Nov 16th 2010 2:15PM Just as point of clarification, the Vial of the Sandstone drake isn't an alchemist perk, at least not any more than the Chopper/Mechano-Hog was an Engineer perk. It's crafted by an alchemist, but only requires basic flying (225 skill) to use.
The vendor mats alone appear to go for 24,000 gold though, not to mention the multiple flasks, truegold and potions you need to combine to make one, so I don't want to think what the first few will go for on my realm.
Feb 20th 2010 5:19PM What's the reasoning behind crafting keys? Unlike the rest of the consumables, they require Blacksmithing to use, and the same level of skill to craft as to use.
Is there that much of a market for people who have blacksmithing but don't want to use mats they've farmed or purchased?
Some of them are great leveling items (Titanium in particular), but I've got nearly a hundred sitting on one character because they never jumped out as anything that another person would buy.
Oct 27th 2009 12:39PM I didn't raise much of an alarm when I wrote about this back at the end of June:
But this type of abuse was the first thing that came to mind when I heard about this new feature in 3.2.
Perhaps I'm just skeptical about human nature. :(
Aug 26th 2009 9:28AM The generic term for what the authenticator does is two-factor authentication:
There are different algorithms and backends for doing it, but essentially it comes down to two components being able to perform the same function on a very big number (unique to the user and called the seed) and the current time.
So long as the result of the function on both ends matches, the server (Blizzard in this case) knows that you have the authenticator in hand and proceeds to do the account password comparison.
There's no reason why you can't write your own server and your own function to do the same thing - the security comes from the strength of the algorithm (most use algorithms created by RSA).
For the hardware token, the seed is burned into the authenticator at manufacturing time. Vasco sells Blizzard the tokens, each of which has a serial number (which is tied to a seed) and the server to perform the check. For the software authenticator, Blizzard creates a serial number when you first run the app on your mobile device (which is why we can all download the same software but then turn it into an account-specific token at initial setup)
The mobile authenticator generates 8 digit codes (because the function Blizzard wrote is is different from the one Vasco uses). When you link your account to an authenticator, Blizzard knows if it's one of theirs or one of Vasco's. When you log in, the check is sent to the proper backend system based upon what type of authenticator you're using.
Aug 18th 2009 12:04PM Last year was three-quarters the size of this year.
This year is one-third large than last year.
Aug 3rd 2009 9:51AM "Blizzard does not recognize the transfer of Accounts. You may not purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, or offer to purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, and any such attempt shall be null and void."
Sounds like a few readers of the article need to re-read the ToS themselves.
Aug 3rd 2009 9:30AM While I feel bad for the guild, anyone who gets hit by the ban hammer for sharing account info (whether via buying an account or using a power-leveling service, or even just with officers "just in case") deserves what they got.
You might think it's fine to just skip through the TOS and EULA without a care, but it's a contract that can and will be wielded against you. Make sure you understand the high points - as these things go, Blizzard's ToS is pretty easy to read. If you skip through it, then you give up the right to whine when you break the rules you "inadvertently" didn't know about.
If you get frustrated having to go through it every time a patch is released, you have a couple of options: learn to recognize the dates in the upper right hand corner (two dates in the US, three in the EU) and re-read in detail only when that changes. Or use the EFF's ToSBack website that tracks changes in ToS agreements - WoW is one of their featured agreements given the size of the user base:
I ranted on the account sharing myths a few months ago, and the arguments are (I believe) still valid:
Assuming that their are guilds out there in the same situation who just haven't been caught yet, I would suggest that you start making plans for a smooth transition in leadership if you get caught. I proposed the idea of naming a "guild heir" so that if something happens to the guild leader (could be an accident, illness, or something like the guild mentioned in the column) the guild has someone to look to for leadership, even if it's just temporary. There's more details here: http://blog.cold-comfort.org/2009/06/to-officer-or-not-to-officer/
Jul 27th 2009 4:49PM Pre-WotLK, Night Elf priests had Starshards as their racial, which was arcane based.
Jul 27th 2009 9:10AM The most frustrating thing for me as a dualboxer is that phasing checks happen at sub-zone boundaries. At the moment a character crosses into a phased area, they disappear from the world for someone outside the phased area, even if the old was following the other. This breaks autofollow, and you need to wait a second or two after it breaks for the characters to be able to see each other before /follow will return anything other than "player not found".
Flying a straight line from Krasus' Landing to Death's Rise in Icecrown for example will break follow between two characters no less than 5 times: the edge of Scourgeholme, entering and exiting the area in front of the citadel where you do the tournament daily, and entering and existing the Fleshworks.
This sub-zone change requirement is also the reason for why there are certain useless FedEx quests. Ever wonder why Baron Silver sends you back to your airship after doing the first bit of the Shadow Vault unlocking chain, just to have your contact on the airship send you right back? It's so that you leave and re-enter the subzone, causing the phased state to change. The Shadow Vault can't just change drastically around you while you stand still.
As others have said, great idea but the technical implementation still has some rough edges.