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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:34 
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It felt pretty good to play once I got in the groove with it.

I used the Icy Veins guide to get it set up - https://www.icy-veins.com/wow/disciplin ... ling-guide

(TBH it made me feel a bit silly for sticking with Holy for so long, somehow you appear not to sacrifice healing ability, but gain a load of DPS as well!)

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 13:36 
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I'm taking it slow. Done the first troll zone completely (might have missed a quest or two as I have a couple of areas to explore to get the achievement, not sure where they are...), did a dungeon at the end, done a few missions in the next zone.
Hit L115 yesterday.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:14 
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A great article about the new expansion.

We're all loving it, the game is as good as its been since The Lich King.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018 ... ong-missed

Quote:
I remember a moment from the game's early days, warily waiting for a late-night ferry alongside an Alliance player. I could tell from this gnome's kit that he was an engineer, like my troll character, and so I felt a kinship with him; but we couldn't talk about it because the /say command would translate our speech into gibberish across factions. So I produced my mechanical squirrel pet, which only engineers could make, and pointed at it. He did the same. Then we spent a happy few minutes demonstrating our silly gizmos to each other before going our separate ways. It was a magical, hands-across-the-divide moment that was only possible because the divide had been placed there. This is why this stuff matters.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:49 
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Attachment:
WoWScrnShot_090918_124722.jpg


There is a table under there somewhere. Anyone would think some new content is about to drop for the horde and it's sitting at 99% complete...

Still having fun with the expansion, hit 120 a while back and have been gradually finishing all the quests and getting gear.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 13:05 
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The warfront has hit 100% and unlocked!

It is broken, you can't queue for it, and it has broken the queuing system for everything! :D


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:02 
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We've got to 120 on Horde and are now doing the Alliance side. We're not in any mad rush so are reading all the text quest, watching all the cutscenes and cinematics, and generally just enjoying the journey.

The questing system is refined to the point of near perfection now, if you look at all the tedious shit that used to be in the game for, essentially, no reason whatsoever, the way they structure the game now is sheer brilliance.

Overall I think I prefer the Horde experience this expansion, although Alliance has plenty of high points too.

The music guys have really knocked it out of the park this time as well, although let's be honest, they always do.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:11 
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Warfronts take 20 minutes to do, give you a 370 item and a 340 item first time, then a 340 item every time you do it.
Considering I was scrabbling around to get 320 items before this, and 340 items are Mythic level difficulty, it seems a tad too generous to me

My 370 drop was a weapon, so I was very happy as it basically doubled my dps...

Also, lots of complaining as the warfront works out to be once a month on rotation, and lasts for a week. Only one side can do it at once, and Horde are first. Alliance are losing their shit :D


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 20:17 
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I had fun, but i'm done with this expansion for now. Sub cancelled, i'll wait for the next major drop of content. Managed to hit around 350 iLvl in the end.
I'm not into raiding and mythic content, so it was pvp or leveling an alt, or cancelling my sub, so I chose the latter. Once i'm done with Forza I might go back for a bit and see what else has been added.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:28 
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Yeah pretty much the same for me (although I haven't cancelled my sub as I may be required to occasionally go on and assist the family).

I was chatting about it with a mate the other day as he's dropped it as well, and I likened the way the game is constructed now as a sugar hit. You just get EVERYTHING and LOADS OF IT ALL THE TIME. On top of that you're made to feel MEGA POWERFUL and it's SUCCESS after SUCCESS.

The problem is, when it's hard to fail then succeeding quickly stops feeling good, as you know you've not really earned it. Like a sugar hit, it feels good for a short period of time, but the effect quickly wears off.

Also, the game is so slick and streamlined now that it feels less and less like an open world and more like a scripted experience.

I might give WoW Classic a go when that launches.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 17:26 
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Well there goes the rest of the year then.

Mrs Hearthly waited in a queue for two hours today.

NOTE - If you don't know what you're looking at it, this is the WoW Classic, a recreation of the original game from 2005, with levels running from 1-60. (Specifically patch 1.12, which is the earliest one Blizzard could find the code and databases for.)

Attachment:
classerso.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 18:49 
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I have been beaten by the door boss.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 21:12 
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Why not just spin up another world?

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 21:19 
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They've already spun up loads of extra servers beyond what they originally thought they'd need, but they're also mindful that once the initial rush dies down they don't want to be left with underpopulated servers.

I still think they might have underestimated just how popular it's going to be on and ongoing basis, I've been saying to Mrs Hearthly and Jnr for ages that this is going to be massive, I honestly think there's a real hankering for games that make you work for things and therefore feel like you're getting meaningful rewards that have been properly earned.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 21:21 
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They could use cloud compute, spin up what they need, then when not in use, rent it out... AWS do something similar

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 21:21 
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This is a great video for the nerds (like me). Detailing how they started looking through all their backup archives to find the oldest version of the game they could, and how they might be able to bring it back to life in the here and now.

TL:DW - They've basically spliced the old assets and databases into running on the new engine, and it took a fuckton of work to get it right.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 21:30 
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KovacsC wrote:
They could use cloud compute, spin up what they need, then when not in use, rent it out... AWS do something similar


It's not as easy as that with WoW servers as the economies grow at different rates, people get used to the people on their own server, and that sort of thing. If they spin up a load now and then start consolidating back down later, it can screw with all sorts of stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 13:03 
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Hearthly wrote:
KovacsC wrote:
They could use cloud compute, spin up what they need, then when not in use, rent it out... AWS do something similar


It's not as easy as that with WoW servers as the economies grow at different rates, people get used to the people on their own server, and that sort of thing. If they spin up a load now and then start consolidating back down later, it can screw with all sorts of stuff.


It absolutely can't screw stuff up.. you increase the load on the existing servers rather than creating new worlds.. etc..

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 13:32 
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You mean increase the populations on the existing servers by increasing their gigawatts? That doesn't work either as the game is designed around having a certain number of players doing certain things at certain times.

I believe the current incarnation of Classic WoW is designed to support concurrent server populations of 10,000 (something like that anyway), if you give the server the resources to handle 20,000 concurrent players, then you've got far too many people fighting over the same pigs to kill and bronze idols to collect, and everyone has a shit time fighting over the same resources whilst waiting around for something to do.

Classic WoW doesn't support cross-realm play or anything like that, so the server populations have to be balanced correctly against the 'stuff to do' in the game. (This is also why they don't want to spin up too many servers early on when demand is huge, only to have a load of servers sitting 60% empty six months down the line, as if the world feels empty then it's crap too, plus Classic WoW is built far more around group activities than the current version of the game, so you need to have people on your server to actually group up with.)

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 14:15 
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Surely the 10,00 is an arbutary figure and could be 12. 13, 15.... etc.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 14:45 
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KovacsC wrote:
Surely the 10,00 is an arbutary figure and could be 12. 13, 15.... etc.


Not unless you actually make the in-game world bigger and populated with more stuff to accommodate the increase

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 15:09 
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Which is feasible. It is not beyond the wit of man, to allow the game to spawn more 'pig' if there are more users logged on.

If you look at amazon, they use all AWS resources on black Friday and Christmas, the rest of the time, the compute is 'rented' out...

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 15:22 
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I'm not unaware of elastic compute - I'm just saying that if you try to crowbar elastic resources into something that hasn't been designed from the ground up to use it, it rarely goes well.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 15:43 
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it is only a game :)

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 17:00 
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From the company's perspective it's no different to a client facing email service! They live or die by availability and performance.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 17:15 
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having to wait 77mins to log on to email... would be a killer

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 17:34 
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Cras wrote:
I'm not unaware of elastic compute - I'm just saying that if you try to crowbar elastic resources into something that hasn't been designed from the ground up to use it, it rarely goes well.


And it's a 15 year old game at that, it was not built with elastic compute in mind.....

The entire game world is designed and built, in every single way, to be a good match for 10,000 concurrent players, that's why when the server hits that number you have to join a queue, at which point it's one out and one in.

Over the years they've added all sorts of stuff like per-area instancing, cross-realm grouping, dynamic spawns and so on, but none of that exists in WoW Classic, the only concession they've made in that regard is what they're calling 'layering' for the most contested early starter zones, and even there their stated goal is to turn it off ASAP.

Everyone getting into WoW Classic knows what the deal is, they know there are going to be horrendous queues early on, that's part of the deal.

Blizzard have sunk a MASSIVE amount of resource into getting it all running as it is, (the video I linked above is fascinating), they're not then going to re-design the entire game to accommodate elastic compute philosophies, not least because no one even wants that, the whole point is that it's as authentic a classic experience as possible - including the queues!

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 17:39 
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They have you brainwashed don't they.....

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 21:34 
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KovacsC wrote:
having to wait 77mins to log on to email... would be a killer

I'd have happily sat waiting for my emails to load in any previous job I had. What a great excuse to not do anything.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 23:00 
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KovacsC wrote:
They have you brainwashed don't they.....


Come off it dude, you work in the industry. You can't just magically drop old tech on AWS and have it all work with minimal effort.
Hearthly is entirely correct.

You work in engineering planes right? It's the equivalent of saying why don't we just swap the jet engines on a 747 over to electric motors, they work in Teslas and a 747 is just another vehicle after all...


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:08 
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Trooper wrote:
KovacsC wrote:
They have you brainwashed don't they.....


Come off it dude, you work in the industry. You can't just magically drop old tech on AWS and have it all work with minimal effort.
Hearthly is entirely correct.

You work in engineering planes right? It's the equivalent of saying why don't we just swap the jet engines on a 747 over to electric motors, they work in Teslas and a 747 is just another vehicle after all...


That is exactly what rolls-Royce are doing.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:17 
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Super easy job right, just swap them over and take the plane for a spin...


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:30 
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I think Kovacs has been replaced by a bot that hasn't learned much stuff yet.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:42 
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Hearthly wrote:
I think Kovacs has been replaced by a bot that hasn't learned much stuff yet.


The biggest challenge there would be commenting out most of the natural language generation code just so it would sound authentically like him.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:54 
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Trooper wrote:
Super easy job right, just swap them over and take the plane for a spin...


I can’t go into detail as i am under an NDA.

But kinda. There is testing of new engines on a 747 air frame

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:18 
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I bet Blizzard are kicking themselves for not thinking of that idea for WoW Classic.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:25 
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I bet the existing batteries used for the radio in the cockpit are probably fine to run those too, no space or weight considerations to worry about.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 13:24 
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Why is everyone on the side of the fucked-up "launch" here? Blizzard are (rightly) getting a shoeing over how bad this is.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 13:27 
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Nobody is (except Hearthly). I'm saying you can't make 2004 software magically elastically scalable by dropping it on AWS.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 13:29 
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They told everyone it was going to be like this, they actively advised people not to all pile in on launch day, they span up a load of extra servers prior to launch to try and ease the strain, what else would you have had them do?

Mrs Hearthly is just logging in about two hours before she actually wants to play. (Me and Jnr are going to sit it out for a couple of weeks until it calms down.)

Remember that WoW Classic is free insofar as you get it with your normal WoW subscription (and there's no upfront purchase cost for Classic), so last month your tenner got you Current WoW, this month your tenner gets you Current WoW and Classic WoW. (The games are entirely separate from each other, so there's nothing to stop you fucking off the queues for Classic, and logging into Current instead.)

I don't see much grounds for moaning.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 13:40 
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Hearthly wrote:
They told everyone it was going to be like this, they actively advised people not to all pile in on launch day, they span up a load of extra servers prior to launch to try and ease the strain, what else would you have had them do?

Spin up enough servers.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 13:49 
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I've covered that already, they're concerned that player dropoff may be pretty brutal, which would quickly leave them with a whole new problem to solve in a variety of unsatisfactory and player-unfriendly ways.

(Personally I think they've underestimated how much mid-long term appeal Classic will have, but that's not relevant to this.)

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 14:15 
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Grim... wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
They told everyone it was going to be like this, they actively advised people not to all pile in on launch day, they span up a load of extra servers prior to launch to try and ease the strain, what else would you have had them do?

Spin up enough servers.


They can’t do that apprently. What do I know

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 14:15 
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Cras wrote:
Nobody is (except Hearthly). I'm saying you can't make 2004 software magically elastically scalable by dropping it on AWS.


:this:

No one else is defending shit.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 14:16 
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Hearthly wrote:
I've covered that already, they're concerned that player dropoff may be pretty brutal, which would quickly leave them with a whole new problem to solve in a variety of unsatisfactory and player-unfriendly ways.

(Personally I think they've underestimated how much mid-long term appeal Classic will have, but that's not relevant to this.)


Spin them down after.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 14:21 
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KovacsC wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
I've covered that already, they're concerned that player dropoff may be pretty brutal, which would quickly leave them with a whole new problem to solve in a variety of unsatisfactory and player-unfriendly ways.

(Personally I think they've underestimated how much mid-long term appeal Classic will have, but that's not relevant to this.)


Spin them down after.


People play WoW to play with their friends, taking a server down gives you an issue of how to reallocate the player base with splitting groups up and pissing people off. It's not insurmountable, but it's also nowhere near as trivial as you're trying to pretend. There are challenges inherent in scaling an MMO that don't exist when you're just trying to let more people buy stuff from a shop at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 15:00 
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Oh goodness.

You are telling me that blizzard use physical servers and directly load wow on to them.

That they don’t use some sort of virtual environment with a separation from physical.

This would allow the spinning up of more servers and bolster the vms.

By as Heathly said. I don’t know what I am on about.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 15:03 
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Insofar as I understand, whether the servers are physical or virtual is a bit of an irrelevance. You still need to decide what to do with the instances the players are on. You could lose the ability to play with your friends if you’re moved to one instance and they’re moved to another.

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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 15:04 
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When the whole game is built to work for 10000 people, it doesn't matter how many boxes are underneath, it still means you have to wait if you are 10001.


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 15:09 
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KovacsC wrote:
By as Heathly said. I don’t know what I am on about.


I mean, everyone else gets it and you don't, so...


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 Post subject: Re: World of Warcraft goes free-to-play
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 15:35 
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Mr Chonks wrote:
Insofar as I understand, whether the servers are physical or virtual is a bit of an irrelevance. You still need to decide what to do with the instances the players are on. You could lose the ability to play with your friends if you’re moved to one instance and they’re moved to another.


Yes. This.

Historically it's caused serious issues for the playerbase when servers have dropped below the minimum viable population.

When this happens Blizzard offer free realm transfers for the remaining players on that server, and generally give the option of two or three other servers that are similar to the server that's being shut down in terms of economy size, player progression through PVE and PVP content, and that sort of thing.

Even then it's really quite disruptive to the playerbase that's being moved, and for the playerbase on the server that's being moved to.

For example all it takes is one really wealthy clan to move en masse to a different server, and they could unbalance an entire established economy. Similarly, a hardcore PVP guild arriving on a server with a less skilled playerbase, could see its entire PVP scene thrown into disarray, and this stuff really matters to the players.

It's a relatively trivial task for Blizzard to spin up as many Classic servers as they want to, they've explicitly stated they won't go overboard because 3-6 months down the line they'll be pissing off a lot of people if they need to start closing underpopulated servers down and forcing everyone to move to different servers. I mean, people literally get very attached just to the server they're on, and they don't want to move to another server. This stuff matters to WoW players.

Sorry Kovacs, but when it comes to WoW, (as a game, not the infrastructure it runs on), you're short on facts here.

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