Time Warner Vows to Fix World of Warcraft Problems, Denies Blizzard's Claims

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Connection problems plaguing New York City-area World of Warcraft subscribers using Time Warner Cable's Road Runner Internet service will be resolved "as soon as possible," Time Warner spokesperson Alex Dudley told Shacknews.

Many NYC-area subscribers on the Road Runner internet service have experienced severe connection difficulties on World of Warcraft servers since July, as detailed in a 25-page thread in the World of Warcraft forums.

Blizzard administrators attempting to resolve the issue placed the blame squarely on an alleged change in Time Warner's network management policy. "The cause of these other issues seems to be being blamed on the packet shaping protocols that Time Warner/Road Runner has recently implemented," a Blizzard employee said in the forum. "Our network administrators are continuing to examine what the cause may be, but at this time the cause does seem to be this packet shaping software."

However, Dudley refuted this statement, saying that Time Warner has not implemented a change like this to its service, though it holds the right to do so. "We don't have a network management policy called packet shaping," he said. "None of our network management policies are designed to impact a customer's ability to play World of Warcraft."

Dudley also denied the legitimacy of a news release detailing Time Warner's nationwide rollout of packet shaping technology, which would potentially cause the same connection difficulties for Time Warner subscribers everywhere. The text of the release had been revealed on forums at DSLreports.com, and posters said Road Runner customer service representatives had e-mailed the information to them in response to service complaints.

"We don't issue releases that outline our network management policies or changes to that policy," Dudley said. "Customer service reps don't send that stuff to folks." Dudley said connection issues affecting NYC-area customers playing other games--like Valve's Counter Strike--also would be resolved.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 9, 2007 2:17 PM

    Tip of the iceberg when it comes to net neutrality?

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      August 9, 2007 2:22 PM

      you know i was just thinking that...

      it seems like it could get to a point where ISPs can wrestle with game and app developers out there once they get large enough to screw with and squeeze for cash.

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        August 9, 2007 2:24 PM

        This is exactly why we should be concerned about keeping the net neutral and open to all. If there's a possibility for something like this to happen it needs to be prevented.

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          August 9, 2007 2:34 PM

          But on the other hand, shouldn't businesses have the right to charge companies who are pushing products that use up the majority of their bandwith?

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            August 9, 2007 2:37 PM

            we're the ones using the bandwidth. that's why we pay for a subscription to USE that bandwidth.

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            August 9, 2007 4:01 PM

            But that bandwidth is already paid for! What you're talking about would be double dipping.

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              August 9, 2007 4:19 PM

              Did you just double dip?! I just saw you dip *like this* and then dip again *like this*!

              No, I was not double dipping! I turned it around to the other side *like this*!

              That's still double dipping!

              ....

    • reply
      August 9, 2007 2:24 PM

      Yup, I thought the same thing. It's only going to get worse.

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        August 9, 2007 2:40 PM

        Hopefully there will always be a competing ISP which would offer the same service without the additional crap

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          August 9, 2007 4:02 PM

          That's already not the case in the vast majority of America. Most people don't have a real choice in broadband.

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      August 9, 2007 2:42 PM

      The good news is that people are freaking about it. This is what the 'anti neutrality legislation's' people have been saying.

      The two options are:

      1. Make legislation that requires ALL packets to be the same.

      2. Don't make new laws to govern something that the market will take care of.

      I'm not in favor of ISP's screwing me over (directly or indirectly) so I think a 'Neutral Net' is a good thing. However, I tend to agree with the people who say the market will sort it out.

      Look at this. They put in packet shaping in the NYC test market. It starts screwing with people's gaming. People get upset. They try to blame it on somebody else. They lie in the face of evidence from multiple sources. They aren't going to get away with it. And this is just gaming.

      Wait till the infamous day when Youtube gets decreased service and just imagine what the uproar will be. I really don't think that customer hostile packet shaping has any sort of viability. We just have to make sure that enough 'big players' don't give in to the extortion (ie..service premiums).

      And then, if we do it with the 'market' and not legislation, if someone comes up with a packet shaping system that comsumers actually LIKE, they'll be allowed to do it and not blocked by some law that didn't foresee it.

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        August 9, 2007 2:48 PM

        i'm more worried about the 'little guys' like us. smaller indie guys who reach a few million users but if an ISP decides to hose us i dont think we could cause a big enough stink in the PR world to actually get them to help us.

        we'd end up having to pay whatever fees they chose to charge us. multiply that by hundreds of ISPs and we could get screwed.

        we are big enough for an ISP to squeeze for cash but too small to cause an ISP any real PR harm.

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          August 9, 2007 2:53 PM

          eek... :(

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          August 9, 2007 3:03 PM

          Exactly. Net neutrality isn't really about packet shaping, except insofar as saying ISPs can't packet shape based on the company that originated the packet, only by the general type of data in the packet (voice, gaming, etc.).

          Net neutrality, ultimately, is about whether ISPs should be allowed to squeeze out competitors to the content offerings of themselves or their partners. "Sure, we'll let you through....for $100,000 a year. Oh, you can't pay that? Sucks to be you."

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            August 9, 2007 3:19 PM

            Blizz should make a quest chain in WoWzer to explain all this to it's 9mil. supporters.

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          August 9, 2007 3:35 PM

          But if lots of small communities band together and then start to bitch, it could help turn some tables and flip some lids.

          But the first rule of project mayhem is that we don't talk about project mayhem.

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            August 9, 2007 3:37 PM

            They band together at the complaint sites that are also blocked by the ISPs?

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          August 9, 2007 4:58 PM

          Yeah, this is precisely why the anti-net neutrality protocol is complete idiotic horse shit. Greed sucks.

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          August 9, 2007 8:05 PM

          I was thinking more of a general backlash against the practice.

          The small guys and the big guys would both be affected, but when the big guys roared and the public was FORCED to become informed (and you started hearing about it on "News at Nine" that the whole concept would go away.

          I guess they could just not charge the high-profile guys and get their kicks with nickel and dime sites, but I don't see happening.

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            August 9, 2007 10:22 PM

            The public? Forced to be informed? Are you joking?

            Besides, what good is an informed public when there are all of two ISPs in an area, and neither have any particular motivation to drop their restrictions since they'll continue to have customers regardless? They're making lots of sure bank by forcing content providers to pay. Why give that up for unsure income that requires actual competition?

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        August 9, 2007 4:04 PM

        The market can only sort it out if there's a viable competitor. Seeing as there's still no good last mile alternative to DSL or Cable, there is no actual market competition so to speak. If you want broadband, you sorta have to just deal with it, because the only alternatives in a large number of places in the US is really laggy satellite connections or dialup, and that's it.