The Dark Portal, Hellfire Peninsula

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The ground portion of this scene is precisely what I want it to be, but the blasted sky just crushes it. I used two stitches: One for the whole scene, and one less distorted scene for the Dark Portal itself (I did the same here) that I blended in. But the sky, the sky! I originally had a much tighter crop with a distorted sky, but it grew on me that the skybox in Hellfire Peninsula is half of what makes the zone so special. I added more, and more, repeatedly going back into the game to capture more screenshots, until I had the complete skybox in the scene. And it ruins it.

As with the rest, you should view it at full size.

[mark][dp] # ls -1 *jpg | wc -l
72

72 screenshots captured at 1366 x 768 on ultra settings, and stitched together in Hugin. Coloured, levelled and sharpened in Photoshop.

by Mark -

Halaa, Nagrand

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Alliance on a Horde server? Want the stylish Dark War Talbuk? No problem bro. Just farm 100 dust, spend forty minutes taking over the town, farm another 100 dust, spend another forty minutes taking over the town, farm seventy five dust, and spend another forty minutes taking over the town.

From hell’s heart I stab at thee.

[mark][src] # ls | wc -l
78

78 screenshots captured at 1366 x 768 on ultra settings, and stitched together in Hugin. Coloured, levelled and sharpened in Photoshop.

by Mark -

Swings and roundabouts

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Swings: I have a staph infection on my face. The beard had to come off. No photographs; I don’t want any lasting record of the 2 euro coin-sized sore/scab on my jaw.

Progression of the infection:

  1. I get out of the shower on Wednesday, and to my alarm I notice that a large patch of my face is still damp. Stick damp. Not good.
  2. By the evening it starts to hurt, so I make up my mind to shave the beard off the next day.
  3. On Thursday I shaved my beard, but put off going to the hospital because it was lashing rain outside.
  4. Went in on Friday, was diagnosed, given a prescription, and sent home.
  5. Drained it Saturday.

The medication has worked great! It’s already drying up and a lot of the scabbing is gone.

Roundabouts: My enhancement Shaman took down the Void Reaver in Tempest Keep solo. It is one of the toughest single soloable boss fights for Shaman, because you spent 95% of the fight silenced. You effectively have to exploit a boss mechanic – an intermittent knockback – to be kicked out of the silence for a second so you can pop Melstrom heals, or your wolves.

This was definitely a tough fight – It took about six wipes before I got it down to pat, and even then it was relatively close. I had to swap out some glyphs and use Earthliving Weapon on my offhand so I could take in some healing during the fight. There are strategies out there, but I will add this: Lead in with cooldowns blown. Drop Stoneclaw Totem, bring out your wolves, lay on Shamanistic Rage, and pop Heroism; with all of these combined you won’t have to worry about your health for the first 30-45 seconds of the fight, which rally helps.

(The offline character in this raid is my Death Knight Shabura)

by Mark -