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New streaming launcher available soon


In what seems to be the biggest confirmation of patch 4.0.1 for tomorrow, Blizzard has announced that the streaming launcher, which has been active in the Cataclysm beta for some time, is going to be deployed to the live game. Included in the post is an FAQ about the launcher.

If you haven't seen the new launcher yet, here's a quick rundown. The launcher allows you to download a critical set of data required to play the game, noted by the red stage. After that critical set of data is downloaded, you can play WoW but will potentially experience issues because the majority of the game content is not downloaded, noted by the yellow stage. Once a majority of the game content is downloaded, the downloader goes green, meaning you will still be downloading content but the game will be in a more stable, playable state. Hit the jump for the official announcement.

Lylirra -- New Streaming Launcher Available Soon
With patch 4.0.1, we will be introducing a new World of Warcraft launcher that will allow you to stream game data while you play. This will reduce the time you spend downloading, installing, and patching World of Warcraft.

Streaming Launcher Basics

We've redesigned the launcher to provide a visual update to your installation progress. You will see a new progress bar with sections (Red, Yellow, Green) that represent the amount of data you have currently installed.

There are three stages of download progress:

Setup (Red): Core game content is being prepared. You cannot enter the game at this time.

Available (Yellow): Major game content is not completely applied. You can play, but your game experience will not be ideal.

Playable (Green): Final game content is almost complete. You may experience a few issues with playing at this stage.

All World of Warcraft data will continue to download and apply whether you wait in the launcher or are playing in-game. If you find the play experience unsatisfactory, you may exit the game and allow the Launcher to continue the download. While the launcher should automatically adjust the download according to your bandwidth, this may improve the play experience for users with low bandwidth Internet connections.

Streaming Launcher FAQ

For more information, please refer to our FAQ:

Lylirra -- Streaming Launcher FAQ
Q. The new launcher streams data using Peer-to-Peer (P2P). Do I only seed when I'm also downloading something, or will I be uploading data to other players all the time?
A. As with the previous system, you will no longer seed once you've downloaded all the data.

Q. Will P2P be used to download data while in-game?
A. Eventually, yes. Not during this initial release.

Q. The background downloader currently allows me to continue downloading after exiting the game. Can you add that feature to this new system?
A. We intend to add this feature in the future. Until then, you can open your Launcher again after you exit the game if you wish to continue downloading game data.

Q. How is data assigned to each stage?
A. Data is assigned to each stage based on the relative need for that data. Red is required to get into the game, Yellow is data needed for baseline gameplay, and Green is for variants of base game data (higher-resolution graphics, alternate sounds, other flavor data).

Q. How do I know when the entire game is downloaded?
A. The progress bar will reach 100%, and then will not be shown on subsequent launches (until a new patch is released).

Q. Will I still be able to download patches from mirror sites?
A. Standalone patches will be made available again soon.

Q. Will the downloader still use P2P / BitTorrent?
A. Yes.

Q. Will large patches still be downloadable in advance through the background downloader?
A. Yes.

Q. Will it be possible to download the entire game before I begin playing it?
A. Yes.

Q. Is downloading game data in advance mandatory?
A. No. Users will have the option of playing before all game data is downloaded and applied. They may choose to enter the game, or they may choose to wait.

Q. On patch days, will I be able to start the patch download before the realms are back up?
A. Yes.

Q. Will I still be able to download a patch once and copy it to multiple machines?
A. Yes, as long as you have fully downloaded the entire patch. However, as with the prior expansions, patches from a previous major version (all patches prior to 4.0) will not work with the new major version.

Q. What if I have a low bandwidth connection?
A. Users with connections below 1 MB/sec will be required to download both Setup (Red) and Available (Yellow) data before entering the game.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

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