Season of Discovery Is Here!

Season of Discovery was scheduled to launch at 9pm in my time zone last night. I'd been planning to be there right as the servers opened, but ended up making it home a bit later than expected. I logged on as soon as I had a chance (which was about fifteen minutes after the official launch time) and was immediately presented with a several-thousand player queue and an estimated wait time of forty minutes. Oh well.

I kept myself busy doing some other things, so it's not as if I was staring at the queue screen the entire time, but even just taking a look at the estimated wait time every so often showed some pretty wacky numbers. It started at about forty minutes, got down to about twenty, and after about forty minutes of actual waiting it was back up to predicting forty again. At some point, with more than 1.5k players left ahead me, it decided that from now on, it was going to say six minutes forever.

I think in the end it took me about one and a half hours to get in. I was excited to create an undead priest with my name on the European PvE server and jumped right in. During the flyover intro cinematic, I recognised the flash of another priest casting Penance and immediately got excited by the idea of how overpowered that must be at such a low level.

However, I wasn't really going to find out that night, because the launch night crowds were just as bad if not worse than they'd been for hardcore, and layers or no layers, it was almost impossible to tag any mobs. I ran around for five to ten minutes, getting credit for about three kills in that time, and then just logged off, deciding to not waste any more time on that but to instead come back the next morning, like I'd done with hardcore.

This morning, things were indeed better, though still very crowded. There was one quest in particular to kill Rattlecage Skeletons that was still pretty impossible to complete. I saw people trying to form groups for it in general chat, but in my entire time questing in Deathknell I only saw a single (un)living skeleton and even that died too quickly for me to get a tag in with my instant Penance. So I just did everything else and abandoned that particular quest. I gained a bit of bonus exploration XP from a quick detour to Orgrimmar to sign the charter for our guild, so I was still level six by the time I reached Brill, which is about where I'd expect to be.

Everyone gets their first SoD-specific rune (basically an extra ability or talent) for free at level two, with a simple quest instructing you on how the whole system works. As mentioned, priests get Penance which definitely added a punch to my early questing.

I also suffered my first death very early, at level three, as I unexpectedly found myself mobbed by four spiders in Night Web's Hollow even though there'd been scores of people around a moment before. I just considered myself lucky that this wasn't hardcore. In spite of this I wasn't off to a bad start in general as I'd found two six-slot bags by level four.

General chat was abuzz with people talking about runes and where to find them. There was one spoilsport who complained about people asking questions and that they should just use Google, but they were rightfully laughed out of general by everyone else. Do you even know what server you rolled on?

Just from listening to the chatter I gathered that a mysterious new chest that I'd noticed in the cave but couldn't interact with was meant for warlocks, that mages had to do something with melons, that warlocks were also after a "frozen murloc" and that some people were bamboozled by what to do with a bunch of severed heads. I also saw others link mysterious new items, such as scrolls with funny names that supposedly needed decrypting. I wonder what these are for and I'm happy that most of us have no idea right now. Season of Discovery working as intended so far!


  1. I was home yesterday so I was able to get into the queue pretty quickly with a place under 1,000. The timer, at 10 minutes, was pretty accurate for such an early position.

    I did have a brief scare as the timer briefly stated "Alliance character creation is currently restricted on this realm due to faction imbalance". Luckily once I got to character creation I was able to create my Night Elf priest and get started. But for a few moments everyone was worried they would need to reroll Horde in order for all of us to be together. (Since enough of us are carebears ;) we rolled on Wild Growth the PvE server so why there was a faction balance factor was odd.)

    I've had two more glyphs drop off random mobs, but one I still haven't figured out or am not high enough level to use yet. I will say that so far my questing mirrors yours in that mobs are hard to tag, plus mob respawns are pretty slow at times given the player population on each layer. That said, it is fun to be in voice chat with friends and guildies with everyone excited to play and figure out how to unlock each others' discoveries. There's even a global chat channel ("Rune") dedicated to sharing information.

    At first blush this does feel like a successful season. :)

    1. I'm on Wild Growth-EU myself. It's confusing to me that they decided to name the servers the same in the EU and US this time, even though they are separate.

  2. Apparently people were complaining that Mages with Ice Lance were a tagging machine.