Gnotable Gnomes: Moxie Lockspinner

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Battle for Azeroth is a welcome change with lots of gnomish flair and interesting gnew gnomes to meet. Moxie Lockspinner is a feisty gnome you meet in Stormsong Valley, and you can tell right away where her gnomish heart lies.

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Jaina’s War

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Every great war has a history that reveals how it truly came to blows. A spark, a match, years of suffering….and Jaina’s Proudmoore’s war is no different.

In this incredibly powerful animated short, the artists have outdone themselves in showing the true Jaina Proudmoore and everything that has culminated to her final warning “Beware of….me.”

One cannot understand Jaina’s state of mind until we go back to the turning point that broke her world apart – the fall of Theramore.

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The Price of Rewriting History

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This is a post that sat in my drafts folder for about four years. Yep, four years. The entire time it’s been simmering since the Cataclysm at the back of my mind. Two things have propelled me to dust this one off and finish writing about it. The first was the announcement of Vanilla servers at Blizzcon in 2017; the second, taking a second look at the journey through Azeroth as I level my lightforged draenei paladin.

Blizzard took a huge risk back in Cataclysm when they decided to wipe the slate clean and redo Azeroth. It’s something almost everyone wishes they could do but can’t – and for good reason. We don’t get do-overs sometimes. They in effect, rewrote history by erasing some of it – and the question I have long sought to answer out loud: Was it worth it?

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The Battle for Azeroth

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Here lies King Terenas Menethil II — last true king of Lordaeron.

Great were his deeds — long was his reign — unthinkable was his death.

May the father lie blameless for the deeds of the son.

May the bloodied crown stay lost and forgotten.

This iconic cinematic immediately came to mind when I thought of the Battle for Azeroth. Why? Because this was the last time the Alliance controlled Lordaeron.

As a wee little sproutling druid running around Darnassus, I was always awed by the history of Warcraft and longed for the day when Lordaeron would be restored to it’s former glory rather than the goo-filled stinky sewer it currently serves to house.

I’m just not sure this is how I wanted to be taking it back. But then again, is there any other way?

 

Thoughts

War for war’s sake seems silly. But I’m not surprised at it – humans are good at one thing and that’s killing each other. Azeroth is simply a reflection of it.

And I am absolutely onboard with retaking Lordaeron and whatnot. But I have a couple pet peeves with how of all this is playing out. So yeah, time to tear some of it apart.

Where are the Gnomes?

Clearly gnomes are no longer part of the Alliance. Atleast not my gnome. Because seriously, what the fuck. Not a single gnome in any expansion cinematic to date. And we’ve been around since before Pandas, Worgen, Goblins and even Draenei. I’m ready for the gnomes to pack up and leave the Alliance – they can figure it out themselves. Let’s see how they like life without access to our genius. We have better things to do – like retaking Gnomeregan!

If the Alliance comes around asking Lillen to help, she will show him all four fingers.

Allied Sub-races?

Eh? This seems like a real stretch to me and not much of a perk. Void Elves and Zandalari trolls? Uh, sure. But really, if we’re that far out of stuff to add it means other more important things should’ve got done first. Like getting a gnomish city back. Adding some gnome lore, tauren lore, goblin storyline. Why so many elves?

Classic Servers

I actually jumped out of my seat at this announcement. I am excited for this! No, this doesn’t mean I have rose coloured glasses about the grind time, stocking up on ammo/arrows, or constantly visiting the trainer. I get that life sucked way back then.

But I have to admit that Cataclysm broke something in WoW. Yes, the timeline for the most part – but there was something inherently wrong when one day I woke up and I couldn’t point to the game I started playing and fell in love with. I cried puddles when I saw the destruction of Auberdine. It was my world and no amount of smooth linear questing, fancy colour coordinated gear,  and increased number of flight points outdoes what it had.

So yes, I am excited to finally go home.

Leveling Fixes

Thank the Light. Scaling throughout the world is a welcome change for me personally. I can’t remember the last time I actually managed to quest through and finish a zone properly without feeling like everything around was trivialised the moment I breathed on it. It will be a breath of fresh air to go back again and watch the story play out, and maybe level alts again instead of just dungeon farming.

There’s still a lot of information to come and a lot of stuff that can change. But here’s how I’m initially feeling – kinda excited for new things, super annoyed about the lack of gnome anything, and warm and fuzzy when I think of vanilla servers.

Can’t wait to see what happens! 🙂

 

 

Gnotable Gnomes: Windle Sparkshine

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This is a series I’ve been wanting to write for a while now – a special tribute to all the gnomes who have touched our lives in Azeroth. Today I’ll be starting out with one of my favourite stories of a wonderful father: Windle Sparkshine.

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Windle Sparkshine, father of Kinndy Sparkshine can be found in Dalaran. Kinndy was a bright and promising mage who was apprenticing under Jaina Proudmoore at the time. During the cataclysmic bombing of Theramore, Kinndy along with many others lost their lives to the evil of Garrosh Hellscream. Windle now walks the streets of Dalaran and lights the lamps of the city every night at 9pm in memory of his beloved daughter.

Windle also sells a lighter that you can use to light any other lamps and torches in Dalaran. It has the touching flavour text: “Shine one!”

windleslighter

The Sparkshines’ full story can be found in the book by Christie Golden, “Tides of War”. Their story always gets me, and it’s stories like these that keep me coming back to Azeroth.

As a fitting tribute to the sacrifice of Kinndy, in Legion, Windle’s lights show an image of a laughing and cheerful Kinndy as he goes around and lights the lamps.

Windle’s Outfit:

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Chest: Lesser Wwindletransmog2izard’s Robe

Shoulders: Elder’s Mantle

Feet: Replica Magister’s Boots

Gloves: Exiled Dabbler’s Gloves (or the sneaky no-glove look as I call it)

Head: Regal Wizard Hat

Waist: Wastewalker’s Sash (Windle has a custom tailor because I couldn’t find an exact match – but this one comes pretty close. There are many others that look nice like Serenity Belt and Gossamer Belt)

 
Cloak: Mantle of Gnomeregan (His custom tailor strikes again… so I just went with the Mantle of Gnomeregan – hard to go wrong with it)

Tabard: Tabard of the Kirin Tor

Windle and I

Windle and I

Expansion Wishlist

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I have been fairly vocal and blunt in my criticism of Warlords of Draenor, and Blizzard’s general decisions in this expansion. Decisions that caused me to leave the game for a while.

With a new expansion on the horizon, time for a change from all that doom and gloom. So without further ado, here’s my expansion wishlist – what would bring me back to Azeroth:

– Lore as the driving reason for game decisions. Story is important and rather than fight it, work with it. It really does make for a better world. I don’t particularly care if we fly or don’t fly at the end of the day – but I want a good lore reason whichever way it goes.

– A solid story. No more dodgy time-traveling, no more gaping plot holes that need to be hastily filled. All I want for Christmas is a well-told, engaging story.

No more orcs. I’m really tired of orcs – there’s a plethora of stuff going on but the spotlight seems to be on orcish politics and Thrall’s life. And I just don’t care about it anymore. How about a Gnomish coup to oust Mekkatorque – we clearly need a better leader to retake Gnomeregan. What about the night elves? The goblins? The Tauren?

– A retaken and cleaned up Gnomeregan city for gnomes. I thought we’d be getting this in Cataclysm honestly so this one’s overdue for me. No, that cess infested irradiated patch of land we got does not count.

A female leader…lead. I’d like to see any of them in action – especially Tyrande. She holds a special spot for my druid since I first started playing and I’d love to see play a major role in the upcoming story.

– More class options for Gnomes. Gnomes have the lowest number of playable classes for our race. We could really use hunters or shamans or even paladins (since we’re already priests). Any of those would do – more options are good.

Lots of dungeons. One of my favourite parts in Wrath was seeing dungeons tied to storylines in each zone and having so many of them to do.

Interesting Professions. Not trivialising gathering professions would be a start. But in general the stale formula of “craft this cd for x number of days and you have a shiny” didn’t make the professions feel terribly unique. They just didn’t grab me this time around.

Class quests. I really miss them. First time I rolled a shaman I loved having to talk to the elementals and learn about each of the four elements before getting my totems. It was all about the journey, all about exploring a new class.

The RNG nature of Stats on gear. Playing with luck is fun but too much of something is bad. It wasn’t fun to roll for stats – it was annoying and frustrating.

Featuring a gnome in a cinematic. One of the reasons I love FFXIV is that they take my favourite race and treat it equally with all the other races. It appears in trailers, there are important lore figures representing it, and said lore figures are actually doing important things in the game. It’s time to take a page.

I’m looking forward to the 6th to see if anything on this list makes it to the announcement. I’m not quite sure what to expect but for the love of the Light, I hope it doesn’t involve any more orcs.