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Posts with tag livejournal

Fixing raiding lag

There is quite a thread going around with some ideas about how to fix raiding lag. Lag, like many cross-computer issues, is a pretty complicated thing -- there's all kinds of reasons it could be happening, from errors on your computer to errors on Blizzard's end, and all the little connections and switches in between. A certain amount of lag is unavoidable. But there are certainly some things you can do to make sure the link between your client and Blizzard's server is working at its best. This thread, which started on the EJ forums and then moved on to Livejournal, has some good tips in it, including turning off most combat logs like Recount and even Blizzard's official "Everything" log -- having to write down everything happening in game does cost some computer time as you play. Blocking addon "spam" is another way to keep things simple and clear -- while lots of useful addons help you share information between raid members, sending that info back and forth can cause problems when you're down to milliseconds of lag.

The final suggestion is to run a third-party program that's supposed to keep your latency high, but I would be leery of doing that -- a better solution if you continue to have high latency constantly, even after making the changes above, would be to go to Blizzard (and/or your Internet Service Provider, or ISP) with your issues. They have a good guide to smoothing out your connection, and many times the problem can be with your router or firewall, which is usually a quick fix.

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Filed under: Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Hardware

Deathwing sculpture in progress


Ever since Blizzard first revealed Deathwing to us back at BlizzCon, that image of the dragon and that jaw has stuck in my head -- dragons are always dangerous (you know what happens when you meddle in their affairs), but Deathwing is a dragon in his own class. And apparently that picture also stuck in artist Kymba's head, too, because she's been working on (and documenting on Livejournal) an awesome sculpture of the beast himself.

Obviously it's a work in progress, but Kymba has been doing a really thorough job covering just what she's doing with Sculpey (a brand of polymer clay). You can follow her own accounts on her Livejournal page (start over here), or check out the gallery below, in which we've compiled all of the pictures of the process so far. The jaw was made separately, and from what I can tell (I've never sculpted in my life), she used aluminum foil baked into the clay wrapped around a sturdier core. The whole thing looks great so far -- we can't wait to see what the finished product looks like.

Stay tuned -- you'll probably see it all done in a future World of Warcrafts post.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Bosses, NPCs, Fan art

Those fragile Venomhide Ravasaurs

Here's a great tip from WoW LJ on the Ravasaur quest. Like me, many of you probably headed for the new Ravasaur mount on the Horde side the first chance you had in patch 3.2. But there's a hiccup in the quest: while you have to get poisoned by the raptors, the Ravasaurs die pretty easily. You need to attack them for them to poison you, but if you kill them before they sting you, you're out of luck.

Still, those crafty folks over on LJ already have a solution. You can use things that work as weapons, but are still weak enough to keep the raptors alive, even in your uber-powerful level 80 hands. Lances from the Argent Tournament, low-level fishing poles, Blacksmith hammers and mining picks all work, along with anything else that can be wielded but has low damage. You can also level up any weapon specialties you don't have maxed out yet, but be careful there, too: anything that goes too high will kill the level 51 raptors off as well.

Good luck -- to the raptors for staying alive, as all you'll want is the poison. And good luck to you with the rest of the quest. By the time you're all done, the poison task might actually have revealed itself as the easiest part.

WoW's Patch 3.2 ushers in the Crusaders' Coliseum, the Isle of Conquest, flying mounts at 60, and much more. WoW.com has all the patch information your Worgen obsessed mind can handle in WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2!

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Quests, NPCs, Mounts

Thorim, remixed, in the mountains


Here's a great way to start off the weekend for sure. lockexenocide on WoW LJ points out this remix of Thorim's "In the mountains" speech, and I like it a lot. It's part of a speech Thorim gives when you first pull him, thrown in with some phat beats and cuts. Unfortunately, LJ doesn't know who put it together, but even stranger, a search reveals a another Thorim remix in the Youtube video above.

I'm surprised there aren't more remixes of Blizzard's music and/or audio -- these sound really good, and it'd be fun to hear someone like The Maiden of Virtue ("Cast out your corrupt thoughts!") or Noth ("Rise, my soldiers! Rise and fight once more!") get this treatment. There's probably a whole bunch of cool ways aspiring DJs could cut up and remix some of Blizzard's audio.

Update: Here's a cool Yogg Saron mix from Thebum in our comments.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Humor, Bosses, NPCs

Feitan offers up even more WoW icons for your enjoyment


Feitan has posted another terrific set of WoW-related icons over on WoW LJ. Combine all of those with the first set, and throw in all of the other ones we've collected for you in the past, and you've got a really nice set of perfectly-sized choices from World of Warcraft to use as your icon on whatever service needs an avatar.

Like, for example, our own comments. While the cartoon Ogre we've got as the default is quite cute, you might want to make yours a little more personal -- all you've got to do is click your name after commenting, and you'll be taken to a page where you can log in and edit your profile, see your comments so far, and yes, update a new profile picture. If you're still using the default commenter icon with our brand new commenting system, now is definitely the time to make the upgrade.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Screenshots, Fan art

Find in-game friends on Livejournal's WoW Friending meme

The WoW Livejournal communities are really some of the best citizens in the WoW community at large -- they always have interesting discussions and insights going on over there, and if you ever need a question answered or just want an opinion on something in-game, they're always ready with some insight. That's why I think this WoW Friending meme that spirdirslayer has going on is such a good idea -- basically, if you're over on Livejournal and are looking to meet a few players on your realm, you can head over to the page, find your server, and then enter your information along with a few survey questions and check out who else is playing with you in-game.

I almost wish Blizzard did more social networking stuff like this -- through the Armory, we can find out everything we need to know about each others' characters these days, but there's not much we can learn about the people behind those characters. Our own profiles here on WoW.com help with some of that as well, but it would be nice to have it all integrated in the game somehow: examine a character and find out that their player is living in the same town you are. Completely optional, of course -- not everyone wants to socialize to that extent. But for those interested, it seems like it would be a lot of fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves

WoW Ladies in the spotlight


Just a quick word of congrats tonight to our friends the moderators of the WoW Ladies Livejournal group -- their community has been spotlighted over on the Livejournal front page. Definitely some well-deserved recognition for one of the best sub-communities in World of Warcraft.

The mods over there are ready to deal with the exposure, too -- though you can see over in this thread that they're a little "dazzled" by all of the new traffic, they've (as usual) got things well in hand. They've created a series of "Master Posts" to keep overflow on the channel to a minimum, and as you can see from their main page, they're taking the growth right in stride, still showing all kinds of interesting viewpoints on the game from their various posters.

The WoW community is a gigantic one, but it's all of the little interrelated communities within it (from us here at WoW Insider to the theorycrafters on Elitist Jerks to all of the hundreds of WoW player blogs, each with their own little voice and insight) that really make it such a diverse and creative group. Good to see one of the best WoW communities out there spotlighted on a major mainstream site.

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

The drama of DKP

Donnyman is going through an issue with his guild that many a guild has faced before: the drama of going to DKP. Especially lately, it seems like lots of guilds are aiming to make the jump to DKP: because the endgame is relatively easier lately, lots of folks are getting into raiding seriously, and unless your guild is the closest of friends, you can really only go so long without people starting to wonder why the other guy got that roll when he's only been to two raids in the last month when they've been to five. At that point, the guild either breaks up due to loot drama -- or you decide to settle on a system like DKP.

The good news is that lots of guilds have been through this before, and there's a lot of great guidance out there about how to switch to DKP and what kinds of systems you might use if you do. I've only been in one guild that decided to go from a free-for-all roll to a loot system -- they chose Suicide Kings, everyone agreed it was fair, and they've never looked back. Donnyman's having an issue with his guild leadership's decision to put a little erosion on the DKP, and it's true -- if the whole guild isn't behind a disagreement like that, there could be some breakup. There's lots of great discussion in the LJ thread about how decay actually affects people who can't raid from time to time, and Donny ends up with two choices: be OK with it, or find another guild (there's plenty of them around).

It's not impossible to pull off a switch to DKP from a free-for-all system, but you need to a) make it clear that it's in everyone's best interest (if loot drama is starting to sneak up, it probably is), and b) make sure it's as fair as can be. Consider what your guildies want (more loot, just to have a good time raiding, or to reward people who do well or people who need the gear), and then go with a system that meets those needs.

Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding

The state of the Azerothian economy

Thermalnoise over on the WoW LJ thought of a great poll, and the results are interesting. He asked readers there what the average amount of gold they had on their characters was, and I thought the amounts were relatively high: between 2,000 and 10,000g for about 40% of those polled. The other big chunk is between 200 and 2,000g (a little under 30% of respondents), which is where I'd expect most of the player base to be, but no: apparently Blizzard's bigger rewards in Wrath of the Lich King (not to mention the higher gold sinks, requiring us to try and raise more gold if we want to fly around or ride a mammoth) have made us richer as a whole.

Thermalnoise also asked how much your savings of gold fluctuates, and for most people it apparently stays pretty much the same, or generally increases (probably as they run professions, do quests, or sell off drops and pay repairs). I'd imagine Blizzard is keeping a pretty close eye on just how our gold moves around, and that "steadily increase" is what they'd want all of our money to do, just to keep the game's economy moving around.

In fact, though I'm probably repeating myself here, it'd be nice to have them give us some insight on just what's happening with the ingame economy. We've gotten a few hints at what sells and doesn't on the realms, but it would be interesting to see some official numbers about the average amount of money that players have and keep at the various levels of the game. and exactly where it all goes when we spend it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

A WoW gift bag for Valentine's Day


How great is this? Reader angrypanda a.k.a. Joshua links us to this update on his Livejournal, in which he shows off the awesome set of gifts his wife got him for Valentine's Day. It's a romantic gift basket, with everything, from the chocolates to the Linen Bag itself, marked out with WoW-style tooltips. Everything looks authentic, too -- there's a Bag of Candies, Dark Desire (looks like the hit rating bonus got nerfed for the RL version, though), and even a Moonberry Juice. And there's a "Jox (Horde) Shou" handmade craft in there, too -- those are their character names, Jox and Lykishou.

Joshua says he and his wife have been married nearly 15 years, and they weren't planning to do much this year (or so he thought -- here's hoping they had a very nice dinner and movie later that evening). Very awesome. Because the Livejournal seems to be hidden behind a content filter of some kind, we've put all of Joshua's pics in a gallery below so you can see everything all in one place. What a terrific Valentine's Day gift.

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

Dough, a deer: engineering a Little Fawn

Given my history as one, you'd imagine that I have a fondness for ungulates. You'd be right! And by introducing a baby deer pet as an achievement reward for collecting 75 pets, Blizzard has effectively doomed me to a life of waaaant. I mean, I like achievements well enough -- I'm not as crazy about them as some of my guildies are, mind you-- but I seriously hate farming, and a lot of pets require rep grinding or luck of the RNG. No thanks. I'll admire from afar.

I'm not the only person who wants a deer anyway, though (who wouldn't!), and that desire's resulted in some creative tinkering by those under the recently-lowered achievement cap and still fawning over the, ah, fawn. Some have even been kind enough to share their tricks of the trade for grabbing Baby Deerest.

Foreverdarkness over on the venerable wow_ladies LiveJournal community relayed her admittedly creative way of grabbing that final pet -- dropping her beloved Skinning and picking up Engineering to farm herself up a Bombling. The pet's only available to engineers, as it's BoP, but you can still summon it even if you're no longer an engineer, so she set to work grinding through the skill points necessary. There was another problem, though--you can only get the pet as a random reward when you renew your membership as a Goblin Engineer. So, she repeatedly renewed her license at 2 gold a pop, which, given the history of RNG, could have resulted in a lot of dough for a little doe. She was lucky, though, and (achievement in hand) was soon able to bring her diminutive deer along for a trip to scenic Naxxramas.

I was hoping she'd keep her engineering skill, as skinning is hardly a skill that our Little Fawn would approve of, but alas! The appeal of Master of Anatomy is too high. Can't win 'em all!

Filed under: Engineering, Humor, Achievements

Does overhealing matter?

An interesting question came up in the WoW LiveJournal community early today: what does overhealing mean? At first I was a little surprised at the question, but then I realized they meant it not as "what is overhealing?" (to which the answer is that overhealing is the portion of your heals that would push the target past max health, and thus is in a sense "wasted"), but rather as "what does overhealing say about your healers?"

As a raid healer, my perspective agrees with most of the LiveJournal commenters: if your healer isn't having mana issues, don't worry too much about overhealing. It's going to be a natural consequence of proactive healing spells (Prayer of Mending, all HoTs, Earth Shield). In addition, most classes' big heals are too big to be used to their full extent all the time - to take an example from one of the comments, if I wait until targets are 10k in the hole before hitting them with something, we'll have a lot more deaths. Finally, sometimes overhealing can be actively helpful, as in the case of talents like Serendipity. I'd rather overheal by 1k than fill the hole exactly, because then I get a chunk of mana back.

However, if a healer is massively overhealing (the precise amounts to look for depend on the class), and is having mana issues, it can be a useful indicator that something is wrong with their playstyle - or they have a lot of latency. So, in summary: don't worry about it unless they're going OOM. Healing meters still suck, even the overhealing meters.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Titillating titles


We're so close to getting Twilight Vanquisher, I can almost taste it. A lot of my guild mates would love to have the title, and I'm sure when we down Sartharion with three drakes this week -- fingers crossed... -- a lot of them will be sporting it in Dalaran. I'm not too keen on it myself. I couldn't actually care less. It's cool and all, but what I really want is Battlemaster. I'm just one or two Achievements short on every Battleground to get Master in each one. Even if I had the skill to obtain Arena Master (and I admittedly don't, seeing as how I've never broken 2200 on any bracket in any Season), it's not a title I'd display, either. I just like the sound of Battlemaster. That, for me, is the title I want the most.

I know our Guild Master is five Exalted reputations away from being The Exalted. I personally think that's awesome and we're going to help him in any way we can. All my wife wanted for her leveling Priest was to be a Chef, only to meet a roadblock when she found out she couldn't do the Kungaloosh quest yet (she's only Level 74). We came close several times to getting The Undying, even getting past Heigan, so I'm sure that's in the cards pretty soon. There are so many awesome titles now it's interesting to find out what people like.

David asked in his Livejournal what people thought the most prestigious title was. Readers chimed in to say what they thought were the tough titles to get. Salty got a few mentions, as well as the obviously insane Immortal. Today, though, I'm not interested in finding out what the most prestigious title is. I'm more curious to know what titles you've already obtained and what you choose to display. Some of you guys probably have a lot of titles to choose from. What makes you choose the title you display? Maybe you chose the incredibly simple Explorer for your character named Dora? Or keeping the old world PvP title of General for a toon named Anaesthesia? Some choose humor, some choose prestige, and others... well, some just like how a title sounds. How about you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Achievements

Scouting around with the Crashin' Thrashin' Racer

Cabinetsanchez over on LJ has documented something that I saw in action yesterday while running a few instances -- while it's a ton of fun to run my Crashin' Thrashin Racer around (I'm undefeated since I picked up the achievement the first day I got the toy, by the way), players have found a few extra ways to make the Racers work for them. Yesterday, I saw one of my group members using the Racer a few times to scout the instance ahead and see what pulled with what, and as CS says, it worked great: while the Racer will aggro enemies, they won't tag on to the rest of the group -- they'll just reset after they destroy the little car.

CS also says that the Racer takes no falling damage, so you can send it exploring off of cliffs and platforms, and he says that though the car is considered level 60, its aggro range is pretty small (I can attest to this, as we were driving it pretty close to enemies yesterday without it registering on their radar). And he's got an even more devious use (some might say this is an exploit): bosses aggroed by the racer will sometimes despawn after they conquer it for up to 30 seconds or so. That seems like a hotfix waiting to happen, but I haven't personally tried it, so it may not be as useful as it sounds.

The downside of this is that the Racer was meant to be a fun item, and if it really does lead to behavior that Blizzard considers exploiting, they might have to think twice about including great items like this in the future. We'll have to see what their ruling on this is, but hopefully no matter what happens (I'm guessing a quick hotfix, maybe even shrinking the range of the Racer's controller), this won't prevent Blizzard from giving us more fun toys later on.

Filed under: Cheats, How-tos, Fan stuff, Instances, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Castcounting macro counts your spellcasts

Xalit is entertaining himself before the expansion by crafting some macros, and he's come up with a pretty clever one that will count the number of times you cast a certain spell. He's got a few different versions (including one that pushes the total out to "say" occasionally), but here's probably the most helpful:

/cast Water Shield
/run i="Water Shield" if ws==nil then ws=0 end t=GetSpellCooldown(i) if t==b then else c=0 end b=GetSpellCooldown(i) if b==t and c==0 then ws=ws+1 c=1 end


Which will both cast Water Shield for you (obviously, you'll have to change the name if you want to count casts of a different spell), and then use:

/run SendChatMessage(ws,"SAY")

To kick the count out to the Say chat channel. Naysayers among you may say "well that's pointless," and they're kind of right -- it doesn't really matter how many times you cast something, and the macro doesn't do anything else for you besides update a variable to keep track of that number.

But it is interesting to see just how many times, say, you pressed the Fireball button during the raid last night, and maybe there is some use for this information somewhere (maybe checking the frequency of use or viability of certain spells or trinkets?). Might be a good macro to have when you want to know more about what you're casting.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Instances, Buffs

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