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Posts with tag annual-pass

WoW Archivist: Expansion gaps

Gap in the bridge on the Timeless Isle
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Expansion gaps are the most reviled of all content gaps. It's not just because they are the longest -- it's because at the other end of the gap lies so much to look forward to. Expansions change WoW from top to bottom. They usher in brand new worlds to explore and bring us new ways to play the game. That's part of why it takes Blizzard so long to release them.

In the meantime, we wait, mired in the old, but excited about the new.

We are experiencing what is likely to be the longest expansion gap so far in WoW's 10-year history. But what about the expansion gaps of the past? How do they stack up? What did Blizzard offer and what were players' reactions to them? Read on to find out!

Classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

Dates: August 22, 2006 to January 16, 2007
Duration: 4 months, 25 days
Subscriptions: Rising
Mood: Excited

The first expansion gap was also the shortest. It felt like a long time to players back then, since classic WoW offered patches and content at a blistering pace for the first two years of the game. Players were impatient, yes. That never changes. But we knew WoW was a hit and we were thrilled that the success of the game had made an expansion possible. We couldn't wait to roll a blood elf or a draenei, or take to the skies and fly for the first time. Plus, most raiding guilds hadn't conquered every boss (or even close), so they had plenty to keep them busy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The Queue: Northrend, annual pass, class changes, and worms


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

My question for the Queue today:

What's your favorite type of coffee? Mine is not this $5 Folgers junk I bought at Walgreens because it was on sale. I have no idea what I was thinking -- I normally grind all my coffee (I have a grinder built into my coffee machine, it's pretty amazing, not gonna lie). So I need to get rid of this terrible coffee by drinking a ton of it and then buying new stuff this weekend.

So tell me dear readers, what's your favorite kind of coffee?

ThingWhatWoWs asked:

Sis & I have hit Northrend. (Now 73) where should I make sure we go for the great story bits? It's her 1st time through.

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Filed under: The Queue

Letter From The Editor: Diablo 3 launch coverage

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At the end of days, the first sign shall appear in the heavens. Justice shall fall upon the world of men.

At midnight tonight, Diablo III launches in North America. Other regions aren't far behind (or ahead, as the case may be). The number of World of Warcraft players who will be playing Diablo tonight is astronomical; more than one million Annual Pass subscribers will be receiving the game, and countless more will be purchasing Diablo III on its own simply because it's a good game.

The Real ID and BattleTag systems have brought these games' audiences closer together than they have ever been. With all of that in mind, we here at WoW Insider feel that we would be doing our readers a disservice if we didn't provide content that will help all of you ease yourselves into your brand new game. For the next two days, you're going to see a number of Diablo-related articles and guides here on our site mixed in with our usual WoW stuff. In the long term, we plan to continue to cover major general Blizzard news from all of its games as we've always done (see our recent Blizzard All-Stars news), and the next 48 hours or so will be a little bit heavier on it than you may be used to seeing. We hope that you'll enjoy what we have to offer.

However, if you're the sort of person who has absolutely no interest in Diablo, if the mere mention of the game makes you sick to your stomach and you don't want to see anything on our site but World of Warcraft, we have a solution for you. For the next two days, all of our World of Warcraft content will be tagged "not-diablo." To filter out all of our Diablo content, just go to this link here for the next couple of days for content that's 100% Diablo-free. Treat that as our front page for awhile. Come Wednesday, though, make sure to come back to our real front page -- we won't use that tag forever, just during this Diablo blitz.

If you have any feedback on our Diablo III coverage throughout the day, please feel free to email me your thoughts at alex@wowinsider.com. Did you like what you saw? Is there something we could have done better? I won't be able to respond to everyone, but I assure you that every email sent will be read.


Evil has returned! 1.2 million WoW players are getting Diablo III for free thanks to the Annual Pass. You can get prepared for the evil with WoW Insider's launch coverage. From the lore of Diablo, to the important blue posts and the basics of Diablo gameplay, we'll get you on the inside track for the return of evil.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Diablo 3

Annual Pass beta invitations have all been distributed

It would be an understatement to say that the Annual Pass beta invitation process did not go as expected for anybody involved, Blizzard included. Who knew well over one million World of Warcraft players would sign up for the program, all of them anxiously awaiting an invitation to the Mists of Pandaria beta?

Thankfully, according to community manager Kaivax, the final round of beta invitations has been sent as of today.


Final Annual Pass Beta Invitations Sent
The World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion ended May 1, and we recently sent out the remaining Mists of Pandaria beta invitations. Check your games list in Battle.net Account Management for the Mists of Pandaria beta. You can download and install it from there.

Again, thank you for your enthusiasm and feedback. To provide feedback for the Mists of Pandaria beta, we invite you to please post in the Beta Feedback forum.


If you're an Annual Pass subscriber and you haven't received your beta invitation yet, don't panic! Betas do have a tendency to take their sweet time appearing in your games list.

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: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Why some Annual Passholders have yet to receive a beta invite

Annual Pass
Previously we reported that all Annual Passholders had been sent their Mists of Pandaria beta invites. But many players have been complaining that they still hadn't received theirs. Blizzard responded to that today. Those who have purchased the pass after April 18 will get their invites in a future wave. There were also errors when sending the invites to some accounts, and Blizzard is attempting to resolve them.


Annual Pass Invite Beta Update
We want to confirm that, at this time, all World of Warcraft Annual Pass subscribers have been invited to the Mists of Pandaria beta test, with two groups of exceptions. One exception group are those who purchased an Annual Pass on or after April 18, and will receive their invite in a future wave. The second exception is a small list of remaining accounts from previous waves that encountered an error, and will be properly flagged for beta access as soon as we can resolve the issue.

If you haven't yet purchased an Annual Pass, you still have time to guarantee your spot in the beta by signing up for a year agreement (link) before the offer expires on April 30. Those taking advantage of the Annual Pass receive Diablo III for free, access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, and the exclusive Tyrael's Charger flying mount for your World of Warcraft characters.



So if you haven't received your beta invite yet, you will Soon™. No dates have been released for when the remaining invites will go out. In the meantime, you can read up on all of the MoP beta info here on WoW Insider. (No, it's not the same as being able to play the beta, but I'm just saying ...)

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: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Reminder: WoW Annual Pass last chance April 30

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Blizzard has posted a reminder that the WoW Annual Pass, which grants you a copy of Diablo III, access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, and a Tyrael horse in WoW, is closing up shop on Monday, April 30. You have until Monday, April 30 to sign up for the pass, and the deal will be retired. We have no word yet as of the future of the program or if it will be repeated, but from the numbers, 1.2 million people is a pretty great subscriber grab. I'd expect to see something like this again soon, potentially annually.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

The Lawbringer: Tying up Etsy, Annual Pass loose ends

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Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

Resolution is something we rarely get in life. People are cagey, issues are weird, and tying up loose ends is a business of winding down all its own. There are two fairly loose ends still waving in the wind out there that I had some more opinions on and thought you would be interested in the share. If you guys have any topics from The Lawbringer that you'd like to see reexamined, updated, or even be told the other side of, let me know. We can work something out, you and me.

The first issue that comes up in my email all the time is from people selling items on Etsy that are based on or inspired by artwork, characters, or designs from World of Warcraft. It's its own cottage industry, as the secondary and tertiary markets open up around the stadium that is Warcraft. People making WoW goods often want to sell them and have many questions in that vein. What is right? What is wrong? Maybe I can shed a little light on the subject.
Good afternoon:

Love your column; not sure if you've answered anything regarding this type of thing before, but here it goes.

I always wanted to open a restaurant/diner, regardless of the intense amount of work this endeavour would take, what if any would the legal ramifications of naming the restaurant after an inn from the World of Warcraft Universe or the items on the menu? Of course they wouldn't have the actual ingredients but it'd would be fun to have Raptor Eggs as a breakfast item for example.

Was there not a column about people selling WoW inspired items via sites like Etsy and the like? Would it be similar?

Would the laws vary if one were in a different country? Canada for example?

If it has been answered before a link to the previous article would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Final 400,000 Annual Pass Mists of Pandaria beta invites sent out

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Blizzard has just revealed that the final wave of Annual Pass Mists of Pandaria beta invites has been sent out to subscribers. Bashiok says that this wave of invites concludes the series inviting those who got early beta access as part of their year commitment to WoW. Players can still apply for the Annual Pass and get beta access as well, but it remains to be seen if that happens immediately or during another wave.

Check your email and get downloading, you scamps, you.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Does the Annual Pass guarantee instant beta access?

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

A number of WoW Annual Pass subscribers are upset over a change to the Annual Pass terms, which now grant access to the Mists of Pandaria beta test over successive invite batches as opposed to the originally advertised "when it goes live." When the Annual Pass was announced at BlizzCon, I had never dreamed that Blizzard would let in press, fan sites, players, Annual Pass holders, opt-in players, and more at the exact same time. It has not been the norm for Blizzard to run things in such a way, but these days, it's hard to expect the norm from Irvine.

My honest reaction to this whole controversy is that in the course of four weeks, it won't be a huge deal because a majority of people looking to get beta access immediately will probably have it. The people who have or had beta access will do what a majority of players do -- play for a little bit, check out the pandas, show their friends, and then they're gone until release day. That's fine and dandy, no doubt about it, but a lot of the rhetoric coming from the community is that beta was a chance for them to try the game and see for themselves. That's not what a beta is about, in principle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 10

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

With Mists of Pandaria information on the horizon, players are clamoring for release dates, beta information, and everything in between. People just want something, anything, to tide them over. How about The Lawbringer? We're talking some Mists beta and the Diablo real money auction house. Won't you join us?

Mailbags are fun because the discussion topics come to me. Readers always have some great questions, and I'm more than happy to delve into an answer or two. This week's questions are ones that I get frequently and, with the recent couple of weeks' being newsworthy and fun, emails sometimes get left in the mud. Well, let's answer some emails.

Our first Lawbringer email comes from Toro, who wants to know what's up with Mists of Pandaria beta access that is guaranteed through subscription to the WoW Annual pass:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Diablo III releases May 15, free Diablo III Annual Pass deal ends May 1

Diablo III finally has a release date: May 15, 2012. World of Warcraft players looking to grab a copy of Diablo III for free can still sign up for the WoW Annual Pass and get all of the rewards until 12:01am on May 1, 2012. After May 1, the Annual Pass promotion will be ending, so sign up soon if you're interested.

Signing up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass requires a one-year commitment to World of Warcraft to acquire and keep rewards associated with the commitment.

Free Diablo III annual pass ends May 1, 2012
World of Warcraft players interested in getting Diablo III for free can still get in on the World of Warcraft Annual Pass, but the promotion will be ending at 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 1, 2012.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

1 million people signed up for the WoW Annual Pass

In what surely can't be that much of a surprise to anyone, Blizzard announced on the Activision Blizzard quarterly financial conference call today that one million WoW players signed up for the WoW Annual Pass.

The Annual Pass's benefits are pretty alluring -- you get the standard digital download edition of Diablo 3 for free, as well as the Tyrael's Charger mount for your WoW character. It's likely that other benefits will be added to the pass over time, too. All you have to do in return is agree to pay for a year of WoW. The "agreement" itself doesn't appear to be legally binding, in that you can still cancel your subscription, at which point Blizzard will remove the benefits you received, no harm done.

What makes the Annual Pass so interesting, though, is that it's actually a better deal for Blizzard than it is for the players. With the past few quarterly subscriber number drops interpreted as doom and gloom by outsiders, Blizzard needed a way to make sure that those numbers either increased or at least stopped slipping. With Diablo III and more Starcraft II on the horizon, not to mention other potential MMO threats, it was vital that Blizzard figure out a way to keep people paying even if they weren't playing. The Annual Pass, with its attachment of a "free" game, did the job perfectly. Blizzard gets to look good to its investors and umbrella company, and a million of you get a horse and a hack-and-slasher.

Filed under: Blizzard

What happens if you break the WoW Annual Pass 12-month commitment?

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The WoW Annual Pass is probably one of my favorite things ever to come from Blizzard. I'm going to be playing World of Warcraft for the next 12 months anyway, right? Now I've got a free mount, guaranteed access to the Mists of Pandaria beta, and a free copy of Diablo 3 waiting for me on release day. It doesn't get much better for a die-hard Blizzard fan like myself. This deal is so awesome that I wouldn't be surprised if more games were added to the bundle at some point in the future.

Many players have sent in questions to me about the legality of the commitment and how binding the 12-month commitment really is. What happens when you cancel your subscription to the WoW Annual Pass before your 12 months are paid for? What happens to your Tyrael's Charger, free copy of Diablo 3, and beta access? Where do these perks go if you fail to meet your commitment?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

WoW Annual Pass expands to include more countries

If you've been wanting to sign up for the Annual Pass announced at BlizzCon only to find it not available in your region, you may want to check the page again. Blizzard just announced that it has expanded the pass to include more countries, including Russia, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and more. The World of Warcraft Annual Pass is a one-year commitment to the game. You do not have to pay for your year in one lump sum. You can keep making payments in the same increments you've always done before -- you're simply committing to a year's worth of payments with the pass.

In return, you get Diablo 3 for free, the Tyrael's Charger flying mount for your Warcraft character, and access to the next WoW expansion beta test. So if you've been itching to play Diablo 3, dying to test new expansion content, or simply craving a new winged pony to ride around on in game, this may be the solution for you. You can sign up for the Annual Pass on Blizzard's website; if you've got any questions about the process, check the official FAQ there, as well.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

A WoW player's introduction to Diablo 3, or why you should play Diablo 3

diablo
Editor's Note: This post was written in October 2011 for the beta version of Diablo 3. Some things may have changed since then, keep that in mind while reading!

At BlizzCon 2011, Mike Morhaime waved quite the carrot in front of WoW players: Subscribe for a year, and you'll get Diablo 3 for free. For those of us who have grown up loving both the Warcraft and Diablo franchises, this is awesome news and probably a no-brainer as far as things to sign up for go.

However, maybe you never really got into the Diablo franchise. Maybe you've just been a WoW player and haven't really considered any of Blizzard's other franchises. This article is for you. We'll take a quick look at some of the major features of Diablo and what it has to offer the average WoW player.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Diablo 3

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