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World of Queuecraft 304

Posted by Zonk
from the queue-this-blizz dept.
BondGamer writes "Gamespot has an article discussing the ongoing problems with Blizzard's World of Warcraft. It outlines how the same issues have been plaguing the MMORPG for over a year now with no end in sight. From the article, 'If there's an absolutely excellent game, but no one can get online to play it, is it still excellent?'" Anyone have any hellacious queue stories? Update: 03/01 16:06 GMT by Z : Blizzard also announced today that they've hit 6 Million Subscribers.
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World of Queuecraft

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  • Re:Server splits (Score:3, Insightful)

    by doomicon (5310) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @11:32AM (#14826564) Homepage Journal
    I'm a casual mmo gamer(>10 Hours a week). I couldn't imagine spending 40 mins at a time just waiting to login. While I can put up with occasional bugs and whatnot, being able to login (outside of maint. windows) is a must! I pay a monthly subscription to play, I expect more.

    currently playing MxO, so some may argue my "I expect more." comment ;-)
  • by enkafan (604078) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @11:38AM (#14826635)
    Wasn't it Yogi Berra that said "nobody goes there anymore...it's too crowded"?
  • by BrianRoach (614397) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @11:45AM (#14826707)
    No matter what they (or any MMORPG) does, there is a group of people that will whine.

    The alternative to no queues is ...?

    A) Let everyone in. I've seen that in other games. It's not pretty. Things don't scale infinitely, and the game server would be unusable. People would then bitch that the game server is unusable.

    B) Static cap the server population. They tried that recently. Immediatly there were tons of threads on their forums saying "I can't create a character on world X where my friend is playing! I paid $50 for this game, blah, blah blah".

    Personally, I rarely see a queue, and I've been playing WoW for a year on the same server which has been "full" for some time. About the worst I see is about 30 minutes, and I simply alt-tab and read the news for a few or maybe do a quick chore around the house my wife had been nagging me to do :)

    - Roach
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @11:55AM (#14826818) Journal
    You have about 5 minutes to log back in after an involuntary disconnect and you can skip the queue. NB: In this case, "log back in" would be when the character select screen appears.
  • Why new servers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @12:53PM (#14827510)
    To those people who say Blizzard should just add more servers - part of the problem is that people want to play on servers with high populations. Few people want to log onto a server that has a low population - it becomes harder to find a group, harder to get things at the auction house, harder to find good PvP. And certainly there is less fame to being the best player on a server with a low population. Many people also start playing WoW because of friends that they have playing the game, and the higher the population of the server, the more people that have friends that they want to invite and make the population even higher.

    Some people want to play on low-pop servers. These people don't have much of a problem. Some people want to play on high-pop servers. So they go start a character on a high-pop server, raising the population higher in doing so and drawing the queue up even farther. Several people want to play on medium-pop servers to get the best of both worlds, but you can only have so many people join a med-pop server before it become high-pop, and by that point the server's reputation gets to the point that even more people want to join in. Basically, population gain works exponentially - the bigger you are, the faster it gets worse.

    More servers just isn't going to cut it, not unless you can convince people on larger servers to cull themselves into new servers with smaller populations. There are plenty of servers out there that don't have queue lines, but queues just aren't enough justification for people to reroll. Ideally, Blizzard would set limits on population to cut off before queues become a problem in the first place. But then you run the risk of pissing off people who want to play on the same server as their friend does. There is no justice in this matter.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @01:15PM (#14827732)

    A) Let everyone in. I've seen that in other games. It's not pretty. Things don't scale infinitely, and the game server would be unusable. People would then bitch that the game server is unusable.

    Buy enough servers that you can deliver the service you've sold. Don't sell it to n + 1 people if your servers can only take n people.

    B) Static cap the server population. They tried that recently. Immediatly there were tons of threads on their forums saying "I can't create a character on world X where my friend is playing! I paid $50 for this game, blah, blah blah".

    Build the server program so that several physical servers can divide a single world between themselves; preferably some kind of dynamic system where a full enough area is divided into two sub-areas, and they are then divided again if needed, and so on, and two empty enough bordering areas are recombined back to a single area, all invisibly behind the scenes. This way you only need to add enough iron to handle the total load and load-balancing takes care of itself.

    In any case, if it is impossible to deliver the service to the current userbase, then perhaps they shouldn't have sold it to so many people. It smells like fraud when you take the money and then say "sorry, I can't deliver the stuff right now, there's too many people who've bought it".

  • by BrianRoach (614397) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @01:50PM (#14828167)
    In any case, if it is impossible to deliver the service to the current userbase, then perhaps they shouldn't have sold it to so many people. It smells like fraud when you take the money and then say "sorry, I can't deliver the stuff right now, there's too many people who've bought it

    First, your complaint (like most of them) seems to be based on an assumption that they are not working as hard as they can to improve things, and that they simply sit around all day sipping tea. I, personally, do not see this as being the case.

    What I see is a company that had growth far exceeding their business plan and are now playing catchup. IT things don't happen overnight, and like most companies and people, they are not perfect.

    As for "fraud" ... they only keep taking money from people who choose to continue giving it to them - continuing to play is not compulsory. Your initial purchase price is no different than if you had bought any other video game that didn't live up to your expectations - you can't return those for a refund either.

    - Roach
  • by seebs (15766) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @06:32AM (#14833576) Homepage
    Gamespot spammed me repeatedly despite requests that they stop. They can't even manage a mailing list. Blizzard has provided a game which I have been playing for a couple of months with fairly small login queues except during the peak of prime-time. I've probably spent a TOTAL of two hours in queues, since mid-December 2005.

    So, uhm. I think I am uninclined to believe that Gamespot's either competent or reliable, and I don't think I trust them to fairly evaluate the situation.

    Yeah, the queues are bad. Simplistic analysis of how much money Blizzard ought to have doesn't tell us what resources they really have. Furthermore, it's not obvious which of the many proposed "solutions" would work. More servers? Lag is a question of bandwidth, so more servers might not help. Let more people log in? More overloads and crashes. There are many possible options, but I'm not sure they'd help a whole lot. Furthermore, if the database servers are shared, it's pretty hard to grow database servers effectively; you can't just throw more hardware at it.

    I dunno. I'm okay with things pretty much as is; ongoing attempts to optimize the back-end database may matter more. So maybe we should let the people who built WoW run it, rather than some people at gamespot who haven't done anything of the sort?

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