Server stability hinders WoW’s 4.1 enjoyment

The ‘new’ ZG and ZA 5-man Heroics in WoW came out yesterday and brought with them a server stability issue.  I’ve thrown my hands up in the air, quite literally, several times as a boss is 2% from being dead and the entire server population is given a disconnect message and forced to log back in.  I was hoping that the issue would be isolated to patch day itself, but today it happened twice in a row.

ZG and ZA are both difficult compared to the normal heroics but that’s expected given the better loot.  I’ve only been able to do a few of the bosses because of the server stability and awful groups with people who do not speak the same language or can’t understand that standing in poison is bad…  but the bosses I have done are all different from the dungeon’s original bosses’ mechanics.  So far nothing has been overly-complex.  A few very rigid mechanics that will kill you if you ignore them, such as a maze of poison lines on the ground, and a few very basic checks for people being awake make these more enjoyable than the 10-man raid content.  It will be a lot easier and way more accurate to form an opinion of these two dungeons after the server problems and once people get a feel for them, that way they don’t take 2+ hours to complete.

The 4.1 patch additions are great.  DPS queues are faster than ever, perhaps due to the rewards tanks and healers are getting for queuing when their numbers are down.  The interface tweaks are nice, such as target location on the radar and the character sheet functionality.  Good stuff overall.

  • Aye, it was quite terrible yesterday. We had to cancel our raid, we had mass disconnections in the middle of fights.

  • I haven’t heard about anything about instance server dc’s. An issue cropped up Tuesday with H Omnitron that caused us not to be able to actually get past the first Golem but that was fixed on Wednesday and then there was an issue CREATING an instance id for H BoT that caused a lot of dc’s upon zoning (read waiting 10 minutes at the load screen and then a dc).

    As far as the 5 mans go, I’ve heard everything you’ve said reiterated by my guildies that have nothing better to do than run them on their 8 85s. Terrible players coming out of the wood works, tanks with barely over 100k HP, new mechanics that no one really bothered to learn about. Although we have started “bear” runs fairly successfully.

    I’ve heard (and seen on my alt DPS and healer) that while the queue times for ALL heroic dungeons are extremely quick, they will most likely drop back to normal times as the luster of ZG/ZA wears off. However if you have a tank, you should still be able to get a commendation bag at any time after the queue times start to lengthen.

    The new title menu is so much better than the old one, especially if you managed to get a bunch of the titles from the LK expac.

  • My question to Keen is would you rather deal with the disc of have a queue to log on?

  • Is a 2hr+ 5 man run considered too long in WoW? Is that what people are pointing to when they say the Cata instances are too long?

  • @Epiny: Good question. I guess it depends on how long a queue and whether or not the disconnects happened right before bosses died.

    Overall, I would take disconnects.

    @SyncCaine: Yeah, 2.5 hours is too long for a single instance run that can not be broken up over different play sessions. If it were with friends and you could cut it in half and come back later then it’s fine. Doing it in a PUG over the random group server finder for that long sucks. I did a ZG on patch day where my entire group cycled twice — I was the only original person out of two entire group swaps because people kept leaving.

  • @Keen
    I’m really glad you said that. When ever a MMO comes out with log in queues you always say you prefer to get in and just let the game lag. I’m glad to see consistency. 🙂

    That’s a huge reason WHY I stopped playing WoW. WoW has some of the best 5 man content of any MMO I’ve ever played. I have always loved running dungeons in it. The problem is that running a Heroic on my Druid Tank took so long I was exhausted by the time it was complete. I didn’t want to run another one. If the group failed 1/2 way through or later I often didn’t have the time or energy to do another one. Most of the dungeons in Cata could be cut in half.

  • Dungeon length should be determined by the quality of items you get from them. If a dungeon drops epics, then it should take a while. That should be the cost for getting free epics. Because, let’s face it. Heroics are only hard the first time you do it. Then you should have it down. Then it just becomes “Well, I have to farm this x times to get purples”. So time should be a cost you have to pay. Because it damn sure isn’t paid in difficulty anymore.

  • I was just asking because original 5 man content in WoW took 2hrs or more back in 2004 (how I miss you LBRS), and raiding was a nightly 3-5 hour-fest.

    I don’t PUG, so to me a 2hr run is 2hrs of fun with my guild (I think our longest run in Rift was about 4hrs, but that was massively under-geared and learning every boss without youtube. Good times), but I could see how in a game like WoW you would want to collect your shiny and move on in 30 minutes or so.

  • WoW has changed. It’s about casual gaming now… or atleast that is what Wrath fostered. Cata is like a step back toward the Vanilla style of time sink. The problem is the playerbase isn’t the same that it was all those years ago. The current players, not all but a good portion, don’t want Vanilla WoW, they want Wrath WoW.

    I want a MMO like EQ. However I do not want WoW to be that MMO. I want WoW to be the best casual friendly MMO on the market. I think they need to reduce the lenght of Heroics to achieve this.

  • It’s all different with friends. I enjoyed Scholomance back in 2005 when I did it with friends. It took easily 2 hours, though. I hated the very same dungeon with random people.

    It’s the same today. ICC with my guild in WotLK was great. It took 2-3 hours a night, but it went fast. ICC in a pug was a horrendous experience.

    All heroic dungeons are the same way. Luckily, ZG/ZA will be easier once people understand them. They’ll still be long (and give better loot than other heroics) but take probably 1/2 the time they do while ‘new’.

  • Was getting all sorts of crappy disconnects yesterday till someone told me to turn off a setting in the options (options > network > optimize netowrk for speed OFF) and we didn’t have a single disconnect the entire night after

  • From across the lake. (In Europe.) I have not yet have any disc issues. I know some report of some, but I have yet to see em myself.

    Funny you mention the target on the radar “improvement” I find it quiet disturbing to me there. I keep think its a node. Fulltime miner on most of my toons… 🙂

    Do you happend to know a way to turn it off ?
    I have yet to find in the options menu anywhere.

  • @Epiny “I want a MMO like EQ”

    Me too. Four hours working our way up Tower of Frozen Shadows only to wipe on VhalSera. Then another two hours attempting and failing to get our corpses, followed by another hour bringing in necros to Summon Corpse. Wrap at 5 am with the sun coming up and three hours sleep before work.

    That’s a dungeon.