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Post by trog @ 03:54pm 12/05/08 | 28 Comments
One thing AusGamers has always been renowned for is being a fast, local mirror for Australians to download the latest and greatest gaming files. I just checked and we've been doing it since January of 1999 - our first ever file, a Quake 2 CTF patch, is still there (actually there were other files before that, but that was the first logged in the database we use currently).

Things have changed a bit since those early days, but for us the importance of providing fast, local downloads has only grown. The Age of Conan client - launched today for early access users in the US - weighs in at 14 gigabytes, and the thought of Australians having to all tie up the few tubes that power our limited international connectivity downloading that from various sites fills us with dread.

We've been chatting with Funcom on and off for the last few weeks about mirroring it, explaining the issues that Australians face, so we're hoping to have an update about this tomorrow - previously though they've explicitly asked us not to mirror their gaming clients, a request that (as always) we've honoured.

To try and further explain some of the issues behind the mirroring process that we use, we have a new article that looks at at it in some more detail, looking at some of the problems of game file distribution and hopefully offering some solutions.

age of conanmirroring

Latest Comments
Posted 04:10pm 12/5/08
I thought your stance had since recently been to not support companies who insist on exclusive downloads/mirrors?

14GB or not, why bother helping them if they take this attitude?
Posted 04:16pm 12/5/08
No, that was for companies that insisted on exclusively going with (say) FilePlanet or GameSpot for their releases, and a totally different kettle of fish - it involved them making commercial arrangements with online sites in return for extended coverage and made life much more difficult for gamers.

This practice has largely ceased, I believe in part to the boycott that AusGamers (and many many other sites) took on these files, and the ruckus that it caused when the end-users found it a lot harder to get their files.

The point of the article is to highlight that most publishers are just unaware of the problems that plague Australians, and also to draw attention to the fact that BitTorrent and other p2p distribution methods are not the ultimate solution to content distribution issues.
Posted 04:34pm 12/5/08
14gb, holy crap who could be bothered.
Posted 04:36pm 12/5/08
Nice read, highlighted a fair few things for me. AOC also looks really nice!

Don't know why you linked to thepiratebay, though.
Posted 04:38pm 12/5/08
14gb is mere pittance on a easily affordable connection these days.
Posted 04:41pm 12/5/08
Don't know why you linked to thepiratebay, though.
Because it will end up on the Pirate Bay, because people use the Pirate Bay to distribute all sorts of content, legitimate or otherwise.

I always find it funny when public domain/creative commons/freely redistributable stuff ends up on the Pirate Bay; I bet more people download it thinking they're getting something for free and that they wouldn't be able to get it from a legitimate source - without realising it's completely and utterly legal for them to download and share it.
Posted 04:45pm 12/5/08
maybe in off peak
Posted 04:48pm 12/5/08
14gb in 1 file, thats a months worth of downloads. Good thing we have a government that understands the problems with the country's broadband and are taking steps to fix the terrible value we get on data quota.
Posted 04:52pm 12/5/08
Good thing we have a government that understands the problems with the country's broadband and are taking steps to fix the terrible value we get on data quota.
What?! That would be a terrible thing, and a complete waste of the government's time, and is completely not the point of the article at all.

The entire point is to encourage the model of redistributable components so that anyone can mirror them and the burden of data transfer is moved from a few localised points all the way on the other side of the world (or p2p) to a generic system that means anyone can pass on the content anywhere. That way it can be stored at the ISP level and the traffic will remain localised for each ISP, cutting down massively on international bandwidth costs for everyone.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 05:23pm 12/5/08
that's an awesome and informative read Trog - especially for someone like me who doesn't think about unmetered, mirrors and the like. I now know heaps more about the subject
Posted 10:11am 13/5/08
Looks like internode beat you to the mirror-punch, agn.
Posted 10:15am 13/5/08
Maybe you didn't read the article? Which is weird, cuz you're commenting on it
Posted 10:48am 13/5/08
nice article trog, damn you're good.

anyway i am one of those foo's whose gone conan crazy and am currently downloading the early access client from internode.. well only the first section just incase iinet get their mirror up sometime soon.

i grabbed the 13gig closed beta from ausgamers last month and it fkn rawwwwked.
Posted 11:12am 13/5/08
Perhaps the reason these companies are so unaware of the situation in Australia is because it is so backwards over here.

Conceptually we should be able to get our data from anywhere in the world, but unfortunately AU - US data costs isp's a fortune.

Also its not much better within Australia. I live in Tas and there has been alot of press coverage recently about how the data costs more between Tas - Vic than AU - US, how backwards is that! Internode representatives have stated that they may even re-implement features in Tas they removed from the rest of their network years ago just because the backhaul costs so much to Tas.

I use file mirrors regularly because of the situation we are all in, but we all know that in this day in age it should be completely redundant. An education campaign may help these publishers, but I don't blame them for scratching there heads and wondering what the *** is going on down here.
Posted 11:24am 13/5/08
I've had a poke around the internals of their downloader and have figured out what it's doing (its basically just a simple BitTorrent client). I'm currently looking at ways we could seed the torrent from local sources in such a way that Australian peers will just get our download servers. Unfortunately I think it's going to be a no-go because it requires a bit too much fiddling, but I'll keep looking around.
Posted 11:28am 13/5/08
What do companies think is happening when they put up a torrent for downloading the (non-distributable) files?
Posted 11:32am 13/5/08
Well, its not a real torrent - its an application that just happens to have BitTorrent technology built-in.

I'd say that they're expecting that only users that have legitimately bought the game will be using the application and have hidden it behind some form of sign-up page where they have to agree to some Terms and Conditions or something. Anyone a Conan customer and can confirm?
Posted 11:50am 13/5/08
you're supposed to have an account at to receive a link to the early access if you have paid for it ($5 to play the game 3 days before retail)

but the link for the client has been going around since yesterday so everyone is downloading it even if they don't have access

last edited by boba at 11:50:11 13/May/08
Posted 11:45am 13/5/08
you're supposed
Posted 12:30pm 13/5/08
14gb in 1 file, thats a months worth of downloads. Good thing we have a government that understands the problems with the country's broadband and are taking steps to fix the terrible value we get on data quota.

Oh Hi Stephen, looking forward to the budget tonight? How long have you been posting here?
Posted 04:23pm 13/5/08
Conceptually we should be able to get our data from anywhere in the world, but unfortunately AU - US data costs isp's a fortune.

Main costs for ISPs is BACKHAUL. It was recently mentioned that data for Internode from Melbourne to Hobart is 4x as expensive as data from Melbourne to the US.
Posted 05:46pm 13/5/08
14gig is alot and wasnt somethign i was willing on spending my precious gigabytes on, that was untill iinet hosted the file in 6 parts at which point i jumped at the chance to have it not count to my cap.
sif greazy
Posted 06:01pm 13/5/08
Are there any ISP's that allow unmetered downloading from Ausgamers and other similar Australian Sites?

I know telstra allows unmetered downloading from GA and as someone said iinet hosts files, but kinda don't.
Posted 06:12pm 13/5/08
Funcom have approved our mirroring of the files; stay tuned.
Crizane Tribal
Posted 06:34pm 13/5/08
I think Trog's a pretty cool guy. He fights for the rights of Aussie gamers and doesn't affraid of anything.
Posted 07:00pm 13/5/08
I sure doesn't!
Posted 10:27am 14/5/08
Sounds like we need to add more tubes to the internets to Oztralia.
Posted 06:16pm 22/5/08
While local mirroring is always good, are you seriously saying you think it's a BAD idea to have better infrastructure in place to enable data to get from A to B cheaply regardless of where A and B might physically be located?
Mirroring is part of the solution, but it's certainly NOT the whole picture. There are plenty of legitimate applications for cheap bandwidth where mirroring is totally inapplicable, both now and in the future.
Obvious ones that comes to mind are high quality videoconferencing, and the ability to provide worldwide services like paid-for movie and TV downloads without needing to have a convoluted license/redistribution agreement with local hosting services in every single country (or even city!) in the world.
Not to mention costs it would incur to store huge amounts of hi-def content locally.
If I remember correctly even AusGamers had to take down some hosted files a while ago due to lack of disk space. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Plus, future games are almost certainly going to be designed to take advantage of high bandwidth to provide a far more interactive and immersive experience.
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