Update - Pictures fixed, I'm extremely stupid.

Addon Spotlight - Archy (by Simca)
While Archaeology is a relatively new profession, there are already several very promising addons out there. Perhaps the most interesting and functional of them is Archy - Archaeological Assistant, commonly referred to as 'Archy'.

Archy's general purpose is to make everything in Archaeology easier to use. It has a display (regular or LDB) which will show you what you are working on for all nine cultures and which you are able to solve (with and without keystones). It will also show you which dig sites you have active on every continent, and for what culture every dig site is for!

While the other features of Archy are useful and help to set it apart from others of its kind, the most important part of Archy is arguably its node database (or more precisely, the ability to collect nodes and make a node database). At first glance, Archaeology nodes may appear to be random within the dig sites, but in reality, they are static. It is completely random which nodes you will get, but each node still has a set location. Knowing this, and realizing that there is a large variance on the survey tool at a "red" distance (up to around 90 degrees in either direction), you can quickly figure out where nodes are located based on only one or two surveys for small to medium dig sites. Archy capitalizes on this by collecting all of the node data into a database; after you loot fragments, Archy will mark the spot you looted them from on your map.

Additionally, Archy provides a color indicator for users new to Archaeology, or ones who like guidelines. It appears by default (but can be easily disabled, if you wish) when you cast survey, and as you move towards the next position, it will track your distance from the last marker. For example, if your survey's color is yellow, an indicator icon will pop up with a number of yards (measuring the distance between you and the previous survey) and the current color. As you move forward, the number of yards will increase, the the color will eventually change to yellow. Since your color is yellow, you can stop at that point and survey again. When you combine this with the node database, finding fragments becomes easy! Do be warned that unlike the node database, this system is not always accurate. Some dig sites seem to have more difficult "color rules" than others, and it will take the author a while to account for all of the different rules for each site.

Archy also features TomTom integration. When you finish your current dig site, it will send the coordinates of the next dig site to TomTom. When you arrive at the site, you can even have Archy play a sound to indicate your arrival. This is very helpful if you enable the "Sound in Background" option in the Sound options of World of Warcraft and then alt-tab while you are flying. You can then go faster than flight paths, since you are traveling in a straight line, and be notified when you arrive so can catch yourself from going too far.

The Daily Blink - Mysterious Fortune Card
There was an interesting update on the The Daily Blink a few days ago.

If you do not catch the reference, it means you never heard of the Mysterious Fortune Card in-game!

This card is very easy to craft and doesn't create any useful item. So ... what's the point? Gambling! When used, your newly created Mysterious Fortune Card will have a chance to turn into one of the following items:

ilvl Name Sell Price
85Fortune Card5000 Gold
80Fortune Card1000 Gold
70Fortune Card200 Gold
40Fortune Card50 Gold
40Fortune Card50 Gold
30Fortune Card20 Gold
15Fortune Card5 Gold
15Fortune Card5 Gold
15Fortune Card5 Gold
15Fortune Card5 Gold
15Fortune Card5 Gold
10Fortune Card1 Gold
10Fortune Card1 Gold
10Fortune Card1 Gold
10Fortune Card1 Gold
10Fortune Card1 Gold
5Fortune Card (16 Different LVL 5 Cards in-game)50 Silver
1Fortune Card (26 Different LVL 1 Cards in-game)10 Silver

Yes, you're reading that right, by crafting this very very simple item you can get an epic card that you can sell for 5000 gold to any NPC!!.

Sadly, the chances to actually get that card are incredibly low and your chances to leave the Auction House with more money than when you entered are the same as with any casino. But if you're feeling lucky ...

Thrall: Then and Now
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Fortified citadels lay in ruins. Ancient forests burn brightly in the light of the setting sun. Arid stretches of desert, once known to claim even the most hearty of travelers, now house fertile oases teeming with new species of flora.

The Shattering changed a great many things. While the landscapes of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor may have been the most visibly affected by Deathwing's return, many of Azeroth's heroes have also undergone drastic physical transformations of their own.

One of the most notable metamorphoses in Cataclysm is that of Thrall. Thrall He's worn many titles in his lifetime: slave, gladiator, shaman, chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, and, most recently, warchief of the Horde. Now, as the son of Durotan puts down the mantle of warchief and takes up the simple garb of a shaman once again, we take a look back at his journey and the events that shaped him into the orc he is today.

The orcish Horde was once a demonic weapon of indiscriminate slaughter -- a far departure from the orcs' proud and shamanic origins. Thrall's rise to become Horde warchief, however, changed everything. After escaping from his enslavement by the human Aedelas Blackmoore, Thrall helped rally the remnants of the Horde, revitalized the orcs' shamanic traditions, and established a refuge for his embattled race in the arid land of Durotar. In the years that followed, the image of Warchief Thrall bearing the legendary warhammer and battle-worn black armor of the late Orgrim Doomhammer was etched in the minds of friends and foes alike. All that the Horde had become -- its courage, its strength, and its honor -- Thrall embodied.

When Azeroth's elemental spirits grew increasingly erratic just prior to the Shattering, Thrall was torn between his worldly responsibilities as warchief and his spiritual duties as a shaman. Ultimately, he followed his instincts and entrusted control over the Horde -- and everything he had labored to build -- to Garrosh Hellscream. Thrall also shed the armor that had come to symbolize him as warchief and donned the simplistic robes and prayer beads of a shaman. While Garrosh has made questionable changes to the Horde in recent times, Thrall remains focused on allaying the forces that threaten to tear Azeroth itself apart. Some members of the Horde might want him as their warchief, but the world needs him as a shaman above all else.

We'll be examining other key characters' transformations -- including those of Garrosh, Anduin Wrynn, and Magni Bronzebeard -- in the months ahead, so come back soon.

Microsoft Kinect with World of Warcraft
An interesting video surfaced on Slashdot today, of course it's just a technological demo but it's always fun to see the cool things people manage to do with WoW.

Researchers at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies have developed software that enables control of PC video games using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Their toolkit, known as the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), emulates custom-configured keyboard controls triggered by body posture and specific gestures. This video shows a user playing the online game World of Warcraft using the Kinect. Potential applications of this technology include video games for motor rehabilitation after stroke and reducing childhood obesity through healthy gaming."

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Heroic Dungeons Difficulty
Players were conditioned at the end of Wrath of the Lich King to mow through Heroics at lightning speed. Not only were they too easy to begin with, by the time Dungeon Finder came out players greatly out-geared the majority of these dungeons.

The reality is that it makes sense for Heroics to be a true and necessary stepping stone into raiding. They are more difficult at the beginning of this expansion's lifespan than they were at the beginning of Lich King. We like it that way. We want you thinking and trying new approaches through trial and error in order to succeed, just as groups do while raiding.

As new tiers of gear are released and new raids open up, Heroics will naturally become easier, but that provides little good reason for trivializing them now. This is true even if some groups -- particularly pick-up groups -- lack the patience, will, or teamwork necessary to succeed.

We prefer that skill and character power provide the edge in Heroic dungeons, rather than supplying simple boss fights where mistakes are so easily forgivable.

Will it test you to play at your best and communicate effectively with your group? Certainly. Should Heroic dungeons be tuned down so failure is rarely a real possibility? That doesn't sound like interesting design to me, nor would it act as a good catalyst for compelling, strategic, and social gameplay.

[...] You might have to spend more time in normal dungeons than you did before if you want a very relaxing dungeon experience right now, before you jump into Heroics determined to succeed with ease. The difficulty of this expansion is on a different level right now, but it's still nowhere near the gap between five-player dungeons and raiding which existed in the original release, and to a lesser extent The Burning Crusade.

If you expect a quick, mellow run through Heroic dungeons -- which provide quite powerful gear given we're on the first Cataclysm raid tier -- this early in the entire lifespan of this expansion, you might want to consider collecting items and gear via normal dungeons and other means before regularly hopping into the Heroic queue. They're not super-unfriendly toward casual players, but they do require casual players to exercise skill and proper social/leadership skills. (Source)

Daze / Dismount
Granted, there are plenty of creatures out there that provide a completely trivial challenge for your character in terms of power/level which can daze you. Even still, knowing how to path around hostile creatures (or now fly over them) seems like it should be somewhat meaningful. It's not that hard to avoid being hit by creatures while mounted, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have to care at all about where you're going.

Regardless of level, the world should still feel alive and present some sort of threat, even if that threats merely involves slowing you down en route to your destination.

[...] I don't really follow the logic that you feel it's unnecessary that you can't just gather as many mobs on you as possible in an area with no threat of being knocked off your mount, or slowed down while running. Should it really be considered an inconvenience that a bunch of mobs striking you can do nothing to slow you down? It seems like you could then apply the term "inconvenience" to a lot of aspects of gameplay, but at the end of the day removing those inconveniences would start to dull down the game. (Source)
This article was originally published in forum thread: Archy, Mysterious Fortune Card, Thrall Then and Now, Kinect WoW, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 102 Comments
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    Hmm Archy kinda sucks.
    Archaeology is crap anyway. Wasting your time with useless completed fossils sucks. big time.
  1. wartywarlock's Avatar
    I was making 80g a pop on cards until 3 or 4 idiots came in and started having a price war with each other. Undercutting by 2g here, 5g there, now they sunk to a sad state of 25g each. I tried to explain but they were too stupid. Me and 2 other guys had kept the price that high quite happily for 2 weeks. Oh well, I made 70k, and the other 2 made a good 30k too, those mugs can keep their 2-8g profit per card and I'll keep selling them my over priced herbs like the fools they are.

    But, also, calling them useless is bad form, MMO, tut tut. They make a great food. Not only do they make food, but the food can STILL drop the 5k card!
  1. Eirangel's Avatar
    Hmm, Blizzard is getting hammered with the Heroic dungeons being to hard, this is what, the 3rd Blue Post in a week on how hard they are? The whole time I read that, it sounded like "Ya, we want it hard...we know you guys are QQ'ing, but tooo bad RIGHT NOW.... but probably expect a nerf or something in later months". I mean if this is the 3rd time past 2 weeks a Blue had to post about Heroic dungeon difficult, then ya, there gonna cave soon and make it easier for the casuals. Remember folks, they said it themselves, the % of hardcore players is only like 5-10%, compares to the other 90% that take WoW casually here. WOTLK had those 90%, now Cata has the 10% happy. Needs to be a balance IMHO.
  1. Spoonman's Avatar
    Kinect for WoW is just bad, there is no way it will work any good, specially in PvP.
  1. Nioxic's Avatar
    the kinect feature seems like a good idea.

    but it would work alot better if he had a move in his hands...? :P

    doesnt seem to work properly in fast-paced heroic dungeons/raids and specially pvp
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Sounds like Blizzard is planning a 4 year lifespawn of Cata since they are focused on keeping 346 gear away from ppl...
  1. Azahel's Avatar
    The biggest change for Thrall was, with no doubt, his voice that now is just like Varian's.
    Of course there used to be a hint of Varian on every character Metzen voiced (many) but Thrall's on the Maelstrom cutscene is just the same with no difference at all.
  1. psyc's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by marsupial311 View Post
    I like how they use "casual" to mean bad... Apparently players that play 8-10 hours a week can't figure out how to not stand in the fire.

    Maybe they are using this definition of the word "casual"

    done or acting without sufficient care or thoroughness

    many words have multiple definitions even within one language/region, what they consider casual does not have to be the same as what you consider casual.
  1. Skippert's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Leialyn View Post
    Hmm Archy kinda sucks.
    It spams your Interface with "information" you don't really need, like which artefacts you can solve, etc... I don't need this on my UI all the time, in a sub menu or popup it might be usefull.
    Then the nodes are not really better than Gatherer/Gathermate2, the minimap Digsite display gives you a huge polygon all over your UI, the distance indicator is really useless (it should display lines on your minimap for the direction), etc...
    Sounds like a really big bloated addon like Questhelper was once (or maybe still is, I use the ingame one now, it does just fine).
    Will stick to gatherer for the time being, does the strick for me.
  1. wiIdi's Avatar
    I think the kinect thing already fails at picking up loot (try to select and drink the right potion with kinect or try to cast the right buff on someone), maybe in 100 years we will have the technology but until then it will be crap.
  1. Aterons's Avatar
    I saw the Microsoft Kinect with World of Warcraft and i was like.... " WTF nintendo wii 2 ?! "
  1. Form3r's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Killsyah View Post
    haha, would be fun when it gets more advanced to raid using kinect... 4 hours of raiding, what a workout

    would be cool, when casting spells you had to do the motions for it to work. Maybe blizzard will tie in kinect with their new MMO, WOULD BE SO AWESOME!
    Aslong as they don't make it a restriction, playing like that is mostly for the leveling aspect of the game, can't play propper competitive with that.
  1. Resa's Avatar
    Archy is a great addon, I've been recommending it to my guild members for days now. Theres only 1 problem with its current build, and thats the fact that its bugged so you can't move it from its default position which is in the top left corner of your screen, blocking your character portrait.

    Also, Gatherer is adding support for Archaeology nodes in its next update, so it'll be good to use as well if you have a lot of guild members using it.
  1. Kelzam's Avatar
    Tried using Archy with TukUI and I've been getting so many errors a second that my BugGrabber/BugSack stop collecting errors. Seems to work fine with the default UI, though.
  1. ackis's Avatar
    I personally disabled Archy when it started eating up so much extra CPU when going from Org to Azshara.
  1. dakoeda's Avatar
    When is this guide contest ending?
  1. kujak's Avatar
    I like how everyone is under the assumption that a kinect HACK will somehow become a mainstream way of playing. Those people are just showing what they can do with an incredibly sophisticated camera. Nothing else. Stop pretending that every asshat out there is going to run and buy it (not to mention write their own program to run it) and take down Cho'Gall while climbing to the top of the arena brackets.
  1. Thunderpants's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanediety View Post
    I do like how the word casual is used as if casual players have a below average mental capacity. I get why Blizz made heroics hard, lets face it, WotLK heroics were jokes. But I don't think they quite take into account the amount of their player base that have been playing since BC, in which some heroics were super difficult even with T5+ (I'm looking at you H Slabs).

    I get they they are trying to teach all the Wrath babies that heroics are no joke, which is fine, but do you have to punish the rest of us that remember what it feels like to have to CC and focus fire? I mean, I was in an instance the other day where the tank didn't know what I was referring too when I said sheep, as in he had never heard of the spell before... To try and ignore or counteract that kind of stupidity in a pug is asking way to much of your player base.

    I raid lead for a guild, I don't need to be teaching every n00b in the battlegroup what single-pulling means, I'd rather just leave, take my 30 minute debuff and 45 minute queue on the off chance that I can get a group that isn't full of moth-breathers.
    I dont see the sense in wasting more than a hour on getting the debuff and waiting to queue again where you could have just taken a few minutes at the most to explain fight mechanics to someone who doesn't know them.Most people I have pugged with respond better to giving advice than shouting n00b at them for not knowing how a fight works.Heroics pugs now encourage communication and are not for the anti social or impatiant
    I am a casual player and rarely get to play for more than 3 hours continiously and I am happy with where the difficulty is,most wipes come from people not knowing fight mechanics and being slighty undergeared.Wich is to be expected seeing as the expansian is less than a month old.
  1. zrankfappa's Avatar
    It has been said a thousand times, and I a casual player in a casual guild will say it again:

    Those people who relied on LFD to simply be carried through dungeons on their way to tier10 are the ones making the biggest fuss. Those people who went afk (sec .. phone) or simply stood in fire during boss fights because the fight would be over before the damage could possibly kill them, are having a tough time. It is those people who wait in the LFD queue for 45 minutes or an hour, only to be kicked from the group, because they ignore mechanics, don't use cc, or simply take too much damage who cry about it being too tough.

    Honestly, my guild groups generally have tank and healer covered so we are looking for a dps or maybe two to fill the group, and the seriously horrible dps that is in the LFD makes me never ever want to heal or tank a random. Why on earth you would wait in a queue for 45 minutes, only to start telling the tank to hurry up, or start pulling stuff on there own is simply beyond my comprehension. We often times will go through 2 or 3 dps in a run before we find someone who is willing to do what they need to do to help the group succeed. and that's not being elitist, i don't recall ever kicking anyone for low dps or mistakenly breaking a CC alone. I think the worst thing we ever kicked someone for was when we got a pair of warriors who obviously where queued together. seriously though, if you are down two dps for a heroic and you get a pair of warriors ... that is sort of a bummer.

    The real issue is that the LFD tool is currently not useful to the masses. In another month it probably will be ...

    If i was gonna whine about something in this expansion it would be lack of dailies for some factions.
  1. Aramos's Avatar
    I like how everyone seems to think it is a brilliant idea to completely shut down the idea of using Kinect for WoW. That particular group was using it to demonstrate what the kinect is capable of and in no way or form were they saying you could play WoW at 100% with it. While I do agree it would never work with WoW outside of very basic gameplay I do feel it has a lot to do with the future of gaming. Imagine a FPS where you play completely with your own body movements, if they could pull it off (which this video proves is definitely possible in the very near future) it would be a huge hit in the gaming world.

    TL;DR Version: Kinect is bad as hell, they never said you could play wow 100% with it. Kinect is the future of gaming.

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