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Posts with tag offline

New Year's Eve server connectivity issues

If you were planning to ring in the New Year by leveling up or running some LFR, you may want to think again -- realm connectivity issues have abounded over the past hour, bringing numerous realms offline. Customer Support is looking into the problem and on the official forums the Blizzard reports that "some realms have recovered."

For realms that haven't recovered -- or realms that are hopping online and off -- we don't have an official ETA, but keep your eyes on this post for further updates. For the official word from Blizzard, follow @BlizzardCS on Twitter or watch the forum thread on tonight's connectivity issues.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Would you play WoW in an offline mode?

Breakfast Topic Would you play WoW in an offline mode
Azeroth is filled with players who rarely interact with their fellow citizens. Perfectly content to mind their own business and their own goals, they group infrequently and socialize rarely. Sometimes their introverted ways are dictated by personal scheduling or other playstyle constraints. Often, it's a matter of personal choice. So it stands to reason that some solo players might actually prefer to play the game in a setting removed from other players –- an offline mode, so to speak.

Me, I would miss the living, breathing world around me if Azeroth were offline. Even when I don't choose to group up or converse with others, I enjoy seeing other players going about their own business and watching guildchat burble across my chat box. I'll occasionally refresh a character that's been stranded on a realm my friends have moved away from, but I never last long before I drift back to a realm with friends.

Would you leap at the chance to play WoW in isolation with an offline mode? What if you couldn't switch back and forth, so that once you began playing offline, that character had to stay offline?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Updated: All realms now online

Updated: All realms are now available.

Re: Rolling Realm Restarts 10/14/2010
All realms are online and available for play!

See you all ingame

After announcing rolling restarts on all U.S. and Oceanic realms last night, Blizzard has confirmed that all U.S. realms are currently offline due to an unforeseen technical issue. We will have more information when those issues are resolved.

Re: Rolling Realm Restarts 10/14/2010
All US realms are temporarily unavailable due to an unforeseen technical issue. We are unable to provide an estimate on when these issues will be resolved.

Filed under: Realm Status

Is WoW's audience still increasing?

I'm not sure how much of this is legit, but stick with us for the information first, and then stay for the debunking. Edward Hunter over at Gamasutra decided to do some poking around in comScore's MediaMetrix application (which can track, based on a survey of a few million users, access to various applications on a computer -- which programs are run when), and he found something that surprised him: despite the economic downturn and the emergence of a few other popular MMOs recently, World of Warcraft's audience is estimated globally at 13.1 million. In other words, it's still growing from the last official numbers (11.5 million players worldwide) we heard.

Now, the first issue we'd have with these numbers is the situation in China -- Hunter doesn't mention it at all, and in fact his graph (from comScore) doesn't have any dips at all in it, even though the game, and presumably its millions of players, went offline over there earlier this year. That right there throws a wrench into all of these estimations -- it's very likely comScore's information is just plain wrong.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Rumors

WoW back online in China

The long wait is finally over -- World of Warcraft's servers are finally back online in China after they went offline all the way back at the beginning of June, due to a switch between former host The9 and current host NetEase. It took a while for the government to approve the move (and some have even suggested that the delay wasn't completely legit), but things are finally back to business as usual, according to a few sources out of China.

A few more interesting facts have arisen with this news as well: apparently NetEase has spent over a million yuan (about $146,000) per day to keep up and maintain the game and its servers during the past month of closed beta and free play. Of course, that includes customer support and all the other costs.

Even with that price, however, the company is still expected to grow. We haven't heard any population numbers worldwide for WoW since this whole deal began, but you have to think that they lost at least a few players due to all of the problems. Of course, the release of Wrath over there may bring back some players, but even though they were planning to have it out before all of this happened, the switchover has delayed it even further. All they need is more government approval, but as the outage proved, that can sometimes be hard to get.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

WoW currently free to play in China, fate still being decided by government

The trials and tribulations continue for Chinese MMO players, WoW, and its new Chinese provider NetEase. IncGamers is reporting that the beta of the game is continuing - effectively making the game free to play for those lucky enough to be taking part - while the Chinese government decides if enough changes have been made, such as the removal of corpses, gore and other unpleasant parts of the MMO experience, for the game to get a Chinese relaunch.

Since handing over the baton from from The9, things have not gone very well. After an extended hiatus which saw the game's servers offline while the data was transferred over, the game is still awaiting the final go-ahead from GAPP (the General Administration of Press and Publication). The beta was originally supposed to last around a week but because of the delay has been going on for nearly a month. However IncGamers is also reporting that according to NetEase, all the internal testing has been completed and once the GAPP are done, the game should launch pretty quickly.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items 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 servers are now up and running, so Chinese players can now at least sign in to, 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

With the game offline in China, others aim to step in

As you may or may not have heard, the World of Warcraft is currently offline in China, thanks to a fight between the game's former licensee, The9, and its current licensee, Netease. Yes, if you think a day or so of downtime is bad here in the US and the EU, that's nothing compared to this: the game has been down since June 7th, and neither Blizzard nor Netease have given an estimate of when the game might be back online. An analyst from China does say that they expect most players to return to the servers once they return, but in the meantime, many players have spread over into Taiwan's WoW server. We don't believe that Blizzard allowed transfers during this time, so they've likely started and leveling brand new characters over there.

And don't think that other games haven't noticed this unique window of opportunity: there are currently millions of MMO players looking for something to do in China, and there are at least three big other games looking to give them something to do. Aion, which is currently in beta here in the US but is apparently up and running in Asia already, is making as much of a play as they can, and there are two local Chinese games, Zhuxian Online and Chibi Online, both developed by a company called Perfect World, that are also aiming to steal some of China's WoW players.

Very interesting situation over there -- imagine how much the MMO world would be thrown off here if WoW just completely disappeared for multiple weeks, if not longer. Blizzard is likely scrambling to get things moving over there as fast as possible.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

Dozens of realms under long maintenance tomorrow

There will be two kinds of maintenance tomorrow.

The first kind will be from 3:00 a.m. PDT until 11:00 a.m. PDT. This is the "normal" maintenance time. This will apply to all realms that are not on the list after the break.

The second kind of maintenance will be from 12:00 a.m. PDT until 12:00 p.m. PDT. The realms after the break will be undergoing this maintenance.

It is likely the Wintergrasp changes we just broke will go live tomorrow. There's a bit of uproar about them, and it'll be interesting to see exactly what the changes are. There is no indication if patch 3.1.2 will be dropping tomorrow or not.

The list of realms down for half a day after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Realms offline until at least 6:00pm EST [Updated]

Breaking news from the service status forums:

All realms will be offline until at least 6:00pm EST / 3:00pm PST. They are having to keep the realms down for this extended period due to errors in the mail system.

Essentially, every piece of mail that was sent prior to the realms going down at 8:00am EST was lost when the servers came back up. Blizzard has said that they are actively looking for a solution to the problem. We're keeping our mailbox post updated with the latest information on that front.

Hopefully this extended downtime is not foreshadowing things to come when Wrath of the Lich King starts to enter circulation tomorrow evening at midnight*.

Update: Please see this post for more information concerning the downtime.

Stay tuned to WoW Insider for more updates.
Are you ready for the challenges that await you in Northrend? WoW Insider has you covered with our 8-day guide to Preparing for Wrath. Also, check out our feature on AddOns new, old and outdated and Essential AddOns for Wrath written especially with the expansion in mind.

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Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Why are the servers down and other questions

For many of us, realms excitedly went up for a few minutes but quickly came crashing down. Reader Venorize was kind enough to send us a link to an F.A.Q answering all the pertinent questions about our realms... and why they're currently borked. Important questions like why our loading screens take forever to load (answer -- thousands and thousands of other people are logging in at the same time) and why our screen is cluttered with all sorts of incomprehensible gibberish and weird images (hint -- turn off your AddOns first).

If you're having trouble logging in, experiencing difficulty in playing the game, or simply can't access of play World of Warcraft post Patch 3.0.2, head over to the F.A.Q., there are a lot of good answers to important questions. Even those not answered by our very own F.A.Q. assembled by Eliah. If you've got a question that isn't addressed here at WoW Insider or there, that's probably when you can head on over to the forums and bug Blizzard. Or... you can try and see if your realm's back on. A little patience goes a long way.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard

Server prepares for July

I know that I wasn't the only one that did a double take today when I opened up WoW and saw the "Breaking News" maintenance announcement that included a tidbit about the realm Dreadmaul undergoing hardware upgrades for Wrath of the Lich King.

I find this interesting for several reasons. First, the expansion hasn't even had a release date announced yet and they're already making hardware changes. Now this is obviously a good practice – getting ready for things before hand – but then again, if it's not going to be released in October / November of this year all these hardware changes could be done later and for much cheaper. No matter if you agree with my pricing analysis or not, it is definitely a bit odd to hear about hardware upgrades when the release date hasn't even been made public yet.

Read more →

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

Tuesday morning at WoW Insider

It's Tuesday morning and the hamsters that run the servers are being fed by Blizzard, which means all the realms are down for extended maintenance until at least 11:00 a.m. PDT. There is no patch 2.4.2 to look forward to when the servers go back up this afternoon, but that might not be that bad of a thing. Usually patch days mean add-on trouble and serious server stability issues. Those spell disaster for anyone expecting to enjoy the evening.

While the servers are offline, go ahead and get your WoW fix from us! We've got a few dandy articles to entice you and keep your WoW addiction in full swing.
  • Take a look at the official and unofficial patch notes for patch 2.4.2. Highlights include reduced cooldown timers, changes in the hand specifications of some weapons, and new polymorphing mechanics.
  • A talented rogue was able to tank the seventh boss in the Black Temple, Mother Shahraz, by stacking insane amounts of avoidance and agility. Take a look at the video of the encounter, definitely worth watching if you have a minute.
  • SK-Gaming killed M'uru (the next-to-last boss in the Sunwell Plateau) over the weekend. M'uru dropped some nice loot for them. Check out what they got in their world first kill.
  • Did you know Blizzard launched a new and improved online store? The best part about it is that if you buy something, you can click a little check box that gives you a chance to be selected to participate in a beta. I ordered a tee-shirt over the weekend, and have my fingers crossed that I'll get in a certain beta test pretty soon (I could care less about the tee-shirt, naturally).
  • Sean Forsgren recently profiled one of my favorite add-ons, Dr. Damage. It's a great tool that gives you very useful statistics about all your spells in the form of extended tooltips. Take a minute to look into it now, and get it all downloaded and setup for when the servers come back online later today.
When the severs do come back online, WoW Insider will let you know. Hopefully there won't be any major stability issues tonight, but if there are, we'll be covering that too. Enjoy your downtime!

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

PTR goes up

Usually Blizzard is pretty definitive when they take something down. However today they've decided to take down the PTR (Public Test Realm) in the morning, and then put it back up early tonight. I'm reminded of a recent Simpsons episode I watched where Homer is sitting in his hospital bed awaiting a heart bypass surgery and goes "Bed goes up, bed goes down. Bed goes up, bed goes down." PTR goes down, PTR goes up.

All of these announcements come from the same person, Hortus, so it's not an issue of him being confused or anything (unless the whirly jig in his head has gotten to him). Hortus does tell us that they've put it up for "some additional testing," which really isn't a surprise given it's a test realm.

This probably means that patch 2.4.2 won't go live tomorrow if there is maintenance. Once we know more we'll post and keep you updated.

Filed under: Patches, News items

Tuesday morning maintenance

Sometimes I feel like Blizzard chooses a handful of random servers to Ice Block every few days – not letting players on, and giving a (hopefully) short window when the servers will be offline.

If you're on the unlucky servers of Agamaggan, Azshara, Baelgun, Dark Iron, Detheroc, Emerald Dream, Greymane, Kalecgos, Lightninghoof, Maelstrom, Malfurion, Moonrunner, Nazjatar, Sargeras, Staghelm, Twisting Nether, Ursin, WildHammer, or either of the Tournamenet Servers, you're going to have at least two hours of downtime from 5:00 a.m. PDT until 7:00 a.m. PDT. Blizzard will also be doing rolling restarts across all realms this morning.

For those of you waiting to get your morning fix of WoW, fear not. There are several pieces of news and entertaining reads to catch up on.

New WotLK alpha screenshots – Did you know that WotLK is in alpha, and the first batch of new screenshots has been leaked? We've got them confirmed from an inside source and mirrored here for your enjoyment.

As a tank, I hate to pug. Our Warrior columnist Matthew Rossi agrees with me. Check out his enlightening piece for One reason tanks won't pug. And I hope the subject of his piece, Primula, enjoys his or her new found fame as one lowly ninja-looter.

Do you have a life outside of WoW? Not that I do, but if I did I would be a casual player and appreciate Robin Torres' advice from WoW, Casually: Finding groups fast. Just remember that they don't always have to be random pug groups.

Two pieces of Season 4 gear have been accidently enabled by a GM on the live realms. You can check out the new stats and have look at them. They remind me a bit of the Ori from Stargate, so I have to ask: Hallowed are the Ori, anyone? Hopefully the bosses at Blizzard are a bit more understand than the Ori and will let the GM that made this mistake keep his job.

And finally you can check out my new favorite column of the week, [1. Local] by Lisa Poisso. Lisa takes a look at all the comments posted on WoW Insider and rounds up the best of them for us to marvel over. I know that I've sent her a few lately.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Gallery: WotLK Leaks

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

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