So, I have The World’s Most Evil Lovebird.
She’s cute, on the surface. She’s not very large, as parrots go, maybe 15 cm tall and is poofy and yellow with an orange face and pretty pink cheeks. But inside lurks the soul of a Tyrannosaur. She’s generally a sprightly little creature, chattering away to me or the cats or any sort of random thing she sees outside the window. But she can be surprisingly vicious at times, battering the side of the cage with her beak and wings, screeching. Mostly though her noises are pleasant parrot chatter or mimicing the “call pet” whistle. (I think I play my hunter too much.) She can also talk. She can’t say much, but she does get a lot of mileage out of her limited vocabulary. He favourite word is “pretty” which can mean anything from a sleepy, “oh, is it morning already, Mom?” to her “prittyprittyprittyPRITTYPRITTY!” battlecry before she launches herself across the room at some hitherto unsuspecting cat. The cats are all terrified of her, by the by.
The first week in Northrend was basically a duet between the two of us. Every sight, every new creature, every breathtaking vista, caused me to exclaim something along the lines of “ooooooh, pretty!” Which of course would be echoed by the bird.
Now, I thought BC was very nice looking, for the most part. The first zone, Hellfire Penninsula, wasn’t so much to look at, but it did an incredible job of evoking the feelings of an entire world shattered by war and otherworldly forces. Tempest Keep and especially A’lar were just breathtaking the first time I saw them. And Nagrand. Oh, Nagrand. I love Nagrand so very much. I love the gnarled trees, the hanging waterfalls, the floating bits of debris, the twisting nether out there in the sky. And the talbuks. The talbuks are so lovely, so effortlessly elegant. They are in my opinion the epitome of what can happen when a game designer creates a fictional, fantastical animal based on sound zoological principles. Admittedly it wasn’t much of a stretch, but really it didn’t need to be. They’re sublime and I could (and do!) spend quite a bit of time just contemplating their grace.
What bothered me about the rest of BC was that Blizzard had started to move into the much bemoaned “brown gritty realism” school of game design. I have always been attracted to the bright, cartoony, fantastic sort of look to Warcraft, and so much of Outlands was grey and dreary. Or brown and dreary. I despise questing in dark, depressing places like Duskwood or Shadowmoon Valley. While I understand a certain amount of dark and stormy nights are necessary to be all things to all players, I think the color palette really shifted with BC, so it was with a heavy heart I loaded up WotLK expected more of the same.
I love the Howling Fjord.
I really have sat in front of my computer with my mouth just wide open in amazement. The fjord is unspeakably beautiful. My eyes go dry when I play because I stop blinking, I’m so intent on not missing any of it. I love the details in the architecture. I love the shine of the the snow. I love the colour of the grass. I love the way the snow melds into the grass. I sat in the grove with the ice-nymphs for half an hour watching them prance and toss their silvered manes. And throw snowballs at each other. Even the quest items are pretty! The new “crystallized X” icons are gorgeous.
And Dalaran. I can’t at this point talk about Dalaran without gibbering. I’ve tried to express how I feel about Dalaran and it usually comes out as, “Ohmygoodness Dalaran! Hagga wagga argle fargle ….” I am actively searching for a way to plant myself there and never ever leave. Ever.
The beauty of Wrath is the perfect thing for me these days because I’ve taken a much greater interest in digital graphic design lately. I do a lot of drawing and paper crafting, but I’ve only recently begun to realize that digitized pictures hold just as much potential. Ive always been a fan of striving to capture The Perfect Screenshot, and I’ve been playing around for a while with the WoW Model Viewer program for quite a while now, creating desktops and all sorts of other nice pictures for myself and now for this blog. I’ve decided that with WotLK out and a whole new suite of bosses for us to start downing soon, I should collect and properly display some of the screenshots I’ve forced my guild to endure. I’ll be starting a photo blog as soon as I can get my rather inept brain around how to use WordPress a little more effectively.
I’m going for the Loremaster achievement, so I have only just started questing outside of the Fjord. I’ve moved on to Dragonblight and I have to say I’m a little saddened. It’s grey. And snowy. If I wanted to look at dreary grey snowy things I’d look out my window all evening instead of through my computer screen. I’m going to leave Dragonblight for now and head to Grizzly Hills, I think, if only to drink in some more of the specactular scenery for a while. (Aside: Scenery that makes geological sense is as delightful as animals that make zoological sense. Exquisite job on the Grizzly Hills terrian, gents.)
I have high hopes for the artistic and visual aspects of this expansion, so don’t expect me to be teaching the parrotlet any new words any time soon.
Post Scriptum: I think I made up for my week off with this week’s flurry of posts. It’s been a bit of a complicated thing for me to properly tune my mind so I can communicate the sound and fury of Wrath. I’ve just been bombarded with so much from the game it’s been very hard for me to focus on one thing and get it up here in green and gold for you all to look at. I’ll be better next week, I promise.