WOW - Saturday Night Gridlock?

So I attempted to log into WOW about 25 minutes ago, around 8pm PST. Tried to get onto Doomhammer, got a message saying the queue was over 200. I havent seen a queue that size since the bad old days shortly after release. So I quit out, read a while and come back after 20 minutes. I try again, and hit a queue that is now over 250. So I try another server where I have characters, Hyjal. Again I hit a queue, this time over 300. Both Hyjal and Doomhammer are pretty heavy servers usually but I do have some characters on Bronzebeard which has historically been more medium-pop. I try to get into Bronzebeard and hit a queue of over 600 people.

I checked the server status board and Blizzards claims all is greenlights and happiness.

So what’s up? Is there a particular problem tonight? Are we seeing the impact of Christmas accounts for WoW? Is Blizzard just a victim of its own success?

Well, off to read a book I suppose…

But a queue of 600, whats up with that? And on Bronzebeard? Odd.

Just now, I didn’t have any wait on Shattered Hand, which was originally an EST server. But my other server Moonrunner has a 150+ queue and a wait time of 10+ minutes. According to my bro, the server never had a queue prior to Xmas, so I’m thinking its an influx from that.

WoW is apparently setting daily records now, with (according to a CM) concurrent users at numbers rivaling large cities. The problem is that they don’t have a real handle on this. What they ought to do, imo, is allow the players to pay for transfer of accounts concurrently with opening many new servers. If they did this, they would be in much better shape than they are now. They should have known something like this would happen at Xmas time, and been better prepared.


P.S. I notice that the forums have completely crashed also, so maybe they are having a particularly hard time of it. Hopefully we’ll get some free days out of this.

on 1/3, on the WoW main site:

n order to address population issues on select realms, we’ve opened a new PvP realm, Garithos and a new PvE realm, Khaz Modan. Players with characters on designated realms (listed below) will have the opportunity to transfer their characters to these realms until next Wednesday, January 11th at 3:00 PM PST. Please be aware that until 3:00 PM PST on Friday the 6th, standard character creation will be unavailable for these 2 new realms.

Bronzebeard has had queues at peak hours for a while now… doesn’t seem to have diminished at all since the holidays ended.

Very confusing to have a US and European Bronzebeard server. Fortunately (for me) the latter is fine.

My old server (Shadow Moon EU) was worse than that. Had a tiny queue once on my new one (Magtheridon EU) in the months since we transferred.

Many new servers == a lot of money spent by Blizz and this doesn’t solve the problem.

Wow is very liberal about the number of servers you can have chars on. I know there is a limit, for my 8 yr old loves just creating characters and I have some 25+ level ones, spread out between 15 servers or so, and we were finally denied one day.

Trouble they are having is when they open a new server, old people jump to it, not just newbies.

I suspect we are going to see server limitations soon on players, allowing them to only have a prescence on fewer servers at one time. I would not be surprised to see other changes, like lower idles times before disconnect.

I think they also need to explore how they can effectively raise the player limit on each server. I am sure after a year of analyzing the problem, they should have some idea of where things can be made more efficient. Or maybe increasing bandwidth.

Displaying the queue sizes BEFORE connecting would help to. “Full” is pretty meaninigless unless you are creeating a new char.

It is a huge problem, but it is a good one to have. Hopefully they can come up with a soloution that doesn’t piss off their current user base.

Hmm, somehow I didn’t get my point across effectively :)

Blizzard has said that sometime in the future a player will be able to pay to transfer their characters to another server. This means that when another server opens, that player doesn’t have to start anew. Given that, player populations should become more balanced. The reason opening new servers doesn’t do that much to help the overpopulation is that most players don’t want to start over. Some do, but a lot don’t. The other thing they could do is to give better information about exactly how many characters are on a given server. They could do this without giving exact numbers; I agree that Full doesn’t mean much anymore.

Since an account can only play one character at a time, I don’t see them further limiting the numbers of characters that you can have. Btw, that limit is 50.


Frostmane no longer shows queues for me. It just sits on the “retrieving characters list” thingie. Anyone else experience this? Not that I have time to play anymore. Full time employment and a 4-year-old has put a damper on my journeys. 58 and holding forever now.

I think that that’s only part of the problem. Anyone who plays this game for the social aspects has an investment built up in friendships on a given server. Those people won’t want to move (unless maybe their whole guild moves at once).

I have been getting that a LOT, on Thunderlord. Like, many minutes of “Retrieving Character List” with nothing happening. At least with the queue I would have some idea how long it would be and could go throw my laundry in or whatever if I had the time.

I had quit in October and just re-upped this month, so I wasn’t sure if they were just having temporary technical snafus or what. But it seems pretty constant and seems to happen mostly during peak hours, so I think it’s a population thing.

That’s what I assumed and after 10 to 15 minutes (at least lately that has been the approximate duration) it shows the character screen and then hangs on the loading screen for 4 or 5 minutes. Weird, though, that the queue numbers are not triggered to show.

But that’s not the problem. You can only play on one server at a time, so you could have six million characters, and it wouldn’t make a difference to active server population. Not right now anyway.

But what blizzard needs to do is cap the amount of accounts which use a particular server. The problem is that people can still keep making new characters on servers which are rammed; after a certain point, they need to lock it so no new accounts can use that server.

On top of that, they need to fix their server architecture so it can handle more players at once. Realistically, they need to change their systems so that they can use server farms for single servers, rather than 1 server per world.

Short of these two things, they are never going to completely solve population problems.

Gave up trying to log into the crashed out Moonrunner last night and instead went out for drinks…

Whoa, are you under the impression that when Blizzard says “Server” that they’re talking about one physical machine? Seriously, if that’s the case, you really need to think about that some more.

Take a world like Asheron’s Call 2. I got a chance to talk to one of the developers about the physical specifications of one of their “servers”: The bare-bones minimum was 12 machines on a rack with failovers for each box. That was without loading up their extended areas later on in the life of the game.

Now, think about the rating of AC2 for concurrent players in one World: IIRC, at the height of their popularity (approximately 1 month after open), they peaked at 1.5k. Their machines were absolutely throttled. Going to any populated area meant dealing with a world of hurt when you’re talking about lag.

If WoW is hitting at “ridiculous” concurrent numbers, I would think they’ve been dividing and subdividing their seamless world for some time now. The size of a new installation of a “Server” must be on par with the Google installations.

At some point yesterday Moonrunner came back but with no NPC’s - this was an excuse for the biggest gathering of Alliance players at the gates of Stormwind that I have ever seen, fighting of the raiding Horde (I heard rumours of raids against Orgrimmar as well). Good times.

The RP servers are getting particularly bad. All of them are Full with 500-600 queues in the evening.

I suspect more people were “online” this holiday season than ever before. It would explain the good news at Amazon. (“Best season ever”).

Also this is interesting:

Digital music enjoys a dream week

My server started to get queues for the first time over the holidays and they havent let up. You are pretty much guaranteed a small queue if you log in during primetime any day of the week. And the small queue turns into a big ass queue on Sundays, with 30-60 minute waits to log in.

From my census numbers, there are about 3300 people online when this starts happening (queues), 2300 Alliance, 1000 Horde. That doesnt seem like a crazy huge number to me.