It’s here! And the servers aren’t down for everyone! Woohoo!
I had an awesome headstart weekend–when the servers went up I was able to get into Jade Quarry, get both of the one-word character names I wanted (Vimm and Nani,) rolled 8 characters (gulp,) got into #twitguild, partied up, and got playing! That’s a whole lot of things that could have gone wrong, but didn’t. I never had a login issue and only disconnected once all weekend. None of the major bugs this weekend have seriously affected me–I didn’t get kicked out of my guild (though my GL and another member did,) I’ve been able to send and receive mail, use the “Join into overflow” feature with a party, and today I picked up my Collector’s Edition and redeemed the code. The worst I’ve had to deal with is the trading post being down, and having to rezone into a map so people could “join in” to me. On the whole, I count myself as one very lucky but prepared supernerd.
One of the highlights of this weekend was discovering that you can “join in” with party members who are in overflow–even if they’re not in the same home world! This is a partial workaround for guesting not being available. There are a couple of limitations though: first, the zone you’re going to must be populated enough that someone gets kicked to an overflow when they zone in; second, your group must all be in the same datacenter (North America or Europe.) One final word of warning is make sure you click “reenter queue” each time the “Your map is ready” prompt appears, because you’ll leave your friends from other servers behind. Unfortunately you’ll be clicking “reenter queue” a lot if you’re in a sparsely-populated zone, but it’s better than not being able to play with your friends at all.
I imagine that when guesting is added, the “Join in [map]” option will be replaced by “Join in [map] as guest on [server]” when your friend is on their home server and not in overflow. Hopefully they’ll make it work between NA and EU servers as well–if there’s a technical challenge holding back guesting, that’s probably it.I took a leap of faith when I registered my CE code–it gave me the option to change my account’s display name, and I took it. Fortunately it seems to have worked flawlessly–my display name is now “Mr eX.3420″ and my friends list, guild membership, and HoM are all still intact. If you pre-purchased the game at retail and you’re feeling brave, feel free to give this a shot. (Make sure you use the same account information though!)
Since I have the retail box in front of me, I took a look at the quick reference card (the same one available here) to see if there were any commands I didn’t know. Sure enough–there were a few that were new to me! Here they are:
- Tab when chat has focus: Cycle chat tabs
- /r or Backspace: Reply to the most recent whisper
- /friend [name], /block [name], and /unblock [name]: friend/block/unblock someone (if you’re blocking someone, make sure to report them if they’re being a jerk!)
Interestingly it looks like this reference card was written for an older version of the game. Some errors I noticed:
- /m for talking to Map chat isn’t listed.
- /LFG doesn’t work as described. It says in chat that it changed my status to LFG, but the color of my online status icon doesn’t actually change. It also opens your friends list directly to the LFG panel, but since your status indicator doesn’t change you might as well go there manually just to make sure.
- The /AFK and /invisible commands to toggle away/invisible status aren’t recognized commands. (I’ve also noticed multiple times that the /toast emote isn’t recognized either.)
I think a few of these commands being omitted might be a bug. Clearly these things would be nice to have, but ultimately it’s not nearly as important as getting the various login issues or Trading Post fixed. Or implementing guesting for real, for that matter.