinth. Crypts will only give you rep while on Heroic mode after you are honored but Sethekk and Shadow Lab will give rep on both normal AND heroic. Your BEST bet will actually be finding runs for Heroic Sethekk Halls with individuals who are farming Anzu for the mount if you are not level 80 yet.

For those who ARE level 80 and reasonably geared out (with the new system something that is VERY easy to do.) I doubt you would find it difficult to solo Sethekk Halls, even Shadow Labyrinth should be doable if for nothing more than all the trash mobs.

Happy Grinding~

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Winner's guilt

For the first time in a long while Daraia got two upgrades last night.

One was the cloak Drape of the Deadly Foe which I had given up all hope of EVER getting my hands on from Nax 25 off Kel'Thuzad. The other was Golem-Shard Sticker from Deconstructor out of Ulduar 25.

My problem was I felt guilty (still do) due to our other guild rogue being there for the run. When the dagger dropped I put in need and won...but then thought, "hey, I already GOT the cloak from KT earlier."
At that point I was informed I was under NO circumstances to give it up, I had earned it and just deal with it. Am I the ONLY person who deals with Winners guilt? Even the other rogue was laughing at me...As much as I enjoy any new toys I get my thoughts are constantly "who could use this item MORE?"

Lets be honest though, there ARE exceptions. Tier pieces....then it seems the ugly green eyed monster comes out....THOSE I want with a passion. Go figure. Still no T-8 pants, so I am running around with a mix of Tier 7.5 and 8.5 because I lose to much dps if I switch out my 7.5 shoulders for Tier 9 ones. But at the rate I am going I will have the Tier 9 Pants before I EVER get the Tier 8.5. That is what ended up happening with my Tier 7.5 Helm...Never DID get that. Ended up with the Pickled baby Helm do I hate that thing. I will be VERY happy to replace it with the Bird Helm.

But yes, it was nice to finally use some of my points last night towards gear for Daraia's Main spec rather than for off spec gear or as the majority of my points have been spent....on my alt Merla.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Know Your Rogue Lore: Garona Halforcen

Since I spoke about her in the introduction to this series I decided it would be best to start with Garona Halforcen. The average "World of Warcraft" player will have absolutely NO idea who this individual is though her actions have GREATLY effected the entire environment we play in.

For most players whose experience is only "in game" the first time they may see this name would be on a book from Dire Maul called "Garona: A study in Stealth and Treachery". This "Rogue only quest" resulted in a trinket which pre-BC was considered one of the best outside of raiding. Players may also have seen the name from Malyfous Darkhammer, a Dark Iron Dwarf craftsman located in Everlook in Winterspring. In his catalog of gear quests is one Breastplate of Bloodthirst which he claims was originally crafted for "legendary Assassin Garona Halforcen" interestingly enough the stats on the chest piece are more druid focused than Rogue.

In Karazhan, The Curator drops her Signet Ring. For those who have read the book "The Last Guardian" by Jeff Grubb this will make sense as Garona spent much of that book in Karazhan as a guest of Medivh.

Most recently in game Garona has been seen again by those players who have participated in the Yogg-Saron fight in Ulduar. Here players witness the assassination of King Lane by her in a "memory". As a result Yogg drops Kingsbane (the dagger supposedly used to kill Lane) and Garona's Guise, Garona's helmet. In addition to this the Horde armor set for Tier 9 is called Garona's Battlegear.

So who IS this woman that she should be SO influential that an armor set is named after her? That information is contained almost exclusively in the written literature provided by Blizzard. In the Last Guardian Garona is introduced as a half orc/half human who was "bred" at the orders of Gul'dan. She was raised amongst her father's people and had no contact with her mother who we are left to believe died soon after her birth. Reviled for being "ugly and deformed", smaller than the other orc children, Gul'dan also placed many subversive spells on her making her especially vulnerable to mind control.

Garona was smart, she was agile and she used these to survive and eventually become an asset to the Shadow Council. Due to her mixed blood she was accepted by no clan and held no loyalty to one which allowed her to work as an ambassador, spy and messenger with more ease. As a young woman she was forced through the Dark Portal from the broken Draenor, the only world she had ever known on to Azeroth.

Soon after her arrival she encountered Medivh who allowed her to return to Gul'dan with a message. Eventually she became a Emissary between the Orcs and humans staying at Karazhan where she and Medivh's Apprentice Khadgar would spend hours arguing about the merits of both races. Medivh helped Garona to feel "more human" and allowed her to think for her self for the first time in her life this brought her to question her loyalties. It was Garona and Khadgar who first suspected that Medivh may have been responsible for the appearance of the Orcs on Azeroth and took these suspicions to Anduin Lothar, Medivh's and King Lane's long time friend.

During the search to confront Medivh Garona had a vision in which she discovered she would be responsible for the assassination of King Lane. This devastated her as she considered the King one of her few true friends. Khadgar forced her to snap out of it and continue to focus on the task before them but Garona (perhaps in an attempt to have herself killed and then prevent her vision from coming to pass) attacked Medivh, causing him to place all HIS doubts and fears into her mind. By the time Medivh was eventually defeated Garona had disappeared.

Later Garona appeared at Court and became a trusted adviser to King Lane helping him to understand how the Orcs thought, organized and fought. However due to the repeated "games" played with her mind both by Gul'dan and Medivh Garona was never able to completely regain control of herself. When the order came from the Shadow Council to kill Lane, while it upset her greatly she could not prevent herself from following through on the order. King Varian who witnessed the assassination remarked in the comic series that while killing Lane Garona had tears streaming down her face and he couldn't to this day understand why.

After Lane's assassination Garona was captured by Orgrim Doomhammer and tortured almost to death until she revealed the location of the remaining Shadow Council. After this Garona disappeared from Blizzards written works until Volume three of World of Warcraft the Comic. It is this series that has done the most to rework Garona's history as well as give us new insights into what all has been happening to the half orc these past few years. Through the comics we discover that Garona was actually pregnant with Medivh's child at the time of King Lane's assassination.

Garona has spent the years in hiding attempting to protect her son from individuals who are interested in him due to his mixed heritage. (Garona it is discovered is actually half Orc-half Draenai, while Medivh was human giving the boy 1/3 of each this allows him a unique control and interest in three schools of magic, arcane, shamanic and holy.) In the comic it is clear that Garona's vulnerability to mind control is still there which has directly effected the relations of the Horde and Alliance as her appearance at a peace conference caused Varian to believe the Horde were attempting to assassination him as they had his father and lead Garrosh Hellscream to the same conclusion regarding the Alliance.

There is much speculation as to what role if any Garona may play in the up coming Cataclysm expansion. Some of this was brought about by Chris Metzen in 2007 when he stated he would like to introduce her as a love interest for Thrall. This was later heightened with the reintroduction of her in Wrath to players who would not be familiar with her from the written literature.

Over all Garona is a fascinating character well worth all the attention. Like many rogues she has spent the majority of her life alone even when surrounded by others. Her friends, TRUE friends are few but she cares for them deeply. Despite all that she has gone through Garona continues to fight for what she cares about and attempts to over come those things over which she has no control.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Know your Rogue Lore.

I had a rather distressing conversation today with another rogue. They just could NOT understand why the Alliance tier 9 gear was named after a "puny low level boss", further more why the Horde gear was called "Garona". After scraping myself off the floor I proceeded to bore the poor chap to tears with WHY these two were SO important to Rogue lore. As a result of this I have decided that since school will soon be beginning again and the all my little minions will be out of the house for at least the morning. I will be starting a new series on Thursdays called "Know your Rogue Lore".

The plan is to cover all of the Rogues of note as well as some of the more obscure ones. In addition to this I want to cover the Rogue organizations that we find scattered through out Azeroth perhaps even those in Draenor. We rogues are a sneaky lot, for many of us hiding in the shadows is what we do best, so finding out about these individuals takes a little more time than the average player may have to invest. However I truly believe knowing a little more detail about the world around us can make the roles we play rather fulfilling, plus sometimes is can answer the question as to WHY that ring you got in Karazhan might have come to be there.

Where does all this "lore stuff" come from anyway? Well besides the games created by Blizzard there are also Novels, short stories and Magna which Blizzard has commissioned authors and artist to make to expand or fill some of the "holes" in the World of Warcraft Universe. At times these "books" may even change or redirect previously understood lore for reasons of clarity.

One of the greatest figures in Rogue Lore, Garona Halforcen under went just such a "clarification" in the past year because her time line just didn't make sense. How could she BE a half orc/half human? She couldn't because humans weren't on Draenor yet, but she COULD be a half orc/half Draenei who just happened to LOOK more like a half orc/half human. Having HER not know the truth about her origins made it flow a little more smoothly. Things like this do not ALWAYS happen with such ease but it is an example of the type of detailed attention that Blizzard gives to the world we like to wander around in.

Every race on Azeroth has rogues scattered about their society save those of the Hoof baring kind. While Tauren and Draenei may CLAIM it is because the way of the rogue is just "to foreign a concept to their noble kind" we all know the truth....It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to stealth when one is naturally large and has hooves. Some of these rogues we never see, but only the results of their work in the game. Lets take the time to step out of it and get a deeper understanding as to this society of which we are a part.

If you have any particular rogue lore information you would like me to cover sooner rather than later please feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rep: The Aldor and The Scryers

In the Northwest Corner of Terokkar Forest lays the City of Shattrah. Once the capital city of the Draenai on Draenor it is now a city divided. Many factions call it home and players can spend a great deal of time working to learn all of its nooks and crannies. However two main factions stand at polar opposites in this city and no one can be friendly with both. The Aldor and The Scryers.

With the introduction of the Wrath of the Lich King the importance of these two factions has been greatly diminished. At one point players often agonized over which faction to support based upon shoulder enchants, trade recipes, as well as quest rewards. Today, the major factor which seems to impact individuals is the height of the rises and character race. I want to bring one more element in to the mix: ease of reputation grinding. Now until you have completed the quest City of Light and determined which faction you wish to support you can wander at will on both rises.

The Aldor - Located on the highest tier in Shattrah are the Aldor, an order of Draenai who serve the Naaru. If you are a Draenai player you will start out automatically friendly with this faction. All others (save Bloodelves who are hated) will begin at neutral. The rise is rather spread out so it may take you a bit to locate everything.
Adyen the Lightwarden located almost in the center of Aldor rise has two repeatable quests which can be done until Honored, at level 68 two more will open up, for a total of four. The first two quests involve turning in Marks of Kil'jaeden which drop off the low level demons found in Negrand and Terokkar Forest. These can be turned in groups of 10 for 250 rep or or individually for 25. (If you are a human do it individually to take advantage of the human racial, all others do the by 10.) It will take you about 240 Marks to get you to Honored. At Level 68 you can begin turning in Marks of Sargeras which come from the higher level demons, some great places to farm these are Death's Door and the Forge Camps in Blade's Edge Mountains or Near the gate on the Isle of Quel'Danas.

Once you have reached Honored if you haven't also reached level 68 you may want to start turning in any Fel Armaments you have gotten to Ishanah the High Priestess of the Aldor located just inside the main temple. These can actually be turned in at any time and will give you Holy Dust which is used to purchase the various shoulder enchants. Fel Armaments give 350 Rep per turn in. A nice place to farm Armaments is Twilight Ridge in Nagrand.

The Scryers - Located on the opposite side of Shattrath on a lower rise are the Scryers. This is the direction that most individuals will go when it comes to choosing between the two of these factions. Why? If you miss the elevator the fall GENERALLY won't kill you. In addition to that, it is just a MUCH easier faction to grind and, well lets be honest here...their rise is just a whole lot more attractive.

So who are these skinny guys anyway? The Scryers are a bunch of Bloodelves who USE to work for Illidan and Kael'thas but who realized that their leaders were just plain crazy and when they were sent to attack Shattrath instead defected to the Naaru. Understandably The Aldor don't trust them a bit and the Scryers really don't have any use for the Aldor either. But they both play nice because the Naaru say they have to.

Just as the Aldor, the Scryers have a similar reputation building system. Bloodelf players automatically will start off friendly, Draeni players hated, all others neutral. Magistrix Fyalenn will take Firewing Signets until players hit honored, these can be easily farmed in either Terokkar Forest or Netherstorm off of the low level Firewings. Once you reach level 68 you can start turning in Sunfury Signets. These drop off the Sunfurys which can be located in Netherstorm, Shadowmoon Valley, or my personal favorite the Isle of Quel'Danas. What makes this easier than Aldor is that the Firewings and Sunfurys ALSO drop the Arcane Tomes which can be turned in at any time for reputation to Voren'thal the Seer.

Of course you can always purchase these items on the Auction House if wish but why waste the money?

Now all I have mentioned so far is the turn in repeatable quests, there are also faction SPECIFIC quests you can do that will gain you reputation as well. Most find it best if reputation grinding is the goal to focus on getting to honored FIRST before working on these quests. Again the Scryers come out ahead in this area in that they have 49 faction specific quests verse Aldor's 46. Just to reiterate, there is no right or wrong faction here, it all comes down to personal preference but you can not have both on the same character though you CAN change factions, at this point in time it really is not worth the bother.

Happy Grinding!