Aug 12

A lot of you know that I played World of Warcraft. I don’t play it anymore, but I’m still a big fan of Blizzard. I was a bigger fan last year, which was when I missed Blizzcon 2007 by a couple of days. Heck I even blogged about missing Blizzcon 2007 from JAPAN!

So you can bet your buttocks that I want to go to Blizzcon 2008. I’ve been looking forward to this day since last June when I missed the ticket sales for Blizzcon 2007. And that brings us to August. After reading a couple news articles, I find out that the Blizzcon tickets go on sale on Aug 11 (which was yesterday). Yesterday morning, I log on to the Blizzard.com/store and what do I see? XML ERROR!

FUCK.

At that point I realised that everyone else is trying to get tickets at the same time, blizzard’s servers can handle the load, and buying tickets is going to suck balls. What I didn’t realise was that buying tickets was going to turn into a 2 day nightmare.

Aug 11.
The first half of that day was spent on registering an account. It turns out I can’t use the account I have for world of warcraft. The page kept crapping out when you tried to go to the next step of the creation process and it involved trying to refresh several times or even starting the registration process from the beginning.

Once I was registered, I spent the rest of the day trying to get tickets and this is where most of the trouble started. It got so bad that at one point Blizzard completely shut off the website. Only to open it after an hour. I got so close. I hit the Process Order button but then got a page saying there was an error with the transaction. Talk about drama! I hit the back button, tried processing the credit card again and still no luck. And after a few tries, the site goes down. Imagine being just 1 step away from getting your tickets but then having them yank it from you.

Blizzard opens the site. I rush in trying to fill the form fields as quickly as I can. Site has problems. Blizzard shuts down site. What made it even worse was that on the WoW forums you’d see a couple people saying they managed to get tickets!

It got so bad that Blizzard told everyone to just go back tomorrow morning while they try and optimise the site.

Aug 12.


Damn you Blizzard
I’ve been staring at this screen since last night


I wake up early morning to see if it opened, but the site was still down. Turns out that Blizzard pushed the opening time to “after 12pm.” I didn’t know if it’d be open on 12.01, 12.10, 12.30.

So 12pm comes and still nothing. I decided to go to lunch and when I got back around 12.30 it was still down. Anyway, 12.55 I check back and to my surprise the site was back up. I rush in again, get to the last step and get another error. I tried again, but now I keep getting XML errors. At this point I start to wonder what sort of optimisations Blizzard did since the site is still crapping out. After a few minutes, the site kicks in again but this time I see something terrible. A SOLD OUT sign.

I’m figure this has to be a glitch! It took a few days for Blizzcon 2007 tickets to be sold out. And Blizzard assured everyone that there was still plenty of tickets. Someone even said that only 600 out of 12,000 tickets have been sold on Aug 11. And sure enough after a few refreshes, the SOLD OUT sign disappears and I could try to buy tickets again. But still I get to the last page and get an error. A few tries and next thing I know I see the sold out sign again. But this time, it doesn’t go away.

At around 3pm, Blizzard finally sends out an update:

“The bulk of the BlizzCon tickets we had available were sold out within minutes of ticket sales going live again this afternoon. We have a small reserve of tickets left — to make these available to some of you who might not have had a chance to purchase yet, we will be releasing the remaining reserve tickets for sale tonight, August 12, at 8:00 PM PDT. We appreciate the enthusiasm everyone has shown, and wish we were able to accommodate even more attendees at this year’s BlizzCon.”

At that point my heart sank. I was not going to go to Blizzcon. I kept reading the forums to see how other people reacted and it definitely wasn’t pretty.

“So I just had to tell my son he’s not getting his birthday present – Blizzcon tickets – because some jokers can’t run a fair ticket sale. I was up, like so many others, past midnight and back again at 6:00am to see if maybe, please maybe, the fixit robot was gone. Checked again every 20 minutes all day at work. When the site FINALLY came up, the tickets were sold out.

How is this possible? The posts from Blizzard thanked us for being patient and promised plenty of tickets were still available. We were told not to call, assured no tickets would be sold by phone, and yet there are posts from people claiming to have obtained them. Epic Fail does not begin to cover this.

I am a single parent and I blew my “stimulus check” on nonrefundable plane tickets. I’ve been saving all summer to pay for the Blizzcon tickets and hotel. There is no possible way I can manage what the eBay scalpers are going to ask. My kid is crying in his room. He’s been rehearsing his “undead dance” for weeks in excitement at the idea of his first plane ride to this convention. Now he can’t even look at the computer.

Today, I hate you more than my ex husband.”

By shear luck I see this one post:

“BTW, for those that did a lot of hard spamming, be sure to double check your order history on the site. Some orders apparently made it through in spite of an error screen and with out a notification email. Never hurts to double check, you may get lucky.”

And I did. It couldn’t hurt right? I checked my order history and OMG was I surprised. I saw an order confirmation for 3 Blizzcon tickets (one for me, my bro and his gf)! I reread a couple of times just to be sure! Heck I even called Blizzard support to be extra sure. And it turns out I AM GOING TO BLIZZCON!

THE END.

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