Monday, November 22, 2010

[4.0.3] Cataclysm Midnight PST Launch

Many of you probably have heard by about Bashiok's post on the Cataclysm launch.  It turns out that Blizzard will not allow anyone to access the Cataclysm content until midnight, Pacific Standard Time (PST).  For me, that means after my wife and I wait in line to get our midnight launch copies of the collector's edition, go home, load the game, and fire up WoW, we will still have to wait until 2:00 AM to play, because we, and our server (Kirin Tor-US), are on Central Standard Time (US).


If I was in the Eastern Time Zone, I would have to wait until 3:00 AM!

I would not even ponder the merits of this, except that this unusual practice seems pretty clearly targeted at increasing the value of their digital download.  Imagine if you live in PST.  If you were like me, and reserved your advanced copy of the Collector's Edition as soon as the release date was announced (OK, technically, I reserved it before that), then you are kinda boned, because while you are waiting to check out at your favorite game store, your neighbors that chose the digital download will already be playing.

And what is the PSTer's recourse?  Well, they could pay for the game see, you can buy the digital download so you can play at midnight PST, and then add your collector's code later, or so people expect.  That sounds a bit silly, but if I lived in PST, I might do it, all while cursing Blizzard's name.

One thing I don't like is that this takes a bit of the fun and energy out of a midnight release.  There's a certain je ne sais quoi to lining up outside the store late at night, seeing the strange mix of people that play the game, getting that game before other people, and racing home to install it.

One thing I like about it is that no one will be able to sign on earlier because they happen to live significantly more easterly than I do.  I think I would be pretty pissed off if I lived in the PST and had pre-ordered collector's editions from the local gaming store, though.  Those poor folks are losing out in this.

If you live east of PST and want to feel good about this, then tell yourself that it will take time to buy the game, get home, download it, probably patch it, and get online. :)

Oh, if you wanted to download files in advance, even if you did not buy the digital download, there is a reputedly legitimate method in this WoW Insider post.  I saw a post suggesting it might causes issues with cinematics not being downloaded, though, so I guess stick with the DVDs to be safe.

As for me, since I have two hours to buy the game, get home, and load it, I'll just wait until I have the DVDs in hand.  Two more weeks!  OMG!

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