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Archive for November, 2008

tennew

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wrath_of_the_lich_king

TEN (or maybe more) additional hours of maintenance?  And the expansion isn’t even out yet?  Sure, I hear all the fanboys saying that this is the nature of the beast, but why can’t the self-proclaimed “leader” of the MMORPG genre learn from past experiences (their own and others) and make sure the infrastructure can handle the load?

If today is any indication, I’m not looking forward to Thursday AT ALL.


And Wednesday morning brings… you guessed it… more downtime and MORE FAIL. This time the excuse is that some PvP vendors were giving away gear for free.  So, you guessed it, the world comes to a halt again while Blizzard fixes the mistakes they were too stupid to avoid the first time.

If the current downtime projections are accurate, we will have seen at least thirteen hours (maybe more that I slept through) of downtime in a single day BEYOND the usual scheduled maintenance.  I’m sure we’ll all get a credit like we got after the big patch a few weeks ago, but c’mon.  If they can’t get the mail right in the old game, and they can’t get the PvP rewards right in the old game this is really not building my faith in the upcoming WotLK experience,

I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s going to take more than free playtime to restore my faith after this inexcusable day.

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This used to be a helicopter.  It crashed.

This used to be a helicopter. It crashed.

Was the crash worse than anybody realizes, or Blizzard is willing to admit?

It all began this afternoon.  The servers came back up on schedule and then, almost immediately, went back down.  They’ve been down ever since.

Wowrealmstatus.net appears to have collapsed already under the strain of people wanting to know if their realm is back up or not.  Lord knows the Blizzard realm status page is unreliable and lots of people use Wowrealmstatus to find out what’s going on.

Blizzard has announced on the service status forums that it was a problem with the in-game mail system that has caused this outage.  They originally predicted a return-to-service at 6pm, but have since edited the post to remove that prediction.  (It’s now past 8pm.)

I’m not really comforted by Blizzard’s choice of words either.  They said “We can now see most of the lost items in player mailboxes.”  That doesn’t really inspire me.

Is this going to be a major multi-day outage like the EQ2 outage several years ago?  If it is, this is poor timing on the eve of a major expansion launch.  What does it mean in relation to the launch?  Only time will tell us.

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raceThursday morning, the game changes.

Thursday morning characters that have been sitting on their collective asses for a considerable amount of time, are going to be back in the grind again.  PvP and rep grinding and all those other things that “we” do to cure the boredom are going to take the back burner as people reach toward Northrend to find new quests, new zones, new NPC’s and new achievements.

Whoa, did I just say achievements?  Yes.  Yes I did.

I don’t know how many of you have taken a look at the achievement list on Wowhead, but there are a whole bunch of Wrath achievements that are going to be unlocked on Thursday morning.  Let there be no mistake, there is definitely going to be a race afoot.

The first person on each server to get each profession to 450 is going to get an achievement.

The first person of each class on each server to get to 80 is going to get an achievement.

The first person of each race on each server to get to 80 is going to get an achievement.

Originally they planned to have titles for these achievements, but apparently they were removed.  But make no mistake, these are achievements that are only going to one person on each server.  If you don’t think that makes Thursday morning the beginning of a race, you need your head examined.

Get ready.  Do your warmup stretches.  Very shortly, the race is going to be on.

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stuffThe thing I’m finding out since the last patch is that a lot of my addons have been abandoned. It seems that an entire generation of add-on developers have just disappeared off the face of the earth, and I’m not exactly sure why. Sure the heavy-hitters are still around, but I’m one of the people who takes the road less travelled.

One of the things I noticed after the last patch is that one part of my cherished GarbageFu addon (which allows you to automatically dump vendor trash) stopped working. The button was still there, and the mechanics still worked per se, but none of the value estimates worked. When you moused over the button to vendor your trash, it would show you the value of the trash-on-hand, and it would give the individual prices as the items were vendored. Ever since the patch, all the values were simply shown as “??”.

I found a couple of add-ons last night that are just the kind I like. Small, simple, and useful. And one of them had an unexpected effect.

VendorBait – although the name sounds mildly dirty – is an awesome little add-on. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been making casual conversation with my guildmates on our Ventrilo server when I’ve sarcastically mumbled something to the effect of “Hmmmm… do I want the shield I can’t use, the leather I can’t use, the sword I can’t use, or the wand I can’t use?” during a quest turn-in.

VendorBait takes the values from SellFish (which also needs to be installed) and every time you complete a quest, it draws a little sparkly circle (like on a pet bar to denote an active skill) around the quest reward that has the highest monetary value. What a terrific little timesaver!

And… having Sellfish installed solved my GarbageFu problems. Yay.

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felblood-1For as long as I’ve been doing the fishing daily, I’ve come to hate coming to Old Man Barlo and finding out that Felblood Fillet was the daily.  I think a lot of fisherman share my sentiment on that one.  Fishing in Shadowmoon Valley redefines PITA.

But today I had an epiphany, and although good fishermen don’t share their secrets, I’m going to share this one with you.

The bottom line is this:  When the game is deciding what fish to attach to your line, it doesn’t really check the location of your fishing bobber as much as it checks the position of your feet in relation to the zone boundary line.  Therefore, bodies of water that are on a zone boundary will yield one kind of fish from one shore, and one from another.  Even though the waters near Bonechewer Ruins in Terokkar aren’t green like the fel pools in Shadowmoon Valley, they will yield the same fish that Shadowmoon Valley fel pools yield if you fish from the Shadowmoon Valley side of the river.

I’ve marked a spot on the map that will work quite well for the Felblood Fillet quest.  There are NO hostile mobs in that area.  Only neutral beasts that will not attack unprovoked.

I hope you enjoy the fishing daily so much more now that you no longer need to curse the Felblood Fillet quest.

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zombie_survival_guide

Courtesy of Thinkgeek.Com

The whole time we were bitching about the Zombie event, who knew that Thinkgeek had the solution?   Screw $11.99.  I woulda paid $49.99 for the hardcover.

On second thought… maybe we all should pick up a copy of this before Lich King launches in a week-and-a-bit.

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

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