HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

It’s Just a Phase

An opportunity to start yet another new character that I'll never play again?

An opportunity to start yet another new character that I'll never play again? Ps the Oceanic server option has disappeared entirely - they're all Offline.

I think I’m going through a why-am-I-playing-this-game-again? phase.

Raid nights, especially on Wednesdays after Tuesday evening maintenace, have been write offs for several weeks. Last Wednesday we gave up after wiping on Lady Deathwhisper – we hit the enrage though. The healers were seriously upset “I swear, I’m just spamming my heals, they should have come through…”, the DPS were pissed “I can’t exactly interupt with this shitty lag” and the casters were upset “WTB autoattack”.

Personally, I spent a good 2 minutes of the fight staring at Cassandri’s back wondering if she was still casting without raising her hands in the air (as she normally does) and if I would make matters worse by mashing my Mind Flay button too frequently.

This week I couldn’t really play on Wednesday at all. I mean, I could log in, and look at a loading screen for 10 minutes to kill a few mobs only to realise soon afterwards that I really wanted to swap to my bank alt or my Shaman and do my daily Inscription research… which meant another 10 minute loading screen wait. I just logged off.

On Thursday night I somehow missed my 10 man Icecrown Citadel raid. It was scheduled to start right after our 25 man raid ended, but the guy who organises it had been disconnected from the game for 20 minutes and I didn’t think he’d be able to get back in. He was the 4th raider of the night that wasn’t able to keep raiding because they kept dropping out. We ended raid early.

It was probably a good thing I didn’t start that 10 man because they didn’t get far – an hour later the servers were coming down indefinitely for emergency maintenance.

Last night Lathere and I were kicked off the server when additional maintenance was scheduled for Friday evening.

Tonight I got home and decided to log in and while away an hour or so figuring out how to earn Thorium Brotherhood reputation (my next project) while my roommates watch a movie. Servers are down. And down for the next seven or so hours.

I’m somewhat relieved that servers are down. I mean, I didn’t have an definite plans to achieve something in game tonight. I don’t really know why I log in sometimes. Mostly because I think World of Warcraft is more enjoyable than watching TV. I guess I’d prefer to be standing around in Dalaran with nothing to do than flipping TV channels wondering why nothing good is ever on.

I just feel that I’ve spent too many raid nights in the last month thoroughly frustrated by the actual in-game play experience. People often say that Heroic mode encounters just include ridiculously annoying extra dont-stand-in-that gimmicks to constitute a challenge. Well lag isn’t a challenge in any way shape or form.

I’d hate to think how often I’ve been so thoroughly frustrated that my character isn’t doing what I tell her to do, when I tell her to do it.

I caught myself thinking last week “this isn’t the same game I signed up for”. They push out new content faster and faster and as raiders we’re meant to stay right on the brink. They keep us there, slowly handing out a set amount of tier tokens per raid week, until we’ve all collected our full set before releasing the next Patch.

But it’s not just Patch day anymore. It’s every Tuesday. Even when nothing has been announced, no major changes that we know about should be implemented, Blizzard are constantly updating and preparing the game for the next big thing.

I’m sure it’s a fine line. And software developers (or anyone who’s ever noticed that Google Mail is perpetually in Beta) often say that it is. You can put out smaller and more frequent software updates – with little time to test thoroughly, or you can wait longer and potentially lose your audience in the meantime while your software stagnates.

Well I would argue that this is crossing that line into “too often”. Does nobody else notice that, regardless of how long ago the last Patch was released, Wednesdays after maintenance are shaky? World of Warcraft is nearly 5 years old now, right? Perhaps it’s getting just too old for this kind of shit?

I know that Warlocks were OP for way too long in Burning Crusade, but really, I can live with one class being OP (or totally crap – yes, even if it’s my own class) for an entire Patch cycle or longer. I can survive if some of the quests don’t work. I won’t complain if the download on Patch day is huge. You can leave the constructs exactly as they are in the Lich King’s room, too.

Just please, please, please give us a stable server game environment in the meantime? A few weeks without modifying the game data on Tuesdays? Because for me it’s sucking all the fun out of the holiday events and raid instances, no matter how impressive they might be otherwise.

10 Responses to “It’s Just a Phase”

  1. ArgonNo Gravatar says

    They are taking servers down all the time because they are trying to fix the lag. Hopefully it will help!

  2. AneaNo Gravatar says

    Luckily, I have never had lag on such as scale as you have to deal with (and for so long!)

    I can easily see how that would suck all the fun right out of the game :( Hopefully things will start getting better soon, so you can enjoy your gaming time again!
    .-= Anea’s last blog … Secret Lovin’ =-.

  3. JokeyRhymeNo Gravatar says

    Blizzard certainly have a funny definition of “maintenance”. I often wonder how a company with this many subscribers couldn’t have a decent way of simulating how their servers will perform under load. It seems they just do whatever it is they do and then turn them on, oblivious to the fact that the servers have actually regressed. Very strange.

    Another thing that bugs me is the way Blizzard lump multiple big changes into great big patches, I think this increases everyone’s burden unnecessarily. Remember patch 2.3 which got held back for weeks (months even?) because the in-game Voice Chat feature still needed work? That’s just unnecessary. I don’t use that feature still. UI changes, class changes, and new content are 3 things that they should work on releasing separately instead of lumped together.

    There’s a big patch coming that will simultaneously change all the items in the game and change our talent trees and abilities. I’m willing to bet that even though it has nothing to do with it, these changes will be held back until Battle.net 2.0 is ready. Why? Because they aren’t related and Blizzard loves pulling that sort of crap.

    I’ve heard rumours that they are preparing physically-proximal Oceanic servers for Cataclysm. If that’s the case (and it’s a big “if”) then we just need to hang in there.

    That said, I’m in a bit of a similar mood. I just installed BioShock 1 & 2 and I skipped a few days of holiday boss farming without feeling like I missed out on good WoW time.
    .-= JokeyRhyme’s last blog … Killing Machine: It Slices, It Dices =-.

  4. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    OMG just the thought that there might be Oceanic servers somewhere in the southern hemisphere (located in Asia, Australia, Fiji – I seriously don’t care) is somewhat of a relief.

    I guess I don’t associate this week’s maintenance with fixing whatever is wrong with Barthilas – because it’s been in trouble for some time.

    Better spam that Report Lag button more often, I suppose.

  5. KelNo Gravatar says

    I agree about Blizzard pushing patches out too fast. I have yet to set foot in ICC, other than a few rep runs, while guilds are already taking shots at the Lich King. Maybe I heard wrong, but I -thought- there was suposed to be about a month in between the new raids. It seems like more like 1-2 weeks. Then people complain about the next part being too hard, when they have only cleared the previous part once or twice. There is no way any guild can get all the gear they need from a raid in a couple weeks. Personally, I would rather wait longer between patches, and have the time to experience the current content at my own pace, than feel rushed into things that I am just not ready for.
    As far as the lag issues, I’m just very grateful I have characters on multiple servers. For example, I got so sick of the lag on Feathermoon that I switched over to Gilneas, and discovered there was almost no lag there at all. /Score

  6. ShontaineNo Gravatar says

    In any other business, in any other walk of life, this buying experience (and we are buying game time) would ensure that customers walk away in their droves!

    Blizzard, however, have always always operated on the assumption that we have no option. Fair enough, but it’s a dangerous game they are playing.

    Get it sorted Blizzard! Your popularity score is in single figures…..

  7. KenelmNo Gravatar says

    Lag has been pretty rough for my guild on Silvermoon. We were already having attendance issues, but lag completely killed our raiding for a few weeks. We raid on Tuesdays, so are used to that night having problems after “maintenance,” but lately it’s been every single night of the week at peak hours. Sunday it seemed like things were finally fixed….I guess we’ll find out tonight!

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Tonight is the first raid night after another Tuesday maintenance and last week of non-stop maintenance. God I hope you’re right and it’s all fixed!

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