Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Spiderheart Miscellany

I've got posts in progress, including some notes on my first experience with death knight tanking. (Short form: wow, went great; death knight tanking is more fun for me than warrior tanking.) Unfortunately I've also got the Martian death flu again. So for the moment, here's a grab bag of screenshots.

The war of chickens! Akaa has the pet chicken you can earn with some amusing effort in Westfall; Spider's got the mechanical chicken that's a token of thanks from the gnome whose wandering robots one rescues in Tanaris, Feralas, and the Hinterlands. Unfortunately, no showdown of nature versus art seems impending:

Spi - Chickens.jpg

I got some pictures of Tivara and the Kalu'aks' mighty turtle ferries a while back, but happened on this angle just the other day, as Spider was returning from a quest on the sea floor in the Dragonblight:

Spi - Great Turtle.jpg

Sean, I have not forgotten the World in WoW series, I've just been sick, busy, or sick and busy so much. But it is coming, because I'd like to write a bit about the overall situation as far as gods and titans goes so as to have a proper context for writing about Dragonblight questing. It involves the dragonflights a lot, and the more one knows of the lore, the more fun they are. In the meantime, here's a fun moment. Quests in Darkshore and the Wetlands have Alliance characters helping out at dwarf-run excavations and gathering up pieces of fossils and relics. Then one puts them together, and a manifestation of the titans shows up to tell everyone to knock it off and get the hell off the titans' lawn:

Spi - Makers in Menethil.jpg

The above moment came about because I thought it would be fun to build up Spider's reputation with lots of people. So does the one below. WoW players have pretty well all seen this, but for those of you who use me as your surrogate...

Uldaman is another dwarvish dig site, in the Badlands region in the center of the Eastern Kingdoms. As with several other such sites, the Ironforge dwarves exploring it ran into troggs from below and hostile Dark Iron dwarves from above, and the quests for Alliance characters involve a lot of "please help finish this bit of exploration" requests. There's a spot where the adventurers put together a broken staff and use it to open up a magically sealed chamber, and it is a good swipe:

Spi - Map Room.jpg

As noted previously, the death knights are undead, just now free-souled rather than bound to the Lich King. So they have a lot of cool abilities. A friend pointed out to me recently that I'm seldom so happy in WoW play than when I can transgress a normal limit on characters' interactions with the world. Take the Path of Frost, which lets characters and their party mates walk, run, and even ride across water. Here's Spider escorting a guildmate of level 20 or so from Menethil Harbor to Southshore, bypassing the higher level critters of the Arathi Highlands:

Spi - Path of Frost.jpg

This is the best shot I've yet gotten of the Acherus Deathcharger, death knights' standard mount. The skin peeling back to reveal glowing bones first appeared on warlocks' dreadsteeds, and I've not yet gotten tired of it:

Spi - Riding in Barrens.jpg

Dating services! Who knew that one would have to provide dating services? So here's the story. The kalu'ak (the walrus people seen in some previous posts) have an ongoing concern for the health of the ecosystem they live in. Sensible folks. There's a community of sea lions on islands off the Howling Fjord's west coast, with bulls on the south side of a strait and cows to the north, and the community's bull leader dead at the hands of rampaging buccaneers. Now the bulls are muddled and don't know how to get to the cows. There's a daily quest to gather up enough of their favorite fish to lure a bull across the strait. And when it works? Twue wuv!

Spi - Sea Lions.jpg

Kalu'ak elsewhere, in the Dragonblight, are engaged in a pitched struggle with the wolverine-like wolvar. It's an interesting situation. The kalu'ak leader frankly blames the Horde and Alliance for the mess, their expanding settlements pressing the wolvar into crowded conditions that make them more irritable and violence. And the kalu'ak elders think the wolvar are as fundamentally entitled to good lives on the land as themselves. So there's a daily quest to round up wolvar pups so that they won't get slaughtered in the battles—the elders of the kalu'ak realize the risks of going too far in battle and wish to have the wolvar's future in hand before any grand struggle.

Wolvar pups are really, really cute. You can see Spider's shoulder at right for a sense of scale:

Spi - Snowfall Glade Pup.jpg

And finally, some more heroism. There's an Alliance settlement at Wintergarde, on the eastern side of the Dragonblight. Recently the Scourge started hitting it with a very great deal of force, directed from the floating necropolis of Naxxramas. I'll have more to say and show about that pleasingly epic set of adventures later. This is just a great moment from one of them, using a griffon supplied by the soldiers of Wintergarde Keep to pull out trapped villagers from among the incoming hordes of undead:

Spi - Wintergarde Rescue.jpg

Hoping to do more substantial posting this week, as I de-stress on various fronts. Enjoy, in the meantime!