Yesterday was one of those magical days that only come once a year where a person gets to put aside all concern for their blood pressure and stress levels and attempt to buy one of the hottest tickets of the year in the world of nerdery.
The last two times tickets went on sale for Blizzcon, I managed to snag my entry passes both times. Of course, the very first time I bought tickets I got place 413 in line, the second 1254, and last night I got 1334. I might be slipping.
Well, regardless, I saw a lot of people on twitter that were sad that they got stuck with such a high queue number that they eventually missed the boat on tickets. In the interest of helping — and with the selfish interest of already having my ticket and thus not shooting myself in the foot — I would like to share my method for buying Blizzcon tickets in the hopes that I can help some other folks get to enjoy the event in person come November.
For starters, do the following pre-flight checks:
1. Confirm your payment methods are correct on the Blizzcon site, to be safe. I know Blizz recommends this too, but it’s really important and bears repeating.
2. Download Chrome if you don’t have it. In my experience (or maybe this is confirmation bias) Chrome is the fastest when it comes to reloading pages. Test it out at the ticket buying site a few times to get a feel for how quickly it reloads.
3. Compliment your F5 key, it’s going to get quite a beating because you must use F5 to reload. If you click the reload icon in Chrome, you will lose precious seconds (this will be a recurring theme) getting your mouse from there to the checkout button. Either way, get familiar with how your hand will rest on the keyboard and what will be the most optimal/least painful way to spam that key.
4. 15 minutes before tickets go on sale, log into your account on Battle.net and go to the payment methods page and just reload that every 5 minutes to make sure you stay logged in.
5. Check the @BlizzCon twitter account. Last night they were tweeting 30-10-5 minute warnings so it was easy to gauge the difference between my clock and theirs (ie, if I was 1 minute faster or slower than them). Gets you an idea at what point you need to be “in the zone”.
Okay, now we’re 3 minutes before tickets go on sale. This is when you want to start going to town on the F5 key, since you don’t know if some mook at Blizzcon is going to flip the switch to put the tickets on sale early. (This probably would not happen, but in cases like this safe is better than sorry.)
Here is the single most important bit of advice I can impart to you. Look at this screen:
Where that red box is is approximately where the checkout button will appear. There will also be a drop down box where you can change your quantity, but that box is a trap. You hear me? It’s a trap.
You will lose precious seconds changing your quantity on this screen when you need to get into that goddamn queue as soon as possible, scrambling over the thousands of other clambering purchasers and scalper bots. You can change your quantity at checkout before you pay for your tickets.
As you F5, get in the zone so that as soon as that red-orange button appears you will instantly click down on it rather than reload the page another unnecessary time.
I hope this all helps. Good luck on Saturday, you can do this!