back to article World of Warcraft (sort of) returns to China

China's millions of World of Warcraft players may soon have a chance to return to the massively popular online game after nearly two months of government-enforced downtime. Chinese officials will allow WoW to relaunch starting July 30, but only for previously registered players while Blizzard Entertainment makes changes to …


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  1. Thecowking
    Paris Hilton

    Will those players get their accounts back?

    Because if they don't there's going to be a lot of very angry boys down at the wangba.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    How many The9 inlaws work for that department?

    Addressed to the head of the GAPP.

    Dear Mother in Law,

    the nasty imperialists from Blizzard has taken away our opportunity to collect money from the net addicts for the new villa on Hainan Island. Can you please make sure that their lackeys from NetEase cannot benefit from Blizzard's trecherous behaviour and cannot steal the moneys that is rightfully ours

    Your faithful son in law, Chen Lee,

  3. James O'Brien

    So what now?

    They come back without their former accounts and we will start having youtube videos along the lines of:

    5 gold suckee for farmer?

  4. The other Ross
    Big Brother

    "May soon have a chance to return"?

    Like they ever stopped. I bet most of them just created new accounts on overseas servers. Judging by the WoW players I know, the threat of the gulag won't have been anywhere near enough to get them to stop. It's like shiny, Disney-coloured crack.

  5. Shane 8

    WoW down for 2 months...

    So the offical WoW in china has been down for 2 months and you think people stopped playing? China has the highest rating of piracy worldwide if one route gets blocked there will always be another open, VPN tunnels / proxies you name it. You stop them playing on one server and they start up on another (as we know they can get 1-70 in under 2 weeks for just $70!).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: gov... fuck off

    a) It's China.

    b) The most active players are still playing. There are loads of cheap proxy services out there.

  7. lukewarmdog

    offensive content

    Hopefully it's something big.

    Like the name.

    Maybe "warcraft" can be changed to "grind"

    More likely they've asked them to remove all mentions of the word "tank"

  8. Thomas 18

    offensive content2

    "makes changes to unspecified content found to be objectionable."

    I hope that's gnomes, everyone finds them objectionable.

  9. Kit Temple

    @Ross, Overseas Servers

    It's really not that easy to play on overseas servers - there is a big lag issue. I am a long-time online games player (for the past 20 years, since times when you had to dial the game directly), and I spend most of my time in China these days. Basically, everytime I am in China I have to give up all my usual games and switch to playing Magic Online which is about the only game that lag won't make unplayable.

    Unfortunately I can't read a word of Chinese, so that puts all the local servers out of reach. No need to the VPN tunnels / proxies that Shane mentions in his post - all overseas servers are available for anyone who wants them - for those that can put up with heavy lag and English language.

    I should note that I am out in Anhui province - while people in Shanghai might find the lag issue not quite as bad. I am sure the Chinese WoW money making businesses are all based in Shanghai - but please remember that there is a big national market out there who mostly speak only Chinese, beyond that one city.

  10. CD001

    China ~ 1.3 billion people


    5million players and they can't gang up and tell various Chinese government departments and other affiliated assholes and cronies... where to FUCK OFF!


    In China that mere 5 million would probably be outnumbered the those "various Chinese government departments and other affiliated assholes and cronies".

    That's about one player for every 266 people; if that percentage was applied to the US it would make about 1.14 million subscriptions and in the UK approximately 230,000 - proportionally speaking (relative to the population size), there isn't THAT big a WoW gamer base in China; UK Gov ignores petitions on it's website from a mere 230,000 people ;)

  11. The other Ross

    @ Kit

    Hrm, well that's interesting. I thought China had nice big pipes with low latency? I play Eve Online from Australia on a server in London, and there is some latency, but not nearly enough to be problematic. Server-side lag is a far bigger issue, which affects players without regard to their ping times. Is WoW really that dependant on rapid response from the server? It's not like you're playing a FPS, after all.

    Although, I gave WoW a try once, and noticed my ping times to Oceanic servers (supposedly local) tended to hover around 550ms, whereas in Eve, my ping times to London are generally around 250ms. Maybe Blizzard just have shite networking code?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censorship is all in the eye of the beholder

    If WoW had been developped in France, it would be called "Monde de la Technique de la Guerre".

    And the same Anglo-saxons who are now screaming at censorship now would be demanding that all those visible tits (which are perfectly acceptable in France) be removed from the US version before allowing the innocent and pure WASP youth to play it.

    You know, like they do every time they remake a French movie for their internal consumption.

    So, errr, like, get over it, guys. Your values are neither universal nor Laws of Nature.

  13. Steve Swann

    @AC 06:34

    That's a ridiculous argument.

    You suggest that the 'morality' (expressed as censorship, in this case) of others is none of our business and that we 'get over it' as our values are non-universal.

    Would you apply the same argument to female circumcision? How about The Holocaust? What about the burning of the (american) flag? Racism? How about the ethnic cleansing that has taken place in countries such as Rwanda? Human rights abuses in Saudi? Sharia law taken to extremes in Iran?

    Let's bring it right home: If *I* banned *you* from the net (due to an authority that I hold that you didn't grant me) wouldn't you rail against it? Wouldn't you hope that your friends would stand by you? Wouldn't you hope that the larger community would support you against the unfair situation I place you in?

    ...or do you expect everyone to just say "Meh, not my business"... ?

    Those are all the morals of other nations, yet you'd not intervene? Morality is little more than an evolutionary meme, and the best ones survive by eliminating the poorer ones. We, as moral people, have no choice but to intervene on behalf of others where we feel, universally, that their rights have been restricted by comparision to ours.

    The price of freedom, both ours and that of others, is eternal vigilance.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Steve Swann

    What are we talking about here? You're comparing the removal of skeletons graphics in a game to the Holocaust and female circumcision? You do want your Godwin points, right?

    I think you're overreacting. western countries do that very same kind of censorship on a routine basis. It's got nothing to do with women's rights or political speech. We haven't heard anything about non-gov undead organizations protesting that their right to show their bones is stiffled.

    And believe me, I know exactly what Chinese censorship is. I know what it is when Google stops working. I know what it is when Facebook stays unreachable for weeks (as is the case now). I know what it feels when I receive Time Magazine with a page cut off because of its content.

    Removing skeletons in a game has got nothing to do with that. It's exactly like Americans removing breasts pictures, which, in my set of values, is ridiculous, but hey - it's their country. Or do you want me to fight for the right of Americans to see naked tits, because I have a moral duty to intervene?

    Gosh, as soon as they see the words "Chinese government", some people instantly feel the need to jump on their Chinese-made electronic soapbox to explain that whatever they do, it must be wrong, because, well, just because.

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