Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 5 Talent Icons

It is time for this years first top 5, and I can hear you all cry with happiness already. About half a year ago, or probably more since time flies by so fast, I was thinking about icons in the game and what they look like. The amount of icons in the game has totally exploded, from back in the day when most items seemed to share icons to today where we have loads of icons that are barely used. Just scan through the various icons you can choose in the in game wardrobe and you'll find several which seem to exist nowhere else in the game, at least I haven't seen them before. I know that initially many, perhaps even most, icons where quite simplistic. Not a lot of what we in sweden call "krusiduller" or "tingeltangel" or curlicues in plain english, but usually a simple helmet, fist, shield or whatever it was supposed to be. And as mentioned, most shields shared some five different icons (if even that many). The reason for this was probably pretty simple, Blizzard wanted to make it easy for themselves whilst also give old faithful gamers a little feeling of homeliness by reusing alot of the icons they had in their previous Warcraft games. Icons like Healing Wave, some Sword icons, Shadowmeld, Thunderclap and a bunch of others.

And then BC and Wotlk came and Blizzard though it was time to give the icons a little fresh looks. They kept most, if not all, of the old icons but added a bunch of new ones. And initially my post was going to be about all the new icons and how I half of the time couldn't make out what the heck they were. I could sit squinting in front of the screen talking to myself saying "it's a... plane... no.. it's a bird...". Love probably thought I had really lost it then. But before I ever got around to making that post Cata was released. And it seems like Blizzard has yet again had someone go over the icons, because this time around they actually all make sense. Well no they might not all make sense, but I can at least nearly always tell what the icon is supposed to be. So instead, this is going to be a post about my top 5 favorite talent skill icons, and here you have it.

5. Icy Veins - Frost Mage
Icy Veins was initially one of them icons where I wasn't completely sure about what it depicted, so I asked Love for some input. "It's simple" he said, "it's a frozen heart you dummy". So yet again I squinted, leaned forward toward the screen and yeah... it sure looks like a frozen heart. I really like it because there are few icons that describe their skill as well as this one does (Gouge is another good example). Well there is nothing in the picture that says "this will make you cast your spells faster" of course, actually rather the opposite. But what would say "I've got some Icy Veins" better than a frozen heart? I love it.
4. Marked for Death or Hunting Party - Marksman/Survival Hunter
I just couldn't decide. I really liked both of these icons. Yet again they depict the name of the talent really well but otherwise I like them for slightly different reasons. Marked for death for the humor - it's a skull with an arrow through his head. I don't know why, but I find it really slapstick. I could really see it next to a guy slipping on a banana peel. And Hunting Party for its detail. It took me a while to see at first (my first thought was that it was a sailing boat, don't ask me why) but when I checked closer (squinting again, maybe I need glasses) I could make out three little people there on the icon. Hey that really is a whole hunting party, because one of the guys actually has a bow!

3. Seal Fate - Assassination Rogue
If you look closely on this icon you see this hooded and masked figure who holds up two fingers in front of him. He is probably, you know, sealing someones fate by jinxing them with some voodoo magic (or whatever rogues usually use) but what I see is the Star Wars mind bending technique. You know when they wave their hands in front of the guys face and say "you will let us pass" or something like it. So when I see this icon I always think the rogue is saying "you will let me add another combo point". Totally silly. But ehm... it's also pretty!

2. Owlkin Frenzy - Balance Druid
Moonkins are really funny. Do you remember when they were first implemented in the game back in Vanilla? Everyone were totally excited and then totally shocked when they saw that the balance druid shapeshift was going to be a big fat chicken. Big fat chicken shooting lasers from the skies has been something of a trademark of World of Warcraft and I know of people who've said they could never take a game that allows for such abominations seriously. Be as it may, the first reaction people had to boomkins, and their dance, just never seemed to go away. I still think they look totally deranged and it's still something of a "laugh at the funny looking guy" over them. The thing is, so does Blizzard seem to think about them. They haven't made anything to change the models and boomkins still sounds really funny when you hit them. And the Owlkin Frenzy icon definitely proves my point. Look really closely at the icon. A frenzy could indicate someone going berzerk, being furious, frown and growl and yell and smash your head in. Something scary. Instead, an owlkin frenzy is a boomkin going bananas and looking like something from Munchs The Scream. Like now he finally lost it, watch out or he'll chew on your leg. Those poor boomkins, when will people ever start taking you seriously?

1. Static Shock - Enhancement Shaman
Static Shock reminds me of some villain from Spiderman. Static Man! But maybe the reason I really like it is because it makes me think of a couple of friends of mine who were going to rewire part of their electric contacts. They're a couple and as he sets out to do this she asks him "well honey, you've made sure to turn off the electricity now, right?". And he looks at her like she just questioned his manhood or something, you know like guys are. "Of course I have!" he says. And she shrugs and says "Ok fine, just making sure. It's kinda dangerous you know" and walks out into the kitchen. It takes a minute or so when she suddenly hears a scream and runs into the bedroom. She finds her boyfriend standing zapped looking totally shocked, in both meanings of the word. Apparently he had turned the electricity off in one part of the apartment, but not the one he was currently in, so that could've gone bad. But now that it didn't (he was totally ok!) we can laugh at it instead and when I see Static Shock I imagine that is what my friend must've looked like for a moment. Poor guy, hope he learned his lesson *chuckle*.

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