Jump to content
FORUMS
Sign in to follow this  
Starym

Behind the Scenes of the Hivemind Secret

Recommended Posts

dXEQEuR.jpg
 

The Hivemind mount was one of the bigger secrets for quite a while, but was discovered quickly enough once it was actually added into the game. The series of puzzles and secrets was dispatched readily by the secrets discord and today we're getting a look behind the curtain of just how exactly it was all put together.

We get to see both how the various stages were designed and how the community actually went at them and eventually solved them - from the Talisman of Treasure Seeking to the monocles and the mount itself at the end.

Blizzard LogoThe Hivemind (source)

Introduced in Tides of Vengeance was yet another series of puzzles from the Mind-Seekers, again drawing players from around the world to work together to find the elusive Hivemind mount to add to their collections—and earn some bragging rights for unraveling the machinations of the minds behind the madness.

Let’s pull back the curtain once more to reveal the design of each puzzle, and explore how the community solved them.

Warning: Spoilers ahead! If you wish to solve this riddle for yourself, DON’T READ ON! You have been warned


The Talisman of True Treasure Tracking

When trying to create puzzles that are challenging but also able to be beaten by large groups of people working together, we have to dig deep and come up with some really obscure and subtle clues. We mean really subtle. The start of this quest is a great example of this.

The intended clue was that the "true" in the mount's flavor text—“A true meeting of the minds.”—would connect you to the Talisman of True Treasure Tracking, a necklace sold by Griftah the shady salesman in the Lower City of Shattrath. He’s been in the game since he was added in The Burning Crusade selling questionable goods such as Polished Pendant of Edible Energy. In the end, we’re not sure if anyone connected “true” to the talisman or just noticed Griftah's wares at random, perhaps noticing that some new objects existed on the table behind him.

Equipping the talisman causes four items on the table behind him to glow and is required for most of the remaining steps of the quest. The four glowing items are clues that each lead in separate directions, and the puzzle splits up into 4 parallel steps here. If you want to truly master this quest line, you can do all four branches. However, with some group coordination later in the process, you can get by with only doing one, or even none of these steps personally. One major goal with this design was to provide a variety of puzzles of different types, for different types of puzzle solvers. Word and lore lovers could work on the blue branch, while math lovers could work on the green branch, and so on—and together, they’d ultimately arrive at the complete solution.

With the Talisman equipped, the letter on the table behind Griftah glows blue, and you can interact with it. Reading the letter will give you the first of many clues in this branch of the puzzle.

Each clue is a nonsense phrase, with some of the words being capitalized. The capitalized words make up an anagram that provides a hint on where to find the next clue. You must reach each letter in order.

  • First Letter: The key Factor in successful Wasp Ignition is a solid Ad campaign.
    Solution: The Wasp Ad Ignition Factor --> ANTICIPATORS OF DEATHWING
    In northeastern Highmountain is a tribe of tauren known as the Prepfoots. They are preparing for Deathwing’s return (apparently unaware that the Cataclysm already occurred). On a table in one of their huts, you’ll find the next clue.
  • Second Letter: Of all of Gai's cures for Nature, the most liberating is Death.
    Solution: Gai's Nature Of Death --> SEAT OF THE GUARDIAN

The next letter can be found on the chair in Medivh's quarters in old Karazhan.

  • Third Letter: I sat Dumbfounded, watching As the most Subtle Rat reached for the cheese a third time in under an hour.
    Solution: I Dumbfounded As Subtle Rat --> MULTITUDES OF UNDEAD BARBS

    This one refers to Razorfen Downs, a dungeon that mixes quillboar and the undead. On a table next to the last boss is your next letter.
  • Fourth LetterMs. Sin will accompany you down The longest Streets Of the underworld.
    Solution: The Streets Of Ms. Sin --> NEST OF THE MISTRESS

    Aviana, the mistress of the skies, has a shrine in northern Hyjal. Your next letter is on a table in one of the highest rooms in that tree.
  • Fifth Letter: The Elite champions will rule the World with the mightiest F.C.
    Solution: The World Elite F.C.--> THE DERELICT FLOW

    There is a dam that separates Crystalsong Forest from Icecrown. In the center of that dam, overlooking the Decrepit Flow, is your next letter.
  • Sixth Letter: Re: Codex of mastering Sine waves.
    Solution: Re: Sine Codex --> OX RESIDENCE

    The residence of the Niuzao, the Black Ox, is his shrine in western Townlong Steppes. There you’ll find your next letter.
  • Seventh Letter: Mice look so sad when they have a Cleft lip. Hoping you succeed, ~Ana
    Solution: Mice Cleft Hoping Ana --> THE PINNACLE OF MAGIC
    The Nexus in Coldaara is the center of arcane magic, and home of the Blue Dragonflight. At the very top of that, you’ll find the last clue.

    There you’ll find a box, instead of a letter, containing the Blue Crystal Monocle, the final goal of this branch of the quest line—and your reward from Ms. Ana Graham.

Wild Withered

The four crystal monocles all have flavor text on them, providing a clue on where to go next:

  • "Inscribed around the edge of the monocle in remarkably tiny lettering: <string of 10 letters>". The letters on each monocle are:
    • Green: N R V Q Z J S M G Y
    • Red: P O T Y A B U V F X
    • Yellow: S K M C U F L N J O
    • Blue: Q P C X K B Z H A G
  • Taken all together, the four strings of letters form two complete sets of the English alphabet, minus the following letters: DDEEHIILRTWW.

That's an anagram for WILD WITHERED, which is your clue to head to Suramar and find withered in the wilds.

Interestingly, the withered were the first thing that the community found, and days were spent experimenting on them to no avail before the actual start of the puzzle was found. This also provided further confusion down the line, because they had the withered already, and thought the monocle inscriptions were something else that they needed to solve.


Group Up!

The remainder of the quest line to earn the Hivemind mount must be completed as a group. You’ll need one person with each color monocle equipped. The fifth person doesn’t need a monocle equipped.

Send the four players wearing monacles to the withered that matches the color of their monacle, located in Suramar in the Broken Isles:

  • Rikei (Red) is located to the east of Suramar City.
  • Blom'an (Blue) is located north of Suramar City near Tel’anor.
  • Giluzui (Green) is located near Falanaar.
  • Yorilan (Yellow) is located south of the western most harbor in Suramar City.

With the correct color monocle equipped, the withered are attackable. However, when reduced to 1 health, they don’t die; they instead go temporarily immune, draw power from somewhere in the city for 6 seconds, then heal to full and resume attacking you.

That’s where the fifth person in your group comes in. In a house in upper Suramar, at roughly the center point between the four withered, is a small room that is blocked off by four beams of those same colors. While each withered is drawing power, the coordinating color beam deactivates. When all four beams are simultaneously deactivated, the fifth person can pass through the door.

Within that room, you’ll find a small cat toy on the ground, just begging to be picked up. However, when you try to pick it up, it’ll zap you, dealing some damage and teleporting you outside. The description of the spell you’re hit with indicates that you triggered the defense of this magical cat toy.


Mana Kittens

This portion of the hunt for the mount stumped the secret hunters in the community for quite a while. Players spent a lot of time working on trying to find ways to successfully pick up the cat toy, testing theory after theory for how to either not trigger the defenses, or to make themselves immune to the effect. In fact, the answer was much sneakier: you were intended to get zapped by the cat toy, and the amount of damage it did to you was quite significant: a consistent 5-digit code, specifically for your group of 5 people.

Separately from all of this, a new Nightborne was added to the Court of Stars dungeon in Battle for Azeroth—Lady Chaton—along with her five pet mana kittens. You can pet the kittens, giving them a stack of Purring. If you stop petting for them for too long, however, or reach 10 stacks of Purring, they’ll become angry, scratch you, and run off. (Typical cats.) Speaking to Lady Chaton, she’d share with you a long-winded story about her kittens and how much she wants to pet every cat. She really likes cats. The key thing to take away from her story is the order she got the cats in.

Watching the community solve this puzzle was particularly interesting. We'd occasionally see someone say something like "Hey, I consistently get hit for 12345 damage by the cat toy. Maybe that's a code we need to use?", and later someone else say something like "Hey, we know an order for the cats, I wonder if we need to give them a 5-digit code through Purring stacks?". After a long afternoon of everyone wracking their brains over these two seemingly separate problems, some ingenious players connected the dots.

As crazy as it sounds, that’s the next step. Once you’ve found the 5-digit code for your group (add zeroes to the front if you need to; for example, “1234” means “01234”), go visit the mana kittens in the Court of Stars. Cooperatively enter those five digits on the cats, in the order that Lady Chaton got the cats: Mrs. Fluffymuffins > Shadow > Mew > Ash > Bella.

Once you correctly enter the code for your group, the mana kittens will leap to their pool, do a dance, and summon a portal that will take you to the next puzzle.


Phaseshifting Platforms

The next puzzle is a maze of sorts, taking place on floating platforms over a chasm.

It starts with one platform active. Each platform can be ridden by one player and activates 0–3 other platforms. Players can hop from platform to platform. A platform won’t deactivate while there’s someone on it, but as soon as you hop off it, if nothing is activating it, it’ll disappear. Therefore, you must work as a group to progress throughout this maze, taking turns moving from platform to platform.

There are multiple possible solutions to this maze, but here is one:

Once all five members of your group reach the door on the other side, it will open, letting you proceed.


Lightlocked Platform

For the final puzzle, your group must get across a field of magical energy, using a platform that travels back and forth across it. If you step in the field, you’ll be teleported back to your side of the field.

While riding the platform, it will stop in the middle of the field, analyze the current group of riders, and let them pass if it approves. If not, it will dump them in the field, and you’ll have to try again.

This is a variant of the classic river crossing puzzle. There are three roles which the five people are randomly (and secretly) assigned to—one driver, two adults, and two children. The platform must always have a driver, and is big enough to hold one additional adult, or two additional children, but not two adults. It also can’t go across with only a driver.

Therefore, valid combinations that are allowed to cross are driver + adult, driver + child, and driver + child + child. Experiment until you can find who your driver is, then start using them to ferry people back and forth.

Once you’ve found out your roles, here’s one possible solution:

Starting position

[DAACC     ]

DCC to exit side

[AA     DCC]

DC to start side

[AADC     C]

DA to exit side

[AC     DAC]

DC to start side

[ACDC     A]

DCC to exit side

[A     DACC]

DC to start side

[DAC     AC]

DA to exit side

[C     DAAC]

DC to start side

[DCC     AA]

DCC to exit side

[     DAACC]

Once all five members of your group reach the door on the other side, it will open, letting you proceed.


The Hivemind

This brings you to the end of your journey. In the next room, you’ll find the Hivemind, along with five spots to stand and channel on it, to form your Hivemind group. It was intentional that the group section be consistently and easily repeatable once the puzzles were solved, so that people could reattune as necessary without a frustrating amount of work (it takes about 15 minutes if you know what you're doing and have the monocles already).

This was an awesome secret hunt, and congratulations to those who worked to solve our little puzzles. We hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the development curtain!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Starym
      The first hotfixes of the reset are here and we have nerfs for the final two bosses of the Eternal Palace, Za'qul and Azshara, as well as some Operation: Mechagon tuning, in addition to several item and quest fixes!
      July 23 (source)
      Achievements
      Added some additional underwater wildlife for the Blackwater Behemoth achievement Intro to Marine Biology . Dungeons and Raids
      Azshara’s Eternal Palace Za’qul, Harbinger of Ny’alotha Players who enter the Delirium Realm are now immune to the effects of  Crushing Grasp for a few seconds. Fixed an issue that caused Arcane Intellect and Power Word: Fortitude buffs to be removed from players entering the Delirium Realm. Queen Azshara Players who are targeted by Charged Spear should no longer be valid targets of Static Shock. Players with Static Shock should no longer be valid targets of Charged Spear. Battle of Dazar’alor Stormwall Blockade Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Rogues who used Shadowstep on Laminaria to be ported behind the boss and into the Roiling Tides. Operation: Mechagon K.U.-J.0. Increased the time between Air Drop and Venting Flames by 5 seconds. Decreased the cooldown of Air Drop by 2 seconds. Increased the size of the safe zones behind the Junk Cubes that prevent players from taking damage from Venting Flames. Items
      The Cursed Lover's Ring damaging debuff no longer interrupts its wearer from consuming food or drink items. Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Remote Guidance Device ’s on-use effect to trigger twice. Fixed a bug that sometimes Gloves of Incomparable Beauty ’s proc effect to break its wearer out of stealth. Heart of Azeroth Arcane Heart Fixed a bug that caused some damage and healing effects to go uncounted by this Azerite Trait. Damage and healing counted to activate Omnipotence is no longer counted while Omnipotence is active. Quests
      Players who are on both "Shores of Fate " and "Payment in Kind " can now complete "Payment in Kind" properly. Fixed an issue where some Rogues could not interact with the injured soldiers required to complete "Fear No Evil ". World Quests
      The largest of Queen Azshara's prized jellyfish have been placated after stunning a great many players who missed their jumps occasionally, and will now allow players to jump on them more consistently during "Jumping Jellies ". Previous hotfixes.
    • By Stan
      We have 7 guilds sitting at Mythic Azshara right now, the Arcanite Heart Azerite trait hotfix is live and the events this week include Arena Skirmishes and the Comp Stomp PvP Brawl.
      Table of Contents 
      Mythic World First Race Hotfixes Mythic Keystone Affixes Weekly Quests Nazjatar World Boss World Events Mythic World First Race 
      We currently have seven guilds sitting at Mythic Azshara. US guilds are clearing Mythic Palace for the second time now. Maintenance is coming to EU on Wednesday.
      Hotfixes 
      We have a fresh round of hotfixes out with this week's maintenance. First, Blizzard's increasing tank threat generation tied to Essences and the second change is related to the Arcanite Heart Azerite trait.
      Mythic Keystone Affixes 
      This week's affix rotation includes:
      Fortified Sanguine Grievous Beguiling Weekly Quests 
      Win 10 Arena Skirmish battles for "The Arena Calls" to receive Aspirant's Equipment Cache, 750 Artifact Power, and 65 Conquest. Collect 36,000 Azerite from Island Expeditions for Azerite for the Alliance & Azerite for the Horde to receive 3,500 Azerite and 1,500 reputation with Honorbound/7th Legion. Nazjatar World Boss 
      Players can kill Ulmath, the Soulbinder located in Nazjatar this week. The boss drops ilvl 415 loot.
      Liara's Spire Tyr'mar's Greatsword Willbinder's Halberd Merciless Pincher Moon Priestess' Baton Netherdancer's Knife Temple Guardian's Saber Ulmath's Soulseeker Cloak of Restless Spirits Enthraller's Bindstone World Events [Return to Top]
      Arena Skirmishes Bonus Event (July 24th - July 31st)
      Blizzard (Source)
      Sharpen your swords and reinforce your boards, because you’re called to the PvP Arena for the hectic mayhem of Skirmishes.
      THIS WEEK: ARENA SKIRMISHES
      All week, from anywhere in Azeroth, open the Group Finder (default hotkey: i), select the Player vs. Player tab on the bottom of the window, and then under Casual, choose Arena Skirmish and JOIN BATTLE. You’ll be matched up with teammates and provided with opponents to kill in the Arena. You can also queue for a Premade group or create your own group within the Premade tab. 
      Look for the following all week long:
      Chronicler Shoopa in Zuldazar and in Boralus has a quest for you–The Arena Calls. Or, if you forget to pick it up there, you can start it from within the Adventure Journal. Quest requirement: Win 10 Arena PvP Skirmishes Reward: A PvP loot box Passive buff: +50% honor gains from Skirmishes If you’ve been looking to make some Honor gains, this is the week to do it!
      WHAT ARE BONUS EVENTS?
      The Bonus Events system consists of a rotating schedule of different activities, currently scheduled to run each week beginning on Tuesdays. Each Bonus Event grants a passive bonus to a particular game activity and offers a once-per-event quest with a noteworthy reward for accomplishing a related goal. The in-game calendar can serve as your one-stop reference for the event schedule. The Adventure Guide also offers a direct link to active Bonus Events, allowing you to easily accept any associated quests.
      PvP Brawl: Comp Stomp (July 24th - July 31st)
      Blizzard (Source)

      Jump into Arathi Basin for a head-to-head for battle against AI opponents in this classic battle.
      You can find a list of all world events for the month of July 2019 here.
    • By Starym
      Tanks are getting a threat boost in an upcoming hotfix (presumably today), through the Essence system. As the DPS specs gain quite a bit of damage with their essences, this caused tank threat to sometimes come out lacking, and so each essence slot unlock will now also increase threat generation for tank specs!
      Tank Threat (source)
      We’re working on a hotfix today that will cause all tank specializations to now generate additional threat, via increases granted at each of the three Essence slot unlocks.
      At each of the three Essence slot unlocks, damage-dealing specializations are gaining an increase in their damage output that is substantial enough to sometimes unintentionally disrupt tanking. This change should keep threat generation, relative to DPS, on par with where it was earlier in the expansion.
    • By Starym
      The last day of the US/OC reset was pretty uneventful for the top 2, but we did get a third contender for the title, and a very exciting one, as Asian guild Ji Tian Hong downed Za'qul World 3rd and joined Limit and Method on Queen Azshara! We now have all three regions represented in the top 3, which is just amazing, especially when you consider the 2 day disadvantage JTH had over the US and 1 day over EU.
      The highlight of the day was obviously the JTH kill, as they plowed through the raid, which started during the EU night on Wednesday, meaning it took them some 4 and a half days to get to the final boss, almost exactly the same as it took Method and half a day slower than Limit. The guild also did an interview with the Red Bull stream event and it was very informative:

      Timestamp for mobile: 15:31:39
      We also got some more information on Limit's missing VoDs from Sunday, as it appears there is indeed some strategy hiding going on, as Limit also removed comms from their streams at the half way mark of their day. We also saw all VoDs from Sunday disappear, first from GM Max's channel, then Red Bulls, and then later from all other raiders as well. Now, it could be a simple raid composition/strategy hiding thing, or perhaps they discovered something very specific that they really don't want other guilds to find out remains to be seen, but it's certainly very interesting. Considering the US reset coming up soon this may indicate Limit have a really good strategy prepared but need more gear to pull it off, as they still pushed today to stay sharp, with no new low %, and also went back to farming more loot in Heroic splits for a while. Here's one of the lower tries of today, at 55%:

      As for Method, no comms has been a thing since they started streaming their progress, but their VoDs are still there. They spent today going at Azshara fairly hard, only getting 5% lower then the previous day as a result, but definitely ironing out some strategy ideas and shoring up their execution. Here's their best pull so far, at 64.2%:


      Timestamp for mobile: 10:38:40
      There were also two more Za'qul kills as the EU and Asia presence on Azshara grew, with Pieces and AFK R taking the final two top 5 spots on 7/8!
      And so the first week is done for the US/OC guilds and Limit will be heading for the re-clear later today, but will the second week's worth of gear be enough to push the boss 52% further down? Could we be looking at a 3-week, Kil'jaeden-style race this time around? In any case, it's about to get a whole lot more exciting as not only are Limit and Method whittling the boss down little by little, but JTH joined the fray and we have 3 resets coming up in the next 2 days, and we'll see just how big of a factor that extra gear is in the Palace.

       
    • By Starym
      Eternal Palace Race Day 6: Method Catches Up, Azshara on 52%, Za'qul Comps
      Limit 7/8 World First + Azshara Mythic First Look
      Eternal Palace Race Day 4: Za'qul (Almost) Going Down
      Eternal Palace Race Day 3: The Court Disappoints, Za'qul Does Not
      Eternal Palace Race Day 2: 5/8, Method and Limit Exchanging the Lead
      Eternal Palace Race Day 1: 3/8 Down, Ashvane Stands + Kill Videos
      ______________________________________________________
      The Eternal Palace Mythic progress race has begun in the US and OC regions and we already have three bosses down, with 7 guilds on 3/8! Big Dumb Guild and Limit are fighting neck and neck at the very top at the moment and you can watch all the action live!
      This post will also be the main hub for our own coverage of the race, consisting of daily summaries, videos and updates on what's going on.

      Blizzard has written up a post about the race, covering both the Method and Red Bull streaming events and you can also check out our previous posts on both events here and here.
      Race to World First (source)
      The race to see who can be the first to defeat Azshara in her Eternal Palace begins this week with the best of the best wading in to the depths of this epic raid to see who can make it across the finish line first and claim the World First!
      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.
×
×
  • Create New...