The Rant: Warlords of Draenor Launch Day in Pictures (Update)

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I had to work all day so I figured nearly 16 hours would be enough time to address any launch day issues.

I came home to find this:

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I tried waiting but was only rewarded for my patience with this:

wod_dc

It would have been nice to play on launch day.

I am really disappointed in Blizzard and frustrated at myself that I gave them another chance. They gladly took my money in advance for the pre-order and I foolishly thought I would be able to enjoy my purchase on the day they said the expansion would be available.

Up until today I was having fun playing through all my level 90s and getting them ready for the expansion launch. Now I feel like deleting the game, but I might as well get my month of subscription time out of the game when things get running again.

Update

I went to sleep on launch day thinking things would be better in the morning. Early on Friday I got up to get a drink of water and decided to see if things in WoW had improved. The good news was that I was immediately able to log into Kil’jaeden. The bad news was that the servers were going to be shutdown for “unscheduled maintenance”, but the really bad news was that the portal was completely broken. It might be hard to tell in the screenshot, but players on flying mounts are stuck in the portal. I tried going through myself and all that happened was the screen would flash to black repeatedly as if it was going to the loading screen.

wod_broken_portal

The servers should be back online about the time I have to leave for work today. So if I am lucky I might be able to have a glimpse of expansion content tonight.

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The Rant: Leveling is a Grind

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An emerging trend in MMOs are the high level characters being handed out in TERA and EverQuest 2. The TERA character offer was a one-time event, but if they did it once then they probably will do it again. The high level character in EverQuest 2 will become purchasable in the future for those who did not take advantage of the original offer. But I am worried for the future of MMOs if the ability to buy high level characters becomes the norm.

I am gonna confess that I took advantage of both the TERA and EverQuest 2 offers, but I have my reasons. TERA kills my laptop and I plan to get into it when I can afford a new gaming rig. When that happens I will be on par with other players in the game. Having a high level character in EQ2 allows me to get into the lore of Norath in preparation of EverQuest Next. The TERA and EQ2 character offer is unique for where these games are at this time, but normally I would never purchase a high level character. Reading comments at various MMO websites, I am disturbed at how willing a majority of the MMO community is embracing these high level characters and wants to see this feature in other games. The most common reason I have seen given is, “I get to skip the level grind.”

In my opinion people who are, “bored with the slog of leveling” are not true MMO gamers. Of course I mean role-playing MMOs based on character statistics and dice rolls. These non-MMO gamers most likely have no need for lore when MMOs are all about being a part of the lore and the hero’s journey. The good news is that there are many types MMOs to play; MOBAs, FPS, RTS, racing, sports…

If you do not like leveling content then perhaps it is the particular game you are playing or maybe it is that you are not a match for MMORPGs. Having limited time to play is a poor excuse these days with so many MMOs offering XP boosts. The “I want to play with my high level friend” argument has also been addressed by MMOs that have level matching.

The inspiration for this rant came from the follow Massively article: Free for All: Why I’d love to buy high-level characters

The Rant: Commenting

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Part of my morning routine is to check up on the latest gaming news. I prefer a gamer’s perspective on the news so I frequent sites like MassivelyKotaku, and Gamebreaker. I like those sites because I am able to comment on the stories. So far I have had nothing, but great interactions and responses to my comments, but this past week I got a response to a comment that bothers me when I think about it. To be fair to the person who responded to my comment; I am not entirely sure they were trying to purposely insult me. Call me persnickety, but I find it hard to be serious with people online when their posts have major grammar and spelling errors.

In response to my opinion that MMOs should not be made into movies I was basically accused of being narcissistic. I am not a selfish egotistical person in real life and I certainly do not portray that kind of persona in a game. Despite the fact my opinion was being attacked, which I am fine with if the counter argument is presented politely, I take offense at someone asserting an assumption about who I am when they do not know me.

I can hear you saying, “It’s the internet. You need to have a tough skin because of all the trolls.” Trust me I understand the culture of the internet. I was studying computers before there was an internet and watched it grow into what we use today. An important lesson I have learned about interacting with people on the internet is that you never assume anything about someone until you actually meet them. The diversity of people that we are able to connect with is very broad, so it is better to adhere to the golden rule at all times.

I try very hard to make my comments free of trolling so all I ask is that others try to respond in kind and keep the discussion focused on what we are passionate about, the game.

“Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”

The Rant: Waiting

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As a kid I used to love going to amusement parks for all the rides and to maybe get some cotton candy. But as an adult I cringe when someone recommends going to an amusement park because I have grown to hate waiting… especially in lines. As much as I hate waiting in real life I am surprised at how much waiting I endure when I am playing a video game.

Traveling to and from different locations in a game can generate a lot of waiting time. The one example I can remember from World of Warcraft is the Deeprun tram that runs from Ironforge to Stormwind. Not only is there a wait for the tram to arrive at the station, but add the travel time for the trip to the destination. I suppose both the tram and the boats, that traveled from  to each of the world’s continents, operated rather frequently so the wait times were not unbearable, but using a flight path could take a while depending on the where your character had to go. Some games like Fallout do not have any vehicles for travel so it was a game important to find locations on the map for quick-travel later in the game.

Queuing systems can also cause a lot of wait time. For example, now that it is not the latest and greatest FPS, finding an online game in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is almost impossible. Of course that is due to the lack of popularity of the game, but even MMOs with servers busting at the seams can experience long queue times as well. Trying to join a world-versus-world map at peak hours in Guild Wars 2 can take quite a while.

Crafting and gathering systems are notorious for increasing the wait time to create items. Some games do this better than others, but waiting seems to be core mechanic of crafting. First of all finding and gathering all the materials needed can take a long time especially when some materials are found in specific dungeons. After all the materials are gathered there is the wait time watching the crafting progression bar.

These are just a couple of examples of waiting in a video game. What have you had to wait for in your favorite game?