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Posts with tag coding

Reader UI of the Week: Coding, Lua, and Efn's UI

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com.

Reader UI of the Week is jam-packed with Lua goodness today, and if any of you master coders out there want to share some resources for the budding developers out there, now is your time to shine. We're looking at Efn's UI today, one that relies heavily on his own coding and simple addon creation in the spirit of Grid, Pitbull, and more. For the perfect tweaks, though, there is nothing better than doing it yourself.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Tweetcraft lets you tweet from Warcraft

Twitter is all the rage right now -- it's the easiest, quickest way to let anyone interested know what you're up to, and because it's so popular, it's also no surprise that we've seen quite a few Twitter and World of Warcraft mashup apps. wowTwitter is a separate update service just for news about your characters, WoWHorn is a script that lets you Tweet when you hit certain achievements, and though services like PlayXpert have let you Twitter from the game before, TweetCraft appears to be the first standalone application designed to do just that. After installation, it works the same way as an addon, though it's actually not -- addons can't directly connect to the Internet, so TweetCraft instead uses an outside script to read and write tweets into settings files, which the ingame addon then reads to get and send your tweets. It gets complicated, but you don't need to know all that to install and use it -- when you run the setup app, it'll put everything in the right places for you.

As with all third-party applications, you should install and run this one at your own risk -- the FAQ has more information if you're wondering how things are stored or whether the app is secure. The app is completely open source, which means anyone who wants to can read the code, so if the author of the app was doing anything sneaky, we'd know about it. And yes, right now the app is not violating the ToS, but of course that's enforced according to Blizzard's whims, so again, use it at your own risk. If you're not interested in using this app, you can always update your status here on WoW.com using our own addon -- it's not Twitter, but it will let your friends keep track of you in Azeroth!

But TweetCraft does look to be a clever, solid way to access and post to Twitter from right inside your World of Warcraft game. If you've been looking for a one-stop solution like this, there you go. Do be sure to follow us over on Twitter, too, if you haven't yet -- you never know when we might tweet something you'll want to see.

Update: Apparently the app on default tweets all kinds of things you probably don't want to (like changing zones). There is probably a settings switch somewhere, but as always, user beware.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons

Workaround for WoW.com addon's /note issues.

Since we launched WoW.com late last night, we've had numerous people writing in about an issue that has cropped up regarding one of the aspects of our tracking addon. We'll continue to respond to those reports personally as necessary, but we figured it would be wise to get the issue and the fix out in the open right off the bat.

The command that's used for the WoW.com addon's Adventurer Notes function, /note, is a fairly common command used in various addons. For example, Cartographer makes use of it. Since the command overlaps between addons, it causes conflicts and one addon ends up blocking the others from using it. If you've run into this issue, there's a very easy workaround if you're not afraid to look at a little LUA. Don't worry, you won't need to do any serious coding. It's a simple fix, I promise.

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Filed under: Add-Ons

WoWHorn tweets your achievements

This is an interesting little system -- unfortunately, it's probably a little too complicated for most people to use, but the functionality is intriguing. WoWHorn is an open source application that basically monitors your achievements on the Armory, and will Twitter about it when you earn a new one. To get it up and running, you'll need the application itself of course, and you'll probably also need Ruby installed if you don't have it yet (OS X has it already, I believe, and Linux may as well). I don't think you'll need to input your actual WoW password (the program should be able to look up your info with just your character name and realm), but you will have to punch in your Twitter credentials if you want it to tweet for you. Once you've got everything working (and you'll have to ignore the errors, I got quite a few), you should see a tweet pop up in your feed whenever you get new points ingame.

If you're a programmer type, you can read about the making of the app, and though, as I said, the app is probably a little too hacky for widespread use (it's not quite ready for primetime yet, and do you really want to run a separate application just to twitter about your achievements for you?), the functionality is the thing here. It would be cool for Blizzard to have the Armory interact officially with other networks on the Internet, either Twittering about your character or sending your profile out to Facebook.

Not that anything like that should distract them from future content, of course. But if they want free advertising, allowing their subscribers to more easily share and disseminate information about their characters won't hurt.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Achievements

Randomizing the Strand of the Ancients spawn points

Strand of the Ancients is a battleground that's gotten relatively short shrift lately -- it came along into the game with the crown jewel of Wrath PvP so far, Wintergrasp, and while it's still frequented on honor weekends (it's one of the best ways to farm honor, actually) and for achievements, lots of players, specifically those on the Horde, aren't happy with it. Why? Because right now, Alliance always starts the battle on offense first. The battle is a regular attack-and-defend map, and Alliance reportedly has a "significant advantage" by beginning on the attack side: they only have to play offense for a few minutes, and then defend for the same amount of time, while Horde have to defend the whole first round and then attack if they want to win. Plus, the battleground doesn't always start full, which means whoever attacks first usually is fighting fewer defenders.

So how hard would it be to throw a coin flip in there and randomize who starts first? The good news is that Blizzard is working on it, but the bad news is that it's taking longer than they thought. It's not as simple, unfortunately, as choosing a faction randomly -- there are apparently mechanics in the spawn points that make it difficult for them to randomize who shows up on the moving ships. Go figure? We've never understood how Blizzard's code works, and we're not starting now.

But again: Zarhym says a fix is incoming in a future patch. So if you're Alliance and you want to do some honor farming, better start now.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds

Design a disease timer for DeathKnight.info


DeathKnight.info is having a Death Knight Disease Design contest (say that three times fast) -- they're working on putting together a disease-timer addon for you former slaves of the Lich King, but they need a little design help with it. What you've got to do is take the graphic above (you should probably take the one off of their site, just to be safe, because it's got to be a certain size), and design a way to use it as a disease timer -- it's got to show all the info you'll need in an addon, and it's got to "look awesome," too.

I'm terrible at design, but maybe there are some budding designers out there with some kickass ideas. If you win, not only do you get your ideas included in the Runes addon, but you will pick up a free 60 day gamecard as well. Hit up their dev thread if you have questions about how the mod works -- hopefully we'll see some creative entries here when the times come to vote for a winner next month.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Add-Ons, Screenshots, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Interview with Antiarc, author of Omen

Even if you don't use Omen, it's likely you've seen it or heard about it here on WoW Insider, in WoW itself, or somewhere else in the WoW community. Patch 2.4 and the redesign of WoW's combat log called for a complete rebuild of many mods, and Omen was far and away the highest in demand.

There were certainly some issues with Omen the day 2.4 launched, but the one man army behind the mod worked endlessly to get the addon in working order, while somehow making time for a chat mod, too. I think it's fair to say we know a thing or two about the mods, but what about the modder behind them?

Luckily for all of you, Antiarc(aka Adrine) is open to bribes(not really) so I've managed to sucker him into answering a few questions for us, many of which are taken from you, the readers! We'll go through a series of three categories. The Man, in which we delve into Antiarc's personal and professional life. The Mods, wherein we ask a few questions about his experiences in mod-writing. The Miscellaneous, where we ask Antiarc random questions that hold no bearing on absolutely anything! Hooray! Read on!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Add-Ons, Features, Interviews

Boat vendors still MIA

Yup, the boat crews are still missing in action. First they were there, then they weren't, and then they were supposed to be back, and they probably won't be back in for the foreseeable future.

I'm sure the coding here is complicated (anybody remember how buggy the ships used to be? In the early days of the game, there was probably a 50/50 shot that you would end up out in the middle of the water, having to swim back to shore on your own), but clearly this is a feature players want and Blizzard wants to implement, so why not just buckle down and fix it? Why keep pushing it back farther and farther? Give a programmer a clean room, a fast computer (or two), a case of Mountain Dew, and let him go to town until vendors are sitting on the boats.

It's probably not that simple, of course. There are probably a lot of issues with the code, and of course, programmers have lives, too-- even with Mountain Dew. But developers are always saying things like "would you rather us work on your crazy idea, or on something people actually want?" And this is something people actually want-- why not just get it done?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Blizzard putting a new sound engine into 2.2

So as you've probably noticed by now, 2.2 is not coming today. Bummer-- that means I was wrong on the podcast. First time for everything, I guess (I'm kidding!). Now I have to hope it won't come for a while, since next week I'll be way too busy playing Halo 3.

But the CMs are sharing some info about why the patch is so delayed. The main culprit seems to be the voice chat system, and more than that, the fact that Blizzard completely updated their sound engine while including it. Blizzard, like many other companies, didn't write their own sound engine for WoW. They licensed one called FMOD, by a company called Firelight (the same engine used in Bioshock, Metroid Prime 3, Heavenly Sword, Crysis, and many other games). Firelight just released a new version of FMOD-- their website mentions 4.08 as the latest, though I'm not sure that's the exact version Blizzard is using in 2.2 (Blizzard may be a version behind, just to make sure there are no problems with the system before they push it out to all 9 million clients). 4.08 also just dropped a few days ago, it seems, but maybe Blizzard, as one of Firelight's biggest customers, had access to the new version before anyone else did.

At any rate, that's why 2.2 is taking so much longer-- they're working on code, not class balance. Hopefully, whenever we do see this patch drop, it'll sound that much better.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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