Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Druid’

Seems I poked the ant nest a little, sparking a bit of a conversation with my last minipost.  Not that I’m claiming credit for anything but sparking some thoughts, though; these fine folk are doing the heavy lifting:

Syl

Rowan

Klepsacovic

I’ve commented at their places, so I’ll keep this short and hit something I haven’t touched on there, speaking of specialization and generalization.  (Since one of the tangential topics is about players and their approach to their characters, as well as how characters fit into MMO design.)

From Robert Heinlein:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Disclosure:  I work at a small gaming studio, where I’ve carved out a niche of being a multifaceted employee.  I’m primarily an artist, but I dabble in design, animation, even scripting.  I love that I can be a bit of a generalist, as it makes me valuable in more situations, and keeps things interesting.  I’m not as fine of a painter as my concept artist buddies, who paint all day every day, but I’m happy where I am.  This is also why I’m not a minor cog in a big studio like Disney or EA, where I would be a specialist.  I’ve been there, and I didn’t care for it.  That said, those specialist positions don’t threaten me… they just don’t interest me.

I also play a Druid character in World of Warcraft.  It’s the most flexible class, and I latched onto it precisely because it does allow the greatest variety in play.  And flight form.  I love that.

(Oh, and as I noted at Rowan’s place, I’d push it further and let passive and maybe even active abilities persist on the character, no matter the class.  I loved Final Fantasy Tactics for how I could build a strong character by pulling from a variety of jobs/classes.  I could keep a Ninja ability on my Knight, and it was great fun.  I’d love to see that in an MMO.)

Read Full Post »

…for shameless self-promotion.  Y’see, there are sales afoot, and one might as well take advantage of them, yes?

Specifically, I’m an artist.  I do art.  Some of it’s good.  Some of it’s for sale.  Some of it’s on sale.

Some is over here, at Zazzle.  It’s mostly shirts, but also some fun puzzles and assorted knickknacks, like this Zelda-inspired bumper magnet and this Mousemech art (available on a variety of things) that I’m inordinately happy with, and some preliminary Project Khopesh art.

Some is over there, at Shapeways.  Specifically, my gearpunk dice and some World of Warcraft inspired “class rings“, suggested by the venerable Big Bear Butt some time ago.  At present, I only offer Druid rings, but I’m taking requests.  I also have some other great ideas for 3D prints, if only I can make the time to create them… including the models for Zomblobs!

CafePress carries one of my shirt designs, but I’ve decided I’m not a huge fan of their limitations on free shops, so most of my products will be offered via Zazzle for the forseeable future.

I also do the occasional commission, but to date, that’s mostly been for in-game currency over on the Puzzle Pirates forums, where I’m known as Silveransom, from whence several of the bits of art in my Mini Portfolio hail, and where one of my art tutorials resides.  I’d love to open the floodgates to do commissions for cash, but since I can’t promise a quick turnaround, I’ll just say that I’m very open to requests, I’m just going to be somewhat less than a full-time production house.  Somewhat less than part-time, really, but you might be surprised what is possible to do in the wee hours around midnight when the kids go to bed.

Y’see, things are unnaturally busy here at the Tesh household.  We’re finishing the basement, so my “vacation” from work this holiday season isn’t exactly filled with carefree whimsy and mad dashes to fulfill art requests.  Still, I’m working in a bit, here and there.

So yes, Happy Holidays!  Merry Christmas, or whatever it is you do this time of year!

…are the Steam sales up yet?  That’s kind of an event, right?

Read Full Post »

Appropriately after my last post, I just finished up the Uldum questlines (dungeons aside) in World of Warcraft and then hit level 85 in a random Looking For Dungeon run in the air palace above the south shoreline of Uldum, perhaps appropriately in Cat form, surrounded by the carcasses of bird things.

Ding

Yeah, Tishtoshtesh is level capped.

So I went to Thunder Bluff, perched on the highest point I could find in Swift Flight Form and logged off.

All done

(This shot in Orgrimmar looks better, but Thunder Bluff is still my favorite WoW capitol city, and it just makes sense for a Tauren.)

Almost done

I won the game, right?  Tishtoshtesh is on par with some old world raid bosses (OK, the weakest ones, but still…).  The Uldum story is done.  Time for a well-earned rest.

Time to go do some spoof game artwork (hint: ME4) and finish up Zomblobs!

(Yes, I’ve been slacking on Zomblobs! a bit.  I ran into a mental roadblock, and sometimes the best thing to do is step away for a little bit.  I think ultimately I’m just going to run with what I have in mind for the game and if playtesting shows it’s stupid, it gets changed.  That’s what betas are for, after all.)

Read Full Post »

It’s “Cyber Monday”, and among other sales out there, Shapeways is having a 15% off sale.  That means my Gearpunk dice are on sale, as are the World of Warcraft Druid signet rings.  They are rejiggering the pricing around a bit as well, so the prices are going to be changing in my shop, too.  No more of the nice progression of price points I planned out, no, it’s going to be a mess of weird numbers.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that all the prices are going to be coming down a bit.  I’m happy about that.  Lower prices, 15% sale… it’s a good day to investigate Shapeways.

Here’s my shop, Tish Tosh Toys

and there’s the main Shapeways page.

I now have the Resto and Cat form rings up for sale as well.  Sorry they are late, but hey, sale day is a good day for them, right?  Moonkin rings are in the pipeline, hopefully available in the next few days.

Cat Signet

Cat Slim

Resto Signet

Resto Slim

Read Full Post »

I received the 3D prints of my Druid Signet ring, the Druid Glyph ring and my set of Gearpunk dice.  Shapeways does good work… though it looks like I need to do a little still with the D24 to make it read cleanly.  (So to the one person so far who has ordered the ten die set, I’m sorry!  Please contact me via the contact info up there on the About tab, and once I get this D24 model all happy again, I’ll print out another one and send it to you.  It’s not really Shapeways at fault here, I didn’t design the numbers well enough.)

It looks like I was aiming too small for the detail work, but overall, for custom 3D printing, these turned out really well.  Only a decade ago, this would have been absurdly expensive to do.  Now, for all three prints, it was around $50.  It’s not practical for big stuff, but for little cool widgets and wodgets, this is awesome.

Druid Rings Together

The big ring is size 10 and the small ring is size 6.  Bigger is better for detail work, apparently.

Druid Rings On Hand

Both of those are on my fat-fingered hand.  Note to self:  hands on the same person can vary in size somewhat… the ring almost got stuck on my right hand, but fit just perfectly on my left (it fit nearly as well as my wedding band; it’s quite comfortable).

Gearpunk Dice Set

Dice Size Comparison

I fully intend to dye the dice black and drybrush them with metallic paint to get the proper steampunk feel, but that will come later.

In the meantime, there’s also this little gem that I burned 12 hours on over the last few days.  A World of Keflings, now in Sculpey!  (Based on this promotional poster, direct from NinjaBee, my employers.)

A World of Keflings

Wire, armature wire and tinfoil armature on wood, 2 hours.  This is really the crucial part, because it’s the skeleton of your sculpture.  It needs to be solid (though you can fudge it a little bit with a thin layer of Sculpey you put on and then cook, then put on your detail layer) so you don’t have trouble with the structural integrity.  Like a figure drawing, you really need to nail down the proportions or else all the detail work in the world won’t help down the road.  (Notably, I should have made Doug’s arms longer so his face would be more visible, but once I got the clay on, it was too late.)

Kefling Armature

Tools of the sculpting trade, Super Sculpey and a pair of simple plastic tools.  Yes, this is really all I used beside my own two hands.  You can do a lot with simple tools if you’re careful.

Tools of the Trade

Base and some detailing, 3.5 more hours.  Most applications of the Sculpey are 1/4″ or less.  Thinner layers bake better and faster, and are lighter so the armature doesn’t get overloaded.

Getting Started

Finished product, 6.5 more hours, plus cooking.  45 minutes at 200F, standard electric stove, cooled for 1 hour before I took it out of the oven.

They Probably Don't Need Their Winter Coats

Hero pose!

Grand total, 13 hours or so.  Totally worth it.  Maybe someday I’ll paint it with acrylic paints, but for today, I’m happy with it in this “raw” state.  There’s a certain appeal to the basic sculpture.

In The Soft Daylight

Read Full Post »

I Can Fly

OK, WoW Anonymous admission time.

My name is Tesh, and I actually kinda sorta like World of Warcraft.  Sometimes, it even makes me happy.

Piggie!

(If you don’t understand the piggie, check out the link to Larisa’s place.  She and BBB have been pontificating on the state of WoW of late, so this is, in large part, for them and anyone else who wants to maybe find a little magic again.  I’m definitely out of touch with the WoW mainstream… and I love it that way.)  And as any good Peter Pan fan knows, happiness can lead to flight.  But I get ahead of myself.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I stand by my assertions that the subscription model* is a Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea for several reasons, I wish WoW were more “world-like” and less “game-like”, and I still see several problems with the game design of WoW.  The one that bugs me the most at the moment is that crafting tradeskills suffer from atrocious pacing, high cost (in time or in gold via buying ingredients at auction) and irrelevance to gameplay and the economy 98% of the time.  Sometimes, other people still stink (though my experience with other players is 80% pleasant, 15% awesome and only very rarely bad). I can even see a LOT of little art things to nitpick, since I deal with 3D game art all day.  The game still has an unfortunate gravitational effect on the MMO industry on the whole that I think is stifling innovation.

…but y’know what?  I’m a latecomer to the party.  While I’ve studied the game off and on since it came out years ago, as a player, the world of Azeroth (and Outland) is still largely new and even joyous to me, even though most of the mechanics are long since rote and bland (though really, the same could be said of most of my beloved JRPGs, even the incredible Chrono Trigger, so that’s nothing new).  There is still stuff to see, places to go, quests to read, ways to explore.  I got my first level 60 character just a couple of weeks ago.  My Tauren Druid, Tishtoshtesh, dinged 60 and immediately set out to get the Druid Flight Form.  And hoo boy, bob howdy…

I LOVE FLYING

If I could have a supermutant power, I’d want to fly.  OK, well, if I could have only one supermutant power, I’d want invulnerability, but flight almost as much.  (Since really, flight without invulnerability of some sort is asking for trouble anyway.  RIP, Banshee.  But I’m not bitter.  Nope, not at all.)

So yeah, I’m loving just flying around the Old World of Azeroth, taking plenty of pictures of things that interest me.  I’ve been given license to explore like I’ve never done before in the game, and I’m taking advantage of it.  Let those ground-pounding grinders race to the endgame treadmill (sort of like accelerating into a red light), I have sights to see.  I’m sure they think I’m wasting my time, but hey, it’s mine to waste.

Sights like these make me happy.  (And yes, if I could fly in Minecraft, you can bet your favorite great aunt that I’d spend a lot of time doing so.  It’s not as pretty as WoW, but seeing the sights from the air is still great fun, like that greenhouse my daughter and I built the other day, or the water-encased diving tower from world’s top to world’s bottom…)

Tesh’s Picasa WoW stuff

Silithus

Zangarmarsh

Darkshore

More, but better; stitched “panorama” shots

Lordaeron Throne Room

Dalaran

Volcanic Lava Flow

Darkshore Sinkhole

It’s a mix of the mundane (shots I took to study how they do texturing and modeling) and the marvelous (the remodeled Darkshore looks especially great from the air), but hopefully there’s something in there that shows some of what the game has to offer those who go off the rails, taking to wing to see the sights.  There’s a world out there to see, and I’ve been having fun exploring it.

*Disclosure: I’m taking advantage of the WoW VISA card to get some playtime.  I keep it around just for big purchases and emergencies.  We replaced our 35-year-old house’s windows, so I put that bill on the WoW VISA, and bam, four months of playtime in the form of four one-month time codes, just for going through a little extra paperwork.  (We paid off the VISA bill almost immediately from savings; we had the money to pay the bill effectively on-hand, but we may as well push it through the system for a little bonus, hm?)  I maintain that subs stink, but hey, there’s enough fun to be had in WoW to play, at least for a little while.  I’ll man up and burn out like a bitter veteran later.  Maybe.  If I feel like it.

…though I maintain that it’s possible to like the good parts of the game and dislike the bad parts without conflating the two and condemning the game or praising it to the exclusion of the other.  Weird, I know.  That just isn’t done on the internet.

Read Full Post »

…in Dalaran, do Blizzard devs notice?

Shintar’s The Day That Tree Form Died

Larisa’s Yet Another Angry Post From A Disappointed Ex-Tree

Ardol’s It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye: Tree of Life and a nice set of screenshots as a Photo Tribute

I’ll just sound another voice, saddened for the loss.  I do play in cat/bear form most often (if I’m playing WoW at all, anyway), but this always struck me as an odd choice by Blizzard.  The new forms are a bit strange, too, though they do feel more like the traditional Ancients that the Night Elves revere so much, albeit with a slightly… bovine facial structure.  Think “buffaloak“, perhaps.

Of course, you’re not supposed to listen to the players, so no sweat, Blizzard.  (My snark aside, that’s a good article from Scrusi… and it looks like Blizzard is throwing sad Druids an olive branch anyway, see Ghostcrawler’s post in this thread.)

One more voice:  Lara’s Fare Thee Well

Read Full Post »

Bending to my curiosity, I fired up a ten day free trial of The Burning Crusade that is offered to “former or current” players of World of Warcraft.  I took the opportunity to start up a Blood Elf Paladin and a Draenei Shaman so I could look around and take a bunch of screenshots.  Totally unpredictable, I know.

Mournful lack of originality aside, I realized that I could also play my old friend Padgi for a few more days.  So, I fired up another random dungeon and found myself in Blackrock Depths.  The players I wound up with were decent, and things went smooth enough, despite the occasional death.  Once the Warrior tank got his Force of Magma (I should have rolled Need on it, but didn’t… Ironaya‘s stick is still good enough for me.) from Bael’Gar, he and his Hunter buddy dropped the group.  The Mage and Shaman healer soon flitted off as well, leaving me alone in the depths of a hot and Dwarf-infested place.

So naturally, I wandered around and took some pictures.  One must make the most of situations, hm?

While watching the Dwarf patrols, I wished I had four other Druids with me.  We could sneak around as kitties, picking and choosing our fights with surgical precision, looking to bust some allies (er, Hordies?) out of the deepest, darkest prison.  There’s just something deeply appealing to me about a party of Druids, supremely flexible, going all A-Team on a dungeon.  (Pretend for a moment that you could split up and accomplish cool things for the group without being attached at the hip.)  I’ve played through enough “old world” dungeons to start feeling like they are all pretty much the same.  Pull group, let the tank secure aggro, shred some backs, lick wounds, loot, lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m probably doing it wrong, but it really does just seem like the same thing over and over again, just with different window dressing and loot.  It’s fun enough to play through these dungeons at least once, but still… I wish I could play with an elite team of Druids, handling problems their own way, rather than doing the Same Old tank/healer/dps dance.  I know, I know, the game isn’t designed for that… but sitting in a corner as  a quiet, deadly ninja kitty… I had a glimpse of what I wanted to play, and it was glorious.

Pity I can’t have it… but alas, that’s life.

Yes, yes, I’m sure I could find a Druid guild somewhere, but that’s just part of the equation.  The “split up and orchestrate a devious plan of attack” bit is what really appealed to me as I lurked around in the ‘Depths.  Yeah, we could come back as level 80 monsters and totally outclass the hapless Dwarfs, but where’s the fun in that?

Read Full Post »

How to Durid with a Stick

I want my Tauren Druid to do this while tanking.

I never thought they would take my old suggestion even remotely seriously… but this has potential.

Well, either that, or now the wildlife is even more dangerous.  Either way, fun for Wednesday!

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 136 other followers