Update (January 23) — The book description for World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms is now available, but my previous gut feeling is starting to take shape with a new bit of information: the book author. Gentlemen and Ladies… this book is written by New York Times best seller author; and current Blizzard Entertainment Senior writer Christie Golden.
Now that’s major eye-popping news. It is much easier to take a guess at its content and structure from the point of view of Blizzard’s two-decade book writer.
January 16, 2020
I am going by gut feeling here as the pre-order page doesn’t have a book description. So hold my assumption with a grain of salt.
Blizzard Entertainment is publishing a brand-new book under the Blizzard Legends label that might probably be a mix of concept art and in-depth history about each of the zones of the Eastern Kingdoms.
If true, this is a very different way of doing concept art books. Past Blizzard Games’ Art Books have been themed around a specific expansion, or around encompassing the history of Warcraft as a whole (spanning several expansions).
But publishing an exploration art book focused on the Eastern Kingdoms?
A 2GB patch was issued for the Warcraft III: Reforged Beta. One of the features introduced is the Collections Tab with georgeous avatars. Read the patch notes after the gallery.
The video I recorded shows the options settings and the Collections Tab — including hovering over each avatar to learn how to obtain it as a reward. Press the SPACE bar to pause the video if you wish to read the text. Click the YouTube Title to watch fullscreen mode. Click the gear icon (at YouTube) to select 1080HD.
At least 27 of the 15th Anniversary World of Warcraft Server Blades have made their way to eBay in the past few days. These are listed as “New condition.”
These were not the ones sold from 2010-2012 batch. These were originally sold for the Blizzard Charity Auction Benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® through Thursday, October 31 through Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Some have a “Buy Now” set price, and others have an open bid. Regardless of the deal, always read and make sure the items are listed as new and nowhere in the text specifies the item is damaged in any way. At least 3 of the 27 that I inspected specify a damage to the holding pieces or the acrylic cover itself.
Blizzard Entertainment released a new Warcraft III: Reforged beta patch that introduces the toogle between Classic Mode and Reforged Mode assets. As a reminder, BlizzCon Virtual Ticket owners have access to Warcraft III Beta.
World of Warcraft: Traveler, Book 3: The Shining Blade
Don’t miss the epic conclusion to the World of Warcraft: Traveler trilogy, brought to life by New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Roux!
Aramar Thorne and Makasa Flintwill have borne their fair share of troubles. Ever since Aram’s father entrusted him with an enchanted compass, Aram and Makasa have traveled the extraordinary lands of Azeroth, seeking out the shards of a legendary weapon: the Diamond Blade. The truth behind the weapon, and the terrible doom it seeks to prevent, seems to have been lost at sea with Captain Greydon Thorne. But not all secrets are meant to stay buried.
As the pair struggles to stay two steps ahead of Malus and the Hidden – dangerous mercenaries and sorcerers who’ll stop at nothing to gain the compass – Aram and Makasa have assembled a powerful band of their own allies. From lively goblins and fantastic creatures to mighty druids and mysterious dryads, people are drawn to the talented young artist and the formidable fighter – a fortunate fact. For in their most desperate hour, Aram and Makasa will need all the help they can get to prevent Azeroth from being plunged into eternal darkness and chaos.
This epic conclusion to the World of Warcraft: Traveler trilogy is penned by New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Roux and features stunning new artwork throughout.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: World of Warcraft: Traveler (Book 3)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: December 26, 2019
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.6 inches
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Madeleine Roux is the New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series, which has sold over a million copies worldwide, and whose first book was named a Teen Indie Next List Pick. She is also the author of the House of Furies series, Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, Sadie Walker Is Stranded, and the upcoming Salvaged. Her short story contributions can be found in collections such as Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, RESIST, and New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Madeleine is a 13-year World of Warcraft veteran, a noncombat pet enthusiast, and was briefly known as the Slayer of Incompetent, Stupid, and Disappointing Minions. She spends all her DKP on treats for her beloved corehound in Seattle, Washington.
I have never played any of The Witcher games nor read the novels the game is based on. So I watched the Netflix series fresh not expecting anything, and with no spoilers.
I have to admit that it took me a few days to watch the series. I kept seeing the promos in the front page of Netflix, but kept procrastinating, and watched something else: The Expanse, Lost in Space Season 2, and a few other goodies.
During the weekend, I decided to watch The Witcher. I had a mix of feelings about the series starting with surprised, then confused.
It was until Episode 4 when I figured out what was going on, and where the confusion was solved. When it didn’t make sense in a row of events, I came to the conclusion that the Witcher was developed as a series of intermitent flashbacks and present happenings.
After I convinced myself that’s the reasoning, everything started to make sense.
So for those of you who haven’t watched The Witcher, I recommend to keep track of the character names, and the city/village names. This will help you make sense of what is a flashback and what is present.
I have to heavily criticize the production for not making flashbacks clear to the audience. It doesn’t hurt The Witcher or any production to write: “12 years ago,” or “12XX” (whatever year it is set in). Then say onscreen: “Present” or “2 weeks ago.”
Or write onscreen the location the scene is taking place in. It would help the viewers immensely. Otherwise, those who can’t identify this flashback mechanic or who was who at a young age, I can now see why from the “Critics” point-of-view The Witcher was given a 59% Rotten Totatoes.
That’s basically all my complaints about The Witcher, because this series completely hooked me up, and I can’t wait for Season 2 to be released.
Season 1 is basically a primer-dash-cliffhanger for Season 2.
There aren’t mary sues in this story. We know the basic rules that govern The Witcher universe in the early episodes. The Witcher is some kind of mutant that has undergone a specific magical ritual at a young age. Only three out of 10 kids survive the ritual. So there aren’t many witchers, and most have been exterminated. This transforming ritual strips them of basic emotions. A witcher hunts for monsters, protects the innocent, and takes personal gigs if you have a handsome bounty. Still his unique moral compass prevents him from taking certain type of gigs.
Witchers are very agile in sword combat, and have a few magical-based spells that look onscreen like telekinetic blasts that push away opponents — but he uses them very scarcely. Another treat is that they need to drink potions. They are alchemists and search for ingredients to concoct their potions. The few times I saw the Witcher drink any of these was when injured or as a buff boost in the middle of combat.
The Witcher is not all-powerful. He is not infallible, and he is not invulnerable.
In fact, he is wounded a few times throughout the series, and at the mercy of enemies some times, and of friendly citizens: both known to him, and some who know who he is.
It is also rare to see damsels in distress in this story. Almost all women, if not all, pull their own weight and kick ass.
The sword combat coreography is beyond anything I have seen in over 40 years of watching films, including post 2000s.
Henry Cavill is incredibly skilled in sword combat, with swift speed and agility; and definitely there was a peculiarity about his coreography that can only be seen in video games.
The reason I ended up watching The Witcher is that — although I haven’t played any of its games before watching the series, I had heard about it online or in TOP games listings on and off in the past 10 years. Plus, mainly, because as a Blizzard news writer I search news nigh daily and I recall reading that one out of three The Witcher 3 writers had joined Blizzard Entertainment.
At BlizzCon 2019, this past November, we finally learned what Sebastian Stepien has been working on for nearly a year at Blizzard Entertainment. He is the creative director of Diablo IV — feel free to read the BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV: World and Lore panel transcript where he was a panelist.
So, of course I had to watch Netflix The Witcher. Because to a degree, this is the type of story that fits the Netflix Diablo project — whatever it is.
I was the guy who asked Andrew Cosby in Twitter if he had any comments toward the Netflix Diablo rumors circulating the internet.
So while there has been no official news or updates in the past year about a Netflix Diablo, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t in early stages back then at the story draft stage. Was it cancelled or postponed? No one knows.
But if it ever airs in the Netflix platform, The Witcher is possibly the first of its genre to make an impact. Of course Critics didn’t like it. They didn’t understand it. But on the audience side, that massive 93% audience score approval (with User Ratings: 14251) says a whole different story. It was largely well-received by The Witcher gamers, novel readers, and fresh newcomers like me who never played the games or read the novels.
So in light of its success, that is a positive signal for Blizzard Entertainment to move forward with Netflix Diablo.
It might be interesting to take guesses on which period the Netflix Diablo would start in, however. Would it start in the events of Diablo 1? Or would it start with the Uldyssian story back in the Sin War? Better yet… would it be based on Diablo 1, with flashbacks of the Sin War? Who knows. There is certainly a lot of Diablo novels, in-game story, manual story, and the recent Diablo: Book of Cain, Book of Tyrael, and Book of Adria to take inspiration from.
There is just one thing you must know about The Witcher before you load it and watch it. I haven’t spoiled much up to this point, but for parents… I sincerely need to tell you that it contains a lot of nudity. It is up to each parent how to deal with this tidbit.
If that doesn’t bother you, then feel free to watch and enjoy The Witcher. If you are a Diablo fan, this series definitely opens the door wide open for Netflix Diablo as a Mature rating binge masterpiece.
The Witcher, while very good, had a lot of comedy and humor — which I think lowered the Mature rating factor a few notches; but the overarching storyline, the intense battlefield scenes, and the suspense across its 8 episodes make up for it.
On the other hand, the fact that there are so many flashbacks at different periods of time without visual identifiers (text onscreen) makes it kind of a complex jigsaw puzzle that you need to put together in your brain to make sense of what happened in 8-episodes.
That gives it a spice of intrigue and suspense — which I guess is welcomed by sci-fi/fantasy viewers. Especially, if you enjoyed the mind-twisting rollercoaster that was Terry Matalas’ 12 Monkeys (SYFY series).
Watch The Witcher and share with me what your thoughts about it are, and what do you expect from a Netflix Diablo if that ever goes live.
And… if you still don’t believe a Netflix Diablo is still in Blizzard’s radar… check out Blizzard’s recent joke in the Netflix twitter a few weeks after BlizzCon. Or was it a joke? Maybe a tease?
Before writing my review, I want to describe my background in the Star Wars franchise. I am age 47, and of course, I watched the original trilogy as a kid. Not in the theater, but at home on TV probably around 1980-1982, and a very few times thereafter whenever it was shown on TV.
Thereafter, my entry into Star Wars came back in the shape of video games. I played Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast (which I loved), Star Wars: Dark Forces; Jedi Knight: Dark Force, and Jedi Academy.
Blizzard Entertainment has officially announced the release date of Warcraft III: Reforged. The game will launch on January 28, 2020.
Probably in compliance with some consumer laws, Blizzard issued an email to those who pre-purchased Warcraft III: Reforged months ago:
” Though we’ve been working hard to get Reforged in your hands before the end of the year, as we started approaching the finish line, we felt we’d need a little extra development time for finishing touches. As always, our goal is to honor the high standards you hold us to, but we also understand if you’re disappointed by the wait—if you’d prefer a refund*, please visit our Customer Support site.”
WARCRAFT III: REFORGED RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCED
Mark your calendar—Warcraft® III: Reforged™, the full-scale reimagining of Blizzard’s groundbreaking real-time strategy game, is set for release on January 28! Including the original Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos® and its award-winning expansion The Frozen Throne®, Warcraft III: Reforged features seven single-player campaigns spanning over 60 missions, a top-to-bottom graphics and audio overhaul, and a full suite of contemporary matchmaking features via Blizzard’s Battle.net® online-gaming service.