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Know Your Lore: Getting into the lore of Mists

Know Your Lore Getting into the lore of Mists 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.

Well, this has certainly been a week, hasn't it? Mists of Pandaria will officially be out and in your hands on Sept. 25. In the tidbits I've discussed here and there regarding Mists of Pandaria, I've pointed out time and time again that the lore we will see with this expansion will all be new. Does it tie into old lore and events that have been set up in prior expansions? Absolutely. Will we be dealing with villains from days of old? ... Not so much. This isn't something to be annoyed about; it's something that we should embrace. The continuation of a story is always a good thing. For a story as massive as Warcraft's, it's about time we had a shot of new lore added into the mix.

The best part about the lore in Mists is that because it's all so very new, everyone will be on roughly the same page headed into the expansion. For players who know the lore inside and out, this will all be new material to learn. For new players just looking to get into the lore, you'll be on the same page -- looking at brand new material and figuring it all out. There are a few story threads that have been picked up, but by and large, everything on Pandaria originated on Pandaria.

So how do you get started processing all that stuff? Let's take a look, minus the spoilers. Sorry, guys -- you will eventually get more Pandaria info than you can shake a stick at, but it's going to be September before I start throwing it at you with unbridled glee.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard's schedule for Comic-Con 2012

Blizzard releases schedule for ComicCon 2010
Are you headed to the magic, the wonder, the majesty of Comic-Con 2012? The San Diego Comic-Con has evolved into something far more than just comics -- it's now about all kinds of geek entertainment, including video games. While Blizzard won't have a booth at Comic-Con, they'll still have a presence and even a panel for attendees. If you're lucky enough to be headed to geek mecca this weekend, take some time to check out the following.
  • Blizzard Entertainment product showcase Thursday, July 12 Room 6BCF If you've never been to this panel, it's worth attending. While the panel doesn't discuss game development or release dates, it does talk about the other side of Blizzard's products -- the comics, books, action figures, toys and other material they release in conjunction with their games. There is a Q&A at the end of the panel, which will include Chris Metzen and be moderated by Kat Hunter. Add it to your schedule if you're wondering what's going on in the world of Blizzard merchandise!
  • Blizzard Entertainment autograph signings Insight Editions Booth #1035 Want to get your favorite Blizzard stuff autographed? Here's your chance. Friday morning from 10-11:30 a.m., you'll find Micky Neilson, Flint Dille and Matt Burns happily scrawling their signature for you, and from 4-5 p.m. on Friday, Chris Metzen and Samwise Didier will be signing. The Insight Editions booth will also have a sneak peek at the upcoming The Art of Blizzard book, so stopping by is advised!
  • Christie Golden autograph signings Christie Golden has written a ton for Blizzard, and if you've got one of her books, getting it signed is a great idea. Christie will be at the Cryptozoic Store on Thursday between 7-8 p.m. and at the Mysterious Galaxy booth, #1119, from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday. Please note that the Cryptozoic Store is not at the convention, but it's a just a few blocks away; the address is 411 Market Street, downtown.
Having gone to Comic-Con a few years, I can tell you that the best way to make sure you get into a panel or an autograph section is to get there early. I can't stress this enough. If you have something to sign, make sure it's not buried in a backpack -- and it's helpful to put a bookmark in the page you want signed, too, if you're bringing a book!

Blizzard also has a host of licensing partners showing off all kinds of products from sculptures to books to the WoW TCG. Check out the full post on the official website for more information.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Tides of War book release pushed back to July 24

The Simon and Schuster digital catalog has been updated with information about the forthcoming Jaina Proudmoore novel Tides of War, written by Christie Golden. The novel, originally slated to be released on June 12, 2012, according to the Amazon preorders, will be shipping on July 24 instead. Golden's last expansion opener The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, came out on Oct. 19, 2010, just weeks before the Cataclysm release. Does this new date potentially reflect a Mists of Pandaria release?

If the new book release date follows the Cataclysm common wisdom, Mists of Pandaria is on track for a late summer or early fall release. However, this release date means nothing until we get official word from Blizzard. In any case, Mists of Pandaria news, including Jaina Proudmoore's role in the upcoming sacking of Theramore and escalation of war, should be coming soon as well.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion, raising the level cap to 90, introducing a brand new talent system, and bringing forth the long-lost pandaren race to both Horde and Alliance. Check out the trailer and follow us for all the latest MoP news!

Filed under: Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 2

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.

The development of lore in WoW has ramped up over the years. While vanilla saw a few lore developments, players could still wander the lands of Azeroth with nary a clue as to why they were there, skipping quest text altogether in favor of simply getting the job done. The Burning Crusade saw more of these lore-related quests introduced, and Wrath pushed the concept even further. But Cataclysm's taken lore and gameplay to a new level of interactivity.

Last week, in segments #10 through #8, we talked about a few of those innovations in lore development, include the emphasis on focused, directed storytelling over the aimless wandering days of vanilla WoW and the trend of releasing free-to-read short stories on the official website. Both of these have their ups and downs, but the short stories weren't the only focus of Blizzard's writing department.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War available for preorder on Amazon

The next novel in the Warcraft series, Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, is now available for preorder on Amazon. Tides of War is being written by Christie Golden, who has given us some really amazing novels over the past couple of years in both The Shattering and Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects. So far, all we know about Tides of War is that it involves Jaina, that she has some changes coming, and that her story is going to begin to take the tension between the Alliance and the Horde up a few notches, according to the World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel at the San Diego Comic Con earlier this year.

According to Amazon, the release date for the title is June 12, 2012 -- but be aware that release dates may change at any time. Regardless of release date, it's looking like this novel is going to cover a lot of territory for the Alliance, something that most players have been feeling as being lacking in Cataclysm -- and with Golden's track record, it's guaranteed to be a book you won't want to miss. You can preorder your copy of the hardcover edition for $17.16, or preorder the Kindle edition for $12.99.

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: Podcasting, Blizzard, Lore

Blizzard Publishing announces two new Pandaren stories and more

New expansions require new lore, especially if it's something we've never before seen. At the Blizzard Publishing: So What's the Story? panel earlier today, it was announced that there would be two new lore releases. The first, Pearl of Pandaria, is a graphic novel written by Micky Neilson. Neilson should be a familiar name, not only is he Senior Writer and Voice Director of Blizzard Entertainment, he also penned the World of Warcraft: Ashbringer comic, and the short story Unbroken. Pearl of Pandaria is a "before" look at the Pandaren – it takes place before the Shattering that raised the mists that cloaked Pandaria from the rest of the world.

The second story is called Quest for Pandaria, a four part novella by author Sarah Pine. It will be released on Blizzard's website much like the leader short stories, and it takes up the story after the Shattering and brings it up to speed. Sarah Pine was the winner of the first Blizzard creating writing contest with her story In the Shadow of the Sun, about Lor'themar Theron, and she's also penned the leader short story Garrosh Hellscream: Heart of War.

Other interesting tidbits from the panel include a heads up on the Curse of the Worgen graphic novel by Mickey Neilson and James Waugh, which includes five extra pages of story. Those five pages? They're really important, if you like keeping track of the lore -- they tell the story of Velinde Starsong and the Scythe of Elune, which players experienced in World of Warcraft itself. On top of that, Christie Golden is still diligently working on Tides of War, the Jaina Proudmoore novel which will presumably tie into the Pandaria expansion.

It's nice to see that the upcoming expansion will see as much attention to story detail as Cataclysm – and that the precedent set by the leader short stories will continue on with more lore on the official Blizzard website as time goes on.


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: Lore, BlizzCon, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 2

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.

One of the biggest questions people have in regards to the Shattering patch that took place at the end of Wrath of the Lich King is just how much time passed in game during those events. Unfortunately, there aren't any concrete answers to that question, which makes trying to muddle out time lines a little more difficult than usual. The official time line on the original World of Warcraft website was removed when the site underwent its major facelift, and a new time line was never implemented.

However, taking a look at the old time line over on Wowpedia seems to indicate that Blizzard likes patches to last approximately one year in the Warcraft time line. So classic World of Warcraft and all the events we encountered, from Molten Core to the original incarnation of Naxxramas, took place over the span of one year in the time line. The Burning Crusade and all events associated with it also took one year to complete. It stands to reason that Wrath of the Lich King would follow the same trend. But again, without concrete confirmation, we've got no way of really knowing for certain.

That said, the novel The Shattering seems to take place over the course of at least a few months or so, if not more, so there was a bit of a time jump between old-world Azeroth and the Azeroth that was implemented in patch 4.0.3a. And now, let's continue on with what went down in that novel, shall we?

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you're avoiding spoilers, turn away now!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Shattering, part 1

The Shattering cover
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 Nov. 22, 2010, millions of players logged in to World of Warcraft to view the old world one final time. Whether venturing to out-of-the-way spots, running around the park in Stormwind, or saying goodbye to Magni Bronzebeard and Cairne Bloodhoof, every player was well aware that the next day, these locations and people would no longer exist. As for me, my guild leader took those of us who wished to go on a romp around the hidden places in Azeroth that many had never before seen and would never see again.

On Nov. 23, players logged on to find an entirely different, harsher world waiting for them. Orgrimmar was transformed into a bristling fortress of iron and steel. Stormwind's façade was forever marred by the charred claw marks of Deathwing, and the lovely park nestled in the corner of the mighty city had been torched and fallen away into the sea below. In Ironforge, the city was now ruled by a council of three; in Orgrimmar, a new Warchief sat on the throne. In Thunder Bluff, Baine Bloodhoof now stood in the place of honor once reserved for his father Cairne.

For those who read the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden, all these events made perfect sense. For those who hadn't picked up the book, the resounding question asked was a simple "What happened?"

Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you've been putting off picking up the book and giving it a read and would like to remain unspoiled, I would highly suggest turning away now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Jaina Proudmoore working book title: Tides of War

We have learned from author Christie Golden's Facebook page that the working title of her newest World of Warcraft novel, which will focus on earth-shattering changes for fan favorite Jaina Proudmoore, could be titled Tides of War. Since Jaina's heritage and background (her father being Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, leader of Kul Tiras) is that of Kul Tiras, the island nation of seafaring humans, this title makes sense, especially if it heralds the return of the nation of Kul Tiras back to World of Warcraft.

Christie posts: "Okay, starting on Tides of War, the Jaina (Proudmoore!) book. Am thinking if I work this right... I won't have to work weekends this time. Woot!"

There is a lot of speculation going on about the next expansion, including the filing of a trademark for Mists of Pandaria, as well as Chris Metzen revealing the earth-shattering Jaina book at Comic Con last month. While Tides of War is admittedly a working title, it signals a strong naval theme that links up well with an island expansion, the island of Pandaria, and a generally water-y world we're looking at. This is all still speculation, of course.

Filed under: Lore

Cryptozoic's Digital Manga releases for July

A couple of months ago, it was announced that Cryptozoic Entertainment, publisher of the WoW Trading Card Game, would be publishing the Warcraft and Starcraft manga exclusively through its comics reader app. The initial release included Warcraft Legends Vol. 1 and 2, World of Warcraft: Death Knight, and The Sunwell Trilogy Vol. 1: Dragon Hunt. It was also announced that other manga titles would be released over time via the app. Apparently, the time for more manga is now, as two new Warcraft titles have just been released to the comics app.

Warcraft Legends Vol. III is a collection of short tales, including the continuing story of Trag Highmountain, first seen in the Sunwell trilogy. Also included is the story I Got What Yule Need, written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, and The Thrill of the Hunt, a story involving Hemet Nesingwary, one of the better known NPCs in game. The Legends series is one of the better ones out there, and at $5.99 for 160 pages worth of manga, it's a good deal.

Also released this month is the second book in the class series, World of Warcraft: Mage. This stand-alone story tells the tale of Aodhan, an apprentice mage whose dreams of making it big as a spellcaster are suddenly and violently interrupted. This volume delves into the story of Aodhan, but it also sheds a little light on the conflict between the Blue Dragonflight and the Kirin Tor highlighted back in Wrath of the Lich King. Like the other manga available on the app, Warcraft: Mage is also a steal at $5.99.

All titles are available for purchase through the Cryptozoic Comics App, and the app itself is free for download via iTunes. If you missed any of the manga releases, this is an excellent way to pick them up.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Comics

WoW Insider reviews Christie Golden's Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects

Just under 10 years ago, on Oct. 1, 2001, a novel was released as a new addition to the Warcraft universe that would change the history and lore of the games forever. Lord of the Clans outlined the history and childhood of a young orc named Thrall. Son of Durotan and Draka, the former slave would break free from his imprisonment at the hands of Aedelas Blackmoore, step forward to unite the shattered and lethargic clans of the orcs, and lead the Horde in a manner that none that had played the original Warcraft games could possibly comprehend at that point in time.

Almost a year later, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released, and that orc's journey from the beleaguered, Scourge-ridden lands of the Eastern Kingdoms to the dusty and barren shores of Kalimdor was told in a tale that captured the hearts of players. No longer simply a character in a novel, Thrall's travels and ultimate triumph, united with the night elves and humans at the peaks of Mount Hyjal and working as one to defeat Archimonde, would forever seal his place as true Warchief of the Horde.

It is only appropriate then that the latest novel written for the Warcraft franchise, detailing the further journeys of Thrall, be undertaken by the woman who started it all -- Christie Golden. Not just an author with a host of Warcraft novels under her belt, Golden is the voice of the former Warchief, the author who gave him a life of his own. Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects continues the journey that Thrall began nearly 10 years ago -- and what a journey it is.

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Blizzard to talk licensing at San Diego Comic-Con


Blizzard tends to keep to its own convention for most of the year, rather than taking part in other major conventions like E3, but it's breaking form with product reveals and licensing discussion next week at San Diego Comic-Con. Blizzard's Chris Metzen, The Shattering author Christie Golden, Cryptozoic Entertainment President Cory Jones, and others will be present for a panel on Thursday, July 21 -- that is, if you're already lucky enough to be going to Comic-Con (say hi to Christie for me)!

Here's the full panel description, which is also available on the Comic-Con website.
1:00-2:00 World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft Swag Show -- Blizzard Entertainment creative and licensed partners unveil and discuss World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft-inspired products. In attendance: Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP of creative development), Nick Carpenter (Blizzard Entertainment executive art director), Christie Golden (New York Times bestselling author), Hank Kanalz (SVP Digital, DC Comics and World of Warcraft comics editor), Sean Gailey(creative overlord, J!nx Clothing), and Cory Jones (Cryptozoic Entertainment president and chief creative officer). Moderated by Kat Hunter ( host of BlizzCon coverage on DIRECTV). Room 6BCF

Filed under: Blizzard

12 Days of Winter Veil Giveaway Day 9: The Shattering novels

12 Days of Winter Veil is under way here at WoW Insider. That means 12 days of giveaways, from loot codes to literature and gaming mice to graphics cards. Even if you've been a good goblin or a naughty night elf, there's a chance that WoW Insider has a holiday gift for you this season.

We all know Deathwing has shattered Azeroth into pieces, but maybe you don't know why and what led up to it. Enter Christie Golden's hardcover World of Warcraft novel, The Shattering. We are giving away two copies of The Shattering, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. If you want to know more, you can read our review of the novel and our interview with Christie Golden from BlizzCon 2010.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, Dec. 31, 2010. 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. Make sure your email address is up to date, because that's how we'll get hold of you. We will pick two winners randomly. Official rules here.

Don't forget to check back every day through Jan. 2, 2011, for new contests celebrating the 12 Days of Winter Veil!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks and good luck to all who entered!

Filed under: Contests

12 Days of Winter Veil Giveaway Day 6: The Shattering novels

12 Days of Winter Veil is under way here at WoW Insider. That means 12 days of giveaways, from loot codes to literature and gaming mice to graphics cards. Even if you've been a good goblin or a naughty night elf, there's a chance that WoW Insider has a holiday gift for you this season.

We all know Deathwing has shattered Azeroth into pieces, but maybe you don't know why and what led up to it. Enter Christie Golden's hardcover World of Warcraft novel, The Shattering. We are giving away three copies of The Shattering, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. If you want to know more, you can read our review of the novel and our interview with Christie Golden from BlizzCon 2010.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010. 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. Make sure your email address is up to date, because that's how we'll get hold of you. We will pick three winners randomly. Official rules here.

Don't forget to check back every day through Jan. 2, 2011, for new contests celebrating the 12 Days of Winter Veil!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks and good luck to all who entered!

Filed under: Contests

12 Days of Winter Veil Giveaway Day 2: The Shattering novels

12 Days of Winter Veil is underway here at WoW Insider. That means 12 days of giveaways, from loot codes to literature and gaming mice to graphics cards. Even if you've been a good goblin or a naughty night elf, there's a chance that WoW Insider has a holiday gift for you this season.

We all know Deathwing has shattered Azeroth into pieces, but maybe you don't know why and what led up to it. Enter Christie Golden's hardcover World of Warcraft novel, The Shattering. We are giving away two copies of The Shattering, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. If you want to know more, you can read our review of the novel and our interview with Christie Golden from BlizzCon 2010.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010. 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. Make sure your email address is up to date, because that's how we'll get hold of you. We will pick two winners randomly. Official rules here.

Don't forget to check back every day through Jan. 2, 2011 for new contests celebrating the 12 Days of Winter Veil!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks and good luck to all who entered!

Filed under: Contests

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