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Having trouble pre-ordering Reaper of Souls? You're not alone

If you're trying to pick up your own copy of Diablo 3's soon-to-be-released Reaper of Souls expansion from Blizzard, you may have run head-first into a "500: Internal Server Error" message. The big downside to this error -- beyond your inability to buy the expansion -- is that though you don't get anything, you may still see the charge pending on your credit card. According to Blizzard support, because the charge didn't successfully go through, it should vanish within a few days. However, it doesn't leave us inclined to, as the error suggests, try again later.

Fortunately, Blizzard is on the case:

Hopefully we'll see a resolution sooner rather than later -- with Reaper of Souls due out on the 25th, there's not much time left to buy for release-day gameplay. In the meantime, we're holding off on clicking "buy" until @BlizzardCS gives us the all clear.

Filed under: Diablo 3

Addon Spotlight: Errormonster and a mailbag

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Something peculiar is happening to my addon interface folder -- it is becoming more streamlined. Whether this is a product of Blizzard's own default UI's becoming more capable or addon developers' just fusing options together, it feels like fewer addons are doing more things, and I cautiously approve. My UI has remained relatively unchanged since the end of Wrath of the Lich King, so little tweaks and changes these days are big deals.

My inbox was overflowing with questions again this week, so I figured we could answer some more of them and see what kinds of recommendations we can get out there to readers who need a little guidance and help. People do, however, still like an addon recommendation as well as questions, so you'll get a shorter recommendation this week, since there isn't much to say, and a lengthy mailbag. Sound good? Wonderful.

Read more →

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Blizzard responds to extended maintenance and instance problems


Blizzard EU has released a long and detailed statement concerning the recent waves of extended maintenance and how it's connected to the problems associated with launching instances. For several months players have been plagued with the message "Additional instances cannot be launched." The message was being caused by overloaded instance servers, and for a long time there was seemingly nothing Blizzard could do about it.

Blizzard's statement today clearly informs us that all the extended maintenance we've been seeing is directly due Blizzard implementing fixes for the problems server-side. While the statement comes from an EU source, once can assume rather easily that it applies to the US as well.

While no timeframe is given as to exactly when this will be done for all realms, it is very good to know that stuff is getting done behind the scenes. And this look at exactly what Blizzard is doing to their servers represents a rare glimpse into their inner workings. Usually Blizzard is pretty tight lipped about what exactly is happening with their hardware.

The full statement after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items, Instances

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.

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

Patch notes incorrect: Equipment Manager will not be part of patch 3.1

The official 3.1 patch notes for the live realms states that the equipment manager is now active. The patch preview website that went live says it isn't, and a blue post from a couple weeks ago was the first announcement that it won't be going live in patch 3.1 yet.

So then why is the equipment manager in the patch notes?

The patch notes are wrong in this instance.

Zarhym/Floating-Red-Skull confirmed as much last night, and it's important to note that there might be a few other posts like this one throughout the day. In some cases patch notes can be incorrect in the finer points of the patch. This is one of those cases.
Patch 3.1 is live and it takes us into Ulduar, delivers us dual specs, and brings significant changes to all the classes! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1 and the official patch notes!

Filed under: Patches, News items

Urgent authentication database maintenance underway

The opening announcement on the login screen has just let us know that there is urgent maintenance being performed on the authentication servers. The maintenance will continue until 1:00 p.m. PDT / 4:00 p.m. EDT.

During this time you may or may not be able to log into the game. Pretty much the luck of the draw and beyond your control.

Account management and posting on the forums will be offline during this time as well, so the troll's trolling will have to terrifically terminate 'till temporally soon.

We'll update this post when things are back to normal, or if there are additional issues.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Breaking News: Mystery of the melting ice solved!

Kisirani, "your friendly neighborhood World Designer" posted earlier tonight that they have a fix for the rather benign (or slightly annoying, depending on your take) bug that calls out "The Ice Stone has melted!" every once in a while.

The fix will require the realms to be restarted, and according to Kisirani they will "be doing [the restarts] off-peak so we don't interrupt this evening's gameplay."

So right on, Kisirani.

Mystery of the melting ice solved.

Now... about those clams...

Filed under: Bugs, Realm Status, News items

Gold ads appear on official Blizzard forums [updated]


Gold ads on fan sites are one thing (we've been plagued by them in the past, ourselves), but today gold ads are starting to turn up on the official Blizzard forums! The above screenshot was taken by me at about 3:15 EST this afternoon. This is a major (and hilarious) slip-up on the part of whoever handles the advertising on the forums (which was just put in fairly recently). I expect to see a lot of people buying gold and trying to claim that Blizzard endorsed it with these ads, and then getting confused when their accounts get banned.

At the moment Blizzard forum moderators are apparently deleting all threads pertaining to the ads, which seems appropriate enough; they clearly know about the problem. Oh, and folks: don't buy gold.

Update: Blizzard has responded officially to the matter, stating: "Recently, there was a temporary error with our forum advertisements that caused a gold-selling ad to be displayed. At this time, we have resolved this error. Our stance... remains firmly against the buying or selling of gold, and we may take action against accounts that are involved in these activities."

Filed under: Blizzard, Humor, Forums

Fixing instance server errors

You may have seen this same error what9000 is getting every time he tries to enter an instance: he gets bounced out of the portal and "Additional Instances Can't be Launched" pops up on the screen. Just in case you've never quite heard exactly how the game works, the World of Warcraft is actually a series of servers, and as you travel across it, you contact more than one system of computers. Your realm is one group of servers, but within that group, there are many different computers sending information to and from yours -- when you're in Azeroth, you're talking to one server, when you go out to Outland, you visit another, and in Northrend you're on yet another. And there are even servers that track non-location information: how much money you have, what you're wearing, and so on.

Likewise, instances have their own system of servers, which is why you can sometimes be in an instance when the world server "outside" will go down, and if you leave that instance you'll get disconnected. And Instance servers can be overloaded as well. This error message is likely a way for Blizzard to keep from crashing the instance servers -- if too many instances of a dungeon have already been created, new players trying to get in are not allowed.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Hardware

Official forums bugged, displaying in Korean


There's an odd error on the official forums today. Apparently the static parts of the web page (ie: non-user entered text) are showing up in Korean. Some users are not seeing it, but that is likely due to a cached version of the page they have.

Blizzard is aware of the problem and, according to Bornakk, they are working to fix the issue.

We'll update this post when the issue has been corrected.

Filed under: Bugs, Blizzard, News items

Servers back down: Mailboxes empty [Updated x2]

The realms were briefly up this afternoon. Anyone who logged into them was greeted with everything working smoothly – except for their mailbox.

Many people found that they did not have the mail that was previously stored in their mailbox prior to the reset.

This is, of course, a big deal for bank alts and others who send tens of thousands of gold through the system. Blizzard has shut down the realms again, and is aware of the problem.

Update at 3:35pm: Syndri tells us that they are actively looking for a fix, and that as of yet none has been found. See our realm status post for more information about the extended downtime.

Update at 10:34pm: Mail will be reimbursed. More information.

We here at WoW Insider would like to encourage Blizzard to just fix it!

Stay tuned for more updates.

Read more →

Filed under: Bugs, Realm Status

Maintenance tomorrow - no patch expected

The opening announcement on the game is currently letting us know that realms will be down for maintenance tomorrow from 5:00 a.m. PDT until 11:00 a.m. PDT. While the realms are going to be down, we are not expecting patch 3.0.2 to drop.

Earlier last week it was announced that 3.0.2 would come when season 4 ended. Season 4 was announced to end on October 14th, and thus we are all expecting patch 3.0.2 to come on October 14th.

However if for some reason it starts raining cats and dogs and the patch does drop, we'll let you know. But I wouldn't count on it.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, News items

World of WarCrafts: Failoc T-shirt

Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

Failure is part of success. Right? Most will probably agree that the recent BlizzCon ticket sale was largely a failure of epic proportions.

Fortunately, out of all the calamity that ensued, the Failoc was born. Now you can have your very own Failoc in custom t-shirt form. Advertise your survival of (or defeat by) the BlizzCon '08 Ticket Fiasco or slap one on your kiddo to reduce the sting off all those "Oops!" moments.

Here is what you will need:
  • Plain White Tee
  • Cardboard T-Shirt Form
  • FabricMate Markers (thin tip in green, yellow, orange, red, black, blue, brown and a clear blender)
  • Murloc Print (Large or Small)
  • Tape
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

How Adam got his loot back

About a week and a half ago I reported on an experience I had in Mount Hyjal while fighting Azgalor. While the fight went fine and we did him in one try, I wasn't on Azgalor's threat list and thus did not get any loot. I wasn't on the threat table because I had to tank some spawned demons up and away from the rest of the raid. It was a rather nice conflict of game mechanics.

This all happened on Tuesday, March 18th. By Saturday, March 22nd, I had the two shiny pieces of loot that were coming to me: Glory of the Defender and Onslaught Handguards. Specialist Game Master Skelend had sent me the items, along with a form letter apologizing for the issues we experienced in game. I was quite happy to see this resolved. I was even more pleased that it was resolved quickly and did not take a few weeks; as many people, both those of you who left comments and friends of mine that I talked to, said it would.

So what are we doing to make sure this never happens again? Well for one thing, all the melee is hitting the boss now with a ranged weapon after the tank gets a couple hits in. That's pretty much all we can do to assure this problem doesn't pop up again for us. Despite a few enquires I've made, there is no word from Blizzard if they've fixed this. I suspect that one day it'll just be hotfixed without much fanfare.

All in all, not a terrible experience when something went wrong. Quick and quality support from Blizzard.

Filed under: Items, Bugs, Raiding

GoDaddy invades WoW Armory


In one of the most bizarre things I've seen happen to the World of Warcraft in my three years playing, the WoW Armory site today is pointing to a generic GoDaddy.com domain parking page. The screenshot above was taken at 1:08 p.m. CST on March 2nd, 2008. WoW Insider has received numerous reports of this. It seems to be a DNS related issue. The domain name wowarmory.com expires today, and it appears as if a registrant has grabbed the wowarmory.com domain name as soon as it expired.

DNS entries for blizzard.com and worldofwarcraft.com point to cerf.net, while the DNS servers for wowarmory.com are currently pointing to domaincontrol.com. While some of you might be seeing wowarmory.com work correctly, others are not. The ISPs of people who are seeing it work have not had their DNS records updated yet, however within the next 48 hours they will see wowarmoy.com go down as well; unless Blizzard fixes this before then (I am sure they are already aware, or becoming aware of it).

Stay tuned to WoW Insider for the latest on this story.

Thanks to Matthew Rossi and his wife for contributing to the technical sleuthing in this post.

Updated 2:34 p.m. EST: You can access the armory using a sub-domain of worldofwarcraft.com by going to http://armory.worldofwarcraft.com/

Updated 3:03 p.m. EST: http://www.wowarmory.com/ is now working again. It looks like Blizzard really jumped on the issue and fixed it.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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