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World of Warcraft Game Director Explains the Long Queue Times for WoW Classic

More realms are coming, but gradually.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

If you've jumped into World of Warcraft Classic in the day or so it's been live, you are one of the luckier ones. Many players have been met with long log-in queues, even when trying to access servers with a lower population.

When WoW Classic went live overnight, players were stuck queuing to even get into the game. In some cases, realms listed as low as "Medium" were still holding thousands in queue as Alliance and Horde alike tried to get in.

Ian Hazzikostas, game director on World of Warcraft, went over to the Blizzard forums to explain some of what's going on. According to him, the realm populations are determined dynamically, in terms relative to the most crowded realms. So while a realm with a rough queue—"say 4k-5k"—may be Medium, that might just be because it's relatively Medium compared to others.

It's an issue Hazzikostas says the team is looking into making more intuitive, so servers with large queues won't show up as lower wait. As to whether Hazzikostas and his team should have anticipated the massive influx of players logging on for some old-school WoW nostalgia, he says the team is planning for long-term health; launching with too few servers is an easier problem to fix than too many servers would become down the line.

"While we have tools like free character transfers available as a long-term solution to underpopulated realms, everything about that process would be tremendously disruptive to realm communities, and so it's something we want to avoid as much as possible," Hazzikostas says. "Thus, we took the path of launching with few enough realms to still thrive in the event that our most conservative estimates ended up proving accurate, while having enough servers ready to activate at a moment's notice if needed. And clearly they were, and are, needed."

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It turns out a lot of people are interested in rekindling the classic World of Warcraft flame, as players were reporting long queues all throughout the night. But while Hazzikostas says his team will bring more realms online in various regions, they're going to wait for them to fill up before opening new ones, to make sure that "each and every realm has a healthy population in the long term."

Though lower queues don't seem imminent, at least the problem has been brought to Blizzard's attention. Hopefully more folks will be able to log in over the coming evenings and relive those blissful memories of slaying boars and getting in a different kind of queue.

In the meantime, if you're waiting on a log-in queue, read up on the ways World of Warcraft has changed over the past 15 years in our WoW Classic feature.

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