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'World of Warcraft' battles server problems

With 6 million subscribers, each of whom pays $15 a month, Blizzard Entertainment's online game "World of Warcraft" has become a billion-dollar enterprise. Now comes the hard part: Making sure WoW is always up and running. Some players are angered by ongoing server problems that have led the game to crash without warning while they were playing. Complaints have also surfaced about long lag times and frustrating waits to even play. Despite Blizzard's contention that it's been keeping WoW customers informed of system problems at all times, some players contend that the company has been slow to react to complaints and reluctant to offer support when problems arise. According to players, the problems have been especially acute since Blizzard implemented its last major patch to WoW, in late March. At that time, the company acknowledged it had some temporary server problems but said they'd resolve themselves within hours. But some players say that ever since then, they're routinely encountered "urgent maintenance" that can result in being booted from the game at any time.

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