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World of Queuecraft

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the queue-this-blizz dept.

304

BondGamer writes "Gamespot has an article discussing the ongoing problems with Blizzard's World of Warcraft. It outlines how the same issues have been plaguing the MMORPG for over a year now with no end in sight. From the article, 'If there's an absolutely excellent game, but no one can get online to play it, is it still excellent?'" Anyone have any hellacious queue stories? Update: 03/01 16:06 GMT by Z : Blizzard also announced today that they've hit 6 Million Subscribers.

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304 comments

Server splits (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826490)

There are times on the weekend when there are over 400 people in the queue on my server, and the wait to get in is 40 minutes.

They need to do some server splits, the way EQ used to do it.

Re:Server splits (2, Insightful)

doomicon (5310) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826564)

I'm a casual mmo gamer(>10 Hours a week). I couldn't imagine spending 40 mins at a time just waiting to login. While I can put up with occasional bugs and whatnot, being able to login (outside of maint. windows) is a must! I pay a monthly subscription to play, I expect more.

currently playing MxO, so some may argue my "I expect more." comment ;-)

Re:Server splits (1)

Thangodin (177516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826609)

Good idea, but the split somehow has to be voluntary. The reason that crowded servers get more crowded is that a friend invites you to join him on the server he is already on--but he's been playing for a year, so the server is already crowded. Migration by individual choice has to be allowed, so that whole guilds can wander over. For that matter, people should be allowed to migrate to any lightly populated server when theirs gets crowded--and they should be allowed to take all their stuff, because if you don't allow that, no one will move.

Re:Server splits (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826662)

Of course you get to take your stuff, but I can see why they only allow A->B migrations, otherwise people would be creating alts and checking out what the auction prices are on the low-pop servers in order to make the most gold. Essentially it *is* a server split.

Users' own servers? (0, Redundant)

yurnotsoeviltwin (891389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826495)

What would be the feasibility of turning an MMORPG like WoW into a system like, say, Counter-Strike, where the servers are privately owned and run by individuals, clans, or something like that? What I could see happening with that is people buying WoW and then instead of paying Blizzard a monthly fee, they would pay whoever owned the server they wanted to play on. Of course, Blizzard would never let people do that because it means somebody else would be getting their $15/month, but it's an idea.

Re:Users' own servers? (1)

Saphier (888836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826527)

Won't work with a game as drama filled as WoW. People who run their servers who also play the game would mean GM corruption and bias. May work well for FPS games where the world is not as continuous, but with MMORPGs in general, having the managing staff/server admins that play the game as well is a bad idea.

Re:Users' own servers? (1)

yurnotsoeviltwin (891389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826548)

Perhaps, and I could definitely see that happening on free servers, but if people were paying to use someone's server then the admins would have to be fair in order to keep people from just leaving. Capitalism at its finest! Speaking of which, I bet it would also end up bringing the price down a significant amount, since there would be competition between the different server providers.

Re:Users' own servers? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826582)

Blizzard would never let people do that because it means somebody else would be getting their $15/month, but it's an idea.

Exactly, 50 dollars for the product or 50 dollars for the product at 180 per year... You decide what you'd rather do as a businessman.

And I can just imagine some of the people who would try to build their own servers to play WoW on. You think it's bad today? At least Blizzard has everything to lose. This motivates them to do better. I can imagine some of the RPGers out there who actually think it would be neat to run their own servers coupled with the types of RPG geeks who think they could actually mod the game into something better.

Frankly I'll stick with the corporate style server... at least they have people who know when things are a bad idea and will put a stop to it. It's not like 10 D&D buddies with a wad of cash who think (haha!) that they can't do any worse.

Just for the record: I can't vouche too much for WoW. I'm an EQ2 player and considering some of the dumb things I've heard out of players mouths about what Sony should impliment in the game.... [rolling of the eyes]

Re:Users' own servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826632)

why the eff is this modded redundant?

Re:Users' own servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826705)

Mods on crack? Personal vendetta aginst the poster? Who knows.

Re:Users' own servers? (2, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826772)

Someone has already got their own server running, check out xaoswow.com. Never tried it, and I've heard that cheating is rife.

Phil Hibbs.

Only real answer is free character transfer (3, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826518)

The problem is that a realm can get very busy after you've already levelled a character nice and high, and then you are screwed. I understand Blizzard is trying to deal with an avalanche (yeah, boo hoo) - the only real way to deal with it is to keep adding servers and allow players to transfer their characters between them. Obviously some kind of limit would need to be in place to keep people from hopscotching all over (say, 1 transfer a month or something), but since the service is literally falling down sometimes, it is only fair to allow players to load-balance themselves, and for free, in a reasonable way.

More servers != good solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826600)

Fuck that, adding more servers isn't a plus if it splits the userbase more. I don't want to find out a friend has been playing for six months on a different server and that we can never adventure together.

It's nontrivial but I really wish Blizzard would find a way to increase the concurrency on each server. Unfortunately, in addition to all the technical limitations, this probably means making the world bigger, which means breaking literally everything about the game.

If I were on one of the realms "closed" to new characters, I'd be incredibly ticked off. Granted, I'm already ticked off that I have to wait an hour to play every night (plus an hour some of the times I get disconnected, but not others), but that would be icing on the cake.

Re:More servers != good solution (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827125)

It's nontrivial but I really wish Blizzard would find a way to increase the concurrency on each server.


Agreed, and agreed again. It would suck specially if you are in a guild that "grew up" together. You have 100+ members and have your strategies down to a T. You do pretty well on endgame instances and battlegrounds. Then the servers become crowded and and blizzard offers to split servers. Half the people on the group will want to migrate, and the other half won't. And so the dynamics of the guild is screwed.

Like you said, incresing concurrency would be ideal, but I guess from a technical point of view it's probably much more difficult (I don't know how well their backend scales).

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826628)

In Everquest, the server splits just split one server between two different servers. You kept you character, but you went to half the population.

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826728)

With web servers it's possible to serve the same content up from multiple servers. Couldn't this be done for world of warcraft? You store the data on a central db, and when you lot into a server, it loads up your character, and lets you play. You'd be able to play on any server, with the same character.

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827342)

You'd be able to play on any server, with the same character.

But unless theres a LOT more backend work than you're talking about, you'll only be playing with whoever logged into your server at that time, which is part of the complaints about server splitting from the player's prospective. Plus, the servers are self-contained worlds, which is part of what makes just letting people transfer at will problematic on Blizzard's side as well. If you slay the King of All Evil (or whatever) and this is supposed to make a permanent impact on the world, what happens when you log into a server that still has its King of All Evil? Do you get to kill him again?

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

B0red At W0rk (876713) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826748)

I don't see why there needs to be a limit on character transfter. From a certain point of view, each server is just a different instance of the same world. If one of those if too busy, I'd like to have the option to login to another one that has room right away. There's not practical reason why my character should by tied to a specific server.

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

pneumatus (936254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827019)

There are things that link you to a particular realm, namely your guild - what use would it be to log in to a random realm causing all your guildmates to be on other realms.

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827128)

That doesn't stop Guild Wars from doing it (Guilds aren't server-specific in GW). I'll take the GW implementation any day over WoW. I don't want to be in a position of telling a friend who also plays the same game "Sorry, I can't play with you, dude. We're on different servers."

-Eric

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827139)

Guild Wars handles this without problems. You can switch servers at any time- it takes a few seconds, and you can communicate between servers. Someone just shouts out "MEET AT AMERICAN 3" and you're done.

Perhaps I'm missing something technical, but given that Blizzard is making ~1 billlllyyyyon dollars per year on WoW I think they could manage to program something up.

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827120)

For reasons of progression, itemization and economic balance, as well as socialization.

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827000)

Obviously some kind of limit would need to be in place to keep people from hopscotching all over (say, 1 transfer a month or something), but since the service is literally falling down sometimes, it is only fair to allow players to load-balance themselves, and for free, in a reasonable way.
I thought the method Square Enix implemented with Final Fantasy XI was pretty decent. When you create your first character, you were randomly assigned to a server. Subsequent character creations under your account defaulted to the same server.

Unfortunately, it kind of screws over friends who want to play on the same server. One of them has to create their character first and the others have to wait until the first person makes enough gil to purchase a World Pass. That could take up to a week. The other option was to keep going through the creation process until you hit the same server as your friend. That took less time, but could be quite frustrating.

Still, it beat sitting in a queue...

Re:Only real answer is free character transfer (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827150)

The problem is guilds. You would want all your buddies to move over too. I am not paying and playing at this time due to these problems. I will wait and I am really busy at this time.

Play in the morning (1)

bucketoftruth (583696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826519)

Have your guild reschedule your MC/BWL/AQ raids for 6am weekday mornings. I mean, if you're regularly raiding those instances you probably don't have a job anyway.

Re:Play in the morning (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826611)

This is such an overexaggerated piece of garbage.

I work a full time job (with overtime sometimes).
I take a graduate course at my college.
I'm married.
I get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

I raid three times a week with my guild (MC, BWL, AQ, ZG, though not all in one week), and I'm an officer organizing things in that guild.

I have tons of free non-game time, though the queues are making things worse. Then again, I just get homework/housework/etc done while in queue.

Re:Play in the morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826848)

I raid three times a week with my guild (MC, BWL, AQ, ZG, though not all in one week)

I've been wondering about this for some time. Perhaps you can explain this to me.

It sounds like high-level gameplay in WoW is basically restricted to these "raids". And it sounds like the number of different "raids" is extremely limited - you identify four, of which you apparently do three each week.

Doesn't it get boring? Are you seriously spending that much of your free time repeating exactly the same in-game content, over and over and over again? Or will any two runs of Molten Core be sufficiently different that it doesn't get repetitive?

I don't know... not having tried it, maybe I'm missing something. But as an MMO outsider, it's totally not obvious to me where the appeal is in killing the exact same bosses over and over again in the exact same dungeons.

Doesn't it totally destroy your sense of immersion, when you can fight an epic battle, and when you leave victorious, you get to the entrance and bump into the queue of other guilds lining up for their turn at the epic battle? Doesn't it seem a bit silly, when you coordinate a massive team of 30 or 40 guild members to execute a brilliantly coordinated plan to bring down a mighty monster, only for the said mighty monster to be back in exactly the same place next week, waiting for you to kill it again with the same plan?

WHAT IS THE APPEAL HERE? What am I missing? Are my observations totally missing some point? Would I actually enjoy this if I tried it?

Re:Play in the morning (1)

SnowDog_2112 (23900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827070)

"WHAT IS THE APPEAL HERE? What am I missing? Are my observations totally missing some point?"

Yes, you're missing the point, but that doesn't mean you'd ever see the appeal.

The appeal is that the journey itself is fun. There's a whole style of gameplay where you attack the same challenge over and over again, getting better at it until it loses its fun and you move on. (See: Tetris, Pac-Man, platformers) There's also a style of gameplay where you cooperate with friends to achieve a task (See: any co-op platformer or FPS). Finally, there are games where you get random loot for your trouble and try and maximize stats and effectiveness (See: Diablo 2, Roguelikes, etc).

Now combine all that together.

Maybe it wouldn't be fun for you, but it's obviously fun for some people.

Re:Play in the morning (1)

IsoRashi (556454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827083)

Hehe I agree. My schedule isn't as busy as yours, but I manage to raid pretty regularly with my guild. Onyxia we usually do on Monday or Friday, and then go right to another instance afterwards. ZG is typically a two-night affair with half the bosses Wednesday night, and the rest on Thursday. MC usually we start Friday then wrap up Monday. AQ20 we do pretty much whenever there's a strong interest. I don't go to every raid, I don't play every night, but when you know the strats then it's not too difficult to set aside an hour for ony or 2-3 to run part of MC... assuming you can get on and aren't lagged to hell and back, that is.

Re:Play in the morning (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826651)

I mean, if you're regularly raiding those instances you probably don't have a job anyway.

Thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I know plenty of hardcore players who can clear BWL, MC, and are currently working on AQ. All of them have full time jobs. Its a false assumption to think that if you can put time into the game, you dont have a full time job.

Re:Play in the morning (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826832)

I'll bite but parent should be modded flame bait/troll.

Here is my week's WoW Schedule:

Sunday 5pm clear MC, duration about 5 hours.
Monday 7:30pm kill Onyxia, duration about 20-30 minutes.
Wednesday 7:30pm learning/killing in BWL, duration about 3 hours.

If I really feel like, I can hop on a AQ20 raid or a ZG raid. Depending if I have the time. Lately I don't have the time. My guild is a guild made of casual players with jobs, families and there are 2-3 raids max a week, not to mention Onyxia isn't even a raid. More like a 30 minute get toghether.

Total play time: about 12 hours a week, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. Do we have full time jobs at 12 hours a week? If yes, please let me know, I want to sign up.

Re:Play in the morning (1)

TheSam (636870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826914)

I think I'm the only one that thought this comment was perfectly sarcastic. I call bluff on anyone with full tier2 epics (or even tier1) that says they have a (healthy) life outside of WoW. Oh well, maybe I'm just jealous that they found a way to balance it and I ended up cancelling to spend more time with the lady.

Re:Play in the morning (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827312)

Well, you can call my bluff if you want, but I play exactly 1 day a week, for roughly 4 hours, in one of my guild's weekly MC runs, and I have full epics except for trinket slots. They're not Tier 2 (1 piece) or even full Tier 1 (5/8 pieces) but they're all epic and I'm happy with what I've got, and I didn't really put in an unreasonable amount of time in MC to get them.

I admit I used to put in a lot more time, when I was levelling up. But now that I'm level 60, I'm very casual.

It's still worth my $15. Just barely. And the queue on Feathermoon was horrible, it's mostly gone now that they gave us the option of transfers to Rexxar for a week. A LOT of folks left.

Queues *plus* lag! (1)

IsoRashi (556454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826529)

Last night I got back home and went to log on, figuring I could catch the end parts of my guild's MC run. I connect to the server and get put in a queue of 303. 10 seconds later, it becomes a queue of 300. Ef that. I canceled it and went to go play an alt on a different server. No phat lewts for me :(. What really takes the cake is that even though there was a queue, apparently the entire server was lagged badly. We get put into queues so we have to wait to play the characters we've spent months and months developing, and then when we finally get in it's lagged so much that the playing experience becomes frustrating?

Blizz: "gg no re"

Unlucky! (1)

pneumatus (936254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826539)

Well, I was am of the unlucky ones to have been on a realm that was open for character creation over the Christmas period. Prior to the end of December we were a medium population (sometimes high) realm with no queues. As soon as Christmas hit we sprung to a high pop realm and now get queues of about 30 mins a night.

As far as horrible queue stories go, I got booted out of WoW through network problems just before our first kill on Golemagg in MC and didn't manage to get back online due to a 15 min queue until the right was over and all the loot had been dealt.

Bliz appear to be making token efforts to help ease the problem with queues such as the new "Character Creation Management System" which prevents char creation on realms already queued but this is only going to stop the problem getting worse. Migration to another realm is the only real option and Migration windows are scarecly opened, plus it means you may potentially have to leave a lot of friends behind. This means their only real option is to upgrade the realm servers to be capable of handling more people (to reduce the queues) while still keeping char creation blocked.

Re:Unlucky! (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826659)

I've been on Spirestone since it opened... it was a low pop server until Blizzard allowed transfers from a medium pop server. Now, because of the character creation stuff, my "low" pop server has a queue on it.

It really sucks.

How to handle something you don't like (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826549)

Stop playing. Simple as that. From the article,

I unabashedly adore World of Warcraft, but enough is enough. The high-population servers need to be managed better.


This is just one of the reasons that I quit my account over 2 months ago. It was hard at first -- I'd put in almost a year, been to all the major instances, and my 60 priest main was quite epic-equipped. It was hard, at first, to leave the guild that I'd helped to form, and the "friends" that I had met -- but, I could no longer justify spending $15 per month on a game that was quickly becoming more frustrating than it was enjoyable.

There are many other games out there which are ...

- just as fun as WoW
- have much better customer service & support
- cost a lot less, both in terms of money and time invested
- better for your health

Re:How to handle something you don't like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826821)

There are many other games out there which are ...

- just as fun as WoW
- have much better customer service & support
- cost a lot less, both in terms of money and time invested
- better for your health


Name one. No, seriously, name one! I quit WoW ages ago (almost six months ago) after getting fed up with Blizzard. I haven't picked up any other game to replace it yet. Before someone mentions it, Guild Wars doesn't count: I've played it, and didn't enjoy it.

WoW really is the best MMOG out there. Of all the MMOGs I've played, I liked WoW the most. Unfortunately I can't afford the time and effort to play it (or not play it, as the case may be).

So, please, name these games that are just as fun as WoW. I'm interested.

Re:How to handle something you don't like (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826988)

I liked City of Heroes a lot before I got rid of my Windows PC.

I've been playing WoW on my Mac, but I'm getting bored with it now, and may cancel my account soon.

I doubt I'll go out of my way to find another MMORPG. These days, I find I enjoy the brief distraction of console games over the level grind of computer RPGs.

Re:How to handle something you don't like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14827030)

I agree. I'm looking for a new game after quitting WoW in Jan. I had been in a similar position as the OP: /played about a year, farming MC, lots o' epics, working on BWL, officer in good guild, etc, etc, but I had to quit. It took up too much of my time, the queuing sucked, class nerfs based on forum whiners, server perfomance issues that were there since release; I just had to quit.

But, there aren't any new games that I have enjoyed as much as I enjoyed WoW, in spite of all those problems, and I don't forsee any on the horizon. I'll give Oblivion a shot, but I'm not expecting much. I considered GW or DDO, but I don't really want to jump back into the MMO stuff right away. I would if SWG wasn't a steaming heap, though.

w/e. Not much point to this post except to say, yeah, gaming outside of WoW kinda sucks right now, if you're like me and not into FPS or RTS.

Re:How to handle something you don't like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14827186)

I can name more than one:
Basketball
Soccer
Chess
Monopoly
Shadowrun
slashdot

I guess it depends on your idea of fun.

Re:How to handle something you don't like (1)

tekkou (944664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827226)

EVE Online would be one. Granted, the setting isn't the same, and you may not like that if you're more into fantasy than sci-fi. I find the game a lot more fun than WoW, FFXI, and MxO (the three other MMORPGs I've played) because there is a much better feel of immersion.

The customer service and support are great. The devs keep in contact with the playing population through Dev Blogs and forum postings. They even go to some of the player gatherings. In all, they interact with the community quite a bit. The game support is great too. There is a daily down time from 6AM-7AM EST to keep things running smoothly. Patches come as needed and fix more problems than they create. The expansions are free. And the best part, you can just download the game client from their site. Many places offer 14-day free trials, and it's only $20 to buy an account and you get 30 days with that.

I also feel the "levelling" system is great. Because it is a real time system, it's not conducive to the power-gamer type that will spend 10+ hours a day to try and get to the last level as soon as they can. However, it means that you don't have to be at your computer to skill up. You just pick a skill to learn and wait for it to be done. Depending on the rank and skill level, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a matter of months. So even when you're on vacation you can be getting "experience."

As for whether or not it's better for your health, that's up in the air. Sure, because of the training system, and the autopilot to let you travel through the systems without having to be present, it gives you time to do other things. But since it's a full PvP environment, seeing your ship go up in flames from a pirate while you're just carebearing it mining can definitely strain your heart a bit.

I should also mention that CCP just installed a brand new server system which should more than double their capacity. This is great, since the game is all a single "shard" which means everyone is playing on the same place. It holds the record for MMORPGs for the most people playing on a single server at once.

Re:How to handle something you don't like (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826871)

I finally stopped playing as well. Though honestly, I'd barely gotten started playing, but as a casual player (by necessity...sigh...), I could never count on being able to get into the game when I did find time to play. I had other issues with the game's aesthetics, but the queuing issues did not help keep me. I may take another look in 3 to 6 months, but for now I've returned to Final Fantasy XI where queuing hasn't been an issue (FFXI has other issues!).

Hyperbole!!! Generalization!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826556)

No one can play it! It's the best game evar! Americans hate the French! Irishmen are drunk all day long! News for nerds! Stuff that matters!

Let's go ahead and rope it in a little bit, okay? Gross generalizations and hyperboles don't usually work out too well in the end when a single case to the contrary debunks the whole basis for arguement. Even that one probably won't stand up for long.

Nis

Re:Hyperbole!!! Generalization!!! (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827017)

Gross generalizations ... don't usually work out too well

Mmmmm! Smell the irony! Delicious.

Re:Hyperbole!!! Generalization!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14827333)

indeed it was. All part of my grand scheme.

Nis

Queues make it bad for those online and off (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826563)

When you're scheduling or participating in raids, a few key members queued up for an hour delays things for everyone. We've had lots of times where we have a scheduled start time of 8PM that becomes 9PM easily with the queues. Even with people trying to login earlier, an hour and a half queue is obscene.

And as said, there is no end in sight. After 15 months, if there are not only still queue problems, they are getting worse weekly, what hope do we have for getting things fixed?

But there will still be suckers like me who keep playing and as long as that is the case, and enough do that, they get away with it.

Queues? (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826565)

A friend of mine sat in the que for one of the PvP places (I think It was something like warsong gulch?) for 30-some hours, that was kind of crazy. . . but I haven't had much experience with queues to get into a server. . .

FP

Re:Queues? (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826888)

What your friend experienced was the opposite problem: Nobody in Warsong Gulch. For the battlegrounds ( Warsong, Arathi, Alterac ), you can't enter the battleground until a certain number of people are in the queue. So if the queue requires 40 people per team, and one team only has 39 in the queue, all 79 people will sit in the queue indefinitely.

It sucks.

Re:Queues? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827297)

Close cases like that don't exist.

Blizz knows that it'd be dumb for lack of one person to hold up 79 others.

I've been queued for Arathi Basin, and entered only to find I was the only one on my side versus 6 on the other. With too few people, however, it'll terminate the battleground within 5 minutes.

Re:Queues? (2, Interesting)

26reverse (305980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826998)

Wrong queue. Often times (specifically Alterac Valley) there just aren't enough people at the same level playing those areas (10 level 20s from both Horde and Alliance, for example). So, yes, a 30 hour wait is tantamount to an infinite wait. Those aren't Blizzard's problems, the online community needs to get together and schedule specific times to play PvP.

At least during those queues, you can stay in line, but run around and quest/farm/auction/chat/etc. The issue here is the queues just to get ON the server.

Over Christmas, Blizzard also limited character creation on certain realms. Good, glad to know that new players would be forced to newer realms. Unfortunatley, that unleashed a flood onto the "open" servers. And the queue for my realm increased drastically.

Blizzard has said authorized certain specific realms to transfer to other specific realms in the past (say, if you were on realm A then everyone could transfer to realm B... but only those on A could go only to B). They have hinted in the past at opening that up a bit... such that any one on any realm could transfer a character to a new realm. Might be useful. There's also been hinting at "pay to transfer" schemes. That would help limit the hopscotching, as well as put money into the infrastructure and upkeep.

Re:Queues? (1)

Robmonster (158873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827228)

There's also been hinting at "pay to transfer" schemes. That would help limit the hopscotching, as well as put money into the infrastructure and upkeep.

So they want you to pay to transfer your player to another server, so that you can play the game you're already paying for? Wow! Good luck to them if they can get away with that!

"but no one can get online to play it" (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826572)

If you cannot get online because the server is full and puts you in the queue, then, apparently, there are people online, a whole lot, obviously. That doesn't relieve Blizzard from being cheap bastards that don't provide enough servers, but, as long as you don't want to infer lying, someone seems to be online, it just doesn't happen to be you.

Re:"but no one can get online to play it" (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826698)

No-one can *get* online to play it because so many people *got* online a couple of hours ago while I was at work!

Re:"but no one can get online to play it" (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826840)

As soon as someone of those already online quits another person can "get". How precise do you want to define the present? I'm all open for whiney word wrangling today! Seriously, to say noone can "get" online, because someone already "got" is like saying you can't "get" because some has been able to "get" before you. Catch my drift?

Re:"but no one can get online to play it" (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827042)

Kind of like the line Yogi Berra once said about his favorite restaurant:

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

Re:"but no one can get online to play it" (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827131)

I stopped going there months ago, it's just too boring for something claiming to be an RPG (I would go so far as to argue WoW is inspired by RPGs as much as "I, Robot" is inspired by the original Asimov). Just as with Diablo 2, I just bought it because pretty much all of my friends said it was great. *sigh* I should learn that Blizzard just doesn't produce stuff I'm remotely interested in...

Ridiculous (1)

Puhase (911920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826608)

My server was relatively new when I started on it and now it has the usual primetime que of well over 500+. Compared to other servers this could be rather minor but the fact that it is still causing me headaches shows how severe the problem is.
My example is probably one that many have experienced. My raid guild was doing its usual round of Onyxia followed by MC and right in the middle of MC, I disconnect. Usually not that big of an issue, as I just do a restart and log back in....to find a que of 780 and a wait time of about an hour. I'm one of the primary healers, so its alot harder to take on bosses without me and getting another guildmate in takes time. Add to that the fact that I wont get any of the loot I might have been able to have a chance at and the issue of my reputation with the guild. Even if I'm a good player, if there is a higher chance I'll disconnect and be gone for over an hour because of the QUE (curse its name!) I'm less likely to be brought on raids. So it hurts me and everyone I'm playing with.
I especially don't know how casual players deal with it. If they want to log on and spend a free hour questing or something, in which case they can't prearrange that time and prepare, they wont play a minute as they just sit the que.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826717)

I have never had to queue after a disconnect, I think it lets you past the queue under certain circumstances.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826818)

You have about 5 minutes to log back in after an involuntary disconnect and you can skip the queue. NB: In this case, "log back in" would be when the character select screen appears.

You would think... (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826610)

With blizzards initial money from other games, on top of 50+million a month, they could have legitimate servers that can handle more than 3k per server, and more than 100 people per 'area'

Can't wait for Darkfall!http://www.darkfallonline.com/ [darkfallonline.com]

Re:You would think... (1)

RustyTaco (301580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826846)

Then everything would be more over-farmed. Adding server capacity isn't going to make the world big enough to hold the extra people. On the "up" side, more people might get disconnected from the lag in IronForge, thus letting people in the queue in.

  - RustyTaco

The mere fact... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826615)

.. that about 400 people are constantly waiting in line bespeaks that yes, the game is worth it. To them, at least. Not to me. It the queue is longer than a few minutes I'm not going to wait around. I'll load up Civ IV. It's perfectly capable wasting a few hours.

Although, it does suck that servers are filling up as soon as they're created, during the times I play, I don't seem to have too many queue problems... save for Saturdays, but I almost never get a chance to play on Saturdays anyway.

Re:The mere fact... (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826817)

Yes. You can waste a few hours playing Civ IV. Great game, but you're still paying for WoW while playing Civ only because you can't play WoW when you wish to.

Yogi Berra said it best (2, Insightful)

enkafan (604078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826635)

Wasn't it Yogi Berra that said "nobody goes there anymore...it's too crowded"?

queue madness (1)

Intangion (816356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826664)

after transfering to mug'thol (to avoid large queues on bleeding hollow) i once had to wait almost 3 hours in a queue, something like 900+ people in it at first (also orginally estimated 45 minutes wait time..)

day before yesterday on mug'thol i waited for an hour and a half and finally managed to get on

then i wanted for ANOTHER hour and a half to get into the AV battleground. then 5 minutes in half the people lost connection (including me) i couldnt reconnect for approx 15 minutes. when i finally was able to connect guess what? i had to wait in an hour and a half queue again, i got in BG queue again and it was going to be another hour and a half wait.. again..
i ended up having to goto sleep before it came up, i spent the entire night in one queue or another

Re:queue madness (1)

Intangion (816356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826839)

but btw i love the game and i dont think anyone else has every done a better job managing a MMO
and they are responsive to problems like this, they constantly open new servers and transfers and im sure they will solve this problem too

Re:queue madness (2, Funny)

LordSkippy (140884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826937)

Does this mean that there are more people waiting in WoW server queues, than actually playing SWG?

Re:queue madness (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826974)

You left Bleeding Hollow because of the queues? All my characters are on Bleeding Hollow, and I've NEVER waited more than 15 minutes to get into the game. Usually I have no queue, and when I do it's usually a 5 minute wait.

Out of curiosity, are you Alliance or Horde? I wonder if players get put into different queues depending on what faction they belong to.

Re:queue madness (1)

Matthaeus (156071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827266)

They can't. You get queued before you see the character selection screen, so they don't know ahead of time whether you're going to play alliance or horde. Assuming you have characters in both factions, of course.

They could weight it on how high a level your characters for each faction are and which character you've been playing lately, but I doubt they've put that much effort into it.

must be my servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826666)

RPPVP and PVP servers to be specific, but I have not yet had a queue to wait in (knock on wood). The second battle ground however I have only played once (everyone wants to be on a mount, the bg is a bit large)

Re:must be my servers (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827141)

RPPVP and PVP servers generally tend to be low population servers simply because people enjoy the predictability of not having the chance to be randomly ganked. PVE servers are, naturally, insanely packed to the brim as a result. Oh and lets not forget about the division effect it has on the community (PVPers are jerks! PVEers are carebears!)

And the alternative is ... ? (3, Insightful)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826707)

No matter what they (or any MMORPG) does, there is a group of people that will whine.

The alternative to no queues is ...?

A) Let everyone in. I've seen that in other games. It's not pretty. Things don't scale infinitely, and the game server would be unusable. People would then bitch that the game server is unusable.

B) Static cap the server population. They tried that recently. Immediatly there were tons of threads on their forums saying "I can't create a character on world X where my friend is playing! I paid $50 for this game, blah, blah blah".

Personally, I rarely see a queue, and I've been playing WoW for a year on the same server which has been "full" for some time. About the worst I see is about 30 minutes, and I simply alt-tab and read the news for a few or maybe do a quick chore around the house my wife had been nagging me to do :)

- Roach

Re:And the alternative is ... ? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826870)

j/k

You have a wife who lets you play games so much you're willing to wait 30 mins to get online? .... ...

DANG! That's nice. :-)

Tom

Re:And the alternative is ... ? (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826943)


I know you were just joking, but the point is that I don't "wait", mainly because there's always something else to do.

I would not sit in a chair and stare at a screen for 30 minutes watching a queue.

And if I got caught doing THAT (and at the same time, say, the trash hadn't been taken out), THEN I'd be in trouble :)

- Roach

Re:And the alternative is ... ? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826968)

Yeah I guess the trick is to multitask...

Connect, start quest, pick up kids, battle boss and win quest, make supper, start new quest, put kids to bed, finish quest ...

hehehe :-)

If they could make GTA:SA for the gameboy I'd be in heaven... screw these RPG games. Portable mayhem is where it's at.

Tom

Re:And the alternative is ... ? (1)

Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827210)

My wife (yes, I know, turn in the slashdot card etc.) is an avid player, and she is on at all times she is not doing something else (sometimes even while she is). I am a casual player, and neither of us has run into this infamous queue problem. What we did do, which was as much for ourselves as other players, was to create all new characters on a small pop server shen we decided to game together. I deleted my characters from Sivler Hand et. al. when we did, and stuck to playing on one set of servers. Our server has since become full, and has regular Monday night lag crashes, we just plan our time around those.

What I always wonder is why does Blizzard not provide what they have promised for some time, the ability to move characters between accounts and to move a whole account to another server. I for one would be delighted to pay a little extra if they set up an 18+ server. She and I are not PvPers at all, and dealing with the kiddies leaves us wishing for a cluebat based on teledildonics.

Either way, once we hit 60 we will probably seek another game for a while, until the expansion comes out (if ever).

Re:And the alternative is ... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826890)

"No matter what they (or any MMORPG) does, there is a group of people that will whine"

you're right. damn those whiners. why cant they just sit in the queue for 2 hours quietly like everyone else? i hate whiners, but i loooove queues. Thank god there arnt enough servers to support everyone at once, otherwise we couldnt possibly sit in a queue all day. Forget server transfers, those are just for whiners too. long live the queue!

DEATH TO SHARDING (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826708)

Personally I blame all of Blizzard for using ULTRA-ANCIENT technology in most of their games.
Ok, it looks all nice and spiffy and polished and runs excellent on most machines, blah blah blah, but still... the most clear-cut case ? Isometric sprites (Starcraft) when 3D rendered RTSs started popping up... eh.

EVE-ONLINE. They got the right idea. DEATH TO SHARDING.
Split the world in regions, hold different regions on different physical servers, or just have a freakin' supercomputer running the realm... but have a huge network of PROXIES all around the world that lets people access the SINGLE existant world.

Re:DEATH TO SHARDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826984)

WoW is driven by player created content, WoW's world is about 1/100,000th the overall size of EVE, and there are millions of players in WoW.

so basically you want some 300,000 people in IF yelling "LOLOLOL" all day, or 3000 people raiding crossroads? That wouldnt lag at all. next time think before you say something stupid.

Re:DEATH TO SHARDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14827115)

I seriously would like to see 3k people raiding XR (unlagged, of course). That, to me, would justify the 1st M in MMO.

Right now, my mind is staggering just imagining it, similar to the probably server performance. ;)

Re:DEATH TO SHARDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14827288)

You know, I play EVE. I like EVE. I quit WoW partly because I liked EVE better. That said, WoW cannot do the non-sharded system that EVE has. It's not possible. Think about it, how crowded is the game world already on servers (I used to be on Thunderhorn), and how much more crowded would it be with everyone on one? The world simply is NOT big enough. All of the capital cities would look like the mosh pit at a rock concert. People packed shoulder to shoulder, pushing and shoving trying to get where they're going. (Yes yes, no clipping but still the horror!)

Warcraft would have to be made so much larger to accomodate this. Plus I don't want to think about the sheer number of servers to handle this, I mean EVE can probably handle around 50,000 simultanious users after their hardware upgrade (assuming they told the truth on their capacity increase and that wasn't just somebody from marketing spinning it). 70 dual core dual cpu systems to keep up with 50k players. That's a hefty setup. Sure bliz makes boatloads on subscriptions. They can probalby even afford it. But they'd need to hire so many extra artists and designers just to lay out all the new space. And then figure out how to explain it all so it made sense. But if they could do it..... That might be something to get me to reconsider my cancelled subscription...Naw I doubt it. The game would still be boring.

Hyjal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14826744)

Hyjal had the constant 30-60 minute queues every evening up until January. All of a sudden after one of the patches there were no more (note, this was weeks after they stopped allowing new character creation). As of about a week ago, they all of a sudden came back with a vengeance. That speaks of technical issues on their end, not the number of players.

AQ and Servers (1)

smallferret (946526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826814)

I regularly deal with the prime-time queues of 300-400. I just get home from work, log on, and go make and eat dinner. I'm much more frustrated with the lag issues--we've gone into Blackwing Lair many times, only to fight the first boss in Matrix-like "Bullet time." It's simply not that fun to play a game when you can't actually do what the game intends you to be able to do. Another interesting note--we opened the AQ gates this weekend, at 3am on Sunday. The server crashed 8 times during the opening and twice when the 10-hour event ended. Clearly getting back on wasn't a problem at 3am, but having a server go down like that just speaks poorly to some design choices.

Easy Solution (1)

whoop (194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826838)

I have a fairly easy solution. Log on to worldofwarcraft.com, select Account Management, then Change Subscription, and click the radio button "Cancel recurring subscription plan." They even let you fill out a box with your reason for leaving, presumable someone there reads them.

Although, I'm not so heavily into it as most of you, not even 60 after six months. Still, you could do it to get the point across and re-up again later.

Queues? We don't need no stinking queues? (1)

Spleener12 (587422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14826992)

On Shadow Moon, we don't have queues. Or at least, not ones that we see.

At peak hours, we just get "retreiving character list" for 20 minutes when we try to log on. Maybe we'ere queued and they just don't want to say it, or maybe it's just taking that long to get the character list. After we finally get the character list, we get the loading screen. The blue bar fills up... and we wait another 10-20 minutes.

Sometimes we get to play. Other times we get disconnected after the blue bar (perhaps our connection timed out?)

Honestly, I don't think character transfers are the answer. They just need more powerful hardware running the server. Or something like that.

Surprisingly, Guild Wars cheaper *and* better now (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827011)

I used to play WoW, then I played Guild Wars for a while and enjoyed it about as much (and no monthly fee, which was important to me at the time). Recently, my finances improved and I went back to WoW. What followed was 2 weeks of "World Server is Down" server crashes, long waits in queues, sitting around for long periods trying to find someone to raid with me in particular dungeons, etc.

I cancelled my account after that two weeks and went back to Guild Wars. Why?

  • Guild Wars has a MUCH better server system (switching between servers can be done at anytime, in-game) and, since users can look for groups across all the servers, it's always easy to find a group for a particular mission/quest/raid.
  • The chat system is better.
  • The "spectator" feature where you can watch both classic and current championship tournaments (even controlling the camera) is 2nd-to-none. I've never seen ANYTHING this impressive in any other online game, at *any* cost.
  • And, of course, no monthly fee.

I know I sound like a shill for Guild Wars or something, but it really is fun. The only downsides are that:

  • The countryside is instanced, so you don't run into other players out just exploring unless you've grouped with them (but, really, how useful is that ANYWAY?).
  • There isn't a good market system like the WoW auction houses and the EVE markeplace.

-Eric

Re:Surprisingly, Guild Wars cheaper *and* better n (1)

pneumatus (936254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827088)

The countryside is instanced, so you don't run into other players out just exploring unless you've grouped with them (but, really, how useful is that ANYWAY?).

Anyone for Diablo 2?

It is the weakness of MMO's (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827026)

Gameplay wise the first weakness it that of course you can't be the hero. Nor can you alone affect the world.

Yet that is what 'makes' most RPG's, you the Hero! saves the day, rescues the princess (or prince according to sex and/or preferrence) and slay the evil XXXXX.

But in an MMORPG you can't do that. In fact 99.99% of the time you are in a que of other people getting the same quest from the same NPC while another que is reporting that they completed the quest. Just how many blue stones does that merchant in Everquest 2 have anyway?

EQ2 did something world altering recently. One area was altered to include griffon towers (mass transport system) and the building of them was a world event. It worked because EQ2 was/is dying and there weren't all that many people around and it was mid level so many of the high levels were not even aware of it or couldn't be bothered.

Still for the maybe 3 dozen players in the evil realm on my shard it was a lot of fun. Especially since I was really to low level but still ended up saving a high levels ass :P Good fun when a level 18 beats a level 24 enemy owning a level 28 player. Granted he was busy crafting and the enemy never hit me but still.

Anyway, that is what makes real gameplay. Not doing grind missions but reshaping the world.

But even if you could do these events constantly for year after year how do you deal with popularity?

The griffon event was split as it happened in both the evil and good area of the world and was further split by 3 towers being built at the same time. And still it was laggy in a underpopulated game at odd hours in a low level realm (level 20-30 when most are at level 60-70)

If you had a full game or worse a non-sharded world like eve-online you would have to be extremely carefull not to create areas people have or want to be in.

SWG tried this. Early on when you created your character you could select your starting planet and city. Considering the size of the planets this would have allowed a huge number of players spread out over the planets and cities so that you would have a huge playerbase but without the crowding.

Pity it never worked out. Because of some borked design decisions everyone gathered together in one city wich was then lagged and bitched about while other cities on the same planet were deserted. Hell at peak times you could go to the outer planets and be completly and utterly alone while the main city (name escapes me but is on correlia) was to laggy to play.

Frankly I think current game design is to hung up still on the single player design rules. The central city, the market place where all the goods are sold. The central hero around wich everything revolves.

In fact MMO games should be 'designed' more like goverments trying very hard to spread out employment and stop everyone wanting to move to the big city. There is a reason not everyone lives in New York or London. Part 'natural' causes like high rent and part artificial stuff like moving goverment offices to less populated areas.

Yet this seems to be completly missing in games. You want to ply your wares in the main capital of correlia? Why certainly my lad. That will be a 1000cr hourly fee thank you very much. Entertainer tax that goes up by the number of entertainers?

EQ2 doesn't even seem to make an attempt at spreading people out other then by level.

If a MMO is ever going to be truly massive it is going to have to figure out either a new way to handle thousands of connections to the same 'sphere'. Might be done, IRC does something like it and usually for free. Or they are going to have to find ways to spread their user population out across the realm.

Holding events that can only be enjoyed from one spot certainly seems not the way to do it.

WoW has shown the world that a huge pile of cash is waiting for he that creates an MMO that is playable at launch. Now all that remains is for someone to make a real MMORPG. Just as soon as we figure out what that is anyway.

Re:It is the weakness of MMO's (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827243)

Gameplay wise the first weakness it that of course you can't be the hero. Nor can you alone affect the world. ...(snip)...

WoW has shown the world that a huge pile of cash is waiting for he that creates an MMO that is playable at launch. Now all that remains is for someone to make a real MMORPG.


In single player RPGs you can be a hero. In MMOGs no. Well that's not all true. Guilds have their "heroes", the decked out main tank, the badass DPS rogue, the awesome healer. But, it's nothing skill related.

No matter what style of gameplay you try you cannot be the hero in single player RPG sense. The most crucial skill in any MMOGs is: time. Take every single MMOG, and the most powerful avatars in these games are played by people who have a metric fuckton of time on their hands. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy these games because you have no time. It means that the "heroes" are only defined by one skill: time. The High Warlord in WoW (highest PvP rank) is nothing more than a player with a lot of time on his hands.

As to the real MMOG comment, many have tried before. UO was probably the only "real" MMOG. It also had HUGE glaring flaws: PKing, macroing, and in the end all this got very controlled and changed. It's all good and nice of wanting a "real" MMOG but they all failed or were revamped later (UO no PvP shard, instances in EQ and so on).

Re:It is the weakness of MMO's (1)

Vivieus (676170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827305)

The Ahn'Quiraj event fits your definition of "Hero" stuff, since on a given "world" (server), only one group can make the scepter to ring the gong (only one player gets to do that) and open the gates. The gates also open only once, so once it's done, no one else will have the opportunity to do it. It also allows everyone on the server to benefit from what that one group/player did.
I'd really like to see more of that, but it has its limits in terms of "who gets to do it" (big guilds) and "will the server live?" (zone overload -> crash).

Why is it obvious? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827064)

Obviously some kind of limit would need to be in place to keep people from hopscotching all over

Not sure why it's obvious. Disney's Toontown does it this way, and as long as you can maintain a friend list and guildie list that is ABOVE the server level (aha, I have 3 friends on bloodscalp and 15 on eldre-thalas tonight), what's the problem?

Since the worlds are all identical (ie the Alliance/Horde ownership of Tarren mill doesn't change), what would be the problem. I know I would ALWAYS try to choose the least busy server with reasonable pingtimes that I could.

With the money they are generating WHY (2)

MISplice (19058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827107)

You would think with the money they are generating from the game ( 6 million customers at 15.99 a month = $3,198,000 a day ) they could upgrade/manage the lag/queue problem better. Sure my figure is a little off because id you pay more up front you per monthly cost is lower but still thats a lotta money coming it with little frustration being reduced to the gamers.

novel idea! (1)

SplendidIsolatn (468434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827292)

hey, here's an idea -- if you're on a server that routinely has a queue, and you want to play at 7 pm, why not log in at 6:30 and go do something else in the interim?

if you get logged in, just tap a key every now and then so you're not AFK

This is nothing new,.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14827319)

All MMORPGs have had and still have queue problems. Do as someone else suggested log in before you're ready to play, or stay logged in all the time, open a fucking shop or something.

Or just deal with it, you'll get in at some point. People are out of their mind, it's a game not your life you fucking losers.

i just rejoined, then quit again 10 minutes later (1)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14827324)

I was gone from WOW for a few months. I'm a casual gamer, only play 10hours a week or so, but still find it fun. Imagine my surprise when I logged on for the first time in months to play, only to be hit with a 20+minute queue to login to the server! Needless to say, I logged right out, cancelled my membership. It was so quick, they didn't even have time to charge me. And if they did, I'd have disputed it with my CC company. That is rediculous.
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