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The Story of Varok Saurfang in Patch 8.1

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Varok Saurfang's story continues in Patch 8.1. Check out what awaits the High Overlord in Tides of Vengeance! This article contains spoilers.

Foreword

Blizzard released a cinematic titled "Old Soldier", where the High Overlord reacts to the Burning of Teldrassil. He's not content with Sylvanas' decisions and does not like where the Horde is heading.

Saurfang becomes fed up with the events of the Battle for Lordaeron and is taken to the Stockades by Anduin. Later in the Stormwind Extraction Scenario, you find him locked up in a cell, but he does not want to return to Orgrimmar.

If you missed our first installment of Saurfang's story in Battle for Azeroth, you can check it out here.

Saurfang's Story in Patch 8.1

Blizzard added a new NPC called Varok Saurfang in Tides of Vengeance and the Orc received a new skin as well. He's no longer referred to as "High Overlord" and does not wear his usual armor.

saurfangnoarmor.png.5c49678bd368a5f904e3saurfangnoarmorhood.png.a61b50554d4d3615

Saurfang escaped the Stockades and Horde players are sent to investigate what happened to him. Sylvanas does not want him to fall into the hands of the Alliance and demands you to take him back to Orgrimmar. Our favorite Zappyboi makes an appearance at the end of the questline, joining him in battle.

Varok Saurfang Questline in Patch 8.1

The 8.1 questline starts with Dark Ranger Alina and "The Dark Lady Calls" quest aboard the Bahsee Wall and Sylvanas requests your audience in Orgrimmar.

The Dark Lady Calls

Champion, the Dark Lady has need of you. We cannot speak more of this here. Make haste to Orgrimmar at once. Best not to keep her waiting.

An Abomination Guard is guarding the door in Grommash Hold to ensure that your meeting with Sylvanas stays private.

The High Overlord

I have asked you here to discuss a matter of great improtance to the Horde. Varok Saurfang is no longer present in Stormwind. Let us discuss this turn of events.

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Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Thank you for coming so quickly, <player name>. This is a matter I could entrust only to you.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: My spies report that Varok Saurfang has escaped Alliance custody. He'd been held in the Stormwind Stockades since the assault on Lordaeron.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Should the boy-king's forces locate Saurfang, no doubt they will kill him on sight.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: While some within our ranks have questioned the High Overlord's loyalties, we cannot allow him to fall back into enemy hands.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: I expect you to find him before they do.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Dark Ranger Lyana is an exceptional tracker. She will assist you on this assignment.

Sylvanas wants you to locate Saurfang, because the Alliance would surely kill him on sight. Some members of the Horde question his loyalty and consider him a traitor for his willing surrender at the Battle for Lordaeron.

A Way Out

My spies report that our High Overlord did not leave the way he entered, not any other way we know of. No signs were seen at any of the known exits to the Stockades or sewers. He simply was in his cell one moment, and not the next. Begin your investigation around the city of Stormwind. There must be another way out that we do not know of. Dark Ranger Lyana will meet you there, her tracking skills are second to none. Do not fail me, my champion.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: We will rendezvous just outside Stormwind's walls. Keep to the shadows.

Now, you must reach Elwynn Forest to continue the questline. The easiest way was to teleport to Dalaran, use the portal to Karazhan and fly there.

On Track

Keep your head down, we don't want to be seen out here. Our spies keep watching over Stormwind day and night, and saw no signs of Saurfang. Not did we notice any oddly-oversized carts or strange ships in the night, if that was what you were thinking. How then, did he make his escape? Let's look around.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: Let's keep moving. Be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

You're going to find a sewer exit outside the city.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: A sewer exit. Outside the city, away from prying eyes. Let's take a look at that lock.

Clicking the Old Lock will make the following text appear:

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This lock is old and heavily rusted. Scrape marks and flecks of loose rust are present around the keyhole and moving parts. It has been recently used.

Now that you've found Saurfang's escape route, the search continues...

Quote

Dark Ranger Lyana: Seems we have found his escape route. Hmm, there is mud around the lake. We should check for tracks.

Dark Ranger Lyana: The mud has been disturbed. Someone tried to disguise their route amongst the reeds. Let's keep moving.

Dark Ranger Lyana: Heavy footprints. Too large for a human. It has to be Saurfang. His trail leads east...

You will be attacked by SI:7 Agents and the quest is complete when you defeat all three.

Quote

SI:7 Agent: Well, well... what do we have here?

SI:7 Agent: Seems a couple of Hordies got lost. VERY lost.

SI:7 Agent: Does this area look brown and filthy to you, Hordies?

SI:7 Agent: Sure seems green to me. Not like Horde lands at all.

SI:7 Agent: Let's send them back on their way then, shall we?

SI:7 Agent: My daggers can point 'em in the right direction!

You need to keep moving, because SI:7 Agents are probably looking for Saurfang as well.

Eastern Escape

It's not unusual to see SI:7 spies lurking around the city, but still, something about this doesn't feel right. We need to find where Saurfang's trail picks up. The last tracks were heading east, towards Redridge. At the entrance to Redridge is Three Corners, one of the more well-defended towers the Alliance has. I have an idea, meet me there.

The search for Saurfang continues in Redridge Mountains.

Corner Crossing

If Saurfang was headed in this direction, it would have been difficult for him to avoid the Three Corners watchpost. We could simply walk in there and demand information, but I have a feeling that they would not part with it willingly. So we will take another approach. I have procured this potion from our alchemists. It will turn us into--ugh-- humans for a while. We can then question the guards, perhaps someone saw something.

Use the Humanizing PotionHumanizing Potion to turn yourself into a Human for 10 minutes and ask guards for information. After you taken on the appearance of a Human, Lyana tells you:

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Dark Ranger Lyana: Look at you... how sickeningly sweet. It's perfect.

You're going to approach guards and tell them you've lost a puppy. Dark Ranger Lyana goes by the name "Marion Sutton" when transformed.

Quote

Marion Sutton: Won't you please help us?

Marion Sutton: My poor sweet daughter lost her puppy!

Marion Sutton: It ran away last night. Did you see it?

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Last night? Don't much remember about last night, do we? Hah!

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Come on! No need to tell 'em about that!

Redridge Garrison Watchman: It's fine! Why, Mr. Shaw himself paid us a visit! It's not every day the leader of SI:7 gives you the night off.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Truth be told, it wasn't so much the night off as it was a full bottle of very fine rum... and a lack of orders that we shouldn't drink it all in one sittin'.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Next thing you know, this one's so deep in his cups that he can't hardly stand.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: They don't need to hear any more about that...

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Decides that he's gonna inform Miss Darcy Parker that he's gone and caught feelings for her.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: My heart couldn't take it n'more! A man ain't got no defenses when he's down in his bottles.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: He takes one look at the franks 'n beans she's got boilin' in the pot, and before ya know it, his lunch makes a repeat appearance.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Had the poached fish and taters. Not a meal I'll soon forget.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Instead of the wooin' ofa lifetime, poor Darcy had to put a sick man to bed and scrub the floor.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Let me tell you, nobody knows how to tuck in a man the way she does.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: Don't be givin' up on her, now! You got a big heart, and that counts for somethin'.

Redridge Garrison Watchman: So's to answer your question quick as I can, I don't think we saw any dogs last night. Least not that I can recall.

The guards were super drunk last night and they do not recall anything. It must have been fairly easy for Saurfang to pass by the Three Corner watchpost unnoticed. Now you question Darcy Parker about what happened last night.

Quote

Darcy Parker: Oh sweet thing, nothing to worry about. Were you scared? One of the guards just had a little too much fun and he needed to lie down and take a nap. I put him right to bed in the inn, don't you worry.

The search continues in Lakeshire at Inkeeper Brianna. She informs you that guards are staying upstairs at the Lakeshire Inn. After searching the room for clues, you find an Official-Looking Note from Shaw:

Quote

<A hastly-scribbled note. It appears to have been intended for the captain of the guards.>

Our spies report the possibility of an attack.

Double the patrols between here and Burning Steppes tonight, pull your guards from other duties if you must.

- Shaw

Signs of Saurfang

With the guards drunk at their posts, Saurfang would have had little trouble passing Three Corners undetected. The path splits up ahead. The back roads of Redridge are poorly-patrolled and infested with gnolls and spiders. In other words, a perfect path for an orc trying to not to be noticed. His most likely path is Lakeridge Highway, we should continue our investigation there.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: These back roads would make an ideal route for someone trying to avoid attention. Let's look around. 

You'll find ripped webbing, ichor, and plenty of killed spiders in Lakeridge Highway.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: Ripped webbing. Someone definitely passed through here--and it wasn't a gnoll.

Dark Ranger Lyana: They're dead. Based on the print pattern, I'd say it was only a minor scuffle.

Dark Ranger Lyana: That's a lot of ichor. More than I'd expect rom one of these young tarantulas.

Dark Ranger Lyana: Which means that our quarry must have also encountered...

Dark Ranger Lyana: ...their mother.

Defeat the Injured Bristlequeen to complete the quest.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: Such a shame. I quite like spiders.

Ever Eastward

All signs point to our quarry heading farther east. To what end, Im an not sure, but I have my suspicions. I am going to scout the area from the air, let's meet up at Redridge Pass.

Tracking Tipoff

Look there, down the hill, one of the Alliance hunters that roams the area. No one knows these pathways like them. If our quarry passed through this area, they would certainly have seen the tracks. Their dogs may even have noticed. Here is another dose of the potion. Let us question this one while he is alone.

It's time to drink  Humanizing PotionHumanizing Potion again and question Hunter McAlister who is later killed, because his dogs notice you're not actual humans.

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Marion Sutton: My good sir, can you help us?

Marion Sutton: A filthy orc raided our farm in the night. He stole a priceless family heirloom!

Marion Sutton: Have you seen any signs of such a monstrous brute travelling over the pass?

Hunter McAlister: Found some hug tracks just this mornin'. They led over the mountains pass and into the swamp.

Franklin: Grrr...

Hunter McAlister: if that was your orc, he's a big one. Best watch yourselves.

Danger: Rrrrr... rouf!

Hunter McAlister: Must've been your orc that got my dogs all riled up last night.

Drooble: Ar-oof!

Hunter McAlister: They were barkin' and growlin' up a storm. They do that whenever one of those Horde scoundrels comes around.

Franklin: GRRRR...

Wallaby: Rrrrr...

Hunter McAlister: Come to think of it, sorta like they're doing right now...

Danger: ROUF!

Bernard: Bark!

Hunter McAlister: Hey! You're Horde, ain't ya!? Get 'em, boys!

Killing Hunter McAlister and his dogs makes Zappyboi appear! Zekhan offers the next quest while Lyana informs you she must return to the Warchief.

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Dark Ranger Lyana: I must report back to the warchief. You are to take no further action until you hear from me again. Understood?

Zekhan tells you that Saurfang's hiding at a nearby farm.

Quote

Zekhan: Ey mon, over here! I be needin' your help!

Zekhan: Saurfang's hidin' out at a small farm nearby. We best be gettin' dere before dey do!

Grim Tidings

Ey mon, dat dark ranger, she lied to ya'! Saurfang knew they'd be comin' for him. He sent me to watch the pass, see who his assassins were, try to warn him if I could. She's not reportin' back nothin', she's goin' to kill him. Probably got a whole group of deathguards just waiting for her to give the signal. We gotta stop dem! You with me?

Dark Ranger Lyana lied to you and she wants to kill him. Better hurry and inform Saurfang who's located in the Swamp of Sorrows.

A Warrior's Death

She gonna try an' take him in, and then no one ever gonna see Varok Saurfang again. Dis was never a rescue mission, dis was about power, an' control, an' Sylvanas think she be holdin' all the cards. But she didn't count on us! Let's go.

Turns out Sylvanas actually tricked you and wants Saurfang dead.

Completing the quest rewards a fun cloak toy - Worn CloakWorn Cloak. A scripted event will begin as soon as you accept the quest and you must defend Saurfang.

Quote

Dark Ranger Lyana: Varok Saurfang! You are guilty of treason against the Dark Lady. Exit the hut or I will burn it down... like that tree your Alliance friends loved so dearly.

Zekhan: Ya ain't got a shred of honor between ya! How ya gonna turn ya backs on Saurfang, after all he's done for da Horde?

Dark Ranger Lyana: Champion, you and that troll need to stay out of this. My orders come from the warchief herself!

Varok Saurfang: And what orders might those be?

Dark Ranger Lyana: You turned your back on your duty to the Horde, Saurfang.

Dark Ranger Lyana: And worse, after you abandoned your people, you conspired with humans against your warchief.

Dark Ranger Lyana: You will throw down your weapon at once and come with us.

Dark Ranger Lyana: Or you will die here, in the swamp, alone.

Zekhan: Not alone!

Varok Saurfang: I see you still have not learned to fear the impossible odds, my young friend. It is an honor to stand at your side.

Varok Saurfang: Enough of your prattling, dark ranger! If you came seeking a fight, you shall have it!

Varok Saurfang: For the honor of the Horde! Lok-tar ogar!

Dark Ranger Lyana: Kill the traitor--and all who stand with him!

Zekhan: Ey! We did it, mon! What a battle! You see all dem sparks I be shootin'?

Dark Ranger Lyana and her crew die, but now you must come up with something to fool Sylvanas.

Queen's Favor

I have two things to ask of you, and I do not ask them lightly. First, I need you to retain the favor of the warchief. She will undoubtedly have questions, and seeds of distrust may begin to grow, but she cannot lose you as an ally, not now. She would not so willingly part with one of her greatest champions. In order to do so, it will have to look like you faced me in combat, and lost. I trust you can take a hit. Second, I ask you not to follow me further. I must make this journey alone.

Quote

Varok Saurfang: If you are to remain in the Banshee's favor, she needs to believe that I defeated you. But it has to look like you put up a good fight.

Varok Saurfang: Ready? Take a deep breath. I fear I lack practice in pulling my punches.

Talk to Saurfang and tell him to punch you. The screen turns black for a second and you will be afflicted with the "Convincing Blow" debuff for 10 minutes.

Quote

Varok Saurfang: Ah, good. You are still alive. Bruised... but alive.

Varok Saurfang: Return to the Banshee Queen. Tell her that I will be no one's pawn.

Varok Saurfang: Zekhan, I need you to remain in Orgrimmar. Let those who wish to restore the honor of the Horde know that they must not give up hope.

Zekhan: No way, mon. I'm comin' with ya! Where da high overlord go, I go.

Varok Saurfang: Not today, my friend. This path I must travel alone.

Varok Saurfang: Go with honor. You will see me again.

Zekhan: We betta'. We be countin' on ya.

Finally, go to Orgrimmar and talk to Sylvanas in Grommash Hold to complete the Queen's Favor quest that rewards Artifact Power.

Quote

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Let me see if I have this right... Saurfang single-handedly slew my elite forces and a veteran dark ranger?

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: How fortunate that you escaped with little more than a bruise. Fortunate... but disappointing.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Let me be perfectly clear. You will find the traitor Saurfang. You will deliver him to me. And you will not fail me again.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: now go. Remember your duty to the Horde. We have a war to win.

The story ends here. Sylvanas doesn't know you defeated the dark ranger and her forces along with Saurfang and Zekhan. Let's see what the future holds for Varok. Let us know what you think about his story so far and Sylvanas wanting him dead.

Characters Involved in the Questline

Dark Ranger Lyana

Veteran Dark Ranger appointed by Sylvanas to help you track down Saurfang. In the beginning, it all looks like a rescue mission, but further down the questline you learn that she was deceiving you all along. She's later killed by the player, Saurfang, and Zekhan.

Varok Saurfang

Saurfang escaped the Stockades and you find him hiding at a farm in the swamps with simple armor and without the "High Overlord" title, indicating his discontent with Sylvanas' Horde. He probably works with Matthias Shaw who gave guards booze allowing Saurfang to pass by the watchpost unnoticed. You confront Dark Ranger Lyana and her forces as you uncover her vile intentions and learn that the rescue mission was actually a lie and Sylvanas wants him dead. He doesn't want you or Zekhan to follow him, because he clearly states that he must travel the path alone. The character of Saurfang remains the embodiment of the Horde's long-lost honor.

Zekhan

Zappyboi makes an appearance during the questline and fights alongside Saurfang. Blizzard did a really great job at portraying him loyal to Varok at times of need as we saw in the Old Soldier cinematic.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner

Another lie has been told by the Warchief. First, she makes you believe it's of utmost importance to track down Saurfang, who recently escaped the Stockades, so that the Alliance does not kill him. Later, she accuses Varok of treason against the Horde and wants him dead. After you kill Lyana and her forces, you fool her into believing that Saurfang did all that. Blizzard confirmed in an interview that Sylvanas will not be Garrosh 2.0 in Battle for Azeroth.

Gameplay Video

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But I'm sure Sylvannas fans will insist she's misunderstood and morally grey.    Saurfang had it coming, or something.

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In every patch someone escapes Stormwind Stockades - shouldn't the Alliance hire better guards? Unless they let Garrosh free on purpose, knowing he can split the Horde and may drive the faction into a civil war, whilst Anduin & friends can collect all the Azerite on the planet. Divide et impera!

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Man... this is super disappointing... she shouldve actually gone to save him. Then had a big argument in orgrimmar. Now this is exactly like panda... she sends an assassin and voljin pretends to die then saurfang leads a rebellion and sylv and sacrificed... this just sucks

 

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Sylv did nothing wrong, Forsaken moto is "trust nobody", and Alliance needed Horde only when world was at stake, or their blue a$$... 

I hope she wins over this rebel thing, I don't expect her to remain as leader of Horde, but F* Blizz if they keep on killing warchiefs... 

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On 10/13/2018 at 9:07 PM, Migol said:

But I'm sure Sylvannas fans will insist she's misunderstood and morally grey.    Saurfang had it coming, or something.

"Lok'tar ogar" - I guess that counts for nothing when you just submit to be taken into the Stockades. 

 

Regardless of Sylvanas' little schemes, any Orc would still stand up for their own brothers and sisters. Many died for the Horde, not for Sylvanas, yet he just submits defeat. And then whines about not getting an honorable death. What better way to overthrow a warchief than by showing you can do it better yourself?

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14 hours ago, Xhopeon said:

Sylv did nothing wrong, Forsaken moto is "trust nobody", and Alliance needed Horde only when world was at stake, or their blue a$$... 

I hope she wins over this rebel thing, I don't expect her to remain as leader of Horde, but F* Blizz if they keep on killing warchiefs... 

Thats exactly the text, i was waiting for. Finally someone with a clear mind, who is laughing about this "We are cool revolutionary Rebels, lets make some action and play bad/good superheroes" .. i guess some people are really lucky in their marriage - No Loyality. Besides this, they support an old, lonely and embittered Orc, who is still crying after his Son. "Honor", when Sylvanas sacrificed some of her Soldiers, the hypocrites where yelling "MoRaLlY GrEy", "GaRrOSH 2.0r1!1" but if an Old Orc, like i already wrote, kills some Guards of the Warchief (Siege of Orgrimmar Like) then its "COOOOOL!! LoKTaR OgaR!!"

 

In the end, the true Horde will win. Blizzard will not tear my beloved Horde apart.

 

Edited by Nusra
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19 hours ago, Yridaa said:

"Lok'tar ogar" - I guess that counts for nothing when you just submit to be taken into the Stockades. 

 

Regardless of Sylvanas' little schemes, any Orc would still stand up for their own brothers and sisters. Many died for the Horde, not for Sylvanas, yet he just submits defeat. And then whines about not getting an honorable death. What better way to overthrow a warchief than by showing you can do it better yourself?

If I remember correctly, he had just fought and was basically on his last legs facing the alliance invasion alone, begging Anduin to finish him off as his "warrior's death".    Anduin refused and took him into custody.     That's hardly submitting, that's being overpowered by superior numbers

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2 hours ago, Migol said:

If I remember correctly, he had just fought and was basically on his last legs facing the alliance invasion alone, begging Anduin to finish him off as his "warrior's death".    Anduin refused and took him into custody.     That's hardly submitting, that's being overpowered by superior numbers

Agreed. He begged to fight and die against an army. But Anduin saw it for what it would have been, a slaughter without honor. That's far from blaming Saurfang for "quitting".

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14 hours ago, Nusra said:

In the end, the true Horde will win. Blizzard will not tear my beloved Horde apart.

Sylvanas is the greatest enemy of the Horde right now.  She is enemy to all.  Nothing gray about it.  All of the Horde who follow her are fools, and most are being played for fools.  "The Horde" is only a means to an end for her and she is the one who is the betrayer to "The Horde" and to The Forsaken.

Edited by Sholto

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23 hours ago, Nusra said:

Thats exactly the text, i was waiting for. Finally someone with a clear mind, who is laughing about this "We are cool revolutionary Rebels, lets make some action and play bad/good superheroes" .. i guess some people are really lucky in their marriage - No Loyality. Besides this, they support an old, lonely and embittered Orc, who is still crying after his Son. "Honor", when Sylvanas sacrificed some of her Soldiers, the hypocrites where yelling "MoRaLlY GrEy", "GaRrOSH 2.0r1!1" but if an Old Orc, like i already wrote, kills some Guards of the Warchief (Siege of Orgrimmar Like) then its "COOOOOL!! LoKTaR OgaR!!"

 

In the end, the true Horde will win. Blizzard will not tear my beloved Horde apart.

 

Dark Lady watch over you.

 

I'm with her.

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Uncommon Patron

So Shaw told the guards to double their efforts and then gave them spirits as High Overlord Saurfang passed by ? And we didn't figure that the Alliance is helping High Overlord Saurfang ? If we aren't the dumbest heroes then I don't know what to say(plus we do whatever we are told to, it is like we don't have a free will ).

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9 hours ago, Ancalagon said:

Dark Lady watch over you.

The irony of using this phrase in a pro-Sylvanas way is thermonuclear.  

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On 10/15/2018 at 2:45 AM, Nusra said:

"We are cool revolutionary Rebels, lets make some action and play bad/good superheroes"

You mean just like the entire end of the Panda expansion where basically the entirety of the horde fought their own revolution?  

On 10/15/2018 at 2:45 AM, Nusra said:

Besides this, they support an old, lonely and embittered Orc, who is still crying after his Son.

poor old guy, watched his son frickin die only to be resurrected in service of the the lich king as a mindless drone bent on his own father's (and the world's) destruction or submission?  

Man... what a whiner! amirite

On 10/15/2018 at 2:45 AM, Nusra said:

the hypocrites where yelling "MoRaLlY GrEy", "GaRrOSH 2.0r1!1" but if an Old Orc, like i already wrote, kills some Guards of the Warchief (Siege of Orgrimmar Like) then its "COOOOOL!! LoKTaR OgaR!!"

"some guards of the warchief" who had just literally made attempts on his life for doing the less than the same thing Sylvanas herself did with Garrosh...? 

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Sylvanas had no problems dropping plague to kill and resurrect her own troops as undead in a battle she set up as a trap. Sylvanas does not care about honor or the living. Saurfang saw the truth. The horde is nothing to Sylvanas but a tool for her own agenda. The horde leadership were fools to accept a delirious Vol'jin's decree at the cusp of death, and now they have Arthas 2.0 as warchief. I just don't know how this all goes down without another bloody coup in Orgrimmar.

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On 10/18/2018 at 10:57 AM, Durf24 said:

I still think it's rather stupid that Forsaken players side with Saurfang over Sylvanas.

yea, free will is pretty stupid.  Much more effective if they default to her no matter what. 

Not unlike the "lich queen" comments i hear made sometimes.

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Will his story be available for both factions? I don't like it when the main story is split between Horde and Alliance. Like what happened with Uldir when as Alliance I had no idea why I was there till I leveled my Horde warrior. At least make a short questline that explains what the other faction did or something. Is not that hard. :)

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      Will you be creating a Mechagnome despite the limitations? Let us know in the comments down below!
    • By Starym
      We have one more addition to the 8.3 class changes list, since the last update on November 20th, as Disc Priests are getting more tuning, with Penance getting buffed by 15%. We've also added the full 8.3 class changes below.
      December 4th (source)
      We’ve added this change to the PTR:
      Priest Discipline Penance healing increased by 15%. Full list of changes:
      Full class changes:
      Full 8.3 Class Changes (source)
      In our next major content update, Visions of N’Zoth, we’re working on some tuning updates to a few specs that are under- and over-performing in various ways.
      Developers’ notes: Specs which excel at DoTs on multiple targets have, over the course of many tiers of content, generally had very high performance on the average. Their DPS advantage in raid encounters that play into their multi-target strength (which are relatively common) is not balanced by a comparable disadvantage in other areas. A small reduction in damage on these specs will leave them noticeably strong in the situations in which they’re strong (albeit slightly less than before), and give other specs more opportunity to stand out at other times. At the same time, a few of the Essences added in Rise of Azshara are not performing as well as we would have liked, so we’re increasing the effectiveness of some parts of them to help keep them competitive with the other Essences available.
      With the first build of the update on our Public Test Realm (PTR), you will see the following changes:
      Classes
      Druid Balance Moonfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. Sunfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Power of the Moon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Restoration Mastery: Harmony healing bonus reduced by 9%. High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage reduced by 34%. Developers’ note: Restoration Druid has an overall package of healing, damage, and utility that is very hard to compete with in solo-healed content. Two things that stand out in particular are the efficiency of focused healing on a single target with high Mastery, and the ease of contributing DPS with very little GCD usage on Sunfire. Mage Frost Ice Lance damage increased by 20%. Developers’ note: Ice Lance damage hasn’t kept up with Icicles scaling, making builds that ignore Ice Lance possible. The intent of this change is to give Frost Mages a better incentive to use Ice Lance within their rotation, as a DPS net gain. Monk Brewmaster Stamina bonus reduced to 30% (was 35%). Stagger percentage reduced to 90% of Agility (was 105%). High Tolerance now increases the effectiveness of Stagger by 5% (was 8%). Developers’ notes: Brewmaster’s extremely high effective health against Physical damage meant that they are rarely in danger against spike damage that threatens other tanks. This should still be a strength of Brewmaster, but not by such a wide margin. Fixed a bug causing Gift of the Ox orbs to spawn too often for players with high amounts of Stamina. Mistweaver Rising Mist healing increased 30% 66% 33%, and now extends Heal-over-time effects by 3 4 seconds (was 2 seconds). Developers’ note: This talent is currently overshadowed on its row, and we want to make sure it’s competitive enough to make its unique playstyle a viable option. Life Cocoon now absorbs for 55% of the caster’s maximum health (was 1100% of the caster’s spellpower). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This ability had gotten weaker compared to player health pools since the start of the expansion, and this will help it better maintain its value. Windwalker Rising Sun Kick damage increased by 25%. Blackout Kick damage increased by 10%. Developers’ note: These changes are intended to help Windwalkers perform better in single-target fights. Paladin Holy Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) healing reduced 12% Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) may now be applied to a maximum of 8 targets. Developers’ notes: Over the past year, builds centered around this trait have steadily pulled ahead of all other Holy Paladin playstyles, and to some extent all other healers in high-end content. This change is meant to preserve the gameplay of the trait, but limit the ability to increase its value drastically by stacking every possible bonus that reduces Holy Shock cooldown Priest Discipline Penance healing increased by 15%. Purge the Wicked damage reduced 10%. Power Word: Solace damage reduced 10%. Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced 9%. Atonement healing reduced to 50% (was 55%). Mastery: Grace effectiveness increased by 12%. Developers’ notes: Discipline’s ability to contribute both damage and healing is slightly too high for what one character can bring to a group composition. At the same time, we’re making their Mastery stat slightly more attractive. Schism now increases damage done from Priest spells and abilities only. Developers’ notes: This is intended to be consistent with other class cooldowns. Shadow Auspicious Spirits damage bonus reduced to 25% (was 50%). Fixed a bug causing Spiteful Apparitions (Azerite Trait) to be increased by 75% if you do not have Auspicious Spirits talented. Developers’ notes: The multiplicative interaction between Auspicious Spirits, Spiteful Apparitions, and Chorus of Insanity has specifically been a big part of Shadow’s damage scaling somewhat out of control at high target counts. Chorus of Insanity critical strike bonus reduced by 25%. Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced by 8%. Vampiric Touch damage reduced by 8%. Warlock Affliction Deathbolt now deals 20% of the total remaining damage of the Warlock’s damage over time effects on the target (was 30%). Drain Soul damage increased by 50%. Nightfall now increases the damage of Shadow Bolt by 50% (was 25%), and now activates 33% more often. Developers’ notes: One of the key concepts about Affliction Warlock is spreading damage over time spells on a number of different targets. While Deathbolt keys off these types of spells, it provides more-than-expected burst damage and outperforms the other two talents in every situation. In addition to reducing Deathbolt’s effectiveness, we’re improving the other two options to give more options to Affliction Warlocks. Essences
      Condensed Life-Force The damage debuff applied by your Guardian’s Azerite Spikes has been reduced to 3% increased damage (was 5%). Worldvein Resonance Major rank 1, when used, now additionally causes you to gain +50% bonus to stats from Lifeblood Shards for 10 seconds. Vision of Perfection Proc rate increased by 12%. The Unbound Force Major rank 1 damage increased by 40%. Minor rank 1 duration increased to 4 seconds (was 3 seconds). Minor rank 3 increase of duration increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second). Purification Protocol Major rank 1 damage increased by 15%. Major rank 2 now has the potential work on targets that are part of raid and dungeon encounters. Vitality Conduit We’ve rebuilt the way this Essences works, and it should be visually more impactful, as you will now see healing on your targets. As always, changes like these are a work in progress. We are likely to make further adjustments for testing throughout the PTR.
      Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!
    • By Stan
      The Vulpera Bag of Tricks racial has been updated in this week's Patch 8.3 PTR build to function similar to Mole Machine, allowing players to uncover hidden tricks in the open world.
      Rummage Your Bag now spawns a bag you can interact with at your location.

      You can reach into your Bag of Tricks and pick a trick to either harm your foes or help your allies. If you have more than one active trick, you will randomly select one when you use Bag of Tricks.

      A fresh character will start with one harmful (Corrosive Vial) and one helpful trick (Healing Vial). The updated racial is similar to Mole Machine which has 

      The Vulpera received a new racial which increases their backpack size by 8 (Alpaca Saddlebags) in the previous 8.3 PTR build and no doubt the race has one of the best racials available right now.
      You can find a full list of their racial abilities and passives in our preview.
    • By Stan
      Blackrock Depths is the latest Pet Battle Dungeon added in Visions of N'Zoth and here's the official preview detailing the new pets, toys, and achievements that you can earn.
      Two difficulties of the Pet Battle Dungeon will be available - Normal, and Challenge difficulty. Clearing Normal rewards one Ultimate Battle-Training Stone and unlocks Challenge difficulty. You will be able to resurrect your pets between each of the stages in Normal difficulty, but not in Challenge difficulty. Completing Challenge difficulty rewards Pet Battle Challenge: Blackrock Depths along with Shadowy Disguise. Collect Shadowy Gem to purchase an  Unopened Blackrock Supply Crate which has a chance to contain Wailing Lasher, Experiment 13, and Tinyclaw. If you complete all five Pet Battle Dungeons in Patch 8.3 on Challenge difficulty, you will be able to earn the new The Shadows Revealed achievement and obtain the Mayhem Mind Melder toy. Blizzard (Source)
      It’s time to marshal your menagerie and put your best battle pets forward in the volcanic labyrinth of Blackrock Depths, a new Pet Battle Dungeon with Normal and Challenge difficulties available with the release of Visions of N’Zoth.
      At long last, we’ve discovered the secret headquarters of the sinister group that has been conducting vile experiments on critters across Azeroth. Soon, Pet Battle Dungeon challengers will be able to embark on the final fight to stop their machinations and reveal the truth behind this shadowy organization.
      To get started on your journey, you’ll need to have completed the four previous Pet Battle Dungeon quests: “Wailing Critters,” “The Deadmines Strike Back,” “Gnomeregan’s New Guardians,” and “Tiny Terrors of Stratholme.” Once all four quest lines have been completed at Normal or Challenge difficulty, you’ll be able to accept a new quest from Tizzy Gearjolt in Boralus or Radek Fuselock in Dazar’alor and begin your Blackrock Depths pet battle journey.
      Pets from just about every family will stand against you in Blackrock Depths, so you’ll need to come prepared with a variety of your own to succeed. You’ll be able to heal and revive your pets between each of the 9 stages in Normal difficulty, but not in Challenge difficulty.
      Defeating the dungeon on Normal difficulty will earn players an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone and unlock Challenge difficulty. You’ll also be able to avail yourself of Manapoof’s aid to teleport directly to Blackrock Depths’ dungeon entrance as a part of the quest reward.
      Those who prove themselves to be the very best on Challenge difficulty will earn the achievementPet Battle Challenge: Blackrock Depths along with Shadowy Disguise, a toy that disguises you as a shadowy figure for 15 seconds.
      Completing Challenge difficulty will count toward a weekly quest that rewards Shadowy Gems, an account-bound currency that you redeem for an Unopened Blackrock Supply Crate filled with pet supplies, or for three new pets—Wailing Lasher, Experiment 13, and Tinyclaw. Speak with Burt Macklyn at the entrance of the dungeon to add one of these powerful fiends to your ranks.
      Completing all five Pet Battle Dungeons (Wailing Caverns, The Deadmines, Gnomeregan, Stratholme, and Blackrock Depths) on Challenge difficulty will reward you with The Shadows Revealed achievement and the Mayhem Mind Melder toy which lets you take control of your companion pet for 30 seconds.
      Whether you’re new to pet battle dungeons or a companion-combat veteran, you’ll want to get in on the ongoing story as it unfolds. Who are the shadowy figures that keep appearing in each pet battle dungeon? What exactly have they been building with all of the parts they’ve collected from Pet Battle Dungeons over the years?
      Discover what awaits your critter pals next in Blackrock Depths!
    • By Stan
      The final month of the year is upon us, and here's a list of some relevant events taking place in Azeroth in December.
      Blizzard (Source)
      15th Anniversary Event (November 5 - January 7) [Guide]
      There's still plenty of time to earn the Obsidian Worldbreaker mount!
      Darkmoon Faire (December 1 - December 8 [Guide]
      The Darkmoon Faire is open for business! Meet Silas Darkmoon and his troupe, play games that test mind and nerve, and behold exotic sights from the four corners of Azeroth.. and beyond!
      Wanderer's Festival (December 7)
      Celebrate and honor Liu Lang and Shen-zin Su at Turtle Beach in Krasarand Wilds. It is a time for contemplation and song!
      Classic: Warsong Gulch & Alterac Valley (December 10) [More Info]
      Battlegrounds are hitting WoW Classic soon, allowing players to earn Honor outside of open world PvP.
      Feast of Winter Veil (December 16 - January 2)
      Greatfather Winter is visiting the cities of Ironforge and Orgrimmar, courtesy of Smokywood Pastures. And throughout Azeroth, it is the season to be jolly!
      Fireworks Celebration (December 31)
      Azeroth celebrates! Each racial capital holds fireworks shows every hour, all night long!

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