Flask Half-Empty

ramblings about warcraft, other games, & randomness

Representing Silverwing in the Transmogolympics

For Silverwing!

As many of you already know, the 2012 Transmogolympics are well on their way, hosted by JD Kenada and judged by himself, Tome, Matty, and Khizzara. There are currently 75 confirmed participants — whoa, that’s a lot!! (And there very well may be even more after I’ve written this post.) When I first signed up, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d gotten myself into. I’m still quite a newbie to transmogrification and costumes, and it’s a little intimidating to see many fellow competitors that are quite well known for their transmog posts and outfits! But I figured, what better contest to practice in, right??

After all, there are nine “medal categories” and one flagbearer (tabard/sigil representation of each faction): Archery, Cycling, Discus, Equestrian, Fencing, Javelin, Hammer Throw, Wrestling, & Freestyle. For more detailed information on each category, see the rules & criteria here, as well as some clarifications.

It’s a bit of a daunting task, when I first looked at it! Nine outfits, and each has to be on a separate race/gender combination (no repetitions). After I signed up, the first thing I did was make a schedule for when to make which outfits by (don’t judge) because I knew if I did otherwise, I might not make the deadline of July 31st. As of tonight, I’ve got archery and cycling down…seven more to go! I’ve got a pretty fun idea brewed up for the freestyle, but we’ll see how hard it is for me to actually execute. It’s been pretty fun so far, but as I don’t have access to WoW Model Viewer (the Mac release is super outdated), I’m stuck with just fiddling with MogIt and the viewer on Wowhead for now!

Silverwing Grove in Ashenvale

About the Silverwing Sentinels

Being randomly assigned to represent the Silverwing Sentinels is a little bittersweet for me. I’m at a point where I’ve been seriously debating with myself on race changing my druid because she no longer really feels at home with her Night Elf roots. Exploring Silverwing Grove and doing a bit of research on the Silverwing Sentinels sure made Ninevi a bit wistful! Regardless, I’m proud to represent Silverwing, as I do love me some WSG action and hope to do the Alliance proud!

For those who may not know, the Silverwing Sentinels are the Alliance faction for the Warsong Gulch battleground. They comprise of Night Elves attempting to reclaim Ashenvale from an Orcish clan named the Warsong Outriders (the Horde WSG faction), who have been logging the forests and established a huge logging outpost in Warsong Gulch.

A related flag/sigil…?

While browsing for ideas for the flagbearer, I decided I wanted to base my Silverwing outfit on General Lylandris, one of the Warsong Gulch battlemasters who appears in Ironforge during the WSG holiday. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find any weapon models like the large throwing blades the Sentinels use, so I wanted to focus on the purple, gold, and silver of the tabard (see first picture, above!) I’m pretty happy with it for now, and I’m tempted to farm it on my paladin, despite her being a Blood Elf and having nobody to run Heroic BWD with for the shoulders. *pokes Chimaeron with a stick and runs away*

With that, I wish good luck to all fellow competitors! Can’t wait to see all the entries/winners when they are all submitted at the end of the month! And as for those of you who haven’t signed up yet, there’s still plenty of time and no deadline for signing up. Come join the fun! :)

Of Flame Keepers and Fireworks

Midsummer Fire Festival Bonfire in the Wetlands

With the Midsummer Fire Festival coming to a close, I’m a bit sad because the holiday is done for the year and we’ll have to wait until next summer to see all the decorations and play all the games again. Yes, even the torch tossing one! I’m a sucker for in-game mini games…

Midsummer has always been dear to me because it was the first world event and holiday that I experienced after having started playing WoW. I definitely remember putting those Ribbon Poles to good use and getting a kick out of hitting various beasts with zaps from the Bonfire’s Blessing buffs! The Wetlands bonfire near Menethil Harbor particularly stuck in my mind, because my druid was in her late-20s, early 30s and all-too-eagerly dancing on the ribbon pole when a high level blood elf paladin strolled up and put out the flame and ganked me! (Yay, for rolling on pvp servers back then! /groan) I was pretty oblivious back then and didn’t notice till I’d died and saw her running off on her charger.

But anyhow, that was about four or five years ago! The Fire Festival has come and gone again, and with the end of this year’s, my rogue (currently my main achievement hunter) has finally wrapped up the second to last holiday needed to finish What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. Hooray! Now to start planning for Brewfest so I enough time to farm enough of the many needed tokens for the achieves AND join the Brew of the Month Club…

In the meantime, here are my favorite highlights from this year’s holiday!

Summer Scorchling

There weren’t any new changes to this summer’s Fire Festival, but watching the Summer Scorchling quest event always makes me smile. Silly little scorchling! He turns into a mini-Ragnaros in the process and says the dialogue below:

Summer Scorchling says: Thank you again, (player), for this delectable incense.
Summer Scorchling devours the incense. It’s ravenous!
(He grows into the mini-Rag form)
Summer Scorchling says: So good! So packed with energy!
Summer Scorchling says: It has everything a growing scorchling needs!
Summer Scorchling says: I can feel the power SURGING within me!
Summer Scorchling bellows with laughter!
Summer Scorchling says: Now! Finally! Our plans can take effect!
Summer Scorchling says: KNEEL, LITTLE MORTAL! KNEEL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF THE HERALD OF RAGNAROS!
Summer Scorchling says: YOU WILL ALL PERISH IN FLAMES!
(He shrinks and turns back into his small elemental form)
Summer Scorchling blinks…
Summer Scorchling says: Ah. I was merely jesting…

Things are getting a little hazy…

Even after buying the Festival clothes for the achievement, I only ended up having enough Burning Blossoms to redeem 1 of the 2 vendor “pets,” and I’m not sure the blossoms remain in inventory for next year. I ended up getting the Captured Flame (a reddish wisp model) and suppose I will work on the Brazier of Dancing Flames next year. I didn’t even spend my tokens on miscellaneous vendor things because I got them already from the questlines, but they were all limited durations anyway. Sadly, the Fire Festival Brew only gave a fiery breath after the first sip, but it sure did make Caprice nice and drunk real fast! The Handful of Summer Petals were very pretty, too!

Brr…if only summers were always so chilly!

So I guess here things get a bit sketchy! I often joke about my rogue (Caprice) being my luckiest of characters when it comes to playing the RNG. Examples: The White Hawkstrider dropped on her first H-MGT run, the Phoenix Hatchling on her second, had Reins of the Raven Lord drop around her 55th run, whereas my paladin (old main) never saw it drop, despite running 100+ times. But surely Caprice is not always so lucky. Or is she? Perhaps it’s because her character is barely a year old and hasn’t run out of her luck yet, unlike my others? Whenever an RNG event is to happen, I still get extremely skeptical and brace myself for a long and frustrating grind, mostly because I expect that by default from my other characters who are much in favor of Lady Luck.

Oh, hi!

And such was the anticipation I held in the back in my mind as I queued for my first Slave Pens/Ahune the Frost Lord holiday dungeon run for this year’s holiday. The first run was kind of funny because I’d fogotten the fight completely since it’s been almost two years since I did it. (I was still on hiatus last summer.) But it didn’t take long to figure out, and the first run rewarded just Burning Blossoms. From there, I set my mind to run the dungeon on my four 85s each day until at least one of them got the Ice Chip (Frigid Frostling minipet). After all, all of my characters would share the pet account-wide in MoP, right? So I went ahead and ran it on all the characters I could, but none of them got it the first day, which I didn’t expect to happen anyway.

The second day, my holiday dungeon queue popped while I was mid-flight on a long flight path from Dalaran to Sholazar Basin to get the Northrend bonfire achievements on my rogue. The group was decent and finished pretty quickly, and soon enough I was put back on the flight path again. Since I wasn’t able to open the satchel while on the FP, I just joked to myself that I’d have to wait until the 6-minute long ride was done till I found out or not if it were just full of Burning Blossoms! Well…oh, the irony! I landed in River’s Heart and opened the bag and was confused for a second to see a shiny little blue thing underneath the blossoms, but it eventually dawned on me and I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to farm for it this year. But really, RNG loot gods?? On the second day, on what’s actually an alt? After having done it loads on my old main and never seeing it drop?! Well, I suppose I shouldn’t complain now that I’ve gotten it (/knocks on wood), but it depresses me to read fellow blogger’s posts about farming in vain for consecutive years because RNG is completely messed up. I think they should at least have had the option for buying the pet for a hefty amount of blossoms or something at least guaranteeable… :\

Caprice: This is the last time you’ll see me in a dress… *glare*

But I guess that’s all of the festival for this year! Hope everybody got their festival stuff finished, and don’t forget that there are fireworks and festivities to wrap up the festival with a bang at 6PM PDT! I don’t think I’ve ever watched them before, so I may check it out…after watching some fireworks in real life first in celebration of July 4th, though, of course! :)

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