Tag Archives: launch

World Of Warcraft Classic’s Rocky Launch Is Kind Of Nostalgic, Sure

Overcrowded starting areas, login queues in the tens of thousands, rampant lag, server disconnects—oh yeah, I am feeling that old school MMO vibe in World of Warcraft Classic.

In the video below (mind the hot mic, it’s been a while) I take my first steps 15 years back in time. My gnome rogue, Gerbil, entered the Coldridge Valley starting zone within minutes of the WoW Classic servers going live, along with every other dwarven and gnomish character on the Faerlina server.

The zone’s initial quest, requiring characters to collect meat from wolves, made it a very bad day to be a wolf. It wasn’t a great day to be a rogue either. Every time I got near a wolf, some spellcaster’s bolt or hunter’s arrow would hit it. Since this is vanilla WoW, rolled back to the early days, taking credit for killing a creature means hitting it first, and that’s it. No communal kills.

Eventually, the wholesale wolf slaughter subsided and I was able to progress. Keen on working together to overcome the initial crowding, players started forming lines for creatures and monsters required to finish quests. The neat little queues were like tiny communities. People jumping ahead were shunned. People getting in line were welcomed with open arms. It was kind of beautiful.

There are plus sides to every character on a server being in the same zone at the same time. I chose skinning and leatherworking as my professions. The dwarf and gnome starting areas are filled to the brim with skinnable creatures. Wolves, bears, cats, boars, and even yetis, their abandoned corpses in tidy piles, waiting for me to come along and strip them of their gruesome fruit.

In three hours I made it to level eight on my rogue. On a regular, up-to-date World of Warcraft server, I would be raiding already. OK, not raiding, but at least going through some level 16 dungeons. Anyway, once I hit level eight I logged out for a snack.

Bad move. World of Warcraft Classic differs from regular MMORPG launches in that everyone who already plays World of Warcraft gained access as soon as the servers went live. There was no ramp up to the massive queues. They were immediate. It doesn’t help that the server I picked, player-versus-player realm Faerlina, is apparently a popular streamer server.

Determined to play, I hopped over to one of the newer servers Blizzard opened last night to deal with overflow, PVP role-playing server Deviate Delight, whose name is destined to make it a popular destination for “adult” role-players. I rolled a human mage and set off on a grand adventure.

For those who can’t watch the video, it ends with a server disconnect and me going to bed.

The World of Warcraft Classic server rush should subside quickly. Right now it’s a fascinating new/old thing that’s garnering a lot of attention, but old school WoW is hard, and it’s certainly not going to be for everyone.

Source: Kotaku.com

Anthem’s Fragmented Launch Risks Ruining What Makes Online Games Great

Remember when games used to just, come out? They had a release day. On that release day, or potentially the night before, you’d go to the store, hand a person some cash, the same amount as everyone else, and walk out with a game that you could then go home and immediately start playing. That was nice.

Anthem’s release is not that. Instead it’s so convoluted EA released a chart to try and help people make sense of when people can play the BioWare-developed shared-world shooter. How early and how long you can play Anthem for in mid-February depends on things like which video game-playing machine you own and how much money you’ve agreed to have auto-debit from your bank account each month.

If you buy Anthem on PC and have an Origin Premier subscription for $15 a month you can start playing the game on February 15. If you only have an Origin Access subscription for $5 a month you can start playing on February 15, but only for 10 hours. You can also do that on Xbox One with a $5 a month EA Access subscription. Everyone without some sort of subscription, or if playing on PS4, will have to wait until February 22 to start playing.

It’s needlessly complex and a bit frustrating. The release of a new online multiplayer game feels a bit like a concert. Which is great. Concerts are fun. Except when you feel like you’re getting nickel and dimed to get the best experience, or when your friends are in the pit but you’re stuck off on the lawn.

To put it another way, part of the excitement around Anthem is getting to be part of a new community exploring a new world. It’s never fun when right out of the gate that sort of shared experience starts getting divided into tiers and gated based on the platform you’re playing on or how much money you’re paying.

This isn’t a new trend for EA, or other companies, but it’s certainly becoming more common and more complicated, especially as its subscription service tiers multiply. Things like EA Access, Origin Access, and even Origin Premier can be great on their own, providing a way for people to try out different games from an expansive library of demos and back catalogue titles available to all subscribers. When they become tools for further stratifying the audience for a particular game, however, they mar a game’s launch. If EA is using early access to get people to spend money on these services because selling Anthem for $60 isn’t profitable enough on its own, ann easier way might just be to charge $70 and let everyone start enjoying the game together at the same time, no charts needed.

Earlier today, one player tweeted at the Anthem Twitter account and asked why players on PS4 didn’t have any options for getting a headstart like everyone else. Jonathan Warner, the game’s director, responded by saying that EA Access not being an option for PS4 owners is out of BioWare’s hands and strictly negotiated between EA and Sony. “If it were up to me we would ALL play on the same day,” he wrote.

Source: Kotaku.com