WoW revisited

Well, I’ve been back into WoW, including the Burning Crusade, for about a week or so now. I did the short 10-day teaser trial, but since none of my mates were on anymore, it wasn’t that good. Having people you really know to quest with makes a big difference.

Having said that, I’ve been madly levelling another toon, a Dranei Shaman. Similar in many ways to a Druid, he can take a bit more damage without having to change into a Bear, which means he can keep casting while taking a beating. Not as much as say, a Paladin, but a bit nonetheless.

I’ve also respecced Ibu to feral, meaning she does a heap of DPS in cat form, and can withstand a stack of damage in Bear form. Fun stuff. Since she lives in Outland now, I’ve also been doing a bit of PvP, which is really fun. It’s the best way to get the heart pumping, much more than just questing.

WoW, or not so WOW!

Well, since I got off my arse and finally downloaded what I thought was the Burning Crusade update, but just turned out to be the original client, I’ve played about one hour, which got me to Level 6, and I’m fairly bored. I’m waiting for the extra 1.1G to download with the Burning Crusade content, but I don’t think I see myself getting back into it. Especially as most of my guild has also given it up…

ApacheScriptureCafé Del Mar • Volume 8

p2p shaping?

Well, I’ve been sitting on the 10 day demo of the Burning Crusade for a month or two, and have just started downloading the client. 3.5GB, which, maxed out will take a couple of days to download. I have to use the Blizzard Downloader program to get it, and I just discovered that turning off Peer-to-peer Downloading dramatically increases my throughput. I went from 6K/sec to 25K/sec. I wonder if this is to do with p2p shaping thatGoTalk, the people who bought out WildIT, apparently do.

No MMORPG at the present

Well, after (carelessly) letting my Eve-Online subscription lapse, by not putting enough cash into my VISA account, I’m without a MMORPG. I loved playing WoW when I did, although I miss it a little, I’m not really about to get back into it. I really don’t know if I’ll renew/reactivate Eve, since I only ever really played it a little bit. Probably wasn’t getting my money’s worth out of it. I may download the WoW expansion, but it’s a fairly hefty 3.5GB, and then I only get a 10 day trial, with characters limited to 1XP below Level 61. If I had a really speedy connection, and limitless data transfer, then I would do it. I might see if any kids from school have downloaded it. Although, realistically, that would be the PC version, and I’m really loving OS X at the moment. Perhaps that’s one reason I haven’t been playing Eve much lately. No Mac version, although it does work with Cross Over Office, although not on my Dell for some reason. As soon as I get my MBP, I might give it another go.

Cross-platform Application

John Gruber, over on Daring Fireball, has posted about the name change of Lightroom to Adobe Lightroom, in Brand New, and seems to have hit the nail on the head with the discussion about rebranding and brand integrity. He’s also spoken about cross-platform applications, and how Adobe are the only real software maker that builds true single-source based applications that run on multiple OSes. I would have agreed with him, except that he talks about how Lightroom is built using Lua as a scripting language. There is at least one other cross-platform application, also built with Lua, that is updated regularly, is the same on Mac and PC, and even “shares the same manual”. That application is, of course, World of Warcraft. Blizzard, along with (some) other game makers, have a long history of releasing Mac and PC versions of their software. I assume the source code for these two is largely the same, as they continue to update it on a monthly or so schedule, and a significant proportion of the update code is the same on both platforms. Granted, Blizzard are very different to most other game development houses, in that they do write Mac versions of their software. And they don’t have to write code that uses the GUI hooks, in that they have their own UI. But, it’s still (almost certainly) the same codebase, nonetheless. Well, I’m hung over, and I need a Chicken Yiros.

I Close My Eyes And Think Of YouPaul Kelly…Nothing But A Dream ★★★★

Disable Windows Key(s)

When playing World of Warcraft, we use a program called TeamSpeak to communicate, rather than trying to type madly like idiots. It works pretty well, and most users have a push-to-talk key setup, so that you only transmit when this key is pressed. This is all well and good, but sometimes users have the Alt key as their PTT key. But WoW uses the Tab key as Select Nearest (or next) Enemy. So, if our rogue, and Main Assist, _Heropsycho _is running towards a target, and talking, there is a fairly high chance he’ll Alt-Tab out of WoW, and have to wait for the system to catch up before rejoining the fight. And, it turns out that Hero is our main damage dealer, so being without him is rather bad. Enter this idea. Remove the mapping for the Win key, so this can be the PTT key. Save the following into a text file, with the extension .reg:

1     Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
2     
3     [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
4     "Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,00,00,5B,E0,00,00,5C,E0,00,00,00,00

Double-click this file, and restart. You can them map Win as your PTT key, and pressing it will no longer open the Start Menu. I mean, when was the last time you used this key to get to the Start Menu anyway? Or, you can get the file from http://files.schinckel.net/disable_both_windows_keys.reg.

Ultimate WoW Druid Add-On

There are several Add-Ons out there for Druid characters, but none of them really quite meet my needs, so I’m going to write my own. The focus will initally be on Healing and Spells, although will still include some Feral aspects. /InstantHeal(unit) /BestHealingTouch(unit) /BestRejuvenation(unit) /BestRegrowth(unit) /BestWild(unit) /RemoveDebuff(unit) /TotemKiller /BestWrath(unit) /InstantHibernate(unit) /RootNow(unit)

Macros and Addons for WoW

With the weekly downtime, I get an opportunity to have a look at stuff outside of the game world. I’ve started using CTMods, and now I’m going to look into some macro and Add-On stuff: Note that these are at this stage untested, and will remain so until at least 11 am PDT!

  • Killing Totems and Wards. /target Totem /cast Moonfire(Rank 1) or even better /script r=Spell_Rank; if (UnitName("target") ~=nil) and (string.find(UnitName("target"),"Totem"))~=nil then CastSpellByName("Moonfire(Rank 1)") else CastSpellByName("Moonfire(Rank "..r..")"); end
  • Self-Cast Innervate. /script CastSpellByName("Innervate", true)
  • Cast Innervate and Whisper to that target. /cast Innervate /script msg="Innervate cast on you, mana regen @ 400% for 20 seconds."; SendChatMessage(msg, "WHISPER", "Common", UnitName("target"));
  • Self-Cast Heal. /script CastSpellByName("Healing Touch", true)
  • Announcing Heals in Party/Raid Chat. /cast Healing Touch /script smsg="Casting Healing Touch on %t in 4 sec..."; if ( GetNumRaidMembers() > 0 ) then SendChatMessage(smsg,"RAID") elseif (GetNumPartyMembers() > 0 ) then SendChatMessage(smsg,"PARTY") end
  • Self Bandage.
  • Change Detail Settings: ie. for IronForge. Need to find a way to do this using /script, so I can test for the current mode, and set it to the opposite, so I can use one macro to just switch. HighRes: /z SetFarclip(777) /z SetWorldDetail(2) /z SetBaseMip(1) MediumRes: /z SetFarclip(477) /z SetWorldDetail(1) /z SetBaseMip(1) LowRes: /z SetFarclip(177) /z SetWorldDetail(0) /z SetBaseMip(0)
  • Change Viewport Resolution when Fullscreen/Windowed Mode changed. Combine these two parts… /script SetCVar(“gxWindow”, 1 - GetCVar(“gxWindow”)); /console reloadui Work out the values required for the args… /script currentRes = GetCurrentResolution(); if (currentRes == 3) then SetScreenResolution(15); SetCVar(“gxWindow”, 0); SetMultisampleFormat(16); else SetCVar(“gxWindow”, 1); SetScreenResolution(3); SetMultisampleFormat(1); end;
  • Nature’s Swiftness/Heal. /cast Nature's Swiftness /script SpellStopCasting() /cast Healing Touch
  • Mounting Steed. /s Bubbles, faithful steed, I need you now. /script UseContainerItem(4,4) /e summons her Striped Nightsaber. The arguments are: Bag # (right to left, Backpack is 0), Slot # (left-right, top-bottom).
  • Use off-hand item.

More RAM makes WoW happy.

I bought an extra Gig of Ram today - I thought I already had a gigabyte in my PC, but I only had 512 Mb. Upping the Ram makes World of Warcraft run smoothly, even in Ironforge, a busy city where I get crappy FPS. I’ve also been able to increase some of the detail settings without too noticeable dip in performance. But by far the best outcome is that I can switch between WoW and Firefox without having to wait ten or twenty seconds for it to catch up…

WoW Update Bugs/Issues

Whilst most of the stuff in WoW update 1.11 is great, there are a couple of things that have come to my attention as being problematic. The first and most obvious is the global LookingForGroup chat channel. It has meant that everyone in every zone can see every LFG from the other zones. This alone is bad news, as it makes the traffic level in this chat too high. But it gets worse. People have started using this channel as a trade channel, as they now get access to everyone, everywhere. It means that most of the time, people will now be forced to turn this channel off. Secondly, and only obvious to Druids, is the subtle change that has been made to flight paths - you can now only fly to Rutheran Village out of Moonglade, wheras before you used to be able to pick a flight path, and chain out of Moonglade.