Earlier this evening, community manager Bashiok provided an update on World of Warcraft
's server stability issues.
Warlords Launch Update
We're making preparations for the Europe maintenance beginning in just an hour, and along with hardware upgrades we will be implementing some of the performance improvements we've been testing. One of these is a fairly large change to the way the game world is run by the servers-expanding the phasing tech used for the Tanaan intro experience to the entire continent of Draenor. This will allow us to run multiple copies of Draenor simultaneously, spreading out server population, while attempting to keep guilds and parties within the same copy. We're currently running tests of this tech on a few North American realms, and have found we're able to raise realm capacity by a significant amount. We'll continue to provide updates as we progress through the Europe maintenance, and prepare to apply the same changes on the Americas and Oceanic realms.
Running multiple instances of an overworld zone is a long-lived practice in MMO games in general, even dating back to games contemporary with the launch of WoW
in 2004. Until now, Blizzard has tried to avoid implementing such a thing to preserve their philosophy of the game's social aspects -- the idea of a persistent world shared with other players. Now, for the sake of stability, Blizzard is finally implementing it. We could debate their philosophy given their implementation of phasing in questing, but that's not necessarily applicable when talking about instancing entire servers. Whether it's a temporary measure or not, time will tell.
In addition, Blizzard has released a new round of hotfixes. Like yesterday's numerous hotfixes, many of these are aimed at questflow issues, and others at bugs in gameplay. You can find the hotfixes below.
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Filed under: Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor