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5/1/2006
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World Of Warcraft Promises To Fix Performance Problems

Blizzard Entertainment said it will fix its authentication servers to take care of availability problems and slowdowns.

Blizzard Entertainment last week said it would upgrade its authentication servers to solve log-in and availability problems that have dogged the company's online multi-player "World of Warcraft" game.

Early in April, the massive game -- Blizzard boasts over 6 million subscribers to Warcraft -- was offline for much of a day's prime playing hours. According to U.K.-based Web performance vendor Netcraft, the game has had intermittent problems since then, with several hours of downtime registered Sunday and Monday. Netcraft's log-in attempts to the Warcraft authentication servers, for instance, failed 12.5 percent of the time between April 24 and May 1.

"For several months now we've researched potential authentication upgrades and evaluated how those system changes could be implemented with minimal impact," the Irvine, Calif. company wrote in a message to the game's forum. "We recently decided on a specific authentication solution and are currently taking the necessary steps to implement the associated hardware and software.

"The new platform should help alleviate the login issues that players have experienced, including both forum- and game-login processes."

Although the company promised it would announce an upgrade date this week, some players claimed that updating the log-in servers wouldn't solve the problem.

"Certain servers are experiencing multiple failures nearly every day. These servers experience partial or total crashes, in addition to massive disconnects affecting a large fraction of the players online. This results in a constant stream of people trying to login again, because the server rarely stays up for more than 15 or 30 minutes during peak time," wrote a player identified only as "Pozzo" in a reply to the Blizzard post.

"I'm concerned that these new servers will completely mask the stability issues of some realms to the vast majority of realms that are only dealing with login issues during peak hours and infrequent crashes."

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