World of Warcraft online has been out now for a week. Over 250,000 copies
have been sold, and many, many characters have been created. But how was
the release over all? The release took place last Tuesday and sales have been brisk ever since.
Has it been a good release? I believe so. Were there issues? YES! As with any MMORPG release there have been issues. The major issues we have seen with World of Warcraft in the first week were:
- Early server name release
- Server load
- Server Downtime
- In-game lag
- Game time cards being unavailable
Early server name release
A few of the server names slipped out from Blizzard a few days before release.
This created issues as every guild out there wanted to secure a server and let
their members know which server to play on. This led to the Archimond PVP server being massively over populated, as it was the PVP server name that slipped out.
I dont believe having server names come out early is a bad thing, if ALL names come
out at once. If Blizzard had released all server names a few weeks early it would have
allowed all guilds to organize and chose servers and it would have been more balanced.
Not having a full list lead to the second issue as below.
Because of very few servers being online right from the start server load became a huge
issue the first several days after launch. This was made worse by the fact that some
server names were leaked early as per above. There seemed to be no limit to the number
of people that could sign up to a server and create accounts. There were limits to the
number that could play in a server though. This created huge line ups to get into servers
and play. The longest I saw was over 1000 and stated a 5 hour wait. Needless to say I
found a new server.
Blizzard worked on this issue immediately and added a ton of servers within the first two days.
They also removed the busiest servers from the mix and put them offline for up to 2 days!
This worked by forcing people on those servers to new servers to play. Once they had some
game time on another, I assume not all came back to their original server.
Blizzard has also raised the player limit on each server now that many people are out of
the newbie zones and not playing 24 hours a day. This seems to have resolved the issues.
A big issue has been in game lag at times on the servers. The first several days
lag on the busy servers was to the point of making the game unplayable. This has been
addressed to some extend since then, by opening up additional servers and by instituting a
daily shutdown period. The servers are taken offline each morning for about an hour to
clear up issues and (I assume) to tune them for better performance., Hopefully this will
not be a permanent issue. Lag still occurs during prime evening hours, but not nearly as
bad as early on last week. The best thing to do is try a different server and see
how it is there. I suggest all players have two separate servers to play on, that way
you have a backup if / when the first one goes down.
Some of the servers have spent a lot of time offline. For example Archemod spent much
of the first week offline after being overloaded. Even now all servers are subject
to an hour a day of downtime to clean up and tune. Servers are also being reset
fairly often during prime hours. I have seen one or two resets a night while online.
This has been annoying, but once they come back online they are MUCH better for quite a
long time (3-5 hours) before slowing down again. This needs to get better though as
players are already getting upset over downtime during their free month. Once players
are paying they are even more likely to be quite load with their complaints.
Game time cards
Game cards are not available yet, and this is preventing a fair number of players
from actually getting online to play. I know several younger players from this site
that are not able to play as they do not have credit cards and are counting on
game cards to play. Paypal has also been delayed eliminating another option for payment.
Blizzard is working on these issues and has stated it will be resolved very shortly.
While this is a real pain to many users, there is an upside. When they do get online
there will not be nearly as many players in the newbie zones and they will not have had
to contend with the overcrowded zones the first players did. They also got to skip all
the frustrations listed above from the first week. Probably not a huge consolation to the players not on yet as they would have rather been playing, but you have to look for some sort of an upside.
Despite listing a lot of issues above, the release was not the worst I have heard of. It was
more middle of the road for a MMORPG. Despite some early and continuing problems Blizzard has worked very hard to resolve all issues as they arise. While we would all like no issues to ever arise, I greatly appreciate the fact that Blizzard is working hard on fixing the ones that have arisen. The gaming environment has gotten progressively better over the week since its release. With the effort being put forward I see a very stable environment being here very shortly.
Get ready for gaming action in the world of Azeroth as it unfolds over the following months and years. Blizzard it seems will be producing new material for quite some time and we can only expect that it will be improvements to what is already a great game!.
The real question at this point is, what are your opinions of the game so far; have you enjoyed your time in the World of Azeroth, or do you find it lacking? This article is only one view of the opening week; there are always different opinions and we want to hear them! So if you have opinions about this, or any other WoW topics for that matter please post in the TTH forums and start discussing and making your voice heard.
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