The event was led by New York Times Best Selling Author Micky Neilson (Blizzard Publishing Lead), Dave Kosak (World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer) and Michael Stackpole (science fiction and fantasy author).
The upcoming World of Warcraft patch 5.1 will focus a lot on the book’s plot. Players will meet Vol’jin throughout Pandaria in patch 5.1. He wants to dispense indiscriminate justice against Garrosh. He’ll make sure to be behind his downfall. In the novel, Vol’jin will have few contemplative moments at a Pandaria monastery, learning wisdom from the Pandaren.
The novel’s main characters are Vol’jin and Chen Stormstout.
We were told Vol’jin will be featured on patch 5.2 too. The developers are hard at work on a new Vol’jin NPC model and new Zandalari troll models in patch 5.1.
Release Date: Q2 2013
This upcoming World of Warcraft novel focuses on Vol’jin, the courageous shadow hunter and leader of the Darkspear tribe whose guile and cunning have made him a staunch ally of the Warchief Thrall. Shadows of the Horde follows Vol’jin to the lost continent of Pandaria, where the troll chieftain’s loyalties are put to the ultimate test when a member of his own faction moves to assassinate him. . . .
Aided by the renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout, Vol’jin takes refuge in a remote mountain monastery to recover from his wounds. His time there, however, is far from peaceful, as intense visions of the past assault the Darkspear chieftain, and the ancient Zandalari tribe mounts a series of attacks on Pandaria. In his struggle to make sense of what’s happening, Vol’jin must ultimately decide where his allegiances lay—a choice that could save or doom his people . . . and forever alter the fate of the Horde.
The novel gets into the relationship between Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan through flashbacks, and the novel starts right away seconds after the cinematic ending of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty when Raynor is carrying Sarah on his arms, and bridges out the gap between Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm . We’ll find out what was Tychus’ outcome.
Micky was very mysterious on when Heart of the Swarm is coming out, but his voice tone hinted it’s not too far away. Take in mind Activision Blizzard Third Quarter Financial Results Conference Call is taking place on November 7th.
It’s possible the official announcement of Heart of the Swarm’s release date takes place prior to the conference call, or at the event itself. We will know sooner or later. Pre-order StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Nov 6).
World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects
A new eBook by Richard A. Knaak titled World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects. This eBook will be available in four parts. The first part will be available on January 15th, 2013.
The Dragon Aspects are mortal now, and going through a lot of changes. We’ll see these characters before they became Aspects, we’ll see Galakron and the Proto drakes. Readers will explore a lot of past history with this four-part eBook.
Format: Serialized eBook
Release Date: Starting January 15, 2013
Dawn of the Aspects is a four-part serial novel that highlights a lesser-known period of the Dragon Aspects’ history. Written by Richard A. Knaak (World of Warcraft: Stormrage, Warcraft: War of the Ancients trilogy), the mini-series follows the Aspects at a moment in time before they’d been granted their powers, when they were called upon to band together against the proto-dragon Galakrond.
Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls
Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls is an Anthology of five short stories from the Diablo III site, and two additional stories that aren’t focused on any specific class, aimed at expanding the Diablo III universe. This is a digital eBook to be available in Kindle.
Release Date: November 27, 2012
This eBook anthology collects five dark tales based on Diablo III’s character classes—the barbarian, demon hunter, monk, witch doctor, and wizard — which were originally published on the Diablo III website prior to the game’s release. This collection also includes two never-before-available short stories set in the Diablo universe that shed more light on the shadow-shrouded world of Sanctuary.
Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel Video – Part 1
For more details about the panel and for details about other booths providing sneak peeks of upcoming Blizard licensed products go here for the schedules.
UDON held a panel at the New York Comic Con 2012 to reveal details of their entire 2013 product line up, which includes gaming art books, and popular japanese manga exclusively translated by UDON to english.
Blizzplanet shares with you the entire UDON panel videos. It was split into four parts — check them out at the bottom.
This is the list of UDON products coming out through November 2012 and 2013:
Blizzplanet attended the UDON panel (Room 1406) at the 2012 New York Comic Con (Javits Convention Center). They unveiled a series of gaming and manga products arriving on 2013, including the World of Warcraft Tribute book — a collection of fan art to be submitted by thousands of professional artists and amateur Art students, and talented people via an upcoming contest.
The contest will begin on November 1st, 2012 and participants will have the chance to submit their artwork until January 15th, 2013. I recommend to start your best masterpiece as soon as possible to get ready for this contest. You already have a 20 days heads up before the contest begins, which is awesome.
UDON and Blizzard Entertainment will cautiously evaluate each contest submission to pick the best pieces of artwork for the book. I’m completely amazed by this project which might help a lot of artists get their name out there in the industry, and shine a nice spot on their resume.
Visit the official World of Warcraft Tribute Contest website at https://www.warcrafttribute.com — details to surface on November 1. Blizzplanet will be on top of this one for you.
I had the opportunity to exchange business cards with Chris Butcher (UDON Director of Marketing) to sync with Blizzard Entertainment further details, previews, and more about the World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book.
UDON Entertainment & Blizzard Entertainment Announce WORLD OF WARCRAFT® TRIBUTE ART BOOK!
Artists from around the world are invited to share their unique visions of Azeroth with the World of Warcraft community
OCTOBER 12, 2012: At the UDON Entertainment panel at New York Comic Con, UDON today announced that it has teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment to produce the next epic installment in their ‘Tribute’ series of deluxe art books: WORLD OF WARCRAFT® TRIBUTE! This massive collection will offer hundreds of professional and hobby artists the opportunity to show off their artistic chops and pay homage to their favorite characters, settings, and moments from Blizzard’s popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
Beginning November 1, artists from around the world are invited to submit their original, World of Warcraft–inspired artwork for consideration to be included in this collection. UDON’s previous ‘Tribute’ books have served as a “Who’s Who” of international comic, concept, game, and fan artists, and WORLD OF WARCRAFT TRIBUTE will continue that tradition by collecting imaginative takes on Blizzard’s game world—from anime and western comic styles to cartoons, pixel-based art, sculptures, and more—whatever medium the artist chooses to express their unique vision of the Warcraft universe.
Blizzard and UDON will select the most epic and impressive submissions to be included in WORLD OF WARCRAFT TRIBUTE, which will premiere as a special limited-edition hardcover book at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. With thousands of entries expected, submitting artists are encouraged to bring their “A” game if they aspire to have their work included in the collection.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this project,” said Erik Ko, Editor In Chief of UDON. “We really respect the amazing universe Blizzard has created with the Warcraft series, and the games have been a major source of inspiration to the artistic community for years. This book will be our biggest Tribute undertaking ever, and we’re already anticipating all of the amazing illustrations that will soon be headed our way.”
“We’ve always been humbled by the fact that some amazing artists out there have drawn inspiration from our games over the years,” said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “Deciding which pieces to include in this book will be a huge challenge, but we’re looking forward to working with UDON to select the best of the best and put together an epic collection. And who knows — maybe in the process, we’ll discover some great new artists to invite to work with us on future Blizzard games.”
Since its launch in 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular subscription-based MMORPG in the world. The original game and its four expansions, including the recently released Mists of Pandaria™, have earned critical acclaim and captured the imaginations of millions of players around the globe.
For full WORLD OF WARCRAFT® TRIBUTE artwork submission details, head to WarcraftTribute.com. Contest entries will be accepted beginning November 1, 2012 through noon PST on January 15, 2013.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes fourteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
About UDON Entertainment
UDON Entertainment is a publisher of original art books, graphic novels, and manga. UDON’s best-known projects are those based on popular video game franchises including Street Fighter®, Okami®, Mega Man®, Darksiders®, Valkyria Chronicles, and more. The publisher’s ever-growing library also includes English editions of several Japanese manga titles, and the anthology art book series Apple. For more information visit www.UDONentertainment.com
I arrived to the Javits Convention Center in the late afternoon to pick up my press badge, when the background noise caught my attention. I decided to give myself a tour throughout the halls.
I visited the Insight Editions Booth #1882 to pick up the Spring 2013 catalog. The Art of Blizzard Entertainment contains 352 pages. It’s a massive book measuring 9.25 x 12.75. I’ll post an individual article about this product during the weekend. You can pre-order it here.
The Art of Blizzard
Written by Nick Carpenter, Sam Didier, and Chris Metzen
An epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard Entertainment celebrates the studio’s genesis by examining the creative forces behind these games and showcasing their artistry through more than 700 pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches. Commentary on the art is provided by Blizzard Entertainment’s own Nick Carpenter, Sam Didier, and Chris Metzen, who’ve each played important roles in shaping Blizzard’s game universes over the years.
Hardcover: $75.00 ISBN: 978-1-60887-027-1
The Limited Edition of the Art of Blizzard Entertainment comes in a die-cut slipcase, which houses an exclusive version of the book and a portfolio of four high-quality giclee prints of paintings by Blizzard’s most celebrated artists: Samwise Didier, Brom and Wei Wang. Limited to 3,000 copies. ($150) — ISBN: 978-1-60887-138-4
When I walked into the Simon & Schuster’s Booth #829, I was greeted by Associate Publicist Stephanie DeLuca who immediately offered her support to Blizzplanet. Ed Schlesinger (Gallery Books editor) recognized me from past events. That guy is so amazing. You can breath his passion for Blizzard Entertainment’s novels. I wanted to share with you guys a brief sneak peek into what to expect in StarCraft II: Flashpoint by Christie Golden.
The StarCraft: Flashpoint book was there at the booth. Attendees can pick it on their hands and browse through the pages. It came hot off the press barely a couple of days ago, and getting ready to ship on November 6th.
From what he told me with as little spoilers as possible, but enough to spark such an interest to geek me out (with the shivers and all that) — the novel starts off just a couple of seconds right after the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty’s cinematic ending, and they are in Planet Char. It’s packed with thrilling action as they try to retreat through hordes of Zerg taking with them their precious cargo: Sarah Kerrigan. Emphasis on “this is no longer the Queen of Blades”. I so want to read this N.O.W.!
Don’t worry. Simon & Schuster has Blizzplanet covered. A review copy will be arriving soon. Expect a review and an interview with Christie Golden in upcoming weeks.
Mega Bloks is showcasing the new line up of World of Warcraft sets expected the last quarter of 2012. They tweeted us to tell you this: “The first 100 at the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft Booth get a Chen “Jade” Stormstout Figure (Friday 4:30pm and Saturday).” Ask for yours, while supplies last.
Walk-in into their Booth #1206 to check out the upcoming line of Pandaren Monk sets and the Sha of Anger. Mega Bloks posted in Facebook some pictures a few days ago. These are the photos I took today:
You can find the massive Thrall weighing a ton near the electric stairs by the Javits convention center’s lobby. They have a huge version of the Zeppelin and the Frostmourne sword made of Mega Bloks.
Where to find the Blizzard Publishing Panel on Saturday?
I was not expecting to find the New York Comic Con open today, only went into exploration-mode to let you know where to find the Room 1A14 on Saturday at 2:45pm. The room where the Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel will take place at.
I recommend to open the door of the Javits Convention Center and follow the whole length of the lobby — takes about four minutes to do that. Walk down the non-mechanical stairs and continue following the long lobby. You will see the massive Mega Bloks World of Warcraft Thrall statue.
At the far end of the lobby you will see a huge banner of THE WALKING DEAD. Near that huge banner to your left you will see a Coca-Cola Drink Machine and next to it the mechanical-stairway (as seen in the photo below).
Go down to the lower floor. Don’t move left or right. Just keep walking forward as soon as you get out of the stairs all the way to the end. Room 1A14 is at the end. The door is to the left side of the hallway.
I entered the room. It’s pretty big with approximately 100 chairs. I’ll be there taking video on the first row.
Packaging features Kerrigan and Raynor, two leading characters from the StarCraft video games
Shorter game play
Includes 7 custom dice 2 defense and 3 offense
The StarCraft risk game is the first and only board game that allows die-hard StarCraft fans to control the StarCraft Universe, Terran, Protoss and Zerg unit factions and direct them in realistic warfare to decide the ultimate fate of the StarCraft Universe.
WHO WANTS SOME?! The Koprulu Sector is being ravaged by war. You must stand against your enemies as one of the three powerful races. Will you choose the advanced and mysterious Protoss, the rugged and tenacious Terran, or lead the ravenous Zerg swarm? No matter which race you choose, you will fight for your very survival. The war for galactic supremacy begins NOW! Includes 4 ways to play; Basic Training – quick and easy, Command Room – fast-paced and strategic, Total Domination – updated versions of the classic game, Team Play – take on your opponents in 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 game-modes. Game comes complete with 333 game pieces. Custom components include 2 Terran Armies, 2 Protoss Armies, 2 Zerg Armies, 6 Leaders, 6 Custom Bases, 15 Custom Mineral Fields, 42 Faction/Territory Cards, Custom Game Board, and 7dice.
Includes 4 ways to play;
Basic Training – quick and easy,
Command Room – fast-paced and strategic,
Total Domination – updated versions of the classic game,
Team Play – take on your opponents in 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 game-modes.
Game comes complete with 333 game pieces. Custom components include 2 Terran Armies, 2 Protoss Armies, 2 Zerg Armies, 6 Leaders, 6 Custom Bases, 15 Custom Mineral Fields, 42 Faction/Territory Cards Custom Game Board, and 7dice.
This video shows the time-lapse making of the Hydralisk figure:
New York Comic-Con attendees will be able to see the latest prototypes from Mega Bloks World of Warcraft line up scheduled to hit retail late November. There will be a lot more newness to come but make sure to check out these cool Pandaren Micro Action Figures at the Mega Bloks booth #1206. Follow them in Facebook.
Blizzplanet will be there taking photos and video. Come back on Friday, October 12-13 to check out our New York Comic Con 2012 coverage.
Blizzplanet was alerted the World of Warcraft Series 8 and Premium Series 4 are back in stock. These were sold out and unavailable for a while, so that’s good news for those who are collecting all of the World of Warcraft action figure sets. You can order these while supplies last.
The World of Warcraft Series 8 set contains multiple points of articulation make extreme action poses easy to achieve with these astonishing. They measure 4-1/2 to 8 1/2-inch tall. Choose a role, grab a character, and get into the action! Ages 14 and up.
This Series 8 set of 3 individually packaged action figures includes (subject to change):
1x Argent Nemesis: The Black Knight
1x Forsaken Priestess- Confessor Dhalia
1x Gnome Rogue: Brink Spannercrank vs. Kobold Miner: Snaggle 2-Pack
The World of Warcraft Premium Series 4 contains multiple points of articulation, make extreme action poses easy to achieve with these astonishing, and measure 7-1/2 to 8 1/2-inch tall. Choose a role, grab a character, and get into the action! Ages 14 and up.
This set of 2 individually packaged action figures includes (subject to change):
1x Moonkin: Wildmoon (8 1/2-inches tall)
1x Hallow’s End Nemesis: The Headless Horseman (7 1/2-inches tall)
The Kindle version will be on sale November 12, but you can pre-order now.
This story retells some of the events players experience in-game during the quests of the Worgen’s starting zone, and what happened backstage simultaneously while players were busy carrying out their missions. This is one of the most lore-packed Warcraft stories with the revelation of the origin of the Scythe of Elune, and the origin of the Worgen curse which started among the druids of the pack dating back 10 thousand years ago. Worth a read.
Blizzplanet has an upcoming interview with Micky Neilson and James Waugh. Stay tuned.
The world’s most popular massively multiplayer online videogame continues its exodus into comics with this new graphic novel. The best-selling WORLD OF WARCRAFT comic series returns in time for a worldwide cataclysm! A series of grisly, animalistic murders have rocked the walled town of Gilneas. A famous detective sets out to discover the perpetrators and finds far more than he bargained for. To find the truth, he must delve through years of twisted history – both the history of his family and Gilneas itself.
Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: DC Comics (October 9, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1401234453 ISBN-13: 978-1401234454
New York Comic Con tickets are now sold out. All New York Comic Con attendees should read this schedule to get a sneak peek at upcoming Blizzard books and toys. Share with friends in social networks and forums.
Blizzplanet’s Medievaldragon will be attending Friday and Saturday to live blog. Stay tuned for photos and video. Note: Wear a hoodie, jacket, and gloves. Starting yesterday, temperature dropped at 43-50 in NYC.
Check out our New York Comic Con Floor Map
Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel
Blizzard Entertainment Publishing is holding a panel at the 2012 New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 13 between 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
This panel is taking place at Room 1A14. Learn what’s happening in the world of Blizzard books with panelists Michael Stackpole (science fiction and fantasy author), Micky Neilson (Blizzard Publishing Lead), and Dave Kosak (World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer).
They will be unveiling a brand new World of Warcraft novel in 2013. Get in-depth with the storylines and quests that continues to drive the largest MMO in the world! Plus, have a chance to chat with the creative minds behind the Blizzard publishing program.
Blizzard & UDON Panel
On Friday, October 12th between 7:45pm – 8:45pm — Blizzard and UDON will reveal details of an upcoming Blizzard-themed TRIBUTE art book and contest. Visit Room 1A06.
DC Entertainment – World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria Graphic Novel Signing
Micky Neilson and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway will be signing copies of the DC World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria graphic novel.
Friday, October 12, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
DC Booth #1238
Blizzard Licensed Products Booths
Insight Editions: Get a sneak peek at The Art of Blizzard, an upcoming book which offers an exclusive look at the ideas and imagery that have defined over 20 years of Blizzard gaming. Booth #1882
Mega Bloks: NYCC attendees will be treated to an in-depth look at the making of the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft toys and a sneak peek at the winter line up! Mega Bloks will also be giving away a limited number of Chen Stormstout posters and Chen figures. Booth #1206
Simon & Schuster: Looking for more Blizzard universe lore? A library of World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft novels will be available for purchase at the Simon & Schuster booth. Booth #829
Alternative Booths/Artists Details
Legendary Entertainment – booth # 1620
Brom Art – booth # 2437
Mark Evans (World of Warcraft TCG artist) – table I12
Walter Simonson (DC Comics World of Warcraft) – table # S2
Ryan Benjamin & Sean “Cheeks” Galloway – Artists Alley (north pavillion) – table # G2
PAYPAL Booth #3033
DOWNLOAD the New York Comic Con Mobile App to setup your event planner.
Big kudos and hugs to Micky Neilson for earning his well-deserved IRL Achievement, to the Blizzard Creative Team and PR Team, and to Sean Galloway. A toast to seeing more World of Warcraft graphic novels, and more of Sean’s artwork. Congratulations.
UPDATE – Sat, Sept 29, 2012-4:50pm EST: A fan alerted me about his experience, and I quickly contacted an Amazon representative via Chat. The digital product is at the moment only available for Kindle Fire and Kindle Android. These are NOT yet available: Amazon Cloud, iOS, Amazon Kindle PC/Mac. If you were among the fans who purchased it and don’t have a Kindle Fire or Kindle Android, request a refund by reaching Amazon Contact (Choose Chat for a live representative). Read further details below at the comments section.
DC Comics recently published the hardcover graphic novel titled World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson (Blizzard Lead Publishing) and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway (artist).
World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria is now available as a digital download for Kindle Fire and Kindle Android to local and international fans who wish to learn the story of Li Li Stormstout and her adventures throughout Azeroth prior to the Mists of Pandaria MMO expansion. To clarify, this story is not seen anywhere in-game.
Listen to our recent phone interview with Micky Neilson and Sean Galloway for further details.
The graphic novel continuation can be read online at the official website: Quest for Pandaria
Our JINX partners are currently running a special promo code on all products including World of Warcraft, Diablo III and StarCraft II T-shirts, Hoodies and Hats (etc.). Don’t forget to check out the latest Mists of Pandaria and Diablo III T-shirts and Hoodies that came out a few weeks ago.
After choosing all your products, at checkout type the following Promo Code to enable the 10% off discount: SANCTUARY
Choose your Game
Click the links below to access all the JINX’s Blizzard licensed products based on your favorite video game.
Cryptozoic announced today plans for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Season 8 Realm Qualifiers. It’s time to crack your knuckles, to dust off your card decks, and to attend your local hobby store. Realm Championship Qualifiers begin November 1st! Be among the players to get the 2013 Worldwide Championship Invitation. Check out further details at the Cryptozoic Blog.
Road to Season 8 Realm Championships Starts in November. Annual organized play events will feature new prize structure and play formats
Irvine, CA (September 24, 2012) — Cryptozoic Entertainment™, the premier developer of licensed and original games, and Blizzard Entertainment today announced the qualifiers for Season 8 Realm Qualifiers for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Running from November through April, local hobby stores worldwide will host the qualifiers, given players six months to qualify for the invitation-only Realm Championships, held in May 2013 at locations around the world. At each Realm Qualifier, players can earn points toward their Championship invitation.
Season 8 Realm Qualifiers mark a new season for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game organized play, and bring with them several improvements to the events. Current players will notice that the qualifying window is two months longer than it had been in previous years, offering even more time for stores to host events and for players to qualify for the Championship.
Additionally, Season 8 Realm Qualifiers will rotate through three different play formats. Events in November and December will feature sealed play, and January and February event will host Core constructed play. Events in March and April will be the first to offer Contemporary format for Realm Qualifiers. Contemporary format will also be featured in May Championship events, as one of three play formats. To find the most well-rounded players, Realm Championship events will feature at least three rounds each of Draft, Core and Contemporary.
The prize structure for this season’s Realm Qualifiers will change, offering different participation prizes and new prizes for the top four finishers with each play format. At each event, players will have a shot at winning foil cards, deck boxes and booster packs along with the invitational points.
Hobby stores worldwide will be invited to apply to host Season 8 Realm Qualifiers. Stores that have not yet been contacted may request more information through the Customer Service Portal at www.wowtcg.com/contact.
Please visit www.wowtcg.com for more information on Realm Qualifiers and other World of Warcraft Trading Card Game organized play events.
With the chilly winds of the Fall Season, one has to wear warm Hoodies and [why not?] with a classy World of Warcraft design. No discount code needed. These selection of Hoodies already have the discount applied to them: $10 off.
UPDATE: The release date of this eBook has been changed, but fans can still pre-order. The new release date will be updated by Amazon and Simon & Schuster Digital soon™. I’ll update you when the new release date is decided.
I have seen this product listed for a while with curiousity, and have kept daily watch on it. It’s the first time since Diablo: Demonsbane (2000) that Blizzard Entertainment and Simon & Schuster publish an eBook-only product. No physical printing seems to be planned yet.
I had not mentioned this product for lack of an author, a front cover and observing if the product page was updated. With the cover now live, I’m delighted to see something akin of the Warcraft Legends, and StarCraft: Frontline format.
Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls is not a manga like those two products, but this book is a compilation of short stories by different Blizzard Entertainment authors. It is co-written by Blizzard Entertainment’s Creative Team members: Senior Writer and Voice Director Micky Neilson, senior story developer and writer James Waugh, story developer and transmedia consultant Cameron Dayton, staff writer Matt Burns, quest designer Michael Chu and fiction writer Erik Sabol (2009 Blizzard Global Writing Contest runner-up).
A collection of terrifying tales based on the award-winning video game!
A bold demon hunter risks becoming her own worst enemy while tracking down her sinister prey…A haunted barbarian returns to his shattered homeland to face a harrowing past…A lone monk scours evil from an ancient forest where the line between friend and foe has vanished…A gifted but impetuous wizard finds out that great knowledge and power come with a price…A proud young witch doctor makes a chilling discovery that shakes his faith to its core…A desperate playwright embarks down a dark path of madness and depravity in his quest for fame…An unscrupulous wagon driver learns that his sole passenger is harboring a terrifying secret…
These are stories from the world of Sanctuary, a land of mystery and dread that serves as the backdrop for Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning Diablo video game series. Although these narratives focus on different characters and settings, they are bound together by the web of horror and suspense that is intrinsic to the Diablo universe. In this gothic fantasy realm, terror is a constant. It comes in many forms, from grotesque horned demons to the deepest fears of mortal hearts and minds. Brace yourself for this collection of exciting and frightening tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
In this video, Nick Carpenter (Vice President of Art & Cinematic Development) talks about his experience talking with MEGA BLOKS developers for the first time, and the development process of the MEGA BLOKS World of Warcraft Sets. Below you can check out our Amazon store to see the various sets available.
Mega Bloks launched the new World of Warcraft sets. Each set comes with a random loot (weapon or armor) to use and swap among your collection for customization of characters.
Containing more than 150 drawings, concept art pieces, and final renders, as well as secrets of game mythology and development stories, this mesmerizing book reveals how Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed series gets made. In addition to a behind-the-scenes technical look at the game cinematics and developmental art, Fans learn how Blizzard updated Arthas the Death Knight to be even more evil than in Warcraft III and how a new central character, Sindragosa the Frost Wyrm, was developed. Other features explore technical dimensions and Blizzard’s influence on the game world and beyond. Each Book Comes with: Two 8″ x 10″ original art cards in vellum sleeve and a 12-page illustrated storybook on the creation of the frost wyrm Sindragosa, that make this a must-have for any WoW fan.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions; Second Edition edition (October 9, 2012)
Congratulations to Christie Golden, the Blizzard Creative Team and Gallery Books / Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster, Inc).
The book explores the tragic events that trigger the war between the Alliance and the Horde: the Battle for Theramore. Blizzard Entertainment will unleash the Battle for Theramore Scenario on September 18th. As per Christie Golden, players will be able to relive some of the events from the book in-game — thanks to her coordination with the developers who worked diligently on the Cataclysm finale world event.
J!NX will launched a brand-new collection of Mists of Pandaria themed T-shirts and Hoodies. Some of the products will ship on November 7, 2012 — but pre-orders are available.
The Panda hoodie and Monk hoodie will no doubt be among the most popular in the collection with the chilly winds of the Fall season coming shortly. Check out the entire collection and tell your friends.
Blizzplanet’s Eldorian and Medievaldragon had the opportunity to speak with New York Times best-selling author Micky Neilson and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway to discuss details of DC Comics’ World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria graphic novel. The transcript is available afterwards. Listen to the interview. Subscribe to Blizzplanet Gaming (YouTube).
Hey there, Wacraft fans! I’m Eldorian from Blizzplanet.com
With me today is my partner in crime to help me ask some questions, Medievaldragon, and today the two of us will be interviewing the masterminds behind the book itself … Micky Neilson and Sean Galloway.
I just want to say guys thanks for taking your time out, today, talking to us about the graphic novel.
Neilson: Absolutely. Thank you.
Eldorian: First question for both Micky and Sean. For people who may not know who you are and what you do, Micky, what’s your title at Blizzard Entertainment and your general duties there? And Sean, what are past projects that you have worked on?
Neilson: The title is Publishing Lead, which means I run the Publishing Team. And the Publishing Team is responsible for Novels, Comics, Short Stories, a lot of lore-related Web Content, and some other fun projects that we get to work on.
Galloway: Past projects I have worked on was lead character designer for THE SPECTACULAR SPIDERMAN ANIMATED, the character designer for HELLBOY ANIMATED, I did covers for DC Comics for TEEN TITANS GO for two years, I did some design for HASBRO, MATTEL, and most currently I wrapped up a 3 year stint of leap frog designing a game for them called Leap School.
Eldorian: How did you become involved with this book?
Galloway: I became involved with the book, because Blizzard had reached out to me, as well as DC Comics and they asked me if I’d be interested, and I tried to do my take on their universe.
Medievaldragon: When in the timeline do the events of PEARL OF PANDARIA take place in relation to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm?
Neilson: The events actually take place before Cataclysm. They are a little bit before the events of WORLD OF WARCRAFT: STORMRAGE — as well as before the Emerald Nightmare stuff.
Medievaldragon: We’d like to know more about Table Taffy Studios since its foundation and the role it plays.
Galloway: Table Taffy was founded by me, and I brought in my buddie Ryan Benjamin to be part of that. Basically, Table Taffy is a group of creative artists that I hand-picked that could potentially expand over a larger volume the way I draw, and also to bring in other styles. So basically, the way that we played for the PEARL OF PANDARIA was that because it was such a big project, and we wanted to have an animation type of approach, the group of artists and I basically made sure that were able to capture my style throughout the whole graphic novel.
Eldorian: Pearl of Pandaria likely began its early development like a year or two ago. With all the iteration and revisions, why did you decide to keep the core of the story pre-Cataclysm?
Neilson: That’s a very interesting question. We started development on PEARL OF PANDARIA quiet a while ago. I want to say we did the brainstorming around the Burning Crusade era. So at the time that we were brainstorming the book, there were no plans for an expansion that would have Pandaren in it, or Pandaria in it.
At the time the book was really going to be a way to explore Pandaria, Chen Stormstout, and the Pandaren culture, because we didn’t believe that there was going to be an expansion. So the story was created back then, and it was written largely all before the events of Cataclysm, and then as the development of the book progressed, we finally found out that there would in fact be an expansion that would include Pandaria, and so we went back and we made some changes to the script.
Luckily, the majority of the story takes place on Azeroth. The first part and the last part are where you see the turtle, Shen-zin Su, which is separate from the island of Pandaria itself. But still that’s something that was being developed for the game. So we had to make a few changes there.
But it worked out, Sean and his team were really great about making artwork changes as well because as the game evolved, that became necessary at few points also.
Eldorian: How were you approached to work on Pearl of Pandaria and what are your early memories talking with Blizzard and DC Comics to draw the initial concept artwork?
Galloway: Basically, I was approached by Jeremy Cranford (Blizzard Art Director). He asked if I’d be interested in hearing about a project and if I liked what I heard if I’d be interested in coming down for a meeting.
Once he told me what the project was, of course I was onboard, wanting to be part of the project. So Blizzard and DC Comics setup a meeting where myself and the editors and the Creative Team at Blizzard sat and we discussed what my role would be for the book.
Of course, I was nervous, but I had an idea of how I’d like to try to approach the project with my art style, but I knew if I did it just the way I normally do it, it would be a little too clean — our art style, so that’s why we came up with the animation type of approach where we could attach the background with a more aggressive type of feel — but before we could go to that point, Blizzard and DC Comics wanted to see what kind of idea I had instead of producing new artwork.
I was already approaching that type of technique with my own personal properties: Bastion’s 7, and Gunshoes 4 Hire. So I sent them this stuff I was doing for my own projects, and it seemed everybody was onboard for that approach.
Once we kinda had an idea of what type of style we’d want to develop the book in, I showed them how I’d like to interpret their characters in my style. For the most part, it was pretty easy to draw them in my style; but there was always the fear: “would they reject it?”, but I had really good support with Blizzard and DC Comics with what I turned in.
Medievaldragon: Micky, who is Li Li Stormstout, and what’s her role in the story?
Neilson: Li Li is the window or the lense through which we see not only the Pandaren culture, but Azeroth as well. One of the many interesting things about Li Li is that she is young, and she is unbiased, and she is unprejudiced, and she has this wonderful innocence about her — especially when it comes to venturing out into the big bad dangerous world of Azeroth, and she’s certainly a bit naive as far as that goes, but she’s also experiencing everything to the upmost, and one of her earliest purposes and goals of this book was to serve a little bit of a travel guide to Azeroth .
Especially for folks who maybe haven’t played the game, or they haven’t played it in a long time, to be able to see the world of Azeroth through the eyes of Li Li; and she’s really the physical embodiment of the theme of the book.
There are a couple of themes:
1. Life is an adventure.
2. Acceptance for other cultures, beliefs and religions.
And so, we get to see all that through Li Li.
Medievaldragon: I really liked the character. In-game and also in the graphic novel — she has a manner of speaking it’s like slap talk. I’m not sure how to describe it. She’s very smarty.
Neilson: Right … Sassy. Sarcastic. Yea, she’s a lot of fun to write.
Medievaldragon: I was clicking her in the game and she starts talking really sarcastic and stuff. It was cool.
Medievaldragon: I heard in another interview that Li Li was based on your daughter?
Neilson: A little bit, yea. My daughter is age 9, and Li Li’s character is supposed to be kinda a tween age, but I certainly did model her behavior and some of her dialogue after my nine-year-old daughter.
Medievaldragon She’s so sweet.
Neilson: Thank you.
Eldorian: This is coming from the Scrolls of Lore — basically the forum that spawned the Red Shirt Guy. So this is going to be an interesting question. Just warning you now. One of the revisions of the concept art found in the back of the graphic novel was the change of the pandaren characters’ eyes from green to gold, and we think it kinda made sense to be jade-like since jade is part of the pandaren culture. We were guessing it was revised because green eyes are also associated with fel corruption and Blood Elves. Why gold eyes instead of the normal black eyes?
Neilson: The theory is very interesting one regarding fel corruption, and in a way, that’s kinda correct. Actually, what we found out in the development of the story was that some cultures, and I believe this is specific to some Asian cultures, believe that green eyes are a sign of demonic corruption — so that’s why when you say fel energy and fel being demonic you are not so far off the mark. So in the interest of being sensitive to other cultures, we went in and we decided to change the eye colors.
The MISTS OF PANDARIA cinematic actually had Chen with green eyes, originally, and they went in and they changed that; and we decided to request the change for PEARL OF PANDARIA — and another interesting little tidbit is that Sean and his team had already completed pretty much the entire book at that point — when we found out about this, and this speaks volumes about Sean and his team that they were dedicated enough to go back in and change just about every panel in the graphic novel and make that conversion from green to gold eyes.
Eldorian: *Sarcastically* That’s easy in Photoshop, right? Just find and replace colors?
Neilson: [laughs]. Find and replace.
Galloway: We were fans of working with many layers. Sometimes finding that red layer was very tough, but we are all in it to produce a great book, so it was a no-brainer. So we’d go back and make those changes.
Eldorian: At the end of Pearl of Pandaria, fans can visualize some of your early concepts and revisions. Could you share some of the core changes the project suffered throughout the evolution of the project?
Galloway: Everybody knows about the expansion, so we had done the first 10-pages, and then we put a hold on it so that we could have the pages reflect the new expansion, so there was that, and then design-wise for Chen it was just a matter of putting the ponytail on Chen to give him a nod to Samwise for creating such a fantastic race, and then for Rahjak I went all overboard and tried to redesign him — respecting what the fans’ reactions would be. So we pulled that back and designed more toward what fans are used to, but just in my style.
Medievaldragon: What can you tell us about the villains in the story? Why did you choose Zhahara, Brokk, Rahjak and Rumblefitz?
Neilson: That came from the early brainstorming sessions that I had with Chris Metzen and Samwise. We knew that we wanted to have new unique villains for Li Li to be going up against in the book, and those were characters that you just dont see that much in the game. I don’t remember the last time we saw a goblin alchemist. I think it might have been Warcraft III. I’m not even sure.
And the Blademaster they are not in the game, and if they are it’s very rare that you’d see these characters. We thought it would be very interesting to choose characters that you don’t see very often.
With Zhahara, you definitely see a lot more of the naga and sea witches and things like that, but she was more a part of the plot and that’s where her character arose from.
Eldorian: I was wondering, it seems like a Warcraft III neutral heroes party there. Was that intended?
Neilson: That was certainly a little bit of it, because one of the things we thought was — ok, “What kind of characters do we really love and that we connect with that we haven’t really been able to revisit in World of Warcraft?” — and that’s actually a big part of where the whole idea for the book came from. Being able to go into the pandaren culture. Like I said before, we wouldn’t be able to do that in an expansion, and so the villains were kind of a reflections of that and being able to explore those types of characters a little bit more.
Medievaldragon: Were you able to play World of Warcraft for the sake of getting acquainted with scenarios like Booty Bay, Ironforge, and the Valley of Heroes in Stormwind? Your renditions look really great and detailed. How was the research and learning process for you?
Galloway: Unfortunately, no. I had a busy schedule. I wasn’t able to. I was familiar with the project, but not as familiar as one should be for the project itself, so I brought in my Table Taffy studio mates to work on the project.
Dave played the game for quite some time, so they knew the property like the back of their hand. They had my back while were on the project.
Eldorian: The final pages of Pearl of Pandaria shows some changes made to the villains’ outfit and weapons. What was the process here, and how did it end up?
Galloway: Basically, as a designer you go in with a vision and respect to how the designs are. I’m very minimalistic when I draw to begin with. So working on this it stretchs me a little bit to add more details — which is great because I never really took the opportunity on my own personal stuff to do that.
Medievaldragon: I’m sure fans are pretty intrigued by the fel orc blademaster, Rahjak. He seems to have been originally a normal orc from Azeroth. What clan was he from?
Neilson: He’s a very interesting character, and another one that we sit down and we thought ok the blademaster was certainly a very cool unit type and one that we wanted to revisit, and then we thought “What’s even cooler than that?” … a fel orc blademaster. It’s just keeping cool over cool. We did a little bit of research on that, and the thinking is that he’s probably from the Burning Blade clan, and he went into Outland — and this is probably after Illidan was defeated, but he was able to figure out a way to have demon blood infused into him probably tying into [The Maker] (The Blood Furnace) and those questslines from the game.
In a very broad and general sense the idea was simply, he went to Outland, he figured out a way to be corrupted by demon blood, and he became a fel orc.
Medievaldragon: What’s his ultimate goal and motivations to undergo all these drastic changes in his body?
Neilson: His ultimate goal is to be the best fighter, the best combatant or martial artist on Azeroth. So to him, defeat is unacceptable, and he fought Chen at some point previous to the events of the book, and he was defeated by Chen, and so he couldn’t take that. He couldn’t accept that. So he decided then to kind of buff himself up even more by going to Outland and being corrupted, and he believed that that would raise him to the next level to be able to defeat Chen.
Eldorian: For those who haven’t watched The Spectacular Spiderman animated series, or Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Your art looks like a cel animation as seen in Disney animated films. what technique do you use in Pearl of Pandaria and what’s the process it undergoes?
Galloway: What is special about this book is that every page — the background is drawn separate from the characters. Any time, Blizzard and DC Comics would be able to utilize the art as clip art for whatever reasons that they want. That was the approach. Because there were some changes that needed to be made due to the expansion, it made it not as tough to make some edits.
So basically there’s a couple guys, myself and Derrick, that would be on backgrounds, some on layouts, and then a couple colorists because with this kind of process it’s like an assembly line. That way each page every day could be accomplished with all of us working together. We also had a studio mate who would come in and put the characters on model as well. It’s like animation on paper.
Medievaldragon: I think fans will enjoy some of Li Li’s adventures. She’s in search of her uncle Chen Stormstout going all around Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. You managed to add some in-game elements like professions and the backstory of some holidays. How was the process of thinking, selection, and writing of these type of details into the story?
Neilson: It was all a part of the brainstorming process in just trying to pick out little areas where we could add history, and details and lore that didnt exist. One of my favorites is Brewfest, and being able to for the first time kind of explore where that came from, and how it all came about and everything else. The dwarves are always so fun to write for and to work with. The hard drinking, scottish characters are always a blast. So those kind of things it was such a fun project and being able to step away from what I normally do — books like the WORLD OF WARCRAFT: ASHBRINGER or co-writing WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CURSE OF THE WORGEN with James Waugh. They are very dark. They are very somber. It was a nice departure. It was very fun.
Eldorian: At the end of the book, it says fans should expect a continuation of Chen and Li Li’s adventures in a free online novella titled Quest for Pandaria. Will the online novella gap what happened between Pearl of Pandaria and Chen and Li Li’s appearance in-game?
Neilson: Yes, it does — and one thing I wanted to mention is the graphic novel PEARL OF PANDARIA. I think is now scheduled to be released on September 25th — so PEARL OF PANDARIA will be released a little bit after the first installment of QUEST FOR PANDARIA is posted on the website.
We’ll actually put up a message for people saying if you want to avoid spoilers we recommend that you read PEARL OF PANDARIA before starting QUEST FOR PANDARIA — which is going to be a four-part, a series of short stories.
It will detail the events that happened after PEARL OF PANDARIA, and leading up to the game and where you see them in the game.
Medievaldragon: Micky, there’s a cliffhanger in the story that is not concluded in Pearl of Pandaria, concerning the whereabouts of the Pearl and the Fisherman. Will this be concluded in Quest for Pandaria, or will fans have to wait an see in-game?
Neilson: The story of the Pearl will be continued in Quest for Pandaria!
Eldorian: This question is for both of you on the story and artistic aspects. Why should fans of the game get a copy of World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria?
Neilson: For me it’s really different, and I fell in love with the character of Li Li, and I fell in love with the lot of the other characters. There is also a lot of history that is conveyed — a lot of history about Chen Stormstout, a lot of history about Pandaria and the turtle … Shen-zin Su. It’s sort of a time-capsule glimpse into Azeroth before the Cataclysm, before the game changed. So there’s all kinds of reasons, and of course, fantastic writing. Number one reason.
Galloway: Of course, that’s the number one reason. (chuckles)
Neilson: Hehehehe! … and good artwork too!
Galloway: It’s ok — why wouldn’t they want to pick it up? Like Micky said, the writing is fantastic, and his track record writing these books is fantastic too. I think fans would want to take their chance with the book. It’s different from what Blizzard has done in the past, and I think it’s a nice different approach to the property. We intended to approach it as if it were an animated feature. So we hope people will pick it up and enjoy it.
Eldorian: Thanks a lot for this interview, guys. It was a lot of great information. I really enjoyed hearing all of your answers. I just wanted to say it was a fantastic book, I loved it, and everyone should go out and buy it. Absolutely.
Fastball special for our Torontonian and adjacent visitors! MEGA BLOKS is heading to the 2012 Fan Expo Toronto. The first 500 fans coming to the MEGA BLOKS booth will get an exclusive MEGA BLOKS Lich King Poster.
MEGA BLOKS also plans to attend the 2012 New York Comic Con in October — I’ll be there.
MEGA BLOKS: We’re almost at the end of road tour for the year – we started at San Diego Comic-Con, then made our way to Fan Expo Toronto, now Montreal Comic-Con, and we’ll finish up at New York Comic-Con in October.
Keeping with the theme of past con’s we’re putting together a very special booth that’s dedicated to the fans and building enthusiasts alike. We’ve also got some super cool contests, giveaways, and an AWESOME exclusive poster you do not want to miss out on!
For the fist time in Montreal fans will be treated to an in depth look at the making of our Mega Bloks World of Warcraft toys, a sneak peak at our first Halo Signature series build – the Forward Unto Dawn! Since this our home town we’re excited to able to bring some of Mega Bloks greatest minds to the show – fans will get the opportunity to meet some of the designers that worked on developing the Mega Bloks Halo, World of Warcraft, and Power Rangers toy lines!
If you’re a Mega Bloks World of Warcraft fan we’ve got an epic exclusive for you! We’ve designed a limited edition Montreal Comic-Con exclusive poster – only 500 printed! Make sure to come by our booth (2000) and grab one before they’re all gone! As an added bonus we’ve brought Thrall to the party– weighing in at 1 ton, standing over 10 feet tall, and made from over 375,000 Mega Bloks this is our biggest build yet! Plus learn more about our new Mega Bloks World of Warcraft toy line.
It’s just thrilling to get to talk with Micky and to ask questions about this book knowing the importance of Li Li and Chen Stormstout — not only in PEARL OF PANDARIA, but in-game as well. As a beta tester, I have experienced all the lengthy quest chain with Li Li and Chen starting at the Pang’s Stead in the Valley of the Four Winds all the way to the Stormstout Brewery 5-man dungeon.
Today we got to read Li Li’s Journal Part 4 — and it has 11-parts, which mean we will get more of Li Li. From what I have read so far, Li Li’s Journal talks about her life at the Wandering Isle as a prelude to her adventures in PEARL OF PANDARIA.
According to the book, there will be an online novella titled QUEST FOR PANDARIA as a venue to tell the story of Li Li and Chen after the events of PEARL OF PANDARIA. Considering there’s a cliffhanger surrounding the whereabouts of the Pearl, I’m dying to know whether the story will be continued in the online novella, or if the Creative Team have plans to resolve that plot in Mists of Pandaria end-game.
For example, in beta there are incomplete plots and inaccessible areas. We don’t know where the Zandalari are navigating by sea from. We don’t know what are these Makrura doing in the shores of Pandaria. In PEARL OF PANDARIA we find out the Naga have been searching for Pandaria for thousands of years unsuccessfully. A Naga resembling Lady Vashj, claims the future of Azeroth lies within Pandaria, and it’s their utmost goal to find the mysterious and elusive location of Pandaria — which has been shrouded by mists for milenia.
There’s definitely a reason these Makrura are scouting Pandaria. There’s a coming “Something” in the horizon — whether it is in Mists of Pandaria’s end-game or in a following expansion afterwards. Whatever this “something” is — the Naga are one way or another going to be in the thick of Pandaria soon or later.
There is a big isle located north of Townlong Steppes that can’t be accessed by any means in MOP Beta. Definitely, at this point in time — merely two weeks away from release date, this isle is intended to be part of a future patch post-retail release. Is there where the Zandalari are hailing from? Is the Naga preparing an assault from this island? Are the Mogu? It’s an enigma.
I have faith the cliffhanger within PEARL OF PANDARIA has a powerful meaning for the future of the expansion, considering it’s stirred the Naga into action. More importantly, the fact that there is not a single naga in all of Pandaria in beta — except for the Makrura scouts.
WoW Insider today posted about this Makrura incursion — originally found in Scrollsoflore. I was able to take screenshots in-game. It’s definitely smelling like scouts sent by the Naga — which means an invasion is looming in the horizon at some point.
In the interview, we will ask what the plans are for the mysterious pearl. Whether its whereabouts will be discussed in QUEST FOR PANDARIA, or otherwise, to be resolved in-game at some point.
On Sean Galloway’s perspective, while we have seen Blizzard Entertainment get ahold of figures like Simon Furman (The Transformers), Walter Simonson (The Mighty Thor) to licensed products, Sean Galloway adds an extra weight in this participation of heavy-weight figures of the industry.
Blizzard Entertainment has close ties with DC Comics (Time Warner/Warner Bros). Here comes Sean Galloway with a strong background in animated TV series such as The Spectacular Spiderman, Disney’s Tron Animated, G.I. Joe Renegades. There’s a potential here for a Warcraft Animated TV series. I’d totally love to see that someday.
Troubles from Without
Brothers and Sisters,
We need to keep our eyes beyond our shores. The mists have fallen. We, the Shado-Pan are the next and final line of defense.
The first to come, as you know, were the Horde and Alliance. While they have not shown themselves to be hostile, we continue to follow them with a wary eye.
The next to come did not arrive by air, but from beneath the sea. The makrura have shown increased activity on our shores, which suggests a possible future attack. I will highlight a few high-priority targets to look out for.
Thsi female has been known to attack the fishermen of Sri-La Village in times of hunger. Reports vary whether she is simply a nuisance or an outright menace. Last seen on the rocks southwest of Windward Isle, in the Jade Forest.
Akkalar is renowned among his kind for his thick carapace. His brazen attacks on the Jinyu of the Jade Forest suggest either arrogance or strength. Potentially both. Last seen on the southern tip of the Jade Forest, south of Pearlfin Village.
Omnia scholars have suggested that the makrura have some capacity in magic. Those who have seen Damlak know this to be true. This shadowy creature wanders the islands and seafloor between the Cradle of Chi-Ji and Nayeli Lagoon, in the Krasarang Wilds.
A furious warrior from the icy-waters of the north. Last seen patrolling the rocky coast of Kun-Lai Summit, west of Zouchin Village.
An absolute brute from beyond the wall, known for his overwhelming strength. Even the mantid keep a fair distance from this one. Last seen off the northwestern coast of Zan’vess.
Odd’nirok does not fight with his claws as the other makrura do. Instead, he possesses a crude shamanic power, fighting with the force of water itself. He was last seen on the shores south of the cliffs of Sik’vess, in Townlong Steppes.
While we are discussing makrura, I must mention Kril’mandar, known as the Crawlord, or the Terror of the Southern Tide.
Kril’mandar has NOT been seen in years. Our lookouts along the southern wall have inspected his island, far to the west of the Cradle of Chi-Ji, and have not seen any signs of his return.
The price is definitely higher than when they were first sold by Epic Weapons, but only 6,500 replicas exist around the world. Be cautious, however. Lot of fake replicas from China are flooding eBay. Make sure any future auctions you find mentions the G2G authentication chip, and that the seller is shipping from USA.
There was a limited amount of Frostmourne sword replicas produced by Epic Weapons. The Frostmourne replica tagged #1 in production was originally sold for $20,700 in April 8, 2008.
Frostmourne Sword inspired by Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft Franchise. This limited edition sword is no longer in production and only 6500 exist in the world. This was my own personal sword since February 2011 and has been mounted on my wall in a smoke free environment. Sword is in excellent condition and the plaque has some scratches on the back from being previously mounted.
The sword measures approx. 47″ inches long and 12″ inches wide at the widest point of the handle.
The blade is made of 420J2 Japanese milled stainless steel, the other detailed parts are made of cast metal, and the wrapping of the handle is made from leather.
The sword weighs 16 pounds by itself.
The plaque is 22″ inches tall, 12″ inches wide, and 3/4″ thick.
The RFID Microchip (Radio frequency identification tag) holds information needed to authenticate your collectible product using the Game 2 Gear reader. Being able to authenticate the product will eliminate anybody trying to sell a “knock-off” type of product, ensuring that the end customer is receiving the true licensed product. The RFID Microchip is located within the handle of the sword and is not outwardly visible.
What will be shipped:
G2G Chip Reader & USB Cable
Display Plaque with hardware for mounting to drywall.
Digital Certificate of Authenticity(See G2G scan).
You can call the company after sale and get the ownership changed to your name.
Original packaging not included. Sword is heavily bubble wrapped and packaged in 4.5 inch thick styrofoam on each side and is double boxed to ensure safe shipping.
ITEM WILL SHIP UNITED STATES ONLY!!!
So yes, Frostmourne is a sweet sword, and yeah these real-life replicas are great (like a couple of thousand dollars great). But $20,000? That’s how much the winning bidder put up in the Weaponmasters auction to get a limited edition sword. That’s a lot of cash.
Blizzplanet has a list of all the bidders (for public humiliation purposes?) — the “winner’s” (if you can call someone out $20k a winner) name was Xeophonix, apparently from Italy. Only the first two bidders went all out — there’s one more $20k bid, and then it drops to $12k & $5k. But grats to Xeophonix — hope the $20,000 sword is worth it. And watch your back — we don’t know exactly how you kill a Lich King, but if Weaponmasters didn’t quite get Arthas’ sword away from him for good, you might have an angry Menethil/Ner’zhul showing up at your door.
Blizzard Entertainment sent a copy of World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria for review. I just opened the box, and got thrilled with the format of this DC Comics graphic novel product.
I haven’t seen anything like this before from DC Comics. The dimensions of the book resemble that of an iPad, thus comfortable to hold. An iPad is 9.50″ x 7.31″. The World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria Graphic Novel’s dimensions are approximately 11.25 x 7.37″.
The front cover artwork of World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria seen above is a book jacket you can remove and frame up if you wish to. This is how the book looks like without the book jacket.
The first chapter introduces the history of Liu Lang to set the background and starting point of this story for readers new to World of Warcraft and/or to the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
Liu Lang was the first Pandaren to leave Pandaria with the wanderlust of adventure. Originally, after the Sundering ten-thousand-years in the past the Pandaren thought the whole world had been destroyed, and because of the Mists none dared to explore thinking they wouldn’t find their way back home.
Liu Lang observed the dragon turtles would leave into the sea, but eventually returned to the shore they were born. Thus, with that wisdom, Liu Lang explored beyond the mists on top of Shen-zin Su.
The Pandaren laughed at Liu Lang and thought they would never see him again. Five years later, Liu Lang returned to Pandaria on a now grown turtle to share his adventures with fellow Pandaren. The turtle would return home every five years, and more Pandaren accompanied Liu Lang and as centuries went by the turtle became as big as an island.
Some of the lore in this graphic novel is exclusive and won’t be seen in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. However, the story of Liu Lang will be experienced by players who delve into the path of the Lorewalker. I recently shared my experiences in beta on where to find all the sites and achievements to reach exalted with the Lorewalker, and some videos that tell the lore of Liu Lang.
Micky Neilson joined Blizzard Entertainment in 1993. He’s got several video games story development experience under his belt, including: Warcraft III, The Lost Vikings II, World of Warcraft, StarCraft. He’s presently Lead Publishing at Blizzard with two graphic novels: WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CURSE OF THE WORGEN (co-written with James Waugh), WORLD OF WARCRAFT: ASHBRINGER (Number Two in New York Times Bestselling Graphic Novels List).
If you have read both graphic novels, you are in for a great story with PEARL OF PANDARIA. It’s written from the point of view of Li Li Stormstout, the niece of famous adventurer Chen Stormstout who we are acquainted with since his debut in the bonus orc campaign in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (2003).
There’s definitely a message to be found in the context of the story aimed both at young children and [why not] adults. Sometimes we celebrate holidays, study history in school but do not live what we celebrate and commemorate.
Li Li is a dreamer and loves the stories of Liu Lang, but sees that her father and even the Elders of Shen-zin Su have forgotten what it is to leave the Wandering Isle and explore the world and enjoy every day of their lives in a continuous adventure.
She’s young, but not a coward. She refuses to live in a pedestal, and decides to leave the Wandering Isle to go in search of her uncle Chen Stormstout. I liked very much Micky’s approach and direction in this story.
According to Licensing Manager Kat Hunter, in the DC Comics website, this is an independent story outside the Mists of Pandaria expansion. While you might recognize some elements that appear in-game, the story takes place before the events Pandaren level 1-10 players will experience in the Wandering Isle’s starting location in-game.
One of the scenes when Li Li goes to Stormwind gives a glimpse into where in the timeline the story takes place, and it’s definitely not Mists of Pandaria-time, nor even Cataclysm-time. One guard is asking for volunteers to go to Northrend for the ultimate fight against the Lich King. Another scene reveals the fight against the Emerald Nightmare — which took place during World of Warcraft: Stormrage — hasn’t happened yet.
Li Li Stormstout is not an NPC in the Wandering Isle for example. You get to meet her as an NPC later on at level 86 in the Valley of the Four Winds alongside Chen Stormstout.
Sean “Cheeks” Galloway
Sean Galloway is the artist of the interior pages and front cover. Not everyone is used to comic books or animation, so it’s normal for people to like or dislike the artwork style.
Personally, when I saw the front cover a few weeks ago I had no idea who the artist was, but recognized the style right away. The artwork and the coloring resembles that in TV animated series and even Disney animated films. Knowing how Blizzard Entertainment works they will get the best in the industry. We have seen Simon Furman (The Transformers) behind the StarCraft comics series, Walter Simonson (Mighty Thor) behind the World of Warcraft comics series. All the awesome writers and artists in the Tokyopop Manga. You know the drill. Blizzard Creative Team is passionate about their projects and fans themselves of writers and artists that are involved in their personal geeky hobbies: Tabletop, fantasy stories, SciFi, etc.
I won’t lie. I have rarely watched american TV in the past 12 years since playing Blizzard games — kinda odd for someone who lives in New York City. Sean Galloway is a name that caught my attention though.
In the animation front, Sean Galloway is the founder of Table Taffy Studios and lead character designer for The Spectacular Spiderman animated TV series. Sean has been involved in Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, Blood and Iron, Disney’s Tron Animated, Dreamworks’ Mastermind, G.I. Joe Renegades, and Scoobie Doo Mystery Inc.
As a comics penciler/artist he’s been involved in TEEN TITANS GO and the Teen Titans stories in WEDNESDAY COMICS. He’s also done video game and toy design. Some fans know him for his creator-owned properties: Bastion’s 7, Gumshoes 4 Hire and Little Big Heads.
In terms of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the artwork style sometimes might break what’s known as the “Warcraft Style” — which players are used to with Senior Art Director Samwise Didier, René Koiter, Glenn Rane, and other Sons of the Storm artists. However, considering the main character of this story is a little girl named Li Li, and the bulky shapes of the Pandaren — it made sense to go the TV animated series style which is welcomed by children, teens and adults in general, rather than one specific audience.
Some of us have been playing World of Warcraft since 2004-2006. Some might have by now a young kid at home which is ready to kick some indiscriminate justice at your side against the evils of Azeroth. World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria makes a perfect gift to a son/daughter, nephew/nice (etc.) as a background story prior to playing World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
The coloring techniques are amazing and quickly you get to dig Sean Galloway and his team’s style. There are many landmarks and locations captured in this 128-pages graphic novel, including Booty Bay, Ironforge, Kharanos, Azshara, Westfall, Golshire, The Dark Portal, Stormwind, Stonetalon Mountains, and Orgrimmar — to name a few.
Wish to ask Micky Neilson or Sean Galloway a question? Post a comment below using your Facebook/Yahoo login. We will talk with them on Wednesday during an interview.
Li Li Stormstout
Zhahara Darksquall (Naga witch)
Elder Po Stormstout (Li Li’s father, Chen’s brother)
Shisai Stormstout (Li Li’s eldest brother)
Xiu Li (Long-lost Elder Po’s wife)
Rahjak (Fel orc blademaster)
Dark Iron Coren Direbrew
King Magni Bronzebeard
Rumblefitz (Goblin alchemist)
Fisherman Wanyo (pandaren)
Graphic Novel Credits
Written by: Micky Neilson (Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Lead) Art and Cover: Sean “Cheeks” Galloway Lettering: Saida Temofonte Blizzard Special Thanks: Chris Metzen, Sam Didier, Cameron Dayton, Doug A. Gregory and Glenn Rane Sean Galloway Special Thanks: Table Taffy Studio’s Derek Laufman, DJ Welch, Dario Brizuela, Caleb Sawyer, Hwang Nguyen and Ryan Odagawa.
Editors: Hank Kanalz& Sarah Gaydos Design Director: Robbin Brosterman Publication Design: Larry Berry VP-Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras President: Diane Nelson Co-Publishers: Dan DiDio & Jim Lee Chief Creative Officer: Geoff Johns Executive VP-Sales,Marketing and Business Development: John Rood Senior VP – Business and Legal Affairs: Amy Genkins Senior VP – Finance: Nairi Gardiner VP-Publishing Operations: Jeff Boison VP-Art Direction and Design: Mark Chiarello VP-Marketing: John Cunningham VP-Talent Relations and Services: Terri Cunningham Senior VP-Manufacturing and Operations: Alison Gill Senior VP-Digital: Hank Kanalz VP-Business Affairs, Talent: Jack Mahan VP-Manufacturing Administration: Nick Napolitano VP-Book Sales: Sue Pohja Senior VP-Publicity: Courtney Simmons Senior VP-Sales: Bob Wayne
Blizzard Entertainment issued a press release today to announce the Global Launch Parties for the release date of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on September 25th.
Blizzard developers will be at the global launch party events in Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Russia, USA, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Taiwan. Visit www.blizzard.com/company/events/
As a reminder, visit today your favorite retailer (Gamestop, EBGames, Best Buy, Fry’s, etc.) or call by phone to secure your Collector’s Edition. If you do not have a purchase/pre-order ticket, you won’t get a CE on launch date. I have gone through this experience two consecutive years while trying to secure CE copies for giveaways. Heed the call.
IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled plans for several official global launch events celebrating the upcoming release of World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria™. Beginning on the evening of September 24 , key retail partners in the US, France , Germany , Italy , Russia , Spain , Sweden , the UK , Brazil , Mexico , Chile , and the region of Taiwan will welcome gamers who will be among the first to purchase and play the highly anticipated fourth expansion for the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Members of the World of Warcraft development team will be on hand at many of the official launch events to meet players and sign their copies of the game.
In the US, the launch event will take place in Southern California , near Blizzard headquarters:
Where: Giant Wheel Court at the Irvine Spectrum Center (Google Map)
71 Fortune Drive
Irvine, California 92618
Attendees will be treated to a stage presentation featuring an evening of activities, special guests, giveaways, and entertainment — including a “challenge-mode challenge” between Blizzard employees and members of the community — before the expansion goes on sale at midnight. For further details on each of the global launch events, visit www.blizzard.com/company/events/.
“We can’t wait to meet up with players around the world and celebrate with them at the official launch events,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment . “A lot of hard work and long hours went into making Mists of Pandaria a truly epic expansion, so we’re really looking forward to coming together and having some fun with the community before everyone takes off for the new continent.”
In addition to the official US launch event, other retail locations around the country will open at midnight local time to support gamers eager to pick up the expansion as soon as it’s available. Check with local retailers for further details.
Attendees at the Mists of Pandaria launch events will be able to purchase the standard edition of the expansion (suggested retail price $39.99 ) as well as the retail exclusive Collector’s Edition (suggested retail price $79.99 ), which contains the following bonus items in addition to the game disc:
A World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria behind-the-scenes DVD and Blu-ray two-disc set including over an hour of developer interviews and commentary
The World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition soundtrack CD
The Art of Mists of Pandaria, a 208-page hardback tome including never-before-seen artwork from the development process
World of Warcraft Imperial Quilen flying mount and Lucky Quilen Cub pet, StarCraft® II Battle.net® portraits, and Diablo® III banner sigil and accent
A special-edition World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria mouse pad featuring Chen Stormstout, the legendary pandaren brewmaster
Players will also be able to purchase an activation code for the Digital Deluxe edition of the expansion (suggested retail price $59.99 ) at select retailers. The Digital Deluxe edition includes a full digital copy of Mists of Pandaria as well as the digital items from the retail exclusive Collector’s Edition.
In World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, warships of the Alliance and Horde clash off the coast of a long-lost continent, signaling the start of a new era of discovery and conquest in the history of Azeroth. As players storm the shores of this exotic new frontier and begin to explore its mysteries, they’ll encounter brave new allies, unearth ancient secrets, and play their part in reigniting the long-brewing conflict between the Horde and Alliance on a strange battlefield far from home.
Mists of Pandaria offers a wide variety of content for new and returning World of Warcraft players. Features include a new playable race (the pandaren) with its own starting zone and quests, a new character class (the monk), and an expansive new continent for players to explore as they adventure to the new level cap of 90. The expansion also includes a host of new gameplay elements designed to give players even more ways to enjoy the game, including scenarios — a flexible new kind of cooperative PvE trial; challenge modes, which offer high-prestige rewards for mastering Mists of Pandaria’s 5-player dungeons; and an all-new pet battle system.
For more information about World of Warcraft and Mists of Pandaria, visit https://www.worldofwarcraft.com. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently open — visit https://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.
Irvine, USA – GAMESTOP
September 24, 9:00 PM PDT
Giant Wheel Court at Irvine Spectrum Mall
71 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
Both characters can be seen in the Valley of the Four Winds. It’s a very cool experience in-game because the NPCs come with you in your journey through each zone of the Valley of the Four Winds all the way down to the Stormstout Brewery.
Long ago, the legendary explorer Liu Lang set out from Pandaria with a turtle named Shen-zin Su. His tales inspired others to join him in his journey, and over thousands of years, the turtle grew into the vast Wandering Isle, which continues to roam the oceans, carrying an entire community of like-minded adventurers on its back.
But as time passed, their wanderlust faded.
For years, Li Li Stormstout eagerly read the tales of her uncle’s travels around the world, but despite her desire to explore the world with him, she has been forbidden to leave the Wandering Isle. She is too young, her family says, not ready for the trials and dangers of the larger world.
The Traveler’s Path still calls to her, but for now, she must be content to explore the Wandering Isle.
Li Li is determined to record everything she sees and does, and thus follow in the footsteps of the great pandaren wanderers who came before her:
“Life is an adventure,” according to Chen Stormstout, and his adventuring niece, Li Li, has begun to follow in her uncle’s footsteps. Forbidden to leave the Wandering Isle, Li Li has taken it upon herself to chronicle the beauty and wonder of her homeland. Come, enjoy the stories of exploration found in Li Li’s Travel Journal.
The Sons of the Storm website has been updated with new artwork from Diablo III, and the full artwork used in the cover of Jaina Proudmoore, Tides of War. There are some interesting ones that might be used in the Diablo III expansion — for example Skovos Isles.
The Skovos artwork suggests some buildings are underwater. The isle sinks slowly every year, thus new buildings are built on top of the old ones. Skovos is an archipelago (group of scattered islands), habitat of the Amazons.
The Amazons are women warriors who hail from a group of islands in the Twin Seas, near the border of the Great Ocean. Only the permanently snow-covered peak of Mount Karcheus breaks the expanses of lush forests on the islands.
The Amazon people are a relatively isolated culture. Adapting over the centuries to their tropical milieu, they have built magnificent cities in the forest canopy. These cities are an architectural phenomenon and a source of great pride to the Amazon people. They do not follow the teachings of the Zakarum, but instead practice a polytheistic religion that adheres to the strict principles of Order. Their oracles long ago predicted the Dark Exile, and they have been preparing to combat it ever since. Amazons regard the destruction of the Three Prime Evils as their destiny, ushering in a new era when mortal men and women can at long last take their rightful place in the universe, no longer merely playthings for the beings of the Outer Realms.
The Amazons are a seafaring people, one of the first to have made trade contact with both the Kingdoms of the West and with Kejhistan in the East. Their prominence in the world’s trade establishment has afforded their warriors the reputation they currently enjoy as cunning strategists and skilled combatants. They are much sought after as mercenaries, being both expert soldiers as well as extremely loyal – as long as the assignment does not conflict with their strict sense of ethics.
Their pantheon of gods consists of a well-defined hierarchy, each member upholding some segment of the balance of Order. It is this strong sense of order that drives the Amazon people to achieve greatness in even the smallest of their endeavors. Their prime deity is Athulua who, with her consort, Kethryes, rules over the seasons and the weather. Under these Goddesses are a wide assortment of lesser deities, each responsible for his or her own sphere of influence among the Amazon people’s daily life. The Amazons believe this pantheon is the remnant of the original inhabitants that settled the islands centuries ago. According to ancient records, they share the same names as these gods, although aspects of their personalities seem to have evolved over the centuries.
In the Amazon culture, only the women serve as warriors, their intrinsic superior dexterity and lithe body structures are better suited to combat in the dense rainforest environs of the islands. Their society is far from stratified, however, as men are responsible for any number of positions in the community, government, and clergy, as well as merchant and agricultural occupations.
In addition, Glenn “Raneman” Rane started a Kickstarter to develop a digital tabletop game titled InKarnate for web browsers and mobile devices. Sounds like an interesting project.