Category Archives: Patches
Yesterday, June 16 2020, Blizzard surreptitiously pushed a change to the Auction House, forcing a “throttle” on auction activities such as posting or cancelling.
This throttle seems to be around a batch size of 30 to 40, and has met with great levels of unhappiness amongst the masses.
A few items of concern:
- Batch size too small to qualify as “power auctioneers”, the stated target.
- For example, I average between 50 and 100 auctions per session, which is mostly glyphs
- You can easily exceed the limit just dumping mats you salvaged while being totally casual
- No testing on PTR
- No feedback gathered from testers
- Pushed to production with no discernable testing
Basically it works out that if you do more than ‘x’1 actions in a minute, all the actions beyond that value in that minute will be throttled. Massively.
This is less of a patch than a hit.
The outcry was immediate and loud. We had bloggers, streamers, twits, twitchers all calling this out, and who can blame them. I mean, sure, you wanna tackle certain bad actors, then fine. But honest pizznesmens? Optics are bad on this.
The interesting part of this is, while I was writing this, things changed. Quietly, without a lot of fanfare, Blizz backed things off a bit. I don’t know how far, but I do know that it’s at least as far as sixty actions in a single minute since that’s what I had to test with.
The other guy blinked.
They’re leaving the throttle on cancellations, but I can live with that (even though it really sucks)
1 Where ‘x’ is somewhere between 25 and 40 based on what we’ve heard so far.
That Water Strider business; it’s all about control.
Imma not gonna lie, I never got the Water Strider mount until BfA, and even then it was the Welfare Water Strider. I was in no hurry, but until I got it I didn’t realize why so many people wanted it.
Take yourself back to Burning Crusade and the massive effect that flying mounts had on day to day questing. Now, there was a big difference between then and now. Then: you had to gain the flying ability per toon. Today: one toon gets it, all toons get is.
But there was a gate, and flying was that gate.
Before flying, you had to slog your way through any number of BC quests (flying didn’t apply to, well, anything on Azeroth), and that taught certain values about the value of flying in landlocked environments. Most importantly: quests that were difficult for landlocked toons were cake for those with flying mounts.
For some time now I have been ruminating on how water striding mounts fulfil the same role that flying mounts did, only instead of flying they offer the means to move freely in areas that water constrained the area of free movement.
And in the course of those ruminations, I have come to realize that water striding mounts fulfil the same role that flying mounts did on areas that relied on the behavior of ground mounts to restrict and control movement in a zone.
You see, this is all about control.
Control, and the complete lack of foresight on the part of software developers that are paid well to foresee such things.
The whole point of controlling flying in zones is to control the flow of the activities in that zone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is bullshit. The design of a zone that has flying as a factor must take flying into account, or the zone design itself is a failure. So far, every zone that Blizzard has presented is a failure when it comes to flying. Flying overcomes all constraints designed into the zone. No zone designers thus far have designed with flying in mind. And as a result, we end up with artificial constraints on where you can and cannot fly. Shame.
Water Striders are the next generation of this shit-show of design. When they were introduced in Pandaria, they were a cute little end-game perk for players that endured an endless shit show of a rep grind. The short-sighted designers of these mounts failed to foresee how useful they would become in future expansions, for the design didn’t have any level constraints.
And then all of the zone designers after Pandaria worked water into the constraints of the zones that they designed, because somebody had already removed flying from the constraints until endgame, and, surprisingly, nobody had notified them that someone on the MoP team had designed a mount that would blow right by any water-based constraints. I mean, they can’t be expected to play the game and, well, read WoWHead, right?
And, unpredicted by anyone except us filthy casuals, water striding mounts became the most popular mounts in the game. Why? Because they broke the constraints imposed by the Master of the Universe Top Men programmers of all zones after Pandaria. The Top Men said “you can’t go here unless you fight through zillions of aquatic assholes” and we were like “lol I water stride the fuck over your heads motherfucker.”
I mean, this was the deal no matter your level. If you were able to earn enough rep to buy an Azure Water Strider (about a month’s work) then you had the ability to bypass a large part of any zone’s constraints that were based on water. You could just “fly” over the aquatic mobs’ heads and call yourself a mf’ing hero.
Listen, I’ve been doing. So don’t trot out any holier than thought bullshit. No time, no patience. It’s a thing that happened, and any player that employs maximum efficiency will do the thing. it’s natural.
What I’m getting at is that the changes to water striding in the 8.2 patch are kinda predictable. WoW isn’t about making game mechanics more fun, it’s about maximizing the amount of time the can keep you playing and Water Strider mounts don’t really help with that.
Now. Changes to the Water Strider mount are kinda weird in that light. What we’re getting right now is that the mount won’t be able to do the thing it was bought to do – walk on water – until the character that uses it is level 100.
Okay, I get that, if the max level for the current expansion is 100, that makes perfect sense.
But it’s not. Current max level for BfA is 120. So if you are level 100 and playing BfA, you are not in any way constrained when it comes to water walking mounts.
So I am in many ways questioning the changes to water walking mounts in 8.2.
Listen, I’ve been of the opinion that water walking mounts blew the level design of all zones since Draenor. But I’ve always envisioned a solution that … addressed the problem. As in only applying to max-level zones, not zones of the past.
The current solution is bullshit. Wrong. Punishing people other than the intended audience.
Though I have to say, if your mechanics design hinges on punishing people, maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.
Or I’m playing the wrong game.
Getting close to option B, friends.
The Big Fat Glyph Monger Post for WoD (Pre-Patch)
Collecting data from many sources, I submit the Big Fat Glyph Table for WoD. I submit without comment, except the following.
- I celebrate at last the removal of one of the two Stampede glyphs. Such a pain to track two different ones.
- Let’s discuss this table.
- Unchanged – The same glyph will exist in WoD. There is no guarantee that it will function precisely the same, but it’s more or less survived intact.
- Removed – The glyph with this Item ID is being replaced with a thing called Charred Glyph, an item worth exactly 50s in the coming expansion. So sell it for whatever you can get unless all you can get for it is less than 50s.
- Changed – The glyph you have now will change to something else, but it will still be a glyph that you can sell. Look at the “Comments” column for the name of the glyph it will change to. Not that matters a whole lot pre-patch.
- New – A new glyph will be introduced with a new Item ID. You are not prepared.
- Uncertain – I am getting conflicting information. For example, one source says the glyph is being added, but the datamined data on wod.wowhead.com says it doesn’t exist. Since this doesn’t affect the pre-patch activities that much, just keep an eye on it. See the comments column for any relevant info.
The table itself can be filtered, segmented, or sorted at your whimsy. And that’s pretty much all I have to say. Enjoy.
[table id=15 /]
Drunken Friday Night’s musings
If I’m sober enough to type, I’m sober enough to post.
The latest news on bag management – and especially reagent management – in patch 6.0.2 is exciting and very smexxay. Allowing you to use your reagents bank from any location is a game-changer, no doubt about it. I hope that cooking mats are included, not that that’s a big deal to me these days ((Raids? I’ve heard of them.)).
Without attributing to any specific incident, let me say that the ladies of WoW are an especially awesome group of people. I might get worn out trying to keep up with some of them ((And I’ve dropped a few twitterz because of that.)), but the thoughts that they put forth on the topics of gender equality are well worth the time it takes to read and digest. I may not agree 100% ((And I suspect that my XY chromosome arrangement renders my opinions to some of them irrelevant.)) with all that is stated by them, but overall they fight the good fight and I am totally okay with that. Not that it matters, right ladies?
It occurs to me, though, that there are very few male bloggers whose opinions I cherish. A lot of them come from a position of privilege and seem to somehow carry that with them, but others have multiple points of view and therefore bring something interesting to the party. Which I find interesting ((I remembered ‘Rades’ but not the name of his blog. Go figure.)). I’ll always have interest in the various hunter fora ((BTW, WHU is back, Metzen be praised.)) without actually endorsing them, but it’s the blogs that have opinions on the issues that matter that keep me coming back.
A long time ago I used Amiga computers pretty much exclusively, and participated in a FidoNet “echo” that the current WoW “twitterverse” has a strong resemblance to. Those people – more than any blog, forum, or website – epitomize the goodness to be found in the WoW social universe, in the same way that nothing that mattered on amiga,org seemed to matter in #AmigaGeneral.. Not the pustulant sewers of the WoW fora, and certainly not the reeking crevasses that represent the ‘discourse’ to be found on MMO-C, 4Chan, or Reddit.
Cultivate the proper list of tweeters on Twitter, and your life will be better in every respect.
The true Glyphapocolypse
With the dissemination of the WoW 6.0.2 PTR patch notes, we now have a first good idea as to what the glyph landscape will look like post-Warlords.
In this first round, we are informed that some glyphs will now become known inherently as you achieve certain levels in-game. In other words, you won’t have to buy a glyph off the AH or make it or have it made in order to learn that glyph. Good news for everyone else, bad news for us.
We made several improvements to the Glyph system. While leveling, characters unlock Glyph slots at several specific levels. However, in order to get glyphs, characters need to visit an Auction House (and potentially pay way more gold than an average character of that level has yet), or know a Scribe from which to request them. To solve this, we’ve made characters learn some Glyphs automatically as they level. Additionally, we now have the ability to make some glyphs exclusive with each other, or require specific specializations.
What this means for you is that all the glyphs in this list will potentially be turned into something called a Charred Glyph. These are worth exactly 50s when the patch drops – which is a pretty good deal considering what you can currently vendor a glyph. for something around 14s.
There’s a far shorter list of glyphs which have an uncertain future. To be honest, this could be a data mining error on WoWHead. Some – according to WoWHead – remain untouched, while some of them just … go away.
My methodology here was simple. I took the list from Blizz, looked them up on WoWHead noted the ID of the glyph, then looked it up on the Beta WoWHead. Easy enough. If you see a flaw in that logic, act accordingly.
So here’s the plan.
- Fire sale the glyphs on the list of those going away when the patch drops, stopping at 50s + auction fees. If the price drops below that threshold, stash the glyphs and sell them for 50s apiece when 6.0.2 drops.
- Glyphs on the ‘uncertain’ list will probably go the same route … so it’s probably safe to follow option 1 with them as well. But if you feel that WoWHead is more reliable than Blizzard in this regard, by all means, set them aside or just keep them in your sale rotation, business as usual.
Here’s a couple of lists for you.
Glyphs turning to Charred Glyph
- Alabaster Shield
- Avenging Wrath,
- Black Ice
- Breath of Fire
- Bull Rush
- Cat Form
- Cheap Shot
- Chimera Shot
- Dazing Shield
- Deadly Momentum
- Death and Decay
- Death Grip
- Demon Training
- Divine Storm
- Double Jeopardy
- Drain Life
- Ember Tap
- Enraged Speed
- Entangling Roots
- Eternal Earth
- Fae Silence
- Faerie Fire
- Ferocious Bite
- Final Wrath
- Fists of Fury
- Flame Shock
- Flash of Light
- Fortuitous Spheres
- Frost Nova
- Frost Shock
- Frostfire Bolt
- Gag Order
- Healing Touch
- Healing Wave
- Holy Fire
- Light of Dawn
- Lightning Shield
- Long Charge
- Mana Tea
- Master Shapeshifter
- Might of Ursoc
- Mind Blast
- Nature’s Grasp
- Rapid Rolling
- Reflective Shield
- Shield Wall
- Shifting Presences
- Siphon Life
- Spinning Crane Kick
- Spiritwalker’s Grace
- Templar’s Verdict
- the Executor
- Unholy Command
Glyphs with Uncertain Futures
- Harsh Words
- Totemic Recall
- Victory Roll
- Victory Rush
- Water Elemental
- Word of Glory
Hey, where’d your text go?
After patch 5.4.2 was applied, you may have noticed something like this:
Notice anything missing?
No matter who it was, the nameplates no longer showed the names, making them just ‘plates’. If you used something like TidyPlates you might not have this problem, but there were a lot of other people that did. What was up?
The first clue emerged on the forums – if you had Tekkub’s Tekticles installed, which modified the fonts used in game, you might have this problem.
But if you weren’t using Tekticles, and still had that problem? Look for an app called BetterFont – "!BetterFont" on your addon panel, and thus near the top. If you have this installed, disable it. You’ll probably no longer have the problem.
If you have neither of these, search out other font-altering addons. If unsure, disable them all, and then enable each one, one at a time, until the problem occurs again. That’ll be the addon causing the issue.
Glyphmas 2012: down among ’em, Charlie
Let’s start this off on the right foot.
Not catastrophically, pitchforks-and-flaming-torches wrong, but not 100% right.
Most, if not all, of the “dead” glyphs did not go away, turn into dust, evaporate, or otherwise become worthless. They were changed into whatever MoP now currently has the same ID that they had in Cata. So the correct action should have been to just stash those in the bank, at worse, and break them back out when the patch dropped.
So, apologies, if you didn’t make out like a bandit on that particular aspect.
Well, moving on.
Otherwise Glyphmas 2012 has been cracking good. I’m sure I’m not making out as well as others, but my goal is to get some sleep and keep some of my soul, so that’s the way it shall be. Two days, around 17000, and not really trying as hard as the server’s resident glyph bandit who seems hellbent on running me off the server. He’s even gone so far as to roll two level 1 bank alts in Darnassus ((OH HOW CLEVER.)) and he alternates between them. I’m pretty sure glyph prices on Alleria would be a lot higher if not for his efforts. Well, everyone wins; I sell in bulk, you get cheaper glyphs ((And I haven’t even made a single “trickle down” joke yet.)).
Even after stockpiling inks before the patch dropped, I went through every one of them before the end of the first day. I’m now out farming for herbs. I HAVE heard that the ink trader still accepts Blackfallow ink, but that’s clearly not intended behavior, and is sure to go away at some point, and hopefully nobody gets punished for exploiting the bug, if bug it be.
The current bonanza is just a preview of day 1 of MoP. We’ll get access to Ink of Dreams, and have a use for Monk glyphs. My suggestion – if you’re willing to take it – is to have your Monk glyphs made already, if possible.
Oh – and visit your trainer! Learn those new glyphs!
So, um, patch day.
A quick technical note
If you’re unable to log in to a character, or know someone that is having this problem (i.e. you get to the loading screen and the bar stops around 1/4 the way across), there is a solution. Apparently any addon using the lib-Tourist library will cause this. Just disable the addon. Currently this includes:
- Fishing Buddy
- Fubar (not here, but I’ve heard things).
I’ve also had problems with a couple of other programs throwing LUA errors on use or login, but that’s minor.
I’m really amazed that the WoW LUA interpreter lets an addon blow up the whole program like that. I have two words: error checking. It’s hawt.
A new look
Thanks to the addon follies, and a side trip to the queue to watch The Big Lebowski, the crew really didn’t get moving until ten-ish; since they were right there, Jas, Illume, and Flora got right down to clearing the bank of old yet sentimental wardrobe items, and mogging current gear to their favorite ‘in town’ outfits.
The biggest disappointment is that at some point I managed to lose Illume’s Abjurer’s Regalia (except the head piece, ick). So we’ll be looking to pick that back up. There is no outfit anywhere that screams "ice mage" quite as much as this set.
Myself, I’m still mulling over things. If mail it is, it’ll probably be bits of the DS3, a sentimental favorite ((Again, except for the helm. Really, Blizz, would it kill you to make something more attractive?)). There really is no other hunter gear that doesn’t look plain hideous to me, and I can’t really mog my current armor into my favorite in-town duds. I want something that actually says "woodsman" when you see it. Like plain leathers and a viridian cloak. Research is required. I’d love to find this in-game.
A somber mood
This patch day is somewhat more somber than past ones, though not as much as the 4.0.3 patch day when I was contemplating a server transfer.
Now, after a fantastic year (or as close to a year as makes no difference) of raiding a camaraderie with Eff the Ineffable, it appears that is coming to an end. So many of our fundamental supports are leaving to go beat on Boba that we’re already marginal. With our GM stepping down (she outed it on twitter), the future of the guild looks murky. I was already sad over the departures; this doesn’t help matters.
So while the new instances and the new raid look magnificent – truly, they do! – I find myself suddenly without any motivation to participate. I’ll probably get out of my funk before too long, at least enough to party with the posse a few more times, but it will be bittersweet, I think.
My blood, my cousins, my Calvary
Yeah a piece of them’s gone but still I feel them strong.
Some thoughts on recent events
It’s difficult commenting on bombshell announcements like the recent 4.3 changes because everybody’s doing it and it’s difficult not to be lost in a maelstrom of opinion. Never let it be said that I had sense enough to let that stop me.
The most contentious of them by far is the change to Threat. What surprises me the most out of all of this is exactly how near-term most of the commentary has been. People seem to be stopping short at the change to Threat itself in this current patch, without reading further what Ghostcrawler had to say. From what I gather, this is just the first step in eliminating Threat as a game mechanic, and that there is more to come. I’m no tank, and there are no experienced ones at Casa de Grimmtooth, but I think that would be far more interesting to ponder.
Without a doubt, though, a lot of tanks seem to be feeling that the role is being dumbed down. Here, pull up a chair at the dumbed-down table, then. Plenty of room. Obviously, I do understand the feeling. So many things in this game have been dumbed down or simplified that they seem to be from a different game than we first bought.
A lot of this has to do with the age and growth model of WoW. A lot of stuff has grown organically over time, and instead of trying to untangle the knots of cruft that have accumulated, the more efficient path often apepars to be to nuke it from orbit and replace it with something new. As an example, look at how the professions are implemented one expansion to the next. Idioms grow, flourish, and fall apart. Eventually there will have to be changes there, too.
Class mechanics have similar problems, and this is how they deal with them. Instead of having a different idiom of threat generation at every tier across, what, four classes, they’re ripping the entire thing out and replacing it with something more interesting. What, exactly, is not clear, yet, but if I were a tank and still interested in being one, I’d be more interested in what’s coming than in what’s done.
The idea that we’ll be dumping our threat meters amuses me. I rarely need one. Whether it’s because I have been blessed with excellent tanks in both my guilds, or because I’m not that great at DPS, is anyone’s guess.
Transmorgrification has been heating up the tubes, though, and some of the reactions are, quite frankly, disappointing. It’s like we’ve been given free cake, and then complained bitterly that we’d have much rather had butter frosting and had it yesterday instead. I think Jack Nicholson said it best in A Few Good Men. "I’d just as soon you said ‘thank you’ and be on your way."
Others are, instead, quite excited to learn more about, and plan for, this new feature. I have to say, I’m more in line with that crowd, because by the Light, Blizzard can’t seem to make Hunter gear that doesn’t look like a cross between a demon and a steampunk robot. Okay, the shoulder pieces with the eyeballs were a nice touch, but for the most part it’s been barely tolerable. Let us not talk about helms – one look at last tier’s Murloc o’ Death headpiece should convince anyone.
I appreciate the work, but only in the sense that I am aware that somebody actually did get paid for that.
It all went wrong when they allowed us to wear mail, I suspect.
At any rate, I don’t have any plans outside of (hopefully) my trusty fishing hat, but I know Jas, Flora, and Illume already have gear sets they use in town when they don’t want to look like every other clothie in Stormwind, and who can blame them?
Blizz has stated that they don’t want to take away from the work of the artists, and I agree. Point being, there is plenty of absolutely amazing gear out there that does pay tribute to the craft of the artists. Take the Robe of Power, as an example. Striking and yet you hardly see it out there because most people outstrip it before they can afford it, thanks to the crazy leveling rates in the game now. Jasra does wear it in town, though, because it deserves to be seen. And now it can be.
Respect the artists work? Hells yeah, as Flora would say. And also, keep them on their toes. You want your stuff seen, artists? Then you need to surpass yourself every expansion, just like the players have to.
There have been those that say that this is a sign of desperation on Blizzards’ part, that losing three percent of the player base has made them go crazy. It’s like pulling a rope and hearing the bats squeak in the belfry. It’s predictable. I know, had to go there, and yet I’ve produced as much evidence as they for my case.
Truly, those numbers don’t lie. They didn’t last time, either, or the time before that. This is a predictable cycle, right on cue. And while, someday, the numbers will keep going down, we’re not down to making candles out of soap shavings quite yet. When they start merging servers, we’ve got something significant.
If you look at the changes that have taken place in the game’s underpinnings, you can almost see where they started planning the feature in the bits and pieces of new and abandoned API calls on the development sites. Data structures have been modularized and cleaned up over time – exactly what they said they wanted to do in Cata, mind you – and apparently they are either at the point or near the point where all that work pays off.
Point being, this isn’t some off-the-cuff freakout move. It’s been in the works for a while.
Speaking of which. I’m still waiting on the dance studio. /hmph.
The least discussed new feature for 4.3 is the end boss. Deathwing is on the menu, which has a number of implications, and opens the door to conjecture. For example, is DW the actual end of the expansion, or do we get an Old God to snack on in a follow-up content patch? Is it just me or did this expansion just kinda fly by to be this close to the Big Bad?
I also wonder: what’s the Deathwing raid going to look like? I’ve heard something about the final boss fight, something about "raiding on his back", which sounds like a giant, disagreeable gimmick, but I’ll give it a look before outright hating. What about leading up to him? How big will the raid instance be? Will it be gated ala ICC? ((I’m guessing not, since the haters were so loud last time.))
Three five-mans … what are we looking at in this case? In 3.3 we had three ICC-based instances. Where is Deathwing hanging out, and what might these look like as a result?
LFR likewise has tongues wagging, both the people happy to see it and the people that, naturally, have a jaded hipsterish take on it. Along with this we found that cross-realm LFD was going live and (for now) no extra fee, giving hope that LFR will be implemented in a similar fashion.
First of all, LFR and LFD have different things going on that are a big deal from a development standpoint. For example, you only have one size of dungeon party – five. For raids, you can have ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and forty. You pretty much have to know where you’re going before you can start pulling people in.
Secondly, there’s the matter of lockouts and raid IDs. They have to figure out how to deal with that and streamline it so that (a) it doesn’t confound people and (b) can’t be exploited.
Once all these things are settled, I wonder how this may reflect on guilds. If you can raid with people of your faction on any server all a sudden, how will you feel about your current guild? I personally left the only guild I’ve been a member of in order to join one on another server for raiding purposes, and that was not an easy thing to do. With the ability to raid with EtI from other servers, would I have felt otherwise? Likely so.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people decide that it’s no worth putting up with a guild at all if they can raid with people they like cross-realm. Might this patch be hard on guilds?
And with that lovely thought, I bid you a pleasant weekend. My your drops be epic.