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Posts with tag agreement

Blizzard renews TeliaSonera agreement

Blizzard has renewed their agreement with a company called TeliaSonera to provide bandwidth for them in Europe. They just made a very similar deal with AT&T for the US -- it's the bandwidth that connects their servers to the millions of connections that lead back to your computer as you play World of Warcraft. Paul Sams, Blizzard COO, says they've been pleased with the service, and that the contract renewal was for two years.

It's interesting that we've seen Blizzard keep both of these agreements intact, but we already know that they'll cancel relationships they don't see as working (with the notable example of Netease's takeover in China). Of course, there are tons of factors that go into players' connections (including this server connection as well as your own ISP, your router and computer, and a number of other facilities and stops in between), but it would seem that Blizzard is happy with the way things are going in both the EU and the US with these providers. Of course everyone's personal experiences are different, and we've certainly seen our share of connection issues, but in general, the infrastructure on the networks is in a pretty good place.

[via WorldofWar]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

AT&T will continue Blizzard hosting

We haven't gotten much of a look at Blizzard's server architecture, but here's a tiny one: AT&T has announced in a press release that they're re-signing to a two year agreement to provide Blizzard with hosting for World of Warcraft and Battle.net. We'll get the joke out of the way first: that explains why Blizzard's sites go down so often! Ba-dump ching!

But seriously, the press release says AT&T has been working with Blizzard on providing bandwidth and network monitoring for nine years already, and that they have multiple "Internet Data Centers" that provide global support of the network infrastructure that lets your character wander around Azeroth. AT&T isn't the only company Blizzard works with -- while their network provides the connections and bandwidth, the actual coding and the databases behind all of the action in WoW are another story, and Blizzard likely works with multiple big companies to make sure that all runs smoothly. AT&T provides the cables, but someone's got to help provide the servers and the code they're hooked up to.

Still, despite the jokes about the downtime, it's quite a feat. We're still interested in hearing more about the mechanics behind the World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, lots of this information is probably a trade secret at this point -- even if no other MMOs are coming close to WoW's numbers, Blizzard has probably come up with a lot of techniques they don't exactly want known to the public. But a look inside one of these "IDCs" or an idea of just what machines they're using to run a realm of WoW would be intriguing.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Legal action between ZAM and Curse results in dismissal


So remember when Curse introduced their database last year called WoWDB, and we pointed out that it bore a strong resemblance to that other popular WoW database, Wowhead? Turns out ZAM, the owners of Wowhead after the acquisition a little while ago, agreed: completely under the radar last May, they filed a lawsuit for copyright infringment to the tune of no less than $1.5 million. ZAM says in the suit, copies of which we've obtained, that they've "expended substantial resources to maintain, update, and promote use of the WOWHEAD website so that it would become... one of the most recognized, and utilized websites designed to attract individuals" who play World of Warcraft. They claimed that WoWDB stole their look and layout purposely to create confusion among customers. This story wasn't reported in the WoW community at the time -- we hadn't heard about it at all until now.

And then, in January of this year, the case was dismissed completely by a judge. We've also seen a copy of the order for dismissal, and from what it says, both sides wanted out: "Pursuant to the parties' stipulation for dismissal, the court hereby dismisses the above-captioned action without prejudice." We don't have any information, however, why the case was suddenly dismissed, but there may have been an agreement made between the two parties -- either money changed hands or WoWDB offered to change its look (as you can see, there's still many similarities between the two sites). Or, as a third option, ZAM just decided it wasn't worth fighting -- according to the comments and activity on both sites, WoWDB doesn't seem to be a serious threat to Wowhead.

We've contacted both sides for comment, and we'll let you know if we hear anything from either one. On the front of it, this looks like ZAM was merely covering themselves -- they filed suit just in case, but never found cause to follow through. But there may be some other agreement between these two companies that lead to the case's dismissal.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Economy

The Guild: Episode 10 of Season 2


In this week's Guild, now up on MSN and Xbox Live (and Zune, if you're into that sort of thing), we get better acquainted with the stunt guy's *cough* buddy, who turns out to be named Riley, and is actually a gamer. Though not in the way you might expect. And Vork (last seen here -- you didn't forget about that sight, did you?) turns out to have a new skill, to Bladezz' disappointment.

Lots of fun. Do you think there really is a division among gamers like Riley and Codex? I'm a big fan of both genres, so I'd never have seen it, but do players of one type not get along with players of the other? We're all just gamers, right?

And we'll remind you, too, that there are only two episodes left this season. Only two more weeks of new episodes with Microsoft, and then in March, they'll start appearing back on YouTube again (pending another agreement, or whatever Felicia and those folks decide to do).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, PvP, Humor

Forum post of the day: A monetary slap in the face

Every once in a while we do nice things for other players out of the goodness of our hearts. More often we do things in game in exchange for gold or other necessary services. Feevah of Shattered Hand is unhappy that he was given a two silver tip for a portal. He feels that the acronym "WTB" implies that the tip for the service will be at least enough to cover the cost of materials. Thus defining the distinction between a purchase and a gratuity, which is usually given to members of the service sector above the advertised price.

Some suggested that the tip was mistyped in either the wrong coin slot or missing a digit. Others suggested that Feevah should have immediately disbanded his group so that the penny pincher could simply stare at the portal without being able to use it. Perhaps the poster was unaware of the material cost of the spell, or maybe he was just a jerk.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Making money, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

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