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116 comments

What 'problems?!' (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 8 years ago | (#15002239)

Note: the following post has been graciously hosted by AT&T.

This [Connecting...] is [Authenticating... ] absurd. I [Authenticating... ] demand that all of [Authenticating... ] these false [Authenticating... ] allegations be stopped. There [Retrieving character list... ] is no way [Retrieving character list... ] in hell [Retrieving character list... ] that anyone [Retrieving character list... ] has ever [Retrieving character list... ] suffered [Retrieving character list... ] from any kind of [Loading... ] lag [Loading... ] while playing [Loading... ] World of Warcraft. The [Loading... ] hosting has been [Loading... ] meticulously [Loading... ] perfect and infallible. ["Ok, I'm in game, why don't I see anyone in Org?"]

When will you learn that if a company takes your money, they are providing a service that cannot fail? [/console reloadui]

Makes a news item in Slashdot (3, Interesting)

penfold69 (471774) | about 8 years ago | (#15002264)

Try living on the EU servers - its been like this for a year.

P.

Re:Makes a news item in Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002397)

EU servers are far worse HOW did this make news??

Rant

Loot Lag
Server downtime
Trade Lag
Lag lag

Rant over
back to fear spamming wabbits

Possible cause.... SBC/ATT merger? (3, Interesting)

8282now (583198) | about 8 years ago | (#15002269)

Haven't been terribly impressed at the technical capabilities of SBC....

Has it begun? (1)

LordSkippy (140884) | about 8 years ago | (#15002355)

Maybe AT&T has decided to start throttling the bandwidth based on destination and who's paid them their protecti... er... double tax.. er... rightful usage fees.

Re:Has it begun? (1)

sgant (178166) | about 8 years ago | (#15002458)

No, now that AT&T has reformed back into the beast that it once was...they're taking back their old attitude of "We don't care because we don't have to. We're the phone company".

Now, I have two options on getting hooked up to high-speed internet where I'm at. Either SBC(AT&T) or Comcast. Damned if I do on either one.

Re:Has it begun? (1)

_Hiro_ (151911) | about 8 years ago | (#15002625)

Could be worse.

Here we can have AT&T or Time-Warner RoadRunner. (Or pay Earthlink for them to pay TWC for RoadRunner, or pay AOL to pay TWC........)

Refunds? (1, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#15002374)

And will World of Warcraft subscribers be compensated for their lost gameplay time? Time they paid good money for?

Re:Refunds? (1, Troll)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | about 8 years ago | (#15002501)

They have been several times in the past. Usually, when service is particularly bad (or noexistent) for a period of time, Blizzard will hand out a free day or two of service to subscribers (extending their subscription period for 24 hours or whatever). Multiply 50 cents a day by a million subscribers (stateside) and that's a pretty significant payment on Blizzard's part. Not exactly as good as just spending the money to FIX THE SERVERS, in my opinion, but it's a nice gesture.

Re:Refunds? (3, Funny)

C0rinthian (770164) | about 8 years ago | (#15004198)

Blizzard Server Admin 1: Hey, some guy on Slashdot said we should fix the servers!
Blizzard Server Admin 2: *facepalm* Shit, I NEVER thought of that.
BSA1: Imagine the implications of such a radical approach!
BSA2: My god, thank you ZombieRoboNinja! Your insight will revolutionize server administration around the world! Fix the Servers! Simply amazing.

Re:Refunds? (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 8 years ago | (#15004945)

Yup. All this time they have been mindlessly pressing the big red "Lag" button instead of throwing the giant switch from "Broken" to "Fixed".

It's a good thing there are Message Board Warriors out there who understand that the real solution to networking difficulties is to drop coins into the slot and pound on the console a few times. Otherwise nothing would ever get fixed.

Re:Refunds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002560)

Does it really matter in the long run? If they give everyone a free day, what have they lost? All the losers will still renew their subscriptions and buy the upcoming expansion pack and keep paying. A free day isn't the same as money back in your pocket, or money out of theirs.

Re:Refunds? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 8 years ago | (#15002656)

Time they paid good money for?

I know better...the money I gave had been through the wash and was all crinkled, especially near the edges.

Re:Refunds? (1)

DeadMilkman (855027) | about 8 years ago | (#15003219)

Yes that whole 2cents an hour.

Considering you are probably working, sleeping, or eating 18hrs per day that leaves a whole 12 cents they might just possibly owe you if it really was unplayable during that entire 6hr stretch.

Re:Refunds? (1)

Jeian (409916) | about 8 years ago | (#15004015)

As I point out on the WoW forums every time someone whines about compensation:

$15 / 30 days = $.5 per full day.
$.5 / day = $.0208 per hour.

I personally have never suffered enough unscheduled downtime to merit more than about 4 cents.

Re:Refunds? (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | about 8 years ago | (#15005000)

The problem with this logic is that most of the downtimes happen on the weekend, when everyone is trying to play. I can realistically only play 3 days a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) making my 'days' worth $15 / 12 = $1.25

That, times the three days I lost is almost enough to rent a different game. Going by your method, we have to subtract out the .5 day we lose every Tuesday for the 'weekly maintenance' period.

Re:Refunds? (1)

podunk9119 (678493) | about 8 years ago | (#15005570)

I cancelled my account today and was offered 15 days free by retainment. I complained about high lag times. FYI.

working (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002401)

This feature is working as intended

well... (2, Funny)

Churla (936633) | about 8 years ago | (#15002440)

We almost beat razorgore this last week DUE TO the lag. Seems mind controlling him and destroying the eggs was good and the mobs that were supposed to be attacking him weren't. They'd just stand next to him, I suppose hoping the disapproving stares would cause him to stop destroying eggs. On the other hand, Blizzard has not been above doling out a free day here or there when server issues erupted into full scale cratacularness. I also strongly suspect AT&T beta/piloting it's "Wouldn't it be a pity if something nasty happened to your precious data?" scalable bandwidth usage plan.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002874)

Um.. Razorgore won't get attacked unless you use one of his skills to gain agro.

But to stay on topic: The server problems caused enough lag that the legionaires kept catching up with our kiting shammys, and made the encounter practically impossible.

This "type" of lag doesn't mean the server is running slow, it just means you can't talk to the server fast enough. All the mobs should be moving like normal, and killing you like normal, while you're unable to move or see anything even happening. So they may have appeared to be standing still, but you were getting your ass kicked.

I doubt there will be a refund, since there was no interruption in service, just slow. Blizzard typically only gives out a refund when they have no choice: Typically when every server is down for a day.

Re:well... (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 8 years ago | (#15003289)

After doing this encouter with crazy lag, I suspect there is some sort of mercy algorithm that causes mobs to ignore high latency players. We had to work just to get aggro. Non-kited legionares were wandering around ignoring everyone.

Or perhaps they just turn off the mob AI or it never gets a chance to run when the server is choking.

Re:well... (1)

SpineZ (84378) | about 8 years ago | (#15003236)

lag really really helps on the Razoregore fight... but right after him is Vael - good luck beating him with any type of lag at all. There's plenty of guilds on my server that have had Vael on farm status for months but took 8 tries to kill him the past couple weeks because of ridiculous lag.

If you have never killed Razoregore before, it's a VERY good idea to go in there with the lag. You see the mob come up to you and you have time to run away before they ever get a swing off. Compare that with no lag and by the time you see them, it's too late and they 3 hit you for 1500 dmg with a daze effect. lag = good for razore so do it while you can.

Re:well... (1)

Necroman (61604) | about 8 years ago | (#15003439)

Uhg, we killed Chromaggus on Thursday with crazy crazy lag (like, the game would completely freeze up for 6 seconds, then pick up where it left off). Well, after killing him and raising the 5 dead people; 10 seconds later everyone in Blackwing Lair got disconnected. The BWL instance server crashed. Well, we didn't get a chance to loot the body or even see what he dropped. I still have a ticket open over the matter... as our Guild Master still has a ticket open over Onyxia when the same thing happened 4 days earlier.

The servers are having issues, and Blizzard knows about it. They are the largest MMO ever out there.. and I don't think they exptect this. I've called up their tech support and talked with the guy on there for a while. He basicly said as much as a level 1 tech support would know... basicly said to just read the WoW forums, as all information that he has is already posted on there. He said he was in a raiding guild and has been having the same problems... it's just something we have to put up with. If you don't want to put up with the lag, do what he suggested.. roll an alt on a low pop server (or a new one). Those servers are quiet and not all lagged up.

All's fine according to WOW site (0, Redundant)

mkraft (200694) | about 8 years ago | (#15002454)

I felt like I was in a time warp last night. My text took minutes to show up in chat. My actions took about 10 seconds to complete (while MOBS had no such limitations) and I got disconnected a few times.

Of course trying to find out what the problem was was pointless since the WOW website was also having problems. Even now, there's nothing on the WOW site [worldofwarcraft.com] or in the forums about the problem. The supposed post by the GM [worldofwarcraft.com] appears to have vanished and the realm status page [worldofwarcraft.com] lists everything as a-ok.

Re:All's fine according to WOW site (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15004536)

The realm status page ALWAYS lists everything as a-OK. I dont think I've ever been able to get to it when the servers were not ok.

I warned you... (3, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | about 8 years ago | (#15002464)

That includes my raid's dying twice in MC due to 4000 latency, and also a soft reset of MC. Good work, AT&T.

I warned you against buying that Adaptec shit. Get a decent RAID controller that isn't so touchy with latency issues.

DDoS Attacks, Perhaps? (2, Interesting)

Zaffo (755234) | about 8 years ago | (#15002467)

Oh, I'm as peeved about crappy connectivity as every other WoW addict, but couldn't it also be the result of one or more Distributed Denial of Service attacks against Blizzard's servers? I'd be quite surprised if this hasn't been attempted already.

Re:DDoS Attacks, Perhaps? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002795)

Apparently they have people paying them $15/mo for the privalege of DDOSing their servers...

This is exactly why I cancelled my subscription... (3, Informative)

wbren (682133) | about 8 years ago | (#15002473)

Well this, and the fact that it completely took over every aspect of my life.

Re:This is exactly why I cancelled my subscription (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | about 8 years ago | (#15005204)

I gave up on it because of this, as well. This... and well, just the waiting queues. The backend on the servers has always pretty much sucked.

What's New? (2, Interesting)

blunte (183182) | about 8 years ago | (#15002499)

WoW has had "issues" since hour one when it went public. Right now their troubles may indeed be their "provider" (just one? they have that much money riding on just one provider?), but in the past they've had plenty of issues of their own creation.

If we could see inside Blizzard I think we'd find a company that knows how to make good games, but one that doesn't have a good record at making good management decisions on how to run them.

There's little point in me going into great detail about the many mistakes and poor decisions they've made, but I can say that if they were a financial institution we wouldn't be discussing this. Finance seems to have this understanding that time is money. Somehow Blizzard hasn't quite caught on that 5.5 million subscribers might eventually go away, especially if they get frustrated enough with the downtime/lag. Sure, there's not much place for those gamers to go, but this may not be true in 1-3 years.

Re:What's New? (-1, Offtopic)

blunte (183182) | about 8 years ago | (#15003371)

What asshat mod marked my parent as "troll"?

"Thank you Blizzard, may I have another?", says the fanboi moderator.

Re:What's New? (0, Flamebait)

Alcilbiades (859596) | about 8 years ago | (#15003865)

Because it was a troll comment......Seriously commenting on doom and gloom just because one wants to be contradictory is exactly what trolling is. Bliz is not all controlling of the internet and I doubt this guy has 1/2 a clue as to what their internal workings are like. Even if he does he is probably just a disgruntled former employee that can only troll forums to get revenge, small tho it is.

Re:What's New? (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | about 8 years ago | (#15005358)

But in all honesty, its the truth. Regardless of their intentions, Blizzard has to date, done a horrible job in saying "hey guys, we know there are problems, but we're doing x, y and z to set them right." Instead, they often give the appearance to be ignoring everyone playing the game. Many of us in the industry understand that there are finite abilities for switches, routers and servers to be able to handle a set number of connections, but we also understand that no matter how large an environment is, it can be load balanced (ala Google or similar). The biggest part where they drop the ball at Blizzard is by keeping the users out of the loop. They have to understand, the average player is in their 20's and a techie.

I was in beta, I've been playing since literally day one, I'll play until my entire guild quits to move on to something better (I've been with the same guild since Asheron's Call in 2001), but that doesn't mean I enjoy my "CANNOT AUTHENTICATE" errors when they pop up on my screen.

Re:What's New? (1)

Alcilbiades (859596) | about 8 years ago | (#15005689)

Well I will say this. The less the customer knows the less he can try to act like he knows and have any ground to stand on. Yes most of us are techies but I doubt very much more than .5% of the WoW user base knows enough about blizzards server set up to have a clue. I will admit MMORPG companies typically forget to have good meaningful interaction with their user base. But what is needed more is just assurance that they are doing all they can to fix the issue......even if that means them bringing online 20+ servers a week for 4 weeks. However, if I had a choice between information about future game developments and information about internal workings of their servers I can garuntee you I wouldn't give 2 shits about how their servers worked so long as they keep trying to optimize them.

Re:What's New? (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | about 8 years ago | (#15005875)

But what is needed more is just assurance that they are doing all they can to fix the issue......even if that means them bringing online 20+ servers a week for 4 weeks.

And that's exactly what we don't get. I don't care if they said "You guys are crushing our servers, because of that we're going to have to limit the number of people who can login during prime time." As long as I had assurances they were doing something, I'd be cool with it. If you look on the main page, or any of the boards, you'll see no mention of the horrible weekend from the Blues (the Moderators of the boards).

Re:What's New? (2, Insightful)

hab136 (30884) | about 8 years ago | (#15003933)

If we could see inside Blizzard I think we'd find a company that knows how to make good games, but one that doesn't have a good record at making good management decisions on how to run them.

Or, a company that made good games, got bought out by an evil company (Vivendi), and had a considerable portion of their developers leave for NCSoft. Everything since live has been done by the people left behind, or newly hired.

Re:What's New? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 8 years ago | (#15004371)

I guess that explains why all the new content is so frighteningly like EverQuest, while levels 1-35 are the most fun I've ever had in a MMOG.

Re:What's New? (1)

hab136 (30884) | about 8 years ago | (#15004956)

I guess that explains why all the new content is so frighteningly like EverQuest, while levels 1-35 are the most fun I've ever had in a MMOG.

Tigole, head cheese right now, is an ex-EQ raider. As are several other prominent people at Blizzard (like Furor).

I thoroughly enjoyed 1-59, and was often sad I missed quests before I moved on to a new area. At 60, it changes to raid/farming/PvP. It's fun, but a *different* kind of fun. I almost quit, but stuck around for guildies.. then decided I liked the "new" game at 60.

My guild can field about 15 people at the same time, so our ZG and AQ runs are multi-guild, and we are favored guests at another guild's MC runs. You don't have to go the mega-hardcore guild route, but you do have to switch to raid/farm mode instead of quest mode.

Raid/farm is not for everyone. I have several alts because I still like questing.

And then there's moving on. I'll be buying Sid Meyer's Spore the day it comes out. :)

Re:What's New? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 8 years ago | (#15005120)

The number of quests post 35 I've found to be horribly dissapointing. There aren't that many in general, and they don't generally give enough xp to level you up without some grinding thrown in. The 40s were the worst, I have 3 alts stuck at ~40 because I can't generate the mental stamina required to go through that again. All attention is on the raid game at 60. Level 1-35 however there were so many quests you simply could not do all of them without many going grey. That was fun, excellent replay.

I'm disappointed. I'm sure if I ever can tolerate the grinding to get from 51 to 60 I'll be amused for a while at the raids, but I've done that already in EQ. I left that game without looking back because of how WoW was from 1-35. I'm pretty sure if WoW doesn't shape up it'll be the same over again.

lots of places to go (1)

snuf23 (182335) | about 8 years ago | (#15005065)

"Somehow Blizzard hasn't quite caught on that 5.5 million subscribers might eventually go away, especially if they get frustrated enough with the downtime/lag. Sure, there's not much place for those gamers to go, but this may not be true in 1-3 years."

The final reason I quit was that since December the server queues were averaging 30-60 minutes on weekdays - non peak hours (late night Hawaii time). Given that I only have a couple of hours a night to play, having half of that wasted due to waiting in line sucked. Not to mention that since the login screen uses my 3D card I couldn't play anything else while waiting in the queue. Blizzard should take a hint from other MMOs and make the login 2D.
That and there being nothing interesting to do at level 60 excepted scheduled raids (debatable how interesting that is anyway).
As for there being nowhere to go, that really isn't true. Sure every MMO since WoW's release has been completely overshadowed but there are some great games out there. I played City of Villains for a few months and then moved on to Everquest 2 (sure flame all you want, but it has tons of great content and is much more friendly now than it was at launch). There are free trials available for a most of the other MMOs. Two things you won't find however, the truly massive player base of WoW and the associated server instability, queues and lag.

Re:What's New? (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | about 8 years ago | (#15005425)

Somehow Blizzard hasn't quite caught on that 5.5 million subscribers might eventually go away, especially if they get frustrated enough with the downtime/lag.

I'm pretty sure they understand how to keep subscribers. If 5.5 million people have laid down money for the game, Bizzard is doing something right. I can't speak for others but the lag/downtime I have experienced on my server isn't any worse than other MMO's I've played. I do admit that the 30 minute queues are pretty rediculous. Blizzard is probably still getting tons of new subscribers who can join the low pop servers and experience no queues. I would guess that the percentage of people who cancel their subscriptions due to the queues are negligible compared to how many new subscribers they get. But hopefully this will change and they will be forced to make significant changes. I wish they could do things like FFXI: no queues and it's relatively easy to join any server you want so you can play with your friends.

How is this news? (0, Troll)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | about 8 years ago | (#15002538)

I'm as tired of the "in other news, the sky is still blue" jokes as much as anyone else, but honestly, I don't think the past week has been significantly worse than many other periods in the past. I guess you can say this one was especially frustrating because servers weren't actually offline, but just ran crappily for a solid week. But compared to the 2000-person queues we saw at release time, this is smooth sailing.

Problem is NOT with ISP! (1, Informative)

Azureflare (645778) | about 8 years ago | (#15002610)

I have continuous 34ms latency to Blizzard's servers (I must live next door to them... sometimes it's as low as 14, lowest latency I've seen. That's lower than I get to google!)

The problem is with Blizzard's servers. I play on Kargath, and we have experienced intermittent "character retrieving" issues for the past 3 months, ever since the 1.9x patch. There were times when the server would just crash, even a day after the "weekly scheduled maintenance" on Tuesdays. The problem does not lie with the ISP. Blizzard needs to fix their servers. They are taking a lot of people's money and they have taken forever to make the game experience enjoyable.

The past week has actually not been that bad as it has been in a long time, but last night we had the "retrieving character" take about 23 minutes minumum to show up (no queue, just saying "retrieving character list" for 23 minutes), and due to that we couldn't finish Vael due to people getting dropped by Blizzard.

It's been really irritating. Blizzard has promised to fix the issues for the past 2 months, and has done nothing. Hopefully with the new patch, their promised "new hardware" will arrive, but I'm not holding my breath.

This is odd (1)

ChozSun (49528) | about 8 years ago | (#15002633)

I may have bashed MMORPGs [slashdot.org] in [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] past [slashdot.org] however I never had major technical issues when playing WoW. The worst when playing WoW, iTunes and having Firefox, Opera and Outlook open at the same time caused my sucky onboard sound to flake out (high proc).

Why... (1)

Hubbell (850646) | about 8 years ago | (#15002653)

Is something this negligible, that happens in *every MMORPG* at various times throughout their lifespans, getting coverage on Slashdot?

You're Lucky They Were Pinging at All (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 8 years ago | (#15002655)

Back when I was playing Ultima Online, the Sprint routers between me and my favorite server would flake out for several hours at least a couple of times a month. It doesn't seem like Sprint's quality has improved over the years either. The other backbone providers may be bad, but no one can come anywhere near the suckitude that is Sprint. I'm pretty sure they get their routers by sending in box tops from Post Toasties.

Suck it up (0, Troll)

agraupe (769778) | about 8 years ago | (#15002677)

I'm a World of Warcraft player, and it always pisses me off to hear about things like this. I simply accept that lag and outages are a part of playing an MMORPG. Your raid died in MC? Well, guess what? The sun will still rise tomorrow. This is a game, and too many people take it far too seriously. Yes, there should be no outages, but it's not realistic to expect that. Given the load that these servers must experience, it's amazing that they do as well as they do. Don't like it? I don't see anyone forcing you to play.

Re:Suck it up (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | about 8 years ago | (#15002828)

Spoken like a true Crackhead defending his dealer with his last breath.

WoW doesn't have the same level of availability and connection quality of even the LEAST of it's competitors. They've had more than sufficient time to correct the issue.

"Not guaranteed 24/7" isn't a good enough disclaimer when the reality is "not available as often as our compettitors... and did we meention the QUEUES?"

And no, I'm not playing anymore.

When SoE's level of service and Customer relations compares favorably to your company's you have a problem, and Blizzard has a big one.

Re:Suck it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002873)

Well, you see... They're /not/ a part of playing an MMO.

I've played most every major MMO out there. None of 'em had this much trouble 15 months after launch.

I was pretty forgiving up until about 6 months after, personally... But I've rode the fun train from Proudmoore to Dragonblight to Eitrigg hoping to escape the temporary queues... No luck so far.

Re:Suck it up (1)

Datasage (214357) | about 8 years ago | (#15003347)

Even though its 15 months out from the launch, the game is still in a growth phase. No other MMORPG has grown as far and as quickly and WoW has. At some point the population growth will peak and the hardware will catch up to that.

Re:Suck it up (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 8 years ago | (#15002907)

I'm a World of Warcraft player, and it always pisses me off to hear about things like this. I simply accept that lag and outages are a part of playing an MMORPG.

There are large differences from game to game. Three games I have tried:

-Project Entropia (maybe 2 years ago): High lag, would be inacceptable for a real shooter.
-Neocron: somewhat better, but still too much lag for the FPS-like combat. Really goes downhill when many chars meet in one zone. Account canceled, partly because of this.
-Auto Assault Beta: Quite good so far, cannot complain. Still has some client issues, but networking and server stability is ready for release (assuming it stays that way with more players online).

So I don't agree that lag and outages are a necessary evil in MMORPGs. Of course, as long as players accept it and keep paying, the company making the game has no reason to fix things.

Re:Suck it up (2, Interesting)

Cabriel (803429) | about 8 years ago | (#15002932)

You know, this argument is often perported but really holds little credibility.

Sure, it's a game, and sure the rewards appear to be entirely virtual and owned by Blizzard. However, this is not completely the case. While it is just a game, millions of people are putting a lot of effort into it. The rewards they reap aren't just items, reputation, and experience. They are also getting personal satisfaction and developing relationships with distant friends and guildies. The amount of effort put into this game by an average player still deserves respect. When their efforts result in nothing, it would be akin to working at a real job and your employer suddenly saying they won't pay you for your last 6 or 8 hours of work. I'd rather be kicked in the jimmy. >_> <_<

To think about the argument from the other side of the street, what would you say if your job decided to heap three times your normal workload on you and not give you any extra compensation? It's only a job, right? You only do it for 8.. 10... maybe even 12 hours a day, and in the end you still get paid, right? You've still got the rest of the day to do what you need to or want to. Why should you be upset? (Before you start answering with reasons to be upset, realize that this specific argument is designed to be fallacy.)

Inevitably, someone will argue that a job gives real rewards (money) as opposed to programming code that is technically not owned by the player, but I would argue we need personal satisfaction and relationships at least as much as we need money or we stop being human.

On the other hand... (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | about 8 years ago | (#15003353)

I expect my broadband internet to be at LEAST 95% reliable, and I don't pay much more for that than I do for my WoW subscription.

I expect Google and Slashdot to be 100% reliable, and I pay NOTHING for them.

Why should I hold Blizzard to lower standards?

Re:Suck it up (1)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15003524)

The way I see it is I really like WoW, so I'm willing to put up with a few things to play it. Bad lag, queue, etc are tolerable due to the quality of the game.

However, that doesn't mean its justifiable for blizzard to have this many lapses in service. Yes WoW is ver popular and I'm sure its difficult to keep things running with the ammount of traffic they have. But thats why I pay a monthly fee, so that this stuff gets handled. So blizzard need to get this situation resolved as even a big fan like myself has a limited ammount of patience.

Re:Suck it up (1)

Evro (18923) | about 8 years ago | (#15003567)

You can say "it's just a game" but it's a game people are paying for. The very least I expect with a service I'm paying for is that it work. Several servers in WoW have had connectivity and lag issues since day one, and the way in which Blizzard appears to have been caught with their pants down is embarrassing. I came from everquest where transferring your character from one server to another was a relatively simple procedure, but Blizzard had no facility for doing this, and when they finally (months later) got around to allowing transfers at all, it was only from server A to server B. All in all Blizzard's response to these issues - many of which are caused by overcrowded servers and backend issues on their end - has been horrendous. After a while I got sick of it and cancelled my WoW account in August '05. It was a great game destroyed by technical failings that lesser games solved 5-6 years ago.

I played on Doomhammer btw.

Re:Suck it up (1)

snuf23 (182335) | about 8 years ago | (#15005239)

"I played on Doomhammer btw."

I played on Doomhammer from April '05 through the beginning of this year. The server earned it's nickname "Downhammer". Queues had never been a big problem for me, but since December I had been seeing queues of 30-60 minutes in off hours. Which is great when you try to log on 15 minutes before a scheduled raid - have to wait 45 and find out your spot has been given away.
Now Doomhammer is full of level 60s, and players with multiple level 60s. New character creation has been locked out for the server (unless you already have an existing toon on DH). I imagine I'm not the only one who has left. What happens when the expansion comes out and people reactivate their accounts?
Most of the people I know rolled alts on a new server to play when not doing end game raids on Doomhammer. I tried that and a month after the server had been out - whammo - queues on the new server. I guess I just don't have enough free gaming time to spend it sitting staring at a queue.

Sure, if there was no fees (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 8 years ago | (#15003783)

If I'm PAYING for a service, I expect that service to be ready and waiting WHEN I SAY SO. I don't pay for cable TV only to have the cable company say "whoops, you can't watch TV right now cause we crashed the systems during an update." I don't pay for internet service only to be told "you can't surf the net at peak times because we're too cheap to upgrade our systems." I don't pay Blizzard only to be told "you can't log onto WoW because our infrastruction is a mess, but we won't admit it after 1+ year of running."

Don't like it? I don't see anyone forcing you to play.

Yeah, thats why I cancelled my subscription last week after just three months. This is not 1997 when MMOs like Ultima Online could get away with horrible connection issues and claim "well thats what happens when your the first one out."

Re:Suck it up (1)

Alcilbiades (859596) | about 8 years ago | (#15003989)

All the other bandwangon haters are ignorant. Blizzards problem is that they won't hard cap servers. When they do this the players bitch and cry about not being able to get their friends onto their servers or make new alts. However, these morons don't seem to understand that an MMORPG is built around and estimated player size on every server.

At the moment I would say the servers that have the largest simply are running at more than 100% capacity. Every MMORPG I have ever played when the population gets out of hand in either specific regions or game wide has huge issues.

I know the fan boys here of Eve-online will toute Eve as being greater than all because it is a single shard MMORPG, I to play Eve-online. However, just like WoW, AC2, FF Online, DDO, Liniage2, Planetside, etc.....if you get enough people in 1 area of the world the servers crash or start having major problems. I company isn't going to provide enough hardware for a server that the entire population can be congregated together. If they did it would be a huge waste of resources and probably force the game to cost $80 a month which I wouldn't pay. So, I accept the issues that can happen. The only thing I want WoW to do is to have more server transfers and lower a hardcap on servers so that when they reached it they wouldn't over populate and have huge queues.

um they did (1)

snuf23 (182335) | about 8 years ago | (#15005266)

"Blizzards problem is that they won't hard cap servers."

They hard capped the server I was playing on (Doomhammer) a few months ago. Old players could still make new alts, but if you didn't have a toon already on Doomhammer you couldn't make a one. I don't know if they've opened it back up again as I quit playing.
They seem to have reduced the total number of players allowed to login at any given time as well. At least after the last patch queues became a nightly reality versus no queues pre-patch.

Re:um they did (1)

Alcilbiades (859596) | about 8 years ago | (#15005339)

Yes they have in rare instances imposed caps. The most at any one time way 7 servers with population caps. However, this isn't a built in function. If Bliz's servers can only handle 3k ppl on them then they should limit the total amount of accounts that can make a character on the server to 3k. If your account is inactive for 2 months your characters should be moved to a storage server and placed on a fresh server if you ever come back.

Re:Suck it up (1)

IsoRashi (556454) | about 8 years ago | (#15004250)

People should just leave if they don't like the service? That's a horrible stance to take, especially since many people enjoy the game and are only griping about the servers' performance. I play WoW, and I expect there to be lag and I expect there to be issues with the game, but mostly because I don't expect too much from the blizz team handling WoW. By no means am I "fine" with it. Rolling over and saying, "oh well, it's an MMO!" doesn't even begin to help solve anything.

Even beyond the frustration of trying to play the game when it's lagging, there is a real issue when you reach the higher levels and start doing 40-mans. My friend has a 4g repair bill every time he dies with his warrior and he's not even an off-tank for our guild's raids (meaning there are people with better, more expensive gear). He doesn't even have any gear from BWL or AQ20/40. Lag in a raid leads to deaths and that leads to repair bills. I guess everyone should just suck it up and be okay with dying multiple times and then having to grind for gold during their non-raiding time?

I understand you're sick of hearing people whine, but generally they have valid complaints. Large queues in combination with lag that makes the game unplayable is not acceptable.

dont blame at&t, blame blizzard (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15002732)

when working at a small isp (few thousand customers), even we had two backbones from different providers. providers will have issues or worst, go down, and you need a back up provider. don't blame at&t, blame blizzard for not having a back up plan...

Re:dont blame at&t, blame blizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15003003)

this may work good for "a few thousand" customers, but might not be so well for 6 million of them. The sudden surge of traffic on the backup line is going to cause a little problem

On a side note, there are 6 million subscribers to WoW, which is more than the population of sweeden, meaning you have a better chance of meeting a WoW player than a sweedish person

Re:dont blame at&t, blame blizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15005121)

Unless you are in Sweeden. :)

just quit, it will get better (0, Troll)

Shiptar (792005) | about 8 years ago | (#15002881)

Since I stopped playing WoW, the lag issues have been no problem!

No lag in FFVI!

Though the load times suck, this is an SNES game, and it's slower on a PS than it is on my SNES? Craziness.

Re:just quit, it will get better (1)

shoptroll (544006) | about 8 years ago | (#15003457)

Well let's see. First, you're reading the game off a physical optical disc and not just a ROM bank on a chip in a board. Second, the PS is emulating so you're gonna lose performance to the overhead, not to mention the PS was designed and optimized for 3D.

Re:just quit, it will get better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15004753)

Those are excuses. Square should have done the port properly. A game that is 95% menu selection shouldn't have slowdown in the menus...

DDoS possible (3, Interesting)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15003198)

Several months back there was a similar rash of instabilities and sever restarts. There were a bunch of rumors that gold farmers were using something to de-stabalize the servers. It used to be that zoning into instance under high lag was used to dupe items, never confirmed it actaully worked but that was the rumor.

I mention it because perhaps something similar is going on here. The servers are getting destabilized and forced to restart. And you can use a server restart(and the small rollback that usually hits because of it) to dupe items or gold(this works, I've seen it done).

In the end its just a random collection of rumors that fits the facts. So take with whatever amount of seasoning you need.

Re:DDoS possible (1)

HycoWhit (833923) | about 8 years ago | (#15004144)

Noticed the price of the Ace of Warlords has dropped to 2g?

According to rumors--farmers are again causing the server problems. During the high lag periods if you do a /who Dire Maul and sort by guild--the list of likely suspects will emerge.

On my server the same 5 or 6 hunters, that can't speak a bit of English, are always around Dire Maul. Let the witchhunt begin!!

Re:DDoS possible (1)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15004319)

Right, but 10-12 (or even 20-30) extra DM instances per server shouldn't be causing these kinds of problems. If it is the farmers there some more advanced shenanagins going on I'd think.

Re:DDoS possible (2, Interesting)

HycoWhit (833923) | about 8 years ago | (#15004516)

I should have been more clear in my first post.

There is most definately an exploit involving the Dire Maul instance that is causing the increased lag. Of the dozens of players in Dire Maul--only a few are causing the server lag. They tend to be easily identifiable by their names and lack of guild tag. i.e. the chinese farming brigade.

Regular players aren't causing the lag. On our server there are 5 to 6 of the farmers on the Horde side and double that number on the Alliance side. Our server runs lag free until these 10-15 players connect--then wham! Lagcity until they disconnect.

What they are doing to cause the problems I don't know, just that rthe exploit seems to involve Dire Maul, Hunters, and produces lots of Traverler's Knapsacks, Major Health Potions, Major Mana Potions, and Ace of Warlords. (probably more stuff I haven't noticed.)

Re:DDoS possible (1)

tholomyes (610627) | about 8 years ago | (#15004927)

Real notably, the prices on any of the "Royal Seal" books (for the DM trinket) have really dropped on my server (which is relatively low pop) from ~ 60-80g down to 1-10g, and the Quel'Serrar book has dropped from the 2000+g range to the 600g range.

Re:DDoS possible (1)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15005681)

Again this is correct, but it could mean the farmers have just switched focus here to max out what gold they can make. DM librums and books are almost always money makers (librums especially since the zg enchants require them). So this could just be a result of farmers using this instance primarily to make gold since world farming is less profitable.

The drop in costs is farmers competeing with eachother (they each have quotas to fill). Unless someone has hard evidence of something they're specifically doing in there that causes stability issues, it may be they're just in there using hunters to, well, farm the place. Hunter are the best farming class now since their update and may be able to solo enough of the stuff.

Re:DDoS possible (1)

Onan (25162) | about 8 years ago | (#15005814)

Asserting that a group of people you dislike are, in some unidentified way, causing an effect that everyone dislikes seems kind of creepy. That feels like the cultish superstition that I would've expected to mostly be gone in recent centuries.

Do you also find yourself thinking that it's all of those damn gays that are causing bird flu? Or that illegal immigrants are the real reason for that drought last year?

Slowness and instability on the part of Blizzard's systems seem more than adequately explained by incompetence, without needing to invoke some magical aura of badness created by farmers.

Re:DDoS possible (1)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15006383)

A couple of bad assumptions here. Normally I wouln't care, but comparing me to a bigot tends to raise my ire.

1. I don't specifically dislike farmers, they're just making a buck, its a bit shady but there are worse things people can do. I never stated what they do in essence is bad, I really don't care and in fact I think gold selling should be legitimized my MMO creators.
2. I don't know what is causing the issues, I am merely speculating on rumors.
3. I didn't at all describe the effect as "magical," there are direct techincal things that can be done to cause DDoS attacks, they are in no way magical.

The point I am trying to get is thus. People have noticed odd corrallaries between farmer behavior and server lag. The first being several months ago with the mauradon instance, now seemingly with the DM instance. I state it because there are ways to use server lag and server restarts to duplicate items, and farmers would have something to gain from said duping (they have in the past with other games). So this collection of rumors can create a possible picture of whats going on, and since blizzard has not been forthcomming about what specifically has been happing we are forced to speculate. No proof, no facts just rumors and inuendo.

Anyway the word "possible" and "rumor" apear a couple times in my post so how about some reading and critical thinking before comparing me to a bigot? Or do you just need to be an self-righteous ass to everyone?

Duping is still possible (1)

beldraen (94534) | about 8 years ago | (#15004994)

First of all, I know for a fact that you can use the instance portals to dupe because I have had it accidently happen to me twice (i.e. trade food to a friend and I got kicked out with the items I traded). Second, the dup bug has never been really repaired. After all of that hooplah, I tripped across another dupe bug that can be done; albeit, it is very hard to reproduce and has very limited dupe options. To my knowledge, it still hasn't been repaired. If my suspicion about how their system works, it can never be repaired.

The truth is that the server and the client can both make decisions on trade/buy/sell of items. If you can get them out of sync far enough, both transactions will occur. Ultimately, the problem with items is that Blizzard trusts the client for item changes, and that is bad.

Sounds like nothing has changed... (2, Interesting)

CokoBWare (584686) | about 8 years ago | (#15003462)

We were using AT&T a few years back for our business connectivity in Florida and they were always having problems, going up and down like a yo-yo. It sounds like their reliability hasn't changed at all. I'm glad we don't use them anymore.

what's up with the wack log-in queue algorythims?? (1)

ReaperEB-Moo (628237) | about 8 years ago | (#15003861)

Aside from the lag that's been creeping in.. You know the one, the lag-o-meter says 134ms and is green, but you're lagging. so you can't even log out. The meter acutally goes down in readings (albet after alot of people are kicked). But my big point is this dam queue setup on login. I'll login and it says 'you are 33rd in queue" and "wait time of 3 mins"... then something happens where I'll get all the way up to 500+ in line with a 30 min or greater wait time. How does this happen, if you're in a queue, it should be a FIFO queue. he'll I've been 5th in line and gotten bumped to 200+ in line. That makes no sense, if I'm already in the queue, how can I be bumped ??!!!!

Re:what's up with the wack log-in queue algorythim (1)

galonso (705202) | about 8 years ago | (#15004316)

I have a theory.

I played at times where I was aware of a queue (from guildies reporting this upon log in) and then I got DC'ed on a zone crash, and was able to log in again right away. It's as if the server sensed the DC at their end and gave me priority in the queue, which is right and proper IMO.

But that's just a theory.

Re:what's up with the wack log-in queue algorythim (1)

ReaperEB-Moo (628237) | about 8 years ago | (#15004415)

I'd go along with that, except most of the time I've been queued, was after getting DC'd. sad part is if you look at realm status, both website, and login client, I've been queued on a server with LOW population, but not queued on servers with FULL population. This could be people jumping and such, but never know. With the amount of subscribers that Blizzard has, I'm sure that they would want to kick some of that cash back into upgrading the PIPE or PIPES they use to feed their datacenter, and also look at changing their infrastructure to not have these issues. Does the overload reflect the design of the client-server communications model, or some other factor. I know EA has no clue how to properly write a network client-server model, hense the huge overhead required for their servers and limiting number of clients in privately hosted servers (~~ 4 to 6 on cable/DSL). Maybe I'm just ranting.. but

World of Waitcrap (1)

Maximals (963901) | about 8 years ago | (#15004096)

This is the weirdest thing ever ... people are actually paying MONTHLY for a game they can hardly play when they want. If you went to a store and bought a game ... would you expect to be able to play it once you got home?? When you get to the point of getting more excited by seeing the Character List than actually killing Nef ... something's wrong. Can I reply to the message "Can't logging to World of Warcraft right now" with "Can't pay my monthly fees right now?" ... i guess we all can. ;) Stopped playing for a month now, not because i don't like the game ... just cause i can't possibly pay for something that unstable, it just seem wrong. Oh ... and btw they should change the Tips on the Loading Screen to like : TIP : This bar isn't actually acurate. TIP : Call your grandma ... this is going to take a while. TIP : You are still retriving character, this is a fake screen.

Re:World of Waitcrap (1)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15004399)

I think you're exagerating a bit much here. The service is mostly available and most days I play with no problems. Log in times are a bit longer but a minute here or there at login doesn't matter much to me. While the recent outages and lag are much too freqent and a significant problem, I wouldn't say that I can "hardly play" when I want. But the service has certainly degraded from several months ago and isn't what I expect for a monthly service fee.

Re:World of Waitcrap (1)

snuf23 (182335) | about 8 years ago | (#15005321)

Depends on the server. The one I was playing on since April '05 suddenly got long queues after the 1.9 patch. I could expect to wait 30-60 minutes weekdays off hours.
That's a large chunk of my play time. So I quit.

The numbers (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | about 8 years ago | (#15004243)

Has anyone thought about the amount of money they're bringing in with this single game?! It's phenomenal! Let's do some quick rough math to see what the numbers look like. They report over 6,000,000 currently paying subscribers. At $15USD/mth, that's about $90,000,000 / month! (Yes, indeed, that'd be over $1,000,000,000 (billion!) a year!!)

That's just plain crazy.

Anyways, my point? Well, with all that money, you think they'd be able to do something about it. Perhaps they're too busy swimming in said pile of cash. :)

Anyways, I'm not totally bashing them, afterall, I *AM* a paying subscriber as well :) (Well, not currently .. taking a break. Will be back though) I remember at the beginning, the population grew so fast (unexpectedly to them) that they had to stop taking new subscribers. I thought that was very honest of them to admit they can't handle it and hold new subscribers so as to not ruin the game for everyone else. If they still can't handle the load, why aren't they doing that again? (Or maybe a couple of million subscribers ago?)

Anyways, just my observations.

Unbearable (1)

Vicegrip (82853) | about 8 years ago | (#15004335)

The lag has been unbearable for weeks. I can only hope that rumours of upcoming hardware upgrades are true. The three drakes in BWL have been miserably difficult for us to do lately because of the way the lag is affecting the timing of their attacks. Example: offtanks successfully taunt off the winged buffet and get bounced back, but the MT eats the attack anyways-- manageable once or twice, but a huge pain if it happens eight or ten times during the encounter. Or Firemaw, flies off after a punted offtank and gets stuck in the way back.

At 15$ to 12$ a month from six million subscribers I am very disapointed in how long it has taken Blizzard to react to the absolutely inevitable server issues they are currently having.

No shit Sherlock. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15004464)

A long time ago I used to run ISPs. All of our servers were on BBNPlanet, then one of our bean counters discovered that we could switch to AT&T, because AT&T was just BBN rebranded. Then once day somebody at AT&T thought it would be cool to run their own network. There was talk of this and then it happened and our service went to shit.

We used to be able to call BBNPlanet and an engineer would pick up the phone and their service was so good that they even fixed a connection problem for us that was our fault by connecting into our router directly and doing the dirty work, and doing the whole thing with a smile! The day we switch to AT&T I was lucky to even get somebody on the phone that spoke English, and this started to become a fairly common experience because their network was so bad that we were disconnected frequently and always had poor bandwidth.

Bottom line, AT&T's network sucks, it as always sucked, and until they actually start to give a shit about their customers it will continue to suck.

Logging in = scripted boss fight (1)

Kawolski (939414) | about 8 years ago | (#15004630)

Blizzard decides to classify this problem as a new epic and scripted boss fight you do solo.

Based on your timing and skill at entering in your account information on the login page, the fight begins!

Connecting...
Authenticating...
Server casts Lag Spike on you for 10503 damage. You die.
Unable to connect.

If you do really well, you might get to STAGE 2: "Retrieving Character List"

One more example... (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | about 8 years ago | (#15004714)

of how AT&T is incapable of handling a smooth transition.

In our area (DFW Metroplex, TX) it started about three weeks ago. We noticed our business internet having DNS issues. We contacted our (former) SBC data centers (quite the maze that is) but they reported no issues. Problems disappeared in two days with no explanation except the up-level DNS servers started responding again.

Two weeks ago our long distance lines went down for about an hour. Again contacting the support center resulted with "We're not seeing anything." Issue disappeared with no explanation.

I'm a WoW player. I've seen server side issues (December 2004-February 2005), and I've seen ISP issues (F*** YOU COMCA$T!!!! Thank you, Verizon FiOS.) I've seen a major influx of new players (December 2005), and I've seen login server issues. It never dawned on me that AT&T's network could be behind the recent issues with WoW. I take back any obscenities I or my wife may have directed towards Blizzard for the past week of login issues. Now I know who'll be burning in my version of hell.

You'd think a company as big and as old as AT&T would know better how to handle these types of things like acquisition and network transition.

Screw up my work connections, I get busy.

Screw up my liesure connection, I get really pissed.

Wow! WoW lags?! (1)

Rendo (918276) | about 8 years ago | (#15005046)

You think WoW is bad? Try playing Diablo 2 on battle.net now. Blizzard doesn't give a rats ass about diablo anymore and you'll notice with insane lag spikes occuring every 10-15 minutes, as well as people getting temp bans due to their crap servers. Blizzard needs to stop being such money grabbing whores and use those 1200 new opterons they purchased and get more pipe for such a large scale game, I believe it's over 4 million maybe 5 now. I personally don't play WoW, and I would NEVER waste money monthly on sub-par servers. I prefer GuildWars because they CARE about their players.

Re:Wow! WoW lags?! (1)

Daggon (948225) | about 8 years ago | (#15005728)

On the other hand what companies still even supports games that are 6 years old? Much less still run official servers for them. I'd say that says something too.
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