Wednesday, 7 December 2011

One year has passed...

Picture taken from my Birthday Themed Post

... It was this very time, exactly one year ago, on December 7th 2010, at precisely 1900 Hours GMT, that I arrived in Leicester Square, London. Faced with the blistering cold, temperatures only dropping and hints of more snow. I, accompanied by a friend, made way to the line...

If you haven't guessed already, this was the night that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was being launched all over the world.

More than that, it happened to mark the very start of Shattered Beginnings. After tackling the night winds, and during the games installation, I sat to write my first blog post. My journey had begun.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thanksgiving for the Gnome Clone?

Short update (pardon the pun, keep reading).

With a very special holiday just around the corner, at least for our friends in the US, Amerence, a fellow moderator of Blog Azeroth, has cleverly put together a community event. Alongside this, there has been ongoing activity and reports of mischievous happenings on within the Warcraft world. One of which is the invasion of the 'Gnome Clones'. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

The last encounter.. and The New Venture

Still being in the initial 'honeymoon' period of my WoW career, I remember a number of wonders which caught my eye..

I began my journey in 'vanilla', the original version of the game. In which, the first PVP system existed. However it wasn't until level twenty/thirty-ish that I discovered this portion of the game. Heck, I didn't even have a clue about Battlegrounds. The only experience I encountered, that side of the game, was from endless Horde assaults on Sentinel Hill, Westfall.

Into Warsong Gulch I went. Being so long ago, I cannot remember much. Not enough to say whether I spent more time dead, than alive. Although, despite the lack of memory, I do recall one moment. The moment in which I acquired something, very special. Grasping, what was to be, the spark. This was the honourable rank of - Private.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Sanctuary of Blog Azeroth

A call to all fellow writers, bloggers, podcasters and producers of all things Warcraft.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Crossing that line

In reply to a post from, one of my favourite writers, Stubborn, of Sheep The Diamond, who has written a very thought provoking post on losing your 'innocence' in WoW, or any general MMO.

No, despite the above image, this is not in relation to ones age, although it can be seen that way. Rather the maturing and realisation process you undergo from the day you begin to play a game of this type, specifically World of Warcraft. Not following? Read on.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Shrouded by Mists of Loot

By now, I'm sure many of you have been enlightened with the intriguing thoughts of the Blizzard developer, Ghostcrawler. More specifically his thoughts and ideas about the current 'stat inflation' crisis, as such.

In short, a growing concern for developers and many players, is that the numbers (Especially the big exciting bold ones that flash across our screen), are spiralling out of control. No, it's not World of Warcraft's take on Skynet. We will not see giant yellow/green/red, heck throw in white, numbers descending on us and forcing mathematical equations on everyone, or anything nearly as brutal, at least for this expansion.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Blizzcon Replenished The 'Geek' In Me!

This past week, since my post-Blizzcon round up, has been, how would you say, compelling. It has been filled with excitement. There are a number of reasons and factors responsible for this. However, I have been going on a high. In the wise words, from the man himself,

"My inner-geek, has been refilled and revitalised" - Chris Metzen, Blizzcon 2011.

The world has come to life. At least for the WoW community, or even the gaming one as a whole. Saying that this week has seen some love, for many of our interests, is an understatement. One could say, I could say, it has literally caught fire.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Blizzcon: The Recovery

Just look into those eyes
Keeping it short and sweet.

What a weekend it has been, for many of us. At least for me, I am exhausted. Combined with the sleep deprivation and hangovers, at least for those that attended the many Blizzcon meet-ups in local bars/hotels.

What's that you say? "You didn't even attend Blizzcon!". Well, you would be right, I didn't 'attend' in person. However, having a virtual ticket, covering the whole event live across the full two days, amounting to about 22 hours, is nearly there right?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Blizzcon 2011: Live Coverage - Day 2!

Hey everybody! Like promised, I have teamed up with a variety of Bloggers alongside the Twisted Nether Team, bringing you all the news as it happens from Blizzcon 2011 LIVE. So strap yourselves in and don't hesitate to get involved below:

Friday, 21 October 2011

Blizzcon 2011: Live Coverage - Day 1!

Hey everybody! Like promised, I have teamed up with a variety of Bloggers alongside the Twisted Nether Team, to bring you all the news as it happens from Blizzcon 2011 LIVE. So strap yourselves in and don't hesitate to get involved below:

New Mind-Sets and BLIZZCON!

Did the Eye-Candy draw you?
Now, since the release of my last two posts, the results have been pretty dramatic. Yes one was featured on WoW Insider, 'Your Character and You', which I am totally thrilled about, but there's more. Taking a look at the responses I have received, in combination with the fact that my thought processors have gone into overdrive, the mood and view since my 'WoW Blues' have shifted considerably.

Among all this, Blizzcon is finally kicking off tomorrow! Or tonight for some lucky venturers! A substantial amount have been fortunate enough to make a tripe the Anaheim, California, for a weekend of Blizzard galore. (Unless your already situated somewhat locally, of course). 

With a number parties kicking off in nearby hotels and bars over the next three nights, including tonight, this is not a convention to miss. However, for some of us, myself included, have sadly not been able to make the long trip. 

Though, hold your horses. Virtual Ticket - hallelujah! For more on this including my upcoming involvement in the event, and what may be in store for you, hold put until the end of the post (or feel free to scroll, if you must).

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

WoW Blues and Breath of Fresh Air

Let it out...

It's been little over a week since my last post. During this time I have been swinging back and forth on the ropes of uncertainty. Whether 'uncertainty' is the right description is right, I am not sure. Maybe curiosity, burn-out, the sway of interests, time and motives could be in play. Possibly a combination of the lot. Before I go on, this is NOT a half-hearted attempt at a 'farewell to the world (of Warcraft) - bleed your heart out' post.

My uncertainty comes from the future, or at least mine, in World of Warcraft. As of late, I have been reminiscing a lot about past times in the game, which seems to be a regular occurrence now, in and out of game, for many. Whether it be players really expressing their feelings or possibly to spite newer players (which is sometimes the case), it seems to be a reoccurring topic up in discussion. Though this is not a debate about times of old and judging if the present game can touch those golden memories

Friday, 7 October 2011

Your Character and You

Motivated by the comments..

A fascinating piece of Fan Art just added to the World of Warcraft site gallery. Always a viewing pleasure.

Now, tell me. What does your character mean to you? When you first made the choice of what race, and secondly class, to play (or in reverse maybe), what journey did you have in mind ahead of you? For myself, and many, it was the start of an adventure. Or maybe you hadn't really given it much thought, just went in head first.

Though it wasn't until recently that this got me thinking. After you get really stuck into that character, whether it be high end PVE raiding or PVP, you may have an urge to do the same on another class/race combination. Mean, of course you have, at least at some point along the line. But, there's a but, are there lingering factors which keep you at bay, from bringing forth a new character into Azeroth? At least with the intent to mimic the activities which are already being played out on your 'main toon'.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Class Feedback and Homogenisation

Seems in the past few weeks, among the frenzied hype on 4.3, that Blizzard have been reaching out to us, the players, for views and opinions. More specifically, our thoughts and feelings on classes. With questions such as, "What makes playing your class more/less fun" and, "How do you feel about your rotation". The second one also goes on to explain the meaning of a 'rotation', everyone's opinion counts right. To see exactly what else Blizzard is trying to find out, here is an example from Blizzard's 'Hunter Class Feedback' post.

Getting right to the point. I have a few concerns about some of the common, and not so common, responses that I've been seeing. Though, this isn't the first time that I held similar thoughts in mind. This feeling has been ever present since I became more accustomed with the game. My concern is - Homogenisation.

In simpler English, this means to "make the same as" and/or "make uniform". In relation to this post, I am speaking of the the Homogenisation of classes.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Darkmoon Island Horror!

What we've been seeing as fun and games...

If you took a liking to my last post, on 'The Secret Watchers of Warcraft', wait until you get a load of this speculation to fill your boots...

Friday, 9 September 2011

Big Brother: Titan Edition

Big Brother and World of Warcraft. They can be in the same sentence..

Have you ever noticed these 'watchers', as I now like to label them? I have always had a subconscious wonder, so to speak, about these statues. Are they just statues? Or could they be monuments. Now, it wasn't until one (insert stormy/misty/dark here) night, that these constructs came into conversation. This particular chat was with Rioriel, from Postcards from Azeroth. After they cropped up, amongst all the important talk on the ancient Murloc Hierarchy and so on, speculation soon took flight.

What could they be? What could they represent? Just what indeed are these mysterious structures. We have a theory.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Hunt: Machinima Review

The good, the bad and the.. Demonic!

For those of you that caught the trailer, which itself was fantastic, at the end of my 'Kung Fu Panda goes WoW' post earlier this month, here is the final product. More to the point, here is the review. After such a top notch trailer, and having been in production for 5 years (since the early stages of the game) of course, I felt this, like any real box office film, deserved some attention. It important to bear in mind that; this is made purely for entertainment. The author(s) are not being paid to go out of their way to make this. It is a fan-made creation. So respect the hard work and commitment, of Fubarius and his team.

Monday, 22 August 2011

What you Mogging' at, Deathwing!?

Finally having learned to spell Transmogrification...

Craggle Wobbletop's Toy Wagon?

Now, since Blizzards initial announcement of 4.3, the community, on all sides, has caught fire. Whether it's jumping for joy, sitting on the fence, or raging that "your never logging in again", there has been a variety of opinions throughout. Some, such as Fannon, feel that this is make-or-break for the World of Warcraft, in his post Previewing Patch 4.3. Sadly, as much as it pains me to say, I feel he has a good point. No matter how much I would like to deny it, I see this being the possible decider in the future of WoW. Especially with a number of big MMO games, which seem a world apart from past copy-cat attempts, on the horizon.

So will Blizzard pull something magic out of the hat, like it has done repeatedly and successfully over past years?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

They come in.. With.. Transmogrification?!

The fashion is changing..

Who says we can't raid?!

So, seems fashion and appearance is on Blizzards list of things to fiddle and improve! With an Official Blizzard Transmogrification Announcement from above, a preview of the features due in the upcoming patch (4.3) have been laid out. Of course, as always, subject to change, but nonetheless:

You’ve been asking for it, and we were listening. In patch 4.3 you’ll be able to customise the appearance of your weapons and armor like never before.

So that's the meaning..
After some research, it appears that the Etherals are at the center of all this madness. It has been quoted that they will be making a impacting return to Azeroth. Maybe not in the usual 'destroy the world' sense though, alike every other addition to the world. Travelling from the far reaches of The Nether, these Etherals are hoping to earn a fortune with a new technology they call 'Transmogrification'. In exchange for some gold (of course, what else?). Simply put; copying the appearance of one magical item onto another.

Further explained, you can take the appearance of one item and use it's model, while keeping the stats on the receiving piece. For example you could choose to wear a level 85 piece of raid gear, have it 'Transmogrified' from a source model of tier 1, while retaining the stats and all the benefits that it holds. Not all item pairings are compatible with Transmogrification. From what has been officially released and stated upon, here is what I have gathered:

  • You must be able to wear both items
  • Only items that have stats can be used in the transmogrification process
  • Of which you may have had to 'own' the source model at some point (Not confirmed)
  • They won’t allow you to change weapon and/or class specific/material armor types. So no pretending to wear that Death Knights plate gear (I'm looking at you Mages!) or equipping some librams for you warrior-want-to-be-shamans out there!
  • Though the exception are Bows/Guns/Crossbows. (Which, I am unsure why they are exempt to this rule, unlike Maces/Axes/Swords and so on)
  • Item tooltips for items, which have been Transmogrified, will show that they are under the effects. 
  • This will be a reversible process.
  • ...

Blizzard have said they are looking into a way of obtaining gear, which has become unavailable over time, in an alternative manner. Any ideas? Time Machine?

Just.. Where.. To put it all?!
Although a small few are unhappy with what Blizzard has spent time producing (nothing new there), as they are apparently creating the wrong content? I am, however, really REALLY looking forward to this incoming feature! Suppose there's always those who can't be satisfied. (Not to say any are wrong in their thinking).

As has been quoted: "Transmogrification encourages players to hold onto items with sentimental or aesthetic value."
But will the community sacrifice there, level 85 equivilent, 'status symbols'. I'm one of those to build a sentimental value around particular items and, more so, armor sets. Mean, why not? Some look brilliant! This leaves some open, and great, opportunities and doorways for many characters. Such as Role players or those looking to look a part different from there allies (even enemies). I see this being a big step into creating a more in-depth character view. More diversity. Seeing and actually taking in what your fellow players are choosing to wear and such. I feel this move will benefit the growth of WoW.

Lets take a look at a small handful of the older/outdated armor sets and items, which for some players, I am sure, can't wait to jump back into:

Various Hunter sets

Paladin Tier 2
Warrior Tier 3

Various Priest Sets

Rogue High Warlord Set
Mage Tier 5

Shaman Gladiator Set

Warlock Tier 3
Druid Tier 3

Death Knight Tier 10

Etherals can see this causing an increase in the demand for space. So that is when 'Void Storage Service', will come into play. Using clever pocket dimensions to create 80 more slots for particular items (More than likely armor/weapons). Anything stored there will lose all gems and enchantments, and even name of the player who crafted the item.


Before we finish up. Here are other 4.3 points of interest, to say the least:

  • Deathwing raid (to be the last of the expansion). With some cool unique features apparently added to the fight. Seems a little soon right?
  • 3 new 5-man instances will be added with the patch.
  • Raid Finder also being added.
  • Darkmoon Faire island?!

Thanks for reading,

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- Jamin

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cataclysm Journal 29: Past the Gates of Ironforge!

We venture out, beyond the comforts of the mountain city...

With the snowflakes resting gently upon Feignhearts fury hide. Having spent quite some time now within the protective boundaries, of Ironforge, it is overdue that we take a moment to see past it's walls. This follows a suggestion from a reader named Nairu from, coincidentally, Nairu's Journal. They suggested that we explore the reaches of Dun Morogh and Ironforge. Though we had already covered Ironforge previously in 'Cataclysm Journal 24!', we hadn't been further than the courtyard. So without further ado, we present:

Dun Morogh

The sky tells the story

As we step through the almighty gates of the Dwarven prowess, we are swept with a spine chilling, yet entirely refreshing, breeze of wind. As though from somewhere far away. Looking down into the valleys of snow, with an abundance of near-perfect shaped trees (quite like Christmas ones),  we descend down the long winding path. Into the wilderness of frost.

Down into the Valleys of Snow

Frozen lakes lie dormant. With an impression, soon to be diminished, that everything is as settled as the snow, many hidden dangers are set in place. A yeti waits for unsuspecting victims to come it's way. Now we may see what was to be, of those lost to the distant winds. Seeing fields of poison, oozing into the fields of white, a desperate battle is fought by the Gnomes of Gnomeragan. Though the once Dwarven Quarry of Gol'Bolar, depicts that more, buried deep beneath, is in store...

Through the Mountains

Entrances or exits shrouded within the tree-line. Where these underground tunnels will direct you, is not always clear. Though the residents, of the snow-bitten land, seem well adjusted to the gentle yet firm climate. Especially those of the Kharanos town, who, among their small settlements, have made many adaptations to cope and live, alongside the variety of Snowlife (wildlife) ...

The creatures of the land

Without a care, they wonder. Treading through the ground, crunch by crunch. Footprints left, some very similar to those of our own (as a Worgen).  Although, the all so pleasant beings within the snow, also make room for those, which are not so nice...

A culture forgotten

Throughout the enemies you encounter, and between the areas uninhibited, nothing could predict; a full scale war. Over the mountaintops, going unnoticed by many, a raging battle is being waged. For it is a sight in itself...

The Airfield

Despite any of this, the music, which sets up each particular area, is generally slow and, in a way, thoughtful. As though it wants you, with the push of the wind, to look at yourself and take a breath. Not depressing that is, just settled, like the snow beneath our your feet.

WAIT.. Slay Ride?!
(Courtesy of World of Elfi)

But hold on.. How can we forget the golden nugget of this whole zone! Saying that, it wasn't until Elfi, of World of Elfi (Convincing name again right?), alerted us to a hidden beauty that can be found. Seems that there is a bunch of crazy Dwarves, living the high life by sledding there way down the slopes of Dun Morogh. For more on this 'report' head over to - Discovery of Sledging Dwarves.

Now, with that, it's once again time to depart. However before you go. I will repeat, that this post was inspired by one of our very readers. So if you have any suggestions, ideas or even requests that you would like to see, DO NOT HESITATE TO GET IN TOUCH!

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- Jamin

The Warmth of Fire