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Role Playing (Games)

World of Warcraft Suffers More Downtime 205

Posted by Zonk
from the downtime-is-the-opposite-of-uptime dept.
_xeno_ writes "World of Warcraft has received many awards for being one of the best games released in 2004. Unfortunately, the game is still suffering from downtime. Over this weekend, twenty different servers went offline several times - enough for Penny Arcade to revoke their 2004 Game of the Year status from the game. As Tycho puts it, "...we loved the game and had faith that any hitches in the experience would be ground down before release. This has not been borne out."" Relatedly, Voodoo Extreme is reporting that the Korean release of World of Warcraft should be happening today.
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World of Warcraft Suffers More Downtime

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  • by SiliconJesus (1407) *
    A lot of people are playing this as their first MMORPG, and don't remember the launches of others. Star Wars has been out two years and is still unstable.

    Stability takes time. WoW is still one of the best MMORPG's out there today.
    • by k_187 (61692) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @10:37AM (#11394716) Journal
      yes, but from what I understand, things were more stable during the open and closed betas. Which is strange at best, inexcusable at worst, especially since now all those people are paying $15 a month. Of course, most of these problems are occurring on the top 12 or so servers. I picked a low population server, and we haven't seen as many problems. Its getting worse though, as people with broken servers, come to us. Hopefully something will change after today's maintenance.
      • I am getting ready to migrate to a new server. It really is getting bad. This last weekend my server went down around 7pm CST and saturday and sunday. Monday, there was 30-50 minute queues to get on. The only thing stopping me from making a new character on a new server is the hope that Blizzard will allow character transfers soon. There has been mention of it by GMs but nothing currently announced.
      • The monstrous amount of people playing the game is putting a massive load on the servers, so I'm not sure if it's very "strange" that they're having more problems now than in beta.

        Sure, it sucks that it's happening, but it really is expected.
    • by Seumas (6865)
      I've been very pleased with WoW. Yes, there have been a couple of downtimes, but nothing extreme. There was a 16 hour extended maintainance one day, but they awarded users 24 hours of compensation time and also alerted players to the scheduled outage in advance (and only the 20 servers were down - the other 68 were still up).

      Anyone who thinks this has been a released "plagued with problems" clearly never played Shadowbane or Anarchy Online at release. Those games were down for hours and days at a time and
      • Compared to every other release that I'm aware of, WoW was incredibly flawless and the only people bitching are those who play 24x7 and can't tolerate two seconds away from the game.

        Competitor products(CoH) didn't necessarily have these kinds of problems, and certainly not for two months after release with no end in sight. These companies are offering subscription(pay) service. A large part of their obligation is to make the service available all the time and to post scheduled downtimes for the playerba
      • I recall the launches of UO and Lineage 2 (US launch, in that case) and both were plagued by downtime and reboots ever three hours or so. L2's mobs were constantly disappearing. Or you'd be fighting something your level +2 and it would de-select itself so you have to re-acquire it as a target. Every system has its bugs.
    • Stability takes work and money. Blizzard has both.

      With City of Heroes, things have been pretty solid, including its launch.

      In 2005, with the amount of money being spent through subscriptions and technology, there should be no reason why servers should be down.
    • Vivendi is making the same mistake EA made: too many players per server. They've loosened the server caps and dropped their unpopular queues - and now their most popular servers are buckling.

      With the 'shard' design, where users per server is capped and they throw more servers at problems - there's very little justification for such overload.

      Too many people are forgetting that Dark Age of Camelot has had very very very very few stability problems. In comparison to the rest of the genre - they're downtime
      • WoW suffers from too many players per server, at least partly as a result of some backfiring of attempts to loadbalance.

        Firstly, they didn't release the entire list of server names that would be available on launch day ahead of time, only a subset. Then they are surprised that those servers are overloaded. People agreed with their friends which server they were going to play on, and obviously you can only agree to a server you know exists.

        Secondly, classifying the servers by timezone was a mistake. The mo
        • They released a subset of server names? I was paying pretty close attention, and AFAIK, they didn't release any server names before launch.

          I believe you're wrong about central servers being the most populated too. The last time I looked, all the most populated servers were east coast servers. Why? Because in every Blizzard game, everyone always plays on east coast servers. Why? Don't ask me. I live on the east coast, so I suffer for it.

          Here's what happened to my WoW Guild: Opening day over lunch I
    • I have been playing SWG since launch and while the first day was terrible, the game became incredibly stable rather quickly. (Within two days of launch)

      There simply is no comparison between the stability of SWG and the stability of WoW. From what I have been reading WoW is like a rickety bailing wire and spit Wright Brother's airplane that can't stay off the ground for very long and crashes continually. Whereas SWG was, at launch, more like a WWII Bomber that needed very regular maintenance with a few
      • by llefler (184847) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @01:09PM (#11396890)
        There simply is no comparison between the stability of SWG and the stability of WoW. From what I have been reading WoW is like a rickety bailing wire and spit Wright Brother's airplane that can't stay off the ground for very long and crashes continually.

        What you are reading on WoW is frustration. Small problems become big ones because Blizzard's customer service can't seem to communicate. Players have problems and they feel like they are speaking into a vacuum. So we continue to talk about problems that we don't feel are being addressed. Honestly, the game is pretty good, and other than lag (or being on one of the 'special' servers) it's pretty solid. But get one problem that gets under your skin, and Blizzard won't address it (they won't repond to messages in their tech support forum, instead they lock the messages or delete them. If you report them in game, they delete the petition), then you have a bunch of players running around telling everyone about their unresolved problem.
    • While true most MMORPG have problems, that shouldn't mean every future MMORPG should follow in their footsteps.

      Blizzard have had years of free publicity as people have praised them for the slow alpha and beta testing, waiting till "it's ready" rather than when the beancounters tell them to launch.

      Clearly it isn't ready. So people have the right to be annoyed at paying to sit in a queue. Especially if true that you can't post on the BB while waiting because you need to be logged into a server to post. Th
    • by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @12:35PM (#11396442) Homepage Journal

      Stability takes time.

      Baloney.

      I expect to receive this game for my birthday in a month. It will be my first time on a MMORPG, but I've been toying with it since I finally gave up MU**ing three years ago. I'm really looking forward to an enjoyable experience based on the many reviews, but I also have the limited patience of an adult who now expects a service when I'm charged for it.

      I don't have any experience with the actual outages, but I can say this: if your PS2 failed to boot 4 times out of 5, would you take it back? If Blizzard expects me to be patient while they work out their issues, are they going to be similarly patient when they request payment from me?

      If they can't deliver, 99.99% of the time, on their promises, frankly they're in the wrong business. I don't have the time or the interest to fart around with waiting for them to get their act together, and I will either keep my wallet in my pocket or move to another game.
      • by RocketScientist (15198) * on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @04:26PM (#11399797)
        I've been playing for about a month now. I play on what's probably a medum high-pop server, but I've not seen a queue, even logging on at 7PM CT. If you don't pick one of the insanely high pop servers, you're probably not going to see problems.

        The biggest problems I've had:
        1. The auction house is very slow. The city the auction house is in is very slow. Some of the surrounding countryside around the city with the auction house is very slow. I had instant-cast spells take 8 seconds. If you roll a dwarf or gnome, get to level 5 and head to Stormwind to get away from the auction house. You can do all of the human quests for level 5-15 and it'll go a lot more smoothly. You can always return and mop up the lower level quests (if you want the positive faction reputation points) when they get the auction house fixed, which they're working on.

        2. The login servers, the servers that handle auth and character selection for startup, they suck. They're plagued with outages. Daily outages. Fortunately, they're usually resolved within a half hour or so. And, if you're already in-game, you don't even notice the login server outages. You need the login server to be up for about 30 seconds per day, so the odds are in your favor.

        The good news?

        If you pick a server with a medium to medium-high pop, you'll have very very few problems (you'll have more luck finding people to group with on servers with more people, but too many people on the server and you'll have queueing to get in). There is a site (www.wowcensus.com or something) that will feed you population statistics. Keep in mind those are voluntary reports, and may or may not be accurate. A better idea is to visit the forums at worlofwarcraft.com and see what realms get the most complaints :).

        Also, the higher your level, the more time you'll spend in less-populated areas. My lvl 36 warlock spends a lot of time out in the boonies running down quests, and I have no performance issues at all until I return to a big city to sell stuff. My level 11 priest is in one of the lowbie areas, and it's not bad, but it will occasionally act funny (3 second lag on body looting, for example). My theory is a lot of people are playing one character up to level 15 or so, deciding they don't like that class/race/faction, and are picking up new characters. Nothing wrong with that, I did it myself. But, that keeps a higher-than-normal pop in the newbie and lowbie areas.

        Finally, the game is a LOT of fun. Seriously. Very well thought out quests, neat items, I haven't had to farm monsters to get levels (almost all of my levelling has been from quests). Find a good guild on a good world and you'll have support structures to help you (higher level guildies pass down loot they can't use to lower level members, and you'll be expected to be generous when you get there).

        That said, have I had problems? Yeah, I was trying to play on a Saturday evening and it took about 30 minutes to log in. Given that I've played nearly every day for a little over a month, I'd say that's a pretty decent rate of failure. I had one time I was on and got a broadcast message that the server was going to be rebooted in 20 minutes. I finished up what I was doing in about 10 minutes, logged out, played with the dog for a half hour, and logged back in. Honestly, I'd rather have them reboot the server periodically than ignore problems. So my failure/outage rate with the game has probably been about 3 to 5%. If your PS2 had a, say, 1 in 25 chance that a game you put into it would require you to clean the lens of the DVD player, would you still play? Most likely. It's not a matter of 4 out of 5, it's more on the scale of 1 in 25 or so.

        Oh, and my warlock has a pointy hat. How cool is that? Blizzard gets bonus cool points for pointy hats. Now I just want a high-level crafting skill that lets me create self-propelled luggage with the attitude of a badly raised pit bull.

        Blizzard could do better. But they're doing pretty good overall. Good enough that when someone on the boards says "I've had enough of the outages and queues, I'm cancelling my account" most of the replies are "Bummer for you. Hey can I have your stuff?"


        • Thanks for the info: I really am looking forward to this game--but the comments have just started to make me wonder if I shoulda asked for GURPS 4th Ed instead of $50 for WoW and $30 for a two month sub, at least until Blizz get the issues worked out.

          www.wowcensus.com is good resource--but I wonder why Blizz doesn't publish themselves? I found their realm status page at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/serverstatus/, but it seems like that's a "current load" not a registered load--so it doesn't do me a lot
        • You can always return and mop up the lower level quests (if you want the positive faction reputation points)

          I saw some chatter in the forums about not getting much faction reputation if a quest is too low level to you. If the forum search worked, I would post a link to it.

          -prator
    • No sorry doo not pass go do not collect 200 dollars.

      Your right, stability does take time, but they used theirs up a couple of massive server outages ago. And compairing WOW to SWG is unfair because my crash happpy XP box would fair better than SWG.

      Compaired to most games out there WoW sucks for uptime. At least in most cases the other games didnt just crash. Wows servers have done just that more than once.

  • by Squatchman (844798) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @10:31AM (#11394646)
    I couldn't imagine setting up a datacenter for a game like this. How much load should you plan your 100% to be? Could they even afford it? It's the new Warcraft game, so all the Blizzard fanboys were in. It's a new MMORPG, so most of the fans of that genre(usually warcraft fans as well) were on board. The word of mouth advertising alone had to be crazy.

    This is nothing new for most of the games like this though. Poor launches, crashing, lack of character balance, etc. Rarely do you see a launch as smooth as City of Heroes or Planetside.
    • They had plenty of time during the various stress testq they ran to evaluate the rupture point of their servers/bandwith. They even stated that if there was so much lag during the open beta, it was because they planned it to see the said limits.

      Now, we are after release, and the servers still can't handle the load. It does seem an expensive business indeed, so they could have limited the number of available boxes, earn a few bucks with the subscriptions and then open more servers with more routers to hand

      • There's been a lot of MMORPGs. Every single one of the major ones has been plauged with problems like this. Maybe it's just not an easy problem? If it were just Sony or something I could understand saying that they don't know what they're doing. I seriously doubt that every single successful MMO is run soley by clueless people who don't know how to do stress analysis.
      • Actually, most of the servers are handling the load just fine. The problem is that a very large portion of the players are trying to play on a relatively small portion of the servers. There isn't much Blizzard can really do about this, though I'm sure they're trying their darndest. Opening new servers doesn't help, because there are already plenty of perfectly usable servers with low to medium populations.

        Blizzard did stress test, and might have even used those products you mentioned. Nevertheless, servers
    • I have no idea what the launch was like for Final Fantasy XI (being in Japan and all) but I agree. Being the best is rough. We have SCHEDULED downtimes and very few other outages. Altogether a very enjoyable experience.
  • Tychos Comments (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ben0207 (845105)
    Fair enough. Although Id imagine theyll give the award back when the servers are unborked.
  • What downtime? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bruha (412869) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @10:36AM (#11394712) Homepage Journal
    Luckily I seem to be on a cluster that's not being intergrated with a new cluster.

    Unless you know anything about how adding new servers to the clusters and how flippin hard it is to do right then really just sit back and go do something else for a bit.

    Everyone runs around with their heads cut off like it's the end of the world becuase the 8 hours they set aside to play the game are totally interrupted and they're delayed from getting to level 60. Get up watch some news and get involved for a bit. Then go back and appreciate you can at least play a game like wow in this country.
    • I agree with you that everyone should find something else to do, but at the same time, when you are paying $15/mo. to play the game, if you set aside even one hour, let alone eight, to play the game, then you should be able to play. I'm sure Blizzard will continue to credit people for their downtime, but still, this isn't reflecting well upon them.
      • Re:What downtime? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Swanktastic (109747)
        I agree with you that everyone should find something else to do, but at the same time, when you are paying $15/mo. to play the game, if you set aside even one hour, let alone eight, to play the game, then you should be able to play.

        What if $15 a month isn't enough to gaurantee that level of service? What if the level of hardware/support required to have five 9's uptime would require a $25 a month fee? Would you pay it? Would other customers pay it?

        Keeping a MMORPG up isn't the same as keeping a websi
        • What if $15 a month isn't enough to gaurantee that level of service?

          Xbox Live is much larger than WoW, supports dozens of games instead of just one, meshes with EA's network, and still costs less than $4/month (assuming you buy a year subscription at $40). Blizzard really has no excuse.

          • Xbox Live also has no MMO offerings. The problem of a non-mmo offering and an mmo-offering really isn't comparable.
          • Come on (Score:3, Insightful)

            by M.C. Hampster (541262)

            Except for the fact that XBox Live is, for the most part, a match-making service. The games are hosted on one of the players XBox's. The architecture is nothing like an MMORPG.

        • I agree with 2 of your 3 points. The one I don't and never will agree with is customer communication. Whenever a server or something happens they always post that something is going on and it will be back up when its fixed. As a user, that is all you need to know. You don't need to know what was wrong, you don't need to know what they are doing to fix it, you don't even need to know when it will be back up. All you need to know is that THEY know about it and are working on it. And that is exactly what
    • Re:What downtime? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lpp (115405) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @10:41AM (#11394781) Homepage Journal
      I think you nailed the problem for many folks though.. they've already set aside the time to play the game, having already gotten up and watched some news and been involved for a bit. Now they want to blow off some steam, go level up for a bit, or just chat with some folks they only know through WoW. And now, having set aside this time, having cleared the slate and, moreover, having payed the money, they can't access the game.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @10:42AM (#11394787)
    This is great game in so many aspects.

    But, Blizzard just can't get the servers to stablize. In fact the situation is getting WORSE not better. I could understand during the first couple weeks, but we're getting close to two months now.

    If you have a PvP battle with more that 30 on each side. You'll probably bring down a whole continent, or alteast completely lag out everyone in the region (can't loot, can't cast spells, can't get quests).

    Even with no battles, if there's moderate amount of people in region everyone lags out.

    We reported this lag bug so many times in beta. We /suggested many times for blizzard to upgrade their hardware for the traffic. Yet their policy seems to be to wait for battlefields as if that will magically cure their problem.

    For the amount of money blizzard is making in subscription revenue, I'd suggest hiring fewer corrupt GMs (a gm disbanded a guild his guild was fighting with) and upgrade their server hardware. C'mon guys let's replace those PDP-11s.

    - James

    • Blizzard just can't get the servers to stablize. In fact the situation is getting WORSE not better.

      It has been getting worse up until yesterday when they finally capped all the problematic servers to 'Medium' load.

      Sure, waiting in a login queue for 45 minutes to get in sucks, but wasting 4 hours when the game is lagged to hell or crashing every hour with a 30 minute rollback sucks a whole lot more.

      I've never seen the game run so smoothly as it did last night. The only downside is if you crash out you h
  • by dmauro (742353) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @10:52AM (#11394930)
    What was the number of units sold? About 600,00 (http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/10 /2030244&tid=209&tid=98 [slashdot.org]). That's a lot of people to deal with. And this isn't affecting all servers either. I have never had to que up or get lagged out on the Dalaran server. Yes it's good to give Blizzard hell and light a fire under them so that they get more servers going, get the current ones stable, and allow people to move from high to low pop servers, but rescind your GotY award? That seems a brash and immature thing to do at this point. They put up with the rough release, and saw through the server problems to find a great game? Why take it back now when you've known this was going to take some time to get fully worked out. Especially when you have more and more people joining. I also think Blizzard should be applauded for not shipping new copies of the game until the servers are stabilized. If they are going to have to stabilize the servers before selling more copies, don't you think it's their number one priority too? Give them some time, start a alt on a better server, pick a Horde race, and enjoy the game.
    • "I have never had to que up or get lagged out on the Dalaran server."

      I'm on Dal and I've been seeing a slow but steady increase of lag in the major cities.

      "I also think Blizzard should be applauded for not shipping new copies of the game until the servers are stabilized."

      No they shouldn't. Not only have they not been shipping new copies they have been forcing retailers to sit on the copies they have. Also it's not their concern for their current customers - it's PR damage control.
    • I have never had to que up or get lagged out on the Dalaran server.

      Thanks... I have never had any problems and my level 30 rogue is on the Dalaran server... Until now... Thanks, dmauro, for telling all of the lagging PvP mofos out there where the good servers are... ;-P I guess I'll just have to go back to Diablo I and II for my RPG fun. You've ruined WoW for me...

      Hahaha... JK.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @11:07AM (#11395177)
    I'm very glad this posted, I am a subscriber to WoW and I have to say that all things being equal I'm embarassed to be so.

    Why?

    I feel like an idiot for giving this company money for frequently crashing, laggy servers. I feel like an idiot for paying for a service where we are told absolutely nothing.

    These are the current problems with the game

    - HUGE queues

    Even at non peak times you can expect to wait 10m- 2 hours on a server. People argue that "you should have started on a low pop server". Well idiots all servers were low pop at the start. They don't offer a server transfer and of course they don't offer an australian server.

    - Server Issues and Lag

    Servers are not stable, full stop. Last week blizzard took our servers down for an extended 16 hour maintenance period. After this "FIX" the servers constantly crashed every few hours and on sunday night were down for another 3 hours. Now they are down for another 4 hours tonight for "maintenance". Every time they fix something, its more broken. Hmm..

    - Lack of Australian Server

    if we want to play with others we are forced to play on the WORST server on the network. We pay premium price just like the rest of the people only for some reason we have to wear pings of 300-600ms. This is an issue that blizzard absolutely do not comment on either.

    Communication

    As far as Blizzard are concerned, I don't deserve to know whats going on. Let me expand on this. Any time a server goes down, we are told basically nothing (one line of text suggesting they are down 30 minutes after the fact means absolutely nothing). We are not worthy of having updates. All we are told is "we appreciate your patience".

    If I have a technical issue and I post it in the forum. Most of the time it is ignored.

    If I post a genuine thread in the general forum, it is almost always ignored.

    Infact, the only time I can get a response is when I'm breaking the rules.

    Wake up blizzard, if you don't say anything then we can't exactly see that you're making changes because you're sure as hell not fixing the problems. Throw out the smoke and mirrors! Inspire some confidence.
    • Not trying to rag on you, but I have to add and correct to some of your statements...

      Huge - Waiting times? I have never experienced this on my Med and High pop servers. Maybe a few servers have this problem, but I have never seen it.

      Only half of the servers were brought down for the 14 hour patch, and it was on Thursday, which is supposed to be the least load day.

      Lack of server - Did Bliz actually release it for Australia? Or did you just import it? AFIK, only the US has been released to, which mea

      • Also...

        If I have a technical issue and I post it in the forum. Most of the time it is ignored.

        If I post a genuine thread in the general forum, it is almost always ignored...


        Blizzard has stated that, if you have a problem, posting it in the forums is not the best way to let them know. Email them. Call them. Or, even, page a GM in-game. I don't know, is that "breaking the rules"?

        Yes, there have been some issues, but they haven't seemed that godawful to me. It's still one of the best games e
        • We can go a step further than this and place Lag at the center of all sensory perception. Remember, the speed of light, while small, is finite. There is a lag between the entire world and your eyes, and vastly more lag in the chemical reactions that detect that light and transmit the image through the optic nerve to your brain. Philosophy majors, please make yourselves useful by writing long treatises on the metaphysical implications of Lag. Lag is all.
  • Here too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Taulin (569009) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @11:09AM (#11395206) Homepage Journal
    Out of all the MMORPG launches I played in (UO, AO, DAoC, SWG), WoW is by far the best, and could have almost been called perfect.

    However, looking at the big picture, there does seem to more problems now, than at launch, which is strange. Increased user base? Most likely the cause. I think Penny Arcade is just whining now since they are so spoiled with such a great game. Man, people are contacting ops over not being able to log into the forums they are looking so hard for things to complain about? I have been in many 50+ people raids with no network lag, and the graphics stayed pretty smooth also. Incredible times.

    My server was not one of the 14 hour down servers for some reason. Not sure why only half them had that long downtime last week. Wondering if they are going to spork the others this week.

    • Well, I think people are pretty much just complaining to complain as well. I don't doubt some servers have had issues, and my server has been up and down some, but overall it's been pretty good. So many of the other MMORPGs have had stability issues. During the brief time I played FFXI after its NA launch, it seemed to be down every other day for maintenance - that after however long they had to prepare from it running in Japan only. As far as your 50+ people raid with no lag, that's pretty good. We ha
  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrZombie (817644) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @11:30AM (#11395485)
    I was in the open beta when they capped the registrations at 500,000. That was supposed to be their stress test. Now I've seen a number saying there was 600,000 sales of the game, and then they stopped producing it. There were not these types of problems in open beta. Occasionally you would see a queue, or there would be downtime, but from reading the WoW forums, it seems like this is a huge issue.

    And then there are the people with the gaul to suggest that it's the players fault. That they should just "switch to a low pop server". Well, when I first logged into Cenarius last thursday, it was a low pop server. 5 days later I'm standing in a 700 person queue. Blizzard then, in one of the stupidest moves I have yet to see, decided they would put limits on the number of characters that could be on a server, after that population limit had already been reached on the server. I'm having trouble coming up with an analogy for something that stupid. It's like showing apartments to people, renting them out, and then afterwards find out that you rented apartments to more people than there were apartments, so you only let a portion of those people in at a time.

    And then there are the people out there who say that it's not Blizzards fault. Whose fault, I ask, is it then? I've been a software engineer for 6 years. At my current job, we are required by some of our contracts to maintain a 99% uptime. When a server is down, our web-infrastructure team is called in, from home, or wherever, to fix it. Our builds are very tightly controlled to minimize downtime. Blizzard has it even easier, in that they do not allow server jumping. They know how many people are linked to each server. They could easily just stop allowing new players on loaded servers. It's that easy. Really.

    This is my first MMO game, and if this is what people have to go through everytime a new one launches, I don't understand how they survive. Oh wait, yeah, they make you pay for a client that could be cheaply distributed via some kind of peer-to-peer technology. Like bittorrent. You know, that thing they used to distribute the beta.

    Some of this is knee-jerk, some of it isn't. I'm not cancelling my account or anything. I've experienced exactly 2 queues during the released version. Not terrible, but when I've got an 80 minute wait on one, it does make my desire to play whither on the vine, so to speak. And Blizzard seems to only be providing half-assed remedies for the problem, which just compounds all the negativity people are feeling toward them right now.
    • There is a reason for the queues over the last few days. They are having database problems after the latest maintenance on a bunch of the servers so they lowered the limit on how many can be on the server. This generated large wait queues. Its all posted in their forums.

      A lot of it is user problems though. A lot of people are playing on machines that just can't handle it. A lot of folks don't have fast enough internet. And a lot of folks are trying to play during maintence hours at very wierd times r
      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DrZombie (817644)
        Bull.

        Blizzard should have put hard caps on server population. Plain and simple. Their server maintenance schedules are ridiculously willy-nilly. Even in the open beta, servers were arranged by location. This meant that they could easily come up with maintenance windows that were conducive to affecting as few people as possible for a given server in a given region (east coast servers could go down for maintenance between 2am and 5am EST, west coast 2am and 5am PST). They apparently did away with that
        • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zed2K (313037)
          I try to play every night from around 8pm to 1am. And I've only encountered 1 queue that took about 3 minutes before I logged in. The fact that you don't like the reasons for the queues is not relevent at all because it is what it is.

          During stress test I didn't see nearly as many people around as I do now. The stress was not a good stress test or it was actually testing something else that users don't need to know about.

          "They should have been able to run automated stress tests on the servers to the poi
          • I'm paying the same price as everyone else to play and I really don't understand the hostility a lot of folks have. Its a freaking game! I've already got my worth out of it for this month. If I didn't play at all the rest of the month I wouldn't care. I've been able to pretty much play whenever I wanted to.

            I think you're going on the assumption that everyone is exactly like you. You say that you've already gotten your worth out of the game this month, but that concept is drastically different for each

  • Playing four or five days a week since Thanksgiving, I don't think I've had problems connecting more than three maybe four times on my regular server (Gilneas).

    I don't know if this helps anyone, but I was having terrible lag when I first started the game, but noticed others were playing fine. It turned out that my five year old cable modem was the culprit. I bought a new one and haven't had lag or framerate issues since then.

    The biggest issue is large concentrations of PCs in one areas. I've been in th
    • Same goes for me, and I'm on elune. I think maybe they just need to work on the way people are loaded in high population areas. Maybe they could load rough models first or just hide characters until their models can be loaded (works in ironforge with pcs but not with monsters). On the whole, I think it's a great game, worth the occassional bit of downtime.
  • I love this game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nutcase (86887) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @11:58AM (#11395926) Homepage Journal
    I switched from FFXI. This game is better. I have never seen a queue. The downtime has all been scheduled, and thankfully at times that dont effect me. I have seen a few flaky things like rollbacks on player locations (disconnected, and reconnect where you were 3 minutes before you disconnected) etc..but I get that. Some movement is tracked on the client side, and if the server goes down you can still move a bit. It's annoying, but rare these days.

    The ONLY issue I see is that it gets very very laggy in areas where there are a TON of people all at once - like the Auction House in Ironforge. It's in a huge area, across from the bank, next to the inn, and right by the entrance - all this traffic mixes to form a great town square... at 3fps

    If they could solve that issue (and it must be a hard one to solve) then the game would be just about perfect.

    Course, it sounds like some of the other servers are having a rough go of it.

    Oh well... I intend to keep playing for a long time to come - maybe if all the people who are having a bad time leave the load will become managable, and all the servers will work just fine.
    • I love it too. Arthas works fine. Maybe once a day, the server will crash and come back up immediately. Aside from scheduled maintenance and that inevitable lag in Ironforge, I have no difficulty playing, ever. I logged on at 9PM last night and saw a 32-person queue. I waited less than two minutes. Big deal. Some games have longer load time than that.

      Most servers and most players are having fun. You don't hear from them, though -- because they're either busy playing, or don't see the point in talking about
  • by aldridge (740912) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @12:53PM (#11396714)
    In totaly unrelated news Blizzard has a "Hot New Job - Network Operations Manager" [blizzard.com] as well as a few other positions including "Senior Server Programmer". [blizzard.com] If you wish to apply you can visit Blizzard.com [blizzard.com]
  • I quit mostly because the WoW community was generally more annoying than even the EQ community. Normal servers were so infested with people unable or unwilling to spell such simple words as "you," as well as just general idiots flooding the General channel with so much crap my /ignore list was filling up at the rate of 20+ names a day, and it was honestly taking up too much of my time getting away from those people. I tried leaving the General channel, but that caused all kinds of wierdness for me.

    PvP se
    • I have yet to see any 1337 speak on my server (Malygos, horde). The closest I saw was someone used 4 instead of for, and he was flamed for it. Just a bunch of where is this or LFG stuff or trade requests, etc. on the channels. I have yet to /ignore anyone. Only an occasional kill/chest steal also. Seems kind of wierd, I expected a lot more crap.
      • The main Normal server I was on was Elune (I think) and it was just rank with crap. Straight up "d00d" speak, spamming, people without the sense the gods gave granite asking how to complete quests that are spelled out in exacting detail over and over again. Not to mention people dogpiling on other games as crap and holding up WoW as the greatest game ever and anyone else who plays those old games is a toad. (My girlfriend plays Camelot, has no interest in WoW, and this is kind of a sore point, as a lot o
    • Haven't seen any of that stuff on Hellscream. Finding groups is a MAJOR problem in the game and I don't agree with how they designate elite quests and experience for them. But other than that I have not had any real show stopping problems.
    • Let's see, you didn't want to play against others, didn't want to play a character, and didn't want to play with people who can't (or won't) spell correctly. Assholes aside, sounds like you shouldn't be playing MMORPGs at all.

      My advice is to unplug from the network and go get your MCSE (Minesweeper Consultant, Solitaire Expert).

      I think PvP servers can be more friendly, since your guilds band together out of the common goal of obliterating the enemy, and not so you can all just hold hands and level to
    • I've found the pvp server to be pretty friendly. Nothing brings together a bunch of alliance by having some horde on the loose in contested areas.

      Dieing is soooo painless in this game I don't understand why you wouldn't want to play with the added threat of pvp. Yesterday I was kind of board soloing some 17 mobs (17 myself) when after I had just taken one down a rogue unstealthed and 2 shooted me. I thought it was funny he took two hits to kill me. Meanwhile, I took all of 30 seconds to run back to my body
  • And so it begins (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Reapman (740286)
    Ahh this brings back memories.... frankly you haven't hit bigtime in the MMO world until you start getting complaints about downtime..

    Seems like only yesturday UO opened up public, and it was quite the crappy experience... downtime, bugs, you name it. People claimed the game would be dead in a year, lawsuits were made, Coaster of the year awards given, etc etc... yet, long after the game should be gone imho, it's still kickin.

    Not to say that Blizzard should'nt get these problems fixed but, sadly,
    • Finally a voice of reason :)

      The longer you wait to play a "successful" mmorpg, the better the game gets. I say successful because bad ones fold like earth and beyond.

      But really, you have a super popular game released around the christmas season, of coarse the thing is going to get slammed.

      People are ALWAYS going to complain, ALWAYS. It just depends what the topic of the week is.

      Myself, I chose to start playing now because I felt 2 months was long enough for the game to get going. I still expect problems
  • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Tuesday January 18, 2005 @02:45PM (#11398134) Journal

    For anyone who has followed the hype about the PvP battlegrounds system, I have no idea how they'll pull it off.

    My server, Thunderhorn, is really quite stable. I remember the login server having issues, and it messed up Thunderhorn for a bit, but that was early December. Since then, I have not had a problem logging in or playing.

    Last night, the alliance traded a few raids with the horde. The climax of it ended up with around 90 or 100 players fighting with each other, in the middle of the Barrens. There was so much lag, that I could run around and "hit" everyone on the horde side, yet by the time that my "swing" got to the server, the other player was on the other side of town. The only ones who had success in making contact in combat were the magic users.

    If battlegrounds is supposed to be the culmination of hundreds of players working in unison, all fighting it out, I would be afraid to go into it with anyone but a magic user. The lag would be horrendous.

    • The battlegrounds are going to be instances. The instances are going to have limits on them. I bet they will have dedicated hardware set aside to handle just battleground instances so they can keep the player limits at a reasonably high level.
    • We just had a ~160 person Alliance raid on the horde on Windrunner the other night, and that's how the lag was but worse. It was pretty much insane. We poured into Ogrammir and it looked almost like nobody was hitting anybody, npc or otherwise. I'm sure some damage was being done, but I ran back and forth by multiple horde npcs/pcs and attacked them, hit once or twice, and didn't get touched.

      We actually had enough lag from that many people that on our way over there we managed to kick half of the peop
  • WoW (Score:2, Informative)

    by achacha (139424)
    The game is really not stable. They had a patch few weeks ago that results in at least 2 crashes per play session (ones where you get a dialog to send the crash dump to Blizzard). The lag is awful with NPC updates happening too seldom which results in you running and suddenly being beat up by something.

    Lag happens during combat and when a lot of NPCs are involved (like pulling a room). The lag is about 7-10 seconds and I can just sit there and rotate my camera around waiting for the server to come back,
    • by BenjyD (316700)
      I don't get it: I see so many people posting "WoW is so much fun". Are those times accurate - can you really spend 30 minutes running to a quest?

      In what weird world does anyone consider that fun?
    • Re:WoW (Score:2, Informative)

      by code-e255 (670104)
      Dude, please don't blatantly exaggerate.

      I've never spent more than 10 minutes running from A to B in World of Warcraft. I'm level 40 btw, so I'm not just talking about the low-level game.

      Most quests in the game can be completed in less than 30 minutes (from start to finish).

      Running from the graveyard to your body: dude, check your watch. The longest I ever spent running from the graveyard to my body was just over 4 minutes.

      Bird trips also only take 3-4 minutes.
      • Re:WoW (Score:3, Informative)

        by achacha (139424)
        Have you ever flown a bird from the Cenarion Town to Thunder Bluff (level 10 druid quest for bear form)? It's about 15 minutes in the air, I went to make food and came back and was still flying over areas.

        Ever die in The Barrens?
        Ever die in the north part of Mulgore?
        Ever die by Razonfen Kraul?

        All those are at least 10 minute run.

        Let's try quests now. Lets try the quest for bearform, you have to kill a moonkin in barrens, so you run to thunder bluff to get the quest, then 15 minute run through mulgore i
  • I am starting to be convinced that WOW support is just Bull s'. GM's NEVER reply in game. The only replies I get in the last 2 weeks have been computer generated. The game is just a bunch of BUGS. Yesterday I spent over an hour just getting unstuck and then getting back to the quest. It's obvious they test nothing. My dog could write better code. Maby if the users would BOYCOT their subscription renewals for a couple of months they would respond. Hit them in the pocket books???

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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