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Posts with tag Battlenet

Battle.net store gets a massive makeover

Way back in December 2012, a change was made so that you couldn't get any physical items from the Battle.net store in Europe. We even spoke about it in a couple of articles here on WoW Insider, with EU Community Manager Takralus informing the community that, thanks to an extensive revamp taking place on the battle.net store, the EU version was out of commission for anything but downloadable items.

And now that revamp seems to have arrived. The image above is a screengrab of what you'll see if you head over to us.battle.net/shop, or follow any other links to the shop that you might come across. Alas, for the time being at least, it seems like physical items are absent from the US store as well as the EU one, but there are some other interesting changes.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

New Battle.net desktop client datamined

New Battlenet client datamined
MMO-Champion have been very busy datamining, as is their way, and have happened upon some files that indicate that a new launcher may well be appearing before too long. What they have found indicates that there is a battle.net launcher coming that will shift away from separate game-by-game launchers, towards an integrated launcher for all Blizzard games. Looking at the background files which have been datamined, it looks like WoW, Diablo, and Starcraft will be included, but also the older Warcraft RTS games.

Each major game group appears to have its own section, which itself includes breaking news, general information, and links to things like patch notes, guides, account management, help and support and more. There is also a news section which encompasses the news across all the games you have installed.

It is important to note that this currently appears to be datamined information and should be treated appropriately. It is always best not to pass judgement on such things until an official position on the veracity of early reports is released. But, that being said, whatever this turns out to be looks great.

Filed under: Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: How do you pay to play?

Breakfast Topic How do you pay to play
Logging on to do my dailies last night, I was confronted by this dread error message. What horrible doom had befallen me? Oh, I'd forgotten to pick up a new game time card. While I'd previously given Blizzard my credit card information and let them bill me as needed, lately I've gone the game card route -- mostly because it was easy to pick up game time cards using gift cards after the holidays. But I have a feeling that laziness will win out moving forward and get me back on a credit card subscription plan. That way I can never forget and get this login error again... though on the flip side, it also means I could go weeks without playing and still pay for it.

And what about you? How do you pay to play?

How do you pay to play?
I pay month to month with a credit card.2280 (45.8%)
I pay several months at a time with a credit card.1958 (39.3%)
I pay with game time cards.745 (15.0%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Now approaching two years of Real ID -- did it work?

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It's been just about two years since the Real ID feature was introduced to World of Warcraft. This feature unintentionally created some of the hottest debates when it was introduced, largely because it meant the friends you chatted with on Real ID would be able to see your first and last name. The topic became even more heated when it was announced that player's real names would be automatically shown on Blizzard's forums, something that went over like a lead balloon.

I mentioned from the beginning, on a quiet post on my old blog (Warning: language) that while I thought the feature was interesting enough, it wasn't interesting enough for me to use it. So where do I stand, two years later? I have exactly five people on my Real ID, and they're all coworkers with one exception, a friend I wanted to help out on a cross-server raid. I still don't care for Real ID, but it does come in handy every now and again. I'm still not going to use it widely.

So two years after all the roaring, screeching, and general madness ... how did Real ID go over? Was it a success?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

World of Warcraft and Battle.net web services currently down [Updated]

For reasons unknown, World of Warcraft and Battle.net web services are all down for the count this morning. Social media speculation lays blame at the feet of Diablo III, but judging by my barbarian's continued ability to run roughshod over Azmodan's legions, that may not be the case -- the Diablo III service appears to be operating perfectly fine.

Of course, the possibility remains that some aspect of Diablo III's current operations is placing excessive strain on other areas of Battle.net's infrastructure, and the targeted blame may yet be accurate. We have yet to see a statement from Blizzard on the downtime, but we will update you as soon as we do.

Update: The game-side issue appears to be an issue with the login server. If you are already logged into World of Warcraft ... don't log off if you want to keep playing!

Update #2: The Battle.net downtime appears to have been resolved.

Filed under: News items

Learn the basics of Diablo 3 gameplay

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Since Diablo II was released 12 years ago, it's safe to say that Diablo III will be the first Diablo title many people will have ever played. When we first mentioned that we would be providing some coverage of Blizzard's point-and-click dungeoneering action title, one of the first requests we received was a guide to Diablo basics. How do you play the game? What does it have in common with WoW?

We have you covered.

The core of Diablo gameplay is the mouse click. You do everything from combat to looting to movement with your mouse, and your interactions with your keyboard are extremely minimal overall. On Twitter recently, I noticed many people mentioning they were buying a new mouse specifically to use with Diablo III -- and that's not a bad idea. No, we're not talking a brand new $80 Razer Naga; we're talking some $10 to $15 thing you can pick up off of a department store shelf. You want a mouse that you're not going to mourn when your buttons inevitably give out from the mountain of abuse you're about to unleash upon them. Grab something cheap and disposable so that when it dies, you will consider it a victory -- just another technological corpse for the bone pile.

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Filed under: Diablo 3

Reminder: Watch out for Mists of Pandaria beta invite scams

Email notifications for the Mists of Pandaria beta have started arriving in people's inboxes -- and this means that we'll likely see an upswing in beta invite scams, as well. If you have received an email stating that you've been invited to participate in the Mists beta, be aware of the following:
  • Don't click any link in the email. Blizzard will never ask you for your account information via email, nor will it usually provide any kind of link to click on.
  • Do head to Battle.net. Type the URL into your browser (don't follow a search or email link) and use the secure login on that page to log into your account.
If you have been invited for the first round of Mists beta, you will see your normal World of Warcraft: Cataclysm account listed under your game accounts -- and underneath that, you will see a listing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Beta. If you do not see a link to the Mists of Pandaria beta under your game accounts, you are not in this round of testing, and the email you were sent was a fake.

The same applies with beta keys as well. If you receive a notification with a beta key, do not click on any links in the email. Go to your Battle.net account as listed above, head to Manage My Games, choose Add or Upgrade a Game, and manually enter the beta key. If the beta key works, you're in; if it doesn't work, you may have been the recipient of a fake key.

Remember, any time there is a beta or a trial period for a new game, there will usually be an upswing in attempts to nab accounts, too. Keep your account safe -- and if you made it in the beta, have fun!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Account Security, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria beta opt-in and official FAQ

It's 10 p.m. Pacific, and the fine folks have a little surprise for us all of a sudden: the Mists of Pandaria opt-in and FAQ has just been posted on the official Battle.net blog. While there are over a million Annual Pass subscribers eagerly awaiting their chance to get into the beta, the developers may still need a more diverse spread of testers throughout the beta.

To opt in, you will need a Battle.net account with at least one Blizzard game attached to it -- I'm sure everyone reading this has one of those, right? You can read the full FAQ on Battle.net or behind the cut below.

This FAQ does detail how and when Annual Pass holders will be entering the beta, so those of you who have signed up for that should take a look.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Should there be a hide option for RealID?

No matter how much we may love playing with our guilds and friends, sometimes we just want to take some time off and play in single-player mode. However, with the pervasiveness of the RealID system, is it truly feasible to go off the grid to do this? Syl over at Raging Monkeys attempts to tackle this very problem, arguing enthusiastically that we should be allowed this option, that it would not only be convenient but also would benefit those relationships we have built both in-game and out.

Personally, I'm a bit torn on the issue. On the one hand, I can identify with this situation, as I have been there many times before. My own friends would always want to level alts together, but our goals for those characters never quite lined up. I'd find myself creating secret alts on another faction, sometimes on another server -- not only to experience more of the story and lore than I had before, but to just be alone. Of course, this was all before the RealID system was implemented, because after its debut, I was not able to start a new draenei paladin or blood elf rogue without being flooded with questions and, admittedly, a little guilt.

On the other hand, there is a very simple solution to all of this: Put your foot down. If someone asks why you're on Area 52 rolling a worgen warlock (or why you're even rolling a warlock in the first place, yuck), I think we all can agree that the best solution would be to honestly and delicately state that you need some time off, away from all of your in-game obligations -- including those inquiring minds. But is confronting your pursuers really that easy? For some, this type of thing comes naturally, and I for one am extremely envious of these people. For others, confrontation of this sort is not something we want to deal with, and the option to hide from RealID becomes a safe, albeit passive-aggressive, option.

What do you think? Is this a feature that Blizzard should be working on, or should these players find other means of enjoying the game in solitary peace?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Blizzard announces new Battle.net BattleTags

Blizzard has just announced and posted a FAQ about its upcoming Battle.net feature BattleTag, a feature separate from Real ID that connects players across all of Blizzard's games with a screen name rather than your own full name. BattleTags seems to be Blizzard's response to the community's privacy issues with Real ID, in which many players want to make new connections with people they meet in game but are not willing to share so much personal information. BattleTag will eventually have access to all of the grouping and queuing features that Real ID users currently have access to.

Not only will your BattleTag be your identifier across Blizzard games, but it will also be used as your forum handle on the community websites. These handles are not unique, so you could potentially have the same name as someone else, but you'll have an identification number that appears after your name in your profile so that people can find you and send you messages. BattleTags do not interrupt your Real ID friends or any other feature. Again, BattleTags are optional, and you are still able to post on the forums using your World of Warcraft characters or StarCraft II account. BattleTags are rolling out soon in the Diablo III beta and will be available for everyone at a later date.

Personally, this is exactly what I wanted from Real ID, now pared down to a manageable, private screen name. My real friends can stay on my Real ID list, and my online friends, guildmates, and other people can use my BattleTag. This new feature is a great response to players' concerns, and I cannot wait to try it. Hit the jump for the full FAQ and learn all about BattleTags.

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Filed under: Blizzard

Battle.net Balance funds World of Warcraft game time

We already knew that real money would play a role in Diablo III, but we didn't have a great deal of official word. Now, Blizzard has released a FAQ about the Battle.net Balance providing a much deeper look at the upcoming system.

Essentially, you have a Battle.net Balance made up of points. Adding value to your Battle.net Balance is executed through charging up. You can charge up your Battle.net Balance using debit or credit cards, or sales from Diablo III auctions. Be aware, though, that you can't convert Battle.net Balance back into cash; once you put money there, it stays there. (There is an exception in some regions using PayPal, but details are scarce on that right now.)

Some of the Battle.net details are a little fuzzy right now because Blizzard is forced to deal with a lot of regional-specific laws. For example, in some regions, it'll have to empty value from a Battle.net Balance that hasn't been accessed in three years. Which regions? We don't know yet.

The most exciting bit of this news, however, is that you'll be able to purchase World of Warcraft prepaid game time using your Battle.net Balance. So if you're pretty good at the Diablo III Auction House, you might be able to kiss your subscription fee goodbye.

Filed under: News items

Predicting Battle.net's social future

If you think we've scratched the surface of Battle.net cross-game implementation with Real ID, you are going to be amazed at what is coming next. Do I know any of this for sure? No, of course not. I base my predictions on three simple facts:
  1. Blizzard has created an account-based loyalty program that has encapsulated each and every one of its games;
  2. Blizzard is chock-full of smart individuals who understand community, as illustrated by the new community website; and
  3. Blizzard has made your account mean something into perpetuity.
If you think Battle.net is sharp at 2.0, you can't even imagine 3.0.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

New Battle.net site is live

The URL may include the word "beta," but the new Battle.net site is live and seems to be fully functional. Some changes we've noticed at first glance are:
  • Complete change to the interface and navigation.
  • You can check a box to stay logged in.
  • It gives the status of their franchises.
What's not there: an ability to chat with Real ID friends from the browser. Ah well.

We don't know as of yet when the old Battle.net site will be phased out, but we'll keep you posted.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Customizing and opting out of Real ID

This is not a discussion of the good (yay, crossrealm chat!) and the bad (boo, privacy fail) of Real ID. This is a guide for how to truly opt out of this feature and how to adjust the settings if you do participate in game.

To be clear, everyone who does not have a parentally controlled account has in fact opted into Real ID, due to a security flaw. Addons have access to the name on your account right now. So you need to be very careful about what addons you download -- make sure they are reputable. In order to actually opt out, you need to set up parental controls on your account. This is not an easy task. Previous to the Battle.net merge, you could just go to a page and set them up. Done. Now, you must set up an account as one that is under parental control. Once your account is that of a child's (a several-step process), your settings default to Real ID-disabled. Any Real ID friends you have will no longer be friends. In order to enable it, you need to check the Enable Real ID box.

Setting up parental controls:
  1. Go to the appropriate battle.net site for your region. (That link should take you there.)
  2. Push the Create or Manage a Battle.net Account button.
  3. Log in as normal.
  4. Click on Parental Controls, which is an option listed under Manage My Games. (And, if you're like me, you'll be sad that you are still not in the beta.)
  5. Choose the No - Setup Parental Controls button.
  6. Fill in your info as both the child's account and your own. (Why they make this distinction, I don't know. Parental controls always used to be an option for adults to manage their own game time.)
  7. You will receive an email. You need to save this email, because the link in there is the only way to get to the parental controls. Otherwise, you have to make Blizzard resend it. Click the link to get into the controls.
  8. Save Settings and then be told it will take up to 30 minutes to go into effect.
That is how to opt out. How to optimize opting in is after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Account Security

Battle.net Real ID preview and FAQ

We're getting a lot of info today about Battle.net's new features. First it was Facebook integration and now a full explanation of the Real ID features. We previewed some of the features of Real ID before and there were some concerns. This Battle.net feature is completely voluntary and requires mutual acceptance. So the only people who will be your Real ID friends are the ones that you agree to (and they have to agree as well).

Real ID features
  • Real names for friends Your Real ID friends' names will appear next to their characters.
  • Cross-Game chat You will be able to talk to your Real ID friends cross realm and in other games like StarCraft II and Diablo III.
  • Rich Presence You will be able to snoop see what games and modes your Real ID friends are playing. So you'll know if they are just hanging around Dalaran. And they'll know the same about you.
  • Broadcast You can broadcast short messages to all of your Real ID friends and view recent messages that they have broadcast.
  • Friend once, see all characters Real ID friends can see all of each other's characters. All. You won't be able to pick and choose which ones can be seen, unless they are on another Battle.net account.
Again, both friends have to agree to become Real ID friends and this will not be a mandatory feature of Battle.net. This is obviously a feature that you will want to use only with people that you don't mind knowing what Blizzard game you are playing on which character and where.

The complete Real ID FAQ is after the break.

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Filed under: News items

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