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3-16-2012 @ 1:24PM
The annual pass did say "as soon as" for the first day it was available. By the second day, the wording had been changed.
3-16-2012 @ 1:41PM
I remembered reading that too!And this, reporded by our dear Wow Insider on October 21st: "You will also gain access to the beta of the next World of Warcraft expansion as soon as it goes live."I wonder, if I signed up while that phrase was still up, will I get it immediately? ;)
3-16-2012 @ 1:53PM
Well, one thing to consider is that the term "beta" really doesn't have any specific meaning anymore.So Blizzard could very well have a testing phase of the sort that in the past they would have called a beta, but instead this time they call it a "pre-beta test". And that wording alone is enough to allow Blizzard to not invite the Annual Pass members.So, as to when you'll get access? You'll get access as soon as Blizzard calls it a "beta"; but there's no way of knowing what they might decide to call a beta.
3-16-2012 @ 2:22PM
@hwachaIf you signed up while that text was printed, you would legally be entitled to access to the beta as soon as it was available because this was a term of the wow annual pass contract. This is assuming, of course, that there's not some other fine print which gives Blizz discretion to delay the date. If you did sign up with this language and Blizzard refused to grant you day-1 beta access, Blizzard would be in breach of their obligations under your contract. If blizzard breached it's contract you would be entitled to:(a) money damages;(b) (possibly. see below) rescission of the contract (wherein you are refunded your money and released from your obligation to sign on for 12 months, but Blizzard would also be released from its corresponding obligations); OR (NOT AND)(c) an order of specific performance requiring blizzard to give you day-1 beta access. (you could only get this if you knew in advance you weren't going to get day-1 access. Obviously, you can't be given retroactive access).To receive any of these remedies, you'd have to at least send a demand letter to blizzard and possibly sue them if they don't concede to your demand. I see several practical or other difficulties though. First, how do you calculate money damages for a lack of Beta access? $5 per day? $15 per month (same as the subscription fee)? You'd probably never be able to dream up enough in money damages for it to be worth your money (or even time) to sue Blizzard. Second, if you wanted to go the rescission route, you'd have to prove that Blizzard's breach of contract by failing to give you day-1 beta access was a *substantial* term of the WoW annual pass contract. You could prove this by showing that for you, immediate access to the Beta was a primary or significant inducement for you to sign up for the annual pass (i.e. without day-1 beta access you wouldn't have signed up)Third, if you wanted to get a court order forcing Blizzard to allow you access to the beta, you'd have to file a motion for a preliminary injunction. You'd have to convince a court that your claim was likely meritorious (i.e. that you have a strong case on paper, which I think you could do if you have a screenshot of the "as soon as it's available" language) you'd probably win) and also that injunctive relief, rather than plain old money damages is the appropriate course of action. I'd say it's a toss-up on whether a court would force blizzard to grant you Beta access.So, technically, yes you would be entitled to day-1 beta access, but Blizz could most likely easily screw you out of it because it knows the red-tape and logistical barriers to you gaining day-1 access are substantial. If you really took it to a court, though, blizzard would probably just give you beta access as quick as you could. I bet you could get a case on and a preliminary motion before a court within about 1-2 weeks. Once it hit Blizzard's lawyers, they'd probably just give you a beta key and have you sign a settlement agreement making the case go away.
3-16-2012 @ 5:21PM
Yeah, I think the author missed that part of the letter. I think this was the real question: Can a company (Blizzard) change the language of an agreement later on and grandfather the new words to people who signed the agreement before the changes?
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