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Posts with tag eu

Shipping costs removed from Authenticators

We'd already noticed last week that the Authenticators in the US store had gone free shipping, but now official updates on Blizzard's site say it's true in the EU as well. American authenticators still cost $6.50, but you no longer have to pay anything extra for shipping, and EU authenticators have had their price dropped to €6.99. That's still over $10, but they're at least cheaper than they used to be. There's a drawback, however: apparently they went with cheaper shipping, because you can no longer track shipments of authenticators, and shipping will take a little longer (up to 15 business days in the US). Which makes sense, given that you want these things as cheap as possible.

Ancilorn answers some other Authenticator questions as well -- there's no discount for buying multiple units at all; what you see is what you get. And while the only authenticator for purchase at the moment is the Corehound branded unit, there may be more art available in the future, and of course you don't need a Corehound-branded Authenticator to get the Corehound Pup pet. Any Authenticator will do that, including any of the authenticators made for mobile phones, as long as it stays attached to your account. Whew -- that should answer all the questions anyone has. As we said the other day, if you don't have one of these yet, it's probably time to look in to getting one. Not only will your account be more secure, but you'll get that free pet as well.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Account Security

EU-exclusive Frostmourne mug and keychain set now on Blizzard store

You lucky European ducks may just have finally gotten that one thing you can hold over the heads of those Americans with their superiority complexes. The official online Blizzard store is now offering, exclusively for Europe, a set of Frostmourne-themed merchandise. Enclosed in a special box, the set contains one Frostmourne hilt keychain and one insulated metal mug with Frostmourne's runic engravings on one side.

Steely-eyed readers may notice that the keychain is the same one as, or at least identical to, the one that came in your BlizzCon '09 goody bag. Of course, this one is "made of rhodium, a rare metal offering even higher quality than silver." The mug, on the other hand, is a never-before-seen piece of merch.

The set is, of course, limited edition, so if you want to make this the perfect gift for the burgeoning death knight in your family, you'd best act quickly. Then again, I don't think they like warmth very much. Maybe an insulated mug isn't the best gift idea. I'm thinking -- hear me out -- macaroni necktie.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Survey says 15% of overall gameplay time is in an MMO

Our friends at Joystiq reported on this fascinating survey by GamesIndustry.com that broke down responses from 13,000 US and EU citizens about how they spend their gaming time. While they don't have specific numbers for World of Warcraft, the survey says [PDF link] that overall, 15% of gaming time is spent playing MMOs. US players spend about 14% of their gaming time on MMOs, while EU players range from 8% to 16% by country. In the EU, 14% of all players have played an MMO, and in the US, 21% of everyone playing games has played a massively multiplayer online game.

Again, these numbers aren't specifically for World of Warcraft (and because the survey went down to age 8 and up, they do include the vast virtual worlds aimed at children, like Club Penguin and Disney's Toontown, which probably throw the numbers off quite a bit), but they do show the effect that WoW has had on the gaming population over the last five years. Five years ago, MMOs were definitely a niche -- some hardcore gamers played them, but most people didn't have the Internet connections to play an online game, much less pay a subscription for one. Nowadays, MMOs represent over one out of every ten minutes of overall playtime, and those numbers are only going to go up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Quests, Leveling

WoWTCGLoot giving away an X-51 and other prizes

Our good friends at loot card database WoWTCGLoot.com (they've helped us out with some good contests in the past) are giving away some loot card codes of their own this week. They've put a short quiz on their site, and just for filling it out, you'll be eligible to randomly win one of twenty-three loot card codes, including a chance at an X-51 Nether Rocket mount (seen above), a Foam Sword Rack, an Imp in a Ball, or a Path of Cenarius. All of them are awesome (though, let's be honest, that rocket mount is a little cooler than the others), and all the cards work on US or EU realms, so no matter where you're reading this from, they could be yours.

Like I said, just run over to the site and answer the quiz questions (hint: both answers can be found by following links from this post) before November 25th, and after that, 23 of you will be giving thanks for the loot card codes you've won. Good luck to everyone, and thanks again to WoWTCGLoot.com for putting this on.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Contests

Official WoW EU sites covers upcoming player-run events

I don't think this page is necessarily new, but I haven't seen it before, and I think it's a great idea. Over on the official WoW Europe site, they've started tracking player-run and community events on their Community Events page. Slorkuz is even posting on the forums when specific community events are coming up, including their latest, an in-game beauty contest called "Miss Undercity" happening on the EU Darkmoon Faire realm this weekend. I think that's great -- these are completely unofficial player-run events, but Blizzard is still helping spread the word about them on an official page.

In fact, I wish they had something like that on the US page -- if there is one in there, I don't see it linked in the "Community" section as it should be. As an example (and a reminder), Sleeper Cartel is hosting that Dead Man's Party this coming Saturday evening on Perenolde. It would be great for Blizzard to give a little extra official punch (and maybe even some pie) to these player-planned parties.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

EU Battle.net problems


Many folks this afternoon playing on EU servers have tipped us to the issues going on with Battle.net. It seems that they are unable to logon, with all accounts being stuck on the "Connecting" phase.

This is really bad timing for this to be happening, as it was just announced yesterday that on November 11th in the US and November 12th in the EU all accounts will have to be converted to Battle.net accounts. Many people are concerned that these problems will persist through the conversion, although it's important to remember that these issues have existed before Battle.net came about as well.

There has not been any official word from Blizzard on today's EU problems, but that hopefully be coming along shortly -- along with an idea of when it all will be fixed.

Filed under: News items, Europe

FigurePrints price reduction, armor sets available


Our friends over at FigurePrints have a few pieces of news to share this weekend: first of all, they've dropped the price in the EU from €129.95 (which was about $166) to €99.95, which lines up with the US price of $129.95. The reason given for the original higher price was exchange rates, but they now say things have settled down enough where they can line up the prices. No word on if EU people who ordered them at the higher price will be getting a refund, so I'd assume they won't.

Also, they have now implemented the Tier armor sets we were told about in our interview at BlizzCon -- instead of ordering a FigurePrint with your usual gear on it, you can instead choose to dress your character in Tier 1, 2, or 3, dungeon set 1 or 2, or the original PvP Rare or Epic armor sets. That's designed so that characters don't have to go back and collect all of those pieces -- if you'd rather remember your character in that original armor from the vanilla game, there you go.

Read more →

Filed under: Shaman, Items, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Darkmoon Faire France cancelled


Upper Deck has posted on their site that they have canceled the upcoming Darkmoon Faire event in France for the TCG. They've been having events all over the world of this kind, featuring tournaments, exhibitions, and interaction with the game's officials and designers (I checked out one such event when it was in Chicago last year). And while they had planned to hold a Faire in Paris in 2009, apparently it's not going to happen -- they say there was "complications" with the "venue," and the event has been shut down. They are still trying to come to France, however: they're hoping to hold an event called the Tournois du Voile d'Hiver ("Tournament of Winter's Veil" in English) in Toulouse in November.

And this really does just look like a schedule conflict, as they are still holding events in Amsterdam, Austin, and Vegas later on in 2009, and from what we've seen at various conventions this year, Upper Deck's WoW-related TCG and minis games are bigger than ever (in fact, given what I saw at Gen Con and have heard from various UD employees, it's possible that the WoW games are the company's biggest-selling non-sports product). They're planning to bring the Darkmoon Faire back to Paris next year, and that's probably exactly what they'll do.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, WoW TCG

The BlizzCon schedule, EU style


So you're excited about the BlizzCon schedule, but being the EU has you confused on exactly when everything is going down? Worry not -- reader Elnaira of EU Stormreaver has updated the schedule, as you can see above, with the EU time zone calculations done for you. He used the GMT+2 timezone (since that's where Paris is right now, and where most of the EU server times lie), so if you're not in that timezone you'll have to do your own calculations, but this may help you if you're overseas and trying to decipher exactly when the events you want to see on the server stream will take place.

And the truth is that you're going to be staying up pretty late -- the conference will finish up around six in the morning there, so if you want to see all of the costume contests and Ozzy's concert on Saturday, better make sure you've got plenty of coffee and/or Red Bull on hand. And even if you fall asleep, don't worry: we'll have you covered.

Update: Here's one done by a reader with Australian times on it.

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Zoltan scores over 10,000 achievement points


Zoltan of Aegwynn is the guy who's been sitting on top of the overall achievement point lists for a while, and he's just recently cracked the incredible total of 10,000 points. At the time of this writing, he's finished off a total of 908 out of 931 achievements currently in the game, giving him a total of 10,005 achievement points.

The Champion of Ulduar is the one that put him over the top according to his Armory profile, and strangely, he doesn't appear to have any of the Feats of Strength (edit: never mind, I read it wrong -- he's got plenty). He is only missing the two World Event achievements left (Brewmaster and the meta-achievement, neither of which are yet possible), the Sea Turtle achievement, and then a few more Heroic Ulduar endgame points. Given that the 3.2 patch achievements will likely come out before Brewmaster, there's no way yet to clear everything completely, but he's as close as it gets.

Very impressive indeed. Zoltan has just one or two people on his heels, and then the numbers drop out to a few hundred below 10,000 (and strangely enough, the top five players are all EU folks). There's no reward for all of those points (and Blizzard has no plans to offer any), but it's quite, as you might say, an achievement.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, News items, Instances, Achievements

Enter to win some loot cards from WoW.com and WoWTCG.com

Is it just me, or have we had lots of EU-only contests lately? First, Lesley gives away some loot cards for the EU, and then Turpster gives away some more. This is July 4th, and it's about time we served the North American side of the globe! (Canada, we missed Canada Day, so we'll throw you in the mix, too). Courtesy of our good friends over at WoWTCGLoot.com (be sure to visit them if you need to know anything about the TCG Loot cards), let's give away some loot codes!

We've got 10 in total that we'll give away to ten random commenters on this post before tomorrow night, Sunday July 5th, at midnight. There's an Epic Purple Shirt, two Sandbox Tigers, three Papa Hummel's Pet Biscuits, and four Party Grenades up for grabs -- to enter, just leave a comment on this post, and since it's Independence Day, how about telling us what your favorite kind of firework is. I was always partial to the black snakes -- most people though they were boring, but I knew how the big ones blew up, and I never really understood just how those darned snakes worked.

One comment per person in the US and Canada only, please, and do be sure to use a real email address when you comment (that you check often) so we can get in touch with you ASAP if you win. Good luck to everyone, and happy Independence Day!

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Contests, Humor

Battle.net registration now online in China

World of Warcraft has, as you have probably heard, been offline in China for a while now. Even though The9 originally said they'd transfer over their servers to NetEase, they later decided to fight it out, leaving WoW offline for a matter of weeks. And it isn't quite up yet, but they're getting there -- this (very roughly) translated article says that Battle.net servers are now up and running, so Chinese players can now at least sign in to Battle.net, if not into the game itself. We already went through the same thing here in the US and the EU, so Azeroth should be back online in China any day now.

Meanwhile, the poor folks at The9 have not been doing so well -- they were on top of the world last year, but when World of Warcraft up and flew the griffon out of there, they lost the majority of their business. A new AP article has them revising their expected earnings down by an "estimated 55 to 75 percent." Ouch.

Let that be a lesson, NetEase. Keep your instances running and your downtime low, because if Blizzard pulls the plug on a game you're running, they'll be taking a ton of money with them.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Hardware

Mountain Dew pets not for EU gamers


This was going to be a post about how EU gamers can still attain the Mountain Dew Battle-Bot pets even though the warning above says they're for US folks only, but never mind -- Blizzard's server alert says they are putting out a hotfix on the EU realms to remove any and all pets that made it through their guard. Some people could get the pets just by clicking through, and some people couldn't, but Blizzard says no -- the Mountain Dew promotion is apparently for US folks only, and anyone who has one on the EU realms won't for long. Players are understandably frustrated, though some of them are happy that if they can't have one, no one can. MVPs on the forums are saying that the pet is also available in Canada, even if the soda promotion isn't, but that may change as well.

Pretty poor show. Sure, Mountain Dew's rules say US-only, but they definitely should have realized that there were plenty of EU players who would want in on the promotion. We doubt this is over -- it would certainly be a mark on their campaign that would engender a lot of ill will, and Blizzard will likely try to find some way to get the in-game pet up and running on the EU realms.

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

Polling for Mr. Pinchy

Blizzard EU Community Blue Ancilorn has posted a poll over on the EU forums asking players about one of the more prickly pieces of loot in the game: Mr. Pinchy. Usually with loot, Blizzard has been pretty good lately: if there's a piece that you want, there are usually a few different ways to get it, one of which usually requires grinding (i.e. picking up tons of Badges) rather than just getting really, really lucky. But with vanity stuff, it seems like they feel free to just put us at the will of the dice roll, and almost no other pet is more random than Mr. Pinchy. Not only do you need to level fishing (which, admittedly, is much less random than it used to be), and not only do you need to fish up a random item, but then, you need to hit a random choice of five different options. It's a slim chance on a rare chance on a nearly impossible chance.

Which explains why even those who have been trying for him for so long (ahem, me -- as you've probably heard on our podcast) haven't picked him up yet. The biggest percentage in the poll (about 26% of respondents, as of this writing) says they've been trying a lot and haven't gotten him. But strangely enough, the lowest percentage says "an absolutely enormous amount" of effort went into getting him. Which suggests that the people who are getting him are underestimating the amount of time they're putting in -- just how much fishing is "a moderate amount"?

At any rate, it seems like Ancilorn is just asking to be asking. Mr. Pinchy is definitely as much of a vanity item as they come, and there should at least be some items in the game that are very, very rare. It does seem at times that every time I suggest Blizzard won't move on something, they do, but I'd say in this case Mr. Pinchy will stay as rare as he is.

Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Blizzard EU introduces cross-language battlegroups

Now you can yell at people for not fighting at the flag in all kinds of different languages: Blizzard's EU staff have announced that they're breaking out the first cross-language battlegroups. Actually, that's not quite true -- players who speak different languages will only be playing as opponents (so the Horde you're fighting may speak a different language, but your allies will still understand you). But it is good news for some EU players who've been suffering long queue times. The English language battlegroup Nightfall will be combining with the Spanish language Crueldad (to form Cruelty/Crueldad), and the French battlegroup Némésis will be battling Germans in Hinterhalt to make up Embuscade/Hinterhalt.

Arena ladders on all of the realms will be combining as well (but of course even there, opponents will still be from different languages, so you'll never have to worry about crossing translation lines). The change is in effect right now -- have any of you been playing on Cruelty or Embuscade and seen faster queues yet?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Battlegrounds, Arena, Europe

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