3.1 Initial Impressions or How I Learned to Love the Crash

3.1 Initial Impressions or How I Learned to Love the Crash

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3.1 dropped with about as much stability as we’ve come to expect from major content updates. Servers were down for extended amounts of time with updates every hour asking us to be patient and wait. Stories were filtering in through twitter and various blogs of people not even able to apply the patch. Slowly realms came back up one by one and people began to log in. The gates to Ulduar were opened and raiding commenced after guild logs were flooded with Dual Talent Specialization achievement spam. Life in Warcraft slowly began to creep back to its normal pace. Raids started, on some servers later then normal, and players shuffled in to test out their new shinnies. Some braved the lag at the portal to Ulduar to get a glimpse of the new content, while others were content to hit Naxxramas one last time in the hopes of getting a long sought after drop (looking at you here Zabos!)  On some servers, things went smoothly, on others… not so much.

Here’s my tale of excitement and woe.

The day started out fine, I was a little disappointed that it was patch day to be honest, but I schlepped my laptop to work and set my home computer’s vpn up so I could update both machines. The first bit of news I see on my RSS is that WoWMatrix is dead! Now while this isn’t earth shattering, for me it just meant my job pre raid was going to be that much more difficult as I have a lot of mods I use to monitor things. Looking at them while trying to patch I realize I ran between 80-90 mods (now since reduced!). My hopes were restored when people on twitter pointed out curse had released a new beta client for mac, one that hopefully worked. I work full time, getting time pre raid to mess around with mods doesn’t happen often.  I go to log into my system at home and start the patch process when I get an odd error saying it can’t validate my account. I try again, receive the same error. At this point I start digging around and sure enough, battle.net accounts are having a difficult time downloading the patch. I decide to say meh and wait for BigDownload to get it and entertain myself by conversing with people on twitter (thank you guys again for that as always =D)

I get home, get patched up and installed, get everything that has an update updated and find that my server is still down. After about 30 or so minutes, it comes back up. I log in, get myself over to Naxx and get ready to go. Everything was going fine and dandy until Loatheb. We didn’t wipe, but at about 1.2m hp left to go, the instance server freezes. We can still type in guild / raid / say / tell and we can log out and log back in on alts, but we were treated by a lovely scene of Loatheb’s backside. Those of you on twitter got to read my lamentations that quickly rose to comedy. The jokes and statements of my fellow guildies more then enough to lift anyone’s spirits by pointing out the sheer comedic value of the situation. While not the most exciting patch day (think 2.0) it was better then I assumed it would be, and to be honest it had been a lot of fun taking bets on which healer would spontaneously go from tree to crit – chicken or go careening off to smack a boss with their hammer. Stuck in the instance we logged out and back on alts and then out for the night. All things considered it was a pretty fun night for me, got a lot of laughs out of it.

How about you guys? How was your first experience of patch 3.1? Any good patch day stories to share?
Till next time

~Lodur

Feel free to follow on twitter http://twitter.com/LodurZJ And don’t be afraid to ask questions using direct message there or the contact form here on the site!

5 Tips for Transferring Servers

5 Tips for Transferring Servers

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This is a guest post from @katagirl, Matt’s fellow guildie and a WoW Twitterati

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for over two and a half years. In this time, I’ve transferred to different servers twice.

Choosing to transfer to a different server is a big decision, because unlike a haircut or a mini-pet – this will cost you some hard earned cash (or much begged, depending on your persuasion).

There are two different circumstances in which you might be considering a transfer: either you’re transferring with friends, or you’re transferring alone.

With Friends

This was how my first transfer happened. I was leading a social guild on an underpopulated server, and it was difficult to get groups together for anything. The economy was shot, too. Our group was small, but we’d been playing together for a long time. We made the decision to transfer to a higher population server after a lot of discussion. Out of the fifteen of us, six decided to make the move together.

By far, this is the easiest way to make a server move. You’ve got friends to make a new start with.

Off Server recruited/Getting a new start

This is how I got hooked up with Matticus and gang. I’d been following Matt’s blog and twitter for a while, and started having discussions with him when he started pitching the idea for Conquest. One night, I shot him a note that I was really tempted to transfer over and join him. He got a little excited about the prospect of a holy paladin – so we chatted on GTalk, then on Vent. This transfer was going to be a shot in the dark, so I had a lot of questions. Eventually I made the decision to transfer, and I’m glad I did.

When you’re considering a server transfer:

Do your homework

If you’re thinking about moving to join a guild, learn everything you can about them. Stalk their website, their vent. Chat with players and officers. I spoke to both Matt and Sydera the first evening I was considering Conquest. I also spent time listening on their vent.

If you’re moving for a change of scenery/better pvp/better economy, create a character. Watch the Auction House for a few days. Troll trade chat and notice the guilds and trolls. Realm forums are also good, as many guilds will recruit there. Find two or three guilds that may match your playing style and whisper a few random players from each to see what they think about their guilds.

Have a backup plan

One of my biggest concerns about transferring to join Conquest was that once I got here and things got going, my raiding style and personality would not mesh with the others and I’d be miserable. During one of our conversations, I brought this up to Matt. He assured me that if I got here, and it didn’t work out – he’d personally help me find somewhere that fit better. That’s a sign of a good guild leader – he wasn’t stuck on himself enough to assume that everyone would be absolutely happy there. I still checked out the recruitment forums and chatted with a few recruiters in trade chat before I made the decision to transfer. To be honest, Matt’s willingness to make sure I was taken care of even if I decided Conquest was not for me was the one thing that finally cemented the decision to transfer.

Don’t be afraid to be afraid

If you’re a millionaire (and if so, let’s be friends), a server transfer is no big deal. If you’re in school or just making it on ramen and lettuce salads, it’s something that may impact you a little more. It’s perfectly fine to take time to make your decision. Don’t let anyone push you into making a decision on the spot. It’s your fifteen bucks, and you need to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Ask for advice

Sometimes, you’re too close to the situation to see things clearly. Find a friend (one who isn’t involved in the decision, or has any bias) and talk them through what you’re thinking. They may come up with a problem or a suggestion that you would not have thought of.

Don’t jump in with both feet

This should go without saying, but only transfer one character at a time. Make sure you’re happy with where you’re going before you send two more alts to join your main character. One transfer fee is easier to swallow than two or three.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to you. It’s not a life-ending decision if you decide to transfer somewhere and your plans fall through. There are great players on each server and good guilds. If you’re still unhappy, you can always transfer back in three months.

Image courtesy of gerard79

What’s up with the Euro Beta?

A quick glance at the Beta EU English forums shows a lot of pissed off players (to mildly put it). Statements ranging from discrimination to broken servers to unplayability. Our EU friends have one server while NA enjoys 3 beta servers. They’re virtually pleading for either queues or a second server since performance no longer seems playable.

Even on the NA servers, I’ve started to feel the crunch. There didn’t used to be a whole lot of players before hand. I suppose they’re trying to stress test the hardware.

My guess is that older beta players have done what they could or feel like they no longer wish to spend time on the beta knowing their efforts will be undone. In fact, I feel the same way. My Priest is only 73. Between raiding on live, blogging, and school it’s nearly impossible for me to level up. As a result, I’ve made a few premades to try out the various level 80 instances like Naxx which I liveblogged earlier.

I know that some of the worlds best Guilds reside over in Europe. It would make major sense for them to be given access to the beta and get a chance on a stable server to raid on. Like it or not, they’ll be the first ones in there before the average raider like myself. Feedback can’t be given on an unstable server.

So to any Euro beta players:

  • Are the conditions as bad as it’s being made out to be?
  • How is Blizzard’s response thus far?
  • What can be done to help alleviate the problems?

PvE to PvP? Bring ‘em on!

No doubt you’re aware of Blizzard’s can opening, jaw dropping, eye popping PvE to PvP transfer availability announcement.

What did my blogleagues think of it?

Personally, I’m rather stoked. I’ve leveled mostly on PvP servers my entire life. It’ll be refreshing to have some new victims players around.

So come on my PvP friends! Let’s give our PvE transferees the welcome that they so wonderfully deserve!