"The display-controller chip (DCON) with memory that enables the display to remain live with the processor suspended; the display and this chip are the basis of our extremely low power architecture; the display controller chip also enables de-swizzling and anti-aliasing in color mode"
Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
World of Warcraft Client Patch 1.9.0 (2005-??-??)
The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj
The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj will house two massive, unique dungeons -- the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, a 20-man raid dungeon, and the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, a 40-man raid dungeon. As players delve deeper into the mysteries of Ahn'Qiraj, they will discover revelations of the Silithid infestation and their shadowy masters, the Qiraji. Players will have to complete a world event of massive proportions before they can open the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj on their realm.
***During the public test of Ahn'Qiraj, the world event to open the gates will be accelerated to allow testing of the dungeon content.***
Linked Auction Houses
Players will now be able to buy and sell goods with greater effectiveness using the Linked Auction House system. Auction Houses in Orgrimmar, Undercity, and Thunder Bluff will now share the same pool of Horde player-created auctions, and Alliance players will find the same to be true when visiting Ironforge, Stormwind City, and Darnassus Auction Houses. This system has been expanded to support the neutral Auction Houses as well. Tanaris, Everlook, and Booty Bay will all be linked for players of both factions to access. In addition, the "Looking for Group" and "Trade" channels have been unified among the corresponding cities, meaning, for example, that you can trade your goods or look for groups in Ironforge while in Stormwind.
Multiple Battlegrounds Queues
Players will be able to enter multiple battleground queues. No longer must you make the hard decision of which queue to join -- when queued for all three, you can join the first one available or hold out for that particular battleground which you've really got your heart set on.
Soul Shard Bags
Tailors now can make soul bags to hold soul shards. The smallest is a 20-slot bag, the recipe for which can be purchased in Gadgetzan. The recipe for a larger bag can be found in Scholomance, and one for an even larger bag can be found in Molten Core. In the main UI, these soul bags will display how many shards they contain. So long as the soul bags have room, any soul shards a warlock creates will automatically go into the bag.
Raid Calendar System
The raid-lockout system has undergone a significant change. The new system will have all instances reset at a certain server time, regardless of when you were actually saved to the instance. The reset schedule is as follows:
Molten Core: Every 7 Days, resetting during weekly maintenance.
Blackwing Lair: Every 7 Days, resetting during weekly maintenance
Onyxia: Every 5 Days
Zul'Gurub: Every 3 Days
Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (40-man): Every 7 Days, resetting during weekly maintenance
Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (20-man): Every 3 Days
All resets will occur during off-hours, when the least amount of raids are active.
Important Note for Mac OS X Users
The minimum supported Mac OS X revision for WoW will be changed in a post-1.9.0 patch, from 10.3.5 to 10.3.9. If you are running 10.3.5 - 10.3.8 and need to get the free update, you can use Software Update or you can click here for the direct download. This change will make it easier for us to release future updates to the game, for example to support upcoming Mac models based on Intel processors.
* All Disorient effects have been renamed Incapacitate effects. This includes Gouge, Sap, etc.
* All Confusion effects have been renamed Disorient effects. This includes Blind, Scatter Shot, etc.
* Food and Drink are now in separate categories, so you can only have one food effect and one drink effect on you at a time. The only effect should be that foods that used to stack with each other (you could have two food effects on you at once) no longer will stack.
* On-next-swing abilities will no longer cause multiple weapon procs on a single swing.
* Several civilian NPCs, who previously would assist non-civilians, will no longer do so.
* Bear and Dire Bear form - Effects that lower armor will now lower armor by a percentage of the druid's full armor, rather than just base (caster form) armor. However, Enrage will still only remove 75% of base armor.
* Omen of Clarity - Special attacks will no longer consume their own clearcasting state. All melee attacks will now be able to trigger the clearcasting state.
* Nature's Grasp - This spell can now trigger from special melee attacks. It will no longer be possible to cast Entangling Roots at no mana cost immediately after Nature's Grasp procs.
* Nature's Grace - The Nature's Grace buff will now appear on the player upon completion of casting, before the travel time of the spell. So, Wrath crits will now benefit the casting time of the next spell cast.
* Insect Swarm - New icon.
* Improved Starfire - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc.).
* Omen of Clarity - This spell now works correctly with Bash, Rip, Ferocious Bite, and Demoralizing Roar, granting a decrease in the cost of the ability. Ferocious Bite will still use the entire energy bar to generate additional damage.
* Arcane Shot - This spell can no longer trigger twice in one shot off of the Paladin's Judgement of Wisdom.
* Aspect of the Pack and Aspect of the Cheetah - Periodic damage will no longer trigger the Dazed effect.
* Aspect of the Wild - Radius increased. Tooltip updated to display radius.
* Improved Concussive Shot - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc.).
* Tame Beast - The hunter will now turn to face the target during the taming process.
* Bestial Wrath - Damage bonus reduced, duration increased.
* Unleashed Fury - Damage bonus increased.
* Pet Changes
o Turtles can now eat raw and cooked fish.
o Turtles can now learn Shell Shield, allowing them to reduces all damage taken by 50% for 10 sec.
o Hunters can now tame Sons of Hakkar. Sons of Hakkar are in the Wind Serpent family and will know Lightning Breath (Rank 6).
o Boars can now learn Charge, an ability that allows them to charge to an enemy, immobilize that enemy for 1 second, and add a large amount of Attack Power to the boar's next attack.
o Gorillas can now learn Thunderstomp, an ability that causes high threat area Nature damage.
* Impact - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc.).
* Netherwind Regalia - The 8-piece set bonus will now proc immediately upon completion of casting the spell, before travel time on the spell. This will allow the proc to affect the next spell cast as intended.
* Arcane Concentration - Blizzard will now be able to gain a Clearcasting state from this talent.
* Blast Wave - Will now show spell data in the talent page.
* Due to significant talent changes, all Paladins' talent points will be refunded and can be respent. Training costs for all talent spell/ability replacements have been significantly reduced.
* Paladins can now learn Greater Blessings for the following spells:
o Blessing of Might
o Blessing of Wisdom
o Blessing of Kings
o Blessing of Sanctuary
o Blessing of Salvation
Greater Blessings will cast the associated blessing on all raid members that share the same class as the target. For example, if you cast Greater Blessing of Might on a warrior in your raid, all warriors in the raid party will receive Blessing of Might from you. Additionally, Greater Blessings have an increased duration of 15 minutes. These blessings require twice as much mana as the single target version, as well as a reagent. Paladins can purchase these new Greater Blessing spells from their class trainers.
* Seal of Fury - The seal and judgement have been removed and replaced with a new self-buff, Righteous Fury, which will increase threat from holy damage.
* Seals and Judgements - Added or increased damage per level so that these spells keep pace between replacements.
* Judgements - Judgements that place a debuff on their victim will now all have their duration refreshed when the judging paladin strikes the victim with his or her melee swings. All these debuffs have had their duration decreased to 10 seconds. In addition, Judgements that place debuffs can no longer be resisted.
* Seal of Righteousness - Now does holy damage on every swing. It can now proc correctly as well. The Judgement effect has been renamed "Judgement of Righteousness" to differentiate it from the Seal damage in the combat log.
* Judgement of the Crusader - The holy damage bonus has been decreased as part of rebalancing paladin damage (which is still increased overall).
* Seal of Command - The proc will occur more often, but will only do 70% of weapon-swing damage.
* Judgement of Command - Instead of placing a debuff on the victim, this spell now does immediate damage. If the victim is not stunned, they only take 30% of the total damage. The damage on this Judgement was increased significantly.
* Judgement of Wisdom - Arcane Shot will no longer cause this to proc twice on one shot. Channeling spells can now trigger this proc as well.
* Vengeance - Special ability critical hits can now trigger Vengeance.
* Judgement of Righteousness - The damage of this judgement was increased significantly. This judgement can now trigger procs.
* Holy Shock - Now heals friendly targets and damages enemy targets. Mana cost reduced. Bonus from spell damage and healing items increased.
* All Seals and Judgements have had their bonus coefficient from plus spell damage re-evaluated. Some holy damage effects had no coefficient before and now have a coefficient.
* Vengeance - Clarified the tooltip to indicate procs will not trigger Vengeance.
* Summon Warhorse - Mana cost reduced.
* Summon Charger - Mana cost reduced.
* Consecration - No longer displays a debuff icon on targets in the area of effect.
* Updated Aura tooltips to be more clear (include radius, fix grammatical errors etc...).
* Judgement - Range increased, cooldown decreased, mana cost decreased. Using Judgement will now initiate melee combat.
* Exorcism - Now usable on Demon targets in addition to Undead targets.
* Holy Wrath - Now usable on Demon targets in addition to Undead targets.
* Seal of Justice - Mana cost slightly increased. The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc...).
* Seal of Righteousness - Damage bonus from +Holy damage items increased, mana cost slightly increased.
* Seal of Command - Damage bonus from +Holy damage items increased.
* Seal of the Crusader - Mana cost slightly increased.
* Seal of Fury - Removed and replaced with Righteous Fury.
* Seal of Light - Mana cost slightly increased.
* Seal of Wisdom - Mana cost slightly increased.
* Seal of Command - Mana cost slightly increased.
* Hammer of Wrath - Missile speed of the flying hammer increased.
* Divine Protection, Divine Shield and Blessing of Protection - Targets of these spells will now receive the "Recently Shielded" effect, preventing another of these three spells from being applied to that target for one minute.
* New Spell: Righteous Fury (level 16) - Increases the threat generated by the Paladin's Holy attacks by 100%. Lasts 30 minutes.
* Blessing of Sanctuary - Now causes Holy damage to the attacker when the blessed target blocks an attack in addition to the current effect.
* Martyrdom - This talent will now trigger on melee special abilities as well as on melee swings. The tooltip has been clarified to indicate this ability only works on melee strikes.
* Mind Blast - Threat raised on ranks 7, 8, and 9. Incorrect data had been entered in those spells, resulting in less threat generated than designed.
* Blackout - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc...).
* Mace Specialization - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc...).
* Lightning Shield - This spell will now proc when the shaman is struck by elemental attacks.
* Stormstrike - Earthbind and Stoneclaw totems will no longer use up charges of Stormstrike.
* New Spell - Tranquil Air Totem. Creates a totem that reduces the threat caused by nearby party members by 20%.
* Searing Pain - Increased damage on all ranks of Searing Pain.
* Infernal and Doomguard - Increased armor 10% and damage 30% on both pets.
* Soul Link - This spell can no longer be partially dispelled off the warlock. In addition, Soul Link can no longer be used on non-demon pets.
* Hellfire - Victims of Hellfire are now able to resist properly. Warlocks continue (as designed) to be unable to resist their own damage.
* Curse of Shadow and Curse of the Elements - These curses can no longer cause resistance to become negative. To compensate, both curses now increases the damage taken from the appropriate schools by a percentage.
* Summon Felsteed - Mana cost reduced.
* Summon Dreadsteed - Mana cost reduced.
* Pyroclasm - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc...).
* Execute - Improved Execute and other discounts to the Execute ability will now correctly convert the resulting extra rage into damage.
* Retaliation - This ability will no longer lose charges when the attacker is behind the warrior.
* Sword Specialization - Special attacks now properly trigger the chance to gain an extra attack.
* Sweeping Strikes - Whirlwind and Retaliation will now correctly consume the charges from Sweeping Strikes.
* Bloodthirst - The damage component has been increased to 45% of attack power.
* Enrage - The talent will now grant 5/10/15/20/25% extra damage when enraged, instead of 8/16/24/33/40%.
* Mace Specialization - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc...).
* Improved Revenge - The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells (e.g. Cheap Shot, Hammer of Justice, Charge etc...).
* Troll Racial Abilities
o Is now triggered off any critical hit on you, including spells and ranged attacks.
o Melee/ranged haste bonus and duration reduced.
o Now adds spell damage in addition to the haste bonus.
o Berserking now ability requires a small amount of mana, rage, or energy (depending on your class) to activate.
o Trolls now also receive a bonus to Bow weapons in addition to Throwing weapons.
* Orc Racial Abilities
o Now applies a healing effectiveness debuff on the user instead of the attack power penalty. The healing debuff is applied immediately upon using the ability.
o Resistance is now applied to just Stun mechanics.
* Gnome Racial Abilities
o Casting time lowered.
* Dwarven Racial Abilities
o No longer snares the user.
o Armor bonus increased.
o Duration lowered.
* All of the Tier 2 Class Armor sets have been updated with new art.
* The following weapons and shields have been updated with new art : Perdition's Blade, Obsidian Edged Blade, Gutgore Ripper, Core Hound Tooth, Aurastone Hammer, Drillborer Disk, Staff of Dominance.
* Many of the pieces from the Tier 2 Armor sets have received updated statistics. The armor sets with the most extensive changes include the Netherwind, Nemesis, and Judgement sets. Other sets received fewer revisions, or none at all.
* Slimes have been latching on to more valuable items and they will now be dropping better loot than they used to, including coin drops and special bags.
* Drop rates of Darkmoon Cards 2-8 (Portals 2-8, etc..) have been reduced. Ace drop rates have been increased.
* The drop rate of Shadowcat Hides has been increased.
* The Lifestealing enchantment now does shadow damage rather than fire damage.
* Manna Biscuits now have two separate spell effects so they stack correctly with other food and water.
* Well Fed buffs from special foods will no longer stack with each other.
* The enchanter-made wands are now correctly flagged as Bind on Equip.
* Silithus air elementals have a slightly increased chance of dropping essence of air
* Stormshroud Shoulders have been fixed to be a superior item and have had the stamina on them slightly increased as well.
* Whistle of the Black War Raptor was changed to Bind on Acquire.
* The Runed Stygian Belt is no longer Unique.
* Bandages will now appears as "Consumable" in the auction house.
* Jadeanar humanoids and demons in Felwood and Winterfall Furbolgs in Winterspring can now drop Runecloth.
* Winterfall Furbolgs will not drop Winterfall Firewater as often.
* The Seal of Wrynn, Nogg's Gold Ring, and Talvash's Gold Ring have been improved to be superior items.
* All Giants in Azshara now drop cash and items appropriate for an elite creature.
* The attack speed slowing effect from Thunderfury has been reduced to 20%, and no longer stacks with other such effects such as Thunderclap.
* The Reckless Charge ability of the Goblin Rocket Helmet and Horned Viking Helmet is now considered a disorient instead of a sleep effect.
* Flamewaker Legplates and Sash of Whispered Secrets improved to have the proper stats of an epic item.
* Broken Silithid Chitin is now marked as a poor item.
* Albino Crocscale Boots now has the appropriate geometry attached.
* Darkshore Grouper now has an appropriate sound when moved in your inventory.
* The effect of the Freezing Band is now considered a Freeze effect.
* The Force Reactive Disk's and Cloak of Fire's effects will no longer gain a benefit from effects that increase spell damage.
* The Insightful Hood and Southsea Head Bucket will now cover hair properly.
* The proc ability of the Halberd of Smiting can no longer cause another proc.
* The Glimmering Mithril Insignia will no longer make a player immune to Death Coil.
* The Goblin Mortar's stun effect now has a description.
* Six Demon Bag tooltip changed to note that the target must be in front of the caster.
* The Fiery War Axe is now in fact, Fiery.
* The Abyssal Plate Gauntlets are now Bind on Equip.
* Items with the Frost Blast ability will now deal the correct damage listed.
* Gauntlets of Shining Light is now spelled correctly.
* The Pure Elementium Band now has a sell price.
* The Mendicant's Slippers now have the proper amount of stamina for the level of the item.
* Arcanist's Bindings had more resistances than proper for the item, and these were removed.
* Alcor's Sunrazor is now Bind on Equip.
* Transforming Thunderstrike and Shadowstrike will no longer consume additional copies of the item that might be in the inventory.
* Added a note to the tooltip for the Healing and Mana Draughts available in Alterac Valley that informs the player they are only usable in Alterac Valley.
* Incorrect amounts of abilities such as Attack Power, Increased Fire Damage, or Increased Healing Damage were being applied to all random item property world drops. Two handed weapons such as Staves had much lower amounts of these abilities, while ranged and one handed weapons had too much. All further drops of these items will have the correct amounts, but previously dropped items will not be affected by this change.
* The Shardtooth Meat quest item can no longer be fed to a Hunter pet.
* Blue Dragon Card - This trinket will no longer proc from non-combat abilities.
* Shield Spikes - Shield Spike damage will no longer occur on ranged blocks.
* Halberd of Smiting - This weapon will no longer proc multiple time off one swing.
* An Alchemy recipe to Transmute Heart of Fire into three Elemental Fires has been added at the Friendly level of the Thorium Brotherhood.
* Epic items that are level 51 and above will now disenchant into a Nexus Crystal. Also items that normally disenchant into Large Brilliant Shards have a very small chance of disenchanting into a Nexus Crystal. New more powerful enchanting recipes that require these Crystals can be found in the new Ahn'Qiraj content.
* Enchanters can now turn some of their dusts and shards into magical oils. These oils when applied to weapons add a temporary bonus to magical damage or mana regeneration that stacks with permanent enchantments. The lower levels of these recipes are found on normal enchanting vendors. The higher level versions are found on special vendors and are rewards for high Zandalar faction.
* The Enchanting Trainer in Cenarion Hold in Silithus sells some of both new types of enchanting formulae.
* Schools of fish have appeared around the world that can be fished from a few times before being fished out. These schools tend to contain valuable fish types such as Oily Blackmouth or Firefin Snapper. In some places, wreckage can be fished from for even better rewards.
* The cooking trainers around the world sell the recipe for Sagefish and Greater Sagefish. These two fish types can be found in schools in inland areas and provide health and mana regeneration as well as additional mana regeneration for 15 minutes after eating.
* Engineers with skill 250 or greater, who have completed Umi Rumplesnicker's 'Are We There Yeti?' quest line, should seek her out again in Everlook.
Quests & Reputation
* The Timbermaw Furbolgs have received a faction revamp!
o The Timbermaw Furbolg faction is now named "Timbermaw Hold."
o Certain named Deadwood and Winterfall Furbolgs are now giving more positive Timbermaw Hold faction when killed.
o Old quests have been revised, and several new quests involving the Timbermaw Furbolgs have been added.
* Reputation caps for killing monsters now happen at the end of a level, rather than in the middle of it. For example: if reputation gains for killing a monster were previously capped at the middle of the range for Friendly on a monster, then they are now capped at the end of Friendly.
* Reputation is now its own category in the chat window; you can change the color of reputation gains and losses as reported in chat without it affecting other miscellaneous information.
* All Alliance versions of the quest "Heeding the Call" now give uniform reputation increases.
* Warlock quests that teach imp summoning now all uniformly award reputation increases for respective racial factions.
* Spells now may have a casting requirement of current reputation with a faction.
* All versions of the quests "A Donation of Wool," "A Donation of Silk," and "A Donation of Mageweave" have had the level of the quest raised so that higher level characters performing them will be able to receive the full reputation gain. The minimum level requirement for the quests have not changed, though the amount of XP gained when completing any of these quests will be different than from before. Mageweave will continue to give more XP than Silk, and Silk more XP than Wool.
* The Alliance version of the quest "Centaur Bounty" now gives Stormwind faction for completion.
* The Horde version of the quest "Centaur Bounty" now gives the same amount of XP as the Alliance version (which means it was increased).
* The quest "Zaeldarr the Outcast" now gives an Argent Dawn reputation increase upon completion.
* A bug with the reputation system has been fixed that was preventing some awards to Horde and Alliance factions from being shared properly amongst all member factions of the team.
* The quest "Ledger from Tanaris" now gives a reputation reward for Gadgetzan upon completion.
* The quest "Supplies for Nethergarde" now has an additional reward of increased Stormwind reputation.
* Fixed typos in both quest versions of "All Along the Watchtower".
* Fixed typos in both quest versions of "Lessons Anew".
* A kobold has been moved away from Piznik so that it won't keep evading in the quest "Gerenzo's Orders".
* Fixed typos in the quest "Signets of the Zandalar".
* Fixed typos in the quest "Rotten Eggs".
* The cleansed plants of Felwood have been modified:
o There is no longer a gossip option to interact with them; simply right click on the plant to receive your buff or fruits.
o The amount of items you get from plants has been adjusted.
o A corrupted whipper root plant was bugged to require one fewer plant salves than intended to be cleansed; it's now fixed to require the salves just like the other whipper roots.
* Fixed two bugs where Pratt McGrubben in Feathermoon Stronghold was not offering to re-teach Wild Leather Shoulders and where he was not properly teaching Wild Leather Leggings.
* Fixed typos in both quest versions of "Power over Poison".
* The level of the quest "Piercing the Veil" has been increased from 3 to 4, bringing it in line with similar quests.
* Sayge's Dark Fortune of Damage buff now only increases damage from a randomly determined range of 1-10%.
* A coin reward has been added to the quest "Worth Its Weight in Gold".
* Vahlarriel in the second part of the quest series "Vahlarriel's Search" now has something to say when returning with the pendant.
* The level for the quest "Parts for Kravel" has been raised to bring it in line with the other quests of the Kravel series.
* You now need fewer Scorpashi Venoms to complete the second quest of the "Reagents for Reclaimers Inc." quest series.
* Baron Revilgaz now should be a little more vociferous.
* Fixed a bug with the Horde Hallow's End quest "Ruined Kegs" that allowed the Alliance to interact with the keg.
* Hallow's End Pumpkin Treats should no longer be on the same timer as combat-oriented potions. Really.
* Xabraxxis' Demon Bag will now last slightly longer in the world once he is killed (3 minutes, up from 2).
* The reward for the quest "An Audience with the King" " Seal of Wrynn - has been improved.
* The reward for the quest "Gnome Improvement" " Talvash's Gold Ring " has been improved. XP and reputation rewards for the quest have also been increased.
* The reward for the quest "Nogg's Ring Redo;" "Nogg's Gold Ring" has been improved. XP and reputation rewards for the quest have also been increased.
* The Horde Quest "Material Assistance" should no longer auto-launch an incorrect (deprecated) quest.
* The quest "Galen's Escape" now gives an additional coin reward upon completion, as well as an increase of reputation amongst the player's factional team.
Raids & Dungeons
* Noxxion in Maraudon now has the correct immunities.
* Noxxion is now social and will bring friends if pulled past other creatures.
* Abyssal Templars are no longer marked as Humanoid.
* Twilight Stonecallers in Silithus should now aggro properly.
* Gordok Reavers and Warlocks now have a slightly larger radius for detection and "call for help."
* Drop rate of Dark Runes in Scholomance has been reduced.
* The Altar of the Deeps in Blackfathom Deeps will now give players the Blessing of the Deeps.
* The abomination event in Stratholme was been reworked with new technology to insure there are no more premature resets.
* The Guild UI has been significantly improved. Now when you click on a guild member, it will open up a side panel with all the information about that member including their note and officer's note.
* There is now a Guild Info panel for each guild. That panel allows a guild to enter long term information and messages about the guild that is too long for the message of the day. The guildmaster can use the guild control panel to determine who has access to change the text in this panel.
* Options have been added that allow raiders to not display their base party UI when the Raid UI is up. Also, you can choose to only display effects on players that you can dispel or ones you can cast. This is all in the interface options pane.
* A "tip of the day" feature has been added to loading screens within the game.
* Under Video Options there is now a slider to control the detail of spell effects. Lower settings can help to improve performance.
* Auction buyers/sellers will now receive a detailed invoice of the transaction.
* The casting bar has been brightened back up, it was appearing darker than intended due to a bug.
* A new option has been added to Interface options, "Sticky Targeting". When this is turned on, you will not deselect your current target when you click on empty space.
* A new interface option, "Detailed Loot Information" has been added that defaults to 'on.' If you turn it off you will only see the roll and Need/Greed option of the player who won the item rather than information for every player.
* Open bags that are in your bank will now have a bluish background to them to allow easy differentiation between inventory bags and bank bags.
* The Friends List and Guild UI will now display when a person is AFK.
* It is now possible to use the dressing room UI to model items that are being rolled for in the Group Lood/Need Before Greed Popup window.
* Add-ons, Macros and Keybindings can now be saved on a per character basis, so you can have different characters load different add-ons/macros/keybindings.
* The Ignore command will now ignore emotes.
* The Interface Options Pane has been split up into a normal panel and an advanced panel.
* In the initial loading screen there will be a tip displayed. This can be turned off from the interface options menu.
* Any time an item is distributed using the "Master Looter" system and the item is quality epic or above there will be a confirmation dialogue to confirm that the item is going to the correct person.
* Key bindings can now be saved either globally or on a per character basis.
* Add-ons can now be saved either globally or on a per character basis.
* In addition to the set of macros shared by all characters, each character gets an additional 18 macros available to them.
* Added the ability to link enchanting recipes in chat.
* Optimized UI event handling in raid situations.
* Optimized UI layout engine to improve loading times.
* The game will no longer accidentally load UI files that are dropped loose into the top level installation directory.
* The EquipCursorItem() script function uses slot numbers consistent with the rest of the inventory functions. Any macros which use this function should be updated by adding one to the slot number used currently.
* New TOC entry for dynamically loadable add-ons: ## LoadWith: Addon1, Addon2, etc. - Indicates that your add-on should be automatically loaded after ANY of the add-ons specified on the LoadWith line are loaded.
* The 8th return value from GetItemInfo() is no longer be localized, instead is one of a number of INVTYPE_* tokens.
* A new 9th return value from GetItemInfo() is the inventory icon for the item.
* debugprofilestop() will now return sub-milisecond (floating point) values.
* Added Texture:GetTexture() which returns the filename (without extension) of the file for the texture.
* Added FontString:SetNonSpaceWrap(true|false)
* Added Frame:GetFrameType() which returns the type of a frame.
* Added Frame:IsFrameType("typeName") which returns true if the frame is of type typeName, or a subtype of typeName.
* New 8-param form of Texture:SetTexCoord(ULx, ULy, LLx, LLy, URx, URy, LRx, LRy)
* Parent frame scales are cumulative instead of overrides.
* Textures and FontStrings now have IsVisible() and IsShown() functions with the same semantics as the frame functions of the same name.
* Added Button:SetFont(), which works like the equivalent FontString function.
* Added ScrollingMessageFrame:SetFont(), which works like the equivalent FontString function.
* Special honor awards show up in the combat log.
* Druids can preview different weapons in the dressing room while in moonkin form.
* The Disgusting Oozeling will share its disgusting aura with you even while you are PvP enabled.
* Emotes show up in the chat log file.
* Combat messages no longer show up in the chat log file.
* Resurrection spells will return pets to life with the appropriate amount of health and mana.
* Talent improvements to buffs will persist across instance boundaries and logging out.
* Elven NPCs in Scholomance will now animate properly.
* Players should no longer be able to walk on steep terrain.
* Players should no longer be able to move slowly through some locked doors and gates.
* Nida Winterhoof in Thunder Bluff now sells Flowers for the sensitive Horde player.
* The Short John Mithril's chest in Stranglethorn Arena will now display an effect when it is being opened so its harder to open the chest unnoticed.
* Night Elf food vendors have changed their supplies slightly.
* Chests in Maraudon have been disabled for good.
* In Wetlands, Bluegill Murlocs will now be more plentiful and several other Bluegill camps have been thinned.
* All mount sounds, when standing still and pressing spacebar are now all in place.
* Tauren males now use their off-hand attacks animation.
* The Zeppelin's propeller from Under City should now animate properly.
* Flight Paths
o New flight paths added between Ironforge and Chillwind Point. Also, between Chillwind Point and Light's Hope Chapel.
o Fixed a problem with the flight paths between The Crossroads in The Barrens and Zoram'gar Outpost in Ashenvale.
o Fixed the flight over Yojamba Isle from Booty Bay in Stranglethorn to Sentinel Hill in Westfall.
* Fixed a bug that caused Crimson Templar to be doing much more damage with it's fireball attack than intended.
* Fixed a bug that could cause Guard Slip'kik to move while trapped in ice.
* Fixed a bug that caused Azure Templar, Earthen Templar, and Hoary Templar to be resistant to Fire.
* Fixed a bug that would cause Time Lapse to cause hate reduction even if the target resisted the effect.
* Fixed a bug that allowed pets to be targeted by "Wild Polymorph" during the Nefarian encounter.
We are now commensing offensive operations to procure an iPod nano in much the same manner as the free PSP that was recently obtained. What can I say, I like my mostly free stuff, ne? The plan is pretty much the same as before, that being a minum effort attempt by simply linking the offer through my forum sigs.
[added] Ironically, I have an older account that was originally formed to obtain an iPod 20gb color that a friend just reminded me of. Already has the offer done and 3 out of 5 referals. It's off because linking through THAT account allows the next person a choice of which iPod they want, be it Nano, Mini or Color. Not only that, but it allows me the choice as well without affecting my status. Sweet. I'd rather have a 20gb color anyway ^_^
If you're curious, you can review my free PSP progrees earlier in this journal as well, which was recieved without incident.
Speaking of the PSP, I love it to death, but damn the thing is a money sink. Buying one of these things almost obligates you to purchasing accessories at not-so-paultry sums prices in order to be useful beyond its normal gaming function.
In other news I may be picking World of Warcraft back up, sadly enough. It's undergone patching and my bro is absolutely pestering me to no end becuase I (ahem) owe him 15g from the last time I played
World of Warcraft Client Patch 1.8.0 (2005-??-??)
Disturbance at the Great Trees
Something is amiss in the Emerald Dream. Immense dragons with the shimmering emerald scales of the Green Dragonflight have been sighted guarding the portals at the Great Trees... but these once-noble creatures crawl with a new, strange menace, not the peace for which Ysera is known. Bring many allies should you dare to confront them; their powers are formidable and they will not hesitate to crush any who draw near.
The Stirring of the Silithid
The arid sands of Silithus are shifting. Something is awakening beyond the wall to the south... Aid the Druids of the Cenarion Circle as they delve into the mysteries of the desert. Seek answers behind the Twilight Hammer's presence. Discover more about the alien creatures known as the Silithid as you explore their hives. Many new endeavors await the high-level adventurer!
When the decorations of Hallow's End light up Azeroth's cities, you know there's mischief afoot! Seek special vendors in Orgrimmar or Ironforge and get your hands on treats! Aid a sick orphan in a little trick-or-treating! Deathcaller Yanka, attending the Forsaken's Wickerman Festival, and Sergeant Hartman of Southshore are seeking your aid in keeping the enemy out of their holiday affairs -- are you up to the challenge?
The mechanics of most instant melee attacks have been modified to improve item balance. Previously, instant melee attacks did damage based on the damage range of the weapon, plus a bonus for the player's attack power. This bonus was then multiplied by the speed of the weapon. As a result, slow weapons did more damage than was intended, and fast weapons were considered inferior by most players. We have changed the way the attack power bonus is calculated for instant attacks. This change does NOT affect attack power calculations for normal melee attacks. Instead of multiplying by the speed of the weapon, the attack power bonus is now multiplied by a fixed number pulled from the following table:
Two-handed weapons: 3.3
All other one-handed weapons: 2.4
As a direct result of this, many weapons have shifted position in their relative power. In particular, many Epic (purple) quality items are now more powerful than slower Superior (blue) weapons.
This change was not made to reduce the power of instant attacks, but to correct the relative imbalance of weapon itemization. At a given level requirement, epic quality weapons should always be more powerful than superior quality weapons.
Please also note that all normal weapon swings will be completely unaffected by this change. The following abilities are affected by the design change: Sinister Strike, Ambush, Backstab, Whirlwind, Mortal Strike, and Overpower.
The cost per point of durability to repair plate, chain, and leather items has been reduced to be equal to the cost of repairing cloth items of the same quality.
You can now repurchase up to 12 items that you have sold to a vendor. There is now a buyback tab on all merchants that you can select to repurchase the last 12 items you sold since you last logged in. When your character leaves the game, this list of items will be cleared, so if you have accidentally sold something, don't wait to buy it back. Buy it back immediately.
Perception (Human Racial) is now usable while stealthed.
There is now a spell effect when you increase your reputation to a new level.
The loading screen upon login now displays gameplay tips.
Channeled spells that are cancelled by movement can no longer be cast while moving.
Fixed bug where the debuff Tetanus was reducing stamina by one more than it should.
Pets no longer break off attacks when their target is affected by Warlock Fear.
The "Knockout" mechanic has been renamed "Disorient" and all tooltips that referenced this mechanic should be updated.
The percentage of players that may reach ranks 6 through 14 has been increased.
Lower-level players should advance in the Honor System more quickly than they had previously (although this change does not affect the highest ranks they can achieve).
Each Battleground has an individual turn-in quest associated with its related victory/loss condition. Upon completion of a Battleground, the winning side will be awarded three Marks of Honor while the losing side will be awarded one Mark of Honor. Three Marks of Honor may be turned in to the associated questgiver for Honor Points and faction increase. Should players complete this turn-in quest, they will find that the bonus Honor Points for completion are twice that of normal turn-in conditions (individual).
Players of levels 10 - 19 will now be able to participate in the battle for Warsong Gulch.
Alterac Valley has received an overhaul:
In order to keep teams in Alterac Valley more numerically balanced, players will now enter Alterac Valley on a one-for-one basis (i.e. if there are 30 players in the battleground for each side with 10 players in the Alliance queue and 2 players in the Horde queue, only two players from each team will be added, bringing the total to 32 per side).
The minimum number of players required to start a battle in Alterac Valley has been lowered to 20 (the maximum is still 40).
Points for completing the map and winning have been slightly decreased.
Graveyards and graveyard capture points are now at different locations. This was done to correct the negative behavior and tactics associated with graveyard captures and the subsequent player swarming factor. Graveyards should be much more meaningful now to both defense and offense.
Several terrain changes were made to fix some geometry exploits as well as to adjust for the new graveyard mechanic.
Iceblood Graveyard has been fortified.
The Frostwolf Relief Hut now has appropriate guards.
A great avalanche has closed off both the eastern and western segments of Alterac Valley. This has displaced the Syndicate, the Woodpaw Gnolls, and many of the Winterax Trolls.
Due to the avalanche, Korrak the Bloodrager and a small band of surviving Trolls have made the Snowfall Graveyard their new home. Players will find that Snowfall is now under Korrak's control and they must defeat Korrak and his Troll guards if they wish to take Snowfall.
The quests Korrak the Bloodrager (Alliance), Korrak the Everliving (Alliance), The Legend of Korrak (Horde), and The Return of Korrak (Horde) have been removed from the game. The rewards for the initial quest involving Korrak have been moved and can be acquired by completing the quest associated with winning a match in Alterac Valley. We realize that some players may have had the Korrak quest and never completed it. These players may have already completed the quest for killing the General and thus might not be able to benefit from the rewards from the previous quest line. We have opted to add an extra quest step at the end of the General kill quests to reward players that fall under such conditions.
A new item has been added as one of the reward choices for the quests Hero of the Stormpike and Hero of the Frostwolf.
NPC difficulty has been scaled down. All NPCs have had their power reduced by 15-30%.
There is now a portcullis at the end of each of the entrance tunnels inside Alterac Valley. They will rise two minutes into the battle.
The PvP Tier2 Alliance and Horde Cloth armor sets have new updated textures.
Due to significant talent changes, talent points for Druids have been refunded and can be respent. Training costs for all talent spell/ability replacements have been significantly reduced.
Hurricane - No longer a talent. Now available to all Druids at level 40. Damage and Mana cost increased on all ranks. Spell is now cast on a targeted area up to 30 yards away and affected by Nature's Reach. Multiple Druids casting Hurricane will no longer stack the slowdown effect. Radius of effect decreased slightly.
Remove Curse - Updated tooltip to reflect that it's usable on friendly targets only.
Shapeshifting - Fixed a bug where the Chilled effect caused by Ice Armor/Frost Armor was not removed properly when shapeshifting.
Swipe - Self cooldown removed.
Tranquility - Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes. Mana cost reduced by 25%.
Cat Form - The attack power bonus from the base cat form will now calculate correctly on zoning or logging in.
Counterattack - Now properly sets its cooldown.
Throw - Use of this ability will no longer cause a global cooldown with all other abilities.
Auto-shot is now cancelled when you die.
Added Lightning Breath pet ability for Wind Serpents. This ability instantly hits a single target for Nature damage at medium range.
Arcane Missiles - Should now properly report the correct "out of range" indicator on the action bar.
Judgement of Light and Judgement of Wisdom will now benefit players that are immune to Holy effects (e.g. Divine Shield).
Psychic Scream - Updated tooltip to reflect that damage caused to the feared target may break the effect. Included radius in tooltip.
Devouring Plague (Undead) - Will now properly consume the Inner Focus effect when cast.
Shadowguard (Troll) - Tooltip updated to reflect actual functionality.
Elune's Grace (Night Elf) - New icon.
Vanish - Fixed a bug where the Chilled effect caused by Ice Armor/Frost Armor was not removed properly when vanishing.
Parry - Minimum level to train this ability has been lowered to 12.
Blade Flurry - This ability will now trigger correctly off of special attacks such as Sinister Strike and Kick.
Shoot Bow/Crossbow/Gun - Fixed a bug where these abilities could be used faster than intended.
Throw - Use of this ability will now only cause a cooldown with Shoot abilities.
Ambush - Now uses normalized attack power.
Backstab - Now uses normalized attack power.
Riposte - Now properly sets its cooldown.
Sinister Strike - Now uses normalized attack power.
Lightning Shield - Tooltip updated to reflect actual functionality.
Ghost Wolf - Will now correctly have its cast time reduced by Nature's Swiftness.
Death Coil - Cooldown reduced, mana cost increased, and now causes a short Fear effect that is not diminished.
Corruption - Duration reduced and damage per tick increased. Total damage over duration approximately identical.
Curse of Agony - Duration reduced to 24 seconds and damage per tick increased. Total damage over duration approximately identical.
Conflagrate - Conflagrate will now correctly remove Immolate rank 4 from its victim when cast.
Bane - Now reduces casting time of the Soul Fire and Hellfire spells in addition to Immolate and Shadow Bolt.
Intensity - Now reduces chance to be interrupted during cast time of Rain of Fire, Hellfire and Soul Fire spells.
Pyroclasm - Now gives a chance to stun when Rain of Fire, Hellfire, and Soul Fire spells damage the target.
Soul Link - Percentage of damage split with pet has been reduced.
Ruin - Critical damage bonus reduced.
Summon Felhunter - Has a new, unique sound effect.
Improved Drain Mana - Damage caused by this talent will now cause 150% damage instead of 200% damage, which is now consistent with other damage spells.
Lesser Invisibility (Succubus) - Tooltip updated to reflect actual functionality.
Fixed a bug that would cause the Master Demonologist buff to be removed if the pet was banished.
Concussion Blow - Will now initiate combat when used.
Shoot Bow/Crossbow/Gun - Fixed a bug where these abilities could be used faster than intended.
Throw - Use of this ability will now only cause a cooldown with Shoot abilities.
Mortal Strike - Now uses normalized attack power.
Overpower - Now uses normalized attack power.
Whirlwind - Now uses normalized attack power.
Warriors can immediately charge after using trinkets to remove immobilizing effects.
Camera angles when using Charge should be improved.
Items which provide +hit chance will now be allowed to counteract the increased miss chance penalty of dual-wielding.
The 5-piece set bonus for the Warrior's Wrath set now works with Whirlwind and Retaliation.
The 5-piece set bonus for the Druid's Stormrage set now properly displays the reduction in casting time.
The Cenarion Druid set bonus that improves Thorns damage now properly works when Thorns is cast on other players.
Anathema, Benediction, Thunderstrike, and Shadowstrike will now remember the enchantments and durability data they possessed when they transform.
The ability to transform Rhok'delar and Lok'delar has been removed, but you can talk to Vartrus the Ancient to receive the item you currently don't possess.
The Drape of Benediction had the statistics and effects of a Superior quality item, but was an Epic item. The item has been improved to have the proper Epic stats.
The effect of the Admiral's Hat has been changed. You can now click the Admiral's Hat to provide yourself with an aura that gives you and your nearby party members a stamina increase. Taking the hat off will remove the effect. The Headmaster's Charge item has also been changed in a similar manner.
Shard of the Flame and Shard of the Scale are now unique.
Rod of Resurgence now heals more health over time.
The Puncture Armor ability found on the Rivenspike, Bashguuder, Digmaster 5000, and Vibroblade will no longer stack with Faerie Fire.
Chromatic Gauntlets no longer has a listed Holy Resistance bonus, since there is no actual Holy Resistance.
Ring of Binding and Blade of Eternal Darkness now have appropriate minimum levels.
Demonic Rune has been changed to a Good (green) item so it will display the bind on pickup dialogue when looted.
Invulnerability will no longer protect you from a Demonic Rune.
Deviate Fish changed to appear in the Trade Goods section of the Auction House.
Jadefire Pants texture fixed.
The icon for Flash Powder has been changed.
Shredder Operating Manual pages will no longer drop for the Alliance.
Gurubashi Helm now properly hides long hair.
The Sheen of Zanza has a tooltip typo fixed.
There is now Silithid armor that can be made by leatherworkers. The recipes require Cenarion Circle faction to learn.
Additional Tailoring and Blacksmithing recipes can be found in encoded messages found on the members of the Twilight's Hammer in Silithus.
Two additional pieces of Dragonscale Leatherworking were added to the Dragonscale Leatherworking Trainer.
A Dragonscale Recipe has been added that requires killing the great Green Dragons.
The Blue, Green, and Black Dragonscale Leatherworking Armor pieces are now parts of sets and have set bonuses so they should be significantly more desirable.
Green Dragonscale Armor has slightly reduced spirit and now has a stamina component.
Ironfeather Armor set bonus has been improved.
Leatherworking item Murloc Scale Belt improved.
Leatherworking pattern for Black Whelp Tunic added to vendor in Redridge Mountains.
All Wild Leather patterns for Leatherworking are now bind on acquire.
All Wild Leather patterns for Leatherworking no longer have cash value with vendors.
Enchanter-made wands are now Good (green) quality and have had their damage increased.
The minimum level for the Artisan First Aid, Artisan Fishing, and Artisan Cooking quest lines has been lowered to 35.
Water Breathing potions will no longer be overwritten by Shaman and Warlock Water Breathing spells if the potion has a longer duration.
The Pet Healing effect of the Robe of the Void has been improved.
Expert Alchemy requires 125 skill now instead of 100 skill.
Free Action Potion text changed to clearly indicate that the potion is not retroactive. No actual change was made other than the text.
Gnomish Mind Control Cap - Is now subject to diminishing returns in the Charm category.
Blindweed has been increased in size, making it easier to see.
Added level 50 class quests for the Warrior, Shaman, Paladin, and Warlock. Trainers in the major cities will let you know where to start your quest.
A few new quests have been added in Tanaris. Head over to Steamwheedle Port to see if you can help out.
The Rin'ji's Secret quest line now has an ending and reward. If you previously finished the Rin'ji's Secret quest out of The Hinterlands, speak with Oran Snakewrithe in the Magic Quarter of the Undercity and select the Oran's Gratitude quest.
The following repeatable quests have had their levels increased to 55: Morrowgrain to Darnassus, Morrowgrain to Feathermoon Stronghold, and Morrowgrain to Thunder Bluff. The net result of this change is that level 56+ characters will notice an increased amount of reputation when turning in Morrowgrain.
The Thistlewood Axe will no longer be an available option as a quest reward for the Webwood Venom quest.
The level 30 Mage class quest rewards are now Superior (blue) quality.
Raids and Dungeons
Azuregos is now properly resistant to Frost damage.
If you are in front of Chromaggus and can hit him with spells, his breath attack will hit you.
Razorgore now has the ability to summon players to him if he cannot reach them for a time.
Fixed a bug that was causing Broodlord Lashlayer to do less damage than intended with his Mortal Strike.
Fixed a bug that would cause the debuff "Burning Adrenaline" to be able to be removed if enough other debuffs were applied to the target.
Fixed erratic taunt behavior for Ebonroc, Firemaw, and Flamegot in Blackwing Lair.
You now receive Core Leather when you skin Magmadar.
Fixed a bug that would cause High Priestess Jeklik to not be able to summon Frenzied Bloodseeker Bats.
Fixed a bug that would allow Hakkar's Corrupted Blood ability to target pets.
To speed up game loading and reduce memory usage, several portions of the UI have been converted to add-ons. These are completely transparent to the player, but custom add-ons may need to be updated.
You can now search for random suffixes such as "of the Monkey" in the Auction House.
Items that are in your action bar and are equipped will now display a green border around them so it's easy to tell which of your action bar items are equipped and therefore usable.
The Reputation tab will now display on mouseover exactly how many reputation points you need to attain the next reputation level with that faction.
When you gain reputation, the combat log message will now display the numeric value of how much reputation you gained as well as the previous relative message.
There is now an option in the interface window to put a translucent pane behind the portraits and health/mana of other party members for easier visibility.
When you place an auction up on the Auction House, the auctions tab now displays your minimum bid and buyout price even if there are no bids on the item.
Players should no longer miss loot rolling messages when they're outside of the immediate area.
The flight paths in Silithus have been moved from Valor's Rest to the new Cenarion Hold. Characters that previously discovered the Valor's Rest flight path will be treated as having discovered the Cenarion Hold flight path.
A neutral graveyard has been added to Silithus at Cenarion Hold. With the addition of this graveyard, characters dying in Silithus will be sent to whichever graveyard they are closer to when they die: Valor's Rest or Cenarion Hold.
Killing Twilight's Hammer and Silithid enemies in Silithus now awards reputation increases with the Cenarion Circle. You may increase your faction to the middle of Friendly with non-elite mobs and to the middle of Honored with elites.
Flamekin Imps (Ragers, Spitters and Sprites) in the Burning Steppes now drop Elemental Fire.
A new weapon merchant who can also repair durability damage on items has moved in to Talonbranch Glade in Felwood.
The Silithus area map has been modified and its scale has changed.
Modifications were made to several areas of Azeroth so that the undiscovered areas of the map are revealed easier.
The Woodpaw Hills sub-area of Feralas now properly grants discovery experience when you enter it for the first time.
Brackenwall Village now has an arrow on the minimap that points to it when you get within range.
Sayge's buffs at the Darkmoon Faire are now exclusive to one another.
Due to popular demand the general goods vendor in Undercity now sells Morning Glory Dew.
All graveyards that needed adjustment were changed so that a character's spirit comes into the world facing toward the Spirit Healer.
You no longer become stuck and unable to loot if you try to open clams and chests while you are a ghost.
Fixed bug where players would get stuck in the falling animation if they cast an instant-cast spell while jumping.
Seriously. Obviously that's a blanket statement ot be making, but after my first 6 month long excurtion into the world of MMORPGs, I have a distinctly bitter taste in my mouth.
First is the entire premise with which they're sold under-- If you decide at anytime that you are disatisfied with the game, your basically eating not just the cost, but subscription fees as well. Now this wouldn't be so bad if there was some offline portion to kick around, but there's not. Unless you decide to pony up the cash, your game becomes ABSOLUTELY worthless. And since it's software, you can't take it back. We're talking TOTAL LOSS.
My second gripe is the innane "intellectual property" crap. For all intents and purposes, you bought the game, paid the subscription and spent the time. Why can't you sell the character again? I'm taking a total loss on this game if I never decide to play it online again, and what do I get for it? A nice "don't let the door hit your butt on the way out."
Third is the fact that WoW is beta-ware. Seriously, they should have been paying all of US to find all the problems that this game was saddled with at launch and through the last 6 months.
It's like there are just times when you watch TV and you know that was just 2 hours of your life that you never will get back and was a total waste of your time. Thank you WoW.
I know there are probably dozens of PSP reviews out there, but seeing as I just got one for more or less free, I probably have less emotion in justifying the $250 I just potentially wasted on an overpriced POS hardware. Luckily, mine cost $10, so my emotional investment equates to nearly, well, 0.00%. So what's the word from a relatively unbiased source?
OH MY DEAR LORD THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME LETHAL HANDHELD GAMING DEVICE EVER ASSEMBLED BY MORTAL MAN.
That's the condensed version. The list of electronic devices that have induced this level of awe is quite short, and the PSP positively owns that list at the moment.
There's almost no point in going on about how the PSP looks as everybody has probably seen one by now; It's sleek, black and oh-so sexy. Picking the unit up reveals some serious heft. There's no doubt that the PSP is more than just a hunk of plastic and is packing serious hardware under the hood. The face is laid out much like a PS2 controller, so there is almost no acclimation phase in using the thing.
But we all know looks aren't everything. They get your foot in the door, but after that, you gotta perform, and that's something the PSP does from boot to power down. First, the OS is refined and gorgeous. Like the chassis, it is smooth and easy to navigate. While there are quite a few options to fiddle with, many of them don't become useful until later with either a mini USB cable or wireless LAN connection at your disposile. Even in it's out of the box capacity, it's still a good indicator of things to come.
So besides turning it on, what was the first thing I did with my PSP? Pop in the sampler disc, of course! Actually, "preview disc" would be a more accurate descritpion of the game since all it did was show the in game graphics of released titles. Even so, it did it's job well, and I was salivating over the likes of Wipeout and Ridge Racer. Obviously, there was only one thing to be done. An hour later I was out the door and found the nearst McVan's in search of Ridge Racer. As it turns out, they didn't have it, but the trip was not wasted-- One of the reps pulled out his PSP and launched a demo movie for the upcoming PS3 game "Killzone". Beside the fact that the game graphics were insane in their own right, this guy had downloaded the movie from the internet and stored it on his PSP, which was playing back smooth as silk. My jaw dropped. It wouldn't be anything I could do on my 32mb weenie stick, but the potential was there. This movie also showcased the vibrant- not to mention generous -display. I'm gonna save any handheld vs handheld comparisons for later, but I can tell you one thing: It's absolutely gorgeous.
But I had a game to buy. So I found myself an EB and traded 3 XBox games to get Ridge Racer at half price. Let the playing begin! Now we had a rel test of the systems capabilities and I can tell you right now, it passes that test with flying colors. Ridge Racer performed so close to PS2 quality there might as well not have been any difference. Sure there are a few details here and there, but for the most part it's solid gold. Lighting, car modeling, environment... It's no exaggeration to say you're holding a PS2 in the palm of your hand (or almost a PS2 if you want to be picky) and the beautiful screen only amplifies the experience. While I haven't really had a chance to use the wireless features yet, i can tell you that battery game time is very sufficient and hardly as bad as I've seen it exaggerated. That may change once you go wireless, but to be fair, wireless will suck the life out of ANY handheld device. I'll get into comparisons vs. other gaming handhelds later.
The next order of business was to get into the guts of the thing. Having procurred a USB cable, I hooked it up to my PC and was ready to rock. Well, almost. The computer wasn't seeing my PSP as a drive. Hmmm. After some poking and prodding, i find you have to set the PSP to "USB mode" in order to establish the link, and once that was done, the computer picked up quite easily. After that, it was quite easy to drag anything I wanted onto the PSP memory stick
Now we have media with which to test the OS capabilities more fully. The MP3s play flawlessly and the inline controller sony packed in with the headphones integrates prefctly into their playback. Speaking of headphones, these aren't just any POS buds you'll find packed in with a lot of todays audio equipment. I haven't been able to test the PSP with a large archive of MP3s to see how well the unit actually handles them, but this inital test is a point in the PSPs favor as it handeled a variety of tracks without complaint. Next was a photo I had grabbed off my HDD. Again the display reproduced it beautifully and without complaint. Infact, a number of ooptions are available when browsing your photos, including a slideshow, zoom, and rotation. very well thought out.
sorry, i haven't been able to do movies yet. The memory stick is too small for that, but a 512-1g stick is the definitely my next purchase.
There are a lot of websites that will lead you top believe that the PSP and its nearest competitor, the Nintendo DS are somehow close in nature in terms of capabilities and value. They're not. not by a longshot. Now I'll be honest-- My DS expereince is limited to playing it on display in stores, but I've played two games vs. my one on the PSP. That aside, I'll try to be as unbiased as possible. After all, it's not as if I really paid for my PSP anyway.
The PSP totally annihilates the DS in nearly every way, shape and form. Infact, the only area that the PSP doesn't absolutely stomp the DS is in terms of battery life, and THAT's only because the DS isn't powering a 1.8 gigabyte disc or a 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD. Ok, I understand that you can touch the display. That's... nifty. Really. But Mullet, don't forget price! Yes, the price is certainly lower on the DS, but I would like everybody to keep this one fact in mind:
You get what you pay for.
Anybody looking at that rationally would tell you right off that for $250, the value you're getting is probably better than the DS you're getting at $150. The PSP provides five to six times the capability and value for only double the price. Let's face it, you're getting a full blown movie player, MP3 player, Photo archive, wireless capabilities and of course... A PS2 in the palm of your hands.
Now for your eight year old kid, there is no chance that I would ever suggest getting him a PSP. There's a reason you don't let him play with an iPod and it's the same reason you wouldn't let him touch a PSP. But for everybody else, would I recommend a PSP at $250? Most definitely. Even if your purpose is only gaming? Yep. Even if all you wanted to do was game and not EVER use the other features, I would still recommend a PSP over a DS. I've played Metroid and i've played Ridge Racer. I owned a GBA if it matters any. Unless you absolutely hate Sony, your $250 is WELL spent here. There's no freakin' contest.
[Disclaimer: This entry is actually about 2 weeks old, occuring May 25th or so]
Today is the day! Actually, yesterday was the day, but I missed the DHL drop and had to wait
In terms of function, the device works as advertised and I can report that even without a game, just the BIOS menuing alone is total eye candy. The sampler disk only soldifies this fact. I do have to report one defect: A spec of dirt on the inside of the screen itself. Whether I take care of it myself or use the Sony warrenty is still being debated, but it should be noted that this is not really a reflection on FreePSP's service, who held up their end of the bargain as promised. Likewise, the unit was shipped with about a 30% battery life, which ain't bad since I was expecting it to need a full charge anyway. As it is, just enough to tell you if the unit is working or not.
That's pretty much it. From start to finish it took nearly 2 months and $10 to get 5 serious people at more or less random (62 people, 7 serious, 5 required) to recieve a $250 handheld Sony PSP at a 200%+ discount with relatively little effort (see journal Pt1 for a complete number cruch). Any delays were pretty much expected due to the popularity of the item and their explanations believable. To anybody who says this is a scam, you either haven't done it or did something very wrong in the process, because the proof is quite literally in my hands at this very moment. Believe it or don't; I've got nothing to gain at this point.
With that, the FreePSP section of this journal is closed.
"Sent to Vendor, Waiting on Product...What does this mean? We have placed your order, but are most likely waiting for inventory to arrive before we can ship it out."
Again, no big surprise. Demand is probably exceeding supply by a large margin for this offer, so we're still on hold.
Yes, it's been awhile since we posted PSP news, mainly because I just up and forgot about it. Of course, I started out watching it everyday, but that got as exciting as watching grass grow, so I just immersed myself in my new job and World of Warcraft.
Needless to say:
"Congratulations! We have approved your account and referrals. You may now order your totally FREE Sony PSP."
Hooyah! Granted, I have no idea of the exact approval date, but it's here now, so we click on the "redeem" button, add all the shipping info and... Annnnd... Well, it took a few minutes, but:
Thank you for your order!
We hope you enjoy your order from FreePSPs.com! Status: Processing
The most humorous part about this is that there is actually a button that says "Canel Order" yeah, I'll be doing that... Soon, right? har har. that's it for now. Fairly painless so far.
Still no approval yet and I'm getting a tad impatient, so I dropped their Support an email:
4/13/2005 10:43:57 PM
"My qualifications were complete as of the March 31st. In addition to having 7 verified referals, it has been well over the specified 5 day verfication period and the account is still waiting for approval. An explanation as to the delay would be greatly appreciated."
A few days later...
4/14/2005 3:46:49 PM
customer service wrote:
"I am sorry, however due to the recent volume of approval requests we have received and the care with which we approve them, it is taking longer than usual to process the approval requests. Due to the exceptional potential for fraud in our line of work, we have to be very careful in approving accounts and sometimes it takes a while. We are working on approving your account as we speak. We thank you for your continued patience in this matter."
Hmmm... Well, fair enough and fairly believable. I also have no doubt that demand is actually exceeding supply for this particular item, so I'll cut them a bit of slack for now. I'll survive. I guess. Maybe I'll trade in Halo 2 for instore credit toward a PSP game in the meantime.
Oh yeah, the Blockbuster offer is great. Movies were delivered 2 days after ordering. If I actually watched that many movies, I'd probably continue the offer.
I'm a little antsy, so I thought I'd jot down some more observations... First and formost is that we obviously still haven't confirmed yet. The notice said give it five business days, so that should be rolling around anytime now. The 8th to be exact.
Second, we're still taking on people even though I stopped advertising the day I hit the first five. I'm now holding at 68 total sign-ons with 7 people locked in for the offer, the latest one coming from #23. Note all 7 are still within the initial 63, bringing the ratio to roughly 9:1, even though it took longer. That's ok, since FreePSPs recommends some overrage incase a few are disqualified for whatever reason.
Tommorow is teh day. Supposively.
Having been throughly pissed by Blockbuster and unable to find an alternate method to join up through them, I let FreePSP to cool off for a few days. I men I've tried nearly everything. My friend didn't feel comfortable using his card (not that I blame him), I was unable to use my alternate bank card as my girlfriend in Indonesia had that number and a Prepaid debit card would take to long to get. Seriously, I was SOL. Big time.
Here we are tonight and I was finally able to obtain my alternate card number from my Sweets when I thought I'd try my old one just one more time. And wouldn't you know it? Bam, it works! So we sign up BB and no less than a half an hour later, the confirmation comes through on FreePSPs that I have met all the qualifications. Infact, here is the exact text:
You currently have the minimum number of referrals needed to get your FREE Sony PSP. One process we must perform is to approve your account, and comfirm all of your referrals as unique, valid, and have legitimately completed an offer. We also check your referrals' referrals, and make sure all offers were done with no signs of fraud or abuse. If you referred someone who we find suspicious you may not receive credit for their referral. Some accounts will have 1 or 2 referrals that do not get approved, so you may want to refer extra friends to improve your chances of approval.
If you feel like you have completed all necessary steps according to the FULL requirements of our Terms & Conditions, then you may click the button below to request this approval. Once approved you will be able to order your FREE Sony PSP! Please note, however, that ANY type of abuse or attempts to fraud our free offer will be taken very seriously and may result in your account and/or your referrals being placed on HOLD status.
You have requested that your account be approved. We will now go through this process, and review your account and referrals. Please check back after 5 business days to see your status.
So that's where I stand. I've converted all my forum sig links to that of my friend who helped get me in qual. Figure I certainly don't need any more at this point, even though a 6th person popped out of nowhere (referral #3 no less). So now the waiting game begins. but at least I'll have Shawn of the Dead, AVP and Hero delivered to my doorstep in the meantime, right?
The following entries will be dedicated to just what it takes to get a free PSP from freePSPs.com. If it works, you'll see it here. If it's a scam, well, you'll that here too, along with a liberal amount of flaming.
This specific entry will encompass quite a bit, since we're already joining our tale in progress.
So roughly too weeks ago I was meandering through the freeipods website, grumbling over the fact that I STILL hadn't gotten the five people nessisary to get a free ipod. But then, who was I really to complain? I was doing this the ultra lazy way, doing nothing more than posting the requisite link in my sig and having people click on it at mostly random. I figure the 'freshness' of the offer had something to do with it, but at least my bro Caelth got his
There is was: A free PSP offer.
How forunate it was only a mere day or so after launch! I haven't seen anybody pushing this offer, so there was little doubt that participating therein would be on the leading edge of the free cool gadget of the month trend. How was I going to pull this one off? Same MO as before: Maybe a dedicated forum post here and there and the addition of the link in my sig of all the forums I frequent, which adds up to about 4 decent sized ones. Other than that, it was going to be a minimum effort attempt... No hard core spamming and no friend pushing. Just mostly passive linkage on forums I normally frequent anyway.
Long story short, this offer indeed up like a wildfire. It only took 2 weeks to gather 5 people who seriously wanted a PSP for themselves, a stark contrast to the freeiPods offer that took me 2 months just to get 3 of the 5 nessisary. Of course, along the way you get the people who call scam, it doesn't work, or say it's only fair to mention you get credit toward the offer. Huh? Why is that again? You want a free PSP or not? Going through me makes next to no difference in the qualifications you'll need to get it. Fairness isn't involved here. You do it or you don't. Knowing me changes nothing. But whatever. I can't fit the ground rules in the sig space anyway. What are the gound rules? You must participate in one vendor trial offer. It's up to you to read the fine print as to how long the trial lasts and how much you'll be billed after the trial completes if you decide to continue. The second rule is that you need the forementioned five people to do the same thing. Not exactly hard. The trial offer I chose (which may be defunct at the time of this reading since they seem to randomly rotate through offers) is the Blockbuster (hereafter known as BB) offer. You paid $9.99 for soemthing you might actually use: 3 movie rentals delivered right to your door. Besides, I can afford $9.99 for a PSP, can't you? But I saved that part for last. First, some statistics--
Time to complete 5 people: 2 weeks
Total number joined to get 5: 63
Breakdown: 1 friend, 4 anonymous
Joined at: 9,15,20,21,57
Ratio: Roughly 12:1
Not bad for noing next to nothing. The next step was the free offer. As I said, I'm going ahead with Blockbuster, but have been having a few preflight issues... Namely, they keep denying my credit card! I click the freePSP through link to BB and fill out all the requisite blanks, including a credit card number.
Sidenote: Yes, kids, you're going to have to give up something to get a 200% discount on your PSP. If you're that paranoid, grab your tinfoil cap and run far, far away.
Well, BB DENIES the card. Huh? Quick check of the online balance says more than enough funds. Try again! NO. DENIED! Ok, this is screwy. So I call my banlk first to see if there are any problems. They report the dollar "pings" to my account theat BB is making for CC approval as, well, approved. A call to blockbuster insists that the card is denied, but would I like to register over the phone? NO. I don't get my 200% reduced price PSP that way. AS IF! So back to my bank. Same story. Approved, only now I'm seeing the "pings" register in my real-time online account balance. The bank is saying approved. My account is registering the fact, but BB refuses to even acknowledge that something is screwed up on their end. When asked why they showed denied when my account balance was being deducted in real time, they could only answer that it was my banks fault... But would you like to register over the phone?
So that's where I stand now. BB doesn't have a brain in its head, but it's the best offer of the lot for my purposes, given the minimal cash outgo and minimal risk. After all, BB is fairly well know. I'm attempting to secure my friend's CC in order to bypass this little dilemma and finish this final qualification. I'll just pay him back the $9.00 and change the CC on the phone later or something.
It doesn't take a genius to see that spam is evolving into a higher lifeform. Sure, it may have started out as "Free Viagra Now!" in your mail box, but over the past Millenia, spam has mutated. After all, we're talking survival of the fittest here. We pruned it, blocked it and outright rejected it, so it was only a matter of time before spam built up a resistance to our pathetic efforts. Some of us even invite it in willingly now if you can believe it.
How did this travesty occure? How could we, once masters of our own destiny allow this incidious presence into our very households at the drop of a hat? It's quite simple. Free Stuff. This new Super Spam turned our darkest internet desires in upon our themselves, dangling attractive lures in exchange for aiding and inbedding the enemy.
I'm such a weak little man.
It wasn't just free stuff, mind you. It was FREE STUFF, writ all capital letters no less. Gone are the days of inmaterial promises like "Discount prices!" and "Free samples!" This new strain of spam eats at the very fiber of your being with tangiable offers of substance. I remember my fall quite well as rumors of a website that offered a Free iPod circulated around the internet. I resisted until my friend asked a favor... He need help BANISHING HIS SOUL INTO THE DARKEST NETHER-REGION OF SPAM HELL in order to get a free iPod. But that minor technicality was almost beside the point. It was a free iPod, right? What was one measily little soul compared to such a prize? Of course we took precautions. We placed holy wards around his PC. Set up disposable email accounts. One-shot credit cards. And of course, a stake and garlic should he happen to turn during The Summoning.
Sadly, it wasn't enough.
Not nearly enough. What he hadn't told me was that this ritual required the sacrifice of no less than FIVE of his closest friends. I didn't even have a chance to grab a stake, let alone the garlic. Before I knew what hit me, I was slobbering over the prospect of my very own iPod, since my own damnation had qualitfied me for this very special offer. What was expect of this newly recruited iPod zombie minion? Why, just to sign up for any number of "free" trial offers and corrupt five of MY closest friends. Enough sanity remained within my hollow, spamming shell to be very afraid. One mistep during the execution of this offer could result in my eternal damnation or worse... A year's supply of ink jet printer cartriges for nominal monthly fee. But I was a glutton for punishment; I went for the AOL trial offer.
My daring paid off and I escaped with my soul intact. That was, until today. That demonic strain of spam continues to evolve like some rabid hellspawned dog, gnawing at my ankles until I finally give into it: A Free Sony PSP. Is it worth my soul? That of my family and friends? We just have to be careful. It's a good deal. So what if others don't think so. "But it's a scam!" and "You spammer!" were the predicted reponses. So what if they didn't know the joys of earning free stuff from the devil himeslf, then sticking it back to him by closing down that email account and deactivating the defiled one-shot credit card. Unwittingly, I had become some sort of Free Stuff Spam demon slayer, dedeicated to not only gambling my soul for low cost, hi-tech merchandise, but being clever enough to live and tell the tale. Those people who turn their nose up at such activities just don't know until they put their lives and email accounts on the line in a high-stakes gamble between good an evil. The Winner ended up with a Free __________ (insert cool tech device here). The loser, a life time subscription to AOL Premium 5 Billion hour special offer service. A fate worse than death, no doubt. So horrible, that one could see why these timid souls would back away from such activities.
But not us. We few, proud, demonic free stuff spam slayers.
Ok, so jobs are going overseas. Simple economics dictate workers can be paid less, which allows for a greater profit margins back home. There's no denying the overseas lure, even when it can potentially alinate the local economy. But is it the proverbial knife at the throat of the American worker?
Or more to the point, we're a sad, sad country if this trend is actually the harbringer of economic ruin some people would have you believe. Contrary to popular belief, this country was not founded on the job. It was founded on the concept of small business and innovation with tax regulations and those mythical 'loopholes' written to benefit them as such. What does that have to do with anything, you ask? There is no innovation required to do perform the average wage slave position. Sure it requires brain power, but there is nothing that sets it apart from Al'hubob half way around the world. He may not have a strong grasp of the english language, but he can follow a trouble shooting script on the phones as well as anybody else. To put it succinctly, most of the jobs being shipped overseas require no innovation and can easily be done by anybody with half a brain and a minor speach impediment. Sure, some of them are higher level positions such as Al'habib the coder, but by and large these are skills anybody can aquire and are not the monopoly of the your Union Local 180. Chopping off the nuts of free enterprise is not the answer, and I'll prove it.
Look at it from the perspective of the RIAA-- The trends of high speed downloads and easily duplicated music have combined into a force that may very well render the current record label sales model obsolete, and the they are not happy about it. Their control over the music revenue stream is being sucked away and they've been left with two options: Innovate or Litigate. They've opted for the latter. In order to retain control of that revenue stream, they've opt to sue and over-regulate their industry and in the process have continuously alinated their customer base while creating opportunities for new, more agile competition to take root. Most people have agreed that this is a bad way to do business. Holding on to power at whatever cost will eventially kill you or the consumer, which will eventially kill you anyway.
They could have taken the latter method. Instead of clinging to a dying sales model for dear life, they could have embraced the new age and innovated a solution which would have benefited all parties innvolved. I won't go into how they could have done it since there are too many ways to list, just that it doesn't take too much brainpower to think it through. Some, to their credit, have already started down that path and will be in position to catch the next surge. Good for them.
By now, the analogy should be clear. In my opinion, this is an unstoppable trend in American economics. It's an irrefutable law that people want stuff cheap. It's caused music downloading to explode and it's what is compelling industries to farm their workforce out to other countries. These companies have to remain competitive and in order to remain competitive they have to cut costs somewhere. In a land of ever increasing minimum wages and Unions, the workforce is a logical place to start. So far, most people's reaction has been to litigate their way out of this dilemma; Keep jobs at home, have a nice comfy salary and demand low prices without any concessions to the contrary.
Congratulations, folks. We're the RIAA.
But there is that other way. Innovate your way out of the problem. Find a niche and fill it. Overcome, adapt and improvise. Find something you can do that they can't. Frankly, most of this can't be done easily with in the average 9-5 job. It's the wrong vehical for the job and the workforce of America is going to have to go against half a century of conditioning to realize it is not the end all, be all of success. It's not what will provide them long term security, especially in a globally competitive market.
The US should have learned something from World War 2: Isolationism at our own peril. This fact applies to economics as firmly as it does military warfare. America cannot engage in a siege mentality when it comes to global economics, and we all know how sieges end. They end in an opposing army setting up shop outside your walls and pounding on them until they crack, wence you are sacked, raped and gutted. If you don't think that can't happen to us, look at that juggernaught called China. I don't think they're better than us, but left alone in the global arena they can be. In order to remain competitive, we, the American worker are going to be the ones that have to change. The market place is already doing so as a matter of nessesity. The status quo is fading rapidly and we're all faced with a choice: Will we cling wildly to the sinking ship or will embrace the new market and innovate accordingly? After all, it's been innovation and adaptivity that has allowed this country to remain the dominate, most successful power for over 50 years. Eventially this economic cycle will run its course. Al'Habib and his brothers will begin to realize how much their skills are worth and demand more. The market will adjust accordingly as the price of maintaining overseas bases becomes cost prohibitive to hiring out American workers. Once more, the market will adapt as it always has. But for now, it comes down to the very same choice the RIAA is being forced to make:
Innovate or die.