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Posts with tag battle-net

Classic Blizzard games available for download

Lost Viking
If you've ever attended BlizzCon, you've likely noticed that the classic games section, where they set up some of Blizzard's early efforts for fans to play, is a rather popular destination. Popular enough that I've personally given up on trying to get in there, because I'm not a good "line-standing" person. Luckily for me, and others like me, Blizzard has made two of their early games available for free download on Battle.net.

The Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing are two of Blizzard's most classic classics, published in 1992 and 1993 respectively, when Blizzard Entertainment was still known as Silicon and Synapse. If, as I did, you missed out on them when they were current, now is your chance to experience all their pixelated glory. Unfortunately, they are only available for Windows operating system, so if you're a Mac user, you may be out of luck.

To find the new downloads, click on the "Games & Codes" option in your Battle.net account, then click "Download Game Clients" from the drop-down menu. The Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing can be found under the "Classic Games" section.

Thanks to reader SparkysShocker for bringing this to our attention!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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

Warlords of Draenor begins making an appearance in the launcher and in the Blizzard store

We all know it's coming, there's nobody reading WoW Insider today who will be surprised to hear that there's an expansion in the works and that pre-orders will open soon, hopefully with a beta arriving at a similar time. We've heard about it a few times already, but the recent addition of CSS to the battle.net site and images to the battle.net launcher only serves to increase our suspicions that it's coming with or shortly after patch 5.4.7. You can see a composite image of the launcher background and assets discovered by our friends at Adriacraft in the header.

The CSS file, if you don't want to read through it yourself, indicates the addition of Warlords of Draenor in the same pattern as the ones we've come to expect for Mists, Cata and so on. There's also the Digital Deluxe edition upgrade, but there isn't a pre-order date stated in the CSS, and nor has Blizzard announced one.

While it certainly shouldn't be taken as any assertion that a new Scroll of Resurrection is coming, there is new imaging for it and it's mentioned in the same updated CSS. Why don't we think a new one is coming? Well it's certainly not impossible, but it would seem rather odd for Blizzard to allow long-abandoned accounts to receive a level 80 just for rejoining when they want us to shell out some cash for the Warlords of Draenor expansion and a "free" level 90 boost. Not to mention the likely addition of purchasable level 90 boosts coming soon, as the feature is tested on the PTR.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

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.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download
Have you ever heard of Blackthorne? Originally released in 1994 for the SNES, this classic platformer was the one of the first titles to be released under the name Blizzard Entertainment. And now, it appears as though the game can be had for free. Head to your Battle.net account, and hit the Download Game Clients page, under the Games & Codes tab. At the bottom is a new section titled Classic Games, and Blackthorne can be downloaded for Windows absolutely free.

So what is Blackthorne? Long ago on the planet Tuul, the people of the world were divided into two kingdoms -- the good Androth, and the not-so-good Ka'dra'suul. To make a long story short, the Ka'dra'suul were eventually transformed into monsters, and one of them decided to seize power and try to take over Androth. Enter Kyle -- the son of King Vlaros, ruler of Androth. King Vlaros decides to send Kyle to Earth in order to save his life. Twenty years later, Kyle is all grown up, a military mercenary, and discovers his unusual heritage through a series of strange dreams.

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download
And then Kyle happily returns to Tuul to kick some butt and save his people while working his way through a series of typical platform levels and puzzles and blowing away his enemies with a giant pump-action shotgun. Look, it may not be the most elegant of stories, but it was a really fun SNES title back in the day. The free download version has not been updated, and lives on in its raw pixel and MIDI glory, just in time for a bit of Halloween nostalgia. If you've ever wanted to get your hands on this title, go grab the free download and immerse yourself in the 90's for a few hours. I'll be over here, playing my childhood and keeping an eye out just in case Lost Vikings happens to pop up, too.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

New Battle.net launcher now in open beta testing

launcher beta
No, sorry everybody, it's not the Hearthstone open beta--not yet, anyway--but there is a Blizzard open beta that could use your testing clicks. The new launcher app has been in closed beta for some time, but that phase has ended and now it's in full open testing swing. As explained in the official blog post, the new launcher aims to streamline players' experience of Blizzard games by providing a single application from which to access all of them: World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone.

You'll also be able to use the app to install Blizzard games directly, and if you leave it running it will automatically update those games as well. The new launcher will also allow you to stay logged into your Blizzard games for up to 30 days at a time, if you like. For those interested, you can download the new launcher app here, and access the FAQ here, and you can also check out WoW Insider's overview of what to expect from the new launcher, as well. The app is scheduled to be released in the next few months, in other words, "SoonTM".

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

50% off Swift Windsteed for one week only

50% off Swift Windsteed for one week only
The Swift Windsteed, a.k.a. the floaty goat, one of the most bizarre mounts Blizzard has ever put on the battle.net pet store, is on sale for one week only at a fairly substantial 50% discount. This puts it at $12.50 in the US, and expect a similar discount to follow in the EU, although, interestingly, an EU sale hasn't yet been announced. It's usually the case that the EU announces a sale then the US follows suit, but perhaps the EU team are just biding their time on this one.

Do be sure, though, not to buy a US one for an EU account, or, indeed vice versa. The mounts are region-locked, and as such are not transatlantically transferrable.

So, if you've ever felt the urge to float through the skies on a half goat half dragon... or fish... that itself runs on a cloud, now's the time to part with your hard-earned cash, as the sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on August 13. Will you be buying a Swift Windsteed?

Update: The EU now has the same sale.

Filed under: Blizzard

PCR interviews Blizzard Entertainment

battlenet
The UK-based computer trade news outlet PCR posted a quick interview with Blizzard Entertainment on Friday, July 12th. Interestingly, the interview focuses not necessarily on the digital offerings that we come to expect from a computer-based company, but the retail side of the business, and Blizzard's performances in the more traditional market. Blizzard seems to maintain its success in retail not only because of its games' performance history and market momentum, but also thanks to licensed peripherals which help keep the brand versatile.

Probably the most interesting portion of the interview is the sadly brief discussion of Blizzard's POSA (point of sale activation) cards, known as Battle.net Balance Cards. These cards are similar to the game time cards most WoW players are likely familiar with, but rather than add time to your WoW account, they add money to your Battle.net account in general, which you can use to add time to your WoW game or purchase other Blizzard games and so on.

So far, these cards don't seem to be readily available in the US as in the EU, but I have heard rumors of people finding them in GameStop from time to time, so who knows. For those of you who are wary about using a credit card online, or who just might like other options for adding money to your Battle.net account, they might be worth looking into. You can check out the EU Battle.net Balance Card FAQ for further information if you're interested.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews

New Battle.net Desktop Client Beta

Battlenet Desktop Client
A flurry of invitations has gone out to players to test the beta of the new Battle.net client, and they have begun to be downloaded. You can see a screenshot of the client above, and note various aspects of it quite immediately. Firstly, it has all the Blizzard games on my system available within one launcher for me to choose from, and the launcher also monitors downloads, updates, patches, you name it, for all the installs on your system. The eagle eyed reader will also be able to spot a drop-down menu above the big blue Play button, this currently allows you to choose between PTR and Live servers for your game launch.

I'm hoping that, in time, this drop-down might also allow players to pick between different installs and accounts, as I, although I find myself in the minority, have both US and EU accounts that I switch between regularly. While I would emphasize that this isn't a usual mode of play, it would be nice if the option existed to pick between regions and accounts. You can see various other elements on the front page, and there are more that appear as it loads in, and your battle.net friends come online.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard

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

"Appear Offline" coming soon to Battle.net

A much asked for feature is on its way into the game -- you will soon™ be able to set your Battle.net status to "appear offline," letting you have some much needed peace and quiet from the clamor of all those friends playing Blizzard's various games.

Currently, if you're logged in and have Real ID, Battle Tag, or character-level friends, then they can see you online no matter what. While this doesn't present a huge problem, sometimes people just want to go in a game and play by themselves, without the presence of a group. And even though WoW will never be a single player game, this upcoming change will certainly allow you to disappear into the masses when you want.

Blizzard's full release as follows:

Blizzard
In the coming months, we're planning an update to Battle.net that will give you more control over your online presence when playing Blizzard games. Soon, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III players will be able to select "Appear Offline" as one of their Battle.net social-status options (along with Available, Busy, and Away) for those times when they want to wander Azeroth by their lonesome, dominate the galaxy in radio silence, or slay demons in solitude. When you choose this option as your status, all of your Real ID friends, BattleTag friends, and character-level friends will see you as "Offline" in their friends list whenever you're logged into a game.

The "Appear Offline" status option will be added to World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III separately in future updates for each game. For Diablo III, we expect to add the feature in a patch after 1.0.5. For World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, we expect to add the option sometime after the release of each game's upcoming expansion.

Thanks for your continued feedback, and we'll share more information on the availability of this new feature in the months ahead.



Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2

Digital preorders for Mists of Pandaria available soon?

Digital preorders for Mists of Pandaria available soon
While we've heard nothing concrete, evidence continues to accumulate that a Mists of Pandaria digital preorder will be available sooner rather than later. The latest reveal was spotted by one of our eagle-eyed commenters, who notes that the blank box art listed next to a PTR account on Battle.net has been replaced by an actual Mists box. (Incidentally, this also means that the leaked box art we saw a month ago was apparently right on the money.)

That's not all, however. Another sharp-eyed commenter noticed that Cataclysm-level accounts now have the little green arrow next to them, indicating that they're eligible for an upgrade. Unfortunately, trying to upgrade the account fails; when I tried, it indicates only my Starter Edition is eligible. Still, it's exciting to see the pieces fall into place. What about you? Are you planning on buying digital or retail this time around?

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: Mists of Pandaria

Get your faction change at 25% off through the weekend

Faction change sale 25% off through the weekend
Have you been wondering what life is like on the other side of the faction fence? Blizzard has offered faction changes for quite some time now, allowing players to flip factions at their whim. This weekend, Blizzard's holding a sale offering 25% off faction changes. Please note that a faction change isn't a realm change -- it's just switching from Alliance to Horde on your current realm.

However, this change does make things quite handy for cross-faction trading, plus it opens up a whole new side of questing and exploration to do. Before you jump to make the move, however, you may want to check out Blizzard's FAQ on the faction change service and give it a read. There are a few things that switch over when you change factions, like mounts and titles, and a few things that are wiped out all together, like Argent Tournament achievements.

If this sounds like a steal and you'd like to get in on the deal, better hurry -- the sale ends on Monday, July 16 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Filed under: News items

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

Image
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?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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