Is the Classic Stress Test being manipulated

Blizzardwatch had a brief note about yesterdays testing

How is today’s WoW Classic stress test going? About this well.

I have played long enough to recall the days when you turned on your computer, started the game, then went and had dinner while you waited for the queue.  The game has come a long way since those days, even during Wrath.  There are a lot of technological advances they have made to the servers, to the authentication system, technology to shard server loads so that the world can feel full, but not too full.  After last weeks debacle, and yeah, I used that word purposely.  They have the technology, they knew how many invites they enabled and for what period of time they were testing.  That there were issues even getting to a character creation screen last week, were easy to write off as they were caught off guard, and would learn from what happened so that the next round would go much smoother.

But then yesterday it was the same.  Popular streamers were able to log in for their play sessions so that Classic would get its free advertising, your average player was either faced with disconnects, or they were not even able to log into the game.  And something clicked in my head.

Are they trying to manipulate the experience of stress testing to make it look like there are millions of people anxious to play Classic.

What better way to generate buzz about a game, than to show the system so overloaded with people trying to log in that the game can’t handle it.  It’s a risky move, if the same happens next week, or whenever the next testing round comes up, then they run the risk of people just not bothering, which I did last night.  I knew I had access, knew I could log in and see what I could and report any issues, instead I waited until I saw the reports of log in issues, and just went about my evening watching TV.  They had an opportunity to get a person like me that is on the fence with the current game in general, to pop in to see if revisiting the game I knew when I started, or at least as close to when I started compared to what it is today, and they are burning a bridge before it has even been finished.  I hope I am wrong, and that it is a success, but I fear I may be partially right.

6 thoughts on “Is the Classic Stress Test being manipulated

  1. Nah, it’s stress testing. They want to see how many players it takes to red-line their boxes. Whole point is to make the servers melt.

    Recall that when Vanilla launched, IT was still in a dedicated server (blade) model. Today it’s elastic supply (virtual machines & software networks), meaning the calculations are much more complicated. Trying to make 15 year old math work on today’s IT… that’s a hell of a job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But is it even testing the servers if you cannot even get to a character creation screen. I can understand testing the actual server where people are logged into the game and they are looking at what level of population would cause problems, but just trying to start the game seems like something more. With the systems knowledge they have something as basic as just starting up the game should not be an issue after 14 years. Unless they are trying to run Classic on a shoestring budget.

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      1. Look at it this way, the servers are like a bar. They are testing every bit within the bar, with metrics/heatmaps everywhere. They are testing adding/removing things from the bar, and the number of patrons is only a tiny variable in the overall complexity. They are dynamically adding and removing floors.

        So the choice here is either you put a queue at the door, or you kick people out of the bar, put them at the back of the queue, in order to run more tests.

        I wouldn’t say shoestring, but I would say that they are surge protecting their server architecture. The day 1-5 load is going to be insane, then drop like a stone. They only need temporary servers for that load, not buy it all and have it collect dust after 3 months.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That begs the question then. If after the issues last week, should they have cut back on the amount allowed in for testing purposes.

        As an example, your testing a million dollar concept sports car, you have done internal testing and are comfortable with it going 175mph. You open up testing to professional stock car drivers that you know may push it to 190, but have concerns that if too many push it that far it may damage the car. Do you open up testing to 10 to limit possible damage, or do you invite 200 because you want to push it to the limits.

        Probably not a great example but all I can come up with

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      3. Stress testing is entirely about breaking things. In my field, when we beta test every user is told up front it’s going to be a super bumpy ride.

        It’s a symptom that beta testing today = free trial in many gamer’s eyes. Hell, it’s how many companies push pre-sales… but that’s another tangent.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I’m mostly worried that at this point with 2 months to go we are still in a closed beta and stress testing. I would hope at this point since a great deal of design fundamentals have been around for years, and that they have found repairs for so much in live that it’s not an almost polished ready to release product.

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