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Posts with tag chen-stormstout

Blizzcon 2013: Iconic Characters of Warcraft

Voice Actor Stage
The Voice Actor Stage is a new addition this year at BlizzCon, and I certainly hope it becomes a staple. I sat down for the 3:00 - 4:00 panel "Iconic Characters of Warcraft" which, as the name implies, featured the voice actors for several of the most influential WoW characters in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Our esteemed guests were:
  • Keone Young, voice of Chen Stormstout
  • James Sie, voice of Taran Zhu
  • Patrick Seitz, voice of Garrosh Hellscream
  • Aaron Phillips, voice of Wrathion
  • Josh Keaton, voice of Anduin Wrynn
  • Laura Bailey, voice of Jaina Proudmoore
In addition, the panel was hosted by Andrea Toyias, Casting and Voice Over Director at Blizzard, and two writers whose names were announced but unfortunately not written on the projector.

Andrea hosted the panel by asking each of the actors, one by one, a series of questions about the characters they voiced -- how they saw that character, how they got into the appropriate headspace to play that character, and so on. Each answer was unique and very interesting. Keone Young spoke about how his experience growing up on Hawai'i, before and during its annexation by the United States, influenced the way he perceived the struggles of the pandaren people, and also how his knowledge of the Hawai'ian patois informed his development of Chen's unique accent.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, BlizzCon

Enter to win Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde

Enter to win Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde
Wondering what Vol'jin's been up to since his brush with death in the Dagger in the Dark scenario? Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, the newest Warcraft novel penned by Michael Stackpole, is a dark, gritty, and ultimately satisfying tale that fills in that part of Vol'jin's story on the backdrop of the Shado-Pan Monastery and Zandalari encroachment.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got a copy of Shadows of the Horde to give away to one lucky reader! And just in case you'd like a little more information on the book before entering the giveaway, feel free to take a look at our spoiler-free review.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 9, 2013. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. One winner will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.


Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available for purchase next week, on July 2. We've already published a spoiler-free review of the novel, which features the Darkspear leader Vol'jin as he recuperates from his near-assassination in the Dagger in the Dark scenario. The novel is something a little different for Blizzard, featuring a story that not only stands apart from the gameplay of Mists of Pandaria, but features a new author as well -- Michael Stackpole, whose writing spans both fantasy and sci-fi, with notable works in both the Battletech and Star Wars universe.

Blizzard was kind enough to let us have a chat with both Mike Stackpole and Micky Neilson, Lead Story Developer at Blizzard, regarding Shadows of the Horde, its development, and the intricacies of writing that oh-so-troublesome troll accent.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Review of Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole

Review of Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole
I've been dying for a good troll novel. Despite their longevity in Warcraft's timeline, we really haven't seen much of anything regarding the troll race, their traditions, their customs, the loa -- none of the rich history that has been cultivated and told over the years. Needless to say, I was very excited when Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde was announced at the New York Comic Con last year -- and even more so when Michael Stackpole was revealed as the author of the book.

A prolific author, Stackpole has written a ton of books set in the Star Wars universe as well as BattleTech and a variety of original works as well. Familiar with both fantasy and sci-fi, Stackpole is an impressive author in his own right -- and his realm of expertise with both guaranteed he'd be a good fit for the Warcraft universe and its unique approach to fantasy. So how did Shadows of the Horde hold up?

This is quite possibly one of the darkest novels in the Warcraft stable. And it's brilliant.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Li Li's Travel Journal concludes with part 11

Li Li's Travel Journal concludes with part 11
Li Li's Travel Journal has just updated with the final installment of Li Li's journeys throughout the wilds of Pandaria. Li Li has finally made it to the Dread Wastes, in search of her Uncle Chen. But there's nothing pleasant to be found in the home of the mantid. Will Li Li find Chen, or become just another casualty in the Dread Wastes?

The final chapter wraps up Li Li's journey, but it also explains what the young Stormstout is up to now. Obviously there are reunions to be had, not just with Chen, but with the rest of the Stormstout clan holed up at the Sunset Brewgarden. And there's mention of a particularly touching quest chain in the Dread Wastes, as well.

All in all, this was a delightful little series that served as a pretty good overview of what to expect in Pandaria. It didn't have the emotional weight of some of the leader short stories from last expansion, but honestly, it was a refreshing change. I do hope we'll see more short fiction from Blizzard as the expansion continues, however.

As with the chapters before, if you like the chapter's illustration of Li Li warily spying on the mantid, Blizzard has made it available as a wallpaper, free for download. Don't miss the latest charming installment of the tale -- you can catch chapter 8, as well as all previous installments of the story, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal visits the Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Li Li's Travel Journal visits the Vale of Eternal Blossoms with part 9
If you're reading along at home (or wherever you like, what with your modern devices) you'll remember that Li Li Stormstout last wrote about her visit to Kun-Lai Summit. The yaungol attacks have driven many pandaren out of the mountains and through the recently opened gateway into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and so Li Li takes her travels down into the Vale itself alongside refugees Buwei and his son Little Fu.

Between seeing the refugees settle into Mistfall Village and discovering that her uncle Chen has passed beyond the Serpent's Spine and into the Dread Wastes themselves, Li Li's sojurn in the Vale is hardly the end of her adventures. Will she follow Chen's directive to wait for him on the battlements of the ancient wall separating the Vale from the mantid hordes, or will her thirst for excitement lead her into mortal danger?

As with previous installments, you can download Li Li's Travel Journal in pdf format.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 8

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 8
Li Li's Travel Journal has just updated with chapter 8 of Li Li's journeys throughout the wilds of Pandaria. When we last left Li Li Stormstout, she was on her way to Kun Lai Summit via hot air balloon, with a new friend and a new fuzzy companion at her side. But Kun Lai Summit is definitely not the most pleasant place in the world to be, what with the yaungol attacks in the area and the uprising of the Sha.

But Li Li's problems hit far closer to home. Although Li Li's little bandicoon companion Shisai was friendly enough while Li Li wandered Krasarang Wilds, he's no longer quite as friendly as he used to be. It's a problem for a pet owner, and Li Li finds an unlikely solution at the heights of Kota Peak from an even more unlikely, if friendly, source.

But this isn't the end of Li Li's 11-part journey through Pandaria. Li Li has more to see -- and the gate marking the way into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms has captured her attention. After all, the Vale has been closed off to the rest of Pandaria for thousands of years ... perfect for a Stormstout explorer. What kinds of secrets will the pandaren explorer dig up in the Vale?

As with the chapters before, if you like the illustration of Li Li traveling via hot air balloon, Blizzard has made it available as a wallpaper, free for download. Don't miss the latest charming installment of the tale -- you can catch chapter 8, as well as all previous installments of the story, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition half price at Amazon

Collector's Edition
In part of its Cyber Monday week deals, Amazon is selling the Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition for $39.99 $34.99. Not only is this half off of the usual price, it is the same price as the normal edition. This price is for the box, not the digital edition version.

The Collector's Edition includes the following
  • The Imperial Quilen mount, also included in the Digital Deluxe version
  • The Lucky Quilen Cub pet, again in the Digital Deluxe version as well
  • Behind-the-scenes Blu-ray and DVD
  • Chen Stormstout mouse pad
  • The Art of Mists of Pandaria hardback book
  • Collector's Edition Soundtrack CD
We don't know how long this sale will continue. So whether you want the physical goodies for yourself or for a gift, this price is likely to be the lowest of the season.

Update Nov 26: The price for Cyber Monday is $34.99.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal updates with part 7

Li Li's Travel Journal updates with Chapter 7
Ah, now things are getting interesting! Li Li's Travel Journal has just updated with chapter 7 of the young Stormstout's tale of discovery. In this chapter, Li Li has finally broken off from her Uncle Chen, who is busy presumably drowning in ale over at the Stormstout Brewery. To keep herself occupied, Li Li decides to find the place where Shen-zin Su and Liu Lang's journey began, deep in the heart of Krasarang Wilds.

Of course you can't really travel through Krasarang without finding adventure. And just as you think Li Li's journey may be complete, she finds herself taking to the air and heading someplace else entirely. I'm glad we're seeing what the intrepid young Stormstout was doing while Chen was busy fixing the Stormstout Brewery and presumably heading to the Dread Wastes -- it's nice to see that Li Li hasn't just disappeared and been forgotten about.

What's also nice are the illustrations for the new chapters. I'm not sure who the artist is, but they're lovely, stylized pieces of art. If you like the illustrations, there's some good news with the latest chapter of the story -- Blizzard has released three brand new wallpapers showcasing the art. Don't miss the latest charming installment of the tale -- you can catch chapter 7, as well as all previous installments of the story, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal updates with part 6

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 6
What happened to Li Li after the Valley of the Four Winds? For that matter, where exactly was she when her Uncle Chen was duking it out with that orc and human during the cinematic trailer for Mists? Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 6 of her adventures in Pandaria, and answers a few questions about Li Li's whereabouts during pivotal events, and where she's headed next.

In the latest installment, Li Li and Chen have made it to the Valley of Four Winds. In Li Li's eyes, the place looks remarkably like the Wandering Isle, only on a much larger scale. Mention is made of wandering heroes from Azeroth that helped the Stormstouts on their way across the Valley (that would be us!) as well as in the Stormstout Brewery.

The installment leaves off with Li Li headed for Krasarang Wilds without the accompaniment of her dear Uncle Chen, in search of the place where Liu Lang originally left Pandaria on the back of Shen-zin Su. Since we know at some point Chen headed west to the Dread Wastes, it should be interesting to see what Li Li is up to in his absence. You can find chapter six, as well as all previous installments of the story, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 5

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with part 5
Li Li's Travel Journal has finally been updated with part five of the 11-part story of Li Li Stormstout's travels around Azeroth. And this time, there is quite the time jump between entries. When we last left the travel journal, Li Li was still stuck on the Wandering Isle, her uncle Chen nowhere to be found. The latest entry takes us forward in time, jumping over the events in Pearl of Pandaria and Quest for Pandaria to bring us Li Li's thoughts on finally locating the lost continent of Pandaria.

Detailing Chen and Li Li's journey through the Jade Forest, part 5 gives us a little more information on just what happened to bring Chen and Li Li to the borders of the Valley of the Four Winds, where players find them in game. In fact, it looks as though player adventures will somehow incorporate into the story, as the next section will involve Chen's discoveries surrounding the original Stormstout clan.

What makes this really interesting is that our in game interactions with Li Li Stormstout pretty much ended in the Valley of the Four Winds, yet there's six more chapters to the Travel Journal. Hopefully this means we'll see what Li Li was up to while Chen was off saving his family in the Dread Wastes. You can find chapter five, as well as all previous installments of the story, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website. While you're at it, you may want to read Quest for Pandaria, which is also available for free, and takes place just before this installment of Li Li's Travel Journal.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Quest for Pandaria concludes with part 4

Quest for Pandaria concludes with part 4
The fourth and final installment of Sarah Pine's novella Quest for Pandaria was released yesterday on the official site. Part four of Chen and Li Li's journey takes them to the open seas, where they encounter a massive storm, and a tense face off between two ships, one Alliance and one Horde. While this is Chen and Li Li's adventure, the fourth part of this tale does a lot to highlight the feelings and tensions between the two factions in a meaningful way.

And it also does a lot to clear up timelines. At the end of the tale, Chen and Li Li have witnessed the clearing of the mists surrounding the continent of Pandaria. This places the mist-clearing event somewhere just before the attack on Theramore Isle depicted in both scenario and the novel Tides of War. Unfortunately, the tale did little to clarify what exactly made the mists part in the first place ... which means this may be one of those important plot points we'll explore later in the expansion.

Quest for Pandaria served as a an excellent introduction to Mists of Pandaria, and a wonderful bridge between the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria and the new expansion. Part four is full of emotional moments and characters that you really don't want to miss. You can read part four, or the story in its entirety, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Why do we fight?

Know Your Lore Why do we fight SUN
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.

Azeroth is a volatile land fraught with conflict. In recent years of history, this conflict has been highlighted by the battle between Alliance and Horde, a seemingly never-ending struggle that began the moment the orcs made their way through the Dark Portal and began attacks on the Eastern Kingdoms in earnest. But prior to the orcs, there were still wars to contend with. In early days, pandaren rose up against mogu, troll against aqir. Kaldorei against Burning Legion, and against each other in the process.

It almost seems as though Azeroth's destiny is one that is irrevocably tied to war -- we're destined to fight, regardless of who we are, or what we happen to be fighting. But why do the Alliance and Horde continue to fight? They've worked together in the past, and yet it seems that every time they are close to some sort of peaceful resolution, they are drawn once more to war. What's making the Alliance and Horde so aggressive this time around?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available

Quest for Pandaria part 3 now available
You know, of all the things I mourned about Cataclysm, I think highest on the list would have to be the fate of the tol'vir. Despite being a fascinating race in their own right, one that was absolutely ripe for potential, their story was overshadowed by yet another jaunt with Harrison Jones. It was disappointing, particularly because the end of the tol'vir story arc was so open-ended. What happened after the war was completed? What of the tol'vir now?

Quest for Pandaria attempts to answer a few of those questions in its latest installment as Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li continue their search for the lost continent. Upon heading to the sandy deserts of Uldum, both Chen and Li Li come face to face with the aftermath of the tol'vir war -- and deal with the consequences of the fallout in their own way. It's another small glimpse of the elusive tol'vir race, this time illustrated through the eyes of complete strangers to tol'vir society.

And it's also another well placed step towards rounding out Chen's character. I love Chen Stormstout, and I love the direction they're taking him. This is the third chapter to the four-part story written by Sarah Pine, and I think it's my favorite so far. You can take a look at the chapter in its entirety in the Expanded Universe section of Blizzard's official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard Publishing announcements from NYCC

The Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel at New York Comic Con officially announced what we've been suspecting since the Blizzard AMA on Reddit -- there will be a new World of Warcraft novel next year. The novel, titled Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available in April of 2013, and will be penned by Michael Stackpole. Shadows of the Horde will feature Vol'jin primarily, but also include Chen Stormstout, and will tie in to what we'll be seeing in patch 5.1 and beyond.

But that's not the only item on the Warcraft front! Also on the list of upcoming projects is a new title by Richard Knaak. World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects will be a four part eBook, with part one available on January 15, 2013. The eBook will address the Aspects who are Aspects no more, as well as covering history on how the Aspects came to be, with more information on Galakrond and the proto drakes.

Blizzplanet recorded the entire panel for viewing, as well as touching on the next Starcraft novel and an upcoming anthology of Diablo III stories. Take a look at part one of the publishing panel above, and visit Blizzplanet for the rest of the panel's revelations and information.

Filed under: News items, Lore

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