Meet Ray Charles

I know I should be ashamed… Not very cute compared to the feathermanes, but it’s got bloodlust and it makes me laugh.

An Exile’s Tale

A few weeks ago, I submitted this story to the Path of Exile Talent Competition 2018. Last night, the list of the winners of the contest was published on the forums and I made it to the top 15.

Path of Exile is an amazing game, probably the best Hack’n Slash ever made and I am very happy to know that the folks at Grinding Gear Games enjoyed my story.

All over Wraeclast, you can hear the tales of Kaom, Piety and Malachai, but you’ll never hear anything about the fate of the exiles. Their victories aren’t sung, their deaths aren’t mourned, they weren’t sent here to be remembered. But this story is different, I don’t want to forget it. This is why I’m leaving this for anyone to read at the board of Lioneye’s watch, for this tale belongs to this town.

The night had fallen over Lioneye’s watch and the few exiles who had made it back before the dark were scattered along the walls, hiding themselves from the wind and the rain. Exiles don’t sleep in cosy inns, the cold and wet stones of the sanctuaries are their only beds. Some gather in small groups but most stay alone, haunted by the horror of their memories. A few hours had passed since the light was gone and the place was silent, only the wind could be heard. Even the traders were falling asleep… As for me, I haven’t had a normal night’s rest since I was sent to this cursed place. Everyday, I manage to rest a few hours, dreaming with my eyes open. My instincts don’t let me drift too far and I suspect that they won’t until I have completed my journey.

Continue reading →

The Nightborne

When the allied races were first introduced at Blizzcon, I was unimpressed to say the least. They felt (and still feel) like a low effort attempt at creating new content. So, when we pre-purchased Battle for Azeroth, I wasn’t in a hurry to unlock those “new” races. Another reason behind my lack of enthusiasm is that the racials of the Highmountain Tauren don’t fit my herbalist druid as well as my original Tauren. So, out of curiosity, Sisqi and I went to the Orgrimar embassy and started the quest to unlock the Nightborne.

The quest was more entertaining than we suspected and it felt great to be included in the politics of the Horde. I was proud of Lor’themar Theron’s attitude and I was very happy to see Thalyssar joining the Horde. After all, she was probably my favourite character in the entire Legion story.

As for the Nightborne model, I could use it to compliment my future boosted toon. But I’m still undecided about which class I’ll choose. I still have a few tests to make…

Leveling in Morrowind (2/2)

As you may have already noticed, the background image of the blog has changed back to World of Warcraft. Our great Elder Scrolls Online adventure has come and gone…

What’s behind such a radical change? Well, it all happened around level 20, when we both got confronted with the clunky gameplay of the dual action bars. It broke the deal for Sisqi and I.

So, just as in my previous post, keep in mind that these are the thoughts of someone who has spent more than a decade playing World of Warcraft:

  • Forcing people into using more than one weapon set, just to be able to use more than 5 slots on the action bar is a bad idea. I don’t see any reason behind this choice other than wanting to be different from other MMOs. The result is that you have a first weapon equipped, with a set of 5 actions on your bar, and a second weapon with another set of 5 actions. During the fight, you have to switch between these weapons to be able to access all your actions. It feels horrible, especially coming from someone who is used to the extreme fluidity of the combats in WoW;
  • The builds don’t feel natural for a fantasy game. Casters with plate armor, melee with light armor and staves,… It reminds me Torchlight II, where the best ranger (bow & gun) had to use a wand to be optimal, it breaks the class fantasy;
  • The landscape feels too much the same. While it is beautiful and more realistic than WoW, there isn’t enough difference between the zones;
  • LFG is a joke. Our last attempt left us in the queue for more than 3 hours, we even forgot that we were queued, until we finally gave up;
  • The lag is real. High latency, endless loading screens, such is the daily life of an ESO player;
  • The combats feels chaotic. One opponent is easy, two and even three is manageable, beyond that, you don’t even know who you’re trageting, the combat is a total mess.

The lack of optimization of both combats and connection make it difficult for us to enjoy ESO. We have cancelled our plus membership and re-subscribed to World of Warcraft, where we were happy to find back a fluid gameplay.

Each time I try a new MMO, I come to the same conclusion: before creating a gorgeous environment or a complex crafting system, the developpers should focus on the gameplay, an area where Blizzard, to this day, reigns supreme.

Leveling in Morrowind (1/2)

We both were in Elder Scrolls Online on the day of its release, but it didn’t work for us. I can’t remember the reason for not falling in love with it, all I can say is that, at that time, we didn’t go further than level 6 on any of our characters.

Time passed and a Youtube video by Fextralife triggered my curiosity. The timing couldn’t be better, the Blizzcon was extremely disappointing, leaving no perspective of a great future for a World of Warcraft that had already nothing to do anymore with the game we once loved. Before we had the time to say Quidditch, ESO was bought and installed on both our PCs, and we were proud ESO plus members.

Since then, we’ve been roaming Morrowind, avenging mages, freeing slaves and dancing with spiders. Every aspect of the game has been a blast. The game is gorgeous, many places are breathtaking, exploring such a fantastic landscape and all the caves and dungeons it holds feels like a true adventure. I could go on to talk about it, using superlatives but it couldn’t come close to how ESO is a fantastic experience for both Sisqi and me.

A few of the screenshots we took during our leveling from 1 to 20 in Vvardenfell:

Here is what two players who have spent more than a decade in Azeroth especially appreciate in ESO:

  • Venturing in such a detailed world, with a compass instead of an overlapping map, forces you to look where you’re going and to recognize the landscape. It greatly contributes to the feeling of exploration;
  • The game is more “classic fantasy” flavored. It feels good not to play in a world where orcs ride pink ponies and rainbow dragons;
  • The chat options and the NPCs make you feel like you’re a part of the story. Many quest lines only open if you’ve completed a prerequisite. That way, you can’t rush into a hub, pick all the quests, follow the yellow dots, kill the mobs (eyes closed), hand back the quests and receive useless loot without even having a clue of what the whole adventure was about;
  • Crafting is more elaborated and doesn’t become useless as just as you hit max level;
  • There’s a real sense of danger. Most of the time, the boss at the end of a quest line will kill you if you’re alone. It makes you wanna be good at your class, use the best gear you can find, use potions and, more importantly, group with people. In ESO, no heirlooms that make rewards obsolete and mobs that couldn’t kill you even if they’d really try;
  • A Day & Night cycle where the night is really dark (without the help of a potion);
  • Instant mount for everyone (not only druids).

Voilà, I’m going back to Vvardenfell now, I have caves to explore. Also, they have Skooma…

Who is Gamrok?

I don’t really have a background story for Gamrok… He doesn’t come out of a tale filled with heroism… Instead, I always pictured him being a mix between two different personalities.

His first half would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for his heroic image and his muscles. No challenge seems big enough for such a character, he’s always ready to jump of a cliff to rescue his old neighbour’s cat…

The other half is Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter, not for his cowardice, but for being a total jackass. Always smiling to the ladies, he walks down the streets as if he was leading the parade. His favourite quote would be “It’s not because you’re not as fabulous as I am, that you’re not fabulous at all!”.

You mix these two guys and you get Gamrok, always looking for a challenge, always ending up in perillous situations and, eventhough he always gets rescued by the fearless Sisqi, he always manages to get out of the danger with a charming smile, as if he just saved everyone. A real hero…

Day of the Tentacle

Both Sisqi and I have been reading Lovecraft’s books since we were kids. We love everything related to the Cthulhu mythos: novels, comic books, video games,… The idea of ancient beings, hidden in the dark corners of the earth, manipulating the mind of the humans, has always been one of our favourite plots in fantasy. So, when Blizzard inspires itself directly from Lovecraft’s world (Yogg-Saron, C’thun,…), we are instant fans!

There are not a hundred ways to say this: We love Cthulhu!

Yesterday, Sisqi was wandering around the Eye of Azshara when she stumbled upon Kosumoth the Hungering. I had already read that he was the boss that could drop the Fathom Dweller, an aquatic mount, but I didn’t know that it was already available.

After a quick research, I’ve found this guide on Wowhead: Kosumoth the Hungering. It’s pretty straight forward and feels very much like the hunt for the Riddler’s Mind Worm.

I really enjoy those secrets, it adds another level of depth to the game. I can’t help but wonder how they find all those hidden items? Do they explore each map, each cave, each ocean in the game? Some of the caves in this chain are very hard to find and I don’t think that I would have ever seen them without the guide…

One of the caves was even hidden behind a toothless shark.

When you finally have clicked all the items in the right order, you can go back to an NPC, Drak’Thul, and unlock a world quest where you are to slay Kosumoth. Apparently, the loot alternates weekly between the aquatic mount and a pet, the Hungering Claw.

We both obtained our very own tentacle, but we’ll surely come back next week for the mount.

With a possible next expansion themed around the old gods, we are both super hyped. Please, Blizzard, make it happen!

Why do you blog about WoW?

Another community challenge from Z & Cinder. This time the topic is about the reason behind our blogging:

“Everyone who has created a blog has done so for a reason. For all of you WoW bloggers out there, what was that reason? Why did you choose to put fingers to keys to write about a computer game? What type of posts do you like to write? Does your blog have a theme to it, or do you just wing it and write whatever you want? We’d love to know!”

So here is why we blog about WoW:

  1. The main reason why we blog is because we want to keep remembrances of our adventures in World of Warcraft. We spend an incredible amount of time in Azeroth, fighting, exploring, fishing,… It would be sad not to have anything to remember those moments by. In fact, our WoW blogging started with separated blogs where we were keeping our screenshots, without text. Then, we started giving our opinions about quests and dungeons. And, finally, Navimie gave us the idea to blog together, that’s how The Brutes were born.
  2. Creativity would be the second reason. Developping this blog gave me a reason to get better at CSS, I coded the entire theme of The Brutes and it was an amazing experience. That’s not all, it also gives us a place to write our stories and to work on little projects like creating funny comics or videos about challenges like the Ironman. The blog is a great motivation behind our creativity.
  3. Finally, we really enjoy the blogging community. Even if the first reason behind our writing is nothing else but our own remembrances, we do enjoy our little corner of the internet. Big sites like MMO Champion and Wowhead are filled with guides and objective posts. We don’t want objectivity, give us the people’s experience, what they do in Azeroth, what they love about it, what they hate… We feel closer to the real people, those who have a job or a family or both, who have to create their own adventures based on the time they have in the game. It feels more real to us than reading about pro-gamers and how long it took them to down the last boss.

Voilà, what we wish to the WoW blogging community is to grow and to get closer to each other, each with thousands of posts to remember our goofy adventures by.

The night before he died

It had been a long day, completing quests and slaying demons all over the Broken Isles… I was near the Tomb of Sargeras when I finally decided to take a break. The night was about to fall and I would soon have to go back home.

The place, located near the wall of the unholy temple, wasn’t exactly cosy. The only spot to sit was a big flat rock. I first cleaned my face and my hands from the fel demon blood, then I tried to take place on my improvised chair. I wasn’t even leaning on it that it already moved. I got up to see if I could do something to keep it steady, when I saw some light coming from underneath. As I pushed the rock aside, I uncovered what appeared to be a secret hatch. I opened it and went down a ladder, I then walked through a long torch-lit tunnel. I was wondering if it would lead me to another treasure, just like those hidden all over the Isles…

As I finally reached the end of the tunnel, I started to climb another ladder, this one was much longer than the first and it felt like an eternity before I could finally see the end of it. After a last hatch, I emerged and finally noticed where I was: at the top of the Tomb of Sargeras.

The place was very silent, the only thing that I could hear was the heavy sobs of somebody crying. It didn’t take long before I could spot him. There he was, our great foe Kil’Jaeden, sitting on the floor, his face covered in tears.

I didn’t know what to do, so I cleared my voice and asked “Everything ok?”

He looked at me and didn’t even try to get up. He answered “What are you already doing here? Isn’t it tomorrow that your lot is planning to come and end me?!”

Caught off-guard, all I could answer was “I’m sorry but I’ve found your secret passage… I wasn’t sure where it was leading…”

I don’t know why I did what I did next… Maybe was it one of those moments when two dudes get closer, even if they’re not on the same side. I approached him and offered him a beer. He accepted it.

I sat beside him and listened to his story. The guy was filled with regrets. He knew that he had to pay for what he had done but something else was troubling him. He told me that the demons from his planet would continue coming to Azeroth, even after his death. He heard that Illidan had a stone that could open a rift to Argus… Unfortunately, it was a spoof, it wouldn’t do a thing.

He asked me if I would agree to help him and, eventhough I should have never trusted somebody like him, I told him that I would. Sharing a pint with a dude creates a bond… He handed me the remote control of a device that would activate a rift similar to the one they used to come to Azeroth. No one in his Legion wouldn’t accept to do such a thing and no enemy of his would trust him enough to do it.

We spent the rest of the evening sharing stories. He showed me pictures of his ex-girlfriend, Cecile. He explained me that hate often begins with a heartbreak.

He also told me about the less known side of the Legion, you wouldn’t believe the parties they were having…

At some point, the beer ran out (even I don’t carry more than a dozen bottles in my bags), we bid our farewells and I promised him that I would fulfill his last wish.

During my flight back home, I felt an inexplicable sadness. Today, I had made a friend out of an enemy, and, tomorrow, I would help killing him.

The next day, we marched upon the Tomb of Sargeras and, after an incredibly hard fight, the enemy died. As we were fighting Kil’Jaeden, many people were surprised to see empty beer bottles all over the place, I even saw Khadgar tripping over one. I guess that you don’t really care about keeping the place tidy when you know that you’re about to die…

As Kil’Jaeden predicted, Illidan used his stone and, while everyone was looking at him, I used the remote and activated the rift. It’s better if no one knows the truth, people need to believe in their heroes.

Since that moment, Argus can be seen in the sky from anywhere in Azeroth. To me, it’s a reminder that no matter how hard you fight, it’s around a fresh beer that things really get settled.

One macro to swap equipment

I’ve never found a tutorial about creating a macro that could swap my combat gear with my fishing gear and back. That’s why I’ve decided to write my own. Even better, I’ve tried something completely new to me: I made a video.

After weeks of learning how to use OBS and Sony Vegas with my camera and my microphone, I thought that the time had finally come to make my first video. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think in the comments… My apologies if I sound a bit nervous or if I repeat myself a few times, but it’s pretty much the first time that I speak in front of a camera.

The macro I use:

/equipset [worn:Fishing Poles] PVE;Fishing

I hope that you will find it useful. If you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask, I’ll be glad to answer.