February 24, 2011

Moved to WordPress

I have taken the plunge and shifted the blog over to WordPress. For various reasons (read Blogger errors) WordPress suits my blogging needs better.

I have also taken the opportunity to change the blog name. It is now "The Other Tank".

I would encourage you to head over to the new site at theothertank.wordpress.com and have a look.

I will discontinue updates to this blog as of now and all future content will be over on the new site.

See you there!


February 22, 2011

The Art of Screen Shots - Angles and Distance

I mentioned in the last post that all you really have control of when taking a screen shot is what direction you face, how high up you are and how close you are to the subject.

This post is going to tackle that. 

There are two halves involved in the creation of a fantastic screen shot.  Firstly, giving yourself something to work with.  Secondly, bringing out what you are looking for.

In order to give yourself something to work with, it is not simply a case of finding something you think looks cool and pressing the PrtScr button.  Taking a little bit of time to explore the shot can make all the difference.

What direction you face and how high up you are (thank God for flying in the old world!) combine to give you the ability to control angle.  When you see a subject on your screen you think will make a great shot, try to remember that in WoW most objects are represented in 3d space.  This means you can fly around it, over it and sometimes under it.  The straight on at eye level shot is not always best.  In fact, moving your character around a bit can open up some very interesting and unique angles you may not have seen before.

This shot of the Stormwind dwarven quarter illustrates the concept of having to think in 3d space.  The black arrow represents the approximate spot I'm going to stand for the second shot.

Stormwind Dwarven Quarter
I chose this spot because the cranes provide a useful tool to illustrate the 3d aspect of the shot.  So this perspective shows the area, but doesn't really provide the viewer any sort of immersion.
By shifting the viewpoint to here: 

Just Craning Around 

February 17, 2011

The Art of Screen Shots

In the next few posts, I am going to run through a few of the techniques and mindsets that I employ when I am taking photos screen shots.

Taking a screen shot of something like WoW is used for so many different purposes that I am not going to try and cover them all.  What I am going to focus on is the type of screenshot that doesn’t involve a UI or dead/sleeping characters arranged in a phallic symbol.  In other words, serious screen shots of in-game locations, encounters and characters.

Taking a screen shot is pretty similar to taking a photo, just with less complexity.  You don’t need to worry about light meters, exposure and shutter speeds, but you do need to think about composition and subject. 
For me, the biggest thing about taking a great screen shot is being able to see the end product before you take it.  This is the same when taking a photo, and I think divides the good photographers from the great ones.  What I mean by this is that some people look at a building and just see the building, others look at the same building and see angles from which they could take a photo to capture that pattern in the windows, or the old fire escape stairs around the back or any number of potential shots.

February 14, 2011

Atramedes as Melee

In between dodging sonic circles, sonic bombs, sonic fire on the ground and in the air and some sort of death laser ability, Atramedes is actually (I think) a fun fight.  The best thing is, the fight only needs one tank so I can spec frost and get my dps on!

The fight itself is another Cataclysm encounter that moves away from the stand on X, do Y and Z will happen mantra and more to a mindset of making sure you are keeping yourself alive and raid aware to eventually kill the boss (like Omnotron).

The fight employs a mechanic somewhat like the insanity meter in the Ulduar Yogg-Saron fight.  Basically, if you take any sort of damage from the boss, you gain sound.  The more sound you have, the greater the amount of damage you take from the boss – so it’s a circular arrangement.  If you reach 100 sound, the boss will kill you.  TLDR: sound bad.

As a melee dps, what you need to do is very similar to the tank so I will cover both roles here.  There are a few abilities that you must stay on top of to survive this fight.  There are two phases to the fight, both of which I will go through.

February 13, 2011

Some Magmaw shots

Here are a few shots from our Guild Magmaw run tonight, was on my hunter for this one, which was a nice change from my DK.  We sent in a second team which consisted of people who hadnt really been on a raid with us before and some alts, including mine.  Was a good positive run.

The Worm's Lair!

What exactly is worm spew made of?


February 10, 2011

Atramedes Kill

Here are some nice screen shots of our Atramedes kill tonight :)

Coming in to land from Phase 2

Sonic Breath

The money shot!

February 7, 2011

100 Games - A part of my Collection

Out of sheer boredom I have compiled a list of my PC games (some of them anyway). I started with what my Steam account lists, and then added what I can remember is sitting, off the top of my head, in my cupboard at home. Funnily enough the list is 100 items long. 

I don't think it is by any means exhaustive, but it is a start. You must understand that I have been playing PC games for years, ever since my first Commodore 64. I haven't listed those really old games here (looking at you 5th Gear), but I'm sure you can think of a few classics.  

Looking down at the list kind of makes me wonder if I have misspent my youth somewhat, staring at a PC screen for days on end.  Somewhat sadly, my Steam game time on record (not very accurate) is at 498 hours; just shy of 21 days...  and that's just Steam! Top of that list is MW2 at 168 hours played!

And I'm not even going to mention my console games.

Without further adieu, here is my list:

Age of Conan
Age of Empires
Age of Empires 2
Age of Mythology
Alien Swarm
Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed II
Balder's Gate 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Battlefield 1942
Battlefield 2
Blood Bowl: Dark Elves Edition
Call of Duty
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 3
Call of Duty World at War
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Multiplayer
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer
Command and Conquer (all titles)
Commander Keen Complete Pack
Counter-Strike: Source
Day of Defeat: Source
Deus Ex
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Devil May Cry 4
Diablo 2
Dragon Age: Awakening
Dragon Age: Origins
Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
Europa Universalis III
Everyday Shooter
FIFA (multiple)
Garry's Mod
Gratuitous Space Battles
Guild Wars
Guns of Icarus
Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
Half-Life Deathmatch: Source
Half-Life: Source
Just Cause 2
Killing Floor
King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame
King's Bounty: Armored Princess
King's Bounty: The Legend
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Left 4 Dead
Lord of the Rings Online
Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers
Magic: The Gathering Online
Mass Effect 2
Medal of Honour: Airborne
Medieval 2 Total War
Medieval Total War
Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights 2
Order of War
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Puzzle Quest
Red Alert (all titles)
RIP 2: Strike Back
RIP 3: The Last Hero
Rome Total War
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Shogun Total War
Sid Meier's Civilization IV
Sid Meier's Civilization V
Spore: Creepy & Cute Parts Pack
Spore: Galactic Adventures
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Starcraft 2
Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander 2
Team Fortress 2
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Titan Quest
Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
TrackMania United
Warcraft 2
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
Wings of Prey
World of Warcraft

Anything on that list jump out at you? Any of your favourites there? Are any not listed? Let me know in the comments below!