The date has finally arrived. Warlords of Draenor, the long awaited 5th expansion for World of Warcraft has landed. And if, like me, you were somewhat underwhelmed by the attention the game got inside of BlizzCon, rest assured that outside Blizzard was spending a lot of time drawing attention to the game.
The expansion launched in the US at midnight my local time, and midnight CET in Europe. Blizz had a mini FAQ about the launch and how to access it, assuming you’re not already deep into the expansion. I did not stay up for the launch (despite my daughter’s pleas) or play hooky for day one fun. I will get online to see it tonight. Everything should have settled down a bit by then, as there were reports of servers going down, denial of service attacks, and the usual set of “too many players in one location” problems.
I am looking for the announcement that somebody in Europe hit level 100 about the time I went to bed last night and some larger count of players who arrived at the level cap before I awoke. (Yeah, this.)
I spent the evening running up to the launch getting my rogue, mentioned in yesterday’s post, up to level 85 and into Pandaria. I would say that there is something unique about getting into one expansion just hours before the next one launches, but there were a bunch of people also in the process of leveling up one last character before WoD. I do not know if I am just on an especially active server or if that whole cross-server zones is tricking me, but I was never alone in a zone pretty much all the way up the ladder. There was always somebody on the same quest, or running through the same quest hub.
Of course, the joined servers and cross-server zones might not seem like the best idea today, with people pouring back into the game. This is where SOE’s ability to spawn multiple versions of zones pays off, awkward though it can sometimes be when you and your friends aren’t all in the same zone.
Piled with heirloom gear, going from level 83 into Pandaria did not take much time, so I looked into getting in on a Garrosh run. If I had been an ilevel 550 or above healer, I could have gone on a mythic level run, but as an ilevel 515 retribution pally I couldn’t even find a normal mode group.
Earl was on as well, and he defended the honor of the guild, finishing up the epic quest line… which earns both a personal and a guild achievement… with just 7 hours to go before the expansion, at which point her turned around and got in on a Garrosh run and walked away with an ilevel 550 1h heirloom sword that will grow with him to level 100. He will be a mighty DPS tank in our group… not that he hasn’t been up until now.
Ula had also found some time to get online and hit 600 in tailoring, finishing off the last tradeskill we needed for another guild achievement. That also unlocked the heirloom pants at the guild vendor. Trianis made it to Pandaria without heirloom pants! Are they going to boost heirlooms to work until level 90 at some point, the way they boosted them from 80 to 85 previously?
Anyway, the dark portal looms, Draenor awaits, the focus of the game for probably the next two years will be on this map.
I also logged into EVE Online for a little while last night to participate in an operation. I had not logged in for nearly a week (good thing that we are still deployed at the same location, or I would be a little lost lamb in the middle of Omist) and I suspect that I won’t be logging in this weekend unless there are serious problems with Warlords of Draenor.
Addendum: I noticed that when Mists of Pandaria came out I put up a list of the expansions and the gap of time between each, so I figured I should carry that forward.
- WoW Launch to The Burning Crusade – 784 days
- The Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King – 667 days
- Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm – 754 days
- Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria – 658 days
- Mists of Pandaria to Warlords of Draenor – 778 days
Average time between expansions: 728 days, up 8 days from the previous launch.