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Posts with tag launcher

Chat now enabled in Battle.net launcher window

That's right, in addition to all sorts of exciting Alpha release news (like, the fact that there is an Alpha release) for Warlords of Draenor we also have this little tidbit - namely, you can now chat with your friends who are logged into World of Warcraft, Diablo III, Hearthstone or any other Blizzard game directly from the Battle.net launcher without even entering a game.

This functionality was apparently turned on today just before the announcement, and works by popping up a window for you to chat in, just like any one of many messenger services you might be familiar with. So there you have it, one step closer to never being out of touch with your in-game friends ever again.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

New Battle.net launcher now in open beta testing

launcher beta
No, sorry everybody, it's not the Hearthstone open beta--not yet, anyway--but there is a Blizzard open beta that could use your testing clicks. The new launcher app has been in closed beta for some time, but that phase has ended and now it's in full open testing swing. As explained in the official blog post, the new launcher aims to streamline players' experience of Blizzard games by providing a single application from which to access all of them: World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone.

You'll also be able to use the app to install Blizzard games directly, and if you leave it running it will automatically update those games as well. The new launcher will also allow you to stay logged into your Blizzard games for up to 30 days at a time, if you like. For those interested, you can download the new launcher app here, and access the FAQ here, and you can also check out WoW Insider's overview of what to expect from the new launcher, as well. The app is scheduled to be released in the next few months, in other words, "SoonTM".

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

New Battle.net Desktop Client Beta

Battlenet Desktop Client
A flurry of invitations has gone out to players to test the beta of the new Battle.net client, and they have begun to be downloaded. You can see a screenshot of the client above, and note various aspects of it quite immediately. Firstly, it has all the Blizzard games on my system available within one launcher for me to choose from, and the launcher also monitors downloads, updates, patches, you name it, for all the installs on your system. The eagle eyed reader will also be able to spot a drop-down menu above the big blue Play button, this currently allows you to choose between PTR and Live servers for your game launch.

I'm hoping that, in time, this drop-down might also allow players to pick between different installs and accounts, as I, although I find myself in the minority, have both US and EU accounts that I switch between regularly. While I would emphasize that this isn't a usual mode of play, it would be nice if the option existed to pick between regions and accounts. You can see various other elements on the front page, and there are more that appear as it loads in, and your battle.net friends come online.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard

New Battle.net desktop client datamined

New Battlenet client datamined
MMO-Champion have been very busy datamining, as is their way, and have happened upon some files that indicate that a new launcher may well be appearing before too long. What they have found indicates that there is a battle.net launcher coming that will shift away from separate game-by-game launchers, towards an integrated launcher for all Blizzard games. Looking at the background files which have been datamined, it looks like WoW, Diablo, and Starcraft will be included, but also the older Warcraft RTS games.

Each major game group appears to have its own section, which itself includes breaking news, general information, and links to things like patch notes, guides, account management, help and support and more. There is also a news section which encompasses the news across all the games you have installed.

It is important to note that this currently appears to be datamined information and should be treated appropriately. It is always best not to pass judgement on such things until an official position on the veracity of early reports is released. But, that being said, whatever this turns out to be looks great.

Filed under: Blizzard

64-bit World of Warcraft game client now available for testing

So, remember the hints that've been dropped recently about a 64-bit game client? Well, it's here. In a blue post on the PTR forums, Dresorull has formally announced the client's existence and provided a link to a 64-bit executable file that runs in place of the normal 32-bit one. (This means that you won't have to download a huge new version of the game, just a small file that you can then toggle between in the launcher settings.) This is still being heavily tested; it will only work on the PTR and is being distributed separately from the PTR itself.

Now, before you get too excited, realize that this isn't a panacea. If you're running a 32-bit OS, you won't be able to use this at all, and a 64-bit system with limited memory (say, 4GB of RAM or less) may actually see decreased performance due to the increased memory usage of 64-bit programs. Systems with more memory, however, will be able to cache more program data in RAM. This should help speed up things that require large reads from the hard drive, such as changing zones, and may increase stability for those who run lots of addons.

A 64-bit client is now available for use with the 4.3.2 PTR. You can download it at the link below, unzip it into your PTR directory, and then run the executable to test it.

• The 64-bit client is being distributed separately from the PTR as it is not yet supported for use with World of Warcraft.
• This can only be used with the 4.3.2 PTR, it is not to be used with the live version of the game.
• A Mac version is not available yet, though we are working on one and plan for it to be available in the near future.
• The game's built in voice chat does not currently work in the 64-bit client.


Filed under: News items

New streaming launcher available soon

In what seems to be the biggest confirmation of patch 4.0.1 for tomorrow, Blizzard has announced that the streaming launcher, which has been active in the Cataclysm beta for some time, is going to be deployed to the live game. Included in the post is an FAQ about the launcher.

If you haven't seen the new launcher yet, here's a quick rundown. The launcher allows you to download a critical set of data required to play the game, noted by the red stage. After that critical set of data is downloaded, you can play WoW but will potentially experience issues because the majority of the game content is not downloaded, noted by the yellow stage. Once a majority of the game content is downloaded, the downloader goes green, meaning you will still be downloading content but the game will be in a more stable, playable state. Hit the jump for the official announcement.

Read more →

Filed under: Cataclysm

Cataclysm brings new launcher and patch process

Zarhym (Blizzard community manager) announced in the Cataclysm forums that the launcher as well as the patch download process will be getting overhauled as well. This new system will include a color-coded progress bar similar to a stoplight system.

Zarhym
There are three stages of download progress:
  • SETUP (RED): Core game content is being prepared. You cannot enter the game at this time.
  • AVAILABLE (YELLOW): Major game content is not completely applied. You can play, but your game experience will not be ideal.
  • PLAYABLE (GREEN): Final game content is almost complete. You may experience a few game issues with playing at this stage.


What does this mean for players? Once you're into the yellow part of the download, you can actually log into the game and play. Things that are missing will likely be along the lines of art, model and sound files. While this might cause lag or strange graphic issues, it will allow for players to get back onto their servers faster during patch days.

Those of you in the beta will see this relatively soon. However, it will require that you re-install the beta client from scratch.

The full blue post and instructions after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Cataclysm

New scam targets the WoW Launcher

A post in the official forums today, later confirmed by a blue, points to hackers attempting to take advantage of a new avenue to attack the user -- the World of Warcraft Launcher.

As you can see from the screenshot above (large version here) the real launcher apparently is replaced with a fake launcher that sends the user to a web site that pretends to be official, asking for subscription information (including answers to secret questions and the original CD-Key) in what is meant to appear as the means to restore a supposedly suspended account. One of the telltale signs that this isn't legit, besides the very invasive information requested, is the version number in the upper left corner of the screen. We're way past patch 3.1.1 -- however not everyone might know this.

Ancilorn posts confirming that this is not genuine (reiterating that they will never ask for your password in such a manner, and also requesting that such things be sent directly to Blizzard if they happen to you). Goes to show that as security is increased, those looking to breach it become more desperate.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Brief launcher update

Blizzard updated the launcher again today without warning and hopefully without incident -- unlike Monday, when everything went awry, errors abounded and people were unable to connect.

There is no indication that patch 3.3 is anywhere near downloading or anything other than a small tools patch. There has also been no word from Blizzard yet on exactly what this patch does, but it is required if you want to log into the game. The patch is very small and only takes a handful of seconds to download and apply.

We'll keep an eye on this issue for any problems, but as of this writing, all is well.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard

3.0.8 maintenance extended to 1 PM PST

Sorry, folks. You'll have to wait just a little bit longer for 3.0.8. The new and stylish Launcher just informed us disappointed players that maintenance has been extended to 1 PM Pacific time.

But don't let your anticipation get the best of you! In the meantime, why don't you read some of our other extensive 3.0.8 coverage and get yourself pumped for it, or do Alex's crossword? Idle hands, and all that.

Filed under: Patches, News items

3.0.8 brings snazzy new Blizzard Launcher


Anyone who loaded up WoW this morning and patched their game up to 3.0.8 was greeted with a pleasant surprise--a slick new Blizzard Launcher. It looks to have been redone slightly, with a cold-steel Wrath-y theme and a more organized interface. Immediate additions I can see from my end are helpful community/forum links at the bottom, a well-lit link to the Blizzard Store right up top, and (of course) our boy the Lich King, stage right.

Tipsters have noted that it looks similar to Battle.net launchers, and this may very well be an intended change given Blizzard's past statements that Battle.net is up for a major overhaul for Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2.

Leave it to Blizzard to package such an anticipated patch in such nice foil wrapping.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, News items

WoW Insider's predictions for 2009

Another year has come and gone, and we're on the verge of WoW's fifth year of existence. So it's time once again to look into the crystal ball, and pull out some predictions. Some of these are surefire (we're definitely going to hear more about the content patches for Wrath this year), some are tossups depending on who you ask (will we see another expansion in the works?), and some are just random guesses. But we're guaranteed one thing: 2009 is going to be a wild year, so if you want our very first insight on what might happen, here you go.

These are compiled from the WoW Insider staff -- we differed in a few places, and where we did, I've pointed out who thought what. Keep in mind that no one can predict the future, of course, so these are predictions, and that's all. By now we should all know that Blizzard will do all they can to keep us guessing. And feel free to put your own predictions (or just respond to ours in the comments below. Happy New Year -- here's to a great 2009!

Update: Also be sure to check out Big Download's PC predictions for 2009 -- they've got something to say about Blizzard's next expansion, too.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Classes, BlizzCon, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Launcher updated again, 3.0.2 soon?

The Launcher "and its related tools" have gotten another upgrade today, even though the realms haven't come up yet, which tells us that the Background Downloader probably has more work to do, which itself means that we probably won't see 3.0.2 today. Not really a surprise -- it's early by anyone's predictions for sure -- but the Downloader has had a full patch out for a while, so the update is primed and almost ready.

Today's downtime is all about hardware upgrades, apparently, so Blizzard is definitely gearing up for Wrath. We saw lots of hardware upgrades in the months before the Burning Crusade launch (people who were playing back then will remember all of the horrible queues and population issues before servers got expanded), and while Wrath probably won't be as big a jump, Blizzard is still getting ready.

Which just leaves the question of when we'll see patch 3.0.2. Considering the BC content patch came just about a month before release, we're still looking for it in mid-October (likely after all the ruckus of BlizzCon has died down).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Wrath splash screen appears on the Launcher


Eagle-eyed readers noticed that Blizzard is prepping a new version of the launcher for the Wrath of the Lich King launch -- a quick update showed up just this afternoon in the launcher software, and afterwards, when starting up, the program flashes the blank screen above, with the Lich King logo, before it then covers it up again with the current iTunes promotion splash screen.

This means nothing for certain, of course -- Blizzard is either changing the launcher software and the way the splash screen works completely (and putting the new version live behind the current version), or they're just working on an update for when the game does launch later this year. There's a possibility that this was a mistake, and that the screen was sent live too early, but it doesn't appear to have any affect on the actual program or the game itself -- everything else starts up just fine, with no issues at all. Just like the icy logo around the official site, Blizzard too is getting ready for Wrath.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

Azeroth Security Advisor: WoW is watching you, part 1

Every week, computer security expert Jon Eldridge is your Azeroth Security Advisor. He will delve into the darkest reaches of computer security rumor and bring the facts back home even if they're wriggling at the end of a pike. His goal is to provide useful information to gamers who don't think about security much and flame fodder for those self appointed experts who need to rationalize the cost of their expensive certifications. Like any good security force he's a mercenary at heart and is happy to take subject requests from the user community that he serves. So feel free to leave a comment below or just sit back and enjoy the show.

If you play World of Warcraft you agreed to the Terms of Use Agreement and End User License Agreement even if you don't know it. If you're like most gamers you "agreed" with all the forethought and consideration of a lab rat agreeing to run a maze in exchange for a yummy pellet of rat chow. Scurry, scurry, click, click... yum! Let's face it, when you're just two clicks away from playing the hottest MMORPG on the planet those screens usually go by just as fast as they appear. But what else besides deep fat fried MMO goodness is contained within the WoW client you're running?

One of things you agreed to while merrily clearing those pesky EULA and Terms of Use screens after every patch is that Blizzard "MAY" monitor your PC's RAM and CPU processes for "unauthorized" 3rd party programs that by Blizzard's "sole determination" may or may not be deemed naughty. Naughty in this case includes but is not limited to teleporting, data mining, exploiting bugs, facilitating bots and generally doing an end run around the game mechanics for fun and profit. In reality the WoW.exe DOES monitor your system, silently, thoroughly, and every 15 seconds.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Rumors, Account Security, Azeroth Security Advisor

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