Thursday, December 22, 2005

Red Winter Hat

The upcoming christmas is also taking its toll when it comes to update my blog during these days.

Forgot to mention we headed into Stratholme the other night. My main goal was to get one of these: Red Winter Hat. As mentioned before, those hats drop from certain bosses. But only one party member can see them, so all have to look carefully into the corpse if you intend to roll. The others in my party were nice and passed on the hat for me. Yay! Thanks again Colbey, Ril, Gromdorn and Uzul. We were rewarded during our trip with a nice find: Krol Blade. After we came back i could sell it within five minutes in Ironforge and we did split the money. Merry Christmas guys. =)

If you want to use the holidays to get your hands on a christmas hat as well, be quick. Who knows how long winter veil will be celebrated?

Red Winter Hat
Emperor Dagran Thaurissan
War Master Voone
Cannon Master Willey

Green Winter Hat
Prince Tortheldrin
Goraluk Anvilcrack
Darkmaster Gandling

Friday, December 16, 2005

Winter Reveler Love

Things calmed down... not much. Ironforge is still a madhouse. My plan for the weekend, if I find the time, is to visit Stratholme or Scholomance to see some of the bosses with xmas hats and maybe get one for myself. Some of you may already know it, but you can /kiss a winter reveler in any tavern once an hour to obtain some Mistletoes (gives +20 spirit to a friend) or Fresh Holly (convert your mount into a reindeer, but decays after 7 days). Rumours say you could also obtain a christmas hat that way... not sure if that's true. I spend my time brewing and drinking Egg Nogg.. hic! Have a jolly good time!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

HO HO HO! I saw snow...

...around Ironforge. The winter events did start today. Oh my god, Ironforge was a madhouse today. Large groups of people standing around the huge christmas tree next to the bank. Outside the gates the goblin helpers build a strange device that turns you into a gnome in a xmas costume. The split between green and red costumes resulted in some very nice scenes and especially snowball fights in and outside the town.

Everybody was running around, trying to solve the winter quests. The low level areas like Westfall are crowded with people that try to collect some eggs. The Alterac Valley is crowded with people as well, hunting for the Greench. Azeroth is a madhouse... Very nice is the hunt for those special holiday recipes. Some cool stuff can be obtained through the quests. Rumours also say that you can obtain special christmas hats eg. after killing Cannon Master Willey and others.

As a special tip: Drink some Egg Nogg while someone else is throwing snowballs at you... this can turn you into a snowman. Dancing snowman looks funny! =)
If you are near a basic campfire and have the "cozy fire" buff while drinking egg nogg and someone throwing snowballs after you, it can turn you also into a stag.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Successful Core Run

The weekend in Molten Core was a success for Thulf. Finally I managed to acquire Breastplate of Might and also Pauldrons of Might, both in one run. So now it's only two pieces left I miss for my full set. On a sidenote, during these days I'm working on my cooking skills... my goal is to obtain every cooking recipe available. Some are a bit tricky to get... I'll keep you guys posted how it works out. I'm looking forward to the christmas & winter events in WoW, those were great fun during beta. Rumours say they'll start around the 15.12.2005.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Blastenheimer 5000 Ultra Cannon

The mysterious mark i discovered yesterday has a quite simple solution to it. After Colbey, a paladin and guild mate, and me did some business late night, we decided it's time to get some good ale and have some fun. So we headed over to the Darkmoon Fair in Elwyn Forrest. Enjoying the atmosphere and strolling around, we discovered The Blastenheimer 5000 Ultra Cannon! Maxima offers you to shoot you with the cannon towards the target - the mark i discovered earlier. So your task is to "cancel" the flight at the right moment so you'll land directly inside the target area. Flying people everywhere! Be careful tho, they don't sell a life insurance and i heard one participant smacking hard against a tree. O_o
We also were lucky and could purchase a Darkmoon Necklace at the exotic goods vendor.

In other news, we paid Onyxia a short visit yesterday. The fun part was, that all our paladins got delayed, so we went into her lair without any paladin buffs, like salvation for example. Those buffs are really overrated... we took her down in the first attempt, without salvation, and i got a huge lag spike exactly when i was supposed to grab her landing. Haha.. we had a lot of fun, that's for sure. I enjoy tanking Onyxia, the fight is always interesting.

On a sidenote: I finally managed to get myself Stronghold Gauntlets crafted. Not an easy task, as no armorsmith on alliance side can craft them. But i could contact some tradesmen i know and organize the whole deal. Quite expensive gloves, but well worth it for certain situations.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Darkmoon Parachutists?!?

I was taking a gryphon from Stormwind to Nethergarde Keep as i intended to do some business in the Blasted Lands. On my way I saw a strange mark below me. I couldn't remember i had seen it before... Immediately i took the bird back to ride into Elwynn Forrest and explore this further.

Of course i knew the Darkmoon Fair is in the forrest right now. And the colors of this mark looks like some Darkmoon worker build it. But with what purpose? Are the artists traning for a parachuting show? Or do they try to train those nearby Murlocs to do some special tricks? Maybe the solution is as simple as that they await some supplies that will come by airmail. Strange it is nontheless... I'll investigate more in this matter.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thulf is the Master Angler... again!

I announce my withdrawal from my active tournament-career, as i won the fishing tournament for a second time and there is no further prizes to be won. It was nice being recognized my some fellow fishermen before the competition started. Even when it was more like "Oh no, not you again...". *chuckles*
So finally i got my Arcanite Fishing Pole, which looks exactly the same like my old fishing rod. As you can see i also used my High Test Eternium Fishing Line on it. During the upcoming Weekends I'll only fish after the winner is announced... just for fun and I'm still searching for some "lucky" fishing equipment.

On a sidenote I got myself a new Azure Silk Belt crafted. Together with my fish trinket I swim nearly as fast as a druid in aquatic form now. I really have to test this combination against a druid soon.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

HowTo: WoW .gif animations

I got so many people asking me how to create those .gif animations i use in my blog... so i took the time to write a detailed HowTo.

Step 1: Showing the animation we want
Get WoW Model Viewer (updated), a great tool which lets you explore the models and animations from your WoW files. Start the program and select the model/animation you want. For our example we choose a little Gnome with a funny hat. Choose the character model and the equipment you want. In the lower part you'll see the "animation controls". Play around with the animations (from the drop down menu) and choose the one you want to use.

Step 2: Adjusting the animation loop

Now we'll modify the animation shown. If we change the settings so we'll only go through one animation loop, the later .gif animation will be much cleaner. We'll loop the .gif animation later anyway and we want to have a perfect endless loop so it will be a smooth ongoing animation.
a) deselect "Auto Animate"
b) press "clear"
c) select the animation you want in the drop down menu
d) choose "1" in the second drop down menu and then press "Add"

If you press "Play" now, the screen should only show a one-time animation and stop afterwards. If you think the animation is played too fast, so the later looped .gif anim will be too "uneasy", you can also adjust the animation speed with the slider.

Step 3: Recording the animation

Before you record the animation, go to View -> Background Color and choose the color of your background you want to use the animation with. This step makes it easier to use it with correct color settings.

Now you need a program that can record your screen, preferable a selection of it. I'm using Camtasia Studio for this purpose. I create a new project, select the part of the screen i want to record and then start the recording and the animation. While selecting a region of your screen be careful to watch the animation before, as the object you want to record will move slightly.
With Camtasia i record the animation and can also choose to save the project as a .gif file. Now we have our first .gif anim.

Step 4: Shaping the animation

The .gif anim we have now needs to be edited of course, so we'll end up with a good animation. To edit the .gif I'm using Adobe ImageReady, which is part of Photoshop.
First thing to do now, is to change the size of your .gif (if you realize the size you chose in Camtasia was not correct). After this, have a close look at the animation frames. Most likely at the end or at the beginning you'll have too many frames and need to delete one or two. In addition, have a close look at the animation times from each frame. You want a smooth animation and all are supposed to have the same time. Change them if needed. The only reason you should choose a different time on a frame is if you want to "emphasize" a certain animation part, a gesture.
The last finishing touch would be to sharpen the animation, as probably after resizing and it, etc. it looks a bit blurry. So now you go through every frame and use a sharpening filter on it.

Step 5: The final animation

I hope this small guide helps you to do your own animations. Good luck.

Final tip: Sometimes you get a one or two pixel border around your animation - 'cause of the screen recording. Just adjust the canvas size in total (shrink it), then you don't have to edit every frame by hand.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Feel the Might

So during our last Zul'Gurub run i manged to hand in the stuff needed to get my first enchant: Presence of Might. I already have the material needed for my second one in my bank, only need to get my hands on another primal Aegis. So I hope my next trip to Zul'Gurub will grant me some luck maybe. As I'm still aiming for the full set bonus from Might, which increases the threat generated by Sunder Armor by 15%, I'll most likely put it on my Might helmet and not the wrath one. Right now, I don't see enough benefit for me as a tank to mix it with other items. We'll see...