World Of Warcraft Subreddit Taken Down To Protest Login Problems

World Of Warcraft Subreddit Taken Down To Protest Login Problems

One fun thing to do while waiting for expansion-pack related technical issues and sever queues to resolve is read up on r/WoW, unless the top mod sets the subreddit private until he can log on to the game, which is exactly what happened last night.

As detailed over at Polygon, subreddit owner nitesmoke was having trouble logging into World of Warcraft last night, as were many other players. The launch of the Warlords of Draenor expansion pack has taken a heavy toll on Blizzard's servers, and despite the developer upgrading its server hardware early yesterday morning, high population servers were still experiencing massive login queues.

Understandably frustrated, nitesmoke exercised his moderating power and set one of Reddit's largest gaming forums private.

This went over really well with users of r/WoW. Here are some of the Twitter replies to his pronouncement.

  • Wow, you really are a whiny little shit. "If I can't have it, no one can." Grow up.
  • super childish move. 100k+ people now just had their community turned off.
  • "I'm upset that I can't access Thing A, so I'm going to arbitrarily deny access for the entire community to Thing B." Not cool.
  • this is the most neckbeard thing I've witnessed in a while. congratulations.

A childish move? Sure, but I can understand where he was coming from. When you're the top mod of a major forum covering a dedicated topic, and that topic has done nothing for two days but kick your arse and cause the subreddit to be flooded with screenshots of long queue times, I can see the need for a short break.

Still, the subreddit acted as a haven for those having issues with the expansion launch, and taking it down made many people upset, including World of Warcraft community rep Jonathan Brown.

Nitesmoke's response? "It will be back the moment I am able to log into WoW. That is the fact of the matter and everyone's opinion on me is irrelevent."

Eventually the subreddit was brought back online, accompanied by a message from moderator aphoenix which included the reasoning behind the downtime.

Blizzard was having issues allowing people to play the game that they have payed to play. As a form of consumer advocacy and protest, the subreddit was taken offline as a way to send a message to Blizzard that this wasn't acceptable. The idea is simple: if one has no faith in a product, one of the simplest ways to show that is via protest. Protest is most useful if it has some kind of financial context to it. Being that we typically log a million hits per day, /r/wow has a significant claim as a fan website. "Going dark" in protest has worked for a variety of other protests, and it could work for this as well.

Aphoenix also made clear that the reasoning offered was not his — he was just writing it down as people were asking for it. He also clarified that the reopening was not a result of nitesmoke finally getting into the game.

As a direct result of nitesmoke's actions, Reddit World of Warcraft fans have started another subreddit, r/RealWoW, rallying for it to become the new official Reddit destination for fans of Blizzard's MMORPG.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming [r/WoW via Polygon]


    so basically, this guy completely missed the part about WoW servers undergoing some massive DDOS attacks over the last few days, because thousands of douches have nothing better to do than watch the world burn and want to feel as though they are a part of something... Very mature of the moderator.

      The DDOS contributed to the lag and crashes on day one, the server queues are because Blizzard once again underestimated the demand for this expansion... The same way they do every expansion... This time seems worse because there are a very large number of returning players.

      It was a childish move, but as someone who tried to play on the weekend if you logged out after midday you were forced into a 4.5k queue with an estimated 10 hour wait.

        Cataclysm & Mists of Pandaria launches were fine if you weren't on Frostmourne on the Oceanic realms from what I gather.

        Edit: but I do agree this launch was poorly handled on Blizzards part, I guess the huge drop in subs over the last 2-4 years they scaled back server hardware thus limiting capacity, so we ended up with this.. Also the merging of realms on to the one server blade can't have helped things.

        Last edited 17/11/14 12:33 pm

          Yeah, cata and mop were fine for me on Cael and Jubie.
          But I stopped about 2 months into MoP, so I guess I'm one of those returning players wreaking havoc for Blizz. It really does seem as though they expected another drop in subs, but instead got a boost.

      Also I guess people have forgotten WoW lost A LOT of subscribers during the 4th expansion Mists of Pandaria , also Blizzard deciding to merge multiple realms onto the one server blade I guess to fill slots and make better use of the hardware, which has now bit them in the arse come expansion, which they really should've though about :/

        lol blizz underestimated how many people were just skipping the kungfu panda xpac

          I don't think they skipped it, I think it was more they played for a month or so and said fuck it and quit. I know I did. It was just garbage. Came back at the very last patch for that xpac and it was alright, well the PVP was.

        Apparently cataclysm had higher preorders, but faster drop-off. Mists had lower pre-orders, but actually increased momentum through word-of-mouth. The more detrimental expansion was cataclysm.

      The DDOS is being done by thousands of people?
      I thought it was usually just a few people with some software.

    "this is the most neckbeard thing I’ve witnessed in a while"


    No this is when he should of passed the reins to someone else, not chucked a tantrum

    Isn't WoW like, up all the time? With the influx of newer and returning players plus the attacks from random jerks on the internet, you'd think they'd be more forgiving. But nope it's straight to "I HAVE NO FAITH LEFT IN THE PRODUCT" despite great service for years.

    I think someone needs to realize what new expansion packs can do to a game. >_> I mean I don't play WoW anymore so this doesn't affect me in the slightest. But it's still annoying to see people just flip like this. :P

      This. Sure i have sat in queue for hours on end but hey. I got to see the sunlight during a wow launch which is nice.

      Exactly, one of the reasons they can't stop this thing from happening is because it's only ever on launch day for a new xpac that there's a massive amount of people not only online a the same time, but all in the same area. Each zone and area within WoW is hosted on a server blade, when that many people are split across many zones/blades then the load would be much lower. The only way they could prevent that massive lag (which by the way is also limited to the speed of their ISP which already is at an insane speed of 100Gbps) is if they were to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to add the infrastructure to support the amount of people they have active on launch. However that amount only happens during launch and then over a couple of months that number drops quite a lot to the point where they are running and paying for far more infrastructure than they need for the average/constant load.

      Also scrubs that think they're cool for using their parents money to buy access to some DDoS doesn't help.

    Um, is it just me or has the subreddit gone offline again?

    It's private again. "The World of Warcraft subreddit has been shut down due to doxxing."

    Well at least an alternative is already up

    What does this guy hope to achieve?

    We all know WoW has had issues.

    Blizz knows.

    The people trying to log on know.

    So this guy isnt getting a message to anyone.

    Hes just being a whiny arse.

    There are a lot of things Blizz could've done better. Extended the dismounting zone to all quest NPCs, added an 'interact with NPC' keybind with a help tip advertising its function (it currently is usable through macro, but you have to know it's possible), made the starting zones have non-taggable fully-shared mobs zone-wide, allowed more entry points, instanced more (which they did eventually do), designed in advance such that the story arcs had greater freedom of choice over starting zones (a la Wrath), etc, etc.

    Those were mistakes, sure. And it didn't help that figures outstripped preorder expectations by a ridiculous margin, that DDoS attacks caused failures that had to be addressed with the lesser evil of queues (to preserve the play experience of those actually online), that 10yr design philosophies (no or minimal instancing of shared world zones) had to be thrown out the window overnight.

    But the engineers didn't go home. Patches and hotfixes were rolled out at all hours. Server restarts implemented smart solutions at all hours. Community managers updated the community every hour. As far as handling your fuckup goes, they did everything anyone could possibly expect and more.

    I mean... Holy crap, are you telling me some people unable to play or experienced issues playing on the launch of a major MMO content drop? OH MY GOSH, IMAGINE MY SURPRISE. QUICKLY, STOP PRESS, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. How could anyone possibly have anticipated this?! Such an unprecedented occurrence, out of the blue!

    Petty sarcasm aside, it's pretty simple:

    There is a point at which people need to accept a degree of responsibility for setting their own expectations.

    I can empathize with disappointment. What I can't stomach is the ignorant outrage. It's as fucking moronic as being outraged that we will all grow old and die. Yeah, it's not ideal, but it's also pretty much unavoidable and to be expected, so seriously get the fuck over it.

      There's been an 'Interact with Target' keybind for years, but you're right that many people don't know about it. Agree with everything else you said though. The average queue time (not the 'estimated time', which is always wildly inaccurate) was 3 hours, or about 6 cents worth of the monthly subscription. Queues were mainly only there in the first 48 hours on all servers, and the first 72 hours on high-pop servers.

      It's really not that big a deal, and definitely not 'THE FUCKING SKY IS FALLING' serious. This expansion is going to be out for at least a year (assuming they make good on their desire to put expansions out once a year), probably more. There really is no hurry to burn through the content right this instant. Queues are the price paid by the people (like me) who want the content now instead of waiting a week. And I'm perfectly fine with waiting in a queue for 4-5 hours each day (as I have done) to get in to play the game.

      Then again, I'm not (as far as I know) a self-absorbed, self-centred little shit.

      nitesmoke appears to have been removed altogether as a moderator from the WoW subreddit, and his twitter account has been deleted. I'd like to think he'll learn something from this experience and not act like a baby throwing his rattle out of the pram next time, but I don't have high hopes. There's been a string of people fucking up severely recently (eg. the Gabe Newell death threat) and the dumbarses responsible stubbornly fighting to avoid accepting the consequences.

      Last edited 18/11/14 10:38 am

        Someone above (@doggie015) mentioned the guy got doxed, which I wouldn't be surprised if that prompted online presence lockdown. And while he was obviously a complete douchebag deserving of community censure, doxing isn't really something that should happen to anyone.

          There are questions raised on the subreddit about whether his claim of being harassed and getting death threats was true or just a story he made up in panicked damage control. The chain of claims he made looked a bit suspicious, each one escalating as he didn't get the reaction he hoped for from the community, through "I was doxed" and culminating in "I got phone calls at my workplace".

          What we do know happened is a dating profile he put on OK Cupid got linked to in the subreddit. On one hand that's something he put out publicly, but on the other hand hand I wonder if there's varying degrees of 'public' and if we can reasonably expect something we make public in one place on the internet won't be seen and referenced in other places we didn't intend. I'm inclined to lean towards 'public is public' and anything you put out can and probably will be referenced in any context, not just the one it was intended.

          I think the situation does cast doubt overall on his defense, but there's not enough evidence to come to any solid conclusion. My instinct is some of his claims are exaggerated though.

    If I'm a mod and the game is down. I'd take the Reddit down too. How many thousand wow isn't working posts are you going to get? And that doesn't fix anything. And no one reads previous posts so they'd post it as a new topic every time.

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