Addon spam being throttled

So, mods like Gearscore are known memory-hogs, because they tend to (very rapidly) ping the server with requests to get information to calculate scores for a lot of people. This would be okay if only one person was doing it, but if you have a high population area (like Dalaran) with possibly hundreds of people coming and going, the combined effects of a lot of people using the addon could potentially be problematic.

Fortunately, the inspection requests from these addons will soon be throttled, to reduce their contribution to server lag. The announcement for this change is on the WOW forums here.

So, there are a couple of points that I wanted to cover:

  • Gear-score and other mods that are being throttled by this change will still work. They will potentially just take longer to load all the information that you want (or the mods may even be changed to be more picky about who they ping). That’s fine, since you didn’t instantly need to know the gearscore of all 1,000 people standing next to you in Dalaran when you go to get something out of the bank.
  • This change is good for people who both do & don’t use the addons. A throttling effect will reduce lag both for these addon users and for the people who are being pinged. My guild has had several raid occasions when we asked people to turn off gearscore to help reduce lag when we were raiding.
  • This should only effect addons that get their data by spamming inspection requests to look at your gear and such. However, since you can still send those inspection requests, we may not even really see the effects of the change, other than being annoyed about your addon working more slowly.
  • Why not just disable these things altogether? People are always going to use arbitrary methods of judging people and their gear for PUGs. At this point, you can figure it out just by looking at what item-levels are on their gear in the armory. If you don’t know anything about the details of how a class gears, you really don’t get anything more than the fact they have high item levels and seem to have stats that would be reasonable for that class (even if they are 500 haste over their haste cap – how would you know?).
  • In addition, breaking gearscore altogether would break a bunch of other mods and have overall bad consequences for addon development in the game. Throttling allows all the addons to work, without having them lag the server so bad. So, it should hopefully end up being a good solution for everyone. There may still be some addons that stop being supported with the changes – but hopefully everyone will just decide to adapt.
  • It may take a while for the addons to function after the change goes live. So, if you use anything that submits inspect requests (including ones that check talents to guess what their role is), they may or may not need to be updated after the change. Since they weren’t able to play with this on the PTR, it may take a while for the addon developers to get them all fixed.

In conclusion, the problem with these addons is that they caused lag for both the person using the addon AND the people around them who are getting pinged. Since this resembles server-lag for the people who aren’t using the addon, it was Blizzard’s place to step in and help with making places like Dalaran a better place to hang out. You should still be able to get those scores when you really need them.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted June 25, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I 100% agree with the throttling.

  2. Wowopa
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    This is an excellent point and should have been stressed a little more in the blue post:

    “This change is good for people who both do & don’t use the addons. A throttling effect will reduce lag both for these addon users and for the people who are being pinged. My guild has had several raid occasions when we asked people to turn off gearscore to help reduce lag when we were raiding.”

    Personally, I’d like to see the gearscore on hover disabled and only work when you actually send /inspect reqeuest.

  3. Osi
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    One thing you must remember is that the Dungeon Finder uses it’s own Gearscore to determine if a person have access to a dungeon or not. This have been proven and validated every since that tool came out.

    So it kinda makes me wonder why Blizz is throttling.

  4. Ben
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    When using gs in a raid, I am pretty sure it stops everything during combat. From what I understand, it’s been that way since 3.2 or so. There are some addons, like Carbonite, that I know can cause problems for other people in the raid, though.

    Still, if it’s supposed to be a cause of Dalaran lag, then I’m perfectly happy with the throttling!

  5. Chezza
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m in hopes that throttling such mods will perhaps discourage the development of mods that arbitrarily “judge” someone’s performance based on something like item level. After all, I think that this year’s April Fool’s joke had plenty of editorial content regarding addons such as Gearscore.
    http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/equipmentpotency.xml

  6. Ragugo
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Maybe this will fix the problem with Ravencrest EU (or Ravencrash as we use to call it).
    That realm crashes nearly every day at around normal Raiding time (19.00-23.00 server time).

  7. Zafil
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    @Osi – Their gearscore equivalent is a small addition to the data attached to your character which only has an effect when you use LFD (or LFR…not sure, I actually haven’t even bothered with LFR).

    The gearscore mod is a client based server request similar to making an inspect then scanning over each piece of gear they have that is done every time you’re in range of someone you can scan, so it requires a LOT more resources to use that in any crowded area.

    Blizzard has already shown that their system has a hard time with crowded areas (Wintergrasps cap on number of players, ye olde Tarren Mill vs Southshore), so anything they do to try to control that is a good thing in my book. I could honestly accept a change towards what other MMOs have an you have different channels when the population in an area reaches a certain point.

  8. Chezza
    Posted June 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “Blizzard has already shown that their system has a hard time with crowded areas (Wintergrasps cap on number of players, ye olde Tarren Mill vs Southshore), so anything they do to try to control that is a good thing in my book.”

    Don’t forget Ironforge back before patch 1.9 when the only Alliance auctionhouse was there.