4.3.2 PTR and New File Optimization Tech

Community Manager
With the 4.3.2 patch we’ll be testing some new file optimization tech. As you may be aware, with previous major expansion patches (2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc.) we’ve carried out a time-consuming process to reorganize the game files currently installed on your hard drive to integrate all previous patch files, essentially ‘cleaning up’ what’s on your computer and reducing the full installation size. This process used to require an amount of free hard drive space double that of the entire installation size to complete, which is why we’ve reserved them for large expansion-sized patches.

The new tech we’re testing with the 4.3.2 PTR will process these cleanups with no additional hard drive space required beyond what the patch is adding. Because of that you may see them appear more frequently with patches.

While the cleanup is occurring you’ll see a specific message on the launcher informing you the process is currently taking place. If you encounter any issues with the new process please be sure to visit our support site at http://www.battle.net/support/
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85 Undead Mage
MDK
1970
Kewl.
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85 Gnome Priest
8485
Hi lil confussed

01/05/2012 09:01 AMPosted by Nethaera
The new tech we’re testing with the 4.3.2 PTR will process these cleanups with no additional hard drive space required beyond what the patch is adding. Because of that you may see them appear more frequently with patches.


So will we see more updates with the new patch or more clean ups?

Thanks
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90 Tauren Druid
12100
Can you provide any other Backend information about HOW this optimization happens? i, for example, have a defrag program set up to put all of the data in the world of warcraft directory at the beginning of the partitiion the data is on, to help improve preformance. is this new optimization a Defrag type setup? will it be cleaning out old, nonfunctional files?
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90 Human Rogue
13315
Cool that we'll no longer need all that space. I run WoW off a Solid State Drive along with my OS... and due to the cost of those drives I didn't build in a lot of space to spare when I built the computer.

Stuff like this doesn't get as much attention as say... new content... but Blizz has done some pretty cool stuff behind the scenes over the past 7 or so years of WoW. It's much appreciated.
Edited by Greef on 1/5/2012 9:23 AM PST
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100 Undead Warrior
15370
Is there any option to disable this tool?
64 engine is coming up soon?
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MVP - Technical Support
100 Human Priest
13170
Hi lil confussed

The new tech we’re testing with the 4.3.2 PTR will process these cleanups with no additional hard drive space required beyond what the patch is adding. Because of that you may see them appear more frequently with patches.


So will we see more updates with the new patch or more clean ups?

Thanks


Looks like more cleanups. :)


01/05/2012 09:11 AMPosted by Øtaku
Can you provide any other Backend information about HOW this optimization happens? i, for example, have a defrag program set up to put all of the data in the world of warcraft directory at the beginning of the partitiion the data is on, to help improve preformance. is this new optimization a Defrag type setup? will it be cleaning out old, nonfunctional files?


I can't give any official info (as frankly, I don't know), but after patching the PTR myself, it looks like part of it is at least is consolidating files - theres more folders, but a lot less files. Kodiack (Windows Tech Support MVP) did a comparison image which I can't seem to find right now. Something like 900 less files.. I'd assume they'd remove artwork/sounds they're not using, and compressing others.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
8250
uh, does optimization mean defragmentation?
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
12295
As someone who recently moved to a solid state drive that is already out of space, not needing more free disk space than necessary is a great thing. Thank you.
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MVP - Technical Support
100 Human Priest
13170
Right now, it looks like the optimization reduced the WoW install by roughly ~3GB, and thats with the additions/changes to the game engine with 4.3.2. Not bad considering.
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85 Dwarf Paladin
11400
Since people are on SSDs with Wow, is this process that the launcher will do a defrag-like thing? SSDs don't like defrags and I'd rather not let it occur if there's a chance it screws with the SSD in any way.
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100 Human Mage
13425
01/05/2012 09:56 AMPosted by Scruffs
Since people are on SSDs with Wow, is this process that the launcher will do a defrag-like thing? SSDs don't like defrags and I'd rather not let it occur if there's a chance it screws with the SSD in any way.


Defragmentation of a hard drive is a specific type of speed optimization. File compression is a specific type of space optimization. De-duplication is a specific type of space and speed optimization. Blizzard's resource collapsing methods have some aspects of each of these.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12625
01/05/2012 09:32 AMPosted by Ressie
I'd assume they'd remove artwork/sounds they're not using, and compressing others.


If this is the case, I'm curious what this means for WoWmodelviewer. There are a lot of items that we can see there that aren't used at all in game, but are fun to have around for various artsy stuff.

Guess I'll have to install PTR and see if all my fun Emerald Dream items are still in there.
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MVP - Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
19010
My own comparisons can be seen here
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3863056739#2
Based on what i found in mac client, i gained about 4.2 gigs.

Part of this optimisation process did involve redownloading 3.7gigs of data though as the optimisation process had to delete obsolete data and download newer versions of it in 4.3.2, so it by no means is going to be a light patching process for slower internet connections.
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MVP - Technical Support
100 Human Priest
13170
01/05/2012 11:05 AMPosted by Sorchia
my only hope is this will help some of us who have computers that USED to run world of warcraft great and now suddenly do not. otherwise i stick with my original thesis, you need to reprint your system requirements on the box of world of warcraft to say requirements for 10 man raids and requirements for 25 man raids, because these are clearly different.


This change should only make the game load the files faster, as there are less files, and less to load... It wouldn't cause any real change in playability, or system requirements.
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MVP - Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
19010
01/05/2012 11:05 AMPosted by Sorchia
you need to reprint your system requirements on the box of world of warcraft to say requirements for 10 man raids and requirements for 25 man raids, because these are clearly different.


25 raids are particularlly brutal on fps, as wow gets bogged down real fast in large crowds of players with a lot of player events firing similtaniously. Zon'ozz and ultraxion particularly are mad killers of performance. Especially 5-6min mark ultraxion on 25 man, even high end desktop computers as much as only 1-2 years old can be brought to a crawl.

But as ressy said, these changes should have no affect on how gameplay runs for assets that are already loaded. It'll just reduce load times for loading assets for the first time, and space requirements.
Edited by Omegal on 1/5/2012 11:24 AM PST
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100 Human Rogue
13220
Sounds great!
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