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Diablo III: Book of Tyrael Pre-Orders Begin – Ships October 1, 2013

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News

diablo-iii-book-of-tyrael-coverThe pre-orders for the upcoming Insight Editions Diablo III: Book of Tyrael have begun. The book contains 164-pages and will ship on October 1, 2013.

You can read the original press release by Blizzard Entertainment here. (May 29)

Description

“One of the most exciting and visceral action role-playing games in recent memory, Diablo® has become a worldwide gaming phenomenon. Diablo III: Book of Tyrael takes fans even further into the universe with a detailed and beautifully crafted artifact that focuses on the renowned champion Tyrael. As a former archangel of the High Heavens, he ranks among the most important and influential characters in the Diablo franchise. Here, in this illustrated and comprehensive tome, he reveals never-before-known secrets about the history of the world, the dark threats that yet face mankind, and his decision to join the ranks of humanity as a mortal. In Tyrael’s own words, “Forevermore we shall stand together, angels and men, in the light of this glorious new dawn.”

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ISBN-10: 1608872793
ISBN-13: 978-1608872794
Pages: 164 pages

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World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects Part 5 Quickly Rising as Amazon Best Seller

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

World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects: Part V has reached # 2 Amazon Best Seller in the Kindle Store|Role Playing & Fantasy category and # 3 in the Books|Scince Fiction & Fantasy|Gaming category in barely a few days.

At this rate, I won’t be surprised to see it among the New York Times Best Sellers.

Check out my review of World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects: Part V.

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Blizzplanet Review – World of Warcraft: Vol’jin, Shadows of the Horde

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, Blizzplanet Reviews, World of Warcraft News

world-of-warcraft-voljin-shadows-of-the-horde-9781416550679Gallery Books sent me a review copy of the World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde by New York Times best selling author Michael A. Stackpole.

I have been waiting for this book for about 8 months. On October 13, 2012, Michael A. Stackpole, Micky Neilson and Dave Kosak revealed plans to publish this book. You can watch later the video I posted of that Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel to learn more about the story from the writer.

I had many expectations for this book. I have played the PTR and the live realm for months, experiencing the Patch 5.1 Landfall and the Dagger in the Dark Scenario where Vol’jin is betrayed. His throat slit by an assassin sent by Garrosh to eliminate the Darkspear leader from the chessboard.

I enjoyed later Patch 5.3 Escalation, and of course look forward to Patch 5.4. This novel covers all the bases, all what Vol’jin experienced after we gathered the ingredients in Binan Village to save Vol’jin’s life. The story we missed in between the Dagger in the Dark scenario and Vol’jin’s return to Sen’jin Village in Patch 5.3 Escalation.

(Information here may be considered Spoilers — Read at your own discretion)

Vol’jin is taken to the Shado-Pan Monastery to be tended by Chen Stormstout and the monks. In his fevered dreams, Vol’jin stands before the Guardian of the Dead Loa Bwonsamdi and Sen’jin. Bwonsamdi is pretty pissed off at Vol’jin for the lack of sacrifices these past months, and for anchoring himself to life so fiercely rather than embracing death, tended by his Loa master. Vol’jin has so much to do for the Darkspear, for the Horde.

Bwonsamdi releases his claim over Vol’jin with a warning about his future. Vol’jin shall wish he had embraced death now instead of what Vol’jin will endure in the future.

Vol’jin wakes up a month after the events of the Dagger in the Dark scenario. Lord Taran Zhu and the Shado-Pan have been afflicted by unbalance lately. He sees in Vol’jin an enigma. He is Tushui, in contrast with Garrosh’s Horde. The Shado-Pan must teach Vol’jin the pandaren ways, and in return they must learn from Vol’jin and his vision of the Horde. However, there’s a twist. Two months earlier, the Shado-Pan Monastery harbored an injured human hunter. Both the human and the troll leader must learn to live together and tend to each other while on sacred ground.

Taran Zhu knows that once these two enemies heal and depart, they will be back to their old ways and kill each other. Taran Zhu seeds in them the pandaren ways, and the strength to defeat the emotions of the sha. In this way, bringing up a sliver of hope for the Alliance and the Horde.

I completely loved all the wisdom lines and elaborate parables poured in by the author Michael A. Stackpole. At times it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood TV series: Kung Fu.

It’s clear that Vol’jin will leave the Shado-Pan Monastery eventually as a different person. He will find a balance in his soul, he didn’t have before. He will return home to lead his people to victory with courage, determination and a complete domination over his fears and doubts.

He’s going to be the leader his people, his family needs. The Horde must safeguard its sense of family and unity.

Among the supporting characters readers will find Li Li Stormstout and Yalia Sagewhisper. Looks like Chen Stormstout has finally found someone to give meaning to his wanderer life.

If Yalia Sagewhisper rings a bell, you are right. She can be seen in the Shado-Pan Garrison (Townlong Steppes).

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There are many interesting scenes in this book. The action is very quick paced to the point one can get overwhelmed taking everything in. By page 50, so many things had happened I couldn’t figure out where the story was heading to. I was just hooked wanting to learn more.

Vol’jin manages to have some dreams during his sleep, communing with the Loa, or receiving their visions. In one of them there is this scene of ancient Zandalari trolls making sacrifices on their altars. The sacrifices were … Aqir. Sacrifices feeding Hir’eek the Bat Loa.

Better yet, the story shifts to present time Zandalari in Pandaria, those harbored in the Isle of Thunder probably before the Alliance and Horde got there. Readers will get a brief glimpse how the first troll and first mogu united forces, and why they were later separated. The mists and the Sundering. Note: The mists were lifted by Shaohao in an attempt to protect Pandaria from the coming destruction as per the portents of the Jinyu 10,000 years ago.

The Zandalari are worried. They had planned in advance. They were confident with the support of the Loa spirits. They accounted for the Alliance and Horde presence, however the full attention of the Loa was now shared. This is something they did not expect. They don’t know who the troll be, but he is a wild card to their plans and their portents. They must eliminate this wild card, this shadow hunter distracting their power sources: Vol’jin.

The Zandalari fear this unknown troll occupying the Loa attention. The storm, the curtain disconnecting the Zandalari from the Loa might herald the birth of a troll destined to greatness. And in fact, this is no longer the old Vol’jin. Through the Shado-Pan conditioning and training this Vol’jin is reborn a new troll.

Chen Stormstout has his share of screen-time in the story, and the author alternates between both points of views. At one point, Chen Stormstout leaves the Monastery with Yalia to go in search of Li Li at the Temple of the White Tiger, but learn she has traveled to the Zouchin Village — Yalia’s family live there.

After the novel, players can find Yalia Sagewhisper at the side of Lord Taran Zhu in the Bleak Hollow (Isle of Thunder).

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This review is just the tip of the iceberg within the first 90 pages. Looks like the novel will go into the Patch 5.2 Isle of Thunder campaign — as hinted in page 106. I have so much to read and learn in this 301-pages novel.

Order the World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde (July 2, 2013).

Check out the World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects Part V review also available.

If you haven’t played World of Warcraft in a while, Blizzplanet has you covered. Check out the Patch 5.1 Landfall, Patch 5.2 Isle of Thunder and Patch 5.3 Escalation quest/dialogue transcripts and videos.

Characters

Vol’jin
Chen Stormstout
Li Li Stormstout
Keng-na (cub)
Bwonsamdi (Loa, Guardian of the Dead)
Hir’eek
Shirvallah
Lord Taran Zhu
Brother Huon-kai
Yalia Sagewhisper
Tyrathan Khort (human)
Khal’ak
Gyran’zul (youngest Zandalari shaman)
Tswen-luo (Yalia’s father at Zouchin Village, master of the fishing fleet)
Brother Kwan-ji (Shado-Pan monastery monk)
Brother Xiao (Shado-Pan Monastery monk)
Captain Nir’zan (Zandalari)
Lieutenant Trag’kal (dead Zandalari)

Mentioned
Rexxar
Rak’gor Bloodrazor
Zalazane
Master Gadrin (Witch Doctor trainer)
Bolten Vanyst (human)
Yenki and Chinwa (Yalia’s marriage candidates in her youth)
Vilnak’dor (one of the darker Zandalari Loa)
Akil’darah (Eagle Loa)
Elortha no Shadra (the Silk Dancer Loa)
Garrosh Hellscream
Larsi (female hunter following Tyrathan’s orders, dead)

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Christie Golden Book Signing in China and New Star Press to Publish Warcraft and StarCraft Novels

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

Blizzard Entertainment has partnered with the China Publication Bureau-approved and Beijing-based New Star Press who acquired the license to publish several World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels for the mainland chinese audience. Among the first novels to be translated are those written by Christie Golden — StarCraft II: Flashpoint and World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War.

Blizzard Entertainment is sending New York Times best selling author Christie Golden to China to a book signing event at:

  • CapitaMall Crystall in Beijin on June 21
  • Shanghai’s City of Books Nandong Bookstore ( 上海书城南东店 )– Nanjing Road, Shanghai on June 23
  • Nanshan Book Mall in Shenzhen on June 25

Where

CapitaMall Crystal — (Map)
51号 Fu Xing Lu, Hai Dian Qu, Beijing, China, 100036

Shanghai’s City of Books Nandong Bookstore ( 上海书城南东店 ) — (MAP)
上海书城, China, Shanghai, Huangpu, 南京东路345号

Shenzhen Book Mall Nanshan Cultural Street (Map)
Haide 2nd Road
Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

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暴雪娱乐首次直接授权官方游戏小说中文版,新星出版社获中国大陆地区出版权

近日,新星出版社旗下子品牌“幻象文库”获得了暴雪娱乐的图书出版授权,这意味着暴雪娱乐旗下“魔兽世界”“星际争霸”“暗黑破坏神”的系列游戏官方中文小说,在中国大陆地区的出版指日可待,同时,这也是暴雪娱乐官方首次直接授权中国大陆地区出版机构,出版其旗下各大系列游戏的官方小说中文版。

  “魔兽世界”“星际争霸”“暗黑破坏神”这三款全球游戏,一直是暴雪娱乐旗下最受欢迎的系列游戏。自“星际争霸”“魔兽世界”正式引进中国大陆之后,迅速成为了中国玩家心目中永恒的经典,并造就以千万计的忠实用户。而另一款大型动作角色扮演游戏“暗黑破坏神”则陪伴无数八零后度过他们的青春时光。由于暴雪娱乐对旗下产品的精益求精,暴雪娱乐在中国玩家中拥有了“暴雪出品,必属精品”的美誉!

  此次暴雪娱乐授权的官方小说,将涵盖“魔兽世界”“星际争霸”“暗黑破坏神”这三款对于暴雪娱乐来说至关重要的系列游戏。其中“魔兽世界”五册,“星际争霸”四册,“暗黑破坏神”三册,将全部由新星出版社旗下品牌“幻象文库”出版。\

  讲述星际争霸Ⅱ最新资料片《虫群之心》的相关小说《闪点时刻》,及讲述魔兽世界最重要的NPC之一——吉安娜的小说《战争之潮》,将是此次授权书目中最先出版的两本。

  关于新星出版社:
  新星出版社隶属于国家外文出版发行事业局,是中国国际出版集团的成员。旗下拥有国内最专业的推理文学品牌“午夜文库”,最专业的幻想文学品牌“幻象文库”等数个致力于新锐阅读价值的子品牌。
从2005年开始正式对国内出版后,新星出版社依托已有的优势,不断开拓进取,已经并将继续有计划有系统的推出一些具有较高文化含量和文化价值的社科、学术图书,一些具有新锐、时尚特质的文学、休闲、实用图书,力争实现“新星人”既积淀和传承精神文化,又提供愉悦和纯粹阅读的出版理想。

  关于幻象文库:
  幻象文库为新星出版社在2011年成立的全新子品牌,旨在出版深受广大读者欢迎的诸如科幻、奇幻等幻想类文学作品。自创立伊始,“幻象文库”便坚定了以经典作品为基础打造优质品牌,以原创作品为基础打造核心价值,以流行作品为基础打造畅销品种的出版策略。截至目前,幻象文库已出版了十余部幻想类小说,深受读者的好评和市场的欢迎。

 
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Blizzplanet Review – World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects Vol. 5

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Blizzplanet Reviews, World of Warcraft News

world-of-warcraft-dawn-of-the-aspects-part-1-coverThe conclusion of the World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects: Part V e-novella by New York TImes best selling author Richard A. Knaak has reached its conclusion and it is available today.

Book Description

The final installment in an all-new World of Warcraft e-novella series from New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak!

The age of dragons is over. Uncertainty plagues Azeroths ancient guardians as they struggle to find a new purpose. This dilemma has hit Kalecgos, youngest of the former Dragon Aspects, especially hard. Having lost his great powers, how can heor any of his kindstill make a difference in the world?

The answer lies in the distant past, when savage beasts called proto-dragons ruled the skies. Through a mysterious artifact found near the heart of Northrend, Kalecgos witnesses this violent era and the shocking history of the original Aspects: Alexstrasza, Ysera, Malygos, Neltharion, and Nozdormu.

In their most primitive forms, the future protectors of Azeroth must stand united against Galakrond, a bloodthirsty creature that threatens the existence of their race. But did these mere proto-dragons face such a horrific adversary alone, or did an outside force help them? Were they given the strength they would become legendary foror did they earn it with blood? Kalecgoss discoveries will change everything he knows about the events that lead to the…dawn of the Aspects.

2013 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the US and/or other countries.

Review

Kalec’s mind continues his involuntary journey into the far past of Azeroth in the body of Malygos the proto-dragon.

The relic belonging to Watcher Tyr has forced him to relive Malygos’ experiences and those of the former Aspects against Galakrond.

A time before the Titans blessed them to become Dragon Aspects and guardians of the world of Azeroth.

Jaina finally infiltrates the Nexus, bypassing the ward defenses of Watcher Tyr’s relic. However, she finds a unconscious Kalec undergoing the slow process of a unnatural metamorphosis.

In the past, Galakrond has nearly exterminated the proto-dragon population, and as he feeds he continues to transform and grow to unimaginable size.

This story fleshes out how these proto-dragons came closer together fighting for survival even though they were not exactly family. Friendships are born and take deep root.

Their individual abilities working in concert against Galakrond, inspired by Watcher Tyr’s strategies.

Considering the main characters are the proto-dragons we know and love at a primal stage with a reduced intelligence and limited grasp of a language, I’m impressed Richard A. Knaak managed to write this story.

There is more action in this story than dialogue. Both are balanced by the continuous point of view of Kalec glueing together the action and the conversations for a fluid story.

Toward the end, we learn how Galakrond died in Dragonblight, and the reader is surprised by how intrepid the feat of defeating such a behemoth came to fruition.

Readers will briefly glimpse into the arrival of two Watchers of Ulduar, and what seemed to be the Titans, moments before the blessing that transformed the 5 proto-dragons into the Dragon Aspects.

Tyr, the Watcher

The final pages of the e-novella hint we haven’t seen the last of Tyr in the present era.

Tyr looked like a character who has no second thoughts on leaving his brethren in order to fulfill his purpose as protector of Azeroth. This character truly inspires. I see so many parallels with Archangel Tyrael who said: “You cannot judge me. I am justice itself! We were meant for more than this! To protect the innocent! But if our precious laws bind you all to inaction … then I will no longer stand as your brother.”

Tyr is legendary. Epic. I’m totally sold on this character, and seeing his role in Norse mythology, and his role in the inspiration for the Order of the Silver Hand, I am certain Chris Metzen and the creative team has something epic in store for players in a future expansion with Tyr playing an important role.

One doesn’t need to be a telepath to understand Blizzard’s “To be Continued” signals.

We have read about Galakrond throughout all 5 parts of the story, but some aspects of the plot were left unresolved. As per the author, this was intentional. Blizzard Entertainment has plans for the future of the World of Warcraft universe.

The new 5-part e-novella format is really good. I kept looking at the calendar awaiting the next release date to get my crave fix. A trait I used to have back in the day when waiting for the next monthly comic book. At Blizzard Creative Team: Keep’em coming!

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Blossoming Ancient Pet available at the Blizzard Store

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

The Blossoming Ancient pet is now available at the Blizzard Store. This pet has a unique feature not seen in other pets. Depending the season of the year, it changes its appearance.

During Spring season it is blossoming flowers. In the Summer it’s completely green with no flowers. During the Fall season its leaves turn orange. During the Winter its fully covered in snow.

The store offers a animation, and you can select at the left side of the animation the season stages of its appearance. The pet costs $10 at the Blizzard Store.

Born from a seed of one of the Ancients, these spirited saplings are destined to regrow and heal Azeroth from the devastation caused by the Shattering. Adopt one, and you’ll be rewarded with joy throughout the year – as each new season begins, the Blossoming Ancient changes, bringing new life to its surroundings.

 

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Fireside Duel: Rogue vs Druid

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Blizzard Entertainment unleashed a new Fireside Duel video featuring the Rogue vs Druid. Check out the full article.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play strategy card game for Windows, Macintosh, and iPad. Designed to be deceptively simple and epically engaging for players of all backgrounds, Hearthstone features quick and lively duels that evoke the spirit of a friendly match played beside a crackling tavern fire.

Each player’s card deck centers around a hero representing one of nine iconic Warcraft classes, customized with a set of minions, spells, and/or weapons based on individual strategy and available cards. Players will be able to hone their skills in practice matches against the computer, and when they’re ready for the challenge, they can take on their Battle.net friends and other players in friendly duels. To further develop their decks, players will be able to acquire cards by crafting them and by winning or purchasing new card packs. With hundreds of unique cards to choose from, the potential card combinations and possible strategies are endless!

Follow us for updates!

http://Facebook.com/PlayHearthstone
http://Twitter.com/PlayHearthstone

 

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World of Warcraft: Vol’jin, Shadow of the Horde (Excerpt)

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

world-of-warcraft-voljin-shadows-of-the-horde-9781416550679An excerpt of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde is available. Slated to ship on July 2, 2013. Pre-order this novel in hardcover or digital format.

Book Description

That night, visions mocked Vol’jin. He found himself in the midst of fighters, each of whom he recognized. He’d gathered them for that final assault on Zalazane, to end his madness and free the Echo Isles for the Darkspears. Each of the combatants took on aspects of a jihui cube, faced to be at their maximum power. Not a fireship among them, but this did not surprise Vol’jin.

He was the fireship, but not yet turned to display his maximum power. This was not a fight, though desperate, in which he would destroy himself. Aided by Bwonsamdi, they would slay Zalazane and reclaim the Echo Isles.

Who be you, this troll, who be having memories of a heroic effort?

Vol’jin turned, hearing the click of a cube snapping to a new facing. He felt trapped inside that cube, translucent though it was, and shocked that it had no values on any face. “I be Vol’jin.”

Bwonsamdi materialized in a gray world of swirling mists. “And who be this Vol’jin?”

The question shook him. The Vol’jin of the vision had been the leader of the Darkspears, but was no longer. Reports of his death would just now be reaching the Horde. Perhaps they had not yet gotten there. In his heart, Vol’jin hoped his allies had been delayed, just so Garrosh could dwell one more day wondering if his plan had succeeded.

That did not answer the question. He was no longer the leader of the Darkspears, not in any real sense. They might still acknowledge him, but he could give them no orders. They would resist Garrosh and any Horde attempt to conquer them, but in his absence, they might listen to envoys who offered them protection. They could be lost to him.

Who do I be?

Vol’jin shivered. Though he thought himself superior to Tyrathan Khort, at least the man was mobile and not wearing sick-robes. The man hadn’t been betrayed by a rival and assassinated. The man had clearly embraced some of the pandaren way.

And yet, Tyrathan hesitated when he should not have. Some of it was a game to make the pandaren underestimate him, but Vol’jin had seen through that. The other bits, though, as he’d hesitated after Vol’jin complimented a move, those were genuine. And not something a man be allowing in himself.

Vol’jin looked up at Bwonsamdi. “I be Vol’jin. I know who I was. Who I gonna be? That answer only Vol’jin could be finding. And for now, Bwonsamdi, that be enough.”

Excerpt

When awareness came to him again, Vol’jin found himself whole and hale, strong of limb and standing tall. A fierce sun beat down on him as he stood in a courtyard with thousands of other trolls. They had nearly a head’s height on him, yet none of them made an issue of it. In fact, none of them seemed to notice him at all.

Another dream. A vision.

He did not immediately recognize the place, though he had a sense that he’d been there before. Or, rather, later, for this city had not surrendered to the surrounding jungle’s invasion. The stone carvings on walls remained crisp and clear. Arches had not been shattered. Cobbles had not been broken or scavenged. And the stepped pyramid, before which they all stood, had not been humbled by time’s ravages.

He stood amid a crowd of Zandalari, members of the troll tribe from which all other tribes had descended. They had become, over the years, taller than most and exalted. In the vision they seemed less a tribe than a caste of priests, powerful and educated, quite apt for leading.

But in Vol’jin’s time, their ability to lead had degraded. It is because their dreams all be trapped here.

This was the Zandalar empire at the height of its power. It dominated Azeroth but would fall victim to its own might. Greed and avarice would spark intrigues. Factions would split. New empires would rise, like the Gurubashi empire, which would drive Vol’jin’s Darkspear trolls into exile. Then it would fall too.

The Zandalari hungered for a return to the time when they were ascendant. It was a time when trolls were a most noble race. The trolls, united, had risen to heights which someone like Garrosh Hellscream could not possibly dream existed.

A sense of magic ancient and powerful flooded through Vol’jin, providing him the key to why he was seeing the Zandalari. Titan magic predated even the Zandalari. It was more powerful than they were. As high as the Zandalari had been above things that slithered and stung, so were the titans above them—likewise their magic.

Vol’jin moved through the crowd as might a specter. The Zandalari faces glowed with fearsome smiles—the sort he’d seen on trolls when trumpets blared and drums pounded, inviting them to battle. Trolls were built to rend and slay—Azeroth was their world, and all in it were subject to their dominion. Though Vol’jin might differ with other trolls as to the identity of their enemies, he was no less fierce in battle, and vastly proud of how the Darkspears had conquered their foes and liberated the Echo Isles.

So Bwonsamdi be mocking me with this vision. The Zandalari dreamed of empire, and Vol’jin wished the best for his people. Vol’jin knew the difference. It was simple enough to plan for slaughter and far more complex to create a future. For a loa who liked his sacrifices bloody and battle-torn, Vol’jin’s vision held little appeal.

Vol’jin ascended the pyramid. As he moved up, things became more substantial. Whereas before he had been in a silent world, he could now feel drums thrumming up through the stone. The breeze brushed over his light fur, tousled his hair. It brought with it the sweet scent of flowers—a scent just slightly sharper than that of spilled blood.

The drumming pounded into him. His heart beat in time. Voices came to him. Shouts from below. Commands from above. He refused to retreat but stopped climbing higher. It seemed he might be rising through time as he would be rising through lake water. If he reached the top, he would be there with the Zandalari and feel what they felt. He would know their pride. He would breathe in their dreams.

He would become one with them.

He would not allow himself that luxury.

His dream for the Darkspear tribe might not have excited Bwonsamdi, but it provided life for the Darkspears. The Azeroth the Zandalari had known had been utterly and irrevocably changed. Portals had been opened. New peoples had come through. Lands had been shattered, races warped, and more power released than the Zandalari knew existed. The disparate races—elves, humans, trolls, orcs, and even goblins, among others—had united to defeat Deathwing, creating a power structure that revolted and offended the Zandalari. The Zandalari hungered to reestablish rule over a world that had so changed that their dreams could never come true.

Vol’jin caught himself. “Never” be a powerful word.

In an eyeblink the vision shifted. He now stood at the pyramid’s apex, looking down into the faces of the Darkspears. His Darkspears. They trusted his knowledge of the world. If he told them they could recapture the glory that was once theirs, they would follow him. If he commanded them to take Stranglethorn or Durotar, they would. The Darkspears would boil out of the islands, subjugating all in their path, simply because he wished it done.

He could do it. He could see a way. He’d had Thrall’s ear, and the orc had trusted him in military matters. He could spend the months of recuperation plotting out the campaigns and organizing strategies. Within a year or two of his return from Pandaria—if that was still where he was—the Darkspear banner would be anointed with blood and more feared than it already was.

And what be that gaining me?

I would be pleased.

Vol’jin spun. Bwonsamdi stood above him, a titanic figure, ears forward and straining to gather the pulsed shouts from below. It would gain you peace, Vol’jin, for you be doing what your troll nature demands.

Is that all we be meant for?

The loa do not require you to be more. What purpose be there in your bein’ more?

Vol’jin looked for an answer to that question. His search left him staring at a void. Its darkness reached and engulfed him, leaving him with no answer and certainly no peace.

 

The Author

Michael A. Stackpole is an award-winning novelist, game designer, computer game designer, podcaster, screenwriter, and graphic novelist. He’s had more than forty-five novels published, the best known of those being the New York Times bestselling Star Wars books I, Jedi and Rogue Squadron. He has an asteroid named after him and, since undertaking to write Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde, spends a lot of his spare time “leveling up!”

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StarCraft II: Flashpoint Mass Market Paperback Ships

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

starcraft-flashpoint-coverThe Starcraft II: Flashpoint by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden has been relaunched in Mass Market Paperback format. Fans can find it at online and local retailers right now.

This was the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm novel tie-in that bridged the gap between Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. The story begins merely seconds after Jim Raynor shot Tychus Findlay.

Book Description

The sinister zerg leader no longer commands her legions of bloodthirsty aliens against the humans of the Koprulu sector, all thanks to the combined courage and tenacity of Jim Raynor, General Horace Warfield, and a mismatched team of Dominion soldiers and outlaw rebels.

Although the queen is no more, Sarah Kerrigan is very much alive. The woman who once controlled countless alien minds in a rampage across the stars has been spirited away by the man who dethroned her. Now Arcturus Mengsk’s Dominion armada is on her heels, roaring for blood. Jim Raynor will need to test his strength, his wit, and his loyalties against impossible odds to protect the woman he loves. StarCraft II: Flashpoint bridges the events that take place in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and the upcoming StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Featuring never-before-seen glimpses into Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan’s past, this novel opens a window into a world of passion, action, and adventure.

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (May 28, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743471318
ISBN-13: 978-0743471312

Giveaway

Post a comment in Facebook or Twitter @Blizzplanetcom #BlizzplanetStarCraft specifying you want StarCraft II: Flashpoint. I have one copy to giveaway courtesy of Simon & Schuster, Inc.‘s Pocket Books. Please, follow Facebook and Twitter to be able to private message the winner.

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Blizzard Entertainment Announces Diablo® III: Book of Tyrael

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News

Wait, Blizzard Entertainment beat me to this? I must be losing my touch. =)

Blizzard Entertainment emailed me this morning to share details of this upcoming Diablo III book titled Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. (Pre-orders available)

The book contains 164-pages and will ship on October 1, 2013.

Description

“One of the most exciting and visceral action role-playing games in recent memory, Diablo® has become a worldwide gaming phenomenon. Diablo III: Book of Tyrael takes fans even further into the universe with a detailed and beautifully crafted artifact that focuses on the renowned champion Tyrael. As a former archangel of the High Heavens, he ranks among the most important and influential characters in the Diablo franchise. Here, in this illustrated and comprehensive tome, he reveals never-before-known secrets about the history of the world, the dark threats that yet face mankind, and his decision to join the ranks of humanity as a mortal. In Tyrael’s own words, “Forevermore we shall stand together, angels and men, in the light of this glorious new dawn.”

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Press Release

diablo-iii-book-of-tyrael-coverFrom Insight Editions and Blizzard Entertainment, the makers of critically acclaimed games such as World of Warcraft®, StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™, and Diablo® III, comes this exciting companion edition to Diablo III: Book of Cain. Diablo III: Book of Tyrael gives players an in-depth look into the mind of the Archangel Tyrael and chronicles his involvement in the Diablo universe’s Eternal Conflict.

One of the most exciting and visceral action role-playing franchises in history, Diablo has become a worldwide gaming phenomenon. Diablo III: Book of Tyrael takes players even further into the universe with a detailed and beautifully crafted book of lore as seen through the eyes of Tyrael. As a former archangel of the High Heavens, Tyrael ranks among the most important and influential characters in the Diablo franchise. Here, in this illustrated and comprehensive tome, he reveals never-before-known secrets about the history of the world, the dark threats that yet face mankind, and his decision to join the ranks of humanity as a mortal. In Tyrael’s own words, “Forevermore we shall stand together, angels and men, in the light of this glorious new dawn.”

Featuring stunning original art throughout, writings from iconic Diablo series characters such as Leah and Deckard Cain, and a fully removable family tree.

Release Date: October 1, 2013
Features: 148 pages — 7.75″ x 10″
Format: Hardcover
Retail Price: $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-60887-279-4
Ages: 17+

About Blizzard Entertainment: Known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games.

Insight Editions is a publisher focused on creating superlative illustrated books on photography, music, and popular culture. Lavishly produced and visually stimulating, every volume from Insight is dedicated to the skillful interplay of word and image. The books produced are unique works that combine the highest quality print production values with time-honored publishing traditions and rich subject matter. Elegant and informative, books from Insight showcase the best of art and photography in exquisite presentations of the bookmaker’s craft. (www.insighteditions.com)

 

I have a serious business thought. Me thinks we should look forward to some words concerning the Diablo III expansion. Don’t take my word for it. I blame my spider-sense.

If you haven’t yet read the Diablo III: Book of Cain, it’s a good time to do so before jumping into the sequel Diablo III: Book of Tyrael.

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UDON World of Warcraft Tribute on sale October 8

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

udon-world-of-warcraft-tribute-front-coverThe UDON World of Warcraft Tribute has finally gotten a release date and its front cover has been revealed.

The book ships on October 8, 2013. Pre-orders are now open.

Description

Celebrating the phenomenon that is World of Warcraft! Featuring hundreds of artists from around the globe, World of Warcraft Tribute showcases professionals and fan artists alike, each paying homage to the most popular MMORPG of all time. Every denizen of Azeroth deserves to have this gorgeous artwork collection in their personal library.

Paperback: 224 pages.

Details

I was an attendee at the 2013 New York Comic Con this past February, and shared a video of the UDON panel where they first unveiled plans to develop the World of Warcraft Tribute art book. Watch the video here.

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Insight Editions The Art of Blizzard Entertainment Limited Edition

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

The The Art of Blizzard Entertainment Collector’s Edition by Insight Editions is available on sale at online and local bookstores for $199.09. A great collection for those who love to collect this type of Blizzard licensed merchandise, and for art students.

Follow the link above to read the customer reviews and a video from a fan.

Description

Blizzard Entertainment changed gaming forever. From its humble beginnings as a three-person console-game development studio in 1991 to the creation of the blockbuster Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard has crafted stunning worlds of science fiction and fantasy for more than two decades.

An epic volume of visuals and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard Entertainment celebrates the genesis. This collection showcases nearly 700 pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches accompanied by commentary from the Blizzard game development teams, including Nick Carpenter, Samwise Didier, and Chris Metzen. All three were essential in shaping Blizzard’s game universes over the years, and along with a team of international artists, revolutionized gameplay and storytelling. Artists such as Roman Kenny, Peter Lee, Bill Petras, Glenn Rane, and Wei Wang helped develop and expand Blizzard’s unique vision, and their contributions are featured here along with work by Brom, who offers a foreword to the collection. Millions of people around the globe play Blizzard games every day—The Art of Blizzard Entertainment is an opportunity to explore the core of what makes the experience so transporting.

This deluxe edition is bound in saifu cloth and accompanied by a portfolio of collector art prints, all housed in a finely crafted double-slot slipcase with foil stamping. Each deluxe edition also includes a card of authenticity hand-signed by Brom, Samwise Didier, and Wei Wang.

 

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DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice Paperback Pre-Orders Begin

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News

The DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice is coming back as a paperback or graphic novel. If you didn’t have the chance to read the 5-issues comics last year, you can get it now at a special pre-order discount — only $10.67.

Diablo: Sword of Justice is written by Aaron Williams and penciled by french artist Joseph Lacroix.

Book Description

From the world and legends of Sanctuary, the setting for the award-winning Diablo video game, comes this tale of a hero’s birth. Jacob has fled his homeland in the north, hunted by his kinsmen for the crime of murder. Led by the visions of an ancient prophet, pursued by his friends, Jacob finds his destiny—but will he be able to claim the sword that could save his people, if not the world, before he’s brought to justice? Collecting the 5-issue miniseries!

Interview

Check out the interview with Aaron Williams and Joseph LaCroix.

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San Diego Comic Con Infographics

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

Blizzard Entertainment creative team, DC Comics and Christie Golden led the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel at the San Diego Comic Con in 2011.

The next San Diego Comic Con 2013 will happen on July 18-21, barely two months from now. The exhibitor list is still unavailable and Blizzard Entertainment has made no announcements at this point.

Social Monsters PR coordinator recently sent me an SDCC infographic to put into perspective the importance of this convention.

San Diego Comic Con is a 4-day multi-genre convention featuring the latest in comic book news, exclusive film and video game previews, celebrity guest panels and limited edition collectibles.

SDCC is currently the third largest comic con in the world with 130,000 attendees, barely surpassed by Japan and France’s convention.

It’s incredible that a convention of this magnitude internally operates with only 20-30 staff employees.

At the event itself, however, the organization counts with the support of 3,000 volunteers who get free access to the event.

Like BlizzCon, San Diego Comic Con has grown really quick the past four years. In 2009, tickets sold out after six months. In 2010, within 2 months. Out of the blue, fans went into an online frenzy attempting to get a ticket. It was sold out within 2 hours.

2012 and 2013? Within 90 minutes all tickets were sold out. This no doubt grabs the attention of video game studios, and other companies. There is a very high demand for tickets.

The infographics submitted by Ana Franklin (Social Monsters) provides another interesting analysis.

A single Super Bowl generates approximately $300 million. The estimated annual regional economic impact of the Comic Con was $180 million. A bit short in comparison with the Super Bowl, but it’s nigh there. Remember … Comic Con tickets began to sold out quicker than ever before since 2010-2013 which opens the door for future expansion.

The San Diego Convention Center is planning to increase floor space by 33% by 2016. By then, the floor space will be about 13 football fields long.

This type of infographics data might be in consideration by Blizzard Entertainment. We have been used to hear about upcoming Blizzard video games at BlizzCon, but the truth is that in the past 3 years Blizzard Entertainment has begun a trend of making announcements or bringing panels to other conventions outside BlizzCon.

For example, Diablo III (PS3) was playable by PAX East 2013 attendees, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft was announced at the same event just a few weeks ago.

At the Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel, Micky Neilson, Dave Kosak, UDON & Michael Stackpole announced upcoming novels and books at the New York Comic Con 2012. I was there and brought you video coverage. They announced World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects, World of Warcraft: Vol’jin, Shadows of the Horde, StarCraft II: Flashpoint, Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls, and the UDON World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book.

At the New York Comic Con 2011, I saw Insight Editions show the Art of Blizzard, and the Diablo III: Book of Cain. Nate Kenyon signed copies of StarCraft: Ghost – Spectres. The ESL Intel Extreme Masters tournament was celebrated there too.

In 2011, Blizzard made a few announcements at GamesCom (Germany): World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.3 details, Diablo III Inferno Mode, Blizzard DOTA (now Blizzard All-Stars) and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Evolution Chamber UI and some single player missions.

As seen, these past 3-4 years have been busy for Blizzard Entertainment making announcements about either video games or licensed products outside BlizzCon.

San Diego Comic Con looks like a good candidate to continue Blizzard’s creative growth, and even better, it’s close to home — about two-hours-drive south of their Irvine headquarters. Will the SDCC be one day a center stage for video game announcements or gameplay demo stations? Only time will tell.

San Diego's Colossal Comic Convention by BuyCostumes.com
Thanks to BuyCostumes.com for bringing you this infographic!

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Blizzplanet Review – World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects Part IV

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, Blizzplanet Reviews, World of Warcraft News

world-of-warcraft-dawn-of-the-aspects-part-1-coverIn Part IV of the World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects digital story, Richard A. Knaak continues the epic battle between Galakrond and the Proto-dragons who one day would become Dragon Aspects.

Best part of this chapter is that Watcher Tyr is helping the proto-drakes in battle.

In the present, Kalec is assaaulted by the artifact he found underneath Galakrond’s bones. Artifact which forces him to relive the past events through the eyes and thoughts of Malygos.

In Dalaran, Jaina searches the library for a book she remembers had studies about a similar artifact found long ago.

Readers will find in Part IV how Watcher Tyr lost his hand. This is it! This is the sacrifice remembered by the first humans throughout milennia. The legend that one day inspires the foundation of the Order of the Silver Hand.

The way this story has been split into 5-parts makes the craving for the story more impactful. Something shared by comics fans who wait eagerly for the next issue.

It is a matter of time for us now to read the last part of this story.

Many expectations ahead of us in the final part. Will we see the other Watchers? Will we see any resemblance of the human ancestors? Will we see the arrival of the Titans and the Ordering of the Dragon Aspects?

Even more important … the present. It is obvious that Tyr has come to the Nexus with a unknown mission. He chose Kalec or is testing him. As in times past, Tyr saw promise in the proto-drakes. Observed them. Tested them. Allied with them to fight a common foe.

The question is, what threat is looming in the horizon that made Tyr seek Kalec? This is not just a story mechanic to let us see Tyr and the proto-drakes.

This is New York Times Best Selling author Richard A. Knaak.

When it comes to upcoming expansions, Blizzard brings in the heavy-hitters to flesh out an epic story.

We know through Wrathion’s questline that a big threat is coming Azeroth’s way. The Burning Legion. Even more threatening. In my interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson (2009) they said Sargeras is coming.

However, we know what happened last time 10,000 years ago when Sargeras attempted to enter Azeroth. How the Old gods manipulated that with the Dragon Soul.

If the Burning Legion is coming in the next expansion, the Old gods might not be too far. Could Tyr’s return in the present mean Galakrond will live again?

So many lingering questions. Hopefully, we will learn a few of them in the final part (due June 17).

World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects: Part IV can be read on Kindle , iPad, Android and on your PC/MAC internet browser with the Kindle Cloud Reader.

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May 2013 – JINX Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo III T-shirts $9.99 and $14.99

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

JINX has several Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft T-shirts at $9.99 and $14.99

Note: Some of the prices are bound to be for male-only or female-only (in some cases). Make sure to check the pricing before ordering.

The newest T-shirts, hoodies and hats at regular prices +can be found here:

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