Oct 062008
 

Ever had a hard disk die? How about the one with you WoW (and/or any other MMO) data on it. How long would it take you, and how much would it cost, to get it all back?

How long would it take to download all those patches, updates, addons, reconfigure your hotkeys and other characters setups?

DominateYourServer has a detailed guide to backing up your WoW installation. Basically you copy/backup the entire WoW folder set over to your backup system and you’re good.

There are a number of choices for backing up, but none are foolproof. Do two or more if you’re really concerned (or paranoid.)

  1. Install an internal hard drive and use it for backups. Just copy data from whichever drive you have your copy of WoW on over to the other drive. This is great if your main drives dies, not so good if your computer is fried (eg: by a lightning strike,) but it’s lots faster than the other methods.
  2. Use an external drive. These connect with a USB cable and usually come with backup software. A bit slow, but since you can disconnect the drive after backing your system and then store it in a safe place, you’re pretty well protected.
  3. DVDs (and BlueRays) are  cool, get yourself the appropriate software and burn some disks. Then store then in a safe place. DVD burners are pretty cheap, Bluray not so cheap (yet.)
  4. Online backup. We use Mozy, but there are a bunch of other services available. You pick the files/folders that need to be backed up and it does it all in the background, making incremental backups on a regular basis. The first backup will take a long time since it will back up everything that you tell it to. Once that’s done then the following backups take a lot less time.
  5. Go Raid. A RAID is a set of dard disks which work together. We’re interested in the mirroring function here. You set up to drives to mirror each other and then every bit of data that gets written to drive 1 also gets written to drive 2. So if one or the other fails you have a backup. I’ve seen these fail, so I suggest another backup method as well as this one. Also, this won’t backup your existing data, it’s best done with a new install.
Sep 192008
 

Blizzard, as you may know, has a widget called the Authenticator. This is a hardware device that makes it very difficult to have you account hacked.

ExNovis has a write-up about it and answers the “Yes, but is it really secure?” question:

So the Blizzard Authenticator is back on sale, even after a day of being sold out. This time, it’s available in more countries and it looks like Blizzard understood there would be a huge demand for them. I bought one for myself, and for my partner, Cantara. Sometimes, I get teased from people about ‘wasting money on a device that doesn’t provide total security.’ Well folks, Blizzard has stepped into the fray of the debate and confirmed, yes, the authenticator is secure!

Here’s the rest: For The Last Time, YES, It IS Secure

Aug 212008
 

Check out Quassia. They have an interesting system to get links back to your site and I’ll be fussing around with them later this week. It’s all free as of this writing.

Basically you write or submit intell (articles) on the subject of your choice and get links back to your site. Since the links aren’t buried in some directory someplace they might actually get clicked.

Links in the articles are nofollow, links outside the articles aren’t. Right now the site looks to be mostly marketing related, since those are the most popular tags, but that’s ok, and they really do have a lot of other articles. You just have to dig through the tags a bit. :)

All the navigation is done by tags. So if you want to find the stuff on WoW then you go to the alphabetical list, click “W,” and you’ll get the “W” tags. There are several that are WoW related.

So check ‘em out, see if it looks good to you, maybe write some intell,  and maybe we can get some traffic from it.

Here’s my, somewhat barren, profile page. You can browse the site from there, just like Facebook and the others.

Aug 202008
 

Lolwut?

Having nothing whatsoever to do with the World of Warcraft, or anything else game related, comes this post which I thought was just plain funny.

Standing apart from the bog standard Vauxhall and Peugeot drivers of this world, there exists a special breed, a group who nary flinches when the word ‘insurance’ is mentioned. Such people insure tanks for the daily shopping run. Inspired by this, I decided to take on the ultimate car insurance challenge. I was going to quote me happy for the Batmobile.

I took as my example the Batmobile from The Dark Knight, or, as it’s officially known in movie lore, the ‘Tumbler’. A brief look over the specification reveals myriad possibilities for 3rd party fire and theft, including a jet burner in the rear, landing hooks for when the Batmobile jumps over rooftops, front-mounted machine guns…

It’s a fun read. So take a break from WoW and check it out, here:

Insuring the Batmobile

Aug 202008
 

Tobold’s MMORPG Blog has an interesting post today. WAR kills AoC, not WoW

First, a bit of background.

Will anything kill WoW? Nope. Nothing will even come close. The only thing that will kill WoW will be brain-dead management, and that doesn’t seem to be happening right now.

So here’s my 2 cents worth.

I really wanted to play [tag-tec]Age of Conan[/tag-tec]. I’ve been reading the Conan books and comics since I was a little kid, so I was pretty jazzed when I heard that the MMO version was coming out. Then I heard it was Funcom . . .

I played Funcom’s [tag-tec]Anarchy Online[/tag-tec] for quite some time. Got up to level 185 with one character (Opi Martial Artist.) Lots of potential, little of it realized, and not a lot of quality bug testing happening. The Heckler AI was . . . interesting. Remember those lumpy rock piles?

AoC has its own issues, with servers and a few other things, though the game at launch was FAR more playable that AO (which apparently wasn’t playable at launch.)

Personally, I think AoC going as high end on the graphics and such was a mistake. For example, the only part of the game that my computer will run is the character generation. Past that, everything looks like water. Some form of scalable graphics system would have opened the game a lot. But . . . maybe it’s only buggy drivers.

Now, all MMOs have their issues at startup. All of them that last any length of time clean up many of those issues and constantly improve the game. AoC posted some pretty good start numbers, as I understand, and that will put a lot of stress on their servers, as it did with WoW, but how many of these people are sticking?

So, I think AoC is out of the running as anything that WoW will much notice.

Now how about WAR?

Warhammer has a good sized real world following. Lots of people play the miniatures wars on a regular basis. Drop into a hobby or game store and you’ll see a large section devoted to the game, and also to Warhammer 40k. Check out Amazon and you’ll see a nice pile of Warhammer books, figs, and stuff.

So there’s a pretty good existing fan base. The online game will draw from these guys (mostly guys, of course) and from those of us who’d like to see something compete with WoW. Combine an interesting, playable, world with good gameplay and a system that will attract all types of players and you’ll have a winner.

If WAR is playable at launch, (and I’m reading good things from the people plaing the beta,) then it’ll get a pile of subscribers. I think we’ll see the number of WoW accounts drop very little, but I think there will be a dip in active players for awhile. If WAR can do the magic that’s required to make people stick with it for months, then maybe WoW will notice.

Blizzard has an awesome track record for making sticky games and it’s definitely the 900 pound gorilla in the playground. If WAR can mount a good launch with a highly playable and fun game, a game that’s playable and fun for a lot of people, then the competition will have a good effect on WoW by forcing Blizzard to improve WoW even more.

WoW is fun for those who like PvP and those who don’t; those who like raids, and those who don’t; those who like role playing, amd those who don’t; those who like . . . well, you get the idea. If WAR can match that, then it’s competition. If it can’t, then it’s just a niche game.

So what’s your take on this?

edit: Some other posts on the topic:

Aug 192008
 

Caught a post today on Tobald’s MMO blog, asking if Final Fantasy XI Raid Bosses are too hard. So I thought I’d ask the same question about World of Warcraft raiding.

Now, I’ve never played FF XI, but the poster and commenters seem pretty adamant about some of those bosses. Some seemed to feel they were there to keep people from “finishing” the game and then quitting.

It does seems to me that going 3 years without a kill is a bit much, but what do I know? ;)

The WoW bosses, tough as they may be (and I’m talking about the 25 and 40 man raids,) are killable with certain strategies, though they will provide boxes full of wipes until that point.

Are they too easy? Too hard? Should there be some that are only killable by the Elite Guilds? Should a well disciplined PUG (Pick Up Group) be able to kill them? Is there any such thing as a well disciplined PUG?

Thoughts?

Aug 112008
 

D’oh! My wife got the beta key!

Now the rest of us are in negotiations with her to access the beta account and start fussing with all the new content.

Maybe ours will arrive soon…

And our lips are sealed.

edit: Blizzard’s Official Wrath of the Lich King page is here.

Aug 072008
 

If any of you have a blog then you might want to check this out. Jason Henderson at BigMarketingOnline.com is running a blogging contest with, at last glance, over 30k in prizes. All of these prizes should be of interest to anyone running a blog and he has lots of prizes, so I think the chances of winning aren’t bad.

He also has a task list, at the end of the post, where you can get additional entries into the contest. Check it out here: Over 30 Thousand Dollars in Cash and Prizes in Largest Blog Contest Ever