Boomjack touched on this in his Loading... this morning. I wanted to throw my own two cents in because.. well if you know me, you know I'm extremely opinionated. The problem?
The Chinese userbase reports widespread delays of over an hour when logging into the game and getting a server list, and the last straw seems to have been complete server outages that disrupted the endgame of a large-scale raid involving nearly 1,000 players.
Ok now, let's talk about how this would affect world relations, game economy and my general state of panic.
1. Does Blizzard realize that it's not a good thing to piss China off? Can we say one billion angry people with nuclear weapons? C'mon, we're already on spongey turf with them as it is.
2. Dare I say it? Gold farming cut in half? The economy is in dire straights!
In all seriousness, Blizzard does have new hardware in the works so we need to be patient. On the other hand, I can understand their angst. I sat in a mere five minute queue last night trying to get into Sen'jin and nearly lost my mind. What is going on in the minds of the Blizzard execs? Who can say? We can't get anyone to comment on the issues.
This is the big news. People have been waiting for Patch 1.10 to come out since.. well... 1.9 hit.
Want to be one of the few players to experience World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion pack before it goes live? Help us test content patch 1.10 on the designated "contest" test realms, and you could win a spot in the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade beta test! At 12:01 AM PST on Tuesday, March 7, we will activate a special set of patch 1.10 test realms featuring three separate contests. If you're in the mood for some competition, click here to learn about the contest details and instructions on how to enter.
PLEASE NOTE: If you'd like to get an even earlier look at the changes coming in patch 1.10, a non-contest public test realm will be available prior to the release of the contest realms! Click here to view the test realm patch notes, and check back regularly for the PTR launch announcement.
Have you been reading the novels up to this point? Me? Mmm Not so much. However, if you'd rather read about it than play it, the next novel is now available.
The new Warcraft novel Cycle of Hatred is now available! Cycle of Hatred's story takes place three years after the events of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The Burning Legion has been defeated, and the eastern regions of Kalimdor are now shared by two nations: the orcs of Durotar, led by their noble Warchief, Thrall; and the humans of Theramore, led by one of the most powerful mages alive - Lady Jaina Proudmoore. But the tentative peace between orcs and humans is starting to crumble. Random attacks against Durotar's holdings suggest that the humans have renewed their aggression towards the orcs. Now Jaina and Thrall must avert disaster before old hatreds are rekindled - and Kalimdor is plunged into another devastating war...
The World of Warcraft Atlas Gift Pack from BradyGames is now available for purchase in the Blizzard Online Store. The Atlas is a comprehensive hardcover resource that includes maps of all regions and major cities as well as detailed plans of places such as Everlook and Ghostwalker Post, revealing critical locations and characters. Shrink-wrapped within this Gift Pack come eight exclusive full-color bookmarks, one for each race in World of Warcraft: Human, Night Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Orc, Troll, Undead, and Tauren. Each bookmark includes a character image on the front and has the race description and coat of arms on the back. Read more about it here.
If Orgrimmar is the Horde capital, is Las Vegas the who... nevermind.
We begin a new series of quick takes on World of Warcraft's most popular and most travelled cities and regions today with a veritable tour guide for Orgrimmar at WoW TenTonhammer. A little bit of the city's history, how each of the Horde races can get to Orgrimmar from their starting areas, an easy-to-read map (no little numbers), and a quest listing for the city, sorted by level. It's all here!
A much easier way to find your way around town is to talk with the guards, the Orgrimmar Grunts. They'll mark many popular locations right on your minimap and full map, and point you the way. However, note the reagent vendor and orcish mount (wolf) vendor. These are two sought-after locations that you can't ascertain from a guard. (Troll mounts can be found at Sen'jin Village in southern Durotar.)
Caption Contest! - 2/27/06
The archivists here at the RPSA have been going through many of the submissions from the past, cackling and whooping as they came up with oddball quotes describing the situations our past winners found themselves in. As nutty as our archivists are, we think you can do better! From Friday, February 27 to March 15, players can submit clever captions for any of the past RPSA winners pictured below -- we'll pick the best one for each picture! The winners of this contest will each receive a prize package consisting of a Sony PSP handheld gaming system and a SanDisk's Memory Stick PRO Duo™. Take out your rubber chickens and clown shoes -- it's time to make us laugh!
You can go here to find out more. I'd do it for the PSP. I need something to occupy my downtime while I can't get onto my server!
Messiah talks about his experience with World of Warcraft as played on his nifty new Apple iMac courtesy of an Intel dual-core processor and Blizzard's decision to release WoW in Universal Binary.
Graphics-intensive gaming? On an Apple? Wha?
Everyone knows Macs are not for gaming. Macs are for tree huggers,
hippies, academia, free spirits, and graphic artists. No serious computer
person would ever use a Mac, never mind play a video game on one, would
they? To many using a Mac for games is almost as bad a scenario as Luke
Skywalker turning to the Dark side of the force! It just isn't right!
Now that the basic premise is laid, let me go back and paint the full
picture. Let's take a look at Apple, my very limited experience with
them, and how why anyone would actually want to game on one.
Apparently Apple isn't just for your iPod anymore. Check out Messiah's article on the happy marriage between iMac and WoW at WoW - TenTonHammer.
Memnok gathers some feedback from players regarding World of Warcraft's ongoing Ahn'Qiraj event:
With the new content release of Ahn'Qiraj (bugs, bugs and more bugs, for all those who haven't been following the large scale war efforts!), players, both Casual and Raiders have been both anticipating and fearing it's release, along with a lot of the new patches, and eventually, the implementation of the Burning Crusade Expansion. High tensions on forums and in game play is very noticeable inside the world of Kalimdor and Azeroth, boiling down to the players in the game who; live to raid instances and conquer all new content and items, those who are there to enjoy themselves and have fun, those in small guilds who love smaller instances, and those average players who have great ambitions, but little time to play. In this new Ten Ton Hammer interview, we will take a look at the thoughts and concerns on Raiders and Casuals, the new Tier 0.5 armour quests and the new content of Ahn'Qiraj!
Pay for the box, subscribe to the game… but unless hardcore PvP is your style, no North American servers for new players? It's a silent problem that affected as many as 15,000 new players since the new server lockdown late last week; 'silent' because new players tend to lack the old timers' ... shall we say, forwardness? TenTonHammer has your back, novice nukers and fledgling fighters!
Will Blizzard make timely improvements as locked servers continue to burst under the strain of concurrency, or simply continue its tradition of lip service and haphazardly adding less-than-popular PvP realms that to fix old problems? Enquiring minds want to know.
And to make matters worse, French conglomerate Vivendi Universal Games (the parent company of Blizzard Entertainment and a handful of other developers) reported income last year in excess of $762 million (at current Euro => $US exchange rates, source), a 35% increase over 2004 earnings due in large part, as Vivendi readily admits, to World of Warcraft's international success. This kind of money is unheard-of for any MMORPG developer to-date. Hardware lead times notwithstanding, most players fail to understand why there seems to be so little tangible investment in better server infrastructure and code optimization, especially since Blizzard has repeatedly offered its apologies about performance over the game's entire lifespan. Many believe that a simple solution is to merge lower concurrency PvP servers and use the spare resources to enhance or increase the number of 'normal' ruleset servers.