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Filed under: Arts and Crafts

Latest Artcraft covers exterior level design


One of the things I love about the Artcraft series is how it covers an aspect of World of Warcraft that's critically important and yet often overlooked, namely the look of the game. This week, Blizzard has a new Artcraft for us, covering level design out in the world. As presented by Julian Morris, lead level designer for World of Warcraft's exterior level design team, we get a glimpse into what goes in to giving us the lush visuals of zones like Shadowmoon Valley or Nagrand.
Artcraft - Level Design Part 1
Exterior level design is the process of designing and constructing the zones of World of Warcraft, from Azeroth to Draenor and everything in between. Our team has planned, plotted, and designed the rise and fall of ancient cultures, as well as shaped mountains, forests, seas, lakes, rivers, roads, ruins, and every land feature imaginable. In addition to the land itself, we also design and create cities, towns, and Battlegrounds (with the random exterior dungeon or two in there every now and then, too).


One of the things I remember thinking when I first arrived in Shadowmoon Valley on the beta was how amazing it was that they managed to create a zone that actually felt like a living place, yet you could believe it could become the ruined hellscape of Outland's SMV. Reading about how the level design team works with artists and designers from all over WoW to create these zones is something we've not really gotten much exposure to in the past, so I'm very excited to see how the series continues.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arts and Crafts, Warlords of Draenor

Warcraft wallpaper, costume, art, and comic updates

Another round of new art and updates has been added to Blizzard's official website. This time around, the costume updates are all featuring cosplay from BlizzCon 2013. Mylune makes another appearance, along with some stunning costumes of various tier sets and familiar characters from the franchise. In addition to the costume updates, a new wallpaper has been added to the fan art section. The piece, by Juyoung Oh, is a warlock flanked by a couple of Nightmare steeds and wings that would make Deathwing jealous.

And if you're still anxiously awaiting Warlords of Draenor, the concept art gallery has been updated with some new images. There are a few new concept pieces of draenei temples, as well as a pretty stunning piece of Tanaan Jungle lit at various times of day. Rounding it all off is an update to the comic section, appropriately themed for Hallow's End. Take a look at Blizzard's official post for links to all the new updates.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Blizzard highlights Hearthstone crafts

Hearthstone's Community team has come out with a new feature that highlights arts and crafts among the Hearthstone community. There are those among the players that are enthusiastic about the online card game who are not only having fun playing the game, but are ridiculously talented, turning their creative energies to crafting all sorts of fun items after the game they love to play. This is the first of what I hope is many posts featuring the Hearthstone community's creative efforts -- and man, are these some incredible projects.

Two different recipes are highlighted in the video, a Hearthstone-themed roll cake, and some incredibly cute caramel-filled Hearthstone chocolates. What I love is that both recipes are actually tutorial videos, so those of you that want to try your hand at making these at home can do so. I've never actually made a roll cake before because they always seemed to be pretty complicated, but the video certainly has me wanting to try. Chocolates, on the other hand, are pretty easy to work with in comparison. If you're looking for creative holiday gift ideas for your gamer friends, you might want to check that video out.

Also highlighted in the post are three absolutely gorgeous crafted items. There's a Heartstone in a box, as well as the lovely candle-holder shown in the header image above. The third is a jaw-dropping reconstruction of the Hearthstone box featured when you begin the game. To check out all of the arts and crafts, head to the official site. If you've got any creative Hearthstone crafts of your own that you'd like to share, be sure to post on the official forums and show them off.


Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Hearthstone Insider

New Warcraft wallpaper, costumes, art and comic updates

Blizzard has put together another giant pile of updates to many of the fan content galleries on the official site this week. Included with this round of updates is a new wallpaper featuring Chen Stormstout, along with a new fan comic. But the highlight of the gallery updates this time around has to be the costume section, featuring a ton of the costumes and cosplay from Gamescom 2014. The attention to detail with all of that armor continually impresses me, and this round of updates features a ton of trolls!

I think what excited me the most, however, was the fact that we got a couple of new concept art pieces -- and this time, it's Warlords of Draenor art! Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the Mists of Pandaria concept art, but Draenor is so visually unique on the beta servers that I pretty much figured the concept art for the expansion had to be some amazing stuff. While we only got a couple of pieces this time around, I'm hoping we'll see more added as the weeks go on. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

New Warcraft wallpaper, costume, dessert, art and comic updates

Blizzard has put together another gigantic round of updates to many of the fan content galleries on the official site this week. Included with this update is a new wallpaper featuring Grommash Hellscream, a Pandaria-themed cake, another round of Mists of Pandaria concept art, and a new Warcraft fan comic. In addition to all of that, there's another group of images for the costume gallery, including the familiar face shown above. Cosplayer Lyz Brickley made the amazing recreation of everyone's favorite critter enthusiast Mylune for BlizzCon 2011, and we interviewed her about the process shortly after.

I think the costume section updates win out as my favorites for this round -- in addition to Mylune, there are several other really well done costumes featured, including an amazing Garona and even someone who chose to cosplay as a Training Dummy, of all things. This is also the first update we've seen to the dessert gallery in quite some time -- I'm hoping that means there are more updates on the way for that particular section as well. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Warcraft wallpaper, costume, art, fan art and comic updates

It's been a while since we've seen any updates to the various galleries Blizzard has featured on the World of Warcraft site. Blizzard has just updated its costume and fan art galleries with a handful of new photos from various artists. The costumes are pretty clever, but my personal favorites have to be a really clever training dummy costume, and a checkered box that should be very familiar to anyone who has played on any of the beta servers over the years.

In addition to the costume and fan art galleries, there is a new community comic available in the comic gallery, as well as a new wallpaper featuring the Jade Forest rare, Martar the Not-So-Smart. And if that weren't enough, several new images of Mists of Pandaria concept art have also been added to the Blizzard art gallery. I do love the early hozen concept art, but I hope we get to see more of the concept art from Warlords, too. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Anzu cosplay takes first prize at China Joy

Zhang Lu's winning Anzu cosplay
The annual China Digital Entertainment Expo, also known as China Joy, is known for its cosplay, and for Blizzard Entertainment's cosplay contest. This year's winner was Zhang Lu, a well-known China Joy cosplayer who has placed in the contest before. Her winning costume is pictured above, an incredible, intricate Raven Lord Anzu. Lu created the costume herself, carving and painting each piece. As part of her prize, she and the runner up Xu Rujunn will be flown to BlizzCon later this year to stand on stage. It's an honor well-earned, because this costume is simply stunning. You can check out more pictures of the costume plus Lu's creation process over here--it's all in Chinese, but the pictures speak for themselves.

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

The battle for Warsong Gulch continues in Wowcraft

CarBot's latest Wowcraft episode continues to focus on our Horde and Alliance friends as they battle for the flags of Warsong Gulch. This episode pokes fun at lots of the typical mechanics and behavior you'll see in a battleground--the spring boots, the rez timer, and of course those infuriating, blinking mages. The game's still afoot, however, and despite the ominious (for the Alliance, anyway) ending to this short, nobody's yet won. We'll see how things continue in part four!

Filed under: Humor, Arts and Crafts

Well Fed Buff: Dalaran "Apple" Pie

Ever since the first days of WoW, mages have been conjuring up food items out of thin air for the general public. One of the offhand questions I'm asked every now and again is what, exactly, all that conjured food tastes like? I never really had an answer, because I assumed that the answer was "whatever that food happened to be called." Mana strudel? It tastes like strudel. Mana biscuits? They taste like biscuits. The only difference between mana strudel and regular strudel was the ingredients -- the rest was pretty much the same.

Which is why, when I ran across this incredibly odd recipe, I was immediately reminded of Azeroth's mages. It was also why I immediately had to create it for myself, and test it out on my family. This apple pie passed with flying colors, and it's so easy to make, you'd swear it was magic. The ingredients list is relatively short for this particular concoction ... oh, and the apples? You can leave those out entirely, we won't be needing them. You heard me.

Let's head to the kitchen and conjure up some Dalaran "apple" pie, shall we?


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Filed under: World of WarCrafts, Arts and Crafts

Man at Arms makes Frostmourne

If you haven't started watching Man at Arms, the awesome webseries where weapons from movies and video games are recreated by master blacksmith Tony Swatton, I have to wonder why not. The real draw of the show is that they go out of their way to make functional replicas, even when that's impractical - the weapons Swatton and his team create actually can be used, and usually are used at the end of the episode.

This week, after a round of voting, we finally get to see Swatton's take on Frostmourne, the infamous runeblade of the Lich King. Now, as far as I can tell they haven't mastered the necromancy that made Frostmourne so dangerous, but they did make a sword you can cut stuff up real good. Keep your eyes peeled at the end for a guest appearance by Michele Morrow at the end.

I won't lie, I'm still a little bummed we didn't get a Gorehowl. But this is a heck of an impressive build. I really think Blizzard should commission an Ashkandi from Mr. Swatton. And then give it to me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Arts and Crafts

Doomhammer replica about to go away forever

If, like me, you're a fan of things that can smash other things, you probably like the Doomhammer. And if you have the money, honey, we've got your replica of it, but only for a limited time - because once the last remaining Doomhammers sell out, there will be no more forever.

It's possibly the finest replica of Orgrim Doomhammer's signature weapon available, so if you want one, you'd better get over to the official store and get your hammer while you still can.

Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

BlizzCon costume contest sign-ups open

It's official, BlizzCon 2014's costume contest has opened up its sign-ups. Just like the earlier opening of sign-ups for the Art and Movie contests, there are some interesting prizes here - the top prize is $3500, or $2500 and a 'tribute' in an upcoming Blizzard product. What does that mean?

A tribute could include taking the form of having an NPC, weapon, etc. named after the first place winner.


In addition to that there's $2250 for second place finish, $1500 for third place, $1000 for fourth, and a $250 for secondary winners. Considering how much time and effort people put into their costumes, it's nice to see the possibility of a few people at least getting a little compensation for that. If you're interested in entering this year, head to the official site now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon, Arts and Crafts

Azeroth Choppers episode 6 is now available

Episode 6 of Azeroth Choppers is up, and if you've wanted to see some actual work get done on the bikes, today is your lucky day. I'll admit right now, I watch all kinds of TV shows that are about people building things, so I found today's episode to be the best one simply because the bikes are getting worked on. The Alliance bike in particular is starting to look pretty cool -- the armored gas tank and sword handlebars are definitely striking. Of course there's the usual drama of this kind of show - will it get done on time, clashes about what the direction for the build should be, etc - but again, finally we're getting a real sense of what the bikes themselves will look like.

Frankly I'm disappointed at the lack of Samwise's beard in all this, though. I think he should just be in every scene.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Arts and Crafts

Well Fed Buff: Bag of popcorn

Popcorn ingredients
If you spend time on the internet -- which I'm sure everyone reading this does -- then you're well aware that popcorn is no longer simply a food, it's a verb. One that can often be applied to happenings in World of Warcraft. But hey, I'm not here for the verb version, I'm here for the delicious, edible noun.

I've long thought it was a shame that the only place you could get a Bag of Popcorn in WoW was from the arena vendor in Zul'Drak (you have to wave at him--he'll toss you the item). Wouldn't it fit right in at the Darkmoon Faire? Blizzard, are you listening? Anyway, if you're not feeling up to flying all the way out to the frozen wastes of Zul'Drak to get one of these, you can make it easily in the comfort of your own home.

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Filed under: Arts and Crafts

BlizzCon 2014 - Many contests, handle them

I have never been to BlizzCon, so I assume it's a lot like a raid. This year, amongst the many encounters will be a series of contests that you have the opportunity to defeat. As is customary, there will be an excellent costume contest (at least, it's always been excellent when I watched it on the stream) with some fairly sensible rules, like 'no real weapons' and 'please design your costume so you can see and walk because otherwise you'll fall down a lot'.

Then there's the expanded talent contest. Can you sing, dance, or make people laugh? Send 'em a YouTube link with your intended performance and make sure you keep it within their suggested limits so they can use it during the con if they like it and you.

There's also an art and a movie contest, for the artistic and visionary types among us. So go ahead and check out the dungeon journal for the BlizzCon contests. There's also an email address for any questions you may have - BlizzConContest@Blizzard.com.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests, BlizzCon, Arts and Crafts

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