Monday, January 25, 2010

Armory Character Feed for Twitter

With all of the shiny changes to the armory, one of the best things Blizzard added was a customizable RSS feed for your characters' recent activity. With the right settings, this can be a cool thing to add to your Twitter (or other sites if you wish), but with the wrong settings it can be a bit of a mess.

To start setting up your character's RSS feed, go to the armory and log into your BNet account, and then find the character that you'd like to start with.

Now, down on the right hand side of the page you'll see a box of Recent Activity, with the RSS icon in the top right corner. Click that icon, and we're moving on.


First, you need to select which items you'd like to update your feed with. For something that's posting to Twitter, instead of just sitting non-intrusively on a blog for example, there are things you may want to uncheck.
  • Exploration:  I'm sorry, but most of us really don't care that you've explored Borean Tundra on the 6th character. And to be honest, you probably don't really care either, except for the big milestones, such as exploring Northrend.
  • Quests: This is kinda an iffy one. Unlike Exploration, it's not likely to be very spammy, but at the same time, it is kinda... Boring. Think about it, keep or discard as you want.
  • Professions: On a leveling character, this would get old really fast. On an 80, you're much less likely to see updates, and do you really care that you just caught your 1000th fish?
  • World Events: They sit there looking innocent for most of the year, and then one week SPAAAAAM. Again, up to you. If you want the only thing your followers see to be updates about the holiday for it's entire duration, keep it. If you want to update them about other things as well, scrap it.
  • Dungeons and Raids/Player vs. Player: If you're a raider, keep D&R and consider dropping PvP. If you're a PvP'er, keep PvP and consider dropping D&R. If you do both, keep both and live with the fact that some of your successes will not be posted.
  • Achievement Criteria: Please please please for the love of all that is good and chocolaty please uncheck this. Updates about the fact that you've successfully killed a rat are just sad, and can get annoying. 
  • Boss Kills: Again, a situational one. As someone who regularly runs 5mans, I'd rather not spam ya'll with "Khiow has killed King Ymiron... again." That said, someone who only raids on their character may want to keep this, and update their followers on their progress in ICC.
Last on point #1 is the Loot settings. I suggest keeping this, but making some adjustments. We probably don't need to see every time that you win an epic in a heroic and there's no enchanter to zap it. At the same time, if you just won a totally amazing badass cloak out of ICC 25, share it! Pick a minimum item level that you think works for what you're doing, and it will only update about items that level or higher. I've got mine set to 245 atm I believe, 232 was getting me updates out of the heroic Frozen Halls, which I didn't want.

Moving on, #2. Here, you can add up to 4 different characters (for a total of 5) and have them be updated in the same feed with the same settings. To add a character, just type CharacterName@Realm and click the plus sign to the right. It'll add that one, and open the box for you to add another.

And last but not least, once you have the feed configured how you'd like it, click the copy to clipboard down at the bottom. It should automatically add the link for the RSS feed to your clipboard, and you can paste it in where you like.

Once you have your link, head over to your automatic feed updater. Most of us seem to use TwitterFeed, and as that's the only one I've messed with, that's the only directions I'll be giving. Use something else? You're screwed <3

Log into your account (Or create one if you like) and click the Create New Feed button. It should be towards the upper right of the screen.

On the first page, name the feed and paste in the link. Go ahead and test the feed with the button at the end of the line. If it says you're good, then click the "Advanced Settings" link at the bottom of the page. You can fiddle with lots of things here, but the only one we're going to worry about is the Update Frequency. For a typical armory feed, checking for updates every 30 minutes and posting 2 updates at a time seems to work best. If you find yourself wanting longer between updates, or more/less posted at a time, feel free to adjust. A word of warning though, I strongly suggest not going over 3 updates at a time. It gets spammy very very fast, and followers don't like that and become not-followers =\

Once you're done with that, click Continue to Step 2.

Here, select the Twitter link, and follow the steps to authenticate your account. If you've used this for Twitter before, you should be able to find your Twitter account in the drop down list. If not, go ahead and click the shiny blue "Authenticate Twitter" button, and obey their every command. Including the one to mail caffeine to me.  After that, click the Create Service link at the bottom, and you're all set.

More questions? Check out Blizzard's FAQ about this service.

Play around with this. There are plenty of settings, and lots of ways to customize. You may find that you don't want to have the feed updating to Twitter after all. And no pressure: You can always go back and make a new feed, and change anything you don't like.

Have fun =)

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