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May 3rd, 2005


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03:55 pm - [escaped from zug zug] Absolutely brilliant. Times TWO!!
Owen-san and I unravel the Mystery of a Very Hidden World of Warcraft Easter Egg:

<Spatch> and I found this last night in everlook: http://spatch.worldstop.com/wow-mol-spiritspeak.jpg
(That's how your speech looks in Ultima Online when you die and resurrect as a ghost.)
<Owen-san> !
<Owen-san> That's *hilarious*.
<Owen-san> have you tried parsing it as 7-bit ascii?
<Owen-san> Holy shit, that was a random guess and I might be right (so far: 'Ulti')
<Owen-san> Hur hur hur: "Ultima Online" so far.
<Owen-san> Ultima Online Napa Valley Knights of Chaos
<Owen-san> Someone has left a very well-hidden word to his guildies
<Owen-san> Incidentally, I can't believe I translated that.
<Owen-san> i r teh geek

The niftiness of this little well-hidden easter egg is only offset by the fact that today's WoW patch has completely broken my client. Blizzard, in its infinite wisdom, has decreed that the game patcher requires over a gigabyte of free disk space to patch less than a megabyte worth of game files. When the patcher told me this, I hit the "OKAY I WILL EXIT AND FREE UP SOME SPACE BY DELETING PORN VALUABLE WORK DOCUMENTS" button and freed up some disk space, only to find that since the patcher had run (even though it hadn't completed patching) the client thinks it's already the up-to-date patched version... without the patched files in place.

Absolutely brilliant. Tuesday is NO PLAYING DAY for me, and it's also my Weekday Off! HOORAY!

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Stormrage pwnz it!
RAGE RAGE RAGE
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From:markm
Date:May 3rd, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
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In SWG we've got a 'rescan all' button. Nothing like that in WoW?
From:ungratefulninja
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
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WoW's patching mechanism is to determine what version you have (we'll call that A), what the most recent version is (we'll call that B), and then, if those don't match, to download a patch set that specifically upgrades A to B. On the face of it, not a bad idea, as it means that someone patching B-1 to B has to download a smaller patch set than someone upgrading from their original installation disks.

However, there are two problems. The first is the obvious: patch sets are only available between discrete versions. If you somehow arrive at a state where your installation is "between versions", you're fucked and have to start at the disks again.

The second one is more of an implementation problem. Patch sets are distributed as self-contained executables that examine your installation to determine that it really is version A, then proceeds to patch the relevant files and tell your version that no, it's version B now. These executables are, as far as I can tell, not generated on the fly by Blizzard, so if you manage to get into a state where there is no patch set for A to B, you have to go A to A' to B (where A' is some version you *can* reach and can reach B -- this might be a recursive process).

If I ever distribute a game, I'll just include a subversion client. Having the patcher run 'svn update' and suck down the latest version semi-magically would be nice and simple.
From:lno
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:21 pm (UTC)
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You're still playing SWG? What do you think of the combat upgrade?
[User Picture]
From:markm
Date:May 3rd, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
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It just went live recently, so I haven't yet gotten used to it. Also, since I play a MWS, the majority of the impact it's had on me is that I've got shiny new schmatics to play around with.

Ask again in a month and I'll probably have more to say.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:May 4th, 2005 03:28 am (UTC)
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Turns out there actually is a Repair Utility you can grab from Blizz that checks the integrity of all the game files and automatically downloads any corrupt segments. However I couldn't find any word of it on the official Blizz tech support boards, but some other user mentioned it in another thread.

I was able to get the patch to download again this afternoon, but it conked out on me every time while checking a certain dungeon file, so I ran the Repair Utility and whadya know... I think it's going to work.
[User Picture]
From:lexinatrix
Date:May 3rd, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Some guildmates reported patch weirdness in the last update (a week or so ago?), but it had more to do with the bit torrent client thinking you'd downloaded what you hadn't. Sometimes a simple reboot did the trick, sometimes you had to remove any downloaded patch files and retry the patcher.
From:ungratefulninja
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)
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Is that elf wearing a boxing mask?
[User Picture]
From:lexinatrix
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
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Heh, sorta. It's a mail headpiece, but it looks like a tiara/helm thingie.
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From:elvisclooney
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
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That's nothing. Remember those Gnomeregan punch cards?

Try a little binary->ascii conversion on those puppies, see what you get.
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From:ooshiny
Date:May 3rd, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, for some reason (read: because I'm a halfwit) it never occurred to me to translate those. Are they posted anywhere?
[User Picture]
From:josh_giesbrecht
Date:May 3rd, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
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That is very slick. I wonder where I could sneak something like that int I would never dream of doing such a thing in any game I was working on, of course. That would just be wrong.
(Deleted comment)

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