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Posts with tag chen-stormstout

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

Blizzard short story Quest for Pandaria now available

Quest for Pandaria now live
Part one of Quest for Pandaria, the newest addition to Blizzard's online collection of short stories, has been released on the official website. The events in Quests for Pandaria take place directly after the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria. While Pearl of Pandaria's release date is still slated for the 25 of this month according to Amazon, some have been reporting that the graphic novel is already available in bookstores.

As for Quest for Pandaria, the story continues where Pearl left off with Li Li Stormstout and her Uncle Chen safely home on Shen-zin Su. But while Uncle Chen seems to be happy and even content with his return to the island, Li Li finds herself growing more and more restless and discontent. Will her thirst for adventure lead to lands long thought lost? Or will she find herself dragged back home against her wishes?

Today's release was just the first section of the four-part story, so some answers will have to wait. But it's a compelling tale that's beautifully written by Sarah Pine, author of Garrosh Hellscream: Heart of War, and the 2008 Global Writing Contest winner In the Shadow of the Sun. Please note that Quest for Pandaria does contain plot elements from Pearl of Pandaria. If you're planning on picking up the graphic novel, you may want to hold off on this short story until you've read the book.

You can find Quest for Pandaria, along with all of Blizzard's other short stories, in the Expanded Universe section of the official website.


Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal updated with parts three and four

Li Li's Travel Journal updated with parts three and four
Li Li's Travel Journal has seen a couple more updates over the past week. The story follows the adventures of Li Li as she travels her way across the Wandering Isle. As the niece of Chen Stormstout, it appears that Li Li has the same curious nature and adventurous spirit of her uncle. In part three of the tale, Li Li heads to Dai-Lo Farmstead, exploring the quiet farming community and helping fight the pests that plague the farmlands in her own mischievous fashion.

In part four, Li Li continues on to the Forbidden Forest and the Wood of Staves. Unfortunately, she runs into trouble along with way. With part three and part four, the story is somewhat established in the timeline. Li Li's Travel Journal begins before the events in Pearl of Pandaria -- before Li Li sets off to find her Uncle Chen on Azeroth proper.

Some of the events and characters in the Travel Journal actually end up appearing in the graphic novel as well. So there's a distinct progression with this story -- it begins with the Travel Journal, continues in Pearl of Pandaria. We'll presumably see the story continue further with the short story Quest for Pandaria, which will be available on the Blizzard website sometime later this month.

We're only at part four of eleven, which means there's still quite a bit of story left to tell. Be sure to head over to the official site and check out both part three and part four in their entirety, and keep checking back for more of Li Li's adventures.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider interviews Micky Neilson and Sean "Cheeks" Galloway

WoW Insider interviews Micky Neilson and Sean 'Cheeks' Galloway
Pearl of Pandaria, the latest comics offering from Blizzard and DC, releases September 25. The tale of Li Li Stormstout and her journey to find her Uncle Chen was written by Senior Writer and Voice Director Micky Neilson, whose other works include Unbroken, Ashbringer, and Curse of the Worgen. Bringing the book to life is Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, whose other works include character design for Hellboy Animated and Spectacular Spider-Man.

That's an impressive bunch of credits for an equally impressive book. Sean and Micky were kind enough to sit down with us and discuss the art and history behind Pearl of Pandaria. In addition, we talked short stories and comics as well as some exciting upcoming print projects and the answer to the pesky question of why pandaren eyes are gold instead of green.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson & Sean Galloway

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson
I have to admit it. When I first heard word of Pearl of Pandaria at BlizzCon, I was not expecting it to be anything extraordinary. The artwork was awesome, the panel previews looked top-notch, and I've been a Galloway fan for years. The news that Micky Neilson was writing the title was definitely good news. But I didn't expect the graphic novel to really hold much weight, particularly since it was mentioned that the novel takes place before Cataclysm. It actually takes place somewhere at the beginning of the war in Northrend.

Because of this, I figured it would simply be a standalone piece. It'd be a well-written, fun little tale that would explain where the heck Chen was has been all these years. But when I started playing the Mists beta, I fell in love with Li Li, Chen's precocious niece with a penchant for acrid sarcasm. After meeting Li Li, I was a bit more excited to read the book, because I figured more Li Li would be a good thing. And then I got Pearl of Pandaria and sat down to give it a read, fully expecting a simple lighthearted and fun little piece of work.

I don't think I've ever been quite so delighted to be utterly wrong.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal continues with the Dawning Dilemma

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If you remember, Li Li's Travel Journal gives us a young pandaren's eye view of the Wandering Isle, the starting zone for pandaren player characters come Mists of Pandaria. Li Li herself is the adventurous niece of Chen Stormstout, and the travel journal is her telling of the journey we're all about to undergo. This week, Li Li heads into the Dawning Valley.

What does she find there? Well, that would be telling, and you can always read the journal for yourself and find out. But what I really like about this series so far is getting to see Li Li's opinion on not only her own people and the place she calls home, but just what the pandaren of the Wandering Isle know about Pandaria itself, and just what they don't know about it.

We're in for some discovery, all told.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Li Li's Travel Journal explores the wonders of the Wandering Isle

Li Li's Travel Journal explores the wonders of the Wandering Isle
Blizzard has released a new piece of short fiction on the official website. Li Li's Travel Journal follows the tale of Li Li Stormstout, niece to Chen and resident of the Wandering Isle. Although she desperately wants to travel the world like her Uncle Chen, her family insists that she is still too young to make the journey. The journal follows her path on the Wandering Isle, and possibly beyond -- the entry revealed earlier is one out of 11 chapters we'll see over time.

Li Li is also the subject of the graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria, due out Sept. 25, according to Amazon. While Li Li's Travel Journal seems to depict her life on the Wandering Isle, Pearl of Pandaria follows her travels after leaving Shen-zin Su in search of Uncle Chen. While it's currently unclear whether or not Travel Journal is a lead in to what we'll see when Pearl of Pandaria is released, it's still set to be a delightful stand-alone tale.

Li Li is one of my favorite characters from the upcoming Mists expansion. She's a kid, but she's a plucky, sarcasm-addled kid, the kind that's probably too smart for her own good and fearless on top of it. Take a look at Li Li's Travel Journal for the first part of what is sure to be an extraordinary journey -- and don't forget to look for Li Li when Mists of Pandaria launches on Sept. 25.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Who is your NPC buddy?

Breakfast Topic Who is your NPC buddy
I have an incredibly soft spot for Wrathion. Heck, I helped him avoid being smushed as an egg. And then later, I happily murdered his brothers and sisters as well as his utterly cuckoo father. He was so impressed he gave me awesome daggers, even. And sure, I mean, he's a member of the Black Dragonflight and likely using me for his own nefarious means, but I just like the kid. He's my buddy.

Needless to say, I was utterly delighted to find him in Pandaria. I was even more delighted when he was finally given something to say and decided to say hello to little old me. I mean, I'm sure he's got other master assassins kicking around, but I'm his favorite. So I'll happily do whatever he asks. He's cool. We're on the same wavelength -- for now, anyway.

I seem to get this with every new expansion. Out of all of the varied NPCs introduced, I find one who strikes a particular chord within my heart, and they are my friend forever and ever. Mylune, Stormcaller Mylra, good old Jones in Dalaran (aka the best kitty ever), Rexxar, Umber -- the list goes on and on, and there is no rhyme or reason to it. In Mists, Lorewalker Cho is an immediate favorite, as well as Li Li and of course Chen Stormstout. Who doesn't love Chen?

I can't be the only one who does this. Is there any NPC you've got a particular attachment to? One who makes you smile every time you see them? One whose quest you don't mind repeating on endless alts -- one whose quests you actually look forward to repeating? Let's have it -- who is your NPC buddy?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Mists of Pandaria in-game cinematic achievement

You know what I love about this cinematic? Everything. But the biggest thing I love is the fact that it is utterly tied in to the actual expansion in the coolest possible way. Those in the beta may or may not recognize the location of the cinematic; it's the top of the Shrine of Fellowship in Jade Forest. And the sheer attention to detail between cinematic and game is staggering once you've seen the location in game, which you should absolutely visit upon hitting Pandaria's shores.

Why? Because unlike any other expansion before it, Mists of Pandaria has put together the cinematic and the game via a unique achievement that you can only get by visiting the Shrine of Fellowship. Once there, all you need to do is reenact Chen's actions by straightening the broken incense burner found near the bridge. And once you've done that, you'll nab yourself the Restore Balance achievement along with 10 achievement points.

So what's Chen doing up there? Well, he likely heard the bell -- and he may have been nearby visiting Sam the Wise, too. Check out our gallery for some side-by-side comparisons of stills from the cinematic and more shots from the Shrine of Fellowship, and don't forget to nab your achievement when Mists is released!




It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Which race has the creepiest-looking children?

Which race has the creepiest looking children
In preparation for Friday night's raid testing, I started leveling a second character to 90 on the Mists of Pandaria beta yesterday evening. I had only progressed a couple of quests into Valley of the Four Winds when I noticed Chen Stormstout and his little niece Li Li were talking at me with recorded dialogue. When I had done these quests a few weeks earlier, neither NPC had made a peep, so the voices caught me off guard and quickly drew my attention and focus.

This was when I realized for the first time that Li Li has been given a new character model. Previously, Li Li had been nothing more than a shrunken version of an adult female pandaren; now, she's taken on the form of a glossy-eyed, ever-smiling child.

I immediately recoiled at the sight, shrank back in my chair, and clawed blindly at the keyboard in an effort to tab out of the game so I could console myself with pictures of kittens and Ryan Gosling's beard. I barely survived.

So maybe it's just me, but nothing haunts me more than the soulless, unblinking eyes of Azerothian children. Anyone else share my sentiment? If so, which of the kids do you think are the creepiest?

Which race has the creepiest looking children?
Humans.2706 (27.8%)
Orcs.299 (3.1%)
Draenei.1282 (13.2%)
Blood Elves.636 (6.5%)
Goblins.3084 (31.7%)
Pandaren.970 (10.0%)
You're crazy, they're all adorable!757 (7.8%)

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Has the beta changed your mind about Pandaria?

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I can't really deny that I've been excited about and looking forward to Mists since I first heard the announcement for it. To me, the idea of a new continent to explore reminded me of the days trekking around Outland, and I've missed that feeling. Sure, Wrath of the Lich King was great, but it was Northrend -- it didn't really have that alien feel of landscape I'd never seen before, even though some areas were pretty breathtaking. But for a little while there, I felt like I was in the minority.

The reaction to the Mists of Pandaria announcement was mixed, which had me fairly confused. Much of the gripe seemed to be coming from the fact that pandaren were going to become a playable race. I found this a little odd, especially given that a Know Your Lore I'd written a little over a year before had plenty of people pondering the idea of pandaren in game with delight -- maybe not as playable, but it certainly seemed like people wanted to see them. So ... what gives?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Dungeons and challenge mode

Mists of Pandaria will launch with nine heroic dungeons, four of which were previewed to one extent or another at last week's press event: Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Stormstout Brewery, the updated Scholomance, and the updated Scarlet Monastery.

Temple of the Jade Serpent

Blizzard is taking a new approach with its introductory dungeon of the expansion. Rather than starting you off in instances that are entirely secondary to the expansion's story arc and saving the dungeons that tie closest to the plot of the expansion for the level cap, the very first dungeon you run in Mists of Pandaria will set the story's tone. The Temple of the Jade Serpent will display the expansion's villainy right up front.

The sha, as you've heard by now, are the core external villains in the land of Pandaria. They are the manifestation of negative emotion. The Temple of the Jade Serpent will be your introduction to the sha. The Temple is where, once upon a time, an old emperor of Pandaria beat down the Sha of Doubt and saved the entire empire. Unfortunately, the war that the Horde and the Alliance have brought to Pandaria's shores has rekindled the Sha of Doubt and the temple has fallen under its influence.

We did get to tackle the Temple hands-on at the press event, so we can provide a few concrete details about the bosses within and their abilities.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

BlizzCon 2011: Dungeons and Raids information

If you're not at BlizzCon, or watching the live stream, then worry not for we're liveblogging the events and the Dungeons and Raids portion of the Mists of Pandaria preview had some interesting news all told.

For starters, there will be 9 new dunegons, six across Pandaria itself and three heroic versions of classic instances, namely Scholomance and two updated wings of the Scarlet Monastery. The new dungeons will include the Stormstout Brewery, where you work alongside Chen Stormstout himself.

There will also be three raids at launch featuring the Mogu and the Mantid races, and Raid Finder will be integrated into every raid at Mists of Pandaria's launch. World raid bosses will also be included, as Cory Stockton says "There were problems ... we've got solutions to those problems."

Stay tuned to the Raid and Dungeons panel which will be liveblogged by us.


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, Raiding, 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.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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