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.