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Posts with tag purchase

The Lawbringer: License v. Purchase -- Sgt. Joe Friday Edition

Welcome to The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly look at the intersection of law and the World of Warcraft. I'm a recent law school grad acting as your tour guide and trying not to think about the Bar Exam in a few weeks.

Last week's discussion of seems to have left many of y'all rather confused. The occasional hazard of having an idea that is fun to write is discovering that it isn't always as much fun to read, so I apologize for that. This week we'll be skipping the dramatization about License v. Purchase issues to get just the facts, ma'am.

(If you were one of those who really enjoyed last week, you might want to check out my fiction.)

We'll begin by noting that the program of World of Warcraft comes with an End User License Agreement. While vocabulary isn't everything, one has a difficult time arguing that the relationship isn't a license when one has signed a license agreement.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Purchase vs. License cage match

Welcome to The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly tour of the intersection between law and the World of Warcraft. I am a new law school grad, acting as your crossing guard.

Ladies and gentlemen, gnomes of all ages, welcome to THE CAGE! In our first corner, we have the provider of countless yachts to copyright lawyers, with the power of the contract, the big bad himself, the License! And in our second corner, it's the plucky defender of consumers' property rights, the champion of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the curse of the big bads everywhere -- let's give a big welcome to the Purchase! Now let's go to Bob for tonight's rules.

The rules of tonight's fight are simple, Jim. These two contenders are fighting over who best describes World of Warcraft players' relationship to Blizzard. There will be three rounds, during which each fighter will present a case to persuade our judges. After three rounds of presentations, our judges will decide who really embodies the relationship between Blizzard and its customers.

Why is this so important, Bob?

Well, Jim, a license can contain pretty much any rights, but the EULA for a piece of entertainment software with a subscription like World of Warcraft is going to only give the bare minimum of what Blizzard is willing to allow. They can't be too stingy, or they'll go down like Linden Labs to an unconscionability claim, but they're much more worried about protecting their interests than allowing the customers to get all licentious.

Licentious, Bob?

Read a book, Jim. Anyway, if plucky little Purchase wins, then players get to be subject to the firmly defined laws instead of a mushy, Blizzard-defined license. The law regarding copyrighted copies allows them to make backup copies, get first sale doctrine protection and not be subject to copyright law for breaking the rules defined in the EULA.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

Time to get that Authenticator

Well, they started giving away pets for having an authenticator, so I guess it's about time I went ahead and put one on my account. I've had the app on my iPhone for a while, actually, but I never really saw the point in attaching it to my account, especially since it seemed like just more hassle, and who knows what kinds of errors could pop up. And honestly, I haven't worried much about hackers -- I use a secure browser, I don't click on unknown links. But I know, I know, it's safer, and with the cute Corehound Pup out, I might as well go ahead and attach it.

And you might as well, too. Blizzard's Store was flooded with people looking for authenticators yesterday, but things have slowed down a bit, and they've even got a brand new design with the Corehound Pup right on there. The price, as usual, is $6.50 with free shipping. If you've got an iPhone or an iPod touch, you can get the app free from iTunes, and we're told that it's coming to other platforms at some point in the future (guess when: "soon"). Even if you don't want to apply the Authenticator for whatever reason, just think of it as an almost-half-price pet.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Account Security

Nvidia offering up a chance to go to BlizzCon

The chances to head off to BlizzCon are coming fast nowadays -- Nvidia is the latest company in on the race, as they're offering up an all expenses paid trip to Anaheim in August for the winner and a guest to experience Blizzard's big show. To enter, they say you have to buy a qualifying Nvidia card, and then use the promo code inside the package to enter. Which might make you think, as we did, that it's a pretty lousy deal -- you have to buy a new graphics card just for a chance to win? But their official rules say "no purchase necessary," So we did the work for you: if you want to enter without buying a card, you have to send a letter or postcard to "NVIDIA "BlizzCon 2009" Sweepstakes – Entries by Mail (USA & Canada), NVIDIA Corporation, 2701 San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara, CA 95050, U.S.A," and include your full name, your email address, mailing addresses, your telephone number, and "a short paragraph (100 to 250 words), written or typed in English, stating why you like or have an interest in the 'World of Warcraft' game or Nvidia or its products."

Not exactly a lot of fun, but then again, it's cheaper than buying a new graphics card, and their rules say that mail-in entries have the same chance at winning that the coupon codes do. We're behind you, readers -- we hope you win.

And if you do make it to BlizzCon, keep an eye out for WoW.com -- we're gonna have a nice big shindig on Thursday night (location still TBA, but soon!), and we'd love for you to be there.

Filed under: Tips, Contests, BlizzCon

The Wrath unboxing and installation experience

Your copy hasn't shown up yet? We've got two ways for you to pretend you've actually gotten the game, even if you're stuck at work or Amazon hasn't delivered on their shipping. First, up above you can see our Ustream show from last night, featuring a very tired me installing and stepping into Northrend for the very first time. Yes, it's silly, and yes, it's a little wacky without seeing the chat (though I tried to say everything I was asked while we did it), but if you want to see what it's like to set up and run the game, there you go. The second part of the video is after the break -- sorry I didn't stay up to play longer, but you can at least get a good look at the starting Alliance towns in Northrend, and if you stay all the way to the end, I do find the object everyone will be racing for eventually.

And our good friends at Massively have documented the event in their own way -- they got their hands on a Collector's Edition, and they've got an unboxing gallery up that you can flip through below. Sure, sure, laugh if you want, but not everyone out there has the expansion yet, and it's our pleasure to try to bring you the experience as vicariously as possible. Enjoy.

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast topic: Fit to print

When I got my recruit a friend account it came with two lovely, full-color Bradygames guide books. Each is a 24.99 16.49 value with the Battle Chest purchase. The books have descriptions of all the races and classes. They go into some detail about the zones and many of the monsters in WoW. The guides contain tips on game play and various mechanics. I found them to be completely useless. They're outdated. They guides don't really give any tips on the nuances of the game. At times they are wildly inaccurate.

Granted, they may be helpful to brand new players, though not entirely more useful than small, black and white Game Manual that also comes in the box. As a rookie I never turned toward printed guides. I asked a lot of questions from resources like Thottbot, Petopia, and of course WoW Insider. Most of what I've learned, I've learned on the fly. The beautiful, colorful images must cost a small fortune to print. It all seems very excessive to me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Guides

No Wrath without Burning Crusade

We kind of already figured this (and who is really jumping into Northrend without first having finished up with Outland anyway?), but Datth has confirmed it on the forums: in order to install Wrath of the Lich King, you'll have to have Burning Crusade installed as well. Not a huge surprise, but just in case you were recruiting someone to come up to level 80 with you, make sure to tell them to buy all three versions of the game when Wrath comes out, because they'll need them.

The bigger question is: when will get a battlechest? It took about seven months for Blizzard to put Burning Crusade and World of Warcraft in the same box, but can we expect them to do it faster with Wrath of the Lich King? Probably not -- while the price may drop a bit on the current Battlechest (if you wanted to jump into the game the day of Wrath's release, it would cost you $70 total, and our guess is that that's about $10 more than Blizzard will end up charging), odds are that anyone getting in now would have to buy that and Wrath to play.

Of course, odds are that you've made up your mind about buying the expansion anyway. Anyone out there still playing with vanilla WoW? As much as Blizzard has been about skipping past all that 1-60 content as fast as possible, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they even tweaked the subscription pricing on that end to try and pull more people into buying the expansions. They already will let you try the game and first expansion for free, and you'd have to think eventually they'll try to convince the last few demographics holding out to join up as well.

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

Forum post of the day: A monetary slap in the face

Every once in a while we do nice things for other players out of the goodness of our hearts. More often we do things in game in exchange for gold or other necessary services. Feevah of Shattered Hand is unhappy that he was given a two silver tip for a portal. He feels that the acronym "WTB" implies that the tip for the service will be at least enough to cover the cost of materials. Thus defining the distinction between a purchase and a gratuity, which is usually given to members of the service sector above the advertised price.

Some suggested that the tip was mistyped in either the wrong coin slot or missing a digit. Others suggested that Feevah should have immediately disbanded his group so that the penny pincher could simply stare at the portal without being able to use it. Perhaps the poster was unaware of the material cost of the spell, or maybe he was just a jerk.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Making money, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

EA buys WoW social networking site Rupture

Social networking around MMOs just hit the big time. Shawn Fanning, creator of Napster way back when, created a site called Rupture a while back that purported to be a social networking site based around World of Warcraft. Since then, the site seemingly hasn't done anything all that interesting -- they've added a few games and a few new features, but they haven't yet made it out of beta, and it wasn't apparent that anyone was real interested in Rupture.

Until now -- EA (yes, that EA) has ponied up a whopping $30 million to buy Rupture and all of its potential up. A move to put some social networking into play on their upcoming Warhammer Online title? Taking competition away from an upcoming official site covering all their games? Whatever EA is planning to do with Rupture, they're paying through the nose for it -- this makes the $1 million Wowhead buyout look like chump change.

Then again, if Rupture turns out to be the "Facebook for gamer"s that they hope to be, $30 million will look like a bargain. Either way, EA just put their money where their mouth is in the social networking MMO game.

Thanks, Brooke!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Making money

WoW $10 at Circuit City

If you happen to need a copy of our favorite game, perhaps to get started multiboxing, here's a pretty cheap deal from Circuit City: order a copy of the original game online for in-store pickup, pay $10. The game is usually $20. On the other hand, picking up a copy of Burning Crusade to go with it, which one would generally want to do, will run you $30, whether you do it the physical way or as a download. And the Battle Chest is $40. So this is only a good deal if you for some reason need WoW without BC. Anyway, those of you who do need it, get to it.

Filed under: Tips

WTS: 5v5, decent rating, misspelled name

Since the inception of the arena system in WoW, players have been very creative in finding ways to boost their ratings. First it was a matter of highly-ranked teams selling slots to less skilled players. Lately the subject of trading wins and losses has been the buzz. Blizzard has taken the steps that they feel necessary, such as instituting the personal rating system, to combat the issue.

In a thread entitled "Selling arena teams ok/not ok?" Legolawls reiterated the subject of team leaders selling off points, and blue posts condoned the behavior. That player feels that selling violates the spirit of the game. This elicited a responses from both Crepe and Turtle (via Auryk) saying that there are currently no rules preventing the sale of an Arena team. Interestingly they even hinted that entire team sales are acceptable. As long as the transaction occurs only in-game it is considered to be a legitimate service. Team captains are free to sell slots or even their entire teams as they see fit. If the team were being sold outside of game, for a real cash sum, the matter would be different.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Blizzard, Forums, Arena

Season 1 Prices revisited as items go on sale tomorrow

We heard a long time ago that Arena 1 sets would be purchaseable with battleground honor and marks, and it looks like tomorrow's the day-- all those marks and honor you've been saving up will be able to get you some Arena PvP gear.

We posted prices a while back as well, but just in case you missed them, here they are again, at Curse's website. The full list of prices is after the jump-- lots of people will probably be headed for the weapons, but make sure to bring lots of honor and marks. While the offhand weapons are the least pricey (at 9k honor), the marks are probably what will break people-- you need 20 Eye of the Storm marks for all the one-hand weapons, and 40 AB marks for the two handers. Librams, relics and totems are the cheapest-- only 8k honor and 10 EotS marks.

The full list is printed for your convenience after the break. Got honor? If you want to grab some of that season 1 gear tomorrow, you're gonna need it.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Economy, PvP

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