Proverb: Twilight's Hammer, Part 1: Gul'dan

The Twilight's Hammer is encountered by players all over World of Warcraft. From ousting the cultists defending Aku'mai in the Blackfathom Deeps to skipping Jedoga Shadowseeker when farming heroic Ahn'Kahet, the cult has made their mark nearly everywhere in the world of Azeroth and beyond.

The Twilight's Hammer started out as an orcish clan. Before even the first war, the orcish warlock Gul'dan formed the Shadow Council, an organization bent on serving the Burning Legion and spreading the practices of various dark magics to all of the orcish clans. Most of the major orcish clans had allied under the banner of the Horde and began exterminating the draenei for conquest. The Shadow Council became a secretive organization that controlled the Horde behind the scenes - they appointed the Warchief and communicated directly with Kil'jaeden and other Burning Legion demons.

Gul'dan, practicing his dark magic, ran several experiments on the ogres native to Draenor. He created the two-headed ogres, and one of them, Cho'gall (left head Cho, right head Gall), became Gul'dan's apprentice. He was one of the first ogres to learn of arcane magic and became a powerful spellcaster. He was also insane, probably part of the side effects of having two heads and being able to command magic. Perhaps from brainwashing from Gul'dan, he believed Armageddon would soon arrive, and the Horde would bring it into fruition.

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Wishful Thinking: Customized Loot System

I'll admit it, Icecrown Citadel is already starting to wear a little thin. No, my guild hasn't conquered it yet. And we haven't even started Hard Modes (which seem to be a mixed bag in terms of difficulty themselves), but we're sort of at that point where everything is on farm except for one or two fights that we continually butt our heads against week after week.

Progress, at this point, is being made at a snail's pace. So, with little else to do when I log on and we aren't raiding, I've been turning my eye towards earning old world achievements once again. At the top of my priority list have been those associated with faction reputation (like Timbermaw Hold or the Argent Dawn) and the notoriously frustrating Loremaster title.

For those of you not in pursuit of such goals, finding and completing every quest can be quite maddening. You can't always depend on quest hubs, as some start as drops from random creatures, or can only be found in the farthest corners of a given zone. The hunt only gets worse the more that you complete, since the remaining ones are all that much harder to discover.

But if there's one thing that makes this journey far more annoying than it needs to be, it's all the absolutely useless junk that finds its way into your bags! Isn't there an easy way to solve this problem?

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My Old Servers Ache - Chronic Pain

Magtheridon, my home server, has been off ever since the Lich King was released upon the masses.  Pings of 100-200ms (56k speeds) have become the norm.  Unplayable pings of 500ms and beyond plague prime time on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As the week moves on the server becomes more playable.  To little to late, as the damage is done to most guilds.  Including mine, which raids on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. 

After a successful 25-man with my two 10-man guilds last Tuesday, this Tuesday's was an absolute disaster.  While forming the raid we realized that the pings were going all over the place, from tolerable to two seconds of lag.  We zoned in hoping that the instance cluster would be more stable.  It wasn't.  We cleared trash, but could not get past Marrowgar due to the sporadic latency.  After the raid dissolved a 10-man was formed to tackle Ignis, the new weekly quest.  Our assumption was that being outgeared would make up for any lag.  The quick demise of Flame Leviathan gave us hope.  False hope, we wiped.  Repeatedly.  Our failing was chalked up to lag and everyone logged in disgust.  Who knows if my rogue will get his weekly done now...

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Protip 9.2: Omen

Protip is short video series with various tips and guides. Leave a comment to let me know what you want to see in future segments. Follow @Heartbourne or subscribe in iTunes for notifications of new videos!

On this Protip, we fight and defeat Omen to get the Elune's Blessing achievement.

PTR Patch 3.3.3: Build 11599

Making the trek to Ahune should be a lot easier this year.A new version of Patch 3.3.3 hit the PTR today. To be completely honest, there's not a whole lot in this build that we haven't already tipped you off to. From the new holiday boss mechanics to the class changes hinted on Facebook last night, it's all there. 

But if you still need a quick run-down of what's been modified in 11599, here are some highlights:

  • Holiday bosses can now only be fought by queuing up through the Dungeon Finder system or special NPCs (likely to be found in major cities). As a result, the previous requirements for summoning these bosses has been removed.
  • Death Knights' Chains of Ice now automatically inflicts Frost Fever.
  • Druids' Nature's Grasp spell now has 3 charges.
  • Hunters' Ferocious Inspiration is now an aura.
  • Warriors' Vitality talent now buffs Stamina by 3/6/9%.

The rest of the details, including more class changes, can be found after the jump!

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Holiday Burn Out

I'm usually a gung-ho fan of world events. Since hitting 80 on my main in September, I've plunged myself head-first into every event in the quest to complete What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been and earning that coveted Violet Proto-Drake. And since it's my first time doing most of the event-related achievements, they've been intriguing enough to hold my interest.

But over the course of February, something changed and withered away at my enthusiasm for world events. I blame the latest combination of Love is in the Air butted up and overlapped with the Lunar Festival.

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Overlooked: Guild Housing, WoW TCG & The Audio Podcast Contest

A guild castle from Runes of Magic.

This week we look back at the recurring idea of guild housing, and Upper Deck Entertainment's thoughts on the WoW TCG issue.

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Patch 3.3.3: Class Changes Not Over Yet

Totally pulling a Heartbourne and putting this on the left side of the page.But, really, when are they ever? Balance, as always, is a bit of a chameleon, constantly shifting to meet the demands of a new environment (in this case, the ways in which a player and the game interact).

News of forthcoming class changes comes from a bit of an odd source this time, though -- Blizzard's own World of Warcraft Facebook fan page:

Death knights, druids, hunters, mages, rogues, warlocks, warriors, oh my! For those participating in our public testing of the upcoming minor content patch 3.3.3, look out this week for a host of fascinating new adjustments to these classes. Chains of Ice innately does what? Nature's Grasp has how many charges? Vitality boosts stamina by how much? Stay tuned to find out the answer to these and more questions!

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Protip 9.1: The Lunar Festival

Protip is short video series with various tips and guides. Leave a comment to let me know what you want to see in future segments. Follow @Heartbourne or subscribe in iTunes for notifications of new videos!

Its time for the lunar festival! Learn where to get started and what its all about.

Goblinism 101: Introduction to Supply and Demand

The terms "supply and demand" are terms incorrectly thrown around by a lot of players. I think the average player understands that more supply means lower prices and more demand means higher prices, but many players do not understand changes in supply and demand very well. Its a problem that many beginning economics students have as well, so lets take some time to investigate it.

The first step to understanding a phenomenon is to collect data about it. When evaluating supply and demand of a particular product, economists ask the people selling the product "how many of this product would you be willing to sell at a variety of prices?", and of the consumers they ask "how many of this product would you be willing to buy at a variety of prices?" Using this data, they create charts called "supply and demand schedules". Lets look at a made-up example where we try to evaluate the Primordial Saronite market.

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