gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft rogues, Warcraft Videos, Warcraft Writing

Don’t Let the Dance Die – A Tribute to Warcraft Rogues

Syaine in mid Roll the Bones.

Yes, it’s another video from your truly! I actually posted the original rogue music video three months ago, but I didn’t publicize it much because while I loved it, the quality of the video wasn’t the best. The same holds true for the other videos I did prior to using Bandicam to record my World of Warcraft game play. Chances are, I’ll redo those two eventually as well.

Although my video quality will always be limited by the capabilities of my laptop, I think this remastered rogue video looks better overall. I shot all new game footage for it and even switched the specs and outfits on my rogues a few times to mix things up and keep it interesting.

Rogues are definitely one of my favorite World of Warcraft classes because they can sneak around enemies rather than having to fight everything. I know that their stealth capabilities and underhanded attacks are why a lot of people don’t like rogues, but that doesn’t make me like them less. They’re just a lot of fun to play and I believe any sort of game should always be fun.

My nightborne rogue breaking off some ice for her drink.

The song is for my rogue video is called Don’t Let The Dance Die by Mad Modishi featuring Dayon and as soon as I heard the words “You’re a murderer” I knew it was the perfect song for rogues. Plus it has a great beat and lends itself well to all the unique and agile moves that rogues possess, including their dance moves. 😉

So here’s my new video featuring rogues in all their sneaky glory. I hope you enjoy it!

gaming, Player perspective, Questing, Warcraft, Warcraft achievements, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Hunters, Warcraft rogues, Warcraft Writing

Mounts as Motivation

When Blizzard first talked about the World of Warcraft achievement Two Sides to Every Tale where a player could earn two new mounts, I was intrigued. I thought it was cool that they were rewarding players (like myself) for playing both factions through the war campaigns and story lines. I also liked the idea of having a horse mount for Horde and wolf mount for Alliance.

With the help of my oldest daughter, I got my Horde main, Sriset, through the war campaign and story lines without much issue. However, my Alliance main, Syaine, was another story.

On my night elf rogue, Syaine, I’d become stuck on the quest called The Treasury Heist. I couldn’t get past the section where I had to run the gauntlet with all the traps combined in one horrible section. I tried it several times when it was first released, but after dying all those times, I decided to give up.

But then recently I started thinking that I really wanted those mounts from Two Sides to Every Tale and I decided to try the seemingly impossible quest again. I told myself I’d give it one more go and see if I could do it.

Well, it took me three more tries of running the gauntlet in one night but I finally made it!

After that, the rest of the Alliance war campaign was easy. Time consuming, but easy.

Along with the Alliance war campaign, I also had to complete The Pride of Kul Tiras achievement. I’d stopped working toward it when I hit the first dungeon quest, but after surviving the gauntlet, doing random groups for dungeons didn’t seem as intimidating anymore.

It took me a couple days, but yesterday morning I finally completed the last step with A Nation United. I was so happy to have the achievement notification flash up on my screen along with the notification of the Ironclad Frostclaw mount added to my collection!

Once I got past the horrible gauntlet segment of that one quest, grinding for the rest of the required achievements for the mounts was actually fun. It was nice doing something that felt important on Syaine again, as I’d grown tired of warfronts, daily quests, and rep grinding. Now that I’ve got my mounts, I’ll go back to playing lower level alts until the next interesting part of Battle for Azeroth comes out.

gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Druids, Warcraft Videos, Warcraft Writing

Dream Away – A Tribute to Warcraft Druids

My Zandalari troll druid in mid-dance.

Here it is! The music video I made featuring my druid boys! I had a lot of fun making it and it was a learning experience as usual. I hope you enjoy it! I will warn you though that the song can be kind of catchy and might make you want to jump up and dance.

Thanks to a suggestion from Mother of Imps on YouTube, the video quality for my druid video is greatly improved compared to my last video featuring my hunters. She suggested I use Bandicam to record my game play, so I gave it a try. Although my frame rate still isn’t great in game (I use DSL for my internet), Bandicam does a better job of recording quality video when compared the stock Microsoft app on my laptop.

The song for this video is called “Dream Away” by Kalle Engström. It’s rather short and has a great dance tempo. I’ve loved this song since the first time I heard it on Epidemic Sound last year and have been known to play it on repeat to boost my mood. I felt it was a good choice for my druid video because the title “Dream Away” made me think of the druid’s Emerald Dream.

While druids can be known for their tendency to sleep a lot to enjoy the dream and recharge, my druid boys in this video aren’t sleeping. Well, not until the very end anyway. They’re having much more fun dancing to the beat and kicking butt with Lunar Strike and their other druidic abilities.

This video is also the first one I’ve completed using Movavi Video Suite instead of Windows Movie Maker. I downloaded a trial of Movavi a while ago and immediately found it easy to use and much more versatile than Windows Movie Maker. Movavi was having a sale on their suite so I got it and I’m glad I did!

The Movavi video program has an abundance of features that I’m still figuring out, but it’s fun to learn it all. With Bandicam, I record my videos in AVI form, which makes the video and audio into two separate tracks. Then when I edit the video in Movavi, I can easily adjust the sound of the original video or mute it altogether.

I muted the World of Warcraft sounds for most of the video and where you still hear them is where I left them audible on purpose. I felt it added a bit more flavor to certain parts of the video. For example, when the singer sings “I can hear your heart beat” and you hear my Zandalari troll give a defiant roar in game.

Tjoko versus a raptor.

I also played around with some of the transitions and visual effects in Movavi to see what they can do. One of the effects is the falling leaves on the screen when my night elf druid is taking the Dreamwalk to the Emerald Dreamway. I didn’t want to put in too many effects and make it overwhelming, but I’ll be incorporating them in other videos where they make sense.

Daxien casting Dreamwalk.

Although this video may have too much dancing and not enough fighting, I really love it and have watched it at least a dozen times on my computer. I even watched it on my phone before bed last night! Perhaps I love my druid boys a little too much…*wink*

Daxien dancing atop a structure in the Dream Grove.

Time flies when I create these videos as I’m constantly tweaking different aspects and finding I need to shoot different in-game footage. I’m learning something new about creating these music videos with each instance and I really hope to grow my audience just so more people can enjoy the upbeat music and stunning artistry of World of Warcraft game play.

gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Druids, Warcraft Writing

My Love for My Druid Boys

Daxien and Tjoko, my druid boys.

Lately I’ve been showing my two druid boys a lot of love. I’ve been switching between my 100 plus level night elf druid, Daxien, and my level 20s Zandalari troll druid, Tjoko. I wanted to get the Fangs of Ashamane for Daxien so he could have the new feral form and I just wanted to have fun playing the Zandalari druid I’ve been waiting to make since Battle for Azeroth came out.

When playing my druids, I switch between feral and balance/moonkin specializations. I love being in kitty form and I find it does decent damage, which is why I played strictly feral for a good portion of leveling Daxien. As powerful as I know the moonkin spec to be, I just didn’t like the big, fat, fluffy, feathered moonkin form and therefore didn’t play it. That all changed when I discovered the Glyph of Stars!

I think I discovered it just browsing through glyphs in the auction house. I don’t do much with glyphs usually because they’re just cosmetic changes, but when I saw that Glyph of Stars gave a druid an astral form instead of the moonkin form, I was sold! I bought the glyph, applied it, loved it, and then realized I had to learn how to play the balance spec for druids.

Now I don’t consider myself an expert in any class in any spec, but I do the best I can to find a rotation that works for me. I played around with the balance spec as Daxien quested through Mount Hyjal and I felt it was more powerful and potent than the feral spec.

Daxien in astral form kicking butt in Mount Hyjal.

Plus, I liked how transparent my night elf druid looked. Being see through somehow went well with his short white beard and long white hair in braids.

I played Daxien as balance spec into Legion and only recently switched him back to feral because I like the new kitty forms given by the Fangs of Ashamane. I wish it was a kitty form I could have outside of feral spec, but I’m just happy to have it at all.

Daxien in the Fangs of Ashamane feral form.

While I’m not excited about doing the grind to 110 on Dax and then the unpleasant quests to unlock the class mount form of the big, fluffy owl…I mean the Archdruid’s Lunarwing Form, it will be worth it to me to have that new flying form. I already have a glyph that transforms my flight form into a sentinel owl, so a bigger owl sounds even better!

Daxien in sentinel owl flight form.

Since I was already familiar with balance spec when I made my Zandalari troll druid, Tjoko, I started him right out in balance spec. I loved the Zandalari moonkin form because it was less round and more dinosaur like.

A very jumpy Tjoko in moonkin form.

However, the constant hopping that form does during casting started to make me nauseous after a while, so I got Tjoko a Glyph of Stars too.

Tjoko in astral form.

I’m having a lot of fun playing Tjoko and I’m in no rush to level him because I know he’ll get there when he gets there. I’ve quested him in areas I haven’t necessarily quested in for a while such as the low level tauren quests in Mulgore. Since he started at level 20, he was already too high level for the starter quests, but I did them anyway to remember my days when I tried and gave up on more than one tauren character. I just couldn’t stand the rear scratching of the males and being a female cow just wasn’t for me.

Daxien and Tjoko have their own personalities because they’re from two very different races, but I like that they’re unified in the fact that they’re both druids. I’ve even made a new music video featuring them which I’ll be uploading tomorrow sometime. I tried uploading it today, but my internet is far too slow so I’ll be using the faster internet when I visit my mom tomorrow.

Despite the faction divide the current expansion seems to be promoting, I like to think that if my two druid boys ever met, they’d become great friends. After all, they were both created by the same slightly crazy, altoholic, Azeroth-loving woman. 😉

gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Writing

Addicted to Warcraft Elves

My lovely blood elf hunter, Sriset.
My night elf rogue, Syaine.

It seems fairly obvious that my addiction to creating elf characters in World of Warcraft started with my very first character of a blood elf hunter. My first alliance toon was a night elf hunter I believe and among my 50 characters, the majority are some type of elf.

I’ve experimented with all the other races at some point and I do like the draenei and now the new Zandalari trolls, but otherwise it’s elves. Blood elves, night elves, nightborne elves, and void elves, I love them all!

I have too many to post pictures of them, but here’s a few favorite images of my plethora of elves.

My blood elf paladin in mid-attack.
My blood elf mage.
My nightborne shadow priest.
My void elf shadow priest.
My night elf druid.
My nightborne monk in mid kick.
My void elf warlock.

Why elves? Well, I think it’s their poise and grace of movements. I’m still disappointed that the nightborne don’t do the night elf flip because their jumping just looks awkward. Otherwise, the elves seem like the most lithe and maneuverable of races. Those traits aren’t necessarily traits I possess in my own body.

I’m obviously not the only player that loves elves as whenever I start a new blood elf or night elf, the starter area is full of brand-new toons questing around. Many of them are notably new toons of someone with a higher-level toon because they’re wearing heirloom armor. I have heirloom armor pieces as well, but I don’t usually put them on until I can transmog them to something more unique and appealing in appearance.

My newest night elf priest with an heirloom wearer running by.
My blood elf warrior in heirloom gear. Umm, no.
Much better after a transmog!

My oldest daughter thinks I have far too many elves and she’s entitled to her opinion. She’s happy that I’m enjoying playing the Zandalari trolls as a change of pace, but my first love will always be elves. It is a fantasy game after all and it’s fun to pretend to be something that doesn’t exist doing things not possible in the mundane real world.

gaming, Questing, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Writing

Déjà vu in Eversong Woods

My daughter’s blood elf mage and my blood elf warrior questing in Eversong Woods.

This past weekend I created yet another new World of Warcraft character, this time it was a blood elf warrior. I already have two warriors, a male draenei and a female nightborne, but I had yet to create a non-demon hunter or non-death knight version of a blood elf. I created the male blood elf warrior as research for my Warcraft fanfiction, so I could “live” his backstory, as it were.

On my brand new blood elf warrior, I did the quests in the starting area of Sunstrider Isle and got him to level six this past weekend. Then last night I decided to play him again for a bit. I have a few pieces of heirloom armor that I use for new toons, but the appearance wasn’t quite befitting a blood elf.

My heirloom armor as it appears once created.

To fix the wardrobe issue, I ran him all the way to Orgrimmar where I transmogged his gear into as much of the Sin’dorei heritage armor as I could. His belt can’t be transmogged yet, but I’ll live.

My blood elf warrior resplendent in the Sin’dorei heritage armor.

Amid my running back and forth, I asked my oldest daughter if she would be kind enough to get on her low level mage and invite my new warrior into our guild called Rawr Flex. She said she would and that we should quest together for a bit. I thought that idea sounded quite lovely and so I invited her to a group and started on my way to catch up with her toon in Fairbreeze Village.

My fabulous blood elf warrior dashing through Eversong Woods.

To go from Orgimmar back to Eversong Woods requires taking the portal to Undercity and then taking another portal from the Ruins of Lordearon to Silvermoon City. Not a horrible way to travel really, but at level eight with no riding, running takes a while. Plus, I hate Undercity and really don’t mind that it’s destroyed in Battle for Azeroth.

As I made my way through the streets of Silvermoon City and out into Eversong Woods amid the gently flying dragonhawk hatchlings gliding about, I was struck with a feeling of deja vu. The feeling grew stronger as I ran across The Dead Scar with its skeletal mobs called plaguebone pillagers.

A lazy dragonhawk hatchling flying by.
Nearing The Dead Scar filled with Scourge.

My running journey on my blood elf warrior was so familiar because I’d taken a similar journey when I first started playing Warcraft and I was running to catch up with my brother. Except then I was on my female blood elf hunter, Sriset, and he was on a blood elf male of some class I no longer remember.

Last night I was once again running to catch up to a family member, but this time it was my oldest daughter, a player I’m responsible for bringing into the game of Warcraft. She’s also a much better player than I and more enjoyable to quest with than my brother was because she waits for me and tends to get just as lost as I do.

My daughter’s mage playing “keep away” with her frost nova spell while my warrior attacks un-stealthily from behind.

It felt sort of surreal when I realized that 10+ years had passed since I first ran through Eversong Woods and crossed The Dead Scar. Back then I knew nothing of the lore of the blood elves. I didn’t understand what The Dead Scar was and I didn’t even notice that there was a broken gate into Silvermoon City where Arthas and his Scourge army broke through.

But this time, after playing the game for years and reading Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden, I knew the lore well and respected it.

My warrior observing the broken gate into Silvermoon City.

So much has changed in my life since my first character sprang to life in Azeroth over a decade ago, but last night reminded me that Warcraft has come with me on my journey and has now become part of my oldest daughter’s journey. I look forward to experiencing many more adventures in World of Warcraft and continuing to see Azeroth through fresh eyes with the help of my daughter.

gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Writing

Finding My Dad in World of Warcraft

My dad and I, circa 1994.

My dad never played World of Warcraft. In fact, he’d quite often grumble when I’d play Warcraft when he was visiting my house or I was visiting his. That’s interesting considering that he’s the one responsible for my interest in and enjoyment of computer/video games in the first place.

My dad was a software engineer but he was also quite savvy with mechanical engineering elements. He loved technology and bought one of the earliest personal computers, a Commodore 64. That computer gave me my first introduction to computer games. I remember playing all sorts of games on it, although I no longer remember their names, and a Google search proved too overwhelming to sift through.

Those first computer games led to games on additional gaming systems as I was growing up, including Sega, Nintendo, and PlayStation. My father continued playing video games, but they were always PC games and were usually war themed games or strategy games. I was into all types of games, but preferred ones that moved a bit slower and had a story, such as Legend of Zelda and the various spin-offs.

But as I said, my dad never played World of Warcraft. I think he might’ve enjoyed it if he’d given it a try, but he didn’t really have the desire to. Perhaps if he’d known about it before he had his strokes, he would’ve been more open minded and less grumbly about me playing it.

For a long while after my dad’s death I felt guilty about playing World of Warcraft while he was around. I felt I’d wasted time when I could’ve been spending it with him. But I eventually realized that playing Warcraft was my way of escaping the reality of an unhappy marriage and also an escape from dealing with the sadness of how my father’s physical and mental health were deteriorating. It was a coping mechanism and it was certainly less destructive than other outlets.

Now, almost 10 years after my dad’s passing, that guilt is gone as I’ve realized I can’t change the past. One thing he always wanted was for me to be happy and World of Warcraft certainly contributes to that happiness. Another thing he always wanted for me was to never give up on my writing and Warcraft has provided me the inspiration to write more frequently than I have in decades. This blog is an example of that.

Then a funny thing happened a few weeks ago as I was playing my low level lightforged draenei mage named Caruun. I realized that the character reminded me of someone. The broad stature, the laugh, the behavior, and the ornery nature of his water elemental all struck a familiar chord with me. I soon concluded that Caruun reminded me of my dad and my entire perspective on that character changed.

While writing this, I went back through my screenshots because nowadays I always take screenshots when I create new toons. When I looked at the date that I created Caruun, it was October of 2018, the nine year anniversary of my dad’s passing. I only vaguely recall doing that now that I’m trying to remember. On that day I think that was my father’s spirit at work coming to life during a time when I miss him keenly and feel deep sadness.

Caruun in the Xenedar receiving this orders.
Caruun during Love is in the Air. My dad was an old-fashioned romantic.
Caruun on a horse. My dad started riding in his 50s.

As my dad was an engineer and loved tinkering with things, Caruun picked up engineering and mining as his two professions. I then became very focused on leveling up that profession for the first time ever on any of my toons. One of my other toons, a void elf hunter named Valessa, had mining as well and I mailed her surplus of materials to Caruun. That development led to an interesting thought for my Warcraft fanfiction and deepened my association between Caruun and my father.

Caruun working away with his hammer. My dad was great with tools.
Caruun and the first explosive sheep he built. My father would’ve loved building something so cute but dangerous!

Would my father have been a mage if it were possible? Yes, I think so. Why? Because as pointed out by Kalecgos in Christie Golden’s novel, “Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War,” magic is just a form of math. I bet my dad would understand the workings of mage spells inside and out from a mathematical standpoint and that it would work perfectly with his engineering intelligence.

Whenever I play Caruun, I feel close to my dad’s spirit now. While I see a lot of my father in Caruun, he also has his own personality and backstory. Being from the world of Argus, Caruun is unfamiliar with many elements of Azeroth. He’s learning about new creatures and races and cities and it’s all very fascinating for him. However, his constant curiosity and slight confusion tends to annoy his water elemental, who my daughter helped me name Slosh McSloshers, and therefore Slosh never looks happy and occasionally burbles off elsewhere.

Slosh and Caruun teamed up, doing damage!
Caruun: “Where are you going?!”
Slosh: “Peace out. You’re on your own.”
Slosh: “Okay, fine, I’ll come back and help.”

While other people might find it odd that I feel like I’ve found my dad in World of Warcraft, especially when he never played the game, it makes perfect sense to me. I always believe that my dad’s spirit is close by me and I feel like he influences some of what happens to Caruun and Slosh in the game. Those happenings have also inspired me to delve further into their adventures with my writing and that’s something my father would definitely approve of!

Stay tuned for The Adventures of Caruun and Slosh McSloshers! =)