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3:50pm on Thursday, 16th October, 2008:

Age of Conan Moment


There was a major World of Warcraft patch on Tuesday — 1.2Gb of it. I had the bulk of it already downloaded using the background downloader (my younger daughter plays every day, although her warlock has been in the mid-50s for weeks on account of how she spends all her time chatting). I only had a top-up of about 270Mb on the patch day itself.

After several hours of grabbing a few kilobytes at a time from other WoW players, I had 99% of the download done. I then remained having 99% of the download done for four hours, during which another 26Mb were downloaded to no effect. I checked the Internet, and other people had been having similar problems: the solution was to use a torrent program to get the new piece, rather than using Blizzard's own downloader.

OK, so I spent another several hours getting the new piece again via BitTorrent. Then, I ran it again, and ... oh. It stuck at 99% again.

I spent several more hours downloading different components, and none of them seemed to have the missing part. Finally, I tried it on my university PC, and that managed to grab everything. I took it home on a memory stick (my PC, which I had left running for 5 hours, was still stuck on 99% despite claiming to have downloaded 668Mb while I was away), and installed it.

Yay! It worked!

I have to say, though, that I'm not entirely pleased that when I cranked up the client, the first thing I got was a 45Mb video. I was even less happy to see that there were three other videos in the patch that I'm not going to see because one is for a different size of screen and the other two are for people without the Burning Crusade expansion. Together, all four videos amounted to about 190Mb. It would have been a 1Gb patch without them. Now I'm wondering how much else there is in there that's utterly useless rubbish, which 10 million people have been passing about the Internet using Blizzard's peer-to-peer download. Maybe it could have been 800Mb if they'd been more selective about what they put in it?

As for whether the video files were involved in my downloader's getting stuck at 99%, I really don't want to know in case I'm consumed with rage and wreak physical damage to my computer.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).