Pushing the Limits of Technology

As another software engineer, thanks for having the patience to reply to all this junk. I am absolutely exhausted with all the “all they have to do is flip a switch” takes from people who haven’t touched a large software project a day in their life. Obviously we need some solutions here but in no way is it going to be easy or simple.


They’ve already said the classic server caps are the same as the retail server caps.

If all the people trying to log into Benediction right now changed to logging into a retail server the same exist queue would happen.

How does your 2 second fix address that?

In my role at my job, I’m often theorizing, laying foundation, and teaching. But every once in a while, customer-facing disasters happen. Then I have to engage in what my boss lovingly refers to as “firefighting”. I’m probably slipping into that mode sympathetically while observing this, kind of like how a husband can have sympathy pains for his pregnant wife.

So, while booting up Microsoft FingerPoint and shooting for the high score can be fun, part of me is clearly drawn away from assigning blame and toward trying to work a problem even though it’s not my responsibility to work it. Since managers are the kings of saying “just throw more hardware at it” or “flip a switch”, I may be unconsciously motivated in answering all these people because I’m often required to answer others similarly lacking technical knowledge in similar situations.

The most important thing we can do right now is to help Blizzard extinguish the flames. Then we can put the ashes through some chemical analyses to determine how the fire started. The way I see it, so far they’ve said that using transient FCM (with recklessly flailing availibility) is the way they’d prefer to solve the problem. For some players, this is okay. For others, it definitely is not:

As far as putting out the fire goes, I guess we just have to watch how successful Blizzard is with FCM and be open to any other suggestions they happen to proffer on what we can do to help. I hope they’re hearing those of us that cannot accept their current approach and trying to come up with other ideas. When I heard their claims about the capabilities of technology in general, it sounded to me like they (or at least some contingent there) thought they could just put their fingers in their ears and look the other way confident in the knowledge that the players made their bed and have to sleep in it. I decided to post this thread to let them know they won’t be able to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

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yea it is, as a system admin i just love reading these kinds of posts, absolutly no clue what they are talking about but insisting that more money can fix it, when in truth its how the game is coded, sure it could be fixed, if they took wow offline for 6 months to a year and rewrote the underlying engine, because retail servers don’t have this many players on them, because of cross realm, you only need to be on the same server for mythic raiding, that’s it. I wish people understood that WoW is basically running on bones originally written in the late 90’s, that have been expanded on over time, but at the end of the day alot of the code is older than some of the players. It would be like asking why Quake 3 Arena can’t handle 512x512 player matches.

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They have the technology, it was there for tbc prepatch and launch, 12 layers on grob. Now all of a sudden there’s only 3 or 4. The house has the rooms, they just locked all the doors this time.

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But this thread didn’t begin with one of those “kinds of posts”. As I pointed out to the poster to whom you’re replying…

This is a better example of the kinds of posts I think you’re complaining about.

And I replied to it in a sensible manner.

Posts like this are fundamentally misunderstanding the challenge Blizzard is facing.

But, posts like this are not as helpful as they could be.

To be clear, this statement is a lie:

And it’s a lie you have implicitly acknowledged:

Their refusal to take responsibility and all of their talk about comparisons to 2008 realms and other irrelevancies only distract from what I believe is the primary cause of this crisis: they have failed to properly manage realm populations. They know what the limits of their services are. They have had all the data they needed to have reasonably predicted this result. They were warned many times by players who only had much less quality population data from which to make projections.

If I can go into full cynical mode for just a moment… It is beginning to look like despite having more than enough ability to anticipate this they did not act sooner only because restricting player movements in time to prevent this would have caused unrealized gains in revenue from automated paid realm transfers and they surmised that players would take their incompetence with regard to population control at face value and eat the consequences.

This thread is here to state that this is not something they will get away with completely. They have been caught in their inaction, to twist a metaphor. If they want players to solve the problem for them, they need to give the players the tools to do it:

  1. a free way to go to some other realm with their friends while the heat dies down
  2. a free way to go to some other realm with their friends when the evacuation spot has died, as it absolutely will

Many of us are willing to work with them in whatever way they wish provided those criteria are met. But they can’t keep getting all of the money and none of the blame.

They havn’t done anything wrong, is it fixable yes? if they rewrite the entire game engine from the ground up to handle that, that is not acceptable for any company to do. What part about they started building this engine in 1998/99 doesn’t make sense. Even when it came out in 2004 the idea of 25,000 people on one server seemed impossible far in the future, there was not reason to program the underlying systems for that. You have no idea what the limits of their underlying database system is, or what the game engine can handle drawing at once or tracking accurately. To go over those limits isn’t a simple software patch, its rewriting the underlying code that runs the entire engine, its not practical of feasible. The only people upset are those that don’t actually understand whats going on.

Address the mismanagement of realm population.

its a community made problem, the fact they closed transfers to those realms and prevented new players from joining point to the fact it was known to the community. There is no reasonable response to yea its 25,000 player server, im sure its gonna be fine at all times. This problem is player made. I could have chosen to go to one of the mega servers, i choose aitesh because ironforge pro listed 4500 users, because I’m not foolish. everyone on grob and bene made this choice, no one owes you anything for making this choice. You want to cancel go ahead, I for one will appreciate the lack of whining. But when you don’t understand network infrastructure, databases, or software you have absolutely no business making a comment about it. Am I upset with the wow devs, yes because of the lack of RDF, but not because of this, because i still have common sense and realized this could be an issue. When the realm is listed as high or full, maybe your entire guild shouldn’t pick that server to go to, thats on you.

You assume that the player base as a whole behaves as you do as an individual, and they don’t. The number of people that come to the forums and participate at all is tiny compared to all the players. Your thoughts here are a clue to me that you have nothing to do with anything involving users, including system administration. People are different. And there are a lot of people who play this game.

There was no meeting of everyone playing Classic during which it was decided by the majority to overwhelm only certain realms.

Just close your browser tab if it’s bothering you that much.

Oh I am a system admin, if i was in blizzards shoes I’d be handling it, by moving users to low pop servers without their consent, be glad im not them. As a system admin I’ve locked people out of their databases before because they got to big and ignored requests to clean them up, so I set them read only and basically at that point forced them to start a new one so I solve the problem, I’ve also disabled outlook archives aka pst files becuase users don’t bother to make sure they don’t go over 25gb per email archive, so i took it away from everyone because it was causing to many tickets. Be glad im not on blizzards team, because yea queus would be gone, and 6k of you would find yourself on old blanchey

There is no way that nonsense would fly in an enterprise environment. You cannot survive as an abrasive butthead in the real grown-up world. You’re either the system admin of some public library, are kept in a closet somewhere and interact with virtually no one, or you’re just puffing up your ego on the WoW forums. lol :wink:

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I work in IT, not as a server admin but I am well aware of the challenges in this kind of situation. The kind of people saying “it’s just a couple of clicks to fix” are the same people who would yell at a Geek Squad employee for not knowing their email password.


You’re right. But that has been thoroughly acknowledged on this thread at this point.

cross realm isnt classic bro

it does fly, i talked to the CTO about it, we woked out a plan, sent out an email that on the 1st of the month email archiveing would be disabled unless you had a bussiness need, aka legal, an executive, or accounting, because no one else needs to store years worth of emails for any practical reason. We still allowed them to link those PST files after that date but they could no longer save to them. Same with with the databases, yes we have premission to do so because we manage them, if they are constantly breaking because no one wants to remove old data, then yes we can set them to read only, and we have. I have a good working relationship with the CTO, and when we get enough tickets forwarded by desktop about a specific issue that takes me away from what i should be doing, we solve it.

it just shows how disconnected blizzard still is with their customers.

There’s a TREMENDOUS difference between “fixing this problem is challenging, but doable” and “fixing this problem is impossible”. Blizzard has literally $60 BILLION dollars.

NASA is landing humans on the moon, multiple times, in their Artemis program for $7.5 billion.

Don’t tell me Blizzard can’t make a big server with $60 BILLION dollars. Saying so is maliciously false.


The very notion an engineer would come to conclude that a current problem is literally impossible to fix is disgusting. It is either a lie, a statement which stems from incompetence or one that is PR centric.

This is a fixable issue; all engineering problems have a solution in this world. They simply don’t want to invest into fixing this through their end. Make the player pay for it I guess. Obviously a free transfer and blaming the player is a cheap solution. It is perhaps even viable on the long term. But with a 15$ a month subscription fee, you would expect a better response. You deserve a better response and actions on their end which would results which would allow for dynamic resource management, scalability and code improvement.


Agree 100%. Blizzard (should) be totally aware of the limitations of their architecture.

They closed servers, forcing players to flock to already full or near full populations.

While collecting all the transfer money, they could clearly see that the server population was bloating way faster than the server could support and waited until players were stuck in 13k queues to “do” something (which put the ball in the player’s court rather than coming up with a proper solution).

Ultimately this is on Blizzard and was handled incredibly poorly.

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