World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor - Reduced Latency


I stumbled over something interesting when reading through the upcoming features of the next expansion pack.

Something i found technically interesting.

Warlords of Draenor will see changes to how the game servers work, allowing for improved responsiveness during play. Currently, actions that one unit takes upon another are processed in batches every 400ms, consistently causing small amounts of delay in actions such as healing other characters. While this delay is generally undesirable in that it produces a less responsive game experience, in some cases it can more substantially affect gameplay. For example, a healer may cast a healing or protective spell upon an ally just before they take fatal damage from a boss attack. The spell is cast and the spell’s cooldown activated, but the effect itself is placed in a queue to be processed at the next 400ms interval. In the meantime, the target may take damage from the boss attack and die, in spite of the life-saving spell already having been successfully cast upon them.

With Warlords of Draenor, the system will now process each such action as quickly as possible, with a predicted latency of 1-10ms. This should make the game feel significantly more responsive, and is predicted to reduce the frequency of latency-caused death and cooldown activation by around 40 times.



Yes but, what does it all mean? 





I don’t play WoW or anything, but what it sounds like can be summarized as the following:


The servers refresh every 400ms. So if you cast a spell, it won’t actually happen until the server has reached the 400ms update window. This delay can greatly effect this game, since the cooldown timer for your spells start immediately, while the spells themselves are cast when the server “updates.” 400ms is just shy of 1/2 a second, so that half-second delay in spells can mean life or death for your buddy/opponent (whichever the case may be).

The next update

The servers will be updating at a much faster rate. Instead of updating at a just-shy-of-1/2-second pace, they’ll be updating 40x faster. This will eliminate the delay from when you click the spell to cast it, and when it actually casts, improving response times and creating an overall faster feel.

Like I said, I don’t play WoW, so this might not be 100% accurate in terms of gameplay, but I know that the mechanical part of it is accurate.



Nice, nice. I don’t play it either but it’s nice to read stuff about stuff ‘n’ stuff. :smiley: