No, not Alex Ziebart, I'm talking about the other Alex -- Afrasiabi, lead world designer for World of Warcraft. During the Quests and Lore panel at BlizzCon 2010, Alex said, "If you see Deathwing, he will kill you." Well, I saw Deathwing, Alex. I saw him with my own two fel-riddled eyes. I saw him torch half the zone. I said, "Oh goodness, this is it -- I'm going to die!" and when it didn't occur, I leapt from my mount and merrily scampered and pranced about in the flames he left behind (nice job on those flame effects, incidentally), and I did not die. I did not even singe. I remained as perfect and whole as I was prior to his appearance. And I was looking at him really hard, too.
You owe me, Alex. You owe me.
Since I'm alive, I may as well answer a few questions.
Is the collector's edition a real product? Cataclysm is less than four weeks from live and I can't even preorder it yet anywhere. Is the plan to make us buy the regular edition so we can play and then also a collector's edition sometime later?
It absolutely is a real product. Unfortunately, it is also a pretty sought-after product that for many stores is only available in limited quantity. If you did not reserve one back when the collector's edition was announced, it's going to be difficult to get your hands on one. You may want to check around online -- I heard Walmart.com may still have a few left for preorder.
What books, manga, or comics should I read if I want to fully understand what's going on in Cataclysm?
The Shattering is a definite must on the reading list, as it directly addresses events that will be going on in the next few weeks leading up to Cataclysm. Stormrage is also worth a look, as the events in Stormrage take place sometime between now and Cataclysm's release. If you're into manga, check out World of Warcraft: Shaman -- it's a good introduction to the Earthen Ring that we'll be seeing all over the place come Dec. 7.
Hesed begged the question:
I hear that Nobundo is in the Maelstrom, is this true? Is he still in that level 5 mage quest robe or something more awesome?
This should answer everything you need to know, Hesed.
What I don't get is that now night elves can be mages in Cataclysm (and there is a lore reason about that), why can't blood elves be druids (by the same extension of the lore reason that night elves can be mages)?
Let's just put this one to rest now. Blood elves cannot be druids. All druids, whether they be night elf, tauren, worgen or troll, are linked to the Emerald Dream. What happened with the night elves is that after the War of the Ancients, Ysera linked the World Tree, Nordrassil, with the Emerald Dream. She then granted the night elf druids entry into the Emerald Dream, so they could help watch over it with her -- mostly because she saw that these night elves had powers that were fueled by nature, which was her domain.
Now these druids didn't necessarily need Nordrassil to enter the Dream, since Malfurion was able to do so prior to Nordrassil's creation, but Malfurion was a student of Cenarius. Those druids that Malfurion trained were also able to enter the Dream. When Nordrassil was destroyed during the Third War, these druids were still able to get in -- think of it more as Ysera saying, "All right, you guys are really keen on this nature stuff, so I'm going to let you into my house to play nice. Please don't mess up the rug," rather than, "The tree needs to be here if you want to get into my house."
The blood elves (or high elves) were originally night elves -- but they were banished from Kalimdor and the World Tree because they were mucking around with arcane magic (something that was forbidden, as the night elves were really keen on avoiding another big kaboom). They weren't interested in nature magic and could not care less about druidism or the natural arts, even though Ysera had gifted the night elves with this really amazing present. All they wanted was to practice arcane magic, to the point that they had a tantrum and unleashed an arcane storm on Ashenvale because they weren't allowed to practice it.
Essentially, what it all boils down to is that Ysera said, "Hey guys, look: I really like you and I think you're nice. Come over for a party at my place; theme is high tea!" and the night elves said, "Aw, we really like you too! Don't mind if we do; we'll dress all fancy and be proper -- what fun!" But the eventual high elves replied with, "Your house sucks; tea sucks; you suck, too. Frankly, we'd rather be snorting huge quantities of this giant pile of cocaine right here than waste our time with you." Then they gave her the middle finger and spat on her feet.
Then they unsuccessfully tried to set her house on fire. When this didn't work, they hopped in their hot rods and took off, music blaring and tires squealing as their fancy hair waved in the wind.
In other words, it's going to take a lot of apologizing, groveling, begging, and dedication for them to even think about setting foot in the Emerald Dream ever again.
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