Originally WoW's trial accounts could chat freely, and invite people to groups, however, once gold sellers started using trial accounts to spam messages to paying players, restrictions were put on trials to prevent them from being used in this way.
While there was a time limit on trials, those restrictions were not so much of a problem for the people using them, as they would not have long enough to form communities of trial players, but now that the time limit has been removed, groups of players are taking advantage of what 'Free to Play' has to offer.
One such group is the F2P twink community, based at twinkinfo.com, who play mainly on the Aerie Peak - US realm.
This addon was made to support that community.
How it started out
Originally it started off as a simple macro, which sent the same whisper to everyone on your friends list (because trials can send whispers to people who have added them as friends). It progressed into an addon when the character limit on macros got in the way, and it was decided that seeing upward of 30 outgoing whispers in your chat window was a bit much, and they needed to be hidden somehow. Since then more basic functions have been added, and there is now a core of code that while not used to it's full potential, will allow many more functions to be added in future.
What this addon does not do
It does not allow trials to send unsolicited messages to any other players. The only people who can recieve a message from a trial running this addon, are other players who are running the addon.
It is the author's understanding that unlike the trial's level, tradeskill and gold amount limits - which have always existed so that there is differentiation between trials and payed accounts - the restrictions on using public chats and being able to invite anyone to a party (and so message them in party chat), were put in place only to prevent gold spamming, and that so long as a trial remains incapable of gold spamming, any addon which allows them to chat and helps them form parties with the help of consenting paying players, should remain acceptable to the game's developers.
Blizzard have been made aware of this addon. It has been reported to them as a 'bot' because the invite functions do automatically respond to invite requests. However, Blizzard's definition of 'automation', as far as the ToS is concerned, is very different from that of less informed players, and no action has been taken against players for using this addon.
What this addon does do
- Subscribes the player to the player made chat channel 'f2ptwink'.
- If no chat frame is assigned to show messages from that channel, it assigns the default chat frame to show them.
- Adds everyone who is in the channel to your friends list* (so that you can receive whispers from them).
- Acts as a wrapper around the channel, so that while a trial may not actually send messages to that channel, they can send messages to the other people who are running the addon. It does this by:
- Intercepting any message sent to the 'f2ptwink' channel before it triggers the 'you are not permitted to speak' message.
- Rerouting that message as an addon-to-addon whisper, to everyone on your friends list.
- Formatting messages received from other people's addons, so that they look almost identical to what a paying player's message would look like in the 'f2ptwink' channel.
- If run on a paid account the addon recognises certain whispered commands sent by players as requests to be invited into a party, allowing trials to form groups with the help of a paying player, with next to no effort from that player required.
- Assists with group queueing for battlegrounds, so that multiple groups can see when each other's queues pop, or if no paying player is online to form groups, individual players may see each other's queue statuses to synchronise their queues (being at the bottom end of a BG bracket, and having gear/enchant restrictions, it makes sense to go with friends).
*IMPORTANT - the addon will also remove offline friends from your friends list, should it reach the limit of 100. Add a note to the ones you wish to keep permanently to prevent this. If they are users of the channel they will be re-added when they next log in, so this is not usually needed.
How to use it
Chat just as you would in the normal /f2ptwink channel (if you're on a paid account you will be chatting as normal, as that part of the addon disables itself on paid accounts. You just need it to see what F2Ps are saying).
Whisper these to a P2P (pay to play) character to form groups (Hint: Open your friends list. The ones with levels over 20 are P2P).
If you want a group of less than 5:
- 'inv' - to request an invite.
- 'lead' - to ask to be made the party leader when the inviter leaves. The default person who lead will be passed to is the first one invited.
- 'close' - ask the inviter to leave.
If you want a group of 5:
- 'inv' - to request an invite.
- 'lead' - to ask to be made the group leader when the inviter leaves. The default is the first person to be invited.
By default the inviter leaves automatically after they have invited 5 people (they also automatically switch to a raid before inviting the 6th). You will need to switch your raid of 5 back into a party to be able to use LFD. BGs can be queued for as a raid of 5 though.
For P2Ps running the addon
The invite functions will be disabled whenever you are using LFD/BGs/Arenas/PvP zones (queued or actually in them), or when you are in a group but not the leader, so that people requesting invites do not kick you out of queues or mess with groups that you are already in. Otherwise, if you want to disable the inviting functions, you can use the slash command '/f2pi' to enable/disable them.
Also, for the Stranglethorn Vale fishing competition, there is a mode for the invite system where up to 39 people can join a raid with you, so that they can see each other's locations on the map (and spread out to maximise pool respawns) but they can no longer ask you to leave, or take over leadership. '/f2pi fish' will enable/disable this mode.
The slash command '/f2pq' will alternately:
- Open both the BG queueing window and the F2PQ window.
- Close just the BG queue window.
- Close the F2PQ window.
It is recommended to make a macro of the command, so that you have a button to click (and you could bind that button to use the keybind normally used for the BG queue window).
This allows you to queue up with others who aren't grouped with you, and then watch everyone's queue status to see if you all have queue pops at the same time (to maximise your chances of getting into the same BG. Alternatively you can queue up 2 or 3 groups, and try and get a 10 man premade into Warsong Gulch, or a 15 man premade into Arathi Basin.
Sometimes entries will remain in the window, as people will have logged out while queued. To clear the window use the slash command '/f2pq reset'.
Changing the chat channel that the addon uses
The slash command '/f2paddon channel newchannelname' will change the chat channel that the addon uses, for your current realm and faction (but not any others. This will also cause you to leave the current channel that the addon uses).
You will need to follow this up with a '/reload' to restart the addon completely, and will probably have to set a chat window to display messages from the new channel, once the reload has happened.
Alternatively you can just use the options panel for the addon in the main game options.
If something goes wrong with the addon
The addon's development has been primarily to support the Aerie Peak - US twinks from twinkinfo.com, so support is mainly based there, in the thread http:www.twinkinfo.com/forums/f43/yasuehs-macros-addons-f2p-21104/
Please read the instructions there before reporting errors.
- Fixed f2pq to work with the changes to the game's PVP UI code.
- Fixed the issues with the text in the options and help frames not fitting the available space at low resolutions. That's 600 lines of code just for what's in those 2 windows. This is why it took so long to add an options pane to the addon ;) Improvements:
- The /f2paddon slash command now opens the addon's options pane without going through Escape > Interface > Addons > F2PAddon.
- The addon now remembers which chat windows were set to display it's channel when you change the channel name, so you don't have to reset them.
- F2PInfo module finished. This allows the addon to display information from it's database in tooltips, when you mouseover people's names in the chat window. Should make it easier to work out who everyone is.
- The invite module now recognises the command 'p2p?', which will cause all P2P characters who are available for forming groups to say so in the channel (at least the ones running this version).
- People who aren't on your friends list, who send you whispers containing the words 'guild' or 'charter', will have their whispers hidden, and an appropriate reply sent back to them (the people who use bots to spam guild invites to the whole server will be getting a lot of replies from us ;) ). Improvements:
- Added some more items to the options page, tidied it up a bit, and added a help page too (the text might be messy on low resolution monitors because of the way the UI scales).
- If someone posts a Mogit link to the addon channel, it will now be converted to a working link, instead of just being an unlinked string of characters. Bugfixes:
- You don't need to set a leader before closing the group any more, and the groups will again close automatically once the P2P has invited 5 people (missed an API call that got changed with MoP).
- 1.2.9 wiped the addon database, but not the friends list. As friends not in the database couldn't be removed by the addon (because it was checking them to find those who hadn't logged in in ages), this lead to the friends list being stuck full. Now the addon just wipes all offline friends who don't have notes set, whenever it needs to add someone and there isn't space.
- Attempted to fix issues with the invite functions that were caused by major changes to group/raid functions that came with MoP. These changes have been tested as far as possible on the PTR, but there may still be issues.
- Deleted a lot of unused code from the addon's files that was commented out.
- The addon now has a few options available via. [Escape] > Interface > Addons > F2PAddon.
- Slightly modified database structure, to allow more per realm+faction settings, for people who play on several realms.
- The database now stores the version of the addon that created it, allowing the addon to either wipe or modify the database when updated, depending on how big a difference there is between versions.
- Outgoing messages are no longer blocked by level filters, and the option to disable blocking incoming messages from low levels or 24s is in the config menu.
- Tidied up the code a little.
- If you're channel owner, the addon no longer passes to the next most viable owner, every time someone new logs in (left a line of code uncommented).
- Now treats Wintergrasp / Tol Barad the same as BGs or queued dungeons, as far as f2pi is concerned (included Localised names for the other available languages).
- Automatically does a /reloadui if you change to a different channel.
- The /f2pi command now correctly disables all of the F2PI functions, so F2PI won't be automatically closing raids you'd like to form when it should be disabled.
- F2PI now also counts guild members as people not to send warning messages to when they send you whispers.
- The 'raid' command has been removed, because too many were using it when they didn't need to (and keeping me from doing quests ;), and because there's really nothing to do in a raid as an F2P
- Supports localisation. If you'd like contribute please edit a renamed copy of the f2ploc.enUS.lua file as far as possible and post the new contents as a ticket on the addon's page at curseforge.com.
- F2PQ entries for a player will now be removed when they leave the channel (log out/DC/whatever), so the /f2pq reset shouldn't be needed any more, unless you want a clear window for your group.
- F2PQ should now work for those with clients that use French, Spanish or German for the interface language.
- The channel that the addon uses for chat can now be changed for just the realm/faction that you are logged into, by using the command '/f2paddon channel newchannelname' (This will also cause the game to leave the currently used channel). You must give the /reload command to make the addon switch to the new channel, and may need to set one of your chat windows to diplay text from the new channel.
- Default behaviour for whispers from people who aren't on your friends list is no longer block.
- Now available from curse.com!
- Integrated F2PI into the main addon, and reworked the wording of it's messages to be a bit clearer regarding when to use the 'raid' command.
- F2PI should now disable if a GM whispers you, so they don't get a 'too low level for invites' message from you every time they say something.
- Fixed a couple of issues caused by the WoW 4.3 patch.
- Stopped calling it a beta, because people thought that alone meant there would be bugs. There are always bugs. Beta just means you want to find them ;)
- While the automatic subscribing of chat windows to show the channel may not be reliable down to a Blizzard API function providing unreliable data, the addon will now give a warning if it is receiving messages, but a chat window is not subscribed to show them in.
- The command '/f2pq reset' will now clear all the names from the F2PQ window before a group queues, in case there are some names already in the list who aren't in your group. These are caused by people DCing/logging out while queued (sorry, you'll need another macro to go with your '/f2pq' one until I learn a bit more about interface coding).
- Also rejects whispers sent by people who have joined the channel who are levels 1, 2 or 24 (the trolls can be flaming away, but no-one will even see it).
- Fixes the bug in 1.2.3b where dinging 3 or 25 didn't stop people from blocking your chat messsages. You now send an announcement if you ding those levels, so other players can immediately request your current level from /who (they don't trust that a spammer would tell them their real level).
- No longer accepts the incompatible data packets sent by the old separate F2PAchi.
- Rejects all chat messages sent by characters under level 3, or at level 24, even if they're on a payed account. Will inform them that they need to level if they are posting with addon versions from this one on. BUG: Do not enable your addon/join the channel until level 3, or other players will not see that you have levelled to stop blocking your messages, unless they open their friends list/log out/in to get your current level.
- Improved the data sending functions: Old method: Send our data to everyone on the friends list on login. New Method: Send our data to everyone on the friends list on login. Reply with our data if somone has just logged in and sent theirs.
- Data now includes a list of alts (ready for future player info functions)
- Merged F2PQ into the main addon
- Added version checking
- ChatThrottleLib wasn't included as one of the dependancies for this addon, so could only be found if used in one of your other addons. Fixed.
- Combined F2PChannelToFriend, F2PChat and F2PAchi with the early version of F2PData, as they all shared several similar functions. Released for beta testing.
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