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Copper Ice, Blogger, Nerd
WoW Wrath of the Lich King launch

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Launch

Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of World of Warcraft, have come under a lot of scrutiny over the years, usually quite rightly so. I myself have written about how disappointed I was during the 2018 Blizzcon announcements and how heartbroken I was when I learned there were accusations of rife sexual harassment and discrimination within their organisation. On this occasion however, I want to share my experience of the launch of Wrath of the Lich king for classic World of Warcraft, and give some praise.

As I write this it has been 24 hours since the launch and I have to say it went incredibly well. The launch was scheduled at 00:00 server time, which is 23:00 in the UK (GMT+1) on the 27th September. Before that however Stormwind City (and I presume Orgrimmar for the horde) came under attack from the Lich King’s scourge, creating a unique and exciting atmosphere which is unlikely to happen again. In the lead up to launch I noticed no latency and as far as I could tell there was no queue to enter the Mirage Raceway realm (server) which is ‘full’. Less than 2 hours before launch, King Varian Wrynn yelled ‘Take your flying fortresses back to Northrend, before I crush them with my bare hands!‘ to which the Herald of the Lich King replied ‘ARGH! THIS SMALL VICTORY WILL AVAIL YOU NOTHING! COME! COME TO NORTHREND. MY MINIONS ARE WAITING, AND THEY ARE HUNGRY…

People began to gather at Stormwind Harbour to catch the first ship to Valiance Keep in Borean Tundra, Northrend while others, including my pre arranged guild party consisting of Pallydude, Kyra, Tsun, Lineofsight and myself decided to wait at Menethil Harbour for the first ship to Valgarde in Howling Fjord, Northrend. If you look closely at the below screenshot you can see Pallydude contribute to a line of paladins waiting.

Menethil Harbour WotLK launch

At this time there was some latency, but it wasn’t bad and I found the game playable. The ship arrived a few minutes early and everyone embarked on their adventure to Northrend.

WoW Menethil Habour Ship Embarkation

To be honest, I fully expected there to be a problem. I thought that the game might crash or that we would find ourselves stuck on a loading screen but, to my surprise, everything went very smoothly. The loading screen was brief and we arrived in Howling Fjord with minimal latency and started to play immediately. I later found out that the ship from Stormwind Harbour to Borean Tundra wasn’t so successful and the passengers were teleported back to Stormwind, however, within minutes there was an in-game announcement that players could speak to the harbour master and teleport to Borean Tundra instead, indicating that Blizzard Entertainment was watching and prepared.

So far I have only reached level 72 but have ended the day about three quarters of the way to level 73. Some of my fellow guild members have reached level 75/76 but a few people have already managed to reach level 80. It’s not how I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, but all credit to those able to rush through the levels. I should mention a player with a warrior called ‘Unlikely’ was the first to reach level 80 on the Mirage Raceway realm at around 13:25 server time. Congratulations to them.

To anyone reading this who is interested in playing Classic World of Warcraft, perhaps for the first time, this really is an excellent time to start. Wrath of the Lich King is perhaps the most iconic and successful era of World of Warcraft.

Well done Blizzard Entertainment for getting the launch of Wrath of the Lich King classic right. True, the game earns the business a fortune on a monthly basis and true this is the second time you have done it. But it shows the company on this occasion was prepared to invest resources at the cost of some of the profits and it has learnt lessons from past failures. A step in the right direction.

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