The Road to Starcraft II Beta

April 8th

About a month, Blizzard announced release details for Starcraft II. A couple hours afterward Amazon listed the Collector's Edition for sale, and I preordered my copy. I was excited. I logged into battle.net and looked around.

April 10th

Two days later, I got an email from Blizzard saying that my WOW account has been suspended because I had a virus on my computer. Or something to that effect...

"An investigation of the World of Warcraft account DYRESCHLOCK has produced evidence that the computer(s) used to play the account are infected by a virus, Trojan or keylogger.

"To protect your privacy and security, we have temporarily disabled the account for a 24 hour period. During this time, we highly recommend that you follow the below steps to protect yourself and the account from unauthorized third party access." -Blizzard

Some might find it odd that I even have a WOW account to begin with... But what I find more odd is that not only haven't I played WOW in over two years, my account hasn't been active since I quit.  I shrugged off the email since it was absurd.

April 12

Two days later, I get another email from Blizzard saying they've closed my account for violating their Terms of Use.

"This account was closed because one or more characters were identified exchanging, or contributing to the exchange of, in-game property (items or gold) for "real-world" currency. This exchange process negatively impacts the World of Warcraft game environment by detracting from the value of the in-game economy."

Apparently my inactive character was trading gold on eBay? While still being odd, this posed a great problem: My Battle.net account is now closed. I can't log in or do anything now. :/

The bottom of the email said that if I had any disputes, go to this page: http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?tag=exploitfaq.

For the most part it says if I have not violated the terms of use, and have never given away my login information, contact the Support Team. I went to the Support Team page, filled out their form, and wrote a description of my account closure.

April 14th

Two days go by and I receive another email from Blizzard stating that they have determined my account was "accessed by someone not authorized to do so by the World of Warcraft Terms of Use". Well, at least they no longer believe I was screwing around on my inactive account. Unfortunately, my account is still closed and I must go through the process of reactiving it.

The email sends a link to a PDF on how to reactivate my account: http://ftp.blizzard.com/pub/WoW/other/WoW_Account_Recovery.pdf

I need to fill out this form, sign it, and send it to Blizzard along with a photocopy of an official government form of ID. Alternatively, I could scan my Driver's License and email it instead, but I don't have a scanner.

Since this sounded like a lot of work, I just left it as a problem for my future self to deal with.

April 22nd

About a week later, Blizzard started handing out Starcraft II Beta codes to anyone who preordered the game. I got an email from Amazon in the morning with my very own Beta code! Whoo! I can play Starcraft II right now! Oh wait... Thanks to the laziness of my past self, my Battle.net account is still closed.

On the way home, I stopped at Kinkos and photocopied my Driver's License. When I got home, I filled out the form, packed everything into an envelope and shipped it off to Blizzard.

April 30th

Yet another week later, I received an email from Blizzard saying my account has been reactivated and my password has been reset! I was out of town that weekend, so I was reading the email on my phone.

When I got back to my apartment, I powered up my computer and clicked the reactivation link in the email, but it had expired. I tried reseting my password on Battle.net, but I wouldn't receive another reactivation email. I tried a couple times, and each time it said it would send an email and follow the link inside. I would receive nothing.

So, I waited. Maybe it's backed up, and I'd receive those emails over night? The next day, I received nothing. Nor the following day.

May 5th

On Wednesday, I decided to try again. Why not? Oh hey, it worked this time. I got the email. I followed the link. And my Battle.net account has been fully reactivated! huzzah. I entered my Beta code, and Starcraft II Beta appeared in my games list. Battle.net gives you a tiny 2.6 mb file, which downloads the full installer for Starcraft II which is about 1.46 gigs.

My computer does not like the way Blizzard downloads files to my computer. The Downloader would run for about 10 or 20 minutes and crash my computer with the Blue Hardware Failure Screen. It would boot up just fine, start downloading, and in another 10 or 20 minutes, BAM, blue screen.

This happened for about 3 hours until my computer finally finished downloading the whole thing. After all the hiccups, the installer ran perfectly fine, though.

Patching

I immediately ran Starcraft II, but... there's a flood of patches that I need to download and install. And I need to download and install each individual patch. Which is absurd.

First off, I just finished downloading the full installer from your servers. Why wasn't the application I installed on my computer fully patched to begin with? You already control the file I just downloaded. I wasn't installing this from a CD or an old installer I downloaded months ago. I JUST downloaded the file. Any download service such as PSN, Xbox Live, Steam, etc already does this.

Secondly, Why do I need to download each individual patch at a time? Why aren't all these patches condensed into a single update? Again, every single modern download service already does this. Why doesn't Blizzard?

I don't get it...

Also, my computer hates these patches just as much as the initial installer, so my computer downloads half a patch and crashes.

Finally

One month of pain, and Starcraft II is finally running on my machine. Upon startup it auto-detecting the graphical capabilities of my machine and set everything to the lowest settings. ^_^

It runs quite well though. I'm actually surprised how well it runs after all the headaches of getting the thing setup. The music studders a little bit, but that's about it for bugs.

There's not much to say about the game itself other than "yes, it's Starcraft." It's a smoother, graphically updated version of the game with a couple new additions. The graphics are pretty. The music is catchy.

I absolutely suck at this game, but if you want to battle me feel free to add me as a friend. ^_^ I like that they have 2 friend lists in the game. One for Battle.net accounts and one for player accounts. I can easily split those between people I know in real life (aka Friends), and other players I meet in the game.

So, If I know you in real life, just search for my Battle.net account using my main email address. Otherwise, my player account is DyreSchlock.DyreSchlock. I might change that to Schlock.Dyre to remove the redundancy.

Battle.net Account

I still have no actual idea why my Battle.net was closed. Maybe they searched eBay for users with the same name? I dunno...

I bought one of these things though: The Battle.net Authenticator, which is just an RSA key fob. I wanted to buy one of these anyways, but I was waiting for a Starcraft II design. I bought one immediately though, since I don't really want to go through the process of reactiviting my account again.




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