Rogue, The In-Game Browser


While I think we’d all be happier if games just alt-tab’d properly 100% of the time, there is now a way to browse the internet while still playing World of Warcraft, and at least a small number of other games. Rogue, the in-game browser, is here. I’ve had a bit of play with it this morning and found it to still be rather buggy. I couldn’t get it to disappear in Portal, which they claim it works okay with, and it seemed to cause a major performance hit in Eve, which they do not support. Worked fine with CoD4. Probably worth waiting a few months and seeing if the browser is still in development before taking the plunge. But then again, it is free…

A small flock of readers mailed us about this, thanks chaps.

23 Comments

  1. cliffski says:

    I never understand why WoW is a success when people get bored enough whilst playing to
    a)pay Chinese people to do it for them or
    b) surf the web whilst ‘playing’ it.

  2. Alex May says:

    That’s exactly *why* it’s a success though – people are still playing it even when not much is happening. Other games would get switched off but WoW keeps people subscribed by providing nice environments and plenty of medium to long term goals to keep the player interested.

  3. spinks says:

    Talk about misleading names. I was hoping it would let you play rogue as well as browse!

  4. mikeful says:

    Try next best thing. play roguelike made with Flash. ;) link to thetombs.com

  5. The Sombrero Kid says:

    using this with steam is pretty dangerous

  6. Ryx says:

    Sombrero, unless it actually changes the EXE or DLL files it won’t get you banned.

  7. Seniath says:

    Curious.

    (As an aside, running WoW in maximised windowed mode makes alt-tabbing painless)

  8. Heliocentric says:

    How good is it with battlefield 2? Might make project realitys occasional massive waiting times more fun. Don’t get me wrong, slowing people down is a massive part of play balance on a multiplayer game. You want failure to be meaningful. But, no reason waiting can’t be made more interesting.

  9. yns88 says:

    I know it certainly should be possible to use the Steam overlay to browse the web with some javascript hacks, though I’d really prefer if Valve just added the support natively.

  10. Aftershock says:

    Valve are working on plugins for the steam overlay.
    Also, i don’t know why this is getting so much coverage, it’s been done way before.
    Playxpert
    It also includes a multi-protocol IM, so you can MSN, AIM, Xfire chat, to your hearts content.

  11. Arnulf says:

    Way more practical I find tools that reparent a game window and make it pseudo-fullscreen. That way I can have the game running in the background and at the same time use my preferred web browser.

    Tools like Evemon (http://evemon.battleclinic.com) for EVE. And FFXI Windower (link to windower.faservers.net) for Final Fantasy XI.

    Although both of these games have their own windowed and fullscreen modes, they minimize from fullscreen whenever I alt-tab to my browser. With the tools I can alt-tab and the game window stays open in the background. It’s almost like a desktop wallpaper mode.

  12. Dolphan says:

    I already run WoW in a window covering half the screen while I watch TV (iplayer etc) in the other half. Two activities that I might get individually bored of manage to keep me entertained in combination.

  13. Incolas says:

    We have something similar in the works at Xfire (I work at Xfire). It’s working in GW only for now but allows to display youtube while in game for example: link to xfire.com.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Cooper42 says:

    Or.

    Launch from steam, shift+tab and go to the community page and put in whatever page you want…

    I would love to have seen FireFox embedded in steam instead…

  15. Pags says:

    Just play your games windowed. If you’re not really paying that much attention to the game anyway, what’s the point having it in fullscreen?

  16. Naurgul says:

    Hopefully, the Steam overlay will get this functionality eventually. I hate having a separate application for every little thing. With that said, it’s a good idea.

  17. Andy F says:

    I’m in the “play in a window” crowd. I have a 1680×1050 monitor, and run WoW at 1440×900 windowed, so I have a bit of space around the edges to keep an eye on things like IM, Gmail, or switch to a browser on long gryphon rides (or when I need to look something up).

    For games like WoW this works ok, but for things like Outrun or Half-Life, I’ll be playing full-screen because the pace and intensity of those sorts of games demands more concentration.

  18. jonfitt says:

    If I catch any teammates browsing during a game of L4D they’ll be catching the full force of my scorn. By which I mean my Auto-Shotgun.

    It seems like MMO’s are really the only places where this is really useful, because they’re pretty dull at times.

    I could see a case for Steam having their chat app hook into Skype/AIM/MSMess etc.

  19. Wedge says:

    Yeah, if you have a computer that doesn’t even flinch running Source, you can throw this in your launch options

    “-sw -w 1600 -h 1280 -noborder”

    Where of course you would use your own desktop resolution. It’ll run the game in what visually appears to be fullscreen, but is actually windowed mode, so you can alt-tab and even have windows on top of the game damn near flawlessly. Of course the game won’t be happy if it’s actively playing and you’re trying to view windows on top of it, but it’s great for checking anything when you’re in menus or pause the game.

  20. malkav11 says:

    I just have two computers. That way my internet stuff has no chance of breaking my gaming.

    (Well, I have four computers, to be honest, but I only use two of them on a day to day basis.)

  21. SPEEDCORE says:

    I have 2 PC’s as well. Lets start a guild!

  22. TheSombreroKid says:

    i meant it might crash your pc not get you banned

  23. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Aye. I dual-monitor everything and use windowed screens when playing most things. It makes life a lot easier to look something up on Wowhead and then glance over while in the game to make sure I’m doing the right thing.

    Honestly, games being able to hook into IM somehow would be way better, simply because the above paragraph is a bald-faced lie and I don’t play WoW; if anything, I just use it as a chat program.