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Posts with tag french

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

Phat Loot Phriday: Blade of Tarasque

Been a while, I think, since we've done a dagger. Plus, this one will show off a little of my D&D lore knowledge, and I don't get to do that as much as I like.

Name: Blade of Tarasque (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Main hand Dagger
Damage/Speed: 108 - 343 / 1.80 (125.1 DPS)
  • +48 Stamina, +65 Intellect. Used to be that Stamina on a caster item meant warlock, but I think this is just an endgame item -- any caster who needs it could use it just fine.
  • Plus, there's a blue gem socket on it, so you can put whatever you want in there, with a socket bonus of +5 spellpower. Just because it came up on the site earlier this week, I'll use this opportunity to remind you that any gem can go in any socket -- you just won't get the socket bonus. Yes, really.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore, Bosses, Galleries

Patch 3.2 confirmed for this week on the French forums?

It's entirely possible that my French is failing me (it's been a while since I studied it, and it might be getting rusty), but as far as I can make out, this blue post on the French customer support forums claims that patch 3.2 is coming "next Wednesday."

This is in the course of answering a routine question about where to get patch files and so forth - a surprising place for a patch release date confirmation, but I'll take my info where I can get it.

I'm not sure whether "next Wednesday" ("mercredi prochain" in the French) means August 5 (in which case the North American realms would get the patch tomorrow), or whether it means August 12 (in which case we'd get it the 11th), but I'd lean towards the former. So get your ducks in a row, faithful readers, and get ready for the Call of the Crusade.

[Thanks, Slainte]

Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Europe

Blizzard EU introduces cross-language battlegroups

Now you can yell at people for not fighting at the flag in all kinds of different languages: Blizzard's EU staff have announced that they're breaking out the first cross-language battlegroups. Actually, that's not quite true -- players who speak different languages will only be playing as opponents (so the Horde you're fighting may speak a different language, but your allies will still understand you). But it is good news for some EU players who've been suffering long queue times. The English language battlegroup Nightfall will be combining with the Spanish language Crueldad (to form Cruelty/Crueldad), and the French battlegroup Némésis will be battling Germans in Hinterhalt to make up Embuscade/Hinterhalt.

Arena ladders on all of the realms will be combining as well (but of course even there, opponents will still be from different languages, so you'll never have to worry about crossing translation lines). The change is in effect right now -- have any of you been playing on Cruelty or Embuscade and seen faster queues yet?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Battlegrounds, Arena, Europe

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

WoW Insider on How I WoW

Patrick Beja (who was on the WoW Insider Show not too long ago) and Shawn Coons host a great occasional podcast called How I WoW, which focuses on popular folks in the WoW community (they talked to our very own Turpster a while back, and have done an episode with Felicia Day as well). And apparently they've already talked to everybody else in the WoW community, because this week they made the mistake of inviting me on the show. They actually ask more about me personally than you'd ever want to know, but there's lots of great information about WoW Insider there as well, including who's really in charge around here, what we think of you great commenters, whether or not I'm really a fanboy, and things Blizzard could do better with their game.

It's a long show (all of the How I WoW shows tend to be long, I think, and though I tried to keep it short, mine didn't end up being the exception), but if you're interested in me, the WoW Insider Show, or how we run the site in general, there should be something fun for you hear in there. Plus, you can hear me murder some French if you stick around long enough.

The episode is up right now on their site. Thanks to Patrick and Shawn for having me on there -- hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it. And stay tuned -- we'll have to have both of them on the WoW Insider Show with us soon.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard

EU battlegroups experiencing language problems after mergers

Tipster Nimm writes in to let us know that several EU battlegroups have been having serious issues after mergers that occurred post-patch 3.02. The mergers have seen a number of battlegroups acquiring servers with other language-dominant populations, which has resulted in a number of French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian-dominant servers (among others) all in the same battlegroups. While this is probably necessary to a certain degree to guarantee equal Alliance/Horde populations for quick queue times, it's become something of a communication nightmare in battleground matches, particularly those with lots of players using Cyrillic characters. As the player Thoughtless from the Karazhan realm asks, "Can you imagine how hard it is to organise any sort of teamplay in AB with player ???????? from <????????> guild cha(t)ting "?????? ??? ??????? ??????? ?????" in BG chat?" Nimm also notes that differentiating between ??????? enemy players is a nightmare.

We knew that Blizzard was closing four EU realms (Stonemaul, Molten Core, Shadowmoon, and Warsong) and transferring remaining players to other realms in response to Russian player migration to Russian realms opened late summer 2008, and the problem's partially the result of that (which has already resulted in the inevitable "In Soviet Russia, battlegroups merge you" joke). A few amused people are rising to the occasion by translating such phrases as inc 5 schmiede (inc 5 blacksmith in German) or proposing a revival of Esperanto, but the Russian language pack would be the only possible solution for the ???? problem. There's been mention made that this is only a temporary fix on Blizzard's part to faction imbalances on battlegroups, but if you're on an EU realm that's seen a recent battlegroup merge, just be aware that Babelfish might be a useful tool in the near future.

Filed under: Realm News, Odds and ends, News items, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

Wowhead says Bonjour, Hola, and Guten Tag

The good people at Wowhead, WoW database extraordinaire, have just warned me that the French, the Spanish, and the Germans are invading! OK, not really. Actually, the site is set to go live with localizations in those three languages, which will appear in the next 24 hours. You will then be able to read descriptions of quests, spells, and items, and everything else on that marvelous site, in any of those languages (plus of course English).

Each language will have its own comment thread on each page, although the forums will remain English-only. I imagine this will come as welcome news to the many WoW players out there who do not have English as a first language; even on the North American realms, there seem to be a fair amount of French speakers. Hooray for multilingualism!

Filed under: News items

Je suis un mage

Jean-Claude Van Damme's French "What's Your Game" commercial, promised a few days ago, has gone live, and I rather like it. He is, apparently, a troll mage; he's put his physical combat days behind him. My French is a bit rusty, but I can catch most of it, and for the rest, Blizzard has kindly provided an English translation:

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Filed under: Machinima, Virtual selves, Features, WoW Moviewatch

Olibith sits down to talk with Blizzard EU

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've undoubtedly seen one of Olibith's many marvelous machinima features. We've highlighted a few of them here in our Moviewatch feature, and will undoubtedly do so as he continues to make films. However, it was left to followers of his blog to know anything more about the man behind the gnome. At least, until Blizzard EU sat down with him for a truly fantastic interview.

Some of the highlights of their community spotlight include how Olibith got his start in the field of machinima, how he feels the French (and international) machinima community is evolving, right down to how he manages to balance just the right amount of funny without going into overkill. For all of you budding machinimators and fans alike, this is one interview not to be missed.

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Interviews

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.

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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

WoW as a second language

I found myself in a rather interesting pickup group for Steamvaults this weekend. I found a hunter through the LFG system, and he invited a warrior, a priest, and a warlock who were his guildies. I breathed a sigh of relief -- an easy run to the Karazhan key fragment was assured. Until I noticed that I could only understand one out of every five words they said. The guild I had grouped with was largely French-speaking, and my high school French IV lessons weren't going to get me out of this one.

I explained that I didn't speak French well enough to communicate with them on Vent, and in return, they set up a macro system so that I could be informed of my role while they did the actual strategizing. Anything with an X over its head would be sapped by me, and they spoke English well enough to type out simple directions for a rogue ("left!" "resap!" "wait!") The first couple of pulls were rough, but it went smoothly after the first boss. In fact, it went better than most English-speaking groups, possibly because there wasn't annoying chatter or loot arguments.

There are many Quebecois in my guild and on my server, and from that, much of Magtheridon seems to have gained some command of French, or at least some horrible hybrid of French, English and WoWspeak. ("Vous, uh, feignez le mort?") Does your server have a lot of diversity when it comes to languages, or does everyone mostly speak one? How do you deal with multilingual guilds or instance groups?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Instances

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