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Posts with tag refunds

Chinese WoW wraps up closed beta, to start charging soon


It looks like the long saga of World of Warcraft's transfer of operatorship in China is almost finally over -- NetEase has announced that the closed beta period is done with, and that they're just about ready to open up normal registration and bring the game back to for-pay status. They're still pending government approval there, so they're not quite online and running yet, but they have closed off registration to new players, and will only bring it back online when they're ready to start charging yet again. Of course, their pay scheme there is different from here in the US and EU -- they often charge per hour to play rather than a constant monthly subscription. But however they decide to charge, NetEase seems sure that by the end of the month, things will finally be back to normal in China's version of Azeroth.

Meanwhile, the former operator of the game, The9, has announced that they are extending by a month the option for former players to get refunds for their prepaid game cards. That option was originally planned to end on September 7th, but players of the game who have unused cards will have another 30 days to redeem them back for cash. All of this back-and-forth originally started back in April of this year, but it seems like, five months later, the game might finally be getting back to normal.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard, Hardware

Patch 3.2: Misloot tickets to be a thing of the past

Amidst the datamined changes to the game coming in Patch 3.2, a small detail caught my eye -- an item trait similar to the one that lets you trade back an item to a vendor if you bought it with an alternate currency (like Badges). This one, though, stated the following:

BIND_TRADE_TIME_REMAINING = "You may trade this item with players that were also eligible to loot this item for the next %s.";

Does this mean what I think it means? Yes. It does. If your raid leader or master looter accidentally gives an item to the wrong person, that person can trade it to someone else within a short window of time. This should effectively eliminate the category of "oh crap" misloot petitions, which remain a huge headache, both in terms of amount of petitions and workload involved, for Blizzard Support -- and this is coming from someone who worked on them a lot back in the day.

Now, of course, there could still be issues, so I imagine that Blizzard will keep the lines of communication open, much like they did with alternate currency refunds, though to a smaller degree. Giving players the ability to fix their (or someone else's) mistakes is always risky, but this has the best of intentions behind it -- less hassle for players, less hassle for GMs -- so I fully support it and hope that we continue to see changes like this.

Blizzard hasn't officially announced the change, though I get the feeling that they will shortly. Still, don't be too surprised if the feature gets delayed for tweaks. Better that it works later than breaks sooner.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches

Badge purchases now refundable for two hours

A previously unannounced relatively un-promoted feature is apparently going live in patch 3.1 today: buyback for "alternate currency" items. "Alternate currency" means any currency except gold - Emblems of Heroism, Arena Points, etc. According to Vaneras, when the patch goes live, you'll have two hours after buying an item with an alternate currency to sell it back and get a refund. I've never accidentally bought something with badges, but I know people who have, and it sucks; this is a nice fix.

A few caveats:

  • Stackable items (such as Frozen Orbs) are non-refundable.
  • Items that grant achievements are non-refundable.
  • Augments will not be returned - if you buy an item, enchant it, and then sell it back for badges, you don't get your enchant mats back.
  • This only works one step back: If you buy a tier token for emblems, then exchange that tier token for a tier piece, you can trade the tier piece back for the token if you want. You can not, however, trade that token back for emblems after doing that.

Even with these limitations, it's still good protection against accidental purchases. Thanks, Blizz!

Filed under: Items

Authenticators are going out, via USPS

We had heard that there were problems with the Blizzard Authenticator (a few people who'd ordered them had gotten their money refunded by Blizzard), but apparently there are at least a few going out. Mania got hers -- she says that it works great, that she has already associated it with her accounts, and that she's thrilled with her purchase.

Not everybody is so lucky -- reader Tweaky emailed us to say that his order was supposed to go out UPS Next Day Air, but after it didn't show up and he had a tussle with Customer Support, he then found out it was actually going through the USPS and that it would show up late. No word on whether he's seen his yet or not. A few people commented on our last post that they actually had shipping returned to them, so maybe Blizzard originally planned to send some UPS, and then had to switch to a cheaper mailing method.

At this point, Blizzard has the keyfob sold out on their website, and there's no indication when we'll see any more (soon, probably). It appears that not only did they vastly underestimate demand for the Authenticator, but that people are seriously concerned about the security of their World of Warcraft account. No other game company has ever offered anything like this before, but given the response, it could soon become a standard.

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

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