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Blizzard's battle in South Korea over the real money auction house {WoW}

Jan 13th 2012 10:01PM I guess the thinking about gambling is that, by definition, gambling means getting money purely or largely by chance. The problem with RMAH is, most valuable equipments on the AH are mostly got by chance too. So there are indeed some similarities with gambling.

Of course, it's still a gray area, as it's still not the same as gambling, but I can understand why some people may have problem with this.

Blizzard introduces Dial-in Authenticator {WoW}

Nov 9th 2010 7:41PM This is better than the current system used for Taiwan servers. Currently the system for Taiwan servers only recognize pre-registered phone numbers. So you call the toll-free number before login. However, since the "dial in" is good for two minutes, it's possible that an attacker forces a re-login when the "dial in" is still good. The attacker knows the "dial in" is good because the keylogger sends a message to them when you launches World of Warcraft.

With this new system, the "dial in" is good only for one login (because a second login would require a different security code) so this attack wouldn't work at all.

Of course, it's still a little worse than authenticators because it relies on phone numbers, which can be spoofed. However, even if the attacker knows your phone number (it's possible that a Trojan horse may search e-mails in your computer), he still needs to know your PIN number, which is much harder to obtain from a keylogger (providing you don't make your "phone call" from a computer, of course).

Faction restriction on PvP servers lifted [Updated] {WoW}

Aug 5th 2009 5:18PM It's an giant isopod, which eats dead whales.

The Queue: Soul man {WoW}

Jun 5th 2009 3:35PM I think there are two reasons why hit capped is important: 1. hit rating is the most economical stat. That is, you need less points in hit rating to achieve 1% increase compared to crit or haste. Considering that each point of hit, crit, and haste costs the same in terms of itemization, it's the most economical to be hit capped first. 2. A miss can disrupt your rotation. That's annoying and can reduce your efficiency.

The Queue: Soloing Zul'Gurub like a Q {WoW}

Feb 4th 2009 1:58AM @Molloch:

It's not necessarily a waste of resources to fix problems with Windows 7. The point of Windows 7 beta is not just to let ordinary people to have a peek of it, but also to let developers to check whether their applications have any compatibility issues with Windows 7. Therefore, it would be beneficial for Blizzard to iron out any possible incompatibilities with Windows 7 beta, so they can be pretty sure that when Windows 7 is finally released, WoW will be compatible with it.

However, with my own experience with Windows 7, I'd say that driver compatibility may be a greater issue. If you want to use Windows 7 beta to run WoW, make sure you have relatively new or very popular hardwares, otherwise you may not be able to find a good driver for it (although in most cases Vista driver works fine).

Authenticators back in stock {WoW}

Jan 8th 2009 5:59AM Saiforune:

If you think your computer is "secure" so you don't need any additional protection, think again. If you only play WoW on a computer which sits on a separate, heavily Firewalled network and don't use that computer for any other purpose, then maybe you can say it's quite secure. Otherwise, there're just too many different ways to "hack" a computer. How can you be sure that Firefox, or any programs you may be using, will never have another buffer overflow bug?

For those who cared about their account security, authenticator is highly recommended. Here in Taiwan we don't even be able to use one, and have to use cell phone based authentication instead. It's cheaper, but it's also less secure. I'd be happy to buy one if it's available here.

The Queue: Overkill and delicious tears {WoW}

Dec 15th 2008 11:15PM I think Overkill is important for statistical reason (e.g. recount). It is like Overheal. Overkill can help addons like recount to more accurately record how much damages everyone was doing to a mob. Without it, people making the killing blow will have higher damages recorded than their real damages. Of course, for a boss fight Overkill will be insignificant.

World of Warcraft hard drive by Transcend {WoW}

Dec 3rd 2008 3:58PM Transcend worked with the Taiwanese publisher for World of Warcraft, so the preloaded WoW is probably Taiwanese version only. Note that in Taiwan you don't need to buy the expansion. Everyone got upgraded automatically. You can still buy the limited edition for the special pet though.

As of running WoW from USB 2.0... It depends on the design, of course. Although USB 2.0 can provide 480Mbps in theory (~60MB/s), but in reality most external USB harddisks can only sustain about 20MB/s transfer rate. However, it's actually not that bad, as the transfer rate of most 7200rpm harddisks ranges from 40MB/s ~ 60MB/s at most.

Although I'd recommend against running WoW on any computers beyond your own control. I've heard too many stories about people have their accounts hacked after played WoW in an internet cafe. It may help a bit if you use the authenticator, but it's still possible that a Trojan horse or a virus may sneak into your USB harddisk when you plug it on another computer.

The supercomputers behind World of Warcraft {WoW}

Nov 19th 2008 4:33AM Back in early 2007, the WoW operator in Taiwan bought a new computer for TBC expansion. They originally have two identical computers on the previous TOP500 list (884 cores HP Blade Clusters BL-20P, using P4 Xeons). The new computer is on the later TOP500 list, which is also HP Blade Cluster BL-20P but with more (1336 cores). I am not sure whether the new computer is an addition to the old clusters or it complete replaced them (which seems to be unlikely because the new cluster is less powerful than the old two clusters combined). At that time, Taiwan has about 120K WoW active accounts. If these three clusters were all working together, that would be about 3000 P4 2.8GHz cores.

Of course, this amount of computation power is not the requirement for serving 120K players, because they were probably anticipating more players. However, it's probably safe to say that to serve 120K players you need probably at least half of this capacity.

EU battlegroups experiencing language problems after mergers {WoW}

Oct 17th 2008 4:46AM I think there's something funny about WoW's unicode support. The texts are clearly in Unicode, but the program itself is not in Unicode (you can see they put the "unicows.dll" file, which is used to support Windows 98 for unicode enabled programs). Since WoW does not support Windows 98 anymore, I think they should just make it a direct unicode enabled program.

Anyway, the ??? situation is quite weird. In Taiwanese version, we have many players from China and they use simplified Chinese, but they are still displayed correctly. However, if you try to type simplified Chinese, all you get is ????. Interestingly, if you use AppLocale (a program provided by Microsoft to temporarily change code page for a program) to change the code page to simplified Chinese, then you can type simplified Chinese.