Tournament Test Realm: The good, the bad, and the bovine

Amanda Dean
A. Dean|03.04.08

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Tournament Test Realm: The good, the bad, and the bovine

The Arena Tournament Test Realm (TTR) has been live for a few days now. It seems there have been some hiccups, which is to be expected during a stress test. Hortus has popped up in a few instances on the TTR forum to address some of the major concerns that players have brought up.

Lag is far and away the biggest issue on the TTR. Hortus indicated that one of the main functions of the TTR is measuring the best way to handle the massive number of contenders on the official tournament server. Blizzard currently has no plans for opening up any new TTRs to relive the stress. Logging into the server, I find the term "laggy" to be an understatement. Movement is dizzying, and players crowd around.

Blizzard is requesting information on specific errors. If any of the following happen to you on the TTR, be sure to report them in this thread along with screenshots of the error.

  • The Arena Teams can sometimes enter a state so that leaving a team can result in leaving a different team than intended.

  • Arena team win-loss statistics and individual team member win-loss statistics do not always match each other or the teams' gains/losses in rating.

  • It appears that sometimes a rated arena team can get matched up against a skirmish "team" in rated arena matches.

  • At the conclusion of an arena match sometimes there will be no arena team names displayed, the rating change column will display either "---" or a large random number, and the team that won will often report losing rating points several minutes after they have exited the match.

The TTR is also doing other goofy/buggy things. Gotpally of Shandris shared a screenshot of a 9v5 arena match error. Some of the same bugs that have plagued the Patch 2.4 Public Test Realm, such as the Flametongue weapon error, have also been occurring on the TTR.

The list of available items on the TTR was posted when it went live. Players have been quick to point out gaps in equipment. The TTR has a dedicated thread for player item suggestions. It looks like players are requesting some of the biggest, baddest weapons in the game. Some suggestions include, The Lightning Capacitor, Cataclysm's Edge, and Renataki's Charm of Trickery. Matthan of Burning Blade suggested making the Warglaive of Azzinoth available to all players. This seems unlikely as it Blizzard stated in the Official Tournament FAQ that "We intend to differentiate the gear used on the special tournament realm and the live realms and they will generally be at least one season behind."

Characters cannot be copied to the TTR. Each player may create up to three characters at any given time on the sever. Those characters can be deleted and replaced at any time. I was thrilled to find out that it's possible to make characters of both factions on the same account in the TTR test. I'm still not sure if teams can be mix-and-matched between horde and alliance players.

Gear is readily available in the starting area, but some players report that lag times with vendors make the regearing process somewhat cumbersome. Since so many people are trying to get gear for their characters at the same time, it usually takes a few clicks before something actually appears in your bags. Usually the fist click or two gives a "that item is busy

On a positive note the NPCs are solid on the TTR. This makes it easier to locate them and purchase vast amounts of epic gear from them.

The best news for many players is that the tournament and tournament test realms will support the same User Interface modifications as the regular realms. Hortus pointed to this Wowwiki article to assist players in coping and enabling their addons in the test realm environment.

Tournament sign-ups are still inactive. I'm trying to have a little faith that Blizzard can resolve the issues in plenty of time for the projected tournament start date in April of 2008. The standard response for release timeframe requests is "when it's ready." I hope the arena tournament doesn't get pushed back to far. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

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