Blizzard pulled off the sale of tickets to BlizzCon 2008 with all of the smooth grace of your average MMO launch. The first day, things didn't seem to work at all. I myself received error after error while trying to purchase a ticket for my girlfriend to join me at the show this year. At times I would get all the way to the final sale submission, only to have it error out. In the face of terrible issues, Blizzard brought down the sales website for most of the day. They relaunched the next day around 3:30 PM Eastern, and despite users still reporting errors, tickets were sold out within minutes of the site going back online. Last night they released a final batch of tickets around 11:00 PM Eastern, and I once again had the tickets in my cart before the website timed out, coming back minutes later to let me know the items in my shopping cart were now sold out, causing me to wake the neighbors with the very loud shouting of a word that rhymes with duck.To say the ticket launch was handled badly is an understatement. While I can understand how a game with so many millions of players is going to stress a system when only 14,000 or so tickets go on sale, but this was completely ridiculous. Thousands of people spent Monday refreshing the website, hoping that their sale would go through, putting tickets into your shopping cart didn't reserve tickets for you for even a minute, customer service reps at the Blizzard phone support line were telling fans on Tuesday that tickets were being released in batches, which didn't seem to be the case...it was just a total mess. Meanwhile the forums are filled with players threatening to leave the game (they won't), trolls making fun of the people complaining, and the odd person gloating that they actually received one of the coveted tickets. Don't even get me started about the assholes on eBay. The whole situation stinks, and while I am still planning on attending, most of the people I was going to catch up with while I was there won't be. Perhaps next year Blizzard could hold some sort of lottery, giving random players a chance to purchase tickets, rather than expose their inability to properly handle a flood of website traffic.
@ryohazuki: I don't think you are fully comprehending what went down here. People went through the order process, only to have the website fail on them. It isn't a matter of purchaser X got the ticket before purchaser y. It's that purchaser y and purchaser x got the went through the process at the same time, only to have the website fail to complete the transaction.
It wasn't a matter of first come, first served. It was a frustrating 2-day game of chance.
@okenny :) ...building bridges (to hide under): Many online stores when faced with an influx of orders imlpement a system where once you add the items to the cart you have a certain amount of time to complete the transaction in order to secure your items. Doesn't have to be a half hour. Could have just been five minutes and it would have helped.
When you take the website problems into consideration, a good analogy would be putting the item in your shopping cart only to have a wheel fall off on the way to your register, after which a store rep comes over and tosses your product to someone else because their equipment was faulty and you couldn't make it to the register.