World of Warcraft's executive producer J. Allen Brack has apologised on the official forums for the launch issues that have blighted the game since the release of the Warlords of Draenor expansion last week. Subscribers will also be offered five free days of playtime as compensation.
Many players have experienced excessive queues when attempting to log in to the game, and the expansion's new Garrison feature has left many players unable to progress through the storyline, or make progress within the player-housing feature.
"I know how much everyone was looking forward to this expansion, and once you were able to get in and start having fun, all the comments I've seen indicate that this is one of our best yet. But the quality of the content does not excuse the subpar launch experience we delivered, and I apologize for that," the statement begins.
"The first two days of the expansion were not a great experience, with many of you facing high queues or significant gameplay problems. We worked around the clock to tackle the demand issues and technical challenges, and fortunately things started looking better on Saturday. While millions of you were able to get in and play over the weekend, with many already reaching level 100, others still ran into very lengthy queues, particularly on the highest-population realms.
"To help address this, we've expanded the new instancing tech we used to improve queues on Saturday and we're continuing the process of applying that to raise the capacity of all realms again. This will result in approximately double the prelaunch capacity on each realm, which should greatly reduce queue times for most realms if not eliminate queues altogether.
"In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we're adding five days' worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14. Things are already in a much better place than they were going into the weekend, so I hope you'll now be able to focus on having a ton of fun with this expansion.
"I also hope you'll accept my apology and keep your faith in us. The support voiced by many of you as we worked through the challenges was immensely appreciated. We're extremely grateful to be part of such a passionate community. We love World of Warcraft, and we're very proud of this expansion, so stumbling out of the gates like this was very disappointing for all of us.
"On behalf of the World of Warcraft development team, as well as everyone at Blizzard, thank you all again for your patience and understanding."
Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion for Blizzard's monster MMO, and as well as raising the new level cap from 90 to 100, it also introduces the new Garrison system to allow players to stamp their mark on the world. As always, there's also the usual feast of end-game raids, dungeons and player-versus-player battlegrounds to work through.