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On the afternoon of Sunday, November 27, to alleviate an issue where too few Kirin Tor World Quests were available to allow for reliable completion of the Kirin Tor Emissary quest, we hotfixed that Emissary quest to autocomplete on login. This was a stopgap measure while we work on a proper fix to the underlying issue; we intend for future occurrences of the Kirin Tor Emissary quest to work as expected, like other Emissary quests.

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I know a lot of you people don’t like how this game has changed since 2006. I hear the complaints, and they don’t go away: the implication from many places is that ActiBlizz have not learnt over the years how to deal with their own issues. Today I offer you categorical proof that that’s no longer the case, but a cautionary warning to those who think to ‘fix’ things means you just stick them back to the way they were. With a programming environment this huge and complex, actions will always have consequences, and it appears that the decision to restrict Kirin Tor quest spawn times had both an unexpected and serious knock on effect at the weekend.

The only Kirin Tor quest available to me this weekend was Like the Wind, and again my computer was completely incapable of getting close to even beginning it, because of in-game latency times. I can play at 80 fps anywhere but the Broken Isles: once I hit Suramar I was at 25 with latency that reflects the multi-layered construction of the zone. Needless to say this probably looked fantastic on the top of the range PCs the design team created it on, but for the rest of us? Not so much. I saw complaints from Social media that there was no other way to get four hand-ins, presumably because extending the ‘respawn’ timer that was implemented previously in the month has summarily backfired. The fact that Actiblizz hotfixed this (and then admitted as much in Patch notes) on a Sunday afternoon, quite frankly, is unheard of. This is a level of responsiveness that is truly unprecedented.

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Of course, there are those who will now pipe up with ‘well that area in TBC/Wrath/Pandaria’s still bugged’ to which I would respond with the comment ‘how many people will be playing that on a Sunday afternoon, exactly?’ This is not about correcting the issues of the past (though that is happening, especially via levelling changes) but keeping the current game both playable and significant to those involved. The fact we had a response to this and that the elements within that have already been addressed as being problematic? This is a huge step forward, and I for one welcome our Hotfixing Overlords with open arms.

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