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Posts with tag queues

Free faction changes to begin on Barthilas

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One of players' least favorite aspects of play in World of Warcraft is undoubtedly queue times. While people generally seem to understand why they exist, no one really enjoys hanging out in a queue while waiting to hop into a dungeon, raid, or battleground. While there are multiple factors that contribute to queue times, according to Blizzard it's faction interest in PvP queues that tends to be the biggest influence--not just for servers but for entire regions.

Thus, in the interest of hopefully shortening queue times, Blizzard is offering free faction changes from Horde to Alliance for the Barthilas server. This small initial offering is just a beginning, meant to test the waters. They intend to expand the offer to other servers for testing as well. Presumably, if the opening of faction transfers successfully manages to reduce queue times, the program will continue to be grow.

The free faction transfers for Barthilas will open on Tuesday, May 27th, and continue for about a week. Whole guild transfers are eligible under this program, though guild leaders initiating the Guild Master Faction Change will be charged the initial fee and refunded within 72 hours. It will be interesting to see the potential effect this has on queue times for that server and battlegroup.

Filed under: News items

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form?

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form
In the leveling homestretch, I tend to follow a pattern. My main goal is to boost my ilevel as soon as I hit 90 to get in on Raid Finder. Although, once I get there, I end up feeling bitter because waiting in a Raid Finder queue isn't fun. Even if you're not into Raid Finder, WoW presents players with plenty of opportunity to wait around at some point -- battleground and dungeon queues, or even sticking around for a PUG to come together.

As a tank on my main, I groan when thinking of entering Raid Finder, mainly because of the wait. There are only two tank roles, after all. With the new loot specialization coming to 5.3, players looking to win tank gear have hope of a less painful wait in a DPS role, at least. Even if you're used to the long wait, everyone has a limit. I remember waiting as a tank in a Raid Finder queue for an hour and forty minutes. I'm not usually willing to wait that long. I'm relatively comfortable with waiting about thirty to forty minutes before moving on.

When it comes to PUGs, I'm quite patient, usually waiting longer than I probably should. In a PUG, I tend to have a personal connection to at least one of the other players in the group, so I'm not quick to leave.

How long are you willing to wait, whether it be for a dungeon, Raid Finder, battleground, or a PUG? While in queue, how do you pass the time? I usually find myself completing dailies or battling pets. But at what point do you throw up your hands and leave?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard EU introduces cross-language battlegroups

Now you can yell at people for not fighting at the flag in all kinds of different languages: Blizzard's EU staff have announced that they're breaking out the first cross-language battlegroups. Actually, that's not quite true -- players who speak different languages will only be playing as opponents (so the Horde you're fighting may speak a different language, but your allies will still understand you). But it is good news for some EU players who've been suffering long queue times. The English language battlegroup Nightfall will be combining with the Spanish language Crueldad (to form Cruelty/Crueldad), and the French battlegroup Némésis will be battling Germans in Hinterhalt to make up Embuscade/Hinterhalt.

Arena ladders on all of the realms will be combining as well (but of course even there, opponents will still be from different languages, so you'll never have to worry about crossing translation lines). The change is in effect right now -- have any of you been playing on Cruelty or Embuscade and seen faster queues yet?

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

BlizzCon tickets: how it went, and what's next

Yes, if you were around on Saturday, you know that the first round of BlizzCon tickets sold out, and sold out fast. Tickets went on sale right around 10am PST (which was 1pm EST), and sold out just about 28 minutes later. If the queue numbers are trustworthy, over 21,000 people (we've heard as high as 25,000 at a time) logged in to buy tickets that day, and from unconfirmed reports around the web, it seems like about 5,000 to 8,000 tickets were sold: most people who got in line around number 5,000 were able to pick a ticket up, and that was a few minutes in already. Some of those people are already selling tickets on eBay as well.

We believe (though aren't sure) that they'll be selling more than 15,000 tickets this year, since that's what they sold last year and they're using even more of the convention space. If that's true, then Blizzard probably went through only about half of the tickets, and will sell the rest during the second session on the 30th. But that's probably not much of a consolation -- given the frenzy around this last Saturday, there'll probably be more people trying for tickets, and given the prices on eBay, possibly more scalpers clogging up the queue. We'll see.

Update: Lots of people point out, rightly so, that I missed something in my guesstimates of how many tickets were sold: you could purchase up to five. My personal guess is that the majority of people bought only one or two, but even if you go with three as the average, 5,000-8,000 people in the queue is actually 15,000-24,000 tickets. Blizzard probably did sell the majority of tickets on Saturday then, not just half. So the process on May 30th will presumably go even faster.

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: Realm (in)stability


In general I've been pleasantly surprised at how stable my own realm has been since the launch. Yes, we've had queues, restarts, lag, and yes, we've also had an insanely annoying subgroup of people with absolutely no scruples over stealing quest spawns (to be fair, this isn't Blizzard's fault, unless you count their refusal to allow us to kill members of our own faction. I have been sorely tempted over the last few days). But in general, play has been pretty trouble-free apart from the crowds you'd expect at all the usual quest hubs, and the response to the expansion has been universally positive from everyone to whom I've spoken. Wrath, at least on my own realm, has gone live to a very happy and excited bunch of players.

But with a look at WoW Insider's inbox, I'm not sure it's worked out that way for everyone. We've seen a spate of recent complaints about server crashes and giant queues, and this weekend we've gotten a lot of them from people playing on Oceanic servers particularly (one of our readers, James Flannery, wrote in to tell us about an Oceanic server queue that went from 86 to 161 minutes during the half hour that he'd already been waiting). While in general I think it's safe to say that Wrath's launch went much more smoothly than Burning Crusade's did, I'm not sure everyone's benefited despite Blizzard's efforts. Possibly it's a function of Wrath being even more popular than anticipated in certain regions. If you play on multiple servers, which realm(s) seem to be doing best and worst? Have queue times (if they existed) and server lag improved for you?

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

The World (of Warcraft) is full, please come back later


Queues are the highest most of us have ever seen tonight. On my home server of Eldre'Thalas I was behind over 850 people at one point, and have had over an hour wait be estimated for me more often than not. I maxed out at 115 minutes.

The estimated wait time will fluctuate back and forth depending on the frequency in which players log off or leave the queue in frustration.

Perhaps the biggest thing we need to worry about this expansion is not server down time, but the phenomenal amount of players wanting to get in the game.

If Blizzard has any announcement about this, or solutions (other than transferring realms) we'll keep you updated here. Other than that... good luck getting in.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: The future is not what it used to be

With the Wrath Beta Opt-in available, we're one step closer to the expansion. We're all anxiously awaiting the time when the expansion is ready. I'm still having fun with the existing World of Warcraft, but I'm a bit antsy. There is a lot of frustration over existing conditions, especially when it comes to PvP.

Chloroform of EU-Magtheridon isn't interested in waiting. He listed his grievances in the EU-PVP Forum, "Balance issues, queue times, destroying premades, AFK problems, uneven teams, world pvp screwed by 9000yd aggro range ultra guards." Like many others, Jasse of EU-Bronzebeard blames the arena for the death of PvP.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Forum Post of the Day

Turpster at the World Wide Invitational: Meet and greet in the queue

People are lining up out the door, down the street and around the corner at the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center in Paris, France. Our beloved Turpster visited with several of the Blizzard fans waiting in line to get into the convention in time for the opening event. This video captures the excitement in the air as WoW players and other Blizzard fans from around Europe and the United States gather in anticipation. The fans in attendance are making their own predictions for Blizzard's big announcement. Diablo 3? Lost Vikings? Wrath? All of the above?

Stay tuned, Turpster and the rest of the WoW Insider staff are devoted to keeping you posted on the latest breaking news.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Interviews, Worldwide Invitational

Zarhym speaks on Battleground queues and uneven team numbers

It seems to be a complaint that comes up quite often lately: Many people on both sides of the aisle are finding that when they queue up these days and get into a battleground, one side or the other starts at a distinct disadvantage, numbers-wise. Whether it be a 15-7 Arathi Basin, or a 10 to 3 Warsong Gulch, I'm sure most avid Battleground PvPers can tell you that it is extremely hard to recover when you start at a great imbalance in numbers like that.

Zarhym chimed in to offer his own view on the situation on a recent forum thread, and to tell us that Blizzard may still be open to a bit more tweaking to try to solve the problem.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

AQ gates opened for players on transfer servers

Blizzard has just recently opened a new server over in the EU realms called Molten Core, and not only are they already seeing queues on there (due to all the migration), but Blizzard is thinking about opening the gates of AQ for them.

Which strikes us as a little sad. Admittedly, the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj is a huge undertaking, and it would likely take a long time for the players on the new realm to get the War Effort over and done with (and surely Blizzard wouldn't want that competing for attention with any World Events planned for the next expansion). And even after the gates open, players can still complete that giant quest to get the Scepter anyway (just as they can right now on any other live realm). And as Blizzard says, most of these incoming players are coming from realms where the gates are open already anyway.

But it's still a little sad that Blizzard is stepping in to open the gates automatically rather than leaving the task up to the players. Just like all of the old world instances, Blizzard seems more than happy to leave all their old content and hard work behind, and instead focus players on what's coming out in the future.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore

Season 3 causes queues


Thundgot, one of Blizzard's European CMs, is reporting that due to the one-two punch of patch 2.3 and Arena Season 3, more people than usual are logging on, resulting in queues on many realms that don't usually have them. So season two is over, and season queue begins (sorry, couldn't resist). I don't know if the North American realms are also supposed to be having queues; none of my regular ones have been, but I tend to play at off-peak times, so perhaps I wouldn't have seen them anyway. Who's been seeing queues, where are you, and how bad have they been?

Blizzard says they're holding off on doing anything about the queues, be it free transfers or new realms, but they promise that they're "closely monitoring" things, and if this proves to be more than a transient thing, measures will be taken, as usual. I remember back in the pre-BC days, when most realms had queues most of the time...that was no fun. But it seems that Blizz have learned from that, since I haven't ever faced anything that bad since BC launched.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status

Impending free transfers to ease queues

As I'm sure many of you have noticed, server queues are back in a fairly big way. My own realm (Shadow Council) has been experiencing 500-ish person queues at peak times since a bit before Christmas. I know that's not huge, but we never used to have any queues at all. I've heard similar reports from many other realms, most of them worse than mine. It seems that Blizzard is aware of the problem, and planning on implementing some good ol' free character transfers from impacted realms. In the words of Tseric:

  • In the past week, we have seen something of a surge and we are already in the works to provide Free Character Transfers for a number of realms to deal with spiking of queues. Obviously, we will deal with the most severe realms first, so if you do not see your particular realm on the first list, it does not indicate that you will receive no assistance for this in the future.

    Keep watch on the General stickies for announcements relating to Free Transfers within the next couple of days.
Edit: Blizz have now announced specific transfers. The transfers will begin at 12 PM on Thursday, January 4, and run to 11 PM on Tuesday, January 8. Those of you on lleria, Anvilmar, Blackhand, Burning Blade, Daggerspine, Destromath, Draka, Durotan, Duskwood, Eonar, Executus, Garona, Greymane, Icecrown, Illidan, Kel'Thuzad, Mal'Ganis, Skullcrusher, Spinebreaker, or Warsong will be able transfer to Nazjatar, Baelgun, Alterac Mountains, or Arygos (as usual, you don't get to choose; it depends on your specific realm). I'm assuming these are new realms, since I don't see them on the realm status page.

Further Edit: Battlegroups have been announced. Nazjatar and Baelgun are in Shadowburn, and Alterac Mountains and Arygos are in Nightfall.

Filed under: Realm News, Odds and ends, News items

Bears, flags and cross-server queue times

"This PvP thing is quite fun," thought I, several weeks ago.

Time passed. Lured on by cheap combat potions, armour and (of course) glory, I've been spending plenty of time attempting to kill Horde recently. I thoroughly enjoy the niche my druid has found in PvP, and have worked hard to become a better player. By slowly but steadily ranking up, the addictive microreward cycle has worked its magic on me, and what began as an experiment to see how far I could get PvPing when I had the time has become something more permanent.

Of course, such idyllic stories end in tears; the Drums of War have arrived in Azeroth, bringing with them shortened battleground queues. Previously, it was a case of occasional PvP games (usually short losses to elite teams) fitting nicely in amongst work breaks -- a little light relief from a heavy burden. However, now the queues are almost eliminated, and the games are much longer, I can't multitask any more.

All is not lost, however. Despite the joy of being a flag-carrying bear, sometimes it's fun to just get out there and burn faces. My mage alt is old enough to go into AV, and firing pyroblasts with reckless disregard for rank or reputation is a different -- and utterly refreshing -- kind of game.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

The Waiting Game


It was 8PM, local time for me, when I got home.  An hour's drive in traffic.  I hop on the computer, intent on working out the stress of the day in some PvP matches, but there seems to be a 400 player queue to log on to my realm - that's another half hour.  Well, okay - I can go find something for dinner and it will be done by the time I'm back.  All I want is to run a few Warsong Gulch games, and hopefully get my new priest up to friendly with the Warsong Outriders - humble enough goals, right?   But, wait - now that I'm logged on, there seems to be an hour's queue to get in to Warsong at all.  Hmm, I suppose I do have a good book I've been meaning to read.  But, honestly, I have to wonder - when did I start to spend more time waiting than I did playing?  Because this new waiting game is not nearly as fun as the game I used to play.

Of course there's hope - new servers and hardware improvements, as well as the possibility of cross-realm battlegrounds will both cut into this waiting game - but, until then, all there is to look forward to is more of the same.  I know I'm not the only one out in Azeroth who's hit this wall - what do the rest of you do when all you want to do is play, but the game is, for one reason or another, out of your reach?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

New Servers: A Month Later


Remember the slew of new US servers that opened about a month ago?  Well, a lot of players from other servers jumped on the opportunity to start anew - myself included.  The chance to start on a fresh server has been a thrill.  No queues, no lag, and no gold farmers.  But the servers have already started growing up.  Gold and characters are available for purchase on most and queues on my new server have already surpassed those on my old.  After weeks of watching the queues increase, I'm starting to realize that this may not be just a passing thing - people aren't just coming to visit the servers just announced or tagged new, they're sticking around to play.

So what does this mean for population balance?  I haven't heard anything about queues or lag dropping on older servers - though perhaps people are too busy playing to post about it.  Short of establishing draconian policies that force players to one server or another, it doesn't seem like there's much Blizzard can do to normalize server population aside from making new realms and transfer servers attractive options to players.  But a month after a major wave of new transfers, new realms, and new hardware, are we seeing improvements - or are the problems just moving from one server to another?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status

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