Feedback: Region Transfer

General Discussion
Yes, this topic is what you can guess from the title. Something many undoubtedly more attractive people before me have brought up.

The reason I'm gently poking the same old horse yet again is that at least based on the official story, it seems like it might be an issue of raising enough support for the issue. So the best thing I can think of is to bring in the hopefully last piece of straw and share my story and point of view.

There's two target audiences. My fellow players and Blizzard. Skip to whichever part you're interested in.

For my fellow players

I have seen lots of speculation about reasons why they don't allow this. For people like me who have Googled "hots region transfer" or similar and might end up here, I can at least try to give my guesses on the questions and answers I have collected. This part is not useful for Blizzard people, since I assume they know the real story.

  • Transferring MMR would be unfair? I find this doubtful. You could easily have different ladders in different regions with progression transfer or sharing.
  • It's just too much work? This... could be a real reason, in theory. But only if there's literally only a couple of dozen or so people wanting it. I'm a programmer at a game company myself and if there's enough desire for region transfer, I simply cannot see it being purely a technical issue. (I'm a senior tech programmer, but I can probably convince my company to allow me to freelance the feature for cheap on my free time. Contact me.)
  • Legal issues? Another possible actual reason. Unfortunately it could be some very inane taxing/legal issue. But then again unless there's some very convoluted deals going on, I can't immediately think of a reason why it would be OK to share progress and purchases across all countries in Europe and Asia, but not between the regions.
  • Different pricing? This could very well be the one true reason. If Blizzard has different prices in different regions they might be very hesitant to allow transfer/sharing. Selling accounts, gold, skins, etc is a big problem when you want to make money globally. Especially if you can buy cheap somewhere and sell expensive somehwere else. However, they already have a system in place for changing account region by sending official proof of residence, so I think if region transfer were allowed at least with that, it shouldn't be a huge liability and the "loss" taken would be minimal. Some people might even want to offer money for the difference, but that might again raise some complicated legal questions about who's paying who how much for what and where?
  • They don't want to deal with merging accounts? This connects to lots of the things mentioned above. It would probably be technically doable to override the progression on another region, but people who have decent amount of progression of multiple regions would feel cheated. Especially as the current situation has been going on for so long. You could try to balance it out by merging xp, unlocked heroes, skins, etc, and then refunding duplicates with Gems/Shards. But this would also be an objective (short-term) monetary loss for Blizzard as a company, and shareholders don't like these kinds of fair deals.
  • What about Overwatch?! Overwatch is very different in many ways. It was designed technically, legally and economically to be shared cross-region from the beginning. Not to mention the game is not free-to-play and the whole microtransaction model is completely different. But still, it gives some hope that Blizzard is at least on principle willing and able to share purchases and progress cross-region.
  • Finally, I'd like to point out the relative silence on the subject from the official channels. This means either there's not enough people to warrant a real response, or they really don't want to commit to one story because they're in a long process of thinking about multiple options. Or maybe the most likely reason is that the rationale they have is something that wouldn't be very popular, so they'd rather hold their tongue than talk about it, even at the expense of seeming cold and uncaring against the public image modern Blizzard seems to be going for. Maybe that's OK? After all, HotS doesn't have Ben Brode or Jeff Kaplan.
For Blizzard
I moved from Europe Region to Asia 6 months ago. In Europe I had 94% of heroes unlocked and I'm pretty sure I have spent well over hundred EUR on IAP. If you're allowed to link forum accounts to playing and/or purchase history, you can easily corraborate these claims. However, I haven't played at all since moving for one single reason: every time I even think of starting the game, I think of the 500+ hours I'd have to spend to get to the position I was before. Not to mention all the money I have spent on cosmetics because I want to show my support for the game. I'd just rather play something else.

Sometimes I see suggestions of playing on Europe region from here, but that's not realistically possible. Currently in Asia I get 20-30 ms ping, but on Europe I get 250-350 ms with large spikes. I don't think I'd be faulted to consider that absolutely unplayable and I'd frankly prefer to eat two of my limbs over being forced to play on such unresponsive mess.

As a reminder, here's small portion of the previous requests on the subject:
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/7qtrzz/blizzard_please_support_region_moves/
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/6zkjtk/why_cant_i_transfer_accounts_between_servers/
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/7g4mkl/server_transfers_should_have_been_a_thing_in_hots/
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/7yl3nj/reminder_we_still_dont_have_global_accounts/
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/5dfyxo/blizzard_all_the_new_stuff_is_amazing_but/
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/5dtt5d/not_allowing_server_transfer_is_hurting_the_game/
https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthestorm/comments/55tnh7/why_dont_my_heroes_carry_over_regions/

Oh yea, also, those are all just from the HotS subreddit... and only stuff from "1 year ago" or newer I found with 1 min googling, most with almost 1000 upvotes. I could link you more, but you can probably get the idea, and I assume you have more powerful forum searching tools to find everything here.

Again, there is a possibility the actual reason is something you do not want to talk about and won't change your mind on... but just in case it's on the table, I want to bring my voice to the choir to convince you you are actually provably losing money and players on this.

I can offer suggestions, but I assume they are pretty obvious. Optimally fair merging of accounts with region-wide progress sharing. After that, region transfers, then one time paid region transfers only for proven residents.

Heck, personally I wouldn't even mind paying money for it and I'd be OK with uploading my government issued proof of residence (which, btw, I did earlier today to change the country, just to get the official response from the customer support on region transfer.) With some sanity checks about IDs, this should be enough for deterring all the cross-region sellers or whatever reservations you have on that front. For some people that might be too much to ask, but honestly at this point I'm just desperately pleading from my heart for you to allow me to get back into enjoying the game.

I used to be so much into HotS. I played tons of games with my cousin. I made friends on the public chats and played hundreds of games with those guys. As a Finn, I have a love/hate relationship with Swedes, but I was still hyped AF over the Fnatic guys at Blizzcon 2016, and again in 2017. I started maining Medivh (...yeah I know) after seeing the magic adrd pulled off with Team Expert. I've "gently" forced many of my friends and family to try the game. It truly pains me to be in this position where the only way forward for me is to grasp at straws and hope you might change a policy you've had for years. Please, I beg of you, let me return to the game I love. :(
The sad part is Blizzard is not trying to improve the situation or do something about it. Our experiences, hours of investment and sentiments are completely and rudely overlooked.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum