More WoW Free Time

The World of Warcraft Community Site (thanks Frans) describes the latest compensation Blizzard is offering to subscribers of their MMORPG based on the ongoing downtime they have been experiencing, which are detailed in this GameSpot story. Word is: "We do appreciate your patience and enthusiasm about playing World of Warcraft, and we regret that you faced periods of high traffic this past weekend that caused some of you to have a poor game experience. So, due to the extended nature of the server issues, we will be providing a free 48-hour extension of play time. As with previous extensions, this will show up as free extra time on your current billing period (or on your trial period, for those of you who purchased the game recently). We hope you'll bear with us as we continue to work hard on implementing changes for long-term stability."
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38.
 
Re: So much for Blizzard's
Jan 20, 2005, 16:47
Bronco
 
38.
Re: So much for Blizzard's Jan 20, 2005, 16:47
Jan 20, 2005, 16:47
 Bronco
 
They finally posted on the issues, and basically the problem servers start going down at "70% capacity". Which means 70% is actually pretty close to 100% and the remaining "capacity" doesn't really exist. They're going to need to offer free character transfers to fix the problems, as well as figure out why their code is falling over far earlier than they expected (the first is likely to be far easier than the second, but if they don't figure out the real problem then it'll come back to bite them).

The transfers are gonna be a pain. I'm sure they will limit people to transfering to the same server type - PVP must go PVP etc. Otherwise it would not be fair to the people that fought through the ganking to hit 60.

Looking at the server status page I see 17 high, 15 low and over 40 medium. I wonder if people on medium servers will have to stay right where they are?

I think Ray said he was on Kilrog and you and Heather are on Lightbringer....

Kilrog is medium right now - does that mean it's as good as it gets for Ray?


As for the capacity issue - this game was flat out lag free until they added item durability. Many people at the time wondered if the additional horsepower required to keep track of durability is what broke the camels back.

Hitting level 39 tonight!

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37.
 
Re: So much for Blizzard's
Jan 20, 2005, 15:39
37.
Re: So much for Blizzard's Jan 20, 2005, 15:39
Jan 20, 2005, 15:39
 
Well, the other solution to overpopulated servers is to offer people the option to move their character to one of those servers. Designate a number and then put an option upon logging in to move your character. Problem solved.. Now pay me money Blizzard!!!!!!!!!!!

36.
 
Re: Compensation you say??
Jan 20, 2005, 14:22
36.
Re: Compensation you say?? Jan 20, 2005, 14:22
Jan 20, 2005, 14:22
 
Blizzard's Finance department can't appreciate them doing this, though..

Really shouldn't be that hard.

UPDATE billing
SET bill_date = bill_date + 2

Ok, more complex than that I'm sure, but it really shouldn't be hard. If it's hard then your billing software is in need of dire help, or you have an overly rigid billing structure.

And ofcourse, it doesn't negate the fact that their servers are not capable of handling the traffic.

Yup. That remains an issue.

but doesn't that negate probably the BIGGEST reason why people PLAY MMORPGs in the first place? To play in worlds filled with other players?

Even the low pop servers have a lot of people on them. That's not an issue. And unlike many other MMORPGs (*cough*EQ*cough*), WoW doesn't enforce grouping by making it impossible for you to solo. Every class can solo. Every one. Some are better than others, but the gap is not immense as it is in EQ (at least EQ1), or even as large as in CoH (which is very solo friendly). There's obviously some content that you'll miss, but that's part of the game. As for finding a good group, I've found that that's not so much a function of server population as it is idiot population. And there seem to be a lot more idiots per capita on bigger servers.

The real issue on the high population servers is that certain areas become major lagfests because of how many people are there -- lower end systems have more problems as they continuously swap textures in and out. And certain world functions start becoming non-responsive under too much load (Mail and Auction Houses are the big ones).

35.
 
Re: Compensation you say??
Jan 20, 2005, 13:19
35.
Re: Compensation you say?? Jan 20, 2005, 13:19
Jan 20, 2005, 13:19
 
Alright, I stand corrected. I assumed Blizzard handled it the same way the only 2 MMORPGs I ever played did (loonnnggg ago.) They billed at the first of the month, and your first bill was just the amount of money it took for you to pay between your join date and the first of the next month, at which point you joined the regular cycle.

Fact checking is really bothersome

Blizzard's Finance department can't appreciate them doing this, though...
And ofcourse, it doesn't negate the fact that their servers are not capable of handling the traffic.

Sure, you can say that "people should join the low population servers", but doesn't that negate probably the BIGGEST reason why people PLAY MMORPGs in the first place? To play in worlds filled with other players? It's usually tough enough to find a good group to play with on a full server, it can't be a lot of fun to try to do so on a server with a smaller margin, right?

Creston


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34.
 
Re: So much for Blizzard's
Jan 20, 2005, 12:42
34.
Re: So much for Blizzard's Jan 20, 2005, 12:42
Jan 20, 2005, 12:42
 
in retrospect it would have been wiser to force people to be unable to join servers deemed 'full'. people would still have bitched about it but the bitching then would be less than the bitching now.

But you cannot do that. If people want to join their friends, and their friends already happen to have a higher level character on a particular realm, then what do you expect to happen? Do you expect the established customer to change servers -- abandoning all of their other friends and guildmates? Expect the entire guild to leave? What about if another friend starts playing a few weeks/months later and the "new" server is now full? Or, of course, you could tell the new player that they can't play with their friends. I'm sure they'll keep playing for a long time after that. Uh huh.

Blizzard's problem is that they appear to have vastly overestimated their server capacity. By nearly 50%. They finally posted on the issues, and basically the problem servers start going down at "70% capacity". Which means 70% is actually pretty close to 100% and the remaining "capacity" doesn't really exist. They're going to need to offer free character transfers to fix the problems, as well as figure out why their code is falling over far earlier than they expected (the first is likely to be far easier than the second, but if they don't figure out the real problem then it'll come back to bite them).

33.
 
Re: So much for Blizzard's
Jan 20, 2005, 12:13
33.
Re: So much for Blizzard's Jan 20, 2005, 12:13
Jan 20, 2005, 12:13
 
the ISSUE is that blizzard made the mistake of thinking that people would understand 'please join low population servers' and actually... join low population servers.

when my friends and i decided we wanted to play together, we all created characters on a low population server and the only downtime we have had has been with scheduled maintenance that has lasted a couple of hours at most.

in retrospect it would have been wiser to force people to be unable to join servers deemed 'full'. people would still have bitched about it but the bitching then would be less than the bitching now.

32.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2005, 10:42
32.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2005, 10:42
Jan 20, 2005, 10:42
 
"see it coming around and its a great game, so most of us are as patient as we can be, so I guess it is hard to complain since they have offered free time twice now."

I don't know what people have to complain about.

I've NEVER had to wait to join a server, and I have just started into my second month. I can only think that joining a low populated server which was suggested to me by the game, was a good thing

Just be glad you are not playing The Matrix Online, I mean at least World Of Warcraft has decent gameplay when you get into it.


31.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2005, 10:39
31.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2005, 10:39
Jan 20, 2005, 10:39
 
The problem I am having with World Of Warcraft at the moment is after a while the game slows down to 1.5 Frames per second, and start's over consuming my 1GB of RAM.

It's pretty annoying. I don't recall it happening before the 1.2 patch.

30.
 
Re: Compensation you say??
Jan 20, 2005, 00:24
30.
Re: Compensation you say?? Jan 20, 2005, 00:24
Jan 20, 2005, 00:24
 
Umm, Creston, the "billing cycle" you say Blizzard wouldn't dare touch is nonexistant.. Every player doesn't start on the same exact day. Having a guy pay on December 25th and another pay on December 31st isn't really that far off from those two guys paying on December 23rd and 29th respectivly.

But hey, don't take MY word for it.
As with previous extensions, this will show up as free extra time on your current billing period (or on your trial period, for those of you who purchased the game recently)
Straight from the front page at Blizzard. As with the prior extentions during the free month; you don't get billed until the extra days are over.

EDIT: I just checked my Billing info.. I got 3 extra days inbetween my current payment and the next one.

Sincerely,
Jeremy Dunn
This comment was edited on Jan 20, 00:40.
29.
 
Re: OT: Will I like this game?
Jan 20, 2005, 00:16
29.
Re: OT: Will I like this game? Jan 20, 2005, 00:16
Jan 20, 2005, 00:16
 
We are not dealing with the real Blizzard. Blizzard died. They were bought out by Europeans who smelled money in the MMORPG field. The top guys that were the heart of Blizzard were all fired and replaced with fresh faced college kids at 1/4 the salary.

That is why Blizzard is getting less customer friendly. The greedy money men now control it.

-Mike Morhaim is still there, and he was one of the FOUNDERS of Blizzard.
-Allen Adhem is still there, having been programmer at Blizzard since the days as the original WarCraft. Oh yeah, he's one of the other founders.
-Bob Fitch is still there, one of the programmers since the original WarCraft as well.
-Chris Metzen is still there (Head story guy; responsible for the storylines of WarCraft II and onward, StarCraft and Diablo), and has been since at least 1995.

Need I go on? Other than Bill Roper, the "huge exxodus" of Blizzard founders were the founders of Blizzard North. Yep, the SAME Blizzard North who hasn't released a single project since the departure, and therefore isn't capable of having it's quality judged at this time. At least not by a bunch of random people on a message board.

Blizzard North may have suffered from the departures; we don't know yet; but Blizzard "South" still has vast gobs of the original guys still there.

Sincerely,
Jeremy Dunn

28.
 
Re: Compensation you say??
Jan 19, 2005, 23:22
28.
Re: Compensation you say?? Jan 19, 2005, 23:22
Jan 19, 2005, 23:22
 
Ummm... you do get something. 32 days for the price of 30. Sure, it's only $1, but it is something.

No, actually he's right. You see, Blizzard isn't going to change its billing cycle because of this, their finance department would rip their fucking heads off (believe me, I support a Finance department, they all use Peoplesoft Finance, and the LAST THING Peoplesoft Finance enjoys is having its charge / billing cycle changed).

So basically, what you are getting is two free days that get shifted forward every billing cycle. You get charged for 30 days, you play 30 days, then get charged for another 30, play for 30, charged for another 30, and so on, and so on.
The two free days wouldn't come into play until all the way at the end when you've decided to quit. Then, instead of having your account blocked on the 30th, it'd be blocked on the 2nd of the next month. But by that time, what good does it do? You've already decided to quit.

I hadn't actually thought about it, but he's right that the two free days really are worthless if you are a continuing subscriber.

Creston

They just didn't have any idea how many people wanted to play the game and are playing catch up to fix it.

This is the standard excuse nowadays, and I'm getting real tired of hearing it. If you have 2 million pre-orders, and you prepare enough servers for 25000 players, your excuse as a developer that "you didn't know how many people wanted to play the game" is fucking bullshit. Either you're very fucking retarded at math, or you're just not willing to invest cold hard cash in hardware, knowing players will put up with your shit anyways.
And we all know that a game developer is usually pretty decent at math.

This comment was edited on Jan 19, 23:25.
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27.
 
So much for Blizzard's
Jan 19, 2005, 23:13
27.
So much for Blizzard's Jan 19, 2005, 23:13
Jan 19, 2005, 23:13
 
vaunted reputation of having games work out of the box, I guess. Don't get me wrong, WoW looks excellent, and I see nothing but glowing praise for it, but their technical issues are fucking pathetic. Not even SWG was down this often upon launch.

There's the standard MMORPG Beta / Launch, which is what everyone expects. And then there's a real clusterfuck, which apparently is what WoW currently is. Not good Blizzard. Not good at all.

I'll still play it at some point in the future, ofcourse.

Creston


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26.
 
Guess I lucked out...
Jan 19, 2005, 18:52
26.
Guess I lucked out... Jan 19, 2005, 18:52
Jan 19, 2005, 18:52
 
I play on Khadgar which had it's emergency meltdown a long time ago (hell shortly after launch) so our population is medium and never have gotten a que.

Plus I also had real life engagements to deal with so I didn't get a chance to play the last few days.

But as for Blizzard... This is the their first MMORPG and it's been a smashing sucess, which i think has been the problem. They just didn't have any idea how many people wanted to play the game and are playing catch up to fix it.

Also of note if this was any other MMORPG chances are they wouldn't be giving any more free time, and I won't even bring up Anarachy Onlines First year with the game and servers heh.

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25.
 
Re: Compensation you say??
Jan 19, 2005, 17:48
25.
Re: Compensation you say?? Jan 19, 2005, 17:48
Jan 19, 2005, 17:48
 
Ummm... you do get something. 32 days for the price of 30. Sure, it's only $1, but it is something.

24.
 
Re: Compensation you say??
Jan 19, 2005, 17:48
24.
Re: Compensation you say?? Jan 19, 2005, 17:48
Jan 19, 2005, 17:48
 
And yet, you're still subscribing. If I was having such a difficult time with the game, I'd cancel and wait until they've addressed the problems. But, the game is sold out and you're hooked, aren't ya? You might want to add yourself to the "masses".

Blizzard has a game that's so popular that some servers can't handle the loads. I doubt those servers will ever be lag free, unless they can still upgrade to something better than they aleady have (looks like they've tried that) or find a way to improve the software (possible, but I'm guessing it's not likely to be a quick fix).


23.
 
Compensation you say??
Jan 19, 2005, 17:20
23.
Compensation you say?? Jan 19, 2005, 17:20
Jan 19, 2005, 17:20
 
How is 48 hours compensation?? The only compensation that would be is if you stopped playing the game after the first month!! Now, a month of free service would be more appropriate.What is 2 days of free service?? We are paying for that month anyways!! We already bought those 2 days.. Maybe if they gave us $5 back on the bill, then that would be the free 2 days they are talking about.

Also, its great seeing people flame us that say we are whining about it!! I have every reason to whine. Im paying $15 freakin dollars for this product. I expect good service. Lets do a comparison here. When EQ2 went down, they had 1 dedicated day that was 2x exp. Why not do something like that? That would make everyone happy. To give us 2 days that we already payed for is NOTHING!! You get NOTHING!! You get the satisfaction of knowing that 2 days of free play are not even free. How wonderful is that?? Great job on wording that blizzard. Gotta admit, you are good business people. Confuse the masses and ye shall be rich!!

22.
 
Re: OT: Will I like this game?
Jan 19, 2005, 17:05
22.
Re: OT: Will I like this game? Jan 19, 2005, 17:05
Jan 19, 2005, 17:05
 
We are not dealing with the real Blizzard. Blizzard died. They were bought out by Europeans who smelled money in the MMORPG field. The top guys that were the heart of Blizzard were all fired and replaced with fresh faced college kids at 1/4 the salary.

That is why Blizzard is getting less customer friendly. The greedy money men now control it.

21.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 19, 2005, 16:33
21.
Re: No subject Jan 19, 2005, 16:33
Jan 19, 2005, 16:33
 
I certainly won't be giving Blizzard any rewards in the immediate future.

Kilrogg, the server I play on, was one of the servers with the sixteen-plus hour maintenance and, afterward, the game was drastically worse than before. Then, if you tried to post in the tech forum, you got the ever-tiring "Login server down" message.

It took about four days before they could get the server back to pre-sixteen hours maintenance conditions (i.e. still craptacular,) Blizzard had yet to post anything about the issues, etc.

Recently, the introduced the queue system and I started out with a twenty minute queue in the off-peak period that expanded to a two hour queue at peak. Some servers were so bad that the game could not even calculate the remaining time.

Mind you, this is a two hour queue on a server that I never wanted to play on, yet one Blizzard asked or (later) forced people to play on due to the poor population control at launch.

At least we were finally able to post in the tech forum that day and we lit up the boards. However, Blizzard did not make a peep, though they were going through and locking various threads.

Yay.
I swear, does anybody on the WoW team care anymore?
Almost level 57,
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20.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 19, 2005, 15:59
Bronco
 
20.
Re: No subject Jan 19, 2005, 15:59
Jan 19, 2005, 15:59
 Bronco
 
priest is fun if you have someone to play with, horribly boring solo..

So not true. Spec in the shadow line and you become a death machine by the low 30s. I'm at 38 now and blow through mobs 1-2 levels higher than me in rapid succession.

Ask my guildmates that grouped with me both before and after respecing. They die so fast there's barely time to get a heal in.

As for which class to play, If it were me I'd pick one of the Trinity - Mage, Warrior, Priest. Bottom line? Go with what you will have fun with, not what we need.


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This comment was edited on Jan 19, 16:00.
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19.
 
No subject
Jan 19, 2005, 15:32
19.
No subject Jan 19, 2005, 15:32
Jan 19, 2005, 15:32
 

This comment was edited on Sep 25, 01:31.
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