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Posts with tag art

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history
If you like the art that Blizzard creates for its games (and really, how can you not?), then you should get yourself a copy of The Art of Blizzard, a new hardcover that surveys the past 20 years of Blizzard's development in art. Covering the origin of the studio and its development with more than 800 illustrations and commentary from Nick Carpenter (vice president of art and cinematic development), Samwise Didier (senior art director) and Chris Metzen (senior vice president of story and franchise development -- and you seriously should probably know this guy already), it promises to have something for the dedicated fan or the fan of art and illustration. As Blizzard themselves put it:
This epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights celebrates the company's genesis, granting readers access to the inception and development of Blizzard's blockbusters and offering a never-before-seen look into some of Blizzard's unpublished projects.

I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I can't draw worth beans, but I love me some art.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

The bounty of Cataclysm

The Bounty of Cataclysm
I wasn't fond of Cataclysm when it launched. Not because of its zones or its story, both of which I probably like more than almost anyone. My major problem on Cataclysm's launch was that I was generally solo, having to use Dungeon Finder for my dungeon runs. The rest of the folks I was guilded with weren't on at the same time I was, and that meant I had to try and tank the new dungeons (with their emphasis on CC that no one wanted to remember how to do) and then the new dungeons on heroic, with all sorts of instant-kill mechanics that were completely avoidable and which no one wanted to avoid.

Pugging these dungeons as a tank in groups full of people conditioned by Wrath heroics was like placing my genitalia in a garbage disposal, except you can generally only do that once. I ran these dungeons repeatedly. It was not pleasant. By the time I was geared enough to tank the new raids, I was so bitter and hated Cataclysm as an expansion so much that my friends and colleagues (many of whom were lucky enough to have dedicated groups running these dungeons, not being forced to pug as I was) thought I'd gone frothing, barking-mad insane. I tanked in tier 11, but I had no desire to do so; I merely did it out of obligation.

What this meant was that I missed out on getting to enjoy those dungeons. The difficulty of getting groups to avoid Corborus' burrowing, the inevitable fallout of blaming and group disintegration cost me several months when I could have been admiring how well laid-out these dungeons were, looking over their art and enjoying the mechanics on a technical level. There were a lot of cool fights I spent my time gritting my teeth through, a lot of dungeons I endured due to their tuning. It's one of the reasons I like going back and tanking them now.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What are the telling details you love in the game?

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I wasn't sold on the Bilgewater Goblins initially. When they and the worgen were announced in the run-up to Cataclysm, I had to wonder if there was any compelling reason to play what felt like a green gnome over a badass werewolf. (Yes, I was young and foolish in those days.) That changed quickly when I hit the beta and found them to be a hopelessly endearing race despite (or perhaps because of) their fairly amoral approach to life. I loved the little details in their towns, from the empty Chinese take-out boxes scattered around their inns to the little dinghies that fly underpants in place of flags.

Credit where credit's due -- most of this is the work of the Blizzard props team. These folks are also the reasons that Gilneas is so magnificently creepy, with its creaky windows, flapping sheets, and papers drifting across lonely towns. What little details do you particularly enjoy about the race you play as a main?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who is that guy in the tapestry?

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I was doing my weekly blast through Karazhan for transmog purposes when I noticed that tapestry in the screenshot. Who is that guy? Is that guy Medivh? The same tapestry is hanging in Medivh's bedchamber if you go up and check it out, so it would kind of make sense, but I don't recall Medivh rocking the bare-chested look.

Seriously, all that guy needs is a big gold medallion and a panel van.

There are actually quite a few such portraits of various people in various places in WoW. I recall paintings in BRD, a portrait or two in Stratholme, various and sundry in Stormwind ... It makes me wonder who these portraits are of and who makes all of them. I kind of wish I could get a game portrait of my characters -- but of course, since I don't have any place to put it, that would be kind of meaningless. Then again, with the amount of time I spend in Karazhan, I could almost say I live there.

What about you? Seen any strange or interesting art lately in game?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite Blizzard art?

Blizzard hires some of the finest artists in the land to do its designs, concept art, world building, and settings. It's no surprise, then, that I adore the World of Warcraft concept art and am always delighted to see just how close in substance and style that the art team got in translating an image into a finished product. Suffice to say, Blizzard concept art is some of the best in the business.

One of my favorite art pieces from the original World of Warcraft was a crashed zeppelin image that just always stuck with me. While my art book isn't next to me, I remember cracking open the book or at least a website and seeing that shot, analyzing it, looking at that little scale dude at the bottom. I have no idea what about the image is awesome to me. Maybe because the image eventually came back in spirit in the Cataclysm cinematic when that zeppelin over Orgrimmar hits one of the central buildings.

That being said, we have not seen the concept art for the newest mount to hit the pet store, the Heart of the Aspects. I'm willing to bet it's pretty cool, and I want to see it. Which pieces of Blizzard concept art are your favorites? Let's show off our favorite Blizzard art pieces.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard wants you to Ask the Artists this BlizzCon

BlizzCon thunders towards us like some great thundering thing. This year, BlzzCon will include a chance for you to ask questions on the forums and have them answered at the convention.

BlizzCon: Ask the Artists - Zarhym
At this year's BlizzCon we have a stage dedicated to featuring Blizzard artists of all disciplines and styles, from Glenn Rane (Digital Painting, Creative Development) to Samwise Didier (Traditional Drawing, StarCraft II). Whether you're attending the event or watching from home, we're giving you the opportunity to ask a question of the artists in this thread. All you have to do is list the discipline and/or category below which best fits your art-related question and ask away. If selected, your inquiry will be read and answered live from the Artist Stage at BlizzCon!

Head over
to the BlizzCon forums for a list of disciplines and categories including 3D modeling, trading card art, Cinematic Matte Painting and my personal favorite, Environment Concepts. I'd love to hear about the design process for WoW zones or the new Diablo III.


Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup cohosted by Wowhead, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Events, News items, BlizzCon

Around Azeroth: Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

With notably rare exceptions, encounters between seafaring vessels and giant octopi always end well. Sparcle of The Seekers of Truth on Farstriders (US-A) managed to get stuck out on the deck of a gnomish submarine right before it impacted with an angry cephalopod. The most important question here is, "Why does a submarine manned by gnomes have a door-opening wheel 10 feet above the deck?"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Please include "Azeroth" in the subject line so your email doesn't get marked as spam, and include your name, guild and server if you want to be credited.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Blizzard updates Cataclysm and leaders art galleries

Blizzard has updated the Cataclysm and leaders art galleries with a few new shots featuring an awesome picture of Genn Greymane all wolfed out, a moody shot of Gilneas, and a familiar shot of goblins taking on a worgen.

The galleries are always a source of awesome art, and it's nice to see them getting updates more and more these days, even from expansions past. Most recently, Blizzard updated the Wrath of the Lich King art gallery with some cool shots.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Golden State Pops Orchestra exhibits art of World of Warcraft

If you're going to be around the San Pedro, California, area between April 7-9, the Golden State Pops Orchestra is proud to announce the Art of World of Warcraft, a showing of WoW artwork provided by Blizzard. The show will be open during the San Pedro First Thursday Walk as well as Saturday the 9th. WoW art exhibits are really awesome, especially when you get to see the high-quality prints of the game's concept art. It's a lot of fun.

Check out all of the details on the Golden State Pops Orchestra website.

Filed under: Blizzard

Blizzard updates Wrath art gallery with familiar vistas

The Wrath of the Lich King art gallery has been updated with six awesome shots of clean artwork that features familiar locales and loading screens. Art from the Pit of Saron, Eye of Eternity, Forge of Souls, Wintergrasp, and Trial of the Crusader are available for ocular enjoyment.

The art for Wrath of the Lich King has always been some of my favorite concept art because of how easily the look and feel of the pieces convey what the entire expansion and Northrend itself was supposed to be. Success, indeed. Check out the gallery here.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Blizzard

New art available for viewing at Blizzard's website

Hey, you! Yes, you -- dude sitting on the stained couch watching Family Feud and eating Cheetos. Need a little bit of high culture in your life? (And no, rewatching Once More, With Feeling doesn't count.)

WoW Insider may not be able to send you to the Louvre, and I'm not sure our legal department is okay with us reprinting the works of Maya Angelou. What we can do, however, is forward you along to some great new art just released at the Blizzard website. Specifically, there are three new pieces from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion: the Wrath box art, a piece called "Boneyard," and a piece called "Winter Tauren." They all show off the incredible level of talent of Blizzard's art department.

While you're there, be sure to page through the gallery and enjoy all the pieces of older concept art, too. They provide some great insight into how ideas transition from mere thoughts in an artist's head to a miserable, frustrating 5-man instance like The Oculus.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Does WoW light your creative fires?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

On this fine snowy morning of -12 degrees, I find myself writing an article for WoW Insider. If you had asked me a year or two before, I would have told you that's preposterous: I didn't think I had much in common with other players, and I certainly didn't have the confidence to put anything in front of the masses. I was learning the ropes, leveling, asking questions, not sure what I was supposed to do when the game was "over." I didn't utilize sites such as this; back then, I didn't venture much further than Thottbot.

Yet here I am today, with a few high-level characters, raiding, and I am writing this article. I've dabbled in a few other games since first playing WoW, and each of them has sparked my imagination and opened various creative passage ways. I found myself wanting to start a fan-fiction, which then grew into something even bigger. I always loved writing but never thought I would go anywhere with it. I guess I just needed the right inspiration.

There is a whole feature on WoW Insider (World of WarCrafts) about people who have been inspired by WoW to do great things. How about you? Have you started writing a comic strip, fan-fiction, a novel, created videos, or furthered another hobby? Have you done something you never thought possible because you were inspired by WoW or another game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite World of Warcraft fan art or media?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With the massive number of players logging in every day to WoW, there's an equally expansive amount of art and media coming from that player base. Very few games have ever brought out such a community of creative minds showing the rest of us their vision of a fantasy world. From machinima to custom WoW dolls (I mean action figures -- right, guys?), to Horde/Alliance-themed cakes, there are a ton of different venues for artists of all varieties to express their passion for the game.

I've just recently begun to start watching WoW-based machinima and have discovered there are quite a few masterpieces out there from people who seem talented enough to write or direct feature films. After the Cataclysm launch, I'm going to start an ongoing fan fiction story about a rogue and what his life is like after Deathwing ravages Azeroth. It should be plum full of adventures and high jinks! Although I'd love to include custom artwork with that story, my drawing skill ends at stick figures, so I'll have to use to screen shots.

Out of all the different art, videos, and other "warcrafts," are there any you'd like to participate in? Or maybe you already check out great fan art, make custom troll outfits for cosplay, or bake cupcakes shaped like murlocs. What are your favorites?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Reader UI of the Week: Sewell's UI


Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, spotlighting the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@wow.com.

The end is nigh! The world will break! Flee, cowards, for his fiery reign of death will be upon us soon! The only way to combat this most heinous evil is to gaze upon some pretty neat, reader-submitted user interfaces. Deathwing will have no chance against our smooth bottom panels and the lack of clutter on our screens.

This week, Reader UI of the Week takes a look at Sewell's user interface, which uses some awesome art to give his UI a familiar but more productive look. Reminiscent of the original art or even Warcraft 3 taken in a cool, different direction, Sewell's UI is crisp, clean and full of flavor. If you like art panels, today is for you.

Read more →

Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

BlizzCon 2010: Charity silent auction

Blizzard is holding a silent auction at BlizzCon to support Child's Play, the charity started by Penny Arcade to help sick children. Up for auction are signed artwork, a signed NOObz marine and actual WoW server hardware. See the gallery below for the items on which attendees are bidding.


BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

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