It's the end of the world... (WoW)


Yesterday, Blizzard announced the end of the Beta test as being today. The end of Beta will mean a wiping of the servers, effectively erasing the characters (along with their items) from their virtual existence. Most MMOGs don't have an end like this. In most MMOGs, it's a slow extinction process that happens. Players leave for other titles, until the game is ultimately forgotten, and the world is unplugged. This is not the case here. You have a world at the height of civilization, whose population has essentially heard that their world is about to be destroyed through a meteor strike which will leave no survivors.

The game world will still be there. It's just that their online avatars won't be.

It's the death of their characters, and it's interesting how players are dealing with it. I play on the Beta Server, which is the oldest of all the servers. These are the people who have had their characters the longest -- some through alpha and beta testing from over a year and half ago. Most of them are company insiders. Still, those of us on Beta know how quick and easy it is to get to the top of the game, and we also know it's not really the end, a new beginning will exist in a week.

Last night, I ran through the game, heading to the towns to see how players were dealing with the Big Reset. Many players were selling off their virtual possessions, in order to try and make enough money to purchase a mount before the end. Some were merely drinking and dancing the night away, their last gold pieces being spent on wine. People were standing around giving away money and items, while others dueled each other in battle on the steps of the city. Some players went on rampages against the opposing factions, and some just continued on their own personal quests, as if this day was no different than any other. Some players dumped large amounts of money on worthless items in the auction house, realizing that the money they had would all disappear the next day. There were friends gathered in the streets, taking final group screen captures. Others were so devestated by the upcoming player wipe that they just didn't log in.

It makes me wonder. What would happen if the world was falling down?

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