Daily Archives: December 28, 2007

Webkinz Holiday Slam!

As I wrote in a past post, Webkinz is the somewhat secret “Mommy MMO” that has come to our house.

To the list of mothers I know that play Webkinz to earn cash for their kids I can safely add my own sister, as my niece has nearly 20K KinzCash in her account, and I am sure she did not earn that on her own.

Ganz, of course, had a problem though. Once you buy your Webkinz plush animal, they have to figure out a way to get more money out of you.

They tried ads for a short time, but were inundated by complaints.

So this holiday season they pushed a variety of addons for the game, including something akin to a collectible card game, jewelry and charms, and a range of new plush Webkinz and Lil’kinz animals.

Their strategy seems to have worked beyond their plan.

My own daughter received a total of SIX Webkinz and Lil’kinz animals (a bunny, two poodles (one white, one pink), a seal, a unicorn, and a panda) and some Webkinz charms which your pet can wear both in real life and in game.

All of these items need to be activated through codes that come in the packaging, which, I suppose, is where the problems began.

On Christmas Day, the Ganz site started coming apart with traffic.

We were able to log on once in a while, but were unable to go to the rooms on our account or access the “adoption” page where you use the activation codes to make new items appear in game.

Instead we were greeted with the now all-too-familiar “Please wait…” message.

But at least we were able to get on Christmas Day. Since then the load on the system has become worse and we have been unable to logon at all.

Today Ganz finally turned off all logons while they worked on their site. The site now reports:

Webkinz World is currently down due to technical difficulties. Your furry friends at Webkinz are working around the clock to bring the site back up as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.

They have also stopped answering the phones for support and now a message directs callers to please email the company with any issue at support@webkinz.com.

So if you got a new Webkinz (or six) in your home this holiday season, it will likely be some time before you can see them in game… or get in the game at all. There is currently no ETA for the return of Webkinz World.

Marshal Windsor and Lady Prestor

With the holidays and the accompanying travel, the instance group was not up for much in the way of big operations last week.

We did find some time to get together and move the Marshal Windsor quest from Blackrock Depths along another step. We did the procession from the gates, through the city, to Stormwind Keep.

Actually, we had to do it twice, as somebody was quick on the trigger accepting the quest and only two out of the five of us got it the first time around.

If you have been in Stormwind very much, you have certainly heard this quest segment, the Great Masquerade being played out, as it involves a bunch of NPC shouting… er, yelling.

Essentially, you follow Marshal Windsor through town to a confrontation with Lady Katrana Prestor who, it turns out, is the human form of Onyxia the dragon.

So we got a glimpse of Onyxia:

Onyxia Appears

Onyxia Appears

Then she disappeared while a set of elite minions (which you can see in the picture) started to hammer Marshal Windsor and Highlord Bolvar Fordragon. The script demands that Windsor die, but if Fordragon dies as well, you have do the procession over again.

Of course, there are usually a bunch of people standing around in the Keep, so once the fight begins, people tend to jump right in, so Fordragon is as safe as can be. On the second trip we actually took down a couple of these level 60 elite mobs ourselves.

And thus it played out, twice, and we are all now a step closer to access to Onyxia’s Lair, which we are unlikely to ever do, at least not as a five some. The quest experience was huge, and when we were done, everybody in the group was at least level 58.