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.
At 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.