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Mists of Pandaria Beta: Vendor filters make sorting items easier

The newest Mists of Pandaria beta patch has brought an unexpected new feature: vendor filters. Players are now able to set which items they would like to view on any vendor by selecting a filter near the top right of the window. You can set which items will appear based on spec or whether the item is bind on equip, making searching through heirloom or valor point vendors for items to send to your alts easier than ever. This is another great example of Blizzard's looking at the addon community, seeing an easy solution to a quality-of-life fix, and adding to the default user interface. Frankly, this type of interface creation and tinkering has kept WoW at an interface advance, even eight years down the line.

I hope that Blizzard continues to add more filters to the new vendor filter system and maybe even gives us a way to set our own filters. Maybe we'll soon be searching by slot, class, affordable, level required, etc. There are plenty more filter options to include if Blizzard is so inclined.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Dedicated WoW search engine now in beta

This probably isn't something Google or Bing should worry about, but there's a new search engine in town. Mrgl-Mrgl, a new search engine dedicated to the World of Warcraft, recently launched and is now in beta. The site, named after the NPC in a murloc suit in Borean Tundra, collates search results based on relevance to WoW. There are five search category tabs: Web, Image, Video, Forums, and Items. Users can type any keyword, not necessarily related to World of Warcraft (apparently subject to abuse, as shown in the most popular keywords), and the search engine delivers results scoured from popular WoW-related sites.

A few searches on the site don't appear to yield better results than, say, Google, which pulls data from more sources including guild websites or player blogs. Mrgl-mrgl results appear to be limited to World of Warcraft news sites, forums, and WoW-tagged videos on YouTube. We're not quite sure how important it is to have a dedicated WoW search engine in the midst of database sites such as Wowhead, wikis such as WoWwiki, and blue forum trackers, but if it manages to draw from more sources in a more organized and relevant fashion, the idea just might work. Perhaps the next time you'll need to search for something related to the game, you can just 'Mrgl it'.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, News items

Lootables throws its hat in the item database ring

Apparently when Wowhead's million dollar sale hit the news, other website folks paid attention. First WoWDigger announced their bid to get in on the action, and now another site, Lootables (tipped to us by Birgitte, one of the creators), is going to give making an item database a go.

My first reaction was "who needs another one?" but after messing around with the site for a few minutes, it doesn't look half bad. You've got your standard item search, and one feature there I've never seen on other sites is the ability to do searches by what drops in each dungeon-- yes, on Wowhead and Thottbot, you can look up dungeon bosses to see what they drop, but whenever I'm trying to figure out what instance to run, the first thing I do is check WoWWiki to click on each of the boss names in one place and see what they drop. Having everything in the dungeon at a glance is pretty nice. (Update: Wowhead can do this) The other big item of note is that Lootables actually links to each of the other databases in its listings. I didn't see a place to put comments (which are a huge draw on the other databases), but considering all the comments about the item are just a few clicks away, maybe they decided they didn't need them. You can also use the colored boxes near each item to "store" it in a dialogue on the right sidebar, and the site remembers what items you put there, so item comparison is super easy. Very nice feature.

And the last thing I noticed that separates Lootables from other databases is that they've actually created leveling guides for all the professions, complete with links to all the recipes and items you need. Creating an item listing is one thing, but showing clearly how to use those items is definitely helpful.

Birgitte also said she was looking for feedback, so if you guys have it, let's hear it. The only real suggestion I have is to come up with some way for us to see the items-- so far, the best these databases have all come up with is to use user-submitted pictures, but surely there must be some way to both avoid legal pitholes with Blizzard and show us what the items look like.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, Guides

WoW Firefox search plugins

pluginsHow many times a day do we all search Thottbot, Allakhazam, WoWWiki, Wowhead and others? It gets old really fast to type in the address or go dig it out of bookmarks every time right? About 50 of you are right now thinking, "geez ya noob, like thottbot is my homepage!"

Before you get all huffy and start chargin' your fireball, realize that there is a better way to look-up those [ACME Pauldrons of the Whale]. Think of them as WoW UI add-ons for Firefox. What? That's right, IRL WoW add-ons for your Firefox browser. Check out these search plug-ins that you may get some use out of if you look up things like a banshee. By the way, I've heard that Lady Sylvanas can Google stuff like nobody's business, but that is unconfirmed as of this writing.

Firefox search plug-ins for WoW

-WoW Armory (both US and EU versions)
-Allakhazam Quests
-Allakhazam Items
-Allakhazam Mobs
-Curse gaming add-ons
-WoW Official forums
-WoWWiki
-Wowhead
-Wowdirectory

The links to all of these search engines are at Mozilla's "mycroft" website, which lets users build their own search plug-ins for their favorite sites. For any of the search plug-ins, simply click the name of the site you wish to install, and Firefox does the rest.

Our very own search plug-in
Also, I am proud to introduce the official WoW Insider Firefox search plugin that you can now download for your WoW Insider perusing pleasure (without having to type the address or leave your browser). Please use this plug-in responsibly, no members of the Burning Legion are allowed to use this search. Enjoy

Filed under: Tips, Odds and ends, News items

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