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Sons of the Storm to appear at BlizzCon, unveil another member


The Sons of the Storm is a kind of artists' collective connected with Blizzard -- they're responsible for the majority of the concept and game art coming out of Blizzard, from the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series. They count Samwise Didier and Chris Metzen in their ranks, along with many of Blizzard's most popular artists. And apparently their ranks are growing -- on their latest website update, they have posted a new group picture, along with a mysterious "eighth son" that they say they will introduce sometime later, possibly months after BlizzCon. From left on the picture above, you can see Samwise Dider, Chris Metzen, René Koiter, Travis Thammer, Glenn Rane, Peter Lee, Mark Gibbons, and the Eighth Son, who a commenter over at Blizzplanet speculates may be Wei Wang.

Speaking of BlizzCon, the Sons site also says that all of the seven current sons will be signing at the convention, so be sure to bring your TCG cards, Warcraft novels, art books and anything else these guys may have worked on. We're sure there'll be a line, but if you're willing to brave the wait, you might get to meet some of the most creative minds behind Blizzard's beloved universes.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Galleries, BlizzCon, Fan art, WoW TCG

WoW Insider Show Episode 76: All the bests

We had a really fun (and longer than usual) time on the WoW Insider Show this past week -- Turpster and Michael Sacco joined me to talk about all of the patch 3.1 class changes, from Druids to Death Knights, and we answered lots and lots of reader email, including what to do if your guild is too small to raid, whether to go PvP or PvE, and the lore and quests of the current endgame (or lack thereof, as the case may be).

Lots of great chat in there about classes in general -- we were pretty one-topic-minded this week but we basically cover a state-of-the-game of class balance, and talk about what's up and what's down for each class in 3.1. And last but not least, we updated everyone on our big Facebook quest -- we've got over 3600 fans so far, and if we hit 4000, Turpster will premiere a new song on our show. And we had the winner of our Authenticator contest send us pictures of what Turpster sent to him -- find the full versions after the break below (and feel free to color/remix them as you see fit).

Was a lot of fun -- hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. We'll see you next week.

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Listen here on the page:

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Bugs, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, Instances, Raiding, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Tattooed for the Horde

I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of tattoos out there, but that is a nice tattoo -- xstitchfla's son Christopher got it on his arm just recently, and clearly he's flying the Horde flag proudly. It took about five hours to put on there, which seems like it would hurt a lot, but then again, Hordies can take it, right?

Christopher is also headed off to Iraq next year, too, so we wish him the best of luck and hope that he stays safe.

And while we're at it, just what is it with the Horde and WoW tattoos? Seems like every picture we see is of the Orc/Tauren/Troll/Blood Elf/Forsaken variety. Aren't there any Humans, Gnomes or Dwarves out there getting inked up?

Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Wrath of the Lich King, Fan art

World of WarCrafts: BlizzCon photo frame

Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

This year I was fortunate enough to attend BlizzCon, and while my experience ranked right up there with getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, there was one thing missing. A picture frame.

How Blizzard forgot to include such a simple product in their stores, made to protect our memories of such a grand event, escapes me. However, this oversight has allowed me to craft a frame reminiscent of the icy chill soon to takeover what's left of our social lives, Wrath of the Lich King.

Here is what you will need:
  • Unfinished Photo Frame
  • Balsa Wood Sticks
  • Wood Saw
  • Spray Paint (you may have some leftover from crafting the Cataclysm's Edge)
  • Blue Glitter Flakes
  • Photo Paper
  • Overlaminate Sheet
  • Mod Podge
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

Warcraft Orc art on European ghost train ride


Paul sent us this picture (thanks!) he saw on a ride at a traveling fair -- he doesn't say where he's from, but he does play on the EU realms, so we imagine this to be somewhere in the gypsy country of France (France has some gypsy country, right?), in among the carnies and popcorn. As you can see, it's everyone's favorite Warcraft image, "repurposed" into a scary ghost train ride. And if you click to embiggen the photo, you can see that it's not just Thrall on the sign. Apparently ghost train ride artists aren't scared by a little thing like copyright law.

Of course, while non-Warcraft players would probably see a sign like that and think it's gross or scary, we know the truth: Thrall's a loveable badass. He's the guy you elected the supreme leader of Azeroth by a huge margin, so using him on a ride that's supposed to be scary kind of defeats the purpose. While most might leave that ride screaming in fear, we'll probably just leave it screaming, "For the Horde!"

Update: I'm told that the art is not of Thrall but is instead Grom, something that has shaken me to the very foundations of the day I first bought Warcraft III. I always thought it was Thrall on the box cover. Oh well.

Also, I apologize to Paul, our French readers, and the gypsies of the European continent. Paul didn't say where he saw this ride, and my overactive imagination pushed me to envision a traveling gypsy camp somewhere in the wilds of France. I meant no offense -- in fact, even though I'm a lifelong American (Midwestern, even), I feel a kinship with the traveling gypsies of the old country. That's probably why I thought it was them.

Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Bosses, NPCs

World of WarCrafts: Conjured photo frame

Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

Mages deserve some love. Providing hundreds of biscuits and polymorphing adds for your raid is sure to take a toll on even the hardiest of magi. Not to mention removing curses, stealing buffs, and making everyone temporarily smarter. Oh yeah, there's that damage dealing thing they do too.

So take some time to express some gratitude for your under-appreciated arcane ally by conjuring up this custom photo frame.


Here is what you will need:
  • Scrapbook Frame
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Soft Glitter Paint
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Fine Glitter
  • Gems (also used in the Voidwalker Doorknob Hanger)
  • Mod Podge
  • Wooden Letters
  • Wooden Sheep Shape
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Xacto Knife
  • Paper Cutter
  • Pencil
  • Toothpicks
  • Paintbrushes
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

Rumor: Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition box

Here's some good Wrath of the Lich King rumor-juice for you tonight. Pictured to the right is what has shown up on the internet as a Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition box. I for one think it looks real. It was posted on the Paladin Schmaladin blog two months ago, although reader Allen just tipped us to it this evening.

The poster over there notes that the box comes from her friend Gene, who supposedly works at a printing facility. Gene couldn't get one out of the printing factory, so instead he snapped an image of the box with his cellphone.

Through Paladin Schmaladin, we're also told that the printing press had the WotLK box orders pushed back four months. This could be an indication that Lich King will be coming out later than expected, although since Blizzard hasn't really announced a release date, we'd probably never know the difference.

Nonetheless, enjoy your nightly WotLK rumor. It looks to be a good one.

Click the image for a larger high-res version.

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

Blizzard's icy splash screen changes as Diablo 3 and WoTLK speculation intensifies

We reported yesterday about the new icy splash screen which has appeared on many of Blizzard's corporate and gaming sites. There's already tons of speculation speeding around the web about it, and of course the pot was only stirred all the more this morning when the picture changed slightly: the light in the middle of the cracked ice became brighter, and there's some new detail that can be seen through the ice, including a rune of some sort just to the upper right of the center. we can probably assume that the picture will change more each day until something is announced at the Worldwide Invitational. However, the question remains: What is being announced?

Right now, there's two major schools of thought about it: One school says that this will lead up to the announcement of the WoTLK Beta, while another says that this will be the announcement of Diablo 3. Each side has some pretty passionate arguments, and are bringing the analysis to back it up. Let's look at what we have after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Galleries, Rumors, Worldwide Invitational

Haven't Seen Him Since He Went AFK Bio


See, this is exactly the kind of stuff that makes that psychologist lady think we're all crazy.

Salt from Spinebreaker points us to a picture (above) that some enterprising (and extremely thirsty) player has taken. It's a bunch of cans (147, according to someone on the Forum who might actually have counted them) of Dr. Pepper, laid on the floor and spelling out the name of our beloved pasttime. At least it was all cans of Dr. Pepper, and not his less-educated brother, Mr. Pibb.

Pretty impressive. But give me a call when someone does a color version of the Burning Crusade logo.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends

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