The Last WoW Classic Load Test

We are wending our way the launch day for WoW Classic, passing one landmark after another.  The launch is just about two weeks away now.

Classic is as classic does

Later today the final servers will be up and people will be able to log on in order to attempt to reserve names.  We’ll see how successful people are.  One of the issues with higher density servers will likely be more competition for names.

But starting Thursday and running through the weekend was the final WoW Classic load test.  This was the fourth such test.  I got on and did the first three diligently in order to help Blizzard get things right for launch.  You can read about each here:

The first test showed some serious problems, but by the third test they were forcing people onto a single server just to load things up more.  That seemed to indicate that things had settled down.  So when it came time for this final load test I didn’t jump on immediately.  In part it seemed like Blizz had things down and in part because I didn’t want to wear out WoW Classic any more than I had to before the coming launch.

Still, as Friday rolled around I thought I would peek in to see how things were going.  I rolled up an orc this time.  I won’t be rolling Horde when this launches, so it seemed like a good plan to

tinker with something else.

Starting as an Orc

The orc starting area is clearly the most orange.

It also has one of the more amusing early quests that has you running around looking for sleeping peons.

Sleeping peon spotted!

You then run out there and beat them with a club supplied to you to wake them up and set them back to work.

Compliance achieved

It is also one of many examples of how WoW Classic is different than WoW today.  Not that WoW is ever above beating peons, but today the quest tracker would pop up on your screen and have a special item icon somewhere for you to click on in order to beat a peon.

In WoW Classic though, the club is just dropped into your bad… I hope you had space… and you have to know to target a peon, open your bag, and click on the club in order to administer the beating.  At least the club goes away when you turn in the quest.  Having leftovers from quests is part of the vanilla inventory management tradition.

I ran around the orc starter area.  It was crowded, but not as bad as the nigh elf starter area was the last time around.  Still, there was competition for mobs and the pain of quests that require drops vs simple kills was brought into focus.  I also explored a bit, just to look at a place I hadn’t visited in many years.

The back of the starter area overlooks Ratchet

The test capped player progress at level 15, but I wasn’t anywhere close to that with my orc.  I just wanted to look around a bit to get just a taste of the coming opening.

But one taste wasn’t enough.  On Sunday Skronk and Ula were logged in and getting their first look into the coming WoW Classic.  I didn’t have anything else going on… I am playing few other games currently… so I decided to log back in to the test.  And I even went with what will likely be my first character out of the gate, a human paladin.

It was more crowded around Northshire Abby than it was when I gave the orcs a try, though still nowhere as crowded as the first hours of the past load tests.

Landing in Elwyn Forest

It had been a long time since I had been in that area at all, even discounting the changes over the years.  I mostly just pass through on my way to Darkmoon Faire.  But it didn’t take long to find my bearings and start smacking kobolds with my big hammer.  I was keen to hear their signature line.

Say it for me! Say the line!

I was not alone it savoring that line.  I saw others reacting to it on multiple occasions.

All together now…

And I did indeed take many candles.

The candles are mine!

I was, however, reminded of the old ways when I found that candles were limited to five per stack.  Oh, the inventory management fun to come.

In addition to kobolds, I was also introduced to the other famous foe of the area, the Defias.

Your bandana, give it to me

That included the first of what will be several “collect the bandanas” quests, as well as the what is probably the first of the quests where you are sent into an area of hostile mobs then, when done, the quest giver sends you back to do something else there that you could have done while you were there the first time.

It was an interesting time.  There are some quests that are more difficult in a crowded zone.  The mob competition wasn’t fierce, but it was there, and being a pally with no ranged attack meant having mobs sniped from me as I plodded over to shake hands with them.

Other quests are much easier.  Need to go explore an area like the Fargodeep or Jasperload mines?  The path is probably clear, the mobs having been purged by the continuous flow of fellow adventurers.

I didn’t want to get too far into the experience or too attached to my character.  Each experience is different.  My orc got some seriously lucky bad drops early on.  My pally seemed to be hitting the gear jackpot.

It probably won’t be this good next time

So rather than carrying on I decided to explore.  I ran up to Stormwind from Goldshire, stopping at the visitors center to refresh myself on the idea of creating a guild.  The first thing I saw was that it costs 10 silver to create one.  That is a price trivial beyond belief in the current game, but I was standing there with a single silver in my pocket having felt lucky enough to have managed to pay for my skills.  I certainly didn’t waste that coin on any of the trade skills.  Money is going to be tight for a while, though I suspect that the auction house will be hilarious until people settle down into the reality of how little cash people have.

And then, of course, there are the signatures you need to form a guild.  I have already enlisted my daughter and her boyfriend to come sign for us, but we’ll need some more.

From there I took the Deeprun Tram over to Ironforge to run around.  I ran down from there to the gnome/dwarf starter zone to visit some old familiar places.

If it is a distillery why do they only sell beer?

Skronk and Ula, already well down the road for quests, took the bird back to Ironforge so we could meet up and take what will probably be the first of many group shots in the coming months.

Together in Dun Morogh

Ula did not get her name on the load test server.  Hopefully she will have better luck with the name reservation later today.

And that was about it for the last load test for me.  I was happy that Blizz let it run through the weekend in order to give people a taste.  There was some speculation as to how long it would go.  Blizz did not say and some people seemed convinced it would be shut down by the end of the day on Friday.  Instead it got a nice four day run.

In the hours I played I only ran into one problem.  There was a sudden disconnect that hit, which kicked me out of the game.  However, I was able to log right back in and carry on.  Otherwise things seemed pretty solid.

I am looking forward to the 26th when WoW Classic kicks off for real.

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