Saturday, March 08, 2014

WARLORDS :: Don't Get Me Wrong

First principles. Grasp your arena.

So, a day later than last week and with the minimum of announcement the second Dev Watercooler arrived late yesterday afternoon and if you heal in game, this one is for you. As I'll be required to summarise this for the News Podcast on Tuesday, doing a bit of legwork on that front now shouldn't be too much of a stretch. If you're healing in Warlords, here's what you should be preparing to expect:

  • Less Spells to choose from (probably): We're promised a 20% reduction in class abilities. This should also mean healers :D
  • Less Instant Cast Spells: Many AoE Heals are being given a cast timer... because. Yes, it's a PvP thing but it's also because, in the eyes of the designers, it's quite easy to heal things currently (though those in LFR might disagree) especially on the move.
  • Reduction of 'Critical Strike' Healing: You can only expect your heals to do 200% of your maximum heal potential in PvE situations, and only 150% in PvP. This means less 'burst' healing for the people hitting each other.
  • Healing Output is lowered relative to player's overall health: for those of you who remember, we're being steered back to what was referred to as 'triage' healing in Cataclysm. That is, damage should not desperately reduce everyone's health instantly, but simply reduce a lower proportion of health. Therefore healers will need to consider who to heal first and for how long, and spend more time prioritising who most requires the attention.

As @Jasyla_ therefore quite rightly points out, you can stop your cries of 'nerf' because when EVERYONE gets the same treatment across multiple classes, no-one is better than anyone else. This is indeed a significant overhaul, which has been prompted by a number of factors, not simply (one assumes) the reduction of mathematical values across the board for Warlords. It makes me wonder what things might have been like if Ghostcrawler's Dev Watercooler on item squish before Pandaria had been the starting point for the reduction in player, boss, mob and item reduction. Why did Blizzard decide to wait an entire Expansion to change that?

Sage wisdom from the Snackster.

I was discussing yesterday that this Healing rethink could have happened regardless of stat squish before Pandaria hit. We didn't need to go through the process an Expansion ago, but we do now, but the healing changes could have happened regardless because the maths isn't affecting the changes we're seeing. Now that may well be true, but there's a VERY important psychological change that's going to take place because of what is being asked now, that the maths actually makes necessary. EVERYONE is going to feel less powerful across all three major roles, and that's going to mean some deliberate compensation across the board to give people an opportunity not simply to adjust to the changes, but to evolve with the environment. We've spoken this week about that concept in game, and I actually think Blizzard's choice NOT to adopt the squish for Padaria was the right one, because it will place EVERYONE in the same position in terms of re-education. Healers may think this is a lot to take in, but the reality is likely to be a lot less about change and more focused around adaptation. 

It's also pretty impossible to exactly tell how this will affect healing in game until players have the changes to play with. CAN WE HAVE A BETA NOW PLEASE.


From a personal standpoint, I was encouraged enough by the 'design philosophy' behind these changes to actively want to get my priest to 90 and be ready to have her standing by to level once Warlords hits as a matter of some priority. I sense yet another return to the healing style of TBC where paying attention in fights actually mattered and you weren't simply here to get moaned at by the dps for not keeping up. Making players individually responsible for their output has been pretty much a permanent complaint from Pandaria, and although this may concern some healers, I would hope that most will already be considering their options and preparing themselves to meet the oncoming challenges. Of course, what this does mean is that tanks are likely to be getting similar treatment, and if everyone is having to relearn stuff, we'll all be in this together. 

From a personal standpoint, I'm disappointed that we didn't get the Q&A at the level we did for the first Watercooler (but there are questions that have been answered via Twitter, Wowhead has a list) but it's not really a surprise on reflection. These aren't changes to discuss, these need to be actively tested to understand them, and the sooner we get the discussion out of the way, the more likely we are that will actually happen.

As the nice candle says, there will be more. We'll just have to wait and see what we get next.

Friday, March 07, 2014

To Build a Home :: Showroom Dummies

Someone asked about Garrisons on the Press Tour!

We might not have the first clue yet about Professions changes (they're not ready yet) or bag space reduction in the Expansion, but thanks to those fabulous people at the Yogscast, a whole heap of new information fell out on Garrisons earlier this week. Let's use MMO's transcript of the interview as a starting point, and walk through what we learnt:

  • Garrisons should give you access to portions of other professions without making the people that actually have the profession useless.

This is a HUGE admission that Professions are undoubtedly tied to the Garrison setup, and are not simply being used as cosmetic set-dressing for your housing. As to what this statement actually means, however... well, there are a couple of immediate possibilities that spring to mind. The first one is that your mine will only produce ore to make buildings, your skinner only clean hides to use in construction... and so on. Professions will be utilised, but only as a means to advance your buildings. However, the statement up there clearly specifies 'access to portions of other professions': maybe patterns will be specially obtainable or added to the existing recipe books to allow players to 'pretend' they're actually being a Scribe but these patterns will have some cosmetic use without the existing professions suffering. Have I said this week yet that we could really use a beta client? [*]

  • The mounts in your garrison's stable will be mounts that you own, based on the ones that you use the most.
Most used mount EU.

Aha! The Garrison is tapping into 'most used' stats. This might be something you'll want to start bearing in mind, especially if you wish to seed your space with colour co-ordinated mounts or just Hyppogryffs. JUST SAYING.

  • Garrisons have a new NPC AI system that allows NPCs to behave less like the scripted NPCs we have now. 

    For example, the Blacksmith could wake up and go to work, work at his forge and become thirsty, eventually taking a break and going to the tavern, and then finally going back to the barracks to sleep. 
    This improved AI was made necessary when the team decided to allow players to select where they place buildings in their garrison, making it impossible to pre-script and pre-place all of the NPC interactions.

    This system might be used with NPCs in cities and other places in the future.

We approve of our new UI scripted Overlords.

This little admission should make many people unreasonably excited, because if this AI works, the 'static' nature of every NPC in every city could one day change for the better. There's long been a push for more dynamic interaction of characters with players, and if the Garrisons do one thing to change the landscape of the game we play in, then this could well be it. If it works, it'll be GENIUS. We're making the Dev's really earn their pennies this time around, and that suits me just fine. Let's just hope the Blacksmith's not like me and forgets the last place he left his hammer. Programming UI to look down the back of the sofa could be pretty time consuming...

  • The location of buildings in your garrison is mostly for personal choice, as the gameplay element of garrisons is selecting which buildings you want for your limited plots.

Whether you can build your Garrison to match in exact geographical detail the height of Rome in its decadence is, as yet, unconfirmed. Chances are there'll be a set number of places you can stick them, because that's how Blizzard tend to work. If they don't watch someone trying to place one building on top of each other to re-enact The Towering Inferno. STEVE McQUEEN WILL NOT SAVE YOU PUNY MORTALS.

  • The team is aware of the problem with the farm in Mists of Pandaria and doesn't want players to feel the need to have garrisons on their alts just to funnel resources to their main.


We get the point, and it isn't just people using alts to keep their main in Raid Food. The whole Tillers thing is great, don't get me wrong, but it's horribly time-dependant, and in an Expansion which was supposed to remove the grind by shelving Dailies... perhaps not the most efficient of means to do so. Garrisons won't be a place to have to use, is this the point of this aside, we wonder? Or will it be that actually, in the greater scheme of things we won't have to worry about making money with a Garrison? Who can tell...

  • Players will want to check in with their garrison once per play session, maybe when they log in or out. It won't be a place to idle like cities currently are, as there is no auction house or bank.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have confirmation Blizzard won't be sticking either of the two main gold-making and crafting backdrops into the Garrison setup. Bankalts across Azeroth can celebrate that their jobs are secured, we'll still need their comedy outfits and Royal Satchels to do the legwork for us. What's not yet clear is if there will be a mailbox at your Garrison (remind me to ask Mumper when the US is working again) which would be even more significant still in the general scheme of things. 


There's a lot to think about here, and this is the most detail anyone's gone into thus far with the feature. Needless to say, we're hoping it won't be the last we hear of what's in store before the beta hits. About those Dev Watercooler events, guys...?

[*] Having said that, I'd not expect the Garrison to be available until quite late in the beta cycle anyway because a) so new b) much things c) many work ^^

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Change Their Minds

But what about everyone else?

Over the last few weeks, I've noticed an increasing number of people getting annoyed, in public, about what Warcraft may be about to start asking from us. Whether it's the Silver Medal from Proving Grounds or crowd control in Dungeons, there are those who are questioning the need to 'prove' worth in game in such a public fashion, and it has set me to wondering about what matters more: our own expectations, or those of the people around us. When asked I'll always default to what I know is the notion that I feel most comfortable with: you are your own arbiter for such decisions, and what YOU want to do always matters above what you are told in such situations. However, that's not always the case, and I also understand that feeling with a sense of resignation that many people will simply never grasp.

Yes, you are enough, but some days you never will be.

It's that feeling when you *think* you're part of a group of people and that you have a significance and then you realise that actually, you're anything but. It's the classic scene from any number of teenage angst movies: the socially awkward girl does her best to fit in and to get people to interact with her. She has a few friends but no-one who really understands what she is except that other guy/girl (delete where applicable) who keeps telling her it doesn't matter about anyone else, she just needs to be true to what she is. Then the big Dance/Social Event happens and the awkward girl thinks she's done enough to be noticed and be finally included but it transpires she was never part of the group she wanted to be with at all. That's the moment where you'd get the moralistic 'be true to yourself' speech, but in reality that's often not how it works at all. Validation is a curious beast, especially when it comes to gaming. In that case, it can often matter more that someone asked you at all, that anyone would consider you worthy of inclusion.

In the end however, it really doesn't matter as long as you are happy.

Save some for the rest of us Stephen ^^

Drama is the lifeblood of the Internet. There are those who will tell you that the best way to deal with it is never to start it, or that it is inevitably unavoidable once people cross certain thresholds of familiarity. The same issues that cause conflict in Real Life inevitably spill over into gaming as well: I was linked a while ago a thread on the Warcraft Forums about a guy who met his wife in game and had lost her to his Raid Leader: no, I'm not going to go find the link, because these things depress me regardless of where they come from. Jerry Springer made his name from such dramas, and they are compulsive and addictive if it is not you in the middle of them. When they happen, and you're on the outside, it can be difficult to understand why they even happened to begin with. However, again we're back to the same basic tenet: if you are happy, that's really all that matters. Just because you're not part of the team, or just because you have no part in the drama, doesn't mean you're not important. In most cases, it means you're bloody lucky.

Being different? Be True to YOURSELF.

I have a running conversation with a good friend about how validation matters, especially in a place like Warcraft. Knowing you're important, that people respect your opinions, that's as much of a part of the gaming process as tilling a farm or completing an Instance. I agree with this to a point: there are groups of people everywhere that some might argue inclusion with will guarantee you better perks than in other places, but in the end it is often the mavericks that people remember the most: the trailblazers, the characters, those who refused to fit into a category or tick all the boxes. However, there is something I want to say to those of you who are clearly regarding the Warlords changes with both fear and trepidation: you should try it. Fear is the biggest hindrance to ANYONE who does not believe 100% in their worth. I know that feeling from personal experience and it is enough to stop you dead in your tracks and bring you to your knees. On days like today when my confidence is low and my belief in what I can do wavers, fear is enough to set you back years. If you are enough, and you can control it, the benefits are staggering, and not simply in your ability to play a better game.

If you are worried now about how you will cope in Warlords on your own, go find a friend and go to the Proving Grounds today. The friend bit's really important: even if they're not in the instance with you they could be in a party, or in Guild, or maybe even in a voice chat. Maybe it could be someone you know who plays your class in your Guild who you respect, who's willing to spend a bit of time helping you to understand why you might be struggling. The Brawler's Guild's also a great place to start to work out what you could be improving in your playstyle too: gear won't matter nearly as much in Warlords, but ability remains absolutely vital. My point is, that even though you and I know what matters is your happiness, there is room for improvement in every single one of us and if you try, you might surprise yourself. The biggest single issue for most people in situations like this isn't their skill as it stands. It's their perception of that skill as it relates to the rest of the gaming world.

From Like the guys say...

In the end, your gaming experience, like your life, is subjective, often in the extreme. It is a good exercise to temper that with large doses of reality. You are not as good as you think you are. You are better than you believe. It is the eternal balancing act, and often in a game your frailties can become as exposed as your strengths. In the end, however, you really need to be happy.

If you're not, it is time to stop and work out why.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Alternative Chat :: Episode 18

Well, it's all going to plan so far: Week Two of the new Podcast recording spot and nothing has gone horribly wrong yet! And LOOK we made it over 15 minutes!

This week, I will be mostly chatting about:

  • Faffing in lots of new places.
  • Social Networking is EVUL.
  • Dev Watercoolers, however are ACE
  • No I don't mind waiting for the Beta now. HONEST.
  • UBRS is changing.
  • Mogging is addictive.
  • Gonna go with the unscripted 15 minute format. YOU LIKE IT.

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



I now have a Facebook page. Come LIKE me at


Also, the Podcast is NOW AVAILABLE ON STITCHER :D All things being equal, the next edition of Alternative Chat happens after the recording of Azeroth in 5, on March 12th :D

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Glory Days

...and BACK WE GO To TBC. Again ^^

Why is it that so many people love The Burning Crusade as an Expansion?

Is it because it was the first of its kind and instead of everything breaking and becoming utterly pants when everyone got to 70, the entire experience got even more addictive? Was it the insane difficulty of just about everything to the point of Guilds disintegrating over their inability to co-ordinate Boss mechanics? Could it have been the fact you needed a Degree in Geography to navigate yourself around Karazhan and that the weekly lockout often wasn't enough time to even complete the place? Was it Daily Dungeon Quests or Professions Specialisations or Arenas or even the fact that the music was spine chillingly beautiful or maybe it was Gathering Raw Materials from thin air as an Engineer... and the list goes on... and on. It was the Expansion that showed that Blizzard did in fact know what it was doing, that there was life past 60 and that we were here for the long haul. 30 levels later, Blizzard have freely admitted it is these 'bygone' days of awesome it is attempting to return to to recapture the feeling for Warlords, and not simply because we're going back to what would become Outland if history continues as we know has been the case for some time.

Blizzard are reinventing the past in a new present, and not simply because it makes it easier to reuse the old models without people complaining they're only recycling. A lot of  the greatness of the past is to do with individual perception, but there's also a groundswell of opinion that will quietly pull you to one side and admit that all this talk about ability bloat and complexity of choice is all well and good, but the real reason people loved The Burning Crusade and want that feeling back was because it was PROPER HARD. It wasn't about your iLevel or your Achievements, it was all about being able to play well, and use what you had to beat encounters that you simply could not grind your face into the keyboard to complete. It was about understanding and using Crowd Control, on what your Spec could and couldn't do, about line of sight pulls and all five/ten/twenty-five people really doing the business together. It was NEVER about gathering everything up and AOE-ing the crap out of it, because that was cheating. It was Reputation Grinds and Keys and Gating Content so that when everyone completed the next level of Sunwell stuff the ENTIRE Server came and stood on the NPC's and because it was the first time this had happened, it was fun and not griefing.

Time for a Pre-expansion event? We hope so...

Somewhere between TBC and now a lot of people became right miserable gits, because they changed. The game also evolved too, some might say not always for the better, but with the benefit of almost 10 years of hindsight I'd say everyone has some lessons to learn. That's what Warlords is becoming, a new way of doing things, and I think those already complaining that they don't want to have to start again should make an orderly queue for the nearest Exit. It is time to be re-educated in how Warcraft works best, and that is in its ability to re-invent itself and surprise us with what we are capable of doing. The trick is, as it was from the end of Vanilla into TBC, to not think that change will be what destroys us all. Don't make me get the motivational posters out for a second time in a week, you don't need to panic that you'll be unable to cope with everything because it'll all be different. We've done this four times already and Warcraft's sub base is on the rise again. These are not the desperate last actions of a dying game, far from it. This is Evolution.

From Many Lara, handle it!

Discussing Evolution generally is both a serious and often contentious business, and if we apply it to Warcraft it is quite easy to draw parallels in many areas of basic theory, not simply regarding the game itself but more significantly in this case for the people playing. The 'adapt or die' mentality, in it's most basic form, applies to any gamer regardless of the interface they use: if you can't grasp how the basic mechanics of your programme, you either fail or walk away. If Blizzard can't make the game both simple to grasp but a challenge to play, people will lose interest, and over time they have. The undoubted issue in this expansion, one I still see people complaining of even now, is that you can be more than capable of doing the work and producing what is needed but if your gear isn't good enough, it won't matter. The game has become obsessed with too many stats and huge numbers and (some would say) not enough human input. I can attest to a portion of this: as my gear gets better, my damage increases disproportionately to the amount of continued effort I have to make, because the maths in game is broken. Gear does not make a player, it never did. Somewhere between TBC and here that basic fact just went missing, and now Blizzard are pretty much redesigning everything from the ground up to compensate. Will it dumb down the game? Who knows, but what it will do is force everyone to make a choice: relearn, or off you go.

It's not exactly adapt or die, but it is your decision to make.

LFG World Boss Need Heals and Tanks

Undoubtedly TBC was a Golden Age, but Evolution is affected by external factors, not simply those that govern any given Ecosystem. There's a lot of competition out there these days, your Elder Scrolls and Wildstars and League of Legends trying to grab a piece of you and convert you to another way of thinking. However, with a measure of irony that has not been lost on me, what's the game most people have been playing this last week around me that's not Warcraft? Diablo 3, which Blizzard have pretty much re-invented from the ground up in anticipation of their latest Expansion. If you want proof Blizzard know what they're doing because they really understand their franchises, then there's a shining example and no mistake, guv. It's still the EXACT SAME GAME it was before but with all the bad bits cut off and replaced with 86% MORE AWESOME. Better loot, social abilities, sensible crafting... it's all there, and when you get me playing it for a couple of hours because my Internet's not great but it doesn't matter when I'm playing alone, you're really onto a winner. These guys know how to handle change. They also listen to criticism and act on it. Really, they do.

This is my D3 banner. #YoureWelcome

Most of the problems with Warcraft are in the eyes of the individual, but there are areas of contention that many of us have identified either in blogs or on forums. These issues are being addressed, actively, and at some point in the next few weeks we will finally have the opportunity to see at first hand if Blizzard intend to return the game to a state where the player is what matters as much as, perhaps even more so than the stuff she wears or the choices she makes. Unlike the process of human evolution, which isn't nearly as easily observed or quantified, we will soon be able to decide if the 'adapt or die' mentality that Blizzard have adopted will indeed have that effect and if players will continue to return as subscribers. Just as summer blockbusters recycle old content time and again to suck in the biggest and most financially affluent section of the movie-going audience, we are about to go back to the time when everything was good, everybody had a great time and there weren't nearly as many online forums or social media platforms to complain in. Whether it works or not, we don't know, but I'd suggest that until you've actually SEEN the content, you don't arbitrarily surmise that it won't work, because until we get the Expansion, nobody has a clue.

Yeah I know, like that's going to stop you.

Monday, March 03, 2014

This Week, I will be Mostly :: End of the Century

Already down-voted on Reddit #PRO

Scales. You need quite a lot of them to make anything.

I sat down yesterday after I drafted this morning's post and made a list of exactly how many scales I'd need if I wanted to start making some of the Blue Dragonscale pieces. Both Shoulders and Chest take thirty apiece, and a brief one hour poke at UBRS yesterday evening tells me FOUR a trip is probably as lucky as I'm going to get. Therefore: FIFTEEN runs per two items, which is already not looking like the most economical use of my time between here and the Expansion. Therefore, this week I will be arranging myself so I can farm a little a day, shove it all off to my Pandarian L5 Bankalt who uses the AH in the Shrine (as he also has an Engineering skill) and then do a weekly 'Make Stuff, Sell Some and Stockpile the Rest' exercise without a bunch of needless faffing in-between.

In fact, this week is really going to revolve around deciding how I'll bring in the pennies before the Expansion.

REALLY proud of this :D

I hadn't intended to design a new Mog yesterday, but this happened for the Shaman (who will be the recipient of my first crafted pair of Blue Dragonscale Shoulders from Operation Make Stuff) and so I'll need to pop to the Faire this week to grab a Replica Vest of Elements to start this off. Don't worry, there'll be a post when its done, but what I am thinking of doing is putting together a set using the Red Chestplate that could vanish for one of the low-level hunters or even using pieces of the Black Dragonscale set. We'll see how the farming goes, I think. I'm also shockingly behind on Farms and gathering, so that will need some poking with pointy sticks to fix.

Could be worse, could be buried in a  rock ^^

I have an inordinate amount of RL faffing that needs to happen too this week, so how I fit everything in PLUS that will be yet another exercise in logistics. Remember also to say Happy Birthday to my daughter on Wednesday, who turns 9 in the same week I celebrate 9 years in the game.

Funny that ^^

The Last Days of Dragonscale

One Orc and his Drake (DED!)

Normally it's song titles as blog post headers, but as the Oscars was yesterday this particular disambiguation is too good an opportunity to pass up. Ever since the Mortal Races got left to do their own thang by the Dragon Aspects at the end of Cataclysm, it's been looking increasingly perilous for not simply their species in general, but those of us who used to make our living crafting items from them. Sources of raw materials have begun to dry up, and with what we know of the future it is possible many pieces may become almost impossible to create. In fact, with what could be massive changes to professions coming in Warlords, how important will Dragonscale even be in the general scheme of things? Some of the most striking pieces of crafted mail can be found in the 1-60 level range, including the Iconic Black set still favoured today by hunters, and may become as endangered as the animals from which they are derived.

If you have the recipe, last orders on
crafting may be soon...

Dragonscale has been on the Azerothian 'Endangered' List for some time [*], since Cataclysm wiped out the indigenous Red and Blue populations from the world. There is a lone rare mob in Winterspring (Azurous) that might be skinned for Blue scales if you're really lucky, and if you kill Cromaggus once a week in Blackwing Lair you could also pick up both Red and Blue. However, by far the most productive method (and by that I mean guaranteeing between 3-5 Scales per trip) is killing the Chromatic Dragons in UBRS and Gyth, Rend Blackhand's personal transport. Once UBRS evolves, there's no indication these mobs will remain as a supply. The only other Dragons in the world will drop Worn and Green (Sunken Temple plus various Rare Spawns) or Black (Blackwing Lair, the dragons in the Burning Steppes no longer can be skinned for scale) with any measure of consistency. Oh, and it's entirely possible one type of scale could vanish altogether, as there's only one recipe in game that still uses it, if (like me) you're lucky enough to have pulled the recipe from Dire Maul back in the day. That's the Chromatic Cloak above, and without these Scales, you won't be able to craft it.

Going bye-byes with (I suspect) a measure of certainty.

So, if UBRS has its dragon population decreased, a lot of currently quite easy to make recipes could be come considerably harder to come by, which is a shame, because there are some absolutely CRACKING potential mogs out there that can made using them, and at least one pattern that might vanish for good.

Pay attention to the

If you are a completionist and don't yet have the Red Dragonscale Breastplate recipe in your collection, you might want to consider farming it for two reasons: mainly because it is one of the VERY few recipes that is Bind on Pickup, but secondly because the drop rate generally is criminally low. Drakkisath holds onto this and I only managed to get my hands on it in the last year via some fairly intensive farming, so you may want to do it on a day when the lucks are with you. In terms of look it is identical to the Mercurial Breastplate (E my Belf is wearing the trousers and boots from that set) so if it does vanish, there is no great loss. However, there are at least two items that might become REALLY hard to farm, and one is an absolute CRACKER.

Top half's looking dicey...

There are three pieces to the Blue Dragonscale Armour: legs, chest and shoulders.Only the legs recipe is trainable, the other two are no longer available in game. The chest has only one comparable item that matches it (from a L28 Alliance quest in Ashenvale) whilst the shoulders are, like it or not, the ONLY single colour blue shoulders available for mail wearers. Therefore, if you mog a Shaman or a Hunter, this might be an item you want to get your hands on before Warlords, because the means for crafting these two could go from complicated to nigh-on impossible, assuming you're lucky enough to own the patterns to begin with.

As a result, a new Shaman Mog
has appeared...

As I wrote my Mog Post yesterday it became apparent of the number of people who regretted not having gone to Scholomance before it was updated to grab the Bloodmail Legguards As it occurred to me now, you have plenty of time to make your choice about UBRS: we have no idea what the sub-100 version might look like, or what it might contain, but there's a decent chance most of what now resides there is likely to vanish. I'm glad to say I went and snagged a Finkle's Skinner during research for this piece, which will replace the Gnomish Army Knife in my bags as a souvenir to one of my favourite ever instances in the game, period.

They say that the best organisational tool you can ever possess is time. You've got it now. If you want to make Armour while the sun shines, this is probably your best chance. Away you go. I know I will be...


[*] Dragons indeed remain in the Highlands and in other areas, but as Evolution seems to be affecting the oldest surviving Dragon inhabitants first... ^^

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Vogue :: International Bright Young Thing

My most famous Mog. YES REALLY.

This Mog made my name, believe it or not. Conceived in the last days before Pandaria, it was for a while my most read post on the Blog, thanks to the now-defunct WHU Portal. This one kind of debunks the theory that too many textures can make your mog messy and unsatisfactory, and it reiterates my belief that there should be more single-colour pieces available for all players to use. It's also impossible to reproduce because the key signature item is no longer in game (the bracers aren't either but that's hardly a setback.) Black trousers are a thing of infinite beauty, and were WELL WORTH the three weeks I spent farming from them in the old-style Scholomance. The colour allows me to go to town on the blue shading, and it even detracts that the goggles for this getup are actually green. However, the best thing about this entire ensemble? Possibly the most attractive in game gun ever designed in almost a decade.

Utterly beautiful.

The Nesingwary 4000's a craftable too, and was one of the few rare occasions a weapon has formed the basis of an entire mog. Blue's not the easiest of colours to grab items for either, though the Nexus-Strider set the boots are taken from's a good place for some inspiration. Again we're looking at crafted items as key features, and with the Shoulders for this there could be a level of difficulty involved as Blue Dragons don't actually exist in game any more. However you can get scales dropping from UBRS, but how long that lasts may well be finite, depending on what happens with the upcoming instance revamp. Then all you need is a Leatherworker with the recipe. Easy game. Remember, mogging is serious business

Almost too much, but not quite.

The Defender Gauntlets are the other useful blue mail set I pillaged to produce this mog: the cloak was a late addition to proceedings and is possibly one of the nicest looking cloaks in game just in terms of length. I can see it only taking something fairly spectacular for this look to ever get replaced, such is my love for this look. This character has, as a result, become known as the Mogging Hunter. Every so often, you do summat brilliant and want to show it to everyone. I think, with the Druid mog you got earlier, these are two of the best efforts I've ever made in playing dress up. I also reckon this one especially will be hard to beat.


Full list of Transmog Items as follows:

Vogue :: Little Bird

How I Mog, Lesson One

It would not be a lie if I said shoulders are often the starting point of my mogging endeavours. Its fair also to say that whoever's designed the armour sets over the years has taken shoulders as a focal point: like hats, these are often the most extravagant (or indeed subtle) parts of any ensemble. Some, like the Mantle of Autumn often scream for use by a particular class (which is why I suspect I see awkward rogues wearing them from time to time as a sort of existential protest ) and when these dropped for my Worgen Druid during her rep-grinding experience, I took it as a sign. Ironically her cloak is from the same Botanica boss, but the rest of the very simple but hugely effective outfit (minus the staff) was put together (at the time) for less than 50g, being made from AH sales and Leatherworking craftables. Sometimes, the trick to great mogging is remembering that less is more, especially when using a piece of armour which clearly screams to be the centre of attention.

Human form, more detail.

What I like about this mog so much that I'm still not tempted to change it IS the fact it's so simple, and it perfectly matches the character of the toon wearing it. In human form the staff (Dreamer's Dragonstaff, again from Botanica) is a hint of what might happen if you cross this apparently normal looking human, but I think it works best when she's in her Worgen guise. The transformation of items and their appearance between forms was also a consideration when I mogged this, especially the footwear (Embossed Leather Boots) which almost appears as an extension of the leggings when Worgened (is that a word?) The patchwork nature of the pieces also hints a bit towards the Incredible Hulk when he transforms: you could almost imagine all that slipping between two personalities is why this entire ensemble is so ragged to begin with.

Could I fiddle? Yes, I could...

One could also argue that the green of the cloak from the back is almost too bright but I felt it was a good fit with the detail on the staff, and the branches from the shoulders. If I was going to fiddle with this that's probably where I'd start, because I feel that this was one of the easiest mogs I've made since the process began and it still remains one of the most endearing. I'm also happy it reflects the feel of what I think Worgen Druids encompass: trying to balance nature while they themselves have to struggle with the issues of two forms is a fascinating aspect to consider. I suspect if I ever roleplayed, I would pick a Worgen with which to do so.

Nice place, Outland.

Full list of Transmog Items is as follows:

[*] Point of order. My Druid began her life as a Tauren and was race changed. The shirt is only available by looting Alliance players and NPC's in Alterac Valley. You'd look great without it, I keep it on as a reminder of what I used to be :D