MMORPG fans have waited months for the launch of World of Warcraft Classic, the revival of the hugely popular online game in a guise close to how it appeared upon launch 15 years ago. And despite WoW Classic now being live, many are still waiting to play.
The sheer number of players trying to get online at once means that developer Blizzard's servers cant handle the strain, leading to long digital queues to enter the game world. Now, Blizzard has responded to explain why the wait is so long.
"From the start of planning for this launch, we’ve tried to prioritise the long-term health of our realm communities, recognising that if we undershot the mark in terms of launch servers, we could move quickly to add additional realms in the opening hours," wrote Ion Hazzikostas, game director.
"But if we went out with too many servers, weeks or months down the line we’d have a much tougher problem to solve. While we have tools like free character transfers available as a long-term solution to underpopulated realms, everything about that process would be tremendously disruptive to realm communities, and so it’s something we want to avoid as much as possible."
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A politer Azeroth?
Since the beta launch, Blizzard has added 20 new server realms to help handle the amount of players looking to get online. But once inside, the new player management system called Layering, which should even out populations to keep busy areas from buckling under the strain, doesn't seem to be working quite as expected.
WoW players are struggling with some kill-and-collect quests due to overcrowding, with dwarves, elves and orcs all fighting over the same monster loot drops to complete quests.
But it's leading to some rather charming behavior from the WoW Classic community. Players are spontaneously forming in-game queues to ensure that each player gets a fair chance at taking on a rarely spawning monster:
"We, as a society, formed this queue." - #WoWClassic players standing in queue to get the head of a freaking mob 🧡 pic.twitter.com/53q8YZxa8026 August 2019
It's the sort of behaviour the hand-holding retail version of the game no-longer requires, which is, in some ways, part of the appeal of World of Warcraft Classic in and of itself.
Old-school WoW required patience and team work in order for you to succeed, which long-time players think lead to a tighter community. It's certainly a breath of fresh air among online games, where toxicity can run rampant. Perhaps the queues were part of the plan all along...
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.