Another Blizzard Rant

For historic reasons, I have two accounts. If you have read my blog for some time, you know that I started playing WoW on the US realms when I was abroad for a year. After I returned to Europe, the time difference made it very hard for me to raid; I had to look for the handful of EU-timezone guild scattered across all realms. When the last one I was in folded, I went over to EU, but for that I created a new WoW account before unified accounts ever appeared.

I would’ve loved to take my characters with lots of history with me, but no. The whole “you can’t migrate from US to EU, ever” was probably the thing in WoW that caused me the most strife and pain. Reason supposedly being the EU and US divisions being so separate that there wouldn’t be any way to do that.

So color me surprised when I logged into my US account for some unrelated reason and I figured, “I could just add my phone to the account, like on the EU one”, and this happened: error message: "This number is already in use on another account. Please use a different number."

So, let me get this straight. You cannot, ever, transfer characters between EU and US because the divisions are separate entities and there’s no way of transferring the data; but as if by magic, my US account can figure out that my EU account has the same phone number bound to it?

What. the. hell.

I mean, this doesn’t even make sense because you might want to have several accounts for some reason, or two people might share the same phone (unlikely, but definitely not impossible). I  don’t even see why this should prevent you from registering the phone.

But on top of that, it’s just another big “screw you” for people like me. I don’t even play WoW any more, but that feels like still rubbing it in. “Oh, we’re only two separate entities when it hinders you. If we can further hinder you by being only one, we’ll do that.”

4 thoughts on “Another Blizzard Rant

  1. There’s a good technical reason for that. Authentication servers are separate from data servers. You can tell when authentication goes down (nobody can log in), but those already in are fine.

    However, explaining that to an end user is def. confusing.

    1. I’m… not sure I buy that explanation. Either you can exchange information between business units, or you can’t. If you can do it for authentication information, then you can for other data, too. You might not want to for some byzantine reason, but you can’t say it’s impossible if it obviously is possible.

      Or let me rephrase that: I can believe, no problem, that there’s a technical reason for it. But not that there’s a good technical reason.

  2. Without any real evidence, I am going to guess that this is more to annoy hackers than you. A little while after authenticators came out, hackers started using them to lock people out of their accounts. They would get into a compromised account and add an authenticator, using the same authenticator over and over on hundreds of accounts.

    The easy work around for Blizz on that would be to only allow an authenticator to be activated on a single account. The same would be true for SMS authentication.

    Anyway, that is my theory. Doesn’t make the situation less annoying, but at least you can shake your fist and say “Damn hackers!” in addition to “Damn Blizzard!”

    1. It makes sense, in a way. It totally makes sense within one business unit. Even though I still would probably be annoyed if I had multiple accounts and needed multiple authenticators, with tags, preferably, so I knew which authenticator would be for which account.

      It just absolutely surprised me that it worked cross-atlantic. Because generally, as far as Blizzard is concerned, there is a deep chasm between the two continents, which nobody ever crossed, and it’s terra incognita on the other side.

      But I’m starting to rant again. It’s fine. I’m over this worst experience in my MMO history. Completely. So over it! Ahem. 😉

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