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Starym

A Classic Journey: Incredible Art in Animated Series Style

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This is a very special fan art series that I've been following since the fist post over on the WoW reddit, with artist Vlad "Valdihr" Harabagiu creating some truly amazing animated series/cartoon style pieces of his own Classic journey. Before talking any more about the art and its style, let's just immediately take a look at the first piece in the "A Classic Journey" series, done in Photoshop:

vlx-harabagiu-hana-zua.jpg?1567600749
"Sarkoth"
I thought I would die out here with none to know of it. While I was hunting the scorpids of the Valley, I came across a particularly vicious-looking one. Hurling myself at it, I managed to inflict a massive blow to its claw before it closed around my leg. I wasn't ready for its stinger though, and it sliced down and into my chest, cutting into my flesh and letting my blood. Please, you must kill the scorpid for me! My honor must be upheld! I fought it up on the plateau to the south.

The first one immediately captures the WoW essence and truly looks like a still taken from a WoW Classic cartoon, making me really angry this isn't a real TV show (or animated movie at least). Each image is named after a quest and is linearly tracking Valdihr's journey through the quests of Classic, starting with the above. Some images also come with a short comment about the stage of the game itself, with the first one getting an intro for the whole series:

Quote

Started playing WoW Classic so I thought why not draw derps with memorable quests and experiences? This first one is for Hana'zua, the troll bested by Sarkoth.
- Valdihr

vlx-harabagiu-valdihr-taragaman-1.jpg?15
"Slaying the beast"
The primary task set upon me by our great Warchief is to root out the creatures responsible for infesting our lord's great city with demonic influence. The Burning Blade is one threat, but there are others; the Searing Blade for instance, who make their home in Ragefire Chasm, secretly attempting to subvert innocent members of the Horde. If they are to be stopped, then their leader must be slain--a Felguard named Taragaman the Hungerer. Kill him, and his heart will appease Thrall, of this I'm sure.

Each piece takes Valdhir around 6 hours to make over 2 days and he's been going very hard at this particular series, focusing on his work (and WoW, obviously) to get these done and follow his trip through Classic.

Quote

Nothing like the first dungeon you do with fellow players.
- Valdihr

vlx-harabagiu-valdihr-a-classic-journey-
"Echeyakee"
Whitemist, Echeyakee in the Tauren tongue, is the king of the savannah cats. He hunts with such stealth, they say he's like a thin, white mist on the earth. And he kills so fast his prey have no time for fear, or pain. The Tauren say he is both mercy and death. You will learn if that's true, for I now set you on the path to hunt Echeyakee. His lair is northeast of the Crossroads, among the bones of giant Kodo. Go. Blow this horn when you reach his lair. Blow the horn, and he will come.

As you can see he is playing Horde and following that story and quest line, and has actually swapped characters already, playing on Noggenfrogger EU. He started with a hunter and has since switched  to an Undead warrior, at level 26 now.

vlx-harabagiu-valdihr-mankrik.jpg?156818
"Lost in battle"
We battled in a small tauren camp when we were separated--she held three of the Bristlebacks off by herself. But the odds began to overwhelm us. I led some away only to see her overwhelmed by newcomers. In my rage, I turned to face my enemies, but they brought me down easily with their vast numbers.
I awoke to a tauren druid tending my wounds--he had come across me on the Gold Road as I fell.
Please, find some sign of my wife.

The iconic barrens "Mankirk's wife" quest, while memed about a lot, is actually pretty emotional and one of the highlights of the zone. The expression in Mankirk's face in the image really brings out the emotion, which is a very impressive feat for a still.

Quote

I know you'd have liked to see Mankrik's wife's body sprawled on the Barrens ground, but I couldn't take my mind off his reaction.
Now now, Mankrik. Everything's going to be alright.
- Valdihr

He was also asked about doing class specific quests:

Quote

One of the ideas behind these shots is to avoid implying the race or class of the POV character. This way they are relatable to all horde players. Doing a shaman quest would only be relatable to shamans, mostly.
- Valdihr

vlx-harabagiu-valdihr-a-classic-journey-
"Wailing Caverns"
The druids in the Wailing Caverns, the Druids of the Fang, are an aberration. They were part of an order of noble druids whose plan was to heal the Barrens, but now seek to remake that land to match their own, twisted dreams. The Druids of the Fang have four leaders, and each possesses a dream gem. Even now their faces haunt me! Defeat the leaders and bring me their gems, and the Barrens may again know peace. Go. You will find them lurking deep within the Wailing Caverns.

While the above isn't directly tied to a specific quest, the Leaders of the Fang is the main dungeon goal, so a quote from that seemed appropriate. And while not exactly very cinematic, perhaps an image of the entire party looking around and being lost would have been more appropriate, with several "never coming back here again" speech bubbles.

vlx-harabagiu-valdihr-a-classic-journey-
"Betrayal from Within"
Three of my tribe came out of the Kraul to lead the raids against the Horde. <snort> They are ruthless and cunning, and if you defeat them, then your Crossroads and even most of the Barrens will learn peace... <snort> at least from the Razormane tribe. <snort> Nak, Kuz, and Lok Orcbane are the ones you seek. They are far to the south of the Barrens. One is a spell caster, another a tracker, and their leader, the one called Orcbane, <snort> a warrior. Kill them, like they have killed me.

The series is planned to go on to level 60 and end with raids, and for those saddened by the horde focus, don't worry:

Quote

I'm currently leveling as Horde so this was what gave me the inspiration and drive for this series. But after this I'm starting over with the Alliance series. Ally will get equal love.
- Valdihr

 

Shockingly, even something as amazing as this wasn't enough to bridge the Modern/Classic feud, as some users were upset the images were posted on the main WoW reddit, instead of the Classic one. But, the bright side is that we'll be seeing a lot more of these, as Vladhir has even started up a Patreon, and is also taking commissions, which bodes well for the future.

I simply cannot overstate how impressive and incredible these are, and how much they really make me yearn for an actual WoW cartoon series - especially with Castlevania and the upcoming Cuphead and Devil May Cry animated series being a thing. I rarely go into the "Blizzard, hire this man" type of thing, but, uhh, Blizzard? Hire this man.

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