As I mentioned in the previous post, Blizzard was planning a server launch load test for Burning Crusade Classic to go along with the flood of beta invites they sent out. The idea was to roll up a fresh server and get everybody to log in and try to get through the dark portal.
When the hour hit, 11:00 Pacific / 14:00 Eastern / 19:00 UTC, I logged in and picked the new server, it being the only one available, copied over my level 60 hunter again, and logged in. I was back in Ironforge, where he sits in live WoW Classic, so had to fly on down to the Blasted Lands and the Dark Portal.
Landing there, I rode with a pack of others towards the portal. The server was setup as a PvP server, so I was determined to ride on through the inevitable crowd at the portal looking to gank. But when I hit the portal it was apparently out of order, so I ended up in the scrum forming around it.
Everything was very laggy at that point too. It was a good ten count to get anything to respond. And it was only when I was in the thick of that when I realized I had not set my spec, so I opened that up to try and pick… but like everything else, it was 20 clicks behind on anything you wanted to do. Even dying was slow. I saw I had zero health for about a minute before I actually got the notification asking if I wanted to release… and it took even longer for me to actually fall over and the screen to go to the dead gray.
Eventually I was back at the graveyard and running to the portal again with the other victims of the fight.
I got back into my body and tried to rush the portal, but it wasn’t letting anybody pass, so it was just that run through to hit the wall routine. Comedy gold, except for the fact that I died again.
Then, as I was running back they put out a server message saying they were going to disconnect everybody so we could load up the system with a mass login hit.
So offline things went. I logged back in, got in a short queue… maybe 85 deep when I landed, which amounted to less than a minute of waiting, which made it the most responsive aspect of the test… and then was foundering about trying to get back to my corpse and healed up. I spotted a bunch of alliance players trying to gather around the edge of the portal, out of line of sight and joined them.
However the Horde was wise to this and there were a few players off to the side of the portal on the hill picking people off, myself included. Again, it was a long wait to die, fall over, and actually be dead.
Then we got another message indicating that the test was over.
Further announcements went up about the beta servers being up again and the test was pretty much over. The whole thing ran about 30 minutes.
I must admit that I didn’t go through the dark portal on the day it went live back in 2007. The instance group, which only kicked off in September of 2006, was around level 40 and still doing Razorfen Downs. So while I was able to log into WoW on launch day with only a modest queue, I have no feel for how things at the portal were. Certainly being on a PvP server made the test more chaotic, but the whole thing made me wonder if Blizz is up to a launch like this again.
I’ll give tomorrow’s test another try to see how they’re doing, but the laggy behavior in the regular beta and the way things played out at the portal is not inspiring me with a lot of day one confidence. But at least I will be on a PvE-RP server. We’ll probably all queue up for the portal for real when the time comes, just like we did before.