Blizzard Offers Up 5 Days for Draenor Launch Problems

As I suspected, once things calmed down a bit Blizzard came out with some compensation for the troubles people were experiencing with the launch of Warlords of Draenor.  This was posted in the forums earlier today.

WoW Community:

I know how much everyone was looking forward to this expansion, and once you were able to get in and start having fun, all the comments I’ve seen indicate that this is one of our best yet. But the quality of the content does not excuse the subpar launch experience we delivered, and I apologize for that.

The first two days of the expansion were not a great experience, with many of you facing high queues or significant gameplay problems. We worked around the clock to tackle the demand issues and technical challenges, and fortunately things started looking better on Saturday. While millions of you were able to get in and play over the weekend, with many already reaching level 100, others still ran into very lengthy queues, particularly on the highest-population realms.

To help address this, we’ve expanded the new instancing tech we used to improve queues on Saturday and we’re continuing the process of applying that to raise the capacity of all realms again. This will result in approximately double the prelaunch capacity on each realm, which should greatly reduce queue times for most realms if not eliminate queues altogether.

In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we’re adding five days’ worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14. Things are already in a much better place than they were going into the weekend, so I hope you’ll now be able to focus on having a ton of fun with this expansion.

I also hope you’ll accept my apology and keep your faith in us. The support voiced by many of you as we worked through the challenges was immensely appreciated. We’re extremely grateful to be part of such a passionate community. We love World of Warcraft, and we’re very proud of this expansion, so stumbling out of the gates like this was very disappointing for all of us.

On behalf of the World of Warcraft development team, as well as everyone at Blizzard, thank you all again for your patience and understanding.

See you in Draenor.

Sincerely,
J. Allen Brack
Executive Producer, World of Warcraft

Looking at my account history… which is kind of strange, as it runs back to 2005… this 5 days will mean that Blizzard has comped my account a total of 19 days for various reasons, not including a “return for 7 days free” offer.  It is also the largest credit, the previous high water mark being a 3 day credit awarded back in November of 2008, which corresponds with the launch of Wrath of the Lich King.  I don’t remember what I might have gotten the credit for, but there were queues going on back then as well.

7 thoughts on “Blizzard Offers Up 5 Days for Draenor Launch Problems

  1. Asmiroth

    Tonight’s queue was 1500, which was a bit more than an hour running in the background while the wife and I watched some netflix. 5 days should cover most people methinks, what with only 7 servers with queues now. When I did get in, the server was quite a bit more stable. Gogrond was busy but not so much that there weren’t any trees or herbs around, which was drastically different from this weekend in SMV. Guess the herd has moved on.

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  2. bhagpuss

    As I said elsewhere, I think they have played this pretty well for their benefit. The extra publicity has been immense and most frequently it’s been portrayed as “Blimey Charlie! Everyone and his dog is p[laying WoW!”, creating a zeitgeist vortex of interest for the game that hasn’t been seen in half dozen years.

    People banging on your doors to get in is great advertizing, provided they DO get in before they all give up and walk away and Blizzard have timed it just about right in balancing frustration and desire. The five-day gift is genius. It looks like a reward for patience and understanding but it sets the hook for the second month’s sub.

    I don’t believe for a second they planned it like this but once they received the pass they caught it and knew which way to run. Plenty of other MMO companies have been in very similar situations and fumbled.

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  3. Matt

    Odd, I don’t remember Wrath’s launch being any trouble and I was actually there for that one. My server has no queues, but last night around 7 I was getting “unable to launch more instances” troubles.

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  4. SynCaine

    I think around launch they ended up handing out over a week to anyone on the servers that were having issues for months, but I might not be remembering that correctly. I do remember our guild changing servers, and about a month later being thankful we did as our original server was still going down nightly.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – I wish I had blogged about why I got those three days back at the time (or the other eleven free days given to me over the years), which is sort of why I posted this. I don’t recall Eldre’Thalas having problems, but I also have a batch of characters on Hyjal, where some friends used to play and where I first started. I think that was a day one server, and it was always overcrowded. They did a server split with it and offered free guild transfers and it still had queues well into TBC. I eventually just got tired of queues and started up with some friends on Eldre’Thalas, which ended up having a server split as well, but which was never as backed up. So it might have been being on the Hyjal server that got me the days.

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  6. Jenks

    The queues disappeared on Zul’Jin during the week, so there were “only” 4 days that were completely unplayable on a borderline top 10 pop server. Sunday’s reached over 8 hours, but Monday’s at peak was less than an hour. (This is not to say the queues were the only issue plaguing the high pop servers during those days). Things have smoothed dramatically with less people, and I can notice Blizzard’s emergency phasing implementation as well.

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