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Patch 3.1.3 download failing for many users


In addition to the realms being down, there seems to be a problem with the patch distribution servers. Today's patch 3.1.3 is not downloading for many users, myself included, on both Mac and Windows. People are seeing a lot of "tracker not responding," and downloads stalling at 10%, if they start at all.

Blizzard knows about it - it is apparently an issue with their trackers, like the error messages say. There are, however, some patch mirrors they recommend, at least for Windows users, if you want to get patched up in a hurry. Of course, patching now isn't much use, since the servers won't be up for a little while, but it does give you something to do. I haven't seen any Mac mirrors floating around yet, although I'd bet that the trackers will be fixed before the servers are up.


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Filed under: Patches

Common updating problems and tips for fixing them

It's patch day, of course, and people are having plenty of troubles with upgrading their clients to the latest 3.1 version. But worry not -- most of the issues we're seeing, while relatively widespread, should be fixed by the time the realms come back online. Here's a few tips to help you get through the time of trouble.

Help! My patch isn't downloading? It's stuck at 68%/73%/xx%!
It probably is downloading -- be patient and let it run. Blizzard uses a Bittorrent-based system to distribute the game's patches through the official client, and those systems depend not just on Blizzard and their ability to distribute the patch, but also how much of the patch all of your peers have. If everyone around you has xx%, that's all you'll get for now. But an hour from now, someone will have spread the full patch around, and then you'll pick it up no problem. Patience is a virtue, and until the realms come back up, you can't play anyway.

Also, the patcher will stop showing progress around 70% or so -- at that point it'll start installing the patch, and you'll need to click another button to see installation progress. But if you just let it run, it'll update.

What does "The tracker is not responding" mean?
Another Bittorrent issue that should resolve itself after a little while. The patch will need some time to disseminate, and if you get a message like this, it just means your client hasn't found all of the connections that it can. It will.

I get a weird "Unable to Validate Game Version" message when I log in. Is my client broken?
No. Blizzard's servers aren't all upgraded yet (hence the reason we can't play). When they are all upgraded, your client's version will match the server's, and everything will be hunky dory.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

AchievementTracker tracks achievements across the realms

Reader Jeffrey R. was kind enough to send us his achievement tracking site, named (conveniently) AchievementTracker.com. We've seen quite a few sites for tracking achievements on your own character out there already (especially since the Armory opened up the information to the web), but unlike the others, AchievementTracker seems to be focusing on ranking only -- instead of browsing over your own information, all the site really presents is a list of the top players in the world, US, EU, or by the various realms.

There are a few caveats, the first being that they're only tracking characters above level 70, and the second being that they're not tracking everyone -- I had to put my own character into the system (though that won't matter if you're just looking for the top players, since I would never even rank on any lists anyone was watching). And while WoW-Achievements has Beelsebub of EU Darksorrow at number one and Minipuff of EU Stormscale in second place so far, AchievementTracker has them backwards (and their point totals are lower -- maybe Armory lag?).

And of course we don't know for sure if there's someone on the realms that neither of these sites are tracking with more achievement points (it may be worth noting, too, that beyond Armory links, neither site tells us much about the characters -- is there a class or spec that's better for achievement point earning?). It'll probably take a little while until we can get a standard for tracking these, but until then, looks like we'll have a few different lists to watch.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Leveling, Achievements

Quick Armory remixes Armory and achievement data with Greasemonkey


Erorus sent us some cool Armory-related tools he's been working on -- you can find them all at QuickArmory.com. Aside from the usual Armory lookup (with a much faster loading design), he's got an Heirloom item tracker (you put in your level and it will show you what the Heirloom items look like throughout the game), an Arena Points calculator, and perhaps most interesting, an Achievement Tracker. That last one actually does something a little different from most Armory sites -- it uses the Greasemonkey Firefox script to have your browser pull information from the Armory rather than Erorus' servers doing it. The output ends up looking more or less the same, but basically his site tells your browser what information to get, and your browser gets the info rather than his server. Interesting way of getting around the problem of stability, though the tradeoff is that you've got to use Firefox and install the addon to use his site.

None of the tools provide quite as much functionality as some of the other more specialized Armory sites out there, but Erorus does some new and interesting things with the Armory information, on the Achievement tracker especially. If you can't get enough of your character's stats (and in this case, happen to also use Firefox), they're worth checking out.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Economy, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

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