World of Warcraft – Redux

Aside from this one sentence here, this entire post will be completely devoid of any information about Managed DirectX.  Instead today, I’m going to discuss World of Warcraft.  I’d put a link to the site here, but gee, it happens to be down right now.

Anyway, i’ve played the game for a significant period of time.  I had a level 60 character in the closed beta, and since release I now have 4 more level 60 characters, plus a spattering of non-level 60s (including a number higher than level 40).  Every one of my characters has ‘PH4T LEWTS’ (ie, epics), and the most played of them even has the full epic armor set.  I’ve been involved in killing all of the major ‘bosses’ in the games, have slept through runs of Molten core, been involved in the ‘server first’ kills of the Blackwing lair bosses, etc etc etc.  Once bored with all the PVE stuff, I started from scratch over on a PVP server and levelled to characters to 60 there.  I’ve done the faction grind for the battle grounds and gotten my ‘uber epics’ for the exalted reputation there.

In short (or in long depending on how you look at it), i’ve done just about everything there is in the game.  I’ve done it on a PVE server, i’ve done it on a PVP server.  I’ve played the game since it was released, and for almost a year before that.  Perhaps I’m speaking since things aren’t ‘new’ anymore, but it’s this man’s opinion that the game has digressed dramatically since the release.

If people remember my first post on this subject 6 months or so ago, I was exceedingly frustrated.  I was about to quit the game.  The only reason I didn’t was because I had formed some great relationships with some of the people I played with.  While the game itself was lacking in the ‘fun’ department, I had a vested interested in maintaining the relationships that had formed, and that kept me in the game.  Due to circumstances that I wish were different, those relationships were no longer allowed to continue a few months ago.  Thus, the only reason I was playing the game was now gone.

I decided the best course of action would be to try to re-invigorate my excitement for the game, which was the catalyst for the move to the PVP server.  I have to admit, for some time, the added excitement from the PVP server did serve it’s purpose.  The game was exciting again, and I was having fun.  However, once I hit 60 again, I hit that wall that I described in my last post.  Sure, I could find another raiding guild and relive the content i’ve already experienced again, but why?  So, in one of the more ironic decisions, I decided to relive all the *beginning* content again, and re-rolled another character on that server and levelled him to 60.

I was at a dead end.  I could re-roll yet again, or I could continue to play one of my many level 60 characters who had nothing to do.  This was right around Christmas, and I had decided to most likely just stop paying, little did I realize Blizzard would help cement that decision for me.

Imagine you’re a big company.  You’ve just developed the most successful MMO ever to be released.  You have upwards of 5million accounts.  Christmas is 3 days away.  What do you do?  Well, if you were the *real* Blizzard, naturally the best answer is to open a few new servers and then *LOWER* the population cap across all the rest of your servers forcing every single person to wait in a queue to simply play your game.

I could go on and re-iterate many of the points i made in the previous post, but as much as I can’t believe it, the majority of them are still valid, and if anything worse.  Constant nerfs, hot-fixes for player-helping bugs, player-hurting bugs ignored, queues, server instability, communication, etc.  With the sheer amount of money they make a month, I can’t fathom how over a year after release this isn’t fixed.  Why release new content when the content you have doens’t work?

Did you hear?!?  Medivh opened the gates!!  And to think, the server only crashed 7-8 times to make it happen.  Oh, and they had to stop people from creating new accounts to go watch it.  And people still couldn’t watch it when it happened.

My account expired (and wasn’t renewed) on January 20th.  There’s no doubt that the time I played, it was a great game.  However, was is the keyword in that sentence if you ask me.  For myself, I’ve lost all respect for Blizzard as a service unit.  It’s sad, because if they ever do a Starcraft 2, I’ll actually have to think twice before buying it.  Ah, who am I kidding, i’ll buy it.  Any type of business that requires them to provide a service to me though? Forget about it.

Oh, and since my account is canclled, no, you can’t have my stuff..  Honestly, if it wasn’t against the rules, I’d probably just sell my account.  I’m sure I could get a decent price for my level 60s split across PVE and PVP servers all with epics.  That’s not even considering they all have epic mounts and i have somewhere around 2k gold..

Book Source Code..

I think I blogged about this once before.  If I did, I don’t remember when and can’t find it.  Since there have been a number of questions on the topic though, I’ll post this again, even if it is a duplicate.

ZMan has already done the ‘work’ for getting the source code from my two books to compile with the latest SDK’s.  While it’s true it’s not an ‘official’ source of these updates, it seems like a perfectly good way to check out the updates without having to go through the pain of fixing the compiler errors due to API changes.

You can find the kickstart source here, and the beginners book source here.

Thanks to ZMan for the updates!!

Managed DirectX – It’s not just games..

So here at Microsoft, we have this thing called a ‘buddy program’ which you can read more about at  I’m signed up for this program and have a ‘buddy’ who works for a company (I assume in Germany) doing Managed DirectX work (amongst other things).  (Sorry, I only have time for one ISV buddy, so don’t go signing up hoping to get assigned me unfortunately).

Anyway, my buddy has sent me a link of some of the things they’ve been working on using MDX:

The site itself is in German, so if you don’t speak that, google’s translater seems to do an adequate job.  The third video is the most relevant to MDX.


Although it is probably a mistake, I’ve put my Xbox Live Gamertag on my blog page.  Despite my potentially obvious bias, I’m quite pleased with the new console.  For all of you still waiting to get theirs, if it makes you feel any better, I just got mine yesterday, and I’ve been trying hard since launch.  So don’t just assume that all of us here have them, because we have to wait in line just like everyone else.

Geometry wars is entirely too addicting.  I haven’t even gotten a chance to try out the other arcade titles, nor many of the other games I have because of it.  Although I did pick up DOA4 today, and will try to get some more time in with PGR3 and Tiger Woods later tonight.  That doesn’t even consider I still need to try the rest of the arcade games, and NFS:MW and Ridge Racer and Tony Hawk and Call of Duty and Kameo and … oh man.. too many games…