Hello Lag, My Old Friend

Also entitled, “Ermagerd Warlerds.”  Comes with spoilers, sort of.

Being a little too eager to see the new content, I woke up early to send Bombelina through the Dark Portal.  I felt puzzled by Thrall’s premature baldness.  How had I not noticed it before?  Had his thick and luxuriant braids, their source hidden beneath a hood, convinced me that he had a full head of manly orc-hair?  As he and that random draenei dude barged through the portal like a couple of ninnies (look, I know you two are buff, but the Iron Horde’s got sheer numeric advantage on their side), I felt slightly betrayed by that whole adulthood thing.  I had to go to work at this critical moment.  “Just five more minutes …” I wanted to say.

I pretty much thought about WoD all day.  I obsessively checked my friends’ blogs.  I pondered deep ponderings on Garrison setup.  I wrote a list to figure out the order my alts would get leveled in.  I made notes on who did what in the Proving Grounds (as it turns out, everybody did pretty much nothing).  In general, I was waiting for the earliest possible moment to return to my ancient computer so that I could continue on.

Like Watching the Grass Grow Except ... less productive.

Like Watching the Grass Grow
Except … less productive.

Oh.

Turns out there is an advantage to having an alt on a low to medium population server – you can actually log on!  Sometimes.  So instead of my well-geared main, I ended up leveling Nioma.  Originally, she’d been in fifth place on the leveling list.

Such Stealth, Much Rogue Nobody will notice this stealthy barrel.

Such Stealth, Much Rogue
Nobody will notice this stealthy barrel.

Sadly, I’m really not impressed so far.  I’m a bit of a wanderer at heart, so I hate the forced tour of the introductory zone.  When I think about getting the rest of my alts through it, I get the same kind of vaguely ill feeling that happens whenever I consider starting another alt in the goblin or panda zones.  I did find it amusing how Blizzard insisted on labeling each orc Warlord for us.

There Are Many Orcs This one is Gul'dan, and he has something stuck in his teeth.

There Are Many Orcs
This one is Gul’dan, and he has something stuck in his teeth.

I’m told that the zone is designed to assist those who boosted their characters to 90.  I was unaware that boosting a character to 90 made you so stupid, NPCs have to talk to you like you’ve got the brain capacity of a sea cucumber:

Never Would've Guessed This guy is an archmage?

Never Would’ve Guessed
This guy is an archmage?

Worse was the performance of the servers.

I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be great, but I honestly wasn’t expecting the queues to be so damn long, the lag to be so bad, or the aborted instances to be as frequent as they ended up being.  Certainly, this is a situation where the servers are burdened with a sudden influx of returning players, but Blizzard knew this was coming.  My 72 minute queue was a mere heartbeat compared to the queues some of my friends faced, but ultimately, it’s just as ridiculous.  To anticipate a problem but fail to do anything about it is just stupid.

The amount of time I and and my fellow guildmates spent waiting for something to happen was just downright wasteful.  If I wasn’t waiting for the NPCs to load into my empty Garrison or waiting for instant attacks to actually attack, I was spending ages attempting to turn in quests and interact with quest objectives.  I was lucky, too.  Some guildmates got so stuck, they were SUPERstuck -they couldn’t get the quests to continue out of the starting zone and were unable to even hearth back to Org.  They could do nothing but wait and pray not to disconnect, because after a certain point, all servers were simply locked.

[Edit 11/14/14: Apparently much of the server problems were due to DDOS attacks – subsequent Ridonkulous Queue Times were a side effect of Blizzard lowering max population limits in order to improve stability.  Okay, Blizz is forgiven for that, but … still don’t know if I can forgive ’em for the starting zone.]

I ultimately gave up for the night when I was instructed to place Frostwolf banners on ogre corpses.

What IS "In Range" The definition is more than I can handle.

What IS “In Range”
The definition is more than I can handle.

I just don’t even.

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16 thoughts on “Hello Lag, My Old Friend

  1. Athie

    That starting zone is rough! The rails, alas and alack. But I get the terrible feeling from my initial experience in the next zone that the whole expansion leveling experience is that zone writ large: one long rigid questing path where you can’t skip any steps ever on any character.

    Reply
    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      I tried wandering off once at the beginning, and Khadgar teleported me back, saying that my character was needed there. I DO like knowing where to go, yes, but I like doing it on my own time. “Oh, look, there’s a mining node over there that I shall mine,” or “I see a potted plant, WTF I must inspect further,” or “I MUST KILL THAT THING THERE.” I suppose it’s not really “realistic” given the pace of the plot, but hell, if we were being “realistic,” we probably wouldn’t have sent just two dudes through the portal first.

      Once the situation improves with the servers, I’ll probably manage to complete the starting zone in fits and starts on my top five alts, with the rest following once I get Really Super Incredibly Bored.

      Since I got fed up with “out of range” corpses, I haven’t gotten much further than the Garrison setup in Frostwolf. I still kinda hold out hope that maybe later zones will be freer in terms of “what to do,” but I suspect we’ll still be shuttled from zone to zone in a particular order.

      Reply
      1. Prinnie Powah Post author

        Another thought: they recently put in a fix where if you continually kill the same sort of mobs, the EXP you get from them decreases. It was intended to stop people from grinding on the same stuff endlessly. Still, I find that this is a disincentive to wandering off, since I have to fight my way there and back, but won’t get EXP appropriate to the challenge.

        Reply
  2. khizzara

    For the record, I’m the one who got so stuck in the starting zone that I couldn’t even hearth out. I FINALLY got to Frostfire Ridge by logging off and on about 6 times and watching the damn cinematic about 100 times.

    OMG, I found the intro quest HILARIOUSLY bad. I was killing myself laughing at the stupid quest text and the giant announcements of each. and. every. warlord. Like, seriously? Bad fan fiction is bad. Especially when written by the original authors… That “you can tell by looking at their hands” was one I had to read out to my husband. (Said husband was sensibly playing Assassin’s Creed instead of fighting the WoW Login Queue boss. The one time he did try to log in he got a queue for the LAUNCHER. I didn’t even know that was POSSIBLE. WTF?!?!)

    I managed to do the “plant flags in ogre corpses” quest, but it took a long time to do it, because it was super buggy. Some of them I got out of range errors, some “not a valid target” errors, etc. But since I was also getting double credit for each corpse that worked I figured it was balancing out in the end. But then I got the error that takes the cake. “That target is dead.” Um… YEAH. That’s how corpses WORK, Blizzard! /facepalm

    If you logged off early you may have missed the fiasco when the entire Draenor server crashed for about an hour. It kicked EVERYONE offline, and then when people logged in they spawned on the innkeeper in the shrine. It was AMAZING. I have never seen so many people in one place before, and every two seconds there was that whoosh sound of someone else spawning in. And then everyone used their Garrison Hearthstone (hereafter referred to as the “ghearth”), got blue barred for ages and then either dcd or kicked back to the shrine. The portals to Frostfire in the major cities didn’t work either. It was the most epic failure I have ever experienced.

    While waiting for Draenor I flew around Pandaria and killed a ton of rares I’d never seen before. I may yet get that Glorious achievement! Also finally soloed a warbringer, but it didn’t even drop a mount. How rude.

    Once the Draenor servers came back up it seemed like things were actually working though, so that was good. I haven’t logged on yet this morning… but I’m about to. Wish me luck!

    (Long comment is long. Maybe I should start, you know, BLOGGING, instead of leaving epic comments on other people’s blogs. Hmm…)

    Reply
      1. Prinnie Powah Post author

        Yeah, they started it at 8 EST. I had logged onto Bombelina about 7:15 to get her a little further in the starting zone, since “ridiculously early by Pacific timezone standards” seems to be the only time I can get onto WRA.

        Reply
        1. Athie

          Haha, I’m hanging out on blog comment threads right now because of the read-em-and-weep 7-hour queue time I’ve been served up at WRA this evening…

          Reply
          1. Prinnie Powah Post author

            Yeah, I’ve given up for awhile. While I can get online via Nioma on Kargath, I just want to level my main on WRA! Unfortunately I don’t particularly care to sit through a 4k+ person queue …

            Reply
    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      Yeah, I got irritated and jumped ship before the Great Draenor Server Crash of 2014.

      Want another body for your Warbringer group? I got a bazillion alts who haven’t left Pandaland yet!

      Reply
  3. Nina

    You get a lot more options in later zones. Once you unlock the fortress you’ve got quests all over the map, and that continues for Gorgrond and Arak. Talador is occasionally linear, but there always seemed to be an out-of-the-way question mark on the map for me.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Warlords of Draenor – An Early Success | The Ancient Gaming Noob

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