Ion Hazzikostas said once that lag in wow under circumstances like 40v40 BG’s like AV or SS for example is mainly due not to the quality of the servers but the quantity of calculations each servers’ processor has to contend with.
World of Warcraft is an RNG math game, will you get the loot? Will you crit? Will your stab land a bleed and will those bleeds crit? Will your raidwide buff brought on by the random chance of your essence proc cause anyone elses abilities to crit or cast faster? Now what about every millisecond the game has to calculate that essence for everyone who has it equipped and how it’ll affect each person. You get it, there are tonnes of functions like this in-game and they’re quite intricately layered, interwoven between everyone elses abilities and the unique affects they have, but then there’s this:
The scaling seems to be a global execution that has to then recalculate everything above twice to account for that for someone else. So in pvp it has to be calculated for each person involved as their pvpilvl’s differ, so while things like buffs won’t be so impactful on performance, things like damage to other players will be.
Ever notice that as soon as you make physical contact with another player that the game chokes a little bit? Sometimes going into full meltdown? It’s the constant recalculations of calculations to account for scaling across the servers.
Now here’s another thing:
Stats. Everyone’s stats are different meaning your immolate will tick faster than someone elses. Multiply that by all dot abilities on top of random chance procs, spell variance on everything and taking into account scaling and we already have a total cluster.
I believe there’s a solution here that can help reduce this and also reduce scaling issues such as better gear actually performing worse due to diminishing returns or scaling in pve/ pvp.
We could account for smoothness which has now been realised due to corruption stacking for secondary stats. I realise that my character plays very smoothly once my haste is above 50% as baseline. This seems great, and any bonus haste actually is a bonus now rather than simply required to feel better.
If we reduce the damage from abilities but increase the haste (for example) then we can feel smoother as we play faster. Or take a leaf from vanilla and hit harder so abilities feel more impactful but plays much much slower (this includes melee too, so longer GCD’s and dmg after the animation rather than on press). Something like this would have the domino effect of preventing gear from being way too powerful so new bosses won’t have to scale next patch and also diminishes certain expectations so we could more or less do away with ilvl or a visible ilvl anyway.
Reducing the reliance on this stuff would also mean we wouldn’t necessarily need scaling in pve or pvp which would then significantly reduce the requirement for double calculations for the hundreds of thousands already happening every second in 40v40 situations. It’s not so bad outside when you meet a lower lvl doing a WQ and the mobs scale to match so you can both quest together but in general while you’re trying to work out whether you’re doing things correctly, gearing up right or hitting as hard as you think you are, these additional calculations throw it all off. The significant amount of RNG in my dmg makes it quite difficult to pin down my performance.
I have to say that I do prefer more or less static numbers like back in the day, with minor, MINOR spell variance.