I have the Annual Pass. Where’s my Beta Invite?

Oh man, it’s Friday evening. Crap! I am contractually obligated to rage about one (1) thing per week on Sacred Duty and I completely forgot to rage this week. How fortunate that I have such a great topic today. I have an annual pass, and I didn’t get a MOP beta invite yesterday. Time to rage, right?!

No. I am not in the beta yet — and unlike about half the Blizz official forums, I totally understand why.

Well, first of all, I was a little late on my Annual Pass subscription…

When I heard about the annual pass, I was in the audience at Blizzcon hanging out with some of my favorite people and friends: my guild. We were watching the announcement of Annual Pass together. I looked around at my friends and thought, yep, I will play video games with these people for a year easily. So I figured I would sign up for Annual Pass right there, in the audience. I pulled out my phone and started navigating to Battle.net.

I was so close to signing up right there.

Well, if you were at Blizzcon or watching, you know what came next. They announced the new expansion. That video. I actually enjoyed it. I thought Blizz was playing a pretty sweet joke on us– I giggled at a whole lot of it. April fool’s come… six months early? I waited for the punchline. And waited. And waited. And then it hit me: they weren’t trolling at all. They were serious.

PANDAS. WOW. REALLY?

I sat there with my jaw on the floor. PANDAS. PANDAS. WHAT. I do not think I have ever nerdraged about anything as badly as I nerdraged about the MOP announcement. I was pretty much furious. Fortunately a couple of my friends were raging right along with me although others (NOT NAMING ANY NAMES HERE) were obnoxiously and gleefully excited about becoming a panda shaman with beer keg totems. Blegh. You can take your beer keg totems and shove ‘em. So I raged and raged, Annual Pass plans completely forgotten.

A month or two later, I thought about it, and sighed. Time to have an honesty moment. Pandas are pretty much irrelevant. WOW could have Expansion 10: Hello Kitty Island and as long as there are raids and my guild is raiding, I will be online ready to go 3 nights a week. I like raiding and I will continue to raid. No quitting for me. Might as well. So I signed up.

Fastforward to March 2012 when I heard the beta had been released.

Here’s the story. I was at work. I heard beta was out. Oh boy!Now, I still despise pandas, but there is something I despise more: poorly tested content. I am a raider and you better be damn sure that I think raiders should be testing their raid and dungeon content. So I very much want to be in the beta to test that stuff. Also, betas are cool and fun and I want to be there.

So, like millions of others, I checked my Battle.net account. I didn’t have access. I was sad, but I wasn’t too surprised. Ah well. I’ll be in some other beta wave, that is nice to know, I’ll see it sometime. I wonder when they’ll invite me? I was about a month late signing up for Annual Pass. My wow account dates back to (late) vanilla, but I’ve only been consistently subscribed since 2009. I do not fall into the category of Beta Wave 1. I wonder what wave I’ll be in? Ah well. I sadly went back to work.

Yeah, that was it.

Wait, Ana. Why aren’t you raging?

I’m disappointed, but whatever. There are more waves!

However, apparently there is a brand of people who are so very disappointed in their lack of beta access that they have gone back and convinced themselves that they were promised DAY 1 IMMEDIATE ACCESS.

All I have to say is…. What?

It’s a beta. A beta. You don’t all get in at once. That is not how a beta works! Have any of these people ever seen a beta? Do we realize that the point of a beta is to beta test? Did anyone honestly think we were going to get into the beta all on the same date? If Blizz sent out one million invites on the same day, that would be a pretty fucking shitty beta. That would be worthless. I cannot understand how anyone wanted them to do this, and I cannot understand how anyone is angry that they didn’t do it.

But oh boy, are they loud. Go read Wow Insider’s post on it or go read one of the 400 forum posts. A bunch of super expert people who are jealous they’re not in beta have picked apart Blizzards wording at great length and found vague quote #2958 / vague advertisement from last year / something scratched on the wall in the bathroom at Blizz HQ where someone who words there vaguely said the word “release” or “live” and so we were all promised 100% of beta from day 1.

I am sure there is tons of proof and I’m advised that there is actual legal proof of it somewhere in fine print. Way to go, loophole experts. You win? And common sense loses.

Every argument that quotes the Terms of Service or features photos of random advertisements or argues to me about the meaning of the word “live” just makes me facepalm harder.

Here is what I thought I was promised with my own annual pass. Betas happen in waves. What I was promised (along with diablo 3 and my mount) was that knowledge that when the Beta goes live and the waves start happening, in one of those waves, my name would be included and I would become a beta tester.

And to people who are arguing that Blizz promised day 1 access: Well… I’m sorry you are so jealous but let’s have a bit of patience here. We’ll all get into the beta eventually.

Oh my god Ana, stop telling me I don’t have the right to be mad.

Oh, feel free to be mad right now.

I am a little mad. Even though I hated on MOP, I still want to see the beta of the game that I play so much. After all, beta access will allow me to precision target my hatred. We annual pass subbers who don’t have access, we are jealous. We are jealous beyond belief. I want to stab my (beloved awesome) guildmate Omega (who is a good friend) in the face every time he talks to me about his beta access (which is quite often). I love you Omega but it’s true, you talk about it all the time. And I am jealous beyond comprehension. That goes for the rest of my twitter feed too and all you damn MVPs and news sites with access. (It’s OK Omega, and the rest of my twitter feed, keep telling me about beta…)

So yeah, I’m jealous. Let’s all be jealous together.

But let’s agree to stop doing something retarded. Let’s all agree to stop complaining that Blizz was legally obligated to give us access on Day 1. I know how you feel. I’m jealous too. I’m raging too. But I’m not trying to convince the world that I was promised something that common sense would dictate would never in a million years happen.

Just as an aside, I really like that Blizzard promised us Annual Pass.

I love it. It was both a great marketing decision and a very intelligent game testing decision. Annual passers are exactly the people I want in the beta. We represent a wide variety of players whose common attribute is that we are hooked into to the Blizzard I.V. of MMO Crack for 12 months. We are the rabid fans. We are often very vocal in our respective communities, and we love WOW enough to commit for a year. We are pretty much exactly the crop of people who I want to be in the beta.

So they stuck it on there. “You’ll have beta access!” YES! Awesome. We ate it up.And now it’s a customer service nightmare because jealous forum trolls are raging hardcore. This is why we can’t have nice things. This is exactly why.

Well. I like it when Blizzard tacks beta access onto a package that already included a mount and a free game. Regardless of what their very ill conceived wording was. I like it when Blizzard makes decisions like “Who makes good beta testers? Annual Pass subscribers! PERFECT!” I like it when Blizz gives me a guarantee that I’ll eventually be in a beta wave… I know I’ll see it and that’s what I was promised.And yeah, I think we have a right to watch closely how long it takes Blizz to send out those waves, and I welcome people to rage about whether or not they’re in beta. I support rage. I am an expert rager.

You are welcome as usual to also rage at me in the comments section about how wrong I am to insult you for your Day 1 Beta belief.

But I still think you are silly — and trolling. And I will happily tell you so.

And if you disagree? If you bought Annual Pass for the beta? For DAY ONE 100% OF THE BETA access? If you think Blizz cheated you out of your moneys? Well, you can call Blizzard and complain and I’ll bet you’ll be able to cancel your Annual Pass if you feel that you were not provided with something that you paid for. And frankly: good riddance. If you are mad enough about Beta Day 1 to post novels on the forums screaming at Blizzard, then you are the troll that I do not want on my Blizz forums. I not so respectfully submit that I hope the door does not hit your ass on the way out.

The rest of us will get our access to the beta. In a beta wave. Like how betas have always worked.

Which is exactly what we were promised.

(I hope it’s soon because wow, I want to be in the beta.)

(Also, GC… still waiting on that pony.)

This entry was posted in Blogging, From Ana's Inbox, Raiding. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to I have the Annual Pass. Where’s my Beta Invite?

  1. Esoth says:

    I am not exactly angry at Blizzard and certainly didn’t make any posts about it, but I do have some anxiety about when I will get into the beta. The beta, in my opinion, is important for everyone who wants to process the data live, as it is being developed instead of having it digested for them by some idiot on a blog (sorry). It’s the opportunity to go in there and see the classes before anyone really has the experience to say much about them – you get to figure it out on your own. Or maybe you will be one of the trendsetters for people that do want easy to digest information.

    I want to go in there and actually do testing and give my feedback because as a “hardcore” raider with about 6 years dedicated to the game I have some vested interest in it. (I don’t want to seem like a ME3 fan whining the developers should listen to their demands, I am just saying I have a reasonable, vested interest). The frustrating thing is that it is completely out of my control whether I get to be a part of this process. While others get in and contribute to class development, scout out the cool new things, find bugs, or even just brag to their friends – I am excluded. If I felt excluded from raiding difficult content I could actually earn it by getting better and playing with other better players, but I can’t do anything about this.

    I was hoping that the annual pass would mean that those that really wanted to be a part of the beta process would get to, but the fact that they oversold it and have way too many people for it makes me anxious. If I only get in the last couple weeks of a three month beta so that they can technically meet their legal obligation, I’ll feel cheated. Give me a chance to get in there and prove I can provide meaningful feedback – or give up the pretense of beta being about meaningful feedback if it’s just a promotional gimmick unfairly distributed. I think the fans have a right to be angry if it’s only being served for the latter purpose.

    • anafielle says:

      Just to respond to this:

      “If I only get in the last couple weeks of a three month beta so that they can technically meet their legal obligation, I’ll feel cheated. ”

      So will I, absolutely. I will firmly believe that is within their right. I will absolutely, just as firmly believe that that is shitty, very shitty. And I will be vocal about how shitty it is. “Shitty” and “legally wrong” are two really very different things.

      But– and maybe I just have more faith in Blizzard than the usual — I don’t believe they will do that. Yes, I think that reasonably it will take 4-6 weeks to get all the Annual Passers in. I think there will be waves. But I think they won’t take that long to get us all in.

      • zothen says:

        I wouldn’t have felt cheated. I bought the annual pass because I already pay 12 months at a time (saves money), and wtf free Diablo 3. When it was announced at blizzcon, he actually did not say “Mists of Pandaria”. He specifically said “you will be guaranteed a spot in the beta for our next expansion”.

        Now, clearly he meant “MoP” and not WoW 6.x (whatever expac comes after MoP). But that’s not what he said. I recall being a little confused by the choice of wording, but ultimately I knew I was going to be playing WoW for at least 12 more months and I wanted to play D3 as well. So the Annual Pass was a no-brainer.

        Sure, I would love to be in the first wave of beta invites (I think I signed up for the pass that first afternoon). But I am patient. Hell, I still haven’t finished ME3 and as some of my guildies may have noticed, work has been kicking me in the balls lately with overtime. So all MoP beta would do right now is cut into my sleep time.

        The beta invite waves are a sheer matter of logistical sanity. There are only a few PTR servers (3 now I think?), and I would imagine that Beta is about the same. 1 million people signed up for Annual Pass. That’s fully 10% of the total WoW population. A population that is served by approximately **240 servers**. If they opened the floodgates and gave all 1 million Annual Pass holders beta access, that would be the equivalent of taking twenty four production servers and merging them all at once, and THEN every player on that newly merged server tries to log in all at the same time.

        That won’t end well for anybody.

        So, I imagine what they are doing is letting through in batches, knowing a lot will play for a short while and then forget until launch. So when it tapers down after a wave, they will let another batch through. At some point they will probably provision more servers as needed, but I wouldn’t expect them to bring any more servers online than they absolutely need. After all, in a few months the extra hardware will be turned back off.

  2. Fantastic post Ana. You have voiced my thoughts exactly. Sure I am raging to get in there (I am raging more than you because I have had a steady subscription since June, 2005, and bought my annual pass the day it was announced), but I am NOT going to go “yell” at Blizzard.

    When i heard that the Annual Pass was going to give Beta access, I immediately assumed that Annual Passers wouldn’t get in until late in the beta. As it looks now, I will probably get in long before I was expecting to. (<–Gravy).

    • anafielle says:

      “I am raging more than you because I have had a steady subscription since June, 2005, and bought my annual pass the day it was announced”

      DAMNIT. You are wave 2. I am probably like…. wave 4 or 5. :(

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Stormy says:

    No. Just no. But thanks for the self-righteous attitude–it’s much appreciated.

    I purchased a product. I have not received said product. I agreed to pay Blizzard Entertainment $179.88, and I have faithfully made every installment due since the inception of our agreement. In exchange, I would receive access to the current World of Warcraft content for 12 months, an in-game mount, a copy of Diablo III if and when it is ever released (the release schedule of which is at least four months behind schedule–D3 was) and I would get to participate in the Mists of Pandaria beta. The Mists of Pandaria beta was launched in the late evening of Wednesday, March 23, 2012, with no advance notice from Blizzard, and three days later there has been no communication from the seller as to when the product I purchased would be delivered or a timetable for receiving said product. At best, this is shitty customer service. At worst, it’s a failure to deliver a product I have paid $180 for. At this point Blizzard’s lucky there’s not a class action suit pending.

    But hey, you got a self-righteous “I’m so awesome and everyone else is an asshole!” blogpost out of it, so, hey, bully for you.

    • Stormy says:

      Sigh–I went back to add another thought to my comment and got distracted…

      …D3 was supposed to have been the “Ooh shiny!” to distract us for a few months in between the death of Cataclysm and the launch of MOP, to keep us distracted and off Blizzard’s heels for a bit so they could concentrate on MOP without everyone screaming for a release. At this point D3 is supposed to be released 5/15 and we’re looking at an MOP release in either June or July. So much for a shiny object.

      • Kerriodos says:

        You paid for a product and you will get the product. It’s no different than a pre-order; you guarantee access, but you do not guarantee access on day one. The contract you signed does not say day one, and they do not own you day one. The sense of entitlement in the WoW community is simply staggering. If everyone who signed up got access day one, you know who would be testing right now? No one. Because the servers would be down constantly.

        But no, all at once is a great fucking plan.

        • Sahiel says:

          Fankly, I’d be fine with giving all those “I R HAS CONTRAKT I DMEAND DAY 1 AXESSS!” people access immediately, on one server, with each other, no options to pick a different beta server for the duration. Then let everyone else in in waves on multiple servers. The whiners get their access (to a constantly crashing/full server), everyone who is happy to wait and actually understands the reality of a beta test gets access to stable servers with room. Problem solved, “contractual obligations” (lol) upheld.

          Oh, and I got in the beta too Ana. <3 ;)

          • anafielle says:

            FIRING UP HATE MACHINE

            AIMING FOR: SAHIEL

            ps: thanks for the comment, it’s good to know that I am not alone in my frustration with these idiots.

    • anafielle says:

      You think I’m self righteous. I think you’re a troll. Unfortunately we’re both going to just end up angry at each other because we both think the other is insulting. What I don’t get is how you don’t understand how your opinion is insulting to me, and to the rest of us that are pretty happy Blizz promised us beta– and who are very unhappy that a bunch of really vocal people are ruining what was a lovely promise for everyone.

      “I would get to participate in the Mists of Pandaria beta.” <— Where did you get promised day 1 access? In what universe does everyone who gets into a beta get in on day 1? In what fantasy universe does a beta start with hundreds of thousands of people getting access on the same day? Betas happen in waves. Beta would probably be CRAP if it didn't happen in waves. That is how a beta works and it is how a beta has always worked. Let's keep in mind here that the point of the beta is to test and create a good game in the end. MOP will be better because Blizzard is doing the beta right. Our anger at not being invited at the same time as Boubouille and WOW Insider doesn't make it any more reasonable or intelligent to think that we should have been. My soapbox is secure.

      Just like you said. You were promised beta access. And you'll get it.

      I had access to the D3 beta too. Does not getting it on Day 1 mean I had any less access? Nope. I had access. And I'll have access to MOP too. EXACTLY what I paid for and I'm damn well happy with it.

      Sorry if you thought I was self righteous, but that post is exactly what I think. And thanks for commenting with the disagreement, even if I'm sure that you are quite unhappy with my response.

      • Stormy says:

        You’re absolutely right that we are not going to agree on the definition of “beta access”, so there’s not much point in arguing about it. As far as the posters on the forums who are apparently offending your sensibilities simply by, y’know, existing, Blizzard could assuage the entire situation by simply announcing a schedule. “Wave 1 begins March 21. Wave 2 begins April 3. Wave 3 begins April 15…” Instead, we’re left with Blizzard’s trademark answer of “soon.” Since I do have several years of experience as a Blizzard customer, telling me that I will get in “soon” should immediately sound an alarm in my head that says “Yeah, you’ll get in a week before the beta ends.” That is the crux of my frustration right now. I understand that launching essentially a separate MMO with one million players in the space of a week is not at all feasible, but at this point Blizzard has my money and I have jack. THAT is why I’m angry.

        • Kerriodos says:

          The fact that you expect a beta, which is fluid by it’s very nature, to be planned that well amuses me to no end. You know why they don’t say that? People like you who bitch and moan when things don’t go absolutely perfectly. And if you expect beta to go perfectly, you’ve missed the point entirely.

          Also, you have WoW access. You’re not actually paying any extra for that by signing the Annual Pass; you just promised to keep up a subscription for a year–it cost the same as if you’d never signed the contract. Instead, you get a bunch of free shit, and apparently the right to be an over-entitled whiner.

          • zothen says:

            And the contract also allows him/her to bail early if this is so upsetting. They would only lose their place in line for beta, and would no longer get a license for D3, and the Tyrael’s Charger mount would also be removed. But there is no penalty other than that for terminating early.

            It’s not like a cell phone contract or anything.

        • zothen says:

          You might find some answers from blue posts here: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/219382-beta/

          Some salient quotes:

          “You will be getting into the beta if you have an Annual Pass. Don’t worry. We just got the beta up last night and while we’ve already done some invites, we have a lot more to do.”

          “We’re very aware that everyone is expecting to be in as soon as possible and we’re committed to doing what we can to make that happen. We just ask that everyone is a little patient as we make that happen.”

          “I don’t have a timeline to share with you at this time, but we’ll do our best to communicate when these waves of invites happen; even if it’s to help players avoid potential phishing scams.”

        • zothen says:

          Also, while I can’t find the original source at this moment, I do recall reading a post from a blue earlier today that specifically addressed the concern that people might not get access until the last few days (or weeks, whatever) of a multi-month beta. The response was a clear “no”. Their intention is not to delay any annual pass holders that long.

  4. Omega says:

    As someone in beta, I can tell you, asside from a 1-12 panda start area, and some prelliminary start tallents that are buggy to all hell

    Hunters soloing EVERYTHING

    there isn’t much to do. I pretty much did what i’m gonna do in beta in about 3 hours until they release more content. there are no new dungeons, there are no new raids. there are no new zones to test. You can scrap together a pug of sheer fail and wipe in DS if you want. But I can do that on live too. The waves that matter the most are later anyways. I’m confident by time actual raids or heroics or challenge modes are out, everyone will get their fair shot at those, and that’s what truely matters. The next annual pass wave will probably be quite massive. Wave 1 was small by comparison to rest because they just fired the on switch and are gauging things right now. Asside from client instability, the beta servers have zero lag. I haven’t seen them crashing or really being bad either. They have been restarted a few times, hotfixes and what not. (The dungeons that were available for testing very briefly were a mistake and immediately removed. They do not want those tested yet). Point being though. there is PLENTY more room, so don’t worry, invites are coming. :)

  5. Pliers says:

    I picked up WoW the day of release. I was in the BC beta, and F&F Alpha for WotLK and Cataclysm. I want to get MoP access asap, for two reasons: I want to know what I will be doing when the expansion actually drops (if I want to swap mains, if it’s worth keeping time open in my schedule to play, etc), and I want to give (what I hope will be) valuable feedback on the game and class mechanics, to improve everyone else’s experience. If not for these two reasons, I would not be touching the beta.

    If you’re just looking to play MoP early, it’s really not that great an idea.

    Playing it now will make it far less enjoyable when it actually lands. There will be bugs, errors, crashes, connection issues, and a ridiculous number of changes. If you play through everything now, you will enjoy it significantly less when MoP finally arrives. You’re watching the shaky-cam version of a movie with no sound and amateurly translated subtitles, right before you go and watch it at the IMAX.

  6. Ryan says:

    Shoot, with the limited amount of content and weird bugs and all, I hope I get put in a late wave of invites. Thanks for the post. People need to chill out.

  7. saltyquacker says:

    Entitled gamers? In my Blizzard game?

    It’s more likely than you think…

  8. Pingback: Beta Rage and Mists of Pandaria Links! | World of Matticus

  9. Xsinthis says:

    Frankly I was disappointed I didn’t get into Day 1 Beta, but I’m over it now. It’s not like I’d actually do much testing, I’d probably just spend the whole time rolling around as Pandas :P

    As a side note, I’m much more angry about that Moose Ghostcrawler promised us :(

  10. edawan says:

    Can I rage against people who rage against the Pandas ? I honestly do not understand what it is that annoys you so much…

    • anafielle says:

      Ana’s blog is a free-rage zone. You may rage about whatever you’d like!

      Pandas… I don’t like them. :( I don’t know if I can explain why I like the rest of wow and why I feel like pandas take it down to a 12 year old’s level. Like honestly, I can’t explain it; I know there are people who feel like you do and people who feel like we do. And couldn’t they have come up for a name for the new continent that was actually a name and not “Pandaria”? Honestly… Pandaria?! I feel like the name of expansion is like at least 1/3 of my problem with it. Anyways, you and your ilk are right though and we are stupid to rage, it’s just a game. I hate them anyways though. I’m getting used to the idea….. the art like the mounts on MMO-C are pretty freaking sweet.

      • zothen says:

        Yeah those cloud serpents are very impressive. Too bad no Blizzcon this year. A four-person cloud serpent dragon costume would have been amazing.

  11. Pingback: Beta Rage and Mists of Pandaria Links! | Game Ninja

  12. Cel says:

    The last I heard Blizz had really cracked down on AP holders canceling on them. The rumor was that you could call Customer Service and cancel, but, after bitter arguing with a CS Supervisor, we’re still paying a monthly fee for a player who was wowed by Blizzcon and disgusted with DS and hasn’t played in 3 months. Not that that person wants beta access anyway :-(

    • Greg says:

      I can vouch for this here.. if you have an Annual Pass and attempt to cancel your account through your battle.net account, it gives you an error stating “You committed to a one year annual pass and your account is unable to be closed until October 21, 2012″ or whatever your date might be.

      I haven’t tried to raise a stink over the phone because its just $15/month and I might log in once a month to chat with some friends, but the option to cancel appears to be all but gone.

  13. Scot says:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with when you signed up. I’ve been a WOW subscriber since release – Day 1. I signed up for the Annual Pass when it was announced. I don’t have a beta invite yet so I’m guessing it must be a random process.

  14. Galvarius says:

    Sooo, where exacly would I find my beta invite besides my email? Yeah, I know…Dumb question. :P

    • anafielle says:

      They have said that the emails aren’t always going out so you’ll want to log into your battle.net account online and click on Manage My Games. You’ll see a World of Warcraft MOP beta “game” under it if you’re in!

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