The default friends list annoys me

I made another alt a while ago, just to mess around with a totally different playstyle.

Can anyone explain to me why Blizzards’ default, built-in friends list is not shared amongst all of the same faction characters on a server?

Just… why?

This is not a statement about addons. Talking about what some 3rd party independant programmer came up with will not advance the discussion at all.

Why did Blizzard implement a friends list… and then make it so, if you make an alt, you ahve to manually write down every friend name and then create them on your alt?

I applaud that, after three years, they finally let us add notes associated with the names of each person on our friends list. Occasionally, I’ll talk to someone that has a recipe or pattern that I know I’ll need crafted some day, and I’ll ask them if I can look them up sometime in the future to ahve that crafted, and they say “sure”. It’s nice to be able to add them to my friends’ list, with a note that says “Can craft Bracers of Deep Thought” or “can carve Solid Star f Elune” or whatever.

And it’s also nice when I have a friend with 7 alts that do not follow any kind of naming convention (I’m looking at you, Melpo and Tikky) to be able to note “Tikky alt”, since they might only log into them once every two months.

But seriously…

My friends list is full. We could talk about the bullshit behind that, but later.

For now, think about the sheer bullshit involved in ahving to go in, write all those names down, and then enter them in for each alt.

They’re my friends, right?

Unless I am a freaking spy, behind enemy lines, deceiving everyone on a stealth alt and hiding from the world, WHY the hell would I NOT want to have my friends list on my alts so I can se when my friends log in and out?


26 thoughts on “The default friends list annoys me

  1. Yes, yes and yes! Not sure you made three points, but I agree threefold. Being a man of many alts this bugs the hell out of me. A selection feature like so many programs and web apps nowadays would be even better. ‘Select all’, ‘select none’, and check boxes next to all the names. While we are on it, how about an option to join the same channels your other characters are in too? Oh and how about the same interface options as your other alts? I mean I don’t ever recall thinking ‘You know, this is my seventh alt, but this time I think I’m gonna play with just the one bottom bar and no side bars at all.’

    Ooh sorry, rant over =)


  2. There might be a way to do it with fondling around with the settings in your WoW folder, though that’s not really what you’re after.

    It annoys me in the same way. The worst part is definately the lack of friend space. It’s an MMO, for crying out loud! Meeting a lot of people means having to bump others off the list, in something that to me seems like offing old friends for new ones. Natural? Meh.


  3. I am also glad for the friends list notes. I wish you could transfer all your settings, friends list info, keybindings and such over to another character. I also would like to see addons enabled or disabled on a per character basis instead of when I log in.
    Just as a for instance I don’t really need decursive taking up screen space on my hunter, and I don’t need shot timers on my priest.
    Another thing that would be nice is the ability to transfer all your macros from computer to cumputer as a single unit. perhaps with a jumpdrive. I play on 2 different systems and not only do I have to rewrite all my macros twice, but I have to write them in the correct order or they will be under the wrong keybind when I log the other system.


  4. I think it is for the idea of multiple household members playing on the same account (sharing). For instance, a brother and sister getting “split” time on WoW on the same account, and not getting each other’s friends by default.



  5. First, let me say that you should check out the DoIKnowYou add-on. It’s immensely useful for keeping track of people you’ve met in PUGs and whatnot, and whether they rocked or irked you and why.

    Second, let me play Devil’s Advocate for a minute here.

    Actually, let me play the name of my character: Apanthrope. Or, “someone who shuns or lacks the company of others”. In leveling Apanthrope, I met a number of people that were leveling at about the same speed as me, and didn’t suck in PUGs, so I /friend-ed them. But when I fire up my alts, how useful are those friends going to be if they are 10/20/30 levels above or below my alt? My 12 Paladin doesn’t really care about the 68 Warlock friend.

    Sure, you are going to find some people that you really enjoy the company of and would like to be aware of no matter what the level difference. But most times aren’t they going to (eventually) be in the same guild, anyway? If nothing else, I’d argue that the teeming masses of “cool but not BFF” friends far outweigh the BFF friends to the point that I’d rather manually add the BFFs than to try to weed out the others.

    I don’t disagree with the points you are making, but there is the opposite side of the coin — if my friends list was shared between all my toons I’d go nuts. (I would, of course, accept the compromise of being able to do a selective import.)

    @Dechion – I know there’s no built-in interface for it, but the macros are in WTFAccount{Name}macros-*.txt , which you can copy to all new installs. (Aren’t you copying your WTF folder anyway so that you don’t have to manually reset your UI changes?)


  6. BBB I totally agree with you. Having an account full of alts, I would have loved to have my friends list available for each toon. It has been a huge pain to try and add them in each time I’ve made a new toon.

    Dechion: if you click the addons button it shows all the addons that are loaded in your system. There is a checkbox near the top that allows you to select the addons you want to enable/disable for each character. It just defaults to all characters. Also each character has a macro file that you can move to another computer if you want. I think it is called macros-cache.txt but can’t remember exactly since I am at work. I am not sure if that has the keybindings in it but I have used it to transfer (and edit) all of my macros in the past.

    Messyah: I am not sure if families are exempt from this but doesn’t account sharing break the blizzard ToS? I am guessing they just didn’t have it as a priority on their list of updates (maybe for technical reasons?)


  7. Just as a for instance I don’t really need decursive taking up screen space on my hunter, and I don’t need shot timers on my priest.

    But… you can do this now? Like, since forever? There was a time when, yes, you had to manually disable or enable mods when switching characters. Now though, you can enable mods by character. I forget when they actually added that, largely because I wasn’t using mods before the change went in.

    I have Necrosis enabled only on my ‘Lock, PallyPower on my Paladin, Gatherer on my Hunter, etc…


  8. Imagine if you were in the business of leveling and selling alts. And every alt you sold had a copy of your friends list from every toon you own.


  9. Rick, to be honest, with the comments implemented you can now make notes of who is whom on your list.

    I cannot see anything in what you said that indicates that having a shared friend list, plus a ‘character specific page’, exactly the same as the MACRO system has in place already, wouldn’t be a big, BIG improvement. Especially if you could drag and drop friends from one list to the other. To have a consistent, persistant friends list with lingering history, unlimited in size, would be a good thing.

    Raymond… I don’t know if that was another ‘hypothetical’ or devils advocate POV… but if someone reading this blog is a powerleveler, leveling a toon only to sell it and it’s account to another player, then you’re reading the wrong damn blog.

    I don’t see how you could imagine that anything done on one account would transfer over to another account, even if both are on the same computer… but if they did, if it did inconvenience a powerleveler for cash, then I’d applaud, and hold a party with hats and balloons and spiked punch.

    And I’d encourage any customer of such a service, after they do as I direct and punch themselves in the face several times, to start sending goldselling spam to all the ‘friends’ on the list they just inherited.

    Is that harsh? Do you think?



  10. More importantly, why when you ‘ignore’ someone does it not ignore the account?!

    It would seriously cramp the gold sellers AND stop the nubs from rolling 10 second alts to continue grieving you after you ignored their main.


  11. @Hmm thanks for the heads up about how to select the addons-per-character. @Ellis, sorry must have missed the patch note and kept on as I always have.

    Also @Hmm and Rick O, thanks for the heads up on moving my macros, in the past I have just left the game files alone and reworked everything by hand. After what I had read about any tinkering with the game files being a bannable offense I left them alone. I just never looked any further into it.


  12. I’m not saying that powerleveling or selling toons is right, just that it is being done.

    As for your blog and powerleveling, like it or not, your blog with it’s indepth guides and knowlege will lead to and encourage powerleveling. Mainly because you try to be the best damn Tanking Druid you can be, and you share that knowlege with others so that they can be the best. And I imagine that powerleveling is all about being the best in the most efficient way possible. So telling powerlevelers to go somewhere else seems painfully hypocritical.

    BTWI like your blog and your writing and ranting and raving. I find it insightful and entertaining. And at this point I am just arguing to develop a conversation, not just contradiction. And No, I don’t need “Getting hit in the head.” lessons either.


  13. It wasn’t the friends list that got me the most. It was the ignore list. If the individual was bad enough for me to /ignore, then I still don’t want to acknowledge their presence.

    Yes, there are addons that will share the info, but I still tend to run with as few addons as possible – I may have upgraded my computer but it’s still not a gaming platform. So I too wish Blizzard would add that little function to the system.


  14. @Hmm and @Ellis Noob update, got home from work and set up all my addons per character…how in the &%&$* did I never notice that tab, LOL

    thanks again for the heads up.


  15. The other thing they need, not only to share friendslists between alts, is for me to mark myself some way so that if I’m on your friends list, you see all my alts! So I don’t have to log in and say, ‘Add me to your friends list… and also add these 9 names. They’re my alts.’.

    Obviously, sometimes you want to be an alt because you don’t want people to know who you are, so there should be some way of selecting, in interface or something, to not see you on alt-friendslist.


  16. @kikidas – ah, yes, forgot one really, really big one.

    Why the crap do I have to remember to add my alts to the friends list? I mean, if it’s on friends it makes mailing easy (especially when other players have names close to mine for whatever reason.)


  17. While I agree whole heartedly that the friends list could be much more effective if they cross migrated the list in this way I would also like it if, when I deal one on one with someone I am having stuff crafted, I could hit on something LIKE an inspect feature, that details all of the OTHER items they are qualified to make.

    If they added a search feature to the Armory that allowed me an opportunity to find all of the crafters of say, a Belt of Blasting, on my server, I would be very happy. Sadly, this feature STILL evades Blizzard’s radar…


  18. @ Seanguy – Blizzard desperately clings to the idea of players having to interact with each other. Is there any other reason enchanters can’t just make scrolls or something and put them up on the auction house instead of having to bark, beg and steal to get enchanting business? I agree that a search feature like that would be a huge plus since it would eliminate some of the “is there anyone in the guild that can do X?” chatter from guild chat. I suspect that this will someday go by the wayside…since it would be logical and much more useful than knowing, for example, their reputation with Sporegar.


  19. @Pablo, oh, there’s a wish. I hated being an enchanter due to the standaround requirement. “Anybody need bracers enchanted? Anyone? Oh, you’re over THERE? …”

    I am stunned by the idea of an enchant scroll created by the enchanter. It’s a brilliant idea, and I wish (though doubt) Blizzard would execute it.


  20. BBB,

    I agree completely with your point about friends. I wish they would also go one step further like City of Heroes.

    Why isn’t there an Account Friends option?
    It should require an accept by the other account (like becoming a guild member)
    But then, no matter how many alts my RL friends make, I can still see them online.
    Better yet, make it look across realms, so I can see when my RL friends are playing on another server, where we all have alts.
    Even better, allow me to whisper my friends on another realm.

    Sure there are some possible issues with this :), but this is an MMO with lots of encouragement for interacting with RL friends.



  21. “This is not a statement about addons. Talking about what some 3rd party independant programmer came up with will not advance the discussion at all.”

    I beg to differ. The mass majority of “advancements” made in the default UI have been because of addons. Blizzard makes the UI the way they feel they need to. Players find it is inadequate for their needs, and plug the holes with addons. Eventually Blizzard sees that there’s high demand for certain types of addons and plugs the holes themselves (sometimes still not to the players’ satisfaction).

    Nearly the entire raid UI came about by absorbing the features of high-demand addons. The new combat log, LFG system, multi-item mail, tweaks to the AH, the loot roll frames, opt-out loot, click-casting (although there’s no official interface, the entire system that Clique and addons like it use is Blizzy’s code)… really it’s hard to take the release day UI compared to the current one and be able to find new features that were not taken from addons or 3rd party apps.

    So, on that note… I’ll just say, go get an addon to do this for you! I know a certain bearish addon dev that wrote one of his own…


  22. Tekkub!! When I read BBB’s post I immediately thought of your addon. I just hadn’t had time to post the link yet.

    Lookey that, BBB. You have addon legends posting in your blog. Wooo!


  23. BBB, you quoted VMars in Shifting Perspectives and made my heart twitter. *hands you a cookie*

    A global friends list that links to account rather than character scares the crud out of me.

    I played a ton of Guild Wars and having all your characters be the same Person had the super downside of only being able to be in one guild was Muy Painful. It was impossible to have one alt in a RL friend guild and then another in a hardcore pvp guild and etc etc. It caused a decent amount of strife that I saw. Sometimes you wanna be in a couple guilds and be able to have multiple social circles that might not all intersect nicely.

    In that kind of situation I don’t want all my alts linked to my main. Also sometimes I just wanna make a silly new alt to test a class I know I will be horrible at playing and I don’t want people seeing my secret sucking shame. <..> maybe I am too paranoid.


  24. gt,

    I know what you mean :). While I love the social interaction, sometimes I just want to play without the usual crowd.

    What about if each character has to opt in to the account option? Then at least it is only one-click away.
    Or what about doing it like many chat programs, you can set it to show you offline?


  25. While I agree that a universal Friend tracking system might be less than ideal, it could be easily solved by allowing users to select which alts are ‘pulic’ and which ones are ‘private’…


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