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Posts with tag additional-instances

Joystiq talks to Frank Pearce about the past and future of Warcraft

Our friend Kevin Kelly over at the Joystiq mothership got a chance to talk to Frank Pearce at Blizzard about the Warcraft anniversary, and he did us proud. Not only did Frank Pearce do some nice reminiscing about Blizzard, where they've come from, and how the massive World of Warcraft undertaking has changed them as a company (they've gone from 500 employees to about 4,000 in just the last five years), but he also touched on some issues we've really been wondering about over here at WoW.com as well.

Like, say, the reason we haven't seen a girl in the ads yet. Pearce says they're open to it, and he wants some names submitted, so we'll offer up Felicia Day as a no-brainer, and if you guys have other ideas, share away below. He also talks about server capacity, and says that at nearly every step, Blizzard has been surprised by their success. He attributes race and faction changes to thinking that realms were big enough on day one to bring everybody together who wanted to come together, but they later realized that wasn't what was happening. He mentions China and NetEase and says they wish the process there was faster. And finally, he talks, surprisingly, about the BlizzCon Vegas that wasn't, and seems to confirm that Blizzard was considering a Vegas show. Interesting. Where else did they consider holding the convention, we wonder?

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Cataclysm

Additional instances cannot be launched, please find something else to do.

After a long bit of extended maintenance last night for patch 3.3, and after fighting with add-ons and general instability, many players were greeted with a familiar and disappointing message from sever.
Additional instances cannot be launched, please try again later.
Heads exploded, babies cried, and anarchy ensued as people once again saw this dreaded error. We've been told for months that the cross-server instances and other solutions were supposed to fix this, that they would be the salvation to all our problems.

Not so. At least, not yet.

We are told by our sources that the central problem likely lies in there being too many players attempting to run instances. Before, if you had a server-wide instance capacity of say 1,000 instances open at any one time, you now have a battlegroup-wide instance capacity of over 10,000 instances open at any one time (just making these numbers up for the sake of argument here).

Last night, in the rush to try out the new dungeon finder and cross-server mechanics, the battlegroup-wide instance capacity was reached and destroyed in a blink of an eye. You had literally tens of thousands of people running instances in each battlegroup, entirely overwhelming the system.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, News items

Patch 3.3 PTR: New LFG interface

In the latest build of the PTR, Blizzard has included the new Looking for Group interface they've got in the works. As they had announced in at BlizzCon, the recent fix for the "Additional Instances" errors that were plaguing us a few months ago also adds the ability for them to allow cross-realm LFG. A new feature usually means a new interface and the trend proves true. It incorporates a lot of the long asked for features as well as removes several older features from the panel.

They've taken the current system that allows you to select your available roles (healer, tank, or dps) as well as select if you're willing to lead the instance. One thing that should help out is the ability to earn emblems as well as gold for doing just a completely random pug each day. While some of you might be groaning at this thought, they are willing to reimburse you for the inconvenience with 68G for completing a random level 80 heroic. This money scales based on how much of your party is random and how much is premade. The less random your party is the lower the cash return.

It's still early in the PTR and several features, like the ability to use the LFG panel to look for a raid, don't appear to be completely finished yet. I've included a gallery of what the new interface looks like thus far.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Screenshots, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Additional instances can now be launched


Crygil has the official word: Blizzard has completed their updates to the servers, and they are now saying performance is much better: all realms have "shown an improvement in instance performance as well as a noticeable reduction in the amount of players hitting the instance limit." Note that they don't say the issues have been solved (no one would say that everything was fixed, because it never is), but there should be a marked improvements in the "additional instances" bug. In the immortal words of the great Douglas Adams, "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."

And we're sure lots of players will welcome this news. At least until Cataclysm, when the flood of rerollers and werewolf fanatics taking on all of the new content and areas in the old world brings the servers back to their knees once again. But until then, enjoy your runs.

Thanks, FerrioClef!

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard, Instances, Hardware

Breakfast Topic: The trouble with instance servers


My server rarely encounters the Door Boss, but many of you have to deal with the above error on a constant basis. The error originated as a fix for high population realms that had issues with instance lag and crashes. Rather than have you frustrated with problems while in the dungeon, Blizzard decided to put a virtual bouncer at the "door" to keep the load down on the instance servers. While I do think that this was a good idea on Blizzard's part, I think that they erred greatly by not putting a queue at the "entrance" so that you can do other things while you wait -- much like the way Battlegrounds are handled.

My friend Joe has to deal with the problem with on his realm and therefore made sure to ask his designated Blizzard representative when he attended the Laguna Art Museum benefit dinner. Producer Carlos Guerrero replied that they needed to upgrade the hardware on the affected realms in order to allow more instances to be launched at the same time. Presumably, that is what the extremely extended downtime was for on Tuesday.

So my question to you is, did it work? Are you meeting the Door Boss with the same regularity, or are you able to enter instances more frequently now that your realm has been upgraded?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Instances

BlizzCon 2009: Blizzard announces cross-server instances


In what will certainly be the be-all end-all solution to "additional instances cannot be launched", Blizzard announced cross-server instances and LFG at the Dungeons and Raids panel at BlizzCon 2009.

By taking advantage of brand-new hardware separate from your realm's instance servers, not only will you be able to find groups from pools of players in your entire battlegroup, your realm's specific instance servers will be free of the stress of mass heroic-running.

On top of the convenience factor, Blizzard says that rewards will be in place for players who lead groups through instances successfully. The nature of the rewards is currently unknown but Blizzard promises more information soon.

Blizzard says that the feature will be used for 5-mans only at this time. It'll be launched with 3.3, not with Cataclysm.

Fantastic news! No more "additional instances" errors, a larger pool of players to choose your groups from, and rewards for good party leaders. Great news for everyone.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Instances

Blizzard responds to extended maintenance and instance problems


Blizzard EU has released a long and detailed statement concerning the recent waves of extended maintenance and how it's connected to the problems associated with launching instances. For several months players have been plagued with the message "Additional instances cannot be launched." The message was being caused by overloaded instance servers, and for a long time there was seemingly nothing Blizzard could do about it.

Blizzard's statement today clearly informs us that all the extended maintenance we've been seeing is directly due Blizzard implementing fixes for the problems server-side. While the statement comes from an EU source, once can assume rather easily that it applies to the US as well.

While no timeframe is given as to exactly when this will be done for all realms, it is very good to know that stuff is getting done behind the scenes. And this look at exactly what Blizzard is doing to their servers represents a rare glimpse into their inner workings. Usually Blizzard is pretty tight lipped about what exactly is happening with their hardware.

The full statement after the break.

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items, Instances

The Queue: Nice Crown! edition

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Queue, queue, queue. Everyone must be really excited for the eventual 3.3 patch, because we've got a ton of questions about Arthas and Icecrown today. What the heck, guys! BUT YEA, I SHALL ANSWER THINE PLEAS.


m_rydelis asked:
I have a question here, so as I remember from Warcraft TFT, Lich King was left to freeze on Frozen Throne, and in WotLK cinematic we see him on it, so did it just melt down, or something happend, because there is no such thing as Warcraft as Frozen throne now.

Icecrown Citadel was built over the Frozen Throne, and Arthas has apparently done a lot of construction on Icecrown Glacier since TFT and especially since the opening cinematic. The Frozen Throne likely still remains inside of the fully-constructed Icecrown Citadel, but we'll definitely see when 3.3 launches.

Cyrus asked:
Do we even know if there's going to be a 3.4? Has Blizzard announced it, or are people assuming it just based on the number of content patches in BC? Maybe progression will just go OS, Naxx, EoE, Ulduar, Argent Coliseum and Icecrown.

The plan is for there not to be a 3.4. Blizzard has stated time and time again that the plan is for Arthas to be the final boss of the Wrath cycle and for Icecrown Citadel to be the final content patch of the Wrath cycle. The next expansion should be approaching much sooner than the wait between vanilla and BC (and BC and Wrath) as well, so this timeline could work out fine provided that the 4.0 train keeps rolling as it should. Blizzcon should clue us in as to how things are progressing in that regard, so keep your eyes open.

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Filed under: Patches, Expansions, The Queue

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