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Posts with tag Samwise

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

BlizzCon 2011: Samwise on Mists of Pandaria

Our sister site Joystiq nabbed an interview with Samwise Didier who is, in a way, the spiritual father of Mists of Pandaria. As art director, he's had an influence on every Blizzard game for years, but this one's special: he originally created the Pandaren.

"It was one of the last things that I really wanted to see in World of Warcraft, which is Warcraft in general ... Now I can almost say, well, I think I've done good with Warcraft -- they're finally in."

Check out the full article.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, BlizzCon

Know Your Lore: The Pandaren


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Brewfest is still ongoing in game until Wednesday, Oct. 6, and while the Alliance has their dwarven brewers and beer lovers behind the festival, there is a race of creatures that are not included in the festivities at all -- well, not directly. I'm speaking, of course, about the mysterious pandaren -- a race of humanoid pandas that is about as elusive as they come. Pandaren have shown up in references here and there in World of Warcraft, but for the most part, they seem to be nothing more than vague Easter eggs. However, the World of Warcraft RPG covered the pandaren extensively and provided some background into the nature-loving race.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the pandaren is the origins of the race. Of all the races in Azeroth, the pandaren are the least well known but one of the most beloved of many players of the original Warcraft games. The pandaren first showed up in Warcraft III, and from there, the loveable race of humanoid pandas grew exponentially in popularity. Though the original Warcraft and all subsequent games were carefully planned out, the enigmatic panderan began with an April Fools joke that spread like wildfire.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard celebrates the WoW anniversary

The good folks at the Orange County Register got invited to Blizzard's official WoW anniversary party that took place last Thursday on their Irvine campus, and their report is now posted. It sounds like quite the event -- lots of free food and beer, head honchos regaling employees with their tales of the early days, and Rob Pardo suggesting that just like geek culture helped define this game, this game might help define geek culture going forward.

The picture gallery included with the piece is a good browse, too -- you can see all of the Blizzard heavyweights hanging out together, and the great spread set up on the campus. The Register's also been asking Blizzard about their memories of the game -- they've got more memories from Samwise, launch day stories from Shane Dabiri, and some thoughts from Pardo and Frank Pearce (who, strangely enough, at first didn't believe that Blizzard belonged in a hardcore niche market like MMO gaming -- he didn't want to make "a game that never ended," he says). All good stuff. Congrats once again to Blizzard on five years, good to see they celebrated in style.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Galleries

Potential character model revisions in Cataclysm

WoW's fifth anniversary and the interviews surrounding it have ended up providing us with some previously-unknown tidbits of information -- which is a good thing, especially when it comes to stuff we've been wanting to hear about for a long time.

This particular tidbit comes from the Warcry network interview with J. Allen Brack and Samwise Didier about the game's anniversary, and it's about a subject near and dear to our constantly-complaining hearts: new character models. They might even be coming in Cataclysm.

Says Brack:
"Even though things would be better with new (character) models, we'd probably spark a lot of player outrage. So we've talked about giving players a choice between the classic models or the new ones, but it might not be something we want to take on at the same time as we remake Azeroth."
That's pretty big news.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Cataclysm

Samwise's best memory of the last five years of WoW

Our good friends over at the Orange Country Register have jumped in on the fifth anniversary interview extravanganza, and they've posted information from a short chat with none other than Samwise Didier, Blizzard's primary artist. They asked Samwise for a crazy memory from the last five years, and he came up with a time when he was rolling through a Pollo Loco drive-through, and the guy behind the window called him out by name and said he "liked your show." Which show? Didier is of course the lead singer of TAFKAL80ETC, a.k.a. The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Blizzard's in-house rock band. Pretty awesome that a video game artist is now literally a rock star thanks to this game.

The OC Register (don't call it that -- did you think I'd get through a post about them without saying that?) is also looking for memories from fans as well to be printed in their paper -- you can jump in the comments on their site and share some memories of your own. We'll also be celebrating the game's fifth anniversary here on WoW.com, so stay tuned around November 23rd for a nice look back at where this gigantic game has accomplished in the past five years.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Blizzard announces holiday card contest

Blizzard has made it a holiday tradition to release a holiday card every year (usually drawn by Samwise), but this year they're putting a little twist on it. They're running a contest asking the potential artists among you to submit your own original Blizzard-themed holiday card. Download their template, fill it up with Diablo, Starcraft, or Warcraft-related holiday art (no Lost Vikings or Rock N' Roll Racing art, apparently), submit it on the contest page before December 7th, and you can win a whole slew of prizes from Blizzard and Razer, including a mouse, keyboard, and headset, as well as a signed copy of Blizzard's 2009 holiday card from Samwise himself.

So artists, get to, um, "art"-ing! We can't wait to see your rendition of Deathwing as Santa Claus, Kerrigan as the Mrs., and a whole tribe of Fallen Ones standing in for the little elves.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Contests, Lore, NPCs, Fan art

Samwise does guest strip for Penny Arcade


The webcomics community seems like a pretty cool bunch, specially when they all pitch in and help each other out. One of my favorite webcomics, PvP Online, often features guest artists to fill in for creator Scott Kurtz when he's away at some convention or just down with some bad bug. Just recently, he coralled the immensely talented Ramón Pérez, the genius behind Kukuburi, to do a guest strip while he was down with the flu.

That's nice, you say, but what's this got to do with World of Warcraft? Well, see, Gabe from Penny Arcade (aka creator Mike Krahulik's alter ego) apparently picked up some kind of bad bug during their PAX or Penny Arcade Expo, and some well-known comic folks such as Bill Amend and Kris Straub stepped in to help. The highlight is that World of Warcraft's art director, Samwise Didier, the man largely responsible for the look and feel of many of Blizzard's games also pitched in his contribution.

It has nothing to do with our favorite game, but it's freaking Samwise doing a freaking Penny Arcade strip! I mean, I don't really have to explain why I'm posting this, right? One of our favorite WoW icons doing a guest strip on one of our favorite webcomics (that occasionally tackles WoW) is so full of win it almost makes Saurfang cry. These sort of crossovers are so cool, you almost wish these webcomic creators would get sick more often. Ok, not really, but you know what I mean.

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

Sons of the Storm to appear at BlizzCon, unveil another member


The Sons of the Storm is a kind of artists' collective connected with Blizzard -- they're responsible for the majority of the concept and game art coming out of Blizzard, from the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series. They count Samwise Didier and Chris Metzen in their ranks, along with many of Blizzard's most popular artists. And apparently their ranks are growing -- on their latest website update, they have posted a new group picture, along with a mysterious "eighth son" that they say they will introduce sometime later, possibly months after BlizzCon. From left on the picture above, you can see Samwise Dider, Chris Metzen, René Koiter, Travis Thammer, Glenn Rane, Peter Lee, Mark Gibbons, and the Eighth Son, who a commenter over at Blizzplanet speculates may be Wei Wang.

Speaking of BlizzCon, the Sons site also says that all of the seven current sons will be signing at the convention, so be sure to bring your TCG cards, Warcraft novels, art books and anything else these guys may have worked on. We're sure there'll be a line, but if you're willing to brave the wait, you might get to meet some of the most creative minds behind Blizzard's beloved universes.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Galleries, BlizzCon, Fan art, WoW TCG

Laguna Art Museum hosts WoW art exhibit


Chris Caesar of the Orange County Register got to check out Blizzard's newest exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA, and as you can see above, is niiiiiice. The exhibition centers around the art of World of Warcraft, and is called "WoW: An Emerging Media Phenomenon," offering up fourteen different artists' takes on the wide world of Azeroth. And it comes with swag, apparently: you pay for a certain package to come visit the show, and all the packages, starting at "Lvl 30" for $15 all the way up to "Lvl 80" for $125, come with free stuff, from an illustrated "exhibition manual" to free t-shirts and a copy of "The Art of the Trading Card Game."

The event runs through October 4th, so if you're planning to spend some extra time wandering around southern California for BlizzCon, we're sure they'd love to see you (in fact, we wouldn't put it past them to have scheduled this event specifically around BlizzCon -- sneaky art museum types). And finally, they're also hosting a series of panels from different artists in the exhibit, all discussing how a digital game like World of Warcraft has affected their art. You can check out some of the art in the show over in the Register's gallery -- with art from the TCG, the official game art, and even some student work, it looks like they've got a whole bunch of great work on display.

Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blood Elves, NPCs, BlizzCon, Fan art

BlizzCast episode 6 available for download

The 6th episode of BlizzCast was posted today, and though it contains very little WoW-specific information, the podcast still contains a ton of information general Blizzard fans would like to hear. When listening to it, keep in mind that it wasn't recorded in the last few days or anything like that, it's a few weeks old at least. They mention Wrath of the Lich King still being in beta testing and Sylvanas' custom model hadn't yet been implemented, for example.

Their guests this time around are Lead Tools Programmer Monte Krol, Senior Art Director Samwise Didier, Lead Game Designer Dustin Browder, and senior artist for Diablo III Anthony Rivero. That lineup of guests really offers up a cool look at the early design and development of Blizzard games, and the guests actually offer a little insight into just how you can start working for Blizzard yourselves. They also have another installment of their Q&A portion with various developers.

Starcraft and Diablo fans will find the gameplay information in this BlizzCast more interesting than people who are exclusively WoW players. As always, BlizzCast is available for download through the official website (EU has it as well), iTunes, or you can read the transcript right on their website.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Interviews

Blizzard helps host art show at Laguna College of Art and Design


The Laguna College of Art and Design has worked pretty closely with Blizzard in the past -- some of Blizzard's employees are on faculty there, and they've sent artists over to work with students before. They've also put on art shows there, and this week, they're putting on another one. The exhibit will open on October 1st and last through the rest of the month, and they're having a reception event on October 23rd (it's open to the public, and you can bet that there will be more than a few Blizzard artists there to say hi to).

Sounds like fun. Here's a slideshow of student art scheduled to be in the show -- none of it looks to be strictly Warcraft-related, but there is a little Blizzard flavor in a few of them (especially this one, I think). It all looks well done -- maybe we'll see some of this stuff exhibited at BlizzCon as well. If you're in the area and you do go see it, make sure to tell us what you think.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Fan art

Ask a Lore Nerd: Portals, pandaren, and Jaina Proudmoore

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Let's get this party started with Lionheart's question...

What is that barred off instance looking portal thing in Stormwind, by Old Town? Were the gates once open?

There are actually two of these in Stormwind. Neither of them were ever open, they're relics of unfinished projects. One is a closed off little guarded island in the Canals. That one was going to be the Stormwind Vault, probably a dungeon like Arcatraz or the upcoming Violet Hold in Dalaran. Probably.

There's also the barred off one at the end of the Canals, right down the way from that one. This is probably the one you're referring to, I'm going to guess? I don't think we've gotten a real answer on this was supposed to be, but it was probably going to be the portal to player housing. They actually did start work on player housing at one point, but never got far. There are relics of it in the game files. Half completed houses/structures, things like that. They all use the Stormwind motif for their appearance, and they would have to put it somewhere. Through this portal is a safe bet.

thinice asked...

Jaina Proudmoore and Arthas. Any chance they'll hook up against in the future? What are the details of their history together?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Death Knight, Ask a Lore Nerd

"I am Murloc" gets rocked already


Well that didn't take long. Despite the song only being announced yesterday,"I am Murloc" has been 5-starred on Expert, and you can see the video above to prove it. You can also see the notes they've chosed -- as a veteran of all three Guitar Hero games (and a current owner of Rock Band, though "Green Grass" is giving me trouble on Expert), I have to say that it looks pretty simple, especially compared to some of the other songs in GH3. It is too bad that they used the normal Guitar Hero 3 singer, too, and not a virtual version of Samwise.

If you want something a little tougher, head down after the jump to see a hacked custom version of "I am Murloc" for Guitar Hero 2. The phrasing on that one seems to fit much more, and it seems to work a little better than the official version that got released in the latest game.

Read more →

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

L70ETC music video contest winners announced

Back in April, Blizzard announced a contest to direct your own music video in machinima form to accompany Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain's new song Rogues Do It From Behind. Three Grand Prize Winners would get an 8GB iPod Touch and five First Place winners would get a G15 Logitech keyboard and a signed copy of the World of Warcraft Battlechest.

They've just announced the winners, and you can see all of the winning videos on the official WoW website. I have to say, I don't find most of the winners particularly interesting. They're quality videos, and probably exactly what Blizzard was looking for in a L70ETC music video, but they're not really my style. I tend to enjoy the music videos that are a little more... out there, and don't just show the band members' faces for five minutes. Something happening throughout, with a little less glam or random filler shots. Dayetriper of Nathrezim has a little of that at the very end, but you need to sit through almost the whole thing before seeing it. That's only my personal taste, though. The quality on most of these videos is still very good. After all, they won the thing, and I really couldn't do any better I'm sure.

I enjoyed the video from Naje of Stormreaver, out of all of the glam-filled winners. The scenery and camera work pulled me into the video a little more than the others. You can view that one directly above, or head over to the official page to see them all.

[ Thanks to MMO-Champ for the vimeo upload! ]

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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