Good morning!

Yesterday was, of course, Tuesday.

Server maintenance day.

For the second week, most servers were scheduled for regular maintenance, while a handful were singled out for 24 hour expansion upgrades.

I know many players are on varied shifts and playtimes, and get screwed by this to a greater or lesser extent. For those that do, you have my sympathies.

For myself, if maintenance is done during the day, well, so long as it’s all over and done with by about 5 PM, I’d never even know it happened.

Having the server be scheduled down for 24 hours was pretty interesting, though.

You see, if it had been up as usual, I’d probably have done a little on my Rogue, trained Inscription, mined some Ore, and then logged off. I’m getting into a rut.

On Tuesdays we’ve also been watching Hell’s Kitchen on Tivo, and there’s a Top Gear to watch for dinner (again, thanks to Tivo, the greatest thing since sliced lunch meat).

Same old, same old.

With our server down, but other servers up and running, and an hour of time to mess around, we could have sat there bitching and moaning, but instead, we saw it as an opportunity for new fun.

“Hows about we randomly pick a different server, make some level 1’s we’ve never tried before, and level together for a bit just for kicks?”

So, we did that for a little bit.

We got on Skype to voice chat, picked a server, and made a pair of undead. Cassie chose a Warrior, and I picked a Priest. Off we went, and had fun bouncing around unfamiliar territory together.

It was a great time. We had a blast together. 

Somewhere in there, Cassie tabbed out, and remarked, “Wow, they released the Ruby Sanctum tonight, according to WoW.com. People on servers down for 24 hours must be pissed they lost their chance at being ‘firsties’.”

We both paused for a moment to visualize the folks we meant. The people who play this video game, pay a monthly fee the same as the rest of us, and who will go on the official forums demanding a refund of something like fifty cents to their accounts because they lost a day out of the month. People who scream if things are denied them that they feel entitled to.

After a moment of such quiet contemplation, I had to reply, “Well, I guess if you’re obsessed with getting to content in a video game before other people do, and you’re going to get angry about not getting to go “I was there first noob”, then I suppose you’ve got plenty of personal problems already. What’s one more thing to get angry about? That ulcer ain’t coming any faster.”

And then we continued on, playing level 5 characters, and you know, actually having fun while our server was down.

Which, from the scope of some comments I’ve seen out there, means we just don’t ‘get’ video gaming. Apparently, it’s not supposed to be about having fun, that shows a carebear attitude, a casual attitude, a ‘childish, irresponsible‘ attitude to the seriousness that proper WoW players feel towards content progression.

It’s about finding something in this virtual life to be better at than other people, and having a title or digital achievement ranking to prove it. Which, and now I’m just reading the subtext here… is necessary because a lot of people feel they have something to prove. In a video game? Really? Well, okay.

Ah well, I guess we’ll just continue to fail at video games by doing stuff that’s fun at the time, and not worrying about any of it anymore.

If my attitude about this, my flippant tone, my judgmental assumptions and stereotyping seem too harsh, or if in this post you find a characterization you take personally and choose to be offended about… please keep in mind, I really mean it. I’m not joking. I really do think WoW is a game, admittedly a great game, and games are meant for casual fun, not as a replacement life for people who find the real world to be too scary to handle, or too difficult to find success or happiness in. 

If you’re offended I feel that way… that’s okay. I’m good with that. Everyone has their own perspective on things, and it’d be a sad, boring world if everyone agreed with mine all the time.

I hope that, however your evening went, in game or out, you found your own way to have a nice, fun, enjoyable evening. Especially with family or friends.

28 Responses to “Server Down? Awesome!”
  1. Askevar says:

    We were on a server that was up and the first thing I told guildies when we heard the news – “QQ from this is going to be epic and amusing… and possibly epicly amusing”.

    The ten man hubby and I run won’t see it till Friday and eh, we’ll be happy to see the content – but we have plenty left to do in ICC.

  2. Kaethir says:

    I was upset and ranted a bit about having a 24 hour outage, mostly because I personally think Blizzard shouldn’t need that, 6 years into the game.

    But really, it didn’t affect me much, and i got a (small) amount of time to go play on my baby Hordie on Bladefist, as well as spend a bit more time than usual with my little girl.

    *shrug*

  3. Aggrazel says:

    So last night after my own Ruby Sanctum raid was over, I hopped on my level 57 rogue looking to stab some people in the face in WSG before going to bed. I do find the 50s bracket to be pretty entertaining, usually.

    However last night, the BGs were filled with DKs. I mean at one point there were 16 total DKs in the 10v10 BG. Holy crap! One of the DKs was in a guild called “OUR SERVER IS DOWN” heheheh.

    But it pretty much broke PVP for me for the evening. Ah well. Still it was funny to watch the deathgrips flying all over the place, I think at one point I got gripped 3 times before finally getting killed. Reminded me of the birds in Finding Nemo… “mine? mine? mine?”

  4. My server was one of the 24 Hr maintenance servers… and I’m also the raid leader of my guilds which is 9th on the server for progression… not the greatest but not the worst. We have a few late night guilds that no doubt have cleared Ruby sanctum when the servers reopened at 3 am… Just sucks that we had no chance to compete there.

    The thing that really bugs me though… is Blizzard went on this whole “we’re not releasing ruby sanctum till everyone has an equal shot at it” and then releases the raid when a ton of servers weren’t even online… that is what bugs me. Any other week I would have no issue with a 24 hour maintenance to my main server.. heck I enjoy having the night off… it just bugs me that they did this on the same day that they released new content.

    I’m not going to demand my money back or quit the game over something this inconsequential… it just erks me that after all their talk… blizzard failed at following through on their word.

  5. Sarabian says:

    I normally don’t play on Tuesdays anyhow, so the maintenance does’t really concern me. When my realm finally gets the 24 hour downtime, I might even notice.

    As an IT server guy, tho – I’m really not sure what they need that much time for. I can upgrade one of our servers, do a full maintenance run on it and have it back up inside of 4 hours. We don’t have the uber-high end stuff they do, but it’s really the same as far as something like this goes. Swapping out RAM for higher capacity chips, or even swapping a CPU and motherboard doesn’t take that long. Maintenance on the RAID pods doesn’t even take that long when we swap drives for more capacity.

    /shrug

    I’ll plan to have a campout with the kids the night mine goes down and we’ll forget computers even exist.

    Come to think of it, I might do that tonight, too…

  6. Len says:

    I couldn’t agree more. While I have ambitions to do certain things, like achieving achievements and leading my teeny guild into chaotic raids, the one thing that I make sure of before anything else is that I treat WoW as a game. I don’t do things I don’t enjoy (pugging, dailies, pvp or making money). I DO do things that I’m not crazy about but need to be done for me to enjoy the game as I like to (the occasional grind for achievements, fishing, the odd JC and cooking daily quest). I mainly do things that I enjoy (chatting, raiding, alting and singing Lady Gaga over vent).

    I got home slightly earlier than planned today, realised my server was still down and so went to watch a couple of enjoyable games of Wimbledon while flicking through a book or two. There is life outside my server afterall :)

  7. Easternwind says:

    I wasn’t too concerned about the 24hr shortage myself, and like most people I just took the night off. I actually went to bed at a reasonable time for the first time in about six years. :D

    Since I don’t do hardcore raiding I wasn’t that upset about Ruby Sanctum, but I did think it was a bit lame that Blizzard didn’t keep their word about it.

    @Kaethir You would be shocked how incredibly difficult it is to make mass changes like that. I used to work for a company that did MMOs, and I can safely say that even though you are flying at a million miles an hour, it still takes hours. Plus, WoW’s infrastructure is quite unique in that it was specially designed for them. The fact that normally it’s just rolling restarts on Tuesday is miraculous.

    I understand peoples’ frustration as a consumer of this game myself, but having also been in the other end of the scheme, 24hrs ain’t bad!

  8. Mangel says:

    I completely agree with the spirit of this post. If being locked out of a 1 dragon filler raid for 24 because of techinical issues stresses you out for more than five seconds, then Wow has become a job to you. And noone likes their job. This is a gaaaame.

    Yes, people take progression seriously, that’s the point of progression. But there are no world/server firsts for Halion becuase there is nothing to progress towards. It’s one dragon, three minibosses and some trash in an area that is smaller than most 5 mans.

    Blizzard does a great job with this massive system. If you know anything about the complexity of the hardware and software involved, you should be amazed at the uptime blizzard is able to achieve.

  9. Ale says:

    Half the fun of playing WoW for me is the creation of new toons. I might do it to see if a name is available and try out different looks and later delete them having never been played or played past level 8. Or for fun, I might let my daughter make up a toon just to see what she does (she really likes undead). So when my main servers is down, I look at that as an opportunity to explore something new. It’s a game that should be fun and I hope that it holds more than one interesting thing for folks to do in it. It really says a lot about those folks flamming up the forums and hyperventilating over not being able to be the first at something in a game.

  10. Aggrazel says:

    @Sarabian :

    WoW runs on 20 thousand servers in 10 datacenters around the world.

    (Source: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/11/25/wows-back-end-10-data-centers-75000-cores/ )

    WoW’s infrastructure includes 13,250 server blades, 75,000 CPU cores, and 112.5 terabytes of blade RAM.

    I’d imagine with having that many systems to upgrade and run maintenance on, a 24 hour window is pretty reasonable. I work in HPC on a top50 supercomputer myself, and ours isn’t even that big.

  11. kattrinsaa says:

    servers were down? meh… didn’t notice. was swimming with my part time custodial kid tuesday night. i usually forego tuesdays anyway because of broken addons. i check for updates on wednesdays usually to pickup anything that’s broken.. BTW Curse.. we need an update to baggins, poste haste.

  12. Moonstalker says:

    The server was down?

  13. Well let me swap the perspective a little… say you are a HUGE sports fan. Football, soccer, hockey, baseball… golf? Take your pick. The Big Game is coming up. You plan it out, have your buddies coming over, you have expectations of the great game. Then the cable company decides to do maintenance on the substations in your area… and neither you nor your friends can watch the game. Sure… it comes back up the next day and they play reruns… but you missed the excitement and energy of the first day.

    That is what it feels like to be a progression raider and miss out on the brand new content the day it came out. Right now there are countless video’s and guides out there that ruin the flavor and feel of taking those first attempts at a new encounter. Heck… the heroic mode was beat before a ton of the players could even log on. It just sucks.

  14. Agora says:

    @BBB
    Why don’t you try to recruit a friend into 3-manning instances on that server one evening a week? You already have a potential tank ad healer so any class would do.

    If fun is what you want, fun is what you will have. My wife and I have 3-manned level appropriate dungeons for over 2 years. Friends enjoy the experience and we have our regular attendees (we sometimes 4-man if all mobs are 4+ level above us). Wipes do occur from time to time, usually on difficult trash pulls, but that’s the whole point: bring an element of danger back into dungeon and force us to use *gasp* strategy.

    Good luck!

  15. Chaninn says:

    Hahaha, hubby & I did something close to what you did. We went to another server & made baby DKs. Neither of us has a maxed out DK so going through the starting area was new and fun.
    Server downtime is necessary sometimes & I (for one) prefer having specified, previously informed server downtime rather than having random outages as things break/need replacing or updating.

  16. Nimizar says:

    Hear, hear, Bear!

    My sig on Blizzard’s WoW forums has actually included the text “CAUTION: This game is not intended for use as a source of self esteem” for years now :)

  17. bigbearbutt says:

    What’s My Main Again… I can totally see your point, from both perspectives… I really can. I just don’t share the same attitude. In your second example, I think those folks are goofy too. After all, they aren’t the ones doing the playing, they’re just spectators watching other people have fun. So, if they get all worked up over not being able to see the game… well, I’m sorry, my mind does NOT work that way. I can’t connect to the feeling involved.

    The closest I can get, and I’m going back now, was when I was about 5 years old. I was living in a pretty crappy one room apartment with my mom in Miami, and on Saturday mornings, the Super Friends were on cartoons. That was about it, that and Bugs Bunny/Road Runner show. Every Saturday morning, for as long as I could remember (5 years old, remember, so all I knew was what I had experience with), the Super Friends were on, same time, same channel.

    Until one morning, they weren’t. They weren’t on. I couldn’t watch the Super Friends, because the show wasn’t on. Not that the TV antenna was broken, it just wasn’t on at all.

    I was devastated. I was destroyed. This was a sacred covenant between me and that show, and I sat down glued to the set, and there was no show. As much else in my itty bitty world was crap at the moment, somehow I had invested my time with the Super Friends with some mystic quality, it was sacred. And no show.

    I was upset.

    I’m sorry, that’s the last time I can remember being upset that something on TV, or whatever that I was gonna watch or do that got canceled or blocked actually upset me. And I was five.

    Does that mean I think people that flip out over not watching their sports team in the Final Four, or who lose it over a 24 hour maintenance cylce, are five years old, emotionally? Ummm…. I think I’d prefer not to answer that.

    Oh wait, I just did.

  18. Stonedrake says:

    “Which, from the scope of some comments I’ve seen out there, means we just don’t ‘get’ video gaming. Apparently, it’s not supposed to be about having fun, that shows a carebear attitude, a casual attitude, a ‘childish, irresponsible‘ attitude to the seriousness that proper WoW players feel towards content progression.”

    Ah, the dreaded Stop Having Fun Guys (truly TvTropes has everything). I say screw ‘em. I’m in it for the fun. If that means seeing how far I can level my Draenei DK without spending talent points, on a server where I know absolutely no one, so be it.

    I almost see the point about sporting events back there, but I’d give this counter example: a few years back, my region was hit with a serious ice storm. Given that we never had them, this completely freak ice storm stopped everything for over a week whilst we all dug out. Our plans were interrupted and my wife and I were so annoyed that… we kludged together a camp stove in our living room, pulled out candles, Scotland Yard and some books and entertained ourselves for several days. It was pretty great. Sure we had other things we had planned to do, that we had spent MONEY to be able to do, but it didn’t really matter.

    Utterly unrelated side note: if you’ve never dealt with frozen over cars before, don’t do what we did and pour hot water on the car to defrost it. that way lies a bill for a new windshield. :D

  19. Morphster of Aggramar says:

    I’m with ya BBB, I just don’t get why everyone got all worked up. The 24 hour maintenance gave me a chance to log on to a forgotted lvl 42 disc priest on a realm I no longer use. I had a good time using up my rested xp, I ended the evening game time earlier than usual and actually got some much needed extra sleep. I think this more casual perspective that some of us suffer from is simply a statement of where we’re at in our lives. Namely: working full-time, raising families, not under the influence of green, leafy substances, and not expecting a government handout for all areas of our lives. Score one for us simple folk who like to live life.

  20. Stupid Mage says:

    I watched this on Tuesday

    http://www.history.com/shows/top-shot

    I don’t think there were World or Nation first achievements tied to Ruby Sanctum. I’m not sure about Server First. But if your whole server is down then nobody on your server can do it in addition to you. Not like only the Horde on your server could play or only the guild Aces and Ates could play, so no big deal right?

    I play on a West Coast server so by the time I can even get to play people on the East Coast have done everything anyway.

  21. bigbearbutt says:

    I would like to note, for the record, that both Cassie and I are in agreement that, our joint opinions of overly hysterical locked players aside, we both agree with the sentiment that releasing brand new content at a time when they planned to have some servers intentionally shut down, immediately after having gone on record to say they wanted to give everyone a fair shot at it at the same time, was… well, a rare facepalm moment.

    Now, we don’t actually CARE on a personal level, it’s not like there was blood in the water over it, but, well… why say it if you’re not going to do it?

  22. Vanis says:

    You know what you need for posts like this? A smiling bear budda with him sitting in a traditional budda pose, eyes closed and a serene expression on his face. Dunno, the post felt very zen to me.

    Absolutely agree, looked at the ruby sanctum thing and watched trade chat on my server go NUTS with people LFG for it. I’ll be doing it with the guild later this week, but yeah that must really tear at those guilds who are always trying for the server firsts. I’m sure if they had known they would have been logged in with guns blazing.

    And what the hell man, first it’s quoting Terry Pratchett and then it’s liking Top Gear? Get OUT of my head.

  23. Milk says:

    Great read :D

    I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and this is a first-time post.

    I don’t even think my server was down on Tuesday, but I still didn’t play. The entire morning and afternoon I was out sailing with friends, and then I got home and finished up a book (second book in the Dresdon Files if your interested). Then I caught up with my favorite television show (Doctor Who). In fact, the earliest I found out that Ruby Sanctum was out was when MMO-champion announced the first 25 heroic mode kill. It’s amazing how harddcore some people are.

    Thanks for the great blog and keep it up :D

  24. Averna says:

    I will agree with you, the people who rage around and ask for money back and throw their computers out the window or whatever because of this – yeah, they’re a bit crazy.

    BUT!

    You make it sound like anyone who is pissed off about not being able to log on and take a crack at Ruby Sanctum is stupid, immature, and doesn’t enjoy the game correctly.

    I think it’s fine to have your enjoyment of the game come from being one of the first people to hit up a new instance, or to push content in that way. It’s not always to say “hey noob I got there first!” You can be competitive without rubbing it in other “noobs'” faces. Sometimes it’s just to relish in the fact that you and your guild stood together and were skilled enough to rock out that particular instance right away. And I think it’s not immature or stupid to be bummed that you can’t get that enjoyment from the game in this particular moment.

    “It’s about finding something in this virtual life to be better at than other people, and having a title or digital achievement ranking to prove it…..In a video game? Really? Well, okay.” – Just because it’s virtual doesn’t make it less valid or less fun. I like my Kingslayer title. It makes me feel proud of my guild and myself. Yes, technically it’s a title to prove that I’m “better than other people.” I don’t think this makes me 5.

    Eh, maybe I’m overreacting. I’m not even close to being one of those hard core people that I’m talking about, so it’s not like I’m personally offended. And maybe you’re JUST talking about the jerks who rage around and ask for money back and blah blah blah like I talked about first.

    Ok, now? Hold on a sec.

    ./puts on flame-resist gear
    ./braces self

    Ok, I’m ready to be flamed! =P

  25. Thanks BBB for clarifying your stance. So I can now say I agree with your post since my complaint was just because blizzard didn’t do what they said they would. I enjoyed my night off and my guildies assembled yesterday at our normal raid time to take down Halion 25 for a realm first… sort of. The top guild’s kill and our kill were within the same minute… but wow progress lists us first so I’m going with it :P I think our world wide rank was around 1400? All I’m saying is it could have been lower if it wasn’t for the maintenance!

    In the long run does it really matter? No but it was still a good feeling especially for my guildies who worked hard and followed my terrible descriptions of the fight.

    Oh… and the whole TV show thing… I can totally relate. One of my worst child hood memories was when the OJ Simpson trial interrupted my Cartoons for a freaking week.

  26. Aelinna says:

    Yesterday I dinged 80 for the 10th time on AD. All classes \o/ 3-5 of these have 5-6k GS’. I killed Halion10 on Wednesday with my tree.
    I also have two hordie 80s.
    I say this, not just to show off (though that is a large part of it :D ), but to exemplify quite how much I love this game.

    Yet yesterday, before finishing off that last 1/3 level, I spent most of the day trialling WAR.
    It was fun. I have a Black Orc tank called Kzi (Kissy).

    Enjoyment is suboptimal. Aimless post is aimless :)
    I guess if there is a point… and I’m not accusing you of saying this by any means… it’s that it’s possible to be hardcore (by most people’s standards), not lose all perspective and still have a lot of fun. Dear defensive casuals, just because I have more time than you does not give you the right to tear me down or assume I’m not having a TOTAL blast.

  27. Ely says:

    Well I just have to say something here. I find it great that Wind and Cassie tried a new server. I’ve done it as well as I like the leveling more than the end game stuff anyway and I only have 2 spots available on KT. I urge everyone to go to a new server and try something new. A race or class you haven’t played before, and to level without heirlooms, or 80’s feeding you money, mats, or gear. It totally feels the same way it did when I first got the game way back in vanilla. I liked logging again just to see where it takes me.

  28. bigbearbutt says:

    I totally agree, Ely! It’s weird how different things feel when you’re completely on your own. Suddenly, you have to pay just that teensiest more attention to being carefu with every copper you earn. :)

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