The Sublime and the Beautiful: IntPiPoMo

Since it’s still the 30th of November I thought I’d get a little closer to the 50 pictures.






Rogers Pass to Banff 107

cloister 007

havana to trinidad 096

Dzibilchaltun 004

Caravan day 1 025a

Caravan day 1 044

Who knows I might even “borrow” another time zone to post my last 9.

Painted Skies: IntPiPoMo

It is with horror that I hold up my hands on the last day of the month and admit that I have only managed to post 26 screenshots so far for IntPiPoMo. However by the time the trees start going up to celebrate Winter Veil, I will be finished, I promise. Today’s theme is loosely based on sky as I fell in love with the backdrop to Mists as soon as I got the Beta installed also the theme to Skyfall is constantly being played at work so it’s semi burned into my brain.

A more peaceful time

A more peaceful time

A foreshadowing of what is to come

The Darkness above the Gate

The Gathering Storm Clouds

The Gathering Storm Clouds

A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness



This brings me to 31 out of 50 (and the moral of this story is… next time count as you go!).

A Happy Harpy Day

The first thing I did yesterday on logging…


Daily Delights

My feelings towards Dailies are well documented. I hated them from the minute they were introduced in the Burning Crusade, seeing it as nothing more than a cynical attempt from Blizzard to force the player base to log in each and every day. Nothing in the subsequent five years has done anything to alter that view point, in fact I’d argue the opposite. Which brings us to MoP, the expansion of the Daily. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand Blizzard’s desire to gate reputation. They don’t want a repeat of previous expansions where a good chunk of people did nothing but run dungeons over and over til their eyes bleed, reached exalted with everything and then preceded to whine about having nothing to do. However I don’t believe the current system was the way to handle it.

What would have been wrong with having a reputation cap per faction per week just like the conquest, valor, justice and honour points. It could easily have been the total amount of rep per day times seven, perhaps increasing as you climbed the reputation levels. That would remove the frustration felt when for whatever reason you can’t log in on a specific day and yet you need that rep like yesterday. A further simple twist would have been to make it just like conquest in that you can earn X amount from one area (arenas), Y amount from another (battlegrounds) and Z from a third (rated battlegrounds). That way people could do a heroic wearing a tabard for a bit, do a few dailies and perhaps use their professions for a bit more. Variety is the way to stop people getting bored, not shoehorning them into doing a set number of quests every day.

So now we’ve established beyond all reasonable doubt that I loathe dailies, despise them and would quite happily leap up and down on top of them yelling unpolite comments about their nearest and dearest, I want to talk about the dailies I find bearable. Perhaps my all together favourite is this beauty. I love speeding down the wall, eyes half shut as the landscape goes flying past, frantically trying to steer past spilled oil and barricades. In fact whenever I’m passing by, I pop up there and repeat the course and to me, that’s what dailies should be, quests you actually go out of your way to do because they’re frantic and fun.

Another favourite which also favours speed is this one from the Temple of the White Tiger. Now the first time I did this, I hesitated and failed time after time, getting more and more frustrated. Then driven on by Mr Harpy’s offer to do it for me (naturally he being a rogue did it perfectly the first time), I took a deep breath and ran for my little life. Indeed when it comes to this quest, the phrase “he [or she] who hesitates is lost” couldn’t be more accurate.

There are few others I enjoy, wrestling a shark with my bare hands springs to mind as does battling with my “nemesis” at the Temple of the Red Crane but the vast majority are just a mindless time sink in which I grab as many mobs as possible before aoeing them down and profiting. It’s just like having to do the dishes over and over again intermingled with throwing out the rubbish and picking up the leaves from the garden. I log intending to do all sorts of things, pvp, chat with people in my friends list, tame pets but by the time I’ve tackled my dailies, I’m so sick of the game I tend to log off, looking for other things to do.

The issue is exacerbated by the really random nature of the dailies, getting the same set three days in a row is just painful, especially when you happen to hate those particular quests. If dailies are going to be Blizzard’s answer to providing new content then those dailies have to be fun, they have to be varied (and that includes using the model used to great effect in Money Matters) and above all, they should be just one other aspect of the game. Something that people can choose to do, not a path we’re forced down regardless of how much playtime we have.

As a side note, returning to Money Matters, wouldn’t it be awesome if there were multiple different ways to approach the bulk of the dailies. You could take an intellectual route, perhaps tricking your way to your objective or maybe by simply being nice. The next time around you could take a more agility driven path, focusing on speed or sneakiness. Another day, if time was an issue you could steamroll your way through using brute force and strength. The final path would of course involve stamina and being in it for the long haul.

IntPiPoMo: It’s a jungle out there

Today I though I’d share some of our photographs with you rather than posting screenshots. So here are some of the real life versions of my favourite Hunter pets (and a shoal of shiny fish).

Shark Attack

I’ve been slightly absent this week, work has been a little full on but hopefully from next week I’ll be back to a more regular posting schedule. One involving more words and a few less pictures but in the meantime….

Mr Harpy tends to operate on a policy of “if it’s kill-able  it should be killed at least once just because” and although this has resulted in a few amusing deaths, it’s mostly been a rewarding little hobby.

Now we’re both rather fond of sea-life, sharks and whales in particular so when we spotted these two  swimming off the coast of Krasarang Wilds we knew we’d have to try and kill them.

Our very first experimental attack, carried out in the first few days at 90 didn’t go too well as it turns out these chaps pack quite a punch. However with a bit of refining and a lot of running, the tide turned in our favour.

The end result being a satisfying one although they don’t drop any loot to speak of.

Next up, we’re going to try the same technique on the Whale Shark.

Fog and Fairy tales: IntPiPoMo

The Gilneans always make me think of fairy stories. Deep dark woods, full moons glistening over head, fat candles burning down low and red roses dripping petals the colour of blood.

For a period when I was quite small, we lived close to the German/Netherlands border and used to visit Efteling regularly. Naturally as a child I loved it and whilst I was too young to appreciate the roller coasters, I adored the Fairy Tale Forest.  I know the Worgen are meant to be British and whilst the fog might be, the architecture reminds me so much of wandering around that theme park visiting all my favourite fairy stories.

Here on the east coast of Scotland, it’s often foggy. The Haar comes rolling off the sea, striding in-land like some vast Vykrul woman, her white cloak wrapping the world in cotton wool. You can taste sea salt on the air as she passes, clouding your vision and altering your senses.

The Forsaken have the next best set of buildings, all haphazard edges and balconies. I can’t help wondering what sort of monster arose from it’s slab just after this picture was taken.

Forests too change the way we see things, blocking out the bigger picture.

A Dandelion head, it’s lacy strands dancing in the light like a spider’s web.

Finally, who doesn’t love marshes? The colours caught reflected in the viscous water and the strange trees which flower there make it a thing of beauty.

He’s my fire

Last night I was a little bit down and so when I woke up this morning, Mr Harpy had a little surprise for me.

Yep, he’d taken me minfernal hunting in the middle of the night and had caught this little chap so now Sprout gets to pretend she’s a warlock (aided by pet biscuits).

Buoyed up by this, I spent the afternoon catching the remaining pets I needed to pick up my very own Venus. All I have to do now is resist the temptation to rename Venus to Bananarama.

Taking time to stop and pick the Snow flowers

As you may have gathered, I’m not playing much at the moment. Now that’s partly due to my long commute and the hours I’m putting in at work but even when I do have time to spare, I’m not rushing for the computer either.

MoP is undeniably beautiful. I could lose myself in it’s landscapes for hours, wandering from waterfall to waterfall and yet, I’m not doing. I log, do the odd daily, the odd pet battle and then I log off. I haven’t even done much PvP, let alone set foot in the Looking for Raid. Neither have I done all the heroics or all the scenarios and as for being exalted with all the Pandarian factions….. not a chance. Ok, I’m exalted with two and part way through revered with all the rest (apart from the Shado-pan who annoy me on many levels).

Sure, the dailies have pushed me away in part but then I’ve always felt they were flawed as a concept (but that’s another post). If I’m being honest, I know at the heart of my issue lies a sense of loneliness. What’s the point of getting PvE gear if you aren’t doing PvE? I don’t have a raid to gear up for and my pets really don’t care whether I’m wearing twill or the finest epics that “skill” can buy. I miss the banter of guild chat, that abstract conversation which keeps you logged in way after your bed time and that sense of achievement when you finally come together as a team. The same is true of PvP, it’s far better when you are a team rather than a rag taggle bunch linked by hatred and mutual loathing.

Perhaps it’s finally time that I broke my own expansion rule, the one that says alts stay firmly in the background until all reps, dungeons and other such things have been achieved on the character du jour.

Maybe Snowflower (and no, she’s no relation to Snow Blossom) needs actually finish exploring that wandering turtle.

(On a side note, one of my favourite things about Windows 8 has to be the photo apps which are so easily available).

50 Shades of Grey: The IntPiPoMo edition

Karazhan in the rain

Incy wincy spider

A Tree

The Theramore Graveyard