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  • medeii
  • Member Since Mar 17th, 2008

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The Lawbringer: A primer on private servers {WoW}

Jan 28th 2011 7:00PM Thank you, CC, for cutting to the heart of the issue. Obviously, Blizzard doesn't want to "dilute the user experience" by allowing clones to run amok. But they have two legal remedies (other than simply crushing the developers via barratry):

1- If the server app distributes copyrighted material (such as artwork, character models, text, etc.) rather than having the client simply render that content in response to server commands, that's infringement.

2- If the server app contains copyrighted code or makes use of patented processes, that is also infringement.

But if the server simply emulates a WoW server, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. Look at Sony vs. Connectix, and repeat along with me: EULAs do not have the force of law. Glider and bnetd contain some really stupid legal reasoning, and stand in direct conflict with several other previously rendered judgments across the US.

Also, an aside to Mr. Curley: reverse engineering is not illegal. Your research for this article is truly shoddy, because the DMCA actually contains an _exemption_ for reverse engineering. Try not to screw up the basics next time in your quest to demonize people whose actions you obviously do not agree with.

Drama Mamas: Spearheading morality {WoW}

Oct 8th 2010 4:34PM Reaching out does little good, as others have noticed. But neither is it incumbent on us, the players, to "adapt to the realities of the online environment you've chosen, choose a new one or leave altogether." That's just ignoring the problem, and I'm frankly disgusted that neither author on this article saw fit to mention the solution. It doesn't make anything better. So what to do?

FILE A TICKET WITH BLIZZARD. Note the time, chat channel, server name, faction, and username. They may or may not take immediate action, but it really does work, and you don't waste your time educating the repeat offenders who are too stupid to see their own offenses. I rarely see the same screen name spewing the same hate-filled nonsense twice.

For me, it's easy. I don't care when people use simple profanities, but slurs based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation go beyond any possibility of reasonable conversation. Those are the only ones I report, and I like to think that WoW is a better place because of it -- one troll at a time.

The Daily Quest: Let's kill internet dragons {WoW}

Jul 7th 2010 10:53PM Anne -- World of Warcraft just became about all of those things. There's a time for hilarity and distraction, and this isn't it. I cancelled my account today (with the caveat that with a reversal and an apology, I'll re-subscribe). I know I'm not the only one, and the utter silence of an official word only makes the deep-seated knot in my stomach clench even tighter. It's a disappointment, even a betrayal, from a company that most of us had grown up with and trusted almost implicitly.

Those of us who take our privacy seriously resent the idea that others would treat our personal information with such arrogance. The replies from several CMs have been condescending, verging on abusive. I don't care if it's my name, my age, my sexual orientation, or the fact that I play a troll mage; none of it is anyone's business unless I choose to tell them. Period.

We trusted them when they said Real ID would be optional, and now -- not even very shortly after -- it's not going to be optional for technical support. (And if you want to try and get that support via phone or email, have fun with the time delays and hours on hold.) The frequently repeated "just don't post then" doesn't address the problem. It's come to the point that Blizzard either rescinds their data policy stupidity, or I'm done with them.

INTERNET DRAGONS can be had in a lot of other games, after all.

Arcane Brilliance: Why I hate DPS meters {WoW}

Jan 23rd 2010 9:55PM No. No, no, no. Just no. If your precious ego can't handle criticism because of your crap performance, don't bloody group up with anyone and just solo your way to 80.

Recent examples from just this past week, on some of my characters:

- DK tank in normal Utgarde Keep was doing under 200 DPS, yet complained that everyone kept pulling aggro off him.
- Rogue in normal Nexus was doing 350 DPS, with heirlooms. Recount revealed she was just auto-attacking.
- Warlock in ICC-10 was doing 3k DPS despite having full T9 and several ilvl 250+ pieces.
- Mage in TOC-25 had both Icecrown crafted epics and some T10, but he couldn't break 4.5k on Jaraxxus. Recount revealed that he wasn't spellstealing, interrupting, or attacking anything besides Jaraxxus ... and had a perfect 4-to-1 ratio of Arcane Blast to Arcane Missiles. He also died in Legion Flames because he didn't move.

Recount enabled me to identify and call people out on all of those problems. So, if it makes me a douche to yell at people for wasting my time, I really don't care -- I'll keep doing it.

Breakfast Topic: The high cost of playing {WoW}

Dec 6th 2009 9:00AM I think the costs could stand to be lowered a bit, but I understand (and support) their motive to keep these things to a minimum. In particular, though, I would suggest that realm and faction transfers drop in price; character recustomization and name changes are much more cosmetic, whereas the transfers are often undertaken in order to play with friends. Also, why is there nothing like a $50 flat fee for moving as many characters as you want between two specific servers?

Finally, my biggest pet peeve is the lack of character slots. If I can have 50 characters and only play one at a time, what is the logic behind limiting me to 10 on a single server?

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2 {WoW}

Sep 14th 2009 3:31AM Christian,

Haste or spirit doesn't make something a healer item. Arcane mages happen to love those two stats -- indeed, once you hit 2300 spell power or so, haste starts to pull ahead of spellpower for improving your DPS. They're certainly not stats you want to avoid as a fire mage, either.

The Martin Fury scandal: Karatechop reveals all {WoW}

Apr 30th 2009 7:16PM SaintStryfe:

- Several states and countries specifically prevent provisions in agreements that prevent companies from placing limitations on the ability of customers to get a refund.
- Many courts, at both the district and appellate levels, have recognized the ability of parties to challenge "unconscionable" clauses in agreements. This is especially applicable in one-sided "contracts" -- I use the term loosely here -- such as the forced arbitration clauses in several mobile phone companies' subscriber agreements.
- Agreements and contracts are not, in themselves, law. The ToS is merely an agreement between Blizzard and each subscriber. Violations of the ToS are not "illegal" or "unlawful", but merely a violation of the agreement.
- Finally, people can file a lawsuit for any reason, and courts have looked very critically at companies that attempt to prevent this.

Realistically, the ToS means absolutely nothing to a determined person with a lawyer who's out for a settlement. It's obvious that you feel strongly about this issue -- one can only guess why, since it almost certainly does not affect you -- but please stop trying to be authoritative.

Addon Spotlight: PoMTracker {WoW}

Mar 8th 2009 8:49PM Set up PowerAuras with three configurations. Each has the same texture, but a different color.

1: Activation by debuff, casted by me, "Arcane Blast", stacks=1, color = white
2: Activation by debuff, casted by me, "Arcane Blast", stacks=2, color = orange
3: Activation by debuff, casted by me, "Arcane Blast", stacks=3, color = red

My settings for the texture:

Texture #2
Opacity: 75%
Deformation: 0.90
Symmetry: None
Size: 40%
Position X: -1
Position Y: -14

This results in something that looks like arcane parentheses surrounding my gnome, and the color goes white > orange > red.

I set up other ones for clearcasting and missile barrage, too. When you're in a 25-man raid with lots of weapon/spell noises going off --and thanks to two shaman in your group, 4 rows of buffs--it can be difficult to see when those talents proc. I also have another one (giant purple down-arrow) for when anyone in my group is cursed.

If anyone knows, I'd love to know how to create:

- an aura that activates when no one in my group has Focus Magic
- an aura that activates when someone in the group (preferably with mana only) does NOT have arcane intellect or arcane brilliance
- if the previous aura could surround that person instead, that'd be even better

PuG dungeon loot etiquette for dummies {WoW}

Jan 18th 2009 12:12PM Pass and roll is a needless waste of time that makes for molasses-crawling-uphill slow runs. It also allows for plenty of opportunities for abuse, since there's always that one jerk who will wait for everyone else to pass (or roll Greed) before rolling Need themselves.

The best way I've found is to have everyone roll Need on BOEs (including rares/epics), and Need/Pass BOPs depending on the item's upgrade status for each person. Enchanters can Greed the BOPs to save time, and everyone that didn't get a blue or better during the run gets to roll on shards at the end. This ensures that people can't mistakenly or purposely roll Need while everyone else rolls Greed or passes, and the group doesn't waste ten minutes distributing loot after a boss.

In a guild raid, couple this with ML for boss fights so that an officer can either assign the loot or correlate drops with DKP totals.

Name one thing you'd change about your class {WoW}

Dec 9th 2008 5:20AM Amen to this! It's annoying to have to always ask for help on my mage or priest to complete group quests, while my other characters (warlock, paladin, hunter, shaman) can faceroll their way to successes. It's absurdly time-consuming to find groups for most of these, and it only gets worse as less people are leveling up.

In terms of the 'one thing' per class I play -- only my mage is at 80. So, for the Mage: let us solo more content.

But there's so much more, really...

- Fix Living Bomb to detonate on monster death and let it be castable on more than one monster so it's not a crappy SoC (or if you insist, make it different, but make it better!)
- Revise overall glyph choices and make most of the current Majors into Minors -- honestly, no one in their right mind will waste a major glyph slot on +5 yards for Blink
- Buff Ice Block's cooldown to 2 minutes and/or make Ice Barrier trainable, so that Arcane and Fire get some semblance of mitigation rather than being destroyed by a sneeze whenever someone gets within ten yards
- Give Deep Freeze a damage component again (and nerf the stun duration) so that Frost mages actually get to mix up their rotations
- Buff Arcane DPS scaling so it's not a total dead end at 80
- Fix Blink, it's been four effing years!
- Fix Ignite munching, Arcane Potency munching, and half a dozen other bugs identified 3+ months ago in the beta
- Give Fire/Frost a reason to use Spirit, or quit putting it on all the caster gear