Archive for the “Patches” Category

After patch 5.4.2 was applied, you may have noticed something like this:

Notice anything missing?

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.

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Today, patch 5.3 drops, in which things ramp up towards an ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad in 5.4 or later.  This is the first patch day I will have missed since Vanilla, in that I am using a tethered cell phone for network, and my game time is currently zero’d (no point in paying for something I don’t use).

I had barely gotten into 5.2, which my experience thus far leads me to regard it as a vary bad idea1. All signs point to 5.3 being more of the same, with a different location.

Well, I won’t pan it until I’ve tried it, which will be in a week or two, depending on how our move goes this weekend.

Those that wanted more frequent updates, well, they’re getting what they asked for. I feel a little rushed, though – I barely had time to explore the 5.1 story line before 5.2 dropped, and I didn’t have a change of location to blame for that one.  I was still getting caught up with 5.0 things!

The question remains: does the increased frequency in patches also carry over to an increased frequency in expansions? I’m thinking not likely … Blizzcon is the most likely time to announce it, and if they wait until then, the next expansion will be out on approximately the same schedule as the past ones have.

I am NOT one with the doomsayers that say that the last two quarters’ numbers indicate that WoW will be dead by 1Q15.  First of all, two datapoints is a stupid wrong way to draw a trendline.  As an example, if you take the past THREE datapoints, WoW ends 1Q14 – a whole year earlier – instead.  Even they aren’t being that bold, possibly on purpose.  One should only choose the data that supports one’s foregone conclusions, after all.

The one valid point of the we’re-doomed crowd is this: if the next two quarters don’t look better, or at least level off, Activision will likely try to pull the plug.  I realize that the ultimate optimists at Blizz’s core management team claim that Activition would NEVER have that level of control, but I assert that Bobby Kotick’s an assertive enough asshole that he’d make it happen by coup.  Never underestimate the power of a determined asshole.

A final question I have – a hypothetical – is how far Pandaria goes?  Is 5.4 the end, or will there be one more? 5.4 is rumored to be the one where we settle Garrosh’s hash – and who doesn’t like that – but what we don’t know is if that is the end of the matters as far as Pandaria is concerned.  I’m not sure it is.

Well, happy patch day to you. I’m off to replace a heating element in my new place’s water heater.


  1. I am quickly joining the camp of people that think that dailies are a lazy, uncreative way to fill players’ time so that they’ll keep paying, rather than other more satisfying approaches. []

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This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series MoP Beta - Inscription

Let’s start this off on the right foot.

I was wrong.

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 Darnassus1 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 glyphs2.

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!


  1. OH HOW CLEVER. []
  2. And I haven’t even made a single “trickle down” joke yet. []

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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:

  • Cromulent
  • 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 favorite1. 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.


  1. Again, except for the helm. Really, Blizz, would it kill you to make something more attractive? []

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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?1 

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.


  1. I’m guessing not, since the haters were so loud last time. []

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