Monthly Archives: April 2011

Blog Update & Cho’Gall Down!

Just a quick note to say I haven’t forgotten about blogging!  I have been super busy lately and just haven’t been able to find the time to write.  However, me and my guild just downed Cho’Gall the other night so expect to see a write up of that in the near future including our successful strategy!

I have added a new panorama to the page, ‘Rising Souls’, s0 be sure to check that out.

I will also post some thoughts about the new 4.1 patch in the near future.  Including our musings on getting the new Amani Battle Bear.

Keep the faith, content will return soon!

To tide you over, here is a quick screenie:

Labyrinth of Lost Souls Cho'Gall Kill 28 April 2011

And now:

Nefarian Waits

Until next time,

V

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Healed my first Heroic the other day…

And of course it was Grim Batol….

There I was on my Resto Shammy, Mashan – who wasn’t even fully decked out in healing gear let alone ilevel 333 gear.  Levelling as Enhancement seems to leave one a little short on useful healing pieces.

Anyway, I came in to help out my GM who was on an alt and having some issues with his PUG.  From memory he had gone through 2 tanks, the healer left after the 2nd and the other 2 dps were sub-par.

So in came Glowberry and I to sort things out.

Morrin, Glow’s little dwarf prot paladin was our tank.  One thing that does help when starting out healing is having a group of guildies, or at least a majority as in my case.

Despite our 2 PUG dps not really knowing the fights and not bothering to ask, we had no real trouble getting to Erudax apart from a few wipes on Drahga where our friendly PUGs didnt run away from the flaming spirits.

However Erudax is, like our Australian economy (so the pollies keep telling us and was at 105.9USD last time I checked :P),  a 2 track fight.  If you handle the summoned Faceless Corrupters, then the fight is pretty simple.  Heal people, displel them if they get caught in Blinding Shadows and make sure to stand in the eye of Shadow Gale.

If you fail to dps the adds and they break the eggs it is very much a different fight.  For a geared healer it might not have been so much of a problem, but for poor Mashan it was problematic.  I could simply not keep people up with the whelps casting on us.  Especially if some were released in the first pair of adds.  It just increased the damage output beyond the level of my healing output (ability?).

So we spent a bit wiping on Erudax.  After a while our PUG dps volunteered to leave, which was great.  In came 2 more guild dps and down went the adds.  No whelps.  Erudax died first attempt.

Yes, I know this an old shot.

Whilst it was frustrating at times, I honestly didn’t mind healing again.  I haven’t done any serious healing since my Vanilla days on my Paladin Althorr, so a change of role was fun.

I guess the plan for Mashan is to gear him up to be a backup raid healer for the guild.  I think I need some more practice before I’m ready for that though.

I’ll just have to hit up Morrin and my GM’s main for some more runs I think. Up for it guys?

Till next time,

V


Can a Screenshot be ‘Art’?

Can a screenshot be art?  This question is intrinsically linked to the wider question of whether video games can be art.  I have read a few discussions on this and whilst most people within the video game sphere argue that there is art to be found in games, some outside of this sphere believe that there is none to found.

I guess it pays to ask what is art?  I don’t have an art or philosophy major but I think I can answer this question.

Art is whatever the beholder considers it to be.

Sure, there are the classical masters and other such works of art that I believe no-one would ever argue the point on, but then there are some post-modern type works that I cant see the artistic merit in but others can. Does my not seeing the artistic merit make it any less of a work of art? I don’t believe so. There are a group of people out there who value such works, I just don’t happen to be one of them.

This concept applies to other mediums as well.  Music is a great example.  I don’t really like Country & Western and a lot of the R&B out there just doesn’t do it for me.  It’s still music though, and whilst I don’t understand how, is enjoyed by people the world over.

So essentially, if you as the beholder consider what you are looking at as art, then it is.  It may not be in the same league as a painting by Rembrandt or a composition by Mozart, and never will be, but it cannot be dismissed as art to me and many of my guests.

A finger painting by a 4 year old that a mother proudly hangs on her fridge is art to her, and one of my photos that I have had framed and displayed in my home is also art.

As far as screenshots are concerned, the easiest direct comparison to make is with photography.  Having dabbled in both sides, the major difference between the two is the skill in recogising and being able to manipulate the number of variables.  As I discussed in my one my previous posts, the only variables to consider when taking a screenshot are composition and subject.  These expand to include angles and distance and post-shot work.  However photographers have to consider light, shutter speed, exposure and more.  Understanding what playing with these variable will do to your photo is a major part of being a good photographer.

One thing that a good photographer and a good screenshotter (is that a real term?) have in common is the ability to see the shot before taking it.  Having an eye for what will look good. One technique some photographers use is to wander around looking through a card cutout in a small rectangle so as to isolate the shot from whats in front of them.  After a while the card is no longer necessary and the shot can simply be seen.

There are plenty of people who consider that photos can be art, so I believe that this can be extended to screenshots.  I would like to stress however that in my opinion not every screenshot is art, and neither is every photo.  Having said that, something that for me isn’t art, may be for the next person.  It is a fine line to tread and not fall into hypocrisy!

The short answer is yes, I believe screenshots can be art.  They may not be for everyone but this does not disqualify them.  I choose World of Warcraft as my subject due to the variety, others choose all sorts of options.

What do you think?  Can screenshots be art?  Is there in fact any merit whatsoever in having this discussion as I’m not Claude Monet?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Till next time,

V


Wanted: My Pants.

So there I was minding my own business…

 

Well actually I was looking after some Netherwing business; something to do with clearing out pesky beasties from a mine and collecting discarded mining carts or something.  Eh who really cares as long as they up my reputation right?

When BOOM, I looked down and almost fell over…  I couldn’t see my pants!  Now just to clarify, I couldn’t see see my legs or other more um delicate appendages either.   After thinking for a while about whether or not I could sit down (considering my butt had mysteriously vanished as well) I decided to set out to find my pants.  I mean what is a man without his pants?  No man at all is what!

Just so you all have an idea of the horror I felt upon seeing my pantlessedness, well… here it its (warning: viewer discretion is advised):

How would that make you feel, to discover that your pants were gone.  I mean come on, who steals a man’s pants?

 

Then it hit me.

 

Gorosh had struck again!  That sneaky orc had ventured out from his run down hovel in the twilight highlands to steal my pants!  Boy was I mad.  I dug up my old picture of him to start billboarding in the hope that someone could help me find my pants!  On a side note, how does he do it?  I mean I was wearing a belt and everything!

So far, no luck.  I am still wandering around without my pants.  Even @Magmaw laughed at me the other night 😦

If you know where to find my pants, or hell even have a spare pair I could borrow for a while, please let me know.

Till next time,

The man with no pants, V.


Screen Shot Spotting

As I continue to develop my gallery of screen shots, I realise that my approach is random.  There is no plan, no objective other than the taking of screen shots for the enjoyment of myself and others.

Where would I like to take it, I’m not sure.  It seems as though there is a gap in the panorama scene so I will start plugging away at that and see what happens.  I have created a new page and added 2 panoramas already so I encourage you go check them out – Panoramas.  I would love to put up some shots that people really want to see, so if you have any burning desires for something in particular I can do my best to meet your needs.  Just leave a comment either here or on the panoramas page.

Another direction I am considering but will require a little more work is reworking some of my shots to be effective desktop backgrounds available for download.  Most of what I can see out there is not what I prefer as a desktop wallpaper, so maybe I can sort something out.  Once again, if you have any shots you love so far that I can try and adjust for you, let me know.  Haven’t tried this before so I can’t ensure success, but I am keen to try!

Once the collection becomes too large for its current setup I will look at setting up some pages that organise the shots a bit better.  Tagging will also allow searching of images so I will start work on that at some point as well.

One other thing to mention: around the inter-web there are a number of articles written about video games (and as part of that screen shots) as art.  I’m not going to dive into this right now (a post for another day maybe), but I will say that I believe there is artistic merit to be found in screen shots.  The essence of what you are attempting to convey to your audience in a screen shot is similar if not the same as, photography.  And that is certainly considered art, so why not screen shots?

Some food for thought at any rate.

Till next time,

V



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