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Enter to win World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Enter to win World of Warcraft Dark Riders
Have you ever wondered just what's up with the Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass? Now's your chance to find out. We've got not one, but two hardcover copies of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders to give away. The latest graphic novel to hit the shelves courtesy of DC Comics, Dark Riders is written by Mike Costa and features some amazing art by Neil Googe. It's 144 pages of Alliance entertainment, filling in the gaps in the story of the mysterious Scythe of Elune, as well as the mystery of the Dark Riders themselves.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got a couple of these graphic novels to give away. Take a look at our spoiler-free review if you'd like more information on the graphic novel -- it's a amazingly well-done book, well-deserving of a spot on the bookshelf.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Wednesday, June 26, 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. Two winners 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

Free WoW graphic novel previews for a limited time

Free WoW graphic novels
WoW's twitter announced last night that, for a limited time only, previews of three of the latest World of Warcraft graphic novels are available for free on both Kindle and iTunes. The three comics avaialble for preview in this book are Pearl of Pandaria, Dark Riders and Bloodsworn. Pearl of Pandaria was released last year, but Dark Riders has only been out for just over a week, and Bloodsworn is currently only available for pre-order in anticipation of its upcoming release on August 13, 2013. So this free preview is a great chance to whet your appetite for the full works. What's more, did we mention it's free?

To get your hands on these previews, it seems like you'll currently need to be a US resident, but you can get hold of them via iTunes or Amazon, simply by following the links. If the previews are sufficiently exciting for you to consider dropping some actual cash into the writers' coffers, then you can obtain all three titles from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble via the links provided on the Blizzard blog post. Naturally, as mentioned, Bloodsworn is currently only available for pre-order.

What do you think of these graphic novels? Is this your preferred format for absorbing World of Warcraft lore? You can also check out WoW Insider's reviews of Pearl of Pandaria and Dark Riders.

Filed under: Comics

Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Review of World of Warcraft Dark Riders
Before I even begin, I'm going to state the one thing that's been on my mind, and likely the mind of anyone else waiting for this particular title: It's about time. World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is the offshoot of the World of Warcraft comic series, specifically, the characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the series written by Mike Costa. Yes, we have been waiting for this graphic novel for four years now. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.

Costa continues the tale started in that special issue and takes the reins of Dark Riders, skillfully weaving together one of those stories that isn't so much dependent on current game lore. In fact, it really doesn't address current game events at all. Instead, it takes the bold step of filling the gap between events that played out in WoW itself -- the disappearance of the Scythe of Elune from Duskwood and its sudden reappearance in Gilneas. And if that weren't enough, there's a wild trip through Karazhan and the questionable origin of the Dark Riders themselves, explained for the first time.

But that's really just the tip of the iceberg here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Dark Riders graphic novel hits virtual store shelves today

Dark Riders comic
If you're itching for a good World of Warcraft story and patch 5.3 is too long to wait for new story content, Blizzard is happy to oblige with the just-released World of Warcraft: Dark Riders graphic novel. Unfortunately, Blizzard's own description of the comic -- talking about an "enigmatic destiny" and "hidden dangers" -- is too vague and generic to grab our interest. But fortunately we've heard about Dark Riders before and expect good things from writer Mike Costa and artist Neil Googe. So what can you expect to find in this tome of lore? More about the mysterious Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, who have only been alluded to in the game, the secretive wolf cult, and the Scythe of Elune. But if you're not a lore hound, you'll just have to be tempted by the promise of a good World of Warcraft story in graphic novel form.

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is available today. You can take a sneak peak at the art or buy it directly form Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $16.01 -- though if you prefer digital, it's $12.99 for Kindle and $13.74 for Nook.

Filed under: News items, Lore

New World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn teaser images

New World of Warcraft Bloodstorm teaser images
Once upon a time, World of Warcraft had its very own comic series. The series ended in 2009 with a special one-shot issue that shared a tantalizing glimpse of more comics to come. Since then, the world of WoW comics has been by and large silent, except for rumors of two graphic novel projects. The first, Dark Riders, is slated for release this May. And now we have some new information and images to share from the other project that has until now been under wraps -- World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn. Along with some exclusive images from the graphic novel, Blizzard has shared with us a summary of the story.
As the Cataclysm rips through Azeroth, Warchief Garrosh Hellscream orders the best warriors of the Horde to come forward and serve in a new army, lest their foes in the Alliance sense weakness and attack. We meet these warriors as they come forward - from very different lands, backgrounds, traditions...Will they be able to overcome their deep differences and work together to serve the Horde, especially when challenged by a powerful, unfamiliar race claiming to be the real rulers of Azeroth?
From both the summary and the amount of time its been in development, it looks as though Bloodsworn takes place prior to Mists of Pandaria. While we likely won't see any of our pandaren pals, getting a closer look at the Horde and Hellscream's war machine during the tumultuous events of Cataclysm is apt to be fascinating. And what's up with that powerful, unfamiliar race? Ordinarily I'd say mogu, but I doubt we're dealing with Mists content.

World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn is now available for pre-order on Amazon for the low price of $14.28. Although Amazon currently has the release date for the graphic novel listed as August 13, 2013, please note that release dates may change. And if you'd like a further glimpse of what's in store, take a look at our gallery for an exclusive sneak-peek of the graphic novel.


Filed under: News items, Lore

StarCraft: Kerrigan -- Hope and Vengeance free on Comixology

StarCraft Kerrigan  Hope and Vengeance free on Comixology
This week, we had patch 5.2 to contend with, but next week it's all about the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm for plenty of players. Blizzard has been slowly releasing promotional material for the new game, including a new cinematic and a pretty fascinating viral advertising campaign called Project Blackstone, which is still being updated as the time ticks down to Heart of the Swarm's launch. And now we have another piece -- a comic about Kerrigan and a glimpse at what she's been through that takes place at some point after she was rescued at the end of Wings of Liberty.

Kerrigan -- Hope and Vengeance #0 is a relatively short comic, but the art and writing is top-notch. And here's the kicker -- it's absolutely free. You don't have to pay for the comic, you simply plunk it in your cart, checkout and read. The comic is a fairly brisk 8 pages, but with a story by Cameron Dayton and some really stunning art by Zoddd, not to mention the absence of a price tag, this is a nice treat for StarCraft fans.

To my knowledge, this is the first time Blizzard's ever offered a free digital comic of this scope. And it does make one wonder.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders now available for preorder

World of Warcraft Dark Riders now available for preorder ANY
Once upon a time, there was a Warcraft comic series. It ended in 2009 with a special issue that featured an entirely new cast of characters, both Alliance and Horde. The premise was that the series would continue on with two individual comics, one Alliance-themed, and one Horde. This shifted over the years into two graphic novels -- World of Warcraft: Blood Sworn for the Horde and World of Warcraft: Dark Riders for the Alliance.

While we've heard nothing more about Blood Sworn other than it's in development, Blizzplanet has some new news for those waiting eagerly for Dark Riders. You can now preorder Dark Riders on Amazon.com for $21.04, and it has a release date set for May 7, 2013. This 144-page hardcover graphic novel from DC Comics features an all-new story by Michael Costa, better known for his work on Transformers, and artwork by the talented Neil Googe.

Dark Riders revolves around the story of the Scythe of Elune and, more importantly, the mysterious Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, who have been mentioned more than once in quests but never really delved into. The title characters for the book are not your usual Warcraft heroes. They're adventurers like us -- ordinary Azeroth folk who have been plunged into extraordinary situations. It's been a long time coming, but I'm looking forward to finally having this one in my hands.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: Karazhan and the Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass

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.

Sometimes it's the characters that make Warcraft interesting, and sometimes, every now and again, it's the locations themselves that intrigue. Nestled in the heart of the Eastern Kingdoms, in a forlorn stretch of land simply called Deadwind Pass, lies the tower of Karazhan. Once the former home of Medivh, now a demon-riddled raid instance, Karazhan's story has far more to it than simply being the home of one of the last Guardians of Azeroth.

Rumors also abound about Deadwind Pass and its inhabitants -- strange, mysterious riders cloaked in darkness. Their shrill, harsh voices echoed through the hills of Duskwood once upon a time, and the purpose of their journey was an artifact powerful enough to be the genesis for an entirely new playable race. Karazhan, Deadwind Pass, and the Dark Riders all have an enigmatic history that's never been fully explained. But we do have hints, here and there scattered across novels and in game, that clear up a small portion of the mystery.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: How do you make that weird U thing?

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Adam called yesterday's edition of The Queue 'the Extreme edition,' but I'm of the opinion he didn't quite follow through. So I'm posting something extreme to make up for it, which you can see in the video above. Extreme. If you don't feel it's extreme enough, feel free to post your extreme links in the comments below with your usual questions, as long as the links are safe for work (and sanity.)

Eternauta asked...


I have a question, too. I know it's pretty stupid and obvious, but here I go: Why is everybody DPS and why is it so hard to find healers or tanks?

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, The Queue

Know Your Lore: The Scythe of Elune

In today's Know Your Lore, we're going to take a look at something that has been requested by a few readers(and a blogger). It's not a very well known topic, it comes from a quest line tucked away in the far corners of Ashenvale that sends you running all over the world as if you had absolutely nothing better to do with your time, much like any other quest line in Kalimdor. Regardless of the annoyance of the quest line, it is probably one of the more intriguing side stories in the Warcraft universe.

It begins shortly after the destruction of the World Tree. Archimonde was gone, but a great number of demons remained. Like the Scourge, the Legion doesn't simply stop when you tear the head from the beast. Priestess and Sentinel Velinde Starsong was the Night Elf in charge of leading the forces of the Kaldorei in these regions, assaulting the Legion and pushing them back as far as they could. This held up well for quite some time, pushing the demonic hordes as far back as the borders of Felwood. Unfortunately, the Night Elves were only level 20-something at that point, and the mobs in Felwood are like level 50, so things stopped going so well.

In all seriousness, the Kaldoreian advance was slowing more and more as they pressed into Felwood, their numbers being utterly decimated. Velinde grew desperate as so many of the Night Elves fell to the Legion, and called out to her final hope: The goddess Elune. She begged the goddess for strength and power, the ability to avenge her fallen comrades.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Lore, Know your Lore

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