The Gnome and the Changeling

I know I’m terrible at dealing with change and no amount of expensive courses my employers send me on will alter that. Growing up I lacked stability, having to shift house and school far too often in the wake of my father’s job and it’s left me craving solid foundations with the bare minimum of surprises and spur of the moment changes.

On the back of this, I was always worried about my reaction to the remodeled WoW characters but now that I’ve seen my Gnomes as they might be courtesy of WoWhead, I’ve found myself desperately wishing that instead of a 90 boost, we were getting free character redesigns. I’m fine with my rarely ever played rogue (on the left hand side) because she has a decent mouth but the other two….

“It’s never my own little daughter,
It’s never my own,” she said;
“The witches have stolen my Anna,
And left me an imp instead.

    “Oh, fair and sweet was my baby,
Blue eyes, and hair of gold;
But this is ugly and wrinkled,
Cross, and cunning, and old.

From the Changeling by John Greenleaf Whittier

gnomesforlife

I tended towards the serious Gnome face, adult, mature and sensible which is not what these new images convey. In fact I’m struggling so much with this because I hate being negative. I want to be excited, to be enthusiastic about the changes but the way my characters look is important to me, especially with the long established ones. Yes, things change. I definitely don’t look the same as I did when I was four or even fourteen anymore but looking back at those photos, you can still tell it’s me. The shape of my face, the curve of my lips, the blue of my eyes and the way in which I wrinkle my nose like a cat when I yawn. I could understand it more if I could recognize my evil little ganking Gnomes in these images but I can’t.

I’ve been trying to level Dorrie the little Warlock as a side project but now I’m struggling to motivate myself because I don’t want her to go from this:

WoWScrnShot_042014_221716
to this:

Dorrie

Although I she’s only got to level 13 so I suppose I could start from again from scratch.

Sproutling might have to undergo a race change because my evil little Priest does not look this, although at least she has Shadowform to hide behind.

Sproutling

It’s the mouth that I struggle with, reminding me as it does of an unfortunate boyfriend whose lips were equally rubbery and wide. Her hair on the other hand is fabulous. Possibly I will get used to the look but it’s left me decidedly nervous for the rest of the unveilings. I know there are plenty of you who will think I’m being ridiculous and perhaps you’re right but I’m the sort of person who has a panic attack if anyone suggests the crazy idea of going to the milk aisle before the bread aisle in the supermarket.

Day 13: Fast

I’m back!!! We’re almost completely moved although there are boxes everywhere as they can’t be properly unpacked until our new kitchen is installed in a fortnight. It turns out I’m even clumsier than I thought as I’m covered in bruises, have dropped multiple heavy boxes on my feet and slammed a heavy chest of drawers into my cheek bone whilst half up the stairs but already I feel calmer than before.

I intend filling in my missing screenshots later this week but it seemed appropriate to sneak five minutes to post something relating to “fast”. Thus I present Azeroth’s most annoying creature… the backseat Gnome! I mean I wasn’t going too fast, just fast enough to miss the corner and slide onto the grass for a brief moment.

Fast

Favoritism

This week, Matty from Sugar and Blood provided the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic:

A few weeks ago, I noticed logging onto some characters seemed to be more irksome than others, it dawned on me that there were a few who never, ever seemed to be a chore to play. My question is, (and yes, you need to have more than one character over level 1) which of your characters do you always look forward to “seeing?” But the real question is why? Perhaps think of this from a role playing perspective, that this character has a personality, play style and demeanor that inevitably just works. I’d love to meet them!

WoWScrnShot_010513_213755

This wasn’t even a question I needed to think about, I knew the answer would be Sprout. I wasn’t particularly keen on Gnomes when I first started playing WoW and certainly could never see myself playing one. I wanted to play a character more like myself in Real Life than a pint sized giggling psychopath (although come to think it, remove the height restriction and ……. ). I found the males creepy and the females too doll-like but then Blizzard dropped a bombshell. When they announced Gnome Priests I knew I was going to have to dabble on the Gnomeside and somehow I fell in love.

The voiced animations are awesome, yelling /flee in a crowded bunker works so much better on a Gnome than it does on any other race, as does the /chicken emote. Sprout is happy all of the time and by extension, she makes me happy when I play her. She’s giggly and smiley and is guaranteed to find fun side in anything, even four hour statemate Alterac Valley games against the German realms. Plus, the fact that most people admit to hate being killed by Gnomes adds a certain sweetness to the pie.

Obviously her being a Priest, the class I’m most comfortable on helps a great deal. I know her abilities and her keybinds like the back of my hand. Throw me into a pitched pvp battle and I’d far rather be on Sprout than say my new Monk or a melee of any kind but she brings something to the table that my other Priests lack.

In short, she’s the me I’d like to be. Happy to be alive, carefree and not in the slightest bothered by authority. Sprout doesn’t suffer from depression or obsess about her work, Sprout isn’t a perfectionist, she doesn’t care whether she kills stylishly as long as they’re dead. She bounces through life protected by her shields and an army of mini pets.

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: I believe!

Last week’s shared topic caught my eye for a number of reasons but I’ve been so distracted I failed to get a post written in time. However that nagging desire to put pen to paper refused to go away so better late than never, here’s my contribution.

Canon refers to the actual events and characters that exist in a fictional world. Headcanon refers to any situations or characters that are imagined by fans of said fictional world. Sometimes they are silly, like the fact that Garrosh’s favorite treat is lemon squares. Sometimes they are serious, like positing that tauren store grief in the lungs. For my writing, I’ve come up with a lot of headcanon. Got a theory about a torrid romance between your favorite auctioneer and the patrolling guard? Given any thought to where mounts and pets go when they aren’t summoned? Do you know how your characters do their laundry, or what Baine Bloodhoof does in his free time? What are your headcanons, and where did you get the idea?

Suggested by Akabeko.

Long before I actually rolled a Gnome, the Longberry sisters fascinated me. I used to follow Bimble around Ironforge buying apples from her as an excuse to engage in conversion.

With time she and her sister Ginny morphed from being innocent fruit and reagent vendors into something slightly more sinister in my head. Instead of just helping the inhabitants of Ironforge get their vitamin D, something they clearly need large amounts of since they live underground, Bimble and Ginny are actually Gnomish spy-masters in the pay of SI:7. Shipments of fruit come in from all corners of Azeroth and hidden within the crates of sour green apples and heavy moon harvested pumpkins come reports of troop movements and blood stained battle plans. So if you happened upon the right code word next time you buy your juicy pomegranates straight from the Twilight Highlands, who knows what information might fall into your hands. Of course the consequences for messing with such things might be lethal, after all everyone who has ever read Christina Rossetti should know the perils of purchasing fruit from small creatures.

Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”
from the Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti.

I’ve also been running Violet Hold quite a bit recently. On Sprout I still needed to kill Moragg and since I went to school with a girl called Morag who I didn’t particularly like for a number of reasons, I really wanted to tick that off (to be fair, I was far nastier to her than she was to me, including “poaching” the boy she liked in 5th year by making sure he danced the last dance of our summer ball with me rather than her. It later turned out he was afraid of dogs so that relationship really didn’t work out but that’s another story).

One thing has always bothered me about the Violet Hold. What crimes did these “dangerous” prisoners commit? Can they possibly have topped the terrible things that we the player base have done and if not, why are we swanning around in the Kirin Tor’s tabards whilst they languish in magical prison cells. Thus to sway my own guilty feelings, I started coming with possible offences for these monsters.

This chap above for example might not look particularly ferocious when trapped behind a forcefield but meet him face to face and you’d soon be singing a different tune. His line of “Free to–mm–fly now. Ra-aak… Not find us–ekh-ekh! Escape!” is purely diversion, he doesn’t want to escape, he wants to eat your face with a side order of salted eye chased down by a pickled egg.

Moragg might look like a typical demon, the sort of thing you warlocks can make friends with these days, but secretly it loves nothing better than watching people get down and dirty. This was going fine until the demon happened to come across this:

The tiny gnome peered over the railing into the secluded Dalaran courtyard.
“The view from the balcony is amazing.  You have to come see!”
Armor legplates creaked as Marcus walked over, taking in a deep breath as he absently scratched his scruffy chin.
“The Hero’s Welcome is no slouch.  And there’s something in the room that might interest you.”
Tavi bounded into the room, pausing only a moment before jumping onto the massive bed.

from A Steamy Romance Novel: Northern Exposure

What happened next had a profound and rather disturbing effect on the poor creature. We’ll never know what exactly caused the outburst but once the demon was distracted (you really don’t want to know how much blindweed that took), the body count was in the hundreds.

I actually spend far too much time coming up with stories both for my own characters and those they encounter. I suppose I feel that all of them, from the one line baddies we slaughter on a daily basis to the passing NPCs deserve a story of their own and without the words to sing it themselves, we need to tell for them.

Transmogolympics: Go Kirin Tor!

J D is holding another interesting Transmogrification competition, this time with an Olympic flavour. The categories are as follows:

  • Archery – Build an outfit around your favourite bow.
  • Cycling – Build a biker outfit to compliment the Chopper.  It must be either Leather or Mail.
  • Discus – Build an outfit around one of the shield skins seen here
  • Equestrian – Build an outfit to compliment one of the horse mounts in the game.  (Faction limitations apply, so no Orcs on a Stormwind pony)
  • Fencing – Time for some swordplay.  Build your best outfit around the 1h sword of your choice.
  • Javelin – Build an outfit around the polearm of your choice.
  • Hammer Throw – Build an outfit around your favourite two-handed hammer.
  • Wrestling – We’re going to deviate from olympic wrestling and go to the sports entertainment aspect instead.  Using one of the “championship” belts, design your own Azerothian pro wrestler.  Think of the oversized belts, such as the Firemend Cinch.
  • Freestyle – Build your own NPC.

However as with every competition, everyone needed a faction (or country) to represent and these are drawn at random. I drew the flag of the Kirin Tor and will be endeavouring to do the Mages proud. A list of whom everyone else is representing can be found here. There is also room for lots more people to join in the fun, so come on, sign up today.

Here is Sprout, my standard bearer, all dressed up like she’s about to sneak into one of those secret Mage only parties they throw in the Purple Parlour giving it laldy* for the Kirin Tor. I am actually tempted to farm this and hang out in Dalaran talking to Bitty Frostflinger

.

The other categories won’t be shown here as they will be submitted to the judges anonymously.

*There are two Scots slang words I happen to like a lot, Laldy which mostly means to do something with gusto, to put a lot of effort in and Peely-wally which is one of my best friend’s favourite all time words and means to look off-colour, to be pale.

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