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Designing around latency

Matthew Rossi

Now, I do enjoy Naxxramas, especially in 25 man (the place feels very empty in 10 man) I have to admit that I despise certain fights, depending on how my connection is holding up. Some nights it's fine, and some nights I'm trying to do the Heigan dance with 1800 MS latency. I've wept, swore dire oaths, and of course died to a wave of green crap that was nowhere near me on my screen. It can be baffling because one day we'll be doing three drake Sarth and I dodge every lava wave and avoid all the void zones, and the next day I'm in stutter hell, no obvious reason for why it varied. And on fights like Thaddius, one person lagging can kill 10 in a second.

Over at The Many Relms of Relmstein, Relmstein discusses how Naxxramas was originally created to be the hardest of the hardcore 40 man raids and how what was then not as much an issue (namely, extreme latency causing issues) for the very few at the top is now somewhat more obvious. Since Blizzard designs raids to take buffs like Replenishment into account, should they go that one step further and assume there's going to be some latency? Some players report unusual latency in the raids that seems to have nothing to do with their internect connection (an issue that was supposed to be fixed in patch 3.0.8) so should lag just be considered a fact of life? And would we lose interesting mechanics (Relmstein himself mentions the Thaddius fight as one that would be hard to do with latency in mind) like the combined three drakes and their abilities?

Obviously I don't know, but I think a little thought placed into making lag less lethal for an entire raid would be a good thing, at least as long as it's out of the players hands like it seems to be now.

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