You will be able to acquire miniatures that will serve as both game pieces and collectibles, as each one "will be mounted on a uniquely engineered removable base". Each miniature will reportedly be a highly detailed 3-D rendering of characters in the game, including not only each race and class, but bigwigs like Thrall and, evidently, Leeroy Jenkins, who has already appeared in the Trading Card Game.
Your minis will face their opponents in head-on battles as well as raid and dungeon scenarios, which can include player co-operation, much like in-game.
These little guys and gals even have their own site, over at WoWMinis.com. Let's take a sneak peak, shall we?
Playing with the model viewer
Immediately upon the clickthrough, I noticed four images of these figurines and a headline urging me to view them using the 360 degree model viewer. While it doesn't allow you to zoom in, which is a shame, as they are too detailed to really view from the distance provided, it does let you swivel them around. Already, I want the draenei with his purple crystal hammer, an urge I've had ever since I watched the Burning Crusade cinematic for the first time.
What you get
In addition to being able to play as Horde or Alliance, each player will have the opportunity to play using Monster factions. Currently, it is expected that we will be able to purchase a two-player Starter Set, a random Deluxe Starter Set, as well as booster packs. Should you choose, there will reportedly be a giant-size Onyxia Raid Set that will not only allow play against Ony, but allow you to control her yourself.
In light of this news, I expect that in the future, other deluxe raid sets, perhaps even from the expansions, will be turning up.
The game is reportedly going to incorporate many of the features of the online game, including your own Action Bar that you will be able to customize with abilities from online gameplay.
More about the process
Serving as the debut for UDE in the world of collectible miniatures, the World of Warcraft Miniatures Game will incorporate "some of the industry's most talented sculptors from all over the world". Curious? The list of first class artisans includes Jacques-Alexandre Gillois (France), Juan Navarro Perez (Spain), Stefan B. Niehues (Germany), and Steve Saunders (USA).
According to Mike McVey, a 20-year-veteran in painting miniatures, the quality of these figurines are "unprecedented in the collectible miniatures category".
Says Product Manager and Lead Game Designer Justin Gary, "We worked closely with Blizzard to ensure that the miniatures met a high standard of quality and that the gameplay was true to the online experience".
Let's get social
In addition to the new game, a "robust Organized Play structure" is set to be launched, including in-store tournaments, tournament events at the Darkmoon Faire, as well as larger-scale National and World Championship tournaments.
I must know more!
While we know that the game will launch in fall of 2008, the exact release date has not been set; however, on April 20th 2008, the full website will be unveiled, presumably including new photos and details.
What do you think? Are you going to run right out and buy it as soon as it hits store shelves? Will you be watching your friends and waiting to hear our verdict when we test it out? Or, are you decidedly uninterested?