Monthly Archives: June 2010

Cataclysm: Worgen & Troll druid forms

With Beta started and the Alpha NDA lifted, I can now show you the druid Worgen cat & bear forms. I only have one color of each, due to broken barber shops not allowing me to change hair color. However, it’s likely that the colors were placeholders, anyway. Keep in mind that it’s art from early in development, so like everything else – IT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE!!!!!

I’ll have A LOT more to post tomorrow when the Beta server is back up. I’ll revise these pictures if their colors changed when the next patch hits the Beta server.

Also, I will have full reviews of all abilities, talents, and everything Druid posted tomorrow once I’ve had a chance to verify what changes have been made in the newest build (currently downloading).

As of the last build, we got cat form at level 10, and bear form at level 15. Along with other leveling changes, getting a couple druids up to 15 was really easy & super fun! Things are looking good for druid leveling in Cata. I may just have to be like pokemon: gotta catch ‘em all! The last build didn’t have new moonkin, trees, or other forms yet, so this is all I’ve got so far!

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What to do while the server is down

With the Elune server having hardware upgrades Tuesday, for all day Tuesday, along with lots of the other servers, I have a whole day where I can’t log onto my main to play.

That means today’s post is the top 10 things to do when your server is going to be down for 24 hours:

10. Catch up on all the chores you didn’t do over the weekend. I think my turtle tank needs cleaning…

9. Go outside and enjoy nature. If it’s not too hot, maybe I’ll take a walk. Or, maybe not.

8. Hang out on the forums instead of the game. That’s where I spend all my time, anyway!

7. Log into twitter and cry to your friends about how the forums are down, too, because it’s a Tuesday.

6. Try to do actual real work… maybe? Okay, maybe not. I can keep looking at possible wedding stuff, which I’ve been doing a lot of lately. *giggle* Oh wait, I mean “work on my dissertation”, yes that’s right.

5. Play on your second MMO (you know, the one you normally play on Tuesday maintenance, lol). My 2nd MMO is Lord of the Rings Online. I don’t play it very much and I’m really looking forward to it going Free to Play so that I don’t have to keep up a subscription for it.

4. Go hang out with friends on Tuesday night! I have a group of friends that I usually hang out with on Tuesday nights since it’s not a night my guild raids.

3. Read about the Ruby Sanctum raid and hope that it will get released soon, so that we’ll have more new stuff to do!

2. Read blogs! There are always lots of fun blog posts to get caught up on! You can also read class guides, and look into information about other classes that you don’t normally play.

1. Make an alt on a server that comes up earlier than yours, since not all of the servers will be down at night; and the people who have servers that are still up should suffer by having overcrowding, right? It would also allow you to apply all the knowledge you learned while reading blogs about other classes before the alt server came up from normal maintenance!

For everyone whose servers aren’t getting the extended maintenance, it’s still nice to have backup plans for if people come and make your server unplayable anyway, right?

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Addon spam being throttled

So, mods like Gearscore are known memory-hogs, because they tend to (very rapidly) ping the server with requests to get information to calculate scores for a lot of people. This would be okay if only one person was doing it, but if you have a high population area (like Dalaran) with possibly hundreds of people coming and going, the combined effects of a lot of people using the addon could potentially be problematic.

Fortunately, the inspection requests from these addons will soon be throttled, to reduce their contribution to server lag. The announcement for this change is on the WOW forums here.

So, there are a couple of points that I wanted to cover:

  • Gear-score and other mods that are being throttled by this change will still work. They will potentially just take longer to load all the information that you want (or the mods may even be changed to be more picky about who they ping). That’s fine, since you didn’t instantly need to know the gearscore of all 1,000 people standing next to you in Dalaran when you go to get something out of the bank.
  • This change is good for people who both do & don’t use the addons. A throttling effect will reduce lag both for these addon users and for the people who are being pinged. My guild has had several raid occasions when we asked people to turn off gearscore to help reduce lag when we were raiding.
  • This should only effect addons that get their data by spamming inspection requests to look at your gear and such. However, since you can still send those inspection requests, we may not even really see the effects of the change, other than being annoyed about your addon working more slowly.
  • Why not just disable these things altogether? People are always going to use arbitrary methods of judging people and their gear for PUGs. At this point, you can figure it out just by looking at what item-levels are on their gear in the armory. If you don’t know anything about the details of how a class gears, you really don’t get anything more than the fact they have high item levels and seem to have stats that would be reasonable for that class (even if they are 500 haste over their haste cap – how would you know?).
  • In addition, breaking gearscore altogether would break a bunch of other mods and have overall bad consequences for addon development in the game. Throttling allows all the addons to work, without having them lag the server so bad. So, it should hopefully end up being a good solution for everyone. There may still be some addons that stop being supported with the changes – but hopefully everyone will just decide to adapt.
  • It may take a while for the addons to function after the change goes live. So, if you use anything that submits inspect requests (including ones that check talents to guess what their role is), they may or may not need to be updated after the change. Since they weren’t able to play with this on the PTR, it may take a while for the addon developers to get them all fixed.

In conclusion, the problem with these addons is that they caused lag for both the person using the addon AND the people around them who are getting pinged. Since this resembles server-lag for the people who aren’t using the addon, it was Blizzard’s place to step in and help with making places like Dalaran a better place to hang out. You should still be able to get those scores when you really need them.

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Real ID: Do you trust the friends of your friends?

So, today is patch day. This patch has a lot of neat features (like the Ruby Sanctum raid). One of these upcoming features is the Real ID system.  This system is designed to blend your “real life” with game life to a somewhat uncomfortable facebook-stalker level.

When the Real ID system was first announced, I thought I’d be able to get into contact with my friends & blog readers that I’ve met through the game, twitter, etc. However – the level of detailed information that the system provides to your “friends” (and the friends of your friends) makes it such that I’ll only be using the Real ID for the people I know in real life, and not likely people I met through the game (even if I think you are a great person, I may not trust your friends). That means I won’t be using the feature to it’s fullest.

They could have designed the cross-server chat to be less invasive, but they chose to reveal too much personal information in a fantasy roleplaying video game, and didn’t implement enough choice & privacy options.

Unfortunately, it’s not just YOUR friends that can see all your personal info. It’s also the friends of your friends. If I invite someone to be my friend, and they have 100 friends, all 100 of those friends can see my RL info, and that makes me very uncomfortable. So, I’ll mostly be waiting & hoping that they add more privacy options into their system in the future. If they gave us the option to disable friends of friends, then I’d like the system a lot more. Until they implement privacy options into their system, I’m going to keep my friends circle limited.

Now, there are RL friends who play WoW that I’m looking forward to having cross-server communication with, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to reconnect with them. I just wish the system was better.

Just remember to be safe about how you use the Real ID system. It’s not supposed to be a friends list that you give to everyone you ever meet in-game. (my battle.net e-mail is not the e-mail I use for this blog).

Posted in Patch 3.3 WotLK, Patches, Uncategorized

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