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The quest for BlizzCon tickets, day 2

Mike Schramm

We spent most of the day yesterday refreshing the ticket sales page for BlizzCon tix, and considering we came up short, we're going to go at it again today. A few people, including a few folks at WoW Insider, were able to make it through yesterday and buy tickets, but Blizzard closed the page down last night (posting the maintenance SCV, which you can see above) to keep people from refreshing the page all night, and that's where we stand now.

Their offices in California opened up at 8am PST, just a few minutes ago, and they said that they'd be reopening ticket sales at the start of the business day today. Here's hoping we have better luck this time around. Updates will be posted after the jump as they come in.

11:31am: We're 30 minutes past 8am in Irvine, and there's still no change, so it seems "the start is of the business day" isn't actually their start of their business day. After all we went through yesterday, we wish they'd just pulled it down as soon as they knew things were going bad and said something like "ticket sales will start Wednesday at 9am." Then we'd all have been able to move on with our lives, and they'd have had three days to fix whatever needed fixing.

12:08pm: Just passed 9am in Irvine, and still no changes. But our community continues to produce:

Because you know a meme hasn't hit the big time until there's a Cheezburger about it. (Thanks, RuzGofDI!)

And the folks at Road to BlizzCon are suffering just like we are.

1:53pm: Still nothing but the maintenance SCV. Protip: hold Shift when you press refresh -- it'll make sure you clear any caches for the page, and make sure you get the absolute current version, whenever it does change.

Also, we've just posted Toneslice's hilarious BlizzCon game -- funny that Blizzard fans can be so productive even while Blizzard fails them.

2:10pm: Blizzard estimates that tickets will be ready for purchase at 12:00pm PDT (which is about 50 minutes from now). They say they've been working all morning on fixing things, so hopefully (we've been hoping a lot lately), when things come back up they'll be able to handle the angry mob.

3:02pm: Technically it's 12:00pm PDT, but Blizzard did say sometime after, so it could be back anytime after this. We're.... still waiting.

3:12pm: Well we just saw an error on the store page, though we're not sure whether that was because the maintenance SCV was getting hammered with people trying to get in, or because Blizzard is trying to take the store live. What a nightmare this whole thing has been, for everyone. Even when the store does come back up, we'll be really surprised if it can handle the load.

3:42pm: The store is finally showing signs of life -- unless you actually try to buy anything. Looks like Blizzard has slimmed things down, too -- some of the graphics and description are gone from the ticket buy page, presumably for faster loading.

3:46pm: Success!

Yes, almost 30 hours after we first started trying to buy a ticket, we were able to nab one. Not everyone is so lucky -- a lot of WoW Insider folks are still dealing with stylesheet errors, so the store is getting hammered pretty hard. But we can see that it's up and running, at least, and there's no sign of the Failoc from this end. We'll stick around for a while and keep an eye on other reports coming in.

4:03pm: Rut roh. This just showed up on the ticket sale page:

Blizzard just posted that tickets are available again, but there's been no official announcement of a sellout yet.

4:11pm: Multiple sources are reporting tickets are completely sold out. Blizzard may extend sales at some point, but according to the website now, there are no more tickets to buy. And undoubtedly that's going to leave a lot of unhappy people who just spent a good day and a half refreshing their browser for tickets they never got a chance to buy.

4:25pm: Apparently Blizzard's support line is saying that tickets are not yet sold out, this is just another CSS error.

4:31pm: The ability to purchase tickets is back up now. Looks like Blizzard either decided to sell more tickets or the original Sold Out notice was another error.

4:40pm: Now showing Sold Out again, but with an old page design (the one before it got slimmed down to accomodate the bandwidth). So we have no idea whether it's just a design error or whether tickets really are gone.

4:44pm: A few folks are getting this error in the middle of ordering: "The availability of one or more products in your cart have changed while you were shopping." We're still in sold out phase #2, and we're sticking around to see if tickets go back on sale again.

4:57pm: We still see "Sold Out" on the ticket purchase page, but there's no official word yet from Blizzard on whether the tickets are really gone or not. Fan ire is rising on the official BlizzCon forums, not surprisingly.

5:07pm: A few people are saying that sales reps on the phone are claiming that Blizzard is selling tickets in phases, and that there'll be a period of sales today until all the tickets are gone. Note that this is all rumor, and we won't have confirmation of anything until we hear from Blizzard themselves. Even if it is true that they're selling tickets in phases, we don't see how that helps, especially since people are getting cut off in the middle of their purchase every time the "sold out" flag comes up.

5:43pm: Aylii from Shamanistic Rage says she chatted with a Blizzard service rep, and he said that only 10% of the tickets have been sold so far -- 1200 out of 12,000. That lines up with what we know already -- that they sold 8000 tickets last year and opened up a third hall besides the two last year. So all hope is not yet lost.

However, she also heard that there would be a five minute period between ticket phases, and it's definitely been five minutes since the last phase ended. Still no word from Blizzard, though we have no idea why.

6:30pm: Here's another pretty believeable thread, supposedly with info from Blizzard's phone sales support staff. They won't confirm or deny batch sales, but they do say that they've told the CMs and blue posting staff to get communication running between players and Blizzard. The fact that we haven't heard anything official from Blizzard for the last couple of hours is very frustrating. Not wanting to tell your customers anything unless you're sure of it is one thing, but completely ignoring them, especially when they're so frustrated, is something else completely.

7:14pm: Finally. Tickets are sold out, basically, but there is still a small reserve left that will go on sale at 8pm PDT this evening.

Well. That contradicts what we were told about only 10% being sold. I guess we'll have to see how things go this evening at 8. Hopefully everyone who wants/needs a ticket will be able to get one. Either way, even Blizzard can't say they handled this well -- it's been two full days of frustration so far, and depending on how many tickets are actually left, there's going to be a lot of frustrated players around after tonight as well.

Stay tuned to WoW Insider for more on how this will all play out and the BlizzCon event itself.

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