Okay I’m going to try to be brief here because nobody likes a buzzkill.
World of Warcraft Classic launched Monday night here in the U.S. It was extremely smooth and free of major technical issues, as far as I’m concerned, which is an amazing accomplishment. Blizzard has gotten really good at launches. The “narrative” will be that it was a catastrophe, because that’s the only narrative that can be spun to draw a crowd, but it wasn’t. Queues were inevitable.
I logged into Bloodsail Buccaneers (the only server I remembered being mentioned on Twitter) at precisely 6:03 PM Eastern time. There was no queue. There was no significant lag. I started with an Undead Warlock. The starter zone Deathknell was packed, a seething mass of players flowing out of that initial mausoleum like a river, and it was impossible to progress, especially with a Warlock that doesn’t have a fast ranged attack. There were no polite people waiting in lines. There were a lot of dumb jokes in general chat, but Wilhelm was right, nobody mentioned Final Fantasy XIV. :) I saw no evidence that anyone was role-playing.
I couldn’t complete a single quest. I gave up after successfully killing just two mobs toward quest completion in a half hour and logged off (one quest required 16 mob kills, the other required 3 items). I knew that was risky but I’ve no interest in standing around doing nothing in a game. I did some other stuff for a while.
A bit later, around 7 PM, I logged in again. There was a short queue, maybe 15 minutes. I don’t remember exactly. I made an Orc Hunter. The starter zone, Valley of Trials, was also crowded, but less so than the Undead starter zone. I completed the first quest to kill 10 Mottled Boars without much competition. I turned in that quest and got 3 more. That’s when I ran into the competition.
It was far easier to compete for the Scorpids as a Hunter because of the faster ranged attack. I found it quite dull to stand around waiting for mobs to spawn. I managed to get 4 Scorpid Tails (out of 10) before my one bag filled up and I had to return to the General Goods guy to sell some junk. I bought 400 arrows, my first purchase of WoW Classic. All of that took about a half hour. I reached level 3. Then I logged off.
In total, I completed exactly one quest in about an hour of gameplay (not counting the breadcrumb quests).
I didn’t think I would play any more, but I tried to log in again about 9 PM, but the queue was over 45 minutes by then. I gave up and never got in again.
This morning about 8 AM, I checked the servers. They were mostly empty. I logged in easily. The Orc starter zone Valley of Trials was relatively empty, but for a handful of other people. Just a regular day in WoW.
I mentioned briefly before that I had subconsciously been avoiding games that don’t have compelling minute-to-minute gameplay that keep my attention focused on the game. WoW Classic definitely doesn’t have that. Minute-to-minute activity mostly consists of two things: Running back and forth, and waiting for mobs to respawn. Especially on that first night.
I saw the seething masses of people in the starter zone. I recorded some video. I took some screenshots. I saw the “launch day spectacle.” I’ve sated my curiosity.
But mostly I wasted 15 bucks. I’ll log in from time to time but I can’t even imagine playing this game long-term. I didn’t encounter a single game mechanic where I thought, “This really is more fun!” Every time it was, “Whoa, I’m glad they fixed that.” WoW Classic was never made for me, and I’ve confirmed that it definitely isn’t for me.
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