Subraces Part 2: Before the Storm

We’d previously talked about the strange additions to the “chrraces” file in WBDX that could be evidence of four subraces coming to World of WarCraft in the next expansion. Thanks to the crafty people in the MMO-Champion hype thread, and WoWhead, even more details on these strange entries has been uncovered. Already it was getting to be too much to keep updating the original article, and then another bombshell dropped. Christie Golden’s next World of WarCraft novel has a title and description that might shed further light on the upcoming expansion. I’ve decided to the combine the two into a single, pre-BlizzCon speculation extravaganza.

REMINDER: I’ve seen some confusion over this on places like Twitter and Reddit; nothing in this or the previous article is confirmed. While the file evidence is real, we can only make educated guesses as to what the details mean. 

The Future of the Past, a War Crimes Analysis

world-of-warcraft-war-crimes-coverThe latest World of Warcraft novel, War Crimes by Christie Golden, came out today. Reviews of the book have been pouring from various WoW fansites over the past few days, but this will not be one. Suffice to say, I really liked the book (aside from one big flaw), and it make me extremely excited for Warlords of Draenor. Instead, I’m going to talk about some of the shocking revelations brought to light in War Crimes and the implications they might have for the storyline of Warlords of Draenor.

Obviously this means there will be spoilers, so if you with to read the book “fresh” then I recommend doing so first before reading this article.

[Teaser] World of Warcraft : War Crimes

Christie Golden just announced on Twitter that a teaser for her new novel War Crimes, is available on Amazon. To remind you a little, the novel will deal with the trial of Garrosh of the Siege of Orgrimmar, and will be like Tides of War the transition to the next expansion   The novel will be on store the 6th of May.

world-of-warcraft-war-crimes-cover

“Garrosh Hellscream. You have been charged with war crimes, and crimes against the very essence of sentient beings of Azeroth, as well as crimes against Azeroth itself. You are also charged for all acts committed in your name, or by those with whom you have allied.”

Garrosh merely stood there, silent and still.

Taran Zhu continued. “The charges are as follows: Genocide. Murder. Forcible transfer of population. Enforced disappearance of individuals.”

The list of the heinous crimes alone was powerful enough to make Jaina tense. She glanced over at where Vol’jin and the other Horde leaders sat. She had heard of the treatment of trolls under Garrosh—and what the orc had tried to do to Vol’jin himself. “Enslavement. The abduction of children. Torture. The killing of prisoners. Forced pregnancy.”

Anduin winced, and Jaina could not blame him. She thought of Alexstrasza and the horrors that had been perpetrated upon the Life-Binder personally and the red dragonflight in general. Kalec was very still beside Jaina. She looked up at him, meaning to offer him comfort, and instead found him looking down at her. He knew what was coming, and slipped an arm around her.

She braced herself.

“The wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages not justified by military or civilian necessity.”

The Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Theramore.

“What say you to these charges, Garrosh Hellscream?”

Garrosh did not reply, and for a wild second, Jaina wondered if maybe, just maybe, hearing the charges so bluntly laid out before him would move the former war­chief. She had heard of his anger at an underling who had slain innocents in his name, knew that the one thing even Garrosh’s enemies must give him credit for was a passionate devotion to his race. And, at one time, he had also been given credit for honor.

She stared at Garrosh, hardly daring to blink or even breathe, not knowing if she wanted him to break down and ask forgiveness for his atrocities or to stand firm— so that they could kill him with impunity.

And then Garrosh smiled, beginning to slowly applaud, although the chains about his wrists hampered the gesture.

“The show has barely commenced,” he responded, sneering, “and already I give it a standing ovation. This promises to be more entertaining than the Darkmoon Faire!” His contemptuous laughter rang through the hall. “I will not say that I am guilty, for that denotes shame. Nor will I protest innocence, for I claim no such. Let the comedy begin!”

HORDE BIAS! A Red Shirt Guy Editorial on the “Faction Bias” Arguments

Orgrimmar

Hi readers and welcome to my first editorial type article. With the release of Patch 5.4’s trailer (see it here if you haven’t already), the debate on whether or not Blizzard is biased towards the Horde in content development has risen again. Its a subject that really came to a head with the release of Cataclysm, enough so that Blizzard actually had Dave Kosak make a blog post, “Dev Watercooler: Faction Favoritism“. It was very negatively received, and in fact was seen by many as further proof there was faction bias favoring the Horde enough to be detrimental to the Alliance among Blizzard’s developers. So, does this faction favoritism really exist? Is Blizzard ignoring half their playerbase because they can’t muster the effort to to create content for a faction they don’t like? Or is this all overblown outcry from WoW’s notoriously unpleaseable fanbase?

World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal Audiobook Announced

A new audiobook has been announced by Tantor Media Audiobook. World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal was co-written by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden. The audiobook is slated for May 2009. A narrator hasn’t been appointed, but hopefully it is Dick Hill again. The other three audiobooks were the first Warcraft books in the series. It’s great to see that recent books are getting the audiobook treatment and opens the possibility that more will be converted.

You can pre-order World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal audiobook here.

New Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook Sample

Richard A. Knaak sends heads up that Tantor Media Audiobooks has released a new Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook MP3 Sample, narrated by Dick Hill, for those fans who would want to listen to a three-minutes recording prior to purchasing it. The Audiobook will be available in a few days on December 29, 2009.  You may listen to the MP3 Sample here.

Our recent interview with Dick Hill, if you missed it. It contains a different 4-minutes sample provided to us by Dick Hill.

Jeff Grubb Comments On Warcraft: The Last Guardian Audiobook

Jeff Grubb is a legend among fantasy authors for his decades of experience in the field. He has worked for Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Magic the Gathering, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Al-Qadim, Marvel Universe, Pokemon, Thieves’ World, Wizkids, DC Heroclix and the Star Wars Miniatures: Rebel Storm.

In the Blizzard Entertainment worlds, Jeff Grubb will always be remembered along with Richard A. Knaak as the pioneers of the Warcraft novels. Jeff Grubb wrote Warcraft: The Last Guardian (2001) – the story about Medivih, Khadgar, Garona and Lord Lothar.  The story was based in the First War, inspired by Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (RTS game, 1994).

As reported a few days ago, I interviewed Dick Hill thanks to Richard A. Knaak.  Dick Hill is the professional narrator and actor that worked on the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook (Dec 2008). The Warcraft: Lord of the Clans audiobook (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian audiobook (Aprill 2009).

As a follow up to the audiobooks interview, I contacted Jeff Grubb to get his feedback concerning the reprint of his Warcraft: The Last Guardian in the audiobook format. Read the interview below.

Medievaldragon: Hi Jeff. What are your feelings now Warcraft: The Last Guardian is getting published as an audiobook, narrated by Dick Hill?

Jeff Grubb: I am delighted to hear that Last Guardian is becoming an audiobook and that Richard “Dick” Hill is going to read it. I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks on my commute – wrapped up the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin books and just finished “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”. I’ve become a fan of the format, and pleased to see how well my story has held up over the years.

Medievaldragon: Are you ever writing a new Warcraft or Starcraft book? The fans, and myself, miss you badly. It was a great work.

Jeff Grubb: I enjoyed my experiences writing for Warcraft and Starcraft, and should the opportunity present itself, would be glad to do so again. At the moment, however, my day job is building exciting worlds, characters, and situations for Guild Wars at ArenaNet, and while they have been very understanding about me continuing my freelance writing, they have given me the hairy eyeball when the subject of working with their biggest competitors come up. So for the moment, I must demure. smile

Medievaldragon: I have some random thoughts for you that I would want you to share with fans. You quit WoW some months ago, and I am not sure if I read you returned to play with some friends afterwards. How do you feel about Khadgar in Shattrath City? Garona Halforcen is making its return in the DC Comics World of Warcraft # 15-16 too. Both follow-ups bring so many great memories from your book. Dan Liberty might show up in the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty video game.  I was a sad panda after finding out a few years ago you worked at that Pokemon gig, and later you joined the Guild Wars development team at some point. You would have done so much for the Warcraft universe at Blizzard Entertainment in my opinion. Hope to see you soon back in the Warcraft / Starcraft franchises.

Jeff Grubb: I played WoW heavily for a while, then quit, then came back earlier this year with a group of friends, then quit again. My big problem is that I play with Real World friends, who would then either outlevel me or quit to get their lives back, either option leaving my character an orphan. I had characters scattered around a half-dozen servers. As a result, I never got to end-game content – and never got to Shattrath. I’m glad to see that Khadgar survived and is pulling the races together, and wondered what happened to Garona.  If Daniel Michael Liberty makes it to Starcraft II (Originally I named him Danny, but he turned into a better character when everyone called him Mike), that would be great as well. My general attitude to my characters is to do my best by them, and not to feel bad when others continue their stories.

I also never say never, so I may yet come back to Azeroth.

Medievaldragon: Really hope you do. Thanks a bunch for responding to a community that loves and misses your work and legacy for the Warcraft franchise. Karazhan, Moroes, Khadgar, Medivh, Aegwynn, Garona, Black Morass. Great memories.

Dick Hill provided us an MP3 sample (4:00) of the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook for your listening pleasure. The same narrator will work on Warcraft: The Last Guardian audiobook.

Richard A. Knaak Shipping Autographed Books

Richard A. Knaak updated his blog today extending his offer of shipping book signed copies of World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy Archive and the Diablo Archive. These will do a very special gift for a loved one or a friend who is into Warcraft lore. Knaak confirmed the release date for the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook is on December 29th, 2008. An audiobook sample (MP3) may be found here.

Knaak: First off, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all those who celebrate it!  I wish everyone a very great New Year, too!

Second, due to the overwhelming response and the request for other items, beginning JANUARY, I

Jeff Grubb Comments On Warcraft: The Last Guardian Audiobook

Jeff Grubb is a legend among fantasy authors for his decades of experience in the field. He has worked for Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Magic the Gathering, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Al-Qadim, Marvel Universe, Pokemon, Thieves’ World, Wizkids, DC Heroclix and the Star Wars Miniatures: Rebel Storm.

In the Blizzard Entertainment worlds, Jeff Grubb will always be remembered along with Richard A. Knaak as the pioneers of the Warcraft novels. Jeff Grubb wrote Warcraft: The Last Guardian (2001) – the story about Medivih, Khadgar, Garona and Lord Lothar.  The story was based in the First War, inspired by Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (RTS game, 1994).

As reported a few days ago, I interviewed Dick Hill thanks to Richard A. Knaak.  Dick Hill is the professional narrator and actor that worked on the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook (Dec 2008). The Warcraft: Lord of the Clans audiobook (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian audiobook (Aprill 2009).

As a follow up to the audiobooks interview, I contacted Jeff Grubb to get his feedback concerning the reprint of his Warcraft: The Last Guardian in the audiobook format. Read the interview below.

Medievaldragon: Hi Jeff. What are your feelings now Warcraft: The Last Guardian is getting published as an audiobook, narrated by Dick Hill?

Jeff Grubb: I am delighted to hear that Last Guardian is becoming an audiobook and that Richard “Dick” Hill is going to read it. I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks on my commute – wrapped up the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin books and just finished “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”. I’ve become a fan of the format, and pleased to see how well my story has held up over the years.

Medievaldragon: Are you ever writing a new Warcraft or Starcraft book? The fans, and myself, miss you badly. It was a great work.

Jeff Grubb: I enjoyed my experiences writing for Warcraft and Starcraft, and should the opportunity present itself, would be glad to do so again. At the moment, however, my day job is building exciting worlds, characters, and situations for Guild Wars at ArenaNet, and while they have been very understanding about me continuing my freelance writing, they have given me the hairy eyeball when the subject of working with their biggest competitors come up. So for the moment, I must demure. smile

Medievaldragon: I have some random thoughts for you that I would want you to share with fans. You quit WoW some months ago, and I am not sure if I read you returned to play with some friends afterwards. How do you feel about Khadgar in Shattrath City? Garona Halforcen is making its return in the DC Comics World of Warcraft # 15-16 too. Both follow-ups bring so many great memories from your book. Dan Liberty might show up in the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty video game.  I was a sad panda after finding out a few years ago you worked at that Pokemon gig, and later you joined the Guild Wars development team at some point. You would have done so much for the Warcraft universe at Blizzard Entertainment in my opinion. Hope to see you soon back in the Warcraft / Starcraft franchises.

Jeff Grubb: I played WoW heavily for a while, then quit, then came back earlier this year with a group of friends, then quit again. My big problem is that I play with Real World friends, who would then either outlevel me or quit to get their lives back, either option leaving my character an orphan. I had characters scattered around a half-dozen servers. As a result, I never got to end-game content – and never got to Shattrath. I’m glad to see that Khadgar survived and is pulling the races together, and wondered what happened to Garona.  If Daniel Michael Liberty makes it to Starcraft II (Originally I named him Danny, but he turned into a better character when everyone called him Mike), that would be great as well. My general attitude to my characters is to do my best by them, and not to feel bad when others continue their stories.

I also never say never, so I may yet come back to Azeroth.

Medievaldragon: Really hope you do. Thanks a bunch for responding to a community that loves and misses your work and legacy for the Warcraft franchise. Karazhan, Moroes, Khadgar, Medivh, Aegwynn, Garona, Black Morass. Great memories.

Exclusive: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook Sample

Dick Hill provided us with a 4-minutes Mp3 sample of the upcoming Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook slated to be on sale near the end of December 2008 at the Tantor Media Audiobooks store. Pre-orders are already available. The audio sample provided to us is from the scene where Elven Ranger Vereesa, dwarf warrior Falstad, and Kryll (the goblin) discuss going to Grim Batol. You can listen to the sample at our recent interview with Dick Hill.

Let us know if you liked his voice performance and if you look forward for Warcraft: Lord of the Clans (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian (April 2009) Audiobooks too.