Saturday, February 08, 2014

Building the Perfect Beast


There's suddenly an awful lot to talk about Garrisons, and that suits me just fine.

We can expect some new feature artwork on Tuesday courtesy of Blizzard, which was confirmed by Tweet yesterday, but that's not what piqued my interest (because we have a feature especially for that, which will be switched from Monday next week to accommodate the anticipated awesome.) What I want to talk about is Bashiok's assertion above, that the level of artwork required at this stage to give people variety in their Garrisons would come at the cost of a raid tier. That's a fairly stark choice, and I don't think anyone would realistically be stupid enough to sacrifice that kind of content to a new feature.

However, a year from now? That's a different story.

Did someone say Sandbox games?

I don't think anyone here would argue that sandbox games aren't just a passing fad; the ability to build what you want from a basic set of items is an idea that many, MANY games have built their livelihoods upon. You could argue 'God Games' like Civilisation and Sim City work on the exact same basic principle: here's a blank page, build stuff on it and see what happens. Things react with other things, manage the results. When you take something like that and, say do what Ever Quest Landmark is currently doing in Beta you will get people unreasonably excited because it combines the sandbox mentality with an established fantasy setting and then people find it increasingly difficult to separate what's the game controlling things and what is them, and that's a Holy Grail you'll have whole armies of game players off to try and locate. This isn't a cup of a carpenter either, this has more attachments and abilities than Marvin the Paranoid Android. You'd even accommodate the moaning about the diodes too, because you'd have created something utterly unique. Transpose that to Azeroth, and I'm already excited simply typing the possibility.

You'd have something you made in Warcraft, not the designers.

This is probably the key point, and why we've suddenly switched to bold type. Yes, the building blocks might be designed by Blizzard, but the end result is your creation and no-one else's, and in the changing world of gaming that's becoming a very big deal.

Why is this kind of gaming so compelling?

I like to use my Guild as a pretty average yardstick of what people would play in a more casual setting, and the talk right now is all about customisation in your Garrison. What will we get? Will there be many options or just a few? What can we build? Very few people at this stage seem particularly bothered about Missions or Followers, all the talk is about aesthetics... and then you just have to look at games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf to understand the building mentality is not simply important, but compulsive. This is what Player Housing has always been about to begin with: your rules, your colour co-ordinating birdhouses and food mixers. As has been mentioned here before, the number of 'accessories' Blizzard already have to stick in homes is bloody huge, the only thing that would take the time is new buildings. The same is true for tier gear, and if Blizzard were cute there could be a lot of judicious recycling in lots of different departments.

In fact, after a decade of this game, Blizzard's cupboard of riches has to be overflowing. Maybe it is time to start looking at options for rewards.

Debbie asks: Which Would YOU Choose?

The question of artwork recycling's come and gone as an issue over the years: some would argue that brand new locations with every Expansion is as important as the next X levels you need to conquer. In a decade this means there's a phenomenal number of things in game that could be reused, and similarly a lot of places that now lie dormant that might be reconsidered as new places to go. It then comes down to Blizzard looking at making from scratch or recycling old content as the preferred option to present things as 'new.' Needless to say, and I have discussed this at length, with patches bringing new content it might not be beyond the realms of possibilities to introduce new building additions with 6.1, a Darnassian theme with 6.2 and then an Undead theme in 6.3, the key being that over time you get to mix and match all these diverse styles as you see fit. They key, of course, is how successful those first few months are for the feature. If the feedback I hear is any indicator, the potential is there.

However, a wise company's not about to sacrifice the established on a hunch, not in this day and age, however great that potential may seem... so the onus is with the player base. Listen to the voices, people. They're telling you that this is your moment. You just need to build.

Kevin understood. Will you?

One Day Like This :: FICTION

As you'll see in tomorrow's post, I have remogged my Hunter. This is opportune, as this morning this piece of artwork arrived in the mail:

It's ART.

I still think @_vidyala's Blizzcon badges were too good just to stick round people's necks, they belonged in frames, and so I made one and did just that. It is a permanent reminder of the Mog that served me in Pandaria... but there is one piece left to the puzzle that has yet to be said, and then I can finally move on.

Let's do that now, shall we?


Title: One Day Like This

Author: @AlternativeChat

Character/Pairing: Just the Hunter and the Rogue.

Rating: Mild sexual implications and themes. These people are grown-ups, after all.

Summary: The morning after many things, only some of them life threatening.

Disclaimer: All these people live in a computer game owned by Activision and Blizzard. The one I play is mine in my mind only. 

Enormous pre-publication copyediting  props yet again to M, without whom I would make absolutely no sense at all. Thank you.

For the complete story, you'll want to read these things too. This series will also appear in the Seat of Knowledge Fiction Forums on the US website in the next few weeks :D


One Day Like This.

He loves her most like this, the quiet moments between them, when everything else is forgotten or talked out. He lies on his back and watches her at the foot of the bed, precision as she places the clothing into the trunks that stopped being hers and became theirs somewhere between Garrosh's capture and here. These are methodical folds with deliberate resolve, and he marvels at the beauty of mind as well as body. In the end he'd expected more resistance to get here, because he was always ready for a fight. When they'd jointly acquiesced it had simply made the imagined more passionate, his desire sharper than steel.

Crais would offer to help her but he knows she'd refuse, politely but firmly -- that however well he packs, it won't be the way she likes, and that suits him just fine. He can dress at a wonderfully languid pace, then go downstairs to the Inn and get them breakfast, allowing the night to soak into his pores, to be committed to memory with the exact amount of detail. There would come a point where he would want to impose on her, to place down markers. But not today, not now. They are a day from leaving this land, to returning to the Eastern Kingdoms after a campaign he's still unable to fully comprehend, and not simply due to what they have now become. This continent has marked him in ways he still does not understand, scars somehow more pronounced than the injuries he'd sustained before. He'd assumed the fertile nature of the land would help them all heal, but the Sha's corrupted influence remained potent despite the liberation.

Even now, Crais is concerned they have not done enough to fully repair the damage.

He realises that P has paused in her task, her back to him, standing motionless. Unable to make out what has distracted her, he's forced out of bed to cross the room and see. As he looks over her shoulder he's surprised she's staring at her hat, battered carmine mail and ruddy tattered silk lying on the chair, and that there are suddenly tears. His embrace is a reflex, pulling her to him, letting the anxiety be dispelled without a word. It takes a moment and her arms are around his bare waist, and he waits until the silent shaking stops. When she finally looks up and their eyes meet his, her sadness cuts far deeper than weaponry would ever manage.

'I think it's time for new armour.'

Her attempt to deflect the truth is ineffective, yet it encourages him that she is trying.

'It served the purpose particularly well. You have been an exemplary servant of the Shado Pan.'

Apart from Cho, she had been the only person Taran Zhu had spoken to after they rescued him from the Sha of Pride, the only Alliance representative given access to Ji Firepaw after they removed him from Orgrimmar. There was a great deal Crais didn't know about the last week's events and P had deliberately not shared, and he understands enough about her not to push. When the time is right, she'll tell him what he needs to know.

'I wonder if they will ever forgive us.'

They could have stayed for Garrosh's trial but P had made her position clear: this was no longer her fight. They'd done what they'd been told to do, and that meant for her that business was concluded. As Crais was technically the party leader he could override her, but the Rogue knew how tired his team was, how desperate many of them were to leave. His lover's guilt wasn't shouldered alone in that respect: the rest of their party's normally irascible enthusiasm had been dented by what they'd seen, especially inside Orgrimmar itself.

It was perhaps for the best that this armour was retired.

'If I believe Cho, and I have no reason not to, the process has already begun for his people. All we need now is to get to work on his liberators. I can begin that right here.'

'I didn't liberate anyone. I just returned things to the way they should have remained without us.'

Her tears begin anew and Crais understands that this discussion is one he is unlikely to win on Pandaran soil: there's enough history between them for him to know she has yet to settle everything in her mind. The best outcome for everyone will come with her being held, and then breakfast... and after that, for them to make Pandaria a memory.

He understands that, in time he'll want to return here, if only to share a beer with Cho and Chen. But P needs the green warmth of the Loch, her father's Boar Ribs – and a chance for Crais to spend as much time as possible showing how much he has come to appreciate her company.

His reassurance demands to be more than just a look this time: hand to her face, pulling close, his lips to her forehead. Then he gently moves away and gathers the rest of her battle armour together, disparate pieces of her self scattered across the room, placing them neatly on the first chest she has managed to pack. Looking at it all together he is again staggered at just how petite she is, and how much was thrown at them in those final hours as they tracked Garrosh to his capture. The armour is being held together by a few chain links and a lot of luck, and he begins thinking quickly as to how they can replace the damaged pieces. P leans over and picks up the hat, running her hand across the paw print on the wooden brim. Sadness recedes, put away, to be replaced by familiar and comforting determination. The moment is being dealt with.

'I wasn't sure before, but now I am. I need to wear this one more time when we leave. Then I'll put it away and we'll be done. As a result we should probably both get some clothes on and look at dealing with the day.'

Her ability to process trauma has definitely improved, Crais surmises, as she places the helm with all the other pieces and wanders away to find her day robe. He considers the validity of trying to distract her for a third time, but even he knows he'd be pushing his luck, and this isn't the moment.

This is the time to move forward.


Friday, February 07, 2014

Vogue :: Better the Devil You Know

Small but potent. BE AFRAID.

My Lock's mog hasn't changed in two years, which is quite incredible considering the amount of time I faff with things and swap them around. This ensemble was actually created for a 2012 contest, and at this point I simply have not been able to better it. Trust me, I have tried. It is, at least in my mind, one of the best things I have ever made.

Beware the Dynamite in my left hand.

The problem with Lock transmog is simple: everyone sees the wings, or everyone wants to be Cynwise [*] There's a lot of purple and often a lot of skin and I don't think the Gnome suits any of the 'traditional' looks that tend to get favoured for Mogging the Dark Arts. The starting point, as is often the way for these things, was the shoulders, which have a glow that is so subtle I found myself compelled to work around them. There's also an inherent problem with Gnome frames, that so much is compressed that the more densely patterned outfits simply look like someone's thrown up on your dress. The Simple Robe used here is just that: no big statements, but clearly defined details. The Serenity Belt looks as if it's part of that dress too, which is perfect: sometimes it's not about a big statement. As I recall I made my tailor grind for the Inferno Gloves recipe especially, and I'm rather glad I did because the cache from Dire Maul no longer exists and these gloves are utterly perfect to finish off the entire ensemble. Yes, sometimes it is all about the details.

Still fiddling with the weaponry.

I'm forced by circumstance to use a wand at present, which means my main hand mog isn't anywhere close to my first choice of weapon. If I had a 1 hander I'd probably be mogging Sunflare, if it were a staff I'd go for Rod of the Blazing Light, both of which are sympathetic skins for the overall look. However, if I were given a choice I'd take a one hand just so the Thermotastic Egg Timer gets an outing, because you know, EXPLOSIONS. Oh, and if I had a hat, it would be the Bloodwoven Mask because to me nothing says destruction like a bandana wrapped around the head. This is the last time her hair will be in braids too, I've gone back to the short tomboy look after taking these pictures. I don't think everything should be perfect, after all.

Simple, yet perfect.

Full list of Transmog Items as follows:


[*] Yes, so do I. FANGIRLING FTW.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Crystal Ball

Favourite Shirt. Without exception.

Right then. About Season 14 ending...

The future's difficult, you see. Once you tie yourself to a timescale and don't deliver, people get grumpy and wander off muttering about commitment and take their hard earned money elsewhere. Not committing is an artform, the craft of Soon [TM] only successfully achieved by the most accomplished of organisations. In the case of Season 14 coming to an end and the potentials it creates... well, let's imagine Warcraft as a giant, complex puzzle of possibilities and outcomes at this particular moment in time, shall we?

Your gaming experience. May not be this well organised.

The end of Season 14 has a number of knock-on possibilities, which we can extrapolate from previous historical data. Normally, once a PvP Season concludes an associated patch is deployed, in which the new information for said event resides. This patch, 5.4.7, is notable not simply for the Season 15 items, but includes the much-anticipated data to allow players to create 'out of the box' L90's, which is one of the major selling points associated with the pre-purchase of Warlords of Draenor. It is, of course, quite simple to 'switch off' data so it can't be seen by players until required, but many people are quietly muttering into their faction-specific hoodies that Soon [TM] really cannot afford to be that long in coming. Blizzard made a huge deal of quicker expansions and patched Pandaria with that mindset. There are many, many other things to distract players right now: Wildstar, The Elder Scrolls, Everquest Landmark, and if Blizzard want to maintain their Status of #1 Toy in the Box... well, nothing says 'I Love You' like a massively grand gesture. Nothing says 'we're still here' than Parking the Beta in the middle of the park and making Jose Mourinho accuse you of playing 19th Century Videogames.

If Season 14 ends in two weeks (and I think we can safely assume that it will), the clock is ticking.

Couple more bumps and we're hauling the mail...

Brian Holinka made some news out of his assertion of how long a PvP Season should be when the end of S14 was initially announced, with good reason: because when S15 ends, we get Warlords, and so those timings become considerably more significant in keeping the Jenga Tower of Possibilities standing right until the end. Whether we only get 20 weeks or as many as 30 for the season, we can at least assert some kind of control on the future. Before we could only assume that we'd see it THIS YEAR. Now we have a better idea of when, assuming some basic principles using historical data is not beyond the realm of possibility.

With thanks to @Sivation on Twitter for number crunching :D

I'll leave you to get out the slide rules and postulate your own hypotheses from this, because that's the great thing about numbers. They can, if you're clever, be made to do all sorts of things they don't appear to be capable of, if you're intelligent enough to manipulate the data. However, often it's not length that counts, but breadth. [*]  Doing stuff properly should take ages, after all...

However, all this postulating and experimenting is for naught without the value and understanding of context.

Today at 1.30pm US Pacific Time (9.30pm GMT if I've done the sums correctly) Activison Blizzard will announce their 4th Quarter 2013 results to anyone listening. My good friend Rho at Realm Podcast has postulated that this may then be the catalyst for some major movement of arses on Blizzard's front. Historically it has also been established that Thursday is a 'good day' to begin Betas, but again we can only see so much in the murky crystal ball that is The Future of Warcraft.

The only people that really know are Blizzard, and they continue to say nothing.

As Mr O. Wilde once said: the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. People will discuss these numbers regardless of the financial implications, because people continue to use Blizzard as a marker, a yardstick, the last bastion of subscription-based consistency. Whether bad figures would prompt a start to a Beta... I'd say good figures could be just as likely to do the same thing. The thing is, it is coming, yes it is. Look, over there in the distance, that cloud of dust and noise, if you put your ear to the ground you can feel the vibration of the earth, you just can't *quite* work out how far away it is. By the time you have it'll be on top of you and all you'll have to show for your trouble is some hoof prints on your shirt and a tumbleweed makeover.

When the Beta arrives, you'll know about it. Until then, go do something worthwhile.


[*] No, that's just your dirty mind. STOP IT.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

This Week I Will Be Mostly :: Red Alert


It was going to happen.

We all knew the end was nigh, it wasn't if but when, and now we have an indicator.

Ten Points for spotting the movie and detesting the remake :D

PvP Season 14's announced to be winding up. Those of us who have done this once or twice know that this means that the current PTR patch should also go live at the same time, you know, the one with the 'Buy your L90's here' locked into it. It does not take a stretch of imagination to suppose that when that goes live then the ability to buy characters will too, which means we could well have Warlords available for pre-release in the next two weeks... and if THAT HAPPENS...

There could be a Beta incoming. JUST SAYING.

So, what does this ACTUALLY MEAN for Alternative Towers?

Currently there are four alts placed between 75 and 87 that could do with levelling. Realistically I could get the Pandaran ones sorted in the next seven days if the digit is extracted and this throat thing I have doesn't hit me round the head. I *might* get the Monk out of Northrend if I drag her around with someone else as well, but that would be a lesser priority in the short term. What I ideally desire is twofold:

  • P gets to do all the Bucket List things I want leading up to the Expansion, without worrying I'm not prepared.

  • Everyone else sits at 90, gets occasionally played with, but mostly is ready to play if required, is reasonably geared and can MAKE ME MONEY.

Once my Bucket List is covered, at least to the best of my ability, then there can be poking of alts, but there is SO MUCH stuff I have not done that I want to this expansion it really isn't funny. That means a ton of Battle Pet faffing, Achievements, mounts collection, recipe collection... and a lot of it seems quite awkward and fiddly too (especially looking at some of the Pandaran daily stuff.) I want a day to sit down with paper and pencil and my Achievement List too to formulate a comprehensive plan of attack. I can't do that with alt faffing in the back of my mind, so the other family members get the attention first. After that, I have a plan to catalogue the mogs everyone has for the webby and then sit back and wait for... well, 25 weeks for a PvP Season realistically is saying August. Could be late July, could be early September, but at least the family holiday in May's looking unlikely to be disturbed this year.

That means this week we'll be all about the lowbies. Time to go and sort out who goes where...

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Dirty Laundry

Not quite what I mean, but...

I am a self-professed Grumpy Old Woman some days: looking at you kids, frolicking about on my lawn without a care in the world, photo-montaging me your pert behinds and Tweeting your latest obsession with nary a second thought for the consequences. What are you people doing with your lives? Don't you know the Internet remembers EVERYTHING, that those inappropriate pictures on Facebook have a better than average chance of returning to haunt you at a later point in your career? Then I remember that actually, that's PRECISELY the point. The image is everything, the moment of fame, the fifteen minutes in the sun when you did the cool thing and everyone was impressed and it gave you the validation you so desperately were seeking...

There's a problem with this, however, and it is quite apposite to the discussion I wish to have this beautiful Tuesday morning.

Control of your environment is quite a big deal in a Warcraft Boss fight. Anyone who raids with any measure of seriousness will tell you that in complex encounter such as the Dark Shaman in the Siege, there appears to be all manner of crap you can do absolutely nothing about... but actually, that's not true. Positioning is absolutely EVERYTHING: where the tanks move, where dps stand in relation to them. Mitigating damage by individual responsibility is crucial, concentration and focus required to ensure you start the fight with the same number of people that finish it... though in the end, a kill is a kill. Does it really matter what happens between Point A and B if the end result makes everybody happy? Well, no, but what happens in-between those two points says a lot about the people who play and their attitudes to the task in hand.

If you have a problem with that, picking your moment to say so is almost as big a deal as the issue to begin with.

How I feel when people don't consider the team.

Success and progress and brilliance and satisfaction in Raiding are great until someone gets greedy or does something stupid, and it really is one of those two adjectives that cause the most problems. Greedy and Stupid cover a multitude of sins and if you needed two words that sum up why people fail, they're pretty much without equal. Whether it's standing in bad, complaining about someone else not doing their job, obsessing about what you'll win if the boss dies and then bottling it because you're not concentrating on the fight or getting obsessed with what other people are winning and you're not... all that dirty laundry gets flung out in a moment of unmitigated frustration, and it does people no good at all. Absolutely the best thing you can do as a result is turn around and walk away from a bad night, to chalk it down to experience and move on. Totally the last thing you subsequently want to do is go and pour your frustrations out all over Social Media to anyone who will listen, because that will make the Doctor REALLY sad in the long run, yes it will.

Trouble is, it's so seductive to do just that.

It also means, that if you happen to be in a position of power or significance in your Guild or Raiding Alliance, keeping an absolutely impeccable public front is pretty much a given, because if you don't... eventually the truth will come back to haunt you. Don't think you can simply ignore people's issues or pretend they don't exist just because you're high enough up the ladder to be untouchable, and certainly don't hope that individuals will simply roll over and keep quiet for the sake of no drama at their own doors. Everyone has a limit, and everyone can (and will) break eventually, and you may not be ready for the explosion that happens when they do. If your Guild Dramas are all over Social Media I'd argue you're doing it wrong, but as I'm as much to blame for this as many people, I'd have to say that the absolute best thing isn't going back and deleting tweets or posts after the event, it is simply never pressing the button to send them in the first place. Picking your moment's a life skill some of us still haven't adequately grasped either. I'd certainly count myself amongst those on the learning curve, and sometimes it isn't about making a point. Often it's doing what you think is right for you and no-one else.


Most importantly however is the process of apology, which is easy to forget in the heat of the moment. In fact, I suspect for most people who have a moment in Vent or Teamspeak, apologising's the least of their concerns at the time. Making things right however, well that matters a lot, and that can be nigh on impossible in a virtual environment when any attempt at a physical manifestation of culpability might send some people away screaming. I've tried to do this with words, and not simply do I apologise to people I try to show them how their actions have affected me and, as a result, helped me become better by the analysis of the situation that arose to begin with. It is very easy to be friends with someone at a distance until conflict rears its head, and as soon as people become defensive... well that task becomes virtually impossible without a face to face element. Some people choose at this point simply to walk away, and with good reason, and that's all well and good to a point.

If you can apologise, do so. It won't make you look like a Canadian [*]. It'll show you care. The other two come with time, and your desire to exist in the environment you find yourself within. In a raiding environment, the apology should never be the last resort, it should always be the default state. If you screwed up, admit it. If you know why, learn from it and try not to do it again. Most importantly of all, never blame other people for your own failings. That's not your job, ever.

Although I'd like still like you all off my lawn, I respect your right to play there most days, and I often enjoy your twerking and suggestive innuendos, because I still have feelings. Occasionally I find a way to connect with you, and there is the chance of grudging respect, but it is just that. When you play with people you have to understand that laundry should stay in the basket at all times, that effort is it's own reward, and that mixing multiple metaphors is just asking for trouble. Don't be selfish and greedy, don't put your desires about other people's when you play in a team, and never for get that there's no I in this expression for a damn good reason. Most importantly of all, if you want your 15 Minutes of Vine-repeated boss kill money shot, never EVER think you are above reproach. The past has a habit of catching up with people, normally at the most inopportune of moments.

Keep those undies clean and well organised. No-one likes skanky pants, especially their own.

[*] No offence is intended to any Canadians reading my blog. Sorry. NO REALLY I MEAN IT.

Monday, February 03, 2014

To Build a Home :: Alternative Title

We need a Tweet! Bring forward the Tweet!

The details are EVERYTHING.

I'm sure, if Anne Stickney read this tweet over the weekend, she will have been quietly relieved. After all, we have discussed previously the legacy of what we leave behind as we move forward. However, what this does raise is the question of what we can expect in terms of details, and let's face it, we all love the right set dressing. It has been established that there is only one 'type' of building design per faction, which is acceptable when you have to establish the artwork from scratch and you're on a timer. However, what we also know and understand is that Blizzard have a massive warehouse full of items to choose from that are already pre-fabricated and constructed. No really, I've seen pictures and EVERYFINK...

The point remains: there is an awful lot that is already fabricated that could be inserted into the Garrison 'space'. What would you expect to see included as set dressing? Mumper (helpfully) points out in a tweet subsequent to the one above that we'll have some cats (plural) knocking around the place, who will (presumably) be helping decrease the rat/mouse population. There's a thought, would you like to see Battle Pets available to capture in your Garrison depending on the zone you find yourself in? Here's my list of essentials, based on the knowledge that pretty much any item from Vanilla is fair game...

  1. Race-Specific Items.

    We have established that the basic architecture of the Garrison must remain static: however, that doesn't need to be the case for fixtures and fittings, now does it? This does mean I could get Dwarven Wall Hangings, chairs and tables... in fact loads of things that would make this a home from home on the inside, even if it wasn't on the outside. That might go a long way to assuaging people who are hoping for a Night Elf or Warlock-ed themed layout.

  2. Souvenirs.

    This has been mentioned in passing before, but my 'bit of Frostmourne I sneaked into my pocket from Icecrown' would look really nice over the fireplace in the Inn. Giving players a selection of trophies or Souvenirs from (let's say) their Feats of Strength column in the Achievements window might be an idea. I know we'll be given indicators of PvE and PvP achievements but let's not just make those current to this Expansion. We have a decade to look back on, after all!

  3. Flora and Fauna.

    I sense the outside of our Garrison will be sympathetic to the style of the Zone in which we initially plonk it, and that's all well and good up to a point. It might be an idea to have some tubs and plant pots we can scatter about the place: I for one would love to take some Pandaran trees with me to make a Zen Style garden, with an appropriately-designed bench in the middle so I can sit and remember the previous expansion. That shouldn't be impossible to realise with the existing art resources available.

  4. Comedy Items


    I'd like a woman with a sign, please, ideally with text I could customise, a la those annoying signs that drop from the Ordon on the Timeless Isle. She'll wander around and simply be part of my ambiance. I'd like to be able to label each of my buildings with an alternative name (yes I know I've mentioned this before but IT BEARS REPEATING.) Also, completely out of context items as statues = WIN.

  5. More is MORE.

    I would like the options of this feature to overload my server and cause crashes. I crave so much stuff to choose from that my brain melts at the possibilities. I'm hoping for 20 pages of wall coverings and at least 30 of furniture because frankly, there is soooooo much stuff that Blizzard have made over the years that they could shove into this feature and pass off as new content it would be a crying shame if there wasn't. You can do it in patches, I don't mind, but all those bits of furniture, the tiny details that people miss but that make the World so perfect... Don't hold back. Give us EVERYTHING. We can cope. Let us build our own World of Warcraft.

That, I think, is the key to making this feature a resounding success. Allow the players a measure of creativity they have not as yet been given in the game, step back and see what happens. All that is then required is imagination... oh, and L100 to make sure you have access to it all.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Alternative Chat :: Episode 15

Late again, but perhaps opportune as this is the one to celebrate FIVE YEARS OF THE BLOG :D

This week, I will be mostly chatting about:

  • How this process has made me better.
  • That it's been a busy week @ Alternative Towers
  • Looking back on five years.
  • Being responsible for what you write and say, and becoming a role model.
  • There's new P/Crais Fiction on the way.

If you have any comments or thoughts on this week's Podcast, or you'd like to abuse me for not having a clue as to what the Hell I'm talking about, please send your mail to:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com



This is the link to my article on Meta Gamer.

This is the link to The Azerothian.

This is where you can find the Realm Maintenance Podcast.


I'm hoping we'll be back normally on the 7th, keep everything crossed!

Happy Birthday

Yes, let's get the last bit of self-congratulation over with, shall we? I'd like to thank my Guildie for reminding me of this video last night, which pretty much sums up just how bloody awesome this game has been for five years, and LONG MAY IT CONTINUE.

The last half decade of my gaming life is here, for you all to see. The Podcast will be along later to re-reinforce the love-in nature of the day, and I PROMISE after today we will say no more about anniversaries until we get to six years. So, let's get to it!


Leave a message in the comments, whatever you like, you don't even have to be coherent. I'll get my eight year old to choose a number at random and on February 9th if that matches your place in the comments queue, the mount is yours. That's all there is to it :D

Only one entry per person, the value of your prize may go up as well as down, please play responsibly.


[EDIT FEB 10th.

The Random Number Machine has picked a Winner: Congratulations Jojo (@AdmiringAzeroth), YOU ARE A WINNER! :D]