World of Warcraft

Classic Chronicles: Waiting in Line Inside and Outside of Azeroth.

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The first day of World of Warcraft: Classic was all about waiting in line. People had to wait in line just to purchase in-game time and, once they finished that and chose a realm, they had to wait some more.

The server lines were expected, although some of them reached seriously oppressive heights. This sad screenshot below was the most absurd queue I saw and, clearly, I don't think anyone will "actually" wait 12 hours to play. 


Oh no, they just might.


But what wasn't expected was the surprisingly well mannered in-game behavior of hundreds of players waiting for the same quest objective. Rather than fight over mobs in a chaotic mess, multiple servers have all reported the emergence of astonishingly patient lines.

Though, this didn't happen all the time.



While the high level of community activity and friendly social behavior is often talked about when discussing WoW: Classic, it is surreal to see the social tendency to form lines being replicated inside of the game world.

 

 

 

 

 

What you are seeing in these pictures is the result of a simple reality -- every player wants to finish the quest and forming a line is the most efficient, fair way to do so. It is easy to compare this to retail World of Warcraft and wax poetic how this type of community display would never happen there, but let's not forget that, in retail wow, this problem wouldn't exist in the first place.

 


Is it objectively bad design to have the first in-game quest require a limited-spawn resource that every new player is lead to desire? Yeah, probably. But in a strange way, these type of limitations create situations that resemble the real world and maybe it isn't so surprising that people react in similar ways.

Is it bad game design to have end-game content require 40 people to invest 7+ hours into playing your game? Maybe. But, in a strange way, it amplifies the need for real-world organization and commitment which leads to the social ecosystem WoW Classic is so infamous for.


 


While the groans about this exact type of launch defined a lot of the criticism and anti-hype surrounding the launch of WoW Classic, it is all still kind of exciting to be a part of. Among the new servers, people are already participating in the fledgling economies based around low-level items and the odd quest item that professions can craft. The games central trade chats were at first filled with tons of memes, jokes, and sarcastic comments about how they waited 3 hours just so they could wait for more inside the game.

But, slowly as players moved out of the starting zone, WoW: Classic began to resemble the social environment that first made people fall in love with the game.

You'd see players dueling outside of an inn, or a party running together in pursuit of a quest mob. If you happen across another player doing the same quest as you, it would be perfectly normal to group up and fight together.  As you both report on how many X kills you have or how many Y's you still need, maybe a short conversation forms about nothing.

Before you know it, bam you are hooked on WoW: Classic. For now, though, queue times are the biggest obstacle to many and it is up to Blizzard to try and do something about it. They have already added a score of new servers, which helps, but I expect more strongly worded suggestions to "consider switching" away from servers with highest populations coming to a blue post near you.

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