A GUIDE TO LOOTING THE TROVES OF THE THUNDER KING

Along with a new raid, patch 5.2 introduced several solo scenarios into the mix. Some are purely for furthering the plot, but one is far more interesting than that. The Troves of the Thunder King allows you to walk into Lei Shen’s treasure vaults, steal as many items and as much gold as you can, and get out. Unlike other scenarios, the Troves of the Thunder King is timed — you aren’t allowed to loiter around aimlessly in there.
While some players may be confused as to the relative difficulty level of this particular scenario, there’s no reason to be. This scenario is not a walk in the park. It will not allow you to grab everything in one run. It contains elements that will in fact kill you if you aren’t paying attention. But it will also test every sneaky skill you have as a solo player, making the thing ridiculous amounts of fun if you approach it the right way.
And that’s where we come in. Let’s take a brief look at the Troves of the Thunder King and how best to plunder all that plunder!

Getting started
In order to enter the scenario, you’ll need a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen. There are few different ways to get your hands on a key. If you happen to find a gold chest while wandering around the Isle of Thunder, these chests have a chance of carrying a key. In addition, rare mobs — both those wandering around the Isle and those that are summoned, have a chance of dropping a key. And if you’re completing all your daily quests every day, the cache you receive as a reward for completing the final quest also has a small chance of containing a key.
There are some things to remember, however — you can only get a key off of a rare mob once per week. Similarly, you’ll only find one gold chest on the Isle of Thunder per week. Is it possible to get more than one key a week? Absolutely. But it’s rare. In addition to these three methods, you can also rarely nab another key from inside the treasure chests in the solo scenario — it’s possible to chain a couple of runs that way.
Once you’ve got your key, head to Taoshi in the Diremoor and speak with her to start the solo instance. When the solo queue pops, you’ll arrive in a preparation room of sorts. Before you go any further, check your buffs — if you need to reapply, do so now. Also, make sure you have auto-loot enabled, as it makes nabbing chests that much faster. And if you have any special class talents that will enable you to run faster, jump higher, levitate, stealth, or avoid damage, enable those talents before you begin! 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

KNOW YOUR LORE, TINFOIL HAT EDITION, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You’re playing the game, you’re fighting the bosses, you know the how — but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Last week, we looked at the true origins of the mogu as revealed in patch 5.2. Let’s face it — Pandaria is full of mysteries. It’s been feeding us answers to questions very, very slowly, but each answer raises another score of questions as a result. And despite getting answers to the unique origins of the mogu, it still leaves us wondering who Ra-den really was. More importantly, it raises the question of Titan Keepers, and how those Keepers are assigned.
By all rights, Pandaria should have more than Ra-den to watch over it. The mysterious continent is chock-full of Titan technology, and due to the death of Y’shaarj, it presents far more problems than even Ulduar had to offer up in Northrend. With all that said, where are the other Keepers of Pandaria? Do any still exist? Are they in stasis, or guarding something in an area still unexplored? More importantly — all of Pandaria is connected, but how? And how does Emperor Shaohao fit into all of this?
Today’s Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn’t be taken as fact or official lore.

What is Pandaria?
What do we know about Pandaria? In patch 5.2, it becomes even more clear that this place is an incredibly important piece of Azeroth’s history. The entire continent is literally sitting on top of what appears to be some sort of Titan playground. If this is the case, what was the purpose of this particular Titan facility? From what we can see, it obviously involved the creation of new life. Elegon, the Will of the Emperor, and the waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms all clearly point to this particular task.
And unlike Ulduar and Uldum, Pandaria is absolutely teeming with life. It’s not there to lock up an Old God. It’s not there to re-originate the planet. If anything, Pandaria seems to fit most closely with Un’goro Crater and Sholazar Basin — petri dishes of the Titans. But there’s a twist to this particular observation, and it lies within the strange waters of the Vale. Those waters are a dead ringer for the Well of Eternity, and their properties seem to be relatively similar. Given Wrathion’s fascination with the waters, we can presume that they are incredibly important. So what gives?
Far more curious however, is the nature of Pandaria’s creation. Mogu legends tell the tale of Y’shaarj’s demise and the release of the Sha. They speak of the eventual silence of the Titans. When the mogu enslaved Pandaria, there is little doubt that they supposed they were doing the right thing. Lei Shen and the rest of the mogu knew of Ra-den. They knew he’d fallen silent. And as far as Lei Shen was concerned, that was the point at which mogu culture began its slide into failure — with no purpose to complete, the mogu had little reason to exist. The Thunder King rose to power by merit of giving his people a purpose again, something to accomplish.
So here we have Pandaria, and here we have the mogu, Titan creations that are simply following orders. Without orders, they fall into chaos, perhaps victims of the Sha that they may very well have released on Pandaria, according to legends. And even when one rises to give them that order they so desperately need, that creature, the Thunder King, is still in the end just another mogu. His terrifying reign was built on the concept of crushing others until they submitted. And if they refused to submit, his response was to find more power. It’s a very robotic response. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

ADVANCED VIDEO SETTINGS, FROM GRAYSCALE WOW TO VULCAN BLOOD

Popping up on Reddit today was this excellent video on advanced WoW graphic settings. It’s a topic that’s often talked about, and one that people seem to know a little something, but not a lot — and not as much as this guy. These settings are not just the options you get from controlling the in-game UI, these are the things you need to type out console-style.
Be sure to watch the video in high definition — it’s well worth it. Also watch it all the way through. At the end you’re shown how to change the color of blood that mobs splatter when hit. Green blood is now my setting of choice, if only because now every mob spills green blood, just like Spock.
As he notes in the video, and as I can attest to, these settings really do slow down your frame rate, so don’t play with them during raids. People commonly say that WoW’s graphics are eight years old, but that’s not true — the system uses a ton of graphics power when you have the settings turned up. When you do it like this and push them beyond the ultra settings, you’ll quickly kill your gameplay experience for a really nice image. So it’s fun to play with, but be think about what you’re doing before punching in console commands. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

KNOW YOUR LORE, TINFOIL HAT EDITION, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You’re playing the game, you’re fighting the bosses, you know the how — but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Last week, we looked at the true origins of the mogu as revealed in patch 5.2. Let’s face it — Pandaria is full of mysteries. It’s been feeding us answers to questions very, very slowly, but each answer raises another score of questions as a result. And despite getting answers to the unique origins of the mogu, it still leaves us wondering who Ra-den really was. More importantly, it raises the question of Titan Keepers, and how those Keepers are assigned.
By all rights, Pandaria should have more than Ra-den to watch over it. The mysterious continent is chock-full of Titan technology, and due to the death of Y’shaarj, it presents far more problems than even Ulduar had to offer up in Northrend. With all that said, where are the other Keepers of Pandaria? Do any still exist? Are they in stasis, or guarding something in an area still unexplored? More importantly — all of Pandaria is connected, but how? And how does Emperor Shaohao fit into all of this?
Today’s Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn’t be taken as fact or official lore.

What is Pandaria?
What do we know about Pandaria? In patch 5.2, it becomes even more clear that this place is an incredibly important piece of Azeroth’s history. The entire continent is literally sitting on top of what appears to be some sort of Titan playground. If this is the case, what was the purpose of this particular Titan facility? From what we can see, it obviously involved the creation of new life. Elegon, the Will of the Emperor, and the waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms all clearly point to this particular task.
And unlike Ulduar and Uldum, Pandaria is absolutely teeming with life. It’s not there to lock up an Old God. It’s not there to re-originate the planet. If anything, Pandaria seems to fit most closely with Un’goro Crater and Sholazar Basin — petri dishes of the Titans. But there’s a twist to this particular observation, and it lies within the strange waters of the Vale. Those waters are a dead ringer for the Well of Eternity, and their properties seem to be relatively similar. Given Wrathion’s fascination with the waters, we can presume that they are incredibly important. So what gives?
Far more curious however, is the nature of Pandaria’s creation. Mogu legends tell the tale of Y’shaarj’s demise and the release of the Sha. They speak of the eventual silence of the Titans. When the mogu enslaved Pandaria, there is little doubt that they supposed they were doing the right thing. Lei Shen and the rest of the mogu knew of Ra-den. They knew he’d fallen silent. And as far as Lei Shen was concerned, that was the point at which mogu culture began its slide into failure — with no purpose to complete, the mogu had little reason to exist. The Thunder King rose to power by merit of giving his people a purpose again, something to accomplish.
So here we have Pandaria, and here we have the mogu, Titan creations that are simply following orders. Without orders, they fall into chaos, perhaps victims of the Sha that they may very well have released on Pandaria, according to legends. And even when one rises to give them that order they so desperately need, that creature, the Thunder King, is still in the end just another mogu. His terrifying reign was built on the concept of crushing others until they submitted. And if they refused to submit, his response was to find more power. It’s a very robotic response. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

ADVANCED VIDEO SETTINGS, FROM GRAYSCALE WOW TO VULCAN BLOOD

Popping up on Reddit today was this excellent video on advanced WoW graphic settings. It’s a topic that’s often talked about, and one that people seem to know a little something, but not a lot — and not as much as this guy. These settings are not just the options you get from controlling the in-game UI, these are the things you need to type out console-style.
Be sure to watch the video in high definition — it’s well worth it. Also watch it all the way through. At the end you’re shown how to change the color of blood that mobs splatter when hit. Green blood is now my setting of choice, if only because now every mob spills green blood, just like Spock.
As he notes in the video, and as I can attest to, these settings really do slow down your frame rate, so don’t play with them during raids. People commonly say that WoW’s graphics are eight years old, but that’s not true — the system uses a ton of graphics power when you have the settings turned up. When you do it like this and push them beyond the ultra settings, you’ll quickly kill your gameplay experience for a really nice image. So it’s fun to play with, but be think about what you’re doing before punching in console commands. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)