Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Blizzard drop IPv6 support?

Whilst the rest of the world are adding IPv6 support, Blizzard seem to be dropping it.

That is the only conclusion I can draw as they have a number of realms not working on IPv6 at present, and still have the setting default to unticked.

IPv4 addresses have run out, and already ISPs are struggling with messy systems like Carrier Grade NAT. IPv6 is the current version of Internet Protocol and once again brings the Internet back to the way it was designed. For gamers this means less messing with the traffic, either by their own router, or systems within the ISP.

Looking at this in more detail, and looking at a similar forum post from someone else back in October, it seems that they are using SLAAC assigned (MAC based) IPv6 addresses for servers. This is just lazy, and means that any change of hardware can cause the address to change. I can only assume that has happened and they have failed to update server IP lists or DNS to use the new address. They should probably manually assign IPv6 addresses.

If it had been the IPv4 address not working, they would find a way to fix it.

The problem is that they are totally uninterested in fixing this, which, to me, means that they HAVE WITHDRAWN IPv6 SUPPORT for World of Warcraft. They closed the ticket I raised (EU47550106) as "resolved", even when it clearly is not. They have simply ignored at least two forum posts (they suggested I post to the forum when closing the ticket), 12365247226 and 12844094863.

It is a real shame. I was impressed when they launched IPv6 support a few years ago. They were ahead of a lot of people. Now we see FaceBook, Google, and lots of content via IPv6. Even large ISPs are finally planning IPv6 deployment (A&A did it 12 years ago). The Internet is finally growing up, except for Blizzard. Poor show.

10 comments:

  1. Honestly, I think they're just having huge support issues at the moment. I've logged 5-6 tickets in the last couple of months and had nothing but awful responses, terribly response times and SO MANY TEMPLATE REPLIES!

    I've slammed them on their ticket surveys, done everything they ask, posted on their forums and yet every issue I bring up is ignored and unresolved.

    This compares very badly with the support quality 3-4 months before the expansion, where I got quick, personal replies to everything and every issue resolved either immediately, or in the next patch.

    Terrifyingly, the last connectivity issue I had (along with the entire of Atlantic Canada) we got better support from Bell Aliant than Blizzard (and Bell's support is legendarily awful)

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  2. I am not sure how many people other than RevK regard IPv6 as the current version of the Internet. Most people regard it as new and cutting edge. I know that's only a perception, but the fact that many people see it that way makes it matter.

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    1. It is the current version of IP! But it is hardly cutting edge any more. It may have been when we started doing it for customers back in 2002, when it had only been around for a few years, but it is not now. People do need to realise this.

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    2. OK so how are you going to get people to realise?

      At work we're launching a new product in the next 6 months that includes an IP stack. It does not support IPv6. I've tried to persuade people it should, but I get met with either blank stares or statements along the lines of "we don't need that rubbish/code bloat, there's no requirement for it".

      Many people see IPv4 as enough for years to come. And while they do, it's a self fulfilling prophecy since no-one feels the need to implement IPv6.

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    3. Difficult. There are companies that won't buy kit that does not do IPv6 as a purchasing policy. That is our policy, and it is pretty rare for any exception to be made and certainly if a competing product does IPv6 we buy that instead.

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    4. Calling IPv6 code bloat when it's pretty standard in modern OS stacks seems to indicate a premature optimisation mentality. We're not trying to fit code onto a 64K chip anymore, that's no excuse to bloat sure but neither is it reason to not future proof your product. I would worry that a person who says this has taken other shortcuts.

      I would be extremely concerned if the persons responsible for product managing a product launching in the next 6 months didn't recognise the need for IPv6. It may indicate an lack of awareness of the market direction particularly outside Europe.

      In terms of major ISPs in the UK I'd bet the mobile networks are most likely to migrate first, they need an ever increasing number of IP addresses which they can't reclaim readily. Overlapping 10.x addresses reduces manageability and if they put clients on V6 they can just put a large NAT64 gateway in place to handle legacy traffic.

      You are also going to see a lot of Asia and Pacific users being shoved onto v6 because the v4 there is already depleted and that market is growing incessantly. They're transferring IP address blocks into APNIC's territory but that puts off the inevitable. Also the big American ISPs are already trailing their v6 solutions (notably Comcast), they are taking this seriously and are willing to put money into it.

      It's true you can get away without including v6 support today and you might do okay, but it's just creating work that you definitely will have to do tomorrow especially if you're actually expecting any kind of product success.

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    5. Let us know who this company is Owen, so I know not to do business with them :P

      (Kidding I dont want to get you fired)

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    6. "OK so how are you going to get people to realise?"

      We have been advising customers for several years that investing in anything that doesn't do IPv6 is crazy since they are going to need to implement IPv6 on their networks Real Soon Now™ (don't know exactly when IPv6 is going to be important enough to people for that to happen, but it certainly could be within the life of any equipment that is being bought now).

      Despite our products fully supporting IPv6, we currently have no customers actually using that functionality, which is rather disappointing.

      WRT ISPs:
      Probably around 6 or 7 years back one of our customers was shopping for a new leased line and we advised them to check the internet services were IPv6 capable - the ISP told them it was, so they bought the leased line. Once the line was installed and paid for, we were sent the IP addressing information by the ISP which only included IPv4 addresses; I asked them for the IPv6 information and got a "we don't support IPv6" reply - a clear case of misselling if I ever saw one. But at the time IPv6 was unfortunately not important enough to the customer for them to kick up a fuss. The same customer has now arranged for new BT Business leased lines to be installed and I was pleasantly surprised to see they are providing IPv6 connectivity as standard.

      Personally I would not buy from an ISP that doesn't do IPv6 - they have all had plenty of time to implement it and not supporting it today indicates a lack of interest in investing in a future-proofed infrastructure. I've had a native IPv6 connection at home for the last 5 years (2 different ISPs over that time - neither of which were A&A, so it does go to show that people _are_ implementing it even if the mainstream ISPs aren't). One thing I would say though is that for both ISPs I had to explicitly ask for IPv6 connectivity, it wasn't a standard thing that's handed out to everyone. That is disappointing - until people can just plug equipment in and have it work on IPv6 without knowing to ask for it, we can't expect serious penetration from home users.

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  3. My new Sony TV is working over IPv6. But it's not the default when you enable the networking on it, by default you only get IPv4. I had to go into the Advanced menus to enable IPv6, and I suspect most people won't bother even if they have an IPv6 connection (and really, should the average customer need to know they have IPv6?). IPv6 needs to be on by default as well as supported so that it "just works".

    Even my Apple Airport Extremes got that wrong, I had to switch their IPv6 from "local only" (whatever that is) to "host" (and I had to look up online what that actually means to Apple - not helpful).

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  4. Good post. Yes Blizzard drop IPv6 support. You may test.
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