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Remaking a World: Continuity in Warlords of Draenor

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Novels, Story-Forum, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Recently, Community Manager Bashiok made a post on the official story forums, a place normally devoid of blue posts. He responded a thread called “Big Continuity Issue:Zangarmarsh,Blade’s Edge”(sic), where a poster named Gartherix brought up how Draenor as it is set to appear in Warlords of Draenor differs significantly from how it was presented it past lore, such as World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden. Bashiok clarified many of these discrepancies, and explained how they will be addressed. As it’s a rather long set of posts, I’ll leave the information from the thread in that link if you wish to peruse it.

This got me thinking, why not go through everything we know about Draenor as it will appear, and compare it with Outland today. Let’s see how the continuity between Draenor and Outland has been maintained so far.

HORDE BIAS! A Red Shirt Guy Editorial on the “Faction Bias” Arguments

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Product Reviews, Cataclysm, Lore, Novels, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft - Races, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Orgrimmar

Hi readers and welcome to my first editorial type article. With the release of Patch 5.4’s trailer (see it here if you haven’t already), the debate on whether or not Blizzard is biased towards the Horde in content development has risen again. Its a subject that really came to a head with the release of Cataclysm, enough so that Blizzard actually had Dave Kosak make a blog post, “Dev Watercooler: Faction Favoritism“. It was very negatively received, and in fact was seen by many as further proof there was faction bias favoring the Horde enough to be detrimental to the Alliance among Blizzard’s developers. So, does this faction favoritism really exist? Is Blizzard ignoring half their playerbase because they can’t muster the effort to to create content for a faction they don’t like? Or is this all overblown outcry from WoW’s notoriously unpleaseable fanbase?

Keith R.A. DeCandido Autographed Books On Sale

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in General News, Novels

Keith R.A. DeCandido continues to sell autographed copies of StarCraft Ghost: Nova and World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred for those fans who love autographed products.  Simply tell Keith which book(s) you want, and if you want him to write a message tell him which and to whom it is dedicated. There is a bunch of Star Trek books available too. The complete list of available books may be found here. United States residents get free shipping. Oh yea …

All payments done via Paypal to:

As a heads up, look forward to our upcoming interview with Keith R.A. DeCandido to talk about StarCraft Ghost: Academy (Tokyopop).

Keith: If you would like an autographed copy of one my books, but can’t get to a convention that I’m attending, I’m now making it easy on you. You can get any of the books listed below just by buying them from me via PayPal (payments would go to keith@decandido.net) at cover price or less (see list below), and I’ll send the book(s) to you. I’m not charging for shipping within the United States. If you’re overseas, send me the book price, and I’ll bill you after I ship them for the shipping cost.

If you want the book inscribed, please tell me who to inscribe it to—and if you don’t want it inscribed (or don’t want it autographed) let me know. You also need to provide a shipping address, obviously….

I also dug up an extra copy of my Nebula Award-nominated 2003 anthology Imaginings: An Anthology of Long Short Fiction, and so added it to the list.

( Here’s the full list of available books and prices (in U.S. dollars)

Here is a photo taken by Pocket Books Jaime Costas at the New York Comic Con 2009.  From left to right: Medievaldragon and Keith R.A. DeCandido.

Starcraft Ghost: Academy - January 2009 Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal Audiobook Announced

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

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

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

New Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook Sample

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

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

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

Jeff Grubb Comments On Warcraft: The Last Guardian Audiobook

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

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. smile

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.

Dick Hill provided us an MP3 sample (4:00) of the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook for your listening pleasure. The same narrator will work on Warcraft: The Last Guardian audiobook.

Richard A. Knaak Shipping Autographed Books

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

Richard A. Knaak updated his blog today extending his offer of shipping book signed copies of World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy Archive and the Diablo Archive. These will do a very special gift for a loved one or a friend who is into Warcraft lore. Knaak confirmed the release date for the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook is on December 29th, 2008. An audiobook sample (MP3) may be found here.

Knaak: First off, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all those who celebrate it!  I wish everyone a very great New Year, too!

Second, due to the overwhelming response and the request for other items, beginning JANUARY, I

Jeff Grubb Comments On Warcraft: The Last Guardian Audiobook

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

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. smile

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.

Starcraft Ghost: Spectre Update

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

Keith R.A. DeCandido is hard at work as I speak on the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre (Pocket Star Book) and the Starcraft Ghost: Academy (Tokyopop).

He already pitched the Starcraft Ghost: Academy plot to Tokyopop and Blizzard. The manga will be a trilogy, and volume one was approved. He just needs to start writing the full script.

On to Starcraft Ghost: Spectre, he just finished writing the first chapter where Nova has a big battle against the Zerg. Keith has been through a detailed research for that scene.

Keith R.A. DeCandido hoped at the New York Comic Con 2008 to see both projects go on sale on Summer 2009, but sadly both have been pushed. Pocket Star Books informed me last week that Starcraft Ghost: Spectre is aiming to release on December 2009. Tokyopop informed me the Starcraft Ghost: Academy trilogy will be out throughout 2010.

If we start a speculation ball rolling, it looks like Starcraft: Ghost development is no longer postponed. And that 2010 is the year we might see this game reborn from the ashes on the PC, where it belongs. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the next-gen MMO turned out to be a revamped Starcraft: Ghost?

Exclusive: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook Sample

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

Dick Hill provided us with a 4-minutes Mp3 sample of the upcoming Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook slated to be on sale near the end of December 2008 at the Tantor Media Audiobooks store. Pre-orders are already available. The audio sample provided to us is from the scene where Elven Ranger Vereesa, dwarf warrior Falstad, and Kryll (the goblin) discuss going to Grim Batol. You can listen to the sample at our recent interview with Dick Hill.

Let us know if you liked his voice performance and if you look forward for Warcraft: Lord of the Clans (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian (April 2009) Audiobooks too.

Warcraft Pocket Star Book Editor Marco Palmieri Laid Off

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, Lore, Novels, StarCraft, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft: Ghost, Warcraft 3

The economic recession across the United States is seriously affecting every industry: from General Motors and other Automobile manufacturers down to book publishers and beyond. Sadly, I have to inform that my personal contacts at Pocket Star Books and Tokyopop have been laid off. I had heard a few weeks ago that Tim Beedle (Starcraft/ Warcraft manga editor) and Susan Hale were no longer at Tokyopop. I don’t know the perks, but now I have figured out it is due to lay offs.

Today, after visiting Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog, I found out that Marco Palmieri was among the 35 employees laid off by Simon & Schuster on December 3.  He was the editor of all Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo novels, and more notoriously known as editor of 65% of the Star Trek pocket star books published in the past 11 years. It is a very sad day for hundreds of writers, including Richard A. Knaak, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christie Golden, Jeff Grubb, Graham McNeill, and Aaron Rosenberg who had the opportunity to meet and work with him. I am still in shock. I sent him an email just a day ago on Saturday not even knowing he may not even be able to read it from the office.

In my email I was letting him know the URL to the Night of the Dragon review and to ask a few things about the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre. I am really saddened to hear about his sudden departure. I have been in contact with Marco Palmieri for about two or three years. He would ship review copies of most Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft pocket star books to my home. The latest ones Diablo Archive, World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal and World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon.

I have no words to thank him for his great support to keep fans updated with lore and upcoming books. Thanks to him,  Blizzplanet has been the main source of Blizzard novel news for other fansites, fans and even wiki enthusiasts in the past years. I had the opportunity to hand-shake Marco Palmieri this year at the New York Comic Con and to thank him face-to-face. I was looking forward to meeting him again on 2009. I will get in contact with the new editor, but it will not be the same without Marco. I am not the only one with that sentiment. All of the Blizzard novel writers feel the same way. We hope Marco Palmieri finds a new job doing what he does and loves best. Not only for him, but for his wife and two children. Best wishes to the other 34 employees who were laid off too.

The next Warcraft novel is expected to hit bookstores on April 21 as a hardcover (retail price: $ 25) under the title World of Warcraft: Arthas, The Rise of the Lich King—by Christie Golden. Hopefully, the layoffs won’t delay the release dates and script proposal and revisions for upcoming books.

Source: Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog

Warcraft Audiobooks: Dick Hill Interview

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

Tantor Media Audiobooks, Pocket Star Books and Blizzard Entertainment partnered to launch three Warcraft novels in audiobook format: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon will be available on December 2008, boasting 11 hours of audio—available as Audio CD or MP3.  The Lord of the Clans is slated for February 2009, while the Last Guardian is expected on April 2009. For this special project, many World of Warcraft fans will no doubt check out, Tantor Media Audiobooks hired Dick Hil, winner of three coveted Audie Awards and many times nominee of various awards.

Thanks to Richard A. Knaak, we were able to reach Richard Dick Hill for an interview to find out more details of the Warcraft Audiobook series.

Review: World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon

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

World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon is the long-awaited follow-up to Warcraft: Day of the Dragon. Richard A. Knaak fleshed out a set of intermingled events that keep you reading in expectation of what would happen next. Danger lurks everywhere. Without, but even more within Grim Batol. Back on 2001, when Warcraft: Day of the Dragon hit bookstores, World of Warcraft was still in early development. The author had to rely on his skills, Chris Metzen (VP of Creative Design) and the dubbed Warcraft Bible to write Day of the Dragon.

With World of Warcraft now reaching its 4th Anniversary, Richard A. Knaak was able to take advantage of the geography and fauna of Azeroth. From Ratchet’s goblins and Bloodsail Buccaneer pirates to Wetlands’ dangerous oozes, crocolisks and raptors.

Day of the Dragon … Night of the Dragon … The first question that comes to mind with the clich

World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon - Fans Spoilers Chat

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzPlanet Site News, Lore, Novels, World of Warcraft News

The World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon novel by Richard A. Knaak hit bookstores on November 18. It’s been nearly two weeks, and most fans have read through the book. Lore fans are invited to discuss the book’s storyline and to share opinions and ideas. We will peel off this novel to analyze what it may foreshadow to the lore and to World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (MMO). Unconfirmed rumor might be spawn from this novel that the next content patch could be a Grim Batol dungeon.

There are a few details in the novel that clearly marks the time-frame the events happen in. Anveena’s sacrifice at the Sunwell Plateau is mentioned by an angry Kalecgos who shoved it at Krasus, blaming him.

This is mostly a fans chat with full spoilers. Only attend if you have read the book, or don’t mind spoilers, or the book won’t be available in your country for a long time and you wish to learn more of its content.

The fans chat will take place on Sunday, November 30 at 1:00 pm EST (New York) or 6pm (UK).

World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon Review Soon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Novels

Pocket Star Books just shipped a copy of World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon to me. The book is now at a bookstore near you and online since November 18th. After opening the wrapping, welcomed me a surprising thing. I was expecting a pocket book, but this is a normal sized book with a soft cover. The book contains 319 pages plus a bonus of four preview pages of World of Warcraft: Arthas (by Christie Golden) which will be published on April 2009.

The top of the book has the following phrase in caps: The Long-awaited follow-up to Day of the Dragon.

This book has Krasus, Vereesa Windrunner and a female draenei and their separate missions that lead to Grim Batol in the present times of World of Warcraft. Unconfirmed rumors are going abound among fans that Grim Batol might be the dungeon within the first content patch of Wrath of the Lich King. Seeing the past patterns of releasing books, comic books and MMO content nigh simultaneously, the rumors might have some weight. This book is an intro to Wrath of the Lich King, so make sure to grab it asap. Expect a review of this book soon.