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Category Archives: screenshots

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!

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?

Week 4 Challenge: Tons and Tons of Totems

We’re nearing the end of May and the Newbie Blogger Initiative! For this week’s NBI Challenge, we were asked to research a topic that we have little knowledge about, learn something new, and report our findings! I chose to do some reading into shaman totems. While I have a shammy alt in the mid-50’s, I’ve always been confused about which totems were appropriate in which situation. Sure, I understand to drop an Earthbind Totem in a battleground to gain some distance from an enemy. But what if you’re in a raid with multiple shamans? Who drops what? And when? I didn’t have to dig too far to find a ton of information, so I’ll just cover some of the basics in this post — minus all the footnotes, of course! ;)

Indomitable totems are immune to Assault Drake’s Twilight Barrage!

Week 4 Challenge: Learning is Fun

Totems are the trademarks of the shaman class, and they serve as an essential tool in calling forth powers from each of the elements to aid in battle. There are four elements that shamans can call totems from (one of each element at a time) — Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. Totems can’t be moved around, but they can be easily summoned and recalled. They not only provide nice enhancements to the shaman casting them, but other group members who are within range can gain from totem buffs, too.

Totems can be learned by shamans after completing a series of class-specific quests. The first totem that is learned is the Earth Totem, which has generally defensive capabilities. The second totem learned is the Fire Totem, which can deal fire damage as well as enhance damaging spells. The third totem is the Water Totem, which provides several restorative attributes. And finally, the last totem learned is the Air Totem, with many speed enhancing benefits. A shammy can only one totem of each element at a time. For instance, it’s not possible to have both Flametongue and Magma totems up at the same time since they both are Fire Totems.

Since Cataclysm hit, we were met with several new totem designs, as well as new races available for the shaman class. No longer did all shammies sport the same totems! I hopped onto the beta servers and rolled a premade shaman of each race, just to look at the different, shiny totems. Here they are below (including the Pandaren model, from upcoming Mists):

(Click on images for larger view… It took me longer than it really should’ve to take these screens!)

Troll Totems

Tauren Totems

Orc Totems

Goblin Totems

Draenei Totems

Dwarf Totems

Pandaren Kegs Totems

Most of the totems don’t stack, and since many provide a buff to the entire raid it isn’t necesary for more than one shaman to drop a Flametongue Totem, for example. This can go even more into detail regarding specific shaman specs in the raid composition, such as if you gain the Totemic Wrath buff from an elemental-specced shaman, then there is no need for anyone to drop a Flametongue Totem (See: Wowpedia, Which Totem to Drop). It gets pretty complicated, as several of the totem buffs not only work with additional buffs from shammy talent specialization, but also match similar buffs from other classes! (ie: Paladin Blessing of Might vs Mana Spring Totem.) Thankfully, Zarac over on Wowhead made this handy dandy map showing the cross-over of all buffs, which makes it much easier to decide what combination(s) of totems to use in which situations. Of course, considerations should always be made depending on whatever spec the shammy is, and if still leveling or just playing solo then the selection in totems is less rigid and complicated.

This led me to think — are there addons that can simplify totem organization?? I remember how much I loved the paladin addon, PallyPower, back when you had multiple paladins in raid and didn’t know who should use Blessing of Kings, Might, Wisdom, or even Sanctuary. And then there were all the different auras! Nowadays, we have it far too simple — more than often, I’ll have a druid in the raid with Mark of the Wild, and I only need to throw up a Might. With the many totems that shammies have, it seemed logical to have a kind of ShammyPower or similar. Upon searching, I ran across a very old (2008!) blog post by Salanthe over at Totem of Wrath about this very issue. In addition, I found two addons — Totemus and RaidTotems — but it seems that neither have been really up to date. My only assumption is that people use other trackers (maybe Power Auras, etc.) instead.

Overall, in my brief researching of totems and shamans in general, I learned a great deal about one of the remaining classes I’ve had little experience in playing! Despite that, I feel like I’ve definitely only scraped off a tiny tip of the iceberg in terms of all the shaman databases out there …and I haven’t even touched lore! For now, I’m somewhat satisfied with what I’ve learned in regards to my lowbie shammy alt, but I definitely know there’s still a lot more to learn if I ever intend on raiding on her! Such is the never-ending thirst for more knowledge… :)

Professor Caprice and The Last Relic of Argus

Beam me up, Scotty…!

In continuing my searches for WoW-related blogging communities, I discovered Blog Azeroth this week — a fantastic hub for bloggers of all backgrounds to dive into various topics, blogging tips, and much more. One of their features is Shared Topics, where people can suggest weekly subject ideas. This week’s Shared Topic was proposed by Cymre, which opens up discussion for my favorite secondary profession — Archaeology!

My first “Professor” was my paladin, for whom I farmed on end for Night Elf fragments until I got the desirable Tyrande’s Favorite Doll, which I later put to good use with a good many various characters! After deciding to make a rogue alt (Caprice) to try out Worgen, I knew Archaeology would be a fun boost for XP gain. Little did I know I’d be hooked again and level her all the way to become another Professor! During the course of maxing the profession as well as getting all the Archaeology achievements possible, Caprice ended up solving many duplicate rare artifacts already finished on my paladin, including Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown and Staff of Ammunae. I even leveled Alchemy on her in hopes of finding just the right Canopic Jar for the Vial of the Sands recipe, but no such luck yet!

Upon use, the casting bar reads as “Teleport with Error.”

“It Belongs in a Museum!”

Of all the rares found thus far, the favorite would most definitely have to be The Last Relic of Argus. Although Caprice hasn’t gotten much play time as of late, she still tries to hit the 12-hour cooldown whenever she logs on, just to see where it’ll teleport her “with error.” Wowpedia has a list of known teleport locations, but I’ve yet to see all of them, as the relic has repeatedly teleported to Felwood on multiple occasions.

What’s the story behind it?

I’m quite new to a lot of the more detailed lore besides what we learn in-game and have yet to read much of the literature, so it was fascinating to read a little more about Argus and the draenei’s escape from Sargeras and the Burning Legion.

Before they lived on Azeroth or Draenor, the draenei, who still called themselves the eredar at the time, lived on Argus. When Sargeras took notice of Argus, Prophet Velen fled with some of his people, who became the draenei. The remaining eredar were absorbed into the Burning Legion. This simple crystal was taken from Argus when Velen fled. The inscription on the bottom reads, ‘I long for Mac’Aree.’                  
                                                                            — (Text upon solving the artifact, taken from Wowpedia.)

After refusing to align with Sargeras, Velen fled with his people, and they were thus renamed draenei, or “the exiled ones,” who we now see in-game as the inhabitants of Azuremyst Isles in Azeroth. The last portion describes the inscriptions on the relic. Mac’Aree was the capital of Argus, which was revered as the most sacred and respected city, prior to corruption from the Burning Legion. I wonder if any of the teleport locations have any significance in relation to the history, but I doubt so as most of the spots are located in Azeroth (and only one in Outlands, which is near the Dark Portal.)

And finally, a short tour of some of the travels through screenshots… Read more of this post