World of Warcraft has been putting its fan-base into a unique position that no other MMO does by allowing the people who play the game to make up additional add-on programs to alter the fundamental way that the game is played. Standard add-ons alter information displayed during the course of play, from time/kills needed to level up, to amount of damage done since grouping with someone. Advanced add-ons keep track of all quest information needed to complete a quest with the least amount of effort. Warcraft Programming is a one thousand odd page book designed to walk any hardcore players into making a working version of their own add-on for the game.
Warcraft Programming is a reference guide designed to instruct the hardcore Warcraft fan into designing a working add-on program. Nothing about this entire process that has ever been anything less than intimidating, as the entire process itself is basically redesigning a game into either playing or appearing in a different way, with that said, this book does take massive steps toward making the process seem doable.
While simply explaining the concepts of programming for WoW, why it is needed and what programs are used would probably be enough for a beginners book, this seems to want to span across the game and be an omnibus of information on how to program. The former seems to be the strongest point for the book, and the latter seems to be the weakest. It is a commendable effort, but it seems like this book tries to tackle too much at once for a group of people that might be struggling to understand the concept at first.
Most of the information, including forms of the reference charts, is available from various placing around the internet. The massive advantage to this book is that while nothing can ever be done to make programming easy enough for most people to want to do it, this guide makes it accessible enough that it becomes reasonable to achieve. The book devoted to beginners seems rather well paced enough that the devoted will be able to gather all of the skills needed to eventually progress far enough to start producing unique and needed add-ons for WoW.
Sections devoted to the more advanced programming seemed thorough enough, though I must admit that I am not an expert at writing add-ons and it may be missing some super high ending coding trickery. This is rather where the book starts lacking what can be readily found on the net, as at least in most communities when something starts going wrong with add-ons other can be sought for assistance. Considering that the moment Blizzard releases any update, almost every single add-on requires to be updated, almost reinforces that the more advanced programs that the book starts to hint at making almost require assistance to be sought from forum members.
None of this is to say that this book is not a great place to start for someone that is looking to get into making applets for Warcraft. As a defined point, in a sea of what used to be endless information on the subject, this book serves rather well for someone who is interested in seriously jumping into the topic. For those that already known what they are doing and have started to establish themselves in the programming community this book still manages to be a handy quick reference guide to check from time to time, but it doesn’t change that the moment that anything at all changes you may still need to go running for help.