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Blizzard announces 2nd connected realm pairing.
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bringoutyourdead
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Blizzard announces 2nd connected realm pairing. Reply with quote

Blizzard has found that doing connected realms isn't as easy as they had implied in their initial announcements so they are proceeding with due deliberation.

And I'm doing the same... but I want to let you know my thoughts on where we are going.

The addon, as is, can handle any combination of member realms and report that info to WarcraftRealms.com without problem. The problems we still currently have with the addon is the in game display of results.

I want the ability to display the following combinations of results:
1: the display of all characters seen in the connected realm with the ability to break out the display based on Race, Class and Level (but not guild as that is member realm specific)
2: the display of any member realms specific data as we have seen in previous CensusPlus version. With the understanding that:
.... a: Only Guilds associated with the selected realm will be presented
.... b: Selecting a Guild as a display limiter will show all members we have seen of the guild no matter which member realm they actually log in on.

To make this happen, the member realms displayed in the connected realms list (in CensusPlus window) will be selectable button areas (using the same process we have used for selecting guilds.)
{I will probably make the logged on realm field a button also and remove the redundant display of that realm name}

Since Blizzard still doesn't know exactly how they are going to connect realms, they haven't yet been able to tell the player base. Balgair has expressed to me the concern that they might combine all the LOW pop realms into a single realm. If so that would make things extremely difficult for me to display all the realm names and use those names as triggers for individual member realm display. I'm working on the believe that Blizzard won't do that, but instead combine no more then 2 - 4 realms as a connected realm. Both of the connected sets they have announced/implemented have been MEDIUM pop realm during the mid-day time frame. We know that Blizzard doesn't want to create a multi-headed monster by creating a connected realm that goes into Queue mode every evening (when most people have the time to log in and play the game.) Queuing when special event happen like patch release is one thing, but being told you can't get connected to the game unless you wait X number of minutes every time you get on... will drive the players away.

That X number is a very tricky thing... low enough and you say "no big deal I'll go get drinks and munchies and other stuff." Too high and is it "Queued again! I'm not wasting my time waiting for this stupid game" (Instead you waste your time playing some other stupid game Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes )

I have run into a few more issues with the new requirement to think outside the single realm box.. since Rollie had never envisioned that his code might need to handle that situation.

Programming like life is full of compromises (too bad the politicians refuse to learn that lesson), and here a few I'm trying to work around.

The more code I add to the addon the more complex it gets and the slower it runs. I'm trying to keep some of the optimizations that Rollie had in place but the change in requirements may require less optimal code.

Since we don't know which realms will be combined into connected realms and Blizzard hasn't provided any programmer functions to acquire that information on logging into any realm, I'm have to choose one of two different paths.
A: Assume we can't know anything before we do a /census take or
B: build and maintain a list of realm memberships that can without warning be made invalid requiring either CensusPlus patching or potentially drastic action by the addon (database purges for example.)

Since B: will potentially require lots of updates and possibly changes here at the website, I'm going with option A: But that leads to a problem that we can't display the data I want to display until a /census take is triggered and the current realm memberships are learned. This usually happens within the first few /who polls.

For dedicated CensusPlus users this won't be a problem because they almost certainly have Auto-Census turned on and have set the /census timer {Minutes} below the trigger point. When these setting have been made you are already running a census snapshot before the WoW client releases control to the player.

If you don't have Auto-Census enabled or haven't set the timer below the default 30 minute interval {needs to go below 25 minutes to auto trigger census at log in, and can't be set below 5 minutes which is the minimum allowed} upon opening the main CensusPlus window you will find only incomplete data, which won't be very useful.
{Remember- /Census Timer {minutes} is used as a delay until the start of the next census snapshot when in Auto-Census mode. The delay is there for two reasons, doing continuous census runs on low pop realm is pretty much a waste of time and doing massive spamming of the /who resources irritates Blizzard. We don't want to get into the position that Blizzard decides to fix their server issues by banning CensusPlus. They have already made changes to the /who process to more closely match how they handle chat channel overloading.

To finish this wall of text... I've already had three or four variations of code changes that haven't been exactly what I want to release. I know that I will have something that will be good to go before Blizzard is ready to fully implement connected realms, but I won't be releasing any of these code changes until I am more confident that Blizzard doesn't throw us another curve ball and invalidating my changes.

A sad side note is that I fixed (again) the PAUSE button in CensusPlus, but I don't think I can release that fix until the rest of the program is ready for light of day.
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1974ER
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Multiheaded monsters aside, I can unfortunately almost guarantee that you will not get your wish. Judging by what I know and what appears to be I am fairly sure both German and English RP-PvP realms will be going into 5 way splits. English RP will most likely also see a 5 way split with Argent Dawn being excluded due to its large size. German RP looks stronger and will likely only see minor adjustments.

French and Spanish RP and RP-PvP realms will likely not cause us problems as there are so few of them. Blizzard, however, will get a headache from how to best handle the Spanish "rarities".

As far as PvE and PvP realms go... That is going to be tricky. Blizzard might even have to put a realm or few out of their misery due to the "extra" imbalance problem, virtual realms or not. They might be able to avoid that, IF the virtual realm system is completely independent from the location of data centers. Fortunately, judging by what I have seen and read so far this seems to be the case.

On the whole... It might be best to keep the in game displays to pretty minimal level. I am saying this, because there are already times when a single census pass exceeds 1 hour 8 minutes in length. Naturally, such huge factions are more of an exception that a rule, but the tricky part here that we need an addon that can manage both extremely small and extremely large factions reasonably. Additionally, virtual realms will pretty much automatically mean we will see census runs take longer as the 49 character limit will be exceeded much more frequently.

As a more personal note. I think I can be called a dedicated CensusPlus user. Very Happy However, I run all my censusing manually. This method has functioned well for me for almost 5 years now. There have been various ups and downs on my WCR path, but excluding a few records Balgair and Padanfain have set, I can mostly say: "Been there, done that" as far as results go. Even with only slightly over 10 realms and many of them one sided, if I look at this month... Padanfain has run away and will not be caught by anyone. As for the rest of the pack: On updates, I and Balgair will likely pick up spots 2 & 3 in one order or the other. On new ones, the situation is much more open, but both I and Balgair can pretty much rely on being within the top 6 unless several people significantly increase their efforts.

Why do I believe that? Simple. With pretty much exactly 1/3 of month gone for us in EU and Balgair is a little bit behind me at 14510 new ones. InStim at place 7 has 4727. Triple that and you get 14181, which is not quite enough to catch Balgair even if she took a 20 day break. Piratejenny at place 10 could quintuple (x 5) her 3469 and would still fall slightly behind my current result of 17722 with her 17345.

Now, if my assumptions about Blizzard and English RP-PvP fusings are in fact correct I can pretty much guarantee all by myself that on a typical day that stack would see at least 19 complete runs, more than enough to keep all included realms up to date. My only minor worry is that we are already approaching a point where I need to prune two days or less to reduce the growth of my .lua, which stubbornly fails to upload every time it exceeds 8 MB causing me to do heavy manual pruning. Pulling data from 2 to maybe even 6 realms simultaneously increases the likelyhood of myself executing multiple manual purges every single day I run CensusPlus.

I am well aware a lot of people already do this, but I have grown fond of being able to see at least a little bit backwards while in game. Well, I should get some sleep soon, so I will stop for now and return later... (not tomorrow as for me it already is Friday, the 11th. Very Happy )
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I'd certainly agree regarding the English RP-PVP and RP realms, don't know the German ones so well.

English PvP is what concerns me the most, however... a quick count over the realm listing at 7.50pm server time (ie, peak time), reveals 31 of them are "Low" (and from personal experience, at least 5-6 of those, probably more, will have no more than 50 people online, so, really low). Now granted, I'll expect grouping to be more like 1-2 "Medium" and a few "Low", not a massive bunch of "Low" together but still, I cannot see that many realms being put together in smaller bunches than 5-6. Frankly it'd achieve nothing with the very smallest realms if they weren't put in a large group, as they're so small they barely exist. You could put 30 of Hakkar/Crushridge together and still not get out of "Low" classification! Razz

Btw those monthly numbers are a tad depressing; I've only censused servers other than my own on one day this month, and I'll be safe in the top 2-3 on updates? Doesn't say much for how many others are censusing atm, since I really haven't been trying! Granted my home server is such a high population that it probably brings in good numbers (although I share it with Fuxie now so would imagine he often beats me to uploads!), but still, I shouldn't be that high.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it remains to be seen how it goes. In theory, Blizzard could put about three lows into ten or eleven smallest mediums. It is a complicated puzzle, though. I am not surprised that Blizzard is thinking about solutions carefully.

On the monthly numbers... There is a small chance that Padanfain is actually doing so much the other US users are suffering. But his hard work does not explain the low EU numbers. In fact, for example Fuxie is not even on the lists. And large parts of both monthly lists are covered by less familiar names. In short, many "old timers" are gone, either temporarily or permanently.

Balgair, last month: 15,944 & 41,439
Balgair, right now: 14,987 & 38,341

1974ER, last month: 75,490 & 220,924
1974ER, right now: 19,142 & 83,477

Last month, you ended 4th on both. Now, you are very close to bypassing last month's results. That means a high likelyhood of staying high. As things are right now, I will most probably score less new ones than last month and updates might end up as a fairly close match, if I do not suffer problems (technical or otherwise). Also, to be honest, if you had a day to devote to heavy censusing, you could push me down a spot in that time and keep me there just by almost matching me for the remaining 18 days.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of my numbers include both factions of 25 EU realms. Some English, German, a few French and the two Italian realms. Though these are all somewhere between 2 am and 5 am CEST. I was helping Balgair chase the zeros until they ganged up and ran us over.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe I can't wait for the site to be fixed so I can actually see which are zeroes - it's pretty hard to know what servers to target when they ALL show as zero Sad For now I'm just hitting up my regular servers, but that means most which I was doing with temp characters are getting left uncensused, hopefully one of you guys has been getting a few of them!

I'm betting Padanfain's EU censuses haven't turned up many characters though; that's not exactly peak time Razz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, some of those realms are ghost towns but just for kicks I checked the numbers. I'm seeing 1600~2000 new and 5000~7000 updates. More than a few night owls burning the midnight WoW.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's more than I expected! Admittedly my realm's pretty active at night, often see 1k+ online even at 2am, but it's a high pop one, hadn't expected much of the lower pop ones which are most in need of extra censuses.

That said, the Italian realms are both decently populated; I do those in the daytime a few times a month myself. If you picked up a few others similar that would make for ok numbers, and ofc it's not always the same people who play late nights as in the daytime when other people are running censuses, so more updates/new ones for you Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Draenor is definitely livelier than say Hakkar lol. Draenor at 2:30 am on a Monday morning was 1125 H and 101 A. Hakkar on the other hand was a whopping 4 H and 1 A. Just about all the population guestimates in the am are way overstated. High and Full should be marked medium, medium should be low and low should be called can hear a pin drop it is so quiet.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1974ER wrote:
On the monthly numbers... There is a small chance that Padanfain is actually doing so much the other US users are suffering. But his hard work does not explain the low EU numbers. In fact, for example Fuxie is not even on the lists. And large parts of both monthly lists are covered by less familiar names. In short, many "old timers" are gone, either temporarily or permanently.
Don't worry.. I'm not gone.. But since I moved to Draenor, 2 things have happened:
1: Census time have gone up to 1 hour (55 to 65 min) per run.
2: I play less, e.g. last week, I raided 3 hours monday and sunday, and was online for 30 minues wednesday..

So I really only census Draenor formthe time being...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the earlier morning hours are quiet in EU as most people are asleep between roughly 01 and 06, there are still results to be picked up (if someone censusing is awake, that is). Very Happy

Fuxie, I know you are not gone, but you are below the top 10 monthly results, though not by huge amounts. Several others, however, have dropped completely off radar, so to speak.

By the way... Is there any sort of ETA for having functional server submissions and most wanted pages again? As has been noted, for the time being, the 0s won. :/

Also, since I do not read US forums. Any news on whether 3rd or more realm connections are in the works?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Padanfain wrote:
Draenor is definitely livelier than say Hakkar lol. Draenor at 2:30 am on a Monday morning was 1125 H and 101 A. Hakkar on the other hand was a whopping 4 H and 1 A. Just about all the population guestimates in the am are way overstated. High and Full should be marked medium, medium should be low and low should be called can hear a pin drop it is so quiet.


I think the population stuff tends to be listed as peak rate population rather than current, given it never goes down much at night. Some of the marginal servers seem to change with time of day; I assume they're right on the edge of being one or another, but most just stay the same, with the exception of the really full ones not being Locked at night Wink

Your Draenor figures sound about exactly what I'd expect for that time, although I'm slightly surprised Alliance was as high as 101 - we tend to think they're really low pop but I guess they're not that bad after all (I'm thinking they're similar to low end of medium pop realms now), it's just the contrast with the crazy high Horde pop which makes them look so low.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epic

So far only two pairings of PVP realms have been announced.
The 2nd pairing goes live with Tuesday restarts.

There hasn't been any leaks on larger number of realms being connected together... yet.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember correctly BOYD when we stopped testing PTR there were only two realms in each batch connected. They attached another a little while back so multiple live realm connections are probably not too far off.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a few more connections been announced:

Quote:
Balnazzar and Warsong
Gurubashi and Aegwynn
Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
Garithos and Chromaggus
Onyxia and Burning Blade
Maiev and Bloodscalp


All pairs so far, makes sense to begin with, I still expect some larger groupings in Europe though - perhaps the US don't have quite so many low pop servers as we do! No sign of any connections over here yet; I guess US servers are the guinea pigs then.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The little thing that got slipped in with that announcement is:
Bloodscalp (which is already connected with Boulderfist) will also be getting Maiev.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as a snapshot peek at US realms I looked at what Blizzard was claiming for US realms one day last week around Noon PDT.... there were:
23 LOW realms
18 HIGH realms
2 new player realms
and all the rest were medium realms
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds better than over here then! 2pm server time here, I'll have to split by language as we won't have multi-language groupings, but the total added together is probably about on par with the total of US realms.

English:
9 Full (4-5 of those become Locked every evening with 1k+ queues)
3 High
17 Low (heh, fewer than the other day, strange!)
1 Recommended
1 New Players
rest Medium

German:
4 Full
4 High
9 Low
1 New Players
rest Medium

French:
1 Full
2 High
1 New Players
rest Medium

Spanish:
1 High
1 Low
1 New Players
rest Medium

Italian:
1 High
1 New Players (which is really not that much lower than the High one but there's only 2 Italian realms...)

French and Spanish are decently balanced with nearly all being Medium, English and German have a fair number of Low pop realms though. English in particular... ok, so there were 31 the other day and only 17 today, so about half must be on the edge of Low-Medium, but still, there's a number of really really low ones that should've been closed some time back IMO.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a short break to step back from the code... but I've been working on it again tonight.

I've swapped around some of the header fields above the Race and Class area.. which has freed up another slot for a connected realm member... and as I had mentioned..
I've reworked the initial realm field to now also be treated as a selector button.

This gives us up to 5 member realms before I have to play screwy games with the window to fit more member realms.. I really hope Blizzard doesn't combine more then 5 realms into 1... but we will have to wait and see what Blizz does.

The realm buttons look very nice...I still need to enable alternate mouse click to deselect the selected realm and reset back to default no member realm selected.
Too bad that when I click on them.. they don't actually do what I want them to do... but I'm working on that.

At this point is it.. run a census... see the results as the combined realm (excluding guild info)
click any member realm and see the results as just that subset of the combined realm. (Including guild data based upon the realm selected)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bringoutyourdead wrote:
I really hope Blizzard doesn't combine more then 5 realms into 1... but we will have to wait and see what Blizz does.
Well... From a coding PoV I hope you are right..
From the game's PoV, I hope you are dead wrong.. The best thing that could happen to the game, is ONE realm for EU and ONE realm for US..

This would really put perspective into the word "World" in WoW..

Not quite sure, how they would solve the lag problems though.. Timeless Isle on Draenor the first week was insane.. You could actually risk not getting a single hit on Dreadship, before it was dead, due to lag, even if you was present when it spawned..
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