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Posts with tag traffic

World of Warcraft in the 'net's traffic patterns


Arbor Networks is a company that continually monitors the Internet and its usage -- they keep track of Internet outages and site visits on a global scale. They just recently released a report of when traffic peaks in the evenings around the world, and at least one of their results is about the game we're all playing, none other than World of Warcraft. In terms of just general consumer traffic online, the numbers tend to peak, according to the report, at around 8-11pm -- the time right before bed when most Americans are done with dinner, and have a little free time to jump online and browse around. In terms of what they're doing when online, simple web browsing makes up most of that traffic (52%), what's the rest of it? Gaming, including WoW.

More than any other gaming service (they also take a look at Steam), WoW's chart is extremely interesting -- it peaks solidly at 8pm every night, and then falls back down just as sharply around 11pm. In other words, the biggest audience for WoW (during this time period -- this is over ten days in July of this year) is raiders, who show up on time at 8 and end the raid around 3 hours later. In other words, if you want to avoid the crowd, show up after 11. Or even better, raid in the mornings. Interesting stuff -- certainly Blizzard has much more detailed information on when people log into the game (and where they go when they do), but as an overview of traffic patterns, Arbor's research all makes sense.

[via Network World]

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances

Preparing for BlizzCon: Getting there by car or rail


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza.

On Friday, we talked about getting to BlizzCon by air. Until teleportation technology is invented (and not deadly) or "The Big One" hits causing Anaheim to become coastal, the only other two ways to get to BlizzCon are by train or car. (Edit: Ok, there is the bus, but yeah, ugh. AishaLove is right. I can't recommend it.)

Trains: Anaheim is a stop on the Pacific Surfliner route. Amtrak can be pricey, but with a membership in AAA and a watchful eye on their specials, you may be able to come up with a price that is comparable to flying. The train stop is just down the road from the Anaheim Convention Center and is close to most of the hotels. Of course, trains take much longer than planes, but the trip can be part of your vacation fun.

Read more →

Filed under: Tips, BlizzCon

Developer resolution for 2009: Beat Warcraft

Our friends at GameDaily have a nice set of resolutions for game developers next year, and it's definitely worth a read if you're interested in seeing where they think the game industry might improve in 2009. But number three is the most interesting one for us: they suggest that game developers (and MMO devs in specific, we'd imagine) should make this the year that something else beats World of Warcraft.

It seems much more unlikely than last year: last year, we were looking down the barrel of Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, and wondering if either one of those might cause a road bump in WoW's traffic. Age of Conan was called the steak to our game's McDonald's, but in the end, WoW players didn't do much more than give it a cursory glance. And while Warhammer seemed like a good contender to the throne, it hasn't come close to taking a bite out of Azeroth. This year, it doesn't even seem like there will be any MMO contenders. GameDaily cites Bioware's Star Wars MMO, but that's not coming out in 2009, and while The Agency and DC Universe Online might be getting close to finished, it's unlikely we'll see them on the shelves this year either.

This might be a year of recuperation, for both Blizzard and their competitors. Lord of the Rings Online is doing well, so their big task is just to keep the content moving, and unlike last year, Blizzard has no real impetus this year to really push their playerbase to stick with the game. As with everything, we'll have to see what happens, but I'd expect a much more subdued year this go-around for the MMO market. When the MMOs in progress now come to fruition in 2010, then things will likely get more interesting.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

Free high pop to low pop server transfers incoming

Thundgot over on the EU forums says there's a pretty drastic solution incoming to the busy servers incoming: Blizzard is going to offer free server transfers from high pop servers to low pop, so if you've really been driven nuts by all the queues and lag lately, this might be just what you need. On the other hand, don't jump into anything too quickly -- traffic problems are pretty common, especially when big patches (and, you know, expansions) come down, and odds are that once the expansion actually releases, things will die back down after a little while.

Of course, if you just don't want to wait, and don't have any particular ties to the server you happen to be on, then by all means, keep an eye out for the transfers. We're not quite sure which servers will be affected yet, but We Hate PUGs saw Quel'thelas on the list already along with a long list of high pop realms, so while we'll probably see more servers added to the low pop side, the high pop side there now is probably a fairly good indicator of the realms Blizzard sees as trouble. If you're on one of those realms and ready to transfer, sit tight and wait for the announcement today, help is on the way.

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Realm Status, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Potential traffic jams in WotLK

Adding up all the traffic jams in World of Warcraft would probably make an insightful list-- I can remember some crazy days in Ironforge, a huge mess near the battlegrounds when they first opened, a lot of clustering during the AQ World Event, and anyone who logged on in the early days of Burning Crusade knows that Hellfire Peninsula was a laggy mess as well.

But Blizzard claims, once again, that they've finally learned their lesson, and in Wrath of the Lich King, things will be different. Shattrath will be designed to stay up in the air (even if landed on by thousands of players), and when we played the expansion at BlizzCon earlier this year, we already saw one way Blizzard plans to split the load: Horde and Alliance players are starting at different zones on different sides of the continent.

I doubt things will be perfect-- it seems like players always think of some way to ruin even the best laid plans of Blues and men. But we can say this about Blizzard-- they are visibly learning from every iteration they release. It'll be really interesting to see what they've come up with to improve upon the expansion experience in Northrend.

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

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