Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It's nice to be raiding again. The challenge is back, and the fun is back.

Well, until you get to the Ascendant Council and suddenly it's your sole responsibility to interrupt 1.5 second casts while tanking. Which is a somewhat harsh to begin with, but you're doing it while dancing around to dodge all the other fight gimmicks. Which again, is challenging, but still manageable... assuming you live within ten-thousand kilometres of the server.

And Blizzard tells me their game is perfectly playable without a tunneling service...

I think 1.5 second interrupts are the best argument I have seen so far for Australian servers, or at the very least an official alternative to 3rd party tunneling. Typically, a 1.5 second cast will appear on my screen between 0.2 and 0.4 seconds into the cast, and my interrupt, once cast, will take another 0.2-0.4 seconds to register with the server. Again, this is with a tunneling service, and assumes nothing in between my box and the server suffers an unexpected hiccup.

The most aggravating thing I've ever experienced in WoW is nailing that button the moment the cast starts, watching the button press on my screen, and sitting there in slow-motion horror as the boss finishes and unleashes his insta-gib spell cast because my connection latency was too high at this moment to transmit this action to the server in time.

I'll be the first person to argue against removing challenging elements from video games, but the challenge needs to derive from the gameplay, not in peripheral things such as overcoming a poor control scheme or a terrible interface or arbitrary trial-and-error elements. And especially not from anything external to the game such as network latency. When latency can account for over 50% of my time-to-react gameplay element, the gameplay itself is degraded.

I might check to see whether anyone has brought this up on the official forums. It seems like an issue worthy of a response.

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