Wrath 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.