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Posts with tag failoc

WoW Archivist: Controversies of BlizzCon

The Failocalypse Game

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

BlizzCon has been no stranger to controversy. As the premier Blizzard event, the stakes are high. Players are heavily invested in both the weekend and the games, and sometimes emotions run hot. We've already got a potential controversy brewing for 2013's event. Players have expressed strong feelings both for and against a possible "Warlords of Draenor" concept for the next expansion, and we know little at this point aside from the name and what it could imply.

In light of Blink 182's presence at the convention, Blizzard also asked attendees to wear clothes. It could be a truly wild BlizzCon this year!

Let's look back at other controversies from the past six BlizzCons.

The first BlizzCon

In October 2005, BlizzCon made its debut to enthusiastic crowds. However, it was hardly the massively anticipated event, with tickets selling out in seconds, that it is today. Tickets were $125, and the total attendance was a mere 8000. To put this in perspective, BlizzCon 2010 had 27,000 fans. Because so few tickets were available and "virtual tickets" did not yet exist, Murky, the pet given out to attendees, is still one of the rarest pets in the game. (Lurky isn't the same.)

The big reveal in 2005 was WoW's first expansion, The Burning Crusade. With that announcement came several big changes to the game. Outland, flying mounts, jewelcrafting, Karazhan, the Caverns of Time, linked auction houses (rather than each city having its own) -- players embraced all of these. Blood elves had their detractors, for both lore and aesthetic reasons, but most were sold on the idea.

Glaringly omitted, however, was any specific word on the new Alliance race.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, WoW Archivist

BlizzCon 2009 ticket sales are done

BlizzCon 2009 tickets went on sale for the last time on Saturday at 10am PST, and were reported as sold out less than 30 minutes later. As expected, there were lots of disappointed Blizzard fans, but compared to the way things worked last year, this year's system was much more fair and much less frustrating. Unfortunately, you had to be quick -- while the sellout time was actually around 10:24, tickets really sold out in a matter of seconds, because if you clicked the buy button even 30 seconds to a minute after it went live, you were too far back in the queue to buy tickets at all. But even though it was a very small window of chance, it was at least a fair chance -- Blizzard's meter for tickets left on Saturday started at around 50%, which indicates that they split the two days of sales right down the middle. As long as you showed up and clicked at the right time, you had as much chance as anyone else. At least we got a great game out of it.

If you have tickets, enjoy the show (and don't forget: our meetup will be on Thursday night!). But if you don't, what now? The DirecTV stream will be available both via their service and on the Internet. And even if you don't jump in on that deal, we'll of course have plenty of up-to-date coverage, as will lots of folks in the community. And if you want to go a little black market, tickets will probably be available online in a few different places. We've already heard that Blizzard is starting to crack down on eBay, but certainly there are other places tickets will appear for sale. And as time goes on, we're sure people who were planning to go won't be able to make it, contests will be held in various places, and a few more tickets will free up.

So all hope may not be lost. But unless you want to call in a favor or pay a premium, BlizzCon tickets are sold. We say: the fourth weekend in August can't come soon enough.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Failoc-alypse bursts onto the scene!


During today's BlizzCon ticket sales (which are now sold out, by the way), you were able to play the game Failoc-alypse. You take the form of a Terran Marine with a gun, a Draenei Death Knight, or a Witchdoctor. Your goal is to kill as many fail-locs as possible.

"Oops flag? You're one dead Murloc!"

I recommend everyone takes a bit to play the game. It's good fun. As you progress in levels more people come out to watch you play. Around level 40 Arthas himself comes out to cheer you on. It's unknown what happens at later levels, if there really is a cow level, and what the gold cap is.

You can also click through for a bunch of basic instructions at the loading screen, and there's some funny ones hidden amongst them.

Let's look at some Failoc-alypse hints.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, BlizzCon

WRUP: Eldritch terror edition

Well, it's that time of year again -- that special time of year when a young man's thoughts of buying BlizzCon tickets turn to a creeping psychosis. When dark whispers echo from the cavernous depths of the serpentine tunnels beneath the earth's crust, their walls emblazoned with pulsing eldritch symbols unknown to any living civilization. When dreamers with minds unguarded bear witness to the psychic rumblings of beings lost to time. If you listen closely you can hear it, sussurating even now...

Ïa! Ïa! BlizzCon tickets f'thagn!

Oh, and it's also that time of week (Saturday) where we check in with our many writers (and one Peruvian pygmy mummy) and see what the heck they're doing this weekend. The two may intersect in ways you probably anticipated.

So let's see just what's causing our writers' sanity levels to drop dangerously low this weekend.

  • Adam "Holisky: Trying to pull off 75 daily quests from Friday through Sunday.
  • Alex Ziebart: I won't be doing anything. I profaned an ancient tomb and now I've switched bodies with a Peruvian pygymy mummy! A primeval headhunter is running around in my body! If only I could alert an expert in mystical anthropology who could provide a tincture, or perhaps a talisman, to break the spell.
  • Allison Robert: Praying my connection holds through an Ulduar-25.

NO, THIS IS NOT A HORRIBLE DREAM, DEAR READERS. THIS IS REAL LIFE. AND THERE'S MORE, LURKING JUST BEYOND THE JUMP.

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BlizzCon 2009 tickets on sale May 16 for $125

Blizzard just announced that tickets for BlizzCon 2009, the third fourth installment of their phenomenally successful Blizzard-themed convention, will go on sale on Saturday, May 16, for $125 each. That's a week from this Saturday, friends. Additional tickets will be sold on Saturday, May 30. Edit: You'll be able to buy tickets at blizzcon.com at the appointed times.

BlizzCon 2009 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 21 and 22. For those unable to make it, DirecTV is once again selling a pay-per-view package of the event for $40, which seems a bit steep for a two-day video feed, but will include exclusive video and this year's in-game item. This will also be available as an internet stream, presumably for those not subscribed to DirecTV.

Last year's BlizzCon ticket sales were marked by a figure affectionately known as the Failoc, which was displayed when Blizzard servers utterly failed to respond to crushing demand. This year, they think they're prepared: "the company has made upgrades to the Blizzard Store, including a first-come, first-served queue system and a fixed time limit for completing purchases," according to their press release. Check out Blizzard's FAQ for details on the new queue system.

Filed under: Events, News items, BlizzCon

Zarhym promises BlizzCon ticket sales will be better

BlizzCon 2009 tickets will likely go on sale soon, and before then, Zarhym is here to reassure you: Blizzard is doing what they can to make sure things will not go the way they did last year. Unfortunately, he doesn't go into detail on exactly what that means. We'd have to think that they wouldn't just open up the floodgates on a site that wasn't ready again, but while most thought that the lottery that ended last year's ticket sales worked pretty well, it looks like that may not be the plan just yet. Whatever they plan to do, we hope it works out in a fair way and with a minimum of fuss for those who do try to go. Anything without the Failoc or the FailSCV is a plus in our book.

Zarhym also says that they will be giving us advance notice before the tickets actually start selling, so people will have time to make travel arrangements if necessary (and/or ask the wife or parents for the money to go if need be). And he says that a pay-per-view type of event, as they did last year, or even a live stream of some of the events online, is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Of course, even if you don't make it for whatever reason, you can be sure that WoW Insider will be there and covering everything that happens, from the awesome costumes to the possibly blogger-threatening danger. Stay tuned for more info soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Server issues abounds this evening

Servers seem to be having all sorts of problems actually staying up tonight. A fair portion of the population is experiencing chronic server crashes, including my home server. A few of my guildmates canceled their 10-man raids as a result of players' inability to stay online. Even when the server isn't down, it's a real pain staying connected.

We don't really have any information as far as clear upcoming fixes or how long the issue will last, but we here at WoW Insider most definitely know how you feel. Consider this a show of solidarity. It's lame, and hopefully it will go away soon. If you're just sitting down now to dig into your playtime for the night, expect some interruptions.

What we do have is a little bit of information about possible upcoming realm transfers that will be opening up in the near future. Free transfers, of course. You can find Zarhym's list behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard

BlizzCon ticket lottery opt-in now available

If you're interested in trying for one of the 3,000 BlizzCon tickets being sold by lottery, and you had a Blizzard Account before the evening of August 12th, head over to the Blizzard Store now, as Opt-ins are open.

You should able to put yourself in to the drawing on the Account Management page. The opt-in period will last until the evening of Sunday, August 24th, and you will have an equal chance of getting a ticket no matter when you sign up.

After the Opt-in period is over, 1,500 accounts will be chosen at random for a chance to buy up to 2 tickets. Be sure your contact information is up to date so they can contact if you win. Good Luck, and we'll see you at BlizzCon!

[Thanks for the forward, Jeff!]

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Around Azeroth: Revenge of the failoc


The failoc, an unofficial symbol of all that went wrong with BlizzCon's ticketing process this year, has appeared in everything from player-created games to t-shirts. But Fawxy of Trollbane decided to go a step farther and bring the failoc to the Stormwind Bank. This failoc features a full BlizzCon murloc suit, a tiny little flag, and the BlizzCon motto, "An error has occured."

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries, BlizzCon

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 Blizzard mishandled the BlizzCon ticket situation

As you may or may not know, we here at WoW Insider are not an official Blizzard fansite. There are a few different reasons for that, but one of them is that within the Fansite Program Code of Conduct, there is a clause that states, "fansites should present content that is supportive of World of Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment." We don't disagree with that clause -- fansites are run by fans, and they should support Blizzard. But our status as an unofficial site leaves us completely free to talk indepth about situations where Blizzard has messed up big time. And as many players already know, the BlizzCon ticket sales process that took place earlier this week is definitely one of those situations.

Blizzard is, of course, a game company. No one expects them to put on events like WWI and BlizzCon -- they do so to serve the community that's grown up around their games (and, let's be fair, market and advertise their products to the core of their fanbase). And the community loves those events, both hearing about and attending them. Which is why it was a surprise to no one (except maybe Blizzard themselves) that when the ticket sales kicked off Monday morning, it was a nightmare -- the site was hammered by fans trying desperately to buy tickets, the Failoc was a familiar sight, and within a few hours, even Blizzard.com's main site was down.

Everyone could have predicted that there'd be problems like that -- when a fanbase of 11 million tries to buy 12,000 tickets, of course you're going to have technical problems. But Blizzard's mishandling of the situation didn't happen on Monday morning -- anyone can suffer from server outages. It happened over the next two days, days full of frustration, endless page refreshing, and a lack of useful communication from Blizzard about just what was happening.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, News items, Guides, BlizzCon

Last round of BlizzCon tickets (Update: Sold Out)


The maintenance SCV is back for one more round of BlizzCon ticket selling. Here's hoping that if you haven't seen tickets yet, you'll get them in this final round.

We'll keep an eye on what's happening here on this post -- feel free to comment if you're waiting for tickets, and if we see the sold out sign (or a notice from Blizzard that they're all gone), we'll let you know when to refresh. We don't know exactly how many tickets Blizzard wants to sell tonight, but we know it'll be less than they've sold so far, and actual selling time is less than an hour or so by our count. So these will likely go fast. Updates after the break.

Update: At 11:21pm, the main site is reporting that tickets for BlizzCon are completely sold out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

BlizzCon ticket fiasco sparks fan-created game


If you've been one of the many frustrated players attempting to purchase BlizzCon tickets online since yesterday, then you'll really get a kick out of BlizzCon 08, a mini-game created by Belneiros of Moon Guard (or Toneslice of Exodar).

It's extremely simple to learn how to play, and follows a classic arcade pattern. The premise is that, as a Failbot aka Blizzard employee, you arrive at work only to learn that (gasp) Blizzard forgot that the BlizzCon tickets are going on sale that day! In order to save face, you're going to have to start shooting as many down as possible. After all, there's no superior diversionary tactic.

Armed with your gun, you must do everything possible to prevent the sale of BlizzCon tickets. The more customers that get tickets, the closer you are to death.

It's actually a fun little pass-time that doesn't use much processing power at all. It's a quick play, and its inspiration came from the same refreshing, Failoc ordeal that we've all had to endure. If you sift through our live coverage yesterday, you'll notice that Belneiros wasn't the only bored player that got creative!

Stay tuned to our live blog today for news on ticket sales and our luck (or lack thereof) with acquiring some of the elusive tickets.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, BlizzCon

The quest for BlizzCon tickets, day 2


We spent most of the day yesterday refreshing the ticket sales page for BlizzCon tix, and considering we came up short, we're going to go at it again today. A few people, including a few folks at WoW Insider, were able to make it through yesterday and buy tickets, but Blizzard closed the page down last night (posting the maintenance SCV, which you can see above) to keep people from refreshing the page all night, and that's where we stand now.

Their offices in California opened up at 8am PST, just a few minutes ago, and they said that they'd be reopening ticket sales at the start of the business day today. Here's hoping we have better luck this time around. Updates will be posted after the jump as they come in.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Realm Status, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, BlizzCon

What we're expecting from BlizzCon

As we announced earlier, BlizzCon tickets are on sale. Sort of. Kind of. If you can fight past the store servers. I know I've been getting nothing but the fail murloc pretty much all day. Still, I and the rest of WoW Insider's crack live team will be there come hell or high water, and we'll bring you the news you need to know. In the meantime, we're stuck here refreshing the Blizzard Store. To pass the time, we did a bit of speculation about what we might see in Anaheim on October 10th and 11th. Here's what we decided:

What we're sure to see

The Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic: Though we still have no solid announcement, Blizzard's already stated that they want to get Wrath out before 2008 is up. Considering that, they must have the opening cinematic pretty close to done. I would be surprised if we don't see it open the opening ceremony, to be completely honest. I'm expecting Arthas and/or a "rebel" Human Death Knight to feature prominently, as well as our first cinematic Gnome shot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

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