Experience report: Unable to install WoW on MacOS

(Jump to the UPDATE below for a super technical procedure for getting the client to download.)

Hi! It’s been several years since I last played WoW, but when I heard about the upcoming MoP mode I decided to give it a try. Before signing up for a subscription though, I figured that I’d try to make sure that it downloads and installs successfully. It did not.

I tried the normal “happy path” approach, then checked the forums and found several so-called workarounds. This experience report documents those attempts.

The machine I’m running on is a 2022 M1 Max Mac Studio with 64 GB RAM on macOS Ventura 13.6.3. The Firewall is disabled. It’s behind on updates; I’m not willing to update it to the latest because reasons. I’m not looking for tech support here though, this is just one experience report.

Normal Path I downloaded the Battle.net Setup from the website and installed to /Applications. After signing in, I attempted to download WoW Retail. The download manager stalled in “Initializing”; after waiting for some time a request for the Battle.net app requiring my user password appeared. There was no explanation of what changes it wanted to make in the installer nor on the forums. I gave it my password and it disappeared. Some time later, a second prompt for my password came from Agent. I sighed and gave it my password and it disappeared. Nothing happened for 10 minutes, so I checked this forum.

Tech Support I found several workarounds, none worked. For future people looking for help here is a summary of what I tried.

  1. Set all download limits to 999999 kb/s. The download did not start once these changes were saved.
  2. Close and restart Battle.net app by force closing the Battle.net App, all “Helper” processes, and the “Agent” process. Upon restarting, the app claimed that it was updating WoW and exactly 115MB out of ~500MB were downloaded. After waiting another 15 minutes, however, no more data was downloaded.
  3. Manually grant the App Management permission to Battle.net in Settings. After another round of force-closing battle.net processes and reopening there was no change.
  4. Complete uninstall of Battle.net from /Applications, the WoW folder therein, and the folders under /Users/Shared, followed by creating a dedicated WOW folder under my user account with full read-write permissions for everyone. After reinstalling Battle.net to this folder and attempting to download WoW, the same 115MB came down, but then as before halted.

Finally, having spent an hour trying to download WoW, I gave up and decided to post this experience report. I’m glad that I didn’t fork over any money for a subscription or buy the pre-release, that was a big win. Reflecting on it, perhaps Microsoft is no longer interested in supporting Blizzard products on macOS? I distinctly remember playing on a Mac in the past, so I’m not sure how it’s possible that it doesn’t even download now.

UPDATE The workaround following describes a process for downloading indices from the terminal and manually placing them into the right folder. After performing this procedure and starting Battle.net, the update started downloading the content.

The procedure is:

  1. Shutdown Battle.net app, then Agent from Activity Monitor by force quitting them.
  2. Navigate to /Users/Shared/Battle.net/Agent/Agent.####/Logs
  3. Find the log file that starts with the prefix bc-. If there are more than one, find the latest.
  4. Open the file in a text editor like VSCode
  5. Copy all of the unique urls into a new file called “urls.txt” that is saved in your World Of Warcraft/Data/indices directory
  6. Open up a terminal and cd into the indices directory
  7. curl --remote-name-all $(cat urls.txt)
  8. Wait approximately 100ms for all of the indices to download.
  9. Open the Battle.net app, the update resumes.
  10. When macOS prompts to allow the Agent to modify your Certificate Trust Root, click Cancel. This will happen multiple times. There is no reason to allow Blizzard the ability to modify your trust store without explaining exactly which certs they plan to add, remove, or setup a MITM around. (I would appreciate a Blue post explaining why this was attempted, and why it still works after denying the Agent access, proving that it was unnecessary.)

Obviously, this procedure requires some knowledge of computers. Terminal, curl, a text editor, but I hope this report helps people from the future install on macOS.

The forum won’t allow me to include a link to the post. Here’s a butchered set of words that you might be able to reformat into a url using a text editor. GLHF!

https :// eu. forums. blizzard. com /en /wow /t /m1-mac-battlenet-and-agent-broken-stopping-wow-installation /453524 /133

Here’s your link: https://eu.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/m1-mac-battlenet-and-agent-broken-stopping-wow-installation/453524/133

There is a way to post links… by using the Preformatted Text button – if that is of interest, reply here and I will provide steps.

Have a nice day !

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