It was pretty much out of the blue and totally unexpected but after an impromptu brainstorming session for a new WoD achievement, Jonathan LeCraft (Sr. Game Designer at Blizzard) sent me the following DM:
My eyes grew wide as I stared at the text.
As a veteran player, my love for the game has never waned so to have a virtual representation of my beloved character after nine years is a dream come true. You only have to look at the list of Blizzard and Community References currently in-game to know a lot of people have made an impact and it appeared I had too. I couldn’t believe it, I would actually be making an appearance as an NPC like El of El’s Anglin’ and Beanni of WarcraftPets fame. Funnily enough, it was a subject I had written about previously but my ideas have changed somewhat since then.
During the last beta, I was lucky enough to get an early invite so I was itching to see what MoP had to offer. This included a lot of zone exploration and the genesis of my Wild Pet series. Funnily enough, it was a while before I tried any pet battling since I never played Pokemon so this little side game was kind of lost on me. However, I was soon hooked after a couple of battles.
My first encounter became the foundation of my beginner’s guide – Getting Started in Pet Battles. You can read about my early experiences with pet battles and my hysterical first match with my moonkin against a critter – oh if only I did videos back then. Maybe Cool still remembers me almost sliding off my chair as I almost died of cuteness. At the same time, I was interested in testing the archaeology changes which eventually led to all the Novelty Items I’ve encountered and subsequent archaeology section of the blog.
When it came to my NPC, I asked if Cymre could wear her trademark outfit but I wasn’t sure if any customisation would be possible (like some of the NPCs I’ve seen) with edited pieces. Her current look was created in WMV and Photoshop so they don’t necessarily exist like this in-game.
The pants were cropped to look like shorts since I really liked the conventional look of the upper half but the bottom portion was just plain ugly. Unfortunately, there weren’t any boots I wanted to use so after looking through every possible option in WMV (which is no small feat), these sneakers worked out perfectly. It turns out they are a recoloured version of the mage cm set but I couldn’t help but notice how well they matched the shorts. The sunglasses would ideally look like Gunnars but sadly they don’t look as cool in-game.
After the first preliminary screenshot (which looked similar to what you see above), I couldn’t help but tweak her a little. I had a quick look in MogIt to see if I could come up with a decent alternative – that way I could stick with in-game items while still keeping the same look. About an hour later, I ended up getting something pretty similar.
Over the course of the beta, Cymre Jones was later changed to Cymre Brightblade.
This morning I woke up to find a lot of congratulatory tweets as my NPC (just one of several) had made it into the alpha so I’d like to thank everyone who has shared my excitement and especially Blizzard who continues to feed my imagination in this spectacular virtual world.
P.S I look forward to posting my own Cymre Brightblade strat as well as reading your own but one question remains: in a battle with myself, who will be victorious? There can be only one! :D
Edit: here’s the video when I first saw her in-game.