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Posts with tag account

Account Administration encouraged not to restore hacked characters

Please see the update to this original post.

In a stunning revelation from a veteran account administrator at Blizzard, WoW.com has learned that account administrators are being encouraged by Blizzard managers not to restore people's characters and items after their account has been ransacked by gold sellers and keyloggers. Instead, account administrators are being told to give people a "care package" and get them to accept the package in lieu of total account restoration.

If the player does not accept this care package, they are then forced to go into a character restoration queue that is consistently several days to weeks long. According to sources familiar with the situation, this "care package policy" has been implemented in order to lighten the work load of those Blizzard employees who perform account restorations. Similar policies have existed at other times account compromises have been high, such as during the transition from Vanilla WoW to The Burning Crusade.

This care package being offered consists of the following:

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: The great Battle.net merge


It was announced yesterday that Battle.net accounts would be mandatory for us World of Warcraft players. I'm not sure if November 11th is supposed to coincide with a patch drop or anything (unlikely). It's been a pain in the derriere (that's French for ass) for GMs to unmerge compromised accounts. A common tactic hackers like to use is to commandeer a WoW account and merge it with their own Battle.net account. It's not something that can be easily undone.

Of course, an announcement like this comes with all sorts of complaints. I've perused the forums on the topic and checked out some of the comments when we announced it here. Here's a few common reasons players are against it. Just for kicks, I've offered some solutions!

Read more →

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Battle.net accounts required by November 11th

As of November 11, players will no longer be able to log in with non-Battle.net accounts.

If you haven't merged your World of Warcraft account with a Battle.net account yet, you better do it soon! As a bonus incentive, players who do merge their accounts will receive Oswald the penguin! Those who already have merged their accounts need not worry as they will also get Oswald. Players that were involved with the Wrath beta may remember receiving one of these in the mail except he was known as Mr. Chilly then. I'm sure Oswald will make an excellent companion to Pengu (another penguin pet). Receiving Oswald is going to be a limited time offer. Blizzard hasn't officially announced a date yet, but they do plan on removing the ability to get him at some point.

Of course, not being allowed access into the game might be incentive enough to begin the account merging process!

For additional information, check out the Battle.net account FAQ, Instructions on creating a Battle.net account, a video tutorial on how to convert your account, or just make your account a Battle.net account now (US) (EU).

Note: There is a blue post saying November 12th, and the in-game announcement saying November 11th. If appears that EU players need to convert by the 12th, and NA/US players need to convert by the 11th. But be on the safe side and just convert your account now.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Mobile Authenticator back in the App Store


After getting yanked off of Apple's App Store a little while back, Blizzard's Mobile Authenticator app is now back in business, and ready for a free download. Version 1.0.2 is out now [iTunes link] and the description says it contains UI improvements with a streamlined and enhanced interface.

Unfortunately, the issue that originally got the app pulled off the store hasn't actually been fixed: the official blurb is now saying that you should definitely remove the authenticator from your account before you upgrade, and then re-apply it again to your account after you've upgraded (and presumably gotten a new key installed). If you install this new version of the app and then try to access your account, it won't work (and you'll have to call Blizzard support at 1-949-955-1382 to help them remove the old authenticator).

Small hassle to go through, however, to have an account protected against hacking. If you have an iPhone or an iPod touch and haven't picked up this application yet, now's the time to do so for sure.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in, especially Eric!]

Filed under: Blizzard, Account Security

TurpsterVision: Happy Birthday.net


We can't believe it either – Turpster has been let loose on WoW.com to bring you videos from in and around the World of Warcraft! You've heard him on the WoW Insider Show, and now see him on TurpsterVision right here on WoW.com.


Happy Labor Day everyone! But more importantly, Happy Birthday to me! Today is my favorite day of the year for obvious reasons but it could also be your favorite day of the year too thanks to my super-awesome-grunty-birthday-giveaway! All you have to do is to follow me on Twitter and sending me a 'Happy Birthday' tweet (Or anything you like, but it's my birthday - Did I mention it's my birthday?) The winner will be selected after 12am Wednesday and notified via a Direct Message on Twitter so make sure to get your tweet in before then.

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Filed under: How-tos, Contests, TurpsterVision

Play safe because a trojan can get you banned

Remember that "non-personal system information" that Blizzard said they are searching for? Part of it is a search for keyloggers, trojans and viruses that affect WoW. If the system check finds one of those on any of the computers you are using, Blizzard will ban your account for 24 hours so that you can get it fixed.

When this happened to a guildie, I must admit I was skeptical. Blizzard scans for viruses? And then sends an email that sounds suspiciously similar to the various phishing emails out there? But my friend sent me a copy of the email and described the whole process to me and I am a believer. Blizzard has some issues it needs to resolve with how it is handling this, however.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security

Officers' Quarters: Crushed by the banhammer

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I enjoy the process of leveling as much as anyone else. I like the feeling of accomplishment in leveling, and the gradual growth of power that comes with it. Blizzard has given us a variety of tools to speed up the leveling process, including heirloom items and the Recruit-a-Friend service. Even so, I can understand why some players just want to skip to the endgame. To some people, questing on a low-level character is a lot less interesting than raiding or PvPing at the level cap.

In order to skip the leveling process, your options are both limited and dangerous. You could pay a leveling service. However, some of these services are actually scam artists who will use your account info to sell everything you have and take all your stuff. You could ask a friend to log in and level for you. However, sharing your account information can get your account banned. Finally, you could just buy an account. Let's see how that turned out for one particular guild leader.

Hello Scott,

My guild is going through an incredibly rough time right now. Our situation is this: We are one of the best guilds on our server. We have cleared Ulduar in both 10 and 25 man, working on hard modes right now. Our team is rock solid. We have about 35 dedicated, geared, and skilled raiders. We all get along great and have an awesome time raiding. But recently a problem has come up that will undoubtedly destroy our guild and send some of the best players on our server without a home. Our GM had unknowingly violated Blizzard's ToS/ToU and now his account has been banned.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

BlizzCon Pro Tip: Setup your Battle.net account now


You want tickets to BlizzCon 2009?

You want to enter the queue to purchase them tomorrow?

You've heard the horror stories about how it all went haywire last year?

Well, here's the pro tip of all pro tips, even better than Turpster's Tips: make your Battle.net account now and make sure your credit card / check card has enough money to cover the $125 cost of the ticket.

While Blizzard has done a lot to make sure that the system will be smoother than last year, if you've already bought a plane ticket out to LA and have the hotels booked, etc., you'll want to be 100% sure you do everything you can do get these elusive tickets easily.

The whole process takes just a couple of minutes, and you don't have to tie your World of Warcraft account to the Battle.net account unless you want to. They can remain entirely separate. Head over to the Battle.net account creation page and do this now!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Battle.Net issues today

Today is a Wednesday, and that means that there has to be some sort of Battle.Net authentication/login/game-version issue today. And guess what? There is!

There is a long thread in the support forums about it, and the only blue response so far is that Blizzard is aware of the problem and they're working on it. Many, if not all, Battle.Net users are seeing an error stating the client cannot validate the game version (even after they've patched to 3.1.1).

There is no known fix yet. We'll update this post when there is more information to report.

Update:
According to Neth everything is working now.

Filed under: Bugs, News items

Widespread wave of phishing emails reported


Over the past week WoW Insider has received an increasing number of reports of phishing emails. This means that some industrious folks have decided that now is a good time to try to steal accounts from unsuspecting players, and thus we're thinking this is a great time to remind people about the dangers of these evil emails!

Most of the current phishing emails have been telling people that their account is under investigation for account trading, and directing them to a website in which they need to fill in their complete account information along with a CD key. Obviously this website is a phishing site, and is illegitimate.

There are several things you should look for in a legitimate (or illegitimate) email from Blizzard. After the break we'll take a look at these, as well as provide some places you can go for further information.

Read more →

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

How to avoid automatic subscription renewal


As most of us know, WoW credit card subscription plans in the US and Europe are auto-renewing. If I sign up for one month at $14.99, as soon as that month is up, Blizzard immediately re-bills my credit card and signs me up for another month. This is problematic for some people, who may want to switch to a game card at the end of the month, or who simply might not want their cards to be automatically billed.

Fortunately, there's an easy solution: cancel your account. Yep, just push that big red button (well, actually, it's a smallish grey button, but you get the idea). You'll still get to play until the time you've paid for runs out. And since Blizzard retains your character and account info indefinitely, you don't have to worry about your characters getting deleted. At the end of the time you've paid for, when you try to log in, you'll get a notice that your pre-paid time has been used up, at which point you can go on the web site and add whatever payment method you like.

I've used this method many times myself. It's only a few extra clicks, and if you want to have more control over how you get billed, it's definitely worth considering, even if it does make the peons cry.

Filed under: Tricks, Blizzard

Account security mythbusting

So, you might have noticed the increased number of warnings and advice from Blizzard regarding account security lately. They've even popped up in the game itself, as a server message when you first log in. Needless to say, this has caused no dearth of consternation in the WoW community (read: people be trippin').

So, why the sudden notices? Has something changed? Has Blizzard lost their footing in the war against hackers and gold farmers? Is Blizzard in cahoots with them? What's this itchy pentagram-shaped rash I've developed?

Now, there's a lot I can't talk about regarding this stuff, and certainly not for any sinister reason. It's a selfish reason, though, that being that I really like not getting sued. I can, however, use my experience and knowledge to bust or confirm some common account security myths. Ready?

I'm a trained professional. Don't try this at home!

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

Breakfast topic: Account count

I'm not sure how many World of Warcraft subscriptions are currently active. The popularity of the game skyrocketed and then seems to have leveled off. Player numbers have certainly been bolstered by the Recruit-a-Friend promotion. I'm not convinced that it has actually brought any new players into the game. I know several people who begun additional accounts under this new scheme, and a handful of players that have returned to the game. I'm sure there are some new rookies, but they're a fraction of the new accounts.

I'm working on my third account. My friend with recruitment benefits and I have been soaring through the levels. I was planning on starting a third account come Wrath anyway, but now seems like as good of a time as any.

How many accounts do you have?
None, I read WoW Insider for the articles332 (2.8%)
One is enough for me8566 (71.9%)
Two, but I had both before Recruit-a-Friend1518 (12.7%)
Two, triple XP is too hard to resist751 (6.3%)
Three or Four457 (3.8%)
Five, I like to round out my own party104 (0.9%)
More than five, don't be jealous179 (1.5%)

Filed under: Polls, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Alts

Wrath of the Lich King login screen

Click for a high resolution image.
While we've had some fake Wrath of the Lich King login screens before, this one is the real deal. It's being reported on by numerous sites, and several people have confirmed its authenticity. The image itself is of a ice fortress. You can see the version, 3.0.1, along with the latest build number and date: July 15, 2008.

Many people will notice that you have to sign in via an email address. This is part of a new system that Blizzard has put into place for the Wrath beta. Essentially, you'll have to create a new "Blizzard Account" to log into the beta. This account is separate from your retail WoW account, however you still have to have a retail WoW account and a beta key to get one. There's not a ton of information out on the new account system they are using for this, but when we have more information on it we'll post it.

For now, enjoy your new login screen!

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Common Sense: There is no beta hack

There has been a YouTube video that has been circulating around the internet lately claiming to show how to get into the Wrath of the Lich King beta via a backdoor security flaw. The video directs you to another site, which you then must enter your user name and password that you use to get into WoW. Surprise, surprise: this is nothing but another trick to steal your account.

This video has been showing up in links around the WoW community lately just about as much as a certain great music video. This initially caught my attention when it was posted here in our comments a few times.

Since the real beta signups are under way, and access to the beta is expected to begin any time, we were expecting and indeed seeing a large uptick in the number of beta scams. Be sure to protect yourself.

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King, Account Security

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