World of Warcraft Stress Test

Posted by Arlo on Sep 10, 2004 under Life of Arlo

World of Warcraft Screencap (25k image)I’ve been meaning to update my blog lately but I’ve been struggling mightily just to stay awake during my lunch hour, so trying to write anything coherent has been out of the question. But for the first time in over a week I got a full 8 hours of sleep last night. I’m a new man!

What’s been going on? Well, unless you’re an avid computer gamer, you won’t understand. Really, I’m having a hard time explaining to myself why I should stay up past 2am on a work night… how can I convince you?

World of Warcraft is responsible for my lack of sleep and it’s a game that hasn’t even been released yet. Blizzard allowed me (and 100,000 of my closest friends) to download the 2.3 Gigabyte(!) installer and participate in their server “stress test.” You see, the company has already let 6000 or so players participate in their beta test, but they wanted to know what kind of server load they’ll be looking at when the game is finally released.

World of Warcraft is my first foray into the world of Massively Multiplayer Online Games and I realize now why they are so addictive. World of Warcraft in particular has a frightful allure – the artwork is extremely varied and downright gorgeous and the gameplay is remarkable non-tedious. Multiplayer games of this sort wouldn’t be much fun at all to play by yourself, but fortunately for me, my friend, Karl, was also selected to play in the stress test. We’ve been playing an embarrassing number of hours together each night.

The stress test was supposed to end yesterday, but Blizzard decided to add even more players and keep it running until Sunday. I’m conflicted about that. I’m having a blast playing the game and don’t want it to end, but yet I can’t help but miss the full nights of sleep (not to mention seeing my wife!) When this stress test ends, I won’t be able to play World of Warcraft again until it’s in stores – and that can be anywhere from 3 months to a year from now. It’s a long time to wait, but I look forward to a time when I can play with even more of my friend and there isn’t a game-ending deadline right around the corner. At least then I won’t feel like sleeping is wasted time!

Anyway, for those few interesting in online entertainment, I’ll probably post a more detailed account of my impressions of World of Warcraft sometime after the stress test ends. Oh, yeah… and I should really finish up those half-written blog entries on Doom III and my stint of Jury Duty, too.