Three Years of Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go celebrated its third anniversary last month, but I started playing a month late.  That was still early enough to have witnessed the huge initial popularity of the game, though possibly without a few of the initial teething issues.

And I have been playing it pretty much daily ever since.  Granted, it probably helps that our office campus has five Pokestops and a gym, which makes playing daily pretty easy.  The field research thing also puts a little pressure on to play daily as well, so my wife and I still go out on weekends together to go do a raid or two or to spin some Pokestops downtown or around the community center.  That my wife plays too has also helped its longevity around here, especially since we’re now on the same team.

As a game it has evolved and grown over the last three years, mostly for the better.  The change up to gym battles and the expansion of gyms to more locations was a pretty big deal when it hit… almost two years ago now wasn’t it?  And the events have gotten better over time.  The recent Team Rocket event was interesting, if a bit confusing for me at times.  I spent some of my Pokecoins on the Team Rocket outfit for my avatar, so there were a couple of times where I was wondering why there were two Team Rocket grunts hanging out by a captured Pokestop.

Oh yeah, that is me

One thing that Pokemon Go has that will be familiar to MMORPG players is inventory management.  You have limited bag space, though it can be expanded by spending coins.  Yet somehow, no matter how much bag space I have, I always managed to fill it all up.  I am currently at 950 slots and I still end up getting a message about my bag being full when I spin a Pokestop now and then.  Oddly, I don’t have a similar problem with the Pokemon storage, which likewise has limited space.  I have upgraded that a couple of times, but mostly I am pretty harsh about who gets to stay and who gets transferred.  But in my inventory, I cannot bring myself to delete  any of my huge pile of full revives and full heals.  I might NEED those some day!  As it always goes with inventory management.

What I haven’t managed to to in three years it get to level 40, the level cap for the game.  It took me a bit over a year to hit level 30, but as I pointed out in a post about that, the exp required to get there was only 10% of the total required to get to level 40.  At that pace, getting 10% of the way in 14 months, it should take me nearly twelve years to get to level 40.

I think I am a bit ahead of the twelve year pace though.  I currently stand at about 10% of the way into level 37.  That is largely due to Niantic adding in additional ways to earn experience.  The friends list, where you can exchange gifts with your friends daily, is of particular note, since you earn 100,000 exp when you achieve maximum friendship.

I don’t really focus too much on exp.  I remain, as in the core Pokemon games, focused on catching and evolving Pokemon.  My stats there are not too bad, since the other thing I don’t do much of is big raids.

Pokedex Stats

The game also gives you a bunch of other stats, which I suppose you can compare with my one year post.  Where I stand.

  • Level – 37
  • Total XP – 9,710,552
  • Pokedex – 436 unique caught
  • Pokedex – 460 unique seen
  • Total Pokemon caught – 8,721
  • Highest CP Pokemon – Slacking, CP 4,163
  • Total Pokemon evolved – 1,157
  • Pokestops visited – 9,401
  • Distance walked (with the app open) – 1081.7 km
  • Eggs hatched – 858
  • Gym Battles won – 1,638
  • Hours of Gym Defense – 4,462
  • Berries fed at Gyms – 1,884
  • Field Research Tasks Completed – 430
  • Best Friends with – 9 trainers
  • Gym Raids won – 100
  • Pikachu caught – 119
  • Pokemon Traded – 18

I suspect that my wife and I will carry on until we at least hit level 40 due to habit or sunk cost theory or some such.

We did consider jumping on Niantic’s latest game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, but the large similarity to Pokemon Go, including the need to keep the game open on your screen in order to play, pretty much meant choosing between one or the other, so we decided to stick with Pokemon Go for now.

All I want to do right now is Play WoW Classic

I’ve been in the for the four load tests, seen the game overcrowded and behaving badly, sat in long queues, been logged out multiple times, worked with the odd and archaic mechanics, and none of that has deterred me.  I am simply craving WoW Classic.

Why isn’t it the 27th already?

I had a Blaugust post planned for today, a lightly cautionary tale about how thinking you know somebody… and then acting on that… simply because you read their blog can be a mistake.  Something a bit contrarian for “getting to know you” week I suppose.  But I just can’t make that come together right now because I am a bit obsessed about WoW Classic.

If you are a long time reader here you might well be fully justified in thinking that of course I am all in about WoW Classic.  I can be tedious at times in my attention to the past, so you might be right to think this is just another nostalgia trip where I will get all worked up about the good old days yet again.

Didn’t I do enough of that for the EverQuest 20th anniversary already?

And you wouldn’t be wrong to think that I am, in fact, wallowing in nostalgia about now.  I have watched that video I made back in 2012 about the instance group and its first year in WoW more than a few times.

 

There are a lot of old sights in that video.  (I wrote a whole director’s commentary about it back when I posted it, if you are interested.  That would be a way to get to know a lot about me and the group.)

So, yes, guilty as charged on the nostalgia front.

But there is more going on here.  I am also in something of a gaming slump, and all the more so on the MMORPG front.

I feel like I should be logging in to Battle for Azeroth to work on unlocking flying and to see the new content that came with the Rise of Azshara update… but I don’t.  I have barely logged in at all for more than a month now, and the last time I did it was just to do some Darkmoon Faire stuff and a few pet battles.  I am just not feeling it.

There are, of course, lots of other MMORPG options.  I have a bit of a yen to go play something else, maybe get back to LOTRO for the Legendary Server to finish off Moria or perhaps some EverQuest II.  I just don’t feel the drive.  And starting a new game just makes me look at the choices then go back to binge watching Veep and Bob’s Burgers.

EVE Online is still there, but I feel like I am in a slump even in space.  To start with I have been continuously subscribed and playing since late 2011, the longest I have ever gone with any online game without a serious, six month or more, break.  But now there isn’t a war going on, our play battle deployment isn’t thrilling me, so I am feeling a lack of purpose.  I’ve been playing with some alts, but as with other titles, it isn’t holding me.  And the whole Chaos Era thing is hitting a point where I want to step back and let things settle down.  Chaos does not encourage commitment, it just becomes exhausting when it doesn’t stop.

And then I went and played in the WoW Classic load test last weekend and it felt so right.  Simple, fresh, familiar, easy, difficult, slow, fast, crowded, and homey.  I just want to run around and fight over kobold spawns or pick that first hunter pet and start working on skills or spend a silver on the skinning skill and skin all the corpses around the wendigo cave.

I mean, I might be singing a different tune out in Stranglethorn Vale some weeks down the road, trying to collect all those pages, or when I hit that level 40 quest gap.  But those are future problems.   I want the kobolds now!

But wait, there’s more!

I am also pretty excited that we’re getting the band back together for this.  There are still details to work out, like when we can all be online together to play, but we’re together on Discord making plans.  And, honestly, I miss having a regular group.  EVE Online gives me a sense of belonging, but I am always happiest in small groups.  And everybody in the old instance group seems pretty jazzed up about the idea.

And, finally, I really want to see how we do.  It has been a long time since the group first came together back in 2016… at the exact patch level that WoW Classic will be using… to roll up some characters with intent to do the five person dungeon content in World of Warcraft.

There are a lot of posts on the site about the instance group… it has its own category… but at one point I threw together a “summer reruns” post that collected the timeline of our journey through vanilla WoW.

It took us quite a stretch to get through from the Deadmines to unlocking access to Upper Blackrock Spire.  There was a six month gap in our narrative, which extended our time, but we were also pretty bad at doing instances.

Our being bad didn’t stop us back in vanilla.  Honestly, it didn’t really become an issue until later dungeons in The Burning Crusade, finally coming to a head during Wrath of the Lich King where our struggles to slay Prince Keleseth caused us to evaluate exactly how we were getting things done.  We actually took it upon ourselves to read some class guides over at Elitist Jerks, which improved our performance dramatically.

And while we are now about four and a half years out of practice as a group, we likely haven’t forgotten everything, so we won’t regress back to our 2006 selves.  That makes me want to see what experience has taught us.  Back in 2006 we took four runs at the Deadmines before slaying Van Cleef.  In Uldamon it took us three trips and multiple fights to bring down Archaedas, and it was a near run thing when we did manage it.

The Moment of Victory

Then there are the things we missed.  I don’t think we even did any of Dire Maul back then. (Okay, we did some of it for Bung’s epic mount and mine as well.)

So there is a question of “how hard were those dungeons?” versus “how bad were we really back then?” to be tested.  How much have we learned over the years plays up against how much have we forgotten and how much has more than a decade changed us.

There are probably more threads in the weave that is my longing to get stuck into Azeroth of old, and they are all bound together and making the wait difficult.  The proximity of the launch, just a week and a half off, seems so distant that I can’t stand it yet so close that I don’t want to distract myself with anything else.

This is going to be a long wait.

Blizzard Opens Additional WoW Classic PvP Realms

The name reservations that opened up on Monday afternoon for WoW Classic have shown enough demand that Blizzard announced earlier today that they would be adding an additional server.

Classic is as Classic does

The announcement from the forums:

Due to very high demand, we will open a new WoW Classic realm for name reservations at 5:00 p.m PDT (8:00 p.m. EDT) today, Wednesday, August 14:

Stalagg – PvP – Eastern Time

We suggest that players, especially those on the Herod realm, consider creating characters on Stalagg. We expect that other PvP realms in this region will otherwise experience significant login queues when Classic launches.

Thank you!

The new realm should be up and available for name reservations as of when this post goes live.

This followed on a previous message warning about potential extended queue times for two of the popular PvP servers.

As of now, a large number of WoW Classic characters have been created on the following realms. Players with characters on this realm are likely to experience severe queues at release.

  • Herod – PvP
  • Whitemane – PvP

We have updated the algorithm for the realm population tags so they more accurately reflect the expected population for that realm. The realms that are listed as “Full” are where we expect to see extended queues. If you’re concerned about long queue times affecting your play experience, you may want to consider creating characters on a lower population realm before the game releases on August 26 at 3:00 p.m. PDT.

This mirrors activity by Blizzard for Europe as a new realm, Gehennas – PvP – English, was opened up earlier today to alleviate possible crowding on the Golemagg – PvP – English server.

I have updated the server list I posted last Friday when the server names were initially announced.  We will see if Blizz ends up adding any more servers before the August 26 launch of WoW Classic.

Blizzard also announced that the WoW Classic closed beta would continue on through Friday, though it remains open only to those who were previously invited to participate.  No doubt the streamers who got in will continue to boost interest in the game as they get access now up to level 45.

The Chaos Era is Coming to Cynos

CCP announced in the forums today that with the September update they are planning two changes when it comes to cynosural fields, the ship mounted beacons that act as jump targets for capital ships.  The announcement in full:

This September we are planning two large changes for Cynosural Fields:

  • Cynosural Field Generator I can only be fit by Force Recon Ships and Black Ops Battleships (note: these classes can still fit covert cynos)
  • Jump Freighters can jump to Covert Cynosural Fields

During this era of chaos we are eager to introduce new challenges for veteran pilots while working towards a deeper and more balanced capital meta. Historically, cynos have been extremely flexible. They can be used on flocks of alts at nearly no risk or used by the largest and strongest ships in the game. With few options for cyno disruption, capital response time and power has grown to the point that it’s oppressing activity. This change will make it more complex and demanding to get capitals to the field quickly and give more strategic options for those wishing to disrupt capital response.

While most of the impact from this change is on combat, we are sensitive to the effect on Jump Freighters and logistics overall. Jump Freighters will be allowed to use Covert Cynos which can be activated by cheaper hulls like Covert Ops Frigates. This may need further attention and we will be watching this area very closely.

As clarified in a follow up post, that means that only the following ships can fit a cyno:

  • Force Recons
    • Arazu
    • Pilgrim
    • Falcon
    • Rapier
  • Black Ops Battleships
    • Redeemer
    • Widow
    • Sin
    • Panther
    • Marshall (maybe?)

If CCP carries through on this, the days of the cyno alt in a small, sacrificial ship will be over.

No more cyno on a Kestral

My hot take on this is that Malcanis will prevail yet again and the rich will get richer while the poor will be left out.  Is that that goal?

A large null sec organization that can afford to throw away expensive hulls for cynos or organize protection for their cyno beacons will carry on as before.  Coalition capital moves ops won’t change and you will still get dropped on by a bunch of titans if you come to Delve.  You’ll just get a better kill mail if you manage to pop the cyno ship.

However, if you are trying to get your own capital ship moved around New Eden, welcome to the new expensive reality.  You can only light a cyno in low and null sec, where their presence on the overview system-wide makes them an easy to find target, stuck in place for 10 minutes.  The only reason not to bother is that a rookie ship doesn’t get you a kill mark.

But if suddenly every cyno has an expensive kill mail attached, people will be racing to pop them.  I just did a multi-cyno trip across low sec to get a suicide dread in place a few weeks back.  It cost me a bunch of fuel and a Kestrel.  Would I do the same if I knew I was going to have to sacrifice a nearly 300 million ISK Falcon, the current cheapest of all the hulls listed according to EVE Appraisal, for each jump?  Probably not.  That would have cost me almost as much as the dreadnought itself.

And when people are burning a Falcon for every cyno, expect that price to go up.

I know that CCP wants to shake up the meta, but this feels like it will have the same result that so many past changes have, where an effort to make the larger groups hurt only ends up locking out the small time operator.  I suppose at least they had a thought for the jump freighter pilots, who will now only have to burn a covert ops frigate for each jump.  Expect shipping prices to go up some as well.

This change isn’t coming until September and at times CCP does listen to feedback.  We shall see if this is the chaos they want.  I am sure there will be lots of… ahem… discussion about this proposed change.  The forum thread about this is already alight, as is the main thread on Reddit.

Others writing about this:

Summer Movie League – Scary Stories Rule

Week ten of our Summer Fantasy Movie League left me more than a bit surprised.

I had stated that last week, with the Hobbs & Shaw premier, that we might be past any “big weeks” that people could use to catch up, and then Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark went nuts.

I write these posts on Monday night when the data available is usually just the long range forecast from the previous week.  That and how FML prices things are about all I have to go when it comes to sizing things up.  Last week the the LRF had Dora way ahead of Scary Stories, and the FML pricing, which not as absolute, was still heavily tilted towards the young explorer.

But by the time Thursday rolled around and I needed to finalize my pick, Dora seemed on the outs while some watchers were saying that Scary Stories might get somewhere beyond $15 million.

At that moment I was still contemplating the doggies story The Art of Racing in the Rain.  I had gone with 7x screens of that for my Monday night pick.  But for the final I suddenly felt that Scary Stories was the better anchor.  So my Thursday afternoon final pick was 4x Scary Stories, 2x Toy story 4, 1x Aladdin, and 1x Annabelle Comes Home.

Come Friday morning when the last leagues locked and picks were visible to all, I knew I had made the right choice.  All of the top players in the FML league were anchored on Scary Stories.

Come the Saturday morning estimates Scary Stories looked like a winner, with a best performer bonus on top of exceeding its estimates.  Sunday morning only made Scary Stories look even better.  And come the final numbers… well, this is what the weekly scores ended up looking like.

  1. Too Orangey For Crows – $102,763,640
  2. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $101,787,156
  3. grannanj’s Cineplex – $99,082,063
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $57,701,940
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $56,424,809
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $55,698,881
  7. Joanie’s Joint – $54,739,378
  8. Conical Effort – $49,606,778
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $46,321,746
  10. Goat Water Picture Palace – $2,974,740

The perfect pick, which was unique to our league rule set once again, was 4x Scary Stories, 1x Hollywood, and 3x empty, which was worth just over $103 million with the $5 million perfect pick bonus.  Nobody went that route, but Bhagpuss got fairly close, taking the week.

There is an obvious gap in lineups.  Those of us who went in with 4x Scary Stories cashed it with around $100 million.  Everybody else who picked was in the $50 million range.  Even my 7x The Art of Racing in the Rain Monday night pick ran in that range, good for $59 million.  The doggie movie hit its $8 million mark right on the nose.

Po had the worst lineup of those who picked as The Kitchen under performed badly, falling behind the doggo movie.  Po was at least saved a bit by the $2 million per screen worst performer bonus, which was good for $10 million as he anchored on five screens of it.

Scary Stories breaking out and coming in second overall in the box office despite being 4th place in price skewed the week pretty badly.  So I was wrong last week, another big win was possible.  That can always happen when FML prices badly I guess, all of which left the overall scores looking like this.

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $970,641,595
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $906,178,821
  3. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $828,960,056
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $818,267,149
  5. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $812,750,401
  6. Joanie’s Joint – $785,312,850
  7. Conical Effort – $766,926,222
  8. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $700,887,078
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $686,935,038
  10. Goat Water Picture Palace – $557,351,870

At this point I look fairly secure in first and Bhagpuss in second.  Barring any sort of huge break-out box office… like Scary Stories again… it will be tough to assail either of us.  There does still look to be a reasonable fight for third place though.

The alternate scoring looks like this.

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 76
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – 69
  3. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 58
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 57
  5. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 52
  6. grannanj’s Cineplex – 49
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace – 45
  8. Joanie’s Joint – 43
  9. Conical Effort – 41
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 32

With the alternate scoring I am still well within range of at least the next four people if I pick badly.  Given that there are only nine of us picking regularly, the lowest point value anybody will get will be 2 points, which means if I pick very badly my score could be as low as 82 at the end of the final week.  Bhagpuss, Cyanbane, and Miniature could all theoretically pass me, while SynCaine could tie that score.  So I had best pick well.

All of which leads us to week eleven and the choices we all have.

  1. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged – $202
  2. Angry Birds 2 – $201
  3. Hobbs & Shaw – $174
  4. Good Boys – $171
  5. Lion King – $143
  6. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – $138
  7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – $120
  8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $93
  9. Blinded by the Light – $77
  10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette – $74
  11. The Art of Racing in the Rain – $55
  12. Spider-man: Far From Home – $44
  13. Toy Story 4 – $36
  14. The Kitchen – $31
  15. The Farewell – $22

Five titles got bumped from the lineup this week, with Brian Banks, Yesterday, Crawl, Aladdin, and Annabelle Comes Home all exiting.

Replacing those are five new films, none of which really strike a cord with me.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged is a sequel to the 2017 summer film that involved people stuck in a shark cage under water.  The original was notable for making a lot of money relative to its small budget, so we got a second entry.  This time around people are scuba diving in ocean caves and discover sharks, after which the whole survival/horror aspect no doubt kicks in.

The long range forecast is a modest $13 million.

Next up is The Angry Birds Movie 2, another sequel to another film from summers past.  The original was surprisingly successful, which means we get round two.  The long range forecast for the weekend was $17 million when last I checked, which might make you wonder why FML has it priced a dollar less than 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.  So there is clearly something in play here.

About $30 down the price list is Good Boys, a comedy about the simple plans of 12 year old boys going wildly wrong.  It has good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes so far and the long range forecast puts it at around $13 million, which given the pricing here, seems to indicate that FML thinks 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is going to do better than its LRF.

Further down the list is Blinded by the Light, which I am just going to copy the description for:

Javed (Viveik Kalra) is a British teen of Pakistani descent, growing up in the town of Luton, England, in 1987. Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditional father. But when a classmate introduces him to the music of “The Boss”, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in Springsteen’s powerful lyrics. As Javed discovers a cathartic outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to find the courage to express himself in his own unique voice.

It is tagged as “coming of age comedy drama.”  The LRF puts it at about $5.5 million.

And last on the new list is Where’d You Go, Bernadette, a “mystery comedy drama” based on a book of the same name with some reasonably big names in the cast.  The long range forecast puts it at $6 million, but you will note that FML priced it below Blinded by the Light.

This sort of chaotic pricing compared to forecasts means that there is opportunity… if you have some insight into what might exceed expectations and what might fall short.  Clearly the LRF isn’t to be believed, not after how often it has been wrong this season.  You can’t even trust it to be wrong in the right direction.  While it has over-estimated a lot of films, there were a few critical under-estimations too.

My own Monday evening plan was to be conservative.  The line up for that, 3x Hobbs & Shaw, 5x Hollywood.  I’m sticking with that unless I get some insight into the new titles.

Only two weeks left after this.  Get your picks in soon.  Next week features… *checks notes*… Angel has Fallen.  I’m going to have to read up on that one, as I have no clue from just the title.

The EVE Online August Update brings Community Ship Fittings

It is August and in the midst of the vacation cycle, so there wasn’t any real expectation that something big would drop for this months EVE Online update.  That we got anything beyond fixes is a bit of a surprise.

CCP chose this image for the update, maybe it means something

The big item in the update, to my mind at least, is the community fittings feature.  Few items are as difficulty to pass on to new players as how to fit your ship.  People will toss out hull options, but modules drop you into a deep well of complexity.  As I have oft said, fantasy MMORPG have the advantage of being based on a model we all understand.  We know a helmet protects your head, a sword hurts your foe, a healing spell tends your wounds, and there is probably some number somewhere that lets you compare what you have now with another item so you can tell what is better.

With EVE Online and its myriad of choices it can be hard to know where to begin.  I mentioned module complexity as one of the big problems for new players previously, using just the example of light missiles.  Which do you choose new player?

Not shown, defender light missiles

And that is just the ammo.  Which launcher do you pick, what modules will make missiles more effective, what defenses does a ship need, what other modules should I consider or avoid, all of that and more goes largely unanswered by the game.  That means new players tend to just equip whatever they happen to come across in the classic “something is better than nothing” view of the world.  But is the cargo scanner that dropped off that belt rat worth the effort?

This gets all the more important if a player wants to go PvP.  Mission running can be fairly forgiving… you can often just warp off it things start going badly and start over again.  But other players, they will tackle you and blow you up and you’ll likely not know what went wrong or how to get better.

So the idea of suggested fits has been kicked around for a long time now, and the culmination is the community ship fittings feature.  What appears there will be based on some consensus being reached in the community fittings forum.  People will, naturally, complain that they fittings are not all they could be.  The fitting meta can be fluid.  But at least it might give new players some insight into what they ought to consider.

Community fittings aside, the rest of the update looks to be of a fix and tune nature.

There are some updates to how the war declaration system works.  The implants known as “Slave” will now be known as “Amulet” due to planned changes to which faction provides them.  And there are a whole bunch of little fixes.  I am kind of disappointed that kill marks will no longer blink on the Caracal hull.  Blinking kill marks sounds like a feature.  It would certainly make them easier to find.

There is one entry that might portend some change up with the Triglavian invasion event:

Triglavian Recon vessels have been sighted outside of Invasion zones

I suppose that means they will be going somewhere new to shoot capsuleers.  I do wonder if this is related to the news item about an increase in wormholes connecting to Drifter hive systems.  Will the Drifters be headed our way again?  Will they come to blows with the Triglavians?  We shall see.

The word has come that the update has been deployed successfully.  For details you should go check out the Patch Notes.  There is also an updates entry for today, but it mostly goes on about the already in progress Skilling Spree event and the coming Fanfest Home.

The WoW Classic Name Reservation Run

The next step on the march to WoW Classic kicked off earlier with the opening of name reservations.

Get that name!

Blizzard has a long article about how to get yourself setup so you can log in and create up to three characters in order to hold names.

As it so happened, the whole thing opened up at just about the time I got home from work, so I was quickly to my computer to see if I could grab the name “Wilhelm.”  I rarely am ever able to get that.

I got the launcher going, which needed to download a small update for WoW Classic, after which I was able to log in and see the server choices, which lined up with what I posted last week.

At the server selection page

Skronk and Ula were also online and ready to go fishing for names.  Our plan was to roll up on Bloodsail Buccaneers, an idea reinforced by the fact that it showed as low population when the list came up.

However, things did not go as smoothly as one might have hoped.  While the world servers were up, logging into them was another thing altogether.  I took a few runs at BB that all ended up with the same error.

Oh the errors you’ll see…

I began to wonder if this was another form of load test, seeing if the login and world servers could work smoothly as people tried to pile in to grab names.  If it was going badly I half expected Blizz to announce additional servers in a couple of days.  Heck, I wouldn’t bet against that even now.

On Discord we started talking about backup options, but other servers were not responding for me either.  Then Ula got into Mankirk, but her name there was taken.

We took a run at Pagle, where she got here name but I was thwarted trying to get Wilhelm.  It had been scooped up already.  But I had backup names I am fine with… I have to be fine with other names since I so rarely get that one… and Pagle seems like a possible landing spot for the group.

Then, in trying servers again I managed to get into Bloodsail Buccaneers.  I immediately created a paladin and tried once more for the name Wilhelm… and I got it.  Ula got her name as well.  We were quickly back to our original plan.  BB would be our server of choice.  I put in a reservation for a hunter name as well and was set.

My reserved names

Not everybody was having as much luck as I was.  Streamer Asmogold, who has been getting throngs watching his streams of the WoW Classic beta, showed up only to find his name had been taken.

Somebody got there first…

But I was taken care of.

All I could have wished for at that moment was that the “Enter World” button was active so we could get started on this new venture.  But mousing over just told me how long I was going to have to wait.

I’ll be counting the hours… by tens at first probably

Oh well.  We still have plans to make.  If the historical record (read: the blog) is correct, it has been been almost 4.5 years since we last ran a dungeon together.  Some research and work ups might be in order.

Other posts about name reservations readiness: