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By: mtgotraders, Heath Newton
Nov 07 2007 10:45am
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I'm posting this here because I think it is something all players should read it and I know most players do not read the message boards.

Worth Wollpert posted the following:

"Hi all,

I wanted to come by and let everyone know what was going on with the current state of LRW release events, what happened today (and yesterday) after we turned the 8 man queues on, and what the plan is for going forward.

We've recently instituted some changes to the code that disables some features like replays, offline messages, etc. Those changes appear to have actually helped some when the server is NOT at near maximum capacity like it has been the previous 2 days during prime time.

When the East Coast folks get off of work, we start to creep up into the 3500+ concurrent user area, and we get there even quicker when we have draft queues firing. The raw number of users itself is an issue, but without literally hundreds upon hundreds of 8 man queues firing within the span of a couple hours, it is a manageable one. This past Friday was bad, but once we got a handle on what was happening and why, some minor tweaking led to a much more pleasant Saturday and Sunday. Still not perfect, but arguably the best release weekend in a long time if we don't count Friday.

Also, while we are not near max load server-wise, the system can support draft queues firing constantly at the same time the PE's are running. Clearly, when we near the population cap, more drafts firing just puts too much strain on the system and everything starts to lag out, causing missed picks, missed events, long/infnite sideboarding, etc etc.

We're left with a decision to make on how we address the issue. For now, I've told the CS guys and Scott to turn off the draft queues so that the folks who want to play PE's can do so in a decent environment until we figure out what's going on.

We need to balance some of the load hitting the servers. So what I'm going to talk to elf and his team about tomorrow is finding a way to throttle back the draft queues from firing every second they're full to filling and firiing every couple/few minutes, or having them set up like 8 man PE's that fill and fire every few minutes to see if that helps with the lag issues. Lord knows you guys dont want to play in conditions like that, and I don't want to put customers through that, especially since we're likely couponing more than we're taking in with lag like that, anyway. If elf and co. cannot come up with a solution to throttle events, I'm going to advise that we just turn the draft queues on in the off peak hours (something like 10-11pmPST to 12-1pm PST on weekdays) for now and let things clam down some before turning on the queues in full force once the release events themselves have concluded.

It seems like that strategy will still deliver a playable experience and not subject everyone to the massive amounts of lag we've been seeing. That said, I do apologize to the folks that miss out on draft queues being open during that restricted time frame, but I feel like I have to try to make due with the options at my disposal right this second, and know that in a week or so drafts will be turned on 24/7 for everyone.

This has been an incredibly tough week for many of us on the MOL team. I know elf alone probably put in an 80+ hour week last week, and many of us have been on call 24 hrs a day. I do not begrudge anyone their right to vent, (I would be upset too, were I a paying customer) but please try to keep posts like that to the thread that the wizo's have designated for those kind of things.

All I can tell you is that I genuinely care about every single customer's experience when they log onto the system I'm responsible for. It's disheartening to see performance like this over an extended period of time. Our "long term" plan is to push like heck to get v3 changed, debugged, and ready for a release, as soon as humanly possible. When I started in March earlier this year, I got the feeling like the program seemed like vaporware to many of you. There is a massive UI redesign coming very soon. Steps have already been taken to improve other areas of the client that you guys have given us great feedback on. We're hitting milestones with this project and so far we've encountered very little that says we couldn't turn this thing on tomorrow if a meteor hit the 2.5 server room. It's likely that v3 will launch without some features that people will miss, up to and including leagues (though this decision is not final, and we're not even sure at this moment how far beyond PE coding we'll need to go to implement leagues at all, most of the work seems like it's done or close to it). You have my word that from the second v3 launches, we will be hard at work on two things, in this order:

1. Features missing from 2.5 we (and you!) deem necessary to port to v3
2. Cool new stuff that never would have been possible on 2.5 in the first place.

v3 testing has given us every indication that stability and capacity increase(which was our #1 goal going into this project) are what we need them to be.

Once we fix the stability and lag issues, and get the ENTIRE MOL team focused on one platform rather than continually splitting resources and developing for 2 systems, things will move even faster.

It's not likely that you will see v3 before the end of the year, but I would be VERY surprised if it's much beyond that.

I look forward to the days when MOL is vibrant again, and I can spend my time making it cool and trying to recruit new players instead of apologizing and spending every waking second at work or at my computer dealing with problems.

For those of you affected in the lag issues today, I encourage you to file your refund requests with CS. I talked with Eric and asked him to relay to his guys to go a little lienent on the refund requests from yesterday and today so hopefully if you think you deserve a refund, you'll get it. We have a TON of requests coming in, so please try to be a little bit patient. The link can be found in WizO Kwai Chang's post in this same forum.

Thanks for reading this far, coming from someone who is as exasperated with the whole situation as you all are, it's my hope that you guys stick with us. Things are going to get better soon, come hell or high water. I swear it."


It's not the server by phodd at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 10:56
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It's not a matter of giving the server more capacity or buying new servers, as a lot of folks seem to think. That would be easy and would've been done long ago. The problem is with the software not being able to have multiple/larger servers handle things like card images, or something like that. That's why the only fix is redesigning the software, hence V3.

 I just wish they would concentrate on the stability of V3, rather than spending a lot of time on the user interface. Get a stable program online, then redesign the UI and release V3.1 or whatever.

by The Pink Floyd (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 14:43
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Absolutely right, but I like the leagues for the avatars, and then you have to wait a week for the league to finish so your cards become your own.

And yet.... by DarthWingnut at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 11:46
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I'm not saying your experience isn't common, I believe that the last release event I participated in (Tenth) I got crud, however I've done two Lorwyn release events (One a tourney the other a league) and in the league I pulled a Thoughtsieze, and the tourney saw a Garruk fall into my pool.  Some times the rares are really bad, sometimes they are really good.  My experience is though, go ahead and play, but play early and sell off rares while they are still overvalued. Just my opinion....

Lag And Card Buying by The Pink Floyd (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 09:58
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Of course the lag is bad, it's making the game unplayable at times, but the good news is, the new set is fantastic, and people want to play it in drafts/leagues.

I do think it's not beyond WOTC to upgrade to a larger server, right now.. or maybe go offline for a few days and sort it out. They are a money making machine, and it's easy to think they don't care as long as people keep feeding the machine. But I do believe some people care about our experience and in the long run, we will get the operating system we need.

As for card buying, well... I had my affirmation of never to buy a booster unless it's part of a release league reaffirmed for the Lorwyn League. I got my set and much to my horror pulled 3 Hideaways as part of my rares, the other two were of no greater impact either, one a Boggart Mob and the other a Fathom Trawler, best card I got was an Imperious Perfect.. now if I'd have taken my dollars to mtgotraders, I could have filled my boots with good cards, and then spent a ticket on the avatar... so from now on, I won't even join a league, as opening boosters and starters is disheartening to say the least.

Just my two cents...

by JXClaytor at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 04:19
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There is absolutly no reason for any kind of post that ends with the good ole /wrists.  Behavior like that will not be condoned, and please refrain from it in the future. 

Foolishness by DarthWingnut at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 21:17
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Ok folks, every time I see a post like this on the message boards I want to scream (it was posts like this that caused me to take a hiatus from the boards as I couldn't deal with stupid people any more).  Can you think of ANY company that will provide you the forum to arrange a boycott of their products?  Nope, neither can I.  For those of you who want to arrange their boycott, go and post it somewhere that is unconnected (yes this site qualifies though judging from the people I've talked to in the program most of the active members of PureMTGO are unlikely to support such action)  Personally I think that you are being foolish and trying to be a firebrand in a situation where it is unwelcome, destructive and all told a prickish thing to do in our community.  We need to work with these people to make our experience better, and your attitude and those like it, Arronwolf,  have nothing to do with improvements.  A company that sees one branch suddenly become unprofitable isn't likely to throw more money into fixing it, they are more likely to scrap it.

Thanks, Heath by DarthWingnut at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 21:18
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Thanks for the headsup, I would have been upset next week if I'd gotten enough together to do a draft and not been able to.  Once more I'd like to thank you, Erik and the others who are keeping us abreast of what's happening at the official site without having to wade through it all.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 23:34
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that is about the dumbest thing i have ever heard of. you are actually saving keep giving these people money and they will make it better. ummm i has been 4 years of crap.  that seems to be working on real well.  go kill yourself.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 18:02
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I think we could organize a boycot,  It may not cripple their business, but if enough people did not buy just for one day they might take notice.

Also, do not complain to Hasbro, as they do not care about being a parent company to one who has a track record of poor quality products, and even more poor quality customer service. 171

Banned without warning? LOL! by iceage4life at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 16:15
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Seriously you knew that they were not happy with your posts.  I have no information about private emails but from what I saw on the boards you had plenty of warning.

by Arronwolf at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 16:24
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I didn't have any warning I posted and was banned, checked email and say a nice little message.  btw keep blowing your money on a crapy company encouraging them to keep sticking it up our tail pipes.

by Arronwolf at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 15:40
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I totally agree, i bought some packs and it is the last time i ever do that.  I will buy singles from mtgotraders and have fun in casual.

by gimmie (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 16:11
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I for one stopped buying product from MTGO about a month ago. The server status is horrendous and every time I complained to a WOTC representitive they were entirely uncaring. No, I am not going to wait for a new release to come out and fix all the problems. From everything I read it will be full of bugs when it does get released.

WOTC needs to take responsibilty for the state of the system and fix it. By fixing it, I am not talking about disabling every "feature" of the game. You might think that disabling all the things they have would have improved things, but I got on to play last night and after creating a game it took me 10 minutes for it to start. And this is after they have turned all these "features" adding to the lag off.

I spent an average of $100 a month on cards. They will not see another cent from me until the stability of the game servers are fixed. I can assure you that if enough people followed suit they would miraculously find a cure to the problem very quickly.

I am not saying no one at WOTC cares, but obviously the right people do not. Until they do, they won't be getting a paycheck funded by me anymore.


by urzishra14 (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 17:35
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I love MTGO.. I love the product.. I even love the GUI and I love the game. But now the lags have affected the causal play. I couldn't even get a game in yesterday.. but I can't apply for a refund because I didn't "pay" into a tournament.

 I don't want to stop playing magic. I love the game, I want to give them money. But regardless they'll turn it around.. I don't draft and I don't play in PEs often so it doesn't really effect me.. I have given up on Leagues a long time ago.

ROFL by Arronwolf at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 13:09
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Just a reminder/statement:

Calling for a boycott of a company on the official forums of said company is not a great idea. I know that many of you are extremely frustrated, and in my opinion, you have every right to be. But even still these boards are not the place to try to organize an actions against a company.

If you'd like to say that you're not spending any more money on the product that's fine and a personal choice. Encouraging others to not spend money (i.e. Boycott) is not acceptable.



by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 14:53
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What I want to know is this:

Why is it unacceptable to organize a boycott, when it is acceptable for us as consumer's to deal with their low quality customer service, or the fact that the program is unstable for most of the time it is up? 

It's sad, any other company that tried to offer something like this would be put out of business, and the programmers should be ashamed of themselves for letting something like this continue, instead of fixing the issues. 

They can blow smoke about v3 all they want, but until I can play it, make my v2 expirence as worthwhile as my order history has been for you. 

I will join the boycott, besides, it gives me a better reason to give money to :)

STOP BUYING MTGO CRAP by Arronwolf at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 12:31
Arronwolf's picture

Everyone should just stop buying product from WOTC until this is resolved.  Obviously our complaints are not being considered  and solutions to these problems are not being listened to.  The only thing this guy WORTH says is generic speak and apologizes for his staff's and company’s incompetence. The only way to get this company to do the drastic decisions that need to be made such as adding more hardware to stabilize added people and getting more people in to develop a client that works is to STOP BUYING PRODUCT.


Also I got this message after posting this on WOTC forums.

You have been banned for the following reason:
Boycotts are not allowed on the forums. Please check your email. -Brak

Date the ban will be lifted: 11-08-07, 04:00 PM

by mtgotraders at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 12:42
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They banned you from the boards for talking about boycotting?  No warning or anything?

by Arronwolf at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 12:46
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Hello Arronwolf,

I'm afraid I need to have a word with you about your reply in the
"How many are Frozen?". The reason I'm e-mailing you now is that your
thread qualified as Inappropriate Conduct - Off topic, which is against

the Wizards Code of Conduct.

This is not an official warning, however, please refrain from posting
such a way again. We have a rather strict policy about not allowing
posts regarding boycotts which is essentially what your post was. IThe
official WotC message boards are not the place to post boycott
recommendations. Also, your post qualified as flaming, as calling
bastards (whether you're referring to players, or staff) is
inappropriate for our message boards.

If you come across a topic that you feel includes spam, trolling, or
harassment, or needs moving to another forum, please click the link to
report the thread to the moderators so it can be dealt with properly,
rather than being drawn to the same level as the offending post.

If you need to take another look at the CoC, you can find it at and if you have any questions please do not
to let me know.

Thanks by Pyrosin at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 11:11
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Thanks for the info Heath.  Why can't they give the server more capacity?  This has been going on for far too long.