Los Angeles Area Cyber Cafes for WoW?
May 29, 2009 12:44 PM   Subscribe

What's a good, clean, safe cybercafe/lan party place with decent computers in Los Angeles? Objective: 5 hours of World of Warcraft.

A catastrophic billing error has put me without internet access at home for the next two weeks. But, I run a world of warcraft raid guild, so that's clearly not acceptable. All my neighbors are rightfully paranoid and have protected wireless networks.

What's the best way for me to get back up and raiding, given that I have to get out of the house to do so? Have raid-capable laptop with 802.11g/n, blizzard authenticator, car, and UNENDING TWITCHING FROM NOT BEING ABLE TO DO MY DAILIES FOR MORE THAN 2 DAYS NOW
posted by felix to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When are the raids scheduled? That'll be useful for everyone to know if they happen to have a favorite cyber cafe in mind - hours of operation are key. After all, most of the raiding I've done has been in the middle of the night which would rule out the idea of anything other than a 24 hour location.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:27 PM on May 29, 2009

Mod note: A couple comments removed. More with the helping with location, less with the WoW-usage counseling, please, jokey hyperbole in the framing notwithstanding.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:51 PM on May 29, 2009

Response by poster: Raids scheduled in the afternoon and evenings -- ending as late as 9:30 pm, beginning as early as 3:00 pm.
posted by felix at 2:00 PM on May 29, 2009

Is there not a public library nearby where you could pick up wifi?
posted by Quidam at 2:05 PM on May 29, 2009

How well do you know the neighbors? Is it an option at all to ask one of them to let you piggy back on their network for two weeks? Especially if you offer to pay them for using it?
posted by bowmaniac at 2:05 PM on May 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

Hm, I'm not so sure the trick is finding an open wi-fi spot, so much as it is finding someplace you can talk since you're a raid leader?

It's not quite a cyber cafe, but my alma mater (in the South) had private study rooms for students to use. Granted you're not a student and aren't there to study so it might not be the most ethical thing in the world, but positioning the laptop in a way so people couldn't see your screen and having a textbook out would pass the smell test. The only catch is if they have a wireless authentication portal, though some rooms also had Ethernet connections to bypass that alltogether. Heck your local library might have private study rooms.

You're a raid leader, but is there any chance you could pass off mic duties to a class officer or something for the two weeks? My old guild did this in MC once we started BWL to help train new officers. I've seen plenty of people play games at coffee shops on their laptops, though they might not appreciate 5 hours worth.

I know some bus drivers, and their method of madness during games is "wardriving" until they find a hotel's open hotspot and sit there for hours in their parking lot. If you had a power adapter, could use your car for juice.

Oh, I like bowmaniac's idea. Best solution yet I think.
posted by jmd82 at 2:11 PM on May 29, 2009

How about the airport? Wireless is often either free or around $9 a day. There are plenty of people hanging out in airports for hours on end, so I doubt you would draw much attention. Ventrilo might also be possible...it's no worse than someone chatting on a bluetooth.
posted by tryniti at 3:35 PM on May 29, 2009

Cautionary note about using a public institution's wireless (or wired) connection. I used to work for a satellite campus library and, while a patron's traffic wasn't necessarily monitored, their bandwidth usage most certainly was. The only thing pulling more bandwidth than WoW was generally file-sharing. These users were politely asked to desist.

Guild chat/forum for someone willing to let you plug in at their house if you bring beercheetospizza? Co-workers who also play might be another option. I work with many of my guildies (it's their fault I ever got started really) and we sometimes group up in IRL to raid because it's more entertaining than using Vent.

At the very least, you have my sympathies... If you're Horde.

--Huffenmäut / Valheru Shadows / Cenarion Circle
posted by Fezboy! at 3:40 PM on May 29, 2009

iActiveNet is great fun. Don't let the retro site design turn you off; the equipment is new, the place is clean, the chairs are comfy -- and it is stupid cheap.
posted by Methylviolet at 7:12 PM on May 29, 2009

I'm gonna second just asking the neighbors.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:22 AM on May 30, 2009

Best answer: Bizarre. This is about the only time I've ever failed to get a good response from askmefi.

However, here are the good options:

Howie's (http://www.howies.com) - 3 locations in Orange County. I went to the closest one, across from the Knott's Berry Farm theme park in the mall. The staff was immature, not super knowledgeable, but ultimately helpful. The big bonus here was the PCs -- they're all very high spec equipment, very well maintained, and there's about 300 of them. I brought my laptop, but they didn't allow hookups, so I just used one of theirs. It was frankly way better than the PC I have at home. They had a fair selection of WoW mods, but no dot timers. The main problem with this place is how loud it is -- there's also around 300 XBoxes where a bunch of kids are yelling all the time, loud explosions, rock music, etc. The network was fast and lag was low.

Dizelan - 1 location in Azusa. Your standard cave-style mini-mall LAN cafe. Bonus: has been in business for a while, and the guy was knowledgeable, helpful and smart. Negatives: the PCs are quite old (19" sony trinitron monitors, 768M RAM); it's a very small place so there's only like 10 PCs; and there's loud XBox stuff going on right there too. However, they appear to allow hookups, so I might be able to bring my own laptop to this one and get some serviceable WoW in. Network appeared fairly fast when I stopped in to test it out.

There's also a place called 'egame lan center' or somesuch in City of Industry, said to be another cave-style place, open 24 hours. I'll probably make do with Howie's or Dizelan, so I didn't go test it out.

I'm pretty surprised there's no obvious option still in business on the west side...guess everyone on the west side has their own PCs?
posted by felix at 10:26 AM on June 1, 2009

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