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Posts with tag calendar

Blizzard Calendar vs Group Calendar


One of the big UI improvements in WoW 3.0 is the calendar. Next to player housing, a calendar is one of the longest-standing player requests that had not yet been fulfilled (or shot down by Blizzard). Like most gaps in the game's UI, this one has been filled by various add-ons over the years. One particularly popular and enduring one is GroupCalendar. In fact, GroupCalendar is so well-loved that even with the official calender now implemented, many guilds and players are still using it.

Why? Well, mostly it comes down to features. Both the Blizzard calendar and GroupCalendar support the basics -- raid lockouts, holidays, player-created events with attendance lists. But like most things Blizzard, their calendar is fairly simple, and more or less ends there. GroupCalendar goes a bit farther.
  • Durations and level ranges can be specified
  • Finer-grained control over invitations; for instance, you can specify a minimum and maximum quota for each class, with a standby list if you're full on (say) Hunters
  • Automatic invites and queuing when it's time for the raid
  • Edit: People can be allowed to sign up to an event even if they weren't explicitly invited (this is not the case on Blizzard's calendar, and theirs only allows you to invite up to 100 people)
Those are a few of the features that stand out at differentiating GroupCal from BlizzCal for me. And overall, there are more options on everything.

Don't think this is an advertisement for GroupCalendar, though. If you don't need the extra features, there's no reason to install it. Blizzard's calendar is more lightweight, already built-in, and much more polished (as you'd expect). There are no synch issues, and no bugs (that I've seen). In fact, the only thing missing from the built-in calendar that I really want is for it to show the daily dungeons and battleground. But if you do want the extra features that GroupCalendar offers, the developers have shown no sign of slowing down; you can get it wherever fine add-ons are hosted.

Filed under: Add-Ons, Raiding

Guild calendars implemented in the WoW Armory

You all know about the new in-game calendar feature that came with patch 3.0.2, right? Right! The calendar has just been integrated into the Armory as well, and it's really quite cool. By logging into the Armory and clicking on the Guild tab, you can check out all of the events your guild has listed on the calendar via the interwebs. You can Accept and Decline event invitations right from the Armory, but I haven't seen an option to create new ones from there. That's something you'll still need to do in-game.

When I saw this on the official WoW website, I sort of rolled my eyes because the Armory hasn't updated my Shadow Priest's gear or spec in months. How can it possibly keep up with the calendar? I did a little poking around with it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I created a new event in-game on our guild calendar, and it showed up on the Armory about ten minutes later. I accepted the event on my alt on the Armory, and that showed up in-game almost instantly. If the features keeps that kind of stability long term, I will definitely appreciate having it. Little conveniences like this really help the community feel of guilds.

Now to bug people about integrating this into Facebook and the like.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Wrath of the Lich King

New focus frame, threatmeter, quest sharing in the PTR UI

The PTR for 3.0.2 went up over the weekend, and there were a few fun UI tweaks in the patch notes worth mentioning again here -- stuff that far down in those long, long notes usually gets overlooked in favor of all the class changes above it, so let's throw the spotlight on what the new UI will offer.

First of all, as previously mentioned, both the new calendar and pets systems are in the game, along with that spiffy new achievements system. But there's more new stuff -- while focus is already usable on the live realms, Blizzard is implementing "a focus frame key" -- like a shift key that will let you target your focus target just for a spell's cast instead of switching back and forth all the time. And there is now an "aggro warning" in the game -- the first traces of Blizzard's official threatmeter we've known was coming for a while.

Sharing quests is easier on the PTR -- you can now share quests with party members at any distance, and even in raids, just by linking the quest into party chat. And one of the biggest small changes in the game will help out raid leaders and healers wanting to avoid the "PvPlague": players will get a timer showing when their PvP flag is set to drop. Small UI changes like this often go unnoticed in the patch notes in favor of the much more discussed class nerfs and buffs, but they go a long way towards making the game a lot more fun to play.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0 PTR round-up


The public test realm has just gone live, and if you've got any characters on it (or if you'd like to go copy some), you can head on over to enjoy all of the patchtastic frivolity likely to descend sometime soon.

In case you're catching up to the rest of us, patch 3.0 is another large content patch specifically designed to transition the player base to the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King. We won't be seeing Death Knights or Northrend (or at least, we're pretty sure we won't, unless they're planning on a big surprise). We will be seeing all of the 1-70 class changes, new features added to the default UI, barbershops, Inscription, a raid buff system overhaul, and more, in addition to four European servers closing due to Russian player migration. Read on for a quick guide to what you can expect:

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Video preview of the new Calendar system


Originally set to go live with Wrath of the Lich King, the calendar system is one of the biggest UI changes coming, and we now know that it's going to happen in the big pre-LK content patch (which will probably be numbered 3.0 or so). This nice video will take you on a tour through the interface.

So what features will we be getting in this long-awaited calendar?

  • Pre-existing events, like holidays and raid lockouts, will be on there by default. You can select what sort of events you want to see on your own calendar.
  • Any user can create events viewable to their guild and/or to a user-selectable list of invitees. Events can be of various categories, like "PvP" or "Raid."
  • If you send someone an invite, their calendar icon (on the minimap) will flash. They will then be able to RSVP to the event with whether or not they're coming.
  • Events to which people have RSVPed show the total number and number of each class; very handy for raids. You can invite people to a party or raid straight from the calendar interface if they're online.

Pretty much all you could ask for, really. The only feature that I haven't heard anything about that I would want is a web interface to the calendar; it would be nice to at least be able to view events without logging into the game, and the Armory would be a natural place for that sort of thing. And the ability to send invites, while excellent, does open the door to yet another form of spam (which can be reported in the interface).

Overall though, it is an excellent addition to the guild tools in the game, and, along with guild banks, really should have been in from release. But at least it'll be here soon.

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard announces Pre-Wrath content patch

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. In a sign that Wrath of the Lich King is quickly moving toward release, Eyonix officially announced today that we will see a new content patch "in the coming weeks."

This patch will introduce a good portion of the old world Wrath-related content and UI improvements, and will probably start the pre-Wrath opening event (If you don't mind spoilers, you can get some info on what that event may entail from us). Check out Eyonix's list of what is being implemented and what it may mean after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Breaking News: In game calendar system revealed

Elizabeth Harper managed to get onto the latest beta build of Wrath of the Lich King tonight and snap us a few screenshots of the new calendar system. It looks quite nice, and to me appears to be a step up from current in game calendar options.

Blizzard has mentioned that they've been working on one of these for a while, and it's nice to see the results. If you look closely you'll see things like when the Darkmoon Faire is coming, and when the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravagenza is happening. It doesn't show what PvP weekend it is, but I have to believe that's something they'll be working on.

Check out the screenshots below for the new UI. I'm sure you'll be happy!

Update 12:57 a.m.: There is a way to add user events in the calendar. It also appears there is a way to share the calender items among individuals. More information incoming.

Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

WoWDailies.com might have your daily quests for you

This is an interesting idea, though I'm not quite sure it will work: An enterprising guild (that Kimberly from LJ is in) has put together a site called WoWDailies.com, which is basically a list of what daily quests are available on which realms for any given day. As an idea, it's a good one -- pull up the site, and you can see what daily quests are available (BG, fishing, cooking, and instances) on your realm that day.

In practice, however, it's easier said than done. The site relies not on info from Blizzard's servers, but from visitors to the site -- just click a realm name and you can input what quests are available. But anyone can do that, and there's no accounting for whether the quests are real or not (I accidentally entered some probably false information). I think the quests do reset every day, so at least if someone enters the wrong quest it only stays up for less than 24 hours, but still, you have to trust that what's up there is right.

In fact, I'm surprised Blizzard hasn't created something like this to check every day -- they've got a calendar of BG weekends, so it's natural that they'd somehow let us check what quests were available out of game, and maybe even be able to plan instance runs ahead of time. At any rate, until then, WoWDailies will have to do. If you're lucky enough to have someone updating your realm correctly and on time, it should be a good resource.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Quests

Petopia releases a 2008 calendar


Speaking of great WoW-related gifts for the holidays, Petopia's creator has broken out a Cafepress site, complete with official Petopia goods for the Hunter on your gift list. There are the standard items-- t-shirts, cups, and a Mazzaranche tote bag.

But the kicker is this: a 2008 Petopia wall calendar. Featuring fun screenshots (and even some original art) of the best and most favorite pets in the game. I love it. Echeyakee, Humar, Takk the Leaper-- all the greats are here to count down 2008 with you. At $25 it's a little pricey, but on the other hand, any Hunter would love to have that as a gift this holiday season. Very cool idea to put that together, and totally fun to see your favorite virtual pets show up in a setting like that.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Fan art

Buy an MMO calendar, save the children


Over on our sister blog, Joystiq, Justin Murray is informing readers about a new calendar put out by MMO Portal.

From the calendar's site:

This unique 12-month calendar features the original artwork of some of today's hottest and most anticipated upcoming MMOs, each dedicated to its own month. As if that is not exciting enough, the artwork has been signed by the developers of your favorite games as well!

Included in MMO Calendar 2007:

Dark Age of Camelot
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
Eve Online
EverQuest II
Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising
Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
The Chronicles of SpellBorn
Ultima Online
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
World of Warcraft

So check it out, and understand that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the calendar are going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Filed under: First Aid, News items

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