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World of Warcraft Tuesday Maintenance A Thing of the Past

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the now-they-can-stay-in-for-a-full-week-without-blinking dept.

Role Playing (Games) 151

1up has the news that Tuesday maintenance will no longer be the way of the future for World of Warcraft. This is a big change from the weekly several-hour downtime that the company has used for the past two years. From the official post: "In the upcoming weeks, we will be testing the effect of a live maintenance, where regular maintenance tasks are run during off-peak with realms live. On Tuesday, December 26 there will be no scheduled downtime for weekly maintenance. We will perform all necessary maintenance tasks while the realms are live. We are anticipating the possibility that we may need to perform rolling restarts off-peak if we find that a realm restart is necessary; however the downtime for each realm would be less than 10 minutes if it was required." Is this really that big a deal? I know that the timeframe had to be inconvenient for EU players on the U.S. servers, but was a couple of hours of downtime early in a workday really such a burden?

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Or in asia... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356400)

I myself do not play, but a lot of my coworkers in Japan complain about the downtime... It happens after work over here...

Re:Or in asia... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356842)

Funny? Like is Japan funny now? They are short, I suppose... Ha.

I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356416)

But if anyone is seriously angry about this, then they should stop playing. No one is forcing them to pay money.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

seann (307009) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356428)

It's almost pathetic.

Pathetic.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356880)

What is "it"?

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356836)

You seem very indignant about this whole thing...

You are basing your assumption on the fact that EVERYONE who plays WoW, plays every single day. Which I will prove false, right now.

I play WoW, occasionally, school and work, and now just work makes me have other things to do. There were several times in my life where I woke up on a tuesday morning, nothing to do, and looked forward to playing for a few hours, or maybe a marathon catchup session. Then you try to sign on and see that the servers are down. I always seemed to forget about it. And every time it was a dissapointment.

You can be dissapointed about something that you don't absolutely NEED to have.

Think about all the times girls don't want to have sex with you. You don't need it, do you? But it doesn't mean that it isn't dissapointing... Every time.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

Crysalim (936188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356952)

It is actually this mentality that most likely causes the most complaining.

People who play daily will almost welcome the forced breaks. But people, like you, who do not play daily, believe the game should conform to your standards every minute of time you "grant" to playing the game.

Despite what you may believe, this does not put priority on your playing time, it makes it even less important than those people who do play daily (since it is them that will contribute the most revenue to the game, via actual money, mindshare, or viral support).

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358304)

"It is actually this mentality that most likely causes the most complaining" Which mentality? Mine? It may cause the most disapointment, but it definately doesn't account for most of the "complaining", whatever that means. Are you saying that you are just constantly baraged by people complaining about Tuesday morning downtime on WoW? I think this is the first time I have EVER talked about it at all. Giving my opinion on a related story that comes around ONCE IN A LIFETIME... Yes, Blizzard had better change for me, CHANGE RIGHT NOW BLIZZARD! "People who play daily will almost welcome the forced breaks." Yeah, they almost welcome it, from their bedroom in their starwars pajamas (not that there is anything wrong with them!) and penny-arcade t-shirts while anxiously awaiting the time they call "The Return of WoW". What makes it exciting is they never know WHEN it is comming! "But people, like you, who do not play daily, believe the game should conform to your standards every minute of time you "grant" to playing the game." Yes... It is my very strong belief. Right up there with Jesus and EA sucking. Please don't say "grant", it isn't powerfull enought. You realize WoW exists, because ->I- allow it. "Despite what you may believe, this does not put priority on your playing time, it makes it even less important than those people who do play daily" Umm... Ok, so then what is your point? They changed the whole system of maintenance to conform to my low priority playing? Nice. Merry Christmas

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358342)

I feel like at the end of a race I just fell down and crapped my pants...

Ding fries are done.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356988)

Indignant probably isn't the word that you're looking for. Perhaps you meant uncaring? I never implied that every WoW player is online every day, so I fail to see how your straw man argument has proved anything. Since you are paying money to Blizzard, capitalism dictates that it is up to you to decide if the downtime is worth your money. Is your potential disappointment worth the monthly fee? As for your cutting comments about my sex life... my girlfriend would probably disagree, but that's between me and her.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (2, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357140)

Your argument is about as ignorant as any I've seen. It seems to be that if you don't like something about a service you're purchasing, you can either shut up and keep paying or quit the service entirely. On the contrary, I would assert that paying the monthly fee entitles one to voice their complaints about the game. You certainly don't have to read said complaints if you don't care about them.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358316)

And Blizzard is free to tell you to shove it. You are in no way entitled to single-handedly direct Blizzards IT policy. The money you pay is for access to their servers and their help. If you don't like it, then go to Cuba, where I hear that communism is doing very well. If Blizzard sees an unacceptable loss in profits due to a great many players quitting over this change, then they've got a problem, but otherwise, they don't give a rats ass.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358830)

Are you just arguing to argue? Or are you against Blizzard improving itself as it is trying to do now? I don't even play WoW, but I have heard a lot about this weekly downtime and it sounds like they can't maintain the bare minimum availability that internet services are expected to maintain (99.5% in my experience). Performing the maintenance as they're suggesting might actually get them there. In any case, it's clear that Blizzard's talents do not lie in service availability. Just look at the reliability (or lack thereof) that Battle.net maintained (haven't used it recently). There were netsplits that sometimes occurred multiple times a minute. You'd just see people disappear and reappear constantly.

Anyway, bravo to them trying to improve. Clearly they don't *have* to, as plenty of people are willing to pay them anyway. But it's good to see them try.

Re:I can't really see much of a problem with this. (0, Offtopic)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358396)

Oh... I'm sorry man... A girlfriend?

I didn't realize...

Guess that explains your anger and resentment. Girls are a lot better when you are NOT their boyfriend. Trust me. You don't hate WoW... you just can't afford it cause you just blew 500 on X-Mas, the fake person holiday.

"Indignant probably isn't the word that you're looking for. Perhaps you meant uncaring? I never implied that every WoW player is online every day, so I fail to see how your straw man argument has proved anything."

I never implied you did. You implied that I implied it, but I never did.

"capitalism dictates that it is up to you to decide if the downtime is worth your money."

What does that even mean?!

"Is your potential disappointment worth the monthly fee?"

I didn't realize I pay Blizzard FOR their potential dissapointment game. I'd say that is more what a girlfriend is.

"that's between me and her."

Nope. That's my cock.

You're on! (2, Interesting)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356422)

I bet a hundred bucks that deep-vein thrombosis incidence mortality rates jump at least 500% in the unemployed 16 to 24-year-old demographic in the next month.

Believe me (2, Informative)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356450)

I play 2-3 hours every day and here in Europe, the mantainence day is wednesdays. While it's not a big deal a 2-3 hours pause in the servers, very often those breaks are 8-10 hours breaks (dunno the reason, some technical problems with the patches, I guess). So practically every wednesday is a lost day for WoW players. I'm not a compulsive WoW player, but WoW is a service and if you have the habit of playing some time at evening like I do, it is an annoyment to suffer those breaks.

Daily Reboots = bad coding (0, Troll)

Araxen (561411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356462)

I'm sorry, but Blizzard having had to reboot the servers for 2 whole years now was very bad coding on Blizzard's part. Imagine if you had to reboot the servers at your job everyday? I doubt they would be around long.

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (1)

usermilk (149572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356474)

It's not every day though, its once a week after applying patches. I always assumed it was to make sure everyone rebooted fresh after a patch though. Making sure it got applied everywhere simultaneously.

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (1)

zeno_2 (518291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356824)

It was once a week, no matter if theres a patch or not.

Re:Daily Reboots != bad coding (1)

isntwargreat (836273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356610)

I'm sorry, but Blizzard having had to reboot the servers for 2 whole years now was very bad coding on Blizzard's part. Imagine if you had to reboot the servers at your job everyday? I doubt they would be around long.
How do you know? Sounds like they didn't have a true high-availability architecture and now they have enough redundancy in their production environment that they can make changes to application instances (i.e. modifications and improvements to the game) without the user experience getting altered. Basically, they spent money on more servers...

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (1)

pasamio (737659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356796)

I know of a few Windows based companies that have it as their policy to do weekly reboots and then daily reboots during their peak season (festive season). I remember part of the regular maintainence cycle for the AS/400 was a weekly reboot. I think you could get away with it fortnightly, but after that it started to grind to a halt. Reboots do a lot of things like clear out things that are in swap that shouldn't be there, wipe out the odd bits of memory that Windows (and even Linux) lays around. No operating system is perfect and if you have the sort of loads that the WoW servers must have going through them (not to mention the amount of traffic through the network interface, remember there was a bug with NT where the TCP/IP stack had a small memory leak? Though I'm amazed with all of that cash they can't do what EVE does.

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (-1, Flamebait)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356870)

Are you amazed that a company that is supporting a user base of six million can't do all the things that a company that supports a hundred thousand can't?

I am not amazed. Nor baffled.

Oh yeah... Eve is fucking stupid, and so are the life wastoids that play it. I have multiple girlfriends, and I played WoW. Eve is for nerds that don't have any interest in the real world. And faggy space cowboys. Waaaaahooooiiiiiiii! I have reached level 3 years, that is kickin ass lickin yo!

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17357552)

It's changing.

The World of Warcraft realm servers (I think it's the same throughout the world at the moment, as the upgrades for TBC are complete) themselves are (currently) small relatively self-contained networks of large (reputedly 16-core) Opteron-based Hewlett Packard systems running on Linux; five servers per realm (Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Outland, the Instance server, and the database server). The battlegroups are, for convenience, comprised of all the realms at one datacenter, and this occupies one additional server per datacenter. There's a whole bunch of other equipment (some nice Cisco managed switches, for a start, and I'm sure I saw some Juniper stuff there).

The databases run on Oracle (9i, I think?). The WoW daemon itself is written in C++, and embeds Lua (currently Lua 5.1 in WoW 2.0.2 - no, no emulated server actually resembles the real thing server-side).

Some of the website stuff ran on Windows Server 2003/IIS (much of that has been phased out), some of it on Linux Apache Tomcat/JSP.

A weekly maintenance (Tuesdays in the US, Wednesdays in the EU) was required for several reasons:

- To apply patches. This will not change (and these are likely to remain as the considerable, extended outages of 8-10 hours and beyond we're used to seeing, as things rarely go smoothly in practice).

- To actually restart the daemon, because prior to 2.0, the daemon had a vicious memory leak, partly caused by the way it cached database item queries on item instantiation, and partly caused by the embedded Lua (which for some reason didn't get the chance to do a garbage collection while the realm was live). This resulted in the realm getting progressively slower the longer it was online, and it placed an additional load on the database, causing trades, the auction house, mail and looting in particular to undergo serious lag if the realm wasn't restarted at least weekly (and at one point when 1.9 was merged, even more frequently, within a day, owing to a bug). WoW 2.0 doesn't (well, shouldn't) have this problem, mostly because of the new dynamic garbage-collection code in Lua 5.1.

- A long time ago, honor calculation used to require that the realm be taken offline briefly. This requirement was phased out in 1.6 so that emergency honor calculations could be performed if the housekeeping tasks didn't fire correctly, and since 2.0 the complete revamp of the honor system means that the data is now routinely updated while the realm is live, and daily instead of weekly.

- They also liked to backup and repack the database during this time, as well as replicate the databases to centralised servers for the website's forums and their own purposes. This, too, can also be done live now.

Since none of the actual requirements for a weekly maintenance exist anymore, they're going to try running the housekeeping scripts live. They should work, but this is Blizzard you're talking about, and it's a huge, huge MMO you're talking about (the biggest), and you may find it doesn't go as smoothly as it ought to. But grats to them for trying!

EVE-Online isn't really comparable, because although Tranquillity is a masterpiece of a server architecture, holding the world record for concurrency on a single 'shard' by a considerable margin, it does so by a really clever mesh network dynamically sharding based on relative distance, because the EVE world is very, very big (artifically so - it's space, after all). It also has a rather creative way of dealing with lag, which again wouldn't really work in any other context, and a relatively small staff but a heavy community-driven support and story architecture.

This is not something that would work in World of Warcraft, which has a much more tightly-coupled architecture, and moreover, a tendency (even requirement) for people to gather in large groups in major cities and instances (which the servers really hate if they happen to be all fighting within an interact distance of each other, as that means an awful lot of traffic and combat log processing server-side - this is why large city raids and world PvP frequently either brought down or heavily lag one of the continental instance servers).

This is why EVE feels a little 'empty' - it's designed to be so, to spread the load a little and because, well, it's space, whereas WoW is designed to encourage player-player interaction, and isn't actually as large a world - typically a WoW realm is set to queue at about 5000 concurrent players at the moment. They probably could raise that a little now, but it might not be a good idea.

Guild Wars, too, has a different model, instancing out all the time in the field. This, along with a relatively hands-off support (no live GMs as far as I know), keeps their server costs extremely low relative to other MMOs with a comparable userbase, which is what allows them not to charge a monthly fee, concentrating instead on charging for regularly-updated content expansions.

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359502)

Though I'm amazed with all of that cash they can't do what EVE does.

Hmm. What is it that EVE does?
I subscribed to EVE online. It was working fine, then one day it stopped working - no reason (or possibly a windows patch - I can't remember). I checked the forums, a few other people appeared to be experiencing similar problems. Okay, I said, I'll wait.
...
Four days later, still no workaround, nothing. I decide to email their support mail. Continue waiting. One week later, still no response on the forums. Still no response from the support email. Hmm. I think I'll unsubscribe. That's a level of service I can do without.

WoW on the other hand...
Wouldn't allow me to patch up to version 2. Serious issues with the installer. Eventually managed to speak to a human being (3 days trying) using their tech support. The guy knew WoW as a player, he also knew something about windows (surprising) and was British (even more surprising). He managed to point me in the right direction towards getting it fixed (it needed IE7 installed for some strange reason? possibly to do with .net libs?). I emailed him with the details of my fix, and got a thank-you response (in human!) .

Now, I don't know about you, and I have heard a lot of bad things regarding WoW support, but I know which level of service I prefer...

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (2, Informative)

BondGamer (724662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356858)

It isn't bad coding if the system was design to be rebooted daily/weekly. Certain resource intensive tasks need to be performed while the server is down. If the server was online, it would take much more time then if the server was down for a couple minutes and degrade the game to an unplayable state. Keeping thousands of servers online 24/7 would break Blizzard's budget (even though they are making over a billion a year). It is not economically or technically feasible.

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356894)

I'm sorry, but Blizzard having had to reboot the servers for 2 whole years now was very bad coding on Blizzard's part. Imagine if you had to reboot the servers at your job everyday? I doubt they would be around long.

I'm sorry, but whatever you just tried to write was just very bad writing on your part. Imagine if you had to make sense at your job everyday? I doubt THEY would be around long.

Who is they? Your job? You? The servers?

Blizzards job... well, they are not a person. The person doing the rebooting will probably be there until they quit. And I assure you, Blizzards servers have been around... longly.

Re:Daily Reboots = bad coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17357312)

Imagine if you had created servers for 20-25,000 people, and they had suddenly had several hundred on them?

Some of the downtimes are physical upgrade related. Some of them were required because of the insane amount of calculations needed with the old PvP system. Now that they've eliminated that, and most of the servers are running on the new hardware, they're able to do away with it.

It's really just a matter of scope. If you plan a part for 50 people, and 200 show up, it's not bad catering, it's bad planning.

Interesting! (1, Offtopic)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356486)

I am looking forward to seeing whether or not this works.

I am not entirely optimistic. I mean, yes, it'll be more convenient... Except for the part where you can no longer SCHEDULE for server resets.

"Oh, sorry, were you 95% done with MC? I guess you'll have to go back."

Re:Interesting! (1)

penguinwhoflew (904673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356510)

Try not to plan your MC runs during maintenance times then.

Re:Interesting! (1)

eht (8912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356680)

There are now no planned maintenance times, just random "we have to fix this problem" now times.

Re:Interesting! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356782)

Exactly. It may be that they'll only be down for ten minutes, and only twice a week... But if there's no way to predict even what day they'll be, you can't schedule a run to avoid them.

Of course, there's been occasional restarts for various reasons all along, so it may not be noticeable.

I wonder what they'll do for patch days.

Re:Interesting! (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359202)

that's the GP's whole point: With this in place, if they have to reboot at a "random" time to recover from problems with the hot maintenance, you can't plan your runs around it

Re:Interesting! (0, Flamebait)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356812)

You idiot. They will do off times. AKA, early in the morning when most US guilds are not running. They also, with the exception of patches will not have to reboot, hence LIVE FUCKING maintenance.

Oh, and every time you kill a boss in any of the raids, it stays for 3 to 5 days depending on the raid. You get stuck with a certain instance, that way guilds can't farm the bosses as much.

OH FUCK we have to re kill trash for 20 minutes. THE FUCKING WORLD JUST ENDED. If your guild is upset about redoing some trash, you have more to worry about than a server reset. You are still learning the instance,and there is no way you are 95% done. Jesus, have you ever actually done a raid?

Re:Interesting! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356912)

Do bosses stay dead through all server maintenance activities? Will they under the new system?

I don't think you read the same announcement I did. I got the impression that a lot of things which are currently being done on maintenance day, such as server-side-only hotfixes, will be done by adding more restarts.

Off hours is nice, but some people schedule stuff for "off hours".

But yes, I was aware that many things would be done live. I was talking about the thing where they said some things would require restarts. As I understand it, that's on top of the occasional restarts we see now.

Re:Interesting! (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357310)

Okay, I apologize for my first response. That was rude and uncalled for.

Bosses stay dead to prevent guilds from downing rag every 2 days and farming the hell outta high end raids. Molten core can only be reset once every 5 or 6 days. Zg can can only be reset once every 3 days. Until its reset the bosses stay dead, however trash will respawn. The announcement i read is next to the login boxes on the main screen after you start the game.

The resets will not be disruptive. Most of the time they provide a 30 minute ingame warning, most of the time this is long enough for a group to mop up an instance or not start it at all.

Hence these should not be a major problem.

Re:Interesting! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357450)

Wow. Are you angry at the entire world and just taking it out on Slashdot? Or did the grandparent poster personally raped your mom? Please give me some details, Mr. Rage.

Re:Interesting! (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357526)

Well if you look at the reply I gave to the guy I was rude to this wouldn't be a problem.

Re:Interesting! (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356932)

Blizzard has been very good about this stuff so far, there is no reason to think that they will be pulling the rug on players unannounced now. This is to make playing better for players, not worse.

Blizzard isn't evil yet. They haven't released Warcraft '07, incomplete for xBox360 two years running at 60 dollars a pop. Nor have the released the an expansion pack every month... Warcraft: Weapons and things to fight with! ... Warcraft: Races other than gnomes! ... Warcraft: Colors! ... Warcraft: Now in Stereo!

Yes, fuck EA Games, and the horse they rode in on. And Bethseda, and the horse THEY rode in on... That looks better than your horse... Since they purchased it online...

Re:Interesting! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356986)

lawl, it's just MC. l2p nub

Already happens.. (1)

beldraen (94534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357228)

I found this announcement amusing because Blizzard has been doing this off and on already. In the last several months there have been weeks where maintenance was skipped, at least on my server. What has happened now is that they already have it in place and are just giving political cover:
"Hey, we're going to make this the norm, but if it doesn't work, we'll reboot or do normal maintenance."

In the end, is this really news that a system has implemented 99.99% service?

Mod parent up! (1)

lord_sarpedon (917201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358450)

It's entirely on topic...

This change does in fact have raiding implications. Off-peak hours are not so for everyone, and who knows what kind of stability/lag problems will crop up during maintenance.

Downtime was often longer than expected (1)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356494)

Often the downtime was a lot longer than it was supposed to be. Usually it meant not playing the game for an entire day, and patch days were even WORSE. Now, of course, I've quit WoW to focus on school but I was part of the WoW craze too. Don't knock it until you've tried it, it can be rather addicting. Besides, people are paying $15 per month for the game, some people would like to take advantage of that as much as possible.

A bit inconvenient for Hawaii/AU/NZ players (4, Interesting)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356496)

The Tuesday outages basically meant a short night of playing for me as I live in Hawaii. Because of the time zone difference, I played with a lot more New Zealand and Australian gamers than with US based ones. For them the outage came a lot earlier in the evening.
So while it wasn't a huge deal - it was irritating if you forgot that it was maintenance night and had something planned.

Re:A bit inconvenient for Hawaii/AU/NZ players (1)

Kurayamino-X (557754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358416)

It came in the middle of peak raiding times for .au players, actually. it was one of the two main reasons we want a server that's actually -in- Australia, downtimes and finally getting a stable ping under 400. So what do they do when aussies complain about these things? open servers with the same problems, but a rotated clock and no ability to transfer characters to them... gee, thanks Blizzard, no, really I appreciate it. Of course it's likely not all Blizzard's fault, I mean, Telstra fucked over Ultima Online, I've got no doubt they'd try to rape Blizzard in exchange for aussie bandwidth as well.

Of course it's a big deal (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356532)

One of the biggest production systems in the world no longer needs weekly reboots, I'd say that's a pretty big deal, technologically if nothing else. In Beta there was no weekly downtime, but when the game went live they fought serious scalability issues and thus began the weekly reboot. I don't know about the rest of you, but several hours each week != the 5-nines availability that I expect from machines I administer, so I've always found Blizzard's weekly downtime a copout, and an embarrassment.

This won't reduce complaints (4, Insightful)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356614)

I know that that have always been tons of people complaining about down-time, more often when it's a few hours late. These people will not stop complaining; they will simply find something else to complain about. You see, when your very life exists around World of Warcraft, any break in service will cause a panic reaction-- and they people are the loudest of the bunch.

I'm not saying that every World of Warcraft player is an addict, but the people having a normal enjoyable time usually don't jump on the forums the second something is up.

Re:This won't reduce complaints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17358438)

You are right. Still, it is still a service that these people are paying for; they are not being reimbursed when the service contract is broken.

Re:This won't reduce complaints (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360054)

Actually, most of the time Blizzard gave compensation for extend downtime in the form of extra days if maintenance took a lot longer than expected. When I was playing WoW regularly, almost every patch day the servers would be down for 4 or 5 hours more than expected(sometime even longer). A lot of the time, when this happened to a server you had a character on, Blizzard would tack on a free day to you account. I regularly got free days just because a character I didn't even play anymore would be on a server effected by a delay. 5+ hours extra downtime(on a server I no longer play on) but I get a free day of playtime. Totally fine with me.

Downtime was a good thing (5, Funny)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356624)

Hardcore players used it to resupply their homes and get the minimal amount of sun needed to survive.

Re:Downtime was a good thing (1)

Neoncow (802085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356740)

It's called vitamin D and it comes in pill format these days. Obviously not hardcore enough.

Re:Downtime was a good thing (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359296)

Bah. Learn to place the computer well positioned near a window, n00b.

Not exactly (please READ the article!) (1)

26reverse (305980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356634)

They're testing the possibility... NOT moving in this direction yet. They are most certainly not (yet) a thing of the past. Very poor choice of words for the title.

And besides, one day a week, good grief. That's not that big of a deal. The same kids complaining are the ones that whined when their parents told them to go outside and play instead of sitting in front of the television. Everyone knows to expect this - it isn't a surprise and it isn't something new. No guild worth its salt plans a raid for Tuesdays. And no regular player expects to have complete, uninterrupted gameplay on Tuesdays either.

It was poorly timed for those in Hawaii (and for the Australians that played on the US servers). Personally, I'm going to miss it. I loved getting online before work and getting in a last bid in the Auction House before the shutdown.

With "10 minute" reboots, though, things'll get worse. They'll be unplanned (so you can't plan your raids around them) and everyone will spam the chat channels constantly complaining about how awful Blizzard is (while still giving them money every month).

Re:Not exactly (please READ the article!) (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359126)

Have to admit I have zero sympathy for poor old raid organisers who won't be able to plan their raids around them. Blizzard already panders far too much to the uber guilds who spend months raiding the same dungeons over and over and over again. There have been numerous content additions for these sad bastards who waste their lives on this game and fuck all for the casual gamer (re-cycled content, e.g. taking existing dungones and lowering the required group size, does not count).

I quit the game because I got fed up with a lack of end-game for non-loser gamers.

Re:Not exactly (please READ the article!) (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359306)

For someone who's complaining about editors not reading the article, you did a good job of missing something yourself: the "10 minute reboots" are said in the article to be planned to be applied off-peak.

Oh thank God (3, Funny)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356662)

I was getting pretty edgy with only 166 hours of Warcraft a week.

If only ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356668)

My Bank here in Sweden would be available 24/4. But alas, they go "offline" a couple of hours EVERYDAY. Granted, it is after midnight, but it stills seems cheap that a major online bank cannot operate 24/7. What is this, the 90's?

Not just a reboot. (1)

redback (15527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356684)

A lot of people seem to think that the maintenance periods we have had in the past were just for a reboot. Not true. WoW realm restarts take a few minutes, this is hours of offline time for database maintenance ect. The ability to run those tasks with the realms online is a great step forward. My only concern is that it will generate lag during the online maintenance time (my 'peak' time, due to living in Australia), but honestly, it would only be in the time that the realm would otherwise have been offline.

Re:Not just a reboot. (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356928)

I am wondering what the changes will be in database reliability.

The big test will come after the first catastrophic hardware failure.

Why the need for so much downtime? (2, Insightful)

ixplodestuff8 (699898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356694)

I don't understand why they need so much downtime, I play another mmorpg, and downtime is rare, usually once every other month, and never for too long.

Unless they add a significant amount of content every week, they shouldn't have to do that, and if they add a minor amount of content, they should do it once a month instead as a bigger package. While wow has several times the amount of subscriptions as the mmorpg I play, there are less people per server at any given time in a wow server, so it can't be a scaling issue, unless several "servers" run off the same set of machines. I also hear from my friends things like servers being full, wait lists and such. I think this shouldn't happen in any mmorpg, especially one that probably has a higher budget and profit than most.

While wow may be superior than most in content/game play, from my point of view, the handling of servers could of been done better, but in the end it only really matters to addicts, not the casual player (blizzard's target market I hear).

I'm not knocking wow, from the looks of it, it's an excellent game, and aside from the minor technical issues with downtime and servers being full, it does look like a good game, planning on using a 15day trial dvd during winter break after new years to give it a whirl.

Why? (2, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356708)

Last time I checked, it said "News for Nerds" at the top of this page. Why not write up the technical reasons why it's happening? Is it rebuilding indexes on some crappy MySQL servers that we can laugh at? Is it applying weekly Microsoft patches to servers? I've never played the game so from my perspective, it seems absurd that the game has to shut down on a weekly basis. I just got finished playing OGame (see sig), and all hell broke loose if the servers ever went down (which they did on occasion, but it wasn't weekly... it was like once a year).

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356768)

They claim [blizzard.com] :
As with any system that is processing large volumes of data, the World of Warcraft realms require regular maintenance to ensure they are operating correctly.
Really? I can't remember the last time Amazon.com was down for maintenance.

This maintenance consists of hardware and software updates.
Hardware - Come on, they must have enough redundant servers so they can take one offline at a time without disrupting anything.
Software - I suppose this means updates to the game data/code itself. A restart of the server program might make sense in that case, though I can't see it taking more than a few minutes.

Re:Why? (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356816)

Amazon.com is very different than WoW...

And it says they require regular maintenance, I am sure Amazon require's regular maintenance too, it just doesn't require downtime because not everyone is constantly accessing all information. User computer's do not need to be upgraded either.

Not sure when self hating nerds started hating WoW, it is pretty much all of their wet dream. Orcs, elves, gnomes and in beautiful animated splendor. It is a social place for people too pale to talk to real humans, and on top of that it is one of the moder marvels of software engineering. If you compare it to any other MMO, it has been the most perfectly executed. Blizzard did one hell of a job with this one.

I guess that nerds hating on WoW is kind of like teenage girls hating on Christina Aguilerra.

Look at that seemless world, uh-hay-mc-glaaaaaaaven, it probably has no personality-tity, glaven.

Re:Why? (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356954)

I am sure Amazon require's regular maintenance too, it just doesn't require downtime because not everyone is constantly accessing all information.
Huh? Of course people are constantly accessing all of Amazon's information. Do you want to tell me which part of their service they can take offline for a few hours while no one is using it? Obviously they have redundancies, so they don't need downtime.

Not sure when self hating nerds started hating WoW
I played the 10-day trial, enjoyed it, didn't feel a need to pay $15/mo. for it. I'm fairly indifferent to WoW, I generally like Blizzard, but I do hate bad technical design. And a system that needs to be taken offline weekly for no other reason than "maintenance" is terrible design.

Re:Why? (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357136)

While I agree that needing to be taken offline every week is indicative of bad design, I do not agree that you can compare Amazon's traffic to WoW's. I believe if you broke each individual connection to a WoW account down and compared it to each individual connection to an Amazon account you would see a GREAT deal of difference.

For example, every single milliseconda person's WoW account is capable of multiple updates to the server's database. A player's entire actions must be queued, executed and responded to in a mere fraction of a second or the entire game is unplayable. People would scream LAG until WoW was a ghost MMO -- or, more accurately, WoW would never have gotten so large in the first place.

Compare that to the average connection for an Amazon account. I think you'll see there's a huge difference, even just in principle. Now, how many thousands of people do you think are accessing Amazon.com at once?

Each WoW servers literally has thousands of people online at any given time, and each and every one of these people is expecting to get fast service because they pay for it every month and the game would be plain stupid without it.

Now I'm not claiming that I know the intricacies of the WoW database, but I imagine that even Amazon's database runs into barriers and needs maintenance and optimization. Compare that to WoW and you might see why there is a need for constant maintenance. Only now they don't (we'll see) have to bring the servers down every week for extended maintenance. They need only restart them.. which to me sounds like they have some reason for the restarts. Perhaps it gives them a chance to quickly remove various time-stamped data that is no longer relevant to the game once it has been rebooted. Like I said, I don't know.

But rest assured, it's a lot different than Amazon.

TLF

Re:Why? (1)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357674)

MMORPGs do not push the database as hard as you seem to be implying. If they did, in fact, hit the database for every action taken in game, there'd be an enormous number of updates- but that's not what they do. The various computers running parts of the world at any given time cache appropriate data and make saves or lookups periodically, or when data and characters need to be handed off from one server to another, allowing macro updates instead of a constant stream of micro updates.

There are still an enormous number of clients hitting those databases at any given time, but I'd venture a guess that an e-commerce site like Amazon *does* have similar DB access concerns (or more so) to an MMORPG like WoW- and with stronger reliability requirements in the face of failures.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Miniluv (165290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358098)

The differences between Amazon and WoW is intuitively obvious. Amazon is a web delivered service, and therefor is statefulness wrapped around a stateless protocol. The statelessness of HTTP allows for tons of easy solutions to maintenance for virtually every component.

The second major difference is that nobody using Amazon affects anybody else using it. With the exception of inventory updates which can be cached on virtually every item Amazon deals in due to the volumes they're handling nothing any one user on Amazon does has a direct impact on any other user. This allows for easy scale out.

Contrast that with WoW, which is predicated entirely upon the opposite. Every user can directly impact the universe of every other user. This requires a comparatively huge amount of synchronization.

I've never been terribly accepting of WoW's maintenance schedule, and I'm happy to see them making this improvement. I do however have a decent understanding of the problem and recognize its hardly trivial to solve.

Re:Why? (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358082)

I don't know how many MMOs you play but Eve online also requires weekly downtime. This doesn't seem to be due to "poor design". If you're so smart that you can critcize Blizzard and apparently CCP about their design systems, please show me your popular and successful MMO and how it can handle maintenance, updates, etc.

Or are you talking out of your ass?

Re:Why? (1)

robosmurf (33876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358750)

Actually, EVE Online has daily downtime - 11am to 12 noon GMT.

Re:Why? (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358864)

Its status as an MMO is debatable, but see Guild Wars. It is massively multiplayer, but heavily instanced. Downtime is seemingly nonexistent for them.

Re:Why? (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358252)

"Huh? Of course people are constantly accessing all of Amazon's information." Which takes up much less space than WoW's. "Do you want to tell me which part of their service they can take offline for a few hours while no one is using it? Obviously they have redundancies, so they don't need downtime." Have you ever made a website? You probabaly have. If you haven't, I am sure you are capable of it. It's just not that difficult. Most of it is really easy to do when you get the hang of it. Have you ever built an MMO that can service six million people? One million? Five people? In a day in age where people have very high expectations out of their games this is not easy. It is a HUGE software undertaking. It is high risk too, since they pretty much have to service it if it doesn't work for at least SOME extended period of time. Weekly maintenance is not that big of a deal. They probably have TONS of different things that they can easily modulate in the software to make big gains in performance for the players on a week to week basis. They aren't just rebooting a computer because there is memory leaking everywhere. If you want to say that routine maintenance is evidence of "not perfect" design, i'll give you that. But bad design? Come on man, you are being silly and argumentative. It's like saying the pyramids are a poorly designed because they don't still look new. And don't say "but the pyramids don't require weekly reboots", because it wouldn't make any sense.

Re:Why? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356786)

I doubt OGame ever had to deal with server loads the size of WoW's, and OGame is also a browser game and doesn't need to apply patches like WoW does. (That being said, compared to NGS and other games of the same strain, OGame felt a bit simplistic)

Blizzard ETA's (1)

rasjani (97395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356730)

Couple of hours during the workday you say ?

Ok, let me explain my pov first. I've played MMORPG's since Ruins Of Kunark release (first expansion to Everquest 1).. Since then i've played Eq2, Uo, Daoc, AO, SWG, many betas - same games which never came out, some that did. Basicly i've have had subscription to some mmorpg spanning for a quite a long time and, to wow, since its release in europe.

And i have to say one thing.

BLIZZARD AND THEIR PATCH ETA'S ARE HUGE JOKE! Content patches, no matter what they promise, the servers are never ever ever back online when i get back home from work and i live on +2h timezone from servertime. Also, they promise one eta and then 1-1.5 hours later after that said eta (well, its not estimated for no reason, but still) they inform that there's new eta but they cannot promise anything and then list few servers that are affected. Which is nice. But would be better if they just would include all the servers because, if something goes fscked up, all the "up" servers are equally fscked up because of the server loads or something else.

So, if this actually works. Yey for blizzard. but in the meantime, i wont be holding my breath for servers to come back online...

Re:Blizzard ETA's (1)

sugarman (33437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357232)

Ok, let me explain my pov first. I've played MMORPG's since Ruins Of Kunark release (first expansion to Everquest 1).

n00b

=)

World downtime inappropriate when sun doesn't set (5, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356742)

The poster asks:

Was a couple of hours of downtime early in a workday really such a burden?
For some it was, for others it wasn't, but that's not the point.

The point is that downtime at ANY time of the day is inappropriate in a global service in this day and age, since it's always prime time for somebody somewhere. Lots of people play on "foreign" servers, because that's where their friends are.

Many other MMOGs have now eliminated patch-update downtime in favor of continuous background updates, and their maintenance is typically fully transparent: "We're doing scheduled maintenance at hour XX-YY GMT, but you're unlikely to notice anything". Another MMOG I'm currently playing is like that, very slick --- the only time I ever noticed the service being down was when they were moving their huge data center lock stock and barrel to a larger site. And there is never any downtime for new expansions.

Far from "Does it matter?", this is very welcome news from Blizzard indeed. It's about time.

Re:World downtime inappropriate when sun doesn't s (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357112)

The point is that downtime at ANY time of the day is inappropriate in a global service
If you would characterize WoW as a global service, which is a stretch, WoW would be one of the definitive examples that it is a standard. MySpace, Second Life and yes, even Digg have have maintenance. I don't see where appropriate fits into it.

Re:World downtime inappropriate when sun doesn't s (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358850)

Where I work, we do not have the luxury of maintenance windows. It's not too difficult to get zero downtime on a web-based service if you have solid deployment methods. Something like WoW is a little more difficult, although you can get pretty close with the Guild Wars approach (running multiple versions of the server at the same time and allowing users to finish what they're doing before restarting their clients to patch).

Just one thing to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17357682)

Cry more.

It is a huge burden (1)

milofischbein (948988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356760)

Every tuesday morning I'm forced to actually get work done. Until the servers come back up, that is.

Holy... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356800)

That's the only time I stop playing long enough to actually use the bathroom. Do I have to wait until the next server crash to take a dump?

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356850)

Is this really that big a deal? I know that the timeframe had to be inconvenient for EU players on the U.S. servers, but was a couple of hours of downtime early in a workday really such a burden?
My life stops for a few hours every Tuesday. You know that greek god that gets to have his liver plucked out by a vulture every day for all of eternity? Blizzard == Vulture

Re:Yes. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358196)

Prometheus was a titan, not a god. Other than that, a good metaphor. ;)

Ignorant story posters (5, Informative)

miaDWZ (820679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356856)

GAH! I feel like throwing my head against a brick wall after reading "I know that the timeframe had to be inconvenient for EU players on the U.S. servers"

Yes, it's all very well-and-good for you people in America. You don't see downtime. I'm happy for you. Really.

But (and this may come as a surprise to the story poster), there are more then just US and EU people in the world.

Welcome to my little part of the world. Oceania. We are spread out roughfuly between GMT+8 and GMT+12 and cover such countries as Australia [wikipedia.org] and New Zealand [wikipedia.org] . Maybe you've heard of them before?

Unlike the EU (and the US), who have their own nice little servers 30ms away - us Oceanic people are OBLIGATED to use the US servers, located in the US, a not-so-small 450ms jump over the Pacific Ocean.

After a year or so of Oceanic people throwing their heads into a wall, Blizzard decided to make a couple of "Oceanic" servers.

The server time on these machines where set to GMT+10, and gave rise the the ability of playing at the same time as everyone else. Sadly, these severs continue to be hosted in the US - still 450ms away.

But the other small issue is that Blizzard runs their weekly-maintenance at the same time as the US servers.

When I say "same time", I don't mean, "3am" which means a different physical time because the server time is set to GMT+10. What I mean is that it's the exact same time - everywhere - at the same time. When the US servers go down, so do the Oceanic servers.

As a result - this means, Tuesday's weekly-maintenance doesn't happen at 3am for Oceanic customers, but rather, 7pm and finishes about 2am.

Yep, right in the middle of prime-time.

Unlike EU players who make their own willing decision to use US servers - we are REQUIRED to use these servers. We simply have no other choice.

Whilst the player base of Oceanic isn't quite as large as the US, it's still significant. I think we have what, 5 servers dedicated to us at the moment? And they are all full to the brim, every time Blizzard puts in a new one, it's full within days.

So, in closing, this may not be a big deal for people who live in the US, and play on US time - but this is a HUGE deal for us Oceanic customers.

Re: Oceania downtime (-1, Troll)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357548)

If it was really "a HUGE deal for us Oceanic customers", you'd all just cancel your accounts to "explain" to Blizzard that is is an issue. Since you aren't willing to stop doing business with an obnoxious company, STFU.

You Warcraft fanboys are a truly pathetic bunch.

Re: Oceania downtime (1)

miaDWZ (820679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359004)

Believe me - people have. If you have an hour, or five, you may want to read through the countless posts of Oceanic customers bitching on their forums. I mean, seriously, it's been a thread-a-day for the last two years. Blizzard just doesn't care... or, maybe they do, which is why they are making these changes.

Re:Ignorant story posters (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17357740)

So quit whining and quit.

It's not like low Warcraft ping times are a basic human right.

Loser.

Re:Ignorant story posters (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359218)

You still pay the $15 a month. It obviously can't be that big of a deal.

Sweet Baby Jesus, Thank You (1)

redthefed (713416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356906)

A majority of players are on during the day, but for the 2nd and 3rd shift crew, myself included, this is huge. Tuesday maintainance was always a hassle, nixing play time one out of seven nights a week. Assuming the live updates aren't too buggy (which they will be, for a while at least) this will remedy the biggest problem I have with WoW. Thank you Blizzard.

Yes, it's a big deal. (3, Informative)

kunwon1 (795332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356946)

Is this really that big a deal? I know that the timeframe had to be inconvenient for EU players on the U.S. servers, but was a couple of hours of downtime early in a workday really such a burden?

Indeed, if it had been 'a couple hours', it wouldn't have been a problem. But rarely was it so. In my personal experience (I was on Duskwood-US from shortly after that server's birth until about two months ago, when I gave the game up) the downtime would often last into the digits. That's hours. I can remember several tuesdays, coming home from work around 6pm and not being able to login because my server was still down. They'd give a list of 'affected servers' on the login screen, it was usually about 25-30 servers a week going down. Maybe it was the same servers giving problems week after week, which would explain why many players wouldn't notice it. I don't know, as I said, my experience is limited. But this would be a big deal to me, if I still played.
My .02

Re:Yes, it's a big deal. (1)

kunwon1 (795332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356956)

Argh. -Double- digits.

Re:Yes, it's a big deal. (1)

sinisterDei (992959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357540)

Indeed, if it had been 'a couple hours', it wouldn't have been a problem. But rarely was it so. In my personal experience (I was on Duskwood-US from shortly after that server's birth until about two months ago, when I gave the game up) the downtime would often last into the digits. That's hours. I can remember several tuesdays, coming home from work around 6pm and not being able to login because my server was still down. They'd give a list of 'affected servers' on the login screen, it was usually about 25-30 servers a week going down. Maybe it was the same servers giving problems week after week, which would explain why many players wouldn't notice it. I don't know, as I said, my experience is limited. But this would be a big deal to me, if I still played. My .02

I believe you are confusing the weekly 'maintenance' periods (a couple hours each) with the once-every-month-to-two-months patch maintenance period. They both take place on Tuesdays, but Blizzard doesn't 'patch' the servers on a weekly basis. In my experience (playing since retail day 2), Blizzard has been pretty darn good with sticking with their normal Tuesday maintenance cycle, and my server (Thunderhorn), which has been habitually plagued with problems since the beginning of the game, has more often than not been up earlier on normal maintenance Tuesdays than Blizzard stated it would be.

Now then, every couple months when they truly apply a patch (upgrading the client and server versions of the game), yes, servers normally take even a couple days to recover. That's not good - but then again, perhaps because of my previous experience playing SWG (shudder) - having the game be down for a 24 hour period once every two months isn't all that bad. And its predictable - its not like just one day *poof* the servers are gone. Blizzard gives advance notice on their forums of when major patches are going to hit, and you can bet your butt that big-patch-day-problems are NOT going away any time soon. Most recently, the game client updated to 2.0 in preparation for the expansion pack, and as a result a number of major game mechanics were altered. You can't expect that to happen in a live hotfix.

News? Umm every player sees it when they login (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17357208)

1up news? Wow thats like someone hanging around outside of a public restroom and saying "Joe Blow just took a nasty deuce in there check back for further developments."

why does WoW even matter anymore? (0, Troll)

BalkanBoy (201243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357356)

To those who are "level 60" or what not - there is life for you after World of Warcraft. I know it's hard to see now, but you eventually will come around. No, not even light, controlled play is acceptable. Get off the computer and go hang out with friends or at the gym. You will get far more satisfaction out of socializing or physical workout than you ever will out of becoming Level 60 in a dweeby game.

Re:why does WoW even matter anymore? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357546)

Physical workout is one of the most annoying things in the world and doing the majority of your socializing in the gym is the one stupidest thing I can think of. I'd rather be a WoW addict and I hate WoW.

I quit WoW (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358242)

And tuesdays were a big reason: it was my day off work. I could get up before the gf, and enjoy my good old lvl 39....oh wait. The game was awesome, and PvP rocked. The queues to log in, the disconnects, and nerfing of my nightelf priest into oblivion, and not being able to play for over 10 hrs of my "weekend" led to me voting with my dollars and go back to CoH. Maybe I'll give it another go.

This was me and my gf [penny-arcade.com]

Welcome to the times (1)

NiTr|c (130325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358314)


It's about time they decided to upgrade to a live patching system. As another poster mentioned, the need for hours of patch time every week seems questionable. It seems they've taken a page from Guild Wars, whose live update system is one of the nicest features of the game (imo). There are no maintenance days, and rarely is there any downtime. The patches are downloaded live by the client and installed on the fly, which is the way it should be. We'll see if the new Blizzard devs can get it right or if it will be a disaster.

Yes, it's a big deal (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358350)

Blizzard isn't exactly great at running an MMO - every patch brings downtime (always more than was scheduled), lots of bugs, long queues, and server restarts. It was laughable that Blizzard had to take down their game for several hours every week - imagine if Visa or Wal-Mart did something like that.

Welcome to the 90s Blizzard.

Marketing (1)

Shanoyu (975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358474)

It was a pretty big deal in terms of the gaming industry simply because it made it pretty easy if you had to pick a day of the week to blow your advertising wad. What other time of the week can you believe that there are at least 100k gamers surfing the web, not playing a game, and in contact with their social network to spread the word of some cool beta/game/etc. ?

Not everyone plays on the same schedule! (1)

crazycrazy (730886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358904)

As a night owl, with graveyard shift roommates who like to play after getting home, we often ran afoul of the scheduled downtime. Especially on nights that they extended the maintenance by taking the servers down earlier than usual.

Regardless of the playtime issue however, this solves one of my problems with the auction system. I prefer to use 24 hour auction time limits to minimize my relisting. Time countdown on auctions continues during server downtime, so I seldom listed items from Monday early a.m. through completion of Tuesday maintenance to save myself the wasted listing cost, or to hedge against expiration bidders from getting my auctions for list/reserve rather than buyout prices.

As a side note, I have worked in several 24/7 high volume (many millions of transactions a day) IT departments so downtime for weekly maintenance can be designed out of systems for surprisingly less cost than you might imagine, and without any significant impact on performance or reliability.

"Is this really that big a deal?" (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359922)

Yeah it is that big of a deal, I still pay for that scheduled downtime and I can't play. Obviously there is no guarantee that the servers are going to have 100% uptime, but it's not like Blizzard suspends your paid time while they are doing maintenance. I'm usually home on a Tuesday and I can't play until after 2 PM. This change is great and I hope it works out.

for those who don't play. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359936)

Let's remember:
1) what was always scheduled to be a 'couple of hours' very often (perhaps 2/3 of the time) turned into 8-10 hours immediately or shortly after the new patch was applied, servers were up, and then they had to fix something that was newly broken.

2) Most users pay $12-$15/month for 24/7 access. Take down the servers 4 times a month for 4 hours each = 16 hours. That means I'm losing 2% of my available play time. If I'm in Oceania, I'm losing that time during my prime time hours. NOTE: Blizz has been pretty good about compensating people with time credits when the downtime is ridiculous, like DAYS.

Not that it's a big deal (I personally have PLENTY of things that need doing elsewise) but it's not utterly insignificant, either.
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