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Armory updates with model viewer, character and calendar feeds

Blizzard has added some nice new features to the World of Warcraft Armory, including a few players have been asking for in the past. The most exciting change is something that doesn't seem to be working quite correctly yet -- they're including a Flash-based model viewer for characters that will let you see what a toon looks like without ever logging into the game. So says their updates page, but as of this writing, the whole system is going up and down, and we couldn't get it to work correctly on any of our PCs. Should be done soon, though.

Other updates include character activity feeds -- there are now RSS buttons all over your profile that will let you track achievements, items, and other specific character information via RSS. And Blizzard has also built in calendar feeds that will let you output guild and player calendars to Outlook, Google Calendar, or other calendar applications. That means your out-of-game calendars will update automatically if your raidleader happens to change up the raiding schedule. And finally, character profiles have been redesigned and streamlined -- they look a little different with all of these new features. The date on all of these changes actually says January 1, 2010, so Blizzard may have implemented them a little early, but sooner or later we'll see these welcome changes all active on the Armory.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Update: The Armory is offline for maintenance now. These changes were seen in action, so they're real, but as we say above, they're officially dated for January 1st. So they may not be in effect just yet.

Filed under: Guilds, Blizzard, Achievements

wowTwitter is a Twitter just for your characters

I'm not sure how well this will scale, but it's an interesting idea: while it's certainly possible to just create a Twitter account for your World of Warcraft characters (so anyone interested can always see what you're up to), the folks behind a new site called wowTwitter have gone a step further, and recreated Twitter's functionality specifically for Azeroth's virtual denizens. It's very barebones right now, but basically, after you register, you can punch in any of your characters, "verify" them by changing something about them in the Armory (like unequipping the piece of gear on your wrist), and then you can send and receive messages on that character, with special channels created for the guild, your realm, and so on. I thought it used Twitter somehow, but it seems completely separate: they're running their own database and servers, so while the two work the same way (there are "@" replies and hashtags), they don't interact at all.

Which means they'll also have all of the problems that Twitter has had -- when only a few people are using your database, it runs fine, but if it starts to scale up at all, then you run into lots of "Fail Whale" downtime. And I'm not sure we need a whole other system just for WoW characters (though this one does have the nice bonus of "claiming" your character so it can't get impersonated). At any rate, they're in beta right now, and actually hosting a cash money prize contest for the most characters verified and tweets posted, so a link from us will probably show them how ready their system is. If it's your thing, go forth and wowTweet!

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

WoW.com's RSS feed issues should be fixed now

A lot of you have noticed some issues with our RSS feed this afternoon (and a little bit last night) and trust me, we know that you know. Our inbox has been absolutely flooded! So to try and help the confusion (and slow the flood of e-mails), here's what happened: Our network (us, Joystiq, Massively, Engadget, etc) was hit with a few database problems over the last 24 hours.

It's nothing to worry about, everything is fixed now and should be just fine. In the process of making things fine, our RSS feed was pinged with all sorts of 'new' information, causing the duplicates that a lot of you saw. Seven postings of the latest Around Azeroth? WTF? Yeah, sorry about that. We definitely keep an eye on our own RSS feed to make sure everything is going smoothly, so if it isn't, we'll know about it pretty quickly.

Again, we're sorry about the spam to you guys using our RSS feed. To those of you that aren't using our RSS feed... why aren't you using it!? Google Reader is probably one of the most convenient things ever. You can find out about our various feed offerings over here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Getting WoW status updates on Twitter

You readers are awesome -- yesterday, when I posted the link to the online server alert page (which, yes, wasn't all that new, but lots of us hadn't seen it before), I suggested that it get hooked up to Twitter somehow, and sure enough, Scyntinth and blkmasta55555 wasted no time creating @WoWStatusUS and @WoWStatusEU, respectively (Ed also pointed out the EU status page). Tsaavik created an RSS feed for the alert as well, if you'd rather use that. And those aren't the only way to track Blizzard's realm status on Twitter -- looks like @wowalerts has been in action for a little while, and @pikestaff pointed out to me that @wowrealms tweets about realm downtime as well. And, hey, even your friends here at WoW.com are on Twitter keeping you up to date with the latest at @WoWInsider.

So yes, there are tons of ways to track what's happening on your favorite realms via Twitter or any number of updating services.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard

WoW Insider and Massively special WoW 24/7 feed

As many of you know, our new sister site Massively is also in the habit of covering this little game we know and love. Some of our readers have expressed concern about missing any potential WoW news across the two sites, and we are nothing if not concerned with what our readers want. So by popular demand we are pleased to offer this special "WoW 24/7" feed that includes all post from WoW Insider as well as all posts in the World of Warcraft category at Massively in one handy RSS feed. That's all WoW, all the time, folks. Enjoy!

WoW 24/7 feed

This feed is a combination of the WoW Insider feed and all posts from Massively in the World of Warcraft category. If you're looking for a one-stop feed to get all the WoW news we're covering on either site, this is the feed for you.

Warning: this feed may contain occasional duplicate news stories that are picked up by both sites -- although they will often contain different levels of analysis.

Warning 2: this feed may occasionally miss a feature column that mentions WoW tangentially but is not categorized specifically WoW. You can still check out any of Massively's regular features in one convenient spot.



We hope you enjoy the custom feed -- let us know if you're experiencing any problems with the feed. If you have a special request for another feed remix, you can also send it our way and we'll do our best to add any popular requests to the special feeds offerings.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

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