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Posts with tag books

Cataclysm novel slated for August, 2010

While it may or may not hint to the release date of the next expansion, a listing on Amazon has pegged the release of a hardcover novel by award-winning author Christie Golden entitled World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm. While that might seem like one colon too many (insert snickering here), the self-explanatory title actually sounds pretty cool. What sounds uncool, however, is that it's a prelude. Meaning before.

If you're reading into this as much as I am (generally not a good idea), that could mean that the Cataclysm expansion will ship after August 31. After all, you'd think that Blizzard's marketing team would want a book that reveals what happens before the Cataclysm to actually launch before the expansion hits, right?

Well, not really. The Arthas book, which focuses on the Lich King, was released long after Wrath broke out. In short, the novels follow a completely different schedule from the game even though they all share the same lore. So I made you fret over absolutely nothing! You didn't fall for it? Ok, so I made myself fret over absolutely nothing. The book is available for pre-order at $26 on Amazon and should be chock-full of lore and hopefully explain a lot of what will change during the expansion.

Considering how a lot of people (well, okay, at least Alex and Daniel) geeked out over Golden's Arthas novel, this book promises to be a good read. At any rate, we can probably expect it to be free of super-powerful, hackneyed, Mary Sue-ish, self-projected characters like time-traveling dudes who shack up with the hottest girl or multi-racial scions who can wield all kinds of magic. I mean, it's a freaking black dragon, man. It's kind of hard to mess up something innately awesome as that.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Cataclysm

World of Warcraft and Philosophy now on sale

Is your raid leader Machiavellian? Is it a categorical imperative to torture that Beryl Sorceror? What would Nietzsche have thought of Leeroy Jenkins?

Good questions! And now we can find out. Following in the footsteps of books dealing with philosophies in other popular game titles like Legend of Zelda, Luke Cuddy and John Nordlinger recently released World of Warcraft and Philosophy. The book deals with topics like ethics, economics, gender identity, metaphysics, and more, written by philosophers and gamers alike from around the globe. Heck, even role-playing and cybering are the subject of discussion, along with the Infected Blood plague and lots of other well-known WoW topics.

The reviews seem to indicate that the book's a brisk, fun read, but who knows what the game's twelve-million-strong audience will actually like or appreciate. After all, to paraphrase Yeats, Azerothians are babes in philosophy and so prefer faction-fighting to the labor of its unfamiliar thought.

Those who do want to stack their Int, though, can pick up the book at Amazon or other bookstores now.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, News items

[1.Local]: In which He-Man and Eddie get pwned


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.

Sometimes it's the smallest details that people grow attached to. Take, for instance, this note that came in on the news tip line from a dejected reader named Brian. Brian and his compatriots are lamenting a dearly departed Battlemaster - one who seemed strangely reminiscent of a certain Eternian prince.

Subject: Adam Eternum is MISSING

Some time around patch 3.2, all the Battlemasters in Shattrath were changed. Gone is Adam Eternum, with his smashing magical loincloth and Gnome sidekick.

Instead we have, as a royally ticked-off guildie puts it (after having downed several stiff drinks in despair), "Shome Draenei hussy ... hic!"


My guild here on Ysera, at least, has gone into mourning.

Oh where, oh where has Prince Adam has gone? Find out what else readers have been mourning or celebrating this week - plus peek at an internal WoW.com team e-mail in which Hunter columnist Eddie Carrington gets soundly pwned - after the break.

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

Pocket Books releases signing schedule for BlizzCon

Our friends at Blizzplanet have posted the official Pocket Books signing schedule for BlizzCon -- both Richard Knaak and Christie Golden will be live in attendance and signing throughout the weekend, and you can find the full schedule after the break. Both Knaak and Golden have written popular Warcraft novels, so bring your copies and you might walk away with them signed.

As far as I know, this is the first sign of a schedule we've seen for the convention. Blizzard usually does announce a schedule of panels and events a few days ahead of time (and of course, when you get your packet there at the door, there's a program with the full schedule inside), but they usually cut it pretty close. As of this writing, eight days until showtime, there is no official schedule yet posted on the site.

But this will give you at least one thing to plan on seeing (and we can tell you for sure that Friday morning will be the official keynote, with Saturday evening being the Ozzy show, if the way they've done it in the past is any indication). And as long as you're making a schedule up, don't forget to stop by our meetup on Thursday night -- not only will we have WoW.com staffers live in attendance, but there will be door prizes galore. More info on that soon.

Schedule after the jump.

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, BlizzCon

Richard A. Knaak, other authors will be signing at BlizzCon

Part of the fun of BlizzCon is that beyond all of the dev panels and crazy mainstage stuff going on, there's also the big convention hall full of things to see and do. All of Blizzard's licensing partners usually show up, so Upper Deck usually has games going on, FigurePrints shows off their wares, and all of the computer companies usually have some fun rigs on display. And now we've learned that, as usual, Pocket Books and TokyoPop will have booths set up, along with their usual stable of authors and artists. Richard A. Knaak has confirmed on his website that he'll be there, so if you're going, be sure to bring along your copy of War of the Ancients, and maybe you can get it signed.

Our staff is hoping for a Christie Golden appearance as well, and while she doesn't have anything about BlizzCon on the website yet (she is at ComiCon this week, though), we're presuming that she'll be there. Medievaldragon of Blizzplanet is apparently also presuming it: he's included her with Knaak in his headline about the show (see update). So hopefully she'll be around, and Ziebart and Whitcomb can take their treasured copies of Arthas over and do some fanboy groveling.

Should be excellent. We'll be doing our best to get some interviews with these folks here on the site as well, so even if you're not with us in Anaheim, you'll still get a chance to hear from some of your favorite Warcraft authors. BlizzCon ahoy!

Update: Medievaldragon has gotten back to us, and he says that he's heard from Golden herself that she'll be at BlizzCon. Get those books ready for some signin'!

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon, you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there are some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Lore, BlizzCon

Golden's Arthas delivers the lore goodness

A note from Alex Ziebart: When Simon and Schuster sent Daniel and I a pair of free, early review copies of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, we immediately went about planning how we were going to handle a 2-man review. We've been good friends for years, and one of our favorite past times is debating things like this back and forth. We rarely agree on books, and we can argue our sides until we're blue in the face. We were going to write an Alex vs Daniel knock down, drag out argument about Arthas and it was going to rule. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way.

When we finished reading the book, we got together to talk about it. It was... unsettling. We completely agreed with each other on almost every point that was raised. The high points and the low points, we were completely on the same spectrum. That's just not right. We decided that, rather than write two reviews parroting each other, we would just go with the one. Daniel's review says everything I want to say better than I could have said it, so once you read what he says, just pretend you can hear me say "Ditto" at the end. Take it away, Danny!

As WoW Insider's self-proclaimed junior lieutenant Lore Nerd, when Simon & Schuster so generously offered to send us a couple of free advanced copies of Arthas, the new World of Warcraft book by Christie Golden, I was all over that. As soon as the book showed up on my doorstep, I turned on the answering machine, grabbed a soda, popped some popcorn, curled up in my favorite chair, and pretty much read the whole thing straight through. The only breaks I took were to discuss various scenes and their ramifications for lore with Alex. And by discuss, I mean "fanboy out."

But I am being completely serious when I say, of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters. It's not a perfect book, but it's a very worthwhile read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the why and how of that big armored dude up on the Frozen Throne.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Tips on completing Higher Learning

Higher Learning is one of the most peaceful achievements in the game (all you have to do are read a few books that spawn around Dalaran), but it's no less desirable for that -- the achievement grants a miniature Arcane Elemental pet that looks awesome. Teniblue over on WoW Ladies has a few good tips if you're trying to get all edumacated in Dalaran -- she's got links to two addons (including the perfectly-named Dalaran University) to use to help you track spawn times, and she's got a link to Breanni's great guide over on WarcraftPets.com (which our own Allison R. touched on briefly in a recent OverAchiever post).

What's fun about this achievement is that reading the books won't delete them, so it can be very social -- people have created #bookclub channels on many servers to keep track of when and where books are appearing in the city. That makes it a lot more fun than the, say, cooking daily quest that sends you after mushrooms in the sewers. It actually makes this social game, well, social.

So next time you see a book sitting around the city, be sure to give a shout to the chat channel -- here's one in-game situation where everybody can benefit from a little extra chatting.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Quests, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Blizzard at the New York Comic Convention


Blizzplanet did a terrific job of covering all of the Blizzard action at the New York Comic Convention last week (none of us, unfortunately, were able to go). The best place to start is probably Medievaldragon's big roundup -- he was able to meet both Mickey Neilson as well as the man himself, Chris Metzen, and talk to them about the lore of Blizzard's various universes. He also learned more about that upcoming Arthas book, and visited the DC folks to see what's new on their front: namely an upcoming King Wrynn figure, as well as a new Night Elf Hunter and even a Ghoul figure.

He also nabbed video of all the Blizzard products floating around the convention (including those figures, very cool-looking), and a long interview with Chris Metzen and Mickey Neilson, in which we hear lots of insight about what's going on in the Starcraft and Warcraft extended universes and the lore books at Blizzard, including what's going on with Sargeras' body, Garona and her mysterious background, and a really interesting hint about what might happen to the Aspect of Magic now that Malygos is dead.

And there's a nice little hint at what's next in Warcraft: Malfurion Stormrage is the next big focus of the lore books, so that might tell you a little bit about what might happen in the game's next expansion. Big thanks to Medievaldragon for covering the NYCC -- even though we weren't able to go, it was nice to have him on site there for the whole community.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Quests, Expansions, Lore, NPCs

Interview with Dick Hill, voice of Blizzard's audiobooks

Our friend Medievaldragon has an interview up over at WorldofWar.net with Dick Hill, voice of the upcoming Warcraft audiobooks. Reading the books is a great way of catching up on old lore and new characters found in the new expansion, and considering that lots of players like to listen to books while playing (me included), these will probably end up being pretty popular.

Hill isn't a huge Warcraft fan (though his son has played a few of the games), but he is an audiobook veteran, having read over 500 books, including works by Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card, and Anne McCaffrey, so he's got the chops for sure. It'll be very interesting to see what kinds of characterizations he has come up with -- while there are some very familiar voices already from the World of Warcraft, we'll have to see if he drew the same conclusions in terms of voicing the characters as they did. He says that you can't really research a Gnome's voice, or find any recordings of Elves, but we've actually talked to both in game, some of us every day.

The first audiobook, Day of the Dragon, is due out sometime this month, with two more scheduled releases to follow next year.

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

Forum post of the day: Best LOL moment in "Wrath"

Wrath is an odd mix. It's unquestionably darker in tone than both classic WoW and Burning Crusade, but it's not hard to find funny bits and pieces scattered around. Därkseid of Deathwing, after having a disgusted murloc refuse to be rescued by him ("Ewwww, orc!") during a quest in the Borean Tundra, started a thread dedicated to peoples' favorite humorous moments so far in Wrath. All the normal world PvP events can be found here (aggroing a Storm Giant while being attacked and Feigning Death onto your enemy? Check!) but you'll also find a growing catalogue of memorable quest text and great NPC dialogue, like Akini's entry on this page.

For my money it's tough to exceed the tongue-in-cheek commentary you'll find in the books scattered around Acherus as you start a career as a Death Knight, including the one pictured above. Some of them are actually serious and give accounts of the Scourge's spying into the preparations made by the Horde and the Alliance for an assault on Northrend. Some of them, like The Death Knights of Acherus, are just hilarious, namely the entry concerning one "Harmony" whose period of service turned out to be extremely brief: "The name of this death knight was found in violation of common Scourge decency. Struck down by the Lich King." Well, Arthas, in such matters I defer to your excellent judgment.

Filed under: Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Forum Post of the Day

How to find your way to all those loved squirrels

"You love Rat." "You love Chicken." "You love Rabbit." I have to admit, before the achievements came to the game, I was a critter-killer -- I usually ended the lives of any critters I came across, because this is war and the world is no place for them. But since achievements appeared, I've gone around loving every little animal I could -- I haven't gone at To All the Squirrels I've Loved Before with a plan, just emoted towards everything I found.

But Random Ravings isn't quite as random -- they've got a terrific list of where to find every single critter you need. Only two are actually in Northrend (I thought there was more), and the rest seem to be in muliple places around the world, so it doesn't seem too bad at all. The hardest might be the wild parrot -- that one seems to be only in Un'Goro, but brave the dinos down there, find the bird, and you're all set.

Nice list. Anyone ready to head up to Borean Tundra and just grab the last two? BBR says they're also working on a list of all the books for the reading achievement -- can't wait to see (and eventually run around and do) that one either.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Fan stuff, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Breakfast topic: Fit to print

When I got my recruit a friend account it came with two lovely, full-color Bradygames guide books. Each is a 24.99 16.49 value with the Battle Chest purchase. The books have descriptions of all the races and classes. They go into some detail about the zones and many of the monsters in WoW. The guides contain tips on game play and various mechanics. I found them to be completely useless. They're outdated. They guides don't really give any tips on the nuances of the game. At times they are wildly inaccurate.

Granted, they may be helpful to brand new players, though not entirely more useful than small, black and white Game Manual that also comes in the box. As a rookie I never turned toward printed guides. I asked a lot of questions from resources like Thottbot, Petopia, and of course WoW Insider. Most of what I've learned, I've learned on the fly. The beautiful, colorful images must cost a small fortune to print. It all seems very excessive to me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Guides

Ten of our favorite Achievements


A few readers have emailed us recently asking just what kinds of things to expect in the Achievements releasing with Wrath of the Lich King later this year. There are going to be over 500 of them (with more added later), and while there are a few standard things you might expect (getting Exalted with all the reputations, exploring the world, and maxing out your character), there are lots more that are meant to do what Achievements do best: extend gameplay.

So we hunted through all the Achievements in the beta, and pulled out ten that we really liked. Not all of these are unique (for the Alterac Valley time limit one, there is actually one of those for every battleground in the game), but all of them are great examples of why you should be excited about Achievements when they hit the live realms. From the silly to the "requires a serious commitment," here are ten great Achievements we've seen in the beta.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

All the World's a Stage: Magical table, magical screen

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

As with many other people, my first experience of roleplaying was with a "tabletop" roleplaying game in high school. The older kids introduced me to Vampire: The Masquerade, and although I wasn't enthralled by the whole "bloodsucking" thing, I quickly realized that the basic activity was lots of fun, and I ended up starting my own roleplaying group with Earthdawn, a more traditional (yet surprisingly original) fantasy setting. Those games were my some of my happiest memories from high school.

In college I couldn't find many people who were interested in playing with me, and when I came to live and work in China after graduating in 2000, I thought that my roleplaying days were over for sure. You may imagine my surprise when in late 2007, I came across another foreigner here in Nanjing, discussing Dungeons and Dragons with his Chinese wife in one of my favorite restaurants. It turns out he needed another player for the group he has going here, and although his wife wasn't interested, I happened to appear, ready and eager to join up.

Originally I had thought that WoW would be the only way I could continue roleplaying while living in the far East, but starting to get back into my old hobby has given me a chance to see more clearly what the differences are between tabletop roleplaying and roleplaying in a game like WoW. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and different people have their preferences. Both have a special value which is mainly derived from connecting creatively with other people.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Simplified WoW lore

The WoW community is growing ever larger, and for lots of people the entire Warcraft story is a puzzling maze of overlapping tales. I know if I were a new player and someone told me, "Oh yeah, you can go play this other stategy game to get some of the story... or you could read some books!" I might balk at the time commitment required just to understand the background story for this new game.

Dawnbow has a solution though. This is the cliffs-notes version of WoW Lore. It won't keep you on the edge of your seat with spine-tingling suspense, but it'll give you a rough idea of what's going on behind the scenes of the game, without you having to spend extra time and money on other things.

A few responders to her original post on the forums say that there may be a few errors here or there in her summary, but don't worry too much about that. Lore fans often disagree on details -- sometimes they're both right, sometimes both wrong, and sometimes Blizzard just hasn't been consistent. Either way, if you're looking for a quick catch up on the essentials of the WoW story, spend a few minutes with some simplified WoW lore, and then check out WoW Insider's own Know Your Lore column for some the juiciest character portraits you'll ever read about a game story.

Filed under: Lore, Forums

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