Cap’n Crackers

Pour, O pour the pirates’ sherry, fill, O fill the pirates’ glass!

As a thank-you for participating in her positive WoW-ing experiment, Alunaria has very generously given us new pets! Here’s my rogue with Cap’n Crackers, a shoulder-sitting parrot, living the pirate life.

Thank you, Alunaria! It was fun, and the new friend is a lovely bonus!

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

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Joy to the World (of Warcraft), Final Thoughts

Well, we’ve come to the end of Alunaria’s positive WoW-ing challenge, and here’s how it went.

We posted 14 times with fun transmogs (Erik) and reflections on things in World of Warcraft that make us happy (Eppu). We don’t usually post very much at this time of year, so it was a change for us. It’s been fun.

Alunaria also asked for a final reflection on the experience of staying positive for two weeks, so here goes.

Did you make it through?

Yep. For the last two weeks, I’ve been playing as usual and having a good time. I’ve also stayed away from negative posts, which wasn’t hard for me since I don’t go in for that much anyway. One time I was looking through the comments on a Blizzard Watch post and things were starting to get testy, so I backed out, but that was it. I just don’t spend my time on YouTube or the forums listening to people complain, so staying away was just an ordinary day for me. While there are still things about the current expansion that I don’t like, there is a lot that I do enjoy, and that’s what I spend my time doing anyway, so there wasn’t any real change in how I played the game, either.

What proved to be the most difficult?

Honestly, not much. Like I said, I just don’t do the parts of the game I don’t like, and I don’t spend much of my time listening to people complain about parts of the game they don’t like. Keeping up regular posts at a time of year when we usually take a break required a little effort, but it was also a fun thing to do over the holidays.

Did you manage your minimum of seven posts?

We got 14 posts between the two of us (7 from Erik, 7 from Eppu), so both jointly and severally, we sure did.

Do you feel any different now?

Not really. It was fun, but it also wasn’t much of a change for me. There are things I like about the current expansion and things I don’t, and none of that has changed. Fortunately for us, we’re able to play in a way that avoids most of the things we don’t like and focuses on the things we do, but other people have different tastes and priorities, and if this expansion isn’t working for them, their feelings are as valid as ours. I suppose I’m just not the target audience for this experiment.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our posts as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them. Happy New Year all around! May it fill your days with joy, in and out of Azeroth!

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Joy to the World (of Warcraft) 14

Alunaria, over at Alunaria’s Avenue, has proposed a holiday challenge: stay away from the griping, grousing, and general grinchiness about World of Warcraft that’s all to easy to find these days and post something positive instead.

My final entry is for the music. Each and every expansion has brought a new twist to the main theme plus a sizeable selection of anthems and tunes for various scenes. Everything is incredibly beautiful, haunting, or exciting; rarely do I disagree with or dislike the game music selections. In fact, I often play WoW music when working or doing house chores. 🙂

The music from vanilla, however, will always have a special place in my heart. I especially love the Nightsong. Here’s an extended version:

Nightsong Extended – HD via shadowsnstuff on YouTube

 

* * *

As this is my final post for the positivity challenge, here are some concluding thoughts. (Be sure also to read Alunaria’s final experiment post!)

Yay, I made it! 🙂

I don’t think this challenge changed my thoughts of Battle for Azeroth much; since the launch, I’ve had enough other things on my plate to make following negative Nellies impossible. It’s good to know, however, which sites are safe and which I should stay away from.

My playing also hasn’t changed a lot, but a bit. I’m still new enough to the expansion that I have to actually pay attention when I’m questing. I’m starting to remember some of the tricks to particular quests and areas, though, so soon I’ll have to be on my toes to remember to stop and enjoy instead of brainlessly churning through the content.

What has changed for me after compairing the previous epansions to the current iteration is my appreciation of many changes in recent years. I already talked about the Flight Master’s Whistle, the gathering nodes and the landscaping; I also think the world of mass looting and the ease of scrapping. While I’ve never cared for the mission board quests that much, I find the BfA version smoother to operate and slightly more interesting. Most of the armor and weapons in Pandaria and Cataclysm I find too boring to look at, but BfA has a lot to like again. And the quest chaining has also become more interesting along the years, I think. And the cities! I love Suramar from Legion and both Dazar’alor and Boralus in BfA.

As a bonus, here’s my Night Elf druid’s Christmas mog viewable in the Wowhead Dressing Room:

WoW BfA Stormsong Valley NElf Flight Masters Whistle Dec 2018

Funnily enough both Erik and I accidentally chose the same staff (here’s Erik’s mog). 🙂

Finally, here are links to my preceding six posts:

Image: World of Warcraft screencap

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Joy to the World (of Warcraft) 13

Alunaria, over at Alunaria’s Avenue, has proposed a holiday challenge: stay away from the griping, grousing, and general grinchiness about World of Warcraft that’s all to easy to find these days and post something positive instead.

(I had meant this post for yesterday, but I ran out of time. Oh well; here it finally is.)

The Horde side has Caravan Brutosaurs! If you hang out awhile in the city, you can see Dazar’alor drudges unpacking these brontosaurus analogues—people at the top of the saddle structure chuck baskets and boxes down, where others first pile them up and then take away.

WoW BfA Zuldazar Caravan Brutosaur

The same model is also called Roughneck; there are some traveling the roads west of the city.

WoW BfA Zuldazar Roughneck

The really awesome thing, though, is that you can ride some of them! There’s at least one rideable Caravan Brutosaur walking back and forth over the bridge that runs west towards the Village in the Vines from the stretch of land between the Great Seal and Tal’farrak in Dazar’alor.

When you mount, you get an action panel with two options: toss fruit to scare away saurid and other beasts, or hop off. I don’t yet know whether it’s only available during the Brutal Escort world quest; I have been able to ride the brutosaur and the fruit tossing worked fine, but I didn’t see any attackers nor were any other events triggered. I was on my level 114 warrior, though; maybe the rideable brutosaur is available below 120 but not programmed to do anything else.

WoW BfA Goblin Warrior on Caravan Brutosaur Jan 2019

It’s pretty awesome anyway—then again, the brontosaurus is my favorite dino. 🙂

Images: World of Warcraft screencaps

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Joy to the World (of Warcraft) 12

One last holiday transmog for Alunaria’s positive WoW-ing challenge!

My blood death knight decided long ago to walk away from the grim, painful history she can’t remember and dedicate herself to fighting for light and righteousness, so she’s here to bring the holiday season to a close in her Gifts of Gold mog.

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Joy to the World (of Warcraft) 10

Alunaria, over at Alunaria’s Avenue, has proposed a holiday challenge: stay away from the griping, grousing, and general grinchiness about World of Warcraft that’s all to easy to find these days and post something positive instead.

Leveling my new Dark Iron Dwarf through some of the classic zones has reminded me how much I love the new terrain and environmental design. It started getting noticeably less clunky in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Out of Cataclysm I especially appreciate Deepholm and Vashj’ir. While I don’t care for the monotonous coloring decisions in Deepholm, the design team carved out quest areas that felt distinct and made a really nice, varying zone in what is essentially a huge hole in the ground. And—though I struggled with having to move 360 degrees all round, not just on a level plain—Vashj’ir is simply gorgeous!

WoW Cata Vashjir Shimmering Expanse NElf on Seahorse

Pandaria I find a bit more hit or miss, but Jade Forest is lovely throughout.

WoW Pandaria Jade Forest Serenity Falls

Legion and afterwards is where the landscape design really blossomed. Several zones have self-contained questing areas side by side, each with its own micro-environment. Stormheim has some of the best examples of this concept.

WoW Legion Stormheim Runewood

Apart from the land shapes, Blizzard upped the flora designs. Tree models are more elaborate and more natural, and come in multiple different sizes. The druid classhall for one is fantastic!

WoW Legion Druid Classhall Xmas Gear Dec 2018

Battle for Azeroth adds even more detailing. The two player-character factions may only have three zones each, but they all have so much to explore. I can’t wait for flying to be made available so I can just ride around looking at the design.

As an aside, one of my favorite BfA features is the incredibly fuzzy bee mount in Stormsong Valley. 🙂

WoW BfA Stormsong Valley Bee Flyer Dec 2018

What are your favorite areas and why?

Images: World of Warcraft screencaps

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Joy to the World (of Warcraft) 8

Alunaria, over at Alunaria’s Avenue, has proposed a holiday challenge: stay away from the griping, grousing, and general grinchiness about World of Warcraft that’s all to easy to find these days and post something positive instead.

Remember how frustrating it used to be when everyone shared the same gathering nodes? Fights would sometimes break out over who got to mine a certain ore or pick a particular flower.

WoW BfA Mining Node Stormsong Valley

Since Legion (at least—was is also before that??) we’ve been able to enjoy individual nodes. That removed the only annoyance we might otherwise have experienced leveling our two humans together, since they both happen to be miners. Now we can both mine the same nodes, and they’ll still be available for others once we’re done.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the nicest changes Blizzard has implemented. (Then again, I’m almost ferociously against PvP.)

As a bonus, here’s my human mistweaver monk‘s Christmas transmog:

WoW Human Mistweaver Monk Xmas Dec 2018

Fortunately it was possible to mog her weapon into a torch and offhand into a sparkler. Both are at least a little more festive than weaponry. 🙂 If interested, you can have a look at the set in Wowhead’s Dressing Room.

Images: World of Warcraft screencaps

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Joy to the World (of Warcraft) 7

Alunaria, over at Alunaria’s Avenue, has proposed a holiday challenge: stay away from the griping, grousing, and general grinchiness about World of Warcraft that’s all to easy to find these days and post something positive instead.

Today’s WoW session has reminded me how wonderful it is to have the Flight Master’s Whistle.

WoW BfA Stormsong Valley NElf Flight Masters Whistle Dec 2018

I love the speed and flexibility it brings before flying is available—meaning, if I don’t have very much time to play, I can still log on and do a quest or two. The five-minute cooldown is long enough not to ruin the gaming balance but short enough not to feel annoying.

The only way it could be better is if it were available below max level. Sometimes I forget and try to mash the button on my alts, but usually I just get a good laugh out of my mistake. 🙂

Image: World of Warcraft screencap

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.