It usually boils down to human error. WoW is a very complex computer program -- probably one of the more complex systems out there. It's not terribly hard to have something change, say, a background graphic, that then invalidates a text box's frame and forces the dialog box to appear because there was no entry in the authentication box (because it was never rendered). That whole scenario could be caused by moving one single, small file.
As for why it wasn't caught, quality assurance testing is not and never will be an exact science. Now don't get me wrong, there are tons of very scientific methods for testing software, but with a system as large as WoW, even a 0.5% failure rate is bound to be noticeable.
Overall, the WoW programmers do a pretty good job at keeping everything running smoothly. It's much better than other stuff -- and doesn't even disclose your credit card numbers!
Can you please let me know why I still need to be revered with a fraction so that I can use the BOA head enchant. I thought BOA was so you could pass it along not getting it then having to go through the same stuff your main did?
You shouldn't need to be revered to use the head enchant, just to buy it. If you're getting errors saying you need to be revered to use the item, then something is probably wrong -- contact a GM or wait for it to be fixed. Stuff like that usually gets solved pretty quickly.
Is there a place where Blizzard explains the rationale behind fundamental classes changes in patches? Say, for instance in patch 4.1, changing the cool down of Word of Glory from 0 to 20 seconds clearly affects the way the class is played (even as advised in articles on this very site)... Is that because the way players use the spells don't fit the model they have in mind? If so, where can I find information about the model they have in mind?
The best way is to just pay attention to the news posted here and on other sites like MMO-Champion. Our class columnists regularly go into detail about the mechanics and philosophy of such changes (or as much as the can). As for Blizzard communicating about why it's made such-and-such change, that's dropped off significantly since Ghostcrawler is no longer posting very often, and the other blues are not really providing the same level of informative communication.
We do get bits and pieces, but as far as the whole picture? The days of knowing that are probably done.
Note to BioWare: Communicate like the Blizzard of 2010.
Should you need to format your PC an remove WoW, what is the quickest way to install it?
Keep a backup copy of the WoW folder on a thumb drive or another portable harddrive, then just copy the folder over. That is by far the easiest method. Installing by DVD might be fast to get the initial program on, but you're still going to have to download a ton of patches -- and at that point, Lazy Adam says just to download it all from the internet, probably overnight.
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