The Queue: Ask A Beta Tester
I was up late last night doing my weekly Wednesday stream, so let’s cut the formalities. Get me some coffee and some questions, and we’ll get this party started.
How did the WoW Classic stress test go?
For the answer to this question, we’ll turn to the official Blizzard Watch Twitch. I stream every Wednesday night starting at 9 p.m. CST, and last night the plan was to round up a few of the Blizzard Watch crew and do something wacky in the stress test, like run to Booty Bay or go raid Hogger.
In addition to all the mess in that clip, you may notice that while Cory and Liz are on voice chat with me, neither are in game with me. Liz never made it past the character creation screen. Cory and I both made it in, but we were in different layers after we grouped up. Even throwing ourselves into the great unknown on the zeppelin to try to force an instance change didn’t work, and Cory heroically logged out to try and sync us up — never to return.
In other words, a successful stress test was had by all.
In particular, I made sure to leave detailed feedback on the issue Cory and I were having with syncing up the layers. That’s new tech and the issue we were having, while annoying to our pre-scheduled shenanigans, would make grouping with guildmates or people on your friends’ list to complete quests impossible — a really bad issue for a sense of community.
So what I’m trying to say here is, you’re welcome.
What rage level will I reach while in the stress test what with dying and not being able to multi-tap nodes or mobs?
The thing is, this is a part of the whole ‘community’ aspect people were excited for in WoW Classic. If you and somebody else are in the same area, why not go ahead and kill stuff together for a while? The way quests go, you’ll be in that area through three or four different iterations of the same quest — kill kobolds, then go back to kill kobold warriors, then go back to kill kobold scouts — so you might as well group up with someone else in the early stages and knock it out.
The real issues start to arise with rare mobs and named ones. In Battle for Azeroth if you run up at the last second you can still get a tap but in Classic, you will absolutely never be that lucky.
Oh, and don’t forget, if you’re killing your way toward spawned quest items in the world, somebody else is absolutely going to roll in and swipe them out from under you while you’re engaged, after which the item will despawn. Unless you’re on a PVP server, in which case they’ll kill you while you’re at half health after killing the mob, then steal the quest item.
Q4tQ: Are you planning to “take off” the day Classic releases?
I mean, my job is this, so no.
I will say that, depending on the strength of your existing guild and your goals, you may want to just wait out that weekend and start playing September 3rd. Traditionally when expansions release, there’s generally a first wave of levelers who know what they’re doing, and are trying to blast through as quickly as possible. After that wave there’s a huge bump of people who aren’t quite that hardcore but are still pretty hardcore, then another of mostly casual weekenders. The latter two largely overlap, and the end result as a solo player is, you won’t be able to get very much accomplished until Monday morning. By then the first two waves will be deep into the Stranglethorn Vale level range and the third will be at work so you’ll likely get the first handful of zones all to your lonesome.
The wrinkle here is that new layering tech. It’s likely you’ll be fine and zones won’t be too terribly crowded because of it. Nevertheless, personally I’m waiting until the first week of September to even try to get past the login boss. I’m not going to be hardcore and I don’t have a guild to hang out in instances when the going gets tough, so there’s no point to fighting the crush of humanity.
I have a ton of games to play through in my Steam library before the Summer Sale even starts, so I have plenty to do. Heck, I just started playing The Long Dark, which I got two Summer Sales ago.
Q4tQ: I’m already sketching out some ideas I have for Mario Maker 2 levels and it gave me an idea. Do you think it would brilliant or a disaster if next expansion one of the features was WoW: Dungeon Maker?
I thought for a really long time that this would be a super cool feature for a number of reasons. The community always comes up with fun ways to use edge case mechanics, even in existing content. Meanwhile, a dungeon builder would also be a great way to — at long last! — build yourself a unique little customized corner of the world.
However… you saw what people were drawing during the powder keg quest in the Warlords of Draenor opener, right? It’s one thing to have a short little quest where you can write “butts” in cursive but it’s another to give people access to builder tools, to make it look as though the dev team itself wrote “butts” in cursive. Most people would use this for giggles, but others would use it for an easy clickbait YouTube thumbnail.
With a construction tool like this I’d be concerned that the team would come down on the side of trying to squelch that immature instinct that lives inside all of us. A dungeon builder for WoW would probably be less like a full Minecraft-esque building sandbox and more like the Garrison, where you have a set number of pre-determined bosses you can pop into a set number of places in a pre-determined layout.
Especially with Overwatch rolling out the Workshop, it seems more possible than ever that we’ll get some kind of pared down shareable dev tools in the future, but I’m pretty sure this is a monkey’s paw wish waiting to happen.
Q4TQ: What character from another Blizzard IP would you like to see introduced in WoW? Even (especially) if it doesn’t make any sense from a lore point of view.
Tracer. She’s basically a Bronze dragon already, and has the Gilnean accent down pat.
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