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Posts with tag controller

Pardo says Blizzard still not interested in bringing WoW to consoles

Blizzard has never been keen to put WoW on consoles -- while there have always been rumors, they've never bothered showing much interest. And in a new interview with IndustryGamers, Blizzard's Rob Pardo tells us why: the controller issue remains a problem (it's certainly possible to map WoW onto a controller, but not yet in any way Blizzard would approve of), and modern consoles have come up with even more problems of their own. A hard drive, says Pardo, would be pretty much required, since WoW is up to around 10gb so far, but even the Xbox 360 (which now commonly allows game installs on the HD) still doesn't guarantee players will have that much space available. And Pardo says that while they have been in talks with Microsoft about what the two companies can do together, he says he's wary of the patching process over there -- it's not exactly as quick as they'd like.

So it remains unlikely that we'll ever see WoW in its current form on any console systems -- while there's probably lots of money to be made, the game was designed from the ground up to be a PC game, and there are still too many issues flying around (and it's likely too late in the game's lifetime) for Blizzard to try and make the jump. But that next-gen MMO...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

How to set up and use the Belkin Nostromo N52

Our good friend Phaelia from Resto4Life (who, I'll have you know, will be live on our podcast this week -- more info tomorrow) has an extremely in-depth guide to setting up and using one of the most popular controllers for World of Warcraft, the Belkin Nostromo keypad. Some people swear by the G15 or the Zboard, I personally like to keep things vanilla with just an Apple Keyboard and a gaming mouse, but whenever you ask WoW players what they use, it seems like the Nostromo always comes up.

And Phaelia's got it down -- from setting up button mods (she's using Bartender, one of Adam's essential addons for 3.0.3) to configuring the keyboard itself and even putting in macros for all three Druid forms, if you've ever wanted to use the Nostromo, there's probably something interesting to learn here. Seems really complicated to me -- I'm not sure if I'm willing to commit that much work into getting my interface exactly right, especially if there's a chance that a big patch could wipe it all out.

But I can see how half the fun of playing the game is getting the controls just perfect, and if tweaking things that much makes you play that much better, more power to you. If you want to dive into the world of custom controllers, Phaelia's guide will probably be invaluable.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Hardware

Breakfast Topic: Controllers R us

The Falcon controller just looks silly, doesn't it? Everything we've heard about it so far says it's pretty underwhelming -- the feedback doesn't work quite right, the controls seem a little less intuitive than a keyboard and mouse, and in general, it just looks strange. Fortunately, I'll be able to know for myself next week -- I've already got an appointment to check out the controller (and how it plays WoW) at E3 next week.

But in the meantime, until I can get my firsthand impressions of the Falcon up here, what are some other strange controllers that actually do work with WoW? We've heard a lot about the Zboard, which seems like a pretty good combination of a keyboard and a custom controller for Blizzard's MMO -- anyone used it? A lot of people have posted before that they use the Logitech G15, and that's really just a keyboard, except for the extra display and macros. I've used Switchblade to play with an Xbox 360 controller (and found it not nearly as easy as playing with a mouse and keyboard). And I know some players, multiboxers usually, will even use foot pedals to supplement keyboard and certain macros.

Ever played WoW with a weird controller? Is there something out there that you swear by that's not the standard mouse and keyboard? Me, I'm perfectly happy with an Apple Keyboard and my Logitech gaming mouse -- at least until I try the Falcon next week. You never know, maybe I'll fall in love with it and decide that $190 (!) is worth it.

Update: I couldn't remember the name of this one, but a lot of people in the comments (and a lot of folks before this post) have mentioned the n52 Speedpad as a good controller option.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Hardware

3D touch interface for WoW due later this year

Keyboards, mice, and hand-controllers are so 2007. Get with the modern times, willya? Today we discovered that a 3D touch interface is on the horizon for WoW gamers. Using this weird robot-type gizmo, you'll be able to actually feel everything your character does in the game: casting spells, reeling from enemy attacks, feeling objects, bumping into things, and whacking ogres on the head! (I seriously want to bonk some ogres on the head with this thing. I expect it will feel somewhat hollow, like smacking a pumpkin.)

The gizmo is called a Falcon game controller and it aims to replace your mouse or joystick. The Falcon is already usable with some other games, but Novint Technologies is now creating WoW drivers for the device using the LUA scripting system. You can map up to 36 actions to it for which the controller will provide feedback that you can feel in your hand and arm. You can watch a demo on the company's website, or a more hands-on demo in the video below. When the drivers are released, you can download them at Novint's website. We'll keep you up to date so you'll know when you can grab them. The Falcon controller sells for $189.99 on Novint's website. No word on what the drivers will cost, if anything.

Filed under: News items, Hardware

Forum post of the day: Doomsprocket's Dilemma

I have this annoying habit of taking things for granted. For instance, have you ever really thought about how wonderful bone marrow is? My hands, feet, heart, and all the other parts work just the way they should. What would WoW be like if I couldn't use both hands?

Doomsprockt of Mauradin faced just such a dilemma. He (Jaime) was in a struck by a car in an accident that left him paralyzed on the left side of hisbody. Among the challenges of recovery, Doomsprocket sought to regain access to WoW, but his first solution, a frog-pad failed to do the trick. He appealed to the Mac Technical Support forums for assistance.

Read more →

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Forums, Hardware, Forum Post of the Day

Switchblade updates to version 3.0

We've covered Switchblade before (and even posted an impressions and interview about it), so odds are you've probably at least heard of the program, which allows you to play WoW and other PC games with a wired (or wireless with adapter) Xbox 360 controller. Blue Orb recently sent word that they updated the app to version 3.0, and along with the update came not only support for Guild Wars and Hellgate: London, but updates to the way WoW controls.

There are now presets that come with the program for each class, so the priest preset will play different from the warrior preset, and so on. The release notes also say that there is a "key capture" feature -- just press a key to bind it -- and there is also a number of "combo" and "game actions" features. You've got to be careful when running programs that line up sets of actions for you, however; we know from experience that Blizzard sometimes walks a fine line when using inputs that allow macros.

Switchblade is now available as a free download (the program itself is ad-supported) and an Xbox 360 controller (as well as downloadable software drivers from Microsoft) is required to use it.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Classes, Hardware

WoW Insider's SwitchBlade impressions and Q&A


A while back, we posted this video of SwitchBlade, an application designed to let you use your Xbox 360 wired controller (or wireless controller with an extra adapter for PC) with World of Warcraft. I said that I'd give the software a test run, and even though all the holidays (and our other little enterprise) has delayed things quite a bit, here are my impressions on installation and after using the program to play WoW for a few hours.

We also got a chance to chat with the VP of Business Development for Blue Orb (the company that makes SwitchBlade), Aaron Levin, about how their software works, how they're making money from this free download, and what their plans are for the future. My impressions and the Q&A start right after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, PvP, Features, Guides, Interviews

Playing WoW with an Xbox 360 controller via Switchblade


We've seen WoW played with a Wii controller before, but this looks like a really serious effort to get the Xbox 360 controller compatible with our favorite MMO. A company called Blue Orb Software has released an app called Switchblade, a free download that lets you use your PC-enabled Xbox 360 controller specifically to play World of Warcraft.

Why would you want to do this? Their press release cites gamers "hooked on the console experience," and so their controller will let you play WoW console style. You can see the basic settings on their site-- it looks like the left and right triggers are used as toggles, turning the four action buttons into 12, and allowing you to use any icon on one of the action bars in WoW. Probably not quite versatile enough for running PvP, but for running daily quests and grinding, it looks just crazy enough to work.

The download is available through Xfire (and it looks like you need to download Xfire to get Switchblade), and the program should work with any wired Xbox 360 controller (if you have a wireless only, you'll have to buy an extra receiver from Microsoft). I think I've got a wired controller sitting around here somewhere, so I'll give it a try and get back to you on how it works. In the meantime, someone download it, and let us know in the comments-- is it worth installing this thing to play WoW with buttons and joysticks?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, How-tos, Odds and ends, News items

Playing WoW with an Xbox 360 controller

Sins on the forums asks why he can't use his Xbox 360 controller to play WoW (on Windows, I assume). And the answer is that you can... kind of. But you probably don't want to.

If you've got a wired Xbox 360 controller, it's actually pretty easy. The controller just hooks up to your PC via USB, so plug it in, and you can then use a program called Pinnacle Game Profiler to recognize the controller, and even attach keyboard and mouse functions to the controller's keys. The problem here is actually making sure you have access to everything you normally would (a nearly impossible task, and probably the reason why WoW hasn't come to a console). But if you can do it, feel free.

The problem is if you have a wireless Xbox controller. Unlike the Wii, apparently Microsoft doesn't use the normal Bluetooth standard for its controllers, so you either have to buy a controller specifically for Windows, or an adapter to hook it up. And after you do that, you still might have to download the Pinnacle program to set it up right-- I've got a wireless controller right here, but I'm not about to spend more money for an adapter when I like using the keyboard anyway.

Have you had any success getting the Xbox controller to play WoW? I like the controller and all (although that D-pad is horrible), but why would anyone want to abandon the mouse and keyboard in the first place?

Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

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