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Posts with tag daoc

Ghostcrawler on why Bluetrackers suck

Ghostcrawler has finally said on the forums what I've been saying for a while here on WoW.com and elsewhere: using blue text on the forums as a way of disseminating information is "a strange way to communicate." He's been appending the words "[Not tracked]" to some of his posts so they don't end up on the official "bluetracker," because a lot of what he posts is just silly and fun and not to be pored over and examined (especially without the context of the other posts around it). But all of those posts are still picked up by the unofficial bluetrackers that many players follow, and he laments that it's annoying to have people jump in on threads without reading all the context: "you end up looking like a real jerk half the time."

I would never call GC a jerk, but it's clear to see what he means -- sending out information via official posts on the forum is something Blizzard has done for a long time, and it's really a bad way to go about it. To their credit, they've been trying lots of new things lately, from official interviews to class Q&As and just plain releasing official information on the site. But I've always thought (and still think) that the company could use an official blog -- back when I was playing Dark Age of Camelot, I really enjoyed all of their work on the Camelot Herald, and I think Blizzard would benefit from something more like that. They do have a section for official news on the front page, but that's mostly licensed items and marketing information, not actual updates to the game.

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Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Forums

Are the forums necessary?

Here's something I'd like to hear all your thoughts on. Glue from Nagrand quotes the fact that "only a small portion of the playerbase read the forums," and he claims that those people are the most important players Blizzard has-- they care enough about the game to visit the forums and voice their opinions. But I'd like to play the devil's advocate on this one. What if (and stay with me here) Blizzard deleted the official forums completely?

Do we really need the official forums? They do help-- besides giving us all kinds of fun reads and, yes, occasional insight, they're the main link between the CMs and the player base-- patch announcements and upcoming changes all are made known mostly through the forums, and day-to-day player feedback and questions are centered there. But they don't have to be-- Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot actually runs a daily blog featuring community news and game updates and changes. And it would be just as easy for Blizzard to announce things on their own website, and get player feedback and questions from sites just like this one.

And getting rid of the forums would wipe out all of the lunacy that appears on there-- all the insensitive comments, the jeering and rickrolling, the flaming, the drama (well, actually I'm down for keeping that one), and all of the other wackiness that goes down there every day. If the CMs didn't have to deal with that stuff, wouldn't they be able to spend more time communicating player ideas to the devs? If Blizzard didn't have to pay Timbal to ban rickrollers, couldn't they use that money to come up with a new 5man, or Heroic Deadmines, or any number of other ideas they've had but couldn't carry out? If we lost the forums, wouldn't we have a better game?

Food for thought. It's highly unlikely (at the very least) that Blizzard would ever shut down the official forums. But, even though they may have been necessary in the beginning, WoW's community survives in many other places now. Are the forums really necessary?

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Bugs show a little emotion


Sorandra over on Livejournal has an interesting bug happening when she runs WoW in Vista-- her female draenei is showing a different skin in different situations. Out of water, she's got the face you see up on the left. But in water, a different face appears. It looks like her toon just really hates water.

Of course it's just a texture error (a known one, at that), most likely fixed by updating her video drivers. But it does kind of make you wonder a little bit why Blizzard doesn't bother implementing something like this for real, and making characters actually show facial animations. Sure, the mouths move, but we can't actually frown when we /frown or smile when we /smile. If it's this easy to change the face textures, it seems like it would be just as easy to show displeasure for real.

The only obstacle might be that they'd have to design different textures for each gender and race, which would take a bit of time (time probably best spent on the actual patches and expansions). Still, a little more emotion would be fun to have. If Blizzard ever gets around to doing a graphics overhaul (much like Dark Age of Camelot has done with one of their expansions), hopefully something like this will be on the list.

Filed under: Bugs, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Reasons for fishing

Nightshift from Lightbringer has a great question over on the forums (forums back up ftw). He asks, "HOW I MINE FOR FISH?" No, just kidding, he asks: Why fish?

I've always been puzzled by this too. First Aid is really the only secondary skill I've ever bothered to level up (because it's necessary for almost any class). Cooking and Fishing have never held interest for me. I tried both of them out-- on my hunter and warrior especially I thought they would come in handy. But the time (fishing) and cost (cooking ingredients) involved in both never seemed to compare to what I got out of them.

Players in the thread claim you can get a lot out of fishing: special food, alchemy ingredients and recipes, and a chance at treasure that you can't get otherwise. But for the time commitment or cost, I've always found it's easier and cheaper to just pull what I need out of the AH. Fishing reminds me of crafting in Dark Age of Camelot-- if you ever played that game, you'll remember that higher level item crafting took longer and longer casting times (until, at high levels, it took like five minutes of meter watching to make one item). Both cooking and fishing seem like neat gimmicks, but in terms of gameplay, I've never really found them necessary or even interesting.

I do have a Nat Pagle's Extreme Angler FC-5000 sitting in my Shaman's bank, however. Is there a good reason I should get it out and start angling? And if so, is there any way to make fishing more interesting?

Filed under: Fishing, Cooking, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy

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