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Posts with tag lag

Wintergrasp bug plaguing servers after 3.1.2

We're getting tons of reports in of Wintergrasp behaving a bit oddly today, and I can confirm them to be true on my home server of Cenarion Circle. Wintergrasp battles are lasting, at most, 5-10 minutes with no more than 10 minutes between battles. Good for farming Marks of Honor, not so good for trying to kill Archavon and/or Emalon.

If this is how you try to lower the lag Wintergrasp causes on servers, I think the quote "ur doin it wrong" applies. In all seriousness, I'm kidding about that and this is obviously not working as intended. Considering the Mark and Honor gains people are getting from this, I wouldn't be surprised if we see some emergency maintenance and rollbacks soon. I wouldn't get too attached to your gains this afternoon.

Filed under: Bugs

Wintergrasp lag a big issue after patch 3.1

Zarhym has got some answers to the widespread problem of lag in Wintergrasp after patch 3.1 the other week. He says Blizzard figures the problem is simply population based -- there are many more people playing in the battleground than there were before the patch. For that reason, they're having trouble coming up with good solutions: the battleground is designed to be non-instanced, and that's why a lot of people like it, so putting a limit on the amount of people in there is not the way to go. Hardware isn't a solution either -- Blizzard's hardware is already top-of-the-line, and not only would upgrading it take a while anyway, but my guess is that most of the lag issues come not from Blizzard's side, but from the connections between players and them, which they may not have any control over anyway.

So yes, we're more or less out of luck -- as long as Wintergrasp is extremely popular (and even Zarhym remembers the naysayers before the release with a smirk), there will always be a certain amount of lag in there. There are a few good suggestions floating around the comments thread -- one is that Wintergrasp should always be conquerable, which seems like it would keep down on the flood of people, though of course there'd be other issues if that were implemented.

At this point, Wintergrasp lag may just be something we have to live with. Eventually, you have to think the population will drop back down, and then those of us still in there will enjoy lag-free battles again. But Blizzard has taken on quite a goal trying to do non-instanced PvP full of vehicles and towers without any lag at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds

Connection problems strike WoW


There appears to be connection problems going around as multiple people are unable to log in tonight, including multiple tipsters and yours truly. It's definitely a widespread problem, as the Blizzard Tech Support team is currently asking for ISP and tracert information over on the official forums while they try to track it down.

While some people are positing that this is a merged battle.net account problem, it's worth noting that we also know of many people, including a couple of our bloggers, are still able to log in fine with a battle.net account. At the same time, some posters in the aforementioned thread are saying that they can log on fine when they use an unmerged pre-battle.net account from a family member or roommate.

Once we get a clearer idea of what the problem is or when it's been fixed, we'll let you know.

UPDATE, 10:30 PM EST: Okay, This is Daniel again, and I can log on with a battle.net account. This is the same one that wasn't working not 10 minutes ago, for the record.

UPDATE, 11 PM EST:
It looks everything is working fine again. Play on!

Filed under: Bugs, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Wintergrasp retuning incoming

Back before Wintergrasp was first introduced, Blizzard told us that they'd finally figured out world PvP. They said to us that they'd figured out how to have hundreds of players fighting in an open zone at a time, without any major slowdown or lag issues. At the time, we were skeptical (and this was even before the instance lag after the WotLK release), and we continue to be: anyone who ducks inside Wintergrasp while things are nuts can tell you that they're far from perfect.

But maybe not for the reason you think. Beatus on Kul Tiras posted a pretty well-written complaint about the layout of Wintergrasp on the EU forums, and new blue poster Ancilorn speaks up with a little insight into just how Blizzard was planning to keep down the lag in WG. They were planning to spread players around to the towers in the southern side of the zone, thus allowing hundreds of players to play, but in a few separate groups conquering different objectives.

The only problem, says Ancilorn, is that there's not enough incentive to split players up -- people who go south miss out on honor and daily quests, and there's not enough reward to make them go that far. He says a retuning of the map will eventually be done to try and spread out the battle a little more.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King

Naxxramas optimization

Crygil posted an important announcement last night concerning the lag and associated performance issues in Naxxramas. Blizzard has made some recent optimizations to Naxx, and they want to know what all of our experiences are like in the instance this week. As such, they're asking everyone to post feedback in terms of performance in the thread over on the official forums.

Now by performance I don't think they mean "My pocket Paladin can't tank."

What they're looking for are detailed reports such as "When I was attempting to do the Heigan dance, my entire group lagged behind a good 5 to 10 seconds. We decided to go and raid Hogger after we wiped for six hours in a row." Or "The Ice Block appeared after Frost Breath when my guild was taking down Sapphiron because of the 30 second lag."

Matt Rossi wrote a great piece yesterday on the need for designing the fights around latency. Hopefully this will become less of an issue as Blizzard works out their backend mechanics; and it appears this change is a major step forward.

Filed under: Realm News, News items, Raiding

Is Blizzard cutting costs?

http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2009/01/cost-reduction-at-blizzard.htmlSo with all the hubbub about 3.0.8's problems, a lot of people are wondering who to blame. Activision seems to be a popular target, with people blaming them for nerfing Blizzard's famed "it's-ready-when-it's-ready" game design cycle and rushing things out the door while they're still buggy and imbalanced.

Popular MMORPG blogger Tobold is in that camp himself. In one of his latest blog posts, he theorizes that Blizzard has been cutting spending for some time now, be it because of falling stock prices or the need to move WoW team members to Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 or simply because of the economic downturn in general.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Rumors

On lag and communication: Two interrelated issues

On Thursday, January 8th Nethaera sent out a memo to all the fan sites asking them to announce it, and Eyonix posted on the forums for all the rest of us. Latency and connectivity issues will be fixed in patch 3.0.8. The crowds cheered, babies cried in joy, and dog and cats started to live together. The world would be right again.

Fast forward 15 days later.

The high latency while raiding places like Naxxramas and Malygos is still there. The servers are still packed with queue. The patch was a near disaster. And we're still getting bug reports in every 10 minutes, both in comments and via our tip-line.

Many people want to know why this hasn't been fixed. People are out looking for blood. The whole head on a pike sort of thing.

A better way to approach the situation is to try to come up with contingency plans and other activities to do. If Blizzard cannot get their servers to work, to the point that many consider the game playable, then people will need to focus on other aspects of the game or try to work around the problematic parts.

On the couple servers I play on many of the top guilds have decided to stop raiding for the night if there are any problems with high latency in the raid instances. On Alex's server people raid only for a couple hours after 10pm when the queues and population have dropped off. And still other guilds I know have just said forget it completely and are on hiatus until these issues are fixed.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard

The disaster of patch 3.0.8

Bugs plague any developer of computer software -- even when you think your code is perfect and it's been seen as such by everyone in the company, you'll still have your users find bugs faster and more frequently than you ever thought possible. And Blizzard is no stranger to bugs -- though they have a reputation for quality releases, they've always had a few bugs sneak through. As big a game as World of Warcraft is, there's always bound to be something not working quite right.

But patch 3.0.8 goes above and beyond the bounds of normal mistakes. Adam put together a terrific roundup last night of bugs found so far, and the list goes on and on: Wintergrasp (one of the biggest promoted features of Wrath) shut down. Unbearable lag on the realms and in instances (and this patch was supposed to fix that). Blizzard even went live with the patch knowing that major bugs (the Warlock summoning and animation and clipping errors) were in there, and, perhaps worst of all, bugs that have been in the game so long they seem to belong there (we're looking at you, Pet Cower bug) didn't even bother showing up in the patch notes, and haven't been fixed.

In short, patch 3.0.8 has been a disaster. If Blizzard feels that this patch lives up to the quality of content they released in Northrend (or if they, unbelievably, somehow though this was meant to be a bugfix patch for Northend, that ended up screwing up more things than it fixed), then they need to take a long, hard look at their quality assurance system again.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Leveling, Classes, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Fun in the 3.0.8 sun


Patch 3.0.8 is here! So welcome to the new patch -- much like the old patch, only with more lag, crashes every 20 minutes, and plenty of other entertaining bugs! (Don't you just love patch day?) You would think that, by now, we'd have learned that patch days tend to be a bust for playing, but most of us at WoW Insider HQ rushed to log in as soon as the realms were back online, ready to enjoy some 3.0.8 goodness. Boy, were we in for a disappointment. (Though as some of you may have noticed, it was a great time to catch up on old world achievements, since the Wintergrasp bug was only crashing Northrend.) For those of you who decided to spend your Tuesday outside of the game, you managed to miss out on plenty of patch day fun -- but you may be just in time to enjoy stable playtime as Blizzard has scrambled to get things working again. (If you haven't picked up the patch already, here are some download mirrors to help you out.) Were you in-game on Tuesday night? If so, what were your experiences? Get any playtime in?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Latency fixes coming for Northrend, Naxx

Although I haven't experienced it so much myself recently (fingers crossed), many players have been complaining about high latency both in Northrend and in the various Northrend raids (especially the Heroic versions). I have had Grizzly Hills especially (for some reason) get so bad with the lag spikes that I just logged off for an hour, but that was back in the first few weeks of Wrath.

Apparently, the outdoor Northrend lag has been caused by Wintergrasp battles. There is a "server-side fix" (which I read as hot fix) in testing on internal realms at Blizzard, and Eyonix tells us that they hope to be able to patch up the live realms "in the near future" (which I hope is sooner than "Soon™").

As for Naxxramas, we are informed that there are optimizations in the pipe for it, and that those will be coming in 3.0.8 (which I personally predict for next Tuesday). These optimizations will, allegedly, help both latency and disconnects. Are disconnects a big problem in Naxx? I'm not sure I've seen any.

Filed under: Realm News, Bugs

Server issues abounds this evening

Servers seem to be having all sorts of problems actually staying up tonight. A fair portion of the population is experiencing chronic server crashes, including my home server. A few of my guildmates canceled their 10-man raids as a result of players' inability to stay online. Even when the server isn't down, it's a real pain staying connected.

We don't really have any information as far as clear upcoming fixes or how long the issue will last, but we here at WoW Insider most definitely know how you feel. Consider this a show of solidarity. It's lame, and hopefully it will go away soon. If you're just sitting down now to dig into your playtime for the night, expect some interruptions.

What we do have is a little bit of information about possible upcoming realm transfers that will be opening up in the near future. Free transfers, of course. You can find Zarhym's list behind the cut below.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard

Breakfast topic: Forgive and forget?


Wrath has been out for about a month now. We were excited about the game, but boy were we angry. We had restarts, extended maintenance, server queues, and whole host of other anomalies. Blizzard's solution was to address as many issues as they could and give us each three days of credit. There are still problems with random disconnects, server lag, and some other bugs. There's still work to be done, but it's getting better.

The one thing that I'm still very frustrated with is the evade issue. This seems to happen to me far more frequently than it did pre-Wrath. I hate it when a mob resets just as it would die, particularly when it's an elite. It always reminds me of Jester diving below the hard deck. I have nothing to do but try to kill the mob again or move on to another one that's (hopefully) not evading.

Over all though, I'm happy with Wrath of the Lich King. There are some dreadful quests, but some awesome ones as well. A lot of things are reused, but many are new as well. I'm over being mad and back to enjoying the game. But Blizz, if you're reading: please stop the mobs from bugging out and going home.

Now readers, it's your turn: Do you forgive Blizzard yet? What will it take to make you happy with WoW?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Bugs, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Where to begin? (Poll)

Do you remember the night that Burning Crusade came out? I waited in the cold outside Game Stop with about 30 other people. We boasted about our accomplishments and I nearly came to blows with a decidedly orcish young woman who played a Gnome Warrior (with pink pig tails). I rushed home to install the expansion and couldn't wait to get in. First, I ran my character into Orgrimar to get the PvP version of the Hawkstrider. I was disappointed that it didn't exist so I bought a Skeletal Warhorse and trotted on to the Dark Portal.

There was a raging PvP battle in Blasted Lands. The ground was covered in skeletons. I ran the gauntlet as quickly as I could, grabbed the quest and zoned in. Through the portal I found the worst monster I've ever encountered in WoW: lag. With everyone starting in Hellfire Peninsula it was like my character was swimming to sand. While there was an uneasy, unspoken truce between the factions quest mobs were hard to come by. It was reminded of Black Friday at Fry's. I still stayed up until seven the next morning.

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Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

The price of a game time refund

Is it just me or has it been a long time since Blizzard passed out some free game time? Reader Jim T. emailed me about a conversation he recently had with Blizzard's customer service -- he was disappointed with the lag, the queues, and the downtime on his server lately, and checking in about how he might get a refund or credit. The customer rep told him that while they didn't give out individual credit, they occasionally do give out game-wide credit for downtime mistakes.

Which is true -- Blizzard will occasionally give out a free day to folks affected by major unexpected downtime or server issues. But while they used to do it fairly often, by my recollection, they seem much less inclined to pull the trigger on a refund lately. On the one hand, sure, Blizzard does a better job than they used to -- last Tuesday's maintenance lasted quite a while, but it wasn't anything compared to the days the servers used to be offline a few years ago. On the other hand, though, there's no question players are being affected -- by queues, by problems logging in, and by lag on the instance servers and elsewhere.

Of course, we have no idea if Blizzard has an actual rule for when they give out free gametime and when they don't -- at this point, the criteria for giving players a refund happens to be "when they feel like it." Which is all right, we guess -- it's their company, of course. But it does seem like the criteria has changed -- we used to get refunds all the time, and even with all the problems lately, Blizzard hasn't decided to give customers any game time back.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses, Hardware

Server restarts for Friday October 24th

While the connectivity and general lag seems to have gotten better in the last day or so, there are still some lingering issues here and there. All servers will be undergoing rolling restarts on the morning of the 24th from 5:00 a.m. PDT to 6:00 a.m. PDT. Each realm is expected to be down only 15 minutes.

Ideally this will solve all the issues we've had since patch 3.0.2 hit last week, but more likely we'll just see things be better for a short time.

If this temporary down time turns into anything extended, we'll update this post.

Of course, this restart might have something to do with Zombies hungry for brains.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

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