Preparation for Wrath – are Blizzard prepared?

illidanandarthasWrath hits the stores at midnight tonight (well those that aren’t 7-11s) – I wonder if Blizzard top brass are having a bit of a Cinderella complex right now, worried that they will find themselves in rags next to a pumpkin rather than a beautiful golden coach.  On recent evidence they do not seem very prepared:

 

  • The Beta had a lot of stability problems right up until close, in fact I didn’t play on it half as much as I expected I would, because of all of the downtime.
  • A lot of known bugs (hunter pets cower for instance) have not been fixed.
  • Some talents have not been fully implemented and are coming in later patches.
  • When BRK tried to get several hundred people together in one place for running of the bulls in memory of Ezra, Blizzard told him to disperse as the servers couldn’t handle it.  Sure enough the servers died.  Aren’t several hundred people going to get together in one place in the starting areas for Wrath? Hmmm…
  • Last minute maintenance and hotfixes seems to be throwing up some major problems; problems Blizzard are not able to fix quickly.  All this downtime is not good for business.  Most people realize maintaining a complex game the size of WOW is not simple, but they get frustrated, especially when they only have certainly times to play and the server is down during those times.  
  • Communication with the player community is still a work in progress with Blizzard.  It really annoys me when we get announcements of anticipated 3hour downtime.  Then after 3 hours, announcements that there will be a news update within 2 hours, followed by silence for more than 2 hours.  Talk to people Blizzard.  People are a lot more understanding if you tell them what is going on, and if you stick to published times for communication updates.

 

Lets hope this is not a shadow of doom, and that Wrath gets off without too many hitches.  But I foresee a lot of downtime, poor communication, and frustration over the coming weeks /sigh.

 

Blizzard, you are not prepared.

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5 responses to “Preparation for Wrath – are Blizzard prepared?

  1. /sigh

    I only hope this is not foreshadowing the things to come…

  2. They need to edit the cinematic video from BC to say “we are not prepared”. lol, we’ll see how well it comes tonight I guess.

  3. Looking at it a different way … You have to give Blizzard credit for maintaining an online game of such complexity and with sufficient stability that they’ve managed to grow the massive user base they have. (If downtime like this was the norm, we wouldn’t be playing this game). The downside of this for Blizzard is that it leads to very high expectations of online availability. I too get very frustrated when my planned game time is interrupted by a server problem. But when it does, I try (and usually fail) to look on the bright side that my annoyance at the downtime is based on the fact the the game usually is available when I need it. (And it says something about my WoW/RL balance that I usually end up researching gear I’d like to have on wowhead while I’m waiting for the server to come back up :-s).

    🙂 And now I’m comforting myself (as I sit in a hotel room in Bangalore) that maybe its a good job I’m travelling abroad for the first week of the WOTLK release. Perhaps I’ll hit the starting areas just as everyone else is leaving them, and after Blizzard have fixed any startup issues :-).

  4. I had no problems with getting to Northrend or creating a DK last night after the install (roughly 1-2am EST. Of course since our server is a PST and I live in EST it might have been the reason, but there were still no problems doing either. My only complaint was the boat ride… It was unnecessarily LONG! I was feeling the hype of finally questing again with Neokia, only to have to wait 30 minutes for the boat to arrive in Howling Fjord. Overall the experience was nice (except for all the money dropped on getting professions up). My experience at the place where I picked up my copy is another story.

  5. I haven’t even gone out and bought The Wrath of the Lich King yet.