Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.
I can tell you where my mind is. It's still pole dancing outside of Booty Bay after the Midsummer Flamefest. At least, that's where I think I left it. That's the last I remember knowing where it was. I should probably go check. Before I do, we have some comments to nod our heads and/or snicker over. First, the Roleplaying Spotlight goes to Bobury aka Razell:
Hi! It's Razzell here.
My parents were great researchers. If you could name it, they would study it. They studied alchemy, herbs, various creatures, blacksmithing, etc. Unfortunately, they were killed. I was at their house when Gnomeregan was invaded. My house was overrun with troggs. My parents were killed, their research destroyed. I escaped. I do miss them so. It is a good thing we are taking back Gnomeregan. For the Alliance, For Gnomeregan, and for the parents!
I, uh, hope you weren't expecting a theme this week, because I don't have one again. But go ahead and turn the page for some more themeless fun.
Kurash: I am da powerful! Nobody tell me what to do!
Arkhell: WHY IT PUT DA BOOTERANG ON DA SKIN? WHY?
elstor: Me not dat kind of orc
Iirdan: It put the mutton in the stomach!
Igantinos: ONE DAY I WILL HAVE DAT BOOTARANG
Unicorn what now?
I bet the Sisters at Radiant Farms know all about unicorn flatulence, but apparently it is not used for powering WoW. The announcement about Tuesday's 24 hour downtime sparked this discussion of why a day's inconvenience is worth a pound of cure.
AMS: Can someone tell me (aside from blizzard fanboyz) why a six year old game needs 24 hour down time and a almost two month friends and family alpha? How is it other game companies can release good, well made games every six months? Is blizz just lazy/slow?
theRaptor: Because the game doesn't run on pixie dust and unicorn farts. This downtime is for hardware upgrades at the level of the entire battle group. Which requires a lot of configuration and testing.
Hoggersbud: The game is not the subject of the maintenance here. That'll be later in the year. Right now, it's the physical servers getting worked on. Why? Nobody on the outside knows, Blizzard hasn't told us, but at a guess, it's probably because their performance needs to be increased, and that's something you kinda want to shut down the servers in order to do. Kinda. And you should ask yourself why they might need better performing servers...
Perhaps because unlike those other games, demand is still going up, and Blizzard actually wants their players to have a good user experience.
Drakkenfyre: As programs get larger and larger, they become more complex. It becomes easier to break things. If you have never written any code, you won't understand this. Currently, it's already difficult to replace character models, as Blizzard themselves have admitted in interviews, hence why it took so long for them to finally finalize the new Sylvanas model. Just because the game is getting older doesn't mean it's getting less complex. In fact, the game is getting more complex. The original game shipped with only around 1000 quests. Currently, there are 5 times that put in by the last two expansions alone. The game is also getting technical upgrades. New flame effects, new water, new shaders, experimenting with DirectX11 features (in the Catacylsm alpha) and as it gets more complex, it takes longer testing to make sure you don't break anything. Maybe you haven't been playing long enuf to remember the "Orc shoulders" event. A change somewhere in the game had the unintended effect of shrinking Orc shoulder pads several sizes. Orc players screamed. They thought it could be fixed with a simple hotfix. It took about a month and a half for the fix to go into the next major patch. They weren't going to ship a patch alone for that.
Look at games today, there are games that are barely into alpha, and are supposed to come out a year or two from now. Hell, one I think has a 2013 release date. Don't complain about the length of testing when it beneifts you. Otherwise you would just be here bitching about the bugs and "why didn't they test this in alpha?"
The servers the games run on aren't immune to any technical limits. They are expanding and upgrading the servers to handle the additional load the game will place on them, and the amount of people that will come with the expansion.