Blizzard: Telstra Bottleneck 'Local' Servers

For a long time there have been calls for local Australian servers for Blizzard titles such as World of Warcraft and Starcraft II. Recently there has been light shed on the issue - with the World of Warcraft production director, J Allen Brack, directly naming Telstra as the major obstacle.

"There are a couple of issues," claimed Brack, responding directly to a question posed by Stephen Farrelly at Ausgamers. "I feel bad for Australian players, but the biggest problem right now is the number one ISP in Australia; any traffic that gets routed outside of Australia goes to San Diego. So it doesn't matter where in the world you're going, you're going to San Diego. And then you're going to San Diego to somewhere else."

There are issues with Telstra - pinging data to and from San Diego to Blizzard's servers in Singapore is obviously far from ideal - but it's part of what is essentially an obscured issue. Blizzard obviously sees their Oceanic server set up in Singapore as 'local' for Australian gamers when it's not - it's over 6000 kilometres away. There are ISPs out there directing data straight to Singapore, but they still have some issues in terms of connectivity. If Blizzard were to set up truly 'local' servers, wouldn't the Telstra issue would be null and void?

UPDATE: We've just received an email from Telstra stating that Brack was actually referring to Optus, after mistakenly thinking they were the largest ISP in Australia. Which means, to an extent, that the problems Brack was referring to are actually less important than he stated. Take from that what you will!

BlizzCon 2010: Aussie Server Situation - Blizzard Responds [Ausgamers]


    Latency Problems I feel bad for you son I got 99 problems but my ping aint one.

      nice, love the hove

    it would be lovely for localised servers, but have you seen the costings for a server based in australia? in short: astronomical


    "If Blizzard were to set up truly ‘local’ servers, wouldn’t the Telstra issue would be null and void?"

    Maybe, unless Labour's filter miraculously gets put into place, :-(.

      If by "Labor's Filter", you mean "the filter supported by Labor and the Liberals"...

        Last I heard, the Liberals were against the current filter proposal (on the basis that it wouldn't work: not that they are against it on principal).

        Combine that with the Greens not supporting the filter, and it is pretty much dead in the water.

          im pretty sure one independant is against it too ... in short there is no legitimate way for it to become law

            I would not say that too laud. Conroy will take that as encouragement to find a way to make the filter legal.

    Yeah i cant really see the filter going any farther then it already has. Now all we have to worry about is ACTA...

    The filter is only for HTTP traffic (or DNS lookups depending on which one they go with). Seeing as WoW and most other games dont use HTTP (I doubt the even use TCP), it wont affect them in the slightest.

    Same as it wont affect sharing child pornography or whatever their scare campaign is now on anything other than HTTP (which I doubt is widely used because it is so easy to trace anyway, bittorrent seems much more likely).

      It only targets HTTP now, but it does not take much for filtration applications to be changed to look at other protocols.

      This is what I am getting at, and my apologies for forgetting to define the full scope in the first place. If the filter (through some pact with the Devil) gets through, it is very easy to extends the scope to all protocols and content.

        It's a fairly poor excuse for a "filter" as it's only a blacklist of http URLs. They could extend the service to include other protocols but that would cost a fortune (considering millions have been wasted on a simple blacklist).

        At the very least, we don't have to worry about any filter that couldn't be bypassed by someone with a high school education, because judging by the current costs, that filter would cost billions.

        Easy to block any protocol directly downloaded from an IP address or URI.

        Much harder to filter any distributed P2P protocol - and any attempt to do so will slow down all traffic significantly, much more so than a black list.

        And virtually impossible to be sure you're filtering only illegal content.

      the funny thing is it would have an impact on non-http content from all the people getting around the http block

    My interpretation is a bit different - Australia is part of the world, so anywhere in Australia would still be Aus -> San Dieago -> Back to aus. That seems odd but I honestly can't dismiss it as not happening given it's telstra we're talking about.

    I am surprised about the "top isp" comment though. I know wow is hardly just gamer territory, but the people who would see a difference are those who I would put under that banner - even if only casual ones. I would think the gamer demographic, ones who the change would be fore, would avoid telstra and optus like the plague.

      Telstra is the largest Telco in Australia, and Bigpond is the largest ISP. Doesn't matter whether gamers avoid them or not, that's just fact.

    Don't know how true to life this is. But I wouldn't be surprised if every bit was true. Telstra's personally screwed over my home internet with their "pair gain" system even though they're not my ISP, but due to them having a monopoly on the infrastructure.

    Singapore is "over 6000km away"? It's less than 3000km from Australia. It's only 6000km when you're measuring to Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane

      Read the article again.

    If an Aussie ISP partnered with Blizzard to host local servers I'd churn so fast it would make your head spin -and many others would as well.

    If Steam can organise local servers why can't Blizzard?

    There's a serious business opportunity waiting for an Aussie ISP willing to make the investment.

    There has been a thread(s) in the official warcraft forums regarding AU servers since it was released, literally thousands of complaints.
    With Runes of Magic establishing oceanic servers, maybe blizzard will eventually do the same (1-2 years away).

    I hate the fact Telstra, the monopoly on broadband for the past several years is a major factor in excruciatingly slow growth of multimedia/gaming hosted within Australia.

    P.S. bull to Blizzard, hosting within Australia was insanely expensive when WoW was released but the cost has reduced significantly, we have cloud datacentres and server farms located in Australia after all. Blizzard doesn't want to implement Oceanic based servers because it's not cost effective as the "Oceanic realms", it may be true but it's still a slap in the face to all Oz WoW players.

      Read: "There's this perfectly legitimate reason for them to not do this thing, but I'm going to be offended by this anyway!"

        Well yeah? Blizzard is a company, I'm a customer.

        Just because I understand companies prefer to implement a cheap alternative into existing infrastructure than build new infrastructure into a smaller market, does not mean I can't be unhappy with it.

        Probably an accurate paraphrase actually, may have been sarcasm in which case...

      what bout diablo2 and the release off 3 comming up how bout us iv played d2 for 9 years and the ping is getting worse every year i sit on 280 to 500 now and getting to point not playing

    Regardless of what isp you go through - telstra own those lines. Telstra "rent out" these lines etc to other teleco's so either way u gotta go through telstra. So blizz see it as screw messing with the middle man and just go straight to the top. Although telstra f*cked the entire australian population with their bad and cheap implementation this will always be a hurdle for anyone that uses the internet for whatever reason. But there have been a few aussie servers popping up which begs the question "well if they have one why cant wow players have one?"

    The thing also is that the broadband network WITHIN australia is one of the fastest. Its when we have to send or rec info out of australia thats when the speed drops dramatically cos out pipeline sucks. So having a server WITHIN australia would be win!

    For a company that turns over a billion dollars are year... WTF ARE U WHINGING ABOUT BLIZZARD!!!!!


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