Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Final Notice – We have moved!!!

This blog will be deleted soon.  We have moved to nedruid.com, transferring all old content.  Please update your bookmark.

If you are the admin of a board or guild website, please update your links.  The feral gear posts, Kara guide and Bartender overview are all on the new site, in addition to plans on upgrades to all those posts and more. 

See you there!!!

February 21, 2008 Posted by | 1, Attunements, Burning Crusade, Custom UI, Druid Blogs, Druid Gear, Enchants, Factions, Fun, Instances, Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, Online resources, Raiding, Site Meter, Strategy - Balance, Strategy - Feral, Strategy - General, Strategy - Resto, Way off topic, Wordpress, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Please “bear” with me

This blog is going to go silent for a few days, maybe even up to a week as I clean up the new blog and put the final touches on it.  I’m taking the opportunity of the move to clean some things up and re-arrange a little.

January 28, 2008 Posted by | World of Warcraft | 5 Comments

Fatal error importing WordPress-hosted to Self-hosted: Resolved!

For a few days now, I’ve been trying to import my current WordPress-hosted blog into my new self-hosted blog.  I wanted to see what it looked like with some real posts in it, and I also just wanted an opportunity to clean some things up before I put out the red carpet.  Plus, I noticed I was spending way too much time trying to figure out every last aspect of what I need to do before I moved, and I finally just realized that I should just do it and clean up whatever needs cleaned up after the fact. 

The process itself is pretty easy.  In your WordPress-hosted blog (blog ends in wordpress.com), log in as admin.  Go to Manage / Export and click the button to save your file.  Pretty simple.  There is an option to only save posts from a particular author, but you probably just want to save all.

From there you go to your new self-hosted blog, log into your dashboard, go to Manage / Import and click the WordPress filetype.  Select the file you previously saved, click the Upload button and your new blog will suck in your old file.

At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.  I kept getting an error message something like:

Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate xxxxx bytes)

I did find a number of support posts on the WordPress support forums on the topic.  Many had similar responses and some indicated that the responses fixed their problem.  I’m not knocking WordPress support here, but the fixes in the forums did not fix my problem.   I ended up just doing a simple Google search on the issue and found this post

Long story short – that fixed my problem and my import worked.  I followed the instructions more or less to the letter, except when 4 or 5 increments of 4M with the same error got a little tedious, I just entered 48M for both and that worked. 

I know this isn’t World of Warcraft-related, but I’m posting to help anyone else out there trying to make the move to self-hosting and getting frustrated on this error.  I hope this helps!

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | 3 Comments

Don’t work if you don’t have to

I’ve wrote previously on factors you should take into consideration if you are looking to move your WordPress blog to self-hosting.  One of the general themes was that it was up to you to take care of all the technical support of your installation, including backups, plugins and upgrades.

After spending the prior week cruising WordPress for information concerning how to upgrade, printing it all out, taking a backup and nervously going through the update, I was able to successfully perform an update. 

Well, I thought I did.  The “you need to upgrade” notice that displayed on my WordPress admin panel went away, but the next time I logged into my hoster and looked at my websites, there was a message there that said I still needed to upgrade.  The good news is that the message was hotlinked, and when I clicked it, it took me to the Fantastico panel. 

Turns out Fantastico on my hoster will not only do an initial install of WordPress, but will do upgrades as well.  Of course, there are qualifications.  If you’ve done any local editing of plugins or themes, etc. then they will be lost during the upgrade.  But if you haven’t, then your WordPress upgrade is but a single click away.  It worked fine for me.

I’ve also found out that there are plugins to handle the backup issue.  One in particular I’ve seen mentioned a couple different locations, so I plan on giving it a try (full disclosure: I haven’t tried it yet).  WP-DB-Backup is a plugin that will perform a daily database backup and mail the backup file to an E-Mail address you specify.  It’s automated, and with the generous space allocations on many of the free E-Mail accounts these days, you should be able to keep quite a few copies.

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January 25, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | 2 Comments

Auctioneer and making money

Interested?  I’m assuming I’m not the only one out there who needs more money.

I’ve long since wanted to write a series on how to effectively use Auctioneer to make money; living the high life of buying low and selling high.  Trouble is, I never really felt like I had a good handle on how best to use Auctioneer effectively.   I just couldn’t get my furry little head wrapped around the ins and out of Auctioneer.  Maybe us bears get slapped in the head too often, or maybe we’re just not cut out to be accountants, but it just wasn’t sinking in.

Compounding the problem recently is the introduction of Auctioneer Advanced.  So now I have to learn two add-ons??? 

Well, I’ve found a nice little blog that solved my problem for me (and you).  I recently found Og’s Ledger, and there are some great Auctioneer resources on his site.  Not only does Og have an overview of Auctioneer Classic, and a two part overview of Auctioneer Advanced, he has ongoing threads around how to make money using the Auction House.  For those of you that would like to understand the ins and outs of Auction House trading, this is a blog you should have bookmarked. 

Og also has a category called “Rags to Riches” where he details his adventures on a daily basis trying to make money buying and selling on the Auction House.  It’s from the perspective of low level starting characters, but his detail in describing the process I think could help anyone.

Here’s a summarized list of links into Og’s Ledger for this topic:

Og’s Ledger has a lot of other good information.  Most of the posts are concerning with buying and selling and making money.  If this is something that relates to you, then add Og to your blog list.  I will be right after this post.

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January 25, 2008 Posted by | Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, World of Warcraft | 4 Comments

Yet another Druid blog group hug

Long story short – Phaelia over at Resto4life has tracked down yet another batch of Druid blogs.  Check out her post describing what they’re all about.  I’m adding them to my blogroll today or tomorrow.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Primary update

I logged back into Flickr and the screenshot titles I was sure I entered in when I uploaded the shots weren’t there.  So evidently I must not have saved them correctly.  Regardless, I’ve added titles to the two screenshots that I think are the right ones based on your comments.  If you need/want to change your vote, just add a new comment in the previous post.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | Leave a comment

Amanna runs her own primary

I’ve been playing around with various themes for my new, self-hosted blog.  Long story short, I’m having a hard time making a decision.  Some many themes, so little time…

Not really.  There are literally hundreds of WordPress themes to choose from, but by the time you weed out the goofy looking ones, pick the ones that have the colors you want and the number of columns you want, you end up with a much smaller number to choose from.

 Well, I’ve narrowed my list down to two I really like.  I’m having a hard time deciding on one, so I thought I’d ask you.  Here’s a link to two screenshots on Flickr.  Take a look and tell me:

  • I really like blog theme “A”
  • I really like blog theme “B”, or
  • I don’t really like either of them

Be honest, that’s what I pay you for.  The easiest way I think to see them is to click the “View as a slideshow” link, otherwise the thumbnails are too small to get a good idea. 

Please leave your comments here, not on Flickr.

Thanks!

EDIT – Okay, I’m obviously still learning the ins and outs of Flickr.  I typed in titles for both of the screenshots, but looking at the set now as you see it (with me logged out of my Flickr account), I don’t see the titles anywhere.  So when you leave your comment, just tell me whether you like the blue one or the green one (or neither!).  And if anyone has found a good guide to using Flickr I’d love the link.  I hope to be sharing a lot of screenshots with you all very soon, and based on this experience, I feel I’m either doing this the wrong way, or Flickr isn’t my best option.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | 12 Comments

DIY WordPress

I got a comment from Game Dame on my WoW Resolutions list.  Seems The Dame is interested in my experiences transferring my blog from WordPress-hosted to self-hosted.  Since many of us use WordPress as our blogging platform, I had fully intended to write some general impressions about my move for those of you that may be considering the same.

After thinking a bit about GD’s comment though, and taking my first steps in self-hosting, I think this may be a more interesting and rich topic than I originally had suspected.  Transitioning to self-hosting isn’t without it’s own headaches, but definitely gives you more control over your blog and it’s content.  I’m also finding out that making that move does require a “bit” more interaction with your WordPress internals than letting WordPress do the hosting for you.  That “bit” is bigger or smaller depending on how fancy you want to get with your blog, but for instance, you are responsible for making all WordPress software updates yourself.

So, I’ve decided to write here and there on the trials and tribulations (and hopefully wild-eyed successes) of self-hosting your WordPress blog.  Here’s my first few observations:

  • Cheap hosters are easy to find, WordPress even recommends some.  Some of these hosters have auto-installs of WordPress.  What I’ve found though is their control panels are a bit clunky and having an IT background definitely helps.  Realize that you will be in charge of file uploads, DNS configuration, software upgrades, backups, etc.  If all that makes you queasy, or you’d rather focus on writing than technical administration then let WordPress do your hosting.
  • There’s no good way to give the hoster you select a test drive, and what I found (I picked Bluehost) is that it’s never as easy to use them as they advertise.  I know, no big surprise there.  I’ve also found that however good they say their customer support is, just assume you will be on your own to fix your own problems with your best support mechanism the customer forums.
  • Yes, there are tons of “free” WordPress themes out there, many of them quite good.  If you find one that is perfect for you, then you’re in luck.  Inevitably, you will want to tweak something here or there.  The good news is, you have total access to all aspects of your blog’s look and feel.  The “bad” news is, you need to be knowledgeable in PHP, WordPress tags and CSS to do anything other than the most basic changes.   The good news here is, with some pretty basic knowledge of HTML tags and some other commands you can pimp out your blog to be uniquely yours.
  • WordPress is so popular that many hosters have an automatic Fantastico install of it.  However, what you will get is a default installation, with no plug-ins.  You may have come to rely on additional functionality at your WordPress-hosted blog that you will need to now install yourself.  Two important ones I found missing was Akismet spam and a stats dashboard.  While each are relatively easy to find via the plug-ins directory, it’s one more thing you need to do yourself (and maintain, if necessary, going forward).  I say “relatively” as there are several plug-ins under each category with no easy way to determine which is the one that will fit best for you.

So, Game Dame, there are my initial thoughts.  I haven’t decided to abandon self-hosting, there are just too many things I want to do with my blog that I can’t on WordPress hosting.  But it definitely has involved more effort on my part than I was expecting.  As I go through the process, I’ll make sure to keep you all up to date on anything I think you would find interesting on this topic.  I’ve created a category of “wordpress” that I’ll be filing all those posts in so they will be easy to find.

Meanwhile, look for another post to quickly follow this one.  I’m torn between two different themes for my new blog and I’m going to ask for your input.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | 2 Comments

Alt progression in WotLK and after

Tobold poses an intriguing proposition: should all alts be able to start at a higher level when the new expansion comes out?

His reasoning goes that given the announcement that Death Knights will start at a “higher level”, generally reported to be somewhere in the range of 60 give-or-take, why should a player then have to level existing alts, or new alts, through 70 levels to also take part in the expansion.

I do think he has a point.  I’m currently leveling three alts, and while zones aren’t as desolated as I had expected at the lower levels, there aren’t exactly mobs of players out there either.  That being said, the few folks that I’ve seen have largely been willing to help.  I think anyone out there trying to level a toon these days understands the length the process takes and most seem to adopt a “we’re all in this together” attitude. 

I think the heart of the issue is simply the time it takes to go from 1-60, now 70, and soon to be 80 with a new character.  Is there some value in that process as you get to understand the mechanics of a new class you haven’t played before?  Absolutely.  Does that mean that players will continue to level characters through 80 levels to get a new class into endgame?  I think we are into diminishing returns on that one.  With the more expansions that come out, the probability that anyone will go through that grind go way down.

I expected the comments for Tobold’s post to be largely in support of faster leveling.  Indeed, the first commenter spoke of a system in DAoC, where once you had a character to level 50, then you could start alts at higher levels.  This got a lot of positive feedback.  Later on in the comments though, others started adding to the conversation in support of leaving the system the way it is.

Personally, I think this is an issue Blizzard will have to address.  If there intention is to not upgrade old zones, and 10 levels will be added with each expansion, the barriers to entry for both new players and existing players starting alts will simply get to be too much.  As I said I’ve been playing around with some alts until I get Amanna back into a guild.  I have three alts into their 20′s.  It started as just something to do to try out some different classes.  Now that they are in their 20′s, I’m a little bit more serious about leveling them.  The experience bonus is helping, but if WotLK came out tomorrow and I was now looking at getting to 80 versus getting them to 58 and being able to get them into Outland, I would probably stop playing them.

A system that allowed for long term players to start alts at higher levels, and new players to accelerate their development, is needed if patches and expansions will continue to be focused on new zones and areas. 

Tobold and his commenter’s have some great ideas and thoughts on this topic.  If you find this interesting at all, be sure to check out his post.

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January 16, 2008 Posted by | World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

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