It doesn't happen often, but when Blizzard breaks something, they seem to break it in a bad way. The recent Tuesday maintenance resulted in problems with in-game mail, forcing an extended downtime of several hours. Eventually, Blizzard decided to bring the realms back online while resolving the issue at the same time, allowing players to play the game before Wrath of the Lich King's release. In lieu of restoring lost mail, Blizzard sent in-game mail to players about problems with, uh, in-game mail.

However, when the realms finally came online, a pleasant surprise greeted excited players upon logging in -- PvP gear was seemingly being given away for free. Ratings requirements were removed from some Season 4 gear, while a few Season 2 items were being sold by the vendors for absolutely nothing. For a short while, major cities were filled with players in full Season 2 Honor gear without any gems or enchantments. Not enchanting or socketing epic gear seems rather newbish, but it should be the wiser thing in hindsight. Blizzard stated that they were aware of the bug and advised players against purchasing the gear.

Blizzard's Cinterome explained that the downtime was intended to correct the PvP gear issue and that all players who purchased items should expect that the items will be removed from their inventories and any currency used to purchase said gear (Arena points, Honor, and Marks of Honor) should be appropriately refunded. Now we've all got a more pressing issue ahead: what are we going to do for the next three hours?
Are you ready for the challenges that await you in Northrend? WoW Insider has you covered with our 8-day guide to Preparing for Wrath and Wrath 101. Also, check out our feature on AddOns new, old and outdated and Essential AddOns for Wrath written especially with the expansion in mind.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.