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 the new 'Free to Play' Starter Edition has to offer.
One such group is the F2P twink community who play 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.