Following the 20th anniversary of the Warcraft universe, Blizzard is releasing The Art of World of Warcraft. Hitting the shelves on June 16th, this collection includes hundreds of sketches, concept drawings, and articles discussing the Warcraft universe. Normally, editions of The Art of World of Warcraft are reserved for collectors’ editions of the expansions. This time, however, Blizzard is releasing a stand-alone edition focused on the whole world, rather than on an expansion.
Upon opening, the book launches the reader into a vibrant and bold trip through Azeroth. With sections for each of the five expansions, the art and interviews tell the stories of Warcraft heroes as they unfold from “vanilla” to Lords of Draenor. The reader is privileged with the opportunity to hear from developers and designers as they reveal the goals, stories, and emotions behind the art for each part of the development of Azeroth.
As you can see, the imagery speaks volumes (please pardon the pun) and leaves one with the feeling of immersion. Perusing the art and reading the designer’s goals for that concept bring Azeroth into your hands and minds. Every page is it’s own beautiful piece of work. The art is stunning, and of a quality of detail than cannot be seen inside the MMO.
The shelf price kicked me in the stomach a bit, unfortunately. At $45, I was a little saddened, because the WoW franchise already eats up a lot of my gaming budget. Thankfully, Blizzard often has sales, including a pre-order sale for over $13 off! I would totally say that The Art of World of Warcraft is a great edition to your bookshelf, but I would also encourage taking advantage of sales and/or discounts.
I’ve already read through the book several times, and I am still finding details in both the art and interviews that I missed in my enthusiasm to absorb every detail. The book is a great coffee-table book, because the images are beautiful and the interviews are short but interesting. I am sure I’ll enjoy reading it for ages to come, as I fondly remember watching my brother finish killing Arthas as a druid healer spamming moonfire, while my mostly-wiped raid watched with baited breath. Good times.
If you’d like to join the devs and designers of the world’s most popular MMO, you can pre-order The Art of World of Warcraft on Amazon, or find it on shelves beginning July 16th. Happy hunting!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Art of World of Warcraft for review purposes.