Last time on WoW Archivist, we talked about the early months of WoW, when the realms and the servers that run them couldn't handle the avalanche of subscribers that followed the game's release. The game experienced a population surge unprecedented in the MMO genre. Blizzard could not have predicted it and was not prepared for it.
The Broken 20
In early 2005, Blizzard was haunted by the number 20. At that time, 88 servers were operational. Of those, 20 of the original 41 servers had recently been moved to new, more powerful hardware, which Blizzard hoped would be able to handle those servers' extremely high populations. Unfortunately, a flaw in the infrastructure caused more problems than ever: severe lag, frequent server crashes, and even more frequent player disconnects. Blizzard's response was to lower the server cap by 30% until the flaw could be identified, greatly exacerbating the queue times.
Those servers became known on forums as the "Broken 20."
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