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Posts with tag belfaire

Chilton content to endorse multi-boxing

Belfaire already explained previously that Blizzard's okay with the idea of multi-boxing, whether it's for PvE use or even to compete in the Arena. In the same Eurogamer interview that discusses the new phasing technology, Tom Chilton reinforces that Blizzard is "content to endorse multi-boxing to some reasonable degree."

Eurogamer was focused on the possible abuses of Blizzard's Recruit-a-Friend program, and the speed with which players can create and level new accounts. Chilton says that if someone wants to drop the bucks on a new account -- not only the retail fees, but also the subscription cost -- then Blizzard's okay with that.

J. Allen Brack immediately brings the discussion back to a point I've previously made -- the idea is really to help players get ready for the new expansion. You can bring in a friend or family, and get them to a level where they can play with other friends very quickly. They want new players to be able to "roll a Death Knight and be ready to go."

Now, Chilton did say the endorsement only goes to a "reasonable degree." I suspect if we see vast abuse of multi-boxing in multiple areas of play, the endorsement might quickly be repealed or re-focused. But, for now at least, Chilton has confirmed Belfaire's statement -- Blizzard's okay with multi-boxing.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Where exactly are those Dell/BlizzCon/WWI keys again?

This one's been flying under our radar for a while, but I'm not sure why -- I happen to be one of the affected. Still, while everyone was spending the past few days worrying about tickets for this year's BlizzCon, a whole other set of folks were worrying about last year's BlizzCon. Specifically, the beta keys they received there. Originally, they were all told by Belfaire that there was going to be a wave of invites after August 1st that included people who'd recieved beta keys from Dell, or for attending BlizzCon '07 or this year's WWI. But now we're almost two weeks past that date, and we (I was one of the folks who entered a key from BlizzCon '07) haven't seen any beta keys at all yet.

Last Thursday, about a week ago, Belfaire acknowledged there was a problem on the forums, and asked people to enter their names if they'd input their beta keys and hadn't recieved a beta email (here's the BlizzCon thread, and here's the Dell thread). But there's been no answer since then, and I certainly haven't recieved a key at all. In fact, we've heard from people who got invited to the beta through the random opt-ins, which means these keys we paid for haven't done thing number one for us.

To tell the truth, I'm not that concerned about it -- I really enjoy seeing new content on the live realms rather than on the beta or test server, and there's certainly enough Wrath beta news coming through here on WoW Insider about the beta to keep me satisfied. But the beta is only going on for so long, and every day that passes without invites sent to Blizzard's biggest fans (the ones who've spent money on the Dell deal and attended Blizzard's invites) is more of the beta key wasted. I doubt we'll be able to use them again, so it's a shame Blizzard hasn't let us use them yet.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Authenticator failure revisited, Blizzard responds

We created a lot of waves with this post about Blizzard's Authenticator key allegedly failing -- as you know if you've been listening to the podcast, lots of people have emailed us with their own input on the situation, alternately thanking us for making it known that the Authenticator wasn't 100% secure, and lambasting us for being "ignorant" about how Blizzard's security token works. At the base of the story, there are two things we know are true: that someone was using the Authenticator on their account, and then was subsequently hacked. For that reason, we've stood by the "Authenticator fails" story -- while having an Authenticator on your account is a helpful line of defense, it, like all other computer security measures, isn't a 100% guarantee against getting hacked.

Most people agree on that. Where opinions differ are in how the account was hacked -- originally, we and a few other sources speculated that the Authenticator had been somehow removed from the account in question. But now Belfaire has responded (we believe to the incident in question, though a link to our story was removed from the original post), and says that as far as he can tell, the Authenticator was not removed from the account. In fact, after the password was changed back, the Authenticator's serial key was asked for and given, so the Authenticator remained attached to the account the whole time.

Of course, that just leaves the most important question: how did the account get hacked? We've heard all kinds of various insights as to how the Authenticator works (it only lasts for 60 seconds, supposedly each key can only be used once, so there's no way a keylogger could nab the Authenticator code and reuse it), but the fact remains that the person we're talking about was using the key, and still got hacked. One hack out of all the Authenticators sold so far is a terrific record, and could prove that, statistically, an Authenticator is good as 100% security. But the fact remains that this person got hacked while using the key (however it was done), and if security can be broken once, it will be broken again.

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

[UPDATED] More Beta invites to be sent out *after*August 1st


My favorite blue poster in the Customer Service Forums has to be Belfaire. He's always got something smart and funny to say, usually in response to annoying forum trolls and others trying hard to be upset about a game. Besides his witty and crazy remarks, he also likes to drop all of us little bits of information here and there. Such is the case in a post today.

Belfy confirmed that the next round of Beta invites will be sent out "around" Friday, August 1st "and on." This is another chance for more people to get into the beta. With some luck you might be able to run around and explore the wonders of Northrend. All previous waves of invites have included both BlizzCon, WWI, and Opt-In people.

Check your email on the 1st! And check it often! You might just get one. And if you haven't yet, be sure to sign up for the Beta Opt-In.

EDIT: Belfaire has issued a correction: "I need to reiterate there that I'm not confirming an August 1st distribution date. I'm confirming that a wave after August 1st will be the one that incorporates the remaining BlizzCon, WWI, and Dell Beta Club invites."

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Season three: The reckoning

We have now experienced three full seasons of Arenas in World of Warcraft. The numbers are being crunched and we shall see the winners of end of season rewards shortly. Most of this season has been plagued, like others with dishonesty among some of the players. Blizzard took action a few weeks ago to combat win-trading and point selling with temporary account bans, personal rating requirements for match-ups, and penalties for queue dodging. It seems Blizzard is not quite done meeting out their punishment.

On an alt named Wtfkalgan, a player noted:
A team recently got reset to 1500 (questioning the judgment of the GM involved isn't the purpose of this thread). The email states, "Note: This also disqualifies the above player from any end of season rewards." Does this mean the player involved is completely ineligible for any end of season rewards, or just from the end of season rewards for the team that received the action?

Belfaire, a CM , clarified that this does exclude the character from receiving all end-of-season rewards. This may be an isolated incident, or it may be the beginning of another wide-spread crackdown on arena cheating. This may also include stripping honor from battleground afkers.

I can't wait to see how this plays out tomorrow and when rewards are handed out. I'm thinking it's going to be epic. Thanks for the tip, Feller.

Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Even the GMs are no strangers to love

I've had my fun with rick rolling before. But Rastley and GM Khadarish took it to a new level when Rastley managed to rick roll a GM, all while getting a few gold spammers taken care of. The original screenshot of this was posted on the Customer Service forums, with various CMs and GMs sounding in. Belfaire even comes on to authenticate the conversation.

I really enjoy it when the Blizzard staff interacts with the fan base like this. We've even been lucky enough to get whisked away for some special face time. I think it shows that behind the corporate face they have to put on, they're really just people too – and like a joke now and then. I wouldn't recommend doing this however, since you might catch a GM that doesn't think it's funny – but since it worked in this case, it's golden.

Check out after the break for the full screenshots. Pretty funny stuff.

Read more →

Filed under: Virtual selves, Humor

Return of the Revenge of the Community Policing and Naming Policy Argument: The Addon

You might recall, if you've followed WoW Insider in the past few months, that I've been a relatively strong advocate of the making sure naming and RP server policies are enforced and have felt that if the community's going to be made to it, we should get better tools for the job. While I even got in a very productive conversation with Belfaire about it, I'm not holding my breath on a lot of my proposed tools and reforms seeing the light of day. After all, I work for WoW Insider, not Blizzard itself, and hey, not everyone agrees with me on how this stuff should work. Which is cool. Variety is the spice of life and all.

That said, for policy reporting curmudgeons like myself, Wachunga of the Maelstrom server has created a pretty good tool: the NameViolation addon.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Add-Ons, RP

Forum Post of the Day: I'm a WoW Widow

And Belfaire doesn't care.

Reader Kyver tipped us off to a gem of a post on the Customer Service Forums today, titled "I'm a WoW Widow" (moderately NSFW, PG-13 rating). The story goes like this: A girl, Missmegan, lost her boyfriend to the Burning Crusades [sic]. They used to play together horde side, but after buying the expansion he turned to the alliance and is dedicated to his guild mates. All is lost, as he's no longer interested in his girlfriend's "assets" and rambles like a two-year old.

Of course this makes our forum posting protagonist upset, and she needs her boyfriend back. Now obviously this is a joke. At least I hope it is. And Katie (my girlfriend), if you're reading this I promise I'll never let it get this bad. I mean, I only play for 5 hours a day, not 13 as the boyfriend in the story does. And I make money with all this, so it's okay, right? Sweetie? Darling? Honey... D'oh....

Tagging the first response to this thread is Belfaire The Mighty, with the simple response "Dear WoW Widow, It's actually Burning Crusade. Yours, Belfaire." This had myself and the other writers here laughing. We had to share it.

So dear readers, I ask you, are you a WoW widow?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Humor

Massive connection issues in raids tonight [UPDATED]

Based on my experiences, and a slew of other folks posting over at the Blizzard Customer Service Forums, it appears many Tier 6 instances are having issues with stability tonight. Half the raid or more is constantly disconnecting at seemingly random points.

Several CMs GMs are looking into the issue – but it is wide spread. This means that it is almost assuredly an issue with the Blizzard servers. Based on testing I've done it is not an issue with addons. After a disconnect, all addons were turned off, and the disconnects still happened.

Stay tuned to HKO Insider for the latest. Hopefully they'll hotfix this one right up.

Updated 11:00 p.m. EDT: Belfaire posted "We're gathering the appropriate info now. I have no ETA on a resolution, only that it'll be [fixed] ASAP." (April Fool's text removed for readability.)

Updated 12:44 a.m. EDT:
Belfaire also let us know that Q.A. is working on the problem, though no fix has been announced yet. Seems they are at work on it.

Updated 1:00 a.m. EDT: Potential solution from Belfaire:
"Please have your entire raid delete or rename your Interface folder and let me know here if you encounter the issue again. [One] group said that they ran without mods, but if what I think's happening is actually happening, even if one person has [an addon], it can affect the raid."

Filed under: Bugs, News items, Raiding

Drysc on Blizzard customer service

We are all rather critical of Blizzard at times. After all, many of us spend an inordinate amount of time in the game; especially the WoW Insider staff on patch days. We expect things to work in a certain type of way, and we expect that when we encounter a problem, things will be solved ASAP.

Nothing is wrong with these expectations we have, and indeed we should have them. After all, we want this game to be the best game possible. For many folks it's the only one they'll play. The happiness and smooth sailing in game is principally the responsibility of the customer service department at Blizzard. They're the ones to fix our issues when something goes wrong.

Drysc, one of the most visible community managers, made a wonderful post earlier this week on exactly what happens in Blizzard's support services. The full post and response are worth taking a second to read. The bullet points of his posts are as follows:

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, News items

Patch night connectivity issues may be over soon [UPDATED]

We've gotten quite a few tips and reports that there have been some issues with connectivity this evening. It seems many people have been getting disconnected upon leaving an instanced dungeon or battleground and are unable to log back in on that character.

We don't have much solid information on what's causing it, but the theory so far has been an ISP issue. I'm not very tech savvy when it comes to that sort of thing, so I can't really say how true that may or may not be. However, our buddy Belfaire seems to be doing what he can to take care of it. He just posted that they think they've found the issue and may be rolling out a fix.

So, you guys with characters stuck in limbo? Hopefully your problems will go away very soon.

Updates behind the cut as they come.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, News items

Patch 2.4 on the EU and US servers [Updated]


Many thanks to reader fLUx for sending me over to the European WoW site, which as usual, has better info than its U.S. counterpart. The service announcement reads "Weekly Maintenance - 26/03. This Wednesday there will be an extended maintenance to apply patch 2.4.0. Please note that all European realms will be offline from 03:00 until 11:00, Paris time (CET)." March 26th over in Europe is March 25th here in the States.

All we're waiting for is the U.S. version of this announcement, which will soon come. After that the final patch notes will drop, which we'll have mirrored here for you as fast as we can get them up. As the posts below this one indicate, down time started about 30 minutes ago and is expect to last until at least 11 a.m. PDT.

Happy patch 2.4 day! WoW Insider will be updating frequently, stay tuned.

Updated 7:06 a.m. EDT: Belfaire has responded again on one of those "is 2.4 today?" threads: "Enjoy the new patch, folks!" This serves as confirmation for the U.S. realms. And you have a tag this time Belfaire. ;-)

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status, News items

Extended maintenance [Updated]

The in-game breaking news text just announced extended maintenance for tomorrow. This again, is a strong indicator that patch 2.4 is on the immediate queue. We can expect the down time to be at least until 11 a.m. PDT. This normally is substantially higher on patch days, usually lasting until around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. PDT.

WoW Insider staff will be burning the midnight oil to make sure that you have a good list of patch mirrors and addon information ready to go when you wake up tomorrow morning.

Additionally, Belfaire has said that the patch is more around 300 megs, not the 900 megs that is showing up on Gamespot. Further more, the Gamespot download is a 2.0 to 2.4 update, which very few people will need tomorrow.

Updated 12:20 a.m. PDT: Belfaire is having fun with me. First he confirms, then he edits, then he edits again...

Updated 1:12 a.m. PDT: Updated Gameespot info, thanks to those who left comments on tonight's posts. And a fix for Belfaire. =)

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status, News items

Is it scheduled maintenance, or patch day?

Well, it is the Tuesday before Easter, and true to Mike's original predictions, the rumors are flying that today patch 2.4 will hit. The PTRs are down, and everything seems set. Of course, if this happens, we will not only be looking at awesomeness, we will be facing extended maintenance.

To help you wait it out, we will not only be offering content all day long, but we have compiled a nifty list of content from the past week or so that you simply must read.
  1. Belfaire comments on the issue of player policing, and GM subjectivity. See where the issue was first raised.
  2. The 10 Commandments of roleplaying.
  3. Read and vote for your favorite WoW-themed comic.
  4. The dynamic between mages and warlocks, from the mage perspective, and from that of the warlock.
  5. Continuing through Amanda Dean's adventures after her account was hacked.
  6. Fancy a good story? Learn more about the Grimtotem Tribe.
  7. Hear what Drysc had to say regarding battlegrounds and class balance.
  8. Have you been keeping up on the tanking controversy? If not, check out Alex's original post, his subsequent reply to reader feedback, and then check out Allison's views regarding hybrid tanking. Even Rossi gets involved, and lets us know how the protection warrior fits in.
  9. More interested in some light fun? Go nominate your most hated race in all of Warcraft. Harpies FTL.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Rumors

Belfaire on community policing and GM subjectivity

As you may recall, a few days ago, I wrote a little Dear Blizzard letter on the subject of enforcing the RP and Naming Policy. Of course, Once one writes a letter to someone, it is a good idea to deliver it, and thus I delivered it, or at least the issues therein, over on the Customer Service Forum. I was lucky enough to have Belfaire, who you may remember from his post explaining Blizzard's stance on multi-boxing, answer some of my questions and concerns. I also got some pretty well thought out feedback from a couple other people browsing the forums, including some roleplayers who disagreed with some of my points, so I think the threads worth a read in itself, and I'll comment a bit more on what Belfaire said after the break, now that I've had time to digest it a bit.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, RP

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