Saturday, May 3, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Ah, life. Hectic and unpredictable. Although I was going to post something yesterday, life threw a curveball. Today, I only have a short period of time to write, and then won't get a chance (more than likely) until next Tuesday.

So, I wondered, what's a topic that can take up both a great amount of time or hardly any at all?


Fishing, both in WoW and real life, is a topic that can make for great conversation. All of those fishing stories, the Fishcrafting* and even discussion about clothing and gear choices.

I'd love to spend a while writing about ingame fishing, but I've not the time. However, with the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza being held tomorrow on a server near you, I thought I'd share a gem of a website you may've not heard about.

It's run by a Gnome, but do not let that fact sway your decision to click the link!

El's Extreme Anglin' is a wonderful site, covering all sorts of fishing topics from gear to garb and even tactics. This crafty little Gnome has a compendium of knowledge to share. Check out her Fishing Gear section - it's a proven fact that alcohol, in this case,
Captain Rumsey's Lager, and fishing go hand in hand.

Currently, I'm using a Strong Fishing Pole and
Aquadynamic Fish Attractors, but I can't wait to get my hands on a Big Iron Fishing Pole and then one day, hopefully an Arcanite Fishing Pole!

Now get out there and have some fun!

*Fishcrafting - does such a term exist? There's theorycrafting, jumpcrafting and even lorecrafting, so I'd not be surprised if the answer is "yes"!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's Children's Week!

Today kicks off Children's Week, where denziens of Azeroth can put down their weapons for a few hours (or days) to care for an orphan. Whistles used to summon the orphans have an expiration, so while some people (like me) try to finish their quest and return the whistle quickly, other people prefer to run around with an orphan for as long as the whistle is still valid. Originally, the whistles had no timer, but this was changed to keep individuals from having a "pet" orphan. has a wonderful guide for quests offered during Children's Week - both Azeroth and Outland chains for Horde and Alliance. I found the Azeroth/Horde guide to be very helpful as I had missed out on the event the past few years.

In being a packrat, I'm attempting to complete the Azeroth quest series for all of my characters. Yet, I don't want to roll a character later on in the year and regret missing Children's Week. So, I've been contemplating what other classes and characters I'd like to play, now or in the future. My goal is to have each character hit level 10 and finish their quest before the event ends.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Companions - Not of the Sihnon variety.

Companions in World of Warcraft go by many other names: vanity pets, minipets and even non-combat pets. To some folks, a companion may even be called "friend". A companion can exist alongside a hunter's pet or warlock's minion, but companions do not engage in combat. Although engineers can craft combat pets, such pets are separate from companions. Some roleplayers create some form of relationship between their character and their companion(s). A player can improvise emotes to flesh out the companion, such as:

/em chuckles, watching her prairie chicken squawk at you.
/s I don't think Dawn likes you, very much. Try giving her some chicken feed.

A companion can also play a part in a character's background history, or affect their life in current. For example, perhaps a Troll character has a black kingsnake as a companion. When asked, the Troll could say that they captured their kingsnake as per family or clan tradition. This could actually be expanded to an ingame Clan (guild), where members are given a snake companion upon reaching some sort of milestone - this would play into the character's history. Perhaps the snake acts as a familiar, which would then continue to hold a role in the character's developing life.

I had been thinking about companion pets, and whether or not I thought Avanina should have one (or more.) I decided that she has an itch for collecting pets, spurred on by her ability to master and summon various demons as she becomes a more powerful warlock. I visited and browsed around through their database of companions. It's a great reference site where you can also register to keep log of all the pets you've collected.

After searching through the list, I decided that I'd make the White Kitten my first goal for Avanina, because cats do roam around Eversong and Silvermoon City, yet a white kitten seems more of a rarity. A white kitten would surely catch Avanina's eye and win her over with ease. In honest, I'm surprised that no additional cat companions were added in the expansion, considering how they seem native to the region of Eversong. Some sort of fel-inflicted kitty with rather big fangs, perhaps... With the vendor being chased by a cat... Screaming and bloodied... Just imagine!

A few days ago, I ran Mahinva all the way from the Exodar to Stormwind City. I could've asked around for a teleport, but then I'd of missed out on collecting a few flight paths. She stood around in Stormwind, fishing and waiting. It took about 1 1/2 hours before Lil Timmy decided to appear which was fine by me! Lil Timmy has a rather long timer from what I've read, and he doesn't seem to spawn on a set schedule. Quickly, Mahinva purchased a white kitten, a female as revealed from Timmy's ramblings. It seems Timmy's father let him keep one white kitten, but not the kitten's sister.

Mahinva then made the long journey to Stranglethorn Vale and listed the white kitten up for auction. She was quickly purchased by a warlock named Gaian, who then ran off to meet Avanina and gave her the cat carrier.

But, who's Gaian?! You may exclaim to yourself.

Gaian would be my husband's warlock. He decided that he enjoyed the warlock class (I knew he would!)

But, what happened to Krant?! Isn't Avanina married to Krant?! You my sharply observe.

Well, they were wed, but that's a whole different story altogether!

For now, Avanina only has a white kitten, who will keep Avanina company. Although there are many, many companions in World of Warcraft, I only have my heart set on one more: the Firefly. Any more that Avanina finds will be fine and dandy, but I've got grabby hands for that little glowing bug. When I was playing Sec, I ran across a Bogflare Needler and dismounted. I knew that particular Needler would drop a Firefly, and it did. It was the second Needler I'd killed in Zangarmarsh, and I am sad that it is soulbound to Sec, as I am no longer playing her.

One day, that little Firefly will be mine again but until then, Avanina's got an affectionate little kitten to stay by her side.

(Oh, and if you caught the Firefly reference in the title, you earn a cookie! *Dispenses cookie.*)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wake Up!

By Elune's Grace, my head is throbbing... What the... Why am I covered in cobwebs!? I must've spent a bit too much time dreaming, ugh... That may explain my voracious appetite.

A figure, hidden in the dim cave's ambiance, slowly stands. Only the golden glow of two eyes reveals a single fact about this individual; it is on the short side, compared to most of the races of Azeroth and the Outlands. The brisk sound of bones popping in series is amplified and echoes throughout the cave. The light shuffling of feet and rustling of cloth state that this individual is on the move, headed towards increasingly warm and fresh-smelling air. The musty smell of stale air is cut by a sudden gust of breeze, hailing in the sweet smell of flora.

"ACHOO!" A feminine sounding tone is echoed down the cave's interior.

Ugh, damned nose... I've been awake for a few moments and already it's giving me grief.

The feminine-sounding creature with golden glowing eyes sniffles and stumbles onwards, kicking a few pebbles as it turns a corner to exit the cave.

"What the fel, that's bright!" Curses the creature to nobody in particular; clearly pained by the sunlight's tender rays of blazing light.

There stands a Kaldorei. It's a female, though being draped in an entirely too baggy robe makes this fact not so evident. Her hair falls down to the female's waist; it is white and holds an opalesce
sheen. Her skin is pale and falls somewhere between a gray and blueish tint; this elf has been out of the sun for a long, long while. A purplish, thin line crossing the bridge of her nose breaks out into several diagonal streaks that cross over both of her cheeks in a mirrored pattern. Glowing eyes are also surrounded by sweeping purplish marks.

Damnit, my... Head feels heavy.

Quickly, the elf reaches into her robe and draws out a small dagger made of bone. Hurriedly, the elf grabs at sections of her hair and cuts the length down, repeating the process until her hair ends at chin-level, albeit in a very ragged fashion.

"Much, much better!" The elf proclaims aloud, with perhaps too much glee in her voice.

"I really should go back to Teldrassil, I bet old, er... Mardant is still standing around, wondering where I've been for the past..." the elf glances up at the sky to sight the sun, then down to the shadows cast by trees, clicking her tongue as she ponders, "Hmm... Has it already been a year? Wow! Well, I'd better get going before he starts up on his 'Taeminas, be good!' lecture..."

She shrugs off her large robe to reveal summer apparel, and bounds off in search of her shan'do - her honored teacher.

Apologies for the lack of posts, I hope to be posting more frequently again.

To the left is Taeminas, the Kaldorei (Night Elf) druid I created and finally have gotten to level 10. She's unaffiliated with anyone, nor have I picked a talent spec just yet. For now, she's been wandering around quietly on her own, still very sleepy from a long, long nap.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

i has eyebrows!

Isn't facial hair a pain?

I mean, it's not like I can even do anything about the fact that my eyebrows are horrific looking. Sometimes, I try to remain as expressionless as possible, so that maybe, just maybe, nobody will notice. Of course, with at least one person looking at me for great lengths of time on a regular basis, they're bound to notice. Plus, I can't keep still; I'm always smiling, bouncing in place, or, well, being full of life.

Yet, what can I do? I'm polygonal - there are no tweezers for me.


Oh, the woe
s of the female Night Elf named Taeminas. In Blizzard's art, Night Elves like Taeminas are portrayed one way, but if you catch a glimpse of Taeminas, you can't help but wonder what the heck is wrong with her eyebrows!? Or, maybe that's just me.

... Are you confused yet? They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So then, let me provide two pictures, for further clarity. Or rather, two sets of screenshots.

This screenshot was created using WoWModelViewer. The model is of my Night Elf, Taeminas (more on her tomorrow.)

Both figures are doing the /shy emote. The model has been rotated so you can better see the face.

On the left figure, you can see the "lower" set of eyebrows - they're very fuzzy. Yet, you can see a second set of eyebrows... Isn't that... odd!

On the right figure, you can see the result of my 5-minute editing job using the smudge tool. Basically, I took out the fuzzy, annoying eyebrows.

Now, I do admit that both the before and after look kind of odd based on the rotation I chose, so let's look at a second, more natural pose.

Here is Taeminas from a very normal resting pose. Again, we have a before and after created simply by removing the fuzzy eyebrows. The difference, to me at least, is not just "el oh el, no more fuzzies!" but the oddly aloof expression is gone. To me, the "after" model better matches the illustrations we see often produced by Blizzard.

The fuzzy eyebrows, I think, were some sort of placement guide. They're drawn onto the skin of the model, while the second set of eyebrows are, for lack of a better term, a separate layer.

(Can you tell that I'm not an expert?)

I think that the fuzzy set of eyebrows aren't necessary. If anything, perhaps they should be thinned down so that they still act as a guide, but do not overstep boundaries to produce an image that is different than much of what Blizzard portrays, as seen [here] for example.

The fuzzy eyebrows is one reason why the Night Elf model started to irk me. With Taeminas, I intentionally picked a skin tone and hair color that I hoped would blend better, making the fuzzies less prominent. Taeminas' appearance is the result of my desire to make a Night Elf model that didn't bug me. Aside from her skin and hair blending, I chose a short hairstyle to avoid clipping; long hairstyles can cut through the cloak model, which seems silly. The face and markings were chosen because I thought they worked well together.

Now, Taeminas' fuzzies are still around ingame of course, but with the help of my trusty FlagRSP description, anyone who reads about Taeminas will learn that her eyebrows have been *gasp* manicured! They're not long and bushy, but look more like humans' eyebrows - they're shorter and thinner. This is the beauty of roleplaying with FlagRSP (or even MyRolePlay).

Blizzards' character creation is rather limited - certainly nowhere compared to Oblivion for example. However, roleplayers don't let the limited choices get them down, no, roleplayers provide a description to bring new life to an otherwise cookie-cutter model.

Blizzard can make improvements to their models and add more choices - as they will in WotLK for hairstyles. Blizzard may even revamp character models entirely one day, allowing for more customization; height, girth, and other such features. Yet in the end, a person's imagination will always be there to break the game's parameters of what a character looks like and make things more interesting.

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