Dragon Age Inquisition – First Thoughts

Santa came early to the Harpy household this year bringing with him a copy of Dragon Age Inquisition. It’s a joint present and as we have with both incarnations of the game, we’re playing together sharing the decision making and taking it in turns to pilot our way around the stunningly beautiful map.

Naturally we’re playing a Mage as we have in every other incarnation of the game and spent around an hour playing with the character creation screen.

ScreenshotWin32_0000_Final

Visually the game has blown me away, it’s far too easy to stand around admiring the way the light falls through the leaves or the little details dotted around.

ScreenshotWin32_0016_Final

ScreenshotWin32_0061_Final

What has really sold me though is the scale of the game, we’ve played for around eight hours but haven’t really achieved anything at all. From puzzles, to little quests just to be kind along with the main story lines, the scope is immense.

My favourite thing so far however is this:

ScreenshotWin32_0068_Final

It might turn more like a  tank than a horse but the level of detail is amazing, from the difference in your position depending on your speed to the individual hairs making up the tail.

A lonely impulse of delight: On Flight in Draenor

They say honesty is the best policy so before I start, I thought I’d nail my colours to the mast. As a girl flight fascinated me. The Wright Brothers were heroes of mine and the first Latin I learnt was the motto embroidered on my Father’s uniform so that it lay across his heart, Per Ardua ad Astra or Through Adversity (or Hardship) to the Stars. I loved the angry roar of his squadron’s fighter planes as they powered down the runaway and shot upwards into the sky. Like Icarus I wanted to soar amongst the clouds on wings of my own, seeing the world below as if it were nothing more than a patchwork quilt spread on a old bed. Even now, I get a physical kick from flying, the harder the take-off the more that jolt of burning flame hits my stomach so when Flying was first introduced into WoW whilst I had major misgivings for World PvP over all, I was secretly excited. After all the world looks so different from up there, you’d get a whole new perspective and so many more screenshot opportunities and I couldn’t quite shake my feelings for the Irish Airman who W.B Yeats had utter these words:

A lonely impulse of delight

Drove to this tumult in the clouds;

calgaryflight 033

Somewhere over Canada

As it turned out, Flying did kill off World PvP but that tide was turning anyway, so many battlegrounds and arenas meant that fighting over tiny strips of non instanced land didn’t interest the majority anymore and like many things it became a convenient habit especially with mounts like the Headless Horseman’s available.

Fast forward to Draenor and when I first read about the lack of flight, my gut reaction was one of a backwards step. Blizzard had given us something and now they were taking it away which whilst always within their rights to do so was frustrating. I thought about the various Flying Mounts other’s had purchased from the Blizzard store for cold hard cash and that only added to my annoyance. Surely selling things and effectively making them obsolete in the current version of the game was a tad unscrupulous. I went on a tour of all the little secret hidden places I love so much, the borderlands, the gap between the hedgerows where anything and everything seems possible and thought how much I’d miss finding places like this in Draenor. The thought of no flying built itself up and up becoming almost a deal breaker for me.

Then with drums and crashing servers, the expansion arrived and somehow my opinion suffered a sea change. I found myself tightrope walking in the Spires of Arak desperately seeking archaeology fragments because no bit of purple rope was going to get the better of me. I spent time figuring out how to scale giant mushrooms to win myself battle pets in the shape of pretty spores and I fell both up and down cliffs in pursuit of trifles wrapped in sparkly boxes. For the first time in a long time, I had to engage my brain and think about the best path to places, levitate and goblin gliders have both been invaluable I admit but more than that, it’s been fun. I haven’t been knocked off my mount and forced to fight to the death against a horde of pesky mobs as I feared which given that I’m a Holy Priest who hits like a wet noodle is a very good thing but more than that I feel engaged in the world around me. The sight of something glittering amongst the trees, well that’s the beginning of a puzzle. Yes some are way harder than others and at times Mr Harpy has a distinct advantage as a cheating, leaping warrior but the sense of satisfaction seems so much greater than just swooping down out of the sky would do.

At no point so far have I felt let down by being grounded. Most cliffs are climbable somehow, the trick is figuring out where. I don’t feel particularly slowed down by having to ride across country either and having a level 3 Stables takes some of the potential bite out of that anyway. We no longer need to physically get to raids so that’s another potential issue removed entirely. I don’t even miss the convenience of being to go straight from A to Z without having to stop off along the way. Of course, when I return to the old world, I still fly but we accept that there are different ways of doing things in the real world so why not in Azeroth. Perhaps when the last patch brings the shadow of Draenor’s final curtain then flying would be appropriate but in the meantime, I think we’ll survive.

First Days of Draenor

Draenor.. it’s certainly been an interesting ride so far.

WoWScrnShot_111314_223010

On Snowflower, despite the fact that she’s level 92 her garrison lies unloved and mostly untouched mainly because I daren’t set foot in it. I spent most of yesterday afternoon stuck to it, attempting to leave only to be ported back and told my transfer was aborted. Clearly Garrisons have rather strong gravitational pull. Sproutling, perhaps because she’s a Gnome and thus has lower mass has had a lot more success and might actually manage to develop hers beyond a Barracks.

Questing has been far more successful. Shadowmoon Valley is without a doubt beautiful and the quest chains fit together nicely.

WoWScrnShot_111314_220736

I also love the sheer number of “treasure” dotted around the landscape, whether in the form of rares or just little trinket boxes hidden around the place. In fact I’d argue my biggest bug bear, apart from the Garrisons of course is the fact that half these items don’t seem to go into the Toy Box meaning bag space fills up just as fast. My favourites so far have to be this very fast and quite unpractical mount who drops from Shinri, a rare spawn in Shadowmoon Valley.

WoWScrnShot_111414_151935

Shinri’s Ghost – a very fast mount only usable in Shadowmoon Valley which lasts for about 20 seconds

and my Ancient’s Bloom, a toy I fell in love with on the Beta and made sure to grab as soon as possible on live. It drops from Yggdrel and whilst also impractical in that you can’t move whilst tree’d, I love it’s look.

WoWScrnShot_111414_152145

All in all, my experiences once away from the Garrisons have been fairly positive, although I see from Trade Chat that many don’t agree.

#IntPiPoMo – The Last Hours of Pandaria

Pandaria whilst beautiful has never been one of my favourite expansions. I’m much more a frozen tundra, fractured ice or burning broken land sort of girl. That said, I still have favourite bolt holes dotted around and I thought on the last day of the expansion that it was only fitting to show you a few of them.

WoWScrnShot_111214_155834

The fertile fields of the valley have always been one of my favourite places to relax #8

WoWScrnShot_111214_171508

#9

WoWScrnShot_111214_172938

#10

WoWScrnShot_111214_172521

#11

WoWScrnShot_111214_172459

#12

WoWScrnShot_111214_171927

#13

WoWScrnShot_111214_171340

#14

WoWScrnShot_111214_170725

#15

WoWScrnShot_111214_170611

#16

WoWScrnShot_111214_170502

#17

WoWScrnShot_111214_165537

#18

WoWScrnShot_111214_164850

#19

#IntPiPoMo 2014 – Theramore before and afterwards

Once again November has rolled around bringing with it IntPiPoMo which was originally started by Angelya of Revive & Rejuventate but is now hosted by Jojo of Admiring Azeroth. The idea behind IntPiPoMo is to post fifty screenshots/pictures across the month with no set themes or rigid rules however given that we are a week away from the latest Warcraft expansion, I suspect the vast majority of mine will be WoW related.

Theramore 

Before.. there were tradespeople bustling around and guards watching, their hands brushing their sword hilts.

WoWScrnShot_110614_163554

Before.. there were buildings, white stone tamed into Inns and Keeps. Wood carved into lintels and doorways, everything serving a purpose.

WoWScrnShot_110614_163720

Before.. there was life. Vivid green grass trapped between cobbled pathways  and bird song fluting down from the walls.

WoWScrnShot_110614_163835

 

Afterwards.. there were graves, so tidy hiding the truth about those entombed below the earth, none of those who lie beneath were ever this neat in life.

WoWScrnShot_110614_162927

Afterwards.. there was broken rock and twisted wood, the remains of the buildings shattered like the bones of those who inhabited them. Spiral staircases rearing up to the sky like jagged spines ending in emptiness and burns smeared across the pale stone.

WoWScrnShot_110614_162654

Afterwards.. there was death. Craters tinged with blood and raw angry magic bubbling up with hatred.

WoWScrnShot_110614_162757

With thanks to Zidormi who lifts the veil between past and present so that we will not forget and we will not forgive.

WoWScrnShot_110614_164322

 

#WoWscreenshotaday – A Hallows End Alphabet

For the first time ever, I’ve actually managed to finish one of Tycertank’s screenshot a day prompts. Clearly having it being Hallows End helped me focus or perhaps it was the nebulousness of the prompts themselves which inspired me. Either way, without any further ado.. here are the rest of my screenshots for October and have a happy Halloween!

 

O is for Owl

WoWScrnShot_103114_174200

P is for Pumpkins

WoWScrnShot_103114_143614

Q is for Queen

WoWScrnShot_113013_015247

R is for Rider of Blood

WoWScrnShot_103114_171636

S is for Skeletons cooking in a pot

WoWScrnShot_102114_155531

T is for Tattiebogle

WoWScrnShot_103114_140743

U is for Undead

WoWScrnShot_022313_171332

V is for Vile

WoWScrnShot_101114_113448

W is for Witch

WoWScrnShot_102114_145200

X is for X’avius

WoWScrnShot_103114_164344

Y is for Yogg-Saron

yogg04

Z is Zealots

WoWScrnShot_103114_174307

One Giant Pumpkin wearing a Witch’s Hat

WoWScrnShot_103014_173557

Two blood tinged pillars of crystal

WoWScrnShot_102714_151940

Three impaled Orcs

WoWScrnShot_102913_201833

Four Hanging Skulls
WoWScrnShot_103014_173533

Five scary children wearing pointy hats

WoWScrnShot_103114_162043

#WoWscreenshotaday – A Hallows End Alphabet

Once again Tycertank is running her #WoWscreenshotaday prompt and this month, it’s the alphabet we’re dealing with. I’ve decided to go with a Halloween/Hallows End theme for the rest of the month simply because it’s that time of year when the air smells of crisp apples and damp fog sidles in from the sea, a time for ghost stories and glancing twice at the flickering shadows.

H is for Haunted House

WoWScrnShot_102014_164040

I is for Imp

WoWScrnShot_102114_163938

J is for Jack O’ Lantern

WoWScrnShot_102014_174350

K is for Kel’Thuzad or at least his image!

WoWScrnShot_102114_163734

L is for Lantern

WoWScrnShot_102014_163907

M is for Mausoleum

WoWScrnShot_102014_174316

N is for Necropolis

WoWScrnShot_102114_164047

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,420 other followers