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Test realm forum offline, possible pointer to WotLK beta


More news for all you hungry Wrath of the Lich King fans out there. The test realm forum has been taken offline and is showing as undergoing a change, although we don't know what that is just yet. The exact submessage is "The forum you're trying to access is not ready." This is significant for a couple reasons.

First, the test realm forum is usually left up for a while after the patch so folks have some place to go and reference everything that was learned during the beta. I know that I've used the forum for up to a month to go and get necessary information.

Secondly, this comes less than a day after the World of Warcraft beta site experienced a change. When getting public releases of software ready, it's often a process of "First, get the site going – but don't link it to the public. Second, take down the public systems and get them ready." This is quite possibly what we're seeing here.

Finally, this forum always goes down before something beta-ish is released. This could mean they're just clearing it to implement a 2.4.2 release or something, but I doubt that given they've usually only cleared it for major point release. Ie: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.

An interesting tid bit of WotLK news for you all this morning. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that within a month we'll see some major announcements concerning the next expansion.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

A new way to search for WoW mods

You know how it is. One of your favorite addons breaks down completely after a patch, so you go looking for the updated version, but then you realize you don't remember where you downloaded it. You check your favorite mods website, only to find that they only have the out-dated version. You end up having to check several different websites in order to find the update, and you wish there were a better way.

KitKatsFTW over in Europe has developed a simple solution: a site called "WoW Mod Search," which uses Google's custom engine to search through the four main WoW mod sites: WoW UI, WoW Interface, Curse, and WoWAce. The site is simple, unobtrusive, and aside from some google text ads, there's absolutely nothing to get in your way.

I use Inquisitor on Safari to quickly use shortcuts of any search engine without actually visiting the website itself first. If any of you out there are also using Inquisitor, or any similar search plugin, you should be able to just copy and paste this search url into your plugin preferences as a shortcut for quick access to WoW Mod Search later. (The "%@" in that link represents the space that will be replaced with your searched keywords when you use the plugin.)

Filed under: Patches, Add-Ons

Blizzard fan art page redesigned

I was looking through the Blizzard fan art pages recently, with the thought in my mind that I could do a "Best of Blizzard Fan Art" feature for our dear WoW Insider readers, when I found that selecting the "best" was extremely difficult. I kept copying so many pictures into my own "best of" folder that I began to feel like I might as well just link you all to the entire fan art site and call it a day. Most of it is really very fun to look at many many times.

So today I went back determined to try again and found that they had redesigned the entire site. It loads much faster, and presents the art to you in a much smoother interface. You can see many more thumbnails per page, and change the size of the thumnails depending on how many you want to see. Once you click on a picture, you can then easily scroll through from one to another very quickly, without having to wait for the entire page to reload again and again. Also, they managed to provide a nice fade effect, so that the transition between pictures is smooth. The only downside is that you can no longer link to a single piece of art.

Oh -- and also, you can no longer just click and download each picture to your own computer. I'm sure there must be a way (short of taking a screenshot), but it's beyond me. I'll take it as a sign from heaven, since I can no longer conveniently build my "Best of" folder, that the "Best of Blizzard Fan Art" site is the whole Blizzard fan art site itself. Now, with the tediousness of complicated page-loading removed, you may find browsing through the artwork gives you a whole new experience.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Galleries

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