WoW Classic: Through the Dark Portal once more…

Last week was our family vacation, which was perfectly timed for weather but not so much for MMO releases. I had to resign myself that the only time I was going to get to play was late at night after the family had gone to sleep — which was fine, although it did mean that I missed the initial marathon crush through the Dark Portal.

So I just had a one-Gnome moment of glory as I ascended the same ramp that I did with another Gnome Warlock back in 2007. It was time to leave one era behind and enter another.

Happily, the queue wasn’t abnormally long (30 minutes) and I experienced no transition difficulties crossing the threshold into Outland. My guildies gave me the heads-up that everything was more or less going smoothly, with about half of the population electing to jump into dungeons to power-level via instancing.

The first night wasn’t quite the utter mess I was expecting. Layers and player spread helped to keep things less ridiculous, and I gradually quested my way through that last half-level to 60. We joked about expecting guildies to have hit level 70 an hour after the launch, and I greatly looked forward to all of the gear upgrades. My outfit was sadly, sadly lacking. I didn’t even have an epic mount!

I had a few laughs when a couple guildies logged in and then tried to get a group together for old world content. Absolutely NO ONE was biting. Read the room.

I did get a blue drop on my very first kill — but alas, it was a 2H sword. Good for auctioning.

Deaths happened that first night thanks to an insane respawn rate that kept new mobs popping on top of our heads. They came almost as fast as we killed them — great for quests, bad for survival. And the return of Mr. Fel Reaver certainly didn’t help any!

While hitting 60 and getting some great gear upgrades was a highlight of the first night, the lowlight was a DDoS attack that kicked a lot of us — myself included — off of the server and triggered issues with play.

All in all, it was actually a whole lot of fun. It’s been a very long while since I’ve done Burning Crusade anything, and while I wouldn’t choose it at all in retail from the expansion choices, in Classic, it’s a wonderful relief to be playing a focused expansion that’s packed full of fun and progression.

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