Simon & Schuster provided the new description of the upcoming Christie Golden’s pocket star book World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King—on bookstores by April 21. Simon & Schuster is already taking Pre-Orders here. We posted its first chapter excerpt a few weeks ago. If you have done the Icecrown quests, this first chapter will pop your eyes … Matthias Lehner.
It was caught in a hovering, jagged chunk of ice, the runes that ran the length of its blade glowing a cool blue. Below it was a dais of some sort, standing on a large gently raised mound that was covered in a dusting of snow. A soft light, coming from somewhere high above where the cavern was open to daylight, shone down on the runeblade. The icy prison hid some details of the sword’s shape and form, exaggerated others. It was revealed and concealed at the same time, and all the more tempting, like a new lover imperfectly glimpsed through a gauzy curtain. Arthas knew the blade—it was the selfsame sword he had seen in his dream when he first arrived. The sword that had not killed Invincible, but that had brought him back healed and healthy. He’d thought it a good omen then, but now he knew it was a true sign. This was what he had come to find. This sword would change everything. Arthas stared raptly at it, his hands almost physically aching to grasp it, his fingers to wrap themselves around the hilt, his arms to feel the weapon swinging smoothly in the blow that would end Mal’Ganis, end the torment he had visited upon the people of Lordaeron, end this lust for revenge. Drawn, he stepped forward.
The uncanny elemental spirit drew its icy sword. “Turn away, before it is too late,” it intoned.
His evil is legend. Lord of the undead Scourge, wielder of the runeblade Frostmourne, and enemy of the free peoples of Azeroth. The Lich King is an entity of incalculable power and unparalleled malice—his icy soul utterly consumed by his plans to destroy all life on the…
But it was not always so. Long before his soul was fused with that of the orc shaman Ner’zhul, the Lich King was Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron and faithful paladin of the Silver Hand.
When a plague of undeath threatened all that he loved, Arthas was driven to pursue an ill-fated quest for a runeblade powerful enough to save his homeland. Yet the object of his search would exact a heavy price from its new master, beginning a horrifying descent into damnation. Arthas’s path would lead him through the arctic northern wastes toward the Frozen Throne, where he would face, at long last, the darkest of destinies.
Zarhym expressed a lot of feedback about the upcoming major content patch 3.1 and the 25-man / 10-man dungeon Ulduar. Content patches will be released at a fair pace, but not as often as it happened in Burning Crusade to allow guilds breath-space with raid progression before moving on to a new dungeon.
Our development team is currently hard at work on Ulduar. It’s going to be massive. For those looking to progress past Naxxramas, this will be your place. For those looking for much more of a challenge content-wise than they’ve seen thus far in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar welcomes you.
After The Burning Crusade’s final major content patch, the plan was to space out the new raid dungeons in Wrath of the Lich King so there wouldn’t be overwhelming moments or times where several raids are released at once and slightly ill-tuned (as was the case with The Burning Crusade’s launch); we also don’t want extremely long periods of time where no new raids come out, as was the case after The Burning Crusade’s initial launch.
I trust players can expect to find a fair amount of challenge and content with patch 3.1, and each major content patch after that in Wrath of the Lich King will offer similar new feats.
Raid progression in this game has always been fairly linear. That is by design. The idea is to have clear progressions depending on how you choose to spend your time, whether in 5-man, 10-man, 25-man, or PvP.
It takes quite a bit of time to design a new dungeon, even just speaking about the art alone. By the time we get around to tuning a new raid dungeon, the idea is to offer new, more difficult challenges, which would naturally result in better rewards. That seems to describe a linear design philosophy as you put it.
For those asking about the challenge, I’d wager the average guild couldn’t expect to waltz into Ulduar and clear the place right away in its top form. If it didn’t come back to haunt me (har), I’d guess it would take weeks for the average guild.
You might see some additional rewards from heroism vendors down the line, though it’s not expected there will be a host of new items released comparable to Ulduar or Icecrown loot, at least not in the same manner Sunwell badge gear was provided.
As we continue to evaluate professions, one shouldn’t rule out additional glyphs in the future. The achievements will continue to come, and there will always be plenty of achievements for everyone.
Figure Printsrecently dropped their lottery waiting list and they are taking instant orders on demand and printing them right away. To celebrate the growth of the company, they have released an awesome step-by-step video tour that captures the process of creating your unique FigurePrint World of Warcraft Character. The video has a full-screen mode button. Watch the video at their website.
Our friend Pig from WanderingGoblin recently reviewed his own Tauren Figure Print.
Now is a great time to order a custom statue of your favorite World of Warcraft
Blizzard announced four new products from the SteelSeries folks based on the Wrath of the Lich King. If you already own the Zboard keyboard, you can buy the Wrath of the Lich King keyset individually.
Just in time for the journey to Northrend, SteelSeries is launching a new line of Wrath of the Lich King-themed peripherals: the new Zboard Limited Edition Gaming Keyboard, Qck Limited Edition Lich King Exclusive Gaming Surface, and 5C Limited Edition Frost Wyrm Exclusive Gaming Surface. All are made with high-quality materials and feature artwork from Wrath of the Lich King. Please visit SteelSeries.com for full details on each of their features and availability.
As reported recently, Sideshow Collectibles ran a poll to decide which product would get the 30% discount axe. Because You voted, Sideshow has deemed the WoW Diorama winner of the poll. The World of Warcraft Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin Polystone Diorama is now available at $209.99 ONLY through January 30th and while supplies last. Go grab yours here.
A copy of this diorama will arrive to my home soon. Expect a review and video footage of this awesome polystone statue on Worldofwar.net
Sideshow: Our first Vote for your Discount promotion is now over. The Blood Elft Vs Draenei Paladin Diorama won and is available at a 30% discount for January 30th 2009 only! Place your in-stock order today! Click Here. Offer good only while supplies last.
Blizzard just released the BlizzCast 7 podcast packed with interviews about World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Nethaera interviews Production Director, J. Allen Brack to find out why of all the possible expansions the developers decided to work with Northrend; and the difficulty of choosing the Hero Class they would work on.
Jeff Kaplan answers what they learned from Burning Crusade. It was pretty hard on the servers to handle every player on Hellfire Peninsula. That’s how they decided to create two entry points: Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord to lessen the stress on the servers, and to minimize the impact of players killing specific mobs in the same area. Kaplan explains Phase Technology more thoroughfully in this interview using the Wrathgate as reference. It is hinted that at some point in future expansions we will fight Deathwing and Sargeras.
In BlizzCast 7 you can also find Crygil interviewing Senior Vice President of Creative Development, Chris Metzen to discuss the lore of Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade expansions. The two important plots brought up by Metzen in this interview is the conspiracy of a figure that has kept the dragonflights busy with different schemes removing their focus on what their purpose was meant to be. And that includes Deathwing. He hasn’t been protecting the Earth. What powers above are behind this conspiracy? That’s something that the World of Warcraft story progression will eventually unfold.
The other interesting bit of info from this BlizzCast 7 interview is that the creative team has been discussing what to do next about Medivh. A hint that a new champion or guardian could arise to handle the current threat to the world (Arthas). That this new guardian could come from other than the Humans. That’s quite interesting because as of World of Warcraft # 15 comic book we have found out about a prophecy that sets Garona’s half-human, part-orc-draenei son as savior of Azeroth. Is Garona’s son eventually becoming the new Guardian of Tirisfal? Will this story eventually tie-in with the Lich King dungeon?
You can download BlizzCast 7 here, and an excerpt is available too.
During early development of WoW Classic, two expansions had been planned from the beginning: Northrend and Outland. Warcraft III: Frozen Throne and WoW Classic were developed simultaneously at the time. It was a matter of which of the two to release first. Outland was the one decided on for a feeling of returning home with a Northrend expansion.
From 29 possible Hero Classes, it was skimmed down to three possible options: Necromancer, Runemaster or Death Knight.
140 people were behind the development of Wrath of the Lich King with support from many other teams.
The lore team is composed of less than 10 people, including Chris Metzen.
Phasing Technology is used as a story telling technique
Ulduar will have a 10-players and 25-players option.
Sideshow Collectibles just informed me they have a special Voting Poll to knock 30% off one out of three choices. If you cast your vote now, and the World of Warcraft Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin Diorama wins the poll, Sideshow will be offering a $100 discount on Friday, January 30th. The retail price is normally $299. Hurry up and cast your vote. The poll won’t last long. Cast your vote here.
Would you like to save over $16 on Padme Amidala – Llum Mission 12-inch Figure, over $67 on the Grey Hulk Legendary Scale Bust or $100 on the Blood Elf VS Draenei Paladin Diorama? Cast a vote for your favorite discount and be sure to visit SideshowCollectilbes.com on Friday, January 30th for a chance to grab the winning collectible at its greatly reduced price! Please note: This sale will be available for 24 hours on January 30th and only while supplies last.
Earlier today, Blizzard released a new minor patch on US Realms during the Tuesday maintenance schedule. Some of these class, race or gender bugs had been acknowledged and reported by Blizzard when the original Patch 3.0.8 was deployed. It’s nice to see that the devs worked around the clock to release them this quick. Nethaera sent us word immediately. You can read the patch notes and any updates here.
Patch 3.0.8a resolves the following bugs:
Human females Helms will no longer lift off the character’s head during a Special2H animation or during a HoldRifle animation.
Howling Blast : The 5 second cooldown will now display correctly.
All Hunter aspects are no longer on the global cooldown that is shared with other Hunter abilities. All hunter aspects are now on a separate 1 second cooldown.
Ritual of Summoning will now function as intended.
My copy arrived today by mail. It is now official. Garona is half-draenei according to World of Warcraft # 15. For the first time, the official comic book has a Cast of Characters section at the back, on the last page. The profile for Garona says:
“An orc-draenei half-breed, trained from childhood as an assassin.”
Many years ago, ex-WoW Community Manager Katricia had a slip of tongue and claimed Garona to be half-draenei. This has been a long debated topic among lore scholars. But now the debate has been put to rest. The return of Garona and the revelation of her half-human son has made the comic book become a magnet for World of Warcraft lore enthusiasts. The new story arc has made this comic book very interesting. You should subscribe or pick this issue soon to get hooked to the series. Those wondering who Meryl is, this is his profile:
“A powerful undead mage , he has survived for thousands of years by the strength of his own magic. An original member of the now defunct Council of Tirisfal, he is now Med’an’s guardian and mentor.”
World of Warcraft is no stranger to interracial marriages or hybrids. There are many examples throughout Azeroth and Outland of couples from different races such as Rhonin and Vereesa at the Violet Citadel in Dalaran. Turalyon and Alleria Windrunner who bore a child named Arator the Redeemer. Arator may be found at the Honor Hold Inn in Hellfire Peninsula. The love affair of Turalyon and Alleria was told in detail by Christie Golden in World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal (Pocket Star Books).
Admiral Proudmoore had an affair with a high elf and was father of Finnall Goldensword. Sadly, she hasn’t been added to the MMO yet. She was first introduced in the Alliance & Horde Compendium