Well after playing this game now for about a month and half and getting a character up to level 54 I figured I would do a update on the game and let people know how the game is doing.
Like in the original Review of this game that I did I still think its a great game, however I have seen a few things with the game that no doubt future paying customers would want to know before they bought the game and decided to pay monthly for it.
When I first started playing WOW as I will refer to it from now on, myself and some friends all started on what they call a low population server. The reason we created characters on a low population server was we didn’t want the lag that comes with the high population servers. So for the first few weeks of game play the game ran pretty smooth on the low population server. There was lag from time to time in the big cities but it wasn’t that bad.
So you can then imagine my surprise when one day I was playing and the lag was unreal I asked a buddy of mine what was going on and he said they were doing transfers from a high population realm and taking them people and putting them onto our low population server. This pissed me off to no end because you could already see the lag situation getting worse by the minute. The more people they jammed onto our server the slower things got when in the big cities. If that wasn’t bad enough a few days after the first transfer of people to our server they did it again and transferred even more people to it.
So what do you get after all these transfers of new players to your server? Well you get 2 things first you get lag that for the most part will make people either never want to go into the big cities or the lag will piss people off so much they just cancel their accounts and say screw the game all together. The second problem all the new users to the server causes is now you may have to sit in line to even get into your server to play. There are loads of people screaming about having to sit in line and wait for up to 30 minutes to even play the game.
Personally I haven’t had to sit in a line as of yet however friends of mine have had to wait in line before they could get logged into our server we play on. Another side affect all these new players to our server caused is sometimes even if you can log in your sitting at the character select screen for 30 minutes before the game lets you in to play and this again is do to the servers being bogged down by all these people.
The lessons I have learned from this is that Blizzard simply don’t care if your game is laggy or not and to them a low population server means that it needs to be a high population server so they can earn some more money off new customers despite the fact they are pissing their current customers off. I think what kills me the most though is no one from Blizzard must play the game because I don’t see for 2 seconds how they could go into some of the realms/servers and not see the massive amounts of lag that turn the game into a slide show.
There is a silver lining to all this though and that comes in the form that Blizzard may have heard some of its users complaints and is now according to a thread on its forums going to address these problems. The problems they have will take months and months to fix so for the time being and for the next few months people will have to live with the laggy servers and sitting in lines to play a game that you not only bought but are also paying monthly for.
I think the whole sitting in line to play a game that I’m paying for is unacceptable and the day I have to sit in line all the time to play is the day I cancel my account and move onto another game.
Besides the lines and the lag issues with the game I have encountered several other things that affect the game to a degree. The PVP arenas and the wait time to get into a match is also a huge pain in the ass even after the 1.9 patch where they put a fix in for the waiting I found my self still waiting a lot of the time hours on end to get into a match. A friend of mine after the 1.9 patch waited 7 hours to get in.
I think the problem with the PVP matches underlines the problem with this game to begin with and that is that the game is split into realms/servers and this means the player base is also split because of this. As I said in my original Review of this game I think they need to make the game one world such as the way EVE online is and scrap this idea of the multiple realms/servers. The way the game is now I seem to always be waiting for a PVP match so much so I haven’t even bothered with trying to get one lately.
Another area where you wait and do nothing is when your looking for a group to do a instance, I can’t even tell you how many hours I have waisted doing that because you can never get a decent group. Right now the game has instances where you need 5 10 15 20 and 40 players to complete a single instance. These multi-man instances are fine if your in a good guild/clan but if your a just a single player and don’t want to be in a clan then your forced to group with strangers to TRY and work as a team and do note this often times leads to failed missions where you have to start over and find a new group of people witch again requires loads of time sitting around doing nothing waiting to build another group.
A way to solve the whole instance and group issue is to make single man instances where you don’t need a group. And make the the instance worth doing as in the monsters drop some good blue or purple items maybe even some orange items as well every now and again. I’m not saying make the single man instance easy either but they should be doable by a single person. Make some of the instances specific to the class you are. I for example am a Hunter in game so give me a instance where I can go in and the prise would be a epic bow if you complete the instance, or maybe a pet you could tame that exists no where else in the game. Regardless of all this I do believe that this is something Blizzard has to look into because the guys who don’t want to be in a guild or even the guys who don’t like waiting for groups need some instances they can do alone and not have to wait for people.
One other issue that needs looking into is the arena PVP system and the way it works. When you first look at the PVP system for wow you see that when you do a arena other players will always be within 10 levels of yourself. This is a good thing because it means a level 1 character will never be doing PVP with a level 60 so that keeps things pretty even. Where Blizzard dropped the ball on this is with gear that can be acquired from places like molten core. So what you end up with in a PVP arena battle is you got two guys with the same character level and lets say even the same skill level however the one guy has standard blue gear on and the other guy has on elite purple gear and weapons from a place like molten core can you guess who wins? The guy with the stuff from molten core will slaughter the other guy plain and simple. So despite the fact Blizzard tried to make the combat even in a way, they left that one glaring thing out.
The whole issue of equipment from places like molten core needs to be addressed. If Blizzard is truly interested in making the arena PVP fair then they need to start banning this uber gear in the arenas so people are on a more even playing field.
The only other thing I want to comment on is a while back I was reading a forum post from a developer at Blizzard saying they didn’t want the users for WOW to feel like they had to work to gain levels in the game. When I read that I burst out laughing wondering what the guy had been smoking because one thing this game is , is WORK. No matter how you try to sugar coat the quest system in the game or even the level cap of 60 you still have to work like mad if you want to get to 60 quickly so you can attain the uber gear to smoke people in PVP. For instance for me to go to level 55 that will take me around 14 hours and thats a single level. There is a reason why they call leveling grinding its because it is work plain and simple.
In conclusion I will get my character in game up to level 60 and hopefully get to see some of the bigger instances like molten core and get a chance to get some of the uber gear thats there. As for the long term I’m not sure how long I will be playing the game for. Every time I look at the different things you can do in the game it seems to involve some sort of grinding where your killing monsters till you go crazy. I still think its a good game even if it does have some problems and I’m hoping Blizzard gets this stuff fixed and soon.