Blizzard launched it’s new streaming service today via it’s Launcher program. It’s currently in Beta so you can bet that things will change and get tweaked as it progresses forward. Currently it streams only to Facebook Live, but I’m sure it will change as there other social media sites that are also integrating a live streaming feature into their platform.
My first impression is that it’s pretty cool, however there is a tremendous amount of lag and latency within the game itself that I do not experience when using just an overall screen streaming program (such as the XSplit Gamecaster or XSplit Broadcaster). Using Blizzard’s streaming service, I started off with seeing a 1986ms Home latency coupled with a 1665ms World latency. Those numbers grew and topped out at around 4300ms Home and at about 3500 World. That translates to about a good 4 to 5 second latency in the game to any action you try to perform.
You can check out my video play of it here (I actually took two of my streams and blended them together for this video):
The first thing I noticed is that the ending of my streams (roughly 3 to 4 minutes) were totally missing. It still informed me in game that it was streaming, according to Facebook I was streaming live at those times, but when I went back to review to recoding, the endings were just not there. This happened across 3 different tests.
I am not sure how viable this streaming service is going to be for players that do Twitch.tv since it only goes direct to Facebook (for now). It makes me wonder if Facebook is going to allow people to begin to monetize their live streams just to try to garner some of that Twitch.tv crowd. I mean, listen, if you are on Twitch.tv and are actually making money with it, why would you want to suddenly start streaming onto Facebook and not make money?
While my FPS in the test was lacking (I was pulling down 16 FPS at the lowest point), I don’t think it was as a result of the streaming service. I’ve been suffering from bad FPS issues since they updated Warcraft to patch 7.0.
All in all, Blizzard’s Streaming Service is pretty cool, but because of the bad latency I was getting, I doubt that I’ll return to it any time soon. I will, however, keep checking back with it to see what new streaming platforms they add.
I think I’ll go unplug my webcam now…