Jim Raynor is a character from the Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War expansion who inspired many good feelings in the Single Player Campaigns. From Marshal of a backwater outpost in Mar Sara to leader of the Rebels against the Confederates, and later the Dominion and Mengsk, Jim Raynor continued his quest for a better tomorrow for humanity. No matter the odds facing him and his team. Or the challenges.
Jim Raynor, however, lost one odd that couldn’t be beaten: Blizzard. A year ago, at BlizzCon 2007, the Starcraft 2 team panels revealed that a new voice actor was given a casting to perform as Jim Raynor. This however is not the Jim Raynor’s voice that we know and love for the past ten years. No. The reasoning behind this change was that the original concept of Jim Raynor was designed from a TV series titled Texas Ranger. With Starcraft 2, the opportunity to hire someone meeting this and other requirements presented itself.
Is this what fans want? I really doubt that. Would you enjoy upcoming Harry Potter films without Daniel Radcliffe? Would you enjoy the X-files without Scully and Mulder? Would you enjoy The Simpsons if Homer and Bart’s voice actors were replaced? In the case of the original Starcraft, the voice of an actor is what gives texture and life to a character. We have heard Jim Raynor’s voice in the single player, and the User-Map Settings games over and over for ten years. We aren’t tired of his voice. We listen to his voice, and we know immediately, that’s Jim Raynor. That’s the man who has gone through bitter and krap, and continues his fight with no rest. Like a man in real life should. Jim Raynor and his voice have become as iconic and symbolic as any other character’s of any TV show, Comic Book, Cartoon, or film franchise.
A change of a character’s voice or in the case of TV series or films, the actor, can be justified if the original actor has passed away. The show must go on. However, when the actor is willing to continue his role from the bottom of his heart, and the administration decides to change the actor to stick to the original plan for a character … something is really, really bad. It is not a smart decision to tick off the fanbase. The voice actor was hired for the roll in Starcraft, and its expansion pack. Starcraft 2 should have the same voice actor performing Jim Raynor as we know and love.
Glynnis Talken reprised her role as Sarah Kerrigan the Queen of Blades in Starcraft 2. The same should have been done with Robert Clotworthy for his role as Jim Raynor. I will play Starcraft 2 regardless with the new voice actor. But there will be a stake buried deep in my mind permanently … that is no longer Jim Raynor. That’s someone else. Every time I play the Starcraft 2 Single Player campaign … it will echo within my mind: “That is not the Jim Raynor I have known for ten years.”
Robert Clotworthy informed Blizzplanet the following:
“I just found out today that I will not be returning as the voice of Jim Raynor. The casting director of Starcraft 2 contacted Blizzard and was told that they appreciated my work, but were going in another direction. I am obviously disappointed by their decision. I was looking forward to returning as Raynor and was hoping that Blizzard would at the very least have given me the opportunity of auditioning.
It has been my privilege to have been the voice of Jim Raynor. I am disappointed by Blizzard’s decision, but I must respect it. I wish Blizzard only the best with StarCraft 2, and I am certain the game will live up to everyone’s expectations. Thank you to all the fans who have given me their support and enthusiasm, it means a lot to me.
A year ago, Blizzplanet interviewed Robert Clotworthy shortly after Starcraft 2 was officially announced at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in South Korea. He expressed his feelings toward his role as Jim Raynor.
Robert Clotworthy has been actor or voice over actor of over a hundred film, TV episode, cartoon and game projects in the past thirty years of his career. Among them: Batman (Game), Tekken 5, Everquest II, The Young and the Restless, The Davinci Code (Game), Matlock, Melrose Place, Remington Steele, Three’s Company, Dynasty, The Rockford Files (1978), Columbo, M*A*S*H* and many others. Read his entire career background at imdb.com.
I posted a walkthrough guide of the awesome quest chain from Avatar of Freya, daughter of the Titans who may be found near the Lost Land in Sholazar Basin. It is a lengthy quest series, but the blue loot reward might be worthwhile for tanks and retribution paladins. It is the most epic solo quest in World of Warcraft to be honest. You control a flipping Stonewatcher of Norgannon to siege the Undead Scourge at the Avalanche area on the northeast corner of Sholazar Basin. You need to kill 200 Scourge Minions and three elite bosses with interesting abilities.
Transcript and four videos coming. Two already up.
A few days ago, Richard A. Knaak had given me a heads up about a podcast interview he had with Jonathan Lonczak from WoWPodcast (BrokenEggsMedia.com). The podcast will be available today Sunday in the evening. Jonathan sent me a few highlights for you to get a feeling. Oh, a new novel … World of Warcraft: Stormrage.
What got Richard Knaak into Blizzard?
They approached him because of his Dragonlance books. Some of the heads of Blizzard had grown up on his Dragonlance works and asked him to write for both Warcraft and Diablo. This allowed Richard to write for both of the kinds of fantasy that he liked, Lord of the Rings type fantasy and dark fantasy.
How much did he play the Warcraft games?
Richard played Warcraft II Battlenet Edition quite a bit. Played World of Warcraft a little bit, but used a lot of background material and screen shots for inspiration. Blizzard has lore keepers who are able to provide him with facts. This also ensures that all of the information that is produced for the Warcraft franchise by writers is consistent.
Did he picture himself as Rhonin or Krasus?
Krasus and Rhonin are especially a part of Richard. He puts a lot of himself into all of his characters, but especially with them. It was difficult to orchestrate them into the story and to have them change parts of the history while maintaining the integrity of Blizzard’s original story.
How did he come up with the character traits of main characters?
Some of it came from the depth of the world itself, and the writing of the original story in game. Azshara’s vanity is a direct result of the way she is worshipped by her people, so it makes logical sense that this would bring about her downfall. Illidan’s lust for power acts in the same way leading to his downfall and internal conflict between good and evil. Many of the character traits in the major characters are able to be derived by their actions in previous circumstances.
How did he come up with all the war tactics that are used in the War of the Ancients Archives?
He figured out what needed to be moved about in each battle. That determined how to bring characters to their next phase. He has a love for history and does a lot of reading about the civil war and major military conflicts. He then uses what he learned from military history and military war games into the Warcraft universe.
If he had to play any class in the game what would it be?
He likes Mages, Paladins, and Warlocks. His favorite races are Human, Tauren, and Night Elves.
He has written the first story in the first Starcraft anthology. It is a moral story and is a bit longer than some of his other works. This will be released in August.
Working on “Dragons of Outlands” which will go into more detail about the outlands, but not allowed to say much more.
Working on “Night of the Dragon” this is the sequel to “Day of the Dragon” and will have returning and new characters . The book will also contain some Draenei and will be the hardest thing that Krasus has had to go through yet.
He will be working on a new Diablo novel which he can say nothing else about.
He will also be working on another new Warcraft novel “Stormrage”. Which he can also tell us nothing more about.
There are many more interesting questions and answers during the interview, to hear more please visit http://www.wowpodcast.com and listen to our streaming feed, or download the content to listen to on your portable player.
Rob Pardo presented a keynote today at the Paris Game Developers Conference. The full Pardo conversation at GDC Paris is now available on Gamasutra, including the Blizzard exec thoughts on a whole host of major issues, from user-generated content through the Activision/Vivendi merger and beyond.
He elaborated: “If you make it subscription here, and free to play in Korea, that doesn’t work, because it’s a global community, and the other regions wouldn’t like it, because everyone knows what everyone’s doing. And the game design might not support it.”
Interestingly, Pardo commented on this subject: “When were first going to make World of Warcraft, we wanted to make it free and advertising supported.”
However, the Blizzard exec noted: “We didn’t want to charge a subscription, but as we researched market conditions, we realized that wouldn’t support us.”
UPDATE (5-22 5pm EST): Voodoo Extreme had word from PCGamer the August 2008 Edition’s mysterious exclusive is not about any Blizzard Game. I also got a email from PCGamer denying and clarifying it is not about a Blizzard game.—via Shacknews
Blizzplanet contacted PC Gamer the same day the rumor started circulating our sister forum, and got reply today afternoon: “Sorry to get your hopes up, but we can officially deny that Diablo is on our cover next month. We’re announcing something big and exciting and exclusive (actually, there are two big exciting exclusive announcements in this issue!), and we had to go a long way to get it, but it’s not from Blizzard.” said Dan Stapleton (PC Gamer Magazine, Senior Associate Editor).
Regardless, hope still remains that the favorite and craved RPG game of all-times gets announced on 2008. It is amazing how fans continue awaiting year after year the announcement of a new sequel seven years later. This rumor in particular caught momentum, because there were signs there pointing toward a Diablo exclusive. Signs you will read below in the original story. That doesn’t mean still a Diablo game won’t be announced at WWI, nor whether PCGamer has the exclusive on the July edition. We will have to wait 36 days until the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris starts to find out.
Original Story (5-20): Another fan-fueled Diablo Rumor Mill has propelled out in full swing after PC Gamer’s July edition wrapped up with the following text:
Have you ever had a secret that you’re just dying to blurt out, but you can’t for another month, and the stress of holding it in makes you want to do the pee-pee dance? That’s what the PC Gamer staff is doing right now, because the August issue will be chock-full of exclusives, including a top-secret cover story so huge we had to go to [CENSORED] to get it. Just 30 days more …”
Here are a few thoughts to ponder on this brainstorming puzzle PC Gamer unleashed:
- PC Gamer was probably among the Gaming press Magazines who visited Blizzard Entertainment early on May, a few weeks ago.
- If you remember, PC Gamer knew about the Starcraft II announcement last May 2007. Blizzard Entertainment made the announcement at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (WWI) at Seoul, South Korea.
- PC Gamer can’t talk about it for the next 30 days … the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals at Paris, France takes place on June 28-29.
- June 29 is the date Diablo II shipped on USA (2000) and the same date the expansion Lord of Destruction shipped on Europe a year later (2001).
- Notice how PC Gamer replaces a swearing with [CENSORED]? Could this be a clue as to what the game they refer to is? Because CENSORED really sounds like HELL … as in … Diablo?
UPDATE (5-21): Shacknews got response from Blizzard Entertainment.
UPDATE (5-22 6am EST): I just approached one of my friendly journalist collegue contacts: Leord, from WorldofWar.net, to ask if PCGamer journalists were seen at the Blizzard headquarters early May 2008. The answer was: Twice. Cheers.
UPDATE (5-22 10am): Jeff Green is a well-recognized PC gaming editor-in-chief and journalist at 1UP.com—Jeff Green’s reaction to the PCGamer Mysterious Exclusive:
“As a former magazine editor, I’d say Diablo 3 makes sense. That’s my guess. Blizzard has the big Paris event coming up with a big game announcement. We’ve already been assuming over here that PCG would have the cover for this—-because, well, who else would at this point? So I was waiting to see a Coming Next Month from them written exactly like this. Gotta be D3.”—Source: Neogaf Forums
Keith R.A. DeCandido gave me a heads up of some details of his upcoming Starcraft Ghost: Nova sequel which he posted in his blog. The pocket book sequel will tie-in with the Starcraft II plot introducing a backstory of the Spectre ghosts unit. The novel will have elements from the postponed FPS console game, the way the canned Warcraft Adventures was novelized. The pocket book title is Starcraft Ghost: Spectres.
Keith: “It’s pretty much official at this point, since Pocket’s made an offer to my agent that I’ve accepted, and Blizzard likes 90% of the outline: barring a major disaster, I will be writing a sequel to my StarCraft: Ghost novel Nova. Tentatively pencilled in to be published in the summer of 2009 (though it isn’t formally scheduled yet, so that could very easily change), the novel will be called Spectres, and will pick up where Nova left off.
(I really hope it is published in summer 2009, as that’s when the Ghost Academy manga is scheduled to debut also….)
In some ways, this will be a novelization of StarCraft: Ghost, the game-that-never-was. Nova was written to be a prequel to the game, and the plot of Spectres will include many elements of what was to be in the game. Having said that, don’t read this novel expecting to see exactly what the game would’ve been like. The game plot is, at best, a loose basis for the novel. We went for what worked best for the overall storyline in general and for this novel in particular, rather than fidelity to a game that will probably never see the light of day.
It will also tie into both Ghost Academy (which will take place alongside Chapters 18-19 of Nova) and to the forthcoming StarCraft II game. Nova will be in both, obviously, and another character in both the manga and the novel is a major player in the upcoming game. Oh, and Agent Malcolm Kelerchian will be returning in Spectres as well.
A couple of nights ago, the Frostmourne Replica Auction run by Weapon Masters was closed, and you won’t believe how high the bids went. Holy macaroonie!
Highest Bid: $20700.00
Registered Users: 1012
The winner of the auction was Xeophonix from Italy.
A strong message to those who didn’t think this sword replica would be appealing to hardcore World of Warcraft fans, indeed. Well, at least hardcore players who have a 6-digit salary. After all there are Hollywood celebrities and professionals who play this game and have the strong cash to spend on their favorite fantasy setting.
Among known celebrities playing World of Warcraft are Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, TheGuild Webisode), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Dave Chapelle (Comedy Central), and many others.
Keep an eye on Blizzplanet’s interview with EPIC Weapons in upcoming days.
Below is the list of the 99-bidders that clashed to be the royal owner of the Frostmourne Replica # 1. All the 99 participants automatically became members of the Arthas’s Army of Disciples Club. Below is a list of the auction winners. The image to the right will take you to the Frostmourne gallery.
If you haven’t put your paws on the World of Warcraft Comic Book published by DC Comics and Wildstorm you have been missing a lot. No pun intended. Remember the Missing Diplomat questline? It revealed that the missing diplomat was really the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn. After patch 1.9 the King was removed from Alcaz Island. And Patch 2.3 introduced new Missing Diplomat quests where a special cargo had been lost during a Defias Shipwreck at the coasts of Dustwallow Marsh. The special cargo was a human. The name of the human was never told, but … ta-da! … World of Warcraft the comic book issue# 1 was launched a week or two after the patch 2.3 introduced these new quests, and the comic book showed an amnesic human unconscious at the shores of Durotar, apparently surviving a shipwreck.
For months fans have speculated … nay … been certain this was the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn. Today it is OFFICIAL! Issue# 8 starts the second story arc of this comic book series.
With this revelation, speculations may start abound on what Blizzard Entertainment’s plans are for Varian Wrynn in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion and the Warcraft Film by Legendary Pictures. Is the mysterious Human (Anti-Thrall) Hero of the Warcraft Film … Varian Wrynn? Will the Varian Wrynn NPC be relocated to Stormwind? What will happen to Lady Prestor and all those quests? Will Fordragon be moved to Northrend as a leading hero of the Northrend incursion against the Lich King? Will there be new quests in Wrath of the Lich King as a follow up to the Missing Diplomat quests? Will the Comic Book finally reveal the fate and whereabouts of Varian’s wife? You gotta have to hook up and keep track of the comic book’s upcoming issues as Varian continues his journey through Wetlands toward Stormwind in search of the family he saw in his memory flashback.
If anything the story of World of Warcraft the comic book is going to become very interesting post issue# 8 as he makes his way slowly toward Stormwind.
“The Return” begins a new story arc set in the WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Upon learning he is in fact the missing king of Stormwind, Lo’Gosh returns to reclaim his throne with his comrades-in-arms Valeera, and Broll. But all is not as it seems in the eastern kingdom, especially if one informed dwarf has anything to say about it. Enter Thargas Anvilmar!
Written by Walter Simonson; Art by Jon Landry and Jerome K. Moore; Covers by Samwise Didier and Ludo Lullabi
Wildstorm | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US
On Sale June 18, 2008
Check out our World of Warcraft Comic Book section here
If you have missed the first story arc’s back issues, don’t sweat. DC Comics is releasing the World of Warcraft Vol. 1 compiling all 7-issues of the first story arc. Pre-order it here.
March 10th 9:40am – It is said from South Korea that Starcraft2.com (US) will unveil the Zerg webpage on March 11th.
March 10th 12:20am – High Resolution Images by Thisisgame.com
Everyone is screaming while held tight on their seats in an euphoric ecstasis. However, one thing seems certain … with the Zerg race officially unveiled, this means only one thing: Starcraft 2 Beta Test might happen any time between April-June. The 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (Paris, France) will happen on June. Here hoping Beta is soon.
Update: March 9th 11:15pm – New Starcraft II Cinematic Video from GameTrailers. Transcript by Edfishy.
We are Swarm.
We burned a path of annihilation across the stars.
And then—We vanished.
Four years ago we faded into the shadows.
Now, the time has come for us to step back … into … the light.
Now, worlds will tremble once again.
Empires will fall.
Alliances(?) will shatter.
We are the swarm.
But we are becoming … much… much more.
For the final metamorphasis has only just begun.
UPDATE: March 9th 10:22pm EST – SCLegacy is getting hammered. And I am getting multiple people whispering me findings on the net. This is crazy. Edfishy from Project Revolution Team just gave me a heads up of some Korean forums linking these images.
From GameFAQ, YYZ reports the following:
- Upgrades from the Overlord and now has an attack. The Overlord doesn’t have detection. You must upgrade to Overseer in order to gain detection of burrowed and invisible enemy units. However, the detection range has been increased.
- The queen is a vastly different unit. She has the powerful ability to control Zerg base defense. The queen can create special structures and extend creep. It has the ability to create toxic creep. And it can make buildings regenerate faster. You can only create one Queen at a time on the map. It has an ability named Deep Tunnel which allows it to move to any hatchery spread on the map.
- The roach is a very fast moving unit with 90 hit points that recovers health quickly. Requires sustained damage to effectively kill it.
- The infestor replaces the defiler. It can cast dark swarm. It may move toward the enemy while burrowed. Disease seems to mimic the Science Vessel’s irradiation. The Infestor can infest any building including barracks.
- The corruptor attacks air units. Instead of destroying them, it “corrupts” them possessing the enemy unit. It can cause a large group of units to fight each other, quickly turning the tide of the battle.
- The swarm guardian is much like the original guardian, but it can now also create broodlings and has a longer range of attack.
- The Ultralisk can now burrow.
More info translated to english at TeamLiquid. (Thanks, Entropy).