Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Then and Now

Recently thanks to the “Sixth” meme Gnomeageddon started, most of us have had occasion to delve into our screenshot folders. Today, Hya from Gkick posted an old and a new screenshot of her character on Twitter. (Her guild, Northrend Travel Agency, is also recruiting! Check ’em out. /plug)

When I saw her images I thought, what a great idea! This is something I find endlessly fascinating in real life, too. My Mom and I bored Voss just a few weeks ago while we pored over old photos for three hours. I wondered, how would an old image of my main character look alongside a new one?

"Milya," circa 2008.

"Millya," 2012

Because this character screen image was the best one I had of Millya from the time, I used the same set-up for my new image, too. What strikes me most is actually the changes in my computer set-up – I started playing on a laptop at something like 6 FPS not knowing how awful it was. My character used to move across the screen in cities as if she were underwater. Now I have a 24″ widescreen monitor and a rig with the graphics turned up to max. I think the difference is pretty evident.

What stayed the same: Millya hasn’t changed in appearance since her creation. I have sometimes sat down at the barber shop and toyed with the idea of giving her new hair, but never went through with it. Same with her horns, which are ginormous. When I made her I said, “If I am going to have horns, by god they are going to be the biggest horns I could possibly have.” I think they are grand. So Millya herself hasn’t changed at all, although is it my imagination, or does she somehow look more confident in the more recent photo? Anyway, in essence she hasn’t changed.

What DID change: Millya used to be Milya with a single “L.” You’ll also notice a different “moon” based server there; she was ‘born’ on Moon Guard but now lives on Moonrunner. Obviously her gear now is different, although I am wearing a robe from the BC era (a recolour of a classic robe, actually). I have many more max-level characters listed in my character list. At the time, Millya was my one and only.

I also dug up some “birthday” shots for comparison!

Ding: 70!

Here I am dinging 70 in Netherstorm. I don’t even know what my action bars were doing, although I do know I used to switch between rows of bars using shift. Were my main nukes on another bar? Was I arcane, was I fire, was I frost? I had blast wave so I must have been fire…where are my fire nukes? I at least HAD a DPS meter by this point so I was aware that DPS existed. At 70 I was:

  • Learning what “dailies” were, going to the Isle of Quel’Danas for the first time (and quickly dubbing it the Isle of WTF)
  • Asking friends to help me do the Netherstorm intro so that I could get a Netherwing Drake, clearly the best mount EVER and I was enamored with it
  • Going to Karazhan for my first raid ever
  • Running heroics with my little group of friends, polymorphing all the things and wiping in Magister’s Terrace
  • Attending guild meetings most weeks because I was in an RP guild
  • Going to Alterac Valley as a fire mage to try to get the best PvP staff ever (better for PvE than anything out of Kara, too)

Ding: 80!

I finished up level 80 in the Storm Peaks, doing the Thorim chain that would eventually unlock the Sons of Hodir. I see that I still wasn’t using a bar addon at that time, although I know I was Frost and at least I have my main Frost nukes on there. I played with Frost a bit towards the end of BC and had decided to level with it when Wrath came out. At 80 I ran with a FFB/elemental build for awhile and then went fire, and later played arcane. At 80 I was:

  • Racing to get to 80 as quickly as possible; Voss and I had “left-behind” syndrome from Burning Crusade and wanted to hit the ground running and get to 80 ahead of the pack
  • Blown away by the storytelling and immersive questing and environments (I took tons of screenshots from our first Nexus, and the Wrathgate)
  • Raiding Naxx and EoE and OS and tons of heroics
  • Questing to get Loremaster
  • Leveling tons of alts, most of my alts were created at this time, including the “Pugging Pally”
  • Leaving my server to join our first “serious raiding guild,” also my last and current serious raiding guild
  • Getting a meta mount for the first time in Ulduar
  • Leading a guild and later earning the Bane of the Fallen King title, still the title I am most proud of to this day

Ding: 85!

I think my UI changed the most from Wrath to Cataclysm, probably because I started to raid “seriously” then and really worked to try to fine-tune it. I know it looks a bit jumbly in the bar area; the 3×4 rectangle on the right are keys bound to my Razer Naga. Stuff on the bottom two bars are things I don’t use as often, like Frostbolt for snares (in Fire spec) etc. At 85 I was:

  • Impressed by how difficult the initial heroics and raids were
  • Fishing up a storm so we could learn how to make feasts
  • Enjoying guild perks and making sure to run more instances with guildies to get guild experience
  • Struggling to recruit and realizing that I needed a bit of a break
  • Scaling back to “casual” raiding one night a week, loving it and the group of folks I play with
  • Being able to raid across servers with friends, or just run a five man or two!

It’s interesting to think about what I was wearing in the different “birthday” shots. Within seconds of hitting 70 I’d put on the Spellfire set I’d lovingly crafted in preparation. At level 80 I was wearing level 80 blues and greens; I am pretty sure at 85 I had at least one tailored piece (probably pants) but still had to do a long dungeon/heroic grind to gear up. I think the UI shots probably reveal more about the difference between my character and my playing four years ago and now. I didn’t actually choose the “oldest” image of Millya I had, mostly because they are all shots from behind. (It only later occurred to me to spin her around to have her face in any photos, so I have a screenshot of draenei butt, which is alright but not always excellent photography).

I think part of the reason I like transmogrification so much is because it allows the current-day reality of a character to revisit different times. After all, mostly the only thing that has changed about my character is her gear. I could wear what she is wearing in that shot again, if I wanted to! Although in this case I don’t think I will, I’m afraid I might find it an ill-fitting old dress – better remembered in images than reality! (Even when the reality you’re discussing is virtual…)

Finally, it’s your turn! Post your new and old character screenshots side by side. Try to take them in the same place (if you can), or just pick whichever ones you want. Include your “birthday” images if you’d like! Write about what has changed, and what’s still pretty much the same. Then let me know if you did, and I’ll gather the links together. I am a sucker for walks down memory lane, let me see your old “photos!” If you don’t want to blog about it or don’t have a blog, you can also post screenshots on Twitter and include the hashtag #wowthenandnow just so folks can see ’em. Meantime, don’t laugh at my UI, we all have to start somewhere!


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Battleplate of Radiant Glory

Here's the Angry Yellow Man.

Well, folks, it’s here. Above is what I was afraid of. Below is the actual tier set, if you haven’t seen it yet!

Paladins, now with more wings!

Here’s what the artist had to say about it.

Design requested a set to ‘key off the Guardian of Ancient Kings summon,’ and I though the concept of ‘feathered’ plate mail, rendered in silver and gold, would create an aggressive, yet sweeping and powerful silhouette. The previous paladin raid set had a good deal of cloth, but we wanted this set to be entirely platemail.

The key to a strong paladin tier is hitting a balance between martial prowess and elegant grace — tapping into that classic Arthurian knight archetype.

How do I feel about it? I don’t hate it, at all. The colours are much more subdued. They used gold and burnished silver to really evoke that “noble, clean” look without going too over the top. Even the shoulder feathers are okay by me. They wanted to evoke the feeling of the Guardian’s wings without actually having giant wings poking out the back of the armor. Now, as for the helm…well.

I think it’s going to interfere with my horns. Most helms do. It may be something I’ll leave turned on if my horns don’t jab through it in a way that says “one blow to the face is going to embed this metal in my bone.” I’d have to see it on Vid before deciding. That said, who am I kidding – I’m going to probably be transmogrifying this set in any case. Not that it isn’t a very nice set. I may wear it for a time, but like I told my raid, I expect to transmogrify my gear about once a week or so, as the spirit moves me.

I like the set itself, though the winged helm might be a bit over the top. Then again, why not? Heimdall had these two spikes sticking out of his head and nobody laughed at him. (I know Thor’s helmet had wings, too, but he only wore it for about twenty seconds in the movie – which, incidentally, I enjoyed. The movie, that is).

So what do you think of Paladin T13?

Still Excited To Play World of Dresscraft

Last year, for the first time I paid for the Blizzcon “virtual ticket” so that I could follow along with the Blizzcon action as my Twitter feed was filled with excited attendees meeting up and having drinks. I really enjoyed the opportunity to see some behind the scenes stuff (the art and cinematics panels were my favourites!) and listen to the devs answer some questions.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t entirely fun to watch because some of the flippant replies earned my ire at the time. A woman who asked if we could have female characters that didn’t look like they’d stepped from the pages of a lingerie catalog was asked, “Well, what kind of catalog do you want them to have stepped out of?” You could see her face mirroring the feelings I had as this line of men mocked her question. Disbelief, followed by embarrassment, followed by resignation and a shrug as she stepped away from the microphone. By that time, the “answer” had degenerated into tasteless jokes about female Tauren coming from an agriculture magazine or catalog. It was disappointing to see that a serious question was not taken at all seriously. There are entire blogs devoted to the way female characters in games are portrayed. Women that actually play games? We’d like to know that our important organs are protected when we step into battle. Even gamers that are not women don’t necessarily like their characters to have exposed midriff for no real reason.

I’m digressing, though, because my post isn’t actually about this question, but another reply that made me roll my eyes.

The question and answer I’m referring to happen at around 9:39, so you’ll have to do a bit of scrolling to get there. For those who can’t be bothered, here’s a transcript: (also, big thanks to Wolfshead who wrote about this at the time of the last Blizzcon; the commentary on this entry helped me to relocate the question and answer once I knew exactly which developers were involved).

Woman asking question: I would like to ask for a closet. Something similar to a keychain. We’ve got all these wonderful festival items, and midsummer night, and all that stuff, and no place to put ’em!

Tom Chilton: Yeah, that’s actually something that we had hoped to get in with Cataclysm. It’s really more a question of resolving data storage, and exactly what the interface is, and all that kinda stuff. But it is something we’d like to do at some point.

J. Allen Brack: What I’m interested in, is how excited are you guys to play “World of Dresscraft”?

At the time I was watching this, I tweeted: “Why yes, I AM excited to play World of Dresscraft, thank you very much!

Now, almost a year later, as the next Blizzcon looms, much has changed. Lo and behold, we’re getting a virtual closet. We’re also getting the ability to modify our gear. I don’t know about you guys, but the reactions I’ve been seeing to this have been uproarious. My guild has been furiously running old content to get specific set pieces – and we’re not talking about RPers here. We’re a raiding guild. I’ve been saving tier gear all this time out of long abandoned RP pursuits, but also because I just like doing it. My bank is all dresses. Tom Chilton gave a really respectful and honest reply to a valid question. Bank limitations are a problem for pretty much everyone, I’d imagine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much enthusiasm for an upcoming change before!

So I’d say: I’ll let the community’s response answer your question, Mr. Brack.

Right after I watched this Q & A, I started working on a small side-project for fun. Naturally, it could have only one name: World of Dresscraft. This is the result.


Patch 4.3 not coming quickly enough for you? Help shorten the wait by taking your love of World of Dresscraft into the third dimension with a fully functional paper Millya doll (and assorted outfits!).

Millya is never without an outfit for every occasion. She has fancy dresses, spring dresses, Kirin Tor robes, Draenic Silk Robes (lovingly crafted for Modoru by his grandmother, they’re an heirloom, you know) and even an odd outfit she borrowed from another wizard she met once. There are outfits for fishing and baking, killing Horde, and of course some pyjamas with mage cakes and pink elekk slippers.

You can download the full-sized version here: Millya Doll (Colour)

and if, like me, you don’t have a colour printer, here’s a black and white version that you can colour yourself: Millya Doll (Black & White)

Both of these images should be suitable for output on standard (8.5″ x 11″) paper. I’d recommend printing them on matte photo paper, cardstock, or some other heftier paper. If you don’t have that option, you can always print out and glue them onto something sturdier. Speaking from experience, it is possible to assemble them using plain old’ printer paper, but she won’t stand up really well. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them! The cutting is pretty fiddly, especially Millya’s hair, but it’s just the way her hair is. If you have access to an x-acto knife you might have an easier time using that for the cutting, although it is doable with scissors. I’d never made anything like this before so constructive feedback will be helpful. If I end up doing any more, I can make sure my next one incorporates any suggestions! After all, World of Dresscraft is a vast universe full of many possibilities!

The Well-Dressed Paladin Redux

Transmogrification! I’m a little late to remark on this news, but I don’t think you have to have known me long to know that I am over the moon about these changes. Finally, all the space I’ve been devoting to gear storage is going to pay off! If you’re newish to my blog you may not have read before I moved here from Pugging Pally. I’d like to call your attention to a fashion contest that I hosted last year around this time: The Well-Dressed Paladin. If you go here to the entry where I announced the winners, you can see a gallery of all the creative entries I received.

This seems like as good a time as any to revisit some of the unusual and awesome interpretations of paladin fashion – it doesn’t have to be a complete tier set to look great!

I’ve had a post about mage clothes in the works for ages, so watch for that soon. Meantime, if you’re anything like me, I’d better let you get back to doing old raid content to help get those last few pieces in your closet. I can’t wait to see the choices people make about their gear when they aren’t obligated to display the latest tier because it’s the best raid gear. I actually have a feeling that a good number of folks will still display T12, or whatever the latest tier is – because it’s a symbol of prestige and it does suit the content we’re doing. As for me, I intend to change the look of my gear probably around once a week or so. The cost of redoing it is a drop in the bucket compared to the enjoyment I expect to derive from hosting my own ongoing fashion show.

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