Elder Poneria

Well, not yet.  I still have to die a lot in Orgrimmar & Thunder Bluff.

But Khi at Tree Burglar suggested an Elder Event for Blog Azeroth, where, as our in-game avatars travel throughout all Azeroth to find words of wisdom, we bloggers should take the time to wander throughout the WoW blogs for more words of respect.

The Lunar Festival, to me, feels like a whole month of introspection and relaxing and being happy instead of being focused purely on the numbers and purples all the time.  One of the ways to introspect is to go through old photo albums.  For us, that’s screenshots.  Now that I realize I’ve lost many screenshots due to computer issues and never thinking to backup WoW (“I’ll just install it again, big deal…” >.<), and with Cataclysm coming, I’m on a quest to capture as much of Azeroth as I can/like. So the wisdom I impart to you is to take a step back from raiding or roleplaying or collecting pets or going wild in a bubble, just every once in a while, and find those awing or funky scenes in Azeroth.

(The black bottoms and tops are my viewport & its art (SunnArt addon).)

You don't have to be a Norwegian Blue to pine for the Fjords.

1. Be a penguin. Just chilling out there, forever, on the edges of Howling Fjords.

Grab a music player or turn the WoW music back on if it helps you forget the crazy world better.  I often fish with music or a dvd playing in the background.  But forget raiding.  Forget numbers and gear.  Forget people.  Forget professions.  Forget spells and abilities.  It’s just you…

My dreadsteed made me feel like a warlock, but it also made me feel like a Scarlet Robe. It's very close to my heart.

2. …and your mount. Pick a mount special to you.

My favorite mount is my dreadsteed. When I fly, it’s my carpet, but I really prefer to go by dreadsteed.  Various reasons make the dreadsteed special to me.  You can switch out mounts if you don’t have an absolute favorite.  I only suggest mounts because it lets you get to places faster.  Actually, when I’m lining up a shot, I use my run/walk toggle a lot to tweak where I’m standing along with using my camera.

I had to adjust some things and take multiple shots to get this picture just so.

3. Alt+Z.

You may want your interface if you are traveling in dangerous areas (for PvP or leveling reasons).  But really, don’t use it while you’re taking the screenshot.

Also maximize your graphics settings to what you like.  You can play with minimal settings (the only setting of mine that isn’t lowest is particle density, for raid floor voidzones), but for one shot at a time, you can tweak the settingsView Distance is great for landscapes (which I like), so is Environment Detail.  I sometimes mess with Weather Intensity for rainy zones like the northwestern edge of Sholazar Basin or the Wetlands.

With my normal settings, I saw faint shadows of things behind Akali. View Distance + Environment Details were needed to see Gundrak's awesome in the background.

Some tips:

  • View Distance will reload your UI, but the others can be fiddled with without logging in and out.  The ones that do require a log in/out will say so in the tooltip when you hover over the slider.
  • You can use your flying mount to figure out if you can land on top of things (you can stand on the spear in Dun Niffleheim, but you can’t stand on the big helm).  You can even just use your flying mount, if applicable.
  • Don’t forget zoom! Zoom all the way in if you don’t want your toon in the picture.  Or zoom halfway in, so you’re translucent against the background.  Or zoom so far out you can barely make out your tiny figure against the vast majesty of your background.
  • You’ll move the camera a lot.  Experiment with being above things, to the side of things, below things, facing the wrong way!
  • Unless you’re worried about disk space, take as many printscreens as you feel like (try to capture the lightning in the Storm Peaks!).  Wait for your idle pose to track all the way through and snap a mid-animation shot (see my dreadsteed photo).

The steep camera angle I needed to get the Wrathgate sans Ruby Flowers worked to make it imposing, too.

I spent a good twenty minutes just trying to get a good angle on the Spirit of the North that didn't include blue dragons at random angles.

4. Go places. For whatever reason.

Fishing in Northrend for consumables.  Fishing to skill up.  Achievements.  Sunsets. Sunrises.  Moonrises. Moonsets.  Boats/Zepps leaving/approaching dock.  Flying on a flightpath.  Flying by yourself.  Revisiting your starting area and giving Garrick Padfoot a good level 80 whack for giving you level 4 grief.  Weather.  Monuments.  Old quests.

Take some screenshots.  Here’s a small portion of what I got out of just Northrend.

The Kalu'ak are always cheerful and calm. :)

I always love this ember miniarea of the Fjords, despite the burning.

Un'goro Crater! So very green...

I took this because it reminded me of the Temple of Apollo at Corinth while facing Acrocorinth, except flipped.

The Temple of Apollo at Corinth with Acrocorinth in the background, in case you were wondering.

5. Revisit your screenshots folder every once in a while. Y’know, about as often as you need to LOLflume down the Grizzly Hills river.

Typically all your screenshots are saved to a folder in your WoW folder, wherever you put that (C:\…\World of Warcraft\Screenshots\).  If you use Vista or 7 and can’t find your screenshots, try this blue post to search for it, and you should be able to find them.

ESPECIALLY go ride the Log Flume. :D

RT Nibuca: Log Flume: In Grizzly hills: Go upriver to the sawmill. Talk to friendly NPC at top of spiral steps. Take Ride. LOL uncontrollably. Repeat.

Take what you wish from my piece of the Elder advising, but I hope you enjoy your World of Warcraft, whatever that is.

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10 responses

  1. Aww, I love this post! I love screenshots. I will take the same one a hundred times if it isn’t perfect. With the Cataclysm on the horizon, I have ensured that I have visited every location in Azeroth once and will re-do so after it is gone.

    And the black frames on your screenshots? That is an addon?

    28 Feb 2010 at 17:12

    • Yep, I use SunnArt (it’s on Curse), which adds a viewport and then covers it with whatever swatch of default art you can choose from. I use the top bar specifically for my data brokers, and then the bottom bar generally has chat or raid frames or sometimes extra bars. You can make a horizontal or vertical viewport and, obviously, you can adjust the two sides to be different if you like. I like it :)

      If I set a screenshot as my desktop background, I can put all my desktop icons in the bottom viewport, too!

      28 Feb 2010 at 17:39

  2. Kaladar

    Where in Un’Goro were you for that pillar of light? I’ve been all over that zone time and again and don’t remember it at all :/

    02 Mar 2010 at 15:01

    • You have to use the Waygate in Sholazar Basin (central southern part of the SB map), and it teleports you there to the Shaper’s Terrace. Standing on the cliff edges just behind the stone giant, you can easily see Marshal’s Refuge just below you.

      02 Mar 2010 at 18:31

  3. Rhenn

    I had no idea you could ride logs in Grizzly Hills! :O Just goes to show ya that even us “Elders” can stand to learn a thing or two from each other. :D

    Thanks for a great post – and lovely screenshots!

    05 Mar 2010 at 09:22

  4. I also didn’t know about the logs in Grizzly Hills! I’m so going to try that out when the servers come back up!

    09 Mar 2010 at 09:25

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