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Posts with tag apps

Blizzard releases third-party API usage policy

Ever since earlier this year, Blizzard's API data streams from the WoW Armory have hit the scene in a big way, with developers creating such awesome web tools as apps for better gear checking, more accurate reforging calculators, and transmogrification fashion websites. As Blizzard continues to push its API data to web developers and app creators, the API usage policy is finally here with guidelines on how this data is to be used and what limitations exist for premium applications.

The third-party API usage policy has a lot in common with Blizzard's addon creation and usage policy. No premium applications or web tools that use WoW API data are allowed, which means you will not be able to be charged for access to information that is freely given. App creators will also not be able to put commercials or advertisements inside of applications that hinder the use of the application and data. Developers will, however, be able to host these apps or web tools on hosting that has advertisements -- you just can't force people to watch them or do something in order to use the app. Remember, you should not be paying for applications that use this data.

Take a look at the full third-party API usage policy after the break. If you're interesting in coding with these new APIs to create programs, web tools, or mobile apps, check out Blizzard's community platform API forum on the WoW community site. You will be in awesome company.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Blizzard's APIs and You: Cool information and tools coming down the pipe

Recently, Blizzard disabled the WoWArmory Facebook application, signaling that the time of the modern WoW Armory is over and we will soon live in an age when new Blizzard APIs will transform our out-of-game experience. And change it, they will. These forthcoming APIs will change the way you interact with WoW outside of the game in ways you cannot even think up yet. How do I know this? That's the power of information facilitation, and some inventive hypotheticals will show you what Blizzard's APIs will do for you in the near future.

Over the past few months, Blizzard has been preparing to roll out a new set of APIs that will take internal information from the Armory, the new community site, and more, parse it into easily manageable data streams, and make those streams available to application developers. With these new streams of information, savvy developers can craft web applications, smartphone apps, social media plugins, and anything else under the sun to provide you with new and dynamic WoW experiences on the internet. I know that sounds horribly cliché, but hear me out -- this stuff is pretty cool, and the back end could bring about a new standard for information availability and MMOs.

I'm not a developer. In fact, a lot of us in the community are not developers. Writing this story felt like an exercise in obscurity because, frankly, all this back end information isn't in my wheelhouse. As I dug deeper and began to realize the potential of the systems being set up, I fell in love with the idea that Blizzard is opening up easy access to so much information. I thought it would be a good idea to illustrate for those of us who have no idea what APIs are capable of, to break through the programmer/developer talk and discuss what these APIs mean for us, at the end of the day.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard previews character, guild, and arena team APIs

Blizzard previously announced that certain APIs were going to become available for applications and players to access from the community website. We've finally got a preview of the information feeds that tap into character data in the near future. These feeds can be used in applications, websites, and more for user-created, World of Warcraft ... well ... anything.

Blizzard's opening up of these information feeds is pretty cool, and you will likely see some ambitious applications of this data being used in the near future. One of the illuminating aspects of this preview is that after finding the right way to do it, the devs are thinking about opening up quest ID information so that you can see what quests characters have or have not completed. There are tons of applications of that data out there and I'm sure the community is really excited to make use of this API information. Check out the full preview after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard

Realm status iPhone app sends push notifications for the servers


Reader Jiang sent us a tip about his new iPhone application (App Store link). It's a realm status application that will track your realm's up and down times straight from Blizzard's page so you can check them anytime on your iPhone. And that in itself isn't that amazing -- there are other apps that will do the same thing, and even some that will do it for free (Jiang's app is $1.99). But Jiang's app will also deliver Push notifications for you, and that's something I haven't seen before in an iPhone app. You can set notifications for multiple realms, and then whenever one goes up or down, you'll get a notification on your iPhone about it.

A few of the other apps are working on implementing Push notifications, so if you're patient, you might be able to get them for cheaper (or even free, though it usually does cost money to run a notification server). But if you absolutely want up-to-the-minute notifications when servers go up and down and are willing to put a few bucks towards a piece of iPhone software, there you go.

Filed under: Tips, Fan stuff, Realm Status, Odds and ends

WoW bundled with WildTangent software on new PCs

WildTangent is a company that started up around ten years ago (they originally made game plugins for Winamp, if you remember that) that's recently gotten a reputation for "bloatware." They've made deals with PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer to bundle in their software on the harddrive when you buy it. (Most users familiar with PCs find these software bundles more of a nuisance than anything else.) But nevertheless, WildTangent claims up to 20 million users worldwide, and they continue to make deals, the most recent one being with none other than Blizzard. According to a press release on their website [PDF], World of Warcraft's trial downloader will now be included with all installs of WildTangent's ORB software, which means that whenever you buy a new computer from a dealer WildTangent has hooked up with, there'll be a program already installed on your PC that will let you download and play World of Warcraft, among the many other games WildTangent has already included.

This likely isn't targeted at you, dear audience -- odds are that you've already got the discs for WoW, and if you do buy a new PC, you'll probably still delete WildTangent's app and install WoW yourself. Instead, it's a stab at picking up new subscribers -- people who might not already know about World of Warcraft or PCs may see the icon on their new desktop, double click it, and find Azeroth for the first time. The press release even notes that WoW subscribers still in their trial month are counted as subscribers, so odds are this is a random attempt to pick up a few more subscribers from people who aren't willing to go get the game themselves.

There's one more thing to note here: Activision isn't mentioned at all.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

How not to apply to a guild

The Wordy Warrior covers a well-traveled subject in an interesting way in her latest post. We've already talked in-depth about how to get into a good raiding guild (and we've even covered some amazing guild applications), but straight from the trenches of guild leadership, Ariedan sends an open letter to anyone applying to her guild with, some might say, the wrong attitude.

Here's the thing: especially if you're applying to a progression guild, odds are that they don't need you. They're progressing just fine, and bringing you in just opens the door for more drama. It's a risk, and it's your job to convince them to take that risk, hopefully for the benefit of both. So if you show up to an application and don't take it seriously, and flip out when they question your background, and expect them to take you on without any proof you'd be valuable to them, don't be surprised when they laugh you right out of their forums.

We're probably preaching to the choir here -- if you're reading this site, you probably already have at least one clue, and are either in a guild you like that is not a raiding guild, or are in a progression guild that you got into because you were able to justify that risk. But if you're still having trouble figuring out how to get where you want to be, take WW's advice to heart: it's on you to justify your entry to the guild, it's not on them to put up with you.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding, Bosses

Hearthstone also displays your characters on Facebook


Last week, when we reported on the Facebook I Play WoW app reaching a full 100,000 users, a lot of commenters mentioned another app over there, Hearthstone, that's got a good reputation from the people who use it. I checked it out, and indeed, it's an excellent alternative (or addition -- there's nothing keeping you from using both) to let you show your WoW characters off on Facebook.

Just like I Play WoW, Hearthstone pulls your character information directly from the Armory, and displays it in a number of ways around Facebook, including, if you so choose, on your profile pages or on your wall. A few of our commenters said they liked Hearthstone's display better, but I didn't see any major differences there -- they both display your character, class, level, and server, and both will click through to pages where you can see more stats and discuss the character with others. Hearthstone will also let you change your character's image to a custom choice and enter a bio, though I Play WoW has some customization options as well. Hearthstone has an "equipment history," so even if you shard those epics you can still brag about having them. And finally,Hearthstone will let you play with the characters right on Facebook, and you can /salute or /duel the characters of your friends.

Overall, they're both worth checking out if you want to show off some of your World of Warcraft progress on Facebook. Obviously, I Play WoW is bigger, but as our commenters pointed out, Hearthstone has some excellent features as well.

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Guildwatch: The thread you are looking for has been deleted


There's a disturbing trend happening on the forums lately -- all the great drama threads are getting deleted. It's not like it's not out there -- this week's GW, as usual, is full of good drama, and the truth is that drama threads on guild forums are better anyway. But it seems like every time a tipster kindly sends us a link to an official forum thread, it's mysteriously disappeared? Could someone at Blizzard... not want us to make fun of drama? We'll keep an eye on it.

Until we figure that out, keep sending us the tips, whether they be about drama, downed news for your guild or others, or recruiting notices for up-and-coming raiding groups. The place to send it all is wowguildwatch@gmail.com, and clicking the link below will show you just what we heard about from the realms this week.

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Filed under: Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Forums

Respec: a talent calculator for the Mac


If I'd had this tool a couple weeks ago, it would have made my last Build Shop much easier. Respec is a desktop talent calculator for the Mac (10.4+, Intel/PPC), and it works great as far as I can tell. In addition to talent-calculation basics, Respec has the following features:
  • Save specs for later tweaking/reference
  • Import from the Armory
  • Export to Blizzard's calculator
You might argue that in this day of a web tool for everything, working on every platform, desktop tools like this are somewhat superfluous -- but that's only until you don't have internet access. Now you can play with talent specs on the plane! It's good to see someone developing WoW tools for the Mac, too. One feature request: export to Wowhead's calculator. Much cooler than Blizz's, in my opinion. By the way, what do you all think of the spec above? I was thinking of taking my warlock out of mothballs to try out that cool-looking Felguard that's always stomping me in PvP.

[thanks, Mike]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Talents

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