Category Archives: entertainment

The WoW Classic AMA and Layering

Another day and more things to mention about WoW Classic.  Earlier today some of the WoW Classic dev team took some time out to do an Ask Me Anything event over on the WoW Classic subreddit.

I’m going to need a new default graphic in a week

You can find the whole raw AMA here, or you can go read the nice, clean summary that WoWHead put together.

There were quite a few short and easy questions thrown out there with clear answers that I might sum up with:

  • No, you won’t be able to transfer from Live to Classic
  • No, you cannot send gold from Live to Classic
  • No, there won’t be character boosts
  • Yes, I found code I wrote back in 2005
  • Yes, we have contingency plans for crowding
  • No, really, we have contingency plans
  • Yes, we might consider transfers for Classic population imbalances, but we’d rather you pick a lower population server right now instead
  • Hunters were the hardest class to recreate and required a huge amount of work

But things went deep quickly when the team was asked about the plan and functionality of the layering technology that Blizzard is using on the WoW Classic servers, such that I want to reproduce it here:

We’ve seen some confusion about layering, both about how it helps support our launch, and how it’s supposed to behave while its active, so I’d like to both speak to it and clear up some misconceptions about it.

First, we’re absolutely committed to reducing to one layer per realm before our second content phase goes live, and the sooner we can get there, the better. The reason we can’t do that initially is that on launch day, everybody will be clustered in the starting zones, and having players so close together causes an exponential drain on server resources. In fact, the same number of players cause more server problems crammed into Northshire than they do spread across all of Elwynn Forest. We expect that even after the first couple of days, we’ll need fewer layers than we need for the initial hours of launch, and our stress tests have confirmed that expectation.

A related concern that was raised during our pre-launch test was that capital cities felt empty, but that only occurred because we left the pre-launch test running two days past its original end date, and we didn’t reduce the number of layers at all during that test. During our launch week, as the players spread out across the world, we’ll monitor activity and reduce layers as necessary, so the world continues to feel full.

Some players have suggested using sharding in low level zones to address launch demand, both because we talked about that at Blizzcon, and because it’s what they’re used to from our modern expansions. Unfortunately, while modern WoW has content designed to work with sharding, WoW Classic does not. The most obvious example of incompatible content is Rexxar’s famously long patrol path, but there are lots of other examples throughout WoW Classic. Since we want all that content to work as it was originally designed, we’ve made sure that every layer is a copy of the entire world, so you can kite Anachronos all the way to Orgrimmar, and you can ride the boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay with the same people alongside you the whole way.

Some players have asked us to use realm caps and login queues to handle the demand, and while those are tools we have at our disposal, we don’t want to rely on them exclusively, because they keep people from playing the game.

One of the most frequently reported problems during our tests was players transferring to a layer for what seemed like no reason. There were several bugs that caused this, and we’re confident we’ve fixed them. At this point, the only thing that should cause you to change layers is accepting an invite from a player on another layer. Additionally, it should always transfer the player who was invited to the layer of the player who invited them.

Nonetheless, after accepting an invite, the layer transfer doesn’t always happen immediately, because we don’t want to transfer you in the middle of combat, or before you get a chance to loot. During our pre-launch test, we saw a few reports of what seemed like random layer transfers, but when we investigated, we realized this was due to us making that transfer delay too long. The delay was so long that players could unintentionally chain one delay into another by starting combat immediately after looting. Because of those reports, we’ve fixed the transfer delay to give you enough time to loot, without being so long that you’re left wondering why you can’t join your friend. We’ll keep an eye on that, and we may decide to reduce it further.

We’ve also seen reports of people transferring suddenly at the entrances to capital cities, which was related to the transfer delays. If you’re waiting to transfer to your friend’s layer, and you enter a capital city, we ignore the delay and transfer you immediately. The long delays were making it more likely that you’d enter a capital with a transfer pending, and now that we’ve reduced the transfer delay, it will be a bit more clear that your transfer was the result of accepting a group invitation.

Regarding PvP, we saw many posts from players wondering if getting invited to a party is a good way to escape from PvP combat. I’m pleased to say there’s actually a separate, longer transfer delay following any PvP combat. We know a lot of world PvP enthusiasts are excited for WoW Classic, and we don’t want the additional layers to feel like they’re robbing you of your kills. When the time comes to withdraw from the fight, you’ll have to escape from your enemies and get to a safe place before you’re able to join your friends on another layer.

I’d also like to clarify how multiple layers work with logout. Early in our stress testing, players reported that logging out and back in would let you hop to a new layer to farm the same mineral or herb node on different layers. That was a bug, and we’ve fixed it. Your layer assignment now persists for a few minutes between logouts, long enough that by the time the game would choose a new layer for you, that node would have respawned on its own anyway.

I hope that all makes things a bit more clear.

That is quite a bit more that I knew or considered about the layering plan.  And, of course PvP complicates everything.  But the overall goal is to get the population down into a single layer while making sure that servers have populations large enough to be viable over time.

Another item of interest to me was the question of player caps on dungeons, which got the following response:

This was indeed a bug that we have fixed and you should be able to enter most lower-level dungeons with up to 10 players, as was possible in Original WoW 1.12. There are some dungeons that had specific caps by the end of Original WoW however. To be specific, all lower level dungeons available through Maraudon should have a player cap of 10, with Blackrock Depths, Scholomance, Stratholme, and Dire Maul being capped at 5 players.

As was the case in Original WoW 1.12, Blackrock Spire should also have a cap of 10 players.

Somewhere in the back of my brain I knew that you could have 10 players in a dungeon, but that was so long ago that it ceased to be a thing to me.  Also, we were rarely ever in danger of having too many people to go do a dungeon.  Our primary problem was getting at least five together for an instance.

Finally, there was an entertaining bug mentioned, which I will reproduce since it involves Skronk’s favorite priest spell:

There was a bug when two priests mind control each other the mind control itself would cancel out but the camera would still switch to each other. The result is both priests would be stuck watching each other move around which hilarious and very confusing.

And so it goes.  As noted up at the top, you can find the whole AMA here, or the more concise summary over at WoWHead.

Other related posts or recaps:

Addons and WoW Classic

As WoW Classic edges closer, the planning committee for the instance group continues its work.

Classic is as Classic does

Key items still to resolve include a time when we can all play together, which is proving trickier than I would have liked.  Getting older, having different responsibilities, and moving to another continent are all in the mix on that front.

Another item that came up was Addons.

I am torn on the subject of Addons.

On the one hand, I have run Addons of some sort for the vast majority of my time in WoW.  I think one of the first Addons I got was to speed up quest text, before Blizz put that option in the settings.  There was a time way back in the day where I ran one of those big combo packs that lumped together a whole bunch of Addons into a single unified project.

I have also spent periods of time with a very minimalist set of Addons.  That was especially true after support for the big combo pack I was using fell apart.  Addons are often the efforts of individuals, some of whom stop playing WoW and move on.

There have been points during the life of the game where Addons have seemed essential.  I remember a daily quest in Wrath of the Lich King where you had to run around a lab to find chemicals where the Addon that would highlight what you were looking for in the mess of the lab felt essential.  And then there was the Masterplan Addon, without which managing followers and their missions during Warlords of Draenor was a dreadful chore.  And then there are the Addons for pet battles, which make pet and team management possible without having to keep a spreadsheet open on a second monitor.

So I am hardly anti-Addon, though I do try to keep the number I use down to what I really need, if only to avoid conflicts, the pain of patch day incompatibilities, and the heartbreak that comes when support ends for one.

But, on the other hand, something about the spirit of WoW Classic, a sort of back to nature, seeing the game in a raw or primitive form, makes me feel like Addons might be a bit of a betrayal, a cheat, an option that would deprive myself of the full experience.

So I want to consider the whole Addon thing carefully.  I have almost a week left before WoW Classic starts, so I might as well take some time to think about it.  I’m not doing much else besides staring at that count down on the WoW Classic home page.

The Addon makers have been busy.  If you go look at just what is available for WoW Classic over at Curse, they are already into the 13th page of Addons, which at 20 Addons per page, is starting to add up.  And it was at page 11 when I started planning this post last week.  So that is well past 200 Addons and growing.

Addon makers have the experience of nearly 15 years of the game to look back on to decide what works and how things can be done.  And while WoW Classic won’t need Addons for things like pet battles or garrison missions, some things like Deadly Boss Mobs Addon have made the leap to WoW Classic.  I also see HealBot, TomTom, and some gathering and market Addons that sound familiar.

My gut says to start small, if at all, with Addons.  The only one I considered from the list immediately was one to auto-sell gray items at vendors, and even that one made me think twice.  There will be a point during the early game when gray items might be the best in-slot item I have, and any gear is better than no gear!

At some point I will no doubt consider something to help with buying and selling on the market.  Money will be a thing, especially if we plan to go through the full epic mount plan we did back in the day.

But some items I think I will avoid.  There are several quest trackers and Addons to speed your trip to level 60 by optimizing your route and telling you where to head.  But right now I am not worried about speeding through WoW Classic.  There is nothing much at level cap, save for an epic mount.  I won’t be raiding or anything like that, and there is no launch of The Burning Crusade in the offing.  At least not that Blizzard has announced yet… though if they are not at least thinking about how to get there, then they are making a mistake.

Anyway, that is my plan at the moment, six days before launch.  Keep it simple when it comes to Addons.

How about you?  What Addons do you think are essential for this journey, if any?

Blizz Adds More WoW Classic PvP Realms

After warning people that they should pick new PvP servers in WoW Classic lest they face login queues possibly exceeding 10,000 players, Blizzard turned around today and announced the addition of three more PvP Realms to the list.

Classic is as Classic does

They had already added one realm to each the US and EU lineup last week.  Today they announced three new PvP realms, two for the US and one for the EU.

The new US servers are:

  • Blaumeux – PvP – Pacific Time Zone
  • Skeram – PvP – Eastern Time Zone

While the EU server is:

  • Firemaw – PvP – English

The three new realms will be available tomorrow for name reservations.

Blizzard had said on Friday, when they started warning of gargantuan queues, that they would not add more realms until people shifted off of the most crowded realms, which were Herod (US) and Shazzrah (EU).  That they have now added more realms seems to indicate that people shifting off of those two were not sufficient.

It is interesting to see that PvP realms seem to be the most popular for this nostalgia driven event.  Is it memories of battles at Tarran Mill and the Crossroads driving this?

The last time I checked Bloodsail Buccaneers, the RP server where our group is headed, was one of the more lightly populated servers, which makes a certain sort of sense.  Some people fear to be near RP, lest it be found to be contagious.

The fact that no PvE realms have been required seems a bit odd to me.  But I have no fond memories of PvP in WoW when it comes down to it.  And we still have a week to go before launch, so more may be required.

Maybe somebody will ask about that at tomorrow’s AMA in the WoW Classic subreddit.

I’ll just go update my post about the server list again while we wait.

Addendum: In addition to the two servers mentioned, Blizz is also saying that the following US servers are now facing long queues.

  • Faerlina – PvP
  • Herod – PvP
  • Pagle – Normal
  • Thalnos – PvP
  • Whitemane – PvP

Again, lots of PvP, but also a PvE realm.  A sign of more servers before the end of the week?

Addendum:  Another server added to the queue warning list.

  • Mankrik – Normal

That least 2 PvE servers and the RP servers the only ones not facing a warning.

EVE Aether Wars Round Two Event

Back in March we had the first EVE Aether Wars tech demo when CCP and Hadean got together during GDC to try and get a bunch of players into one big space battle and maybe set a world record.

Things learned from that went into round two, which went off yesterday.

For the second run the event grew somewhat in sophistication.  Previously players just logged in, were given a ship, and spent their time spewing missiles at each other.  This time there was an objective beyond explosions.

The setup

We were also given a selection of ship types this time around as well.  There was the Worm frigate:

The Worm

The Gila cruiser:

Gila Description

And the Rattlesnake battleship:

Rattlesnake description

In EVE Online all three of these hulls are focused on drone combat, but in the tech demo things were more simple.  As the control scheme shows, the combat was much more dogfight oriented than the EVE Online “lock and shoot” method.

The control scheme for the event

One thing missing from the controls was the fire button.  Unlike last time, where much time was spent pounding a button to spew missiles.  I only noticed that once had locked some people up that there was no way to shoot.

Early in the fight

I quickly figured out that the your ship fired automatically, launching missiles at a fixed rate.  They appears on screen marked with red triangles.

It took me longer to figure out where to find the zero point condensate, or ZPC, which was the scoring focus of the event.  I flew around for quite a bit before spotting a black cloud in space.  That a bunch of people were flying around it was the give-away.

Go to the cloud to harvest

I flew into the melee to collect some ZPC.  As it turned out, despite what the ship descriptions said, if you were blown up you lost your whole cargo load, so when I went boom I came back empty.

I tried the different ships.  The Rattlesnake was a popular hull, I saw a lot of them.  However, despite having a lot of hit points it was also slow and something of a missile magnet, being easy to spot and close in on with smaller ships.

Out with the Rattle

The Gila was better, and probably the best compromise.  But I ended up favoring the Worm just to be able to zip in and out of places and to chase down targets.  At one point I spotted a Gila glowing with a golden aura.  Figuring that was a sign, I went after it and, after a long chance blew it up.  The golden highlight was a sign that they were carrying a bunch of ZPC, so I went from zero to 31K pretty quickly.

Suddenly rich in ZPC

I did figure out that you could exit the game and come back in a fresh ship if you were in need of repairs without losing your ZPC.  However, I wasn’t going to play it safe and hide with my little stash and went looking for more golden tinted ships.  Unfortunately I was also likely highlighted with a golden tone, though it did not show at my end, so quickly became a target as well, losing all my ZPC.  Easy come, easy go.

One of the goals, as with the last event, was to try and set a Guinness Books world record, which would have required them to get somewhere around 10K people into the battle.  Mid way through the test they announced that there were over 3,000 of us battling.

Over 3K battling they said

At that point they were going to load up some AI ships in order to push the load levels.

Send in the clones

Once again, they fell far short of a record.

The summary from Hadean at the end put the total just under 3K players involved.  Still, with us and the AI they said they got new data to evaluate from the test, which was the point of it all.

Unlike last time, it wasn’t obvious to me when they added AI pilots to the event.  People were able to spread out in the dark Abyssal Deadspace environment chosen for the battle.

That dead Leviathan was just scenery

The event wrapped rather promptly an hour after the announced start.  At the client end this wasn’t immediately apparent as the server going down didn’t kick people out.  You just ended up flying around in space by yourself.

The final scores showed some people managed to scoop up a lot more ZPC than I ever managed.

Who got the ZPC?

As for how the whole thing ran, it did not seem to tax my system very much.  But the whole thing seemed designed to keep from doing so.  Unlike the missile spam of the last attempt, which dragged down the frame rate on my system, there were never more than a couple dozen ships or missiles on my screen at any time.  Maybe we were all too spread out or maybe the client was set to only draw so many objects before stopping.

Communication was also spotty.  You had to be on the Discord for the event to know what was going on, and even then there were times when they should have mentioned things in the Announcements channel rather than dumping info into the public channel where it often scrolled off quickly.

Overall, from my side, it was a Sunday morning distraction.  There wasn’t a lot to it, though it was built as a test not a game, so that is to be expected.

CCP promised us prizes, but I haven’t seen any follow up on that.  Everybody who joined in is supposed to get some SKINs for the effort and somebody is supposed to win a paid trip to this year’s EVE Vegas.  I’m sure we’ll hear about that soon, as EVE Vegas is just over two months away.

Other post event reports:

 

Chaos Fatigue

Do you press one of these buttons when you log off from EVE Online?  CCP added them a while back as something of an exit survey.

Thumbs up or down?

For about a week after they showed up I diligently and thoughtfully clicked one of those buttons every time I exited the game.  And then I stopped.

I stopped because, on reflection, this seemed like data collection without value.  It lacks any context and, given human nature, can be waved away by circumstances of the moment.  There is always something going on that will allow CCP to say, “Well, that i just because we announced X and a few people are mad about it.”

I would not be surprised to find out that the buttons are not hooked up to a backend that stores the results, that CCP put them in there as just a way to deflect anger into the void.

It is a very Reddit-based response, let people down vote the game when they are upset because it lets you feel like you have done something, even though down voting never changed anything because it can always be explained away.  And that makes it very appropriate for the Chaos Era that CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson has declared for EVE Online.

Things have been somewhat chaotic since the Invasion expansion arrived back at the end of May.  That brought Triglavian incursion-like events to high sec, leading to NPCs camping the routes between tutorial and career agent systems and the joy of logging in an alt only to find you had best just log off because you’re system is now an NPC kill zone.

Didn’t want that 10K skill points anyway

And, of course, that has expanded, so hanging out it a belt in a 0.9 system might end up with you getting blow up right  away as well.

Didn’t want that Venture anyway

CCP also spread the chaos to null sec, which has tended to monopolize the headlines (Because who cares about new players?) with Drifter attacks and the Blackout and the sudden VNI nerf and the tax increases and now the coming cyno changes, with the promise of more changes to come.  I have mostly watched this from the sidelines, this blog being little else than that.  If you’re reading this you are in a tiny, obscure part of the EVE Online player base.

Just the other day CSM14 representative Dunk Dinkle was encouraging people with strong opinions on these changes to speak up publicly.

To me, strong opinions are part of the problem with any EVE Online discussion.  PvP players can be exceptionally vocal… roll footage of the forums of every PvE focused MMORPG ever… and the chaos era changes have brought them out en masse to cheer CCP for making changes that disrupt the status quo.  Anybody speaking against the chaos is shouted down because their motives are based on self-interest.  As such, every CCP proposal seems likely to go forward unchecked, since it isn’t difficult to find a wave of vocal support for them.

So the chaos will continue until morale improves.

However, I wonder if chaos is really a viable long term strategy.  Hilmar mentioned the novel The Three-Body Problem as one of his inspirations during that interview on Talking in Stations.  It was already on my list of things to read at some point, so I picked it up last week.  I have gotten far enough along to see where Hilmar swiped the idea for the Chaos Era.

In the book there is a video game which experiences alternating orderly and chaotic eras.  During the orderly times the player society of the game progresses.  During the chaotic eras nothing is predictable and everything is in disorder.  CCP seems to have decided that is the path forward for EVE Online.  They want to keep changing things constantly so that nothing is predictable in anything but the immediate time frame.

What I found interesting in the book was the player reactions to the chaotic eras.  While a select few persist through those eras, trying to discover a pattern to the chaos, the vast majority dehydrate themselves and are stored away, only to be revived when the next orderly era appears.  Then everybody gets back to work on progress in the game.

I could not help but associate the dehydrated state in the book with something akin to becoming an Alpha clone in EVE Online.  People often find chaos to be wearing over time, not what they want to devote themselves to as their hobby.  I know I am feeling a bit weary from the chaos era of New Eden, and barely any of it has an impact on me.  Only the coming cyno revision will change some aspect of my play.

And there is a very vocal choir that supports the chaos, which means that CCP would have to work to see a reason not to keep on with it.  So I suspect that the chaos will continue.

But it makes me wonder if chaos a viable long term strategy?

Addendum: After writing this, I listened to the Talking in Stations interview with CCP Rise, and it sure sounds like chaos is the long term strategy CCP has chosen.  My question as to whether or not we take Hilmar and CCP Falcon and their vision of where they want EVE Online to go appears to have been answered.

Quote of the Day – How to get Your Industry Regulated

A Kinder Surprise Egg does not collect your data. The Kinder Egg does not learn more about the person buying and opening the Egg, such as his or her preferences for its contents. The Kinder Egg does not adjust its contents according to an algorithm based on population data. People do not link their credit cards to Kinder Egg vendors. Kinder Eggs are physical and can be given away or traded, unlike virtual items.

-Dr Daniel King, quoted at GameIndustry.biz

I like this quote because it gets to something I think people miss when it comes to the lockbox debate.  I often see people go straight for the idea that randomness equals gambling and therefore lockboxes should be banned.

Not gambling

And, while randomness is an element of gambling, it is not the sole defining factor.  That something like Kinder Surprise Eggs exist and are sold legally in many countries tends to indicate that randomness is not the only thing we should be considering.

Randomness is not necessarily bad.  And while I tend to discount when devs tell us people enjoy opening up lockboxes… I am sure the payday loan industry would tells us that people like getting money from them as well… you can find players who enjoy the randomness of loot drops and such.  Bhagpuss, one of the sources that pointed this quote towards me, is on that team.

This makes the gambling argument feels like a dead end to me.  You either have to change the laws to widen the definition of gambling (wait for the push back on that) or go the Belgium route and make a special exception for a specific set of circumstances, which leaves people with the question about why this one outlier is special.

Fortunately, the quote nicely brings up how randomness isn’t the sole factor that makes lockboxes odious to so many people.  There is the virtual nature of any prizes, the persistent reminders and offers from the cash shop, the fact that you have to pay to for a random chance to get things otherwise not obtainable in game, the manipulative practices, and the suspicion that the whole thing is rigged just to get you to spend more money.  Another quote:

“The ‘not forcing anyone’ argument is undermined by the fact that many of these games appear to employ systems that are designed to present constant in-game purchasing opportunities,” says Dr King. “The promotions and solicitations are unavoidable in some cases, and the game may have design elements that make it very frustrating to players unless they spend money.

“Our review suggests that there are some emerging designs that aim to capitalise on player data to present individualised offers that the system ‘knows’ the player is more likely to accept. So it’s not about being ‘forced’ — it’s about the game anticipating or making the best judgement about what the player is likely to accept.”

And while some people would be on board with the suspicion that things are rigged no matter what, the game companies have helped feed that paranoia themselves.  Further down in the article there are some patents game companies have filed for mechanics designed to get people to spend more.

Activision had an especially good filing back in 2017 for a system that would deliberately match players with people have superior gear from lockboxes to make you feel you need the same gear in order to compete.

Randomness is not bad in and of itself and we appear, as a society, to be okay with gambling, but when you start targeting people based on their behavior and rigging the system against them on the fly, all algorithmically and invisibly behind the scenes, we have strayed into what some might label as predatory practices that strikes against a basic sense of fairness.

Going down that path in pursuit of the most effective lockbox scheme is how you end up with legislators and regulators taking a close and person interest in your industry.  It has all been rather haphazard up to now, but momentum is building.

So it was probably no coincidence that there was a press release from the ESA about how various companies are now committed to displaying the odds of obtaining items from lockboxes on the very day that the US Federal Trade Commission was holding a workshop about industry practices around lockboxes.

The ESA isn’t dumb.  They know they need to do something as any regulation is going to hurt them.  They know they need to get in front of this issue and make some concessions before laws or regulations force them to back off their lucrative lockbox schemes.   And so they have a grand announcement.

And posting the odds somewhere would be a big step forward.

Of course, the ESA isn’t saying where the odds have to be posted, if they have to be in-game, or even linked to in game.  Posting them on some dead end path on their web site might be what they have in mind.  And how often do the odds have to be brought up to date?

This is the problem with something as empty as a “commitment” to something like the ESA has announced.  They want to sound like they are doing something good for the consumer without actually being bound to follow through in any reasonable fashion.  With no laws or regulations in place, what are you going to do if half of those committed platforms fail to follow through while the other half does so in the least helpful way possible?

Companies don’t go out of their way unless it is in their best interest.  Right now I am sure the ESA sees their problem as a few loudmouths that need to be appeased so they can go back to business as usual.  There will need to be a lot more government scrutiny before the ESA follows through.  But follow through they will, if the pressure gets high enough.  I remain convinced that the ESA will do the minimum amount needed… pinkie swear promises and strategic campaign contributions… to stave off regulation at least in the US.

And, in a final twist to the comparison in the initial quote, Kinder Surprise Eggs are not allowed in the US.  It has nothing to do with gambling or manipulation and everything to do with the FDA not allowing you to sell candy with toys embedded inside.  So we only get the Kinder Joy eggs, sans surprise… and given how rare they are here, few seem to buy them just to eat.

WoW Classic and What You Need to Know

Blizzard continues to wind its way to the launch of WoW Classic, now just 10 days and 45 minutes away from the time this post goes live.

Classic is as Classic does

A new FAQ has been posted summarizing all the details Blizzard has announced for the WoW Classic launch and what to expect when it comes to content and functionality.

WoW Classic FAQ

It collects together a lot of items that have been covered before, such as:

  • WoW Classic primer about running WoW Classic
  • The launch time for various world wide time zones
  • Number of characters you’ll be allowed
  • A link to the current list of realms
  • The six phases of content unlocks (still no dates though)
  • The status of battlegrounds
  • A link to an article about itemization in WoW Classic

Some tidbits in the mix include the fact that if you bought the original WoW Collector’s Edition and are using the same account on which you activated it, you will get the pets from the CE.

In hindsight I regret not buying the WoW CE, which is a turn around from my usual feeling of regret when I do by the CE.

However, codes from the WoW Trading Card Game will not be valid for WoW Classic.

Also, no Armory feature for WoW Classic.  At least not right away.

If the FAQ and subsidiary articles do not answer your questions about the launch, Blizzard has announced that they will also be holding an Ask Me Anything event in the WoW Classic sub-reddit on Tuesday, August 20th and 10:00 PDT, which is 17:00 UTC.  Expect queues for questions I bet.

Speaking of queues, there was an update in the forums specifically about the Herod (US) and the Shazzrah (EU) realms, both of which Blizz is estimating will face login queues in excess of 10,000 users come the launch based on the name reservation traffic they have seen so far.  Blizz would like people to swap to the two new realms they opened on Wednesday, and have said they will not open up new PvP realms until those two have filled up.

Finally, if you were wondering how the beta was going, the QA team at Blizzard posted a list of player reported bugs that were fixed over the last three month.

That is all I have.  I guess I can go back to pining for the launch.