You know that an issue is ‘in play' by the number of people who complain. With a local shop, that might mean one or two folks at the counter describing how their favourite magazine is not on the shelf. For Blizzard, things can go wrong on a much bigger scale.
KitGuru checks out a screen grab and considers the idea that ‘Maybe the Mayans were right, but they just got the wrong world'.
UPDATE: While many are on, plenty more still aren't. The threat passed 1,000 pages this evening. Impressive.
As of October 2012, the World of Warcraft still had more than 10 million players. By any measurement system – that's a whole load of success.
On the morning of Saturday 29th December 2012, something began to go very wrong.
Initial reports were that the WoW was ‘sticky'. Translating that complex scientific analysis, we're gonna say that the Battle.net servers were struggling to maintain communications with the various network providers that link customers to Blizzard.
Then began a cascade of failures.
Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, Humans and Pandas alike began to drop off the servers. Attempts to re-connect would stall at 90% – followed a few minutes later by a total disconnection.
Later, customer accounts were automatically frozen due to ‘Unusual patterns in attempted access'. Er. OK.
Unlocking your account requires password resets etc – all of which generate more email/network traffic.
You can see where this is going, right?
Unlike the Mayans of yesteryear, WoW players are a tech-savvy bunch and they can rapidly crawl their way around the support mechanisms at Blizzard.
At WoW HQ, the email servers suffered the modern day, electronic version of a major Tsunami. Wave after wave of account-reset requests clogged up the support mechanism and players took to the forums to post their issues. The image below shows how a thread kicked off before lunch is already at 470 pages. That's PAGES, not posts. Nice.
KitGuru says: Give the WoW bunch their due, good humour seems to have ruled the day and some of the posts in that forum are incredibly funny. Out headline was listed directly from the user's posts. Blizzard is now well and truly on its way to averting a Mayan apocalypse, with a normal World (of Warcraft) up and running for many.
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.