Before the Storm

Blizzard Entertainment released their highly anticipated “Before the Storm” patch (also known as WoW 2.0) today for their gigantic MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The patch added a plethora of new content such as the new Honor system, the Arena battlegrounds, the new 41 point talent trees, and more. The bad part about this patch is pretty much the same as any other past major patch that Blizzard has released for World of Warcraft – massive server instability, extended server downtime, and everyone’s favorite: destroyed User Interfaces. But this patch is perhaps the most unforgiving on mods, as many have been flatout killed due to changes to game mechanics (ie: Decursive), and many more cannot even be force loaded anymore due to incompatibility with the new patch. Blizzard took the extra step this time however, and in addition to all of the above, most macros have become obsolete due to completely different coding methods being introduced (ie: /script UseInventory{13} used to activate your top trinket slot, but the command for that is now /use 13).

My thoughts on the patch? As a Mage, I love the changes to the Fire tree. Fire Mage PvE raiding damage will no doubt increase even with the changes to the Ignite mechanics. The aoe change seemed a bit uncalled for to me (especially when many encounters in the current end-game require classes to aoe more than 10 mobs at once), as was putting Counterspell on the global cooldown, but I’m sure Mages will learn to adapt. The 41 point talents were clearly not balanced around level 60 PvP gameplay. Every class’ DPS (save Warriors, poor Warriors) were dramatically increased while surviveability stayed practically the same. Prior to this patch, killing other players in literally seconds was not unheard of, and I’m afraid that with this patch, WoW’s PvP will be tilted even further towards the “lets see who can 2-3 shot who first!” region – hopefully this will be fixed when The Burning Crusade is released, as the Stamina inflation on Closed Beta is quite disgusting. The downrank healing change will be interesting to see on fights such as Sapphiron, as will decursing since the Decursive mod is now dead and buried.

People that have been attempting to search for updates to their mods in the past two days have no doubt run into problems, as many popular mod hosting websites such as Curse-Gaming have been getting slammed on their bandwidth. I’ve compiled a list of the “essential” mods for the typical raider, although I’m still missing the Nurfed action bars (which have not been completed yet as of today). It includes up to date versions of the following mods:

Clique (widely proclaimed to be Decursive’s successor)
Scrolling Combat Text
Perl UI

Essential addons
Download | Rapidshare Mirror
Size: 1.65MB

Regarding FPS lag and constant “clicking” sound bugs:

There’s a fix for both now. On the FPS issue, apparently Blizzard stuck the WDB cache folder into the wrong directory, and it wasn’t being populated correctly. Noggyh from the Elitist Jerks forum wrote:

Previous to this patch 2.0, players had a wdb file, that contained a cache of items/mobs/etc. In 2.0 Blizzard moved it. It should be in the new Cache folder, but mine wasnt. I manually added a WDB, then an enGB folder into the cache folder (Cache\WDB\enGB) and my framerate went up, my network traffic went down, and I got a bunch of cache files put into that folder by the wow client.

By creating a WDB folder inside your Cache folder, and then enGB folder (\World of Warcraft\Cache\WDB\enGB); your enGB folder will get populated with:

This solved all my fps and latency/ping issues which appeared with patch 2.0. Thanks to EJ crew for this tip.

In addition, Wrathbain added the following:

Fix for the enUS client

After creating my WDB\enUS flder and starting wow a coupel times it was never populated so i went looking for my WDB folder. Turns out it was empty but located in –
C:\World of Warcraft\Data\enUS\WDB

I deleted just the empty WDB folder located in C:\World of Warcraft\Data\enUS\ with the correct C:\World of Warcraft\Cache\WDB\enUS created restarted wow and boom! populated.

See if thats any help.

Next up is the annoying (and FPS damaging) clicking sound that you’ve no doubt experienced first hand if you’re a raider. There’s a workaround that someone was gracious enough to create (his name escapes me at the moment, sorry) and it was uploaded onto the Curse-Gaming site. Unfortunently, Curse is still having extreme bandwidth issues due to millions of people hitting their site, so I’ve uploaded it for you folks. Simply download the workaround and dump it into to your Interface\Addons folder.

Click bug workaround
Download | Rapidshare mirror
Size: 1.55KB

Also, for those wondering about the new World of Warcraft macro syntaxs, here’s a comprehensive guide to many of the new /slash commands and such.

Click for bigger image
Alterac Valley is so awesome when you’re stuck in it after the game has already ended for 40 minutes.

EDIT: Speaking of massive server instability, the game has been nigh unplayable during prime time ever since the patch landed on Tuesday. Even dead during the night at 4am, the server still fails. As of this writing at 5:50am EST 12/7/06, I’ve been stuck in an Alterac Valley for 40 minutes after the game had already ended. I’ve also found out that if I exit out of the game, I’ll still be stuck in the same AV indefinently when I log back in. So, my only form of recourse at the moment is to stay logged into the game and pray to the WoW gods for a cluster restart of the servers.

Yes please
While we’re on the subject of Arcueid and Saber, this is hardcore. I’m a huge Saber fan, but a 480,000 Yen (approx $4,100 USD!) Saber figurine is a bit out of my league.

In other news, Mirror Moon and Revolve Translations have released an update to their Tsukihime English patch. The update corrects many grammar and typo problems, as well as a bunch of minor bugs. Those downloading the update are advised to finish their routes before applying the update, as the Mirror Moon site gave out the following warning:

Warning! It appears that v1.1 breaks compatibility with the savegames from v1.0. Not all, but some of your savegames will crash the game the moment you reach the end of a script. If you encounter this problem, there currently are only two ways to solve this: Either you start from the beginning and use the ‘Skip parts previously read option’ (in the game options menu) to quickly skip to the part where you left off, or you reinstall v1.0 back and finish your route.

We are very sorry for this blunder, it would appear that we have understimated the stupidity of NScripter’s and ONScripter’s save algorithms. We will try to find a better solution for this problem, until then we recommend not to updated to v1.1 until you have finished a route and are ready to start the game from the beginning. Note that only the savegames themselves do not work, your settings and scores will transfer properly if you update (or downgrade).

So, I finally broke down and downloaded Soukou no Strain last night. First impressions? Well, I’m currently on a six episode watching marathon, and I don’t want to stop. God, why does there have to be so many good anime series this season? I’ll never be able to study for my exams at this rate T_T.

PS: For those that havn’t heard yet, the Mai-Otome Zwei OVA #1 has been released and subbed by Doremi-Fansubs. The OVA takes place directly after the events in the first Mai-Otome with seemingly the entire old Otome crew making a graceful return.


5 Responses to “Before the Storm”

  1. Coloman Says:

    Dude! That Saber is 4 and a half feet high!

  2. Exertim Says:

    Yeah, the thing is definently almost life-size, but I’m more amazed that he actually took it out onto the streets for pictures O_O

  3. Fortress Guy Says:

    What was your final take on Sokou no strain? (There are too many ways to spell it!) You are seeing it marathon fashion. Maybe that will leave you with a better impression of it.

    I did not think it was all that good. Check out my take on it and compare notes. I would like to hear what you thought.

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