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World of (Snore)craft

Some weeks ago I finally cancelled my subscription to Star Wars Galaxies, a massively multiplayer online game whose ambition and depth was no match for poor customer service, quality assurance, and production management. It was my first entry into the massively multiplayer genre. I'm now more fascinated by the concept of online persistent worlds and multiplayer gameplay than I have time to pursue it.

With SWG out of the picture, I'm left playing City of Heroes, a much less complicated superhero MMO -- perfect for people with limited free time, although much less intellectually engaging.

By far the most popular MMO is World of Warcraft by Blizzard, with hundreds of thousands more players than its nearest competitor. I've always been mildly curious about the game, and with the family away this weekend I finally have time to try out the 10-day free trial of the game at fileplanet.com. So, in between fits of housecleaning, I'm downloading and installing the game.

I started a long time ago ago. It took 45 minutes for me to reach a place in the queue to download the file in the first place -- a 2.8 gig file -- and another 30 minutes(?) for the installer to run, and now another 30 minutes for the game to shut itself down, download a patch, install the patch to update the game, restart, shut itself down, download a new patch....

For a free download, I feel like I'm paying with an awful lot of time to sample a game to which I'm not going to subscribe. No matter whether World of Warcraft has a million subscribers, it's technical obstacles like that which make online gaming such a fringe experience.

Edited to add: Finally got the game to finish loading and logged in. Chose a server to start playing. "(Server Name) is full. Position in queue: 46. Estimated time: 17 min." Why would anyone pay a monthly fee to wait in a line?


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I hope once you're over the technical hurdles, you'll get to enjoy the game :)

Regarding the queue: Cancel that character, start one on a server that isn't so overpopulated :) - have a look at the realm status list and choose one with "low" or "medium" population...


Come on Lightings Blade around 6pm on(germany time). Look for Datura. I'll walk you around.

I went through the same process. I started a character on a "new" server, and have had to wait in a fairly long queue almost every time I've tried to sign on since. At the way this is going, I'll barely be able to hit lvl 10 by the end of the 10 day trial, let alone 20 so I can actually explore one character. I don't want to work on a character for a few hours one night, just to find I have to cancel it and start over somewhere else because the server gets popular. Granted, I don't have a way to fix it for them offhand, but I still don't like it.

I wouldn't be so bad if the queue was somewhat accurate. But, for the past hour I've been in a queue for Aerie Peak. Sometimes it tells me I have 3 minutes to wait, sometimes 200+. My place in the queue varies between 60 and 250. The worst part is it keeps going up and down, and there is no semblance of any real possible prediction. Honestly, if I knew I'd be waiting over three hours, yeah, I'd probably find a new server. But if it was only going to be 30 minutes, I could find something else to do for a bit. Anyway, my rant is done. Hope you enjoy the game, when you can play :)

The queue goes away when you subscribe to a full account, it is only there so that trial account members don't overpopulate the servers for the paying subscribers.

As for the installation time, that seems normal considering you can download the entire game without having to buy any discs. Games like these are continually updated for new content to be added, which is why it took so long. You're actually complaining because Blizzard added so many new things to the game since it was released, which is what all the downloads are for. After the initial install, the game starts insanely quickly if you have a regular account.