- Play World of Warcraft in English on the Taiwan server
- Read (Write) Chinese characters
- Ping times < 50ms if you are playing in Taiwan
Last week I finally managed to download the US version of World of Warcraft with a 10 day trial account (I must have been about the last person in the world) and got myself into some skirmishes with my new warrior alter ego. When the 10 days were over and I was having fun, I didn’t mind paying for it.
From Taiwan to the US the ping times aren’t great (>400ms) , but the game is pretty addictive.
So when Blizzard didn’t accept my credit card, that kind of well,.. made me delete the whole thing and had me sign up for a rehab clinic instead. This being Taiwan, rehab is frowned upon — so I figured there had to be “another way”.
I can forget about playing the game in Chinese — I can bubble a nice conversation, but having to read pages of quests — well lets not go there.
It IS however possible to use the English client, and login to the Taiwanese server instead. If that is what you are interested in , follow the steps below. This is current as of Nov-2008.
Step 1. Download World of Warcraft (English)
- Reserve a day for this — after downloading 3.5Gb of game it will start patching from version 2.4 all the way until 3.02 (or whatever is current).
- Make sure you have opened ports 3724 and 6112 in your firewall.
Step 2. Sign up for a free trial account in Taiwan
Then click the button conveniently labeled [Trail Account] in the main menu.
Applying for a WOW account in Taiwan
Click on the picture to see the full sized version. You need to enter:
- Skip this field — this is a CD key, which you don’t have — its optional
- Your new WOW username (a-z), so fill in “jaapaap” or whatever makes you happy
- Your password
- Again your password
- Your full name “Jaap Aap”
- Your e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The “I am not a robot” security code
Step 3 Modify the client to login to the Taiwan server
On your hard disk find the following file:
c:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Data\enUS\realmlist.wtf
Then change the contents to:
set realmlist tw.logon.worldofwarcraft.com
set patchlist us.version.worldofwarcraft.com
set portal tw
This same information is also stored in another file (c:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\WTF\config.wtf) but as of v3.0 the above file overrides any realm settings in here.
Make sure you leave the “set patchlist” pointing to the US server — the Taiwanese server is unable to upgrade the English version you are using !
Step 4 Try logging in
The game should now work — just login. The GUI and all the quests are in English. There is however one remaining drawback, the game shows a “?” whenever it encounters a Chinese character (chat, player names).
Step 5 Adding Chinese fonts
- Download the following fonts file: fonts.rar (source: Wow in Chinese)
- Create a directory: c:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Fonts
- Unrar the file and copy the downloaded font files into this directory.
Start Warcraft — it should now use Chinese fonts everywhere in game. If you configured XP to type in Chinese that should now also work.
Step 6 – Upgrading your account
Just walk to the nearest 7-11 and ask for a World of Warcraft time card. They come in NT$ 150 time cards and NT$ 450 unlimited monthly play kinds. You then need to go back to the World of Warcraft (www.wowtaiwan.com.tw) to upgrade your account.
It should be possible to buy time codes online — but I haven’t tried that yet.
Step 7 – Bonus: Do all the above under Linux
If you would like to do this all under Linux (which I did) it is actually just as simple as installing under Windows XP. Download the installer, and run it from Wine.
The only problem is that DirectX support isn’t great (with some fiddling it works for me, but the framerate is less than 15). OpenGL is however not a problem, and my aging NVidia 7600GS manages a framerate of about 60.
wine launcher.exe -opengl