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Posts with tag authentication

Login issues plague all Battle.net games

It's Tuesday, which means maintenance -- or in this case, post-maintenance -- server problems. At present, @BlizzardCS says login issues for North American realms are under investigation -- though they may already be starting to clear up. If you manage to get into the Battle.net launcher, it will helpfully inform you: "Login to the Battle.net desktop app is currently unavailable. However, you can continue to use Battle.net in offline mode to launch and play games that are available offline."

I guess that means tonight's Diablo 3 rift runs are going to be replaced by Diablo 2 leveling.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard increases security with SMS Protect

If you're concerned about account security, there's a new feature Blizzard want you to know about. They've been reminding us all about this feature via the forums, and have posted this informative, if somewhat bizarre video to tell us all about it.

The new feature, introduced a few months back, is Battle.net SMS Protect. It's a free service, as long as your mobile phone service provider doesn't charge you to receive text messages, in which case text messages would be charged at the usual rate. SMS Protect cannot use any type of messaging other than text messaging, and doesn't require a smartphone to work -- all your phone needs is the ability to receive SMS text messages, making this a nice feature for those players who don't have smartphones.

There have been mixed reports on whether it works with prepaid mobile phones, but where it hasn't been working that's usually because carriers don't allow the receipt of SMS text messages.

SMS Protect is not designed to replace the authenticator, either the phone authenticator or the physical authenticator. Rather, it is an alert system, designed to warn you about suspicious activity on your account, and allow you to perform certain actions with your phone. Hit the break for more information!

Read more →

Filed under: Account Security

Ventrilo vs. Mumble

"What's your Vent info?" is as ubiquitous as "What's your GearScore?" Voice chat programs are a fact of WoW life, and by all means Ventrilo dominates the market. After five years of using Ventrilo, I say it's time to change to something better.

One of the most common questions I get from the show Big Crits is "what's the mod that shows who's talking in Vent?" It's actually not a mod, and in fact it's not even Ventrilo. Big Crits uses Mumble, a low latency VOIP program for gaming. It's mostly unknown in WoW, as Ventrilo clearly dominates voice chat in our world. Mumble is perhaps better known in FPS circles, where the low latency really gives it a competitive advantage.

I started this article with every intention of making a pros-and-cons comparison between the two programs, but in truth, I had a hard time coming up with pros for Ventrilo. I'll run through features, but don't be surprised if you come out of this with a new perspective on voice chat options and a strong desire to switch to Mumble.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What are you doing to protect your account?

While it is certainly nothing new, it seems that you can't spit without hitting someone who has, or has had, a compromised account. These WoW account predators are getting more clever by the day, with using everything from keyloggers, sham contests, betas and security checks, to even grabbing an account and immediately attaching an authenticator to it.
Now, any moderately-savvy internet user would just scoff, and say that they take all necessary precautions -- what's there to worry about? Fair enough, but what about those who, well, don't?
Blizzard has said time and time again about safe-guarding your account information, yet people still jump onto those fake Cataclysm betas and fancy new mount prizes. Make something idiot-proof, and they'll build a better idiot, eh?
That being said, what are you doing to protect your prized polygons? Do you have a good anti-virus installed? A malware scanner? If you don't have an authenticator, how come? It's only about the price of a grande Starbucks drink, and will provide a longer-lasting effect of happiness and joy to your life.

Discuss amongst yourselves!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Account Security

Solutions for login issues


We are continuing to get tips from readers that they are having login issues. If you are one of the many still having trouble logging in, commenter tknogk suggested flushing your DNS and Blizzard has backed this up with more detailed advice.

Blue poster, Syndri, suggests three possible resolutions for the login problems:
  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. Flush your DNS cache.
  3. Power cycle your modem and/or router.
If none of these solutions solve your problem, Syndri seems to be closely monitoring the login server down post in the Technical Support Forums and you may be able to get further help by posting in there.

Please let us know in the comments if this solved your login issues.

Edited to add:
Blizzard is not saying it is the fault of the people having problems. They made changes on their end and we just need to update things on our end in order to be able to connect properly again.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard

BlizzCon 2009: An interview with Vasco


Vasco, the digital security company that makes authenticators for Blizzard, has actually been at BlizzCon for a few years now (last year, they gave away yo-yos, and this year, they were responsible for all of those blue glowsticks floating around). But this is the first year we decided to stop by their booth and chat with them, and it's a good thing we did: Will LaSala, Director of Services, gave us a lot of good insight into how Vasco's relationship with Blizzard came about, just what the system behind the Authenticator looks like, and how the mobile authenticator app fits into all of this.

He was kind enough to give us a short interview, and you can read it right after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Ranking, Features, BlizzCon, Hardware

The login server is currently busy [Updated]


Many people have been writing into our tip line that they are unable to log in to their servers at this time. Both Battle.Net and non-Battle.Net users are complaining that authentication is down for them. I received the above error message myself, however my husband is able to log in just fine.

We'll keep you updated should Blizzard say anything officially or other developments arise. In the meantime, I will be trying again later as the message asks me to do.

Update 7:46PM: Most people are reporting that the authentication issues are fixed.

Update: The following message is currently displayed upon login.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Authentication problems continue


We saw it last night, and the problems have once again appeared this afternoon. Authentication isn't working as intended for non-Battle.net accounts. This means if you haven't transformed your WoW account into a Battle.net account, you're probably not going to be able to get into the game easily.

The transformation process can be initiated at us.battle.net. It only takes a few minutes and is relatively painless. Converting your account to Battle.net is not required at this time, but I don't think anyone should be surprised if it is soon.

Malkorix has said that there are problems, and they are aware of the problems, but don't have any ETA on a fix at this time. He also makes a point to note that converting your account to Battle.net is only a reported and unconfirmed by Blizzard solution. However we can say that we haven't seen any issues with Battle.net accounts.

We'll update this post when we have more information.

Update: The issue is fixed, for now.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Login issues reported this evening


WoW.com has been getting a massive number of tips in regarding problems people are experiencing when trying to log into the game. There is no official Blizzard word yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one soon.

The problems seem to be originating from people who have not yet merged their World of Warcraft accounts with their Battle.net accounts. To do so, go into the account management page and select the appropriate options.

There have been some stability issues with the login servers the last few days, and this seems to just be the latest.

If you can't get in, check out our Guide to Patch 3.2 - we're expecting the patch to drop within the next few weeks. And if you haven't heard already, the Warcraft Movie has landed a director - Sam Raimi. It's World of Spidercraft, baby.

Update: Now there is an official Blizzard response to the problem, although there is no ETA on a solution.

Update #2: For those wondering, the issue was fixed overnight.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Authentication issues tonight [Updated]

Several people across the U.S. are having authentication or connection issues tonight. I haven't been able to log into my main realm for at least half an hour myself. The above screen may say I'm connected, but it's just stuck there. Sometimes it gets stuck at the character loading screen and sometimes at the authentication screen. Many readers have written in with the same problem.

According to Reythur, Blizzard technicians are investigating. From the looks of the forum posters, several internet providers across many different states are affected.

We'll let you know when we learn anything more.

Update #1: And just like that I'm in. And Blizzard states that the issues have been resolved.
Update #2: Many people are reporting that the connectivity issues have returned.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Maintenance done soon, Battle.net accounts having problems

In a pleasant change of pace, extended maintenance for a group of realms is currently not expected to be further extended today. The following realms, which are receiving hardware upgrades, are expected to be up and playable by 1 PM PDT, as originally promised:

Area 52, Auchindoun, Azuremyst, Blade's Edge, Blood Furnace, Coilfang, Dawnbringer, Exodar, Fizzcrank, Galakrond, Ghostlands, Grizzly Hills, Shattered Halls, Terokkar, The Scryers, The Underbog, Velen, Zangarmarsh

All other realms should be up "in about the next hour," slightly later than the 11 AM PDT goal time.

And now the bad news. There are also some issues with Battle.net account authentication, as is so often the case. Blizzard is aware of the Battle.net issues, and promises to provide further updates by noon PDT.

Update: Further updates on the Battle.net issue will be released at 1:00 p.m. PDT. Most (if not all) Battle.net accounts are unable to log into the game.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Breakfast Topic: Patch 3.1 after the dust has settled

Annoyed cat
Patch days are often disastrous, and in their aftermath, there is a lot to tweak, hotfix, and repair. Realms have been unstable, Authentication servers unreliable, and bugs abound.

Earlier this week, we asked you what your impressions are of live Patch 3.1, and now that you've had a few days to adjust to the changes, we want to know, how are you feeling about it now?

My pick for the most annoying aspect would have to be the new quest tracker that shows the icon of the quest item, if there is one, next to the information. Or, rather, on top of it. Somehow, knowing that I've killed 1... doesn't really help me. Is that 1 of 12? 11 of 12? 13/17? Who knows.

Despite this easily-fixable problem, I'm loving it. Thursday night raiding was smooth as silk, and not only are dual-specs extremely handy and fun, it also makes it easier to answer questions about your off-spec. How many hit points does my Tankadin have unbuffed, you ask? Give me under one minute, and I can tell you! I can't wait until the Equipment Manager is live.

How are you liking the changes and new features, now that you've had a few days to play around with them? Have your opinions changed from how you felt in the first day or two after it landed? Why?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

WoW Rookie: Patch madness


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Welcome, O WoW rookie, to patch week madness. If you thought run-of-the-mill maintenance and minor patch days could be dicey, here's your chance to enjoy the epic-level chaos wrought by epic-level content patches.

World of Warcraft has evolved considerably since its launch in what's now been almost a handful of years ago. Blizzard regularly releases downloadable updates, called "patches," to add new content and features, fix problems and tweak game play and balance. Through patches, players have gained access to new quests, instances, Battlegrounds, events, items and tools.

This week's Patch 3.1 is known as a content patch – a nice way of saying "a ton of new stuff we've added to the game that's going to make all hell break loose." The realms go up, the realms go down. The realms go up. Did we mention they also go down? You may log in only to find your characters nowhere in sight ("Oh #%$&, my characters are all gone!"). You may experience disappearing mail or auctions, random disconnections from the game and insufferable lag. You may find yourself merrily rolling along only to find the NPCs have disappeared, you can't zone in or out of instances or log out of the game, and you and every other player who's trapped in your zone are left with nothing to do but chat about the whole thing. (Almost makes you wonder if the Ice Stone has melted yet.)

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, WoW Rookie

Login servers down


We're not out of the woods with this patch yet. I'm seeing this message on a North American realm, and lots of other people are seeing the same thing. At least one of our bloggers is still in the game, though, and Blizzard is saying the Authentication servers are still up and running, so this should be fixed soon.

We'll keep you updated, stay tuned.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Update: A login server died. If you try signing in with a Bnet account, you should be able to get in. Otherwise, everybody PANIC hold on and they'll be back up soon.

Update 2: Everything seems back up. That was relatively painless. Thanks for playing, everybody!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

Common updating problems and tips for fixing them

It's patch day, of course, and people are having plenty of troubles with upgrading their clients to the latest 3.1 version. But worry not -- most of the issues we're seeing, while relatively widespread, should be fixed by the time the realms come back online. Here's a few tips to help you get through the time of trouble.

Help! My patch isn't downloading? It's stuck at 68%/73%/xx%!
It probably is downloading -- be patient and let it run. Blizzard uses a Bittorrent-based system to distribute the game's patches through the official client, and those systems depend not just on Blizzard and their ability to distribute the patch, but also how much of the patch all of your peers have. If everyone around you has xx%, that's all you'll get for now. But an hour from now, someone will have spread the full patch around, and then you'll pick it up no problem. Patience is a virtue, and until the realms come back up, you can't play anyway.

Also, the patcher will stop showing progress around 70% or so -- at that point it'll start installing the patch, and you'll need to click another button to see installation progress. But if you just let it run, it'll update.

What does "The tracker is not responding" mean?
Another Bittorrent issue that should resolve itself after a little while. The patch will need some time to disseminate, and if you get a message like this, it just means your client hasn't found all of the connections that it can. It will.

I get a weird "Unable to Validate Game Version" message when I log in. Is my client broken?
No. Blizzard's servers aren't all upgraded yet (hence the reason we can't play). When they are all upgraded, your client's version will match the server's, and everything will be hunky dory.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

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