On April 9th, thousands of players in the Secret Finding Discord Community came together to locate hidden pages scattered across Azeroth from Uldum to the Well of Eternity. Their reward for solving the riddle of the Mind-Seekers? The spine-tingling Riddler’s Mind-Worm mount. In this blog, we’ll shed some light on the origins of the Mind-Seekers, expose the real solution to each riddle, and discuss the challenges of making hidden items in Azeroth.
The First Thread
As with any quest or activity, hidden secrets begin with a cool idea. In some cases, it’s a particular reward or implementation detail that drives the design. The chain of hidden orbs that unlocked Kosumoth the Hungering, for example, began with the team’s desire to see a single player’s accomplishment broadcast across an entire region.
There may have also been a minor rivalry in the Level Design team to see who could make the most hidden cave, too.
This time, the spark was the Riddler’s Mind-Worm, which first made its appearance as the team was concepting ideas for Patch 7.2 class mounts. It didn’t cleanly fit into any particular class, but the team liked the idea of a sinister worm from an otherworldly plane of existence. When the Mind-Worm was born into Azeroth, it clearly needed a suitably mind-bending home.
Riddles of the Mind-Seekers
The creation of the Mind-Seeker’s riddles began with the designation of a cipher. As some clever players have correctly surmised, the code book in this case is World of Warcraft: Chronicle—Volume 1. All of the riddles began with pictures or lore found within, though players didn’t always follow the clues in the manner intended. In some cases, it was quite the opposite!
We expected that players would first gather their information from datamining. The pages, when written in order, form the ISBN number of the Chronicle. From there, players would apply the first clue, “…of Sea, Spirit, and Self…” to unlock the location of the second clue. The key is found within the cosmology chart:
At the intersection of the planes of water (the sea), spirit (…spirit) and reality (the self) lies the Emerald Dream. Coincidentally, the second clue is located by the Emerald Dream portal in Azeroth. Though this solution was proposed in the Discord channel on the very first night, this page was not found for quite some time. Kudos to the player who first proposed it—you were correct all along!
From solving this riddle, we expected players to make two connections:
- The solutions would be found in the World of Warcraft:Chronicle—Volume 1. (You can view the original IGN preview here.)
- The solutions may involve drawing a triangle between three elements in a picture.
Everyone, Get in Here!
As the secret-finding group swelled to several thousand (and eventually well over 10,000) players, subtle ideas and suggestions gave way to the brute force of bodies and minds. Overnight, players from across the globe canvased Azeroth, checking anything remotely related to the words in each riddle. If a “stone” was mentioned, no stone was left unclicked. It was only a matter of hours until all the pages were found and a sea of players exploded out of Westfall on a school of flying, evil worms.
Though we didn’t expect that players would necessarily find all the pages in this manner, it was a spectacular sight to behold. In addition, in the majority of cases, someone did post the correct solution, though they may not have known it!
So, what were the intended solutions to each riddle? We’ve explained the first riddle—now here are the rest:
Clue from page 78: “…first of lords to fall…”
As referenced in the Chronicle, Ragnaros was the first elemental lord to fall to the Titans. It just so happened that he was also the first to fall to players in Molten Core. This riddle had several solutions, and this page was found in the Firelands.
Clue from page 161: “…the wind, the eye…”
The Chronicle contains a picture showing the Black Empire. At the border of Al’akir and C’thun’s domains lies the westernmost river in Uldum—the location of this page.
Clue from page 655: “…the plume, the tomb, the scarab moon…”
Further in the Chronicle is an image of the Ordered Azeroth. Drawing lines from Un’Goro (the volcanic plume) to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms (the vault of Y’shaarj) to the scarab-filled Ahn’Quiraj forms an arrow that points at the vault of Y’shaarj, where the page lies.
Clue from page 845: “… in snow, sand, and stone…”
In the image depicting the aftermath of the Aqir and Troll War, Uldum, Ulduar, and Uldaman form a triangle. In the center of the triangle is the Well of Eternity, and this page.
Clue from page 1127: “…behold the battle, unblinking…”
In the image “The Thunder King Battles Xuen, The White Tiger,” several tiger statues watch the battle unfold outside of the Shado-Pan Monastery, where this page is located.
Clue from page 2351: “…bejeweled watcher…”
In the image “The Titan Forged Stronghold of Uldum,” the jeweled watchers oversee the Halls of Origination, and this page.
Clue from page 5555: “...ray of sunrise…”
Perhaps the most deviously hidden note, this riddle could nonetheless not withstand the tide of secret-hunters combing Azeroth by this point. Several things led players to the final location in Westfall—a location with a lighthouse and associated ray of light, and beautiful sunrises. The actual clue, however, was hidden in the background of the Chronicle image of the Sundered World.
In the background, there is a stylized image of a compass. Following the eastern ray of the compass to the shoreline it intersects with gives you the location of the Gift of the Mind-Seekers.
We learned many things from this treasure hunt, the least of which is never to underestimate the ability of the heroes of Azeroth to come together and unite against a common foe. The organization and dedication of the secret finding community was an awe-inspiring sight to behold. We hope you enjoyed this treasure hunt as much as we enjoyed watching the hunt!
As a final note, the Mind-Seekers would like us to let you know that they will be seeing you again soon—and that your thoughts are delicious.