Blizzplanet Preview – Garwulf’s Corner: An Odyssey into Diablo and the World Beyond the Video Game

A month ago, I reported that Robert B. Marks plans to launch a book titled: “Garwulf’s Corner: An Odyssey into Diablo and the World Beyond the Video Game”. It is slated to ship on October 2014. A couple days ago, Robert shipped to me a review copy with a signed dedicatory.

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Any veteran Diablo fan will no doubt remember the old good days when multiplayer games began to flourish. Players were still using 56Kbps dial-up internet connection services such as AOL, and CompuServe. Early DSL was running 128 to 256 Kbps and it was expensive. Diablo had become a success, and Blizzard Entertainment launched Diablo II on June 29, 2000.

diablo-demonsbaneIt was back then when a geeky gamer and writer age 24 managed to sell his first published story. Robert B. Marks wrote probably one of the first Video Game-based eBooks for Blizzard Entertainment based on the Diablo universe …. Diablo: Demonsbane. It was published on October 2000. Pocket Books published the first Blizzard eBook in an era where eBooks were a struggling experiment. The first eBook readers from 1997-2006 were not well-received. Not until the big boom when the first Amazon Kindle device shipped on 2007.

Back on 2000, Robert B. Marks also began to write a bi-weekly column titled Garwulf’s Corner for Diabloii.net (now found at diablo.incgamers.com).

He wrote about Diablo II, about gaming, literature, movies, hackers, AI, and other topics. In a time where there weren’t that many fansites or gaming websites with similar discussion topics other than news, reviews or strategy guides.

Garwulf’s Corner earned many readers over the few years it lasted. Even today, the archive can be read online. Those veteran Diablo fans can now get this piece of history in printed form.

The book contains a 3-page introduction written by Robert B. Marks, all 52 articles of Garwulf’s Corner, three articles that were never published in the Blurred Edge magazine, and an article the author wrote after Diablo III was announced.

Garwulf’s Corner: An Odyssey into Diablo and the World Beyond the Video Game will be published by Robert’s owned Legacy Books Press for a retail price of $19.99 US ($22.95 CAN/AU, €16.95, £ 15.95). Review copies are now available: contact(*)legacybookspress.com

If you haven’t read Diablo: Demonsbane, I recommend to get the Diablo Archive which reprinted it in physical form.

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At the dawn of the 21st Century, the video game industry experienced a period of wild creativity, fighting for recogniztion as an art form while making the transformation into a media juggernaut. And as it did, Garwulf’s Corner was there.

One of the earliest, if not the first, video game issues columns on the internet, Garwulf’s Corner ran every two weeks from 2000 to 2002 on Diabloii.net, Written by Robert B. Marks, author of Diablo: Demonsbane and The EverQuest Companion, it explored everything up to and including Diablo, the birth of artificial intelligence, hackers, literature and movies, and the video game’s struggle for legitimacy.

Collected here for the first time in print — whith new introductions and updates — are all 52 installments of Garwulf’s Corner, along with the three columns written years later for the unpublished Blurred Edge Magazine, the holiday issue that never was, and the author’s final word (so far) on Diablo III and Diablo in general. Insightful, controversial, witty, and thought-provoking, Garwulf’s Corner is a journey into the world of video games that is still relevant today.

Garwulf’s Corner also explores the following:

  • The video game’s struggle for recognition and legitimacy as an art form.
  • How we play video games and what it means for our lives and society.
  • The birth of serious video game journalism
  • The ethics and dimensions of video game hackers, DRM, and piracy.
  • Issues such as sexism in video games, and how we should face them.

“It was amazing to be there at the birth of serious video game journalism,” says Marks. “When the first installment was published, video game coverage basically consisted of reviews, previews, and strategy guides – writing about issues back then felt quite a lot like being a voice in the wilderness. When the last installment was published in 2002, video games were something that people gave serious thought to and were coming to recognize as art. It was an honour and a privilege to be even the smallest part of that.”

Robert B. Marks is an author, writer, editor, trained historian, and publisher. He is the author of Diablo: Demonsbane, The EverQuest Companion, The Traveler on the Road of Legends, and the co-author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Agora. Since 2013 he has also worked in public relations and community outreach for Darksword Armory.

In his spare time, Robert makes mead, practices German Longsword, plays Magic: The Gathering, and very rarely (and very badly) plays the violin. He lives in Kingston, Ontario, with his wife Johanna.

Available on October 31, 2014 at bookstores and online.

ISBN: 9781927537107
Price: $19.99 US

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How to get Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition Delivered on March 25

This has been a secret trick I have used for the past few years to get my Collector’s Editions delivered on release day.

Have you pre-ordered a Collector’s Edition and it gets delivered 2 days after the official release date? Maybe even longer? It is a nightmare when it takes several days to arrive. Especially with the Heroes of the Storm Valla Hero redeemable until March 31. Learn how to here.

How about getting it delivered exactly on the official release date? You can. If you follow my trick, you will get the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls CE delivered to your door on March 25th in the afternoon (tops).

Usually when the release date is approaching, Amazon adds the “On Release Day” shipping option. What happens is that the Collector’s Edition leaves the store and gets shipped on March 23 with a 2-day shipping. Amazon makes sure that the delivery arrives on the release date (March 25th).

1. Go to the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition page.

2. Login to your Amazon account.

3. Hit the pre-order button.

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4. Whenever you see the shipping options, make sure to choose the following option: “Two-Day Shipping — get it on its release day: Tuesday, March 25.”

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5. The option will cost an additional $7.98 (more or less depending where you live in the United States), but it is totally worth it.

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A few years ago, I contacted an Amazon representative via chat when I first noticed the Release Day option. She had to explain it to me several times as I was skeptic. I was surprised when on release date the delivery man knocked my door. The Collector’s Edition was on my door on release date afternoon.

Hopefully, this may be of help to someone. If you had pre-ordered before, simply pre-order it again. Once you finish the order and you notice the estimate shipping date is on Release date, feel free to cancel the older order.

Garwulf’s Corner: An Odyssey into Diablo and the World Beyond the Video Game

Diablo fans who followed the Garwulf’s Corner at the former Diabloii.net years ago might be excited to learn something shared with me by its author Robert B. Marks.

Before we get into that, for those who weren’t around the Blizzard community back then — Garwulf’s Corner was a bi-weekly column discussing everything Diablo and Diablo II, as well as life topics in general such as movies, literature, video games, etc.

Robert B. Marks is also the author of Diablo: Demonsbane. Demonsbane was the first Diablo eBook published in 2000 and he is author of the EverQuest Companion. Most likely the first book in the Blizzard novel collection, and likely the pioneer of gaming eBooks in general — at a time where Kindle didn’t exist, and eBooks were just a first-time experiment.

Diablo: Demonsbane can be read in printing nowadays within the pages of the Diablo Archive.

Last night, Robert B. Marks informed me he is publishing a book titled … Garwulf’s Corner: An Odyssey into Diablo and The World Beyond the Video Game.

I’ll keep you updated as details become available. I’ll get a review copy as soon as it comes out of printing. The book is slated to ship on October 2014 from the Legacy Books Press. Robert B. Marks websites: The Dragonmage’s Realm and Garwulf’s Corner (Livejournal)

At the dawn of the 21st Century, the video game industry experienced a period of wild creativity, fighting for recogniztion as an art form while making the transformation into a media juggernaut. And as it did, Garwulf’s Corner was there.

One of the earliest, if not the first, video game issues columns on the internet, Garwulf’s Corner ran every two weeks from 2000 to 2002 on Diabloii.net, Written by Robert B. Marks, author of Diablo: Demonsbane and The EverQuest Companion, it explored everything up to and including Diablo, the birth of artificial intelligence, hackers, literature and movies, and the video game’s struggle for legitimacy.

Collected here for the first time in print — whith new introductions and updates — are all 52 installments of Garwulf’s Corner, along with the three columns written years later for the unpublished Blurred Edge Magazine, the holiday issue that never was, and the author’s final word (so far) on Diablo III and Diablo in general. Insightful, controversial, witty, and thought-provoking, Garwulf’s Corner is a journey into the world of video games that is still relevant today.

ISBN: 9781927537107
Price: $19.99 US

diablo-garwulfs-corner-book-front-cover

 

JINX Super Secret Sale: Diablo III Jackets 30% OFF w/ Free Shipping

JINX has a limited-time offer of Diablo III Jackets at a 30% OFF discount with FREE Economy shipping. This offer is only active through March 5-6. So hurry up.

Simply type the promo code during checkout at the promotional code field: THEREAPER

In addition, jinx-diablo-iii-reaper-of-souls-no-one-can-stop-death-premium-t-shirtTo celebrate the release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, JINX is selling all Diablo III T-shirts 20% OFF (PLUS Free Shipping**) through March 1-31.

**The free Economy Shipping applies only in the United States.

March 2014 – All Diablo T-Shirts 20% Off

jinx-diablo-iii-reaper-of-souls-no-one-can-stop-death-premium-t-shirtTo celebrate the release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, JINX is selling all Diablo III T-shirts 20% OFF (PLUS Free Shipping**) through March 1-31.

**The free Economy Shipping applies only in the United States.

Critical Hit – 25% OFF

In addition, this week’s Critical Hit offer drops the following Diablo III products 25% OFF.

BradyGames Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Signature Series Strategy Guide

Those who pre-ordered the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls might want to add the BradyGames Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Signature Series Strategy Guide.

bradygames-diablo-iii-reaper-of-souls-signature-series-guideThis Signature Series Strategy Guide from BradyGames leads gamers through the sprawling streets of Westmarch to save the city, and all of Sanctuary, from a new threat.

  • Complete quest guide covers every quest in the new Reaper of Souls expansion with town maps, minions, lootables for each new area, and descriptions of all unique monsters as you encounter them.

  • Exclusive dungeon maps & tactics for the most challenging areas and expert strategy for all boss battles.

  • In-depth heroes section provides a thorough rundown of all active and passive skills for each hero, including the all new Crusader.

  • Exhaustive overview of the Diablo III crafting system, including the new Artisan, Myriam the Mystic.

  • A comprehensive listing of all legendary and set equipment items—weapons, armor, and accessories—including descriptions for all affixes that enhance items in the game.

  • Bestiary includes a visual encyclopedia of all creatures, old foes and new threats alike, including critical stats and detailed descriptions of special attacks, abilities, and behaviors.

About Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Though Diablo has been vanquished, the Prime Evil rages within the Black Soulstone, screaming for vengeance and release. Malthael, the Angel of Death, manifests in the mortal realms with a new purpose: to steal the Black Soulstone and bend its infernal power to his will. Take up arms with the new Crusader class or as one of the classic Heroes. It’s up to you to save the city of Westmarch, and Sanctuary itself.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: BRADY GAMES (March 25, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0744015421
ISBN-13: 978-0744015423

 

Toy Fair New York 2014 – Blizzard Licensed Products

I visited the Toy Fair New York to visit some of the Blizzard partners in search of licensed products. This year there wasn’t any new products, but at least there were products recently shipped and some are expected to ship on April 2014.

Prior to the event I learned there were no new Blizzard licensed products from USAopoly and Mega Bloks to be shown at the Toy Fair. Thus, I focused my attention on Funko and NECA, who are exhibitors at the event.

Funko

The Funko booth #4805 is displaying several licenses in the form of POP Vynil figures, Wacky Wobblers, Plushies and Papercraft. Among their licensed products displayed at the Toy Fair New York are (follow the links for better photos):

 

NECA

I had the pleasure to see the NECA Diablo III Lord of Terror Deluxe Scale Action Figure. It stands 9 inches tall with several articulations.

This action figure was sculpted by former-McFarlane sculptor Brian Fay who is currently Blizzard Entertainment’s in-house sculptor. I don’t think any photo can do justice to all the details in this action figure.

My sincere advice is that if you really like this action figure, please don’t hesitate nor wait until it ships. Go pre-order it. Pre-orders are like a survey. If it gets great demand, more products are created. It only costs $24.99.

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I was very excited to see the life-size Diablo III – Prop Replica – El’Druin, The Sword of Justice. This is Tyrael’s sword. I wielded it on my hand, and it is not heavy. Feels right and balanced. The description below tells you the materials it was crafted on.

The NECA booth #4802 can be found on the lower floor.

This recreation of Archangel Tyrael‘s legendary weapon was built directly from digital files used in-game, and measures nearly three and a half feet long. It features a pulsing blue LED light in the hilt, simulating the awesome protective powers the sword draws from the High Heavens.

Each El’Druin is carefully crafted of ABS, plastic and PVC in a construction designed for durability and impact resistance. Afterwards, it is hand-painted in gold and silver, using a mix of washes and dry brushing to enhance the detail and the metallic feel. The result is a realistic replica that looks just like the real thing, but is perfectly safe.

Batteries included.

 

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Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls Kindle Only $0.99

The Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls for Kindle is now only 99 cents for a limited-time. A Kindle device is not necessary to read this eBook. Choose the “Deliver to Kindle Cloud” option to read it on your Firefox or favorite internet browser.

kindle-cloud-reader

diablo-iii-heroes-rise-darkness-falls-coverA collection of terrifying tales based on the award-winning video game!

A bold demon hunter risks becoming her own worst enemy while tracking down her sinister prey… A haunted barbarian returns to his shattered homeland to face a harrowing past… A lone monk scours evil from an ancient forest where the line between friend and foe has vanished… A gifted but impetuous wizard finds out that great knowledge and power come with a price … A proud young witch doctor makes a chilling discovery that shakes his faith to its core… A desperate playwright embarks down a dark path of madness and depravity in his quest for fame… An unscrupulous wagon driver learns that his sole passenger is harboring a terrifying secret…

These are stories from the world of Sanctuary, a land of mystery and dread that serves as the backdrop for Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning Diablo video game series. Although these narratives focus on different characters and settings, they are bound together by the web of horror and suspense that is intrinsic to the Diablo universe. In this gothic fantasy realm, terror is a constant. It comes in many forms, from grotesque horned demons to the deepest fears of mortal hearts and minds. Brace yourself for this collection of exciting and frightening tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.