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Posts with tag english

EU Connected realms and free character migrations

The realms, they are connecting. CM Takralus on the EU forums posted this update on which realms have been completed and which ones are still scheduled to be connected. This updates the big master list of EU realms. The realms connected this time around were English, French and German language realms, with an emphasis on PvP and RP (and even RP/PVP). The connected realms are:
  • English Realms - Bloodscalp and Emeriss/Agamaggan/Hakkar/Crushridge and Laughing Skull and Shattered Halls/Balnazzar/Ahn'Qiraj/Trollbane/
    Talnivarr/Chromaggus/Boulderfist/Daggerspine (PvP)
  • French Realms - Confrerie du Thorium and Les Clairvoyants (RP)
  • German Realms - Mal'Ganis and Echsenkessel/Taerar (PvP), and Der Abyssische Rat and Die Arguswacht/Die Todeskrallen/Das Syndikat (RP/PvP)
Takralus also announced the following realms are scheduled to be connected:
  • English Realms - Sunstrider and Shattered Halls/Balnazzar/Ahn'Qiraj/Trollbane/
    Talnivarr/Chromaggus/Boulderfist/Daggerspine/Laughing Skull (PvP), Darksorrow and Genjuros (PvP), Moonglade and The Sha'tar (RP)
  • French Realms - Elune and Varimathras (PvE), Marécage de Zangar and Dalaran (PvE)
In addition, there are also Free Character Migrations planned for the following realms:
  • Silvermoon to Magtheridon and Azuremyst
  • Kazzak, Outland and Stormscale to Auchindoun

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Explain-o-matic will explain your macros


This is actually a really cool idea for a site -- Fitzcairn's Macro Explain-o-matic is basically a web script that reads WoW macros, and will go, line by line, through them to put exactly what they do in plain English. Sure, odds are that if you have a macro already, you probably have some idea of what it does, but if you've ever wanted to learn how to write macros, or aren't sure exactly what the macro your friend emailed to you is supposed to do for your character, you can just throw it in a text field, and then Fitzcairn's script will break it apart for you.

The site will even let you save (with a permalink) and email any macros you punch in -- though I couldn't find a way to browse them, maybe Fitzcarin is working on that. There are lots of resources online to find macros, but not so many to explain them well, so the Explain-o-matic is definitely worth a bookmark for the next time you need a little help.

[via Twisted Nether]

Filed under: Patches, How-tos, Add-Ons

Using WoW for learning in schools

We've heard about WoW in schools before, but usually it's at schools of higher learning, where they're studying social networks or how society evolves. But a group in North Carolina is planning to put WoW in schools in a different way: by using situations in World of Warcraft to develop literacy, mathematics, and other competencies. WoWinSchools has math lessons and other tests based around WoW terms and knowledge: one example question asks "Which types of heals produce a greater number of recovered hit points during an encounter?" Another wants to know "Which buff (a spell that enhances a character's abilities) is more effective for your character, Blessing of Kings or Blessing of Might?" The idea is to use situations that the kids are familiar with in World of Warcraft (raiding, for example), and apply higher level thinking to those situations.

There are even creative writing suggestions dedicated to the game, from writing an RP story about a character in Azeroth, to writing a song parody (that one should be taught by Professor Turpster) or designing a quest chain. And lest you think they're just joking around, there's a whole slew of research behind the idea, too, and it definitely makes sense: kids who play World of Warcraft are much more likely to be interested in problems about DPS and Healing rather than Susie and Bobby's apples that we added and subtracted back when we were kids in school.

It seems like the only place this is implemented is in one afterschool program -- while there are lots of good ideas here, it's not necessarily being used in many classrooms yet (and my guess is that not every student in schools would vibe with a World of Warcraft-based curriculum, either). But it is a plan in development, and anything that better helps teachers understand what their students are interested in is probably worthwhile.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Talents, Buffs

QuickArmory offers localization, boss tallying

Our friends over at QuickArmory, which is a site with a whole slew of extras for parsing and checking out Armory information, have sent along a list of updates to what they've done lately. The site itself is still pretty barebones (it focuses on getting information together fast rather than flashy graphics or layouts), but they've added new details to what you can see on a character view. In addition to the usual achievements, you can mouse over the title of each instance, and it will tell you how many times the character has killed each boss that's tracked in the game.

And they've also added localization support -- next to the box where you put the character's name in, you can choose to see the site in English, German, French, Spanish, or Russian. Some of the achievements, we're told, aren't fully translated, but that's quite a feature on an "Armory lite" site.

QuickArmory isn't necessarily the most robust Armory site out there, but it's still really good at getting you lots of information on one character quickly. If you do a lot of Armory searching for PuGs or just like learning about the various characters on your server, it's definitely worth a bookmark.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

New European server, Blade's Edge, opens today [Updated]

The Ruin Battlegroup of the European servers will be getting a new English language PvE server named Blade's Edge, Thundgot has announced.

It will be a completely new realm, which means no transfers allowed for the first few months. In addition, the Ahn'Qiraj gates will be closed -- which means this is your chance to get a group over there and start powerleveling toward the Qiraji battle tank and the Scarab Lord title. Apparently, some people have been complaining about queue times in the Ruin battlegroup for some time, so hopefully this should ease those problems once people get on and start leveling.

The server will open today at 17:00 Paris time. Good luck to everyone who decides to reroll there!

Update: Strike that, it looks like they decided to let the it go live right after maintenance. Thanks for the heads up, Roelof.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items, Hardware

WoW locations based on real-life


This is something that I had never known before about World of Warcraft (and I've been studying this game for quite a while): some of the ingame locations are actually based on real-life buildings and environments. Tree of Life has a terrific post (based on one of our own Around Azeroth screenshots) up showing comparisons of the ingame reproductions and the real-world influences, and some of them are almost perfect recreations.

Most of the dances I at least recognized as their real-life counterparts, but other than maybe the Stormwind Castle (and Stonehenge -- duh), I don't think I recognized any of these overtly. Of course, the influences are there -- you can definitely see the Oriental flavor in the Night Elf architecture, and Human buildings are definitely inspired by English and French architecture, but did you know that Durnholde's wreckage compares to a ruined castle in France, or that Zul'Farrak is a take on Macchu Picchu?

Very cool finds. Definitely shows you how much Blizzard borrowed from the real world to make this fantasy setting as believable as possible.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Screenshots

Blizzard's forum policy against foreign languages

This post on the official forums, like many others in languages that aren't English, got closed down. Why? Because it's a policy of Blizzard that they do not "offer foreign language support" on the forums (although, in looking through the Forums Guidelines, I can't see anything that officially says that). At any rate, the rule is no language but English on the official forums, and Timbal is sticking by that policy.

And it's not just Spanish-- I've seen this come up on the EU forums as well, when someone posts in French or German. Why is Blizzard so opposed to players posting in their native language? Of course, as Timbal says, not everyone can know every language, but Timbal knew enough Spanish to realize the original thread (called "server latino") was asking for new realms. And this is 2007-- is it too much to ask for one Blizzard forums employee that speaks Spanish, or in the EU, French or German? They may not know enough to actually answer the questions in that language, but they should know enough to police players who are speaking in that language, maybe in a special foreign language section of the forum.

Now, also according to forums policy (but also not listed in the "guidelines"), you're also not supposed to request new realms, so even if the thread was in English, it would have been closed anyway. And if someone speaking a foreign language is somehow being obscene, that doesn't belong on the forums either. But it's unfair for people who have legitimate questions or requests and want to posit them in their native language to be shut down by Blizzard automatically. Nine million people play this game, and it's very likely a large number of them don't speak English as their native language-- for Blizzard to completely ignore them on the forums is a poor decision.

Update: Our terrific commenters point out that there are French, Spanish, and German forums for the EU servers. But the fact remains that Blizzard closes, without second thought, any thread started in a foreign language on the US servers.

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

Are we killing the language, or creating a new one?


As I've said before, we have a rule in our guild prohibiting leet speak and excessive abbreviation in guild chat. That being said, I've thought a lot about the use of abbreviations in WoW and how they are affecting the language.

This might come from my days as an English teacher, but I think of the language as a fluid, breathing thing. The formality that people used when speaking 100 years ago doesn't exist now, and I doubt we would ever hear in game "pardon me, good sir, could you wait a moment?" instead of "one sec AFK" unless we were on an RP server or feeling particularly silly.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves

Using World of Warcraft to teach English

There's a story on Gamasutra today about using games, specifically WoW, as a way of exposing Asian youth to English. As an author of English-language textbooks for students in Japan and Taiwan, this particularly caught my attention. I'll let you go read the article to understand what's been done, but I'd like to share some thoughts here on the subject.

First and foremost, I think that using a game like WoW to teach casual, conversational English is a fantastic idea. With in-game chat, as well as Teamspeak/Ventrilo, you can really expose non-native speakers to the language in all its forms. Granted, you're not going to learn high-level business English, but you are going to be able to come away with a grasp of the language and some of its conversational nuances.

I also firmly believe that language is not as severe a barrier in WoW as it may be in other games. I know that many of us have come across a member of the opposite faction, and have been able to communicate through emotes or movements, or even through how we interact with the mobs in the situation. With less of a barrier to communication from the get-go, there's less of an intimidation factor involved for someone who wants to get something across.

However, through my experience, I've definitely seen some roadblocks to using WoW as an educational tool. I think it may be less prevalent on the European servers (please let me know if this is so, or I have a misperception), but on the North American servers I've played on, there seems to be a solid amount of intolerance for people who can't perfectly communicate in English.

A lot of this may stem from gold farmers who don't speak the language, but there are also French and Spanish speaking players on these realms who may have had to endure a certain amount of ridicule before finding acceptance in a given guild.

My question to the WoW Insider community is this - if you were aware that your server was being used for cross-cultural and cross-lingual training, would you accept this and would you put forth the time and energy to help non-English speakers be a part of your guild or your party and learn the language?

If not, why not?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

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