Monday, December 1

Warlords of Draenor Hits the Stage, Struggles to Cope with Traffic

The latest expansion (one may also call it an iteration) of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft was launched on schedule a couple of days ago, to the delight of the legions of fans some of whom have returned to action from a long, self- and boredom-induced absence from the servers of the world’s most successful MMORPG. For many of these “suitors” though, the love affair with the new world created by Blizzard’s developers turned out to be an all-too-typical one: they found themselves in the position of being capable of doing just about anything to finally get to consume the new chunks of content, even as the entire world seemed to turn against them.

Troubled game launches have been quite numerous lately indeed, in fact, one may conclude that at this point, launches which don’t go according to plan are the norm. Unfortunately, the WoD launch fit right into this new norm. Players flocked to the game in droves, creating a huge traffic-clog, but then there was a DDoS attach as well, which put the cherry on the proverbial cake. Blizzard have acknowledged that the launch was “less than ideal” and they talked about a number of fixes they’d attempted, but the bottom line remains the same: many of the players could not access the game for a good while after its official launch.

Obviously, for true fans, this took nothing away from the enjoyment the new virtual lands promised, but what came after actually logging in, certainly dampened their spirits. While the entrances to the new areas got properly instanced, the first area didn’t, and that was where the problems due to overcrowding were most acute. For instance, at any one point, there were around 100 players standing around the quest-granting NPC, which made it quite bothersome to locate it and to click on it- to say the least. The first few quests were especially irksome as well: players were required to click on some flags and to frag some crows, tasks easy enough in themselves, but extremely difficult when hordes of players were jumping over every quest objective as soon as it spawned. Needless to say, the overcrowding resulted in some unfortunate lag as well.

It was all for a great cause though: those who managed to dust off those initial quests were rewarded with a shoddy little wooden fort, which they could then upgrade, and which would then blossom into a busy town, complete with enough nooks and crannies to keep players busy for surprisingly long stretches of time.
Its launch as rocky as it was, WoD certainly did not disappoint features-wise. In fact, it already has some players proclaiming it “the best WOW expansion so far”.

Philip Thalberg works for Gosugamers, the top destination for information on various counterstrike events and items. 

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