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Posts with tag game-time

Correction: GameStop's Black Friday deals

Earlier this month, we reported a rumor regarding GameStop's Black Friday deals, via a leaked Black Friday ad. As with all rumored information, this was not set in stone -- and now we've got the real deal: GameStop will not be selling 60 day game cards for $5 on Black Friday. We've verified this information with a source, and we're confident of the source's information. Those of you hoping to fill your pockets with cheap game time cards can save your money -- or you can cash in on GameStop's real Black Friday deals, which are still pretty good when it comes to WoW.

Mists of Pandaria will be on sale for $9.99, and it comes with a free 60-day game card. In addition, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty will be on sale for $19.99 each, and purchasing either of those will net you a 60 day game card. The World of Warcraft Battle Chest will be on sale for $4.99, but it does not include a game time card with the purchase.

For those looking to get started with WoW, this does come out to a pretty good deal -- you can get the Battle Chest and Mists of Pandaria for $15, and get a 60 day game time card free as part of the purchase. Or if you happen to have a friend interested in StarCraft, you can pick up the game for them, and keep the WoW game time for yourself. GameStop's Black Friday ad should be available on their website soon -- those looking for the official ad can visit their official Black Friday page and sign up to be notified once the ad itself goes live.

Filed under: News items

GameStop offering 60-day game cards for $5 on Black Friday

Black Friday (November 29th), the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season, is always packed with sales to lure us away from our computers and into shopping centers. This year's deals at GameStop are particularly tempting for WoW-players -- or those that want to become WoW players. On offer are the World of Warcraft Battle Chest (which includes expansions up to Cataclysm) for $5, Mists of Pandaria for $10, and a 60-day game time card for $5. The former offers are a great deal for anyone looking to get friends into WoW, but the latter is a great deal for any active player -- even if you don't usually use game time cards, the appeal of getting $30 worth of gameplay for $5 is definitely high.

Bear in mind, however, that this information is coming from a leaked Black Friday ad on the site BlackFriday.com and could still change -- so you may want to wait for an official announcement from GameStop before you start camping out in front of your local shop.

Editors note: Gamestop will not be selling $5 game time cards on Black Friday. For the correct information, please visit our updated post.


WoW Archivist: A rolled-back history of realms

Hundreds of players in Stormwind
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?

If your low-population realm hasn't been linked up to another one yet, it soon will. This is a drastic step for WoW, but one that should solve the long-bemoaned low-population problem on many realms.

When WoW first launched, Blizzard had the exact opposite problem on their hands: realms had far, far too many players. Let's look back to 2004 to the earliest months of the game and remember just what players had to endure -- and what Blizzard had to do to fix it.

Uncharted realms

The servers that run the game's realms have always been shrouded in mystery. Technical details have never been shared. In a 2005 interview, producer Shane Dabiri deflected questions about the realms hardware: "Well, I really can't get into how we structure or build our infrastructure," he said. "Much of the information is proprietary and complex."

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Win a thirty-day game card from WoW Insider

It's World of Warcraft's sixth birthday, and we've got a bunch of stuff to give away to celebrate! Here's the first contest of the day.

Comment on this post by 12 a.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 24, for a chance to win a 30-day game card. We'll randomly pick two winners from the comments.

Some rules apply. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Make sure your email address is up to date, because that's how we'll get hold of you! Official rules here.

Filed under: Contests

Blizzard giving 7 days of free play to lapsed accounts

Cataclysm is fast approaching, and Blizzard is offering seven days of free play to lapsed subscriptions in preparation for the upcoming expansion. Players who have quit the game are being offered this seven-day promotion via email, and although it hasn't been mentioned on the official site, the email and the promotion are both completely legit. The full text of the email is as follows:

Claim your 7 free days of game time!

The earth-shattering rage of Deathwing will soon be released upon the lands of Azeroth. Return to the battlefields with 7 days of FREE game time! Simply click below to claim your time and prepare for Cataclysm ... but act fast, as this offer will expire on Dec 1st, 2010.

Prepare for Cataclysm™, the next expansion to World of Warcraft®, whose features include:

Two New Playable Races – Adventure as one of two new races: the feral worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.

Classic Zones Remade – Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been altered forever and updated with new content, from the devastated Badlands to the broken Barrens.

Flying Mounts in Azeroth – Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms like never before!

Level Cap Increased to 85 – Experience new quests and dungeons as you seize ever greater abilities and tap into new talents!

New High-Level Zones – Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great Sunken City of Vashj'ir beneath the sea.

Guild Advancement – Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.

Archaeology – Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.

New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds – Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.


And much more...

We look forward to seeing you back in Azeroth.

- The World of Warcraft Team

This game time is only valid for inactive accounts, rather than accounts that are set up with a paid subscription, according to blue poster Harlsoco. As with any email claiming to be official, though, it is recommended that players log into their Battle.net accounts and check their Account Management page to verify the promotion rather than clicking any email links, just to avoid any possible hacking attempts.

If you've taken a break from Azeroth, check your email -- you may have a free week to get back into the swing of things before Cataclysm's launch.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Game time

The other day, I was talking to a good WoW friend about some RL stuff. None of it was anything you all would find terribly interesting, until we came upon the topic of my health. I told him I had started a probiotic regimen recently in hopes of resolving an antibiotic treatment I had taken the year before. When I tried to recount the time that it happened, my mind momentarily drew blank before I was able to spit out "it was around Ulduar."

He knew what I meant of course, but I immediately realized the absurdity of me relaying events about my real life in game time.

When I thought about it though, I figured I couldn't be the only one ... So, do your weeks start on Tuesdays? Do you say you have to be somewhere in server time? Do in-game holidays remind you an actual holiday is coming up? Was the last time you went to the dentist when you got your first Anub'arak kill?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Locke

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Do you ever get the feeling that WoW is like some sort of purgatory? That you're trapped in an endless loop of hellish deviations intent on consuming the very soul from which all things good and pure spring forth from? That this game is indeed nothing but the true game which ends all games, and like Sisyphus or John Locke you'll be stuck pushing the boulder up the hill towards a higher level for the rest of your life?

And with, let's throw a little social philosophy in your faces.

Adoisin commented...

"I hate people telling me how to change my spec and how to play. I'm a mage who puts out between 2-3k dps, depending on how bad my lag may be at the time. Sure, I may not have the cookie cutter spec. But it's my game, I am paying for it, and I will play how I want. Want me to change? Fine. Start paying my fee and you can tell me how to play."

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

How to avoid automatic subscription renewal


As most of us know, WoW credit card subscription plans in the US and Europe are auto-renewing. If I sign up for one month at $14.99, as soon as that month is up, Blizzard immediately re-bills my credit card and signs me up for another month. This is problematic for some people, who may want to switch to a game card at the end of the month, or who simply might not want their cards to be automatically billed.

Fortunately, there's an easy solution: cancel your account. Yep, just push that big red button (well, actually, it's a smallish grey button, but you get the idea). You'll still get to play until the time you've paid for runs out. And since Blizzard retains your character and account info indefinitely, you don't have to worry about your characters getting deleted. At the end of the time you've paid for, when you try to log in, you'll get a notice that your pre-paid time has been used up, at which point you can go on the web site and add whatever payment method you like.

I've used this method many times myself. It's only a few extra clicks, and if you want to have more control over how you get billed, it's definitely worth considering, even if it does make the peons cry.

Filed under: Tricks, Blizzard

The price of a game time refund

Is it just me or has it been a long time since Blizzard passed out some free game time? Reader Jim T. emailed me about a conversation he recently had with Blizzard's customer service -- he was disappointed with the lag, the queues, and the downtime on his server lately, and checking in about how he might get a refund or credit. The customer rep told him that while they didn't give out individual credit, they occasionally do give out game-wide credit for downtime mistakes.

Which is true -- Blizzard will occasionally give out a free day to folks affected by major unexpected downtime or server issues. But while they used to do it fairly often, by my recollection, they seem much less inclined to pull the trigger on a refund lately. On the one hand, sure, Blizzard does a better job than they used to -- last Tuesday's maintenance lasted quite a while, but it wasn't anything compared to the days the servers used to be offline a few years ago. On the other hand, though, there's no question players are being affected -- by queues, by problems logging in, and by lag on the instance servers and elsewhere.

Of course, we have no idea if Blizzard has an actual rule for when they give out free gametime and when they don't -- at this point, the criteria for giving players a refund happens to be "when they feel like it." Which is all right, we guess -- it's their company, of course. But it does seem like the criteria has changed -- we used to get refunds all the time, and even with all the problems lately, Blizzard hasn't decided to give customers any game time back.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses, Hardware

60-day cards for $20 at Circuit City

Back in the day, you could get 60 day playtime cards for $20 at Amazon, all the time. This appears to be the resurrection of that deal: the same cards are currently available for $20 at Circuit City. This is, as they say, a $30 value, assuming you normally pay the single-month rate of $15 per month. The cards are sold out online, but available for in-store pickup; click over to the site and enter your ZIP code to see if they're available in your store.

Personally, I'm not going for it, because the closest Circuit City is about 15 minutes away, and also because I like to pay for a month at a time and then cancel my account. That way, if I happen not to be able to play for some amount of time after my subscription is up, it doesn't renew until I need it and go renew it manually (which takes all of two minutes), and so I save a few bucks. But for those with more regular play schedules, this looks like a good deal.
[via the Bronze Kettle]

Filed under: Tips

Dear Blizzard : Server issues

Dear Blizzard,

For whatever reason, your game has been experiencing multiple server related issues in the past few weeks. Many players have seen themselves offline an abnormal amount of time, and for no apparent reason. Some realms have been brought offline for emergency maintenance and stayed that way for nearly a day. Other realms are seeing themselves either reset or become sundered down with mass disconnects that make any serious play almost impossible.

Just the other night I was happily grouping with some friends over on Eldre'Thalas, when all of the sudden the server decided to boot me, and only me, from the game. Lo and behold, when trying to log back in I get stuck on authentication. My other two accounts would not work either. What makes this even better is that Eldre'Thalas wasn't even on the list of realms under emergency maintenance.

You've been giving us all this downtime lately, so I'm wondering, what are you going to do to fix it? Or baring a fix, at least make our $15 a month worth it.

Read more →

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

Free WoW, courtesy of AT&T


It looks like WoW gametime is the new iPod shuffle, in that it's something companies give out to try to entice you to switch away from your current providers. Now AT&T is offering three free months of game time to anyone who is willing to switch from cable internet to "high speed Internet from AT&T," which I assume means DSL. Normally I wouldn't recommend DSL over cable, since it tends to be (much) slower, but if you use your connection mostly for WoW, email, and web type stuff anyway, it doesn't really matter. DSL does tend to be a bit cheaper.

There are a few caveats, of course. You need to be a new customer, and as far as I can tell, you need to keep your account open at least a month to get the reward, and there was something about a $75 modem charge, but there was also something about $125 cash back (the fine print is a little confusing). The offer is open until January 31, 2008, so you have a little while to make up your mind. If you've got cable but don't like it, free WoW is never a bad thing. Did anyone take advantage of the DirecTV offer from a few months ago? If so, how did it go?

Filed under: Tips, News items

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