WoW Classic servers are on fire and Blizzard is trying to put them out

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World of Warcraft Classic, in the weeks leading up to the launch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, is overflowing (opens in a new tab).

As players slam the US and European servers, Blizzard is trying to cut wait times by several hours before re-releases of the original WoW’s most crucial expansion in WoW Classic later this month. Players will no longer be able to create new characters or transfer existing ones to the most populated servers, known in the community as “megaservers”, until the populations decrease.

“We hesitated to [do] this is because we really dislike restricting player movement and potentially breaking social circles, but that philosophy is no longer compatible with the reality we find ourselves in,” wrote the game’s producer, Agrend. (opens in a new tab) in a thread of players criticizing the state of the servers.

Blizzard also offers free character transfers to servers that have not yet reached capacity. Aggrend detailed in a series of forum posts why this is the least disruptive solution to the problem, but said Blizzard is considering other incentives to keep players evenly dispersed.

WoW Classic, even more so than standard WoW, relies on strong player communities. It’s designed to mimic the old definition of an MMO (before cross-server technology existed), where a healthy server population greatly affects your ability to participate in raids, PvP, guilds, role-playing games, and other social parts of the experience. Players naturally look for high population servers where these activities are guaranteed to thrive, and when they feel comfortable, they don’t want to leave.

Long queues and population gaps between factions shatter the idealistic image of what WoW Classic aims to be, which has forced Blizzard to try and rule it before the expansion arrives.

Aggrend’s posts compare low-population servers to those of the 2008 version of the MMO, trying to dispel player assumptions that they aren’t worth transferring. According to their data (which is not attributed to any specific date), many servers have two to four times more concurrent players than the old game.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

WoW Classic players have the advantage of the story to guide them through quests and activities that would have been new and more difficult 14 years ago, so they often work on a faster and more challenging scale. large accordingly. Agrend’s comparison doesn’t necessarily prove these servers are worth playing for the most hardcore gamers who demand large populations to reduce the time it takes to find groups and fuel a robust game economy, but the comparison makes sense for most casual gamers. .

Aggrend went on to explain that server capacity cannot simply be increased by adding more hardware, and reiterated that currently, people who want to avoid wait times should use free transfers. “So, as clearly as possible, we can’t increase capacity any further without inviting additional and likely cascading failures to the service,” they said. “There’s 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.”

WoW Classic is far from the only MMO to struggle with server capacity during the more than two years of the pandemic. In its first days of launching in 2021, New World had to shut down character creation (opens in a new tab) to relieve overloaded connection queues. And later that same year, Final Fantasy 14 had to do the same thing in addition to removing the game from sale. (opens in a new tab) near the launch of its Endwalker expansion.

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