Tech Talk

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

by Luis Vil­la­zon A few is­sues ago I had a let­ter from some­one who had re­ac­ti­vated their World of War­craft ac­count but couldn’t log in to any of the servers. They were run­ning Snow Leopard and the cur­rent game client needs Lion or bet­ter. So when my son told me he was dip­ping his toe back in the murky MMO wa­ters for the new War­lords of Draenor ex­pan­sion, I told him he would also need to up­grade, and gave my­self a pat on the back for re­call­ing this.

But almost im­me­di­ately I was forced to re­voke this pat, be­cause he still couldn’t log in. The launcher would start, the client would load, his

I told him he would need to up­grade, and gave my­self a pat

on the back

user­name and pass­word were both ac­cepted, but the game would freeze for 30 seconds or so and then ask him to choose an al­ter­na­tive server – im­ply­ing that his de­fault one was full. This def­i­nitely wasn’t the case, be­cause he could log in from my Mac and a PC.

I ran tracer­oute from Ter­mi­nal to the server’s IP ad­dress and found that some links in the de­liv­ery chain were tak­ing two or three seconds each, when nor­mally the de­lay should be mea­sured in mil­lisec­onds. The cul­prit turned out to be LogMeIn Hamachi, a VPN app that my son had in­stalled to spoof his net­work lo­ca­tion so that he could play on Minecraft’s US servers. All the net­work re­di­rect­ion this en­tails was adding so much de­lay that the War­craft servers were tim­ing out, mak­ing the game think the servers must be full!

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