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WoW from Japan


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#1 Zaba

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 06:48 AM

I'm a big fan of all Blizzard games and I finally have bought a Mac good enough to play World of Warcraft... but I have a problem.

I live in Japan temporarily (studies, at least one and half year more) and Blizzard has never got a good hand with their releases in Japan (They completely botched Starcraft, they released WarcraftIII with such a delay everybody already had english version anyway and they didn't officially release WoW at all, which means only possible sourse is costly import through Amazon.jp).

I've heard that at first one couldn't register with Japanese address and Japanese credit card at all, but that the restrictions have been relaxed and that the game works from Japan now. Can anyone confirm if I would be able to play WoW from Japan, on US servers?

I've tried searching Blizzard forums  and I've even wrote to their support, but they keep quiet on the subject, so I need an answer from a fellow Mac User.

TIA for all the help.

#2 Hippieman

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 10:56 AM

To play on a US server you need a US billing address.
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#3 Zaba

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:43 AM

Hippieman, on October 11th 2005, 01:56 AM, said:

To play on a US server you need a US billing address.

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Well, not exactly, as New Zeland, Australia and some other countries can play on those servers as well, isn't it true?

I read in Japanese magazine that Japanese were being blocked from all servers, back when the WoW had just started (probably because Blizzard had local release in mind). After a year however there is no Japanese release, no Japanese distributor, no Japanese servers and Japanese blogs claim that one can log in on US servers from Japan (that is the former blockade is removed now). On the top of that Amazon is selling US version of the game to Japan, and that also depends on Blizzard agreement, if I understand correctly.

That makes me think it should be possible. But lack of any "official" confirmation is worrying me.

In other words do you have practical experience with playing from Japan and you found it impossible, or is it just a guess based on their earlier policies? I'm searching for someone with practical experience to tell me what options are there...

#4 OverLoad

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:39 AM

Blizzard lost my custom forever as a result of their decision not to support the Japanese market.

So no, I don't have any practical experience playing from Japan.

That said, it may be possible these days. Amazon Japan sells prepaid cards, and I've seen the game on shelves in Japan.

So you can try going the prepaid card route ... it might work.

#5 Tomatocow

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 04:13 AM

I have a co-worker who plays WoW from here (Japan), though he is on a Pee-See. :happy:
I think though he has a US billing address since he's from Illinois. Or his brother in the States set an account up for him, or something like that.

I personally haven't tried exploring my options with WoW, since I don't like paying subscription fees. ;)

#6 Ichigo27

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 11:50 AM

It sounds like the World of Warcraft servers arn't set up like Final Fantasy XI's servers.
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#7 hambone

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 11:26 PM

i'd just call their billing department and ask what the deal is.

USA# 1-800-592-5499 (9AM-6PM PST)
SINGAPORE# 1-800-225-5969

last time i called i got a representative in about 5 mins who even answered questions about how many employees it takes to run WoW and when he thought the expansion pack was coming out.  :D

#8 Tomatocow

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 03:31 AM

I just had a chat with my coworker who plays from here. His brother in the States bought him the game and a time card and that is how he plays it. But, he says, since the Europe servers started, any credit card should be accepted now (even Japanese ones). But he wasn't sure on this.

#9 The_O

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:36 PM

Billing address doesn't matter.  But a prepaid game card (you can usually find them on sale at amazon) and pay for your time with that.

#10 Huntn

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 07:55 AM

I think, all though I could be wrong, is that if you have a credit card based in the U.S. you can register and play on a U.S. server. Just to be safe, use your parents address. :)

-Hunt'n

#11 Zaba

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 09:56 AM

Well, I've got an answer from Blizzard after a few days and they claim there is no problem whatsoever with joining from Japan with Japanese credit card. They only warned me about possibility of lag. I asked explicitly about US servers, so it seems I will be able to play on US servers as well. My box should arrive somewhere after 20th (Amazon is darn slow :D), so I will post practical update as soon as I check if it really works.

Of course I can buy game cards through Amazon as well, but those game cards' price goes up about 30% on it's way from US to Japan. I prefer to pay directly with the card rather than pay for overpriced cards.

#12 Zaba

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 08:29 AM

I thought I update everyone for future reference.

I've been playing WoW for a week now. It works flawlessly and thanks to the quality of Japanese net my lag is less than 200 even on busy servers like Deathwing or Hellscream. In other words connection is perfect.

They accept Japanese credit cards with japanese billing address without any fuss and you can play on US servers only, it seems. Personally I think it is a good thing except for tuesday, when weekly maintenance hits at 9pm and lasts till 3 am. Precisely when someone could play a little after work. :D

Paying with credit card is better than buying game cards through Amazon - it's almost half the price if you pay for 3 months or more (the cards imported through Amazon cost over 20$ a month  and you pay 13$ a month for 3 months plan and even less for 6 months plan.)

#13 IPY da Pinhead

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 12:13 AM

Zaba, on October 25th 2005, 10:29 PM, said:

I thought I update everyone for future reference.

I've been playing WoW for a week now. It works flawlessly and thanks to the quality of Japanese net my lag is less than 200 even on busy servers like Deathwing or Hellscream. In other words connection is perfect.

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I hate you  :angry: Here in Australia the game gets an official release with all the hype and hoo-hah....and what do we get? American servers and 500+ pings (on a good day). Blizzard has flatly ignored any requests for an Australian server, and to cap it all off the Tuesday downtime for maintenance occurs during our primetime slot and lasts 8pm - 2am. You might not thing that much of a ping is going to be a big deal in an RPG style game - but it effectively means that PvPing with certain classes is as fun as hammering nails through your feet, I'd be prepared to be most Australians have gone ranged classes  :(

#14 Huntn

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 06:01 AM

Zaba, on October 13th 2005, 09:56 AM, said:

Well, I've got an answer from Blizzard after a few days and they claim there is no problem whatsoever with joining from Japan with Japanese credit card. They only warned me about possibility of lag. I asked explicitly about US servers, so it seems I will be able to play on US servers as well.

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So the segregation of WoW servers is gone or just if your playing from Japan? I assume the list of servers I see when I log in does not include any European or Japanese servers, but how would I tell? Nothing in the list jumps out at me as far as server location. I wonder if the list of displayed servers depends on what version of the game your playing (US/Canada vs Europe, etc)...

-Hunt'n

#15 Whaleman

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 06:59 AM

Huntn, on October 27th 2005, 01:01 PM, said:

So the segregation of WoW servers is gone or just if your playing from Japan? I assume the list of servers I see when I log in does not include any European or Japanese servers, but how would I tell? Nothing in the list jumps out at me as far as server location. I wonder if the list of displayed servers depends on what version of the game your playing (US/Canada vs Europe, etc)...

-Hunt'n

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The segregation is still right there. Buy a US copy of the game and you will only be able to play it on US servers, buy a European and play on the EU servers... to play on both you need to pay the double... and if you bough one first but want to play on the other now, you have to buy a brand new copy... or wait until they finally remove that block... if it will ever happen.

The only difference is that they allow international credit cards for the US version now.

At times I wonder if it's just a way to get people to buy the game twice... I still wish I had gotten a US copy from the start.
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#16 Sternum

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 07:09 AM

How do Chinese farmers get onto the U.S. servers? Do they just need U.S. discs?

The server I play on is currently plagued by them. Maraudon is constantly camped by dozens of level 60 horde and alliance farmers, and they kill legitimate players on site. It sucks.

#17 Huntn

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 11:08 AM

Sternum, on October 27th 2005, 07:09 AM, said:

How do Chinese farmers get onto the U.S. servers? Do they just need U.S. discs?

The server I play on is currently plagued by them. Maraudon is constantly camped by dozens of level 60 horde and alliance farmers, and they kill legitimate players on site. It sucks.

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I assume your on a PvP server. Being killed on sight could come with the territory of playing a PvP server.

Not trying to be argumentative. Your saying players that farm loot? What is a legitimate player? How do you know they are Chinese? I've run into one player who told me he was Chinese and he's in a U.S. based guild and very friendly. :)

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#18 Tetsuya

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:48 PM

ways to identify Chinese players:

the word "Love" in their name or guild name.  

Oriental sounding names.

Inability to type english back at you in response to more than yes or no questions.

you find them in Tyr's Hand, Azshara, Maraudon, or Scarlet Monestary whenever you log on.  

They are online all day, every day.

Chinese players can be part of a well regarded guild - in fact, several guildso n Bleeding Hollow have Chinese farmers for players so they have a cheap source of materials - they take a cut of what the farmer farms.  

And when that guy says they are everywhere, he means it.  I can fly into Azhsara and do a /who, and find 40-50 farmers there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Same with Tyr's Hand out in the Eastern Plaguelands, or Maraudon.

#19 Huntn

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 08:22 PM

Tetsuya, on October 27th 2005, 04:48 PM, said:

ways to identify Chinese players:

the word "Love" in their name or guild name. 

Oriental sounding names.

Inability to type english back at you in response to more than yes or no questions.

you find them in Tyr's Hand, Azshara, Maraudon, or Scarlet Monestary whenever you log on. 

They are online all day, every day.

Chinese players can be part of a well regarded guild - in fact, several guildso n Bleeding Hollow have Chinese farmers for players so they have a cheap source of materials - they take a cut of what the farmer farms. 

And when that guy says they are everywhere, he means it.  I can fly into Azhsara and do a /who, and find 40-50 farmers there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Same with Tyr's Hand out in the Eastern Plaguelands, or Maraudon.

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Holy Smokes. I've not noticed that on my server. I would say that screws up the game. What to do about it? Has anyone reported this to Blizzard?

-Hunt'n

#20 Sternum

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:28 AM

Huntn, on October 27th 2005, 11:08 AM, said:

Not trying to be argumentative. Your saying players that farm loot? What is a legitimate player? How do you know they are Chinese? I've run into one player who told me he was Chinese and he's in a U.S. based guild and very friendly. :)

-Hunt'n

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I'm surprised you haven't heard about Chinese farmers. It's a huge problem on most online roleplaying games, because they destroy the economies and generally detract from the experience for legitimate players. To make matters worse, most of the farmers are locked in sweatshops, working for pennies a day. Everyone loses.

IMG linked to a story about it several months ago: Slave Labor