War Machine

Archive for August, 2012

What To Expect When You’re Expecting An Expansion

by on Aug.30, 2012, under News

Pandeniffer Lopez?A raider asked the question recently ‘How long do you think it will be before we start raiding?’ in our forums.  That is a very interesting question and one that deserves a good answer.  This, however, is not it.  But it did make me think about the experience I had during the last patch so I thought I would  share with you what to expect, in case you are thinking about getting to the level cap quickly.

Day One

It’s the evening of the big launch.  Cans of V/Lion Red are cooling in the fridge and in the freezer is an assortment of ‘easy to nuke’ meals.  To your side is an open beer next to a bag of your favourite lollies. In front of you is the portal to your world for the next 48+ hours. Mumble is full to the brim with people chatting and commenting, talking about things like ‘Where do you get Stormwind flying from when it drops?’ and ‘How come you didn’t get the download version Dak?’  It’s a little hard to hear one specific conversation over another but you’re not really listening anyway. You’re checking though your bags and making sure everything that doesn’t HAVE to be there is cleared.  You have a couple of flasks, some potions, and a little buff food maybe but your off spec gears are sitting safely in your bank along with your favourite train set. Zygor’s Quest Helper is up and ready to go and with a quick re-read you familiarise yourself with where you’re going and who you’re going to talk to first.

Then, it hits… Server Restart in 15 minutes. All of a sudden Mumble quietens down.  Just for a second you wonder if you’ve disconnected but the conversation starts again, albeit at a slightly higher tempo.  Then a question occurs to you that you hadn’t considered… should I log out before the restart or should I let Blizzard boot meWhich is faster? You Google but can’t find anything.  I’ll let Blizzard kick me I think, that way I’ll know exactly WHEN the server is down and I can start trying again.  

Before you know it, it’s go time.  You refresh the WoW Server page and watch as they drop one by one. Then yours goes down and it begins. Mumble is completely void of conversation as people logging out or already logged out have abandoned ‘push-to-talk’ buttons in favour of password keys…

Password, password, what’s my god damned password!!! On your 5th try you get it… connecting…. disconnected from server… password… connecting… disconnected from server…

3 minutes later… 

Connecting… success!!!… oh yeah baby!

2 minutes later…

Something’s wrong…. Cancel… password… connecting… disconnected from server… #$%@!

After a few more minutes that seem like hours you’re in!! Of course you and 200 hundred other people (who have no idea about server loads) thought it would be a good idea to park yourselves next to the ‘Want to fly in Stormwind?’ trainer.  You’re lagging out something fierce but even with the slow loading of your environment there are already more people in front of you than you’ve ever seen in Stormwind at one time.  Of course the trainer should be renamed ‘You can fly in storm wind if you can manage to click on me with 500 other people standing on my feet’ guy.  /1. General is spamming the name of the trainer with target/interact advice.  Good advice too as it’s the only way you’re going to be able to accept quests for a while.  You are prepared for this moment though and with a couple of macros you have your flying in SW training and you’re ready to go.  So what’s the first thing you do?

Fly circles… omg, omg, omg, what’s next!!!

Finally you calm down a little and remember that Mr Zygor is here to help.  Then, you’re off and the journey begins.

3 hours later…

The crowd is thinning out now.  You did still wait next to a strange totem clicking madly with 50 other players waiting for an egg to spawn but these quest choke points are becoming fewer and further apart.  Many guildies have already fallen by the wayside as the initial surge of people is just too much.  These comrades have either retired for the evening or might be spending time elsewhere to let the crowds die down.  You can already tell who the front runners for the Guild first 85 are and now it’s just an endurance test. The initial excitement is ebbing and you’re down to the grind.   Mumble is still buzzing with comedy yet you notice there is a distinct lack of people talking about how far along they are.   Competitiveness is a curse sometimes.  You’re constantly checking the guild list to see if anyone has hit 81 yet because you’re close yourself so they can’t be far away.  The same group of people seem to be in each questing area with you wherever you go and are starting to get a feel for how fast you are going.  You’ve decided the Warrior from HOLY is moving along at a nice pace so you make sure that if he’s gone from an area that you are not too far behind.  Boy, am I glad I didn’t to the water place first… you think to yourself.

8 hours later…

You’re starting to get tired now.  The good news is most things are becoming robotic; the bad news is you are missing steps and it’s slowing you down.  Quests that could be done at the same time you are doing in order and you’ve missed opportunities to empty your bags more than once.  The problem is you weren’t the first to ding last time which means mistakes like these are costing you the lead.  Eating is done only between long flights or cut scenes at which time it becomes necessary to stuff your face.  The V is giving you the shakes and you’re worried about a crash.  Soon, you’ll be fighting every impulse not to log off and go to bed, but for now, it’s on to the next quest. Mumble is completely dead but there are still quite a few people there.  Soon more will arrive as they log back in from last night.  They’ll talk and chuckle for a bit before abandoning any hope of getting more than a two syllable response from the front running glory seekers.

Day Blurr

You’re not sure if you are in day two or some hellish extension of day one.  Your feet are ice cold no matter how many pairs of socks you have on and the threat of deep vein thrombosis is now very real.  There is a possibility that you need to change your shorts but since your arse went numb many hours ago you can’t be sure and find yourself largely indifferent.  Instead of cooking meals now you’re recycling the food that’s clinging to your beard and shirt front, owed to the rapid consumption previously.  There is a strange tingling sensation creeping up the back of your neck and you briefly wonder if sanity will ever return.   I must nap you think if only for an hour, surely the others will need a nap. Then you succumb.  The couch has never been so comfortable and re-assured that you will only be sleeping for 60 minutes you drift off into the deepest sleep you’ve had in a long time.

5 hours later…

Oh god what time is it!!  Oh no!!!….

You log back on and curse yourself to see two guildies have already hit 83 and you are still only halfway there.  You feel awake now and cannot fathom why you thought it was a good idea to sleep.  You carry on with renewed vigor.

8 hours later…

Oh THAT’s why…

You can feel the insanity creeping back into your brain.  You’re pretty sure there is a smell hanging around you now but since it’s not directly impacting your game play it’s soon forgotten.  People are dinging 84 but you’ve caught up somewhat and are only just behind.  You can no longer remember a time when you weren’t playing wow.  It all seems like some type of crazy dream you’re caught up in.  But then the real grind starts… 84 – 85 seems so far away and compared to the previous levels it is.  A dark mood has taken hold of you.  If that Shammy smiles at you one more #$%#en time!

12 Hours later…

You’ve had a small, uncontrollable nap on your keyboard and you come back to the guilds first two 85s… some sneaky rogue followed shortly by a certain shadow priest.  The good news is you’re NEXT!  There is an amazing relief that washes over you having completed such a monumental task in such a short space of time.  You take a moment to enjoy the GRATS through guild chat and rest your eyes…

…now let’s get GEARED!!!!

 

Let me sum up by saying that the race to level cap is amazing fun but it is hard work.  If you are prepared to let the world slip past while you quest almost in a dream state then go right ahead.  I know some of us are already preparing for the big push but it’s not for everyone. Zesh came first, followed by Anjanti, and Bannox was third last time around.  I aim to do better this time and I hope some of you will join me in what will be the longest playing stint of most of your WoW careers.

And to the two in front of me last time… awesome achievement…

But I’m COMING FOR YA!!!

Bring on MoP!

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