So easy a blogger can do it


You know, I had a really long convoulted post going on. So complex in fact that I had to go back and reread parts of it to make sure it all made sense together.

I scrapped it.

If it’s so flippin complicated that the author has trouble following it, no one else will either.

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Here is the gist of it, without all the confusing stuff. After all, I want to try to keep this real simple on the off-chance anyone from Blizz actually reads it.

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Dech’s number one quality of life change Blizz could make in less time than it took me to write this. (yet they won’t)

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Make Bind on Account items actually bound to the account, not to the server.

Want to do this real easy?

Simply allow the transfer of level one characters for free (or at a much reduced cost, say $5), provided they carry nothing but heirloom items. No gold, no bags, no nothing. Strip them down to their skivvies, load up the backpack, and send ‘em over.

Hell, even put a cap on it. Say, one transfer per account per week, or make the transfer take a day or two. You already put restrictions on money and such based on level, and you already transfer toons, so the framework is already there.

Seriously, someone could have this coded today if they sat down and tried.

Possibly before lunch.

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It pisses me off to no end that I have enough heirlooms on one server to equip two Pallys (and then some) and I am leveling a Pally elsewhere without them.

Yes, I am aware that I could grab me a level ten alt and pay $25 to transfer the stuff over.

My point is this, The items are supposed to bind to my account, not to the specific server.

Even Blizz has said they plan to set it up so the transfers are possible. Then again, the team that’s working on the dance studio might have this one on their list as well.

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So how about it Blizz?

Can we fix this?

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Or have you just gotten so used to that extra $25 you can squeeze out of people that you decided not to?

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14 Responses

  1. I was thinking of this one too recently, but there is a shortfall: too many of us now already occupy all 10 character spots. What I came into as a conclusive self-comment to stop thinking about it was:

    make cross-server mails require some sort of domain-like characters, and then notify the appropriate GMs to move the item. Like sending a mail to an alt of mine on another realm using “Uberpally@GenjurosEU”, this would trigger a ticket so that a GM from my current server will remove the item in question and then a GM on Genjuros-EU would go to the appropriate character, make sure he is mine, and create the item for me, mail it in game, whatever.

    I guess the only reasons Blizzard isn’t doing this is that a) they don’t like temporary solutions, so they are going to fix it once and for all when they do (TM), and b) because this non-perma-fix will require lots of man-power to get through, so I guess it isn’t worth it…

    Cheers

    • good point about the ten character slots. In fact, if they did what I proposed it would involve me deleting toons on both servers.

      I could live with that.

      Idealy you could send heirlooms through the mail cross server, or through a particular NPC in game. There has to be a better solution than having to transfer a character, I was just looking at something that the funcanality already exists (for the most part) and would just need a few tweaks to work.

      Realisticly I think I will be long gone from WoW before I ever see something like this implemented. Blizz is pouring all it’s energy into generating and balancing for more tiers of raid content. People like me that just want to poke around and level alts and such are not a priority.

  2. An easy way to do it would be to transfer BoA items through battle.net as opposed to in-game mail, thus overcoming the server issues.

    I mean, there would probably still have to be a time delay or a small fee. You can already make bank -> auction house transfers remotely (albeit, it’s on the same server)… but I do think it’s feasible.

  3. How odd. I’ve naively assumed that “Bind to Account” meant just that, and that said Heirloom items were indeed account-based. Not having acquired any myself, that seems to me to be a sensible interpretation of the packaging.

    To find that they are instead tied to a server, well… I find that unacceptable and short-sighted. Realizing that there’s a cost to overcoming Blizzard’s malfeasance in this matter (the character transfer cost) is just a kick to the jimmies. Come on Bliz, I already hate you for the freakin’ sub model, why give me more reason to hate your business practices?

    • It actually came up in one of the pre-cata round table discussions, that in fact they were tied to a server. Blizzard said at that time that there were plans in the works to make them truely account based. I trusted them, thats where I made my mistake.

      With that in mind I spent the time grinding the emblems/WG marks to buy enough of them to literally outfit any character class/spec with appropriate shoulders, chest, one or more weapons (as required), and a pair of whatever trinket works best for them (I have 6 trinkets alone).

      Thats a lot of work and a lot of time I invested in aquiring all that gear, and it’s entire purpose was the leveling of my army ‘o alts so that I can play with the friends I have scattered across several servers.

  4. Ok, let’s try to digg a little deeper this time.

    I think there are 3 ways to implement such a change:
    a) through in-game mail
    b) through an account repository (something like a shared bank tab)
    c) by changing the essence of said items.

    Let’s start by ‘a’.
    The common reality is that when you use the in-game mail system to send a mail, this message is server-wide, and since every server is isolated from the rest and possibly in a different place than any other, they (Blizz) will need to implement a system to call another realm. Something like a webdomain, so every character in every realm will have a unique ‘e-mail’ (valid only in the game) that can be reached from any other realm. For brevity, when you send a mail to a character in the same realm as yours, you can ommit the domain extension. So by mailing something to olaffjelltop@genjuros.eu, this will prompt the game mail system that it has to notify a different server, check for validity, replicate the message, create said item(s) and message on that realm, and then remove them from the originating realm. This is the ideal solution, though it may add a little overhead to server load, depending on how much we start using it. Ofc, this goes beyond the scope of transferring BoA items, so it may not be implemented because it provides so many things not currently allowed and possibly not even thought to be allowed ever…

    A simpler solution is to provide a way to invoke such a system by using some special character (not allowed in naming), which would indicate that this mail has actually something to do with account bound items. So by sending a mail to olaffjelltop*genjurosEU, my realm will contact GenjurosEU, make sure there is a character with that name, make sure it is mine, replicate the message blah blah blah.

    This closes a lot of security issues and allows said transactions to happen.

    Then we have ‘b’.
    Blizzard could implement some sort of account-wide bank, which will store items (I will not go into any length to discuss the appropriate number of slots), and every character in the same account will have access to it. Other than being cheap with storage, I can’t see why this is not happening already…

    And then we can itterate with ‘c’.
    A completely different approach (that could also potentialy solve issues like tabard storage) would be to alter the essence of BoA items, and instead make them conjured items. Upon buying an heirloom, every character of this account will get another tab in their spellbook containing the spell to conjure this heirloom. Every time I log into a character, I can conjure whatever heirlooms I wish, equip and roll.

    It adds a headache value to those who like a more permanent solution, but still it doesn’t mess the mail system, it makes sure you cannot move money or items not eligible to be transferred off server, doesn’t require a bank or an NPC to store your items.

    Now let’s hope someone@blizz will see this sooner or later and put it on the table, because I too suffer from having to level alt armies without heirlooms, when i have several sitting in a bank already…

    cheers

    • Though most of my ideas revolve around use of the ingame mail (or the character transfer I mantioned in the post) I actually like your third solution the best. I had not thought of that one.

      It would take a bit of coding to set up on the front end, but it would actually lessen the load on the mail servers (if only slightly).

      As far as identifying characters from different servers, I think that was already implemented to some degree when LFD went live. Otherwise I could not put asshats from cross server pugs on ignore and never have to group with them again.

  5. LFD is a completely different story, mostly because you voluntarily join a queue (a list in other words) and make your character available in a common place for servers to look when they need someone to run a dungeon.

    Maybe a ‘Join a BoA transaction queue’ would also serve, so you can enlist in a common queue where every server can see your 2 characters, but that requires way more coding and is more prone to errors than most (if not all) of the above solutions.

    I myself find the 2nd proposal to be the most elegant, but the 3rd one is probably the best as it removes the hassle of sending mails and logging in and out of characters just to be able to play. Conjuring the items you want makes sure that only 1 of your characters can have each and any item equiped (since you can only log in one at a time), but I think Blizzard dislikes the notion of turning items into spells. At least that was their position when this was proposed for tabard storage…

  6. …To itterate a bit more…

    If you think that the 2nd solution is data intensive (after all, why it isn’t happening if not for it?), then you have to count how much more space you will need to make the 3rd one happen. I mean, if every character you have get a new mail per heirloom, and learn a new spell per heirloom, and given the 15000000 accounts and the fact that most of us have more than one character (I personally have 24), this is going to be ugly HUGE.

    So, naturally, making a bag/bank slot accessible by all characters seems much easier. This ofc falls again in the area ‘too many capabilities’ since you can’t allow non-BoA items to be stored there since they cannot be traded to other servers (remember that we asked for this fix only in order to transfer heirlooms to another realm).

    So a more elegant solution is probably a combination of the 2. There is already a way to store account-wide information (global macros). A similar way could be used to store global, account-wide items. Each time you buy an heirloom item, you use it and it is stored in this list, and then you can invoke this panel from any character and conjure the items you want. This way all you have to do is store a few item IDs on each account…

    An even lighter (data-wise) but STATIC (read my lips: BAD) solution is to make a switch for each heirloom and only store which are available. Static because there is a specific amount of such items (say, 64) and so you can get away with only 4bytes extra data per account, bad because in case you want to introduce more heirlooms you have to reprogram this. Unless you put enough space there to make sure it is going to work for the next xpac too.

  7. I have a much simpler solution – BoS (Bind on Server) and you can’t even take them with you if you xfer your character. I guess I don’t understand the sense of entitlement that people feel towards these items. I’m glad to have them at all, forget on another server. Think about it like this.

    An heirloom is traditionally passed down through family, and occasionaly outside the family to a close family friend. So your lvl 85 or whatever grizzled vet has passed on these items to someone else – on the same realm. They’ve already opened it up so you can mail them across faction – that’s already more than we should have gotten if you take the Heirloom part as serious as you take the BoA part.

    Does it suck leveling on a new server without them? Sure. I paid the $25 and just ate it. Do I know plenty of others who just leveled on as quickly without them? You bet. The new leveling is so streamlined now, using BoAs only sets you up to bypass entire zones.

    • I have paid the $25 in the past. In fact, I have paid over $200 in transfer fees over the course of my time playing WoW. I have leveled on servers with nothing, in fact I do that pretty frequently just for kicks.

      Do I resent the fact that I was told that they would be cross server and they are not?

      Yes.

      Do I really give a crap?

      No.

      Realisticly I don’t see myself still playing this game more than another month or two until winter is over and I have other things to do.

      The game has just about reached the same point that most others do, it just took longer to get there. Once the grind outweighs the actual fun I find more fun things to do.

      Painting the garage for instance.

  8. They could easily just add a new version of the character transfer screen, where you select the toon, then select the BoA gear, then select the destination realm and toon.

    I think the issue is that they didn’t plan for BoA items when they designed the systems, and that it would reduce revenue. Wait til the subscriber numbers drop off a bit more and we’ll see some new quality of life features added.

    • You are probably right about it coming along later, though I would not be shocked to see it as a paid service.

      Mail is already segmented into 12 slot “crates”, I forsee the ability to send a 12 slot crate of stuff for a smaller fee than a character transfer. My guess would be $10.

  9. @adgamorix: Well, I don’t really see this as a ‘solution’, since this is how it already works. Sure they can rename BoA to BoS and everything is ‘working as intended’, but given that these items are supposed to also help you reroll on any server, and the stated intent of Blizzard to sometime be able to send them over to another realm, my posts are on a quest to actually enable that option.

    From a clearly role-player’s perspective, your next statements are true: heirlooms are supposed to be family treasure, and given that I also am a RPer and many of my alliance alts are dwarves and share the same surname (Olaffjelltop, Olafsdottir, Erikfjelltop, Svenfjelltop… and so on) it could make sense. Still, WoW is not like that. It lets you RP if you like, but the game system is designed with every one in mind, even those who just like the gameplay or the keyboard-mashing.

    As Dechion already noted, no, it is not the end of the world just because we can’t do that right now. Still, it will facilitate a lot of us if it get implemented.

    If Blizzard state that they no longer pursue that goal and instead want to make it a paid service, fine by me. But as long as they (still) want to implement it, this whole post is valid…

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