On the Horizon

I’ve been a little sparse on updates lately I know; between University, Beyond the Tree and the sparsity of any interesting rogue updates, there’s been little of either time nor topic to write with. I’ve kept an eye on the information MMO-Champion keeps reporting on from BlizzCon, of course, but I didn’t really catch glimpse on anything rogue:y that we didn’t know or hear before. We know they want more use of poisons, we know they want more incentative with daggers. They’ve said this before, it won’t really matter until it’s put into talents and abilities, really.

Of course, if they made a poision of supreme threat generation (“Poision of Agony”? hur.) then I’d beeline for it in an instant, but I think we all know it won’t happen. As much as I might wish it to be so, Blizzard aren’t going to start seeing rogues as intended viable tanks anytime soon.

I still look forward to Wrath of the Lich King, in spite of worries back and forth about how durable they’ll let me be ( Diminishing Returns on avoidance 😐 ) or how much threat I’ll be able to generate ( Tank classes get threat boosts + Blessing of Sanctuary mixed in with their threat generation, rogues aren’t a tank class ). All other changes, notably to narrative, setting and quest design intrigue me; I’m amazed how often the Lich King seems to make an appearance in Wrath, compared to say Illidan in Burning Crusade who we at most saw the odd glimpse of in Shadowmoon Valley and only barely heard mentioned before that. While you can certainly play a story without needing to see the villain, a story where the purpose is defeating the villain, it can be a tad counterproductive. With cases like Beyond the Tree on the other hand where the core point is character interaction and development, there’s more space to leave the villain shrouded because you don’t really need to know who he or she is or what he or she is planning, you just need to know how it affects the characters and what they do about it.

With the release of Wrath under a month away now, I’m definitely getting itches about wanting to play it, go indulge in achievement hunting and experience the plot and experience as it unravels. I saw a quote somewhere too (forgot where so no source for it) where some Blizzard forum representative had stated some of the things they’d added for roleplayers in Wrath, including toy stores in Dalaran and the potential for empty spaces that can be inhabited to do things with. I have little doubt Wrath will be several degrees of Awesome, though I admit some concern when I’ll actually have time enough for it.

I’ve already pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition.. from three different places, just to make sure I actually get one; it feels like there’s very little guarantees thrown around whether pre-ordering one actually will net you one, so I’ve been waving all manner of worries around on the matter. The wait is made all the more worse by a friend of mine providing me a link to inform me about the existance of the steelseries World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse. As proof of my occasional absolute lack of any form of willpower, I can state that the time it took me to contemplate the existance of this product, it’s relative usefulness, Awesome factor, find a local retailer and pre-order one was aproximately five minutes.

Yes, I am weak. I know.

Moving on, I’ve been contemplating trying to migrate the model upgrades introduced to Hani Foonmall to other poseable characters too over the coming period, along with similar revisions to their overall appearance. I’m still thinking of how to exactly update Te’len Nila and what changes to bring to her – most revolving around her skirt which presently doesn’t pose well at all.

This brings me to the above banner however, which is actually a redesigned Raene Wolfrunner. You’ll get to see the full picture of her new look – along with obligatory wallpaper size takes – later on, for now you’ll have to settle with this glimpse. I know she looks vastly different from the Sentinels as we know them in World of Warcraft; the idea was to try to create a Sentinel look that’s more reminiscent of the one in WarCraft 3, while still providing enough colour and theme simularities to connect to the World of Warcraft incarnation for those who never saw the WarCraft 3 versions, or simply forgot how they looked. I’ve been thinking off and on whether to try to introduce it as a standard Sentinel look or have it Raene only – so far I’m aiming to keep it for Raene, except for the possible odd glimpse in the past where Sentinels might be wearing WarCraft 3 outfits instead to whatever level seems appropriate.

The WarCraft 3 appearance, for reference:

Design-wise, putting the WarCraft 3 appearance in World of Warcraft graphics has been a suspect experience, especially as my own ability as a texture artist and modeller aren’t.. well.. all that. I’m still debating how I might handle the helmet, if I’m going to try to invent something similar for the use of non-Raene characters or just go with something simpler. I do love the helmet design, but it looks like it might require knowledge that is beyond me. Still, I’ll probably give it a try.

One of the problems that popped up beyond trying to maintain simularities to both appearances was, actually, sex appeal – while female fantasy armour tends to be revealing by default, I don’t want Raene – or any other Sentinel in the classic armour – to seem like some sort of hussy next to Sentinels in the World of Warcraft-era armour. There was a strange amount of balancing involved trying to tone that manner of aspect down while still maintaining the feel and look intended.

Provided I don’t change my mind about it, you’ll get a full look of Raene’s new outfit the next time we come across her – which should be in a few weeks – at latest. I’m still debating on how much I can handwave it or whether I should try to go all out explaining it; seeing how I handled Hani’s pants issue however, I’ll probably just handwave it.


1 Response to “On the Horizon”

  1. October 13, 2008 at 22:31

    I think your stuff is fantabulous.

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