NBI/GW2: Screenshot Safari #2 (#NBI2015Safari)

So here’s a freshly taken screenshot for Murf’s NBI screenshot challenge.

I was originally going to rummage through my old City of Heroes screenies for the theme Heroes and Villains, since ol’ Murf has a fondness for that game last I checked, but eh, that seemed a bit too straightforward when folks are busy playing around with puns and such. (Maybe I’ll find a cleverer theme to match to a CoH screenie within the next two weeks.)

It so happened that I was practising dungeon soloing again today, this time managing a CM story solo, which took a slow and steady but relatively safe 40 minutes (taking it leisurely since it was a first time try, there are Youtube vids of much faster solo speedrun times).

Since I was by myself, I watched the cutscenes and was reminded of the whole human Ministry schism again where both factions think they’re on the side of right when it comes to dealing with the charr – except one wants to make peace with them and the other one would prefer to slaughter them all.

I finished the dungeon and found I had extra time on my hands so… you know, why not practice AC story again?

It was at the end of that dungeon when I really started -looking- at the scenery and realizing that:

a) One almost never looks UP in a dungeon. The Ascalonian Catacombs was surprisingly cavernous in places and made for some nice screenshots.

and b) Hey… what’s this small blue glowy thing here? Hang on… is that…

…the sword that caused the Foefire?! And have I been running past it a million times in groups when running Kholer in explorable dungeons? (Not sure if they removed it there though.)

But certainly I’ve been blind-spotting past it when running AC story mode, even when alone. (Cos the red name mobs are over that way and hitting the ‘skip’ button for cutscenes is an automatic reaction by now.)

So since I was happily alone with no one waiting for me, I decided to take the time and grab a screenshot that did it some justice.

Rytlock, Sohothin and Magdaer

Rytlock, Sohothin and Magdaer

As for the theme, well, you gotta be a bit of a GW2 lore nerd.

Magdaer was the sword that King Adelbern used to cast the Foefire, wiping out his enemies, the invading Flame Legion charr about to take over Ascalon City, but also damning all of his people in one fell swoop, turning them into ghosts trapped in undeath.

Rytlock’s decidedly charr take on the Foefire

Martyr hero or mad villain?

That theme pretty much encapsulates the entire charr – human relationship for the past couple hundred years. Depending on your perspective, one or the other are villainous and the other side are the good guys.

And even now, when there are folks on both sides looking past those old hatreds, you still have the recalcitrants on either end – Separatists and Renegades alike – who are now seen as the troublemaking villains… except if you’re on their side, then they’re the freedom fightin’ heroes.

Heroes and villains, all.

Edit: Sheesh, I forgot the prompt thingy. Which NPC in your MMO could be seen to be heroic or villainous, depending on how one frames their story?

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NBI: Screenshot Safari #1 (#NBI2015Safari)

As part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, Murf has a challenge up for weekly screenshots fulfilling different themes.

This is an oldie but a goodie for the Selfie category, methinks.

Dolyak photo bombs are another great way to break routine.

The thing I love most about this screenshot is that it wasn’t intentional.

I often get some of my best shots from pure serendipity (though there is plenty of time devoted to the taking of many many screenshots before and after, that don’t make the cut.)

In this case, I’d decided that I was going to spend several hours taking screenshots of the Labyrinthine Cliffs (one of GW2’s most gorgeous scenic maps, which also has the unfortunate fate of being a temporary/seasonal map that would eventually get removed from the game) to preserve my memories of its beauty.

This in the days before first-person view, which means a lot of /sleeping and fooling around with tonics to adjust camera angles to hide one’s character to take scenic landscape screenshots.

I’d just discovered that turning into a baby dolyak with a tonic enabled the taking of some lovely water/land horizon shots, because the baby dolyak essentially disappears underwater and stays relatively invisible, being all grey and small profiled.

You just needed to get the camera angles juuuust right….

So here I was running around as a baby dolyak, making squeeing and mooing noises to myself, submarining under the waves and playing with the camera angles, when that FACE popped up and blocked off half of my screen and made googly eyes at me.

It essentially went, “Moo! Take me! Take me! Forget the pretty landscapes! I wanna picture!”

I obliged it.

Or rather, obliged myself, because I’d somehow managed to tilt my camera and my mouse to the point where I had angled back at my face and surprised myself.

Serendipitous dolyak selfie is best selfie.

NBI Writing Prompt #2: What’s the cutest critter in your MMO?