Alex's Undercover Blog

For the geekier side of me.

Articles tagged with world of warcraft

Rejoining The World Of Warcraft

Posted: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 by

I've been playing World of Warcraft off and on since before it's initial release in 2004. I've never been a huge fan of MMORPG's in the past either because they require far too much grinding or they place too much of a focus on the multi-player aspect and essentially ignoring the solo player (because I have such a busy schedule I tend to be more of a solo player in general). When WoW came along I was intrigued by the small barrier to entry, it's simple and effective questing system and it of course had the advantage of the Warcraft history built in. Because of my lack of focus when it comes to games (I'm far too easily distracted by other things) I would generally play for a few months and then take several months off from WoW. My latest hiatus lasted about a year. It took a new expansion to get me back into the game.

I've been playing again now for about 4 months or so and am delighted to say that I'm having a great time and not getting bored nearly as easily as I have in the past. Previously the highest level that I achieved for a character was 44. At that point I would either start a new character of a different class or just quit altogether. My current main character is a level 58 rogue. I'm glad I've really stuck with the game this time as I'm only now starting to discover the higher level content; content which I haven't seen before. Here's why I think WoW is such a great game and why it always keeps me coming back for more....

  • As mentioned before the barrier to entry is minimal. You can easily jump into a new character and figure out how to play it pretty quickly.
  • The interface is customizable. There are some fantastic add ons out there that make the game more fun and efficient to play all because Blizzard decided to make the interface scriptable.
  • It's feasible to solo. Although some classes are better than others for this purpose WoW is accessible for the solo player.
  • The stories and history of Azeroth that ate presented to you throughout the game is nothing short of astounding. There are definitely some truly creative minds at Blizzard.
  • There is a ton of content. The world is just huge. If you get bored questing in one area there are likely several others that will be suited for your character's level.
  • Multi-player specific content is reasonably accessible. The UI makes it easy to find other people to group with for the games instances and the rewards are worth it. Also the 5 man instances can be run through in a few hours so it's not a big time commitment.
  • The new achievements system adds an interesting twist. If after all the main content you start to get bored they have some very interesting and sometimes strange things to do for accomplishment points (and bragging rights of course).
  • Leveling isn't quite as difficult as it used to be. This is another aspect that makes soloing possible.
  • You're not penalized for not playing for a while. When logged out you actually become rested. When your character is rested you gain twice the experience when killing creatures for a while which can make up for some lost time.
  • Though I mainly solo I've started a small guild with a few friends and we run instances together occasionally. That only adds to the fun. Since I finally got a character past 55 I've been playing the new death knight class from the latest release and have also been able to visit Outland.
I'm still discovering new and cool things about the game. It's easy enough to suck you in and deep enough to keep you playing for a long time.

Updated: 2012-02-25 15:15:34 -0800

World of Warcraft Installation Problems Solved

Posted: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 by

I've been playing the World of Warcraft off and on ever since it's release in November of 2004. In general I've been really happy with it. As with everything else that I do in my free time I would occasionally move on to other things and, especially owning my own house now, most of my free time has been filled with house "to-do's". After playing through a bit of several characters to about the level 20 point I would inevitably start a new character to try and experience what all the different race/class combinations had to offer. As I had played through most of them I was really stoked for the release of the first expansion for the game, the Burning Crusade. Come mid-January of this year I received my coveted Collector's Edition of the Burning Crusade and started the installation process as soon as I got home. One of the great things about the Collector's Edition is that it comes with both a CD and DVD version of the game (similarly to the original Collector's Edition) so I didn't need to put in a disk, wait 10-15 minutes and then swap it out for the next 4 times. Not exactly a thrilling time. Just pop in the DVD, let it do its thing and start playing soon after... or so I thought. When the installation finished I feverishly started up the game, tried to login and... it started downloading another patch. Okay, no big deal. It's pretty standard procedure for a new Blizzard game launch. I waited a few minutes for the patch to download, installed it and finally started the game again. Only this time, after putting in my login credentials I got an error saying "Unable to Validate Game Version" which had a reference to a support page. The page mentioned something about the possibility of a virus and suggested downloading and installing two different virus scanners to make sure all was well. I run an "always-on" virus scanner so I knew that wasn't the problem. It also said something about a custom UI possibly causing the problem. That I believed. I had tinkered with the WoW UI a bit so it wouldn't have surprised me. They referred to a repair utility which would go through and check all the files. Once I finished running the utility (about 30-40 minutes later) I tried to reconnect again but got the same error. At this point the page instructs you to uninstall everything and reinstall from scratch!!! This wouldn't have been so bad except that installing two DVD's worth of game files takes at least an hour. At that point you then need to wait for the game to be patched, etc, etc. I grudgingly removed all of WoW's files and started the installation process. Since my original WoW DVD has the original version of it I was afraid of needing to apply patches before reinstalling the Burning Crusade. Much to my delight I tried installing the expansion right after the original disk and it upgraded my installation to v2.0. That's about two Gigs worth of patches I didn't need to apply manually. Hoorah!I launched the game one last time, it patched itself and even after that I was able to login in. Success!!! Or so I thought. For the last several weeks I've been very distracted by the goings on in life and so haven't played WoW. I was excited this weekend to pick it up and start playing again. I launched the game, tried to login and, once again, got the same error, even after logging in successfully before. I couldn't believe it. All the time I spent reinstalling the game was all for nothing. Once again I uninstalled everything and reinstalled. Once again the game patched itself to v2.03 but this time when I tried to login again it gave me the same error... yes... again. Whoever wrote this auto patcher clearly didn't think about how many paying customers he was going to locking out with his incorrect logic. Rather than start all over again I decided to try something. The current version of WoW (at the time of this writing) is v2.08 and I had v2.03. Rather than uninstall, download a bunch of large patches and reinstall again I decided to try and patch the game manually to the latest version. It turns out that was the correct solution. I had to download several small, incremental patches but once finished doing the patching I was able to play without any more problems. If you're running into simiar issues with World of Warcraft and the Burning Crusade here is a link to the patch mirrors. Follow these steps for what should be a successful installation:

  • Install the original game
  • Install the expansion
  • Install the incremental patches starting with v2.0-v2.03.
Starting points will vary based on the version of the game you get after installing the expansion. Check to see what version you have before installing any patches. When launching the game you will be able to see which version you have in the title bar of the game launcher.

Updated: 2012-02-24 12:37:24 -0800