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  • Gaming, News - Written by on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 14:16 - 85 Comments

    Diablo III latency: Blizzard faces angry Aussie horde

    news Video game giant Blizzard is currently facing a tsunami of complaints from Australian gamers frustrated that the company’s lack of Australian servers is making its new Diablo III unplayable for locals.

    Since Diablo III was launched several weeks ago, Australians have posted a large number of complaints about poor latency — commonly known as ‘ping time’ — to Blizzard’s Battle.net servers located in the US. Access to the server infrastructure is required to play Diablo III, unlike with the company’s previous Diablo games which did feature online multiplayer options, but also offered stand-alone single-player campaigns which did not require Internet access.

    “Here I am again at 1am EST trying to play D3 and my latency is over 500 because America is awake and Blizzard is unable or unwilling to put enough bandwidth in place to handle the load,” wrote one frustrated player last night. “Once the yanks piss off to bed my latency drops down to a decent 230 or so; now can you explain why this is still an issue weeks from launch?” Another added that the issue was specific to when residents of the United States awake to play Diablo III. “Yeah, you can spot when the yanks pile out of bed in the morning,” they said. “Stupid public holidays (and weekends).”

    And a third wrote: “I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to play Diablo 3 at all, my internet connection is not exactly the fastest connection out there and it seems every time I play the game I lag and by lag I mean it jumps all over the screen and my attacks respond about 40 seconds later than it should, I cant access doors and talk to in-game characters, so yes it lags a lot! So much that it makes me turn the game off in frustration.”

    On the same Battle.net forum, a Blizzard community manager named Arcagnion noted in mid-May that the company was aware that some players were “still encountering latency” when playing Diablo III, and invited affected players to post their experiences. “In some cases, your issues may not be specific to the region,” Arcagnion wrote, “and we’re working our absolute hardest to address these concerns as soon as possible. In other cases, we believe that your issues with in-game latency may have been resolved by recent hotfixes.”

    Last week, following hundreds of responses from Australian players, Arcagnion wrote that Blizzard had gone through all of the responses and associated threads on the Battle.net forums. “I am sure that you understand that most of the questions we can’t answer, BUT we have been talking with the server admins and seeing what, if any improvements can be made regarding latency and we’ll keep you updated,” they wrote.

    A continuing problem
    It’s not the first time that Blizzard has suffered issues with latency with respect to Australian gamers attempting to play its popular franchises. In fact, a pattern has emerged over the past several years in which the company has experienced a fresh set of problems in Australia every time it releases a new game.

    In April 2010, for example, a senior Blizzard executive reportedly said the company was discussing the possibility of hosting Australian servers for its popular World of Warcraft game. At that stage, national broadband company Internode said it had been discussing the need for an Australian World of Warcraft server with Blizzard “for many years”, although the company had proven intractable.

    Then, in June that same year, Blizzard faced a new wave of dissent from Australian gamers furious about the company’s decision to lock Australians into only being able to play multiplayer games of its upcoming StarCraft II title against players in Southeast Asia — not in America or Europe. That decision was eventually reversed — with Australians getting access to the US servers — but problems with latency persisted, with ISP iiNet being forced to amend its network path to make the StarCraft II experience better for Australians.

    In October that year Blizzard blamed some of the network latency problems on Optus, erroneously believing the telco was Australia’s largest telco — which is in fact Telstra. But at that stage the company was also still talking about an Australian datacentre, or enlarging its Singapore-based datacentre, which is used to provide access to StarCraft II for Australians.

    Blizzard is not the only video game company which has consistently declined to deploy Australian infrastructure to support its online service; the issue is widespread within the video gaming industry, as it is within the enterprise IT category for software as a service-style software access. However, Blizzard is probably the most high-profile example of a global gaming company which has faced frustrations from Australians on the issue for a lengthy period spanning years.

    A representative from Blizzard Australia has been invited to respond to this issue.

    opinion/analysis
    You can understand why Blizzard likes to centralise its operations in key locations such as the US; to a company which has hundreds of millions of customers and is part of the giant Activision group, the Australian market must seem like a very small one; insignificant revenue, insignificant numbers of players; insignificant complaints and so on. However, it has always seemed unfair to Australians that we pay the full price for games such as World of WarCraft and Diablo III, yet receive a degraded level of performance from those games because of Blizzard’s reluctance to establish dedicated Australian infrastructure to support those games.

    In the year 2000, or even 2005, it seems clear that it would have been a big ask for Blizzard to establish an Australian datacentre to support Australian players of such games. Our country has historically had expensive datacentre access and telecommunications costs — expenses which would have cut into Blizzard’s bottom line.

    However, in 2012 the situation has changed, and I believe there are no longer any excuses for companies like Blizzard which refuse to establish Australian infrastructure to support their games. There have been a stack of huge datacentres built in Australia over the past few years, and telecommunications prices have also come down. The market is ready for local support from companies like Blizzard, and it’s hard to believe that a company with overall revenues of close to $5 billion per year couldn’t afford a few tens of millions of dollars to support long-term loyal Australian gamers.

    Fair suck of the sav, Blizzard.

    Image credit: Blizzard

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    85 Comments

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    1. James
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

      230ms of latency is still high.

      Although ping is less vital for games like this, it can get really irritating when you suddenly teleport back to where you were a moment ago, as the server catches up.
      I know it can’t be helped, as our servers are in the US, but if you had ping that high in BF3 you’d be instantly kicked.

      • Posted 29/05/2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink |

        Yeah 230ms is definitely annoyingly high in terms of any game.

    2. Thrawn
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink |

      Demand Australian infrastructure while insisting on US prices.

      Good one…

      • Posted 29/05/2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

        I’d be happy to pay a premium for an Australian version of Diablo III with Australian servers.

        • Tim
          Posted 29/05/2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink |

          AWTor does it, but I am with Renai if Australian severs for WoW come at an additional $5 a month, so be it. I will accept it and enjoy my 70ms.

          Similar for daiblo, I will pay $10 more one off for Australian datacentres. Hell prices are flexible we already get shafted on IT product prices.

          • Tim
            Posted 29/05/2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink |

            SWToR*

          • Gav
            Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink |

            We allready pay $10 more when we buy the game RRP… $40 more actually.

          • Andy
            Posted 30/05/2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink |

            $5? Hell, a local Aus server is worth an added $12 to me when I was heavy in the WoW raiding scene. That’s what I was paying per month for a supplementary SSH tunnel service to guarantee 180-220ms latency. Tera is playable with the current trans-Pacific latency, but I would shy away from PvP and while there hasn’t been any occasions where I’ve been given the short end of the stick due to bad latency, there have been times where I think to myself and go ‘If I had the latency that the US players have, there’s no way in hell I would have missed that’

            The smaller community sizes would suck the fat one, but I would have no hesitations to paying more to have sub 100ms latency.

        • Josh
          Posted 30/05/2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink |

          We already pay a premium compared to US prices anyway, if you get the downladable version on battle.net that is. (~$20 more expensive in Australia than North America.)

      • anon
        Posted 04/06/2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink |

        ID be happy to pay US prices, the fact is we pay more for games, and get less in terms of service

      • Chris
        Posted 11/06/2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink |

        I’d love to pay US prices! In fact, I often import so that I can save up to 50% on new games because US (well, I import from the UK) is actually HALF of what we are asked to pay.

        I’m not sure who would insist on paying Australian prices. As for demanding US infrastructure, I still don’t understand why they don’t let some of the ISPs pick up the slack.

    3. Posted 29/05/2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink |

      Hey Renai,

      This is a forum link to the Blizzard ANZ Support Forum, where quite a few people have complained to the ACCC. I dont know if anything has gone ahead yet, but its there. My colleagues are telling me that Blizzard are brushing off the ACCC, the ACCC has made no formal position yet.

      http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149150202?page=1

      From what I’ve been told, Blizzard has deleted related threads about this quite a few times. This isnt unheard of, and was standard practice when the same issues arose with Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft.

    4. Tim
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink |

      Amen, A bloody men.

      Angry Gamer here.

      • Tim
        Posted 29/05/2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink |

        Also my iiNet latency seems higher than usual anyway so 280ms with iiNet and + 100ms with Diablo so ~400ms on a good day, ughhh

    5. JC
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink |

      Blizzard wouldn’t even need to foot the bill for the bulk of infrastructure costs if they simply partnered with a local or even NZ ISP/network company for the purpose of an Oceania region for Battle.net. Blizzard’s deliberate ignorance and skirting of responsibility is disgusting.

    6. Sathias
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink |

      I’d recommend doing some modification to your registry to disable Nagle’s algorithm, makes a big difference to the reported peak latency and just the way the game feels in general.

      This youtube video explains how to do it, but if you aren’t comfortable making such modifications make a system restore point first.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5rhWeL4L_pI

      • Ben
        Posted 03/06/2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

        Wouldn’t you be enabling Nagle’s algorithm?

    7. djos
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink |

      Data Center Access is actually quite reasonable now with an entire 45RU Rack in a Tier3 Spec Data Center costing only about $2k per month – that said ISP’s like Adam and Internode would fall all over themselves to entice someone like Blizzard into their DC’s and I’d be shocked if Blizzard had to pay for anything other than their own Hardware and some bandwidth!

    8. Posted 29/05/2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink |

      Hmmm. Not been into the Diablo series, but after seeing Good Game’s review, I was considering buying it.

      Now, maybe I’ll wait a few months and see what happens…

    9. Paul Krueger
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink |

      When it was released (and I have checked recent prices) it was $59.99 for the physical version of Diablo 3 (in the states) and $79.99 for the digital download version purchased by Australians.

      If they provided a local server maybe that could be justified, but just charging us more “because they can” get’s irritating.

      • Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink |

        True — we are already paying more.

      • Tom
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink |

        And if you bought Diablo 3 (physical version) from Dick Smith or Big W it was $60 here, neither of which are small obscure stores.

        Buying direct from Blizzard was pretty much the worst option available for Diablo 3.

    10. Dude
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink |

      Massive beat up. During Aussie prime time I can play on my 3G wifi hotspot with around 330 ping and 200 on my Adsl. You don’t notice it. Yes if you Play during us prime time it rises a 100 or so but I still don’t notice it. Occasionally there is an issue with the instance I am in. I just leave and join the game again once I reach the next checkpoint.

      I am in inferno act 4 so I have played a little.

      • Daniel
        Posted 29/05/2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink |

        Well you won’t be playing now, it’s 8 hour down time!

        • Dude
          Posted 29/05/2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink |

          Arrrrrrrrrr. Noooooooooooo. Lol. League of legends tonight then.

          • Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink |

            Starcraft II is a better option :)

            • seven_tech
              Posted 01/06/2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

              Hey Renai, would you recommend Starcraft 2?

              I was OBSESSED with original Starcraft and it’s still one of the best games I play at LAN’s, but I heard they kind of….overcomplicated things a bit in 2. That and the fact that it’s in 3 parts put me off.

              • Posted 01/06/2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink |

                Would I recommend StarCraft II? I usually play it for about three hours a night. So yes, I would recommend it :)

                Also I love watching the commentated matches on GomTV.net.

                • seven_tech
                  Posted 01/06/2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink |

                  Oh….oh….oh…DON’T get me started on GOM….I swear I lost 2 months of my life when I first discovered it!!

      • Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink |

        330 ping is not fantastic for any form of online gaming. Chess, maybe.

        • NPSF3000
          Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink |

          “330 ping is not fantastic for any form of online gaming. Chess, maybe.”

          There are tons of games that play fine on huge lateness. Ever played a text based mmo – you could latency of 1 min for most of ‘em!

          Back to the ‘real’ games – most RTS’s I’ve played are fine with 500ms of latency.

          • Posted 29/05/2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink |

            “most RTS’s I’ve played are fine with 500ms of latency”

            Obviously you do not play StarCraft II.

      • anon
        Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink |

        You’ll notice it when you’re playing Inferno difficulty.

      • Matt
        Posted 29/05/2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink |

        A 300 ping isn’t a problem until you hit Inferno.
        As a demon hunter, I couldn’t – wasn’t physically able – to hit the vault button fast enough to avoid some moves. I saw them coming, and would have been able to avoid them with a lower ping.

        As always, its the high end where an even marginally higher ping can make all the difference.

    11. chugs
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink |

      you’d probably need to do more then a few hundred complaints on a forum to get a local server.

      I’d say a lulz type attack combined with a reddit campaign plus some good old fashion stalking of key blizzard execs.

      till then you’re all fluff and nothing you say will do anything

      • Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t agree; it was exactly this kind of article which got Blizzard to back down on the StarCraft II region locking issue for Australians.

    12. Pache
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink |

      I’m not positive about this information, but my reading so far suggests that D3 only has servers in the West Coast US, France and Korea currently. Presumably when China opens they’ll also merit their own server.

      It seems to me that Blizzard is moving to a mega-server style structure. WoW has servers in multiple european, us & asian cities, but with each new game the number of server locations has gotten smaller and smaller. As best as I know, now even the East Coast US doesn’t qualify for dedicated servers.

      I’d be curious to see more follow up on how servers for response-time oriented software (e.g. games) are being handled. Are client/cloud applications that rely on centralised servers really the way of the future? Or is it just Blizzard?

      • Brendan.
        Posted 29/05/2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink |

        In a world where there is an increasing case of “cloud” or de-centralisation to distribute compute across a vast geographical, you have to hand it to Blizzard to swim upstream and progressively centralise servers.

        This isn’t new. They’ve been shrinking the breadth of server footprint with each new title. I would expect the next Blizzard release to rely on servers in one locale only; even for the US market. It’s pretty clear that is the end goal.

    13. Zwan
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink |

      If blizzard was a bank, wouldn’t you move your money somewhere else with all these issues? They have maintenance in the middle of peak play time every Tuesday now for Aussies.

      Its a fair expectation that consumers get the 5 9′s (99.999%) from their services unless specified otherwise. There is no reason they even should HAVE down time. They should be making their service as close to what a locally run game should be as possible.

      The DRM (which they chose to implement) should not get in the way. There was no need for this server-client business to begin with. The other 2 games didn’t need it.

    14. Cut Snake
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink |

      I’m glad Delimiter is writing about this. After I paid $30 more for my copy than the yanks, I’m expected to put up with high latency and large periods of server maintenance during peak playing hours. It’s really just not good enough.

      Blizzard forced us into this online only set up and have seemingly made no effort to ensure their infrastructure was up to the task of supporting the Australian player base.

      • Nich
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

        I dunno. Noone forced me into buying the game, and I bought it with open eyes knowing what us server location would entail as far as latency and peak downtime.

        • Cut Snake
          Posted 30/05/2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

          So because you bought the game with the knowledge that you would likely experience game breaking latency and inconvenient maintenance windows that makes it OK? I don’t recall seeing shitty latency and extensive server down time in the features list on the box.

    15. Iceman
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink |

      They do not even have the decency to inform us that they are going to shut the servers down during peak time in “Australia and NZ General Discussion” Forum. Or when we log into the game with a simple message.

      We also pay more than most of the other people around the world for a download of their product. Pay extreme prices for lack of support, connectivity, high latency, character teleporting issues(which makes game unplayable at times).

      My ping ranges from 350-1500ms. I paid for battleping to get a ping sub 400ms, but it still teleports me around the world in single player. Why is that? I am on telstra with 24mbit connection, which gives me 15Mbps down and 1Mbps up.

      Surely they can make an investment into putting a team in Australia to look after their server, and to work locally with their customers.

      • Gav
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink |

        Thats turning into the most annoying thing for me with D3. I dont mind always on DRM, its not going to go away any time soon, but to have to open the game, look at a screen just to hit play, go to a login screen and put my password in just to get Error 90210 and not be able to get in is ridiculous.

        Why doesnt that initial screen with basic data advise there is a patch and servers are down? Its small things like that which get annoying. As for local servers, why not? In this day and age, server space is hardly the most expensive commodity out there, and if one company starts them, it encourages other companies to start them.

        SWTOR has local servers, for a relatively small player base (and has been rewarded for it – population is great on Aussie servers), so its not going to be a difficult thing for Blizzard to do. They just dont want to.

        As a side note to that, you can really tell the difference between a ping of 20 in SWTOR, and a ping of 300 in D3.

    16. Brendan.
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink |

      Blizzard won’t add servers in Australia, now more than ever as it’d be an acceptance there was an issue to begin with. Remember, the official line is “we are aware” not “we are going to fix”.

      I think the “cost” thing is really just a handy excuse; ISPs have frequently offered hosting and resources; it’s more a case of control of the ecosystem. A sign of the times; IP and Rights management is now huge business. Protecting that, well, we all know how far the games, film and music industries will go..

      We’re far better off angling for SEA servers; housed somewhere like Singapore, which would drop pings to 120-150 msec. It covers the (rather large) South East Asian market and would afford Australian and New Zealand players a good outcome.

      I don’t even think that’s likely; but it’s more likely than the near-absolute-zero chance of Blizzard building out, here.

    17. Josh
      Posted 29/05/2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink |

      Forget latency, what about being able to play it at all! Peak times I’m getting messages that servers are full and I’m waiting in a que. Was there for longer than I could wait. All I want to do is play the single player quest! beyond bad!

    18. bk
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 3:09 am | Permalink |

      I used to collect PC games. Since mandatory internet access is required for all the games now including single player I have no reason to collect. All games are rendered useless without a server so in the end I’d have to play a cracked game when the support is no longer available. Now I have to collect Xbox 360 games if I want the game disks to work in the future. Old games dont require an umbilical cord so I’ll just play those now or console games. I think Diablo II and original Starcraft are great. Starcraft II seems to be 1/3rd the game of the original. Also, Warcraft II only needed 1 disk per 3 players :P Incentive to buy PC games for me now is gone.

      • RocK_M
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

        @bk: If it makes you feel any better SCII is 1/3rd of the game it is (technically) =P Seeing as they still have the Zerg and Toss missions down the pipeline

    19. Bob
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink |

      Anything under ~300ms is fine for Diablo III. (Yes, I play it so I can confirm this.)

      If you’re getting 500ms to their servers, anytime, maybe you should talk to your ISP. I have played during US peak times (albeit not normally) and latency was normal. 200-250ms.

      That said, Southeast Asia would run far better, and I suspect the only reason it moved to the US by default is because we have so many ISPs with awful international links, and so the US is the most predictable for the whole country. My latency to Singapore, HK and Seoul is far better and I’m pretty sure SEA is in one of the above?

      • Gav
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink |

        When you’re playing the harder difficulty settings Bob, 100ms ping makes the game hard. On the hardest difficulty setting you’ll be lucky to get into the first outpost with 300ms pings.

      • PeterA
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink |

        Not its not.

        Yes I play it; so I know what I am talking about.

        why would you ever think an extra 150 milliseconds is good. I just don’t get it. A twitch game, especially in the higher level areas where the difference between registering a keypress and not is life or death; and 150 milliseconds “doesn’t matter”.

        During US peak it goes up to 430 (it adds 200 ms) Atleast in this situation I am happy in the knowledge that the americans are likewise affected. (they get 250 when we are getting 450)

    20. Homer
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink |

      The real issue here is this: why is latency even an issue when playing the game in SINGLE PLAYER MODE.

      I refuse to buy games from companies that deliberately cripple their software with this crap.

      • Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink |

        “The real issue here is this: why is latency even an issue when playing the game in SINGLE PLAYER MODE.”

        +1000

        • RocK_M
          Posted 30/05/2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink |

          + Infinity

          :D

    21. dox
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink |

      and this is why i wont be buying D3.
      I only ever play single player, why should i have to suffer lag to a US server, when i dont want multiplayer features.

    22. Soth
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink |

      If only they had LAN option or create your own multiplayer instant without going through the US..
      or Hey just putting this out there, why not just make it SINGLE PLAYER FOR SINGLE PLAYER.. Nah don’t be stupid.

    23. Daniel Myles
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink |

      I’m over it anyway, bored and not happy with the fact that Inferno is set up intentionally to encourage use of the RMAH. I don’t support cash cows. I’ve moved on to Day Z mod for ARMA 2 :)

      • Posted 30/05/2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink |

        Personally I am having trouble getting over my StarCraft II/Dark Souls addiction :)

    24. TRR
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink |

      I am currently up to Diablo Inferno, and I basically have to wait until US off-peak before I can do any reasonable attempts on him. The same pretty much went for the majority of Inferno progression.

      Farming Inferno with 400-500ms ping, while not impossible, makes it a lot harder.

      I have the intention of starting up a Hardcore character, but until the server issues are resolved, I think I will hold off for now.

      As for the suggestion about the Nagle algorithm registry fix that was mentioned above. I believe that only effected WoW. I have tried tunneling services with Diablo 3 as well, with little to no effect. In some cases, the latency would increase.

      I have a feeling that Blizzard knew the servers would be like this, with the assumption that a large number of players will only play through the game once, and that 3-4 weeks down the line, the overall concurrent users would be a lot less. i.e. they don’t want to devote extra resources to something, when they just know it will be redundant a few weeks down the line.

    25. Daelin
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink |

      It’s interesting however 10 years ago EA/Origin were able to deploy an Oceania Ultima Online server in Sydney without major concern for their bottom line yet Blizzard are compltely unwilling to come to the party.

      It’s unfortunate that publishers are consistently complacent with these types of launch hiccups and early adopters are constantly punished for their brand loyalty.

    26. Jono
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

      The fact is that setting up a data centre in Australia is more expensive than you think. Someone here posted that it’s only $2000 a month for 48RU of space in a Tier 3 DC, that may be so but there are additional (far far far more expensive) costs they will get billed for based on the amount of power usage their cluster uses. Keep in mind they will probably need to employ additional staff to run it and also pay for bandwidth/data usage. There will be additional licensing costs for running such an operation too. It all adds up! It would be interesting to see how much revenue Blizzard actually makes from Australian customers compared to regions where they localise servers.

      Blizzard is a company that has a responsibility to make profits for its stakeholders, and I doubt there’s profit in Australia unfortunately.

      • Posted 30/05/2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

        Given the hundreds of thousands of Australians who will buy Diablo III and play it for years, yea, I think there is quite a lot of profit in Australia ;)

      • djos
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink |

        That was me who posted the aprox costs, I’m a Former Data Center Manager for an ISP and the only extra costs (assuming they where a normal customer and they woldnt be) would be power @ aprox 30c p/kWh & bandwidth ……. however I can tell you right now I know of several ISP’s that would fall all over themselves to virtually give away rack space & bandwidth to Blizzard just to get bragging rights and more importantly make their offerings more attractive to the gaming community in Aus.

        A Classic example of the symbiotic relationships ISP’s have with other organisations is Akamai, I dont know a single ISP that charges Akamai a single cent for their rack of equipment living in their DC’s. Why you ask, because Akamai’s gear improves their customers experience (eg iTunes, MS updates etc) for their customers while reducing the ISP’s external traffic which saves them money on bandwidth.

        Having Blizzard servers in their DC will provide all the same benefits as Akami Servers plus good publicity for the ISP.

        • Posted 30/05/2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink |

          +1

        • GongGav
          Posted 30/05/2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

          I was thinking similar, but from a different angle. Whats to stop Activision, or Sony, or some other big brand techo from having a data center based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth simply for online games? Low level costs, massive PR, and a stable base of operations to sort this out.

          With the NBN coming, or here for some, there is a huge opportunity to host both SE Asia games and entertainment files (Netflix, Hulu, etc) here as well. Take advantage of all the bandwidth we’re creating, and set a base of operations here.

          Working something like that within the ISP’s is just as good, and in fact in previous eras is what happened – the bigpond game servers spring immediately to mind, and I remember my ISP at the time hosting Unreal Tournament 2004 servers for online gaming.

          What ISP wouldnt get much cudo’s from hosting an Aussie WoW server or 3?

    27. Josh
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

      I just reurned Diablo 3 it was that bad. JB HiFi were very nice about it.

      • Chris
        Posted 30/05/2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

        I am surprised they allowed you to return a game with online activation. Since they cannot resell it… Unless they don’t realise they can’t resell it!

        • Josh
          Posted 30/05/2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink |

          Under Australian law they have no choice:

          Section 54 of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010
          “(1) If:
          (a) a person supplies, in trade or commerce, goods to a
          consumer; and
          (b) the supply does not occur by way of sale by auction;
          there is a guarantee that the goods are of acceptable quality.

          (2) Goods are of acceptable quality if they are as:
          (a) fit for all the purposes for which goods of that kind are
          commonly supplied; and
          (b) acceptable in appearance and finish; and
          (c) free from defects”

          Section 55
          ” (1) If:
          (a) a person (the supplier) supplies, in trade or commerce, goods
          to a consumer; and
          (b) the supply does not occur by way of sale by auction;
          there is a guarantee that the goods are reasonably fit for any
          disclosed purpose, and for any purpose for which the supplier
          represents that they are reasonably fit. ”

          I asserted the game was not fit to be a single player game as is advertised since I can’t play it when I want to. In fact I purchased this for my wife as she loved Diablo 2 so very much. She has never been able to play it yet (in a queue waiting for a server place, down for maintenance etc.) It is a shame as the game is quite awesome when it does work, but that has only been about 10% of the time we have tried it. Not good enough.

          I would encourage anybody who is as disappointed as I was to return to game also.

          And just to make a point I’ve asked for my battle.net account to be terminated altogether.

          • Rohan
            Posted 30/05/2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink |

            I would counter this by saying Diablo 3 is a fantastic game and yes it has been down for a fractional amount of time but if you didn’t do your research before you bought it then you are the fool.

            Well done for getting Diablo 3 for free.

            Should we get Diablo 3 local servers? Yes, but that’s a different topic.

            • Josh
              Posted 30/05/2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink |

              I did do some research and did see a lot of people having some problems. I would never have imagined it was this bad though (as in I can’t play it at all bad.)

              And I didn’t get Diablo 3 for free, I got a pissed off wife because she got a stupid present for her birthday. Not because she didn’t like getting Diablo 3, she thought that was great, she was really cut she just could not play it. I’m not paying $69 to irritate my wife (I seem to be able to do that quite well enough without paying anything thank you very much. Reminds me, I need to find her a new birthday present now.) Also I would assume they would deactivate my copy of Diablo 3 at some point, though this is a moot point since I was effectively not able to play it.

    28. Albert Davies
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink |

      Hence why playing something else until Torchlight II turns up is a sound idea.

    29. DougF
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink |

      400 ping times…. I’m getting a faster updates playing words with friends.

    30. SMEMatt
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

      Valve get “it”. No need to host your own content in a single data center.

      There are two things at work here for Blizzard. The DRM which is why you need to log in to some sort of authentication system and the anti-hacking so the RMAH doesn’t become a joke due to item dupes and exploits, which is why you connect to a server to play single player, it does also strengthen anti DRM measures.

      Now you can have all or Authentication, lobby and DRM stuff on an in house server but offload game instances to any other server in the world, say for example the closest one to the customer which might be located in a internode/iinet data-center, then your games are hosted as the marketing droid would say “in the cloud”. Pretty sure this is how valve handle L4D as all i see for my client is connecting to a game I don’t even know what server I end up on.

      The best part is once you’ve got these instance servers distributed over the globe, you can use them for your next big game because by that time you will have excess capacity in the instance system. The best part is you are no longer segregating you customer base in regions as they can all connect to the same Authentication, lobby and DRM you host in whatever country is cheapest for you but then get shuffled off to the best available instance server to game. No different to how media is served via Akamai or people play some games today (L4D for example).

    31. Posted 30/05/2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink |

      Wow. I certainly didn’t expect this thread to take off so much!

    32. Snortlepig
      Posted 30/05/2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink |

      Not sure if anyone will take not of this, buried all the way down the comments, but…

      Some ‘lag’ in the game has nothing to do with the connection. Its a threading issue with the CPU that presents as low frame rates and slow response times. It’s often worse when people are in water, or there is fire on the screen, but it can present anywhere.

      To reduce the problem you need to enter task manager, right click on Diablo III and set the affinity to only a single core. Some people are okay with using 2, but I’d recommend 1.

      It seems to vary with your computer, but it comes and goes and can cause what feels like a bad response time, but really isn’t. My partners computer is right next to mine, I have the threading issue and she doesn’t so I was able to see what the difference was like when both playing on the same connections. It took me a while to find the solution because I’ve never seen a game behave like Diablo 3 does. It can cause issues that appear to be latency related like rubber banding, getting hit by monsters/projectiles that you were sure you avoided, spells taking extra time to cast ect.

      I play a demon hunter with a 800+ ping (I’m in a rural town with very bad wiring) and I very rarely get hit after I did this fix. Most of the calculations and combat are done client side and the returned to the server to verify. A high ping should not impact game-play that much. In some cases something else is going wrong if you having ‘latency’ issues with the game.

      I went to being extremely annoyed with the game, to loving it. So I hope I’ve helped some people to love the game too. I’ve had a few friends that have had different issues fixed like this and none of us have any issues with the game now.

      • Posted 30/05/2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink |

        Very interesting; this is certainly worth trying.

    33. Killthegreed.
      Posted 31/05/2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink |

      its not just the latency ive put my modem into demiliterized mode to stop error 3007 hasnt worked. Only thing i can do is type into public chat consistantly or i get booted within 5 minute.

      I die at times because ive hit enter and chat is up go to hit a potion and have to think quick when its not working. Ive stopped playing completely over it and they want to put it bacmk on us.

      There response switch to demiliterized zone opening me up to possible attacks. Go and buy a different modem. Its a joke it shouldnt happen and i wont be buying anything blizzard ever again.

    34. SBD
      Posted 01/06/2012 at 3:40 am | Permalink |

      I recall that Telstra’s Gamearena offered to provide servers for WOW around a year after release, so its a control issue not a cost issue.

      I believe they STILL have a weekly maintenance window that takes it offline every Tuesday night (early evening till after midnight) for around 8hours, and refused to ever roll the time period to only impact every three weeks. So Australian players pay their monthly fee and receive access 6/7 days.

      Events related to the game time of day “4pm fishing event” were only available in the wee small hours for a long time before Pacific time servers were created. (yet there were >100,000 Australian subscribers in the first month after release http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Warcraft:_The_Burning_Crusade)

      Continuous disregard for paying customers in this region has been the norm for Blizzard for years. If they dont want to support the proper experience, they shouldn’t release their games here.
      Perhaps they should even be prevented from doing so, along the lines of “goods not matching description” both regarding the described game experience versus server shortcomings, and literal differences between box description and actual game content (eg. dishonor system was not implemented in the year I played the game, yet a significant part of my choice to purchase it, and later to cease paying)

    35. TRR
      Posted 01/06/2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink |

      I have not had any latency issues since 1.02 was released. Green 200-250ms pings.

      But I guess the true test will come this weekend, when the servers are at max load.

      That said, there are still some intermittent Auction House issues.

    36. Justin
      Posted 01/06/2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink |

      The thing is, we pay more for the digital copy of the game than they do, I accidentally signed up an account with my region on the US, noticed after checking the price, quickly de activated the account and signed up for an australian region account, the game went from 60 u.s.d to 80 AUD, the AUD is fairly strong at the moment, so why is it that we are getting charged more for a worse service, we’re getting charged more but for a lower quality product, if they were to give us the ability to just log in via their servers, and host our own servers for interactions with friends or ourselves these issues would not be as big, but as it stands we’re paying more for the DIGITAL copy, which has no posting no physical cost, for a lesser quality product, the least they could do is offer some form of compensation.

    37. Steve
      Posted 01/06/2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

      Then you have to wait till they wake up to make a support phone call, this is bullshit service. not playing a blizzard game again

    38. mcderpin
      Posted 03/06/2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink |

      I would be less irate about this issue if I hadn’t been playing a twitch based multiplayer game WITH pvp and american servers with absolutely no issues for over 2 years now, LoL. My ping is always a solid 190-230 and it plays seamlessly 5vs5 players, in a very similar game to diablo.

      The only occasional hiccups are when everyone on both teams pop all their CC+flash, but you can still avoid that by using defensive skills first.

      In d3 forget chain casting abilities, doesn’t work. In inferno enjoy being vortexed and 1 shot without having a chance

    39. Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink |

      As a long time blizzard fan I really wanted diablo 3…I ran into a store as soon as I could but all sold out. Turns out I’m in luck as I don’t want to support a bloody company that won’t support us (Australians). Hell if I’m going to pay 100 to buy a game I can’t play properly because of latency issues – as much as I battle myself on this, because I really would love to play the game!!!! If only Australians held off buying this until blizzard got thee act together but I guess it’s too late for that.

      Bloody blizzard.

    40. Jman
      Posted 25/10/2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink |

      Hey here’s an idea…. give us an offline version of Diablo 3 and there wouldn’t be such a big problem!!!!




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