My Burning Crusade is on the Road
Jan 12, 2007 11:21:24

I can (almost) confirm that the Burning Crusade Expansion does in fact exist. Here is a cut and paste of my so called proof.
Shipping Confirmation
January 11, 2007

Dear Brent:

The items listed below are now packed and ready to leave our warehouse. Your credit card (or Gift Card) has been charged for the items.

Orders that are packed on Saturdays or Sundays do not reach the carrier until Monday morning. When a tracking number is listed below, please note that it has been assigned before the carrier has the package. If your tracking number does not appear immediately when attempting to track your package, the carrier may still be processing this information. You may need to check the carrier's site periodically for the updated information.

Qty: 1
Product Description: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade-Mac/Windows
So, unless this is some sort of decoy or prank gift from Blizzard, I'd say it is safe to say that the long awaited expansion for World of Warcraft is a reality. There is a high probability that the box itself will in fact be empty, a mere token representing the purchase. Blizzard will instead force us all to bit-torrent the new content from their horrible horrible patcher. Ah heck, they'll force us to patch every file on the system through that thing next week anyway, so there's no escape.

Seems that the days of buying MMOs (especially the expansions) in stores is almost behind us, or rather, it should be almost behind us. The recent EverQuest 2 expansion seemed to load virtually everything from online anyway, so why bother with DVD distribution? Vanguard exceeds 16 gigs in beta but SOE's slick launch program handles it all while you're asleep and thousands of beta players have taken the time to download it. Sure it takes awhile, but it doesn't fail and it requires no human intervention.

The reasons for physical boxes become fewer and fewer each day. At this point it amounts to a way to build hype ("We gotta camp outside Gamestop for three day to get the box, dude") and a physical way to limit the number of keys released into the wild. Oh, and Walmart would cry and take its toys and go home if Blizzard didn't let them sell the boxes. (Walmart sucks.)

Or maybe I'm underestimating the desire for a physical possession among the gaming audience. I personally could care less about the box and the CDs, but I imagine some people love that stuff. My dog is currently camping the UPS-guy spawn point. When she barks, I'll know if this expansion is real or not, and then I'll let you know.

Submitted by Brent on Jan 12, 2007 11:21:24 CST (comments: 11)


'Forced Product Downloads' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-01-12 14:04:16 CST
Not sure how I feel about forced product downloads yet. I kind of like having the CDs in case I want to play from multiple machines, like say my work lap-top when I'm on the road and my home machine when I'm home.

Unless you have a >50gb external drive its a pain to move downloaded installs around. Plus I just like the box...

'boxes' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-12 14:56:54 CST
They should just ship a box with a manual and a account key inside because these games patch and integrity check every file anyway. The 'release' date and 'gone gold' concepts are artificial constructs - old habits if you will. When I bought EoF (EQ2 expansion) did buy the entire box. I put the disc in, installed the expansion and then patched for about 4 or 5 hours. What that tells me is every file on that CD was already out of date. I probably didn't have to download the music files and some of the textures (yay).

Compromised solution: A cool box for the shelf with an account key inside.

'agreed' by tide
Submitted on 2007-01-12 16:27:49 CST
and/or what some provider like SOE should do is sell a "premium" secure token, like the new fob PayPal is going to retail. Still a physical device-in-a-box. That way players can have an extra level of security that might make unlocking optional downloads more easily. Pay for better access, maybe a VPN. Creates a two tier system, but I'd pay for faster downloads and more features if it was worth it.

'tide is outside the box' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-12 16:49:44 CST
Nice thinking. Can I pay an extra fee to have Vanguard run smoother? Some good ideas there.

'I Like my CDs' by Saylah
Submitted on 2007-01-12 18:00:09 CST
I like to have the game CDs along with the keys and documenation. Patching or not, it's a hell of lot faster to have some of the content pre-loaded locally than choking it all down from Blizzard.

Having the CDs also makes it easier to re-install the game when we change PCs. You know where to start loading then launching the game will do the rest versus me saving the digital download on a HD myself.

'I like the downloads' by Sente
Submitted on 2007-01-13 12:05:39 CST
For me the digital downloads are more convenient than trying to find the game in question at some local store or to order it through mail order. My connection is fairly fast (up to 24 Mbit/s download) and downloading the initial file is usually reasonably quick. The times I have bought digital download of an MMO, the patching after installation have taken more time anyway.
And the downloaded files can be saved to a DVD and/or 2nd harddisk for backup.

If buying digital from Blizzard is as bad as the patching, then I would make an exception if I were to play WoW again at some point...

If the box version would be much cheaper than the download, then I am open for that as well :)

'Hehe' by matraque
Submitted on 2007-01-13 12:57:44 CST
My Vanguard Pre-order is on the way !!!! ;)

BTW, i'm in beta since beta 3 and can't get enough.

'but...but' by darrenl
Submitted on 2007-01-13 15:28:46 CST
.....if I don't get it in the box, how am I going to smell a freshly opened game??

'fresh game' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-13 18:09:22 CST
Darren, if you want to smell a ton of fresh games, you can go to the Best Buy near me and sniff all the Auto Assault boxes that are just sitting there.

'wow' by darrenl
Submitted on 2007-01-13 18:24:28 CST
...touche good sir...touche.

Oh, I just got a call regarding BC from EB today. Apperantly, they are going to be open at midnight on Monday.

'the good old days' by hughnme
Submitted on 2007-01-24 20:53:25 CST
I like the boxes, the bigger the better, warning *I remember when* coming up.
I remember when Baldur’s gate 2 came out, all the beautiful artwork on the box,map,fantastic manual, and I’m with darrenl,I loved the smell.
I think it’s a bloody nuisance having to print out the entire manual, and in the broadband backwater called Australia, we have “fraudband” not broadband,512/128k is the norm here so downloading can be a chore.
I guess I like the physicality of having the discs and box too, sort of like the e-book-real book thing, I’d prefer the book in my hand rather than reading a screen

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