Fans have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the World of Warcraft Classic and the wait is now over. The multiplayer game became available to gamers in the United States as of 6 p.m. ET on August 26.
WoW Classic first debuted in 2004. Blizzard Entertainment decided to give the game a retro reboot for its 15th anniversary, and the idea quickly caught on with fans. The company told CNN that more than two million players began creating characters in the leadup to last night’s launch.
The excitement surrounding the game had many fans worried about excessively long wait times and the possibility that World of Warcraft’s servers would crash.
The WoW servers were all briefly taken offline on August 27 at 10 a.m. ET for scheduled maintenance “in order to increase stability and playability.” The realms were all back up within 15 minutes.
Here’s what you need to know.
Users Have Reported Hours-Long Waits Just to Log In to Begin Playing
Blizzard Entertainment announced a few days before the launch that it was adding new servers in order to prevent outages during launch day. According to DownDetector, that plan appeared to be successful at least within the first few hours of the WoW launch.
There were a few hundred outage reports in the first 3 to 4 hours after the game officially launched at 6 p.m. ET on August 26. More of the outages appeared to be centered in Europe. The majority of the reports had to do with the server connection. But after midnight, according to DownDetector, the outages decreased and the game appeared to be operating well.
The most common complaint was the amount of time users had to wait before they could even begin playing. Many people were reporting hours-long queues just to log in. (For example, this reporter’s significant other had a wait time of 562 minutes as of 9:08 p.m. on August 26. As of 12:14 a.m. on August 27, his wait time had changed to 123 minutes. He was finally able to play around 2:45 a.m.).
There was so much demand in the early hours of the game that WoW scrambled to make more space for the high volume of gamers. Community manager “Kaivax” wrote on the forum that five new realms had been added as of 8:20 p.m. ET on August 26: Ashkandi, Kirtonos, Kromcrush, Kurinnaxx and Rattlegore.
WoW posted to Twitter at 7:33 p.m. ET that it was aware of log-in issues and that developers were working to resolve the issues. The tweet read, “We are aware of, and as our top priority, we are working through issues that some players are having logging into WoW Classic, including the ‘World Server Down’ error. Thank you for your patience.”
How to Monitor WoW Server Statuses
As of 10:13 a.m. ET on August 27, all World of Warcraft Classic realms were online in the United States and Europe. Shortly after midnight, the European realms all appeared to crash at the same time. The outage lasted several minutes but the realms were back online as of 12:14 a.m.
You can check on the current statuses of the realms based on specific regions on the WoW website, here.
Another way to monitor whether the World of Warcraft servers are functioning properly is through a quick search on Twitter. Users can monitor whether it’s up or down in real-time on Twitter by just searching for WoW Classic Server. If the general sentiment is negative, it’s extremely likely that the world server is down.
Starter Zones Are Crowded as Quest Completion Times Are Longer Than Anticipated
Once logged in, users are also discovering that specific quests are taking longer to complete than WoW anticipated. The number of players in the starting areas is far exceeding the quest timers. This means you’ll be standing around trying to kill some boars for quite a bit just to complete the quest.
Lower-end computers may also experience technical issues such as stuttering frame rates. Since the starter zones are so crowded, the game might crash on older machines.
WoW Classic Is Available to Players With an Active Subscription
Prior to the launch of World of Warcraft Classic, the game had approximately five million individual subscribers, according to Statista. The database notes that WoW reached its peak back in 2010 when Blizzard estimated that it had more than 12 million subscribers worldwide. It has gradually decreased in popularity over the past decade.
That trend could change with the launch of the Classic version. Players with an active World of Warcraft subscription were able to access the new game without any additional purchase.
If you’re interested in joining the game, create a Blizzard account by clicking here. To install WoW Classic, Blizzard included the download link to its website, which is available here. You can also check out all of the new mmos of 2019 here.