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Posts with tag programmers

Blizzard's APIs and You: Cool information and tools coming down the pipe

Recently, Blizzard disabled the WoWArmory Facebook application, signaling that the time of the modern WoW Armory is over and we will soon live in an age when new Blizzard APIs will transform our out-of-game experience. And change it, they will. These forthcoming APIs will change the way you interact with WoW outside of the game in ways you cannot even think up yet. How do I know this? That's the power of information facilitation, and some inventive hypotheticals will show you what Blizzard's APIs will do for you in the near future.

Over the past few months, Blizzard has been preparing to roll out a new set of APIs that will take internal information from the Armory, the new community site, and more, parse it into easily manageable data streams, and make those streams available to application developers. With these new streams of information, savvy developers can craft web applications, smartphone apps, social media plugins, and anything else under the sun to provide you with new and dynamic WoW experiences on the internet. I know that sounds horribly cliché, but hear me out -- this stuff is pretty cool, and the back end could bring about a new standard for information availability and MMOs.

I'm not a developer. In fact, a lot of us in the community are not developers. Writing this story felt like an exercise in obscurity because, frankly, all this back end information isn't in my wheelhouse. As I dug deeper and began to realize the potential of the systems being set up, I fell in love with the idea that Blizzard is opening up easy access to so much information. I thought it would be a good idea to illustrate for those of us who have no idea what APIs are capable of, to break through the programmer/developer talk and discuss what these APIs mean for us, at the end of the day.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard previews character, guild, and arena team APIs

Blizzard previously announced that certain APIs were going to become available for applications and players to access from the community website. We've finally got a preview of the information feeds that tap into character data in the near future. These feeds can be used in applications, websites, and more for user-created, World of Warcraft ... well ... anything.

Blizzard's opening up of these information feeds is pretty cool, and you will likely see some ambitious applications of this data being used in the near future. One of the illuminating aspects of this preview is that after finding the right way to do it, the devs are thinking about opening up quest ID information so that you can see what quests characters have or have not completed. There are tons of applications of that data out there and I'm sure the community is really excited to make use of this API information. Check out the full preview after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard

EpicAdvice.com lets you ask and answer Warcraft questions


Reader Jesta sent us a note about his new website. He's a big fan of Stack Overflow, which is a big Q&A/advice site for programmers -- you show up, ask your question, and then other folks who might or might not be working on the same problem post their answers, in moderated and organized threads for everyone to read. Jesta decided this same type of thing could work for our little game, so he put together EpicAdvice.com -- the idea is that you go there, leave a question about anything in the game, and then wait for your answer from other people browsing the site.

Stack Overflow actually has a little "badge" system where answerers can earn reputation points for answering questions correctly, and Jesta says that they're working on doing something similar for Epic Advice (though they'll probably have Achievements, as that's more Warcraft-y). But as of this writing, the site definitely needs more questions and answers, so if there's something bugging you about WoW (that our own Queue hasn't answered yet), or you consider yourself an expert and want to clear some things up, head over and give the site a look.

Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests, Classes, Forums, Fan art

Boat vendors still MIA

Yup, the boat crews are still missing in action. First they were there, then they weren't, and then they were supposed to be back, and they probably won't be back in for the foreseeable future.

I'm sure the coding here is complicated (anybody remember how buggy the ships used to be? In the early days of the game, there was probably a 50/50 shot that you would end up out in the middle of the water, having to swim back to shore on your own), but clearly this is a feature players want and Blizzard wants to implement, so why not just buckle down and fix it? Why keep pushing it back farther and farther? Give a programmer a clean room, a fast computer (or two), a case of Mountain Dew, and let him go to town until vendors are sitting on the boats.

It's probably not that simple, of course. There are probably a lot of issues with the code, and of course, programmers have lives, too-- even with Mountain Dew. But developers are always saying things like "would you rather us work on your crazy idea, or on something people actually want?" And this is something people actually want-- why not just get it done?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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