As June 8, 2011, World IPv6 Day approaches, I'm not surprised to see major ISP and networking vendors getting ready to test out their IPv6 Internet connections. What I didn't expect was to see Blizzard Entertainment, the publishers of the wildly popular Massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW), is now supporting IPv6.
With the 4.1 patch to WoW, IPv6 is now an option for WoW players. Of course, to use it, you must first have an IPv6 connection. If you don't have an IPv6 Internet hook-up, according to a Blizzard employee, the IPv6 connection option will be grayed out.
To play WoW over an IPv6 network, you must use native IPv6. 6To4, a dynamic tunneling method that uses IPv4 unicast over the IPv4 Internet or Teredo, another tunneling technique that in which IPv6 packets are sent as IPv4-based User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets.
To do this, of course, besides an IPv6 Internet, you'll need home networking hardware that will support IPv6. Unfortunately, most SOHO/consumer network gear doesn't support IPv6 yet.
You don't need to be in too much of a rush to get IPv6 if your main interest in it is WoW game play. Players won't get any advantage in the game by using IPv6. Darn it!
I suppose it is possible though that since IPv6 currently sees so little use it's possible players might see faster networking speeds and less jitter. The real point of Blizzard offering WoW IPv6 support is to get both player and game server computers ready for the day when everyone will need to use IPv6.