Posts Tagged ‘Arthas’

Bye Bye Book

Arthas is moving to California.

Many thanks to all who entered my contest for the Arthas novel a couple of weeks ago.  There were fun entries and serious ones, but the one that I settled on was this one from Ixobelle***:



Notably, this is the only one that suggested a tank, but I think it captures the essence of tanking in one delightfully silly LOLWoW screenshot.  Oddly enough, it’s also the strongest argument I’ve seen for me to try out a tank, since I have a keen appreciation of the absurd sometimes.  I’m not totally sold on the female aspect, but hey, if I’m min-maxing a tank, I hear the Undead racial perks are pretty good, and the whole “I’m a walking skeleton, fear my sturdiness” aspect is another touch of the absurd that I can applaud.

I did see a few other trends in the suggestions.  There were some clear commonly suggested options:  Wrogen Worgen, Druids and Hunters.  (Several Worgen Druids and Worgen Hunters, as well as Undead Hunters.)  I suppose that makes sense since Worgen are the new shinies and BBB plays Druids and Hunters (so I’d expect his readers to share some similar tastes).  Still, as I’ve noted before, and as Mama Druid and Wiqd aptly noted, Druids are multitalented critters, and I appreciate that quite a bit.  That’s a great way to get value out of the game.  Also, Hunters offer a lot of game play options, especially to an explorer like me.

I suppose in retrospect, the entry trends aren’t a big surprise.  maybe if I’d have posted to the Blizzard WoW forums, I’d have seen more variety.  (I didn’t, though; that place scares me.)

So, the book is on its way to California.  Keep an eye on Ixo’s blog*** to see if he finds a use for it.

Thanks for the entries, all!  As I noted before, I may have to do some art for the fun of it, so I’ll probably be sketching up some Worgen Druidic art.  Once I get everything else done, anyway.  Oh, and once the Cataclysm comes around, I’ll fire up a ten day trial as an Undead Warrior and see just how much damage I can do as a low level tank, milling around with everyone.  I should be able to pick up some groups with the tourists.

(OK, trial accounts don’t technically have a lot of grouping options, but I should be able to tank critters even in informal groups.  I’ve seen it done; a player just gets up front and personal with a baddie and uses tankish abilities to keep its attention, while other players DPS the baddie.  It’s not the same as a raid, but some of those low level dungeon bosses can still use tanking mechanics.  I don’t have the money or stamina to get to the point where I’m raiding with a tank.)

I’ve played a Druid in a trial account before, but if I’m going to pick up a Worgen Druid, that means buying at least the Cataclysm box, from all reports.  We’ll see what sort of sales and promotions come up before I go that route, but yes, it sounds like fun.

In the end, Ixobelle’s entry just tickled my judging funnybone while making a good case for tanking, so it narrowly edged out the others.  Wiqd and Mama Druid have me pegged pretty well, and if I were to play the game long-term, I would indeed play a Druid, largely for the reasons they suggest.  (With a Hunter “main alt”, though I’m not sure if I’d go the Undead route there, funny as it might be, as Psychochild notes.)

*** Ixobelle runs a blog over thisaway, and he’s (yes, Ixobelle’s pilot is a he… it makes pronoun tenses difficult sometimes) made it no secret that he’s a fan of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft.  He gave up a job in Japan to move to California to chase his dream of working on the game, which takes guts and a touch of insanity.  Of course, none of that really relates to the judging of the contest, but that’s why I can safely say that Arthas is moving to CA (it’s a matter of public record).


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One Week Left

We’re one week in on the great Arthas Novel Giveaway contest, and there is one week left!  Hundreds of article hits thanks to what I’ll call the Big Bear Bump* (many thanks, BBB!), and um… not as many entries.  If you’re interested in getting your hands on a very lightly used (read once, Mint condition) Arthas: Rise of the Lich King hardbound novel, there’s still time.

Besides, who doesn’t like sounding off and offering an opinion of what someone else should do in World of Warcraft?

*Here it is, the Big Bear Bump (more traffic in a day than I usually see in a week… I’m glad that the word got out, and by all means, if anyone else knows of a good place where there might be interest in a free Arthas novel, link ’em in; the more the merrier):

Big Bear Bump

Big Bear Bump

Oh, and no, that’s not a desperate plea for more attention for the blog on the whole, even though I could get snarky about the recent Tobold “commentgate” kerfluffle.  Yes, I’d love to see more entries for the contest, but this blog is first and foremost just a bunch of tish tosh, and any reader beyond me is a bonus.  I’m glad to get some great comments here and there, but this is far from a day job or popularity contest.

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The prince formerly known as Arthas obviously has issues.  Even as the Big Bad Lich King, he’s playing second fiddle to Deathwing in the recent WoW buzz about Cataclysm.  (I mean, really, which is cooler, a dragon the size of a skyscraper who can crack the earth itself, or a fallen undeadish prince with identity issues and virtual feuds with Ozzy Osbourne?)  Is it any wonder why he might be feeling a little lonely and ignored?

Arthas needs some TLC.

As you might remember, I got my grubby little hands on a copy of his biography, Arthas, Rise of the Lich King, which wound up bring a pretty good read, even though the titular character isn’t my cup of tea.  So, it’s far past time I pass it along to someone else who might want to give it a whirl.  I’m sure the prince himself would approve of spreading his message of death, doom and destruction, at any rate.

So, in the fine tradition of bloggish contests established by none other than the one and only Big Bear, I’m going to try a little something other than drawing a name out of a hat to find a new home for this lovely, er, brooding hardbound novel.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on this very lightly used book (I read it once and have taken very good care of it), all you have to do is engage in a little exercise and cross your fingers.

I want you to convert me.

Show me what class and race I should play World of Warcraft with.

With a hundred words or less and at least one screenshot (and up to three), or concept art, as the case may be, make your case about what I should be playing when Cataclysm comes knocking.  Whether it’s a Worgen Druid, a Blood Elf Warrior or plain old Gnome Warlock, anything goes.  What do you think I should play as?  (Assume I’d be starting it from scratch, with no fairy godmother twinking me.)

Pretty much anything goes, from snarky “you should be a Human Mage because you’re a bloviating windbag” to thoughtful “you like X so you should play as Y”.  A caveat, though:  sex doesn’t sell around here, and neither does profanity.

Please send your text and graphics to my bloggish email, silverwings.art at gmail.  I’ll take entries for the next, oh… two weeks or so, so if you get your entries in before 11:59 PM (Blizzard standard time) on September 8th, you’re set.  I’ll run things through my Judging Grinder of Doom and post a winner hopefully by the end of that week.  (I’ll contact the lucky one for mailing information at that time, so don’t sweat sending any of that sort of thing with your entry.)

I reserve the right to do something nice for any entry that I find particularly notable.  (Which usually means doing some sort of art, as might be noted in my Mini Portfolio.)  It’s not guaranteed, and it may take a lower priority after other art projects I have going, but I do enjoy crafting the occasional bit of WoW fan art.

I also reserve the right to post the winners and notable entries, but if you object to public display of your brilliance, just let me know in your entry and I’ll keep your work under wraps.  (It won’t affect the judging.)

Tally ho, then, and good luck!

Oh, and if nobody enters, well… I’ll find a way to break the news to Arthas.  (And in fact, if you don’t want the book, feel free to send along a consolation note to the prince.  I’m sure it’ll brighten his day.)

Edited to add:

Mama Druid asked a good question down there in the comments:

Would you play if the winning argument, well, wins you over?

To which I answered:

To answer the question, well… how about a solid “maybe”. I would *like* to, but finances might get in the way. If I have to buy the original WoW, TBC, Wrath *and* Cataclysm to get to play the winner’s suggestion, well, that’s an uphill battle. If I can just buy the base game and go to town, well, maybe $20 is worth playing WoW for a month to get a couple of articles and loads of screenshots out of it, right?

That said, whether or not I will actually wind up playing the winner’s suggestion is completely irrelevant for the judging. It might make for some fun articles, to be sure, watching me struggle with something I’m unfamiliar with, but for the sake of getting this Arthas novel a new home, let’s just leave it at “that would be a fun follow up”.

So don’t sweat it; this contest is all about the entries.  Make your case for what I should play, and that will be enough.  Though, if I do wind up playing it later, I’ll be sure to credit you and write some articles on it.

It’s been awhile since I’ve stopped by. Would you play if the winning argument, well, wins you over? :)

Since I haven’t the time to compose an appropriate entry, I’ll quickly suggest to you a male Troll Druid.

• Trolls are the least played race. Why, I do not know. Their lore is fascinating. Don’t let them become extinct!

• Male trolls are very entertaining. Their laugh, their dance, their myriad of hair/face paint/tusk combos… the male troll is just a fun loving guy. Besides, something’s gone wrong with the creation process for female trolls. Somehow 95% of them end up with the same face! I would stay away from that voodoo if I were you.

• Druid. I might be a bit biased, but with the druid class you can experience any component of the holy trinity with a mere respec and gear change. An added bonus is you have options with the dps third: melee or spellcaster. No other class can make the same claim.

I think I just talked myself into making a male Troll Druid of my own!


Wait, the Mama Druid? The one who had such awesome naming articles, but whose blog fell off the ‘net? If so, good to see you! If not, well… hello!

To answer the question, well… how about a solid “maybe”. I would *like* to, but finances might get in the way. If I have to buy the original WoW, TBC, Wrath *and* Cataclysm to get to play the winner’s suggestion, well, that’s an uphill battle. If I can just buy the base game and go to town, well, maybe $20 is worth playing WoW for a month to get a couple of articles and loads of screenshots out of it, right?

That said, whether or not I will actually wind up playing the winner’s suggestion is completely irrelevant for the judging. It might make for some fun articles, to be sure, watching me struggle with something I’m unfamiliar with, but for the sake of getting this Arthas novel a new home, let’s just leave it at “that would be a fun follow up”

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Arthas Trek

I’ve indulged in a bit of geekdom lately by partaking of the latest Blizzard World of Warcraft novel, Arthas, and the latest Star Trek movie, curiously titled Star Trek.  The novel, incidentally, came thanks to this kind lady, who pulled my name from a hat.  If you have any interest in sci-fi or fantasy fiction, she’s got a lot of good reading around her site.

I’ve made some comments about the book over at Spinks’ place (it’s worth bouncing over there, not just for my comments but for her reaction and any other great articles she may have up).  Now that I’ve finished the book, my impression is about the same.  Arthas just isn’t the tragic hero that I’d hoped for.  He’s an arrogant, morally weak, shortsighted, unintelligent caricature of the Greek tragic heroes he’s trying to emulate.  (Which isn’t to say the Greeks were sterling samples of humanity, but their falls made more sense.  Arthas “falls”, but because he’s easily manipulated into idiotic decisions.  Puppets aren’t nearly as interesting.  It’s tragic that he’s so malleable, but it doesn’t make for a terribly compelling moral tale.)

I lay the blame for this squarely at Blizzard’s feet.  Christie Golden does a good job filling out the character and some of his life and motivations, but it just throws his “fall” into sharper relief than we saw in the WarCraft 3 game itself.  His reasons for declining into madness and villainy are terribly shallow, and don’t follow organically or logically from the “good caring prince” that he was presented as initially.  We also get precious little of Arthas questioning himself, or a really good look into what he was thinking that spurred his actions.  He just acts, and while that can make for a rip roaring plot, it’s not all that effective as a character study.

Arthas is a puppet, “destined” to become the Lich King’s greatest servant, and perhaps even usurp his throne.  That’s not tragedy, not a legendary story of twisted motives (like, say, the story of Watchmen‘s Big Bad).  It’s just a Face/Heel turn going through the motions to give the Scourge an iconic face, and a traitor for the Humans to hate.  They were probably going for the Well Intentioned Extremist in Arthas, but I didn’t buy his conversion in WC3, and I don’t buy it now that I see more of his character.

Ms. Golden did what she could, but the core structure of the Arthas mythos is to blame here.  So, if you like what they did with Arthas in the games, you’ll find a lot to like about the Arthas novel.  Ms. Golden knows her lore, and weaves some interesting threads into Arthas’ life.  If you didn’t find him to be a very sympathetic character there, or were hoping for more depth, well… I’m not sure it’s there to be found.  The book’s a good read, but Arthas is an underwhelming character.  I wasn’t expecting a psychoanalysis of the guy, but what I did get just isn’t all that satisfying.  I’d still recommend the book for anyone who likes to geek out to WarCraft lore, though.

As for Star Trek, it’s been argued that the universe’s “reboot” in the movie is necessary to keep Trek relevant to today’s world.  I concur:  it’s dumber (terribad science, plot holes, odd characterization of established characters), louder, sexier, grittier, blingier and bloodier.  That can be praise or condemnation, depending on what you want out of entertainment and the Trek universe.  And, since Trek wasn’t exactly high literature in the first place, well… it’s not straying too far from its original roots.  (Star Trek: The Next Generation was a different animal in the family, for better or for worse.  This movie happily goes back to the Original Series heyday of stunts and silliness.)

As an artist trained to do these things, I’ve got to point out that J.J. Abrams’ high budget alternate reality fan fiction has ILM on board, so at least it looks pretty.  Of course, I’ve already faintly cursed such misplaced priorities (that money could have been better spent on a decent script).  Still, a movie that lets Ryan Church go nuts will get a thumbs up from those who want a healthy helping of eye candy.  (Spock’s ship has Ryan’s fingerprints all over it, so it looks awesome… despite being distinctly non-Vulcan.)  The only slightly sour note that struck me (beside the general Star Wars>Star Trek vibe) is the scale and clutter of the interior spaces of starships.  They certainly scream “unnecessarily complex” in an effort to appear “deep”, but even if you’re not seeing Okuda’s starship blueprints in your sleep, the size hinted at in the sweeping camera movements around the Enterprise’s belly doesn’t gibe with the external proportions, or with even the vaguest sense of utilitarian design (which is kind of important in practical space travel, though not in movies).  It’s not a big deal, just another discordant note in a symphony of noise.

In short, then, it’s a decent popcorn blockbuster flick (way more so than any other Trek movie, with the possible exception of the similarily loud, hyperbolic and overblingy First Contact), but it’s not really what I’m looking for out of Star Trek.  So it goes; dinosaurs like me have to die out sometime.

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