Monday, 12 December 2016

Power of Transmog: Orc Blademaster

Ever since Blademaster came to Heroes of the Storm I wanted to put one such transmog set together. I always delayed it, hoping that I would first level up my Orc Warrior high enough to sport the set. But now, that Mogit is such a helpful tool, that is not the case any longer. Blademasters, especially good old Samuro whom we first encountered in the Frozen Throne, were always a set of badasses who lived for war, blood, and the Burning Blade. They seemed to have their own code they followed, and nothing else they adhered to.

The set can in principle be worn by all three plate wearing classes, but considering it is heavily orcish armour set, I'd recommend it for Warriors and Death Knights only. Here is the itemlist:
  • Orgrimmar Chestguard
  • Duskwatch Plate Bracers
  • Rugged Mail Gloves
  • Annihilan's Waistplate
  • Wasteland Armored Legguards
  • Ancient Skeletal Boots
  • Fel-Burning Blade
Or alternatively, if you prefer the Blademasters of yore, that is TBC days, you can replace Fel-Burning Blade with Lantresor's Warblade.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Power of Transmog: Phoenix Guard

The other day I saw a Total War: Warhammer trailer for the Wood Elves. It made me think about my favourite race, the High Elves. As I'm aware it will be some time before (if at all) they deign to appear in Total War, I decided to sate my thirst with a transmog honouring one of the most elite High elven units instead, the Phoenix Guard.

Here is the itemlist:
  • Helmet of Radiant Glory
  • Shoulderguards of Radiant Glory
  • Icy Cloak
  • Stylish Black Shirt
  • Valorous Aegis Legplates
  • Pillarfoot Greaves
  • Gauntlets of Guiding Light
  • Battleplate of Guiding Light
  • Uktar's Belt of Chiming Rings
  • Icier Barbed Spear
If you use sword and shield, or need some other two-handed weapon (that halberd-looking spear is a rarity all in all) here are some options:
  • Gigantic War Axe
  • Twinblade of the Phoenix
  • Tranquillien Flamberge
  • Quickblade of the Horde Vanguard
  • Titansteel Shield Wall
  • Spellfire Longsword

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Power of Transmog Emerald Nightmare

The other day I was thinking, we have Emerald Dream, and it's all nice and green. But what happens when the dream turns into nightmare? And how would such a nightmare look like in plate armour? This set can be worn by Paladins, Warriors, and Death Knights alike.

Here is the itemlist:
  • The Horseman's Helm
  • Pauldrons of the Dragonblight
  • Shawl of Nerubian Silk
  • Chestguard of Ill Fate
  • Gauntlets of Temporal Interference
  • Ravenous Girdle
  • Acid-Etched Legplates
  • Chrono Boots
  • Ruthless Gladiator's Greatsword
Or if you prefer one-handers and shields, here is the alternative:
  • Eredar Battle Blade
  • Ruthless Gladiator's Shield Wall
Alternative cloak:
  • Farstrider Wildercloak

Friday, 25 November 2016

Power of Transmog: Scarlet Samurai

I was putting together this one for some time nowe. It went through I don't know anymore how many itterations just because I would not like a certain piece, or because I loved a certain piece, and thus had to change most of the others. But such is the nature of transmog. Even though we had an entire expansion dedicated to asian theme in Pandaria, there was not much for good old platewearers, at least the picky ones like me. So here you have my take at Samurai in World of Warcraft.

Here is the itemlist:
  • Shoulderguards of Painful Lessons
  • Ragesteel Breastplate
  • Boneshatter Armplates
  • Cliffbreaker Gauntlets
  • Cliffbreaker Girdle
  • Wasteland Armored Legguards
  • Ancient Skeletal Boots
  • Rustic Workman's Shirt
  • Duskbringer
Or if you prefer using sword and shield:
  • Doomforged Straightedge
  • Pulsing Spellshield
  • Felsteel Longblade
And some more two-handed options:
  • Emil's Brand
  • Archaic Defender
  • Strike of the Hydra

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Power of Transmog: Spear of Vol'jin

The other day I came across a new title for Horde players who get to exalted reputation with
Vol'jin's Spear. The title in question being "Spear of Vol'jin". It prompted me to think, how would a warrior (or death knight in this particular case) serving the former Warchief look. It only made sense to take a Troll warrior for the mold, and build from thereon. Here is the itemlist:
  • Roaring Mask of Bethekk
  • Skullpiercer Pauldrons
  • Orgrimmar Chestguard
  • Handguards of the Templar
  • Orgrimmar Belt
  • Orgrimmar Leggings
  • Sabatons of the Righteous Defender
  • Ritual Headcleaver Halberd
Or if you prefer using one-handers and shields, here is a nice alternative:
  • Eye of the Ancient Spirit
  • Worldbreaker's Stormscythe

Friday, 18 November 2016

Power of Transmog: Dragon Slayer

I remember the first time I entered the Sunken Temple, and saw those dragonid guards charging at us with their great spears. It was a moment both frightening and astonishing. I thought to myself, I want to be able to do this. The way they spun those spears while charging, like showing off before attack. It was unique, it was amazing. But alas while we might not have stood a chance the first time, soon enough we figured what to do, and how to do it. It was a learning experience. And we became dragon slayers.

So here you have it, an armour that screams, I fear no dragon, for I am a dragon. It's a transmog for all the plate wearers; Paladins, Death Knights, and Warriors alike. Here is the item list:
  • Wracksoul Helm
  • Temporal Pauldrons
  • Primal Gladiator's Drape of Contemplation
  • Kal'delar Breastplate
  • Bracers of Liberation
  • Foundry-Fired Plate Gauntlets
  • Warmongering Combatant's Girdle of Prowess
  • Kal'delar Legplates
  • Treads of the Past
  • Xu'tenash, Glaive of Ruin
If you prefer one-handed weapons, or are tanking with shield, then here is the alternative:
  • Stormwake, the Tempest's Reach
  • Ward of Incantations

Friday, 4 November 2016

Power of Transmog: Celestial Knight

So after a long time away from WoW I started toying with the idea of having a peek for old time's sake. Because I'm still in the daydreaming nostalgia phase of maybe giving the game one more try, I'm hoping that by posting the list of transmog sets I'll never collect will satiate my desire to roam Azeroth once again.

Thus I present you, a set I dubbed Celestial Knight. I hope that those of you playing, enjoy it. Here is the item list:

  • Helmet of Winged Triumph
  • Pauldrons of Conviction
  • Brilliant Burnished Cloak
  • Brick Breastplate
  • August Celestials Tabard
  • Gauntlets of the Holy Warrior
  • Girdle of the Holy Warrior
  • Brick Legplates
  • Greatboots of the Holy Warrior
  • Calamity's Edge

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Not so subtle at all :D

I don't really know what triggered the latest "controversy" but this parody of it is hilarious all the same. Also really subtle and to the point. By now Blizzard should know better than to cave in to crazy easily triggered groups of individuals, but some people never learn.

Guess what? If you cave in, they will come back. Why? Because the perpetually offended love to exert their moral authority over anyone who lets them. If you give them a finger, they'll hate you, and find an easier target.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Review

It has almost been two months since the seventh episode of Star Wars saga was released, and almost a month since I have seen it. With that said, I believe this gives me every right in this world, Internet, and universe to discuss the film in whatever manner I may choose without any regard for spoilers.

Haha! Throwing caution to the wind never felt so good! ]:)

First thoughts?

Well, there is a lot of same old same old, been there done that. It seems like recycling. Names might be different, places might be different, main characters might be different but it is the same film as Episode IV, except worse because we have seen it all before, and most of the changes that were actually made, feel so contrived and without any solid explanation that it just ruins any kind of sense of immersion.

So what is good about the film?

Finn. This is where it stops for me really.

He is one character that is completely new. That is good thing, he is not there to fill any other pair of shoes than his own. Like all the others. He starts as a Stormtrooper whose training and brainwashing that went for years somehow failed. Not a 100% success rate like clones, I wonder if it was the budget cuts in military spending that forced the Empire, pardon me, the First Order to try this new method of obtaining children and training them as professional soldiers. We've seen something like that in the Soldier, where Kurt Russel plays Todd 3465, a failure shocktrooper that finds himself on an abandoned junkyard planet where he finally is able to reconnect with his humanity. But where Todd's training seems to have been effective and he can only shake it off as time passes and he is actually accepted into society Finn is a simple coward from the very beginning. Why the brainwashing failed with him, we never find out, probably never will, it is just a thing we are expected to swallow and move onward in order not to let story fall apart.

His relationship with Rey is one of a chick and a hen. For Finn Rey is the first person in a whole wide galaxy far far away that ever gave him a look and actually saw him as he was, useless. And thus he imprints on her like a small fawn imprints on its mother and follows her forever and ever. Well, he first tries to run away from everything, but the nature overwhelms him, and he needs his mommy Rey.

Rey on the other hand is just too much. She's a Mary Sue. A boring character who can do everything on her own, without everyone else, and has no flaws. She is perfect in every single way and thus most boring character of them all. Kylo Ren is pathetic, Finn is a coward, and Rey? No flaw at all. But don't make a mistake, her sad orphan story is nothing, just a filler, a background, she has no purpose, there is no character development awaiting her. She already has it all, and just needs to hone her abilities more, when she as an amateur beat the hell out of a Sith training for years. Her problem is that she does everything better than people who actually trained and specialised in that thing. She can beat Kylo Ren in a Force duel, she can fix ships better than any mechanic, master the Force on her own like no one ever before, pilot better than old veterans and ace pilots even though she never left that desert planet of hers.

And she is not the Superman of her story. While Superman is superior to all his internal conflict comes from the fact that he is actually holding back because he does not want to abuse his power. It is this internal struggle that makes Superman great. He has the power, and the ability to crush anybody, but he still chooses not to because of his strong moral compass. In comparison Rey has no struggle of her own to resolve. She's supposedly on a quest to find her family, to train as a jedi but all that is meaningless. It is like completing a useless side quest because you have no plot line to follow.

She is just a character on the rails forced into the story, she is empty character, a blank slate.

That brings us to Kylo Ren. While the first two of the trio are part of the Resistance, Kylo suffers from bad parenting and decides to become a Sith. That is interesting because the other two characters are orphans. The first time he took off his silly mask I burst out laughing, and I was not alone. While he has a sad sap-story he is a pathetic villain. There are people who will make excuses, that this is not fair, he is still young, learning and such things. Whatever, he is a man grown throwing a hissy fit like a toddler. He disgusts me. He doesn't inspire either fear or respect, he lacks presence. When you saw Vader, Tyranus, or even Darth Maul there was always either fear, respect or a mix of both involved. From the very beginning you knew they were force to be reckoned with and not to be taken lightly. When you see Kylo Ren you wish to slap him and send him to corner until he calms down. Pathetic.

Now that we are done with the three main characters, lets go through some details. For example learned skills. Swordsmanship is something you have to learn, practise, train. It is not something that you just happen to "get" the first second you find yourself holding a sword. And this particular detail annoyed me to no end. And they didn't do it with lightsabers alone, same goes for shooting, driving spaceships, and using Force. We'll get to that one.

In the film they try to telegraph to viewers that Rey knows how to wield a lightsaber because we see her cracking skulls with a quarterstaff. They try the same thing with Finn when we see a stormtrooper using some sort of an electric mace or baton. Just because that one stormtrooper knows how to use it, does not mean Finn does. And most importantly, just because you know how to use a particular weapon does not mean you know how to use another one, especially lightsabers considering they are rare as real food on a junk planet. It takes time to master a weapon, years of training. This goes doubly so for lightsabers because of their special nature. Unlike all the other weapons Finn and Rey might have encountered there was never anything like it. That is because lightsabers don't have any weight. How are you supposed to master a weapon that you don't even know how to swing properly?

Same thing goes for driving a bloody spaceship we all know was modified so hard that nobody could do it but him. But don't let that get in a way of the story...

There are just so many discrepancies that we as the viewers are simply expected to swallow and move on, we just there to enjoy the ride, to hell with details. Who cares if all the bolts are screwed all the way, who cares if we crash and burn? Ignorance is bliss, and the film is betting on the viewer to engage in nostalgia from so long ago and just let things slide for old time's sake.

Special effects might have gotten better over the years, but the storytelling got a lot lot worse.

You want an example? Think of Captain Phasma. How much convincing did it take for her to betray the First Order even if we are told that she is crème de la crème? Too easy. How about Rey actually rescuing herself from the clutches of the First Empire? How? Well, she just thought of this great idea to tell the guard to release her and he did it. Because she can use Jedi tricks that otherwise take years to master.

I mused during the film that Force Awakens is an ode to Nature in a Nature vs Nurture debate. Just think of it, all the characters that spend years training, and mastering something are beaten by a complete amateur who is just natural talent. Kylo Ren vs Rey is best example. Or Han Solo vs Rey. Or Finn and Kylo Ren's failed attempt at indoctrination and being raised properly. It seems that Nurture by itself is useless, all the glory belongs to Nature alone according to Episode VII. Maybe that is the Force Awakening...

Review: Legionnaire (Galaxy's Edge Book 1)

When Nick Cole, and Jason Anspach started their endeavour of making "Making Star Wars Great Again", over at Galactic Outlaws . I...