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World of Warcraft Server Problems 116

vjmurphy writes "Connectivity to the massively-multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft servers and web site appears to have had some difficulties over the past week. Their hosting is provided by AT&T." That includes my raid's dying twice in MC due to 4000 latency, and also a soft reset of MC. Good work, AT&T.
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World of Warcraft Server Problems

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Monday March 27, 2006 @09:52AM (#15002239) Journal
    Note: the following post has been graciously hosted by AT&T.

    This [Connecting...] is [Authenticating... ] absurd. I [Authenticating... ] demand that all of [Authenticating... ] these false [Authenticating... ] allegations be stopped. There [Retrieving character list... ] is no way [Retrieving character list... ] in hell [Retrieving character list... ] that anyone [Retrieving character list... ] has ever [Retrieving character list... ] suffered [Retrieving character list... ] from any kind of [Loading... ] lag [Loading... ] while playing [Loading... ] World of Warcraft. The [Loading... ] hosting has been [Loading... ] meticulously [Loading... ] perfect and infallible. ["Ok, I'm in game, why don't I see anyone in Org?"]

    When will you learn that if a company takes your money, they are providing a service that cannot fail? [/console reloadui]
  • Well, at least Netcraft confirms it.
  • by penfold69 ( 471774 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @09:56AM (#15002264) Journal
    Try living on the EU servers - its been like this for a year.

  • by 8282now ( 583198 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @09:57AM (#15002269) Journal
    Haven't been terribly impressed at the technical capabilities of SBC....
  • Maybe AT&T has decided to start throttling the bandwidth based on destination and who's paid them their protecti... er... double tax.. er... rightful usage fees.
    • No, now that AT&T has reformed back into the beast that it once was...they're taking back their old attitude of "We don't care because we don't have to. We're the phone company".

      Now, I have two options on getting hooked up to high-speed internet where I'm at. Either SBC(AT&T) or Comcast. Damned if I do on either one.
  • Refunds? (Score:1, Interesting)

    And will World of Warcraft subscribers be compensated for their lost gameplay time? Time they paid good money for?
    • They have been several times in the past. Usually, when service is particularly bad (or noexistent) for a period of time, Blizzard will hand out a free day or two of service to subscribers (extending their subscription period for 24 hours or whatever). Multiply 50 cents a day by a million subscribers (stateside) and that's a pretty significant payment on Blizzard's part. Not exactly as good as just spending the money to FIX THE SERVERS, in my opinion, but it's a nice gesture.
      • Re:Refunds? (Score:4, Funny)

        by C0rinthian ( 770164 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @01:59PM (#15004198)
        Blizzard Server Admin 1: Hey, some guy on Slashdot said we should fix the servers!
        Blizzard Server Admin 2: *facepalm* Shit, I NEVER thought of that.
        BSA1: Imagine the implications of such a radical approach!
        BSA2: My god, thank you ZombieRoboNinja! Your insight will revolutionize server administration around the world! Fix the Servers! Simply amazing.
        • Yup. All this time they have been mindlessly pressing the big red "Lag" button instead of throwing the giant switch from "Broken" to "Fixed".

          It's a good thing there are Message Board Warriors out there who understand that the real solution to networking difficulties is to drop coins into the slot and pound on the console a few times. Otherwise nothing would ever get fixed.

          • Re:Refunds? (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by lewp ( 95638 )
            The servers have been broken for over a year. I don't care what the problem is, it could have been fixed by now.

            I finally gave up and quit, even though I still think the game could be fun for a long time. It's just too broken. Damn shame, but the only vote you've got is your dollars in the end.
            • That's funny, I played for over a year and rarely ran into server problems.

              I must have been playing a different World of Warcraft from yours.

        • What your facetious commentary overlooks, is that fact that many companies don't consider things like 'build a stable and well monitored platform' - or 'deliver a fundamentally good service' as a core goal of their business (which is why it is worth end users being vocal about, until the message sinks in).

          Instead of focusing on things like QoS, companies get wrapped up in developing or touting whizz bang features and proclaiming 'new ways of doing things' in order to market the product, and they assume that
          • I think in this case it was a matter of Blizzard not considering the possibility of having 6 million subscribers putting significantly more load than anticipated on their server infrastructure. Does this mean it is acceptable? No! But I just find it funny how forum warriors say things like 'Fix the servers!' and think they are in some way insightful. It's not like theres a big 'LAG: ON/OFF' switch in the server room that the admins forgot to flip.
    • Time they paid good money for?

      I know better...the money I gave had been through the wash and was all crinkled, especially near the edges.

    • Yes that whole 2cents an hour.

      Considering you are probably working, sleeping, or eating 18hrs per day that leaves a whole 12 cents they might just possibly owe you if it really was unplayable during that entire 6hr stretch.
    • As I point out on the WoW forums every time someone whines about compensation:

      $15 / 30 days = $.5 per full day.
      $.5 / day = $.0208 per hour.

      I personally have never suffered enough unscheduled downtime to merit more than about 4 cents.
      • The problem with this logic is that most of the downtimes happen on the weekend, when everyone is trying to play. I can realistically only play 3 days a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) making my 'days' worth $15 / 12 = $1.25

        That, times the three days I lost is almost enough to rent a different game. Going by your method, we have to subtract out the .5 day we lose every Tuesday for the 'weekly maintenance' period.
    • I cancelled my account today and was offered 15 days free by retainment. I complained about high lag times. FYI.
  • working (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:19AM (#15002401)
    This feature is working as intended
  • well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Churla ( 936633 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:24AM (#15002440)
    We almost beat razorgore this last week DUE TO the lag. Seems mind controlling him and destroying the eggs was good and the mobs that were supposed to be attacking him weren't. They'd just stand next to him, I suppose hoping the disapproving stares would cause him to stop destroying eggs. On the other hand, Blizzard has not been above doling out a free day here or there when server issues erupted into full scale cratacularness. I also strongly suspect AT&T beta/piloting it's "Wouldn't it be a pity if something nasty happened to your precious data?" scalable bandwidth usage plan.
    • lag really really helps on the Razoregore fight... but right after him is Vael - good luck beating him with any type of lag at all. There's plenty of guilds on my server that have had Vael on farm status for months but took 8 tries to kill him the past couple weeks because of ridiculous lag.

      If you have never killed Razoregore before, it's a VERY good idea to go in there with the lag. You see the mob come up to you and you have time to run away before they ever get a swing off. Compare that with no lag an
    • Uhg, we killed Chromaggus on Thursday with crazy crazy lag (like, the game would completely freeze up for 6 seconds, then pick up where it left off). Well, after killing him and raising the 5 dead people; 10 seconds later everyone in Blackwing Lair got disconnected. The BWL instance server crashed. Well, we didn't get a chance to loot the body or even see what he dropped. I still have a ticket open over the matter... as our Guild Master still has a ticket open over Onyxia when the same thing happened 4
  • I felt like I was in a time warp last night. My text took minutes to show up in chat. My actions took about 10 seconds to complete (while MOBS had no such limitations) and I got disconnected a few times.

    Of course trying to find out what the problem was was pointless since the WOW website was also having problems. Even now, there's nothing on the WOW site [] or in the forums about the problem. The supposed post by the GM [] appears to have vanished and the realm status page [] lists everything as a-ok.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The realm status page ALWAYS lists everything as a-OK. I dont think I've ever been able to get to it when the servers were not ok.

  • by Professor_UNIX ( 867045 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:26AM (#15002464)
    That includes my raid's dying twice in MC due to 4000 latency, and also a soft reset of MC. Good work, AT&T.

    I warned you against buying that Adaptec shit. Get a decent RAID controller that isn't so touchy with latency issues.

  • by Zaffo ( 755234 )
    Oh, I'm as peeved about crappy connectivity as every other WoW addict, but couldn't it also be the result of one or more Distributed Denial of Service attacks against Blizzard's servers? I'd be quite surprised if this hasn't been attempted already.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Apparently they have people paying them $15/mo for the privalege of DDOSing their servers...
  • by wbren ( 682133 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:28AM (#15002473) Homepage
    Well this, and the fact that it completely took over every aspect of my life.
  • What's New? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blunte ( 183182 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:30AM (#15002499)
    WoW has had "issues" since hour one when it went public. Right now their troubles may indeed be their "provider" (just one? they have that much money riding on just one provider?), but in the past they've had plenty of issues of their own creation.

    If we could see inside Blizzard I think we'd find a company that knows how to make good games, but one that doesn't have a good record at making good management decisions on how to run them.

    There's little point in me going into great detail about the many mistakes and poor decisions they've made, but I can say that if they were a financial institution we wouldn't be discussing this. Finance seems to have this understanding that time is money. Somehow Blizzard hasn't quite caught on that 5.5 million subscribers might eventually go away, especially if they get frustrated enough with the downtime/lag. Sure, there's not much place for those gamers to go, but this may not be true in 1-3 years.
    • Re:What's New? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hab136 ( 30884 )
      If we could see inside Blizzard I think we'd find a company that knows how to make good games, but one that doesn't have a good record at making good management decisions on how to run them.

      Or, a company that made good games, got bought out by an evil company (Vivendi), and had a considerable portion of their developers leave for NCSoft. Everything since live has been done by the people left behind, or newly hired.

      • I guess that explains why all the new content is so frighteningly like EverQuest, while levels 1-35 are the most fun I've ever had in a MMOG.
        • I guess that explains why all the new content is so frighteningly like EverQuest, while levels 1-35 are the most fun I've ever had in a MMOG.

          Tigole, head cheese right now, is an ex-EQ raider. As are several other prominent people at Blizzard (like Furor).

          I thoroughly enjoyed 1-59, and was often sad I missed quests before I moved on to a new area. At 60, it changes to raid/farming/PvP. It's fun, but a *different* kind of fun. I almost quit, but stuck around for guildies.. then decided I liked the "ne

          • The number of quests post 35 I've found to be horribly dissapointing. There aren't that many in general, and they don't generally give enough xp to level you up without some grinding thrown in. The 40s were the worst, I have 3 alts stuck at ~40 because I can't generate the mental stamina required to go through that again. All attention is on the raid game at 60. Level 1-35 however there were so many quests you simply could not do all of them without many going grey. That was fun, excellent replay.

            I'm disapp
    • "Somehow Blizzard hasn't quite caught on that 5.5 million subscribers might eventually go away, especially if they get frustrated enough with the downtime/lag. Sure, there's not much place for those gamers to go, but this may not be true in 1-3 years."

      The final reason I quit was that since December the server queues were averaging 30-60 minutes on weekdays - non peak hours (late night Hawaii time). Given that I only have a couple of hours a night to play, having half of that wasted due to waiting in line su
    • Somehow Blizzard hasn't quite caught on that 5.5 million subscribers might eventually go away, especially if they get frustrated enough with the downtime/lag.

      I'm pretty sure they understand how to keep subscribers. If 5.5 million people have laid down money for the game, Bizzard is doing something right. I can't speak for others but the lag/downtime I have experienced on my server isn't any worse than other MMO's I've played. I do admit that the 30 minute queues are pretty rediculous. Blizzard is probab
  • I'm as tired of the "in other news, the sky is still blue" jokes as much as anyone else, but honestly, I don't think the past week has been significantly worse than many other periods in the past. I guess you can say this one was especially frustrating because servers weren't actually offline, but just ran crappily for a solid week. But compared to the 2000-person queues we saw at release time, this is smooth sailing.
  • I have continuous 34ms latency to Blizzard's servers (I must live next door to them... sometimes it's as low as 14, lowest latency I've seen. That's lower than I get to google!)

    The problem is with Blizzard's servers. I play on Kargath, and we have experienced intermittent "character retrieving" issues for the past 3 months, ever since the 1.9x patch. There were times when the server would just crash, even a day after the "weekly scheduled maintenance" on Tuesdays. The problem does not lie with the ISP

    • Just a question: Why did this get modded troll? I'm trying to provide my experience on the WoW servers and no one wants to hear it? All right... but could someone please explain why this post was a troll?
    • There are some servers that suffer frequent downtime and many that do not (I'm on Draenor, which never has problems unless *every* server goes down), and its generally the same groups of servers (including Kargath). This leads me to believe that they have internal problems, or perhaps problems upstream, some but not all of their server clusters. Its also why WoW forums simultaneously hold a lot of "OMG this game sucks I get disconnected 12 times a minute" and "STFU rock solid here!"
  • Oh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:45AM (#15002623)
    Did they port the server code from Europe?
  • I may have bashed MMORPGs [] in [] the [] past [] however I never had major technical issues when playing WoW. The worst when playing WoW, iTunes and having Firefox, Opera and Outlook open at the same time caused my sucky onboard sound to flake out (high proc).
  • Back when I was playing Ultima Online, the Sprint routers between me and my favorite server would flake out for several hours at least a couple of times a month. It doesn't seem like Sprint's quality has improved over the years either. The other backbone providers may be bad, but no one can come anywhere near the suckitude that is Sprint. I'm pretty sure they get their routers by sending in box tops from Post Toasties.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    when working at a small isp (few thousand customers), even we had two backbones from different providers. providers will have issues or worst, go down, and you need a back up provider. don't blame at&t, blame blizzard for not having a back up plan...
  • DDoS possible (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daggon ( 948225 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:51AM (#15003198)
    Several months back there was a similar rash of instabilities and sever restarts. There were a bunch of rumors that gold farmers were using something to de-stabalize the servers. It used to be that zoning into instance under high lag was used to dupe items, never confirmed it actaully worked but that was the rumor.

    I mention it because perhaps something similar is going on here. The servers are getting destabilized and forced to restart. And you can use a server restart(and the small rollback that usually hits because of it) to dupe items or gold(this works, I've seen it done).

    In the end its just a random collection of rumors that fits the facts. So take with whatever amount of seasoning you need.
    • Noticed the price of the Ace of Warlords has dropped to 2g?

      According to rumors--farmers are again causing the server problems. During the high lag periods if you do a /who Dire Maul and sort by guild--the list of likely suspects will emerge.

      On my server the same 5 or 6 hunters, that can't speak a bit of English, are always around Dire Maul. Let the witchhunt begin!!

      • Right, but 10-12 (or even 20-30) extra DM instances per server shouldn't be causing these kinds of problems. If it is the farmers there some more advanced shenanagins going on I'd think.
        • Re:DDoS possible (Score:2, Interesting)

          by HycoWhit ( 833923 )

          I should have been more clear in my first post.

          There is most definately an exploit involving the Dire Maul instance that is causing the increased lag. Of the dozens of players in Dire Maul--only a few are causing the server lag. They tend to be easily identifiable by their names and lack of guild tag. i.e. the chinese farming brigade.

          Regular players aren't causing the lag. On our server there are 5 to 6 of the farmers on the Horde side and double that number on the Alliance side. Our server runs lag

          • Real notably, the prices on any of the "Royal Seal" books (for the DM trinket) have really dropped on my server (which is relatively low pop) from ~ 60-80g down to 1-10g, and the Quel'Serrar book has dropped from the 2000+g range to the 600g range.
            • Again this is correct, but it could mean the farmers have just switched focus here to max out what gold they can make. DM librums and books are almost always money makers (librums especially since the zg enchants require them). So this could just be a result of farmers using this instance primarily to make gold since world farming is less profitable.

              The drop in costs is farmers competeing with eachother (they each have quotas to fill). Unless someone has hard evidence of something they're specifically do
          • Asserting that a group of people you dislike are, in some unidentified way, causing an effect that everyone dislikes seems kind of creepy. That feels like the cultish superstition that I would've expected to mostly be gone in recent centuries.

            Do you also find yourself thinking that it's all of those damn gays that are causing bird flu? Or that illegal immigrants are the real reason for that drought last year?

            Slowness and instability on the part of Blizzard's systems seem more than adequately explained by in
            • A couple of bad assumptions here. Normally I wouln't care, but comparing me to a bigot tends to raise my ire.

              1. I don't specifically dislike farmers, they're just making a buck, its a bit shady but there are worse things people can do. I never stated what they do in essence is bad, I really don't care and in fact I think gold selling should be legitimized my MMO creators.
              2. I don't know what is causing the issues, I am merely speculating on rumors.
              3. I didn't at all describe the effect as "magical," th
              • Anyway the word "possible" and "rumor" apear a couple times in my post so how about some reading and critical thinking before comparing me to a bigot?

                Well, sure, but so do phrases like "There is most definately an exploit involving the Dire Maul instance that is causing the increased lag." Which sounds a bit more concrete than the evidence that any of us have about the situation.

                I certainly retract the implications of racism; that wasn't really what I'd been meaning to imply anyway, and was

    • First of all, I know for a fact that you can use the instance portals to dupe because I have had it accidently happen to me twice (i.e. trade food to a friend and I got kicked out with the items I traded). Second, the dup bug has never been really repaired. After all of that hooplah, I tripped across another dupe bug that can be done; albeit, it is very hard to reproduce and has very limited dupe options. To my knowledge, it still hasn't been repaired. If my suspicion about how their system works, it ca
  • by CokoBWare ( 584686 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @12:20PM (#15003462)
    We were using AT&T a few years back for our business connectivity in Florida and they were always having problems, going up and down like a yo-yo. It sounds like their reliability hasn't changed at all. I'm glad we don't use them anymore.
  • Aside from the lag that's been creeping in.. You know the one, the lag-o-meter says 134ms and is green, but you're lagging. so you can't even log out. The meter acutally goes down in readings (albet after alot of people are kicked). But my big point is this dam queue setup on login. I'll login and it says 'you are 33rd in queue" and "wait time of 3 mins"... then something happens where I'll get all the way up to 500+ in line with a 30 min or greater wait time. How does this happen, if you're in a queue,
    • I have a theory.

      I played at times where I was aware of a queue (from guildies reporting this upon log in) and then I got DC'ed on a zone crash, and was able to log in again right away. It's as if the server sensed the DC at their end and gave me priority in the queue, which is right and proper IMO.

      But that's just a theory.

      • I'd go along with that, except most of the time I've been queued, was after getting DC'd. sad part is if you look at realm status, both website, and login client, I've been queued on a server with LOW population, but not queued on servers with FULL population. This could be people jumping and such, but never know. With the amount of subscribers that Blizzard has, I'm sure that they would want to kick some of that cash back into upgrading the PIPE or PIPES they use to feed their datacenter, and also look
  • This is the weirdest thing ever ... people are actually paying MONTHLY for a game they can hardly play when they want. If you went to a store and bought a game ... would you expect to be able to play it once you got home?? When you get to the point of getting more excited by seeing the Character List than actually killing Nef ... something's wrong. Can I reply to the message "Can't logging to World of Warcraft right now" with "Can't pay my monthly fees right now?" ... i guess we all can. ;) Stopped playi
    • I think you're exagerating a bit much here. The service is mostly available and most days I play with no problems. Log in times are a bit longer but a minute here or there at login doesn't matter much to me. While the recent outages and lag are much too freqent and a significant problem, I wouldn't say that I can "hardly play" when I want. But the service has certainly degraded from several months ago and isn't what I expect for a monthly service fee.
      • Depends on the server. The one I was playing on since April '05 suddenly got long queues after the 1.9 patch. I could expect to wait 30-60 minutes weekdays off hours.
        That's a large chunk of my play time. So I quit.
  • Has anyone thought about the amount of money they're bringing in with this single game?! It's phenomenal! Let's do some quick rough math to see what the numbers look like. They report over 6,000,000 currently paying subscribers. At $15USD/mth, that's about $90,000,000 / month! (Yes, indeed, that'd be over $1,000,000,000 (billion!) a year!!)

    That's just plain crazy.

    Anyways, my point? Well, with all that money, you think they'd be able to do something about it. Perhaps they're too busy swimming in said pile of
  • The lag has been unbearable for weeks. I can only hope that rumours of upcoming hardware upgrades are true. The three drakes in BWL have been miserably difficult for us to do lately because of the way the lag is affecting the timing of their attacks. Example: offtanks successfully taunt off the winged buffet and get bounced back, but the MT eats the attack anyways-- manageable once or twice, but a huge pain if it happens eight or ten times during the encounter. Or Firemaw, flies off after a punted offtank a
  • No shit Sherlock. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    A long time ago I used to run ISPs. All of our servers were on BBNPlanet, then one of our bean counters discovered that we could switch to AT&T, because AT&T was just BBN rebranded. Then once day somebody at AT&T thought it would be cool to run their own network. There was talk of this and then it happened and our service went to shit.

    We used to be able to call BBNPlanet and an engineer would pick up the phone and their service was so good that they even fixed a connection problem for us that
  • Perhaps this was AT&T giving us a preview of what's to come with the Tiered Internet?
  • Blizzard decides to classify this problem as a new epic and scripted boss fight you do solo.

    Based on your timing and skill at entering in your account information on the login page, the fight begins!

    Server casts Lag Spike on you for 10503 damage. You die.
    Unable to connect.

    If you do really well, you might get to STAGE 2: "Retrieving Character List"

  • of how AT&T is incapable of handling a smooth transition.

    In our area (DFW Metroplex, TX) it started about three weeks ago. We noticed our business internet having DNS issues. We contacted our (former) SBC data centers (quite the maze that is) but they reported no issues. Problems disappeared in two days with no explanation except the up-level DNS servers started responding again.

    Two weeks ago our long distance lines went down for about an hour. Again contacting the support center resulted with "We're

  • You think WoW is bad? Try playing Diablo 2 on now. Blizzard doesn't give a rats ass about diablo anymore and you'll notice with insane lag spikes occuring every 10-15 minutes, as well as people getting temp bans due to their crap servers. Blizzard needs to stop being such money grabbing whores and use those 1200 new opterons they purchased and get more pipe for such a large scale game, I believe it's over 4 million maybe 5 now. I personally don't play WoW, and I would NEVER waste money monthl
    • On the other hand what companies still even supports games that are 6 years old? Much less still run official servers for them. I'd say that says something too.
  • Authenticating. That's not my hand you're shaking; Pull the other one.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10