Flask Half-Empty

ramblings about warcraft, other games, & randomness

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tell Me a Story: Overheard in the Desert

When the MMO NBI month ended in May, Ambermist from Tastes Like Battle Chicken was kind enough to continue her challenges with monthly themes! This month’s topic was Tell Me a Story, where we were to write about something that’s happened to us or that we’ve witnessed in the games that we play. So let me tell you a couple very random and silly snippets of my adventures in Azeroth’s lovely deserts!1

Looking across just a corner of Uldum…

When I came back from my year-long WoW hiatus last winter and started playing Cataclysm, I immediately knew my favorite “new” zone was Uldum. The desert feel, architecture, and scattered oases were awesome! Not to mention the Tol’vir history was just fascinating. There was something in the sun, sand, and pseudo-Egyptian themes of the area that made me really fond of the place. I’m sure that like many other kids, I had that short-lived obsession or phase with Egyptian gods and goddesses during middle school! But that hardly seemed to answer the question of why I felt so nostalgic and “at home” every time I visited the deserts of Uldum.

Lately, I’ve found myself reminiscing the “good old days” where I used to play a lot more regularly and spent hour upon hour doing the silliest of things. Feeling nostalgic might be my way of feeling burnt out on the expansion, but I know can’t be alone in thinking so. I was browsing through my old journal a couple of days ago in hopes of finding old screenshots to use in upcoming flashback posts on this blog, but they had all been deleted or replaced via Tinypic. Instead, I noticed a lot of my old, happiest memories were of when I had just started playing WoW, especially while leveling in Tanaris! There must have been something about rolling around in the sand and sun that’s stuck with me all this time!

The (Not-So) Great Boat Game

Entrance to the Caverns of Time

Back in Burning Crusade when I was leveling in Tanaris (early 40’s), I was running around exploring and was so curious about the entrance to the Caverns of Time and what laid inside! But my curiosity was quickly buried when a swarm of red names (I played on a pvp server back then) started gathering around the summoning circle, and I hid in one of the boats nearby to just watch as the Horde raiders prepared themselves.

The boat game of doom!

One of my closest friends in-game was kind enough to bring his higher-level gnome rogue, Auto, to sneak around with me in case any of the Horde were to spot and grief me. Like myself, he was easily amused by the silly little things in the game. And so we suddenly found ourselves in a contest to see who could jump from one wooden beam in the derelict, sand-trodden boat to the other end. It was terribly hard, and with me and my track record with stairs and steps and jumping of platforms (I’m looking at you, Thaddius), it did not bode well. Auto gleefully jumped back and forth between the wooden boards, while we both laughed at my failures of getting in the right spot to jump over! (I call cheating with his short gnome-ness and easier maneuverability!)

Suddenly, all I heard over Ventrilo was, “Great…I’m stuck.” I turned around, and dear Auto had somehow gotten himself into a weird glitch where he was pinned between the wooden beams!

Ninevi: Quick, use your Hearthstone!
Auto: It’s on cooldown!!
Ninevi: Use the auto-unstuck tool! (Oh, the irony…!)
Auto: I did! It moved me a whole 2 inches and turned me in a different direction! And now it’s on cooldown…

Running around the boat to look for an escape!

A great few minutes elapsed, as he frantically wiggled his short gnomish legs around the wood beams in desperation to set himself free. It was hilarious. I wish I had pictures. Thank goodness the Horde had gone into the Caverns by then, because they would have taken the chance to roast us sitting ducks for sure! Or maybe they would have stopped dead in their tracks and laughed at the strange sight. Half of Auto’s head (fully pink-bearded and all) was visible, and from in between the beam, two short little legs were seen running furiously in place and in vain. It was too hard for me to keep from laughing out loud!

Auto: I don’t know what to do!
Ninevi: Me neither…hmm, wait! Maybe you can duel me! And it’ll let you Shadowstep out of the spot?
Auto: Okay, let’s try it…maybe it’ll work.

…it didn’t work. And somehow, I’d lost much of my health (just one accidental swing from him was ouch!) and to make matters worse, I was also stuck in the boat.

Ninevi: Oh no, now I’m stuck too…!
Auto: Great…I’m still stuck in a boat.

Soon enough, we had another guildmate (Val) who was in a nearby zone, and he wanted to see what all the fuss was about and why we were making such a ruckus in the chat channel. We invited him to group and waited patiently for him to come by and join in the fun, but it must have been at least 15-20 minutes or so of silence and more frantic wiggling in place before we finally heard something from him.

Val: Guys, I still don’t see you…
Ninevi: ………(lol)
Auto: VAL. YOU. ARE. AN. IDIOT!

The tone of Val’s voice was so innocently lost that it didn’t help me and my nonstop laughing about the terrible situation, and although Auto was laughing as well, I’m sure he was actually very worried about possibly having to submit a ticket to get us moved. Val finally did find us, and thankfully he and his rowdy imp didn’t get caught in the boat as well, or it would have been a snug crowd in between those planks! But unfortunately for an increasingly cranky gnome and four furry paws, it was getting late in the hour, and we were still stuck and without a useful cooldown. So we decided to part ways for the night and return in the day to hearth back home and out of the deathgrip of the abandoned boat!

And we’ve never tried to play another jumping game since…

Of Bagels & Ogres

Being distracted by jokes while sneaking around ogres is dangerous! The probably sensed my ROFL-ing…

Bagel you say…? Me no likey dead pink fish on bagel…

And finally, a very random conversation I found saved in my old journal from when I was doing the ogres questline in Tanaris…

Guildmate: Found breakfast! Apparently they have bagels in Bladespire…that’ll go well with my coffee! :D
Ninevi: What, they have bagels??! I want one…
Guildmate: Bagels are weird, lol. They annoy me! O_O
Ninevi: LOL Why?! Bagels are omnomnom…
Guildmate: COMPACTED BREAD!
Ninevi: WHAT
Guildmate: NO…RUBBER BREAD.

I…I don’t really know. But since then, whenever I run across ogres anywhere in-game, I always imagine them hiding lox and bagels in their pockets! (And secretly hope that they’ll drop some as loot one day, and I can eat it…omnomnom!)

Randomness aside, I guess I really am a bit notorious amongst my guildmates for digging around the deserts for archaeology fragments and spamming Archaeology nodes in Gatherer in hopes of finally finding just the right canopic jar one day! I’m sure they’ve called me out on playing in the sand when I should be doing something more productive like fishing for feast mats or working on other professions, but I usually just continue digging around, goofing off, and soaking up sun… :P

1 I realized after writing this post that it was kind of a terrible idea to think about sun and heat, after a week of weather in the 100+’s (and devastating wildfires throughout many places!) If only the blazing heat and sunshine were as lovely and nice as they are in-game. Sending hopes & prayers to the families affected by the fires recently! :(

On New Wings

“Are we done yet…?” My lock is a bit camera shy…

Recently Amijade over at Warlockery held the Great Warlock Epitome Transmogrification Contest, where contestants had to transmog what they felt was the quintessential outfit for the warlock class! It was my first time putting together a full outfit that wasn’t set-based, and my first time using the MogIt addon (so addictive)! To my surprise, both Saga from Spellbound and I were winners — I’ve never won anything before, so this was super cool. Plus, it let me to spend more time with my often neglected warlock, and I’m sure she appreciated it! :)

It’s a shiny dragon! :D

The winners were allowed to pick a Blizz Store mount of their choice, and I picked the Heart of the Aspects! A fitting ride in preparation for Pandaria, methinks!

It’s an account-wide mount, so of course Ninevi just HAD to try it out, too… :P

Transmog submission for the contest

Head – Tourmaline Crown / Shoulders – Dreadweave Mantle / Cloak – Cloak of Subjugated Power / Chest – Vermillion Robes of the Dominant / Wrist – Emberflame Bracers / Gloves – Balespider’s Handwraps / Waist – Embersilk Cord / Feet – Ashwalker’s Footwraps / MH – Brutal Gladiator’s Spellblade / OH – Fire Eater’s Manual

In action! Too bad Soul Harvest can’t be reddish also :P

Thanks for the fun contest, Amijade!! I hope more people will enter next time — it was a blast! :)

Some other transmog contests going on currently:

- Neri’s June transmog tournament theme is Red Carpet Glamour! Deadline is 11:59am AEST on June 29th (this upcoming Friday) so don’t forget to check it out and submit your entries if you have time! :)

- If there are other contests going on currently, let me know and I’ll add it to this list!

Off-Topic: Photoset – Traveling, Botany, & Heritage

Note: This post is off-topic and contains lots of photos!

Oh my…it’s been a couple weeks since I posted, hasn’t it? I’m not doing so great on keeping up with this new blogging thing! *scolds self* This month’s been super busy, and I’ve been on travel for the past two weeks or so at conferences for work (ASM/ASMCUE 2012) in San Francisco, CA. Such a beautiful city and lovely weather! It was super nice to have 60°F weather and sunny skies instead of constant summer thunderstorms and mid-90’s like at home. Despite being mostly busy with presenting at the conference and visiting all the exhibits (omg, all the automated lab machinery on display was AMAZING…) I did get the last day to go about the city and do some exploring! This was maybe my 3rd or 4th time in CA, but first in SF. It’s so different, and I loved it! I like taking pictures, so I wandered through downtown, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Park with my camera, trying to avoid the overly-touristy places and hide from overwhelming crowds since I was alone. And I got to see some things that are really dear to me – gardens, nature, heritage, & culture.

So instead of me rambling more, I thought I’d share some pictures (even if they’re off-topic from this blog…!) :P

Some aerial photos I took while in flight!

 

Hazy, sloped city!

 

“Fear Head” by Roman Cesario, Mitsu Overstreet and Roberto Gonzalez @ Tenderloin

 

Not sure of artist(s).

I live in the suburbs, so street art is always something I look forward to when visiting cities. :)

Historic San Francisco cable cars! :D

 

Is the street tilted…or am I??

 

Such colorful houses :D

 

Some random noms: egg tartine w/ fresh tomatoes, dim sum, green tea bubble tea, 馬拉糕 (ma la gao)

 

Some more random noms…gyoza, “mother & son” sushi roll, chicken paratha fold & gulab jamun, fish tacos!

 

Various Chinatown scenery, shop fronts, street art

Going to SF Chinatown was really an amazing experience. I’ve been to different ‘towns around the US (Atlanta, New York, Chicago, & more) but SF Chinatown was HUGE. Just entering and being among all the shoppers (regulars & tourists alike) was really very humbling, and it made me nostalgic for Taiwan, where my family is originally from. SF Chinatown is really a city within a city, the oldest and largest community outside of Asia. The sights, the smells, and the sounds brought back memories & made new ones, and I was kind of sad I had nobody to share it with except me & my camera! But now I can share some pictures with you :)

Religious sector, bakery & roasted duck/bbq

 

Dried goods & herbal medicine stores, cake shop with all sorts of flavors

Seeing all the dried goods/herbalist stores reminded of my grandfather, who I guess you can say was a real life herbalist and apothecary! (Oho, I snuck a WoW reference into this OT post! See what I did there?) He had a small eastern medicine and herbal store in his own home in Taiwan, and he was really active in tending his gardens and flowers. I wish I could have bought a little of everything, but just a few grams of many of the dried goods were so expensive!

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

I guess here is where I get a bit nutty and druid-y! I majored in environmental science/ecology in college, and I’ve always kind of had an obsession with plants and botany…(*spam heals Regrowth to watch leaves falling*) so going to conservatories, botanical gardens and the like excites me like none other and turns me into a major nature dork. I kept texting my friend Pneu while spazzing out about all the flowers and amazing plants, and I’m sure I was probably very annoying! D:

Just some of the hundreds of photos I took of the gorgeous flowers & greenery…

There were also some really neat pitcher plants, and I couldn’t help but keep thinking…”Oh look, it’s a Victreebel…!”

Raptors in the conservatory?!

 

Stegosaurus! :D

 

Oops…

 

Japanese Tea Garden

 

Adorable gift sets.

 

Succulent garden @ SF Botanical Gardens. I love succulents! :3 I wanted to buy them ALL and take them home with me!

 

& going home…(with crappy phone pics lol)

So that’s it! I’m back home and waiting for my next big adventure to start (ie: grad school — eek!) and hoping to have more time to write more on-topic stuff here, as well as finish Diablo 3 and get ready for Mists! :P And it’s Midsummer Fire Festival already, so I hope to make a post about that sometime soon, too. Lots to do and little time.

If you enjoyed my photos, feel free to visit my Flickr (homepage) – or the specific sets: San Francisco or Golden Gate Park for a lot more pictures. Thanks for reading or browsing! :D

D3: Still Puttering, but Halfway Through

New Tristram Cathedral : Artwork from Act II Cutscene

Things are winding down a bit in the real life (I say this on the eve before I fly to the other side of the country for a weeklong work conference, heh) so I’ve finally had a chance to get a decent bit of game time lately. My better conscious keeps telling me, “No, Ninevi! You should be working on your End-of-Cata bucket list and getting ready for Mists! Or exploring more of the Beta! Or working on your WoW Ironman Challenge attempts!” Alas, I’ve pretty much done all but that and been spending some time with my demon hunter on Diablo 3 instead. She’s so cool, and D3 is just. So. Gorgeous. And horribly, horribly addicting. Jumping into game and blasting away at demons and barrels and more demons has just been more satisfying than the frustrations of RNG and the loot gods in WoW nowadays.

I’ve really enjoyed just turning of the Auto Join feature and playing on my own. Even though the Public Games option is there, I haven’t bothered to try it because I’m satisfied just exploring by myself and my templar! I finally finished up Act II (still on Normal…hush!), and the Belial fight was incredibly fun. It took me two tries to get him — the first time was annoying when he skewered me into pools of green bad, and I couldn’t move, but thankfully that didn’t happen on the second try. I can’t wait to try him on harder difficulty. Now I’m onto Act III and halfway through the game, yay! And I love that the scenery has changed to be all snowy and fortress-y. I also found a super neat crossbow that heals me whenever I deal damage, so I’ll maybe have a bit less of a hard time with evil ranged/caster mobs now!

I really like my templar follower, and the things he says are so silly. He reminds me almost of Castiel from Supernatural. Although his conversations can be a little repetitive, they make me smile and I don’t mind that he’s there! Although, he really does channel Castiel’s semi-innocent and naive-ish-ness by stupidly standing in fire sometimes and then asking me, “I bleed…?” To which, I shuffle around madly in hopes of moving him away and shout at him, “Yes, you’re bleeding! Get out of the bad stuff! You’re dying! HEAL YOURSELF, YOU SILLY, THAT’S WHY I GAVE YOU THAT TALENT!” And then he’ll finally roll out of the fire and be all like, “We did it!” Yes…we did it…very messily. Herp derp, silly paladin templar, but I still love you! I still somewhat irrationally get excited every time I find a better piece of gear for him. “Yay, here’s a pretty and awesome shield!” And he’s always so grateful. :D Although, it was annoying that I’d found all of the other followers’ relics before I found one for him. But at least the stats were appropriate, and it came with an achievement!

Besides all of the small details in the game, my next favorite part are probably the gorgeous cutscenes. It keeps having me wonder, why can’t Blizzard invest in a CG film? Even a short one? It would be awesome, but I don’t remember hearing any updates regarding the Warcraft film. Watching the cutscenes in Diablo 3 remind me of when Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children had just come out — I must have watched the movie at least twenty times, in both English and Japanese (terrible dubs and all), because Square Enix’s CG work was just fantastic. If Blizz were ever to consier a CG film, I think the fangirl inside of me would die from squeeing too much!

But while playing, there are definitely some features from WoW that I keep wishing also existed in D3. It may be that some of them exist, but I haven’t yet discovered them yet out of my newbieness. And ignorance, I guess, since I’m continually turned off by the D3 official forums and haven’t been too thrilled by the general D3 player community in general…surprise, surprise. But I definitely need to explore the Wiki pages more at some point so I’m not completely poking around in the dark and being less than optimal in game-play, especially if I’m going to attempt the harder levels later!

Here are some miscellanous things I’d love to have, some are silly and probably not so important:

  • A “Dressing Room” feature – So much gear drops, and I’d just love to see what they look like on my character, even if she can’t wear them. Maybe even a feature to preview dye before I use them would be nice, too.
  • Better stat distribution on loot – I still don’t understand why I find so much gear like Enchantress mirrors with +Str and so forth. Really? I don’t use my enchantress at all, but wouldn’t she want more +Int? And why in the world would I want +Str on a Demon Hunter specific item? Do not want…
  • A way to sort Auction house – There’s probably some easier way to search/sort, but I still have issues finding exactly what I want from the AH. For instance, I don’t really want to look items as “bid” only, as I tend to just buyout everything. I don’t know if I just got bugged or what, but I couldn’t sort any of my search results at all, and it was frustrating.
  • A naming feature for followers – Well, I think we all know who I’d name my templar after… >_>;;
  • Some jumping feature or auto-run – I haven’t played a click to move since my Lineage II days, so it took some getting used to, and I still really want to move around with WASD every now and then. I still find it irritating that I can’t just jump over some little ledges and so forth, though!

Oftentimes we compare certain games to others ones we’ve enjoyed playing or continue to play. Are there features or aspects from other games that you’d also like to see in Diablo 3? If so, how do you think they might be implemented if at all possible? Bashiok replied to this post on the forums, discussing many WoW-like improvements — do you agree with any of them or find them improbable?

Top Three Most Loved Items

For this week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, Cymre from Bubbles of Mischief suggested:

What are the top three items on your main that you just love for sentimental, fun or silly reasons and would hate to lose? Tell us a story, what makes them so special and as always illustrate with screenshots.

My characters generally don’t have too much in their bags, aside having MS/OS/PvP gear already takes up most of the space. But with what room is left, I have a terrible habit of hoarding all sorts of trinkets (see: Rainbow Generator and Gus’ First Aid Kit to even old raid trinkets that I have a hard time tossing out like Grim Toll.) along with all the miscellaneous artifacts I’ve solved from Archaeology. (I like all the little toys in the game…it’s a growing problem!)

Here are the top three things that I’d hate to ever lose:

Landslide makes them even shinier…!

1. Fang of Oblivion – Yes, I know. The shiniest, sparkliest dagger of all. The first time I got to do the Algalon the Observer fight was during a PuG transmog run, and I swear by it when I say my rogue is my luckiest toon. The dagger dropped, and I won with a 94, beating out about 4-5 others. Offers were made to trade for it, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything! What’s strange is that I kept having it in my head that it was the spell dagger, Starshard Edge, but on closer glance at the stats, it was indeed the Agi one. Not that the stats mattered at that point, but it made me feel even more tingly with joy! Aside from me probably using this dagger model for a long while or until I tire of the shininess, I think the Algalon fight is one of my favorites in the game, and I only wish I could revisit it again. Reading this post from WoW Insider’s Know Your Lore really had me in even more awe.

Chalice of the Mountain Kings

2. Archaeology Toys – Okay, okay, I know this isn’t just one item. But it’s so hard for me to choose, and at times I’ll pop all of their cooldowns while standing around in a raid or dungeon, or even just waiting around. I’m not sure what’s more fun — having people ask where the sword-dancing dwarven ladies came from, or having another Archaeologist pop their Bones of Transformation at the same time! There was even once when I was in a random Hour of Twilight dungeon where a shaman and I would pop random artifacts in a kind of “go-fish” fashion while waiting for the RP events. Ancient Amber? Nope, go fish! Fun times, fun times.

Maybe one too many…

3. Hallowed Wands – Halloween is my favorite holiday, and my love for it stems in-game to Hallow’s End. I’m not sure when I decided it was a good idea, but I have a good assortment of all of the wands available (Bat, Leper Gnome, Ghost, Ninja, Pirate, Skeleton, Wisp) across my characters. It’s kind of embarassing. While my bank doesn’t look exactly like the screenshot over there, I’m sure it’d be similar if I combined the bank slots from all my alts. I have a few that have a couple charges used, so I really should take them out and use them. But I’m too sentimental and just don’t want to use them up…!

So there you have it! Now if only we had additional Void Storage or toy chest that would accommodate all of my trinkets and toys…