Having read War Crimes, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the Vision of Time quests would be anticlimactic. I suppose it was mildly interesting to see things about which I had read, but I was hoping for a little more. On the plus side, at least I won’t have to go killing on the Timeless Isle for Epoch Stones now. Farming while watching Netflix was getting tedious.
Conan plays WoW, talks to the devs at BlizzCon, Adam Koebel, WoW Insider, 11/21/13.
This is hysterical! You should definitely watch it.
Exclusive first look at Christie Golden’s new novel, War Crimes, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/18/13.
Christie Golden writes fantastic Warcraft novels. I can’t wait for this one.
Diablo III transmogrification coming to WoW, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/14/13.
Doodlegnome answers all of your Warlords of Draenor questions, Scott Helfand, WoW Insider, 11/17/13.
Here’s everything you really need to know about WoD answered in cute doodle form.
Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Timelines, timeways, and Karazhan, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/17/13.
Another article on time travel. It basically explains, yet again, that Garrosh will be creating an alternate timeline that interacts with ours and not changing our past.
Flying Can Take A Hike, Rongar, BlizzPro, 11/14/13.
Rongar doesn’t mind waiting for flying.
Outlandish Memories, JD Kenada, Amateur Azerothian, 11/14/13.
JD Kenada looks back at the good and bad in Outland.
While I love Christie Golden’s Warcraft books, this was my first by Richard A. Knaak, and I found it severely lacking. The story seemed a bit sloppy, and I didn’t care for the writing. However, the overall story was an important part of the on-going Warcraft story.
The story centers around something that should be a huge event in the Warcraft universe. I’d expect this to be listed alongside the war against Illidan, the War in Northrend, and the Horde-Alliance War after the Cataclysm. It’s an epic story, and fans of the universe should enjoy learning more about the events. While not a problem with the novel itself, I should point out that Blizzard seems to overlook the events of this novel in the game itself.
I have a few major problems with the book. The first one is the most important despite being the hardest to articulate. I just wasn’t feeling it. I gave up on Stormrage three times before finally getting through it. It jumped around to different characters and took a long time to get me to care about most of the characters. I eventually came around to Broll, one of the main characters, and I would enjoy seeing more of him in the future. The biggest hook for me was the inclusion of Hamuul Runetotem, Archdruid and tauren. While he wasn’t the most front-and-center character, he was someone I liked, so I clung to him.
Two major characters, Malfurion and Tyrande, seem flawed. Malfurion, despite having difficulties and setbacks, just seems far too powerful. Tyrande on the other hand received some characterization but usually takes a backseat to Malfurion. Why yield to him so much? Knaak does have her assert herself sometimes, which is good, but it’s still hard for me to think of her as a real character when Blizzard treats her as nothing but a figurehead next to Malfurion.
Malfurion needs to gather power to perform a task, so he draws as much power as he can. Shortly after that, he realizes he doesn’t have enough power, so he draws all the power he can, which is just a bit more. Of course, it’s still not enough, so what does he do? He draws all the power he can out of those same sources and finds a little more this time. I had to ask myself, “didn’t Malfurion already tap all the power he could from that?” Apparently the answer was no.
Late in the book, someone’s identity is revealed to the reader and some characters. Tyrande does not learn of it at the time, but in the chapters following her, Knaak continually references the true identity. He points out that Tyrande doesn’t currently know the identity but that at some later point, Malfurion tells her. Then he slips into continually having Tyrande thoughts include the identity. It’s true that it’s Knaak the narrator using the true identity, not Tyrande, but it feels reads very oddly.
My final complaint is regarding word usage. There are certain descriptions that Knaak uses over and over. This character wears a stoic expression. That character’s face is stoic. This scene is macabre. That creature is macabre. Yes, we get it.
Admittedly, the events described in Stormrage are interesting. The novel also fills a gap in Warcraft’s history that will be apparent to people paying attention to the games. If you’ve asked yourself what happened to the trouble with the Emerald Dream / Emerald Nightmare or wondered why Malfurion was suddenly back in Azeroth, this novel will answer your questions. However, if I were to rate the novel without consideration for the larger universe, I’d have to give it even lower than the two out of five stars that I did.
How do you make a raid?, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 8/20/12.
Olivia recounts what she learned about raid design from Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Game Producer John Lagrave at Gamescom. It’s a fascinating read!
Reminder: Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery prepped to change for good, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/17/12.
With these two instances being updated in Mists of Pandaria, Anne describes a bucketlist of things to do in the instances before the patch hits.
WoW Insider interviews author Christie Golden, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/21/12.
I love Golden’s book, so it’s nice to see her answer some general questions as well as talk about Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War.
Because the Old Gods, Garrosh Hellscream, The Warchief’s Command Board, 8/5/12.
I actually want to highlight this blog more than this entry (although hearing about everything’s the fault of the Old Gods is pretty funny too). This blog is almost entirely written from the perspective of Garrosh Hellscream. It’s really great.
Know Your Lore: Nazgrim and Taylor, faces for their factions, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/22/12.
An examination of these two character who, apparently, take on bigger roles in Mists of Pandaria. They are the leaders of their factions on the actual battlefield.
Shared Topic: Are you playing in the WoW Beta?, Chris Pearson, Confessions of a Grown-Up Gamer, 8/11/12.
I would have linked this in my Shared Topic post had I been reading his blog. (Sorry, Chris!) Now that I know how great his writing and thoughts on WoW are, I wanted to share this one. Chris beta tests extensively as part of his job, so he doesn’t want to beta test in his personal time. He also wants to be surprised by the finished product. He sums up my thoughts pretty well!
Patch 5.0.4 changes hit and expertise, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/21/12.
This could be some good information if you’re one of those sad people who plays tanks or DPS! Wait, and what do I need for PVP? Oh, he didn’t cover that.
Wild Pets of The Jade Forest, Cymre, Bubbles of Mischief, 8/18/12.
Look at that Bucktooth Flapper! I want him so badly!
Discovering OpenRaid, Chris Pearson, Confessions of a Grown-Up Gamer, 8/20/12.
Chris discovers OpenRaid, a site that helps people run cross-realm raids.
Thrall: Hour of Twilight by Christie Golden is an exciting addition to the World of Warcraft story. I recently finished it and found it pretty exciting. In it we see Thrall grow as a person, the ascension of a new Aspect, an important battle with the Twilight Flight, the return of Nozdormu, and an interesting reveal about the various enemies of Azeroth. Previously I read The Shattering, also by Golden, which I enjoyed much more, but I still found Hour of Twilight to be a good read. The ending, while not a cliffhanger, didn’t seem quite right to me, but this might be due to what I know or think is to come in the next patch.
The question now is, which book do I read next? Do I read a Hugo award winner, Agent to the Stars, which I’ve been wanting to read for a while, or another World of Warcraft novel? I’m leaning towards another World of Warcraft novel – Rise of the Horde, Stormrage, or Wolfheart! Rise of the Horde would let me continue reading Golden and learning of the glorious Horde, but the either two would let me try Richard A. Knaak and get a glimpse of the Alliance.