Tue 28 Apr, 2009
Its been one of those weeks you know? Well ok overall it hasn’t been that bad. I used to just hate the achievements. Ok I’m still not overly fond of them, but at the end of the day its a nice diversion to look at periodically. Lately I’ve had this bug in me to go look at the lore of original Wow that I missed. So I’ve been playing around with the Loremaster achievement in Eastern Kingdoms. As you can see by the screenshot up above… all that glitters is not gold……
I’m a details kind of guy. I can accept that WoW is an extremely complex game. I can accept that it has a million and one details. That’s not a huge problem for me, but what I find amazing is that little bugs like this can go unpatched for ages. I vaguely remember stories after the patch came out of people running into problems where they’d reach 700 quests and it wouldn’t complete.
So as I sat there late last week I was really close. I lined up my final few quests. I went to turn one in at700… fully ready for the achievement flash… and… nothing… WTH… ok… I have two more to turn in, lets see if its just a glitch…. nope…. and nope.
Now I’m not someone who is completely unaware of the challenges of Information Technology. WoW is a very complex program. It requires a team of programmers and still… the skill and detail that has to go into it is way beyond what most people can imagine.
What bugs me on this is that the data is in essence there. Somewhere… there’s a switch. There’s an identifier on each and every quest that shows what it counts for. Obviously the back end of the achievement knows what it is, but the display on the front of the achievement does not. So there is a flag somewhere in the database that shows if it counts. Or there’s a table that cross references that data. Either way, you know the data is there.
What they have is a problem between the program that tracks the progress and the program that displays the progress. They are obviously reading different flags. So either they need to be fixed to read the same flag (which should be pretty straight forward… in my opinion) or you have to take the alternate flag and make sure its correct.
Assuming you don’t want to do the easy mode… which is ensuring that you’re pointed at a consistent flag for both the back end tracking and the front end display (god forbid we follow some sort of semblance of consistency in coding, but with their sheer number of programmers its understandable), lets assume we’re going do it the hard way.
The hard way is basically dumping the data to a spreadsheet for the two tables that track this information. Then you have to cross reference the display parameter with the internal counter flag. You have to determine which one is correct and then fix the ones that are wrong. Lets assume it takes you a minute per quest to cross reference (it should take you 10 seconds, but I’m being generous with your time ok…) Sure you’ve got 800 Alliance quests to do in Eastern Kingdoms and probably 800 Alliance in Western Kingdoms, but you can do at least 60 per hour. So….. 3-4 weeks you can have this all fixed and no sweat right? That’s if one person does it for both horde and alliance. Get three people doing it and boom… done in a week and nobody else complains about this ever. You avoid a lot of trouble tickets. You avoid wasting a lot of GM’s time.
Ok its one of those minor things in life, but the most annoying thing about it is that I’m really pretty much out of quests. I’m down to looking at dungeon quests (which I’ve been told don’t count) and trying to find rare drop items that launch quests in zones. Yeah… lots of fun. Oh well…. nobody ever said being a loremaster was easy… back to the books I guess.