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On World of Warcraft's Network Issues

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the in-queue-please-go-make-yourself-a-sandwich dept.

407

alphaneutrino writes to mention a C|Net article discussing some of the recent problems the World of Warcraft playerbase has experienced. From the article: "'Being a system administrator myself, I have some understanding of what goes on in a corporate data center,' said Evgeny Krevets, a sometimes-frustrated WoW player. 'I don't know Blizzard's system setup. What I do know is that if I kept performing 'urgent maintenance' and taking the service down without warning for eight-hour periods, I would be out of a job.' Blizzard blames some of the problems--such as the disconnection, for several hours on Friday, of players linked to several servers--on AT&T, its network provider. (AT&T did not respond to a request for comment.) "

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407 comments

A typical week on Mal'Ganis (5, Informative)

SaguratuS (917980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197001)

Sunday: The day the server stood still
Monday: *gasp*, playable (until 11pm)
Tuesday: Weekly Maintenance Day. Nothing else EVER needs to be said about this day.
Wednesday: Playable (until 11pm), good chance maintenance aftermath.
Thursday: The 10 second instant-casts day for MC & BWL.

Yeah, it goes on. Our server reliably bites the dust around 11pm every night for 6 hours, not to mention the constant plague of login issues and 30-minute loading screens during peak hours. Funny how this is all on a low-medium population server.

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197031)

What are Friday and Saturday? Go outside in the scary real world days?

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197165)

I've been to the world of warcrack data center and let me just say I'm sorry! I didn't mean to trip on the power cord and down half of the racks! (LOL). No but seriously. If AT&T was down, this is what SLAs are for. Get your money back. If it was your fault for being down, why the moaning?

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (2, Informative)

rrgrzcool (968489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197173)

I play on bleeding hollow, one of the highest population servers, and I can say I have pretty much the same experience. You are constantly disconnected in critical situations, periodically and systematically lagged to death, and then there's times when it's bad. A couple of weeks ago, my guild was trying to go to MC but you couldn't stay logged on past 5 seconds anywhere in all of Kalimdor for about 4 hours. Summons FTW! Blizzard servers FTL!

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (1)

Robmonster (158873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197217)

I've not played WoW myself( other than the free beta prerelease) but do you seriously have to wait upto 30 mins just to log on to the game? That'd eat up all my gaming time right away!

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (3, Informative)

whoop (194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197512)

Yes. If your server reaches some limit on the number of people, you get put into a waiting queue. The wait time of this queue varies it seems. A few months ago, it was an average of 15-25 minutes. In recent days, there hasn't been any wait times (though I don't play hardcore so it might vary day-to-day).

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (1)

Jikrschbaum (920529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197296)

That sums up what used to be my experience on Shadow Moon. The amount of downtime, in just waiting to get connected ate up my nightly game time. Oh well, I have written off MMO's for a bit. I think it is good to take a break once in a while anyway.

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197309)

That reminds me of a song,

I'm waiting for my man
Twenty-six dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I'm waiting for my man

Hey, geek boy, what you doin' online?
Hey, geek boy, you hackin' our servers with third party addons?
Oh pardon me sir, it's the furthest from my mind
I'm just lookin' for a dear, dear friend of mine
I'm waiting for my man

Here he comes, he's all dressed in black
PR department and a big EULA [worldofwarcraft.com]
He's never early, he's always late
First thing you learn is you always gotta wait
I'm waiting for my man

Up to a Brownstone, up three flights of stairs
Everybody's pinned you, but nobody cares
He's got the works, gives you sweet taste
Ah then you gotta split because you got no time to waste
I'm waiting for my man

Baby don't you holler, darlin' don't you bawl and shout
I'm feeling good, you know I'm gonna work it on out
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling oh so fine
Until tomorrow, but that's just some other time
I'm waiting for my man

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197380)

I started playing in February... supposedly AFTER most of the startup problems were ironed out. It goes like so:

I create a new character on a 'new/low' population server (Malygos). My ping is around 20-30ms. Everything is silky smooth.

After two months, my ping is 100-120. I start to see 'stuck crouching' bugs, instant cast spells are now 2-3 seconds, and selling things to vendors hangs for 5-10 seconds.

After four months, my ping is 200-220 on average. PVP is now spiky and aggrivating as people warp around the screen on occasion. We're now a HIGH/FULL rated server.

In April, Blizzard raises the 'acceptable' ping range (green) from 0-100 to 0-200, and the light green range to 300. They also make the ping meter average out over 3-4 minutes, completely smoothing over all but the worst spikes.
Nice fixes there.

In August, the ping meter is no longer reliable - setting up a network monitoring program shows huge spikes of 1000+ and packet loss of 2-3%, yet the ping meter just hums along at 200. Gameplay continues to decline and you get occasionally booted unexpectedly from the game. Queue times start up on the server, so now getting booted means a 5-10 minute wait. Tuesdays (patch days) are now more or less unplayable. Sundays and Mondays before maintenence are getting close to unplayable.

This cycle continues until your character you've played for half a year is worthless due to lag. You can reroll on another new server to watch the process start all over again... I've done this four times already (Eredar, Ursin, Gurubashi)... which is what people tend to do because they're addicted.

Re:A typical week on Mal'Ganis (1)

TheJediGeek (903350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197554)

I rarely ever have any problems with WoW. I've played on 3 servers over the last year and never really had problems with any of them. The last time I really had any inconvenience is when 1.10 was released. After that the night when Kalimdor didn't work on any servers. (still trying to figure out how THAT happened)
Other than that I can always get in, there's no queue, rarely any lag.

I dunno, maybe I'm just lucky. I wouldn't say I play very little, (just ask my wife) but I'm not on all the time either.

It seems... (0, Troll)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197008)

No one cares.
Get a life and quit playing games!!!!

Re:It seems... (3, Funny)

plastic.person (776892) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197061)

I tend to agree, today's net users are so spoiled. Back in 1993 AOL went down every Tuesday and Thursday at 11PM for six hours- at least. And AOL isn't even a recreational service as WoW is, it is vital things like email and stock tickers.

The above poster needs to learn to become tough like valient AOL users did, and who were also the tip of the spear that tamed the net for WoW players to come a decade later.

Re:It seems... (1, Offtopic)

955301 (209856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197160)

Ngggggshhshseehahhad! I can't take it, I have to reply!

AOL vital? Email and stock tickers through AOL vital! Now, I do believe I've heard everything! It's one thing to celebrate the Mom and Pop ISP's that filled the dialup service needs for millions of people, but celebrating AOL users as valiant is comparable to celebrating underarm bacteria for helping drive home the hygeine issue.

I only WISH the AOL users back in the 90's were at the tip of the spear! A awl pike actually.

Re:It seems... (4, Funny)

Armando_Mcgillicutty (773718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197133)

No one except the 6 Million users that play the game.

Re:It seems... (1, Flamebait)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197229)

Looking at your history (http://slashdot.org/~j0nkatz [slashdot.org] ) its obvious you have a way with words.

I wonder why you bother talking to us, you're way too cool to hang with nerds like us.

Mod parent up (0)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197337)

I laughed!

His sig just hits the spot too!

Ahhh.... (3, Funny)

popeguilty (961923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197019)

...so THAT'S how Blizzard is combatting server lag.

$15/mo times six million users.... (2, Insightful)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197021)

.. What's that come to again?

And _why_ are there any problems whatsoever?

Blizzard, I can guarantee this: if you spend $35 million per month on refactoring, hardware and bandwidth, all your problems go away. Guaranteed. I promise.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197045)

Blizzard, I can guarantee this: if you spend $35 million per month on refactoring, hardware and bandwidth, all your shareholders go away. Guaranteed. I promise.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (3, Funny)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197095)

Just like with nine women you can have a baby in one month.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (3, Funny)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197263)

Given their reliance on only ATT as their network provider, this is precisely the problem they have _now_, and what they need to spend bucketloads of cash fixing.

They need multiple sites around the world, with multiple OC192s to multiple providers, all BGP'd to the gills. They need to buy dark fiber and light that shit up.

Then again, why bother, it's not like it's a free market out there and there won't be any competitors to WoW that can get their act together, right? I mean Blizzard owns the patents on MMORPGaming, right?

Oh wait.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197333)

Just like with nine women you can have a baby in one month.

That sounds like a good idea--I think I'll give it a try.

-- gid

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (2, Insightful)

vikstar (615372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197114)

I agree. If blizzard even spent 1% of a months revenue they could get a bunch of engineers to completely rewrite the entire world of warcraft code and buy some new hardware to accomodate the new size. Scaling issues are dealt with at once. Where is all of this money going? Is it going to some CEO sink? Are there any share holders that can shed some light on this?

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197164)

"If blizzard even spent 1% of a months revenue they could get a bunch of engineers to completely rewrite the entire world of warcraft code and buy some new hardware to accomodate the new size. Scaling issues are dealt with at once"

Oh you are just precious.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (2, Insightful)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197423)

I agree. If blizzard even spent 1% of a months revenue they could get a bunch of engineers to completely rewrite the entire world of warcraft code and buy some new hardware to accomodate the new size. Scaling issues are dealt with at once. Where is all of this money going? Is it going to some CEO sink? Are there any share holders that can shed some light on this?

Do you really think that they are currently depending on a bunch of hacks that are coding in Visual Basic and their entire network knowledge consist on knowing the correct sequence to crimp in a RJ-45 ethernet connector?

Are you proposing a full rewrite? Are you serious! Including testing, how long would that take? What you are proposing is pretty much that they scrap everything and start from scratch.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (3, Insightful)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197162)

The problem doesn't seem to be how much they spend but where they spend their money. According to the article AT&T seems to be their only network provider. Who thinks that makes sense? To have such a huge bandwidth hungry product and rely on one provider for it. I would never host a commercial web site on a host with a single provider, let alone a huge undertaking like WoW.

But, then again, I may also be an idiot... who knows?

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197228)

15x6million is not how much blizzard is getting in revenue.

remember each region pays a different rate.

AND most importantly, Vivendi Universal gets a MASSIVE cut of this figure. Why? Because they footed the bill for Blizzard to finish the game during the last few years of development and as part of that agreement they dictated they get a tremendous amount of the subscription revenue (upwards of 70%, I've heard.)

So then it becomes a question of, who actually is responsible to maintain the servers? Blizzard of VU? Also remember, that's not all going to be spent on WoW. Blizzard has other games in development (Starcraft 2, Starcraft MMO, Diablo 3, WoW Expansion). These people need to be paid something. Not everyone is happy to work purely for recognition. Some of us have these things called bills that we have to pay every once in a while.

Re:$15/mo times six million users.... (4, Interesting)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197502)

Because they have to pay developers, bandwidth fees, datacenter fees, customer service people, billing people, web designers, janitors, office supplies, and basically everything else it takes to run a business. $35 million / month with probably 15-20 million a month in overhead.

Yes they are making money (businesses are allowed to do this, remember?) Re-architecting a massively distributed game like this takes time *and* money. They underbuilt their infrastructure to begin with, which is where they really went wrong. They are supposedly trying to remedy that, but by the time you have re-architected the system it has grown to the point where you have to do it again.

Also, they're pulling so much bandwidth from so many disparate places that when a link close to them goes down, all the other links have to compensate and there's not necessarily enough fat pipes close to their datacenters to allow everyone on. I would be curious to see what percentage of traffic flowing over certain core routers can be attributed to World of Warcraft; I am betting it is non-trivial.

Are they a victim of their own success? (1)

llevity (776014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197025)

Every time I see these types of posts, I have to wonder if they're a victim of their own success. With something like 6 million subscribers, it can't be an easy job maintaining the service.

Then again, they're getting $15 a month from 6 million people, you'd think throwing some money at the problem could help, but it's never that simple.

Re:Are they a victim of their own success? (1)

basketbeatle (958202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197306)

Yes that was a great excuse when the game first came out in 2004. Now there is no excuse.

Re:Are they a victim of their own success? (1)

TrueKonrads (580974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197492)

For 90 million a month a company has enough funds to hire Scott McNealy personally to install a patch or two. Heck, it could probably buy or hire as a consultants some of non directly competing MMORPG companies that know how to solve such problems (EVE Online, for example, has a continuous world, no shards and has very little downtime). But then again, Microsoft has even greater resources and they ar e not in the market of getting talented people from outside to fix outstanding issues fast. That said, I think that it really is a management issue and someone too proud to admit that they don't know how to solve this problemset.

Re:Are they a victim of their own success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197540)

$15 X 6,000,000 = $90 million per month, or $1.8 billion per year in subscriptions alone for just this one game. Most casinos would drool over that kind of income. Ah, no excuses. The servers are wretched, and the service is wretched, too.

It took them almost a week to help me find a character's realm that I'd forgotten (hey, I was a newb). The service was so bad that I wanted to cancel my registration over the weekend and the Account page was down almost all weekend.

And here's the best part --- they blamed me for it. Now, I know I should remember my Realm, but, come on. Land's End doesn't blame me when I do the wrong thing. The support person sent me all these snooty emails telling me I "didn't follow procedure" --- I did, it's just their damn server was down and the GMs kept sending me form emails asking me to send them the character's Realm (!). Meaning they hadn't read my request.

As far as I'm concerned, they're not good enough to charge a membership fee for their ham-handed server mismanagement. If you're asked to buy a membership, the thing should ALWAYS be available. They have no incentive to improve their server availability until members start cancelling their memberships. I already have. Join me!

(P.S. They keep your characters on ice for you so you can get them back.)

My $.02...

8 hours? Coincidence? (5, Funny)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197030)

Maybe it's the Blizzard guys' moms that come in and say "Enough of those stupid games already, go to bed!"? ;)

Or are they too cool to be running the servers out of their parents' basements like the rest of us?

Last heard from the WoW datacenter... (5, Funny)

fuyu-no-neko (839858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197034)

"Well, at least I have chicken!"

Re:Last heard from the WoW datacenter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197203)

leeeeeeeroooooooooooooooooooy!

Re:Last heard from the WoW datacenter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197286)

I thought it was meant to be "At least Im not chicken", but it seems everyone has picked it up to be "At least I got chicken"

wow (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197044)

I didnt know fourm trolls get their own cnet articles now. Whats next? an article on nerfing hunters in the new york times? Ive barely even seen any issues since patch 1.10. I think patch day the servers were down all day, but thats to be expected.

Seriously, if the game goes down for a few hours, you can do other things. What about cleaning your apartment? i bet it needs it.

Re:wow (4, Insightful)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197096)

Ive barely even seen any issues since patch 1.10. I think patch day the servers were down all day, but thats to be expected.

Server preformance varies from realm to realm. I hadn't really had any issues until the last week or two when my server decided to drop 40 minutes into our 45 minute baron run, and then again in the BG's later on.

As someone else mentioned, I think they are still a victim of their own success. Sure it's been over a year since launch, but they were expecting 250,000 subscribers and got 6,000,000.

Re:wow (0, Troll)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197112)

I didnt know fourm trolls get their own cnet articles now

Also, if forum trolls got their own articles, this one would be about the lead developer Furor, and how his guild was allowed to level up on an easymode pve server, and then that server was among the first to be allowed to transfer to a server with a pvp ruleset.

Then it could go into how furor was nothing but a forum troll in EQ, who used to rant about how he hated the paladin class, and that is why the WoW paladin is in such a sorry state and got boned during it's review.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197474)

Yeah, that was complete BS with FoH and that server transfer.

But, Hyjal has a exceptional number of jerkwads (high guilds & otherwise) so it's not too surprising.

Re:wow (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197168)

> I think patch day the servers were down all day, but thats to be expected.

Why, though? If they scheduled all day, and were up after an hour, fine, because it means when something goes horribly wrong with an update, they've scheduled the time to fix it. What I don't see is why patches take so long, or why they need to have weekly maintenance.

Anyone?

Re:wow (2, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197176)

I think patch day the servers were down all day, but thats to be expected.

It's funny what people get used to. In the original EQ, patches were just a few hours in the morning, one day a week, unless something went wrong (which generally didn't happen, despite what the boards say).

In Horizons, another MMORPG, database lag was so bad that you could pick up an item and not see it in inventory for 10 minutes. You could run through an area full of monsters and not see one by the time you were through, because the client couldn't build them fast enough.

If you're shovelling out $15/month for a service, about what you pay for cheap telephone service, you'd expect it to work when you wanted it to work. Like I said, it's funny what people lower their expectations to.

No wonder Bush is still president (snap!)

Re:wow (2, Insightful)

sonstone (100443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197344)

Yeah, we can do other things; but not all of us have a lot of free time to play the game. We have jobs, family, other interests, etc... It's very frustrating when we set aside time to play the game we pay for and the servers are down.

Re:wow (1)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197365)

Yeah! what he said!

My moldy dishes and over flowing garbage my overgrown front lawn and piles of dirty laundry need to be done. :)

Re:wow (1)

cowwie (85496) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197377)

Have you PLAYED since 1.10? For us, BWL is almost unlivable. Fight starts, lag spikes through the roof. Warriors can't sunder, healers can't heal, aggro goes crazy, people die... repeat process. It hangs at authentication, and after moving on from that... hangs at handshaking. If you're lucky, Retrieving Character List will only take 20 seconds during primetime. If not, it'll be 5 minutes like it did to me last night. This is not counting the fact that every Friday night, the entire server just starts dropping zones. If you're in an instance you're ok... if not.... buh-bye now.

For the last month, Windrunner has been absolutely atrocious. I don't know if you just play during the day and not during US primetime or what, but our server at least is in foul shape.

They are real issues (1)

elfguy (22889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197429)

I've been playing since before release, and the issues that WoW is having aren't small nor acceptable.

Queues are there because each server has a maximum capacity of 3400 players. When there's that number on the server you get to wait in line to log in. This issue first came up in open beta, and back then they said it was a temporary thing. The fact is most servers have a queue at peak time, which can range from a few people to over a thousand per server waiting to play, sometimes for hours, every day, since more than a year and a half.

Constant lag is an issue that a few servers have to deal with and is indicative to network overload. Having everyone's speed take 10secs before casting in any instance means doing raids is impossible, and doing group quests is tricky at best, and the servers that have this issue cannot play in any decent manner for weeks at a time.

8 hours a week of schedule maintenance every Tuesday, sometimes more, and random crashes, is indicative to stability problems. Everquest has run for over 5 years and, while it may have extended downtimes during content patches, can run for months without a single second of downtime. There is no valid reason a server should be brought down for 8 hours after 7 days of running.

All 3 problems are relatively simple to solve with money, mainly by increasing network pipes, getting more redundancy, opening more new servers. And after over a year and a half of the same problems occuring, it isn't too much to ask Blizzard to get their act together.

Those are the 2

You're doing it wrong (2, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197049)

if I kept performing 'urgent maintenance' and taking the service down without warning for eight-hour periods, I would be out of a job

The difference is that Blizzard sees itself as already having it's customer's money. Therefore, there's no reason to spend any more for service. Your boss needs the network up just to make money.

Re:You're doing it wrong (1)

TallMatt (818744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197284)

What do you think the chances are that some of these customers stop their subscription due to these problems? I'm not sure how long I would continue to shell out $15 a month for the constant frustration of trying to connect to a server, only to have my connection drop right at the height of action. If this problem does not get fixed soon with all the problems they are having, I think there is a good chance that subscriptions are going to start to fall off.

Re:You're doing it wrong (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197425)

The run the same rig as colleges. Both have more potential customers then they can handle, so the best solution for profit is to lower service because the loss of customers will be negligible compared to total income.

As a corellary, imagine how much they would have to spend to ensure 99.9% uptime? It would get exponentially more costly as you tacked more 9s on the end of that decimal, in a similar fashion.

AT&T have a right to provide poor service to W (2, Funny)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197068)

Those communists over at Blizzard want to use Edward Whitacre's pipes for free! [slashdot.org]

Quit the game about three weeks ago... (1, Informative)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197075)

...and migrated to EQ2. Little server lag, only a few instances of unplanned downtime, and stuff actually *works* (i.e. no year-long unfixed bugs). I'd highly recommend it to people who are bored/frustrated with WoW as I was.

Re:Quit the game about three weeks ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197456)

You have any idea if EQ2 is as popular as the original was? I stopped playing EQ before version 2 came out, but I heard from a few friends that many of the gamers who started playing EQ2 eventually went back to EQ. I think they had mentioned bugs, as well as the game requiring too much computer horsepower just to run properly. In my experience, EQ was a pleasure to play. No worries of downtime other than the scheduled patches.. which almost always took as long as Sony had expected. None of this 2 hour patch time that extends all the way to 8 hours. I would never pay for a game that takes 1 day out of your week of playtime, and I am not even taking into account the amount of time it can take just to join the server. I would hope that they schedule the patches sometime during the weekdays, late at night preferrably. But this still causes issues for people that either 1) are on a different schedule, or 2) live in different parts of the world. Maybe they patch certain servers at different times, but from what I have heard, I would still spend my money elsewhere. Hopefully they are dealing with these issues, and although there are growing pains, problems need to eventually be minimized. It is lame for them to blame their problems on AT&T, since they are ultimately responsible for their services reliability. Get another backbone provider if you don't like AT&T - or maybe get redundancy.

Re:Quit the game about three weeks ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197528)

"Little server lag, only a few instances of unplanned downtime"

Because nobody's playing it.

wow @ WoW... (2, Informative)

Attis_The_Bunneh (960066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197083)

wow...And I thought SOE was bad at maintaing MMORPGs.... I'm sure glad I'm playing Saga of Ryzom. 6_6

Guildwars (2, Interesting)

KingBahamut (615285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197104)

Free, not Pay per month, and as long as I have played it, only 2 spots of down time in 6 months. I guess WoW has many things one upped on GW, but still.

Network and other WoW performance issues (2, Informative)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197107)

I've noticed that since starting to play WoW last year around June that over time the performance issues and network performance have just gone in the toilet. Game patches result in difficulties too numerous to enumerate here. Login queue times have skyrocketed over the last four months, and I keep sending in complaints about how $150 a year should get me better performance than this. I'd love to see their setup and critique it.

Re:Network and other WoW performance issues (1)

skuzz03 (970606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197214)

Speaking of it being on AT&T's network where most of the trouble lies - maybe it has to do with the NSA's snooping on Internet traffic on AT&T's network (courtesy AT&T) that is causing the issues..hmm.....

Re:Network and other WoW performance issues (3, Funny)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197260)

This was a business decision, not a technical descision. Probably an exclusive agreement made with the PHB in charge of WoW.

"But why do we need two providers? ATT has assured me that they can provide all the bandwidth we need, and that they have failover capability! *plus* their datacenters are built on SPRINGS!"

Monthly fee (2, Interesting)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197123)

Oh yeah, that monthly fee is totally going towards maintenance costs, just like they said. That much is apparent.

Seriously, I still can't believe how easily people took to paying monthly subscription fees to play games that already cost $60 and, without paying the fee, are completely useless. It's kinda like giving cold, hard cash to a charity. You have no idea where that money is going, and you sure as hell can't trust Blizzard's PR department to give you the whole truth.

I stand fast in my assertion that I will not pay a monthly subscription to play any game except under one of two circumstances: 1) the game must have an equally fun single player mode (and it better be damn good), or 2) the game itself is free, and the monthly subscription is the only cost.

Call me anal, but it's bad enough when I pissed half my college years away playing Diablo II online for free. I don't see the point in having to pay for the privilege to waste my time.

Re:Monthly fee (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197308)

I don't see the point in having to pay for the privilege to waste my time.

You don't pay to go to the movies? Or for cable TV? Or for any form of mindless entertainment out there?

Re:Monthly fee (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197412)

I don't know about you, but my cable TV doesn't go out for 8 hours every other night.

Re:Monthly fee (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197454)

Yea, this guy's in for a brutal wakeup call the first time he takes a woman out for dinner at a nice resturant.

Code patches? (3, Interesting)

lawaetf1 (613291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197144)

I'm not a WoW player but if it's true that these systems regularly go dark for 8 hours at a time I have to wonder if they're not racing through some software patch. In other words, I don't know an architecture out there that can't be rebooted in 8 hours so a straight-up crash seems unlikely. I would assume they've taken care of scalability problems by now so system load / tablespace, etc, ought to not be an issue.

Could it be that WoW suffers constant attempts at subverting the framework of play ... and some succeed, requiring a quick patch to the code base? I wouldn't doubt that they have monitoring mechanisms in play which detect unreasonable changes in a character's level / gold, etc.

Re:Code patches? (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197530)

They do a few things in those 8 hour stretches. Some of them I know for sure, others are likely. 1. PVP rankings - it's clear that their system doesn't tabulate PVP rankings on the fly. I suspect the whole ranking system runs as a big select/join over the database of players, and that it just won't run online when the DB is being changed. You could go through the effort to do it, but it's not easy to get right, and this "solution" works now.
2. DB compaction - the back end of these games is a large transactional database, but usally homebrewed instead of using, say, oracle. It's easy to design it so that you need to do substantial database clearing and compaction on a regular basis. Again, you could do this live, but it's harder to get right.
3. Patches and content updates - same thing.
You get a lot of this stuff closer-to-right after your first MMOG - it's a much more daunting problem than it first appears to be.

Re:Code patches? (2, Insightful)

briaman (564586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197551)

Then they're daft. If they have a mechanism for detecting unreasonable changes in a character's level / gold / etc - they have no need to implement a patch to fix the problem. They are the admins and can re-edit or delete the character or ban the player. If they're dirupting the play of thousands for just this alone then they have lost sight of the point of their business: To entertain, not frustrate.

They need to be listed as a Service. (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197148)

Just like ISPs are and held to accounts for it. When I played WOW they were good about refunding for extended downtime. Yet at no time do any of these pay to play games make any guarantee of service availabilty.

As far as their continuing stability and growth issues.

STOP SELLING THE DAMN GAME.

Sheesh, how hard is that to understand? If you cannot provide a stable set of servers and servers where people can play WHENEVER they want to then stop selling new copies until otherwise.

Hopefully with the number of professionals playing the game one of them will get annoyed enough to sue them in court, either to force a change by ruling or just having their named dragged into the mud.

Re:They need to be listed as a Service. (1)

Armando_Mcgillicutty (773718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197190)

As long as people are buying, broken or not, why would they stop selling? That might be the "right" thing to do, but it makes little business sense. I'd love to have a broken product for sale that 6 Million people would give me $15/month to use.

Re:They need to be listed as a Service. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197374)

One would think they could just lower the population caps on the servers and that would improve performance. If you took today's medium population servers and considered them high pop/closed to new characters and then transfered people out of the high pop servers, it should work itself out.

That is, except for the problems they have with their own ISP. What does it take to get good service from an ISP nowadays?

Nothing new for MMORPGs (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197158)

Having been intimately involved with the server management of one of the first graphical MMORPGs (3DO's Meridian 59), all I can say is that this is nothing new for MMORPG server clusters or services.

Our game had its server problems and we were in "learning mode" to deal with some major outages, major gameplay renovations, major strife from jerks, and major socio-legal issues behind the scenes such as player-to-player harassment and real-life stalking. EA/Origin's Ultima Online started later and had some of the same issues in an almost predictable order and timing. Then EverQuest repeated our mistakes, and so on.

I would think that as an industry, as a set of geeks, we MMORPG server managers would learn from each others' mistakes, but apparently, we do not. It is also a problem in that the management in *product* companies think it is easy to become a world-class *service* company, where the service is being sold to thousands to millions of *household* mass market customers.

Re:Nothing new for MMORPGs (4, Interesting)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197352)

You are quite correct, just about every game has had these kind of problems, especially if they break new ground in subscription numbers. EQ had a lot of problems at launch, and for the first year or so. UO did have problems, as well. Blizzard certainly blew away everyone with it's subscription numbers with WoW.

However, Blizzard has really dragged their feet when it comes to fixing things. The article makes it sound like this is a recent phenomenom for WoW, but it has been around since the game was first released.

Granted, they didn't anticipate quite the initial subscription numbers they got, but within weeks we saw login queues show up, and Blizzard hastily added more servers. In fact, I do believe the more servers they added happened to be all that they had originally contracted for, and they used up that "growth servers" room right away. Now they have maxed their server capacity with their ISP, and they were sorta screwed at that point. Not that they couldn't have thrown money at the issue, but this is a game company owned by a media company. Throw money at the problem? Bwahahahaha

Heck, I was on one of the original "terrible 20" servers; Uther. It was down so much it was scary. I think I ended up with more than 2 weeks of free play time for service outtages, and probably closer to a full month.

Also, this whole thing about "a patch caused a new set of problems" is also not new for Blizzard and WoW. Every patch they did for the first several months would break half the server lag fixes they put in. Loot lag was so bad you could be stuck for more than a minute looting a corpse. From launch to when I quit playing 9 months later, they still had the problem of ore nodes and/or harvest nodes that would lock your toon up because it had nothing on it but failed to clear. I suspect that bug is still in place, but I don't care anymore. After a while, things got better, but as the queues came back, so did the content breaking patches, and the wife and I got out. Heck, we were 60, and bored.

What is different is that most of these game companies have had their act together after 1 year, give or take a few months. It's been what, about 16 months since WoW was first released? They should really have their act together about now, or damn close to it. But they don't.

Re:Nothing new for MMORPGs (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197368)

No offense but this is 2006 not 1997 (the year UO was released). Any MMO system is STILL having server stability problems in this day and age is a piece of crap. Heck even EQ cleaned itself up (relatively) and continues to impress.

It is also a problem in that the management in *product* companies think it is easy to become a world-class *service* company, where the service is being sold to thousands to millions of *household* mass market customers.

The cable company seems to do fairly well at this job. Seriously, if you do your research its not that hard to really plan and prepare for mass market audiences.

Re:Nothing new for MMORPGs (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197416)

The scale of WoW is much bigger than every other MMO that's ever been released. Their problem is that they didn't adequately prepare for popularity.

I can build a solution for a single person, and I can scale it up to work for 10 or maybe 100 people. After that, I have to start looking at reworking my initial architecture. Blizzard probably prepared for, seriously, an order of magnitude fewer players than they have right now; based on past trends in this marketspace, that would have been reasonable.

At a certain point a system that large that's modified so often needs to be re-architected, but that's expensive, dangerous and time consuming. I'm a game programmer myself, and while I haven't worked on an MMO, I still feel that I know what they're going through. It's easy to fix a bug and create two new ones in large system.

O.o (2, Insightful)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197161)

[sarcasm]

The reason they're having so much trouble is because the integration with the AT&T to government monitoring station upgrades are taking too long.

AT&T: Keeping terrorists off WoW!

Website is down (0, Offtopic)

quietlysubversive (132179) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197171)

Interestingly enough, the article's own webserver is down...

Glass houses :-)

What I love about patches and hotfixes... (1)

ragnarok56 (940033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197191)

is that they Patch one thing, and something else ENTIRELY UNRELATED gets broken. In a recent patch, there were no changes detailed in patch notes regarding Onyxia, yet they managed to cause her deep breath to occur every 10 seconds or so. How the hell does this happen?

Re:What I love about patches and hotfixes... (2, Interesting)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197396)

Generally it's a source management problem. Improper config management and source labeling leads to promotion of untested or incorrect code files so chagnes not intended to go get packed up with the ones that are intended. That's probably most of it. The rest is just not doing correct impact analysis. For example changing something in a base class and not realizing that 400 things inherit from it instead of just the one you're trying to fix. If people did better interface managemnt and impact analysis and they did proper source and config management many of these patch side effects would vanish.

Re:What I love about patches and hotfixes... (3, Insightful)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197558)

Actually, that's how software maintenance happens in the real world.

Real code is complex, and generally written as a massive matrix of inter-related side-effects causing things to happen*. When it gets written, the entire matrix is designed, intended, documented, and understood. Two years later the guys working on the code have no clue about the matrix of side-effect driven code, no clue about the complex set of business factors driving the technical aspects of the code (and by business factors, in a MMORPG I mean things like class X has bad faction with everybody making it more difficult for him to start out, but in return for overcoming that challenge has more powerful magic later in life - stuff like that) and when they are making a change they go in, find the one line of code that looks like what needs to be fixed and just change it without knowing all the places that change will ripple back to, invisibly, via the side-effect matrix.

A technical phrase to understand here is 'globally scoped variables' - and another one is 'design intent' - and as the current set of hacks don't understand the ramifications or scope of either, this is what happens.

Footnotes
* I didn't say it was a good idea. I just said it happens.

More Crafty (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197201)

Sounds like WoW has a house of cards network with single point of failure architecture problems.

And that AT&T is exploiting them, marketing a new "premium service/support" contract by letting them go down.

I can't wait until WoW has to pay AT&T (and its handful of competitors, if they get rid of the SPF) the extra "premium tier" routing fees, once the telcos market their "nonneutral" Internet. Because a world of angry Warcraft players jonesing for their fix will be a nice gift for telco suits just trying to make it home from work.

Blizzard SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197204)

They charge you $15 a month and then pocket the money.
If they spent 1/10th of that on making sure the service actually works, everybody would be happy.
I'm terminating today.

Go to hell, Blizzard!

P.S. - I'm going to miss my orc shaman a LOT! :(

Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197208)

Why are we bringing this crap from the WoW general forums onto /. now? I even see the whole "Blizzard is making $15 x 6,000,000 a month but is too cheap to spend money on their game" BS.

My server has had no unplanned downtime since the issues that occured with the 1.10 patch were resolved. I can live without the game for one day, so I'm not upset with that. I have not experienced any queues or even severe "loot lag" since then. It is about 100 times better than it was over the Holiday season or at launch. I've been playing since Beta, so I've been there through EVERYTHING.

I've dealt with issues in every MMO I've played, including EQ1, Anarchy Online, Ragnarok Online, DAOC, and so forth. In every game, there are a bunch of whiners who complain about the game/balance/art/economy/grinding/stability/servic e/lag but continue to play for years. If you hate WoW and/or Blizzard that much, quit. Seriously. Leave the game to people who enjoy it without having to complain about every little thing.

Re:Oh please... (3, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197319)

But then the other argument is that it's people like you, who endure these outages without complaint, who make it bad for everyone else?

I don't play any online games but I thought the whole idea of them was that you subscribe to that service for it to be available just about 24x7 whenever you feel like jumping in. Sure, occasional outages are to be expected but if it gets to the stage where the game is frequently slow or unavailable, the common sense solution would be to cancel your subscription until Blizzard (or whomever) improves the service they deliver you. If enough people did this, they'd have to do something about it...

I'm sorry but I think far too many people have become "slaves" to marketing by truly believing that they simply cannot do without a lot of the products & services that they pay good money for - to the point where they "need" those items so much that they're afraid of complaining in case they're denied those things completely.

NSA Agents Hot on the Trail of Horde Terrorists (5, Funny)

Anubis333 (103791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197219)

It's hard for AT&T to cater to so many millions of users *AND* filter/direct all of their customer data illegally and directly to the NSA.

Service Providers In General (4, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197255)

Not a direct comment about Blizzard (I don't even play WoW) but I am totally disgusted with the way some service providers treat we general Joe Public customers.

As an example, I came home from holiday (I'm in the UK) on Sunday evening & I immediately noticed my ADSL connection was down. So I phoned my ISP to report the fault, only to be told that they knew about the problem - a faulty server had been down for 48 hours!!! And when the tech support person could not tell me when the service would be restored, she seemed totally bemused as to why I was angry about the duration of downtime & demanded to speak to her manager.

The manager was even worse... polite and courteous but did not have a clue as to the cause of the problem or when the ADSL service would be back up. He even admitted that they'd been making some network changes to accomodate a recent merger with another company and that they had no backup server to put in place to at least give some degree of restricted service.

I may pay (the equivalent of) $30 a month for my ADSL service but am I the only person who expects good service from any company I deal with, whether I spend £3 or £30,000 with that company? I accept that sometimes there are service outages, I'd even view an 8-hour outage a few days a year as being understandable. But 48 hours???

I've been in the telecoms/computer industry now for about 20 years now and I've seen the whole perception of what is and isn't good customer service change over that time - it seems now that customers are forced to accept worse service because every company has reduced the level of service they give.

And when it comes to poor Joe Public "peons" like ourselves, who only spend a small amount each month with these companies, we're expected to endure countless menu selections, long delays in call-centre queues and lengthy outages as a matter of course.

It would be good to see a lot more people complain more and cancel their services with some of these providers - I'm sure this is the only way that they will be forced to offer better service to us.

Re:Service Providers In General (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197320)

I've had broadband issues with NTL. Thats why I always keep a dialup
account (with another company I might add) as a backup. Just in case.
And those cases have so far happened 6 times this year.

Re:Service Providers In General (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197410)

I was actually an NTL user until November last year when I moved house to an area they didn't cover. Whilst we had endless arguments with NTL about billing errors and I avoided their tech support like the plague, I actually had a pretty good, fast and reliable cable modem service from them for over 4 years - probably amounting to about 3-4 outages a year for maybe an hour or two at the most. Maybe this was simply the area I lived in (compared to yours) but I would have gone back to them given the choice because I didn't need their tech support and was more concerned about good uptime and speed.

My current provider is Onetel and their service has been pretty good (over the past 6 months I've used it) until that long outage last weekend. I threatened to cancel my contract with them if the service wasn't restored by Monday morning (I work from home a lot and use VPN to connect to work) but it was restored soon after I phoned them - I think this was pure coincidence as there was nothing else from them in the way of an apology or follow up.

I just find it difficult to believe that any company would deem a 48 hour outage as acceptable to any customer - and I'm amazed that more people don't complain when this length of service outage happens.

Where it really shows (3, Informative)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197262)

The problem really is visible when you are adventuring in difficult to beat places. You depend on having your team perform to their best ability. It is then so frustrating to be constantly dealing with part of you team getting disconnected or being lagged to the point of ineffectiveness.

My guild is doing MC BWL, ZG and AQ20 right now. It is a regular occurence right now to wait 20 minutes to start a fight because of disconnected people, only to then lose that battle because you lost two priests to a disconnect during it.

The anger may not be at the threshold point yet Blizzard, but it most definitely building fast. The thing about angry customers is that there is a point of no return when they are forever lost. Blizzard has a lot of customers right now, but they would lose them fast if somebody else stepped up with a great game and more reliable game play.

Blizzard, you executed very very well on game content by effectively removing much of the grind that other games are plagued with, but you have failed with customer interaction. Some of your representatives treat your customers with borderline contempt (Tseric) and you fail miserably at explaining properly the multitude of changes you make to the game.

Blizzard, your six million customers are waiting; it's your move, take too much time and you could lose them. Start with being public about your server improvement plans, telling people what you're doing and why and how its going to make things better. Not knowing when things are going to get better is really making people angry.

System Administrative Failure (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197276)

I think there's a common failure of even technologically inclined individuals, including system administrators, to understand exactly what is required of the servers that allow us (usually) to play World of Warcraft. For every player connected to the server, the server has to recieve a packet explaining what the player's current attempted actions are, and send back relevant information regarding the actions of every other player and object in the immediate area. This is a constant process for each and every player!

The common system that is administered in a corporate environment does not have thousands of users connected at once all requiring huge amounts of bandwidth and processing time 24/7. That is not to say that systems with large wear and tear don't exist, or that systems with such huge numbers of users don't exist, or even both. What I am saying is that Blizzard has to administer two or more dozen server clusters being continually accessed 24/7 by resource intensive users (save for a usually brief repose on Tuesdays). Unless you work for Google (and even then) there's no comparison.

This isn't to say that we shouldn't raise our eyebrows at the pervasiveness of the problems WoW has. However, I keep seeing the same arguments thrown around about how Blizzard gets $15 x 6million every month (not entirely true because A) there are less pricey payment options and B) something around 1/3 of those players play in China on Asian servers whos subscription plans would hardly be purchasable were they $15 a month), how at 'my company' things work this way, etc. etc.

Blizzard should be called on to answer for why their servers haven't been made right as rain after a year or more after release, but it should be in the context of legitimate complaint and not any of this throwing around of overused and hardly consequential arguments.

Re:System Administrative Failure (1)

filterban (916724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197555)

What a fantastic post.

The people who compare WoW uptime to that of your [Web Server/Database Server/ISP] are one of the following:

1) Lacking understanding of what it takes to successfully administer a MMORPG like WoW. The sheer amount of data and the ridiculous response time that you need to provide is really, really high. This is different from Phantasy Star Online or Guild Wars, people - there are thousands of users on the same cluster, hammering away at the server. I don't even fully grasp it myself.

2) Thinking that $15 per month should go farther than it does. People, you can't buy three combo meals at McDonald's for $15.

3) Whiney. (Just kidding.)

Seriously though, there definitely are problems in WoW. However, they have gotten noticeably better in the six months I've been playing. Blizzard needs to improve communication on the problems they do have and what they're doing to solve them; I honestly think that will sedate even the most discerning user.

My account expired yesterday... (2, Insightful)

Osrin (599427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197281)

... and I don't plan on subscribing again until I can see evidence that they have fixed this. Like many people at the moment I have expressed my discontent in the only manner that Blizzard will hear and voted with my check book.

I know it is tough for Blizzard, but as a customer I have been the one paying the price for that so far, from now on that cost is Blizzards again. At least for the time being.

Ill communication (4, Insightful)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197293)

A large part of the problem is that Blizzard's communication with the player base sucks, to speak frankly. The login server for their forums seems to be one and the same as the login server for the game itself, so when that goes down the forums tend to shut down as well. There is a "Realm Status" page which purports to show the real-time status of the various servers, but which is frequently unreachable. There is a "Realm Status" forum which *might* contain some acknowledgement of a problem while the problem is still ongoing, but usually doesn't. When you start up the game client, Blizzard can stick up a 'News' window on your screen but, again, the appearance of any news often lags the problem, even severe problems, by a matter of hours. And, of course, Blizzard's chief form of communication with players is Community Managers on the forums, who themselves tend to be given dick in the way of information, are extremely controlled in what they can and cannot say, and who are (honestly, I'm not joking), tasked with yelling at users for stuff posting subject headers that contain excessive capitalization; what an obscene waste of resources.

Seriously, a little timely information goes a long way. Yes, I agree that the downtime they have is absurd; consider that *every Tuesday* the game goes offline for *six hours* of maintenance. That's *planned, scheduled* downtime, folks, so that *alone* means they aren't even attempting to have greater than 96.4% uptime, and I can't think of another commercial service for which you pay a monthly fee where that would be even remotely acceptable; if your cable or your phone just plain didn't work for 6 hours every Tuesday, heads would roll. Then things just get asinine when you factor in all the spontaneous, freewheeling, unplanned downtime as well.

But know what? I'd feel a lot better about it if, when something shits the bed, or goes tits-up, or whatever colorful metaphor you'd use to describe a server-killing technical problem, Blizzard would tell us, promptly, as they receive the information themselves:

1. We know there's a problem.
2. We know what the proglem is.
3. Here's what we're doing to fix it.
4. Here's when we expect it to be fixed.
5. Update as old information is obsolete.

They don't do this. A few hours after something happens, you might get some of the above information. Or you might not. Usually, it's the latter.

About ready to cancel my subscription (0)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197329)

I've been playing since closed beta. Played through that, open beta, and since November 27, 2004 (Retail day).

It's a miserable, shitty situation when you can't play the game when your time is free. I work for a living, I go to school, and in my sparse free time I get to play WoW. Doesn't help though, when the one-and-a-half to two hours I have available to play are largely sucked up by [Authenticating...]. Such a crock.

I partially blame the lack of connectivity and stability for the now certain loss of my Guild. 130 characters, about 70 unique people. Maybe eight of us come on with any regularity now. Those that are left over who do trickle in? Stories of issues connecting, frustration, resulting in time spent playing F.E.A.R. or Oblivion instead.

Another poster said it best; if my systems were down 20% of the time, or if authentication to email or a terminal server or DocuSpank took 15 minutes, I'd be out of a job very fast.

Listen up, Blizzard! You're driving your customers away! It's impossible to do a 45 minute Baron run because once you get goin- goin- goin- goin- goin- go.. [Disconnected from server]

Its all a matter of money (2, Insightful)

cranesan (526741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197375)

WoW is hardly the first online service to be hit by network and server problems. Over the years, services like eBay, Amazon.com and E*Trade have all dealt with various forms of outages.

Yeah, but the difference with WoW is the money. When eBay, Amazon.com, and E*Trade have outages they are losing money. When WoW has an outage they don't lose a dime. Only thing they lose is the 1 or 2 players who get frustrated and abandon all the 'work' they put into their characters and cancel their accounts. Blizzard still collects your $15 every month, outage or not. No $$$ incentive for them to provide good service. I thought they were a good company, but my opinion of them is changing drastically. Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 are both Blizzard games you can play online for free, they are more stable then WoW. Something is wrong here!

thank you AT&T! (5, Funny)

tidokoro (967675) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197394)

WOW server downtime is saving my marriage.

Tech Support Staff Bother Me More (2, Informative)

pringlis (867347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197414)

To be honest, what bothers me more than the lag itself is the distinct lack of interest their support staff give. Tickets submitted to the in-game helpers, Game Masters, result in them telling you to go post on the tech support forum. The tech support forum tell you first of all to uninstall all the addons and to phone your ISP, despite the fact that the problem is occuring to everyone on the server, and then they tell you to contact a Game Master on your server... An in-game friend of mine recently called Blizzard directly to speak to the tech support staff there. After informing him that we were currently in the middle of an Ahn'Qiraj raid where all forty of us were experiencing lag of over 800ms the friendly staff member told him that "Well it may be your ISP". Why yes, we have members located from Britain to Hungary to Russia but we are all having ISP problems at once. If they'd just admit that the servers are over-populated, open more servers and allow migration then this would help alleviate the problems. I'm on the EU-Arathor server which has 12k players, the highest in the EU, but has yet to be offered a migration option. It's a poor show.

WoW never wowed me much (1)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197417)

15min waiting in cue to log in? When I gave a freebee 14 day account a try I sometimes had 2-3 hour cues... Main reson I didn't stick around. But random downtime during any MMO raid really kills the fun of playing.

Works For Me (tm) (0, Flamebait)

the_greywolf (311406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197442)

i rarely, if ever, see the problems i hear everyone complaining about. i get zero lag on my servers (Zuluhed and Destromath), nearly all of the bugs i've run into i can rightly blame on Cedega, and the only downtime i ever experience is when the authentication server crashes.

then again, i play only a few hours per week (or a few hours per day at most), so my chances of seeing downtime are few and far between.

IMO, if you're going to complain about downtime, you really ought to look at how often you play - and stop hammering the servers. go do something else when something breaks. i'm tired of hearing everyone bitch about things i never see.

don't like it? don't play.

Same Ole Blizzard (1)

robpoe (578975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197468)

I was flamed in a previous post by people when I first mentioned this: But I have Karma to burn so flame me again!

This is the SAME Blizzard who couldn't manage the hacks / cheats / dupes / cross-realm bugged items in Diablo II. Sure, Diablo II was a free to play on Battle.net so you get what you pay for, but the mismanagment of the realms / game are now showing through on a service that ISN'T FREE.

Friends of mine are trying to get me to play WoW, and I refuse. I will _never_ buy or play another Blizzard managed game, due to my experiences with Diablo II.

Blizzard is good at one thing: Making games

They are not good at:

Managing reliable online play experiences.
Customer service (forums, call center, online chat).
Timely responses to anything.

And to even consider $15 a MONTH, for me, is stupid.

Flame suit firmly snugged up.

Well, duh! (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197488)

When the NSA is wiretapping everything going on in WOW, of course it'll be slow! Why else would Blizzard ONLY use At&t?

I think that's the number one reason to halt all this illegal wiretapping!

Oh, and maybe the 4th amendment - it seems we're having time-out issues with that as well.

Same problem in Germany (4, Insightful)

MorteSicura (766706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15197504)

If these problem are really related to AT&T, then why do we Germans experience exact the same problem? Over here T-Online is the bad guy. To solve the problem, Blizzard even suggested to alter you MTU-rate for your dsl to 1400. I don't know how many people ever heard of a thing called MTU ever. (the common people, not the nerds here ;-) ) Blizzard should ask themself why the whole IT ifrastructure are haveing problems with there product and if it is really the isp's fault.

They Got What They Deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15197547)

What did they expect using AT&T as a network provider?
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