WoW patch 5th December (maybe) and Stats website

Two new Warcraft things today:
1) Allakhazam posts: Blizzard announce Tuesday 5th December as new (proposed) patch date.
2) And the Blizzard website posts a new statistics webpage.

1) Patch Date

The next World of Warcraft content update, “Before the Storm,” will include the new PvP Honor System, as well as other new features that will prepare us for The Burning Crusade expansion. We are currently planning to release this content update next Tuesday, December 5. Please note that the patch date is still subject to change, and we will keep you informed of any changes to the plan as they happen.

Yippee and darn! And is this official? Checking the WoW website has no mention of the update yet; but lets hope its true.

The new content will add major changes for a huge range of areas i the game, and its welcome. There are a huge list of items that are officially in the patch (when-ever it arrives), and a few items that may or may not be included.

Last I heard the modification to make +Stamina more beneficial wasn’t confirmed, and as a warlock I’m keen for this. I hope that the limit on number of DoT effects is also raised.

On the other hand this patch will make many mods dead and remove some functionality in mods that I really like. Benecast, decursive, and a few others are must haves and nobody said we have to like the fact that some of these changes are taking effect.

Time will tell just how good/evil the patch is. I expect to disable all my mods and will try playing without them for a few days to make sure the replacements are nice and stable.

Source link: Allakazam’s announcement.

2) Stats Site
A new official site which allows players to see what items, quests, gear, npcs, monsters, etc.. are the post popular.

This feels like a service similar to the Auction House run by nCube Solutions, and I’d really like to know if there is a way to scan this info easily. Given that nCube are able to interrogate the servers in quasi-real time, and that the Blizzard service was 2nd to market there must be demand for this.

The Blizzard offering has the advantage of being a source for all kills, gatherings, etc as well as the auctioned items. This is powerful stuff for those players who play the Auction House, and also those folk who like to get onto top 10 lists, and server 1sts.

Source link: Blizzard Top List

A bit of Warcraft and Internet attention

A friend of mine found this blog while digging for information about the WoW expansion. What interests me is the way that search tools will index and rank pages. I know Google has a very serious algorithm for ranking page results, and I’m always impressed with how effective the indexing is.

The results are skewed in because:
– The expansion name is the same as my website, which I think helps a lot.
– I used Warcraft in the site meta-tags, and also have a category called Warcraft.
– its been updated recently and it existed before the expansion was announced.
– my nickname is elsewhere in Warcraft forums and blogs as I try to use the same name in most places.

I doubt that anyone has linked to this page directly, and I know that only a few index sites have found this site due to the small number of hits. It has been submitted to a few sites for Blog ranking, but more for my learning on index and submission rather than looking for traffic.
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EVE Expansion – Revelations (with voice support)

EVE online has announced an expansion to the game, which looks darn impressive. If you are an EVE fan you know this already, but if you are looking for a space trading / combat game, and you love grit and real drama, then check out EVE.

The expansion details are here , and they cover design of ships, interactions and personal contracts between pilots, new tech, changes to the salvaging, and all the normal stuff you’d expect like new technology, new areas, new ships, and of course some server optimisation.
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Client Expectation Management

A few interesting posts in other blogs this week concerning how to manage the website creation process. Interesting read if you’re in this field; but more interesting for anyone who has obligations to uphold (and thats all of us).

The article comments about a small site that took over 6 months to complete, and the learning’s for everyone else are in the comments below it.

My take: Manage the clients expectations first!
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Neverwinter Nights 2 – Review (part 2)

Now that I’ve spend a little time in game, I can see some issues, and some great stuff.

– The appeal of NWN is still present and identical: you play a story though to the end. Its like reading a book, but with a little more clicks and a lot more effort. And its fun!

I don’t expect a very non-linear story, I expect a good story; and NWN2 has that potential. If you want plot flexibility, this is not the game for you (what game is non-linear anyway?).

– The graphics are great and huge, so you’ll need a good system. My PC does not meet the CPU required level, so its pretty choppy in large areas. I’m told that it plays fine on systems that exceed the specs. My RAM is on the minimum, so thats another reason.

Apart from that I know some folk who are not enjoying it; even a mate who is selling his CD to somebody else. All cool – its all down to personal taste.

I recommend it. Now all I need is a new PC.
Score 6/10, which might be 7/10 when I can play it properly.

Edit: The original post on NWN2 is here.

Websites on a Budget – Domains

There is a little bit of internet-magic that happens with domains. I think most people do not understand what a domain is, or what they are really asking for when they want one.

So for this part of the article, I’ll write about:
– what is a domain?
– what are domains good for?
– where can you get one cheap or free?

What is a Domain?
It is the “” part of your email address, or the bit right after the www in most website addresses. Essentially they are a short address that tells the computer where the content is.

A domain’s purpose is to convert the address (a long string of numbers) of a server into a human readable format. Far fewer people will read my blog if the URL is “” instead of
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Fat Cat CEOs on Hack = Not entertaining

The radio segment called Hack on Triple J is a good drive home show. You tune in, listen to the reports, and smile at the bent view of the world. Sometimes it’s bent to my tastes, and sometimes its just interesting to see another perspective. Overall an OK listen IMHO.

But Wednesday’s segment on “Fat Cat CEOS” was a step too far, for all the wrong reasons. The interview was a typical 1-on-1 Q&A session which seemed to end badly for the reporter. The interviewee was rude and condescending CEO who made no relevant points during the interview.

I was upset until over 10 minutes later JJJ announced that the interview was a satirical act of comedy, and nothing about it was true. Ha! I’d been fooled, hook, line, and sinker. BUT the real fool is the comedian and JJJ’s Hack for not identifying the sub-segment as satire.

This totally misrepresented the role and attitude of CEOs in Australian business. Has the satire been declared I’d have likely enjoyed it. John Clarke and Max Gillies are two great Aussie comedians, and Eddie Perfect is another that I like. But the difference is that when you listen to the professionals you know that its satire. It looses none of its edge, and becomes more endearing because you can suspend you disbelief.

After the interview finished I’d decided to contact JJJ and see how to contact the CEO organisation – to vent my distaste. Now I think it’ll get a run here, and a quick email to ABC’s Media Watch so they will hopefully police their own.

A link to the show on Wednesday 15 Nov 06: Tripple J – Hack Article: Fat cat CEOs

Bad ABC – No 5c 10c for you today.

Neverwinter Nights 2 – A Progressive Review

To further my quest into the dark pool of geekdom, I now own a copy of Neverwinter Nights 2. The original was very good, and I’m looking forward to playing this one.

This entry will be a work in progress as the journey unfolds. As background for my comments, I’ve played NWN v1, most of the other real time or turn based DND type games, and played DND since the early 1980s. I dread to think how many hours of /played I have in RPG.

Step 1: Installation
Installation was as you’d expect, just let the machine chug away while you watch TV or surf the web. Interesting that the .Net platform is required, and I’d love to know if that is a core requirement for the game, or just the toolset. Kudos to the developers for using .Net.

During the installation phase you are given the opportunity to register online, but the servers must have been either clogged or down when I tried. Not a good start.

Otherwise the install seemed to be OK…

Step 2: Patching
Patching is done using a little updater application much like WoW or other games, and while I normally like a smoother looking interface, I can handle a little less information being given to me, as long as it keeps me up to date on what its doing.

Patching takes a bloody long time. Get a meal, watch a film, or take your significant other out on a date; you’re not playing this game any time soon.
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A very short review of EVE Online (sink it)

Given the fact that I play online games, and have played games in some form for many years, I was keen to try EVE; especially as they offer a 14 day free trial.

Overall: If you like building slowly, and the prospect of loosing everything, then this is your game. I can see the appeal of a game which really forces its players to consider loss and death as really bad events. But I play for fun, and thats not relaxing for me.

– 14 day free trial
– nice graphics (space looks very spacey)
– intelligent ship design
– great marketplace/auction system

– economy seems subject to corruption (I know is designed that way, but I don’t like that in a game)
– really difficult initial tutorial
– the computer looks almost like the face from System Shock.
– just too much harder to play than other games.

I was not surprised to later read that many others also find it a frustrating game, but surprised to find so many folk who are totally devoted to the game. Perhaps I have missed an essential point of value.

Also mentioned today in the press was the merger with White Wolf, which I hope will bring either new elements to EVE, or new games to the MMORPG market.

See: White Wolf Announcement

A presence in Warcraft

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a while now, and just starting to get a hang of the subtle aspects of the game. Its one of the best non-pen and paper games I’ve played in a long time. My Toons are:

Eonar server
Diamon – 60 Paladin
Aurac – 60 Warlock
Erar – 41 Rogue
Rill – 31 Warrior
Arakai – 20 Priest
Darri – 20 Mage

Feathermoon server
Arsmagica – 22 Mage

See you online.
(edited for leveling: Warlock 60 and War 31)

Websites on a budget

How do you go about creating a blog on a budget?

My brother asked me about setting up a portfolio site for his animation and artwork, and it lead into a huge discussion (which may have scared him a little). While trying to answer his questions I found that many of the services I have acquired or discovered over the past few years means that it is very possible to setup a good website using almost no outlay of cash.

It takes a planning, bit of geek skill, and a flair for design. I have two of those, but cannot design my way out of a paper bag (don’t ask why you’d design the inside of a paper bag).

The sub-topics that I’ll cover are:
domain setup
– web hosting
– blogs
– dynamic scripting language
– security
– backup

And this will also be a discovery project for me, as I am using this site as my test subject.

Cheers, and stay tuned for all sorts or malarky!