I have been a tad bit absent in the last while since the last time I published a couple of articles about subtitles in games. Most specifically, SW:TOR not having the option for their computer generated movies. I have not heard anything from EA or Bioware whether they intend to rectify the situation. I am thinking of starting a petition, but unfortunately real life obligations come first so it will have to wait until February at the earliest after I get back from a trip.
Over the course of working on the campaign, I went to a Video Relay Service rally protesting the cancellation of the service by CRTC and Telus. I filmed the protest with their catchy signs and I interviewed a few people about why they were there at the rally. I spent a good amount of time carefully cutting out scenes and mixing the footage I took of the rally in my video editing programs. Once I had rendered the video, I subtitled everything and saved it with the movie. I’m pleased with the overall result of the video, but there’s still some things I need to adjust.
I’m not happy with the locations of the subtitles in the video, so I have to go back and move the subtitles around a little more. I’m happy with the timing of the subtitles, but let me tell you, it’s painful trying to time your texts. That part was actually the bulk of the time I spent editing this video. The worst part was that during the course of rendering the video for the first time last night, my computer experienced a power outage and were shut down. You can bet I screamed, “Nooooo!!”
The media contact for the rally were due to pick it up later on the night. The rendering estimated time of completion were nearly five hours and I lost everything three hours into the render. I had to call him and explain what happened, “I had the heater going and someone was using the vacuum.. there was a power outage and shut off my computer, I lost the render. I have to redo the render and it’ll take longer by another 5 hours. Sorry!” We agreed that I would save it on a memory card and I’d leave it in my mailbox for him to pick it up the next day. I got a message this morning saying that he wouldn’t be able to pick it up and that it had to wait until Monday.
Yeah! That gives me time to fix the things I didn’t have time to do like the locations of the subtitles. I’m going to polish it a bit more until I’m totally happy with everything. I also spent a few days talking to GoDaddy about cancelling my account with them. This site amongst a few sites I own have been hosted and registered by GoDaddy for several years now. I was a student so I was able to afford the hosting at the time and it was good opportunity for me to ply my trade with. Since leaving school, it’s been tough finding work in the industries I want to be in, it’s been a bit harder paying every time I had to renew my subscriptions for hosting and domains with GoDaddy.
I saw that Vitaemachina were offering free hosting over Twitter, and after investigating, I couldn’t turn such a good deal down. It also didn’t help that I was unhappy with how GoDaddy was handling the whole SOPA fiasco. I eagerly started my move from GoDaddy to his server aiming for the day before the Internet Black Out on the 18th, a global wide protest against SOPA/PIPA. That way, with everything shut down, I could have the time to fix anything that could have gone wrong with the move. Fortunately, everything went perfectly, thanks to the awesome help of Vitaemachina. Not only he handled the move for this site and configuring WordPress stuff on the new server, he also installed Drupal for my other site. I mentioned that I wanted to try Drupal, starting on a fresh slate and he outright offered to install it for me even though he didn’t know much about it.
My experience in working with him were brilliant and very enjoyable. You can tell I’m a happy customer, that’s for sure!
Now that my site is up and running again, I have a bit of time to kill before my upcoming raid tonight. I was looking through my laptop the other night and stumbled upon old WoW screenshots. I started playing WoW on my laptop before upgrading to an actual desktop computer in late BC. When I first learnt how to take screen shots, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything! I think I was a level 30-ish hunter when I discovered the joys of WoW screenshots. Here are a few memorable ones, and while I wait for my computer to finish downloading the pictures off a cd, I’ll start by telling you a story.
The majority of these screenshots are from the early days of my WoW career. In other words, when I was a total newbie! There are obvious things like my hunter wearing leather instead of mail, or bags full of things that I thought were valuable but were really just trash. My then boyfriend chuckled at that when he asked me what I had in my bags after I complained they were full. ”Hold on, I have to help my girlfriend out and set her straight in this game,” he told a friend who were online in the game at the time. He sat down with me and explained that I should get professions, and showed me how I could gather material and craft things. He showed me the basics of the Auction House, where I could make money from if questing wasn’t enough. He told me that I should vendor junk because I would get better gear as I levelled.
He looked at my spec and explained that there were websites I could look up for ideal specs and read up on stats or gear. When I discovered this, I was hooked. I decided I would become a good hunter and studied everything I could find on the delights that came with being a hunter. I pvp’ed a ton on her when I discovered what resilence on gear did and what it was for. I’m happy to report I have since happily pvp’ed on other toons I have turned into mains over the years, ending with my most recent main, my restoration druid with a feral cat offspec.
In the game, I discovered many things in the beginning, looking at the wonders that were Ulduar and Naxxramas. If you were raiding with a team that were ongoing and consistent, you were considered one of the hardcore raiders back in the day where there were no cross server raiding. Communities across the servers were tight-knit, because when you wanted to raid, or do dungeons, you had to do it with people from your server. Honor were upheld because no one wanted to risk tarnishing their good name via the means of ninja looting something in a raid or a dungeon, or being rude to people who grouped with you for a dungeon. Oh, it still happened, but people generally were more friendly and dungeons were a blast because you got to know people, and if people didn’t like you, you could end up being blacklisted from local raids or dungeon groups. You were that “guy who ninja looted”, or “that dude who were rude to my friend’s friend in a dungeon.”
I didn’t get to really experience raiding until I got into a team for ICC with my rogue in late Wrath. Cross server grouping for dungeons became available as an option and the joys of dungeoning with local people soon faded away into the past. I stopped doing dungeons unless I specifically had people I knew with me, because I didn’t like how people were treating each other in dungeons with rudeness that were sometimes not called for. The magical era of WoW that I was enjoying were coming to an end. It hasn’t been the same since Cataclysm. It doesn’t hold a light to the magic that BC and Wrath held for me, because I’m what you could consider a veteran, having played for over three years. There isn’t anything that dazzles me or is a surprise, I feel like I have seen everything that there is to the game.
Many bloggers have closed down their WoW blogs, or talked about their feelings about being ‘tired’ of WoW, or at least, the responsibilities that they held in-game as long-standing guildmasters or ex-hardcore raiders gone casual to dedicate more time to playing other games like Rift or SW:TOR. I can share that sentiment too, and looking at those old screenshots confirmed the feelings I was experiencing in the last few months regarding this game. I just didn’t want to face it, but here I am, admitting that I’m also amongst the masses who is feeling the end drawing near.
You know, it’s true that all good things must come to end. I’m not quitting right now, I’m not closing up shop or quitting my hobby that is raiding with a group of awesome people. I know that I’m eventually going to quit, because I don’t play nearly as much as I used to. The best part is that it’s a good thing! I’ve been using more of my energy into developing my skills and marketing them as an artist. It’s here on my blog where I express my creativity with WoW, and I’m setting up another website, a new playground for me where I can mess around with anything and it can be about anything. I’ve been feeling very productive and I’m feeling good about it!
Having said that, let’s look at the good things that happened back in the good old days of Burning Crusade and Wrath:
In this raid, you were flung about in the air and dropped back on the ground. Healers were expected to keep people alive while the DPS players tried to dps multiple bosses down. If it was a make-shift raid, commonly called a PuG (pick up group) raid, there was a good chance of failure because the raid required players who knew what they were supposed to do and were geared in epics. You would be lucky if your PuG raid were as good as your regular raid team if you were in one. Even then, a raid of good players could wipe all night to this boss.
Everyone conveyed the super-rare Phoenix mount that had a drop rate so low that it would be rare to see more than a handful per server. It was also an epic raid with superb atmosphere with the delicate touch of the Blood Elves adorning the architecture, in the other words, a beautiful place I always enjoyed going to in either PuG or guilded raids. A fun place to visit for a stroll down the memory lane!
This is the only image I have of my druid when she was definitely below level 10 wearing the starter druid gear I acquired with the starter quests in the zone. She has since been my main character and have been renamed Aidrana. I thought this was a neat find, since I don’t have any other screenshots of levelling my druid before hitting level 80 in Wrath. You can tell she is still in Teldrassil, wearing a crappy no-name intellect staff as an awkward feral. I levelled the first 30 levels healing dungeons with a feral spec until I could finally come up with the money to buy dual spec and properly spec into restoration for healing. People complained in dungeons when they looked at my spec, but it was definitely doable because nobody was dying, barring from disastrous pulls by a careless hunter or a new tank
Ah, my hunter, Desdel. She was my first main and she often hung out in the happenin’ city of Dalaran where the Horde and Alliance called their homes when they weren’t in their capital cities. Before the Cataclysm, there were ports to every major city for people to easily travel to if they needed to go somewhere for a quest or to go to a raid on other continents. There are no longer ports in Dalaran today, they disappeared after Deathwing tore the world that was Azeroth asunder. Citizens of the Horde now reside in Orgrimmar and the Alliance in Stormwind. Seeing the Horde was part of the magic in Dalaran, and you could duel them underground in the sewers. I also used to hang out there on my rogue accepting challenges from other players or duelling with my own friends while we waited on battleground queues.
I have so many good memories of Dalaran, and to say I miss the livelihood of sharing a city with the Horde would be an understatement!
Oh man, Halls of Reflection! Nobody can forget the ICC 5 man dungeons. Heroic dungeons were hard back then, and Halls of Reflection were the king of all where it ended with your group running away from the Lich King. I hated healing this dungeon on my druid who were woefully under-geared, but, she managed to snag the rare trinket that every healer wanted, the Ephemeral Snowflake! The dungeons were epic because it was when you finally got to meet the Lich King himself and see the inside of his domain, the Ice Crown Citadel for the first time.
If you could do all the ICC dungeons, you were considered qualified enough to raid ICC. I managed to secure a spot in a raid with my rogue who I raided on for months in ICC trying to kill the LK. It took us about two months to finally kill him after having everything else on farm for a while. The fight had to be perfectly executed. I was responsible for FoK’ing poison and using Shiv on the adds to dispel their enrages on my rogues because we didn’t have a hunter to tranquilize their enrages. I was also responsible for ToT’ing adds to the tanks whenever they got silenced by the adds during the ice phase. The adds were untauntable because the tanks couldn’t taunt back so they depended on me using ToT to redirect the adds back to them. The guild I belonged to wasn’t one of the best on the Cenarion Circle server, but I liked it there because they were dedicated and consistent in their raids.
I burst into tears when I saw those golden achievement banners rolling across my screen and became a Kingslayer. I wept as I watched the big baddie of the Wrath expansion fell and loot windows popping up with purple goodies. The culmination of all of our hard work finally ended here- we finally killed the Lich King. It was one of my proud moments in the years of playing the game. Whenever I go to Dalaran, I always like to stop by the foundation to see the heroes of the Wrath expansion to have a quiet moment of admiration.
One last picture, as this post is getting a bit wordy and it’s nearly midnight my time.
I was bored one weekend and were in the mood to do some battlegrounds on my rogue. I was friends with a few rogues on my server, and it turned out we all were in the mood to hit the BGs. Someone came up with the idea of making a rogue only team of 10 players from our server. I volunteered to go because I wanted to see how it would turn out. I could already see what would happen in a WSG bg when the other team realizes that the entire team they’re facing is composed of rogues. We were short on rogues, even after contacting other guilds to see if they had any rogues who were interested in joining. We asked around in trade and advertised that we were making a rogue only premade team. Unfortunately, the most we could get were 8, so we enlisted a local priest healer and our team ended up welcoming a cross server mage there.
I was very giggly when I ported to the flag room where we wait for battlegrounds to commence when both teams are ready. The mage had a very surprised reaction, but he seemed delighted at the idea too. We all were practically at the door ready to come running at the other team and see what their reactions would be. How do you face a team that is invisible for most of the time? Not to mention all the stuns that would go on, if you had more than one rogue on you. This was back in Wrath and we all were only level 80 with some folks wearing a full set of the very best PvP gear while some were newly geared with blues and wintergrasp pvp gear scattered all over.
It was a very fun battleground, indeed. As soon as we came out, the enemy players started jumping around and hitting their AoE spells hoping to unstealth us, predictably so. We hit them before they could unstealth too many of us opening with various stuns and moves from different specs. There were a couple combat rogues who blew Killing Spree and using Blade Flurry- a deadly combination of abilities that could cut someone down in seconds if caught by surprise. We had at least one sub rogue and the rest of us were Mutilate… good times. As you can see here, we won. It’s not something I make a habit of and it was fun to try it out at least once. I have this screenshot as a reminder for me how much fun I had playing in BGs with my rogue, and I hold those memories dear to my heart.
I did say this was going to be the last picture of this post, and it is now exactly midnight. Now’s a good time as any to bid you all good night. I’m going to be back on a regular schedule of posting now that the server migrations are done with. I wanted to write about how I’m feeling about the game, and how I wish for the good old days to come back. Even though I’m a fairly new blogger in the WoW blogging community, I have played this game long enough not to miss it when I don’t play it. I don’t look forward to playing this game except for my scheduled raids, and that’s pretty much what I log in for. I occasionally still log in to do dungeons with Draccus or to hit LFR on an alt with my friends’ alts. I’m now a casual player, and I’m okay with that.
WoW is a fun game, but there are other things I want to do. I still get to see end game content in my raids and I love the people I raid with, so the time I spend in WoW now is well used and worth it. Vidyala summed it up in a post of hers over at Manalicious, rightly titled “Business Time, Hard Modes, and the “C” Word“:
I still respect hard mode raiders, it just took a great loss and a potential second loss to make me realize that I’m no longer one of them. I don’t have the drive to succeed at that level of content that I once did, and you know what? For the time being, I’m okay with that.
This is what I find nodding my head in agreement with. I’m happy I got to see BC and Wrath in their full glory when the content was current and challenging. I have a few years’ worth of good memories of hanging out with people in WoW, and that’s a good thing to walk away with when that day comes. I’m still trying to raid heroic bosses in Dragon Soul, but beyond Morchok, we haven’t been lucky. We’ve decided that we need a little more time to get more of our raiders more geared before attempting heroic modes again. In the mean time, after we clear DS on normal, we spend the rest of our remaining raid nights working on T11 heroic modes and finishing our firelands achievements. I don’t mind doing those because I have fun, and that’s what I’m paying my $15 a month for.
When I’m not playing WoW, I’m in SW:TOR levelling a consular Shadow or a smuggler over on the same server as Vidyala and Voss. She extended an invitation for me to join their guild in SW:TOR, and it’s been a blast! I’ve not been playing SW:TOR as much as I want to due to lack of time, but I’m getting there. I also plan on writing about my experiences in SW:TOR, so this blog will not only be about WoW. You can expect an upcoming column on SW:TOR in the near future when I start expanding my site. Being a casual player isn’t a bad thing at all, especially if it means I get to play other games too!