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GDC 2010: Blizzard Interview
Post by trog @ 02:23pm 07/04/10 | Comments
We sit down with Blizzard's Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack to talk about all things World of WarCraft (and much more!)

AusGamers was fortunate to be able to snag a few minutes of face time with a couple of Blizzard honchos in San Francisco at GDC recently. We sat down with Tom Chilton, the Game Director for World of WarCraft and J. Allen Brack, the Production Director, and managed to grill them for a few minutes to find out their thoughts on a variety of topics, and to glean a few interesting new tidbits about life in World of WarCraft.

AusGamers: What games do you guys play for fun?

Tom Chilton: I play WoW and most recently I've been playing Modern Warfare 2. I’ve gotten started on Uncharted 2 and fairly recently played Plants vs Zombies and a handful of other games.

AusGamers: So mostly hardcore realistic games as opposed to casual games.

Tom Chilton: Well Plants vs. Zombies but mostly my gaming orientation is around the core games.

J. Allen Brack: The last game I finished was Uncharted 2, I thought it was a brilliant game. Currently working on trying to finish Brutal Legend; I’m on the last mission of that. Next step for me, played a little bit of Modern Warfare 2, still got the single player campaign to finish on that. Next up is Dragon Age!

AusGamers: OK, this is a really weird question. When you were developing World of WarCraft, did you anticipate people were going to walk around calling it WoW? Were you guys already doing that internally?

Tom Chilton: Yeah (laughs), it definitely was happening internally before the game ever shipped. It wasn’t deliberate and we actually try not to refer to it like that, but it inevitably happens.

J. Allen Brack: There were a lot of different names for the game before it acquired the codename as all other Blizzard Games, but “WarCraft World” was one of the favourite names as well, but WoW won out.

AusGamers: I assume you guys have a relatively broad discretion in terms of features you can add into the game and you can do most things that you want, but I’m curious - if you had completely unlimited money, time and resources, is there any one feature you guys would really like to put in that you haven’t been able too yet?

Tom Chilton: The highest candidate of the list would be player housing. That’s the one we’ve always talked about and have never been really able to do because of the production requirements, really.

AusGamers: So that’s players purchasing an in-game house that they would have.

Tom Chilton: Yeah and creating neighbourhoods and all kinds of stuff.

J. Allen Brack: But yeah, there’s a lot more to it than that as well. We have ideas for making entire social games or game collecting games within the framework of that housing expansion. Not just “here’s a house and you buy it, congratulations”. There’s a lot more to it.

Tom Chilton: A lot of depth.

AusGamers: it sort of opens a door to an almost sort of Sim City-esqe minigame really.

Tom Chilton: Yeh.

AusGamers: Couple of questions from some of our core community users. Are you ever planning to sell mounts directly out of the store?

Tom Chilton: Yes we are. We’ve talked about a little in the past and we definitely think that will happen.

I think it’s worth noting they won’t be better mounts right, in that they are not faster or easier to summon, it’s just a cosmetic.

J. Allen Brack: That’s a really important philosophy for us.



AusGamers: In terms of player goods like armour and such, the question I’ve got here: is there any plans to introduce a dye colouring system on those to try and make those a little more unique?

Tom Chilton: Not really. We’ve talked about the idea of dying armour a lot before the game shipped and there were two different directions we could go. Two very different philosophies about how to approach visual customisation for player armour. One of them was to give players a lot of freedom to dye their armour and look however they want them to look. The advantage of that approach is it gives players a lot of freedom; people can look how they want to look and express themselves however they want to express themselves.

The downside being: we don’t really know anything about the player by looking at them, as far as what they do in the game, what they’ve accomplished in the game - at that point it’s kind of a random mishmash out in the world.

The other direction which you can go is the achievement based, so by accomplishing things within the game you essentially earn the right to look a certain way. And we felt like World of Wacraft was an achievement-orientated game more than a character self-expression kind of game. So that was the direction that we went.

Now within that, we’re always trying to find reasonable customisation to give players, and we feel like there is more we can do in that regard then we are doing today, to give players a little bit more control about how they look - whilst still maintaining that link between the character and what they have accomplished.

AusGamers: Cool that’s really interesting, from my perspective as a gamer, I don’t know if I’m really lazy or weird, but I always find for me the character customization is the least interesting part. I just want to start the game, play the game and finish the game.

Tom Chilton: Well, I think something that’s pretty interesting - a philosophy I have - is that character customization becomes more important the more invested you become in the game. And if you front-load a huge amount of customization, new players are less likely to care. Because they’re not invested in the character, they’re not invested in the world yet, so they don’t want to necessarily spend a whole lot of time figuring out just how long their nose is going to be. So we try to backload that customization a little bit more.

AusGamers: One thing I’ve noticed is that GDC has different themes and one thing I’m hearing a lot this year is the phrase “iterative design”. Is it relatively easy for you guys to think of an idea and try it out directly in the game?

J. Allen Brack: One of the things that comes up based on that, certainly most recently, is the Facebook-type games, where they have a lot of flexibility that we’re probably jealous of. They can peel off as many players they want, they could peel off two hundred players and have them play this different version of the game and measure the result and see what happens. And then say “ok, we’re going to change the game this way in order to roll it out to everyone” or “let’s change it again and get another sample of two hundred players”, or whatever. Which is really, really exciting. Tom and I really don’t have that luxury. We have a little bit of iteration we’re able to do on the PTR but players play so differently on the PTR that they do in the real game, so it’s really not the same level of thing. So we kind of have to make what we think is the best decision and then hope we’ve made the right decision.

Tom Chilton: Because there’s a certain amount of community pain associated with any change once a feature has gone live.

AusGamers: But do you find typically that your major changes are well received? That its an indicator you’re doing the right thing?

Tom Chilton: In the long term? Sure. I think if you were to look at the forums at any time a change is made it can be a little bit scary (laughs).

AusGamers: People don’t like change

J. Allen Brack: A big one was Paladin/Shaman for the Burning Crusade. Paladins given to the horde and the Shaman to the Alliance. There was a huge amount of outcry about that. There was a lot of drama about that but - clearly the right decision for the game.

Tom Chilton: Today you certainly don’t see anyone lingering still complaining about it.



AusGamers: Another question from our community is about the Gearscore mods. I did a little bit of research into that and there certainly seems to be a lot of people passionate about that as an issue and essentially the question to you guys is, are you aware of it and are you looking at blocking it?

Tom Chilton: Well, its one of those things players are almost inevitably going to do. I don’t think there is a way for us to prevent it from happening. Players will build mods and if the game demands it, they’ll find ways to use mods to measure each other.

What I would like to see is for us in the long run to do something to make it not needed, either because we did it better ourselves or just because the game mechanic doesn’t really pressure players into it. I think that in some ways Gearscore does actually do good things. There are times you are doing dungeons and some of them probably you wouldn’t want someone under-geared going through it. And while Gearscore definitely doesn’t measure the skill level of the player, it can measure the potential of that player. Even if that player is playing optimally, if their gear is really bad, they have limited potential.

So there are ups and downs, but in the long run we would like to see it not be a necessary mod, or at least have players not have the perception they really need it.

AusGamers: When you see things like that, does it sort of put you on edge a little bit? Does it affect you guys on a personal level when you see things like that as it seems to do the players?

Tom Chilton: I guess to some extent although we’re pretty good about being emotionally detached about things like that. And trying to look at it objectively and look at it from all angles to make sure we see through the issue.

J. Allen Brack: Yeah, it’s definitely not a “Why are the players doing that?” Things like that happen because the players are trying to solve a problem. So for us it’s “what is the problem they’re trying to solve and can we try and think of a better way to solve that problem?”

AusGamers: Cool. Which you’d have to think is the best way to approach the problem.

AusGamers: So two years ago, I watched a presentation by someone on the Starcraft 2 team and one of the key messages I got out of it was you guys designed the multiplayer first and then the single player followed. It’s not really a question for you guys given that WoW is exclusively a multiplayer game. But I’m curious to know, mostly because you’re the first Blizzard guys I’ve had a chance to sit down with for two years, so I’m curious to know what you guys thought of that philosophy in the context of other game companies and how they approach the same things? So my background is I’m a PC gamer and I’ve pretty much stopped playing single player games when Doom came out. All I’ve ever wanted to do is play against other people in FPS, so when I heard this speech I was blown away because I just thought - “Why doesn’t everybody make games like this?”

Tom Chilton: This is interesting; there are a lot of different ways to approach these things. At the same time you could look at Sid Mier and look at his games and for him that’s not the right approach. He builds his games from very much a single player experience standpoint and tries to make sure that’s the best possible thing that he can deliver and it’s just a different philosophical approach depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

For us, with Blizzard games, we know that all our games are going to have really substantial multiplayer components because as the group of gamers that we are, that’s really important to us. That’s the kind of guys we are and those are the games we like making so that’s our approach and our philosophy.

J. Allen Brack: I think it also depends greatly on the game you’re talking about too. In the case of Starcraft (Starcraft 1), you had a game that many people felt like was the best balanced RTS game ever made. The perfect RTS and so the focus was, and there was a lot of fear of ”how do we top that, how do we beat that?” on the team. So there’s also that focus as well, they know that that’s going to be as Tom was saying, it’s going to be a huge part of the game, a huge part of the community. That part has got to be Triple A ultimate badass awesome.

Tom Chilton: And we kind of felt like, as least as it could relate to Starcraft 2, we could make great single player experience given the multiplayer unit balance. That once the units were designed and balanced for multiplayer that we could still create great single player campaigns like that.

AusGamers: Was there ever any thought of making World of WarCraft more of a single player experience? Maybe more soloing, stuff like that?

Tom Chilton: I guess it’s just like you just said, we really factor in the solo experience quite a bit in that, a philosophy of ours that is any player should be able to level any character class from one to max level, solo. And we do things like have solo end game content with daily quests and things like that. So there is a certain amount of solo player adoption that we have. But not so much with the expectation that these players will never interact with anybody else under any circumstance. More that like there a lot of times you just want to play the game and circumstances aren’t right for you to group up with other people.



AusGamers: Upcoming changes. Another question from our users, what is on the cards for Cataclysm (if there’s anything you can talk about there?)

Tom Chilton: Sure, we have a substantial feature set - we are introducing two new character races for characters to play. We’re introducing five new levels for players to progress through and all the new zones that are associated with that. Entirely new land mass areas that we are creating for it. We’ve got the revamp of the level 1 to 60 experience that we are doing in Cataclysm to try and bring it up to the same quality level or similar quality level of the content we’ve done more recently. We also have, of course, new end game content with new battle grounds, new raids, all that kind of stuff.

J. Allen Brack: The guild achievements are also something we’ve been working on as well. It will be an extension of our current achievement system but it will allow guilds to get abilities and talents and special things to make them feel unique.

AusGamers: Will they actually affect the characters that belong to those guilds?

J. Allen Brack: Absolutely.

AusGamers: This will probably be a complete newb question but can players change guilds and will those achievements earned in the old guild carry over?

Tom Chilton: Well, the achievements are associated with the guild itself but any benefits the player gains - for example, if an achievement unlocks an ability for a players to create some new items for their crafters and you get one of those items, you will be still able to use that item if you do move to another guild. You certainly wouldn’t lose any character power by changing guilds.

AusGamers: Cool. One question that comes up all the time is for Australians, largely due to our geographical isolation.

J. Allen Brack: Yes. (nodding, knowing exactly what I am going to say next)

AusGamers: ... what’s the possibility of local servers?

J. Allen Brack: It is definitely something that comes up quite a bit, it’s something our Australian community is super-passionate about and they suffer greatly and so it is something we are definitely interested in doing. It’s just a question of timing, a question of hardware, a question of expenditure.

AusGamers: A big factor we have is the price of bandwidth. Is that like the one thing that is stopping it happening right now?

J. Allen Brack: It’s a combination of all things. It’s not a case of ‘if only we could figure out x’.

AusGamers: So it’s possible but don’t hold your breath.

J. Allen Brack: I would say it’s possible and that it’s something we talk about on a regular basis - and I will also say it’s something I have talked about this week. So it’s definitely just not a case of ‘yeah whatever’. It does get our attention and we do raise it up on a regular basis. If we can make it happen, we’ll make it happen.

AusGamers: Well that’s good news, that will make everybody happy. What we find now is a lot of players do now is set up proxy servers, I’m not 100% sure how they work technically but I think someone will set up a proxy server in the US that will actually shave a 100 ms off their ping. Do you guys know anything about that? How does that work for you guys on a technical perspective if everyone is coming through the one IP address, does that cause you any sort of technical problems.

J. Allen Brack: Not at the rate that those guys come through, because they’re playing the game legitimately.

AusGamers: There’s sort of an undercurrent that it might not be 100% approved by you guys.

J. Allen Brack: It’s definitely not 100% approved. It’s a weird thing where things are OK now, but tomorrow it might change and tomorrow things might tip over and now we have to say “please don’t do that”.

AusGamers: So the Lich King is wrapping up, if I understand correctly? Are there any status updates that players might not be aware of and need to be aware of coming up in the near future?

Tom Chilton: Well, we have a little bit more content coming up on the horizon. The place called the Ruby Sanctum, and that will contain another raid boss that the players will be able to fight. It’s part of Wyrmrest Temple, which is already an existing physical location in the world and we’re just opening up another area of it. So it’s a boss that players will be able to go in and fight in the near future.

There’s a little bit more content coming down the pipe before the expansion comes but other than that, players will pretty much wrap up the Lich King story line and players are seeing the conclusion of that every day now.

AusGamers: The only other question I have is there anything you guys have like any secret tricks or big problems you have like the size of your user base. I think the last count I saw was eleven and a half or twelve million users which obviously must present their own unique challenges when they’re all talking to you on the forums and reacting to different things

Tom Chilton: And other languages!

AusGamers: Is that a big challenge? Obviously there’s a lot of people playing in China, and other regions...

Tom Chilton: Obviously it makes it harder to get feedback from those regions but we do. We have community managers for all those different regions and the feedback has to get funnelled through them to get to us. It also makes it a little bit more difficult to communicate because we can’t communicate instantly to everyone. Anything we want to say to the entire audience we have to go through a translation process.

J. Allen Brack: There’s also a lot of feeling from different regions about “why does xyz region get whatever happens happen first?” So that’s kind of an interesting part to deal with as well. Everyone for whatever reason feels like they’re not the favourite region, and that they should be.

AusGamers: I assume you can guess how Australians feel about that...?

J. Allen Brack: They probably think like they are some sort of second class region.

AusGamers: That’s pretty much it - thanks for your time!



Latest Comments
greazy
Posted 04:32pm 07/4/10
Was it your aim to not mention what this mystical subject was so that we're forced to read the interview or did you assume everyone knew you were talking about local servers?

I thought you meant censorship.

Also it's interesting that he has pretty much alluded to banning of proxy servers by blizzard. If I remember correctly, people have been banned by blizzard on WoW for using proxy servers to get better ping. Really s***** of then to do imo.

last edited by greazy at 16:32:13 07/Apr/10
darkjedi
Posted 04:31pm 07/4/10
Er, when the thread title is "Blizzard: Australian World of Warcraft servers still possible" and the AG article is "GDC 2010: Blizzard Interview", how'd you come up with Internet censorship?
greazy
Posted 04:33pm 07/4/10
title on qgl read Blizzard: Australian World of Warcraft... (Source: AusGamers News). Never realised it's longer when you view the thread.
darkjedi
Posted 04:43pm 07/4/10
ah yeah, that makes sense.

Good interview too!
re so
Posted 05:26pm 07/4/10
AusGamers: I assume you can guess how Australians feel about that...?

Nice little snipe while wrapping things up trog :D
trog
Posted 05:46pm 07/4/10
Heh they were really cool about the whole Australian thing; it's obvious they know how everyone here feels and I really felt like they understand our pain and aren't just sitting back doing nothing about it.
re so
Posted 06:03pm 07/4/10
Have you had any discussions with them at all regarding deploying servers here?

I suppose getting some racks in a data centre would only be one of their worries? I'm not sure how they are set up really but I would imagine it'd require hiring and training staff to handle stuff out here? Or could sys admin guys do most of it remotely? Anyone? Bueller?
Beanith
Posted 06:23pm 07/4/10
Going by Robbo's post in the Heroes of Newerth Open Beta thread - http://www.ausgamers.com/forums/general/thread.php/2878405

We have received some initial prices on hosting boxes in Australia:

Our boxes on average use 4,000-5,000 GB of data transfer a month, we get these boxes for roughly $200 USD each in EU/USA

Provider 1: $1250 per month for hardware, $11,250.00 per month for bandwidth per box, box would support 110 concurrent users

Provider 2: $1100 per month for hardware, $22,500 per month for bandwidth per box, would support about 220 concurrent users.

We have also made inquiries at Internode and are awaiting a quote back from them (it was requested last week Tuesday).

So as you can see, the economics of hosting boxes in AU is just not there currently.


If it costs $20K a month to host a server that can support 200 users for HoN, I'd hate to think how much it would cost to run a Oceanic WoW server that supports (wildly guessing) a 1000-2000 users all pulling data let alone the 15 or so Oceanic WoW servers they have already.

There's spending money to make money and then there's just being plain retarded with money
mongie
Posted 06:23pm 07/4/10
I wonder how much rack space would be required for a WOW server?

Surely its not THAT expensive, and being that they could expect to host 20-30k people on one server, its not like they wouldn't make the money back.
Khel
Posted 07:04pm 07/4/10
I think if they did it though, they wouldn't be so much buying race space in a data center, as setting up their own data center. Cos even one WoW "server" would be a whole cluster of physical machines.
koopz
Posted 07:21pm 07/4/10
reso I think we need to make it more confusing... users are hacking at it or something
icewyrm
Posted 08:40pm 07/4/10
You'd be better off hosting off the island for an austrailan mmo - somewhere like singapore or the malaysia, not far away compared to the us or eu. Minimal impact on ping comparatively, and considerably lower cost than hosting in au.

last edited by icewyrm at 20:40:36 07/Apr/10
trog
Posted 09:06pm 07/4/10
TBH - there's basically no reason for them to do it other than silencing Australians that are complaining, and it's just not feasible cost-wise. The only way it would be worth doing is if a big GSP offered to host them for free as a value-add for their users. But we're talking a LOT of data centre space, a lot of bandwidth, power, etc - so I think the numbers just haven't made it worth it yet.
casa
Posted 09:18pm 07/4/10
I'll host it on my media pc no worries.

God surely an excel spreadsheet wouldn't consume that much data.
Raven
Posted 10:03pm 07/4/10
Would Australians pay extra for local servers?
What if they partnered with a major ISP - lets just say it was Internode. I'm assuming bandwith for Internodes own customers they could do at minimal cost. Others could be charged at a higher rate if they wanted to play on those servers.

Yes, no...?
Mantorok
Posted 10:15pm 07/4/10
title on qgl read Blizzard: Australian World of Warcraft... (Source: AusGamers News). Never realised it's longer when you view the thread.
Did you try hovering over the link?
gamer
Posted 10:49pm 07/4/10
Would you people please stop f****g saying all this bulls*** about how Australia is too economically f***ed in terms of bandwidth and hosting charges?

The way business covers INTERNATIONAL OPERATION is by factoring in those places where they can do business cheaply SUCH AS AMERICA and those places where parts of business cost more say due to tax... or in this case BANDWIDTH COSTS IN AUSTRALIA and they BALANCE OUT.

They have the f*****g cashflow to do it when you factor in the OVERALL business model. If you sit there and look at the reasons and costs just for Australia of course its going to make f*** all sense.

Look at the big picture / entire business model and also understand that not just Australians but the entire f*****g Oceania region would be positively effected by the roll out, not to mention the countless Australia ISPs (and gaming providers like game arena) that would give them s*** at cost price to just to make it happen.


Stop making excuse for them. They are a f****g giant. If they wanted Australian servers, they could make it happen. The last reason that it's not happening is MONEY. Money is one thing that have F***TONNES of.

Christ...
trog
Posted 10:51pm 07/4/10
Stop making excuse for them. They are a f****g giant. If they wanted Australian servers, they could make it happen. The last reason that it's not happening is MONEY. Money is one thing that have F***TONNES of.
so what? microsoft could outfit every one of their offices with gold toilets, but it'd be dumb to do so just because they have the money.

It makes zero sense for them to do it - it's not like Australian WoW players are shedding their subscriptions because of performance issues.
Jim
Posted 11:09pm 07/4/10
lol gamer
you're saying they should enter into a bad investment just because their existing investment is able to cover the bad one


If you sit there and look at the reasons and costs just for Australia of course its going to make f*** all sense.
and that's _exactly_ how you need to look at things
Maccas
Posted 11:24pm 07/4/10
I wish I lived in your world gamer. Where corporations do things that don't make financial sense, purely out of the goodness of their hearts.
Eorl
Posted 11:25pm 07/4/10
Having money doesn't mean they will do it. Sure, I'd love an actual oceanic based server, but im not crying over my 400 ms. I don't even pve, so its all good for me, and pve is responsive as always.
skythra
Posted 12:32am 08/4/10
I would say its possible and that its something we talk about on a regular basis - and I will also say its something I have talked about this week. So its definitely just not a case of yeah whatever. It does get our attention and we do raise it up on a regular basis. If we can make it happen, well make it happen.
Thats the least affirmative response you get from blizzard. They stopped saying "No" to things when they introduced the idea of expansions after saying "No paid expansions, covered in your monthly subscription" in really early beta.

Also hilarious response gamer, sadly someone owns these companies. If i was the sole owner of blizzard activision, and some manager said "We wasted a bunch of money making some aussies happy" I'd be asking them to leave my company.
gamer
Posted 11:27am 08/4/10
Look at you all saying 'it makes no sence'. It makes PERFECT sence.

It's about providing the best service to their customers.

At the moment they have a problem. Lag, international internet problems f*** with providing a good service to their customers.

I've already highlighted that they have the resources availiable to provide the same level of service they already give to their UK, US and ASIAN customers as they could to us. Yet they dont.

All of you sitting there saying 'ohhhh but they have nooo reeeaaasssoonnn too' are full of s***. They have every reason to expand their service level to the same high standards they already provide to most of their customers to their neiche/tertiary customers PROVIDING THEIR BUSINESS MODEL SUPPORTS IT --- WHICH !!!! IT!!!! DOES!!!!

This whole attitude of 'it makes no sence because it doesnt make them more money' is absolute bulls*** and it pains me to hear it come from your mouth Trog, since your the one that gets to chat with these f*****s. They need to realise that we love their game but they are losing us (ME) because we cant compete at the top teir of contect like the other f****g users can. Anyone who has tried to reach 2000+ in arena will completly understand what im talking about here and anyone that had their raids effected by massive INTERNET lag (not talking about server lag) will also be able to relate.
gamer
Posted 11:30am 08/4/10
So pissed off... so i'll ad one more comparison to hopefully help my argument...

It's like internode saying 'well there is no point putting in more adsl2 dslams where we already have maxed out ADSL1 dslams ... because we already have maxed out customers on our adsl1 hardware exchanges'

They up their SERVICE and PRODUCT provisioning to their customers because their total business plan can support it and it provides a better SERVICE LEVEL.

Azaria
Posted 11:36am 08/4/10
I reckon you have ragequit a few games in your time gamer.
trog
Posted 11:42am 08/4/10
It's about providing the best service to their customers.
No it isn't. It's about spending untold millions of dollars to provide a slightly improved experience to what customers are already getting, when it's crystal clear that customers are basically happy with the service they're getting provided. Because if they weren't they'd be unsubscribing in droves.

If you're happy enough to keep paying like every single WoW player I know is (even though that aren't actively playing the game, wtf) then I don't think this is something that we can b**** about. If every Australian WoW player unsubscribed en masse, you'd have a case.
This whole attitude of 'it makes no sence because it doesnt make them more money' is absolute bulls*** and it pains me to hear it come from your mouth Trog, since your the one that gets to chat with these f*****s. They need to realise that we love their game but they are losing us (ME) because we cant compete at the top teir of contect like the other f****g users can.
I cannot in good conscience get in their face about not having local servers, because I honestly believe it doesn't make a difference. It's different with FPS gamers ; I am always up in FPS developers s*** saying "why the f*** don't you guys have dedicated servers already" and have been for as long as I can remember - because with an FPS game, local servers are necessary or the game is basically unplayable.

Until all my WoW buddies come to me saying "well, s***, I had to stop playing WoW because it became unplayable" then I'll continue to pass on concerns that people would like local servers, but I'm not going to stand up and start shouting about it because frankly I think it'd make me look like a d***.
gamer
Posted 11:42am 08/4/10
Wow comes pretty damn close to RA3 and Natural Selection in terms of 'greateste gaming experiences and furfillment/joy of all time' when i recall the efforts I put in to gain gladiator title (and reach the top 100 in arena) and the many many months i put away to try and push this only to have to eventually (despite trying deny this was the cause) give in to the simple fact - despite paying an extra $25 for the best premium 'lowping' service availiable at the time - that I would never reach a higher level then I was at due to latency and nothing else.

RNG I can handle. Latency, I cant do anything about. So yes, i feel pretty damn passionatly about this. I have the experience and history, especially with wow to comment on this.
darkjedi
Posted 11:56am 08/4/10
That's interesting gamer.. Explain to me then how many AU/NZ based Arena teams manage to hit the top 1-2% if you claim we're effectively screwed because of location? "poor workman" "blaming tools" etc. There's a decent number of people who actually get the Gladiator titles in this region, we've got several guilds who are close to the forefront of progression and have been over the 5 years the game has been available.

I guess what I'm trying to say gamer is that I'm really not buying your argument.
Jim
Posted 12:07pm 08/4/10
Look at you all saying 'it makes no sence'. It makes PERFECT sence.
nope
saying it's so doesn't make it so


It's like internode saying 'well there is no point putting in more adsl2 dslams where we already have maxed out ADSL1 dslams ... because we already have maxed out customers on our adsl1 hardware exchanges'
nope, it's like internode saying "we should put broadband infrastructure at mt dare because the 3 people there only have dialup - it would cost us 2.5 million dollars, but we made 135 million dollars profit across all of our operations, therefore it makes sense"
Scooter
Posted 12:11pm 08/4/10
Mt Dare might have 3 people, but they would only have 1 computer, and no-one would know how to use it :p
greazy
Posted 12:13pm 08/4/10
pretty much jims analogy is spot on.

and do I hate incorrect analogies.
Jim
Posted 12:15pm 08/4/10
Mt Dare might have 3 people, but they would only have 1 computer, and no-one would know how to use it :p

it would've been funny if we'd rocked up and found the dude browsing porn online ;)
Hogfather
Posted 12:15pm 08/4/10
iit gamer is wrong

Who'd a thunk it? Its like facepalm and thermite had a lovechild.
trog
Posted 12:22pm 08/4/10
nope, it's like internode saying "we should put broadband infrastructure at mt dare because the 3 people there only have dialup - it would cost us 2.5 million dollars, but we made 135 million dollars profit across all of our operations, therefore it makes sense"
wait a minute

if that's stupid then what does that make the NBN
Dazhel
Posted 12:38pm 08/4/10
^ a pork barrel?

lol @ "I would say its possible and that its something we talk about on a regular basis"

It's like some junkies asking their crack dealer to cut them a little slack, c'mon you know we're good for it.
Jim
Posted 12:42pm 08/4/10
if that's stupid then what does that make the NBN
the way of the future

..speaking of incorrect analogies
gamer
Posted 12:59pm 08/4/10
Explain to me then how many AU/NZ based Arena teams manage to hit the top 1-2%


Provide stats of the total number of AU/NZ players trying for gladiator status and stats of those that actually got it otherwise sit the f*** down.


a slightly improved experience to what customers are already getting, when it's crystal clear that customers are basically happy with the service they're getting provided. Because if they weren't they'd be unsubscribing in droves.


When you hold a f*****g monopoly on a game engine and the best mmo availiable at the moment your casual users (thats who your talking about here) obviously arnt going to f****g un-sunscribe.

That DOESNT MEAN you shouldnt seek to provide the best service to all your customers.

I honestly believe it doesn't make a difference. It's different with FPS gamers


No. It's not. It's exactly the f*****g same and saying that just shows your ignorance and perhaps lack of experience with the wow engine and this matter in general and perhaps in games outside fps gaming.

Put 4 years into wow at the higher brackets of pve and pvp progression and then come back and try and say that. Alot of the game has been redisgned to help - which is why darkjedi's post means f*** all. For example there used to be a time where you had to wait for your 'global cooldown' before you could hit your interup. Now you can interupt at any time, despite global cooldown being up.

Despite those changes you'll always be at a significant disadvantage for numerous reasons that are obvious.

Anyone who has competed in DOTA tournies over the internet then gone and to lan for the finals will tell you playing over those two mediums in a game that are measured in SECONDS not tens of seconds is VERY different.

nope
saying it's so doesn't make it so


How unusual, jim being a f***witt and contributing nothing but dumbs*** comments

nope, it's like internode saying "we should put broadband infrastructure at mt dare because the 3 people there only have dialup - it would cost us 2.5 million dollars, but we made 135 million dollars profit across all of our operations, therefore it makes sense"


No it's not. Your trying to dilute my analogy by stretching it to extremes so it becomes something of ridicule. As f*****g usual.

Who'd a thunk it? Its like facepalm and thermite had a lovechild.


You know the easy thing for me to do is to shut the f*** up and not share my opinion. It's certianly easier then havinb to put up with all the f****g gays that enhabit these threads between the 'chunky' decent stuff.

I'm not going to do that though because thats what these threads are all about. The sheer fact there is 1 vs a bazzilion of people in this thread just goes to show you have the typical f***witts with no experience in what they are talking about trying to counter argue something.

I respect those that get on here and have their opinions but not when they are just headhunting for 'gamer' posts to counter argue against. Like Jim in his inifinate immaturity does serially.

if that's stupid then what does that make the NBN


Exactly. When looking at a service model you dont pick those customers that cost the most and say 'we'll cut them from service' - unless your a f****g insurance company I suppose.

Most companys would look at those customers that are effected and choose to put the most time into them.

Blizzard has made small design changes to things such as

- timezone (so its night/day at proper times) - for 'oceana' servers
- very minute combat system changes (with no wonder - when they expected people to interupt 100% of the time on 2second time windows 15-30 times during the course of some boss fights in TBC)
- the store now ships to australia (took them a year but they can finally now ship us a keychain authenticator which costs $15au but postage is still $60 .. gg)

and I give them credit for those changes however when you start talking about a centralised server model like blizzard has and then start talking about e-sports and work pve progression rankings and then start saying that customers have equal oppertunity despite their location just isnt true
Rukh
Posted 01:05pm 08/4/10
I'd love actual Oceanic servers, but if those quoted prices for HoN servers are translatable to WoW, there's ZERO chance if I was in charge of deciding whether to do it or not would I authorize it.

It's not even close to being feasible at those prices.

BTW, even with our high ping Oceanic players can still perform pretty well.
The guild Adept got the US 1st, World 4th kill of 10man Heroic LK. Yes, they basically poop-sock their way to it, but they're obviously good enough to balance out their higher pings.
gamer
Posted 01:32pm 08/4/10
I'm willing to bet most people in this thread couldnt name 3 f*****g things that latency like ours in Australia put us as at destinct disadvantage because of.

Here is my list...


1. Melee classes maintaining a perfect position ontop (or behind/aside) of a target and yet you receive the 'target no in range' error when attempting to hit them. The same goes for ranged classes that keep a good 10 yards from a melee target just to be hit by them.

2. Interupts. A hasted 1 second spell such as a flash of light had just under a second a normal 300-500ms latency to a US server would mean we've already lost near 50% of the cast time to interupt this spell. With spells becoming faster and haste effect being stacked these days, fast cast spells are becoming a healers bread and butter in wow.

3. Fighting the server. When you tell a spell or ability to cast it sends a signal to start that spell to the server, this signal then is either denied to allowed by the server. This is part of what helps wow seam so 'smooth' during gameplay. The problem with this is the below

below is a 1 second spell being cast by a LPB

|-|

below is what a aus HPB person sees as the spell being cast

_|-|

where _ is the delay in latency between aus HPB and server. So the spell is casting at 0ms on the server and finished at 1000ms. An aus pseron sees that spell being cast at 500ms (500ms latency) and then finishing at say 1500ms). This of course attempts to make the experience 'relative' for the HPB comapred to the LPB and does a decent job however a 'clash' exists in various sitations where the server says something is 'denied' when it really isnt (evident when trying to interupt a quick spell, despite getting the interupt off, but the spell isnt interupted).

This is more obvious when you are a caster and you want to chain cast spells (to maximise your dps)

this is a 2sec fireball for example

|--|

this is what happens for australians

.|--|.|--|

500ms delay where client tells server i want to cast ... 2 second spell cast on server ... 500ms delay of client telling server i want to cast etc.

This ends up costing 1 'fireball' every 4 casts. (crude example). this was addressed by attempting to allow the client to send 'i want to start fireball now' messages to the server every press... despite the global cooldown.

So quite often youll see casters having to use 'stop casting' macros to 'cancel' their cast and cast another fireball when their fireball is only 1.5seconds through casting in order to correctly 'chain' fireball casts in order.

(tryin to explain this to non wow players or experienced pve'ers is f*****g hard but ill try - sigh)





I played wow while in America and it's amazing how different movement and overall combat is in both a pve and pvp setting because of this obvious problem. Various things we're brough into the game to try and handle this such as 'snares' but do very little when you cant actually touch the target to snare it. The amount of spamming you need to do in australia to 'battle' with the server in order to reduce the effects of being a HPB is beyond a joke.
Rukh
Posted 02:05pm 08/4/10
Of course Australians are at a disadvantage.

I have a shockingly high amount of /played time (around 570 days on my Priest), and we're 10/12 in Heroic 25man ICC. I'm also one of the developers of SimulationCraft so I have a pretty good understanding of mechanics including latency.

Yes, it's annoying, but at the same time it's still possible to perform well enough to have an enjoyable experience on the whole and to accomplish the tasks set out for you.

And it still makes NO sense at all from a financial point of view for Blizzard or Activision or Vivendi to have Oceanic servers if those prices quotes earlier for HoN servers are applicable to WoW.

p.s. I also play a Shadow Priest. i.e. I have DoTs and my main nuke is a short duration channeled spell. Trust me, I know what latency is like...
Jim
Posted 02:21pm 08/4/10
gamer, you're a complete tard
you come in frothing and foaming at the mouth and when people provide arguments against what you're saying you just froth even harder and lamely gloss over their comments claiming they are contributing nothing. for example you silently discount posts where I've replied with nothing but cordiality and helpfulness, and then cry when I say something in this thread that you don't like, and then claim that's all I ever do. what a crock

several of the things you've said in this thread are easily argued against such as reasonable business practices and whether hit-scan fps games are more affected by latency than auto-target mmo games, yet your response is just 'look at all the people arguing against me, you are all idiots'

if you don't like people pointing out the flaws in your comments, cop it sweet
Khel
Posted 02:29pm 08/4/10
Ok, I'll adopt gamer's wall of quotes strategy for my reply, since I am bored.

1. Melee classes maintaining a perfect position ontop (or behind/aside) of a target and yet you receive the 'target no in range' error when attempting to hit them. The same goes for ranged classes that keep a good 10 yards from a melee target just to be hit by them.


Hasn't happened to me once in the past 6 months since I've been playing again, on my priest or on my paladin. Maybe you just need a better net connection?

2. Interupts. A hasted 1 second spell such as a flash of light had just under a second a normal 300-500ms latency to a US server would mean we've already lost near 50% of the cast time to interupt this spell.


Sounds like a fool's errand even trying to sit there and interupt that. Why not try silencing the healer, stunning the healer, cc'ing the healer. All much better alternatives to sitting around crying about how you can't interupt a super fast hasted flash heal. I don't really do arena so I find it hard to care, but surely you'd just adapt to your situation instead of constantly trying the same thing that doesn't work, and the raging about it.

3. Fighting the server. When you tell a spell or ability to cast it sends a signal to start that spell to the server, this signal then is either denied to allowed by the server. This is part of what helps wow seam so 'smooth' during gameplay.


Well I was going to reply to this, but it seems you already found the solution by yourself.

So quite often youll see casters having to use 'stop casting' macros to 'cancel' their cast and cast another fireball when their fireball is only 1.5seconds through casting in order to correctly 'chain' fireball casts in order.


There you go, problem solved! And how much cheaper was that then setting up Australian servers! Even better, install something like Quartz and it'll divvy up your cast bar to show you the latency, so you know exactly when your spell is actually finished casting and you can move/re-cast/whatever.

Sure, Australian servers would be nice, but I really couldn't care that much if we never get them. The game is still perfectly playable, and its easy enough to adapt to any small problems the lag creates.
pARODY
Posted 02:45pm 08/4/10
Part of deploying a proprietary server like the battle.net and wow servers is securing the platform from the outside but also securing it from the inside. Having passwords is not the only method they use. Blizzard would want Tier1 level security on the facility to restrict who has physical access to hardware and networking equipment, which would cost heavily for security guards and surveillance systems.

It's not as simple as building some servers and hooking them up to the local network. Blizzcon is 2 days. They spend 2 weeks prior setting up 1 local server for the LAN play, and that server is a realm relay which just pipes the users into the Blizzard alpha PTR. Given that Blackrock-US is approximately 20 servers all up. To replicate realms to a colocation here would overtake their capacity for racks and power very quickly. I would stab at an easy $20 million for Blizzard to do what they need to do here properly. Being that Blizzard would overwhelm any colo in Australia, I would see them either partnering up with a large ISP like Internode or iiNet or possibly Telstra or building their own facility here which removes any chances of some insider attack from another customer colocated host. Each layer of complexity would cost more and more plus will require maintenance fees which could build up to negate the profit coming from the Australian player base.

Gamer: It would be cheaper for them to move you to the US so you can shut the f*** up about latency.
re so
Posted 03:02pm 08/4/10
That is more of an answer I was looking for. Cheers pARODY.

One other thing. Anyone know how many people per server til they say it's "full"? Could all the aussies play on 1 realm or would they need a few?
Methz
Posted 04:16pm 08/4/10
I dunno where you got the whole "60 bucks postage for an authenticator" idea either.
I bought 2 of them a good year ago now (yes they shipped to Aus) and it cost no more than 25-30 dollars (including postage)
pARODY
Posted 04:20pm 08/4/10
When the authenticators first came out it was $60P&H for a single authenticator. I'm guessing they've sorted the delivery charges to something a bit more reasonable.

I have an unused Authenticator if anyone wants one. I got one but used my iphone instead.
dezbot
Posted 04:30pm 08/4/10
One thing I'm confused about is how easily (seemingly) Mythic managed to pull off Oceanic servers at the launch of Warhammer Online, while it's still a battle for Blizzard?

It was nice having a ping of 20ms while playing Warhammer Online. Unfortunately the game wasn't very good.
pARODY
Posted 04:41pm 08/4/10
Good question.. I'm not sure how the WAR servers were built or hosted. I think once the game didn't do as well as it hoped that they merged many of the servers and cut their losses.
eXemplar
Posted 05:07pm 08/4/10
and we're 10/12 in Heroic 25man ICC

What guild are you in?

EDIT: omg priest info

last edited by eXemplar at 17:07:43 08/Apr/10
Rukh
Posted 05:41pm 08/4/10
eXemplar: I'm Delmortis from Ascension on Jubei'Thos. Used to be Althor from the Spinebreaker server. (Yes, that trinket was named after me).
greazy
Posted 05:43pm 08/4/10
One thing I'm confused about is how easily (seemingly) Mythic managed to pull off Oceanic servers at the launch of Warhammer Online, while it's still a battle for Blizzard?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but mythic hand "oceanic" servers only by name. They were actually located in America or wherever.

It's not a battle for blizzard, it's a battle for wow players. If they wanted, they snap their necks and magically have servers up and running in an instant. But I'm pretty sure as everyone else has pointed out, they don't want to.
mongie
Posted 05:57pm 08/4/10
I wonder what the server, data and power requirements for a wow realm would be?
Mantra
Posted 09:42pm 08/4/10
Yes, that trinket was named after me
Your kidding?!
Rukh
Posted 09:55pm 08/4/10
Mantra: nope. I've done a fair bit of Priest (mostly Shadow) theorycrafting and I'm one of the developers of SimulationCraft (thus Abacus).

A bunch of ICC items were named after various theorycrafters.
Mantra
Posted 10:01pm 08/4/10
Daym! You've come up in the world since OO and From the Ashes :)

Hey Gamer, Rohk wins, he's got a trinket named after him :P

Also, I'm sure Ruhk entirely forgets we were in the same guild...
Rukh
Posted 10:05pm 08/4/10
I remember Mantra :P

And my QGL/FPS shooter game name is Rukh ;P

I go by Delmortis or Althor in WoW though.
Rukh
Posted 10:05pm 08/4/10
Doesn't Flumps play on Jubei'Thos now too?
Thundercracker
Posted 10:09pm 08/4/10
I got sick of using the blue trackers because they are generally filled with useless moderation posts, so I created my own RSS feed that grabs all the sticky posts from the Cataclysm forum and puts them into an RSS feed for me. Nice and cut down with just the info I want.

linkies

Yahoo pipes can do some interesting stuff.
Mantra
Posted 10:16pm 08/4/10
I don't play anymore... I got bored.

Now I play eve... I'm much better at spreadsheet simulators ;)
Vash
Posted 10:59pm 08/4/10
While its true FPSes rely on latency much more than an MMO, for many in WoW are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to timing their combinations in both PVP and raids over an American player.

Also, i have to question why our bandwidth costs are so high?
If Origin could put up an Oceanic Ultima Online server a decade ago, when bandwidth costs were at their highest, then why cant Blizzard put up any?
Maybe they are looking for bandwidth in the wrong places.
Khel
Posted 11:10pm 08/4/10
Wow, you're delmortis, I used to play on jubei but I never knew that was you.

Since I started back though I've been on dath'remar. I went care bear, couldn't stomach the thought of levelling another character up from 1 to 80 on a pvp server, just way too frustrating.
Khel
Posted 11:12pm 08/4/10
If Origin could put up an Oceanic Ultima Online server a decade ago, when bandwidth costs were at their highest, then why cant Blizzard put up any?


I'd imagine the requirements (bandwidth and hardware) for a UO server back in the day would have been far, far, far, far, far less than for WoW now.
Gloth
Posted 01:50am 28/4/10
Thankyou for the this interview, As an avide wow player for many years I feel i need to at least voice my feelings on this topic.

The passion and sentiments put forward by gamer .. while being perhaps somewhat brash and abrassive .. ARE PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY HOW I FEEL AS WELL.

it seems to me that the majority of you who have commented on what he has said either a) don't play wow, and as such don't matter. b) do play wow but not a great deal of the more intense end of the game ie. arena, progression or c) are the kind of person happy to just take whats given.

countless are the times I have dreamed of being able to play wow with low latency .. I've never played with anything under about 370ish minimum .. and usually more like 450.

I main a warrior who is a melee class, positional latency as i call it .. is my bane .. the game is an inherintly mobile game .. for pvp I need to be within range of my target in order to hit it, or use the majority of my abilities. Latency is a direct modifier to the difficulty of this. I am not inclined to go any further into the detail of how this effects me simply because its complicated, suffice to say, combating positional latency requires an extreme amount of concentration in the form of prediction.

I feel that comparing wow to fps games is stupid .. they are not the same .. imo fps is pure twitch and spacial awareness and so i can see how those who play them mostly, consider wow to be requiring far less in terms of quality ping. I don't agree with this, but i'm not going to try to explain why .. its pointless .. i think that gamer has attempted to do this and its fallen on deaf ears.

In the last 5 years I think its been .. that i have been playing .. I've given blizzard more than $1000 of my money and while I have def gotten my moneys worth in time played, I feel that this is a substancial amount of money .. and that perhaps considering the amount in comparison to .. any other game .. we might be talking about an undertaking or investment that is surpassing .. any other game

I don't care about how viable it is for blizz to set up an aus server .. I just want them to do it .. simple.

I've been saying it for years .. I would be more than happy to pay extra for it.
Strik3r
Posted 11:15am 28/4/10
i'll start out by saying 'Yes, i completely understand why Blizzard aren't hosting servers in aus' and I don't expect them to given the massive costs compared to their current hosting solutions.

But gamer is correct - in high end arena, ping makes a big difference, and anyone who is saying that the ping doesn't make a difference for an MMO is wrong and is simply not playing the game at a level that you would notice.

Playing a feral druid, I have to be behind the target to shred. Now i use the Internode WoW gateway so my ping is ~250-300ms which isn't bad, but there are still times i get the "you must be behind your target" when im dead on their back. Another time you really notice the lag is when using feral charge. You end up yards away from the target instead of dead on their back. And I notice the improvement when going from no gateway to gateway'd wow, but its still not perfect.

My brother (who got Rank 1 (RGlad) in 5's last season) said he was about at the skill cap for his class on his ping. On a tougher battlegroup he wouldn't have been able to win it purely due to some of the reasons gamer listed. 500ms is an exaggeration, but even using tunnels 250ms seems to be about as low as it can go, and that is enough to make a difference. The reaction times you require in FPS games are only a few ms faster than what you require in top end pvp.

But as others have mentioned, Australians are obviously happy to continue to pay their subscription to play on US based servers, so why would they change it ?
Strik3r
Posted 11:21am 28/4/10
I go by Delmortis or Althor in WoW though.


oh hey I raided with you last night (pug 25 TOC that fell apart on Anub due to leaving emo's). I'm Aeioula (NE druid).

last edited by Strik3r at 11:21:35 28/Apr/10
CaPt0
Posted 12:41pm 29/4/10
but even using tunnels 250ms seems to be about as low as it can go


I use telstra dsl 2 here in Brisbane with a lower ping subscription and I sit on about 180-190ms at all times including in 25 man raids.

Without LP i sit on about 250ms with the TCPAckFrequency registry change.

I am completely happy paying the extra $8 a month to LP to play Warcraft at a lower latency it does make a difference.

I would also be happy to pay the extra 48 a month to Blizzard to put a server out here in Australia. But I see it as a pretty simple business decision for them. Income > costs. Until it is financially viable for them to put a server here I would suggest enjoying the other benefits to living in Australia like enjoying our golden polution free beaches, sunshine, democracy and lack of R18+ game classfication(had to say it).

If you want to play Warcraft with a 50ms connection i suggest you move to the USA and buy yourself a gun to keep safe over there.
gamer
Posted 03:18pm 29/4/10
I just want to chuck out a big "THANK YOU" for those people who stepped forward and showed your support of what I was trying to get across. I don't always have the right attitude/words to do so, but you guys sure do.

(Esp thanks to Gloth who registered an account just to say his bit/support my comments)



last edited by gamer at 15:18:37 29/Apr/10
Lynx
Posted 05:12pm 29/4/10
Christ I still play on blackrock...
Would switch to a oceanic realm, but I don't want to pay (what was it?) ~$30 per character to transfer.
gamer
Posted 05:33pm 29/4/10
Frostmourne - Tsunami here
Khel
Posted 05:47pm 29/4/10
I don't think anyone ever said WoW servers hosted locally wouldn't be a good thing. I'm sure everyone who plays WoW in Australia would love the lower pings, but no matter how much it would help you in Arena or how much it would improve your game, its still not going to happen if its not a good business move for Blizzard. End of the day, they're a business, they're not going to, out of the kindness of their heart, throw hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars into setting up the infrastructure needed to host servers locally here. If all the Australian WoW players suddenly stopped playing WoW and refused to play till we had local servers, maybe it would then become a good business move to put servers here, but thats not going to happen, so they really have no reason to do it.

You can argue with all the passion you want, but business is business.
gamer
Posted 06:54pm 29/4/10
Quotes by Khel
I don't think anyone ever said WoW servers hosted locally wouldn't be a good thing.

but I really couldn't care that much if we never get them. The game is still perfectly playable, and its easy enough to adapt to any small problems the lag creates.


Riiighhtt...

The main point is we need people who are going to interview wow devs etc to have a f*****g clue and be fighting the fight to at least try.

I think the wow players among us understand just the same if not more (due to their years of devotion) about how insurmountable the odds are that we'll get any services presented to Australia.

That's no reason not to try and to ask the hard questions during interviews when your meant to represent us.



last edited by gamer at 18:54:03 29/Apr/10
Khel
Posted 07:05pm 29/4/10
Yeah, I don't really care that much if we get them, I'm happy to keep playing the game the way it is, but its not like I'd stand in the way of them or actively rally against getting them, of course it would be better to have local servers. I just don't see it as an issue that makes or breaks my experience with the game. And since theres realistically jack all chance of getting them, I figure its easier to just adapt to how things are.

I'm not anti-local server or anything. Would it be better? Absolutely. Do I need them to play the game? No, not really. Thats just me personally though, I'm not speaking for every WoW player in Australia, people who want to top the rankings in Arena and stuff are probably in a different boat, but once again thats such a tiny percentage of people that even if they quit playing WoW altogether, it'd be like a drop or water in the ocean for Blizzard,it would have no noticeable impact at all. So they're not going to spend the money setting up servers to cater for those people.
Strik3r
Posted 08:34pm 29/4/10
^^ QFT.. but i couldn't be bothered quoting so... this is awkward.

Jim
Posted 08:52pm 29/4/10
I like US servers, kicking the asses of a small minority locally over and over isn't much of a challenge, I'd rather play with/against the guilds I've played other games with in the past, lag or no lag
GumbyNoTalent
Posted 09:17am 30/4/10
1. Players in the US... 100,000s if not Millions.
2. Players in Australia 100,000 if your lucky.
3. Bandwidth, hosting, salaries etc etc no cost benefit if anything more expensive. Yes we have Oceanic and Latin America servers but they are hosted with the US based servers for economy of scale.
4. If your that upset vote with your feet and leave the game, if WoW population dropped significantly that they had to start shutting down servers instead of adding them they they would start to listen.

No one is saying that it wouldn't be nice to have < 100ms pings but the reality is it will never happen in the short term. Hell some of the Americans that I play with have 200ms+ pings because they have s***** internet just like we do here.
DM
Posted 01:51am 28/6/10
WoW is past it's prime IMO and since aussie servers have never happened so far, I doubt they ever will. Just use lowerping or something like that and curse telstra for being f*****s.
typo
Posted 02:30am 28/6/10
The main point is we need people who are going to interview wow devs etc to have a f*****g clue and be fighting the fight to at least try.


It's not that Blizzard is filled with clueless noobs who don't understand how wonderful it would be for you to get 60ms pings to their server. They've done the maths and have realised that it simply isn't cost effective to put a server here.

I think the wow players among us understand just the same if not more (due to their years of devotion) about how insurmountable the odds are that we'll get any services presented to Australia.


Devotion? Hah! Take your feelings of entitlement and f*** yourself to death with them. Do you b**** and moan about your devotion to Coles, Westfield or Today Tonight?

---

There's one very simple reason that Australia doesn't generally get directly provisioned for MMO servers. As a potential market we're basically non-existent in the grand scheme of things, and the people who greatly suffer from it are a tiny percentage of that.
sleepy
Posted 02:32am 28/6/10
wow this is awesome. never played the game but i think my double spelled paladin special troll would beat your checkmate queen/rook hook any day.

from an outsiders point of view the analogies of basic business strategy seems to override any jedi fat kid temper rants.

i see your schwartz is as big as mine!!!
casa
Posted 09:01am 28/6/10
Play a rogue in arenas and tell me your not at a disadvantage to Americans :)
Raider
Posted 12:28pm 28/6/10
i can deal without Australian servers if they let us have proxies, the moment they ban proxies you're going to see a massive decline in aus subs
gamer
Posted 01:01pm 28/6/10
The main point should be raider, we shouldnt have to pay for a second service (proxy) just to play the game with a minimum acceptable latency (<250ms).
jake041
Posted 08:40pm 27/7/10
I'm late on this thread here but I agree with gamer 100%. I played WoW since the beginning but a source of constant frustration was positional issues in PvP playing my rogue. They changed Mutilate to accomodate this but constantly being out of range when you're right on your opponent's ass (on your screen at least) is the most frustrating thing!

Even as a Mage in the Battlegrounds, watching my Pyros apparently hit targets first only to see some Yank getting all the killing blows was fricking annoying!

I loved the game and can only imagine how amazing it must be to play it with a true 6ms ping - especially in PvP.

Maybe it doesn't make financial sense to put servers in Aus, but what about putting some in Singapore and tapping into the South-East Asian market as well? Maybe that would be win/win for Australians, Kiwis, Indonesians, Malayasians etc.?

And gamer - mate I know EXACTLY what you mean. I felt the same way but it's impossible to get this through to the casual style of player.
taggs
Posted 09:09pm 27/7/10
The main point should be raider, we shouldnt have to pay for a second service (proxy) just to play the game with a minimum acceptable latency (<250ms).


what gives you this undeserved sense of entitlement to the point where you expect a profit seeking company to commit to a hugely cost-ineffective capital investment just so you can have a marginally improved user experience?

also, how lol would it be if gamer was being his own wingman itt.
Lynx
Posted 09:11pm 27/7/10
What bothers me is that Blizz haven't introduced some of features, these lower ping services include.
I hear most of them get their speed increases from disabling packet caching and routing traffic through more direct and bandwidth heavy paths.
Problmatique
Posted 03:44am 26/10/10
Well, I agree with gamer, he should be cut some slack. I can tell he is a dedicated wow gamer and has had a lot of wow experience.

Theoretically - When you begin to insinuate a situation where a gamer who has spent roughly 3 years of wow playing, adding the fact that an addicted wow player would on average spend 50% of their lives playing wow and every night your pvping and arenaing and you die and you know the reason you've died is not so much skill vs skill but higher latency vs lower latency, over time this frustration will build up and each day you keep hoping that things will change and then your hope is squashed because Blizzard doesn't think its economically the best business choice to make.

F*** that f*** them, but you can't really blame them.

I Do not think anyone has mentioned the new proposed plans Telstra has made that could fix everyones problems. They are building fiber optic cables under the sea directly from Aus - US....10x faster or something. thats 450ms to about 150ms

But its an 8 year project. So the gamers today will probably have a family then and don't need to escape reality.
Raven
Posted 07:35am 26/10/10
You guys might forget that although businesses here factor in the costs of local hosting in to their budgets, on the scale of equipment Blizzard want leased it becomes out of the realm of being competitive compared to what they've grown used to paying back home.

Remember, American companies are greedy :p
fpot
Posted 07:36am 26/10/10
gamer = hunter
Jim
Posted 07:40am 26/10/10
whinging b**** nubs who think they're pvp veterans and blame their loss on latency, flock together
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