September to December 2016

The seasonal edition.

‘Tis the season to remember all of the things I’ve done over the last three months. Some of them were pretty good, too. I’d usually post these on the last posting date of the month (which in this case would be the 30th of December), but as this is the last post I’ll be writing this month (and this year) I brought it forward. This way things can transition as they normally would. You just get this post a little earlier, which, to be honest, isn’t an entirely bad thing if you’re enjoying my creative pursuits.

They’ve been surprisingly prominent for the entire year.

Then again, I’ve also had some great gaming content recently. Starting with the wonderfully enjoyable (yet incredibly cheap) Ember, leading to the exploration of the inner workings of my mind (and Cities: Skylines) in Salston Heights, followed by my observations regarding two very interesting titles through both Lost Castle (First Impressions) and Chronicon (First Impressions). I managed to squeeze a couple of JRPGs in there, too. Heavenly Pudding looks at something new while An Evolving Narrative looks at something old. We also had a brief look at the history of every video game ever through Evoland II in Nostalgia Lane.

I even spent some time with Moggie and friends to work on some of the things that I’d started with the previous subscription. It worked out better than expected with most of my long term goals being met quite quickly. Which, in turn, further reduces the number of things I’d like to do before we venture into the content that Legion offers.

Traditional art has been the sole focus of my creative pursuits recently. I’ve enjoyed bringing together different elements and new techniques in posts such as Equal Opposites, Aquatic Owl, Fishy Abomination, Murky Lioness, Leafy Green, Acrylic Ambitions, and Beastly Practices. It also seemed like a really good time for Fruity Nostalgia. Likewise, it was a great time to look at the process of Building an Abomination. Truly an interesting selection of wonderfully diverse posts.

We’ve seen a number of pieces reach my personal site, too.

The first was one that came as a surprise as I didn’t expect the scanned version to sway my opinion as much as it did, but you can decide for yourself when you see Failed Tree Attempt #206. To show appreciation to those who supported my digital painting efforts I slightly updated and finalised the Final Fantasy related “Wark! Wark!”, which was followed by (another Final Fantasy staple) Bomb. I also wrote the first Artist Feature post I’ve done in a while, in which I looked at the wonderfully adorable and exceptionally talented Laura Jane (and her gorgeous traditional art illustrations). They’re always a lot of fun to write (and to see the reception of).

Which brings us to the end of this post and this year of content on Moggie @ WordPress. If you’re curious about how the entire year has looked check this Tweet. It should give you all the statistical data your heart can handle, or, at the very least, a better insight into what I’ve posted. Which is just as good, right?

Have a nice Christmas, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 10)

The elements are no longer silent.

Warlords of Draenor has certainly been a treat. I didn’t really expect that much from the expansion to begin with, but as I’ve experienced both the Alliance and Horde stories I’m convinced it’s one of the best expansions. Especially from the Horde perspective. While the Alliance perspective has some great stories, plot elements, and key battles- the Horde perspective is peerless. Fighting alongside Durotan in a campaign that mirrors what Thrall did for the Horde is awesome.

It’s also an expansion oozing with alternate history.

I’m a massive fan of the changes to questing, too. How you can find rare and powerful equipment from specific rare or elite mobs. How you can level up through exploration and completing tasks specific to the zone. How the way that you develop your garrison has an impact on how you interact with the world. It all works so well without you even realising it.

The pre-Legion patch changes to Enhancement Shamans have likely played a part in this as well. That said, I’ve always enjoyed the way that Shamans have played (even back in Cataclysm). Even if I am bummed out that they’ve lost their totems. Or, rather, that they’ve lost the ability to summon four. I think I’ve seen that for Elemental Shamans, though. I’ve met a few out in Draenor who seem to be able to summon totems like I used to. Those were the days. The days where you could die in the starting zone as they had waves of hostile mobs near that cave. They weren’t really the days- I’m just contractually obligated to say that as I’m older than the dirt in Orgrimmar. These days are better. Mostly.

Embrace the fury of the elements.

Embrace the fury of the elements.

I’ve also managed to get nearly every one of my Alliance characters outfitted with a set of four Frostweave Bags, with only my Rogue left unaccounted for. She’ll get them soon enough. Moggie and/or Flint will be going to either Icecrown Citadel or Naxxramas some time soon. Or maybe I’ll throw Voljaarn into the fray. It’ll be interesting to see how powerful he has become. Soul has actually run out of things to learn in both of her professions as a result of these bags, too. She needs to hit Lvl 75 to start learning more.

It’s not an impossible goal, either.

I’m actually incredibly pleased with how this subscription has played out. Despite playing less time than I usually would, I’ve managed to not only reach but exceed a number of the goals I’d set out at the start of the month. It’s promising. It shows me that I don’t need to be playing full time (as it were) to get value from the subscription at least.

It’s been fun talking about the different characters, too. It’s nice to think that there are many different participants in these Adventures in Azeroth, which isn’t even counting the characters you’ve not met/heard of yet. Or the ones that don’t exist yet. I’m looking at you future Demon Hunter who will likely be a tank/DPS. Not that it’s technically possible to be anything else. Unless you never activate a secondary specialisation. I think you’ll like my Druid. She turns into a cat. I actually surprised my friend with her bear form, once. She thought I was a random bear mob and wondered why it was following her despite not being hostile. The dance animation for bears is pretty neat, too.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 9)

The Frostweave is flowing and the going is good.

Flowing straight to my Priest that is. Who then cuts it, designs it, and sews it to the fashion of many a Frostweave Bag. One of the few interesting side projects I’ve started in the short time that I’ve been back. I’ve been doing a fair amount of soloing out in Northrend, too. So this project has nearly reached its conclusion. It wasn’t ever something I had planned to do as I was (and still am) happy with Netherweave Bags, but now that she has the capability to sew something a little larger it does seem appropriate.

It’s not like more space could ever be a bad thing.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do recently is to bring all of the characters together. Slowly building a profession here, gathering some materials there, getting the odd level every so often, and generally steadily pushing everyone forward. It’s working rather well. Many of my Alliance characters are on the cusp of actually starting their levelling runs.

I’ve finished the current levelling run for my Survival Hunter, too. He’s sitting comfortably at Lvl 90 and taking a short break before heading out to Draenor. My Death Knight has also been boosted as per my decision in the previous post, which means I’ll be taking a bit of time to acclimatise myself to how he works. Moggie has been working on building an even larger garrison than he currently has. Which, to be entirely honest, is actually becoming significantly more difficult than originally anticipated. Mostly due to needing to unlock various achievements to acquire some plans for Lvl 3 buildings. Annoying, but, with the way things work in Warlords of Draenor, not entirely unexpected.

Islands in the Fel Fire, that is what we are, no-one in between, how can we be wrong?

Islands in the Fel Fire, that is what we are, no-one in between, how can we be wrong?

I’ve been looking at my Warlock, too. I want to bring him to Lvl 70 so that (if nothing else) he is in line with the rest of the Horde characters. Destruction Warlocks are certainly interesting, perhaps even more interesting than Frost Mages are to me (at the moment). That said, Outland does present a levelling experience which is quite jarring nowadays. There doesn’t seem to be an efficient/easy way to clear content quickly out there. He doesn’t need much, though. So I’ll be trying to push in Shadowmoon Valley and finishing off in Northrend.

Then there’s the newest addition in the form of the Monk.

I’d like to put a little time towards her, too. At least to Lvl 40 or so. Just something to make sure she isn’t sitting stagnant and (more than likely) staying that way as a result of it. But, for now, the attention falls to my Enhancement Shaman. Who will get arguably the second most awesome weapon for the duration of Legion.

Depends on if you rate Doomhammer above Ashbringer or not. I’d like my Shaman to at least push for Lvl 100 during the time I’ve got left. I’m hoping to push for a similar if not equivalent level of garrison completion that Moggie has, which might not be a realistic expectation. But I’d like to have one developed garrison on each side. As the two of them represent what could be considered my main characters for each faction. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that the Death Knight is the primary moneymaker over there. It depends on the ability a Shaman has to solo similar content to what Moggie is capable of. Truly there’s a bit of everything going on at the moment.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Building an Abomination

The left leg is connected to the right shoulder blade.

That’s a pretty funny looking abomination. Then again- try to knock him down! See how he gets along just fine scuttling away like a malicious crab with his back legs? Who’s laughing now, huh? Probably not you. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. It’s okay, I don’t know either. You’re in for a treat, though. This is one of the rare times I’ll be able to throw together a traditional art work in progress post. Rare due to the fact that they’re cumbersome to create. All that scanning, cropping, and stopping.

Much easier to do with digital painting.

Pencil is one of the most forgiving materials for this sort of thing, though. It’s also been a while since we’ve had any exclusively pencil pieces here or on the site. So you’ll not only get to see progression, but you’ll also get an idea of where my pencil style could possibly be going. Honestly, I like leaning on the shading a little heavier than I probably should.

I’ve mentioned before that my pencil style is a great indicator of how much I’ve changed. I once had a very different idea of the style I wanted, I also had a different idea of how to achieve that style and how to bring materials together. To make sure they work together with the least resistance. However, we’ve seen great changes in the way I approach ink pieces. Ink used to be entirely consistent with pencil, too. Very light, crisp, empty lines. Developed into heavier, fluid, intricate lines. I’m still humouring the notion that ink may one day replace pencil as my primary choice of material. Not that the notion is very humorous these days. It’s actually very likely to happen.

An entirely malignant growth.

An entirely malignant growth.

This is a slightly different kind of paper than what I’d usually use, too. This is an older cartridge paper which is much heavier, much smoother, and more akin to bristol board than cartridge paper. As that is traditionally much lighter with a stronger texture. Or, at least, the cartridge paper I’ve used in the past was. I’m not entirely sure if I’m happier without the texture or whether the texture adds something to the piece. It’s easier to get smoother, fluid, consistent shading without the texture.

But textures are my jam.

I put them on bread late at night when I’m peckish and the pantry is empty. That said, the smoothness of the paper does allow me to transition to ink with little risk of damaging any of the nibs scratching against the texture. Especially that lil’ 0.05 nib. It’s so precious- I must protect it at all costs!

Those who are curious as to what this abomination actually is, well, that’s exactly what it is- an abomination. Those familiar with the Warcraft universe will most likely know of their existence. This is the famous named abomination Stitches. Referenced from his Heroes of the Storm standard skin. But still entirely relevant to the World of Warcraft incarnation. Abominations feature quite heavily around the frosty wastes of Icecrown (and pretty much everywhere the Scourge reside). They’re big, they’re tough, and they’ll hook you if you’re not careful. They only want to hug you, though. It gets cold out in Icecrown and they find little company amongst the legions of the Scourge. The hook just makes the hug happen that much quicker.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

World of Warcraft, Abominations, Stitches, Disease Expulsion, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard Entertainment.

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 8)

The story of one Dwarf and his bear.

An oddly nostalgic character all things considered. Created long before Hunters were gifted with a pet appropriate to their race at creation, his bear, BeefMadras, is one of the very first creatures he tamed. It also started that whole naming convention. Probably not recent changes to Hunter pets have given every pet the ability to taunt. Tenacity pets are still the sturdiest of the available options, often with all of the required talents or abilities to make a great distraction or damage soak. But every pet now has Growl.

Mostly an annoying change given that Growl is toggled on by default.

I wish it wasn’t. As it would seem that every pet has an action bar per Hunter specialisation. Which means that every pet will have it activated twice, which also means I’ll need to deactivate it twice or run the risk of randomly taunting mobs. Which isn’t as much of a concern while soloing- but you can imagine the fun it would cause in dungeons.

I’d disable it on every pet that I have, it’s just that I enjoy being an old fashioned Hunter with Tenacity pets that tank and Ferocity/Cunning pets that DPS. Not that those conventions hold true with Survival Hunters. All of his pets are another source of DPS in that specialisation. That said, I truly adore and enjoy the Survival Hunter. I’m really glad that they went for a health regeneration buff per kill, too. It’s a nice way to balance out the fact that they are a little squishier than other close combat classes. I’m a little sad they don’t have any other healing abilities besides their cooldowns, though. Mostly because it seems that bandages are now near enough useless for actually recovering health.

They certainly have a fiery spirit.

They certainly have a fiery spirit.

But the Survival Hunter is now my preferred specialisation. I’m a little annoyed that they don’t have any way to access exotic pets (via a talent or the like), but that’s where the Beast Mastery Hunter steps in to allow me to throw out the gnarly pets. That said, I have a grand total of two exotic pets at the moment. So it’s not such a great loss. Still, I’ve been thinking about Flint as a worthy candidate for soloing older content. Perhaps more proficient than Moggie. At least while Moggie stays as a Retribution Paladin.

As good as the Survival Hunter is- I don’t think he could compare to a Protection Paladin.

While much of the time has been spent focusing on building up Flint, I’ve also been looking at my other characters and making gradual improvements to their specialisations and professions to keep everything moving forward. It’s likely I’ll be boosting the Death Knight to Lvl 90 once Flint is done in Pandaria, too.

I’ve decided that I’m going to create my own lore and say that the Tauren Protection Paladin I (nearly) levelled to Lvl 70 died. He was then resurrected as a stronger, blood thirsty, but also frosty Tauren Death Knight. Who has lost his ability to throw out radiant heals in exchange for the ability to make sure ice cream never melts. It works. It’s just like Arthas. If he were a Tauren. I was thinking of calling him Moothas, but I thought that would be a bit much. Feel free to credit me if you decide to use that character name, though. Along with Moggie, Flint, and Voljaarn that would be the fourth character to have access to Warlords of Draenor content. It’s a slow but steady improvement.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 7)

An extended vacation.

I decided to bring back the Adventures in Azeroth series for another four-six part extension! This is for two reasons, the first is to see whether there is enough content for it to continue and the second is to see how people feel about hearing about levelling characters. There’s a lot of levelling left to do. I won’t be talking about all of it, though. There is a fair amount of repetition involved, as, while the character will change, the process won’t. Thereby making it less enjoyable to experience a second or third time.

It’s also the perfect time to return as Hallow’s End has begun again.

I’m currently working on unlocking the (newly added) spooky garrison decorations for Moggie. But there’s a lot of different things to participate in from eating candy, to fighting the Headless Horseman, to putting out (literal) fires, and there’s even a chance to snag an awesome mount. There’s even a seasonal dungeon (likely tuned for Lvl 110 characters).

I’m hoping the garrison decorations will be permanent or at least permanently active during the seasonal event. Still, it’s only four daily quests for five days if I want to unlock them all. So it’s not like it’s all that much work. I’d like to mirror these with Voljaarn, having his garrison displaying the Feast of Winter Veil decorations all year ’round. Which works oddly well given that the Horde garrison is in a naturally snowy location. But we’ll see how it goes. I’m still enjoying the seasonal events even if I’ve already finished a great deal of them already, while being ineligible for the remainder as Moggie is still Lvl 100. Which is better for me in the long run, so, again- not too concerned about the situation.

"This is my Pinnacle and ya can't have it!"

“This is my Pinnacle and ya can’t have it!”

I’ve wasted no time in throwing Flintbeard (the Survival Hunter) into the icy wastes of Northrend. His levelling process is going about as well as expected, as there really aren’t too many challenges he won’t be able to meet with his newly acquired Survival specialisation. Especially with his pet being a secondary source of damage or tanking. The soloing strategy is still viable, too. It’s just that I know he’ll need to go through most (if not all) of the Cataclysm zones. So I’d like him to be better prepared for when that happens.

I’d rather he didn’t do it with equipment trailing by several levels.

Otherwise, I’ve been thinking about the free Lvl 90 boost that I received. Considering throwing that at the Death Knight. Which isn’t something I’d normally do, but I’ve always been in a weird place with Death Knights (from as far back as when they were first implemented). It does offer other benefits besides the levels to be gained, too.

I’ve also been thinking about Legion. It’s a purchase I could see myself making, if for no reason other than the fact that it looks like it’s going to be one of the best story orientated expansions in quite some time. That said, I think I’ll hold off until the end of this year or the start of the next. That should give me enough time to finish the remaining questing content in Warlords of Draenor on Moggie, to level a couple more characters, and to get everything settled before we embark on yet another adventure. Might even be able to earn the ability to fly out in Draenor, too. Should be a considerable boon for anyone who happens to be passing through there any time soon.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

June to September 2016

It’s that time again.

I like these posts. Not only because they highlight the content I’ve posted over the last three months, but because they remind me of the things I’ve done. Which is especially useful if (like me) you do a lot of things and often forget which you did when. Or where you did what. Or any other combination of perfectly confusing words. It’s been an interesting few months, too. While there has been a lot of gaming content there has also been a fair few digital work in progress posts.

Final Fantasy XIII was quickly becoming a topic of conversation in Old Haunts and then later in Adventuring on Gran Pulse. The sequels were also making an appearance with Paradox Police, The Ballad of Caius, and Beacon of Salvation. We also had Fall of the Dungeon Guardians (First Impressions) earlier in the month to keep things interesting.

There was a slight change to social media, too.

With the events of Eight Months Lost leading to Collection Clear and the removal of my Google+ page. It was an unfortunate turn of events, but I still believe it was the correct decision regarding the situation given how everything had unfolded prior to that point. On a positive note, I also celebrated my Ten Year Anniversary in September. Then very recently I looked at where things were, where they were going, and how to get them there in Plotting Progress. The first post of its kind in quite some time. The last three months have seen more changes to the collection of sites than prior months have, but these are changes I would have made sooner or later. In this case I chose sooner.

We’ve had a few more gaming adventures, too. Exploring the challenges found within Dark Souls II via Shieldless in Drangleic, taking a first look at a rather promising RPG in Ember (First Impressions), and even returning to Titan Quest with the Anniversary Edition to enjoy the Skirt Wearing Weather. Surprisingly we also saw the return of World of Warcraft for a six part series of posts. Exploring the range of changes introduced in Mists of Pandaria, the changes from Warlords of Draenor, and even the changes from the Legion pre-expansion patch.

There’s been a few months of creative experimentation as well. Undead River brought new life (pun intended) to an older inspiration, while Fluffy Chops and Leopard Warlock began to explore the many hours of investment in that particular digital painting. I’m still unsure as to whether digital painting is ever going to be something I can fully commit to, though.

Liquid Orc holds my thoughts on that subject.

I think you’ll agree that we did have a little of everything over the last three months. I have a few things planned for early October, too. So there’s going to be at least a little more gaming content before this year is out. I’ve also done some watercolour painting recently that went surprisingly well. So it’s likely we’ll see some of that as well. I’m not entirely sure, though. I’m still slightly annoyed that many of the digital pieces mentioned above are still unfinished. Also that they’re likely to stay that way. So maybe I’ll try to get something done with one or two of those, if not to finish them then to at least bring them to a satisfactory standard for posting on my personal website.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie