Obligatory Real ID post

Oh let’s see now. Blizzard have said that they’re going to change all of their forums to use the Real ID system.

Chas at Righteous Orbs makes makes a strong case again this change from a discrimination standpoint. He’s (tragically) almost certainly correct.

Larisa at the Pink Pigtail Inn is horrified (that’s my reading, not a word she used btw) that the slippery slope, so often erroneously invoked, appears to apply in this case. I fervently hope she’s not correct, because that would suggest there’s more to come. I’m not confident though.

Hatch suggests that implementing real ID on the forums in this way will have precisely the opposite effect to the goal stated in Nethaera’s announcement — the humans leave, the trolls colonise. I think Hatch is probably right too.

Kurn suggests that this might be a money-saving exercise. Much as I instinctively shy away from the “Actiblizz is ruining teh game for $$$$” memes that show up on a regular basis, that sounds plausible even if only as a useful side-effect.

Gah. I could carry on linking to people who make valid points but at this point it seems like you could pick almost any random blog and find an argument against the forthcoming change.

Rather than repeat the points other people have made with different words, here are some bullet points. Because bullet points are nice when you can’t structure things in your head properly.

  • Could this make money for someone? *If* the furore of the blogging few is in any way representative of the wider community, then there’s potentially a good number of people who now need somewhere new to post guild recruitment threads, discuss classes/specs/mechanics without needing to be EJ-approved, organise realm activities etc. ZAM networks, the people behind Wowhead/Thottbot etc., might be an obvious candidate given their knowledge of the game and expertise with web properties. Perhaps the forum sections of the guild website hosting sites are about to get busier.
  • I realise that, RP servers notwithstanding, Blizzard don’t really care too much about RPers, but even if care about roleplay at all, seeing “[Ragescream] (Steve Weatherspoon) roars with bestial vigor” would break the immersion a little, don’t you think?
  • If they’d provided the privacy optionsĀ  people suggested at various points and which aren’t *that* hard to come up with (appear offline, disable friends-of-friends, assign a single master “name” for forums etc, make it possible to find the master name by inspecting a character) then we’d probably all have ended up disabling them with the year anyway, once we got used to it or found a reason to.
  • Facebook is facebook. Warcraft is not facebook. Gamers have Facebook accounts. Gamers who want to share their identity and their love of games with others are doing so on Facebook already. Why not just have an option to integrate your battlenet account with your facebook account, and designate a contact group who can contact you ingame?
  • Why do people have to post absurdities to try and make a point. Just make your point. The first reply on that previous link is from someone who has had their identity stolen in the past, who is known to classmates only as “Dagoth” because they protect their real name so carefully, and is in the witness protection programme as a threatened key witness in a capital case. O RLY?
  • I do not want to be “me” in the game world, in the game community. I want to be me+. That’s the escapism part, remember? Don’t make the in-game “me” be the me who forgets to unload the washing machine or phone home often enough.
  • My friends do not automatically forward my contact details to all of *their* friends. When I am asking the beleaguered LU worker besieged by angry commuters why the Jubilee line is broken AGAIN, I do not begin my question by first announcing my name to the crowd. I cannot claim to be a particularly private person but I do not broadcast personally identifying information to random psychopaths in the street. I do not do these things because I AM NOT A TOTAL MORON.

Right. That’ll do. Next up, some tales of derring-do in Icecrown Citadel (spoiler: Sindy was not involved), Ano comes to terms with the fact that knowing the hit cap for ret paladins does not make you an expert on all things WoW, Cent has shiny new shinies and went on a “PuG” “”raid””, trinket envy, and why I love Looking for More.

Rename paladin abilities NOW

Divine Sacrifice? Divine Intervention? Divine Protection?


It’s no wonder you have Ret paladins haplessly casting Divine Intervention on one of the tanks by accident. *ahem*. Like running Ruby Sanctum blind isn’t tricky enough already.

Sorry Vae.



I'd love a kiss, but last time you put your back out...
I'd love a kiss, but last time you put your back out...

So the 3.3.5 patch rolled out to the EU servers with no problems at all, and everyone was delighted. Rose petals fell in a soft rain all over Dalaran, and above the background sounds of residents and visitors sneezing, coughing and asking each other for antihistamines, a paladin, clad in armour of shining steel, walked hand in hand with a tiny mage. For they were very much in love and, matters of a practical nature relating to stature notwithstanding, intent on fully enjoying each other’s company. The only distraction was the murmuring of the crowd, who (despite the peculiar noises emanating from Breanni’s kennels) could just be heard, engaged in conversations like “They should give us a free month for this”, and “Fucking Blizz, this is the worst patch ever” and “Anal [Greater Blessing of Wisdom], hur hur hur”.

Ok, so it was generally pretty ropey on Wednesday. Apparently at least some of the servers didn’t go live till around the 6pm mark, and when they did go live there was the odd… problem or two? DMF seemingly had no access to instances (the dungeon finder did nothing, and walking into and instance portal did nothing but lock up the game either). In game transport services like the boats weren’t running, and even some daily quests involving vehicles weren’t available. I had a couple of instances of graphic corruption followed by instacrash when I tried to take a screenshot, and a further instance of corruption which I chose to quit from, having grown tired of re-making the same changes to my addons and re-agreeing the T&Cs again and again.

Anyway, heroic badgers farmed and the two-minute Lol Ahune down, I was faffing about in Dalaran and I happened to notice that I had two skills (two-handed swords and two-handed maces) at 400, and two skills (two-handed axes and one-handed swords) at 399. Hmm, I thought. A little googling and I embarked upon a plan, which I found easily enough but I’m going to share anyway.

Step 1: buy the speedy training weapons you need from the vendors in Dalaran. There are (I believe) one of each type available, so get all of the weapons you’d like to train.

Step 2: Head to the Blasted Lands. How you get there is entirely up to you, but you’re aiming for Dreadmaul Hold in the top-left corner of the map. When you get there, head inside the circular building and after clearing a few ogres, you’ll find Grol the Destroyer, a level 58 elite. Commence with the hitting.

Grol says "hi"
Grol says "hi"

The trick here is that Grol can only be killed by a particular quest weapon. His health will go down, but will stick solid at a single health point if you don’t have the quest weapon to hand. Put your back to the wall, and wedge yourself against one of the supports (he has a knockback), and whale away. If you have two screens, or a second PC, you can easily do other things, and you’ll want to — it can take a while. Particularly if you decide to go for the unarmed achievement as well. *cough*

This is where being a paladin is very handy. I applied Devotion Aura and Seal of Light, and that was more than sufficient to keep my health completely full. Periodically the remaining ogres would respawn, and a quick consecrate would be sufficient to kill them off without further work. Boring as hell, but easy. If you’ve got a self-heal, you can probably do something very similar.

One more thing: bring a book, or a DVD, or something. Seriously. It takes *forever* to achieve, particularly the barehanded option. But I did it, and you can too.