Tag Archives: Gamer Gripes

Complaining About Small Things in WoW… Yet Again

The time has come to once again gripe about a few small issues that are bugging me in World of Warcraft and see if people commiserate or call me crazy.

Tabbing Out

At some point when I wasn’t paying attention, Blizzard decided that if you are playing full screen and you tab out of the game, well, fuck you.  Auctioneer stops getting data from the auction house, pet battles patiently wait for my return, and redraws stop happening so I have to go through a loading screen when I tab back in.

It wasn’t always this way, was it?  I mean, I remember, at one time, being able to tab out of WoW and not having my auction house scan just sit on the same page the whole time.  Tabbing out is so ingrained in me that I am sure it must have worked fine at some point.

And I get the whole not using system resources when you don’t have focus thing, but this seems like it has gone too far.  My of my processor cycles to go the idle task anyway, feel free to waste some.  They aren’t roll-over cycles.  I can never get them back.

Losing That Highlighted Feeling

All your bags open up when you access a vendor.  They all close again when you close the vendor window.  Big deal, right?  Been that way for half of forever.

And it was fine… until Warlords of Draenor.  And then Blizz introduced that thing where it highlights new items in your bag.  Cool feature.

So now you hit the vendor, bags open, you buy something, it is there highlighted in your bags, but you can’t click on it or anything lest you sell it back, so you close the vendor window, and your bags close.  Then you open them up again to find your new thing and… the highlight is gone, because it only lasts though one bag open cycle.  After that, it is old business and hidden in amongst all your junk.  And since Blizzard is still using the same 27 icons from 2004 for everything, sometimes finding you new purchase can be a chore.

There is a work-around.  If you open your bags before you hit the vendor, they don’t close, so you don’t lose the highlight.  But I forget to do that about half the time.  So I feel like that first pass with the vendor shouldn’t count for the purpose of turning off the highlight.

Carnie Dialog in Darkmoon Faire

When running through Darkmoon Faire… and I run through it with a dozen characters every month… I am done seeing this.

Yeah, yeah, get back to work already

Yeah, yeah, get back to work already

When does every carnie have to put up a dialog?  At what point did somebody say, “Hey, I know what people wanr!  More windows to close while playing!”  I play with sound on, if they have something to say to me they can mumble it out like the other NPCs.

I know there is a sweet spot for doing the carnie quest, a distance from them that is far enough not to trigger the dialog box yet still close enough to bandage them.  But I get too close at least half the time still, so I’d rather Blizz just turn this off so I don’t have to see it come up a couple dozen times a month.

Parental Controls on the iPad

I have complained specifically about aspects of Blizzard’s parental controls before.  But even with my gripes, their parental controls are the best I have seen in any online game.  In fact, in my experience, such controls are almost non-existent in online games, especially in kids games.  I remember LEGO Universe touting their parental controls, which were pretty much useless, while Club Penguin parental controls were a joke last time I looked.

So Blizzard’s parent controls work out pretty well for me… as long as I am at the computer.

But there I am, sitting on the couch, watching a movie and my daughter asks for a little more WoW time.  I reach over for my trusty brain extension… erm… iPad, always close to hand so as to be able to look up actors or whatever, and then stop.

That won’t work.

You cannot (or at least I cannot) use the Blizzard parental controls UI with a touchy-feely tablet interface.  I have to get up off the couch and wander back to my office, log into Battle.net, and change the time there if I wish to grant my daughter this boon.

Blizzard, stop making me get up and move about!

Also, setup parental controls for your other games already.  You have a decent template.

EVE Online Problems

So, a while back, WoW got update 6.1 and EVE Online got the Scylla expansion, and now they do not play well together.

This is important to me because EVE Online is often a game where it is good to have another game to play in the background.  For all you fans of the old days of EQ, downtime and waiting and all that are still very much alive in space.  So for quite a stretch I was doing pet battles in WoW while waiting for things to happen in EVE.

But when I do that, tabbing in and out, WoW is horribly choppy, to the point of being nearly unplayable.  Pet battles are manageable, but if I have to actually travel to get to one, things become painful.

I suspect that CCP is the main culprit here.  EVE certainly doesn’t stop using resources when you tab out!  But WoW is doing something odd as well.  Having either game running seems to kill performance with Paint.net.  And I have had my own odd problems with WoW in the past, like that stretch of time where the game would crash whenever I was in Dalaran.

Of course, it could be that I need a video card upgrade as well.  Having had to go back to my five year old nVidia GTS450, a modest card back when I bought it, after the big power supply blow up last November, I am certainly nowhere near the leading edge on the GPU front.  At some point I am going to have to find some money and buy an upgrade.  Maybe if I can find a GTX 960 on sale.

Anyway, those are my current top five annoyances with WoW at the moment.  What is bugging you?  Are you feeling any of these?

 

Five More Small Fixes for WoW

Whenever I am playing a game for an sort of extended period, especially when it is my main focus, I start mentally building up a list of gripes, the little things that, while not game breakers in any way, start to annoy me or get on my nerves.

And when I get five that stick in my brain at the same time… which can be the main challenge, as my short-term memory like a sieve… I write a blog post.  So here we are, five small… and probably non-controversial… changes I would like to see in WoW.

Free the First Bag!

There was a time when that first bag, with its 16 slots, was the anchor of all of our bag space needs.  There was no worry about having to replace it because 16 slot bags were rare and expensive.  I remember feeling great joy at having one of those old school, 16 slot, travelers backpacks drop way back when.  That was huge.

That was also at least seven years ago.

Since then we have gotten netherweave bags (16 slots), and frostweave bags (20 slots), and embersilk bags (22 slots), and probably something in Pandaria, plus quest reward bags and boss drops bags, which has pushed the 16 slot bag from a object of intense desire to a default, baseline item.

We haven’t hit the bag slot nirvana of EverQuest II and 90 slot bags, but 16 slot bags are pretty ho-hum these days.  They are the stuff of uncared for alts.  On my regularly played characters, that 16 slot first bag is the smallest bag they are carrying and, in the case of Vikund, my main of mains, the smallest bag he owns.

So I would like to be able to replace it.  Or upgrade it.  Or, Blizzard, if you just want to spread the love universally, make it a 20 or 24 slot bag.

Larger Quest Log

I know, I know, we got an quest log upgrade from 20 to 25 quests back with the 2.0 patch for The Burning Crusade.  I am sure that seems like just yesterday for some. But I also know people who have forgotten that the cap used to be 20 quests.

And I’ve gotten by pretty well with the 25 quest cap, especially since Blizzard started doling out quests in smaller batches at each quest hub.  25 was barely enough in Outland, where you could vacuum up a dozen quests at a time.  But Blizzard has balanced that out some since then.

At least until now.  Juggling garrison quests, zone quests, holiday quests, and whatever else shows up, I have managed to bump into the “quest log full” error a couple of times in Warlords of Draenor.  It hasn’t come up often, a couple of times at most, but I am generally brutal about deleting or not picking up quests before I need to.  It is unusual for me to hit the quest cap.

So I am wondering if it might be time to bump the limit up to 30?  I mean, we got five more quests the last time we came to Draenor.  It seems appropriate to get five more now.

That Ramp in Thunder Bluff

I have been admiring my daughter’s Horde garrison, which she describes as ‘put spikes on all the things!”  So I started looking at my own Horde characters to see who I might be able to level up eventually.  The closest to Draenor is a Tauren druid in his mid-60s.

I went to log him in, just to see where he stood.  I could actually send him a bit of heirloom gear and probably level him up quickly enough, once I get around to it.

He was in Thunder Bluff, where I tend to hang out as Horde when possible, but I wanted to fly him over to Orgrimmar.  So I mounted him up on his Horde chopper and headed towards the flight point at the top of the central spiral, only to be dismounted on the way up.

Had to hoof it up here!

Had to hoof it up here!

I had forgotten about that, and how annoying it can be.  There used to be a similar scenario in Stormwind, which Blizzard fixed about four years ago.  So I was wondering if we could get that same fix for my Tauren brothers and sisters.

Dismount Me

Another of those “fixed years ago” things was having to dismount to do any number of things.  Blizzard changed things so that we wouldn’t get that “You are mounted” error when we tried to take a flight or use a vehicle for a quest and so on.  And, for the most part that fix seems to have been good.  It probably fixed 95% of the occurrences of this issue.

But there is still that five percent.  And it isn’t just in the new content.  I got an error about being mounted while trying to accept a special ride in my garrison.  While this is the weakest of my five gripes, I still wonder if somebody at Blizz couldn’t go look into this, or at least make sure devs are following whatever best practices are required to make sure that old, old fix for this applies.

Stop Making Me Delete Things

This is actually one that has bugged me for quite a while, but was brought home to me again with the 10 year anniversary gift.   We got the Molten Corgi pet, which was one per account.  However, Blizzard gleefully mails it to every character on your account the moment you log them in.  So after the first time you redeem it, the rest of your characters get a useless bit of bag filler.

FRMoltenCorgiYou cannot do anything with it, save delete it… or stow it away just in case something changes.  And, of course, deleting the item is accompanied by the ominous “Are you sure? Please type out ‘DELETE’ to do so” dialog.

This has always struck me as wrong, handing me something where the only option is to waste bag space or delete it.  And this goes for gear and toys and whatever else, and has led me to hang on to items “just in case” Blizzard changes their mind on this.  So, in my bank I found I still had this.

FROnyxiaWhelpThe Onyxian Whelpling, that was the five year anniversary gift.  He pre-dates shared pets, but wasn’t destroyed on use so you could pass it to alts as they came along.  I also saw Mr. Chilly sitting in my bank as well.

I am not sure what the best answer is here.  For some of the gear items, just let me vendor them.  But would that work out for things like the Molten Corgi?  All I know for sure is deleting them is counter to my instincts.

 

Not Even FarmVille Hits The Lowest Common Denominator

One of the common cries of the hard core when complaining about changes to a game to make it “easier” or “more accessible” is that the company in question is attempting to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

The next time you see a player making that complaint, remember that somewhere out there somebody felt the need to write the book FarmVille for Dummies.


Really, the lowest common denominator is a lot lower than you and I can probably imagine.

Via Ars Technica.