Overwatch players were faced with login issues during a DDoS attack just two days ago, and it seems that Blizzard is wrestling with DDoS attackers yet again, early this morning. I opened Battle.Net only to see a message stating that players are experience high latency and disconnects in World of Warcraft as a result of ongoing DDoS attacks. The attacks are presumably in response to the series of bans leveled against players caught cheating in Overwatch recently.
It’s unfortunate that people take pleasure in cheating in multiplayer games in the first place, but to then attempt to further disrupt the fun that the rest of us have is just childish. Blizzard will likely have things back up and running smoothly rather quickly, so in the meantime I think it’ll be best to let their servers recuperate and instead head to the gym earlier than usual.
In the end the attackers will have caused nothing more than a minor nuisance, and the rest of us will be able to go on enjoying Blizzard’s games.
UPDATE (5:29AM MST)
The issues were resolved very shortly after I posted this. I logged into World of Warcraft and it played smoothly while I was on.
Stormwind was full of life early this morning!
Today I played World of Warcraft for the first time in six months. I just got a random urge to play again, so I activated my account and logged in. I hit a level cap for the first time since I started playing WoW (which I believe was somewhere around 2007 or 2008). Every year around October the weather reminds me of the time I first tried WoW. One of the things that blew me away was the experience of taking down the Headless Horseman with a bunch of other players, all while inhaling the fresh autumn air through the window and munching on candy corn between classes in my sophomore year of college.
I’ve played on and off since then, but never got too into it. It’s fun to play here and there ,but I’m not one to play the game religiously or scientifically, with a bunch of add ons and crunching numbers, reading strategy guides and determining ‘proper’ class builds. I just play to play, that’s all. I’ve never done a proper raid. I did do a few of the Cataclysm raids via Raid Finder, but it was just a bunch of random people jumping into and out of the raid, many of them disinterested.
Anyway, here’s a gameplay video of my return to WoW:
For the first time in a long while I spent the good majority of a weekend in front of a computer. In part it had to do with the fact that I would possibly have to head into work at any given time, but the main reason is my friend and I dove headfirst into World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and for the first time since I first played WoW I got sucked into the game entirely. The quest progression was actually fun, and we kept going on to find out what we’d see next. The new area is fun to explore, the dungeons are fun to run, and the pet battles are surprisingly addicting. I didn’t experience anything that made me want to stay in the world for hours on end during any other expansion (probably in part because when I first started playing, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King were already out). After spending the majority of the weekend in Pandaria we’re both level 87 and just slightly burnt out. In the end it was a good time.
Guild Wars 2
I also decided to give Guild Wars 2 a try. I was actually convinced to purchase it mostly because ArenaNet released it for the Mac so quickly. As a new Mac user I feel it’s my duty to support companies that reach out to Mac gamers instead of making Mac gamers use BootCamp or emulators to play their games.
I’ve only spend about an hour in Guild Wars 2 so far, but it’s been an enjoyable experience. Guild Wars plays very differently from World of Warcraft so far. It’s more about experiencing the world and working together with other players, rather than working against them (or being annoyed by them). If you’re on a quest you’ll see other players working on the same quest and you naturally, and fluidly work together to complete the objectives. What I mean is, you don’t have to ‘group’ or anything, you just work together and it feels natural, and you each get your own experience and loot. Beyond standard quests there are world events that are happening all around and you can jump in and help complete the objectives, such as fight a boss, without having to accept a quest or anything. Stuff is just happening in Guild Wars 2 and you decide your role.
World of Warcraft has been around for 8 years now, so it’s hard to imagine there are very many people who have yet to try the game, and yet there must still be those who are uninitiated. Blizzard already allows new players to download the client for free and play a character up to level 20 for free (probably a much better method of letting players get a taste of WoW compared to the old 14 day trials that got me hooked). Today, however, Blizzard took their efforts to hook new players even further:
The new World of Warcraft Battle Chest
The new version of Battle Chest includes WoW, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King (the first and second expansion respectively) all for $19.99 (of course to play you still need to subscribe at $14.99/mo). But “that’s not all!”. Blizzard has made The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content available to all subscribers at no additional cost. That’s right, if you already own WoW Vanilla (in other words WoW but not the expansions) and are a subscriber (or become a subscriber I presume) you will not have to purchase anything more and will be able to play the game to level 80 without any restrictions.
This deal should certainly appeal to new players and those who have tried WoW but never had a desire to purchase the expansions. Simply subscribe to the game and you can continue questing from level 50-80 at no additional cost (beyond the subscription fee of course).
Should new players then want to venture further they will still need to purchase Cataclysm (the third expansion) for $39.99 (price may drop sometime after the release of Mists of Pandaria), and WoW’s fourth expansion, Mists of Pandaria, which releases Tuesday 9/25 for $39.99.