Monday, December 13, 2010

*Intermission music*

My computer has been fixed and is running within nominal parameters again. Unfortunately, delay number two hit like a bomb in the form of patch 4.0.3 (the Shattering) and then World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. In short, everything about the old world has changed, and the lives of rarespawns are not exempt.

* Some rares have vanished, and by all accounts are gone permanently.

* Some rares have changed locations, looks or loot. This applies to a large number of them, actually.

* Some new rares have appeared in old zones.

At the moment, everything is totally chaotic. My old rarespawn information is safely preserved, but I need to gather massive amounts of new data to restart the blog properly. Fortunately, right before the Shattering patch hit, I did a final tour of old Azeroth and snapped most of the ambience pictures that I needed to have.

For the future of the blog, I'm planning to do posts which will describe both a pre- and a post-Cataclysm information block for each rare. Despite the disappearance of many creatures permanently, many others have received a lot of attention and are now much more detailed, look cooler or are even mentioned in lore. The last portion makes me feel extra warm and fuzzy, of course.

You may be wondering if I missed out on any rarespawns which have been removed.

The answer is, I don't think I have. There are still three which I have not seen and documented, despite countless stakeouts at every conceivable time. However, I believe that each one of these may still appear within the game. Should this turn out not to be the case, I'll make a blog entry which says just that.

Anyway, this has been your "in the works" report for now. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rarespawn shorts: Gnawbone

Okey, I have a confession to make. Even I, with my nearly boundless enthusiasm for rarespawns in World of Warcraft, sometimes find myself lost for words. There's some rare mobs that just aren't that special, and I can't speculate much about them either. They're just plain and average, and my entries tend to reflect that. But I still want to cover them, and for that purpose I'm going to experiment with a shorter entry form for some of these mobs. Don't worry, I won't do this with any creature that I believe has some more worthwhile qualities. This is just to get some of these duller mobs out of the way so I can focus on the more unique ones.

Let me know what you think about this "short" entry type.


Gnawbone is a rare gnoll found in the Wetlands, in the Eastern Kingdoms. He's somewhat tricky to locate because he can spawn in many different spots along the Sundown Marsh in the central part of the zone, and patrols quite far.

Gnawbone has no real special abilities or loot, and is an easy kill for any class. He does drop the crude flints required for Rethiel the Greenwarden's quest to slay the gnolls cutting down and burning the trees of the zone.

Gnawbone is a Mosshide gnoll, a vicious tribe who are cutting a swathe of destruction through the Wetlands in their desire to expand.

His name is derived from the common gnoll line "More bones to gnaw on", showing their desire to consume their enemies.

Gnawbone is a very average rare, with not much to distinguish him. He will likely vanish in Cataclysm, when the Wetlands will be drastically changed.

Until next time.


Hagg Taurenbane: Champion of the Razormane

The southern Barrens is an area set to undergo catastrophic changes in the oncoming Cataclysm. As such, today's rarespawn is another one which will very likely be gone for good once it happens. The reason is that the southern Barrens will become a quite changed place, and much higher in level. Because of this, and because the Barrens have a large amount of rare mobs, I am trying to feature as many of them as I can before Cataclysm hits.

Therefore, let us peek at Hagg Taurenbane.

Who is Hagg Taurenbane, and where do I find him?

Hagg Taurenbane is a rare elite quilboar found in the Barrens, on Kalimdor.

Hagg Taurenbane is found in Blackthorn Ridge, one of many quilboar settlements in the Barrens. Blackthorn Ridge is located in the southern part of the Barrens, almost straight west from the dwarven stronghold of Bael Modan. Hagg can be found standing around several of the camps here. He does not walk around at all, thus making him fairly easy to find (aided by the fact that he has a somewhat short spawn time).

Combat and loot

For an unwary adventurer, Hagg can cause some problems. As an elite, he has a lot of health for his level. Furthermore, he is immune to a number of conditions (like stunning, sleep, traps and fear) which can be a genuine problem for some classes. He also has a number of abilities, all classic warrior abilities. Hamstring, demoralizing shout and cleave are all in Hagg's arsenal.

An added note is that fighting Hagg may also involve adds, due to the stealthed quilboars in the area. If you can overcome these problems, Hagg can be downed and looted. Unfortunately he has no unique or special loot to provide, but at least a bonus magic item is a bonus. But maybe not worth it, depending on how easy you can kill him.

Lore and trivia

Hagg has a title, something that is rather uncommon among rare mobs (and classic WoW mobs in general). He is the "Razormane Champion", a title befitting an elite warrior-type monster. The Razormane quilboar are one of the most infamous tribes of quilboar, and go all the way back to Warcraft III, where you must defeat them during the orc campaign to secure the alliance with the tauren. That Hagg bears the surname "Taurenbane" only shows the deep hatred these two races harbor for eachother. Another notorious rare mob I covered earlier, Captain Flat Tusk, also belongs to the Razormane.

As a champion of the Razormane, there's a good chance Hagg has been involved in some of the deeds of his tribe, such as the slaying of Mankrik's wife, a rather famous Horde quest. The Razormane emerged from the Razorfen Kraul to invade the Horde territories, a major hostile move by the quilboar. As the Champion of his tribe, most likely Hagg has been in the forefront of this offensive, probably selected by Charlga Razorflank herself to lead the assault.

Having a name like "Taurenbane" is just another thing that makes this guy interesting. While not a very special rarespawn, he has enough little fun facts surrounding him to make him above average. I am very fond of mobs which ad to a small hierarchy or mini-story, and Hagg fits in well as the elected champion of a quilboar tribe. He's worth looking up, especially since he is most likely doomed.

Until next time, beware the pig-men.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Zul'Brin Warpbranch and NEW HEADER!

This post serves two purposes. As the title indicated, I want to pull your attention to the header of the blog, which now sports a brilliant and awesome new logo for the blog. This one was designed and created by my good friend (and guildie) Athorist, who's also been a supporter of the blog for a long time. I cannot express my gratitude enough for taking the time out to create this for me. It really makes the blog look so much cooler! I hope everyone who reads this agrees.

Thank you so much!

Oh right, I should have a rarespawn as well.

This post also features Zul'Brin Warpbranch!

Finding the witchdoctor

Zul'Brin Warpbranch is a rare mob troll found in the Eastern Plaguelands in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Zul'Brin can be found in Zul'Mashar, a small troll enclave in the upper region of the Eastern Plaguelands, just Northeast of the exit to the Ghostlands. Zul'Brin can spawn in several different spots here, including on the large ziggurat-like temple. He is not undead like some of the trolls nearby, and thus registers as a humanoid if you can track those. He has a rather long spawn timer, and is thus somewhat hard to locate.


Zul'Brin is hostile to all player characters, so anyone encountering him need to be ready for a fight. Should you choose to engage him, you'll find that Zul'Brin is something of a pushover. He has several spells at his disposal (chain lightning which jumps between enemies, a direct-damage flame shock, a healing wave to heal himself or others and a hexx spell to turn an opponent into a frog) but with as little health as he does, he stands little chance against even a single well-prepared adventurer.

As with many other mobs, the only thing that can cause problems here is by running into Zul'Brin at low health, or allowing the fight to get messy. Often he spawns near at least one Mossflayer Scout, annoying mobs which shout for help immediately when aggroed. This could potentially result in lots of adds joining in. But Zul'Brin himself doesn't do this, and will likely die very fast.

When defeated, Zul'Brin yields nothing special apart from the usual green-quality drop. While the robes he wear are attainable by players and look rather fetching, Zul'Brin does not specifically drop them.

Da hexxer's story

Zul'Brin is one of the Mossflayer tribe of forest trolls. One of the forest troll tribes who defected from the Horde after the departure of the legendary warlord Zul'Jin, the Mossflayer are hated and despised by other trolls and the Horde in general. Further, it seems from the mobs found here and their choice of living place that the Mossflayer are at least dabbling in necromancy and the creation of the undead.

Furthermore, forest trolls usually kill and eat sentient beings (even other trolls), something which serves to further make them outcasts. The Mossflayer came south from the Ghostlands, possibly in order to learn more about the undead. With his powers and appearance, it seems that Zul'Brin is the head shaman of the tribe. He is the spiritual guidance of the trolls, whereas the warlord (whom we will adress later) is the secular one. What loas Zul'Brin worships, if any, is unknown, though it would likely be a degenerate and terrifying form of worship.

In Zandali, the purest form of the troll language, adding the word "zul" as a prefix to a troll's name means "master of voodoo". How perfectly appropriate for Zul'Brin, who is a shamanistic witchdoctor! His surname "Warpbranch" is wonderfully evocative as well, bringing up images of twisted, dark voodoo rites performed by the campfire in the plague-haunted land.

I should also note that Zul'Brin received a new model (like most forest trolls) in patch 3.0.2, becoming much more muscular. From what I can tell, this change also hid his face behind the voodoo mask you can see in my screenshots, a change which makes him look more like a witchdoctor.

I really like this guy. He looks really cool (most trolls do), has a great get-up, a great name and he fits his little slice of lore perfectly. This is the kind of rarespawn that set me off on my quest to find them all, and well worth looking up!

Until next time, stay away from the voodoo;


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In service of the Crusade: Foreman Marcrid

The Scarlet Crusade, a fanatical organization of human zealots, is one of the major enemy faction in World of Warcraft. From the Scarlet Monastery dungeon (the rarespawns of which we'll cover eventually), to Stratholme, to the Ashbringer story and all the way to Northrend, the Crusade have been there challenging players. It's safe to say that the Scarlet Crusade has been something of a classic part of WoW ever since its inception. Interestingly enough, there are a lot of rarespawns associated with the Scarlets, and it's high time we take a look at the first of them.

Without further ado, Foreman Marcrid.

Who is Foreman Marcrid, and where do I find him?

Foreman Marcrid is a rare mob human found in the Western Plaguelands in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Foreman Marcrid can be found around the Northridge Lumber Camp, straight north from the Ruins of Andorhal. The Crusade have set up a small lumber operation here, based around a sawmill, and Marcrid can usually be found either around the mill itself or at the small camp with tents straight west of the building. Marcrid does not wander around much, so he is fairly easy to locate if he is up.

Fighting Marcrid

Marcrid is not a threat if handled carefully. He is a typical melee mob, with a cleave and a strike ability that does extra damage. The main problem with fighting Marcrid is that at low health he will "call for help". People who have played since the days of classic WoW probably remember this enemy ability, which draws in every hostile mob in range. If you have not cleared the area around Marcrid before fighting him, you may find yourself swamped in enemies.

If you carefully remove the mobs surrounding the Foreman and then engage him, you should have little trouble defeating him. Interestingly, he does have a unique drop. Marcrid carries the blacksmith plans to Frostguard, an interesting sword with a very special look. Frostguard was first seen in the free bonus campaign to Warcraft III involving Rexxar, and thus has a bit of a pedigree to it. While the sword itself was not very useful even back in the day, it looks very neat, and makes for a cool (no pun intended) roleplaying accessory. Fortunately the plans are not Bind on Pickup, and can thus be sold and traded.

Marcrid's lore

There's no specific lore about Marcrid, but he's one of those rares where you can infer a lot from just his name and where he spawns. As mentioned earlier, the Northridge Lumber Mill is where you can find this guy. It would seem fairly clear from his title that he is the overseer of the operation, probably sent out from Hearthglen to harvest sufficient amounts of lumber for the Crusade's needs.

The lumber operation here is of sufficient concern to the nearby alliance and horde encampments that they seek to sabotage it in a memorable quest involving plagueland termites. Presumably Marcrid and his underlings are quite hardy and capable to have been given this mission, and as most Scarlet Crusaders they are likely quite cruel and show little remorse.

Finally, his possession of the unique blacksmithing plans imply to me that Marcrid is either a blacksmith himself (though he wields an axe like a lumberjack), or keeps it for some other reason. Maybe a relative of his was a blacksmith killed in the Third War, and Marcrid keeps the plans close to him for sentimental reasons? Interesting that the Warcraft III Frostguard appeared in the Kul Tiras section of the game, another faction of stubborn, reactionary humans...

In closing, Foreman Marcrid is a cool rare with lots going for him. Scarlet Crusade members tend to look cool and striking in their uniforms, and Marcrid looks every bit the Foreman he's supposed to be. He has a unique piece of loot, and fits in with the area he can be found in. With the Western Plaguelands undergoing massive changes in Cataclysm, track down this guy while you still can.

Until next time, keep your blacksmithing plans close to your heart.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Public note

Hey everyone.

I just wanted to do a quick shout-out to my good friend Alicia for getting this blog featured on WoW Insider this week! I really appreciate it, and hope some of the new readers will enjoy what they find here.

Several new posts are in the pipeline for this week, so stay tuned!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Curses here, curses there, curses everywhere - The Accursed Slitherblade

Possibly the most generic form of rare mob is the one that not only has no special abilities, loot or lore surrounding it, but also no real name. Many of these are named mostly as a description of what they are ("Murderous Blisterpaw"), and while these kinds of rarespawn are not really numerous, there are a few of them in the old world. In this rather brief entry I'll cover one of these poor "nameless" rarespawns.

This post is about the Accursed Slitherblade.

Finding the Accursed Slitherblade

The Accursed Slitherblade is a rare mob naga found in the Desolace on Kalimdor.

The Accursed Slitherblade is found off the coast of Ehtel Rethor in the northwestern corner of the zone. Every time I have found this mob he's been in the reef between Ethel Rethor and Ranazjar Isle, quite a bit down near the seafloor. However, wowhead reports that he can also spawn on the Isle itself (corroborated by a screenshot) and near the beach on the other side. Give the area a good search if you're looking for this mob.

Fighting the Accursed Slitherblade

This rarespawn is another one with no special abilities (and he's really mad about it). He's a very quick and simple fight for any class.

As expected (since I kind of spoilered it in the opening paragraph), the naga does not have any unique or even notable loot either. Just the standard generic drops, with a magic item for your trouble.

Lore of the Accursed Slitherblade

This mob opens so many unanswered questions. If he's cursed, why does he still live with the other naga? What form does his curse take? Bad luck? Itchy... uh... fins? An overwhelming desire to possess anything of the color magenta? Maybe his curse is that he shall forever remain nameless, referred to only by his "title"...

At least we do know that the nameless one is one of the Slitherblade naga, a group who under the leadership of Lord Kragaru have assaulted hapless vessels off the coast of the Desolace. Maybe the Accursed one stole some treasure he shouldn't from one of the ships, or from the ruins? Who knows.

In closing, there's really nothing remarkable about this rarespawn. The Accursed Slitherblade is totally average, distinguished only by his silver dragon and name.

Until next time, I hope you never lose your names and have to be referred to as "Accursed Human". That would be weird.