Archive for June 29, 2010

“Why Lore Matters” or “Frostlord in Midsummer?”

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The Midsummer Festival in Azeroth is coming to an end. It is a 10-day long affair, that has players travel far and wide to pay homage to their own faction locations, while desecrating the festivities of the opposing factions. There is also torch juggling, torch tossing, and of course torch selling (I have made over 700 Gold just selling those beautiful torches!) But what I find most interesting is that the event also has you battle it out against a seasonal boss: Ahune the Frostlord. Wait a second, Frostlord? That’s a little strange, considering the festival is spanksville for pyromaniacs with all its flames and fires.

Although I know why Ahune is the boss during the Midsummer event, I realize that I am likely in the rapidly diminishing minority in a generation of instant gratification that focuses on barreling through the objective and ignores the lore. I am the minority that actually carefully reads quest text to try and enjoy the subtle nuances and side-stories that make up the worlds we so cherish. I am in the minority that is moved by an emotional tale of a Deathknight having to slaughter a woman who once held him as a baby. I am the minority that gives a damn about the story, the narrative and why we are trudging through this damp, dark dungeon slicing and dicing through Ahune, the Frostlord That No One Really Cares About.

The tale of Ahune is complex and deeply entrenched in lore. Trouble is afoot in the realm, and sinister forces conspire to bring about an event of devastating proportions. The elaborate quest series starts with a simple task: “Unusual Activity”. You travel to the distant Zoram Strand in Ashenvale Forest, and exact your wrath on puny Twilight Cultists that you can slice through like a hot knife through butter. And why shouldn’t you? They are about 60 levels lower than you!

The objective is to try and find a clue, some indication as to what the Twilight Cult is up to, and therefore figure out a strategy to stop it from happening. After conducting a small genocide, one of the cultists drops the Twilight Correspondence”. Right-clicking this item in your inventory reveals the following:

“Loyal servants of the elemental lords, OUR TIME IS NOW.

Too long we have languished in the shadows, biding our time, serving our masters, seeking the end we know must come. Now, as the flames of Ragnaros’ Appeasement burn brightly through the night, we have in our grasp the tools to incite war and chaos on a cataclysmic scale!

The Firelord is imprisoned in our world. He is not at his full power, but his might is formidable. Given an equally formidable opponent in this realm, the resulting clash would begin the great elemental war that will bring about the end we have sought.

In Neptulon’s service is a great frost lord by the name of Ahune. Even now he is marshalling his power to wage war against Ragnaros. All he requires is a gateway into our world; a gateway we will provide. We have the allies. We have the location. We have the strength and the will.

Final negotiations with our new faithful allies and guests will be conducted in a safe, out of the way location northwest of our primary location in Ashenvale.

Before this “festival” of the ignorant masses comes to a close, Ahune shall face Ragnaros in the shadow of Blackrock. The world will quake with the forces unleashed.

All our toils have worked toward this moment. Our masters will rise against one another in one glorious battle that will tear Azeroth asunder.

We live in the end times, my brothers. Hold to your tasks. Strive on. We will soon be triumphant!”

The message talks of one of Neptulon’s servants, a Frostlord by the name of Ahune, and shadowy allies that convene to plot the end of the world. The cultists are of the opinion that if they can have Ahune and Ragnaros face off in a battle of titanic proportions, it will bring about a calamitous battle that will rip Azeroth asunder, and thus fulfill the Cult’s mission. Using the Totemic Beacon in your inventory, you then call the Earthen Ring Guide, and share what you have just discovered. The Guide gives you the Orb of the Crawler, an items that transforms your physical being into an innocent-looking crab, and asks you to spy on the conversation between the cultists and their unknown counterparts nearby. The unknown allies turn out to be the ever-nefarious naga, and eavesdropping on the conversation reveals some crucial information:

This confirms the correspondence obtained earlier. The naga are working with the Twilight Cultists to bring Ahune into this plane, have him clash with the Firelord Ragnaros, and bring about total annihilation for Azeroth. A naga called Skar’this leads the effort to summon the Frostlord in the depths of the Slave Pens. As the conversation suggests, some ice stones are being used to ensure Ahune’s arrival is smooth and untoward-event-free. The Earthen Ring Elder in the capital city asks you to travel to the Dark Portal in Hellfire Peninsula, for it is there that the ice stones are being put to use. You are dispatched to the location to use the ice stone, summon one of Ahune’s templar protectors, and slay him in the hopes of forestalling the Frostlord.

You do as you are commanded, but apparently it has limited effect, for the next and final chain in the puzzle involves taking the fight to the Frostlord himself, and trying to protect the end of the world by any means necessary:

And that is the reason you get to slay a Frostlord in the middle of the Midsummer celebrations, and a powerful reminder for why lore matters and how much it drives the overall narrative.

Honestly: how many of you actually followed this story? And how many of you just engaged in endless slaughter for the new shiny epix? [Poll above!]

“The Single Greatest Post I Have Read All Day” or “Melmoth Takes on The Sun, Sort Of”

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I have no words. Just go read about the Summeraid! My favorite part:

“To counter Sun’s aura there’s a special Sun Screen buff that you can apply, it’s gained by using a cream every couple of hours or so. The buff doesn’t stack; attempts to apply multiple buffs will simply make you look like a noob when you go outside. The cream can be picked up from most vendors at your local village or town.”

Categories: Bronte