World of Warcraft: Shadowlands enjoys a relatively smooth launch, sees first level 60

Plus: Alex Afrasiabi has apparently left the studio

    
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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands enjoys a relatively smooth launch, sees first level 60

World of Warcraft may have just experienced one of its smoothest expansion rollouts yet. Yesterday evening, Shadowlands launched simultaneously around the globe, and by many reports, pulled it off rather well. Personally, I did not see a queue or any serious bugs during my first few hours. The phrase “smooth as butter” has been thrown around social media more than once.

That’s not to say that it was a perfect launch, as anyone affected the ongoing login issues and messed-up character select screens will surely know. Blizzard scrambled to get in some hotfixes to address hot-button issues, and we probably can expect to see more coming in the near future. Some adventurers found themselves unable to join a covenant, which also has been fixed. Also, players were passing a warning around not to fall into the Maw, as people ended up getting stuck in the aether for a long time.

And as you might expect, the race to become the world first level 60 is already over. Monkeylool on Al’akir EU got a Monk to 60 before anyone else using dungeons, while speedrunner Polihanna followed that up by being the first player to hit level 60 through questing. Me? I’m hot on their heels at level 51. Taste my leetness and weep with envy.

In other news, it looks as if Alex “Furor” Afrasiabi may have left Blizzard this past summer. Gamers on the MMO Champion forums noticed that his Linkedin appears to show that he left his role as Senior Creative Director this past June. He’d been with the studio working on WoW for 16 years, so it’s not clear why he left and why his departure wasn’t publicized with a farewell note as has been the case with other prominent departing developers.

Source: World of Warcraft, Icy Veins, Wowhead. Thanks, Amanda!

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jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

Day 3 of Shadowlands. Zero technical issues. The best art design I’ve seen in an mmorpg. The stories have been a mess but the sense of humor is back. Many in the guild have hit 60 and report satisfying end game activities. Gear has changed from previous expansions in that if you were a successful raider your gear will practically take you through SL.

Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You MassivelyOP for so many years of great coverage.

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Sorenthaz

I made the mistake of tempting fate by hopping to a ledge near the starting point of Bastion that I then fell off of into a void that has kept my character in a fall loop that disconnects me anytime I try to log into my character. Apparently there is a known issue of folks being stuck unable to reconnect. Hopefully that’s been fixed so I can actually start playing regularly tonight after work.

Honestly kind of looking forward to trying out the Torghast stuff since I really liked the N’zoth Visions content. Putting a roguelike soloable PvE experience in the game was pretty smart, similar to what FFXIV did with PotD/HoH.

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Loopy

I would consider that a feature of the expansion. You can’t really die in the death realm, so you just keep falling in a loop until eternity. Pretty brilliant actually!

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Yrys

Not sure if yours is the same issue, but one of my characters zoned in under Orgrimmar; he kept falling and it would disconnect me. Eventually I logged in a different character, went into Support and selected the stuck character option. It teleported my stuck character to a safe spot and then I could log in again.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah I was able to free myself with the stuck character thing. Teleported me back to Durotar.

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Bannex

Another WoW expansion and another thread full of people shocked that it’s simply more WoW…

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Rndomuser

I wasn’t shocked at all, was just curious to see if it was more boring WoW or if it changed in any way that would be even slightly interesting. And no, nothing changed in any interesting way. Which was not unexpected but still disappointing.

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SmiteDoctor

I went to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries and they gave me a Burger again WTF man!!!

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Utakata

…and in many ways, that’s okay. It’s WoW we’re still playing after all. /shrug

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Dagget Burmese

heh, FFXIV wasn’t the only other MMO to note this expansion: <a href="

Hmm, #Shadowlands eh?
grats on the launch, @Warcraft! j00 did it! <3 pic.twitter.com/wR9iFVDodu

— Anarchy Online (@Anarchy_Online) November 24, 2020

“>

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Rndomuser

I have played it a little yesterday since my sub is not expired yet. The launch was very smooth, I did not have any login issues or queues or lag or any major bugs. That said, the experience was “typical WoW” – same utterly boring type of questing with “go in the area marked on map, kill x number of NPCs which will never provide you a challenge, collect stuff from them or click on glowy objects, maybe click on that large new ability button we gave you, though this part is not really necessary” or “escort that NPC while occasionally being attacked by a group of NPCs which will never provide you any challenge”, same boring cutscenes (luckily most of them can be skipped), same awful story quest writing which feels like it was generated by AI, same boring NPC “heroes” whom I never cared for, same graphical art style which made me to never care about any cosmetic items or the level design in any zone in any expansion. And yes, I know, some people enjoy all of this, there is nothing wrong with doing that, just like there is nothing wrong with having a different opinion and disliking it ;-)

Also, I noticed how little there were people in each new zone when running around. And it was not only number of visible players, the local chat was also pretty quiet in new zones. Maybe it was because of instancing (most likely), maybe many people just did not care for playing on the same day. Regardless of the reason, it didn’t give me a feel of populated and popular MMORPG. At least there were still plenty of people in Goldshire Inn to talk to and who didn’t really care about leveling in new zones ;-)

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Giggilybits

No problems getting into the game but fell asleep playing it. Level 52 and no real upgrades in gear. Gear is very unappealing. Most Dungeons gear virtually all looks the same. Story is tripe. Graphically Bastion looks like a step back (turn down the whites) from some of BFA zones. Lots of people complaining on the forums but one person posted he was in the beta and you have to play a lot more to get to the good stuff. I think its time for some new blood at Blizzard WoW headquarters.

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Fisty

Only problems I had last night was the initial Death Gate and NPC not spawning for me (resolved in mins) and the general lag. It is going fast, but I am trying to take the time to smell the flowers. Quests are a little more interesting to me this go around, the world does feel new right now and the landscapes, especially Bastion, are gorgeous. So, yay. They have me for another month at least.

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Eliandal

Agreed! I had more trouble in the 30 minutes before (in Boralus) than I did for the rest of the evening! I was quite impressed with the whole thing (well, at least up to the impressive 51 that I am now) especially the cutscenes. What I’ve seen so far is gorgeous!

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Ironwu

The launch was smooth. In looking at the reason why, I think the answer is apparent.

In the capitol cities, it looks like the immediate area around the initial quest giver was phased and layered. In addition, no matter who else was there, you saw the quest giver give the same walk and talk, and no one else was seeing it as you saw it. Far better than what happened with the event quest giver.

As for the first couple of hours in the run up to the home city in Shadowlands. Well, that was obviously phased and layered, heavily. In spite of being there at the very start, I saw no more than three or four other players playing through the quests.

Once in the main city, the player count went up, but not anywhere near what one would expect. Same with the Bastion area. Populated, but nowhere near what one would expect.

So yes, much smoother and more playable. But almost not even an MMO experience. I think they may have swung to far in the opposite direction on the population density.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

I agree that the launch experience did not feel like an mmorpg in any way. I grouped with a guild mate to complete the initial zone and it was tedious at best. That said, I will take that over staring at a login screen for 4 hours.

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Sarah Cushaway

BTW, people are already complaining of gating and being bored.
Within a month, subs are going to drop big time, just like they did with WOD and BFA.

Jokerchyld
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Jokerchyld

You will never satisfy a content locust. They rush through the content then complain there is nothing to do. Go play something else, wait, or don’t rush. Just don’t complain

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Soy

Wow! So abrasive. And so right.

There will always be someone doing the waa waaa waaaa all the way home no matter what a game has to offer.

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Sorenthaz

It boggles my mind how folks never learn this after being used to this form of content delivery for over ten years now. The only way they can slow it down is to make it deliberately slow like in TBC where it took most normal players a few weeks to hit 70 and then put in a deliberately tedious attunement process for certain raids.

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Sorenthaz

That’s how it goes. Folks rush to level cap within a day/week and then complain when there’s nothing to do while they wait for the repeatable endgame content to come out a few weeks later.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

I’m in a very active guild full of players that offer constructive criticism of the game while working together to defeat bosses and simply have fun. Let me know if you’re interested in joining us :)

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Matthäus Wey

Leveling is brutally fast (lvl 55 and just finished bastion), but so far it is great fun. Bastion also looks really good and refreshing. I am curious what comes next!