On the Wandering Isle you can find Mei Chele and Lamplighter Mu – named after Michele Morrow (and her boyfriend Michael Weitzman), Scream Queen of horror movies, and whom is also the gorgeous lady who hosted DirecTV’s coverage of Blizzcon in 2014 and 2015.
Michele has been a WoW player since 2007, after she had a major accident, and was given a copy of the game by her boyfriend. She immersed herself in the community and according to the her Community Spotlight Article, she involved herself in charity work and also did a number of other video-game related hosting gigs including at San Diego Comic Con in 2015. She has gaming streams and a podcast – she is one busy lady!
I’ve always admired her Blizzcon coverage style, and now it’s great to know a bit more about her and how she is involved with this game I love so much. She is even now the voice of Alleria Windrunner in Hearthstone!
She also has a Garrison follower named after her, Mychele Morrowsong. I must work on finding that follower!
Those of you who have Alliance Garrisons will know this fellow (as he becomes a follower – the Horde equivalent is Bruto), but for us Hordies we may never encounter him. Pitfighter Vaandaam is found in Gorgrond and is a reference to Jean-Claude Van Damme, and also a computer game, called Pitfighter. Pitfighter is an arcade fighting game whose characters (Ty, Buzz and Kato) were based on 3 characters from Bloodsport, a movie in which Van Damme starred (character’s name was Frank Dux). Ty bears a resemblance to Dux in the movie (according to a translated Portuguese Wikipedia). There is no mention of this, however on the English versions, but I think as both are kickboxers, that is where the resemblance lies.
Unfortunately the NPC doesn’t have any quotes that would back this up!
This NPC is one of the Shado-pan daily Quest givers at Shado-Pan Garrison in Townlong Steppes. She is a Starcraft 2 Reference – Six Pool is the name of one of the classic opening Starcraft 2 strategies where you create 6 early Spawning Pools to do a Zergling rush. Ling obviously referring to the ZergLINGs.
As you enter Westfall from Elwynn Forest you will encounter a crime scene, and Lieutenant Horatio Laine is there with some quests for you to uncover what really happened. This NPC is a reference to CSI:Miami’s main character Lieutenant Horatio Caine, played by David Caruso. His character has some rather defining mannerisms – including drawling out his sentences as he puts on or takes off his shades, as well as saying a drawn out “Yeahhhh.”
The NPC also says some lines as a throwback to Lieutenant Caine:
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: No kidding, rookie…
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: Looks like they really put the cart…
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: …before the horse
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: Doesn’t look good, rookie.
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: This was an execution. Whoever did this was sending a message…
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: A message for anyone who would dare snitch on these criminals.
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: It would appear that poor Lou really put his foot…
Lieutenant Horatio Laine says: In his mouth…
And I didn’t see this when I was doing the quest, but apparently he puts on shades as he kneels down to investigate a scene!
What a shame he doesn’t say “Yeaaaaaahhhh.”
You wouldn’t see this toon unless you were levelling your Panda on the Wandering Isle (starter zone) and I admit I missed it the first time because I was so eager to get OFF that turtle’s back and join a faction.
This toon is a reference to Michael Bay, the movie director and producer, who is well known for his liberal use of explosions in his movies, and it isn’t surprising that this NPC has a quest for you to collect explosives. Some of the movies to Michael Bay’s credit include:the Transformers movies, Armageddon, Pearl Harbour.
Cymre Brightblade is a Grand Master Pet Tamer found in Gorgrond. She is named after a good friend of mine Cymre from Bubbles of Mischief. She writes about transmog, pet battles and archaeology and one of her dress up personas is Cymre Jones (think Indiana Jones). This NPC looks very similar to her actual toon!
Ashran captains are all named for famous PvP live streamers and personalities, and there are a ton of them! It’s hard to capture a good picture of an alliance one (when I’m horde) and here is Jackson Bajheera, named after Jackson “Bajheera” Bliton, a well known Twitch streamer and Youtuber.
He’s pictured here with his wife to be WarcraftJen, and he makes enough money from subs to his Twitch stream to be an actual income. He is also well known lifting weights and being very muscular, and some of his famous quotes have been given to his NPC.
“Fury Bajheera has been unleashed!”
“Hit ’em with the flex!”
“Get stomped on!”
Shademaster Kiryn is one of the NPCs you have to beat in the Celestial Tournament. Her pets are named after characters in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones).
Nairn is the humanoid yeti and is named for Kristian Nairn who plays Hodor in the series. A resemblance do you think?
Stormoen the Fluxfire Feline is named after the actor Jake Stormoen, a friend of Kristian Nairn. Apparently they both visited Blizzard and they both play WoW!
Summer the Wolf (beast) is the name of Bran Stark’s Dire wolf in the series.
This staff, Giorgio’s Caduceus of Pure Moods, was on my wishlist for the longest time – it goes so well with heroic Stormrider’s Mantle (or heroic Passive Resistor Spaulders). In fact all three versions of the staff are gorgeous, but it was the raid finder version that really matched and once you pass that tier, you can’t get it again. I got it in the last weeks that LFR was available to me, boy was I happy! I hadn’t really thought about the name but I found out recently that it is a tribute to a number of people.
Yesterday Trent Reznor announced the return of Nine Inch Nails, with an all-new lineup of musicians, including Telefon Tel Aviv’s Josh Eustis.
So why am I telling you about this?
I first met Josh at a Puscifer show in Jerome, AZ this past Summer. This happened after I saw a picture posted by Puscifer band mate Carina Round of Josh beating Diablo III on Inferno — while on tour! To say I’m a fan of the band is an understatement, so I had to pick pieces of skull out of my keyboard for days after finding out he’s a Blizzard gamer and is well aware of my work as a CM. When he found out I was going to the AZ show he invited me backstage to chat and we fast became friends. I got him down for a Blizzard tour not long after the concert. Love was requited.
And I’ve been talking to him about music and games ever since! This man is incredibly talented, and his love for World of Warcraft and its community brings joy to my heart. When he’s not touring or recording, I see him on my Battle.net friends list, oftentimes pushing through Heroic raid progression. The dude has been doing remarkable work in the music industry for over a decade now, so to see him being recognized, and utilized, by the likes of Maynard James Keenan, and now Trent Reznor, is truly amazing.
With the blessing of some of World of Warcraft’s designers, I was able to get an item added to patch 5.2 that honors both his and his girlfiend’s WoW characters, while also paying homage to Maynard’s wine. When I first linked him to that he seriously freaked out. Seriously. In a good way!
I just felt compelled to share this all with the community. I want him to know that we’re rooting for him, and that he’s a prime example of so many people in our community who both work and play hard.
So this is Josh Eustis and Zarhym at Blizz HQ
And here is the logo from Maynard’s winery, Caduceus cellars – which I think is the inspiration for the graphic of the staff!