How To Read Deep, Deep Into Your WoW Raid’s Logs

Most WoW players know about World of Logs by now – it’s a fantastic resource, and tremendously useful to get an overview of what’s going on with your raid. But how many of us actually use it at its full potential?

Well, enter Glow of Glow’s Branches. For a while now she’s been writing fantastically detailed posts on how to get incredible detail and information out of World of Logs, and her latest post’s a great example of a task that will be useful to nearly anyone analysing a raid – figuring out exactly why your tanks are dropping dead

“Woah. Okay, so firstly EP is taking more damage on average. I didn’t expect that. I chatted to EP and he mathed it out for me, and just using tanking and cooldown multipliers, warrior tanks WILL take more damage from Impales. But I didn’t ralise this, and it’s really helpful for me for healing the fight.

Secondly, the averages are taking into account all those big hits that killed the tanks…. I need to see the hits that didn’t kill the tanks so I can get a feel for the order of magnitude and the variability.

All the Impales!

To do this I check out the logs themselves, in this case I use the expression editor.

This can be a bit intimidating, as the expression editor is very powerful. But in this case I’m just going to do a simple search on all of the occurrences of the spell “Impale” so I just type that in as below. Case matters, as do the quote marks.

Aannd out are spat three pages of Impale info. I can page through all of that at my leisure, but what I actually did was paste it into a text editor so I can have a play with it.”

Both Johnnie and I are mildly addicted to World of Logs. Neither of us are exactly unfamiliar with the idea of statistical analysis, programming, or math in general. And neither of us would have had the faintest idea how to crunch the data in some of the amazing ways Glow shows us in the post (and her earlier ones ).

Definitely recommended.

Do you use World of Logs analysis in your raids? Does it help you out?

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Lotro: Out of the South – how to complete it, find the Symbol of The White Hand, and open up quests in Echad Mirobel

For other troublesome LOTRO quests, check out our guides to Techniques of the Masters and Treacherous Lights .

If you’ve headed to Echad Mirobel you’re probably wondering where all the quests went. Most of the quests in this area go through a single quest line before they open up – so, if you want to get to the rest of the chain in Echad Mirobel, you’ll need to do LOTRO: Out Of The South. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult a quest.

Where to find it

You’ll need to pick the quest up off Gellirwen (here’s her entry on MMODB) – she’s demanding that you find her a Symbol of the White Hand before she authorises further action against the nearby enemies – yep, in other words before she’ll give you any more quests.

This quest is the gate for many of the rest of the Echad Mirobel quests, so it’s worth doing – and if you’re not seeing any Echad Mirobel quests, this quest’s the reason why.

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How To Complete It

The Symbol of the White Hand drops from three mobs in the area: Dunlending Brawlers, Dunlending Scouts, and Dunlending Toughs. All are Level 51-53 mobs. Despite what the questgiver implies, it only drops from these mobs – if you simply kill everything in the area, you’ll take forever to find the item in question.

The good news is that they’re pretty close by – search the area to the East of Mirobel and you’ll find them. The bad news is that it isn’t an automatic drop from a kill. In even more bad news, there aren’t any other quests that require you to kill these mobs. So you’ve just got to go out there and slay until you get the Symbol. Various people on forums say that this should take you anywhere between one and a dozen kills.

Once you’ve got it, just take it back to Gellirwen and you’ll open up the rest of the chain.

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HOWTO: The Care And Feeding Of (Rift) Souls

Righty. Into RIFT, start up a quest. Go find a monster. Right. No problem, I’ll just ALT-TAB to WoWHead and –

Oh, yeah. No WoWHead. Bummer.

For an old WoWHand like me, not having much in the way of guides and databases currently available for Rift is a bit high on the Confusomatic scale. But people are starting to step in to help: people like Syl at Raging Monkeys, who today has a guide to Rift Souls, Roles, and possibly also Bowls.

[pullquote]There are currently a few Rift resources in the making, but nobody likes to go and search half-baked databases when starting off with a new game. Also: Wiki articles are often cryptic and have the potential to scare you off rather than to help – now that would be a real shame. So, what is it with this class-soul-role mumbo-jumbo in Rift? [/pullquote]

For all that Rift is described as being very, very similar to World of Warcraft, the Soul system is only similar if you imagine a WoW where you can have up to three classes all acting at the same time, so you could be a shadowpriest-DK-Paladin or something. Sound fun? It really is. But simple? It really isn’t.

Huge shout-outs to Syl for the guide – which certainly diminished my confusion a fair bit – and if you’re working on a guide to another aspect of Rift, please do let us know!

Particularly if it’s about Porticums, or whatever they’re called. I dig that they’re like heartstones, but what’s the whole map thing about? Can you use them to teleport? WTF?

Is Rift confusing you? Or do you fail to understand why everyone’s having their “whu?” moments?

_Quote taken directly from Raging Monkeys’ post.

Find Raging Monkeys’ homepage here.

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A Tale In The Desert TL:DR – Glassmaking

Welcome back for another A Tale In The Desert infostravaganza. Why, no, that wasn’t a word three minutes ago. Now it is.

I was originally intending to write a bit about the wonders of Cooking and how bloody complicated it is, but since starting that post, I’ve played with some other things in ATITD, and come across the Wikified horror that is… Glassmaking.

So, with no further ado, if you’ve been staring at the Wiki entry for Glassmaking and wondering if you need to buy some graph paper, here’s what you need to know.

Before I start – I will be referencing a LOT of things that you can look up in the Wiki. Rather than link them all – anything that’s capitalised below you can look up in the ATITD Wiki.

You’ll be making glass on a Glazier’s Bench, and your first job is, yes, to make some glass.

(This is Tale In The Desert. Pre-made glass is for the ATITD equivalent of carebears. We make our glass from sand, dammit!)

So. Glass. You’ll need Sand. Not too tricky.

You’ll also need Lime. That’s made from Limestone in a Firepit. And here we drop down one of ATITD’s rabbit holes. See, for the Firepit you’re going to need to build it, then you’re going to need to get your Carving to 1 to make Tinder, then you’re going to need 200 wood each time you want to use the Firepit (no more, no less) plus Tinder, plus some Flint to spark it, plus the Limestone you want to make into Lime. To get the Limestone, you’re going to need a Mallet and a Chisel, and to do it with any speed you’ll need a Heavy Mallet (for which you’ll need someone with Carving 3 for the handle, plus some lead and a Casting Box for the Handle) and a Lead Chisel (more Lead, plus a Forge, either Student’s or Master’s). Oh, and you’ll need to find some Limestone to dig up – ask in your region’s channel or check the Wiki.

You’ll need to check the Firepit page to get details on how much limestone makes how much lime. If you don’t want to spend time Stoking your pit (and I can’t be bothered with that) you’re looking at 13 Lime for 96 Limestone.

For the final ingredient, you need to consider what you eventually want to make. You’re either going to want Soda (which you get free with your Limestone – hurrah!) or Potash, depending on what you want to make – see the Glass Making page. (You might also want to make Jewel Glass, but that’s waaay more advanced than where I’ve gotten to).

Quick cheat – for Glass Rods, Blades and Pipes you want Soda Glass. For Sheet Glass, Glass Jars and Wine Bottles you want Normal Glass, which needs Potash.

Soda Glass? 1 Lime, 2 Soda, 10 Sand for one glass. Normal Glass? 1 Lime, 2 Potash, 10 Sand. Oh, and if you’re using a new Glazier’s Bench, you’ll need to budget for 20 more glass than you think you’ll need. Why? You’ll find out below.

(If you’re making Sheet Glass and you’ve not done it before, budget at least ANOTHER 20 glass on top of that).

Potash

I just mentioned it and moved on – that must mean it’s simple, right?

No.

TO make Potash, you need to:

Grow either Flax or Leeks – Flax is much more efficient.

Rot the flax, then dry it. You can only dry 10 at a time on a Drying Rack, so make lots of them.

Burn the dried flax in a Firepit – see above. You need 100 Flax to make 11 Ash, which is the product.

Take the Ash and make it into Potash by boiling it in a Kettle. You only need Jugs of Water and Wood here. However, it takes about 15 mins per kettle for 5, so you need either lots of kettles or lots of time.

And now you have potash!

Actually Making The Glass

Ok, you’ve got your glass ingredients, finally. (It’s no coincidence that everyone’s trading for Potash right now). It’s time to start the glassmaking.

Now, if you look at the Wiki section on glassmaking, it looks pretty frightening. There’s maths. There’s formulae. There’s coefficients.

Don’t worry. It’s actually pretty simple. Every glazier’s bench has two numbers attatched to it – the UP number, which is the total amount it’ll heat up after you add two pieces of charcoal (it’ll do that over time) and the DOWN number, which is the amount it’ll cool down every time “tick” after it’s stopped heating up.

Your job is to get the bench to the right temperature by balancing UP and DOWN. Too hot and your work fails, too cold and… your work fails.

Let’s get going. Job #1 is to figure out your up and down numbers. Get a piece of paper, then add 2 charcoal to your bench – don’t worry that it doesn’t have anything in it yet. Watch it like a hawk. Record the highest temperature it gets to, then record the NEXT temperature it gets to after that, and the one after that.

The highest temperature is your UP temperature. The DOWN temperature, by contrast, is the difference between that and the next temperature it hit. That should be the same as the difference between that temperature and the final one – in other words, it should have cooled down in even steps of the same drop.

Right, let’s get glassmaking.

First step is to melt your glass. Make sure you have enough materials for your glass near at hand – you may need to go fetch some sand.

Add 2 charcoal and wait for the heat to rise. Now add another two. Wait for it to rise again, and add another two. That’s 3 sets of charcoal so far. Add another two every time the temperature rises for the next two rises, meaning you should have put 10 charcoal into your bench. Now wait for it to get REALLY hot.

When the temperature’s above 3200 degrees, choose “Melt Materials” from the glazier’s bench menu. Repeat if you need to go get more sand, until you have enough glass in your bench to make what you need to make, plus 20 additional glass, which apparently the bench needs for, you know, some reason.

Making Stuff With The Glass

After all that, it’s time to actually Make Some Stuff. This, after all the faffery, is actually kinda easy, graphs and charts nonwithstanding.

If you’ve already got a hot bench, wait for it to cool below 2400 degrees. (If you’re starting from cold, do what you did to heat it up for melting glass, but only use 4 lots of charcoal).

When the temperature drops below 2400, click the button to start making whatever it is you want. Now, when the temperature drops below 2300 degrees, add 2 charcoal ONCE ONLY. Watch the temperature slowly rise. Wait for it to fall again. As soon as it starts falling again, add another 2 charcoal. Repeat.

The temperature will, on average, slowly drop off. If you’re only making a few things, that won’t be a problem. Otherwise, don’t start any products after the temperature drops below 1700. As soon as that happens (and you’re not currently making anything), add 2 charcoal, wait for the temperature to rise, then add another 2 charcoal. Now wait for the temperature to fall – it should spike above 2400 degrees again, so you’ll then have to wait for it to go below 2400, and start the process again.

That’s all there is to it! Unless you’re making Sheet Glass, that is. If you’re making Sheet Glass, you need to know that, much like making flint blades, there’s a Sheet Glass skill. Most of the time at first you’ll get nothing when you make sheet glass, because your character will break it. But persevere – after about 20-30 attempts, you should start making decent amounts of sheet glass.

Do you have any other glassmaking tips?

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Running World Of Warcraft under Linux: Installation

Update (September 2012): This article is out-of-date. Take a look at our guide to updating to Mists of Pandaria under Linux.

Some time ago, I promised you a tutorial about installing and running World Of Warcraft on the Linux operating system. Well, here goes.

A few caveats before we get our collective geek on: first of all, this is going to be a long post. Certainly, it’ll be longer than we normally give you here at the Melting Pot. It’ll also have a lot of images within it. Again, this isn’t something we’ve done a lot of, so please comment if it’s all messed up for you and I’ll try to fix (particularly people reading via RSS). Finally, this article is only going to cover installation. I’ll do a follow-up article about tweaks and customisation, and probably another article of problem-solving and collective trouble-shooting.

Right then. Having used up a third of my usual word count already simply by telling you that I’m going to use more words than I usually do, let’s get started.

I’m going to start with a fresh installation of Linux, to make sure we cover everything that needs to be done. I’m going to be installing Wrath Of The Lich King on a system running Ubuntu Linux (10.4 “Lucid Lynx”, 64-bit version), but these instructions (or similar) should work for virtually any desktop Linux system. My hardware is a dual Athlon 64 6000+, running on an ABIT AN52V motherboard with a GeForce 8500 GT graphics card. So, not too great but not disasterously poor

[1].

Let’s get some drivers for our graphics card first of all. A fresh Ubuntu install will give you a “Restricted Drivers Available” popup. Click it, and then choose Install Drivers. Pick the recommended driver if there’s more than one.

Restricted drivers available

The next thing to do is to make sure we’ve got all the appropriate software updates for our system. Just use the Software Update tool[2]. If there are updates available, you can click on the icon in your top bar.

Update Manager

Update Manager

Unless you’ve got a darn good reason not to, grab everything under Important Security Updates (particularly base-files, libfreetype6, linux-headers-generic and linux-image-generic).

This’ll probably take a while to download and install, and you’ll need to restart your computer when it’s done.

Now it’s time to install WINE, which is the magic software that’ll allow us to run the Windows version of WoW without ever leaving the tranquil oceans of Linux. Click Applications and choose Ubuntu Software Centre. Search for “wine”, and install it. Whilst you’re here you might as well grab gnome-exe-thumbnailer as well, which will give your Windows .exe files pretty (and meaningful) icons, rather than an ugly Windows rectangle.

We have to move to the Terminal now. Click Applications » Accessories » Terminal. If you’re new to Linux and haven’t used the Terminal before, I don’t want you to panic. I know it looks intimidating and suspiciously hacker-like, but I’ll talk you through it. The Terminal is a direct line to the inner workings of your Linux installation. You can think of it as the Linux equivalent of the Windows command prompt if you like[3].

The Linux Gnome Terminal

The Linux Gnome Terminal

In the Terminal, type this:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

You’ll be prompted for your administrator password[4]. Once the mesa-utils package has been downloaded and installed, type

glxinfo | grep rendering

If the Terminal now prints out a message along the lines of “direct rendering: yes”, then your graphics card and drivers can support the minimum of 3d rendering we’ll need to run WoW. If it doesn’t, you’ve gone wrong somewhere along the line. Comment on this post and I’ll try to sort you out. Don’t close the Terminal yet – we’ll need it again in a moment.

I’m going to give you an incredibly useful tip now. If you didn’t already know about this, you’re going to want to reward me with alcohol. The tip is this: you can install World of Warcraft directly from the Wrath Of The Lich King DVD. You don’t need to install WoW Classic and Burning Crusade first. There you go: I just saved you hours of disc-swapping, patch-downloading irritation.

So. Slap the Wrath DVD in your drive, and let’s get on with it. Unlike the installation discs for Classic and The Burning Crusade, the Wrath DVD is in a special format which means it can be read by both Macs and Windows PCs. Unfortunately, this makes it a bit of a pain in the murloc for us poor Linux folks. Not to worry, though. All it takes a bit of Terminal magic. With the DVD in the drive, type:

sudo umount “/media/Lich King”

The icon for the Wrath DVD will disappear from your desktop. That’s okay. We’ll get it back in a minute.

Type

id

to discover your numerical user id. It’s probably 1000, but we need to know for sure because we’re going to use it when we get the DVD back. Type

mkdir ~/wrath

That command will create a new (empty) folder in your home directory, called wrath. We’re going to magically make the contents of the DVD appear in that directory, and we’re going to do so with the following command:

sudo mount -t udf -o ro,unhide,uid=1000 /dev/scd0 ~/wrath

Type the command exactly as it appears here, but substitute your own user id if it’s something other than 1000. You might also need to change the /dev/scd0 bit if your DVD drive is a weird one (if so, comment on the post and I’ll help you).

The DVD is accessible, so it’s time to start the installation process[5]. Still in the Terminal, type:

cd ~/wrath

wine ./Installer.exe

The WoW installer running under Ubuntu

The WoW installer running under Ubuntu

Hooray and hoorah! I’m going to trust that you know what to do from here on in, so go ahead and install WoW. Don’t worry about which directory to install into – just accept the default of c:\Program Files\World of Warcraft. Once the installation has finished, eject your DVD by right-clicking its icon on the desktop and choosing Eject.

Ejecting a DVD

You can now run WoW by clicking Applications » Wine » World of Warcraft » World of Warcraft. The game might crash the very first time you try to log in. Don’t worry about that, just restart it. You might also see an error on the Launcher, similar to this:

Launcher rendering error

Launcher rendering error

Again, you can ignore this. It’s not doing any harm.

We’re done. If everything’s gone according to plan, you now have a fully-patched installation of World Of Warcraft running under Linux. There are a bunch of tweaks we can make to improve the way the game runs and the way it fits in with the rest of your Linux experience, and of course there’s an inevitable list of troubleshooting tasks for common problems. We’ll leave those for the next post in this series.

How did you get on? Was it a painless installation, or did you hit problems?

[1] As it happens, this is the machine I usually raid on. Wow under Linux on this machine can hit anything from 30fps to 70fps on full graphics, depending on which area I’m in. I got my Kingslayer title on this machine, so it can’t be that bad.

[2]Alternatively, run Synaptic and choose Reload.

[3]Although you’d be wrong in more ways than I have the time to list.

[4]Be careful with the sudo command. It means that you’re running instructions as an admin (or “root”) user, instead of as yourself. It’s quite possible to trash your entire operating system with a single destructive root command. Never copy/paste sudo commands if you’re not sure what they do. Yes, like the ones I told you to copy/paste as part of this tutorial. You should never do that … but you trust me, right?

[5]While the WoW installer is running, you’ll see pages and pages of text being printed to the Terminal. There’s nothing wrong – it’s supposed to do that. Yes, even the lines that start “fixme”.

This series: Prologue | Part One

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Running World Of Warcraft under Linux: Prologue

Update (September 2012): This article is out-of-date. Take a look at our guide to updating to Mists of Pandaria under Linux.

When I’d finally kidnapped enough children to get Exalted reputation with the Kalu’ak, I was pretty excited. Not because they gave me a magic fishing pole that let me breathe underwater, but because they gave me a pet penguin. I like penguins. I like them a lot. You see, I run World Of Warcraft under Linux.

GNU/Linux is a free operating system. It’s an alternative to Windows, or MacOS X. I’ve been running Linux exclusively on all of my computers for years, and I love it, but I love Warcraft too and that’s where we hit a problem. If you check the side of the battered WoW installation box you keep on top of your wardrobe you’ll see it lists Windows and Mac OS as supported operating systems, but there’s no mention of this Linux thing. WoW is not designed to run under Linux.

It’s quite possible to make it run, though. In fact, once it’s set up and configured correctly, it can run just as well as it would under Windows or OS X. It’s the “set up and configured correctly” bit that’s the problem. It’s not trivial.

I’ve had a few requests over Twitter for tips and tricks from fellow penguin-lovers. Initially, I planed to knock together a quick post listing a few useful configuration commands and settings, but I’ve decided to go one better. I’m going to put together a comprehensive guide on installing WoW on Linux. We’ll start with a fresh Linux installation, and go through each step as required. If I make any mistakes, or if things go wrong, I’ll document them (and hopefully document how I fixed them, too).

It’ll take me a while to put it all together, but I’ll try to post Part One soon. In the meantime, have you ever tried running WoW (or any other MMO) under Linux? How did you get on?

This series: Prologue | Installation

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