It's been a whole day (well, day and a half at this point, really) since World of Warcraft's latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, has launched. Two days ago I put together an article on how to prepare for Draenor, so now what? Chances are, if you took yesterday off from work to get a headstart during the expansion's launch, you were met with frustration from lag spikes and server crashing. If you didn't take the day off and tried to waltz in after work, you probably saw that your server was either locked or had a lengthy queue to go with it.
I was lucky enough to hop on at launch, play for a few hours, take a nap, and then log in later on. My server is a low population server, but there were still issues with object or NPC respawns to alleviate the pressure of the sudden population increase. Even with the server cluster going down at one point, there were still about five people who managed to hit the new level 100 level cap by the time I woke up from my brief nap at 10am ET. Today, I'm sitting there in a recliner chair with a sprained ankle, probably not hopping back into Azeroth anytime soon, even with the servers back online from today's hotfix.
Part of the issue that has been plaguing the servers since launch has been a massive DDoS attack that has been grinding the servers to a halt. If only this was as easy as beating the majority of the population to the next quest hub or waiting until they're done with a spot. Logging in at 3am will only help so much, so if you're thinking of trying to squeeze in some gameplay before heading off to work, you might be better off sleeping in to your normal time for a couple of days. This seems like the new launch day norm, unfortunately. ArcheAge recently faced the same issue. Sony Online Entertainment had a coordinated attack across several games, but it didn't affect much, until the same children decided to up their temper tantrum a step further by claiming SOE president John Smedley had a bomb on his plane. DDoS attacks are childish, but because they're easy (or, you know, word is you can just pay $20 to pay people to launch attack for you). To quote /u/The_Sharpie_Is_Black from Reddit, “How much of a fucking LOSER do you have to be to ddos..” I'm right there with ya, buddy.
Whether or not this is showing the actual attacks, one of my coworkers (that guy, Boomjack, with the column around these parts), sent us a link that shows, in real time, pulses of attacks. Regularly, you can see waves hitting the U.S. Currently, it is the number one target of these attacks. I don't know about you guys, but my mother raised me to be a decent human being, full of empathy, compassion, a strong work ethic, and someone who believes in community. People who get their jollies from trolling, launching attacks, and being bullies in general make no sense to me. Then again, I'm not some power hungry gal who needs to let the world know that I have a thirst and this thirst is real. I'd rather be an adult, pay my bills on time, enjoy games as a fun hobby, and enjoy the life I have rather than lashing out in a temper tantrum whenever I don't get my way.
IP Viking, however, is at least a fun site to see. I kind of can't stop looking at it, watching the pulses go from one side of the world to the other, and back again.
Get Off Track
While I was sitting here in pain and self pity of a sprained ankle, I was casually browsing Reddit while glaring at happy people on TV. I came across a pretty neat post, which is the inspiration for this article. I know as much as the next person how easy it is to forget to look around you and just mindlessly go from quest giver to objective without much thought. I know I was especially guilty of this yesterday while playing. My roommate got home around 5am (servers came up at 3am local time), and saw a glimpse of me gaming. He thought it was Dota 2 for some reason (5am?), but I told him I was exploring new new World of Warcraft expansion. He then asked how it was, and my only response was, “I don't know. I'm too tired to know.” He then apologized profusely and went to bed. A few minutes later I realized I should have told him how cool garrisons are and how all I want to do is play garrisons. Maybe next time I randomly run into him, I'll be awake enough to tell him all about them.
I'll have to pay better attention to my surroundings when I play my priest from 90-100. I've already planned on going slower with her, so I can enjoy the story. There's a lot in the game to miss, and I feel like kicking myself over missing petting a baby dragon somewhere in the beginning of the Alliance side of quests. /u/WarcraftLounge made a post about how rewarding exploration has been so far, especially by way of garrison resources. So far, I found a treasure chest in the middle of no where while doing a bonus mission, as well as a sword stuck in a rock Excalibur style (which gave garrison resources) while trying to take a shortcut instead of following the road around. Reading the comment replies, it looks like talking to dudes out in the world is a way to get quests for new followers, which sounds like another thing I need to get on. /u/XIPanth3rIX has a couple of fantastic replies for finding treasure, without addons: “You can actually buy a map from the archeology vendor(you dont need archeology though) in Ashran for 100g per zone that will mark all treasures on your map with a chest symbol.” and “You cant buy them all right away though, so continue to be curious! I think you need to clear so much of a zones quests to be able to purchase them, I am lvl 95 and 100% cleared shadowmoon and gorgrond and those were the only 2 I could purchase right now.”
I like that Blizzard is rewarding exploration. People in the thread are talking about how they've not only found plenty of rare mobs while wandering around, but items you can get, also. A few people have found rare items either in chests or just by clicking on things. I'm pretty stoked that I've managed to find some garrison resources out and about so far. I'm pretty tempted to go back over the areas I've already gone through to see what I've missed. I definitely want to go find dwarf bro, kill some things with him and then get a new follower. Garrisons are pretty much my drive for everything currently. I didn't look into them too much before launch, but I heard a lot of people talking about how they didn't dig the system at all. Maybe I'll have a different story to tell later down the road, but for now, I'm loving this feature.
No launch (or most content updates) is ever without a ton of bugs. It doesn't matter if you're a small time indie dev coding out of your garage with a couple of buddies in your spare time or a multi-billion dollar dominator of the MMO market like Blizzard is, your launch will have bugs and the unexpected will happen. All of the time, preparation, QA, and player testing that's done can never beat a live environment. Blizzard is so known for polish that the joke is that they could launch a turd and call it a game, but it would be the most polished turd the world would ever see. Given their level of expected polish and launch day shenanigans, I expect the hotfix thread to be updated regularly over the next week or so.
The majority of today's patch had to do with quest fixes and issues. A couple of minor class issues were fixed today and yesterday, such as visual bugs. Some PvP bouts weren't scaling correctly, but hopefully now those who aren't level 100 yet won't have that issue. The best note so far is from yesterday's hotfix: “The Postmaster received a talking to and should no longer be mailing large amounts of unimportant items to players.” I didn't experience mail issues, so I'm not sure the reasoning behind this, but I still had a good chuckle.
Have you returned to Azeroth? If you're one of the lucky few who's been able to get in, how are you liking the expansion so far? Do you enjoy the new garrison system or are you in the camp that would prefer normal player housing? Have you found something really cool while out exploring? What are your favorite things so far in Warlords of Draenor? Let me hear all about it in the comments section below! Images curtesy of /u/MrAdelaideRS5 over on Reddit.