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Posts with tag whispers

Trial account restrictions and the 30 percent problem

A few days ago, we posted on a very interesting statistic: Only 30% of all WoW trial accounts make it past level 10. On some level, it's been assumed that this number explains why Blizzard's taking such care to smooth out the beginning game a bit, to make it easier and more fun to stick with the game past level 10 or so. In a large way, this makes sense. But there may be other reasons beyond game play in play as well.

If you're picking up a trial account, chances are that you heard about it from a friend or a blog or a news report. But chances are, you were shown or described a massively armored warrior engaged in fierce hand to hand combat on the back of a dragon flying through the air, or a finely robed mage flinging a fireball at the face of the lord of all magic, or something similarly epic. With that in mind, it might justifably get discouraging to show up in game to find yourself dressed in rags, wielding a toothpick, and being sent to collect wolf pelts that inexplicably only drop off about half the wolves you kill.

With that in mind, it's easy to see how a trial account user could get bored pretty fast. But for me, there's one other angle that very few people seem to be bringing up: The social angle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Several mods interfering with chat display

Most of my mods are working pretty well in patch 3.1, even if it's no longer as easy to update them. However, there is one bug that bit me that seems to be widespread enough to be worth a mention: various types of messages not showing up in the chat frame. This includes outgoing and (sometimes) incoming whispers, guild member alerts, and notifications of discovering new recipes (the last one I find particularly irritating, since it leaves you unaware of what you've just discovered if you use a Research recipe).

At first, I thought the bug was probably Prat's fault, since Prat is the most chat-oriented mod I'm using. However, after taking a look at my Lua errors, I traced it down to CraftyGnome, which I have disabled for the time being. I've heard of this error being caused by a few mods, though, so if you're running any of:

  • CraftyGnome
  • An old version of Deadly Boss Mods
  • Tongues

Try turning them off (or updating, in the case of DBM) and see if that fixes the problem. And if you've found any other mods that you have verified as causing this issue, let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Filed under: Bugs, Add-Ons

Subliminal messaging from the Spirit Healer

This is pretty ludicrous, but it's too funny to ignore: this YouTube posters swears he hears "World of Warcraft" and "give us your money" hidden in the whispers swirling around the Spirit Healer while dead (there is one NSFW word in the video, if that rubs you the wrong way). Personally, while I do hear it, it's a little too off to be taken seriously. And of course we all know that subliminal messages don't work anyway. But still, if you're the type to go for a good conspiracy theory, it is in there -- maybe the reason Blizzard has the top MMO ever made isn't because it's a great game, but because they're transmitting messages to your brain!

The question does remain: what's really being said in those death whispers? Whatever it is, odds are that it's not in English. My guess is maybe Titan, the language of the Titans -- but that assumes that whatever's speaking to you is from the world, and there are probably more deceased spirits floating around Azeroth by now than actual living creatures on it. For all we know, it could be the Others.

[Thanks, Dave!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Machinima, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor

Addon Spotlight: WoW Instant Messenger

As we have noted before, the standard chat interface is not very user-friendly. One of the ways in which it doesn't work, is that all sorts of different text channels are crammed together into one window. This is particularly unhelpful when you're trying to maintain several different whisper conversations, as well as talk in your party or guild channel all at the same time. I used to have gobs and gobs of trouble with this, wishing that the chat interface were more like... an instant messenger!

Well now it can be. WoW Instant Messenger (or WIM for short) brings you the best of the Instant Messenger features out there and packs it into one nice addon. The main thing is just that it separates each conversation into a different window (or tab!) so that you can keep them straight and not miss any messages. You can set these windows to appear whenever a message comes in, or to wait for you to click on the icon, just like an answering machine. They also display the name, level, class, and guild of the person you're whispering with, and there are several buttons on the side, which allow you to do several things, such as add the whisperer as a friend, or find out where in the game he or she is at the moment.

So if WoW is not only a game to you, but also a place to meet up with your friends and just talk for hours, be sure to have this addon to make your social life a little bit easier.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Fed up with ingame gold whispers

Like Sniffledoo, I'm done with it. This ingame gold whispering is getting worse and worse, and it's time something drastic was done about it.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can consider yourself lucky, but I'm guessing it's become pretty widespread by now (at first, I'd just chalked it up to being on a high population server). Spammers are almost constantly sending whispers ingame to buy and sell gold and powerlevel characters. Blizzard has of course said that they are banning players who get reported as spammers, but, also like Sniffledoo, I think it's time they went another step-- it's time to go after the sites that are doing it.

As always, IANAL, but clearly we know where these spam messages are coming from-- they are being sponsored by the sites advertised (I can, unfortunately, list a few of them off the top of my head, but I won't link to any of them, because they just don't deserve it). Does Blizzard have a legal claim against these sites for ruining the player experience and consistently breaking the TOS? If they have documented this activity, couldn't they take it to court and at least sue these sites for ruining the game experience?

It's gotten to the point where I would almost be willing to agree to a TOS that says "I agree to be sued for spamming" if it means Blizzard has a better legal footing against these idiots. Reporting these players is the best thing to do right now (even though these are alts that are just created and deleted, maybe even in a matter of minutes), and there are even addons now that will block and report this stuff for us, but why can't Blizzard do more? Why haven't they gone after the sites sponsoring this junk?

Update: A couple of people have already mentioned the gold links on this site-- in case you missed it, we are constantly working to get rid of them. WoW Insider does not condone or endorse any activities that are against the TOS, including powerleveling and gold buying and selling.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

Breakfast Topic: u want 2 b our healr?

Sometimes, the inevitable happens. You're down a man (or woman), halfway through an instance, and one of you has to pick up a replacement. Or perhaps you're on the other side -- you really want to get into a particular instance to do all those quests cluttering up your log.

Some players in the latter category may hang around capital cities occasionally asking in LFG and waiting for appropriate LFM broadcasts. However, it's safe to say that not every player in Orgrimmar wants to do RFC, and not every player in Stormwind wants to do the Stockades. Unfortunately, I've seen a huge rise in the number of unsolicited whispers recently from players asking for help in these instances -- and more.

I wouldn't mind so much if they were phrased nicely, or gave me some motivation to join. "u want 2 come to dm with us? u heal?" isn't sufficient justification for a high-level character to leave the comfort of a city and run through a low-level instance with strangers. Of course, some players take this opportunity to play tricks on unsuspecting lowbies -- what's your reaction to random instance invitations? Have you ever found one compelling enough to take up? Or did you manage to phrase your LFG nicely enough that you were deluged with help?

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Instances

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