Monday, November 5, 2007

Q and A with Christie Golden: Metzen, Golden collaborated as 'Thrall's parents'

This is Part Two in a two part series of questions and answers with author Christie Golden from the Shadow Council community! You can read her introduction here, and the first part of the Q and A here. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Q. As an amateur writer myself, I understand it's quite easy to get the basic emotion down, but when I read the scene where Thrall saw Taretha's severed head, I felt like I was there, feeling his emotions course through me. How hard was it for you to portray those emotions that the future Orc Chieftan felt? --Callaghan

A. That's a tough one! All writers have strengths and weaknesses, I think--my strengths are dialogue and characterizations, especially when it comes to conveying emotions and being really "in" the character. My weakness is description, I had to work hard on that and it still is a challenge. I knew that part was coming, and I knew it would be really juicy to get into and I had to do it "right." I wanted to link up with the "tears" speech Taretha had said to Thrall earlier, that this was what first made this powerful, tough individual weep. Blackthorne saw it as a weakness, but really, the ability to love, to care about someone or something so deeply--that's a strength. Thrall took his pain and turned it into a weapon against his enemies, rather than being crippled by it. So knowing all that I did about Thrall, I really tried to dive into the character and feel it myself. I believe it was Robert Frost who said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader," and when I write something that gives me a lump in my throat, I know I've done my job well.

Q. When writing the story, did you have full creative control? Or was Blizzard (Or Chris Metzen) constantly in-touch, checking in on the story and making sure it was going as planned? Or in other words, were YOU able to create Thrall's past, or was it set in stone and Blizzard just needed a writer to bring it to words? --Callaghan

A. It's important to understand how tie-in fiction generally works, so that you all appreciate how remarkable my experience with Blizzard is. As I said earlier, it usually goes one way--from the product to the novelist. The way it works is generally an author submits an idea, it's approved, an outline is fleshed out, that's approved by both the publisher and the license holder, and then the author writes the book. Pretty much by herself, with no ability to contact anyone to get questions answered or so on. We do our best, and if there are problems (hopefully not) they get hashed out in the first draft. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but it can be frustrating if you have a question and have to put it in the book without knowing if it's what's wanted or not. From the very beginning, Chris Metzen made himself available to me. "LORD OF THE CLANS" had a very solid outline to start with, as it was a game that never got developed but that Chris had always wanted to see "live" in some form. So there were a lot of things that were indeed set in stone. However, we had discussions about the color of orc eyes and skin tones and blood hues.

Sometimes I'd have a big idea that most companies wouldn't want to implement...say, Thrall having a human adopted sister. :D Blizzard was more than happy to hear my input with an open mind. Chris is an author himself, so he understands that what makes a great game doesn't necessarily make for a great read, and vice verse, so he was willing to hear what I had to say. Too, I understand the needs of tie-in fiction, and I know that it's very different from writing one's one original storylines. It's much more collaborative, and because it's their property, they always (and should!) have the final say.

Chris and I jokingly refer to ourselves as "Thrall's parents." True story--the first time I saw the trailer for Warcraft III and saw the scene where Thrall bolts upright, blinking those blue eyes, I got tears in my eyes and exclaimed, "That's my boy!" And believe me, when I first ran Old Hillsbrad, I was pretty damn giddy. :)

Q. About the time of the release of Lord of the Clans, Shadow Council suddenly went from a medium capacity realm to a full and locked realm. A lot of people blamed this on the release of your novel, as you openly admitted to playing on Shadow Council. What do you have to say to this? --Thienna

A. Ah, indeed, I remember that quite well. All kinds of things led to the queues, the least of which was likely my dedicating the book to some RPers and thanking Shadow Council. Let's remember all that was going on at that point!

Naturally Pocket Books and Blizzard wanted a novel that would get people excited about the expansion to be published shortly before the expansion itself. Media tie-in books are a sort of advertising, and with Burning Crusade due out in January, a book out in December that was all about Draenor would fan the flame for sure. That was planned a long time ago--books take a while to get from contract to bookshelf. So, out comes "RISE OF THE HORDE" in December 2006 (I was in Australia at the time, I'm not sure of the exact pub date, but it was December for sure).

December is also Christmas time, and if I recall correctly, there was a special deal in which you could purchase World of Warcraft for $19.95 and get a free month....again, trying to get people into the game in time for Burning Crusade. And playing time cards for WoW make GREAT gifts--I've given out several in my day. So I'm sure a lot of people got those and renewed their membership because of it.

Finally, remember all those people who said "Bye for now, I'll be back for the expansion?" December was probably when they came back as well, to check on their characters and get them ready for the road to 70.

I have an ego like everyone else. It'd be awesome to think my book was so wildly popular that literally thousands of people had to come join Shadow Council just because of me and my mention of the server. I'd be writing this from my estate in Italy or something. But the numbers just don't support that. I remember the first time I had a queue--my husband jokingly said "It's all your fault!" and we laughed at the absurdity of such an idea. Remember, there are nine million people playing this game, and book sales, even WoW books, only number in the thousands. The percentage of people who then actually read a dedication is a tiny fragment of that. The percentage of people who read that dedication and took it to the point of rolling a character on Shadow Council because of it probably number in the...twenties. Seriously. And that's a generous estimate. For what it's worth, I've yet to get an email or hear from anyone who actually rolled on this server around that time solely because of that dedication.

So unfortunately, I think I ended up being a bit of a scapegoat because I had a name and face. People (including me, I sat in a queue along with everyone else) got frustrated at the lengthy queue times. Someone assumed the queues were because of the book and started a thread to vent their frustration, and others hopped on the bandwagon because a single person is easier to blame than something as nebulous as Christmas + expansion in a month + inexpensive original game. And I have to admit, I'm human--it stung a bit, particularly as the whole point of the dedication was to do something to thank the server. Ah, bitter irony! :) What was lovely about this situation was that there were people who realized early on that there were other factors involved in the queues and who came to my defense who didn't even know me personally. (Mahley, if you're reading this, no, it wasn't me who thanked you in game. But I'm thanking you and the others now!) And a bit later, a second thread came on the forums, and most of those who posted on it said that yes, looking back, it probably WAS Christmas and the Burning Crusade rather than my dedication, and yes, other servers were affected just as severely, some even worse.

However, I don't think I'll be mentioning specific servers in dedications again any time soon. *laughs*

Q. Reading both your novels about Thrall and his parents have given me a huge insight on Orcish mannerisms, the history of Outland before the Burning Legion, and of some stories I barely knew. Where did you find this information and what sort of resources did you use? They'd be handy for helping my Orcish guildmates! --Theinna

A. I'm glad you enjoyed that! The bad news is there's no real resources out there...because most of that I had the honor of being able to create myself. The good news is, it's all right there in "RISE OF THE HORDE." It's canon and you're free to use whatever appeals to you. I'm a big fan of myths and legends and I love learning about other cultures and history. I got to bring that to creating the orcs before they were corrupted and their culture so badly damaged. It was a lot of fun--the courtship hunt, the pool of the ancestors--all very enjoyable to ponder over and try to shape.

Q. What do you think of the Caverns of Time: Durnholde instance? If you were able to change anything about it, what would you do? (And did you notice the stack of books in Thrall's cell? Nifty!) --Theinna

A. Truly, I wouldn't change a single thing about the escape. I loved it! The actual escape in the book was not a very big scene although it was important, so it was fun to see the developers take a simple thing like using fire as a distraction and make something really major out of it. I have a shot of my character standing next to Thrall and Taretha. Hee hee! And yes...I saw the books. That made me smile. Another great example of Blizzard's attention to detail.

Q. Do you intend to write more about Thrall? There's so much up in the air about his and Jaina's relationship between the end of WC3 and the release of WoW that I know I'd love to see actually set down in writing. --Thienna

I'm very, very fond of Thrall. The cool thing about him is he's not just a good orc leader, or a good Horde leader--he's a good leader, plain and simple. He's reasoned and thougthful but he won't be pushed around. He has an understanding of other races than his own and knows when to compromise and when to stand firm. Nothing is definite yet, but I wouldn't rule out future explorations of such an interesting character.

Q. What first attracted you to role play in WoW?

A. Nice people RPing with me! I had started the game to play with some friends in February of 2005. This was the first video computer game I'd EVER played. ZOMG u nub, hehehe. We'd started on another server and never even attempted RP there; it never occurred to me to do so. I had a simple backstory for my character, but mostly, it was just playing the game. Though it was an RP server I never saw much RP there. When my friends and I decided to try the other faction, we took it to another server--Shadow Council. One evening, someone started RPing with me, and I RPed back, somewhat nervously (it's like being in improv theater!). It was so much fun that I embraced it whole heartedly. I met a wonderful circle of friends and we've all leveled together. That I enjoy RP, as an author, is not unexpected. What is a surprise to me is just how much I enjoy the game as a game. It's a lot of fun to play.

Find out more about Christie Golden's books at

Q and A with Christie Golden: 'Ink barely dry' on new Warcraft contract

This is Part One in a two part series of questions and answers with author Christie Golden from the Shadow Council community! Thank you to everyone who participated! You can read her introduction here. Stay tuned this week for the rest of the Q and A!

Q. What is your favorite in-game silly? --Zothique

A. Haha! I like the female gnome silly, "I apologize for any inconvenience my murderous rampage may have caused." And I like the female human flirt, "I need a hero." But then again, the Tauren female "laughed so hard I milked all over the floor" is pretty hilarious too...obviously, I play a lot of races. And classes. There's just a lot out there to experience.

Q. Will you be writing any more WoW books? --Kinu, Moonguard

A. A resounding yes. The ink is barely dry on a contract I've signed for a Warcraft trilogy! I'll be working on that over the next year and a half.We haven't nailed down specifics yet, but from initial conversations with Chris, I can tell you I'm very, VERY excited about this. I truly do love the game, and Blizzard has been very supportive of me and my work. I'm a very lucky writer!

Q. How much of The Burning Crusade did you get to have input on? Were you given access to beta builds in order to build your story, or was it more that Outland was built around your story? --Hectara

A. I was brought in before all of it was nailed down, but when a lot of it was also already in place. So we really worked together a great deal on certain aspects. I was given some concept art and the ability to query about specific things, and encouraged to go all out when creating ritual, customs, creatures and so on. When the first draft was done, Chris Metzen told me he had had it printed out and given to the developers. They particularly liked the idea of the Ata'mal crystals and some of the creatures I created.

I was invited to play in Alpha and Beta and I remember well the quest in which a draenei says "By the Seven Ata'amal Crystals!" Even more fun was when I got to Outland and saw clefthooves and olemba trees. And when I saw someone riding a talbuk, you could have knocked me over with a feather I was so surprised. They never let on they'd done that! They like to surprise me with things. I think the talbuks look really cool! I have one of my own now! And no, Blizzard didn't just give it to me, I did a lot of ogre-killing just like everyone else. :)

While Blizzard had created the idea of Oshu'gun, I got to flesh it out more, and then in turn continued to develop it based on the directions I'd gone in the game. So while they definitely made most of it, I felt very welcome in "interweaving," and it was a huge kick to see things I'd specifically created envisioned by the designers. It was a real collaboration in certain areas. What I'd like to stress is how rare such things are. Usually things go in one direction in media tie-ins--from the product (a game, a movie, a TV show) to the authors doing novels. What we do is hardly ever considered "canon." I thought I had been lucky and honored when I learned that Taretha's necklace was part of a quest can imagine how pleased I was to see talbuks, clefthooves, and Old Hillsbrad.

Q. I read on your website that you got started by shopping around a manuscript of your own, and while it didn't sell, you made excellent contacts. Was that the first piece you wrote publicly? Or did you submit stories to fanfic magazines, or perhaps do other non-profit work first? --Vulpecula, Ysera

A. You know, most authors have a manuscript lying around that they cut their teeth on but that never got published. It's so common a thing that there's a term for it--"Trunk novel." Because you lock it away in a trunk and hope your descendants never decide to publish it. That was the first piece of fiction I wrote, yes. Interestingly enough, while that book was never published, I did sell two novels set in that world, "INSTRUMENT OF FATE" and "KING'S MAN AND THIEF." I had twelve books planned in that series--I was ambitious! Who knows, maybe I'll revisit that world someday. Prior to that, however, I'd had a lot of experience selling non-fiction because I'd worked for USA Today as well as two other magazines as an editor and contributor. I never did do any fanfic, unless you count the Star Trek scripts I covertly wrote in my math classes in junior high school.

Q. Do you have any advice for new writers just starting out? --Vulpecula

A. Write. It sounds flip, but it isn't. Set aside a time and place to write and do it regularly. Investigate the benefits of outlining (and by that, I don't mean the A) 1, a) b) stuff, I mean summarizing your storyline.) It's not for everyone, but it can save you so much time and headaches if you can adapt yourself to it. Nothing worse then getting halfway through a novel and petering out because you took a wrong plot turn around page 50. Tony Hillerman just goes--my mind boggles, I need an outline. Give this the importance it deserves. Make a little ritual of it... maybe you play certain music, or light certain candles (scent is a BIG part of memory). Your brain will start to recognize these signals and drop into "writing mode" more quickly and easily. Read a wonderful book called "Bird By Bird," by Anne Lamott. Realize that you will get rejection letters, and some of them will be nasty. Attend science fiction conventions and writer's conferences. But in the end...just keep writing.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Voices of Justin Gross

His voice is deep. It resonates lowly. Decisive consonants are articulated from the lips and tongue in a strong, focused way—the kind of focus you expect from someone with an unbreakable will. The British vowels, masculine and noble, demand loyalty of the listener. It is sometimes ruthless. It is a voice undoubtedly familiar with power…

That is the voice of actor Justin Gross, as recorded for the hero-turned-villain Arthas in the video game “Warcraft III.”

In the 2002 video game “Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos,” the character Prince Arthas is faced with protecting his father’s land against impossible odds. In searching for the power to protect his kingdom, he betrays his own people to obtain an evil sword called Frostmourne.

The actor said if he were ever in Arthas’s shoes, he might have taken Frostmourne too.

“Under those circumstances?” he said. “I think everybody has the propensity for evil in them—for doing evil things in certain situations.”

It was that attitude that let Gross get into character for Arthas.

“I guess everyone’s got a little capacity for evil in them,” he said.

The actor recorded all Arthas’s dialogue in Warcraft III line by line. Typically for video game voice work, he said, an actor will not be given a script. Instead, actors are given lines one at a time. A director talks him through the context of each particular line and he has no interaction with the other voice actors in the scene.

For that reason, Gross said he usually prefers to work on TV episodes, where the actor is given a full script and interacts with the other voice actors in the scene.

TV episodes also pay a residual fee each time the episode is aired, so one episode’s recording session has the opportunity to pay off with each episode rerun.

Despite his TV preference, he enjoyed working with Blizzard on Warcraft III, where he got voice direction from World of Warcraft music composer Jason Hayes.

“He was really good to work with,” Gross said in a telephone interview last August. “Everyone at Blizzard was very professional.”

Crives,” a Shadow Council player who played Warcraft III, said he thought Gross’s voice was particularly memorable as Arthas transformed from a good paladin to an evil death knight.

“I really caught his emotions well as he was becoming a death knight,” Crives said in an in-game interview Friday.

The player said he was disappointed Gross would not be continuing to work with Blizzard for the World of Warcraft expansion “Wrath of the Lich King.”

Gross has been doing voice work since 1992, and his verbal styles vary extensively from the dark, commanding Arthas to the more youthful, friendly Captain America in the show “Ultimate Avengers.” He has voiced commercials for Pepsi, Nokia, and Saturn, to name a few brands. He has also narrated documentaries.

Speaking on his cell phone from his home in Houston, Texas, the voice actor sounded like a regular guy. He did not have a languid Texan drawl—because he is actually from northern California. He graduated from Nevada Union High School in 1990, and then decided he wanted to teach.

Gross taught at the now-closed Placer Hills Elementary School in Meadow Vista, Calif. for half a year. He was filling in for a teacher on maternity leave. After a few months there, he knew teaching was not his preferred career.

“It was a dreary experience, and I just realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” he said.

He began acting onstage at Sacramento’s B Street Theater. While there, he worked with stage and voice actress Elisabeth Nunziato, who he says was his inspiration for becoming a voice-over actor.

“I really admired her lifestyle. She didn’t have a regular job,” Gross said.

After hearing Nunziato’s voice on the radio, Gross decided voice acting would be something worth trying out. He asked Nunziato to coach him, and she agreed.

They made a demo tape together that landed him several jobs. Gross moved to L.A., where he said he was doing auditions for voice work every day.

Today, Gross lives in Houston, Texas, where he is working on some real estate property he bought in partnership with his brother. He still does some voice work each week, though he is not as busy as he once was in L.A. Moving to Texas, he said, let him take a break.

The actor hopes to move back to L.A. next year to concentrate again on his voice acting.

“Voice acting has been very good for me,” he said. It gives him the freedom to do something a little different each day.

The Strider's Lacey Waymire can be reached at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming Soon: Community Q & A with author Christie Golden

World of Warcraft Author Christie Golden has contacted The Strider and offered to answer questions from the Shadow Council community!

Author Christie Golden has published two major World of Warcraft novels: "Lord of the Clans," about Thrall's childhood, and "Rise of the Horde," about Thrall's father Durotan and the orcs' early dealings with demons. Many of her world creations for "Rise of the Horde" were built in-game for "World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade."

Her book "Firstborn" is the first in the Starcraft trilogy "Dark Templar Saga" and was released last May. The second book in that series, "Shadow Hunters," will come out in late November. Her newest book, "Under Sea's Shadow," is the third book in an original series published this month.

Golden herself has been playing World of Warcraft for more than two years on several different servers, though she says it is on Shadow Council that she learned to role-play.

If you would like to submit a question to Christie Golden, email The Strider at or post a comment here.

Thank you for your participation!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Q and A with Aaron Rosenberg

The Strider teamed up with Shadow Council community members to ask Warcraft author Aaron Rosenberg about his books and games. You can read his introduction here, and read his answers to your questions below!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Q. Do you play World of Warcraft?

A. I do, yes, though sadly not as often as I'd like. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. :)

Q. Who is your favorite main character in Tides of Darkness?

A. That's a tough call. I really like both Lothar and Turalyon, but I had a great time writing Orgrim because I got to show what was going on inside his head. I have to admit, I also have a fondness for Thoras Trollbane, though--he doesn't get much screen time but he was a blast to write when he was around.

Q. As far as story settings go, what do you find easier to write, Warcraft or Starcraft? Or to be a bit more precise, do you prefer a more science fiction based story or the classic fantasy? --Leiander

A. WarCraft is definitely easier, as is fantasy in general. You simply don't have to explain as much, both in terms of how the setting works and in terms of the races. Everyone understands what an orc is right away, but explaining the protoss and the zerg is a lot harder.

Q. How difficult did you find it to reconcile Warcraft II's black and white depiction of the Horde and Alliance with the more recent gray areas expanded upon in later-published games and lore which pose the Horde as being actually a somewhat good force? --Hectara

A. It wasn't that hard to do, actually. The games, as with any visual medium, are more surface-oriented, so you don't know what the characters are thinking and feeling, what motivated them and drove them to those actions. Books let you examine those elements and understand their perspective. No one ever considers him- or herself to be evil--everyone feels he or she is doing the right thing somehow, and in a novel you can portray that.

Q. How would you describe your experience in working for Blizzard? --Deveran

A. They're great! They've been so friendly throughout the process of each book, and so helpful as far as feedback and support. I'm really glad I've gotten to work with them on so many books already, and I'm definitely hoping to continue the relationship.

Q. Since you write, create video games, and play role-playing games, how much do you find the different storytelling mediums influencing each other? Are the stories in your video games like those in your books, etc? --Malorn

A. Actually, I don't write video games--I write tabletop roleplaying games (though I would love to write video games as well). But yes, the stories and styles and elements certainly influence each other. Creating a game involves a lot of worldbuilding, and as a result when I write novels I want a very detailed world and a full understanding of how it works. I like to think that gives my settings more solidity than they'd have otherwise. I don't tell many stories in my roleplaying games--just short adventures and short fiction snippets to give people ideas of where they can go with their own stories--but certainly every game I've created has given me ideas for novels set in those worlds.

Q. In what systems do you play tabletop RPGs?

A. I play almost anything, actually. I've done a lot of World of Darkness (old and new) over the years, a lot of Dungeons and Dragons, a lot of d20 and OGL, plus I've played things like Ars Magica, Marvel Super-heroes, Amber, Immortal, etc. And of course I've played each game I've written. :)

Q. What do you find more challenging: writing, RPGs, or video games? What is most rewarding? --Malorn

A. They each have their own challenges. Writing an RPG is all about building a world and creating the rules so others can tell stories there. Writing a novel is all about telling a particular story. I suppose the RPG is harder because it requires creating everything from scratch, whereas a novel set in a good existing world (like WarCraft or StarCraft) already has elements in place.

Q. Have you ever turned a book into a game? --Malorn

A. Yes, when I wrote the Deryni Roleplaying Game. That was fun because I had a whole world already and just had to make sense of it and show how others could tell their own stories there as well. I've also turned one of my own stories into a game, though it wasn't a novel--I wrote a short story called "Spookshow" and liked the idea so much I created a game by the same name. Sometimes a story's setting just cries out, "There are more stories here! Share them!"

Q. How does writing compare to roleplaying? Do you ever miss the character control in roleplaying? --Darsha

A. Writing is more all-inclusive than roleplaying--even if you've only got one central character you're writing the secondary characters and creating the plot and describing the setting all by yourself. When you're roleplaying, someone else (the GM) is handling the plot, the setting, and the secondary characters, and others (the other players) are handling all the other principal characters, so it's a lot more collaborative. That also means I've got a lot more control over my one character when roleplaying, but when writing I get to control (or at least narrate) all of them at once.

Q. Do you have an original series in the works?

A. Not right now, no. I have ideas for several, of course, and I'm talking to various editors about those and other projects, but nothing definite right now.

Q. Do you have other non-Warcraft related projects coming up, that we can look forward to? --Deveran

A. The third book of my Warhammer trilogy, Hour of the Daemon, should be out in November. I have another book coming out next year that I can't talk about yet. After that we'll see.

Photo courtesy Aaron Rosenberg/Oct. 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Gold Record

This week’s auction house averages see a dramatic shift from the norm; Horde goods have continued a low trend, while Alliance goods have shot up, on average. Alliance goods are averaging 26 points above their Horde counterparts. This is the farthest Alliance goods have been above Horde goods on record.

The Alliance’s stiffly rising average is largely due to extremely high demand for Linen Cloth. At 286 points, it is at a four-month high (rising 200 points from our last average). Lower-end metals are also all selling high right now – Copper Ore rose 59 points to 132, Tin Ore rose 77 points to 136 and Iron Ore rose 6 points to 132. The rest of the metals are all within the “normal” range, selling between 80 and 120 points.

It’s important to note that Fel Iron has risen 46 points to 99, resuming normal trading values after a five-week slump. Aside from Linen Cloth’s very high mark, almost every other cloth is coming in at normal values. The exception to this is Netherweave Cloth, which is still riding low at 72 points. This is the eighth week in a row that Netherweave Cloth has been below 80 points.

On the Horde side, many of the prior trends have continued. Mithril Ore is still slightly low, although it has come up 39 points from our last recorded average and is now at 79 points. Despite the very high prices of Linen Cloth on the Alliance auction houses, it is selling at 54 points on the Horde side (up 5 points). Horde Tailors have enjoyed these very low Linen prices for nine weeks so far. The demand for Wool Cloth has calmed down as well, dropping 82 points to land at 105. Runecloth is doing well; it rose 43 points to land at 126.

Jason Coleman has recorded auction house values for both Horde and Alliance since April 2007. He has monitored many of the raw trade goods (common ores and cloth) that are constantly on the auction houses, employing them as an indicator of market health. Taking averages from his data, each material has been given a value of 100 points (or percent) and is analyzed based on deviation from this value. Continuing each week, the Shadow Council Strider will post his analyses in this article, the Gold Record.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Review: Here Without You

The Vitals: The Strider receives its first review request! Horkin, a Horde-side player on Shadow Council, wrote in to suggest an older Warcraft video, "Here Without You," by Dimoroc. As warned by Horkin, the video is not in the least amusing and viewers should prepare themselves to have their emotions toyed with. Enjoy it or not, the dramatics of "Here Without You" cannot be denied.

Story: 4/5
The story of "Here Without You" is simple and well told. Without a single line of dialog, we learn the story of the human Dimoroc, his excursion to the north with his beloved at his side, their subsequent deaths at the hands of Redsword, and finally Dimoroc's revenge. The story is touching, sad and visually eloquent.

Text and Titles: 2/5
Serviceable, though pixelated more than YouTube can account for. Also, I'm going to have to slap "Here Without You" with a penalty for overlong (an ellipsis is 3 periods, not 4) and overuse of ellipsises. Simple line breaks would have more than sufficed.

Camera and Effects: 4/5
There is a little bit of mouse shake, but camera angles are generally excellent and quite cinematic. There are few effects in this story-heavy video, but the scenery is used to wonderful effect. Well done.

Music and Editing: 4/5
As the title would certainly imply, the video is set to "Here Without You," by 3 Doors Down. Now, I own one of their early CDs and only that one. I like the group, but not enough to let their music get stuck looping in my head. However, the effect of the song along with the video is quite beautiful.

Wipes and cuts are nicely timed with both the beat and content of the song. The result is an excellent building of dramatic tension as we first wonder why we're watching this Forsaken man, then learn of his life, his love, his death, and finally his revenge and closure.

Overall Score: 4/5
"Here Without You" had me sobbing like a child. Well done, even if I occasionally resent having my emotions toyed with. A classic Warcraft movie, despite its age, and well worth a few moments of your time. Touching, imaginative, moving and well crafted. Bravo!

On a related note, Dimoroc did create a sequel to "Here Without You." Will there be more? I hope so. Dimoroc seems to have a flair for telling stories without a spoken word.

Want me to review your video? Send me a link at

About the Author:
E.D. Lindquist is a multimedia consultant for a large newspaper association. She has produced video for a major daily newspaper and helped to create standards for online production throughout California.