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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Diary: Day 1 - Launch
Post by Eorl @ 09:04pm 14/11/14 | Comments
Daniel "Eorl" Roy returns to the lands of Azeroth after a three year hiatus from World of Warcraft to face Blizzard's latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor...

I haven't played World of Warcraft consistently since the launch of Cataclysm, the expansion that shook the digital world of Azeroth literally to its core. Having awoken from his slumber, Deathwing sought destruction and revenge for his enslavement, and in doing so caused a massive earthquake to hit key parts of the fabled lands of Blizzard's biggest game to-date. Towns shifted, cities had to be rebuilt and the world was forever changed by that expansion.

Coming into Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft's fifth expansion and releasing as parts of its 10th anniversary, I'm reminded of the Burning Crusade. Not because of its shared location in the game-world, but because of that same excitement in the air among my peers that you just knew something big was about to happen. And that it did.



Before I ventured into the re-opened Gates of Draenor I was tasked with learning a bit more about my character. Having not played WoW for nearly three years it was a choice of mine to simply utilise the free level 90 boost offered in each expansion purchase to quickly get a character ready for action. An introduction questline sought to teach me these basics, but also conveniently worked as a pre-launch event for Draenor's opening.

Equipped and ready for action as a level 90 Tauren Paladin I was told to head into the very belly of the beast and await my orders. Without further ado I jumped on my flying mount and headed over to the blood-coloured gates, however, I was quickly greeted with the following screen:



Players were everywhere, huddled in packs ready and waiting for the clock to tick down. Playing on the Oceanic server Barthilas (now with the enjoyment of 43ms thanks to local servers) prompted outbreaks of battles against the Horde and Alliance factions, once again bringing back memories of Burning Crusade. Impromptu dance battles, duels and even eight year-old jokes like Chuck Norris made themselves known in the final hours before the opening of Draenor, all of which were welcomed with open arms by players both new and old.

And then it happened. A system message flashed across the screen that the Gates of Draenor were now open, and to speak with Archmage Khadgar to begin the quest. Simple enough, yet at that moment everything went downhill. Players descended from the sky and with them was an added bout of latency issues. Servers begun to not respond, kicking players back to the selection screen and those lucky enough to accept the quest were forced into never-ending loading screens. I sat there for 10-minutes trying to get the quest to start to no avail, though I was surprised that the servers had not completely crashed.

After the 10-minute wait things started catching up and I was finally greeted with the chance to start my journey into Draenor. With a warning message that I won't be able to come back through until after I completed the introductory questline I dove into what could only be described as the most epic in-game cinematic since the Wrathgate cinematic from Wrath of the Lich King. Thanks in part to the new player models, the cinematic showcased just what kind of fight we are to expect going into Draenor, and that it won't be an easy one when faced with the wrath of the Iron Horde.

Entering into Draenor I was overwhelmed by the sense of urgency to find cover and prepare for the onslaught of Orcs bearing down on the entrance into Azeroth. While the excitement was strong as my character gained directions to begin tearing down the gates, I ran into my very first problem: some quest items were not zoned for the individual character. This caused a large amount of my eagerness to be slashed as I sat there, right-clicking a stone for five minutes trying to get the server to slot me in with the thousands of other players doing the exact same thing.



This continued on throughout the intro questline, alongside lag and the occasional disconnect or even a LUA error. What content I was able to experience was great though, especially the touch of personality when a high-ranking Iron Horde Orc was introduced through an in-game cinematic that splashed their name. The quests themselves were also a breath of fresh air. No longer was I required to go and kill 20 boars, but instead Blizzard tasked players with taking over giant cannons, fending off an onslaught of Orcs or even running away from it all to catch a boat in the nick of time.

Landing in Frostfire Ridge I was again blown away by just how well Blizzard have managed to milk WoW's engine. The texture artwork was immaculate, giving me that true sense of vast mountainscapes with snow caps adorning each of the spires littered around the map, and I instantly felt a tension between the local clans of Frostfire.

Jumping off the boat you are tasked with building one of the expansion's main features: Garrisons. Blizzard has continually spoken about Garrisons as the forefront of your assault on the Iron Horde. Here you'll be able to command various talented warriors to go on missions scouring for items of value but also build up your arsenal to use in battles when needed. Alongside levelling up your warriors you'll also be able to visually upgrade your structures and plot of land, increasing capacity for buildings.

Again, that all sounds fantastic on paper, but come the launch it was an utter disaster. Due to the aforementioned server problems lag was plaguing me everywhere I went, making the questing unbearable. One of the initial quests to build the Garrison had you mark trees for chopping, which sounds easy but instead had me staring at said trees for over 10-minutes each as I furiously clicked in hopes my command would be relayed back. Not only that but I also had to compete with other players for Ogre spawns that were required to complete the quest, making the whole situation just not fun.



And that is where I am right now. After finally completing my Garrison I've been able to secure a few soldiers both through quests and those given by default, but for now I face what I like to call 'Queue Simulator 2014 v2.' Expansion launches for any game are not unbeknown to server issues, it is a given really and something I wouldn't typically complain about especially on said launch day. However, with Blizzard now reaching its 10th year of running such a massive MMORPG, you would think such problems had been solved long ago, especially such simple tasks like sharing tagged creatures in a questing zone.

With that said, what I have been able to play has been amazing so far, and I would be lying if I said my addiction isn't resurfacing thanks to this wonderful expansion. I'm not sure if it is the Draenor/Warcraft theme that has me saying "more please" or just that the first two zones have been crafted so wonderfully that they encapsulate you, but I'm definitely strapping in for the ride.

Stay tuned for entry two as I recap Frostfire Ridge and my continued battle against the fabled foe Server Latency.
Read more about World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!



Latest Comments
Khel
Posted 10:25pm 14/11/14
More like World of Queuecraft af the moment, amirite
Rominion
Posted 10:57pm 14/11/14
I had been having issues but all good now. Should hit 100 tonight.
Hogfather
Posted 01:38am 15/11/14

10:57pm 14/11/14
I had been having issues but all good now. Should hit 100 tonight.

awks
We will be performing scheduled maintenance beginning on Friday, November 14, at 05:00 AM PST (14/11/14 11pm AGN time) and we expect the service to be available again at approximately 09:00 AM PST. During this time the game will be unavailable for play.
TicMan
Posted 02:07am 15/11/14
900 queue to log on, get a "Server Shutdown in 10 minutes" message.
Jeffro
Posted 09:13am 15/11/14
I hate launch days. I am just going to play my Xbox One until it settles down a bit. My guild wanted us all to rush to 100 and gear up for raiding but I like to take my time levelling.
Reverend Evil
Posted 09:18am 15/11/14
rofl

I can't even get the medium pop realm I have some toons on to load. Blizzard sure showed me.
Eorl
Posted 09:32am 15/11/14
Been in queue since 6 on Barthilas. Also that sounds crap Jeffro, considering raids aren't out until December anyway no point rushing.
Gibster
Posted 01:20pm 15/11/14
been on que for 2 hours now, only 6 hours left to go, neither vanilla nor BC were this bad.
twenty1
Posted 01:59pm 15/11/14
Yeh its been pretty sweet, I've been in a 6000 queue since 9 this morning, its now 2pm and i'm at 3900 D:
I was able to get on for 10 minutes yesterday when draenor crashed so that was pretty awesome, got to walk around stormwind.
TicMan
Posted 02:52pm 15/11/14
Maintenance is on from 10pm to 4am too, so some of you in those queues probably won't get a chance to play today?
Gibster
Posted 05:44pm 15/11/14
again? last night i was in que for hours, then the servers were down, im regretting this subscription.
WirlWind
Posted 06:00pm 15/11/14
How many years has this game been going? How many launches have gone smoothly for them?

Why is this news? It's like saying "Water is wet" or "Tony Abbott is a d*******."
Hogfather
Posted 08:42pm 15/11/14
Got in basically a whole day today in between doing other s***.

The content (when you can get to it) is quite good!
Meddek
Posted 10:47pm 15/11/14
Day 2 still can't log in...
Eorl
Posted 11:14pm 15/11/14
Yeah got a pretty solid day in from queuing at 6. Hit level 93 and absolutely love the Garrison feature, excellent addition to the game and I can finally say I am once again addicted to this beast of a game.
Lynx
Posted 12:13am 16/11/14
Gave up on getting any play time in past 8am.
Agree with the above comments, garrisons are awesome.

Has anyone noticed some of the quests can actually be quite difficult to solo?
I haven't died yet, but I've been pushed to the brink a number of times, and have had to bail out and gather myself for another attempt (playing mage).

I want to get into an aus guild and experience raiding again, after not really playing hardcore since wotlk. Anyone got a sweet guild that is recruiting atm?

last edited by Lynx at 00:13:44 16/Nov/14
Meddek
Posted 12:16am 16/11/14
The Garrison mode and the way the missions work remind me of those F2P games on mobiles such a Tap Out etc.
Rominion
Posted 12:19am 16/11/14
The garrison will get old really fast, there just isn't enough customisation of it at all. They really should have gone all out with it (like wildstar). Ive got a few pieces of my honor gear (as well as the crappy box gear) . I'm yet to do a raid or heroic. So far i have enjoyed my time (other then the Q's) a lot. But give it a week or two and i might be completely over it.
slyin
Posted 05:20am 16/11/14
Sorry if you mentioned it somewhere lynx, but what server and faction are you? if you're looking for a guild.
Eorl
Posted 07:29am 16/11/14
It could possibly get old, but for now I'm enjoying what the game has to offer and I haven't really felt like that since Wrath. After that expansion everytime I tried to jump back into WoW I lasted a day or two at most before boredom struck, now I'm eager to get in and satisfy the addiction.

Queued up at 6:13am this morning as I'm heading out for the day and knew queues were big, turns out was only 19 people in queue heh.
Reverend Evil
Posted 08:00am 16/11/14
lol

Isn't it sad when you can queue up and then go out shopping and come home and still not be in game. I still haven't been able to play since Thursday nite. rofl
Lynx
Posted 09:25am 16/11/14
Ah doh, I didn't. Alliance Aman'thul.
TicMan
Posted 10:09am 16/11/14
This feels more like a TBC v2.0 expansion, albeit I've only been playing a few hours due to queues and maintenance. It has the same level of epicness from a story line perspective and so far the quests aren't repeating themselves and being tedious.

I thought Wrath was more of a, here's a new zone and some new dungeons, have fun. Cataclysm was a good xpac as well with a similar level of excitement. I remember being Horde on PM standing in front of Jim, Nats & term (I think, they were Alliance) waiting to zone into the first dungeon and being excited about what we were discovering. MOP had nothing for me, I had to force myself to get my pally up to 90 over about 12 months before I stopped playing. My Priest made it to 86 and my Mage is still on 85.
Jeffro
Posted 10:40am 16/11/14
Queued up at 6:13am this morning as I'm heading out for the day and knew queues were big, turns out was only 19 people in queue heh.


19 people? Wow. Still huge queues on Dath'Remar/Khaz'goroth all the time.
Hogfather
Posted 10:53am 16/11/14
No Q at all just then on Saurfang.
Khel
Posted 11:50am 16/11/14
Shouldn't be really bad queues anymore, population caps have gone back to what they used to be. Probably still be a queue on really heavily populated servers like Frostmourne, but it shouldn't be anywhere near as bad. Was no queue at all just now when I logged onto Saurfang.
Jeffro
Posted 02:07pm 16/11/14
Shouldn't be really bad queues anymore, population caps have gone back to what they used to be. Probably still be a queue on really heavily populated servers like Frostmourne, but it shouldn't be anywhere near as bad.


It's better but still queues well over a 1000 every time I try and get onto Dath/Khaz.
Reverend Evil
Posted 03:33pm 16/11/14
It was sitting around 2500 before on Caelestrasz. I didn't even bother trying to get in. The s***** thing is I can't move my toons off there because there's some cooling off period when you do a transfer. I've put in a ticket to see if that can be lifted so I can get the hell out of there. If it's bad now imagine what it will be like in a few weeks when school holidays start.
twenty1
Posted 03:39pm 16/11/14
ive been queued on frostmourne since 6am, im at 1800 as of 3:40pm
Reverend Evil
Posted 06:50pm 16/11/14
Well I got a reply from Blizzard. Can't move my guild master for 30 days after a realm change so that sorta sucks because he's my main. But I can move the other toons so I've paid to have my lock and rogue moved back to Eldre Thalas. It's better than nothing and at least I won't have to wait in any queues again. Baby, I'm coming home!
Eorl
Posted 07:37pm 16/11/14
At least you can play, that's the bonus I guess. I just got home bout an hourish ago and logged in with 2000 queue on Barthilas. Yay!
TicMan
Posted 08:23pm 16/11/14
Time to hop on over to Saurfang where the cool QGLers play.
Khel
Posted 08:27pm 16/11/14
Just logged back into Saurfang, still no queue. #winning
Jeffro
Posted 02:15am 17/11/14
I found a time where I can get into my server without a queue. Just have to play after midnight :p
Drummo
Posted 09:41am 17/11/14
Logged in this morning before work on the off chance I could get in and set up follower missions. Didn't have a queue at all (Frostmourne).

I have a bad feeling tonight is going to be a lot different.
Eorl
Posted 09:56am 17/11/14
Kids are at school me thinks. Also they've butchered dungeons with this personal loot system. I did Iron Docks and got one piece of loot. One. I waited in queue for 45 minutes as DPS and all I get is one piece of loot. Compared to three years ago when I last properly played that would never have been a thing.
Hogfather
Posted 10:49am 17/11/14
Dunno man I used to run instances all the time and get nothing?
I've paid to have my lock and rogue moved back to Eldre Thalas. It's better than nothing and at least I won't have to wait in any queues again. Baby, I'm coming home!

LOL, you paid to go back to a US server? SMF
konstie
Posted 10:48am 17/11/14
world of tapped out.
glynd
Posted 11:04am 17/11/14
Kids are at school me thinks. Also they've butchered dungeons with this personal loot system. I did Iron Docks and got one piece of loot. One. I waited in queue for 45 minutes as DPS and all I get is one piece of loot. Compared to three years ago when I last properly played that would never have been a thing.


I dunno, think you just got unlucky. I've done a dungeon where I got zero loot and then the following one got 4 pieces from one run. I really like the new loot system. I don't feel guilty going after the same item as a mate and can just play the class I want to play rather than the one that suits.

Thoroughly enjoying this expansion at the moment. I'm in no rush to get to max level and just enjoying my way to 100. So much to do. I'm finding Garrison addictive as all hell.
Eorl
Posted 11:13am 17/11/14
Hm, guess it was just RNG gods doing there thing. I dunno, still prefer the old tweaked system of not letting people need on items that don't suit their spec.
Reverend Evil
Posted 11:17am 17/11/14
LOL, you paid to go back to a US server?

Don't see the problem. Couldn't play on Oceanic and I'll be damned if I'm gonna wait hours to get on and play. You might enjoy waiting in line but I don't.
Khel
Posted 12:13pm 17/11/14
Also they've butchered dungeons with this personal loot system. I did Iron Docks and got one piece of loot.


I've run plenty of dungeons under the old system and still got no loot. I guess the difference is, with personal loot, if you get nothing it feels worse because it means you see no loot drop or only 1 piece drop for the whole thing. At least under the old system you'd still see loot drop from each boss, even if you didn't win it. Its purely a psychological thing, cos I mean last night I did Iron Docks, and I got two pieces of loot from bosses throughout the dungeon, but then the last boss, I got no loot at all (like literally nothing, couldn't even loot the corpse), and even though logically I'd actually done pretty well for myself out of that dungeon, it felt pretty crap to see nothing at all from the last boss, kind of felt like a "Oh, thats it? Ripped off" kind of feeling.

Maybe they should change it so you see the personal loot that others in your party got too, so even on bosses where you get nothing, it still feels like something came from the boss and it wasn't for nothing.
Khel
Posted 12:15pm 17/11/14
Don't see the problem. Couldn't play on Oceanic and I'll be damned if I'm gonna wait hours to get on and play. You might enjoy waiting in line but I don't.


If you're paying to transfer to a low pop US server, why not transfer to a lower pop oceanic server then? Saurfang doesn't have queues, and its not even that low pop, theres others even lower if thats your thing.
Eorl
Posted 12:42pm 17/11/14
Yeah that's my big problem with it Khel, just feels pointless running a dungeon. I honestly thought it was bugged to begin with and people in my group asked the leader to change the loot system but its all locked down. Just sucks because I was doing top DPS and all I get was a crappy blue legging piece.
Khel
Posted 01:55pm 17/11/14
Realistically, you probably have a better actual shot at getting loot now, cos not only do you not have to fight people rolling on it for offspec, but you're guaranteed to get something good for your spec when you do get loot. But yeah, it feels a bit off.

I don't think anything needs to change too much with the mechanics of it, I much prefer it to the pain of losing loot to someone who rolls need on everything and doesn't even need it, but something needs to change so no loot doesn't feel so harsh. Maybe just showing other people's loot in chat would be enough, or maybe adding some kind of failbag to bosses you get no loot from so it never feels like you're getting absolutely nothing.
TicMan
Posted 02:14pm 17/11/14
You princesses have forgotten running UBRS/LBRS/Scholo & Strath to get a remote chance at your D1 pieces.
Hogfather
Posted 02:23pm 17/11/14
Don't see the problem. Couldn't play on Oceanic and I'll be damned if I'm gonna wait hours to get on and play. You might enjoy waiting in line but I don't.

I don't enjoy queuing, fortunately I get to play on a server with lots of AGN peeps and minimal queues after like day 2. Good job with the (paid!) kneejerk evacuation to 250ms there bro.

Loot is fine. Even Rev's complaint is more valid. Are we really getting to the point now where an upgrade per 5 man is expected and 'I didnt get anything!' is a real problem? Be nice to see what other people got I guess, but I'm kind of selfish and don't really care!
Hogfather
Posted 09:00am 19/11/14

5 day credit, significant improvements in server capacity to come still:

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/350550-message-from-j-allen-brack/

lol at running home to US servers lolol


glynd
Posted 02:24pm 21/11/14

Realistically, you probably have a better actual shot at getting loot now, cos not only do you not have to fight people rolling on it for offspec, but you're guaranteed to get something good for your spec when you do get loot. But yeah, it feels a bit off.

I don't think anything needs to change too much with the mechanics of it, I much prefer it to the pain of losing loot to someone who rolls need on everything and doesn't even need it, but something needs to change so no loot doesn't feel so harsh. Maybe just showing other people's loot in chat would be enough, or maybe adding some kind of failbag to bosses you get no loot from so it never feels like you're getting absolutely nothing.


Looks like you got what you wanted :P

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/15355105387

Reverting Default Loot Method to Need/Greed:
Going into Warlords, we wanted to try to improve the dungeon loot experience by using Raid Finder’s personal loot system that had been successful in Mists. While the personal loot system was successful in eliminating drops that weren’t usable by anyone in the group, and reducing loot contention in some cases, we’ve also heard a significant amount of player feedback about how the system feels unrewarding and unsatisfying.

In response to these concerns, we are reverting the default loot method in Dungeon Finder back to Need Before Greed. As always, players who queue with a full premade group may change group loot settings, and may use Personal loot or any other method if they so prefer. We will be evaluating how to better present and structure dungeon personal loot, and hope to re-introduce the system in the future.

Crakaveli
Posted 01:33pm 24/11/14
So what's the highest pop oceanic server? Frostmourne? thinking of trying this new xpac after years of not playing.. could regret it. F*** its expensive to transfer characters $25 each.
Crakaveli
Posted 01:33pm 24/11/14
So what's the highest pop oceanic server? Frostmourne? thinking of trying this new xpac after years of not playing.. could regret it. F*** its expensive to transfer characters $25 each.
Hogfather
Posted 02:09pm 24/11/14
Don't transfer to Frostmourne imo.
Tiny
Posted 02:43pm 24/11/14
I haven't found any problems with the new loot system and think it's better. It stops people needing on items in pugged raids they don't realistically need. I suppose being in a guild helps a lot with this though because guild mates are generally nicer and share the loot around to who best needs it. I guess it doesn't apply to raid finder but i think raid finder needs to go, it muddles the skill required to actually beat raid bosses. I think people should learn by wiping, like it always was.

The leveling experience is a lot more engaging and story driven. It doesn't feel like as much of a pointless grind, you know you will achieve something at the end.
Khel
Posted 09:02pm 24/11/14
Raid Finder isn't really part of raid progression anymore, its its own separate thing with its own loot tables (no tier gear drops in LFR anymore, and can't get good trinkets). Its kind of tourist mode, for people who want to see the content but have no real interest in actually raiding properly. You can entirely skip raid finder now if you intend to do normal or higher raids, its tuned so heroic dungeon gear is enough to do normal difficulty raids.

Also, recent hotfix has made it so if you're using personal loot, a piece of gear will always drop from the last boss of the dungeon, so there wont be any occasion where people are coming out empty handed. If you go with a premade group and use Need/Greed looting, then three pieces of loot drop from the last boss instead of two.
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