Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Recruits

It was late at night in Shadowmoon Valley. Kinlai was enjoying a Draenic Pale Ale at the Lunarfall Inn in the garrison. Her garrison actually, but... "Details!" She could hear Chel and Kaalya behind her, eagerly discussing arrow mechanics, with Miall as an interested listener. Heluun and Illona were sitting at a table at the other side of the room. Heluun seemed to be telling a story, and Illona was wearing a somewhat skeptical expression on her face. The door to the inn opened, and she turned to see Tuulani and Scout Valdez entering and moving towards the bar. As they came closer, Tuulani sent her a big smile and waved, before proceeding to the barkeeper. Valdez, on the other hand, came over to her.

"Commander."

Kinlai greeted him, and nodded to the chair next to her. She was curious. Valdez never bothered her this late at night unless there was an immediate threat lurking around the garrison walls. He seemed to be taking his time, so that didn't seem to be the case this time.

"Commander, I have news from Gorgrond."

Gorgrond... The most untamed landscape she had seen in all of Draenor. They had traveled through parts of Gorgrond a month back. Both her garrison forces and the local rangari had suffered severe losses to the wilds. Those that had survived had eventually found a big iron horde base in the northwest of Gorgrond, which they were systematically working on weakening. The only good thing that had come out of that expedition was Kaalya. Gorgrond was bad news.

"What about Gorgrond?"

Valdez leaned closer and lowered his voice.

"I heard you have been having trouble finding new recruits."

Kinlai saw a sudden movement in the corner of her eye. She turned, and could see Lysa Sterion watching them from a nearby table. Kinlai emptied her beer.

"Let's finish this conversation somewhere a bit less crowded." 

She got up, and lead the way towards the door. Once outside, she started heading for the town hall. She again mulled over the recruiting-problem in her head, and didn't notice that Valdez was struggling to keep up in a dignified matter. Lysa was her main recruiter in the garrison. And although she had brought in a few new people, she had not been able to deliver any of the local expertise that Kinlai had wanted, nor the numbers that they needed.

As they arrived at the town hall, they met Romuul, who was about to leave. He smiled, and politely held the door for them as they entered.

"Good evening, Commander. Scout Valdez."

They made their way to the command room and sat down in a couple of chairs that were placed in front of the big fireplace. Valdez cut straight to the case.

"We've finally been able to make contact with the other branch of rangari in Gorgrond. They are located to the northeast of the land. They need our help up there. In return I think we could get some really powerful allies to our mission, so it is my recommendation that we send a team."
"There are two names that have been popping up a lot; one "Pitfighter" Vaandaam, which seems to be a monk."
"A monk, really? That is interesting. The monks from our timeline all got trained by the pandaren... I would very much like to meet this Vaandaam."
"And the other is a draenei..."

He paused, and got a pondering expression.

"Of course it's a draenei if it's one of the rangari. What's the name?"
"A draenei... rogue."

A draenei rogue? Kinlai felt overjoyous for a second.

"A rogue? Is it... Is Mishka here on Draenor?"

There were several SI:7-agents in the garrison already, among them Amber Kearnen that she had also worked together with in Pandaria. She had been under the impression that Mishka was on another mission back on Azeroth, but now she was here!
But Valdez shook his head.

"It's not Mishka."

Kinlai felt a rush of disappointment.

"This one is called Rangari Erdanii, and is supposedly somewhat of a "master of stealth and assassination". Which says quite a bit I imagine, all the rangari seem to be very skilled."
"You've done great, Valdez, going to Gorgrond is the right thing to do. Not only do we need more recruits. But I want to help the local draenei and the rangari as much as we can. We just need to be more careful about it this time around... "
"Should I make arrangements for Lysa Sterion and her team to travel to Gorgrond then?"

Gorgrond... With nature itself trying to eat you alive, with the plant beings and the plant zombies, the gronn and the iron horde. Lysa Sterion wouldn't survive 5 minutes.

"No, I'll take this mission myself."

She suddenly felt eager, and got up from her chair.

"Actually, I will travel there tonight!"
"Commander, please wait! There's the raid to Highmaul tomorrow. And I need a couple of days for preparations. Let's say... Wednesday."

Wednesday. So far away.

"Alright, make it so. Good night, Valdez."

She headed to the armory to see if they had spare weapons and armor suitable for these new rangari recruits. She found a couple of daggers and fist weapons that were in good shape.

"Bring on Wednesday!"

(What is this about?)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NPCs in Draenor: Isel (and Caregiver Felaani)

Depending on how far you have come in questing through Draenor, this post may contain spoilers. Stop reading if you don't want spoilers.

Early on when questing in Nagrand (Draenor), there is a questchain that involves Telaar. Vindicator Mo'mor gives the quest The Others;

There are yet a few survivors. I saw them pile onto Arbiter Khan during the fighting. 

More importantly, I can hear little Isel's sobs. She's nearby. I hope her mother is still alive. 

Your dwarf friend, Hansel, came in to try to rescue us. He thought he could take the Warsong on his own. I'm afraid I don't know what happened to him.

Rescue Arbiter Khan, Caregiver Felaani & Isel, and Hansel Heavyhands.

Caregiver Felaani and Isel are found in the inn. They are safe, but Felaani is cowering in fear, standing in front of Isel to protect her. When saved they make a run for it, and can later be found in the player's outpost. Caregiver Felaani becomes the outpost's innkeeper, and Isel plays relatively safe around the inn. She gets a bit bored, she runs around for a bit, and then she gets nagged by her protective mother, who /yells: "ISEL!!!" :-) They also show up in the player's garrison.

At Kinlai's Garrison in Shadowmoon Valley (Draenor)

I thought Isel's name was familiar, so I decided to "wowhead it", and found that the innkeeper in Telaar in Nagrand (Outland) is... Innkeeper Isel! In our timeline, that little girl is grown up, she's running an inn with the Kurenai, she's one of few people that sells Tigule and Foror's Strawberry Ice Cream, and she's wearing her mother's old dress!

Kinlai finds the grown up Isel in Telaar (Outland), but plays it cool...

My mind is blown! I mean, I love Draenor so much! All the draenei story, art, NPCs, personalities, lore. Shadowmoon Valley and Talador were just amazing to play through as a draenei enthusiast. There's so much story, so much depth, so much beauty, so much sadness and laughter and feelings, all over Draenor. I made a post about Draenei Settlements in Outland exactly one year ago, where I was hoping to find again some of the old villages when we finally arrived on Draenor. And then they do THIS! They add this one tiny seemingly insignificant NPC, that just shows me how thorough they have been when they made this expansion. And that all the feelings I get when I play through, are because of the feelings and care that the creators of the game put into it when they made it. I am amazed. And so happy. :)

/bow

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Should I stay or should I go? [Addons]

Sorry about the dramatic title, aka click-bait (sorry, not sorry). :p I'm doing a much needed addon purge, and had the selfish idea that I'll use this list as my backup. If I wonder which addon I had before that I really miss, I can just check here. :)

Are there more like me out there with addon-problems by the way? I spent 2 hours a couple of months ago trying to find which one addon caused me to lag completely out everytime I entered combat (it was Honor Status btw). And when I had them all disabled I noticed my new shiny FPS... I knew I would have to take action soon.

_NPCScanUndecided
Ackis Recipe ListGone
Addon Control PanelGone
AltoholicKeeping
ArchyUndecided
ArkInventoryKeeping
AskMrRobotKeeping
AtlasLoot EnhancedUndecided
AuctioneerGone
AuctionatorKeeping
BadBoyKeeping
BarovHelperGone
Bartender4Keeping
Battle Pet - Quality NotifierUndecided
Battle Pet BreedIDUndecided
BattlegroundTargetsUndecided
Capping Battleground TargetsUndecided
ClassIcons_rebornGone
DBM (++)Keeping
DeathSnapKeeping
EnsidiaFailsKeeping
EPGP (DKP reloaded)Keeping
EPGPLootmasterKeeping
FriendsShare ResurrectionKeeping
GoGoMountUndecided
GTFOKeeping
HandyNotesUndecided
HonorStatusGone
IgnoreMoreKeeping
JSHB 4Undecided
kgPanelsUndecided
LevelSnapKeeping
LoggerHeadGone
MasqueUndecided
MikScrollingBattleTextKeeping
MogIt (++)Keeping
MonkTimersUndecided
MoveAnythingKeeping
MultishotKeeping
OmniCCKeeping
OutfitterKeeping
OverachieverKeeping
PandaKeeping
PasteKeeping
PawnUndecided
PetBattleTeamsUndecided
PetJournal EnhancedUndecided
PetTrackerKeeping
PostalKeeping
Power AurasKeeping
QuartzKeeping
RaidAchievementUndecided
RaidBuffStatusKeeping
RaidChecklistKeeping
RareCoordinatorUndecided
Reagent RestockerKeeping
RecountKeeping
SatrinaBuffFrameKeeping
SexyMapKeeping
Shadowed Unit FramesKeeping
SilverDragonUndecided
SmartTargetingKeeping
Storm, Earth, and FireKeeping
Titan PanelKeeping
TomTomKeeping
TradeForwarderKeeping
TransmogSetsGone
VuhDoUndecided
WeakAuras 2Keeping
WIMKeeping


































































































































































There you go, 78 (?) addons, of which most are being kept... /sigh

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Feedback on the new female draenei model

Yesterday I posted all the comparisons without comments. Time to do some commenting! A copy of this will also be posted on the official forum, please go there if you have any additional constructive feedback. Sadly I don't think the developers read the European forums... :-/

----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x -----

Fairly long, thorough, mostly subjective and randomly objective feedback on the new female draenei models.

I have compared the 12 skin colors, 10 faces, 11 hair styles, 7 hair colors and 7 horn styles that are available in character creation for non-death knight female draenei characters. I will also comment on one of the hair styles that are only available from the barber shop (the high pony tail). For screenshots from old and new character creation, see: Female Draenei Character Creation

----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x -----

First of all I want to say that I appreciate the artistic work that has been done when creating the new models. I would have absolutely loved to have them implemented as additional looks that I could choose from for my new alts. But as they are here to replace the looks that I and many others love, that is how I will judge them. There is a standard already set by the old models that the new ones need to at least reach, and preferably exceed, before I will hook "Show New Character Models" in the graphics settings.

I know the art team has worked hard to preserve the feel and soul of our characters. But perception is tricky and highly subjective. Where I perceive someone as "shy", someone else would perceive them as "grumpy", and so on. I think we can all agree that there has indeed been change to the models, but how we view those different changes are also highly subjective! For instance I love the new defined muscles on my monk, they make so much sense to me (with all the running and fighting that she does, I mean). But I wouldn't be surprised at all if there is someone else out there that doesn't like them. Actually, I would be surprised if there proves to be noone that doesn't like them.

I'm also aware that I'm a bit late to the party, as I haven't been in the beta. I downloaded PTR yesterday, and that was my first experience with the new looks hands-on. There are other threads on the subject, but I don't have access to write on the beta forum.

With that said, on to the feedback from me.

----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x -----

EYES


My characters have white beautiful glowy eyes, and as far as I know they've had these eyes since I started playing 7 years ago. However, in the "Warlords of Draenor Announcement Trailer" I noticed that the two featured draenei had blue eyes, much like the draenei death knights have now. Then Artcraft: Daughter of Argus was released and the eyes were still blue, although more toned down compared to the trailer. On PTR/beta they are SUPER-BLUE, almost green. I can only assume they're still not done, so consider this my plea to keep them white like they have been for all these years! Much like the night elf eyes are on PTR/beta.

FANGS


Draenei have fangs. Where are they? :)

MARKINGS ON THE FOREHEAD


With higher definition and more polygons, I wonder why the markings on the forehead are almost less prominent and detailed on the new models than what they are on the old ones?

GIFT OF THE NAARU


On live the shiny sigil-effect across the forehead lasts for the entire duration of Gift of the Naaru, but on PTR it appears when cast, and then disappears straight away. I'm aware that the duration of Gift of the Naaru has been lowered to 5 seconds, but the effect disappears much sooner than that even (1-2 seconds).

MUSCLES


My opinion: I love them!

THE RUN


The run has changed. I can't really put my finger on it, but it seems her steps has no weight to them any longer. And there's also something going on with the arms.

EMOTES


Most (19!) of the emotes seem perfectably fine to me: /applaud, /beg, /bow, /chicken, /cry, /eat, /kiss, /kneel, /laugh, /point, /roar, /salute, /sleep, /talk, /cheer, /flee, /no, /nod and /train.

Though she does seem to have (too) many teeth in some of the emotes.

/dance: There's two facial expressions during one particular part of the dance routine that look very odd to me. We have here a draenei, a noble stoic being from Argus who is somewhere around 200-10.000 years old. I don't really think her face bends that way. I know there's /chicken and /train too for sillyness, but still.

/flex: First part seems fine, I'm on the fence about the teethy grin in the second part.

/rude: Not sure about this one.

/wave: That smile... Too wide and too fake.

SKIN COLOR


The only skin color I use on my draenei characters is skin color 5, so this is the one I feel strongest about.

Skin Color 3, 4, 8, 10 and 12 seem to be very similar on live and PTR.

Skin Color 1: The new one seems more blue.
Skin Color 2: The new one seems more blue here too. The old one seems more green.
Skin Color 5: The new one is much paler, and the purple has more red in it than the old one.
Skin Color 6: The new one is paler/whiter.
Skin Color 7: The new one is paler.
Skin Color 9: The new one seems paler.
Skin Color 11: The new one is more blue, the old one is more green.

FACE


As I have so many draenei characters, I have nicknames for most of the faces relating to how they look to me. Face 3, 7 and 8 have been my favorites for a good while now. My first character back in 2007 was a Face 7, while my current cute main is a Face 8.

What they have tried to do with the faces must have been really difficult. Where the only real difference before was lip shape, eyebrow shape and shading, they have now tried to add features where there were none, like different noses and face shapes. At the same time they've tried to keep the eyebrow shape from the originals, so that we can recognize them.

Face 1: The vacant round face.
Face 2: The dark lip face.
Face 3: The strict freckle face.
Face 4: The sad and strict face.
Face 5: The really really sad face.
Face 6: The angry face.
Face 7: The smooth porcelain angel face.
Face 8: The cute happy face. :D
Face 9: The eyelid face (the eyelids look pink when skin color 5 is selected).
Face 10: The angry face with smaller eyes.

I feel like all the familiar faces are gone, and the draenei beauty has faded a bit. Face 7 and Face 8 are so different that I don't even... My favorite among the new ones is Face 9, which wasn't even in my top 5 before. And I don't really feel like applying that same face to my 20+ draenei characters.

HAIR STYLE


I would love some new hair styles to choose from! Perhaps choose from some of the goblin ones? :-) And for those hair styles that changed; I would love to keep both the old and the new look.

The new hair looks a bit more like actual hair now I think, but I have yet to check if it flows and moves like promised.

Hair Style 1: "Straight". Separated in the middle, slick. Not that slick anymore, and has a lock that misbehaves.
Hair Style 2: "Flipped": Separated on the side. Now covers more of the eye it falls down over, and has a single lock that misbehaves.
Hair Style 3: "Cute". Two ponytails and bangs. Seems very true to the original. Position of ponytails may be a tad lower.
Hair Style 4: "Feathered". Pretty true to original, but seems to not flow in same direction any longer.
Hair Style 5: "Buns". Looks unchanged to me.
Hair Style 6: "Jeweled Band". Headband with curls. Looks unchanged to me.
Hair Style 7: "Bangs". Shoulderlong hair with bangs. Looks both very familiar but changed at the same time, but can't put my finger on what is different.
Hair Style 8: "Elegant". Tidy do that has changed a bit. Now has bangs falling down over forehead.
Hair Style 9: "Bounce". Casual bob with bangs. Looks unchanged to me.
Hair Style 10: "Nape". Short with bangs. The bangs used to be fuller on the sides.
Hair Style 11: "Sassy". Spiky. Seems very similar, only thing is direction of hair could be corrected a bit.
"High" tail from barber shop: The bangs start way lower on the new one than the old, and the ponytail isn't as perky as it is now. I do like this new look, but I would like to keep the old one too.

HAIR COLOR


I have no comments on the hair colors, they all seem fine to me. Listing them anyway if others want to comment.

Hair Color 1: Brown
Hair Color 2: Purple
Hair Color 3: Yellow
Hair Color 4: White
Hair Color 5: Black
Hair Color 6: Green
Hair Color 7: Blue

HORN STYLE


For the longest time I chose the smallest horns, but when I make new alts now I try to embrace the horns and go for big and powerful ones. :)

The new horns are a bit different from the old ones, in that they seem to come out of the head, while with the old ones the head seemed to be bigger/broader where the horns started.

Horn Style 1: "Sweeping". Laid back, points backwards.
Horn Style 2: "Curled". Round, points downwards
Horn Style 3: "Arced". Bigger, points downwards.
Horn Style 4: "High". Talbuk, points upwards. The new ones seem less pointy and more broad.
Horn Style 5: "Spread". Big, points sideways. The new ones seem leaner.
Horn Style 6: "Grand". Bull, points sideways/upwards.
Horn Style 7: "Short". Small, points upwards.

----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x ----- x -----

TL;DR


I recognize and appreciate the amount of work and effort that has been done by the art team! I'm not trying to insult their work.

I want to keep the white eyes we have now.
I think the run still needs work.
I don't think the new faces match the old ones good enough.
I want the dark purple skin color to stay as it is; darker and with less red in it than what it is on the PTR.
I don't want facial expressions that are too silly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Female Draenei Character Creation Comparison

Comparisons without comments. Click on a picture for slideshow.

Skin Color













Face

The zoom is different on live/PTR, so sadly old/new are in different zoom.











I was going to use the same face for the remaining pictures, but sadly I misunderstood which were the same ones when I took the screenshots. The rest of the pictures will use Face 8 for old model and Face 9 for new model.

Hair Style












Hair Color








Horn Style







Friday, August 8, 2014

Monk Group Photo

I did "Herald of the Titans" with my fifth monk, Zenja, before I took my break. I bought a game card a couple of weeks ago, and found her in Jade Forest as level 85. The other day she reached level 90, and I've spent some time on Timeless Isle and in the raid finder with her. It's really nice seeing that I still remember all the monk moves so well. Yay for muscle memory. :-)

With all these monks, I figured it would be fun with a group photo! I've been very proud of the fact that I've actually managed to choose different face options for all five monks. :) (I actually have a sixth one that is only level 14 that has a sixth face!) But now I see that I seem to have unknowingly picked a favorite hair colour... (I knew about the favorite skin colour already.)

Say hi!

From left: Elyn (mistweaver/windwalker) - Shunbi (mistweaver/windwalker) - my main: Kinlai (brewmaster/windwalker) -  Ninasan (windwalker/brewmaster) - Zenja (windwalker/brewmaster)
The transmogs shown here aren't the same as they're wearing on live, as I wasn't able to load gear from Mists of Pandaria in my Modelviewer.

Anyone else level same class over and over? And even keep the same race, like me?

Have a great friday!

/bow