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Friday, February 24, 2012

Does World of Warcraft Cataclysm Work on Hughesnet?

Yeah, that's what you think it is.

In response to my article about using Xbox Live on Hughesnet, I decided to put together a quick post about how WoW runs on satellite internet.

Well if you have not looked at my other posts about Hughesnet, then you might be missing out on some good info. I have a post about using Hughesnet for Xbox Live, and some other general Hughesnet information.

Well, the long and the short of things is this: Hughesnet works with World of Warcraft. It sucks though.

When I got Hughesnet, the first thing that I did was try and play WoW on it, and I tell you what, it sucked.

  • Things that you can do: 
    • DPS
    • Most everything that can do in game that isn't listed below.

  • Things that you can't do:
    • Tank
    • Heal 
    • Battlegrounds
    • Melee
Let's go ahead and cover the things that you can't do since that's what I am sure you are most interested in.

There is something called 'ping' or 'latency' that you are going to have to deal with now. There isn't any way to get around the fact your internet has to travel to space and back, and that takes time. What does that mean? Pings on Hughesnet or any other satellite internet are never going to be less than 800 ms, and more often average 1200 to 2000 ms of latency. 

That means that everything that you do in game could be delayed up to 2 seconds. Cast Aspect of the Hawk? 2 seconds. Power Word: Shield? 2 Seconds.  Did that mob just run away from you? I hope you have a ranged attack because even though you are right behind the mob, your information on your screen isn't what the server sees. 

Playing WoW with this much latency is almost like flying a jet. You constantly have to be thinking 2 seconds ahead of time. Download quartz so you can clip your spells so your dps doesn't suck so bad. Play a class that has a pet so the server can do some of your dps for you. I rolled a BM hunter just so I wouldn't take such a big dps hit. A good rule of thumb is expect a 25% decrease in your dps on Hughesnet.

I managed to tame the 4.2 pets, all of them on Hughesnet. It can be done, it just requires a lot of planning and like I said above, knowing what's going to happen before it happens. 

BGs are so much trouble, there is so much going on and you can't anticipate everything. You can do it, but you are going to die often.

Raiding is hard too, fight mechanics that kill you are going to require a lot of timing and anticipation, and it takes time to see how bad you are lagging and compare it what just happened. Also, you need a raid team that won't kick you for not doing your part and dying all the time. I did kill Lich King 10 man when I hit 85, but it wasn't easy. You might get away with LFR stuff, but that's pretty much faceroll anyway.

If you have a 3G signal at home, look into using that. I really have had a lot of success with using Verizon 3G to play both Xbox Live and World of Warcraft.