Thursday, December 21, 2006

pre-BC symptoms of fatigue

All over the forums on all servers you can read that players are tired before TBC. Be it because of xmas holidays and RL commitments, but most just seem to think "it's not worth raiding before TBC". Why is that? Only because of the easy loot from PvP atm? Or because the items will be worthless fast in the expansion? Why did people get tired of conquering the 40 ppl instances? I think it's a mix between the above reasons and that players now tend to take a break for the upcoming two or three weeks. With the new epic raid dungeon limit of 25 players, we'll most likely see a lot of existing communities to break down and new ones forming. For some mid-sized guilds this even enables them to do guild runs into those dungeons. I forsee a lots of changes coming up and with the "equal level" of gear through the upgrades again, it does not mean that we won't see some new top-raiding groups.

Even on Argent Dawn these symptoms take its toll. Looks like Suicidal Noobs ceased to raid 40 ppl content and lots of the members tried to fit in other existing communities. Seems many raid communities stopped raiding before TBC at all, resulting in many bored high-level raiders trying to organize BWL PURs or joining the C'Thun raiding project, a PUR of bored T2+ raiders trying to get C'Thun down before expansion comes. Although if you read this post, it seems it's not going without a bit of drama along the way.

Talking about the above raiding project, i had to grin when i saw one player including the info "Gender: female, Age: 28" in the sign up. Don't bother searching for it, the post was edited shortly after. Why is it that some players think this is vital information? This really reminded me of an article i read recently about the different types of female players and the problems that can occur. Read The E-Ho game (also read the comments, some pretty funny). And no, I'm not saying mentioned player is an E-Ho. :)

One other interesting thing i saw today: Wiimote as WoW controller! Probably right before christmas your TV ads show lots of Wii spots as well, look pretty funny tho i didn't try one yet. But apparently it's possible to use a program called WiinRemote (for Mac it's DarwiinRemote) to play WoW with your Wiimote, as can be seen in a video shown in the above blog entry. NO, you won't be able to swing your sword like in the commercials about Wii, but pretty funny nontheless.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Gnomish Crusade

After the TBC cinematic intro was released, the gnomes want to show they will take over world domination in the expansion. Watch The Gnomish Crusade, a gnomish parody on the TBC trailer.

Good news for all of us who used the WoW Model Viewer. The favorite program is back with a new alpha version. I added the preliminary website to the links on the right as well. The bandwidth for the download on his website is exceeded at the moment, but i found a mirror here:

Important: Make sure you extract it into a NEW folder (and not on top of an old version) and also delete the config.ini before you start it. Heh, what do you expect, it's alpha.. but works like a charm for the basics.

Did you realize the changes that sneaked into the live servers with reputation rewards for several factions? Reputation gained is not lowered by level anymore. This means for example you can gain 25 rep again for 5 troll necklaces in the Hinterlands. Or you can start to work on some low level Draenei quests and reach up to mid-friendly with them afaik. In addition twilight texts now yield 250 rep per 10 (previously 100 rep). Also interesting, the rep gain for the Thorium Brotherhood has changed. Now you get: Lava Cores, Fiery Cores and Blood of the Mountain yield a rep gain of 500, with 2 core leather giving 350, and a stack of Dark Iron ore giving 75. This is a huge boost for some. So if you always wanted to grind some of the reputation, maybe a good thing to do while waiting for the expansion?

Since i respecced to Fury to have some fun while leveling in TBC, i was searching for better DPS weapons. So far either they did not drop or i lost the rolls. A few days ago i saw a Master Macecrafter named Valrim announcing he could craft the Ebon Hand. Since i wanted to get two new weapons better yesterday then tomorrow, i contacted hime and stroke a deal. We ventured into BRD to the black anvil and i got myself 2x Ebon Hand crafted, as you can see on the picture. I know there are better weapons to get, maybe I'll be lucky before the expansion... if not, those will do for a while. And at least it's a different look then all the GM weapons people wear like pimples nowadays. ;)

I'm still torn between the new talents/skills for warriors regarding TBC. As we're so heavily gear dependend the aggro skills for eg. druids & paladins will scale much better at the start. Of course soon we'll all be lvl 70, but is it a good thing to only balance skills around a certain level? With the lacking itemization from the expansion it's not by accident warriors complain at the moment. And if you look at the numbers, our aggro skills don't really scale that much. If you want to read two interesting threads about it, here you go:
One warriors findings on his trip to 70
Devastate -- Numbers & Good News

On a last sidenote: Apparently since the patch it's a very bad idea to have feral druids tanking Hakkar, as when the druid tank gets controled, Hakkar gets the Improved LOTP buff, and heals himself with every crit. I think that was funny, sorry guys... *bear hug*

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

You are not prepared

...that's at least what Illidan seems to think in the new BC Trailer (high-quality), now officially released by Blizzard in much better quality. As always a treat for your visual senses. ;)

As you can see on the pictures and most likely saw for yourself in WoW, christmas time is near and the larger cities are decorated for the Winter Veil fest. I'm not going to list all the things you can do over the holidays again. As my blog is around for over a year, just have a look in the archive for last december, nothing really changed.

If you're raiding, I'm sure your raid found some shaman loot as well? Yesterday in BWL we got 2xshaman on Razorgore, 2xshaman on Vael and one shaman later on as well. If you see the loot you only think "you must be fucking kiddin' me Bliizard!" Yes, we all know it will not change and we have to live with it until TBC comes out, but honestly.... how many of you think Blizzard was just lazy and implemented a lot of bugs/chaotic stuff with the last patch? I'm sure most will raise their hands.

Talking about faulty implemented things with the last patch, i recently got a tip you can buy figurines (crafted via jewelcrafting) in Theramore. The vendor is probably supposed to sell the designs, but atm she sells the crafted figurines. Helenia Olden sells (rare supply, but fast respawn) for 60s those two figurines:
Figurine - Truesilver Crab
Figurine - Black Pearl Panther

Not really very useful for a level 60, but maybe one or the other rogue would like the panther. But for characters at the appropriate level it's cheap and very good trinkets. Careful tho, as they are both BoP. Oh yes, and they'll summon small pets for the time the effect will be used.

As a final note: Did you use an item DB as well? Maybe even ItemSync? I really miss that mod and don't really want to switch, as it was better coded then most others for the large amount of data to store. Here is the good news for you: Derkyle is still around and works on an updated version of ItemSync. Yay! Let's hope it will be finished soon, so i can collect item links again. ;)

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Conditional Macros

Slowly the dust settles down caused by many broken mods, etc. after the last patch. Especially caster classes had to adjust. While some swear on Grid and Clique, others make use of the recent macro changes from the patch. It is now possible to create conditional macros. If you want to read up at wowwiki about it: 2.0 Macro Guide

Now it is possible to create a macro that eg. looks like:
/cast [target=mouseover] Cure Disease

If you are a caster and want to read up more about it, go here.

These conditional macros can also be used to eg. apply poisons (and other things) to weapons. You could create a macro like this:
/use [button:LeftButton] Crippling Poison;
/use [button:LeftButton] 16;
/use [button:RightButton] Crippling Poison;
/use [button:RightButton] 17;

Which would apply Crippling Poison on a weapon depending on right or left click. More about it, go here.

Sidenote: Should you use Bongos, like i do, those macros won't work as Tuller needs to adjust the code to enable the new functionality. So in the meantime you'd need to use a mod like PoisonPouch (works for all weapon buffs, not only poisons).
EDIT: Seems like it's not Bongos but a flaw in the lua, which will be fixed with an upcoming patch: Upcoming 2.0.2 UI Changes

Bad news for the warriors using Lifegiving Gem: In the recent beta server push it was nerfed. Now it will only apply 1500hp (heal/max) and not scale with your HP anymore.

As a final note, i updated my addon list to the right. All working mods have had their links updated. Mods i did not test or could not find an update for are in italic. Should you encounter a problem with a mod i mark as working, you'll be able to fix it yourself:

1. You'll need to adjust the .toc file for
## Interface: 20000

2. If you encounter an error like "attempt to index a table value", you'll need to go through the lua code and change
for x,y in z do
for x,y in pairs(z) do

as this was a change how to use tables in the new 2.0 lua.

I also added two new mods to my ever growing addon-pool:

Rating Buster
Will change your tooltip and give you additional info on the new combat rating. It will eg. display like "increase your crit rating by 14 (1.00%)". This will make it easier to compare items. In addition the mod also shows the real item level if you want.

While the name is a bit misleading, this tiny mod adds an extra button to your vendor windows and you can sell all junk items with one mouseclick. To add/remove grey & white items is very easy.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Kidnap & Ransom Insurance

That's an insurance you could have sold to the players on the Mal'Ganis (pvp) server a few weeks ago (i missed this event before). Apparently members from «Goon Squad» captured the Theramore Isle flightmaster and kited him around, holding him for ransom. Alliance should buy out certain items from the neutral AH and they would release him. To underline their demands they also kidnapped the Ratchet flightmaster. Despite the fact that it sure did piss people off and interrupted their gameplay, i found this approach to world PvP hillarious. After this was going on for around five hours and more players complained about it, a GM struck down the flightmasters and killed them (so they could respawn). I laughed... :D

Yesterday in BWL i tested the Tonks a bit more. While waiting for the rest of the raid to appear it was great fun to have a huge Tonk battle going on. My first thought tho was, use the Tonk to explore a dungeon?! I can report you can only move around in a certain radius (quite large tho) around your character... if you drive too far, the effect will break. One thing i discovered is, that the Tonks only have a collision about their size. This enabled me to drive it below the closed doors into the room with Chromaggus or Nefarian. Interesting sideeffect.

Now to some funny videos i saw recently. Everyone knows that WoW can also affect your RL, but what happens when Leeroy tries to destroy your business?

And did you see the first recording of the Burning Crusade Opening Cinematics?

Did you see the Skullcrusher Mountain movie? I knew gnomes are insane! Wow, i really enjoy the more and more growing machinima szene! The song from the Creepy Doll movie reminded me about a card from the new boardgame Formidable Foes (Fürchterliche Feinde). ;) Also watch the other movies from spiffworld, there you'll learn that size does matter and in spring people are doin' it outside.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Unliving are back.. stronger than ever!

With the last patch some of the TBC content slipped into the old world. Be it new ammunition, vendor sold jewelcrafting recipes (don't buy any at the AH!), etc. To my surprise we got reports from well informed Argent Dawn sources that there was increased undead activity near Deadwind Pass, around Karazhan. Together with a few guildies i traveled there to investigate the situation.

The closer we came to the tower the colder the air would become... fog was billowing above the floor. We encountered several Unliving Residents around level 69-70. We slew a few, already imagining piles of gold, but alas they don't have an updated loot-table - of course not. Close to the Tower are a few mages from «The Violet Eye» and if you use a spyglass from the mountain across you can see the backdoor to the Tower, else not much is happening there yet.

On a sidenote, many have problems with the new patch. If you have high latency and/or lag spikes while in a raid, make sure you don't have an old version of CTRA (they had some bugs in the first updated ones), which can cause trouble. In addition go and check your cache folder if you have the needed folders, as the patch somehow screwed up the creation of those. If you're lacking any of those you should create the empty folders yourself and restart WoW. It should look like
...\World of Warcraft\Cache\WDB\enGB\
(for the english EU client, for others you have to adjust the last folder name)

Once you restarted WoW the folder should get populated with the *.wdb cache files again. This will speed up your gameplay performance.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

click-click-click... Tonk

Yesterday i joined Impact for a raid into BWL. A nice bunch of people, i very much enjoyed the time. Nearly forgot to add that lucky me could snatch the Head of the Broodlord Lashlayer during the raid. Not sure if the rewards will be of much use in TBC, but i want to experience the nice scripted questlines... and heh, in TBC they will yield XP as well. =)
As was being expected after the recent patch, it turned into a stress test for updated mods and configurations. Personally i had to realize that with my new actionbar mod Bongos, there were no real cooldowns on my skills. Sometimes a skill would grey out (that's why i did not realize before) but in 95% of the time i could not distinguish if the skill was available. It was an interesting experience to go through BWL and just go after my "feeling" for when and which skill to use. For this mess, it went ok i think. *chuckles* This happened as i did download the mod with a direct link, while the main sites were down, and the author does not have a proper readme.txt included. He also offers OmniCC which fixes the problem and also adds a visible cooldown on eg. items i have in my bank - really nice.

One thing that stroke immediately as highly annoying was the "click-bug" that was introduced with the new patch. Basicly while in a raid you'll hear a clicking-noise every time someone joins/leaves the raid channel... drives you insane fast! To fix it either use the following macro or search the mod-sites for a tiny addon against it.. i saw 3-4 different ones.

/script if not _clickfixed then __xps=PlaySound; function PlaySound(snd) if (snd~="igCharacterInfoTab") then __xps(snd); end end _clickfixed=1; end

During the last days i also saw the first Hippogryph Hatchling. It's one of the special rewards from the WoW TCG. Looks quite funny. I also heard that with the last patch the idle animation from the Zergling was improved... have to look out for it.

I started to update my addon list on the right and clean it up or change broken links. As some of the addon websites still have trouble, it might take a few days until it's complete, but most links are updated already.

Apparently there is a gold dupe bug that surfaced first on the Mannoroth server. Blizzard tried to contain the damage and deleted a ton of posts and suspended many players. Rumours say a GM showed up on the bridge to AH and perma silenced and sleep every player who was talking about it. I'm not sure how exaggerated those reports are, but seems Blizzard did not handle it with the sensitive but the huge Ogre-Hammer. Although they did not set back the affected servers, which seems odd. Some more info on the EJ Forums.

A last tip for our engineers: Since the patch there is a new schematic for a Steam Tonk Controller available at the Darkmoon Fair. It will cost you 40 tickets. The controller itself is rather cheap to produce, has 50 charges and more important is BoE so you can hand it out to friends as well. From what i hear you can summon the tonks everywhere but in the large cities. So yes, also in raid instances. ;)

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Caverns of Time open

Since the patch it seems that some "pieces" of the new content also made it into the "old world". Not sure if it's a bug or some developer thought "Hey, let's hold out a carrot as a teaser - free marketing". One new area that can be accessed now, is the the Caverns of time - the door is gone, so is our friendly dragon that was standing there before. I wonder how people are supposed to hand in their quests now. Once you enter you'll encounter a bunch of NPCs roaming/guarding the cave. Some are occupied in experiments, some have interesting conversations how they temper with the timelines. Some of those NPCs are Draenei and Bloodelves, so if you want to see them "live", there you can.

The only interesting NPC you can interact with in there, beside a booze vendor and an armorer called Yarly (YA RLY, that's his name!) is Provisioner Galgrom.
He sells some of the standard, but high-level food, drinks and ammunition from the expansion:
Garadar Sharp
Filtered Draenic Water
Impact Shot
Wicked Arrow

The new ammunition can be bought from several vendors, the food/drinks only at him afaik. Nice stuff to take with you while adventuring and if you're, like me, allergic against magic food.

Here are a few more pics, but there is lots more to see if you've never been there. Maybe during the next days I'll post some screenshots how it did look before with the large hour-glass in the middle.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The madness from within...

...appears on major patchdays, like this week. Longer maintenance, servers up, servers down... emergency maintenance until midnight. yay! Not that it would matter, as basicly no one is playing with the Blizzard standard UI, the addon websites are getting hammered and are more offline then reachable.

I was able to snatch most updates for the mods i use. A few, like eg. Gatherer & Auctioneer, will be delayed for around one or two weeks - as announced by the authors. One thing i can't live with tho, is the unknown ETA for the new version of DAB. Therefore i switched my barmod. First I tried Bartender 3, but i got errors with it as i don't use FuBar, odd.. but i was not up to fiddle around with it too much and just commenting out the FuBar stuff did not help. Then i tried Bongos, which i like... easy to setup, nice to configure. Only thing that does not work properly yet is the stance-page-switching. It's not possible to use the config tab for that option properly and the mod says it will use (for a warrior) pages 6,7,8 for the stance switching, but in reality it uses 7,8,9 for it. So if you should use it, that's why you keep messing up your bars. ;)

Should you still struggle to find updates for your mods, maybe the following links can help you: (works even when mainpage is down)

If i find the time during the next days, I'll play around a bit more with the new talents and stuff. Right now I'm busy to set up my UI and configure my new mods.

In the meantime you can start reading about the macro changes: Macros Library 2.0 by Class. I'm sure in the WoW forum you'll find ample posts as well.

I appologize in advance should i not answer to comments quickly atm, but i made the "mistake" to port my blog over to the new beta blogger, which is still very buggy if you don't use eg. IE as a browser. And it's not possible to change it back. *sigh* Talking about comments, please always post your char name or similar (choose other) and not Anonymous. Much nicer to see whom you're talking to.

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