Looking at Days 1 and 2 of WAR’s launch

Day 1 of WAR’s launch is behind us.  Day 2 is almost over.  It’s time to give real ‘release’ opinions that people can not refute with “it’s beta”.  I want to address the things that stand out to me most, that will interest potential subscribers the most, and that people waiting for their headstart/login to begin may find useful.

Opening day rocked. Complete server stability for Wolfenburg – no lag – few crashes.  Yes, I CTD’d 4x yesterday and there were many in my guild who were crashing as well.  Alt tabbing is a sure way to fubar your game.  Obviously the issues still persist into launch.  This was, baring any unforeseen issues when SE’s and normal retail join us, the smoothest launch I’ve participated in.

Server Populations are all suffering right now.  There are only 50k-6k CE’s playing and that’s spread across 15+ servers.  The thought crossed our (mine and Graev’s) minds today that we may be a low pop server.  It was a horrifying thought really.  I’ll say this right now and be very frank: This game is NOT fun with low population. Why would it be?  It’s a game of players vs. players.

On a similar note, let’s talk about Scenario queues.  WHAT scenario queues?! They’re not popping.  This is likely tied to the low population right now though.  I don’t want to turn this into a emo-fest over server populations but I feel that I need to get this out right now so that I have a point of reference if this ends up being an issue in the future.

Enough of the QQ’ing.  Let’s talk about good stuff again.

Open-RvR is fantastic (when it happens… seems to be NO ONE rvring out there) and I have no regrets about the decision.  It’s a lot of fun running into other people traveling and having a skirmish.  Graev and I were questing earlier and a Runepriest/Ironbreaker combo comes out of nowhere.  I was AFK at the time and knew to come back to the comp when I heard this bellowing warcry from Graev in the other room.  “REEEEAAAAL PLAYERSS!!!!” I sprinted back to the comp just in the nick of time and we promptly handed them their arses.  Quite the feat if I do say so myself (toot toot) and a lot of fun.  In fact, the most fun we’ve had in the game so far.

Our server choice, aside from pop *cough I’m being positive*, is looking good.  We have a solid server community and I’m starting to see familiar faces in various hunting locales.  I like the guilds I’m seeing and people so far have been respectful and all willing to help.  I actually had a few people thank me when I healed them as I ran by and saw they needed a topping off.

Happy Fun Guyz are in full swing!  Our guild is up to 35 members and we’ve had a lot of fun questing, rvr’ing (we utterly dominated the scenarios we got into), and hanging out.  I’m really loving the community aspect of our guild vs. that of a more regimented group.  We all get along so well and it’s so laid back without any pressures – and I’m in a leadership position saying this.  I’m well on my way towards proving my thesis that players can come together, be just as successful, and have just as much fun as the hardcore guilds without any of the stigmas usually associated with a hardcore style.  We plan to remain focused on all aspects of the game while growing a strong community of members.  If you’re interested in joining our community, we welcome all.  It won’t be long before we take a keep and begin conqueoring dungeons.  This stuff is what keeps me playing so you can definitely expect to hear more about it soon.

I’ll post my thoughts on the coming days and -hopefully- have some better news for you regarding server populations, scenario queues, and rvr.

  • Hopefully some really cool Order guilds will roll on Wolfenberg so that we can experience some good rivalries in the future. The best part of this type of game is seeing familiar faces on the opposition, and then beating them into submission, in a respectful way:)

  • Blizz sent me a beta invitate for WOTLK on the day WAR was released… could it be an accident?

    In the end I went with WoTLK, WAR needs more polish, combat is not fun for me. Animations feel stiff, spell effects underwhelming. People run around with little communications. There is more talk in a single WoW battleground than all scenarios that I played…

  • Sorry to hear you guys aren’t having the most fun possible. You totally need a certain population density for this game to be fun.

    My guild ended up on Skull Throne, as in the busiest server out there. Day 1 was painful, 2.5 hour queues, but now they’re gone, and guess what?! We have scenarios! Even in tier 2!

    I expect the killer queues to be back for SE headstart and release. MJ likes to clamp down to ensure absolutely no one rolls there unless they really really mean it.

  • My interpretation of BG chat in WoW.

    “hurry up and lose so we can get a mark.”
    “You guys must have ebayed your accounts, you all suck.”
    “Do not play defense, we want 10 minute losses, not 30 minute wins”
    “QQ some more, a quick loss = fastest honor.”
    “Report Pwninator AFK.”

    I usually have to disable BG chat when I pug in WoW.

  • Ahhh I’d actually been predicting that by the time launch comes, the early CE servers might actually get overpopulated, or at least suffer from long queues for Destruction.

    Having been on a relatively low pop server during the Open Beta, I can definitely agree that this game needs a good population in order to be fun. Not just for PvP / RvR but for Public Quests as well. It’s by and far still my biggest concern.

  • Now the only problem is that Order is outnumbered in almost every Open World RvR situation. For some reason… a lot of Order are going full PvE… which makes the open world RvR and the realm war impossible for us :(.

  • It does look like Order populations are especially bad on Open RVR servers. On Core servers, it seems like Destro is typically looking at 10-30 minute queues in primetime, which I actually kind of like as it allows me to alternate seamlessly between PVEing and RVRing in a guild group. A little disappointing, but not too bad. Here’s hoping the less fanatical players have more of a skew towards picking the good side. Mythic has said they will feature underpopulated realms for people to roll on with rewards like bonus xp.

  • Hey Keen, Graev… here’s your alt-tab fix: In your settings, set your windowed mode resolution to the same as your full screen resolution. Then turn off “Show Frame” and “Use Fullscreen.”

    What you end up with is a windowed client, but looks full screen since it doesn’t have a frame. This is how I’ve played WoW for years. Since it’s considered a window, there are no problems with alt-tabbing. Works great for me! 🙂

    Way back in the day, you couldn’t get good 3D acceleration if you weren’t full screen. I don’t recall when things changed, but probably around the 6xxx series nVidia cards. Anyway, give it a shot – should work out great for you.

  • I too had issues with alt-tabing, but since I changed the options to not run fullscreen but windowed (without a frame so its still “fullscreen”) I haven’t had a single issue related to alt-tab.

    I do however encounter a occasional CTD, and that really sucks since my guild chose to roll on the busiest server in EU (Karak Eight Peaks) leaving me at 1-2 hours of queue when I CTD to get back in ><

    Imo they should keep your spot on server closed for 5-8 mins after logging out/crashing so you could bypass queue when you crash or switch character. Foremost when you crash, cos queueing for an hour cos the client is unstable for sure aint much fun and feels pretty unfair.

  • I ended up on Skull Throne as well and the RvR population is extremely healthy. Though it seems that its a lot of guild groups on the order side in Tier2.

  • @Nissi
    “Mythic has said they will feature underpopulated realms for people to roll on with rewards like bonus xp.”

    I know they at least suggested the underpopulated realms when I started up the game on Sunday and picked my server. Not sure they have done other things beyond that, though.

    So far my experiences in the game have been great and I’ve really enjoyed it. There are a lot of really good Order guilds on Volkmar server so it should be good competition for the Destruction side of Casualties Guild 🙂

  • Keen, I play a Bright Wizard on Wolfenburg, and my scenario queues are almost instant. Literally, I join a queue, and it pops seconds later. My Destruction characters on Dark Crag must wait a while. Luckily, you can enter a queue anywhere, so I just quest and do other things, then my scenario pops, then I re-enter queue and continue questing again. There’s always something to do.

    There was some great world PvP happening on Dark Crag yesterday. I was overjoyed to see that there were Greenskin and Dwarf camps set right beside each other, separated by a bridge with constantly fighting NPCs. Sometimes, one of us would run out on the bridge and fire something at someone in the opposing camp before hurrying back. We’d also screw with each other’s public quests. It was great. Blizzard clamped down on Tarren Mill/Southshore warfare, while Mythic intended it. Best of all, the lack of Arena means no super-cheese abilities like Shadowstep.

    I’m sure populations across the board will increase dramatically after the 18th.

  • Turn off the ‘full screen’ (?) in the graphics options. I then use Cntl-tab to desktop which works doesn;t seem to cause any issues.

  • I Play on EU servers, being European n’all, and we have the opposite end of the stick at peak time we have an average of a 1-2 hour que to get on; add ctd’s and random que position loss it can be quite frustrating.

    altogether tho im totaly locing the game thus far.

  • for all the old wow players who enjoy , well open world pvp and naxx and the old instanes not to be dissing war but wow is goign to rock for you, its brining back all the good stuff.

  • @Sam

    Yep, there definitely is nothing in place right now to help balance. I can only assume that they will put it in place after we see how the launch works out. Would like to see them feature a server here and there as well to get a big influx of players who want a challenge.

  • You can sort of check server population using Mythic’s web interface, since their character sheets count upwards. Sadly, it looks like Wolfenburg has less than 1000 characters created. I checked this morning and again this afternoon and there wasn’t much change.

    In contrast, the core server Monolith that just went up today, has over 9000 characters created so far.

  • Is this queuing thing a an issue with early start or can we expect to be queuing when it goes live for general public? Or is it just that everyone is rolling on particular servers? Because queuing for 1 hour sounds really Fffed up.

  • stompfoot,

    It has a lot to do with server and faction choice. On some of the larger Core servers, my queues are instant as an Order player, in any of the Tier 1 zones.

  • No queue to get into the game, no queue to join a scenario.

    You can get into a different tier by just zoning into it via the flight master. In any of those zones, the wait time is instant or very short.

  • WHat time do most of u folks play?

    I’m in the EST zone and i work second shift. Not many on my guild of 3 years from daoc on.