A year ago I quit World of Warcraft. Well, that’s to say, I stopped playing with the fever I had been for so long. My subscription to WoW was paid through June, so I could have, and likely would have, continued playing if it wasn’t for one monumental change in my life. There were issues with Blizzard’s direction that put my Azeroth adventures in jeopardy, but the issues were as secondary to the main reason as possible. My ferret, my first major mark of independence and responsibility after completing college, passed away a year ago today.
This isn’t going to be a sappy post full of pre-adult angst or emotion. Quite the opposite. It’s to celebrate Kieron’s return. Not in the corporeal sense – I’m not Grand Apothecary Putress, after all – but the historical sense. Anyone that has been playing the World of Warcraft TCG may have run into the relatively common hero card ‘Kieron the Loaner’. The aggressive gnome with a lust for coin to the immediate right is modeled after an amalgamation of my furry friend and my stabbing gnome.
You may be wondering exactly how I pulled off this feat. It was rather simple. I met Drew Walker ahead of PAX East 2011, and explained my sappy but honest heartache. Always in the need of ideas for characters, he felt that Cryptozoic could put together an homage. A few screenshots, details of my in-game habits – pet collecting and banking – and a handful of emails later, Kieron the Loaner was born and awaiting release as part of Throne of the Tides. It took me numerous buys to finally acquire him (her), but it was well worth the extra scratch.
Here’s to you, Kieron. Gone, but now immortalized in an IP you loved to interact with – by skittering across the keyboard and ruining my rotation!
Virtual ticket or in meat space, a large reason for “heading” to BlizzCon for many is the superb goodie bag that is included in the ticket price. And it just keeps getting better and better. More free swag, better swag and a roving array of activities kick started by simple included leaflets.
This year, we were meet with an amazing Mini Tyrael statue to celebrate the impeding release of Diablo III, which you can see to your right and in a few shots below. In addition, the LEGO-clone company known as Mega Bloks has entered into a licensing partnership with Blizzard, supplying all attendees with a blocky Thrall and enticing goers with an incredible battle scene inside its booth (below as well). Rounding out the package is your token SteelSeries key, an authenticator, a Diablo III bookmark and some blatant advertisements.
I had the pleasure of trying out the new Assault on Icecrown Citadel raid set at PAX East. Cryptozoic was nice enough to lend us a set to take for a test run. The game comes with four decks: the raid boss, The Lich King, and three opposing heroes, Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Highlord Tirion Fordring. Players with their own decks or cards can modify their decks or play with their own setups against Arthas, but the box set contains everything you’ll need to get started.
Since the game requires four players, we rounded up some of our friends from other sites. I, Heartbourne, took on Sylvanas’ role, while Michael Sacco from WoW Insider played Jaina Proudmoore and Thespius from Raid Warning played Tirion. Seven from Raid Warning stepped up as the Lich King, and Joe Perez from WoW Insider and Raid Warning helped him out. Neither me nor Seven had played the WoW TCG before, so the guidance of Sacco and Perez were well appreciated.
Cryptozoic Entertainment, the new publisher for the WoW TCG, announced the company’s first product in what it hopes will be a long-standing relationship with Blizzard Entertainment. The Wrathgate expansion set is the second of three planned sets for Wrath of the Lich King, and will be released to the public on May 25.
Overall, it’s the 11th set to be released. The upcoming booster will add a massive 220 new cards to the coffers of dedicated players. Characters, attacks, materials and locations have been pulled straight out of Northrend and from the Argent Crusade faction itself. Even Tirion Fordring is playable.
Fear not players of the TCG. The Blizzard Store and its expensive ponies are not causing a removal of loot cards. Players will have a chance to pull one of three new loot cards from the 19-card booster packs. The three loot cards are: Landro’s Gift, Statue Generator, and the soon-to-be-insanely-expensive-eBay-auction Blazing Hippogryph.
Yes folks, a WoW TCG exclusive mount is back in action.
To celebrate the rebirth of the TCG, Cryptozoic is hosting a kickass sneak preview contest. The winning pair of interested players will be flown out to Irvine, where Cryptozoic is located, and be the first people to see the Wrathgate cards. Simply write a 250 word or less piece on “why you want to come to Irvine and play the the TCG with us.”