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Posts with tag warcraft

Cryptozoic interviews Micky Neilson, James Waugh

Cryptozoic Entertainment recently began digital distribution of Blizzard's manga titles, as announced last month. This month, the company interviewed two of the big names behind the manga and its development. Micky Neilson, publishing team lead for Blizzard, and James Waugh, senior story developer for Blizzard, should be familiar to those that have read the manga, comics, and various Warcraft stories available. Most recently, they teamed up to write the five-issue comic series Curse of the Worgen, a look into the background and origins of the worgen in Warcraft.

The Q&A itself delves into the behind-the-scenes of manga development; how stories are created and who develops those stories, the purpose of the manga series and how it incorporates into the overall canon lore of World of Warcraft. And for those wondering, the question of whether or not the manga series is official canon is addressed as well.

The only minor disappointment with the interview is that the future of the Blizzard manga titles isn't really addressed. Whether or not any brand new titles will be published in the future wasn't touched upon, leaving the fate of the manga as a solid question mark. Regardless, the sheer enthusiasm of Neilson and Waugh during the interview is a nice reminder that those behind the story really do cherish the properties they're working with. Check out the full interview on Cryptozoic's website.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Interviews

Breakfast Topic: What brings people back to WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

My guild, like most, has seen players quit the game for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is another game stealing their gamer hearts, and equally often it can be a real-world time constraint that is given priority. What interests me is how the majority of these players return eventually. Most of the time, this seems to happen when their real-world issues get resolved or when they discover that other MMO just doesn't love them as much as WoW did. Nearly all of our regular guildmates who have "given up WoW," including selling or deleting accounts, have returned.

I had even "quit" WoW for nearly a year and let my subscription go. Just before I came back, I had been playing Fallout 3 and beat it, completing pretty much everything. When it ended, I wanted a game that I could keep playing, a place where my character could keep growing and the world wouldn't end when I beat some random boss. I instantly remembered WoW, bought Wrath of the Lich King, and have been playing strong ever since.

If you or someone you know has ever made the decision to give up the game and move on -- more than just taking a break -- what has brought you or your friend or guildmate back into the world? Is it a realization that WoW just might be the best MMO on the market today? Is it a recreation of spare time for gaming? Or is it something else even more interesting?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

What WoW mobile app would you like to see next?

This guest post has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

For those of us who simply can't get enough WoW time in while we're in front of a computer, Blizzard has already created the Mobile Armory and Mobile Auction House applications. We can look up character stats, achievements, gear, and talents as well as buy, sell, and collect gold from our auction house deals. These are very cool tools to give yourself a little more Warcraft on the go or at work.

I think there are a lot more possibilities, though. There's a new app out there that can solve sudoku puzzles just by taking a picture of them. There's an app that can tell you where you are based on star constellations or tell you what the sky looks like above you based on your GPS and the angle of your phone.

Don't you think WoW could take advantage of some of these amazing advances in phone technology? What about an app for crafting? It could work in conjunction with the auction house application and let you do crafting from your smart phone. I can picture an easy interface that would be similar to our in-game crafting menu, showing the recipes with the sort by categories such as item type, materials on hand, or gem color. Of course, considering how fast our technology is rolling out, it might not be too long before we could see a slimmed-down version of Warcraft in our hands. Can you imagine WoW Lite? It probably wouldn't be suitable for raiding, but questing, gathering, or maybe easy dungeons could be a blast on a long bus ride.

Would you get excited about a crafting app or WoW Lite, or is there another application idea you've been dying to see Blizzard develop?

Filed under: Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What feature does WoW need most?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Grandpappy Frostheim would probably say that we, the mass of WoW players, have more options, features, sparkly things, humdingers and thing-a-ma-jigs to help us play than ever before -- and he would be right. But I don't believe that should mean there aren't more features and upgrades to our interface and experience that would improve things even further.

Just in the past year or so, Blizzard has added a ton to our interfaces, including an improved built-in quest helper, built-in power auras, and the remote auction house. These all are great "quality of life" improvements for the majority of players. The remote auction house is one of my favorite new features, as playing the AH is as fun as many other parts of the game for me. I had heard rumors before the remote auction house was released that you'd be able to use your crafting professions remotely as well. This would have enabled me to buy on the AH, craft gear or cut gems, and then sell my finished product, all remotely. I'm sure this would bring me a lot closer to being gold-capped. Oh well, I can dream, can't I?

Most everyone has some idea they feel could be added to improve the gaming experience. Are you one of those still hungering for the dance studio, or is there some other feature you think WoW really needs?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Goblin

Breakfast Topic: Who will be the ultimate boss encounter of WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Illidan. Arthas. Deathwing. Gamon?

In WoW, we kill a lot of things. From x number of boars to 10,000-year-old, demon-juiced night elves, we gear up for and defeat just about everything that comes our way, assuming we can stay out of the fire. But at some point, even WoW, as with all good things, must come to an end.

Both for the game and for players in the game, a last boss will almost certainly arrive. For me, the last boss was simple: Arthas, the Lich King. As players, we've been following his rise, fall, and next rise for years. We watched him succumb to the dark side -- queue evil laugh -- and fall from his perch as a hero of Light into a twisted master of undeath. Then he taunted us throughout the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Finally, we vanquished him, fulfilling years of adventure.

Unfortunately for my ideal ending, I still enjoy and want to continue playing the game. Now we have Deathwing flying around, killing folks. Will he be the fated endgame boss? More Old Gods, maybe? Or perhaps even the Titans themselves will come back to purge the world of our meddling.

Who do you think should be the last boss of WoW? Do you think there will be a last boss?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Who is your favorite Warcraft character?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

From the ever-(un)popular Garrosh Hellscream to everyone's favorite golden girl, Jaina Proudmoore, the World of Warcraft story is packed full of dynamic and interesting characters. As a player of the Warcraft series before it became an entire world (most notably Warcraft 3), I have a pretty strong bias toward Thrall as a favorite character. I'm fairly certain many players share this sentiment. Thrall is smart, kind and stuffed full of courage. He also isn't afraid to rock your universe if you're a threat to the Horde or the world as a whole. I love a character who can be both a warrior (yes, I know he is the shaman class) and an intelligent leader.

King Wrynn, leader of the Alliance, has similar qualities when it comes down to the core, though most of the time only his wrathful nature shows through, and he isn't as able to think rationally to make decisions that could lead toward peace and the betterment of his people. He does have pretty compelling history to form his opinions, though.

Honestly, as I read The Shattering novel and learn more of his lore and story, Garrosh is working his way up my favorite character list. Although he is mostly a brash hothead, preferring to cut through and beat down any problem that arises, he is still somehow able to galvanize his people and lead a very successful campain in Northrend. On top of that, Thrall (the intelligent leader) thought it best to place him as acting Warchief of the Horde. There must be something to this orc.

Do you prefer those like the logical, caring Jaina or the impulsive Wrynn/Hellscreem types? Maybe you still have a soft spot for the boy who eventually became the Lich King. Who is your favorite Warcraft character?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite World of Warcraft fan art or media?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With the massive number of players logging in every day to WoW, there's an equally expansive amount of art and media coming from that player base. Very few games have ever brought out such a community of creative minds showing the rest of us their vision of a fantasy world. From machinima to custom WoW dolls (I mean action figures -- right, guys?), to Horde/Alliance-themed cakes, there are a ton of different venues for artists of all varieties to express their passion for the game.

I've just recently begun to start watching WoW-based machinima and have discovered there are quite a few masterpieces out there from people who seem talented enough to write or direct feature films. After the Cataclysm launch, I'm going to start an ongoing fan fiction story about a rogue and what his life is like after Deathwing ravages Azeroth. It should be plum full of adventures and high jinks! Although I'd love to include custom artwork with that story, my drawing skill ends at stick figures, so I'll have to use to screen shots.

Out of all the different art, videos, and other "warcrafts," are there any you'd like to participate in? Or maybe you already check out great fan art, make custom troll outfits for cosplay, or bake cupcakes shaped like murlocs. What are your favorites?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

BlizzCon 2010: Retro Arcade

Blizzard released Lost Vikings almost two decades ago and has been making games ever since. Obviously proud of the company's history, BlizzCon has an arcade to play the older titles. The games, their years of release and their promotional posters are in the gallery below.


BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Guest Post: Getting into the WoW Trading Card Game

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Are you someone who plays World of Warcraft and purchases booster boxes of each World of Warcraft Trading Card Game expansion in order to get its loot cards? Do you know how to play the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game? If not, then you are one of many online gamers I've heard of who help make the trading card game a hot property but have not discovered that those cards you are packing up and burying in your apartment or house are actually a lot of fun to play with. For those of you who haven't taken a look at the trading card game at all, I'd highly recommend it.

I have been playing card games since 2003, and the WoW TCG is no exception. I spent over a year writing about the game, as well as playing and working at some of its biggest events (with a short break in 2008 to finish school). It was because of WoW TCG that I ended up getting into the WoW MMO in the first place!

The WoW Trading Card Game has been around since fall 2006 and has continued on through a transition from one company (Upper Deck Entertainment) to another (Cryptozoic). Organized play has had its ups and downs, but the game is starting to get more popular and attendance is once again picking up at events everywhere. However, a recent addition to the weekly tournament at my local comic book store mentioned that he knows plenty of people who buy the cards but never learn how to play.

Why is that?

Read more →

Filed under: WoW TCG, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: The best class choice for new players

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I'm living a dream that many guys out there have: My girlfriend is actively learning how to play World of Warcraft and is enjoying it. After a couple of false starts, she finally found a class that suited her.

First, she tried a warlock. Too many things to remember. Keeping DoTs up, keeping up with soul shards and collecting them, keeping tabs on her demon in battle. It was too much for her.

She tried a hunter. Taming her own pet was cool at first, but then she had to feed it and manage it in dungeons. Throw Feign Death, Deterrence and Disengage into the mix, and it was not her cup of tea. She's flying back 10 yards into other packs of mobs and feigning death every time the cooldown is up because she's afraid of the tank yelling at her for "doing the aggro thing." I was dismayed that a hunter didn't work out, because I always deemed it the default starter class for new players. At least it was for me.

Then came the paladin. Oh, blessed paladin, how she loves thee. At first, all she had to do was run up to the mob and hit it with Judgement of Light. The only "tricky" thing I had to teach her was when the Judgement of Light button was dark and wouldn't let her use it, it meant she needed to apply her Seal of Righteousness again. I even put the Seal right above the Judgement so she wouldn't forget. She was actually having pure joy with her new class. She didn't wonder if she was doing it right. She didn't worry about forgetting something. Just kill, kill, kill and love every second of it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Three fresh ideas for world PvP events

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Of all the PvP events I've participated in over the years, the battle for Halaa in Nagrand always sticks out in my mind as one of the best-executed examples of world PvP that the World of Warcraft has ever produced. The battle for Halaa brought together several areas of warfare in perfect harmony.

  • The element of surprise The battle for Halaa took place at any time. Whenever the opposite faction felt like taking control of the city, they could form a raid and start bombing. It left the controlling faction scrambling to assemble a defense when the words "Halaa is under attack!" popped up on their screens.
  • Aerial assault Players had to activate one of four wyvern stations and fly over the city of Halaa to drop bombs, causing massive amounts of damage. Until the defenses were weakened, players could not successfully enter the city.
  • Sabotage While enemy players were taking to the skies, one of the keys to success was to destroy the activated wyvern stations to prevent those enemy players from immediately taking off for another bombing run.
  • Siege warfare Once the city's defenses were eliminated, the conquering force moved into the city center and held the city captive. Either the defending faction would break the siege and regain control of the city or it would be lost to the conquering heroes.
  • Spoils of war Defeating your enemy within the boundaries of Halaa yielded you a Halaa Battle Token. Once you controlled Halaa, those tokens could be spent on various rewards, including the coveted Dark War Talbuk.

With new expansions come new territories to explore and conquer. Sadly, Nagrand and the war-torn city of Halaa fell to the wayside in favor of Wintergrasp once Wrath of the Lich King was released. So what does a player who is hungry for world PvP do now? If you have some friends and are will to do a little organizing and promoting, here are three new ideas to spring on your server.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Guest Posts

Video Games Live comes to PBS this summer



Video Games Live, the wildly popular traveling concert series that performs music from major video games, is visiting a new venue this August: the television. VGL was founded in 2002 by video game composers and game industry veterans Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall. Since its inception, the symphony performance has prided itself on introducing the experience of a live orchestra performance to an entirely new generation of listeners; most attendees are viewing the symphony for the first time. In addition, it's a celebration of the gaming industry, the creative process of designing music for video games, and a showcase for art of video game music to both gamers and non-gamers.

The concert series literally travels the world, performing in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Scotland, France, Taiwan, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and most of the United States (including, of course, BlizzCon). Both because of the subject of the concerts and because of the quality of entertainment, concerts can easily sell out. Thankfully for those of us who haven't been able to afford the cost or simply live nowhere near the touring locations, PBS will be airing a 90-minute Video Games Live special, consisting of never-before televised live musical performances from the Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, God of War, Civlization, Chrono Cross and Guitar Hero franchises, including a musical journey through classic gaming. And of course, music from both Warcraft and StarCraft will be making an appearance as well.

For those who don't catch the televised performance, there will also be a CD and DVD/Blu-ray release that coincides with the nationally televised special, including over three hours of bonus material. Check out the trailer above for more details about what is sure to be a gorgeous night of entertainment!

Filed under: News items, Arts and Crafts

Breakfast Topic: Keep Azeroth clean

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Is it just me, or is the air a bit dirtier than it used to be? Turbo-Charged Flying Machines, Mekgineer's Choppers, the new Refer-A-Friend X-53 Touring Rocket and not to mention all of the vehicles in Ulduar and Wintergrasp. Soon goblins will be driving their very own cars! Yes, it seems the once fresh, clean atmosphere of Azeroth is destined to become more polluted than trade chat.

At first I thought the whole Ice Stone melting incident was a farce .. just a part of our natural, cyclical climate change. But what if all of this engineering exhaust is causing irreparable damage? Perhaps it's the pollution itself that causes "Cataclysm" and not the return of Deathwing, like we've been told. It seems we are amidst the industrial revolution of Azeroth, and the progression of technology cannot be stifled any longer. As an engineer myself, I have to wonder about the effects I have personally had on WoW's environment -- crafting machines, bombs and even extracting motes and eternals on a daily basis. For shame.

Have you contributed to polluting Azeroth? If so what can we do to improve the air quality or prevent the situation from getting out of control?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Blizzard manga giveaway from Lorehound

Lorehound.com once again continues to offer up all things good and manga-related by putting up a fun little contest. Look at your bookshelf. Is it barren of any Blizzard/Tokyopop manga titles? Does it weep silently in the night, wishing it could be graced by the volumes of Warcraft Legends and the Starcraft titles? Hope no more, dear bookshelf, for if you enter Lorehound's Incredibly Short Story contest, you have the potential to win every single Blizzard manga title in existance.

Put on your robe and thinking cap and write a 150- to 300-word story on why you think you deserve the book collection. It can be anything: sob story, comedy, thoughtful introspective, a shopping list or whatever. Submit your story, and Lorehound will narrow down the runner-ups. From there, the community will vote on which one is the best.

Considering this is nearly $70+ worth of manga, I'd say that's not a bad deal. Best of luck to all who enter!

Filed under: Contests, Lore

Buff(ing) For BlizzCon: Carving out Caverns of Time and unarmed combat

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

We've all been there: bored in Storm Peaks, decked out in our blues and purples, and idly surfing through your achievements, when you realize that you need to give someone (or several someones) a knuckle sandwich in order to earn Master of Arms. Unequipping your weapon of choice (or eschewing your favorite spell rotation), you start slapping some unsuspecting rhinocerous or elemental. It takes a surprisingly long time to do that particular grind, especially if you're not built for melee combat.

What the heck does this have to do with our bi-weekly sojourn into the realm of health and fitness? Without the right equipment and skills, even something simple is harder than you think it's going to be -- but with practice, it gets easier. Fortunately for us, we don't have to subject ourselves to a great deal of peril in order to gear up, and we can boost our skills during in-game downtime.

This time around, Buff(ing) for BlizzCon will check in with the staffers who are on this particular quest to see what they're using and doing to help them reach their goals, and we'll offer a few suggestions of our own. We already know that if you're not doing anything at all, starting any kind of healthy eating and exercise routine will help. For those of you who have already gotten those under way -- keep on keeping on. For those of you who haven't, what are you waiting for? Extended maintenance?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, Guest Posts

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