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15 Minutes of Fame: Olympic swimmer Megan Jendrick {WoW}

Apr 27th 2010 5:39PM They're all married. Keep looking.

Cataclysm mount changes {WoW}

Apr 16th 2010 9:46PM Furthermore - and I realize that in the age of the Celestial Steed, it might be really contrarian of me to say this - but when we're talking about a marginal (but useful) upgrade like 280% to 310%, I honestly don't think that's something everyone should have. As with the Violet Proto-Drake, it doesn't need to be a raiding or arena achievement here, but it should be a little out of reach unless you go out of your way to aim for it.

Cataclysm mount changes {WoW}

Apr 16th 2010 9:42PM Given that going from 150% to 280% is already a "gold check", it would be nice if the upgraded flying skill from 280% to 310% depended on something more creative than spending more gold. Perhaps all existing 310% mounts can automatically grant the upgrade, and future methods of obtaining the upgrade to 310% will be comparable to raid and holiday achievements like what we've seen so far.

It would also be nice if high-end raiding rewards continued to include mount that are not merely cosmetic, but are functional improvements like the current 310% proto-drakes. If they want to get away from the design where attaining one high-speed mount makes you abandon the other ones, then either make the reward unlock a high speed for all mounts or offer unique mechanics like the sea turtles, motorbikes, and mammoths.

Their intentions are sound, but there's a certain danger here of over-homogenizing rewards (or ways to get rewards).

Phat Loot Phriday: Celestial Steed {WoW}

Apr 16th 2010 9:03PM What's with the lynch mob of readers blacking out all of the posts that ask - quite reasonably, I might add - if this is a responsible use of $25?

How exactly is one detracting from the conversation here in suggesting that rewards in the game should be obtainable by, oh, PLAYING THE GAME?

I am astonished that WoW players, usually never too shy to pick a fight or leap on Blizzard's back for perceived shortcomings in design, are so quick to shut down legitimate criticism of the Blizzard Store and the possibility that Blizzard may be ripping you off. I am amazed at the defensiveness in this comment thread. Whatever makes you feel like your $25 was well spent, right?

Win a pony from {WoW}

Apr 16th 2010 11:33AM I have no interest in these items and if this post wins the lottery, I will laugh.

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW buoys autistic youngster {WoW}

Apr 13th 2010 4:28PM @ Doctor Adorah:

Asperger syndrome may not be nearly as crippling to one's ability to function in society as some of the more serious diagnoses in the autism spectrum, but I do think what merits "special coverage" here is the way in which the game is played. Clearly the mother believes her child's condition to be in need of treatment, and to use WoW to assist the child's development is something unconventional and worthy of 15 minutes of fame.

It's certainly no fun for anyone to be defined by their condition, and I understand where you're coming from here. But there's a point when brushing things off as normal, or not in need of special attention, isn't a very good plan for securing someone's ability to participate in society in the long run.

Dragon Dictation comes to the iPad {}

Apr 10th 2010 8:18AM Does it require an active Internet connection to do the speech-to-text processing like the iPhone app? If that's the case, it seems a bit crippled on the go if you have an iPad model without 3G. There really needs to be a solution that allows you to dictate offline.

Blizzard introduces new official story forum {WoW}

Mar 30th 2010 6:07PM Aww, someone's still bitter about Harry and Hermione not ending up together! Cute.

Blizzard introduces new official story forum {WoW}

Mar 30th 2010 1:57PM @MusedMoose - I'm fairly certain you're wrong about the legal issues surrounding fanfic. Strictly speaking, fanfic authors have no rights to their derivative works. Fanfic is usually tolerated by the original work's copyright holder because it presents no harm, but there's a reason you only see it circulated online; it can't be commercially distributed.

If you look at the infamous Harry Potter Lexicon case, you'll see that this doesn't only apply to fan creations that are told in a fictive mode, but also to speculative materials like timelines and encyclopedias that conflict with what the rights holder also wishes to produce. (This was a case where Steve Vander Ark unwisely attempted to publish the most prominent online fan compendium of Potter material in printed form, and his publisher, RDR Books, was sued for doing so. The fact that the fan timeline on the site was likely the source for the timelines on the official Warner Bros. DVDs had no bearing on the law.)

In fact, one of the persistent worries of fanfic communities (look up the one that has branded itself the "Organization for Transformative Works") is that there ISN'T any legal protection for fanfic (and for good reasons, I might add). If an author steals your fanfic you can go ahead and sue, but you aren't going to win. Otherwise there would be an unreasonable expectation on the part of the author to prove the kind of thing you suggest - a total ignorance of the fanfic and speculation going on. Thankfully, that isn't the case.

I'm not sure where you got your Mercedes Lackey example, but Lackey began as a fanfic writer herself, and has been one of the few authors to grant permission for its noncommercial distribution via Creative Commons.

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Celestial steed video {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 3:24PM In spite of the fact that my entire realm is probably never seeing Mimiron's Head, I would much rather have mounts tied to skill with a 100% drop rate than to probability than a 1% drop rate. The real problem is that raiding and PVP are currently the only two vectors of skill. While many will clearly disagree with me, I don't think constant farming is a healthy way to play, nor a particularly satisfying one.