Saturday, 31 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 31 'Dangerous'

   It's the final day of Tycertank's #WoWscreenshotaday challenge, and the final theme was 'Dangerous'. I had a lot of ideas flying around for this one - parachuting, gambling, drinking, some big raid boss - but I grabbed this shot (it has been filtered, however, to add the extra Sha-iness to it) while taking my Worgen through the Jade Forest this morning. I already had another shot ready for today but I changed my mind when the Sha of Doubt appeared after the cinematic.
   I'm quite sad that this challenge is over, but I have started another one, for WoW-based writing. Read about it here, if you're interested.

Friday, 30 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 30 'Cluttered'

   I'm not really happy with the shot I've got for today's theme, but I really couldn't think of much else. It was my first and only idea. So, for 'Cluttered,' I give you the basement of the Orgrimmar banks. I'm not so sure I'm happy with my stuff being stored down there, but nevermind. It's quite clever of the goblins, too: if someone drops any coins, which they're likely to do in the bank, there's no getting them back. Well, actually, having said that, mages could probably get it back, maybe priests...and a huge angry Orc might be able to get his 72p back, too.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

World of Warcraft Writing Competition

EDIT: Prize list has been updated.

   A lot of World of Warcraft fans like to write fan fiction. Sometimes they're poems, sometimes short stories, and sometimes are a lot longer. I've decided that, this first challenge (I'll try something else in a couple of months, which is different to screenshots and writing), will be a writing challenge. But accompanying screenshots wouldn't be rejected if you wanted to add more visual to it. be nice ^^

   I don't know how many of you - if any - read Atherya's diary, but I decided that this writing competition would be based around that. I'm giving you all creative control of the diary's story direction. I've got a few loot cards - mostly consumables for fun - that I can give out as prizes throughout. I'm working on a prize list, which is being updated every now and then (I love prize bundles!), but if you're a crafter, or want to donate a prize for the winner, then please do feel free! Read the 'Details' section further down the page.

   There are two requirements for the challenge/competition.
1. Your piece must involve Atherya.
2. It must take place in Northrend.
   The reason I say that it must involve Athreya is because the best and therefore obviously winning submission will be written into the diary itself, and the actual piece of writing that won would be added into the Diary of Atherya Sunleaf page at the appropriate point (ie just after the corresponding diary entry).
   And as for why it must take place in Northrend, I want to get it added to the diary relatively soon after the end of the competition, and Northrend is where she's going next. Initially she was going to go to Outland after the Eastern Kingdoms, as you would do when you level, but since she reached 85 before I even managed to post the diary from the Badlands, I decided that, to catch up on expansions, I'd miss Outland and leave it for later. Afterall, explorers are more likely to explore their own world before exploring another. However, I will say that I'd prefer it not to take place in Wintergrasp, or in any raid or dungeon. She's an explorer rather than a fighter Anywhere else in Northrend, however, is fine.

   As well as the above 2 requirements, there are also 4 restrictions:
1. You cannot claim to be the person who saved her in the Tomb of the Watchers - when I wrote that part, I already had an individual in mind, and it will not be changed.
2. You cannot cause Atherya to lose limbs, fingers, toes, noses etc - no missing appendages - I realise that you cannot know what life holds, but I am also not ready for her to be maimed in such a way yet, either. This may well happen in the future, by my own hand, or one of yours, but that time is not now.
3. You cannot get freaky with her - you know exactly what I mean - I already have some sort of romance planned for the future, and her character is relatively reserved when it comes to this sort of thing, too. She wouldn't like it.
4. You cannot kill Atherya - a lot of role players will tell you that you need to be able to let go of your character, after all, as I said above, you don't know what life holds. But I am not roleplaying, I am writing, and I have no intention of letting her go yet. I've put too much work into the diary so far, and have other things planned. She will die eventually, of course, be it by my hand or one of yours, but, once again, that time is not now.

Hints/Suggestions To Make This Easier For You:

1. You can either email me your stories directly, or, preferably, add them to your own blog/deviantART/other public webspace, and then email me the link. This will make it MUCH easier for me to keep track of submissions, as well as show the honorable mentions on my blog when the competition closes. The only story that will be published onto my blog will be the winner; all other stories will be linked, and may have the first paragraph printed with it.

2. It should be relatively obvious that your character/s are encouraged to be in your writing. Don't feel you need to alter their personality in any way. If you want to write an Ally who is neutral towards the Horde, then do so; if you want to write an Ally who hates the Horde, go ahead; if you want to write a Horde who hates Blood Elves, then do so. I'm giving full creative reign, so long as you keep the two requirements and four restrictions in mind. Anything I've not mentioned, such as injuring, is fair game. You could even include two of your characters - for example, perhaps your Dwarf would attack Atherya and wound her quite seriously, while your Tauren would bring her back to health. If her wounds are serious enough to need her to rest for a week, then be sure to mention it.

3. What you're writing is a short story, not a diary entry. The winning story will be kept in mind when I come to write the diary entries that take place in Northrend, and will affect the story. But your actual piece of writing will also be archived alongside the diary. The diary entry/ies that come from the winning story will have a line of credit at the end and a link to the winning submission, and the winning submission will be fully credited.

4. It does not have to be written from Atherya's point of view - in fact, I'd advise against it if you're not familiar with her character. You can write it in third person, or you can write it from the point of view of your own character. As I've said before, I'm giving you almost complete creative control. I say almost, because there are the 2 requirements and the 4 restrictions that have to be kept in mind, but to be honest, I'm relatively certain that the 4 restrictions wouldn't occur to most of you anyway, being so specific.

5. Get to know Atherya a little. I'd suggest reading a few diary entries. None of them are very long, and take a couple of minutes each. But, if you're in a hurry, the more recent entries show her truer, as I've gotten to know her better. And if you're in a real hurry, I've put together a character profile for you, detailing the important parts of her identity.

6. The diary takes place in present-day. Northrend will no longer be under Arthas' thumb, just the same as Illidan is no longer ruling in Outland. Arthas is long dead. So, if Scourge come into your story, keep the Lich King's current state in mind.

7. Your story doesn't have to tie up perfectly. It doesn't have to end in your character leaving, or your character dying. If you can't come up with a perfect way to tie it off, leave it open. If you have suggestions for how to tie it off but you can't work out how to get to it, leave a note at the end of your story to say so, and what your ending thought was, and if you win, I can work that out instead. The diary isn't going to end straight after the competition, it's got a long way to go yet.


   I will leave the submissions open from the 1st of September to the 30th - that's a full month. There is no minimum or maximum number of words/lines/pages for this contest, but I do ask you to not go crazy. I'm hoping that I'll have several to read.
   Submissions - links to the story on your blog, or the story itself - should be sent to me via email. You can obviously post the entries on your own blogs if you'd like - either send me the link to the post, or send me the writing itself. It's your choice.
   It should be more or less obvious that your character/s should be involved in this piece of writing. I am looking to have a little less control over my story, and if this contest goes well, I'll definitely be opening it up again in the future.
   If anyone has anything they'd like to offer as a grand prize - something you've made or will make, or something you're willing to pay for or contribute in some way - then please do get in touch. This is something that will apply to all future contests and challenges, but, unlike other websites, if you donate a prize, you can still enter and be eligible to win - and if you do happen to win what you donated, you can opt for it to be given to someone else.
   There will only be one winner, but loot cards may be given out if I receive a really awesome submission, or a really awesome accompanying screenshot. And if you do happen to win a loot card, you are still eligible to win the grand prize - whatever that will be.
   And, finally you can enter more than once. This doesn't mean resubmitting your story seven times, but it does mean that you can submit one story, then submit a totally different one (that fits the criteria) and have them both eligible. This increases your chances, but also increases your creativity, and my excitement for having more to read. I am really looking forward to reading them.

   So what are you waiting for? GO! And, also, spread the word please! My following isn't very big, but I'm very excited about this.

Brief Character Profile
Name: Atherya Sunleaf
Race: Blood Elf
Physical Description: Unimpressive in every way. Average height, average build, average green eyes, pale blonde hair, and pale skin
Age: just over 100, which is around the 20's-30's in our own lifetimes .
Class: Irrelevant. She is a Paladin in-game, purely because I didn't have a Paladin yet, but as for her character, she doesn't have a class. She can do some minor spellwork, being a Blood Elf, and she's learning to fight as time goes by. She does, however, wear plate armour and use an axe.
Background: She comes from an average family who lived near the border to the Ghostlands, though her brother and father died in Arthas' attack on Silvermoon, and her mother died some years later. She left to experience the world.
Factional Standing: She will attack and defend if attacked, unless she can flee, but otherwise prefers to either attempt to slip by unnoticed, or behave carefully towards opposing factions to prevent a fight, as she is not a strong fighter, but is learning as time goes by. She could do with more help.

WoWscreenshotaday Day 29 'Lucky'

   This was a fun shot. I started thinking about luck, and ever being the pessimist, I thought about bad luck. From there I got onto superstition, and that's how this shot came to be. I took my Warlock to Karazhan - so right there, you've got a haunted house and a dark wizard, so to speak. I gave her a nice black spell book and some witchy clothes, and I was quite happy with that. I then got out my Bombay Cat - there are more 'evil' cats, such as the Feline Familiar or Mr. Bigglesworth (who is more evil by association, and who, at long last, I finally got - it was Gluth's Bone that was holding me back) - but I decided to go for a plain black cat. I'm not superstitious in the conventional ways, but these are stereotypical 'bad luck' and 'evil' things. I also used some of my much beloved Path of Illidan, and also got some rats in the shot, for an extra dose of plague.
   I did cheat: I added the bone mace in with WoW Model Viewer. My Warlock is unable to use maces but I desperately wanted a bone, not a wand, so I added that in afterwards. I could have gotten a bone off-hand, but I really wanted a book, and considering I already had a book and not a bone off-hand, I decided to add the latter in manually.
   Otherwise, I am really pleased with this shot :D

Entry 20: The Searing Gorge

94th Day of Spring

   As soon as we reached the surface again, and they payed me generously for my time, I left the Reliquary and headed west into the Searing Gorge. The journey was long and difficult, so I had little chance to update my journal, but I had little to say anyway. The entire pass was riddled with black dragonkin - whelps, drakonids and a fully grown black dragon. I managed to slip past them - fortunately I'm small and pale enough to have been completely unnoticed - and soon reached the border, but it made for some tense and sleepless nights.
   As soon as I crossed that threshold, the land began to blacken, and sand and dust seem to be little more than coarse ash. Despite this, I feel safer now than I did around those dragons.
   I found a small camp a few days ago, consisting of Dwarves and an Ogre. I slipped past them just as carefully. The Dwarves had skin as ashen as the land, and could only have been Dark Iron Dwarves, which was unsurprising in this territory.
   About three hundred years ago, both the Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes to the south had been a part of the Redridge Mountains, and home to the Dark Iron Dwarven clan. Their leader, Emporer Thaurissan, launched an attack on the other two Dwarven clans, but when it became apparent that he would lose, he chose to summon Ragnaros, the Fire Lord, and use him as his servant in battle.
   Needless to say, Ragnaros is not one to be ordered around, and once he was summoned, his burning presence immediately incinerated the land and anyone nearby, and created the volcano known as Blackrock Mountain. Even as I write this, I can see it to the south, a constant plume of smoke and ash rising from its peak.
   Everything I know of this place I have gleaned from books. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see some of these landmarks for myself, and get some new accounts of what happened from anything that has survived.
   If not venture into the mountain myself.

   Either way, so far I am a day into this burned region. I am not sure that there are any Horde camps anywhere nearby, so I think I will have to make my own bed when night falls once again. I think I've grown a little too used to company in Uldaman. Despite its dangers, I had been forced to interact with the same people every day for a week and a half, and, I suppose, after leaving my home as suddenly as I did, I am only noticing what I've given up after having a taste of it.
   Well, if I want to go back, I know the route. But I'm still heading forwards, so that must mean something. I've traversed just over half of the continent so far, and I have no plans to head backwards now. Especially not when I'm in such a historically rich area.
   Everyone's allowed a weakness, right?

-- Atherya Sunleaf              

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Armour for Hunter Pets

    Armour, for Hunter pets.
    Hear me out.
   These days characters are becoming more and more customisable, what with transmogrification, glyphs, access to barbers and additional haircuts unavailable in character creation - they're becoming more unique. Of course, there are some hair cuts and armour sets that are more popular than others, so a lot of characters end up looking the same despite these features, but the fact remains that having your character looking more unique is something that Blizzard have been putting a little thought into.
   I've said before that Hunters are pretty much the most customisable class in the game, because of their ability to tame a huge range of different creatures, but just the same as certain hair cuts and armour sets are more popular than others, so are certain pets.
   I actually read something similar to this a few years ago on a WoW forum, but no one seemed to like the idea - possibly because no one else who saw it were playing Hunters. But I thought it was a genious idea.
   I don't know if they original poster had any ideas of whether it would provide any sort of stats, or if they were simply saying they wanted to be able to tame pre-armoured creatures, but it doesn't seem fair to me that a Hunter's pet should go into battle with no protection but the assurance that its owner will cover their back with arrow and gunfire. I mean, afterall, the pet is the one that charges into melee range while the armoured Hunter keeps its distance.

   When it comes down to it, the armour would fit the pets in the same way that it does on mounts, but it wouldn't be the same armour. There are lots of different animal types, so of course a single armour set would either have to be modelled for each different animal type, or be specific to a certain animal type. That's a lot of work. But if it were implemented, then five Dwarves with black bears wouldn't all have their pets looking the same. The same would go for Loque'nahak, one of the most popular spirit beasts. Loque'nahak does have a unique cat model when compared to all the others available, but it still holds the same principles, so while it's an 'ooooh, aaaah' pet to have, so many other people have it that it's become slightly less exciting.
   The armour could also have stats, but that could create problems in terms of balance, and I wouldn't think it fair to make Hunters themselves suffer to balance it out, either, especially if they're Survival. If they did have stats, however, they'd be singular - either stamina, agility, or a stat suitable to PvP, depending on the pet's spec, and at a highest rate of something like +5 on a level 90 piece. The Hunter would gain little to nothing on such a low stat, and so stats would more or less be redundant anyways. It would just make the armour appear a little more useful, and perhaps give Hunters' pets a more outward PvP/PvE appearance - but I suppose the +5 stamina/agility/whatever else could also just as easily be replaced by specifically +5 armour.
   It would not need these stats, however, since my point is just to add a little more customisation and visual protection to Hunter pets.

   Item Pieces
   The armour 'set' would comprise of only one item however, but cover several 'pieces' - one actual item, one item slot, but it would include the helmet, shoulders and backplates all in one, keeping it matching. They wouldn't require lots of farming or gathering for three matching pieces, just the one.

   How it's to be obtained could be many, many different ways. There's the obvious, such as a Hunter-specific drop from Scenario reward bags, or an additional, invisible drop in raids and dungeons for Hunters and Hunters only, like Darkmoon Faire quest items only appear in dungeons for those who carry the Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide - this would keep it from upsetting the loot tables, which is especially important if its stats are so low, and keep non-Hunters from rolling on it.
   Alternatively, it could be a little more exciting, and be obtained through a small and insignificant faction of Hunters, based, perhaps, in Stranglethorn Vale, or who generally follow Hemet Nesingwary and Hemet Nesingwary Jr. around (so they'd pop up in Stranglethorn Vale, Nagrand, Sholazar Basin and Valley of the Four Winds), using either gold, justice, or a unique 'currency' in the form of something otherwise useless that only a Hunter could find in the first place, in the same manner that MoP's more basic taming 'challenges' involved following animal tracks that only a Hunter could see.
   Then there's crafting. Most Hunters use either Leatherworking or Engineering, unless they happen to have those professions on other characters. Leatherworking would provide you with the ability to make mail or leather armour for your pet without batting an eyelid, and Engineering would allow you to work with metals in the same way.

Without the stupid goggles.

   Personally, I believe that if the armour doesn't have any stats, and is obtained through either an otherwise insignificant Hunter 'faction' or a likely Hunter profession, there's no reason it should really upset other players - unless they truly believe that the work that would go into pet armour would have otherwise been spent on something that would greatly affect them, such as balancing classes (which I'm pretty sure would be a different department) or creating new raids. Which isn't impossible, but if that time and energy would have gone towards something that important, then those things would happen whether pet armour were implemented or not.

   There are a lot of flaws with this idea, I realise that, but from a daydreaming point of view, I think it's pretty cool. And those of you who think it would be a total waste of time, don't worry, I'm not exactly going to march to Blizzard's door, bang on it until they open up and then harrass them until they implement it, and neither am I going to petition it and try to gather support. I'm just saying that, as a Hunter, and given that this blog is pretty vanity-concerned, it would be pretty cool to have. I used pictures of pre-existing mounts as examples, minus reigns and stupid bear goggles, as examples, so try to metally replace the saddles with back plates. It's beyond my photoshopping skill.
   I had thought of the same thing for Warlocks, but, to me, since Demons are summonned already armoured, and Hunter pets are tamed nekkid, it's as if a Demon's armour is a part of their being rather than just protective/intimidating, and can't really be interchanged.

WoWscreenshotaday Day 28 'Corridor'

   For the theme 'Corridor' I decided to head to Timbermaw Hold. Their network of tunnels are quite clean and tidy, but still maintain the feral look with roots and vines growing through here and there. It's my favourite passage way in WoW, though, I remember, (at least I think I do) that once upon a time the Furbolgs would attack you if you weren't friendly with them. I think they leave you alone now, so you can get through. Either that or I was attacked by a player who looked like a Furbolg while trying to pass through. Who knows?
   In a way, I think I got this shot wrong. It looks more like it would fit into 'stairs' than 'corridor', but I'm going to stick with it anyway, because I like the shot. I didn't like any of the straight tunnels as much as the corners.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 27 '10 Minutes From Home'

   Today's theme was hard. It was really vague, and I couldn't glean any deeper meaning to it, so it was quite challenging, despite, perhaps, being so obvious.
   I decided I had 4 routes to go. 10 real world minutes from my hearthstone, 10 Azerothian minutes from my hearthstone, an in-game equivalent to 10 minutes from my home, or 10 Azerothian minutes from any home - Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Taunka'le Village, etc. I decided to kind of do the last one.
   So, I give you the rather dull but hopefully pretty Arboretum. And, for an added bonus, I realised that there is a river 10 minutes from my house. So there's that, too.

Monday, 26 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 26 'Entrance'

   This one is rather unsurprising, and I expect that others have gone the same way, but I didn't really know what else to do! So, I give you, The Dark Portal. Doubtlessly the most impressive doorway.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Who Are You?

CreditOriginal Source

   Who are you outside of WoW? Does your personality or personal life shine through the game, or do you usually keep it to yourself?
   What do you do? Are you employed, self-employed or kind of floating around for one reason or another? What other hobbies do you have? Would they surprise other players, such as perhaps you're a lawyer, or is it so unsurprising that you're a GM?
   This is a nice opportunity to talk about yourselves. I'd love to know what kind of people my readers are, so introduce yourself - no comment is too long.

WoWscreenshotaday Day 25 'Culture'

   The theme for Day 25 of Tycertank's #WoWscreenshotaday challenge is 'Culture'. I absolutely love this theme, because if there's anything that WoW is rich of, it's culture. There are so many different races, and they all differ hugely from one another, from beliefs to basic living. The vert first thing to come to mind with 'culture' was Pandaren, but that was mainly because their culture has similarities to our own Chinese culture, and so was a lot more apparent than any other race - aside, obviously, for Humans. But when you scratch Pandaren off of the surface, you begin to see the extent of other races' cultures.
   I decided to go with Tauren. They are typically a nomadic race, which is why, despite having 'settled' in Mulgore, their homes are still, for the most part, teepees, and they have strong beliefs when it comes to death. They believe that nature is the mother of the earth, and that it should be respected, and that, once they die, they are reunited with her, and so they prepare their dead carefully. Tauren spirits are often spotted, possibly as guardians for the earth, and a silent reminder that death should not be feared, as it isn't an end.
   I went for Cairne's rest because of the abundance of carefully prepared Tauren bodies at the site, and the presence of Tauren spirits. For this shot I had to ask a few people for help, which I've done for a few past shots, too. Most likely the only time I've interacted with other players for quite some time. I don't have a Tauren at all. I don't want to play a male one, and I'm not at all keen on the females. Perhaps when the new models come out, that might change, and I'll race change my Worgen Druid into a Tauren, but it's not likely. Their culture is one of my favourites, however.
   I'm hoping this shot gets the death aspect of their rich culture across.

Entry 19: The Discs of Norgannon

83rd Day of Spring

   We found the vault.
   And we found the discs.
   They are enormous. The Titans had chiselled their secrets into enormous platinum discs, and certainly none of us can read it. There are suggestions that someone in Dalaran may be able to, but I am skeptical. As wise and wonderous as the Dalaran mages are, I do not believe that they possess the necessary knowledge. I can think of no one living that would. Unless, of course, the Prophet still lives.
   There was also a...I have no idea what to call it. A sort of virtual intelligence that was able to communicate with us and explain some of the workings of the Titans. While I had already known that the Dwarves were simply a variation of the Earthen, I did not know that the Troggs were, too. The Dwarves were considered an acceptable variation and allowed to exist, but the Troggs were not, so they were locked away. I don't know if they were simply contained or whether they were killed or put to sleep, but, well, they're very much present these days.
   What was most surprising, however, was the fact that there was treasure in the vault. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why the Titans would hoard gold and jewels and, would you believe, weapons. It's almost certain that we are not the first ones here. The door was firmly shut, with no Troggs anywhere near it, and I don't think the Earthen would have done it, but who else could have? The weaponry and armour is of a size too small for a Titan - of course, I cannot say for certain how large they are - so I don't think they'd have even made it, let alone used it.
   It's something that the diggers are brushing off. I suppose that, as long as they have the discs, they're happy. And it doesn't affect me any that the treasure is here. I followed suit of the other mercenaries and filled my pockets. It's so dusty that it's not as if the person who put it there will be back for it any time soon. I watched the others pick out pieces of armour and weapons, but none of it was built to fit a person of my...figure, so I've had to go without. The weapons are equally as unfriendly, either too heavy or too strange for me to use.

   I have got to admit, however, that I am somewhat overwhelmed by this place. I have set foot within one of the three most significant Titan ruins - and lived - and helped recover one of the single most important artifacts for life on this planet. There is little I will do in life that will top this experience.

-- Atherya Sunleaf              

Saturday, 24 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 24 'In The Background'

   This was tricky, because for the life of me I didn't know what to do for 'In The Background'. I didn't know if I wanted to go deep and do something historical, or if I wanted to be 'oblivious' and have something in the background of the shot. Originally I decided on trying to get a shot of Dalaran all nice and shiny with Icecrown looming in the background, but there's only so much that will load on screen even with graphics set to 'Ultra', so I opted for something else. This shot is a combination of three that took me forever. But I hope you like it!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Blogging Challenges

   So, I'm really enjoying Tycertank's WoWscreenshotaday Challenge. I have to say it's really helped me to build up this blog's content, talk to a lot of great bloggers and, frankly, see WoW a little differently. But 23 days have passed and only 8 more to go, and I'm a little concerned about its end. Don't get me wrong, if it was an ongoing thing with no end in sight, I'd give up eventually, but the fact that it's helped my blog so much kind of makes me reluctant to stop. I will because I don't want to cheapen the challenge, and while I could continue to take a screenshot every day, I rather like having a set list that I can't deviate from that someone else has created.
   I have been working on my own WoW project for this blog for weeks now, but I'm not ready to share it yet, and while it is something that other people can join in with, it's not the sort of thing that would be easy to join in with, and it would take a very long time. Not only that, but I like prizes. Yes, I joined in with Tycertank's challenge because it sounded like fun, but whenI found out a few days later that there were prizes, it definitely boosted my interest. I don't think I would have given up if there were no prizes, I probably would have seen it through to the end regardless, but at the same time, prizes are definitely a nice incentive. And so, I'd love to create a challenge of my own with prizes to offer. But the only thing I can think of is a long and drawn out thing that I'm not sure people would stick with for long because of how long it would take.
   I'm being cryptic, I know. I'll reveal it eventually.

   But regardless, I think I will put my mind to coming up with a challenge that people can participate in, something that I could realistically judge, and I'll do my best to collect up loot cards for prizes, be it by chance from booster packs (although, if they're awesome, like a mount, I'll probably redeem it myself - I've never had a mount drop yet, only pets and a novelty item), or by purchasing them from Ebay. And, perhaps, a few physical prizes if I can come up with some stuff. There are a few people out there reading this, after all, who do have more or less any loot card I think I could realistically offer them. I also would like to have a grand prize - a collection of loot cards, stuff, or something like that - for one final winner, but that's obviously something that would take a lot more time and money - and, perhaps, convincing.
   I'm a little concerned, however, that what I'd choose wouldn't grab enough attention or excitement, and that I'd end up wasting my time. I'll probably still do it, regardless, but I think I'd announce it before starting it to see if anyone was interested.

   Either way, I'll try my hand at 20 Days of WoW, unless I can't come up with anything for half of the posts. If I can't write half of them, it won't really work with the challenge, will it? But watch this space. If I do manage to come up with a challenge - and I have several ideas in mind - then I'll surely announce it way before it starts.

WoWscreenshotaday Day 23 'Yellow'

   I am so proud of this one! I really didn't know what to do for yellow. All I could think of was either Silvermoon City or seeing if I could track down some yellow flowers, but I felt that that was a little too easy.
   I remembered how flying towards the sun always made things lighter (the more you know) and I also really liked the contrast between the light and shadow when doing so, so this morning I decided to fly around and see if I could find myself a yellowish sky.
   I had idea where to go, but I knew that areas like Tirisfal Glades or Winterspring were a bad idea, so I just decided to fly around bright places.
   I was on Atherya at the time, too, and I was a little worried that, because she was going to be in the shot for the sake of the light/shadow contrast, I didn't have any yellow gear to offer her, but then I started to think that, if she was mounted up - which she would have to be - why not go for the most yellow mount I had?
   I am so ridiculously pleased with the outcome! And, better yet, totally unedited! Yay! Well, aside from the usual watermark, anyway! I managed to find an amazing sky along the southern coast of Stranglethorn Vale.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

New WoW Character Models Update

Update 3: Blizz have announced that the new character models will be released with the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. See more info here.

Update 2: Blizz have announced that the new models have been shelved - this does not mean that they have been cancelled, it simply means they're on hold while they focus on other things. Blizzard does not have an infinite number of employees, so people have to be pulled off of smaller projects in order to complete bigger ones. A new expansion, patch, pre-expansion event is bigger than new models, no matter how much individuals might disagree. I agree with Blizzard's move. Just because work isn't actively being done on them does not mean we won't see them for 5 years. The project may only be shelved for a few months, it could be longer.

Update: Blizzard have revealed at Gamescom that the new models are 25% complete. They've been at it for some time, and given that they're only 25% through, it's going to take some time. They've also said that they may not even release them all at the same time. 4 races might be updated in one patch, and then two patches later, about 3 might be. This, I assume, is to satisfy our impatience, and I, for one, fully support releasing them like this, even if it will result in whining players.

   Blizzard have talked about creating new character models for some time, and lately it seems to be rising closer to the surface. Let me start, however, by stating that all the info I've got I got through websites and forums, and Blizzard have not confirmed anything. In fact, they've barely said anything.

   Speculation has claimed that new character models would be purchased rather than forced. Blizzard did state some time ago that they were hesitant to create new models because some people might prefer their current ones. But, the thing is, you can't please everyone, and I think the ration of people who want new models, or don't really care one way or the other, outweigh people who want to keep old models.
   But some people have claimed that it's "not a matter of graphic card processing, it's about character model inventory indexing. The models would need to completely replace the existing model wires/textures, and it would not be possible to maintain the existing models existing simultaneously with the old." [source] whether this is true or not is beyond me, but it could well be the case. And, as another player pointed out, "having a bunch of old type humans and new type humans (and repeat for dwarves, gnomes and Night Elves, and perhaps other races) standing around Stormwind (or their opposite number standing around Orgrimmar) will look absolutely terrible. And even those who bought it would be saying "I paid for new character models, yet I'm still seeing old ones standing around. WTH?!"" [source].
   These models would likely need to replace the existing ones. And despite what a lot of people seem to think, creating new character models is more than just repainting a canvas. They need new skeletons, new emotes, the gear matrix thingies need to be adjusted to fit them all, emotes need to be reworked and clipping issues resolved, not to mention the coding side of things. Blizzard, unfortunately, has to remind us almost constantly that they don't have droves of artists on hand to do everything we want them to and finish it all within a day.

   I wouldn't be happy if these models were purchased instead of implemented, but I would probably buy them anyway. I am very keen to see the new Trolls and particularly the Undead.
   Though Blizzard haven't suggested that new character models are around the corner, they are working on them. But I think the reason we're speculating that they're not far away is because of the updated models important figures are getting. Garrosh has been reworked, as has Vol'jin, and they both look incredible. These two models hint at the changes our characters may undergo. Don't get me wrong, however: these are unique and important figures, and our new character models may not resemble them too closely, but they serve, at the very least, as a hint of what is surely to come. The texture, particularly the skin, is amazing, and more detail is apparent. Their movements are more fluid and they generally look awesome. And if the female Trolls look anything like High Priestess Mar'li I will be very, very happy. 

New Garrosh v pre-MoP Garrosh
High Priestess Mar'li

   More recent speculation has the idea that they'll be announced during Blizzcon along with the next expansion, and we can expect the two to come together. I'm not 100% convinced on this, as it is a bigger job than creating a single new race, so if this is the case, we're not likely to see a new race or a new class if the new models come out then.
   It was also confirmed that it's only the Vanilla models that will be revisited. While Burning Crusade's models could use more work, as they're certainly almost as outdated, they won't be revisited yet, but they surely will eventually. I gave it some thought, and realised that there are only two Vanilla races I play anyway: Troll and Undead. I have an Orc but I've not logged into the level 50 for months. Otherwise I have 2 Blood Elves that I play frequently, a Worgen and a Pandaren. And the Troll and Undead are the two that I feel need the most work. As I said in another post, female Trolls seem unfinished, and I cannot stand the rotting symmetry of the Undead.

When do you think we're likely to see them?

WoWscreenshotaday Day 22 'A Room'

   For this shot I wanted a prison cell, but I couldn't find one that I could get in. So, I admit to cheating here. I took a screenshot of Atherya sat in an empty basement where there would usually be a prison cell, and then I took another shot elsewhere in the same setting with an empty prison cell, then combined them both together. It's far from seamless, but I did my best with just screenshots.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 21 'Slow'

   For months, I thought the Virmen along the Yan-Zhe River were racing melons. I was a little disappointed to find they were simply transporting them. But either way, this is the shot I chose. I love the Valley of the Four Winds (though not as much as the Jade Forest); I love the giant vegetables and the simplicity of the region. Even the pests are kind of cute.
   These Virmen might not be racing the melons, but their method of transportation is still pretty slow. It took me a long time to line up these shots, and I found it so funny when I noticed the bridge not too far away from them. But they can't use the bridge; they're criminals. Smugglers!
   I'm really happy with the blur I added to the shot, it was quite dull before I added the depth, and now it's one of my favourites that I've submitted. I said on the 13th that I felt I was going to have trouble with today's, but it seems I was worried over nothing ^^

Entry 18: Archaedas

82nd Day of Spring

   Since I've been in here, I'd only seen a gentle downwards slope, with the occasional sudden drop where the original structure has sunk, but over the last two days, we've been going steadily downwards, descending a slope which was built at a definite gradient.
   The passage seems to go down for miles, with most of the hallways clear of debris, but we have had to stop and clear the way a couple of times. If not for that, I think the archaeologists would likely sprint all the way down there, killing anything in their way with a forceful shove, until they found what they were after.
   I have no idea what to expect to find down there, if we're even able to reach the bottom. We could hit a solid wall that would take weeks to break through, and I'm not so sure I can keep myself hanging around here. As much as I would love to see the contents of the ultimate vault in this place, I am just as eager to move onwards.
   We have found scattered statues throughout the ruin, particularly down in these untouched halls. For the most part, as far as we can tell, they depict what are supposedly the first five races of the world - Earthen, Mountain Giants, Sea Giants, Trolls and Tauren. It appears that the latter two were either the first to evolve, or were the first free races, not charged with assisting or defending Azeroth. I'm a little surprised to see those two races in the list, but I suppose they have all been around since at least as far back as the War of the Ancients.

   Once again, I am being called to dig, and the diggers are all acting a little insane, as if they were dogs who could see their dinner on the other side of their cage bars, so I had better get to it.

-- Atherya Sunleaf              

   Words cannot describe what we have just encountered. We are almost certainly near the vault chamber. We broke through into a huge circular room, lined with dormant Earthen. It sent chills up my spine - their  eyes moved. Despite the fact that they did not react to our presence in the same manner that the other Earthen we have encountered so far have, I couldn't help feeling particularly unsafe.
   Of course, that might have had something to do with the enormous stone giant in the centre of the room. I cannot tell what is truly stone from what is simply asleep!
   Some of the archaeologists ran towards a stone pedestal stood before this giant, and began to channel some kind of magic into it, and before long, that very same stone monstrosity came to life. It killed one of the archaeologists immediately, and badly wounded another, but myself and the other mercenaries leapt to their defence as quickly as we could. It took a long time, and it was exhausting work, but we managed to bring it down. Though not before it awoke some of the dormant Earthen to attack us, too.
   We cannot venture onwards tonight after that attack. I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that one of the archaeologists died, and I blame myself. I know that I shouldn't - none of us, not even the more seasoned warriors, had expected that thing to suddenly come to life and kill so easily. But it is something that I will carry with me forever.
   We will rest here tonight. Then we will continue onwards. Half of the diggers are practically foaming at the mouths, but the leader of the expedition has ordered them to stay put. It'll be interesting to see whether they do or not.

-- Atherya Sunleaf               

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Player Housing

   Player housing is something I keep seeing more and more mention of lately. I've never thought of it once before Sunsong Ranch was ownable, and to be honest, I can see little reason for needing it, other than perhaps a money sink to get rid of some of that pesky extra gold that keeps falling out of your pockets. If only I had that problem.
   But in the interest of creativity and daydreaming, I have started to think about it.
   The way I see it, it would make the most sense for player housing to be in the capital cities. I would say they should be in all capital cities, but I'm certain it wouldn't work in some places, such as the Undercity or Exodar, but it would best work in the factional capitals. Orgrimmar and Stormwind. The reason I say this is because there are already numerous unoccupied small buildings in both cities. Stormwind has lots of lush houses with closed doors, and Orgrimmar has lots of small houses where guards are sleeping, or buildings just designed to take up space, and buildings that haven't finished being built yet. It's more or less the only place guards in all of WoW can sleep, so to be honest, I'm not sure it's 100% necessary. If the rest of them can manage 24 hour shifts, these few lazy bones won't mind. Perhaps rest is overrated - perhaps that rest was a contributing factor to the Kor'kron threat! Who knows?
   I did go around the capital cities to check what sort of buildings were available, and this is what I found:

Capital Cities With Empty Housing

Clearly, from the poorly drawn above table, the Alliance would have more freedom if all capital cities used its empty housing for players. The Horde is at a disadvantage because two of its races don't have a city - and while Gnomes don't either, they do have Ironforge. All the Trolls and Goblins have are small districts and are more or less forced to keep to them.

Sunsong Ranch

   My biggest issue with player housing is that there might only be one or two buildings available, which would mean that most players would be running in and loitering outside, ruining the idea of that being your own little space. It would quite obviously be phased like Sunsong Ranch, so no one would be actually running into your house, but you'd still have people loitering outside, as I've already mentioned.
   Another reason phasing would be good is if they have plans to make player housing customisable - yet another way to get rid of excess gold. I'm kind of thinking of Fable 2 when I imagine this - vendors that can supply you with individual pieces of furniture, three different tables that all look different to one another, but only replace existing items.

Potential Orgrimmar Housing

   Ideally, there would be about four or five different houses available in Org, and another 5 in Stormwind, all in different areas of the cities. This would give players more of a choice - do they want to be near the Magic District of Stormwind, or near to the Valley of Spirits in Org? You'd also be able to customise your housing with different looking furniture, and it would also provide a much desired extra storage area, like another bank. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why Blizz are so against putting more storage into the game. Why would we be penalised for wanting to keep funny vanity items we've farmed for, or unique items from funny quests, or perhaps items we were given by friends in-game that have sentimental value? My banks are full of junk, but it's junk I don't want to get rid of, and I have no room for more junk. A little more in the way of a bank would be excellent, and player housing could supply us with a nice big storage chest.

   Of course, then there's the idea of player housing elsewhere. This might be where a problem can come in, because if player housing is available outside of cities, then where does it end? If you can get a nice spot above Feralas, then great - I'd snap that up in a second! But would that not upset people who want a house in Winterspring? Or Silithus? There would have to be one house available in nearly every zone. Though, having said that, I'm not sure anyone would want to live in Northrend or Outland - there aren't really any locations that I would deem 'livable' in places like those. Perhaps the Howling Fjord, or the Grizzly Hills, but that's about it. Icecrown and Stormpeaks are relatively inhospitable. Pandaria would be a must, however, and there are prime locations almost everywhere out there, and what with Pandaren being a playable race on both sides, it would only make sense to allow for a little housing out there.
   Like I said: where would it end?

Potential Stormwind Housing

   Koruth has also suggested that when people mention 'player housing' they are referring to Star Wars Galaxies where you were able to build little cities with other players. That will not be the case, simply because no zone is big enough or empty enough to support that, and clearing existing zones would upset some people, and creating whole new zones just for housing would seem a little silly - not to mention the fact that there probably still wouldn't be enough space for everyone unless they created a single, neutral, safe, totally unharmed continent for it.

   At the end of the day, I certainly won't cry about a lack of player housing, but Blizzard have said that it is something they're thinking about, and Sunsong Ranch was the first step in testing it. But just because they're thinking about it doesn't mean it will happen. They might decide against it, they might decide to leave it until a later time when they have better resources, or they might try to go ahead with it and mess it up because they weren't prepared. There's also a very high chance that a lot of people will be disappointed. I've never seen, let alone played, Star Wars Galaxies, so my vision of player housing is likely quite different to what people who have played that game envision it as.
   But, at the end of the day, if it was implemented, and I could afford it (it's only right that it won't be cheap. Normal houses can't exactly be bought with pocket change), you'd better believe I'd be in there like a shot. Y'know, unless only one house was available. Then I might question its worth if it wasn't in a particularly nice location. I'm picky about such things, but I imagine that most of you are, too.

If you could have a player house anywhere in WoW, where would it be? Atop Feralas? In the groves of Hyjal? In the deserts of Tanaris? In a tree in Stranglethorn Vale? Would you prefer to be near other players's housing for a community feel, or would you rather be secluded?
Me, I'd prefer to be secluded in Feralas, or near other Trolls - NPCs or players - in STV.

Daeaye's Hunter Pets

   As I've said before, Hunters are brilliant when it comes down to making them feel your own, because of the fact that there are so many different choices for pets. I've tamed most of the taming challenges in Cata, and her stable was almost full until they finally expanded it again. But there are a few pets that I have a deep attachment to for one reason or another.

Jutaa (Highlands Fox)

   Jutaa is a silver fox. I first saw them while levelling my Worgen Druid, and thought they looked awesome. I love foxes, personally, and I've had them make a den in my front garden. Seriously, it was so awesome to watch the mother and her four kits roam around the street at night. We live in a cul-de-sac in a relatively quiet neighbourhood anyway, so they were quite safe. They've made dens in our garden for a few years now. Also, the best-selling item in my handmade jewellery shop is my miniature fox in a jar necklace, which is one of the few pieces I made for myself, too.
   Anyway, as soon as she was able to, I took Daeaye to Gilneas and tamed the silver fox, since it was the lowest level silver fox in the game, the next level being something like 50. I think.
   I used Jutaa until level 47. I know this because I don't remember seeing her level go past that until I took her out of the stable at 90 for a quick screenshot with the Arctic Fox Kit.
   As adorable as Jutaa is, she isn't exactly the most logical pet for a Troll. But because I had her for so long, I feel Daeaye feels a bond with her.

   My next pet was Litu. I loved her. I found her late in Winterspring, and I loved the model. Most other cats looked kind of rough, but the coats of the Frostsabers were nice and smooth. It had the same model as Shango, which I later tamed and used for a couple of levels, but Litu was with me through Outland and most of Northrend. She didn't suit a Troll either, but I felt a big cat was more appropriate than a fox. I just loved how silky she looked, and I still get warm, fuzzy feelings when I see them in Winterspring, or when I see her in the stable. The same goes for Jutaa, but not so much for others of Jutaa's model.

Xuca (Loque'nahak)

   Loque'nahak is one of the more highly sought-after pets. I have got to admit to being quite lucky with things in WoW. I remember I only bought 3 eggs before getting the Green Proto Drake, and that was before the drop rate and timer was nerfed. Koruth, on the other hand, had been trying for a year or so, and finally got it about 2 weeks before the nerf. He was not pleased. I also had great luck with Sambas as told below, and the same goes with Rivendare's Charger and the Raven Lord's Mount
   But anyway, I 'camped' for Loque' for a few days. When I say 'camped', though, I mean I flew around the spawn points for about an hour before giving up and logging off, and I did this about four times. Then the servers underwent maintenance on a Wednesday, as usual, and when I logged in, he was right in front of me. I tamed him, and he stayed with me for a while, until I changed to Marksmanship at the forceful suggestion of a HC pug group.
   Xuca is the only Spirit Beast I've ever really used. Sure, I tamed others, but I've never used them. I just tamed them because they were rare, and they were there. But he's important to me for that, and for being the first rare pet I'd ever had.

Zahemba (Sambas)

   I had huge luck with this pet, as I touched on above. Basically, I first saw it in a screenshot of another hunter when I was like, leve 40. I thought it looked so amazing, and thought it was appropriate for a Troll (I have sinced realised my mistake: Trolls are, for the most part, jungle-dwellers, and lions are usually in the savannah. Tigers are usually jungle-dwellers). The screenshot was taken in Uldum so I had thought the pet came from there, which didn't help when I saw a few NPCs with the same model. So for ages I flew around looking for it. I didn't have NPC Overlay, and I didn't know the rare's name either, so I couldn't look it up. I don't remember how I came across its name, but when I found out, I kicked myself for all my wasted time in Uldum. Idiot. I also found out through Wowhead that it was heavily camped, so I couldn't really be bothered with it for a while. One day, however, I looked up its spawn points and figured I had nothing to lose by looking. So I made my way to Twilight Highlands, looked in the first spot. He wasn't there. I didn't expect him to be. So I continued onwards to the second spot. I must have had him cached, or something, because I know my NPC Scan was working. I had track beasts on, and there was a single lonesome little red dot on my mini map. I hovered over it through force of habit and it read 'Sambas'. My NPC Scan didn't go off, and so I figured it was someone's pet (though in hindsight, whether it was someone's pet or not, it would have gone off) so I flew on for a few seconds, but decided I'd fly down and check it out anyway. I landed right on top of a magnificent lion just pacing around. It took a moment to register, then I quickly dismissed my pet and tamed it immediately. I couldn't believe my luck! I used him for ages, only recently replacing him for a triceratops, but even she was replaced by a myriad of other pets.

Jukapa (Tsul'Kalu)

   Jukapa is the pet I use the most now. I'm not sure why. He's a rare nature spirit in Stranglethorn Vale, but not a true Spirit Beast. I feel that a big white gorilla is appropriate for a Troll Hunter. He's a nice tank - not perfect, but he does his job well enough day-to-day. I camped this guy for a few days until I found him, which is kind of odd, to me, since I was camping a level 40. But still, I added him to my NPC Scan and he eventually popped up. I'd love to see a new Gorilla model, but he looks pretty good anyways.

WoWscreenshotaday Day 20 'Stairs'

   I'm sure there was a lot that could have been done with this if I had really thought about it, but my head is everywhere at the moment with some projects I've been working on, so I went the literal route. In fact, I'm quite sure someone else will have come up with the same shot, but nevermind. No matter how hard I try, they can't all be amazing. Though I'm relatively sure I won't be the only one with this shot.
   So, when I was in Karazhan, I took this picture. It's perhaps one of the nicest staircases in the game (yep, I pay attention to these things), and though the steps leading up to Moshu'gan are amazing, I'm trying not to take too many shots from Pandaria. That's not to say I won't take anymore in Pandaria for future days, I just don't want to focus entirely on that. There are a lot of opportunities for amazing shots even as far back as the Burning Crusade, so I'm trying to really space it all out.
   So, anyway, stairs.

Monday, 19 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 19 'Lost'

   I went over the theme of 'Lost' many times for this shot. I knew what I wanted - somewhere hopeless and, well, lost - but I couldn't decide where or how. I took about three or four different shots for this submission, and this is the one I settled on. Usually I keep my view distance on 'ultra', but for this I wanted to remove any potential trace of background, so I set it to 'good'. I was pleased to find that it didn't compromise the skeletons in the desert - they're still solid and fully visible.
   Atherya is wearing the Orcish Rogue starting set.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

WoWscreenshotaday Day 18 'Someone I Spoke To Today'

   I'm a solo player. I have no friends in the game, and none of my true friends play it either. So I have no one that I speak to and no one I feel I'm allowed to bother for a favour. Even just asking someone in my guild a question feels like I'm inconveniencing them, although they've never actually displayed any behaviour to show it. Even so, I stick to my solo playing, flying around doing archaeology, exploring, low-level raiding and so on, and I might occasionally sign up for a scenario, but that's really it.
   And so, I only 'speak' to NPCs when I pick up or complete quests.
   On my travels through the Jade Forest I found a little island with a Horde factioned Pandaren sat in a fishing chair. To be honest, he has a nice set-up, and I'd gladly take the place for my own when next he travels. But, sadly, he seems pretty content there, and his furry bum is glued to the seat.
   I spoke to him today, though he had little to say. I also spoke to Master Nguyen but I couldn't get a good shot of him since he refuses to turn around. And so I give you Ky-Le the Traveller. Someone I 'spoke' to today.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Class Questlines/Scenario

   I've been playing WoW for about 5 years. It's quite obvious to me that Warlocks are dark and demonic and not exactly the friendliest class. It's obvious that Mages are more light-hearted what with their polymorph, mirror image and teleporting abilities. It's obvious that Priests are holy what with their classification called 'Priest' and their discapline and holy talents. But despite knowing that, I've never really seen much difference between these three classes.
   Warlocks are just darker Mages. Priests are more serious Mages. Mages are just more optimistic Warlocks. I'm sure this would upset a few people but it's just the way I've always seen these classes from a neutral stand-point. I've played all three, but even without having played a Priest or a Mage at the beginning, I saw them this way. They're all just clothy casters.
   The same goes for Shaman and Druids. They both use the power of nature, but in slightly different ways. One uses the elements, while the other uses more immediate and material nature. But I see little difference between them (aside from being able to turn into animals, which is frickin' awesome).
   Warriors and Paladins I see a little more difference between, but only because Paladins use magic of some sort (ie, the Light), but otherwise they're quite similar. Plate melee tanks. Oh, except some Paladins are healers. Warriors don't heal, they just break things. Like bones. Yeah.

The old Warlock demon quests - credit

   I'm not suggesting SWTOR, far from it, but I think it would be brilliant if WoW had some kind of class-specific quests. Yeah, you've got those two sad little quests that give you a class-specifically designed weapon and helm, but they more or less require the same thing from every character, and don't give any kind of feel for the class, either.
   Not everyone who plays WoW is interested in the lore, and that's totally fine. They're missing out big time, but it's still okay. They learn what they need to from the game itself, and the books are just there for those of us who want more information. But the lore is what gives us a real feel for our classes. I played WoW without knowing any of the lore. My first character was an Undead Warlock, and I still have her at the top of my character list. But I picked her because I thought that Warlocks sounded awesome, and I needed to be something with magic. If you know me well enough, then you'll know why. But I never knew anything about Demons, the Burning Legion or anything like that, and didn't, in fact, for some time. Even when I got to Outland, I didn't know why it was just a floating rock, I didn't know who the ghostly figure at the altar before the Hand of Gul'dan was, and I didn't really realise that the creatures I was controlling were of the same nature as those roaming around in Hellfire Peninsula that frightened me so much. Basically, I was a classic noob.
   I have since read all of the books and gathered as much info on the world and its past as I can, so I know what a Warlock is, and I know what the huge differences between Mages and Warlocks are, but I really don't feel that that comes across well enough in-game.
   I'd love to see a nice questline - a questline with a cinematic, perhaps. The reason it should be a questline is so that it's not over in just a few minutes. And the reason it should have a cinematic is for those players who never read quests, so that they can still get a feel for the nature of their class. Not all of us read quests - in fact, I'm sure most of us rarely do. It's possibly one of the most underappreciated jobs in WoW.
   The class I have the biggest problem with, in fact, are Priests. Even after reading lore, I have no idea what they are. Perhaps it's because I play Shadow, but I have never felt anything particularly holy about them, they just use sort of...'cleaner' magic, what with the whites and light yellow spells. Paladins come across more holy, but that's probably because of the Argent factions. Few other classes really have any very present factions. The Argent factions really get up in the enemy's face, while the rest sort of don't. The Kirin Tor don't really seem to do that much, and they're the only other sort of class-based faction that comes immediately to mind.

   Basically, what I'm saying is that I'd love to see more class depth. There is plenty of race depth, most of which is quite clear from just their starting zones, but there's not all that much from the classes. Yes, there were a few quests in the old days. The only ones I experienced were the Warlock ones wherein you had to go through a small quest chain to get new demons, but I only recall the Voidwalker and the Succubus. I don't remember the Felhunter. And I have no idea if there was ever one for a Felguard or if that was always just a talent. These quests did add depth to the class, but not as much as what I'm talking about. I'm talking about quests that give you a feel for what the class is rather than just what they can do.

The Emerald Dream

   These questlines shouldn't be based in any zones we already know. Give us little single-player scenario-type situations, but not necessarily scenarios. When I say 'scenario' I am not talking about WoW's Scenario feature, and I am simply using the meaning of the word 'scenario': 'a possible sequence of events'. Though I suppose WoW's Scenario feature could work. Unique phased zones would do just as well. Little zones that only your class could get to. But if it was a 'Scenario', it shouldn't be just your run-of-the-mill scenario; it should have sort of quests within it, rather than just stages, or the stages should have a nice response from the 'quest giver' at the beginning and end of each, in the same way quests do when you pick them up and complete them. When I'm in a scenario, I feel this sense of urgency to keep moving, probably because there are almost always new waves of enemies coming with each stage. I'd want these class scenarios to be a little more relaxed - move at your own pace and really take in your location and what you're supposed to be doing. And, ideally, I'd want to see a little 3 or 4 quest questchain first to gather this that and the other, or have this as the first few stages.
   But as for locations, I'd expect different ones for each class. Send Warlocks to some Demonic Plain or something. Send Priests to a chapel. Have Paladins prove themselves to the Light. Send Druids to the Emerald Dream. Have Rogues assassinate someone. Surely none of you can tell me that this wouldn't be awesome, and totally unique content for each different character regardless of faction. Have something pivotal, but still minor, happen to really add more depth - like have a big Demon pop up and try to mess shit up and have the Warlock subdue and/or enslave it. Have a suddenly unstable Elemental situation that the Shaman has to balance. Have the Rogue in a situation where they have slipped up or something (no one can completely avoid mistakes - what proves how good you are is how you handle these situations, because you cannot perfectly predict the reactions or movements of others) and are being hunted and have to slip away silently and undetected. Something that really rounds up the scenario and sort of acts as proof of our character's mastery of the class.
   It shouldn't necessarily be easy in the sense of just killing a certain number of things or gathering things, but neither should it be too challenging. It needs to be doable at the set level, and it needs to work properly against the class's specialisation, such as keeping cloth and plate armour in mind, and ability types. None of these quests would be accessible to any other class, so it wouldn't need to be balanced with other classes. As long as each questline/scenario/phased zone works with its sole intended class at the correct level without heirlooms (not everyone has or uses them, be they new or veteran player) then there should be no problem.
   I also think it should be around level 50. It shouldn't be a start-zone type of thing, because that's where we get the taste of our race. I see it as a sort of mastery trial, so you need to be a more experienced level than level 20, but I would not say beyond level 60. Lots of players burn out when they hit Outland because they've done it so many times. It's now the oldest content in the game, afterall. If it's prior to Outland, at level 50 or 60, then it might keep players playing their character because they have a more solid feel and respect for the class, and it might give their character more depth. Plus it's totally something to look forward to for each class. But it should still be obtainable at a higher level, for those of us who are obviously already level 90 and far past the level 50 requirement. Why the hell should we miss out?
   Also, if the use of vehicles and immediate commands were used rather than just their standard action-bar then the player will pay more attention and feel more immersed. I know that when I have a prompt on-screen that I have to pay real attention to, even if it's just subduing a seahorse, I do pay more attention than when I'm mindlessly killing 5 mobs with my own abilities.

Rogue stealthing through scenario location, locating target and watching for mobs that may detect them.

   I love my characters. I love my classes. I know there are big differences between different caster classes and different melee classes, but I don't feel that other players share in that fact, and I also know that if I could have more depth for the classes I play, my characters would mean even more to me. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't really know what a Priest is. Are they just cloth-wearing ranged Paladins? Do they have different ideals? I feel that this is something vital that's being missed, and I, for one, would hugely appreciate it. It wouldn't have to be compulsary or anything, you shouldn't be forced into it, but given that each quest would be unique for each class, I don't think people would avoid it unless they happen to have four Mages. In fact, do some classes rival others? I don't think a Paladin would share the same ideals as a Warlock - would there be some kind of a clash between them? Or would the Warlock questline simply mention how worthless a Paladin is in their view, and how they are weaker for not possessing the same power a Warlock does?

I'll end my blathering here. Please be kind to me and keep abusive comments to a  minimum.

What would you love to see for your class? Perhaps you're a Hunter, and you'd like to have your character track a particularly elusive beast? Or you're a Paladin that must gain the trust of the Light? Or you're simply a Warrior that wants a nice, big brawl against some tough opponants. What would your ideal class' scenario be?

WoWscreenshotaday Day 17 'Exercise'

   I like to think I'm a fairly fit person. I do a lot of dance and weights each day, and though I could eat better, I do watch my waistline. And so, when I thought of 'Exercise' I immediately thought of dancing and weights. Well, I didn't want to just /dance because it would be too easy, and, well, I don't think there are any weights in WoW. So instead I went for running.
   I figured if there is a bucket ton of Undead chasing you, you'd run pretty fast.
   I wanted to have more Scourge behind me, but as I ran, a lot of them gave up. Sure, I picked up a lot more as I went, but it didn't turn out as perfectly as I wanted it to. And I took a lot of shots. But you get the gist.