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Tech Talk With Andrew

Posted May 08, 2009 by Jon Wood

Tech Talk With Andrew

Each Friday, the former Director of Community Relations for Mythic Entertainment pens this column that focuses on some under-served MMO story. In this installment, she tells relays a conversation with server guy Andrew Mann talking about some of the issues behind the technology of MMOs.

For last week's article about server stability, I asked some questions of Andrew Mann, an old friend whose job it is (well, among many of his jobs) to keep the servers running at a major MMO studio. Of course, he gave me so much information that our chat became a feature of its own. I must state up front that the material in quotes is from Andrew. The material not in quotes consists of my own thoughts and observations. You'd think that would go without saying, wouldn't you? Ha! But that's a different topic entirely. Read on for an old insider's look at stability bugs and more.

The first thing I asked him was to give me a little behind the scenes peek at how stability problems get solved.

He said, "Stability problems start out as bugs, but turn into prioritization. When you find a bug that affects gameplay, you look at the level of impact on the players - how often, how many players, and how badly their experience is impacted. You compare that against an educated guess by the engineers as to how long it'll take to fix.

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