Reaper of Souls Beta and PTR “Load Testing” Underway


Aside from all the issues we saw yesterday with the start up of the PTR, players on the PTR and in the Reaper of Souls Beta have seen lengthy queues to join games, plus realm crashes and other issues. The crashes aren’t intended, but the long waits are, and will continue through the weekend.

Attention ladies and gentle nephalem,

We’re currently performing load testing on the both the Reaper of Souls Closed Beta and Patch 2.0.1 PTR. Testing began yesterday evening and will continue through Sunday, December 15.

For those who may be unfamiliar with what load testing is, it basically means that we’re artificially limiting the number of players who can be logged into the game at any given time as well as the amount of hardware game data can be stored and run on. The goal of this testing is to put our queuing system and game servers under heavy load so that we can perform server optimizations and make sure that said services perform as smoothly as possible for when patch 2.0.1 and Reaper of Souls launch.

Please note that, due the increased load on our queuing system and games servers, you may experience periods of high latency, disconnects, or long queue times while playing on the Patch 2.0.1 PTR and Closed Beta. While this is completely normal, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you to everyone currently playing the PTR and Closed Beta! Your efforts and patience will help us tune the game for optimum performance.

It’s a good idea to be patient if you want to play, especially during daytime hours when there’s heavier load. (I gave up from waiting and crashing yesterday, then got on late last night and created a game without any waiting at all.)

Also, since disconnects and server crashes are not uncommon during load testing, you probably want to avoid playing any Hardcore character you’ll really miss if/when they die. Of course it’s just a beta/PTR and nothing is permanent and you can just copy over your account again if you do lose your main HC, but that will erase all your other progress as well.

Note: If you are in the beta or on the PTR then look for ‘IncGamers Community‘ (case sensitive) to meet up with other windswept and interesting people from the Diablo: IncGamers’ community.

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  1. Played the PTR for about 2 hours this morning, and been playing for about 4 hours now this evening as well (EU). No more crazy queues like last night (right after we got the PTR server), thoug the latency sure is higher than usual, as in at least 10-15 times higher.

    Playing a Wizard from level 1 all the way to 60 now, and I have to say that I absolutely love loot 2.0! Found about 10-12 legendaries already (level 39 atm in act 3) and experiences one cursed chest! Fun stuff!

    With that said… where is my beta key? 😛

    • Same here. Can’t say anything negative so far and I don’t even have RoS yet. I’m kinda bummed that classic players don’t get Adventure Mode, but enough things must be kept for the expansion as well.

      • Totally agree with you on adventure mode. Yes, it was pretty much the ONE thing I wanted to test most in the PTR, but at the same time, I feel that it’s the one BIGGEST selling point of RoS as well, thus making sense not letting us test it in the PTR for D3C 2.0.1.

        Level 43 at the moment, and I really like the pacing of the game so far. Been getting constant upgrades, and enjoying myself here with a blizzard/ice themed wiz for the moment, before I can finally test out Vengeance and Blessed Hammer (hint hint Blizz gods! LET ME HAVE IT!)

    • Though lvl60 wand with 3%as makes upgrading harder than ever. Loot 2.0 is made more for RoS than Classic. Fortunately Dominance (I think that’s how they called it), Energy Twister buff and all gem designs makes up for CM. I could even survive on Master with my Spectral Blades Wiz 😀

    • So…a pleasant 10 levels is enough to sell the expansion? No high end, no build diversity, no solutions to the actual D3 state, and…it’s fine?
      Yep, you get better stuff leveling, yep level 61 items are better, but then…what?

  2. I remember reading on one of the forum threads that you’ll only be able to copy characters over every 72 hours. So if you do manage to kill off all your HC characters within a 3-day period, keep that in mind.

    Will see if I can find a link. Might have been in the blog post by Blizz.

  3. Really? This is Blizzard message for players? ‘Take turns and share, children’?

    The God declares this company ‘non-caring’ and bestows a minor curse on employees in charge of hardware and infrastructure.

    The number of players on PTR is more-or-less normal thing – for a company who sold more than 12 million copies worth of near 1 billion in gold, it is unexpected. Amount of network traffic is by no means bigger that one can expect – only players with D3 can participate, and some of them gave up D3 long ago.

    So this is ‘our infrastructure will be insufficient and lacking forever, deal with it’ message? Because hardwer got cheaper, if not much better, during the past 1.5 years. Yet The God still ‘waits in line’! Would be there number 37 or similar error otherwise?

    The God declares that Blizzard officially confirmed take-the-money-and-run strategy, if ‘wait in line’ is their proposed solution to, now KNOWN, number of players! First time it may took them to surprise, maybe even took few months to improve infrastructure. Now, it is plainly not acceptable – The God to WAIT IN LINE?! Down with always-online requirement!

    • Man, this is a test – what else did you expect?

    • You probably don’t have much experience with beta tests. Load testing servers is standard practice throughout the industry, every company does it. They do this exactly because they want to know the infrastructure needed to handle X amount of people.

  4. URL=”http://reaperofsoulsbetakeys.com/”]http://reaperofsoulsbetakeys.com[/
    If you still look for a free beta key then you should really check out

    http://reaperofsoulsbetakeys.com

    , that is where I have one from too! 😀

  5. Infrastructure is lacking? It does, throughout all the sorrowful existence of D3.

    “What do we want? TO WAIT IN LINE! When do we want it? ALL THE TIME!” – The God protects this sentence by copyright, as potential Blizzard motto.

    Seriously, since nobody is playing D3 – well, bots do – and raising hype is Blizzard main activity over last 7 months, THIS part should have been done better. Last thing they need is more bad publicity regarding ability to maintain servers in working condition, again.

  6. The God has extreme amount of experience with beta testing, thank you for asking. Those are the wrong doors you are knocking on.

    Remember, mortal, divine being proficient modder and somewhat personally, but second-handedly very very knowledgeable of communication systems. What it does mean? Well, one of team-members divine being is regularly in contact is, free to say, a world-class network engineer. In depth knowledge of Blizzard infrastructure and communication protocols are his hobby, for they are needed for project like ours, which uses nearly-broken bnet1.0 protocols. bnet2.0 ones aren’t far away, from technical point of view (expert words, not divine).

    The God doesn’t dwell official forums, but has heard of a post ‘answered’ by blue sub-human (there is a good reason for this classification) – namely, guy who wrote post supposedly works for Oracle and had pointed out several weak points that needed attention and improvement. He was rudely locked out with language inappropriate for any communication, by a ‘blue’ voice of wisdom, for reposting his post on different Blizzard forum – supposedly, this shouldn’t be done.

    Furthermore, lots of parallel infrastructures exist because of weakness of Blizzard ones – according to divine friend, they are not state of the art either, but do surpass Blizzard owns. There are even works (well, graduation ones) written on this topic – but student analysing communication protocols and finding ways to improve them (supported with test data) means something. And it’s not that they are very good.

    Current ‘load test’ seem to be blazing success, since waiting on log in is 1.5h now for The God. It probably means that expansion will run smoothly, just as vanilla is – another excellent job by a competent team.

    • Whatever personal experience you have, surely even you can understand that “efficient netcode and network infrastructure” and “testing load overflow protocols” are two completely different things, right?

      No matter how good or crappy Blizzard’s network architecture is, they’d need to load test either way. And believe it or not, there are going to be queues at peak usage time no matter what because it makes no sense for a company to invest in server space that they are only going to use during launch weekend and never need again.

      For what it’s worth, Blizzard’s netcode is amazing relative to that of many other entertainment companies, partly because they have the resources to throw at it, but also partly because they value polish and seamlessness in their applications.

      So have fun being salty about the fact that you’re sitting in a queue and can’t play a PTR for a game that you don’t even profess to enjoy (as most of your posts are just complaints about everything), because checking the server load protocols and queueing architecture are key parts of the game’s network architecture that need to be extensively tested before release.

      • “it makes no sense for a company to invest in server space that they are only going to use during launch weekend and never need again.”

        I always wondered about his though. Can’t they rent additional servers just for the few months? I’m sure this solution have its own pitfalls, but seeing how much companies seem to value first impressions it boggles my mind that nobody seems to be doing this.

        “For what it’s worth, Blizzard’s netcode is amazing relative to that of many other entertainment companies, partly because they have the resources to throw at it, but also partly because they value polish and seamlessness in their applications.”

        I agree. Out of all online games I’ve had the least trouble with Blizzard’s. On the PTR I’m often playing with 400ms+ latency and I barely notice it even though on the live EU servers I always play with around 50ms. Such a difference was jarring in any other games I’ve played in the past.

  7. QUOTE

    Remember, mortal, divine being proficient modder and somewhat personally, but second-handedly very very knowledgeable of communication systems.

    My mistake, I apologize. Like I said before, when someone writes like you do here I have a really hard time taking them seriously. That’s not to say I was trying to be hostile before, I really didn’t know how much you know about beta tests.

    I really think it would be in your best interest to leave this God persona behind. I’m sure you have fun with it, but it makes it nigh-impossible to gauge when you’re serious, joking, etc. On a forum where the lack of personal contact can already complicates discussions and makes it easy to misunderstand each other your style of writing only makes communication harder.

  8. From what I know, it’s that companies consider the cost of renting servers to be prohibitively expensive. That is, they are not so expensive as they cannot be afforded, but since “launch day load” only lasts for 3-9 days, and servers must generally be rented at least by the month, they feel no need to do this.

    It may seem counterintuitive, but delayed gratification results in angry internet posts but also a huge feeling of release/relief once you are actually able to “defeat” the queue and enjoy your rightfully-owned entertainment, so maybe companies are banking on that?

    Either way, if ALL the industry leaders don’t seem to mind forcing players to queue around launch, then there must be something in the financial calculus of renting servers that they’re not willing to deal with.

  9. QUOTE

    Either way, if ALL the industry leaders don't seem to mind forcing players to queue around launch, then there must be something in the financial calculus of renting servers that they're not willing to deal with.

    That’s what I figured as well. I think it could have something to do with maintaining complete control over their entire infrastructure.

  10. QUOTE

    That's what I figured as well. I think it could have something to do with maintaining complete control over their entire infrastructure.

    Also, some other concerns:

    -Sharding. At lot of times, if you want people to play together online, the servers you use for each “instance” have to play well together. It may not be effective to rent servers from elsewhere for a short time, because differences in server structure may cause things to not interface together well. It may be possible to rent server space and technically allow everyone to play at launch, but maybe at the expense of letting friends play together?
    -Non-server calls. Some things are limited no matter what, like database calls (for authentication, maybe tied into web services, achievements, etc.). It may be a lot harder to get around these technical limitations by renting additional server space, and not worth setting up new rented servers to handle these issues if you’re going to phase them out after 1-2 weeks.
    -Server caps and queues prevent a slipper slope usage issue. Say a manager is presented with this issue: The engineers are 25% confident that current capacity is sufficient for launch, 60% confident that if they rent X server space for the first month they’ll be fine for launch, but 15% confident that they may have to rent 2X or 5X server space instead in order to come out of launch week looking good. If there’s a sufficient downside that you may need an indeterminate amount of server space, you may just cut your losses and have a crappy (from the user experience) launch week by not rent any additional server space, since even if you rent some, you can’t be sure it’ll avoid all load issues. (For example, certain bugs and unanticipated player behaviors cause more server strain than anticipated pre-launch.)

  11. All of those are good points as well.

  12. QUOTE

    My mistake, I apologize. Like I said before, when someone writes like you do here I have a really hard time taking them seriously. That's not to say I was trying to be hostile before, I really didn't know how much you know about beta tests.
    Oh, none taken! The God bestows minor blessing on you, for having guts to write something like this. Most people would act... completely differently. For what it matters, The God is beta-testing something nearly every day, current project lasts for about 4 years. Divine being was a tester on number of free titles / mods, as well as commercial projects, in all stages of development.
    
    For the personality issue - well, honestly, most people should not be taken seriously anyway... The stuff they wrote... Even without being ascended... But, I, Clavdivs, The God, will never renounce weird humour, for it is what I stand for! Laughter is important part of everything, it makes all the things more relaxed and friendly.
    
    Unlike unfortunate thing The God has to do now.
    
    A network 'knowledgeable' person, being rude and hostile toward divine being constantly without reason - should not be taken seriously, as he bases conclusions on self-invented... premises. Expensive = good? Sometimes it is, but according to that, list of best films ever made by mankind must be following:
    
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End    
    Tangled    
    Spider-Man 3    
    John Carter
    And everything regarding them is best in every manner thinkable? The example is not mockery, it is perfectly viable, it is entertainment and what applies to one kind of it is similar to what applies to other, money argument included.
    
    When divine being mentioned that network code is bad, it was backed by some arguments - some of them are checkable. The 'having collaborator' claims are not, and The God doesn't intent to put linkedin profile of his friend, or call him to explain it in details. 
    
    But unproven claims based on no evidence at all, like this company has better code than the others, require no disapproving at all and 'new hardware' claim - The God will leave it 'as is', it speaks for itself. 
    
    All of us who play(ed) the game had/have issues with amazing netcode.
    
    All of us who played the game know how quickly and efficiently Blizzard dealt with botters, as with other cheaters in other titles.
    
    Those are facts and not unproven claims.
    
    From divine personal knowledge, which he can defend any day of the week, Blizzard coding is not perfect - game engines, most notably WC3 which is one The God has most experience with, has numerous flaws, is optimized badly and while it is not something that ruins the game experience, the claim 'Blizzard has best coders because of huge piles of gold they have' doesn't stand. They didn't do amazing job, just adequate. Unrelated to this, game is amazingly good.
    
    The number of people who left playing this game speaks for itself. The God still have vain hopes that sequel/patch of his most favourite game ever can make something, even if it delivered much less than announced. In a way, holding up to the something like that means that The God cares about it. Probably more than most.
    
    And since Blizzard has best dev team ever (money, of course), sitting and praising D3 as a masterpiece is surely more useful, than pointing to the flaws that caused mass-exodus of players, loss of reputation, etc.
    
    For interested parties, The God sacrificed every minute of scarce free time for playing on PTR since patch was made public. Currently, server is down.
    
    When divine being plainly don't like someone, he ignores him, rather than quoting and searching for reasons to flame him. It's something what civilized people do.
  13. The real question for me:

    Is this it? Like from where they are now, are they only refining and not adding anything? because the PTR is showing some pretty dismal changes to the game that, I thought, badly needed some improvements.

    I hate to be a hater troll … I hate those guys … and I LOVE diablo. But, I don’t really like the changes. Where’s the Attack speed on items? It feels less fun to move slower, to swing our weapons more slowely … it just feels … I dont’ know, less fun.

    monster density is abysmal.

    the barb, I know you all think he’s a joke, but he’s been clipped so hard his game play is unrecognizable. Maybe instead of nerfing the one character that feels OP, they could make the other characters OP and leave him alone? does anyone else see this stuff as bad? Has anyone seen a PTR skorn? they are actually worse.

  14. QUOTE

    Is this it?  Like from where they are now, are they only refining and not adding anything?

    Definitely not. Most likely we’ll still get ladders, there are hints of this on the new profile screen and Travis Day talked about them a few months back. They are linked to the Paragon levels.

    While mechanically I think crafting is done, all crafted Legendary items I’ve seen still doesn’t have special stats. They could still introduce a ton of new interesting things on these and we already have many things to play with. Another interesting thing that people don’t seem to realize that could make the game much more interesting is that endgame Legendaries will require special components, that so far seem to drop from specific places, monsters and sometimes from specific objects. For example the Griswold’s Scribblings Legendary crafting mat seem to drop from all objects that drops a lore book, but more often it drops from the bookshelves in the Act 1 Cathedral. This could mean that targeted loot runs are back, which would be a welcome, but not advertised “game mode” addition beside Bounties and Rifts. It would give us another thing to do in the endgame.

    Targeted runs are kinda back anyway, because the Cursed chests event that were added in the last patch have fixed spawn points in specific areas and fixed events linked to these areas. In Act 1 I’ve found one in the Cathedral (5 wave event), Caverns of Araneae (endless wave event) and in the Halls of Agony (endless wave event). It seems to me that only one of these will spawn in a game or one per Act if you play Adventure mode. More testing is required.

    I think these Cursed chests have the best rewards out of any event in the game right now. You always get one Cursed chests as a reward, which is better than a Resplendent chest, but if you complete the objective you get a second chest as a bonus and a random Shrine. The endless wave even type also gives you a ton of XP, as huge waves of monsters will be spawning around you constantly.

    Where's the Attack speed on items?  It feels less fun to move slower, to swing our weapons more slowely

    Movement speed wasn’t changed at all from what I’ve seen. Up to 12% can still spawn on boots, plus some Legendaries still carry it. The great thing is that now you can use your Paragon points to compliment your gear and eventually max out MS without gear.

    Attack speed and many other affixes were indeed scaled back on Rares, at least on level 60. This may have something to do with the fact that iLVL 63 items don’t seem to drop anymore at the moment at level 60. For this reason Legendaries are much better than anything else you can find with your classic characters, as they have much higher possible stats, about the same as the old iLVL 63 items did. I hope this iLVL issue is just an oversight, because if things stay the way they are the devs will kill endgame Rare items for players who don’t have the expansion.

    monster density is abysmal.

    I think it’s fine. It’s close to what it was before the density buff, but the drop quality more than compensates for this. Granted, it was fun to slay hordes of enemies (you’ll still be able to that in Rifts by the way), but that screwed up the balance between skills as it tipped the scales heavily towards AoE skills. The balance right now is much better. Another thing to consider is that the devs were going for a slightly more tactical combat with the expansion and less mindless slaughter. As far as Elites are concerned I think they’ve succeeded, but normal enemies still feel weak.

    the barb, I know you all think he's a joke, but he's been clipped so hard his game play is unrecognizable.  Maybe instead of nerfing the one character that feels OP, they could make the other characters OP and leave him alone?

    They couldn’t do that, because the Barb was so OP that he could ignore every single game balance measure that the devs put in the game. You can’t balance against a class like that. You may as well just put a big button on the screen that gives you loot when you press it, it would have the same limitations as the Barb had.

    The Barb is still pretty good though, but we need to find new builds. Some streamers already using one that’s very effective even in Torment 6, so the class can’t be that bad.

    does anyone else see this stuff as bad?  Has anyone seen a PTR skorn?  they are actually worse.

    The PTR Skorn is likely in game design limbo at the moment. It doesn’t have any fixed or unique stats. In other words it’s most likely not final, like many other Legendaries at the moment.

    I think the overall changes are extremely good. If you haven’t tried the PTR yet then do it, it’s open to everyone (when the servers are up…). Watching from the outside I had many doubts about the patch, but playing it for a few hours made me much more optimistic.

  15. My PTR experience consists of log on, disconnect immediately upon entering game, repeat. Such an enjoyable endgame experience!

  16. QUOTE

    My PTR experience consists of log on, disconnect immediately upon entering game, repeat. Such an enjoyable endgame experience!

    Sadly, many people had the same experience. I hope they’ll find the issue and that the launch will go smoothly. Their track record (or any company’s really) doesn’t make this likely however.

  17. Maybe i’m lucky, but i have had almost no problems with the PTR. It was blocked for login along with the retail earlier today, but i have logged in and played on the 2.0.1 PTR during the afternoon with no problems (a bit high latency though). I’m in the EU realm.

  18. QUOTE

    Maybe i'm lucky, but i have had almost no problems with the PTR. It was blocked for login along with the retail earlier today, but i have logged in and played on the 2.0.1 PTR during the afternoon with no problems (a bit high latency though). I'm in the EU realm.

    I was fairly lucky as well, only a few disconnects here and there, but many people couldn’t even start games (got stuck in queue) or had lag that made the game unplayable.

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