A change of scenery

Vale splash screen

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far – wait. Wrong realm.

It WAS a fairly long time ago when, inspired by Geoff Hanna‘s post “How To Make Your Own DDO Splashscreen“, I decided to – well, make my own DDO splash screens.

I take an alarming number of DDO screenshots, so finding material was easy. And I really liked seeing my own images when I zoned into some areas rather than the default DDO screens. You can see my first splash screens in this post.

But over the last few weeks/months, I’ve noticed that the places where my own splash screens used to show up are now showing the DDO ones again. This is bound to happen from time to time, as DDO cycles through new screens due to updates and the like.

I have nothing against the default DDO screens. Some of them are REALLY nice. But I’d rather have my own to look at when I’m zoning. Not everywhere – many areas have screens that are hard-wired, so to speak, into the DDO code and therefore can’t be changed. But there are 10 zoning screens and a logging-in splash screen that are stored on your hard drive; all you need to do is replace those with images of your choice. Geoff’s post linked above has all the technical info you need.

You’re more than welcome to use mine if you want to, of course! A small version of my login splash screen is above; the other 10 screens I’m currently using follow. Just click the image(s) you want to download their full-size versions. Enjoy! 🙂

  Storm HornsDretch

  Dragon vs. mindflayerCalico tressym

  AirshipFire eles

  Demon LordStormreaver

  Market bridgeCrystals

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Making a splash… screen

Orchard splash screen

 

Geoff Hanna, aka “Gamer Geoff,” recently posted a blog that detailed how to change some of the splash screens you see when you’re zoning from one area to another in DDO.

 

I take a lot of screenshots. I mean, A LOT of screenshots. Thousands of ’em, possibly tens of thousands. And I get tired of looking at the same splash screens all the time. So this idea really appealed to me.

 

Last night I decided it was high time I bit the bullet and tried it out. Picked 11 screenies kindasorta at random, cropped them to 1024×768, saved them in the appropriate directory with the filenames DDO assigned to the default splash screens, and then booted the game.

 

WOW. SERIOUSLY. JUST WOW.

 

It was incredibly cool to zone from one airship deck to the other and see my OWN picture of our OWN airship while I was zoning.

 

If you try this, you won’t get your own screens on every zone; some zones and quests have specific splash screens that – as far as I know – can’t be changed. But if you’re zoning into a place that uses a generic screen (having a Kraken with a top deck, four lower  decks, and a cargo hold, this happens to me a lot), you’re going to see your own screens for those. And it’s pretty darn awesome.

 

I thought I’d share the first set of screenies I used as splash screens. Since I have so VERY many screen shots, I’ll probably rotate them every so often, just because I can. Feel free to click any or all of them to download for yourself!  🙂

 

  ToDFire pit

  WGUEveningstar river

  KrakenLightning globe

  GriffonAirship in Twelve

  Purple wormAmrath

Photo album: The High Road

High Road

Next up in my photo album project: The High Road, one of the most scenic wilderness areas in the game.

I really had way, way, WAY too many photos to try to put them all in here separately, and they’d use way, way, WAY too much of my allotment to let WordPress make a slideshow of them, and I haven’t found a good way to create a slideshow with external images and embed it in WordPress. So I decided to make a video instead. (If I’d known this would be the path i’d take, I would’ve cropped the base images to a larger size.)

I spent about an hour figuring out how to sync captions, and then YouTube decided to ignore them. Bah. There’s another “next time” lesson – crop the images bigger, AND put the captions right on the images.

Anyway, enjoy!

Music is “The Mighty Kingdom,” available at Audionautix.

Photo album: Underdark

Underdark Yuan-Ti

There are some really amazing graphics in DDO, and – in no small part inspired by Gamer Geoff‘s postcards and MMOtivational posters along with Spencerian‘s tourist guides – I’ve often thought of putting together digital photo albums of some of my favorite places.

Underdark acid pool

It used to be that I’d crank up my graphic settings when I wanted to get screenshots, then crank them back down to cut back on lag when I was done. Thanks to a new video card, I now have my settings cranked higher than they’ve ever been cranked before at all times, and I’m amazed at just how freaking BEAUTIFUL this game is. You don’t really get the full impact when you’re just upping your graphics for a few minutes at a time; you have to be running around in permanent sliders-to-the-max mode to truly appreciate it.

Underdark Daycrystals

But enough words – this is a photo album, after all. (A photo album that I was too lazy to put into a slideshow. But whatever.) I’m starting with one of my favorite places in all DDO – The Underdark.

Underdark water elemental

The elemental cave is aptly named, as it’s full of earth, air, and water – you guessed it- elementals.

Underdark Purple Worm

See that innocuous-looking pile of dirt? Ever wondered what it would feel like to be digested?

Underdark Yuan-Ti

Remember those human-ish Yuan-Ti and their aversion to tourists? The lizard-ish ones aren’t any better… AND they have “petrifying” friends.

Underdark Bloodrock Medusa

Let your guard slip around this Bloodrock Medusa and you just might find yourself becoming a permanent fixture in Nessaleesa’s Garden.

Underdark Salamander Firebrand

Wishing you’d brought your winter jacket to ward against the Underdark’s chill? Just find some Salamander Firebrands to hang out with!

Underdark Ygglyshek

Go ahead, call him “Uglyshack” – it may be the last thing you ever do.

Underdark Drider

The itsy bitsy Drider climbed up the water spout… and took steroids, and moved to the Underdark, and grew to an enormous size, the better to eat you with.

Underdark Draegloth

Speaking of steroids, either the Draegloth have developed an incredibly effective weight-lifting routine, or they make heavy use of performance-enhancing substances… not that you should take the time to ask one.

Underdark Waterfall

There are several waterfalls in the Underdark, but if that’s your thing, you’re better off going to Niagara.

Underdark webs

It’s a good idea to smash all these cocoons so you won’t fall victim to a swarm of baby Driders, although Mommy and Daddy Drider will fall upon you as soon as you reach their nest.

Underdark Dimaya

Um. Interrupting Under-Priestess Dimaya’s ritual? You went there? Really? Yeah, good luck with that.