There has hardly been an event in WoW's past that was as extensive and enormous as the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj. Raw materials had to be collected from the entire server for a long time before the gates were gradually opened on all servers. And exactly this event is now just around the corner on the WoW Classic servers and brings with it some problems. Those who were there at the time could count themselves lucky if they "only" had to complain about massive lags. Many players were repeatedly kicked from the server or ported from Silithus. Now there are significantly more players on today's Classic servers than were active on any realm at the time. The technology is better, but every WoW player knows that there are still massive problems today when there are many players in one place. And that's why the developers call all players to the test server for the stress test.
It starts on June 18 at 11:59 p.m. of our time – So in the night from Thursday to Friday. For this, on the PTR from WoW Classic (buy now for € 14.99) unlocked both the character copy and the creation of a level 60 character. The goal of the developers is to get the server so full that there are queues and then to bring all players on the server to Silithus. The number of chars in the desert area will be limited first and then increased further and further. The developers have made some changes to hopefully have massive lag under control. These include, for example, the less frequent updating of buffs or the general communication between server and client. Nevertheless, they expect lags and connection breaks. The event itself will be launched by Blizzard as soon as you are ready.
The developers also have layering in mind, which they would be reluctant to use at the event. Some servers currently have different layers, but they don't want to create additional layers for the event.
Here is the announcement of Blizzard's stress test:
Please join us on the WoW Classic PTR at 3:00 p.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. EDT / 11:59 p.m. CEST on Thursday, June 18 for a stress test. In order to prepare for the AQ opening event, we need to test several aspects of how the game service deals with very high capacities.
First and foremost, we'd like to see a full realm with a queue of testers waiting to get onto the realm. This will allow us to consider tweaks to the total realm capacity. We'll open the realm about an hour before the test so that everyone can copy over a character.
Secondly, we're going to test our technology for managing the number of players in Silithus. Make sure you've got a level 60 character (the PTR copy function will be available, as will template characters with rare quality Dungeon gear), and attempt to join your fellow testers in Silithus. Lower-level characters can also log into the realm, but they won't be allowed into Silithus.
If you don't make it into Silithus, please keep trying to enter the zone. We're going to start with a typical zone capacity, and then we're going to increase the number of player-characters that are allowed in the zone.
What to Expect
For this event, we're optimizing aspects of the game service that you will potentially see and feel. In order to maximize the number of players in Silithus, we have to make some sacrifices to things like buff and debuff updates, player movement, general server-to-client communication, and spells.
We'll begin testing the AQ opening event by initiating it automatically. Testers won't have to do anything to make the event happen. This will go on for one hour.
Some of the performance issues that we're looking for will result from players running the game on different PC hardware that have different capacities. Your experience and the experience of another player with a much more powerful PC will vary.
There will be lag. Despite the years of big improvements that have been made to hardware, software, and data throughput, we must accept that packing more and more players together in a small space causes an exponential (not linear) load on the game service.
And of course, the game can port players out of the zone entirely, similar to how players were ported out of Silithus in original World of Warcraft. Just like we did in 2006, we consider that preferable to a crash.
Today, layering is enabled for some very popular realms, and we've engineered the AQ opening event to operate as expected on a realm with multiple layers. Nonetheless, our goal with these Silithus optimization efforts is to make the event run the best it can without adding layers to realms, and we do not plan to add more layers to any realms for the event.
Please Join Us!
We look forward to seeing you in Silithus on the WoW Classic PTR at 3:00 p.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. EDT / 11:59 p.m. CEST on Thursday, June 18!
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