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World of Warcraft Suffers More Downtime

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the downtime-is-the-opposite-of-uptime dept.

Role Playing (Games) 205

_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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Patience is a virtue (2, Insightful)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394644)

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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11394680)

YEA.... When you can actually PLAY the damned thing!!1!

Re:Patience is a virtue (3, Insightful)

k_187 (61692) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394716)

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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395060)

I have no idea what beta was like, but I doubt they had anything near the current number of accounts playing the game. And as for the cost - Blizzard has been good about compensating players for down time.

I mostly play on Blackrock which just might be the most heavily populated server in the entire game. It was down for the extended 16 hour maintainance. There have been some game-wide login-server problems. And there have been a few outages in the last two months. But really, nothing to get all excited about. I trust that they'll adjust and things will be better over time. As long as they're compensating me for my lost game time, I have no gripes.

The only thing I can think to complain about is that the forums on their website are TIED INTO THE GAME LOGIN SERVERS. So, if the servers are down - you can't post on the forums. As most people from any online game will know, the forums are the busiest when the servers are down. Blizzard has crippled communications during the most critical times for players to communicate with each other and keep up to date on what's going on. It's absurd!

Re:Patience is a virtue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395754)

Personally I'd rather have the forum login down if the game isn't working. The forums have enough garbage in them without being filled to the brim with "OMG SERVERS ARE DOWN BLIZZ SUX I WANT MY MONEY BACK BETA IS OVER WTF" threads every time someone trips over a power cord.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396165)

I have no idea what beta was like, but I doubt they had anything near the current number of accounts playing the game.

I believe they capped it at 100,000 accounts, although it's unclear how many actually played. However, they only had something like 40 servers, whereas they now have 88 servers. So if we assume that all 100,000 people actually played during the beta and 300,000 people currently are playing (based on the MMOG chart figures), the server load now is higher than it was during the beta.

And I agree that I expect that Blizzard will eventually fix the problems, but we shouldn't just pretend they don't exist. They do exist. World of Warcraft hasn't been experiencing anywhere near a "perfect launch" as some people seem to believe. The problems need to be acknowledged, instead of just brushed off as things related to the launch. The game was launched almost two months ago and, while the servers are more stable than they were at launch, things seem to have recently been getting worse, not better.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

llefler (184847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396560)

The stress tests were capped at 100,000. They told us, when their beta registration server melted, that they accepted 500,000 open beta applicants. Of course, with their silly hacked BT client, some of those open betas probably only had 2-3 days to play.

I didn't expect a perfect launch, but I do expect them to work hard at making problems go away. They released a patch right before christmas to fix some bugs, and introduced some new ones. And nothing has been fixed since. I personally am debating whether or not I should suspend my subscription until they have some of their problems worked out.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

Sux2BU (20893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396022)

It is not strange. Beta was like a DSL webserver, launch was like that webserver being slashdotted. The system wasn't capable of handling as many users as they were getting, so that's why the servers started lagging and crashing. Blizzard is still trying to figure out how to scale the system up for as many users as they have, and that's not as easy as buying new hardware - they probably have top of the line machines already. What they have to do is change the server code to run on more computers or be more efficent. That takes time, which is why the service has been so poor lately.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396147)

It's not even that the stuff they set up couldn't handle the number of users; it's more that idiots have piled up on a relatively small number of servers, making those ones terrible to try to play on. The article says 20 servers were down, but that's out of over 80. A significant number, to be sure, but there are lots of servers with hardly any problems simply because they're not full to overflowing.

Re:Patience is a virtue (3, Interesting)

llefler (184847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396713)

Loyal customers who pre-ordered and created their characters on launch day are on those servers. Blizzard didn't have enough servers to begin with, and didn't add more for two days. By that time, characters were created and guilds were started.

Now here is the really moronic part... character names are available on each and every server, but guild names are unique for the entire WoW game. If you create your guild on server A, you cannot create it on server B (or even join it). I've seen frustrated players ask to move their guild to a less populated server, the request falls on deaf ears. What does it tell you when people are ready to abandon level 30 and 40 characters to move to a different server? Those same players then get blamed for staying on overloaded servers.

BTW, I'm not on an overcrowded server, and I only have one character in a guild, with a bunch of people I don't know.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397139)

I agree with you to an extent, and really I think Blizzard's best hope at this point would be to start allowing (or requiring perhaps) server transfers.

Nevertheless, a lot of big guilds did purposely decide to join the same servers.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

SoVeryWrong (576783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397165)

What started this whole overcrowding issue was Vivendi. They staggered the launch to coincide with timezones. So when the east coast servers came up, everyone in the country who had the game piled onto them, the Central and Pacific servers were damn near empty for the first few weeks. I assume that since then there has been a relatively even growth across the servers, but that jump right at the beginning doomed a few of them.

Saying that, I play on Draenor (Pacific) even though I live on the East Coast, and I've never had any problems with downtime. Ironforge still lags a bit, but otherwise it's been pretty good. I know that's no consolation to those who can't get in, and it sucks that they're screwed just for wanting to play the game they bought without waiting for their timezone to launch.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

obsid1an (665888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396681)

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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397065)

It will not help. The server I am on, Uldum, was a low pop server when I started over a month ago and has been getting worse of the last 5 days. Server side lag has gotten to be really bad lately I mean it sometimes takes 15-30 seconds to loot something or to get the NPCs to respond.

Re:Patience is a virtue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11394747)

Better than "crap" is hardly a recomendation.

Re:Patience is a virtue (3, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394960)

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 when you were playing, the lag and framerate were absolutely not playable. We're talking 3fps the entire time - if you were lucky. And with Shadowbane, they went from the "let's have one massive universe" idea to "let's have seven or eight of them" to compensate for the troubles and spread the load.

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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (2, Insightful)

Squatchman (844798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395182)

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 playerbase to plan around.

Just because you haven't been plagued by problems doesn't mean that the problems don't exist.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

lowmagnet (646428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397209)

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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395103)

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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

*weasel (174362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395452)

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's infinitesimal.

Every time a major publisher completely screws up their launch, or fails to deliver a stable product, I give one more proverbial gold star to Mythic. They've proven that it can be done; that there is no reason that we can not demand that level of service.

I've moved on since DAoC, and WoW is my current poison -- and a tasty one at that -- but this genre needs to demand better.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

tc (93768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396076)

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 most overloaded servers are the central zone ones. Why? Because people have friends on both coasts, and decide to plump for the central servers as a compromise. The reality is that geographical location of the server isn't really that important (I've played WoW from the UK, no problem), so the timezone classification didn't really help and in fact probably exacerbated the clumping problem.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

Sux2BU (20893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396087)

DAoC didn't break the record for concurrently connected users [blizzard.com] either. I agree the downtime and problems suck, but it's because they grew so fast.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

ThePiMan2003 (676665) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396843)

That is NO excuse. If they have so many users they should have plenty of money to fix it. OR they should not have sold so many boxes if they didn't have the servers to back it up. Its not like some gnome keeps making the WoW boxes to sell.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

Auraveda (802254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395533)

Here's an idea: don't play on a high population server. Unless all of your friends are on a super high-pop server, don't make a character there. I play on Malygos, a low-pop server, and I've never been queued up to log in, lag is minimal, and the only downtime I've noticed happened a few weeks ago for one evening, when ALL of the servers were down. Yet despite being a "low-pop" server I rarely have problems finding a group for a quest.

Re:Patience is a virtue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11396465)

Unless all of your friends are on a super high-pop server, don't make a character there.

For those of us with friends, guess which servers our friends are on?

Those of us who have been playing since launch have large groups and/or guilds who are stuck on high-population servers, unless we want to get the entire group to agree to start over.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397093)

Just wait - Uldum the low pop server I am playing on has been acting really funny the past 4-5 days as more and more people join it.

SWG Unstable? What galaxy are you from? (2, Informative)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395606)

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 unforseen incidents here and there.

These days SWG has become a supercargo aircraft that can go and go and go for days and weeks without requiring any maintenance, even though it occasionally has some slow-downs due to heavy loads...

There simply is no comparison in regards to server stability.

Re:SWG Unstable? What galaxy are you from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395864)

There's no worthwhile comparison from you anyway, because apparently you're going on what you've read. I'm sure if you look in the right places you could read that WoW knocked up your sister but that's not any more true than your "rickety bailing wire and spit Wright Brother's airplane that can't stay off the ground for very long and crashes continually" comment. Form your opinions based on personal experience, or don't comment on the state of the servers.

Re:SWG Unstable? What galaxy are you from? (3, Insightful)

llefler (184847) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (2, Informative)

NexusTw1n (580394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395731)

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. They should have anticipated server capacity, people should be able to jump servers without loss of their character, it isn't just about planning a great game, it is about planning contingency should something unexpected cause things to go wrong.

They have sold 600,000 units. Assuming everyone is still playing - a safe assumption seeing as the novelty value will still be strong - then that means they are making over a quarter of a million dollars a day in subs.

With that kind of income, buying extra servers, hiring temps to manually transfer existing accounts to new servers (which should have been something the software should have been able to do automatically), and offering rebates shouldn't be too much to ask.

I haven't played yet, I'm waiting for the EU launch at the end of next month. Hopefully things will be better by then, this is the one time the regular US first, EU later policy on entertainment may see benefits!

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

Sux2BU (20893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396204)

The problem is because they've sold 600,000 units. The servers are having problems handling that many players, which is why they're crashing. Throwing hardware at it alone won't fix it, since the server code would need to be changed to be able to spread over multiple servers. They have been trying to fix the server code, which is why we had the extended downtime on Thursday. The problem is that the change was buggy, which is why it was down again this weekend. Unfortunately this is going to take some time for them to figure out, no matter how much money they're getting a day. The only other way to fix it is to reduce the load on the servers. This could be done by moving people to other servers or forcing people to wait to login. Either solution would leave many people upset ("What do you mean that I was moved to this server while the rest of my guild is still on the old server?" or "I want to play, not wait 30 minutes to login. What they hell am I paying for?").

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

NexusTw1n (580394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396415)

throwing hardware at it alone won't fix it, since the server code would need to be changed to be able to spread over multiple servers.
Fair point, but don't you think the code should have been scalable in the first place? During the lifetime of a MMORPG there is no way of knowing how many or how few servers you will need. The code should be flexible enough to easily handle increases and decreases in cluster size.

Noone would use Active Directory, or Google, if the underlying system fell over everytime iron was added or removed.

Re:Patience is a virtue (4, Insightful)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396442)


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.

Re:Patience is a virtue (1)

Teh Suq (655848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396741)

Better to make a game that is so fun that people are upset when they can't play it than to have people not care if they can't play. Personally my experience has been great. I have rarely had a queue to login, nor have the servers been offline when I wanted to play. I guess I have been lucky but I'm certainly not the only one happy with the game.

Hard to be at the top (4, Insightful)

Squatchman (844798) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Hard to be at the top (3, Insightful)

Alarash (746254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394907)

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 handle the traffic. It seems to be the case already, only they sold too many boxes.

Or they could have tested their games with products from Spirent, Ixia or Agilent. Spirent's product can replay a PCAP capture. Record a few hundread of them, play them at the same time several time, and you get a pretty good idea of how your game will react. That's called application testing and every single datacenter has to go through this (although maybe only on lower layers, but since some equipments can handle layer 4 to 7 perfectly, I think it's still valid).

Not like I care, the game is still not released in Europe :)

Re:Hard to be at the top (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395086)

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.

Re:Hard to be at the top (2, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395181)


> I seriously doubt that every single successful MMO is run soley by clueless people who don't know how to do stress analysis.

Where is Lum the Mad? He had great articles about how clueless people running the show were. From bad Customer Service to nerfing, they are clueless.

Re:Hard to be at the top (1)

MacBrave (247640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395691)

He still has a blog, but stopped using the 'Lum the Mad' handle a few years ago: Broken Toys [brokentoys.org]

Re:Hard to be at the top (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395904)

He got hired by Mythic. Something tells me it was a good idea to retire LtM in that situation.

Re:Hard to be at the top (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396280)

Last I heard, Scott Jennings was working for Mythic, doing Customer Service software for DAoC.

His blog is here: http://www.brokentoys.org/ [brokentoys.org]

Re:Hard to be at the top (1)

Alarash (746254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395245)

I'm not quite sure, Arka. I'm not sure they hire actual Network Architects/Strategists on a permanent basis. I'd be curious to know, but my best guess is that they hire a IT company with the specs they need. Like "Alright, we want to be able to handle 1 000 000 customers, on 100 servers, kthx". Then the company runs some tests to check the VLANs tags, routers capacities, throughput and what you will, but I'm not sure they do any very heavy, realistic load test. The technology to do that exists, but is expensive (usually customers are Cisco, Alcatel, Marconi, 3COM, that kind of giants). I'm not sure Blizzard or even Vivendi can afford, or is willing to afford, that kind of testing equipment.

Re:Hard to be at the top (2, Informative)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396212)

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 can only handle so much, and when everyone piles on the same few, Blizzard's stuck.

Re:Hard to be at the top (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395101)

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.

Re:Hard to be at the top (1)

Yngwarr (561129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397115)

This excuse it a total farce.

Look, City of Heroes had a great launch. Dark Age had a great launch. And now Everquest 2 has had a great launch.

Games are rightly knocked for having bad launches. People need to stop making excuses for them.

Okay, if we were talking about some small company, maybe a bad launch would be okay, but Blizzard? Come on, this isn't a start-up by a bunch of newbies.

Reports Reporting (1)

DogBarf (147635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394648)

Reports Reporting, huh?
Is that like pre-reserving?

no, no (0, Offtopic)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394846)


You're misunderestimating the author.

Re:Reports Reporting (1)

TheDude2084 (214602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396998)

I think you get those on the 11th day of Christmas.

Tychos Comments (2, Interesting)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394663)

Fair enough. Although Id imagine theyll give the award back when the servers are unborked.

Netcraft link (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11394709)

Here's a Netcraft link [netcraft.com] . Sad news. I just bought the game. :(

What downtime? (2, Insightful)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394712)

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.

Re:What downtime? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11394737)

MODERATORS: MOD THIS STUPID TROLL DOWN!

If you don't like playing WOW because you have so many much more important things to do, then why the hell are you wasting your precious time posting in a story about WOW? Stupid troll!!

Re:What downtime? (1, Flamebait)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395094)

Shut, you Alliance pig!

Re:What downtime? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395263)

MODERATORS: MOD THIS STUPID TROLL DOWN!

If you don't like reading my posts because you have so many much more important things to do, then why the hell are you wasting your precious time responding to them? Stupid troll!!

Re:What downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395468)

lol, ohhhh... you got him!

Re:What downtime? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395845)

What idiot moderator scored this as flamebait? If you're spending your time reading a WoW related article, you should probably already know that there are two competing factions in WoW - the Horde and the Alliance. The Horde have Trolls as one of their races. Thus, someone yelling "TROLL!" would appropriately be called an "Alliance Pig!".

Re:What downtime? (1)

EddieBurkett (614927) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394761)

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? (2, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395577)

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 website up. When you have 100 servers and 1 goes down, someone is going to complain. The 99 others won't say anything. It gives the illusion that there are more problems than their actually are. I play WoW on a High/Red server and haven't had any problems.

I'm not giving them a carte blanche for bad service, but I'm not sure what you do in an industry where 50% of the customers are complaining that the price is unreasonable and the other 50% are complaining that the service is unreasonable? What do you do when 50% of your customers complain that the product is not perfect at release and the other 50% demand it to be released ASAP so they can start playing NOW?

I wish folks would complain about the issues that Blizzard could reasonably improve rather than the ones that may be theoretical impossibilities given the current state of technology:

1) GM's not seeming to understand that their job is customer service, rather than some sort of enforcer.
2) Terrible forum management
3) Customer communication - IE what is causing problems, what is being done to resolve them, and when problems will be fixed.

This whole situation is a little bit analagous to the problems airlines have with customer service. Mechanical problems sometimes can't be anticipated. The trick to customer satisfaction actually has very little to do with statistical performance, but rather with expecation management.

Re:What downtime? (1)

GameNutz (556033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395914)

If it's too much of a problem, then get out of the MMORPG business. No one forced them to make WoW.

Re:What downtime? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396065)

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.

Re:What downtime? (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396228)

Xbox Live also has no MMO offerings. The problem of a non-mmo offering and an mmo-offering really isn't comparable.

Re:What downtime? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396580)

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?

Five nines, maybe not, but other games (CoH, DaoC, etc.) have managed to be far more reliable with only rare (and pre-scheduled) downtime during non-peak hours, sometimes for even less that $15/month.

I wish folks would complain about the issues that Blizzard could reasonably improve rather than the ones that may be theoretical impossibilities

People complain because we know that they could be doing much better. Furthermore, they must start doing better, or many of us will be moving on.

Re:What downtime? (5, Insightful)

lpp (115405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394781)

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.

Re:What downtime? (1)

FLaSh SWT (233251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395496)

lpp, you've explained it perfectly.

Re:What downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11394827)

OK, I'll bite. Don't like it - don't play it. What's your problem again?

Re:What downtime? (1)

GameNutz (556033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395704)

That's not even the point! I don't care if it's "hard to do right". The fact is that when you sign up to play you have a contract with a company providing a service, not just a product. Imagine if this logic was applied to other areas of entertainment services:

- Out for a movie with your spouse and whoops! Projector is down for 5 hours. Come back tomorrow and see the movie with your current ticket, that's if you can find another babysitter for the kids.

- Ah, SuperBowl! Got all the food, drinks, and 20 people coming over for the game. Whoops! Cable will be down for 12 hours. Sorry about that! (Please don't start rioting!)

Etc. etc. etc.....

The real issue here is that game companies don't understand how to build these kinds of infrastructures. PERIOD! These are game companies, not service providers. Talk to their engineers and ask them to explain 5 9's methodology and multiple pathing. It's not their fault as they should be focusing on game development and work with companies that know how to build thses kinds of services/infrastructures.

I refuse to accept the oh it's difficult excuse when you are paying for a service. If it was a free service , that would be one thing. But you are paying for a service and should expect nothing less than the company living up to it's end of the contract.

Re:What downtime? (1)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396274)

But those things happen sometimes. Sometimes projecters die. Sometimes cable goes down. This is the reality of the world. Furthermore, this type of thing happens with just about every new MMO, and should be expected.

And if you refuse to accept it because you're paying for it, the likelyhood that Blizzard will make up for that with free play time notwithstanding, then don't pay for it. That's how it works.

Re:What downtime? (1)

GameNutz (556033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396676)

I agree that it happens sometimes. But you don't *expect* it to. There is the difference. Hardcore gamers, who are generally more tech savvy than non gamers, go into the experience knowing that there will be problems. Now try explaining to a general consumer that they can expect their service to never be available to them all the time and unexpectantly.
Again, I understand that problems arise but the prievious poster was excusing these issues. You are providing a service. If you expect there to be downtimes and crashed, make it part of the EULA and let consumers know up front.

Downtime inevitable (1)

oprahwinfree (466659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394741)

MMOGs will have downtime. Even Sony, no matter what some may think of them as a company, has years of experience running and maintaining servers for online game play and suffered massive downtime last month with EQ2.

I think it is to be expected. Blizzard isn't a telco. There aren't laws enforcing a certain level of uptime and punishment dealt out if those levels aren't met. Game companies shouldn't be reasonably expected to have as strict a standard as a utility, so they don't take on the enormous cost of having really reliable systems in place.

Recently stopped playing (1, Redundant)

zhevek (147623) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394774)

I gave up on WoW a few days ago. The constant lag and random downtimes were disheartening. Great game, too bad about the crappy server architecture. Or whatever is causing the problem.

Sadly Penny Arcade is right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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

Re:Sadly Penny Arcade is right (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395353)

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 have to wait in the queue again; but I think reducing the load has also eliminated crashes for most people.

I know this is only a temporary fix, but it seems like the best move to make until they can get the whole thing back on it's feet again. At least the 'estimated time' on the queue is fairly accurate, so you can find other things to do to fill that time while waiting.

time with the family instead (3, Insightful)

dmauro (742353) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:time with the family instead (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395139)

"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.

PA? WTF? (0, Flamebait)

cjpez (148000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11394956)

God damn, I'm so sick of seeing Penny Arcade links in Slashdot stories. Yes, I am a huge fan of Penny Arcade. I've got pretty much all their strips since two years ago saved on my hard drive, I even used to subscribe for their monthly get-interesting-stuff thing. But come on, they write a fucking webcomic . Cool as they are, and as incredible as their webcomic is, this does not make their comments about anything some kind of news-worthy announcement. People who already care about what Gabe and Tycho have to say will have already read it. People who don't aren't likely to be swayed just because they pulled a game from their fictional awards "show." Gah, and now I'm posting meta-comments on Slashdot. LAME.

Re:PA? WTF? (2, Insightful)

oprahwinfree (466659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395109)

Linking to PA makes perfect sense to me.

It's like if they linked to Larry Flint's blog on a story about a porn star. Gabe and Tycho are fucking game pundits. Games are their thing, and they are a good source to go to when you have a story dealing with games, especially when it's a story they themselves have covered.

Re:PA? WTF? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395513)

I was originally going to try and make a write-up of this story on my own, but then I saw that Tycho had posted a much better version that said basically exactly what I wanted to say. I figured that people would be more likely to respect what Gabe and Tycho have to say on the matter than some random Slashdotter. :)

I really intended this as a counter-point to what appears to be the prevailing opinion that EverQuest 2's release was plagued with flaws and World of Warcraft's wasn't. Blizzard has been having problems since launch. The problems may be perfectly understandable, but they shouldn't just be ignored or written off as "launch instability" - they exist and Blizzard needs to do something to convince people that they understand there are problems and that they're working to fix them. Having a server go down for "emergency maintanence" three times in two days suggests that there's something seriously wrong with the way the servers are running.

I'm beginning to think they're running the servers on Windows 2003 Server - they seem to simply reboot the servers fairly frequently. >:)

Server down time not the only issue (0, Flamebait)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395058)

--I can't post on the forums - login server down
--I emailed tech support about a problem and posted on the forums (when I could get on them) over a month ago - no reply from blizzard

Not surprising Blizzard has "stopped production" and told retailers to hold the games. It's damage control. They have already pissed off 500k people and want to make sure they have noobs to replace all the players who will jump ship as soon as the next game comes out.

Re:Server down time not the only issue (1)

Teh Suq (655848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396575)

Not surprising Blizzard has "stopped production" and told retailers to hold the games.
They have not told retailers to hold the game. It is on the shelves at many stores still. I could go buy 10 copies at a store 1 mile from here right now. You are correct about the "stopped production" in that they are not currently shipping any more copies until they are ready for them.

Re:Server down time not the only issue (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396712)

I know people who work at EB and Futureshop here. They say the same thing - boxes full of games in the back which aren't allowed to go on the shelf. If customers call they tell them they will have some in "in about a month or two".

On a side note (1)

Alarash (746254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395143)

Just in case some people didn't real the whole news on PA's website, it's good to know they were hired to do a few drawings for the official strategy guide - so they were 'officially involved' with Blizzard through Prima.

Also we all know that fanboys can turn to true haters when disapointed. But I don't undestand all the fuss about a webcomic removing an award - when it's not even the purpose of a webcomic in the first place.

Re:On a side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395268)

Its not so much the source that you need to question. It is the company and the service rendered. Most of us subscribers will be happy to see this in the limelight and we'll take what we can get thanks.

The more places this is exposed the better. Only hip pocket revenue loss will enthuse Blizzard into revamping a: Their server control and b: Their public relations.

The major problem is communication (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Corrections.... (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395286)

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 means other countries are not officially supported. I could be wrong about Aus, though.

Communication - Not only does the log in page have a paragraph or two if it concerns all players, but the forums also have comments from Bliz support with status and plans. There is a button on the log in screen that takes you directly there too.

Re:Corrections.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395567)

Well I know you're not trying to rag on me but you don't seem to be quite as aware as I am of the situation.

Huge- Many servers are experiencing huge queues. I happen to be on one of the worst, however I hear that it is spreading to many servers now. Look forward to queues because they are coming.

Whether half the servers or all were brought down for the 16 hours is not really the point. The point is, after all this (and zero comms on what they did aside from a few class changes) the servers that were worked on performed worse.

Lack of server - Australia had a major release too. Enough said. We have been released to and don't have a server. Our "unofficial" server is consequently the worst server as it struggles to deal with the high load of australians/US people on it.

Communication: The log in page RARELY references downtime. The forums have a standard 1 line comment, read them if you want. Many of these downtimes can last hours upon hours. Generally we are given a 1 line explanation an hour after it has crashed.

Realm Status Forum [worldofwarcraft.com]

Check the general forums, blizzard do not comment on anything.

Check the tech support forums, if your game is crashing heavily they will ask you very little but to update your drivers and reinstall.

I accept that you clearly are on a much better server and thus are mostly oblivious to the terrible problems of server instability though.

Re:Corrections.... (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395612)

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 ever created, and even if I only get on for 4 hours in a single month, I've gotten my fifteen bucks worth. C'mon, that's the price of two movies at the theater. One, if you have a girlfriend.

The only things I'm tired of are Blizzard's "planned outages" which they notify you of 30 minutes before, the random login server fuckups, and all of the people whining about lag.

Lag is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, on this very website. You can see it when you look at your webportal or when you turn on your XBox Live. You can feel it when you VPN in to work... when you go to The Cathedral of Light... when you eFile.

Re:Corrections.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395950)

Ragging on others???? I love people who generalize about others because their experience was different than others.

The FACT of the matter is that a substantial number of servers were brought down for 13 hours last week. Since that time, these same servers have been horribly unstable. Starting yesterday, these same set of servers started requiring users to wait in "queues" for up to TWO HOURS before they can play. These servers are even medium and lightly loaded servers.

In my estimation, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 users have not been able to play consistently for the past 5 days, and not at all for nearly two days.

The WORST infraction was that the communication was absolutely NIL. At least when EQ2 went down for 3 days a few weeks back, they had nearly hourly reports with actual information.

I'm so sick and tired of hearing people defend Blizzard blindly and calling everyone else whiners because A) their experience hasn't been that bad or B) they have some insatiable urge to defend a companies reputation at the expense of all else.

EQ2's launch was nearly flawless. SOE has experience and has had bad launches in the past. BUT... Blizzard had nearly a YEAR of beta to iron out the kinks. They put 600,000 copies in the channel. It's been over a month since release and things are getting WORSE than better.

It was absolutely appropriate that Penny Arcade to revoke their GOTY award. The game is by far the best MMO I've ever played. But the server situation sucks, Blizzard needs to step up to the plate with game credits, better communication, and whatever else it may take to remedy the situation. And they haven't been....

Re:The major problem is communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11396811)

Yes, I just love it when the login screen has a line saying the servers are down, with a "Click Here For More Info" button... which takes you to the Forums which have no information about the outage whatsoever.

Most of the time, the most recent post from the admins in the forums is from a day or two prior to the problem. Why link to that with a statement that it provides info when it doesn't?

Here too (2, Insightful)

Taulin (569009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395206)

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.

Re:Here too (1)

helfon1 (307170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11396631)

I have to disagree with you on that one. Dark Age of Camelot launched without a hitch that I can remember. The only downtime was a once a week scheduled patch that included new features.

I played on one of the biggest servers and it would take 300 people being in the same immediate area.

Every mmo has it's problems there is no doubt but Blizzard apparently didn't do enough stress testing or didn't control server population balance if there are some servers that are getting hosed and others that are competely fine.

GU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11395347)

Today's GU [gucomics.com] deals with the same topic. I don't play the game myself, but these game companies need to start getting their acts together, this is getting too common in the industry, that is to release a game way before it (or in this case the company) is ready to do so.

Ridiculous (3, Interesting)

DrZombie (817644) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

As usual, players fail to learn from history (1, Troll)

UziBeatle (695886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395572)



Okay, I'm no PC gaming spring chicken. 48 years old and been around the block twice when it comes to computer games. Recent related experience: I was with DAOC from near the start of their launch, Blizzards Diablo2 as well. Was a fewl and bought Never Winter Nights at release..etc. (all the above bought at release)

What sage advice do I have for all the whining crybabys out there that can't seem to learn from experience? Allow me to beat it into your thick crybaby skulls.

Item one.: When it comes to massive online games in particular, NEVER buy the game until it has been out for AT LEAST six months. Period. THis also applies to games that are not massive online items. Any game released these days usually has a patch/fix cycle during first six months AT LEAST, other sad cases take up to ayear to get 'right', if ever. Major Added bonus. TIred of paying 50-70 bux up front for games? WAIT. I picked up Morrowind for 10 bux just a few weeks back.

Item two: As it relates to Blizzard history directly. Blizzard had a similar problem with the release of Diablo2. THe game was unplayble more or less for the first six months of release, until Blizzard fixed the servers. (Yes I'm refering to closed server realm play not the games some random
gaming jackass hosted on his/her PC>)

Item THree: Any online game of noteworthy populatrity will have launch problems Problems to be expected with the launch of WoW were written all over the wall. I propose to you that anyone with any gaming experience at all that did not understand that going into the agreement with Blizzard at the outset is a profound idiot. Period. Blame yourself not Blizzard. Sit back and wait for them to fix it, they will I'm sure... er.. yeah ,... sure they will.

Item 4: Meanwhile while all you are testing it and paying Blizzards bill and paying for their $80,000+ (ha) cars I'll enjoy offline gaming and consider buying WoW or maybe EQ2 sometime this summer. More likely, I'll wait until next fall. By then I expect both will have some shakedown things squared away and the games can be properly evaluated. As a added bonus I would expect the shelf price to drop by then. See, I'm one of the ones that concluded it was a ripoff to pay 50 bux plus up front for any online game that required a monthly service fee to enjoy it. If the games in question still cost that much by summer-fall of this year I simply won't buy them. No whining needed.

Bottome line, if your one of the whiner crybabys
STFU and buck up. Cancel the account or STFU. Wait till they fix it and come back or STFU.

Cheerio, I hope I offended some of you. Have a nice day ..

Maybe I'm just lucky (1)

borkus (179118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395614)

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 the starting area for the orcs while the orc city was under attack and been lagged. The auction house in the Alliance Territory is especially problematic; I find that I have to approach it, then inch up on it until all of the player characters render. The map there makes the problem worse - there is a big trench in front of the Auction House. I frequently see players leaping into the trench because they lagged and forgot to take their hands off of the movement keys.

I would like to see Blizzard fix their player character lag issues. Overall, I find the time spent in the game enjoyable.

Re:Maybe I'm just lucky (1)

UziBeatle (695886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395702)



Well that's good to hear.

What I notice is people seem to have thresholds. SOme folke handle 'problems' and still enjoy their gaming dollar spent. Others with similar problems find their dollar horribly mispent and cry either silently and fold the door or cry loudly and wake the neighbors.

Us jaded non WoW/EQ2 outsiders will wait it out and thank you for your hard work.

Cheerio.

Re:Maybe I'm just lucky (1)

Stalin (13415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395743)

The system lag in Ironforge, for me, was a result of not having enough RAM. I recently added another 512MB stick to my system, bringing it up to 1024MB, and Lagforge miraculously became Ironforge.

The server lag though is most assuredly from too many people in one "zone". I would like to see Blizzard fix that and the damn login server.

I love this game (2, Insightful)

Nutcase (86887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11395926)

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.

Re:I love this game (1)

Rallion (711805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397428)

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 it.

I quit, but not for technical reasons. (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11397058)

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 servers were off the list as I'm not interested in any PvP at all. Besides, they by definition aren't friendly places.

I tried Roleplaying servers, and while they were certainly quieter and mostly free of morons, I am not interested in playing a character, and in the little time I had available to look around for guilds, I couldn't find any where I wasn't expected to roleplay in guild chat (not unexpected as it's a roleplaying server) and I was having the devil of a time finding groups so I could complete my elite level quests.

So I just quit. Interesting thing is that you can't cancel WoW without giving a reason, with associated "Did You Know" from Blizzard trying to get you to keep playing. My reasoning wasn't on there so I gave them something random. Fun game. Lag was annoying but not too awful. If it wasn't so popular and therefore drew so many jerks, assholes, and other such people I might have kept playing.
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