Tuesday, May 26, 2015

You can take the sky from me...


      But I am not in any way obligated to like it. This post isn't all about flying, but it's a lot about flying. Feel free not to read the rest of it if you've read enough on that topic, I wouldn't blame you at all. 
     I remember back when I first started playing this game, one of the things that first sold me on it was the realization that if I leveled high enough my character could FLY! Not only that, but they could acquire and ride actual dragons. Sold! Many of the things I might have looked forward to while leveling were maybe not all they were cracked up to be or exactly what I imagined but I never felt that way about flying. I could fly. I could fly up to the tops of mountains and land in trees and explore every little nook and cranny of an area to see what was there. I could take dramatic screenshots of my character on dragonback against the sky.
     Of the many things I loved and probably took for granted the most in World of Warcraft it was that when you get to a certain level... you can fly. You have to shell out gold every expansion, you have to hit the new level cap, but when you do you get your wings. I've -never- had a problem with waiting to level cap for flying. Heck I liked leveling on the ground because it made the wings an added incentive at the end. I was never one of the people who felt like my alts should get flying before max. I was willing to make the journey there on the ground every time before I got to spread my wings.
     So I'm heartbroken to think that's not coming back, that I'll never get to fly around Spires of Arak like I fantasized about from the moment I saw the zone for the first time. I won't get to have that moment I had in Pandaria when I hit max level and flew to every peak in the Jade Forest to see the top. Because apparently that makes me not take the time to appreciate the world the designers have made. I could argue that, but I won't. Because even though flying feels like a sort of catalyst and turning point it's not what has me feeling so sad and miserable and wistful. It's just the thing that's finally made what was bugging me click into place in my head so I can understand it.

     This isn't a quitting post. Not yet. But it is a 'thinking harder about quitting than I ever thought I would' post. And it's not even just because of the flying. Silvermoon City has no flying and though I have always dreamed about flying up to the spires and balconies and exploring them I accept that it doesn't and I love it anyway. Maybe it's partly because of how the whole situation was handled. I don't need to go over how we were so indirectly given the news. But I'd like to mention that as of this morning this ad was still on the front page:
     I didn't buy the mount, that's a whole other kettle of somewhat related fish, but I feel bad for the people that did maybe thinking that ad implied it was going to fly in Draenor at any point in the future. 'Cause you know, there it is... flying in Draenor.
     No what my problem comes down to is that I don't feel like this is at all the same game it was. Not because things have changed. I'm used to the changes between expansions in how to play, but when I compare what's actually there in the game now to what was there in Mists, and even in Cataclysm, well the answer is that it doesn't feel like much. This Blizzard isn't the one that made Silvermoon. It's not even the one that made Pandaria, and honestly illogical as it is the decisions lately make me feel almost as though they are deliberately trying to kill the game for some reason. I can't imagine any reason why they'd do that, but time and time again I realize that is what it feels like to me. 
     And that's why for the first time ever I'm feeling like I might need a break or something. I love this game. I love the people I play with in it, but right now I have no love or trust for the people who are making it. Every time I log on now I feel a little rush of sadness that I never felt before. And so I'm tempted to walk away because I don't want to watch them break it. If flying can be taken out regardless of what it's likely to do to the sub numbers, maybe all those other things I love in the game and have taken for granted can go next. Maybe one day Silvermoon won't be there either.

     In my opinion there were a lot of ways they could have compromised on the flying. If they want to be sure people do the jumping puzzles as they intended, put in an achieve for doing them all before flying is added, tie them to flying even. Or better yet put in the achieve and rather than making flying tied to that... or a boring gold sink like it always has been make a quest chain to get it back. A quest chain that takes you on the ground in every zone, a chain that ties it into the lore of Draenor and is maybe even just a little bit challenging at the end. Make it so when you get it back you've -earned- it.
     Make it so alts need to do it even, then not only do you give people back their flying, but you have them out in the world exploring it to get it. On the ground. And what's more you'd have added some lore behind something that's never made any sense... and  you'd have given all those level 100s something to do besides stare at the garrison walls.
     I'm not leaving over this, but I'm switching to paying with tokens for a bit, even though I'd intended to keep up a real money payment plan. I'll be spreading my wings to try some other games out. I'll still be on for raiding and for some of my garrison chores, and most of all for my friends (the ones that are still playing) but I am abandoning my alt leveling projects and some other things until I figure out what I really want to do or until I stop feeling sad when I log on.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A complaint post.

     This post is full of complaining and possibly somewhat unreasonable irritation. I don't think it is unreasonable but being the one who is irritated I wouldn't. You've been warned. This isn't a post about the things I feel are wrong with Warlords. Others have expressed those things far better and more eloquently than me: Grumpy Elf and Misdirections to name a very few. This is about one very specific and probably silly thing: Male blood elf models.
    I have been trying so hard to like these new models, I've been staring at them since the patch and trying to find the things I like in them. There are things. They're not 100% bad. But this post isn't even about how much I hate the facial proportions. This is about the fact that in places these models are flat out broken.
     This first one is perhaps a minor quibble, but still something I feel should never have made it into live as it is. This is a very iconic Blood Elf hair style. Lor'themar himself wears it.But the hair clips into the cheek and ear every time they turn their heads while idling. There are several helmets that aren't usable any more due to clipping issues: Veils that clip through the nose, circlets that clip into the forehead, but armor clipping has always been a thing, annoying as it is. This, though, that's his hair, I don't feel like it should clip into him that way, especially not during something as basic as just standing around.

     The next one is the thing that upsets me most. This is a screenshot I took today while Aug was out trapping. This isn't the first time I noticed this issue because I've been staring at it since the beta. It was posted about multiple times in the forums before they ever went live. But every time I go out to trap or do dungeons or anything where Aug does that thing that hunters do and runs and shoots at the same time... I get to see this:
     This isn't okay. It's not something about models moving that way, my male night elf  doesn't have this problem. I don't know if the female blood elves do, but it makes it very hard to enjoy playing my hunter when I keep noticing this. We don't get to have flying mounts this expansion because 'immersion'. What do you suppose this does to 'immersion'?
     This next one is a minor quibble. I've got a little male night elf, Tyndellan. He uses the hairstyle that's equivalent to Tai's. And since the model update it's awesome. His braids sway when he moves and when he jumps they do this:
     When male night elf new models went live and I saw this I was so excited. I couldn't wait for Tai's hair to get this update. Here's a screenshot of what Tai's hair does when he jumps... and when he stands... and when he does... anything:
     Nothing. It's glued to him or something. Which it was in the old models too and which I probably wouldn't mind if I hadn't seen what it could be.
     There is a lot more. I could probably rant on this for a while, but I think this is enough. I will just say though, that we waited longer for our model update than anybody else and I feel extremely insulted that what we got in the end is flat out broken in ways I haven't noticed in any other models. It makes it worse that I looked at the patch notes and didn't see anything about blood elves getting any tweaks at all, unlike the other races who had a lot of minor problems that had gone live fixed entirely by those.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Darnassus Hunter Transmog: Tyl

     Tyl's been going through several different mogs since hitting 100. Most of them just thrown together with things I happened to have. His current mog  was almost entirely an accident, born of pieces I picked up running ICC 25m and the desire to make something around one of the new leafy bow models. It was only after I finished it that I realized that not only does it accidentally match his favorite corehound pet but that he also fits pretty well with his tabard and home city. So here's the Night Elf equivalent of Aug's Silvermoon Archer transmog. A hunter of Darnassus:

     Head: Steadfast Coronet
     Shoulders: Saurok Spaulders
     Chest: Carapace of Forgotten Kings
     Waist: Nerub'ar Stalker's Cord
     Hands: Pulverizing Grips
     Legs: Leggings of Northern Lights
     Feet: Treads of the Wasteland
     Bow: Skettis Bow
     Cape: Sapmaster's Cloak

The gloves could possibly be a better match, but I loved the model for these so much that I had to use them. They just look so right for archery to me. The cape has far more blue in it than the rest but it matches Tyl's coloring and is another piece I couldn't resist an excuse for using even if maybe I could have picked a better match.

Here it is without the tabard:

And from the back:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

100s 5,6 and 7 and some of the other stuff.

     I've been busy in game since the last time I posted. Not long after Rothorin and his priest friend got together and managed to knock out the last two levels they needed.
     I'd leveled him as Brewmaster and been working on setting up his bars and learning some tricks, so of course when I hit 100 I did what I usually do as one of my first tasks(after getting a bunch of garrison stuff under construction) and went to pay the Proving Grounds a visit. I didn't expect it to go well. The only tank I consider myself to be kind of good at playing is a paladin. Imagine my surprise then when I one-shot the bronze challenge. And the even greater surprise that followed when I did the same with silver. I don't even feel like I entirely know what I'm doing on Rothorin as Brewmaster but he had and easier time of Proving Grounds than Rim.
     A few days after I took Tyl through a couple of dungeons to pick up the last level he needed.
     I was happy to finally get him to 100. I still think of him as my Alliance main and it felt wrong having him wait around so long before hitting max level. 
     This left my account oddly symmetrical as far as maxed characters go. Holy Paladin, Beast Mastery Hunter, and Brewmaster Monk on Alliance, Protection Paladin, Survival Hunter, Mistweaver Monk on Horde. My Horde leanings wouldn't let that stand very long and as luck would have it Seish and I finally managed to catch SprYte's Rozae and grab some levels for them. Lots of laughter and ridiculous selfies happened.
     This one is probably my favorite. A rare dropped a cloth dress and Seish talked Rozae into wearing it. Then took a selfie with him and laughed. Nice, Seish, really nice. But somehow amidst all their goofing they hit 100 too.
     Here's another Seish selfie in less mismatched armor, enjoying his newly leveled garrison. The plan is to follow Shoryl's Plan here only with Blood Elves rather than dwarves. Seish is a little bit of a racist anyhow so if he can get away with mostly working with his own people... he will. So far recruitment has been a bit frustrating. He's at 5/25 belfs. Aug is having far better luck at the same project and has 8/25
     And in between that and the increased garrison chores (They add up even if I usually only do profession cooldowns on most of them) I've had a few other happy moments. Seish got the achievement for 3000 quests and not long after finally got his fortieth exalted reputation (I think he's still missing some of the Pandaria ones Rim and Tai did). For one thing... Tome's Cat had a pet shelter post and Tyl was lucky enough to be given this charming fellow: 
     Thanks so much, to Cat and her pet shelter. I promise he'll have a good home. And on a particularly miserable day for me Helke whispered out of the blue to tell me she had a goodie for me. Tai flew straight over to Durotar to meet a young orc who gave him the pet from Sunwell I'd been most excited over.
     Not sure why I was so excited over it... it's creepy, especially with a pet biscuit making it almost life sized. But I still am. Thanks so much for brightening my day, Helke.
     And then I been working on some alts. Not the 90s patiently waiting to be leveled to 100. Oh no... other alts. Poor Vaelanys had been sitting at 75 in Dalaran for probably a year at least. Between his enlightenment buff and a full set of heirlooms, though it took no time at all for him to find himself in Draenor. 
     Why do I need another blood elf Mistweaver? Why not. He lives on an RP server and I love being over there now and again. That is probably the main reason that when I made the mage I will actually finish leveling he went to hang out with Vaelanys on his server. I'm not sure why he ended up being a fire mage, but he did and so far it's delightfully explosive.
Tanesryl. This selfie sums up his personality really well, except that it was before he'd leveled enough to transmog his heirlooms into something more stylish. He looks much better at level 44.