When is a tester not a tester?

Posted by & filed under Diablo 3, Gaming, thoughts. released..

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I’ve been playing Diablo 3 this past week and wishing I was on the beta test.

There’s plenty of things that seem to have slipped past the testers which lead me to this post.

In order to get on to Blizzard’s testing, all you need to do is submit your computer specs and be a paying subscriber. Then you may get a beta invite for a new game, and more likely if you subscribe to WoW then you’ll get to play on the PTR (Public Test Realm).

This is all well and good, but it seems most users don’t grasp ┬áthe idea of what testing means.

  • It’s a way to preview new content and gameplay
  • It’s a way for professional bloggers to report on new features that may or may not survive the testing phase to make it into the live/retail game
  • It’s a way for gold bloggers to identify new things that will be hot when the new features go live

But it’s also how the majority of bugs get squashed. Or should that be how the major bugs get squashed?!

Having played Diablo 3 for most of the week it’s become apparent to me and a few others that a lot of things seem to have been missed from the testing phase.

For starters there’s the server error messages that report one thing to the user but in actual fact do something else.
The targeting system needs calibrating. This is probably not helped by the fact that you click to move – many a time I’ve clicked to move but attacked instead or vice versa. I understand the click to move notion as it’s an isometric view so moving with keys could be a little confusing.
Another obvious thing is the server messages and errors you get even in the single player mode. I know it’s because of battle.net but better communication to the end user would be good, or maybe even not breaking the gameplay if battle.net goes offline? – when this happens in WoW it doesn’t hinder gameplay too much, just means you can’t speak to RealID friends. Which is how it should work in Diablo 3.

Maybe Blizzard need to introduce a better way of reporting errors than on the forums? Like in-game for instance – it’s not as if you’re not logged in when you find the bugs, so maybe a way of taking a screenshot if relevant and attaching it to a bug report would get more people reporting bugs however big or small. I noticed in the SWTOR beta they had an in-game reporting system like this, no mention of having to logout of the game to login to the forums to report a problem.

Blizzard have everything else, why not implement a better reporting system for errors/bugs – and not just in the test realms.
I think this is the major problem with Blizzard’s implementation of test servers/realms – reporting problems is so long winded and has to be done outside of the game that very few people do it.

Thoughts?

Are you ready for Yule in Azeroth?

Posted by & filed under World of Warcraft.

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The Feast of Winter Veil will soon be upon us in Azeroth, are you ready for the achievements?

On Xmas day, it’s a chance to get some cool companion pets (which, if you stockpile them!, can generate some gold throughout the year). Blizzard has changed them now too so that they don’t require snowballs, not to mention some of them can’t be called outside of the event; and the Winter Reindeer is a plain reindeer outside of the event!!

From what I remember, small eggs sell really well at this time too (to make egg nog for one of the achievements/quests).

It should start around the 15th December, so time to get ready!

Pilgrim’s Bounty

Posted by & filed under World of Warcraft.

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It’s Pilgrim’s Bounty in Azeroth at the moment – see http://www.wowhead.com/achievements=1.155.14981

A chance to get some achievement points, a cool companion pet, and a title!

Also, the biggest boon from this World Event is that you can quite easily (and cheaply!!) level your cooking skill up to 300 with a bit of travelling (or portal-ing for mages!).

As with Fishing, Cooking is a secondary skill that doesn’t have level requirements for getting to max level :)

As with most things, Dugi has it covered here: http://www.ultimatewowguide.com/blog/2011/11/pilgrims-bounty-guide/

There are plenty of other guides out there, but I love Dugi’s guides (my personal preference).

 

WoW 7th Anniversary

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We’re in the middle of the 7th Anniversary, so if you’ve not logged in yet for the Feat of Strength acheivement, then you should!

You’ll get a “tabard” spell in the post that you can re-apply for the duration for 7% reputation and experience. It lasts for an hour and judging on various reports from around the web, it doesn’t stack with the equivalent guild perks so if you happen to be in a low level guild you should be ok. As it boosts rep-gain, now is a good time to get some of your rep bars up closer to exalted (for all you OverAchievers!!)

 

Freeware roundup

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I want to use this space to recommend freeware tools that I use and sometimes have used for a long time.

 

My time in Azeroth

Posted by & filed under World of Warcraft.

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It’s no surprise to people that know me that I play World of Warcraft. Despite it being an addictive game! it can also be a great social platform (when your friends are online!).

People play it for all different reasons, but usually:

  • Playing the auction house
  • PvP
  • Raiding
  • Levelling

I have to say I do love PvP, but I mainly play the Auction House (AH) and level toons (alts).

My son also loves it, he plays a mean pvp rogue! Though he doesn’t really like the slog of levelling so that’s what I invariably end up doing when he’s not here.

Lately though I’ve been getting back into the AH and trying to make gold. I’ve still got a way to go before I hit the gold cap, but I’m making lots of observations and improving my knowledge constantly, and hopefully I’ll put some of these observations, tips, and help on here.

WordPress observations

Posted by & filed under Development.

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So I’ve been looking round WordPress for a few days now; I have looked at it before but never as a user only as looking for a technical solution to someone’s problem.

It’s funny how you become accustomed to certain paradgims when using particular solutions to then move to another solution and find things can be totally different!
Previously all my work has revolved around drupal having been an avid user/contributor/evangelist for 5+ years.

In drupal, everything feels so much more mature than wp. If you need a plugin or a theme it’s pretty easy and quick to find what you’re looking for. Whereas here in wp I’m having to trawl through pages of plugins to find what I want. And then it’s a case of “does it work with this version of wp?” – in drupal you can filter contributed apps by the target version of drupal. If there is an option for this in wp I’m yet to find it.

I’m also finding the admin side of the site a bit unwieldly and not very intuitive, or maybe it’s because I have my developer head on and not my user head?

Despite WordPress having foundations in blogging, just like drupal has if you strip back all the added functionality that keeps getting piled into core, it is a content management system of sorts. There just doesn’t seem to be that much customisation out-of-the-box with wp. Yes, there’s loads of plugins all adding extra functionality and I’m still getting to grips with the power of WordPress, but finding the right plugin for the job is proving to be a job in itself (for me at least!).