WoW: Issue with: Additional instances cannot be launched

Unable to enter instance? Me neither!

How bad it is?

Google the message and you get : ‘Results 1 – 10 of about 1,780,000 for Additional instances cannot be launched. (0.30 seconds)’

It was higher (over 2,000,000) but it seems Blizzard reps are deleting some messages about it (probably the more extreme ones!). For arguments sake lets say 2 million out of 10 million. Just think on that a moment. A fifth of all players (like me) are angry enough about this to hit the forums and blogs etc…

Pause and look at it another way: millions of players are furious that they are paying a combined £18 million a month – possibly up to all users (£100,000,000 a month) for a game they can’t access. The mind boggles that anyone responsible for such huge sums of money can mess up so very badly and expect players to tolerate it!

It’s up to the point now – from 50 minutes to enter Serpentine Caves to giving up after 3 or more hours of trying for Zul’Gurub, for Magisters Terrace – even for Stockades!!!

The well geared raiders in our guild – and others – are sitting smug though (and rubbing it in) because Ulduan and the new t9 ToC instances are fine so far for them!

First messages to GM’s
I will hit the boards etc as well, but I just want to officially complain via gm about this ridiculous and wholly unacceptable joke with the ‘Additional instances cannot be launched, please try later’

You know this is a major issue – there’s million – millions of angry messages on the Internet over it – at least a quarter of all users are affected and angry over it.

And your insane solution? ADD MORE INSTANCES? Bah!

Second messages to GM’s
No reply necessary, but feel free to pass this sentiment upstairs : Getting really sick and tired of spending hours at a time trying to get into instances. If driving away new players is your goal I am sure you are doing a sterling job!

3.2 with it’s new instances and t9 gear has, of course, exasperated the situation far beyond taking the proverbial…


Blizzard standard reply message – and the one posted on the forums by Blizzard Poster Slorkuz (on July 2nd, 09) is this:

We are aware of the concerns regarding situations where players are unable to zone into an instance due to an instance limit being hit, which results in a message stating that additional instances cannot be launched. This limit was implemented as a short-term solution to preserve the gameplay for players who are already in an instance and to prevent numerous issues that can happen when too many instances are active at the same time, but we are currently working on better solutions to ensure that players can get into instances when they want to.

As one of the solutions to this situation, we are in the process of modifying our hardware setup to allow for more instances to be active without negatively impacting the performance of these instances. Once this hardware reconfiguration is complete, we expect to see a noticeable reduction in the number of players hitting the instance limit. However, this improvement to the hardware is a complicated and delicate process that will also require extensive testing before it can be fully implemented, so it may be some time before the updates can be completed. We would like to assure you that this issue currently a top priority for us, and we are working on resolving it as quickly as possible.

Further information and updates regarding this will be provided as we make progress in this process. Thank you for your patience during this time.

OK let’s take this apart shall we?

  • Point 1: Posted on the forums by Blizzard Poster Slorkuz (on July 2nd, 09)
    Bear that date in mind – pre 3.2 release, hmmm.

  • Point 2: We are aware of the concerns
    … they have been told to say, but the bosses actually don’t care, or we’d have sorted it by now!

  • Point 3: This limit was implemented as a short-term solution
    It started last October with achievements – even before Wrath, if I recall. 9 months – 10 now is NOT a short-term solution. Nor, despite vague reassurances, is any solution actually in sight, as far as I can see.

  • Point 3: Thank you for your patience during this time.
    Translation: PR for Jeez, stop whining already. Talk to the hand, the face ain’t listening! PS Nothing to see folk, keeping renewing your subs. That’s ALL that matters

Ultimately they KNEW they had a problem.

They KNEW they were failing to fix it.

And they released the 3.2 patch KNOWING full well in advance that the servers could not possibly cope, especially not with all the schools and colleges shut for summer.


As I see the issue:

It goes like this: Everything is running well, then Blizzard introduce Achievements.

All of a sudden millions of players run at the dungeon, many solo-ing them. For a while getting into an instance was a real pain, but do-able. May take five or ten frustrating minutes, but you are in and off.

After a month of so when all the more obsessive type have all the achievements on every pre-Wrath dungeon it all settles down again, but maybe flaring up for the odd event.

Now here’s the thing: That one set of events will have given Blizzard MASSES of detailed information. server loads, peak times, user demographics and a concrete insight into the game and server limits.

Fast forward to Ulduan instance being added: The gear requirements are a tad mental so the numbers entering aren’t a huge issue. Even so, Blizzard reps on the forums have stated that to prevent issues (only affecting the relatively few Epic geared raiders doing Ulduan 10 and 25) they have weighted the server to favouring them. SO, already we have a case were Blizzard are actively pampering an small hardcore segment to the detriment of millions of other regular players.

Step ahead to 3.2 and it all falls down. Epic fail!

In what I would genuinely consider almost criminal negligence (on behalf of PAYING subscribers) and certainly gross stupidity and a complete and utter lack of foresight they add new instances. They do this KNOWING THE SERVERS CANNOT POSSIBLY COPE.

If only the idiocy would end there – but it doesn’t:

Is it not helped in any way that all their best programmers have been pulled from WoW to work on Diablo III and Starcraft II.

  • In what can only be brain dead (SACK THAT MORON) levels of ignorance they decide to do this at the start of the school and college summer holidays when the peak numbers ever would be free to play all day every day.
  • AND they add a rare BoE pet to Zul’Gurub that many are running to farm for as it sells for thousands of gold pieces in Auction House
  • AND, the piece de resistance?
    Consider this change, noted in the 3.2 Warcraft patch notes
    In order to allow for parties and raids to progress through instances at their own pace, players can now extend an instance ID on an individual basis

    An ID can be extended more than once.

    So, not only do they introduce a raft of new instances – they give people the option to forcibly keep them open – again – knowing about major and so far (10 month) unfixable server resource issues!

    Smiley Boggle!

The solution as I see it:

Is NOT a pleasant option!

They may have to roll back to 3.1 (all your drops, levels, new characters, achievements, everything for the past few weeks LOST (won’t THAT be popular!)). Then fix it off-line they try again. But they can’t – how can your roll back an upgrade for 12 million users?

So: they have to take ALL servers down for a proper extended maintenance – and don’t put then back until it’s FIXED!

Then they have to compensate us! Bite the bullet Blizzard. YOU deliberately – thoughtlessly – created this mess. One way or another you have to pay the price from your gross incompetence and continual bad handling of the issue.

My feeling is this: (depending on the length of downtime:)

1. A week / months free subscription
2. A We are sorry! gift for everyone – like a BoE pet and / or mount
3. Discretely sack the clowns responsible!

Other responses on the boards about this:

Here’s a post by Patanjali on mmo-champion that entirely echoes my own thoughts and sentiments: [ blizzard you delete my post and ban me ] ((link since dead)

A couple days ago I was banned for expressing my legitimate discontent with a technical issue I’m dealing with. My post was deleted and I was banned from the forums for 24 hrs. Is this how you treat your customers? If this happens again, I’m going to find out the employee ID of the person who banned me and start working my magic. I’m very experienced in handling misconduct of employees related to customer service issues such as this.

Yet again, here is my post. I expect it to remain up and active:

‘Additional instances cannot be launched.’

I realize this issue has been addressed and you guys are working hard to correct it. But Blizzard is probably the most successful video game company on the planet. Why didn’t you guys think about this before releasing the patch? You mean to actually tell me you didn’t consider the possibility of the instance servers being overwhelmed? I would think that after a few years of statistics and analysis you guys would be able to predict something like this. Successful companies that aim to keep their customers happy should try to have a little more foresight when it comes to these things. Much of my game time is spent running instances and I’m pretty sure many other players are the same way. Now you say it could take a while because the issue is delicate and complex

So Blizzard I’m asking you for some recommendations… What am I supposed to do with my game time now? Are you going to some how reimburse me for this lost game time? Have you considered giving additional XP or money for quests while you work to correct this issue?

Blizzard: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SATISFY ALL OF YOUR DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS? We are paying the $15 monthly fee… At least half of which should be reimbursed immediately. I’d appreciate a response ASAP.

From MMJJ on MMO-Champions: (Aug 10th, 2009)

we have been trying to enter maraudon for forty minutes and still no entry. it is hard enough to get a group together only to find we cannot enter. groups fall apart as people cannot wait around for this amount of time. i think this issue needs addressing as soon as poss as it is very frustrating for all the group members.

The response was : [ forums .wow-europe .com topicId 9941934722 ] If you wish to post feedback or suggestions on the Instance Capacity issue, please do so in the sticky thread dedicated to that issue

Another (can’t get name) complained:

I bet I’m not the only one getting very annoyed about not being able to do instances. I’ve been playing the game for 4 years and now suddenly I cannot do Instances when I want to. I have to wait for a long time, sometimes more then 20 min before I can get in. Not cool for a pay to play game! I don’t want to spend my evenings walking in and out in to a portal.

From Sisenna on MMO-Champions: (August 2nd, 2009)

Someone can do with this: additional instances cannot be launched
I try in last week 3 times create group and do AQ40, but all the time got “additional instances cannot be launched” after 60 minutes trying ppl leave raid….
Someone can tell me when possible do AQ40?
I try 7:00am nothing, i try 23:00 nothing i try at weekend sunday 14:00 NOTHING!!
How enter to this instance?

Server: EONAR

This is something we and other players noted too – after trying for up to 3 hours at a time to enter this one.

From Jedima on MMO-Champions : (August 7th, 2009)

no additional instances… 45 mins!!

I don’t think it’s acceptable to get this message for 45! both in HOL or HOS, why dont u take care of this? every day is goin worse and worse, please do something

From Rolodex on MMO-Champions : August 8th, 09

Someone PLEASE fix the instance servers
Can someone please, please, please fix these lousy instance servers?

Since the patch, it’s practically impossible to get into any instances. I’m sitting here at 11:00 on a Saturday morning trying to get into Setthek (hardly a hot spot) and can’t get in.

Does Blizzard have anything remotely resembling a capacity management function? Does anyone know of any plans to add to the instance servers?

Running around in the greater Azeroth without being able to get into any instances is hardly worth the monthly fees.

I would also recommend you all read this [ mmo-champion .com 10431114087-problem-with-32.html ] Problem with 3.2 by Cyria

What is says, in a nutshell, is the new level 245 gear is so unbalanced it creates echelons of us and ‘them noobs’ Anyone not in the very, very best gear gets laughed out of the groups and raids. Seen this myself (but my gear is so-so) but her feeling – sadly correct I fear – is that even someone in Ulduan 25 epics will be considered unacceptable by elitists after fast runs. Essentially it is ruining the game – even more.

And I agree. I was boosting a friend in Strathholme and we died so often (well he, mostly)… but it was FUN. meh!

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