It feels good to be back.
Blizzard officially launched their World of Warcraft Classic servers yesterday at 6pm EST to overwhelming response. Every server was packed to the brim with players eager to get in at launch, with plenty more servers added throughout the night to deal with the congestion. I wasn’t there when it launched back in 2004 (I didn’t start playing until Summer 2005) but being there last night, I feel like it was pretty accurate to how it all went down. Mass hysteria is the term I would use.
My wife (Emily – Druid), brother-in-law (Raisin – Warrior) and myself (Spudmurphy – Rogue) were lucky enough to jump in as soon as the game launched. We had logged into our character select screen before 6pm, so the minute the “Enter World” button lit up we clicked on it, bypassing the enormous line (some players were saying friends were upset that there was a 700 minute wait to get in). As the Night Elf starting area cut-scene played out, there were tons and tons of player characters jumping around in my cut-scene. The cut-scene talks about how you’re one of the few Night Elves left but there didn’t seem to be a population problem to me. We were having an over population problem
This overpopulation lost its charm as we continued. Literally every quest is some form of fetch quest. Trying to gather ten spider sacs proved to be a nightmare, simply because you don’t share loot in Classic unless you’re in a party. Just in the starting area alone we spent at least three hours doing the first few quests. We were around level 5 when we left to go to the next area. This is a huge contrast to current WOW where you’re level 5 in about five minutes. It probably wouldn’t have taken as long if there weren’t hundreds of people killing the same things as us, but we persevered.
In the next area, we were greeted with quests where, when you hand in the quest, the NPC does something that won’t allow you to hand in the quest for a short period of time…
This satyr here turns into a frog when you hand in a certain quest. Lots of people can hand the quest in at once, sure, but you just have to make sure you do it before he transforms. When he’s a frog you can’t hand in the quest. Players were getting pretty pissed when they were interrupted, but what can you do.
While running the quests, the level of social interaction that is required from the player is overwhelming. Even the level of communication between the three of us was way more than it has ever been. My wife and I will talk to each other because we’re literally sitting right beside each other, but it was way more pronounced. Without quest helper (which you can download if you want) you’re literally reading the quest and finding out where certain places are on the map. There isn’t a big yellow question mark on your map beckoning to you. You’re on your own. If you’ve memorized the areas, good for you. I couldn’t remember where anything was. We were working together, making sure everyone was on the same page, trying to figure out where certain areas were. There was some serious teamwork going on, and it was fun. I missed this most.
Once we had finished everything we could in the Night Elf zone, we decided we would travel to Westfall for a change of pace. What quickly became apparent was that we were about to be doing a lot of running. They’ve made travel easier throughout each expansion and update, but at the start, Vanilla WOW, getting around was a bitch. You don’t even get the ability to ride mounts until level 40, so it’s just a hard truth you have to face early on. There are no portals to get to the main cities. From the Night Elf zone, you have to take two boat rides to get to Menethil Harbor, where you then have to run for twenty minutes to get to Ironforge, and then you take the tram ride to Stormwind, and then you run for ten minutes to Westfall. Once we had done this we were too tired to do anything else. Bedtime for us.
So after six hours of playing, we’re currently situated in Westfall at level 11 on the Pagle server with our newly formed guild “Eh Team” (yeah, we made a guild already). It was a bit of a rocky start and with all the congestion and problems we dealt with, Classic is definitely an investment. However, it’s absolutely a worthwhile investment. The game still has the charm I remember from the first time I played years ago, and we’re definitely going to be hitting level cap and raiding in the future at some point. If you’re curious to give it a go, I recommend jumping back in. If you happen to see us online and don’t have a guild, feel free to send us a whisper.
See you in Classic! – NVJ