Thursday, June 24, 2010

News Flash - Tuesday's are bad mmkay

If you've played WoW for more than two weeks, you've probably noticed a disturbing trend (if you've been playing for less than two weeks and are reading this, you're probably my wife). The trend that I speak of is not a long queue time for DPS in randoms, the abundance of memorable idiocy, or the "random loot is random" comments from that one warlock who got the only DFO that's ever dropped for your guild.

No, the trend I speak of is the weekly maintenance on Tuesdays. Sometimes the maintenance is a rolling restart, sometimes it's four hours of downtime, and occasionally the downtime extends for twenty-four hours. It's not uncommon for maintenance to extend beyond the initial post time, though I'd be willing to bet that the number of times this actually occurs is fewer than the number we remember (kind of like the bad PUG runs stand out).

You ruined my Tuesday!

Bad news folks - Tuesday has been maintenance day since the release of WoW. It wasn't until later in the 2nd year when restarts even became viable, and even then Blizzard announced that they would be every other week at best. During the early days of Vanilla you could count on every Tuesday being 4-6 hours of downtime, and back then patches weren't publicly tested like they are now. Patch notes were released the day of the patch, and you'd often log on to find problems that you'd never known could exist.

With the PTR and patch notes now though, add-on developers and players can test their systems long before a patch goes live. Extended downtime still happens, but that's just a fact of life. Blizzard has gotten much better at communicating extended downtime, but really you should just expect it every week.

Strangely though, you still see upset players every Tuesday. These are the ones who act surprised that there's downtime at all, and expect a patch to be rolled out with less than 15 minutes of disruption. Raid leaders gnash their teeth as you idly try and run into a zone, getting kicked back for hours becuase the instance servers are down. Anyone remember the boat landing in the Hinterlands during the AQ gate opening?

So why bother?

I'm generally surprised when I see guilds that schedule raiding on Tuesdays. I can understand it if they are in the running for server/world first titles and kills, but this is less than 1% of the playerbase. For us mere mortals, is it really worth the hassle and headache? Sure, a month after a major patch has been out, Tuesdays will probably be fine for raiding - but during the initial push you're just asking for headaches. Instances will be down, addons will be broken, and half your raid will be playing the DC drinking game.

If you're more of a causual type guild, who only raids a few days a week, planning raids on Tuesday is just asking for your schedule to be broken. The same goes for players with limited time who are just looking to burn a few hours doing randomes/dalies/whatever. Tuesdays are likely to be bad days.

So, plan to do something else on Tuesday, and then be happy when things work as they should - instead of being upset when they don't. Also, when Cataclsym comes out, if you could just not log in for a while so I can level to 85 without incident, that would be great.


  1. Mmkay? Thaaaanks. We take a pass on scheduled raids for Tuesdays for just that reason. Wednesday is one of our days though, and even yesterday we were still having issues. It was some patch! But even the slight instability of a Wednesday is better than the nearly guaranteed frustration of waiting for servers to come back up on a Tuesday.

  2. For my guild, Tuesday is the only day that worked for a long time :)

  3. We've been Tuesday & Wednesday since I've run with the group in the spring of 2009. We've only had one or two completely busted Tuesdays. First trick: Uther is a very stable server. Second: we don't start until 9:30PM.

  4. One of the biggest complaints is for players not in the continental US - I have no problem with regular maintenance, I have no problem with required outages, but when its, say 9pm at night? That really bites. And don't tell me that Blizzard couldn't take all Oceanic realms down during the early hours of OUR mornings, for instance!

  5. Saunder - I can't really comment on the 'why' that is with Blizzard not being able to take down the Oceanic realms at different times - but I think I can make a couple of educated guesses.

    1) Manpower/costs - If I recall correctly, the Oceanic servers are actually located in the US, the only thing that makes them "Oceanic" is their time zone. If this is true, then you'd have to pay a lot more for the maintenance, as you'd have to have more staff on hand to deal with it. Of course I could be wrong, but given the posts I've seen about there finally being Australian servers in Oz, I think I'm right.

    2) This is the real one - databases. Right now we have a couple of different 'zones' for WoW - notably US and European. Even though we have Oceanic servers, Russian servers, Asia, etc - I think that there are only two different sets of authentication/database servers (I've never seen outage notifications for anything else - so please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Given this, there are times when you need to take all the servers down because of authentication issues, etc. You've got accounts with characters on Oceanic/US servers, and I'm guessing a lot of the core data sets are linked between the two.

    3) This I've actually seen - when one set of servers are down, another gets bombarded with everyone else who can't play. I've seen this (and done it) where you roll a toon on some different server, just so you're logged into the game. A large percentage of a server's population would re-roll on a live server - simply because it was up.

    I don't know what the answer is, and I certainly can understand the frustration that must go on. Downtime for me is 5AM to 10AM, so it's not that big of a deal - I just can't do my quick random before work. I think as long as US players can log onto Oceanic servers, they're all going to undergo maintenance at the same time.

  6. We raid on Tuesdays because its one of the few days that works for our raid team. But we do this knowing we have to deal with the occasional downtime. Its never bothered us if we have to postpone.


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