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Posts with tag Thassarian

Lichborne: Death knights in Hearthstone

It looks like patch 5.4 is more or less solidified for death knights. There was an expected nerf to Howling Blast, but it's pretty much universally seen as a good thing, as it prevented the ability from becoming so strong it made using Obliterate practically worthless. There was another buff to Soul Reaper as well, which should make it strong enough to justify using for patch 5.4. Overall, while patch 5.4's death knight class fixes have very obviously been band aids, quick and dirty adjustments to the usual suspects, they work from what they need to do and should leave us viable until the inevitable patch 6.0 overhauls.

With that in mind, I thought we'd take a break from the class analysis this week and talk about something near and dear to my heart, Hearthstone. Death Knight, alas, was one of those classes that did not get their own hero in the base game, so I figured it might be fun to brainstorm what a death knight Hearthstone deck might look like. It could be the perfect thing for an expansion, anyway.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Divining the direction of death knight lore in Pandaria

Forsaken Death Knight in Ebon Hold
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Let's face it: We had it pretty good in Wrath. Since that expansion was our grand debut, we were everywhere. We had an opening experience where we connected with our origin and found out that our own factions, for obvious reasons, barely trusted us. We were instrumental to the battle in Northrend, doing things other factions wouldn't do, with a clear goal of destroying those who wronged us. We were perfect tragic figures with some robust story and great characters in the form of Thassarian, Crok Scourgebane, and Darion Mograine, among others.

In Cataclysm, things have been, to say the least, a little bit sparser. With Arthas dead, do death knights have a purpose in lore anymore, or are we just around because it'd be sort of silly to remove the class and have everyone reroll? I tend to think death knights are still a pretty interesting and dynamic class, story-wise, and this week, we'll look at where we are at the end of Cataclysm and where our story might go in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Know Your Lore: Scholomance revisited

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.

On a lone island located in the middle of Darrowmere Lake it sits, the remnants of the keep of Caer Darrow. The history of this isle dates all the way back to the high elves of Quel'Danas, who used the site as the location of one of many runestones the quel'dorei used. But the history of this isle has been lost in the face of far more recent history -- the history of the noble Barov family and their downfall, the history of a school dedicated to horrors the rest of Azeroth would rather forget.

During the Second War, the ancient site was invaded by the Horde, who took the runestone and broke it into pieces that were taken to create Altars of Storms. And some time after that, the Barov line came to own the property, as well as several others across Lordaeron. The Barovs, however, were not content with their mass amounts of land -- they wanted to make sure they held that land and their fortune for as long as possible. And so they struck a deal with a powerful mage, one who could easily give them all they asked and more ... for a price.

The mage's name was Kel'Thuzad.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Saturday, what a day


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mathew McCurley will be your host today.

Those were some adorable kittens Sacco posted, huh? Yay, it's Saturday! After this Queue I'm going to one of my favorite places for lunch, and I am eagerly awaiting some delicious spicy orange chicken lunch special. Mmmmm ... Stay on task, Mat! Stay on target!

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Filed under: The Queue

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

Sneak peek at Tokyopop's Death Knight manga


Not long after Tokyopop announced its 2010 schedule, which actually includes a late 2009 release, BlizzPlanet unveiled scans from the first chapter of Dan Jolley and Rocio Zucchi's World of Warcraft: Death Knight. The story features Thassarian, an NPC first encountered in Ebon Hold and later in the Alliance airship flying above Icecrown. Jolley delves deeper into Thassarian's past, telling his history as a human Alliance soldier with dreams of rising through the ranks but who eventually becomes ensnared under the Lich King's employ.

Intended to give insight into the different World of Warcraft classes, the Death Knight manga is the first of a series of class-focused full-length stories. Rocio Zucchi is a 22-year old Argentinian female manga artist, and her work on this book is simply sensational, if the first pages are any indication. Jolley employs a lot of flashbacks in the preview, and Zucci handles the storytelling transitions deftly. The book hits the shelves on December 1, 2009, and if you enjoyed Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft universe, Death Knight looks to be an equally entertaining read.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Comics

Tokyopop announces 2010 schedule for Warcraft manga


If you're a fan of Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft -- I know I certainly am -- then you should be excited to know that the line-up for 2010 has been announced. The first series from Tokyopop was the Sunwell trilogy, written by Richard Knaak and drawn expertly by Kim Jae-Hwan. It dealt with the events of the Sunwell and featured characters prominent in the game such as Kalecgos and Anveena Teague. The second series was called World of Warcraft: Legends, a recently concluded five-volume affair that uniquely told various stories of Azeroth's lesser-known folks.

For 2010, Tokyopop plans to kick off class-based stories starting with the popular Death Knight, featuring Thassarian, the first Death Knight to rejoin the Alliance. According to BlizzPlanet, this full-volume comic written by Dan Jolley and drawn by Rocio Zucchi is slated for December 2010 although they probably mean this coming December, 2009. This will be followed by World of Warcraft: Mage, written by Richard Knaak and drawn by an as-yet-unrevealed artist, which will be available on June 7, 2010. Would Knaak + Mage mean more Rhonin? I certainly hope not -- I think we've just about had enough of the super-heroic, time-traveling, ultra-powerful Mage who actually taught Illidan Stormrage how to use magic (don't ask). Rhonin is kind of like the Chuck Norris of Mages.

The most curious of the three volumes is World of Warcraft: Shaman, which is due for a "late 2010" release. Blizzard works closely with Tokyopop for all its manga, and all the stories are considered canon (Trag Highmountain even made it into the game). The Shaman book is rumored to be Cataclysm-related, although it's a good bet that the game's third expansion will be out by late 2010. There is no official word yet on who will write or draw the comic, but I personally enjoyed Tokyopop Warcraft editor Troy Lewter's stories in Legends so much that I look forward to him writing a full-volume comic. How about Carlos Olivares for the art? I appreciated his unique, almost whimsical style in Legends. He also draws wonderful Goblins, whom as we all know can roll Shamans in the next expansion. As always, stay tuned to WoW.com as we bring you the latest on Tokyopop's Warcraft manga.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

Lichborne: Emblem of Triumph Gear for Death Knights


Welcome to Lichborne, your look into the issues of the moment for the death knight class.

Ah, Emblems of Triumph, the new hotness. Even if you're not running the coliseum, you still have chance to grab them in the heroic daily, and by now, surely most of us have at least had the opportunity to save up enough to buy something. Deciding what to buy, however, is a whole different question. Let's take a look at the badge loot and see what's in it for a death knight.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The future of Death Knight lore in Cataclysm

With Patch 3.2 now live, and Death Knights probably the most extensively changed class, at least in terms of the Frost and Unholy trees, we've all been waited with bated breath to see exactly how things are shaking down. The answer from my point of view, is simply that life goes on. Death Knight tanks are still tanking, Death Knight DPSers are still DPSing. Anecdotally, I've been having great success and have been churning out respectable DPS as Unholy on a few heroic dungeon marathons since the path dropped, and while I definitely miss Unholy Blight, I've adjusted to tanking without it too.

We may need a few more weeks and a few more parses to see where things truly sit, but I stand by most of what I've written on the subject lately. We could use a few tweaks (I'm still wondering if we'll see a Scourge Strike buff before Cataclysm, but I'm hopeful), but we'll be fine. That said, since we'll still be waiting a few weeks, I thought it might be fun to do some speculation about the next expansion. And I don't mean new talents, new levels, new skills, that sort of thing. What I've been thinking about lately is the lore.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

BlizzCon 2009: Tokyopop creates stories about the little guys

While wandering about the floor at BlizzCon, I stopped over at the TokyoPop Manga booth and spoke a bit with editor Troy Lewter, who we've talked to before.. Currently, the big series they write for the world of Azeroth is the Warcraft Legends series, which is on its 4th volume with a 5th due out next month.

Talking with Troy and other members of the Tokyopop team at the booth, what I was most struck with was the passion for the work and the universes of Blizzard's games that they display, and, perhaps more importantly, to the art and stories they tell.

Troy laid out three important concepts that they follow in creating the mangas: Telling a solid story, focusing on a few characters, and cross-pollinating with other forms of media.

In telling a solid story, the aim is to create the story such that you don't need to rely on the Warcraft world and characters, per se. In short, even if the story wasn't about Thrall or Varian or the Scarlet Crusade or anything else, you could still connect with the characters themselves.

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Filed under: Lore, RP, Interviews, Comics

Dan Jolley talks about TOKYOPOP's Death Knight manga

Things have been a little bit quiet on the manga front, but not for long. Warcraft Legends editor Troy Lewter has pinned down Dan Jolley, writer for the forthcoming Thassarian-centric volume Warcraft: Death Knight, and posted the interview with him on the official TOKYOPOP site.

To be fair, the interview is not as focused on the manga as the one we did with Jolley a couple of months ago but it does look at how writing for the anthology volumes of the series compare with a longer story. Lewter also quizzes Jolley about how he got into the business and the last question about sharks and bears is also worth the read alone.

For those waiting on the release of Warcraft: Death Knight, it might give some new insight into how manga happens. Don't forget, you can also check out our interviews with both Dan Jolley and Troy Lewter.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Interviews, Death Knight, Comics

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 set names


Even though Blizzard already said that they'd be introducing a whole new set (or sets) of tier gear, it's still a little overwhelming to see information for Tier 9 gear considering that Tier 8-8.5 has only recently been unleashed with Patch 3.1 and Ulduar. Still, Patch 3.2 looks like some ways off and we can't get too excited about the Call of the Crusade just yet.

As soon as the PTR went live yesterday, Alex and Adam scrambled to put together a whopper gallery of Tier 9 gear which might've overwhelmed the whole lot of us who were all too eager to find out what goodies are in store with the new patch. While a lot of things can still change now until the patch goes live, we do know a few things. Check out the Tier 9 sets in the gallery below, which has been re-organized by class and spec (because we love you all that much), and let's take a look at the Tier 9 sets after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Lore

Death Knight Manga to be released December 2009

Via Blizzplanet, we have news of yet another Warcraft graphic novel coming to us from Tokyopop in December 2009. This time, the story will focus on Thassarian, a Human Death Knight NPC in World of Warcraft.

If you've played a Death Knight or an Alliance character in Northrend, chances are you know of Thassarian. He first shows up in game as a thrall of the Lich King, but even as he assists in the slaughter of the Scarlet Crusade, he shows a noble spirit that even the Lich King's control can't completely suppress.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Comics

Ask a Beta Tester: Lordaeron, epic quests, and other things


Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! Let's get things started with Chris's question...

I really enjoy the Epic quest in Nagrand to bring Thrall to meet his grandmother. Is there anything like that in Wrath where you have to complete all the quests in one zone before you get an epic quest to complete?

Well, there are a lot of quest chains. Maybe not that long, but certainly not less epic. That doesn't mean the chains are short, either. They just don't necessarily require completing every other quest in the zone. Some of the stories start the moment you step into a zone and last straight through until you're ready to leave it again, but there are plenty of other quests you do on the way. They're less of a prize for 'beating the zone' and more an everpresent story.

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Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask A Beta Tester: Death Knights, bears, and buckets

Welcome back to another edition of Ask A Beta Tester! I've stolen the reins from Elizabeth and Alex for a day, so let's get into last week's comments and get some questions answered.

Death Knights:

Multiple people had lots of questions about Death Knights, so I'm just going to list a bunch of them and then delve into what's going on: How Customizable are Death Knights? Do they get unique skintones, or unique racials?

As to Death Knight Customization, the big difference they have right now are glowing blue eyes for every race. You can see that in action in our Death Knight racial gallery. Unfortunately, I think the Blue Eyes look sort of pasted on for most races, so I'm hoping they keep tweaking that to make them look more natural. We've also been promised different sounding emotes -- every Death Knight will have a deeper, sepulchral voice.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Expansions, Factions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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