Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
09 May 2006
WoW != 9 9s
Okay, okay, I know this won't win any Curmudgeon Gamer Post Awards, but I had to find some outlet to vent my frustration at finally freeing up enough time to reactivate my World of Warcraft account -- and have it come in the middle of Tuesday maintenance!!! A blog seemed appropriate.

Argh. When corporations try to have pie in the sky nines of reliability (quick explanation) for webapps, I'm not real sure why Blizzard can't have enough backup servers to take one farm down and replace it with a second set -- sort of a RAID 1 setup with servers rather than hard drives. And I did see the bit on the "(quick explanation)" link, above that said that "For every additional Nine, the cost soars. Three extra Nines, for example, can cost 200 times a price premium." But right now we're talking, well, let's say 4-6 hours down once a week, 162/168 to 164/168 or 96.4-97.6% uptime as a best-case?! That's not even two nines, dang it.

I'm awfully concerned with why Blizzard can't seem to get enough servers online to serve the people playing now. Hardware is not your greatest expense when it comes to running apps on the web. Is the server software poorly written and limiting scalability? I wouldn't think so. Is Blizzard simply too stingy to shell out for the extra admins? Now that WoW has been around a while, though the world has grown, I would still have expected Moore to have pitched in a contribution on the servers as well.

In any event, though some of the time this morning was spent on this rant, when my account was last active, I'm afraid Tuesday mornings were likely my most productive. Ah, and you Everquest guys thought you'd found virtual crack.

(I'm pretty sure I've ranted about this before, but I'm hoping it was 1.) On my own blog the first time, which only I read and 2.) Well, I've got that recent BBC link in this one!)
--ruffin at 08:54
Comment [ 5 ]

Comments on this post:

You know, with all the faults of WoW, I cannot understand why people choose tuesday maintenance shout about.

The game is tired. It's the same Progress Quest ( over and over again. The high end instances are all snobby guild fan-boyish time sinks resulting in gear disguised as bigger penis contests.

I want a challenge. I want a real game that only has ONE of an item and have the designers challenged. I want a magical item that's a real curse - a la Elric that forces him to slay his friends and villages alike. I want NPCs to be fully fledged characters that you regret killing. I want a penal system for those who slay w/o care.

And when I kill something - whether a single NPC or an entire race of kobalds in an area - they're dead. Gone. Kaput. No "respawn". No regeneration.

I want my decisions that fuel my actions to have consequences so that earn my rewards.

Sorry for the rant :)

By Blogger Neuraljazz, at 09 May, 2006 13:06  

Let me start by answering your quandary. People wonder about Tuesday maintenance because WoW is the largest corporate webapp that is allowed by its consumers to have such shoddy uptime. RTFA, please.

Re: tired -- Apparently the commenters around here do a pretty sorry job of finding a guild. If you find yourself in a phallus war, I suggest you find yourself another guild. Personally, I enjoy quests. Worst case, agree to disagree, matter of taste, etc. The instance compromise actually does pretty well for me. It's unlike UO in that I don't see a stream of people trying to do the same thing I am, which, as far as I'm concerned, makes it about as close to your slaveless utopia as I can practically imagine using today's technology.

Re: Challenge -- Where is this mythical game with absolutely unique items and events? It's not in a single-player offering; everyone and their brother has the same experience, arguably even in something as varied as angband. You know, it's kinda like what happens when everyone reads the same *cough* Moorcock book.

Re: Koba[o?]lds -- If two nines of uptime is too much to ask, how in the heavens do you expect a game company to spend the resources to create absolutely unique "instances" once the existing ones are solved -- by anyone?! How much is the mythical Bob game going to cost the players? This sounds more like the Sean Penn & Michael Douglas movie now, where only the truly rich get to have an immersive game experience. I think it's an interesting issue, and one that's going to need some innovation to get around.

So nice rant, but give us a practical alternative. WoW ain't perfect. I enjoy it anyhow. For this article, neither matters. I have no idea how gameplay, good or bad, excuses this corporation from their constantly crappy uptime.

By Blogger rufbo, at 09 May, 2006 15:35  

Like I said, sorry for the rant. I'll get my own blog :)

Where is this mythical game? It aint been designed yet. Spore is gonna be close. Sims is gonna be close. But from where I'm standing, they are, WoW and Oblivion included, are short sighted.

Yeah, Yeah, I know - go make it yourself. Well, I *am* trying. Not too successfully ATM, but we'll see.

Anyways, keep bloggin' :)

By Blogger Neuraljazz, at 09 May, 2006 23:24  

Actually, City of Heroes has absolutely unique items, that only one of each exists on a server. They're extremely tough to get 'cause you have to have a large supergroup AND a suitable base, use them to complete a very tough task, and then your team must agree to defend the item against rival teams on a regular basis. But the effects apply to the entire group.

Kind of a cool idea, although the difficulty in setting up such a huge group, and the _extreme_ costs of making and maintaining a suitable base, mean most players won't see these things.

By Blogger JohnH, at 10 May, 2006 19:34  

Okay - 18 months later, here I am [yes - it's Tuesday AM & I'm irritated enough to google on "wow tuesday maintenance"].

I almost have to think they're doing database maintenance, because that's the only excuse I could give them for taking a server offline. I'm looking at it from the standpoint that letting a mirrored system stay up while they do 8 hours of DB maintenance would be utterly futile.... they can't possibly need to take a server down for OS updates every 7 days.... at least not 8 hours of OS updates.

By Blogger Daniel, at 09 October, 2007 06:14  

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