Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hiding!

   I've not been playing WoW much lately, I've been extremely pre-occupied with writing my book (almost finished and plans for the next are underway!), and I was given an opportunity to have my jewellery displayed in an art gallery in my nearest WWT gallery, so I'm quite excited about that and I've been spending a lot of time putting new and better pieces together for it, and I'm working on making ducks and the like to suit the nature of the charity. It doesn't take place until July-October 2015 so I have plenty of time to make all the pieces I'll need to, but the sight of the year '2015' still seems like 3 years away so I've been slacking, which I can't afford to do! The last thing I need to do is procrastinate and have to make about 100 pieces in just a couple of months!
   Also the Christmas in July sale event on Etsy takes place in about two weeks, so I've been busy stocking up my jewellery for that since it tends to be quite successful.

   I got 7 free days from Blizzard so I have managed to get online - just as well they gave me that time, because I've been thinking about coming back but I knew I'd get bored quickly and didn't want to waste the money on it if that was the case. I was right: I got bored after three days.
   With the Midsummer Fire Festival in full fiery swing, I decided to try to take some screenshots I've been meaning to for months and months. They didn't end up how I imagined them, but I'm still quite happy! I'll probably try and retake them at another point, though.



   And I've been trying to hide from any info, screenshots and the like from Warlords, because I prefer to see it all when it comes out, whether that's clever of me or not. But I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see any sign of Troll models, because we've seen completed or snippets from every Alliance race and most sexes of them, too, but nowhere near as much from the Horde races, and the longer it's dragged out the higher my expectations get!


Sunday, 18 May 2014

WCC: World of Warcraft Temporary Tattoos

   This was a fun project, but not one that took too much work. I bought temporary tattoos from Etsy recently, and they're awesome. I used to love the things when I was a kid, I always used them, and since I bought some from Deborah Ballinger Illustrations on Etsy, I've been using them again. I do want tattoos, but I neither have the guts or the money. Though it's mostly the money. I'm not scared of needles, and have four piercings, but piercings and tattoos are different, even if they are in the same vain.


   So I decided to try my hand at temporary tattoos. I used the faction crests for my tattoos, and since I'm pro-Horde I focused exclusively on the Horde factions and phrases. As with most temporary tattoos, you peel off the plastic, stick the paper to your skin and press a wet cloth against it before removing the paper. The one complaint I have about them is that they left quite a thick shiny layer, and unlike ordinary temporary tattoos you have to cut close to the design otherwise you'll have a great big shiny patch of nothing on your skin. But that's what you get with homemade temporary tattoos. Either way, they work just fine. They printed well (I remembered the flip the image), they stuck to the skin well and stayed put for about four days which is great. I'm quite happy with the outcome of this project, and it was somewhat spur of the moment. Spur of the moment projects rarely go well. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been

   I managed, I finally managed to get 'What a Long, Strange Trip it's Been'. I could have gotten it last year if 'School of Hard Knocks' wasn't so stupid. And yes, I am complaining because I'm not a PvP'er. I could manage only three of the four criteria myself last year, and again this year, and the one that kept getting away from me was capturing a flag in Eye of the Storm. Returning a flag in Warsong gulch is no problem, just stay in the flag room. Assaulting a base in Arathi Basin is no problem, just...well just play the battleground. And assaulting a tower in Alterac Valley was no trouble either because there are so many of them. You just need to keep trying. I got quite lucky, though, and managed to knock each criteria out in my first go of each battleground. Eye of the Storm, however, is so hard because not only do you have to get the only flag but you have to successfully capture it, too, and with everyone either trying to get the achievement, or trying to actually play the game, it makes for an impossible task for someone with next to no PvP experience.
   This achievement doesn't just create a problem for people like me trying to get it, though, it's for PvP'ers, too. For a full week of the year they have to put up with little nublets like me running around and messing about with terrible damage, giving the other side kills and generally not playing the game. I feel so guilty when I go into battlegrounds, especially for an achievement, because I know that my presence alone is letting the side down, so I always do my absolute best and often get quite stressed out about it, but at least I don't leave as soon as I got the achievement. I stick it out and do my best to maintain my side's hold over bases and keep our flag in the flag room. At one point I managed to take down an Alliance flag carrier all by myself, but I think they must have been a pretty bad player for that to have happened, but at that point at least I knew I'd helped rather than just letting him go (though he'd have been killed by someone else even easier outside, I'm sure).


   But yup, at last, I got the achievement. And now I feel a little empty because, unless a new mount or pet is added every year, none of the world events have anything to interest me with anymore, except the chance for some gold doing the questlines, but to be honest that's gold I could have gotten from dailies if I could be bothered with them anymore, but being exalted with everything means there's little to gain from them beside shiny coins.



Sunday, 23 March 2014

Dominance Offensive

   Yes, I know just how far behind I am to bring this patch up, but I admit that I had neglected it until now. When Patch 5.1 came out, I hadn't really gotten anywhere with the base factions so I didn't have much in the way of good gear. I hadn't run many dungeons (only 3, total) and so I didn't really have any gear there, either. I was hopeless. Still, I gave it a go when it came out.
   I struggled hugely to take down the first twin mogu set I came across in the Ruins of Ogudei, and when I saw how little rep I was getting from such a struggle, I gave up immediately. I had a similar problem with the Isle of Thunder, but I stuck that out, to a degree, and got to honoured before giving up.
   I decided to go back to the Dominance Offensive recently to get the mounts. I didn't expect the amazing story line that came with it.
   Like I said, I realise how far behind I am, but the story line from patch 5.1 is probably the most exciting thing I've experienced in WoW for some time. I love lore - yes, I prefer the historical lore more, but I've always been more interested in history than present day, both in games and in real life - and it was great to really feel like I'm a part of it again. I knew that the Sunreavers had been kicked out of Dalaran, and I had assumed that it was because of Jaina's personal position towards the Horde after the fall of Theramore. But when the huge questline took me to Darnassus, I found out otherwise.
   Due to the fact that it was the Sunreavers who had been responsible for the Divine Bell being stolen from Darnassus, Jaina saw fit to remove them since they were clearly no longer a neutral part of the Kirin Tor. But then the questline led you into Dalaran while the purge was taking place. It was so exciting!
   When I got there, I saw two water elementals but just assumed they were guards and thought no more of it. I went about the quests and eventually bumped into the elementals, who had changed position. And who was with them? Jaina. She attacked me and teleported me into the Violet Hold. I admit to being a little disappointed here, it would have been more interesting to have been at least teleported into the Violet Hold itself, and better still to be put into one of the cells and have to use some kind of charm given by Rommath to get out, but instead I was just teleported between the two doors at the front of the instance. Still, I was surprised to see Jaina there.


   I left the following - and, it turns out, final - quest of the Dominance Offensive until the next day because I had stuff I needed to do, and I admit to finding the last quest a little anti-climactic. Perhaps it's because, after everything in Dalaran, I had expected a little more from the end of everything, not to see the bell shatter and crush the little brat benevolent prince. If I had known, I wouldn't have waited.


   Still, I consider the whole questline to be the most exciting thing to happen since I reached 90 - this is, of course, coming from someone who never raids and has no friends to play with. I've not finished with the Isle of Thunder yet, and while I know I should be more interested in it, I'm not. It just feels repetative, and I'm not seeing as much of a storyline here now. But I'm a little more sure of the timeline. I haven't read Vol'jin yet, so I'm still missing some bits of info, but it's all slowly getting pieced together.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Why No Flying in WOD Will Damage Exploration

   It is true that you've not been allowed to fly right away in expansions except from in Cataclysm; flying, otherwise, has always been allowed in the end. Sometimes it's a reward like with Burning Crusade and Mists of Pandaria when you hit max level, and other times it's a requirement at a certain point like in Wrath of the Lich King around level 77. And that was cool.
   The expansions that rewarded you with flying at the end were designed primarily for ground mounts, and while levelling (particularly in MoP, despite having been so used to flying everywhere in the previous expansion) I never saw the ground-mount-only condition to hinder game play. Because the expansions were designed around it. Warlords of Draenor will be much the same.

   However: while exploration was a huge part of MoP, and MoP was the first expansion in a while to completely limit flying to max level, when you could fly there was still so much to discover. There's all these hidden gems like Grohl Grohl around the outside of Kun-Lai Summit, the skeletons in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms surrounded by roses and so on. I can't help thinking, by 'playing it by ear' as they've put it, implies that a lot of the real exploration - the areas of the map you were never led to and were way off the beaten track - isn't going to be there anymore because, being the game developers themselves, they've probably already kind of decided that flying either definitely will or definitely won't be implimented.
   Some people complain that flying mounts take away from this that and the other - if it bothers these people, why do they use flying mounts? In Pandaria, because flying was end-game content, it's basically totally optional - you can get around everywhere without flying mounts, except where factions like the Order of the Cloud Serpents are concerned, because, surprise, that faction is based around flying. You can't fly at all in the Timeless Isle or the Isle of Thunder.

   At the end of the day, it's totally their decision since they know where they want to take this game, but to say that it removes from the exploration is quite simply incorrect. People who aren't going to explore aren't going to do it, and people who are going to explore are going to do so whether flying mounts are implemented or not. Personally, as someone who loves to explore, I find not being able to fly a hinderance because I feel I can't go anywhere and explore without being knocked off of my mount by mobs, and that kinds of makes me not want to bother. And as I said before, if flying isn't implemented, then a lot of hidden stuff that a lot of players love, like myself and most bloggers I follow, isn't going to be there.
   Not flying won't hinder actual game play, unless you want to farm for herbs or ore, because the zones will have been designed around the quests and vice versa. We won't even notice that we're unable to fly - until we hit max level.

   Keeping flying away until the first patch is fine because at least we'll be getting it, even if it is after 5 months. But 'playing it by ear' and suggesting it may not be implemented at all is ridiculous. Flying may not be necessary to level or for some patches, but it's quite a basic thing that they've foolishly gotten us all too used to, and trying to take that away from us is like trying to take TV away from everyone - it isn't necessary, but just about all of us use one.
   They've said recently that we'll be able to use all mounts as ground mounts - so we're going to glide across the floor on a cloud serpent? Dragons and drakes with huge and powerful wings simply won't use them? It doesn't make sense. Not only that, but they've given us a flying mount with the collector's edition and digital duluxe edition again, a flying mount modelled off of an already existing ground mount. Either they're lost the plot, or flying will be implemented eventually.

   Sometimes it seems to me that developers, because they are forced to look at the game from a different view to us just-players (I am of course aware that most of the devs do also play the game as well as build it), are unable to see the game for its more basic level of simply playing because they know more about the building blocks of the game than we do, but sometimes that can only hinder them because they're looking at theories and almost forgetting about the practical side of it. They saying that flying takes away from exploration because they seem to think we all just fly over the tree tops until we hit the highlighted map area. In truth we do fly over tree tops to get to the highlighted area, but often take a detour to follow a "what's that?" or simply go off and explore the areas harder to reach than what you already came across while levelling. Exploration is great, but it seems like they want us to discover the same things with every character, but the exploration and the excitement is felt by us, the players, and it just isn't as exciting the second time around because we already know it's there.

   I realise I'm blathering; I've got a lot of opinions I'm struggling to get out. I'm writing it mostly for the benefit of the devs who aren't going to read it anyway, so at this point I'm wondering why I've bothered.
   Having to wait for it, in my opinion, isn't really a problem because at least it's coming, but the idea of not having it at all while they claim they want us to explore more is a bit stupid. How do you feel about the prospect of no flying at all? Or having to wait?