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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
I just don’t even.