• MMOs

    March of the Gnomes

    *insert any number of “hanging with my gnomies” jokes that you wish here*

    Single Abstract Noun’s Gnomer Gnome Rally took place this afternoon, and an inordinate amount of fun was had by all. We all created gnomes with names beginning with “gn” and headed out. Mine was Gnomercy.


    Through the Valley of Shadow

    We tried to move in orderly lines, we really did. But you know gnomes…

    “Ok, everyone form a straight line here.”

    “Shinies!” *scatter*

    But we made it through to Kharanos, where everyone visited the mailbox and picked up pets from the mailbox. We then doubled our numbers with penguins, which were almost as tall as we were. And then we were off, orderly as a herd of ferrets to Ironforge.

    This image is yoinked from Rahana – click for There Ain’t No Gnome Like a Blogger Gnome.

    It was fun. I laughed most of the way through the run. To my knowledge, most of the guild aren’t normally RPers, but lordy did they get into the spirit of things! All chat in /say was in character, and everyone was perfect for gnomes. I really wish that I’d screenshotted more of the chat.

    We formed a guild, <Single Abstract Gnoun>. Perfect.

    We didn’t attract a lot of attention from everyone in Ironforge, but we did pick up a few harrassers fans along the way.

    To wash the road dust off, we had a communal bath in Ironforge. There were some very suspect bubbles in the pool, and the penguins better have been to blame!

    As we made our way through Ironforge, trying to stay together, not fall into the lava, and so on, someone noticed that there was a Really Big Chicken in the museum. And they were off, scattering to go and see the sights. A fire was built under it, but in the end we had to forego the huge bird and remember why we were there.

    Now properly clean, the next step was to visit King Magni Bronzebeard to present our petition for gnome rights. (See Reflections from the Pond’s For Gnomeregan for some great screenshots.) He seemed reluctant to respond to our demands for lower doorknobs, shorter chairs, bars that we could be seen over, and so on (big beer steins, and big barmaids, were evidently A-OK). We left the petition on his throne for him to ponder over, and did what all little gnomies in the big city do – we went to the pub.

    The evening degenerated into Totally Butt Nekkid Table Dancing, the singing of gnome songs, and more frivolity. A wonderful afternoon for all.

  • MMOs

    Warcraft: Time for a Graphics Update?

    Due to the fun of hanging with Single Abstract Noun, I’ve gotten back into the game in a big way. I haven’t played so much Warcraft since I virtually quit the game when I stopped raiding. Even though the game is fairly old, everything considered, the graphic style has held up quite well. There are a few areas, though, where it’s really starting to bother me a bit.

    1. It’s time to redesign the character models.

    I love Kit above every other game character that I have spent endless hours with. But when I look at her awkward spade-shaped hands and triangular fingers, it really bothers me. Mouths are bad. Male characters are creepy and ugly – most of them seem to have harelips, and they all look kind of pissed off and constipated, as though they’re in need of a good poo. I could never play one. Blood elf males are better facially, but still suffer from the grotesquely overwide shoulders. Human models are boring, and human females are saddled with the worst dance in the game. It just won’t do!

    Now, everything doesn’t have to be as beautiful as, say, Aion. I quite like the look of the towns and outdoor environments, and the very stylised Warcraft art direction works for me. But please, please, please – redo the avatars.

    2. The older armor and weapons need an update.

    I get the starting out in rags and gradually acquiring better gear thing, that’s fine. But again, the older textures are really showing their age. They’re so low-res that you just get a vague impression of broadly-sketched in texture. Give me more modern textures, where the cloth looks like cloth, and metal actually looks like metal. Newer high-level armor sets are fine, a lot of work has gone into those. But the really old textures are pathetic.

    When interviewed, the developers and designers at Blizzard are pretty honest about not really knowing what, exactly, give Warcraft the magic that it has, that indefinable quality of “fun”. And I would never wish anything to detract from that. But surely, better character models would only increase pleasure in the game, without diverging too much from the look and feel of the environment.

    That said, though, I am having an enormous amount of fun running around with my blocky, floppy-footed troll hunter with the vacant, somewhat retarded face. She’s smarter than she looks…and a lot more fun. :)

  • MMOs,  Personal

    Together Time, Apart

    I’ve played so much Warcraft this weekend. I’ve played until my eyes have dried up and turned into raisins…but it was still a fun weekend.

    P. has been playing Star Trek Online, having discovered Klingon pvp. Our computer rooms are on the top floor of the house, with a connecting door so we can yell at each other. It’s rather nice. Quite often we play together, when we’re playing the same games. When we’re not, then we go off and do our own thing. We always have something to talk about, and have an outlet for our geekiness (gaming is something that I mostly just don’t talk about at work, aside from casual references).

    The cats have their favourite spots around the rooms. Occasionally they insist on quality time, usually by sitting in front of the computer screens, being obstructive. My room is dark blue, filled with a wall of books, several computers, a squashy reading chair and lamp, and a poster of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow.

    This is my homespace, this is where I relax. Where the sound of space battles meets clashing blades, where the air smells of my favourite Nag Champa, where we can call to each other from our separate universes.

  • MMOs

    Warcraft Woes

    I’ve been struggling with an infuriating issue with Warcraft for a month or so now. Recently it’s gotten worse, to the point where it affects most of the characters that I want to play. My bank alt can stand around IF enjoying 40-60 fps even with everyone around him, but can I play a main? Not without everything looking like a series of photographs. It’s even a problem with brand new characters.

    On some characters (not all, just some) I experience very low fps (9-12) and drawn-out, stuttering sound – to the point where the game is unplayable. I’ve tried everything:

    • Full reformat and reinstall of my operating system
    • Full download and fresh reinstall of Warcraft
    • Playing without any addons at all
    • Updated all drivers, including scary motherboard drivers

    At this point, I’m out of options. :( It’s possible the powersupply isn’t powering the graphics card sufficiently, but aside from that I’ve no idea. It’s a decent spec, with a good graphics card and a lot of RAM. Frustrating in the extreme.

    I joined SINGLE ABSTRACT NOUN, and they’re a very social, literate group of gamers – I highly recommend stopping by and saying hi if you can. I’ll be the one getting killed because of my terrible lag. :D

    EDIT: And after weeks of frustration, and not one but THREE support tickets, I seem to have fixed it. (Please don’t let me have jinxed it by saying that!) For some reason, enabling 3D sound fixes the low framerate. Thank all the gods for Teh Internets and the ONE PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD who had the same problem and posted how they fixed it. One. Person. Bless you.

  • MMOs

    SINGLE ABSTRACT NOUN

    This is such a great idea – a guild of bloggers (and people active in the Warcraft community). I was so jealous of Casualties of War while I was playing Warhammer…but not enough to play on the US servers. :) If you play on Argent Dawn, EU -or don’t mind rerolling there- say hi because they seem like a very nice group of folks.

    As Tamarind says in the post, one of the rules is that you “Leave your wowcock in the stand by the door”. It doesn’t get much better than that. That’s pretty much why I stopped raiding, and then stopped playing my mains…I was so sick of having to list achievements, and playing the “my gearscore is bigger than yours” type of games, that it just wasn’t fun any more.

    And it’s on a roleplay server! That is so tempting. I miss RP servers. I may have to reactivate my account and join them. :)