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Posts Tagged ‘Tauren’

Grazing

Spring cleaning is traditionally done in the spring, for reasons unknown, but my family always tends to have a post-Christmas bout of cleaning as well.  We try to declutter a bit, maybe just to compensate for all the new clutter from the holidays.  I find myself doing this with gaming as well, going through my game library and either finishing games or uninstalling them and calling them “done”, mostly so I can get on with playing other games in the bits of time I get here and there to play.

…and there’s the crux of the matter; I almost never have blocks of time to play.  I get an hour here, fifteen minutes there… and that’s about it.  That’s part of why MMO subscriptions are a pathetic value for me; I simply don’t get 20+ hours a week to sink into any gaming, much less devote myself to a single game.  There are way too many good games out there to tie myself down like that.  (As my Steam library, GoG collection and Humble Bundle folders will attest.)  So, I have a large library of games, and way to little time to play them.

As a result, my gaming is more like grazing than gorging.  I nibble a little on something like Uncharted, then I go munch on Tactics Ogre, then savor a little bit of Guild Wars 2.  (By which I mean, I create my characters before the game inevitably crashes, then maybe move around the starting areas a little bit.)  The next week, I ruminate a little on Journey, then chew a little on LEGO Batman with the kids.  Once upon a time, I’d ride an exercise bike and play FFXII for a nice 45 minutes or so, but circumstances have made that indulgence obsolete.  (And I find that FFXII just doesn’t work well as a game I only play for 15 minutes in a sitting.)

So it’s no surprise that I play more Plants vs. Zombies, Symphony, Triple Town and Puzzle Pirates these days.  It’s all I can sneak into the schedule.  I still haven’t finished FFXII, and I have FFXIII, FFXIII-2, FFVII: Crisis Core, Blue Dragon, Infinite Undiscovery, Lost Odyssey, Batman Arkham City, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, LEGO Batman 2, LEGO Harry Potter and a host of other, smaller games that I really want to dig into… but just can’t right now.  They aren’t really grazing-friendly.  Heaven help me if I get the itch to play an MMO.  I still have WoW, STORIFT and GW2 installed, and I grudgingly uninstalled LOTRO.  I want to play all of them.  I probably never will.

…there’s something sad about that.

Still, I’m not complaining.  I have a lot of gaming options, and that’s a good spot to be in.  Since I work in the industry, it behooves me to play a variety of games, and be aware of what’s out there, rather than simply be a game fan and devote my gaming time to a single or few fandoms.  And then there’s the fact that my kids and I still love Minecraft (if I only had one game for the rest of my life, that one would do), and my oldest wants to learn the Pokemon card game… yeah, my plate is full to overflowing, but it’s all I can do to nibble at the edges.

Is it any wonder why I like the Tauren, perhaps?  Moooooo

Tishtoshtesh, Tauren Druid

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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.)

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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.

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Rogue Tauren

I am a Sunwalker.

The Light of the Sun guides my path, and I will be a beacon of protection and guidance to those I am sworn to protect.  The strength of the Sun burns in my veins, and I will stand against all injustice and evil!

The Undead are an abomination on this world, and I am sworn to eradicate them.  Their very existence offends not only my sworn duty but also the lore of my people.  The world mourns their aberration, and their desecration of life wounds the Earth Mother.  I will cleanse the world of their unclean…sed kind.

Except for the Forsaken.  They have this sweet racial mount that I can buy if they like me enough.  Who needs a blinged out Kodo when I can pretend to be a Death Knight?  Rrarr!  Here comes the steel plated cow on a spindle-legged dead horse!  Oh, and Sylvanas is totally hot.  No rot on that girl, just sweet, sweet leather armor in all the right places.

Er, not that I’d know.  Tauren, remember.  Right, Tauren.  Big, furry cowdudes.

Right.

You’re sure I’m not a Tuskarr or something?  Y’know, a neutral sort of guy who can hang with the Human and Dwarf Paladins?  I mean, those twiggy prancing Blood Elves stink of weird arcane magics and didn’t exactly come by the Paladinny ways by, y’know, honorable means.  I could probably break one of ‘em in half anyway.

Can I at least go rogue and join the Argent Crusade?  Go hang with my Paladin brethren and wipe out the Scourge that always seem to come back?  Oh, it’s just an NPC club, right.  I can be Exalted in their eyes, but never a member.  “Exalted” must not mean what I think it means.  It’s probably like “graduating” from the third grade.

Right.

OK, right!  Buck up cowboy!  I’m a champion of justice and tempered responses to evil!  Cairne was a wise leader we should all revere, the Grimtotems are jerks, and the Horde needs our leadership in these times of trial and confusion.  My people are dwindling and staring a racial twilight in the face, do I go out quietly or try to leave the world a better place?

Er, but who’s this Garish Hellscream guy again?  The one who killed Cairne? (Sorta… axes don’t kill people, angry orcs with Grimtotem-poisoned axes kill people… and was the stupid Spirit Healer on a smoke break or something when he went down?  What the heck, etherial angel thing?)  Son of a demon-tainted warmonger?  Fel-flavored sunburned fashion victim?  Racist, er, speciesist?  I mean, he doesn’t let Trolls into Orgrimmer-than-before anymore, and they have always been faithful Hordies, right?  I mean, the ones that aren’t cannibals and psychotic voodoo wonks that attack anyone on sight, anyway.

…Tauren are Hordies still, right?

Why, again?

And why am I playing Horde, again?

Oh, right.  Varian‘s a monumental jerk.  And yet, Garish is pretty thick, too.  Bleh.  Forget these nicompoop leaders.  I wanna be a Tuskarr Paladin.

For the North!

…yeah, that’s got a nice ring to it.  There’s still plenty of Scourge up there, too.

____

Ed:  Yes, this is tongue in cheek.  Sylvanas totally isn’t my type.

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