Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blizzcon, Here We Come!

The mission: Get tickets to Blizzcon. Sounds easy enough, I say to myself as I eye my in game chronometer. It is 11:15, and time enough for one last run through of the Armory. Our group enters, takes the place by storm, and we run back out at 11:49. I have enough time to turn everything off, load up the Blizzard store on my computer, and wait for the next day.

12:01...no tickets on sale yet. I madly refresh my screen, hoping that some poor webmaster/mistress has fallen asleep on the job, and that they're just late posting them. I make my Blizzard store account, just in case.

1:20...still no tickets, I head for the forums looking for clues.

2:00..I finally get the bright idea to do a blue post search. My search is rewarded with a since deleted post saying that the zombies don't hit the office until about 8 PDT, so get some sleep. Only half believing the post, I set my alarm for 5:30 to get a jump on the janitor, in case he decides to open things up for his buds (everyone at Blizzard has to have some server knowledge, right?).

5:30....I wake with a jump, refresh the store page, and open up the Blizzcon site and the World of Warcraft main page for updates. I open up WoW Insider for entertainment value, and begin refreshing as I flip through the forums.

7:45...Ticket sales open. I begin filling out the forms, excited at how smoothly this process seems to be going. I have never been able to catch event tickets for anything online before, as they are usually sold out before I get my first keystroke in. 2 tickets, for Shawndra and Hacksoor, I hit the continue button.
This was to be an epic quest. I would not let his mob defeat me! My attempts to purchase tickets got as far as the confirm order screen once, then an endless cycle of going back to the ticket holder information page. Thankfully, good old Firefox saved all my info, and the process, though mind-numbing, was not too painful. I devoted my entire day to this quest, reading strategy guides on the forums, picturing a bloody pile of dead murlocs at my feet, the prized tickets held high with my sword stuck into the final murloc that tried to get in my way.

Just as I felt I was getting somewhere with this quest, a new mob spawned. I, at first, thought this was a rare, and the reason for my mindless murloc slaying. Alas, he was just a new hurdle for me to scale, and he was a mighty big one.
I turned to the forums, to find out what could be done. Apparently, my quest was bugged, and they were working on a solution. I flipped through Warcraft Bloggers site and WoW Insider, as well as stopping by the forums in between refreshes. My refreshes were getting fewer and further between, but hope had not been lost. The picture of my conquest in my mind, I forged ahead, and turned the refreshing over to my laptop. I pulled my newest project out to do her rogue quests and level lock picking and skinning. Nothing that would take away from my initial quest, just something to do in the interim.

By 6, even though my laptop was just the messenger, I was about to throw it through the window. Dinner happened, and I dragged my hunter out to do some battlegrounds with the fellas. Won both of them, they split for their raid, and I left Carlotta in the war room and pulled Maura out to finish the Test of Lore with her buddy, and ended up doing Razorfen Kraul and Scarlet Monastery, all the while refreshing. Occasionally I would get a form to fill out, a terms and conditions to agree to, but more often than not, the murloc or the maintenance droid popped up. My cheers were quickly silenced by mobs and error messages.

About 8:45, I refreshed and got the ticket purchase screen again. I agreed to the TOS, filled out the ticket holder info, inputted my 3 digit card code, and got to the confirm purchase screen. Not sure whether to be excited or not, I pushed the button. No murloc, no droid, but at this point it was nigh on 9 pm PDT, and I was about to call it a night. The error code was at the bottom of the screen. Please go back and try again, your purchase did not complete. Well, I did what I was asked, and, on a whim, opened my email client. The purchase screen told me I had to try again, but my email folder had a new message! Silly me, I had already tried again by then, and received another confirmation. I am now the proud owner of 4 Blizzcon tickets, pending removal of two by customer service.

I did, in a burst of anger, call customer service many times, only to get the circuits are busy bleeping. The one time I got through, I was informed that they were using the same system as we were, and that if we didn't get through, neither could they. I did not blow up,I calmly thanked them for the help, posted that tidbit of very important info on one of the forum threads, and kept at it.

Moral of this story? Tenacity...get some. And don't harm the messenger....

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