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Update (September 2012): This article is out-of-date.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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The Stokpile Index – a fantastic resource for Auction House traders

Imagine you’ve just joined the staff writing for the Melting Pot. Imagine you’re sitting down to craft your first ever post for the site. Imagine your Editor-in-Chief is a petty sadist who insists that each post must contain a random word of her choosing, with the word changing each day.

Imagine today’s word is “pecuniary”.

Well, for one glorious moment I can thwart the machinations of our noble leader, because what I want to talk about is money. Fortune, wealth, cash. This post is “of or pertaining to wealth or money”. One might even describe it as pecuniary.

Booyah! He shoots, he scores.

There are – as you probably know – dozens upon dozens of blogs dedicated to auction house trading in World of Warcraft. One of the best is Stokpile. Auction house trading is so complex and potentially time-consuming that it can easily become a game in itself. There are players who don’t bother with any other aspect of WoW; players who log on for the sole purpose of trading, crafting and selling. For these players, hitting a gold cap takes the place of downing an endgame boss or dominating the PvP tables.[pullquote]Remember, one can only have as much preparation as one has foresight.[/pullquote]

We’re at a slightly awkward stage now (and one that we’ve seen before with the release of Burning Crusade and later Wrath Of The Lich King), with most end-game raiders having exhausted the content of Wrath and finding themselves with nothing much to do until the launch of Cataclysm. We’re seeing players chasing increasingly obscure achievements, or levelling brand new characters, or simply quitting the game entirely. Some of them, though, have started to play the Auction House mini-game. It’s made things pretty interesting for those of us who’ve been auction house addicts all along. Markets are fluctuating, demand is soaring and crashing all around us, and many traders have been forced to rethink their strategies. There’s a lot of virtual money to be made, if you only know where to look.

That’s why I’m so pleased that Stokpile has created an index of the most useful posts on the blog. Having recently hit the magic 1 million gold, Stokpile is no longer blogging, but the excellent advice contained in all these posts is still valid. It’s useful for auction house noobs and savvy goblins alike, and covers virtually every market in the game. The guide to setting up QA3, the Quick Auctions addon, is particularly useful – if you’re anything like me you’ll have found it utterly baffling the first time you used it.

[pullquote]The most important entries that I’ve made and the ones that contain the most pertinent information in the AH game for both newcomers and experienced tycoons.[/pullquote]The WoW economy is a fascinating thing. Although the game (and the game developers) can exert some influence over it, the actual prices of goods are dictated entirely by demand. Hence, the maximum value of an item is whatever you can convince somebody to pay for it. It’s an addictive and intriguing way of studying economics and market movements, with the added advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your point of view) of an almost complete lack of regulation. There’s no Monopolies Commission in WoW, nobody to stop you from dominating a market, or artificially inflating prices, or any number of other tricks which range from questionable to outright illegal in the real world. It’s great fun, and the basic skills needed are easy to acquire. Of couse, becoming an auction house expert takes a lot more time and skill, but that’s where blogs like Stokpile can help.

Quotes direct from Stokpile.

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