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Posts with tag Servers

Russian servers to join EU battlegrounds and arenas

Blizzard EU Community Manager Takralus posted today about a change to the Battleground grouping in the EU in patch 5.4.2.

Takralus
The winds of change are blowing across World of Warcraft's European Arenas and Battlegrounds. As the next step in what we started with Patch 5.4 and its changes to region-wide matchmaking, Russian and European players will soon be able to face off against each other.

Every player queuing for a Battleground or Arena will still join a team with players from realms with the same language designation – German with German, English with English, and so on. However, this change means that now a Russian-speaking team might be pitted against a team from anywhere in Europe.

Russian players will still be able to join a cross-realm group with their RealID friends from European realms, and queue with them for Battleground and Arena matches.

And finally, so you'll know who cut you down just as you were capping that flag – players using non-Russian clients are now able to see character names in Cyrillic.

This is great news for EU and Russian servers, it will result in reduction in queue times, and a larger pool of players to draw from. But for both sides, there's quite the language barrier.

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Filed under: PvP

WoW Archivist: A rolled-back history of realms

Hundreds of players in Stormwind
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

If your low-population realm hasn't been linked up to another one yet, it soon will. This is a drastic step for WoW, but one that should solve the long-bemoaned low-population problem on many realms.

When WoW first launched, Blizzard had the exact opposite problem on their hands: realms had far, far too many players. Let's look back to 2004 to the earliest months of the game and remember just what players had to endure -- and what Blizzard had to do to fix it.

Uncharted realms

The servers that run the game's realms have always been shrouded in mystery. Technical details have never been shared. In a 2005 interview, producer Shane Dabiri deflected questions about the realms hardware: "Well, I really can't get into how we structure or build our infrastructure," he said. "Much of the information is proprietary and complex."

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Community Blog Topic: Should servers be merged?

Community Blog Topic Should servers be merged
The last Community Blog Topic discussed what features we wish WoW had. Many people had wishes that would be solutions for the current low population server problem. Mine was to have one free character transfer per month. Others suggested that realms be merged and there was also much talk about making WoW one giant server.

Many pointed out that my idea of free transfers would help people leave low pop realms, but everyone might move to the same popular realms that already have queues. Leaving it up to each individual player might be too haphazard a way to handle it. But there is a certain appeal to letting people chose where they want to move their characters. Perhaps the highest population servers would not be available for free transfers.

What about merging servers? One of the main problems is perception. If Blizzard decides to save low pop servers by merging them, they will be admitting two things: that Cross Realm Zones aren't working for what they're trying to do and that subscriptions are so low they have to adjust the realms accordingly. Merging servers would definitely hype up "the sky is falling" mentality.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Why do we still have servers?

Why do we still have servers
I was wondering about it all day yesterday, considering the existence of cross-realm play, CRZ, that PvP, dungeon finder and LFR all pull across multiple servers why do we still have those servers at all? Are they a relic of the original game's design? Are they still physically necessary or could we simply have all these different servers exist as one large super-server that everyone in a region plays on? It certainly feels to me that, for better and for worse server communities are a thing of the past - I know a lot of people who play WoW, my friend's list is relatively hopping and my twitter feed even more so, but I haven't run a dungeon with random people on my realm since mid-Wrath and even then I didn't do it very often. Before the rise of dungeon finder groups, I either ran with a guild group or I didn't run, having soured on the experience after tanking BC heroics.

The way I currently play, I raid with my guild, run LFR occasionally (not very often) or queue for some dungeons either solo or with some Real ID/Battletag friends, do some retro raiding in the same fashion, and in general to me my server is almost completely meaningless. I play with and chat with people from all over the place, from Sisters of Elune to Norgannon to Malfurion to Kilrogg. If I could add EU players and chat with them, I'd have an even bigger friend's list. The people I know in game are people I've played with, people I've chatted with online for a while, but in very few cases are they people I've actually met here on my current server outside of guilds I've joined.

Of course, as I've argued before, personal experience isn't universal and anecdotal data isn't conclusive. I'm just one player. So the question becomes, what about you reading this now? How important is your server to you? It's very possible there are thriving server communities out there that would be damaged by a change that reduces server identity further and if so I think it would be useful to find out. If a single mega-server per region would be detrimental to people's playstyles, let us hear you. Positive or negative, your feedback is desired.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Free character moves offered to select US servers

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Higher population servers getting you down? Isle of Thunder too crowded to get anything done? You're in luck! Blizzard is offering free character moves from and to select servers as follows:

Source Realm --> Destination
  • Tichondrius --> Blackrock
  • Illidan --> Mannoroth
  • Stormrage --> Trollbane
Blizzard notes that due to the unpredictable nature of free transfers, they may close down any Free Character Moves at any time and without warning if the target realm becomes full. So, if you plan on moving realms with friends or a guild, be sure to coordinate plans. These transfers are like Blizzard's paid character services, they're one-time, and one-way. If you change your mind after the free character transfer, you'll have to shell out the $25 USD to go elsewhere.

As it stands, the free character moves have already begun, but will end on Thursday, March 21. If you'd like to get started, head over to Blizzard's Free Character Migration FAQ.

Filed under: News items

What does community mean in World of Warcraft?

What does community mean in World of Warcraft
When I first started playing World of Warcraft, in late 2004 on the server Azjol-Nerub, I knew the people in the guild my wife introduced me to and that was about it. Via that guild, I eventually met people who brought me to another guild, one that raided fairly heavily. That guild moved to Norgannon, becoming one of its top raiding guilds up until the end of Wrath of the Lich King when it moved servers and factions, and I didn't go along for the ride. I instead moved to Cenarion Circle, then Sisters of Elune. In all of this, my sense of community in the game has always been very heavily guild focused.

This means that when people talk about having developed a sense of server community via pugging Stratholme or Shadow Labyrinth back in the day, they're talking about a game I never played. When I was pugging in early BC, before I started raiding again, I was miserable dealing with non-guildmates who often wouldn't listen, demanded a tank with more AoE than a warrior, refused to CC or refused to do so on the targets I asked, and were otherwise often awful. This isn't to say I didn't have any good pick up groups in those days, but if I wanted to get anything done I often had to wait for guild groups. One of the reasons I heralded the advent of the Dungeon Finder was that instead of bothering my guildies so I could get some runs in, I just queued up. No more "LF Tank and 2 CC for Shattered Halls, Paladin tank preferred" or whatever the flavor of the month is. Not that we were running Shattered Halls anymore by that point, of course.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Server maintenance extended to 3:00 p.m. PDT

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The screenshot says it all, folks. Maintenance has been extended until 3:00 p.m. Pacific daylight time, which is 6:00 p.m. Eastern for those of you on the east coast (7:30 pm if you live in Newfoundland, according to the comments). Not much else to say there. We have a whole lot of stuff to read while you're waiting patiently (or impatiently, if you live in Newfoundland) for the servers to come up. Those databases don't do process updates to themselves.

My wife's from Newfoundland, in case you were wondering why I'm making so many references to it. I've always found it fascinating that it has so much history. I'm basically going to be reading about Newfoundland (and Labrador, too) during my time away from the game.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items

How players are using cross-realm raiding to foster communities

With the introduction of cross-realm raiding in patch 4.3.2 and the Raid Finder, players have gone above and beyond in creating new and exciting server-less communities that bring in raiders from all over the world via Real ID grouping. While the Dragon Soul raid is not available currently for players using cross-realm raiding, all other raids and difficulties are, and there is no better time to go back to old content and finish off stuff during the wait until the next expansion.

Sites like LFRaid.com and Twitterland Raiding are two communities that have sprung up quickly in this new cross-realm raiding world. Twitterland Raiding is a website created for the Twitter WoW community to form up groups for raiding across server lines. With a centralized place to express interest in raiding as well as no server structure or logistics to worry about besides Real ID names (which gets immensely easier with the introduction of BattleTags), raiding can happen in greater volume and more quickly.

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Filed under: Raiding

Last chance to bid on retired server blades for charity

Blizzard's charity auctions of retired server blades seemed to go pretty well, with each blade going for several hundred dollars on eBay (and all of that money going to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital). Most of them ended before the holidays, which is unfortunate for those of us who missed grabbing the physical representation of a server community near and dear to our heart. But if you play on a European server, you might just be in luck -- Blizzard is offering a series of last-chance auctions for EU server blades starting today! Each server blade comes mounted in a nice case with an engraved plate ensuring authenticity and signed by members of the WoW dev team.

The full list of servers and end dates is available on the official Blizzard site. Good luck and happy bidding, EU folks!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard auctioning server blades to benefit St. Jude's

WoW server blade.
We posted about this a week ago, but a reminder can't hurt now that the auctions have actually gone live. If you're attending BlizzCon this year and have the chance to visit Hall A, you'll see one of the original World of Warcraft HP server blades that Blizzard is auctioning this year to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. But even if you're not going to BlizzCon, you still have a shot at bidding: All of the available server blades (from both North American and Europeanrealms) are listed on EBay, and you've still got time to bid on them all. Most of them are older realms that Blizzard has upgraded recently as part of server maintenance, and -- judging from the bids on some of them -- my guess is that a lot of players are interested in owning their old servers. Better yet, each auctioned server will have a plaque with the server's name, dates of operation, and Blizzard developers' autographs inscribed on it. If you want to see an example of what it'll look like, scroll down on Blizzard's charity auction page.

If you're interested in owning a piece of World of Warcraft history in addition to benefiting a great cause, you can find general information and Blizzard's two EBay listings for the server blades here:
Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup, cohosted by Wowhead and Gamebreaker.tv, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

The Daily Quest: So then he said

Here at WoW.com, we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Some people have things to say about everything under the sun -- like the goblin pictured above, who is engaging in a frank and earnest discussion about poultry-based thermodynamics and the merits of their application in conjunction with other forms of flightless fowl. Unfortunately the only person that would listen to her is Chilly the penguin, who simply doesn't know any better. Fortunately, we've found some posts that are much more entertaining than Miss Yammersalot.

Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Realm connectivity issues [Updated]

We are getting numerous tips that servers are crashing. Blue poster Aredek says it is a realm connectivity problem and that their technicians are looking into it. Currently, there is no time for when they will have an update.

We will keep you posted as usual.

Update 6:45pm: The realms are expected to be back up by 7:30pm EST.

Update 6:27pm: The Realm Status forum has posted the realms affected, which we have listed after the break.

[Thanks to all who sent this in!]

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

What effect does the Dungeon Finder have on smaller servers?

For a few days now, I've been mulling over a point raised by Spinksville in a blog post concerning the Dungeon Finder's impact on smaller servers. It was her contention that, although the Dungeon Finder makes getting 5-man runs faster and easier for people on underpopulated realms, the new tool was contributing (or likely to contribute) to the depopulation of realms without a lot of options for raiding. It's never been easier to gear up a character, she observed, and someone with a geared character is increasingly likely to want that toon raiding. However, smaller servers rarely field the array and depth of PuG raiding opportunities offered by larger realms. Her conclusion? "Being on a smaller server has never been less attractive for a casual player."

While I go back and forth on that point -- lots of people will just gear a toon for its own sake without necessarily planning to raid on it -- I don't think she's entirely wrong, and I also think the larger point concerning the Dungeon Finder's potential impact on server communities is probably accurate.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

Breakfast Topic: What do you do when your server is down?

The players on the Emberstorm and Whirlwind battlegroups have had a rough week. A massive power outage, huge network issues and other problems have forced them away from their virtual homes to find refuge elsewhere. Some have joined the It came from the Blog guild on Zangarmarsh, where we have had two impromptu server outage parties. The picture above is from Tuesday night's shindig.

Others have commented in the outage posts that they have formed level 1 raids on other servers. And of course there are other games to play.

Personally, if both Zangarmarsh and my main server are down, I figure it's time to start watching what's on the DVR and knitting. What do you do when your server is down?

Filed under: Realm Status, Breakfast Topics, It Came from the Blog

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