As we have seen over the past week, the Classic WoW Wrath of the Lich King’s pre-patch launch didn’t go as planned, thanks in large part to incredible queues and Blizzard’s apparent inability to fix the issue. As of last night, there’s an official statement on the mess, written by game producer Blizzard via Aggrend.
First, Blizzard says it’s disabling new character creation and paid character transfers “indefinitely” in order to at least stop making queues worse, though it admits it will “cut opportunities for new and returning players to join their friends on these larger realms, perhaps for several months. Free transfers out of these realms will remain open, although Aggrend says not enough groups have moved to date.
“Before last week, [Sulfuras-US, one of the free-character transfer destinations] had low concurrency at around ½ to 1/3 the size of a 2008 realm,” says Aggrend. “Over the past week, this domain has seen nearly 40,000 inbound transfers, with hundreds more still happening per hour. These inbound transfers have made it a very robust and in fact nearly full domain that is now about 4 times the size of a 2008 full domain.” In other words, even the destination servers are filling up, and Sulfuras will shut down this afternoon. . In fact, the company opened a new destination server, Eranikus, last night.
So why isn’t Blizzard adding capacity, reducing queues, or leveraging layer technology? The capacity of the existing servers is already at the maximum and the layer technology does not add the necessary capacity.
“Domain capacity is dictated by the total number of connections the service itself can handle. Every time a player connects to a realm, that connection interacts with many services, systems, and adds to the total load of the persistent database that the entire game relies on to retrieve player-related data. , spells, quests, creatures, auctions, etc. When this total number of connections to a domain’s database and services reaches a certain number, the service degrades or fails at multiple levels, resulting in symptoms such as severe auction house lags or outages, degraded chat performance or a lag when attempting to loot items. . Never in the history of wow has the capacity of realms been as high as it is today, and even with our modern capacity we can still sometimes experience performance degradation when realms are full and the load of the database is at its maximum. So, in the clearest terms possible, we cannot increase capacity any further without inviting additional and likely cascading failures to the service. Now, the best and only way to solve this problem for the affected realms is for people to leave the realm via free transfers. There is no technological solution to this. There is no hardware solution to this. This situation will not improve when Wrath of the Lich King Classic launches on September 26, it will only get worse. [Emphasis ours.]”
This all makes a lot of sense, but it’s not going to alleviate the problems for guilds now stuck with a potential rift – or people complaining about being unwittingly transferred to dead realms. Several members of the community board have already chimed in to point out that what players want before taking the transfer is a guarantee that they can return to their favorite server communities once the influx of new players has subsided again – since the community was meant to be the big draw here in the first place.
But hey, if you wanted real vanilla wow experience… that’s unfortunately definitely it.