Thursday, July 29, 2010

The flip side of the coin: Sentinel Amarassan

In the last entry I talked about a high elf, so it seemed only fitting that I talk about a night elf in this entry. Without further ado!

This entry is about Sentinel Amarassan.

Tracking the sentinels

Sentinel Amarassan is a rare elite night elf located at Stonetalon Peak in the Stonetalon Mountains on Kalimdor.

The Sentinel is quite different from the last few rares I covered here in that she has a fixed patrol path, and quite a long one. She will walk from the entrance to the Talon Den along the mountain edge towards the exit where the road leads south. There she will turn around and walk back. This means that she is very easy to find if she is up. This also means that Horde players going for their quests inside the Talon Den or in the other nearby parts of the Peak may find themselves ambushed by her.

She is also very easy to spot, as she is the only night elf sentinel found in the southern half of the Peak.

The huntress becomes the hunted

Sentinel Amarassan is friendly towards the alliance and hostile towards the Horde, just like Jalinde Summerdrake. As an elite mob in an area of non-elites, she can be a nasty surprise for a Horde player caught unawares. Her combat consists of either spamming Wrath at ranged targets or changing into cat form and meleeing. Neither is very dangerous, but her large amount of health can pose a problem, especially if her opponent is still weak (after say fighting their way out of the Talon Den).

Be aware that Amarassan is a classic old world humanoid, and will thus run away at low health. This is, as usual, a source of annoyance if she manages to pull more mobs into the fight. If you do manage to finish her off, your reward is a standard uncommon quality magic item. No unique loot here!


Sentinel Amarassan is one of those rares who fits perfectly into her little area of the world. Stonetalon Peak is (as of this writing, it will change in Cataclysm) a verdant area under the care of the night elves. Here, druids perform their usual duty to heal and care for the land and keep the Peak free of the devastation that has befallen the rest of Stonetalon.

As such, and from her patrol path, it is clear that Amarassan is one of the defenders of the Peak. Her abilities mark her as a druid, which makes sense as "sentinel" is not the title of a specific profession, but of a duty. Sentinels scout and preserve the kaldorei forests against intruders, and while most are skilled with the bow and blade, there is no reason a druid or priest cannot become a sentinel.

Most likely, Amarassan is assigned to watch the path to the Talon Den and chase off intruders. With the number of Horde players doing quests here, it seems a valid concern that the Den is in danger. Poor Amarassan has her work cut out for her. She also has the normal sentinel uniform, which I think looks quite nice despite its age. It fits the blue/purple color scheme of night elves well.

All in all, another rare with a nice name, a nice little place in lore and some fairly unique behavior. Another memorable one to seek out and document, folks!

Until next time.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old alliances: Jalinde Summerdrake

The elves of Quel'Thalas are a divided people, shattered by tragedy, pain and death. With the Scourge ravaging their once-proud kingdom, they have become a shadow of their former power. While most of them have become the Blood Elves and allies of the Horde, a small number maintain their old ways and the name of "High Elves". Many also maintain their ties with the Alliance, while some are more neutral. Today we shall visit one such colony of High Elves.

And the subject of our entry is Jalinde Summerdrake.

Finding a ranger

Jalinde Summerdrake is a rare mob high elf found in the Quel'Danil Lodge in the Hinterlands, in the Eastern Kingdoms.

She can be found in several locations inside and outside the Quel'Danil lodge, where she will walk around her spawn point. She does not look terribly different than the other female high elves in the area, and thus is easiest to find using tracking or targetting her.

Physically, Jalinde is dressed in a comfortable and practical ranger outfit just like the other elves. She has the telltale blue eyes instead of green, showing that her magic addiction is under control. This may of course not be an issue after the restoration of the Sunwell, but still it is worth noting.

(As a curiosity, before the release of the Burning Crusade expansion, all high elves used a different, much rougher model. While I have found no image of Jalinde's original mode, some of her fellow Highvale elves can be seen here. Doubtless her model was similar. And I'm very happy they were changed!)

Bow and blade

Jalinde Summedrake is one of several rarespawns in World of Warcraft who is friendly to the Alliance and hostile towards the Horde. As she does not belong to any form of lesser faction, it is normally impossible for an Alliance player to fight her. Thus, only Horde players will ever see her in combat, which is quite likely since there are a few Horde quests in and around the Lodge.

Jalinde mainly attacks with her bow, having both poisoned shots (which leave a DoT on the target) and explosive shots (which do AoE damage). She is overall a weak combatant who can rather easily be defeated by even enemies around her level or weaker with no trouble. This is fortunate, as she is will almost certainly be drawn into combat if she is up and someone visits the area for the quests. Jalinde Summerdrake has no unique drops, which always made me sad. She should have a bow all her own, at least.

What's her story?

The Quel'Danil Lodge lies between Quel'Thalas and the lands of the ancient allies of the high elves, the dwarves and humans. As such, the outpost served as an important meeting ground and a place to monitor the dangerous forest trolls of the Hinterlands. The Highvale Rangers, part of the famed High Elf rangers, patrol the dales and mountains of the land searching for danger. Indeed, the name "Quel'Danil" itself means "High Peak" in Thalassian.

As the only named elf in the Lodge, it stands to reason that Jalinde is a commander or leader of the rangers. In the roleplaying game the Quel'Danil Lodge was said to be under the leadership of an old elf named Saldor Shallowbrook. If this is still considered canon, then it is possible Jalinde succeeded him as leader after his death or retirement, or is merely serving as a more day-to-day commander of operations.

Regardless of this, Jalinde is doubtless a staunch member of the Alliance, and holds by the old ideals of the High Elves. He future, and that of the other remaining High Elf remnants, may be explored further in the Cataclysm expansion. I rather like rarespawns like this, which make me think about the lore of a specific place, and which themselves fit a nice (if very minor) position in the overall World of Warcraft universe. Plus, Jalinde Summerdrake is a lovely name. All this combined make this a notable and fun rarespawn for me.

Until next time, watch out for forest trolls.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We're back! Mist Howler

July has been steaming hot this year, with nary a cloud or drop of rain. I swear the lawn outside my window looks like it could spontaneously combust at any moment. However, I have returned home from my vacation, and I have a new rarespawn to share with you! Cataclysm looms ever closer, and I'm trying to get a few more done before it hits.

This time, the rarespawn is Mist Howler.

Who is Mist Howler and where can I find it?

Mist Howler is a rare mob wolf found in Ashenvale forest, on Kalimdor.

Mist Howler can be found prowling the western area of Ashenvale forest. Going west from Maestra's Post, the wolf can be found in the open area along the hills separating the Zoram Strand from the rest of Ashenvale. An easy way to check for it is to start at the pass leading into the Strand and then go north and south from there.

Mist Howler is easy to tell from the other wolves in the area because it has the grey wolf skin rather than the white one of the Ghostpaw wolves.

Combat and history

Mist Howler is an interesting rarespawn because of its abilities. While only level 22, it possesses an area fear (called Terrifying Howl) as well as the more common abilities of Rend and Tendon Rip. This means that trying to fight or tame this wolf may end up problematic, at least for a character around that level. If defeated, it has no special drops.

Mist Howler is of course tameable for a hunter, and if the fear effect can be avoided should be rather easy to tame. Unfortunately it does not have a unique or even very unusual skin, sharing one with several other low-level common wolves. Once, before the pet normalization, Mist Howler had a very fast attack speed (1.3 versus 2.0 standard) and a faster run speed than average, making it highly desireable for caster disruption in PvP. Alas, these days Mist Howler is just a standard wolf.

There is not terribly much else to say about Mist Howler. It has a very nicely themed name considering its Terrifying Howl, and could possibly be a pack leader or a lone older wolf of the region.

"Mist Howler" strikes me as a suitably elven name, and I wish I knew a kaldorei translation for it. It's almost poetic.

That's all for this time, I'll be back with more exciting rarespawns this week!

Until next time;


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gone fishing!

Due to an overwhelming case of summer, "Glimpses of Azeroth" has gone on vacation! I'm currenly hunting rarespawns in the real world, and will return in august.

I hope you all are having an equally fun time, and I'll see you again soon!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Ravage, eject. Operation: Information gathering.

It may seem like I'm currently doing a "beast" theme for the blog, constantly bringing up new rare beasts. This isn't actually intentional, honestly. Mostly I just pick out a rare I feel fits for the day, according to my own draconian ways of deciding such things. Regardless, I do like covering beast rarespawns a lot, for not only are they often quite cool-looking, they are also of special interest for anyone playing a hunter and looking for ideas for a new pet.

And fitting in well with that idea, today's rarespawn is Ravage.

Operation: Seek out

Ravage is a rare mob hyena found in the Blasted Lands in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Ravage can be found roughly in the center of the Blasted Lands zone, spawning on either side of the road leading to the Dark Portal. Ravage does not wander very far, it just meanders around a small path where it spawns. This rarespawn is extremely easy to locate visually, because it has a deep purple color which stands out among all the pale snickerfang hyenas common to the zone.

Operation: Combat

Ravage is a hostile mob, but not very tough to defeat in combat. Something of interest is that Ravage has not only Infected Bite and Poison, both of which cause nature damage over time. Now, mammals do not usually have poison, but in this case there is a very good explanation. In the real world, hyenas are very resistant to bacterial infection, and can even carry rabies without developing any symptoms. Therefore, I posit that Ravage's "poison" bite is just a nasty case of septic, bacteria-filled saliva.

Unfortunately, Ravage does not have any unique drops, so a better use for it is to tame it. Hyenas are ferocity (Aka DPS) pets, and tameable by any hunter. They eat only meat, which is a nice detail consistent with real-world hyenas. Their unique ability is Tendon Rip, a semi-useful ability which lowers the enemy's movement speed. As usual, Petopia has all the information you need about taming hyenas.

While not a unique specimen, Ravage shares its appearance with only a few other mobs, and all of them are found quite a far way away. The only common purple hyenas are found in the Thousand Needles, and apart from that the only other one is a Barrens rarespawn, which we have not yet covered as of this writing. I really like the rich purple color on Ravage, and think it makes a very nice-looking pet for that reason alone.

Operation: Fact retrieval

Right, some of you are probably wondering what's up with the titles. Well, it's generally believed (but impossible to verify of course) that the hyena Ravage was named and designed after the Transformer Ravage, a decepticon. Ravage's thing was that he transformed into a cassette carried around by Soundwave until needed. When the action started, Soundwave would toss out Ravage or one of his buddies with commands like "Ravage, eject. Operation: Destruction". It was a pretty memorable part of the cartoon, and fondly remembered by geeks like me.

(And no, I will not explain what a 'cassette' was to those too young to remember it)

Apart from the reference, not much can be said for Ravage. It is likely just another powerful scavenger in a zone filled with them, and we cannot even be certain of its gender. Interestingly, hyenas are not really related to dogs (being more closely related to civets), yet in WoW you can occasionally see a mob with the hyena model tagged as a "hound" or even "mastiff". I like to think that this is just a "stand-in" to save time and money, and not that these creatures are actually hyenas.

I really like how the various idle animations look on the hyena model. Something about them scratching their ear is just neat.

A cool name, a fun nostalgic reference, and a great look ensure that Ravage is a rare I like a lot.

Until next time, don't be fooled by any robots in disguise.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hunting wolf: Gorefang

For some reason, Silverpine Forest is one of those regions in World of Warcraft that reminds me a lot of my native Sweden. Something about those dark, brooding pine forests and the cliffs that just appeals to me on a deep level. Of course, Sweden does not have quite as many worgen and other monsters, and fewer undead. Actually fewer wolves too, and most of them are in parks.

Today's rarespawn is Gorefang.

Basic facts

Gorefang is a rare mob worg found in Silverpine Forest in the Eastern Kingdoms.

There's a few reported spawn points for Gorefang on wowhead, but I don't think the creature truly has that wide of a distribution. I almost always find Gorefang near the Dead Field in the northern part of the zone, in the same general area as the many black worgs. Gorefang stands out because he uses the greyish worg color, and is the only worg in the zone to do so. It does not patrol very far, just pacing back and forth a small area where it spawns.

What's the story?

Gorefang is an average rarespawn when it comes to abilities and drops. It has a weak rend, and that's it. No special drops either. Thus Gorefang is an easy mob to kill, should you so wish.

One thing about Gorefang worth noting is that it is a pretty easy way to get a non-black worg for a Horde hunter. Most white and grey worgs are much higher in level (going into the 40s), or found exclusively in Alliance territory. For this reason alone, I think Gorefang is worth remembering should you ever want a nice-looking worg pet.

The idea of "worgs" or "wargs" being larger, more ferocious, more intelligent wolves is derived primarily from the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, who had wargs as semi-intelligent allies to his evil forces. It is interesting to note that World of Warcraft to some degree continues the association between orcs and wargs (now worgs), and also still has orcs riding these ferocious beasts rather than horses.

While we can't say much about Gorefang (even what gender it is), the close proximity to Arugal's Shadowfang Keep may be more than a coincidence. Many pale worgen patrol the area, and the black worgs in the forest have become more dangerous and bloodthirsty at the behest of the mad archmage. Actually, were it up to me I would decide that Gorefang is a pet of Arugal's worgen servant, Wolf Master Nandos, sent out to terrorize the Forsaken settlements.

Most notable for being an easily accessible "special" looking worg for Horde players, Gorefang is still a nice-looking rarespawn which meshes well with the zone it is found in.

Until next time... don't go howling at the moon.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Corruption-resistant? : Mongress

Some time ago I covered a very generic rarespawn bear named Old Vicejaw. This post covers a second rare mob bear which is basically identical to Vicejaw, and about as bland. This is the downside to being devoted to cover every rarespawn, I have to cover even the ones that there is very little to say about.

Without further ado, here's Mongress.

Short and sweet

Mongress is a rare mob bear found in Felwood on Kalimdor.

Mongress wanders around the forest of Felwood pretty close to the Emerald Sanctuary. She can be found west or north of the small druid base, wandering a small patrol path. Mongress is easy to spot even at a distance, because she has the normal bear skin, not the corrupted one prevalent in Felwood.

Be aware that Mongress is one of those mobs that sometimes spawns inside a tree. This is a somewhat common occurance in areas with lots of tree objects. I remember visting Darkshore for the first time and being attacked by bears inside trees which I couldn't target. So, just like with Lord Maldazzar, you may be able to target but not attack Mongress.

Scant facts

Mongress has a standard bear model, as mentioned, and one of the most common colorations. The standard brown bear can be found in classic, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content. Her only special ability is a damage-increasing enrage, and she is quite easy to defeat.

Mongress has no unique drops, and will look like any other brown bear if tamed. From the name I have guessed that Mongress is a female bear, but sadly she has no cubs to care for.

The only really interesting trivia about this rare is that it is one of few creatures in Felwood that's entirely corrupted by the lingering fel presence of demons. Presumably that is why Mongress has been given a name (perhaps by the nearby druids), noting her resistance to the decay afflicting the forest.

One of the most generic and bland rares in the game, Mongress is little more than a name and a source for a green item. Next time I'll cover something more interesting, I promise.