Friday, January 16, 2009

The Lag Beast

Such a mysterious creature, this lag beast is. A creature with no actual corporeal form, yet can produce area effects that transcend epic proportions... The Lag Beast is actually so mysterious, that it is often hard to determine if it is truely present...
Detection methods usually go something like this:

Insta-damage spamming Ret-Pally: "Are you guys getting some lag?"
Leetz resto druid healer: "OMG I can't remove that curse before another one is applied!"
Feralie cute druid tank: "Hmm my swipes just aren't connecting very fast.. watch your agro okay?"
Loud Caps-lock using Enh-Shaman: "WTF! LAG SPIKE! I HATE THIS LAG!"

At this point we can usually confirm that the Lag beast is indeed present and that is has initiated it's surprise attack by now. All of the party members then begin to brace themselves... The tank may pop some emergency buttons, a few Tauren might try to warstomp to slow some of the beastly damage.. Clothies might begin to flee and cower in corners....
Many of us also brace for the unfortunate "You have been disconnected" message and get kicked out to the character loading screen to spam the connect button and grumble as the "server is unavailable" message for the next X number of minutes... Eeek

What can we do to fight back?
Well one thing certainly does help.. The use of a voice communication program to communicate within the party can rule out if the lag is due to Blizzard server issues, or if it is a possible internet hub that is lagging. Also the detection of this mysterious beast is confirmed much more rapidly when verbally communicating rather than typing in party chat. The Lag beast hates us and wants to make our lives miserable. Taking away our ability to work together is his favorite evil deed! I mean, don't you get more frustrated if you experience an issue but then can't even tell anyone about it? If your power fails due to a lightening storm, but you can't call the raid leader to let them know you won't be back for an unknown amount of time.. and you pace in your pitch-black home fretting, knowing they will let that ..other guy.. have your raid spot because you can't tell anyone anything?
lol Okay well maybe that hasn't happened to you but..

Everyone has been a victim of the Lag Beast at some point in time.
Probably the worse lag beast attack I have had was when tanking the adds that come into the Muru chamber in Sunwell. Of course missing even one of the 3 adds means that likely someone is going to die.. and usually it's that resto shaman that was keeping you up by throwing insanely awesome heals on you creating healing agro through the roof...

Lag Beast --> 12849375
Random guild of High Occupancy server ---> 0

There some trends though.. that one can be aware of and be prepared for. For example... Naxx resets on Tuesdays.. so what is almost every guild doing on Tuesday? Running their Naxx runs most likely. So our guild has bumped our Naxx run to Wednesdays. We have been able to complete a full Naxx 25, plus 25-man Malygos, and throw in a 25-man Wintergrasp at the same time. ... leaving us with just Sartharion + 3 drakes for our Sunday raid day.

The Lab Beast has tried to thwart our raid progress!! But it has failed... Perhaps I'd like to blame it for our guild not achieving the Immortal achievement yet, but I think it's player attention span that we have to blame...

Possible precautionary measures:

  • Evaluate UI and remove all that isn't necessary
  • Examine game video settings and use minimal detail settings
  • Upgrade your internet service to higher speed
  • Buy a new top of the line computer system!!!

I guess I'm limited to the first two options. I have only been able to do some minor upgrades like like .. extra memory added, newer video card, newer monitor, upgrade version of windows...

But nothing will stop the Blizzard generated Lag Beast..

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