More Wild Weather

At 6:19pm EDT yesterday, the datacenter complex in Virginia that is being used to host the World of Warcraft beta test was hit and damaged by a tornado. Because water was leaking into the building in which our servers were located, we shut down the servers as a precautionary measure and flew out a team of our network engineers to the location to survey the area and provide a preliminary assessment.

This morning, we have confirmed that some hardware has taken on water, so we will need to conduct a careful inspection for damage before we can restore power to the servers. This inspection will take 48 hours or longer to complete, so we encourage you to enjoy the rest of your weekend with other activities, as the World of Warcraft beta test will remain offline for at least that long. We will post another update tomorrow afternoon, and we appreciate your continued patience and support.

Stupid People

After the announcement of the WoW servers being shut off due to a tornado related emergency, the official beta forums went crazy. Reactions ranged from “Are you mad? If I had a server farm hosted somewhere, it had better be up 24/7 or I’d see some heads roll.” to “Why aren’t your servers in a bunker underground?” to “A tornado in Irvine, CA? That is where your offices are and I checked the weather and there is no tornado there so you are all liars!”.

OK, read up idiots. This is a beta test. You are not paying for any customer service. You are not paying for anything. They are testing a game and there is no financial loss for them if they shut down for a day. They can do what they want to do. You do not know where the servers are. Perhaps they wanted to send the employees of the server location home to be with their families.

I say shut them down and take care of the important things. Also, you should kick every last person that complained on the forums about it off of the beta. I was disappointed, but I completely understand and support the decision. Carry on.

Curse You Mother Nature

Here I was, ready for a solid evening of playing World of Warcraft. I tried to log in but could not so I checked the website.

“Due to a recent tornado-related emergency, our US servers for the World of Warcraft beta test have been taken offline and will remain offline through the night and into Saturday. Please check back here tomorrow afternoon for a status update. Thanks for your patience and understanding; we are working to restore service as soon as possible.”

Bummer. Well, be safe.

What A Difference A Day Makes

City of Heroes is done. My friend quit, because yet one more group of devs have made drastic unannounced changes to the game, that greatly affect how the game works. People get real tired of putting time into a character, figuring out the most effective (and/or fun) way to play it, only to have the devs break your methods. I’m not saying that is what happened here, but I do know that everyone has a breaking point where they decide they don’t want their money going to these people and they quit.

Since he was the only reason I was playing CoH, I’m done too. It’s the people that make the game fun for me.

So, I logged into World of Warcraft and played that last night. I have been getting burned out, but it appears a lot of it had to do with an evil, ugly place called Westfall. I decided to get the heck out of there and see something new. I managed to get a quest that had me delivering an urgent message to a city called Lakeshire in the Redridge Mountains.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with about 10 quests and an armorer that had a very nice set of armor for me, provided I had enough money. I purchased the armor which pretty much cleaned me out, but it was a big improvement. Almost doubled my armor rating. I also found a new flight path here, so that will make it easier to get around. If you don’t know, there are various creatures you can hire to fly you from one city to another, but you have to actually discover the end points before you can fly there. So you need to travel on foot the first time.

The first two quests are some of my favorite types of quests, needing to recover something from the bottom of the lake. Those are always an adventure, since I’ve pretty much never played an MMORPG that had underwater quests.

Another thing I really like about WoW is that the monsters do not show on the radar, and you get XP just for exploring and discovering new areas. Two simple things that most MMORPGs get wrong.

Anyway, I have a renewed interest in WoW and I’m looking forward to playing it once again. It’s amazing what a change of scenery in the game can do for your level of interest.

I hope I never see Westfall again.

Thunder And Lightning And Rain, Oh My!

Been having some bad storms lately, and we often lose power when the lightning strikes. Therefore I’ve stayed off my computer recently. Not such a bad thing as I’m really not feeling compelled to play games anyway.

World of Warcraft is starting to have an exodus of sorts. Beta players (understand, they are playing for free) have been quitting the game. They seem to all be claiming that the fun has been harder and harder to find as the game develops. Not a good sign, but we all must remember that beta is a time for testing and improving and that may sometimes result in a patch or two that are not fun. But this seems to be a trend of sorts for Blizzard, as I’ve felt the same way. It’s just starting to feel more and more like work.

Personally, I think they are starting to second guess their decision to make this a solo friendly game with pretty fast levelling. Every patch seems to make it harder to solo and harder to level. Part of my problem with this game is that nobody I know is playing it that I can join with, and the people I have run into are rather anti-social. When I have been in groups, most of the time nobody is talking. Really strange. Anyone cool I run into is playing all the time and outlevel me by a wide margin, thus making hunting with them unlikely. Hell, some of them have maxed out 2 or 3 characters while I slowly work my way towards level 20.

Rumor is still about a late Q4 release in 2004, but Blizzard is claiming no official release date. They are pretty well-known for holding a game until they feel it is done, so we’ll see if they push early like everyone else or if they will blaze a new trail. All I know is, this has been one hell of a long beta test.

No really, I mean WoW!

It is official, I’ll be getting my World of Warcraft beta invite in the next few weeks. I hereby proclaim this the “make or break” MMORPG for me. If it is good, I’m in for the long haul. If not, I’m done. At least until someone tries to do something REVOLUTIONARY!

Been going back and forth over deciding to go buy Thief 3. It looks good, but honestly I’ve never played any of the Thief games so I’m not totally drooling here.

Played some more FFXI last night. Changed my Taru’s job from Black Mage to Red Mage. Thus I had to start all over. Oh well, so far it is a fun class. Raised him up to almost level 5 before I had to hit the sack. With WoW beta looming, I suppose that this game will be getting the old CANCEL button too. Meh.

Got a bite yet? WoW!

So I was fishing in FFXI the other day and one of my friends sent me a tell asking me how it was going. I replied that I had not been seeing my skill go up, but fishing has been pretty successful.

He replied back: Fishing will pick up if you login tomorrow at 4:45 pm. The phase of the moon is just right at that time.

OK, I’m all for making games interesting, but I am not about to schedule my real life around an MMORPG clock. When I have some free time, I log in and I fish. That is how it has to be.

In other news, a friend of mine that is in the World of Warcraft beta has sent me word that he *may* be able to get me a beta slot. Now that would be something.

Only problem with beta testing an MMORPG is that testing removes a lot of the magic that you get when you first play. The magic is a big part of what sucks you in. I am a bit torn as to what to do if he gets me a beta account.

I take that back. I’d play, er I mean test. Yes I would. Stay posted.