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Posts with tag quest-for-pandaria

How I write short stories for Blizzard

Garrosh my one true fiction
My first day at WoW Insider, I was brainstorming ideas for articles when Adam Holisky piped up in chat, "Hey, why not write about writing for Blizzard? I'd love to hear about that, and I bet some of our readers would, too." It's a topic I could discuss at length, and based on some of the chatter I see around various online forums, there seem to be some pretty common misconceptions about how the process works.

So I'm going to discuss some of the structures Blizzard has in place to work with their external authors as well as my personal creative process. Please note that this is only the way I have experienced things, and Blizzard's longer-standing authors such as Richard Knaak or Christie Golden may have a very different routine.

Working with Blizzard

In my experience, an outside author really does not have any control over what stories get told. Once upon a time Blizzard did ask me to pitch them some ideas, but ended up scrapping them in favor of the leader stories project. I am really not in a position to suggest I write something for them. If they want me for a project, they'll contact me and ask if I'm interested.

Once I have verbally accepted an offer, contracts are mailed and signed, and I head off to Irvine for a meeting with the Blizzard Publishing team, which is the primary point of contact for authors working on expanded universe content.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2012, part 1

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.

2012 was a bit of an odd year for World of Warcraft. While yes, we did see the successful launch of Mists of Pandaria, that didn't happen until September. Prior to that? There was a whole lot of nothing in game. Patch 4.3 came out in November of 2011, which meant that players had nothing new or exciting to look at for nine months -- an astonishingly long period of time. So why bother doing a top 10 lore developments for 2012, you may ask?

Because the moment Mists of Pandaria hit live servers, we were inundated with so many different lore developments, changes and tweaks that there is more than enough material for this list. Oddly enough, although we definitely spent far more time this year entrenched in Cataclysm, it already feels like there's been more time spent in Pandaria overall. And the changes made to lore development between Cataclysm and Mists are something we should pay attention to, because they spell the beginnings of a very bright future for further Warcraft lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

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

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 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

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