January 21, 2009

Lake Winterfail crashes Northrend

I love Wintergrasp. I do. I think it's the most fun aspect of the game right now, and I take every chance I get to play it. The first thing I did when I logged on was play some Battlegrounds and headed to Wintergrasp as soon as a game was up. Patch 3.0.8 kicked in earlier today with gameplay changes to the zone, aimed at making it faster-paced, more balanced, and more rewarding. That was the aim. Blizzard, however, seems to have missed terribly. A bug seems to occur every time a faction wins in Wintergrasp, crashing the entire continent of Northrend. Numerous tips have come in noting the same experience.

When servers come back online, the tables have turned and the battle begins anew. If players continute to battle and win, the server will continue to crash. The bug prevents Wintergrasp from ever being controlled, and has caused many servers' Northrend to crash repeatedly. It's kind of a bad episode of Twilight Zone. No official word about it on the forums yet, but it's a considerably large bug that disrupts gameplay for a lot of players, so I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard takes down tall realms for a quick fix. Meanwhile, I'm about to try my luck in Wintergrasp again. Crash notwithstanding, I don't think I've ever had so much silly fun in my life.

UPDATE: This just in! Bornakk has stated on the official forums that Blizzard is aware of the issue and is investigating it. They may possibly disable the Battle for Wintergrasp on all realms until the issue is resolved. Players may still enter the zone but will not be able to participate in matches. It remains to be seen under which faction Wintergrasp control will fall under, if any. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: The Battle for Wintergrasp has been disabled for all realms until Blizzard can fix the problem. Control of the zone is retained by one faction.

Patch 3.0.8 bug roundup

My favorite time of the patch day is here – looking at all the bugs! At the time of this writing, we're about six hours after the patch and the majority of bugs have been found. We've counted six of them, and will go over each and when the fix is expected after the break.

Obviously some are more important than others. The Wintergrasp bug that is currently crashing servers left and right needs to be fixed "nao," as people are clamoring about in trade channels. The game is nearly unplayable for most people.

Interestingly there are no bugs about missing mail or other missing items, nor are there reports of extreme lag and other difficulties (other than the severs crashing).

The full list of Patch 3.0.8 bugs, and information about their status, after the break.

1. Wintergrasp

The Bug: Any time Lake Winterfail changes side, the server crashes. Some reports have the bug only crashing Northrend, while others have the bug crashing the entire server. This means that some servers are barely playable.

The Fix: It's incoming. Bornakk has said they're going to disable the buff (which is the apparent cause) if they can't find an immediate solution. Expect the fix soon. Update: It appears the bug has been fixed, but we're waiting on official confirmation.

Additional information: Skarlet sends us the following tip: "We had found that with Wintergrasp crashing the servers constantly that the books for the Higher Learning Achievement were respawning on every crash. I think most of Proudmoores alliance has completed this achievement in about an hour now." Gasp!

2. Death Knight Creation

The Bug: As of today, people were supposed to be able to create a Death Knight on any realm – provided they had a level 55+ character present on their account. This has not happened, and some people are reporting that they are unable to create Death Knights on realms in which they don't have a 55+ character.

The Fix: It's incoming. Rolling restarts should take care of it, and we're guessing they'll be doing that within the next 12 hours.

3. Hunter Aspects On GCD

The Bug: Some Hunter aspects are still on a global cooldown like mechanic, which goes against Blizzard's intentions. People are placing the cooldown at 1.5 seconds (it should be 0).

The Fix: Soon. Ghostcrawler has said that they know about it and should have something worked out soon.

4. Howling Blast

The Bug: The tooltip indicates that there is no cooldown to the spell, when in reality it's on a 5 second cooldown. If you cast Howling Blast, and then try to do it immediately again, you'll notice the 5 second cooldown.

The Fix: Soon, says Ghostcrawler. But it's mainly an inconvenience and not a game breaker. Don't expect this to be fixed over night.

5. Animation Clipping

The Bug: Human females are having animation problems when using two handed weapons and shooting a ranged weapon.

The Fix: Soon. Blizzard is aware of the problem (they even announced it before the patch went live). We do not have any indication that they'll be correcting it before the next patch, however.

6. Ritual of Summoning

The Bug: There is a two minute cooldown for the Warlock to cast the new Ritual of Summoning spell. The spell will make a summoning stone, which can be used by party members to summon folks. The Warlock spell, not the stone, has a two minute cooldown. This was added at the last minute to prevent an exploit (no indication of what the exploit was).

The Fix: Soon. Blizzard is working on a solution, and Ghostcrawler expects this to be fixed in the next couple of days.

7. Missing mail, again?

We've gotten some reports on our twitter stream about missing mail and mail that won't go to players. Since we've gotten a few independent reports of this, it's worth mentioning and keeping an eye on. Let's all just say a silent prayer that we don't find ourselves without mail for a few days. My wallets need their AH gold.

We'll update this post when new information comes in tonight. And as always, keep an eye on WoW Insider throughout the day for the latest.

+10 geek points if you can tell me what the picture of the article is about.