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WoW Not-So-Live Maintenance

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-quite-ready dept.

Role Playing (Games) 58

scdeimos writes "WoW servers are currently displaying the following Welcome message:

Breaking News
All realms will be offline for scheduled maintenance.
* Date: January 2nd 2007
* Time: 5:00am — 11:00am PST

For more information, please check our realm status page.
Thank you,
Blizzard Entertainment.
So much for Blizzard implementing Live Maintenance in WoW to bring an end to Patch Tuesdays! The WoW Realm Status forums page has nothing further to add at this time."

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Nono (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17421860)

Wow No First Pist

Non story (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421900)

This is only a story if you make something up about them eliminating maintenance days in the first place. Thats not what they said.

What they actually said is that they were working on reducing the number of maintenance days by doing some things while the realms were live, and that they were trying it for the first time December 26.

Somehow that got morphed by people into "there will never be another maintenance day," which is flat out wrong.

Re:Non story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17422184)

Blame Zonk. He's the idiot who made the last headline "WoW Eliminating Offline Maintenance" or whatever the hell it was.

Oh noes! (3, Funny)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17421966)

I won't be able to get my WoW fix tomorrow morning. Oh noes! Whatever shall I do? Clean house? Work? Interact with family members? Oh noes! Not that!

Re:Oh noes! (1)

MrNash (907751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422398)

Indeed, heaven forbid we try some of that human interaction stuff that people have been raving about. :p

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424262)

Well, one thing that they may not have taken into consideration is that the feds (along with many local government agencies and the major US exchanges) have declared tomorrow a holiday as a day of mourning for Gerald Ford. So, this particular downtime is probably a bit uglier to those people than others as they might have hoped to get in a lot of extra time on their 4-day weekend. Me, I'm in the medical business so I don't get "extra" holidays. :)

Re:Oh noes! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425348)

I won't be able to get my WoW fix tomorrow morning. Oh noes! Whatever shall I do?

ACWW [wikipedia.org].

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427760)

HUH!? No WOW, so go play AC:WW? I love AC, but when I canned my WOW account last month, I didn't say "Yay! Now I can play Animal Crossing"...

Though given a choice, I'd choose Animal Crossing. It works properly, isn't constantly broken by the developer, and doesn't charge you for being, in essence, a beta tester.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17441956)

HThough given a choice, I'd choose Animal Crossing. It works properly, isn't constantly broken by the developer, and doesn't charge you for being, in essence, a beta tester.
You mispelled "hamster."

Nothing to See Here, Move Along (3, Informative)

Alcoholic Synonymous (990318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422158)

This "Not-So-Live" maintenance is the "Not-Really-Possible-To-Do-Live" 2.0.3 patch.

Last weeks maintenance went off without a hitch, so expect it become more like one day a month when bugfix patches are rolled out.

implemented? (2, Informative)

Toridas (742267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422180)

They never "implemented" live maintenance, they were just testing it. They could test it again next week for all anyone knows.

So what!? (0, Flamebait)

pokemonkiller (1039364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422678)

When did SlashDot Games become a WOW fan site? Are we going to start hearing about every WOW update each week?

This is just a waste of space and time. Stop posting about dumb crap like this!

These comments are all starting to look alike (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423046)

When did SlashDot ... become a $subject fan site? Are we going to start hearing about every $subject each week?

This is just a waste of space and time. Stop posting about dumb crap like this!

Re:These comments are all starting to look alike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17442474)

since the staff started playing wow more than they probably should, like the rest of us ;)

Re:So what!? (1)

jwbing (447164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424596)

Perhaps the irony is lost on you. Let me explain.
Slashdot caters to many interests, one of them being WoW. You must realize this, what with all the posts about Apple, Microsoft, various *nix updates, and all that science crap. Those must be a waste of space too. The irony comes in when you post saying how dumb something is, when in actuality you really do care enough about it to waste your time and mine by posting inane comments.

To bring this post back to something useful, I am a fan of WoW. I have the day off tomorrow, and was planning on playing most of the day before my week of 12 hour work days resumes. This mildy upsets me, but perhaps I will take the day and do something a little more productive. I could defrag my hard drive, or perhaps call my mom.

Re:So what!? (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424732)

While this isn't major news, I'd suspect any maintenance news for any major system would be newsworth on Slashdot. Like WoW or not, they do run one of the largest game network in the world. The reason you see more WoW news than, say, news about the Windows Update servers, is because WoW is more open about their network and generally how stuff works.

Re:So what!? (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17425200)

Still seems out of place to me. This should be on some WoW fansite, not Slashdot. Besides, this "story" seems more about bitching at Blizzard than informing people of the maintenance. Anyway, it is "sectional content", so no big deal.

News Flash: Blizzard makes unrealistic promises! (-1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422718)

Wow, this is sure newsworthy. It's not like Blizzard have ever made any promises about WOW they haven't been able to fulfill before! Except, you know... pretty much every promise they've made about WOW. (Remember the monthly content updates? Hah!)

Re:News Flash: Blizzard makes unrealistic promises (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422900)

Especially when players make up promises they didn't make!

Blizzard actually said they were working on having fewer maintenance days, and that they woudln't have one December 26.

That was entirely correct.

Somehow, people took that and read it as "there will be no maintence days, ever."

They never actually promised there would be no maintenance on January 2, or any time after December 26. Made up promises don't count.

Re:News Flash: Blizzard makes unrealistic promises (1)

CoolGopher (142933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427392)

I am personally surprised by seeing this full maintenance window, because the previous motd certainly implied that they would, from then on, be able to do their weekly maintenance without server downtime (except for a restart if needed). I don't expect them to not have to take the servers down for content patches, but that's not _maintenance_ per se anyway. *shrug* oh well, no biggie.

WoW != Guild Wars (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17422810)

I never expected them to get rid of maintenance days. That's how it's always been done and I'm guessing there is no way for them to update without taking down the servers. It's not like GW where you get a system message saying there is a new patch, log off when it is convenient and download it.

Live Maintainence Patch (2, Funny)

Ribbo.com (885396) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423358)

Ahh the irony of taking the servers down to install a patch so that the servers won't come down. :) I think we will see a lot more emergency fixing. I have 5 lvl 60 chars and my frost spec'd mage seems to get problems with the elemental he summons. The elemental refuses to attack until you manually make it fire a frost bolt off at a monster. Just clicking the agressive button and "pet attack" (special action 1 usually) does not make it enter combat, but it's fine if you make it use frost nova on the mob first. Of course it could just be the fact that i'm not that smart. Who can tell.

Delete this nonstory (2, Informative)

WilliamX (22300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423708)

Delete this non-story. Bliz never promised no more maintanence days, just reduced them for normal maintanence tasks. This Tuesday is a patch day (or have you not noticed the 140+M file you've been background downloading recently, that should have been your first clue), and thus NOT "normal maintanence." Non-story, should never have been posted, and full of misinformation.

Re:Delete this nonstory (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17427862)

I haven't been background DLing jack because Blizzard's download client sucks donkey balls! I'll just wait until patch day and and DL it in five minutes off of Filefront!

Re:Delete this nonstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436952)

I haven't been background DLing jack because Blizzard's download client sucks donkey balls! I'll just wait until patch day and and DL it in five minutes off of Filefront!

And people like you wonder why you end up with keyloggers on your systems...

Re:Delete this nonstory (1)

Ribbo.com (885396) | more than 7 years ago | (#17439648)

Aye, and the only reason i'm posting to this thread right now is the servers have just come down in Europe for 6 hours! :)

My 0.002 dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424184)

I've played both World of Warcraft and Guild Wars for a while, and I must say that the whole WoW network architecture is inferior to GW's. Proof: patch Tuesdays, IF lag, server-wide lag on over-populated realms. One might argue that WoW doesn't use that much instances to balance load on their servers, but hey, they've had two years to fix these problems now.

As far as I know, GW has had less than 30 hours of downtime since its release so far. The update system isn't intrusive and doesn't require you to quit until you want to.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying GW is the better game. I still believe WoW's PvE and general gameplay is better than GW's. But GW definately has the technical stuff done right. In WoW I always felt the backend was poorly coded.

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17426734)

Thanks, trollman!

Now let's deFUD this one.

WoW is a live, mostly non-instanced MMORPG
Guild Wars is not an MMORPG at all (Just ask, they'll tell you). It's a competitive online RPG. It's fully instanced. You simply can't interact with any more than the people in the same instance with you.

World of Warcraft = thousands of players per-server.
Guild Wars = 8 players per server in most cases. In towns, there can many more than 8, but the town instances are totally limited to non-combat trading, chat, and simple in-game emotes.

You admit yourself that GW isn't the better game. That's not because of poor game design from GW. It's inferior by design. The Guild Wars model deliberately chose to limit the capabilities of PvE and PvP to ensure that 100% instancing would be possible. They gutted the game to make their administration easier. Is that really a better implementation than WoW?

If we disregard game quality for the sake of the back end implementation, then the state of gaming would be very different indeed. I'd suggest some kind of online connect-4 game, the implementation would be so efficient you would never experience downtime! And it would be better than WoW because there's no downtime, right?

Re:My 0.002 dollars (2, Insightful)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430140)

If by "inferior by design" you mean "designed for different things".

It seems like you have a strong World of Warcraft bias, but I wouldn't completely disregard Guild Wars. Don't get me wrong, I love both Guild Wars and World of Warcraft, but they are definitely geared towards different play experiences.

Contrary to your post, Guild Wars is quite expertly designed. It's system allows for players to get into engaging gameplay without being a huge time sink, even down to its implementation of patching. What you list as its flaws are actually it's greatest features; it's instancing prevents things such as griefing, camping spawn points, and allows for fast travel. It focuses on careful choice of skills and weapons vs. level and equipment. In doing so, it sheds some of WoW's most grievous points, but also loses some of what makes WoW special. It largely depends on what kind of experience you want.

WoW allows for a large and vibrant world; you can run around in raids of 40 members, even if it's just to destroy a town of the opposing faction. You can participate in long, epic PvP struggles. In order to do this, though, you will have to join up with a serious guild, and commit a large portion of your time. In Guild Wars, you can jump in, and do most missions in around an hour, and if you don't want to bother forming a party, you can hire AI mercenaries. If you are interested in PvP, you can instantly create a max level character for that purpose. Guild Wars attempts to offered a more stream-lined experience, whereas World of Warcraft attempts an everything and the kitchen sink approach.

I think it is ignorant to say Guild Wars is the "inferior" game; it is just a different experience that World of Warcraft.

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

jfodale (1032534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430972)

I agree with most of your comments, save this one: "You can participate in long, epic PvP struggles." Sorry, capture the flag on the same map a zillion times is not a "long and epic PvP struggle".

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

ZWarrior (194861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431260)

"You can participate in long, epic PvP struggles." = "Sorry, capture the flag on the same map a zillion times is not a "long and epic PvP struggle"

Personally, I have been on those long epic PvP struggles. I led a guild who caused one of the first major PvP wars on the Twisting Nether server. There were 120+ players on each side fighting in the Southshore/Tarren Mill area, outside of the Battlegrounds. The lag was high at times due to the numbers of players, but the level of fun was even higher. I know from personal experience that you can successfully run PvP raids without going into the organized BGs for the points.

Personally I am not excited to play the Battlegrounds. After the 2.0 patch most people I know were grinding Honor in the BGs and insisting that I should as well. Meanwhile I was out there in the regular areas working on questing and grinding rep and killing Horde as I encountered them. I don't have the Honor points they have or the equipment they have now, but I have a lot more quests done and more rep since they were all busy in the BGs leaving me less people to contend with for resources. Oh yeah, I still have great gear and the Horde that are wearing the gear they worked in the BGs for are having a tough time taking me down still.

So they are taking a maintenance day today, big deal. They never said that there would be no more of them, only that they were going to be working to reduce the need for them. Merry Christmas, you didn't have to miss a day of grinding the BGs last week. You do this week, nothing has changed. In the meantime I am going to stay upstairs and spend time with the woman that was crazy enough to marry me. If she is nuts enough to do that she deserves to my attention.

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430306)

How do you interact with people outside of your instance in WoW? If you mean by random interactions with people in the outside world, that goes both ways -- you can either find help for a quest or find griefers or crowds who will block your progress for hours.

You talk about towns in GW as being only for chatting, trading, and non-combat activities. Were there other functions that WoW towns serve that I'm not aware of? What can you do in a WoW town that you can't do in a GW town?

GW isn't a "better" game because you're comparing seat belts to kevlar vests. WoW is about character progression and PvE-oriented social grouping. GW is about player skill and competitive PvP. They didn't "gut" the game or do anything else undesirable to it -- it is a different game with a different design, as you say yourself it isn't an MMORPG. So anything that doesn't want to be an MMORPG is an inferior game? Because personally, I think instant travel beats 15-minute flight times. I don't think it's "gutting" a feature, I think it's superior design unencumbered by profit motive.

The problem with WoW is that there is so much downtime even when you are logged in. It's so bad that it's unnecessary, as people would likely still stay subscribed even if they didn't have to wait 10 minutes for a zeppelin to show up. I played WoW since launch for 1.5 years and it what killed the game for me was the insane amount of sitting around and waiting for stuff to happen or waiting to get somewhere. Then I realized that WoW isn't a game, it's just a very fun and compelling job.

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437526)

What can you do in a WoW city?

Auctioning, for starters (the Guild Wars devs really wanted to implement an auction system, but they pretty much abandoned it when they realised the heavily distributed-instanced nature of the game design simply didn't allow for it... oops).

Also, because WoW is very open ended, you also get to defend the city from thousands of squealing 14 yo Alliance pallies as they once again assault Orgrimmar because they outnumber horde 1.6:1.0 on average, but it's ok because they stop when it's bedtime in the USA. Then there's the counterattacks, the subtleties of a semi-closed economic system, world PvP as well as instanced PvP (like guild wars, but on a larger scale and with larger maps)

I'm not saying GW is a bad game, but it's not designed to keep you playing over and over again. There's no ongoing "rent" payment, so there's no profit to them if you keep playing and playing after a certain point. WoW is designed to be just that, more of a lifestyle than a pick up and play kind of game. It's designed to hook you and keep you hooked. The reason it works is because people actually *want* that kind of job. Human nature. We're designed to work, forage, fight, and try to win.

I'm saying that GW is not a better game than WoW on the basis that the parent was implying it was - a game isn't better just because the server doesn't bounce as often. The servers don't bounce in GW's because they simply don't do as much, because the game doesn't have the same capabilities and complexities as WoW does. If you had a client-server based game of Tic-Tac-Toe, you'd probably never need to bounce the server for maintenance because it just wouldn't be doing a lot. Does that therefore make Tic-Tac-Toe a vastly superior game to GW and WoW?

Re:My 0.002 dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17432116)

If this gets a story! where's the story about bliz discarding bugs in a Class-Critical Ability!

Vanish does have a known bug associated with it, and it's not that it cannot be fixed. It's that it would be require a great deal of production time to resolve the matter. After careful consideration and extensive internal testing of the ability, we determined that it's working, (even with the minor bug) well within the parameter of what we determine is both acceptable and useful for the ability. Again, it's highly effective but like most things in life, simply not guaranteed.

This will be the last reminder that if we can't have this discussion without insults, we can't have it at all...

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437556)

Vanish is bugged? From my perspective it works perfectly, rogues *always* seem to get away from me when things aren't going their way.

Which is why I'm rolling and powerlevelling a rogue as soon as BC comes out. It's a shame about warriors though... still the game would be boring if every class was equally powerful.

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17442042)

Yeah, shame about rogues. So overpowered that a 60 rogue can be pulled out of stealth by a level 10 mage's 1hp AOE damage...

Blizz has never gotten pvp balance right, why should WoW be different?

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17452168)

Hmmm and after the level 10 mage has gotten the level 60 rogue out of stealth, what do you think happens to the mage?

And what is the rogue doing fighting level 10 mages anyway, is he alliance on a PvP server or something?

Re:My 0.002 dollars (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17454866)

Hmmm and after the level 10 mage has gotten the level 60 rogue out of stealth, what do you think happens to the mage?
He probably watches said rogue take 12 inches of nearby Tauren warrior and die horribly.

And what is the rogue doing fighting level 10 mages anyway, is he alliance on a PvP server or something?
Not fighting. I was fishing for Deviates in the Barrens.

Hi Editors! (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424632)

How exactly did this make the cut? I mean, maybe it's a slow news day, but posting blatantly false news stories is pretty dumb.

Right, but who cares? I mean, really? (1)

anduz (1027854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429078)

Articles like this sure makes me happy noone at slashdot were into posting useless MMO info back when patch periods were weeklong, and often followed by months of rollbacks.

Most likely... (1)

GodOfMice (972579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429732)

...this is the only way they can pull the Winter Veil content out of Azeroth. What would happen if the content suddenly dissappeared? Crash in 5, 4, 3...

Re:Most likely... (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435568)

Seasonal content doesn't require a patch. (Considering it is exactly the same as last year) It's just turns on and off based on the date. They line this up with server downtime so that there is no wacky discontinuity.

Disappearing content is a solvable problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17437222)

It's theoretically possible to remove some types of content without a server restart. Things liked instanced raid zones could be locked so no one could enter them, and once everyone exitted, you shut down the instance. If someone decided to never exit, there could be a point at which they are forceably removed from the zone (no crash necessary - just teleport them to the permanent zone where the entrance to the raid zone was).

Other content could theoretically be disabled without crashes. Temp powers turn off, temp items disappear, temp NPCs wonder off and disappear, etc.

The only type of updates that I can think of that would *require* a server be taken down would be of two types:

  1) Replacing the server daemon software with a new build (that could, even theoretically, be swapped out gracefully - new people login to the new instance/process. Existing users are given a grace period to keep playing and log out. Anyone who hasn't logged out within like 12 hours could be forceably kicked from the server, then when they logged back on, they'd be connected to the new version of the software).

        Of course, if you are replacing the software to remove some bad exploit, you want to kick everyone immediately so that they cannot continue to exploit the vulnerability.

2) Database upgrades/restores or to stop an on-going attack: If, for some reason, they needed to go through and do some change on every characters' inventory, etc, they would probably have to take down the server, or if they wanted to roll back to a previous backup of the character database (for example, someone cracked the servers and did some major damage to the Db.)

I suppose it's entirely possible there is something I'm missing, but those are the only two types of maintenance for which I couldn't come up with some theoretical method of hot-patching. Like I said, seems to me that, while it might be that currently they have to take down the servers to update content, mostly that shouldn't be necessary if they planned ahead for the content changes.

Erm... (1)

CodemasterMM (943136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430872)

Does this really belong on Slashdot?
Who really cares if WoW is down for a few hours or one entire day?
Shit happens, people; get a life.

If my favorite MMO was down for a day, I'd normally be disgruntled for 5-10 minutes, then shrug it off and go play or work on something else and come back to it the next day.

Re:Erm... (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431642)

Of course this has to be on Slashdot. Rather than interact with people while the servers are down, the WoW junkies find the most recent WoW news story on Slashdot and whine, or if there hasn't been one in a while, they whip up another one and whine there.

WoW has taught us many things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17432080)

... which we will expect in our NEXT game. For me, one of them is that there will never be any outages. Ever.

I work in telecom. If we had even a 5-minute outage, we'd never hear the end of it. 99.9999% uptime is clearly achievable if people care. But if customers accept crap, crap they'll get.
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