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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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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:

Quote

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:

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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.

Quote

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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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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      Live from Redbull’s Gaming Sphere
      Pieces and Limit, take to the big stage at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere on July 16 to begin their quest to be the first to defeat Queen Azshara in her Eternal Palace.
      All the action will be brought to you by world class broadcast talent, including Rich Campbell, Daniel ‘AutomaticJak’ Anzenberger, Caroline ‘Nagura’ Forer, Jack ‘Jacky’ Peters and more.
       
      When: 
      Beginning Tuesday, July 16, Limit will start off the race at 8:00 a.m. PDT and will be followed by Pieces at 4:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, July 17. Where to Watch: Red Bull on Twitch Follow on Twitter: Red Bull Esports, Pieces, Limit Learn more on Redbull.com  
      Method's Live Stream
      Live from Take TV in Germany, gaming guild Method will be hosting 24/7 coverage of the race to world first in The Eternal Palace featuring multiple guilds from all over the world (including Alpha, Ji Tian Hong, Skyline, Aversion, From Scratch, vodkaz and Big Dumb Guild), more players onsite than ever before, your favorite WoW commentator line-up from the community, and much more!
       
      When: 
      Stream begins at 6 a.m. with a pre-show event on Tuesday, July 16. Where to Watch: Live on Method's Twitch Channel Follow on Twitter: Method Learn more on Method.gg
      Whose team has what it takes to take it all the way to Queen Azshara and defeat her within her seat of power? Only time will tell.
      The race has begun and this is where you can check out links to all our daily summaries.
    • By Starym
      Another big day in the race as a couple of guilds caught up to the very top, and plenty caught up on the earlier bosses, but the headline is Za'qul (very, very barely) lives! We've had some major progress on the penultimate boss of the raid, with Limit getting so close to the kill they could taste it.
      The day started pretty standard for a Friday, with very slow going on progress for Za'qul and Method slowly learning the fight and what strats and comps to use, not really getting too far ahead of the previous day (36%) in regards to actual boss hp. Meanwhile we had a lot of guilds with a lot of catching up to do, with only Method and Limit having gotten past Orgozoa and Queen's Court.
      This time Pieces did come through on their reputation and were the first non Method/Limit guild to break through that 5/8 barrier and downed Orgozoa World 3rd, EU 2nd. The next kill on the jellyfish was both expected and unexpected, as Aversion once again followed Pieces with only an hour and a half delay and grabbed the 4th kill, very impressively. That 5/8 very suddenly went from 0 to 3 guilds, as Ji Tian Hong grabbed that Asia 1st and World 5th, showing the power of the Asia server guilds once they caught up to their massive 2 day disadvantage.

      We then had an interesting development in Limit's Za'qul progress, not necessarily in terms of how far along they got, as they were only 1.2% better than the previous day's best, but their GM and raid leader Max benched himself. Max continued raid leading from the bench, watching the new tank Darkee's PoV and calling all the shots, coach-style, basically becoming the 21st raider. Check out the video of this best try at the time with the very interesting dynamic of Max's raid leading:

      Pieces were the next to make waves as they took 6 hours on Queen's Court to down her, finally joining Method and Limit on 6/8 and grabbing that World 3rd, EU 2nd on another boss. We then had a visit from best name ever contenders FatSharkYes as they moved to 5/8 and got the Orgozoa World 6th and EU 4th, followed by AFK R on 8/Asia 2nd and Club Camel on 9/US/OC 2nd!
      Around 2:30 AM CEST it was looking like Limit had gotten both their strat and composition down and were comfortable with the execution part as well, as they moved the boss down a pretty big chunk from their previous best try, landing on 20%. The next 3.5 or so hours were filled with constant progression and lower boss hp, from 12% to 8, etc, with it all culminating in a 1.3% pull at 6AM:

      This try was amazingly close and you can see the frustration on Max's face, but this made Limit determined to get the kill before they went to sleep, which they usually do around 8-9AM CEST. The next 2 hours went by with several sub-10% tries, with a 6% one being the closest, at least until the next HUGE disappointment. At 7:50AM Limit managed ti beat their previous best, which you'd think would mean they killed it, but no, they got the boss down to 0.9% before wiping.! They also reached around 170 pulls compared to Method's 106 and compared to Limit's Lady Ashvane at around 80. Unfortunately, all their post 0.9% effort was for naught as they didn't manage to get that kill by 9AM when they finally decided it wasn't worth pushing any further and went to sleep. Method will start raiding soon and pushing onward from the 27% best that they stopped at before bed. Whether Limit's new tries will give an advantage to Method in the form of using the same comp and strategy remains to be seen, as it all depends on which classes and specs are properly geared and whether a guild can even execute the other's strats properly depending on that. And just before we finish, let's take a look at the last few minutes of that heartbreaking 0.9%/2 Million HP try:

      Limit are actually still going at it, so if you're interested definitely visit Max's stream and get into the crazyness live! In case they do get before they go sleep, we'll make a new post, as Za'qul deserves it (not to mention our first peek at Mythic Azshara)!
      All in all, it was an incredibly exciting day (or, more specifically, night) as progress on Za'qul was truly great, with it going down very quickly at first, then a little slower towards the 30% mark, and finally being stuck in the 20-30% range as many, many strategies were tried out, only to finally become very killable once Limit found their winning strat. Whether Method can push forward while Limit sleep, as Limit did when Method slept remains to be seen, or more specifically, can they actually go that 1 very small step further and actually get the kill. The race is really heating up and the top two guilds are incredibly close to both each other and the kill, with Queen Azshara awaiting them beyond the 7/8 barrier.
      Method progress page Red Bull event stream Method stream event
    • By Starym
      The hotfixes have finally started shrinking significantly, as we get a relatively small batch today. The previously announced Purification protocol change arrives, with two more essence changes to go with it, we get a big buff to timewarped badge rewards for missions and a whole lot of quest changes.
      July 19 (source)
      Followers and Missions
      Missions that reward Timewarped Badges now reward 50 Timewarped Badges (was 15). Items
      Heart of Azeroth Purification Protocol ’s (Essence) Rank 2 Major Power’s effect no longer causes an annihilated enemy to trigger Bolstering, Bursting, or Sanguine affix effects when it dies. The Well of Existence (Essence) now becomes stealthed when its wielder enters stealth (e.g. Druids’ Prowl or Rogues’ Shroud of Concealment). Vision of Perfection (Essence) no longer grants Guardian Druids with its Minor Power’s Rank 2 healing effect at Rank 1. Quests
      Fixed an issue that prevented some players from receiving a Call to Arms Distinction after completing the weekly “Call to Arms” quests. The amount of Construction Project materials needed for “Cogfrenzy's Construction Frenzy ” has been reduced. Additionally, purchasing access to the Charging Station from Flux now fills 50% of the quest completion bar. Increased the damage of Lord Hydraxis and decreased the health and damage of Zan’jir Scaleguards in “The Lords of Water ”. The length of the time to complete the quest has been adjusted. Fixed a bug where Deepwater Maw sometimes didn’t spawn when using the Hundred-Fathom Lure during “Let's Fish! ”. Clockwork Giants can now be scanned by multiple players in “The Other Place ”. Previous hotfixes.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard just announced an upcoming hotfix for Purification Protocol's major effect at rank 2. Purifying Blast will no longer cause instantly killed enemies to trigger Bolstering, Bursting, or Sanguine affix effects when they die.
      Update: The hotfix is now live.
      Blizzard (Source)
      We’re working on a hotfix for how this Essence works in some affix situations:
      Purifying Blast (Purification Protocol’s rank 2 major effect) will no longer cause an annihilated enemy to trigger Bolstering, Bursting, or Sanguine affix effects when it dies. It’s a unique effect, where Purifying Blast (Purification Protocol Rank 2) sometimes causes an enemy to be “Annihilated” – instantly killed. We think that’s cool and fun, however, it can be frustrating in Mythic Keystone dungeons when you sometimes need to very carefully plan for the Sanguine, Bolstering, or Bursting affixes when killing enemies.
      We’ll let you know soon after the change has been made live.
    • By Starym
      While only one more boss died today in the race, it was still a very exciting day, as we found both the easiest and hardest of the second batch of bosses in the raid. And while the Queen's Court disappointed with it's drop in difficulty from previous bosses, Za'qul has so far lived up to his penultimate boss status and has defended Queen Azshara successfully.
      We left things off with Limit in the lead yesterday, having taken down Orgozoa World First while Method slept and had already taken the 6th boss, Queen's Court, down to 45% after only a small amount of tries. Limit pushed through quite a bit longer than usual yesterday, finishing up the day with the Court at 25%, around an hour before Method returned - indicating that maybe this wouldn't be that hard a boss.
      We wouldn't find out exactly how hard the Court was for a while yet, as Method still had to push through the giant jellyfish to catch up to Limit, and after getting it down to 5% some 2 and a half hours after their raid start, it ended up taking them another two before it died and Method moved back to even with Limit on 5/8. With the second front-runner having moved on to the next boss, it was time to look back to Lady Ashvane, where we saw a very new and an old face, both from the OC side of things, as Ethical and Honestly claimed the World 4th and 5th, US/OC 3rd and 4th. At this point, only Method had gotten past the Lady gatekeeper of the EU guilds, and we didn't see an Asian 4/8 for a while either.

      As all this Ashvane action was happening, Method were quickly and consistently chipping away at the 6th boss, and only 2 hours and 45 minutes after their Orgozoa kill, we had another World First on our hands! The Queen's Court turned out to be a massive disappointment and a big step down in terms of difficulty, as it was the shortest lived boss since the first three, taking only 16 wipes, compared to Ashvane's 37 and Orgozoa's 55 for Method. And while the boss progress was over far too quickly, it at least gave us a very exciting and hectic finish on the kill:

      Despite the lowering of difficulty standards on the 6th boss, the Eternal Palace had been a very good race so far, with the top guilds switching off the top spot several times, making it very exciting for us following it and a welcome change of pace from the usual US domination on the early days followed by a strong EU finish.
      As for Za'qul, the very first pull Method did on him didn't bode too well for his living long, as Method got him to 58% immediately. After only an hour of pulls the boss was already down to 40%, and on the surface it was looking to be another Queen's Court situation. However, the Harbinger of Ny'alotha not only proved resilient, but also had some very interesting mechanics to offer, as Method took the opportunity to use a creative strategy that helped them push a little further on the boss. In one of the phases the entire raid becomes hostile to each other, making it impossible for the healers to do their job, so self sustain became paramount - however, in a really smart move, Method simply decided to take a few more mages along and have them polymorph their now enemies, heal them up that way, and then break the poly so they wouldn't loose too much time! In the end, that very low 39.9% try from an hour after boss pulls started was also the best try of the entire day! (Small note: the below video starts lagging at the end.)

      (Timestamp is at 00:18:12, in case it's not working for you.)
      Limit quickly took down Queen's Court to catch back up to 6/8 when they woke up, and continued with Za'qul attempts for another 7-8 hours after Method went to sleep, but they didn't get that much further on him, with their best try ending up some 4% lower than Method, at 36%.
      Meanwhile, back in non-penultimate boss territory, it was actually Exorsus that pushed through that 4/8 barrier and managed to get the Lady Ashvane EU 2nd, World 6th, as Pieces caught up under an hour after them. We ended the day with 15 guilds on 4/8 and progressing on Orgozoa, with Ji Tian Hong claiming the Asia first on the lady in 9th spot overall, and Aversion and Practice the EU 4th and 5th.

      And so Za'qul has so far proven to be a worthy penultimate boss, as he's been holding steady around 35-40% for almost a full day of progress. But can Azshara's final gatekeeper hold on a bit longer or are we going to see just what the Queen is made of on day 4? Tune in to either Method or Red Bull's streams, or check in on Method's raid progress page during the day to find out.

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