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Filed under: Fan stuff

Speculating on BlizzCon 2010

It's a new year and that means another opportunity to play oracle and figure out what Blizzard's plans are for 2010. BlizzPlanet has gone ahead and tossed out some of their ideas on what will happen for BlizzCon this year, laying out their predictions and even speculating on the event date. As you might know, there was a bit of confusion stemming from supposed leaked information that pointed to BlizzCon 2010 happening in Las Vegas in July. That didn't go down so well with Blizzard, and the Las Vegas convention center later retracted its statements.

BlizzPlanet points out, quite logically, that Blizzard probably wasn't too thrilled with that. Even if they had planned to do it in Las Vegas, that kind of public relations misstep is a deal breaker. Besides, Eldorian from BlizzPlanet applies simple, sound logic to his sleuthing work and explains that examining the Anaheim Convention Center's Calendar of Events reveals an odd, blank date on the weekend of August 20-21, yet almost all the weekends of the venue are already booked. With Blizzard being the secretive bunch that they are, he figures those blank dates actually correspond with this year's BlizzCon event. It's a pretty cool theory. Read the rest of their predictions as well as a few of our own guesses after the jump.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, BlizzCon

What's taking the Battlecry mosaic so long?

When the World of Warcraft Anniversary mini-site was unveiled last November, one of its features was a photo-mosaic dubbed the Battlecry which would unlock little art goodies each time a certain milestone was reached. The Battlecry mosaic called for player submissions to submit their pictures with a logo of their favored faction, with a modest goal of 20,000 player-submitted pictures in order to reveal the final artwork created specially for the event.

It's come along rather smoothly, and some really cool player pictures have been submitted, with the seeming abundance of Horde-aligned pictures prompting us to ask where the Alliance pride was. But what really surprises me is how long the whole project is taking. When the site was launched, one of the first questions that actually ran through my head was how long it would take to fill up the whole mosaic. With over ten million active players, you'd think getting to 20,000 would be easy. Out of ten million, that's like a drop in a bucket. But after almost two months of the site being active, we're still only at 32% of the goal. Why?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Death Knight manga is as good as it gets

The first of Tokyopop's class-themed manga hit the shelves early in December. World of Warcraft: Death Knight written by Dan Jolley and illustrated by Rocio Zucchi, the manga is a self-contained 166-page story detailing the life of a notable Death Knight, Thassarian, the first of the Lich King's rune-wielding champions to join the Alliance. I'm a huge fan of Tokyopop's comics made for the Warcraft universe and think that the Warcraft Legends series contain some of the best stories told about the Blizzard franchise.

The Death Knight manga kicks off a new direction in Tokyopop's Warcraft manga series, taking a break from short story compilations and focusing on a lore character representative of a specific class. The story of Thassarian, as previewed in October last year, explores the World of Warcraft in-depth through a biographical story that follows the hero's origins as a soldier of Lordaeron who falls and is raised as one of Arthas' minions. To make things simple, I'll give my thoughts on the book right before the break and explain it afterward -- it's a wonderful, well-written and beautifully illustrated comic that I highly recommend to any fan of Warcraft comics. It's good. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into the meat of the manga after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Death Knight, Comics

World of WarCrafts: Sweet but not spineless

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself; contact our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

Admit it: You thought murlocs were spineless little critters, didn't you? Take a peek inside our gallery, below, and you'll see that even this sweet little fellow boasts his share of backbone -- literally. World of WarCrafts visited with Bradley Barger (aka Monmanteau of US Stormreaver), one of the winners of this year's WoW Holiday Dessert Contest, for a taste of the inspiration behind his winning creation. What we discovered beneath this little guy's skin (a backbone of steel!) was more spine than we ever expected from a murloc.

The creation is based around a metal armature, which Bradley covered with cereal-based cake and butter cream, then finished with fondant for a smooth texture. The spines are made from colored sugar, melted and cut to shape. The pond water is fashioned from a high-temperature molten sugar mixture, poured it into a frame of fondant.



Continue past the break for an interview with Bradley on how he cooked up this sweet success.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Features, Interviews, World of WarCrafts

[1.Local]: The best of 2009, July-December

Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Think you've got what it takes to make it through another year in the company of the denizens of [1.Local]? Work your way through the comments on these recent favorite posts at WoW.com -- not only the comments listed here from the "Best of" roundups, but the comments on the original posts, too -- and we'll talk.

Cataclysm, Cataclysm, Cataclysm
July 2009 was one long paroxysm about Cataclysm.

dextros: I was sad to see the Worgen pets vanish; for a time, every hunter in our raid group had one. =D

Sargenus: Ahh. The masks! I remember getting into a fight with a friend who apparently -knew- Goblins and Worgen would NEVER be a playable race and told me to stop dreaming. I guess you can tell, I mock him every day after BlizzCon. :D

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, [1.Local]

Holiday Dessert Contest winners revealed

Behold the miracle of confection. Made by Christina Drylie of Apple Valley, California it's one of the 10 winning entries in this year's Blizzard Holiday Desert contest. Warning: may erupt from Deepholm and unleash elemental devastation. In addition to the Aspect of Earth, we have Moonkin, Murlocs, Lord Marrowgar and Icecrown Citadel in edible form. Hasten yourselves to go forth and consume their images. Unfortunately you won't be able to actually eat any of the deserts, but it's the web, we haven't worked out how to make hypertext work for creating cake.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Contests, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Two Bosses Enter: Anub'Arak vs. King Dred

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to the semi-finals of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Scroll to the end of the last round's post for a listing of semi-final matches. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Welcome to the semi-finals of the Wrath of the Lich King Original Five-Mans season of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves! This week's matchup is big -- really, really big. In fact, we're thinking about expanding the Two Bosses Thunderdome so that our opponents can physically fit inside (and because these adds are not something we want running loose in the stands).

Top-seeded Anub'Arak of Azjol-Nerub squares off against the ever-popular King Dred in this week's Thunderdome match. There are sure to be plenty of hasty conclusions: "It's Anub, man -- he rocks ToC!" (wrong fight there, dude) and the inevitable "OMNOMNOM" of the dino fanboys. Rescuing us from the tedium are our loyal fans, who've built an entire season of convincing scenarios that make weighing your vote a real pleasure. Be sure to read (and contribute to) the comments before you cast your vote -- you just might change your mind after seeing what your fellow spectators have offered up for consideration.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

One Boss Leaves: Skadi crushes Svala

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to the end of the current round of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

It wasn't much of a contest this week, as Skadi the Ruthless swept to a whirlwind victory over Svala Sorrowgrave. Sixty-three percent of the spectators roared their approval of the spear-wielding, undead Frost Vrykul, undoubtedly moving him into a solid position for the upcoming semi-finals. But however one-sided its ultimate conclusion, this matchup offered the opportunity for a number of interesting scenarios.

Dominika: Let's review the facts. Skadi doesn't do his own fighting. Skadi throws Vargul at his opponents, slows them down with his Proto-Drake ... It's only when you really piss him off that he jumps down to take you on one on one. Now, what are these Vargul he throws at you? Vargul, of course, are the Vrykul judged as unworthy by the Val'kyr.

There's but one reason a Val'kyr would fight a Vrykul: to prove his worth. And he's not going to do that by hiding behind the unworthy. Skadi's hands are tied. He has to take her on one on one. His main advantage then, is his Poisoned Spear. His Whirlwind hurts, but it's difficult to hit someone who can fly. When he finds himself trapped on the altar to be sacrificed, his Vargul brothers know that they can't hold back any longer. They bum rush the stage to free him. The enraged Skadi tells everyone to take Svala (that's what she said), but if there's one thing that hordes of undead do poorly against, it's fire. The flames from the brazier make short work of them all, leaving just the Vrykul and the Val'kyr once more.

And when the next ritual comes, Skadi will only have enough time to think of the words he heard echoing down from the keep below long ago ... "Your pathetic failure will serve as a warning to all."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Reminder: It came from the Blog Winter Veil event today

Don't forget! We're killing dragonhawks, baking cookies and otherwise enjoying the Feast of Winter Veil festivities tonight in It came from the Blog. As you can see, my mage who does not seem to have pants in any form is waiting patiently for the party to begin. Here are the details:
  • When: 11:00pm EST (8pm PST, 9pm Server) December 30, 2009
  • Where: In front of Silvermoon on the Zangarmarsh realm (US)
  • Who: Any level Horde character (bring your highest level for the most fun)
  • What: We will be harvesting eggs, baking cookies, kissing strangers under the mistletoe as well other holiday festivities.
  • How: Ask any It came from the Blog Lurker or Robinator for an invite to the guild.
Please see our FAQ if you have any questions.

You're all invited to join us -- hope to see you there!

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, It Came from the Blog

It came from the Blog: Winter Veil event

The Feast of Winter Veil ends on Saturday, but we still haven't had our It came from the Blog event. Let's remedy that tomorrow:
  • When: 11:00pm EST (8pm PST, 9pm Server) December 30, 2009
  • Where: In front of Silvermoon on the Zangarmarsh realm (US)
  • Who: Any level Horde character (bring your highest level for the most fun)
  • What: We will be harvesting eggs, baking cookies, kissing strangers under the mistletoe as well other holiday festivities.
  • How: Ask any It came from the Blog Lurker or Robinator for an invite to the guild
We will have extra eggs. So if you miss the bird-bashing in Silvermoon, we'll meet you in Orgrimmar for the bribing of Greatfather Winter.

Questions? We answer most of them in our FAQ.

See ya there!

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, It Came from the Blog

World of WarCrafts: Holiday ornaments, cookies and more

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself; contact our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

It may be relatively quiet around here this week, but World of WarCrafts is still managing to keep the holiday spirit rolling. Allow us to pass along several submissions from crafty readers with a Christmas-y bent ... First up, the Christmas tree ornaments (above) sent in by Faylinne from US Duskwood. Faylinne created these as a gift for Cyer of US Blade's Edge, the friend she credits as inspiring her to play World of Warcraft. Sounds like great results from both sides of that particular equation.

Join us after the break for a Horde cookie cutter and gingerbread cookies, plus a small gallery of sweets from a baker new to WoW-themed desserts.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Features, World of WarCrafts

Landro's Pet Box available for UDE points

Upper Deck recently announced a new item available in-game for players to claim using UDE points accrued from collecting the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. The item, Landro's Pet Box, is a grab bag of sorts that can randomly give the character one of the following loot items: Papa Hummel's Old-Fashioned Pet Biscuit, Path of Cenarius, Sandbox Tiger, Dragon Kite, Ethereal Soul-Trader, or Bananas, the Monkey. Items previously available through UDE points were limited to a selection of epic tabards, permanent fireworks, and a Carved Ogre Idol that turns characters into ogres for 10 minutes.

According to the product description, Landro's Pet Box will more commonly give out Pet Biscuits, Paths of Cenarius, or the Sandbox Tiger, but will occasionally grant the rarer vanity pets. Players will not receive duplicates of vanity pets already obtained through the Pet Box. The item can be purchased through the UDE points store for 2,000 UDE points (the same cost as tabards) and is only available on US and EU realms. Landro's Pet Box marks the first time items previously available only through loot cards would be made available through UDE points, allowing players who miss out on elusive loot cards another shot at obtaining the items.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

Naxxramas Raid Deck and Treasure Packs now available

Following the success of their previous raid sets, Onyxia's Lair, Molten Core, Magtheridon's Lair, and the Black Temple, Upper Deck has released the first Wrath-themed event pack with the Naxxramas Raid Deck and Treasure Pack last December 22. Unlike their previous raid offerings, however, the Naxxramas Treasure Packs are stand-alone products which can be used separately from the raid deck.

According to Dan Bojanowski, Upper Deck's World of Warcraft TCG Senior Brand Manager, the stand-alone approach "was created as a direct result of customer feedback." Aside from containing the standard content such as exclusive foil cards, the set would also include "alternate art heroes featuring heroes from the Drums of War block in Naxxramas-themed gear and settings."

The Raid Deck, which is available for $29.99, contains a 110-card raid deck, 15 oversized boss cards, a 16-card Treasure Pack, and a UDE points card (or Loot card) and rulebook. Treasure Packs retail for $9.99 apiece and contain 15 random foil Treasure Pack cards out of a total of thirty collectible cards, a hero in Naxxramas-themed armor, and a UDE points card or Loot card. Hero cards are drawn from the Drums of War expansion set with variant art, with a total of ten cards with new art to collect. Each Treasure Pack also has a chance to contain a random Loot card from the Fields of Honor expansion set.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, WoW TCG

WoW magazine preview now online

The World of Warcraft magazine, which hit a bit of a bump when it lost its Editor-in-Chief some time ago, is showing off some preview pages from its maiden issue. The whopping 40-page preview gives a glimpse of the magazine, which is scheduled to arrive at subscribers' doorsteps before the year is out (they're running out of time). The 148-page, advertising-free magazine is only available through subscription and will not be out on store shelves.

The quarterly magazine is available in one- and two-year subscriptions of at least $39.95 and $69.95 respectively (price varies depending on your location). Published by Future PLC, the company behind official licensed magazines of XBox, PlayStation, and other magazines such as ImagineFX, PC Gamer, and T3, the World of Warcraft official magazine is as visually stunning as the other titles in its stable, albeit somewhat light on text. The magazine shows off exclusive commissioned art, such as some gorgeous pieces by fantasy art star and Dungeons & Dragons veteran Wayne Reynolds.

The first issue's articles include lore visitations such as the story behind Sylvanas Windrunner, columns on class roles, and even an interview with vanity pet guru Breanni of warcraftpets.com. The art and lay-out of the magazine looks gorgeous and seems to be a seamless fusion between the World of Warcraft aesthetic and Future PLC titles, although it remains to be seen how a quarterly print magazine can keep up-to-date material with an ever-changing online world. At any rate, the archival magazine looks beautiful, even if players might be better served by online, current articles on the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

The Night Before Winter Veil


'Twas the night before Winter Veil and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, sans a click of the mouse

The presents were stored by the tree with great care,
In hopes that Grand' Winter would soon be there;

The orphans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Pandaren Brew danced in their heads;

And my guildie in her 'kerchief, and I in my helm,
Had just settled down for a long battle-ground,

When out of the mine there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my mammoth to see what was the matter.

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Filed under: Fan stuff

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