It is Official! Knights of the Old Republic MMORPG

KOTOR Exciting news! BioWare‘s secret MMO project has been unveiled and my hopes are being realized! Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Massively Multi-Player Online Game is slated for release in 2009, and if all goes well, this MMO will deliver where Star Wars Galaxies failed.

BioWare has a track record of developing outstanding computer role-playing games including the recent XBox 360 game that took the world by storm, Mass Effect. That game company can weave a story that rivals the ability of Blizzard and I have high hopes that they will be able to deliver on this MMO. Only time will tell!

World of Warcraft Addiction

This video – while one would first like to chuckle at the thought of a World of Warcraft addiction – speaks volumes to what is a reality for many who play the game.

I, for a time, was spiraling down towards addiction to the game when it was first released…if I had not been married at the time, I’m quite sure my life would have suffered with the addiction. There are a few people I know that are quite thoroughly enthralled by WoW that they spend gobs and gobs of time playing, sometimes forfeiting time with friends and family to opt to raid. It is fun, don’t get me wrong, but there is a balance that needs to be reached and many just don’t have the willpower to draw that line.

I am one of those people. I can’t play a game like that without getting fully involved…I thrive on that type of thing…so steering clear is the best bet. Thanks to Randy I’m a board game geek now and spend time playing Euro Games when I’m not doing stuff with my wife or programming or screwing around with EatPoopUCat.

Not everyone can pull themselves away, though…MMO addiction is sadly a reality. How much longer before we begin having Interventions for addicted gamers?

Google Maps: Map World of Warcraft

mapwowGoogle Maps has been taken to a whole new level. The greatest mashup of the gaming world has been created using data from World of Warcraft and the Google Maps API. The end result is brilliant! Its name? MapWoW.

What is it exactly? Well, its a map of World of Warcraft that you can zoom in and out on Blizzard’s wonderful MMORPG world with the familiar controls of Google’s mapping tool. MapWoW gives a good description on what can be done with the tool:

The map utilizes the Google Maps API and therefore behaves just a like a Google Map. Clicking on the controls on the left side of the map will let you zoom in and out. Dragging the map around lets you scroll the map and view different areas. It’s that easy.

Use the menu to the right of the map to select resources and labels that you wish to display. Currently you can display herbs, ore, treasure, zone names, and city names. There are over 15,000 data points covering 69 resources with their exact map location in our database. The bottom of the menu provides quick links to popular locations in the game. Found a great area that you want to share with your friends? Go to the location on the map, click on the “Link to this Location” and then copy the URL.

We are always looking to make the site better; so more features will be coming shortly. If there’s something you’d like to see on the map or have an idea for a new feature, please [contact MapWoW].

The following herbs can currently be mapped: Arthas’ Tears, Black Lotus, Blindweed, Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Dreamfoil, Earthroot, Fadeleaf, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Golden Sansam, Goldthorn, Grave Moss, Gromsblood, Icecap, Khadgar’s Whisker, Kingsblood, Liferoot, Mageroyal, Mountain Silversage, Peacebloom, Plaguebloom, Purple Lotus, Silverleaf, Stranglekelp, Sungrass, Wild Steelbloom, and Wintersbite. The following ore can currently be mapped: Copper Vein, Dark Iron Ore, Gold Vein, Ooze Covered Gold Vein, Incendicite Mineral Vein, Iron Deposit, Lesser Bloodstone Deposit, Mithril Deposit, Ooze Covered Mithril Deposit, Silver Vein, Ooze Covered Silver Vein, Small Thorium Vein, Ooze Covered Thorium Vein, Rich Thorium Vein, Ooze Covered Rich Thorium Vein, Tin Vein, Truesilver Deposit, and Ooze Covered Truesilver Deposit.

Overall, a fairly groovy mashup with a lot of functionality for World of Warcraft! Awesome.

UPDATE: It seems the guys at MapWoW have an Outland map as well. w00t!

WoW Druid Macros

[[innerindex]]druid

Introduction

Continuing my Macro listings, I’ll post some Druid Macros! These macros are all thanks to World of Warcraft Druid Forum. I don’t play a druid on any server, yet the macros are pretty straightforward. If you have questions or suggestions…let me know and I’ll update/post them here.

Feral Macros

Ravage/Shred combo

If not in stealth mode, cast shred.  Otherwise, cast ravage.
1/cast [nostealth] Shred; [stealth] Ravage

Ravage/Shred/Ferocious Bite
If alt is pressed, cast Ferocious Bite. Otherwise if in stealth, cast Ravage. Otherwise cast Shred.

show Shred
/cast [modifier:alt] Ferocious Bite; [stealth] Ravage; Shred

Pounce/Rake combo
If not stealth cast rake, otherwise cast pounce.

/cast [nostealth] Rake; [stealth] Pounce

Pounce/Rake/Rip
If alt pressed, cast Rip. Otherwise if stealth cast Pounce. Otherwise cast Rake.

# show Rake
/cast [modifier:alt] Rip; [stealth] Pounce; Rake

Pounce/Mangle combo - Note the extra ()
If not stealth cast Mangle, otherwise cast Pounce.

/cast [nostealth] Mangle (Cat)(); [stealth] Pounce

Prowl or Faerie Fire (Feral)
If out of combat and not stealthed, cast Prowl. Otherwise if in combat and not stealthed, cast Faerie Fire.

/cast [nocombat, nostealth] Prowl; [combat, nostealth] Faerie Fire (Feral)()

Maul/Mangle
This is a space saver macro! In combat, Mauls first, then Mangles, then Mauls, then Mauls. Each 'spell' requires a click.

/castsequence reset=6/combat Maul, Mangle (Bear)(), Maul, Maul

Mangle (Bear) replacing auto-attack
Starts off auto attack with a Mangle...if Alt is held while clicking the macro, you will stop attacking.

# show Mangle (Bear)()
/startattack [nomodifier:alt]
/cast [nomodifier:alt] Mangle (Bear)()
/stopattack [modifier:alt]

Shifting Macros

Shift to Caster
Shift to Caster Form from any form

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>

Shift to Dire Bear
Shift to Dire Bear Form from any form - note: to have this macro also de-shift you, include "[stance:1] Dire Bear Form; " somewhere in the /cancelaura line.

/cancelaura [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Dire Bear Form

Shift to Dire Bear and Charge
Shift to Dire Bear From and Feral Charge from any form

/cancelaura [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Dire Bear Form; [stance:1] Feral Charge

Dire Bear and Equip
Shift to Dire Bear Form and equip Idol/Weapon
* "Shift to Dire Bear From from any form, equip Warden Staff and Idol of Brutality only when you actually shift to Dire Bear. Note that the test for the equip is still [nostance] because it hasn't yet registered that the stance has changed. You don't need to worry about the global cooldown, because the stance change and the weapon equip both trigger it at the same time, so you only suffer once. (...equipping things can be done during global cooldown.) "

/cancelaura [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Dire Bear Form;
/equip [nostance] Warden Staff
/equip [nostance] Idol of Brutality

To Cat Form
Shift to Cat Form from any form - note: to have this macro also de-shift you, include "[stance:3] Cat Form; " somewhere in the /cancelaura line.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Cat Form

To Cat and Stealth
Shift to Cat Form and stealth from any form (first line makes the macro display the Prowl cooldown)

show Prowl
/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Cat Form; [stance:3, nostealth] Prowl

Shift to Cat Form and equip Idol
Switch from any form to Cat form and equip an Idol

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form;[stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Cat Form; [stance:3, nostealth] Prowl
/equip [nostance] Idol of Ferocity

Shift to Travel Form from any form
Self Explanatory

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Travel Form

Travel Form + Nature's Grasp - note: you can cast Nature's Grasp in forms
If you are in a non-travel form, cancel it. If you are mounted, dismount. Cast Travel Form, cast Nature's Grasp.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance, outdoors] Travel Form; [stance:4, outdoors] Nature's Grasp

Spam Travel Form
If you are in a non-travel form, cancel it. If you are mounted, dismount. Cast Travel Form.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance, outdoors] Travel Form

All-Terrain Travel Form
If you are in a non-travel/non-swimming form, cancel it. If you are mounted, dismount. If you are swimming, cast Aquatic Form. Otherwise cast Travel Form.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance, swimming] Aquatic Form; [nostance, outdoors] Travel Form

Spam All-Terrain Travel Form
No matter the current form, cancel it. If you are mounted, dismount. If you are swimming, cast Aquatic Form. Otherwise cast Travel Form.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance, swimming] Aquatic Form; [nostance, outdoors] Travel Form

Spam ATTF + Mount
If you are in a non-travel/non-swimming form, cancel it. If you are standing still, mount. If you are swimming, cast Aquatic Form. Otherwise cast Travel Form.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/use Stormpike Battle Charger <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance, swimming] Aquatic Form; [nostance, outdoors] Travel Form

Spam Travel Form + Rejuv - the WSG flag carrying macro
Cancel any form. If you are mounted, unmount. Cast rejuvenation, travel form, travel form, travel form (one per button press in that order).

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>; [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/castsequence [nostance] reset=12 Rejuvenation, Travel Form, Travel Form, Travel Form

Shift to Tree of Life form and switch your actionbar from #1, to #2
Since most spells don't work in Tree of Life, you can set up a dedicated actionbar with ToL-only spells.

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/cast [nostance] Tree of Life
/changeactionbar [stance:5] 2

Return to Caster Form and restore original actionbar

/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Tree of Life
/cancelaura [mounted] Frostwolf Howler <replace with your mount>
/changeactionbar [nostance] 1 

Restoration Macros

Cleanse Poison/Curse Combo

#left click abolish poison, right click remove curse. both find target, alternatively, if you prefer targeting player first, replace target=none with target=target
/cast [button:1,target=none] Abolish Poison; [button:2,target=none] Remove Curse

Spam Cleanses

/targetfriend
/cast [button:1] Cure Poison; [button:2] Remove Curse
/stopcasting

Pseudo -Decursive

/cast [help] Cure Poison
/stopcasting
/cast [target=player] Cure Poison
/cast [target=party1] Cure Poison
/cast [target=party2] Cure Poison
/cast [target=party3] Cure Poison
/cast [target=party4] Cure Poison
/stopcasting

Nature's Swiftness + Healing Touch

/cast Nature's Swiftness
/stopcasting
/cast [help] Healing Touch; [target=player] Healing Touch

NS + HT/Regrowth

/cast Nature's Swiftness
/stopcasting
/cast [nostance, help] Healing Touch; [nostance, target=player] Healing Touch; [stance:5, help] Regrowth; [stance:5, target=player] Regrowth

ZHC + NS + HT/Regrowth

/use Zandalarian Hero Charm
/stopcasting
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/stopcasting
/cast [nostance, help] Healing Touch; [nostance, target=player] Healing Touch; [stance:5, help] Regrowth; [stance:5, target=player] Regrowth

Heal target or self, based on context

/cast [help] Healing Touch; [target=player] Healing Touch
/stopmacro [nohelp]
/say "Healing %t in 3 seconds."

HoT Stack

/castsequence [help] reset=8/target Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Lifebloom; [target=player] reset=8 Regrowth, Rejuvination, Lifebloom

Rejuv + Idol

/equip Idol of Rejuvenation
/cast Rejuvenation

Heal Target or Target's target

/cast [help] Healing Touch; [target=targettarget] Healing Touch

Healing Touch Mega-pack

/cast [modifier:alt,target=player] Healing Touch;[help] Healing Touch;[target=targettarget, help] Healing Touch;[target=mouseover,help] Healing Touch;[target=focus,help] Healing Touch;[target=focustarget,help];[target=none] Healing Touch 

General Utility Macros

Faerie Fire and Feral Faerie Fire combo

show Faerie Fire (Feral)()
/cast [nostance] Faerie Fire; Faerie Fire (Feral)()

Spammable Prowl and Shadowmeld

/cast [nocombat, stance:3, nostealth] Prowl; [nocombat, nostealth] Shadowmeld

Innervate - note: Innervate supposedly can now only be cast on units with mana.

/cast [modifier:alt, target=player] Innervate; [help] Innervate; [target=mouseover, exists, help] Innervate; [target=none] Innervate

Moonfire Spam
Cast Moonfire rank 10, 9, 9, 9, 9 each time the button is pressed. Reset the macro if you change targets, enter combat, or hold ctrl and press the macro.

/castsequence reset=9/target/combat/ctrl Moonfire(Rank 10), Moonfire(Rank 9), Moonfire(Rank 9), Moonfire(Rank 9), Moonfire(Rank 9)

Moonfire Flex
If you hold control, cast moonfire 1. If you click with your second mouse button, cast rank 9, otherwise cast rank 10.

/cast [modifier:ctrl] Moonfire(Rank 1); [button:2] Moonfire(Rank 9); Moonfire(Rank 10)

Moonfire + Idol

/equip Idol of the Moon
/cast Moonfire

Totem Killer - needs testing

/target totem
/cast [harm] Moonfire(Rank 1)

Faerie Fire Target or Target's target

/cast [harm] Faerie Fire; [target=targettarget, harm] Faerie Fire

Hurricane+Barkskin - note: for some reason, this still show's Barkskin's cooldown

show Hurricane
/stopmacro [channeling:Hurricane]
/castsequence reset=60/combat Barkskin, Hurricane

Gift of the Wild/Mark of the Wild

/cast [button:2] Gift of the Wild; [modifer:ctrl] Gift of the Wild; Mark of the Wild

Mark of the Wild + Thorns

/castsequence [modifier:alt, target=player] reset=10/target Thorns, Mark of the Wild; [help] reset=10/target Thorns, Mark of the Wild; [target=player] reset=10/target Thorns, Mark of the Wild

Stun and Self-Heal (Tauren)

show War Stomp
/cancelaura [stance:1] Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/castsequence [target=player] reset=120/combat War Stomp, Regrowth, Rejuvenation

Stun and Self-Heal (Dire Bear Form) - doesn't work yet...

show Bash
/cancelaura [stance:2] Aquatic Form; [stance:3] Cat Form; [stance:4] Travel Form; [stance:5] Moonkin Form <or Tree of Life>
/castsequence [stance:1] reset=50/combat Bash, Dire Bear Form, Regrowth, Rejuvenation
/castsequence [nostance] reset=50/combat Dire Bear Form, Bash, Dire Bear Form, Regrowth, Rejuvenation

WoW Priest Macros

[[innerindex]]priest

Introduction

Using my post on macros, World of Warcraft Forums and a number of other random resources and suggestions, I’ll be posting useful macros for each class. Because I play a Priest on Illidan, I’ll start with that class first :).

Crowd Control Macros

Shackle version 1
This macro will cast Shackle Undead if the target is hostile. It will then tell the party that you’re shacking the target. The stopmacro line will prevent the announcement if the target is not hostile, cutting down on unnecessary spam. However, I think you’ll still get a /p message if you attempt to cast shackle undead on a non-valid target. (confirmed for 2.0.1)

/cast [harm] Shackle Undead
/stopmacro [noharm]
/p Shackling %t! DO NOT TOUCH!

Shackle version 2 (Focus Combo)
Allows you to set your focus and bind a spell directly to that focus. You should be able to cast the second spell without ever losing your current target. If used with a heal spell instead of shackle, this should also be very helpful for MT/Raid healing.

macro 1: 
/focus target
macro 2: 
/cast [target=focus,harm] Shackle Undead; [harm] Shackle Undead
/stopmacro [target=focus,noharm]
/script SendChatMessage(UnitName("focus").." is shackled! DO NOT BREAK!") 

Note: if you don’t know what /focus target does…well, it allows you to mark a target as a focused target which allows you to target other objects and cast spells on that focus without losing your current target.

Healing Macros

Simple Greater Heal
This simple macro will cast Greater Heal (the highest rank you have) if the target is friendly, and alert the party about whom you’re healing. It will stop the announcement if the target is not friendly. (confirmed for 2.0.1)

/cast [help] Greater Heal
/stopmacro [nohelp]
/p Healing %t 

Target/Self Heal Macro
This macro checks to see if you have the “alt” key selected – if you do, then it casts Flash Heal on yourself. If you do not, it wil cast Flash Heal on your friendly target. It also announces to the party when you heal a target.

/cast [modifier:alt,target=player] Flash Heal; [help] Flash Heal
/p Healing %t 

A Better Target/Self Healing Macro
Llenyd and Augur wrote this one, which I think is better than the one listed above. It will heal yourself if the target is harmful, otherwise it will heal your target – and announce whomever you’re healing, including yourself. The above macro would only announce your targetted healing. (confirmed for 2.0.1)

/cast [help] <healing Spell>; [target=player] <healing Spell>
/script local n if(UnitIsFriend("player","target")) then n=UnitName("target") else n=UnitName("player") end SendChatMessage("Healing"..n.."in 3 seconds","SAY",nil) 

Uber Mouse Wielding Heal Macro
For you uber-mouse wielders out there, Llenyd’s macro would:
Cast GH1 on the Broodlord’s current target if you click the macro.
Cast Shield on the Broodlord’s current target if you right-click the macro.
Cast highest rank FH on the Broodlord’s current target if you Mouse Button 4-click the macro.
Cast highest rank GH on the Broodlord’s current target if you Mouse Button 5-click the macro.

/cast [target=targettarget, button:1] Greater Heal (Rank 1); [target=targettarget, button:2] Power Word: Shield; [target=targettarget, button:4] Flash Heal; [target=targettarget; button:5] Greater Heal 

Uber Mouse Wielding Flash Heal Macro
This is similar to the above macro, except that it casts Flash Heal and chooses the targets according to which mouse button you click with.

/cast [button:1, help] Flash Heal; [button:1, harm, target=targettarget] Flash Heal; [modifier:alt, target=player] Flash Heal; [button:2, target=party2] Flash Heal; [button:3, target=party3] Flash Heal; [button:4, target=party4] Flash Heal; [button:5, target=party5] Flash Heal 

Combat Macros

Space Saving Mind Blast/SW:Pain Macro
This macro uses the new “cast sequence” ability – yay more bar space! When you first click it, it should cast Mind Blast – when you click the button again, it will cast Shadow Word: Pain. The sequence will reset to Mind Blast if the player drops out of combat, or chooses a different target.

/castsequence reset=combat/target Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain 

MindFlay When Not Channeling Macro
Should cast Mind Flay only if you are not currently already channeling Mind Flay. For those “duh” moments. :)

/cast [nochanneling:Mind Flay] Mind Flay

Devouring Plague Macro
Good example of the timed reset macro. This macro will, on the first button press, cast Inner Focus. On the second press, it will cast Devouring Plague. The sequence resets after Devouring Plague, or if enough time passes between button presses (170).

/castsequence reset=170 Inner Focus, Devouring Plague

Shadowform Heal
For our shadow friends, this macro will drop shadowform on the first click, cast Flash Heal on the second click, and revert you to shadowform on the third click. If you are not in shadowform, it won’t do anything.

/castsequence [stance:1] Shadowform, Flash Heal, Shadowform

Correct Your Smiting
Casts smite on a harmful target…OR if you target a friendly to heal them, and they’re targeting a mob, casts smite on your target’s target.

/cast [harm] Smite; [target=targettarget, harm] Smite

Troll Berserking/PI/IF Macro
Sirona’s Troll Berserking / Power Infusion / Inner Focus — Smite macro does just what it says. :) If any of the first spells are on cooldown it should give you an error message, but continue on through the other spells. You can also turn this into a healing macro if you change the final spell.

/cast Berserking
/stopcasting
/cast Power Infusion
/stopcasting
/cast Inner Focus
/stopcasting
/cast Smite 

Misc Macros

Mouseover Dispell
Sylphael’s macro (ty, Sylphael!) will cast dispel magic on whatever target your mouse is presently hovering over. So if you bind it to a mouse button and hit that button while hovering over a character, you’ll cast dispel on that character.

/cast [target=mouseover] Dispel Magic

Instant Shield
This will stop the current spell and cast PW:S on your target if it is friendly, or (if that fails) it will cast PW:S on your target’s target.

/stopcasting
/cast [help] Power Word: Shield; [target=targettarget] Power Word: Shield 

Handy Resurrection Macro
Just a simple resurrection macro that announces your casting!

/cast [dead] Resurrection
/stopmacro [nodead]
/script SendChatMessage("Resurrecting "..UnitName("target")..".  w00t!")

Top Trinket+PI Macro
This is Tanara’s “Top Trinket +PI” macro. Trinket slots will not be a valid term in the “/castsequence” macros – you’ll have to specify the item name like the one in italics here. If I remember right, the name is case sensitive but only has to be long enough so that the term isn’t ambiguous. For example, “Conjured” could call conjured water or conjured cinnamon roll. You would have to write out to “Conjured Cinn” to get the term non-ambiguous.

The macro is a sequence so that if the trinket was on cooldown, then the Power Infusion wouldn’t cast. There’s no way to “use spell if item is not on cooldown” in the new scripting language – the developers deliberately removed that functionality. Remember, you’ll have to press the button twice (with no failure) to get the Power Infusion spell cast.

/castsequence [target=player] Zandalarian Hero Charm, Power Infusion

Spoon’s BAM Macro
Spoon’s BAM macro (ty Spoon!) should use the Hero Charm if it’s not on cooldown, then cast Power Infusion, then cast Inner Focus – all with one click. It differs from the above macro in that there’s no cooldown check. If the Hero Charm is on cooldown, you’ll just receive an error message but the rest of the spells will execute.

/use Zandalarian Hero Charm
/stopcasting
/cast [target=player] Power Infusion
/stopcasting
/cast [target=player] Inner Focus

SpaceSaver Macro
Spoon’s spacesaver macros – now your low ranked or single-cast spell can be the same button as your high ranked. All you’ll have to do is hold the alt key to toggle between them.

/cast [modifier:alt] Prayer of Shadow Protection; Shadow Protection
/cast [modifier:alt] Greater Heal(Rank 1); Greater Heal
/cast [modifier:alt] Holy Nova(Rank 1); Holy Nova

Raid Shield
Pretty simple macro to cast shield on your target if he’s in your group and friendly or if your target’s target is friendly and in group, or else shield yourself.

/cast [raid] Power Word: Shield; [target=targettarget, raid] Power Word: Shield; [target=player] Power Word: Shield

Special thanks to Anaea of Aerie Peak’s Priest Macro resource where a number of macros were pilfered :)

WoW Guilds: Relationship Advice

World of Warcraft is a great gaming passtime, guilds can be a blast and assist in many areas of your playstyle. Its pretty funny to see the responses, however, when a fellow guild member decides to ask for real life advice in a heavily game-centered environment. Here’s a little example that crept up on Ethereal Legion‘s site, a WoW Guild on Bleeding Hollow.

Caulderon, who’s in Highschool, one of our lead tanks, and a guild officer asks:

How do you ask a chick out?

Just simply say “Will you go out with me”? or would you say “Are you doing anything friday night?”

This is my dillema.

There are a few canned responses of: “Be cool,” “Be confident.” However, there are a few that stand out from the rest:

Tugsy writes:

I dont think a warcraft forum is the place you want to be asking these types of questions.

Meni writes:

As long as you don’t accidently introduce yourself as “Caulderon” you should be fine.

Sotel writes:

Actually laugh instead of saying elohel

Shadyfigure writes:

watever you do, if she responds:

Please Kitty

you have done somthing right.

Shodan writes:

You’ve got to be suave. You’ve got to be debonaire. You can’t tell her you play an MMO.

Schizoid gives the most sage advice of all.

Fundimentally the dilemma exists because regardless of what you say, you are expressing interest in her without her having to express any interest in you first, which increases your chances of rejection and justifiable anxiety. To defuse this, you must talk with her for approximately 5 minutes (which really is not that much of an investment when you are trying to get an entire date), with the goal of getting 3 indicators of interest before you pop the question. So it goes like this:

Run into her when she is definitely not in a rush or too preoccupied, like in a library or something when she wants to be distracted and kind of not interested/matter-of-factly say:

“God, I’m trying to think of something to do this weekend. I don’t want to end up doing nothing.”

If she doesn’t like you she will say something like:

“Good luck with that, bye.” = Dude she hates you, bail now and don’t humiliate yourself.

If she likes you she will say something like:

“Hmmm… why don’t you just go to a movie?” = Indicator of Interest #1

If she takes the bait, regardless of what she suggests, you say:

“Yeah, I guess I could do that, but I still would need someone to go with. Give me something else, help me out here.”

If she doesn’t like you she says something like:

“You are such a loser you don’t have a friend to go with?” =Dude she REALLY hates you, bail, bail, bail…and save face.

If she likes you she will smile and give you another idea. = Indicator of Interest #2

Then you chit chat about her lame ideas for a bit and try to keep her smiling. Take about 3 minutes until you get another indicator of interest. If you get nothing then give up dude, she is probably wants you to leave her alone. Otherwise you say:

“Yeah, one of those might work. What are you planning on doing?”

1) “I don’t know yet.” Reply: “Hmm…well, I would like to see that one movie we were talking about. You should come with me.” Your accept ratio will be much better than just asking cold.

2) “I am definitely planning on something.” Reply: “Well, at least you have something to do. Have fun with that. Bye.” = Tough luck, dude, but she likes you, so try again next week.

3) “Me and my bicurious girlfriends were gonna have a pillow fight, but now that I think about it… things might be a lot wilder with you around.” Dude, you got game, score this one hard core (regardless of what she invites you to).

It is interesting that the close-ness of the guild encouraged Caulderon enough to ask for advice on a topic as RL (Real Life) as it gets…dating. Even though the responses were humorous and most useless…its as much as (and maybe more) than one can expect when asking a RL group of friends.

Huxley, MMOFPS

Huxley looks awesome. See for yourself:

Huxley is a Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter (MMOFPS) – built on the Unreal 3 Engine – scheduled for release sometime in 2007 (date not yet announced). Its the first of its type and has grabbed my attention both from the backstory, graphics, and game style.

Its got some sweet features:

I. FPS IN A PERSISTENT WORLD.
Huxley delivers the excitement and rich gameplay experience of an MMORPG while combining the knuckle-whitening action of an FPS. Players can communicate with each other in a virtual online city, and participate in side battles with the intuitive PvP (player vs. player) system. Everything a character does in the Huxley world directly affects the success of not only the individual, but also of their race and party; from battles to behaviors, all interactions are linked to the survival of a character’s entire race.

II. LARGE-SCALE BATTLES.
Huxley goes past traditional death match FPS gameplay by challenging players to adapt to new forms of combat to protect the interests of the camp. Servers will be solely dedicated to accommodate millions of users engaged in fast paced, large-scale combat. Players will require strategy and cooperation to achieve victory. Extensive multiplayer battle modes are available each with a variety of unique fighting techniques and special characteristics.

III. ADVANCED A.I. AND QUESTS.
Huxley has advanced A.I. that rivals other online games. Enemies in Huxley demonstrate remarkable intelligence, which can be used to a player’s advantage or demise. Quests in Huxley will take players on paths of intrigue to uncover conspiracies resulting in confrontations. Each quest is continually updated so players feel as though they are enjoying a new story mode every time they play.

IV. CHARACTER GROWTH AND UNIQUE PLAY STYLES.
The characters in Huxley are continuously growing, which is rare in FPS games. Players are able to enhance their own combat styles by obtaining out-of-this-world weapons and new skills, which in turn continuously challenges players to adopt different gameplay styles as they progress.

Huxley

As bullet IV mentioned, there is a leveling system and differences between lower and higher level characters which isn’t too common with FPS games. Wikipedia has a better description on the leveling system:

Huxley’s advancement system is actually separated into two. In the early part of the character advancement player system, players can shape their character in the style they like best. After that, players can then add depth to their characters. ‘Experiences’ and ‘Battle points’ are two elements of character advancement. ‘Experiences’ will affect the earlier part of character development and ‘Battle Points’ will affect the later part of a character’s development in a big way.

In the earlier part, by acquiring licenses, characters can have opportunities to use upgraded weapons and armor. In the later part of the game, players will concentrate on developing their characters to be more effective under any circumstance. One developer has stated, “We are planning to make the earlier part of character development relatively fast and the later part of development a bit slower but more abundant. This is because we decided that too much difference between characters abilities that affect combat result is not good for an FPS game.”

Webzen has considered the fact that in most MMOGs the players at earlier levels have no chance of beating those at the higher levels, and therefore they have adjusted the game to make skill more significant than long periods of playing the game and leveling up. Leveling up will give players advantages, such as more slots for upgrades and perhaps faster aiming, but a lower level player can still measure up to a higher one.

This MMO is a pay to play game with a price yet undetermined. I’ll most likely be picking this one up and giving it a run for its money. I want the Beta.

Grooming Real Life Leadership Through Virtual Worlds

wow_tuxedo My friend Jon passed this article from Wired Magazine off to me as it suits my interests a bit more. This article reiterates what I have been chanting for some time now, real world lessons can be learned in virtual worlds like World of Warcraft.

Gaming tends to be regarded as a harmless diversion at best, a vile corruptor of youth at worst. But the usual critiques fail to recognize its potential for experiential learning. Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It’s learning to be – a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture – as opposed to learning about. Where traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully graded challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are immediate.

We see even now that MMORPGs are affecting the economy, laws, and communication. As the games become more social, they are introducing experiences and obstacles to end users where those users may have never had the opportunity to encounter them. And as with many experiences in the real world, those users grow and alter behavior patterns to suit these diverse situations in the virtual world. Wired’s article focuses on MMORPGs grooming managers as a direct correlation to holding the position of Guild Master. They write:

[T]he process of becoming an effective World of Warcraft guild master amounts to a total-immersion course in leadership. A guild is a collection of players who come together to share knowledge, resources, and manpower. To run a large one, a guild master must be adept at many skills: attracting, evaluating, and recruiting new members; creating apprenticeship programs; orchestrating group strategy; and adjudicating disputes. Guilds routinely splinter over petty squabbles and other basic failures of management; the master must resolve them without losing valuable members, who can easily quit and join a rival guild. Never mind the virtual surroundings; these conditions provide real-world training a manager can apply directly in the workplace.

Heh. It may sound corny, but in my stint as an officer of a World of Warcraft guild, I was able to garner some knowledge of mangement with regards to conflict resolution, player management, evaluation of applicants, advertisement, and extra-guild relations; each lesson has allowed me to grow as a person on both a personal and professional level (oddly enough). Despite my appreciation for the acquisition of knowledge through virtual methods, the artcle’s last line is still laughable. They say:

The day may not be far off when companies receive résumés that include a line reading “level 60 tauren shaman in World of Warcraft.”

While that seems unlikely, will there come a time where I’ll be filling in my Guild management experiences on my resume?

Shop Talk on World of Warcraft. WoW is the next Golf?

heuric.jpgSlashdot directed me to an article over at 1up. It seems that Joi Ito is singing the same song that I have been since my immersion in World of Warcraft.

Joi Itio, “the money-and-idea guy behind internet companies PSINet, Digital Garage, Infoseek Japan, and social software like Moveable Type, Technorati, and Socialtext” is pleasantly addicted to WoW as I am. Here’s an excerpt from the 1up article:

These days Joi enjoys the social aspects of the game. And by “enjoys” I really mean, “is absolutely obsessed by”. “The game really starts at level 60,” he says. Taking care of a guild, administering to members’ needs, looking after newbs and pleasing the veterans is a delicate balancing act that challenges even a guy who is used to being the CEO of fast-growing companies. “Warcraft is like a really, really well-designed UI for real-time, ad-hoc group collaboration and management of tons of people. The tools are really interesting because they apply to stuff that we’ll be using in the real world.” Has he learned new lessons about leadership because of his involvement in WoW? “Definitely,” he says. Eric tells me Joi carries around copies of the game to hand out to people he meets in real life. Joi has become a real Warcraft evangelist.

Pretty nifty. Like it or not, MMORPGs (WoW in particular) are gaining ground in many walks of life. As game membership grows beyond its 5 million subscribers, the probability of getting into a conversation and relating with a fellow technophile (or anyone for that matter) increases. As I have stated in the past: gone is the time I log into IM to chat with friends. I log into WoW and they are there waiting. Over the past year and a half of membership in World of Warcraft community I have had discussions on get-togethers, code, received/given help on work-related topics, all forms of entertainment, web 2.0, blogging, etc. It is becoming a melting pot of information transfer for both professional and non-professional topics!

Is WoW the next Golf – a get-together of friends for the tossing around ideas and banter? Well, thats to be determined. Heh…I can’t turn down a chance for real-life interaction just yet, but meeting in game to talk about out of game stuff is easy and somewhat commonplace for me.

MMORPG Laws

My pal Casey over at MaisonBisson.com has made a follow up post to my MMORPG Cheating post. I figured it warranted me making another post rather than simply replying to his blog. He writes:

Matt says my attempts to analogize online roleplaying games to more familiar contests like chess or automobile racing are “just silly.” But his response appears to reinforce my point rather than refute it. It is the responsibility of the gamers and gaming organizations to create and enforce rules. People violating those rules are subject to sanctions by the gaming organization first, but it’s hard to imagine how any contestant who follows the rules of a (legal) game can be subject to legal sanction.

I spoke with Casey in person this past Saturday about this exact topic (as we have butted heads on it for some time now). We discussed our differing views and gave examples on each side of the table. Casey stated that my arguments for game law should only be handled with some sort of governing body; much like the Scrabble Association, World Chess Federation, etc. After our discussion I have had a slight change of heart…for in-game happenings.

But what happens when someone from the outside world affects the in-game world? In my article “World of Warcrack and the Future of MMOGs” I explain a case when a non-player logged into her boyfriend’s account and deleted his items. What would be the ruling on cases such as those? Would they warrant arresting, fines, etc? Or should they be written off and have the owner of the character be forced to suck it up and spend another 1000+ hours creating and leveling a new character?

If someone that is not a part of NASCAR goes and steals, breaks down, and sells Jeff Gordon’s car…that person will face criminal charges and/or fines from the judicial system. What about Jon Doe who has a level 60 character in World of Warcraft emptied of all its items by a third party and that third party sells said items on E-Bay or through a reseller?

Its another beast altogether. Casey and I have both been wrong and right with our differing viewpoints. What we have been doing is lumping two categories of MMO offenses together. The in-game offenses and the offenses caused by non-game members to the game members. I was generically stating that ALL actions whether in and out may eventually need to be handled from some sort of legislation…and likewise he had lumped all actions together and disagreed saying that it should only be handled by an game-related governing body (the company that produces the game…or an association from multiple MMOs).

I still hold that as MMOGs become more and more popular these two distinct offenses will need to be addressed…but when and how?

(image found at http://www.abetterearth.org)

MMORPGs and Perception of Value

I made a post a little while back that on MMORPG Cheating and received a very interesting and convincing argument from Gaming Freedom that I thought warranted another post. Basically, the previous post was to emphasize how MMORPGs should be taken a little bit more serious when it comes to its future and how they will function as a major recreation tool the world over. I feel this is becoming more of a reality. (see my post on World of Warcract and the future of MMORPGs).

In my previous post on MMORPG Cheating, Gaming Freedom disagrees with my analogy of Racing and fines/rules due to in-game actions. Gaming Freedom makes some good points an writes:

[...]
You’ll never see laws like [those appearing in China] in the states because virtual items don’t cost anything to produce. Yeah, YOU had to work really hard to get that uber sword of usefullness, but that doesn’t mean it has a value. It’s a 1 on a server somewhere. Anyone, with sufficient rights, could choose to give that sword to you. Cars are not the same way. When you damage one there is no easy way to fix it, and the destruction has real costs involved.

Another reason your debunking of the car analogy fails is that you’re ignoring WHERE the fines and suspensions come from. They do not come from state or federal or even county law. They come from the organization which complies with the county, state, and federal laws and THEY are held accountable first. They can then pass off blame if they want, but at the end of the day it is the racetrack, or gaming company, who is ultimately responsible for what happens in it’s private club.

Society will draw the line, I predict, at value. So long as MMORPG’s are housed on servers, and so long as “items” are nothing more than database entries, they will not have any value. No value, no crime. You’ll see legislation around harrassment long before you see it around theft.

The argument has some good points but I don’t fully agree and believe a few points are slightly over-generalized. Its all about:

Perception of Value:
While I agree that the argument can (and is often made) that items in a game have no value…that they are simply entries in a database owned by the company that has ‘invented’ said item. This argument is flawed in that value is all about perception. An object or idea has value because someone believes it has value. I could own a facial tissue that was used by Britney Spears at a concert and cherish it (assuming I like Britney Spears) and consider it extremely valuable. Collectors of oddities such as this may agree with me. Now, what if I had bought that tissue on e-bay for $327.41 and I kept it in a glass case…if I woke up one morning and found it missing, would I not be able to file a police report and if the perpetrator was caught, bring them to court?

Perhaps a used tissue is not a great analogy. What about a Pet Rock? How about a diamond? What sets a diamond apart from a pet rock? Why is one more valuable than the other? Even if the diamond is un-shaped and un-cut, doesn’t it still have more value than the Pet Rock? The only reason a diamond has more value is because society thinks it should have more value. The argument can be made that diamonds are more rare than a Pet Rock made from a random stone…but the importance of rarity is once again based on society’s perception. Society deems that rarity holds more value.

Here are a few other arguments that can be made in regards to the value of a real-world item holding more weight than an in-game item:

  • A real-life sword has more value than an in-game sword because real world resources were used to create it!
    • Not entirely true. In-game items have gone through a lengthy design/modification process regards to how it looks (art), how it functions (rules), etc. A number of hours have been put into the production of the in-game sword by the company that has produced it.
  • But but but wait! In the above statement you say that the company has produced it…so its the property of the company and is valuable to them and them alone.
    • This is also a bad argument. When you purchase a piece of software…Windows XP, Age of Empires III, Photoshop, etc; the software that you install on your system, its cd, its manuals, etc are all property of the company that produces it. Read the End User License Agreement. You are leasing the product. Yeah, you spent $150 purchasing it but that copy is not yours. However, if someone stole your copy of Windows XP, you can call the authorities and if the perpetrator is found, there will be penalties.
  • Pfft…but an in-game sword is just 1′s and 0′s.
    • So is a piece of software. Software is just 1′s and 0′s.
  • Right right right…but the difference between the in-game sword and a real-world sword is that real-world money was paid.
    • Hrm. Fact. But think about it. In MMORPGs, real-world money is paid monthly to play the game. In the game your $15/month is spent playing and attempting to acquire items you view as valuable in-game.
  • You pay $15/month in game to play the game, not $15/month to buy an item.
    • Another good point. But in all actuality you are paying $15/month for time in game. It takes a great deal of time to attain the appropriate level required to find an ‘valuable’ item and even more time in the act of actually finding the item…which could take days, weeks, months, etc.
  • But now you are saying that the item has value merely because of time…you can’t put a price tag on time.
    • Thats just silly. Businesses/offices the world over fire people for theft of time constantly. Projects are designed and given value based solely on time. Time is a valuable and saying otherwise is just silly…especially when you are paying for that time.

I’m sure there are more arguments and I urge people to post them. In-game items have value because a society believes they have value. That society is the MMO gaming comunity and it is growing. As it grows, we will find that that society will have a larger voice than it does now. What will that voice say when those voices are coming from people of power? Heck, we have a national do not call list because enough people hated receiving telemarketing calls…But when it was the ‘people of power’ received those telemarketing calls and finally got pissed off that donotcall.gov was created along with a threat of fines. What happens when a Congressman plays WoW and get pissed that his Vestaments of Prophecy are deleted by someone who maliciously signed in to his account? What happens when the President’s level 60 Warrior in Lineage II is attacked by an unbeatable-bot and has all his hard-earned weapons stolen?

I do agree with Gaming Freedom in that we will see legislation about harrassment in the US long before legislation on theft. Will it go past that? Hard to tell…Its society’s call. And that all depends on the MMORPG movement.

Marketing MMORPGs to Women

There is a discussion going on my Crimson Eagles message boards spawned by the article I mention in The Holy Grail regarding marketing MMORPGs to women. A fellow gamer writes:

I think the female population is left in the dust. From a marketing perspective and a financial perspective, itd be superb to get the female demographic into things like WoW, or gaming in general. [..] Advertising would help but I think it may still be a bit premature for girls to become fully integrated into the gaming society. This is more of a mentality issue than anything else.

One research paper I read found exactly what Carmella was talking about. Carmella said guys and girls both give her funny looks when she talks about WoW. This may be partly because girls seem to have the mentality that they perceive themselves to have peer approval for moderate amounts of game while boys think that it is ok to play ‘a lot’ of video games, and that the popular boys played these video games. [..]

Im digressing. On advertising to a specific demographic, I am with Carmella and think shes onto something. Research has shown that girls are more likely than boys to choose fantasy violence games as favorites (Buchman and Funk (1996)). To me that is an awesome finding that would justify advertising WoW to the female population! I think its wonderful to have this coexistence of both sexes in the game. It provides for a better environment in my opinon. The dynamic of play in all senses is defiantly improved and I think it kinda levels the playing field a bit too. [..] Actually, in my opinion i think most girls are better at playing their character than guys (this is contrary to what researchers say when comparing competency at videogames between genders (Blumberg, Sokol (2004)).

In conclusion, I suppose that as time progresses and the male and female socialization stabilizes, a larger advertising initiative would have the most impact.

Carmella, a major female gamer (that is higher level than me in WoW and much more experienced in MMORPGs) responds with the following:

From my own experience, a lot of women dont really know how to react to the game phenomena. Once we organized a [dinner for 30+ folks] in the area. Some men had brought their GF’s around, their first reflex was to come toward me so they could talk about everyday stuff. When they realized I came as a player wanting to discuss strategies, behavior totally changed. I think part of it might come from the old reflex of ‘What is unknown and undiscovered for a person can become scary’.

As we can see, MMORPGs are becoming increasingly more popular to the world at large (World of Warcraft in particular). These games are now appealing to the masses rather than the small sub-groups of geeks that have been pocketed around the country for years. When I play WoW or discuss WoW in a group setting, I find that more and more women 1) have heard of it and 2) have played it.

These games are morphing into more than simply games…but social software and communication tools. As we see them grow, what effect will they have on the female population? The Sims Online is a good example of a game that is marketed more towards the female population than the male. When will we see game companies begin marketing towards women as much as towards men? I feel the time is fast approaching….Men still out number women in the gaming scene, but those numbers are beginning to balance.

The Holy Grail

I’m a geek…I play World of Warcraft and am part of a guild. A lot of time has gone into the game. What does a lot of time mean? Well, lets just say I am nearing 1,000 hours! So that brings me to the point of this post…I was directed to this article at Tom’s Hardware that details what the true ‘Holy Grail’ is all about. Here’s the gist:

The Grail I speak of is not the cup of Christ that bestows eternal life, but rather something sought after by young men the world over. I speak of the Attractive Female Gamer. A woman who not only possesses the desirable attributes necessary to attract members of the opposite sex, but who also shares the deep love that some of us have for videogames.

Yup. So true. To a gamer geek (specifically of the mmorpg variety), a woman that has the same interests is a truly blessed thing to date/marry yet exceedingly rare! Now, as the article states, a woman that enjoys Solitaire, Bejeweled, Minesweeper, etc is NOT what we’re talking about here…its the woman that plays MMORPGs and fully understands it.

“What’s the big deal?” some of you may ask. Well, when you live with a woman, her needs can conflict with the needs of the game. We all know the game needs to be played. How else are we going to procure the “phat lewts”? So imagine a woman who not only understands the needs of the game, but is as much a slave to it as we are. She knows the reward that comes with countless hours at the keyboard. She understands that sometimes you just have to eat dinner at the computer because your party is counting on you to heal. She will burn a vacation day in order to play when the server is less crowded. In short, she gets it.

My wife (at least for a time) was the Holy Grail for a looong time. She played WoW as much as me and we often wandered around the world of Azeroth together earning m4d l00t and picking on n00bs. Sadly, her work schedule has drastically changed causing a damper on our gaming co-existence. Hopefully, given time, she will dive back in and understand my drive to play once more! So if you’re a male gamer and you find yourself dating/married to such a woman, know that she is a rare jewel to have and you should pamper and promote her gaming as much as possible! If you are a female gamer…you are a blessing to society and should be extremely vocal in your circle of friends and promote the ideas of slaying Onyxia and running Molten Core!