Warlords of Draenor Launch Met With Trouble

Ah, the sweet sweet glory of an expansion launch. These are always fun for a multitude of reason for MMORPGs. New content, more levels, a sweet new story arch to follow, and finally a chance to break free of the monotony that always takes hold during the last few months of the previous expansion. However, there is a dark side and this time the dark side has hit World of Warcraft hard with a myriad of issues in the wake of the Warlords of Draenor launch. During the first 24 hours, first came the DDoS attacks from a group who has yet to claim responsibility.

Once those were dealt with, came the influx of returning players during the later half of Thursday, in which players could find themselves waiting several hours to get into servers now overflowing with players old and new. Personally, I ended up waiting from 3:30pm CST to around 8:30pm CST just to get into my server yesterday. However, both events were unforeseen especially the latter as during the launch of the previous expansion Mists of Pandaria, the queue times were not nearly as large. In an effort to deal with general stability issues on top of that, World of Warcraft servers are down from 5am PST to 9am PST.

Bashiok, a 'blue poster' for Blizzard Entertainment released the following statement shortly before midnight last evening;

Our top priority continues to be service issues impacting performance and long wait times on North American realms. We recently pushed a server change that caused disconnects, and as a result login services are heavily impacted as players attempt to (re)log in to the game. If you experience issues logging in, please be patient and wait a few minutes before trying again. We’re continuing to work to address other stability and latency issues as well as make additional improvements in game performance.
We’re continuing to work toward greater realm stability and address the service issues impacting latency. Our current biggest hurdle is the concentration of players in specific areas and zones, and an unexpected effect of that concentration on the realm stability. We’re continuing to maintain a lowered realm population cap to help with the stability, which is resulting in increased queue times. We’re seeing some increase in individual zones drop which are causing localized player disconnections as we get into primetime in the Americas, and if someone is disconnected they will quite likely run into a queue to log back in. Work is progressing on improving realm stability through fixes targeting individual in-game issues, as well as on the backend game and network services.
We’re excited to finally launch Warlords of Draenor and explore this new world with you, but we know that the experience has been less than ideal as we approach our first full day of launch.

Europe was our first region to launch, and we encountered a few issues due to the sheer number of players attempting to enter Draenor from a single location. We worked to add multiple new ways to access Draenor, and this helped ease some of the initial rush into the new expansion as players were able to access it from their capital cities, as well as from the shrines in Pandaria.

While that solution helped a ton for our North American launch, we ran into a few other issues, including a distributed denial of service attack, that resulted in increased latency.

To help correct for this and other issues, we’ve temporarily lowered maximum realm populations. This means there will be high queue times experienced on high-population realms.

Here are some of the other important issues we’re currently working to address:
Instance servers timing out, which may impact dungeon access
Continent server issues, which are resulting in Player Not Found and disconnection issues
Garrison server issues, which are resulting in phasing and performance issues
We’ll post updates here as we make progress against these issues. Thank you for your zeal to face down the tyranny of the Iron Horde—and for your continued patience as we work to improve the current experience.