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Handy WoW Cheat Sheet

Dave Child has been making handy cheat sheets for web developers and server monkeys for awhile now. This Valentine's Day, he's released a cheat sheet for World of Warcraft. While it's probably not that useful to the hardcore gamer, it is quite useful for new or casual WoW'ers.

Thanks to Jonic for the tip!

Filed under: Tips, Fan stuff

A Chinese World of Warcraft Film?

A blogger has published photos from a Korean magazine they say are from a Chinese production of World of Warcraft movie. Ah yes, I'm completely serious. There are scenes of an army of Orcs, an army of Alliance members, a Night Elf, and even a Dwarf.

Of course, done properly with good CGI, a World of Warcraft movie would indeed be an amazing thing. But based on these photos, this is anything but.

However, will I download the movie or seek it out when it finally is released? Of course, if only for entertainment during a LAN party.

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions

More Overpopulation Issues

So Blizzard recently decided to allow character transfers from eight of their most overpopulated servers to a new server, Mug'thol. People on Burning Blade, for instance, were having 700-800 long queues for logging in, to the tune of more than an hour wait to get in. This was a good idea, right? Alleviating some of the strain on those overpopulated servers?

Problem is that too many people made the jump and now Mug'thol has been having 1000 queues during peak time with 1-2 hour-long wait times, and those people who thought they were escaping one aggravating situation now find themselves in the exact same situation, but worse. And they are pissed off.

I have to agree with them. Blizzard seems to have planned this migration poorly and still hasn't posted an update saying they are aware of the issue. I'm a casual enough gamer that I haven't personally been affected by the overpopulation issue on the servers I play, but I can't even imagine having to wait 1-2 hours just to play the game. Sometimes all I have is 1-2 hours to play, and I'm certainly not going to be happy having to spend that time waiting. The bottom line is that Blizzard needs to fix this problem and soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard

WoW Invades Real Life (RL)

Last summer, my friend and I were set to bike around Manhattan and I was to meet him in the Financial District downtown, but we didn't set a precise place. We had been playing WoW all morning before taking off, so it was probably only natural that I'd be biking along and wish that I could pop up a mini-map to find his location relative to mine.

Or take Teeaita's experience:

"I was driving down the road this morning to work. You know the usual signs, you spent all night playing WoW...slept a few hours..and your alarm went off. Time to go to work. So, I'm on the road and I'm speeding along cause I'm late of course..and then I realize I'm RIGHT on this guy's bumper... and I'm like crap.. I'm drawing too much aggro!!%uFFFD And I kinda paused.. I was like man, WTF... I just thought.. "Im drawing too much aggro" from bein on that guy's bumper... it really startled me."

Have you had WoW invade your real-life? Tell us your most amusing story.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves

Footage of the AQ Gates Opening on Medivh

You'll need at least a basic (free) Gamespot account to view the footage of the Ahn'Qiraj Gates opening for the first time on the Medivh server, but it's worth watching. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go mine some Thorium on Gorefiend so we can get the gates open there. Long ways to go still...

Thanks to RighteousDork for the link.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, News items

When is a Raffle Considered Gambling?

A guild on Lightbringer decided to start holding different raffles to help increase the War Effort to get the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj open. They were offering great prizes and gold from their guild vault for people who were contributing materials to the Effort and it appeared to be working, as their server began to rise in the rankings. Then a Blizzard Game Master (GM) sent the raffle organizer an in-game mail saying that what they were doing was against Blizzard game policy since it was a form of gambling.

In the end, the GM actually ended up placing a warning on the guild leader's account for performing illegal gambling.

My take on this? Blizzard is making a mistake. As much as I despised the casinos that were available early in the game and was extremely pleased to see them go, I think Blizzard is significantly over-reacting to this guild's attempts to make the new game content more interesting. While their raffle may be able to be defined as gambling by its literal definition, I really don't see a problem with how they're running the raffle. It's helping their server achieve a goal, providing a better incentive to participate in the War Effort, and increasing teamwork on the server--something that'll be sorely needed once the Gates are opened.

There's still no official word from Blizzard (a blue post), but I'll be eagerly watching this thread for an explanation (or apology?).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Guilds, Blizzard

WoW Insider Guild Update

A few readers have asked about it, so I thought I'd post a quick update on how our WoW Insider guild building is going. The short answer is slowly. The long answer is that both myself and C.K. have been extremely busy the last two weeks and haven't had the time to even play, let alone build a guild. We're still very interested in having a WoW Insider guild (Horde on Akama; Alliance on Chromaggus). It also explains why you haven't seen us logging on the servers. I chatted with a few people early on, but haven't been able to get in the game for awhile now. Blizzard's problem with login times and getting booted from the servers certainly hasn't helped matters any.

So, hang in there; we are still going to have a WoW Insider guild on each server and are very interested in playing with our readers. My calendar isn't allowing me to play again until Monday evening, but I'll be on Akama or Chromaggus at that time if anyone wants to stop by and sign the guild charter or chat.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guilds

Universal version of Mac WoW in a few weeks!

This is simply incredible news for those of us playing WoW on a Mac. Yesterday, Apple announced the release of the first Macs to use Intel chips. To get full speed and compatibility out of applications that run in Mac OS X on Intel-based Macs, programs need to be recompiled to run natively on the Intel processors. Apple's coding tools allow for a program to be coded as a "universal" application which means that the "universal binary" will contain executable code for both architectures in one package, and then will run the PPC code on the PPC processor or the Intel code on the Intel processor, depending on which is in your Mac.

Blizzard has said in this forum post to expect the universal binary of World of Warcraft for the Mac by the end of January, probably in patch v1.9.3. This is really amazing! Even if this date slips by a few weeks, it won't be too bad since most people won't even get an Intel Mac until February. Go Blizzard, you guys rock! Now, just fix the crazy login times. :D

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Login Problems

I really like this game. I like it enough that I actually schedule time into my busy days, nights and weekends to play. And until about two weeks ago, this system worked for me. When I actually had an hour or two to play, I'd be able to log into the server of my choice and play for my scheduled time. However, the combination of a huge influx of new X-mas gift-receiving players and the 1.9 patch has rendered my scheduled playing time unusable. The simple fact is that it's been taking 20-30 minutes just to log into a server, and then if I'm lucky, I won't be booted out shortly thereafter because I made the egregious mistake of trying to enter the commons area in Ironforge.

I'm a reasonable guy. I know Blizzard is aware of the problems. I know they continue to open up new servers to help reduce the demand on existing servers. But I also know that I'm not alone in my login frustrations. The message boards are rife with people complaining about not being able to log in in a reasonable amount of time, if at all. Sometimes you get stuck at the receiving character list screen, sometimes at the end of the loading screen, and sometimes it doesn't load at all and just disconnects you from the server.

I'd call technical support except that it wouldn't help. It's not my system or my internet connection, which hasn't changed one iota in months. The problem is on Blizzard's end, and they need to fix it. Period. I'm not yet on the verge of quitting the game and closing my account (as some have done), but it's becoming extremely annoying. I'm paying good money to play and should be able to play when I want to, not only when there are open slots on the server. It's not my fault that the servers are full. I'd consider transferring my main characters, but then it'd fracture the social aspect of the game, the part of the game I like the most.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Two New Realms

Looks like the large influx of new X-mas gift WoW players has pushed the "open" realms to their breaking point. Chromaggus, which only went live barely a month ago is registering as full, and Blizzard has quickly opened two new realms:  Alexstrasza PVE and Balnazaar PVP.

[Thanks to Samzor on Chromaggus for alerting us to the new realms].

Filed under: Realm News, Blizzard