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That Contentious Coin

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Merchandise, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone-the-coin-card

Hearthstone games are quick. With steady mana, limited defenses, and a heavy slant on offensive power Hearthstone’s contests of cards are about early advantages and constant presses. Laying minions often and early is a great way to stress your opponent – even big guys can only attack once. There are ways to clear the board, like flamestrike and lightning storm, but they’re more common for some heroes than others. This isn’t necessarily an issue; the heroes are designed around the classes of WoW (perhaps vice versa) and their spells are drawn from well known class abilities.

The issue, at least a common point of controversy, is the Coin. On its face the card doesn’t appear to give a significant advantage. The player going second is given a zero cost spell that grants one mana for one turn. It doesn’t sound like huge boon. At best, the second player can put down a minion or cast a spell a turn before the mana actually accrues or play a combination of cards for great effect. The bonus mana isn’t really a problem. Smart players, or players fortunate enough to have a good hand of cards, can take advantage of it and turn the tide or press a advantage further toward victory. The problem is that the Coin currently counts as a spell.

That makes sense. It is a spell. It has a spell effect and it certainly isn’t a minion. But the zero cost spell for the second player provides a secondary, and arguably more powerful, bonus. Cards that take advantage of spells cast that turn are boosted because of an arbitrary turn order, not because clever deck construction. The Coin’s advantage is supposed to be a one time mana bonus. The mechanical advantages for player turn order are already present: player one is one mana ahead, player two is one card ahead. The Coin is a nice bit of gravy; going first is quite an advantage and the bonus mana can switch the momentum. Any other advantage it provides is superfluous. It’s effect as the 31st card is too potent.

The Coin shouldn’t be a spell, it should just be the Coin. A card all of its own.

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Golden Gelbin and other news

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone-golden-mekkatorqueZeriyah provided a lengthy update on Hearthstone today, commenting on some changes to the game as it progresses closer and closer to beta. Among the items discussed was a restatement that the Hearthstone team is working vigorously to launch beta before summer ends. Zeriyah phrased the timeline for beta as “not days away from launching the beta, but [...] not months away either.” Progress is being made but patience is required.

The beta will allow players to spend real money on card packs and Arena entry. However, because of the changing nature of beta testing Hearthstone’s developers have decided to reward players who put down cash with something special – a golden version of Gelbin Mekkatorque. When you purchase cards or Arena entry, you’re granted a copy of the Gnome King. His golden version is only available this way: no crafting or lucky drops from card packs. A regular version can be crafted once the game is released.

Hearthstone has also been tested on the iPad with cross-platform play. Zeriyah called it an awesome milestone in development for Hearthstone. Any means of expanding the player pool for the game has to be considered an incredible success; cross-platform potential is a phenomenal one.

The update ends with Zeriyah telling the community to continue to engage with the Hearthstone team. The community helps guide how the game evolves and the developers want to know what’s working and what isn’t.

New Rise of the Lich King Stein Collection

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

3 Point Entertainment had successful sales of the World of Warcraft Steins and launched a new series at the end of 2008.  They have established themselves so well in the World of Warcraft market that a new collectible series based on Wrath of the Lich King has been announced recently.

Featuring Arthas the Lich King, the new stein comes in two flavors: Epic Collection for $89.99 and the Legendary Collection for $174.99. These new steins will be available on late April and late May.

Blizzard Quote:

Epic Collection

  • Shipping late April

  • Incredible Alex Horley artwork
  • Fine-grain stoneware with bas-relief sculpting
  • Sculpted pewter lid
  • Limited production
  • Purchase 2+ steins and pay only $12.95 shipping/handling on your total order!*

Legendary Collection

  • Shipping late May

  • Limited to only 750 steins worldwide
  • Hand signed by Alex Horley
  • Exquisite enhancements including premium hand painting (See FAQ for more details)
  • Limit 1 stein per customer
  • Purchase 2+ steins and pay only $12.95 shipping/handling on your total order!*

2009 NYCC: New DC Unlimited World of Warcraft Action Figures

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, BlizzPlanet Articles, Event Coverage, New York Comic Con 2009, World of Warcraft News

During my visit to the 2009 New York Comic Con, I visited the DC Comics booth to check out their World of Warcraft action figures and the artists. Chris Metzen had told me after the interview to return to the booth to see three new action figures: King Varian Wrynn (Lo’gosh), a Night Elf Huntress named Alathena Moonbreeze and a Scourge Ghoul named Rottingham. These look awesome. If you are a action figures collector, these will do great. Their armor, weapons and clothing are very detailed and colorful. Very accurate to the game, standing on impressive poses.

The DC Comics was packed with hundreds of people, the ambient was welcoming with tall posters of each franchise, especially the World of Warcraft comic book. They were showcasing video on big HD monitors of DC Online, DC vs Mortal Kombat, and even playing the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King cinematic intro. I got video of each DC Unlimited World of Warcraft action figure from different angles for your viewing pleasure. As well as close ups. Enjoy.

The first scenario for the WoW: Adventure Game League!

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

Fantasy Flight Games invites players to embark into the latest World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game scenario: Alterac Valley. Heed the call to battle!

World of Warcraft: the Adventure Game is an exciting and fast-paced journey through the world of Azeroth for 2 to 4 players. Choose your favorite hero and embark on an epic journey from humble beginnings to immense power, battling vicious monsters, powerful overlords, and your treacherous fellow players!

Two to four players each take on the role of a Warcraft character. The base World of Warcraft Adventure Game comes with four unique and distinctive characters: Burbonn Fang the Dwarf hunter, Sandrai Darkshine the Human warlock, Sofeea Icecall the Undead mage, and Grumbaz Crowsblood the Orc warrior. Each character is depicted by his own detailed plastic figure and has his own specialized character and ability cards.

imageThe call to arms has been sounded. Will you take up arms? This first scenario in the World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game League will force you to reevaluate your tactics, as you must prove yourself worthy through combat. For more information on the league, check out this article. Once you have played, record your information (Include all of the information requested in this news article) and email it to the JR Godwin, League Administrator.

World of Warcraft # 15 Preview - Garona Birthed A Half-Human Baby?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Lore, Store, World of Warcraft Comic Books, World of Warcraft News

imageFrom the creative minds of Wildstorm’s World of Warcraft comic book writer Walter Simonson (Mighty Thor) and Chris Metzen, Blizzard has released a loregasmic preview teaser of World of Warcraft # 15.  After King Varian Wrynn decapitated Onyxia’s corpse to display her head in Stormwind, Garona makes her appearance for the first time since the events from Warcraft: The Last Guardian.  The preview reveals that shortly after Garona assassinated King Llane, she found out about her … pregnancy.  She gave the baby to an ancient human mage, named Meryl,  to raise him. It is now confirmed that Garona was cursed by Sargeras to betray and do things against her will. Therefore, she couldn’t bare to rise her own child for fear she would kill him.

This plot brings about so many intriguing questions. Who is the father of Garona’s baby? Medivh? Khadgar?  King Llane? On the other hand, Meryl is described as undead, but one who has lived by sheer will and through the use of his own magical powers to prolong his life for milennia; he exists even before Ner’zhul created the Scourge. Is Meryl one of the previous Guardians of Tirisfal?

Garona’s baby has grown up, and there is a prophecy behind him found in a scroll digged from Hellfire Peninsula. This child is to become the savior of Azeroth. Do you feel the vibe that this guy, Med’an, is the heir of Medivh? Watch the PDF preview and get that HOT comic book at a newsstand near you!

This issue will be on newsstands on January 21.

In stores 1/21.

The road back to Theramore begins in issue #15 of the ongoing series. After the events of the last arc, King Varian and Prince Anduin must return home. But who will return with them? And what role will Garona Halforcen play in this next quest? Check out the preview pages.

If you like what you see, you can visit Wildstorm for more information, locate a nearby comic store (type zipcode), or subscribe to the series directly.

Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 2 Manga Preview Scans

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News

Tokyopop has released a preview scan of inner-pages from the Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 2 Manga. You can view the scans at the bottom of this page. Press the square icon for full-screen view mode. Once you are done, hit the Escape button in your keyboard to exit Full-Screen mode. Then pick any of the next three story preview scans. Each story displays 9 pages.

Make sure to visit Blizzplanet and StarcraftWire for our New York Comic Con coverage through February 6-8. I will be meeting the Tokyopop editors there, and thanks to Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster) I have secured an exclusive interview with Chris Metzen at the event.

If you got Starcraft II, Starcraft books or manga questions for our Chris Metzen interview feel free to post them here.

Blizzard Quote:
The brutal… The menacing… The twisted… Confront the vast, renowned world of StarCraft inside this collection of mind-blowing adventures.

Heavy Armor

2009 New York Comic Con: Share Your Questions

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, BlizzPlanet Site News, StarCraft 2 News, Upper Deck Entertainment, World of Warcraft News

I am gearing up with a press badge to attend the 2009 New York Comic Con to bring you as many details as possible of all Blizzard Entertainment products to be showcased at the event.  The event will take place through February 6-8. Among the companies coming to the New York Comic Con are: Pocket Star Books, Tokyopop, and DC Comics. Sideshow Collectibles, sadly, isn’t coming to the event this year (bottom). I will be in contact with some writers and with Upper Deck to find out if they are attending.

The line-up of products to be most likely showcased are:

  • World of Warcraft: Arthas

  • Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight
  • Warcraft Legends Vol. 3
  • World of Warcraft: Death Knight
  • DC Direct World of Warcraft Action Figures
  • World of Warcraft Comic Book

One Blizzard product in particular I am hoping to hear about—crosses fingers—is the StarCraft Comic Book. My DC Comics contact wouldn’t budge to offer details a few days after Blizzcon 2008.  It was revealed in the BlizzCon comic sampler. DC Comics will make an announcement of this comic on 2009. The matter is when. New York Comic Con could be a good candidate for the announcement, as well as San Diego Comic Con (July).  It was at the San Diego Comic Con where the World of Warcraft comic book was first announced.

Keith R.A. DeCandido confirmed to be attending the event. I will corner him to get some details of the Starcraft Ghost; Academy trilogy (manga) and the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre (Pocket Star Book).  Aaron Rosenberg will be book signing copies of World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal. Jim Lee (Wildstorm) and Bill Roper (ex-Blizzard North) will be at the event too.

Pocket Star Books will be at booth 1402.  Tokyopop at booth 1621 and DC Comics at booth 1641. Grab your tickets online early. They are more expensive on-site.

Open to the Public:
Friday, February 6—1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, February 7—10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, February 8—10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Got any questions for any of those companies about a particular product? Feel free to share your questions to ask them on your behalf.

Tokyopop Warcraft: Legends: Troy Lewter Interview

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

TOKYOPOP Editor Troy Lewter sat down with NEO Magazine writer Lesley Smith to discuss all things Warcraft and StarCraft, giving her all the details on TOKYOPOP’s 22-book publshing program with Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and many others. Read the full interview. You can find the NEO Magazine article here (PDF).

And when you’re done reading that, make sure to check out details of StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 2, and Warcraft: Legends Vol. 2 now in stores!

Blizzard has been involved with the production of the manga every step of the way. Every element that appears in the manga has gone through a rigorous approval process with them, whether it

Starcraft Ghost: Academy - January 2009 Update

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Novels, Starcraft: Ghost

A few weeks ago, I reported that Pocket Star Books is launching STARCRAFT GHOST:SPECTRE on December 2009. Originally, at the New York Comic Con 2008, Keith R.A. DeCandido said he was hoping it would go out on the Summer 2009, but the 35 layoffs that hit the publishing company—including Marco Palmieri (Editor)—schedules were delayed.

The Tokyopop manga titled Starcraft Ghost: Academy (a trilogy) is aiming to hit the end of 2009. However, it is possible to be pushed to 2010. What I was informed is that Tokyopop hopes to unleash the three parts of the manga trilogy within 2010.

Keith R.A. DeCandido is currently writing Starcraft Ghost: Spectre and the Academy manga for Tokyopop.  DeCandido offers many updates on how far he is with this book almost in a weekly basis. Here is some of the latest updates to amuse you.

Blizzard Quote:
DeCandido: I turned in the script for the prologue and Chapter 1 of Ghost Academy Volume 1 on 19 December 2008. Chapter 2 is due 11 January (which will be do-able, assuming Blizzard’s feedback comes in a timely manner, as I don’t want to start it until I know I was on the right track with Chapter 1), with Chapter 3 due 31 January, Chapter 4 due 21 February, and Chapter 5 due 13 March.

Still waiting for the formal approval of the plots for Volumes 2-3 of Ghost Academy, but I can’t even start scripting that until late March anyhow… *laughs*

Ghost: Spectres is in progress, due to Pocket by the end of this month. Not sure when this is scheduled to be published. I’m hoping it and GA will both come out around the end of 2009/beginning of 2010.

I also have some pitches rummaging around for future volumes of the Frontline manga anthologies, but that’s all preliminary right now.

Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 Front Cover

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Lore, Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft News

The front cover of the upcoming WARCRAFT LEGENDS VOL. 3 is now available. This manga book will hit bookstores on March 17, 2009 at the price of $10.99. Part three of this trilogy, continues the adventures of the tauren Trag Highmountain (from Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy) now an undead. The three stories within the manga are written by Richard A. Knaak, Christie Golden and Dan Jolley.

Christie Golden is known to be a World of Warcraft player on an RPG server. It would be interesting to see her take on a goblin disguised as the Greatfather Winter. This is also the first time we see Hemet Nesingwary in a printed story outside the game.

The exciting Warcraft: Legends adventure continues with this latest installment of stories set in the Warcraft universe. From the critically acclaimed team of Richard Knaak and Jae-Hwan Kim (Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy) comes part three in the continuing adventures of Trag Highmountain, the heroic tauren reborn as one of the undead. In “Crusader’s Blood,” a blood elf mage and a forsaken warrior embark on a quest of vengeance against a ruthless Scarlet Crusade captain.

From acclaimed writer Christie Golden comes the tale of a down-on-his-luck goblin named Krizz looking for a way to make some easy coin

Echoes of War Now Available On iTunes

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft: Ghost, Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard has announced the Echoes of War soundtracks are now available on iTunes store allowing you to purchase individual tracks or the whole album.

Blizzard Quote:
Head on over to the iTunes store to get your copy of one or all of the 15 unique arrangements from Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment. This new album was recently released on CD, and has now been added to iTunes as well. It features 90 minutes of music in all, based on tracks from our games, including the upcoming StarCraft II and Diablo III. Individual tracks are available on iTunes for 99 cents each. For more details, check out the Echoes of War site or head to the Eminence Online Store to order a physical copy.

World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal Audiobook Announced

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Lore, Novels, World of Warcraft News

A new audiobook has been announced by Tantor Media Audiobook. World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal was co-written by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden. The audiobook is slated for May 2009. A narrator hasn’t been appointed, but hopefully it is Dick Hill again. The other three audiobooks were the first Warcraft books in the series. It’s great to see that recent books are getting the audiobook treatment and opens the possibility that more will be converted.

You can pre-order World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal audiobook here.

New Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook Sample

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Lore, Novels, World of Warcraft News

Richard A. Knaak sends heads up that Tantor Media Audiobooks has released a new Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook MP3 Sample, narrated by Dick Hill, for those fans who would want to listen to a three-minutes recording prior to purchasing it. The Audiobook will be available in a few days on December 29, 2009.  You may listen to the MP3 Sample here.

Our recent interview with Dick Hill, if you missed it. It contains a different 4-minutes sample provided to us by Dick Hill.

Starcraft: The Board Game Brood War Expansion Preview

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft, StarCraft 2 News

Fantasy Flight Games official website recently had a facelift and new bits of content and previews of the upcoming Brood War expansion for the Starcraft: The Board Game product.

The Brood War Ruleset PDF is now available here. This new expansion also introduces new Leadership Cards that add interesting strategies. Among the Leadership Cards are the Hero cards and the Installation cards.

The Installation cards include the protoss Warp gate, Infested Terran bases, a Zerg Cerebrate and the Overmind. The Hero cards include Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan.

Fantasy Flight Games also unveiled a sneak peak preview of the Brood War units with some of their stats.