All the tension and the build-up and what not over the last two weeks since the pre-patch came to a head yesterday at 3pm my time.
I had logged in earlier in the day and set my hunter Tistann up on the rim of the vale where the Dark Portal lay. About ten minutes before “go time” I logged back in to see the crowd assembled. It honestly didn’t seem that bad.
What that picture doesn’t really show is the size of the scrum down in the vale, clustered around where the quest giver with the intro quest would show up. But all I had to do was get closer to see how dense the throng was.
There were still technically a couple minutes to go before the 3pm start time, but people were already running towards the portal. The quest giver was apparently up somewhere in the scrum of people.
I am not sure how I managed to click on the quest giver… I certainly couldn’t pick him out of the crush of players, but I managed it and got the quest.
After that if was time to head through the portal. I didn’t even get back on my mount. I started to click it but I couldn’t see myself in the mass and started to move too soon, so I just turned on Aspect of the Cheetah and hoofed it through the portal. My screen shot time stamp says I made it into Outland at 2:58:41pm Pacific Time.
On the far side there was an almost comic stream of characters running through the portal, pooling up at each quest giver, then moving on to the next. The last step there was the flight master who was launching gryphons like a machine gun, sending people off to Honor Hold.
At the far end I was in the stream of flights dropping people in Honor Hold. The stream was non-stop for a while. I wish I had setup to record a video of it, as it was just one of those things that you only ever seen at moments like this.
Once there I found the quest giver, once again buried in a mass of players, then went around and found the skinning trainer, the leatherworking trainer, and the cooking trainer. The latter confused me for a moment. You don’t get trained, you buy a training book from him.
And then I went back to the inn and logged off for a while. Having refreshed my memory of the starting quests in the beta, I knew there was going to be a huge competition for mobs as the “bowling ball through a python” mass of players tried to move in parallel into the expansion. As fun as the first night of WoW Classic was, I wasn’t up for standing in line or fighting over spawns. I went off to do other things.
When I logged back in a couple hours later things had calmed down. Blizzard had reported a DDoS attack about 45 minutes after the launch, but it appeared to have been cleared up by then.
Honor Hold had calmed down considerably… which is to say it was still full of people and when I went out to do a couple of the initial quests there were still a lot of people out in the field with me, but it wasn’t completely crazy.
As far as I could tell our server, Bloodsail Buccaneers, didn’t have a queue and wasn’t showing any lag, but it is also the RP-PvE server, so not the most popular in the batch.
It will no doubt remain busy for a while though and I expect that we might see queues come the weekend as those without a lot of free time during the week get stuck into the expansion.
Meanwhile, back on Azeroth, Ironforge was deserted. I literally saw zero players in the usually active area between the bank and the auction house.
Stormwind was likewise feeling like a ghost town, though its proximity to the Dark Portal meant a few people could be spotted now and then.
Burning Crusade Classic has landed at last. Outland lays before us, and everybody who could get through the portal last night apparently went.
Addendum: I didn’t have the foresight to record video, but Ula did.
Some nice images of the opening moments in that video. (Also a blog post about it.)
Meanwhile, there are already players at level cap. I think my hunter ended up 10% into level 60.