I found Walter Simonson and his wife Louise Simonson at the 2009 New York Comic Con this past February 7, and took the opportunity to jump them with a few questions about the World of Warcraft comic book. Specially by then, issue # 15 had kicked in into newsstands introducing the return of Garona Halforcen—from the novel Warcraft: The Last Guardian. They were at odds trying to dodge the interrogation, but they were very sweet and kind to provide as much teasing as possible for those fans who haven’t yet subscribed to the official World of Warcraft comic book.
They are a very fun couple, and I loved the experience spending some minutes with them. The future of the comic book and the MMORPG look very interesting with more focus on the Horde, and certain events yet to come that will make the Alliance and Horde clash once more. We already saw what happened at the Wrathgate, and the continuation of that conflict between King Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream in the Secrets of Ulduar cinematic.
I am a subscriber of the comic book and know what’s going on. The comic book # 15-18 reveal why these two adversaries hate their guts … and Garona is in part, whether accidentally or not, responsible or blamed by the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Something big happened in Theramore during the second attempt to reestablish the summit between Thrall and Varian. Grab your copy to find out. The inclusion of Garona into the MMO is imminent no doubt. In the meantime, check out my video interview with Walter and Louise Simonson to get the excitement within you rolling.
The StarCraft # 1 comic book by Wildstorm Comics and DC Comics will make its official launch on May 27th at all newsstands nationwide. This is one of the most expected comic book titles based in Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft Universe. The comic book heralds the release of the RTS sequel StarCraft II and will give us a glimpse into its single player storyline.
We approached Ben Abernathy (Wildstorm Starcraft Editor) to find out further details of this comic book beyond the solicitations to increase our expectations and crave for this new ongoing series.
The Balnir Farmstead has a past mystery … a place that holds a dark secret that no one but Prince Arthas Menethil knows. A secret that would be dragged within for years. A secret that would forever damn his soul.
Read our preview of World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King.
Watch our video interview with Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson about Arthas, Rise of the Lich King and WoW: Stormrage
Blizzplanet acquired 30 preview scans of Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and Tokyopop. You can view them after my impressions.
Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 will be available at bookstores on Tue 10 March 2009. A manga composed of four stories based on the Warcraft fantasy setting. Tokyopop provided me with an advance copy of this book. The manga has stories based on World of Warcraft quests and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
The first story Fiend—by Richard A. Knaak (writer) and Hae-Hwan Kim (artist)—is about Trag Highmountain (from the pages of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy). Trag has risen with the curse of undead unable to control his mind and will. Seeking help in Kalimdor he is betrayed by his people. Only with the help of Thrall, he regains his free will and departs to Borean Tundra to pursue a special goal. To enact vengeance against Arthas the Lich King. He meets the Taunka’le Village inhabitants and protects them from the Anub’ar. That’s one of the quests you face in the expansion. Seeking a powerful weapon to face the Lich King, Trag accompanies a Taunka to Galakrond’s resting place. Galakrond has not been digged out by the Scourge yet in Dragonblight at this point. Volume 3 and 4 will be a must-have for fans who wish to learn this new lore, and to find out how the story will affect the Arthas the Lich King dungeon event.
The second story titled Crusader’s Blood—by Dan Jolley (writer) and Heinz Furukawa (artist)—is a very cool tie-in with the early Horde quest in classic World of Warcraft … Fields of Grief. After reading the story, I found similarities with a quest from the Brill Inn. Upon visit of the premises in the game, the main character is the Innkeeper Renee. The deathstalker, the Captive Scarlet Zealot and Captive Mountaneer from this story are the same found in the basement. The story remarks the cycle of hatred and vengeance the Scarlet Crusade was victim of by the likes of its true master: Dreadlord Balnazzar, and much more.
The third story titled I Got What Yule Need—by Christie Golden (writer) and Carlos Olivares (artist)—doesn’t necessarily fits the lore; but it is a refreshing story with elements of the game such as the Feast of the Winter Veil celebrated in Ironforge. It can’t be told without spoiling the purpose of the story. It has a very touching message. Those who are used to Christie’s Warcraft novels know her writting style when it comes to emotional situations.
The last story titled The Thrill of the Hunt—by Troy Lewter (writer) and Qing Ping Mui (artist)—let’s us explore a bit of Hemet Nesingwary’s background. At an Inn, Hemet overhears a hunter who brags about a questionable kill before his friends. Hemet tells his personal experience to teach the amateur hunter a lesson.
Overall this manga is entertaining and some of the stories can be considered canon. I certainly liked the ones that tie-in with the MMO, and show promise to reveal more of upcoming MMO content. Below you can take a look at the preview scans of each of the four stories within Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 and its art. Pre-order Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 on sale March 10.
If you question the canonity of the Tokyopop Warcraft mangas, I recommend to watch our video interview with Chris Metzen (Blizzard Senior VP of Creative Development) and Micky Neilson (Senior Writer & Voice Director) who confirm they are involved in the project and make sure that the manga, comic books, and novels tie-in with the game and are canon.
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.
I GOT WHAT YULE NEED
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
I finished reading the book and I am ready to tell fans my experience without spoiling much. At least nothing you haven’t already seen in Warcraft III. For those catching up, we got some World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King galleys to giveaway to fans—courtesy of Simon & Schuster and Blizzard Entertainment. A galley is an uncorrected proof (a special advance reader’s edition not-for-sale). The advantage is that you get to read the book nearly two months ahead before they hit bookstores.
On to the review, Christie Golden has done an excellent work researching many previous books by other authors, and playing Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its Frozen Throne expansion. We get to see Arthas at age 9 and how his life and experiences shaped up what one day would be a Prince sacrificing everything zealously for his people, to be able to claim Frostmourne in order to defeat the dreadlord Mal’Ganis.
We see Sir Anduin Lothar, Khadgar and a young Prince Varian Wrynn arriving at Capital City to inform about the fall of Stormwind—an exact scene from World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness by Aaron Rosenberg—but from the point of view of a young Arthas hiding on the upper gallery to witness the scene. We see how Varian and Arthas play together, except Varian had been trained since childhood, while Arthas was overprotected from such trainings by his father.
The love triangle between Kael, Jaina and Arthas is explored in-depth throughout two chapters and a half. Christie works her usual magic here developing feelings and passions. We get to briefly see many characters of the Warcraft universe, and various scenes from the point of view of Arthas. We get to see that scene in Day of the Dragon when Lord Daval Prestor (Deathwing) was chosen to marry Calia Menethil when she was age 16. A scene from World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal when Muradin walks in into Capital City to find a young Arthas playing make-believe attacking illusory orcs with his training sword. This leads Muradin to volunteer to train him.
Something I found quite refreshing was the use of World of Warcraft festivities throughout the length of the book. Noblegarden, the Midsummer Fire Festival, the Hallow’s End, and the Feast of Winter Veil to develop the relationship between Arthas and Jaina together as years go by. As some people know, Christie Golden has been a World of Warcraft player for the past years on a RP-server. She knows the game with a passion.
Arthas visiting Durnholde Keep on behalf of his father, as he starts taking bigger responsibilities as a Prince. Meeting Thrall fight other adversaries at the Gladiator Arena. His induction ceremony at the Cathedral of Light where he was ordained a Paladin of the Order of the Silver Hand.
You will love how accurately Christie depicts the scenes from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos word by word as things are said either in the mission briefings or the in-game engine’s cinematics—fleshing out those parts in between to connect with the next campaign maps.
For example, remember that scene where Arthas awaits Jaina? The soldier asks Arthas if they should help Jaina. Enter Jaina …. fleeing from Ogres. She turns around and handles them on her own with the help of a Water Elemental.
That scene when they find the plagued silo, find two elven priests and even a dwarven mortar team. Then arrive to the granary and find an Abomination.
Jaina: “By the Light—- that creature looks like it was sewn together from different corpses!”
Arthas: “Let’s study it after we kill it, okay?”
The scene where Arthas calls Uther a traitor and disbands the Order of the Silver Hand. The Cunning of Stratholme. The search for Frostmourne and the apparent demise of Mal’Ganis. Walk the halls toward the throne room of Lordaeron Capital City. Find out what went through Arthas’ mind when touching the rose petals with his gloved fingers.
For continuity’s sake, we see Jaina Proudmoore and Magna Aegwynn (Medivh’s mother) in Theramore (from the pages of World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred by Keith R.A. DeCandido and the current DC comics / Wildstorm World of Warcraft Comic Book). As well as various scenes from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion with brief cameos of Tuskarr and Taunka races.
The book goes as far as Warcraft III: Frozen Throne’s Undead Campaign from start to end. There is only two major omissions that I have to acknowledge may have been due to space just 25 pages away from the last page. The lapse between fighting Sapphiron to entering the gates to the Inner Kingdom was completely skipped. And the major turn off is that the Forgotten One is not even mentioned as even happening.
The epilogue presents what happened these past four years with Arthas. He is been dreaming. And he awakes leading to the invasion to Orgrimmar and Stormwind and the events of Wrath of the Lich King. But what happened during those four years of dreaming? There has been an inner conflict within Arthas the Lich King’s head … between three minds striving for control: Ner’zhul, Arthas, and … who we are familiar with as Matthias Lehner (the ghost child). The end is shocking to say the least. And unexpected.
Except for those two events omitted, the book is accurate and loyal to the events of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. And offers much more with extra spice from Christie Golden. I can only say one thing about this. I (beep) love this book !!!
This book is an overdosed cocktail of lore and continuity that will numb your senses.
If you are a die-hard WarCraft lore fan you can’t miss this book. If you are a World of Warcraft player who didn’t get to play previous Warcraft games—this book will be your best chance at catching up with Arthas’ past pre-Third War and it covers both: Warcraft III and its expansion accurately. Pre-Order World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King … on sale: April 21, 2009.
Watch our interview with Blizzard’s Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson at the 2009 New York Comic Con for details of World of Warcraft: Arthas and the World of Warcraft: Stormrage book.
There were over 65,000 attendees in New York Comic Con through Feb 6-8, and hundreds of costumed fans and hot chicks. I was only able to record a few of them with what little battery power I had. There were some very good costumes like the gigantic chewbacca, Wonder Woman and Spider-Woman. Check them all out:
We were at the New York Comic Con 2009 to bring you videos of the event. Today, you can watch the book signing session held at the Tokyopop booth where Blizzard Entertainment Senior VP of Creative Development Chris Metzen and the Senior Writer & Voice Director Micky Neilson joined book writers Keith R.A. DeCandido (Starcraft Ghost: Academy), Josh Elder (StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 1) and Grace Randolph (Starcraft Frontline Vol. 2) to meet and greet fans.
At the end of video # 2 you will see Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson signing the Starcraft Comic Book Posters exclusively for our giveaway to fans. They are also signed by the manga writers. If you want the opportunity to win one of these signed posters follow the link to participate.
If you were at the event, you will probably have great memories to share with your friends and guildmates. Enjoy.
Many Blizzard fans attended the 2009 New York Comic Con for the opportunity to meet the thundergod Chris Metzen (Senior VP of Creative Development) and Micky Neilson (Senior Writer & Voice Director) during the Simon & Schuster book signing session.
There were a lot of happy fans handing over their copies of World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, the Comic Book Vol. 1 hardcover, even the Wrath of the Lich King Collector’s Edition Art Book. I remember one of the fans brought the wall-mounting accessory of the Frostmourne sword replica to be signed. It was a fun experience to both Alliance and Horde players; and the developers were quite satisfied and passionate about the fans’ reactions.
Blizzplanet and WorldofWar.net was there to interview both Blizzard developers, and to record most of the book signing session. Below you can watch all three videos.
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.
On Saturday, February 7th—Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson attended the 2009 New York Comic Con for a book signing session at the Simon & Schuster booth (1402). Thanks to Jaime Costas from the Pocket Star Books publisher; Shon Damron and Rob Tokar from Blizzard Entertainment’s Public Relations Department an interview was scheduled at the event.
Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson answered lore questions based on the StarCraft and World of WarCraft pocket star books for a length of 24 minutes. I split the video into two parts. This interview is packed with a lot of fun, spoilery and informative answers to various concerns from scenes that happened in Starcraft: The Dark Templar Saga, Warcraft: The Last Guardian, World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal, the Warcraft RPG Books, and World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon. And a massive influx of info about the upcoming books—World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King (April 21), Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight (June 30), World of Warcraft: Stormrage (2010) and Starcraft Ghost: Spectre (2010).
After watching this video interview, you are going to faint, and wake up with only one thought in mind: “you CAN’T MISS reading one of these pocket star books !!!” Guaranteed. These books tie-in deeply into the events of the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and could we dare to say … future expansions?
Medievaldragon: This is Medievaldragon from Blizzplanet and WorldOfWar.net. We are here to interview Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Creative Development for Blizzard Entertainment and Micky Neilson, Senior Writer and Voice Director of Blizzard Entertainment. I picked up some questions from the Community about Pocket Books lore. We’ll start with the Starcraft questions first.
Medievaldragon: Ulrezaj is composed of 7 dark templars according to Starcraft: The Dark Templar Saga, but only composed of 4 in the Enslavers 2 Episode 5B: Dark Vengeance. could you fill us in on how that happened?
Metzen: Essentially we just made a call. Originally, I think in the Enslavers campaign it was 4, but Enslavers has always been kind of quasi-canonical. There was a lot of new fiction developed for Enslavers that we thought was really cool, but as we were developing this trilogy with Christie we knew we wanted to bring Ulrezaj back, which was kind of a cool idea, but we felt that going to 7 was better for the fiction in general. It kind of gave us more options to dig his origin out, who were all these arch-criminals that comprised him, so we felt that going with 7 just felt a little rounder. So… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Medievaldragon: Does the Umojan Protectorate and Kel-morian Combine have their own versions of the Ghost program, or is it exclusive to the Confederates and the Dominion?
Neilson: I like that question.
Metzen: Kill it!
Neilson: My answer would be that they do, and that it’s something a little bit different, something we haven’t seen yet, and something that we should definitely investigate in the future in the fiction, because it sounds like a really cool idea.
Metzen: That sounds like a dare right there.
Neilson: That’s right.
Medievaldragon: Will the Terrazine gas plot be explored in the upcoming Starcraft Ghost: Spectre book?
Metzen: Well the Terrazine and its significance to the “alleged” Ghost spectres is definitely handled in the upcoming novel Starcraft Ghost: Spectre by Decandidio. Decandido, pardon me. Sorry Keith! We definitely get into what Terrazine is, what it’s used for, and I would bet, wink wink, that we might see a bit of that play out in Starcraft 2 as well.
Metzen: Yes indeed.
Medievaldragon: Can we expect a sequel to Starcraft: Queen of Blades? We are missing the period between the Overmind’s invasion of Aiur and Tassadar’s sacrifice.
Neilson: Official announcement? I don’t know what’s official and what isn’t as far as…
Metzen: We’ve been working on an outline, we call it… well I’ll just say it. We call it Heir to Adun is the title of that possible novel. We’ve done a number of outline treatments on it to really dig out Tassadar’s story, and Tassadar’s nature as this kind of Twilight Messiah for the protoss people. What was really going on there at the fall of Aiur, and really digging out all the political things that were happening with the Conclave, and the Judicators, and the Templar. We definitely have a rocking story built for a novel, but we don’t have any plans yet on exactly when we would publish it or I don’t even know if we have a writer lined up yet, but we have an awesome outline for it.
Medievaldragon: Yeah, we have been expecting it for a while. (laughing) I know it takes time.
Metzen: If I had my way it would have been out already.
Neilson: It’s going to be a little while
Medievaldragon: Okay, we’re going to move to the Warcraft questions.
Medievaldragon: A fan asked: The body of Sargeras that Aegwynn killed was said to be an avatar in Warcraft: The Last Guardian, does this mean that Sargeras’ real body is still out there somewhere? Or is Sargeras pulling a Lord Voldemort trick to ensure his return?
Neilson: Sargeras is still kicking around. You can’t put him down.
Metzen: He’s out there somewhere.
Neilson: He’s not going to stay down for long.
Metzen: Yeah totally. And I think the hooks we had for his physical body, wherever it may be are so visually stunning that I think we have to… it’s like low hanging fruit, we’re going to have to bring him back somewhere. I’d be very disappointed in us if we didn’t leverage him fully.
Medievaldragon: He would be like the ultimate encounter.
Neilson: Hmm… yes.
Medievaldragon: In The Last Guardian, Medivh attacks Garona with a spell, saying “let me show you my world Garona. Let me drive my own divisions and doubts into you. You will never know who you serve and why. You’ll never find your peace.” This is most commonly seen by fans as Sargeras cursing Garona into betraying everyone she works for… Is this true? Is that why she has been missing all these years?
Neilson: As to what’s going on with Garona, we’re launching into the second arc of the WoW comic. There are going to be a LOT of questions answered regarding Garona… why she did what she did, her whole backstory. It all ties into Med’an, this new character, who’s going to be really important to the lore. So for the community to learn a lot more about Garona, they should definitely check out the comic book.
Medievaldragon: Will there be a follow-up in the pocket books at some point?
Neilson: For Garona? Maybe.
Metzen: I didn’t hear… a cameo within a book?
Neilson: Not out of the question, I’m sure.
Metzen: Yeah, I think we’re still feeling it out. We just recently started leveraging the character again, so there’s a lot of interest in the character, so I can see us getting [cut off]
[Plays a scene from warcraft 3 of Arthas approaching the Revenants blocking the path to Frostmourne]
Guardian: Turn back mortals. Death and Darkness are all that await you in this forsaken vault.
Arthas: I doubt there’s anything down here more terrifying than what we’ve faced already.
Guardian: Believe what you will, boy. You shall not pass.
Guardian: Turn away… before it’s… too late.
Arthas: Still trying to protect the sword are you?
Guardian: No… trying to protect you… from it.
Medievaldragon: What were the Revenants’ motives to care for Arthas’ fate? Will it be explained in World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King?
Metzen: It’s in the book.
Medievaldragon: In the book? Alright
Neilson: Buy the book.
Metzen: It’s really good. Really good… Christie just rocked this book.
Medievaldragon: In World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, we see a glimpse of Malygos proposing to the Wyrmrest Accord the purge of the mages prior to the Nexus War. Kalecgos departs to Outland at the end of the book. What’s Kalecgos’ stance with the Nexus War?
Metzen: Interesting. I think Kalecgos is loyal, he’s a blue dragon. Their function is to kind of police mortals’ use of magic, so to some degree he wants to do what Malygos wants him to do. He’s loyal, he’s a team player, but I also think that Kalecgos has a huge heart. I think he has a deep conscience, and I think he’s terrified of how these things have just spun out of control, and I think he regrets the loss of life and probably looks at it as a totally heavy handed solution to the problem, so I think he’s probably a little torn.
Neilson: And he’s spent a lot of time with mortals at this point too. He’s grown close to some mortals with the whole Anveena thing and everything else, so he would definitely be torn. His feelings would be torn.
Medievaldragon: He was a bit arrogant at the beginning, but his experience with Anveena kind of softened him.
Metzen: Right, kind of drew him closer to the experience of mortals. Totally.
Medievaldragon: Now that Malygos is dead, will there be a new Aspect of Magic (such as Kalecgos); or is that position gone forever? Could a dragon of another flight become the magic aspect… temporarily… for example: Krasus… who is an Archmage?
Metzen: I would say to question A: (slowly motions with his lips toward the poster of the World of Warcraft: Arthas book).
Metzen: And to question B, I would say no.
Medievaldragon: Okay… I kind of gotcha…
Medievaldragon: What can you tell us about the upcoming Worlf of Warcraft: Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak?
Neilson: Stormrage is gonna be fantastic. What’s really cool about Stormrage is that we will be able to actually live the Nightmare, through this book, that’s going on in the Emerald Dream turning into the Emerald Nightmare. One of the coolest elements, in my opinion, is that the nightmare is starting to spread into Azeroth, and we’re going to touch on that in the manga as well, so we’re going to have a story that touches on, for instance, what is King Magni’s worst nightmare? And because the Nightmare is spreading into the reality of Azeroth, we’ll be able to see that. The book’s going to be fantastic, answers all kinds of questions, what’s been happening to Malfurion, what’s going on, who’s behind it… al those questions are going to be answered.
Metzen: I would just say too, I mean Malfurion’s always been, personally, my favorite Warcraft hero. He’s my favorite to write, so I’ve waited a long time to get this guy back into the mix, and have him play a significant role in the shaping of Azeroth. He’s a mega player, and he’s been off the scene.
Neilson: For a long time.
Metzen: I’m really stoked on this book. We really designed the essential backbone of the book to be just hyper Druid overload. If you’re a WoW Druid, this book’s for you. It features all the major druid characters, and players. I love it. Love it, love it.
(Video Part 2 Transcript)
Medievaldragon: Will there be a cameo of Jarod Shadowsong in World of Warcraft: Stormrage? The official website’s encyclopedia says he departed the druids and was never seen again.
Metzen: I don’t remember. For some reason, I don’t think so. But we would be lovingly surprised if he did. He doesn’t play a significant role in it.
Medievaldragon: Aaron Rosenberg’s World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness helps modernize a lot of the lore revolving around Warcraft II. One aspect of the lore that fans have been wondering about, is Gilneas. Was Gilneas scheduled to make an appearance in that book, but had to be trimmed out, or will Gilneas be revisited in future books?
(Neilson grins at Metzen)
Metzen: Ah, ah, I would say we have some very, very, Very interesting plans for Gilneas. (Metzen docks slightly looking toward the ceiling) But there are snipers up in the roof that would shoot me if you know … (everyone laughs). We are doing some awesome stuff for Gilneas.
Neilson: … stay tuned!
Metzen: Stay tuned.
Medievaldragon: World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal reveals Cho’gall was killed. Or was he? How did the Twilight’s Hammer survive the Broken Isles’ massacre?
Neilson: Cho’gall is gonna make a come back. He’s not dead. You are going to see he will play a large role in the second arc of the World of Warcraft comic book. So, exactly how he survived … he’s just too tough. Two axes to the chest weren’t enough to take him down. He just appeared dead. (Laughs)
Medievaldragon: If he is not decapitated, he is not dead.
Neilson: That’s right.
Metzen: That’s right.
Medievaldragon: (jokingly) … and that doesn’t mean he can’t return. Somebody plugs the head back to his body and …
Medievaldragon: What’s happening to Blood Elf culture (especially Rommath’s role in it) now that the Sunwell was restored with M’uru?
Metzen: What we showed at the end of Burning Crusade, like during the whole Sunwell event, was that the warped naaru M’uru was kinda transformed back into his purest self, purest light that Velen used to reignite the Sunwell, as a fountain of Holy power, as much as it is arcane. So the suggestion was that over time the Blood Elves will start to actually use real Light power, in a healthy way, instead of dominating it. So what will likely happen over time is a slow transition, but what Velen did was give them a chance to redeem their civilization, a chance to get back to their roots, a chance to upset their magical addiction. So that kinda thing will probably gonna play out very slowly. We didn’t talk much about it in Wrath of the Lich King, but it is a theme I love a lot, but it has to be played out very slow.
Medievaldragon: I like that aspect of redeeming them … Does that mean that at some point they are going to get back to their roots and restore the Council of Tirisfal?
Metzen: ha-ha! … no … comment.
Medievaldragon: Are we ever seeing the Scythe of Elune questline and how it all tied into Karazhan and the Dark Riders explored in a future pocket book?
Metzen: I will say there are elements of the Scythe of Elune questline that are not … over … (long silence).
Metzen: … (longer silence) Alright, that’s all I’m saying. (laughs)
Woah, WOAH! (Metzen jokingly makes a motion with his hands and legs as if tight-rope walking).
Medievaldragon: Quick sand! Quick sand!
Medievaldragon: Is the existence of Finnal Goldensword canon? She’s Admiral Proudmoore’s half-elf daughter. If so, are there plans to introduce her in the pocket books?
Metzen: I’m sure this will be controversial, but I don’t necessarily consider her canonical. And based on that, we don’t really have any plans to use her in the future. I think she appeared in one of the Warcraft RPG books. It’s not a character I have thought out about, so at this point I’m not sure if we are gonna do much with her.
Medievaldragon: World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King will devote a portion of its time to the love triangle between Arthas, Jaina and Kael’thas. Now, many of us have played Warcraft III and have also run Gnomeregan, so, we’ve got to ask … Where does Thrall factor in?
I’m not quite sure of what that questions means.
Neilson: Well, I think they are wondering: Is there a romantic interest between Thrall and Jaina? I think that’s what it’s implying.
Metzen: Ohh …
Medievaldragon: Not sure—why they are asking about Gnomeregan.
Metzen: Yea, it’s worded a little weird. Well, I would say the whole Kael’thas, Arthas, Jaina triangle thing is totally handled in the book. And it’s R-r-really good! But it explains the whole relationship, and how that all went down. Christie just handled it perfectly. So I’m excited to really see that. But relative, the question was, is there a little you know … green fever going on with Thrall and Jaina? umm … (takes deep breath) … I don’t know, I know people are kinda fascinated a little about that but …
Medievaldragon: Ohh … I know now what they meant. In Gnomeregan, there was a punch card in binary code that when you decoded it, it reads: “Thrall and Jaina in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”
Metzen: Right, right. I don’t know, I would say I try to be pretty conservative with all that stuff. I would like Thrall to settle down with a nice green girl…
Neilson: (laughs louder)
Metzen: …you know, and have little green babies. I’d like the dynasty of Orgrimmar to be pure blood, right. But you never know. I hope he keeps things together and doesn’t do something stupid before we can actually build this stuff in the game. So … you know Thrall.
Medievaldragon: Hormones …
Metzen: What’re we gonna do.
Medievaldragon: What should we expect in World of Warcraft: Arthas and how does it ties-in with the game?
Neilson: I think one of the things that are really, really amazing about ARTHAS the book is … you play Classic WoW, right, so the whole time you are running around. The Lich King is basically sitting there on his throne. So the question is: What’s going on? What’s going through his head? So this book actually gets you inside his head during that time. You will find out what was going on. Really be able to get inside the mind of evil. Getting inside the mind of Arthas. Find out what makes him tick. Even when he was saying things to Uther, when he disbanded the paladins, and things like that. Really gonna go indepth on that to find out what was going on inside his head. All the layers. Christie did a great job putting in all these different layers of what’s happening. So there’s the dialogue that we heard in the game, but there is much more deeper story that you won’t get unless you read the book.
DC Comics has a bunch of StarCraft comic book posters on their booth for anyone to pick up free. This poster is approximately 1’ x 4’. I had to scan this quick and missed a small piece. Need to run to the New York Comic Con Day two. The new team behind the comic seems to be Simon Furman and Federico Dallacchio. I will find out today during the interview with Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson.
I grabbed 14 of them and will attempt to get Chris Metzen to sign them. Stay tuned during the week to find out how you could be one of the lucky fans to win one of them from Blizzplanet. Without further ado, At the bottom it is meant to say:
Arrived to the New York Comic Con 2009 yesterday to grab my press badge. Brought my camcorder for a field test. After hours of figuring out how to convert the camcorder video by downloading some Corel software, I put together a short video of the Blizzard Products displayed at the Simon & Schuster booth. Found out Jaime is not a he, but a she. Oh, the embarassment. Visited Tokyopop, DC Comics and DC Unlimited. You can grab a copy of World of Warcraft # 3 comic book with an exclusive black and white cover from their booth. And a poster of something Blizzcon attendees will remember pretty well … StarCraft the comic book.
It is 8am here. I am getting ready to go to the second day of New York Comic Con. Today Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson arrive to the event. They will be signing from 1:30pm – 2:30pm at the Simon & Schuster booth 1402. After the signing session, I will interview them about the pocket books lore.
Today, from 4:30pm – 5:30pm both of them have a manga panel and book signing session at the Tokyopop booth along with Keith R.A. DeCandido who will talk about the Starcraft Ghost: Academy manga. I will interview them again some time during the afternoon at the DC Comics booth. Make sure to check back for the videos.
World of Warcraft is no stranger to interracial marriages or hybrids. There are many examples throughout Azeroth and Outland of couples from different races such as Rhonin and Vereesa at the Violet Citadel in Dalaran. Turalyon and Alleria Windrunner who bore a child named Arator the Redeemer. Arator may be found at the Honor Hold Inn in Hellfire Peninsula. The love affair of Turalyon and Alleria was told in detail by Christie Golden in World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal (Pocket Star Books).
Admiral Proudmoore had an affair with a high elf and was father of Finnall Goldensword. Sadly, she hasn’t been added to the MMO yet. She was first introduced in the Alliance & Horde Compendium
The Lunar Festival can be the most tedious of the Seasonal World Events due to the traveling all around the world aspect and the countless hours spent to find all the Elders. It does have its rewards, nevertheless. Take in mind you will get reputation with the Horde or the Alliance, which translates in equal reputation for all the races of your faction. No need to spend weeks in Alterac Valley to increase your reputation with a specific race.
The best reward to completing all the achievements of the Lunar Festival comes once you complete all the seasonal world event achievements: a Violet Proto-Drake, which increases flying speed by 310%.
There are a few elusive Elders that are placed in inconvenient and misleading locations. For example, you are told to find Elder Moonstrike at Scholomance. Don’t even bother to enter the dungeon. She is found outdoors by walking upstairs to the roof of the Scholomance building. Elder Starglade is outside Zul’Gurub. Elder Mistwalker is not inside Dire Maul, you can find him in the arena. This one in particular can be dangerous if you aren’t into PvP as you get auto-flagged. A rogue could be awaiting to gank you with a grin on his face.
Elder Meadowrun is supposed to be at the Weeping Cavern in Western Plaguelands. He is not even inside it or near it. You will find him near the main road far south of the Weeping Cavern at coordinates [65-47].
The Stratholme elder can be found at the Festival Lane. Enter through the main gate and take the route to your right. One of the Northrend dungeon Elders, Elder Ohanzee, can be deceiving. This is the only Northrend Elder that requires you to run an Heroic Gundrak. Enter throuogh the backdoor zone-in to reach the Mamm’toth prophet. The Elder Ohanzee may be found near Eck the Ferocious, who is accessible only in Heroic-mode after killing Moorabi.
You may find other Elders by visiting the Lunar Festival Guide. It tells you where to find them by coordinates. The Northrend Elders have been added. Feel free to update the Worldofwar.net Wiki.
If you ordered your ticket after January 16th it will not be mailed to you. To gain admission into the show, you will need to bring your barcode to registration at the Javits center to pick up your badge. THE LINES WILL BE LONG! Be sure to arrive at registration early and be prepared with your barcode.
Consumers can pick up their badges on
Thursday, February 5th from 12-4:30pm
Professionals can come at the following dates:
Wednesday, February 4th from 12-4:30pm
Thursday, February 5th from 8am-4:30pm
I am glad I subscribed to a few CGI Animation and 3D community newsletters back in the days when I used to promote and recruit staff for the Starcraft Chronicles unofficial fan CGI film, a few years ago. CGChannel has announced their latest interview with Blizzard Entertainment’s CGI Artists Jeff Chamberlain and Fausto De Martini to talk about the making of the Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic Trailer. This three-pages interview contains four never-seen-before pre-rendered footage video clips. The interview covers which techniques and software tools were used to create the Sindragosa frostwyrm, Arthas, Frostmourne and the special effects of Arthas sweeping away the snow to reveal the ice floor.
This interview can be a dream for those who are CGI students or aficionados, and to those who would love to join the Blizzard team at one point. It will help you know how the different teams work the pipeline. Read the full interview. Help others find this awesome interview by commenting at N4G.
Blizzard cinematics are popular in part because of the excellent animation of characters, effects and camera work. Does Blizzard use Motion Capture or other technologies to achieve this level of animation?
We’ve built a team of really strong keyframe animators, and we have always keyframed our animation—and we prefer it that way. As I said, we strive for a hyper-realistic look, so our characters proportions are way augmented from what they would be in real life. As a result, they would tend to look a bit odd if they moved like someone with normal proportions would. Keyframed animation allows us to move our characters in a stylized way that fits the overall look. Also, there’s something about the level of quality you can get from a keyframed animation compared to a motion-captured one.
We have used motion capture a lot for getting a realistic handheld feel in our cameras, and in the interest of creating more and better content, we’ve looked into using motion capture as a tool during previsualization. Having the ability to quickly try out different angles and layouts for a shot by utilizing the speed of motion capture is very compelling from a director’s viewpoint. As far as the final frames go, we plan on sticking with our stylized keyframed animation.
The reanimated corpse dragon in the Lich King cinematic is beautifully executed in its design, modeling, effects and animation. Can you tell us a little bit about the tools and techniques used in those sequences?
We approached the sequence in which Arthas raises the frost wyrm in exactly the same manner as we approach all of our projects. We start with a loose script written by a few cinematics guys: Blizzard Entertainment’s vice president of creative development Chris Metzen; and the leads from the game team. The idea then moves to storyboarding and 2D concepting. Once that’s done, we start pre-visualizing the sequence. Modeling, animation, and production tech tend to then take over for a while, generating the meat of the project. Finally, finishing (lighting and compositing), effects, and matte painting take it all home.
Wrath of the Lich King was a project with a lot of firsts in our pipeline. It was the first time we used Maya to animate and lay out every shot, the first time we rendered every shot in Renderman, and the first time we used Nuke to composite. Some other products we use are 3ds Max and Mudbox for modeling, Mirage for storyboarding, and anything we can get our hands on for effects and matte painting.
On April 21, 2009 Pocket Star Books and Blizzard Entertainment will unleash one of the most awaited Warcraft novels based on the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion (World of Warcraft). Christie Golden has been known by fans of this franchise for her work on Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde and Beyond the Dark Portal. The last two with prominent development of Ner’zhul. In this new novel, she has the pleasure of fleshing out more of Ner’zhul and to fathom the inner-depths of Prince Arthas Menethil.
Something to note from this excerpt is the appearance of the boy Matthias Lehner (anagram to Arthas Menethil). This boy appears in very key quests at the Icecrown region, which makes fans strongly believe this novel will fill in the blanks and tie-in with the game’s storyline, and more importantly… the Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon. It’s highly probable the content patch releasing this dungeon might be live by the time this novel hits bookstores.
Simon & Schuster is now accepting pre-orders of World of Warcraft: Arthashere.
It was caught in a hovering, jagged chunk of ice, the runes that ran the length of its blade glowing a cool blue. Below it was a dais of some sort, standingon a large gently raised mound that was covered in a dusting of snow. A soft light, coming from somewhere high above where the cavern was open to daylight, shone down on the runeblade. The icy prison hid some details of the sword’s shape and form, exaggerated others. It was revealed and concealed at the same time, and all the more tempting, like a new lover imperfectly glimpsed through a gauzy curtain. Arthas knew the blade—it was the selfsame sword he had seen in his dream when he first arrived. The sword that had not killed Invincible, but that had brought him back healed and healthy. He’d thought it a good omen then, but now he knew it was a true sign. This was what he had come to find. This sword would change everything. Arthas stared raptly at it, his hands almost physically aching to grasp it, his fingers to wrap themselves around the hilt, his arms to feel the weapon swinging smoothly in the blow that would end Mal’Ganis, end the torment he had visited upon the people of Lordaeron, end this lust for revenge. Drawn, he stepped forward.
The uncanny elemental spirit drew its icy sword. “Turn away, before it is too late,” it intoned.
His evil is legend. Lord of the undead Scourge, wielder of the runeblade Frostmourne, and enemy of the free peoples of Azeroth. The Lich King is an entity of incalculable power and unparalleled malice—his icy soul utterly consumed by his plans to destroy all life on the…
But it was not always so. Long before his soul was fused with that of the orc shaman Ner’zhul, the Lich King was Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron and faithful paladin of the Silver Hand.
When a plague of undeath threatened all that he loved, Arthas was driven to pursue an ill-fated quest for a runeblade powerful enough to save his homeland. Yet the object of his search would exact a heavy price from its new master, beginning a horrifying descent into damnation. Arthas’s path would lead him through the arctic northern wastes toward the Frozen Throne, where he would face, at long last, the darkest of destinies.
Below you may read an excerpt of World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King.
The wind shrieked like a child in pain. The herd of shovel tusks huddled together for warmth—their thick, shaggy coats protecting them from the worst of the storm. They formed a circle with the calves, shivering and bleating, in the center. Their heads, crowned with massive antlers, dropped toward the snow-covered earth, eyes shut against the whirling snow. Their own breath frosted their muzzles as they planted themselves and endured.
In their various dens, the wolves and bears waited out the storm, one with the comfort of their pack, the other solitary and resigned. Whatever their hunger, nothing would drive them forth until after the keening wind had ceased its weeping and the blinding snow had worn itself out.
The wind, roaring in from the ocean to beat at the village of Kamagua, tore at the hides that stretched over frames made of the bones of great sea creatures. When the storm passed, the tuskarr, whose home this had been for years uncounted knew they would need to repair or replace nets and traps. Their dwellings, sturdy though they were, were always harmed when this storm descended. They had all gathered inside the large group dwelling that had been dug deep into the earth, lacing the flaps tight against the storm and lighting smoky oil lamps.
Elder Atuik waited in stoic silence. He had seen many of these storms over the last seven years. Long had he lived, the length and yellowness of his tusks and the wrinkles on his brown skin testament to the fact. But these storms were more than storms, were more than natural. He glanced at the young ones, shivering not with cold, not the tuskarr, but with fear.
“He dreams, ” one of them murmured, eyes bright, whiskers bristling. “Silence,” snapped Atuik, more gruffly than he had intended. The child, startled, fell silent, and once again, the only sound was the aching sob of the snow and wind.
It rose like the smoke, the deep bellowing noise, wordless but full of meaning. A chant, carried by a dozen voices; sounds of drums and rattles and bone striking bone formed a fierce undercurrent to the wordless call. The worst of the wind’s anger was deflected from the taunka village by the circle of posts and hides, and the lodges, their curving roofs arching over a large interior space in defiance of the hardships of this land, were strong.
Over the sound of deep and ancient ritual, the wind’s cry could still be heard. The dancer, a shaman by the name of Kamiku, missed a step and his hoof struck awkwardly. He recovered and continued. Focus. It was all about focus. It was how one harnessed the elements and wrung from them obedience; it was how his people survived in a land that was harsh and unforgiving.
Sweat dampened and darkened his fur as he danced. His large brown eyes were closed in concentration, his hooves again finding their powerful rhythm. He tossed his head, short horns stabbing the air, tail twitching. Others danced beside him, their body heat and that of the fire that burned despite the flakes and wind that drifted down from the smoke hole in the roof keeping the lodge warm and comfortable.
They all knew what was transpiring outside. They could not control these winds and snow, as they could ordinary such things. No, this was his doing. But they could dance and feast and laugh in defiance of the onslaught. They were taunka; they would endure.
The world was blue and white and raging outside, but inside the Great Hall the air was warm and still. A fireplace tall enough for a man to stand in was filled with thick logs, the crackling of their burning the only noise. Over the ornately decorated mantle, carved with images of fantastical creatures, the giant antlers of a shovel tusk were mounted. Heavy beams supported the feast hall that could have housed dozens, the warm orange hue of the fires chasing away the shadows to hide on the corners. Carved dragon heads served as sconces, holding torches whose flames burned brightly. The cold stone of the floor was softened and warmed by thick pelts of polar bears, shovel tusks, and other creatures.
A table, long and heavy and carved, occupied most of the space in the room. It could have hosted three dozen easily. Only three figures sat at the table now: a man, an orc, and a boy.
None of it was real, of course. The man who sat at the place of honor at the table, slightly elevated before the other two in a mammoth carved chair that was not quite a throne, understood this. He was dreaming; he had been dreaming for a long, long time. The hall, the shovel tusk trophies, the fire, the table—the orc and the boy—all were simply a part of his dreaming.
The orc, on his left, was elderly, but still powerful. The orange fire – and torchlight flickered off the ghastly image he bore on his heavy-jawed face—that of a skull, painted on. He had been a shaman, able to direct and wield vast powers, and even now, even just as a figment of the man’s imagination he was intimidating.
The boy was not. Once, he might have been a handsome child, with wide sea-green eyes, fair features, and golden hair. But once was not now.
The boy was sick.
He was thin, so emaciated that his bones seemed to threaten to slice through the skin. The once-bright eyes were dimmed and sunken, a thin film covering them. Pustules marked his skin, bursting and oozing forth a green fluid. Breathing seemed difficult and the child’s chest hitched in little panting gasps. The man thought he could almost see the labored thumping of a heart that should have faltered long ago, but persisted in continuing to beat.
“He is still here,” the orc said, stabbing a finger in the boy’s direction.
“He will not last,” the man said.
As if to confirm the words, the boy began to cough. Blood and mucus spattered the table in front of him and he wiped a thin arm clad in rotting finery across his pale mouth. He drew breath to speak in a halting voice, the effort obviously taxing him.
“You have not—yet won him. And I will—prove it to you.”
“You as foolish as you are stubborn,” the orc growled. “That battle was won long ago.”
The man’s hands tightened on the arms of his chair as he listened to both of them. This had been a recurring dream, over the last few years, he found it now more tiresome than entertaining. “I grow weary of the struggle. Let us end this once and for all.”
The orc leered at the boy, his skull-face grinning hideously. The boy coughed again, but did not quail from the orc’s regard. Slowly, with dignity he straightened, his milky eyes darting from the orc to the man.
“Yes,” the orc said, “this serves nothing. Soon it will be time to awaken. Awaken, and move forward into this world once more.” He turned to the man, his eyes gleaming. “Walk again the path you have taken.”
The skull seemed to detach itself from his face, hovering above it like another entity, and the room changed with its movement. The carved sconces that a moment before were simple wood undulated and rippled, coming to life, the torches in their mouths flaring and casting grotesque dancing shadows as they shook their heads. The wind screamed outside and the door to the hall slammed open. Snow whirled about the three figures. The man spread his arms and let the freezing wind wrap about him like a cloak. The orc laughed, the skull floating over his face issuing its own manic peals of mirth.
“Let me show you that your destiny lies with me, and you can only know true power through eliminating him.”
The boy, fragile and slight, had been knocked out of his chair by the violent gusts of frigid air. Now he propped himself up with an effort, shaking, his lent gusts of frigid air. Now he propped himself up with an effort, shaking, his breaths coming in small puffs as he struggled to climb back into his chair. He threw the man a look—of hope, fear, and odd determination.
“All is not lost,” he whispered, and somehow, despite the orc and the skull’s laughter, despite the shrieking of the wind, the man heard him.
Simon & Schuster is now accepting pre-orders of World of Warcraft: Arthashere.
—World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden
Published by: Pocket Star Books
April 21, 2009
Blizzard Entertainment Creative Design Director Chris Metzen, Blizzard Entertainment writer Micky Neilson, and Wildstorm comic book artist star Jim Lee unveiled the World of Warcraft: The Comic Book on San Diego Comic Con 2007 by the end of July, and at BlizzCon days later. You may read the original press release.
Blizzplanet caught the attention of a free sampler days before the official announcement (Image Scans). And immediately sent a heads up to Kotaku and Newsarama.
Today, we talk with Walter Simonson about the World of Warcraft comic book from DC Comics / Wildstorm where he is main writer and head-honcho of both story arcs. Walter is working alongside Jim Lee and Blizzard Art Director Samwise Didier (Covers), Ludo Lullabi (Art) and Sandra Hope (Ink).
Many know who Walter is, but to those new to comic books: Walter Simonson is a popular and veteran American comic book writer and artist hired by DC Comics, Marvel Comics and other publishers along the past 30+ years. Walter is known for his work and memorable legacy: The Star Slammers (1974), Metal Men, Manhunter (DC-Detective Comics), The Mighty Thor, Wonder Woman, X-Factor, Fantastic Four, and Orion among others. You may read further recognition and awards in wikipedia. He doesn’t work alone in this endeavour. Chris Metzen and Blizzard Entertainment walk the extra mile offering Walter collaboration and support to stay true to the World of Warcraft universe.
November 2007 Issue# 1 Cover
December 2007 Issue# 2 Cover
January 2008 Issue# 3 Cover
1. Will the Warcraft comic series be a limited or ongoing series? I’ve heard that there are plans for at least two story arcs, and after those tales are told will the comic series end or continue?—by Rowan Seven
Walter: This Warcraft comic is going to be a 12-issue story, broken into two 6-issue story arcs.
As far as future Warcraft comics are concerned, that decision is in other hands than mine. Right now, I’m just working to create 12 kickass issues.
2. Is the amnesic main character some hero from the past, or a character that we already know of? Or is he someone entirely new? The ball was pitched during the San Diego Comic Con asking whether he was the missing King of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn. Chris Metzen and Micky Nielsen somewhat evaded the question. – by Kenzuki
Walter: You know, if Chris and Micky—somewhat evaded the question’, there’s NO way I’m going to step into the line of fire!
3. Are the events of the Wow# 1 happening before or after the events of World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred?—by Medievaldragon
Walter: The events in the comic book take place after World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred.
4. At what point in the timeline does this story take place?—by xlandhenry
Walter: The present.
5. The DC Direct action figures are obviously characters from the World of Warcraft comic book. So I have to ask, why is there a Draenei character and What could you tell us about Vindicator Marrad? Did the Exodar crash on Azuremyst Isle this far back in time pre-Burning Crusade?—by Medievaldragon
Walter: Actually, it was the other way around. Several of the characters in the comic were based on the action figures. I’ve picked up on some of them in the comic, fleshing them out and giving them histories. But I’m not trying to use every figure, just ones that fit into the story. At the moment, there isn’t a Draenei in the comic book. No Vindicator Marrad. The Exodar crash isn’t part of this story which occurs post-Burning Crusade.
6. Will Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore, Vol’jin, Cairne Bloodhoof, Lady Sylvanas, Lor’Themar, Bolvar Fordragon, Mekkatorque or any of the other Horde or Alliance leaders appear in this comic?—by Kenzuki
Walter: Ummm, some of these characters will be in the comic as we go along. Jaina Proudmoore for one but don’t tell anybody I said so. Some of the other names have come up in plot discussions and may even appear but my lips are sealed.
7. Chris Metzen referred to the main character as the anti-Thrall. Could you elaborate what this means? Seeing as the amnesic hero lands on Durotar, it seems he might meet Thrall in Orgrimmar soon.—by Medievaldragon & Saibot
Walter: Mmmmm. I think I know what Chris meant but I’d really rather not put words in his mouth. I don’t know if you can pry an answer out of him, but I think that he’s the guy to elaborate on that thought. I have enough difficulty keeping my own thoughts straight. As things stand now, our hero won’t be meeting face-to-face with Thrall although he will be in Orgrimmar.
8. What would be the Blood elves stance towards this hero?—by Mark_Romaneck
Walter: One of the main characters in the story is a blood elf and I like to stick to specifics rather than generalizations, except of course when I’m avoiding a direct answer because I don’t want to spoil the story. So what I can say here is that our blood elf thinks that our hero is hot.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
9. What sort of qualities does our main hero have? Can you give an in-depth description about what makes him a good/interesting protagonist?—by Aldrius
Walter: I could but really, I prefer to let the story spin itself out in the comic rather than giving the game away here. I will say that our hero is a surprisingly effective warrior, a human who seems to have hidden talents, but a character with flaws (I don’t just mean the amnesia) that are troubling. And potentially fatal. For example, no matter how good you are, nobody should zone out in the middle of a battle to the death!
10. Will we see any interesting female characters in the book? (Any of note from previous WarCraft games or books.)—by Aldrius
Walter: There’s a female blood elf (see answer above) in the comic who I think is very interesting. You’ll have to make your own judgment call about her when the comic comes out. I myself find that Valeera is a lot of fun-cranky, sexy, independent, curious, driven, and proud. And nicely drawn. (g)
And there are a number of other interesting female characters who will be appearing the comic, some in lesser roles, some in major ones.
11. Will the comic book hero have any sort of redeemable qualities?—by Aldrius
Walter: You’ll never know how much I want to say that you’ll be able to redeem our guy for 5 books of Green Stamps. But my wife tells me that nobody out there except us old guys will understand that joke. So I’ll skip it. I do think the hero has some cool qualities-the major ones being an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and an indomitable will. But what makes the character equally interesting are the qualities he doesn’t have and is in search of. And as I mentioned above-he’s a very formidable warrior.
12. Comic books usually show narrative flashback stories, be it a character telling a past experience to someone, remembering something within his mind, or simply as a writer introduction to the issue’s plot. Can we hope to see mention of previous Warcraft eras such as the Troll Wars, the Three Hammer Wars, the First and Second Wars, War of the Ancients, etc?—by Medievaldragon
Walter: You do know this IS only a twelve issue series of comics right, not a trilogy of novels? I am using flashbacks in the course of the story, but I’m using them as revelatory memories regarding the hero’s life. There are some mentions (sort of) of some of the deep Warcraft histories-and these definitely inform the actions of these characters—but the focus of the comic is on the present or the fairly recent past.
13. How much material from the Warcraft RPG Books (Arthaus) and pocket books did you use for the first 6-issues of the World of Warcraft comic book? Could you mention which books?—by Medievaldragon
Walter: I don’t know that I’ve taken any material from the Arthaus books other than background stuff. There’s been a ton of consulting with Blizzard so I’ve gotten a lot of information directly from them. And they’ve been exceptionally helpful at answering my questions and making useful suggestions in a timely fashion. (That last bit is so important I can’t tell you!)
14. Can we expect much, if any interaction with characters from the games, novels, RPG Books such as Rhonin, Krasus, Falstad, Vereesa, Eitrigg, Tirion Fordring, Taelan Fordring, Velen, Finnal Goldensword (Jaina’s half-sister), Tandred Proudmoore? Or will the series primarily revolve around characters of its own creation?—by Hawki
Walter: There is interaction within the comic between the characters created within the story in the comic and some of the characters from the game. Just none of the ones you’ve mentioned. See below.
15. Will we see familiar Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) from cities and outposts of World of Warcraft in the comic book? That would be a nice touch.
Walter: There will be both major and minor NPCs appearing in the comic book. Some appear briefly in passing, others in more major roles. A couple of them-but not the only NPC ones-included Hamuul Runetotem and Magatha. Other than that, my lips are sealed-again. Sort of.
16. Dragons have been a part of the MMORPG since early quests in Wetlands. Will the comic book portray any of the Dragon Aspects or their dragonflight, Kalecgos, Tyrygosa, Nefarian or Lady Katrana Prestor in Stormwind (aka Onyxia)?
Walter: Boy. This is REALLY a question I’m not going to answer.
17. Will you be a returning writer after your 6-issues run commitment?—by Medievaldragon
Walter: I’m writing the 12-issue story, so essentially, I’m writing two 6-issue arcs that will form a single story. Everything after that is in the lap of the gods.
18. Will there be Outland or Northrend scenes of certain characters plotting schemes remotely, or contacting spies within the Horde/Alliance? For example, Rommath the ambassador was sent by Kael’Thas to Silvermoon. Pathaleon the Calculator is seen sending a holographic transmission to Blood Elves in Bloodmyst in early quests. the Scourge has a perma-link with Arthas the Lich King alike that of the Queen Borg.—by Omacron & Medievaldragon
Walter: No scenes directly related to Outland or Northrend will be appearing in this 12-issue arc. We will see a fair amount of plotting skullduggery in secrecy by shadowy figures including assassinations, political intrigue and such, but all of it has to do with this particular story. Some of it is, however, based on existing lore within the game own storylines.
19. Seeing as this is an alliance-centric story on Kalimdor, will Theramore, Bael’Modan or the Wildhammer village north of Ashenvale play a large role?—by Omacron & Segwarides
Walter: Well, we will visit Theramore. A pivotal event in the story occurs there, but our heroes are really passing through. They do stop in Ashenvale for a time. There is a fair amount of traveling in the story, which is pretty much what you’d expect when you’re on a quest. I don’t believe that the other locations figure in this tale.
20. Will the series involve only story arcs relating to one central storyline or can we expect occasional one-shots in which the core characters are not involved?—by Nephalim
Walter: This particular series consists only of the 12 issues in this storyline. While the main storyline concerns our protagonist, there are several other characters who have their own arcs that intersect with our man but also follow their own directions. However, all their stories will be told within these 12 issues.
I don’t know whether or not there will be any spinoffs down the road. That’s an editorial decision. And oddly enough, none of the editorial staffs of the various companies involved ever call me up to have me tell them what to do. Hard to believe, isn’t it? :-pppppppppppppp
21. In World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred, Aegwynn ends up becoming councilor of Jaina Proudmoore and has remained disguised at her side ever since at Theramore. Can we hope to see Aegwynn interact with the amnesic hero at some point?
Walter: Ummmmmm – it’s entirely possible that such hope might be rewarded.
22. Will there be a third party included in the main plot in addition to the Alliance and the Horde? i.e. Twilight’s Hammer Cult, Shadow Council, Burning Blade Cult, Goblins, Scarlet Crusade, Defias Brotherhood, etc.—by Kerrah
Walter: Definitely. I’d prefer not to give any more details right now but I will say-you’re getting warm.
23. We know we’re going to see Dire Maul in issue two, and some sketches in the sampler showed the entrance to Booty Bay. Can we get any names of other familiar places the comic will explore?—by Jawbreaker
Walter: Sorry. I don’t want to give anything away.
[Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff and the Pools of Vision, Ashenvale, Darnassus, the Eastern Kingdoms]
Who said that!?
24. Virtually all of the characters known to be appearing in the comic have distinct classes (Warrior, Rogue, Paladin, Druid, Hunter, etc.). How literally do you intend to portray their roles, spells, and abilities?—by Hawki
Walter: As accurately as possible without being too specific-sounds paradoxical doesn’t it? What I mean is that, at Blizzard’s preference, I’m keeping things like magical spells slightly non-specific. So nobody’s going to be specifically casting the Spell of the Thousand Dancing Insects. (Sorry-I’m watching the Indians/Boston baseball playoff game in Cleveland right now! Midge-city back during the Cleveland/Yankee series if you’ve been paying attention.)
But Broll, a night elf Druid, will be using a staff and not a sword. We’re trying to work with the specific instruments/tools/artifacts of the various characters.
25. Will we get to see the lore surrounding the MMO dungeons such as Dire Maul more fully fleshed out, or will it simply reiterate what we already know about them while focusing more on the protagonists and the action?—by Dalkagar
Walter: See the answer after the next question.
26. In issue# 2, the amnesic hero ends up in Dire Maul, an ancient location formerly known as Eldre’Thalas. The first 5-pages of the comic book shown at MTV Multiplayer reveals the Shaman Rehgar Earthfury is collecting gladiators to take to Dire Maul Arena and that’s how the amnesic hero ends up in Dire Maul. Will the story show any of the three dungeon NPCs of Dire maul such as Prince Tortheldrin, or the Satyrs on the east-wing? A backstory of the Shen’dralar night elves and Eldre’Thas?
Walter: I’ll answer these last two questions together. Regarding Dire Maul, there is going to be some elaboration in the comic about what goes on there that you haven’t seen before. So I guess you could say that we’re expanding the lore a bit. And since this Dire Maul is part of a comic and not a computer model, I expect you’ll see some stuff there you haven’t seen before.
There will be characters in Dire Maul-a lot of them actually-in the comic but they are characters created specifically for this story. And we’re going to witness an event involving ogres (and others) that occurs regularly in a hitherto underutilized part of Dire Maul.
27. Is Rehgar a member of the new Horde, or does he have connections with a third-party organization such as Burning Blade, or Stormreaver remnants?—by Segwarides
Walter: Rehgar is part of the original Horde that invaded Azeroth under Warchief Blackhand. Today, however, he’s part of Thrall’s Horde (the modern Horde).
28. Will the comic book go into the backstage plots and details of popular World of Warcraft MMO questlines such as the missing diplomat, The Howling Vale / Scythe of Elune (a long questline where Velinde Starsong summoned worgen wolf-men into Ashenvale), the Druids of the Fang (Wailing Caverns), Raene’s Cleansing? What other questlines could be expected in the comic book to attract the interest of fans?—by Medievaldragon
Walter: None of the above, which isn’t to say that we aren’t addressing some long-standing unresolved questions of lore. But if I told you what we were really doing, you wouldn’t need to read the comic now, would you?
29. Are we gonna get to see any significant tauren characters that plays deep into the story? As of right now even the major tauren characters have little part in most of the story arcs.—by Terrorhoof @ Deathwing
Walter: Several of the issues coming up involve tauren characters interacting with our heroes. A couple of NPC taurens will make appearances in the story.
30. A peculiar pattern of comic books nowadays is that when they become very popular and successful they get spinoffs such as the various Superman titles. Has the team thought of a Horde-oriented comic book title? Or other spinoffs such as the Adventures of Rhonin and Krasus through time—Nozdormu chose them to help 10,000 years in the past for example. Maybe they could travel to other timelines in Warcraft’s past or future. The Adventures of Khadgar and the Alliance Expedition through space in other planets these past 20 years? That would be cool. I would buy it.
Walter: Actually, I think spin-offs in every entertainment medium are fairly common. Comics, TV, even movies (if you count sequels). But be that as it may, all of our effort right now is focused on trying to get these 12 issues right, and the story in hand well told. Even 12 issues of a comic isn’t a lot of material compared to, say, a novel. I think your ideas are great but realistically, you’re talking about a LOT of comics there!
Not that I wouldn’t love to do them. I could use the work. But right now, this is the story of our guy and his friends. And enemies.
31. Limited Series are also common in comic books. I would personally love to read World of Warcraft: The Three Hammers War # 1-6. Wow: The Troll Wars# 1-6. Wow: Ordering of Azeroth# 1-6 (featuring the Titans vs. Old gods). Wow: The Guardians of Tirisfal# 1-12 with an older Aegwynn as narrator. Other time-frames here. Has Chris Metzen and the DC Comics team considered Limited Series spinoffs? As a comic book reader and collector myself, I consider these are viable formats to expand upon the stories of the Warcraft games.
Walter: This doesn’t seem to be a question so I don’t have any answer for you. However, your suggestions certainly sound like fun. See the first two sentences of the last paragraph of the answer above! (With any luck, my editors will see this!)
Blizzplanet interviewed Glynnis Talken three years ago, and with Starcraft II finally announced at the South Korea Worldwide Invitationals last May 19th, fans have gotten psyched with the idea whether the same voice actors would be hired by Blizzard Entertainment to voice Sarah Kerrigan, Zeratul and Jim Raynor.
Recently, I interviewed Robert Clothworthy, who is excited and willing to take his role once more as Jim Raynor. Today, Glynnis Talken reveals how she feels about Starcraft II and her return as Sarah Kerrigan. Glynnis visited the Blizzard booth at San Diego Comic Con as an attendee, and highlighted her interest in retaking her role. Read her recent August newsletter revealing her reprise as Kerrigan in Starcraft II.
1. It has been nearly ten years since Starcraft and its Brood War expansion. How do you feel about fans remembering you as a celebrity in the games industry and wanting more?
Glynnis: It’s very flattering. I started getting a rush of e-mail from gamers the moment StarCraft II was announced. And you know, even though it HAS been almost 10 years, it’s amazing, but I haven’t aged a bit…not a BIT, I tell you!
2. How has this popularity affected you and your career?
Glynnis: Being a voiceover actor, whatever popularity I enjoy is largely invisible. I don’t wear my Kerrigan wings on the street, and it’s not exactly like I’m talking on my cell phone and someone goes, “Hey, aren’t you The Rogue?” But when people find out, they’re usually tickled, and I’m delighted to make their acquaintance.
3. Have you done voice acting for other games after Starcraft: Brood War and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction? Or have you mostly focused on book writing?
Glynnis: Book writing has taken up a huge amount of my time. I still do voiceovers for other things, but the only other video game I’ve done since the work for Blizzard is Savage: The Battle for Newerth for S2 Games.
4. Do you wish to retake your role as Kerrigan in Starcraft II? Why?
Glynnis: Absolutely! Kerrigan is a great, well-written character to play, and just as fans expect high quality and consistency from Blizzard’s visuals and programming, I think they like to see consistency in casting. I mean, no one wants to see the ghost of Anakin being replaced by Hayden Christensen, right? Ahem.
5. Have you kept track of Starcraft II after the game was officially announced in South Korea? What do you like?
Glynnis: I heard the announcement from my fans before I saw anything in the media. I attended Comic-Con this year, where Blizzard had a killer booth, and the trailers were phenomenal on the big screen! Knowing Chris Metzen’s gift for world-creating and storytelling, I’m sure he’s come up with some really cool stuff.
6. Recently Blizzard has been exploring into fields it has never been into before such as the World of Warcraft film by Legendary Pictures and the DC Comic Book. The South Park episode of World of Warcraft, which is currently nominated for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. So it wouldn’t surprise me if Blizzard goes a step further. If Blizzard ever produce a Starcraft TV Animated Series or Hollywood film, would you like to play as Kerrigan?
Glynnis: Oh, gosh, I don’t know… Are you kidding? Of course! One of the most fun projects I ever did was recording the voice of Julie Winters for MTV’s animated series, “The Maxx.” It was great to be in an ensemble cast, playing off the other voice actors. It’d be a kick having audio, play-fights in the studio for the battle scenes. There’s a bit of debate online about the prospect of a Starcraft movie, whether it should be live-action or animation. Needless to say, I vote for animation.
7. What have you done in your career the past three years since our previous interview?
Glynnis: I’ve been very focused on my novels. Warner Books bought my Warrior Maids of Rivenloch trilogy—“Lady Danger,” “Captive Heart,” and “Knight’s Prize”—so I’ve been writing and promoting those for the last few years. In fact, I just sold “Knight’s Prize” into Russia! I’m currently working on another trilogy of stories set in Canterbury—“Lord of Shackles,” “Lord of the Hunt,” and “Lord of Exile.” I write a new book about every nine months—kind of like making babies, I guess.
8. You changed book publisher a couple of years ago, signed with Warner Publishing and changed your name from Glynnis Campbell to Sarah McKerrigan. Why did you choose Sarah McKerrigan as your new pseudonym?
Glynnis: It was kind of an homage to the character and a nod to my gaming fans. Unlike most “romance” novels, my books feature kick-ass warrior wenches, so the name seemed appropriate—McKerrigan (spawn of Kerrigan).
9. Could you list all the Medieval Romance novels written in the past years, including current and upcoming?
Glynnis: In addition to the books listed above, written by Sarah McKerrigan, I wrote four books for Berkley under my real name, Glynnis Campbell—the Knights of de Ware trilogy, consisting of “My Champion,” “My Warrior,” and “My Hero,” and a novella in “A Knight’s Vow.”
10. Personally I would like to see you writing a Starcraft Novel. You are part of the Starcraft scifi universe and know its storyline well. I think you could use your writing experience on a Starcraft novel. Would that be a problem with Warner Publishing if you wrote for Pocket Star Books?
Glynnis: Authors sometimes write for more than one publishing house, so that wouldn’t be a problem. But since I have a voiceover career, too, finding the TIME to write for more than one house would be tough.
11. If you were given the opportunity to write for the Starcraft or Diablo franchises, what would you like to write about?
Glynnis: Honestly, after spending so much time inventing my own worlds where I have total creative control, it would be hard for me to step back and write according to someone else’s universe. Besides, since I write historical romance, I’d probably have Kerrigan and Raynor knocking boots by Chapter Five.
12. Any upcoming public appearances at book stores or special events?
Glynnis: There’s a calendar of upcoming appearances on my website at www.sarahmckerrigan.com , and I usually do at least one booksigning a month. On August 11 at 2pm, I’ll be at New & Recycled Romances in Costa Mesa, California for a booksigning and tea. As always, I’m delighted to meet gamer fans, even when I’m wearing my author hat, and I’m happy to sign merchandise, do photos, and give out Kerrigan hugs any time.
aka Sarah McKerrigan…
…stories to keep you up all night!
The Warrior Maids of Rivenloch Trilogy (Warner)
LADY DANGER (#0-446-61617-6) April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART (#0-446-61616-8) October 2006
KNIGHT’S PRIZE (#0-446-61886-1) April 2007
Damsels in shining armor…riding to the rescue www.glynniscampbell.com / www.sarahmckerrigan.com
UPDATE – March 11, 2009: Glynnis is officially not rehearsing her role as Kerrigan in Starcraft 2. Blizzard decided to take a new voice direction. Details here.
Leatherworkers may purchase new Grand Master Recipes with two types of currency: Heavy Borean Leather or Artic Fur. These function like Emblems or Badges, except this currency comes from killing beasts throughout Northrend. The recipe prices cost either 3 Heavy Borean Leather or 2 Artic fur. The recipes have different pre-requirements ranging through Leatherworking level 400-440.
These are sold by Braeg Stoutbeard (Fur & Leather Trader) at the Mages Commerce Exchange district—coordinates [37,29]—in Dalaran. Take a look at all the 46 recipes below.
Enchanters have a very special way of getting new recipes outside of the Profession Trainer that doesn’t require to knock a dungeon around senseless over and over again; as was the case with dungeons in WoW Classic and Burning Crusade. All you need to do is disenchant any green item drop you find from farming mobs or from the quest rewards to acquire Dream Shards.
This is a form of currency for Enchanters, similar to how you use Emblems of Heroism or Emblems of Valor to purchase armor, trinkets and weapons. In this case, Enchanters use Dream Shards to purchase new recipes from a vendor. You can find Vanessa Sellers (Shard Vendor) at the Simply Enchanting building, next to the Violet Citadel in Dalaran at the Magus Commerce Exchange district. The catch is that you need to have Enchanting 425 to purchase and train the first recipes. A good incentive to dust off and start leveling your Enchanting profession.
Below you can take a look at all the Enchanting recipes available from this vendor.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King offers many daily quests to entertain, and as good source to increase your economy. These are optional, but daily quests allow you to pay repair costs, to buy special mounts from the Sons of Hodir and Wyrmrest Accord, or to cost your gear’s enchants and jewels.
This time we will discuss the daily quests given at the gunships in Icecrown: Orgrim’s Hammer (Horde) or The Skybreaker (Alliance).
Some daily quests are not available right away. You require to do all the quests at the gunships, but eventually you will get access to all of the daily quests. Below you may read the Icecrown Daily Quests Guide Part 1 with links to our WoW Digger.
You have to collect 4 Dark Matters and summon a Dark Messenger at Aldur’thar as a spy to the Ebon Blade faction. You have to kill voidwalker minions that can be found around [54,28]. After killing its master and the minion, click the minion and click the Rod of Siphoning and make sure not to move. Your character needs to channel the siphoning for 5 seconds before you get to auto-loot the Dark Matter.
You must go to the south are of the Aldur’thar Gate to kill Bitter Initiates [53,46]. They drop Orb of Illusion x 3. The goal is to throw the orb of illusion to a Dark Subjugator. However, don’t aggro them and don’t engage in combat. You may stand 20 yards away and throw it from a safe distance by targeting them and clicking the orb in your inventory bag. A gargoyle will swoop down and grab the transformed Dark Subjugator, then it will drop him to the ground like a ragtag.
3. That’s Abominable
You will be given an Abomination Reanimation Kit to kill Icy Ghoul x 15, Vicious Geists x 15 and Risen Alliance Soldiers x 15. In order to use the Abomination Reanimation Kit you need to kill an Abomination to loot a Chilled Abomination Gut. Once looted, go to the southern side of the Mord’rethar Gate [69.60]. Click the Abomination Reanimation Kit in your bag to summon an Abomination. A pet bar pops up with a few abilities. Click a distant mob so that your abomination aggros all mobs in its trajectory. Use the Flatulate button a couple of times. Before your Abomination dies, hit the Burst at the Seams button to make your Abomination explode. You will kill many mobs, but be ready to run away if some remain alive. They will automatically aggro you. You will probably need to kill three or four Abominations to loot their Chilled Abomination Gut to rinse and repeat.
Go to Ymirheim [56,54] to kill 20 Vrykul. They are a bit spread around. If you are a healer or AOE class just run around aggroing at least four or five Vrykul with constant AOE to maintain threat. Then DPS them down. That way you get to finish this up quick.
Unless you are into PvP in a PvE server, you can ignore this one. You will become PvP flagged. The goal is to kill 15 players (of the opposite faction) within Icecrown. You will get 13 gold 23 silver plus a Honor Bonus: 200 as reward.
Your mission is to go south of the Mord’rethar Gate, at the Broken Front, to search on the ground for various items to create a dummy: Abandoned Helm x 3, Abandoned Armor x 3 and Pile of Bones x 3. Once you have gathered the items, go to a safe area and click the Volatile Oil item found in your bag. A dummy will spawn and a Frostbrood Skytalon (Frostwyrm) will swoop down to grab the dummy. It will explode in the sky.
Go to Aldur’thar at [48,33]. Click the Diluted Cult Tonic in your bag before engaging in combat. It will give you a 30 minutes buff. After that start killing any mobs in the specified location. Loot 10 Tainted Essences. Once you got 10, click them in your bag to combine them into a Writhing Mass. Click the item near any of the three cauldrons at the specified location to complete the quest.
There is a random chance to get a special buff bonus after throwing the Writhing Mass into a cauldron: Agony of the Fallen Cultist (Spell Power increased by 60). Lasts 2 hours.
You may need three or five people to do this quest. Go to Aldur’thar and enter inside the building – the door at coordinates [51,32]. Once within, at your right is a large table and many Cult Researchers. They are in groups of three. Although they have low health, their spells hit pretty hard for 3,000 shadow damage. Shadow buff or aura will help greatly. Kill them and look out for big chests. One on each end of the south end of the table is Alumeth’s Heart. The north end of the table has the Alumeth’s Scepter. Not far from the Scepter chest, to the north is the Alumeth’s Robes chest. The last chest, Alumeth’s Skull, may be found on the west side (center) of the room.
Once all of them are gathered, click any of the items to combine them into Alumeth’s Remains. Go to the big crystal on the center north of the room and click Alumeth’s Remains to awaken him. DPS him down as fast as you can. He will be spamming mind control on a random player. If your healer is mind controlled too often, you might wipe if the DPS isn’t efficient.
Horde: Use the SGM-3 item to destroy 6 Skybreaker Recon Fighters (if you are Horde). They fly all around the Valley of Fallen Heroes, west of the Aldur’thar Gate. Go to the northwest ledge of Ymirheim at coordinates [48,36]. Type /macro to open the macro window. Type the following:
Drag the macro icon into your spellbar to use the keybind . Spam the 1 button while on the ledge. You will shoot the SGM-3 at any nearby Skybreaker automatically and be done within a minute. Easy cake.
Alliance: Use the macro:
/target Orgrim’s Hammer Scout
/cast dart gun
Bring the 6 dispatches to High Captain Justin Bartlett.
Very straightforward. Go to the mine cave at Ymirheim located at coordinates [56,56] and free 10 Slaves. Some will be friendly, and some will attack you randomly. Beware the elite boss on the left side of the cave. There are also many val’kyrie casters flying inside the cave. Simply target a slave, and click their dialogue option to free them.
More Daily Quests will be added in Part 2 of this guide.
DC Wildstorm Comics have provided us with solicitations for World of Warcraft # 17 (March 2009) where King Varian and Thrall will meet for the first time in Theramore. This will fill up the gap of what happened during The Battle for the Undercity questline. It seems Garona Halforcen has returned to make things worse for the Horde when a pact of peace is about to crumble, climaxing later on at the Wrathgate.
On another note, Wildstorm has also announced the World of Warcraft: Ashbringer # 1-4 comic book limited series will be reprinted as a hardcover on May 27, compiling all four issues within. Good news for those who missed the standalone issues. A reminder that the Ashbringer comic book was written by Blizzard Enrtertainment’s Creative Design team member: Micky Neilson, who also wrote The Road of Damnation (Kel’Thuzad), The Unbroken (Akama) and Starcraft: Uprising (Kerrigan).
Jeff Grubb is a legend among fantasy authors for his decades of experience in the field. He has worked for Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Magic the Gathering, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Al-Qadim, Marvel Universe, Pokemon, Thieves’ World, Wizkids, DC Heroclix and the Star Wars Miniatures: Rebel Storm.
In the Blizzard Entertainment worlds, Jeff Grubb will always be remembered along with Richard A. Knaak as the pioneers of the Warcraft novels. Jeff Grubb wrote Warcraft: The Last Guardian (2001) – the story about Medivih, Khadgar, Garona and Lord Lothar. The story was based in the First War, inspired by Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (RTS game, 1994).
As reported a few days ago, I interviewed Dick Hill thanks to Richard A. Knaak. Dick Hill is the professional narrator and actor that worked on the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook (Dec 2008). The Warcraft: Lord of the Clans audiobook (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian audiobook (Aprill 2009).
As a follow up to the audiobooks interview, I contacted Jeff Grubb to get his feedback concerning the reprint of his Warcraft: The Last Guardian in the audiobook format. Read the interview below.
Medievaldragon: Hi Jeff. What are your feelings now Warcraft: The Last Guardian is getting published as an audiobook, narrated by Dick Hill?
Jeff Grubb: I am delighted to hear that Last Guardian is becoming an audiobook and that Richard “Dick” Hill is going to read it. I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks on my commute – wrapped up the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin books and just finished “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”. I’ve become a fan of the format, and pleased to see how well my story has held up over the years.
Medievaldragon: Are you ever writing a new Warcraft or Starcraft book? The fans, and myself, miss you badly. It was a great work.
Jeff Grubb: I enjoyed my experiences writing for Warcraft and Starcraft, and should the opportunity present itself, would be glad to do so again. At the moment, however, my day job is building exciting worlds, characters, and situations for Guild Wars at ArenaNet, and while they have been very understanding about me continuing my freelance writing, they have given me the hairy eyeball when the subject of working with their biggest competitors come up. So for the moment, I must demure.
Medievaldragon: I have some random thoughts for you that I would want you to share with fans. You quit WoW some months ago, and I am not sure if I read you returned to play with some friends afterwards. How do you feel about Khadgar in Shattrath City? Garona Halforcen is making its return in the DC Comics World of Warcraft # 15-16 too. Both follow-ups bring so many great memories from your book. Dan Liberty might show up in the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty video game. I was a sad panda after finding out a few years ago you worked at that Pokemon gig, and later you joined the Guild Wars development team at some point. You would have done so much for the Warcraft universe at Blizzard Entertainment in my opinion. Hope to see you soon back in the Warcraft / Starcraft franchises.
Jeff Grubb: I played WoW heavily for a while, then quit, then came back earlier this year with a group of friends, then quit again. My big problem is that I play with Real World friends, who would then either outlevel me or quit to get their lives back, either option leaving my character an orphan. I had characters scattered around a half-dozen servers. As a result, I never got to end-game content – and never got to Shattrath. I’m glad to see that Khadgar survived and is pulling the races together, and wondered what happened to Garona. If Daniel Michael Liberty makes it to Starcraft II (Originally I named him Danny, but he turned into a better character when everyone called him Mike), that would be great as well. My general attitude to my characters is to do my best by them, and not to feel bad when others continue their stories.
I also never say never, so I may yet come back to Azeroth.
Medievaldragon: Really hope you do. Thanks a bunch for responding to a community that loves and misses your work and legacy for the Warcraft franchise. Karazhan, Moroes, Khadgar, Medivh, Aegwynn, Garona, Black Morass. Great memories.
EMINENCE unleashed two flavors of The Music of Blizzard Entertainment: Echoes of War. The standard edition with retail price of only $29.99 and the Legendary Edition that goes up at $ 49.99. I received a copy of the Legendary Edition in order to experience what other fans will feel when this product is shipped to their home. That way you may get to find out what to expect, and whether it is worth. After two weeks testing this product, I finally have a verdict.
The Echoes of War Legendary Edition gives you some extra bang for your buck. I especially recommend the Echoes of War Legendary Edition for the type of fan that loves to find out more about the people involved behind the development of Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. When a company comes out of anonymity and shows you their face, express themselves on video, and allow you to listen to their feelings when developing a product—that’s such a great experience.
I remember a few years ago, when Blizzard Entertainment was all about seeing Bill Roper as the voice behind Blizzard. And the ocassional Mike Morhaime and Rob Pardo interviews on Gamespot and at other gaming sites. Nowadays, Blizzard is wide open in their Public Relations philosophy. You see Jay Wilson, Dustin Browder, Chris Sigaty, Jeff Kaplan, and so many other developers in video interviews. We get to know all these gaming developers at the personal level. At the naked core. Knowing a person at a social level allows you to better appreciate a product, the effort put into it.
This is in part why collectors love to buy the expensive version of a film that comes accompanied with a Behind the Scenes bonus including interviews, backstage footage, and such. You get to meet the person. The same feeling you get when watching the special edition or remastered edition of a blockbuster film, is what you feel when you get the Echoes of War Legendary Edition.
The Standard Edition comes with only two Discs of music containing 15 soundtracks … over ninety minutes of orchestral music, and an 8-page color booklet. Not bad at the price tag of 29.99. Considering some of the themes are over 5-7 minutes long. You get what you pay for: The music of Blizzard Entertainment contains a few medleys that include the most interesting themes from World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Starcraft II, Diablo III and Starcraft: Ghost played by the hands of the professional Eminence Symphony Orchestra.
This product is for the fan who loves to listen to classic music by a live orchestra and loves the music of Blizzard games (IPs). Whether you are at your office, at home, commuting by train or bus in a daily basis, and why not … while driving your car through the daily traffic. If you are expecting the whole theme collection of a specific game, this is the wrong product. You can find those at the official Blizzard Store. The Echoes of War is a collection of the best themes from each game IP, including the upcoming Starcraft II and Diablo III. You will be among the first to listen to some of the Starcraft II and Diablo III themes. Guaranteed sale, eh?
Two questions would come to fans’ minds: How involved is Blizzard Entertainment in this product? Is this an independent standalone licensed product? The answer is: No. This is not a standalone product created by a company on their own. Blizzard Entertainment is knee-deep involved in the development of Echoes of War. The Blizzard Audio and Video Director, Russell Brower, spent months working on the music sheets, talking back and forth with Eminence, taking a 29-hour trip to the other side of the world to meet Hiroaki Yura, Go Shiina and Phillip Chu. And viceversa. The Eminence team also traveled to the new Blizzard Entertainment offices in Irvine, California. They spent months organizing and preparing before bringing together the musicians to record the music. This product is a collaboration of Blizzard Entertainment and Eminence Symphony Orchestra.
Now that your mindset has been refreshed with information about the Echoes of War product, I will proceed to describe the content within the Legendary Edition box.
Starcraft Comic Book artist Shawn Moll released two of the sketches found in the Blizzcon 2008 comic preview. The first image is one of the characters named Cole Hickson. The second image is the pencil sketch of the Blizzcon 2008 preview front cover. The female sniper is named Nuura Joss. DC Comics Wildstorm has not officially announced the Starcraft Comic Book. It is expected to hit stores anytime on 2009 as an ongoing series based in the Starcraft universe. The planning of this comic has been going on since March 2008.
Blizzard Entertainment developers came down to the Big Apple: New York City to celebrate the Midnight Opening launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Nearly 800 fans lined up outside Best Buy (529 5th Avenue and 44th Street). I arrived at 8pm to the premises and got my press badge. The treatment given by the Best Buy staff was excellent from the moment I arrived to the media booth. Shortly after, I walked downstairs to purchase a Collector’s Edition and a Standard Edition. However, the game wouldn’t be physically given to customers until midnight, as expected. Great to be able to purchase it in advance. Less hassle.
The Best Buy staff excelled with live broadcast on all huge monitors (seen from outdoors) and sound system all around the store within and outside. The live Best Buy broadcast host and his cameraman would walk along the line up of fans interviewing them and asking why they consider themselves the best Blizzard fan. He was giving away $25 Gift Cards to anyone who answered the Blizzard Trivia. Someone couldn’t answer correctly what the draenei Unbroken in Black Temple was named as? Duh, Akama! Epic fail. But there were so many fans who answered correctly and won many of these gift cards. For tough questions, they would double the stakes and giveaway $50 gift cards.
Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce were interviewed by the Best Buy host and fans would sit next to them to ask questions. It was a fun way to spend all those hours prior to the midnight opening, since 8:00pm.