Warlords of Draenor was released on Thursday. As is tradition, the servers promptly melted. Thursday and Friday were pretty bad. The few times I was able to get in, the lag was so bad it was nigh-unplayable. However, the server maintenance Saturday morning seems to fixed most issues. Aside from queues on the high population servers, everything seems to be going well now.
All in all, it just emphasizes that one should never take time off work for the launch of an online game.
My paladin, Coriel, is level 93 now, and I've done the first Alliance zone: Shadowmoon Valley. It was a pretty good zone with a decent story. I like the mix of quest-driven gameplay combined with more open "Timeless Isle"-style activities like rare monsters and treasures. It's the best of both worlds, and it's always exciting to see a skull pop up on your mini-map.
I must admit that I was caught off guard by how central the garrison is to the leveling experience. It's well done, and I think does a very good job of establishing your character's role in the expansion. I rather like how all the NPCs call you "Commander".
I really have no idea what I'm doing with the garrison, but hopefully it's working out. I like recruiting new people and sending them on missions. It's simple but very well done.
I also like the randomness as applied to quest rewards. It's neat that green quest reward can randomly upgrade to blue or purple. It's a very good use of randomness.
A very bad use of randomness, on the other hand, is the Draenor Perks system. My first Draenor Perk for Retribution was Improved Forbearance. As I predicted, this was very disappointing.
All in all, WoD is going reasonably well. Blizzard says that demand was much higher than they anticipated. Which I suppose is good for them. However, I can't help but think that the lesson that will be drawn is that "SAVAGE! Orcs, orcs, orcs!" is what the players want. And maybe that is what we want.