They kind of have a point here -- Blizzard just used all the tools they had in this case to try and send a clear message to anyone out there trying to sell automation software that what they were doing would get them in trouble, and they may have thrown copyright infringement on the menu when it didn't really belong. For Blizzard's part, they claim that making a copy in RAM of the game's information constitutes copyright infringement, but again, that's only because Glider is misusing those RAM files -- every user everywhere needs to copy parts of the game into RAM in order to run it.
At any rate, Public Knowledge has filed their brief and had their voices heard. It's up to the judges in this case to decide what comes out of it.
Major League Gaming, which is apparently the parent company of WoW Insider favorite MMO-Champion, have announced that there will be a new PC gaming circuit, featuring our favorite MMO. The circuit will have events in San Diego, from June 13th-15th; Orlando, July 11th-13th; and Dallas, October 3-5. Each event will have $22,500 in prizes -- it's no Blizzard Arena Tournament, but that's still a lot of money.
The circuit will be played on HP Blackbird 002 computers, so I guess you won't have to worry about frame rates (that thing has 1 GB of VRAM). The competition will be 3v3, just like Blizzard's tourney. Only 32 teams will be allowed to register, and you need to have an account set up on MLG's site first; registration opens May 15. They say "more details on rules and the official format will be released on May 15th" -- maybe Blizzard will let them use a special tournament server? At any rate, it looks like Blizzard may have been more successful at turning WoW into an esport than we thought.
Ah, the boundless energy of youth. The world is Jerry Friestad's oyster, and he's losing no time digging up every pearl that catches his eye: raiding, college studies, a burgeoning career as an mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter ... Jerry's truly nailed his main character, a Blood Elf Hunter named Pewpewblzer: they share the same insouciant air and the same over-the-top sense of attack, both online and off. 15 Minutes of Fame caught up with him to find out how he finds time and energy to balance everything on his plate.
15 Minutes of Fame: Introduce us to your characters, Jerry. Who do you play? Jerry Friestad: (My main is) Pewpewblzer, 70 Blood Elf Hunter, Cult of Reason, Tichondrius US. I also have a 70 Troll Shaman (Pewpewfzer), 70 Blood Elf Paladin (Pewpewlzer) and a few scattered Alliance 60s from pre-Burning Crusade raiding.
College student, end-game raider, and MMA fighter - that's a lot of commitments. What does a typical weekday look like for you? Most of my classes are online this year, so I've been able to take a lot of time to train. I wake up at 6 a.m. Get my morning run in, which is about three miles. I get back and do all of my Quel'Danas island dailies and Ogri'la/Netherwing dailies over two different 70 characters. Then I sit around and do school work until it's time to go to practice. Each day is split up into a different aspect of MMA, and as a team we drill basic moves and spar live. Then at around 8 p.m., I'll get another three-mile run in, then come home and play WoW. Even if it's a special occasion -- like this week, Grand Theft Auto IV came out -- I'll still remain logged in playing with the Auction House and talk to guildmates.
I don't do much blogging per se, I guess I've settled into just keeping up on my two columns; Addon Spotlight and Macro Anatomy. I am constantly looking for new ways to customize my game play, as well as creating little tools to streamline what I do in-game. Aside from that, I pipe in on random conversations once in awhile, but keep to myself for the most part.
What's your main right now?
Right now I'm focused on my Blood Elf Paladin, gearing up in Karazhan for PvE and the Battlegrounds and Arena for PvP gear. I'm a proud holy-specced paladin, who enjoys the tough job of keeping people alive. As my guild knows, I also have aspirations for PvE tanking and PvP retribution endeavors in the future. Ask me next week and I may say one of my numerous alts is my main, its a fluid process.
For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?
I'm for the Horde these days. My previous main was my Human Paladin (see a pattern here?) on a "Normal Server", but I opted to reroll with a friend on PvP server as Horde. Nowadays I don't even bother playing on my old care bear server, I love the tension of knowing other players are fair game. I used to think I'd never go back to Alliance either. As it turns out, I've recently started working on some Alliance alts on a different PvP server. (I really want to pounce on someone with my Night Elf Druid.) So, as always my allegiances are not to one side or the other, but to my own preferences in any given moment. (Chaotic Neutral!?)
So a while back, Tom Chilton talked about turning WoW into a "viable Esports platform" in an interview with Gamespy, and lots of players did not take it well. Some time later, the fire has still not died down. Darqchild of the Perenolde server posted another complaint about this the other day, expressing a belief that the creation of a 2nd rule set and the domination of the esports concept had already gone with the implementation of a Tournament server.
And we answered lots of emails -- a few more jokes, a little advice, some good thoughts about Trinkets (and maybe putting an extra inventory slot in there), player housing, and lots of making fun of Duncor for quitting the game.
And we figured out the real pronunciation of melee -- here it is.
Definitely give it a listen -- there's a lot of good stuff in there. As usual, the show is available over on WoW Radio, or in iTunes if you'd rather get it that way.
And here's a special announcement: This coming week on the WoW Insider Show (which will be live on WoW Radio at 3:30pm EST on May 10th), we'll have a special Mother's Day edition of the podcast. Not only will we have Robin Torres (who is herself a mother) on with Turpster and I, but both Amanda Dean and her mother will be live on the show as well. Moms and WoW -- next week on the WoW Insider Show.
Wowhead and Thottbot on ad strike - Tue, 06 May 2008 15:00:00 EST Thottbot and Wowhead, two of the most popular WoW database sites, have been having a few problems with ads lately. There was that brief issue with the trojan in a banner last month, and also apparently some rather irritating ads with flashing and sound have been showing up lately (and I think we can all agree that ads with sound are evil). But, like much of the Internet, these sites are kept free for us because they are ad-supported, so what can they do? Well, they've gone on advertising strike.
Servers are up - Tue, 06 May 2008 14:00:00 EST It looks like everything went okay with the server hamsters this morning as the servers are back up and running smoothly. In fact, it appears that all the servers are up right now. This is an oddity since usually there are at least one or two battlegroups that are down longer than the rest.
Adding one to the list of things I've never thought of that are actually pretty cool, scientists at De Montfort University in the UK have developed a way to control WoW with your eyes. The system uses existing LED eye-tracking devices, and essentially the cursor just goes where you look. Looking offscreen in various directions can trigger different modes (for combat or travel, for instance). The intention behind this project is to help people with disabilities that prevent them from using traditional input devices. So far, judging by the video, the interface is not up to par with clicking or key-pressing, but I think it does have potential for situations where it's required. The research team hopes to begin trials next year.
Miguel and Baron Soosdon have showed us the error of our ways. We somehow completely missed this amazing up-and-comer, Gnomechewer. He has a variety of movies in his arsenal, yet has very little recognition on Warcraftmovies. We think we'll be seeing more of him in the future, though.
Gnomechewer's latest film, Standing in the Way of Control, was named after a song by The Gossip, although the mix he used is actually a mashup with Elastica's Connection. The machinima is about an Orc rogue that goes back in time to ensure that Thrall is still warchief in the present. To get his story across, he blends art and model-viewed characters together to create a surreal effect!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Hot on the heels of SK-Gaming's world-first kill of M'uru, the penultimate Sunwell Plateau boss, the US guild Exodus has scored a place in the hall of records by being the first in the region to kick his Naaru butt, early this morning. Exodus live on Kel'thuzad, Horde-side, and apparently just got sponsored a few days ago, which endowed them with a brand-new website and plenty of bandwidth just in time.
When Gaelan said he wanted to be decked out in purples, this was not exactly what he had in mind. Yes, it's the Embrace of the Fang set, beloved by (attractive female) twinks everywhere. Ignoring the requests of his guildmates to put on a tabard for God's sake, Gaelan instead chose to put on his boogie shoes inside a tauren tent. He was promptly drop-kicked off of Thunder Bluff by Cairne himself. Cairne usually reserves that move for the Alliance, but this was an extra-special case.
If you missed it the other day, Around Azeroth is running another user submission challenge: Grand Theft Azeroth! Send us pics of you (or your friends, we're not picky) committing your most nefarious deeds in the style of the GTA series. Mount-jackings, thefts, murders, muggings, cruelty to animals and critters, picking up blood elf ladies of the night, punting gnomes -- let your wicked side out. Send your screenshots to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon EST on Thursday, May 8, and please use the phrase "GTA" somewhere in your e-mail title.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, DANCE! There's nothing else for me to do but DANCE! All these bad times I'm going through, just DANCE! There's canned heat in my heels tonight, baby.
WoW Insider Weekly - Tue, 06 May 2008 09:30:00 EST Looking for something to read. Look no further -- here's the best of our weekly features from the last seven days, presented in a handy roundup format. If you missed it the first time, don't make the same mistake twice.
Guildwatch: The aftermath The messiest part of guild drama comes after it happens. And when the bank has been ninja-d the last gquit has been typed in, and the last wipe happens -- that's when Guildwatch appears.
WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.
For the last couple of week's we've been discussing reputations here on WoW Rookie.By leveling up reputation with factions you will open yourself up to special content, rewards, and discounts.Last week we examined some of the factions encountered while leveling from 1 to 60 in Azeroth.Some people still rep up with these factions, but for the most part these NPCs have been pretty lonely since the expansion.
When the level cap was at 60, prior to the Burning Crusade, players spent a most of their time at level 60 repping up with PvP and raid factions.Many players gain reputation with these factions for the right to purchase crafting patterns from their vendors.
The Gaming Iconoclast: Discomfort Zone Have you ever wondered how the other half lives? Maybe you're a tank, and know the intricacies of threat and mitigation inside and out, but can't figure out what those finger-wigglers at the back are going on about. Or perhaps you're a sniper, and don't care about what goes on in the melee fracas.
The 10 Commandments of Altitis If you're the type of player who just needs to experiment with every available race and class in your MMO of choice, then altaholicism may be a serious concern for you. Seeking professional help is optional, but do know that you are not alone.
Behind the Curtain: More Epic Gameplay? Should MMOs give us a more 'epic' feel to our experiences? In the past, when I've explained the time I spend in-game to friends and relatives, one of the common complaints or opinions that I hear a lot is that it never sounds very exciting.
Player vs. Everything: Fixing the problem of guild-hopping I've gotta hand it to MMOG designers. They really kind of get shafted. They spend weeks, months, and years fine-tuning tiny aspects of gameplay that you never even notice or care about (like the amount of silver that level 12 murlocs drop), coming up with interesting quests...
Ok, admit it. Dornaa and Salandria are pretty cute. They say the darndest things and they are so tiny and they are like little bundles of irrepressible energy and now I want kids of my own, damn it. But seriously, If you're like me, you've probably kept your orphan whistle a little longer than you had to and took your orphan around a few extra places.
Auchindoun? The Dark Portal? Pff, c'mon kid. I'll show you some real fun. How about Karazhan? That was actually a lot of fun, although fighting Prince Malchezaar was sort of creepy, since Dornaa was staring at me through the whole fight as I stood with my back against the wall, tanking him. She looked sort of accusing. You don't suppose Mal was her dear uncle before the whole Eredar corruption thing, maybe? Unfortunately, I don't think you're allowed to take your orphan into the arenas, but I may have to take her for a tour of scenic Alterac Valley before the whistle disappears.
Seriously, I don't care how awesome Willy is, I just want to adopt Dornaa and keep her forever. She can keep Archmage Vargoth company on all my boss kills.
I know I'm not the only one who's done this. Orphan tours are probably some of the most random fun you can have in World of Warcraft with an annual event, I think. Where have you taken your orphan?
It's Tuesday morning and the hamsters that run the servers are being fed by Blizzard, which means all the realms are down for extended maintenance until at least 11:00 a.m. PDT. There is no patch 2.4.2 to look forward to when the servers go back up this afternoon, but that might not be that bad of a thing. Usually patch days mean add-on trouble and serious server stability issues. Those spell disaster for anyone expecting to enjoy the evening.
While the servers are offline, go ahead and get your WoW fix from us! We've got a few dandy articles to entice you and keep your WoW addiction in full swing.
Take a look at the official and unofficial patch notes for patch 2.4.2. Highlights include reduced cooldown timers, changes in the hand specifications of some weapons, and new polymorphing mechanics.
A talented rogue was able to tank the seventh boss in the Black Temple, Mother Shahraz, by stacking insane amounts of avoidance and agility. Take a look at the video of the encounter, definitely worth watching if you have a minute.
Did you know Blizzard launched a new and improved online store? The best part about it is that if you buy something, you can click a little check box that gives you a chance to be selected to participate in a beta. I ordered a tee-shirt over the weekend, and have my fingers crossed that I'll get in a certain beta test pretty soon (I could care less about the tee-shirt, naturally).
Sean Forsgren recently profiled one of my favorite add-ons, Dr. Damage. It's a great tool that gives you very useful statistics about all your spells in the form of extended tooltips. Take a minute to look into it now, and get it all downloaded and setup for when the servers come back online later today.
When the severs do come back online, WoW Insider will let you know. Hopefully there won't be any major stability issues tonight, but if there are, we'll be covering that too. Enjoy your downtime!
Extended downtime for Tuesday May 6th - Tue, 06 May 2008 00:47:00 EST The announcement on the login screen tonight tells us that the realms will be down for extended maintenance on Tuesday May 6th, from 3:00 a.m. PDT until 11:00 a.m. PDT. It's curious how extended maintenance used to last from five until eleven, but now lasts an extra two hours - from three until eleven.
Today we've seen the PTR (Public Test Realm) go down, and then come back up again. Earlier we thought this was a good indication that patch 2.4.2 was going to be released on May 6th, however with the PTR still being up, we don't believe that will be the case. Of course I could be completely wrong here - and we all might get a shiny new download screen tomorrow morning.
Only time will tell, and stay tuned to WoW Insider for the latest. We'll also keep you abreast of when the realms come back online, and any lingering issues that may arise.
You are cordially invited to join It came from the Blog for a very silly event on Mother's Day. We are going to pay tribute to the women who brought us into this world by going to the place where she is mentioned daily: The Barrens. I know, she's not exactly mentioned with respect there. But the thing about Ur Mom jokes is that they are jokes. No one in Barrens Chat has actually met your mother, let alone done that with her. And it's time we exact a little revenge for our dear mothers and show that they (and we) have a sense of humor about it.
So go to Zangarmarsh server and make an Orc Female with a name that includes some form of "mother" in it. I made one named Mutti, which is the German word for Mommy. No, I'm not saying my or your or anyone's mother looks like an Orc Female. And I don't think my mom ever sported a belly shirt, let alone a mohawk and a nose ring. These females will not be representing the way your mom looks, but instead her inner warrior (or shaman or whatever).
PTR goes up - Mon, 05 May 2008 20:40:00 EST Usually Blizzard is pretty definitive when they take something down. However today they've decided to take down the PTR (Public Test Realm) in the morning, and then put it back up early tonight. I'm reminded of a recent Simpsons episode I watched where Homer is sitting in his hospital bed awaiting a heart bypass surgery and goes "Bed goes up, bed goes down. Bed goes up, bed goes down." PTR goes down, PTR goes up.
All of these announcements come from the same person, Hortus, so it's not an issue of him being confused or anything (unless the whirly jig in his head has gotten to him). Hortus does tell us that they've put it up for "some additional testing," which really isn't a surprise given it's a test realm.
This probably means that patch 2.4.2 won't go live tomorrow if there is maintenance. Once we know more we'll post and keep you updated.