Archive for September, 2010

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6 Steps to a Fresh UI

Monday, September 13th, 2010

With Cataclysm looming, we all know that there will be serious addon issues that arise.  Every few months I take an afternoon or so to do a complete UI refresh on my system.  It helps to keep the game from getting bogged down, keeps things up to date and gives me a chance to experiment with some new ideas I’ve had for the game’s look and feel.

I thought I would share my recommended process as it might be something you find useful to prepare yourself for the coming chaos.

Step 1: Take screenshots of your current UI.

Multiple characters, in combat, out of combat, under whatever conditions you think are important.  This will be helpful later when you’re trying to set up addons to look a certain way and so you don’t forget about anything!

Step 2: Move/rename your addon related folders.

You want to start from scratch, eliminating any settings or saved variables that might be left around. The folders you are looking for are your Interface/Addon folder and your WTF/{AccountName} folder.

Step 3: Play WoW.  Naked. (The game, not you… that part is up to you!)

Play around with the in-game Interface settings.  The idea here is to step back and decide what the Blizzard UI is really lacking for you.  I wouldn’t recommend jumping into a raid, but maybe a dungeon or some farming and dailies.  Make a list of what you find annoying or unusable without addons.

Step 4: Set up your action bars so they are usable from the Blizzard UI. (Optional, but highly recommended)

If you’ve been using a bar mod for a long time, your action buttons probably aren’t logically set up to be used with Blizzard’s UI.  I recommend changing that, in case you happen to play at someone else’s place or in case your addon breaks for some reason.  (This is called “degrading gracefully”) Later, when you reinstall your new bar mod, set up your bars around your action buttons, not the other way around!

Step 5: Research your addons.

Maybe you’ve got an addon you’ve been using for a while, but it’s no longer being maintained.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen!  Try to find out if there is a supported addon with equivalent functionality.

Step 6: Install the addons you find necessary.

Enable them ONE AT A TIME and configure it to your liking.  This way you don’t end up with random UI components that you can’t find the source of.  Repeat until all your addons are set up.  If you simply can’t get something to work or look how it did before, you may want to explore your previously saved screenshots and saved settings files.

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Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick has reloaded!

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

If you don’t remember, the Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick was one of the top Hunter blogs in the community not so long ago.  She was even part of my inspiration in creating my own Bow Lovin’ Dwarf Chick.

If you knew where to find her, you may have read some of her musings since GLDC was officially shut down, but now she’s returned from her many various adventures and is back at Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick ready to shoot stuff and write about it.  So make sure you stay up to date!

Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick!

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A Call to the Isles (RP)

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“Ha!  How many times must I tell you, you’ve got a give, my friend!” Brajana gave a hearty laugh as she gathered her winnings from the table.  “How about another game?” She took a large swig of mediocre Kungaloosh and looked around the table at her companions.

They weren’t really companions – after the initial glory brought on from the final defeat of Arthas, the Lich King, it was not long until her group of real companions disbanded.  Some went in search of more adventures, some were satisfied with their victory and settled down closer to home, and others just seemed to disappear.  Brajana remained in Northrend, aimless and alone.  She’d done the odd job here and there, but after a lifetime of training to defeat the evil that plagued the Horde, nothing really seemed worthwhile anymore.  More often than not she could be found in The Filthy Animal surrounded by empty bottles of whatever they’d serve her and looking for a cheap thrill through a game of dice.

Her gambling partners seemed to decide they couldn’t afford to give her anymore of their hard earned gold and vacated the table.  But just as Brajana raised her hand to beckon the barmaid, someone new sat down at her table.

She blinked, trying to straighten her slightly spinning view.

“Tza’jin, you should not be here.  Your place is in Sen’jin.” Brajana told her uncle and mentor.  She did not want him to see her like this – barely able to sit straight let alone hold her bow as steady as he’d trained her to.

“It be ya place too, Brajana.  De time has come.  We be returnin’ to de Isles, an’ we be needen’ all de help we can get.”

All of a sudden, Brajana felt more sober than she’d been in weeks.  Memories of her childhood home washed over her, of the stories she’d heard of Zalazane and his Voodoo.  She nodded to Tza’jin and stood, whistled for Fiddlesticks and strapped her bow across her back.

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Timing is Everything: Awaiting Cataclysm

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Blizzard has prided itself on being a company that doesn’t release a product until it’s ready.  I’ve always been respectful of that, and I think it has a lot to do with their success.  If you release a product on time but unfinished, you lose some credibility.

But have they taken simply too much time preparing for the release of Cataclysm?

I’ve been a pretty big fan of the Wrath of the Lich King philosophy of 10/25 mans and hard modes, a clever way to allow everyone a chance to see all of the story-driven content, while still giving the more hardcore players a chance to feel special.  I would have loved to be able to see all the content in The Burning Crusade, but that was not in the cards for someone with a relaxed play style like me.  Now I’ve been able to kill the Lich King, even if it was only with 9 other people on regular mode.  Unfortunately, a downside to this mechanism is that you don’t get the same epic feeling when killing an old boss in a new way.

I look back on my post about Anticipation for WotLK, and my view was almost completely the opposite.  I didn’t want Wrath to come out because The Burning Crusade was still keeping me quite occupied! Now, I feel like this expansion has let my interests wander.

It’s been so long since Icecrown Citadel was released that pretty much everyone who was going to kill the Lich King has killed the Lich King, in one way or another.  There are plenty of people who are still working on hard modes, but a lot of us have decided that instead of seeing the same old bosses several nights a week for 9 months straight, it’s a good time to play some other games.  And while there is no harm in that, the longer Blizzard leaves us to play other games, the less chance there is for us to be brought back in for Cataclysm.  By letting us realize, “Hey, there’s a whole other world out here!” and “Quitting WoW isn’t that bad, actually.” They’ve lost a lot of loyalty.  I have no doubt that a lot of people will return to the game for Cataclysm, but I think the longer Blizzard waits to release it, the less committed the players will be to sticking around.

I never had any intention of not playing World of Warcraft this summer, it just happened.  I’d realize I just hadn’t logged in in weeks; I’d actually forgotten about the game.  And in a way, that kind of “quitting” is much worse for Blizzard than a forced quit, when someone still wants to play but has to stop.  My list of other games to play is growing so much that I almost dread having to commit my gaming time to playing Cataclysm when it’s released.

What I’m trying to say is: Blizzard better knock this expansion out of the park if they hope to regain the devotion they had during the prime of Wrath of the Lich King.