Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Male Blood Elves.

     It took me a while to get the PTR working but I finally got to go in and have a look. I looked at Thera too, but plenty of people have gone over the changes to female Blood Elves so I'll just skip right to the guys.
    I -really- want to like the new models. This is my favorite race to play and most of my favorite characters are male Blood Elves, so I feel like I'm trying maybe a little too hard to look at these in a positive light. There are things I love. New animations are more fluid... the run's a little different but not the goofy run the male Night Elves had been saddled with (and which they fixed in the PTR, Huzzah!). The new hands look great, the body is really well done, definitely an upgrade. But the faces... well...
     I understand that they're not done. They're all apparently using the same geometry right now and so I am -really- hoping that all the things I really dislike in this new face will be confined to one option and not over all of them the way they are now. Now we get image heavy, and we'll start with the one I feel most okay with.
     Here's Rim, the perfect knight.

     He seems close. A little crankier than I think he looks in live maybe but the beard and hair do a good job evening out any flaws in the facial structure, so I think I can live with this for him, though I wish he looked less frowny.
     It's all progressively downhill from here. Here's Laen, the gentle one:
     I really like his hair. It's beautiful. So very beautiful. But he looks so cranky and arrogant that I have a hard time seeing my Laen in him.
     I can't decide which of these last two bothers me more. Here's Tai:
     First of all I think Tai's face is my favorite of the male Blood Elf faces in Live. It's certainly the one that's right for him. It looks dignified, strong, not as young as some of the others but still handsome. I like the set of his mouth.
     The PTR version looks nothing like that... it's got the problem all the PTR faces have... which is next to no lips, cheeks that are a bit too wide and a mouth set too far up the face. It doesn't look like Tai. I do like the hair, except for the fact that it doesn't move. Tyndellan has the night elven version of the same hair and his braids sway a little when he moves and actually lift and fall again when he jumps. Tai's never move, they may as well be solid. I hope that'll get fixed before it goes Live but even if it does I don't know if I can live with that face... and none of them are enough different from it right now for me to fix it. I really hope that's going to change.
     And then there's Seish:
     His hair looks neat. I think that that... and the fact that this one makes it really easy to pick out the stuff that's the problem with all the male blood elf faces in the PTR right now is about the extent of what I can say that's positive. This one makes it pretty obvious to me that I think the eyes are maybe a tiny bit too small. Not a deal breaker by istself. But he's got too much chin. I feel like the nose could be a bit longer and the mouth a bit lower on the face and it would be fine.
     But it's not. He looks insufferable and smug, even beyond the amounts of sort of insufferable and smug that he actually is, and that's saying something. I want to like these models. I'm okay with Rim's. I could work on being okay with Laen's but Tai and Seish... I have a really hard time with. All I can say is that I hope they're listening to what little feedback has been given on the male blood elves and that they'll change up the facial structure a bit for all of them and then make them different.
     I do have to wonder what it is with Blizzard and putting giant chins on everybody. I'm not freaking out right now, I'm reminding myself that they're still working on things and that hopefully they'll tweak stuff to make them better before they go live. I'll happily wait another month or so for that. And they -did- fix the male night elf run, so there's hope.

Friday, January 23, 2015

If this was Aug's Blog we'd call it 'Plenty of Pets'

     I've had some form of cold or creeping crud since about the week before Christmas. But now it's finally better and I've taken some time from all the garrison chores to actually make a post about the things I've been up to. I'm surprised it's taken me this long to start really focusing on leveling another alt, but then I got three to 100 at about the same time and that's a lot of garrison chores. Still every hunter has his day and Aug's getting his turn. He's leveling, but also taming his way across Draenor.
He made a new Frostwolf friend in Frostfire and named him Gelu. Gelu kept him company through most of Gorgrond too, and partway through the Gorgrond chain I realized that Aug didn't have Snowpaw in his garrison yet, so everything else had to be dropped until that got remedied, if only so screenshots like this could happen.
     Tai is the one that made the harness for that wolf but since he won't give up his tiger Aug got to steal the mount. It's a win for everybody. (I'm a little bit sad that only leatherworkers can ride that wolf because I really like it.)
     In Gorgrond Aug found another new friend.
     Laetus has done a little helping out with the barn, though mostly he's on passive for the trapping and is just moral support. I really didn't want another barn, but then Rim wanted to upgrade his shield and I realize that no matter how much it irked me I was going to need at least one barn on every server where I leveled a crafter. Well Tai's got his server covered. Aug will do he and Rim and Seish's. Tyl will be needing one and Ailuuya replaced her lumberyard and upgraded it all the way up yesterday. I doubt I'll be quite as good at keeping hers full as I will for the rest of them. She's lucky enough to be raiding and may well replace her crafted jewelry before I can upgrade it anyhow.
     Aug meanwhile has moved on to Talador where of course he promptly found a red hydra he -had- to tame. This one got a little bit complicated. There was an argument between Aug and Magister Krelas about the best thing to do with large red hydras. The silly mage kept interrupting his tame and insisting they should just kill the thing. I think he underestimated the lengths a hunter will go to for a pet he wants. Aug moved on, away killed some ogres and let Krelas and the hydra argue it out. Once the hydra had predictably won Aug tamed him, helped Krelas up, and off they all went together. I suppose Aug must have apologized because at the end of it all Krelas was still willing to come work for him so I guess there are no hard feelings. Aug may need to swat Servius over the noses a few times to get him to stop looking at the Magister like he's a meal, though.
     I wish I could say Aug had collected all the Draenor pets he wanted, but there are still a couple of beautifully colored tigers calling his name. I'm going to hope we can get it all out of his system before Nagrand.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A little rant about barns.

     Cheerful holiday posts will have to come later, there is a cranky rant here that's been building for a while.
     Tai's a leatherworker. It's a good profession for a monk even if it's always been a pain to level. This expansion's no exception. People who work with metal get a mine for them and all their alts, so the ore just flows in. People who work with herbs have to level some but they get their herb garden to do the same. If you work with leather, though you get to use up one of your building slots to make a barn. So it already annoys me that it took up a slot I wanted for an inn for materials other people get provided for free.
     But I'll deal with that. I'll deal with the finicky traps and the fact that for some reason I couldn't seem to actually catch anything that would provide me with the leather I made the barn for until I got to Nagrand (around level 98). Finally got the barn producing leather and leveled it to three for the adorable pet but also for the chance of being able to farm up savage blood. But elites are no picnic for a healer who isn't that well-geared. Still Tai's usually got a tank to help him out and we split the savage blood.
     But sometimes I feel bad asking for help for something that's basically busy work for my garrison and I go out and work on them alone. It takes a fair bit for Tai to beat one of those Clefthooves down low enough to trap them. And here's the part that makes me angry. I can deal with it being a project and taking me about five minutes per trap. What I can't deal with is that Blizzard set up the mob tagging for those elites in a way that allows someone to come along just as I get them down low enough and drop a trap and taunt. The clefthoof goes in their trap and I've just wasted all the time I spent working on it.
     There's the variation on this where someone just comes along and nukes the mob down to zero before the trap catches too. Either way I spend a fair bit of time and get nothing out of it but annoyance and frustration. Especially when I go back to my garrison with my meager trap haul and walk by the mine and herb garden that produce so much free ore and herbs for friends and alts. I can't help feeling like other people get free materials and I get to use a building slot for another way for people to grief me.
     I think the barn shouldn't have taken a building slot. But it does provide the chance of savage blood so maybe that's fair. But maybe we could at least change the rules for those traps so that they won't work on things not tagged by you or your party members? That still lets people work together, but maybe at least stops me from wishing those big traps worked on other players. And hey then the guy that nukes it down before the trap catches can still get in his daily dose of being a jerk too. But at least I don't have to be filling up barns for the Alliance at no charge.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shadowmoon Hunter Mog

     Another game of 'What do I have in my void storage?' ended with this mog for Tyl. I really like it. Think it may be one of my new favorite transmogs for him.

Head: Steadfast Coronet
Shoulders: Spaulders of Meditative Focus
Chest: Ranger General's Chestguard
Hands: Purging Handguards
Waist: Cord of Dragon Sinew
Legs: Void Reaver Greaves
Feet: Moonchain Boots
Back: Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen
Bow: Ironfeather Longbow

     I really just couldn't resist making a mog for those shoulders because they look good on a male Night Elf. And I was happy for a mog that finally worked with that bow. Shadowmoon Valley is an irresistible backdrop for screenshots too. It looks very right for a Night Elf home far away from home.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A couple goals met.

     First of all I have to say I'm with Tome here. I've been slacking off on writing on my WoW blog not because I don't have anything to write about but because I've been too busy doing it to write about it. Warlords is keeping me busy. (And of course there's the holidays too.) I'm running three level 3 garrisons now: Tai's, Rim's, and Ailuuya's.  And a couple level twos that are mostly doing profession stuff and accumulating resources.
     I'm trying to get Ailuuya geared so she can raid because I miss running with my raid team so much. She's close. I'm really hoping for next week. She'll have another crafted piece tomorrow and hopefully I can get her through a heroic or two and maybe the LFR. Today, though, besides her apexis daily and garrison missions she's managed to meet two of my WoW goals.
     I love talbuks. They're still some of my favorite mounts, no matter how many new models they bring in and I wanted the dark ones for ages. But getting them involved pvp and even though a lot of mine are on a pvp server... no. Just no. But a while back Ailuuya got some of the battle tokens from a garrison mission. I put them in her bags thinking I'd have to hope more missions came up for them and save them. But today I finally looked them up and realized she already had enough for the Dark War Talbuk. And there he is. I'll still have to hope the mission comes up again so I can get the other one but I'm so happy about this!
     And after Halaa had been claimed and the Talbuk purchased I thought while I was in Outlands I might as well fly over and pay Gruul another fruitless visit. Ever since I created Ailuuya I had one specific shield in mind for her. The most draenei of shields, but Gruul kept dropping trinkets for me instead. Only tonight he didn't.
     So of course I had to go transmog her even though I'm hoping to replace some of that gear tomorrow or the next day. And I'm happy. I think she looks great, and my many Gruul kills finally paid off so I don't have to do it any more.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A strange feeling and some achievements.

     Periodically I waste time on my phone looking at funny pictures on the internet. It's amusing, some of them make me laugh, other's make me shake my head. Yesterday one of them made me double take. It was a WoW thing, a split picture top and bottom comparing Vanilla and WoD. I read through all the little captions on the top one and then looked down at the bottom picture and stared thinking... Holy crap that looks like Tai. Staring at it a moment longer I realized it -was- Tai:

At the site
     I am still not sure how to feel about this. After all nobody asked me if they could use my screenshot. And the point seems to be about how isolated WoW is now, when that screenshot was in a post where I was talking about my launch party and playing with friends. After all Tai never levels solo, even if I screencap him that way a lot. On the other hand I guess it's flattering? Except the part where I wasn't credited of course.

     In other notes. I've got three at 100 now, Rim and Tai Horde side and Ailuuya on Alliance. Ailuuya is profiting from the things I learned making garrison missteps on Rim and Tai so she's doing fairly well for herself. Gearing is slowly happening and I've managed to get her silver proving grounds for both healing and damage without too much trouble. She hasn't queued for Molten Core yet, but she'll be able to whenever I want.
     Tai has a stable in his garrison. I'd originally meant to do all that with Seish but he's still at 91 waiting for his leveling partner so Tai has taken over. All but one of the stable mounts have been tamed as of today, including this fine fellow.
    That put Tai's mount count for the achievement at 197, so just on a hunch I switched over to Seish.
And as I'd thought paladin mounts did it (Helps that he has the Argent Charger). I was too excited to screencap the achievement when it popped but it's maybe more impressive this way anyhow:
201/250 for the next one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Blood Elves and Level 100 (a while ago)

     I'd been watching for it, but before I thought to check yesterday morning a friend who knows me very well excitedly told me to go look. Sure enough, a preview for the new Blood Elf models: Blood Elf Artcraft. I've been waiting more than a little uneasily for them. Looking at the still pictures has me a bit more optimistic, but only cautiously so. I liked the stills for a lot of things that I've been less impressed with when I see them live. And the previews are limited to one face and a few hairstyles so I really have no idea how mine will look. I'm afraid they'll get a really silly run like the male night elves. But the stills look good. It doesn't seem like they gave them the flat, dead, bulgy eyes that ruined my enjoyment of my lady draenei. So I'm hoping that when I see them live I'll love them as much as I love the current models.
I went afk for something and when I came back I found that Tai had taken a seat and settled in to discuss garrison matters with Rokhan,
      In other news Tai did manage to hit level 100 last Saturday. That night he tried the proving grounds and I was pleasantly surprised that it only took three tries to get silver despite the fact that for that he has to heal in serpent stance when in the field with Os he's played almost entirely in Spirited Crane.
     So of course the next day the first thing we decided to do was go make an attempt at two-manning a dungeon. Looking to see what we should try we found out our brand new 90 gear only made us barely eligible to queue for normal Skyreach if we had been going to queue. that seemed a pretty good indication that it would be the best place to start.
     It was our first time setting foot into any of the dungeons this expansion, so we had no idea what to expect. Skyreach is a pretty dungeon I'd have nabbed more screenshots but only had time for this one when Os went afk for a moment. The trash wasn't too bad, though rather slow going with only mistweaver and prot pally damage.
     Then we got to the first boss. The sensible thing probably would have been to look at a guide for the strategies or at least crack open a dungeon journal, but we like trial and error. There were lots of errors. An accidental bubble on Os' part got Tai stomped by Ranjit. Moments later an ill timed chi torpedo showed me that no... there is NO invisible wall on that platform after all. We rather thought we wouldn't manage it. I couldn't really help with the dps, the damage was too heavy on our new armor. But somehow after a lot of tries this happened:
     He dropped mail that Tai and Os looked at, shrugged, and DEed. The second boss got one attempt before we decided to leave it for another day. Still it was fun, far more challenging than Mist Heroics we were easily able to complete with roughly the same gear. We'll be going back to try again with a few more pieces of gear.
     It took a few more days of resource gathering but Tai has finally managed to upgrade his garrison to level three and put in a salvage yard, lumber mill and stable. Eventually the mill will be replaced, probably with an inn, but for now it's helping upgrade the rest.
    Ailuuya's almost 97. She's got plenty of resources, thanks to some downtime and to having been smart enough to start with a lumber mill. But I still can't decide what spec to try to gear up, for the moment she's continuing to level in prot.