Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Is anyone out there?

Well I haven't posted here for over a year - but feedburner and blogger are telling me there are still people that have me subscribed... so thank you for your hope that I might one day return?

Anyway I have returned to a point - I've started a new blog over at http://gameldar.posterous.com - The Third Drawer

I offer no promises about it:
1. I've tagged it more as a geek blog - there'll definitely be WoW content - but ... as you can see the first post was actually about using Java for scripting. My interests are varied and I've been looking at things largely from a game design perspective. But be warned I might write about anything and everything... and it's likely to be a bearwall!
2. It isn't going to be a polished product - it's more a place for me to thought-dump and discuss ideas. I won't be doing any editing - and I write it all on my ipod on the train to/from work.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Something Different

So I figured I wouldn't be able to stay away from writing for long... and it is the case. However I have decided to work on something different and new - with a different direction and purpose - the significant factors being that it isn't so time dependent and potentially labour intensive as writing here.

The new? Gnomish Truth - which is more or less a blog reflecting on current day issues (starts with Australia election issues) - as seen by Veritas the gnome Death Knight. It is all in character and I think I'll enjoy the different way of approaching the writing. I tried to start something like this before, but without the world that Warcraft provides as a basis for all the interaction. But it gives me a nice creative space to work with. I've also not set myself the same bounds as I had for this blog and so there will quite possibly be short entries of little snippets of thoughts.

So follow along with me there if you like!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Tanking: Barriers to Entry

No I'm not coming back to blogging at this stage, but as I mentioned previously I did plan to continue doing some writing in some form. At the moment this is in the form of a post for the official forums which is sort of a distilled version of my post Leveling the Cataclysm Tank. I figured I might as well post/link it here as well... just in case you are still subscribed (which feed burner is tell me is the case!?!)

Gravity from pwnwear.com kindly posted it on the beta class discussion forums as well.

So the links are:

Tank Forum: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?sid=1&topicId=26398720227
Beta Forum: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=26399180642&sid=2000

And  a copy of the post for those of you without access to the official forums:

There has been a lot of discussion about a "Tank shortage". From one perspective I enjoy that because it means as a player that enjoys tanking, and will do it in preference to other roles, I get instance groups via the LFD tool. Having been going through the leveling process again - this time with a Bear tank - with a mix of questing and random dungeons - I've been rediscovering some of the frustrations of tanking at the lower levels. I believe this carries through into the shortage at later stages in the game, simply put the barrier for entry for tanks is too high. A tank can be carried by a good healer, but it is a role with a lot of pressure, and particularly with the side effects of Internet anonymity LFD and learning to tank at max level is more than likely a turn-off except for the extremely thick skinned, or the totally arrogant. A failure at DPS is less noticeable (particularly in leveling dungeons) whereas maintaining and keeping aggro gives more immediate feedback to the aspiring tank.

I'm not in the beta to test these things out but have been following a bit about what has been going on (but I might have missed something) - so some of these things may already be addressed.

To break it down there are likely to be 4 main points where people will try tanking. I won't directly reference these, but it forms the basis for my thoughts, and plays into a few particular suggestions. This is a gross over-generalisation but that is needed to simplify the discussion:
1. Level 15 - when dungeons become available
2. Level 40 - when players pick up dual specs and take a tanking off spec
3. Level 58-60 - when Death Knights enter the scene
4. Max Level - having gone through leveling people will try out tanking or are bored with one role and want to try out another.

That said, players gain the basic tools for tanking early on - in the form of defensive stance, righteous fury, bear form and frost presence and the appropriate taunts - but there are a couple of issues still which I'll address at specific points.

Low Level Rage
This issue is actually the culmination of a number of issues - in some respects there isn't a big issue with actually generating rage. This is largely an issue for bears/warriors - paladins might share some of the issues, but have the advantage of starting with the tank full (assuming they drink)
1. Starting with an empty tank in an environment where people don't wait for you to establish aggro.
I would say this is largely a 'culture' thing - looking back at when I leveled my warrior in vanilla I don't remember having these issues because the maxim was known and maintained to 'wait for x sunders' before attacking. These days you're lucky if the dps isn't trying to pull for you. It is all part of the 'go go go' mentality which you can deal with at max level because you have the tools (and know what you are doing) but when you are just learning this can be a bit issue. Recently, when first playing my bear I would pull with faerie fire and run into range and pray that I would get enough rage to be able to swipe before the dps unloaded.

2. Ways to improve your rage generation aren't obvious.
There are lots of ways to improve the above situation by managing your rage properly. As someone new to bear tanking and also returning to low level rage tanking I didn't manage my rage particularly well to start with but through asking others (via the above blog post and follow up posts and responses on other blogs) I found some ways to improve it. Things like rage potions and stopping attacking towards the end of the fight to preserve your rage for the next set of mobs are good methods but aren't immediately obvious. Also, at that level doing damage is actually one of the better ways to gain rage and so choosing defensive talents can actually hamper your progress - if you are thinking I am the tank and I need to survive then that can actually be working against you - this can come down to talent and gearing choices where gearing for avoidance/mitigation hampers it. This is particularly true for starting bears since they can't pick up Natural Reaction till level 34.

3. The gear requirements are already higher for tanks
I saw my rage issue diminish on my bear when I bought the heirloom weapon (Repurposed Lava Dredger) to replace a mace I had got in deadmines (from the first mini boss). Defensive stats wise it isn't so big an issue, but in terms of doing damage to get the rage it was a big issue. Without heirloom items the need to constantly upgrade the weapon just to maintain rage could be a big issue.

4. Out leveling an instance creates rage starvation.
Much like in the end game once you have some decent gear - you can actually end up being rage starved. When I first came back to my druid I queued via LFD and got Stormwind stockades 3 or 4 times in a row. I was about level 24/25 to start with and so in the dungeon finder interface it was actually coming up as yellow and then green. Because of the level difference I was taking very little damage, and therefore not getting much rage from the incoming damage.

I'm hoping some of these issues will be addressed by Rage Normalization 2.0 (or is that 3.0) but I wonder if there is space for inflated rage generation for lower levels, much as has happened to mana so that in the beginning tanking is about learning group dynamics before slowly introducing rage management on top of that.

In game training about tanking mechanics
I'm not sure how much of this should happen, but I can see a place for having some form of in-game training in the basics of the tanking mechanics. Ideally this could be incorporated into the quests that give the stances (although there is no quest for righteous fury for example) - so that the players get given a version and then get thrown into a situation where they have to use stance and taunt for example like hunters get the taming stick before actually getting tame beast.

The simpler version would be just to integrate a brief explanation into the quest texts or with the change to specializations chosen at level 10 this could theoretically be incorporated into the selection dialog - which would be useful for all specs - something like on the class pages on the www.worldofwarcraft.com (but improved - some of the tips/explanations are very lack luster).

For DKs I think it would have been ideal to incorporate the mechanics into the quest where you fight Patchwerk - there is no healer, but you could have a basic taunt rotation with a mob - having them yell out to taunt off them when they get to low health or something like that?
I imagine it would be a huge development effort, but the ideal situation would be to have some form of 'training dungeon' where players could go and learn about the roles they can play in a dungeon, with scripted events to show the diverse tasks appropriate to the roles. In this way melee dps could also learn about behind behind the mob etc. 

DK's start with gimmick taunt only

Death Grip is a signature of Death Knights, so I can understand that it is there to start with (as well as being a gap closer for PvP). However, Dark Command isn't available until level 65, by which stage prospective (eager) tanks will likely have tried their hand at tanking. For tanking purposes as the sole taunt it is on too long a cooldown, particularly when DKs don't have an equivalent to Commanding Shout. Additionally, Death Grip also serves as a ranged interrupt/silence (yes I know they also have strangulate) so the dual purposes mean that the long cooldown on the only taunt means you might have other control issues if you are saving it purely for taunting.

Tank Threat new to 80 (gear scaling)

The implementation of Vengeance will hopefully go some way towards helping this (although that is primarily aimed at help geared tanks keep ahead of the DPS) but for tanks new to 80 jumping into LFD to learn how to tank they are immediately at a disadvantage. I've seen it first hand going back to tank on my warrior who is Naxx 10 geared. Going into normal ToC I couldn't maintain threat against the DPS even on single target fights where the DPS were reasonably geared (e.g. had some i232 gear). Some of this is the result of the LFD matching system not being perfect and giving appropriate DPS to the tank's gear level. In reality this is failure by the DPS to check their threat when running with a lesser geared tank, but with the current state of the impatience of LFD it is all too common an occurrence and proves to be yet another barrier to tanking.

What it does mean is that the safest path for someone wanting to tank is to gear up with off spec rolls queuing up as damage or heals. This builds upon the already high gear requirements just to be uncrittable (for non-bears) and particularly for those that already have a main that is in the DPS/Heals role - they're more than likely to give up before going all the way along that path. I guess I feel this particularly as I have limited play time and can't spend the extra hours that this would entail (when I returned to WoW just before 3.3 I had said I wasn't going to gear a tank up again for this reason... I failed because tanking is what I love to do, but I did end up going down this route - as main spec heals, and started tanking when I had amassed tanking gear as off spec rolls).

Bears/Paladin's ranged pull (FFF/Exorcism isn't at 15)
This is relatively minor - but was picked up by another blogger that had been leveling their bear - that there was no ranged pull for a starting bear. I've always had it ground into me that you don't pull with a taunt, so I can understand the sentiment. Paladin's should have this solved by Avenger's Shield become the protection baseline, but giving FFF to bears at 15 would solve this.

Being the Defacto Leader
As the tank, even with the 'Dungeon Guide' tag, it often falls to the tank to be the leader in the dungeon. I have actually not found this to be too bad in the past - particularly with leveling dungeons or when Wrath was release as long as I explained that I hadn't run the dungeon at all/very much. There are two main issues:
1. Knowing the pulls
If you aren't with a sympathetic group it can be very intimidating knowing what to pull and where to pull it. In some respects the just pull and tank it all mentality of Wrath has done away with this, whereas with the careful pulling from Vanilla/tBC it was a bigger issue. With the focus changing in Cataclysm this might resurface once more. I know bears in particular have had an issue with having no ranged silence and having to coordinate line of sight pulls. Yes there are general maxims that can be learn - like pull the caster, but it does mean that the tank in theory should have done more research before entering a dungeon. I actually hope that the change to more strategic pulling will actually improve this situation - with a greater understanding that the pull plays a vital role in the success of the dungeon and people will be more patient with those that are up front and honest in saying they don't know what they are doing, this could also mean it is worse, particularly as the expansion gets older and people are running the dungeon for the umpteenth time - and we have a new player/tank meeting the content for the first time.

2. Navigating the dungeon
I've actually been tempted to make a post just about this, but as the defacto leader you need to know where to go. This is particularly bad in vanilla dungeons which are not linear, tBC and Wrath improved this by making them pretty much linear. Simply put - the best aid here for the tank is having a map of the dungeon like you do with the Wrath dungeons. I hope as the old instances are being done-over that instance maps can be added to all those dungeons too. It won't necessarily help know what the short cuts are, but it does mean you can get some more general idea, and build up more of an idea as you run the dungeons multiple times.

Tanking UI
1. Visible Threat
Presently I would say Tidy Plates - Threat Plates is an almost required add-on for tanks - particularly for beginner tanks. Being able to visually see the mobs you don't have threat on is an enormous help. Otherwise learning who has the aggro from what mob is hard to tell (and why Righteous Defense is an awesome taunt). I would actually suggest making this a visual effect on the mob or under the mob itself perhaps through a colored aura of some description - as I came across a situation where just having it on the name plates I didn't notice because I was in a tunnel (gauntlet up to Tyrannus) and couldn't see the name plate on the elemental because it was too big and the automatic zooming meant I couldn't see the top of the mob to see the name plate. It is the alternate red, yellow and green coloring of the name plates is the advantage I see - the resizing of the plates isn't a feature I use. I understand there is some implementation of this in beta (100% on the name plates?) but I haven't heard how good/effective it is.

2. Overlapping name plates not the default
The other side of this is that I think the default for the overlapping of name plates should go back to not be overlapping. As a tank trying to select the appropriate mob is a nigh on impossible in a big group of mobs. Yes it is still difficult because the plates jump around, but it is easier than trying to click through multiple mobs.

3. Player/Target frame position
I actually like the default unit frames (the main two things I miss when using the defaults are the class coloring and the combo points for kitty/rogue are not visible enough - I tend to play with a dimmed screen) - however the default positioning of the frames is not ideal. I find this for all characters - but most important when tanking - that i like to have my frame central at least so I can keep track of my health without taking my eyes away from the action. I have a macro set up to allow me to move them, but this should be a configuration option (lock/unlock) - and even using the macro the target frame always resets it's position on logout (or technically on a UI reload)

So those are the points I see as barriers to entry - some I don't have clear ways to effectively solve them, but I figured it would be good to have some discussion about it. So please chime in if you see solutions, or have other issues that you think are a barrier to entry for tanks.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

WoW in an Hour: Full Circle

I spent some time thinking last night (my wife had stolen my source of distraction - the computer) and as is always the case thinking is dangerous. One thing I realised is that my goals for this blog have been achieved. Not only is WoW a game that can be played in an hour, it is actually one of the few activities that I can actually achieve things within an hour.

Blizzard really have done a good job in rewarding the player for their efforts and even little time spent so that you feel you have achieved something. Leveling is relatively quick ,particularly with heirlooms. At max level gear is easily attainable and you can see the upgrades and the steady improvement. Interestingly I've found the gating of the heroics based upon gear to also be a point of reward (as well as frustration). As I've been gearing up my hunter, I'm eagerly awaiting the point where I can do heroic ToC, and the ICC 5 mans.

In stark contrast I realised that so many things on my todo list outside of playing WoW are not so easily achieved in an hour. With creative tasks like programming and writing projects I find I need more than just an hour because it takes me a good proportion of that time to get my head back into the space where I can pick up what I was doing. It either ends up with me staying up late (which I can't afford at the moment), or being frustrated.

This is farewell
Unfortunately blogging fits under this category as well. To be able to blog and to keep it up to my self appointed standards, each blog post takes me well over an hour, probably somewhere around the three hour mark. So to that end I am going to hang up my blogging hat. I want to specify an end to it and get some closure and not just quietly fizzle away, with a lingering burden to post.

I have really enjoyed writing this blog. It has given a vehicle to my thoughts and WoW brainspace. The original focus, of working out what it looked like to play WoW in an Hour, to my mind has been largely resolved with a resounding yes. My play time has changed, my focus has changed, but I'm still enjoying the game immensely even with limited time.

I'm proud of what I've done here. I actually lasted longer than I thought I would, and there are some posts that I've been really happy with (mostly linked up to the right).

Stuff unfinished
I had a couple of topics I did want to cover, but didn't, namely PvP and Roleplaying. The answer to both is yes - they both fit in. One comment in regards to roleplay, is that I've shied away from the roleplay side because it is something I like to undertake without interruptions - which is not how my play time is. It takes a different brainspace which WoW has not been for me, but it can certainly be a great place to engage in roleplay.

I'm not disappearing
I'm not pulling down the blog - I'm not sure how much will be relevant when Cataclysm hits, but in the mean time I hope it can be a resource to others like me who don't have a lot of play time each session... or who happen to be interested in what ever other topics I've covered.
I'm also not going to disappear from the interwebs. I'll stick around on twitter (although I have changed my handle to my internet name - gameldar) and you'll certainly see my commenting on other blogs. I'll most likely be contributing to the WoW universe as I can with work on addons - my own and also the WoWPro leveling guides. I'm guessing I'll also have ideas that I feel like writing about at some point (perhaps with a tanking focus). I'm not exactly sure how they end up being shared with you all, but I'll find a way!

So thank you for reading over the last six or so months, for the comments, for the feedback. This is part of the ebb and flow of life that we ride, people come and people go and I look forward to following along with those changes and seeing where the changes take us all.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Catchup over Coffee

I know so many people that are tired, sick or just worn out at present. My sample set is not exactly diverse. My brother used to present the results of his polling saying that everyone thought x. When you probed you would find out it meant him and his friends. They were all engineers and male. For me, I'm a parent of young kids and therefore have a number of friends in that category and you forgo the privilege of a full night's sleep when you become one!

We are going through a particularly bad patch where my daughter enjoys my company so much so wants to have it for a couple of hours in the night (hence why I've posted this at 1am). My son was the same. It is my fault as both my kids have inherited my aversion to sleep. This time we have the advantage that we know it will end.

It is also the beginning of winter cold season. I think my family is going through its third set of colds. Add on top of that I've been very busy with work and have been working late into the evenings and you end up with a tired, tired Gameldar.

Given this state I was suprised by the reminder from Angelya of Revive and Rejuvenate that I've just passed six months of blogging (she started a couple of days after me). I feel like I've limped across the line, but at the moment I've got a building list of things I want to do but little time amd energy to do them.

The list looks like this:
1. Write a post on the official tanking forums about tanking and encouraging new tanks to take up the mantle with improvements in cataclysm, although I'm also waiting to see what is happening in the beta.

2. Test and help out with the development of the wow-pro tour guide replacement add-on.

3. Fix a couple of small things with my add-on mtarget and finally do a non beta release.

4. Work on another project I've got brewing in my head (not wow related)

5. Work on another project that is actually wow related.

6. Watch some of the world cup (even though Australia is out)

7. Relax and veg out with my wife.

So being tired in general I've only managed the last one (which is recurring - we've been revisiting Firefly) and therefore been rather quiet with the blog.

That said, I've still been thoroughly enjoying my game time. I've been spending most my time leveling my druid who is now a bearkin or boombutt or whatever you call a level 42 dual specced bear and boomkin. I need to try more dpsing on my boomkin spec as I was constantly running out of mana in the one instance I did run only to realise I was still wearing my tanking gear (I should have realised since I had more health than the tank). I've also been managing to cobble together my weekly ICC for a few weeks running and have got some nice tanking gear now - but I'm looking forward to extending the raid lockout and seeing more than the first four bosses soon!

So that is a bit of a catch up with where I am at. With the beta out now I double checked and I am signed up for it so we'll see if I get a key and them I'll have to make a real decision about playing in it.

Note the image at the top is from http://blogs.uab.cat/travellingaroundtheworld/2009/04/

Monday, 21 June 2010

To fish or not to fish...

To fish or not to fish. I'm not actually talking about doing some fishing. As a WoW in an Hour player, fishing could be a good way to chill out and just not have to think. I always feel frustrated with it and haven't got particularly high with any of my characters.

The buff grants stamina, attack power and spell power. If I look at those stats however they don't provide me the best benefit I could have from food. Spell power is just more over healing for my paladin heals. However I am still short of the haste soft cap so I use haste food!

As a tank I'd benefit from expertise and hit more than the attack power. Keluin is hit capped and is well past the soft cap for expertise but more expertise or strength would be of more value. Of my level 80s my hunter would probably gain the most from it. But even then he would benefit more from agility. It really comes down to evaluating what stats you are going to find the most valuable.

No, I wanted to talk about fish feasts. They are the default food for raids always greeted with a "thanks for the feast" or some variation. However is it the best food for you?

To aid with the selection process I've created a small table of what foods provide what buffs because I always forget and I wanted a quick reference.

Fish Feast
Mega Mammoth Meal
Poached Northern Sculpin
Tender Shoveltusk Steak
Firecracker Salmon
Worg Tartar
Snapper Extreme
Rhinolicious Wormsteak
Hearty Rhino
Very Burnt Worg
Imperial Manta Steak
Dragonfin Filet
Blackened Dragonfin
Spiced Worm Burger
Spicy Blue Nettlefish
Mighty Rhino Dogs
Spicy Fried Herring

The advantage of a feast is that you can guarantee everyone in the raid is at least getting some buff from food. They can also be more easily provided as a resource from the guild bank. I've been carrying around the stack of fish feasts from our guild bank ready to bring out at the raid (although I have to give them to someone else to provide as I still haven't finished that leveling task with Keluin). However, the materials for the other foods are generally easy to come by and don't necessarily require fishing!

So before your next raid have a think about the little bit extra you can do to ensure success.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

WoW in an Hour: Remote Auction House

Unless you live under a rock (which might be a good way of naturally heating and cooling your home) you will have heard about the remote auction house. This is where you can access the auction house via the web or an iPhone app. It is now in open beta on all the us (and just starting on eu) realms so I recommend going and checking it out while it is still free!

It is going to be a partially paid service. For $US2.99 a month you will be able to create and place bids on auctions. However, anyone will be able to browse the auction house without paying the fee.
From my quick playing, I like the interface. It is easy to work with and has some good sorting options which I've got used to with the likes of auctioneer. The create auction page is also similar to the appraisals tab from auctioneer. The best feature, however, is that you can post auctions directly from your bank (no guild bank access though) or the mail box. So, even if you don't end up signing up, the beta is a good time to clean up your banks (I have a lot of Burning Crusades mats for example).

The main limitation I've seen of the system (and a good one) is that you still have to log in to be able to convert the goods bought into a value added product. You will still need to log in to the game to smelt your ore or disenchant the greens you bought. So I'm predicting greater competition for the schemes of making gold that involve buying low and selling high! You are also limited in the number of transactions you can perform in a day to 200 (25 in the beta). This is there to stop abuse of the system and is subject to change.
The remote access will diminish the need for a bank alt. You can change between your characters and sell directly from them rather than always sending to the toon sitting in the auction house. It doesn't diminish the advantage of having an alt with a bank full of goods for sale. It actually enhances it because you can access the bank directly. I would like to see direct bank access functionality carried in game but it does take away some of the loose hold on reality in game.

Advantages for the time limited?
So what are the advantages for us with limited play time?

Play, play, play
The most obvious one is that we can fully dedicate our playing time to playing. We can play and then do all our auction house 'work' on the train to work (my phone isn't capable but I do write my blog posts then so if a word doesn't make sense have a look at your key pad for an anagram using the same keys - predictive text is a boon and a curse) or in our lunch hour or when we have access to the Internet but not to the game.

For me, this is an intriguing concept. If you give me the option of running a dungeon or tinker on the auction house the choice is simple I will always choose the dungeon. However, if I could do my auctions later then I'd be more likely to get into playing the auction house. I'd still have to log in and do all my crafting and watching the crafting bar is not my idea of a good time! However, it would markedly reduce the down time without having to worry about mailing and logging over to my bank alt.

That said, the greater availability is a reason not to sign up! The temptation to do so at work would be too great!

Alternative auction times
Another advantage for some one like me who only plays on a couple of days of the week is that I could place auctions on days and times when I don't normally play. For example, all the auction house guides talk about the price peaks on Tuesdays for raiding goods (Wednesdays for me in Australia). Therefore I could post or repost auctions even if I don't play. Alternatively, I've noticed prices for goods are generally more expensive on the weekend. So I could take advantage of the Thursday prices for goods I wanted to buy even though I rarely log in on a Thursday.

Also it gives you the chance to get some of the rare or high competition goods by increasing your window of opportunity. You could regularly log into the remote auction house if, for example, you were leveling your alchemy and needed some of those late vanilla WoW herbs.

The thing I'm looking forward to most, however, is the ability to browse the auction house. This will be available without subscription. Two ways I see of making use of this is as follows:

  1. Being able to work out what gearing or leveling a tradeskill is going to cost me roughly. I've made use of the online databases in the past for estimating the costs to level herbalism and engineering. But realm prices vary and they didn't have much data for my realm.

    I also predict the likes of wowhead will start mining the data through the client and will provide more accurate pricing information.

  2. Being able to see the current prices for goods I want to sell without having to log over to my bank alt. I've already made use of this - checking the different prices for Dragon's Eyes versus Nightmare Tears. By looking at the online auction house I could see that Dragon's Eyes were selling at a very low price while Nightmare Tears were making a good profit and the market wasn't flooded. So I made the tear instead.

    You cannot place bids or create auctions if you are logged into the game, but you can still browse. So you can just tab out of WoW and check it on the web (or even easier if you have an iPhone).

Is that a good idea, Daddy?
The only other question worth asking is how will this affect the game? Has Blizzard started down the slippery slope of no return by adding a paid for service that confirs some in game advantage? All the other paid for services offer no or very minimal advantage (the differences between races offers very little).

Gold is an advantage - but is changing the point of access a big deal?
However making it easier to make gold can provide a big advantage. As I've seen in my guild one of the members returned from travels and immediately outgeared the hard work I had done with my tank by dropping a whole lot of gold on all the best crafted and BoE gear (I'm not complaining we needed more tanks). However I think it isn't that big an advantage because firstly if you were looking for that small gain you would be stuck in front of the game already.

Limited Transactions
Secondly, the limit on the transactions means that it wont be overly useful for the heavy traders. The second comment on the mmo champion post announcing the change was to that affect - they do thousands of transactions per day and so 200 remote transactions was just a drop in the ocean.

In-game is still required
Lastly, as you can't do anything with what you buy except resell it without logging into the game you still have the usual cycles. It isn't an instant money maker. Lore in his weekly marmot said he was looking forward to being able to do more remotely like your tradeskills. That would be a different level of change in combination with the auction house change. The potential to automate the auction and tradeskill processes through a web protocol is very high. I haven't looked at the terms and conditions of the remote auction house, but I'm predicting tools that will automate the whole process regardless of the rules. In game Blizzard controls the methods of interactions and requires some human interaction. But over the web there is no such control. With trade skills included it would be a one button money machine.

In reality this is a change for the casuals - the time poor, money rich players like me. I can really see it being a useful tool for a few more dollars a month. It is a good move on Blizzard's behalf. The casual gamer's dollar is a highly fought for dollar and this is just one more tool to enable time limited players to keep apace with those with more time and to not have to constantly play catch up.

So I am in favour of it. Will I subscribe? Probably not - I am a cheapskate and I don't need any more distractions! If I had an iPhone it might be a different answer though.

How about you?