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World Of Warcraft Stresstest Impresions


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First thing, the test isn't that stressful so far, account creations a doddle none of the expected 404's, and character creation and server connections are fine. It's even not at all laggy, despite the server counts displaying some 20,000 people logged on at the same time as me....


First impression is... it's jolly nice to look at. Very bright, very very busy, the screen is full of eyecatching stuff all styalized and fat at the bottom deformed in the Warcraft way. The graphics aren't technically amazing like the screenshots of EQ2 look, but the style allows them to look good without needing the massive poly counts. The result is it's running very very fast on my pc with draw distance and detail maxxed out at 1280.


Progression is kind of a mix of eq and daoc, you gain skill points as you use skills, and train up new abilities at a trainer, with spec points to spend. It plays a lot faster than those games though, everyone seems to move about fast, actions are fast, even sitting and standing happens in a jiffy. Dowtimes low too, with health regen very quick.


Questing is fuppin top so far. One surprise was you don't always get quests off npcs. I found an object that when I examied it had a message, and that started a quest, nifty. All nicly tracked in your quest interface.


The bad so far? There's no hand holding at all. You get a char creation screen, and you spawn in your starting city. You don't get any kind of help beyond that. I know from my other mmorpg days that my first task is to track down me trainer, but a beginner wouldn't know that, nor are there any clues other than /shout as to where the trainer is.


Hmm, I'm writing this as I go, and it's wrong. There is a tutorial, it's just kinda subtle and delivers things slowly as you might need them, so it's pretty cool.


Other bad: 2000 newbies starting in the same hour doesn't half make lvl 1 things to kill hard to find, but then again, I have levelled up to 4 in about an hour or so, so even at it's busiest, it's still very playable.


Some random ace bits: - There's a window that tells you what stuff is when you move the cursor over it. This works for pretty much everything, including npcs. So you don't have to trade with every one to find out what they sell, you hover your mouse over em, and the lil window says 'weapons vendor' or 'warrior trainer' or whatever. Nifty. - The interface is superb. Cleanly renderd, logical, top controls, it's a beuty. - No stupid level 1 mobs. No xxxxxxx bats and snakes, they're little goblins and wolves and nifty stuff.


Oh, and rabbits, but they're wussy and leg it fast when you twat them not stand and fight, like a rabbit should. - You eat food to get health back (or you can wait), but that doesn't work in combat. This is nifty, food is cheap, and it makes the game nice and fast. Not sure what the deal with mana regen is, I started a warrior first. - Everythings BIG. This is one thing EQ got spot on, stuff needs to be flippin massive to get a feeling of scale. There's huge big buildings, massive trees, big ramps and bridges. It all feels massive, and why not? It's not like you're payin for the bricks. - It's adopted doac style 'rage' bar, a special abilities bar that raises as you fight, and goes down when you don't. It's therefore in your interests to keep the downtime low. - All your kit shows up. Seems like a minor point but it's not. DAOC really screwed up on this, if you've got kit, you and other people need to bloody see it! - dont zone into dungeons. Even the newbie area I was in (night elf) had a dungeon, you just walk right in, the map changes to dungeon mode, the music turns all eerie, and it just bloody rocks! Also means there's no trains! - Looting: there's a little spangly effect over a body that's got loot, so you don't waste time looking if there isn't any. - Interactive map, first click you get a map of the world, second click you get a region map, which also shows pvp terratory status, next click is your detailed area map.


Never ceases to amaze me the leveling powers of some, there's some level eight chaps a few hours into the test. How the xxxx?


Anyway, really like it. Going to be a bitch to only have seven days in there and then wait a few months until release. It doesn't feel like a beta at all, feels finished and polished and ready to go, but then for all I know there could be nowt to do after level 10 :)

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Took some screenies:



http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/1.jpg = where you spawn in to the game, and the first thing you see. The bloke with the exclamation mark is an npc that wants to talk to you. The rest are a few of the fousands of beta testers that were on but didn't crash the server. A universe away from the beta experiences I had in Anarchy Online.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/2.jpg = A bloke with a bow, especially for Ian. Hunter class is pretty nifty really, arrows and pets. Notice the little question mark thing at the bottom? That's the tuturial that I failed to notice for ages.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/3.jpg = Part of the night elf starting city, a big tree thing. Again, quest bloke is around, yellow exclamation mark, it's pretty smart means you don't go hunting round everything.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/4.jpg = Newbie dungeon, no zone in, lots of death and danger, pretty cool.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/5.jpg = Question mark because you've started a quest and she's the next bit.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/6.jpg = Me twatting an owl thingy


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/7.jpg = Bit more quest stuff, here you can see the nifty dialog screen where quests and choices are made. Often you're given a choice of reward, so a quest can give a reward for a mage or a fighter or whatnot, via a picture menu thing. It's all good.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/8.jpg = Tee ent guard. This is so flipping cool I nearly shat. It looks brill when its moving and actually shakes the ground as it walks past, yet has daisies on its toes. How cool is that?


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/9.jpg = For contrast, here's a horde character, a n undead one at that. Quite a different atmosphere, and the quests are nifty too, all about scavenging and being pretty rotton and nasty, brill. I'm quite taken with an undead char.


http://www.slims.co.uk/wow/10.jpg = And a human char, all sunny and luberly and sweet, aaah!

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