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WoW: Five Ways to Avoid the Overcrowding Zones in Cataclysm

Posted Wed, Dec 08, 2010 by Xerin

The queues are filling up and the zones are flooded with players rushing to get ready to face Deathwing in World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Yet those adventurers are running into a huge problem, overcrowding in the new expansions smaller sized zones. How in the world (of Warcraft) are players to deal with the massive crowding? Well there are a lot of answers and a lot of techniques to work your way through and get that much desired experience.

Servers Overwhelming

The first thing to do is to say to yourself “I will not be the server’s first to 85.” I do not want to be a major downer, but if you have the time to read an article online then likely you won’t be able to race past those who haven’t slept since launch or you're on a server where that title has already been given (much like mine).  The next thing is to understand that if you’re a few days behind others in getting to 85 it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be raiding. Everyone needs time to gear up, get settled at their new level, and work toward the new content. So the race is not nearly as bad as most think it is.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade suffered from having one small starting area (Hellfire Peninsula) that all of the players had to share and because of it the launch was very difficult. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King helped things by making two starting zones (Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord) which split players in half. Cataclysm takes a much different approach by increasing the spawn rates of enemies to almost near instant even though it has one “real” entrance point (Mount Hyjal).

So with a clear mind follow the following techniques to get a more enjoyable experience during the few weeks after launch:

  • 1. Dungeons are instanced and therefore have no competition: It’s important to understand that a dungeon only has five players in it so there will be no competition for your quest mobs. Everyone can work together to finish the instance and gain experience. While it’s boring to grind dungeons endlessly, it’s a great way to gain some really helpful gear and complementary experience.
  • 2. Play during non-standard hours: It’s a lot easier to move through the content when there are fewer players on. Many can’t play at non-standard times, but if you’re able to then you’ll find the experience much more enjoyable. Servers are usually quiet between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. weekdays.
  • 3. Understand that other players want to level, not PvP: Don’t be afraid of the other faction on PvP servers. Even though there may be a large number of enemies there should be no reason to panic. Do not attack them and they will likely not attack you in the hopes that they can get through their quests and gain that XP. If you are attacked, don’t be afraid to defend yourself or call for help. Helping other players is a sure fire way to make them want to help you as well.
  • 4. PvP however can be used as a way to move through the quests quicker: Likewise, there are situations where PvP may be desired to kill an opposing faction member who is trying to get your spawn. Just be careful as you will bring about their ire (and a strong desire for revenge). In the same scenario, on non-PvP servers, be sure to be quick to tag enemies away from the opposing faction. This is a war, after all, and there is no risk of retaliation. Just be sure to be kind to your allies and when appropriate. Kindness goes a long way in WoW.
  • 5. Allies and friends make great leveling partners: It’s true that questing in a group can sometimes take longer, especially when you have to deal with getting drops for everyone in the group, but it’s a lot quicker and safer. It’s also a lot easier to kill 10 enemies for three people than it is to wait to kill 30 enemies for three people. Set the loot to “free for all” to handle the quest item drop quests in a timely manner.

Additionally remember that the rush will only last at most two weeks. Afterward the zones will be quieter and it’ll be a lot easier to quest without having to deal with the rush. Not that the rush is bad, the game is still playable, it just takes a lot more patience than we’re used to. Quest areas can also be larger than they appear, Sethria's Roost is a great example. In front of the quest giver is a small area heavily camped but if you go further south you'll find tons of places to hunt with almost no one to stop you. Be sure to look at your map to see where enemies spawn to find a quiet spot away from the crowds.

Dealing with the Queue

It has been a long time since we’ve all had to deal with the dreaded “queue.” Those of us who were around at launch remember the hour long queue times to get on our servers until Blizzard began doing major upgrades. They seem to have returned in style with queue times ranging between five minutes to almost a full hour. The queue is a tricky thing, but there is one sure fire way to defeat it: go do something else while waiting.

Remember that after dealing with the queue you'll get the fun time of trying to click NPCs without attacking someone, on PvP servers.

There is no trick to jumping ahead of the queue. You just have to wait it out. Make sure background sounds are turned on so you can hear WoW even when it’s minimized and then do something else. Play a few flash games, read the news, catch up on some work, do some laundry, make a sandwich, or anything else to take your mind off the wait.

The queues are obviously temporary and will likely be over and done with after the first week of launch. Like I mentioned earlier, playing in the early morning will get you straight on your server but it’s difficult for a lot of us (especially those with jobs) to change our lives to play a game.

One big thing to remember about the queue: where there is a queue there is “connecting.” Try to avoid disconnecting as much as possible when the queue is up.

How are your adventures fairing in Azeroth? Come to our community forums and share your thoughts. Stuck in queue for half an hour? Chat it up with fellow WoW players here at Ten Ton Hammer.

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