Archive for the ‘Sphere’ Category


LUA – Geekfaktor +20


I admit, I am a computer person. Obviously. I am also a software developer. And frankly, it shows.

While levelling my rogue, I had the urge to track how many kills of what gave me how many XP. A quick search on yielded no suitable results, though. However, coding an addon can’t be that hard, right? Right. Granted, there is no UI yet, but LUA scripting is easy enough, even if I couldn’t find a good, free IDE other than my trusty Notepad++. And so I wrote my first line of LUA yesterday.

And so, from a simple welcome-on-login script, to event handling to persisting structures in database-like tables and showing various bits and pieces of information in tooltips (How many kills of this mob? How many XP can I expect based on past performance?), code is growing. It is fun and strangely relaxing.

No deadlines. No feature requests. Just looking through the API for cool sounding functions and seeing if I can use them. Going over code-snippets on WoWProgramming and saying “Hey, that’s nice, I could change this bit and add that bit and then do something completely different altogether but thanks for the idea”. Seeing representations of my data structures flow by in the chat. Watch new lines magically appear in tooltips (but only when I want them to, i.e. with modifier key press).

Coding for the sake of coding.

My tip: If you’ve never done that, do it. Now. I mean, right now. Go to WoWWiki, API documentation and write an addon that does nothing more than pop up a messagebox greeting you with character title, character name and welcoming you back to the region you are in. Optionally address yourself with different wording depending on your character’s gender.

Ten minutes of code, endless hours of joy seeing your work appear in the game.


Search engine weirdness


I wouldn’t normally blog about this, but this month has seen a few trends in how people (all twenty of them) find my blog. WordPress and Google Webmaster Tools provide me with some pretty interesting and, frankly, disturbing information.

Top search engine term: World-cup Play By Play

I admit, it was rather devious of me to name my world cup post “Play by play”. This was an expected result, though.

Second place: RealID

Any surprise here? Not really. My post on why and how Blizzard won is still coming up, I just need some time to word it a bit more carefully than my usual posts.

Solid third place: Draenei licking human

What. The. Hell? I’m all open for experimentation, but seriously, there are webpages better suited for that topic than mine. And I don’t even write about my Draenei that much. Or about her licking my female human warrior. However, if it helps get a few page impressions, hey, this paragraph alone should do the trick!


A screen and a song


In accordance with the prophesy Anea’s latest idea for a blogstorm:

(Click to enlarge)


No, no no no, no no no no no no no no,
Joan Crawford has risen from the grave.

Catholic schoolgirls have thrown away their mascara,
They chain themselves to the axles of big Mack trucks,
The sky is filled with herds of shimmering angels,
The fat lady lives! Gentlemen, start your trucks!

No, no no no, no no no no no no no no,
Joan Crawford has risen from the grave.


Lyrics: “Joan Crawford” by Blue Ă–yster Cult


A mage and a warlock walk into a bar


For a long time, I thought warlocks, by definition, were angry short blokes with weird hair. I’m sure that this is a forgiveable misconception, but then again, my ‘lock is, well, an angry short bloke with only slightly sensible hair but weird glasses. If you looked around Dun Morogh, that is par for the course.

Opposed to that, the civil, gentlemanly appearance of mages, as usually portrayed  by… well… I don’t even know any vocal mage blogs, to be honest. But I’m certain, if I knew some, they’d be all lounging in front of a fire in a library, sipping Earl Grey and discussing the finer points of the magical arts. There are exceptions, but those are eccentric rather than angry, and are generally well tolerated, if a bit vertically challenged.

However, barging in and complaining loudly about the fact that every chair is about too sizes too big, come the ‘locks. If you haven’t been watching, Felfire has a contest running that seems determined to take mages down a size or two. Gnomeaggedon followed suit with the exact opposite. The Parliament has offered a more democratic view on the issue, though I got the impression that the representative of the druid faction didn’t quite take it seriously. Of course, a laughing third party could be the priests, as witnessed over at the Lazy Sniper.

So where do I stand in all this? Let’s take a look at my schizophrenic menagerie of alts and meet two of them, after the break!

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Sometimes I miss thee, Britannia!


My last encounter with MMORPGs was Ultima Online, back in the day. Well, ’00/’01 anyway. There is no doubt that World of Warcraft is far more refined and a lot more addictive than UO was. Proper questlines and instanced dungeons have a huge impact on playability, as do a myriad of other differences.

But sometimes I find myself thinking: “Well, right about now, I could really use that cool feature from UO.”

Some examples include:

Player housing. Now, players allowed to build houses in an uncontrolled way as it happened in UO was just a bit shy of a complete disaster. But players being able to set up their own shops (granted, that was in a world where there was no Auction House), a Guild Hall, maybe even a castle. That meant something. I’m sure if Blizzard wanted, they would find a way. Right now they don’t want to, but I’m still hoping they’ll eventually include it. There’s so much potential for customisation, player creativity – and the Blizzard Store as well, make no mistake in that regard.

Ships and boats. The size of the world is a problem here. In Ultima Online, you could board you own ship and sail all around the world, explore strange uninhabited islands, find a friendly port and then sail back again. In Cataclysm, they’re bringing flying mounts to the Old World, so I have my fingers crossed that maybe ships are next.

Runes. That is, without a doubt, the feature I miss most. Runes or Runestones were initially calibrated to the caster’s location and you were able to teleport (or open a portal) back to that location from the rune. From anywhere, to anywhere. Runes of the most dangerous and hardest to get to parts of dungeons were highly sought after and went for absurd sums on player owned vendors. There were players that had a whole library of runes open to the public, and finally marking your rune with the last chamber of some dungeon was a huge personal achievement.

I know that Blizzard has very good reasons for not including those features, at least not yet. And I know that they might even be completely inappropriate for Azeroth or would wreak havoc on game balance.


Even if I just want to hear “Rule Britannia” upon entering the capital city – sometimes I miss UO.