Of Cataclysms in the Real World

First there was the Shattering of Azeroth.  Then there came the Shattering of Honshu.

I know there’s no need for me ask whether you’ve seen the photos and videos.  The drama and trauma of the earthquake that struck Japan this past Friday is mind-numbing.  I’ve been glued to my computer each lunch at work looking for new pictures and stories.

As anyone who’s been here before knows, I live in Hong Kong and play WoW on US realms.  It transpires that a fair portion of the cross-Pacific internet communication went through Japan.  Not a majority, I’d say.  But, enough so that in the weekend following the earthquake it was nearly impossible for me to play the Game.  The Technical Support forum confirmed I was not the only one, with heavy complaints registered from gamers in Australia, Singapore, and Manila as well.

Great RiftAt one point I successfully logged in to discover 14000 ms lag on ‘World’.  (That’s 14 seconds of lag.  Anything over 400 is noticeable and over 1000 is unplayable.)  That was tough.  The pre-dawn hours were at the rough end of playable, but after 9am and through the night it was impossible.  In ill-advised enthusiasm I tried to continue questing with my Tauren shadow priest, but quickly realized that any random mob would probably kill my toon before I even realized I was being attacked.  At its worst, I ran through Orgrimmar to the scribe’s shop, then went to get a drink while I waited for the NPC’s to warp in to the room.  I couldn’t even buy parchment from the supplier to write a glyph. 

Oceanic realms seemed a bit better, but only after I had passed through the US battle.net log-in.  To fill in the time, I started dabbling on Kaz’goroth with the idea of a new shaman.

So, the cataclysm in the real world critted the gameplay of probably hundreds of gamers this past weekend.

But, wait.  What am I talking about?  Me, a lone game addict living in a high-rise flat above Hong Kong is frustrated that I missed a weekend of playing the auction house?  I’d better go find more pictures of the devastation in Japan to make another reality check.


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