What I listen to while playing WoW

This week’s shared topic on Blog Azeroth comes from Amerence who writes

I know that the World of Warcraft game has its own music to play either we are in the caverns, the city, battlegrounds even in raids or pretty much anywhere. The background music loops and plays wherever you go. But I know some of you prefer to mute and listen to your own music while playing the game. I want to know what World of Warcraft Music Background you choose to hear or your own flavor of music while playing the game.

It’s not a secret that I love music and that includes the in-game music in WoW. As of right now I’m really looking forward to hearing the music in Warlords of Draenor, I’m so excited to see the login screen and listen to the main title for the first time, to be honest, that’s one of the things I’m most excited for prior to an expansion. I always play with the in-game music on while playing new content or zones because the music is like the soul of the game and it completes the excitement of exploring something new. I’m one of those who turn up the music volume and turn on the best quality of all the sound settings. Sometimes if I’m not flying or running around in the world with my camera zoomed in to first person and the UI hidden, then I’m sitting with my eyes closed and just listening to the music.  I don’t know any other way of explaining what the music means to me.

But sometimes while in the same zone for a long time with the music turned up really high and on loop, I might find myself turning the volume down because I can also get tired of hearing the same track over and over again for hours. This usually happens in the cities I spend a lot of time in, e.g. Orgrimmar, Dalaran and Shattrath.

I don’t play a lot through old content, but if I do, I always turn up the music. Like last week I boosted by boyfriend’s death knight alt through the Icecrown Citadel dungeons The Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection. The music in those dungeons is amazing and we had to stop and listen to it several times.

I know some people don’t want the music on while they’re raiding because they have to focus and listen to ventrilo. But I had the music on back when I was raiding, not so loud that I couldn’t focus or hear ventrilo, but loud enough to hear the music because it made the fights so much more exciting.

Some of my favorite pieces of music from World of Warcraft

The only time I actually prefer to listen to my own music is when I’m doing PvP because the music I choose to listen to gives me the right mood and really gets me in “the zone”, it gives me confidence and motivation, and I think I perform better with that kind of music. It has to be loud, but not so loud that I don’t hear the in-game sounds, because I like to be able to hear when someone caps a base or a flag, but with my own music in my ears I might not hear the sound of a rogue or druid stealthing behind me.

My most recent addiction in music is Lindsey Stirling. She’s an amazing violinist and composer who really takes classical music to a new level! Just by listening to her and watching her videos on YouTube I get so inspired that I actually want to pick up playing an instrument again.

Besides her, one of my favorite bands are Machinae Supremacy. They’re a Swedish band that combines metal and rock with chiptunes, self-defined as “SID metal” (many of their songs use a SidStation that features the SID chip of the Commodore 64). They’re not that well known yet, but they have actually released five studio albums and they’re planning their first headlining European Tour this year. I first discovered them when they were supporting Children of Bodom in Denmark in 2011.

Sometimes when I play with my boyfriend, we listen to music on his computer, through speakers. We mostly listen to our own playlists on Spotify with everything from old and weird music from our childhood to our favorite bands/artists and songs. A band we’ve listened to a lot lately is Donkeyboy. A Norwegian pop band.

By the way, a good headset or speakers really do a difference.

Lindsey Stirling: Website, Facebook, YouTube

Machinae Supremacy: Website, Facebook, YouTube

Donkeyboy: Website, Facebook, YouTube

 

What do you listen to while you play WoW?

My WoW New Year Resolutions

WoW Insider wrote

We’re coming up on the new year, so it’s time for new year’s resolutions. For this week’s Community Blog Topic we ask, “What are your World of Warcraft resolutions?”

Level my paladin

newyear1

I’ve never had a max level paladin before but I started leveling one last fall but didn’t have time to level all the way up to 90, so I want to finish leveling my paladin, hopefully before the release of Warlords of Draenor.

Play more PvP

newyear5

PvE has always been my main priority on all of my characters, but now as don’t raid anymore I’d like to spend more time doing PvP. Mostly battlegrounds and maybe some arena with friends, but it would be fun to get into rated battlegrounds again, I’m just not sure which character I’d like to play.

Level an Alliance character to max level

newyear2

I’m Horde on my main and my active alts, and I have leveled Alliance before, but never past 85. So I would like to level an Alliance up to max level and see what it’s like to level as Alliance in Pandaria, and Draenor when Warlords of Draenor is released.

Beat the Celestial Tournament

newyear3

I have leveled up plenty of pets but I’ve never completed the Celestial Tournament. I have tried but I it was hard and I didn’t get very far. Mostly because I wasn’t sure which pets to use so I might have to read up on it before I try again. I hope to complete the tournament and collect all the pets.

Find a new home (guild)

newyear4

After Ash disbanded I transferred and joined a new guild with high hopes, but it didn’t go so well and they disbanded after a while. I want to find a new guild I can call home. I don’t know if I’m going to start raiding again or what I’m going to do. I might just play casual. But I still want a guild with plenty of active players there some might be raiders and some might be social. I just want a friendly and helpful guild where I can find new people to play with, whether it be raids, alts, PvP etc. Where people do more than just log on for main raids, where they arrange different kind of things like alt raids and maybe rated battlegrounds.

No update to the Moonkin Form

It started in Wrath of the Lich King and patch 3.2 when Blizzard announced the new Cat and Bear Form. I assumed Moonkin Form would be up next together with Travel Form and Aquatic Form. Cataclysm was announced and we were told that trolls could be druids and I immediately thought of Moonkin Form update again, but Cataclysm was released and we only got a new Flight Form for worgen and troll druids. Again I assumed Moonkin Form would be next.

Time went on and Mists of Pandaria was released together with new Travel Form and Aquatic Form. But what about Moonkin Form? We got a glyph. A glyph which makes us able to look like we’re out of form when we actually are in Moonkin Form. Do they think that the glyph is what they gave to us and that we’re happy with it? I wonder if they really think that it’s right to update everything except the Moonkin Form, why not complete all the druid forms and be done with it? I’ve been a Moonkin since the day my first druid hit level 40 and was able to put a talent point in Moonkin Form. Back then it was adorable and funny, and it kind of still is, but I wish it looked less pixelated now when everything else looks so smooth and beautiful.

Now they’re updating all the original race models, which is also about time. Even the Draenei and Blood Elf. But what’s left after that? Moonkin Form.

This weekend at BlizzCon I hoped someone would ask about it in the Q & A, but none did, so I tweeted my question to Kat Hunter Metzen and I was happy to get an answer even if it wasn’t the answer I had hoped for.

Oh, man, we have given a lot of love to druids over time
with their different forms, so the moonkin will have to wait
a little bit longer

I guess they will update it some time in the future, if not in Warlords of Draenor, then maybe the next one, or the one after that, I won’t hold my breath.

BlizzCon 2013

The BlizzCon weekend is over, I hope everyone’s had an awesome time both those who actually attended it in person and those, who like me, watched it live with the Virtual Ticket Stream. I wanted to write this post after day one, but I was so extremely tired as it was morning over here when the show ended and I just didn’t find time or energy for it yesterday after day two either. This won’t be a post summarizing everything that happened on BlizzCon this year, I just want to mention some of my favorite parts and moments of the show. I assume that everyone already know about the big announcements, if not this will contain spoilers.

I think this was the fourth time I watched the Virtual Ticket stream. It’s so great to be able to see what you want and when you want. But the sound could have been so much better during the panels on stage and music performances. It was a great experience to watch BlizzCon this year because it was the first time I watched it with my boyfriend and I also tweeted a lot and read other tweets during the show which made it a lot more entertaining.

I can only imagine how amazing it must be to actually be there in person. I hope that one day it’ll be my turn, maybe next year, I don’t know. It’s not cheap to travel from Norway or Sweden to Los Angeles and if I first travel that far, I’d want to stay there a while longer, at least two weeks because I’ve never been there before and there is so much I’d like to see. I might need some help and advice from some of you who’ve been there or live there if I decide to go. And it would have been great to meet up with other Europeans who’s going and maybe travel together.

I’m not sure how many of those who were at BlizzCon or watching the stream who know In Flames, a Swedish metal band, but we did hear them this weekend. Some parts of their songs were used as an intro several times during the show which I thought was awesome because they’re one of my favorite bands. One of the songs they used is called Pinball Map, check it out here.

We knew they were going to announce a new WoW expansion and it was either something with “The Dark Below” or “Warlords of Draenor” but I thought the first one sounded much more interesting because it made me think of Old Gods and it would seem natural to go there after what’s happened in MoP, but I didn’t think “The Dark Below” would be a very good title. To me “Warlords of Draenor” sounded more like a TCG card deck or something. But it wasn’t. At first when they announced it I thought “Hmm, well, this looks promising”, but I’m much more excited about the expansion after I’ve seen and heard so much about it! So many changes it’ll be like a new game!

Warlords of Draenor: What I’m looking forward to the most

The new character models, especially the tauren and the troll as my main will be either troll or tauren depending on which I think looks the best when the models are finished.

The garrisons which sounds very interesting but I’m still unsure how it will affect my gold income if anyone can put up an enchanting building and craft their own enchants. But the part where you’re able to invite your friends to visit sounds fun.

It’ll also be awesome to go back to Draenor and learn more about what happened there, how life there is, more about some of the legendary orc characters and the draenei.

The PvP changes with the reward changes and Ashran the new world PvP zone

The Draenor zones look absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to explore them

New hidden treasures and secret areas to explore is something I can’t wait to check out

I also love that they will create a tab for heirlooms, toys and maybe tabards, it’ll clear out a lot of bag space

I’m also excited about the new changes to stats and gear, but a little sceptical to the removal of reforging

Balance druid level 100 talents:

Touch of Elune: Balance (Sunfall) Passive – Entering Solar Eclipse will transform your Starfall spell into Sunfall and reset its cooldown.
Will of Malfurion: Balance (Zenith) Channeled – Targets all enemies within 60 yards and accelerates the caster’s Moonfire and sunfire effects, causing them to deal damage at 400% of the normal rate for 4 sec.
Might of Malorne: Balance (Equinox) Passive – Lunar and Solar Eclipse now last until the other is triggered, instead of ending at 0 Balance Power.

Thoughts on Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III

Heartstone: I haven’t played Hearhtstone yet.. At first it seemed very simple and not so interesting because I’ve never been a fan of playing card games, but now when I’ve seen and read more about it I think it’s something I’ll enjoy, especially because it’ll be available on iPhone.

Heroes of the Storm: I’ve never been a big fan of games like this, but it looks a lot more fun when it’s heroes I already know so I’ll definitely try it

Diablo III: I’m really looking forward to the expansion Reaper of Souls because there are so many great changes coming up. Like the removal of the auction house, loot changes, adventure mode, the crusader and new content.

I loved watching

The art panel: I’ve always been interested in learning more about how they create the game. How they come up with the ideas, how it goes from concept to finished. It’s was fun to see the new character models, what an improvement! Can’t wait to see the troll models. But I’m a bit disappointed that we won’t see an update to Moonkin Form this expansion, more about that in a separate post.

charmodelsupdate

scrshoot1

artworkwod

Sound panel: The music in WoW has amazed me since I started playing, I listen to it in-game and on my iPhone or iTunes. I’m so impressed by everything the sound team does but especially the composers who write the music, to me they are geniuses, and I’m not missing out on a chance to learn more about how they work and how they think. And.. Great news, everyone! Jason Hayes is back at Blizzard! And his band Critical Hit performed Blizzard music pieces live which was absolutely amazing! Seeing them play music like that inspired me and I really feel like starting to play an instrument again. Check out their website or Facebook page. And by the way: You can download new Warlords of Draenor music on the new website!

Movie contest: This year’s movie contest was great, so I want to share my two favorites by <AFK> Pl@yers and Patrick James. The first one almost made me cry a little bit and the second made me laugh really hard, maybe because I’d been up for too long…

Costume contest: Oh my, there were so many fantastic costumes this year! My favorites were the troll druid in cat form, the tuskarr, pandaren and training dummy.

costume

Tweets worth mentioning

If you want to read or see more from BlizzCon 2013, check out these links:

http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3548-Blizzcon-2013-Recap

http://wow.joystiq.com/blizzcon-2013/

http://www.wowhead.com/blizzcon

How to take good screenshots

screenshot1

Someone asked me how to take good screenshots in World of Warcraft, so I thought I’d write a small post about it and share my tips.

I’ve been taking screenshots since I leveled my first character back in the Burning Crusade. I didn’t know anything about how to hide my UI, zoom or turn up my graphics and resolution when I first started. But I’ve learned a lot since then, mostly by reading other guides and tips and by taking loads of screenshots. When I play I’m always looking for good shots. Sometimes I run or fly around doing something completely different when I suddenly see something I just have to take a screenshot of.

Basics

How do I take a screenshot?

Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard, it’s usually located at the top right. You should see a “Screen Captured” message.

How do I hide my UI?

Press Alt+Z to hide it and press Alt+Z again or Esc to get it back

How do I make names of characters/NPCs/pets disappear?

Open the Game Menu, choose Interface and then Names. You can uncheck the names you want to hide.

Where can I find my screenshots?

You screenshots are automatically saved in the screenshots folder in your main WoW directory.

Quality

WoW actually has an internal setting for screenshot quality which by default is set to 3/10.  You can turn it up by typing the following command into your chatbox

/console screenshotQuality 10

You should also turn your screen resolution and graphic settings up as high as your computer can handle before taking a screenshot.  This can be done in Game Menu – Interface – System.

Tips and tricks

  • Zoom all the way in so you’re looking through your character’s eyes and take pictures from first person view
  • Stand behind the object you want to take a picture of without seeing your own character and zoom in as far as you want
  • Fly around on a mount without effects
  • /sit /lay down to get a good view of something low to the ground
  • Talking to a friendly NPC will usually make them face you
  • Do emotes
  • Remove names, guilds, titles
  • Pay attention to the light
  • Having a character in target our mouse-over will make them look brighter
  • Find a neutral background for character shots
  • Edit the screenshot afterwards. Brightness, contrast, crop etc
  • Take as many screenshots as you can, spam your Print Screen button
  • Hold down the right mouse button to move the camera around
  • Hold down the right mouse button and use your arrow keys or the a and d key to turn your character around without moving the camera
  • The rule of thirds: photos are supposed to be more interesting with the key element of your picture off-center.
  • Take time to experiment

screenshot2

I usually edit my screenshots before posting them. I turn up the contrast and brightness a little bit so they don’t appear so dark. It’s not a big difference but it makes them look better.

 

Free photo editing programs

Online

http://pixlr.com/

http://www.befunky.com/

http://www.photoshop.com/tools

http://www.fotor.com/

Downloadable

http://www.gimp.org/

http://www.getpaint.net/

http://www.phoxo.com/en/

Other guides 

http://wowpedia.org/Changing_the_screenshot_format

http://reviveandrejuvenate.blogspot.se/2010/05/tutorial-tips-for-taking-screenshots.html

http://www.wowhead.com/help=screenshots-tips-tricks

http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/05/17/tips-and-tricks-for-taking-great-wow-screenshots/