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Changes Coming Soon to WoW.AKZ/ZAMFollow

#1 Nov 30 2010 at 8:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Good morning folks! I hope everyone is doing well after the Thanksgiving smorgasbord/WoW marathon and everything is prepped for Cataclysm this next week. Can't wait to roll up my Worgen to eat some Orc face.

In any case, I'm sure a lot of you have noticed that some of our database content is getting out of date and that the site hasn't had it's normal "refresh" with each patch coming down the pipe and the shattering of Azeroth. After discussing it internally for most of this year, we decided that some changes needed to be made in terms of how we go about updating our data for World of Warcraft.

Right now, ZAM owns Thottbot, Wowhead, and WoW.AKZ, three sites that have done arguably the same thing (in terms of databasing) for years. While this strategy worked for awhile and people really enjoyed having three different places to find information, eventually we discovered that more and more people were using Wowhead as their primary WoW database source. Rather than continue to double up our work (at least on the ZAM side) we've opted to go ahead and shift the focus of our WoW AKZ site away from the database, implement Wowhead tools into the AKZ system, but spend our time improving the forum and user experience on ZAM (which helps out all of our ZAM sites) rather than trying to "compete" with one of our own sites. In short, we're going to be keeping (and improving) everything on WoW.AKZ except the database and the systems that it tied into.

However, we're going to try to make this transition as easy for you as possible and really try to highlight all of the things on Wowhead that are comparable with what you've come to expect on ZAM. One example of this is a sig generator that the Wowhead team has been working on specifically for this kind of transitional period. When the change does happen, I'll try to provide you with a substantial guide to all the new toys that you'll be able to use on Wowhead that will translate over to these forums.

And, just so it's clear, WoW.AKZ/ZAM is not going away, especially those areas that the community has spent so long working - namely the forums and user created content. I'm open to any questions, so feel free to toss them my way. This will be a pretty significant change, so I don't expect all unicorns and rainbows, but I do think that they're a positive change and that hopefully, with more time to devote on the user experience, we can attract more users and really push this WoW community as a positive place to be outside of the official forums.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 9:00am by Micajah

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 9:01am by Micajah
#2 Nov 30 2010 at 9:11 AM Rating: Excellent
I'm also still around and will be available to help with any questions or problems you have. I'm sure most of you guys have used the wowhead database and know that it is a good system. We don't have any desire to try to artificially cram two different communities together, so you don't need to worry about that.

There will be some tweaks along the way, such as right now wowhead tooltips don't work. I asked about this issue and they should be working very soon.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 9:17am by Xsarus
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#3 Nov 30 2010 at 9:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
We don't have any desire to try to artificially cram two different communities together, so you don't need to worry about that.
That's good, because we'd end up all LFGComic worm dwelling goblin war or something.

But seriously, I'm all for dropping the Zam section's database. Wowhead's has pretty much been my go to for searching for quite some time, but Zam has always been my favorite place for forums, so a greater focus on that is also cool.

#4 Nov 30 2010 at 9:37 AM Rating: Excellent
This sounds like a good improvement. I've always felt guilty when recommending wowhead to lookup quest's user comments or items. It's nice to realize they are not an adversarial site.
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#5 Nov 30 2010 at 9:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
we'd end up all LFGComic worm dwelling goblin war or something.


That's my leg now!

Quote:
But seriously, I'm all for dropping the Zam section's database. Wowhead's has pretty much been my go to for searching for quite some time, but Zam has always been my favorite place for forums, so a greater focus on that is also cool.


Agreed.

Quote:
I don't expect all unicorns and rainbows


I'm not a real regular here, so I must have missed the introduction. Who is this guy? I remember him as the fellow who announced the well planned and effective Cataclysm contest and am not filled with confidence by that memory. I probably missed the good stuff, but ... nope, still not filled with confidence after that intro. Then again, I'm willing to listen to explanations too.
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#6 Nov 30 2010 at 10:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm the Director of Content here at ZAM. And yeah, the Cataclysm contest definitely had its fair set of issues, and there should have been some method to allow our older poster to get keys in that contest. We did something similar for a more recently released MMO, and we set aside X number of keys for users that had over 100 posts (or something along those lines). While I don't want to dwell on that old contest, I have to admit that all of my previous positions were at companies that had forums much less established than ZAM's, so that sort of thing wasn't really an issue.

Anyway, I'm sorry that I don't inspire initial confidence, but I do have Xsarus, Darqflame, and all the regulars that you've come to know (and love!) lending their talents on this (and other) projects, so hopefully things will go smoothly.
#7 Nov 30 2010 at 10:13 AM Rating: Excellent
Mica wrote:
Can't wait to roll up my Goblin to stab some Nelf knees.


Fixed.
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#8 Nov 30 2010 at 10:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm the Director of Content here at ZAM.


A courteous answer, and appreciated.

Good enough for me; as long as the problems have been recognized and an effort made to avoid repeating them, that's all I would ask for. Hopefully, the benefits of the new compilation will be realized without too heavy a price on the forums.
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#9 Nov 30 2010 at 10:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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Rhodekylle wrote:
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I'm the Director of Content here at ZAM.


A courteous answer, and appreciated.

Good enough for me; as long as the problems have been recognized and an effort made to avoid repeating them, that's all I would ask for. Hopefully, the benefits of the new compilation will be realized without too heavy a price on the forums.


You're welcome. Luckily the forums really shouldn't pay any sort of price with the change. Except for the database and its tied in content, everything should stay the same. Forums will be getting attention hopefully before the end of the year (for improvements), but we'll see how things roll out in regards to scheduling over the next few months.
#10 Nov 30 2010 at 10:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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Shojindo, Hero of Orgrimmar wrote:
Mica wrote:
Can't wait to roll up my Goblin to stab some Nelf knees.


Fixed.


My main has flipped back and forth between an undead mage and troll DK for awhile, so I'll probably be rolling a Gobbie, but the Worgens look pretty badass.... had to give 'em some love.
#11 Nov 30 2010 at 10:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm surprised this didn't happen earlier. It's not only duplicating efforts, it's confusing the identity of any one site to have overlap with another. If I were TPTB I would clearly define WoWhead as the information source and Alla as the community, full stop; fully separate those two functions by removing from each site anything that falls within the scope of the other, with one premium for both and lots of cross linkage to integrate it for the users.

I'm not sure about Thotbot's place in the mix. Maybe you could buy Petopia instead. ;)

Looking forward to seeing this roll out.
#12 Nov 30 2010 at 10:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Micaja wrote:
After discussing it internally for most of this year
Discussing for most of a year?
I've wondered about why this wasn't done before for quite a while.

You could pretty much just link to Wowhead in the top bar instead of hidden somewhere at the bottom.
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#13 Nov 30 2010 at 11:21 AM Rating: Excellent
Do you have any idea of how this is going to work? Is the database going to look the same yet link to wowhead or something? I know I've been talking to Xsarus about the database for awhile now. I'm assuming this won't affect the wiki, not that I have put too terribly much time into yet, but I had always been kind of waiting for an update to the database to link spells and what not so Xsarus told me yesterday to go ahead and just link wowhead in there.
#14 Nov 30 2010 at 12:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Micajah wrote:
This will be a pretty significant change, so I don't expect all unicorns and rainbows


What will be significant? English might not be my first language, but I'm fairly certain you didn't specify any of these significant changes. Database has always been crap, especially the last couple of years. That's why people are using Wowhead in the first place. And a signature generator? Really? Shocker.

Micajah wrote:
When the change does happen, I'll try to provide you with a substantial guide to all the new toys that you'll be able to use on Wowhead that will translate over to these forums.


No. Guide first, changes later. You don't throw 'significant changes' in our face and then tell us what you've done after. Tell us now so we can voice our opinion on it. Not that our opinion matters, but it's common courtesy.

Personally, I couldn't care less. As long as the forums stay and you don't mess up the layout any further, I've got what I need. Like I said, the database has been unreliable for ages now, so it doesn't come as a shock when you tell us you're not going to focus on it anymore. Honestly, I got the impression it hadn't been the focus of anything lately. And a signature generator is pretty insignificant as well, unless it messes up the forums by making HUEG LIEK XBOX signature images like the ones being complained about here.

If you know what these significant changes are, I'd suggest you air them now. Even if we don't have anything to say on the matter, it's better to at least prepare us for the changes.

And don't take this as me just being mad at ZAM, or the WoW department, because I'm not. It's just that if you don't have anything to say then you shouldn't say anything. Telling us 'significant changes' will occur at some point and that it'll not be 'all unicorns and rainbows' is really not doing anything except stir up stuff. As this post shows.

Edited, Nov 30th 2010 9:58pm by Mazra
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#15 Nov 30 2010 at 12:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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I want mouse over item links.

Right meow.
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#16 Nov 30 2010 at 12:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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You knew years ago that most people only come here for the forums because other sites have better databases. You guys straight up asked us about it. I'm honestly surprised this didn't happen much earlier. It's not like this is something new that you just discovered.
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#17 Nov 30 2010 at 4:15 PM Rating: Good
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Rhodekylle wrote:
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we'd end up all LFGComic worm dwelling goblin war or something.


That's my leg now!


Ugh, can this arc just end? Please?

On topic, this is a change I welcome and support wholeheartedly. It'll be good to not see sites competing for the same thing.
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#18 Nov 30 2010 at 4:23 PM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish wrote:
Rhodekylle wrote:
Quote:
we'd end up all LFGComic worm dwelling goblin war or something.


That's my leg now!


Ugh, can this arc just end? Please?
This.
They've been in that freaking worm for weeks now, it's not funny anymore.
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#19 Nov 30 2010 at 4:24 PM Rating: Excellent
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
IDrownFish wrote:
Rhodekylle wrote:
Quote:
we'd end up all LFGComic worm dwelling goblin war or something.


That's my leg now!


Ugh, can this arc just end? Please?
This.
They've been in that freaking worm for weeks now, it's not funny anymore.
What Joph said.
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#20 Nov 30 2010 at 4:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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As others have said, this is hardly a surprise. I don't know anyone that would come to Zam for the database - everyone pretty much uses/links to wowhead. I'm surprised that a sig generator is even being considered seeing how they already exist to the nTh degree everywhere else. On a similar note I assume you will be getting rid of the character profiler/armory import that hasn't worked properly since vanilla?

Oh and +1 to what Mazra said.
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#21 Nov 30 2010 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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Anobix wrote:
As others have said, this is hardly a surprise. I don't know anyone that would come to Zam for the database - everyone pretty much uses/links to wowhead. I'm surprised that a sig generator is even being considered seeing how they already exist to the nTh degree everywhere else. On a similar note I assume you will be getting rid of the character profiler/armory import that hasn't worked properly since vanilla?

Oh and +1 to what Mazra said.


+1 to Anobix said about Maz.
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#22 Nov 30 2010 at 5:16 PM Rating: Good
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Horsemouth wrote:
I want mouse over item links.

Right meow.


^ This.
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#23 Nov 30 2010 at 6:36 PM Rating: Excellent
Mazra wrote:
unless it messes up the forums by making HUEG LIEK XBOX signature images like the ones being complained about here.


I find those graphical signatures to be quite annoying, and I hope that they never become common here.
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#24 Nov 30 2010 at 6:45 PM Rating: Good
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Grand Master Engineer Furlis wrote:
Mazra wrote:
unless it messes up the forums by making HUEG LIEK XBOX signature images like the ones being complained about here.


I find those graphical signatures to be quite annoying, and I hope that they never become common here.


If they do, I'll set my eyes on fire and proceed to end my life by inhaling the wires at the back of my monitor.

Not the best way to commit suicide, but it shows that I'm passionate about it.
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#25 Nov 30 2010 at 6:52 PM Rating: Excellent
Mazra wrote:
If they do, I'll set my eyes on fire and proceed to end my life by inhaling the wires at the back of my monitor.

Not the best way to commit suicide, but it shows that I'm passionate about it.



Is that like when you're forced to listen to music that's so awful that you gouge out your eyes, which seems pointless because it's your ears that hear the music, but the music just drives you beyond all reason?









I'm referring to country music, of course.
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#26 Nov 30 2010 at 7:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Probably just because I'm crazy.

Also, ever since the picture thread, I keep reading your posts in the voice of Walter from The Big Lebowski.

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Edited, Dec 1st 2010 2:08am by Mazra
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