Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
 
Patch day

SWTOR is doing its first post-release patch today, version 1.0.1. Well, I hope it fixes that minor but annoying bug where the slicing skill of my alt shows up as unusable skill on my main, and confusingly marks all slicing object on the mini-map for him. But other than such minor bug fixes I don't expect anything from that patch.

What is somewhat annoying for me as European, is that Bioware doesn't adapt patch times to time zones. The European servers are patched at the same time as the US ones, 4 am CST to 10 am CST. Which is 11 am to 5 pm over here, thus preventing me from playing for a good part of the day.
Comments:
Just noticed this - annoying for Europeans, many of whom are still on holiday. Think your times may be a bit off. I understood: 6 hours down time, 6 hours behind GMT. So more like 10AM-4PM GMT.
 
I'm talking Europe, not UK, which is a small island increasingly drifting towards the US. :)

Continental Europe is GMT+1
 
@Tobold - for UK Orwell predicted it long ago.

Anyway I would really like to see your take on the lack of useful grouping tool and MIA UI customization/addons. Because currently if you are not perfectly positioned within the leveling curve group content is out of limits.
 
It's a bank holiday and they take the servers down all day.......the annoying part of this is we are probably paying the guy who made this decision a small fortune. You can't even get into account management to end your subscription

And Tobold pushing Germany away is not the same as drifting towards the US :)
 
Then it's like 11:00-17:00, not like 07:00-17:00 as you wrote in your post :)

I doubt they patch 6 hours in US and 10 hours in EU -- although you never know :)
 
Just shows that they don't understand that the world exists of more than the USA.

At least Blizzard try to minimise the impact of patching and maintenance based on region.
 
Well I am sure you can find something else to do. Patches are a necessary evil if you want to play a functioning game.
 
Bit of an annoying move by BioWare given that it's still a holiday in most of Europe today. I myself was quite looking forward to playing this morning! Shame.

I also noted that the forums are offline too preventing anyone from complaining :P
 
At least you actually get to play the game. Apparently, if you live in Israel (or many other countries), EA don't want your money.
 
How does the patch window change from 6 hours to 10 hours as it travels over the pond? ;)
 
I think Roq is talking about the fact that the downtime, according to your post is 6 hours for the US, but 10 hours for Europe.

"The European servers are patched at the same time as the US ones, 4 am CST to 10 am CST [6 hours]. Which is 7 am to 5 pm [10 hours] over here"
 
Ah you mean that lot across the channel who are just about to be downgraded by Standard and Poors? :).
 
11 am to 5 pm in CET. Regardless it is annoying.

I had the same problem with my slicing alt and non-slicing main. Also hoping that they fix the guild list bugs. 2 guildies could not see nor talk in /g and most of us could never see a full list. And the amount of members online changed depending on which order you had the guild list on (level, name, rank ect ect).
 
Understand but you listed a 10 hour duration in Europe...
 
Well, it's annoying for anyone who wants to play, not just Europe! I'm here in New York, was online when servers went down and will be here staring at the screen until its back up :) Holidays in USA too!
 
Fixed
 
Patch has been extended. Maybe my error of writing 10 hours patch instead of 6 was prophetic. :)
 
While scheduled maintenance is good, it seems rather stupid to have one this week. I don't think there are any bugs in the game that couldn't have waited until next week to fix. It's 2 days after Christmas and now you are shutting down the servers for half the morning in the USA and an entire afternoon in Europe?

This isn't helping them place their best foot forward imo. The kids that opened Star Wars just two days ago are going to get the wrong... or perhaps right... idea about this game. Not being able to play your new Christmas gift because the servers are down is going to break some hearts.
 
I's there first major patch and I cannot imagine they would not adjust the maintenance window to something suited for the corresponding region.

Besides that it's annoying as it can get! :P
 
Ah Patch Tuesday

Because Bill Gates hired a DEC Operating System programmer in 1988 named Dave Cutler. Dave from his experiences with VMS decided on a Kernel memory structure arrangement that included making details closer to ring 0 than say UNIX.

So ordinary updates that in most other OSes require no reboot. ALL Windows platforms do require a reboot (Win 7 includes an NT microkernel).

Hence a fateful decision in 1988 in a pervasively popular OS requires us to wait for our daily dose of MMO.

And you probably thought nothing important happened in the 80s.
 
Don't you love when game companies refuse to call screw up a screw up. What is this mania of saving face. It was at the wrong time for eu, extended and (still) eating of the prime time.

So yeah it gets more and more prophetic. I only hope that you were not optimistic.
 
Servers are back up. From the Dev Tracker on swtor.com:

"We understand that many of you are home for the holidays, and that this maintenance extension interrupted your expected play time – especially for our players in Europe. In the future, we’ll be looking at ways to improve the timing of our maintenance periods, and we will definitely work to ensure that our maintenance estimates are as accurate as possible."
 
While I recognize the frustration of having the patch and downtime occur during your normal play hours, I don't think what you're asking for is current possible.

One big problem with staggering the European and American patches so that it's middle of the night for each set of servers is the really, really long day the patch team has to put in.

While World of Warcraft is probably large enough to support two teams of people for patching, Star Wars is still fairly small (a million or so?) and so one team is going to be doing all the patching. That means they'd have to be awake for the 6+ hours of patching, maybe get a nap, and then do it all over again.

There's also the whining, screaming, and other complaining that would arise both from people who were upset that their bug fixes got delayed and those who were upset that someone else's nerfs got delayed. ("Hey, those other folks got to use the better slicing for another 8 hours after we lost it! That's not FAIR!")
 
Tobold, I'd like to read your view on the slicing nerf that apparently went live with the patch, and its impact on the SWTOR economy. Are you OK with Bioware on this ?
 
@Epiny:

I disagree. I think this IS putting their best foot forward. Bioware is showing that they will stay on top of problems, especially things like performance issues or gameplay issues that have an effect on a significant number of players.

I'd much rather have this than the foot some MMOs put forward where gameplay and performance issues are still there six months later and where even simple fixes are delayed weeks or months until they decide to patch.
 
"Dave from his experiences with VMS decided on a Kernel memory structure arrangement that included making details closer to ring 0 than say UNIX."

If I remember rightly (It's a long time ago) - Cutler didn't want to do that. But, his original design got changed, on the grounds that graphics performance was effected by not being able to access the kernel directly. I think those changes are responsible for a lot of the instability in subsequent versions of windows.

Even so, 6 hours (actually 8 as it turned out) seems like a long down time for installing a patch (which presumably had been tested). If we did that on trading systems the worlds economy would grind to a halt.
 
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